Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In a galaxy not so far away

Recently, my interest in Star Wars Galaxies was piqued by Fan Faire. I have always liked SWG, but whether or not I want to play ebbs and flows. One, it is Star Wars and Two, it does have a lot going for it.

At Fan Faire, they announced the new Chronicle system. It is similar in concept to Ryzom's Ring and CoX's Mission Architect; User-Generated Content. SWG has been doing user-generated content in the form of the Storyteller system for years, so this is the next big step.

The Chronicle system allows players to build their own quests. It doesn't seem to use an instancing system, instead it uses what the game already has available. The quest is given through an object, which you can likely put on your vendor. You can also choose iconic Star Wars figure to be the quest givers. So Darth Vader can message the player and tell him what to do.

The Quests can be crafting, killing, PvP and more. You can even create a quest drop and specify its drop rate on existing npc's. Lets not forget the rewards either. There is a special Chronicle loot table, XP and custom rewards. The custom rewards are ones that you provide. You can check out screenshots of the system here.

Another topic of Fan Faire was the Galactic Civil War, Rebels versus Empire. The developers have many ideas but would not commit to anything just yet. Let's hope they do, as the struggle between the two factions is a big part of Star Wars.

Recently, SWG also brought back battlefields. They had something similar a long time ago (before WoW) but it went away. These are open world fields where a set amount of players fight it out over objectives. It is similar to being instanced in that the population is limited, but it is not separate from the rest of the world.

Unlike some other games (Vanguard and PotBS), SWG had a pretty decent showing. That should speak well for its future, even if stiff competition is on the way. There is room for both games, as they are going to be quite different from each other. I do think SWG will need a face-lift in the coming years to hang on though.

It turns out SWG had a free trial so I was able to log in and hang out a bit. My server was more crowded thanks to the free server transfers. I walked around a bit, looked at some of the new houses (which are SWEET) and did some of the Empire Day event.

Here is a compilation of the video I took.

Direct Link.


I re-visited SWG over the weekend as well because SOE gave me a free 30 days on my account. Every time I come back to the game, I usually just walk around Mos Eisley cantina and shuttleport just to check people around. Those places are usually crowded in the Starsider server and I just feel like I'm in one of the Star Wars movies.

I really try to give this game another go, but I think the combat is kind of boring. I don't like the "spell effects" when you use a special and the animation of mobs running around seems like I'm watching a movie in fast forward. That totally breaks the immersion for me. I wish they could fix that up.

Anyway, I have a friend that is a Star Wars fan and he had never played the game. He is downloading the trial and he wants me to play those 14 days with him. I will roll a new character to hang around and I hope I can enjoy the game a bit more this time now that I have some company.

The combat is old and slow, no doubts about that. Ground based PvE is not a reason to play SWG in my opinion.

I don't really know anyone there either, which is a reason I don't play often.

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