One word… Jedi.

Entry #35

Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 12:18:58 AM (ScreenShot0843) 

You would think that almost four months into launch, the devs would have worked out the various problems that had plagued them from day one… but you’d be thinking wrong. One day, while running to GAT City, not even I was ready for this hiccup in the code. Tatoonian architecture on Naboo? Really? It was like the devs left their computers on during bring your kid to work day. Of course this was minor, and interestingly funny, but it exemplifies that the game was just broken in every single direction. When you added these little bits of borked code together, and combined them with the multiple gamebreakers that would time and again be fixed incorrectly, even the biggest fanbois were starting to say “hey… wait… I’m paying for beta.” Lets all give SOE a round of applause, they were the first gaming company to find a way to charge hundreds of thousands of subscribers $10+ a month to test their game for them. Even if the game only cost $10 (it cost more), and even if SWG only had 100,000 subscribers (it had more) then that’s $1,000,000 a month going to SOE. You’d think they’d hire a couple coding guru’s to go around and fix the code… but once again, you’d be thinking wrong.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 8:30:28 PM (ScreenShot0857) 

Between the Hologrinders, the broken game, and SOE doing their best to make their subscribers quit… almost all of us resorted to “gorilla satisfaction tactics” to keep the game playable. You will commonly hear stories from people talking about “the community is what kept me in game, no matter how broke it was.” And it’s true, most of the community members found ways to keep things fun, even though the devs seemingly did their best to make it as unplayable as possible. The mere concept of paying for the opportunity to have to bend over backwards to enjoy yourself defies logic, but there in lies the mystery of the loyal SWG patron.

So we all did what we had to, to stay interested. For me, taking screenshots was my passion from the second I loaded into beta. By this time, I started to have fun with the screenshots. You’ll notice that my saying ridiculous things in special chat is becoming more prominent as the entries have gone on. Now, on top of that, I was starting to take advantage of the amazing emote system that SOE incorporated into SWG. Once again, as much as I was getting fed up with SOE, I’d find some amazingly structured piece of brilliance that the artists snuck into the code. So many facial contortions, body gestures, and general animations suddenly struck me as completely untapped. I didn’t know what to do with it all, but I knew there was something creative that I could pull out of it… So I started taking tons and tons of screenshots, way more then usual (and for me, that’s a lot).

What started out as me screwing around with NPC’s and posting on our GAT forums, would turn into a multi-issue comic, in which many from both <HATED>on Tarq and even <LOK> on Eclipse would star in. It would take me 5 months to get the ideas and format down, posting the first page in mid March of 2004. But it was way back here, the day I saw that Tatooinian structure on Naboo, that “When Servers Collide: The Ongoing Chronicles of Vroflus and Rodd Flanders,” would start to be conceptualized.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 8:32:29 PM (ScreenShot0862) 

The life of a crafter indeed. 100% crafters will commonly run into issues while maintaining harvesters and generators. At least half the time, there are going to be spawns right on top of your equipments, and sometimes those spawns are dangerous. Without combat skills, you need help getting to your resources, which can factor into the time it takes to realize the finished product. Other crafters, like ones that wield giant katana blades for instance, have much less of a hard time going on resource runs. As I would start to learn, Swordsman was an incredibly powerful combat profession, and not only in PvE… in the weeks to come, everyone’s favorite Armorsmith would have no choice but to answer the PVP call, and help defend GAT City’s multiple Imperial Bases from the likes of “Rebel scum” on a daily basis.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 8:32:29 PM (ScreenShot0880) 

Look familiar? I guess it should if you spent as much time as I did in the mall. For those of you wondering what it would look like if the mall vendors were floating in thin air, thanks to SOE’s borked code, here you go… There is no way I can count the amount of times I turned a corner and was smacked in the face by all the walls disappearing and thus being suspended in mid air. Add this to the list of SOE bull****… if you have any ink left in your pen.

Thursday, October 30, 2003, 12:06:10 AM (ScreenShot0882) 

Well, here it is… the moment Eeboo and I exchanged rings and got married. No big ceremony for us. Matter of fact, I’m pretty sure it was a GAT tradition to raid any known wedding around the server, although I never participated on one myself. But yeah… please move on, nothing to see here…

Saturday, November 01, 2003, 9:59:43 PM (ScreenShot0889) 

Oh Kliniks are yielding some quality hide you say? When good stuff popped around the galaxy, we’d hit it like a crashing Star Destroyer. GAT would mow it’s way over the countryside and within a few hours, I’d have enough of the resource to last me a month. Pulling priority, tanks, aggro control??? All completely out the window. At this point, most if not all of us were maxed out on our templates and this was just a crashing run towards anything with four legs. Anyone who came online would head right to us, and the group would always be close to 15-20 GATers strong. It was fun, everyone knew they were getting free armor, and good quality drops meant better quality armor, so they were just as interested as I was to acquire it. By this time, I was pumping out average stuff, so it was worth wearing finally, and considering other armorsmiths would charge hundreds of thousands for an average suit of composite, this was very obviously a sweet deal for the city.

Sunday, November 02, 2003, 3:08:31 PM (ScreenShot0891) 

Dropping harvesters all over the galaxy was time consuming, but at times, it was rewarding. Chasing a high quality spawn on Tatooine, I found myself right outside the old PodRacer tracks… a cool spectacle to behold indeed. As much as combat is exciting, crafting, kind of like the scout profession, gave you the opportunity to see more of the galaxy then you normally would PVPing in the usual spots. Considering how hectic things were, I couldn’t complain when I got the opportunity to just check out the view.

Thursday, November 06, 2003, 2:34:34 AM (ScreenShot0898) 

It’s got to tell you something, then 3 of the screenshots our of the 9 in this entry revolve around SOE’s lack of responsiveness. Corpse runs??? Com’n, they were taken out of the game in the first month. This is exactly the type of **** that SOE could’ve spent 5 minutes on to fix. Is a loading screen chock full of misinformation a big deal? No not really… but when every part of the game is littered with little mistakes, then yeah, it adds up. Plus, hello morons… any player who buys the game today is going to see this screen and think that they have to worry about corpse runs. But why would SOE give a ****, that player already paid for the game… you know, all these years later, even I’m surprised by SOE’s blatant disregard for what they had at the time. They had the brand name, the subscriber interest… and they just completely dropped the ball, well before the giant mistakes that would even be covered in the Wall Street Journal years later.

Sunday, November 09, 2003, 12:23:49 PM (ScreenShot0905) 

On Sunday afternoon, November 9th… I would no longer have any reason to stay “as neutral as possible” within GAT City. Facts were facts, Jager & Cerven had converted 95% of the city into <HATED>, it was pointless for me to resist. <HATED> was one of the most well known Imperial guilds on the server, it made no sense for me to not use the name to my advantage and show all the Rebel gank squads that if you messed with me, you messed with them. So the decision was made, the acceptance button was pressed, the /cheers overloaded guild chat. They had been trying to get me to join since I first started giving away garbage bone armor, they helpd me every step of the way become a master armorsmith, and now, I was finally one of them in name as well.

It was big news for me, and it was completely overshadowed by what every single subscriber, gaming news critic, developer, or person with even minimal SWG understanding was waiting for… Monika T’Sarn of the PA “Combine” of the Intrepid Server unlocked Force Sensitivity. Just 4 days before PRC’s and all that came with them would change the game forever, the devs put the players on an accelerated path to accomplish this as well. But as the old saying goes… sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad. Players were already at odds with the dev team, and now they became overwhelmed by more choices then they would know what to do with… and a month after that… vehicles would be introduced on top of it all.

What happened next was the start of the real Hologrind, and the death of the NPC city concept.

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