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Sony Shutting Down Star Wars Galaxies MMO and TCG

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the end-of-a-good-run dept.

Star Wars Prequels 142

flibbidyfloo writes "Sony has sent an email to current and former subscribers to its long-running MMO Star Wars Galaxies explaining that the service will be shut down in December. Here's an excerpt from the email: 'We write to you today to inform you that on December 15, 2011, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and LucasArts will end all services (MMO and Trading Card Game) for Star Wars Galaxies (SWG). The shutdown of SWG is a very difficult decision, but SOE and LucasArts have mutually agreed that the end of 2011 is the appropriate time to end the game ... In addition, we will be discontinuing the sale of all Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game (TCG) digital card packs as of today, June 24, 2011. Loot cards will not be redeemable in the SWG MMO after September 15, 2011. The TCG will continue to operate until the final service closure on December 15, 2011.'"

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142 comments

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And this is why virtual objects have no real value (4, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561170)

Can you imagine paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars on eBay for something that only exists in one of these games, then finding out a few weeks, months, or years later that it's going into the bit-bucket at the end of the month?

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (5, Insightful)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561256)

This is why when companies decommission their software, they should just open source it and let everyone go nuts. Someone somewhere is bound to maintain a gaming server for this game. However, companies like Sony have the mentality where if they can't make money off it then no one shall have it.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561390)

At least with a meatspace game, like the trading cards, players will have a piece of memorabilia that may be of value to someone, if not as much as it means to them.

But when your collectibles are stored in an array that will never be loaded to RAM ever again, it's not even possible to be surprised on finding them in the attic while looking for your high school transcripts...

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (2)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561808)

That might work for simple online games where it's mostly about the gameplay (say, EA sports games), but for anything with persistent objects that have value because of their scarcity, it won't make a difference. You need a secure central database/service to prevent hacking, duplicating objects, or whatever other form of cheating people can come up with.

If you let anyone run a mint, money will rapidly lose its value :)

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564218)

Or you could play the games because they are fun instead.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36565184)

Right. People can and do run pirate WoW servers -- admittedly mostly to avoid paying, but it is entirely possible to play on one of those and earn digital items the same way. They aren't transferable to other servers, so it's more like, if you choose to play in that world, only the admins can run a mint -- their money has no value on other servers.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (2)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561872)

Already been done, for the MMO. They're also making is better, by not adding the game-killing idiot-friendly "upgrades" that SOE added. See SWGEmu [swgemu.com] .
Not sure about the TCG. A "digital TCG" is utterly stupid, IMNSHO.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564006)

LucasArts presumably would rather SWG players join the new Old Republic MMORPG rather than play SWG on private servers.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564162)

Uh, you do know that this isn't their only MMORPG, right? You also know that a lot of the code that went into this is probably used in existing MMORPGs that Sony runs as well, right? You also know this code will be reused, right? And you also realize that the legalities of opening up a game that contains IP from a multi-billion dollar franchise this isn't entirely encompassed in the game with multiple invested partners and copyright holders would never get 100% agreement from all the interested parties, right?

I swear, every single time a bit of software goes by the wayside all you guys can do is cry "open source it" and you look like such a bunch of fucking retards for not seeing all the hands involved in most of these efforts. No wonder people who understand these things just look at you guys like a bunch of 12 year old idiots. You know nothing of which you speak but every fucking one of you claims to be an authority in matters of IP, business models and licensing. Give me a fucking break. Sony couldn't open source this if it was their dying wish. It has nothing to do with greed, it has to do with agreements that were made in good faith and millions of dollars invested in IP that is still going to serve a purpose long after this game goes the way of the dinosaur.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564550)

umadbro?

Re:should just open source it (0)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564738)

"No! Never! All that iProperty must be kept locked up and unused forever because there might be a single still shot they can reuse somewhere!! What do those players mean, they want to set up their own rogue servers to keep it going? Get the terrorists NOW!! P.s. We agree it's the appropriate time to end a game *before Christmas* so that here will be two sales weeks forcing familes of gamers to buy them something else!"

/ SarcasmQuotes

Re:should just open source it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564826)

Forcing families of gamers to buy them something else? Seriously? I find it hilarious that when the Opera article went up the first ten posts was about how few users the software had. The only software I can think of that has solid name recognition but less users than Opera is SWG.
 
The whole 4 players of this game will have to move on to something a bit more respectable... like Runescape or some shit.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561262)

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Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561338)

If you have a mother, and she's proud of you, that's a shame.

MOD PARENT UP, RETARDS. THAT' S WISDOM RIGHT THERE (0)

Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561374)


 

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (2)

Gerocrack (979018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561638)

The real reason Sony is shutting down the game? They discovered it occasionally caused sudden onset of acute Tourettes syndrome.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564850)

Tourette's is not something to joke about. Hopefully you never have a child affected by it.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564898)

Chocolate nipples.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561342)

So? Did these people get enjoyment out of that hundreds of dollars spent? Is it better to buy a boxed game and never get around to playing it?

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561506)

If you think the fact something has a lifespan makes it worthless you're not the kind of person who should be allowed to write eulogies.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

Unkyjar (1148699) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561542)

You realize you just compared valuing an MMO to valuing a person's life, right? I suggest you don't write eulogies either.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561618)

Lenin's mummy thinks you're a fool.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561636)

Can you imagine paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars on eBay for something that only exists in one of these games

Nope.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562460)

Look at how much people pay to go see a movie in the theaters, all that money down the drain with only a tiny scrap a paper and, depending upon the theater, Hep C to show for the couple of hours of your life that just was thrown away.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561726)

If people are willing to pay for virtual objects, then those objects have value. Period.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561896)

You mistake price for value.

A lot of people do that.

It's why our economy is currently fucked blue by plutocrats.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562072)

No, you're the one confusing price and value. Price is what the seller is asking for the item. Value is what people are willing to pay. If a guy selling virtual hats sets the price of a hat to $5, and he gets people buying them, then that indicates that his virtual hats are worth (at least) $5. If he later increases the price to $10 and people stop buying them, then that indicates that the value of hats is less than $10. This is no different than it would be if the hats were physical objects.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564508)

The value of something is up to the individual person to decide. If they like it and wish to buy it, then what you think of it is rather irrelevant.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561838)

The same thing happens with money when it hyperinflates. Your stocks become worthless if the company goes out of business. Your car loses can lose all value in a crash. Your house becomes worthless if it burns. By this token nothing has real value since anything can lose its value overnight.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36562306)

Can you imagine paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars on eBay for something that only exists in one of these games, then finding out a few weeks, months, or years later that it's going into the bit-bucket at the end of the month?

I sold one of my characters for several hundred dollars, but it was at the height of that particular game's lifespan. SWG characters may have been valued in the hundreds and thousands - I don't know, but if SOE is discontinuing service my guess is that the game is well past it's prime - and characters aren't valued for very much anymore.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562830)

Even if the characters aren't worth as much, the CCG is a big deal to get rid of. People paid money for the "Virtual Cards" and when this is done, they'll probably be deleted. Most of the online CCGs go by the "you can get the physical version if you have a full set, but doubles are a waste" model. That model means, that a lot of these virtual collections are destined to just be deleted (only full set portions can be redeemed). Considering there are CCGs now that have been dead for a long time now and still have resale value (try finding a lot of Doomtown or Legend of the Burning Sands on the secondary market these days), this stinks a little for people who paid for a virtual card game.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564118)

I was amazed that the TCG was popular. It was an obvious moneyspinner by Sony to get people to pay for trinkets in-game that should have been available through the in-game crafting system. I find it hard to sympathize with anyone who paid real money for that crap, especially since it's been obvious for years now that Sony never had any intention of putting real development effort into the game and therefore they were just riding the downhill slide to make profit with no investment.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564592)

If nothing else I have to give SOE kudos for giving almost 6 months notice. Most MMOs shut down with maybe 2 months warning, if you're lucky.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564662)

And in the end.....nothing of value was lost.

Game sucked badly IMHO. Good riddance

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564756)

All value is subjective and so it is as real as any other value inside someones head. I could easily replace your comment with the following that includes items in more traditional markets, for example:

"Can you imagine paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars for lottery tickets that only payout if the state or company is still solvent, then finding out later that it's going into default at the end of the month?"

There are many other examples of this(some which even more closely match the complete dependence of the product upon the continued service of the provider), but this is sufficient. Value is not objective; it doesn't exist outside of a persons head. So, in that sense, nothing has real value.

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564984)

That's why I invest only in tangibles like Beanie Babies, comic books and baseball cards. Lots of things with little intrinsic value take on greater worth according to the vagaries of the times; I don't see virtual items being that different. The trick is the same as it always was- Buy Low, Sell High!

Re:And this is why virtual objects have no real va (1)

Joreallean (969424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36565226)

You never throw anything away? It never wears out and is no longer useful? Just because a piece of digital property might go away one day doesn't mean that it hasn't served its purpose and value.

sorry mate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561186)

never heard of it and it probably sucks, well bye

Maybe someone can.. (2)

seanvaandering (604658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561198)

..hack the servers and keep them open for another year or so? I mean.. their so good at keeping the servers offline, let's see if they can keep them online!

Re:Maybe someone can.. (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561686)

You can't hack something that isn't plugged in. Or code that's been deleted. That's what Sony are doing, taking the servers offline.

The really sensible thing to do would be to hack the security and/or game and/or consoles (depending on Sony's setup) so that servers can be hosted by players rather than a central system. I honestly don't know why companies don't make this a "support" option more often, most seem more than happy to do a similar thing with unofficial fora and the like.

Hell, even if Sony are being as mercenary as we often accuse them of you'd still expect them to offer a "buy a server licence for $10/month" idea...never make it difficult for people to give you money, first rule of being an faceless multinational corporation ;)

Re:Maybe someone can.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561710)

I'm telling all hackers everywhere, this is impossible. There is no way anyone could ever do what the OP is saying. No one on Earth is that good.

-There, that should do it.

Re:Maybe someone can.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36563268)

Mod this guy insightful.

- It'll help.

Re:Maybe someone can.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561792)

fucks sake, reading that was painful...
please do us all a favor and kill yourself.

Re:Maybe someone can.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562262)

There have been cases in the past where the fan community grabbed the server out of the trash and set it up again. I think that that happened to the master server for Tribes, and possibly SubSpace/Continuum.

It's the wrong universe, but who cares (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561218)

It's dead, Jim.

Re:It's the wrong universe, but who cares (5, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561474)

It's dead, Jim - Chewbacca

Re:It's the wrong universe, but who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36563654)

My desktop background at work is a picture of "Mal" with the quote "Live Long and Prosper - Han Solo"

Re:It's the wrong universe, but who cares (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36562984)

I think you mean, "He's gone, Leia."

Re:It's the wrong universe, but who cares (1)

mark_elf (2009518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564286)

I'm beginning to think I can cure anything!

NGE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561224)

is this the New Game Experience?

Nooooooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561228)

I finally just unlocked my Jedi abilities!

Re:Nooooooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562324)

I finally just unlocked my Jedi abilities!

*Waves hand*

"These aren't the servers you were going to shut down".

Re:Nooooooo! (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564116)

Then, you should be happy. By striking you down now, you'll become more powerful than they could possibly imagine!

New Product (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561276)

I'd bet that a new Star Wars product gets announced just after the new year.

Re:New Product (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561298)

I'd bet that a new Star Wars product gets announced just after the new year.

Isn't there another Star Wars MMO in development? One that might not suck?

Re:New Product (2)

B9DV8 (96776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561356)

Star Wars Old Republic from Bioware

http://www.swtor.com/

Re:New Product (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561966)

It's supposed to be released this year. Undoubtedly why SWG is closing down this year.

I'll (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561324)

Give you a dollar for it.

Re:I'll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561368)

unfortunately the servers and maintenance would be too expensive for the lack of paid customers who are involved with the game.

Re:I'll (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561444)

I've tried that before with websites. Even just for business models. A dollar is never enough.

There is still SWGemu. (4, Informative)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561344)

I'm surprised it has taken Sony this long to shut it down. Sony turned a great mmo into absolute shit. They even had a small window to rectify their mistakes by listening to the vast majority of players. Fortunately, there is the star wars galaxy emulation project, which is a pre-cu version of the server. There are plenty of people on there (almost certainly more than the official swg), and you don't have to pay a monthly fee. The only thing I am leery of is Sony pulling a Blizzard and shutting them down. For anyone interested, the url is www.swgemu.com.

Re:There is still SWGemu. (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561496)

I am still waiting for a game with the potential that the original incarnation of the game showed.

Re:There is still SWGemu. (1)

NumenMaster (618275) | more than 3 years ago | (#36562432)

Yeah that crafting engine was incomparable.

Re:There is still SWGemu. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561676)

"So this is how games die... to a thunderous applause".

Re:There is still SWGemu. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562360)

I wonder if this timing has any relation to the fact that the new star wars MMO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars:_The_Old_Republic) Is going to be released very soon.

Re:There is still SWGemu. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36563826)

The only thing I am leery of is Sony pulling a Blizzard and shutting them down.

Easy fix for that these days. Tell them "Piss right the fuck off right fucking now or we'll take all your shit down again!"

I felt a great disturbance in the Force (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561386)

As if tens of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced

Re:I felt a great disturbance in the Force (1)

pagen (52961) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561518)

Good Riddance!

It was not the waste of money that was sad, it was the time and effort to get on to the servers to sit and watch people dance! It was the insanity of the original quest system. It was the hour or three to login.

Time may heal all wounds, but this game bit a hole deep and wide in the psyche of this gamer. Pray for SW:TOR.

Re:I felt a great disturbance in the Force (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561926)

Sorry, pre-nge, this game was awesome. It had the best crafting system, resource system, and economy of anything before or since. And watching people dance to heal your wounds really was not that tedious. If you need that much instant gratification, you shouldn't be playing an MMO anyway...this attitude ruins immersion.

Re:I felt a great disturbance in the Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562536)

yup, SWG had it's glorious time...the coming up SWTOR kind a look like it :-)

Re:I felt a great disturbance in the Force (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564460)

The spooky feel of wandering Tatooine at night.
Finding a ranger camp and learning things from other players.
I miss it very much.

Blowing Up Galaxies (4, Interesting)

Allen Varney (449382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561484)

My June 2007 article in the online gaming magazine The Escapist about the 2005 "New Game Enhancements" that pretty much destroyed Star Wars Galaxies: "Blowing Up Galaxies [escapistmagazine.com] "

Re:Blowing Up Galaxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561974)

From YFA:

The saddest thing I ever saw in SWG was the night before the NGE on the Euro servers... Creature Handlers taking out their favourite pets one last time, petting and playing with them. Perhaps they thought they'd still be able to pull them out; maybe they knew. I am not joking when I say that the conversations I overheard between them then brought a lump to my throat. And I knew then that what SOE was doing was a breach of faith. I became then as angry as the rest of us. (Terra Nova blog, "Order 66," comment by Chewster , 12/16/2005)

Man that's funny!

Re:Blowing Up Galaxies (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36562292)

Interesting read. The Escapist is really underated; a lot of people just go there for Zero Punctuation and ignore the well-written articles. I especially enjoyed the advice you wrote to game/MMO devs at the end, which I'm going to parrot here because it's awesome:

  • If your licensor wants you to launch your game before it's ready, cancel it.
  • It's the community, stupid.
  • Many players don't experience a persistent online world as "a game." They experience it as "my life." An online world's hardcore players view themselves as citizens. Some want to be good citizens, some bad, but the entire core wants to believe they belong to something permanent.
  • Big changes after launch drive away existing players and make newcomers mistrust you.
  • "Fix the bugs before release, or release now and fix later?" The NGE (among dozens of disastrous launches) confirms it beyond dispute: Fix the bugs. If you can't fix them, cancel the launch.
  • Oh yeah - don't launch before you're ready.

Re:Blowing Up Galaxies (1)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 3 years ago | (#36563854)

I'll agree with you that the 'NGE' was what ended up killing the game. But the game was deeply flawed before then and was probably going to die anyway. I personally loved the 'sandbox' and ran a pretty good sized crafting enterprise (few hundred mines/factories, good size player city, even established suppliers). But there was nothing to do beyond that; say my enterprise made 1 million credits a day or 1 billion what was the point? Hanging out with people is fun, but it can only take you so far. Or say I was a fighter what was the point of trying to max one skills when a the most powerful creatures required no more thought then 'everyone start shooting and running in circles' And any sort of PvP had to be volunteered into by setting a flag and had no point other then to simply kill the other person who turned on their flag. It was basically what any other game would call a duel. Now what they should have done is added more content in for the 'end game' rather then try to reboot the whole thing as a new game. But regardless with out major intervention the game was probably doomed anyway. They just choose badly in their efforts to save it.

Re:Blowing Up Galaxies (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564986)

The short answer was larger scale PvP. Our empire city spent unfathomable amounts of resources combating the rebel scum and destroying their installations. I'll agree though that before the addition of "the village" the game could be said to be a little light on real endgame content aside from that and a few specific challenges. That said, the change to the Jedi system that came with the Village was enough to put me off of the game when I'd already spent a few months with my swordsman/defenses stacker capped out on exp, They were bungling decisions in that game long before NGE.

Re:Blowing Up Galaxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564880)

Allen,

This was a great article. I can still rememember reading it then and sending it around to friends who had left the game at that point. Thanks for relinking to it as it brought up many memories.

Thank you.

The SOE hack killed it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36561594)

A coworker of mine said that after it came back online, a month after the SOE hack, it was a virtual ghost town. Not that it was vibrant before, but being offline for nearly a month just killed it.

Re:The SOE hack killed it (1)

MrBandersnatch (544818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561848)

I'm quite sure SoE will have seen a player decline in many of its older titles were players will often play due to habituation, community or a lack of motivation to try alternatives. With SWTOR on the horizon this was wound to happen eventually...

For me, the only surprise is that the closure of Vanguard wasn't announced at the same time.

Re:The SOE hack killed it (2)

NumenMaster (618275) | more than 3 years ago | (#36562230)

I agree. I tried and tried to login because they offered us a free month as an inconvenience gift (I quit in 2007 for good but had a curiousity how the game had evolved, and it was free). I couldn't login. A friend later told me that the downtime killed the game. His whole guild moved to another MMO because their usual enemy guilds weren't online. The game was a deserted wasteland. The hack was a death knell for sure. I don't know how much of this is true or not, but I am a bit sad since the game helped me recover from a deep depression. My pre-CU jedi and its 3 character slots will go into oblivion.

This isn't the SW MMO you've been looking for... (1)

jayveekay (735967) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561662)

Move along, move along... to SW:TOR?

Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying it. (5, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561928)

Seriously folks. I don't buy games that don't have private or dedicated servers. Would it really be such a bad thing if little groups of players could host their own worlds? They can't really compete with the experience of the main servers, but at least some people would be able to play, even after the game's plug has been pulled.

Some determined players have done so with WoW by reverse engineering the client server protocol, so I gave it a spin -- It wasn't my cup of tea, but my brother became a subscriber because of the added exposure -- That's right: Blizzard made money because a private server existed.

Some people don't have the time to grind forever -- the private servers can have different exp rates; WoW and RuneScape servers I've seen do, anyway. One such WoW server almost won me over due to the benefits afforded to the time-challenged player.

It's really a shame that games have to die at all. Welcome to the future folks. There is some hope, some FPS franchises still have dedicated servers that players can run... but, for the most part it looks rather bleak.

Some game titles are deprecated for no good reason eg: Halo2 multi-player is canned. How the hell does this make sense? When playing most of these games one player's console becomes the "server" for the others... All you have to do is ALLOW the game to talk to other games and bingo, multi-player. However, we can't do this -- and that makes me mad.

So, 5 friends and I all join up in party chat. We then all pop Halo2 in the 360. We can each see that the others have inserted the game by looking at the Icon next to our names on the friends list. Our XBoxes KNOW that we are all playing the game, and we have connections to each other ALREADY because of the party chat. However, WE CAN'T play online together because the matchmaking server was killed (because of Halo3 & Reach no doubt -- bet they'll eventually get killed to force migration to other new games too).

Now, there is such a thing as unranked matches, so the score keeping server isn't an issue... Additionally there is LAN play. So, we all join my VPN, and play Halo2 -- No XBox Live needed (we use it for party chat and coordinating matches). THANKS FOR NOTHING MICROSOFT! My XBox Live subscription seems to lose value over time... not.. very.. smart.

That's when we all made a pact when in comes to new games: No private/dedicated server? SCREW IT -- DO NOT WANT.

Re:Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562164)

Someone was trying to make an OS version of it and ran it for a while with pre-CU attributes, but.... The CU killed that game, and it was sad'ish. I believe that Mothmar Friedsquid was one of my favorite online identities ever.

Re:Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564816)

Actually most of the SWG emulation scene stuff got killed by the egos of the SWGEmu guys. There was a ton of bickering and fighting right after the first open source release (which I can't remember being publicly ridiculed, but if you saw how little code they actually had after 6+ months of 'writing the server' and having 'almost complete documentation of the protocol', you would've been thinking it) Then the community's headbanging trying to get their own code added into the 'official' codebase while various amateurish windows-oriented hacks broke subversion revisions almost daily for those of us trying to run it on linux. Then there was the reliance on mysql, with hardcoded mysql commands for saving and loading, the lack of documentation, and initially no object support, and no cross-client map updates (Initially you could all be connected and chat but not show up.) Then you could chat and could show up. Then there was that darned heightmap getting in the way, etc. Eventually they said 'fsck it' we're going back closed source. Then there was the source leak, then more drama, then the competent and adult members of the community deciding it wasn't worth their time. Fast forward 5 years and they kinda sorta sometimes have most of the Pre-JTL (space) world working, but with maybe as many items as were around just slightly post-beta. Paint boxes for speeders don't work. Housing works, but most other buildings act as little more than houses. The whole code of the app is a closed source library that crashes your server after an hour, and at least used to only allow 10 players at a time.

Generally speaking, the SWGEmu team is about as competent and fascist as SOE were all those years ago. And much like SOE SWGEmu has been a social failure as a result. How many of you remember any of the old file repositories or other sites covering the emulators? How many of you remember the community during the 3-6 months immediately following release, when everybody was trying to post the latest hack to add support to the game, protocol specifications or not?

Honestly I fired swgemu up once like 6 months ago just to see what was going on. Then after banging my head against it for a while, and watching features that had worked in it a few months ago disappear (yet again), I gave up, shut it down, and proceeded to go play STO with a friend, decide it wasn't worth the money. Play LOTRO, get bored with the playerbase. Play TDU2, get bored with the playstyle. And finally? Get an RL because I couldn't for the life of me find something more interesting online.

Maybe it's just me, but gaming, be it console or PC seems like it is dying a slow lingering death. The last 5 entertaining games I've played that weren't from the 90s were all for Android, and honestly if my touchscreen hadn't died, I'd still be busy playing them. Too busy to write a 3 paragraph post on this subject :D

Re:Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36562838)

If Xbox live was up for Xbox 1 you could play it. The issue has nothing to do w/ Halo but the fact that they killed all XBox Live functionality for all Xbox titles. This is because the emulation layer would break given subsequent changes in the XBox live service. MS didn't want to run two parallel live services, so they tossed XB1 games onto the fire for "not backwards compatible"

Re:Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying (1)

krizoitz (1856864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36563072)

"WE CAN'T play online together because the matchmaking server was killed (because of Halo3 & Reach no doubt -- bet they'll eventually get killed to force migration to other new games too). " No, they will eventually get killed because resources are not infinite and the cost of maintaining and supporting those servers to allow for continued game play is no longer worth the effort to the company. Considering how long Halo 2 multiplayer was supported, more than 6 years well into the release of the next game in the franchise, I'd say you got your money's worth out of it. Its great when private servers are set up, but the idea that a company is screwing you over because they don't support online play indefinitely is absurd. Unless they advertised the multi-player feature would be available for a given amount of years and came up short, you knew what you were getting into.

Re:Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36563406)

Unless they advertised the multi-player feature would be available for a given amount of years and came up short, you knew what you were getting into.

Which was his point exactly. He knows what he's (not) getting into, which is why he won't buy it. I'm on his side. If they can't be arsed to let me run a private server for me and my friends (yeah, both of 'em!) then I can't be arsed to give them any money.

Re:Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564742)

halo 2 servers where not axed untill xbox live was axed for the orignal xbox. at that point they relly had no way to keep the servers up.

Re:Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36563108)

You know the WoW server emulators don't handle most scripted events (such as raid encounters). It isn't really the same thing. There's also the fact that gear can be modified and made deliberately over powered by people running the private server. Not much fun to PVP if mr. admin has a one-shot-and-you're-dead bat.

Private servers make sense for simpler games like FPS (although cheating can still be an issue) but not as much for MMOs. They're okay if you want to dick around but they don't replicate the experience of the MMO fully (at least in most cases) and they generally aren't running on server and network setups that can handle the kind of load that a large company can handle.

They aren't games in the sense of I bought the box and I have it forever. They are SERVICES and like other services, when the moneys no longer there to be made they tend to get shutdown.

YES there is a good emulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564932)

www.swgemu.com

Hey looks like the population will move to the free, original rules emulator that's been created :)
I play there, just needs more people.

Re:Huh? No dedicated user ran servers? Not buying (1)

c312c (2306650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36565088)

The reason all pre-xbox 360 games no longer work on xbox live has nothing to do with the servers being there or not. They were discontinued with the dashboard update that expanded the friends list. Many if not most of the original xbox games were hardcoded to only handle 100 friends, and more than that would have resulted in strange issues in almost every game for the original xbox.

Not a surprise at all... (1)

jaskelling (1927116) | more than 3 years ago | (#36561998)

I had a friend that worked for Sony Digital until recently. His former coworkers were all laid off and their satellite offices were closed with all of the work and properties folded back into their headquarters. It seemed like it had been coming for some time - they just kept getting non-committal answers about what direction they should have been going in, focusing on, or even completing. But since all the staff that was laid off locally were the people who maintained the SW MMO & TCG, this was only a matter of time.

Re:Not a surprise at all... (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564754)

the games been a dead product for some time. everyone is wating on the new one and sony wrecked the old one so mutch nobody whanted to play it anymore.

And this is why I never got into the game! (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36562070)

I won't invest money in a game/experience and spend weeks or months of time playing only to find out one day it's denied to me and I can't revisit it. They should have gone more the way of City of Heroes. But the best thing would have been if online game companies escrowed their code for an open source release (of some form) when the game died, that would be a major feature to me that would make me consider investing hundred of dollars in an online game.

Inevitable (1)

NoAkai (2036200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36562806)

Well.... To be fair, this was inevitable, they screwed it up way too badly with the NGE business. Still, kinda sad to see it go... It was my first MMO, and I spent a few years on it, making online friends in the process, being part of the community.

Lucas Arts found this difficult did they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564322)

So the fact that this 'difficult decision' is being done just in time to ensure that the travesty remnant of SWG isn't a viable market choice as SW: TOR is about to become a high profile, high hype option?

Difficult?

They want it gone to support the new flagship and hopefully forget half a decade of ridicule and bad press on their franchise.

Somehow I don't think it was difficult at all.

A Disturbance in the Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36564526)

I felt a great disturbance in the force. As if thousands of dorks all cried out at once.

SWGEmu is where it's always been (1)

Cito (1725214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36564568)

http://www.swgemu.com/forums/index.php [swgemu.com]

pre NGE SWG

they've had star wars galaxies free shard pre-nge rules up for quite a while and is very successful.

Nethack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36565118)

No problem. Nethack is still up.
http://www.nethack.org/

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