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Star Wars Galaxies

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"Experience the greatest saga ever told.....yours."
Star Wars Galaxies tagline[src]

Star Wars Galaxies (often abbreviated SWG) was a Star Wars-themed MMORPG developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts for Microsoft Windows PCs.[4] The base game, titled Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, was released on June 26, 2003 in the United States of America, November 7, 2003 in Europe, December 23, 2004 in Japan, and in 2006 in Australia. The base game was upgraded with three major expansions since. In addition to the initial cost of the game software, SOE charged a monthly subscription fee (like most other MMORPGs) of $14.99 USD (11.15, £9.49), with discounts for 3-, 6-, and 12-month subscriptions. On June 24th, 2011, Sony announced that Galaxies would be shut down on December 15 of that year.

Development and release

SWG7thlogo

The official seventh anniversary logo for the game. While the game made it past its eighth anniversary, this was the last one used.

SWGLogo-Japan

The logo used for the Japanese localization.

On March 16, 2000, LucasArts Entertainment announced a partnership with Verant Interactive Inc. and Sony Online Entertainment to create the first massively multiplayer Star Wars online role-playing game.[4][5] The then unnamed game would be developed by Verant with online play supported by SOE. This was the same team responsible for creating and supporting the popular Everquest massively multiplayer online game. LucasArts would be responsible for all distribution of the Star Wars online game. The announcement included an expected release date some time in 2001 and that the game would take place during the classic trilogy Star Wars era.

LucasArts officially announced the brand name of the game to be title Star Wars Galaxies on November 29, 2000.[6] The announcement claimed the first round of testing for Star Wars Galaxies was expected to start in late 2001 which would push back the official release date to an unknown time. The game's official information site was launched on November 30, 2000 in conjunction with SOE and featured frequently asked questions about the game and message boards fielded by members of the development team.[7]

"We see this Web site as an important step toward building a strong community for the Star Wars Galaxies line of games. We firmly believe that consistent and open communication with fans will be one of the keys to the success of the Star Wars Galaxies experience."
―Simon Jeffery, president of LucasArts[src]

On May 17, 2001, even before the game went into public beta testing, the first expansion's development was announced.[8] The yet unnamed add-on, which was expected to be available six months after the initial product release, would be a space simulation and enable players to own and fly starships which would allow interplanetary travel and space combat. The release date of the initial product, the ground-based component, was updated to the second half of 2002. The staggered release schedule of the space component of the Star Wars Galaxies series was said to benefit players because they would have time to establish their characters and explore different elements of the core game before adding the space layer.[9] Traveling between planets would be accomplished through the use of public shuttles, which would ferry characters from world to world.

A new official site was also released on the same day that put more of an emphasis behind the community of the game. It included new screen shots, movies, an updated FAQ, concept art, development team member's profiles, features about the game, and a new forum.[10] The site reached 100,000 users by December 2001.[11] Throughout the next year after the release of the new site, new content would be revealed. This content included information on species and locations, new images and movies of different game elements, and 360 degree QuickTime VR panoramas of different locations.

Verant began accepting applications from users in May 2002 who were interested in participating in a closed beta test for SWG. The closed beta test would begin in July 2002.[12] SOE would share more information on the game as the beta moved forward. This would include more screen shots, information on match making services, the fact that players would be permitted only one character per server,[13] and skill trees and how the skill-based system would function.[14] LucasArts also announced on May 20, 2002 that both the Xbox[15] and PlayStation 2[16] would get a version of the game, but these would later be cancelled.

2002 ended with LucasArts officially confirming a release date of April 15, 2003.[17][18] They also announced on December 20, 2002 that the ground-based component of Star Wars Galaxies would be called An Empire Divided and that the game's online community had grown to over 400,000 users since its original release in November 2000. This represented one of the largest ever fan communities amassed for any game prior to retail availability.[17]

An Empire Divided would later be delayed to an unknown time,[19] but on June 17, 2003, LucasArts confirmed Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided would be released on June 26, 2003.[20]

With a Star Wars license and veteran designer Raph Koster at the helm, expectations among gamers ran high during the development of Galaxies. Many industry professionals expected that these forces would push the subscription numbers past the one million mark. As development wore on, the release date was pushed back, features were cut, and Sony canceled planned ports for the Xbox and PlayStation 2.

The base game, An Empire Divided, was released in the United States on June 26, 2003 to mixed reviews. Galaxies was most criticized for numerous bugs and broken features that plagued the game.[21] After release, the developers continued working on the features cut during the delay. In November 2003, two of those most anticipated features, creature mounts and player-created cities were enabled. Also, on November 7, 2003 it was announced that the first player had unlocked a Force-sensitive character slot needed to become a Jedi.

On November 7, 2003, An Empire Divided was released in Europe. A localized version for the Japanese market was published by Electronic Arts Japan on 23 December 2004. However, Japanese acceptance of the game was low, and in November 2005 the servers were shut down and existing accounts migrated to US servers.

Story and setting

City Tatooine

A Small town in Tatooine.

Star Wars Galaxies did not begin with any sort of over-arching story. Originally, as the original opening crawl states, after character creation, the player started out on an Imperial Star Destroyer after being captured on a passenger ship suspected of illegal activity. After being cleared of any wrong doing, the player was instructed to make their way through the ship towards the shuttle bay. Along the way, various obstacles were used to educate the player in the basics of game play. After reaching the shuttle bay, the player was allowed to choose a starting planet, then city. The planetary choices were Naboo, Tatooine, or Corellia. A majority of the already established cities on the planet of choice could be chosen as a starting point, such as Moenia, Theed, Coronet, Doaba Guerfel, Mos Eisley, or Anchorhead. After choosing, they were loaded up into their city of choice on the planet with nothing but a green and yellow R2 helper droid, a limited use 74-Z speeder bike and no real direction on what to do next.

After the release of the New Game Enhancements in late 2005 however, story elements became more important to the development of your character. The introductory sequence was changed. This time the player started out on an Imperial space station. The player was quickly contacted by C-3PO, who familiarized the player with the basics of the controls, and informed them that Han Solo would arrive shortly to rescue them. Han, Chewbacca, and R2-D2 arrived and escorted the player to the hangar bay, where they were attacked by three stormtroopers. After killing the troopers, Han, the player and crew boarded the Millennium Falcon and escaped the exploding station, with TIE fighters giving chase. The next sequence was meant to familiarize the player with the space combat game play. The player commanded one of the Falcon's turrets and destroyed several TIE fighters, after which the Millennium Falcon hyperjumped to Tansarii Point Station. After arriving on the station, the player was free to complete several story-driven quests on their quest for credits and experience (the player had to reach level 5 before they could leave the station). Once the player was sufficiently experienced, the player had to aid Han Solo in repairing the Falcon. Upon doing so, Han Solo dropped the player off in front of the spaceport in Mos Eisley on Tatooine. Before leaving, Han Solo set them up with a speeder, and a contact in Eisley. This led the player to working for Jabba the Hutt, first through Bib Fortuna, then directly from Jabba's Palace. Further quests in this over-arching chain (known collectively as the Legacy quests) took the player to other planets, including Naboo, Corellia, and Talus. All throughout this quest chain, the player met many familiar faces from Star Wars canon, including Watto, Ephant Mon, Jabba the Hutt, Boss Nass, and Quarsh Panaka, just to name a few.

Opening crawls

From its release in June of 2003 until November of 2005, Star Wars Galaxies used an opening crawl much like the movies as an introduction during character creation. After the release of the New Game Enhancements in November of 2005, a slightly updated opening crawl was used.

Original crawl

STAR WARS GALAXIES
An Empire Divided
It is the height of the Galactic Civil War.
Although the Rebel Alliance has destroyed
the dreaded Death Star, the Emperor still
holds thousands of systems in his grip.

Throughout the galaxy, brave adventurers
struggle to restore peace, while smugglers,
bounty hunters and crime lords prosper
amid the chaos.

Meanwhile, in the Outer Rim of the galaxy,
one of Darth Vader's Imperial-class Star
Destroyers has captured a passenger freighter
on suspicion of harboring criminals...

Second crawl

STAR WARS GALAXIES
An Empire Divided
It is the height of the Galactic Civil War.
Although the Rebel Alliance has destroyed
the dreaded Death Star, the Emperor still
holds thousands of systems in his grip.

Throughout the galaxy, civil war rages. 
Innocents and heroes alike are swept
into the conflict. The fate of millions
shifts with every battle.

On a distant Imperial Space Station,
a smaller battle erupts over the fate
of a single being's destiny....yours...

Story arcs

  • Cries of Alderaan
  • Secrets of the Syren
  • Rebel Theme Park
  • Imperial Theme Park
  • Legacy
  • Death Troopers
  • Nym's Theme Park

Timeline

According to the opening crawl of the game, Star Wars Galaxies was set sometime after Episode IV. Meanwhile, the existence of certain characters and quests indicated that the game was set before the events of Episode V.

Serji-X Arrogantus appeared in the game, and is established to have died in 0 ABY. This seemingly implies that Star Wars Galaxies was set very shortly after the Battle of Yavin. However, another character named Sergeant Ruwan Tokai clearly mentioned that the destruction of the Death Star occurred a year earlier, suggesting a timeline closer to 1 ABY. Furthermore, Darth Vader just learns that it was his son, Luke Skywalker, who destroyed the Death Star, a revelation which is said to have occurred around 2 ABY. Cryptic mentions were made in the game about the existence of Echo Base on Hoth. Han Solo's appearance on Lok proves that the game was set before the events of 3 ABY, when he became encased in carbonite. This means certain portions of the game took place immediately after the Battle of Yavin in 0 ABY, some immediately before the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY, and some in between, making a concrete date impossible to determine for the game as a whole.

With Chapter 11 in November 2008, the developers added the Battle of Hoth to the game. However, the developers were quite clear that this did not advance the timeline. It was only intended to be a completely isolated "Star Wars Moment"[22] to give players the opportunity to participate in the iconic movie event without any effect on continuity for the rest of of the game. During the final day of the game on December 15, 2011, the developers depicted the second Death Star over Endor, and included a bunker on the moon where Imperial and Rebel players could fight against each other. Not long before the servers were terminated, the second Death Star was shown being destroyed in the sky. This indicates that at least the final day of the game tenuously took place in 4 ABY. It should be noted, however, that characters like Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine could still be visited after the Death Star's destruction.

Planets and explorable areas

SWG planets

A map with the planets featured in Star Wars Galaxies.

The basic "game world" consisted of simulated planetary surfaces and associated structures. The twelve different planets were taken from the Star Wars movies and the Expanded Universe: Tatooine, Naboo, Corellia, Talus, Rori, Dantooine, Lok, Yavin 4, the forest moon of Endor, and Dathomir. The game's first expansion, Jump to Lightspeed, added explorable space sectors for every original planet. Two additional space sectors were also included, Deep Space and the Kessel sector. In the Rage of the Wookiees expansion the planet Kashyyyk was added, and Trials of Obi-Wan added the planet Mustafar (the only planet without an explorable space sector). The ten original planets were represented by approximately 256 square kilometers (16 km x 16 km maps) of game space, with all established cities and locations compressed into that space. Kashyyyk was represented by several navigational zones that connected to each other via portals located throughout that planet. Many of these zones were instanced, meaning that only the player or group that selected that zone were likely the only inhabitants of that zone. Mustafar had a traditional layout similar to the original planets, but with many instanced dungeons scattered across the landscape. Further game updates added the space system of Ord Mantell, along with Hoth as an instance. A player could explore any of the following planets and systems:

Geography

Lush Background

An example of the lush environment in Galaxies.

The game covered ten planets: Tatooine, Naboo, Corellia, Talus, Rori, Dantooine, Lok, Yavin 4, the forest moon of Endor, Dathomir and the newest chapter 8 update, the Nova Orion Space Station. In the second expansion, Rage of the Wookiees, the Wookiee planet Kashyyyk was added. In the third expansion, Trials of Obi-Wan, the planet Mustafar was added. Each of the original ten planets were represented by approximately 225 square kilometers (15 km x 15 km maps) of game space[23]. In contrast, the expansion planets of Kashyyyk and Mustafar were smaller, constructed differently (e.g. instances) and in some cases imposed different rules than the original, such as terrain that was not traversable (i.e. mountains or hills that cannot be climbed over). With the release of Chapter 11, the planet Hoth was released as an instance.[24][25]

Points of interest and cameos

Examples of characters and points of interest that players could visit within the game included HK-47 from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, R2-D2, C-3PO, their escape pod on Tatooine, the Naboo Royal Palace, the abandoned Rebel bases on Dantooine and Yavin IV, the notorious pirate Nym in his stronghold on Lok, Ewoks and rancors.

Gameplay and features

In basic gameplay, the player used his or her character's skills and special abilities to attack targets, complete quests, undertake missions, create useful in-game items, and/or entertain other players. The player's character would have opportunities to meet famous Star Wars characters, earn in-game fame and fortune (or infamy and notoriety), travel to iconic Star Wars locations, and obtain numerous items, artifacts, and 'trophies' that could enhance his or her character.

Species and professions

Players of the game created characters to navigate through these environments. Characters in Star Wars Galaxies could be one of ten species, again taken from the films and the Expanded Universe: Human, Twi'lek, Zabrak, Wookiee, Trandoshan, Rodian, Mon Calamari, Bothan, Sullustan, or Ithorian. A character could be either male or female, and he or she belonged to one of nine iconic professions: Jedi, Bounty hunter, Smuggler, Commando, Spy, Officer, Medic, Entertainer, or Trader. Chapter 6 has introduced Beast Master, the NGE version of the pre-NGE Creature Handler, as a separate expertise tree.[26] A character could also optionally advance in the Politician and Pilot professions, independent of his or her primary profession.

As with all MMORPGs, the feature set of Star Wars Galaxies were subject to change.

Species

BalfurJhcor

Trandoshan Balfur Jhcor

A player could create a male or female character of the following species:

There were a number of species that appeared throughout the game as NPCs (non-player characters).


Professions

These professions were available in the game's later releases, following the "New Game Enhancements":

Original professions

Prior to the release of the New Game Enhancements on November 15, 2005, a player could choose from up to 34 professions to play. The player was limited in their choice of profession by set number of skill points. Taking advantage of the different skill and combat modifiers offered by different professions, players could customize their characters to match their playing styles. This meant that a character could have skills in more than one profession, unlike the current system which allows the player only one profession per character.

  • Basic professions: With the exception of Politician, these professions were selectable during the character creation phase of the game. Once you selected your character's profession, race, gender, and appearance, a brief tutorial followed that showed the basic mechanics of the game. Progress through the profession was in the form of skill trees. Once a pre-required amount of experience points had been attained, a player could train their character in a particular skill box on the tree. Each skill tree had four 'branches' of skills, usually representing different types of skills for that profession. Once all four branches of the tree were completed, a character could then train in the mastery of that profession. In order to access the Elite / Hybrid professions, players generally had to train in more than one basic profession.
    • Artisan
    • Brawler
    • Entertainer
    • Marksman
    • Medic
    • Scout
    • Politician
  • Elite / Hybrid professions: Having mastered one or more of the basic professions, players could further specialize their characters by pursuing a variety of Elite / Hybrid professions. Elite combat professions generally required the mastering of a particular style of combat, or with certain types of weaponry. Hybrid professions required that a player complete specific branches of two different profession trees before they could further specialize in the area they were most interested in. (Hybrid/Elite professions have either been made into a class, added to another class, or removed completely.)
    • Architect (Structures Trader)
    • Armorsmith (Munitions Trader)
    • Bio-Engineer (Combined into Beast Master)
    • Bounty Hunter (Present Profession)
    • Combat Medic (Medic Class)
    • Carbineer (Bounty Hunter, Officer)
    • Chef (Domestic Goods Trader)
    • Creature Handler (Combined into Beast Master)
    • Commando (Present Profession)
    • Dancer (Entertainer)
    • Doctor (Medic)
    • Droid Engineer (Engineering Trader)
    • Fencer (Smuggler, Officer)
    • Image Designer (Entertainer)
    • Merchant (Trader)
    • Musician (Entertainer)
    • Pikeman (Smuggler)
    • Pistoleer (Smuggler, Officer)
    • Ranger (N/A)
    • Rifleman (Bounty Hunter)
    • Shipwright (Structures and Engineering Trader)
    • Smuggler (Present Profession)
    • Squad Leader (Officer)
    • Swordsman (Smuggler)
    • Tailor (Domestic Goods Trader)
    • Teräs Käsi Artist (Smuggler)
    • Weaponsmith (Munitions Trader)

  • Pilot professions
    • Alliance Starfighter Pilot
    • Imperial Navy Pilot
    • Freelance Pilot
  • Force-sensitive professions: The following Force-related profession choices were rolled into the Jedi profession after November, 2005
    • Combat Prowess
    • Crafting Mastery
    • Enhanced Reflexes
    • Heightened Senses
  • Force discipline professions
    • Force Defense
    • Force Enhancement
    • Force Healing
    • Lightsaber
    • Force Powers
  • Force powers
    • Force Choke
    • Force Lightning
    • Force Sense
    • Force Shockwave

Player housing, guilds, and cities

Characters could erect, own and decorate a variety of buildings, including houses, cantinas, guild halls and city halls. These buildings, when grouped, could be organized into cities. Players held elections via ballot box for Mayor. Elected mayors granted city members certain rights to place structures within the city and eject players from cities as needed. Reelections were held every three weeks. If another player wished to run for mayor they could add their name at any time to the ballot box to run against the incumbent. As cities grew in population, they became eligible to add services and facilities such as vehicle repair garages, shuttleports, cloning facilities, hospitals, cantinas and garden displays. They could show up on the planetary maps alongside canonical cities such as Theed and Mos Eisley.

Starships

The game included a variety of playable and non-player controlled ships:

Playable




NPC only

These ships cannot be used by the player:

Combat

Jedi vs Imps

A Jedi fights Imperial troops in Galaxies.

  • Ground Combat: Ground combat in Galaxies was in real-time and similar to a first-person shooter. Unlike most MMORPGs, whether an attack hits was not solely based on the character's skill numbers. The player had to aim a targeting reticule at a target and left-click the mouse to fire. Auto-aim and auto-fire features were later made available, creating a more traditional combat experience, but players eschewing those options were rewarded with an increased chance to do maximum damage. As characters gained levels (by gaining experience points, known as XP), they gained access to additional combat abilities, called "specials", which were "fired" by using the right mouse button. These specials usually had a cool-down period during which they could not be reused, but they were much more powerful or versatile than the basic left-click attack. Specials were also used to heal characters and enhance their other abilities as well as decrease an enemy's statistics. In addition to these specials, players gained the ability to use more powerful and varied type of weaponry as they climbed the ranks in their chosen profession. For example, the KYD-21 blaster pistol was limited to the Spy profession.
  • Space Combat:
    Space combat 2

    Space combat in Galaxies.

    Space combat in Galaxies was similar to ground combat. Players had to aim at their targets (often needing to "lead" their target in compensation for the target's movement) and click a button on the mouse or joystick to fire. Success in space combat was largely dependent on player skill, but not quite to the same extent as seen in previous Star Wars space-simulator games. As characters advanced in their piloting professions, they gained access to a variety of tactics, starship chassis, and starship components. Their ships could be completely customized with components looted from enemies or crafted by shipwrights. Available chassis included the X-wing and Y-wing for Rebels, TIE Fighters and TIE/In interceptors for Imperials, and new Hutt and Black Sun ship designs for Freelancers. Characters who mastered a piloting profession got access to PoB (Party on Board) ship designs such as the famed YT-1300 light freighter. PoB ships allowed characters to walk around the interiors (which could be decorated just like a building on the ground) and man additional shipboard stations such as laser turrets. Some high-end ships were obtainable only via difficult quests; such ships include the Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor (commonly called the JSF or "Jedi Starfighter") and the KSE Firespray (Made famous by the Fett ship Slave I).

Other features of the basic game

  • Single- and multi-passenger ground vehicles and starships (landspeeders, speeder bikes, swoops, X-wings, TIE Fighters and even several of the YT series of ships).
  • An almost completely player-run economy, wherein player characters were responsible for creating many (and nearly all) in-game items including blasters, starships, clothing, armor, food, housing, furniture and even a wide variety of droids. Items were created from player-collected raw materials and looted items—with other player characters as the only consumers. Later on, the developers added more high-quality equipment to loot tables and as quest rewards, but player crafters remained an essential part of the economy.
  • An extensive set of emotes, moods, and associated animations, which affected not only an avatar's physical appearance but also the text used to describe a character's speech, and even the shape of the speech bubble displayed on-screen.
  • Standard MMORPG features such as player guilds, chat functionality, and other community features.
  • The ability for players to place bounties on opponents that defeated/killed them in PvP battle. Player character bounty hunters could then pick up another character's "bounty mission" on the terminals and track the character down. A bounty could be claimed at any time, regardless of the target's PvP setting. Up to three bounty hunters could track a character at any given time.
  • An extensive avatar/character-creation system. Characters could hire Entertainers to change their appearance in-game, with even more options than those available at creation. Every visual aspect of a character was thereby changeable at any time after character creation except species and gender.

Galaxies (servers)

There were twenty-five different "galaxies", or servers, in which players could choose to play the game. Most of them were named after obscure ships from the Expanded Universe. Twelve were shut down on October 15th, 2009, leaving thirteen which were shut down with the game's closure on December 15th, 2011.[27] They are:


Appearances

By type 
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea

Characters

Creatures

Droid models

Events

Locations

Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology

Miscellanea


Releases, expansions and updates

An Empire Divided

SWGAED logo

An Empire Divided logo

At the time of its initial release, the game was very different than it was at the time of its closure. Vehicles and creature mounts were not yet implemented. While player housing was in the game, player cities were not. (Those features were added in November 2003.) Each character and creature possessed three "pools" (called Health, Action, and Mind; or "HAM") that represented his or her physical and mental reserves. Most attacks specifically targeted one of these three pools and any action the character took also depleted one or more of the pools. When any one of those pools was fully depleted, the character would fall unconscious. Combat required the player to carefully manage his or her actions to avoid depleting a pool.

Character progression was vastly different at release as well. Characters started out in one of six basic professions (Medic, Brawler, Marksman, Scout, Entertainer, or Artisan) and could pick up any of the other five at any time after character creation. Each profession consisted of a tree-like structure of skills, with a single Novice level, four independent branches of four levels each, and a Master level which required completion of all four branches. Characters purchased these skills with experience points gained through a related activity. For example, an Entertainer could purchase skills to get better at playing music, but only with Musician experience points. Dancing experience points were entirely separate and could only be used to purchase dancing skills.

In addition to the basic professions, characters could specialize into advanced professions such as Bounty Hunter, Creature Handler, Ranger, Doctor, and Musician. There were a total of 24 advanced professions, although there was no way for characters to obtain all of them at once. Each advanced profession had certain skill requirements from the base professions that had to be met, some more restrictive than others.

Jedi were not available as a starting profession, or even as an advanced profession. The developers stated only that certain in-game actions would open up a Force-sensitive character slot. The actions required were left for players to discover. It eventually turned out that characters had to achieve Master level in five random professions. The identity of four of those necessary professions could be learned via looted holocrons, but the fifth had to be found via trial and error. The first Force-sensitive character slot was unlocked on November 7, 2003.[28]

Expansion packs

In addition to the base game, three expansions were developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts since the game's inception:

Combat Upgrade

The Combat Upgrade of April 2005 was a major revamping and rewriting of the entire Star Wars Galaxies combat, armor, and weapons system. A more restricted tone was set, whereas only certain characters in certain professions would use specific weapons and wear armor. In addition, the method of fighting in the game was redone with skill levels assigned to both players and game creatures. Under the new system, only a creature of equal skill could be attacked by a player, with lesser creatures rendering no experience if killed and the more powerful creatures deemed almost invincible to single player attacks.

New Game Enhancements (NGE)

On November 15, 2005, there was a complete overhaul of all game aspects, reducing the number of professions to nine, down from original thirty-two. New patches came out emphasizing the balance and individuality of each profession. These included:

  • Publish 27: Focus on the Commando, Spy, and Jedi professions (as well as re-introducing Heavy Weapons and Traps into the game).
  • Publish 28: Reinstallment of the "Player Bounty" system (with changes) as well as changes in the PvP community.
  • Publish 29: New Targeting system, groundwork laid for the 'expertise system', promising future character customization comparable to the talent system in World of Warcraft.
  • Chapter 1: Battle of Restuss: This was the first time they used 'Chapter' instead of a publish (insert #) and included the beginning of a large-scale PvP war over the city Restuss, on Rori, moon of Naboo. Players fought each other and did missions to collect Restuss Commendation badges, which could be exchanged later for their factions specialized armor and weapons. It also expanded the legacy quest series, a quest involving slaves on Corellia. It introduced three new badges.
  • Chapter 2: The Talus Incident: This chapter further moved the Battle of Restuss, turning the City of Restuss into a full-fledged war-zone, where rebels and imperials were set to Special Forces upon nearing the grounds, and civilians were barred from approaching. New missions were introduced for both sides, and awarded more medals for each completion. It also brought forth another addition to the legacy quest, which involved helping a CorSec agent decide which side to take in the GCW. With this chapter also came the Expertise Tree.
  • Chapter 3: Smugglers & Scoundrels: This chapter expanded upon the expertise system by adding skill trees for the Smuggler and Officer professions. Though there were no new additions to the Legacy Quest added during this update, a long-awaited Smuggling system was introduced to the game that functions along with the Smuggler expertise tree to give the character additional benefits. In addition to this new smuggling system, a revamp to the Galactic Civil War ranking system was implemented.
  • Chapter 4: Armed & Ready for Action: This chapter expanded upon the expertise system by adding skill trees for the Commando, Spy, and Medic professions. Chapter gifts included a random holo pet.
  • Chapter 5: An Entertaining Enterprise: This chapter saw the completion of implementing expertise by introducing expertise trees to the Trader and Entertainer Professions. Traders were given a 'Reverse Engineering' system allowing them to upgrade crafted weapons, clothing and armor using Skill Enhancement Attachments gathered by 'reverse engineering' items that currently hold stat modifications. Player made camps also made a return in this chapter. The Build-A-Buff system was introduced to entertainers, allowing them to add or remove various modifications to inspiration buffs, allowing them to perform custom inspirations based on the wants and needs of their clients. As part of their expertise tree, entertainers were also given a wide range of combat abilities which closely resemble the old Teräs Käsi Artist profession. Combat levels were also granted to Trader and Entertainer professions. Chapter gifts were a custom, one-use camp site, and a painting entitled 'Around the Campfire'.
  • Chapter 6: Masters of the Wild: This chapter brought an homage to the former Creature Handler system with Beast Mastery. Players could design, grow and raise pets to assist them in the game. The Beast Mastery expertise drew on elements from both the former Bio Engineer and Creature Handler professions. Also included in this chapter were enhanced storytelling. The Storyteller Event System unified the features previously included in player event perks, as well as adding new features for role-playing.[29] The chapter gift was "Wim Magwit's magic Painting", a controller that randomly generated a painting below it.
  • Chapter 7: A Collection of Heroes: This chapter introduced the collection system and heroic encounters. Aurilia was also reintroduced to the game, as a township. The chapter gift was C-3PO's comlink, which, when activated, started off a new quest.
  • Chapter 8: The Nova Orion Crisis: This chapter introduced to the game Nova Orion Station in the Bright Jewel system and the Star Destroyer Heroic Encounter mission, set aboard the rogue Star Destroyer, Blackguard. It also introduced four new ships, the Imperial Ye-4 gunship, the Rebel X4 Gunship, the Black Sun AEG-77 Vigo and the Naboo N-1 starfighter. The chapter gift was R2-D's comlink, which, when activated, started off a new quest.
  • Game Update 1: Beginning after the release of Chapter 8, Sony Online Entertainment began releasing smaller updates, known as Game Updates. These updates were meant to address balance issues and bugs, as opposed to adding content as in Chapters (although some did add small bits of new content). The first Game Update contained a variety of fixes and balance changes for Smuggler, Jedi, Spy, Trader, along with fixes for Collections and the recently added Star Destroyer Instance.
  • Game Update 2: Game Update 2 included 57 month veteran rewards, along with some content and skill additions for the Entertainer profession, including a new instrument known as a valahorn, new dancing props, and customizable instruments, along with various fixes for Jedi, Medic, Smuggler, Bounty Hunter, Trader and the User Interface.
  • Chapter 9: The Fury of Exar Kun: This chapter added to the game the Exar Kun heroic encounter, storytelling blueprints and a new PvP Galactic Civil War collection system. The chapter gift was a war terminal, a device that displays progress in the Galactic Civil War.
  • Game Update 3: This game update included more fixes for Bounty Hunter, Jedi, Spy, Medic and Smuggler, and increased the experience gained while in a group and included an option to hide the player's headgear and backpack.
  • Game Update 4: Included fixes for Commando, Smuggler, and Officer professions, among others, as well as new stackable damage over time debuffs, as well as a Particle slider, which allows the player to control the amount of particles drawn on the screen at one time.
  • Chapter 10: The Search for the Meatlump King: This chapter introduced the Meatlumps themepark quest series which was playable by all players at CL55 or over. There were two chapter gifts, a painting of the Meatlump King and a chair shaped from the stones of Corellia.
  • Game Update 5: This game update included in-game voice chat, a in-game web browser, Beast Master and Trader changes, and the 60 month veteran reward and the paintings from the "Create a Painting" contest winners.
  • Chapter 11: Battle of Echo Base: This chapter introduced the Battle of Hoth as a "Star Wars moment" Heroic encounter. Additionally, it added the ability for Beast Masters to turn their incubating beasts into interactive holograms, along with updates to the Character Transfer Service in preparation for the Free Character Transfer promotion in early 2009.
  • Game Update 6: After the release of Chapter 11, Sony seemed to abandon the Chapter/Game Update idea and began releasing only Game Updates, which were now more or less half filled with content and fixes and balance changes. Game Update 6 introduced the Appearance Window, which allowed players to wear any wearable item over their regular armor, in an effort to better customize your characters look. Other various profession and game play changes were also part of this update.
  • Game Update 7: Game Update 7 saw the return of an in-game event known as the Ewok Festival of Love. Players could complete various tasks in an effort to spread love throughout the galaxy.
  • Game Update 8: This game update saw improvements to the Player City system, including new city specializations, new city decorations, and allowed the use of storyteller items within a player city. This update also included the 69 month veteran reward.
  • Game Update 9: Game Update 9 saw the inclusion of several new schematics for Traders, including new player houses, and a new wearable container. Also, as a special community request, experience gains from quests, combat kills and missions were increased.
  • Game Update 10: Game Update 10 introduced instanced player-vs-player-only areas known as Battlefields to the game, allowing players to go head to head in Galactic Civil War battles and earn new rewards for doing so. In addition to that, a command allowing you to rename your character was added, and many items that were once No-Trade could now be traded among characters on the same account.
  • Game Update 11: In this update, Empire Day was revamped, including a new vehicle and badge. In addition, Bounty Hunters were given the ability to use pistols and all Jedi Robes could now be worn with a wearable container.
  • Game Update 12: Game Update 12 added several new schematics for engineering Traders, including several new droid chassis and modules, and craftable cybernetic implants.
  • Game Update 13: Game Update 13 introduced the much hyped Chronicle Master system and profession, which allowed players to create their own quests from looted components. Players could sell or trade these quests with other people and play through them. At the end of the quest, the player was asked to rate the quality of the quest, and if your quest was good, you were rewarded with experience and special tokens used to gain rewards. Players are also capable of adding their own rewards for completing the quests. In addition to this, the amount of credits you were able to carry in the bank was increased to 3 billion, and the Bazaar saw several changes, including searching by item level and an increase of how much you could sell an item for from 20,000 to 10,000,000.
  • Game Update 14: This update included the first batch of content meant to tie into the Death Troopers novel. Players could travel to Dathomir and being investigating the rumors of "zombies" in the galaxy. This update also included additions to the Galactic Moon Festival event.
  • Game Update 15: Game Update 15 brought a much needed update to the player vs. player aspect of the game by updating the Galactic Civil War. Players could now fight over control over the various cities and regions on each planet (except Mustafar and Kashyyyk) and being on the side that controls the majority of the planet has benefits such as cheaper and shorter shuttle flights, and increases in GCW points earned for player vs. player combat. The update allowed for not just the combat professions to be involved. Entertainers could help by improving the morale of troops and Traders could assist by repairing or improving various war machines used during the battle. In addition to this, minor balancing and technical issues, such as allowing the game to go up to 60 FPS were also included. The Ewok Festival of Love was also updated with new badges and rewards for 2010.
  • Game Update 16: Stronghold of the Lok Revenants was Game Update 16, featuring a heavily extended Nym's Themepark, important space updates some impacting the tide of the GCW, and a variety of profession tweaks and bugfixes.
  • April 2010 Bug Bash Update: The Star Wars Galaxies team has been busy this spring with a number of great updates. Log in and discover the new loot that awaits you from heroic encounters, enjoy more storage for vehicles or mounts in your datapad and pick up some new rewards from faction recruiters with your GCW invasion tokens. As war rages throughout the galaxy, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers or check out all of the great spring updates!
  • Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Celebration: Each week during 4 weeks, players received exclusive wearable costumes (Lando Calrissian, Han Solo, Leia Organa, ...) and discover new loots and rewards like the Snowspeeder ITV, the Darktrooper Costume, the Infiltrator Armor or the Wampa Snow Globe. Aside a variety of updates done to Jedi, Beast master, beast mutations or the Geonosian Caves, more than 150 items saw their No-Trade status permanently removed, before other items were added in upcoming publishes.
  • Game Update 17: This update brought improvements to the Empire Day/Remembrance Day celebrations, allowed several Storyteller items to be used indoors and removed No-Trade from many more items. Several minor gameplay changes as well.
  • Game Update 18: Game Update 18 brought improvements to the Galactic Moon Festival and introduced the prologue of a new content package known as "Witches of Dathomir" which allows you to side with either the Nightsisters or the Singing Mountain Clan and begin earning the trust of your chosen group.
  • Game Update 19: Game Update 19 included updates to the Wookiee Life Day celebrations and brought the next portion of content related to the "Witches of Dathomir" theme park. It also updated the game to be compatible with the newest Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game expansion, The Price of Victory.
  • Game Update 20: Game Update 20 brought improvements to player versus player combat in space. Capitol ships for either side now appeared in several space sectors and players from both sides could fight to either destroy or defend the ship. Participants could receive new ship components and a new ship chassis. Rebel players could receive the T-wing interceptor while Imperial players could receive the TIE Defender and both sides could purchase the Havoc starfighter. Additionally, the update saw improvements to the smuggler and medic professions.
  • Game Update 21: The final major update for the game, added atmospheric flight to the game, allowing players to fly their own ships through the atmosphere of the 10 original planets. It also set up the ground work for the ending celebration (such as adding the Death Star II to the night sky of Endor).

Free character transfers and server closures

Beginning January 13th, 2009, Sony Online Entertainment began offering a free character transfer to all current subscribers of the game. Players were allowed a one-time only transfer from one "galaxy" (or server) to another. The departing and destination servers were each part of separate lists. You could only depart from a set list of servers and could only transfer to a set list of servers. This promotion was set to end on October 15th, 2009.[30]

Sony Online Entertainment announced on September 15th, 2009 that a number of Star Wars Galaxies' servers would be permanently shut down on October 15th, 2009. The following is a list of the servers that were permanently closed on this date. All characters, items, and structures still present on those servers were permanently lost when they closed down.[31]

  • Corbantis
  • Europe-Infinity
  • Intrepid
  • Kauri
  • Kettemoor
  • Lowca
  • Naritus
  • Scylla
  • Tarquinas
  • Tempest
  • Valcyn
  • Wanderhome

Sony Online Entertainment later announced that, beginning on October 16th, 2009, players who had had characters on the deactivated servers, yet did not take advantage of the free character transfer service, could contact Sony Online Entertainment Customer Support and, for the standard $50.00 USD charge for a Character Transfer, could transfer a character from an inactive server to an active one. However, as a courtesy, when some users submitted their requests to the GMs, the transfer fee was offered to them free of charge.[32]

Sony announced on April 20, 2011 that they would begin offering free, unlimited character transfers between servers on April 26, 2011. When this system became active, the paid service was no longer available, however many of the same restrictions on the paid service still applied. Additionally, under this new system, players were unable to transfer to the Starsider server; however, they could transfer from the server and could also transfer between other servers every 90 days.[33]

Detailed release and update history

  • June 26, 2003: Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (initial boxed release) and Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided Collectors Edition
  • October 27, 2004: Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed (boxed expansion)
  • April 27, 2005: Combat Upgrade (free major online revamp)
  • May 5, 2005: Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookiees (digital download expansion)
  • May 25, 2005: Star Wars Galaxies: The Total Experience (boxed compilation of An Empire Divided, Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookiees)
  • November 1, 2005: Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan (digital download expansion)
  • November 15, 2005: New Game Enhancements (free major online revamp)
  • November 22, 2005: Star Wars Galaxies: Starter Kit (boxed compilation of An Empire Divided, Jump to Lightspeed, New Game Enhancements)
  • November 16, 2006, Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures (boxed compilation of An Empire Divided, Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookiees, Trials of Obi-Wan and New Game Enhancements)
  • September 28, 2007, Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures (digital compilation of An Empire Divided, Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookiees, Trials of Obi-Wan and New Game Enhancements)
  • September 28, 2007, Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures (premium digital compilation of An Empire Divided, Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookiees, Trials of Obi-Wan, New Game Enhancements with an additional ingame J-type 327 Nubian royal starship instant travel vehicle)
  • November 20, 2009, Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures (premium plus pack digital compilation of An Empire Divided, Jump to Lightspeed, Rage of the Wookiees, Trials of Obi-Wan, New Game Enhancements with additional ingame rewards: J-type 327 Nubian royal starship instant travel vehicle, Tsmeu-6 personal wheel bike, All Terrain Recon Transport, Mustafarian Underground Bunker, Varactyl and Lava flea mounts)

The end of Galaxies

On June 24, 2011, Sony Online Entertainment announced that Star Wars Galaxies and the Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game would be permanently shutting down on December 15, 2011. Additionally, the ability to purchase cards and booster packs for the trading card game was also disabled. Starting September 15, 2011, the game became unavailable for purchase at retail or through digital download and no new or reactivated accounts were be allowed after this date. Additionally, all billing for the game was turned off on this date and any accounts that were active and in good standing at the time were able to play the game for the remainder of time for free and any such accounts will be able to try any SOE game for free as a full member. [34] Although the official game was shut down, several emulator projects have continued development.

Role in greater continuity

When Leland Chee was asked on the StarWars.com Message Boards if Star Wars Galaxies is generally ignored when it comes to canon, he replied with:

As far as the Holocron is concerned, I don't ignore anything. Licensing checks continuity in Galaxies like we would for any other game, book, or toy. As I do my continuity checks, the information gets entered into the database. I also incorporate anything from the Galaxies website and strategy guides.

When asked about player-created characters, ships, and events featured on the official Star Wars Galaxies website, Leland stated that such aspects of the game are:

Non-continuity since they exist only in a single galaxy/server.[35]

Inconsistencies with Star Wars continuity

The developers of this game draw on as many aspects of the films and expanded universe as possible, however, in some cases, they do not fit into the era.

Keeping in mind that the time frame of this game was meant to be shortly after the Battle of Yavin (0 ABY1 ABY), there are some elements of the game that arguably should not be there:

  • The opportunity to play as transcended Force ghost Jedi character. This option was only accessible by those players who attained Jedi status prior to the NGE.
  • Jedi could be seen in large numbers in many major cities, equipped with Jedi robes and ignited lightsabers. Also, Jedi were dominant combatants in the Galactic Civil War (see below).
  • Players using non-Human characters could earn military ranks in the Empire, resulting in Imperial Wookiee generals and the like.
  • The ability of players to craft and pilot ships such as the B-wing and A-wing, which supposedly were not designed yet.
  • Chapter 5 introduced combat droids for regular use which are highly uncommon for this era.
  • Large quantities of buildings dotted about landscapes that wouldn't normally be populated, such as Tatooine.
  • The ability of players to craft and equip Mandalorian armor, which became quite abundant as time went gone by.
  • Cloning was outlawed during the Galactic Civil War, and so massive cloning centers on every planet would be breaking the laws of the Empire.
  • Clones in the Star Wars universe took up to ten years to grow and mature even when they are biologically engineered to age faster than normal. In Star Wars Galaxies, it was the option of the player to clone his character instantly in a cloning center whenever he dies. However, it should be noted that this may have been a mere game mechanic to allow for quicker play.
  • The rancor is identified as an crustacean/arachnid hybrid, though it displays the traits of neither and has already been identified in more reliable sources as a reptomammal.
  • Game Update 11 introduced the Galactic Marine armor for Imperial players. The armor itself was not in frequent use at the time of the Galactic Civil War.
  • Game Update 12 introduced more battle droids such as B2 super battle droids, MagnaGuards, and DSD1 dwarf spider droids. These, as well as the the battle droids introduced in Chapter 5, are highly uncommon during this era.

In few of the above cases, the developers provided a reasonable in-universe explanation as to how these elements exist. However, it is unknown if other sources will accept them as canon.

The game focused more on allowing its players to experience as many facets of Star Wars lore as possible, sometimes at the expense of consistency inside its own universe (for example, the mayor of Mos Eisley highlights the incident in the cantina when Obi-Wan revealed himself as Jedi as something special, even though Jedi are a common part of the game population).

The Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies

Unlike the historic chronology of Star Wars, where almost all Jedi are extinct by the time frame of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Galaxies allows for hundreds or thousands of Jedi playing in the game, which is set in the period of time between the first film and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

Under the original Jedi system, a player could only become a Jedi after mastering professions chosen randomly for you at character creation. When fewer Jedi entered the game than was anticipated, players were helped by finding several Holocrons which would tell a player which game professions to play and master. This resulted in several "career" players spending hours on end writing program macros and mastering almost every profession in the game. However after complaints from a large portion of the player base (especially those that weren't constant and devoted players and thus more unwilling to master multiple professions), Star Wars Galaxies was altered to a new Jedi system called the Jedi Trials. Under the Jedi Trials, only after obtaining several various goals as a regular character was a character considered "glowing with the Force" and deemed worthy to train to become a Jedi. Several new tasks then became available to the player, which were revealed through various non-player characters. Such tasks included obtaining skills, destroying creatures, and visiting several Jedi related locations. Even with the Jedi revamp in place, many in the Star Wars Galaxies community expressed feelings that the game would become an "Army of Generals" where the number of Jedi playing in the game will be extremely high, thus making the game less interesting for those playing non-Jedi characters. The method of obtaining Jedi skills was changed considerably under the "Combat Upgrade" system released in April 2005.

After the NGE, anyone could become a Jedi by selecting the "profession" when creating their character. Arguments came up proposing that Jedi, once the NGE was released, to still be unbalanced, only this time with the odd against them. Many Jedi came into the NGE and saw that their former power was dramatically reduced. At one point, the village of Aurilia (the in-game location that served as a hub for pre-NGE Force-sensitive questing) became inactive. Players that were still inside when this happened found only a few NPCs left. Some players still wished to see the village reopened as a sort of training center for the Jedi made to ensure the old prizes don't disappear from the game. But it was later announced that Aurilia would never be returned to its former state, and was re-opened in a different form; in Chapter 7, it became the location where a player could receive quests, which, upon completion, will allow the player to access the "heroic instances," which were battles against multiple "bosses", with puzzle and strategy elements mixed in. These heroics were designed to be completed with a group of players, usually eight. [36]

Expanded Universe references to the game

Spin-offs and related products

  • Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game: An online card game that was launched in August 2008 and was available to all Galaxies subscribers. Its initial release was called Champions of the Force. Several expansions were released since its inception. It allows players to play on their own or against each other, in a new storyline that features Namman Cha, Rachi Sitra, Jeffren Brek and Coret Bhan in their quest for the Codex of Tython. It also features special loot cards that could be redeemed for in-game items in Galaxies.

Reception

Reviews

Reviews for the initial launch of the game in 2003 were mostly positive. The game was praised for its lush graphics, liberal use of the movie soundtracks, massive world size, character customization, creative creature ecology, complex skill system, player economy interdependencies and its sandbox approach. Reviewers criticized the overwhelming complexity of the game, PVP/PVE combat imbalances of the professions, bugginess and lack of quest content.[38] The reviews for the first expansion, Jump To Lightspeed, praised the new space combat but criticized the ground game for its lack of sufficient improvement.[39] The reviews for the second expansion, Rage Of The Wookiees lauded the new quest content for current subscribers but lamented the CU and the continued bugginess of the game.[40] The third expansion, Trials Of Obi-Wan(ToOW), once again introduced new quest and content and the planet Mustafar. However, two weeks later a new system called NGE was introduced, which forever changed the play style of SWG and removed some of the content that was included with ToOW.[41]

Awards

Controversies

"There has been no MMORPG that has caused more controversy...."
―MMORPG.com[src]

The following lists some of its more controversial issues:

Jedi

Players who wished to play a Jedi character had to first unlock their Jedi slot by fulfilling an unknown list of criteria. However, within four months of this stipulation, no player had yet achieved the goal. Jedi forum at the official site turned into a "flamer's paradise" as some subscribers accused the developers of lying about the Jedi system being in place. The first player unlocked their Jedi slot on Friday November 7, 2003.[44] LucasArts game producer Haden Blackman stated in an interview on December 20, 2003, with Gamespy: "We're confident in the [Jedi] system because the feedback from players has been extremely positive. Not only are Jedi players happy with the system and the powers they are receiving...." This caused a backlash by some players who felt this statement was misleading. Gamespy noted: "GameSpy's mail was so flooded with reports from the Galaxies community that we started researching this feature to present both sides of the story."[45] Because the time commitment to unlock a Jedi was substantial, players complained that perma-death of the character after three deaths was overly harsh. The developers eventually relented and lowered the penalty to skill loss in January, 2004.[46]

Some players further complained that the process of unlocking the Jedi slot, known as "hologrinding", was overly long, painful and disruptive to the social fabric of the game. In March 2005, the developers released a quest system as the new path to unlocking the Jedi slot.[47][48] With the NGE (see below) in November 2005, allowing all players, including new ones, to play a Jedi character, there were complaints that the time and effort that veteran players had expended in unlocking their Jedi slots were all for naught.[49]

Combat Upgrade

SWG developers promised a "Combat Upgrade" or "CU," which was released April 27, 2005, and represented a major re-writing of the combat, armor, and weapons systems, wherein only certain professions could use specific weapons and armor. The combat mechanics in the game were shifted from a skill system to a combat level system for both players and game creatures. The UI icon graphics were changed from monochromatic to color.[50] This alteration resulted in controversy caused by players who criticized the changes,[51][52] and cancellations during that time.[53]

New Game Enhancements

"There's a reason that we did this. The story … is kind of getting lost here… the game was losing subscribers. We had to make this game more accessible to a wider audience or eventually we would not have a business."
―John Smedley, president of SOE[src]

Another set of game changes dubbed the "New Game Enhancements" (NGE) began testing on November 4, 2005, going live on November 15 via digital download, and became available in retail as the Star Wars Galaxies: Starter Kit on November 22. Changes included the reduction of the 34 original professions to nine "iconic" ones. There were criticisms of the changes in some reviews, and negative player feedback was noted by media outlets outside the gaming industry, including CBS News, New York Times, New York Post and Wired Magazine.[54][55][56][57][58] On Slashdot, president of SOE John Smedley explained that they felt it necessary to revamp the game to the NGE in order to reverse the deterioration they were seeing in the subscriber base.[59]

The development team affirmed this was their desired direction for the game, and they were slowly modifying parameters to address players' desires.[60] This progress includes the re-introduction of some pre-NGE features that were removed, such as creature handling, target locking, auto-firing, the ability to fire special attacks from their keys, and the option to keep the camera behind the character, rather than the NGE's over-the-shoulder perspective.[61] Since then, the development team gave each profession a set of "Expertise trees" to bring back some complexity and differentiation to characters.

The NGE caused thousands of players to cancel their accounts, and more or less crippled the game. This caused groups of former players to try to create pre changes server emulators.

Expansion refund

The Trials of Obi-Wan expansion met with controversy as, two days after the expansion was released, the development team announced the NGE. Many players objected that they would not have purchased the expansion if they had known in advance about the NGE. Sony Online Entertainment eventually offered a refund to players who had purchased the expansion prior to the NGE; though this refund was quickly rescinded due to what the player community believed was an overwhelming number of refund requests. [62]

Subscriber numbers

Many industry professionals expected that the subscription numbers would exceed the one million mark, a feat accomplished only thus far in Asia by MMORPGs such as Lineage and more recently by World of Warcraft.[63] Based on NPD figures as of February 2004, SWG sold more than 300,000 boxed copies at retail for a total initial revenue of over $18 million dollars. Sony Online Entertainment confirmed in March 2004 that there were well over 200,000 monthly subscribers making it the second largest MMORPG in North America.[64] The company later reported in 2004 that they had 250,000 subscribers.[65] In August 2005, Sony Online Entertainment reported that they had now sold 1,000,000 boxed copies of the game.[66] Media sources reported that the subscriber numbers have fallen substantially since the release of the CU and the NGE.[67][68] In early 2006 after the NGE, allegedly "hacked" numbers purported to show that only 10,363 subscribers were playing on a particular Friday night. The President of Sony Online Entertainment, John Smedley, denied that subscriptions had fallen this low: "Have the numbers in Star Wars Galaxies gone down? I will tell you that the concurrent numbers have gone down. Are they as low as what was shown there? Absolutely not."[69]

As of the second quarter of 2006, according to charts at MMOGchart.com, there were estimated to be between 110,000 and 175,000 subscribers. However, even MMOGchart.com rated the subscriber number as a "C" which mean they are "merely industry 'best guesses' or are otherwise questionable" due to SOE not releasing SWG subscriber numbers.[70]

Notes and references

  1. Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed
  2. Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookiees
  3. Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan
  4. 4.0 4.1 LucasArts, Verant, And Sony Online Entertainment Join Forces In Massively Multiplayer Online Star Wars Game (English) (HTML). LucasArts (2000-03-16). Retrieved on March 23, 2007.
  5. Star Wars Online Announced: Three heavy hitters announce what could be one of the biggest games of all times. (English) (HTML). IGN (2000-03-16). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  6. LucasArts Announces Star Wars Galaxies As Online Game Series' Brand Name; To Launch Official Information Site With Sony Online Entertainment (English) (HTML). LucasArts (2000-11-29). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  7. Star Wars! Star Wars! The website and official name for the new Star Wars! Star Wars! online game is announced. (English) (HTML). IGN (2000-11-29). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  8. LucasArts Announces Space-Based Expansion For Star Wars Galaxies Online Game Series (English) (HTML). LucasArts (2001-05-17). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  9. Star Wars Galaxies Expansion Announced (English) (HTML). IGN (2001-05-17). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  10. Star Wars Galaxies Site Goes Live: A new website for the Star Wars strategy game is up and running. (English) (HTML). IGN (2001-05-17). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  11. Star Wars Galaxies Official Web Site Surpasses 100,000 Registered Users (English) (HTML). LucasArts (2001-12-17). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  12. Galaxies Beta (English) (HTML). IGN (2002-05-03). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  13. Galaxies Site Update (English) (HTML). IGN (2002-12-06). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  14. Star Wars Galaxies Site Update (English) (HTML). IGN (2002-12-16). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  15. Galaxies on Xbox (English) (HTML). IGN (2002-05-20). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  16. Star Wars Galaxies On PS2 (English) (HTML). IGN (2002-05-20). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  17. 17.0 17.1 LucasArts Confirms April 15, 2003 Release For Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (English) (HTML). LucasArts (2002-12-20). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  18. Butts, Steve (2002-12-20). Star Wars Galaxies Release Date! (English) (HTML). IGN. Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  19. Butts, Steve (2003-03-14). Star Wars Galaxies Delayed: Savor the anticipation. (English) (HTML). IGN. Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  20. LucasArts Announces Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided Will Release June 26, 2003 (English) (HTML). LucasArts (2003-06-17). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  21. Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided Reviews
  22. [http://swg.stratics.com/php-bin/show_content.php?content=29762 Stratics.com Dev Chat, December 4th 2008.
  23. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/g/pc_games/star_wars_galaxies_online_expansion_space/overview.php
  24. http://starwars.ugo.com/games/starwars_rageofthewookies/default.asp
  25. http://pc.ign.com/articles/673/673548p2.html
  26. http://forums.station.sony.com/swg/posts/list.m?topic_id=264445
  27. 27.00 27.01 27.02 27.03 27.04 27.05 27.06 27.07 27.08 27.09 27.10 27.11 27.12 To be shut down on October 15, 2009; http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/94727-Star-Wars-Galaxies-Shutting-Down-12-Servers
  28. http://swg.allakhazam.com/news/sdetail2617.html?story=2617
  29. RPG Vault: Star Wars Galaxies Chapter 6 Interview
  30. Star Wars Galaxies Free Character Transfer announcement (English) (HTML). SOE (2009-01-13). Retrieved on September 22, 2009.
  31. Star Wars Galaxies Shutting Down 12 Servers (English) (HTML). The Escapist (2009-9-15). Retrieved on September 22, 2009.
  32. STAR WARS GALAXIES™ SERVER CLOSURE F.A.Q. - 09/15/2009 (English) (HTML). Sony Online Entertainment (2009-9-15). Retrieved on October 22, 2009.
  33. Star Wars Galaxies Free Character Transfer (English) (HTML). Sony Online Entertainment (2011-04-20). Retrieved on April 21, 2011.
  34. IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT STAR WARS GALAXIES (English) (HTML). Sony Online Entertainment (2011-06-24). Retrieved on June 24, 2011.
  35. Star Wars: Message Boards: Holocron continuity database questions
  36. http://forums.station.sony.com/swg/posts/list.m?topic_id=404151
  37. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #13 - Faraway Press
  38. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/starwarsgalaxies
  39. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/starwarsgalaxiesjumptolightspeed/
  40. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/starwarsgalaxiesepisode3rageofthewookies
  41. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/starwarsgalaxiestrialsofobiwan
  42. www.gamecriticsawards.com - Past Winners - 2002
  43. www.gamecriticsawards.com - Past Winners - 2001
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External links

Official sites:

StarWars.com articles:

Fan sites:

IMDb:

Other:


Star Wars Galaxies metaseries
Video game series
An Empire Divided · Jump to Lightspeed · Rage of the Wookiees · Trials of Obi-Wan
Trading Card Game
Champions of the Force · Squadrons Over Corellia · Galactic Hunters · Agents of Deception · The Shadow Syndicate · The Nightsister's Revenge · Threat of the Conqueror · The Price of Victory
Literature
Pearls in the Sand · The Ruins of Dantooine
Other releases
The Total Experience · Starter Kit · The Complete Online Adventures
Guides
An Empire Divided Official Strategy Guide · An Empire Divided Quick Reference Guide · Jump to Lightspeed Official Game Guide · The Total Experience Official Game Guide
The Complete Guide Official Game Guide · CorSec Database (A-G · H-Z)
From Pencil to Pixel: The Art of Star Wars Galaxies · Star Wars Galaxies Memory Book
[edit]

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