How Much Is That Deko in the Window?

image

By Valodin & Edoewok

(PartylikeABantha/PartylikePorkins)

A defender’s Droideka (‘deka’) and Droideka Oppressor (‘deko’) can really spoil your attack.  There is a huge range in their firepower and shields based on level, so it is important to quickly be able to identify the level of each during your 30 second glimpse at a base.

Fortunately, there are visual cues that change every ten levels.  The goal of this article is to help you memorize some of those cues to help speed up your recognition skills.  There are two views of each along with a textual description of the salient visual cues to look for.


Deka

  • Deka lvl 1-9

    image
    Head is not round. The building is simplified and triangular.

  • Deka lvl 10-19

    image
    Arms (guns) are “palms up”. Head is rounded out. Building looks more hexagonal.

  • Deka lvl 20-29

    image

    Arms (guns) are up and down. There are 2 guns for each arm. Building has extra purple pieces. And outer piece looks different.

  • Deka lvl 30-39

    image
    Arms have an extra silver piece on the outside. Grooves in head look extra deep. Building looks the same.

  • Deka lvl 40

    image
    The silverback.



Deko

  • Deko lvl 1-9

    image

    Skinniest Head. 1 eye only. Weakest looking guns. Building is the most simplified.

  • Deko lvl 10-19

    image

    Head is a bit wider. There is a “hood” over the eye. The gun’s grey piece is a bit longer and has 2 purple spots. The most telling feature is the building has 2 extra supports on either side.

  • Deko lvl 20-29

    image
    3 eyes. Has shoulder pads. Building supports look a little different.

  • Deko lvl 30-39

    image

    Head is wider still. Has 4 eyes. Bigger shoulder pads and bigger guns.

  • Deko lvl 40

    image
    The double hump.



Level 50

Now that the new update has come out with level 50 of each, we are eager to add new photos. If you can grab screen shots, please private message me here.

Happy hunting!
-Val & Edo

Advertisements

Focusing on Donation Ratio is the Road to Ruin for a Squad

By Valodin

(PartylikePorkins)
Road to Ruin

Where is your squad’s donation policy leading you?

I often hear well-meaning people advocate for their squad members to try to maintain a positive or balanced donation ratio. Here is why I think this is a horrible idea.

Donation Ratio

First off, let’s define the donation ratio as your Troops Donated divided by your Troops Received. If this is above 1, then you are donating more than you are receiving. If this is below 1, you are receiving more than donating. So, at first blush, it seems like ideally you would want all your squad to be at parity or above.

Meaningless Numbers

PicsArt_01-30-07.30.37

The game treats these as equal donations. I know which one I would rather have.

What are those numbers actually measuring? They go up by one for each troop you give/receive regardless of Unit Capacity. So donating a Juggernaut counts 1 and donating a Rebel Soldier counts 1. Clearly, most people would say those are NOT equal.  Also, the donation numbers are a zero sum game unless you have departures from the squad.  Any players with positive ratios will means that someone in the squad has an offsetting negative ratio.

What Are People Doing with the Donations?

Ideally, people are taking their donated troops and converting them into either offensive or defensive wins, which means increased medal count for your squad.  This is a good thing for the squad.  So should you really be worried about a player who has received a lot of troops and converted those into medals?  No.

Donation Stagnation

The part people often forget is that you need open requests in order for people to donate. So if your squad members are worried about their “troops received” numbers going up, they will be less inclined to request troops. This means your benevolent squad members have no one to donate to, and your overall squad donation numbers will decrease. This, in turn, will probably mean a decrease in medal output by your squad.

Fire Up the Furnace

image

Like an Arc Furnace melting donated troops into medals

You want your squad to be a furnace that turns troops into medals. Donations add more than 30% troop power to an attack, thus increasing your chances of a 3-star win. If troops are readily available, your squad members will have fewer reservations about dropping the flag on every attack. This also creates a wonderful feedback loop because empty squad centers provide a place for people to request donations which, in turn, gives donators a place to send their troops.

Better Policy Ideas

 

 

You need a policy that encourages donations and efficient use of those donations. Here in the PartylikeChewy family we try to do that with our Wookiee of the Week award. The formula is ∆medals + 4x ∆(donated troops). Notably absent is anything about troops received (that’s the road to ruin, remember?). You could tweak the coefficients on the two numbers, but these basically value a full-load donation roughly the same as a 2-star victory.

If your squad has a similar policy, please share. I would love to hear how others are dealing with this issue in their Squads.

Party till the donations stop flowing,
-Val

Strategy Thoughts on Winning Conflict Events

by Valodin

(PartylikePorkins)

This is mainly geared at some of our up-and-coming Partylike Family members, but maybe it will provoke some ideas from the more seasoned partiers as well. As always, I welcome feedback, constructive or otherwise.

 

AWing

A-Wing

For better or worse, conflicts have become the only way to get upgrades for some of the units, so if you want Johar Kessen,

JohharKessen

Johhar Kessen

A-Wing, HWK-290, Vanguard, or Resource Chicken (AT-RT), you will need to win some conflicts.

Basics

Enrolling

Once the conflict starts, any offensive win on-planet will enroll you in the competition. Thereafter, any on-planet wins or losses on either offense or defense will affect your event points. However, if you have yet to be offensive (and become enrolled in the conflict), defensive wins or losses will not affect your event points (they will remain at zero).

Event Points

Event points are like medals, but you get about 20x as many event points as medals. You only win/lose event points for battles on the conflict planet. Until you initiate an offensive battle, you will not get any event points.

Divisions/Leagues/Rank

In real-time, throughout the conflict, the game is reordering all enrolled players by event points. The divisions are split by percentiles in a logarithmic fashion (meaning the low tiers are LARGE and the highest tiers are small). At any point in time, you can see your current percentile as well as the league you are currently in (top center of your screen).

_20160120_021910

Planet – Percentile – League

Each league gives a tiny bonus of credits/alloy/contra for an offensive win on-planet (“Reward per Victory”), during the conflict. This might help beginning players, but its minute compared to the cost of a level 8+ army, so really all you care about is the league you are in when the conflict ends. You will get a more sizeable payout listed in the division charts as “Conflict Prize”.

Screenshot_2016-01-20-00-01-22

Rewards for each League showing both Rewards Per Victory as well as Conflict Prize

Prizes

The lower leagues will usually give Conflict Prizes of resources. At 30% and higher you will often see the prize being a certain number of military units. If you win these, they will be stored in your HQ inventory. Clicking on them there will instantly create them for zero resource cost if you have space in your troop carriers/starship/hero command. They are usually mid-level.
These prizes will only allow a finite number to be created, whereas, if you win an upgrade prize, you can actually produce the units in the appropriate factory.

Sizeable Commitment

Depending on the ferocity of the competition, the winning line will be at least 20,000 event points, and probably closer to 25 or 30 thousand. It lasts for four days as well.

Crude Math

Roughly speaking, you should be able to get ~500 evtpts for a 3*, ~300 evtpts for a 2*, and ~50 evtpts for a 1*. So if we figure you need at least 25k evtpts, that means at least 50 3* wins. If you are averaging one attack per 20minutes (un crystalled squad center request time), that means you are gonna need at least 17 hours of gaming. Clearly, there is a lot more variance because of defensive wins/losses, crystal acceleration, botched runs, etc, but at least it should get you thinking about the factors at play.

Plan Ahead

If you want the upgrades, you need to keep your eyes peeled for upcoming conflicts and get ready. You need:

  1. planet access — may require upgrades to your Planetary Command
  2. research lab — by the end of the conflict, your lab must be at least as high as the post-upgrade unit level otherwise you will not see the upgrade as a possible prize. Instead, you will receive some crystal.
  3. deka/deko — these help immensely on offensive cleanup and defense

    11326830_911046855619240_763972619_n

    Droidekas are invaluable on mop-up duty

  4. droids — to repair the deks
  5. air/hero — best not to be mid-upgrade on any offensive bldgs.
  6. LOTS of donations — let you squadmates know you plan to push for UC in the conflict and you are hoping for their support. Ideally, they are as well so you can keep each others’ SCs full. (If you are in a squad that doesn’t donate effectively or prolifically, consider joining one of the Partylike Squads)
  7. time — you need the time to earn the evtpts. You also probably want some game time near the event end-time to ensure victory. The last thing you want is to have work or family events right at that critical ending hour.

In-Event Strategy

Be Picky

Do not attack unless you are pretty sure you will 3* the base. Keep next-ing until you get one you like. Disregard the resource rewards — don’t be lured in by large available RSS, you should get plenty of these anyway over your 50-victory run.

Use Overwhelming Force

Plant the flag (use your squad center) every attack.

squadcenter

Your squad center quickly provides upwards of 30% more troops on offense

This should be your fastest replenishing force multiplier.
Try not to lose your deks; they are phenomenal on mop-up duty and often are the difference between 96% and 100%, so don’t deploy them too early.

Eschew the Pyrrhic Victory

If a battle goes horribly wrong, take the loss. Do NOT throw your deks and all your air in to salvage a 1*. It will take you hours to rebuild them versus probably being able to regain your evtpts in 20-minutes after your next battle. The difference between a loss and a 1* is about the same as a 2* or the difference between a 2* and a 3*. So keep your cool, take the loss, and go get a win next time.

Get Ahead Early

It’s mathematically possible to start an event on the last day and win, but its hard and its emotionally draining. I much prefer to get ahead early and stay ahead (or at least within reach) the whole time. If you can get right up into UC early, you will find it much easier to remain there than trying to play catch up.

Am I Safe?

Once you are firmly in UC, you should be able to watch the rate your score is dropping. Bear in mind this rate will change a lot based on the time till closing and your distance from the 2% line. You can also do some math and scan the ranking charts to get as little more clarity on how many 3* wins you are from falling out of UC.
One tactic some people use is to go off-world to take the defensive loss that won’t cost evtpts. This makes me really nervous because then if you’ve miscalculated the burn rate, you will have to crystal to get back on-planet and quickly battle back.

Have Fun

If it turns out to be way over-subscribed and is looking like a 50k UC and you aren’t up for that, cash out. There will be another upgrade conflict in a couple of weeks. You’ve probably earned a bunch more medals. You probably have a hunk of resources to keep your droids busy with. And you will get some trophy units for your HQ.
Remember, this is only a game… and it’s supposed to be fun, not life-destroying.

Good Luck!
Hope this helps,
-Val

Starship Command Overhaul

One of the key changes with the major upgrade on 4/21/2015 was an overhaul of the Starship Command and a redesign of the artwork and function of each starship. This rework was outlined by the devs (see here), but I want to go into a little more detail to show how those changes have affect game strategy.

Starship Command

The biggest change is that the starship command operates more like that barracks or factories, where each starship now has a different unit capacity instead of each starship being the same size. For example, with the old Level 7 starship command, you could hold 6 X-Wings. Now, the same starship command has an 18 unit capacity, but each X-Wing is 4 units, so you can only hold 4 X-Wings.

X-Wing Starfighter

X-Wing

X-Wing

The X-Wing is a generalist starship, but it has been nerfed in its splash radius and in its effectiveness against certain targets.

Target: Turrets

You used to be able to knock out 4 tightly clustered turrets at once with an X-Wing. Now, you’ll do 75% damage to each one, at most, if you try to hit all four. A direct hit on a single turret will take it out completely.

Target: Credit Vaults/Alloy Depots

The same is true of resource vaults. A direct hit will take one out, but if you try and hit two or more at once, and you’ll only do about 75% damage to each one.

Target: Headquarters

This is where the X-Wing got the biggest nerf. You used to be able to take out the HQ with 3 X-Wings (half your total capacity). It now takes 4 X-Wings (at level 8) to take out the HQ, which is significant because it would be a Starship Command full of X-Wings.

Training Time & Cost

The training time increased dramatically to 20 minutes for each X-Wing. The cost stayed pretty close to the same, if not a little cheaper than before. The increased training time makes it quite prohibitive to use the X-Wing, especially if you plan on taking out a HQ with them.

Conclusion

The X-Wing is still the most effective at taking out resource vaults, and for that reason alone it would be worth it to keep one handy. I’ve chosen not to use it, and I’ve regretted it a few times when a vault full of 100k credits was left untouched and unshielded. I might have to start having one in my starship command.

Z-95 Headhunter

Z-95 Headhunter

Z-95 Headhunter

The Z-95 Headhunter has received, arguably, the most attention since the update. The primary target of the Z-95 is walls. This is why I use it the most. Like many players, many of these starships in my arsenal were not upgraded like the X-Wing was. My Z-95 is only at level 5, but even still, it can take out a wide section of walls (I’d estimate as wide and thick as 7-8 wall pieces) even though the walls are level 8. Not only that, but it can take out walls that are underneath shields, making the Mickey Mouse bases much easier for baiting the Squad Center. I have had very little trouble baiting squad centers with the update to the Z-95.

"Mickey Mouse" base design. With the Z-95, you could take out the walls on the north end and send a Wookiee to bait the SC.

“Mickey Mouse” base design. With the Z-95, you could take out the walls on the north end and send a Wookiee to bait the SC.

Why should I upgrade it? If it’s effective at taking out walls even at a lower level, it seems like a waste to upgrade it. However, it was quickly discovered that not only could you take out walls under the shields, but the Squad Center itself. At first, after the update, it only took 3 hits with the Z-95 to take out the Squad Center. Shortly thereafter it was nerfed so it now takes 6 shots with a Z-95 of each level to take out the SC. This seems like a lot, and it is, but the Z-95 has a unit capacity of 2, so you could carry as many as 9 in a level 7 or 8 starship command. Also, the cost and training time are about half of the X-wing.

Conclusion

The Z-95 is a must for every starship command. Even a level 4 Z-95 should be able to take out level 8 walls. I also use this capability to speed up my attacks so that my heavies can focus on shields and turrets rather than wasting time blasting through walls. One important note is that the Z-95 will only take out walls if the wall is the primary target and the walls must all be connected. If they are disconnected then the splash damage will end there.

Y-Wing

Y-Wing

Y-Wing

The primary target of the Y-Wing is traps, and it has a large splash radius. I don’t know of anyone in our squads that uses the Y-Wing since Rebel Soldiers are easily (and less expensively) used to take out traps. Also, with the Vanguard soon getting a “reassignment” to be trap hunters, we may not even need to use Soldiers for that either. It has a unit capacity of only 3, but it takes 15 minutes (at level 8) to train.

Conclusion

Unless the Y-Wing is given a splash damage that covers most of the map so it takes out all the traps, I see no reason to use the Y-Wing. The devs are going to have to go back to the drawing board on this one. Since none of the starships are effective at taking down the mech that’s in the SC, like the UMHC and ATAT, I’d suggest that it be redesigned for those targets.

B-Wing

B-Wing

B-Wing

The primary target of the B-Wing is turrets. It is heavily nerfed against all other targets. Don’t bother trying to take out a vault at the last second with it because it will be futile.

The B-Wing will take out turrets that are within 2 tiles of the target, and give 50% damage up to 4 tiles away. The turrets don’t have to be touching for the splash damage to take effect (unlike the Z-95 with wall pieces).

My B-Wings are only up to level 5, but they still do significant damage (66% damage to level 8 turrets) and soften up the turrets so that my offenses can take them down quickly. This is most obvious with the hailfire and its splash damage.

The unit capacity, cost, and training time of the B-Wing is identical to the X-Wing.

Conclusion

B-Wings are another “must have” in the star command. I personally keep 2 with me (along with 5 Z-95 Headhunters). Taking out turrets quickly is so critical to a successful offense.

Low Altitude Assault Transport (LAAT)

Low Altitude Assault Transport (LAAT)

Low Altitude Assault Transport (LAAT)

The LAAT is the new addition to the starship command, and it is unlocked with the level 9 HQ. The LAAT does significant damage to the immediate area surrounding the target, it can target under shields (and do significant damage to the shield if dropped next to the generator), and it deploys 5 Rebel Soldiers of the same level as the LAAT itself.

It was initially thought that the primary purpose of the LAAT would be to trigger the SC or take out a shield. But the Z-95 and A-Wing seem more effective at those two goals. I have seen one replay where an ATAT (from the SC) was on a long walk and the Rebel Soldiers from the LAAT were dropped next to it and took it out before it could reach its target. It might also be effective if you run out of troops and you have a few distant buildings to take out to get that 3rd star.

Conclusion

With a unit capacity of 7, a cost and training time 75% higher than the X-Wing (training time at level 8 is 35 minutes), the LAAT is more like a fun toy to play with every once in a while rather than a staple of the starship command. At best, the jury is still out on this one. I can’t find a reason to recommend its use.

A-Wing

A-Wing

A-Wing

When the A-Wing was first introduced, it was promised to effectively take down shields, but before the update it took 3 of them to do so. The A-Wing can now take down a shield of equal level in one shot, or possibly two shields if you target right where the shields converge.

Again, my A-Wings are at a much lower level, and so I have not used them yet. I have seen others use them quite effectively. For example, rather than use 6 Z-95s to take out a SC, if you can use an A-Wing to take out a shield and X-Wing to take the SC. This would only work if there’s a single shield covering the SC. I’ve also had the Imp equivalent (the TIE Advanced) take out shields and then the TIE Defenders (B-Wing equivalents) take out most of my turrets before any troops were deployed.

Conclusion

The unit capacity (5) and training time (25 minutes at level 8) make the A-Wing an item you’d want to have handy, but not use every time.

HWK-290

HWK-290

HWK-290

The HWK-290 didn’t get changed with the starship command update. Its unit capacity is 3 and training time (at level 8) is 15 minutes. It is still very effective at taking out SC troops. As I said before, my HWK-290 at level 6 has no trouble taking out all level 8 troops in its splash radius.

Conclusion

I still highly recommend carrying the HWK in the starship command. Its training time did go down a little and the cost went way down. You may not need to upgrade it too high with your event points, but you should have it at least at level 5 or 6.

Final Thoughts

My starship command is at level 7, and my only motivation to upgrade it to level 9 is the 2 additional units it can hold. So, with a unit capacity of 18, I’m going to be using (once they’re all upgraded):

1 A-Wing (5 units)

1 B-Wing (4 units)

1 HWK-290 (3 units)

3 Z-95 Headhunters (2 units each)

It was asked in our general squad chat what everyone uses in their starship command, and I don’t think anyone had an identical answer. I recommend that you experiment with each starship and how they can be used to compliment your attack strategy. Maybe you’ll find a combination different from mine that works better for you. And maybe you’ll even find a use for the Y-Wing. Please comment below about how you use the updated starships and which ones you carry with you.

The Trouble with Matchmaking

Loose Matchmaking during Tournaments

We have known for a while that during tournaments the matchmaking is looser than normal. With typical matchmaking, you’ll usually be paired with an opponent that is at your HQ level or slightly higher. During tournaments, however, we noticed that you’ll see opponents that are noticeably, but not dramatically, lower than you are. This is most evident by their turrets and shields. To become familiar with the different turret and shield designs for different levels, see the Star Wars Commander Database.

The other day, one of my HQ level 6 squad mates pointed out that he was routinely getting attacked by level 8 Imperials. I could hardly believe it, and so he sent me screenshots of his defense history. Sure enough, 13 of his last 17 attacks were by level 8 Imps.

Adjusted Base Score and the Matchmaking Formula

Matchmaking is based on your adjusted base score and a matchmaking formula. Your adjusted base score is calculated as follows:

Adjusted Base Score (ABS) = Base Score * (0.00004 * Medals + 0.99)

For example, one of the Imps that attacked my squad mate was Milo, from the squad “Active”. His base score is 1999 and he has 16,416 medals.

ABS = 1999 * (0.00004 * 16416 + 0.99) = 3292

Someone with a lower base score but more medals, or higher base score and fewer medals could have an ABS close to yours.

Matchmaking Formula

The matchmaking formula was published on 11/20/2014. The matchmaking system creates a pool of 200 possible opponents every time you log in. It uses a series of buckets to fill your pool. The first bucket is fairly small and so the opponents are very close to your adjusted base score. If the system can’t fill your pool of 200 with bucket 1, it moves to bucket 2, which is larger and will select opponents that have higher and lower ABS than those in bucket 1. The system will repeat this process, gathering opponents that are less and less similar to you until your pool of 200 is filled. This should only take a few passes of the buckets, but it can “go up to a maximum of 10” buckets (Matchmaking Diary #2).

The matchmaking formula is:

Matchmaking range = ABR +/- 10 * (bucket)^2

“bucket” in this formula is the number of the bucket (1-10). So, for the first pass of the bucket for our Imp opponent Milo, the matchmaking range should be between ABS 3282 – ABS 3302.

Randomization

Due to “Could Not Find Opponent” errors, a randomization variable was introduced into the formula so that the range could be increased or decreased by as much as 10%. Therefore, Milo’s first bucket opponents could have an ABS of 2952 – 3631.

Here’s how that should look:

The matchmaking pool is filled from the center (bucket 1) and works its way out.

The matchmaking pool is filled from the center (bucket 1) and works its way out.

Milo is shown in the center, and his potential Rebel opponents are along the bottom of the image. In his first bucket should be someone like our squad mate, Luke. His base is almost completely maxed level 8 and his medals are capped. The Rebel on the right side is Zapper. He is currently (as of 4/12/15) the highest ranked Rebel, with 21,467 medals. He would fall into bucket #6 for Milo. Also in bucket #6 would be another squad mate of ours, Tuskoona. Like the others, he’s HQ level 8 and has 11,811 medals. Please, note that since Zapper is the highest ranked Rebel, the matchmaking system has no choice but to choose much lower ranked Rebels to match with Milo.

The Rebel that did fall into Milo’s pool was Cyad the Great, with a base score of 1272 and 7714 medals. As I mentioned, the developers said that system should use, at most, 10 buckets to fill the pool. In this case, it took 12 buckets.

It Gets Worse

When I posted my initial analysis of this problem on the SWC Forums (https://www.playdomforums.com/showthread.php?209639-Matchmaking-is-worse-than-I-thought), I expected some backlash from the Empire. Instead, they agreed with me, and it’s actually worse than our example of Milo and Cyad the Great. Here are two bases that level 8 Imps have been matched up with in the past few days:

HQ Level 1 Rebel

HQ Level 1 Rebel

HQ Level 3 Rebel

HQ Level 3 Rebel

More Imps confirmed that they too had seen many of these extremely low level Rebel bases in their matchmaking pool. If they had an ABS similar to Milo, that would be as many as 18 passes of the ever widening buckets.

Why is this Happening?

We have come up with a few theories as to why the system is so broken.

  1. The Empire outnumbers the Rebels.Shortly after Star Wars Commander was released, the graphic below was released, which showed that 52.4% of the players chose the Empire. It is suspected that the Empire makes up a much larger portion today. Therefore, there are more and more Imperials trying to attack fewer and fewer Rebels, and so the system has to look much harder to find opponents for them.

    The Empire outnumbers the Rebels.

    The Empire outnumbers the Rebels.

  2. We are in a tournament. During tournaments there is extra motivation to attack as much as possible. This worsens the problem by the Imps wanting to attack even more, and since the Rebels are spending more time attacking as well, there aren’t as many available to be attacked.
  3. Rebels are riding out their protection. This is a theory based on what the Empire did when they were frustrated that their ATAT broke. When players become frustrated, they try to minimize their losses by using up all of their protection time before they play a series of attacks. When they’re not frustrated, they are more likely to break protection when they still have several hours remaining. So, on a normal day an active Rebel might get attacked 5-8 times, but when they’re riding out their protection, they might only get attacked 3-4 times. Riding out protection could decrease the potential number of opponents in half.

What’s the solution?

  1. Have fewer tournaments. The tournament that just ended came just a few days after the last one ended. Normally their is a campaign in between tournaments, but we’ve had 3 consecutive tournaments. I suggest that tournaments be spaced 2 weeks apart, even if there won’t be a campaign in between.
  2. Make Rebels happier. There is a widespread sentiment that the game currently favors the Empire, even though Chris (a developer) has shown some data suggesting relative balance between the factions (see this thread). I think Rebels will be happier when they can win more often on defense, when the juggernaut AI is fixed, and when adjustments are made to Rebel units so they can use something besides the heavy/med combination.
  3. Shorten protection time. I don’t like this solution, but it would be an effective way to force more high level Rebels back into the matchmaking pool. My solution would be that when you lose on defense, the number of medals that you lose corresponds with the number of hours of protection that you receive. It already does this in a loose sense by giving you 4 hours for every star that your attacker gets on you.
  4. Show repeat opponents. Any time that you see a base (whether you attack it or skip it), the system won’t let you see it again until you’ve seen at least 50 other bases. One interesting and unexpected statistic that Chris shared in the aforementioned thread was that Imps skip more than Rebels do. I think all this skipping forces the system to look farther for an opponent, and I think it would be better to show them those same level 8 opponents a 2nd or 3rd time rather than show them level 5-6 (or lower) bases. The Imps on the forums are complaining about being shown these low level bases, so I think there should essentially be a minimum limit for how far the matchmaking buckets can reach. There should be a hard limit of 10 buckets to be used for matchmaking. If the pool runs dry, then show them the ones they skipped.

Conclusion

These are just a few ideas that might help the problem. Of course, it would be most helpful if there were more Rebels playing the game, but you can’t force that choice. Some Imps have said that if the artwork were better for the Rebels, they might have chosen that faction.

Ultimately, the SWC development team needs to figure out the best course of action. The current matchmaking system is frustrating low level Rebels (who are getting slaughtered) and high level Imps (since it’s boring to steamroll a base with just a few stormtroopers), and possibly causing players to leave the game. I believe that faulty matchmaking and the medal cap are the two biggest problems that are driving away devoted SWC players.

Ghost Squad Members

Ghosts refer to a common and long-running glitch in Star Wars Commander. There are two ways that squads can accept new members – Open to All and Request Only. The ghost problem is rooted in the Request Only feature.

When a player applies to join a Request Only squad, they aren’t accepted instantaneously. On the squad side, in the chat window, you will see the player’s name, with a brief message, and the option to Accept or Reject them. If they are accepted, then they are now in the squad.

The Problem

From what I’ve seen, the ghost glitch happens two different ways:

1. A player leaves one squad to join another. When you leave a squad to join another squad, you should actually leave the squad you’re in before joining another squad.

Click the

Click the “Leave” button to leave your squad.

The problem comes because of the squad leaderboard. You can apply to join a leaderboard squad even if you haven’t left your original squad. The result is that you will be in your new squad, but it will appear that you’re still in your old squad. Your medals in your old squad won’t change and your donations obviously stay the same. But the “ghost” you leave behind takes up a spot in the old squad.

2. The most common cause of ghosts is from players trying to join multiple squads. If you’re not in a squad, there is no limit to how many squads you apply to join.

Example: Let’s say a player, who is not in any squad, applies to join 3 different squads – squads A, B, and C. He is immediately accepted into squad A and is happy to stay there. Even though he’s accepted into squad A, his applications to join squad B and C are still active. Squad B then accepts him and he gets pulled away from squad A (leaving behind a ghost in squad A) and he’s now a member of squad B. Squad C gets around to accepting this player and once again, he’s pulled from squad B (leaving a ghost in B) and he’s now in squad C. So, in the end our player is in squad C and left ghosts behind in squads A and B.

This scenario plays out all the time in many squads. A new squad member is accepted, and within an hour or two, they’re already a ghost.

The new squad member appears in the member list.

The new squad member appears in the member list.

The easiest way to identify a ghost is by visiting the squad member’s base. When you visit their base, your squad should appear below their name. But if another squad shows up, then you have a ghost.

When you visit the squad member's base, a different squad is listed under the member's name.

When you visit the squad member’s base, a different squad is listed under the member’s name.

The only solution is to remove the ghost member from your squad. This solves the problem for you, but also makes the problem worse for the player and the squad they’re actually in.

To recap our example, the player applied to 3 squads, and ended up in squad C but left behind ghosts in squads A and B. Squad A realized that they had a ghost, and so they removed him from their squad. This action removed the player from squad A, but also removed him from squad C, but left behind a ghost in squad C. Squad C realizes the player is a ghost, so they remove him too. The player really want to stay in squad C, so he rejoined it, but then squad B boots the ghost player too, and the player becomes a ghost in squad C again.

The Solution

Until the developers fix the problem, the temporary solution is that squads need to boot any ghost players. Some squads don’t boot ghost players because of the high medal count they leave behind. Also, the players need to leave their squad before joining another one and should only apply to one squad at a time.

Part of the solution for the developers is that the player should only be allowed to have one active squad application at a time, but also be able to withdraw that application if they change their minds and want to apply to a different squad. While the developers have closed some holes in this, they need to make it impossible to apply to another squad while you are currently in a squad.

While they’re at it, the developers should add or adjust a couple features to the squad application process:

  1. Allow the minimum medals to join be higher than 3000. This limit was put in place since the very beginning and having 3000 medals was kind of a big deal. Now that players are going as high as 20,000 medals, and every leaderboard squad has their minimum set at 3000, it’s laughable for it to be so low.
  2. Squads should be able to restrict what language players need to be set at in order to apply. English speaking is required with many squads, and yet we get just as many applications in other languages that we do in English. At the same time, I’m sure those players who don’t speak English would love to filter out the squads from their search that require English speaking.
  3. They need to bring back the cursor for editing the squad description. If you want to edit the squad description, and the part you want to edit is at the beginning of the description, you have to erase from the end of the description until the point you want to edit. You used to be able to just tap where you wanted the cursor to be in the middle of the message. It made it much easier to edit.

Chapter 11 The Battle for Tatooine: Mission 10

Chapter 11 Mission 10a

If you thought mission 9 was bad, you should see mission 10!

Mission 10  - pieced together from several images.

Mission 10 – pieced together from several images.

Mission 10 is the biggest, scariest base I’ve ever seen. After the way mission 9 went, I knew I was only taking one shot at this.

Chapter 11 Mission 10b

You do get the help of 7 Jawas to destroy the shields. I wish we could get these Jawas for our normal attacks because they knock out the shields really fast! But even with the shields down, the rest of the base is just plain tough. I attacked from the south since it seemed like the path of least resistance. Really the base is pretty symmetrical, so I’m not sure there’s an easier side. They give you several minutes to finish it, but there’s not much point. All my troops were dead with 2 minutes remaining.

I somehow got 2 stars!

I somehow got 2 stars!

Chapter 11 Mission 10e

Once the mission is won, you get several congratulations, including a special message from Leia. Here is her message in its entirety:

“First off, I would like to congratulate you on behalf of the entire Rebel Alliance. But secondly, I have new orders for you from Rebel Command. Larger battles are brewing throughout the galaxy, Agent. When I contact you again, be prepared to take your command far beyond this desert planet. While the Battle for Tatooine may be over, the Galactic Civil War rages on.”

Many people on the forums interpret this message (and the equivalent Imperial message) as a sign that they’re finally giving us another planet to have a base on.

Maybe I'll come back down the road and get the last couple stars I missed.

Maybe I’ll come back down the road and get the last couple stars I missed.