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June 14th, 2007

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12:17 pm - Evacuate this MMO? Now? In our moment of triumph?
The Escapist, one of those online thingies what talks about online game thingies, has a pretty definitive article up now on how Sony Online Entertainment killed Star Wars: Galaxies. (Sorry about the crummy fake-magazine click-here-to-turn-the-page design; sure as hell wasn't my idea.)

The article features a comprehensive consolidated (yes, I know) history of the game and the changes, from the Jump to Lightspeed expansion to the Combat Upgrade to the New Game Enhancement Coffin Nails... but the most important part is the moral, conveniently presented in the third paragraph of the article: DON'T CHANGE THE GAME AFTER LAUNCH.

However I think the most poignant moment in the article involves this quote regarding the New Game Experience, which cruelly removed Creature Handlers and Droid Engineers, the two "pet" classes, from the game. As a former Creature Handler with a Bantha named Snuffleupagus and I think an ostrich-thing that ran around in a funny fashion and a really cool dragon-like thing I worked really hard to tame (forget what it was -- no, it wasn't a Krayt) I could seriously empathize with the folks described below:
The saddest thing I ever saw in SWG was the night before the NGE on the Euro servers... Creature Handlers taking out their favourite pets one last time, petting and playing with them. Perhaps they thought they'd still be able to pull them out; maybe they knew. I am not joking when I say that the conversations I overheard between them then brought a lump to my throat. And I knew then that what SOE was doing was a breach of faith. I became then as angry as the rest of us. (Terra Nova blog, "Order 66," comment by Chewster, 12/16/2005)
Sure, it's all just magnetic media containing zeroes and ones on someone else's computer, but when you put such emotional investment into a game (and let's face it, pet class players do tend to make connections with the pets they like) and it's wiped in an arbitrary move made by some executives who didn't think your way of having fun in the game wasn't worth it, well, yeah.

Nerfs is one thing, but overall game revamps is another.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 14th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Allen Varney article? Neat. I've always enjoyed his work, on both sides of the red pen.
[User Picture]
Date:June 14th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:June 14th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Funny, it seems so much shorter without the multiple page loads.
[User Picture]
Date:June 14th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
I wonder what their post-mortem on EVE will look like.
[User Picture]
Date:June 14th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Wish I'd known you were playing. I stuck with SWG for about a year and a half...a bout a month or so after JTL came out, I got tired of the grind and the weird hoop-jumping I had to do just to put on my armor. That I owned. The stats system was so totally broken...

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