Star Wars Galaxies
I have a new addiction, and its name is Star Wars Galaxies (SWG). The highly anticipated MMOG from Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) was released on June 26. I received my copy on June 27 and have spent the last week or so learning the mechanics of the game. I was accepted into the Beta test, but did not play enough to learn a great deal about the game. So, I'm essentially starting with a clean slate.
The game has an incredibly steep learning curve. It is completely skill-based, meaning there are no "levels" like those found in other MMOGs. Your character advances by using his or her skills, such as healing, making weapons, harvesting resources and so on. After you've chosen your character's race, you start off with a basic profession — scout, artisan, entertainer, medic, marksman or brawler — and make your way through a series of skill trees toward a master profession. You can ultimately give your character up to two master professions depending on your choice of goals (some professions like Bounty Hunter are more skill-intensive and do not allow for a secondary master profession). I started with the Scout template and plan to make my character a Droid Engineer, with a secondary profession as a Creature Handler.
In spite of the bumpy launch (the login servers were down all day on the 26th), SWG has had a surprisingly good launch. There have been a few bugs popping up, but these have been taken care of on a daily basis (SOE has been patching the servers daily). And, there is a significant amount of content in the game at launch. This is a departure from other MMOGs (AC2 in particular) which have launched with a mere shell of the game intact. In addition, SOE plans to offer a monthly storyline with ongoing events and quests to keep the player's interest. To date, only AC has successfully pulled this off. Hopefully SOE can do the same.
With all the things to do, I'm definitely enjoying myself in the game. It will be interesting to see how SWG evolves over the next few months and years. With the exceedingly saturated MMOG market right now, SOE has its work cut out for itself to distinguish the game from its competitors.