Star Wars Galaxies

Couldn’t You Just Wear A Hat?

Let’s just get one thing straight here, okay? They’re not hair, they’re not a funky hat, they’re not even colorful scarves.

They’re tentacles. On your head.

And unless you’re sleeping in the sunken city of R’lyeh, that’s just wrong. Very, very wrong.

Look, I’m not one to tell you how or what you should be running around as. If you want to play that you’re a cloned human bounty hunter – hey, great, have fun. If you want to be a reformed Tuskan Raider that’s on a quest to clear his people’s name, okay, sure, I’m with you. Heck, you can even play a short Wookie Dark Jedi that thinks he’s an Ewok. Cool beans.

But just because I don’t pass judgment upon your preferred choice of looks doesn’t mean you’re free to approach me and strike up a conversation about how attractive your blue tentacle-headed body is. Because, I’m sad to say, my interest in your anatomy is likely to stop at right about the time I notice you have extra appendages growing out of your skull.

Xenophobic? Well, no, I don’t think I am. I mean, I’ll sit down with you and share a tasty beverage. I will laugh and high-five you when we toss onion rings onto the horns of a nearby Zabrak. We can even giggle like schoolgirls as we swap Nair for a Wookie’s shampoo. But I’m not going to sit down and watch you gyrate, okay? Not even if the music is REALLY good.

Look, it’s nothing personal. I don’t hate you, your species, your planet, or what have you. I just don’t find you attractive. And if you approach me and begin telling me how incredibly sexy you are, you rapidly go from ‘unattractive’ to ‘downright annoying’ faster than an Ewok on a speeder.

Alright, I will accept that you have boobies. However, so do Wookies. I rest my case. Here’s your player-granted badge of “Most Dissillusioned.” Have fun.

Personally, I think it’s a shame that we’re living in an age of clones, and I’ve yet to see ANY armies of Gillian Andersons running around. I mean, honestly, people. What good is cloning if you’re not going to do something useful with it? I think all of the NPCs should be fired and replaced with Gillian clones. THEN we’d actually have a reason to hang out at Cantinas!

Don’t give me that crap about existing in another Galaxy or a time long, long in the future; if the Force can make some goombah able to block blaster shots with a flashlight, it can damn well go fetch me a couple of hairs from the future!

Now THAT would’ve been a worthwhile race: Gillianites. Yeah. Instead, we’ve got Octopus-heads. And they’re supposed to be sexy?

Alright, someone raid Raph’s house and take away his copy of the Necronomicon right now!

27 Aug 2003

A Chance for Mockery Goes Horribly Awry…

Yes, I’ve done it. I’ve entered the world of Star Wars: Galaxies. Please, keep the comments about going to the “Dark Side” to yourself.

I read what Warchild had to say about it, and laughed appropriately at all the right times, guffawing at the foolishness that would drive people to play such a poorly released game.

And yet… This weekend, Yellow Rat brought along Flatu with him to the NeenerPalooza. And Flatu brought along with HIM his copy of SWG. Which he installed on my computer to let me see what the game was like.

You see, I was just going to see what the game was like. I swear to you, that’s all I wanted to do. I was going to look at it, make a bunch of insulting comments deriding it, the developers of it, the people that play it, anyone working at a store where it’s sold and generally feel smug and self-confident in my masculinity.

Instead, I tried crafting.

“Hello, my name is Kwip, and I’m a SWG addict.”
“Hi, Kwip!”

That’s about all it took. Look, I’ll be the first guy to say how horrified I was by some of the stories floating out of the SWG player base. I heard tales of bugs, and horrible lag, and… and… and… CSRs showing up at people’s homes at 3am to punch them in the throat and steal their lunch money while they were sleeping!

Yeah. I heard about all these bugs. But… I have to admit it. The game ran smoothly. Granted, I didn’t do much, and I had most options tuned very low to accommodate the Doritos chip powering my PC – but it ran. And, more importantly… it was fun.

I have never been one for crafting. The only game I’ve ever seen come close to making crafting anything worthwhile is PuzzlePirates, and that’s only because I really like the puzzle games you do for crafting. But the way crafting is in SWG… I want it! I want my own cantina! I’m actually foaming at the mouth right now and touching myself very inappropriately just thinking about it!

And horror stories about how SOE treats subscribers. After everyone screamed and yelled about one character per server, I thought nothing could cause such an uproar again. But THEN I heard everyone yelling about this five-day deletion after you cancel your account, and felt for certain SOE had just declared war on their entire customer base. But – and I know this is going to surprise you – it turns out that decision was wrong. Yes, either someone at SOE made a mistaken announcement, or someone on the web misunderstood, or both – but that’s just not true. Because both announcements are from the same person, I guess that confuses everyone (especially me). But you have to admit – it would be really funny if SOE just said, “Alright, we’ve got the most popular license out there right now, Tolkien be damned. Let’s see how far we can push our customers!”

There are apparently still a lot of bugs, and SWG is going through the growing pains that every other MOG in history has undergone – even worse because of the speed that they’re growing. But after trying it once – I’m going to put my good money down; money that I could spend on a lucious pint or five of Ben & Jerry’s!

This doesn’t mean the game’s perfect, or that I’m going to play it forever. However, it does mean that my first try at it was very entertaining and interesting enough to hook me. Make of that what you will – but I’ll be the one standing in the corner making spiced tea while you’re deciding!

04 Aug 2003

Attack of the Ewoks!

I had a dream.  I dreamed of sneaking up behind an imperial storm trooper, and cutting off his ankles with my mighty Ewok Dark Jedi Master.   I had a dream of tripping every wookiee in the galaxy. I even dreamed of looking Yoda in the eye without having to pick him up.

That dream has been crushed.

The makers of Star Wars Galaxies have spoken.  There shall be no Ewoks in Star Wars Galaxies.

This is, for lack of a better word, a god damn travesty.

No Ewoks?  Star Wars, with no Ewoks??  If it weren’t for Ewoks, where would the rebels be now?  Dead, that’s where.  Without the Ewoks, Leah, Han Solo, and the rest of them would have fallen at the hands of the Empire.

Ewoks allowed them the precious time they needed to bust into the compound and do right what once went wrong.  Or something like that.

My friends, this is not what Luke would have wanted.

Now, I know that many people hated the Ewoks.  They screamed that they were the dumbest thing to have ever happened to Star Wars.

I have only one thing to say to these people.   “Meesa Jar Jar Binks!”

Thankfully, Sony Online Entertainment has decided that the Gungan will also not be a playable race.  They will however be an NPC race.   I can only pray that they’ll be a killable NPC race.

And if I had my Jedi Ewok, I’d make it a point to hunt down each and every single Gungan in the universe and bust out their kneecaps.

I’d strike in the night.  I’d chop off their toes, and skin their shins.  Jar Jar would know true fear.  They’d whisper my name, and shiver from the sound of it.

All would learn to fear Yub Yub the Dread.

But noooooooooooooooooo.  Sony decided that Ewoks weren’t important enough to be a playable race.

According to the Star Wars Galaxies FAQ page:

3.18 Why are Jawas not a playable species?

With very few EU exceptions, we’ve never really seen Jawas away from Tatooine, so it would be disconcerting to see large numbers of them on other worlds. Also, we simply couldn’t make every species playable. We selected eight because that was an achievable number that still offered great variety. None of this prevents us from including Jawas as playable later, though, if the demand is there.

The same could be applied to Ewoks, I imagine, but personally, I don’t care.

Let me be an Ewok.

If you want to stay true to the movie lore, fine.  I don’t care.  I’ll stay on Endor.  I’ll live there through the entire game.

I’ll build the biggest, baddest tree village the galaxy has ever seen!  And I’d have booby traps everywhere!  Storm Troopers would cry at the mere thought of going to Endor!  Big swinging trees on ropes, slingshots armed with rocks, trip lines for speeder bikes…  You name it, I’d have it!  Even the Emperor himself wouldn’t dare visit MY moon!  His fancy schmancy Jedi lightning ain’t gonna help him much against a tree trunk to the face!


Also taken from the Star Wars Galaxies FAQ:

3.20 If I customize my character to be fat or thin, will it adversely affect my abilities or gameplay?

No, visual customization of your character during creation will not affect you statistics or hinder your gameplay.

Can I make him short, stubby, and covered in fur with a tattered cloak? 

Then who cares?

3.22 Can male characters grow beards?

You can select facial hair as part of the character customization process. Beards won’t “grow” over time, though.

Will the beard make me look like an Ewok?  No?  

Then who cares?

3.26 Will we be able to write bios for our characters?

Yes, you’ll be able to compose a short backstory for your character, if you wish. You can display the bio to other characters if you feel so inclined.

“Yub Yub was rather tall for an Ewok.  He’d been in a terrible accident when he was a child, and was burned across his entire body, preventing hair from ever growing there again.  People often mistook him for a human, since he ISN’T ALLOWED TO PLAY AS AN EWOK!”

4.23 Will SWG have skills for taming and training creatures?

Yes, we have designed a range of skills in the Creature Handling profession that allow players to tame, control, train and care for their creatures. Every creature has its own properties in each of these categories and as a result some will be more or less difficult to handle than others. A successful animal handler will discover the most desirable creatures that also have the best handling traits.

I’m so getting me a pet Ewok.  In fact, I’ll get two.  Then I’ll stuff the fuckers full of viagra and breed a billion little Ewoks and drop em off all across the universe.  Then I’ll enroll them all in school so they can learn to build tie fighters and light sabers and anything else they wanted, and then Sony Online Entertainment can’t tell me anymore that Ewoks aren’t smart enough to get off the planet!!!

3.31 Can I do things like hug, kiss, and dance in the game?

Yes, there will be lots of animated emotes.

That would come in really handy when you’re partying down with your fellow Ewoks in their treetop village during their big party.

Oh…  wait, no…  guess we won’t be able to do that…

3.32 Are you planning to include “badges”?

Yes, players can earn “badges” for various achievements in the game. Players can also choose which badges they display to other players. Some example badges include: Missions Completed; Bounties Collected; Areas Explored; NPCs Killed; Items Sold; and Resources Discovered. We’ll also have some “out of character” badges, such as: “Months Subscribed” and “Total Game Time.” Finally, if we can, we’d love to support some player-granted badges, such as “Best Role-Player” and a “Badge of Self-Sacrifice.”

“Best Immitation Ewok.  Since You Can’t Actually BE An Ewok.”

3.34 Can Twi’leks decide how to “lay” their lekku?

Yes, during character creation you can pick a “head tail” style.


4.03 Will I be able to become a stormtrooper?

Unfortunately, the constraints of the Imperial hierarchy prohibit us from allowing players to actually become stormtroopers in the initial launch product. Service in the Empire would be very difficult to enforce; if we did allow stormtroopers, players would constantly be AWOL as they explored other aspects of the game. Rest assured, however, that players will be able to serve the Empire in many other ways.

Imagine how cool it would be to see an Ewok Storm Trooper.

Not that it matters.  No Ewoks.  No Storm Troopers.

4.17 Is there going to be an apprentice system in the game?

Yes. In fact, some professions will even require that players train an apprentice in lower-tier skills before progressing in certain higher-tier skills. We’re using this system to encourage interaction between experienced and novice players. We also hope that it will foster long-lasting relationships between players, strengthening the community.

Now THIS is a good idea.  See, now I could have Jedi’s come visit Endor and teach my little Yub Yub the ancient arts of space travel.

Obviously, Sony Online Entertainment hates Ewoks.

I mean, they made the damned Bothan a playable race, but not the Ewoks.  The Bothan weren’t even IN the movies.

And Wookiees?  Psh.  Cheap ewok ripoffs.   How’s a Wookiee supposed to sneak up on anyone?  They’re too big.  And in a laserblaster fight, they’re a HUGE target.

Besides, how’s a Wookiee supposed to use the Jedi Mind trick on anyone?

Look, I’m not asking for much.

Just to be able to play a shorter version of a Wookie.

Is that so bad?

Well, and to be able to build miniture Death Stars that fling huge rocks at any moon in the galaxy leaving it barren and covered in craters.

That’d roxor.

28 May 2002