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Author Topic: Who are our SWG veterans here?  (Read 2195 times)

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Offline TrickyNick87

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Who are our SWG veterans here?
« on: 03/12/17, 04:20:50 PM »
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At 29 years old, I just barely missed out on all the Star Wars Galaxies excitement. I've watched YouTube videos and read a lot of material on the internet about how cool the game was, and from what I gather, RP was pretty amazing too. One thing a lot of people seem to like was the lack of emphasis on combat and more opportunities to advance your characters in other areas.

It's my understanding this game had like a "sandbox" playstyle? I think that is pretty neat and would like to see a little of that incorporated into SWTOR. I've hear many times that "SWTOR is not SWG nor does it try to be" but, having missed out on the SWG days, I'd be interested to see maybe 2-3 planets added where you could apply that sort of "sandbox" gameplay style (Imperial: Dromund Fels, Republic: Dantooine, and some neutral/Hutt world).

So what do you SWG veterans think? What was so great about RP in that game and what, if anything, from it could be replicated here to bolster game RP?

Offline LVT

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #1 on: 03/12/17, 05:37:51 PM »
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The thing with galaxy is that it was entirely player driven. Even the story that the devs made was generally made with the players in mind. They never touched the econ, it was all players. Nearly ALL mid-high level crafting was players. Player made settlements were a big thing. You could put down a house anywhere on the world, and if people started clustering around you, you could get big enough to be on a map and be called a city.

The game and RP intertwined naturally to be just a fantastic experience. Nearly everything was RP driven and RP was everywhere if you wanted it to be. It was more action oriented as I recall too than the wow style click buttons in a cycle.

One of my favorite anecdotes on how the game tied RP and in game together was languages. Nearly everyone spoke basic, but some other races learned there native tongue. If you selected the option to speak in your native tongue your text would appear as english to any player who knew the language, and straight gibberish to anyone who didn't. It was a cool little system where you had to sit down and look up words until you were finally trained and fluent in a language. If you were committed enough to learning a bunch of languages (eventually you could 'officially' learn them in game and be as good as a native speaker), there was a market for translators in the RP scene if I recall correctly.

Short answer is the game enabled RP in the proper ways. The devs decided they wanted to make the game less difficult for the younger and more casual audiences, and removed certain systems that made the game unique. My friend was particularly incensed that before the big patch it was level based, so everyone was on even footing and the gear was just bonuses, So you could RP whatever and not lose TOO much out of it. That among other systems were changed to play closer to a standard MMO. The game died when everyone left because there was no one to drive the community. It was a sad death of the devs understanding that they wanted to attract more to their great community but failing to execute properly.

FYI you can still play it. There is a fan-made project to recreate the servers with original code. You can search for how to join around the web.


Also, I'm younger than you and only managed to catch the tail end of the excitement, so take what I say with a grain of salt =P
Turari (29, Major, jr. grade CEDF)     Silivia Fenir (21, Freighter Captain)
Lashila Sellara (25, Grey Sith)         Harkasone Milan (29, Philanthropist)
Reill Farr(31, Silent Mandalorian)     Mystenin Felsa (26, 'Green' Jedi)
Touko Saizar(19, Turari's underling) Temple Guard #124(35, Pro Spook)
                                                    Freya Merril (?, ???)

Offline recoveringgeek

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #2 on: 03/12/17, 05:45:39 PM »
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http://www.pcgamer.com/the-end-of-star-wars-galaxies/

I also never had the pleasure,  but even reading what they allowed players to do in the final 24 hours is pretty amazing...
I knew some of the Palace history, but not the bit about Jaade crashing that barge. That's good lore, right there.  :grin:

Offline recoveringgeek

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I knew some of the Palace history, but not the bit about Jaade crashing that barge. That's good lore, right there.  :grin:

Offline Kremon

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #4 on: 03/12/17, 08:17:49 PM »
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I was able to come in on the end of Star Wars galaxies; perhaps the last six months. I was still a little clueless in the roleplay department, but I remember the sandbox style very, very well. I always remember just flying along in a speeder on Tatooine, then stumbling across an entire town, out in the middle of nowhere; a place where players decided to band up for safety and convenience.

Or the battles between clans were legendary. I remember strolling around inside a city, minding my own business, when suddenly; an alert sounds and there's Imperial stormtroopers rushing every which way by squad. Blaster-fire starts cascading down, there's Rebels rocketing through the streets on speederbikes... It was a hell of an adventure.
Exephos; a haunted war-ravaged veteran.
Shad'ra; an indecisive ex-mandalorian.
Gharzog; a happy-go-lucky gun for hire.

Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #5 on: 03/13/17, 08:42:04 AM »
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if you guys want to try it again, Stella bellum has the game up to update 16. I've been having fun on it lately. And you can download the whole game straight from their launcher.

https://forums.stellabellum.net/index.php?topic=576

Also chances are it'll install without a login.cfg file in the actual SWG folder, so you'll have to open up the notepad program and enter the following

[Station]
subscriptionFeatures=1
gameFeatures=65535

[ClientGame]
loginServerPort0=44453
loginServerAddress0=beta.stellabellum.net



save as: login.cfg, then move it into the swg game folder then run the entire game in admin mode, and you should be ready to relive such a unique part of the star wars universe.
« Last Edit: 03/13/17, 09:21:57 AM by GabrielThorne »

Offline Iaera

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #6 on: 03/13/17, 12:28:05 PM »
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SWG was a strange little thing. There were three 'phases' to it that are important to understand when talking about it: Its initial launch era, the following Combat Upgrade (CU), and later on the New Game Enhancements (NGE). I stopped playing before the latter two, because despite a lot of the improvements to the game's many, many problems, the CU and NGE flushed the game down a toilet that it never recovered from. I briefly came back to the game a few years after I stopped playing, after the NGE, and I was honestly boggled at the hideous things they'd done to the game.

So, understand that when I talk about SWG, I'm talking about it in its original form -- when it was a very different game from what people who came into SWG later on saw.

First, it should be recognised that the game was disgustingly, unbelievably brokenly buggy. Originally, in the first few months after launch, when you died you had to run back to where your corpse was to recover your stuff. They soon removed that... why? Because there was a non-trivial chance that your corpse and all your stuff would bug out and be deleted in their entirety, and they couldn't figure out how to fix it. So they scrapped that feature, and from then on you just respawned with all your stuff intact.

If you were a member of a faction (Empire or Rebels), you could use your accrued faction points to buy cool faction gear like awesome Imperial officer uniforms. Bit of a problem there too, though: The Imperial Hat (you know, those cool caps that all the Imps in the movies wear) was... unwearable. Why? "Technical reasons." It took them quite awhile to fix. By 'quite awhile' I of course mean 'literally never.' The Hat lingered there on the faction vendor for as long as I played, purchasable but totally unusable. I had one in my inventory for a long, long time, but was never able to wear it. Eventually, when I came back to check out the game post-NGE, I discovered that the Hat had been removed from the vendor entirely, having never been fixed to actually be wearable. No, they just removed it from the game instead.

These two anecdotes are just examples; the game was littered with bugs, issues, and bizarre technical ineptitudes like the above that defy professional explanation. The entire game was a technical dumpster fire, and that's without even touching the many and sundry design and balance problems the game suffered from (and which CU and NGE not only failed to improve on, but actively worsened).

I say all of this to impart some perspective and context when I say the following, lest I be accused of viewing the game through rose-tinted glasses:

SWG was the best goddamned MMO I've ever played (and I've played some beautiful MMOs - Dark Age of Camelot and Pirates of the Burning Sea both have special places in my heart). It's part of the reason I've been dissatisfied with a lot of things in SWTOR -- SWG is an obvious point of comparison, and SWG was just plain better in so many ways.

You could do anything. Like, anything. Want to start a blaster manufacturing and distribution business, where you survey for resources, establish large-scale automated mining operations to collect the necessary raw materials, craft them into your own custom-built blaster designs, then sell said blasters on the open market all while secretly funneling a percentage of your stocks to the Alliance under the table? You can do that. Want to make a character who does nothing but travel from spaceport to spaceport, playing music in the local cantinas? You can do that -- you never have to fire a blaster once. Want to make a medical doctor who declares neutrality, healing Rebels and Imperials alike in city hospitals (for a price, of course)? You can do that. Want to be a diehard, dedicated Imperial commando, waging war out in the wilderness against unsuspecting Rebels? You can do that too (as long as you don't mind lots of salty Rebels spamming /spit on you in town, of course).

This was all powered by a wonderfully flexible (albeit probably dated, by today's RPG design standards) skill/class system that was later removed entirely by NGE. You chose a basic starting class, like soldier or entertainer or crafter, which had the basic tools of your chosen playstyle -- a blaster, some initial resource surveying equipment, etc. From there, you gained typed XP based on what you did. If you shot something, you got some blaster XP. If you crafted something, you got some crafting XP, and so on. Using your earned XP, you could level up different skills in your basic class to of course become better at what you want to be better at, but more importantly you worked your way up toward advanced classes -- Bounty Hunter, Commando, Doctor, Musician, Architect, Bio-Engineer, etc etc etc. There were a zillion of them, and you could have several of them if you worked your way toward them all (there was a skill cap you would eventually run into, limiting you to 3 or 4 total classes once you were at the cap, so no one can do everything at once). Of course, this whole system eventually got gutted by NGE for no real reason, whereupon it was replaced by a tediously pedestrian WoW-style system of 9 or so generic classes with a linear progression, much like SWTOR now has.

Later they added all kinds of cool stuff -- rideable dewbacks and landspeeders, entirely player-built and administrated cities (tax rates, zoning regulations, faction policies, you name it!), and of course the X-Wing vs TIE Fighter-inspired space expansion. I could relate so many cool anecdotes about this game and its infinite possibilities, but if I started doing that I'd be here for hours writing an even longer post, so to keep it brief I'll just again emphasise how much I loved this game and everything you could do in it. No dailies, no raid progression, no gear scores, no leveling treadmill - just you and 80 gazillion other players collectively handed the ultimate Star Wars digital Lego set.
retired ~ ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #7 on: 03/13/17, 12:40:16 PM »
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Sounds about right. Personally, having tried the Pre-NGE emulator and maybe I was just spoiled by SWTOR, I just...couldn't stand it. Everything felt way too complicated, so when I tried the NGE version on Stella Bellum, it felt like i was right at home. The only real qualm I have with the NGE version is that they gave us jedi right out of the starting gate, when you had to work up to it. SOE made it less of a rarity, like it's supposed to be at this point in time in the universe given the events of Revenge of the Sith, and therefore less special.

Offline Iaera

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #8 on: 03/13/17, 12:48:09 PM »
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As for what could be adapted to SWTOR... I gave up that hope once BioWare started releasing information on their intentions with SWTOR. It was clear even before release that SWTOR was going in the polar opposite direction from what SWG was, and there was no hope of embracing SWG's coolest features.

Factions, for example -- when SWTOR was first announced, I dreamed of an MMO where Jedi and Sith (players) clashed across the galaxy... and frequently changed sides, as fallen Dark Jedi pledged their allegiance to the Sith, and redeemed Sith Lords sought atonement with the Jedi. Of course, we RPers emulate that as best we can by using cross-faction RP etiquette and duplicate characters, etc., but there's no such functionality built into the game the way SWG was. In SWG, over the course of your character's career you could be an Imperial, then defect to the Rebels... all while acting as a covert agent, still secretly loyal to your Imperial friends and feeding them information on Rebel player guilds' latest military outposts and raiding plans.

SWTOR briefly had an open faction war area on Ilum when the game launched, but that was the furthest extent of faction interactions in this game. Of course, even that was eventually removed, and the only time Sith or Republic ever really met was in PvP matches or as part of the in-game personal story narrative. It's clear we'll never get any kind of meaningful cross-faction interactiveness in SWTOR, beyond what we RPers cobble together using cross-faction RP nights.

I doubt we'll ever get SWTOR's editable character biographies, either... but then, maybe that's a good thing. I got pretty tired of reading the 67,359th character bio about how xXimpPwn3rXvegetaXx's parents were killed by Imperial Stormtroopers so he joined the Rebels after being raised by banthas on Tatooine.
retired ~ ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

Offline LVT

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #9 on: 03/13/17, 01:30:19 PM »
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I got pretty tired of reading the 67,359th character bio about how xXimpPwn3rXvegetaXx's parents were killed by Imperial Stormtroopers so he joined the Rebels after being raised by banthas on Tatooine.

OC do not steal.
Turari (29, Major, jr. grade CEDF)     Silivia Fenir (21, Freighter Captain)
Lashila Sellara (25, Grey Sith)         Harkasone Milan (29, Philanthropist)
Reill Farr(31, Silent Mandalorian)     Mystenin Felsa (26, 'Green' Jedi)
Touko Saizar(19, Turari's underling) Temple Guard #124(35, Pro Spook)
                                                    Freya Merril (?, ???)

Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #10 on: 03/13/17, 01:34:53 PM »
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I got pretty tired of reading the 67,359th character bio about how xXimpPwn3rXvegetaXx's parents were killed by Imperial Stormtroopers so he joined the Rebels after being raised by banthas on Tatooine.

OC do not steal.

Pshh..
Nothing personnel, kid.

Offline recoveringgeek

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #11 on: 03/13/17, 04:24:20 PM »
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You could do anything. Like, anything. Want to start a blaster manufacturing and distribution business, where you survey for resources, establish large-scale automated mining operations to collect the necessary raw materials, craft them into your own custom-built blaster designs, then sell said blasters on the open market all while secretly funneling a percentage of your stocks to the Alliance under the table? You can do that. Want to make a character who does nothing but travel from spaceport to spaceport, playing music in the local cantinas? You can do that -- you never have to fire a blaster once. Want to make a medical doctor who declares neutrality, healing Rebels and Imperials alike in city hospitals (for a price, of course)? You can do that. Want to be a diehard, dedicated Imperial commando, waging war out in the wilderness against unsuspecting Rebels? You can do that too (as long as you don't mind lots of salty Rebels spamming /spit on you in town, of course).

That sounded rather beautiful from a design standpoint. I wonder what modern game design philosophy says about that now...
I knew some of the Palace history, but not the bit about Jaade crashing that barge. That's good lore, right there.  :grin:

Offline Cyone

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #12 on: 03/16/17, 11:49:24 PM »
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That sounded rather beautiful from a design standpoint.

It was.

And hey, that's me. I'm a Star Wars Galaxies veteran.

That seems like such a pitiful and woefully inadequate tribute to a game I so loved and enjoyed, and to which I owe my introduction to roleplay and all the many-wondered adventures I've shared in thereafter as a result. It really does hold a special place for me in that way, and that I consider it my first real MMO (Runescape only kinda counts in my mind). Still, there's just too much I could say, and much of it has already been said here quite well. Seeing the thread, however, I just had to throw in my two bits.

I'm only 21 myself, and I actually caught a decent chunk of the end of Galaxies. I couldn't have been more than 14 when I started playing, and I know it consumed one, if not two, entire summers of my time. And that's not counting when I went back to it later, just before its ultimate demise. I remember spending almost literally every waking moment amidst that vibrant starscape at the time, and my only regret is that I left in sadness before its glorious last days. Seldom in my life have I been more enchanted than I was then, nor do I expect to be again. You really could do anything, or so it felt, and if I could attempt to sum up the magic as succinctly as possible (not my strong suit): I don't honestly know if I can think of another similar case where the expression "to bring something to life" was so applicable as in that of Galaxies. It really did, in more ways than one, bring to life the much beloved thing that is Star Wars. I genuinely don't believe that's something any other Star Wars game can claim in quite the same way.

If I had all my wit about me and more time and energy to channel it, I'm sure I could come up with a few lessons to be translated from the mythical RP of Galaxies to that of present-day TOR, but alas. I'm afraid all I've got for now is a handful of unabashedly rose-tinted nostalgic musings to add to the pile. Man, do I miss that game. TOR is great, but it will just never be that kind of roleplayer's paradise.

Offline Karmic

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Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #13 on: 03/17/17, 05:26:41 PM »
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And here I am just really hoping they don't pull a NGE with the upcoming "re-launch" of The Secret World.

They are not saying word one right now about what they are going to revamp and how this "re-launch" is going to happen (later this year).  It is all shut down on communication.  They've just said they will give us some more details at the end of March.

Us loyal players are freakin' out speculating what this may mean for the game, its design and combat, etc.  We all acknowledge yes, a few things need to be changed - but we're really afraid of what this is going to actually change and that it could totally destroy what makes TSW cool; and turn it into "just another f2p money gouging market."


~~~
Quote
That sounded rather beautiful from a design standpoint. I wonder what modern game design philosophy says about that now...

Well - probably "it looks good on paper but doesn't work to sustain itself in the real world."

Just seems like more and more any MMORPG that tries to let the player be more independent, offer more choices, doesn't hand-hold you through the game - etc. ends up having to go f2p/heavy IRL out of game market - because they can't sustain their production.

That the last 10 years have taught publishers/developers/shareholders (etc.) to only streamline to the lowest common denominator and get as much cash fast before people cycle to the next game.

All the little point/D&D inspired parts of the MMORPG the "old skooler nerds" (like all of us) who grew up on tabletop gaming etc. - are getting shifted out more and more for streamlined "handholding" and just yes/no rules.

Funcom makes a game that doesnt' follow the WoW clone model and people *still* complain - after a new player revamp that happened two years ago where they put in even more tutorials (but you have to read in the video!)and even more "THIS IS A GOOD SPEC PICK THIS TO START WITH" pointers (but without just forcing the player into a track), but apparently one of the "big complaint" of new players is that they are *still* confused and don't understand how to play through the basics (somehow...) and they quit because of it and leave.  So they are reworking it *yet again again* to somehow make it even more...  simple(?).

Keeping in mind this is a two weapon combat system (requires a weapon in both hands) and you have players who want to play through the game with just one weapon and don't understand why they *have* to have two.  OR they didn't even "realize" they had to have two - even though every part of the tutorial and starter area and game talk about developing points in both weapons.

A dev threw up one of the tutorials they are working on and its a video - on how to dodge.  Like... really.  :sigh:

TSW is a game where if you wanna really get how the weapon system works, and how to build from the 550 abilities the combat deck you wanna use for the way you wanna play (in other words, exactly how you want!)- you gotta go read a bit on the forums - no that's too much work!  So because its a 8th grade level game instead of a 1st grade level game- we either gotta somehow "re-launch" it so the 1st graders can understand; or give up and put it in maintenance mode because it will never sustain itself.

WoW launched with the ability for you to learn any weapon you wanted, you just had to USE the weapon. Had acheivements and all that jazz even for learning 5 weapons or learning all weapons; even for leveling your hand-to-hand all the way up - it had its own acheivement.

Before the first expansion they streamlined it to no one had to work on any weapons to know them.  Because players thought that was "too much stupid grind to just sit and swing your sword" and they didn't want to have to fool with it.  So it became your class was just assigned multiple weapons and you could use all them from day one at full capacity to your level.  And then it was streamlined even more to everyone got *one type main* weapon to use but you can equip those other weapons you were formally able to use - just cosmetically now; but could still equip them for RP purposes or whatever.

And now they ever got rid of that; now classes can equip their main weapon and you can't equip jack squat anything else for any reason.  Even if it wouldn't hurt anyone or anything at all if you did because you wanted your elf to walk around with a stick in town that you've walked around town in for 7 years already.  NOpe, can't even do that.  Why? No idea on that one. I thought it was pretty pointless myself.

~~

TLDR;

D&D type skill work - full freedom to be the character you want the way you want - taking the "longer road" instead of the handholding-talent tree path - is going to be left back on the tabletop play again.  Or only stuck out in survival niche minecraft sandbox game (where it seems to be more now...maybe..kinda.)

MMORPGs are no longer focused on keeping players for years with new content and innovative gameplay.  Quite the opposite - seem to be moving more and more AWAY from them. (I think WoW is like the ONLY (?) game anymore that still requires monthly subs to play and still makes profits from the monthly subs)

Instead they want to focus on how to just keep people paying as much as possible, for 3-4 months, and then expect them to move on and rely on the new crop who moved in. Then the devs can move on to make whatever else they want and they don't have to keep up a regular new content schedule.  By going the SWTOR route, the LOTR (ugg) route, out of the gate.  No sub - but 5$ you on every single thing you want to do all the time until you get sick of it and move on to the next game doing the same thing.

« Last Edit: 03/17/17, 05:35:40 PM by Karmic »

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Re: Who are our SWG veterans here?
« Reply #14 on: 03/17/17, 09:58:51 PM »
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One of my favorite anecdotes on how the game tied RP and in game together was languages. Nearly everyone spoke basic, but some other races learned there native tongue. If you selected the option to speak in your native tongue your text would appear as english to any player who knew the language, and straight gibberish to anyone who didn't. It was a cool little system where you had to sit down and look up words until you were finally trained and fluent in a language. If you were committed enough to learning a bunch of languages (eventually you could 'officially' learn them in game and be as good as a native speaker), there was a market for translators in the RP scene if I recall correctly.


That actually sounds pretty awesome, and i'm guessing it's a collection thing, where you have to go planet hopping to learn these languages, right?