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What I Saw at the End of the Galaxy December 16, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment.
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Star Wars Galaxies, that is, because last night was it, the end.  The servers are down and the game is no more.

But when I logged in, the results were in for the Galactic Civil War.  The Rebels took the war with a score of 10 servers to only 4 for the Imperials.

Final Results

It is like the basis of an alternate history novel.  How did things play out on, say, the Sunrunner server, where the Rebels only got 4%?  Is that the version of where Luke doesn’t leave the homestead and gets killed with his Uncle Owen and family when the stormtroopers show up?

Bloodfin, where the Rebels eked out 11%, must be the version where Darth Vader says, “I am your father!” and Luke says, “Really? Cool!”

I always picture myself saying that in Luke’s place.

While on Starfire, where the Imperials only got 7%, Luke defeats Darth Vader on Bespin while the Emperor slips on a bar of soap in the shower, cracking his head open and killing him.

And on my own server, Bria, the Rebels won, but only with 63%, which probably means that was the version where Lando and Wedge fail to get out of the second death star before it blows up… and all the Ewoks die due to debris raining down on Endor.

This is a long post, so I am going to put in a cut so the front page doesn’t become a mile long.  A pile of screen shots follow.

But any victory is still a victory, and so it was proclaimed.

Not sure who she was, but if they are casting for a Popeye MMO, she should try out for Olive Oyl.

The skies of Mos Eisley were filled with fireworks and rebel ships doing fly-bys.

Three is usually a “missing man” formation, right?

More fireworks

Meanwhile, in town, rebel troops were marching, counter marching, beating up suspected Imperial sympathizers, and collecting New Republic “taxes.”  Cash only, please.  No, you cannot have a receipt.

When I say, “Your left,” your left foot hits the deck…

Thinking this might be a good time to stay out of the way, and wanting to accomplish something on the last night of Star Wars Galaxies, I decided I would try to see at least something new on Tatooine.

I decided on Jabba’s Palace.

I managed to figure out how to get a waypoint set for the Palace and set off following the arrow in my X-38 Landspeeder.

A starter vehicle, modest in all respects

I didn’t get anything like that in SWTOR, let me tell you.

And it was then I discovered what a wasteland Tatoonie really was.  Desert is bad enough, but suburban blight had totally taken over.

Looks like a Star Wars trailer park

And it just went on and on and on.

Suburban Wasteland Sanctuary

I get that a lot of people really, really liked having not only a house in the game, but having that house exist as a separate physical structure rather than a door to 100 or so instanced versions of the same house.  But the downside though is easy to see.

On the ride from Mos Eisley, through Anchorhead, and to Jabbas Palace, there were only really breaks in the housing immediately around the towns and again at one point of interest, the Lars Homestead, along the way.

One clear spot, but I could see houses in the distance

Well, there is no point in kvetching about it now I suppose, but I just want to remember the endless sprawl as part of the whole.

I continued on towards Jabba’s.

More housing!

Sooner than I thought it would, Jabba’s palace hove into view.

Destination in sight

They let me in and I found my way around into Jabba’s chamber.

Reg!

And that is where I spent the remainder of the time SWG had left.  For a while it was just me and some of the standard cast.

His father was a much better dresser

A couple of other people showed up, choosing Jabba’s palace to be their final resting place in SWG.

It is what you do at a wake…

I listened to the players, long term veterans of the game, talk about the game while we were reminded every minute that the server was going down and that we should go some place safe to log out.

There was a last minute visitor who came to give Jabba his last regards.

Time to settle up

And then acted on his threat.

Boom Jabba!

And so I recorded Semmi Vipra’s last act in the game.  Soon the count hit one minute.

Some last farewells

And then the moment of truth came.

Connection to SWG Lost!

The connection was down, the game was over.

And so ended Star Wars Galaxies, a game with many high and low points, a game distinct in many ways, a milestone in MMO history.  The official site now has a final message from the SWG team.

A Thank You to the Star Wars Galaxies Community

Looking back on Star Wars Galaxies and all these years I am so thankful for being able to be a part of the Star Wars Galaxies community both as the Producer and as a fan. It would not have been the incredible experience that it was without you, the players and fans, the dedicated team of people who worked on it over the years and the fantastic Star Wars® galaxy itself, which offered us a very unique and compelling place to explore, fight, play, make friends, and build our homes.

This is a book of memories, so let me start with a few of my own.

When I was a little boy, my father brought me to the movies to see a new science fiction film that he heard was pretty good. What I remembered most was the feeling of awe I had back then, and still feel to this day. Once I had experienced Star Wars, my life would never be the same again. In May of 2004, I walked into the office at Sony Online Entertainment to start a new job working on a game based on the very same story that had amazed me in my youth. Cool! I was very excited. All I wanted to do then was learn how this thing worked, and I spent the next seven years doing just that. I can say that not a day passed in the development of Star Wars Galaxies where I didn’t learn something new. Each day presented different challenges and solving them was always a rewarding accomplishment. It is everyone’s hope to find a job that you look forward to each and every day. Being a developer on Star Wars Galaxies was just that kind of job for me.

Star Wars means something different to each of us. That’s why we played Star Wars Galaxies. On June 26th, 2003, SOE and LucasArts released Star Wars Galaxies and, for the first time, you could play online with your friends in the Star Wars universe. I was amazed at how much there was to do in the game – player housing, crafting, entertaining, combat, and more. One of the most exciting times for all of us on the team was the launch of the Jump to Lightspeed expansion, which let players fly and battle it out in space in a true 3D simulation. Now we could all truly live out our Star Wars fantasies. It was like being a kid again.

Giving players a chance to live out that Star Wars fantasy has been the best part of the job. Some of my favorite memories include fighting Imperial forces on Hoth in the Battle of Echo Base, seeing those first player-created quests in the Chronicle Master System, fighting the undead in the Death Troopers update and, probably best of all, taking part in invasions and actually getting to make a difference for my faction in the Galactic Civil War.

From my first day to the last, Star Wars Galaxies was, and will always be, a meaningful and memorable part of my life, an experience I’ll treasure and share with anyone who wants to hear a good story. It has been an honor to take this journey with you, the community and all of the team members who have made Star Wars Galaxies such an awesome game.

On behalf of the Star Wars Galaxies team, thank you. We have truly enjoyed getting to know you – our dedicated players – over the years. From in-game events to Fan Faires, we appreciate your continued loyalty and support. It would not have been possible without you.

May the Force be with you. Always.

- Tony “Teesquared” Tyson

There will be a memory book posted at some point.  And that is all that remains.

[Addendum: The SWG Memory Book is now available, as noted over at Massively.]

[Addendum 2: Oops, it is gone now, along with the SWG site.  I hope you grabbed it already!]

Comments»

1. Maarkean - December 16, 2011

A sad day that almost no one noticed.

2. pkudude99 - December 16, 2011

I felt a wave of nostalgia reading your post, especially when you said the countdown came and then SWG Connection lost and SWG was over. SWG was my 1st MMO and the most social one I’ve played. I’ve got RL friends from all over the country who I met via SWG and who I’ve also met IRL and even thought none of us have really played it in 5 or 6 years, we’re still in touch after all this time.

I have missed and will miss SWG.

3. NoAstronomer - December 16, 2011

OMG They killed Jabba!

Thank you for posting this.

/emote wipes tear from eye

4. Stabs - December 16, 2011

Like a number of others, SWG was my first MMO and remains my most social one. It felt like I knew everyone on the server.

A unique experience and one that I profoundly enjoyed. Thank you for staying to turn out the lights and thanks to to the awesome staff who gave us so much pleasure and now lose their jobs 9 days before Xmas. Bah humbug, Lucas, bah humbug!

5. HarbingerZero - December 16, 2011

/salute SWG

6. [SWG] In Memory « The Meat Shield – An MMORPG and General Video Game Blog - December 16, 2011

[...] has a great post up about the final night of Star Wars Galaxies. Apparently it passed into history without too many [...]

7. Wilhelm Arcturus - December 16, 2011

At one point, when I was tinkering with the video settings, trying to crank everything up to max, I switched to .bmp screen shots in order to get the highest quality. However, for some reason the Fraps frame rate meter shows up in the upper left corner of the screen with .bmp screen shots. And I had to convert them back to .jpg anyway, since you cannot upload .bmp to WordPress.com, so it was something of a wasted effort.

But you can see in the last two screen shots that the counter is red. That means Fraps was recording video. I recorded the last minute of SWG, though there isn’t much to it aside from a few last words, log out warnings, and then the disconnect message. I will upload it and append it at some point.

I also just realized I took a bunch of screen shots with Fraps as well and haven’t looked at them yet.

I managed to take a few hundred screen shots in what Raptr reports was all of six hours of game play. I might have to put together a gallery post of the better ones.

And now I wish I had turned on the video record for the fireworks and fly by over Mos Eisley. Ah well, in another life.


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