If You Strike It Down… Galaxies Reborn?

By Alec Meer on December 5th, 2011 at 6:01 pm.

I somehow acquired a pet one of these back when I was playing. You don't get that in Eve Online

Poor old Star Wars Galaxies will sleep the dreamless, eternal sleep in just a couple of weeks, not entirely uncoincidentally around the time EA’s The Old Republic fires up its servers. For the valiant few who’d remained with SOE’s bizzare, ambitious, messy, remarkable MMO, it will be an unhappy day. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in annoyance and were suddenly silenced, then went to a forum to complain.

However, an enterprising few mean to keep the game alive – specifically, in the form it was before the controversial Combat Upgrade that so upset many of the faithful.

The folk behind SWGEmu have reverse-enginereed SOE code, they claim, so as to provide servers even once the official ones are finally deaded. It is, of course, then up to you whether or not you use your copy of SWG to connect to said servers. Doing so is, it is said, in violation of SOE’s EULA. An EULA for a game that is soon to be dead. Hmm. Well, it’s out of my hands.

I can’t speak for how solid (and regularly-updated) an experience SWGEmu is offering, as apparently you need a copy of the original SWG installation media to get going, and I threw mine away a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (North East Somerset, specifically). If you want to find out more and give it a go, you’ll be wanting to look over here for the new client download and installation guide.

Good luck, young rule-bending padawan. Let us know how you get on.

Thanks, Jeffrey.

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53 Comments »

  1. Zarunil says:

    Anyone tried this and care to comment?

    • Tyshalle says:

      I tried it out a year or two ago, and it was pretty meh. Though they didn’t have quests or player housing working at that point, and everyone was pretty much able to max out their characters however they wanted as soon as they created them, so there wasn’t really much of a point to anything. I hear a lot of that content has been added in (no idea how much, though), so a lot of those problems might be non-issues, however, one pretty major issue that turned me away from it incredibly fast was the absurd, enormous amount of lag going on.

      I doubt I’ll try it again.

      Also, not that this matters, but I don’t think they have the space expansion enabled, either.

    • Tazer says:

      I played it about a year ago and it was a broken, desolate wasteland. Maybe once the official servers shut down there will be people around, but I was really unimpressed and will not be trying it again.

    • Gixugif says:

      The biggest problem is that it’s not the most populated. I thought that, hopefully, if people saw this, in might bring in at least a few more users. I never played SWG before this though, so I can’t say how accurate SWGEmu is right now, but I can say it works well and there are plenty of things you can do. I haven’t experience any lag either, so that’s always good.

    • Fiatil says:

      I’m not sure what server everyone’s been playing on, but population really isn’t much of an issue. Liberator is the server you should play on if you want the most consistent experience; it’s not down very much at all. All of the planets aren’t populated, but if you hang out in Corellia or Mos Eisley there’s tons of people around. Cantinas are jam packed and the cities are bustling.

      The thing to realize is the difference between the servers. Liberator is a bunch of duct-tape and old code that’s not maintained, but it’s where the population is. The other servers are more limited in playability, get wiped often, but are the future of the project. Also probably realize that SWGEmu time is like an even more ridiculous Valve time. Liberator is missing in a lot of features that made SWG great in its prime (housing and everything that goes along with it, pets and the classes that go along with them), but it’s a good way to spend a couple of weeks getting your nostalgia fix. Harvesters are mostly bugged, but crafting is almost completely functional aside from that. It can get laggy from time to time, and the monster spawns are basically random (AT-AT’s roaming right outside of Mos Eisley are pretty great), but if you enjoyed SWG pre-CU you’ll be able to look past the quirks for awhile.

      I’ve been told by a friend that they’ve been pushing harder to get their other server’s code up to snuff, and eventually they’ll be able to wipe Liberator and start a “permanent” server anew with their Nova code, which contains all of the fun stuff that’s missing. When exactly that will happen is anyone’s guess, but whenever it does I’m definitely giving it another shot.

    • FKD says:

      @ Fiatil:

      I never played the game (aside from a quick trial) but are AT-ATs really considered a monster spawn? I find that to be both quite funny and rather interesting! And curious to as to how you deal with that? Is it considered kind of a “raid content” thing?

    • Fiatil says:

      It turns out they are in SWG. It also turns out they’re rather chill fellows and don’t really bother anyone, I’m assuming unless provoked. I never provoked the mighty AT-AT.

      The monster spawning code in the emulator is just a bit wonky. There’s some sort of logic to it (you get more difficult creatures in pockets farther from town it seems like), but not a lot. My favorites are the packs of AT-STs that roam the seas of Corellia.

  2. Teddy Leach says:

    Second link is borked.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    The folk behind SWGEmu have reverse-enginereed SOE code

    Much like Bioware did with WoW *ba-dum-dum-tish*

    • Max Ursa says:

      As Blizzard did with Everquest, Asherons Call and every other MMO that came before WoW.

      yes there were MMO’s before WoW…

      *waah waah waaaaah*

    • MadTinkerer says:

      As those MMOs did with the MUDs and MUSHs before them…

    • AgamemnonV2 says:

      Let’s play: Spot the young gamer!

      Hint: They think Blizzard came up with all of WoW’s ideas on their own.

    • Brun says:

      For all of your bashing of the “young gamer,” one major difference between Blizzard and BioWare is that BioWare/EA are shamelessly and openly copying WoW’s ideas – that is, they’re actually admitting it and even touting it as one of their game’s strengths. I think the tongue-in-cheek humor above was directed at that shamelessness, and isn’t necessarily an indication of naivete or poor knowledge of gaming history.

    • negativedge says:

      this RPS drumbeat that claims wow is TOTALLY THE SAME AS EQ GOD (because EQ was only popular enough to get an article or two in the NY Times, while WOW is popular enough to buy the NY Times) is about as dumb as people calling every FPS a Doom clone. Of course wow is the EQ model (not even true: wow was the EQ model–it is now something distinctly different, and it is of course that something different that Bioware is lifting wholesale), but it was only the EQ model as opposed to the UO model. It wasn’t simply EQ transported into Warcraft the way Final Fantasy XI was/is. The combat was designed to be faster, the emphasis was largely shifted from the leveling experience to the cooperative end game experience, dungeons were instanced (seriously this is a fundamental difference between the two games that you’d be an idiot to glaze over), penalties for death and failure minimized, class roles a bit more overlapped, PVP considered and mechanically provided for, etc.. It was it’s own thing, developed from the EQ model by people intimately familiar with that model. Bioware Star Wars is a transparent attempt to exactly ape what modern wow is in a way that wow was not an attempt to ape EQ.

    • Brun says:

      WoW took the good things about EQ and put them into a game that was more accessible. I’d say their biggest departure from the EQ model was the emphasis on solo questing rather than grinding/grouping for leveling.

      I think the PvE endgame was quite similar beyond the instancing and smaller raid group size. Remember that WoW was designed by a bunch of extremely hardcore EQ players who were recruited by Blizzard from the top few guilds in EQ, and in the “hardcore” realm WoW was much more similar to EQ than elsewhere.

      Also, PvP was not under consideration for WoW until at least mid-late beta. Originally WoW was going to be purely PvE; PvP was tacked on at the last minute and was really nothing more than the ability to attack and kill other players until after several patches.

    • runtheplacered says:

      @negativedge ,

      Sorry… but. I can’t help but feel you’re picking and choosing which games to hate based on purely arbitrary details. If you say TOR copied WOW then imo you absolutely have to admit that WOW copied EQ (And AC’s UI) and the games that came before it. Or, you can not whine that TOR copied WOW. But I can’t see how it can be just one or the other.

    • Althilor says:

      Personally don’t see the difference between WoW on release and TOR now. WoW took the model of the most successful MMO at the time and changed some things and added a few things, but not enough to call it really original, just that what it did it did well. Now TOR is taking the model of the most successful MMO at the moment and changing a few things and adding a few things. People being people will go on trying to claim what WoW did and what TOR are doing are different due to some silly reason, but really, when you get down to it and take off the rose tinted specs, its the same thing.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Thank you for spotting a joke Brun.

      I am perfectly aware that WoW did not invent MMOs, or anything of the sort (I preferred to spend time on Guild Wars at the time)… and exactly as said, Bioware are the ones actually claiming that if you don’t copy WoW you’re doing it wrong, among other things.

      Of course, when this article is about wholesale copying of the previous SW MMO, a joke about the “copying” being done for the new SW MMO does not personally seem out of place.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      why does it matter who did what first? I, for one, only care about who did it better.

    • InternetBatman says:

      @negativeedge

      WoW might have made incremental improvements, but so did TOR. Companions, instanced story locations for every quest, significant voice acting, taking on 3 mobs as a standard, less dead time in combat, hearthstones that bind to multiple locations, ranged tanks, and abilities that move mobs around. The biggest difference by far is a consistent and meaningful story, and the ability to make some freaking choices in your quests. I only had about four hours to play and saw this stuff, and this is just the start of the game, without the years and years of feedback.

      TOR offers some significant changes from WoW, and each little bit furthers the genre.

    • negativedge says:

      furthers the genre?

      that shit is all fucking terrible, just like wow today is fucking terrible. quality isn’t the point of what I was saying. my point was wow was simply a take on the EQ ideas, just like every other MMO of the time was a take on the EQ ideas save UO (which obviously predated EQ, for one thing) and maybe sort of Star Wars Galaxies, just like any video game firmly steeped in a genre is a “take” of some archetypal game of that given genre. this star wars thing isn’t a take on anything, it’s modern wow Carnival mode colored a different shade of light saber. it is in some ways extended to be wow further than wow is wow (as you point out), but that’s hardly a thought process. it’s the difference between Sonic being a take on Mario and all the garbage mascot platformers in Sonic’s wake that decided to replace the blue hedgehog with a red bat

    • tetracycloide says:

      ” it is in some ways extended to be wow further than wow is wow”

      Those are some impressive mental gymnastics. Where did you train?

    • Brun says:

      @InternetBatman:

      On the list of major changes you mentioned, the only ones really new to TOR are Companions, Voice Acting, and making choices in your quests. WoW has been doing “instanced” story quests since Wrath (they call it phasing), and there is plenty of story behind the quests in WoW, it’s just not voice acted so the 90% of players who are too ADD to read quest text don’t get the benefit of the story.

      As for mechanical things like ranged tanking, those don’t really extend the genre as they can and have been done by other MMOs in the past.

  4. Arglebargle says:

    What state of repair is this version going to be in? SWG as first released was utterly broken. While some parts were genuinely interesting, other important things were never, ever fixed.

    Of course, my view may be a bit jaundiced by having been warned away from SWG at the time by members of the Dev team…..

    • Acidictadpole says:

      It’s going to be buggy, but it’s the old (good) SWG.

      SWG did great things. Terrible.. but great.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Nostalgia goggles. They didn’t make all those changes because the subscription numbers were booming.

  5. scorcher24 says:

    If SOE has some sense for communities, they give away the server protocol to those guys and let the client available for download or authorises them to offer it.
    It would be a smart move since it would raise news around the world and put SOE in a good light.

    ….. wtf? Okay, who of you woke me up? >_>

    • obowersa says:

      To be fair, it isn’t quite as simple as releasing the code.

      For one the systems are used in other active MMO’s. There’s always the concern of security ( as daft as that is.) Secondly and more importantly is the licencing agreement with lucas arts. They are extremely limited in that regard.

    • Rinimand says:

      @obowersa (12/05/2011 at 18:47) “To be fair, it isn’t quite as simple as releasing the code.”
      Agreed. For the reasons you mentioned but also that it would likely reduce their player count on TOR if they supported keeping a community run SWGEmu.

    • D says:

      I’m sure they have some outdated documentation of some of the more quirky things the client sends out. It’s not really releasing the code of the server, and it would only save time and save SOE some face on the whole ordeal. I hope they’ve updated their client messaging a couple of times since, it was afterall something like 8 years ago, and especially if they’re using it for other projects now.
      About the server population, I don’t think anyone wanting to play TOR exclusively would go to SWG:PreCU for their fix, and vice-versa. A double-sub seems much more likely. Pre-CU is an entirely different thing in the MMOsphere, basically before WoW got a say in it, so I don’t think its even possible to cause any falloff for TOR, nomatter how good SWGEmu gets. And at best, if SWGEmu becomes exactly the good old Pre-CU without any of the bugs or lags, you’re talking maybe hundreds of people in lost subscriptions. Thats a small price for a lot of goodwill towards some of SOEs biggest enemies.

      Edit: Not to mention, those couple hundred missed subs will be a good large percentage of the people who have that uncanny ability to powergame their way past the max level in the first 48 hours, then hang on the forums and complain about balance for the rest of the lifecycle. /kowtow

  6. Casshern says:

    SWGEmu still going strong! I’ve been following this project for years, really dedicated guys trying to give to the SWG community what SOE has taken away.

    • idiotboy says:

      As have I.. it’s amazing what they’ve done without the help of the evil Sony empire. This was a great game and still is.. I’m looking forward to the day when it’s complete.

  7. Smannesman says:

    Ok, although it’s nice they get a bit of recognition why post this today?
    Slow news week?

    • Alec Meer says:

      If this was your bottom:

      B

      I would slap it so hard.

    • Premium User Badge

      Durkonkell says:

      I’m really not certain that it would be appropriate to conduct yourself in that manner, Sir Alec. I imagine that such an act would precipitate the involvement of the constabulary in short order.

    • chrism says:

      …wait, so are you angry or pleased with him, Mr Meer?

    • dontnormally says:

      Did my comments disappear for a reason?
      /baffled
      /leaves pretty good comments if he does emote so himself

  8. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    Thanks Jeffrey.

    Theffrey.

  9. Lemming says:

    I would hope this project does well, but all I was ever able to find were forums for it and references to ‘builds’ but no obvious or clear way of just getting on and playing. I could be wrong, but I always got the impression the server spends far more time down than up?

  10. abfinz says:

    I feel it’s important to note that SWGEmu is a Pre-CU(i.e. before SOE borked the crap out of it) server emulator, so those who play SWG now will likely have some major adjusting to go through if they want to play SWGEmu.

    The last time I tried it, it seemed mostly stable, but there were a lot of missing features. Anything having to do with pets was unsupported along with many of the advanced professions. Also, they were just starting to work on getting random creatures to spawn on the planets.

    Overall, it looked promising, but it wasn’t complete enough for me to truly enjoy it yet.

  11. SirKicksalot says:

    I love that screenshot.

  12. Ergonomic Cat says:

    I hear that it’s coming along nicely. I suspect it’s similar in pop to SWG a year go. Mos Eisley is populated, Lol is full of hunters etc.

  13. TormDK says:

    SWGEmu worked last time I tried it, but it’s a few years off being the full blown thing.

    Prehaps more coders will be available once the SoE operated SWG shuts down.

  14. Jezebeau says:

    I think “millions of voices” might be a bit optimistic. :P

  15. malkav11 says:

    I do wish this sort of thing would take place for more dead and dying MMOs. It’s never felt right to me that any game simply stop existing, and even if, say, Auto Assault or Tabula Rasa were not really great shakes, it would be nice to be able to go back and revisit them for nostalgia if nothing else.

    Of course, I hated Galaxies, so this particular endeavour won’t be graced by my presence. Very sad, I’m sure.

    • Torgen says:

      If you know where I could find detailed information on how Auto Assault’s crafting system worked, I’d be appreciative. I just remember the basics, but it seemed to me to be the most involved, detailed crafting system I’ve seen in a computer game, what with the ability to “mod” recipes which worked differently for each player (If I’m remembering correctly.)

  16. meloncrab says:

    This game is the reason why I can not enjoy contemporary quest-based MMOs and especially The Old Republic. It’s also the reason why I play EVE Online. And cry myself to sleep whenever I think of CU/NGE.

    • sprobe says:

      I can’t find better words. And I still keep logging into Eve Online even if I don’t find time to play. Whatever an MMO defines, it has been defined by SWG for me.

      I am following the SWGEMU since NGE/CU, and those folks do an amazing job. I once thought it was dead. But now it looks pretty awesome, and you can do all sort of stuff.

      At least it always pays to log in, fly to Corellia, walk outside the star port and visit the huge player built houses in front of the town. It’s nostalgic.

  17. Phyon says:

    After hearing about this yesterday I went and gave it a shot they have made quite a bit of progress it had been so long since I played though it took me a while to set up the controls to actually move around. Good progress can’t wait to see more. Currently it is kind of fun to just browse around seeing sights.

    Playing it the combat feels like it should was no lag when I was on there are some bugs with creatures being like under ground. For people just starting walking to each mission and spending forever auto attacking is a bit boring. Also finding people to remove wounds is fairly difficult if you die. Which you might I had some weird instances where high levels would spawn right on top of me and kill me.

    First was at a mission where a Corsec major spawned right after I killed the lair I was at and proceeded to chase me for a mile and murder me after I was lucky enough to get full buffs from a event… That one was pretty bad if it only happened once shortly later there was a group of weak corsecs and hidden inside was a spec ops who murdered me as I tried passing them by to a mission.

    So I agree there are some very strange spawns happening. If any one tries it do watch that as getting wounds removed is a bit tough on the server right now. A lot of people seem to have fallen back into the old days of just afk skilling up. So in the cantina huge amount of people are afk and outside actually thinking about it there are afk people every where the medical center the cantina outside killing things. Some just spamming

    There are no houses which is to bad a lot of mining things all over the place though. I am not sure how far off they are from implementing housing. But once they get there that will bring a huge appeal back to this whole thing. They are close to having the major things back in the game.
    There are 3 professions currently missing they all have to do with pets. Creature handling droid engineering bio engineering and any of the ones dealing with space. Since space is also not in the game.

    I will play it some more and await those things being added. But for any new people it is rough starting out. Walking to each mission and how slow killing lairs is until you get your advanced class learned.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Admiral Snackbar says:

    I’ve been playing SWGemu for a few months. The experience is pretty awesome. You don’t ACTUALLY need a physical copy of the game, you can obtain one in any way you feel is best.

    The servers are very stable, there was a week or so of downtime recently, but that was the first downtime I had experienced at all in my months of playing it.

    It’s definitely worth checking out, at least in my opinion. I’m kind of addicted.

  19. bings says:

    umm is there a private server can take steam copy of the game i am jw that all i have

  20. Ian_W@ says:

    What Admiral Snackbar says is correct. Liberator works, and is stable, and is only reasonably buggy (notably some mobs hide underground). The devs will continue to be insistent that you need a legally obtained copy of SWG to play, and will continue to say you cannot not use a copy obtained from your local hive of scum and villany.

    Some things, like housing, are being tested on the Test server, and once these are debugged, Suncrusher – the much awaited production server – will go live.

    This will result in Liberator being wiped, so if you really dont want to see the death of another SWG character, wait for the announcement on Suncrusher.

    Phyon is right that life shooting womp rats is annoying without a speeder … but speeders tend to be about four missions worth of credits, and people have been known to buy them for newbies who arent actively begging.

    If you want to experience SWG again, come to the SWGEmu, register on the forums so you have an account, and come back to Mos Eisley, Cnet and all the places you missed.

    They have struck us down, and we will rise up, stronger than before.