by Michael Moore
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... Well more like two months ago in this galaxy, Star Wars Galaxies was released. Currently Galaxies has over 275,000 registered users, making it second largest subscription online game in the US, behind Everquest.
Galaxies starts off by having you pick a server, then you pick a name which cant be the same as anyone else on the server even if the surname is different (thats just a little peeve of mine.) After that you get to pick your characters race. Each race has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example Wookiees cant wear armor and can only take in Shyriiwook language, but they are powerful hand-to-hand fighters due to their size, and also start off with a lot of hit points.
Then you get to pick a starting profession, there are five starting profession (marksman, artisan, entertainer, scout, and brawler.) Each job has its own attributes that affect your stats, just like your race did. As you play the game you get experience which you use towards learning new skills. You can learn this skill from NPC trainers who will charge you a fee, or from other players. Once you learn a certain skill or skills, you can learn a higher profession. Like if you learn one-handed sword specialist, you can then become a fencer. These higher professions have their own skill trees that you can follow like the starting professions did. The difference is that these professions are the ones that will distinguish your character and also make them a lot better or stronger.
After youve completed your characters appearance and picked a starting job youll get a little walk through tutorial of the controls of the game, and how to do certain things. The tutorial is very helpful, especially for those of you like me who dont read the manual. The main part of the tutorial is teaching you the games circle menu system. The basic premise of it is that when you click and hold on an NPC, another player, or any other object, a circle will appear around them and various buttons will appear on the circle. These buttons being different actions you can do involving the object or person. Things like attack, converse, sit, pick up, etc. The menu is pretty simple, and a nice little feature, but is kind of a nuisance when youre trying to use it on a moving target, like wild animals and such. So you should learn the keyboard controls since its a lot faster to target and get things done through the keyboard then it is through the circle menu.
So now you have a character, a server, and you mastered the menus, now what? Well thats up to you. The game is completely wide open. You go hang out in the cantina and listen to musicians or be one, you can join a guild, or make your own. There are endless possibilities really.
Ok here is the important part of this review, Galaxies is fun, but at times it can become kind of tedious. With the marksman and brawler professions, youll find yourself running around doing destroying missions where you take out a wild animal nest. They are good money, but there are only so many times you can take out a scavenger rat nest. Artisan is probably one of the hardest professions. When the game first started it was a race between artisans to see who could make the best and newest stuff, since people were willing to pay top dollar, then a few days later all the prices dropped through the floor since everyone could make it. Recently though they added some nice features for the artisan so that you arent making 500 rifle add-ons so that you can get the experience to learn engineering 4. They added a practice option to crafting items, where you use the materials but dont actually produce some. This is good for everyone since it now the bazaar isnt filled with thousands of the same useless item. There are also now mission terminals for entertainers, artisans and explorers. So that then can earn money while gaining experience towards their profession.
Now Galaxies was my first MMORPG, and think its a good starting one for people who want to start playing them, but its not really for the casual player. You need to go on the game at least once a day to really get anywhere in the game. Even though I really did enjoy this game, I still think there are a few problems that they need to fix. Some cities are just way too big, and because they are so big the game lags
a lot. So if your computer isnt super great, steer clear of big cities. Also the game is too quite. When your running around the wilderness, you kind of expect to hear music or something. Sometimes there is music; it seems to pop in random to freak you out. Especially since it sort of sounds like the battle music.
Well the whole experience with Galaxies is really what you make of it. If you go into the game wanting to have fun playing an MMORPG you will. If you go in wanting to hate the game you will.