Earlier this year in the summer I went back to SWG for the huge “Oops, we lost all of your credit card information” 45 day trial from SOE. It seemed to be a last ditch effort to regain the trust of the consumers that Sony let down. I have went back to SWG several times over the years since I quit at the end of 2005. Most of the times were for free Veteran trials designed to draw players back to the game. Each time I returned, I played a bit, but decided that the game still was not worth playing. I found it interesting that toward the end of the 45 day trial this year, I was considering renewing. Crafting for Weaponsmith regained the complexity it had before the NGE, and if anything far exceeded it. I really could make a weapon that was as good or better than looted weapons or quest rewards. I also reconnected with some old friends, and made a few new ones. I was still on the fence when SOE announced that SWG would end on December 15, 2011. It seemed I dodged a bullet, avoiding being drawn back in.
Almost immediately, most of the old and new friends I met dropped off the map. The ventrilo channel we gathered on seemed like a ghost town. I finished out the few days left of my 45 day trial and decided it was a waste of time to renew if nobody I knew was still playing. Not long after that, SOE announced that active players would have billing stopped for the last few months of play. It took me a while, but I decided to renew just before the cutoff so I’d get those last few months for just $15. I figured I could play a bit more and about $5 a month wasn’t bad for any type of entertainment. Sadly, it seemed that nobody else saw the need to play.
I logged in just a few times over the last month, recovering some uber ship parts from a friend and blowing up the Star Destroyer in Deep Space a few times for old time’s sake. Out of over 300 friends on my friends list, not one was online until yesterday, December 15, 2011. Slowly, a few friends popped up on my last as the evening went by. I chatted a bit with Aliera (former Exiled Force guild member), Fragpuppie (good Entertainer friend from waaay back), Cobie (from PACE guild), Kobie (from PACE guild), and Icarus’ (Shipwright that helped me out during my 45 day trial over the summer).
I headed to my shop and took a few screenshots, drove around Coronet and didn’t really see anyone around. My next stop was Mos Eisley and there were maybe 10-15 people there. I hopped on the forums to see where the “events” were, and decided to go to the Sarlaac pit. There were maybe 15-20 more people there running around, with some infinite fireworks popping off every few seconds. I ran across one person that said he still had a few of my weapons from back in the day. That was very good to hear. I’m amazed that those weapons are (were!) still hanging around almost 6 years after I stopped making them. About 45 minutes before the servers were supposed to go down, I lost connection and the server showed up as “loading.” For a few minutes I figured that SOE would just write Chilastra off and not worry about fixing it. A few minutes later it was back online.
I logged back in and did a few chores around the house. About 5 minutes before the scheduled end, I hopped in and switched to the ventrilo channel for the old PACE guild. I asked where they were, and they said to come to Endor to watch the Death Star. I did not think I could make it in time, but with the use of my Slave I ITV, I quickly traveled to Bestine, then took the my Advanced X-Wing to the Smuggler Outpost on Endor. I walked up a hill to meet Cobie and Kobie for the end of the server. We took a few screenshots and prepared, wondering if there would be something awesome like the Death Star blowing up Endor or something like that. We were very underwhelmed when all that happened was a message popping up on the screen, seen countless times before, but this would be the last.
“Connection to SWG lost!”