Tag player owned housing

One month of Star Wars Galaxies – the summary

Big, hungry, not very cuddly.

Big, hungry, not very cuddly. Soon to cut into pieces with my lightsaber.

One month. Wow, that was fast. Time is speeding up, man. Nothing beats keeping track of time like checking your MMO subs and finding out that the next billing cycle starts today. Calendars are so outdated and clearly not Web 2.0. In other words, my month of Star Wars Galaxies ends today – it’s actually been that long since I started.

But this post is not about me getting older by the minute. I haven’t had time to blog as much as I would have liked over the course of the month, but that’s how it goes sometimes. But I think that a summary of what the time in SWG has been like is in order. After all, I feel that I can now, at least partially, answer the question I asked a month agois Star Wars Galaxies really such a bad game as its reputation would have us believe?

I’ll break it up in two parts, the pros and the cons of the game, starting with the cons. I’ll also add a TL;DR at the end, in case you’re lazy or feel like flaming me no matter what I write. I aim to please.

Disclaimer: Do keep in mind that I only have a Jedi at level 39 and a trader at level cap (after a grueling grind). I have not experienced the game fully, including things like heroics and PvP.

Hit the jump to find out the good stuff! Read more

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The Norrathian Museum

If you’ve never played a MMO that includes a lot of sandbox-options, do check out the video below. It’s from Stargrace, who has put a lot of effort into her Norrathian Museum in EverQuest 2. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Be sure to watch at least until she gets to the library, which contains not only books from the game itself, but more than 100 books written by players. Awesome stuff.

I truly hope that MMOs will return to implementing things like this, since it brings so much immersion and personality to a game. Looking forward to seeing more videos of EverQuest 2 from Stargrace, since I don’t enjoy the rest of the game very much myself.

(It seems like YouTube managed to mess up the sound of the video a bit, so it doesn’t synch all the way through. Not a big deal, though.)

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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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MMO-quote of the day #3: What’s that smell?

Blizzard can list all the reasons under the sun why they haven’t implemented Player Housing, but when several smaller MMOs already have Player Housing, and have done a fething good job with it, Blizzard are just blowing smoke out their arse. (source)

Cap’n John on the subject of player housing in WoW over at Wolfshead’s blog. Take time to read the whole entry, great stuff and I very much agree. World of Warcraft not having player owned housing yet is borderline pathetic. “[I]t’s incredibly complex to do right and we’re not sure yet if it’s going to be the right thing for WoW in the long run”, my behind.

(I had to fight the urge to add a lolcat-pic to this entry. I’m very proud that I resisted.)

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