SWG: From Beta To Blunder – 58

Entry #58
Thursday, September 16, 2004, 4:32:36 PM (ScreenShot2393)

By Thursday, September 16th, I had collected almost every badge in the game other than profession mastery and a few others. The process was an easy one by this time, all I had to do was swoop around and pass by some of the POI’s that I missed along the way. When I passed by C3P0 & R2D2’s escape pod, I realized that I pretty much had them all… what was I missing? Then it hit me… I never did hand in the Warren quest… that had to be it!


Thursday, September 16, 2004, 9:46:48 PM (ScreenShot2404)

“You feel an inner glow… the force is with you.” After a few hours of re-running The Warren with Florian, I finally got the message… I was on my way to unlocking my second character slot. I didn’t know what was going to happen next… people in the guild told me “just wait, in the next few days, you’ll get a visit from someone and he’ll tell you what to do.” I must admit, I was very very happy with the way the Hologrind was switched out for this new system. Instead of a mind numbing grindathon, I was asked to visit every POI location in the galaxy, and then complete all the high end dungeons… it kept me involved, it kept me on the move, it forced me to group with people, and above all, there was still some mystery involved so it kept me interested.

Finally, after months and months of disappointment with SOE… I was finding myself a little less jaded, and I wasn’t the only one. A lot of people I spoke with enjoyed this new quest series, and at the time, it seemed like SWG might’ve been on the road to salvation. The only people that really had issues that I noticed were the Hologrinders who put tons of time and money into the old system, and then had it changed on them. I cant blame them for being upset… this was yet another cross section of subscribers who were screwed due to game changing patches through the duration of SWG’s early existence.

Thursday, September 16, 2004, 11:50:22 PM (ScreenShot2406)

Later that night, Flo included me in one of the coolest plans I had ever heard of. Since he was back in game, and on the <LOK> council, he was taking steps to make the guild more like the way it was when he first joined. After tossing ideas around, he came up with a quest line that would be administered to all new applicants of our guild via game mail. There were multiple legs of the quest, one of which included what was now known as “The Walk.”

The Walk was a mandate that required all new applicants to walk from Nym’s to Purgatory without the aid of vehicles, mounts, or shuttles. This concept was integrated into the overall quest line that Florian masterminded with some of the other <LOK> members. The function was to teach new members the old ways of the guild, and to try to bring them closer to the original ideals that Purgatori first based the guild around at launch. Instead of walking directly to Purgatory, Florian had included waypoints for the applicant to visit. The first stop on the list was my original house 1000m from Nyms.

Inside the house, Flo (who was on admin since the early days) asked if he could put up a vendor. Of course I told him I’d be honored, and of course, he kept placing vendors until he got a Mon Cal. My house was referred to as the location of “some old hermit,” a member of distant <LOK> past who was rarely if ever seen in modern times. On the vendor was an item that had the next clue to the part of the overall quest. All in all, it was an ingenious concept, and I was very humbled that Flo would base part of the quest around me and my house… which he made sure to mention as being one of the two first built on the planet.

Flo spent a little while explaining the whole quest line to me, and I told him that I couldn’t wait to test it out for myself. When our conversation ended, Flo sat down, and logged out at my place. Of all my friends in SWG, Flo was always the most reliable as well as the most inventive. When we first met, he loved the idea of my middle man operation, and jumped right in as a vital part. As time went on, he more then anyone became my running partner. He was the person I saw the most in person when I played on Eclipse. He was loved by everyone, and always made sure I was included in the plan, even when I was splitting servers and wasn’t keeping up with current events. Flo was a one of a kind fish, and to this day I am sure that he was the one person that kept <LOK> together during its most tumultuous times while he was in game.

That night at my house was the last time I ever saw Florian… much later in my SWG life, I’d name one of my ships after my trusted friend who was long gone, but never forgotten.

Saturday, September 18, 2004, 1:19:28 PM (ScreenShot2416)

Two days later, in front of my second house in Purgatory, I was approached by a dark skinned man who was sporting a dirty white beard. At first I didn’t realize what was going on, but soon he started talking about some force crystal that he was about to give me, telling me to keep it safe. Before I got a chance to respond, he told me “may the force be with you,” and ran around the closest house never to be seen again. I quickly opened up my inventory to find an odd shaped “curious glowing crystal.” Upon further inspection, the crystal itself was the keeper of quests… this was the next part of the new Jedi system! The quests revolved around travelling to different waypoints and taking out Sith NPC’s dressed in red.

I had a lot of fun on those early quests… other then the fact that my graphics card was now very frequently acting up. This was a problem I could no longer ignore, so I headed to the SOE Troubleshooting boards and asked for help. I was not happy to find that this was a problem that multiple subscribers had been having for a while… they were under the impression that SOE had changed a little bit of the code and it was now interfering with the particular card that we all shared. I was inclined to believe them because I was able to do everything else just fine, only SWG would display these heavy graphic anomalies… you can see in <LOK> guild chat that this problem became so bad that I actually started to be surprised when it didn’t happen…

Sunday, September 19, 2004, 3:05:32 PM (ScreenShot2434)

The next day, I completed all the quests the crystal had to give, except for one. The last one told me to go to Dathomir to an undisclosed location in order to continue my journey. More mystery, more adventure… I was hooked. Someone in <LOK> shot me a waypoint and I was on my way. As I got closer, the music changed, and an intense fog blanketed my view. I had no idea what I was riding into, but I really didn’t care… this was some of the coolest stuff the devs had ever given us. I kept thinking to myself “where was this 10 months ago?” Everyone was so pissed with SOE, and personally I was furious because I thought that they had something to do with my sudden graphic card incompatibility … so as cool as this was, I didn’t really know if it was enough to sway attitudes back in the favor of the developers…

Sunday, September 19, 2004, 3:07:06 PM (ScreenShot2436)

When I arrived on the other side of the fog, I found something that would come to be known as “The Village.” In it was a series of quest givers and just about every player left in the game that didn’t already open up their second slot. I immediately started taking quests, which were generally search and destroy along a series of waypoints. I remember looting a ton of these square resource containers that I had never seen in the game before. I had so may of them that I filled all the spare container spaces in my backpack, on Vro himself, and soon in my bank, in my house, and even in my empty second house in Purgatory. I had a good 300 of those things, and I destroyed a good 500 more I’m sure. While I enjoyed the overall quest scheme, I was having so many graphical issues that I eventually shut the game off that night and gave it a rest…

Monday, September 20, 2004, 11:04:01 AM (ScreenShot2445)

The next day, I stood on the steps of <LOK> City Hall, holding the most powerful crafter made DE-10 Pistol that I had ever seen. This sight meant one thing… Rampage Savage had quit SWG.

A couple hours prior, I got a /tell from Ramp saying “I need to talk to you, can you come to my place?” When I arrived, Ramp was standing on the hill in between our houses, the first two houses ever built on the planet, looking off into the canyons below. The conversation was brief. He explained that he was fed up with SOE, but more obviously, he couldn’t stay in the game without Ciale. He asked me to hold his prized possession, his fabled DE-10 that everyone I knew considered the most powerful pistol on the server. At the time, these pistols were incredibly rare, and this one particularly was enhanced with every possible effect to make it practically unstoppable. He also reminded me that I was on admin to his house, and simply asked me to “take care of things while he was gone.” Rampage Savage would never return to Star Wars Galaxies.

As Ramp logged out in front of me, everything I knew to be true unraveled in front of me. I now really was the last one left from my beta friends. Ciale had passed, and Zox & Ramp would never remotely consider resubbing for any reason. I still had Florian, who I met after launch, but I became so reclusive after that day, that I never actually saw him face to face again.

There is no doubt about it, I was being worn to the ground by SWG. The loss of Ciale, the loss of almost everyone I cared about, the monotonous graphics issues… If there was a light at the end of this tunnel, I certainly did not see it at that time.

Rodd
Written by
As a kid I took quarters from my older brothers and played Double Dragon and Operation Wolf until the arcade closed. I sat with my best friends and played Wing Commander II until the sun came up. The way you could time a single bullet to hit an alien the second he appeared on the screen in Contra for Nintendo. The way the Sega Genesis would swirl you around that circular room in Strider. NHL 96 in my dorm room with the person I still talk to every day almost 20 years later. The almighty XBOX and the 200 foot LAN line we dug underground to play 16 man Halo tournaments before XBOX Live made it easy. How my roommate and I would lose full respect for one another if we got arrested in GTA instead of going out in a smear of wrecked cars and screaming pedestrians. The way my eyes burned when I played SWG for 60 hours a weekend. The community I thrived in, the friends I keep and the ones I lost on my way to this very post. Sitting behind my 4 year old son while he learns when to swing at an Octorok and when to block in The Legend of Zelda... the same as when my older brother sat behind me over 25 years ago doing the exact same thing in the exact same spot of the exact same game. Video games and the people I play and played with. These are the things that brought me here, and I hope they are the things that bring you back to GemtriX. Special thanks to ToddFlanders, The Franchise, Tobiasbrow & HumanSlob for never putting their controllers down. Dedicated to Caile Yhagai, who went on to explore that big MMO in the sky...

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