Now killing gold star mobs for fast command experience is nerfed, doing solo ranked PvP and the uprising Fractured is the newest trend among CXP farmers. If you're on the fleet you'll constantly see people advertising for the latter. However, tread carefully if you're planning on taking advantage of the Fractured uprising's length: some pugs are using an exploit to speed it up even more.
My co-host Mox of Corellian Run Radio ran into pugs that scolded him for not wanting to participate in exploiting. It's been a long time since I last encountered this in my MMO career and I'm sad that this behaviour has made it to SWTOR now as well. I really hope this gets fixed soon, so people are spared this experience.
I will not go into specifics of the exploit (and will remove any comments that do, for as long as it's live) because I don't want to promote its use, but I will say this: this particular one is easy to miss because it happens fast and it is easy to trigger accidentally. In fact, I ran Fractured with my guildies to take pictures for this blog post and, despite our good intentions, due to not knowing the specifics of this exploit we accidentally did it. The irony! Now I've actually seen it I have a good guess how to prevent it in the future; I'd tell you how, but then I'd be giving away clues. Sigh. I hate the hush hush aspect of these things. One thing I can say is that it has nothing to do with skipping trash: that's totally fine and somewhat of a SWTOR tradition by now.
Meanwhile, we're getting into a situation where people accidentally exploit that may not even be aware of it, and others that are aware of it taking advantage of it. And I have no clue how the developers are planning to distinguish between the two. I do hope they will do something soon before this gets out of hand! I also hope they realize that people have run into this by accident (which is very easy) and that they will only punish people that have exploited repeatedly. The best thing would be to take it out of the group finder for now until there is a fix.
What, they won't punish people at all, you say? Well, although that is possible, it seems unlikely. My co-hosts of Corellian Run Radio talked to Eric Musco and acquired the following official statement regarding this specific exploit:
“First, thank you (and everyone else) who reported the bug taking place in the Fractured Uprising. We are aware of it and are investigating the issue and its impact. As for action that could be taken we will reiterate our stance on exploits: Any bug which a player can use to gain an advantage can be viewed as an exploit and could lead to action being taken against their account.”They also asked for tips on how to prevent accidentally participating in it, and to that the reply was to let your group mates know at the start of the uprising that you are not participating in exploits and want to go through with it as intended. Bioware asks to report any offenders.
If you want to know more, listen to Musco's full statement and our discussion of it in episode 176 of Corellian Run Radio (or read it in the show notes). The fragment starts at 27:35.
Edit: the CRR episode seems to have stirred up things on Reddit. The thread is full of the by now traditional statements claiming it should not be considered an exploit and that offenders shouldn't be punished. Pretty much what happens every time around.
Myself? I will refrain from doing Fractured with pugs; I don't feel like getting into arguments. I will just keep doing uprisings with guildies from now on and make sure not to exploit. And if you think you're immune to the ban hammer? Well, that's your prerogative, but don't bully others into exploiting. That's not cool. Rav out.
Edit (13 January, 11 pm CET): A post by Eric Musco was just published on the official SWTOR forum. It reads that the bug will be fixed on the 24th and no actions will be taken against offenders, even though it is possible to see the difference between accidental events and constant abuse. I'm quite baffled by this, because this is basically a free ticket for people to exploit until its fixed. I don't understand how Bioware thinks people are going to take exploits seriously in the future.