SWG to players: "F*ck Star Wars? F*ck you!"

So, the scuttlebutt is that Star Wars Galaxies has been more or less completely redone with the combat upgrade, going from a quirky combat system that was, if nothing else, at least different from the EQ/WoW mold to, well, the EQ/WoW mold. They just pushed the change live roughly a week early (supposition is they did this to accomodate the upcoming Ep. III release, though how the two relate I don’t know). Apparently in doing so they introduced a metric ton of bugs and, oh yeah, incidentally screwed over most of the crafting professions. The entertainer professions, on the other hand, seem to not have incidentally been screwed over but, instead, very methodically screwed over. With a bit of dark force power thrown in for good measure.

Now I know a lot of folks didn’t think SWG turned out to be what it should have been, but I was under the impression it had carved out it’s niche nonetheless; albeit with less people than one would expect from a Star Wars game. From the sounds of things, my hope of using the Sony all-access pass to go back and enjoy my chef/architect (and the scout I was building on a different planet/realm) are going to be totally shot, as it’s gone from a game where I could do cool stuff that wasn’t possible in other games, to a game where I have to undergo the same godawful level grind as primary method of play crap that every other MMO out there has.

Maybe I’ll just see how hard it is to teach my Wookie to do an interpretive dance of Wookie Rage in protest.

Wow, I was just just checking out the forums…Its a bit of a train wreck. I quit SWG ages ago but have always kept an eye on it, hoping to return if it ever improved (There were many things I did like).

One of the servers was rolled back a WEEK yesterday. They opened it up again, people rushed to make up for lost time grinding furiously, found its still not fixed and now they are rolling it back again today! They are really giving SOE a bad name over at SWG, well a worst name and thats no easy task considering many peoples opinion on SOE.

I take no delight in this - I wanted to see SWG be a success but it looks like its time to finally give up any hope that it will get better.

Can someone go rescue Raph and Jeff out of that pit before it’s too late?

Wasn’t at least Raph involved in the crazy that was UO for the first years? I say let him burn. :D

I really dont understand why these big publishers can not deliver better customer service.

It is not just a game, its a real business with a great revenue stream. Yet they are constantly fucking up with piss poor everything. Service. Stability. QA. You name it, they suck at it.


That happened quite a lot in the first month of gameplay. That was enough for me to never play SWG again :).

I had no idea how many problems they were having. I made the mistake of trying to make pre-trailer-chitchat with Sam in the theatre tonight (we were sitting next to each other in HHGTTG) “So, how did your combat upgrade go? Did you pull it off without a hitch?” And his shoulders went limp, his eyes went dull, and an anguish sigh gurgled frothily from his throat. “Please don’t mention it. You have no idea what we’ve been through this past few days. It hasn’t gone well at all.”

After the movie, I went to visit with my girlfriend for a bit at her bar. All the SWG folk went back to work.

Well, Roger, tell your friend this much. It’s not as bad as some folks are making it out. I got caught up in some of the hysteria surrounding the upgrade and the whole notion of turing a good skill based system into a level based game really, well, pissed me off.

But after having gotten my sealegs with the live update there are some things that stand out clearly:

If you join a party with folks of a higher CL (combat level) you’re that level yourself. And since almost all the high end content needs groups having your CL maxed out isn’t nearly as important as having a strong character design. That means it’s quite practical to pick and chose skills from many different professions even now.

It is going to be alot harder for noncombatants to do stuff like survey or tend harvesters. They’re going to have to be a semi-combatant or hire players who can fight. And tougher worlds will be effectively off-limits for pure artisans without escort. But that’s kinda why nobody goes to those places in the fiction (that and several are unknown - why they’re tourist traps in SWG is beyond me and beside the point). It think this should sort out especially if droids and pets can be beefed up a bit to become useful to noncombatants dealing with low to mid level threats. Most entertainers I know are roleplayers and they actually sound pretty happy about getting the buffbots and grindmonkeys out of the cantinas. They seem to think it’ll be all about, well, entertaining finally. We’ll see.

It seems, seems, there’s more tactical depth. I need to spend more time experimenting and learning to be certain that’s not wishful thinking but that is my early impression based on some messing around with a few friends of mine.

In fact, my single biggest problem is with the absolutely goofy special effects graphics and the new hotkey designs. Just give me an option to goggle them back to the old ways of doing things without all the Dr. Strange particle effects and I’m good.

I’m sure there may be alot of problems I just haven’t encountered but I really think alot of folks just needed to grab a paper bag and calm down. Myself included. And on the Starsider forums, quite a few older folk on there, the reception isn’t quite as hostile as elsewhere. In fact, the reponse is increasingly positive as folks figure out what’s going on rather than just bitching about getting killed because they can’t be bothered to learn the new system.

Is it really a level based system now?

Fuck it - I’ll never play it again, then, and I’m not going to review Rage of the Wookies. That couldn’t suck more.

Probably my favourite MMO ever (except maybe City of Heroes - which couldn’t be more different), but that’s the nail in the coffin.


And with magic sparkling effects.

It’s not a pure level/class system like you, or I for that matter, are thinking Desslock. You still can pick skills across an array of profession trees. It’s not some braindead linear thing. Level is calculated by adding up how many different combat skills you have across classes. Fact of the matter is that it really won’t effect established players much at all. We’ve all maxed out already. And since you gain the level of the highest combatant level character in any group you join there’s really no need to be a maxed out warrior yourself. I’d recommend anyone picking up some basic combat skills though so they can survive the usual fauna on less dangerous worlds. Gaining skill in SWG is still alot easier than other MMOs and you can still switch skills around as before.

Also attacks you learn for one weapon can be applied with another. If I learn quickshot from the pistoleer tree and also pick up, say, carbineer then I can use quickshot with a carbine. This will tend to encourage players to experiment more with custom classes (in theory) to make characters with unique skill sets. In practice, though, I suspect it’s just a matter of time before hardcore players sort out the absolute optimum combinations and all template right to that.

Other things I do like are line of sight and real penalities for armor. To use a ranged weapon you have to be able to see a target. That means ducking behind walls and popping up to fire over them is a real tactic. I suspect this might mean more in PvP than PvE but it does add to the feel. Armor penalties affect movement speed and attack accuracy. They are mitigated as you proceed up relevant trees but the heavier armors will always have some effect where as light scout-type armor can get mitigated away entirely it seems. Again, whether this will really make a difference remains to be seen. I’d have been much happier seeing armor made completely ineffectual because how many heavily armored Stormtroopers survived a fight by taking one on the chestplate?

Yes, this isn’t the way I would have gone. The benefits of this new system could have been achieved by simply toughening up content and balancing classes better. And sometimes, though this seems to be the exception and not the rule, you get odd things like “crackdown” spawns of what should be cannonfodder Imperial troops turning out to be much higher level versions of what the rank and file really is.

But before we sing the praises of the old system we should remember things like doc and entertainer buffs essentially acting as invulnerability potions, everyone dressed in composite armor and singlehandedly farming the toughest content, unhealable mind damage created big-forehead warriors with mighty mind pools and so forth. It could have been fixed without levels but at least this stuff seems to have been fixed.

I’d really suggest trying it and then deciding whether it suxxors or not. Personally I am very disappointed to see SWG even aping a level system because it flows against the inherent ambition to realism I’m looking for in a game. And yes, the special effects very much need to go. But it’s really not as horrible a gamebreaker as I’d thought it’d be and actually has some upsides.

I think really there are two seperate issues at present:

  1. The Combat upgrade itself - Is it any good? Opinion is clearly divided at the moment but people have not given it enough time yet to make an informed decision. They just logged on, find their character plays differently and yells I Hate it!

  2. The mess that was the conversion on some servers (Namely Euro-Chimaera) Bringing it in a week early, with many reported bugs from Test Centre still not resolved and the week rollback when the conversion went wrong and subsequent rollback when that did not work either.

Reading the forum I have to agree though with Brian, they all need to calm down - They have already stated that Euro-Chimaera will be compensated and people will have to adjust their playstyle to the new system - If after you do that you still dont like it then quit - But they need to actually try it before running to the forums to whine and yell

Which is just so utterly fucking brilliant of a design decision considering that 95% of the crafting profession’s draw came from searching out and collecting the good resources, since there’s absolutely 0 variability in the actual construction portion of the game. (Look, I have a 14.995 crafting station, I have my buffs on, I have 992 raw materials, time to hit combine 1000 times!)

I think your take on the entertainers is a bit skewed too… yes, most of them are roleplayers. But how in the holy fuck is anyone other than another roleplayer going to ever end up in a cantina if there’s no trumped up game reason for them to head in. In my brief time dabbling as an entertainer, the only time I saw another soul who wasn’t botted was when I was performing in some pissant cantina on Tatooine and he wandered in on the off chance someone was there to heal his wounds. Now, instead, I’d get to look forward to break-dancing contests on the major planets? Meh.

I don’t know, Jonah. They’ve radically redesigned 2/3rds of the game in order to accomodate the other 1/3rd, and have systematically stripped out most of what made that 1/3rd different from every other game out there. I understand why, but I think the players have every right to be up in arms after sorting out whether SWG was/was not their type of game and playing for 2 years to go “Hey, what the fuck are you doing resetting the rules two years in?” Especially when it seems to be done in a slipshod manner that doesn’t make the transition as utterly painless as possible for established players.

I can’t figure out how crafting is going to work now. I just can’t conceive of the utter lunacy of having to log in and look for a group to accompany me to my harvesters so that I can play the game. For that matter, I can’t imagine having to log in and look for a group to do anything so that I can play the game, which seems to be a primary complaint about the combat system right now (you can’t do anything without a group).

God knows when every game out there instead of the original EQ is endeavoring to enable people to do things by themselves, the retrogression towards needing to group to do anything is, quite frankly, mindboggling.

Really sounds like they fucked crafters in the ass. Damn shame, SWG had the best crafting bar none. No one is going to beg people in Coro for half an hour to accompany them on boring harvy runs. That’s lunacy.

My take is the old system was really messed up.

When you look at just how effective Master Doc buffs were, and the lines of people forming to get them, something wasn’t right.

I’ve believe the old system was level-based and all they did this time around was make the numbers mean more. After all, before when you conned something it gave you some info–it had to be determining that somehow.

It’s a world-rocking event, but in the long run I think it’ll balance things out more.

What’s important to remember is the people who get upset when you change the amount of damage a weapon can do by .02% are really going to freak out over this one.

Well, not a crafter myself, but it seems that all you’d need to do is pick up some basic marksman or brawler. Say four bars of pistol or unarmed. That should be enough for you to get around on most worlds. Maybe some mask scent from scout. You still would have the overwhelming balance of points remaining for crafting. I would like to see common droids and useable pets made tougher, say mid-cl range, so they could really draw off hostiles for their owners in a useful fashion.

It’s not realistic to expect crafters to have player bodyguards on a daily basis. But it is if they’re wandering of to some place like Lok. Y’know. Pirate central? Dainty miss tailor wandering about to plant harvesters? Odds are it was risky before the CU. It’s just much more so now.

My big beef right now is something that’s “no match to me” cleaned myself nd my pet’s clocks.

I wish the respect timer was more than every 12 hours, too.

If they gave all crafters the merchant abilities (except maybe planetary advertisement) at a higher cost so they could trim back their templates that’d be a reasonable compromise.

I think it’s pretty clear they made a business decision to screw over the non-combat professions in exchange for the combat professions. I was enjoying there being a game out there with a Raph-type touch on it; it was different and interesting. Now it’s more toward EQ in space, and all the shitty, annoying design implications that brings.

But I’m sure the jedi will feel even cooler when they go on the Emp. Palpatine raid and get the uber Lightsaber +5 now. /shrug

I haven’t played enough since the CU to directly comment much on it, but here’s some overall observations on the game.

I don’t know that the CU directly screws over the crafters, or that crafters were able to take advantage of an incredibly screwed up system. All it took to wear composite armor was taking the right combination of drugs to get your stats up enough to put it on, but once it was on it stayed on.

There were parts of the game that were level based, and parts that weren’t. Some times you needed to get a certain skill block to use a weapon–that’s a form of level-based. Now, it’s more balanced out in that you just need a certain combat level to use a weapon. It’s a sight better than figuring out which blocks let you use the best weapons in the game.

I also think there’s a side benefit to this whole thing for crafters: Now armor means more. Before, it was rare to see someone in something other than composite. Now that the armor scales along with your skills, there will be more demand for different armor types.

I don’t think SWG has the best crafting system out there. It’s pretty much the same grind as any other game, with the big difference being the resource quality matters.