Imperial Demolition in Star Wars Galaxies

June 23, 2007

After the New Game Enhancement was forced on the Star Wars Galaxies community, tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of players left the game. When their accounts lapsed, their houses were left standing in player cities on all servers. Presumably this was because Sony Online Entertainment and Lucas Arts didn’t want to indicate the extent of their blunder by just having so many houses disappear. The true extent of the defection from the game would have been just too apparent. Denial (and a refusal to talk numbers) was the policy.

Today, despite attempts to bring in new players, the game is a shadow of its former self.

Finally, however, the developers have moved from denial to acceptance, and scheduled June 22, 2007 as the day for the demolition of the “abandoned” structures. They did an excellent job of this. For weeks prior to the day (which was delayed a couple times) structures that would be disappearing were marked “Abandoned”. When the big day arrived, rather than just having the buildings disappear, players were encouraged to click on them and call in “imperial forces” who would bomb them into destruction.

One indication of the popularity of this was the enormous lag, so that structures didn’t appear to be destroyed in a single bombing run. As Developer DeadMeat wrote on the official forum:

Well…You certainly have proven what 10,000 people loading up 50,000 houses and their items at roughly the same time can do to an array of high end Oracle servers SMILEY:-?  The effects on the database are causing a definite lag in the actual packing of the houses.  This should balance out once the initial rush is over.  This database hammering may effect some folks ability to log into some of the servers so please be patient.  There should be plenty of structures out there.  This will also cause a lag in the loading of object in your own structures so please do not worry that your items are disappearing.

.

I feel it is best to try and weather out this initial storm then trying to shut down some clusters to lessen the load.  Because of the lag, some packups may not go through if you move to a different region from the house itself so your best bet us to hang out and chat with your buddies until the house go away.  I will keep you informed as the situation develops and let you know if there are any other changes in our plans.

Every structure you eliminate gives you a reward. Some of these are rather stupid (really strange holo-pets), some are pretty nice (two new paintings). Once again most are non-trade, which is really boring, although it was been pointed out that even with a 5 structure per day maximum, some people would create free trial accounts, get their five, store them away, delete the accounts, and do it again, and again, and again.

Those who take out 10 buildings get a badge, those who take out 50 get a better badge.

Unfortunately, if Mos Vegas is anything to judge by, groups of players have gone through on the first day, removing virtually all the “abandoned” buildings. Getting those badges may be hard.

An excellent recent article in The Escapist puts the NGE into perspective. SOE and Lucas Arts thought they were fixing their game. What they failed to understand was that after a couple of years online, SWG had become a community. It was a place people went, hung out with friends, etc. It is terribly unethical to suddenly and arbitrarily change the rules of a community. People felt deeply betrayed, hence the continued demands that at least one server be put online with Classic SWG.

The reason this proposal is constantly rejected is because undoubtedly this one server would be filled with many times the number of players as all the other servers put together.

   

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