Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided

By Scott Parrino 25 Jun 2003 0

A Scout's Tale

So, there I was, prone in the high grass of Talus, a long way from Dearic, my home city. I was out on a mission. I was instructed to head north and there to find a nest. From the nest I was to gather something from some strange creature. I didn't care. The bottom line was that close to 1,000 credits would be transferred to my account if I was successful.

A few moments earlier I had first spotted the nest, more of a stack of big, gnarly white bones, bleached by the sun. What kind of nest could this be? Maybe I should have read the mission description more closely. The nest sure was huge...

So I snuck forward, hoping to get in unseen, and hopefully not sniffed out by any local creatures. Easier for a young scout such as myself to mask his scent and sneak in than to achieve any success running around with my wee CDEF Pistol.

But, alas, there was nothing of value on the surface of the nest, nor nestled within easy reach down in its depths.

Disgruntled, I slunk back to a safe distance, and opened fire, hoping to destroy it and get to the goodies.

Promptly enough, a large hairless beast burst from the bones, looking as if it was going to charge me. Luckily, though, it was charging in fear away from the nest, and did not see me. Its fear was also compounded by the fact that it had a younger, version of itself slinking along, head down, under its parent's right side, just in front of the parent's large hind feet. I watched, in awe and in deep fear of my own, as the creature charged past, amazed at its size. I'm only a Bothan, but the beast was easily a good 8 or 10 meters tall at the shoulders, dwarfing my tiny form.

As the beast and its offspring rumbled into the distance, I snuck forward and found among the ruins of the bone nest a single blue egg...

Welcome to Galaxies

The idea of a wide-open massively-multiplayer online role-playing game taking on the sights, sounds, factions and mythos of George Lucas' Star Wars universe is a daunting task. Perhaps that's why Star Wars Galaxies has taken three years to get to gamers everywhere. On Tuesday, June the 26th, the wait will finally be over. After many a frustrating change of dev plans and release dates, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided will be marching in to stores. Sony says that it will be more of a trickle, to help prevent any launch day server log jams. How many copies does that equate to, considering the folks at Sony say they're gonna have ten of the twenty available servers up on launch day? At a guess, still a pile of copies of Star Wars Galaxies, but for most of us who have been waiting for this game for so long, drooling at screenshots, hanging on the media vestiges of several E3s, the game is already reserved and ready to install, somewhere out there. After spending some time with the late beta, I am here to whet those appetites for just a few days more...read on.

Making a Face

Making a character is a lot of fun in all Massive Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), even if a good deal of thought must go into a starting character so that the player doesn't unintentionally nerf their avatar well before he or she ever gets started. Character creation is important because whoever the player is creating will represent them, well, for a long time, and players don't normally like to be stuck with characters they don't really want to play. In Star Wars Galaxies, it's even more important because players can only have one player per server, unless of course they open the Jedi slot, but more on that in a moment.

Players start out by picking a race. There are eight races total, ranging from the mundane but familiar human race to the veritable mountain of grumpy hair called a Wookie, not to mention Twi'leks, Rodians, Zabraks and more. Each race has an affinity for certain functions or skills in the game. For instance, the Bothan is a natural scout with bonuses to Camoflage and Cover. However, it's still possible to be any other profession with a Bothan.

After race selections, it's all about cosmetics. Want high cheekbones and lekku in back? No problem! Want a long nose, bulging eyes with evil glints to them? Easy enough! The cosmetic possibilities are truly deep, and offer thousands of possible combinations for each and every race.

Finally, it's time to choose a starting profession, of which there are six, all of which lead to other, more improved professions of all sorts and sizes, but more on that in a minute.

After choosing a profession, it's on to the fine (and recommended) tutorial, and into the game proper.

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