Monday, February 21, 2011

A Returning Vet’s Survival Guide for Other Returning Vets


A Returning Vet’s Survival Guide for Other Returning Vets
Ok, so you’ve been gone from Star Wars Galaxies for the last years, and you’ve heard terrible things about this NGE or “New Game Enhancement” thingamajig. Heck, you may have even been burned by it when they deleted your class (sorry Creature Handlers). But now you’ve heard rumblings that things aren’t so bad anymore, that things are actually improving, that the developers are actually taking steps to make the existing player-base happy. So, you’ve gathered up your courage, decided to swallow a little pride, and you’ve typed in your login and password for the first time in ages. This is your guide to surviving in this strange new, yet familiar land.

-- Choice of Profession --
First things first – you are going to immediately be presented with a choice to make: your profession. All 30 some odd pre-existing professions have been compacted down into 9 “iconic” professions. That’s all some marketing BS that you don’t really care about. You just want to know what the heck happened to your class. Well, I say don’t worry about it too much at this point. Pick something that looks good or sounds interesting to you, because you get a respect device which will let you change your profession 10 times for free. That’s enough to let you try every profession once, and then go back to one more. Even once it’s gone, you can change your profession at will by visiting a profession counselor, though it starts to get expensive pretty fast.

-- Fixing your Interface --
Ok, as soon as you log in, you’re probably going to want to do these four things:
1) Turn off Chase Camera
2) Turn on Auto Aim
3) Bind Auto Fire
4) Enable “Fire Specials From Toolbar”

The NGE brought with it some pretty ghetto First Person Shooter mechanics. Thankfully, either by sudden revelation or after months/years of players screaming, the developers realized that the FPS aspects blow chunks and have progressively enabled options to turn them off, returning SWG to the gameplay that you knew and loved (more or less). Let’s go over these steps in detail:

1) Turn off Chase Camera –
Did you notice how the camera is stuck behind your characters back and you can’t make your character face the screen so you can take a nice mug shot? This is the Chase Camera turned on. Simply press ‘period’ on the numpad to turn it off. Ah, much better.

2) Turn on Auto Aim – 
You may not have notice this one yet, but in order to fire a weapon at an enemy, you have to keep your crosshair over him and hold down the mouse button. Boo FPS gameplay. You can fix this by pressing the ‘Y’ key. Your tiny yellow cross hair should turn into a bigger, blue/green circle with a dot in the middle. You can now target enemies and no matter where your mouse is pointing, you can still shoot them – the way any good MMORPG should function.

3) Bind Auto Fire
If you don’t want to have to hold down the mouse button to keep firing your standard attack (and who does really?), we need to hit up the keymappings. Press ‘O’ to open up the Options panel, then click on the ‘Keymap’ tab. Now, click on the ‘Target’. Scroll down to ‘Toggle Autofire’ and bind it to a key. I’m a big fan of ‘F’. Be sure to click OK to save your changes!

4) Enable “Fire Specials From Toolbar”
Without this option, your special abilities merely get assigned to your Right Mouse Button (or bound Secondary Attack key/button), awaiting you to press it to actually fire. Go back into Options ‘O’, and the ‘Keymap’ tab, and make sure ‘Actions Can Be Fired From Toolbar’ in the lower section. Be sure to click OK to save your changes!

-- Other User Interface Notes --
Yay! You now have a game that controls somewhat like the SWG you used to remember! There are a few other odds and ends that I want to point out, that you may end up wanting to change. Some of them you can, others you can’t, so here’s the list in no apparent order:

  • Single left mouse button clicks perform the default action on a device. This might be mounting your vehicle, attacking an enemy, talking with an NPC, etc. The mouse cursor will usually turn into a context sensitive icon.
  • Press ‘X’ to target whatever is under your mouse cursor. Unfortunately, the only surefire way to un-target something right now is hitting ‘Esc’. I’m told it’s a bug.
  • The radial menu we all know and love/hate is bound to the ‘~’ key. It works just like before. Hover your mouse over your target and ~. Usually works with objects already targeted with ‘X’.

-- Miscellaneous FAQ --
These are all questions that were either asked by me, or by friends who came back to the game at the same time, or inquired to me.

What’s this about demolishing abandoned houses on June 5?
Starting June 5, players will be able to demolish any abandoned player structure in the game world. Structures are counted as “abandoned” if the owner has not had a valid active for account at any time since April 2006. Logging in for a free trial does not satisfy the “active” criteria.

They’re going to destroy my house!? What about my stuff!?
“Demolished” structures will be packed up into the owning player’s datapad with everything intact (and everything in its proper location inside). This is merely an event to try to free up some of that prime real estate that all the old timers have so callously taken up for eternity.

Everything has levels, what?
If you haven’t played since the CU (Combat Upgrade, their first attempt at revamping combat before the NGE), you may be surprised to find levels associated with everything. Don’t worry about it too much. The same old con system is still around and you can use those colors to pretty safely judge what you can and can’t handle. Unless you’re a trader or entertainer, then you can’t really handle mobs at all. Oh, and unless they’re elite or boss mobs.

Elite? Boss Mobs?
Elite and Boss Mobs have been around for a while but you might not have really noticed. They are denoted by white or gold chevrons (< and >) around their health bars respectively. Additionally, as of 5/24/07 they have a rancor claw wrapped around their con circle when you have them targeted. If you try to take on one of these alone, you’re going to be sent to the cloning center – unless you’re just that awesome.

What happens when I die?
There is no more decay, so go die all you like! Instead, you get a cloning weakness debuff that lowers your abilities temporarily. You can wait it off for about 10 minutes, pay for a med droid at the cloning center to get rid of it, or watch an entertainer for about, oh, 30 seconds.

What about wounds?
No more wounds!

What the heck do entertainers do then?
See curing cloning weakness. Entertainers are also now your resident buff dispensers.

What do entertainers buff?
Just about damn near everything. XP gain (15%), armor values, chance to hit, you name it, they probably have it. I don’t even know them all yet.

What about crafting?
Crafting still exists and it’s mostly just as complex as it was before. As of the last publish, Traders can reverse engineer some looted equipment similar to the Jump to Lightspeed reverse engineering system.

I heard they brought Creature Handler back!?
Yes, it’s true! As of 5/24/07, the “Beast Master” Expertise has been added to the game. This means that any player of any class can become a “Beast Master” and have Pokémon fights all day long. Beast Master is a sort of hybrid between the old Creature Handler and Bio-engineer professions.

Expertise, say what?
If you’re familiar with World of Warcraft, you’re familiar with Expertise. They’re Talent trees. If you’ve never set foot in WoW, Expertise trees are a method of letting you customize your character a bit within the confines of your profession. Each profession has two unique Expertise Trees, and they all now share a third, Beast Mastery.

What happened to Politician?
Everybody is a Master Politician. I don’t know why, so don’t ask me, just run for mayor or something.

What’s up with pilots and space?
It’s literally exactly as it was before. It has been left untouched through all the turmoil of the past few years. That’s a Good Thing™ in my very humble opinion.

I hear they let anybody start with a Jedi. So is it like all Jedi all the time?
I have been pleasantly surprised to find that only about 30-33% of the population seems to be Jedi. Yeah, it’s a lot more than it used to be before, but you’ll find plenty of people of the various professions around. Except maybe Smuggler…I haven’t run across one yet that I know of.

Are Jedi as Crazy Ridiculously Good as they were before?
Ask most people who had a Jedi before and they’ll tell you they never were all that, but that’s beside the point. Jedi are just another class now and so they’re balanced as such.

So does my old school Jedi get anything special?
You get to be glowy and you get a special stronger robe or something. They’re basically small perks, but it’s something none of the newbie Jedi can get.

What do I get for being a vet?
Aside from the Veteran Rewards, which continue to accumulate for some reason even when your account is inactive, you gain “Elder” titles for any professions you mastered under the old system and a special “Favor of the Elders” buff that gives your health and stats a small boost.

Can I have more than one profession?
No, sorry, kids. It’s a “class” system now. You choose one profession/class and you stick with it! Until you want to switch to a different one that is… From what I’ve seen, the people who will suffer the most from this aspect are those who enjoyed a trader/combat, entertainer/combat, or trader/entertainer hybrid. The 7 combat classes cover nearly every type of combat gameplay that existed pre-NGE and pre-CU, and you’re bound to find something that fits your style. But for Traders and Entertainers…well, kiddos, you’re specialized.

How many characters per server can I have?
Two! Make 1 Trader and 1 Combat class. Make 1 Trader and 1 Entertainer! Make 2 Traders or 2 Jedi, heck I don’t care.

About the Author
Sefi Ar’lya used to roam the Bria server from 2004-2005 as the best Bothan sniper ever seen! A Master Ranger / Rifleman, Sefi enjoyed the old SWG and formed many friends. As Jump To Lightspeed arrived, he quickly became an Ace Pilot of the Rebel Alliance, and maintained a brief stint as a news poster for SWG Vault. Once World of Warcraft was released, he went into deep hibernation to await the day that strange powers called him back into the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Sefi has recently returned to Star Wars Galaxies, excited to find that it has begun to move away from the dark times of 2006 towards the gameplay of old. Additionally, many of his old friends have stayed or recently returned to SWG and have been of great assistance during his re-acclamation to the new world. Sefi’s love of Twi’leks hasn’t diminished in the intervening years and you can find his (mostly) Twi’lek inspired artwork and musings at


Post a Comment

Star Wars Gaming © 2009