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LucasArts / SOE Austin
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 06/23/03)  | Pub:Sony Online Entertainment
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Galactic Civil War Interview

By Garrett Fuller on January 29, 2010 | Interviews | Comments

Galactic Civil War Interview

The Galactic Civil War update for Star Wars Galaxies went live on january 26th. Today, our own Garrett Fuller speaks with SWG Producer Tony Tyson about the update and what it means for players.

Give us a brief overview of what you have planned for the Galactic Civil War update?

Tony Tyson:

With Game Update 15 Star Wars Galaxies Galactic Civil War: Forces Under Siege we wanted to address the players' requests for more content related to the galactic conflict between the Imperials and Rebels. It is a huge update that immerses players in the war like never before. In this update we introduce massive city invasion scenarios in the towns of Bestine on Tatooine, Dearic on Talus and Keren on Naboo. Whichever faction is in control of one of these cities will have to build defenses and then guard the city from an opposing invasion. The city falls and the invading faction takes control if the defending general is killed. The invasion/siege scenarios introduce a number of new quests and rewards for every profession and offer epic PvE and PvP combat.

We've also introduced a new Galactic Civil War (GCW) region control system that tracks each player's participation in various activities. A score is calculated at the region, planet, and galaxy level and these scores impact game play including dictating the factional offensive and defensive roles in city invasions, travel perks and penalties, and the types of encounters you face as you explore the planet . We even added several new interfaces to display the GCW status so that anyone can tell which faction is dominating at the planetary and galactic level at any time.

Other new key features include Factional Mercenaries, which gives neutral players a chance to choose a side and take part in city invasions, and, of course, tons of great new rewards and in-game items. Overall, with the Galactic Civil War: Forces Under Siege update, everyone plays a part in the war.


How will the new ranks and rewards work?

Tony Tyson:

Rewards are gained by earning tokens through quests that help your faction prepare for the city invasion and the results of the battle itself. For example, completing a quest to build a gun turret will earn tokens and will also result in a gun turret spawning during the combat phase - a very useful defensive structure. With respect to this update, there are no new ranks.

What types of benefits will players see from this new system in terms of game play?

Tony Tyson:

One cool thing is that we added a new scoring system for the city invasion scenarios. During a city invasion, you can bring up the score at any point and see who is contributing the most on each side. All of the participants will compete for the bragging rights of being the top player. In addition, players who contribute the most to their faction in combat will earn additional rewards.

Talk about the new siege system for cities. How can players take part?

Tony Tyson:

The cities currently enabled for city invasions are; Bestine on Tatooine, Dearic on Talus, and Keren on Naboo. We have a fixed schedule for invasions to occur and announcements are made to nearby players to alert them when an invasion is about to begin and keep them updated during the invasion itself. Players can also use the planetary map to see when the next invasion will occur.

There are two sides during the invasion; offense and defense. The faction that controls the region in which the city resides is the faction that must defend the city's general from attack. The other faction will assault the city and try to destroy the opposing faction's general to win the invasion. The invasion has two phases - construction and combat. During construction, players try to complete as may construction quests as they can in order to enhance their faction's side. There are numerous quests for each profession that allow them to contribute to battle prep in many ways. For instance, many professions enhance the building of defensive structures such as towers, turret cannons and barricades; entertainers can heal builder fatigue; spies can sabotage patrol points and many more.

Once construction completes, the combat ensues and the siege begins on the city. Players fight or defend alongside NPCs with the ultimate goal of destroying or protecting the defending faction's general. During the battle, players can earn the right to call in some pretty devastating attacks. If you're an Imperial, why not call in an AT-AT to do some serious damage to defenders? Or how about calling in an artillery strike? We really listened to our players and, with this update, wanted to deliver some serious GCW combat.

How will you mix the PvE and PvP content in the new expansion? Is there a balance?

Tony Tyson:

All professions and play styles can participate in the invasion system, and it will take all hands available in order to maximize city defenses. Crafting, entertaining, and combat are rewarded through the new quests that we introduced with the invasion system.

In order to win the scenario as an invading force, you must take down the city's defending general. While you can choose to play through only the PvE elements of the invasion - and these are all crucial to your faction's success - if you attack the general you will be flagged for PvP, allowing the PvP defenders to open fire on you. Carefully coordinated PvP tactics will be key to winning the invasion scenario. Balance is always tricky but we feel that the two phase approach will allow all play styles to take part in a challenging battle.

How is this new system different from the other Galactic Civil War systems in the past?

Tony Tyson:

The key feature, aside from the city invasion system, is that we've added several new interfaces so that you can see status and progress of your faction. Planets are now sectioned off into regions, and regional control determines which faction controls the planet. This in turn influences the Galactic factional leader. We've also added Factional Mercenaries. This gives our non-factional players an opportunity to temporary align with a faction in order to participate in the city invasions which is one of the most fun parts of the experience.

How will the planetary control system work? What impact will it have on the population?

Tony Tyson:

Each planet has been broken down into regions. As a player, if you earn GCW points you contribute to your faction's score within the region you are playing. The faction that controls the most regions on a planet will, in turn, control the planet. Planetary control is important as it impacts many factors including travel penalties and perks and which side you play in a city invasion.


What part will player created cities play in the war?

Tony Tyson:

One of the most exciting new features is that mayors of player cities can declare a factional alignment for their city through a new factional base terminal. By declaring aligment, mayors can strengthen the ability for their faction to control the region/planet.

City sieges and planetary control can be tricky to balance. What happens to the losers in those scenarios? Will they be locked out of certain areas?

Tony Tyson:

The winners get a bonus to their rewards. However, participation in invasion quests always gives a reward. This allows both winners and losers to progress towards the reward they want.

What are your plans for Star Wars Galaxies moving forward in 2010?

Tony Tyson:

We're still working on the plan but here are some things you can look forward to in 2010:

  • More Chronicles (including spawn and perform relics)
  • More GCW
  • The Empire Strikes Back 30th anniversary is this year and you can bet we're going to do something in SWG in honor of this momentous occasion
  • Addressing top game play and profession issues

We had a great year in 2009 and the updates/enhancements we're planning for next year look even better.