28 August 2008

Why Star Wars Galaxies Online SuX!

I've been playing Star Wars Galaxies on and off for the past 3 years or so. Ever since the Combat Upgrade or "CU" and New Game Experience or "NGE", they've just REALLY fouled up the game. I tend to jump in for a month or two, reminisce about how the game used to be and then cancel my account for another 6 months to a year.
First of all, let me go over what made the game interesting to begin with. For me, I like not only the Combat aspect of games, but also the ability to build things online, so SWG was like a gift from the gaming Gods. It had (and still has) one of the best crafting systems out of practically any MMO out there. Eve Online comes pretty close, but SWG has the ability to create truly unique versions of in game items that Eve doesn't have. By utilizing raw materials with Superior qualities, you could craft components that work in a superior fashion to those made by other less discerning crafters. Therefore, you could truly make a name for yourself in the game as someone who makes superior products. As an example, by utilizing high conductivity metals in crafting certain weapons, their energy output could be markedly improved. So the quest was on for Crafters to get the best materials to work with, and the fighters to find the best crafters to buy from.
In addition, there were mind expanding "Illegal drugs" that could be made in the game by characters who were part chef, part medic that would give the user temporary abilities that made them fighting machines. However, once they wore off, that person would drop and throw up leaving them vulnerable to attack and death. They had to run quick to a Doc to heal the battle wounds and an Entertainer to heal the Battle Fatigue. For this reason, all the cantina's or Bars in all the cities in SWG, were always filled with Entertainers and Medics. While death was easily overcome with a decent clone, it did take it's toll on your goods to where they decayed faster and had to be replaced or repaired to stay in good working order. Keeping your clone up to date made this less of a problem.
What made the game interesting was the unique interdependency's that the game relied upon so that each of the 33 professions had something to contribute to the game. Each was an integral part of a greater machine that made life in the game very interesting and fulfilling.
Additionally, factional warfare was a daily part of life and if you wanted to take part in the Rush that it was to be part of the Galactic Civil War (GCW), then you could Ally yourself with either the Rebel Army or the Imperials and engage in Player VS Player combat at any time and at any place.

Then the Socialist Took Over.

As usual and just like every other game, especially EVE, War is expensive. Swords break, blasters fall apart, armor gets holes in it and people lose things. The ones who complained the most were the ones who simply wanted to jump in, get a good fight then jump out. Those people however, already had a game, it's called Planetside.
Some at Sony started thinking that it wasn't fair that some people actually lost their precious weapons or armor, so they removed decay from the game. Things no longer broke, ruining the economy for the crafters.
Additionally, since those greedy Doctors had to heal battle wounds from those who went out to fight, they removed Battle wounds from the game and simply made it to where people would heal automatically after being away from combat for a few minutes.
To top it off, the game originally had 3 bars for your character's health. Health, Action and Mind or HAM for short. To keep greedy entertainers from making a buck off healing your Battle Fatique on your mind, they basically eliminated the Mind bar, which fits in perfectly with how the new design team at Sony thought about their pllayer base, they thought we didn't have a mind, so why reflect that in the game. Of course this also meant that our drugs would no longer work, since they were Mind Expanding drugs, so those were eliminated from the game, along with the Chefs that used to make them.
Additionally, since the Game Masters figured that us Artisans and Crafters were making too much cash, they simply started giving away all the best stuff on quests that most players could complete on their own.
Now the game is a boring little utopia, where you obviously can't win, because you can't lose either. Anything that you lose in the game is automagically respawned so you never lose anything. I could jump into one of the worst battles in my life and if my wife calls me for dinner, I can just drop everything and go, which makes it very convenient, but at the same time, very boring. You can't ahve an adrenaline rush over the possibility of a loss, when you can't lose anything.
Even participating in PVP is no longer the RUSH that it used to be. While you can still align yourself to the Imperials or Rebels, it's now much easier to be part of either group, while staying out of Combat, so people have to give "consent" to be attacked!! Yes I can see it now:
Imperial - Halt Rebel Scum, or I'll shoot.
Rebel - See ya, ***Climbs on his Swoop Bike and takes off
Imperial - Please Click Accept to Duel
Rebel - Sorry, maybe you can kick my butt some other time
Unfortunately, the Socialists have destroyed the game and most people have left it because of this. Only 2 servers remain popular in the game, Bria and Bloodfin, and even those two don't have anywhere near the populations they used to have before all the changes. You would think that this alone would be enough for Sony to demand their game designers go back to the old system, but in typical Socialist fashion they'd rather have their little group in shared equal Misery then go back to a system were some prospered, some got ripped off, some got hurt and most did OK but everyone had fun.

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