If you’ve followed the long-running original-flavor Star Wars Galaxies emu community for any length of time, you are surely aware of the emulator that got the ball rolling 15 years ago: SWGemu. And yet while there is a playable SWGemu server and dozens (!) of off-shoots and competitors now, the original is still technically in a beta phase as players continued to build the 1.0 version behind the scenes.
That version may be a tad closer now, though not for the reasons space fans are going to want to hear. Over the last week and change, the community has been discussing Jump to Lightspeed, the SOE expansion that finally added true space content to the game, and whether it’ll ever be included in the pre-CU emulator. It doesn’t seem likely, as multiple player developers have said the JTL content is completely different from the ground game and would take a gargantuan effort to get it running cleanly again. Here’s dev LordKator’s August 31st statement:
“To be clear, we are not certain what if anything from JTL will be included in 1.0, we have debated some features being included (travel, space crafting). But this opens up another dialog about ‘not a pre-CU’ experience, plus dealing with 100’s of bug reports ‘Hey my ship doesn’t move’ will become a big distraction for the team. We see SWGEmu 1.0 (pre-CU) as a milestone in the code base, where it makes sense we will back-port changes to pre-CU (bug fixes, stability, JTL etc.). Mainly we want to get to a point where vanilla pre-CU experience is available (short of JTL) and then open up to new ideas for future SWGEmu official server(s). We won’t block others from running from the pre-CU code base, but we also don’t want to be constrained by the pre-CU goal going forward. If over time JTL comes out against the pre-CU milestone (SWGEmu 1.0) then that might become part of future server(s) as an expansion release.”
“Most importantly don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for a wipe, short of a miracle it is a long ways off,” he concludes. “When big changes are on the horizon we will talk about it well in advance and make sure everyone is clear on whats happening when.” Put another way by another admin, “You will not see SunCrusher this year” – SunCrusher being the planned name for the server running the true launch build of the game, which a lot of fans have been waiting for. A follow-up post from another dev, Miztah, argues that the team isn’t giving up on JTL – and reiterates that SunCrusher still won’t be soon.
“Also, this information doesn’t mean we’re abandoning JTL. For the moment, we’re accepting the reality that none of us have as much free time to develop as we did in the past, and it’s not worth holding back a major project milestone by tacking on multiple additional years of development while we try and work out a new backend. We’re considering 1.0 as our “the ground game is done” milestone, which means that large population test servers like Basilisk won’t be necessary anymore. So at that point, when we’re confident with the ground game’s status is complete, we can move on to working on our own live play server environment without the 14.1 constraints. We’ll still continue to make fixes to our 14.1 codebase as LK said, but we’ll also be open to do our own custom changes as well. However, don’t think this means 1.0 or SunCrusher are coming soon. We’ve still got some major feature sets to complete first (new AI, imperial crackdown, gambling, etc), so at the very least 1 or 2 more publishes before we can say we’re happy with how complete it is. Don’t let it affect your decision to play, because Basilisk will still be up for a long time, and we may consider keeping it running when we spin up our own play server down the road.”
Is this really such a bad thing for the game? Probably not. As one player put it – and note the dev response:
Players of SWG emulators running the NGE version of the game, of course, already have access to space content; folks in the community will be aware that there’s a lot of bad blood between the two groups, as the NGE code was reportedly given to players by a former SOE dev, not rewritten from scratch.