Star Wars Galaxies: Emulator

This episode is a quick overview of the SWGEmu available over at www.swgemu.com where you can once again play Star Wars Galaxies while helping the project!

Hindsight is 20 20 so they say. A brief history of SWG…

One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is to be arrogant. It’s like the current 33rd-century world government who decry independent thought. Like King Canute, the government or the arrogant, cannot change the passage of history.

With that in mind, we’re looking at Star Wars Galaxies today. So in 2003 Lucas Arts and Sony Online Entertainment launched a Raph Koster game that was and is still unique. Star Wars Galaxies. At the time the game play and graphics were mind-blowing. So much so that people were boasting about how far they could turn the setting up on their machines, planned individual careers and pre-formed guilds ahead of the game’s launch. The hype generated was fanatical.

The game itself had its flaws though. Rubber banding was endemic, there were mistakes made with the TEF system that even Raph Koster couldn’t fully fix and the game itself was launched before it was complete. One notable absence from Star Wars Galaxies were Stars and Galaxies. On record, John Smedley has admitted that as a mistake and even though I personally want to punch the camera right now I don’t believe one man could have been responsible for the horror that was to follow.

It’s all history now, water under the bridge as they say but with jealous looks at other games such as World of Warcraft, a decision was made, based on no doubt on many recommendations, that the game had to change. Indeed, on Raph Kosters site, he reveals that some of the decisions could have been made using faulty data.

Video overview of Star Wars Galaxies Emulator

So, one week after The Trials of Obi-Wan expansion was released the poor Terran’s endured the utterly horrifying New Game Experience. Major changes included the reduction and simplification of professions, simplification of gameplay mechanics, and Jedi becoming a starting profession. This led to a number of players demanding their money back for the expansion. After a week or two of protests, Sony offered refunds to anyone who asked for it. Many player towns became ghost towns due to the reaction of long-term players who decided to depart en masse.

It would be unfair and disingenuous of me to say that these things were completely wrong to do. Each of those changes contained some pretty good stuff but they also contained some pretty bad stuff too. Before you knew it a whole population was disenfranchised. People didn’t necessarily want to be forced along a path. People were quite happy paying to be Entertainers and Artisans or generally hanging around Cantinas and Star Ports. Instead of a rich and varied skill system, a cookie cutter experience was forced onto an unwilling player base. Argue as much as you want but the end result was the end of the game December 15th, 2011 when the last server shut. Happy Christmas from SOE.

Except some did something about it. Someone used their brains.

In 2004, the SWG Emulator was born. It’s taken years to get to where it is now, but it works, it’s playable and its fun. It’s on Publish 9.To refresh your memories, this in the introduction of the Village Jedi system.

TheAnswer, lead developer on the SWGEmu project with a team of volunteers are faithfully recreating the Star Wars Galaxies experience with the concrete aim of reaching publish 14.1 which is just before the Combat Upgrade.

So to answer some burning questions, yes, it’s free to play. Yes, you need your installation discs and no, there is no JTL yet. During production, JTL didn’t hit until Publish 11. See the video, listen to the audio or just log into the game for yourself and help the project. It’s great!

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2 comments on “StarfleetComms Podcast: S4E03 Star Wars Galaxies Emulator

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  1. Sounds good. I’m impressed by the population count. I don’t think I can find my disks though. :/

    • Ack! Well if you are tempted to get some second hand don’t pay too much for them. I’ve seen them as low as £20 (which isn’t THAT low) to around £40!!!

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