I’ve posted before that my foray into the massive online gaming wasn’t World of Warcraft but SWG (Star Wars Galaxies). I’m a huge fan of Star Wars. My wife’s Christmas present to me this year was a trip to the Star Wars Celebration IV in Orlando this summer. We’re also attending San Diego’s ComicCon this summer– which she also gifted for me for Christmas as well. Having a supportive and enthusiastic wife & best friend in your geek’ness and nerd ness is a rare thing indeed. I am very lucky. She never bust’s my balls about my gaming. Never gives me the ‘eyes’ or aggro when I’m making Magic decks, killing Ewoks or mining Titanium Ore in WintersGrasp. She’s wonderful!
Got off on a praise wife tangent.
So, I got an email about 2 weeks ago from Sony Online SWG, saying I can play free for a month. All I have to do is log in. Short history with me an SWG. I started playing SWG 2 months in from the Flurry server began. This was the very beginning of SWG and in it’s infancy was a fantastical game with true depth and wonder. I sound like a commercial but if you were a vet like me (now) you know exactly what I mean. This was over 6 years ago. I joined a few guilds. Made a ton of friends and enemies. Enemies on the forums and in game because I didn’t role play. i.e. I had a guild of Hunters and Bounty Hunters with a good amount of Creature Handlers. In the game on our server, there was an unwritten rule that a “Bounty Hunter” – think Boba Fett – should not hunt same faction Jedi. In SWG you have 3 factions. Imperial, Rebel and Neutral. My line of thought was if you are a Jedi and I’m a Bounty Hunter then you are fair game regardless of faction alignment. My mantra on that was ‘fuck it & deal with it’.
This mantra spread to a dozen or so like minded players who saw my forum posts. I would get contacted from ostracized players– those who did kill Jedi without following the ‘rule’. They’d get kicked from their guild or not get buffed* (Professions like ‘Doctors’ or “Combat Medics” would be able to buff you- enhance your stats for a short period of time. Without buffs you were fodder for those who had buffs.)
I set up my own doctors and buff houses. I made my guild a sanctuary for those who weren’t following the unspoken BS rules of Bounty Hunting.
In SWG 4-5 years ago– not sure now…Jedi were ‘rare’. Super rare. You had to ‘grind’ your way down a ‘Profession Path’- 13 or so. Each profession took a lot of time and ingame credits (money). Everyone supposedly had the ‘force’ within them, they had to ‘find’ it via the grinding. When you ‘find’ your Jedi– it’s called being “Unlocked”. You then are able to create a NEW toon, free of charge. SWG only allowed you ONE toon per server. That no longer exists. My unlock was the 3rd on the server. =)
So, here you spent HOURS and MONTHS grinding away. You unlock. You become a padawan Jedi. The catch is you can’t let anyone know who is not your friend. The first Jedi had something called “Perma Death”. It is exactly what it means. If you ‘died’ ingame your toon was lost forever. No restart. No ‘clone’. Nada. Your time of 9-12 months grinding and you die to a Rancor. That’s your problem. This was TRUE hard core gaming. Then a bunch of whiney Jedi on all servers complained and a couple of the Jedi were actual real life Lawyers who threatened to sue Sony. True story. Sony relented.
The next phase of Jedi when perma death was 86’d was Bounty Hunting. Being a Jedi and ‘showing’ your force to people was something you simply didn’t do. You had to grind away your Jedi levels ALONE. No help. IF you did you ran the risk of getting on the “terminals”. Terminals are like ATM machines in the cities or towns. These terminals are a database of “Jedi” or “Bounty Hunter Marks” of who was ‘seen’ using the force. The game generated these automatically if you were within a certain ‘range’ of someone, anyone ‘Live’. The amount of time being seen raised your bounty. Thus, the Bounty Hunters of the game had new quarry. People, not just NPC’s but Jedi. It was never an easy task killing a Jedi. They always had the advantage unless there was a TEF. TEF’s are like a radius flag, an AOE. example. Jedi Joe is fighting a BH (Bounty Hunter) one on one. The BH groups with 3-4 other BH’s. Those 3-4 other BH’s can NOW join in on the fight. Thus…the term ‘ganking’ derived from SWG. Look it up.
Back to me.
My guild specialized in ganking. Upper level Jedi would 2-3 shot you. You would drop in 5 seconds. Even the most skilled BH’s couldn’t come close to Master Jedi levels. StaxRipa was the servers best. He was able to kill Jedi who were AFK or low to med levels. My friend and I, Sokym, Accamim, Skuba and others would hop into my created 8 person vehicle, we coined “The Gank Bus” would find these Jedi on the terminals and coordinate attacks. The first 50 or so Jedi’s we encountered stood their ground because on their radial map they only ‘see’ one vehicle as a ‘red’ dot. They had no clue I was toting around 5-6 other BH’s. I’d come up on them as they’re grinding then send them a ‘tell’ (message). Something along the lines of “You ready?” I only killed ONE Jedi who was AKF. That’s another story but his name was “Daniel”.
If the Jedi ignored me I’d wait for any movement. My gankers waiting for my signal. If said Jedi didn’t move and did have a “AFK’ above his name we’d move on. IF he did move it was on like Donkey Kong. My online adrenaline would pump. My profession was a Doctor. Not a BH. My job was to heal my friends. We start off with our timed ‘snares’ and ‘root’ abilities so he couldn’t run. They (Jedi) have a ‘force run’ which means they sprint like a cheetah going over 300% speed for about 15 second with a 30 second cool down. If they could get that off we’d have to chase them down with our speeder bikes. That happened alot as the Jedi put there skill points into defense and avoidance. I would say we contributed to that. =)
So, we would end up killing the Jedi. Since perma death was gone the penalty for dying as a Jedi was losing experience. Imagine you were a level 79 Warrior and you were killed. You spent the past 1-2 weeks getting ONE level, when you died you would lose 2-3 levels…now your level 76. This happened to Jedi. A death meant weeks of grinding lost. If a BH died or Doc for that matter we lost nothing. =D Don’t hate the playa hate the Devs. Jedi killed in this fashion– benefit, if you can call it that– would then be ‘wiped off’ the terminals and have a clean slate. Though we spread the word of WHO it was we killed was a known “Jedi”.
Word spread like wild fire and genital herpes that this rogue guild was killing both Rebel and Imperial Jedi. They even had a special meeting among the Imperials (true story…) guilds forming an alliance amongst warring guilds of the same faction to bar us from their cities (city ban) and vendors. My name was on this list “WookieLuv” among 1/2 of my guild and other BH’s. It was awesome. A friend sent me a screen shot of the meeting. Instant Classic.
This went on quite awhile til they changed the TEF rules, the “Combat Upgrade” debacle and overall the game of SWG became simplified* *see WoW. We turned our skills to hunting and looting. Our services were supplying top end resources to top producers including our own. Me: Architect, Accamim (aka Trippy in WoW) was a Weaponsmith. Sokym…well he always was a hunter type not a crafter, ever. =D
Now, you can log in an be a Jedi in as fast as you can mash buttons. Still have to ‘level’ but the game itself isn’t the same.
So, I logged in a week or two ago and remembered they added a “Magic the Gathering” element to the game. A SWG TCG (Trading Card Game). Taking hints from MtG and WoW- they also added “Loot” cards you can redeem ingame for items that are actually useful. I did this last night — learned the tcg training, redeemed some loot cards I was given for this free month. It was fun again. I also played about an hour of WoW. =D
I may give SWG 3.0 another chance. Having your own At-At house or Sandcrawler House is too much for my Star Wars love to pass by. My wife chuckled at me when I said I missed this game. She corrected me with ‘how can you miss it if your playing it now…’
And now for some sexist cretin posts of geeky hot gamer women. All photo’s below courtesy of: