16/12/2017

A Farewell to the Galactic Command Window

Patch 5.6 didn't just revamp the group activity finder, it also got rid of the Galactic Command window. Unlike the former, the latter hadn't really been announced in advance but came as a bit of a surprise in the patch notes, though in hindsight it shouldn't really have been that surprising. Still, I kind of liked the Galactic Command window, so I didn't want to just let it go into the night without comment.


I'm glad now I took this screenshot.

I remember when Galactic Command was first announced and everyone was wringing their hands about how bad it sounded, the actual Galactic Command window was this tiny bright spot in a sea of chaos. "Well, at least the UI for it looks nice." I honestly loved all the little animated graphics for each activity. Look at the little raiders fighting a mini-version of Operator IX - too cute! Even if I knew that the warzone animation at least could also bug out and leave you stuck with unending lightsaber "whoosh whoosh" noises even after you'd closed the window.

The Galactic Command window was also tied into at least one exploit. I think I can talk about it now since it's long past... but basically you could click on "queue for warzone" from the GC window while you were already in a warzone, which had the bizarre effect of instantly adding another person to your team, letting you go above the maximum number of players you were supposed to have. I once did it by accident and was mortified.

This kind of ties into the window's biggest issue though: Its functionality was pretty much redundant from the start. It's as if when they first came up with the idea they had this grand plan to have it replace the regular group finder, but then when they were nearly done the designer broke down and went: "There's no way I can possibly fit all those options into this graphics-heavy UI" so they just added what they could and left the old group finder where it was.

The result was that I pretty much never used it for anything other than to check my Command rank. Whether it was flashpoints, operations or uprisings, you were still better off queueing for them through the group finder because it gave you more control. Only occasionally did I use the window to queue for GSF, since I'm not particularly fond of the GSF hangar.

The one thing you did want to do through the window however were dailies and heroics, since it was only by going through Galactic Command that you received an extra quest to complete a given daily area, which actually (initially) netted you more CXP than all the zone's regular missions put together. However, since you didn't need to do anything like that for any other activities, it was actually kind of confusing and easy to miss. I remember having a commenter on my blog complain that dailies were giving him virtually nothing - turns out he hadn't known to start them through the GC window. Baking the big bonus into the regular weekly instead has definitely been a smart change.

That said, I do kind of miss having a good place to check my Command rank and the current state of Dark vs. Light. The former feels a bit tacked on at the bottom of the new activity finder, and the latter even more so in the bottom right corner of the galaxy map. And if you don't have a ship yet, you can't check the current DvL status at all! It almost got me wondering whether they may be working on future plans to de-emphasise Galactic Command, if not remove it from the game entirely after all...

1 comment :

  1. I think the Galactic Command Window actually stimulated me to do dailies and heroics, because they caught your eye and it was just so convenient. I was so confused when the window was suddenly gone! Nowadays, I just forget about dailies. Then again, I've never been the "grinding for CXP" type, so I'm mostly just doing the things I enjoy (story, group content and warzones).

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