This week's Community Spotlight is a bit different than our usual spotlights. Today, we're focusing on what the community is saying in the wake of this week's announcement that Star Wars Galaxies will be shutting down later this year. Star Wars Galaxies has had a long and tumultuous run as a game that was once heralded as the ultimate sandbox experience only to fall from grace with the launch of the New Game Experience or "NGE". The implementation of the NGE was divisve to say the least, sparking a mass exodus of players from the game, a downturn the game just never recovered from, despite SOE's ambitious and continuous updates to the service.
So what are MMORPG.com community members saying in reaction to the announcement? We'll be focusing on the responses in Aktalat's thread.
Zinzan doesn't feel many gamers will be bothered by the news:
This has always been a talking point, would they let two SW mmo's run at the same time or would TOR be the end of SWG. I guess now we know.
Doubt many will be bothered, SWG is the shining example of how to take a brilliant mmo, release it too early, break half the classes, reduce the game to profession grind and then piss off the entire community by completely changing the game into a watered-down version of itself at which time they reaped the biggest single exodus of gamers i think we'll ever see in an mmo.
Misles finds the announcement somewhat bittersweet:
This is one of those bittersweet moments. A part of me is glad to see the abomination that is the NGE now crashing horribly to the ground. And then again, the other part of me is sad to see the IP being shut down. Has Sony Online Entertainment not learned from their mistakes? Have they not learned that if it wasn't broke, they shouldn't have fixed it? And I hope you get what I mean by that analogy.
All I have to say is god bless and god speed Star Wars Galaxies. May you find eternal peace after such a long time enduring your pain.
"You where the Chosen One! You were suppose to destroy the Sith, not join them! You were suppose to bring balance to the Force! Not leave it in darkness!" -Obi Wan Kenobi
Malickie has something to say to those who would say "good riddance":
I'd hardly say that, I've been playing again for a couple weeks, people still love this game and rightfully so. Compared to what's on the market today, there's still no replacement. For those who like a game with as many options as well as community focus, there will be nothing to turn to.
I doubt a lot of thsoe playing will have much interest in TOR, some sure, but the reason to play SWG is far different than the reason to play TOR. SWG still has an excellent community, and 3 nicely populated servers. AOC and funcom wish they could say that.
To be honest, my heart sort of sank a bit when I heard this news today, I'm one of those "SWG nerds" that many people like to poke fun at, but so what? I wear that with pride. Star Wars Galaxies was my first MMO and boy was it a hot mess at launch, but I loved it nonetheless. Some of the closest friends I keep in touch with and game with every day were met on Starsider back in the game's heyday, and while the game had its ups and downs from launch all the way through to the NGE I'm glad I got to take part in the experience.
By the time the NGE rolled around I was already pretty unhappy with the game, I hated the perversion of the continuity with all the prequel film tie ins (especially in space, prequel ships were the best, huh?!), and the community had never really recovered from the great Holocron Fiasco, but still, there wasn't another game on the scene like it and there certainly weren't any other Star Wars MMOs available.
The NGE still serves as one of the biggest if not the biggest mistakes in MMO history and one that likely every developer in the industry today is keenly aware not to repeat. However, if you can take a moment to breathe and really look back on the years since the NGE launched SOE has honestly done a great deal to update the game in ways that have made it better in many areas and I think they should still be commended for that. Star Wars Galaxies today is likely close to the vision they must have had for the NGE when it was released, but it would have perhaps been better as a separate game itself.
In any case, I'm sad to see the game go, but it's future beyond the launch of The Old Republic was likely to be grim anyways, despite being significantly different from a design perspective.
To all of you who are still on Starsider (and especially Starsider natives), best of luck in your MMO travels!
I'd like to leave you all with one question this weekend: do any of you plan on coming back to the game before it goes down? Share your thoughts in the comments below!