Star Wars Galaxies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is an old revision of this page, as edited by (talk) at 06:15, 15 May 2006. The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.

You must add a |reason= parameter to this Cleanup template – replace it with {{Cleanup|March 2006|reason=<Fill reason here>}}, or remove the Cleanup template.

Star Wars: Galaxies
Star Wars Galaxies box art.
Star Wars Galaxies box art.
Developer(s)Sony Online Entertainment
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
ReleaseJune 26, 2003

Star Wars Galaxies (often abbreviated SWG or Galaxies by fans) is a Star Wars themed MMORPG platform for Microsoft Windows PCs, developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts. The base game, titled Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, was released on June 26, 2003. As of March 2006, Galaxies is fifth among MMOGs in North American subscribers. [1] [2]

Galaxies, like most MMORPGs, has a monthly subscription service and various pricing plans depending on the length of the plan. Per month the fee for playing the game is $14.99 USD. There is also a three-month plan ($13.99 USD per month), a six-month plan ($12.99 USD per month), and a yearly plan ($11.99 USD per month). There is also an All Access plan, allowing you to play all Sony Online games ($24.99 per month).

Gameplay Features

As with all MMORPGs, the feature set of Star Wars Galaxies is subject to change.

The setting of the game is the well-known Star Wars universe, with the time period currently set between the events in Episodes IV and V.

The basic game "world" consists of simulated planetary surfaces and associated structures. The ten different planets are taken from the Star Wars movies and the expanded universe: Tatooine, Naboo, Corellia, Talus, Rori, Dantooine, Lok, Yavin IV, the forest moon of Endor, and Dathomir. Each of the ten planets is represented by 256 square kilometers (16 km x 16 km maps) of game space, with all established cities and locations compressed into that space.

Scattered throughout the game worlds, in addition to new places created by the game's developers to fill out the fictional worlds, are cities, characters, and points of interest that have been seen or mentioned in the various Star Wars media. Examples include R2-D2 and C-3PO's escape pod on Tatooine, the Naboo royal palace, the city of Coronet on Corellia, the abandoned Rebel bases on Dantooine and Yavin IV, the notorious pirate Nym in his stronghold on Lok, Ewoks on the Endor moon, and rancors on Dathomir.

Players of the game create characters to navigate through these environments. Characters in Star Wars Galaxies can be one of ten species, again taken from the films and the expanded universe: human, Twi'lek, Zabrak, Wookiee, Trandoshan, Rodian, Mon Calamari, Bothan, Sullustan, or Ithorian. A character can be either male or female, and he or she belongs to one of nine primary professions: Jedi, Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Commando, Spy, Officer, Medic, Entertainer, or Trader. A character can also optionally advance in the Politician and Pilot professions, independent of his or her primary profession.

In basic gameplay, the player uses his or her character's skills and special abilities to attack targets, complete quests, undertake missions, create useful in-game items, and/or entertain other players. The player's character will have opportunities to meet famous Star Wars characters, earn in-game fame and fortune (or infamy and notoriety), and obtain numerous items, artifacts, and trinkets.

Ground combat in Galaxies is fast-paced and real-time. Unlike most MMORPGs, whether an attack hits is not solely based on the character's skill numbers. The player must aim a targeting reticule at a target and left-click the mouse to fire. As characters gain levels, they gain access to additional combat abilities, called "specials", which are "fired" by using the right mouse button. These specials usually have a cool-down period during which they can't be reused, but they are much more powerful or versatile than the basic left-click attack. Specials are also used to heal characters and enhance their other abilities.

Characters in Star Wars Galaxies can erect, own, and decorate a variety of buildings, including houses, cantinas, and guild halls. These buildings, when grouped, can be organized into cities, with members of the Politician profession serving as mayors. As cities grow in population, they become eligible to add services and facilities such as vehicle repair garages and shuttleports, and they start to show up on the planetary maps alongside canonical cities such as Theed and Mos Eisley. Cities and housing allow players, via their characters, to shape and define the game worlds, and their presence means that Tatooine on one "galaxy" (unique gameworld server) is different from Tatooine on any other "galaxy."

Additional features of the basic game include:

  • Single- and multi-passenger ground vehicles (landspeeders, speeder bikes, and swoops)
  • An almost completely player-run economy, wherein player characters are responsible for creating nearly every in-game item, from blasters to starships, all from raw materials collected by player characters and with other player characters as the only consumers. Recently, the developers have added more high-quality equipment to loot tables and as quest rewards, but player crafters remain an essential part of the economy. This may have been added in to make up for lost players.
  • An extensive set of emotes, moods, and associated animations, which affect not only an avatar's physical appearance but also the text used to describe a character's speech, and even the shape of the speech bubble displayed on-screen.
  • Standard MMORPG features such as player guilds, chat functionality, and other community features.
  • The ability to place bounties on players that defeat you in PvP battle. Player character bounty hunters can then pick up another players "bounty mission" on the terminals and track the player down. Your bounty can be claimed at anytime, regardless of your PvP setting. Up to three players can take your mission.

Development and release

With a Star Wars license and veteran designer Raph Koster at the helm, expectations among gamers ran high during the development of Galaxies. Many industry professionals expected that these forces would push the subscription numbers past the one million mark, a feat accomplished only thus far in Asia by MMORPGs such as Lineage and more recently by World of Warcraft. As development wore on, the release date was pushed back, features were cut, and Sony cancelled planned ports for the Xbox and PlayStation 2, most likely due to RAM limitations.

The game receives occasional updates as its developers fix bugs and provide more content and balancing. The game requires users to have 512MB RAM at a minimum, which has been changed since launch, where only 256MB RAM was required. It is recommended that users have at least 1024MB RAM for best performance. The game requires that the user's computer support DirectX 9. As with many MMORPGs, these specifications have been known to change over time.

After release, the developers continued working on the features cut during development. In November 2003 two of those most anticipated features, creature mounts and player-created cities, were enabled. Also, on November 7, 2003 it was announced that the first player had unlocked a Force-sensitive character slot needed to become a Jedi.


The three expansions to Star Wars Galaxies have added additional features to the base game. The first expansion is now, as of November 2005, free and its content is fully available to all Galaxies players. The other two expansions must be purchased, either separately or as part of a package (The Total Experience) containing the full original game and the expansion.

Jump to Lightspeed

The first expansion, Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed, was released on October 27, 2004. The expansion added space-based content to the basic, "ground-based" game, along with the option to create characters of the Sullustan and Ithorian species. Characters are allowed to choose one of three piloting professions, each one based on the character's Galactic Civil War faction -- Rebel, Imperial, or Freelance. This profession is separate from the character's ground profession, although earning experience points in space will also give the character experience points toward a ground combat profession.

The playable areas for space content include ten space sectors: Tatoo, Naboo (containing both Naboo and its moon, Rori), Corellia (containing Corellia and Talus), Dantooine, Karthakk (containing Lok), Yavin, Endor, Dathomir, Kessel, and Deep Space. Each sector is a cube 16 kilometers on a side, and each contains at least one of the ten ground planets, except Kessel and Deep Space, which are for high-level space gameplay only.

Space combat in Galaxies is similar to ground combat. Players must aim at their targets (often needing to "lead" their target in compensation for the target's movement) and click a button on the mouse or joystick to fire. Success in space combat is largely dependent on player skill, but not quite to the same extent as seen in previous Star Wars space-simulator games.

As characters advance in their piloting professions, they gain access to a widening variety of tactics, starship chassis, and starship components. Their ships can be completely customized with components looted from enemies or crafted by shipwrights. Available chassis include the X-Wing and Y-Wing for Rebels, TIE Fighters and TIE Bombers for Imperials, and new Hutt and Black Sun ship designs for Freelancers. Characters who have mastered a piloting profession get access to PoB (Player on Board) ship designs such as the famed YT-1300. PoB ships allow characters to walk around the interiors (which can be decorated just like a building on the ground) and man additional shipboard stations such as laser turrets.

Rage of the Wookiees

The second expansion, Star Wars Galaxies: Episode III Rage of the Wookiees, was announced on March 9, 2005 and released on May 5, 2005. It added the ground planet of Kashyyyk and its corresponding space sector. Kashyyyk is different from the previous ten planets; rather than being 16 square kilometers of openly navigable area, it is divided into a small central area with several instanced "dungeon" areas, with no space available for open exploration. Other content added in this expansion included the ability to add cybernetic limbs to a player character.

Rage of the Wookiees contains a large amount of content adapted from and associated with the film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which was released to theaters at about the same time as the expansion was released.

Trials of Obi-Wan

The third expansion, Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan, was announced on August 19, 2005 and released on November 1, 2005. This expansion added the ground planet of Mustafar to the game. No new space sector was added with this expansion. Like the previous expansion, much of the content is related to Revenge of the Sith, which was released to video at about the same time as the expansion was released. This expansion met with controversy as, two days after the expansion was released, the development team announced the extensive changes known as the "New Game Enhancements" or NGE(see below). Many players objected that they would not have purchased the expansion if they had known in advance about the NGE. Sony Online Entertainment eventually offered a refund to any players who had purchased the expansion prior to the NGE.

Major Updates

Combat Upgrade

The Combat Upgrade was released April 27, 2005 and was a major revamping and rewriting of the entire Star Wars Galaxies combat, armor, and weapons system. A more "realistic" tone was set, whereas only certain characters in certain professions would use specific weapons and wear armor. In addition, the method of fighting in the game was redone with skill levels assigned to both players and game creatures. Under the new system, only a creature of similar skill level gives experience when killed and the more powerful creatures are almost undefeatable by a single player's attacks unless they are either wearing incredibly good equipment or they are Jedi.

The Combat Upgrade drew tremendous criticism from gamers even before it was released. Upon its initial activation, a number of player issues were reported not the least of which was that players logging on found most of their weapons and armors useless under the new combat upgrade system. Another concern among many of the players was the lack of official documentation for the new system, leaving them to rely on FAQs posted in the game forums to learn to play this "new" game. To adapt existing characters to the new skill system, the developers implemented a "respeccing" system. Characters were allowed to trade skills gained in one profession for another in order to find a skillset-role under the new system, as their old skillset may not be as effective or their profession's roles may have changed (doctors and combat medics no longer had a crafting "branch" in their trees, smugglers gained crowd control abilities). The combat upgrade made it harder to gain experience alone, but also removed the ability for one player to defeat several powerful creatures unaided (the anecdotal player "soloing five rancors"). A large number of long-time players chose this time to leave the game.

New Game Enhancements (NGE)

In a recently released "Letter to the Community", SWG Lead Developer Julio Torres has let it be known that a series of wide-reaching changes are planned to enter testing on November 4th. These will include "faster paced, more heroic Star Wars action", more reminiscent of the 'pseudo-shooter' space combat already present in Galaxies. The profession system will be revamped to consist of 9 base professions: Force-Sensitive, Bounty Hunter, Commando, Trader, Officer, Smuggler, Spy, Medic, and Entertainer. The game will now include a new movie-rendering engine, allowing for more cinematic scenes, likely with voice-acting, that will involve famous Star Wars characters such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, and more. The first 10 levels of a character's life in the game will now take place in a separate 'New Player Experience' area, which will also be featured as a free downloadable trial for new players. Here, the basic mechanics of the game will be introduced by C-3PO, Han Solo, and Chewbacca. Also among these changes is the return of an ongoing plot to Star Wars Galaxies, that is expected to be told largely via the new cutscene engine and interactions with famous Star Wars characters. Online polls, gaming reviews, and newspaper articles (including a major December 9th New York Times story) report overwhelmingly negative feedback for the 'enhancements'. It remains to be seen how this significant change will affect the subscription numbers and longterm success of the game. Some of the more vocal segments of the playerbase, especially on message boards, have accused SOE of dishonesty with the implementation of the NGE as the developers had been promising for quite some time to fix some of the broken playable professions- professions that were removed from the game with the NGE. The changes, along with the new downloadable trial, were pushed to live on November 15 and 'Star Wars Galaxies: Starter Set' retail box was released on November 22.

On November 15th, the NGE was released to live servers. The new system underwent little testing before going live, as the new player tutorial was instanced, so only so many players could get on test center at a time. Sony increased the amount of players able to connect to Test Center as more players completed the tutorial.

The new system was intended to restore a more "Star Warsy" feeling to the game. A large part of the change also came about due to the realization that the actual code of the game did not lend itself to modification. Many of the changes are directed to allow the game code to be more modular allowing further changes and enhancements in the future. Unlike the first combat upgrade, Sony decided to show off the new system to only a very few players, mainly comprised of former SWG players and correspondents allowing the word get out from word of mouth before making an official announcement. Reactions were again negative throughout the profession correspondents, only one correspondent out of the possible thirty two professions in the game had a positive experience with the beta version. Nevertheless, SOE continued their original plan and pushed the changes live. Less than an hour after having posted the thread, the Lithium powered SWG forums crashed. The forums remained unstable for the next week as hundreds of thousands of posts were made. The overuse resulted in login issues. Many hot-headed players saw this as a miscommunication problem with the Dev team as usual. In reality, they couldn't log in. These problems resulted in the Community Letter by Julio Torres being a few hours late.

When the game went live the following major changes were made:

  • All characters received an 11 use Respec Kit (Allows a player to change his/her profession)
  • F1 to F12 keys are still used to prepare a special action, change weapons, or ready a macro.
  • The keymap is laid out like an FPS using the WASD keys, although players can opt to use the arrow keys instead.
  • Anyone having mastered a profession before the NGE had an Elder Version title available to them (IE: Elder Carbineer).
  • Jedi were given a simple quest to get Jedi Elder Robes in either dark or light variations and a special lightsaber crystal. They also gained the ability to switch to Force Ghost mode. This mode is merely an effect and has no consequences on gameplay.
  • Player Bounties on Jedi were removed
  • The number of professions was reduced to nine. Almost all the old professions were somehow integrated into the new nine with the exception of Bio Engineer, Creature Handler, Scout, and Ranger.
  • Hundreds of changes to armor and weapon certifications and stats.
  • Player actions such as emote were moved to client-side from server-side. This results in quicker reaction of a player's avatar when someone uses them.
  • Jedi are now allowed to equip ranged blasters and fight creatures, NPC's, and other players, while retaining the ability to use almost all of their lightsaber special attacks.

The Jedi in SWG

Unlike the historic chronology of Star Wars, where the Jedi are all but extinct by the time frame of A New Hope, the concept of Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies is modified to have several hundred, if not thousands of Jedi capable of playing in the game which is set in the period of time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

All Jedi are live players, but unlike the old Jedi system, where one could only become a Jedi by completing a set of rigorous missions and tasks, the NGE has made Jedi a starting profession.

Under the first Jedi system, a player could only become a Jedi after mastering professions chosen randomly for you at character creation. When fewer Jedi entered the game than was anticipated, players were helped by finding several holocrons that would tell a player which game professions to play and master. This resulted in several "career" players spending hours on end writing program macros and mastering almost every profession in the game (hologrinding). However after complaints from a large portion of the player base (especially those that weren't hard core and thus not willing to master multiple professions), Star Wars Galaxies was altered to add a new system for creating a Jedi character called the Force Sensitive Village of Aurilia.

The majority of Jedi who unlocked their Force Sensitive Slot under the old holocron system were called hologrinders. Many players saw this as a waste of time, and that it ruined gameplay, because people were too focused on getting the Jedi character and not on playing the game. Others saw it as a worthy way for players to achieve Jedi status as under the holocron system a player would have to play through most of the game before given the privilege of having their force sensitive slot unlocked.

Under the new system, players attained Force Sensitive Skills by completing quests and gaining massive amount of experience in order to allow their character to become a Jedi. Quests in the Village of Aurilia are artificially gated, so that a player can only complete one quest every three weeks. The intention was to keep the new Jedi population in check, but once the 4 month mark had passed (the time it took to complete the necessary 6 quests to unlock), every 3rd week a new legion of Jedi would explode onto each server - making the increase in Jedi much more noticeable.

Even with the Jedi revamp in place, many in the Star Wars Galaxies community have expressed feelings that eventually the game will become an "Army of Generals" where the number of Jedi playing in the game will be extremely high, thus making the game less interesting for those who like playing regular, non-Jedi characters.

It is important to note that a limiting factor on the number of Jedi in the game was the bounty hunter system allowing characters who acquire the requisite skill in the Bounty Hunter profession to hunt Jedi and kill them. This resulted in an experience point drop for the Jedi, slowing their progress.

A new Star Wars Galaxies update released on November 15th, known as the "New Game Enhancements", revised all professions, and has also significantly affected the path to becoming a Jedi, as well as the Jedi profession. Jedi has now become a starting profession and the Village Quests have been removed. The Jedi profession's strength has also been reworked in order to have a combat effectiveness similar to the other professions. Bounty Hunters were recently given back the ability to hunt and track PvP Bounty targets, although bounties are no longer limited to Jedi.

The Wars of SWG

There have been several fan-named wars inside SWG.

Pet Wars In the early months of SWG, it became clear that players could use pets as "meat shields," absorbing herculean amounts of damage that regular characters would never be able to withstand. Players would alternate between healing the pets and taking safely-distant shots at enemies. The most popular pet of this era was the Graul Mauler, and you can see an example of Pet Wars in its full infamy at the following link:

The Composite Clone Wars The Developers of SWG created an armor called "Composite" which could be crafted with a high resistance to most attacks, including stuns [Note: stun was limited to a 40% maximum resistance, other types could hit 90% with luck]. This armor alone made all other types in the game useless and undesired. Over time it became felt in-game that if you were wearing any other type of armor you were wrong (or a newbie). This armor often required buffs to wear, so the developers changed the buffs to last for hours instead of minutes as originally designed. This then became a problem when the developers increased the Health/Action/Mind (HAM) on creatures to account for the increased health of players that the buffs granted. Even players not wearing Composite then needed to be buffed to be effective in combat.

During the Composite Clone Wars, players began to "stack defense skills" through a combination of professions so that they would be almost invulnerable to ranged attacks. This began the "Melee Dominance" where if you wanted to participate in Player vs. Player combat (PvP) you had to use melee weapons, taking some of the Star Wars feel out of the game.

Jedi/CU War After the release of the CU many things changed for the better. Aside from minor differences, no armor was better than another, ranged once again was effective, and defense stacking was stopped. However for the good the CU did it caused some problems. Some fans disliked the CU because it dumbed down the game, made some weapons useless (DoT-Damage over Time-were taken out), and changed the skill points needed to master some professions. The CU also added changes in the Jedi, who once again became the dominant class in PvP. As more players came in game to be Jedi it left the players that didn't want Jedi but wanted to PvP in extreme occasions on the sidelines.

In reality the actual war was one of ideology. Some players were strict movie fans who thought Jedi should not even be in the game. The fact that there were any at all inflamed those who claimed to follow "Canon."

The developers also made a mistake in taking Jedi down to the level of a normal class instead of giving them the Light/Dark war all original Jedi wanted. Most of the original Jedi (those in the first 30 unlocks) warned the developers that having them PvP against regular players would lead to chaos. In those early PvP days, Jedi were 20x stronger (purportedly, about 5x in reality) than a regular class.

Composite in Space With the release of the Rage of the Wookies expansion, new starfighters were added to the game. Most notably among them are the ETA-2 Actis Starfighter, and the Belbullab-22, which are virtually identical in performance characteristics and mass-allowance. The problem with these new ships is, for the most part, they are incredibly unbalanced with a large mass (allowing heavier weapons or other equipment to be installed) and excellent flight characteristics. In effect, these fighters are far superior to anything that came before them. This has created a situation where, in Player versus Player combat, the fighters that are most often seen are the ETA-2 Actis and the Bellbullab-22. 'Older' fighters from the current time period are outmatched and outgunned, such as the A-Wing and the TIE-Advanced. This issue has been resolved with a recent hotfix patch, the two ships no longer have the same characteristics they had prior.

The Squad Leader/Jedi Wars In the fall of 2005, Sony pushed the Squad Leader Revamp Live. This was initially thought to be a very positive change as Squad Leader had been largely neglected for the last 2 years. Squad Leaders (SL's) were given their own set of buffs they could apply to themselves and other group members. These buffs gave large damage increases and other very PVP favorable effects. It didn't take long for many Bounty Hunters to figure this out, either going SL themselves or getting one of their buffs. The results were disastrous for the Jedi community: Bounty Hunters with these buffs were cutting Jedi in half as they always get the first shot in Bounty PVP, which was often enough to kill the Jedi in one or two hits. Jedi were outraged, but with the NGE looming around the corner, nothing much was done about the issue and it was simply swept under the rug without any major hotfixes. Many Jedi ran around with the buffs as well with moderate success. As a few weeks passed many Bounty Hunters didn't bother with them, as it was nicknamed "The Golden Gun" (A reference to the popular FPS Goldeneye that featured a one-hit kill weapon).

Combat Medic/Jedi Wars In the wake of the Combat Upgrade in April 2005, many changes were made to the Jedi profession, most significantly, the removal of the Force Ranking System, which allowed Jedi to advance beyond the rank of Padawan. Changes were also made to many Jedi abilities such as Avoid Incap, a move that allowed Jedi to stay alive long enough to escape, which was given a large snaring effect. Another major change was to a Jedi's healing- Prior to the CU, Jedi could heal all of their stat pools, including mind (but not Force), this made a Jedi's healing the best around, surpassing Doctor and Combat Medics. When the CU came out and the HAM system was simplified to one healable pool, it all became a matter of who had the highest heal for that one pool. Combat Medics were given what was essentially a health grenade they could use every few seconds and had infinite uses. Jedi on the other hand had their force heal, which rapidly depleted their Force pool. Many Bounty Hunters picked up a Master Combat Medic/Bounty Hunter combo as the skillpoint system now allowed it. This caused a major problem for Jedi: Bounty Hunters could run circles around them shooting and healing without wearing themselves down. This was effectively known as "Kiting". Jedi on the other hand could only put up a tough front for so long, with their force pool constantly draining with every attack and heal. To make matters worse, "Roots" and "Snares" were implemented which allowed Combat Medics to lock Jedi in one place and stand just outside their melee range. Jedi did develop strategies for defeating them over time, but the system remained largely unchanged until the NGE in November 2005.

Mind Wars A while after the game was released people realized something about health and healing: that the mind pool is unhealable (for the most part) making it very vulnerable during PvP. Stun Weapons became very popular because most armor had little or no stun protection. Also during this time people began defense stacking (getting multiple professions with high defense modifers). This all resulted in unbalancing the game and making people chose certain professions if they wished to be effective in PvP.

Academic Research on SWG

While academic research on MMOGs is limited, there are a few scholars who have collected data, theorized, created websites, and written essays about the topic. Please add links and information as you see fit.

Like many other MMOGs, the game design of Galaxies includes realistic social institutions such as a dynamic player economy and other real life social phenomena like a complicated division of labor. According to Star Wars Galaxies and the Division of Labor, the division of labor in Star Wars Galaxies produces in-game results similar to those in real life. Galaxies' game design socializes players to specialize their characters by mastering one or two professions, and to join guilds, in which players relate to one another primarily in terms of their professions (I am the weaponsmith, so I make weapons for the guild) --just as in real life, players are tied to one another by organic solidarity.

Links to Academic Research

Star Wars Galaxies and the Division of Labor -- Jesse Kirdahy-Scalia's thesis explores the sociology of Galaxies. Topics include socialization, the division of labor, organic solidarity, and anomie in Galaxies. Research based on participant observation, data collected from more than 230 surveys of players, interviews with players, and data from the Daedalus Project (see below).

The Daedalus Project -- Nick Yee has collected data on many MMOGs from thousands of survey responses and interviews, and has authored numerous psychological essays on a wide range of topics surrounding MMOGs.

(It should be noted that post-NGE effects on the player economy are unknown at this time. Since item-decay was removed, characters need only purchase one weapon per level instead of several, and one set of armor instead of many.)


Broken promises

There have been claims that SOE made promises to players that they never delivered on. Perhaps the most egregious example is the fact that despite years of assurances that a revamp was just around the corner, Smugglers cannot actually smuggle. The situation became so embarrassing and notorious amongst the gaming community that GamePro voted SWG's treatment of Smugglers the #11 Gaming Low of 2004. See GamePro article. As of May 2006, no smuggling system has been implemented.

In the scheduled update of "Publish 31", a smuggling system is reported to be introduced. The date for "Publish 31" has not been set.

Customer voice

Many of their customers do not feel that SOE listens to them about issues surrounding the game. SOE does provide an online message forum for their customers to discuss issues. However, a lack of Development Team response to messages and their habit of ignoring the 'CSR's (Customer Service Representatives)' has angered some forum goers. In addition, many professions were disadvantaged and needed improving, and even after constant complaints SOE finally took action although not exactly in a manner welcomed by players. In order to bring the professions inline, SOE built a new game/combat engine and removed most of the professions that needed repair, calling the new smaller list of classes 'iconic'.

There have also been several incidents of people being permanently banned for reporting SOE to the Better Business Bureau for lack of customer service and failing to respond to serious game stopping issues.

In addition to such bannings, SOE has locked several posts which are aimed at calling the company on the inaccuracy and deceptive nature of their most recent update announcements and releases, including an advertisement about the NGE which included the 'Creature Handler' profession that was, in contrast to the advertisement's implied claims, removed from the game entirely. SOE has, in fact, offered a refund to players that purchased the latest expansion, "Trials of Obi-Wan", in response to the negative reaction to their deceptive ad campaign regarding the expansion and its relation to the NGE.

As you might expect veterans of this game that had either been banned from SOE's forums or whose subscriptions had expired (thereby removing their ability to post on said forums) have been appearing in large numbers on the forums of other MMORPGs in order to continue discussing the game as it was and is now.

Interestingly some websites have also been started up specifically for former veterans of the game to stay in touch with their friends and the rest of their former gaming community to discuss matters pertaining both to this game and whatever games they have now moved onto. Such sites include, which is mostly a meeting place for former players of SWG's 'Flurry' server, and for players of the SWG 'Wanderhome' server.

Questionable tactics

The NGE was announced two days after the release of the Trials of Obi Wan. This was seen by many players as an underhand method. Some felt that they would not have bought the expansion if they had known of the changes to the core game. Others were angry at the fact that there were enhancements announced for their player classes, only to then have such classes removed once the NGE was rolled out. SOE afterwards offered a refund of the price of the expansion to whom so desired.

Ongoing Concerns

There has been a great amount of controversy on the forums from players claiming that they are paying to play for the game whose quality could be compared to that of a game in beta testing. John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment gave this response on the game's game play discussion forum. Link to Quote

" preference is that all the posts in the gameplay forum are discussing gameplay balance.. and in-game issues.. but they won't until we get the game to a baseline fun level. We're not there yet. We know that. We're working to fix it. There is no other answer."

Some community members have not been satisfied with this answer and voice their opinions by lashing out with spam posts, holding in-game demonstrations in high traffic areas, and participate in other disruptive acts demanding a rollback of the game mechanics to Pre-NGE (New Game Enhancements) status. The developers of Star Wars Galaxies have explained time and time again this is not going to happen despite the outcry of these members. It has been explained that at least one major reason for these changes was to restruscture the game's code to be more modular allowing for more expansions, additions, and overall improvement to the gameplay in the long term.

It is unknown as to what percentage of the actual playerbase agrees/disagrees with the direction the game.


The cover of Star Wars Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine.

Star Wars Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine is a spin-off based in part on places and events in the Star Wars Galaxies. The novel was authored by Voronica Whitney-Robinson and Haden Blackman, LucasArts producer of the game.


A screenshot from the SWG website of Life Day.

External links

Official sites

Server community sites

Resource sites

International resource sites

sp:Star Wars Galaxies