Fun...Is the game fun to play? Honestly if a lot of things were changed I'd say yes. I know, you may as well translate that to "No, the game isn't fun." In my opinion the game has a lot of potential, possibly more potential than any other game on the market or coming out in the near future. However there are some major problems keeping it from reaching that potential.
First and foremost is the current Jedi system. I know I know, changes are on the way; but I'm reviewing the game as it stands, not how it will be. As it stands now the Jedi system has reduced the game to one huge grind request.session. I declared from day one that I would never go after my Force Sensitive slot with the initial Jedi system. For one thing, there was no way in hell I was going to grind my way through twenty to thirty odd classes to get there. And then, on top of doing all that, knowing my luck, the last class I work my way through would be the last class I would ever pick to play; something like Chef or Entertainer. Then I have to go through the trouble if setting my main character back up the way I want it to be so I can enjoy playing it again. I know what you're thinking: "You have a Jedi character now, why would you ever want to play that one again?" Well I definitely didn't spend all that time on him to just let him sit around collecting dust now did I? I've always liked a change of pace from time to time. One of my biggest problems with SWG, which for the record almost kept me from buying it at all, was the single character per server. I like to have a couple different characters on the one server I generally play. That way I can mix up my gaming and still play with my guildies and friends. It would be because of that very reason and that reason alone, that I ever went after a Jedi slot. Simply so I could have a second character to play.
My second major complaint with the "fun" aspects of the game is actually a feature which I praised earlier in the review. The skill based character system. In theory it's a great system. In practice tho, at least to me, it basically ruined the game. Yes, as I stated before you have a lot of freedom to create a character with the skills and powers you want. It can have a bit of this and a touch of that, creating the exact balance that is most fun for you to play. I know, this by far does not sound like a bad thing, but I'm getting there. The downside is the fact that it is so easy to max out a character. The first time I played, as I stated before, I played a pure crafter. He was a Master Tailor, Master Weaponsmith and Master Armorcrafter. Anyone who has crafted in this game a fair bit will realize the sheer number of items I crafted to get to that point. But the sad thing is, I was at this point well before my free trial month was over.
This is probably the main reason I left the game. It took me less than a month to max out my character. Granted, I could have changed classes, learned other things, done other things with the character, but this was the character I wanted to play. I wanted to be a purecrafter and those were the three fields I wanted to craft in. So there I was less than a month into the game and nowhere to go with my character except sit around taking orders from players and stocking my vendors. And don't get me wrong, this time wasn't filled with 18-20 hour days doing nothing but grinding away. I played normal hours, no real powergaming. The majority of the fun of making a character is the journey, not the destination. I personally feel that the accomplishments along the way are what make the game enjoyable. Watching your character develop into what you initially envisioned it would be. I didn't feel any of that with SWG. Even the second time around, though I decided to go with a combat orientated character it was really no different. The skill points just flied by and my character was progressing along far too fast in my opinion. Far too fast for me to get that much needed feeling of satisfaction in the accomplishments of my character.
The Galactic Civil War, aka the PvP system, is almost non-existent, so if you get your kicks out of a good PvP system I would definitely recommend you not come looking here for your fix. Much like the Jedi system this is slated for a major overhaul so we'll just have to wait and see. Maybe they can fix it so it's more enjoyable, because a good PvP system would go a LONG way to raising the "fun" level of the game for most people.
Like I've said, the game has almost unlimited potential, and is fun in many other aspects. It has one of the best crafting systems I've ever experienced. There are many many aspects of the game which are quite fun. With some fixes here and there, and the space expansion this could be an extremely fun game to play, but as it stands now it's just not fun enough to really hold my interest.
The only real reason I'm rating the community as low as I am is due to the lack of players. The first time I played the community was great. All the tools are present for encouraging a great community in the game even. A strongly player influenced/controlled economy. There is a nice guild (PA) system, player run cities, etc. The people I have met playing this time through have also been great, there's just far too few of them. I would almost have to recommend that they shut down a couple servers and migrate the players so that there is a decent community on more of the servers. As empty as I found the game on a popular server like Eclipse, I can hardly imagine what it would be like on one of the servers with a constant "Low" population rating. I definitely feel that the space expansion will help this at least initially when a lot of people reactivate their accounts and come back to check it out. Hopefully though, the expansion will be good enough to keep the players playing this time.