Nothing spreads faster than a false, toxic rumor. Bioware’s Star Wars The Old Republic suffered this truth after releasing their first major patch (1.1) on the 18th of January only to have PvP exploiters ruin the party for everyone. In a matter of minutes after the patch was released, the official forums exploded with threads of people calling it the new NGE, saying that they quit and posting a blatant lie that the turrets on the planet Ilum were being destroyed for thousands of valor points. Valor is a point system gained through player vs player combat (high valor yields the best PvP armor in the game).
Many unqualified people took the lie as a fact and reposted their own version of it and fanned the flames (typical forum knee-jerk reaction) by what seemed like everyone on the PvP forums. Being both curious and lucky that I took the day off to celebrate my birthday, I loaded up my level 50 killer and took him out to Ilum to see for myself. The first thing that caught my eye was that there were now 150+ people in the zone and it was instanced… Meaning that we had reached population limit so there had to be 2 instances. I had never seen this before and I am on Ilum daily… It warranted some investigation.
The First Rule of Fight Club…
In general chat there were people spamming “message me to join the ops group!” hinting that the zerg was actually organized and as I neared the enemy camp (Republic) I saw what was happening… First off, people were killing turrets with massive hit-points, so out of curiosity I got into sniper cover and dropped some heavy shots on it – that’s right my fellow gods, I tried the so-called sploit.
The turret got destroyed, respawned immediately and gave us no reward – okay so that rumor was debunked. Next I turned my attention to the medical center – the Republics sole spawn point and I saw a few victims being recycle killed via area of effect and otherwise… Ahhh now that was the real root of the problem… Spawn camping.
Now keep in mind that on my server “Prophecy of Five”, Imperials outnumber the Republic 3-1; this is a common trend throughout all servers. This means that any coup launched by the Republic would only result in more valor farmed and exploited by the Imperial zerg… The irony in who was committing this crime is just funny to me. Imperials being cheating bastards? You don’t say!
So to confirm my thoughts I logged into my baby Republic alt and joined a PvP guild… Almost instantly I was seeing frustrated Repubs who were stuck in Ilum unable to leave. The lag of so many players slamming area of effect spells made it a slideshow for them and being spawn camped with no hope of escape made them logout upset. I thought to myself “wow, Ilum is fucked”.
What’s the worst of it?
The worst of it is that some of our buddies will get suspended, banned or worse but it states clearly in the user agreement that exploits will not be tolerated. While punishing lemmings for following suit with other players in committing MMO crime is something that has been contested since forever, it’s still a violation of the rules.
Let’s try some common sense here folks, when has camping people ever been a positive outcome in any pvp situation? When I went out there and saw players farming valor my first reaction was to leave and leave fast – which is why I logged out to play my alt.
Most players didn’t notice or care
In the grand scheme of things the majority of SWTOR players were clueless to any of these issues. This was a PvP issue that affected only the handful of people who visited Ilum to accomplish their PvP dailies. People who enjoy the other 95% of things that the game offers were pretty blind to Ilum-gate and the exploitation of the respawns. This is why the cries of “this will kill the game!” Made me laugh… No nerds, if anything kills SWTOR it will be bugs and broken skills and issues, not PvP exploits.
Bioware has said that they will be patching a fix to the camping and punishing the worst offenders. This should be good enough but people are screaming for a full rollback (SWG people no doubt) so that all valor is wiped (and their dreams of farming weak geared lowbees in warzones return). It won’t happen though, and if you are unfortunate enough to read SWTOR forums I would urge you to ignore the trolls and liars who are making threads about quitting. Malcontented trolls need attention and the turret lie was big enough already to gain reposts by gaming blogs dumb enough to write articles about it.
Tomorrow is also the last day for people who will not resub to continue playing and most will want others to quit with them. Just play the game and think for yourself people, it’s as simple as that.