SWG... I dunno

It seems cool from my first few hours in, but it may wear off.

It’s very lag heavy and hard to get the hang of.

Anyone else playing.

I think Brian Rucker is playing :D

You’re right, that does sound cool! :roll:

Sadly, there’s no such thing as an “easy to get the hang of” MMORPG. It’s an inherent flaw in the genre thus far. Stronger tutorials are a BIG must for these games if their designers ever hope to reach broader audiences – and that’s just for starters.

Still, Galaxies presents the diligent manual reader/MMORPG hound with a number of really slick features, such as a waypoint system that literally paints a line on the ground for you to follow to your destination when tooling around in cities, as well as a very impressive ebay-like trading system.

Despite a couple of VERY shaky days at launch, I’m playing the game and enjoying it so far.

-Vede

What did you make, Vede?

I was a scout in beta, and have been playing with a friend’s extra miner account, but so far nothing’s clicked for me.

I’ve trained a number of my novice skills just to get a little taste of everything, but I’m spending most of my points in Marksman. I’m thinking of going Commando or Bounty Hunter.

A buddy of mine turned me on to a helpful character builder that shows you exactly what you need to train in order to get to the elite/hybrid professions. Check it out…

http://swgcb.yogn.net/swg-cb.php?prof_id=32

-Vede

I’m enjoying it a ton so far. I’ve barely touched combat – I’m just playing the market, running mining installations, and doing the whole crafting thing. It’s the first MMORPG I’ve played where that’s been sophisticated enough to carry it. Maybe that will fade with time; depends a lot on what they continue to add to the game.

Hey, and I am playing it. I’m having fun too but it’s definitely a different sort of ‘fun’ than alot of people may be accustomed to. As a MUSHer, used to long hours and room to be part of the entertainment myself, this is all second nature. I posted last night (and then deleted it because I figured people are probably tired of hearing from me) that this, in all seriousness, may be the last game I ever need for a long while.

I spend most of my time chasing credits by doing missions. Repetative, grind-like, missions. That should be boring but I’m motivated by what those credits will buy, more life in my harvesters (which in turn are building up a backlog of high quality resources I’ll be using later on when I make smuggler), and by the skills I’m honing through repetition. I still think grindism sucks and I can’t wait for a game in which we all start out already with characters that are good to go but, compared to anything else I’ve played, SWG does provide this to a fair extent. The other thing that makes these rote missions interesting is the chance for surprising things to come up - interesting POIs, interesting players, and unexpected situations. Also having good friends, folks you enjoy talking to, around tends to also give you a busy comm (chat) channel. Folks asking or offering advice, forming parties, looking to buy or sell items and resources, and -in my case- doing it all In Character. I’ve met more good, rather than silly, roleplayers in SWG - often by chance - than I’ve seen in any other commercial game. And, depending where you are, a good chunk of non-roleplayers are getting into the spirit of things as well. Hey, it’s Star Wars folks.

When I’m not chasing my future dreams of a pseudo-Han Solo existance I’m running with hunting parties, checking harvesters and hanging out at the cantina and trading in rumors while chatting up the entertainment. Occasionally a blaster fight breaks out.

There are scripted quests and theme parks out there for those so inclined but I’m so fixated on my future spice empire that talking to sock-puppets for dubious rewards isn’t half as fun for me as continuing to build my network. There’s also a colony coming into it’s own and this week we select a site and lay in with all the resources and expertise we’ve been gathering and stockpiling.

Sure, it may be a thinking man’s MMORPG but that works for me.

Brian,
I’m missing it. What makes SWG’s grind any better than any other current MMORPGs grind? It sounds EXACTLY the same, but you play this one…

“Sure, it may be a thinking man’s MMORPG but that works for me.”

I don’t see anything in the game to make that claim.

That perfectly describes AC2. The lag in that game, particularly with servers so underpopulated (compared to other online games), was the killer for me.

This is a profound mystery, true enough. It does SOUND exactly the same, but for some reason it plays differently. Maybe someone else can explain the appeal.

Maybe someone else can explain the appeal.

Extreme Star Wars nerddom?

I’m not so sure about the “appeal” part, but there are a few key differences I’ve noticed. Since your advancement is linked to specific skills and not some arbitrary level, it does focus you more on playing in character. I’m been messing around with the med profession and haven’t pulled my blaster out, yet there’s still plenty of things for me to do.

Someone in another thread claimed that the hospitals were all empty. I found the exact opposite. In the larger cities, players are always coming up with major wounds that need healing. And a couple of doctors are always on call. For about 20 minutes, I tend to their wounds, and I get to hear some gossip. A few people have tipped me a nice amount of credits, too.

For kicks, I refuse to heal any Wookiees that came in on the principle that I don’t trust anything hairier than myself. It pissed a few of them off… that was fun.

I guess I find it engaging because I get to interact with other players in a way that doesn’t involve Group/Camp/Kill wash, rinse, repeat. Will it hold my interest? I don’t know. There’s so much stuff missing, and like someone else noted, it just doesn’t feel like Star Wars.

I’m “sort of” playing as well.

First off, on the lag: don’t think it’s the game–it’s your machine. SWG is a RAM hog. I’m playing over dialup and haven’t had any lag issues yet. Everyone in our group who has complained of “lag” has ended up revealing that they’re playing with 256 mb or RAM, or an older video card, or somethin’. I use a 9700 and have 512 mb of memory, and the game is smooth.

HOWEVER…it’s a grind, and a not particularly fun one. What’s nifty about the Star Wars movies? For me, it isn’t the “depth” of the universe that George Lucas created, since I don’t think he created one at all, and I don’t think there’s any depth there. I think he tacked one onto a backstory once the first movie became such a hit, and allowed various and sundry hack-writing novellistas to basically reverse engineer a milieu that a certain segment of sci-fi starved folks latched onto. I think of the “Star Wars Universe” the same way I think of the universe in which Jordan’s “Wheel Of Time” novels are set: the guy who created the setting is makin’ it up as he goes along.

So. What’s “cool” to me and fun about the Star Wars setting is the excitement of guys shootin’ it out with blasters, starships rocketing across the sky locked in combat, weird-looking creatures who want to eat you…all kinda cool in a “gee-whiz” sort of way. SWG doesn’t have the space combat, so forget that. It does have the potential, though for the cool firefights, and interesting mobs…

…but wait! Only a select portion of the classes in the game are going to see that element. If you want to be a healer-type, you hang out in a hospital, inside the same four, boring walls, and spam heals onto fighting classes. Entertainer sound like fun? It did to me…until I found out that entertainers simply stand there and dance inside the same four walls of a Cantina, much like doctors within the same four walls of a hospital. I compare that to my favorite MMRPG, DAoC…now I know Mythic has made mortal enemies by nerfing classes willy-nilly, but IMO they’ve done an admirable job of trying to give each class a role in a combat group–they’re trying to make it so that any class has something to offer a group. Healers go out with groups. Minstrels go out with groups. Crafting isn’t a profession in and of itself. Sure, your primary role in your DAoC guild might be as a weaponcrafter or fletcher…but at some point you actually get to go out and kill stuff with that cool sword you made yourself. In SWG, you get the “satisfaction” of hearing other people telling you how good your weapons are in combat. I’m sure that’s nice to hear and all…but if you need to pay 14.99 monthly for that sort of virtual self-affirmation, maybe you oughta be saving up those pennies for some therapy instead.

I mean, sure, you can “roleplay” so many professions…but so what? I get enough of figuring out costs of goods sold at my actual real job–why in fuck’s name would I want to play a merchant class in SWG and do the same thing? If that’s fun for folks, perhaps I can get them all to show up at my job and wipe out half my work for me, like Tom Sawyer gettin’ the yokels to whitewash his fences for him.

It’s funny, because I saw a lot of hard-core gamers deriding The Sims Online as being nothing more than a gussied-up IRC shell. I’m here to tell you that if you’re in a guild with a lot of crafters, that’s all SWG is, too. Guys are spread out all across the city, chatting away as they grind through crafting levels. Once one guy levels up a skill and gets trained, folks come to him and he “teaches” it to them…as I understood it, that sounds just like the “gameplay” in TSO, but I could be misinformed.

It ain’t all bad. I’ve had a blast going out on “destroy” missions with guildies, while my medical skills are still rudimentary enough to not suffer too much from use in the field instead of hospital. The player-only economy is a neat idea, and seems to be taking off much as it was supposed to. There are some really terrific ideas here…

…but so far I’m not seeing the payoff. I’m going to give it time (well, 25 more days) to work some magic on me, but if I had to renew this tomorrow for 15 bucks, I think I’d pass.

This is a profound mystery, true enough. It does SOUND exactly the same, but for some reason it plays differently. Maybe someone else can explain the appeal.[/quote]

It’s new and you haven’t grown tired of it yet?

When you’re doing something that you are willing to label a “grind” to achieve a goal, that’s what most of these games offer. Maybe the goals in SWG are more interesting, but the mechanics to achieve those goals don’t appear to be any more interesting than in other games.

I really am down on the grind in these games. The developers either need to really shorten the grind time or make the grind so interesting we stop calling it a grind.

Like I said, I’d rather games let me just play a ‘full grown’ character rather than have to grind. The most interesting aspects of SWG are things that will happen after I’m in a position to really play my role.

Here’s whats going on that I like, and other people have other things that they like to do (I know folks playing medics, entertainers and artisans with absolutely no interest in traipsing around and shooting stuff - they very much like the fact they don’t have to).

Today I did spend my time hunting on missions. I found a particular mission on a particular planet that not only pays exceedingly well but it offers me high value resources I’ll be needing down the line. I’ve put up harvesters for all the materials I’ll be needing as a smuggler. By the end of tonight I should have everything paid off for the week so I can focus on practicing my combat skills. Meanwhile, with no effort on my part after coming up with operating expenses, I’ll be stockpiling what I need to make spices. If I need some credits in the meantime I can always sell some of my stash.

Instead of rushing around after metal and fiberplast (two very popular resources that are part of making weapons and armor), I went after more obscure things that are rare on my homeworld but relatively good quality. Many of the resource rich spots are in small or inaccessible places for these items and by planting my harvester I’ll be cornering the local markets. Imports of better quality will be more expensive (as someone will have to travel for them) and I’ll always be able to undercut prices.

The first thing I did in my particular case was corner the water resources nearest the more popular city (which I’m based out of). There are a few other harvesters there but I’ve got two on the best spots. With that water, I shave some off for sales, most I horde, but some I’ve given away to a couple popular local medics and doctors (who need this if they want to make their own higher level stim and woundpaks). I’ve even taken some of my profits to buy them medical droids as gifts. While out surveying I met another character that chases down the best resources among all the worlds as she specializes in making medical packs and wound paks. With the quality resources she gets and the time she puts into experimenting her medical gear is some of the best I’ve seen anywhere. So I’m working a deal now to get her stuff at wholesale and resell to the local part-time medics who already like my character because of the gifts he’s handed out.

That same water is traded to this far-trader medical manufacturer for her packs. It’s used to bribe local docs that make their own. And it will be used in my own spices when I’m ready to manufacture.

I’ve got a couple other harvesters out there set up on ‘dual use’ sites where I can get two different resources from the same machine. All of these are either salable or useful to me personally - usually both.


While those harvesters are all resource mining I’m out doing those hunting missions. Making credits, getting resources, and improving my combat skills. I picked these particular missions because the resource I’m getting will be something I can sell or use myself, much like my harvesters.


At the end of the day, I may not be the most powerful or wealthy character in the cantina but I’m well known, known for something, and can tip right and left. I’ve got friends because I can roleplay well for one thing but also because my character is helpful and generous. Being helpful is also a good business strategy. Folks will clue me on in things or offer me deals because of favors and gifts I’ve offered in the past.


All of this stuff takes place in a context that sounds plausible and rational when you talk about it in the game. I can tell someone what I’ve done all day without sounding like a looney. With most MMORPGs it all sounds quite ridiculous what you need to do to get ahead and takes less forethought than time and a walk-through from stratics. That’s why I call this a thinking man’s game.

Are MMORPG play stories supposed to sound like JD Rockefeller’s rise to power?

“Today I harvested water while hunting whomp rats.”

Perfectly sane, I assure you.

And then I shall invent a new form of steel which will revolutionize the railroad industry.