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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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Phantom Squadron and the Future of Jump to Lightspeed

By Jef Reahard on October 23, 2008 | Interviews | Comments

Phantom Squadron and the Future of Jump to Lightspeed

Spend any time with the pilots of the Starsider server's space  community and you'll no doubt hear of a crazy group of Alliance  fighter jockeys known as Phantom Squadron.  Headed by Jamys  Farstrider, the Phantoms are famous for wreaking havoc on the server's  Imperial pilot population, and doing so while flying one of the game's  least popular ship models, the Y-Wing Longprobe.

The Star Wars Galaxies version of the Koensayr BTL-A4 Y-wing  "LongProbe" starfighter is pretty close to its counterpart in the Star  Wars films and Expanded Universe: namely an aging heavy fighter/bomber  that has seen better days and is pressed into active combat service  only due to the shortage of equipment experienced by the fledgling  Rebel Alliance.  Galaxies' space combat favors much lighter, nimbler  interceptor chassis such as the famous X-Wing, the tiny A-Wing, and  the numerous Imperial TIE fighter variants.  The Y-Wing was never much  of a traditional dogfighter, and still has problems engaging in 'turn- fights' with quicker opponents, but the Phantoms have harnessed the  chassis' durability and prowess as a missile platform to form a  formidable fighting unit that is unique among Starsider's PVP pilot  groups.

Recently, I sat down with Commander Farstrider to ask him about the  inspiration behind the squadron as well as the future of Jump to  Lightspeed.

First off, why the Y-Wing?

Captain Fastrider:

Well, at the time the Squadron was recommissioned,  Starsider's Alliance forces had no real working bomber squadron. We  had a few crazy people willing to fly, mostly new alumni of the Rara  Avis Flight Academy run by Halyn Lance. We had a dire need and I saw a  place for us to fit and the Y-wing era of Phantom Squadron was born.

You guys have something of a reputation for making the Y- Wing viable in PVP.  Can you elaborate on the how and why?  Is it  tactics? Equipment? All of the above?

Captain Fastrider:

Well I don't want to take credit for pioneering it, I  believe that goes more to Halyn and his people.  I attribute (our  success) to good people, practice, great equipment, and a crazy streak  a mile long since fleet balance is so poor in SWG due to the  developer's inaction and incompetence.  (Space combat) skews in favor  of interceptor class ships,  so we fight a constant uphill battle.  Flying Y-wings is completely impractical unless flying en mass because  of this.

What do you like best about Galaxies' space game?

Captain Fastrider:

Well, I love piloting as a whole. Currently its the main  thing that makes logging in worthwhile for me. I love the feeling of  flying in formation with my squadron and the fleet. I love how  Starsider creates our own events in the face of the lack of content  thanks to years of neglect from SOE, and they're more fun than really  anything SOE could do anyways.

And the worst thing about the space game?

Captain Fastrider:

I hate the lack of content. Until Chapter 8, which is  getting close to a year ago, space in SWG hadn't seen any real new  content since the Rage of the Wookiees expansion (2005). That's over  two years of NOTHING. Once Chapter 8 comes along, we get thrown a bone  with a new space sector in Ord Mantell, new missions, new chassis, new  stuff to wasn't as much as we the pilots would have liked.   They have told us now at best we MIGHT get more content in six months,  but they refuse to give us what we want, they refuse to fix the bugged  ARC-170 hit box that has been wrecked since they tweaked Chapter 8,  then they fixed it and it broke again about a month later and is still  unfixed.

Sounds like the future is a bit uncertain. How do you see  the Phantoms and the community as a whole going forward?

Captain Fastrider:

The devs have proven themselves to not understand space,  or the wishes of the pilots that inhabit it. They also seem to be  oblivious to the ticking clock that is the time left until JTL isn't  the only arcade-style starfighter MMO. Or maybe they just don't care  anymore, but I do. Its destroying my community in game. That I hate  more than anything.

So a lot of pilots are thinking of moving to Jumpgate?

Captain Fastrider:

Well, they SAY they are. I myself, plan on giving it a  shot and I know I've seen quite a few familiar names over on the  Jumpgate forums.

And the Phantoms?

Captain Fastrider:

Phantom Squadron is breaking off from SoF (Spirit of the  Fallanassi, its mother guild) as its official squadron to become an  open squadron and hopefully strengthen itself and the Alliance in the  process.