Entry #7

Sunday, June 29 2003 – 4:14PM (ScreenShot0037)

That night, while waiting for Zox, I actually stood by the Starport to greet the few people that actually made it to Lok. Every last person who landed was valuable to me. If they took the time to go to Lok, then they were “my kind of people.” Some of them would join my group without even saying “hi.” I’m sure they knew just as well as I did, that if we were going to get anything done, we were getting it done together or not at all. Almost no one tried to go off on their own for the first couple days. We’d get to the Starport, and then /tell everyone we ever knew trying to get enough for a hunting group. Most people couldn’t even afford the price of a ticket…

Tuesday, July 1 2003 – 1:21AM (ScreenShot0057)

Two days later and they practically had to drag me off Lok. But Kastore and our new friend Fuxu were right, there were lots of places in the galaxy to get incapped, not just Lok. So we made our way to Tatooine, and carefully ran from Bestine to Wayfar. Meeting Jabba was a goal of mine… during the early development of SWG the devs were throwing around the idea of having a “Hutt” faction… and I planned on joining it.

I figured meeting Jabba and spending some quality time with the big slug would be the next best thing to working directly for him on a regular basis. Also, and most importantly, I needed to make some more business contacts. Lok had only a few people running around, and I knew them all already. Jabba was pretty much a tourist attraction, there were hundreds of people running between his Palace & Wayfar that day.

Tuesday, July 1 2003 – 3:18AM (ScreenShot0060)

And at the end of the night, after our best efforts to get into Jabbas good graces, we’d head to the cantina at Wayfar, or even risk the run back to Bestine, for some R&R. Walking through the door was incredible. Musicians and Dancers covered the dance floor, and the chairs were full of adventurers who couldn’t get their words out of their mouths fast enough. I of course headed to the floor with slitherhorn in hand, and snuck my way into one of the multiple Entertainer groups on the premises.

It was this duplicitous behavior that really struck a chord with people. The guys cheering on the entertainers knew me from leading their hunts on Lok. When they all sat down to relax and tell stories, they’d see me put in the extra effort, and not just enjoy the show, but get directly involved. I really did put a ton of time into SWG, and for some people, wherever they went, they saw Vroflus.

The entertainers took a special interest in me as well. I wouldn’t just show up and be a wall flower….I would jump right in and share the song and dance. I made as many contacts as I could, people really began to trust me, and I started to make a name for myself as a “jack of all trades.” Of course playing the horn had its advantages while on hunts as well… everyone loved a guy who could heal mind wounds. On top of that I had medic skills, so I could heal health & action wounds as well.

Thursday, July 3 2003 – 8:15AM (ScreenShot0071)

It was in the foggy cantinas of Tatooine that I met Khan & Rudd. They were two aspiring Trando Smugglers who heard it through the grapevine that I could help them get fast XP by hunting Kimos. They made me a proposition I couldn’t refuse: if I lead them to Kimos, they wouldn’t forget me when they were Master Slicers. I loved the concept of trading services rather then credits, so of course I accepted and caught the next boat back to Lok.

On the way, I dialed up Kharist, a female Trando Rifleman who was one of the most surprising finds of the time. While most people thought it to be crazy to go off on their own when it came to Lok… Kharist made a name for herself by rolling solo. At times I thought I was seeing a ghost during my hunts. Amid the blaster fire confusion I kept thinking I saw someone off in the distance, just watching us. I ended up being right.

Kharist contacted me and had me meet her at Nyms Cantina earlier in the week. She knew all about me. She knew I was the one leading hunts around Lok, and she went on to tell me that she knew Lok better then I did. I was impressed with what I heard, but I was more impressed with Kharists uncanny knack to retrieve a corpse no matter what was camping above it. So we made a deal… I wouldn’t lead hunts north of the Starport, and in exchange, Kharist would come to the rescue if anyone in my group couldn’t retrieve their corpse. It was a fair deal, and it lasted about 2 days before Kharist couldn’t resist hanging out with my friends and I.

Entry #8

Thursday, July 03 2003 – 8:15PM (ScreenShot0072)

Compare the times from the last two screenshots for a second. That’s right, 12 straight hours. Must’ve been a work holiday or something, or maybe I just called in sick. We spent the day looking for Kimos (not that we could take um) and hitting anything that stood in our way. This screenshot tells a few different stories. First of all, you’ll notice that I finally managed to lose the HUD. It makes for much cooler screenshots, but I’m learning that it sucks as well, because I cant use the chat spam to refresh my memory concerning that particular time and place.

Speaking of chat, Khan was quick to point out that the word about Lok being open for visitors was quickly spreading. What’s very interesting (and pretty impressive) is the fact that we landed on Lok on June 29th, so for the first few days, Lok was all ours for the most part. Sure you had your random bad-asses who braved the adversities and made the trek, but up until that point, it was just us on the Eclipse server. It was very rare to run into anyone that we didn’t know, and when we did run into a stranger, we absorbed them with the promise that they needed us to get the most out of the planet. We weren’t jerks about it, because really it was a no brainer. If you were in your Marksman box, or maybe even just breaking into your elite profession box, would you want to be alone on Lok, when you’ve got a guy promising to look out for you if you join his group? Remember, no shuttles, no PRC’s, no mounts, no vehicles. It was Lok vs. you, and no matter who you were, you weren’t going to hold your own on Lok without someone watching your back.

And one last thing about this screenshot. First of all, notice Khan isn’t grouped with us. It’s not because he doesn’t like the way fish smell after being in the sun for 12 hours. There was a grouping bug that would come and go after launch. Sometimes you could join, sometimes you couldn’t. Other times, XP was borked, so it was better not to group, and take turns harvesting. There were many workarounds that we dealt with. But that was the thing, while some people went to the forums to piss and moan about the issues, we had this attitude: “we’re going to Lok, and we’ll deal with the issues as they come up.” And so we did.

You can even see Kharist explaining that she was unable to loot her corpse. On top of mobs camping your corpse, you also had to deal with the coding being borked, and not allowing you to retrieve your corpse once you got to it. It was a challenge for sure. I cant tell you how many times poor Kharist had to agro mobs off my corpse so I could loot it, only to find out that the code was acting up and I’d have to deal with the mob once it returned. And then the devs would roll the server back 5 hours and you’d lose all your xp anyway. Yeah the early days were nothing if not an uphill fight for XP.

Friday, July 04 2003 – 2:13AM (ScreenShot0073)

Look at the time. 24 straight hours. I’m sure the server was up and down, but “hi, my name is Vroflus, and I’m an addict.” It was the 4th of July and that meant a day off from work. I think I went to Naboo to catch a firework show at some point, but other then that, XP and meeting more people were my priorities. I was trying to find anyone on Lok to group with, and ended up getting a /tell from a guy named Solator. He was being camped by some mobs and every time he got his corpse they’d DB him again. Of course I headed his way, but I was really just killing time until the Trans guys finally made it to Lok. Check out the chat log. Lack of funds was that big a deal after launch. People still did not have enough cash to catch a ride to Lok, and this was two weeks into launch!

Friday, July 04 2003, 2:25AM (ScreenShot0075)

And right here you pretty much have a glimpse into what I was al about. I was snaking my way through mobs, while talking to at least three people. I was coordinating with Weola so her and the rest of the Trans folks could find me, I was discussing with Rampage the finer points of corpse retrieval (he’s the blue dot on the bottom left of my radar), and of course Fuxu was already talking about “really really needing a Jedi slot.” Yes, even back then, the Jedi arguments raged on. I didn’t mind the conversation, but it did not rate high on my priority list next to helping Rampage get his corpse and getting back to business.

Friday, July 04 2003 – 2:50AM (ScreenShot0076)

I don’t know who that dude Aleto was, but his point never the less stands… Kimos drop spawning on the friggin Starport was serious business. I had doubled back to meet The Transcendents at the Starport, but as I showed up, they showed up, and a Kimo DB’d them all, and then proceeded to camp the door of the Starport. Let me ask you this, if people couldn’t even afford to get to the planet, then how in the world was I going to put together a crew to get this Kimo out of that location? The answer is… I didn’t. Everyone took a DB (except for me cause I was mask scented and managed to avoid a colossal foot to the jaw), and then they grabbed their corpse, and we all had to meet in Nyms Cantina & Hospital to heal the wounds. By the time everyone was ready to roll, it was 3am. Some people stayed on and hunted for an hour, but soon everyone logged off. Except for me, I gave Lok a break and met up with some real life friends on Rori

Friday, July 04, 2003, 4:12:02 AM (ScreenShot0077)

Nosun was a real life friend, and along with Zannex (real life brothers), Warbucks, and Junon (a cousin of the two brothers), they were all real life neighbors of mine. I was actually in a band with Nosun, so we saw a lot of one another in and out of game. He ended up being a human currier for my middleman operation, but more on that in later entries. Right now they were just casual players hanging out on Rori. I call them casual because they were only clocking a mere 7 hours a day in game. Real men don’t sleep guys!

Friday, July 04, 2003, 4:12:25 AM (ScreenShot0078)

Zannex had finally hit Architect. He made me a small generic house & left it with Nosun & Warbucks, so the second I saw them log on, I ran to go pick it up. And wouldn’t you know it, check the chat… while I’m off buying my house, Rampage hits Lok by himself to get XP without me. He was a few boxes ahead of me, and able to handle more on his own. While I spent time maintaining relationships, he never ever stopped the grind. If he was online, a mob was keeling over in front of him. And you can once again see what I had on my mind, Warbucks asks me “how the hell are you” and my response is “I’m going to Lok.” Sometimes I don’t know how these guys put up with me.

Saturday, July 05, 2003, 2:32:27 AM (ScreenShot0089) 

About 24 hours later, there I was, face to face with a Kimo lair for the first time since Beta ended. Did we dare touch it yet? This wasn’t beta, I didn’t have an army of cdef toting noobs looking to take a DB on my behalf until we somehow brought the friggin thing down. But I couldn’t help inching as close to the ledge as possible. Fuxu had reservations, justifiably of course. And this is where we started to go our separate ways priority wise. If you didn’t want to be as far out into the unknown trouble zones as possible, then you and I most likely would be talking with /tells, because there was no way I was going to avoid moments like the one above.

The problem was, everything was traversed by foot, so getting back to Nyms was a pain in the ass. Plus, if you wanted to sell your harvestables, you’d have to sell them on a noob planet. No one was traveling to Lok to see what was on the Bazaar of all reasons. And it’s not like credits were dropping off of Gurnasets and Pharples either. So to even get off Lok, you needed to make sure that you had the cash on hand when you arrived in the first place. What I ended up doing was going to Theed and listing all my hide/bone, hoping they’d sell for my price. Quality wasn’t a concern, everyone needed grinding mats, so I set the price high above anyone elses. It all sold before I even made it back to the Starport. I had around 10k Credits, so I bought myself some brand spanking new Mabari armor and went right back to Lok to be the first person to place his house on that planet on the Eclipse server. Too bad I hadn’t checked my mail… Rampage beat me by about 6 hours and sent me the waypoint. He was the first person on Eclipse to build on Lok.

Saturday, July 05, 2003, 3:50:01 AM (ScreenShot0095) 

-557 5113, Lok. First house or not, it was an accomplishment. It’s located about an inch outside of the no-build zone, 1000m from Nyms. There’s a hill right outside my door, and Ramp’s house is on the other side. We did it. We were the first to set foot on Lok, and we were the first to build on Lok. The next move was to create the first guild on Lok. Because guilds depended on erecting a guild hall, and no Architect was able to produce one yet, we just “said” we were a guild. But officially, we were nothing, just friends who stuck together.

Saturday, July 05, 2003, 3:52:11 AM (ScreenShot0098) 

And there it was. My base of operations for all future endeavors. A safe house for anyone who was nearby. A permanent place to put my stuff. Most importantly, a buffer between the wild, and Nyms. It was where we rallied the troops for quite some time.

Read on for Entry 9

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