Review by scuzzmonkey69

"Why Pre-NGE SWG was so good."

This isn't really intended to sway players who have only started playing SWG after the NGE came into effect, but to in fact, attempt to make people realise just how good Pre-NGE SWG was. By the way, Pre-NGE referrers to both the CU and Pre-CU but I will distinguish between the two when it is needed.

I think I will have to start from the beginning. People may know that Bringit and I know each other in real life; in fact we only live about 5 mins away from each other.

I was round his house some time in the summer of 2004, and we were surfing the net, and he showed me SWG on Gamespot. The screenshots blew me away, the videos, the reviews. Everything. This game was something I had been looking for, for a very long time. I've been playing games as long as I can remember, but in all this time no game captured my imagination than SWG did on that day.

We downloaded the 14-day trial. A massive 1.5gig! Remember this was almost 2 years ago, that was huge! And as such took about 24 hours to download, we stayed up all night and in the early morning the next day, Bringit set up his account.

We then had to wait – infact I seem to remember we to sleep – for all the patches to be downloaded, etc.

Eventually after what must have been a good 30 hours from when it was started we booted up the game. I can't remember the name of his first character – it's the only detail that I have seemed to forget.

Now, you have to imagine the shear lag you get on this game playing it with 256mb RAM, loading up in Mos Eisley for the first time of many. We got to the outskirts of town – eventually.

We had no idea what to do now, so walked up the nearest hill to see if we could see anything, went down the other side of this mountain and got lost. The waypoint arrow back to Eisley had disappeared and we didn't know any of the controls.

After about an hour of wandering we came to be – what can only be described as a Zoo, this is in fact part of the Mark of the Hero Quests although we had no idea about this at the time. In the end we found another player and he was kind enough to tell us how to make waypoints, bring up the map, our skill sheet, datapad, and all the basics.

Made our way back to Eisley and logged out – was enough for one day.

Too anyone that hasn't played this game at this time would see the above as just a, “yeah that's why Pre-NGE was rubbish look how hard it was!” But to anyone that did this hopefully has reminded you of how this game used to be.

Over the next 6 months – until I was able to get and run the game – Bringit eventually created “Congo Phett”, his character at this moment as a matter of fact. I would be round his watching him play for hours and hours, or even when he wasn't playing I would be playing it.

When I eventually got the game, I loaded up on the same server as he was on – Europe-Chimaera – and started out. I've told my starting out story many a time on these boards, just say it involves the medical centre in Eisley and a bloke called Kibos, and a number of other newbie medics wanting to get XP.

Months went past and as I was getting my pistoleer and unarmed skills, starting in Anchorhead finding Mountain Squill groups in my 4 piece Comp Set – Head, Boots, Chest, Gloves. Even stopping this one day with a group of mates – Kibos, Jorrik, Bagofants and I – went to Dantoonie and hunted for a Graul Maurader (sp?)

Lets fast forward a bit, I'm sitting in the middle of Coronet – spamming (as you do). I was a Smuggler with a 4 in slicing, and I was selling my slices. Yes, I could have been out grinding to get Master Smuggler – I could of…but I didn't want to, I didn't feel like I had too, so I didn't. In one weekend I made my first 300k credits – enough money I thought to keep me for the rest of my time on the game.

You see, in Pre-NGE, you didn't have to go grind if you didn't really want too – it was of course needed, but it wasn't like you were forced into it. That is the main difference to me now that the NGE exists, you HAVE to go out a grind from lvl 1-90 as quick as you can, and if you die – even though there isn't any decay you get annoyed, ‘cos it is slowing down your levelling up rate.

Whereas under the old system you didn't really care that much if you died, granted your items took decay, but if you died then you got rezed, or you cloned, and you didn't think twice about it. But something in the NGE changed this, I ain't got a clue what, but there is something that made this happen.

Upon hearing the CU, know what I did? Sat down, and read ALL all the notes about it on the official site, and you know what? I actually liked what they were doing – that was my gut reaction. When the CU hit me and a few mates just sat in Theed talking to each other, about what we liked about the CU and we didn't, and occasionally got /t's from Congo saying that he just killed his 3 Jedi padawan and his 2 knight. You know what I mean, like if you had a group of mates round your house and you were drinking a bit, we were all relaxed and didn't care that there were people around us spamming hate of the CU or that “I LOST 1MILL XP COS OF THE ROLL BACK F YOU SOE!”

Yes it took a while to get used to the lack of combat queue, and some of the changes that the CU brought in. And remember I was on Chimaera, the server that was hit hardest with rollbacks and errors with the CU.

It took about 2 months to get totally used to the CU, and Episode 3 came out, and along with a lot of my friends in game, I started on my Jedi Grind – yes it was all down to Ep. 3 coming out.

By October I had almost finished the village – I had done all the quests and was now finishing grinding all the XP. During this time the Combat XP conversion was changed from 3:1 to 30:1, effectively doubling the time left to get all my XP. If this hadn't happened I would have had Jedi by the end of August at the latest.

Then that fateful day on Nov 3rd, the NGE was announced. I decided not to listen to all the complaints coming from this board and the official forums, and again did what I did with the CU and read all the notes. I have honestly never felt so much hate towards one company/object in my life than what I felt then. Yes I have had my grandparents die, one of them because the doctors defused to operate because “she was too old”, I've gone through everything that a normal 16 year-old has gone through in their life, and even at the end of this – if Torres of Smedley were in front of me…I would of rung their neck.

All the work I put in over the last 11 months was pretty much in vain. All the work I put in for Jedi was now defunct, and as I never managed to unlock my Jedi, what did I get for all my work…NOTHING!

When the NGE hit TC and I finally managed to play it, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be – but now I can see that it was only because it was something new, and different, but I believe that SOE knew that that was going to be the response from the community, a few people that saw through the gloss and “newness” and saw what the NGE really was – a very cheap and poorly done WoW copy with the worst 3rd person shooting engine known to man. These few people were drowned out by people telling them to give it time, and play it a few more times. By the end of the 1 week trial, a vast majority of the people on both boards were against it. I'm not going to guess exact figures, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was over 50% of the players didn't want this system introduced to the game.

In the space of 9 days, SOE went from a company that I would defend, to a company that I wouldn't care caught a terminal illness and died within a day. You do have to understand that I don't blame any of the Devs, Tiggs, CSR's, only the money pushers, and fat cats, and the members of both Lucas Arts and SOE that have too much power and no clue as to how games should be.
The thing that aggravated me the most about the NGE was the removal of the customised skill sheet, even with the NGE combat system, it would have the game 10x better.

Melee is dead in the NGE, and was possibly the most fun profession to be. Cracking Bols heads off with Power Hammers, and slicing them up with Scyths and Vibro Knucklers.

Over February, once I had decided I wasn't going to renew my account, I went out to the Squill Cave, my old hunting ground, and cleared it out…depressingly easily. I then went on a hunt for another Graul Maurader, found one…and killed it in 3 hits.

I sat down and logged out, the game I set over 900 hours of my life too was no more. I couldn't believe at how bad the NGE had made the game, and even with the new patches, it is too little too late.

Now I hope Bioware doesn't get SWG, but gets the rights to make a “SWG2”. The game would have to be renamed though, as that name now carries such a bad name with it amongst so many areas in the gaming community.

If anyone has actually made it this far, and read it all I hope that you at least understand 10% of what I've said, and see why we defend the Pre-NGE era of SWG.

My Character was Starko Dragballer on Europe-Chimaera. He was a Zabrak, a pistol obsessed Zabrak, in his early days, but finally realised the potency of the TKM/Master Swordsman/Fencer Combo towards the finally days of the CU.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 04/12/06


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