Star Wars Galaxies
The Saga Continues!
SWGEmu is alive and kicking with an active development cycle for 2012. There have been many advancements in the game code since the database restructure, and old features are being re-enabled often. Most recently player vendors were re-introduced to the game, after player housing and cities were fixed a few months prior. Things are looking up for the SWGEmu project!
SWGEmu is an open source, volunteer contributed, community supported game development project. Considering donating!
What is SWG?
Star Wars Galaxies was the game that The Hammer of Resistance guild was formed in during August of 2003. At that time we were mostly made of family members and close friends and it was a great time for the guild. It was also a great time for SWG. It had over 200K subscribers at the time and was one of the hottest MMORPG games on the market. It had a very complex skills and attributes system that was based off of skills acquired, not a level based system. One of the downfalls to this system was that people would stack their skills and become either invulnerable to certain types of attacks, or have massive attack skills that could not be defended against. This begain the Nerf Wars.
After the Nerfing, there was a mass exodus out of the game of hardcore players that felt the game lost some of it's originality. We lost some good guild members after the first major nerfs. The nerfs continued as more and more unskilled players complained on the forums about how much of an unfair advantage certain classes had over the other. Eventually, just about every player class had at least one sort of nerf on it at some point. As you can imagine, many players left throughout these nerfings as they went from class to class.
The game was still fun and the playing world was immense with many places to explore, so many hardcore adventurers stuck around, many of which were working on becoming a Jedi. I was one of those people. I was working on a Wookiee Jedi, but never made it. The Combat Upgrade and the ensuing New Gaming Experience patch stopped me dead in my months long journey.
The New Gaming Experience, otherwise known as the NGE, was nothing but a way for Sony Online Entertainment to rework the game to fit their online gaming structure like Everquest II. The game was essentially changed to Everquest II with a Star Wars Galaxies skin. The worst part about this was that what we all tested on test center was not even close to what was released to us all that fateful day. When the NGE was released, about half of the remaining player population canceled their accounts that weekend. It was the beginning of the end for SWG on SOEs servers.
Enter the SWGEmu project. Years after I had stopped playing Star Wars Galaxies because of the NGE, some gaming friends of mine from the old THOR guild told me about this open source project that people have been working on in a community called SWGEmu. The idea of the project is to recreate SWG to the patch prior to the NGE patch, which ultimately ruined the skill based experience system that the game was so popular for. I thought it was absolutely awesome, as I had started working with Drupal, an open source content management system, as my full-time job right around that time. Now, not only do I work with open source software, but I also play with open source software.
The SWGEmu community has some fairly specific rules, which I feel are very important to the integrity of the community. They do not allow multiple accounts, but they do allow 2 characters to be logged on from the same account. If you do want to play with multiple computers from the same house, you have to contact their support team so they don't ban you. They enforce this rule very heavily and have software in place to detect it. Other than that the rules are as they always were, no exploiting bugs, no hacking, and generally just be a good gamer. They have an IRC channel which you can join from the website, or from your own IRC client.
The SWGEmu game itself is very close to the original, but has some work to be done yet. There are quite a few things that work great though. Those include entertainer buffs, doctor buffs, most combat skills, combat missions, and shuttles. Most of the player classes are ready to go, but some of the more complex classes like Creature handler, Bio-Engineer, and Droid Engineer are not ready to go yet. The main reason for this is that containers have not fully been figured out in the coding yet and have been disabled for the time being. Some other types of container items such as housing and locked containers do not work currently either.
The good news is that they are in the process of doing an organizational restructure, otherwise known as "OR", to the database which holds all the game data. This is key to figuring out what data is what so they can piece everything back together correctly and efficiently. The project has taken years to get to this point, and it is on the brink of going into full test mode on the new OR code.
They have been live testing the OR code here and there lately. The bits and pieces that I have been able to see and test have shown some huge advancements in the games code. Housing and cities work, as well as other container items. Once the OR code goes into full testing mode, it will once again be a great time, not for SWG, but the SWGEmu. I can't stress how much of a great job the programmers have done on the SWGEmu team to bring one of my favorite games every, Star Wars Galaxies, back to life the way I remember it.
Check out the SWGEmu at http://www.swgemu.com