SWG Retrospective- Part 3: The NGE

It is rather bitter sweet that today I’m going to talk about some of my worst and best memories of SWG. We left off last time with the CU and the summer of 2005. I graduated from grad school, had no job lined up. My search was very narrow since my wife was still in school and couldn’t move yet. I did some small time work and ended up having lots of time available for gaming. As the summer drew to a close, an old RS member, Lockjaw, refounded the guild Rogue Squadron. He didn’t do much with it, mainly held on to the name.

Bored with no guild, I joined up with him in the Rori city of Lost Hope. We decided to turn RS into a Roleplaying guild and start recruiting again. Unfortunately, Lockjaw didn’t have much time so leadership fell to me. We were on the Bloodfin server, which unbeknownnest to me and many others when we joined, was the Unofficial PVP server. That did not attract a lot of people interested in RP.

I decided to go with it anyways. I made the focus of the guild a sense of RP and living in the Star Wars universe.  Another important element was the establishment of “Rogue Sunday”; a weekly gathering for all guild members to RP and do some stuff together. We formed fighter squadrons (Red, Gold and eventually Blue) from the original RS. After each Rogue Sunday I would post an “After Action Report”. The original AAR is still up on RS’s original forums. Unfortunately, due to server transfers, data loss, etc most have been lost to time.

RS started small and never grew very big. But many of our members have been with us since those earliest meetings in fall 2005 and are still together despite not playing any games together. Fracsid, Jerik, Eta’ki, Noit, Lockjaw, Lahbacca were all earlier adopters. Many others came about in early 2006; Tamarynn, Jebus, Owrik, Eri’dos. Still others were with us from then for a long time but have since drifted away: Seesz, Josserand, Sheanna, Bryel, Kumus, Kelvine, Deja’z’reth, Zeric, Ca’lek.

It was not long after RS got up and running that SWG was rocked. In late fall the Trials of Obi-wan expansion was released. Within a month of that, the game was fundamentally changed forever with the release of the New Game Experience. This change destroyed some of the best features of SWG. The removal of the skill trees, consolidation of the professions down to 9, the expanding of levels and quest content made the game into an ugly version of other games.

The combat system, not necessarily the best in existence, was completely ruined when everything was spend up. What ability you used became meaningless. Combat became spamming your abilities as fast as possible.  The CU had done many things wrong, but one thing it had done well was improve combat abilities. Choices mattered and different skill sets could combine abilities in unique ways. The NGE killed that as everyone was now the same.

For awhile, I and most of us in RS didn’t let the NGE bother us. We were still having fun together so we didn’t let it upset us like so many others did. It was the existence of RS that kept me playing for another several years when most people left. For most of the next two years we kept Rogue Sunday’s going.

Sept 2006 saw our first multi-week story campaign known as the “Fool Who Follows” Campaign. We took one of the biggest ships in game at the time and turned it into an Escort Carrier which the Rogues were supposed to be assigned too. Each week we’d go to a different planet in the game, following a campaign to spread the word of the Rebellion and look for the ships the Alliance had sent out before us that had been lost. There was a lot of fun RP during that campaign. It was followed by several others, some set up by me, a few by other guild members.

As new features were added to SWG we incorporated them into our stories. The conveniently name “Story Teller” system opened a new world for our Rogue Sundays. The effects and ability to place NPC’s gave us an invasion of our home city of Chu’unthor and the ability to fight an Imperial occupation of Lok. The spy classes ability to go invisible allowed me to run around and drop stormtroopers or set off an explosion at will. Once, using mines from the Commando class, we staged a bombing of our Headquarters building.

Sadly, most of our enjoyment of SWG was confined to the RP in the guild. As time went on and we all faced more responsibilities in life, Rogue Sundays became harder to organize. The game itself lost most of it’s appeal and people started drifting away. There were times of resurgence, the addition of the Heroic Encounters (semi-Raids) gave us all something to do together that was difficult but had rewards.

By 2008, most of the guild had stopped playing. Some us kept trying to get the magic back. Moving to the Starsider guild and trying to start over.  But by 2009 we shut down as a guild in the game. Several members kept playing on their own with different guilds. It wasn’t until spring 2011 that Tamarynn bestowed the title of “Last Rogue in SWG” to Arzesaeth.

Many things were added to SWG in the later years. I don’t have much to say about these features, unfortunately. Many came after I quit or towards the end though they sounded really cool. The addition of the TCG saw some very cool things added to the game, unfortunately as loot cards which were impossible to get without spending lots of money. The addition of the gunships were very cool.

So there you have it. My look back at my time in SWG. It’s quite a rambling mouthful. I’m sure I skipped many awesome things. But tomorrow I’m going to do two more retrospectives, looking not at the history but in more detail about what SWG did well and what it really failed at.

 

The Complete Series

SWG Retrospective Part 1

SWG Retrospective Part 2

SWG Retrospective Part 3

SWG Retrospective Part 4

SWG Retrospective Part 5

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One Response to SWG Retrospective- Part 3: The NGE

  1. Lockjaw says:

    I don’t remember why, but I still blame it all on Kaars!