Star Wars Galaxies merges with Planetside

You would expect this to be a joke but it is now confirmed (By Jeff Freeman who works on the game and there should be even a press release out there).

The title isn’t absolutely correct but SWG goes “twitch” along with the announce from Smed at the GDC that also the game based on the DC Comics heroes will be twitch.

From F13 some details:

Ok, so I’m here at SOE’s Austin studio and I’ve played the new build of SWG which is going to be pushed onto test on Friday…with no real press. Basically they went through, ripped out 80% of the classes, left in the following: Force Sensitive, Bounty Hunter, Officer, Smuggler, Commando, Spy, Trader (all the tradeskills - 4 base sets now - Domestics, Structures, Munitions, Engineering), Medic and Entertainer. Here’s the deal. Left click shoots - you have to aim. Right click fires off a special ability.

No more auto attack.
No more hotkey combat.

Once collision detection goes in, this will probably be the game I play. There’s actual skill involved now. You can run from people and they can’t just autohit you.

I don’t know how else to explain it other than SOE has done the right thing. They’ve revitalized combat in an MMOG. It’s a huge step in the right direction. Do I think they’ll perfect it here? No. But it’s by far the most interesting thing a studio has done. They’ve taken a gamble, and from what I’ve seen it’s paid off. In other words, they’ve added the “Wars” back to Star Wars. It’s been in the works for over a year now. In fact, the expansions could probably be called smokescreens for the launch of the real game. It’ll shake things up.

Cons? 90 levels. The exp curve isn’t bad though.
Good? Lots of neat skills such as Orbital Strike, theft from NPCs, working stealth for spies, fencing goods in the field for smugglers, and above all - combat based at least 75% on skill. It isn’t quite Unreal Tournament, but it’s nowhere near the crap combat we’ve dealt with for 10 years.

When it rolls out in a few weeks I’m hoping some of you will actually take the dive again with me and see where it goes, if for no other reason than to support innovation. In all seriousness, almost all the changes are for the better. Before anyone else says it - yes, it was shocking to me that SOE took this angle on restructuring an MMOG first. Even moreso that Lucasarts supported it. Ding. Grats.

This is not something that will be done a week or even a month from now. From what schild can gather, we’re looking at 6 months or more before this is rolled out to every server. The entire game is changing. No “classic” servers, everything will be the revamped game.

In order for them to implement collision detection, every art asset in the game has to be gone through. That’s why we’re looking at 6+ months.

Space combat will stay the same.

If they do this right, I will break out my SWG disks again.

But really, Huxley is probably more promising.

Posting from SOE Headquarters here in Austin, Texas…

You thought the Combat Upgrade was a big change? How about a complete rewrite of the combat system?

New classes, streamlining of ALL classes, an entirely new interface… this is NOT the SWG we’ve come to know. Changes are huge and sweeping.

The best part?? It’s FUN! It’s intuitive, engaging, and outright fun to play. When my time on the computer was over, I was seriously disappointed that I had to get up and let someone else on. A ton of changes in place, and not all of them will be well received. But… this hits Test Center on Friday, and you’ll all see what’s up.

What do you all think? Ready for another big change?

Player classes are being condensed. Nine classes instead of 35. Combat is completely different… point, left click to shoot, or right click for your chosen special. It’s faster, more engaging, and MUCH more “Star Warsy”. Much more quest based to level.

Well, this should all be on Test Center on Friday. I highly recommend everyone log in when it’s time and test it for yourself with a new character. I’m thinking that this is what the Combat Upgrade SHOULD have been.

Creature Handlers and Bio-Engineers… will be no more. sad

The other classes will be condensed… one “medic” profession, one “entertainer” profession…

Classes are as follows:

Commando
Bounty Hunter
Officer
Trader
Spy
Smuggler
Medic
Entertainer

and Force Sensitive.

[size=7]Yes, you’ll be able to start as a Jedi.[/size]

Let’s see… playing a game called Star Wars or one called Huxley… which one do you think more people will pick?

–Dave

Because what SWG needed is to compete with Battlefront II.

I was annoyed enough the last time they completely changed the game. Now they’re doing it again? Does anyone get the impression that Lucas is bored now that his movies are done and has to have something he can continue to screw up in new ways?

I mean, kudos on making what’s essentially an entirely new game I guess, but why not just make, y’know, an entirely new game. Are there only 7 people playing SWG so that they don’t feel any need to keep the people who seem to be content enough to play it now as is?

If they did it right this mixed with the space addon could be my dream game.

But they’re not going to get it right. ;)

Wait, really?

Well, I have no idea what Huxley will launch as… But even if it launches as Huxley - Nobody had heard of BF 1942 at one time… But a few months of Wake Island later, and the online FPS players would much rather play the full version of it than any crappy SW game.

Yeah, but Battlefield 1942 was also easily understood… It’s a battlefield, in 1942. Duh.

Stuff like Huxley doesn’t have a chance to be bigger than something like Star Wars in the current videogame market. Be bummed out if you want, but that’s just the way it is now.

–Dave

SW games aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire these days.

Stolen from an article in Gamedev mag:

One of Rogers’ key stats: If you look at the top 40 console games (lifetime sales) since 1995, 31 of them, or 77 percent, are original brands (including sequels within these brands). That leaves just nine out of 40 as licensed game brands. That’s near total dominance in favor of original IP. Some of these top selling brands include: GTA, Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Halo, Crash Bandicoot, Tekken, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid and Driver.

I’m hoping Huxley is a game where you get to debate Anglican Bishops about the merits of Darwinism.

Am I close?

I’m guessing it’s a Sims style game, set in the future full of class based bio-engineered clones.

I hate to say this but I’m not even the least bit curious. How do you balance Jedi against the other classes without making them something other than Jedi, for starters? That said, my biggest beef was always the sloppy implimentation of setting and the overwhelming focus on PvP which exacerbated the former beyond recognition.

If they actually made, say, Star Wars servers for Star Wars Galaxies I’d be back in a flash and I’d probably even be very happy with this new approach to combat.

This post got me dreaming that they were actually moving to the planetside engine, combat system and all, combined with the crafting and economics of swg. Here’s to hoping.

Sounds like they checked out Neocron.

If they implement the combat as well as they did in NC then I’ll certainly give it a shot (so to speak)

Sounds neat. I’d play it. I suspect all the current players will quit though.

Was JtL a big success, pushing them towards twitch-everywhere?

So in other words they admitted they made a shitty MMOG and now they want to change that.

Just give me a MMOG of Xwing vs Tie Fighter set along the lines of WW2OL and AcesHigh 2.

I’m interested. If they do this right, I would sign up.

I never played SWG. But if the mobs either just stand there and use a ranged attack or run directly toward the player and do a melee attack like every other mmog I don’t see how adding aiming is really going to add any needed twitch skill to the game.

And if PvP is no more meaningful or organized/balanced than the combat in Planetside it’ll quickly lose its appeal. After the thrill of actually being able to do it wears off and the realization that there is no real reason to do it sets in.

Still that being said I’m more interested in SWG now than I have ever been since it launched.

Huxley is an extremely promising looking MMOFPS that was on the cover of some games mag this month… CGM I think? Looks fantastic. Twitch based instead of Planetsides “pseudo-twitch”

One of their quotes was something like “a level 1 with a basic rifle will be able to beat a much higher level player if he has more skill”, etc… So, head shots count.

Good article anyway, and made me want to play it.