A decade after Star Wars Galaxies’ “New Game Enhancements” hit the game, controversy, grumbling, and revelations still pop up about the notorious decision to overhaul the entire game. Some maintain that it ruined the game, while others acknowledge that what came after actually ended up being better. As the 2003 to 2005 pre-NGE era is quickly vanishing into the distant past, I wanted to preserve some of the history of what the game was like before that fateful patch day. To aid in this project, I asked six Star Wars Galaxies veterans to share some of their memories and stories from that time. Here’s what they had to say about what in-game life was like in those first few years. 1. It was a true sandbox Joshua M.: “I think the big thing back in the pre-NGE era was that the content was what you made it; it was a true sandbox. There were no concept of levels, just the skills you’ve learned and the weapons you were certified to use. You could spend the … [Read more...] about The Game Archaeologist: What Star Wars Galaxies life was like before the NGE
Star wars cantina song
If you’ve listened to Massively’s staff and readers talk about Star Wars Galaxies a little bit, you might come away with the impression that the now-sunsetted, pre-WoW Star Wars sandbox was perfection in every way — that classic SWG was all fun, all the time, with no bugs and no problems, and that all MMORPGs should aspire to be it in its entirety. Not so. The thing about superfans is that no one knows the games better than we do… and no one knows their problems as we do, and in fact we could all probably fill volumes with gripes about our very favorite games. But is there a point to going on at length about design and development errors made in an old dead game? I say there is. Better learn from old mistakes than repeat them, right? That’s what I’d like to do in this edition of Working As Intended. Star Wars Galaxies is, in my estimation, the best MMORPG ever made, at least so far, but it had some serious problems I’d like … [Read more...] about Working As Intended: What Star Wars Galaxies got wrong
If you’ve followed the Massively OP Podcast this summer or read any of my ramblings in Daily Grinds and WRUPs, you probably know that I fell into a nostalgia trap, the best kind of nostalgia trap because it’s not really nostalgia at all. In fact, it was one of you lovely readers who suggested during our Star Wars Galaxies 15th anniversary stream on the original SWGemu that we try out a semi-new emulator, an NGE emulator, one called Legends. I bookmarked it, and one bored day in July, I sat down and figured out how to get it up and running. I got logged in. I made a new toon. I slogged through the old tutorial. I didn’t really expect much, but I decided to give it a try, figuring at least I’ve have something to talk about on the next podcast. I emerged on Tatooine, scribbled down a plan, and got to work. And I haven’t really wanted to play anything else since. We go back a long way, Star Wars Galaxies and me. I had been playing MMORPGs almost six … [Read more...] about Working As Intended: Returning to Star Wars Galaxies – in 2018
Star Wars Galaxies is 15 years old now, and it was just about seven years ago that SOE announced it was slated for execution. Naturally, it’s been a big topic for us this week; several of our staff even joined together on the largest emulator to stream it on Tuesday. Smed even dropped by to show his support for the game and the emu. At the end of our stream, MJ and I were chatting about why we don’t really play the emulator more. For MJ, it was the lack of a strong social environment, and if you saw how many people were botting in the cantina, you’d understand why the emu is superficially lacking in that area. For me, it’s the lack of permanence for that server, as well as the lack of features and the lack of what I’d consider a functional economy in its current state. And yet, if a company legally released Star Wars Galaxies again right now, with all the features it had at its sunset and a clean economy and enough players to make the server ecosystem work … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Would you play Star Wars Galaxies if it relaunched today?
Play SWTOR for freeSince the server merges, the Star Forge server has unofficially become the roleplay server for Star Wars: The Old Republic. And roleplaying’s fight to remain a relevant way to enjoy this MMORPG has never been tougher. Roleplayers, if nothing else, are resilient. We are still in the game and attempting to find our place in this world where there is little support for our gameplay style from the developers. Some of you might remember the late ’80s, but for those who don’t that was a period of time when the only thing keeping Star Wars alive were the RPGs. Timothy Zahn would not pen Heir to the Empire until 1991, the best video game we had was arcade-only made in ’83, and The Phantom Menace was well over a decade away. This was the period of time that the keeper-of-canon Pablo Hidalgo started his quest to become a part of the Lucasfilm family. It was the time when only two things were keeping the Star Wars alive: the Kenner toys and West End … [Read more...] about Hyperspace Beacon: The sorry state of roleplay in Star Wars: The Old Republic