Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR datamining and guild building

Usually, I don't combine two topics into one article, but these two things are important and I don't want to go another week without addressing either one of them. Unfortunately, both of these items are also completely unrelated. I want to talk about datamining and a Massively OP guild forming on the Ebon Hawk.

First, if you're a part of the larger Star Wars :The Old Republic community, you'll know that there has been a large influx of leaks and datamined information about SWTOR's upcoming expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. I will admit that I'm highly conflicted about datamining, in general, and in this case I believe some lines have been crossed. And I'd like to clarify my position as well as probe your thoughts.

Secondly, as I mentioned in this week's WRUP, I've taken over as leader for my SWTOR guild; I'm no longer just a placeholder. And I'd like to make the guild a semi-official SWTOR guild for Massively OP, which means that Massively OP readers will be welcome to hang out with us when they jump into SWTOR.

Datamining, again

hsb-mop-datamining-guild-02I want to be clear: I like datamining. In Star Wars Galaxies, I loved modding and diving deep into the client files. I'm not above exploring into places I probably shouldn't be. And I certainly think it's good for planning things ahead when it comes to guild planning or event planning. In the case of modding, it can actually make the game feel better without giving players a distinct advantage over other players. But after a big mistake early on in my writing career, I stopped publicly posting my datamining efforts.

As many of you are aware, I have written about SWTOR well before the game released. At the time there was a site that specialized in releasing unreleased information about every upcoming MMO. It started by releasing information about the SWTOR beta, including screenshots. People ate it up, and fan sites were livid.

One item in the pre-released version of the game struck a chord with me. I thought it both interesting and off-putting at the same time. And now that the game is released and it's over four years after that incident, I think I can mention what it was. The leak revolved around the info that your species was related to the backstory of your character. For instance, the Ratataki Bounty Hunter had the backstory of being a former gladiator in the pits of Ratatak. I assume that it would have played into the some of the dialogue of the game. However, the moral of the story is that it never made it into the game, and it caused a bit of a rift between BioWare and me.

Currently, a handful of sites are reporting about some information found in the public test server client. These bits of information could be completely true, and I don't think that any of the people who are reporting on datamined information are bad people. In fact, I really enjoy talking with the ones I know personally. But I think a line has been crossed by publicly revealing parts of the KotFE story with very little context -- and this includes the reveals about companions.

I'm very conflicted about some of the other information that has leaked. BioWare has kept relatively quiet about everything in this expansion that is supposed to fundamentally change major parts of the game. We have two months until the expansion launches, and yet we don't have much more information than we did two months ago. Two months ago, I produced a video that outlined 20 things that people should know about KotFE, and sadly, it still holds. Sure, there is new information about the game released since then, but it's been from dataminers. There have been two cantina tours since E3, but we know relatively little more from the BioWare camp itself.

Are you as conflicted about this as I am? Don't reveal any spoilers in the comments, but do tell me: How reliable do you think the information coming from sites reporting on datamined content is?

hsb-mop-datamining-guild-01

Building a SWTOR guild for Massively OP

In the spirit of Massively OP starting guilds in other games, I thought it only appropriate to invite our readers into my guild in SWTOR. The guild I'm talking about is the one that I raided with on livestreams from Massively-of-old: Nefarious Intent. If you play SWTOR, feel free to join us.

My guild has a little bit of everything. We PvE pretty heavily. Our current raid team runs on Wednesdays and Sundays; we aren't really looking to grow that team. However, we are looking to make a second, more casual team, and we would also like to have regular groups that like to do PvE content like flashpoints. We are also rewriting the storyline for the guild roleplayers. It's not a requirement to roleplay, but it is a huge focus for me, personally. We have a great group of people who are super friendly and know the game very well.

There are a couple of stipulations about getting into the guild that I should warn you about. We do ask that members of the guild be 18 years old or older. There are sometimes adult and NSFW conversations that happen in guild and voice chat that older members of the guild will not be comfortable talking about if there are younger people in the chat.

We are an Imperial guild. (Clearly, because the Imps have the best stories.) We maintain a Republic-side guild that we drop our alts into, but if you exclusively play Republic, you could be lonely. If you don't have an Imperial character, now is the perfect time to level one up as the 12x XP promo lasts for another two months. You can level up at least one character in that time.

We are also on The Ebon Hawk server. Normally, I'd say that you'd want to roll a new character, but server transfers are only 90 Cartel Coins. And if you have followed my refer-a-friend link, then you have a free server transfer anyway. But again, if you want to roll a new character, we are OK with inviting lowbies.

How do you join? You could go to the guild website and put in an app. But if you're reading this, I'll give you another way: Log into the game, join the chat channel "massivelyop" and let me know that you'd like in the guild. I have too many alts to list here, so that would be the best way to get a hold of me in game.

To join a chat channel, simply type "/cjoin massivelyop"; that will add the channel to your list. To chat in it, you can type /4 (or whatever the corresponding number is) or pick it from the chat bubble icon on chat bar. I am online usually in the evenings EDT, but if I'm not on, I'll try to have someone online who can invite you to guild.

If you're already in a guild that you love on the Ebon Hawk, well, feel free to join that chat channel anyway and say hi. I hope to see you all in game soon.

Every other week, Larry Everett jumps into his T-16 back home, rides through the hypergates of BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic, and posts his adventures in the Hyperspace Beacon. Drop him a holocom on Twitter @Shaddoe or send him a transmission at larry@massivelyop.com. Now strap yourself in, kid -- we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
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40 comments
Mortalware
Mortalware

I'm subbed to SWtoR and would be interested in joining an active guild. I play on Harbinger at the moment with max level characters of all classes, but would enjoy starting a new character over again on Ebon Hawk.


I'll look for you guys in game.

ItsatrapLOL
ItsatrapLOL

Joined the guild last night and it's been pretty fun so far; nice to finally find a stable guild after eons of roaming.  Rerolling a new Sith Warrior with Zakuul armor (also named Zakuulian - ALL HAIL ZAKUUL) is going to give me even more reason to log on when I'm able.  Can't wait for KotFE so my new guy can bend the knee to Valkorion (if allowed) and see what happens.

Lonewolf19
Lonewolf19

I would love to be in a massively guild but is this guild RP only?

DanialWalker
DanialWalker

If they would even give just tidbits, but they won't tell us anything.  They also shouldn't say things like you will find out something at Gamescon and then not deliver.

Cyroselle
Cyroselle

Waitaminit.... I've seen this armor somewhere before.....


Compare a little here with me. :)

Jamion
Jamion

/cjoin massivelyop Primary Imp side?


No response from anyone pub side.

Syppi
Syppi moderator

I have mixed feelings on datamining as well, but I'll tell you something -- with BioWare being this slow and stingy with information, I'll take what I can get wherever I can get it. And I assume that many players feel that way too.

Eliandal
Eliandal

I would love it to see devs leave spoilers of their own :D.  The devs I do know dislike it for the most part.  I don't mind sites like Wowhead or MMO-C so much as they make it obvious what is mined, make it very clear it's only prelim info, and quickly shut down conspiracy theories.


I'm just lucky I'm not a dev, I would always be in trouble for leaving red herrings absolutely everywhere.  Oh look, talk of a new planet?  With Orcs?  and demons?  Oh what fun I'd have :D!

Qarran
Qarran

@Eliandal  In a some older games, not MMO's, dev's did, in fact, leave some surprises for dataminers.  They were more like easter eggs though and not really clues as to what comes next.  But, yes, they certainly know it happens and it would be cool if they left a few intentional things in there to poke fun at us.  lol



Space_Ghostal
Space_Ghostal

If I did not have a really good guild called TOR Wars on Shadowlands server (shameless plug)  I would bring my main over. I might just make and alt and join you. 

Shaddoe
Shaddoe moderator

Who runs that guild now? I know Dee and Jeff don't play. Was Alan (Shot First) in charge? Or am I confusing guilds now?

Qarran
Qarran

Cool.  I may move a toon over and join you guys.  Sounds like fun.


As for the datamining?  I don't care for it and by that I mean I don't care that it happens and that people take it and run with it.  Sometimes it means something and sometimes it doesn't.  I treat datamining results as spoilers.  If I decided to partake or read what others have found then it is all on me.  There are some especially on Reddit that take great pride in it and feel like they then have some authority not only to spill the beans but to tell us the good and bad therein.  But really, it is insignificant.  The final arbiter is the gold code on day of release.  The rest is just speculation.


You spoil it for yourself if you choose to participate.  Generally, I don't because things change, and I have learned to wait.




Squive
Squive

I don't understand how you can say; "But I think a line has been crossed by publicly revealing parts of the KotFE story with very little context — and this includes the reveals about companions."

This is a leak. You know it's a leak. How much stock you put into said leak is entirely on your own head. You know none of this has been confirmed by the developer. If you read all the leaked documents about a companion and then get mad that a bunch of unconfirmed speculation (Datamined info holds more water than out and out "this is what I think might happen" speculation, but it's speculation all the same. Your example about the BH backstory is a perfect example.) doesn't make it into the final game when nobody with an ounce of authority told you it was going to be in the final game, I don't know what to tell you.

Shaddoe
Shaddoe moderator

@Squive Because some of the information that is datamined is real and accurate and people take it as completely accurate. It also steals the thunder of those sites (like fan sites) that are attempting to do things legitimately.

Estranged
Estranged

I have a complete backstory for my legacy, but play on a PVE server.

Some light RP might be OK, but I do it more for my own entertainment.

Hmmmm.

MarkAdams2
MarkAdams2

is this guild only for us players or are you active during our evening (your afternoon)?

Shaddoe
Shaddoe moderator

Oh no. We are on all times of the day, it's just that we are most active in the evening.

sray155
sray155

I know there's a lot of frustration over the lack of new information for the expansion, but I see a very logical reason behind it: September 4.

On September 4, an unholy Star Wars marketing blitz, the likes the Devil himself can scarcely imagine, will begin. You won't be able turn your head without being smacked with Star Wars info. It's being called "The Path to The Force Awakens" and it's going to have a few major stops along the way to December 18; one of them being KotFE. There's no point in BioWare releasing a bunch of information over the summer when everyone is competing for coverage during convention season. They're going to wait to start doling out the info until the hype train begins and all eyes are on everything Star Wars.

Red Alert
Red Alert

I like and follow Swtor dataming under certain rules: if they're about armor, weapon and mount pics i'm ok with that. But i completely avoid any story related datamine files cause i don't wish to see any spoilers until i play the storylines myself.


The guild sounds awesome but unfortunately i'm on the EU side on Progenitor. Nevertheless i wish you luck and longevity.

Greaterdivinity
Greaterdivinity

Hey Larry, quick question/confirmation...if I transfer a character from my existing server over to Ebon Hawke, will it bring over my legacy stuff? That's the biggest stickler for me, because I'd kinda like to keep it all (even if I'm only legacy level 14). Have a character or two that I could move over as alts, even if I'm still slowly working on my Sage. Would be nice to play with some friendly faces.

Greaterdivinity
Greaterdivinity

@meltedskul Nice, I'll have to consider doing that with the 7 day trial thing when I've got a long weekend or something, level up a bounty hunter or agent (to finally have a non-force user : P)

Thanks for the heads up on SH's, but I should be good on that front. Haven't bothered with them as of yet as I've been too busy spending what little time I've had to play leveling.

SallyBowls1
SallyBowls1

@DanielReasor legacy vs collections - My understanding, everyone please correct me, is that


collections already exist prior to a transfer.

You add a crystal in your collection on Harbinger and now create a new character, your first, on EH. The new EH character will have all the collections available to them, including that new crystal.


legacy percs and reputations are not account wide but when you transfer a toon, it merges your existing legacy with the new toon - you are left with the better of existing vs new.

DanielReasor
DanielReasor

That's what has kept me from doing it, too; I have a substantial collection of armor, weapons, color crystals, pets, and housing decorations on my legacy, and I can't see transferring if it all doesn't transfer with me.

ETA: A few minutes with a search engine found a Reddit post by Dulfy, confirming that items added to your legacy collection do, indeed, transfer with you. If Dulfy says it's so, it's so. I may be transferring pretty soon!

meltedskul
meltedskul

@Greaterdivinity Yes! I recently did a transfer and kept all my legacy unlocks like the rocket boots.  Idk about the SHs though but I will assume they are transferred as well.

Shaddoe
Shaddoe moderator

@Greaterdivinity @meltedskul All your housing stuff is copied to the other server, even if you just move one character. (You will have to redeco, but that's it.) So if you transfer only one character, the both servers would have the same housing.

The only exception to that rule is guild stuff. Guilds don't transfer in any way from server to server.

Dnote
Dnote

Keep in mind, every subscriber gets a free level 60 with the expansion, which would probably be a good time to add a toon to Ebon Hawk if you don't fancy leveling up right now.

Shaddoe
Shaddoe moderator

@Dnote But 12x Xp makes leveling super fast and fun. :-D

Polyanna
Polyanna

I don't have a problem with people datamining and posting publicly about it.


It is annoying when people (often not the ones who mined the info in the first place) put up threads on places like reddit that have things like future companion names in the subject line, with an ironic [SPOILER] tag to highlight how they're totally spoiling the information that they're tagging. If you're going to post spoilers, just have the courtesy to not put it in the part of your post that can't be avoided. I'm not going to feel like my game is ruined because I saw it, but some people will, and you look like an idiot. If you can't figure out how to properly conceal spoilers, then just stop posting about them and let someone else do it who knows how forum tags work.


What's more annoying is people who are doing the mining attempting to set themselves up as exclusive channels for "inside information" and acting like they "can't reveal what they've learned" yet because . . . reasons. If you know something and you want to let people know you know it, then stop acting like a five-year-old with a new toy and just post what it is. Otherwise, shut up.


More annoying even than that is mining information and then trying to monetize access to it by posting "backer exclusive" "early preview" versions of your "big reveal." Yeah, yeah "We totally didn't mean it that way blah blah blah." Sure you didn't.


You have nothing to "reveal." You do not know anything more about the mish-mash of disjointed, half-done assets and random text strings that you managed to scrape out of client files than anyone else. You certainly did not have a hand in making any of this stuff. If you want to do what you do, that's just fine. If you want to share what you find, that's fine too. Just stop being so skeezy about it, and stop pretending that you are any part of the value chain for the game.


jonnysage
jonnysage

My main is Republic, because Imps are evil (and whoever chose to play Vader over Han?). I dont think I could stand to level another toon.

alexjwillis
alexjwillis

Thanks for the invite. I may indeed sign up. But not sure if I'll be doing that before or after expansion.

Liqua
Liqua

I will find you guys when I get back into SWTOR.

Boardwalker
Boardwalker

Even though I browse SWTOR forums (reddit, official forums, dulfy, etc.) and news sites regularly, I'm trying really, really hard to avoid seeing the results of data mining. Thanks for not including any spoilers here, Larry. 


I'm fine with people data mining to glean what they can about what's coming--but it's not for me. I'd rather wait and enjoy the current content than do hand wringing over what *might* be coming in the future.

Dnote
Dnote

@Boardwalker Normally I'm quite happy to wait for information, but KotFE is a game changer expansion, not knowing if SWTOR will continue to be the game I love in two months time is really getting to me.


So far, what I've read from the data miners hasn't really enlightened me about what is in store because it lacks context :(

Skyewauker
Skyewauker

Are you talking about betacake? lol.

Reetin
Reetin

A more tag (again) would be appreciated.