As mentioned in my previous post, Lucas got me to start playing EVE Online with him over Christmas break. I should clarfiy and mention that he had me start my own account in EVE a little over a year ago to play with him, but I’d never gotten into it then. He’d kept my account going off and on to keep it training, so the “new” character I started playing with him over break was actually my old character that had over 8 million skill training points, so it’s not exactly like she was brand new or anything. Just new to me, even though a lot of the gameplay came back to me a little easier the second time around.
With my complete non-interest in WoW right now and the lack of anything new, I found EVE to be a nice change of pace. A bit more of a learning curve than other games, but still nice to play with my husband.
Not too long after I gave it a go, however, I got a beta invite to Star Trek Online. I gave the STO beta a spin and while at first it seemed great, I quickly realized that it was too linear for my tastes. By linear I mean that your only purpose in going out of the base stations (which was your only real place for interaction with others unless you went out with a group or got randomly grouped with others while on a mission) was if you had a linear mission to complete. You’d get a quest, be required to travel to x system, and then you’d either kill something in space or as part of the mission have to beam down to x planet and complete x objective in a shallow and linear world where you couldn’t really go outside of the preset mission area, and as soon as you completed x objective, you were immediately beamed off the planet and back to your ship with no opportunity to explore or see the sights. It kinda felt Guild War-ish in that main hubs were your only source of running into others (and it being broken into several instances of the hub where you’d have to hop to the same version of the hub to see your friend at the same station), and then everything outside of the hubs feeling instanced for your group or mission party as well. Meh.
I know that doing quests or missions are part of all MMORPGs and don’t get me wrong, I think there’s a lot of neat things about STO, for example the bridge officer setup and the ability to equip your ship with a set of officers with their own abilities that you trained to create a unique ship… but the lack of being able to just explore killed it for me. I mean, isn’t that the drive for the Star Trek series? To boldly go where no one has gone before? To explore the far reaches of space and discover new beings on remote planets? For now, there’s no way to just go out randomly and beam down to any planet you want and just… explore. You can’t comb every inch of a planet whenever you want and discover something — the only way you’d be able to beam down to a planet is if that was part of a mission. And all you do on missions is kill, kill, kill. It doesn’t seem to really fit with the diplomatic approach that was so prevalent in the Star Trek series.
I know that this is just a game, but after realizing what I was missing in STO (And after trying my hardest to create something that resembled a Rodian as closely as I could with the cool “unknown alien” character creation option, lol) I knew what I needed. I needed the perfect space game. EVE and STO had inspired me to stay in space. And clearly my seemingly conscious need to create a Rodian in the Star Trek universe was telling me what I was missing: Star Wars Galaxies.
Is this lame? Probably. Considering an article written recently listing the top 10 screw ups of all MMORPG history’s time has SOE’s NGE to SWG was listed as number one, I shouldn’t be here. But I am. Things have changed. A LOT! But SWG contains all of the perfect elements that I’m craving right now. Pink rodians, a fantastically intricate crafting system like no other, real open-ended exploration anywhere at any time, the housing system and the ability to build player cities, vendors and being able to decorate your home and sell your wares in a shop you design and make your own… it’s bliss. The combat system is different (though my main was an Entertainer anyway, so it’s not like I did a lot of combat in the old system) than I remember, but it’s something new to learn. I have a level 65 alt that I went combat with, and I’m having a blast (pun intended) learning how to play a Commando as I level her up to 90. I miss the REAL Bio-Engineer and Creature Handler professions and am still bitter enough about that to keep me from really diving deep into the new Beast Master profession, but at least there’s still beast mounts that I can craft for nostalgic purposes. And community. SWG’s Entertainer profession is unlike professions in other games because it creates this need for a social hang out, and cantinas can be a hopping place for the community to come together at. It’s still not quite as hopping as it used to be in Theed back in the day, but I do enjoy that I can take my Entertainer to a cantina and just chill and talk with others if I want to. I meet lots of interesting people that way! I do like the new Collections system, too — much like WoW’s achievement system — and think it’s neat. There are a lot of cool rewards for some of the collections and it’s been fun working on those. It just adds one more facet to the game for me that wasn’t there in the old system, which is holding my interest long enough right now so that I can experience it all.
I’ve got Amethyst leveling up her Imperial piloting, which I had never done past Tier 1 before, and I’m having fun with it. Yes, I went Imp because they’re horribly outnumbered on Flurry at the moment. Alt 1, Ame’thyst, is selling all of my phat lewts in my old shop just outside of Eisley including some of (Alt 2) A’methyst’s old Pre-NGE BE pets. And Alt 2, A’methyst, has gone combat and is leveling a Commando up to try and get into PvP, end-game instances, and the new GCW system that is also new to SWG since the last time I played seriously. All of my characters have something fun going on and it gives me plenty to keep me busy and look forward to when they get there. Ame can get into space PvP and buff on the ground, and A’me is going to partake in the GCW and instances and work on her Imp faction. All while I sell my wares and make some cash to do whatever I want to do at the same time.
I am aware that SWG may not have a lot of life left. With ToR on the horizon next year and, from what I hear, the SWGemu project nearing completion (after following it for several years now!) I can see that there will be a lot of competition for SWG to stay afloat. I know that I personally will be giving the SWGemu project a go for nostalgia’s sake, and most definitely will be playing ToR. But you know how sometimes all you really want is to curl up with something comfy and indulge a little in your favorite comfort food or guilty pleasure? That’s what SWG is for me right now, and I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.
Find me in the Flurry Galaxy as Amethyst, A’methyst, or Ame’thyst. :)
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