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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.