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Post-Anniversary, Star Wars Galaxies Analyzed

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the meesa-intrigued dept.

Role Playing (Games) 58

Darniaq writes "Sony Online's PC MMO Star Wars Galaxies has been out a year, as of late last month, when the official anniversary celebration occurred. But what's new? What's different? Grimwell Online has a in-depth analysis charting what's changed, what's good, and what's not, in SWG. They argue that, for folks who played it early on and left in despair or disgust, a lot has changed. However, it's still very much a game for roleplayers and those with dreams of moisture farming." Interestingly, the author explicitly suggests: "If [you] previously got burned out or annoyed enough to quit, now's a good time to re-subscribe."

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Feline Poop! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9693932)

Fuck you, all you motherfucker LambdaMOOers! That's right, fuck y'all!

Re:Feline Poop! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9694192)

wedding hazelnuts []

Ugh.. (5, Insightful)

Idealius (688975) | more than 10 years ago | (#9693954)

The point is that it's been more than a year since I was "screwed" initally.

I'm sorry but to be a year behind all of the die-hards (combined with my initial distaste of being out of ~50$ for a game that promised more than it gave) is more than enough for me to pass on re-subscribing.

Re:Ugh.. (-1, Flamebait)

abandonment (739466) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694113)

[troll] does the author work for SOE? [/troll] //The graphic user interface still needs some // serious work.

i realize my game making skills are at the 'hack' level still, but isn't the GUI the MOST IMPORTANT part of a game?

it's 3d IRC in the starwars world it seems...never did understand what attracts people to mmo's anyways

Re:Ugh.. (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9717061)

No, gameplay is the most important part of a game.

The thing about Star Wars is (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9693958)

Who gives a FUCK about this shit. Go and die you retards. My name is to be the Buck and I am to be here for Fuck.

Return? (5, Informative)

CaseM (746707) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694008)

Is the game worth playing? As usual in MMOGs, it depends.

Now there's a strong statement if I've ever heard one.

In all seriousness, I actually RTFA and have to admit, I'm even more depressed about the possibility of returning than I was before I read it (which is to say it hadn't even crossed my mind):

"Combat still broken"

"Macroing is alive and well"

"Role-playing is still...rare."

And SOE, the king of "fuck you" at the helm? Let me be the first to say, no fucking thank you.

contradictions... oh the contradictions (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9694063)

this excerpt from the article contradicts the slashdot post: Role-playing is still just as rare. Not that I expected anything else. At least folks talking politics or sports isn't so far out of character here as it would be in EQ. Small consolation.
the slashdot post:"However, it's still very much a game for roleplayers and those with dreams of moisture farming."

Re:contradictions... oh the contradictions (3, Interesting)

Prior Restraint (179698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9696249)

Back when I played, I honestly tried to role-play. It netted me a lot of confused reactions. The first time I encountered someone with a pet was while waiting at a shuttleport. I told the guy, "I don't think they allow pets on the shuttle," and he thought I was confused about the game mechanics.

I guess my point is that getting any role-playing done is a chicken-and-egg problem, because I can't explain that I'm role-playing without breaking character.

Re:contradictions... oh the contradictions (1)

Darniaq (738858) | more than 10 years ago | (#9703157)

I see roleplayed acting and roleplaying differently. Roleplayed acting would involve not insta-learning all of the languages, picking a character personality and staying within it at all times. Of course, this is something I'm decidedly not. Roleplaying is about picking a role in the virtual world and performing the functions involved. And it becomes even more roleplaying when that role isn't just a shade of outputting damage. There are Image Designers, Musicians, Politicans and Dancers at all, and enjoyed by more players than I would originally have bet on caring. They are playing roles that are different than those out seeking action through hunting. Even if they are talking about Iraq and the Cowboys at the same time :)

Comments from a droid engineer (5, Informative)

kherr (602366) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694075)

I recently made master droid engineer. By choosing not to grind, but to progress "naturally" through doing business, I had a more enjoyable experience and a process that lasted a few months. It gave me a reason to play the game instead of racing through the content as quickly as possible.

The recently-added droid stuff really improved things. Droids are more complex and there is a greater variety. I was concerned that when I mastered the DE profession I'd lose interest, but I find myself making more droids than ever. Sales are good, people seem to find the droids useful finally.

As the analysis pointed out, most droid changes are for utility functions. This has been great, players find more use for droids than just fighting. There is a sizable population of players who aren't interested in running combat missions, and they are the ones who seem to add the most depth to the game (not to knock the fighters).

The analysis did get wrong, however, the point that droids can't be healed by players. Droid engineers can make repair kits that anyone can use, and droids can be equipped with an auto-repair module that actually repairs all droids (including itself) within a radius. This greatly improves the survivability of droids in combat. And with the changes to droid combat, more types of droids can fight, with different models doing different types of damage.

The Jedi effect isn't really noticeable if you don't engage in PvP. It will be interesting to see how things change after the Jedi update is finished. Apparently the next update will create a two-tier Jedi system, with a limited number of Jedi players being able to engage in PvP and the other Jedi players only going after mobs. And after that comes a reworking of the Galactic Civil War, which should help the Star Wars-iness.

Finally, the space expansion sounds like it will essentially be a second game on the server, which could be cool. The current combat system is turn-based but the space expansion is supposed to be FPS-style combat, which will appeal to many. And it is very cool that the players are the ones who will make and sell the spaceships.

Re:Comments from a droid engineer (1, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694536)

"The current combat system is turn-based but the space expansion is supposed to be FPS-style combat"
What was said is that it will be more FPS like.
The way it works is similar to the current combat system, however instead of turning and firing at something behind you, you can only fire when the target is in front of you. This does force a more FPS type system since you need to continually manuver, however it is still turned based and the skills of your character determine hit/miss.

If is cool that players are the ones that make and sell the spaceships, provided you are one of the makers and don't mind that grind.
However if you are one of thoses people that don't want to focus on crafting then it is a major grind having get enough credits to get ship, then enough to continually repair it.
If people are looking for a FPS with a Star wars feel they are better off waiting for Star War Battlefield, which will contain X-wing, tie fighters and other from all movies.

Re:Comments from a droid engineer (1)

Phil the Canuck (208725) | more than 10 years ago | (#9695369)

It's amazing that someone can get modded to +3 and still be completely wrong. The expansion is 100% twitch, there are no turn-based mechanics at all. The only thing seperating a newbie pilot from a master is the available ships, and the ability to tweak certain ship systems more effectively.

Re:Comments from a droid engineer (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9695598)

The only time you see the game will be totally twitch based is from stuff back in 2001, and people who keep repeating that.
If you read the current stuff, unless they did a massive turn around since April/May 2004, they say things like "Twitch reflexes will play a part in combat" "uses the same 'Point and Click interface' that the rest of SWG uses", input commands into the attack queue, it is a role-playing game not a fps, etc.
And while not turn based in the sense of chess people still call it turn based because of the attack queue. Yes I would agree that the combat systems in MMORPGs go so fast that consider them turn based is wrong that is what people call them, so I have gotton over my opposition and with this just go with teh flow.

Re:Comments from a droid engineer (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 10 years ago | (#9696317)

The current combat system is turn-based but the space expansion is supposed to be FPS-style combat, which will appeal to many.

No it wont, they are dropping the ball on this one too. I thought that the space expansion would steal away many FPS players when it was first announced. Then they mentioned that space combat will only be "consent" drivent PvP. In another words, it's a FPS where you can't kill someone without their permission. What FPS player is going to want to deal with this:

Hand Solo: Hahah your ship sucks!
{WEED}CSMastah: i pwn u!

{WEED}CSMastah is requesting a duel
Hand Solo denies duel

Hand Solo: bwhaha luser

that should hold the mainstream FPS players attention for all of two days.

Re:Comments from a droid engineer (2, Interesting)

Maserati (8679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9702309)

People who don't like that need to check out EVE Online [] . There's plenty of non-consensual PvP. Too much for my taste, way too many people will shoot first in a territorial dispute. Or because they're bored. Or 14...

So I'm not playing EVE anymore. But I still recommend the game to anyone who likes: lots of PvP, a rich economy, large programs written in Python, flying around in spaceships, or strikingly beautiful spacescapes. Go check out some screenshots, EVE is a gorgeous game. And they are doing content updates and revamping the UI. There was a GUI re-write about, oh, 9 months after release with everything obviously rewritten, cleaner, and more useful.

Do note that you're hosed as a solo player, it's all about corporations. If this has changed in Minmatar space, please let me know.

I'd better shut up, I may find myself paying a subscription fee again.

Wich droid are usefull? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#9697731)

The combat droids are a total waste in melee AKA tanks as they don't last anytime against creature. Once you gotten at least basic melee skills you can tank better. Doesn't make them useless, with basic melee it can take a long time and the robots do do damage and don't take xp but I found even when playing and not grinding it doesn't take long to go from 4-th brawler to master melee. For marksman they are slightly more usefull because while they aren't good tanks they are at least better then a novice marksman or even a midlvl rifleman.

The droid repair works and with 2 combat droids and master creature handler I was a one man army. Small snag, useless. 1 minute to call them all out. So only worked in really prepared raids. Most hunts had people dying left and right while I was still calling my pets.

Try again Sony. Combat droids are to expensive and too fragile. Once you can afford them you don't need them. Also the batteries run out to fast and the colors fade to early.

Stimpack droid. Talk about a totally useless piece of crap. They can only carry the lowest stims available and those are really low. Even the lowest medic who bought some stim-b can heal much much better then these droids. they don't work on their own, like healing anyone in range or even heal those who gone down. Crap. just Get novice medic buy a crate of stim-b and heal youreselve. You can't heal youreselve of course but neither can the droid.

Scout droid, capable of harvesting resources from creatures. Well it can't loot so it is useless for this purpose. The harvesting doesn't give XP so it is only usefull for those who don't need scout XP and for some reason are not close enough to the corpse to harvest. Riflemen are the only ones who can use it. Get the harvest droid and pets out. Set the pets to attack and lie down at optimal range and shoot away. Then as the critter goes down target next, set pets and you attacking the new critter then target the corpse and get the bot too harvest. Why not harvest immidiatly as the critter goes down? Cause there is a frigging long delay before the command is spoken and the droid responds. All this time you are not attacking the enemy.

Sony seems to have a real fear of making things to powerfull. Both the medic and harvest droid could have been extremely usefull if sony had dared to give them some AI. In star wars R2-D2 saves the day. In SWG he is a retard who can't do shit.

No, I tried it recently and quit recently. I only seen a few publishes and none added anything good. The droids I explained, the image designers are up in arms, just try it, see how long it takes to lvl up. Oh play the game while leveling up. That is damn hard. Only thing you can is change lipstick and hair color and only then the most basic colors. Even on very busy servers I seen nobody who wanted it even if they had to wait 30 minutes for a more advanged ID to change their stats (a few were kind enough to allow me to experiment on them since it doubles the XP from 50 to 100 but that still takes 1 min in the tent, 5000 xp needed for second box / 100 == 50 min just to get the second box.)

The only "fun" things outside combat (wich if you are not into PvP isn't that exciting, how many times can you kill the same enemy) is creating things. However there is far to little use in creating nice items. Just look at armor, composite is what everyone wants. Some are smart enough to use ubese since critters don't do anything but kinetic damage but all the other armours are useless. Useless in stats. the 10% resists they give does not make up for the horrible stat damages.

Weapons, nothing to make nice about here.

Furniture. A tiny handfull bother. The rest have empty houses.

Clothes. Again only a tiny handfull care. To many just running around in their underpants.

No SWG was a nice idea and while I played it it was fun, but never fun because of excellent game design or anything sony did. Fun because I was playing with fun people. Then again I could play IRC triviant with these people and it is fun.

To me it seems that sony is determined to take all the fun out of SWG.

Re:Comments from a droid engineer (1)

Darniaq (738858) | more than 10 years ago | (#9703126)

Ah, thanks for correcting the droids part. Proves that even the best intents can still provide faulting research :) My beef with Jedi isn't so much with PvP as they're so prevalent at all. When I see Jedi light sabers in the Coronet Starport, I expect 100s of Stormtroopers to show up. But they never do.

Re:Comments from a droid engineer (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9717146)

I thank you for progressing "naturally" through your profession. I'm on my way to Medic, and I'm trying the same thing. I despise tumbling for Med XP and the other lame things that go on. Medical centers are full of AFK characters all healing one guy who's constantly hurting himself for money. People with real wounds walk in, see 20 people standing around, and still don't get healed.

I'm attempting to do my medic skills in a more natural fashion. If I'm out with my PA hunting, and someone gets hurt, I'll heal them. I'll get my XP, they'll get healed, the fight goes on. The way things should be.

I believe the true cost of player cities, though, was the emptying of the game cities. A medic should be able to hang out in a medical center and heal stragglers that come in. But the only place where that works is Coronet, because every other city is empty.

PAs are the way to go, IMO.

Free Trial (4, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694292)

Fileplanet offeres a free 14 day trial of the game 8.shtm l

Re:Free Trial (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694354)

Thanks. After reading the post above about the driod engineer, I am downloading the trial now and will attempt to be... someone that makes something.

Re:Free Trial (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694436)

Caution though, this is a broadband only file! It weighs in at just under 2 Gigs (1.96 GB.).

The more it changes, the more it stays the same (4, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694371)

I quit about 4 months into the game out of boredom. I put up with server crashes (Eclipse was notoriously down), broken recipes, broken quests, broken everything, then just got bored. The little Star Wars Galaxies is still on my desktop, and I still pay the monthly fee. Every month or so I log back in, say hi to my fellow guild mates (probably the main reason I even try playing). I enjoy the game for a few hours, checking "all the new content" finish the content in a few days, and run into the same boredom that made me leave before.
It's really difficult to admit, because I wanted to love this game so much, but the whole structure just feels so flawed. All the fixes really haven't enhanced my gameplay experience. It wasn't the bugs that brought the game down, lots of people put up with them, it was the whole design of the game that makes it boring.
SWG really had a chance to be huge, they haven't had new high profile competition. That is coming in WoW and EQ2. If the Lightspeed expansion doesn't work out, then I doubt it will ever become anything other than a mediocre also-ran MMORPG.

Re:The more it changes, the more it stays the same (2, Insightful)

sheared (21404) | more than 10 years ago | (#9695225)

You pay the monthly fee and don't actually play the game?

Could I send you my home address and have you (and thousands of others just like you) mail me $15 a month? In return I promise to bore you just as well as Star Wars Galaxies! Really!

Re:The more it changes, the more it stays the same (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 10 years ago | (#9708172)

That's how I was with SWG until last month, when I said "screw it," unsubscribed, and took advantage of a sale on TiVo machines. SWG just gets kind of dull after a while.

That's Great... (1, Troll)

Thedalek (473015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694393)

When aare MMORPG makers going to start offering single-player offline portions to some of these games? Never? Looks like I still don't care, then.

Lest it sound like I'm whining, let me point out that A) Should the company in charge of Game X decide to stop supporting X, I can't play it anymore. Ever. And even if I could kludge together a pseudo-server, they created the game with the thought of thousands of people interacting, not dozens or just one. With just one person, many MMORPGs wouldn't just be dull: They'd be broken, and B) Most of the biggest complaints against MMORPGs are player-related. Players cheat. Griefers intentionally ruin the game. Power gamers blaze through the game, alienating newbies. Joining in late puts you severely behind even the casual users.

If the online portion of the game was non-essential, I would play.

Re:That's Great... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9695135)

Offering anything other than brief offline "tutorials" just isn't really going to work for MMORPGs. A modern MMORPG is geared pretty much entirely towards making players inter-act with each other. This affects every area of the game world; combat, questing, crafting, the broader economy, character design etc. Developers would need to pretty much design a completely different game and bundle it with the MMORPG for this to work. And, of course, when they were forced to up the price, customers would complain.

If you want to experience a MMORPG-type-game in an offline environment, you have a couple of options. Morrowind probably comes closer than any any other offline RPG to the pace and feel of a MMORPG. On the PS2, there's the .hack game series; 4 games which pretend to be MMORPGs. However, while there are some MMORPG motifs, such as l33t-speaking characters and an in-game "email" system and forums, the gameplay is basically that of a traditional, offline Japanese RPG.

The point about MMORPGs folding is kind-of valid. It does happen and it's always going to be a risk with the smaller MMORPGs (I guess anything under 100k users has a potential risk, anything under 50k has a serious risk). However, consumers can insulate themselves against this risk by exercising an ounce of common sense. Don't leap into a MMORPG in the first few weeks; wait to see if it has launch problems severe enough that they have the potential to sink it. Try to get a feel for the player numbers and their general trend; FFXI and Galaxies aren't going bust any time soon. Everquest isn't in any danger right now, but considering its age, the trend from now on is probably going to be downwards. Eve Online also isn't in immediate danger and is even expanding slightly, but given it's kind of niche, it would only take a single player exodus to sink it. Planetside, Dark Ages of Camelot etc definitely have limited future prospects. Depressing though the thought may be, the best way to get a "safe" MMO experience is to follow the crowd.

Re:That's Great... (1)

Nephilium (684559) | more than 10 years ago | (#9696205)

Actually... I would have to say that Neverwinter Nights is probably as close as you can get to a Single Player game with MMORPG options... some people have set up Persistant Worlds that you can log into, play your character, and play online with buckets of people... or you can just go and download a module and play single player or with friends.

Man is certainly stark mad: he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen. -- Michel de Montaigne

Re:That's Great... (1)

Thedalek (473015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9698059)

The point about MMORPGs folding is kind-of valid. It does happen and it's always going to be a risk with the smaller MMORPGs (I guess anything under 100k users has a potential risk, anything under 50k has a serious risk).


Don't leap into a MMORPG in the first few weeks;

Okay, so we're supposed to all wait for someone else to jump on the bandwagon before we do. If everybody does that, the bandwagon stays empty. The more people exercise your rules, the worse the situation becomes.

My solution for a simulteneous online/offline persistant world would keep some user info online and some offline. In other words, some quests, items, powers, etc, can only be accessed through the online portion of the game, and any reference to them in the character files would be a call to access the central server. If it can't access the server, you don't get to use the Bow of Myopia, but you still have all the junk you earned offline. Okay, still vulnerable to cheats, but unless the game is basically a video stream from the server with virtually no executable code on the client end, you're always going to have cheating.

Re:That's Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9706484)


How long till we can use the distributed network of the players' own computers to do the number crunching? Not so much client/server as a distributed server with the central game server just allocating the work. Seems like that would make it a lot more difficult to cheat but I think it would be very slow without better networking technology? Advantage if it could be set up is that the more players logging on, the more power is available to run the game.

If a tree falls and nobody witnesses it....?

Re:That's Great... (1)

inkless1 (1269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9696358)

Sadly, offline portions to online games that are really connected are almost always cheatfests. See Diablo for more.

City Of Heroes, however, can have some rewarding non-team aspects to it. I spent half of last night waving off team and sidekick requests because I just wanted to level up on my own for a while. Plus, it has the neat side effect that you can party up without even really doing so. Several brawls I got into had impromtu assists by wandering heroes.

For an offline/online experience - I think we'll need to wait for a different persistence model. One that is relatively unexploitable. I'm playing with this in Unreal mods - the idea that all the "character" information is in fact stored on the client, but that the idea of how powerful a character can be is controlled by the server. That way you can play offline or online on different servers, and everyone is happy.

Roleplaying? (3, Insightful)

Roshin (637756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694631)

"However, it's still very much a game for roleplayers and those with dreams of moisture farming."

I'm sorry, but I never saw anyone who even attempted to roleplay during my stint in SWG. I eventually quit out of mindcrushing boredom, nothing else.

Re:Roleplaying? (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9695242)

right on. Same reason here. I came back to SWG recently because I saw that they implemented player cities. I thought these would be great, full or RPers. I was bloodly wrong.

If I heard of a good RP guild which is low level (very important, because I do *not* want, I repeat: I do *not* want to level grind in a MMOG again. I mean, not a single minute of grind. Isn't that a great gaming philosophy? Always perform actions in a game because you actually want to? I was a musician in SWG and when I was *very* lucky, there was 1 or 2 musician who were actually in front of their comp. *sigh*), I would happily try SWG again though...

Re:Roleplaying? (2, Interesting)

EddieBurkett (614927) | more than 10 years ago | (#9695295)

He's not saying that people roleplay moisture farmers in the game. He's saying that the game is well-designed to give you that opportunity. The game is surprisingly successful at allowing you the opportunity of being one of the people in the background of the Star Wars movies, especially since its easy to find a niche in the economy for yourself. The problem is that too many people (kids?) are able to powergame and (especially now) play all day, and that winds up dominating the landscape. There are pockets of good people to play with, but given that I don't have time to be on that much, and they don't have time to be on that much, its not as easy to find them as it is to find the more obnoxious, ever-present players.

Its clear that this game isn't for everyone, especially hardcore SW fans looking to roleplay. (Jedi are just the most obvious offense as far as violating the canon. Anyone who knows their stuff will have a field day picking apart the game). But if you are willing to look past the usual suspects ruining the game, the underlying systems aren't nearly as bad as they are made out to be.

Of course, I don't know how valid my opinion is, since I like the UI!

Re:Roleplaying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9706122)

There are lots of roleplayers in SWG, actually.
They are however, dwarfed by the number of non-roleplayers out there. My server, Gorath, has several cities of mostly RPers. They regulalry host events, hunts, and the occasional quest. Lots of people also get together in the player cantinas on the weekends just to hang out with their friends in game.

The unoffical Roleplaying server, Sunrunner, also seems to have some pretty good times.

I'm not an SWG apologist by any stretch of the imagination. The whole Jedi/Hologrind system was devestating for the economy and the player base. Having the path to jedi a secret? Good idea, excellent idea. Brilliant even. Pointing people toward the path of what has become the best way to PvE and the ONLY way to PvP? Dumbest idea since Daikatana 2.

Even so, there ARE roleplayers out there, and they have a pretty good time.

I'd go to the forums, and look for stickyed threads on the various serves regarding player events. If something interests you, get a 14 day account, and post in the forums that you're looking for roleplayers. They'll seek you out.

I recently came back with the announced JTL (2, Informative)

codejunky (728012) | more than 10 years ago | (#9694848)

When I heard what they were going to try to do with Jump to Lightspeed, and after seeing it in action, I reactivated my account. I also heard that some of the guys involved with coding the last few wing commanders are working on coding this beast, and wing commander was definatly one of the best damn piloting series that I've ever played.

Because I won't be the only one going "eh?" (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9695386)

"buff" (used every other sentence in the article) is defined in the dictionary of MMPORG terms [] as

buff : (noun) Something that temporarily improves a skill or an attribute.

Re:Because I won't be the only one going "eh?" (1)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9697442)

Thank you. It helps those of us who don't have much to do with these MMORPGs understand what these people are talking about.

When I listen to people talking about Everquest or somesuch, it sounds almost like some kind of foreign language. I have no idea what they're talking about. It's amazing how much lingo has arisen around MMORPGs.

Ditch the fee, ditch the grind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9695927)

Do you guys think that people wouldn't burn out as quickly on this game if they didn't feel the need to play 24/7 to get the most bang out of their $15 a month subscription fees?

Re:Ditch the fee, ditch the grind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9696180)

Ditch the fee, you ditch the game.

Do you feel compelled to surf the internet 24/7 to get the most out of your monthly ISP charges?

Re:Ditch the fee, ditch the grind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9696390)

Good point. But the internet has a lot more content than SWG.

Niche MMORPG? (1)

Taulin (569009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9696406)

I think the game has a lot to offer. I think the amount of stuff you can do in it is actually what throws people off. I played for a while, quit, and then came back when I learned a group of old friends were playing. The second time around I got more involved with the community, groups, clans, etc. It is awesome how you can go up in rank and actually be part or a universe, than just being a character who levels. One guy had so many Imp points that storm troopers would bow to him. He was able to place Imp posts, and really live up the part, and did a good job at it. The game allows people like this to exist. Other games like EQ offer nothing when it comes to social ladders.

History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes... (3, Interesting)

Zhirem (771259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9696805)

Take this post with a grain of salt, as Funcom and SOE have made me a bitter gamer...

I am intrigued here by the paralells shown between the history of Anarchy Online and Star Wars Galaxies.

When AO launched, it was the biggest debacle in an MMORPG to date. Almost a complete flop... Including submitted credit card info over an unsecured server among a great many other problems.

When SWG launched, the first day was a complete meltdown, and only those who downloaded/used Mozilla could actually succeed with getting through the game registration. From day 2 on, things improved. People were actually able to get into the game. Things were buggy as all get out, but at least you could be in the game.

In the early AO, one would run into tons of bugs and other broken parts of the system. One would submit a trouble ticket. Said ticket would go into a black hole, and you would never hear from a company representative.

In the early days of SWG, one would submit a trouble ticket, and have it filed into a similarly-constructed-yet-Star Wars-themed black hole...

In the early days of AO, they had public access to their forums. Then, as one could expect with the debacle of the launch that occurred, the tone of the forums went decidedly ape-$hit. In response, AO took their forums private. Access only to paying customers. The effect on the community at large: "Gee, I wonder what Funcom has to hide?". As a player at that time, they had a LOT to hide.

In the early days of SWG they had public access to their forums. Then, as one could expect with a more-decent launch than AO, but with a product that significantly fell short on the promises made on the packaging of the game, as people starte to realize that the game really was not that much actual FUN, the tone of the boards turned decidedly ugly. SOE responded by making the forums private. Only paying customers. The effect on the community at large: "Gee, I wonder what SOE has to hide?". As a player at that time, they also had a LOT to hide.

AO has sinced released a couple of expansions, fixed a lot of their problems, and seen meagre retention of their player base. Others who waded through the early problems have resolved to never play AO again. (count me among them, or ever play ANY Funcom product again). Now, AO has to give away a free time period to tempt people into even TRYING the game. I think however, that they did not attempt this tactic until well after a year's worth of the game being live.

SWG has since released a couple of updates that make good on the claims and promises they made back when the game was still in beta (vehicles, player cities, mounts, etc.). They have fixed a lot of problems, encountered many more, and seen a somewhat better than meagre retention of their player base. (however, I would love to hear some real figures from SOE about subscription levels. We have not in a loooong time, and this leads me to believe that they do NOT in fact, have very impressive numbers. Furthermore, they leapt to the free-trial quite early (out of necessity, I believe, to stop the hemhoraging playerbase).

The paralells are telling for me. Both games might very well be worth the effort of a player who is not familiar to take them up. It is my hunch however, that buyer's remorse will settle in not long after the initial coolness factor has worn off.

Every single one of my friends, (realword and virtual) have left these games never to return. We have simply been so burned by them and their companies that we will not even look at another product from the companies that offered us the gold-plated turds we received.

As for myself and many, many other MMORPG gamers, SOE will not likely see another dime from us, nor Funcom. Nor I would argue should they. The marketing departments forced games to go live that were not ready, and then did not allow for the technical staff to complete what they had rushed to release, or to stabilize incredibly shaky results.

I for one say: Bring on the new crop of MMORPG's. Let's get more competition in the marketplace and separate the wheat from the chaff. Expect to see ramped-up versions of trial offers and giveaways as WoW hits, GuildWars, Dragon Empires, etc. this Fall. Maybe creating these games is as hard as everyone says, and if they are, then the industry should pull its collective head out of its collective ass so that someone can clean up financially on the incompetance of others.

FWIW: Keep an eye on Guild Wars. No monthly fee and what appears to be a solid approach to offering a compelling experience online. Should be interesting.

- Zhirem

Re:History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9697028)

Being newly introduced to SWG through the expansion and picking the game up for $20 at CompUSA I can't really relate to all the players who left this game earlier due to unresolved problems.. I still get annoyed at the exit speeder warp bug and that sometimes my items in my house disappear for a week but I still think its a lot of fun making items for players and hunting imperials in big groups. Coming from the Battlefield scene I was however thoroughly disgusted at the amount of problems Battlefield: Vietnam had, especially how they managed to make the game worse with their first patch... Do developers not remember their mistakes anymore?

Re:History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.. (1)

Taulin (569009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9698884)

Don't forget, after all the troubling times, AO gave us a present. I was an advernturer, so I got...a backpack. Now, SWG is giving away presents for those who have had accounts for over 6 months.

Re:History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.. (1)

Zhirem (771259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9707939)

Oh yeah. A pixel-present. Whoop-dee-friggin'-doo... I left AO before they could 'reward' me with pixel presents.

Lemme fill you in on how SOE is rewarding their veterans:

You get a DEED for A SHIP. Not the ship itself, but a deed to one. This ship will not be craftable by anyone, and cannot be traded. Furthermore, it will not be all that useful as it is a 'luxury yacht'. With a single gun mount I believe... (my understanding of the ship details might not be spot-on).

But, HERE is the kicker (and man lemme tell you those marketing folks at SOE are friggin genious's):

You can't actually USE the deed to CREATE the ship, UNLESS YOU BUY THE NEW EXPANSION PACK due out later this year. Many months from now...

What a nice thing for SOE. I can hear it now: 'Hey there my Rodian SWG chum. Thanks for playing our relatively boring game, and for putting up with all the technical difficulties and flat-out assinine decisions we have made about priorities for bug-fixing, gameplay modifications, nerfs, etc. We certainly appreciate your business, and in a show of our gratitude, here is your VERY OWN SHIP! Of course, you cannot USE it. You can't really DO anything at all with it. But we will tie up an inventory slot and get you slavering for the new expansion. Oh, and by the way, you have to buy the new expansion when we release the bug-riddled thing later this year. Thank you for your patronage. Now keep paying your monthly fees and be sure to buy the new expansion pack so you can use the present we rewarded you with for being a fuggin' stoopid... err that is 'loyal' customer.'

What a joke. People from the top on down in that organization need to receive a collective bitch-slap.

- Zhirem

Re:History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.. (1)

Roshin (637756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9700122)

[i]'I would love to hear some real figures from SOE about subscription levels. We have not in a loooong time, and this leads me to believe that they do NOT in fact, have very impressive numbers.'[/i]

I agree. If SOE had impressive subscription rates, they would be shouting about it from the rooftops.

Now there is a lot of Star Wars "feel" in ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9697155)

... moisture farming? To the majority of the people when they hear about a "Star Wars" game, they think about the epic conflict between good and evil, between Sith and Jedi, between The Empire and the Rebellion ... not a bloody moisture farm game.

For the love of (insert God you beleive in here) there is no Star Wars feel in SWG. None, it's a sci-fi game with elements from the Star Wars universe. Not to mention:
- Duping is still rampant.
- Combat is beyond broken.
- Macroing is all over the game.
- Bots get medals for being nice players? What the hell is wrong with SOE?

No thank you.

Bizzaro World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9698363)

I dont understand it. Every time I read an article posted about SWG I think these people are playing in another MMO. I have been playing since Day 2. Have had my share of difficulties Server crashing once a night for a week. Annoying, but not game breaking (for me) bugs. I was even a Chef when they were useless.

Other than that, I have enjoyed the game immensely. I am beginning to thing the ./ crowd are just Star Wars snobs and any perversion of thier baby draws bile and hate reserved for big corporations.

I like the game, guess I will keep having fun.

comments form another Droid Engineer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9699386)

I have been a Droid Engineer in SWG since the game was launched. I quit reading the article after the Droid section because it was so full of errors as to be rediculous. I agree with most of what the previous DE here had to say but the author of the article was even taking PROPOSALS from the DE forums (droids bound to structures) and saying that this had been implemented in game and was a great feature. The other errors with the droid section are too numerous to list here. Take this article with a VERY LARGE grain of salt.

Oteb the Squid - Master Droid Engineer - Theed

But... (3, Insightful)

Ath (643782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9700125)

When I first started playing SWG about 1 month into the game, it was my first real attempt at a MMORPG. Yes, I was warned that they are time sinks and life stealers. But I had the time during that period and decided to give it a try. Maybe, with a Star Wars environment, it could be pretty fun.

I do not want to suggest that my experience is the same as others. Many people love SWG and MMORPGs in general. They like the time commitment, the "grinding", the combat systems, crafting, etc. In the end, I had to face the same question that I read in a review. Is it fun?

I realized that I was not actually having fun. Instead, I was trying to achieve something in an artificial world that gave me no satisfaction back. In single player games, I compare it to a fiction book. I follow the story, actively participate to a large extent, but I know there is an end to the whole experience. With a MMORPG, there is no end, there is rarely any aspect of a story, and my active participation is almost entirely meaningless.

God knows I spend a lot of time playing computer games. I am not suggesting I consider them all wastes of time. However, when I finished Splinter Cell or Operation Flashpoint, I felt like I had been part of something more real. In a MMORPG, most of the environment depends entirely on others.

Yes, I had a lot of fun the first time I was in a group and we killed a Rancor. Yes, I had a lot of fun the first time I killed a Rancor myself. But when I could walk around killing any group of Rancors I found, the fun just ended. And it was at that very moment that I realized I could have more fun doing something else.

Does everyone have to feel the same way? Absolutely not. If that is your thing, enjoy it. For me, the answer to the question was finally clear. No, it was not fun.

Return? But I never even got to play. (1)

Warhaven (718215) | more than 10 years ago | (#9700361)

Unfortunately [fortunately?] for us Mac-users, we (will) never had/have the chance to enjoy the vast fortunes prominent in the moisture farming industry.

So, SOE can piss off.

Re:Return? But I never even got to play. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 10 years ago | (#9722785)

My lunatic, idiot-savant friend. I, a die-hard Mac-o-phile, switched to the PC 3 computers ago at home. Why?

Both did Word

Both did Excel

Both did Surfing with all the browsers I might conceivably use

Both did C and C++ programming

Hmmmm...what might make the difference? Oh yeah, games, which I play all the damned time. I was tired of waiting 1 year or more for the Mac port of some PC game (which inevitably was almost as if it ran in an emulator rather than a true translation (like the very first D&D Gold Box game, RIP.) Which, for the most part, was true.

So I switched, stunning my colleagues and friends more than Rocky announcing he was having an affair with Adrienne's older brother/daddy/ugly guy.

Haven't looked back. Now I go to a Mac and I miss the mouse wheel. I miss the extra button. I miss the world-class 3D card. Yes, it may run Seti@Home a little faster, if I want to spend an additional 2k for like-styled systems. That ain't all that and a bag of potato chips, sorry.

It's down to what, 2.5% or something of the market? RIP, Mac.

Re:Return? But I never even got to play. (1)

Warhaven (718215) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723402)

My lunatic, idiot-savant friend. I, a die-hard PC-o-phile of 14 years, switched to the Mac 3 years ago at home and work. Why?

I can count on it to not crash, halt, & freeze; or be deleted, hijacked, trojaned, wormed, or otherwise infected, rendered useless, or comporomized. My operating system won't destroy the USB port on my scanner, or do any number of other things Windows does to make your day absolutely miserable.

I don't have the time nor inclination to figure out why in God's name my SoundBlaster Live card is causing severe packet loss. Nor do I have the want or need to troubleshoot for hours on end when something doesn't work. Checking for IRQ conflicts, driver conflicts, sifting through thousands of lines of registries to find that ONE little sh*t that's screwing up my whole goddamn system.

I want my computer to simply work, and if that means purchasing a $20 two-button wheel mouse and plugging it in for added functionality (something, my good friend, you aparently haven't figured out how to do), and an extra $500 for quality assurance, then I'll do that.

But please, don't go jumping to conclusions because a person prefers a Macintosh. I, unlike you, have a VERY good reason for using a Mac. My life is dependent on it. And if SOE won't bother to make a game for the SECOND most popular operating system in the world, and giving me a little bit of entertainment inbetween work loads, then my statement still stands:

SOE can piss off.

a fighters perspective (1)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9701134)

Hi all,
Thought I'd chime in since SWG stole my life about 3 months ago. It's really fun for me - there's 10 or 15 planets to explore, and really only one or two are sucky. Everything else is interesting. The graphics are good, and the music is excellent. There are interesting loot drops, and many NPC quests you can do (some better than others).

You can join the Empire or the Rebellion - you can wear stormtrooper armor, or you can kill storm troopers. There's lots of dungeons, and a new one that is hard even with a group of 20 combat masters.

I was a commando/swordsman, two of the most offensive professions in the game. It's pretty fun to be able to explore around and put your skills to the test. Most things are easy to kill at that point, except for the really high end enemies like Nightsister Elders. It took me 10 minutes to kill one, and a bunch of lesser things kept spawning around me when I was about dead. Fun stuff!

The main problem is if you try to start as a crafter. You don't have any money or resources, and you're trying to compete against established businesses with the best resources and millions of dollars.

My advice is to start off as a combat person with novice artisan, scout, and medic - this way you can kill stuff for money, heal yourself, find good quality resources and harvest them from dead enemies, and place your own harvestors to dig metals out of the ground. Save your money, save your resources, and read and to learn your future trade. Once you're sort of well off, then start dropping your combat for your crafting.

If you want to PvP, then become a fencer. Save up lots of money, buy the best food, armor, shield generators, and weapons, and go to town.

Otherwise, there's tons of things to do. You can be a bounty hunter and eventually hunt player jedis, you can find a nice location and build/furnish your own house, you can help new players get started, start your own guild, join someone else's guild, collect every suit of armor and put it in a museum - there's lots of fun stuff to do.

Its not hard, and its not impossible to compete. But, there is a steep learning curve to be one of the top players on your server. Remember you're competing against people who regularly play 4+ hours a day.

If you're thinking of starting an account, join the Gorath server, its the best :P

Re:a fighters perspective (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9703788)

Thanks for the 411.

Strong in the Force? (1)

LondonLawyer (609870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9707938)

Long section from the article:

Jedi no longer become more powerful just by using their force abilities. Now their progress is based on other players. Light Jedi need to gather the necessary votes to progress from their peers. Dark Jedi need to fight their way up. A compelling system, and I'm sure it'll work flawlessly by the time I get to a level where I need to worry about it...

...Going forward, Jedi will still be a balance nightmare for SOE. One thing I personally hope they integrate are Ysalamiri. Sure they're part of the Expanded Universe content, and don't really get introduced to the lore until well after Return of the Jedi. But as naturally evolved animals, they certainly exist on Myrkr in contemporary times. Someone just needs to "accidentally" stumble upon them.

What is "them"?

They're tamable animals that project force-cancellation bubbles in a sphere around them. They cannot be affected by the force, and force users within the bubbles can't tap the force. This is the ultimate much-needed trump card in a game that wants to balance Jedi versus Mere Mortals.

Others proclaim the role of the Bounty Hunter as being the Jedi hunter. Yes, this is true too. However, Bounty Hunter players and Jedi players alike need to recognize that both canon and expanded universe content define various levels of Jedi and Bounty Hunter proficiency. Jengo Fett may have fought Obi-Wan to a standstill on Kamino, got the drop on Mace Windu first with the flamethrower, and shot Coleman Trebor all to heck shortly thereafter. But he also got tricked into thinking he beat the Jedi that caused him to limp away from battle on Kamino and got handled verily once Mace got his bearings.

Players may want to be Mace and Jengo Fett, but the realities of both the storyline and the game are that they'll need to first be Luke and Greebo. Plus, there's that little pesky thing called choice. Not everyone wants to be a Bounty Hunter.

Believe it or not, my actual issue with the proposed vamp is the Jedi Trials. Even if players like myself read the expanded universe materials that describe the true number of force sensitive characters alive during this time in Galactic History, there was no formal Jedi training. Luke managed a few minutes with Obi-Wan and three months with Yoda, but nowhere is there any mention of having a Jedi Council vote for his eligibility to higher standings within.

This is a rather sharp departure from lore, and one that surprises even me. While it's a nice recognition that more than a few people per server would like to be Jedi, it would be more appropriate for the game to shift the timeline back or forward 30 years when there was a Jedi Council or elite corps from which to seek approval.

Hmmm. Some things here I like, some I don't. A couple of (mis?)quotes seem appropriate:

Yoda: "Once you start down the path of the Dark Side, forever will it dominate your destiny."
Obiwan: "If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can imagine."

Ysalamiri sound pants. Not only do they have a stupid name based on an Italian sausage but they look likely to introduce a bigger problem than the one they solve. Creature handlers as demigods all over again. Sounds like a very bad idea to me.

The idea of Dark Jedi fighting to advance I like. Especially if it's not just fighting between themselves but with Light Jedi too. I like it lots if they advance faster the more powerful the Jedi they fight/kill. That way they'll look out for more powerful (probably Dark) Jedi to fight anyway. I guess we're sort of ignoring the "always two there are: a Master and an Apprentice" thing here?

Light Jedi though? The voting doesn't really sit well does it? Never had Yoda pegged as a babykisser myself.

Wouldn't it be better to have Jedi slowly growing more powerful in the Light Side (or weaker in the Dark Side) if they remain peaceful and 'tune in' to the Force? It would explain why they run and hide when they are being hunted down. Dark Jedi should keep down the numbers of Jedi but grow weak again when there are none left to kill - a self-limiting system. Make Dark Jedi 'out of tune' with the Light Side but let them advance faster through fighting and you have the lure of the Dark Side (and the addictive quality to its violence plus its ultimate emptiness). It would fit in with Vader trying to turn Luke by fighting him.

But what happens when a Light Jedi dies? How does he become more powerful than can be imagined? Is it because the blue ghosts can't fight directly, only become more and more in tune with the Light Side? I've never heard of a Dark Side ghost.

Yes I know I'm a geek....

Jedi, Dancing, and all that (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 10 years ago | (#9722731)

The entire concept that there must be some other class that can fight a Jedi to a standstill, and win (and I know a non bounty hunter who did solo a Jedi recently) is rediculous, unless the hunter is skilled and the Jedi an incompetent 12 year old.

It reminds me of Horizons, which promised that an adult dragon could take on any 2 maxxed out of the other classes, only fighting physically and not having to use any spells. Yet it was hard to get there.

The only interesting thing about that game besides the Jedi is the dancer. For the first time in my last 30 lifetimes, I can do something besides murder monsters minding their own business and stealing their money and stuff. Oh, and besides the "fun" of simulating excruciating assembly line work.
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