There were something like eight character classes to choose from, but I didn't have that much trouble picking one given that this was not a character that is going to be around forever. With respect to everyone who gets excited about Bounty Hunters, Smugglers, and Stormtrooper-equivalents (seriously?), if I'm going to spend an hour in a Star Wars MMO, I'm going to pick Jedi. A couple appearance customization choices later and Farwel Stawag (Farewell Star Wars Galaxies - see what I did with those links?), an Ithorian Jedi, was ready to zone in.
|An eye trunk, my Jedi has.|
I'm never going to know what this game was like before its notorious "New Game Experience", or even what it is now for those who still invest time in a product that is slated to come down in a few months. Based on my early impressions, though, I can say that this is not the Star Wars MMO I would have been looking for if I was in the market for one.
|Why narrate the intro, when you have the Star Wars slanty text license?|
My Jedi gained a few levels on the NGE's introductory space station, helpfully populated with lore NPC's and generic kill quests. By level seven, I could throw my stick or knife (apparently handing out lightsabers to new Jedi is a line that even the NGE would not cross) and fire off force lightning. In a game like WoW, this progression would have been fine. In a world that is specifically set prior to The Empire Strikes Back, it seems weird to see Jedi of all shapes and sizes firing off force attacks every which way. I suppose I should be grateful for the lack of lightsaber - I find the concept of whacking something with a blade of pure energy that can cut through anything and only doing 20 damage pretty darned stupid looking, whether or not they got the sound effect right.
By far the more interesting part of my visit to the game came when I finally zoned off of the starbase and onto Tatooine. There, I saw players with familiar vehicles and gear, going about their lives amongst NPC Jawas and Tusken Raiders. Personally, I was a bit lost, since the highly structured introduction does very little to prepare the player for the wide range of crafting, factions, and other things that await in the game's real universe. Even so, I have to tip my cap - this part of the experience was actually different from what other MMO's offer.
(Aside: To the extent that this was not the Star Wars MMO I am (or am not) looking for, is whether TOR will be. On one hand, I can definitely appreciate the concept of effective use of a license; Rift put a lot of effort into their original world, but I may actually have a better idea of what my level 7 Ithorian Jedi with an hour of play time is like than my level 40 High Elf with many more hours under her belt. That said, I remain skeptical primarily because I didn't enjoy the gameplay in Dragon Age, and nothing I've heard from people who have actually played TOR (as opposed to watching promo videos) reassures me that TOR will be different.)
Regardless of what happens with TOR, the MMO community is losing a unique experience when SWG closes its doors in December. Though this game is not something I was interested in, right down to the end, I still offer it a sad final salute. No one wins when an MMO closes down, especially when even its revised state is still somewhat unique in the current market. Moreover, SWG's continuing community demonstrates that some folks who have weathered all of this game's trials are definitely going to miss it when it's gone, and that's a day that none of us are eager to face.
|When riding off into the sunset, who needs a mount when you can have a speeder? |
It hopefully does not smell worse on the inside.