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Topics - Imazi

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Welcome the first mission in the Smuggler Class Story for my world, Themaya.

Here's how you move through it.
  • Read through a thread until you come to a choice.
  • Choices are hidden in spoiler tags so you only see the path you chose as you play through it.
  • Follow the "Continue the Story -->" links to progress through the story.
  • Look for the option that fits where you are in this story and what you accomplished in game.

As you go through the story, imagine it as if you were playing through a mission in game. If all my best plans go well, some choices will lead to different outcomes, will affect how companions and other NPCs  feel about you, and may lead to helpful or not so helpful surprises down the line.

To that end, look out for highlighted bits of information such as *Risha is Offended*. Highlighting will help you to pick out some of the more significant events and items. In the case of highlighted reactions from companions and other NPCs, these are actions that they will remember and may act on later.

Due to limits on time and energy, you'll notice that your character is mostly referred to as they. I'm afraid I just don't have it in me to do full duplicates for male and female chacters. I will use her and him when necessary though. In game, some options and situations only applied to male or female smugglers, so references or follow ups on those will match accordingly.

To jump around or revisit missions, head back to the main Themaya thread to start a mission from the beginning. Also, feel free to leave feedback on threads through votes on the posts you like, PM, or leave a post in the main thread. May the Force be with us both on this journey. :grin:
Themaya Hub Thread


Themaya: A World of Opportunity

The galaxy waits on edge...

The SITH EMPEROR has disappeared into parts unknown after draining all life from the Imperial world Ziost. Republic and Sith Empire alike anxiously await his next appearance.

The SMUGGLER has returned to building their underworld empire and taking the odd privateering job. However, things between the Smuggler and the Republic are not as lucrative as they once had been.

See it in true Star Wars crawl form here on Youtube. Please excuse the typo. It took hours just to get it working this much. Warning the Star Wars music may be loud.

Looking for the Next Score

The lounge of the freighter had the lived in look of a room that had seen victories, defeats, and and a few parties for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The crew scattered around a table in the corner where a battle of wills of and skill played out.

The captain leaned back in smug nonchalance waiting for the next hand to finally be played.

Smuggler: You know Guss, you could just throw in the towel now and save yourself some trouble.

The Mon Calamari's brow furrowed in deep concentration as he turn strategies and outcomes around in his head.

Guss: Oh no you don't. You're not going to rattle me. I finally got you right where I want you.

The smuggler smirked at the padawan turned smuggler and gave an indulgent shrug. Akaavi leaned dispassionately against the wall as Corso perched near the table grinning like a monkey Lizard.

Corso: Come on Guss, you know the captain could probably fleece a Hutt faster than gundark on wheels. Better give up before you end up with extra refresher duty.

Risha sat in a nearby chair watching the game only as a concession to her boredom.

Risha: This would only be the 7th game of Sabaac you've lost today, Guss. What's one more?

Risha sarcasm was half-hearted as she still had nothing better to do. She leaned her head against her hand when Bowdaar growled from his stool nearby.

Bowdaar: <This is boring. We've been waiting to find the Emperor and we rot here instead.>

Mention of the incorporeal menace lurking unfound in the stars sent involuntary reactions around the room. Facing a monster that had sucked all life from a planet, when last seen, unnerved even the hardened among them.

Smuggler: No offense Bowdaar, but I think I can put off finding the Sith Emperor for one more day. But I get your point. Things have been slow around here. Ever since that truce on Yavin the republic hasn't had as many jobs for us. Our arrangement with the Republic isn't exactly paying out right now.

Risha: We've gotten more excuses than credits as of late. That's no good when you're trying to create the greatest underworld Empire since Nok Drayen's.

You completed all of Risha's companion missions
Spoiler: show
Risha gave the smuggler a knowing smirk.

Smuggler: I guess finding his treasure wasn't enough huh?

Risha: No that was just a start. Nok kept his people in line by showing them who's boss and who brings in the the money. We need a score, a big one. Something that will get people talking. Fortunately, for you I know just the thing if you'll go for it.

Continue the Story -->

You have not completed all of Risha's companion missions
Spoiler: show
Risha: Nok kept his people in line by showing them who's boss and who brings in the the money. We need a score, a big one. Something that will get people talking.  Fortunately, for you I know just the thing if you'll go for it.

Continue the Story -->

Worldbuilding and Community / Themaya
« on: 03/19/18, 08:47:48 PM »
I'm reserving this thread for a project I am working on. I will attempt to write a class story and planetary arc for a planet of my design as an exercise in quest writing. There is going to be a lot of trial and error and possibly at lot of revisions, but you'll never know what you can pull off until you try it.

So far I have rough outlines for the class story and some of the side missions. Eventually I will better define some outlines for the planetary arc. I'll write for the smuggler story as I have the best idea of where I will go with the story for that class. As I complete missions, I will turn them into forum threads, to approximate making them playable, and link them here.


Class Mission: A World of Opportunity
Looking for the Next Score

Planetary Arc: Tipping the Scales

Side Missions:
Sorting out Feelings

Cantina / Angry Gizka Face
« on: 03/09/18, 06:37:38 PM »

I am pleased to say that I have finally captured Jessak's Angry Gizka face. :grin: It took like 5 restarts of that mission to catch it too. :lol: Nevertheless, this is the point of reference for when she makes that face in RP.

The Trading Floor / Looking for These Decos
« on: 11/20/17, 06:26:25 PM »
Hello Everybody. I am looking to see if anyone has any of these they would like to sell:

Ornate Merchant's Rug
Medical Stanchions
Banner: Scions of Zakuul
Rishi Pirate Cannon
Korriban Tomb Tablet
Voss Tomb Terminal
Yavin Temple Fountain
Zakuul Megaterminal

I'm looking for these to add to my available decos not to resell and I'm willing to work out some payment for these if anyone even has one.

Outside Realm / Nanowrimo 2017
« on: 10/28/17, 09:21:35 PM »
Alright then everybody, it's almost that time again. If you have lingering stories you want to work on, even if it is just a few hundred word short story, give it another shot this November.

I will be doing it again this year and hopefully I won't get sick halfway through this time. It's time to get writting everybody. :whee:

Great Big Thread of Other Threads You Should Check Out

Since I proposed a big thread of main forum threads that could use some other people looking at it, here it is. If you have threads over there that you'd like to draw attention to, whether you started them or not, just drop them in this thread. Also, if I have a broken or misdirected link in this post let me know.

Stronghold Stuff
Stronghold Decorations Iíd Like to See and Some Suggestions
Floor Hook Suggestions
Seated Personnel Decorations
New Packs: Personnel Packs and Ambiance Packs
Colored Light Decorations
More Large Standard Hooks
Right Click Chairs to Sit, Please...
Personnel Arrangements
More Planetary Tree Plots
Planet Specific Decoration Drops
Decorations That Need More or Different Hooks
Combat Interactive Decorations
Interaction with decorations in your stronghold
Stronghold Key System Overhaul
Stronghold Decorators are Passionate Too
Please Release Existing Recolors of Decorations
Kaliyoís Apartment as a Stronghold
Please Give Us Night Environment Strongholds
More Arrangement Decos Please
Companion Holo Placeholders
Past Decorations Rotated Into Vendors
Day/Night Weather for Strongholds
Makeb Style Stronghold
Ability to Scale Decorations
Please Rearrange the Yavin Hooks
Light Decoration With Variable Brightness
Past Decorations Rotated Into Vendors
I love Star Fortress Decorations
Door Locking by Owner
Decoration enabling alternate spawn point

GSF Stuff
GSF Sandbox Instance

Cartel Market Stuff
Cartel Pack Exchange
New items for the Contraband vendor / changes to Contraband Slot Machine
Personnel Decoration Packs
Idea for Differentiating Cartel Pack Decos and In Game Drop Decos
Specific Color Match Dyes
Can the game accommodate three color and tertiary armor dyes?

Currency Stuff
+1 Deco Token
Premium Currency Exchange

RP Stuff
Chat logs
Four Expansion Problems to Hopefully Avoid Next Time
Restored Jedi Temple On Coruscant
Right Click Chairs to Sit, Please...

Misc Stuff
Subscription Free Saturday
Add Rep Tokens to Nar Shaddaa Nightlife
Post KOTET Class ideas
Please Attach to the Belt Instead
Thanks for the Nightlife Event Update
Droids and Cyborgs and Dyes OH MY!
Linking outfits from the outfit designer
Reporting spam mail also automatically ignores

Mission Stuff
Mission Restructuring to Suit Story and Non Story Players
Put Those HKs to Good Use
Please make GTN Browsing Count for Being at Keyboard
Making Game Choices Feel More Meaningful
Companion Themed Expansion
Endless Possibilities with How Companions React
Companion DAILIES!

Cantina / Getting Decoration Hooks Changed
« on: 06/25/17, 10:19:47 PM »
I created a thread on the SWTOR forum for requesting changes to the hooks decorations go on.

Feel free to add to it if you can and maybe those changes will be slipped in here and there through the coming months.

Cantina / What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« on: 06/22/17, 10:05:22 AM »
Given that the devs are in listening mode, I think now would be a great time to give them a heads up about game directions that blindside the RP community, so that can avoid it in the future. My main forum privileges shouldn't run out until the 27th  when they do there maintenance, so I think I have time to get out a thread if I can nail down some issues.

So what do you think was disruptive to RP about the last two expansions?

From what I can tell:
  • It split the community. It put area barriers between the haves and have nots, so to speak.
  • The 5 year time skip forced a splintering of group stories and loss of general cohesion because some weren't ready to rush that far ahead so fast and some wanted to stay apace of the story. People didn't have enough time to tie loose ends.
  • The story was so much about the Outlander that it was hard to tell where a character that was not the Outlander fit in.

Events and Occasions / First Roze Garden Soovada 2017 Bash
« on: 06/16/17, 08:22:22 AM »
Translation: Roze Garden Soovada Bash!

Great Parties            Parties running
Great Food              all Soovada long
Great Fun              dress to impress!

Come celebrate the wealth and splendor of Nar Shadda at the Roze Garden. Show off your power and influence. Increase your prestige and rub elbows with other Successful people. Doors open all Soovada long. VIP Area available to special guests.

Saturday June 17th
Starting at 7pm Server time.

[Dress up in your spiffiest clothes, because I'll be throwing a social gathering at Jessak's Nar Shaddaa stronghold, the Roze Garden, in the Party Venue, down at the bottom. There will ICly be food, drinks, and admission is lessened due to the nature of the holiday being showing off as much as possible. Jessak's valuable things are on display throughout the Roze garden so expect there to be lots of shiny and also higher security to make sure no one violates the spirit of Soovada. :lol:

I will try to be on Friday to send out invites and keys before the event starts. Let me know if you'd like a key, so I can get those out to you.]

Events and Occasions / Roze Garden Soovada 2017
« on: 06/02/17, 07:14:47 PM »
Translation: Roze Garden Soovada Bash!

Great Parties            Parties running
Great Food              all Soovada long
Great Fun              dress to impress!

Come celebrate the wealth and splendor of Nar Shadda at the Roze Garden. Show off your power and influence. Increase your prestige and rub elbows with other Successful people. Doors open all Soovada long. VIP Area available to special guests.

[@Mei'li has inspired me to do more art. So here is a "still" from the Roze Garden Soovada (Nar Shadda Nightlife Event) ad. I'm putting this out early just in case I get too busy close to event time (Starts June 13th). I would like to throw my own event during this time; however, work may not permit. I won't know until closer to time sadly.

However, the stronghold will be open for others to throw events or just RP there if they like. The Stronghold is already being set up for an extravagant display of conspicuous consumption. It will be the perfect time for people to dress up and show off. Just as a current RP note, ICly the Roze garden is more low key until the event start so you can ignore the fireworks, and mounts around the place.

If you'd like keys, let me know so I can get them out ahead of time. If you want to throw an event, also let me know. Hopefully this will be a fun little thing to also do during the Nar Shaddaa Nightlife event! :grin:]

Cantina / New Companion Conversation Missions
« on: 04/18/17, 08:28:04 PM »
Someone made a good thread on the main forums: Anyone else think they should bring back companion conversations?

Honestly, now that I think about it, I would enjoy a companion/follower story expansion more than a new alliance themed storyline where I am ruling from the Eternal Throne.

Come on... getting to sit around and chew the fat with Theron, Lana, and Dr. Oggurobb. Or Hemdil tre. I liked that Arcona from the moment I met him. :grin: I would really like a chance to get to know more about the companions we've been given.

I can even imagine using the opportunity to bring up past stories such as references to the old class stories for old companions. Also, I'd like interesting insights into the lives of new companions. Imagine talking with Theron about that time he tried to have dinner with Jace Malcom.

Hi everybody. :wave:

With the new release comes new decorations, and it got me thinking. Some of them aren't exactly home useful. For instance, the Iokath transport tube is nice and I'm glad they released it, but it doesn't really make sense with current stronghold hook placement.

So I was thinking about what could be done so that good decorations didn't go unused because they don't have a good place to go:
  • Instead of only making whole strongholds, the team could make two new types of strongholds: outdoor only and indoor only open areas.

Imagine a large room that smacks of the architecture of a given world or civilization. It is unobstructed inside, so you can place anything where you need it. If you wanted to make a transport station with those tubes I mentioned earlier, you have enough floor hooks placed side by side that you can stack the tubes end to end from one side of the room to the other. Same goes for ceiling hooks for something like tram tracks. You could also go in a completely different direction. A ballroom or throne room could be constructed just as easily because the key to the stronghold is having full floor, ceiling, and wall coverage with hooks.

Now Imagine the same kind of set up but in an open outdoors space that looks like it's on whatever planet. There is "wall" to "wall" floor hook coverage and you can play around with the placement of various plants and animals. Preferably there would be more plant options both with and without planters.

  • Cover all future stronghold floors with hooks regardless of internal structure. Start with the largest hooks then work down to smaller hooks as space runs out. Further give the option to break the large hooks, like centerpiece and starship, down into much smaller sections.

This way would take a normally constructed stronghold like say Coruscant and just cover all the floors in hooks. Start with the largest hook that can fit in the center of the space then work out. As space runs out, fill the area with smaller hooks. However, from large hooks to starship hooks need more options for being broken down... a lot more. It could also stand to have more layered hook arrangements like the standard large, large floor hook with 9 small hook on top.

  • Create smaller niche strongholds that designed to represent more specific areas such as a junk heap, a barracks, a throne room, or a transit station.

This is probably the least likely to happen but could be the smallest stronghold solution. It could be a stronghold no bigger than a room, a small ship interior, or a large enclosed area. It seems that devs are a bit hampered by not knowing what to do with a stronghold.

What I mean is that they don't know what function players might want to decorate a room for, so they aren't sure which decorations to release or where to put hooks. Making smaller strongholds for specific functions might help as they will have a clearer idea of what needs to be able to go where.


I'm sure there are other ideas out there, but this is what I can think of for the moment. What are your thoughts? What gets in the way of your decorating ideas the most? How does the current set up limit you in terms of setting up an area?

Outside Realm / My issues with EA
« on: 03/10/17, 09:22:19 PM »
Since my response is too big for shoutbox, I'll just make a thread. Here's my answer @Aolani. I appologize as I'm too tired to polish this and I'll have to clean up my thoughts later. There may be blatant typos. :sleep:

Can you give an example? Are we talking things like monetization in FTP, or the contents of the game themselves, what specifically are you referring to? I'm curious. What have your interactions with EA and/or their games been as of late?

My most recent interactions with EA have been with Simcity (5?), The Sims 3, and SWTOR and a little bit farther back the social version of the sims. Now, I've played other games, but my issues are most relevant with the newer iterations. I'll put this disclaimer that I know the difference between developers and publishers. EA isn't sitting over everyone's shoulder putting missing slashes into the code. However, the games are made by different companies yet certain patterns emerge. It is especially notable in the case of Bioware and Maxis where certain patterns weren't so prominent before EA acquistion. The most obvious common thread between them is the publisher. This is what I lay at EA's feet.

I'm a long time player of the sim and simcity franchises and that's where I really felt the punch to the gut. While it felt a bit like EA was ignoring the players that got Simcity as far as a 5th installation, it wasn't until an open letter-which is strangely hard to find now- that they wrote about why they "weren't" going to introduce a single player mode. The blatant disregard a "we don't need you" attitude in that letter proved to me that the trash talk was actually true. I didin't think much of it before it hit me from a game I had a connection to. From there I started to see repetition of that disrespect of players and the notion that players had to take what was given no matter.  Not to mention I saw that there was an inclination to try to force something on players hard, fail, back peddle due to popular pressure, then headlong into that situation in the future. lots of companies do it but there is a distinct brazeness about how EA games do this. By the way, they did eventully add the single player, along with a smoke and bubbles explanation about how it was their idea. The players that were long time fans weren't going to be that easily brushed aside.

Nevertheless, later  the Sims and Swtor  taught me to gripe about bugs that impact gameplay being overlooked to chop up more bits of game to sell. SWTOR also brought monetization methods that seems predatory and unethical. Off hand I like the idea of the Sims game packs, stuff packs, and expansion packs for but it never felt like it was priced right. Also it seemed like they padded game bundles with stuff packs (cosmetic items) as opposed to lumping all the expansion packs (new game play and items) together. It wasn't shady but it felt like a bit of sleight of hand badly executed.

While I do like the the sims store idea, selling players mostly individual items and some gameplay, the pricing and the way they bundled made the idea seem more disingenuous.  Less popular items seemed to have been inextricably bundled with more popular items to raise the cost of purchase which could have just as easily been accomplished in an expansion pack. Generally it was the new gameplay items that were the bait for these deals. I dislike such blatant bait.

I understand that many games are baiting you with something but it's like I said earlier. There is a bit of sleight of hand involved. In a courtsey nod to the player, companies try to hide their hand better when they try to pull a fast one but EA often does not. Strangely enough, I find that I care about this and I appreciate the companies with enough respect to bother to couch their money grabs. It's at least some acknowledgement that the company isn't free to do what they like. The player is not just a helpless cash cow to be milked brazenly. .

That kinda brings me to the cartel market in SWTOR. I dislike a lot of little things in this  game but I don't blame them all on EA as they don't all have EA's fingerprint on them. As a side note, my suspicion for these smaller things lies with Ben irving in most cases. However, the cartel market shows the same signs as the sims store except far worse and far more predatory. However this is easily one of the most recent iterations of their "store" ideology and is probably the most developed in terms of tactics used against players.

To summarize a treatise worth of feelings on the topic, I dislike the gambling boxes, I dislike the exaggerated false scarcity, I dislike how cartel coins are used to evade traditional notions of gambling, I hate how player "loss" is so sloppily designed into the system, I hate how drop rates, pack arrangement and platinum items are done to encourage addiction kind of gambling... and probably a lot more if I spend more time thinking about it.

The cartel packs and their grand chance cubes are easily the prime example of what is wrong with this system. A little gamble, a little loss, and a little random are not all bad. I'm not against the cartel packs themselves. However, the implementation was horrible and not accidental.

Making some items rarer than others is good for encouraging sales, collecting, and bragging rights. However, there is a line between a good amount and a bad amount of rarity especially without disclosure up front. When platinum items where first introduced, no one mentioned anything about how much rarer they were than other items. That was fine up until about the unstable arbiter sabers came out. People were so high on hype that they overspent by ridiculous amounts to attempt to get one and the bitterness that left behind was impresssive. One player who did get one that way commented that six different characters on fleet used /spit as they passed. Not telling people how rare the hype saber was and playing like they didn't realize people needed that information to make a decision about pursuing that saber was completely disingenuous. That smacked ofa brazen milking and they barely even tried to pass off as sleight of hand.

In the short term I believe this worked for Bio's bottom line as they continue to try to milk these sabers to this day. However, the bitterness left in the wake of it got many players watching their packs much closer to see if there were any more fast ones waiting in the wings. Not to mention it spent more than a little goodwill as players started trusting the company a little less for that incident. Now that's not to say their weren't other goodwill squandering incidents but I don't think that EA pattern of not caring how they waste the goodwill of existing/previous players was as blatant. I think the Contraband Slot Machine was one of the earlier manifestations but at the time I think it could have been a fluke that they were that tone deaf.

 Now fast forward a bit, somewhere around the explorer packs they reduced the number of items and added in the chance cubes. Now the premise of the cartel pack is already that you will get some random items. Because RNG is good for getting people to overspend, they decided to add another RNG box in the RNG box... That didn't pan out well, especially with reduced item slots. People were more likely to get a cheap ball toss than nice armor out of the chance cubes, I know I bought tons of ball tosses, and this was still coming from a pack that cost real money. Player odds were getting worse with each change they were making.

 That, for me, lead indirectly back to bundling desired things with less popular things to raise the price of a bundle item, except then you can obsfucate what was being offered in the bundle by using RNG. Just consider how much cheaper a pack would have to be if ball toss like bronze items were guaranteed slots. I don't hate the gamble boxes in of themselves, either kind, but how they were implemented really irks me.

Honestly, I am so tired at the moment that I'm too tired to keep up full complaint effort. I'll try to list some more things that have been irking me and I can comment on them specifically if anyone is curious. EA's calling card seems to be a particular brand of brazen milking of the players: the way Galactic Command was implemented to reward players so slowly and through RNG, the shift to "story focus" that was half implemented when the level of investment needed was clear from the start, the way the cartel market barely provides for direct sales as opposed to gambling with terrible odds (we'll see if the current direct sale initiative holds water), the way slot machines are invariably implemented (there's a reason casino's have regulated odds... they work. however I think there is a culture that the player must lose much and gain little that I think comes from EA rather than a direct order), the way SWTOR binds items to force participation in various things included fluff events which shouldn't matter(I think is more coporate culture of making the player play in an "approved" way rather than a direct mandate), the way the game seems to be moving towards less investment in the game more demand of payment from the players, the way the sims social was still charging full real mony price for unlocks that were weeks away from beng useless after the announcement of the game closing, the way simcity (5) feels like it offers less sandbox and more rails compared to previous versions, they way swtor feels like it's herding you on rails to play the game a specific way, the way the sims 4 is broken up into soo many little pieces in an attempt to sell you your own shirt back, EA's seeming intent to make the player just another widget in the machine without judgement or full agency, the way games seem to be offer as is and the player just has to take it too bad if it's not the game it started as...

Cantina / Proposal For Cartel Coin / Sub Time Exchange
« on: 01/04/17, 09:04:27 PM »
Below is a proposal I wrote and intend to post on the main forum sometime after tomorrow's maintenance. I've got a minimum of 2 days left to get this up.

I want to see an exchange that will allow credits to be converted into cartel coins and sub time. The hitch is that I know the dev team is stretched thing. If they have to devote time to thinking up a system, it really isn't going to happen. So, I did a lot of the initial work already.

If anyone can find it in their hearts to read through and help me identify any rough parts, I'd appreciate it. I'd like to make this proposal so solid that only greed or narrow sightedness could be the reason to turn it down. If we work out any major/important changes here I'll amend my most on the SWTOR forum, if I can.


Can you please implement an in game exchange for subscription time and cartel coins?

I thought an exchange sounded good before, but after watching this video explaining hyperinflation in MMOs, it sounds like an even better idea.

MMO Economies - Hyperinflation, Reserve Currencies & You! - Extra Credits

In addition to helping deflate the economy, this system could help spread out money from whales to bring back some players. Hereís my suggestion for how one might be set up. Apologies for the big post, but this is a big system. The tl;dr is in bullets.

How it works
  • Players trade set amount of credits for cartel coins supplied by the exchange.
  • Cartel coins trade on the exchange for1 month Subscription Time Tokens at a set rate of $15 worth of coins per token.
  • Sub tokens must be purchased by players and put on the exchange for there to be any available for exchange.
  • Cartel coins can only be spent in the cartel market or sent to other players through the exchange. They cannot be directly converted into credits.
  • Sub Time Tokens can only be redeemed, exchanged for cartel coins, or sent to other players through the exchange.
The exchange is an in-game system meant to regulate three currencies: credits, cartel coins, and Sub Time Tokens. Players will trade their credits in to the exchange to buy cartel coins generated by the exchange, but they will not be able to exchange cartel coins for credits. This is a vital limitation. The exchange rate must be fixed and not controlled by player whims to function as a stabilizing effect.

Players will also be able to purchase sub tokens to sell on the exchange. Real money purchases will be the only source of these tokens, unless Devs wish to run a promotion. Once on the exchange, tokens can be bought with cartel coins but not credits. The exchange rate must be a subscriptionís worth  ($15) of cartel coins for one token.

Lastly, the exchange needs a function that will allow players to send cartel coins and sub tokens to other players. It is vital that players use the exchange instead of trading the currencies directly. If they could be, they would simply be used in place of credits then follow the pattern of inflation. All cartel coin and token exchanges need to happen through the currency exchange.

This system should not change how coins and subscriptions are normally bought. It will not generate enough currency to replace the convenience of real money purchases. Instead, it should provide more incentive to play the game while simultaneously removing credits from the economy. I should note, for this system to have the most effect, the Cartel Market will need a New Pack Opening Experience kind of overhaul. (More on that in its own section below)

The Rationale
    How it affects Inflation
  • Players trade credits into a system, instead of another player, for more valuable currency. This allows for immediate removal of large amounts of credits from the economy.
  • Set credit exchange allows for a stabilizing effect. The worth of credits will become tied to real world money. So many credits are worth so many Cartel Coins. So many Cartel Coins are worth so many USD.
  • Credits will exit the economy faster and over more time than other credit sinks such as GTN commissions, taxi rides, and stronghold unlocks.
  • Not allowing the exchange to return credits for other currencies will prevent the exchange from becoming a new credit printer.
  • It will be more advantageous to spend ones credits on cartel coins when one has an excess. The player will be able to purchase vanity items or packs for themselves with it. Further, Cartel Market items will sell for more money on the GTN than items farmed from mobs.
  • Players that use the system to convert credits into more valuable items for resale will help to suck extra credits out of the market faster.
The idea here is to incentivize players turning in their credits to remove them from the economy. The more credits there are in the system, the less any of them are worth. Since money is constantly generated from thin air, every player is printing money and contributing to the problem. However, the problem stabilizes if the credits drain out as fast as they are generated, thus this credit exchange idea.

Setting a rate of exchange for credits (more on this later) that ultimately relates them to real world money will help the economy to stabilize. Credits value are set in relation to a currency that has a more or less set value. Thus it ceases to be of nebulous worth. So many credits are worth so many Cartel coins. So many cartel coins are worth so many USD. Itís how the value of many real world currencies are anchored.

In addition to establishing value, this system can be used to pull credits out at a much faster rate than other credit sinks: taxi costs, GTN commissions, stronghold unlocks, etc. A feature that makes this better than those sinks is that cartel coins are a more valuable currency. They can be used to buy a variety of things unlike a stronghold unlock. There is more incentive for players to continue using the system long after initial purchases.

Something to factor in is how to keep the exchange from being a new credit printer. The best way to do that is to prevent direct conversion of cartel coins or sub tokens into credits. Also, players need to use the exchange so that the currencies can be regulated. Currency, when left directly in player hands, will inflate, so it is vital that trading be regulated. It also helps to have set prices, so that currencies trade at steady rates.

Overall, this system may be a powerful tool against inflation. It will be more advantageous to trade in credits once you get enough. People will be able to work towards buying nice things for themselves, bypassing  some need for credit sellers. Cartel Market items will be attractive for reseller, and players that turn in credits for Coins to buy things for resale will actively help to pull credits out of the system.

    How it affects Credit sellers
  • It should slow the credit sellers down a bit. Trading in their credits to get Cartel Market items to sell for more credits will be very cumbersome to someone who has deadlines to make. It should be cost ineffective as they need their credits to sell.
  • It will be more worthwhile to a player to turn their credits into the exchange and use it to buy things for themselves rather than sell the credits to the credit sellers.
  • If players can get more things from the cartel market themselves, this will reduce the need to buy so many credits in the first place.
  • If it is highly successful, it may make credit sellers stand out like a beacon. If people have less need to shuffle around large amounts of credits, many large credit transfers can become a red flag.
While credit sellers have a vested interest in learning how to game any system, I donít think this one will be a big help to them. Trying to use the exchange to trade their credits up might cost more than it will make. Any credits put in canít be pulled back out to make a last minute credit sale. Items bought from the Cartel Market have bind timers to slow credit sellers down.

Further, all of them running the same game would flood the GTN with cartel market items and reduce the return value of the items. Due to the exchange, the number of credits needed to ďbuyĒ the item in the first place will be fixed, so that scenario that will result in loss. (I will present some numbers on credit equivalences later)

Another effect it will have will be reducing some of their market. While there will always be players who buy credits for whatever reason, some will not if they can get what they want on their own. Rather than overpay for one item on the GTN, they will be able to work towards the cartel coins needed to buy the item directly or the pack it came from. Also, taking care of some of the inflation will drop prices making things more affordable on current content output.

    How it affects players
  • Allowing for the sale of sub time tokens may entice players to return and help retention. Those  who are angry enough to refuse pay the company directly, those who canít afford it, and those who would rather spend time than money could effectively purchase a sub token for credits.
  • It will reward players for spending time and effort on the game more than the 20 coin grants attached to some achievements.
  • The gambling directly associated with packs may be lessened if some of the coins spent were from gameplay instead of real money. Players may be less reticent if they feel they can earn packs through gameplay, in a sense.
  • It will make the game more accessible to all players. It will open up the Cartel Market to more people as it will feel less like a risk. In addition, it will even out spending. People  spend much more than $15 on the game will be able to help retain players who for whatever reason arenít subs.
  • A subscriber game experience is a better game experience. With a better game experience, players may hang around longer thus providing more player vs player and grouping opportunities.
  • Players will have a convenient in game system for buying sub time tokens or cartel coins along with the ability to send them to friends. Gifting could be made more convenient. Communities could band together to help members afford different items.
  • It will result in a reduction of sales on the GTN for a bit but only until the price of items and the amount of credits in circulation come into equilibrium. Afterward, there should be an increase in sales as people buy more from the Cartel Market, put it on to the GTN then return to buying out of circulation things.
  • It may also result in a better selection of items from old packs as more people use the Cartel Market.
Having a system that sells sub time tokens may entice some players to return. There are players who are upset regarding various changes and they refuse to pay more of their hard-earned money until they see things they like. That doesnít mean that they have anything against spending someone elseís money. Putting sub tokens for up sale, that can effectively be purchased with credits, may be enough to keep them nearby until content they like can be provided.

There are also players who regularly purchase real money items just so they can resell things for credits. Sub tokens will be a shiny, new, and consistent sale. Not to mention, tokens must be bought with real money, which means that it will be a niche seller market open to Cartel Coin entrepreneurs. As with any well selling market in the game, the need will be met. True, the sub tokens canít be sold for credits directly and many resellers play the GTN. Thatís not a problem. The Cartel Coins made from the sale can be used to buy things that can be sold for credits.

Another benefit will be letting players that have a lot of real money sell subs to players who donít. Not everyone has the luxury of disposable cash, and anything can happen in life to put a player in that category. This system will let the players that spend in excess of personal need help retain those who canít afford a sub. Players that are already subscribed are more likely to keep playing than those who aren't. They are also more likely to buy another subscription than those who arenít. Further, being able to keep a sub when they canít afford it will likely buy goodwill towards that player buying in when they can afford it.

I will state how to make this system accessible to all a bit later, but the idea here is to make this available to free to play, preferred, and subscription players. Because cartel coins can be bought with credits, a sufficiently dedicated player could try out the Cartel Market risk free. Players with credit caps will be able to--with lots of time--get used to using the cartel market and looking for things they want. This could lead to future sales.

Also, because players wonít necessarily have to stop playing because they are out of money, more players will be able to keep playing. They will be around  to potentially provide ďcontentĒ in terms of PvP and grouping. Players that hang around are more likely to form friendships and connections which will make them want to stay and make the experience more pleasant.

To keep it honest, Iíll admit that this may result in a reduction of GTN sales for a while, but that should only last until inflation and GTN prices fall into equilibrium. One good thing is that the GTN should be hit fairly evenly since a big driver for the drop will be the price of credits increasing (thus inflation decreasing). Another thing is that prices may drop due to items being more available and more people joining the selling market. While that may hurt a few bottom lines, it is better for the game overall.

    How it can affect the company
  • The company gets paid for the sub tokens since they have to be bought by players to be put up for sale.
  • There will still be greater incentive to buy cartel coin cards because it will be much faster. The same is true for subscriptions. However, more people may buy in if they get in the habit of having cartel market items and subscriptions.
  • Players may feel more rewarded without the game having to give anything away absolutely free thus buying some goodwill.
  • Subscriber numbers could go up.
  • Cartel Market whales will have something new and shiny to spend money on.
  • Servers could start repopulate towards 2015ís numbers.
  • More people will try the Cartel Market for the first time.
  • People may spend their stipend coins towards more sub time or cartel market items rather just horde them. This will depend on some changes to the Cartel Market.
This could be great for the company in terms of in game metrics, subscription sales, and cartel market use.

Since the only way to get tokens onto the exchange will be to buy them, real money will still need to be spent. Also, there will still be incentive to buy time cards, recurring subs, and cartel coins with real money because it will be far more convenient.

Players who shied away from using the cartel market can get a taste for it without feeling cheated or like they are risking something. They may also feel more rewarded for playing the game, and thus be encouraged to keep it up. Knowing that each mission puts you closer to that lightsaber you wanted is a very strong incentive.

Subscriber numbers could go up and players could get more of a taste for it without feeling forced to pay. People who get used to having a sub are more likely to want to continue the experience. They will find that paying for a sub is the surest way to sub continually. Not to mention, it may help even out the divide in the community. Players wonít be as sectioned off from each other.

On a related note, CM Whales will have something new to sell to other players, and there will likely be more players around to sell to. Servers could build their populations up if players return or if they at least hang around so they can earn a few things through gameplay. More players means less empty servers and happier players who do pvp or group content.

More people will try the cartel market for the first time if their first purchase can be free, or at least free to them. Those people in turn may wish to buy cartel coins for real money so they can acquire cartel market items faster. The RNG of packs may not sting so bad if part of the coins people spend were bought with time and not real money.

Lastly, people may start spending up their stipends rather than let them build up. They can put it towards more sub time. They can buy things for resale. If the changes I suggest for the Cartel market are implemented, they may even buy more from it.

Changes needed for the Cartel Market
  • It needs a search function and an expanded UI.
  • The offerings need to be expanded to include more than the most recent packs.
  • Direct sales need to be expanded. All categories ( armor, weapons, decorations, mounts, etc.) need far more offerings.
  • Subscription time tokens shouldnít be introduced to the Cartel Market to make sure that they are only paid for in real money.
  • Weekly Passes should be reintroduced to allow for a more customized game experience.
  • Temporary, 30 day, credit cap unlocks should be added. 500k, 1 mil, 5 mil, 10 mil.
  • Expansion Story Unlocks (this is all some people want right now, so let people buy access to past expansion the stories, not current ones.)
  • Items in the Cartel Market need to stay there even if their prices vary. It would be discouraging to spend months working towards an item only to have it pulled from the market.
For the cartel coin portion of this system to work to its full potential, the market needs to be overhauled. First, it need a search function to sort through all the goodies that need to be added to it then it needs a new UI to support the changes. It needs more packs to be sold at once along with more direct sale items. Weekly passes need to be returned, and a few new items need to be added.

The idea is to turn the Market into a way to better customize the game experience. Players will be able to purchase the unlocks they want and not feel like they are being charged for a game they arenít playing. Further, people will be able to support their friends who for whatever reason donít have full access, mostly with regards to weekly passes and unlocks.

Further, If players want certain popular armor sets then they can pay real money to get it outright or they can play the game and save to be able to purchase it with coins from the exchange. If they feel like there are holes in their pockets they can also buy packs and gamble for things. Even gambling will have benefits as it will increase items in circulation with each person regularly buying from the Market.

New items to the Market should be temporary credit cap increases and expansion story unlocks. Instead of permanently lifting the credit cap, 1 month cap increases can unlock the credit cap to either 500k, 1mil, 5 mil, or 10 mil increments. This will keep from eliminating the cap as a subscriber benefit, but will help make various credit sinks and the GTN more accessible to players with a cap. However, the most expensive items will still be out of reach even with the unlock.

Expansion Story Unlocks are just for unlocking access to chapters of past expansions. I rather like the chapter system and I hope it stays. However, that is all some people want. For some itís not even worth paying a whole subscription for it because they have no interest in the rest of the game right now. This will allow those people to get exactly what they want without feeling like extra money is being squeezed out of them, but it has a limit. Story chapters will not receive an unlock until they are no longer current. This maintains the value of a sub for getting the story as soon as possible.

How Much Should It Cost / Running the Numbers
  • It will need testing, and probably lowering, but the maximum exchange rate should be no more than 200,000 credits per cartel coin. It needs to be 200k to keep the system accessible to those with the lowest credit cap, but will still pay out less than paying for coins outright.
  • At this rate, the system breaks down to $15 > 1.8k Cartel Coins > 360 mil credits.
  • While this looks like a lot of credits when totaled up, this only represents pure credit trades.
The system will need testing and to be continuously monitored. However, here are a few figures to go along with the idea. The Exchange Rate for credits to coins should be no more than 200,000 credits. This way it remains accessible to those with the lowest credit cap and thus keeps them in the system. It is actually a bit more important to keep the free to play and preferred players using the system than the subs as those players are more likely to spend time over money.

I used the twenty dollar 2,400 Cartel Coin card as a conversion rate for cartel coins to dollars. 120 cartel coins equal $1 and 24mil credits equal $1. Therefore, the system roughly breaks down to $15 > 1.8k Cartel Coins > 360 mil credits. Now credits have a clear and set value.

This will give players a better idea of what they are value they paying in credits. People overcharging on the GTN might find that they are forced to cut back on the flow of credits. One person may be willing to pay the equivalent of $10 real dollars for a bracer but most probably will not. Being able to equate credits with real money might help players to make better informed purchases and prices on the GTN.

Here are the credit sink potentials of several amounts of cartel coins/ Cartel Market Items.
  • 2,400 CC     =    480,000,000 credits
  • 5,500 CC     =    1,100,000,000
  • 14,500 CC     =    2,900,000,000
  • Distant Worlds Decoration Bundle Ė 825 CC    =    165,000,000
  • Emissaryís Shuttle Mount Ė 1500 CC    =    300,000,000
  • Inventory Module Unlock  - 175 CC    =    35,000,000
  • Unlock Cargo Hold -  475 CC    =    95,000,000
  • Command Boost Ė 200 CC    =    40,000,000
Now this looks excessive off hand, but this only represents what a person would pay if they paid only in earned credits. Obviously it is not very time effective to do it all by credits, though it would be possible. Still, these numbers will help players to convert their playtime into items they wanted, and will be a more palatable way to incentivize whatever content is available. Not to mention, grouping will be incentivized more as more people means more money.

Nevertheless, there is definitely enough money already  out there among subscribers. I recently spent nearly 100 million credits, and I am very casual player. I donít run most content, and I donít make frequent, large sales on the GTN. Some of the Cartel Market/GTN Whales could have much much more than that, and there needs to be ample incentive for them to turn those credits back in.

Cantina / *Boop* *Beep* *Whistle* Kenny Baker Tribute Thread
« on: 12/31/16, 10:38:55 AM »
I felt bad that Kenny Baker also died this year but was not given the same attention as Carrie Fisher. While I understand why people may have been more attached to Carrie Fisher, I still wanted to do something for the man that played R2, the first sassy droid with a mind of its own. Thus I've created the Free Droid Salute.

If you'd like to contribute, please dress up a character as a droid and post a pic of it. Bonus if you can get down to the free droid enclave and have your droid pets or companions out.

(full size at flickr)

CLA-C98 and XN-1701 will miss their droid compatriot.

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