Friday, June 05, 2009

Star Wars Galaxies: A Nostalgic Retrospective

Hey, blog!  Long time no see.  Been doing well while I've been gone?  Aw, you even kept this place how I left it.

Now if you don't mind, I'll be taking over again.

To jump back into this whole blogging thing, I felt an MMO-related story would be appropriate.  So what better to kick off with than my old stompin' grounds of 5 years passed, Star Wars Galaxies?

I stumbled across a great compendium to learn about Star Wars Galaxies, where it goes over the game's pre-launch, initial reception, progressive (and regressive) updates, eventual downfall, and present condition.  It's really summarized quite well, and is available after the break.

I, personally, left the game right before player housing and vehicles were implemented and the Jedi unlocking system was 4/5ths-released to the public.  In short, I was really not playing all that long, although it did consume at least 4 months of my teenage life.  I can still remember my old guild (the name of said guild, not so much) and things like entire staked-out fields of windmills to generate resources to build our first guild city, invasions of Republic guild cities, duels with players much more powerful than myself, tromps across vast planets, and constantly not understading what I was doing.

Some things in the videos are spot-on:
  • There was (and apparently still is) very little direction given in the game.
  • The New Game Experience patch utterly destroyed the community by releasing Jedi as a readily-available class, when it was a smash-keyboard-and-win kind of class.  That and the whole talent/combat revamp.  From all accounts it was an unwelcome shellshock.
  • The 34 classes provided depth but, as the game expanded, was ultimately a barrier for new entrants.
  • The game's scale is indeed the most ambitious of all games released to date to capture the feel and immersion of the Star Wars world.

But one small quibble- the "new Star Wars MMO that is nothing but rumors" is in fact no longer a rumor- it's confirmed Bioware is working on The Old Republic, as evidenced by their theatrical trailer and accompanying footage.

The mighty may have fallen, but in their place arise great things.  This kind of evolution is what keeps me excited about the MMO genre.