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Revenge of the Star Wars Galaxies subscribers

Combat update upset

The latest upgrade to SOE's troubled MMORPG has had players fuming into their Jawa juice. The new Combat Upgrade patch has apparently made the fighting mechanics in the game "generic, non-dynamic and very poorly designed." The changes in the upgrade have seriously unbalanced the game and altered the basic nature of the gameplay. For example, the patch makes it harder for people to solo the game, practically forcing them into groups to have much hope of achieving many of the game's quests.

This change has had the greatest effect on Jedi characters, who are now left floundering in a kind of limbo. The game's unique HAM combat system has been ditched in favour of a more generic system and a number of cosmetic changes that are incongruous with the Star Wars universe have also been shoved down player's throats. On top of this, many new bugs have been introduced in the patch, with many players suffering the worst kind of fate in any MMO glitch; having items and experience completely disappear.

There's on online petition in protest over the Combat Upgrade with nearly 16,000 signatories. Players are understandably upset that SOE has neglected to fix the myriad of technical issues that have plagued the game since its launch in favour of foisting a major change to the way the game is played, all without the consent of the game's 250,000 subscribers. Players have also been complaining that negative posts on the official boards have been deleted, with some even claiming to have suffered a ban as a result of their speaking out against SOE's tyranny. The petition starts off with this lament;

"Currently a new expansion and modification for your game "Star Wars Galaxies" is in progress that, when it goes live, will alter the game we all love. Many players have come forward about the problems in the current game and Sony said they'd fix all these ages ago. However, instead of listening to the players what we want, they have gone overboard with their Combat Upgrade."

SOE responded with a post on their website form the president of the company, John Smedley,
"In order to make the experience in SWG more diverse and to breathe new life into this game we felt it was important for us to entirely overhaul the current system and to make sure that it's balanced properly. Are we finished? Not by a long shot... We recognize there are problems that have arisen from this, and what I'd like to ask your help in doing is to target these problems so that we can knock them down very quickly. As you've seen in the last few days, the team is working tirelessly towards fixing any problems that have arisen, and with your help we're confident we can get the rest of them taken care of."

You can read Smedley's response in full here.

SOE have a massive problem on their hands. SWG is just about to be upgraded with the Rage of the Wookies expansion pack and should be sitting pretty to get a big boost from film fans after the release of Episode III. Instead, they are facing an unprecedented revolt from their otherwise loyal subscribers, one which could potentially lead to the eventual demise of this much-maligned MMO. Unless SOE sort out the problems - possibly with the expensive and humiliating roll-back of the upgrade as the petitioners are seeking - the saga may well be concluded on the computer monitor as well as the big screen.


house rules

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what are your thoughts?

  1. Wow. Not pretty at all. Did they not test this update, or gauge opinion from the subscribers?

    Can't see them rolling the update back... do they have the humility?

    Jason EU Saturday, 7 May 2005, 05:21:27
  2. Well, like I always say:

    Gringle offmug grog

    Insane US Sunday, 8 May 2005, 17:47:51
  3. They tested the upgrade for about 2 months on thier "Test Cetner" servers. Complaints out the wazoo from the players (myself included). yet they ignored those complaints. SOE is starting to dig themselves a shallow grave with some of hte decisions they have made in the past year or so.

    berbano US Monday, 9 May 2005, 00:01:35
  4. The CU is great ..

    What you have here is a bunch o cry babies, doing what cry babies do. :)

    blah blah US Monday, 9 May 2005, 06:09:8
  5. Yep, same problem in WoW. And all the unobjective Fanbois like blah blah here give Blizzard/SOE enough power to stay on their course. Ignorance.

    Notafanboy DE Monday, 9 May 2005, 06:57:48
  6. it comes down some of the old player Not Being Uber Anymore. I can't kill everyone in my path anymore so screw SOE!

    Not Uber SE Monday, 9 May 2005, 10:04:41
  7. Ive been playing SWG for almost 2 years and i would of played 2 more but they killed the game.

    Sydney US Monday, 9 May 2005, 10:22:54
  8. Rather than fixing the original game, SOE replaced it with a new simpler version, and an unfinished one at that. In interviews with the Dev team on IGN they concede that they need the feedback of the players to fix the problems, which to me sounds a whole lot like Beta testing on Live servers.

    I'm a 2 year veteran, never complained once in those 2 years and I would have happily played this game another 2 years. Instead thanks to the CU I have cancelled my two accounts and will never again consider another SOE product.

    Most of the players who are upset could care less about being Uber as one post above suggests. We simply wanted the original game fixed and balanced. A new game was not needed or desired.

    RaistlinVII US Monday, 9 May 2005, 10:36:28
  9. Changes always are a byproduct of the MMO experience. Eventually, any MMO will be changed into something completely different from its original scope and vision. The problem here is that SWG's change is imposed all at once, rather than the gradual migration that most MMOs are subject to.

    I am a player who has unsubscribed from SWG. I had no desire to play the the combat part of the game, and until now, I haven't had to. My character is an energy supplyer. That's all he does. Sell energy to clients.

    Before the combat upgrade, the most I had to worry about was having hostile mobs camping out in the midst of my generator cluster. This made getting close enough to maintain the generators difficult, and required me to call in support from guild mates occasionally. While traveling to the generators I would frequently encounter hostiles that spawned out of nowhere and went agro. But there was always the chance to get away.

    I did take marksman skills so I could fend off managable hostiles, so I wouldn't have to cry for help like a sissy all the time. It worked, for the most part. It still didn't help me on the tough mobs, but it was better than before.

    Now, with the combat downgrade, I still encounter hostile mobs, only now, the instant thet agro, I get incapacitated in one hit. If they spawn on top of me while in route to the generators, they insta-incap me. And since I am playing on dial-up (no choice in the matter) the actual point of incap is actually a fair distance back. My swoop ends up rubber-banding back there, but I am on the ground several meters away. When I stand up, I get incapped while running back to my swoop. And then I get up again and finally reach my swoop, but get incapped again the moment I mount and start to move away and then its :::Requesting cloning information:::

    That's just trying to get TO my generators, and if I DO reach them by some measure of luck, and there turns out to be hostiles camped there, Imight as well turn back. Because I have a limited amount of time to play, and cannot sit around and wait for help to come. And guess what? Because the combat downgrade has restructured the weapon certification system, the weapon I had been using for weeks prior to the CU with no problem at all now requires a combat level of 40. The CU defines me as Combat Level 7. So I am stuck with the CDEF newbie rifle again.

    People keep screaming "group with someone"!

    Well here's a clue. I like being in a guild for the social experience. I do not like grouping with people just to go to my generators. I didn't have to before. I shouldn't have to now. If I played the game to kill everything that moves as if this were Quake or Doom, I would love to group and go on a killing spree with my budies. However, that is not why I bought into this game to begin with. It is also not what the game was originally meant to be about.

    We were promised an MMO that would cater to all playstyles (combat and non combat, solo and group, casual gaming and power gaming, etc...) Up until the CU the game delivered on that promise. Now, we're forced to group if we want to survive. We're forced to take combat professions to get back what the CU took from some of us: Doctors lost a lot of effective crafting abilities to combat medic. So, essentially, the freedom of choice has been removed and we are now being told how to play, because the system in its current state does treat differing playstyles fairly.

    Give me a chance to avoid hostiles that get dumped right on top of me while I drive my swoop. Let the music start and let the mobs miss the first three attack attempts (unless I have skills in a combat profession). I would surrender my marksman skills if this happened.

    The combat upgrade should have touched ONLY combat professions. It should not have messed with ANY of the skills enjoyed by non-combat players.

    Pro-CU players constantly ridicule those who don't like the new system. But Mr Smedley has stated other upgrades are coming. I have a feeling that the non-combat people will be happy with whatever new system is introduced, and the combat people will hate it. I'd like to see recursive macros removed making entertainers actually play at the keyboard. But to encourage those who got comfortable running a macro-bot to actually play their entertainer, battle fatigue would need to get a boost causing combat players to make more frequent stops into the cantina.

    Combat players will pitch a temper tantrum because they will have to be forced to feed the "carebears", just as we are upset because we are forced to endure excessive CU-generated trials which we wanted no part in to begin with.

    I'm done.

    In Christ,

    G. B. Jackson

    GBJackson US Monday, 9 May 2005, 10:48:21
  10. The "upgrade" is horrible. Unplayable.

    But the worst thing was how $OE treated us during all this. How they expect us to pay to betatest this GARBAGE.

    They should have created SWG2 and left us alone.

    Hope they all find work soon.. just not in a game i'm playing.

    Shayde US Monday, 9 May 2005, 10:48:24
  11. Lets see SOE lock this post about how it really is.

    Efgt US Monday, 9 May 2005, 11:14:44
  12. The company line is that this is all about "diverse," "compelling," "fun," and "Star Warsy" content... but these are just buzzwords. There is absolutely nothing compelling, diverse, fun or Star Warsy about the CU changes. And if they ever do get around to adding genuinely diverse, compelling (etc) content - it could just as well have been added to the old game.

    Despite what a few CU defenders keep saying, this is not about the fact that some characters aren't uber anymore, or that you can't solo a rancor, etc. In the first place, people are still soloing rancors and everything else, and secondly, combat *balance* was the part we were promised and looking forward to.

    The three deadly sins of the CU as as follows:

    1. NUMERIC LEVELS. "There was always a numeric level" they will tell you, but this is BS. There was a dynamically calculated combat strength number, based on your skill with your wielded weapon and some other factors, that was mostly used to compute /con colors. It was never displayed and was in no sense "who you were." Once combat got under way, all that mattered was your skills, mods, weapon and armor quality. Players loved the way SWG finally freed them from the tyranny of levels. But not any more! Now you have a number in the upper left hand corner, and it *is* who you are. It determines what you can wear, what you can wield, who you can fight, and what you can gain.

    2. SILLY UI. The original SWG player interface was cool, with icons that had the STAR WARS look and feel, and a fairly restrained palette of in-game effects that made you feel immersed in the world of the movies. Bit by bit over the first two years they had been adding eye candy for Entertainers, Jedi etc, but the CU opens the floodgates. Now icons are garishly colored, distracting ripoffs from competing medieval games. Player and mob captions are multiline and multicolor, featuring the ever-present Level number whether you care or not. Everything you do, from firing a weapon to mounting a vehicle to using one of the ultra-NON-StarWarsy new "spells," generates a shower of wizard particle effects.

    3. DUMB COMBAT. The old game had a combat queue, which you could see on the screen and clear if you needed to; attacks, heals, and equipment changes were placed on the queue and processed in order. This allowed for intelligently designed combat tactics, while allowing you enough spare seconds to talk to your teammates, find a stim pack, scan for new enemies or whatever. MMO fans considered this one of SWG's cleverest features. But now it's junked in favor of a queueless clone of WoW et al, where you have to stare at those dayglo icons while they "cool down" and let you mash the next button. The emphasis changes from playing your character to feeding that hungry UI. Then of course they added "auto attack," so that one (and only one) of the cutesy icons will repeat itself while you read a magazine.

    These are the features that have trashed the game. I do not blame the mid-level programmers and designers at SOE and LEC, who are very good at what they do and would put a My Little Pony module in if so ordered; I blame management, which was and is clueless about what made this game, or any game, fun to play.

    Clattuc US Monday, 9 May 2005, 12:30:11
  13. Lot's of people in the community, myself included, have spent hours or days thinking about, researching, and writing up suggesting to help make the game better. Those same people have spent even more time chasing bugs, and doing full write-ups of them, only so SOE could completely ignore them.

    I'm cancelling my ACCOUNTS, and moving on. I was fair enough and gave the game 2 years to mature past it's bugs and gameplay issues, and it only gets worse instead of better. SOE continues to screw up. They think they know more about gaming than the actual gamers, and it will be their downfall.

    SWG is a waste of what could have been a great game.

    oceas US Monday, 9 May 2005, 13:56:33
  14. John Smedley's Motto

    Like it, or Leave!

    It's our "VISION", we do not need or want plater feed back.

    And last but not least,

    I am not a liar, I just try and make things seem better than they are even if it is not the truth.

    John Smedley the Karl Rove of SONY.

    Lee US Monday, 9 May 2005, 17:18:32
  15. You couldn't have said it better. Smedley, in the letter he posted on the site, basically said the problem is not with the CU, but with the players themselves. I for one am majorly against the CU, and the lack of customer support. Yes, change is hard to get use to, but this change was and is totally asinine. The game is completely unplayable unless you are grouped, which many people do not like, and where Jedi characters cannot.

    Tim US Tuesday, 10 May 2005, 00:23:55
  16. I'm not a player but my son is. He and the clan, he belonged to, decided to unsubscribe. The clan, as told to me, included his uncle and his friends including from the British Isles.

    I will miss the tales he would tell me at dinner and going to school.

    I understand about the bad upgrade and the freedom you had during SWG play. I was an old Tribes player, but SWG provided a the social circle, security of play , and gaining of experience which was superior to other online games.

    A salute to a great run of SWG but a disgraceful "get out of here" CU. The clan is moving to "Knight Online" and this time I will join so we can share Knight's tales at dinner.

    Just_A_dad US Wednesday, 11 May 2005, 09:46:14
  17. So tired of hearing people cry like a little woman. I am so happy with the Combat Upgrade, my character was a Tera Kasi Master for a long time. Prior to the CU I was able to solo a lesser Krayt Dragon, with a doc buff and armor, which was very unrealistic. Now you are forced to group to take down the same monsters. Everyone needs to quit the crying and become a little more social, make some friends, find a group, you will have much more fun.

    Mesta US Friday, 20 May 2005, 10:57:56
  18. Mesta's post is typical of those defending the CU. About 50% of the SWG gaming population had characters that could pretty much still play. The other 50% of us, give or take whatever margin of error, had their games broken right out from underneath them. Those include crafters, Jedi, doctors. I probably could have adapted and found someway to wait through the several months of tedious gameplay before they patched it back up to functionality, but I decided it wasn't worth it. I want more than anything a Star Wars MMO to dive into and invest my time in. Well, SWG ain't it, and SOE certainly isn't gonna provide one. That's awesome that some people's guilds are moving en masse to new games - I wish mine had, but we seem to be quitting the game piecemeal instead of collectively. Some are content to keep their subscriptions through the summer and see how it turns out. I guess we just never knew how good we had it, until they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

    Tark US Monday, 23 May 2005, 14:30:36
  19. Despite some definate things I don't like about the Upgrade, I really think it did a whole lot more good than bad. Perhaps they need to takea few of the larger complaints (such as people haveing trouble soloing and address them) and meet ya'll half way, but some of the skill and class revamps made would really upset me if they rolled them back. As a whole the game is a lot better after the upgrade. Rather than fighting to get rid of the whole thing why dont you fight against a few specific features you don't like. Like ask they bring back the combat queue but leave the cool down fighting style. Or bring back the old combat rating.

    One other thing there still arent really levels, you have to be qualified to wear certain armor's etc... but I dont see levels any where.

    TLL US Monday, 6 June 2005, 00:06:18
  20. Game Sucks now i hate CU forcing people to group really ticks me off i like how it use to be we had a join to group are not if they ever change the game back to normal someone let me know please othewise screw SOE

    xjango72x EU Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 08:30:19
  21. I can't believe this new so called "upgrade"! More like a downgrade if you ask me. It has made gameplay practically impossible! And to boot there is no way to get a refund for my purchase of a year long subscription! The company claims that they hold all rights to make any changes they want. That's crap! They have completely changed the game, and is not what I purchased! I'm peeved and hope there is some way to make SOE pay for what they have done!

    Vera US Friday, 18 November 2005, 02:45:46
  22. Very disapointed in the new upgrade.

    Been playing 3 years

    JoLee CA Tuesday, 22 November 2005, 03:45:0
  23. My friend was over the other day, and I showed him http://www.exploitsrus.com/swg.html It is a site with cheats, bugs, dupes, etc for star wars galaxies. He told me it was against the rules for swg to do this. Is this true? I am used to cheating on video games for my whole life, so I was sort of shocked to hear this.

    durtydaan US Saturday, 14 January 2006, 02:49:20
  24. ever heard of the saying, if it is nt broken don t fix it, well now you know why they say it. soe.

    i v lost a wonderful character and many friends due to your so called upgrades.

    i shall not be forgetting this in a hurry and neither will many of your customers,all this was done by you swg.

    and what you have sown you will now reap.

    if you have any feelings at all about your subscribers, roll back and take defeat.

    the subscribers will think more of you, by you doing this.

    and you never know they might even return to swg, as their gesture of faith.

    arcanium US Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 14:30:32
  25. I hate to confess this on a public forum, but I have to; I am a total newb. I started playing after the changes, so I have no idea what it was like pre-NGE. But I LOVE Star Wars Galaxies, and play it almost every day. I don't seem to have the anguish that everyone here has, which leads me to believe one thing: SOE made the changes to hold on to new customers, while betraying its long time veterans. This is inexplicably wrong. I hate SOE for doing this.

    SOE are S.O.B.s US Sunday, 26 February 2006, 16:54:9
  26. nge is great, enough said

    quit your crying US Sunday, 12 March 2006, 13:08:21
  27. SWG was a good game...I hoped it was the one game I only needed. Pffft!!! What a joke. SOE is in need of being in touch with J. Lucas a bit more. They totally jacked subcribers around since release. Bravo!

    Hellhound SG Monday, 13 March 2006, 18:51:3
  28. Just stop playing Swg... It will die and thats that !

    Dwayne Dull US Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 05:46:46

    What a bug ridden peice of garbage.

    Aside from crashes forcing a complete restart, bugs making space missions unfinishable and thus forcing a restart and the massive lag plagueing the starter ares - I am in no doubt this game is a wate of money.

    If Sony think, by showing me just how appalling put together their game is, that they will entice me to spend money on it - they are sorely mistaken.

    If they are in any doubt as to why WOW is so successful and Star Wars Galaxies (with a larger potential payer base initially) due to the popularity of the films) is going nowhere I have this to offer.

    FIRSTLY - the game has to actually work - crashes, lag and broken quests etc mena the GAME IS NOT READY TO BE SHIPPED.

    SECONDLY - then worry about getting bug fixes as they appear - based on the number of complains for each - hence the biggest problems get fixed in order of CUSTOMER priority.

    THIRDLY - start worrying about steamlining the game play and all the other things that Sony seem to think are more important that actuially having a working product.

    UTTER RUBBISH UK Wednesday, 24 May 2006, 16:25:11
  30. When I heard there was going to be a combat upgrade, i was a little nervous but excited, i had heard from older vets that the last time they did a CU many people quit, and were upset. Well, let me tell you this, i saw the horror of those vets that endured the first CU, when i tried to play after the NGE... I nearly cried when i realized what they had done to such a thing... the near-perfect world of SW fans to role play and join together and have fun in such a multi-faceted game with so many different aspects, was completely obliterated before our eyes.

    I had never before played a game that brought me such joy for so long ; the hard work put into just the trials of becoming a jedi made the goal that much more enviable. I was grinding for the padawan trials when it happened, and I consider my self lucky I did not waste any more time trying to make it to a padawan as many other's had before me, for I would have probably committed suicide when I saw people could now start as a jedi.

    And now i sit, and wait, pondering over all the time i spent on that game just for it to have been mocked...

    Post CU but Pre NGE SWG Vet HK Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 02:57:39
  31. i dont know but i just need to figure out if i neeed to fullscan starwars galaxys before playing

    norman UK Monday, 27 August 2007, 06:48:13