Squaring off with SWG's producer, Teesquared

The fans of Star Wars Galaxies are stalwart. Despite all the trouble the game has gone through, it features one of the most active communities in the Sony Online Entertainment library of MMOs. The developers have noticed this and have continued to work diligently on new content for the loyal players.

Recently, we took the opportunity to ask SWG's current Producer Tony "Teesquared" Tyson some questions about the present and future of the title. He answered all our inquiries about holiday events, future updates, the Galactic Civil War, and the Trading Card Game. Some exciting things are coming!

Follow us after the break to find out what future holds in a galaxy far, far away...

Massively: T², thank you for taking the time to talk to us. There are many fans of Star Wars Galaxies at Massively. Our West Coast Editor Bree Royce and I still have active characters on Starsider. We have both been playing off and on since the beginning of the game and are avid Star Wars fans.

Tony "Teesquared" Tyson, Producer: Yay! Thanks for your interest in Star Wars Galaxies! It's great to hear we have some SWG players working at Massively. We are definitely excited to share some info on upcoming new features and updates that are going into the game. SWG is the only classic Star Wars MMO, and we are very proud of that fact. Our fans, like you, are very passionate about Stars Wars, and that is a big part of what attracts people to our game.

I am extremely glad you have continued to create such a great game, and given the amount of time you have been a part of the team that creates SWG, I am sure you have an extraordinary vision for the game round off the year. Would you tell us a little bit about your overall plans for the rest of 2010 and maybe a little into 2011?

I've been working on SWG for over six years now. I feel like we have grown up together. I experience new challenges and learn new things every day. It's the most fun and rewarding job I have ever had!

Our vision for SWG is driven by our players. Players unload tons of great ideas on us at the fan events, through our Facebook page and our website forum discussions. These ideas have dictated many of the enhancements and additions we have made to the game.

The next feature we will be releasing is the Rare Loot System (RLS). Over the last seven years there have been thousands of unique items added to SWG, and for various reasons, many of these items are no longer attainable or may never have been attainable by some players. That's changing now. Players will now be able to log into the game and obtain these rare loot items by adventuring, participating in heroics, GCW invasions and through other avenues in the future. Wow! We are really excited about this. The sense of discovering something rare and collectible unexpectedly is really fun and our players are very excited about this new system's implementation.

Also, next week will be the finale of our seventh anniversary celebration. We marked this momentous event by giving players seven gifts each representing one theme from each of the seven years since launch. Using player suggestions, we created and gave out amazing rewards that were themed around what was going on in the game for that year. To celebrate year three and our expansion, Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookiees™, we gave out a schematic for a Kashyyyk tree house. This house is modeled after the home base for the Wookiees of Kashyyyk. For year four and Trials of Obi-wan, the players received a schematic for a vehicle lava resistance kit, since most that expansion took place on the lava covered planet of Mustafar. And the year seven gift and finale for the entire event are the most amazing loot items to date. We do not want to give away too much, but they are definitely the highlight of the entire set of anniversary gifts -- we saved the best for last!

We haven't forgotten about story content either. This year we will be releasing the Witches of Dathomir quest series. On the eerie and mysterious planet of the Dathomir, there is a disturbance among the Nightsisters. The players will get a chance to discover what is going on and, yet again, save the Galaxy from doom and destruction.

For the rest of this year, we have Wookiee Life Day and the ongoing character profession and game play enhancements. Players bring issues to our attention on a regular basis. We like to dedicate development time for each of our updates to address these issues. We recognize that our community is a big part of what makes SWG special and that is where we put a lot of our focus. There is no doubt that the SWG community has grown over the years and continues to thrive. It is what is really unique about this type of game and what makes being the producer of SWG so cool.

So far, 2010 has definitely been the year of the Galactic Civil War. You have ramped up player expectations with a totally new invasion system that allows all types of players -- not just combat-types -- to make a major contribution to the events. You have changed the players' expectations for the game. Are we going to see more of this all-inclusiveness with the holiday events, the Witches of Dathomir update, and other future updates?

The GCW is stronger than ever in SWG. Earlier this year we introduced city invasions where players work together with game controlled AI to attack or defend key cities in the galaxy. The last update also brought with it individual, city and guild GCW leaderboards. Compete with your friends to attain the highest ranks and enjoy perks and rewards for your efforts. We also value letting our players create some of their own stories inside the game. In 2011, you can expect to see Galactic Civil War (GCW) 2 which will bring the challenges and battles of the war to space and player cities. For user generated content, we have some new features in-store for the SWG Chronicles system that will really set those player created quests on fire.

We are really glad you like the Galactic Civil War invasion system. We knew we had a very unique and challenging system that, with time, we could continue to update and balance. Including all players, regardless of play style, and giving them a role in the war was the key focus of the invasions and its great hearing you feel we accomplished that.

Our plan is to continue to involve everyone in the updates. The SWG seventh anniversary celebration was an example of how we focused the gifts on various professions in the game. The schematics, decorations, and functional items included something for everyone. So you can expect that the holiday events, the quest series like Witches of Dathomir, and the other planned updates that I mentioned to include aspects that are non-combat related.

This article was originally published on Massively.