Browsing Category Games

Are Exploits Cheating?

Of all of the topics to ponder in the world of multiplayer games, the one with perhaps the most grey area is the subject of exploits. In MMO’s specifically, some exploits and bugs are left unpatched for years, allowing enterprising players a simpler path to victory than intended. Other exploits, however, result in account suspensions and outright bans.

The question of “are exploits wrong?” has been explored at length by more qualified gamers than myself, and the answer that we always seem to land on is “it depends”.  In fact, it depends on several things. Does using the exploit give the gamer an unfair advantage in a PvP situation? Does using the exploit wreak havoc on game systems (such as the economy)? Does using the exploit degrade or disrupt the experience of other players in the game? Even the answers to these questions are seldom black and white. After all, a player might contend that my constant kiting or jumping during combat is ruining his/her immersion, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m doing anything wrong. Likewise, is gaining high-level gear more quickly than intended truly putting a player at an advantage if they haven’t also gained the PvP experience that goes along with obtaining said gear?

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My love for online communities

I began playing SWtor at launch and was utterly new to MMO’s. In fact I had no intention of spending much time interacting with other players. I had a few real life friends who had expressed mutual interest in the game and that was cool. I intended to play the game for the story alone as I was already a fan of Bioware & Obsidians outstanding Knights of the old Republic games. Obviously this all changed and I soon became part of an online community within the game. I was just casually minding my own business, levelling on Voss as I recall and a guy asked me to group up for a heroic quest. This was pretty alien to me at the time, mingling with a complete stranger in a virtual environment, but was very rewarding! The sense of accomplishment and teamwork was great and something which I had yet to experience in video games.

After completing the quest, the player who invited me to the party offered me a place in his “guild”. This was another concept I was unfamiliar with, but the last novelty went ok so I said “sure” and took my first gm ‘Ruuk’ up on his proposition.

Being part of the guild certainly had a positive effect on my time in game, advice and help was always offered and there were always people around to just hang out with. It’s funny how someone just saying “Hi” can put you in a good mood when you log into a game. Which brings to mind the question, are there other online communities outside of gaming that can induce a strong feeling of interpersonal bonding? I ask this since the competitive nature of playing video games and the immersion factor appears to enhance the connection.

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Leadership part 2 – Interview with Dakaru

So this week Rav and I will be doing another twin piece post on in-game leadership. For my second article on the subject I decided to get in touch with Dakaru, GM of Nostrum Dolus and team leader of the ND ranked team. Him and his team were, to be blunt, hated by many, but their combined level of skill was unmatched on the server they played. It is surely one of the reasons they generated so much hate. Dakaru has since moved on from SWTOR and is currently playing Evolve where he is again finding himself in a leading position.

To give a bit of background, Dakaru started out as an officer in Nostrum Dolus back when it was mainly a PvE guild. He was most interested in PvP himself which led to Dakaru being given a leadership role in ranked when that came into the game. Eventually the GM and Co-GM quit the game and Dakaru took over leadership of the guild. As he did so many of the PvE players in ND were quitting and Dakaru ended up slowly turning ND into a more PvP oriented guild. The ranked team he collected was a slow progression according to Dakaru. “I got as many good players as I could find together, and kept shuffling around over and over”, he tells me. By the time of the transfer to Nightmare Lands the game had lost a lot of players and so had Nostrum Dolus. They ended up merging their ranked team with another team who had lost a lot of people as well.

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Leadership comparison: RC vs. ND

After conducting these two interviews with SWTOR GM’s of Reality Check and Nostrum Dolus I can’t help but wonder about the differences between the two. In this bonus post I will briefly discuss the differences in the two leader types. Why? Because the two personalities presented are not only interesting when discussing leadership in-game but in general as well.

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History of TRE guilds – Reality Check

Love them or not, we all know who they are. It is coded in every fellow pvper, that when they see that guild tag in a warzone, then it probably won’t end well for their team. But besides the common reaction “It’s RC, we’re screwed”, what do we actually know about them? To be honest with you all, I didn’t know much, so the interview with the guild’s GM, Rummel, and the Co-GM, Anthis was very illuminating, if I can say that. I’m certain you crave the information I have, so to not keep you in the dark any longer, let me present you the dramatic history of Reality Check!

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Leadership – Interview with RC’s Rummel and Anthis

After a Skype chat with Ravs about gaming and blogging we decided to write a twin piece about in-game leadership – specifically that required when leading a guild in SWTOR. She would focus on PvE guilds and me PvP. My very first thought was that I would love to get an interview with the GM of old Reality Check; a guild which gained it’s reputation on the server for putting up a fight against Nostrum Dolus. By going from occasionally queuing with unfavourable compositions Autumn 2012 to being a force to be reckoned with on TOFN by mid 2013 RC managed to establish themselves in the top tier bracket. With 60+ members, a lot of which were extremely strong minded, stubborn individuals, how does one manage the guild and keep it together?

Since the removal of 8v8 warzones the guild has unfortunately been mostly inactive. Being new to the game this interview would be especially interesting to me since I was not around at the time of ranked 8v8. Getting it however was not easy, I had to use all my powers of persuasion, but luckily for me I somehow tend to get what I want in the end. Rummel, GM of RC, finally agreed to conduct the interview with me under the condition that his friend, confidant and Co-GM Anthis could join – a condition I was happy to agree to.

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“Rules of conduct” and Ranked

As a part of our theme week focusing on SWTOR and Ranked PvP previous to patch 2.0, I decided to write a piece about the rules that were agreed upon back in the beginning of year 2013. Anthis from Reality Check and Mylex from TWATS were two of the people present at the meeting held setting the terms of this agreement. Last Friday I brought them both on the GD TS hoping to find out more.

Mylex begins by telling me that before the server transfers between Nightmare Lands and TRE there was some but not much in terms of ranked activity on TRE. When the server merges happened the best team on TRE was LotD and on Nightmare Lands it was Nostrum Dolus. Mylex continues to explain that LotD didn’t do that well against ND in those first few days of queuing and subsequently over a period of time fell apart. A few of their better players moved to ToFN for a time. Eventually RC started queuing but up until then the only other regular teams were ND and TWATS.

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8v8 Ranked on TRE Part 2

To read part 1 of this article follow this link

By October or November 2012 the server had two regular teams in TWATs and Nostrum and some new semi-regular teams in Spaceballs, Dxun, Drop it like it’s Hoth and the first version of Reality Check.

Now, these guys started queuing of their own accord, either for the first time or as a return to action, but they benefited from coming in to an environment that had lost a lot of it’s toxicity. For that change in atmosphere to have taken place I clearly could not be the only person reaching out and building bridges. On the forums, where every word would be analysed and the fuse leading to the drama-bomb sat ready to be lit, an interesting thing started to happen. Unprompted, someone from each team would post each morning thanking the teams they had played the previous night and give hints as to the results, whilst being good losers and gracious winners. This in itself caught the eye of the guys in Group Three. When Group Three also got a sense of the positive and friendly atmosphere afforded to new teams, it became much easier for those guys to persuade the guildies to try some 8v8 ranked. They could, in good conscience, promise that they won’t get laughed it, that it will be fun and (because of the forums thread) they knew of people on both fleets that they could talk to about good times to queue etc.

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8v8 Ranked on TRE Part 1 (Why our server was better than yours)

Introduction:
Interested in the player involvement which SWTOR has always seemed to need to get ranked PvP off it’s feet I decided to ask Mylex to write us something about his own experiences on the subject. In the days of ranked 8v8 (despite heavy imbalance between classes and a shrinking PvP population on the server) Mylex and a few others made the competitive PvP scene a dynamic experience. This was done through tireless networking and forum activity. Here’s what happened!
-Noctua

8v8 Ranked on TRE Part 1 – Why our server was better than yours!

Okay, maybe not. But it was good and we went from virtually zero activity to 5-10 teams in the queue each day, which was unusual for the PVP servers and unheard of on the other PVE servers. It was also a great time to play on The Red Eclipse, but it was a long road to get that point.

And this is the story…

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GD’s first theme week!

I’m excited to announce GD’s first theme week which will start day after tomorrow on Monday the 13th. We will be focusing on SWTOR, specifically Ranked PvP previous to patch 2.0. Below is what you can expect to see this coming week.

Monday 13th: 8v8 Ranked on TRE Part 1 (Why our server was better than yours) by Mylex
We are starting the week off by welcoming Mylex to the GD family with his first guest post. Interested in the player involvement needed to get ranked PvP in SWTOR off it’s feet I asked Mylex to share his experiences of ranked back in the days of 8v8.

Tuesday 14th: 8v8 Ranked on TRE Part 2 by Mylex
The end of Mylex story as well as some advice to anyone looking to try to make competitive PvP happen.

Thursday 16th: “Rules of conduct” and Ranked by Noctua
January 26th, 2013 members from RC, TWATS and ND held a meeting agreeing upon a list of rules that would improve the state of PvP which was suffering from heavy imbalance between classes. Yesterday I brought Mylex and Anthis to the GD TS and asked them questions about this occurrence. In this post we will go over what happened at the time as well as encourage a discussion about rules and agreements for ranked PvP in games like SWTOR.

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