Star Wars Galaxies
Star Wars Galaxies was a 3D sci-fi MMORPG based on the original Star Wars trilogy. The game required a monthly subscription and was renowned for its sandbox gameplay and intricate skill and crafting system.
|Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Release Date: June 26, 2003 (NA)
Closure Date: December 11, 2011
Pros: +Sandbox gameplay. +Persistent Player Housing +Unique skill based progression. +Many non-combat roles +Great crafting system.
Cons: -Steep learning curve. -Major balance issues. -Clunky user interface.
Star Wars Galaxies Overview
Star Wars Galaxies was the first subscription MMORPG based on the popular Star Wars Franchise. The game had a vast sandbox environment and an entirely player-driven economy. Star Wars Galaxies, or SWG for short, was initially set after the destruction of the Dearth Star in Episode IV (A New Hope), but before Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back.) The game is best remembered for its skill based progression which gave players the freedom to create custom characters by mastering skills for their choosing. After several expansions, Star Wars Galaxies underwent a massive overhaul which removed the skill system and bolted on more traditional character class options.
Star Wars Galaxies Key Features
- A Massive Galaxy to Explore - 10 massive planets at launch with 2 more added later.
- Character Customization - 10 classes to chose from and 34 professions to master.
- Mount Up! - Solo and multi-user mounts on land, and in space.
- Home Sweet Home - Persistent world housing. Players could customize their homes and form towns.
- Relax at the Cantina - In-depth non-combat activities including crafting, dancing, and other rewarding social roles.
Races - Bothan, Human, Ithorian, Mon Calamari, Rodian, Sullustan, Trandoshan, Twi'lek, Wookiee, Zabrak
Planets - Tatooine, Naboo, Corellia, Talus, Rori, Dantooine, Lok, Yavin 4, Endor (moon of), Dathomir, Kashyyyk (exp), Mustafar (exp)
Star Wars Galaxies Screenshots
Star Wars Galaxies Featured Video
Star Wars Galaxies Videos
Star Wars Galaxies Links
Star Wars Galaxies Wikipedia Entry
Star Wars Galaxies Wikia [Database/Guides]
Did Star Wars Galaxies Fail? [Essay Series from Designer Raph Koster]
The Rise, Fall, and Return of Star Wars Galaxies [Story by Dennis Scimeca of The Kernel]
SWGEmu [Star Wars Galaxies Emulation Project]
Star Wars Galaxies Music & Soundtrack
Star Wars Galaxies Additional Information
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment (now known as Daybreak Game Company)
Game Engine: Custom, in-house engine.
Lead Gameplay Designer: Jeff Freeman
Creative Director: Raph Koster
Closed Beta: July 2002
United States: June 26, 2003
Europe: November 7, 2003
Japan: December 23, 2004
Japan: November 2005
Global: December 15, 2011
Jump to Lightspeed (October 27, 2004) - Added the Sullustan and Ithorian races. Added space combat with three factions to chose from: Rebel, Imperial, Freelance.
Rage of the Wookiees (May 5, 2005) - Added the planet Kashyyyk which was composed of instanced dungeons. Also added cybernetic limbs, new starfighters, and resource mining in space.
Trials of Obi-Wan (November 1, 2005) - Added the planet Mustafar. The existing skill based character development system was scrapped and replaced by a traditional class based system.
Development History / Background:
It was near the start of the 21st century, on March 17, 2000 that LucasArts and Verant Interactive announced their plans to develop a MMORPG based on the Star Wars franchise. Best known for the widely successful fantasy MMORPG EverQuest, Verant expected to release the game by 2001. On November 29, 2000 the official title Star Wars Galaxies was announced for the project. By the time 2001 rolled around, it was clear the game was no where near complete and the decision was made to leave out space portions at release. The first expansion, announced on May 17, 2001 (before the game even released), would add spaceship gameplay six months after launch.
Closed beta testing finally began in July 2002, with a Xbox and PlayStation 2 version announced a few weeks earlier on May 20, 2002. The console versions were cancelled before launch, but a PC release of April 15, 2003 was eventually set. Sony Online Entertainment missed this date by about two months and finally released Star Wars Galaxies on June 26, 2003. By that time, the game's online community had grown to over 400,000. Despite offering a unique MMORPG experience, SWG was quickly overshadowed by World of Warcraft which launched a year later. In a bid to compete, SOE totally overhauled the game's mechanics in 2005 with two major patches: Combat Upgrade (CU) and New Game Enhancement (NGE) These changes didn't help Star Wars Galaxies compete against WoW, but they did alienate the remaining community.
Despite community unrest, Star Wars Galaxies managed to limp on for another six years, eventually shutting down 5 days before the launch of the next Star Wars MMORPG, Bioware's Star Wars The Old Republic.
Star Wars Galaxies Private Servers
Star Wars Galaxies has a vibrant emulation scene. An emulation project has been active for 11 years with 9 servers currently live using the SWGemu code. While the private servers still aren't perfect, they are quite functional and offer fans a chance to experience the oldschool skill system.