Review by aadera

"With the newest changes, this game is just not worth it"

I have been an active player of Sony Online Entertainment's MMORPG, Star Wars Galaxies, for over a year. In this time, the game has undergone several changes, and has had three expansions. Each expansion has added great, interesting, and engaging new content and areas to explore.

In my opinion, however, each new expansion has offered less and less actual content, while problems in the underlying game have gone ignored. Now, however, SOE and LucasArts have dealt a sickening, naseating blow to the player community.

First, let me explain to you the game as it was when I first joined.

There were over 30 professions. Each profession was broken up into skill boxes. There were 18 skill boxes per profession, set up into a novice box, four lines of four boxes, and a master box. Each would take a different number of skill points to learn, and required a different amount of experience.

With the pool of skill points available to a character, you could spread out your skills amongst many proffessions, or focus on a few. In this way, there were a multitude of possible skill setups a given character could be built around. For example, you could be an Entertainer, have skills in the Musician or Dancer professions, and still be able to take up combat. Many mastered both entertainment or crafting classes as well as combat classes.

This diversity gave a lot of flavor to the game.

Furthermore, unlike many MMORPGs, you could drop or pick up skills as you wished, instead of being stuck to a specific class perminately. As you used a skill, you gained expeerience specific to that skill. For example, using a pistol would give you pistol experience, while a rifle gave you rifle experience. You could then apply that experience to any skill that was related to that experience.

There have been many times I have altered my focus in the game, and unlike many games, i didn't need to have a new character to do so.

Now, however, this system has been changed.

Many professions have been gotten rid of completely, and there are now nine, not over thirty, proffessions to choose from. You may only take up one proffession. This is then fixed, and can not be changed.

Crafting is taken care of by one profession, Trader. they must specialize in one area of crafting, and can never change. Items used to decay, so being able to make armor was rather lucrative, as people always needed armor. Weapons were the same. Even clothig decayed, though losing condition did nothing to the clothing itself. Now, there is no decay. Once someone has the armor and weapons they want, they will never need to replace them. Traders will eventually become useless.

The crafters used to be one of the bigger populations in the game, and now, they are being phased out, as they are no longer a necessity.

Entertainers are the same. All entertainer professions from the original system are wrapped up into one profession, but again, once you make a character, you are stuck doing that and just that. Entertainers get no benefit from combat, and lack in combat skills, but the game is still mostly combat related quests and areas.

When I first started, Entertainers were essential. They could apply buffs to the mind pool of characters, which was used, along with health and action, to perform special attacks. It oculd also be attacked, damaged, by creatures and players. Entertainers could help to buff this pool up, and make it on level with health and action, when buffs were applied to them by Doctors.

Now, the mind pool is only used for specials, specifically healing, and is not attackable, and Entertainer buffs are simply a bonus to experience and faction points (Rebel or Imperial) gained. This is nice, but certainly not neccessary, or even very useful. Entertainers have been slowly dying out, butnow that you cant do both entertaining AND combat, the whole class is useless.

As for combat, with the new combat system, melee is very difficult, as you have to be in a very close range, and able to keep your mouse pointer directly on the target. If they move around, as most targets will, melee fighters are nearly useless. Ranged combat is easier, but not everyone wants to be ranged.

The combat classes are also very unbalanced, and in some cases, the classes fail to live up to their focus. Jedi, for example, can use a many weapons in adition to their lightsabers. This is nice. However, it is impossible to get the same level of damage capabilities in a saber as you can with a good rifle. As a jedi myself - someone who had worked hard to unlock Jedi prior to the changes, which made Jedi just another starting profession - I cant even use the signature weapon of my proffession, as melee combat is difficult as it is, and I can easily do better with a ranged weapon.

Overall, the "New Game Experience", as they call this mass nerfing change, has killed what this game was. It has left the entire universe of Star Wars Galaxies in an unbalanced disarray.

Reviewer's Rating:   1.5 - Bad

Originally Posted: 11/28/05

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