Julio Torres fields GameSpy readers' questions in this follow-up interview on major changes to Star Wars Galaxies.
By Miguel Lopez | Nov. 17, 2005
The "NGE," as it's called, will fundamentally change Star Wars Galaxies into a new game, turning what was a fairly "old-school" MMO into a more action-oriented experience, not unlike Diablo and Dungeon Siege. The changes will trickle down to every aspect of the game, from its formerly deliberate and methodical combat system to its expansive and highly-customizable class system.
Many veterans, as you might expect, are not too keen on seeing the system that they've grown accustomed undergo such fundamental changes in such a short span of time. Following last week's article and the subsequent feedback, we exchanged several questions back and forth with Julio Torres, Galaxies' Producer at LucasArts. Many of these questions came directly from feedback to that original interview, and the answers can be seen below, followed by our own thoughts on what this all means.
GameSpy: A majority of readers expressed that they felt duped into preordering the Trials of Obi-Wan expansion, due to the NGE not being announced till after the game's release. How would you like to respond to this?
Julio Torres: It was never the intention of anyone at LucasArts or SOE to mislead any of our players, but we have offered a refund for Trials of Obi-Wan to any player that purchased it.GameSpy: How do purchasers go about getting their refund?
JT: The game is only available as a digital download, so those players seeking a refund will know how to get it. The information is available on the forums as well.GameSpy:Why wasn't the NGE announced sooner?
JT: There were several other announcements related to the Star Wars franchise going-on at the time, so we wanted to make sure that something this big didn't get lost in shuffle.GameSpy:Doesn't that imply that the priority was more on reaching non-Galaxies players than the existing player base? It's hard to imagine hardcore Galaxies fans missing an announcement like this.
JT: We have a lot of casual, dormant, and former players as well -- not just hardcore.GameSpy: Considering subscribers were only given a two-week warning before an overhaul took place, what would you say to players now wary of getting attached to the updated, knowing the rug could, in theory, be pulled out from under them again?
JT: We will continue to improve the game in areas wherever it is deemed needed to make the game fun and enjoyable for all players.GameSpy: Another overwhelming theme in readers' responses was the feeling that veteran players' accomplishments are being nullified in order to potentially garner new users. What is your response to this?
JT: Our goal is to make Star Wars Galaxies as fun, exciting, and accessible to all current, new, and prospective players as possible. When developing these new enhancements, our focus was on making the game more fun for everyone, including our veteran/current players.GameSpy: What changes in particular do you feel will make the game more fun for veterans?
JT: Veteran buffs (a very powerful buff to be unveiled soon), "elder" titles, and the opportunity to check out all of the nine new iconic professions for all veteran players.
We also have some unique offers to our veteran Jedi players in recognition of their accomplishments such as a powerful lightsaber crystal (thus, giving them the most-powerful lightsaber in the game), an exclusive Jedi robe, a Jedi-exclusive buff, and the opportunity to appear in ghost form. Ultimately, these Jedi-specific items will make veteran Jedi more powerful than any Jedi who becomes such from the new Jedi profession path.
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