Star Wars: Galaxies - Episode III Rage of the Wookiees
So, Has Star Wars Galaxies been destroyed by forces more powerful than any gamer could possibly imagine (ie the SOE development team)? About two months ago the long awaited Combat Upgrade was finally introduced to the universe and thousands of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced as they cancelled their subscriptions.
Thing is, it isn't that bad a revamp. Aside from the bugs and the relative lack of testing on display (apparently due to the rush to meet the Episode III release dates) and the nerfing of Jedi and Entertainer characters and the painful level grinding now introduced and the reduction of a rather nice skillbased system that made the thing stand out in a sea of clones to a more traditional, some may say cliched EO-style levelsystem... Well, you get the idea.
Hear Me Roar
Basically, a lot of people were displeased, partly with the results of the upgrade, but mostly with SOE's seemingly blind indifference to the suffering of the fans and its insistence that they'll just have to get used to it as this is the way it is from now on. Not SOE's finest hour...
Of course, thisls ostensibly a review of the Rage Of The Wookiees expansion pack, not SWG as a whole, but it's almost impossible to ignore the ramifications that the CU caused, the impact it had on player numbers and the general level of dissatisfaction in the game as it presently stands.
What Rage mostly brings to the troubled universe is a new planet (the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk) and a new role for space pilots - mining. Every space zone now has mineralrich asteroids, mining stations and the ability for you to team up in giant multi-user mining ships to make your fortunes. It's no EVE Online of course, and in fact comes off as being rather simplistic, but at least it's there and gives a sense of purpose to owning Jump To Lightspeed. Kashyyyk itself is lovely enough, full of Wookiee tribesmen, story-based quests and stunning (for the engine) scenery. It's all for the higher-level characters out there mind you and is heavily combatbased. Kashyyyk is not a world for idle exploration (unlike Tatooine or Naboo for instance), and you need to have a good blaster not so much by your side, more permanently glued to your hand.
No New Hope
Not so long ago, in countless game industry gossip forums far, far away, a rumour started buzzing about the possible closure of Star Wars Galaxies as a whole due to LucasArts' displeasure with the way the game was being run, with George's boys planning to restart the whole thing themselves, making something much more Star Wars-y in the process. Although this has been denied left, right and centre, there's no denying that SWG is hardly in the best of health right now and something drastic needs to be done to restore balance to the force. Certainly something more than a simple expansion pack, that's for sure. Help us Lucas-Wan, you're our only hope.
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