Fact : you need crystals to shine in SWGoG
Either you pay for them, or you fight for them in arena. Indeed, for players willing to play without paying, the pvp arena is the best place to earn crystals regularly.
Fact : The payout hour is not the same for everyone
The payout structure is based on everyone's local time. That's nice, I'm not awake when it's 7PM on the other side of the planet.
Fact : Arena shards are made with players from all around the globe.
A shard is a common way to describe a bucket of players fighting each others for a common reward. Once you join a shard, you can't leave it.
Being all around the globe, obviously the players don't have the same timezone. That's nice : a bunch of the guys in your shard don't bother very much playing when you're about to get paid.
That also means that players in your timezone want a slice of the pie. And not all slices have the same flavour...
Fact : Europe is crowded, consider moving in Iceland
The players are smart. To get the best rewards in the game, they're using something called The Internet. A place where it's easy to talk with people from all around the world. Where timezones are not relevant, where you can say "good night" anytime and there's always someone to say "thank you".
Using various means, for starters the official game forum, the players contacted each others, and quickly identified their shardmates. These guys that are playing on the same shard, but might not receive their payout at the same hour, convenient...
They quickly formed private groups to help each others. Protecting their place from outsiders. Sharing their timezone information to free the path to the rewards, and sometimes helping securing the reward (for instance, locking a player to prevent him for moving up or being moved down).
From there : either you're in such a gang, and life is sweet. You can buy more Carbantis with your hard earned crystals.
Or you're an outsider and this game mode is broken, the other guys are st**d m**ns. You're using words with-stars-in-the-middle every day at payout time, especially when "you're already engaged in a battle".
The Camping Grounds
Every Mafia will hold the ground. They don't have any privileges other than having been the first to claim the hill.
For insiders, there are new arena rules :
Sharing podium places and splitting crystals
Of course, most of the time, you're not alone in your timezone. You'll have to make a deal with players having a payout at the same time as you.
That's really more comfortable to have a slightly lower income rather than fighting everyday and being stuck to your phone to get $2 worth of crystals daily.
Being nice with mates having a payout coming soon
LukeMoonwalker's payout is next hour ? You'll move around. JarJarBrinks is an outsider ? Bounce him out.
Monitoring outsiders regularly. Uhoh, JarJarBrinks went back up again. Pinch him again to let LukeMoonwalker get his payout. Don't forget to tell the others of your teamplay. You'll need a good spirited team, and trust in each other to stand your ground.
Because outsiders are always too close.
Especially in Europe
That's how it works. But now, you want your share. In the end you're a nice guy... And you're sure you can respect those rules. You're trustworthy, and you're even ready to create a new account to join whichever chat software your shardmafia's using. Yes, that's one more GDPR email for your inbox, but you're ready for anything.
The Longest Yard
But why ?
Why would these b***ds agree to let you in ?
Yes another word-with-stars-in-the-middle... It's hard to be nice when you can't make your coming 'in'.
Why would they lower their income, while they have their organization running smoothly ?
Because they're getting lazy.
Picture the king, sitting in his castle, on top of the hill. Partying every day, checking with a condescending glaze his flatline on swgoh.gg (cheers to them). For him, war is the past. He earned his throne after fighting many battles. His allies from foreign countries helped him claim his territory.
He's not willing to get back on his horse, to wear his armor, register an alarm daily to lock his position.
His allies are busy partying too. (Well, they're most likely at work, the luckiest among them having a discord window open in a corner, trying to avoid spoilers from Solo or sharing Wampa memes)
Here starts your grind.
Place of many Deaths
First of all, you'll need to join the Dark Side.
Just kidding. You need to play and fight them everyday.
The game will become Star Wars : Guerilla of Heroes.
Bend the rules to your profit :
- Know your enemy : learn the payout time, search for clues on swgoh.gg, and hit the guys from other timezones. They're less likely to retaliate
- Stretch the battles up to 5 minutes, locking yourself in. Remaining exposed the least possible when the payout is getting closer
- Refresh for crystals : investing to play faster at key moments, either to lock a payout or jump ahead without risking to be attacked
- Refresh for battles : the best trick of all ! After your 5 daily battles, for 50 crystals you can instantly reset your battle timer AND have 5 more battles available
You may not earn more crystals. Sometimes you can reach a good spot and see some crystals benefit, but that's added value.
Your main focus is to become a pain in the word-with-stars-in-the-middle
The insiders are fine in their routine. They don't want to be on the edge every day. They don't want to activate their chat notifications. They don't want to refresh every 2 minutes the rankings to check wether you moved up or not.
You'll have to be dedicated, show no mercy. Make the insiders miss their times of peace.
And you'll start getting your truce
The Proving Grounds
Obviously, you'll have to get in touch with them. Or at least leave a way to be contacted. (Not getting in to details, but leave a trail on reddit, post on the official game forum, join big SWGOH discord servers with your ingame player name, etc.)
They'll need to contact you to make the truce.
And you may not know yet, but they're all nice guys.
They just set up an organization to get the best income, with the least efforts. They probably want to spend some time with the kids, or splitting skulls on their video game console (and not the other way around).
They took advantage of the bias in this game mode to secure their income. Because the way the rewards are structured, you can't share with too many players...
Getting a truce will take many weeks, and every shard is different.
There might be some hardcore ones, and other more friendly.
You might be in a crowded timezone, or with less competition.
I can't tell how long it will take. But you have to be relentless. That's the price for your peace as well.
When contact is made. You'll need to be polite, respectful and quite uncompromising.
Learn about the team. How many there are, who's in your timezone, how the loot is splitted.
You'll have a hard time claiming a rotation for the 1st place when 6 players are already in. Your objective is to get some cover, and better rewards to begin with.
Being kind yet uncompromising ? You need to show that you want a slice of the cake, because that's how the game is built. That if there's no truce, the war will go on.
And there's crystal casualties, and wasted time for everyone...
There's nothing personnal. You're as nice as the insiders. They might not need another ally, but they probably don't need a strong opponent.
Something to consider : don't raise an army.
It's guerilla, and it'll be better if you go alone. You need to show your valor, and to be the one being recruited.
Contacting outsiders is not very difficult. Coordinating some assaults might work for a while. But you can't keep the motivation if your troops feel that they're wasting their ressources. And it will happen, they won't earn more.
They'll feel more confortable playing a couple battles. The rewards are enough for their playtime. Even if they'll feel motivated at first, a war with no reward will wear them down very quickly.
And most of all, how do you negotiate anything when the rewards are getting increasingly bad after the 5th place ? If you've found 3 guys from your timezone to join your army. The peace is about to be signed with the already 4 guys in place...
Well, maybe you'll get to rotate to share the 5th spot... It'll be hard to claim more.
About negotiation : claiming a 1st place rotation is obvious. But now another battle begins. It's played with words.
Negotiation is a whole topic. What you need to put into balance are the real benefits for you :
Get some free time back, earn slightly more crystals than you use to, benefit from the cover of your new allies.
Even if you have to agree for a permanent 4th place : that's better than what you have initially ! You can take the offer.
Now, the mission is not finished : get to be their best friend, they will be more inclined for sharing the loot after a while. Be patient ! (Or simply wait for people to stop playing the game...)
If a guerilla starts, show support, help your shardmates to secure their rewards. Let them know you're trustworthy, a real team player. This will help renegotiate your wage...
Obviously, the outsider is a nice guy too. Maybe nicer than you, which is not common I agree. But whatever, he'll need to wear all of you down and earn his place... You know the story, don't you ?
The Very End (of You)
This article does not provide genuine tricks to help you earn more crystals. It doesn't even claim the fairness of the arena game mode, or it's absolute lack of skill. You will still need to build your arena teams by yourself. You'll have to be lucky with speed mods to be able to face some of the strongest teams of you shard. You'll need to practice, even if the AI is underwhelming, not all the battles are won easily. But that's your job.
This article, is there to recall that there are human players in each mafia. And despite such vocabulary, most of them are just kind people who set up a convenient organization. They're not laundring more than their clothes, nor killing anything else than your ingame characters, and a few mosquitoes in the summer.
Claiming a top spot in the arena regularly is some kind of team effort despite what the game shows. Joining the team is all what matters, and all what I wrote about.
I hope you enjoyed this little article, and for those of you ready to go to war : good luck.
If you're wondering when does my application website gets back up : I don't know. I'm still in need of help, and have to rework some of my backend. No ETA unfortunately.
And if you found the chapter names fancy, they're all maps names from Quake 3 Arena