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What is a Shard Chat?

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Electricboa, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Electricboa

    Electricboa Moderator Staff Member

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    So I was sitting here around 11 at night, helping someone in my shard chat pretty well screw over a player that isn’t in the chat and I thought that’s a part of the game that might be good to write a sort-of guide on. Because no matter how long you’ve been playing, your arena almost certainly has a shard chat. And if you’re in a really new shard, then it’s only a matter of time before one forms. It’s a simple fact of the game, even though there’s nothing in-game to tell you about it, and if you want to consistently have a shot at the top of your arena you’ll probably have to join one.

    Shard chats form when a group of players in the same arena (fleet or squad) get together (usually on a 3rd partly platform like LINE or Discord) and they coordinate their payouts. And this is the first thing that everyone should know: not everyone has a payout at the same time.

    It’s a little more obvious now that you can change your time zone, but the time of your payout (as well as daily resets) is tied to your time zone. For most people, the default squad arena is 6 or 7 PM (depending on DST) in the time zone you started playing the game. Fleet arena payout is one hour later. Because of this, people realized that they could do much better in their arena if they worked together. Instead of fighting tooth and nail against people in different payouts, they could work together to give everyone a better shot at more crystals.

    That, in essence, is the core of a shard chat. If someone has a payout an hour before you, then it’s a lot better for you to just wait until they get their crystals before attacking them. They’re happy and they don’t attack you when your time comes. It can also let people who share the same payout work together and come to an arrangement as to who gets 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. each day. A common solution is for it to rotate, so everyone gets a shot at 1st.

    Many shard chats will take it a step further and actively or passively try to help their own members and target players not in the chat. The degree to which this happens vary wildly between chats and even between groupings of payouts. I’ll use my shard and arena chats as examples because both fall on different ends of the spectrum.

    My fleet arena chat is more passive. We have a hit list / blacklist of players that are not in the chat but have caused trouble for someone in the chat. The idea being you’d try to hit these players as you climb, if you can. Because of that those people sometimes drop and sometimes don’t. It varies depending on many factors. There are 2 other people who share my payout and we rotate, but because we’re all active at the same time we try to be available to lock each other because there is a player not in the chat that has our payout and will hit us if we aren’t careful. This gives us the advantage because if we have extra battles, we can attack each other and let the time run out to prevent the outsider from being able to attack us. Sometimes people who have a payout after us will help us by attacking the outsider. This advantage means the three of us pretty much always get better ranks than the player not in the group.

    My squad arena chat is more of an active example. It’s on the larger side with around 40 people in it. My fleet arena has about the same number of people, but the squad chat normally holds the vast majority of the top 30 spots at any given time of the day. I’m an EST player, so my payout is the first of a large block of payouts that more or less comprise the Americas. There are a lot of people active and we do go more out of our way to target people who aren’t in the group. Players with payouts after me get in place behind and effectively creates a wall that insulates the people in the top 5. Once I and the other two with the same payout get in place, we can pretty much just leave it because it’s almost impossible for someone to get past everyone with later payouts, and they’re online because their payouts are coming up.

    By the same token, we can help protect those same people if we have extra battles left after our payout is over. I started this by saying that I helped ruin someone’s night. I was on 8 and has three battles left over. We had a troublemaker player (we’ll call him X) on 13 that was hitting people outside their payout, so the people in our Discord group pinged me and asked if I had any battles to help. When X attacked me, I immediately attacked back. I had nothing better to do, so I let the timer run and won in the last 15 seconds. They attacked me again, and when my cool down was over, I moved them back again. He attacked a third time and because this all took place in the last 15 min before payout they ended up with rank 8 rewards and the shardmate on #1 was completely protected. It cost me absolutely nothing but time and X was probably panic-spamming the attack button trying to move up.

    This is why arena chats can be so powerful. All it takes is a group of active people that will work together and they gain an immense advantage over everyone else. Now, the extent to whether it’s active or passive lies solely on the people in it, but players in a chat will always be better off than those without.

    That’s one of the reasons I always recommend trying to find your shard chat if you start getting into the top 50 consistently. Most chats probably won’t care about you until you’re ready to make top 10 daily, but you’re better off trying to get in early on and avoid making enemies because you don’t know when everyone’s payout is.

    Something that does come up a lot is whether shard chats are ‘cheating.’ To a certain extent, it certainly does give the people in them an artificial advantage of those not in them. It can lead to singling out of players. Just today, that same player X was pushed back from #2 to #23 in the span of about 15 min. Is that fair? I’m guess X would say no. I don’t really get into the morality of it so much as the fact that it’s a permanent feature of the game.

    While it is theoretically possible to make shard chats obsolete, CG is never going to do it. The most common idea is the periodically ‘shuffle’ the shards so that players don’t have much of a chance to coordinate. There are two main issues there:

    First, shards are based on when you started playing. That means that you could only reasonably shuffle a handful of shards together. It would be very unfair to put someone with 4 million GP in a shard with players that don’t have a quarter of that GP.

    The second major reason it won’t happen is the time and effort it would take to shuffle players. Because it would have to happen on a continual basis or you’d just have a new chat pop up after a week and have the same issue as before, just with new people in the chat. CG isn’t going to go to all that trouble for something that won’t make them any money. More to the point, a lot of whales are in those chats and they’re perfectly happy getting easy crystals. CG isn’t going to want to anger them for nothing.​

    So regardless of your opinion on them, shard chats are here to stay. If you’re on a newer shard that doesn’t have one yet, you might want to start your own. Outside of making crystals easier to get, it can give you an opportunity to get to know your fellow players. Odds are, if they’re at the top of your arena, they have a firm grasp of the game and can give good advice. I also know many people who have used their shard connections when they were looking for a new guild. The people in your shard are going to know your capability and roster better than anyone else, save you.

    Hopefully, this will give you a little more insight into what a shard chat is and what they can become.
     
  2. Dagor

    Dagor Active Member

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    I'll add some personal insight as well. I'm in shard chats for both my main account and my alt account. It is very interesting to see the difference between the four groups.

    For my Main squad arena, we have probably 15-20 active people in the shard chat, and those people are spread across the spectrum of timezones (moreso now than before we could freely change our timezone). With such small coverage, we do typically run into issues where our payout can be contested by people outside the chat. Mine is one of those. There is one other person that can make it into the top 10 now (I never had to deal with him until he bought Revan) and he will make a run at bumping me, always within the last 20 minutes prior to payout. I have to try to reach out to others in my shard chat to help me out with mixed results. I also will sometimes try to lock myself up by battling someone else in the top 4 and letting it time out. The guy in the payout before me (there is a two hour empty gap after me) is sometimes able to help if he has extra battles by entering a battle with me after I've done the first one so I can stay unavailable for up to 15 minutes in a row by using two of my battles. I also have Revan (though I was finishing #1 before that with other teams) so I'm lucky to not fall below about 15 in a given day and sometimes wake up to find myself still in the top 5. Despite being a very old shard (early Dec 15), we only have maybe 10-15 Revans on the shard. On this shard chat people often will help eachother out by dropping mods or changing teams to allow shardmates without Revan or with poorer mods to make it to their highest possible payout spot. And we often can get together and get some practicing in with odd lineups (we were able to do some limited 3v3 practice during this GA event for instance). When we get new people asking to join, we put it to a vote by people in that payout slot and majority rules. Former "enemy" players are welcomed with open arms and past hostilities are quickly squashed.

    This is much different compared to my alt's shard. I actually started my alt account before I started what is now my main account. My alt account is a launch day account, and so on about the oldest shard you can find. I don't have Revan on that account but I do have Traya. I still manage to place 1st every day, however I start each day in the 40-50 rank range, so it takes at least 1 refresh to get there most days. On that shard chat, we have many more people (pretty close to the numbers Boa has) and probably have 30-35 Revans in the top 50. This shard chat is not really very close. There are a couple of people that are friendly and will help out, but many more that never say anything or respond when pinged. They also have not offered or made any effort to bring in new members to that chat (likely due to the size).

    Both of my fleet chats are nearly identical in their numbers and also their quietness. There is almost never a peep in either chat with the exception of the occasional confusion over bumping someone early on accident or asking someone to move up to avoid bumping them. On my main's shard, I share my fleet payout with one other guy. We chat quite often and help eachother out if there's a fleet one of us can beat and the other can't, or if we need to defend our spots. But we don't seem to have any outside competition to our payout, we just have one guy from the payout before ours that will sometimes get a bug up his arse and decide to keep us on our toes by bumping us, but it's usually plenty early enough for us to move back and he doesn't persist, I think he just does it to mess with us.

    On my alt fleet chat, it's crickets all day every day. I have a late night PST payout on that account so I have some communication with some of the Chinese and Japanese players on my shard that come a couple of hours after mine, but they are not in my shard chat.
     
  3. RemusQui Spiuar

    RemusQui Spiuar New Member

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    So how do you start a shard chat for fleet arena? There's one player who used to have the same payout time as me, and we would snipe each other all the time (though we tried to keep both of us in the top 5 when possible), but once they allowed changing payout times I made my payout an hour earlier so we could both maximize rewards. As far as I know, his payout time hasn't changed, but every once in a while he'll come on early and beat me while I'm in the process of working my way back to the top. I don't even know if he's aware that my payout changed, and since he's too far behind in squad arena for me to send him an ally request that way, I can't figure out how to contact him.
     
  4. Electricboa

    Electricboa Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, it does kind of depend on if you have to do it in-game or not. If their username is unique enough, you can usually find their account on swgoh.gg If you’re lucky, they put their Discord ID on there to easily be contacted. My page is a good example of what I mean, since I have Discord, LINE, and the EA forum listed there. You would then try to reach them on one of those sites.

    But that’s more for creating a shard chat. It sounds like you’re just trying to get in contact with one person. That’s probably easier in-game. You should be able to send him an ally request pretty easily. All you need is his ally code. Wait till he climbs in your fleet arena, and you should just be able to send it to him that way.
     
  5. Dagor

    Dagor Active Member

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    Also keep in mind that your squad arena shard is different from your fleet arena shard. There may be some overlap, but often there are completely different players in the two shards. So the guy you’re wondering about in fleet may not be on you squad arena shard at all.
     
  6. Electricboa

    Electricboa Moderator Staff Member

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    ^Very true, I hadn't really thought of that. Now that I think about it, I think there's only one or two people that are in both my squad and fleet arenas. Everyone else is different. At least as far as people in the top 30 or so. There are a lot of people that only really play one or the other, depending on how difficult each one is.
     
  7. RemusQui Spiuar

    RemusQui Spiuar New Member

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    I've fought him in squad arena before, so I know he's on the same shard. But at the moment he's ranked around 250, and I never drop anywhere near that far.
     
  8. Dagor

    Dagor Active Member

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    I think for a lot of newer players, the two shards are fairly homogenous. However for us long time players, ships weren't around when we started (or even when we reached the level caps) so our squad arena shard will likely be very different from our fleet arena. There is one person that is on both of mine for my main account and there is zero overlap on my alt account.
     
  9. Electricboa

    Electricboa Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure. I guess it would depend on how many new people are joining and how long each shard is open for. Outside of this forum, I don't know anyone that has a recent account, so I can't really say.
     
  10. Dagor

    Dagor Active Member

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    My understanding is that each shard starts with approx 20000 accounts (could be 10000, but 20000 is the number I've heard the most). However Fleet shards are populated as accounts unlock the fleet section of the game after level 60, so it's relatively unlikely that everyone in your squad arena shard will reach level 60 and unlock fleet at the same pace, which is why there is a very tiny chance that you'll end up with a large cross section on both shards.
     

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