A Short Time Ago A Galaxy Far, Far Way Exploded
I wanted to give a quick nod to an MMO that ceased being last night, 12/15/11. I remember playing Star Wars Galaxies shortly after the Jump to Lightspeed expansion hit in 2004. It was also the first MMORPG I had ever played.
Back in those days becoming a Jedi involved visiting over twenty places and then grinding out Jedi XP by converting normal XP at a crappy three to one or so ratio. You had to also complete quests in an infamous “village” that was attacked every so often. Most people who wanted to see the Jedi class spent their time either there or killing seven million bols (dinosaur-like creatures) so they could get XP and convert it to Jedi XP. Needless to say it was tedious. Nevertheless my character set up shop right outside of Tatooine and I sold housing plans and other various things. It was the first game I had ever played where I could own a house and set up vendor kiosks to sell things, though most of that required you speccing your talent tree into the business end of it. I later had to create a second character just for combat as I became engrossed in mining, crafting, and selling.
Jump to Lightspeed was also new to me as it featured the ability to do missions in space with your usual Star Wars craft. People who play other space sims laugh at it now but back then it was the first real Star Wars space sim after X-wing Vs TIE Fighter and X-wing Alliance, though not as good as either in my opinion. Your only other option back then was EVE Online, which I’ve played, and is an acquired taste.
Eventually killing bols got boring so I cancelled my subscription. The game received an overhaul in 2005 via a “combat update” which simplified the game almost ten fold. It was not received well by those who put their spit and blood into grinding out over the top characters.
Many players gathered last night to watch the galaxy end. While I wasn’t present for the event it saddened me to see it go. Star Wars: The Old Republic however is right around the corner and is available to some already via early access. With my interest in World of Warcraft gone it may scratch the MMO itch I’ve had this past year, guess we’ll see.
In the meantime, May The Force Be With You and all of that crap.