Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided - recenzja gry
Welcome to the world of Star Wars Online
I am very happy to be honored to review Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided for you. I've had the pleasure of playing this online version of Star Wars for the past three months and I have no regrets. The game evoked a lot of positive impressions in me, although it left with a delicate bitter aftertaste in my mouth. This is what this review will be about - why the seemingly really perfect game was not able to get me a rating higher than 90%.
It is quite a long text, containing a large dose of a descriptive element. I'm sorry if I bother you a bit, but I think that if GRY-OnLine is the only Polish vortal that has attempted to seriously review this very important title, our readers, apart from the evaluation, should also receive accurate and reliable information. If I missed any game elements important for you, it was due to the final volume of the text.
In order not to discourage you from this title with my "bitter tastes", in the first sentences I will write in capital letters: Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided I LIKE VERY MUCH, but ...
The American and world premiere of SWG (this is the generally accepted abbreviation of the name Star Wars Galaxies) took place on June 26, 2003. I consider the day of its official launch as one of the most important dates in the development of the global online entertainment network market.
SWG is a special title in many respects. It was definitely the most anticipated Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game in recent years. It is certainly a title with which the greatest hopes for the development of games of this type were pinned. The subject of Star Wars alone meant that the product grew to the rank of a legend even before its premiere. Less than three months after the launch, the number of people paying the subscription exceeded 300,000, which puts SWG in second place on a par with Final Fantasy XI in terms of popularity on the American - European - Japanese market among MMO games (only the immortal Everquest is better with its 450 000).
The producer of the game was Verant Entertainment, now known as Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest, PlanetSide, Everquest 2 series). The publisher is LucasArts (very meritorious for the market, part of the Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd). The combination of the efforts of these two companies-giants caused shivers of emotions among players many months before the premiere and was to be a guarantee of good fun.
The game is intended only for Internet play on servers operated by Sony Online Entertainment, it is not possible to play on private servers or play alone in single player mode.
SWG is a flagship MMOcRPG product, i.e. Massively Multiplayer Online Computer Role Playing Game. More information about the genre, the way of gameplay, and permanent worlds can be found in the material: "Massively Multiplayer Online - Dawn of a new era in computer games".
The title is currently available only for the PC platform and it will probably remain so, as the previous announcements of the console version have not been officially confirmed anywhere.
The US ESRB age rating sets the rating for this game to Teen / Violence, which means it is designed for teenagers at a minimum.
To play, you need a credit card that allows you to pay online, such as VISA Classic or MasterCard, and an internet connection.
The world of Star Wars Galaxies has a very faithfully and suggestively transferred atmosphere from the world we know from the Star Wars series of movies and books. The plot is set chronologically in the period immediately after the Death Star destroyed the planet Alderaan, and thus in the most hot period of the rebellion against the Empire and its overlord. As of today, the whole game takes place only on the surface of selected planets and moons, so the entire "cosmic" part of the Star Wars universe is missing, but there is really a lot to see.
The following locations known from the movie are available to players: Corellia, Dantooine, Dathomir, Endor, Lok, Naboo, Rori, Talus, Tatooine and Yarvin4. Each of them has its own graphic design, different landscape, weather, NPCs, monsters, cities, settlements, military camps, unique objects and many other attractions.
As opponents and allies, we have over 180 different types of characters and animals controlled by the game mechanisms. What's coolest, the monsters have implemented, although to a limited extent, artificial intelligence, guiding their behavior, so they defend their nests, help each other, run away, and in their free time you can see them eating, resting, lying on the ground, or getting up and listening when something scares them off.
In the game, we can find special locations, called "theme parks", transferred alive from subsequent episodes of Star Wars, such as Jabba's Palace, Desert Warriors Fort, Naboo Palace, a canteen with "musicians" and many, many others.
We can also meet characteristic characters (controlled by the game mechanism), such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Admiral Ackbar, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and others. They don't play a significant role in the game's story, but it's always nice to chat with Vader.
There is really a lot of all this "Star Wars" stuff. The creators of the game did their best to make fans of SW climates feel satisfied. A minor objection to the whole is the fact that the vast area of the game, designed to simulate the real world, is so large that we have to run really hard to find a specific character or location. The rest of the land is filled with a very nicely made, but nevertheless pseudo-random landscape (read: grass, grass, grass, trees, trees, grass, desert, desert, grass, trees, mountains, grass ... I've been running for an hour ... grass, trees).
We move between planets and moons, as well as between cities within a specific planet, using space shuttles, or in short, we teleport. In the future, ground vehicles and animals are planned, with the help of which moving around this quite extensive area is to be faster. In the future, together with the announced Space Expansion to the game, we will have the opportunity to fly and fight in open space between planets. The add-on will be payable :)
Generally, for "the world" I give five with a plus. The goal in itself for the player may be to visit all the locations and it will probably be fun for many weeks, although it should not be expected that the whole world is evenly populated. With an average of 2,000 to 5,000,000 players on one server, I was surprised to find that there are quite a few areas where there are simply no living people. And here is the first quite specific objection. Why pretend that the game world is so big, if there is no purpose or premises for which I should be in a specific place as a character? Why should I choose the Endor Science Camp if I can find exactly the same, or even greater functionality in every major city? The sediments are made according to one die. They differ a lot in appearance, but functionally they are the same - bazaar, canteen, starport, vending machines for the production of items, vending machines with missions, etc. The effect of this dependence is that people concentrate in about 30% of available settlements, and the rest of the planet on generally it is empty. If you were to add separate functionality to selected cities, it would be much nicer. There would be a different, apart from curiosity, motivation for distant journeys. It is highly likely that as the game develops, new functionality will be added to depopulated cities. But for now there is a minus for "blowing beyond sense" the number of functionally similar locations.
... and quite a lot. The game itself costs $ 49.99 in the standard version and $ 79.95 in the collector's version. Both versions are the same game, they differ in that the owners of the collector's version also receive autographs of the authors on the manual (photocopying of these autographs, of course :)), a patch with the SWG logo, quite a nice album with graphics from the game, a small figure of ) and the ability to wear several types of glasses in the game, which is not possible for owners of the standard version.
In addition, you need to add shipping costs from the store - $ 14 air mail or $ 34 courier. If the total cost of the game and shipment exceeds the amount of around EUR 70, you should take into account that our customs officers will add customs duties and taxes, which can range from 100 to 200 PLN.
For purchases of games in the states, I recommend the CDROM SHOP http://www.cdromshop.com, which, despite the unattractive website, is very good, impeccably fulfills its obligations and, more importantly, sends games to Poland. To buy one, you must have a credit card capable of making payments on the Internet abroad.
And the cost of the monthly subscription remains: $ 14.99 - for 1 month, $ 41.99 - for 3 months, $ 77.99 - 6 months, $ 143.99 for a year's subscription.
If we add the costs of the Internet connection to this, the sum exceeds the budget of a statistical teenager. What do we get for this? We get a product that is bigger, better, more interesting than any single player game. A title that will take anywhere from two months to several years. It should also be remembered that MMO games are constantly modernized and improved products. There have been over 500 fixes to SWG since its release, some of them really substantial. The price is very high, but it's fun. The choice is yours. I would like to warn those who decide to buy SWG - it is a game that requires a lot of free time.
Here are the official hardware requirements from the Star Wars Galaxies website:
100% DirectX 9.0 compatible computer
Windows 98 SE, Millennium, 2000, and XP
Minimum CPU: Intel PIII 933 MHz or AMD Athlon 900 MHz
Recommended CPU: Intel P4 1.5+ GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+
Minimum Memory: 256 MB RAM
Recommended Memory: 512 MB RAM
Required: 32 MB 3D Graphics card with Hardware Transform and Lighting (T&L) Capability
Recommended: 64 MB 3D Graphics card with Vertex Shader and Pixel Shader (VS / PS) Capability
Sound Card: PCI, USB or Onboard Audio Device
CD-ROM: Quad Speed CD-ROM drive or better
Keyboard and mouse
56K modem or faster Internet connection
1024x768 capable monitor
Microsoft DirectX 9.0 is included on the CD ... It is recommended that you have at least an additional 500 MB of free space available after installing the game for the Windows swap / page file and additional patch downloads.
Here is my opinion on it:
The requirement for a processor faster than 1.5GHz (not counting slow Celerons or Durons) is absolutely justified for the correct operation of the game. With slower SWG processors, it is simply not done even with an average amount of detail. The 2.5 GHz processor seems to be the optimal one, and in fact there are no recommended processors yet. Of course, the game's smoothness criteria are different. I also had the opportunity to play Athlon 1.7 and somehow it was about it, although the game really doesn't look great then. As for the amount of RAM ... hmm ... if someone has an XP with 256 MB RAM, which theoretically allows you to play this game, I feel sorry for him and I assure you that none of the developers played in such a configuration in SWG. In my opinion, the optimal solution is 512 MB for W98 or Millenium and 1024MB for XP and 2000. I will say something that may seem absurd to you, but with 2 GB of RAM the game is really faster, because SWG uses all available memory in the system on a very large cache the amount of textures and objects in the game.
The graphics card must be of the higher shelf, if we want to have nice graphics on the monitor (because the graphics in the game are very nice). If we also want 30 frames in the middle of the city with a crowd of people, it must be really top.
Requirements for Internet connection - 56K modem - makes me smile idiotically. I omit the fact that with impulse payments, playing would cost us a fortune. I understand that the man writing these hardware requirements wrote them for the American user, that is, assuming that he has the maximum transfer speed via the modem and a very good "ping". In my opinion, playing from Poland via a modem in a game in which the transfer sometimes reaches 10KB / s is at least a funny solution. So write down in the hardware requirements for the link: at least SDI. But I have a very positive opinion about the speed of connections and servers on which SWG is embedded.
What's interesting is that a minimum monitor resolution of 1024x768 is required, and thus sets a new standard for gaming - goodbye 800x600.
As you can see, the requirements of the SWG on our computer are huge. I am able to accept it, because the result is at least a visually very nice game, exceeding the quality of its graphics in most of the latest productions.
As we are talking about graphics, it is worth devoting a few sentences to this issue.
First, "graphics" as art, that is, ignoring technological issues. You can see that the SWG visual setting was created by very good specialists (Lucas Arts bows). The cartoonists did not even pretend that they were original and simply served us faithfully all the "pictures" that we remember from SW movies - but on which a great team of people worked, and which were very well done. Landscapes, characters, objects, weather (there are e.g. rains and sandstorms) and all the nature around us are realistic as far as convention and our computers allow. It is terrible in places where we are to be afraid, where we are supposed to like it - romantic. Everything is spiced with a whole lot of details that emphasize the atmosphere (eg small medical robots, whizzing on the ground with their "pi pi"). The characters of our heroes are simply pretty and very diverse, devoid of the recently popular "manga flaw", which I am personally very happy about. What we see on the screen, of course, depends on the speed of our computers, but I wish such graphics most of the "hits" on the shelves.
The second issue is technology. And here I have no objections. Great modern 3D graphics with all the details like shadows, flashes and "particle". From the programming point of view, the graphics are very OK, you can see that they are well polished and well tested. I have never "jammed" on an object or element of the landscape, which is not uncommon in this type of games, unfortunately. There are no so-called "left sides" when we can go inside an object and see it "from below", we don't sink into the landscape or get stuck between objects. They all turned out very well.
The dynamics of lighting effects drew my particular attention in the graphic solutions. You certainly remember from the movie "laser rays" rushing from the barrels of Storm Trooper rifles ... The game is the same, and due to the fact that most of the fight takes place at a distance, you can see very nicely how the bullet from our gun hits the enemy . And surprisingly, even a bigger skirmish does not slow down the graphics display. The explosions of grenades, explosives or fire from flamethrowers are also very effective. These effects greatly improve the fighting atmosphere.
And these "butterflies", that is, all the additional mobile fauna and flora that appear to us as the level of detail in the graphics increases. From wavy grass, through small animals and leaves falling from trees, to flying vehicles speeding across the sky.
Well, when it was about graphics and its quality "by Lucas Arts", it is worth saying something about sound and music, which are really at the highest level when it comes to computer games. The music is very similar, often identical to that known from the movies. In short - top class. The sounds also do not raise any objections, space shuttles make the characteristic "shuuuuwhammmm" when they take off, the robots already mentioned "pi pi pi", blasters "tiam, tiam". Till I'm afraid I'll turn around and see Luke scream, "We're running, the Troopers are coming." Of course, monsters roar in a specific way. Everything is in place.
The game supports all modern sound standards, including positioned surround sound.
The only drawback that I found is the fact that with the 16 sound channels I have on, with a lot of various sounds, for example in the middle of the city, I have heard "crunching" several times. However, I put it down to my not very high sound card.
A very interesting effect is rumbling combined with a distinct shake of the screen when you hear the footsteps of a beast running, huge as a house - a really nice feeling.
Have I already used the words "I like it" in this text? Probably yes. So this time I will write that the User Interface (broadly understood), i.e. all buttons, zippers, etc. that can be found in the game, is great.
Here is a list of these possibilities:
Everything we need for a very comfortable playing. User Interface 6+ for developers.
When starting the game, we are limited to having only one character on each of the existing servers. This restriction aroused a lot of controversy from the very beginning. People who want to play together with their friends, on one specific server (for example in a guild), several different characters have suffered the most (this problem has been partially solved, but more on that later). I was afraid of such a limitation myself, because I like to create several different characters that complement each other. Of course, even in games where it is possible to have more heroes on one server, only one of them can be played from one paid account at a time. After careful consideration, however, I came to the conclusion that this solution is not that bad and allows you to reduce the difference between the most persistent players (e.g. with several fully developed characters) and occasional players who are not able to spend a few hours a day on development your hero. The piquancy of the whole is added by the fact that the "second character" on the server will be possible in the future and it will be a powerful hero ("Luke, May The Force Be With You" :). About this also later in the material.
Now a few details. We have 8 races at our disposal, corresponding to those known from the SW world.
Those are :
Humans - that is people, as it usually happens, the most average race.
Bothans - skillful little hairy humanoids
Mon Calamari - intelligent fish-like creatures
Rodians - large-eyed agile creatures with "trumpets" instead of noses.
Trandoshans - large and strong lizards
Twi'leks - humanoids with characteristic tentacles on their heads.
Wookiees - Well-known hairy giants such as Chewbacca
Zabrak - tattooed, human-like creatures with small appendages - horns on their heads
Each race is represented in the game by two genders to choose from. While the choice of race is not critical to what you intend to do in the game, you should at least approximately match your character type to the profession you want to pursue in the future. In the game, we will be able to modify the basic parameters over time, using the "parameter migration" function.
Each breed has its own unique language, incomprehensible to other species. As long as we speak (write) the universal language in the game, we understand everyone, but when the characters start to use a language specific to their race, and there is such a possibility, we get only an incomprehensible cluster of letters in the dialog window without knowing this dialect. There is, of course, the function of learning "foreign languages" from other players.
The mechanism of the game allows us to carefully select the physical appearance of a specific race and gender in the process of creating our alter ego. Height, weight, body build, skin color, hairstyle, facial features, eye color and shape, nose size and shape, and more. But we have already seen this in other online productions, the novelty is the fact that already during the game we can modify these parameters virtually freely using the services of the profession called Image Designer. You want a new hairstyle for a party, or a nice tattoo or makeup - here you go. It does smell a bit of Sims, but in practice it's a pretty fun option.
As you know, character development in cRPG games, and in particular in MMOcRPG, is one of the most important aspects of the game. In my opinion, the creators of SWG did really well in this field and you can see that they analyzed most of the errors in similar titles. The most important element of character development is the fact that we can (on average) develop 2 and 1/2 professions for one hero. In practice, this means that we can, for example, become an advanced warrior and at the same time be a master in making weapons, and we will still be able to partially develop another profession. This very important option is to reward the blockade of having more than one character on the server and gives a lot of available options for the development of our hero with a large number and variety of classes.
In SWG there is no literal sense of the word like "levele" known from cRPG games. We advance by independently selecting the next profession rank from the skill tree of a given profession, paying for it with experience points gained during the game. Each subsequent level of advancement in a given profession additionally costs us a certain amount of "skill" points from the global pool of 250, which we can use to develop our character.
An additional variety is the fact that there are different types of experience. Different experience points are gained by a warrior, and different, for example, by a doctor.
As this looks vague on the surface, I will give you a specific example. Simply put, we start out with 250 skill points and zero experience. We set off on an expedition, where we kill twenty opponents using our pistol. This gives us, for example, 1000 experience points in "Using a pistol". 1000 XP (experience points) is enough to advance to the next level of initiation. So we go to the Pistol Fighting Teacher and change the 1000 XP to the next level of advancement, we pay the appropriate amount of credits (money in the game) and we lose the appropriate number of skill points, i.e. we have, for example, 245 skill points. During our trip we healed and earned 1000 Medical XP, so we convert them to a higher Medical XP rank for additional skill points, XP and money. And that's how it goes. This is a very interesting, maybe even the best method of character development that I have come across in MMOcRPG games so far.
It should be added that there are several dozen different types of experience points and a dozen different methods of obtaining them. For example, a Merchant gets XP for the amount of goods sold, a dancer for the amount of time people spend watching his performances, Smuggler gets XP for opening closed and secure containers, among other things. There is one more special class of experience - points that we earn by passing on our knowledge to other players. We need points from this class to earn championship titles in specific professions. Something like a master and a journeyman.
Learned skills can be unlearned and recovered in this way skill points, which gives us the opportunity to freely experiment with the development of our character.
The acquired skill levels are accompanied by titles - there are several dozen of them - which we can, at our own request, show in the game as subtitles appearing over the head of our character. Seemingly small, but enjoys.
Players can create groups of up to twenty heroes (so many are also new when it comes to MMO games), but the way of distributing experience points between team members is different than I have seen so far in other MMOcRPG games. XP is not divided equally, everyone gets what they earn. Sagittarius what he shoots, doctor what heals, etc. I don't like this way of distributing experience points, because he prefers tactics first come first served and does not support teamwork. However, it is a logical consequence of the overall idea of gaining experience points.
Quite an innovative solution is the introduction of experience points that we receive when someone uses the items we produce. So if we make a weapon, we sell it to another player and he kills monsters with this weapon, every time he gains XP in this way, we get a small part of them.
Of course, as each profession develops, we gain new, very advanced skills and significantly improve our character.
Our hero is described by 3 main parameters, 6 additional and several dozen detailed statistics. The most important ones are Health, Action (simplifying it action points), Mind (mind pool). Strength, Constitution, Quickness, Stamina, Focus, Willpower - describe how the 3 main parameters change during combat, how quickly they regenerate, what is the cost of each action.
An additional reward are medals awarded for completing certain specific tasks or services for a faction.
I like the entire character development system very much, it is consistent, extensive, gives a lot of character variants and ensures a really large SWG re-playability (different professions provide different potential types of gameplay).
I thought that instead of describing to you the hundreds of different things you can do while playing SWG, I would briefly describe the professions available in the game, which should give you an idea of the breadth of the game. In fact, every profession is quite a game in itself. I must also mention that there is no such thing as useful NPCs in SWG (game mechanic characters). I mean, there are a lot of NPCs that do a lot of different things, but the entire economy and services fall on the players. There are no computer shopkeepers, doctors and craftsmen. Virtually all useful in-game items and services can be purchased or obtained only from other players. It is so about the number of professions and their usefulness. We need to systematically develop each of the professions, only at the highest levels of advancement do we have access to really sophisticated opportunities.
When starting the game, we do not have access to advanced professions, we must first develop one of the basic professions. They are not such basic ones, because developing one of them may take even a month of hard playing, but in the game they are called “basic” :). We do not have to focus on one profession, we can choose whatever we need in any combination, as long as we can fit within 250 skill points. I would like to remind you that in SWG it is possible to develop more than two advanced professions - there are enough points to assign.
Artisan - it's just a craftsman. Slang slang "Crafter". This profession is the beginning of all those who want to manufacture various items, trade or repairs in the future. Such a profession allows you to prepare all the tools needed later by representatives of advanced professions, the production of simple clothes, weapons, medicines, food, etc. This class also allows the extraction and processing of raw materials needed to produce items to a limited extent.
Artisan is part of the development path of such advanced professions as Armorsmith, Weaponsmith, Architect, Merchant, Chef, Tailor, Droid Engineer, Smuggler and Commando
Brawler - a class focused on close combat, or in short, "fizol". You don't think much, you go, you fight and you kill.
Brawler is part of the development path of advanced professions such as Tera Kasi Artist, Fencer, Swordsman, Pikeman, Bounty Hunter, Commando and Smuggler
Entertainer - "fine arts" class. Music, dance, etc. It only sounds idiotic, because these activities play an important role in SWG, responsible for the treatment of non-physical injuries and combat fatigue. Plus, of course, they're essential to the social part of the game.
The entertainer is part of the development path of advanced professions such as Dancer, Musician and Image Designer.
Marksman - the second strictly combat-oriented character class. Unlike Brawler, Marksman is responsible for ranged combat. This profession allows you to learn to use all types of firearms, lasers and heavier equipment. We start with basic abilities and simple weapons, then shoot, shoot, shoot ...
Marksman is part of the development path of advanced professions such as Rifleman, Pistoleer, Carbineer, Bounty Hunter, Commando, Smuggler, Squad Leader and Combat Medic.
Medic - means a doctor. This profession is important because there are no healing machines or NPC-Doctors in the game. If we are injured, we either have to wait quite a long time, resting until the wounds have cleared, or we have to find a Medic. More importantly, there is damage that can only be healed by a medic.
Medic is part of the development path of advanced professions such as Doctor, Combat Medic and Bio-Engineer.
Scout - The best word for this profession is "scout". The main abilities developed by Scout are knowledge of the terrain, speed of movement, obtaining natural resources from animals, building camps for other players, knowledge of fauna and flora, and searching for resources. Very useful abilities, especially at the beginning of the game.
Scout is part of the development path of advanced professions such as Ranger, Creature Handler, Squad Leader, Bio-Engineer and Bounty Hunter.
This is the next step in the development of our character and, like the basic professions, we can choose the professions that we find most interesting in many different combinations.
Architect - A much needed profession in the game, because Archiect builds all buildings for players. From simple houses to mines for resource extraction, power plants and machinery to help you produce items, to advanced factories and large guild halls. There are dozens of different types of buildings. The structures can even be multi-story with their own elevators. The architect is also able to produce all equipment and furniture for these buildings, a total of several dozen structures.
Overall, the advanced ability to build your own structures is the real strength of the SWG.
Armorsmith - A craftsman who produces various types of armor and equipment to protect the body. There are dozens of different types of armors, from simple armor made of animal bones to advanced polymer armor similar to the Bobby Fett suit.
Carbineer - a simple, but equally interesting "fighting class", responsible for the development of skills in using medium-range weapons, rifles.
Chef - A craftsman engaged in the production of food and drinks. Contrary to appearances, it is quite a useful class, because food plays a different role in SWG than we would expect. It is used to temporarily increase the parameters of the character. A good analogy to the Cook will be the Alchemist, known to us from fantasy cRPG, producing magic potions.
Creature Handler - a very interesting profession that allows players to tame and control most of the animals found in the SW world. Advanced Creature Handler is able to control even several "monsters" simultaneously, giving them several different orders. Tame animals defend their owner very well.
Dancer - A dancer does what he should, which is dancing :). Additionally, it plays an important role in the treatment of a certain group of injuries. The dancers and musicians add color to the game. Some players have a pretty good time arranging dances in the canteens. The dancer is able to perform several different, predefined dances.
Doctor - heals most injuries and produces drugs. In every major city you will find medical centers, where, using the appropriate items, players-doctors will bring us to a working condition after battles with both monsters and other players.
Droid Engineer - oh, everyone wants their own robot. There is such a possibility in SWG. The robots have many applications, from mobile production workshops, through medical robots, to specialized combat machines and automatic reconnaissance probes for Bounty Hounter. We can give orders to the robot as if we were controlling it remotely.
Fencer - A swordsman who uses one-handed slashing weapons in combat.
Image Designer - A hero's class that allows a wide range of modifying the external appearance of other characters, including the change of height and figure.
Merchant - A character responsible for creating and operating Vendors, i.e. NPCs, from whom we can make shopkeepers selling our products.
Musician - The musician is not the equivalent of the Bard known from RPG, but rather a variation of the doctor, as its primary function is to heal battle fatigue. Besides, of course, he can play instruments of a dozen or so types. In the game it is possible to form "orchestras" and to play specific pieces synchronously. Of course, we do not play alone, but we have a dozen ready-made melodies encoded in the game.
Pikeman - Something similar to the Halberdier , i.e. a character who uses long melee weapons in combat.
Pistoleer - A gunslinger :), specialist in close quarters combat with firearms.
Ranger - Development of the Scout profession, i.e. a master of moving in the field, tracking and defending others in combat.
Rifleman - a class ideally similar to a sniper. Advanced long-range combat capabilities with long firearms. Generally speaking, it shoots slowly, but if it hits it hurts a lot.
Swordsman - Master of the classic sword; not to be confused with a lightsaber, which only Jedi can use in SWG.
Tailor - Krawiec, produces all forms of clothes and accessories. There are really many different types of outfits, from bikini to star pilot suit, and all in a wide range of colors.
Tera Kasi Artist - Hand-to-hand grandmaster - Bruce Lee in the Matrix world.
Weaponsmith - A craftsman producing weapons, both firearms and melee. Full assortment of several dozen types of weapons in several hundred variants.
There is one more group of professions, combined (hybrid) professions. While advanced professions strive to specialize in a specific profession, combined professions include multidisciplinary professions.
Bio-Engineer - produces advanced organic products.
Bounty Hunter - hunts characters (only NPCs so far) chased by wanted posters. He uses specially constructed flying search robots to help.
Combat Medic - A doctor who specializes in treating injuries in combat, while being able to fight alone
Commando - A special class of warrior with the skills to use heavy weapons such as rockets and flame throwers.
Smuggler - A versatile class that deals with "black market" issues
Squad Leader - a profession dealing with comprehensive support for groups of players.
I personally like such an extensive set of professions. Combined with the fact that you can learn (on average) two and a half professions, I think this is one of the best, if not the best character development system in MMOcRPG games. A big plus.
It goes without saying that killing monsters is one of the main goals of the game. People like to fight, and they do it in almost all MMOs.
In SWG, fighting monsters takes place in real time. There is no such thing as hit points, attacks by both monsters and players can, depending on the type, take points from one of the 3 main attributes of a player: Health, Action or Mind. When one of the attributes drops to zero, the monster dies. In the event of the player's defeat, the character falls to the ground unconscious. If the monster or character that is attacking has the “Killing Blow” skill and deals it to the unconscious player, that player dies. Otherwise, after about 90 seconds, he regains consciousness with reduced parameters. Death is not permanent and causes a transfer to the nearest cloning center. We can save our character in the cloning center where we want to appear after death. In principle, in the event of death, uninsured items were to be lost (they were to remain in the place of death). This was only a dozen or so days after the premiere, then this option was turned off and is turned off until today (because the insurance still does not work properly), so we do not lose items.
Mechanically, the fight has no difficult dexterity elements, so there is no fear that we will be killed by less skilful fingers. After selecting the target, our character starts to attack automatically with the weapon in his hand or with his bare hands. If your enemy runs away, you can turn on the auto target tracking feature. The next step is to choose from the available pool of special blows specific to our profession. And then the only thing left to do is run, keeping the right distance, or possibly run away.
It does not sound very exciting and unfortunately many people complain about the simplification of the fight in SWG. The truth is that in virtually all MMOcRPGs, combat is very similar. This is the way it is, that neither turn-based combat nor real-time attacks can be done in this type of game. The fight is saved by a very nice graphic design and a really large number and variety of special blows, and the fact that we can use our pets (animals), assistants (faction) and robots.
Although with some reluctance, I still find that I like the combat mechanism. In skirmishes involving more people, the fun becomes quite addictive.
Fighting with other players is a bit different than fighting monsters. It looks similar mechanically, but having a live (and intelligent) player for your opponent adds a lot of adrenaline to the game. It is not Counter Strike or Quake, but it could be compared to, for example, Tribes. We can fight on many occasions. Dueling is the simplest form of PvP in SWG. Each player can be challenged to a duel and, if he agrees, fight only with the two of them, so that no one else can interrupt. Another form is to defend battelfields - special areas intended for battles between factions. There, two groups of players from opposite factions meet and their task is to capture the opposing side's command post. In this case, PvP looks really interesting, considering that we can hire computer-controlled helpers on the battlefield, build turrets, bunkers or, for example, lay minefields. The most advanced form of PvP is "American free", which we can use if our status is "overt". Then, at any place and time, we have the opportunity to attack a member of the opposite faction.
After killing the opponent, we cannot collect the items found with him, which is a serious drawback, because in practice there is no penalty for the player's death. If we want, we can go through the whole game in such a way that none of the players will ever attack us.
There are different views on PvP in SWG - many people criticize the solutions used. I partially agree with this opinion, because until there is no possibility of gaining specific benefits from PvP, or for example taking over territories, it is a bit of an art for the sake of art. Overall not bad, but to the Realm vs. The realm as we know it from the Dark Age of Camelot is still a long way off.
The producers announce that new solutions will come as the plot develops and the next stages of the global galactic conflict.
Crafting, i.e. producing items by players, is one of the strengths of SWG. I will even risk saying that it is the most advanced system in the MMOcRPG games on the market (we'll see what Horizon will bring to the case, the release of which is planned for this fall).
There are several dozen resources in the game in several thousand variants, which are located using special devices. They are mined by hand or with the use of several available variants of mines and extractors. Interestingly, after paying the costs, the mines work all the time, regardless of whether we are logged in to the game. All of this is powered by energy (also in several different variants). The acquired raw materials are processed into finished products with the use of specialized tools and devices. One of the most important things is the fact that the craftsman's skills and the quality of the materials (which have several different properties) directly affect the quality of the item, its durability and, e.g. in the case of weapons, the effectiveness of the blows. You can experiment by creating newer, better versions of items. You can improve with the right skills and the tools of their property. Production diagrams can be prepared, which are then used for mass production in automatic factories.
Materials, tools, items, the production process and experimenting have a nice and realistic visual setting.
The field to show off is huge. The player has the ability to build virtually any item in the game, from a knife, through a robot, a laser rifle, to a house factory.
A big plus for SWG - I can assure you that if someone wants to devote themselves to craftsmanship in the game, they will have fun for many months.
Trade is my favorite plot in SWG. I have a lot of fun reading on message boards how supposedly "the economy in SWG is totally broken". It's not broken, let me say more, it works very well. It's so great that, by speculating, you can make trading your only source of earning money.
The simplest form of sale is the simple trade between players known from other games. Goods for money or goods for goods. A more advanced method is to put your own shopkeepers (NPCs), to whom we can set texts to greet buyers, dress them in appropriate outfits (it is also possible to create robots-shopkeepers), and even pay for the advertisement of your shop so that it appears on the planetary map. . More ambitious sellers decorate their stores with furniture, plants and other accessories. Vendor also has the ability to automatically accept buy offers from players. Automatic shopkeepers work regardless of whether we are in the game or not, which is a very useful possibility.
Global trade takes place via the Bazaar, an intergalactic exchange where each player can put their products up for sale, as an auction or as a commodity for immediate purchase. Bazaar vending machines are located in all larger groups of people. You can buy such goods in any machine, but to pick it up, you have to go to the place where it was put up for sale.
It works very nicely and works effectively. In order not to kill the need for players to post their own vendors, the bazaar has a maximum price limit for products, so that the sale of more expensive items is only done with Vendors.
The easiest way to earn experience points and money in combat professions is to complete the automatically generated missions that we can download from mission vending machines. The solution is similar to the one we know from Anarchy Online. Despite the efforts of the programmers and the seemingly large variety of tasks, after about a month, completing missions is a painfully boring activity. Here's a minus for SWG. It is true that you can see that a lot of effort has been put into the mission generation system, but I am not satisfied with it. I don't know how it should be, but as it is now it's boring. Fortunately, there are also more extensive Quests, with a quite interesting plot, and the already mentioned "theme parks", which unfortunately does not change the fact that the system for generating random missions is, for me, unsatisfactory.
As for the bigger Quests and Events - it's better. While most of the intermediate tasks are still about killing enemies, at least some nice stories have been added. For example, there is an interesting set of missions commissioned by Vader :).
Players can join Players Associations, or Guilds. The mechanism of creating an organization is quite extensive, it allows you to build your own guild buildings, vote, own communication channels and other attractions. There are no ways to organize wars between guilds. In the future (possibly by the end of the year), it is planned to build entire guild cities with "communal" buildings such as star ports and defense towers. I miss the guild rankings in the game and I lack good information about which Players Associations are active on a specific server.
The element to make the game more attractive is the plot describing the Galactic War between the Rebellion and the Empire and its Events. Three months after the game started, the second act of the story has already appeared. For now, all this is a bit pale, as the current tasks for players have been limited to collecting the right items and killing or protecting specific characters. The game sums up the effectiveness of actions carried out by each of the parties to the conflict and on its basis for the next month one of the parties (its players) are to have some additional bonus to the parameters of their character. These are just the beginning and I am firmly convinced that the action should develop well in some time, as the producers assumed the first months as a time for players to get to know SWG. This storyline is supposed to be something that will lure users to this game for longer, when they develop their characters to the maximum level of experience.
For the most advanced players, very difficult unique tasks are organized, for which they receive unique and very exclusive rewards, but for most of them it is rather a song of the future.
It is difficult for me to assess the development of the plot after such a short period, but I believe that in the future it may be one of the most interesting elements of the game.
Each player, regardless of whether they choose a profession related to combat or crafting, can take either side of the galactic conflict. There are five states our character can be in when it comes to belonging to a faction. They are: Imperial Overt, Imperial Covert, Neutral, Rebel Covert, Rebel Overt. Each of these options gives us the opportunity to determine how much we want to be involved in the fight between the Rebellion and the Empire.
Neutral player - there are no downsides to not engaging in war, no other player can ever attack him, and he cannot attack other players either (unless he gains a temporary status as Rebel or Imperial Soldier, for example by entering an area dedicated to combat between factions), but at the same time cannot use the support of the fighting factions.
Covert players, or secret players, have the option of receiving limited support from the side they have opted for, but are still treated as neutral players in most cases (only members of their own faction know which side of the conflict they are on), this state can be to be called honorary faction affiliation.
Only Overt (declared) Characters can fully participate in fights. They can be attacked at any time by declared members of the opposite faction. Being an "Overt" is a game of adrenaline - you don't know the day or the time you are attacked. It can happen anywhere, even in the middle of the city. It greatly improves the atmosphere of the game when we suddenly see, for example, a street shootout in the middle of the city.
Overt and Covert status are marked with so-called flags, visible to other players. The flag allocation system itself is quite extensive and takes into account many special cases, for example, when you are "killed" as Overt, and your character's state is remembered in the Neutral Cloning Center (the place where your body is recreated after "death"), you appear as Covert that can be attacked by the character who killed you.
I like the flag system and the possibility of PvP (killing other players) with it - it means that you are never really forced to fight if you don't want to. However, this solution is not entirely free from bugs and cheats, which I hope will be removed in future game patches.
In addition to the two main factions, Rebellion and Empire, which we can join in the SWG, we have several dozen other factions not directly related to the galactic war. During the game, we earn points, positive or negative, for interacting (mainly fighting) with various characters, races and organizations from the SW world. At the moment, these points do not contribute much to the game, apart from changes in the aggressiveness of the representatives of individual factions, but offer the potential to introduce more than two sides of the conflict into the game, which will probably happen one day.
If we decide to openly take one of the sides of the conflict, which of course is voluntary (we can play as well as Neutral), we get access to fantastic opportunities assigned to a specific faction. For "faction points" gained during PvP combat or during missions commissioned by Faction NPCs, we can obtain new types of weapons, clothes, armor, buildings, receive new construction diagrams, and most importantly - we can hire helpers. This element of SWG seems really fantastic to me, because I have not encountered this solution in any title so far. In addition to the possibility of having your own robot and up to three of your own pets, which is not related to factions, we can hire quite intelligent helpers for faction points - soldiers, medics, and even the huge AT-ST walking robots known from the movie. Every player's dream: you are wearing bounty hunter composite armor, you hold a storm trooper laser rifle in your hand, a combat robot is hovering above your head, bloodthirsty Rancors (such as in the Jabba Hutt arena scene in the movie) are shielded by three big AT-ST rolling. Interestingly, such a dream is completely possible, it only requires proper development of your character. The player has the ability to set each of his pets appropriate behavior patterns, such as: "look after me", "attack", "stay", etc. But for the SWG a big plus.
Well, you are probably wondering why I have not written anything about the most important aspect of the SW world, the Jedi Knights. Well, there is no Jedi in the game today. I mean they are extremely difficult NPCs to kill, but no human player has yet become a Jedi.
As the producers assure, in the future at least some of the players will have the option of having characters endowed with "power". Nobody knows exactly what it will look like yet. It is known, however, that after a year of playing on the server there will be no more than a dozen Jedi characters controlled by players, at least such are the assurances. It is also known that it will be very difficult to play as a Jedi character who will probably be the "second" one we have on the server. A Jedi, after using its power, will likely be attackable by any player in the game, regardless of faction affiliation (this information is not proven). Plus, a Jedi will likely have a limited amount of "death", and after the latter, he will turn into a ghost like Obi Wan. He will be an extremely strong character, and finally you will be able to fight with a lightsaber ;-)
The most recent reports on this matter are that a prerequisite for activating your Jedi character is to win at least two championship titles in a specific competition. For each player, these will be different professions, which are supposed to be hinted in holocrons (such as books) that have recently appeared in the game.
There are also things that I do not like about SWG and it is for them that, despite the undoubted uniqueness of the game, it will not receive a rating greater than 90%.
The most significant objection is "no target" in the game. As of today, there is no specific idea other than playing in itself, which is very nice, but still something else could be used besides getting higher ranks and levels of experience. I know that a similar objection can be made about most MMOcRPG games, but in Anarchy Online the goal is to reach the toughest levels of the Shadowlands expansion realm; in the Dark Age of Camelot, the ultimate goal is to fight for the lordship of the most castles; in Shadowbane we fight to increase the influence of our guild. However, in SWG there is no purpose for now, although I hope it will appear as the plot develops.
The second basic objection is that a game intended to favor multiplayer actually encourages people to play alone. It's just easier to do many things yourself. There aren't enough challenges for players of all experience levels to force them to work as a team. The assumption was that "we cannot deprive loners and people who like to play solo of the pleasure of playing", and it turned out that "it is easier and more pleasant to play alone, without bothering other players". Fortunately, as the character develops, group action also slowly becomes more attractive. I have no idea how manufacturers are going to deal with this problem, I just hope it doesn't exist and is only exaggerated in my case. The truth is that after two months of looking for some reasonable companions to play together, I gave up, turned on "/ anon", which allowed me to "disappear" from the list and started playing alone. Part of the solution to this problem are guilds that create an appropriate community for advanced players, but for a novice, finding a good team can be quite difficult.
I also have some reservations about customer service. It is true that errors are corrected all the time, but not always with the intended effect.
Despite these disadvantages, which are probably only partly my academic considerations, I encourage anyone who feels strong to play SWG. It is the most polished MMOcRPG game I have ever played and I hope it will become the best over time.
Congratulations on your persistence in reading this text :)
In the future, I will describe to you Horizons: Empires of Istaria (premiere in November), maybe Ultima X (premiere in January 2004) and certainly EverQuest 2, which I will be playing even in the event of World War III, because it promises to be really amazing.
See you soon. I'm playing Ann on the Eclipse server.
Short comments for those who weren't discouraged by this review from playing SWG ;-)
Poles are geese ...
... and only know their language. Unfortunately, playing SWG without at least a good command of the English language is difficult. People who use the dictionary will probably go through the manual and the game interface, but the inability to communicate well with other players will make us feel lonely in the world of galactic conflict. No language version of this game other than the English version is planned, and it will certainly not be a Polish version. Maybe that's good, because such a difficulty gives many of us a strong motivation to learn languages, and playing helps us practice this language very effectively in practice. Unfortunately, it is not written on our foreheads that we are Poles and Americans (because they constitute the majority of the gaming community) will talk to us (write) as they write to their compatriots. Possibly they will find us not very smart, which will cause them to use simpler vocabulary :). Remember that this is a game with living people, so communication is an essential element of the game. More information about the MMO language can be found in the material: Massive Multiplayer Online cRPG game language http://www.gry-online.pl/s018.asp?ID=149.
PM or AM
As the Internet is a global network, SWG players have the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the globe during the game. Question: "What time is it with you?" it is most appropriate. In order to meet as many players in the game as possible, we should choose the server in such a time zone that during the time of the day we play, the server load times will be peak. So far, the open servers are behind the Atlantic, so we don't have much choice. But players agreed that a server called Eclipse is an "unofficial European server." The Americans also play it, but the easiest way to meet Europeans is here. The real European premiere of the SWG will take place on October 31 for the UK and the Nordic countries, and on November 7 for Italy, Spain, France and Germany. There is no information about the premiere of this game in our country. In connection with European premieres, there will probably be servers located geographically closer to our country. It is worth choosing such a server, because we will be able to participate in the most intense game in the "normal" evening hours.