Star Wars Galaxies 2003-2005

I figured that I should add a review for Star Wars Galaxies because I played for two and a half years. I can’t really remember when SWG was announced, but as soon as it was I signed up for the beta. I didn’t get invited until Beta 3, but I was still thrilled. A major thing that set SWG apart from other MMORPGs was the ability to dabble in different professions, or even surrender skills to start a new template fresh without starting a new character. Also, there was the fact that we could build our ships with custom parts and battle against each other in space. Unfortunately, the space portion was not finished by release and was later released as the expansion Jump to Lightspeed.

From launch day I set out to be one of the best Weaponsmiths on the server. During the beta I was drawn to crafting because the developers said that user crafted items such as weapons and armor would always be better than loot drops. This was true for a while, but eventually better loot started dropping, including “Exceptional” and “Legendary” weapons that were so powerful that a single player could take out a small army. Initially there were simple loot drops such as Krayt tissues and vibro motors, but eventually exceptional components started dropping also. The crafting game shifted to hoarding the best loot and in most cases a crafted weapon with good loot parts could not compete with an exceptional dropped weapon. To add insult to injury the veteran reward “Anti-Decay Kit” ensured that exceptional weapons would never wear out and break.

This didn’t just throw off the balance of PvP, but also screwed up the economy as well. After the first Combat Upgrade (CU for short), crafting items was limited by stat caps which after a certain point no matter how good your enhancer was, the weapon could not be improved. This was unfortunate because most of the quest reward weapons from Rage of the Wookiees were better than even a caped crafted weapon. In any case, I saw that eventually most weapons would be capped and there would be little or no diversity in weapons.

Sony Online Enterntainment screwed over the game in so many ways, but none would match the fiasco that ensued after they announced the New Game Enahncements (NGE) just a few days after the 3rd expansion, Trials of Obiwan was released. They radically changed the way the game was played. They took a game with almost 30 professions and reduced it down to 9, makding Jedi, which used to be VERY hard to unlock, a starting profession. In crafting they removed all stats from subcomponents, making it extremely easy to cap resources. Those that had spent millions of credits on enhanced weapons now found about all crafted weapons equal in a single stroke. Also, SOE removed decay completely from crafted items, making return sales and repairs a thing of the past for crafters.

Twice I have returned to the game during their “veteran trials” and I haven’t found any reasons to return. The new game style isn’t something that makes me want to play over and over. I was sad to see they did very little with the space portion of the game, because that was one of the things that kept me playing after the first Combat Upgrade. I’m pretty sure I will reactivate at least one more time to finally give away all of my resources and items before they get packed up into my datapad. I have to give SOE some credit, because they have added a lot back which they took away when the NGE was released. Many of my friends say that the game is still fun, but I’ll leave that for everyone to decide for themselves.

View my complete goodbye to SWG post here. I also created a goodbye video

I’m currently watching the progress of the SWG Emulator project. I plan on playing on the SpraticNet server once the EMU is released. Hopefully some day soon I can play SWG again as it once was.

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