Conquest is an over glorified fluff achievement system in Star Wars The Old Republic which gives points for completing certain types of content and rewards you with credits and crafting material currency if you get enough points each week. If your Guild happens to come first place on the planet it invaded you get an achievement with an accompanying title and ‘bragging rights’. It is a system that has been largely ignored by Bioware since it’s inception with new objectives only recently being added in Game Update 5.1.
While I have participated in Conquest in the past with my old APAC Guild (we won 3 planets back in the day), I have never really experienced how stressful, awful and mind-numbingly tedious it can be until now.
I honestly haven’t really paid that much attention to Conquest for a long time. But more recently it’s become increasingly hard not to notice what is happening on my server and how harmful it is for our server community.
See on the Harbinger Server, Conquest is not a fair game. We have one Mega-Guild* on the server, Blood Bath and Beyond, that dominates Conquest. Each week they put each of their Guilds on each planet available for Conquest and go hard out. ~95% of the time, they will win every single planet they invade. Other big Guilds on the server are very rarely able to prevail against their sheer numbers and ability to move their characters around (unless it is a crafting week).
*A mega-Guild is a Guild comprised of multiple Guilds of the same name and run by the same hierarchy. In the Harbinger’s case, there is one Guild that has six separate Guilds, three per faction, that they use for conquest.
My new Guild decided that we were going to push conquest this past week. Because it was the rare Conquest Event Revenge of the Revanites we figured we’d have a good chance of taking one of the other planets while the Mega-Guild focused on Rishi and Yavin. Unfortunately, they decided to invade our planet as well with one of their other Imperial Guilds a day and a bit into Conquest. We maintained a ~million point lead on them until Saturday night. They moved characters from their other Guilds and absolutely decimated us with final boss lockouts on Operations. There was nothing we could do to combat the sheer number of players moving their toons into the Guild to run lockouts.
While I was not that surprised by what happened my Guildies (and myself) are a little disappointed and frustrated that this happened. They (and a continually increasing number of people on the Harbinger server) are frustrated that a Guild could become so large and dominate Conquest using exploitative tactics and not receive any repercussions for their abusive actions. Their tactics isolate the majority of the server from ever being able to effectively participate in Conquest. There is no fun, competitive Conquest environment on the Harbinger server like there used to be (to some extent). People shouldn’t be forced to move servers or put their characters into a Mega-Guild just so they can get their achievements (they kick you if you have characters in other Guilds, no seriously, they send spies into other Guilds).
I reached out to the SWTOR Twitter Community to see how Conquest is on other servers. Generally, the other populated servers will have anywhere from 2 to 5 large Guilds that actively do and dominate Conquest (pretty much how the Harbinger used to be except with more Guilds). The Ebon Hawk server was the exception to this. From what I was told, the server has around 10-15 Guilds that do Conquest and the winners each week depend mainly on the type of content being offered. Conquest on the Ebon Hawk server, it seems, works how it was intended. It certainly sounds like they have a healthy community for Conquest (and for everything really). No other server in the game (not even The Red Eclipse) has a single mega-Guild that dominates Conquest.
I also polled the SWTOR Twitter Community on how they felt about Conquest and this was the result:
— 🖕Xam Xam [Rach]🖕 (@Rach_Games) 27 February 2017
The results were about what I expected. Most of the respondents (I’m obviously including those who voted the Harbinger option) feel that the Conquest System is broken. Just under a third of the respondents did not care about Conquest which isn’t all that surprising given it isn’t really proper content so to speak.
It is clear that there are serious questions that need addressing in relation to Conquest in its current state:
- Should one Guild be able to dominate Conquest on an entire server? Is this intentional design on Bioware’s part?
- Should players in these Guilds be able to move around characters between different Guilds so freely and still earn Conquest points for each Guild they join (Guilds currently keep the Conquest Points you earned even if you leave the Guild)? Again, is this intentional design on Bioware’s part?
- Make it so that once Conquest begins, any players that join a Guild during Conquest don’t earn any Conquest Points for the Guild but can still earn their personal Conquest rewards.
- On that same note. If you leave a Guild during Conquest, the Guild loses the points you contributed. But again you won’t lose your personal Conquest progress.
These two solutions would effectively stop a mega-Guild from being able to switch people around in an attempt to stop another Guild from taking first place so easily. They’d be forced to use what members they have to win conquest giving other Guilds a fighting chance.
@Rach_Games I wonder if there would be a way to scale points, that is, relative points as a ratio of points over number of guild members.
— Stardust Legacy 🇦🇺 (@UnholyAlliances) 27 February 2017
— Grognard Foehammer (@Grognard_GDG) 27 February 2017
Both of these solutions would work really well. I particularly like Jessie’s idea of scaling points relative to the number of members in a Guild. Both ideas would not only address issues on the Harbinger server but also make things easier for smaller Guilds on other servers who don’t stand a chance against the bigger Guilds.
Ultimately in the Harbinger Server’s case, the question we really should be asking is: Should a Guild this large that is well known on the Harbinger Server to harass other players, use exploitative tactics and extort it’s own members be allowed to continue to exist in SWTOR?
I really do hope that Bioware takes the time to address this major issue on the Harbinger Server ASAP. Something needs to be done now.
What do you think about Conquest? Do you do conquest? Or do you not care about it? Are you on the Harbinger Server? How do you feel about our predicament?
Thank you to my amazing <Backpack> Guildies for prevailing and being so awesome and for your ideas/solutions on improving Conquest!
And thank you to the SWTOR Family Community on Twitter for their insight into what Conquest is like on other servers and for your views on Conquest! @NessTheHappy, @Vallour2, @UnhollyAlliances, @CoretDelontre, @Knight_legacy, @NifflemyNewt, @CarisaSWTOR, @