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SOE Fan Faire 2011: Star Wars Galaxies Gathering -- the final hurrah

Karen Bryan

The recent announcement of the closure of Star Wars Galaxies couldn't have come at a worse time for SWG players -- Fan Faire was just around the corner, and their celebratory mood had suddenly become somber. So as the Star Wars Galaxies gathering got underway, it was hard to anticipate what the atmosphere would be like. Would players continue the vocal protest of the closure, and continue the campaign to keep the game going? Or would players gather to share memories and celebrate the highlights of a unique sandbox MMO?

Players chose the latter, and as a result, the SWG gathering was a memorable event, complete with some nice raffle gifts for players, lots of memories, and a look towards what's coming up for the last few months of the game.

Senior Producer Tony "Teesquared" Tyson began by giving a little trip down memory lane, including several milestones in the game's history, and then followed by explaining that there was still more to come this fall even though the game is due to close in December. The team had compiled a wish list for the last few months of the game, and they're seeking additional input from players. Some things on the list were humorous, such as the name change of SOE Designer Mikkel "Hjal " Jensen to Yal, or the addition of torture animations for Community Manager Lydia "Zatozia" Pope. But others were some nice benefits for both old and new players, such as making character transfers a lot faster, or adding bonus "everything," such as experience and loot.

There was also a rundown of some of the features for the upcoming Galactic Civil Wars Two update. Factional space battles will go live, and high tier ships will be available to players. Outside each planet will be a factional space station, and players will be able to attack them as part of the civil war. In addition, there will be capital ships, and players will have to work together to weaken the enemy capital ship and allow their capital ship to take it down. New Ace pilots will also appear in game, such as Luke, Darth Vader, and Soontir Fel. They are high-end NPCs that players will be able to battle.

There will be tokens awarded for participation in space battles, and the amount is determined by a number of factors, such as difficulty of battle, or length of participation. Even if a player loses the battle, he can still earn a significant amount of tokens for his efforts.

There will be new craftable ships as well: the T-wing, the Scurrg H-6, and the Tie-Defender, which fans seemed especially happy to see. And the old pilot jackets and helmets will once again return, and will come in several new colors as well.

After the presentation, fans participated in a raffle for some nice posters and concept art, some of which adorned the walls of the SOE office. In addition, players signed a poster, creating one last piece of memorabilia to commemorate a very unique MMO, and one amazing community.

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