SWG Virgin No More
Jul 13, 2006 02:38:52

So I'm standing in GameStop looking at the single shelf of PC games that are in-stock, most of which I've played, especially the MMO titles. And there it is, staring at me from the bottom row.

Star Wars Galaxies Starter Kit. $19.99.

I'm thinking, "I already have a Station Pass, so I'm sorta paying the monthly fee already for EQ/EQ2. And, I owe it to the readers/listeners to at least try it, right?"

I plopped down my $20. The guy behind the counter raised his eye brows and said, "Less than favorable reviews on that one." I shake my head saying that I know, but I had to see it first hand. I walked out feeling a little dirty and a little excited. On one shoulder there's a little angel saying, "You're doing the right thing by giving it a fair shake," and on the other shoulder is a John Smedley rubbing his hands together and saying, "Yes! I finally got his money."

Six installation discs. Installation was smooth. While it installed I hooked up the key to my existing Sony station account without issue.

I started the character creation and was pleasantly surprised. SWG may be three years old but the characters look good. I had to be a human because many of the alien races make my skin crawl. After this, I jumped right into the New Game Experience. It is my understanding that the entire first segment of the game was added with the NGE release, and while it feels a little canned like most other 'newbie islands', it did its job well and showed me how to play. I had to muck about in the controls for some time trying to get the mousing/running controls to act somewhat like I expected. I'd say I got 75% of the way toward my goal. At least the config screens were easy to use.

After playing a few non-A-list titles recently, it was nice to see a game with a ton of polish on the interface and smoothly directed game play, even though it is three years old. Many of the design elements ended up in EQ2, and more than a few were added to EQ1 as well. Heck, why not share code for common MMO elements? The most obvious one is the vapor trail that leads us n00bs to the next destination. I wonder how long that feature will last, and I'm guessing it disappears after the newbie island experience, but we'll see.

I did enjoy bonking some mobs on the head with my giant stick, and I think i got to level 6. (Died twice, can't tell what the penalty is, but the 8 minute death-de-buff really hurts when you have nothing to do but wait it out.) I got into the swing of things quickly and while the quests in the beginning amounted to the Kill Ten Rats variety, I did enjoy the back story and dialog that accompanied them.

All in all, my first 4 hours went well and while it is far too early to make an official statement, thus far, I don't see many problems. The newbie experience felt pretty much identical to Knights of the Old Republic minus the predestined plot line, and there isn't much wrong with that.

And now, I have to go levitate my toothbrush and make it jiggle back and forth across my teeth using only The Force.

Submitted by Brent on Jul 13, 2006 02:38:52 CST (comments: 2)


'This helmet is chafing my eyebrows!' by Bman
Submitted on 2006-07-13 22:49:38 CST
"I walked out feeling a little dirty and a little excited."


Is SWG as heavy a game as it always seemed it would be? Like EQ2, where you close out the game and the hard drive grinds and grinds, loading the OS and everything back into memory?

SWG is one of the few major MMOs I actually haven't played, along with UO. It was fun to watch the train wreck in slow motion last year when they redid the combat, but I'm happy that it's not moments away from complete failure, either. AC2 wasn't the best game ever, but it still hurt to watch it go.

Out of curiosity, did they credit you a free month on your Station Pass account for buying the SWG box?

'Heavy' by Brent
Submitted on 2006-07-14 01:33:02 CST
Yes, I just polished off day two and it took some considerable time for my machine to recover, but it did so without a hitch.

I highly doubt I was credited a free month of station access. I'll look into that.

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