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Star Wars: Galaxies Preview 224

Posted by Hemos
from the will-it-be-worth-the-money dept.
LukeG writes "Ferrago.co.uk has just gone live with a brand new preview of Lucas Arts' upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: Galaxies. This game represents what could turn out to be the most popular online universe ever-created, especially if Everquest creators Verant can deliver the goods as fans hope. "
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Star Wars: Galaxies Preview

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  • They've been outdone effects-wise, and frankly I am so tired of Hollywood getting down on its knees to beg for the money of little children by making bad movies just-for-them. It was perverse when Spielberg did it in Jurassic Park, and seeing it happen with Star Wars just makes me sick.
    • Agreed. Given the quality of most recent MMORPGs lately, or lack thereof, to wit: Anarchy Online and World War II Online not to mention the grand suckfulness that is ANY recent game with the words Star Wars in its title, this game will be hard-pressed not to suck.

      Come on people! Realize that it's pure commercial drivel, not art nor nostalgia nor some sense of art that makes this crap move. You bought the crappy plastic little figures in 1977, and you're still buying junk.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @10:32PM (#2998215) Homepage
      A troll? Maybe, but I'll bite...

      Star Wars was -not- originally about selling something more - it was about making something new and fresh. From where I sit, this looks to be more of the latter.

      First off, Galaxies is set between Episode IV and V, so it's true to the Trilogy - catering to (you guessed it!) the older audience that actually saw the Trilogy when they were younger/growing up, not the children you speak of that bought whatever those spinoff games were from Ep1. I'm sure you'd agree that the making of, say, Pod Racer, isn't anything similar in intensity as Galaxies. I doubt that many 'children' would have the ability to pay the subscription fees, nor that many parents have the will or money to pay that for their kids to play games - though, I suspect there are many parents that would pay that for themselves. :) And the topic of whether a child would want to sit and build a character from the ground up (we're speaking, say, sub-12 years of age category here, I think - or roughly approximating) for hours and hours on end instead of playing Pod Racer is insane. The rare and far between, but really - since when has anyone gotten rich by exploiting the 'rare and far between' individuals?

      I can understand your bitterness concerning Episode I - hey, we're all with you on that one. It sucked elephant. This game doesn't seem to be of the same quality; at least not yet.
  • by MathJMendl (144298) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:06PM (#2997373) Homepage
    Man, what is with all this hype for everything lately? Everyone is saying "this will be the best game/movie/music" before it even comes out! It happened before with Harry Potter and LOTR, which were both good, but received automatic 10 ratings / two thumbs up before even coming out!!

    I say we wait until something comes out, and *then* applaud it.
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:06PM (#2997374) Homepage Journal
    Think of the viscious fights over who gets to be the first to kill Jar-Jar Binks.
    • That whole race is going to be a race of marked men.
    • by The Cat (19816) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:15PM (#2997440)
      Someone will probably record a demo of it too:

      "Click here for a 3 minute third-person MPEG of Jar-Jar being chased across an open 400-acre field by 7,620 Galaxies players and a fleet of 281 ships"
      • That probably won't be enough. You saw the havoc he unleashed on the poor unsuspecting Trade Federation droid army.
      • Hah, I still haven't seen any proof that the Jar-Jar gay porn I've heard rumors of exists.
      • actually the screen savers [techtv.com] already did it, sorta. It was when they reviewed the StarWars skin for warcraft (or ages or whatever it was...) that was passed off as a new game a while ago... the best quote of the review went along the lines of "but some parts of the star wars universe don't translate well... when was the last time you saw a jedi knight hacking away at a building with a light saber? ... but decimating a legion of jar-jar binks with a couple jedis is a thing to behold."
    • hah! I think I would pay to see him die! but thats just me
    • Unfortunatly:

      1) This is set in the 'classic' era. In the time between Episode IV and V. (before the invasion of Hoth)

      2) You won't be able to kill NPC's, and any named character will be an NPC.
    • Think of the viscious fights over who gets to be the first to kill Jar-Jar Binks.

      The designers probably know that everyone would want to kill Jar Jar. That being the case, here are my guesses as to how they can deal with that eventuality:

      1: Make Jar-Jar extremely kick-ass and very difficult to kill.
      2: Surround Jar-Jar in a very protected place surrounded by some extremely hard-core NPC's who will protect him to the death.
      3: Hide Jar-Jar in some really remote location. If someone finds him, they deserve to finish him.
      4: (Most likely) Leave Jar-Jar out of the game.

      • "1: Make Jar-Jar extremely kick-ass and very difficult to kill."

        After seeing them do this time after time in EQ, and seeing the players succeed (by out-ubering each other, camping XP/loot spots, for this sole purpose), I'd be surprised if they didn't use this method.

        (Or method #4) :)
      • ...or simply make him very hard to kill, but worth zero experience and (upon death) dropping no items. If you get nothing from the effort, why bother?

      • 5: Make the game about the Episode IV-VI period, not the Episode I-III period...
    • This was the best part of The Phantom Menace 3rd person adventure game... in the Gungan city you could kill EVERY SINGLE GUNGAN.. well, except for Jar Jar :( Since the goal of the mission is to rescue him.

      Still, it's great fun to watch a tiny Gungan child run away screaming about monsters right before you cut em to ribbons :)
  • by Metrollica (552191) <m etrollica AT hotmail D0T com> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:08PM (#2997394) Homepage Journal
    Some may want to check out the official sites here [sony.com] and here [lucasarts.com] or the FAQ on the game here. [sony.com]
  • by The Cat (19816) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:09PM (#2997400)
    Screaming hordes of Jedi apprentices and Boba Fetts roaming from planet to planet. Storms of rocks and packing crates darkening the skies as thousands practice their telekinetic skills. Every conversation being conducted with constant frantic hand-waving. A light-sabre enhanced melee over the one Millenium Falcon ship that lasts 24-hours a day for months.

    Oh, yay.

  • Although I'm an avid star wars fan, I've given up hope lucasarts will ever make a decent game based on the movies.

    • Re:No hope (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TeraCo (410407)
      Hey, Tie Fighter was brilliant. Shame about all of the sequels though..
    • Ya lets just ignore X-Wing Tie-Fighter, Dark Forces, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight. Perhaps you mean any good new games. Although I've heard that the most recent Star Wars rts game at least qualifies as decent.
    • Re:No hope (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @08:29PM (#2997773) Homepage
      The best game to ever come from LucasArts is SAM and MAX.

      any game that is so funny you piss your pants the first time you play it is a winner in any book.
      • No way, dude. I'm partial to the Battle of Britain. Sucked up more hours of my life than any other game of my childhood. Course, it looked a lot better on my Atari ST than my friends' PCs.
  • by Kallahar (227430)
    While I love a good preview, this is nothing more than fluff... I could have written a more interesting review by just making stuff up. I'd love a review with some actual specs in it.

    That said, I can't wait for this to come out! It's great that Verant is developing the game since they can bring their experiences with everquest (ie maybe solving the nightmare upgrade weeks) to this title.

  • by StefanJ (88986) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:17PM (#2997453) Homepage Journal
    I predict that about one in three characters will look like Boba Fett, and a hell of a lot of others will be bounty hunters [geocities.com] of various sorts.

    As a result, bounty hunting will be an incredibly low-wage job. The streets will be thicker with desperate BHs than San Francisco is with pinkslipped web designers . . . begging for a chance to work, perhaps even carrying around WILL KILL FOR FOOD or WILL CAPTURE FOE FOR ROCKET PACK FUEL signs.

    -- Stefan Jones

    • I wonder if the star wars universe has Patchouli.
      Because that's what an unemployed beatnick bounty hunter might smell like.

      They'll probably replace droids as the cheapest form of mercenary.

      Besides, they won't have the dumb habit of falling over like dominoes.

    • low-wage? then we just end up with the cowboy bebop universe, and that works pretty well too
    • Forget not Jedi masters. Speaking like yoda, become popular it will. Oh yesss, precioussss, is it juicy, is it tasty we wonders?

      Sorry, Yoda became Gollum, just then.

    • A friend predicted that to more evenly balance the distribution of characters, they will fiddle the stats and the most popular character will be the Ewok, since they'll have unlimited capacity for Jedi power accumilation or something.

      Ecology can be tricky...

      Xix.
  • by Adolatra (557735) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:18PM (#2997455) Homepage
    It is a period of civil war. Rebel hackers, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Verant Empire and it's horrific Everquest. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the STAR WARS MMORPG, a new and more powerful form of digital crack with enough power to enslave an entire planet. Pursued by Verant's sinister agents across the EQ serves, Princess CowboyNeal races home aboard her...er...his avatar, custodian of the stolen beta that can save his nerds and restore freedom to the galaxy...
  • I'm still waiting for a decent first person star wars game (Jedi Knight can only be replayed so many times, and the acting stank)... let alone a good RTS...

    This had better be the BEST, or I'm never going to buy a star wars game ever again.

    Oh what am I saying, Lucasarts, I can't stay mad at you.
  • I hate RPGs.. but.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xerithane (13482) <[gro.mrafdren] [ta] [enahtirex]> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:19PM (#2997463) Homepage Journal
    From what I hear this will actually be pretty different in the structure. I hate dealing with the I'm IRC'ing feeling that I get while trying MMORPGs. It's IRC with a lot of clicking.

    That being said, City of Heroes [cityofheroes.com] looks pretty damned cool. One thing I think a lot of the RPGs are missing is an actual real-time realistic combat system. If I'm holding two swords, or a sword and a shield, I want to be able to use both the way I want to. I don't want any autoblocking, or a 'Two handed slash attack'. I want to see realistic fighting in these games.

    I know it takes a lot more resources to code, and handle, but damnit it would be sweet.
    • 10six www.10six.com has real time combat, in an FPS format. It's one of the more innovative combat models that i've seen. You attack with your avatar and rovers (robotic assistants) which you control. It goes in real time and is quite for (more fun than standard FPSes). Not only that, but they back it up with a fun world too. While it's strictly about mining and fighting it's loads of fun.

      The only reason I quit was that it took about 3 hours a day of play to have a half way decent character. Any less and some asshole would take your stuff (the games goes on when you log off, and your camps are susceptible to attack)
      • Thanks for the link, unfortunately any game that requires me to play for 3 hours a week will be neglected. That is why SWG sounds spiffy, you can still progress.. just really slowly if you don't play often.

        I have an idea for an RPG that I hope someone picks up which is automating your tasks. You have your own defined safe zones (which you can setup as part of another players zone, and then it is a cascade effect) that are patrolled by the NPCs. You can automate tasks while in the safe zone, there by still increasing your skills in the game but only in the field you were doing while logging off and then have a /2 ratio on the skill or something. In order to be attacked, they have to take out your top level providor (Which, if it's computer controlled, would be difficult) and to keep people from doing that always setting it up so that you have to pay pretty hefty taxes for the security. It would provide a safety net for the really high up players that can afford it, and incentive for the lower players to team up with other higher players who have their own zones or play more and get their own secured zones (with computer soldiers that you pay to sustain, offset by collecting "rent" from lower players wanting safety)

        I have a lot of great ideas for RPGs.. Unfortunately time doesn't allow me actually working on refinine any of them, or making them a reality.
    • True,

      I'm sure you'll never see the hero waving his blessed lightsaber advancing on an attacker that has a un-pinned grenade waiting behind his back. Use the force? Let's see you aviod one high energy explosion jedi boy....
    • That being said, City of Heroes looks pretty damned cool.

      Yes it does, however the only thing it is lacking is the ability of being a villan. This may cause for some not so exciting and repetitive action, with everyone day after day battling the same AI. I guess with the exception of the Arena combat the FAQ [cityofheroes.com] talks about. What I would like to see is Rockstar get into the worlds of MMORPGs, maybe a Liberty City simulator, (AKA GTA4), where people can choose what kind a hood or vigilante they'd want to be, Mafia, Triad, Diablo or otherwise common hood. But if that ever came out, I think I'd lose my job, girlfriend and all ambitions in life. (So bad idea, don't listen to me Rockstar...)
      • Rockstar has made noises about GTA3:Miami (coming out this fall) being an "expansion pack" and GTA4 (due 2003) coming with the ability to join up to 15 other players in forming a gang, roving the streets, beating up rival gangs, pimps, taking on squads of SWAT troopers, etc.

        I absolutely cannot wait.
    • One thing I think a lot of the RPGs are missing is an actual real-time realistic combat system.

      Do you mean a system where as you see your oppontent preparing to strike at your neck with his sword, you then need to use the "shield parry" command (or skill) to then block, but only at the right time, and of course, only at the right height (your neck)... so those who try to attack at the same time might find themselves decapitated? Obviously the better you got the faster your opponent and thus the less time to react...
  • by dbretton (242493) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:19PM (#2997470) Homepage
    In an effort to curb the usage of LucasArts (tm) intellectual property, the following payment scheme will be enforced for Star Wars: Galaxies:

    writing the word: lightsaber 0.10
    writing the words: Use the Force 0.25
    using the force: 2.00
    acquiriing an At-At: 0.50
    using the word: Lucas 0.05
    using the words: Lucas sucks 15.95
    creating a Character named -
    Hans 5.95
    Luke 10.95
    Leia 11.95
    Lei-me 25.95
    Puke 25.95
    LucasSucks 89.95
    StarBalz 1,000,000.00
    KillMeImJarJar 0.02

  • Just imagine cozying up to a harem costume clad Princess Leia, only to later discover she's being played by a guy who looks like comic-book guy from the Simpsons! Talk about a Crying Game...
  • by Twister002 (537605) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:22PM (#2997484) Homepage
    ...is why you would want to play a game based on an epic series where you don't get to be a main character.

    It's like playing a hobbit in the shire in a LOTR MMORPG. Big deal. All these world shattering events are occuring and you're pulling weeds out from between your toes.

    So what if you get to play a stormtrooper in the Empire? you can't REALLY make a big difference in the game because you already know that Lando is going to blow up the death star. You can only be a "big fish in a little pond" in a way. Sure, you can be the biggest despot on the planet you control, but so what?

    Games like "Asherons Call" and even "Everquest" would seem to be a little more fun. There is a chance that you could be the one that casts the ancient sepll that sends the evil back to where it came, or you could be the one that becomes the biggest source of evil in the world.

    Not to mention the fact that MMORPG means you have to interact with other people online. bleh. I've had my fill of 10 year olds trash talking in CS and Quake. Who needs some skeezoid playing a wookie to start following you around, picking you up and shaking you for change every chance he gets?
    • And this differs from real life in what respect? It's not as though most of us have any hope of becoming Leader Of The Universe; we do what we can, we influence the world as we are able. And hopefully make some difference.
      • Exactly my point, if I'm going to play a fantasy game. I don't want it to BE like real life. I WANT to be the guy that storms the Normandy beach and LIVES. I want to be the Jedi that defeats Darth Vader. Not the janitor that cleans up after the bounty hunters bachelor party.
        • "I WANT to be the guy that storms the Normandy beach and LIVES. I want to be the Jedi that defeats Darth Vader."

          You can. There are computer games designed for the single player gaming experience. Surprisingly they have been around for decades, and are even sold in the same stores that will carry Star Wars: Galaxies. WOW what a wonderful world.

          P.S. If your looking to storm the Normandy beach and live, try Medal of Honor: Allied Assualt.
    • I've had my fill of 10 year olds trash talking in CS and Quake. Who needs some skeezoid playing a wookie to start following you around, picking you up and shaking you for change every chance he gets?

      Especially since his name will undoubtedly be DarthMaul873.
  • all games these days release buggy as hell, with patches expected within the first few days -- WWII Online, AO, Everquest, every single MMPORG you can think of has released buggy as hell and then been patched...this is now standard operating procedure.

    so I don't think they'll actually deliver the goods until well after the game is released. It may actually become a good game after a while, but it won't be "the best ev4r!!1!" for quite a while.

    It's going to be fun as hell to kill Jar-Jar over and over again, though. ("Yippee!")
    • DAoC (Dark Age of Camelot, website here [darkageofcamelot.com]) was pretty bug-free when it was released.

      In fact, I think they've introduced (and then had to fix) more bugs in patches than they've fixed bugs which existed in the first place (before patches). If that makes sense...
    • If a MMPORG is realsed really buggy no one plays.. they give up on it. if you cant keep the momentem (hype) up, you loose

      WWII online.. who plays that? who even played it? everyone heard it was buggy BEFORE the release

      AO.. played it.. buggy as hell.. patches suxed

      DAOC.. came right on the heels of AO.. pretty good release worked almost out of the box.. still playing
      • if you cant keep the momentem (hype) up, you loose

        Ignoring for the moment the many other issues I have with your post, this verb simply makes no sense here. "If you can't keep the hype up, you let loose or release..." what, exactly? Or perhaps you were looking for the word lose, indicating a failure to win.

        Congratulations! You have been participant #31 in my campaign to rid Slashdot of this error.

  • This review seems to have gotten all of its information - including screenshots - from the official website [sony.com]. There's no insider information, no developer/producer interviews, and the technical information is... well... lacking. For example: "Well, I can tell you that the game will likely be utilising modems, so expect some slow play with all of those worlds to contend with... " Yikes.

    Not only that, the author can't even get his Star Wars (or planetary systems) facts stright: "Obviously, the game will be set in the Star Wars universe (duh), but is not confined to just a single planet (hence the 'Galaxies' bit)" - Since when has any Star Wars episode been limited to one planet? And if there are multiple galaxies, it will certainly be a departure from the Star Wars mythology.

    Let the site get slashdotted - wait for the game to be released and wait for a real review.

    Just my $0.02

    --
    Inominate Recreant - in the code business for 22 years

  • Jar-Jars! Just bouncing around aimlessly on their home planet.

    Who wouldn't help Vader build the Death Star to nuke the shit out of that planet?
    That is the reason why this will be the most successful game ever.

  • by Manaz (46799) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:30PM (#2997524) Homepage
    And not just because of it's heritage and geek appeal either.

    The lead designer for SWG is Raph Koster. Most of you probably don't know who Raph Koster is - but you'd know (or at least know of) his work. Does Ultima Online [uo.com] ring any bells? Raph Koster was the lead developer for UO for quite some time - from it's introduction through until the introduction of the second expansion (and possibly a bit longer than that). UO was VERY popular - at least in part due to Raph's influence. He has shown an ability to work with a product which has a heritage (people have been playing Ultima since the days of the Apple ][e), and the ability to work with someone important to that heritage (Richard Garriott in the case of UO). So I can't see the heritage SWG inherits from the SW movies, or the involvement of George Lucas, being a problem to him at all as he goes about developing what should be another successful MMORPG.

    All in all, I wish Raph, and the other developers, the best of luck, and I am definately looking forward to seeing how SWG goes once it's released. I may even play it! :)
    • I used to play on the MUD he was an implementor on.

      You can check out his homepage here: http://www.legendmud.org/raph/
      It has his writings on game stuff, quite a bit of stuff hes collected.
      The mud is pretty kickass too.
      http://www.legendmud.org/

  • Well, I can tell you that the game will likely be utilising modems, so expect some slow play with all of those worlds to contend with... a similar problem to Planetside.
  • Mirror Here.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mish (50810)
    Looks like the site has been slashed already...

    Here's a mirror (All four pages are now one :)

    http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mish/swg/
    • Thanks for your mirror. If you do this again (please please please keep doing this, google does not cache images)
      you can create a link in slashdot by using plain html:
      &lt a href = "
      http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mish/swg/" &gt here &lt/a&gt
      results in :
      here [paradise.net.nz]

      Making a link like this will prevent /. to create spaces in links.

  • This game represents what could turn out to be the most popular online universe ever-created
    Or it could be a steaming pile of turd. An article entitled 'Been playing this game for 3 months, here's a detailed review explaining exactly why it's the best of the lot' would be a hell of a lot more interesting and useful.
  • by Emugamer (143719) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @07:38PM (#2997566) Homepage Journal
  • I really do like the idea of MMORPG's; they give you the chance to live another life, so to speak. It would seem that they are the 'way forward' too, what with titles such as Planetside and Final Fantasy XI on the way and superb games such as Dark Ages of Camelot and Everquest already here. The only thing that I really feel is lacking from these great games is a familiar setting, one that we all know and love; a setting with intense character and charm, somewhere that we have all wanted to be a part of... so what would you say if I told you of a MMORPG set in the Star Wars universe, with every detail complete (hopefully, anyhow) and all of your favourite characters? It seems too good to be true doesn't it? Well, LucasArts Entertainment (with Everquest creators, Verant) aim to deliver you the ultimate Star Wars experience, ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Star Wars Galaxies.

    Star Wars Galaxies is currently under development by LucasArts Entertainment and Sony Online; with Verant lending their skills. It has a certain pedigree, too, with these developers behind it, can they pull off such a mammoth task without upsetting thousands of Star Wars fans? We'll take a look...

    Obviously, the game will be set in the Star Wars universe (duh), but is not confined to just a single planet (hence the 'Galaxies' bit), LucasArts hint at many planets being used in the title, but as of the moment only Tatooine, Naboo and Yavin IV have been confirmed. I don't doubt for a second that all of the other famous Star Wars planets will make an appearance, I expect to see Hoth, Endor (I know it's a moon, really) and others popping up soon. LucasArts have stated that they want many smaller planets in the title (each one around 16km in size), rather than just one huge world to circumnavigate, which wouldn't give that Star Wars 'feel' to the game, instead giving a more diverse ambience to the proceedings. It would seem that LucasArts want you to explore in this title, but on a much grander scale than anything before it.

    • Re:game (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I hope to god the creators of Everquest can create a game this time that doesnt require a fuckin Gig of ram to run decently. Not like I don't haveit...it just shouldnt take that much. Hopefully better planning will go into the game.
    • "I really do like the idea of MMORPG?s; they give you the chance to live another life, so to speak.
      "

      Yeah, unfortunately you have to give up what life you had before to play your new life.

      The worst ever was when text-based MUDS like Mozart had "renting"- meaning you had to put a couple of hours of play in every day even if you didn't want to in order to make enough gold that your stuff wouldn't get lost.

      graspee

  • ...seeing this site will be down soon ;)

    I really do like the idea of MMORPG's; they give you the chance to live another life, so to speak. It would seem that they are the 'way forward' too, what with titles such as Planetside and Final Fantasy XI on the way and superb games such as Dark Ages of Camelot and Everquest already here. The only thing that I really feel is lacking from these great games is a familiar setting, one that we all know and love; a setting with intense character and charm, somewhere that we have all wanted to be a part of... so what would you say if I told you of a MMORPG set in the Star Wars universe, with every detail complete (hopefully, anyhow) and all of your favourite characters? It seems too good to be true doesn't it? Well, LucasArts Entertainment (with Everquest creators, Verant) aim to deliver you the ultimate Star Wars experience, ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Star Wars Galaxies.

    Star Wars Galaxies is currently under development by LucasArts Entertainment and Sony Online; with Verant lending their skills. It has a certain pedigree, too, with these developers behind it, can they pull off such a mammoth task without upsetting thousands of Star Wars fans? We'll take a look...

    Obviously, the game will be set in the Star Wars universe (duh), but is not confined to just a single planet (hence the 'Galaxies' bit), LucasArts hint at many planets being used in the title, but as of the moment only Tatooine, Naboo and Yavin IV have been confirmed. I don't doubt for a second that all of the other famous Star Wars planets will make an appearance, I expect to see Hoth, Endor (I know it's a moon, really) and others popping up soon. LucasArts have stated that they want many smaller planets in the title (each one around 16km in size), rather than just one huge world to circumnavigate, which wouldn't give that Star Wars 'feel' to the game, instead giving a more diverse ambience to the proceedings. It would seem that LucasArts want you to explore in this title, but on a much grander scale than anything before it.

    The planets themselves will be divided into many sections, but unlike Everquest, transition into another 'zone' will be completely seamless. LucasArts plan to have different sections for each different type of game mode, so separate zones for interaction (cities and living spaces), battles and travel. There will also be different sectors within each zone, such as wild (dangerous!), safe (errrmm) and truce. Truce is a sector where absolutely no fighting can occur even between rival factions, so in theory you can't just waltz up to someone and shoot them, ending any 'newbie' kills. It's generally not a good idea to randomly attack anyone in Galaxies at all though; as you never know if there's a Lightsaber somewhere under the enemy's cloak...

    One feature of the game that will have fans back-flipping with joy is the timeline. Galaxies is set in what LucasArts call the 'Classic Era', as in between episodes IV and V. That places it somewhere between the destruction of the first Death Star and the Empire's attack on the Rebel base on Hoth. I am so glad that they didn't set this game in the Episode I era, the game would not have been half as interesting! LucasArts said that they had set the game in this so called 'classic' period so that they could have access to all of the main Star Wars characters, aside from Obi-Wan. This gives them a huge variety of NPC's at their disposal.... oh yeah.... that's the other point, the characters...

    You may be disappointed to learn that you can't be Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo or Leia. In fact you can't take on the role of any of the Star Wars characters themselves, you can't even be a stormtrooper (not that you'd want to, because you wouldn't be allowed out of the barracks!). No, it would seem that you will have to create you own character, right from the beginning, but that's fine by me, I want to carve my own destiny, as should you all. This doesn't mean that you won't see the main characters, they will all be present as NPCs, hell, you may even get to interact with them, but killing them is impossible, as they are vital to plot-lines and such. As if your weak human avatar could kill Vader anyway...

    When you actually get around to creating you character, you will discover that it's a little different from the likes of Everquest. In Galaxies, there is no level system, instead LucasArts have optioned for a 'Skill System'. The Skills system will utilise skill trees, as you start learning a skill, it will develop and branch out, giving your character a great many skills to master. The skills trees will not be linear either, LucasArts promise, as you can change to another skill at any point (you may feel that blaster repair is a lot more vital than crop-tending skills, for example). This 'system' should mean that your character will develop a great variety of skills and no two should be alike, meaning, hopefully, greater player diversity. It's also interesting to note that aside from the obvious allegiances (Rebel or Imperial); LucasArts seem to reward the player who prefers to go it alone. There are very few 'clans' within the original package. Obviously a great many will appear when the game finally goes online, but it's nice to see that the developers have gone for this approach for a change as it could lead to hundreds of warring factions... Which would be something to behold, certainly.

    As for your character itself, you can choose from many different species for your avatar. At the moment Humans, Mon Calamari, Zabrak, Rodians, Twi'leks, Trandoshan, Wookies and Bothans have all been announced and expect more to appear. LucasArts have also revealed that you can be a Jedi if you wish, although all budding Obi-Wan's take note: the path of the Force will be most difficult, whichever path you choose! With all of these species and such to choose from and then their skill trees on top, you are presented with an immense variety of life. It will be incredible if LucasArts and co. can pull it off!

    Equipment. Star Wars wouldn't be the same without all of the gadgets and gizmos, so it is no surprise that the programmers are ensuring that all of your favourite Star Wars goodies (including the rare Mandalorian Armour) will be included. Your character will be able to loot bodies and battlefields for such supplies, as with any MMORPG, however Galaxies hopes to introduce weapons building. Yes, your character can build his, or her own Lightsaber, to his your very own design (double ended?) as well as blasters and such, giving your character an arsenal that is unique. You can also buy droids to act as a sidekick, a star fighter to zip around in, build your own house, shop or farm (in space allotted to you by the server), you can even build yourself a Rebel base... this should make the experience unlike any other MMORPG before, if it all works. At the moment all of these promises look very distant indeed, I hope that LucasArts can deliver the goods.

    So what of the nitty gritty details? The bits that are a little boring but a necessity? Well, I can tell you that the game will likely be utilising modems, so expect some slow play with all of those worlds to contend with... a similar problem to Planetside. Also, expect a subscription fee, it would appear that gaming of this quality will not come cheap (as if Mr. Lucas hasn't made enough out of Star Wars anyway!). However aside from a few minute creases, this is shaping up to be one of the heavy hitters in the MMORPG world. Let's hope that LucasArts aren't just jumping onto the MMORPG bandwagon to make a quick buck...

    So, until we see Galaxies close up to determine just what life in a galaxy far, far away is really like, live long and prosper... No, wait, that's not right...

    Posted by Ben Jackson
  • Maybe they'll make NPC Jedis based on N*SYNC members, then pull them at the last minute due to overwhelming fan response!
  • Does anyone else think Star Wars games are just repetitive and similar? Lucas Arts releases basicly the same games year after year with only slight changes. Why do people keep buying them?

    At least with Star Wars: Galaxies they are trying something different. But then we can expect the next few games released by them to be exactly like it.
  • by halo8 (445515)
    Q: any idea on a release date? quater? year? stardate?
  • a little big [sony.com], but nice.
  • Boy I hope so. If these character/races are there, then I am definitely there!

    THINK for a moment of being able to BE Jar-Jar...or a manly EWOK!

  • by brer_rabbit (195413) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @08:07PM (#2997683) Journal
    I wonder if they'll have character classes. It'd be great to be one of the contractors that's hired to build the Death Star.

    obref Clerks [imdb.com]
  • It's doubtless something that has been asked before, but - with all of the advances in this genre, and the habit-forming tendencies of games like EQ - how long can it be until we see a substantial shift in gamers towards the virtual reality offered by this kind of game?

    Given that there is a proven market for transactions of weapons/characters/etc. on ebay (for example), there's scope for the seasoned/talented player to actually make a living living the game, so to speak. As games become more complex and immersive, who can doubt that we will soon see groups of people who enter the game - and never come out?

    And, if this is the future, is it necessarily a bad thing? The issue of procreation aside, intellectual pursuits can arguably be carried out as well (or better) in an online virtual existance as in "real life". Those with social difficulties find an arena in which they can perform and blossom. Etc., etc..

    Interesting times are ahead..
  • I almost forgot! I have dibs on being JarJar!

  • What do you think the odds are of being able to choose a name like Luke Skywalker or Han Solo in the game? They Probably are already taken before the game even starts. Now how many Luke Skywalker113978723 do you think there will be? Then if you were able to get the name Luke Skywalker and work him up to level 40 how much do you think you could get for him on Ebay. I think it would bring the auctions up to a whole new level for virtual world stuff. You probably won't even be able to be Luke Skywalker12148098432 you'll end up being jfdsalkj123342089787 because it will be so big that will be the only name left. Oh well, It will probably be a good game, Lucas will probably make a fortune, and I'll probably go blind playing it.
    • Also remember that Verant has been using a name validator for some time in EQ to filter out names that are obviously obscene. It would take only a few minutes of work to add several dozen variations of 'Luke' 'Han' and 'Leia' to this setup.

      GM's in both EQ and DOAC have been known to force characters to change their name. Just recently, a buddy who plays on DOAC had his name forcibly changed to something more acceptable than 'Myazz'.
  • I'd try it if it did. I'd try Everquest if it did. yea, whatever.
  • "the path of the Force will be most difficult, whichever path you choose!"

    Huh? I thought the path to the Dark Side was the quick and easy one, what's the point if I have to work for it?!?
  • The Star Wars fans will never be pleased. Nothing will ever be as good as the first 3 (or even the first one) and they will stand by it and crucify everything lucas makes...yet they call themselves fans.
  • So, here's the scenario, how do they stop someone from taking control of a death star and destroying an entire planet with millions of dollars(EBAY dollars) worth of characters.

    I would be pissed if I flunked out of school playing this game to only discover that my character was destroyed by a psycho with a death star!

  • Some thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BelDion (109503)
    Ok, so we set a MMORPG in the Star Wars universe. Sounds Good. What do you immediately think? "Wow, I can play a budding Jedi like Luke Skywalker!" or "I'm gonna be a cool bounty Hunter like Boba Fett".

    Now think about it, what's gonna happen when everyone logs in to create their characters? That's right, everyone will be playing the same couple of types of characters. Joe-Everybody will want to be a Jedi master and Jane-Everybody else will be walking around dressed like Fett. I mean, who's gonna log on and think "Hey, I've got to try being a farmer like Luke's uncle!" It's the Star Wars universe, come on, it's cool and sci-fi'y!

    And now for something completely different:

    Star Wars MMORPG: $60
    Online account: $10/month
    New Computer to run sys requirements: $1500
    The ability to use the phrase "Feel the Force, B*tch!" in a Star Wars environment after fragging someone: Priceless

    There some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's Visa.(What, I hate MC!)
    • Except Jedi Knights are going to be exceptionally rare. Verant has addressed this topic time and again in its Developers' Forum [martinfowler.com]. Give it a look some time.

      Becoming a Jedi will entail a LOT of development time as well as many difficult side-quests, not to mention the fact that you'll have to construct your own light saber...
  • Modems? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Scooter (8281) <(owen) (at) (annicnova.force9.net)> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @10:11PM (#2998128)
    I got the distinct impression the reviewer (or previewer?) is not familair with the subject matter - I mean what was that bit about modems about? "[the game] will use modems" ?? what for exactly? Or did he mean that er.. players who use modems to connect to an ISP will be erm.. using them still when they play this game?

    And the fact that you created your own character seemed a revelation to this guy - even though he claimed knowledge of Everquest and a whole bunch of other games. Ever heard of "role playing"?? hehe and then the final shock news - they'll be charging for it! Well er duh! do ya think?

    Still - the game looks nice - hell if game models and rendering get much better, Lucasfilm will be able to shoot Episode III in the damm game :)
    • Lucasfilm will be able to shoot Episode III in the damm game :)

      Given Episode I's storyline, that may have already happened in some early beta version. ;-)
  • Test Of MMPORGs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Little Dave (196090)
    Star War Galaxies will be an interesting test of the viability of MMPORGs in the mass market I believe. At the moment, we're seeing a potential deluge of games being sold to a limited audience - and the majority of the games are suffering. Games that require such a wholehearted commitment are petulant bitches who will suffer no rival for their time, so having two or three of the things on the go at once is simply not an option.

    What seems to be happening is that the next big thing will come out (DAOC) and people will tentatively set foot outside the last big thing (EQ) before realising that abandoning their year's investment is simply not an option and returning to their (perhaps inferior) previous game. DAOC is going through this at the moment - when I was playing a few months ago, there would be a regular 1000+ players at anyone time... last night when I looked, it was more like 300-400.

    Publishers are having to try new ways of distributing to get the attention of gamers. Recently, several MMPORGs have gone to the free download or magazine giveaway model (WWIIOnline, Darkspace, Jumpgate, EQ) in an effort to snare punters commitment free. Only time will tell if this works.

    Star Wars Galaxies on the other hand represents something of a new beast - a can't-succeed business model, with a can't-lose license. I'm interested to see how it will fair.
  • I keep reading about these cool MMORPG's. Are there any available for Linux ?

    The problem for me is, my network cards are very unstable under Windoze, so I'd like to find one that does run natively under Linux.

  • What platforms will Star Wars Galaxies [lucasarts.com] run on? The answer may seem obvious, but LucasArts [lucasarts.com] may want to address many [playstation.com] different [microsoft.com] gaming [nintendo.com] platforms [sega.com], as well as few [microsoft.com] desktop [apple.com] ones [sun.com]. To make the development optimal, they should use some [libsdl.org] abstraction [opengl.org] layers [openal.org]. I know people [lokigames.com] who could help with that.

    The screenshots [sony.com] look impressive. It would be cool if I could play that on my platform [debian.org]. And however I realize, that I belong to the minority [linuxgames.com] of gamers (which is good, like Mark Twain has already said, "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."), I still think that when they would wisely program this game for many [playstation.com] different [microsoft.com] gaming [nintendo.com] platforms [sega.com] and few [microsoft.com] desktop [apple.com] ones [sun.com], it'd be a piece of cake to release other [linux.org] version. But I'm affraid that they would prefer us to use [lindows.com] other [winehq.com] options [transgaming.com], unfortunately...

    Oh, well, I gues I'll just have to wait for Mason [worldforge.org], or Warewolf [worldforge.org], or Sands of Syllus [worldforge.org], or Archipelago [worldforge.org], or Catacombs [worldforge.org], or Belchfire [worldforge.org], or Acid Tempest [worldforge.org], or Phoenix [worldforge.org]...

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

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