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Star Wars Galaxies

Jukebox Heroes: Star Wars Galaxies' soundtrack

Sci-Fi, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Jukebox Heroes, Music

SWG
Ah, Star Wars Galaxies. Even almost two years after your demise, it doesn't seem possible to shake you loose from our thoughts. Maybe the NGE was a blessing in disguise, a never-depleting power source of rage that will forever give life to your memories. In any case, it's time to talk about the one aspect of the game that was there before SWG was created and will go on indefinitely afterward: the soundtrack.

Talking about Star Wars Galaxies' soundtrack puts me in an odd position because a great deal of the OST is lifted directly from John Williams' movie scores. And what hasn't been said about those classics, really? But there are a few tracks here and there that I could pick out as being unique to the game, although the actual composer who did the job escapes my Google Fu.

So let's take one last trip to a Galaxies far, far away, shall we?

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One Shots: Why you sit

Screenshots, EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Culture, Star Wars Galaxies, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

One Shots Why you sit
Why you sit? Why you sit when there is so much to be done? Every minute you spend sitting, a thousand NPCs die a gruesome death that could have been prevented by your immortal battle prowess! But you sit. You sit and you admire daffodils as you ignore the noise of innocents in peril. Hope that's one mighty fine sit!

So who is this sitter? I'll let reader John introduce you: "Here is Pearl, my level 20 Archer in Final Fantasy XIV. She's obviously relaxing and enjoying the All Saint's Wake celebration. Holidays are the best time to explore the Final Fantasy world."

Why you holiday? Why you holiday when people need rescuing? With great power comes great loafing off, apparently. For more public shaming in this week's One Shots, hit the jump!

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One Shots: Dusting crops with the boys

Screenshots, Aion, Culture, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Trek Online, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Miscellaneous

One Shots Dusting crops with the boys
We're going to begin today's column with a very important announcement. It's so important that I'm breaking all the rules putting very important announcement in bold like that, but hopefully you're paying attention by now. We had a glitch with our email that pretty much blocked all submissions for One Shots since September 22nd, and so I never received them. I'm so sorry this has happened, but if you sent in a picture since then, I'd urge you to do it again. Thanks!

Meanwhile, Captain Matt paid a few thousand credits to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip with Han and Chewie in Star Wars Galaxies. "Here's me going into lightspeed with the closest of friends!"

As Matt's living it up playing space chess with a Wookiee and getting his arms torn off, we've got many very important submissions to check out after the jump!

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Ask Massively: The dilemma of the free-to-play sandbox

Business Models, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Housing

Shroud of the Avatar
Reader Sharvis recently emailed the Massively Speaking podcast with a question I felt deserved more than just a quick verbal reaction on the 'cast. That, and we just discovered that the ask@massively.com email address went dead approximately three weeks ago, and I've not been receiving your letters there (so send 'em again!). In the meantime: Sharvis.
What makes a sandbox so susceptible to its business model in comparison to a themepark? I'm not experienced with sandbox titles, and I can only guess on some of the implications. For example, selling boosters in a themepark is fairly acceptable, but in a sandbox, as Jef pointed out [in his ArcheAge column earlier this summer], that'd be cutting into one of the main features of a sandbox. I'd guess it has to do with these sort of MMOs being more player-centric, and that's a very delicate system to be messing with.
See? I told you this was a juicy one.

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever scored an MMO world first?

Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, The Daily Grind, Humor, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

SWG
Back in the days before achievement systems reassured us that we were indeed having fun and badges were considered content, I had a dream: a dream to be the first Master Image Designer on my Star Wars Galaxies server. With the help of my guildies, I put together the staggering amount of money to train my skill and made at least a thousand people "look like Neo" for tips, becoming so well-known that newcomers to the profession traveled the galaxy (literally!) to seek me out for training like some NPC. (I promptly used my newfound fortune to round out my template as a Smuggler because nothing says "upstanding hairstylist" like drug-dealing and hacking.)

Back then, games didn't reward you with a pretty badge or fancy title for being "first," but modern MMOs do. Players and guilds will go to ridiculous lengths to ensure their place in history as "first guild to down such and such boss with 13.5 players" or "first tailor to sew hot pink level 500 epic boots." How about you guys? Have you ever landed a world or server first, recorded or otherwise, and what was it?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Perfect Ten: MMO industry moves I didn't see coming

Asheron's Call, City of Heroes, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard, Final Fantasy XIV, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Defiance, The Elder Scrolls Online

Perfect Ten MMO industry moves I didn't see coming
Despite -- or more accurately, because of -- my love for video games, I would never want to work in the games industry as a developer or what have you. I think it's an industry that doesn't have a good track record of job security, sane hours, or products that you could feasibly spend years working on that might not make it to ship. But I love writing about the industry. I love the news. That's why I adore being at Massively.

I also love the news because MMOs and studios constantly surprise me. Hey, maybe you're an amazing clairvoyant person who can not only predict but accurately foresee all of the jukes and twists that the industry makes. I am not. When mental superpowers were being handed out, I got "setting people on fire with a mere thought" instead of what appears to be the widespread "know it all" ability. I don't regret it. I mean, you probably already knew that I was going to post a picture of Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi being attacked by bees on the front page of Massively.

But I think that the surprises are part of the fun. No matter what we've seen in the past and no matter how knowledgeable any of us is about MMOs, the strange developments keep on coming. So this week I want to list 10 stories that I really didn't see coming at all.

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The Daily Grind: How do you define roleplaying?

Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying

Like many of you, I've gone through so many stages of roleplaying; I started out as most people do, playing an idealized version of myself in Ultima Online. In EverQuest, I found myself funneling my roleplay into fan fiction and formal events because there was so little time between dungeon camps and raiding to actually step into a role. Star Wars Galaxies was my turning point; I finally became truly immersed and willing to play full-time as characters totally different from me, and that's partly because the game encouraged non-combat roles and activities. I never had to fight the game to be a real person in that world.

And yet in the years since SWG's heyday, MMOs have pushed me away from formal roleplaying once again with mechanics and frustrations and contradictory goals. At best, my roleplaying now takes the form of respect for other roleplayers, in not breaking character where it might be annoying, and in selecting gear and names and planning backstory more than in participating in whatever epic plot my server's RPers are weaving. It still feels like roleplaying in my head. But is it?

Without stepping too far into Storyboard territory, we're wondering today how you define roleplaying. Would you consider each stage of a roleplayer's evolution equally valid, or does it only "count" when you're actively participating? How do you express your RP in modern MMOs?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Perfect Ten: Literal kill 10 rats quests

Asheron's Call, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, Humor, Runes of Magic, RIFT, Allods Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

The Perfect Ten Literal kill 10 rats quests
Webster's Dictionary describes "kill 10 rats" as "something nerds do, now shut up and read a few intelligent words." I think the editors are getting a little lazy there at Webster's, but that's nothing compared to the OED crowd that routinely slips in paragraphs of cut-and-pasted Hunger Games fan fiction just to pad the volumes.

Anyway, we all know that "kill 10 rats" is a derogatory term for those quests that make you slaughter a certain number of things to make life happier for the quest giver. Why that quest giver has a very specific number in mind has always fascinated me, but never mind. It stems from a long-standing RPG tradition by which lowbie characters typically start their career by doing a little rodent culling in the basement of a tavern. That's how all great people got their start, Abraham Lincoln included.

With "kill 10 rats" already being a trope, developers have this habit of trying to be coy and meta by actually putting quests in their MMOs where you, yup, kill 10 rats. I get the feeling that they think they're doing something clever and cheeky, even though practically all of their competitors have done the same. So here we go: ten literal "kill 10 rats" quests that you can find in your games today.

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One Shots: Slice 'n' dice

Screenshots, Culture, Star Wars Galaxies, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Mabinogi, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous

One Shots Slice 'n dice
No matter what the universe throws at us, no matter what problem roars in our face, no matter how desperate the situation appears, all can be conquered with a bit of derring-do. And a big, honking, lava-infused, laser-focused, mega-powered battle sword with +3 to every stat and a proc ability that will end the world on a d20 roll.

Frank has such a sword. Frank is set for life. "Here's a shot from the ongoing Relics of the Gree event in Star Wars: The Old Republic," he sent in. I think Frank has it covered.

Maybe you don't have such a sword on you. It's OK; we've got plenty of awesome screenshots after the jump that you can take and use their sharp corners to slice through the opposition. Rock it!

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The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in July

Anarchy Online, Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, News Items, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, RuneScape, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in July 20
It's been over a month since our last round-up of news, events, and community features covering the classic MMOs we know and love. You wouldn't think that a lazy summer month would contain a lot of new information regarding these older titles, but these past few weeks have been absolutely hopping.

We've had several anniversaries, patches, player celebrations, mobile adaptations, and more. I'm constantly encouraged to see how players keep the memories of deceased games and the spirit of currently running ones alive throughout the blogging community as well, so we'll look into that today too.

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The Perfect Ten: MMO commercials that take us back

World of Warcraft, Video, Asheron's Call, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

The Perfect Ten Commercials that take us back
I don't see a lot of commercials these days. I like to imagine that I'm a one-man force out to frustrate advertisers, ducking and weaving whenever they try to wing a 30-second spot at me. A lot gets through, but I've long since canceled cable, and the only traditional commercials I sit through are the ones for the occasional YouTube video.

But there's something about a good commercial that can take us back on a wave of "remember whens?" and community bonding. I hear more discussions about creative ad spots the day after the Superbowl than the game itself. Commercials can even be a time capsule that unlocks memories for us of favorite movies, toys, and experiences.

But what about MMOs? Well, they have commercials too, although not as many have made it to the standard airwaves. They're out there, though. Lurking. Emitting nostalgia rays from the past. And I've been hunting them down, looking for commercials that take us back to a simpler, goofier time. A few thousand dead brain cells later, I've got 10 of the margh make it sop pleaze pleaaa...

Enjoy.

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One Shots: Jump! Jump!

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Star Wars Galaxies, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous

One Shots Jump! Jump!
Do you like jumping puzzles in MMOs? Then you and I can no longer be friends. I am sorry to draw the line there, but if this is the case, then there is something seriously wrong with your head. Maybe you like the small jolts of anxiety and tension as you try to hop from platform to platform, but I would rather chew on tinfoil than go through that again.

Reader John will be your friend if you're a jumper, however. He's mastered one tricky hoppery-doo in Guild Wars 2 and lived to tell the tale. "This is the view from one of the high points in the Hidden Garden. It's a jumping puzzle you reach by killing one of the four keepers in Mount Maelstrom, opening a portal. I always enjoy the landscapes of this game."

I enjoy the landscapes too, John. From ground-level. I wonder what other landscapes we'll be seeing in this week's collection of player-submitted screenshots?

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Massively reminisces on Star Wars Galaxies' 10th anniversary

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Roleplaying, Sandbox, Anniversaries, Subscription, Sunsets

Massively reminisces on Star Wars Galaxies' 10th anniversary
Has it really been 10 years? Yep, Star Wars Galaxies did indeed launch on June 26th, 2003. And yep, this is indeed an anniversary post for an MMORPG that closed down in December of 2011.

Why the reminiscing about a game that we can't -- ahem -- play any longer? Simply put, SWG deserves it. If you're reading this article, you already know why it deserves it, so we'll skip the sandbox proselytizing and get right to the part where Massively's Starsider veterans raise a glass and share a few of their favorite launch-era memories.

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Some Assembly Required: Three games that need player-generated content

Fantasy, Historical, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, DC Universe Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Some Assembly Required, World of Warplanes, Player-Generated Content

Some Assembly Required - Three games that need player-generated content
At times over the last half decade, I've felt as if the MMORPG genre lost sight of itself. It seemed that all any gamemaker wanted to do was emulate a certain wildly successful outlier, and this in turn threw a wet blanket over the sandbox play, emergent design, and player-generated content that separates MMOs from run-of-the-mill video games.

The last year or so has seen the collective industry start to wake up from that bad dream, as there are now a half dozen really promising sandbox or sandpark titles in development, several of which are backed by millions of dollars and major studios.

What about the current crop of games, though? Is it a stretch to imagine a few of them, even the unapologetically linear ones, expanding their horizons with a little bit of player-generated content?

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Clone Wars Adventures not (immediately) affected by EA/Disney deal

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Star Wars Galaxies, Free-to-Play, Clone Wars Adventures

Clone Wars Adventures not immediately affected by EADisney deal
If you're a Star Wars fan, you've no doubt heard of EA's acquisition of an exclusive multi-year license for creating games based on the iconic space story, a license that spans multiple platforms. But what does that mean for current -- or even past -- Star Wars MMOs that aren't connected to that studio? Massively jumped on the case and contacted SOE to find out what, if any, effect this agreement between EA and Disney would have on its past and present titles.

Specifically, we asked if Clone Wars Adventures would be forced to shut down when the current license expires. Of course, we also slipped in a question as to whether or not that deal prevented any possibility of a return of Star Wars Galaxies. As for CWA, the studio replied "Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures is fully armed and operational, and this week's announcement does not affect our current agreement with Lucasfilm." So the browser-based games appears safe -- at least for now. The studio, however, declined to comment on SWG.

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