Ten years ago today, Star Wars Galaxies’ NGE made the New York Times

    
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Hat tip to Redditor dejoblue, who’s reminded everyone about the fateful day back in 2005 when SOE, struggling in the wake of World of Warcraft’s 2004 launch, gutted Star Wars Galaxies with “new game enhancements” and pissed off a couple hundred thousand Star Wars fans. Wrote no less than The New York Times, 10 years ago today,

[SOE and Lucasarts] radically revamped the game in an attempt to appeal to a younger, more trigger-happy audience.

Previously, the game was unabashedly complicated, appealing to mature, reflex-challenged gamers with its strategic combat style and deep skill system, which allowed players to carve out profitable, powerful niches as entertainers, architects and politicians. Now the game has become self-consciously simple, with a basic point-and-click combat system that is meant to evoke the frenetic firefights of the “Star Wars” films.

To Sony and LucasArts, the changes are a necessary step to help the game appeal to a broader audience. (The companies do not release subscriber figures, but many gaming experts believe that before the changes, Star Wars Galaxies had about 200,000 subscribers, each paying about $15 a month.) But to thousands of players, the shifts have meant the destruction of online communities that they might have spent hundreds or even thousands of hours constructing. Now many Galaxies players are canceling their accounts and migrating to other online games.

Enjoy the depressing trip down memory lane. Or don’t, since that would require reading, and gamers don’t like reading, as Lucasarts’ Nancy MacIntyre reminded the NYT: “There was lots of reading, much too much, in the game.”

/melon

Source: NYT via Reddit
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Rebel Engie
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Rebel Engie

And we still don’t have a StarWars MMO.

JimGriffiths
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JimGriffiths

Nanulak Well George Lucas was broke and he should have been fixed. It all went downhill when he hooked up with that woman.

JimGriffiths
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JimGriffiths

ShawnHargrave DennisSmith2 Gotta admit her comments worked miracles for her career she ended up at leapfrog. lol

JimGriffiths
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JimGriffiths

ShawnHargrave DennisSmith2 Nancy McIntyre : “We really just needed to make the game a lot more accessible to a much broader player base,” said Nancy MacIntyre, the game’s senior director at LucasArts. “There was lots of reading, much too much, in the game. There was a lot of wandering around learning about different abilities. We really needed to give people the experience of being Han Solo or Luke Skywalker rather than being Uncle Owen, the moisture farmer. We wanted more instant gratification: kill, get treasure, repeat. We needed to give people more of an opportunity to be a part of what they have seen in the movies rather than something they had created themselves.”

JasonPersoff
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JasonPersoff

Still painful these years later.  The beginning of the death knell for SWG was the jedi grind.  That was a sad idea to introduce an alpha class, but I understand why the devs were concerned about management’s comments, “people don’t want to play Uncle Ben, they want to play Luke Skywalker.”  That said, I was very content to live in the SWG universe, acting as a bioengineer, and creating great products to sell.

I miss the mix-and-match skill system which was such a treat.

I just couldn’t get into the 9 class shoehorn of NGE.  And while the NGE did improve over the years, I still wish I could find an MMO with that freedom and interdependency.

JimGriffiths
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JimGriffiths

CthulhuDawg I hear you. I also remember the CBS mailbag backlash from the NGE launch. The CU made enough changes but the NGE destroyed characters and classes we played since launch. Hell even the forums had to be locked and launchpad chat had to be silenced during the testing phase because of the NGE. Not to mention what new kids joining with the NGE had to go through even though they brought it mostly on themselves.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

Armsman Sorenthaz Yeah that adds up well, especially the part with Bioware and the timing on that, lol… And yeah Lucas Arts’s game division basically came off as “we want to milk the Star Wars IP as much as possible”.   Similar shit happened with KOTOR 2 where they forced Obsidian to get it out by the holidays like 1 or 2 years after Kotor 1’s release.  It led to a lot of good content being cut, but thankfully the modding scene was able to rebuild the cut content and make the game easily the best Star Wars RPG right now.

Lateris
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Lateris

At least Deadmeat took the poo that was the NGE and turned it around.  In other news Star Wars 1313 might be resurrected. Not kidding.

Nanulak
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Nanulak

When are they ever going to learn…If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

mukk
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mukk

ModeratePeril And yet here you are, watching (and even commenting on) the scab-picking.  ;-)