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MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 06/23/03)  | Pub:Sony Online Entertainment
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Tips for Returning Players

By RJ Hubbard on November 17, 2008 | General Articles | Comments

Tips for Returning Players
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"Even though you played SWG, you are not a vet of the game you just joined"

I always said that if I wrote a guide for returning 'vets', that would be my first sentence. If you can't get past that point, then frankly, you should not even attempt to play again. This is not the SWG you knew. Sure there are remnants of the past; your city may still be there, heck, maybe even your old house. You'll probably even find some old acquaintances traipsing around the star ports if you're lucky. However, what you used to know, what you used to own, where you used to group, and more importantly your reputation is irrelevant now.

SWG is in its fourth iteration: Pre-CU, CU, NGE, & Post-NGE. There are specific milestones between NGE and post-NGE, namely chapter 6 and game update 4 - Ch. 6 increased NPC difficulty to promote grouping and GU4 marked the final balance pass and update of all profession expertise systems. So for those of you, and I know who you are, who complain and gripe about how terrible the NGE was, realize that like Pre-CU, the NGE does not exist as you knew it.

Choose your path. . .

Most of you were around for the NGE so have already chosen your profession, those that haven't will be greeted with a screen from which you choose your new profession. Forget hybrids - these nine choices represent the nine most iconic professions. Its arguable if these are the most iconic but they really do encompass many of the skills we were all familiar with in the Pre-NGE era.

How do you know what you want to play? Its pretty tough to judge a profession these days; the one thing that always remains the same is change. Balance is and always will be in flux, however, there is some conventional wisdom: (note, this is written from a pvp perspective):

  • Commando is a tank
  • Dark jedi will always be tough unless you stay out of range.
  • Light jedi? Not many people play them in pvp but are fun in pve.
  • If an officer doesn't kill you with his nuke damage, he's a glass canon.
  • A spy better kill you or cloak if he doesn't
  • Medics can heal all day but probably won't take you out.
  • Bounty Hunters aren't as tough as they used to be but are essential to a group.
  • Don't underestimate the smuggler - he's got unique specials that WILL kill you.

Star Wars Galaxies Screenshot

I often suggest that returning vets try Jedi first. They're easy to play and forgiving - making a mistake won't kill you. It can be fun too; however, most vets enjoyed SWG when it was more challenging to play. When they get tired of easy mode Jedi, I suggest they choose a profession more suitable to their play style. BH and Smuggler are more challenging to play and dare I say, require slightly more skill to play successfully. In another article, I'll argue that smuggler in the post-NGE is the most pre-cu like profession remaining - I always tell vets that "Elder Jedi make great smugglers!"

Out with the new, in with the old. . .

So while you're trying out Jedi and getting a feel for the game, your first task will be to reset the user interface to something more familiar. When the NGE hit we were all shocked by the "clunkiness" of the UI, especially targeting. At some point in my hiatus from SWG, between NGE and the 9 months following, they brought back the targeting and combat we knew - tab to a target and fire specials from the keyboard.

Auto-fire - auto-fire of default attack is not on by default. You must initiate autofire by hitting the default keymap (Z) or double clicking your target.

Fire specials from keyboard - this is one of the most important changes. When NGE first hit, you had to choose the special and then fire it with right mouse click. By enabling this feature, the special is fired when you hit the corresponding number key. If you have double toolbar enabled, your second toolbar corresponds to SHIFT+Number

Auto-Target - another terrible feature of NGE targeting was having to mouse over your target. Now you can enable auto-target by choosing default keymap (Y). It will change the reticule from an 'X' to a circle so you always know what targeting mode you're in. (insert target reticule screenshot). Now you can tab targets and fire. Tab targeting is still 'odd' in that there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason to targeting. As you advance, you'll learn to create a macro that cycles targeting to the closest target.

Camera Offset - you may notice an odd "over the right shoulder' view. This is easily changed by disabling 'camera offset'.

Once these changes are made, there is little difference between pre-NGE and post-NGE targeting/combat; except for the lack of a combat queue which you'll find that you don't miss.

Where is everybody?

Bottlenecks abounded pre-NGE due to doc buffs and travel layovers. Coronet was always full of people traveling to other parts of the galaxy or getting buffs. With ITVs (instant travel vehicles) and medic / entertainer buffs bots, there really is no need for the old population centers. So when you log on, don't assume there is no one around. Travel to the new galaxy hotspots.

Mos Eisley

All new toons start in Mos Eisley. The first quest they're given (legacy quest) begins there. This is also where the entertainers choose to congregate and the spammers choose to spam. I suppose you could say that Mos Eisley is a more 'iconic' population center. You'll always find people here so for a returning player, it's a good place to hang out.

Restuss<[p>

Restuss is the new Theed. Restuss is an official 'pvp zone' where anyone within the zone is special forces (overt). Its got a beefier server and can supposedly handle more people with less lag (that's the theory at least). Kills made within the zone count towards the Galactic Civil War system (more on that in a later article) so many pvpers frequent this area. The starport may or may not be crowded since many pvpers have safe houses / buff houses around the outskirts of the zone. Watch the movements and follow your faction to find the hot spots around this area.

More Grinding?

When you left, you were probably a level 80 at the top of your game. Now, you're still level 80 but behind the pack of level 90's running around. Don't worry; as its always been in SWG, leveling is quick and easy. Don't underestimate mission terminals - go to any player city and pull a factional mission. You'll get three NPCs within your level and a camp. Quickly kill them off solo for a cool 20-30k in XP. You're limited to 10 of these missions a day due to the high XP payout but you'll get a least a level a day with these missions.

The next best XP is from quests. I recommend to all returning vets that you level with the Azure Cabal quest line that begins in Theed. (Insert Azure cabal screenshot). They are easily soloed and have a payout of about 120-150k each for the initial four missions. What's good about Azure Cabal is that you get repeatable quests for around 100k XP. Between city mission terminals and Azure Cabal, you can be up to level 90 within a few days

Star Wars Galaxies Screenshot

Now what?

So there you are. You've picked a new profession, reset your targeting UI, found the crowd, and got up to level 90 - what do you do now? Here's just some of the things you need to do:

  • Get your rank to General in the GCW
  • Get enough commendations in Restuss to 'buy' factional Spec Ops armor
  • Complete the revamped Factional Theme parks
  • Acquire the Meditate ability - its not just for JedI
  • If you're Jedi, get the new cloak and the 5th generation saber
  • Get your Heroic Jewellery sets by defeating Exar Kun, The Tuskan King, IG-88, Axkva Min, and the ISD Admiral - five times each.

Just remember, this is not the game you left; maybe 5% of what you knew still applies. Get your mind right and realize that you're as new as that level 5 toon that just spawned in Eisley. Be humble and ask questions - there's never been a guide to SWG. You either blaze your own path or follow the well tread path that thousands have trodden. Above all else, have fun.