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Star Wars Galaxies - Jedi, Vehicles, Speeder Bike Racing 49

Posted by simoniker
from the bantha-fodder dept.
Thanks to GameSpy for their interview with Lucasarts staff about playing as a Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies. The article discusses the powers granted to the newly-unlocked Jedi in this PC MMORPG ("There are over fifty Force powers, ranging from Force Lightning, Force Weaken, and Force Throw, to Jedi Mind Trick, and a variety of lightsaber moves"), and the possibility your Jedi character could be lost forever ("We have partial permadeath for a Jedi. Basically, a Jedi is allotted a certain number of deaths before they lose all progress that character has made.") Elsewhere, player-owned vehicles were enabled in the game earlier this week, and the official SWG page has information on the types, including the X34 Landspeeder, Swoop bike, and Speeder bike, and even documents player-hosted races that are being attempted, showcasing an in-game reproduction of the Mos Espa Circuit from Star Wars: Episode 1.
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Star Wars Galaxies - Jedi, Vehicles, Speeder Bike Racing

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  • The Grind (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ziggles (246540) on Saturday December 20, 2003 @04:24PM (#7774502) Homepage
    I don't know why anyone cares about becoming a Jedi. You'll be grinding through professions for countless hours and days.. just so you can get to a new profession to grind through. The game doesn't suddenly change once you're using a light saber instead of a pistol. I don't know anyone who has lasted more than 4 months in this game, even people who usually love MMORPGs get sick of the repetitiveness and lack of incentive to do anything other than grind. Such a pity too.. the Star Wars universe is a lot more interesting than the usual EQ/DAoC type thing IMO.
    • Re:The Grind (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kherr (602366) <`moc.daehteppup' `ta' `nivek'> on Saturday December 20, 2003 @04:35PM (#7774583) Homepage
      I don't understand why people feel a burning desire to max out at each profession by countless hours of grinding. That's why the game loses fun for them. If you just do stuff with your character (run missions, sell goods, whatever) eventually you get the experience to level up. But to make becoming a master your objective would get very old, very fast. No wonder people stop playing.

      With the player cities there are more places to go and the vehicles now make it easier to travel. These player communities are where the interesting interactions in the game are. They've also (thankfully) nerfed the creature handler stuff so the game is not so much "creature wars".
      • Re:The Grind (Score:5, Informative)

        by YomikoReadman (678084) <jasonathelen@gmail . c om> on Sunday December 21, 2003 @05:46AM (#7778114) Journal
        I played for 4 months, never grinded a single profession, and dropped it with 3 masteries, having completed just about all the content available to me. I'd killed a Krayt Dragon, I've killed a Dark Jedi Master. People stop playing for all the reasons the grandparent poster gave. This game simply has no content at all. There are a few buggy, half broken themeparks, a handful of quests, and beyond that, there is 35 professions, not counting the Jedi classes. That is where all the content is, and it is no substitute for a storyline or any quests.
        • Re:The Grind (Score:3, Interesting)

          by JavaLord (680960)
          That is where all the content is, and it is no substitute for a storyline or any quests.

          And the sad part about this is, Star Wars has a huge universe which could have been used to make plenty of storylines and quests. It's sad that SWG was released before it was done in order to make more money for sony in a certain quarter. This game should have been the MMO that would have brought casual players/non mmo players in.
          • I totally agree with that. I was a bit iffy on this at the outset, and then they put in the monthly storylines, which were good. However, in 6 months, there have been 2 parts to the monthly story. In addition, most of the monthly story is aimed at combat classes, and are nearly impossible for a crafter to complete. There is a huge amount they could have done, and still can do. It is simply a matter of the development team getting up and implementing it all.
  • by Andy_R (114137) on Saturday December 20, 2003 @04:52PM (#7774699) Homepage Journal
    I think I'd rather fire up mame and play the original arcade game to get my star wars fix.

    Half the fun of the orignal film was the idea of flying around in cool spaceships, having battles, but that seems to be totally missing from this game. So they finally put in the vehicles that should have been there on day 1? All you get is a beaten up hovercar and two motorbikes that the wheels have fallen off.

    Get back to me when I can win a souped-up smuggling ship in a game of cards and use it to run empire blockades.
    • by cgenman (325138) on Saturday December 20, 2003 @05:20PM (#7774898) Homepage
      Interestingly enough, with the ever-expanding star wars featurelist, it could someday achieve that beautiful glory of the original design doc.

      With staying power and adequate funding, who knows how far it could go. If Episode 3 doesn't incinerate the heart of the series that Episode 1 ripped out and Episode 2 stomped on, this MMPORPG could be in development for many, many years.

    • by Gothic_Walrus (692125) on Sunday December 21, 2003 @02:42PM (#7780246) Journal
      From what I've read, they're planning a space expansion for sometime in 2004. User owned space craft, gigantic space battles, free reign in space...the works.

      Be patient, young Padawan...

      • Not only that but 16 new planets. Some of them are from the books and some are from the movies. After all, Dathomir is there. Why not have other book/movie planets.

        I wanna go to genosis and visit the first historic battleground of the clone wars.
      • The tentative date of release for the space expansion is July. However according to devs back at SWG release, 6 months ago, they had not realy started on the space expansion besides some very old demos.
        So in otherwords based on the current messed up system and the time schedule do NOT expect anything major. You will probably get a few new planets which do not have the current shuttle service to them, a few different ships, a limited battle system, and paths to follow to get from planet to planet which op
  • Jedi crap (Score:5, Informative)

    by Drunken_Jackass (325938) on Saturday December 20, 2003 @05:19PM (#7774890) Homepage
    If you don't know how the developers decided to allow you to unlock a force-sensitive (FS) character - let me give you the lowdown. The "top secret, dynamic, non-random, biological..." method they chose:

    You have to master 5 random professions that are assigned at the time of your character creation. That's 5 out of 32. Sound like long odds? Don't worry, the developers thought sooooo hard on this, they figured out a way to give people a leg up. That's right, they placed Holocrons across the game as loot drops on uber characters (well, uber to casual gamers, not really to hardcore grinders) that will tell you 4 out of the 5 proffesions your character must master in order for you to unlock the FS slot.

    What does that mean? Well, if you wish to unlock a FS (force-sensitive) slot, you have to grind up to a combat profession so you can solo these holocron dropping MOBS. Then you have to get a holocron (the drops are pretty rare). Then, you have to listen to the holocron on what profession you should next master.

    Soooooo, imagine you become a great pistoleer. What happens if your first holocron tells you to be a master weaponsmith? Well, you start the mindless grind to a profession that you are mastering for the sole purpose of filling a randomly assigned profession, so you can be 20% closer to unlocking a FS slot.

    Great.

    They've basically removed the ability for anyone wanting to be a Jedi on creating a character that they've invested a lot of time personalizing and leveling, because now you have to spend your limited profession points to master wild goose hunt professions.

    That's not even mentioning the fact that after you've completed four of the five professions, the holocrons you manage to pick up as loot stop giving hints and you're left blindingly hunting for the one last profession.

    It totally sucks. It ruined the game for many players that thought the dev's would be a litle more caring and have a little more thought behind the end-game. It completely de-values the intent and any sense of caring that you may have thought the dev's had for the game.

    Bottom line, the Jedi path is bullshit.
    • Re:Jedi crap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mike Hawk (687615) on Saturday December 20, 2003 @05:57PM (#7775111) Journal
      Thanks for the info. Now based on what you said, there are a couple counter-points.

      #1 YOU DON'T HAVE TO BECOME A JEDI. Using your great pistoleer example: Be happy as a pistoleer. If you enjoyed the steps it took you to get there and the game as a pistoleer in general, stay that way. The grass isn't always greener, in life or fake life. Its worth repeating, if you aren't willing to bust arse to become a Jedi, don't worry about becoming a Jedi. I imagine it would be pretty hard to become a Jedi in Ultima Online, yet noone there is complaining how hard it is. This brings me to point #2...

      #2 Becoming a Jedi should be hard as hell and generally not a good time. Though I am not a hardcore fan of the movies, most of the characters seem pretty unhappy with the situation when they decide to follow the Jedi. They leave their families and loved ones forever. They just pick up and go. This is very similar to the profession issue. You stop what you liked doing and give it up for a tough road to hoe. Great sacrifice = great rewards.

      #3 Not everyone should become a Jedi. If it was easy or fun to become a Jedi, everyone would do it. The game would cease to function. It would just be stupid. Now 2 and 3 lead me to #4...

      #4 All of this is very consistent with the movie portrayals of Jedi. Other game inconsistencies aside, in the time of the movies (this is the time the game is set in, correct?) Jedi are rare. Being a Jedi in general seems to be pretty miserable. One guy lives in a cave or something, another lives in some swamp. Yeah, woo, being a Jedi rocks!

      Here's the deal, anything positive or desirable about being a Jedi is assigned by the individual. I do not play this game but a few guys at work do. They enjoy the game very much and have no desire to become Jedi. Turns out, the Star Wars universe can be just a pretty fun place to run around if one knows where to look.

      I'd also like to thank you for perpetuating the stereotype of gamer as whiny baby who wants everything handed to them and considers themself a game design god. You should reevaluate your own priorities in the game if you think the Jedi path is too hard, and maybe in real life if this is how you present yourself in general.
      • Re:Jedi crap (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mccoma (64578)
        about point #4
        How about the game designer's pick something other than a set of random events, like I don't know - a set of great quests - for the player to become a jedi. 5 random professions seems as far from the movies as possible.

        Also, if it miserable to become /stay a jedi, why would I pay money to someone to continue doing it. This is supposed to be entertainment.

        • Re:Jedi crap (Score:3, Insightful)

          5 random events seem far from the movies? What event are you basing this on? And how do quests make this any more reasonable?

          Looking at it, the movies really don't have that much in the way of how a Jedi is selected to become a Jedi. The only characters from the movies whose training has been portrayed is Anakin and Luke; Luke was mainly selected because of family lineage and events far out of his control demanding that he train AND Anakin was selected to be trainined because of his high level of forceness

          • Well, I guess it seemed to me Luke had to go on several "quests" (I hate to use that word for SciFi, it sounds better for fantasy) to learn to be a Jedi. He does go from farm boy to Jedi through a series of adventures. I don't remember him working through 5 random careers - although I sure someone here will post them :)

            I guess I don't object to the "randomness of being able to be a Jedi" as much as the "silly 5 career randomness". If only certain characters could become a jedi (some random roll at the

          • If you make it, complete a set of quests and there's no randomness to it, then everyone would become a Jedi.

            Not really, if you make it easy with to become a padawan but hard to become a Jedi then not everyone would become a Jedi.

            Say for example that Padawans suffered perma-death. So anytime they were killed they would have to start from scratch. On top of that they are clearly marked as Padawans, and can be PK'ed by any other player and have bounties on their heads. Now say they have to finish 30
            • I began to read that first paragraph you wrote and realized that I had no interest whatsoever in discussing how to make a better experience in a MMORPG. No offense to you or anyone who plays those things BUT I just can't bring myself to care that much. I'm sure the whole system could be modified in the way you described or the way I described or whatever. Of course, the issue arising out of that is that probably you're going to get just as much complaining as ever. It seems like a lot of the people who are
      • Re:Jedi crap (Score:3, Insightful)

        Amen to the fact that you don't have to be a Jedi. Jedis aren't gods. It's just another character class. I think that the emphasis on Jedis stems from the lack of features in the game right now. Given the chance, I'd like to be Boba Fett or Han Solo over Luke Skywalker any day -- problem being that Han Solo ain't much without a ship to fly around in, and the bounty hunting in Galaxies is not as interesting as it might be.
      • Thanks for your post, here are a couple of counter points... on #2 you said.. .#2 Becoming a Jedi should be hard as hell and generally not a good time. Though I am not a hardcore fan of the movies, most of the characters seem pretty unhappy with the situation when they decide to follow the Jedi. They leave their families and loved ones forever. They just pick up and go. This is very similar to the profession issue. You stop what you liked doing and give it up for a tough road to hoe. Great sacrifice
    • Re:Jedi crap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Godeke (32895) * on Saturday December 20, 2003 @06:01PM (#7775126)
      While I admit that it seems pretty lame, they did explicit tell people that it would be rare to see Jedi. Frankly, it sounds like they made it too easy, with the holocubes giving 4/5s of the solution.

      The fundamental problem with licensed MMORPGs is that everyone wants to be the canonical characters. This was a problem back in the day of text muds - those who build upon a "hot property" (usually illegally, but lets ignore that for now) found that they had unhappy players because everyone wanted to be "character X" where X is the most power, cool and unbalanced character you can imagine. Its like a kingdom made of nobody but kings.

      In SWG, they *thought* they could avoid that by making the Jedi slot nearly randomly distributed. 32 skills, pick 5, means your chance of picking correctly is (5/32*4/31*3/30*2/29*1/28) = 4.9 in a million. So some clues were obviously necessary, and they could basically meter the Jedi slots. The holocrons difficult means only those who really want it are going to become Jedi. For the player who wants to be Jedi, this may suck, may force them out of the game and probably isn't worth it.

      The real error was revealing the secret formula. Now that it is clear how base and arbitrary the formula is, people aren't happy. Of course not: they all wanted to be Luke, and now that possibility has been taken from them.
      • Re:Jedi crap (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The system for getting a Jedi slot now isn't what it used to be originally. It used to take into account hundreds if not thousands of different character metrics ( numbers just about everything you do) to decide. Unfortunately this system just required way too many resources for today's technology, so they replaced it with the crap system we have today.

        However I must admit that the player cities and vehicles are cool. My swoop bike is very fast :)
      • The holocron were done for one reason, to keep people around so they keep paying the monthly fee; they were also first introduced right at the 3 month period so that thoses starting the game and paying for the 3 months subscription would have a reason to pay another 3 months.
        Now that we are at the 6 month period for that they are now giving everyone in a game a free crystal.
      • Of course not: they all wanted to be Luke, and now that possibility has been taken from them

        No they didn't all want to be Luke, but many people did want to try out being a Jedi. SWG is like making a transformers game where it's hard to be a transformer. Who the heck wants to be a human in the transformer world? It's the same thing.

        Players wanted to play SWG to be a Jedi, a Bounty Hunter, a Storm Trooper, etc. Instead most people are stuck with things like "Entertainer", "Master Chef", etc. Most
        • Having balanced classes in muds, "It's not like you couldn't balance Jedi" made me laugh. If the Jedi aren't as cool as they are in the movies (i.e., the are comparable to "Master Chef"), then those who unlocked the slot would hate how "nerfed" they are.

          No, the reason they were "unlocked" slots was so they could be "munchkin" characters. The balance they are trying to use now is "if you use your skills, people can kill you", and "oh, and as they kill you, you run the risk of losing your progress". Which me
  • ...a space expansion, by now? Not to mention that the game would not suck?

    Damn, I'm glad EBX was out of copies when I went to buy it.

  • Just a quick mention (Score:4, Informative)

    by aztektum (170569) on Saturday December 20, 2003 @09:20PM (#7776279)
    To clarify a point that the blurb muddled (played the first couple months quit from lack of time. it's fun if u have enough friends.) anyway, to unlock the Jedi slot you have to take your regular character and get them on a specific (seemingly random from most accounts) career path.

    When you unlock a FS (force sensitive) character slot, you create a character that you level up through the Jedi tree. This Jedi can die after I think 3 or 4 deaths (regular character slots can be cloned and blah blah Jedi cannot.). However you don't LOSE the FS character slot. You do however have to create a new Jedi (you start sub padawan I believe, but this is 2nd hand from Sept, it could have changed by now). Unless you reach Jedi Master, then you become a blue glowy, but what impact you can have on the game, I dunno.

    I don't see a big problem with the way it works. It keeps to the idea there aren't a million true Jedi around during the OT, however I'm sure the Galaxy is full of force sensitives during the time period.

    Slightly Off Topic: I was thinking of buying a 30 - 60 day game card just to check out the new features, what I'm really lookin' for is a MMORPG that players run on their own. Setup your own servers and play with friends, like NWN Persistent worlds, but gameplay more along the lines of Zelda games or FF Crystal Chronicles. Anyone know of such a thing?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 20, 2003 @10:16PM (#7776570)
      There's always the Everquest Emulation software. It lets you play Everquest without connecting to Sony's severs or having to pay a monthly fee. The folks at EQEmu [everquestserver.com] have been doing a fine job for about 2.5 years now. It's still in development but enough is completed to enjoy playing on a few of the servers. All the code has been reverse engineered by packet sniffing pretty much everything. Just need Everquest classic which I believe is offered as a free download on Sony's servers or just about free at any software store.
      • I can't find this free download - could you provide some directions? You can order the game for $0.00 off the store at www.everquest.com, but I don't want to pay S&H.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          http://eqlive.station.sony.com/support/tech_suppor t/ts_new_patcher.jsp

          you will find the link on this page. just grab the exe and it will automatically download all of the files you need.

          FYI, i don't believe the emulators work with the latest patch. SOE usually throws in some code that renders the emulators inoperable until they are fixed.
    • First off, there is a lot more than a random profession path assigned by Holocrons. Second, once you have unlocked the FS Slot, you make your char, which starts as a Jedi Initiate. Around 10 Million XP later, you can be a Padawan. Around 3 million more gets you to the Jedi Knight tree. 20 more million and you are a Jedi Knight, and if you are still alive at this point, you are the closest thing to God. If you are still alive, and not hunted by every BH on the server that can get the missions for your h
  • To be honest, if I could pilot an X-Wing out of the box, I'd buy the game. From what I've seen, MMORPG's are just glorified chatrooms. Galaxies doesn't look any different to me from any other MMORPG. Booooooooriiiiiiiinnnngg.
  • ok... i haven't played the game, or in fact read anything about it but it seems clear that becoming a jedi is a pretty big goal for people.

    however, tell me something: was han solo a jedi?

    NO, of course he wasn't. who wants to wander round the universe in a bathrobe and a beard anyway. give me the "millenium falcon" and trousers with a nifty stripe or two down the side, that's a real goal.

  • i dont see why there shouldnt be lots of jedis in the game.. When i was playing jedi knight 2.. the best part of the game was light saber battling... To get me to play the game.. I think they should have twisted the reality of it so that all the professions could have force powers to a certain degree (jedi knights fighting... healers... even smugglers and pilot types be unreal at flyign (when it FINALLY gets put in the game) I'd rather play a game where you have 10 different classes of characters with diffe
    • I so bloody agree with this! As part of the books after the movies there were tonnes of Jedi who were something other than just solely Jedi. Some of them gave up their prior training, but most went back to it sometime during their Jedi training keeping their now trained force powers and went back to doing what they had done but are now better at.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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