Tag mos eisley

Give Me Variation Or Give Me Death

Terminal mission

Die, stupid flag!

Since I resubscribed to Star Wars Galaxies I’ve only managed to ding 8 levels. What burned me out last time was this obsession about getting to level cap, and I got stuck on doing terminal missions until my brain bled. They are not very fun, trust me. So this time I gave up on that, even though I do look forward to reaching level 90, and I’ve been doing whatever I’ve felt like at any given moment. Such as…

  • Hunting on Kashyyyk. The design of the Wookie planet is a lot different from the other planets I’ve visited so far, and the long quest chains serve to slowly unlock different areas. I’ve so far gathered three different hunting trophies that are now hanging on the walls of my house. I’ve also ordered myself a new mount from a beast master in my guild, since my regular means of transportation are not available in the forest and I have to rely on my really slow (and ugly) cliff-jumper. A crafter in the guild is also buying any hides I might gather, which is a small cash bonus.
  • Decorating my house. Moving stuff around, hanging new paintings and putting some things on display on top of my aquarium. Hanging a huge bantha hunting trophy next to my bed. Dear me, that will give me nightmares.
  • Flying around in space. I’ve been moving up through the space tiers, currently working for Jabba the Hutt. Space is awesome, and I do hope that Bioware will include something similar in The Old Republic. I doubt they will though, unless it’s planned for an expansion in the same way Jump To Lightspeed was for Star Wars Galaxies.
  • Finding random quests. If you don’t count the Legacy Quest-chain, there are no big arrows pointing out where you should go in SWG. You can run into a quest more or less anywhere. If it sounds interesting, and I believe I can pull it off, I’ll accept it and see where it takes me. I got my fancy clone trooper armor that way. I’ve also started to make my way through the Meatlump theme park, investigating the largest criminal gang on Corellia.
  • Taking part in PvP invasions. Sure, I’m only level 55 right now, so I don’t go full PvP and fight other players. But I’ve joined forces together with a couple of guildies and attacked Bestine a couple of times. Epic and a lot of fun, with walkers and stormtroopers everywhere. I haven’t turned off my flag since last time, so I constantly get to fight stormtrooper NPCs while in Mos Eisley.
  • Doing smuggler missions. I respeced from Jedi to smuggler and I don’t regret it at all. Doing smuggler missions for the Underworld faction might not be the most exciting activity in the world, but it’s a nice distraction and adds flavor.

I’m also considering taking my trader out of early retirement, perhaps respecing him to a chef or giving him an instrument and turn him into an entertainer, playing music and buffing others for tips at the Mos Eisley cantina. We’ll have to see about that, so far I haven’t had any money problems. Sooner or later I will, though.

Pew pew in space

Twitch-based pew pew in space. Eat your heart out, landlubber.

What Star Wars Galaxies has taught me this time is how shallow games like World of Warcraft is. I need at least some sandbox elements to stay happy. I haven’t logged into Lord of the Rings Online in the last couple of days and I don’t really feel like doing so either. I have to log into Age of Conan, since I’m reviewing Rise of the Godslayer, but I seriously doubt it would be able to keep me occupied over a long period of time.

Cataclysm, despite all the cool screenshots, has never looked as uninteresting as right now. I know I will never get my friends to play Star Wars Galaxies with me, since they only tend to go back to what they know or only see flaws where I see merits. That’s fair enough. But more than ever I’m quite sure that I want more sandboxes, more immersion. I want Vanguard more than I want Warcraft, I want Galaxies more than I want The Old Republic (of course I’ll play it when it comes out, it does look awesome).

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Mos Eisley, first impressions

Central Mos Eisley.

Central Mos Eisley.

It sure is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, might even be the best place in the galaxy if you’re into that kind of stuff. Mos Eisley is hardly pretty, a bunch of yellow houses crammed together around a crashed spaceship, but I doubt anyone goes there for the magnificent view. Come to think of it, I doubt anyone goes anywhere on Tatooine for the sightseeing.

Let’s not pretend that Star Wars: Galaxies is an especially pretty game. It’s not. It’s old, after all – 6 years is a long time. Tatooine is just as depressing as a desert planet is supposed to be – the only things you’ll see if you travel by land between Mos Eisley and Anchorhead are some banthas and a couple of player built houses, sharing the bleak and sandy landscape. The only other features are hills and ravines, none of them especially detailed. No “gasp, look at that thing!”-moments to be found.

What the game does have, though, is ambiance. Compared to a lot of modern MMOs, Tatooine feels like an actual planet. Not only because of the large, expansive areas filled with absolutely bloody nothing, but because the mood and atmosphere conveys a strange feeling of realism. The houses outside of town have been placed there by players, not everywhere you look or go is designed to fit a quest or a lore purpose. You can see and hear spaceships passing above your head, you have to buy a ticket for the shuttle between the various ports. It’s all in the details, without designing the environment so hard that it becomes stale.

It’s a desert planet, it’s supposed to be stale.

Mos Eisley, seen from a nearby hill.

Mos Eisley, seen from a nearby hill.

I gasp when I look up and see two Star Destroyers hovering somewhere high above me, probably right outside the atmosphere. I feel dwarfed. When a sand storm hits Mos Eisley I first contemplate if it’s my speakers that have gone haywire or if it’s the wind. It’s not until I get inside that I realise that it’s the weather, it feels like I’m taking cover to get away from a potential lethal weather hazard that would probably stuff up my speeder’s engine and wreak havoc on the moving parts of my blaster rifle if I had remained outdoors.

Mos Eisley, this wretched hive of scum and villainy. My bounty hunter fits right in. Nobody seems to like me, but they have no choice but to hire my services anyway. I don’t care, I’m just looking forward to getting off this piece of sandy rock.

Ambiance. That’s the key. No matter if I will write off Star Wars: Galaxies as outdated garbage or embrace it like a marvelous MMO when I reach the end of my 30 day subscription, I will at least give it that.

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Virtual worlds, massive multiplayer games and assorted ramblings

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