This last week wound up being a medley of moments -- some pretty cool and others a study in frustration, honestly. However, to be completely fair, while some of this is related to the game, a goodly portion of the frustration is related to some pretty glaring oversights for newcomers on Sony Online Entertainment's part.
Curious as to what happened in Star Wars Galaxies this week? Join me behind the jump as I break down what things broke down, and what bits were pretty solidly in the "kick ass" column.
This week, I settled in on Thursday to run through the tail end of the Tatooine quests I'd left since I wanted to get to Naboo and see whether it really was as frustrating as everyone had said it was. However, the server hamsters were having none of it. After trying a handful of times, I gave the cause up as lost and headed off to look up some information on piloting. The good news is that Google says there's a fair amount of pilot information out there. The bad news is that a good chunk of the sites I saw are outdated sites, up to and including the Star Wars Galaxies official site piloting FAQ, which contains a number of dead links.
nearly the same FAQ, maintained by the same person. Only the forum version has valid links, looks like it's been updated regularly, and (I feel) contains a lot more newbie-friendly information than the main site FAQ does. It also has the benefit of being tied to the forum where people ask all manner of questions, so you can pick up a lot of information if you're willing to slog through the typical snarkiness inherent in pretty much every forum everywhere. On top of that, it offers a nice color-coded key that helps to explain all the different factors to a new player and, frankly, just makes sense. Sure, it's not a nice solid shade of gray-on-white to go with the rest of the site, but when it comes to reading it, it's simply easier on the eyes.
Armed with the knowledge of how to get started as a pilot (or so I thought), I headed out for the Imperial recruiter and signed up. Upon stepping outside of the building, I wound up getting wasted by a couple of patrolling Rebels in fairly short order since the town I was in happened to be under Rebel control.
Enter frustration and time spent running back and forth, trying to figure out why this faction switch simply wasn't working.
Heading offline and hunting down information via a combination of wiki and forums, I realized that through the process of prior questing, I had inadvertently managed to earn faction I wasn't aware of. Yes indeed: +200 for the Rebellion, and a whopping -25 for the Imperial faction. As I learned from reading, I needed to have at least +200 faction with the Imperials to be able to join up, no matter how many times I told the Recruiter I wanted to shoot things for the Empire.
Rather than accept defeat, I figured I'd join up temporarily with the Neutral faction more aligned towards the Imperials, and proceed to have some fun (and do a bit of faction grinding) by blowing assorted bad guys (and the odd Rebel) out of the sky. I wasn't disappointed!
I should note that I've read I can drop pilot factions once I've gotten my overall faction up enough for the Imperials to take me in, so I'm not tied to being Neutral -- as long as I'm willing to do a bit of mission-running for the side I want to swap to, anyway. Just from my perspective, it wouldn't hurt to make that whole process a bit more obvious -- and to update the links on the main site.
As we're coming into our last official Choose My Adventure days in Star Wars Galaxies, I'd like to request that you drop me a comment if you know of anything else I haven't had a chance to look into (aside from factional warfare, which is on the menu for this week, with luck). Also, as before, if you know of an RP event, let me know! Perhaps the server hamster heavens will see fit to play nice and let me check out one of the things I've heard is the lifeblood of Star Wars Galaxies.