Review by spawnosatan
"Awesome until you need to make a party"
Star Wars Galaxies is the first MMORPG that I have played seriously(Ragnarok Online doesn't count) and it is everything that I could ever want in an MMORPG.
1. Graphics : Okay the graphics are amazing! I love it... Everthing looks cool. Recommends a 64 MB Video Card and for those of you who have the generic brand cards, beware. It actually requires some high end features like vertex and pixel shaders- which to my knowledge is just on ATI and NVIDIA cards. This blows Ragnarok Online, Everquest, the Sims- everything to date out of the water. This also means that there is a lot of data that needs to be transferred. I would recommend a T1 for a smooth framerate. I have Cable which transfers at 250KB/s and I get between 7 and 24 frames per second.
2. Sound : This is unfortunate. Sound Effects are just what one would expect from a Star Wars game. High Quality sci-fi sounds. The music however is a disappointment, as it is only a few songs that play(One when you come out of the cloning facility, one when you leave town(?), and two or three for fighting. But, the majority of the time you'll have to add your own music because Galaxies doesn't even provide you with ambient sound.
3. Character Creation : This is one of Galaxies most outstanding features. There is literally millions of different models that can be created using their wizard. As would be expected the most variation is provided with the humans, however, even the Mon Calamari and Bothans have enough variety to make it pretty tough to duplicate. The reason for this is the use of smooth transition bars that subtly change the appearance for each attribute. Height, weight, torso size, nose length, age, eye shape, fur patterns, tattoos, and hairstyles are just a few of the options. And for the people who don't really care about creating the perfect model for themselves still have the option to randomize not only individual attributes but the entire model.
4. Newbie Help : The help for the newbie comes in the form of a full set of clothes, a pistol, basic crafting items(if you're an artisan or scout(?)), surveying tools(if you're an artisan or scout(?)), and your first skill, either: Novice Marksman, Novice Entertainer, Novice Artisan, Novice Medic, Novice Scout, or Novice Brawler. The most comprehensive help I have ever encountered, and also(I believe) five free clones and insurance policies on those clones.
*Once you have died, a clone is created to replace you at the nearest facility. If you create your own clone you will be relocated to that facility. After your first five clones you lose your free insurance which makes it so you don't lose your gear. Never fear, however, as you can run and find your corpse and loot it. And as far as I know you cannot be looted by actual players. Once your 5 free clones are used up insurance must be paid to move your items from your character to your clone. But insurance is incredibly expensive. For the items i had in my inventory(which wasn't a lot) it cost 5000 to insure once.
Skills : Skills are acquired by training by an NPC at an ever increasing heavy price or to apprentice under another player character(which can cost you whatever they want to charge you). Each skill requires a certain amount of skill points(between 2 and 15) to learn. These points pull from your skill point pool of 250. This is done so there are no characters that are master artisan/brawler/medic/scout/marksman/entertainers.
Money : Money is hard to come by. This is the most unappealing attribute to Galaxies. You have a choice of two types of missions: destroy, and deliver. Destroy is so very tough even the lowest difficulty ones for 900 credits, unless you are in a party. Deliver requires the movement of something in town to something 1000 to 9000 meters away. At about 10 seconds per 50 meters that's between 5 and 45 minutes. These missions are not recommended since they take forever and give you diddly squat. As an Artisan the idea was that you would be able to sell your items, but at current I am a level one engineer with novice artisan skill and can't create anything that anybody would want to pay for. This is incredibly frustrating. There is a bazaar in which you can sell your things for a fixed price or auction price- but each item costs 20 credits to put up for sale, and there is thousands of the same items for sale already. There is a junk dealer that resides in most towns but I haven't used him yet but I assume that the NPC buys your crap for nothing.
Summary : Overall, this game is really cool and with the plan to be able to purchase vehicles(airspeeders and shuttles and the like), ride animals for transportation, and purchase space travel vehicles to travel to other worlds yourself, this could turn out to be nearly everything that any one person could want or expect.
Other than the disappointing music, and money problems, this game is the best MMORPG to date.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/30/03, Updated 06/30/03
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