SWG:NGE First Impressions

SWG[Star Wars: Galaxies] I wanted to experience the “radical” new changes in Star Wars: Galaxies first hand, so I decided to reactivate my account and reinstall the game. They have the New Game Enhancements (NGE) live on the Test Center so I figured I’d give it a try.

First up, reinstallation. My DVD burner started getting flaky recently so I could not install the game. I ran a laser lens cleaner for about an hour and it seemed to get a little better. Tried to install again, no dice. Spent an hour digging in my computer parts bins in the basement and finally I found a spare CD drive. Installed that and finally I got the game installed. Patch time, one more hour. Installed Test Center copy, one more hour.

Now, we are ready to go! Log in and click on Test Center and log in again and click on the Test Center server and “Server Full”. Crud, I didn’t think that the server would be full. Oh well, try another test server. That would be great but the other two are full too. Well, it is Saturday night, perhaps I’ll try again Sunday morning.

Sunday morning. Log in and see that 3 test servers are full, but one of them says “loading”. I wait, nothing. Close out and try logging in again. Success! I am in.

The beginning is nice, has a few battle scenes and I start in a station with explosions rocking the place. C3PO communicates with me via voice comm, and they use real voice, very nice. I go through a few training things, kill some boxes and finally blast open a door and who greets me but Han Solo, Chewbacca and R2D2. They tell me to follow and I do.

Out into the hanger bay, we are stopped by three storm troopers. A battle begins. Han and Chewy appear to really suck at aiming, so it is up to me to dispatch the troopers. I aim and left-click on a trooper and my laser pistol fires and hits. Click, click, click as fast as I can. With that done, Han tells me to get onboard the Falcon.

I run over to the Falcon. C3PO advises me that I had better get on board the Falcon so I should run up the ramp. Unfortunately, there appeared to be an invisible forcefield blocking my entrance to the Falcon. I turned to Han Solo for some advice. C3PO gives me some additional advice. Finding their advice to be lacking, I turn to Chewy for a possible solution. I think he said, “Rarraghggghghrrr!”

Han Solo mentioned something about the place blowing up. Perhaps if I knocked myself out in the explosions, I could be revived onboard the Falcon. So I tried, and nothing happened.

So I logged out to give someone else a chance. I guess many people are having problems getting onboard the Falcon. Regardless, I’m sure they will get this all fixed up before it goes live in two weeks.

Right.

To sum up, I enjoyed it. It felt a lot more like Star Wars than the original game to me. I want to play more. Is it a revolution like some make it out to be? Not that I can see so far. It feels like it will be a click-fest during combat. Regardless, I plan to continue my adventures in Star Wars: Galaxies. Hopefully I can get some more time in on the test server, assuming I can actually get onboard the Falcon.

– Ethic

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Ethic

I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I’m more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

26 thoughts on “SWG:NGE First Impressions”

  1. heh. I was going to add about how the buzz seems to be that “twitch” has been added to SWG but that there’s a lot more to a twitch game than just centering you crosshair and clicking away… but then I read Abalieno’s article. He nails it.

    I guess it will be improved when SoE adds the collision detection, but that’s going to take six months…will anyone be around to care by then?

  2. Abalieno, I can now confirm that if you hold down the mouse button it will keep shooting. You *do not* have to click each time you want to fire.

  3. That’s better so.

    The fundamental point is to not base the rate of fire on the rate of clicking. In many other FPS the autofire affects precision. So it has a specific function. And the rate of fire is instead dependent on the weapon and, maybe, the character skills.

  4. Now what would really be cool is if you got an aiming bonus for holding your aim point on your target. If you shoot the instant you put your aim point on, you have a lower base chance than if you hold it on the target for a second.

    This notion opens up all sorts of fun stuff that you don’t normally see in a MMORPG:

    – range/accuracy/aim accumulation curves customized per weapon. For instance a pistol accumulates aim very fast (easy to aim) but is inaccurate at longer ranges. Rifles would be opposite, slower to accumulate aim but accurate at greater ranges.

    – You could also speed up/slow down the _movement_ of the aim point based on the weapon. You’re going to be able to swing a smaller pistol around a lot faster than a heavy blaster rifle.

    – Differentiating the above abilities per class/character/assigned skill points/whatever. So you can have snipers, quick-draw artists, and everything in between.

    – Rather than make weapons unusable per class, make them usable but with low ability scores. For example, Joe Gunfighter gets hold of a longbow/longbow analog. He could use it, but at first would find it hard to aim, slow to aim, slow to fire, and inaccurate. As he used it, his scores would get better, approaching his intrinsic limits or the weapon’s intrinsic limits.

    – Certain weapons would have ability requirements, to keep Joe Blow from picking up a 100-lb pull bow or a 20-lb sniper rifle and using it right away.

  5. Question: How does the game feel now? Does it still feel like an MMO? I’ve always dreamt of an action MMO, but I’ve always kind of ran into problems. Firstly it would be how reliant the MMO was on other players. It would suck if you were forced to group with other people and you would have people who sucked at action games more often than the pattern ridden current day MMOs. Secondly, the combat would have to be quite complex to require any real, non-repetitive skill. Almost as complex as fighting games.

    So I mean, does it feel like you’re playing an MMO anymore or more like an action-RPG/FPS?

  6. I can get away with a 200ms+ ping in most MMORPG, because there is usually only minimal twitch involved. One thing this change might bring about is to alienate all those players playing from overseas. I know I don’t like much more than a 70-80ms ping for FPS…

  7. I wish I could say more, but even after I managed to get on the Falcon, the game crashes and starts me in the beginning of the tutorial again. Rumor is that people without the Jump to Lightspeed expansion cannot progress any further due to some bug. Since they do not sell the JtL expansion pack all by itself, I cannot find out what comes next. Stupid of them to only sell it bundled with other stuff – stuff that I don’t want or already have.

  8. From what I’ve gathered so far this change really isn’t turning the game into an “action MMO”.

    It is just turning the combat from a button mash into a click fest. There is no aiming. You still click your target and your shots automatically hit or miss. You can’t dodge attacks. Hiding behind something doesn’t block shots… yet.

    Someone please tell me I am wrong :P But I have yet to find anything that says otherwise and am unable to test myself.

  9. SWG NGE:

    The RAMP OF DOOM!

    The Falcon’s ramp serves as a loading zone and due to high levels of players trying to move onto the Falcon, it causes a delay. Wait ont he ramp about 10 minutes, if you do not spawn by then it is best to just log out and log back in due to the Space Part becoming bugged after waiting too long.

    THE SPACE STATION!

    When you make a character on any of the Test Centers, be sure to complete every possible quest on the tutorial space station as grants you awesome clothing and weapons for your prof. It is also a good idea to try fro CL10 before you get off the station as this will allow you to bypass the extremely laggy 0.0/0.1 ping area that is now Mos Eisley.

    MOS EISLEY :P

    Try doing the N00B quests in Mos Eisley at a later date (your space station clothing and weapons are far better than the quest rewards in Mos Eisley anyway).

    Instead of grinding in N00B town, try shuttling to Mos Espa or Bestine (or if you are up to it head to Coronet, Corellia for some good grinding i.e. Meatlumps CL8-CL12 and some are even CL14-CL16).

    I hope this helps a bit and I look forward to seeing everyone in game when the NGE goes live on all current servers, 15 Nov 05.

    Sparatic DuBroc
    Eclipse Server
    Jedi Knight
    MLS
    DEF 0040
    ENH 4004
    HLR 4000
    PWR 0400
    Thats Mister Pre-Pub9 Cloak Ninja to you!

  10. The Ramp of Doom should be more accurately called: “The Ramp Of Screw You Because You Don’t Have Jump To Lightspeed, And Oh By The Way We Won’t Sell It To You By Itself Even Though It Is An Expansion But Feel Free To Buy The Entire Collection For Only $29.95”

  11. Yup, just downloaded it and got it after a few crashes. Now the lag is so bad I can’t move. But at least I got further along this time.

  12. Instead of giving us jump to light speed for free, since everyone either already has it or has no interest in it, how about refunding some of that obi wan money they robbed from us. What a crock to release a new expanasion and then change the whole game two weeks later.

    Sorry SOE, but this is not the game I paid for.

  13. Hey at least Han Solo was honest when he said “This place is gonna blow.” So prophetic that Mr. Solo.

    Sorry that’s all I got.

  14. Kinda a kick in the pants for us Vets,

    I’ve Lost my Bio Engineer Profession because of this NGE. (thanks DEV’s)
    Cant remeber beeing asked… Only been playing for 2 Years, but that dont mean alot to SOE!!!! or LucasArts. and its not like the dam things free to play online, cause its not…. £80 per year….. Thanks for asking me if i wanted to lose my Profession and the only reason i play the Funking game…..

    *ENTER YOUR OWN SWEAR WORDS HERE*

    All i can say about this “NGE” is, Console Market. (PSX3 and XBOX 360)
    So all the little kiddies can play and not hurt their little heads….ahh..bless them.

    As for the ramp of doom, if you’ve played SWG you know ALL about BUGS!!!

    Well it was a great game and now, it plays like…a pile of….

    Peace out

  15. That initial content is cool. too bad after you get off the space station you step into a large pile of steaming dogshit that never leaves your shoe. worst game changes EVER MADE to any online game. the people at SOE have ABSOLUTELY no idea how to run an MMORPG. it’s a very sad situation. save your money as you will grow to hate this game as soon as you leave the space station.

  16. worst…game…ever. I urge everyone to cancel their subscriptions now. I signed on several years ago, put it to rest for a few months, and just came back to. What the freaking hell happened?

    Han Solo….THE Han Solo saving my bacon in a station about to go up in smoke? Isn’t he…uhh, kinda busy helping Luke and the gang? Or…hold on….trials of Obi Wan.. isn’t that where the reincarnation of Obi Wan helps me become a Jedi? I can just pick that now right off the bat can’t I? And isn’t Obi Wan still in hiding on Tatooine at this point? What friggin time period are we in now!?? I’m soooo confused!

    Oh yeah, by the way SOE when you switch to a radically new game engine, perhaps you should beta test it first? I’ve ctd’d 4 times within twenty minutes…funny WoW and AO seem pretty stable… Though I must say you’re advertising pop-up windows and automatic crash reporter work spot-on. Nothing like concentrating on the essentials…

    Talking to npc’s and getting the response: npc_hospital_nurse1… wtf is that? Can’t you hire some summer students to replace these lines with “Sorry, can’t talk now”? …and if you’re going to a add a “twitch” system, it would be nice if I could target the enemy while he’s blasting caps in my ass. (I can’t target him if he’s BEHIND a wall…though he seems to have no problem hitting me THROUGH this wall) I think you forgot about that little ole thing called wall/collision detection.

    This game now sux the sweat off a dead man’s balls.

  17. Bitch bitch bitch thats all mosst of u ppl do if u want a SW game then make one ur damn self and stop bitching about how this one sucks hell u didnt come up with SW so let the guy who made it do what he wants with it jeez hell the game is ment to be fun not ur whole damn life

  18. quote oiu: the people at SOE have ABSOLUTELY no idea how to run an MMORPG.

    um…. Everquest is still going after damn near 7 years. SOE has a clue. They gained users after the first CU and more than likely they will gain users after NGE.

    Anyways I picked up the 14 day trial yesterday and I was fairly impressed. I’ve played my fair share of MMO’s and for $14.95 (the online purchase price) I think its worth a shot.

  19. I got into this game when it first came out and quit a few months later because of all the tedious grinding. That and a little box told me I had to become a chef to learn how to use a lightsaber. This NGE seems to simplify things way too much. The knowlege base isn’t much help either when it comes to getting straight answers. Then again neither are the so called veteran players. I had to ask the same question 4 times and even the 4th try was in caps and swearing. They were no help anyways. The item system is still screwed up. You have to be lvl 80 to equip anything you buy if you can afford it at all since all items are upwards of 10k. Selling is still impossible. You still get bunch of crap loot that even junk dealers wont take and players wont buy. You and up destroying most of it. Space combat reminds me more of Battle Cruiser 3000 than any Lucasarts games. Especially the distance of waypoints. Is it really nessesary for my objective to 10000 away from the planet? I had enought time to piss and smoke before I got there.

    Comments to others:

    philski: No SOE doesn’t know what they are doing. I sure in Evercrack you can at least buy new gear from an NPC.

    Kope: Shut up

    oui: spot on that man. I thought the rest of the game was going to be as well made as the initial content. Nope.

    I also quit because I was have a much better time with City of Heroes. At least they listen to their customers when something is wrong. Well….except for that enhancement diversity thing. Thats got to go.

  20. >Bitch bitch bitch thats all mosst of u ppl do if u want a SW game then make one >ur damn self and stop bitching about how this one sucks hell u didnt come up >with SW so let the guy who made it do what he wants with it jeez hell the game >is ment to be fun not ur whole damn life

    I didn’t need to make one “my damn self” – it WAS fine the way it was, I’d actually say, it was one of my favourites! And, yeah, he did do what he wanted, and I did what I wanted, I cancelled.

  21. Kope: Lets say you buy a game, you pay $50 dollars for it then pay $15 a month for 2 years. The game creator does the feature creep and throws quality control out the window. Now the game isn’t all that bad, there are a few nuisances but nothing generally horrid. Now this goes on for 2 years. They claim to be listening and fixing the problems people have with the game, yet tons of bugs exist. Then they decide to fix it with the Combat Upgrade. which the original idea behind it was really decent, and from what I hear the first CU test was really good, but they scrap that and go with CU update 2. Now a year after that they decide to throw the NGE from out of left field, its a buggy alpha release and takes the content that was in the game and tosses it out the window. And the new player economy which used to be based on crafting is now based on looting, so its all junk.

    The new content for getting people who haven’t played the game into the game is great. That whole newbie level is excellent. It was better than the green R2 droid program they had going on. The profession system definitely needed tweaking, and the nice thing was you could still fight as a crafter if you wanted to.. and there is no more item decay, so crafters now have almost no economy.

    I just hope they start to pull the good stuff that was in the old game and put it in this new game they are making.

  22. I prefered the old days of SWG, before the combat downgrade – or upgrade if you hadn’t played the game for long before hand, or are clinically insane – and before this abomination.

    They have removed all possibilty of roleplay which was it’s greatest asset – a wide game where people could create a character which wasn’t just the same shell as everyone else but with a different name and a slightly different “how I started my quest to become a Jedi/BH”. And what the hell were they thinking!! Do you think everyone in the galaxy has met Han and R2D2? How could people possibly put the introduction into a RP story line; it is pointless.

    This game has lost its path as an MMORPG; relegated to the leagues of MMOFPS and even… MMOG *gasp*

    Bring back the old SWG!

  23. sigh….

    The best fun I had in SWG was in May of 2003. I was in Beta, Phase 3.
    Then in July they released the game, much to everyones disapproval. But SOE?lucasArts was fraid of Wordl Of WarCraft, very afraid. And of everQuest 2 , as well. they needed to get SWG out the door as soon as possible.

    Then the Holocron Cubes came.
    Then the Droid and Pet Upgrade.

    I cancelled my account in July 2005. I officaially ended it in March 2005, but I came back for one month to see what the Combat Upgrade was about.

    I was horrified.

    And now this. sigh…this was a really great game back in 2003. Sure, it major problems. But, unfornateunatly SOE/LA got arrogant and greedy. And now you have this. I admit reading about the new tutorial is really neat. But the loss of so much…I was really upset to see that I lost a lot of progress in July of 2005. And that i had to “Respec” my character. I was silly.

    And now this. SWG needs to be ZAPped by that Zapper in CU Comics.
    I do not feel sorry anyone still paying SOE/LA money for this crap.

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