Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed
Summary * History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters
Lucas Arts has a long history of producing award winning popular games. Lately, the Lucas Arts production has been mostly in the area of Star Wars. Hundreds of thousands of people paying a $15 monthly fee to use the service has made Lucas Arts rich.
The success of Star Wars Galaxies for them must have hurt their other creative efforts. Lucas arts no longer offers Adventure games which in no small part made up their record for creative and innovative games. Their best games include Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, the Monkey Island series, Sam and Max and many other wonderful games.
Recently, Lucas Arts cancelled sequels to Full Throttle and Sam and Max some of their most successful earlier games. Lucas Arts cannot give good reasons why they dropped the sequels. Many of Lucas Arts old fans enthusiastically anticipated the release of these sequels, but alas it was not to be.
The only way your are going to be able to Jump to Lightspeed is if you have been a player for six months and you activate the new game. No one says that if you were a player for a year and you return to the game after having cancelled it what they are going to do. The interstellar vehicle is a SoroSuub Personal Luxury Yacht 3000 that is similar to the Lady Luck of Lando Calrisian which was associated with the rebellian.
The ship has bridge, stateroom, meditation room, armory, engineering area, bar, two observation decks and an elevator. Any equipment may be placed into the ship, which can be used as a mobile home on the planet and can be redeeded if you like to free up one of the three slots on the ship. Another feature is that the ship cannot be destroyed-whatever that means.
Set in the Star Wars timeframe between Episode IV and Episode V, this first extension to the Star Wars Galaxies opens 10 vast and distinct space sectors, spanning from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim, for players to explore while engaging their opponents in intense real-time combat or uniting with friends in battle or exploration. Players can embark on more than 100 new missions, venturing through asteroid fields, nebulae and space junkyards while honing skills in four new space-specific professions. The game also features two new and completely customizable species. Starfighters and other starships will be featured in the expansion that can be used for both space exploration and combat, allowing players to join up with allies and fly familiar X-wings and TIE fighters into battle against faction-aligned opponents and AI-controlled ships. Transport ships similar to the well-known Millennium Falcon will also be added into the game, allowing players to venture through space with friends aboard.
The three pilot professions seem artificial. What is the difference between an Imperial Pilot, a Rebel Pilot and a Privateer as far as flying skill goes? They have a few skill differences but should they?
The good news is someone was listening and it takes no skill points for any of the new professions except shipwrigiht That is a good thing. Now you can use your favorite pilot and train them in all the new pilot professions. As a crafter you will have to futher gimp your character by giving up a profession to become a shipwright.
If you become a privateer and join the CorSec defense police you will walk shorter distances from your trainer and mission give to the starport, but your missions will be much much longer taking several minutes to get to the next waypoint battle. I dont know which is worse walking a long distance or flying a long distance, but both of them come under my "I hate to wait" category of inconvenience. If you dont hate to wait, disregard my comments.
Game design is still a problem. The game contains some very poor design elements, that have resulted in most of the people who used to play the game leaving to play something else. Those that have stayed behind are resigned to these bad features never changing when you bring them up they sigh and say no use talking about it, sony and lucas will never change it.
The number one reason people do not play this game is that you have to gimp your fighters to craft. Crafting professions are treated just like fighting professions. You get 250 skill points to put into the professions that you want to play. These skill points allow you to master three professions and a little more in terms of skill boxes. So that if you master one craft profession, you have to give up one fighting master. Your character is now at a distinct disadvantage with two master fighting categories and one master crafting category in a fight compared to three master fighting professions characters.
The number two reason has people have quit or just do not play Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) is that Square Enix and Final Fantasy XI (FFXI) have a better system. Star Wars Galaxies An Empire Divided pioneered a truly revolutionary concept when the game provided for changing jobs. The desgners liked this idea so much that they based their first quest for unlocking a force sensitive Jedi character slot.
The big drawback to this great idea that makes FFXI better than SWG is that you do not have to relearn a profession that you switch from when you decide you want to switch back to it. The punitive nature of the SWG profession switching and the generous nature of the FFXI profession (job) switching is what makes FFXI a better game and therefore explains why it attracts more players for longer periods of time.
I tried to post my suggestions on the www.starwarsgallaxies.com discussion forums and I was unable to loate a site that did not have this message attached: "Developers can start threads and the community can respond to those threads. Community members cannot start threads on this forum." It appears that Star Wars Galaxies is not interested in player feedback or suggestions unless it relates to developer approved topics. This lack of concern for the players is unbelievable in a consumer oriented society. Lucas and Sony seem to be saying to the users: "we only care about your opinions if they relate to topics that we have picked for you. Otherwise keep your opinions to yourself."
The initial missions of a pilot, either empire, resistance or freelance, are quite interesting because they involve specific early mission scripting. After the initial missions there is not much variety. Either you pick an assault mission where you kill wave after wave of ever increasing numbers of fighters or you pick an excort mission where you protect a ship against wave after wave of ever increasing numbers of fighters.
The plot for the early pilot missions is essentially the same: the trainer says "experience means nothing recruit do a few missions for me and I will train you." The trainers are not brilliant conversationalists but at least they say something different each time you talk to them in the pilot missions and guide you along by telling you where to go and what to do when you get there. I have been married for a few years so I appreciate being told where to go, it makes life simpler.
Difficulty in the game is accomplished by throwing at your single fighter as many as 12 enemies at one time followed by another wave of 10 enemies before your weapons can even recharge. The enemy Artificial Intelligence always acts the same unless you are up against an ace fighter that seems to be a bit more elusive, but probably just has better armor and weapons than you do.
There seems to be one problem with the new pilot quest system. Let me describe to you my problem with the pilot quest system. I have started a quest as a privateer/mercinary with Captain Rikkh (CorSec Pilot Trainer). The name of the quest is "Destroy Nym Spacecraft" with the description of quest "Hunt down Nym craft operating in the Lok System." Subtopics under the quest are Lok System with the description "Hunt down the targetted Nym craft in Lok Space, a specific target location is unknown," and "Search and Destroy" with the description "Exact location is not known for this particular mission."
I have gone to several locations in the Lok System and have not been able to find the "targetted Nym craft." I have now gotten enough experience to add two more tier two skill boxes to my character but when i return to Captain Rikkh and Sergeant Rhea they tell me that I should return when I am not busy for further assignements when I am ready for work. I cannot train my character in piloting, I cannot finish the current pilot quest and I cannot cancel the current pilot quest.
In the past when I found a quest/mission was too challenging I could cancel the quest and go back and take another quest/mission from the appropriate mission terminal. The mission was cancelled from the data pad (control d). It does not appear that these pilot quests associated with the pilot experience trees will allow you to cancel a quest in the new quest journal or in the data pad.
When I do go to the data pad and cancel the quest, and I return to Captain Rikkh, he asks me what happened and I tell him I fail, he tells me to get back to lok and destroy the nym craft. But I cannot find the Nym craft. Lok is a big place to look for one spaceship. So Captain Rikkh just gives you the mission again even if you don't want to do it.
It appears that someone at Sony/Lucas arts has not thought this one through. If you get stuck on a pilot quest, please don't tell me that you cannot cancel it and take another quest.
Another really restrictive game design element is that you cannot change from freelance to rebel to empire. You cannot even change bases easily from one rebel base to one of the three other bases. This game does not play like Elite or Freelancer or even Privateer and I think that the game designers have missed the boat not including the aspects of a true freelance pilot in the game with the ability to befriend everyone and build faction everywhere by balancing jobs for and against various factions. I enjoy living on this edge where you can work hard to build factions with the big guys while picking on the little guys.
The graphics for the space battles seems pretty much the same as the graphics in the Star Wars Galaxies An Empire Divided prior release of this game which is required to play Star Wars Galaxies Jump to Light Speed.
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