I know what you’re probably thinking. How the hell is SWG in any way like DF? Well my friend, I will tell you!
Anyone who has played DF, figured it out a bit, and mainly played solo knows that there is a point when the only thing to focus on is your skills. So what do you do? You can keep killing all these goblin scouts in your quasi safe zones or you can step it up a bit and move further out from town to some harder camps which not only grant more skill gain but also more lewt lewt! It is a bit of an empty feeling, mainly because you’re solo, and it drives you to grind those skills. Why? Because you can’t think that anyone could possibly want you in their group as such a weak ass bitch! Amirite? So you figure, grind these skills, buy one of those things, get myself situated, my feet planted, and then someone will not only want me in their group but some may even need me in their group.
The world feels very open when you’re alone. I remember times I would ride across all of Alfar lands and I wouldn’t see one other person. But I knew they were there somewhere, I knew that most people ran in groups, and I knew I needed to keep grinding before I joined them. Now sure, I could have just waltzed on in there on Day 1 and let them carry me to a better level (skill wise). However, that isn’t me. I come out of nowhere with enough skills to hold my own against an average person (I didn’t get to that point in DF by any means). In DF this isn’t as possible due to it taking a lot of time to get to that point, especially since it is a PvP game. But in SWG, where it is mostly PvE with some PvP sprinkled in, this is much more possible.
That is where I am on SWG Emu, the emulated SWG project intent on creating a Sphere/POL like Pre-CU/NGE SWG server (Sphere and POL are UO server hosting software stuffs, so you can host your own UO server). A lot of it is working as well as resembling my memories of the live SWG. I believe they took the original installation of SWG and reverse engineered it. What is happening right now is they are working on what they call the OR, Object Restructuring, which if I recall correctly was one of the bigger problems for the live SWG team when they finally gave Weaponsmiths their purpose back. The only difference is it took SOE years after the NGE came out to fix this whereas these guys are fixing it now, with 500,000 lines of code less to dig through (no clue on that lines of code #, just BSing).
I may have mentioned that I wanted to make a Creature Handler, well, that isn’t possible yet. They’ve stopped all development except for the OR, which is a good thing, the OR will bring Housing (I believe) and also put a stop to a lot of little problems involving items and such. I really don’t know what I’m talking about, but its better when I act like I do.
Currently I am a X4X4 Marksman (how long has it been since you’ve seen that shit!), 4X33 Medic, X3X1 Pistoleer, and 3XXX Scout. What do the crazy numbers mean? They refer to branches of each tree (each tree being a profession ie Medic, Pistoleer, etc). You can find a link to these here. As you can see each tree has 4 branches with 4 boxes to fill up with XP. So when I say I am X3X1 Pistoleer, it means I have trained Expert Pistol Marksmanship and Intermediate Pistol Special Abilities.
I have noticed a few of the things I really liked about the good old days of SWG. For instance, Cantinas and Medical Centers. When you die you become incapacitated (knocked out pretty much for 10 seconds) if you stand up 10 seconds later and die again, you’re really dead this time and must respawn at a cloning facility. When this happens you Health Action or Mind (read: HP, melee/ranged combat ability mana, and mana) get wounds. Say you have 1000 HP and you have 50 Health wounds, you really have 950 HP and the 50HP on your bar is blacked out. You have to see a doctor or a medic to heal these wounds. You can let them accumulate but sometime you will have to see someone (unless you heal it yourself like me!). Medics and Doctors can only heal Health and Action wounds (as well as strength, constitution, stamina, endurance which are sub stats of Health and Action) and Entertainers can heal Mind wounds (willpower, focus as well). So not only do you need to see a Doctor/Medic but also a Entertainer, you have to. I mean you could probably just buy a bunch of wound stimpacks and raise your ability to use higher level ones, but I don’t think you can get out of seeing an Entertainer for your Mind wounds.
Anyways, Entertainers dance in Cantinas and you can usually find a medic there able to heal your wounds. Doctors are usually in Medical Centers (not necessary to see them) offering buffs for money and probably healing action and health wounds as needed. Eventually you will see Doctors all the time because you can afford the buffs and become used to having them.
These places are hotspots for players. You have to go to them eventually so if you sit in one long enough you can see everyone who comes through that area. You can also teach anyone the skills you possess if they have enough exp to spend on it. Which leads to people coming to the Cantinas asking “Can anyone teach me Marksman X2XX?”. It is a community thing.
Forced socialization without forced grouping, though, you could have medic skills as well as Entertainer skills and be completely self sufficient/gimped for PvE (unless you want to be the guy who can do a little bit of everything okay but nothing really good).
I believe this post may be mistitled since the DF feeling was such a small portion of this post, but the feeling is ever present when I play. In DF this feeling would normally demotivate me, whereas here it motivates me, because it actually is possible.
Now it is time for a story. One of my, adventures, if you will. Sure it may be boring but, hey, its my blog and I want to tell a story like I used to! I actually would like to remember to take screenshots as I play so I can make PICTURE STORIES, FUCK YEAH. Lets be 5 again.
Okay, so, I’ll try and catch you up with my character. I started as a Marksman on Corellia. My intent was to become a Creature Handler due to hearing about how fuckin awesome they were back then. Then I found out that this would not be possible as the CH is not yet in, boohoo. I tried to do a few missions and failed miserably due to big fucking aggro, red conning sumbitches spawning right next to my mission objective and raping me repeatedly. Ahh, the good old days.
From there I went to Kor Vella and headed out of town to the East, to my cave of old, the Afarathu Cave. I grinded in here a bit due to the mobs dropping money and me being poor as crap. At this point I still did not have transportation so the running was really getting to me. It was at this time when I realized that I want Scout 4XXX for the Terrain Negotiation bonuses it provides (making scaling inclines much easier for my toon).
Soon after all of that I moved to Tattooine with the hopes of being able to take on Fort Tusken. These were mighty high hopes as I was maybe on my 3rd or 4th block of Pistol exp. When I arrived (I had bought a landspeeder after finally doing some missions) I went to the back entrance, a small cave, and stepped in to try out the Tusken Sniper waiting by the entrance. I was barely able to defeat the Sniper, red con, but I did. The next mob was a yellow con so I went for him too. Before I knew it I was clearing the first 4 mobs then turning back to start again on the first Tuksen Sniper as it respawned. Lots of grinding, not a lot of shinies, sounds like DF, sounds like SWG.
Once I attained Novice Pistoleer I ventured to the Sennex Cave NorthEast of Mos Eisley. The mobs here were just as tough if not tougher than at Fort Tusken, however, they were all melee mobs. This means they would run right up to me and fight, which thanks to my weapon is a good thing for me. My pistol gets an accuracy bonus at 0M (zero meters) so I was hitting these guys almost every shot and doing a lot of dmg. I began killing these guys for 5k Pistol exp a pop and before I knew it I was ready to train. At this point it had been getting difficult to find someone to teach me Pistoleer skills unless I wanted to stand around and wait for them to come by or actively seek them out at other cities, I figured, run a few missions and buy the skill myself so that I can train others.
Since then I’ve progressed quite a bit. One thing, which some would probably consider a no no, presented itself to me during a mission. I found a camp of Jabba’s henchman, conning red to me, with just under 1k hp. Now, each shot I do maxes out at around 850 dmg, so it is safe to say that I could 1-2 shot these guys. So, I gave it a shot. Well, I killed em alright, and they were worth as much xp as the guys in the Sennex Cave who had roughly 8 times as much HP. So lets just say I killed about 8 of these guys and then they respawned, and that happened a few times before I ran away for fear of getting in trouble. Now we can say, bonedead, you bad exploiter face you! Or we can say, it’s pretty much beta testing, it doesn’t matter, plus I’m just catching up to people. I can’t submit it as a bug because they’re working on the OR, not mob spawns and shit, so fuck it. It had to have been a rare occasion, and if not, then I know I’m not the only one aware of it.
Anyways, I have enough XP to train Pistoleer X4XX and set myself en route to Eisley on my landspeeder. I walked away and forgot about it, found myself driving into an Eisley wall, pretty good pointing considering I came from about 5km away at the Sennex Cave. I logged and went to bed.
Tonight, I don’t know what I will do. SWG is an extremely immersive game and it really does feel like you can log in and do just about anything. Which is why I don’t know what I’m going to do. I could raise my pistol skills, finally get around to finishing up Master Medic, finally get around to obtaining high quality materials to craft stimpacks with, start working on my crafter, try to create an EZ(er) mode force sensitive character, get looped into some wild adventure with some people, train some newbs in the ways of the pistol, go to another planet and see whats up, do some missions and finally buy a swoop, hunt down a weaponsmith and get a quote for an uber pistol, participate in any live events, and the list seriously goes on and on. I can’t plan with this game, I can just log in, and see what happens.