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  • Star Wars: Galaxies goes down the crapper

    Posted on December 13th, 2005 Finster 1 comment

    Star Wars: Galaxies was one of those games where hype overextended reality…

    Wired News brings us evidence that people are leaving the game in droves due to a massive sweeping update to gameplay. Not the least of which was moving from a sort of freeform advancement system where you could choose from 30 different professions, to a more class-based system… one of the classes being Jedi. That’s right, where the game used to require months of intense gameplay, not showering, and ignoring your family to play as a jedi, now all you have to do is create a new character.

    Brings back memories for me. See, I was involved in the beta for SWG. And after it was released, I even bothered to stay around for a few months. I had a profound experience that caused me to leave SWG and never look back.

    When I was beta-testing SWG, and during the release, I was living alone. I didn’t really spend time doing much else other than work, eat, and sleep. For leisure, I read books, and played Star Wars: Galaxies. At some point I decided it would be a good idea to move into an apartment with roommates.

    One of my new roomies was an 18-year-old college freshman from California, that somehow managed to sign up for all of the “online” classes, and thereby had lots of spare time to play Everquest. LOTS of sparetime. I knew this because our apartment was arranged in such a way that 3 of the 4 of us set up our computers in the living room, since this was closest to our cable internet connection, and for a bunch of college students, who wants to spend money on wireless. Please.

    Anyway, computers in the living room. Add a 4th computer that acted as a cheap OpenBSD router, and the power bills were… shall we say… extravagant.

    But I digress.

    I was playing SWG one day, and part of my goal of becoming a great Bounty Hunter was gathering “Scout Experience”. There were various ways of gaining Scout XP, but one of the easiest was to build camps, and then you would gain XP based on if that camp was used by anyone. So, I was somewhere in the middle of the Tatooine desert and decided I would set up a camp and pick up some XP. I built my camp, and then sat my character down on the little seat that appears when you build a campsite. Now, I needed to make sure that I sat there for a specific amount of time, so that I could garner the highest amount of possible Scout XP.

    I picked up a book and started reading (a habit I picked up from watching the EQ player constantly reading books as he waited for Raids to start, mobs to respawn, etc. etc.). My EQ playing roommate asked what my in-game persona was currently doing. I explained the camp and its purpose.

    He snickered a bit and then replied, “Wait, you’re basically sitting around doing nothing, so that you can gain XP?” He then chuckled a little bit. I felt a little defensive.

    I answered, “So what? I see your character sitting around doing nothing all the time.”

    “Yeah, but that’s because I’m waiting for something else to happen. You’re sitting… just to sit.” He then resumed his laughter.

    I looked at him, and then back at the screen. A miniature womprat hopped by and let out a squeak. That’s when I had the epiphany.

    This game was only “fun” to me because I wanted so bad for it to be fun.

    It’s Star Wars Flippin’ Galaxies! It must be fun! It has to be! It’s a massive online RPG in the Star Wars Universe. No greater video game concept could ever be conceived!

    Ah, but careful, that is the sickly sweet voice of Sony Online Entertainment trying to seduce you into giving them your time and money.

    After I realized this, I logged off, and never played that character again. Or any other SWG character for that matter.

    Honestly, I will say that the new changes piqued my interest. Even casual-MMO players like me could now play as a jedi! I toyed with downloading and giving the 10-day trial a spin…

    Until I gave the World of Warcraft trial a spin, leading to a $23 purchase at Fry’s Electronics Black Friday sale.

    Phew, that was a close one!


    1 responses to “Star Wars: Galaxies goes down the crapper” RSS icon

    • Ugh – I was involved briefly in the SWG beta as well when I came to the conclusion that it was less thought out than EQ and merely capitalized on several aspects not available in it either.

      Sad to see SWG go the way of making the Jedi a choosable profession though, that was a dork status symbol for a long time.