Star Wars - Galaxies Online

[[Great Expectations]]

Star Wars Galaxies is being developed by Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts Entertainment Company. The core development team includes some of the most talented developers from both Ultima Online and EverQuest, the two most successful massively multiplayer games to date. With an expected one million registered users upon its launch, the game is destined to create a stir.
The game is described as a MMORPG which is a terribly long acronym for "Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game". It is used to classify games like EverQuest and Ultima Online. Star Wars Galaxies will be multiplayer only.

According to the designers that is where all similarities of Star Wars Galaxies and Everquest end. Star Wars Galaxies is being designed from the ground up to be its own game. Although many of the designers involved have learned a great deal from games such as EverQuest, Ultima Online and Meridian 59, the developers are dedicated to making a new game designed to work well with the Star Wars universe.

The game is called Galaxies and not Galaxy and it is easy to assume why. It is almost certain that further Galaxies Star Wars titles will surface and the developers plan to use multiple servers/galaxies as opposed to attempting a game with one shared galaxy. The decision to break up versions of the game was based on a number of factors, but it basically comes down to content. It would not be possible to generate enough content, to the level of detail desired and with the high quality the fans expect, for everyone to play in the same space.

An exact release date is not yet available but the game is expected within the second half of 2002. A beta version will soon become available.

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[[The Hype]]

Immerse yourself in Star Wars in a way you've only dreamed! Find your place during the epic galactic struggle between good and evil, and shape your own destiny. Star Wars Galaxies is the first massively multiplayer online roleplaying game based on the Star Wars universe that lets you live the movies with thousands of other players from around the world!

The game takes place during the Galactic Civil War, which fans refer to as the "Classic Era", in reference to the "Classic (or Original) Trilogy." The exact point of the timeline hasn't been pinpointed yet, but the game will definitely take place after the destruction of the first Death Star and the Battle of Yavin.

There are several reasons for this choice in setting for Star Wars Galaxies:

-There's a massive conflict going on. The struggle between the Empire and the Alliance gives us a perfect backdrop for an MMO. The Empire is still incredibly powerful, but the Alliance is growing, too, as new systems join the resistance movement.
-Aside from Obi-Wan, all of the major and secondary characters are still alive and kicking. We can include familiar characters if we want.
-Many of the major locations are intact or have recently been discovered. If we decide to build Jabba's Palace, complete with Jabba and his crew, we don't need to worry about whether he's moved in yet or whether he's dead…
-There's a wealth of Expanded Universe sources that cover this time period. These sources provide great inspiration and reference, which we'll need if we want to create an immersive MMO.

All five films can be considered as primary resources. A ton of material from Episode I-is being used; expect to see Episode I technology, aliens, and even high-level concepts in Star Wars Galaxies. Episode II content will also be added, as it becomes available.

Game Features:

Eight playable species with detailed character customizability.
Entirely new 3D engine designed to portray the Star Wars galaxy in the greatest possible detail.
A seamless universe spanning both familiar and never-before seen worlds from Star Wars.
Vehicles for travel across worlds and through space.
Extensive support for player run associations.
In-depth skill-based system of advancement.
Encounter and interact with famous Star Wars characters.
Ally with the Rebel or Imperial sides of the Galactic Civil War, or remain neutral.
Build and own houses, factories, and more...
Define your own role in the galaxy; become bounty hunters, merchant, smugglers, Jedi and more!
Full team support with future expansions and updates

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Great Expectations
Species
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[[Species]]

In Star Wars Galaxies, you will make many choices as you play. One of the very first choices you will make will be the species of your character. There are eight species for a player to pick from, each possessing advantages and disadvantages. There is a difference in the Star Wars universe between a "species" and a "race." The term "species" is used when discussing Star Wars sentient aliens. Therefore, Wookiees are a species, as are Trandoshans, Twi'leks, and Rodians. Within a species, however, there may be a great deal of variation; extreme "variants" are known as "races." Race won't affect attributes, skills, or other game mechanics.

Picking a species is an important choice in building your character, so review each species and see which appeals to you.

Bothan
Native Language: Bothan
Average Height: 1.3 to 1.54 meters

Stocky humanoids with fur-covered faces, Bothans call Bothawui home, and are widely known as the galaxy's most proficient spies, thanks in part to the famed "Bothan Spynet." Physically and mentally adept, Bothans make excellent scouts and soldiers. They also have a significant impact on the political landscape of the galaxy.

Star Wars Galaxies is drawing heavily on the Expanded Universe sources to create the Bothan species, which is only mentioned in passing in Return of the Jedi. Although known as spies, Bothan player characters can excel in many other areas as well.

Human

Native Language: Basic
Average Height: 1.7 to 1.9 meters

The predominant species in the galaxy, humans can be found in virtually all walks of life and on most habitable worlds. While no two humans are alike, the species as a whole is adaptable and resilient. Humans also dominate the political landscape, comprising most of the Galactic Empire.

Humans in Star Wars Galaxies will have a wide range of abilities, but will generally serve as the norm against which all other species are judged.

Mon Calamari

Native Language: Calamarian
Average Height: 1.5 to 1.7 meters

Mon Calamari are bipedal, amphibious humanoids with fishlike faces and huge eyes. Skin coloration ranges from salmon pink to coral blue. Respected for their technology, especially the Mon Cal starships, the species is largely peaceful and highly intelligent. Mon Calamari are native to the watery world of the same name and can survive underwater for extended periods of time.

Mon Calamari in Star Wars Galaxies will be among the most intelligent characters. They will also be able to make long underwater treks with only minimal equipment. Although strongly associated with the Rebel Alliance, Mon Calamari characters will not be limited to the Rebel faction.

Rodian

Native Language: Rodese
Average Height: 1.5 to 1.7 meters

A species of humanoids recognized by their bumpy skin, multifaceted eyes and flexible snouts, Rodians also have pointed ears, short antennae, and long fingers that end in suction cups. On their homeworld, Rodia, Rodians live in clans that often wage war against one another. Due to their violent culture, Rodians make excellent bounty hunters and mercenaries.

As depicted in Star Wars Galaxies, Rodians will be relatively quick and agile. They may also gravitate towards skills dealing with combat and bounty-hunting. However, Rodian characters can also be Jedi, explorers, shopkeepers, or anything else players wish.

Trandoshan

Native Language: Dosh
Average Height: 1.9 to 2.1 meters

Feared throughout the galaxy, Trandoshans are large, reptilian humanoids from the planet Trandosha, possessing great strength and natural regenerative powers. Viewed as tough and often brutal, Trandoshans have a warlike society and place heavy emphasis on activities such as hunting. Trandoshans are also infamous for their persecution of other species, particularly Wookiees.

Trandoshans in Star Wars Galaxies will be strong and resilient creatures. As a result, Trandoshans will make excellent combatants and explorers, but expect to see a wide range of Trandoshan characters.

Twi'lek

Native Language: Ryl, Twi'leki
Average Height: 1.7 to 1.9meters

A common species throughout the galaxy, Twi'leks are similar to humans in many respects, but can be identified by the twin head tentacles that grow from their skulls. Native to the planet Ryloth, Twi'leks also have a wide variety of skin coloration, ranging from pale white to dark green. In general, Twi'leks are non-violent, but they are also diverse: members of the species have become Jedi Knights, pilots, crime lords, and politicians.

Twi'leks, like other species in Star Wars Galaxies, will be highly-customizable. We also plan to incorporate the species' secret head-tail language, which only Twi'lek characters will be able to learn and understand.

Wookiee

Native Language: Shyriiwook
Average Height: 2.1 to 2.3 meters

Towering, fur-covered humanoids native to the planet Kashyyyk, Wookiees are exceedingly strong and prone to fits of rage. However, they are also intelligent, loyal, and trusting. Among the species, bravery and honor are considered paramount. Although their culture is not warlike, Wookiees do make fierce warriors and deadly opponents when angered or threatened.

In Star Wars Galaxies, we will strive to capture the best of the Wookiee species: expect Wookiee players to be strong, tough, and bright.

Zabrak

Native Language: Zabraki
Average Height: 1.6 to 1.8meters

Mysterious humanoids with vestigial horns, Zabrak have well-developed mental willpower that allows them to withstand extreme physical pain and suffering. Several races of Zabrak exist, each exhibiting different horn patterns, and Zabrak further differentiate themselves through strange facial and body tattoos. The Zabrak homeworld, Iridonia, is said to be a frighteningly harsh planet.

Zabrak in Star Wars Galaxies will have a wide range of customization options. In terms of physical abilities, they'll be similar to humans, although we plan to implement their mental willpower through a combination of skill enhancers and attribute bonuses.

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[[Creating a Character]]

Every character will have six basic attributes and three "pools" that allow the character to accomplish tasks in the game. Attributes will play important roles in your character's development and will influence your character's ability to perform physical and mental activities during play, and can fluctuate as well.

You may customize your character's attributes during creation. They may also be affected by your choice in character species.

Your character's three most important statistics are Mind, Action, and Health, often referred to as pools. These pools are each based on two different attributes that determine the size of the pool and how quickly it will regenerate after completing a task.

The three Pools

The three pools are:

Health
This pool represents a character's current state of physical health. If this pool is depleted, your character could be incapacitated and even killed.

Action
The Action pool is a measure of your character's current state of preparedness for immediate action. This score helps determine what physical tasks a character may undertake and how often.

Mind
The Mind pool is a measure of your character's alertness, mental resilience and his or her ability to tackle mentally challenging tasks. This score helps determine what mental tasks or assaults a character can endure and how often.

These pools will fluctuate often during play, depleting as your character undertakes tasks or is harmed. The pools will regenerate at variable rates (depending on certain attributes; see below), but if a pool is completely depleted, your character may fall unconscious or become incapacitated in some other way, or possibly even killed.

Attributes

The six attributes that contribute to these pools are:

Strength
Strength is a measure of your character's physical power and how effective he or she is in performing actions that involve physical exertion. The better your character's Strength, the less a physical activity taxes them. Strength contributes to your character's Health statistic.

Constitution
Constitution is a measure of your character's physical fortitude and how well he or she "bounces back" from exertion or trauma. The better your character's Constitution, the quicker they are able to recover. Constitution contributes to your character's Health statistic.

Quickness
Quickness is a measure of your character's fitness. The better your character's Quickness, the more quickly and efficiently they will perform actions. Quickness contributes to your character's Action statistic.

Stamina
Stamina is a measure of your character's endurance. The better your character's Stamina, the longer and more often they will be able to undertake sustained actions. Stamina contributes to your character's Action statistic.

Focus
Focus is a measure of your character's ability to concentrate. The better your character's Focus, the less likely they are to be distracted and the less mental activities tax them. Focus contributes to your character's Mind statistic.

Willpower
Willpower is a measure of your character's mental fortitude. The better your character's Willpower, the quicker they are able to compose themselves after mental exertion or trauma. Willpower contributes to your character's Mind statistic.

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Great Expectations
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[[Development]]

Unlike many traditional roleplaying games, there are no "levels" in Star Wars Galaxies. Instead, your character's advancement is much more flexible. Star Wars Galaxies is built around a "skill-based system," in which the skills you possess largely define your character's abilities and relative strengths.

Acquiring Skills
Your character will start the game with a pool of skill points, which can be spent to acquire new skills. All skills are organized into logical "Professions," such as Droid Engineering or Bounty Hunting. Players have complete control over which skills they select and which professions they explore. You may decide to make your character a "jack of all trades" by learning many different professions at basic to moderate ability, or you may concentrate on just one or two areas for specialization, achieving mastery in those professions.

Acquiring skills is not simply a matter of "buying" the skills you desire with the points you have available. Instead, access to most skills is restricted until you've fulfilled various prerequisites. Before purchasing a skill, you might be required to complete a specific mission or quest, possess and use another related skill, or achieve a certain status. Training in many professions will also cost credits.

Professions
Skills are organized into "Professions." Each Profession begins with a few basic skills, and then branches upward into more specialized skills. The higher your character progresses in a particular Profession, the more specialized he or she becomes in that area. The higher-tier skills are generally more expensive to acquire, in both skill points and credits; they also have more rigorous prerequisites.

You can also choose to learn skills from many different and unrelated professions (becoming a jack-of-all-trades). However, each time you add a new Profession, the skill point cost for gaining new skills increases. No character will be able to master every skill at the same time.

Changing Skills
Once you decide to learn a skill, you are not "stuck" with that skill for the rest of your character's life. On the contrary, you may give up skills you no longer want in order to free up skill points, which can then be spent on new and different skills. For example, if you find that you do not enjoy being a mechanic and would rather try your hand at galactic politics, you may "sell back" your mechanical skills and begin reassigning the freed up skill points to political skills. You will still need to satisfy any prerequisites the new skills require, but no skill points are lost in the reallocation.

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Great Expectations
The Hype
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Creating a Character
PvP

[[Player V Player]]

Although player versus player interaction (PvP) is a part of Star Wars Galaxies, players will always have a choice whether or not to participate in combat with other players in the game. If you do not wish to engage in PvP style gameplay, you do not have to. The game supports a wealth of gameplay alternatives.

The PvP system in SWG is designed in such a way that you cannot be attacked unless you make a choice. To become vulnerable to attack, you must meet one of the following conditions:

Declare yourself as a member of a faction (Galactic Empire, Rebel Alliance, or Hutt Criminal Empire), which will make you open to attack from declared members of the other two factions (note, you can join a faction without "Declaring"), or
Be part of a Player Association which has consented to war with another Player Association, or
Venture into Wild Areas (see Area Types below).
In all cases, you will be given a dialog box prior to making yourself vulnerable so that know what it is you are about to do.

You will always be able to determine who is currently an enemy to you and who is not through targeting and helpful notification via the user interface.

Area Types

New players start out in Truce Areas (so called because the warring factions are at truce in those places). These are places where open player-versus-player aggression is restricted.

Much of the game is made up of what are called Safe Areas, where PvP interaction is consensual only. In these areas, you can only fight another player if they are an enemy.

You can become vulnerable to attacks from other players temporarily if you attack NPCs that are on a given side of the Galactic Civil War, or help a player that is on one side or another (such as healing them). This is to prevent neutral players from aiding a particular side while remaining immune to reprisal.

As mentioned above, in Wild Areas any player can become a potential target for attack. Random attacks against players carry serious consequences, however (see Outcasting).

Outcasting

In Wild Areas, you can kill anyone, but if they're not an enemy, they can report you for it. If you get reported, you are outcast, which takes away your ability to initiate a fight with another player until the outcast status is removed.

There are two ways to have your status as an outcast removed. You can be forgiven by the victim, which removes the outcast status completely, or you can seek forgiveness from a player-run town. Player town forgiveness only removes outcasting within that town's boundaries, however.

Battlefields

There is one more kind of area in the game, called Battlefields. These are special areas where two sides in the Galactic Civil War can do battle. Everyone who enters a battlefield and is not already part of a faction must pick one of the two sides to fight for. Players killed on a battlefield cannot re-enter the area until the battle is over.

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Great Expectations
The Hype
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Creating a Character
Development

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