Daily Archives: November 14, 2011

Star Wars – Impressions from the Weekend

That December date is coming up quickly.  It is just over a month away.

I am fortunate that my account is flagged so that I can play at this point.

So once I got the client up to date, I jumped right in.

As with everything Star Wars, it opens with the usual line about a galaxy far, far away.

Required item #1

Then, naturally, the Star Wars name/logo.

Star Wars? Ya think?

And once you have those two, you cannot skip the inevitable bottom to top text crawl of the situation.

There is conflict! Oh no!

These are the tropes of the Star Wars universe.  On the one hand they do seem a bit tired more than 30 years after the original movie.  But on the other hand, they do put you in the right state of mind.

And the game seems quite intent on placing you in that state of mind.  So it brings out the old stand-by smuggler.

We've seen his type before

He, of course, flies a ship… the fastest ship around naturally… that is of obvious Corellian manufacture and looks kind of like one we’ve seen in the movies.

I mean, it is about the same shape and all...

Naturally, there has to be a dramatic, last minute escape.

In reality the explosion would have killed us...

And then a narrow escape through very familiar “bad guy” ships.

Not the local bulk cruisers...

Which, of course, includes fighters of the usual configuration…

Fighters, 6 o'clock!

…and a manning of turrets to hold them off.

Scratch one fighter...

The bad guys are never happy about this sort of thing.

You and what... oh, yeah, that army...

All of which is wrapped up with the dramatic jump to lightspeed.

That was soooooo cool... in 1977

That is all exciting and good and puts you in the spirit of things.

Then things start to fall apart for me.  You have chosen your class.

9 choices there

And you get a quick intro into combat, but it becomes unsatisfying… to me at least… almost immediately.  Standing toe to toe and exchanging blaster fire just seems silly.

Bang! Bang! You're Dead!

Close combat like this makes sense in a fantasy game, where a sword fight requires you to get up close and an armored opponent might take several hits to die.

But here we have ranged energy weapons that ought to drop you with a single, solid hit.  Star Trek Online tried to cover this up a bit by giving you a personal force field.  But here blasters are either so weak or characters are so strong that the average player can take half a dozen hits without a problem.

Yes, you can use objects for cover.  The game tells you so.

Don't just stand there!

There is the usual corpse looting, this time for credits instead of gold.

I swear I thought he had a quest...

And experience points.  You cannot have a game like this without experience points it seems.

...or have you been experienced?

I did spend some time running around, doing a few quests, and trying to spot things that made the game different.

NPC interaction wheel

Honestly though, I couldn’t stick with it for a long stretch.

Fortunately, patching was quick and easy, so I did not have to wait to get into the game.  Not a lot of new stuff going in at this point I guess.

2.7 MB? Practically no patch at all!

And getting onto a server was no problem.  There are only a few from which to choose and there are no queues or anything to delay logging on.

All of this did give me a chance to get a small taste of what the first Star Wars MMO, Star Wars Galaxies, is currently like.  I will probably go back for a bit more between now and December 15, when the game shuts down for good.

I though it was important to have a feel for what had come before so that I could truly appreciate the changes and innovations that BioWare is bringing to the table with their Star Wars MMO.