Yesterday's Fail in Star Wars Galaxies

| Thursday, October 22, 2009
A few days ago I downloaded the demo of SWG. Since then I've gotten to level 13 and had quite a bit of fun. It's a whole new world and a whole new set of rules. There's also been a lot of fail both by me and by the game.

The graphics are at that awkward spot of trying to be realistic but not being able to, so things look a bit weird.

The interface is pretty awkward. Doubtlessly some of this is because I'm used to WoW and I'm still so new. But third person shooter is a strange way of handling combat and makes movement feel strange. To get to menus you have to switch from crosshairs to cursor (alt for me). Combat is strange as well since there's no auto-attack, and mobs like to move around, so you'll find yourself trying to track a target and shooting the unaggroed mob behind it.

On the subject of aggro, I'm not sure how it works in space flight. I'd expect to take on maybe 5-10 enemies, 15 if it's really hard, with only a handful of elites. Somehow I'd end up flying slightly too far and next thing I have seemingly unending fighters attacking me. Escort quests in space are worse than the worst in WoW. Imagine if instead of getting dazed while running over to them, you instead get your rear shields knocked out and your hull is getting shot apart.

But let's talk about me and my failure. Since I'm unfamiliar with the game, I have no ability to quest stack (where are the marks on my map? I'm so lost), which isn't helped by the often vague quest description before you accept it. I did a lot of rekilling the same mobs, 2, 3, 5 times.

I play a spy which is a bit like a rogue. I can complete some high up group quests just by sneaking past enemies. Go me. This also means that since I have no trail of corpses/empty areas (looted corpses despawn), I can get lost easily. Last night I decided to use my speeder to fly out of an area. Then I get turned around and when I finally found the exit, my speeder blew up. It was over 3 kilometers to the nearest non-Imperial town. Oh right, I'm a Rebel, which was probably a bad idea so early on. I got shot a few times by patrols in Mos Eisley.

Death isn't a trivial matter like in WoW. I might have it lucky, since if I get incapacitated, I can stealth the instant I stand up. Others probably just get shot again and then die and have to be cloned.

I have no idea how the Chronicler sub-profession works. I find fragments and put them together and put them in a collection and they tell me to kill stuff, but I don't know how to access them again.

To go off topic though, I want to point out some of the good things.

Player housing: There are suburbs around the main cities. It makes it feel more like players are actually in the world when they can change it, if just a little piece. This does come at the cost of vast empty spaces between cities and quest spots. I think the extra travel time is worth it though; everything in WoW seems too close anyway.

Crafting: I've not gotten into it much yet, but it appears that a lot of the economy is player-driven. My new speeder was made by a player. While I was at the bazaar I also saw housing deeds, X-wing schematics, and extremely expensive flowers to put in houses.

Helpers: Players can flag themselves as helpers. Maybe the average player would answer newbie questions anyway, but it's very nice to know that there are people who are basically asking to help. It was from a helper that I found out that I buy a new speeder from the bazaar (auction house). Until he helped I was running around trying to find a NPC.

Sadly, I don't know if I can play two games at once. I've considered buying the disks and then using one of the free emulator servers. But those are legally questionable. They are entirely self-written and don't even emulate the current version of SWG, but still, I'm a worrier. If only there was a different subscription type: Second MMO. This would have time restrictions but cost less. I would definitely upgrade my account if it was only $5 a month. Maybe even $10.


Stabs said...

I wouldn't advise upgrading.

I tried SWG again in August. It is a long level grind and there's no mentoring or anything.

People don't seem to group and you can't group with people of notably higher or lower level. Think it's +/- 5.

So long slow solo to 90.

Great game but no longer accessible to new players imho.

Breaks my heart really, the year I spend in SWG from 2003-2004 was my best year in MMO gaming.

Klepsacovic said...

Yea... I'm really thinking I won't get the full game. I like how they do crafting, except that it has so many "are you sure you want to do X?" and waiting for the crafting to finish so I can start the next and so on. Resource gathering is slow since I can only use the sampling device, full harvesters aren't usable in trials. It feels like there's a lot out there to see and do, but I'm cut off from it and I'm reluctant to spend the money just to try it out, that's what the trial is for.

I keep meaning to write about my time in it, but then it gets extremely long and overly detailed and I find more interesting stuff to do.

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