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Sony To Encase Half the Star Wars: Galaxies Servers In Carbonite

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-nobody's-coming-to-save-them dept.

Star Wars Prequels 140

Impy the Impiuos Imp writes "Sony is apparently merging out of existence half its Star Wars: Galaxies servers. In spite of a number of innovative features (three health bars, choreograph-able dancing, music you can coordinate between several players, 'your own R2 unit and 3PO,' programmable droids, and so on), a complete overhaul of the combat system, designed to simplify it and make it more action-oriented, actually drove away more people than it attracted. It soon thereafter retired to that great, Sony one-fee-for-all stable of aging and also-rans in the sky. Still on life support, it was preceded in death by Sony foster brother The Matrix Online."

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Innovative features (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29449977)

I laughed out loud at "three health bars". Thank you for making my day, Impy.

Re:Innovative features (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29450037)

In a move borrowed from Gilette, Sony will relaunch as Star Wars Galaxies 2 with five health bars.

WTF is Star Wars: Galaxies ? (2, Informative)

quenda (644621) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451281)

To save other not-quite-geek-enoughs from googling:

Star Wars Galaxies (abbv. SWG) is a Star Wars themed MMORPG (online computer game) for Microsoft Windows developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts. []

(isn't this the job of the TFS?)

Re:Innovative features (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451815)

Managed by Aloebi-won Kenobi

Re:Innovative features (2, Funny)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452223)

That's nothing MY health bar has five bars AND VIBRATES!

Re:Innovative features (4, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450139)

I played the game at launch... and 3 life bars is about right. If your health, action, or mind bar went below 0 you died and had to reload your clone.

All 3 bars regenerated based on your stats, but you used action and mind points to perform specific actions... oh, those bars could also be damaged directly by other players (in PvP) or specific mobs.

Even better, you needed other players to get rid of any "permanent" damage you took to said bars, which filled part of those bars with black.

Re:Innovative features (1, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452731)

So essentially you had health, mana and endurance? Gee, now that's new. Or at least was, around 1990 before MUDs came into existance.

Re:Innovative features (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452773)

So essentially you had health, mana and endurance? Gee, now that's new. Or at least was, around 1990 before MUDs came into existance.

Lets face it, what else is there?

Even if someone comes out with a game that calls them something completely different (indeed, as SWG did) we're still going to associate them with what we already know. Besides, these are easily identifiable and understood by most game players now.. why confuse things?

Even to knew players, anyone who understands the concept of the words "health" and "endurance" and pretty quickly figure out how they relate to their character.

SWG at least did something slightly different with them in that you could get "scars" or permanent damage to those bars that lowered your possible max until you got the damage repaired. I'm not saying this is a good system (I found it rather cumbersome and annoying) but at least they were trying something different.

Re:Innovative features (2, Interesting)

rjhubs (929158) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452909)

but in what other game could running out of mana kill you?

Re:Innovative features (2, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453441)

but in what other game could running out of mana kill you?

Star Ocean. Which is infuriating when you're at a low level and resurrection items are damned expensive, but not such a problem later in the game.

Re:Innovative features (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454143)

From an RPG perspective at least, several Final Fantasy bosses (FF6 at least specifically for sure) died when they ran out of mana. Sure, it wasn't your own party, but still it's not an entirely new concept.

Re:Innovative features (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453399)

Because running out of mana has always been fatal?

Re:Innovative features (1)

SandmanWAIX (674838) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450281)

Agreed. A most excellent summary. Pretty rare these days.

When will they get it??? (5, Insightful)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450041)

You don't release a game and then change everything about it. Add content and features, sure. But you never drastically change the game. People start to feel like they don't "know" the game and leave. You aren't going to attract new customers by touting something like "new improved attack system". They don't know about the old one so they can't judge how much better it is. And the people that don't like the changes will spread their opinions that it sucks.

Get it right before you release it or deal with the consequences.

Re:When will they get it??? (2, Informative)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450287)

You don't release a game and then change everything about it.

You clearly haven't played Star Wars Galaxies. That thing was a fucking cultural black hole. It needed to be plugged before we lost something important.

Re:When will they get it??? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452775)

I think he's refering to the Jedi changes.

Sony: ok, it was a bit harsh to make Jedis randomly, so ... let's make it so that everyone can roll a Jedi, no more randomness.
Players: You WHAT? I rerolled a hundred times / paid $insane_amount on EBay for my Jedi! Fu.. you (ragequits)

Sony: Ok, but to make Jedis at least halfway balanced, we install permadeath. So, a Jedi dies, he's dead for good.
Players: You WHAT? Can't do that, your servers are stable like a pig on stilts, and your GM said he won't revive me for going LD. Screw you! (ragequits)

Sony: Ok, fine, no more permadeath, we just balance Jedis to everyone else.
Players: You WHAT? But Jedis are SPECIAL! Can't just make them "balanced" with a fuckin' healer bot! (ragequits)

And so on.

Jedis are problematic (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453443)

This is a key problem with every single Star Wars game ever, in every genre.

Jedi are supposed to be balanced by their scarcity alone. Or, at least they were, prior to the prequels.

You cannot do this in any type of 'massively multiplayer' game.

Your two workable options are:

1) Have zero player Jedi. Make the players play the normal people.

2) Have everyone be a Jedi.

The middle-of-the-road solutions SOE and others have attempted fail miserably every time. And this is by design. Lucas didn't set out over thirty years ago to create a universe that could be easily rolled into a playable game. We need to come to terms with that fact and move forward.

Re:Jedis are problematic (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454105)

The role-playing games put out by Wizards of the Coast balance things nicely by having things Jedi aren't as good at as other players. This is harder to do in a MMORPG, because the focus tends to be a lot more on combat, but you can have quests with multiple ways to solve them.

Re:Jedis are problematic (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29454197)

The d6 game had an elegant solution as well - Vader comes to kill powerful Jedi. So if you flaunt your powers, expect to lose a limb in the near future.

Re:When will they get it??? (2, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450581)

You don't release a game and then change everything about it.

You do if basically EVERYONE playing your game is asking that you do in fact change them. As a player, I wanted them to overhaul the combat system so that it actually promoted grouping with other players. That's the general consensus of everyone that played it. The downside was that while they did overhaul it, they totally repeated the same thing and made it ungroupable.

Re:When will they get it??? (3, Insightful)

Imrik (148191) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451169)

Just overhauling the combat system would have been reasonable, but they also scrapped the skill system that made the game unique.

Re:When will they get it??? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453515)

unique != good.

Re:When will they get it??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29453863)

unique != good.

Well IMHO it was better than the level-based characters, which is why I left after the NGE went live. If instead they just did the combat upgrade, I would still be a subscriber today.

Re:When will they get it??? (1)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452983)

As a player, I wanted them to overhaul the combat system so that it actually promoted grouping with other players. That's the general consensus of everyone that played it.

Uh, no? If it was the 'general consensus of everyone that played it', people wouldn't have abandoned ship 1) as soon as they announced the NGE, 2) once they deployed the NGE, 3) continued to leave in droves after the NGE had been out a while. People weren't abandoning the game NEARLY as fast before the combat revamp as after. I, along with the group I played with thought SWG 'Classic' was just fine the way it was. You could be exceedingly successful as a rifleman/creature handler, , or one of a dozen different types of crafters. The revamp destroyed that in a big, big way.

Re:When will they get it??? (3, Insightful)

Jartan (219704) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450647)

I'm going to have to disagree here. Drastic changes were very much needed. The problem is they tried to do totally new things inside the framework of their existing engine to save money. They basically tried to tack semi FPS gameplay onto a client that very much did not support it. Then on top of that the changes they wanted to make just sucked. If they had spent a bit more money on it and not tried to do stuff that was obviously stupid it would of worked fine.

Re:When will they get it??? (2, Insightful)

sr8outtalotech (1167835) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451201)

The NGE was the worst ever 'patch'. It was designed to make the game console friendly. Sony had a player base that was using PCs and basically said fuck you guys were simplifying the game so that it's so boring you'll leave. It worked, I left and everyone I played with left.

Actually, that's exactly why I'll disagree (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451247)

Actually, that seems to be like exactly the kind of move that will drive players away, no matter how it's done.

See, it's not just whether the turning to FPS is well done or (as was the case) crap done. It's that it turns the game into a whole other genre than I signed for.

If I wanted to play a FPS, I would be playing one of the many FPS-es without an online fee. It's not like people were sitting going, "man, I'd so play a FPS, but I have no clue where to get one. If only Sony could turn one of their game into a FPS..."

Then there were changes like that to the skill system. Honestly, when you hear someone rant about how great the old SWG was, _the_ thing that invariably comes up is the skill system. There were a lot of people who basically put up with its many other sins, just because it was the only one which didn't force them into the mould of a pre-defined class.

So then Sony comes and throws exactly that away.

It doesn't really matter inside which framework you do something like that. It's going to piss people off.

Then there were the changes to the characters. Everyone had their own combination that they played because genuinely that was what they liked to play, and they had spent months tweaking them to exactly their taste, collecting gear, etc. Then suddenly that combination isn't even available any more. I'm not talking just "nerfed" or "changed", but, really, whatever combination you were playing, chances are there wasn't any close equivalent available after the NGE. For some, like animal handlers, there was nothing that even played similarly after the change.

For those without SWG experience: Imagine if Blizzard one day and said basically, "nah, hybrid and pet classes are now out, they're too complicated for you lot. And you've been bitching about specs and your guild making you respec since we first added raid dungeons, so we're throwing those out too. So from effective now, we'll only have the classes: fighter, archer, cleric and thief. (Which incidentally don't play like warrior, hunter, priest and rogue either.) With a fixed progression of a abilities. If you were playing a paladin or druid, sucks to be you, you get to choose one or the other, not be that jack of all trades crap."

"Oh, and what's that crap about being a warrior _and_ a blacksmith? Can't you just make up your mind? From now on, you can be a fighting class or you can be a trade class, not both. The traders won't even have a combat level, but we'll make all monsters ignore them."

Also imagine that it wasn't an April Fools post.

I'm willing to bet that three quarters of their population would cancel their subscription over such a drastic change. Which is what happened to SWG.

Re:Actually, that's exactly why I'll disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29454009)

I don't have WOW experience, can you reframe this in terms of Eve Online?

Re:When will they get it??? (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452929)

They drastically changed things roughly 2.5 months after launch.

Then, they had the big wide ranging change about a year after that.

In both cases, the game changed beyond recognition.

I left after the 2.5 months after launch change. The game was buggy before and buggy after. Link deaths when changing server zones, pets getting stuck at server zone area changes, aggro mobs and NPCs in city zones killing unsuspecting newbs, etc.

Plus, I am strictly a player vs. environment person, I hate player vs. player gaming, so that limited me greatly in SWG. Which is fine, I left not long after launch, laughed when I saw people bitching about the changes and nerf batting across the boards. I liked the idea of the game, but frankly, it was either poorly thought out initially, or was badly implemented (or possibly both).

Re:When will they get it??? (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453543)

The point I was making is that they shouldn't have released it if it needed changes. You don't rewrite the game because your first iteration sucked. You should have made absolutely sure that what you had was what you wanted before you released it. This is where they apparently failed, or they didn't actually ask anyone how much it sucked. Regardless, they didn't plan accordingly and now they're paying the price.

Re:When will they get it??? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453553)

Unfrtunatly they needed to be changed before release.
A bunch of people looked at it, didn't like it and left. They aren't likely to come back any time soon no matter what you do. The ones that remained didn't pullin enough revenue.

Sony had limited options. Make changes and hope people come back, or shut down.

The biggest flaw is it wasn't true to what the fans expect from a SW game. To be important at the start and get on with important actions.

Re:When will they get it??? (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450733)

You don't release a game and then change everything about it.
Get it right before you release it or deal with the consequences.

Mr. cyberjock1980? George Lucas is on line one for you.

Re:When will they get it??? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29450825)

You don't release a game and then change everything about it.

It sounds like they did a bang-up job of recreating the George Lucas Experience.

Re:When will they get it??? (2, Funny)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452143)

Only if they had a compelling environment, interesting characters, but extremely unfortunate dialogue.

Re:When will they get it??? (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453063)

You don't release a game and then change everything about it. Add content and features, sure. But you never drastically change the game. People start to feel like they don't "know" the game and leave. You aren't going to attract new customers by touting something like "new improved attack system". They don't know about the old one so they can't judge how much better it is. And the people that don't like the changes will spread their opinions that it sucks.

That's the problem with MMO's. If I buy Knights of the Old Republic and love it, I might resent changes in Knights of the Old Republic 2. If so, I can just stick with the old game. But that's not the case with MMO's, you're stuck with the upgrade. I don't really see how this will change.

It's actually kind of funny how chaotically divergent the reactions can be to elements within a game. When the game launches there's no debate, it is what it is and people experience it together for the first time, warts and all. For every element in the game you'll find people willing to fight to the death for or against it. And every time the developer tries to fix something it's like they just tried to eat someone's baby.

The problems I've seen with games is either when they try to add features that really bring nothing to the game or when they try to simplify complexity that was actually a core part of what made the game interesting.

4x games are a good example of this. It's basically an elaborate version of GO. Expand across the map, control territory, beat the enemies. There was a great game on the Palm that reduced this to the essential elements. You had a map with dots. The dots were planets. Each planet could be captured by a ship and a colony established. You have three resource allocations: factories, ships, and science. There was only one type of science and one type of ship.

So from that point on you built your fleets and explored planets. More science meant your ships had greater range, had better saves against attacks and greater odds of hitting when fighting. Fights meant your stack of ships went against the enemy stack. You fire. If you hit, you get to fire again. Keep hitting, keep firing, one ship dead for every hit. Once you miss, the enemy gets to fire back. Numbers count but so does science. Low-tech fleets will just be cannon fodder.

We're talking black and white graphics, no sound effects, but this is basically the essence of 4x games. And if you compare it to the classics like Master of Orion, Civilization, etc, you can see where more detail isn't always better. Civ had some problems with this. That's what made the console version so amazing. They were able to strip out a lot of the stuff that made the game more complex but not more fun and were able to bring out the essence of the game. Of course, for those who think the crufty bits are the best part, Civ4 is still out there but you're going to need a computer.

sadface (1)

el_tedward (1612093) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450047)

I'm mildly sad to see SWG go this way, but I guess it's kind of like knowing that a loved one won't have to suffer through their cancer for much longer. [insert statement about the good old days]

Re:sadface (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450417)

SWG was my first MMORPG. Still remember my first day well. And largely my only day as I lost interest very quick, but it was so cool to walk out into this living Star Wars world.

Brillant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29450065)

So instead of merely turning off those servers, they'll encase them in carbonite? Pretty cool. I hope they make it a public exhibit, I will certainly go take a look if I'm ever near. Please, more details about the carbonite process and less about the game features.

Re:Brillant! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450209)

It is crude; but should be adequate to freeze Skywalker for his journey to the Emperor.

Re:Brillant! (1, Informative)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450237)

They are not really doing this, its just a slashdot mind trick. I suddenly felt that millions of voices yelled out and then were suddenly silenced or someth...... NO CARRIER

Re:Brillant! (1, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450453)

I suddenly felt that millions of voices yelled out and then were suddenly silenced or someth...... NO CARRIER

Y'know, I'm starting to wonder what is the minimum age required to understand the "NO CARRIER" reference. What age does the average person have to be to have never experienced the "NO CARRIER" phenomenon?

Additionally, what's the min age to have actually used a real vt100, 3270 or 5250 and not an emulated one via export TERM=vt100...?

Re:Brillant! (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450531)

I think the VT terminals generally got shitcanned 6 months to a year NCSA Mosaic came to the campus in question.

Re:Brillant! (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450573)

I'm 26, and have never experienced it. That does not mean that I don't understand it.

Re:Brillant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29451653)

That might be because you're just a kid.

Re:Brillant! (2, Funny)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452165)

I'm 28, and I have.. So we've got that narrowed down pretty solidly.

Re:Brillant! (1)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453795)

I don't know about that. I'm 33 and I've only used a REAL terminal maybe once or twice and it was only for novelty. I used modems extensively though.

Re:Brillant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29451443)

I picked up a DEC VT102 at age 22 (I'm 25 now) for a parents-basement server collection so I could hook it up to serial terminal ports on old vax and sun boxes, etc.

It's a very respectable terminal and is definitely easier to work with than fussing with vt100 emulator settings and null modem cables that don't have rts/cts etc...

Re:Brillant! (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452145)

I'm 20 and have never personally experienced it. But, I do understand it. I sort of intuitively understood that NO CARRIER meant you've lost a connection. A quick google returned more of the phrase's subtleties.

Re:Brillant! (3, Interesting)

Hork_Monkey (580728) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452401)

If you've never experienced the rage of when someone picked up the phone and interrupted the 3 hour download of 1 porn pic, you haven't lived.

Re:Brillant! (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452843)

You can easily judge by telling this old joke:

"What do net addicts and navy pilots have in common? Both freak out when their display shows them NO CARRIER."

If they laugh, they're old enough.

Re:Brillant! (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453003)

So far those people haven't been born. I still know people who use modems because they don't really have a choice. There are fewer and fewer of them though.

May it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29450095)

rot in hell! They ruined what was a great game and alienated most of the existing player base. I am surprised it lasted this long.

Which is it? (4, Funny)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450117)

Good job trying to be clever with the title and summary, but which is it!?!? "Encased in carbonite" or "out of existence?" Man, that's as bas as CNN anchor Kyra Phillips saying that a dancing Imperial stormtrooper looked like it needed some WD-40 the other day, as if stormtroopers are robots or something. Blasphemy. Now I'm angry.

Re:Which is it? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450289)

Umm, you do realize that they wear armor, right? I mean they're not exactly cloned to have the white shell, hence the WD-40. Or are you offended, because clearly the system is self lubricating for easy use in desert conditions?

Re:Which is it? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450431)

WD-40 is for metal. Maybe it's just me, but I sort of assumed that Stormtroopers used some sort of futuristic material instead of plain old metal that can get rusty. I think it's more likely that the journalist involved merely thought "armor = rusty" in a supreme leap of mental logic, either that or she's never seen Star Wars and thinks that Stormtroopers are Nazis.

Re:Which is it? (1, Troll)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451355)

WD-40 is not for rust or lubrication, it's for loosening stuck bolts or parts. It's not a general purpose oil and will evaporate in short order. RTFC

Re:Which is it? (2, Informative)

Z8 (1602647) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452965)

WD-40 is not for rust or lubrication, it's for loosening stuck bolts or parts. It's not a general purpose oil and will evaporate in short order. RTFC

Uhh, lubrication is for loosening stuck things :-)

WD-40 is actually a combination of an oil/grease and something that evaporates really quickly like an alcohol. You spray it on when it's really light, and then it evaporates, leaving a heavier greasy substance behind which will stay there. So you can use it for many lubrication jobs.

Re:Which is it? (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452173)

Mike Godwin is applauding you sir.

Re:Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29453621)

Some WD40 might get the giant stick up your ass out, mister precision.

And I use it on plastic all the time.

Re:Which is it? (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450359)

It's not so much blasphemy, as the title wasn't quite obviously a joke.

That is: It would have been amazing if someone had actually decided to go and encase those servers. That's the story I want to see.

As it is, they're probably not either -- probably simply being repurposed.

mod parent up (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450821)

mod parent up, i came in search of servers actually being encased in carbonite (which would be very impressive due real carbonite being an explosive) and was thoroughly disappointed!

Re:Which is it? (1)

danger42 (302987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452933)

As it is, they're probably not either -- probably simply being repurposed.

Or thrown into the trash compactor.

Re:Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29453069)

Yeah Man. And now I'M angry, too. So damn angry at this guy and that Kyra Phillips B**** that I'm leaving this nasty reply. As if stormtroopers were robots... That's probably why the Sony crew set their phasers to "kill" for SWG.

Good (-1, Troll)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450125)

I have nothing against SW: Galaxies, but I'm glad to see it failing. If only because Sony owns it.

I hope anything and everything that Sony touches fails miserably. They deserve it.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450167)

I have nothing against SW: Galaxies, but I'm glad to see it failing. If only because Sony owns it. I hope anything and everything that Sony touches fails miserably. They deserve it.

I disagree.
When I was a kid I enjoyed my Walkman, the Trinitron was great albeit a bit heavy. And EverQuest was quite spectacular for it's time.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29452817)

So, because they had good products over a decade ago, you don't want to see Sony fail in every future endeavor? That makes about as much sense as willingly embracing DRM and corporate rootkits on your computer. At one time, Sony was great, though sometimes I found that paying a premium for their "quality" bought some mediocre hardware. For the past few years, they seem like they're on a path toward corporate suicide, a path that I would love to help them achieve. To that end, I won't shell out even one red cent for their products until they're out of business or until every last decision maker in their company is fired and replaced with people who realize that it's bad business policy to screw your customers.

Re:Good (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453619)

The walkman, I loved it. Sone makes good monitors.

Everquest was good until Sony got it. The it took to long to evolve with the industry.

Nothing like staring at an open spell book for 30 minutes while stuff happens around you.

The key to Blizzards success was looking at EQ, and making an MMO that didn't ahve the problems EQs customers had been complaining about for ages. Then after WoW huge and quick success then they tried to serve their customers. That is where Sony always makes their mistakes. They have a products and then they start thinking their customers would never go away so their service slips.

Re:Good (1, Interesting)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450317)

I hope anything and everything that Sony touches fails miserably.

Hmm...there was Betamax...and Minidisc...PS3...soon to be blu-ray... Sadly, I think your curse worked.

Re:Good (1)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450477)

seriously? flamebait? come now- I loved every sony product I tried, still have my minidiscs. There is always something about sony that causes them to eat themselves. It just is what it is.

Re:Good (1)

the_mushroom_king (708305) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450605)

Beware of Sony shrills bearing mod points.

Re:Good (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450917)

Shills not shrills.

Re:Good (0, Offtopic)

draco664 (960985) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451231)

You sure? Many of the Sony fanboys I've met seem to have had puberty delayed, if their high-pitched whining is anything to go by.

Re:Good (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453291)

blu-ray players are down to $100 at newegg. I'll bet they're sub $100 at WalMart this christmas with a $60--$80 "doorbuster" model for people to get trampled over.

So, we're only now even heading into the price point at which the viability of blu-ray will be tested. And since verizon is freaky-slow rolling out FiOS, I'd say blu-ray has a pretty good chance.

memo to verizon: I get that the television ads have to have a wide market and will necessarily cover areas where you're not rolled out yet, but.. could you maybe stop sending me direct mailings touting the great service? My entire county doesn't have it yet, and there is a buffer of two towns all around which your rep said you have to get through before you even start working here, so could you maybe stop wasting money on pointless mailings and run some damn extruded glass already?

Noooo.... not Tarquinas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29450143)

My character on Tarquinas will be sent to the great bit-bucket in the sky.

Those bastards!

A foot in the grave but not dead (5, Interesting)

tetsukaze (1635797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450259)

Sony is shutting down half the servers. One half, leaving approximately one other half. This is actually good for everybody. The remaining players will actually get to play with other people, the whole point of MMOs I'm told. In addition Sony gets to spend less money supporting the game which is good for them. Oh yeah, we get to rail on Galaxies. That's good too.

Re:A foot in the grave but not dead (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450305)

But some of us liked playing Ben Kenobi, doing chores, fighting sand people every couple of weeks, you insensitive clod.

And nothing of value was lost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29450719)

[insert yet another rant about SOE destroying the game here]
I'd think after 4+ years I wouldn't be so bitter, but obviously if I'm bothering to post a comment which I know won't even gain any mod points...

There were some really good things about the original game. However people started leaving after poor choices were made as the game went on. Choices like not fixing serious bugs in the core game like sitting down and 5 seconds later sliding 15 meters in some random direction. Choices like adding the ridiculous holocron bullshit as a way to unlock Jedi instead of real content. The sandbox game with skill trees instead of levles, the three health bars, the plethora of emotes and huge player driven crafting economy were great.

hardly the firts (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450925)

Galaxies is hardly the first MMO to shut down/merge servers and keep in business. Others have done it more gradually perhaps, but they went from 200k subscribers to probably 100k and didn't close half the servers for a long time, and as anticipation builds for Star Wars TOR they're going to have a churn of people - but they're probably seeing the eventual need to be down around 50 or 60k subscribers, if not outright close. Whatever one may think of the NGE (cough disaster cough), their technology was never great to start with, and looks dated, and they've changed the design from what the people who were paying wanted to keep paying for, which isn't going to inspire confidence for the future. That's the natural progress of an MMO, just because WoW hasn't got there yet doesn't mean others haven't.

Seriously, Who gives a Rat's Ass? (1)

Darbacour (1606895) | more than 5 years ago | (#29450945)

Star Wars Galaxies was passà back in November 2005 when the NGE(New Game Enhancements, also known as the "Benny Hill Upgrade") was released. It exists now not so much a game but more like a cautionary tale and textbook example of a has-been mmo.

Sony drove the game into the ground (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29450979)

The combat system in Star Wars: Galaxies was actually completely revamped twice. The first revamp, called the CU (Combat Upgrade) went over somewhat okay. It resolved a few of the problems that the original system had, and it held a lot of promise. There were two major problems with the CU, though... One, it was just as buggy and unfinished as the system it replaced, and two Sony made almost zero effort to finish, improve, or troubleshoot the CU. The result was that even after several years into the game's launch, the core gaming system was still plagued with bugs, imbalances, half-finished ideas, and an odd mix of non-aesthetically matching game systems. Sony "solution" to all this was to simply redo the entire combat system again, this time calling it the NGE (New Game Experience). The problem with the NGE, though, was that like the CU before it, it was buggy and unfinished. At was it this point that the mass exodus of players began. Sony had already proven twice in a row that they had zero ability to actually finish and troubleshoot a combat system, and a large chunk of the playerbase decided that the NGE would be no exception. Sony also did a terrible job managing the transition from each system to the next. As in any MMO, loot, achievements, and other acquired goals/recourses play a major role in defining a player's sense of accomplishment in the game. Prior to each revamp, Sony promised that all of a players loot and achievements would be converted to something of equal usefulness in the next system. This ultimately proved to be nothing but a lie. All manner of loot and quest rewards were transformed into junk. Many players literally had months of effort wiped away in a single day. And this happened not once, but twice! The downfall of Star Wars: Galaxies was predicted from the moment the NGE was first announced. Sony ignored their playerbase when the game was launched, they ignored them when they introduced the CU, and they ignored them when they launched the NGE. It should come as zero surprise to them that their now former playerbase decided to ignore them back.

Re:Sony drove the game into the ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29453447)

The downfall of Star Wars: Galaxies was predicted from the moment the NGE was first announced.

If I remember correctly, wasnt that like 24 hrs before they implemented it?

The Game is still Kicking! (1, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451001)

Before anyone starts snarking on the NGE and what it did to the game, let me start by noting I was there at release (day 2, since no one could log in on day 1), I was there during the CU, and I was there for the horrid NGE experience (just after my birthday too, sigh). I know all about the old game, and the stages it went through after that.
The NGE was a horrid idea, pretty much the poster child for how *not* to make changes to your MMO. The person who promulgated it should have been taken outside and shot dead for suggesting it.
However, I just wanted to note that the game is still alive, still will have 13 servers *after* they close the other half, still has lots of players (particularly Starsider server) and is still functional. Its not great everywhere, but its functional, and they are still making improvements to it. They have a great team of developers who are producing some neat improvements and fixing a lot of old problems. Its still got a fantastic economic system, a crafting system that is hands-down better than anything in any other MMO I have tried, and its still the most sandboxy game I can think of (other than potentially EVE, which I haven't played). Actually make that the only sandboxy MMO we have left (yes, other than EVE), the rest of them have followed the Way of WOW(tm) like a sad flock of dodos on their way to extinction.

There's very little that's innovative in MMOs these days, but a lot of the more innovative stuff was in the original SWG, and there's still some innovative stuff being added. The game has seen some very good updates added to it (all for free of course) since the NGE hit, and its become a lot more playable. I think someone who had never played the original might enjoy the current version, provided they can get used to the fact that its not quite as hold-yer-hand for you as many modern MMOs are.

Re:The Game is still Kicking! (0, Troll)

hydrolyzer (1637811) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451033)

only sandboxy game? probably true. -- was more sandboxy then anything you've seen before, but from what I hear its degrading in quality through its second lease of life.

Re:The Game is still Kicking! (1)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452777)

SWG may be still kicking, but it's lying in a pool of it's own blood, gurgling, hoping someone passes by to give it a coup de grÃce.

Has anyone here actually taken notice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29451023)

of the fact that there are TWO names on the box for the game?

Sony (Sony Online Entertainment actually) couldn't have made the types of changes they did. Unless Lucas Arts signed off on them, probably not unless Lucas Arts actually gave the directive to *make* the changes.

SOE is run by gamers, why would they want to wreck something they know is great?

As far as this being the end of Star Wars Galaxies, it's 12 servers out of 25, the game is by no means dead. Actually looking at the forums [] its the same ones that have been in a free character move state for a while now.

Re:Has anyone here actually taken notice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29452021)

SOE is run by gamers, why would they want to wreck something they know is great?

You must be new on the Intarwebs.

It was like... (1)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451107)

A million voices cried out and were ....merged with another server? hmm not quite as satisfying

memories....damn (1)

GarretSidzaka (1417217) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451181)

I played this game for the better part of 2006. i started right when Jump to Lightspeed came out and quit after the Combat Upgrade (C.U.), like just about everyone else.

hey WOW players, imagine if 95% of your inventory and 75%skills where taken away or renedered unusable. and then give a strong character a puny level 19 when they switched to Sony online everquest-y style. that was the Combat upgrade. i quit and most of the other players quit. it was like a ghost town mmorpg.

there are people who are trying to bring back the Pre-CU Star War Galaxies by emulating the servers and whatnot, but none of them seem even close to being done.

i will always remember my wookie character, Woklor!!

sony rootkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29451433)

never forget, never forgive

Re:sony rootkit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29451463)

Never give up, never surrender! []

Re:sony rootkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29453331)

No surrender, no retreat! []

WTF (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451777)

I don't get it. Is the article summary written in Wookie?

Re:WTF (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453675)

Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee

Amazing that it took this long to die (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451809)

Bought this when it came out - and within two days sent Lucasfilm a rant in which I questioned how exciting it was supposed to be running across the Tattoine desert for hours at a time. In fact, I took the game back to the shop and got a refund (yes, this was back in the days when games were physically bought from shops).

As I recall, I also ranted about why Lucasfilm had replaced 'fun' with 'profit', and why they thought that would be attractive to players. Funnily enough, they ignored my email - but it seems that they finally figured it out for themselves, and closed the thing down rather that making something people actually wanted to use.

Are Lucasarts and Apple actually the same company? I'm seeing too many parallels for it to just be a coincidence :-)

Yeah, tried this game for year and a half (1)

finalnight (709885) | more than 5 years ago | (#29451987)

Played this game in 03-04 shortly after launch, but it was very difficult, didn't make a whole lot sense game mechanic wise either. Though it was very graphically beautiful at the time. I typically just enjoyed going around all the planets and getting my own house/speeder. That was about it. Half way through a one year subscription (New years 05), I got WoW. Came back briefly for JTL, never been back since.

Watch out for NGE fanboi astroturfers here... (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452409)

I've read some comments here that are just flat out not true about the current state of the NGE Game (I refuse to call the current iteration "Star Wars Galaxies", that game died in 2005, the NGE resembles it only graphically). If you are interested in Star Wars Galaxies, visit the emulator site (

First off, closing 12 of 25 servers is still going to leave a bunch of empty servers, they might have enough players left to support 4-5 at most, 13 is still ridiculous. I laugh at those who say they still have "100K" players. ROFL! The NGE hasn't had that many subscribers since 2006. SOE will not release subscriber numbers (for obvious reasons) but the best estimates have them at or below 10-15K.

As has been stated here before, the NGE happened back in 2005. It was the second and worse of two cataclysmic game changes made within a 6 month period. The Combat Downgrade (the first change) is perhaps looked at more kindly now than it was back then since at least it didn't delete 2/3rds of the game and turn it into "Benny Hill visits the Gungans". The combat system introduced with the NGE didn't and still does not work properly, is action (and thus network packet) intensive and generates crippling lag whenever there is any decent number of people in any area pvp'ing or even killing NPCs. SOE has done nothing to fix this, or other glaring bugs (such as targeting of mobs that can shoot you from inside objects and terrain). Even if you accept the NGE concept, of dumbing the game down into 9 "iconic and Star Wars-Y" classes, it just plain does not work even as designed. Forcing the remaining population to clump into fewer servers is going to worsen, not improve, the game experience.

The current game is not only broken to shit, but SOE continues to abuse what customers they have left. They recently purged the player "senate" of every member that had the slightest notion that they were there to represent *gasp!* PLAYERS rather than shill for SOE, and the new "community relations" guy they brought in recently is prone to psychotic outbursts on the forums and has all the outward appearance of someone who is mentally unstable and could snap at any second under the slightest pressure.

SOE can't find time to fix bugs. But they CAN find time to add what is the absolute biggest RMT scam in the whole industry. They call it a trading card game. I call it an illegal interstate/international lottery. You aren't actually paying directly for highly desirable (and exclusive) in game items and content via RMT, you are essentially buying lottery tickets for the CHANCE to get these things. Amongst the TCG lottery items are things that players have asked them to add for YEARS to the game, such as a house to display pets (called a barn) and a private hangar to store your ships.

The RMT loot lottery card "game" gets multiple expansions a year. The NGE hasn't had an expansion in 4 years, since "Trials of Obi-Wan" which was released under the CU system, then mostly deleted when the NGE game out. This was one of SOE's most infamous scams in and of itself, we were charged for that expansion literally the DAY BEFORE the NGE was announced! Features were advertised, yes, ADVERTISED for the expansion that they knew were going to be deleted 3 weeks after it was released.

Frankly, I'm more amazed that John Smedley and his cronies aren't in JAIL for the fraud they have committed with this game than I am that 4 years later, the NGE still exists as Station Pass filler. Frankly, Smed and his boys are so untrustworthy I'd not buy a dollar from them for 50 cents.

At any rate, myself and many of the 240,000+ former customers of Star Wars Galaxies celebrate the closure of 12 NGE servers, and we look forward to the demise of the remaining 13. For those getting ripped off by SOE, you can't say we didn't warn you.

Enjoy the stormtrooper zombies they are adding soon (yes, I am serious, they are adding these). The rest of us will play real games like EVE, wait for TOR and hope it's good (at least it's not SOE) and play Star Wars Galaxies via the emulator.

Noooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29452571)

That's impossible!!!

SwgEmu (1)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 5 years ago | (#29452989)

It's great...basically restored the game to its pre-CU state. Ironically it seems like it has more players and is more stable than Sorny.

I can tell most of the comments never played SWG (2, Informative)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453091)

I am a pre and post NGE/CU person (NGE = New Game Enhancements, CU = Combat Upgrade). I actually stopped playing SWG in pre NGE because the game really sucked. It had nothing to do with the complexity. I love complex games. The game just had no direction. I was given a small tutorial and just dumped out there. Sure, it was cool that I was just dumped into the Star Wars Universe, but the complexity really hampered it (take a look at how simple WoW is if you even want to come at me about simple games sucking).

I will not defend everything about SWG, but there is a huge aspect that most people skip right over, which is space. Everytime SWG comes up, nobody even mentions space (i.e. JTL or Jump to Lightspeed).

Most people wrote SWG off without even doing anything in space. I have been playing SWG for over 3 years and my character on the ground is still not at max level, but I have a maxed out pilot with some incredible ship components.

I assure you that fighting pvp in space is not just flying in a straight line and going after the target. Well, you can go ahead and do that against me if you want and see what happens.

SOE could easily pull JTL out of SWG and have it its own game. It is honestly that good. Anybody I talk to about SWG will sit there and spout off the random retarded comments they read in places on the net, but every single person when trying to rip on SWG will completely leave JTL out of the picture as if that entire section of the game does not exist.

I have tried multiple MMO's based on the ground (SWG, Guild Wars, EQ, and a few more) and I can honestly say that ground MMO's all in all are just boring. When I say ground, I mean you are confined to that planet. You may have some type of mount that can fly, but in the end, the point is for your character to travel somewhere on foot, kill some stuff, and then move on.

JTL customization of ships is incredibly robust. I mean, you can literally pick the type of ship you want to fly based on the way you fly, and customize the ship parts based on the way you fly. Do you want to be the captain and manage a crew? Maybe you want some small and agile, etc. The list goes on and on of what you can do. You can fine tune anything from the engine and reactor up through the weapons, shields, and a bunch of other components (even the paint job and textures used for the ship can be customized).

You want to talk complexity and saying that SWG messed it up, JTL is still very complex. The only other game that even comes close to rivaling JTL is Eve Online (and that is basically an economy MMO wrapped in a space backdrop). Even EVE Online can't hit the customization of what you can do with your ship and how you fly it in JTL.

Everytime SWG comes up, watch, I am serious, watch how many people will rip on the game and either spout the same redundant stuff that was on the internet, or completely skip over and not even mention JTL.

JTL is a part of SWG. JTL is incredible. JTL was not completely revamped during NGE. Do not even start the, "Well maybe that is it problem. It needed a change" since most of you are just finding another outlet to vent about SWG on the ground changing.

Here is something I have not seen anybody post about: Your classes did not get destroyed. All of these people claim that after a few years of "fine tuning" their classes, they lose them, that is completely false information. People that kept their accounts through the transition also kept whatever character classes they had as well. So if the person had spent 2 years on a Chef/Bounty Hunter, when the transition took place, they still had a Chef/Bounty Hunter.

The change they did was that instead of over 20 specialization to pick from, they took it down to 9 and they included Jedi. One thing the preNGE people have bitched about since NGE is the fact that they had to work for Jedi, and then post NGE people came along and could just pick it.

Well, that means none of you are going to play Old Republic, right? Well, there are jedi everywhere. Let's face it, when people think Star Wars, they want to hit crap with a lightsaber. SWG easily lost subscibers in the beginning because it was some long, drawn out task to even be considered to have a Jedi.

The WoW people are normally on their high horse because WoW is very successful. Congrats to Blizzard, but honestly, the game is not all that great. If you want to talk MMO's, compare SWG to WoW. Hmm, Lightsabers in SWG, and a weapon that looks similar that is only a melee weapon in WoW. You can be a Jedi in SWG, in WoW you can cast spells in 1 of 4 classes (SWG has 9).

SWG has Jump to Lightspeed, an expansion that is all about being a pilot and is good enough to last as a game on its own, and WoW has *drum roll* flying mounts (wah wah waaaaaahhh).

As for the 3 Health bars, Most REAL games have 2 or 3. They are all not really health bars. Whoever calls them healthbars is just being dumb. There is a "mana" bar like any other MMO, a mind bar, and a health bar. They are all different and all serve different purposes. I am sorry that the concept is too complex for you to understand, oh wait, SWG, is simple, blah blah blah.

Do you guys see what I am getting at? Probably not because I have a bad habit of being long winded. The people complaining contradict everything they say. Here is another break down to show you:

Them: After NGE, the game got simplified too much from the complex structure it was at. So they leave to go play WoW.
Truth: SWG stayed complex. The revamp was good for the game. The game has Jump To Lightspeed which is only an expansion, but is good enough and complex enough with its own system and engine to where it can stand on its own 2 feet as a game if given the chance

Them: I lost my character classes I worked very hard on
Truth: It did not go away and you still have your character class exactly as you fine tuned it to be.

Them: They turned it to be way too simple
Truth: There is one MMO that is much more simple whose name does not even need to be said with how successful it is. If you are currently playing that simple MMO, do not say you left because it became to simple when you go to another simple game. That is very hypocritical.

Them: I had to work very hard to get my Jedi. I had to go on all these quests and collect rare items and stuff, and now you can just select it as a playable class.
Truth: Everybody wants to have a lightsaber and smack stuff in the face with it. Jedis are cool. Sith are cool. Everybody wants to run around with a lightsaber. What do you think the Old Republic MMO is going to be all about? Oh yeah, the jedi that survived through NGE (i.e. kept their accounts) got a bunch of extra cool options that us newer Jedi did not ever get access to.

The end is finally near... (2, Interesting)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29453887)

...I joined the day the original Galaxies was released and was simply never able to get into it. It was slow and glitchy and there wasn't much to do. I can remember spending days wandering around Tatooine killing rats and occassionaly hanging out in a bar watching people stand around endlessly. I wasn't surprised when they came out with the new version and I'm not surprised it's beginning its death spiral now. I'm really hoping the Star Wars Old Republic MMORPG is going to be waaay better.
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