Star Wars Galaxies: how modders are keeping the dream of a Star Wars MMO alive

While most of you will know Star Wars very much as an incredibly successful movie franchise, Star Wars games have their own sagas that deserve attention: the rage surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II is a good example. But perhaps none have more need for reconsideration than Star Wars Galaxies.

For the first time announced in 2000, Star Wars Galaxies: Empire Divided was an MMORPG that would be launched in 2001 for PS2, Xbox and PC. An online multiplayer experience set in George Lucas's vast science fiction universe, Star Wars Galaxies was a game that placed you in the middle of the Galactic Civil War as a merchant, soldier or artist, or if you hit the right side. he asks, even as a Jedi.

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Finally, it was reduced to a simpler release for PC, which was launched in 2003 to mixed reviews.

But there was something special about the game for fans of the Star Wars franchise. You could jump between different planets, or drive through the sands of Tatooine and the rainforest of Dantooine. Or you can spend a weekend in a canteen, dancing.

Many revisions of the time said that it was incomplete, with errors and that it lacked a key component of Star Wars: space exploration. 19659002] But for me, Star Wars Galaxies was a revelation, and it is presented today as a testimony of how shocking even an imperfect, "unfinished" game can be. It was the first MMORPG I had played, and the novelty of leaving a spaceport and wandering in the mood was glorious.

Finally, the bad management resulted in two major updates that slowed down the long-term potential of the game. The first was a Combat Improvement in May 2005, which solved some player problems, but also standardized many weapons and objects, eliminating many advantages and benefits that the players had been looking for.

The second patch was the legendary NGE, or "New Game Enhancements," in November 2005, which essentially restarted the game and became a free game for everyone. The skill development system had been changed to a leveling system, changing the very core of what it did to the unique Galaxies, and now you could even be a Jedi from the beginning of the game.

These changes not only confused the players, but irritated them, leaving them with a game that was not the one they came to enjoy.

The game barely survived these changes, but finally in December 2011, it no longer existed. , and turn off forever.

If you hit me …

In the shadows, however, something was brewing from a series of dedicated and passionate players who wanted to keep the game fun, away from new directions The SoE editor (Sony Online Entertainment, now Daybreak Game Company) was entering. This project started on Christmas Eve in 2004, and the work only accelerated a year later when the two highly criticized updates were published.

<img id = "wcGJKXpdmBGaNPQyLqiM49" alt = "Star Wars Galaxies MMO [19659016] This project was 'SWGEmu', an emulated version of the original 2003 title that I discovered for the first time on Reddit about One year, wanting to discover any veteran of the game, I came across the project and since then I've gotten into it.

You see a lot of people in the fan forums trying to revive a classic game, joking a little bit. screen along a stepped development and without eventual release.

But here was the real deal.The original installation disks were necessary to reinstall the game on my PC, which were only a quick eBay purchase. When I clicked on & # 39; LaunchPad & # 39 ;, the music of Empire Strikes Back started again, and suddenly I was transported to 2004. Before the Combat Enhancement, before the NGE, before the dark times.

Of course, you must have note that SWGEmu is not sanctioned in any way by LucasArts / Disney, but is the result of the efforts of fans long ago. But how did it happen?

The first step towards a bigger world

I spoke with a SWGEmu staff member using the name & # 39; Vlada & # 39 ;, with regard to their history and where they aim for it to go:

"The SWGEmu project started on December 24, 2004. It all started because many players did not like the direction in which the game was being taken. So, if we wanted to play the game we love again, as it was originally intended, we would have to remake it ourselves. "

 Star Wars Galaxies MMO

The main challenges the team still faces They are, First, maintaining the stability of the server, and second, integrating the Expansion & # 39; Jump to Lightspeed & # 39; ..

Now that a player can freely jump to the game and master most of the professions that were given in In 2003, there is now a new frontier for space:

Jump to Lightspeed was the first game expansion launched in October 2004, and one that was hinted at during the development of Galaxies. I could buy a spaceship and launch myself freely into space, it was almost a precursor to No Man's Sky, although it naturally does not have the same reach, where you could fly random parts of space and then find yourself in a plane. net of your choice.

Efforts have been made to incorporate the update, made possible by the fact that the expansion was released on the disk, as well as digitally, facilitating the search of the essential files to merge them with SWGEmu. The work began with the update in 2011, although Vlada stresses that it is still "bases" at this point.

"We have to start somewhere, and because of the nature of the project, we do not have an ETA."

Of course, the Death Star that hovers above all the effort is still Disney. If the project gains more users or a profile too large, they could easily receive a cease and desist. But there are other challenges, from the team itself to the financing of its servers.

"The biggest challenge, after almost 15 years, is to keep people interested in the project, both those involved in development and those who support it. But even after all these years, SWG has not lost its appeal. "

 Star Wars Galaxies MMO

Leaving aside the speed of light, there are two other expansions of SWG with potential for Inclusion in the modded game.One added Wookiee planet Kashyyyk in 'Rage of the Wookies', while Mustafar, the main planet of the Battle of Obi Wan and Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode III, was added in its final expansion, & # 39; Trials of Obi-Wan & # 39;

But what prevents another passionate developer from recreating new planets from & # 39; The Last Jedi & # 39 ;, or even the base StarKiller "The Force Awakens" There is a lot of untapped potential, which could lead to completely new worlds and areas to explore, Vlada refers me to a linked emulation project called Mod the Galaxy where efforts have already begun to see if new planets and perso can be added to the existing code.

The planet & # 39; Mandalore & # 39 ;, home The planet of Jango and Boba Fett – and the basis for a series of live action TV The Mandalorians – technically added to Mod Galaxy in 2015, but at the moment it is not more than a mixture of palettes and textures that wait to be realized. Even so, the prospects are exciting.

This is still in the early stages, and probably will not reach the most used SWGEmu until more research has been done.

But for now, you can comply. your destiny is to join a time in 2003, where you can once again lead a speeder through the lands of Yavin, dance the night away in a canteen in Mos Espa, or simply converse with a wookie in Corellia.

I'll see it on Yavin IV.

You can check the SWGEmu website at www.swgemu.com, or the Reddit thread at www.reddit.com/r/swgemu.[19659003ARTStarWarsJedi:FallenOrdermaybetheonlygameStarWarsyouarelookingfor19659037]