Thursday, April 16, 2015

TBT: Listen To Raph Tell The Tale

Raph Koster has been answering a series of questions about Galaxies and giving a rich background of how it all worked and came to be.

Hardcore Galaxies person that I am, I am thrilled to hear these behind the scenes stories, and see the thinking that went in to everything.

In the first post he talks about the TEF (Temporary Enemy Flag) system and how that came to be, and why it didn't work.  A fascinating look at the structuring of PvP within a game system.

I read that last night and went to sleep remembering raiding Imperial cities on Lok and Dantooine with guildies and Rebels from other cities.  Having my Architect get a TEF riding too near an Imp town with mines.  Having to coordinate where you'd clone and where you'd fly in to get close but not set off alarms with the opposing side.  How you could choose to be either Imperial or Rebel, but with my folks, once you were Imperial you could never be trusted, and they were very very serious and fierce about it.

In today's Post he talks about the design of the game, and the inclusion of Jedi and the problems that were caused throughout the life of the game because they existed. 

I knew the game was "rushed" and released too soon.  It is fascinating to see how much was juggled in the air, what was kept and what not as time grew short. 

This was my first MMO and I played because it was Star Wars, and because I read that you could do non-combat professions, and that you didn't need to PvP if you didn't want to.  It seemed to me at the time there were many games which notoriously had high level people hanging out in newbie areas and killing newbies as soon as they spawned.  I didn't want any part of that.

Luckily I met people pretty quickly who came from Everquest, Asheron's Call, and Final Fantasy who knew the ropes of online games and they helped me learn how to play.  I note Raph saying how heavy the game was on player interdependence, and for me that was everything, and the best system that could have been in place.

It all looked so different to us, the brand new MMO players who were all about Star Wars, and traveling to the far planets in search of adventure.  We didn't see the flaws that people who had played other games saw, I don't think.  We just loved living in that world.


  1. I think it probably looks like that for everyone's first MMO. I never got to play Star Wars Galaxies, but it sounds like you have many good memories to cherish. :)

    1. I was talking with my son about Galaxies this morning and he was astounded at the things I remembered, down to conversations with people. With your first MMO, if you come from other types of games that are single see an entity that isn't you, it's probably going to try to kill you. You have levels, not an open world where anything can happen. The mysteries of how to interact with the world and other people... boggling and thrilling all in a piece.

  2. Koster's stuff is always fascinating to read and this is no exception. I assume it's tied to the revival of the movie franchise but there's a lot of SWG buzz at the moment (and of course I'm no exception).

    1. I was thinking Walton and Koster are getting some of these stories out there so they can move on with Crowfall. It is a gift for players like myself who just could not figure out how it all went so wrong.
      I told my son about your adventure into emu land. I said dreamily that if things seemed good to you, who I trust, I might give it a try. I've long daydreamed that if the game came back, what character would I create. My Ranger. I had the best time playing her in the short period between the CU and NGE and wished I had created and played one much sooner. She remains one of my best characters, ever. Hope nobody has stolen my name :)


Leave a comment anytime. I love to talk games.