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Interview with Casey Keefe

Dana Massey Posted:
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LucasArts responds to questions on the past, present and future of SWG

Casey Keefe is the Community & Press Relations Manager at LucasArts responsible for Star Wars Galaxies. Recently, Casey had a chance to answer a few of our questions about Star Wars Galaxies. These include the current state of the game, some questions on the recent NGE update and a look at what they have in store.

MMORPG.com: Tell us about Star Wars Galaxies how it stands today. What would a new player who has no experience with SWG find if they logged in today?
Casey Keefe:

A new player will definitely find the game much easier to get into than before, as well as a much more compelling and story-driven adventure. We have taken a tutorial-style approach and integrated it into the first ten levels of the game, so that while the player is learning how to play, they are also leveling. For players searching for a true role-playing adventure steeped in Star Wars fiction, they have come to the right place.

MMORPG.com: Recently, server population numbers circulated online that someone allegedly uncovered. Can you comment on the accuracy of these numbers?
Casey Keefe:

We never have and never will comment in regards to subscriber and player numbers.

MMORPG.com: What gameplay changes are currently on the developer’s agenda. Can you run us through some areas you plan to address – via patches – in the near future?
Casey Keefe:

In addition to bug fixing and addressing other issues, the team is hard at work on introducing new content for each of the professions. You may have noticed the recent Publish 27 which added several new abilities to the Jedi profession. In addition to adding new abilities for each profession (not just Jedi), we plan on re-introducing specialization within professions via skills that will allow players to differentiate themselves more from others in the same profession.

Additionally, the team is working on bringing fresh story-driven content (missions, etc.) to the existing game as well.

MMORPG.com: You acknowledged in your last producer letter that one major flaw with the NGE’s introduction was broken content and that it was your goal to fix that. How did this happen in the first place?
Casey Keefe:

No comment.

MMORPG.com: Do you have plans for another traditional expansion to SWG?
Casey Keefe:

Look for announcements regarding future Galaxies projects to be coming soon.

MMORPG.com: What message do you have to those players who quit Star Wars Galaxies after the NGE update?
Casey Keefe:

After hearing the reasons why players left, we have gathered that feedback and used it in deciding future elements of the game. Even though we aren’t “rolling back” the game, we hope to re-introduce some of the older elements that players enjoyed in the context of the new direction of the game, such as what we are aiming to do with the specialization elements. Our hope is that reintroduction of these elements will draw said players back to the game.

MMORPG.com: You’ve mentioned over and over the desire to have more of a Star Wars experience. Specifically – in terms of story presentation - how do you intend to achieve this in the long run? Should players be expecting more instanced quests, more live events, more cinematics, all of the above or something entirely new?
Casey Keefe:

Most likely a combination of all of the above, with an emphasis on instancing-type adventures that allows us to maximize the games technology (more on this element to come in the next few months).

MMORPG.com: We asked this before and the answer was no. However, today, I’d like to re-submit it. Are there any plans for a “classic server” that runs an older version of the game?
Casey Keefe:

No, and not for business reasons – it is impossible in terms of technology and resources.

MMORPG.com: Looking forward, where do you see Star Wars Galaxies in a year?
Casey Keefe:

Still going strong with an increased focus on bringing the infamous Galactic Civil War to life. One of the long-term development goals is to give players the ability to have a direct impact on this staple of Star Wars fiction and canon.

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Dana Massey