Blasting off into Star Wars Galaxies sunset

If you weren’t aware, today is the absolutely last day that anyone can sign up for Star Wars Galaxies before SOE locks new registrations and allows the current batch of players to enjoy the game up until its December closure.  SOE also, in probably maybe possibly who-knows NOT a coincidence, released a much-anticipated atmospheric flight patch today, which will probably be the last big game update SWG will ever see.

And, no, I didn’t sign up for the service, but I was thinking about how weird it would be to go into a game knowing it would end at a set point.  All games end, of course, but we operate under the illusion of gaming immortality — that the game will always be there, our characters always be there, and we will always have the option to go back.  In this case, it’s not true; SWG is a “dead MMO walking,” as are all of the characters within.  It changes the rules.  It forces a new perspective.

People who are faced with a real-life death sentence — say a terminal illness — often report just how much it changes the way they live each day.  They appreciate things more, they get out of their routines, they take more risks, and they enjoy stuff we typically take for granted.

I’m certainly not saying that playing a condemned video game is equal to this, but there is a parallel to be seen.  Already we’re seeing players put a lot less into the accumulation of wealth and hoarding in the game, and more into giving stuff away and doing things for the sheer fun of it.  You can’t take anything with you, after all, other than the memories, relationships and screenshots, so those are what becomes the premium currency.  Everything else is the small stuff.

For someone to jump into the game for the first time today with that few month lifespan, it’s got to be totally bizarre.  Progression almost seems pointless unless you simply want to see areas you couldn’t otherwise.  It might be an idea to latch onto a veteran guild and let them sweep you through the ups and downs of the last month.  For some, this might be a good way to take the edge off the wait for The Old Republic — and yes, despite what some people assert, I’m quite certain that some TOR junkies are more than willing to get a different kind of fix from SWG just because it shares the IP.

Anyway, in a very real sense, today is the beginning of the end of SWG as the lights slowly go out, one by one.   The only thing left is to make the best of the time left.

7 thoughts on “Blasting off into Star Wars Galaxies sunset

  1. I have played SWG since beta, through all its ups and downs. I had planned to continue to play it after the launch of TOR, as I typically play more than one MMO at a time. Now I will be playing neither. I see no point in playing any LucasArts game, knowing they will not think twice about pulling the plug on an old game in favor of their shiny new toy.

    For all its many tribulations, SWG was and is a great game – perhaps the greatest sandbox game ever. I will miss it, very much.

  2. Very nicely put… if I wasn’t so damn busy these days, I’d absolutely sign-up because of this article, even if I never really paid much attention to SWG.

  3. I played SWG for years when it first launched and was very tempted to re sub. I met some great people and had a blast playing.

    Lets hope SOE makes the ending truly EPIC!

  4. I was/am an SWG veteran, played from Beta 3 to the ill-fated NGE. I’ve been back in a few times since but it just wasn’t the same game I fell in love with. However, with the death knell tolling I have resubbed so I can wander the streets of Mos Eisley and wax nostalgic about the excellent times and excellent people there. While the game may not be the same, I’ll echo the sentiment that it was the greatest sandbox ever.

  5. If I had read this post a day earlier I would have been tempted to sign up as well, I found SWG to be a dead zone last time I had an account, but the sheer curiosity of seeing a game end might drive some traffic to the servers. As always though, I’m a day late and a buck short

  6. The Starsider server remained pretty busy even as many of the other servers died. There were always people online and some of the cities were down right crowded.

    They just patched the game to add atmospheric flight, which is totally cool. You can launch your ship any where, fly all over the surface of the planets, even shooting at players and buildings (you do no damage, but rocks explode when your lasar hits, and you can hear the sound from quite a distance off). As all the buildings appear to have health bars when you are in a ship, I suspect the last day or so, we will be able to cruise the planets destroying everything in sight.

    I nearly dropped when I looked up from my crafting to see an Imperial TIE fighter hovering outside the window of my house last night. You can also head straight up and eventually zone into space. In Coronet yesterday, a mining ship hovered over the city as X-wings and TIE fighters took shots at each other.

    I will miss this game so much.

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