The Diefication of Star Wars Galaxies

I’ve been "into" Massively.com a lot lately, listening to their podcasts and watching their streams, and one thing I’ve noticed is that some of them have a total love affair with Star Wars: Galaxies. They talk about SWG like most other people talk about Everquest 1: They diefy it like it’s the greatest thing there ever was or ever will be.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that not only did I never play or even see it, I never even knew it was an MMORPG.

It was released in 2003, a year before World of Warcraft. That probably explains why I barely even heard of it. I was out of the MMO scene between 2000 and 2006 so I wouldn’t have heard of anything unless it made the nightly news. Also, after WoW came out, no other MMO game existed in the public consciousness until at least 2008, by my recollection. And by 2008, nobody (meaning me) was going to go back and play a game from 2003.

Reading over the Wikipedia page on SWG, it definitely doesn’t seem like the kind of game that would have ever had a mainstream following. It sounds like another in SOE’s long line of niche (dare I say cult) games, and I would imagine that their subscription numbers plummeted to rock bottom on the day that WoW came out, and never recovered. (It’s puzzling that they would close down SWG and leave the likes of Wizardry Online and Vanguard running, though. I guess it’s because of the IP license.)

Anyway. It’s just weird and frustrating to hear about this game that I never saw and can’t ever see.

2 thoughts on “The Diefication of Star Wars Galaxies”

  1. “It’s puzzling that they would close down SWG and leave the likes of Wizardry Online and Vanguard running though. I guess it’s because of the IP license.”

    Yeah, that was pretty much LucasArts pulling the plug on one Star Wars MMO to clear the way for a new one, SWTOR.

    In 2003, when MMOs were still new and different and a lot of the conventions we take for granted were not yet set, SWG made sense. It was much more in the vein of Ultima Online than EverQuest. (Raph Koster was a designer on both.)

    Today old hands clamor for the early days of SWG as they do for the early days of UO, but I am not sure that open style is as appealing as it once was in those forms. There would have to be a new vision/revision for the style to be anything beyond niche again.

  2. Mortal Online feels a lot like UO of old to me.. Ie. Cruelly punishing of mistakes. It seems like there’s a swing back toward those old-style games with all of the so-called “sandbox” MMOs in development. I just hope they don’t take away *all* modern conveniences.

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