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An Empire Revisited: Life Day in SWG Legends

A true holiday special.

I’ve now racked up close to forty hours in SWG Legends – most of which has been spent powering through the Legacy quests. I remember them being boring when I first played them over ten years ago but compared with the story-driven MMOs which have come since SWG‘s introductory quest line is absolutely excruciating. Somehow the developers (the SOE developers, not SWG Legends‘ that is) managed to make even Jabba’s Palace an utter snoozefest.

There is so much story potential to be mined from the menagerie of characters that made brief appearances in the throne room scenes of Return of the Jedi, yet players are left looting creatures’ livers for Jabba’s chef. Still, that’s nothing compared to what players face when they reach Naboo. Remember for a second that the mandate for the NGE was to provide content that was “Star Wars-y and iconic”. By the time you fight your 3000th generic gang member outside some generic base in the middle of a generic field on Naboo you begin to realise why this phrase was so maligned and ridiculed by players back in 2005.

This guy is hanging around Jabba’s Palace, but why would you want to do quests for him when you can help the palace’s resident chef make Jabba’s favourite dinner?

Anyway, I’m done with Naboo now, and ready to set forth on Corellia. Before I’m forced to start mowing down thousands of Meatlumps (those most iconic Star Wars characters), I thought I’d take the time to check out some of the Life Day celebrations taking place right now on SWG Legends. I’m one of those people who actually enjoys holiday events in MMOs, and I have fond memories of Life Day on the live SWG servers. As such, I’ve been looking forward to seeing what the team at SWG Legends have added over the past few years.

Back in the live game, Life Day had grown so that it eventually encompassed three cities on the core planets of Tatooine, Corellia, and Naboo. While players on SWG Legends can still celebrate at these locations, they’ve sensibly made the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk the event’s new central hub. The team have added new rewards for partaking in the seasonal quests, but what I love most about this new area is the grotto, which just looks fantastic. Whichever team member was responsible for designing this deserves all the kudos for creating a space which genuinely makes you feel warm, cosy, and of course, festive!

I’ve similarly been impressed with the server’s revamp of the Lucky Despot in Mos Eisley. What was previously a cool shell of a building with little going on inside is now an exciting place to explore which actually feels alive. NPCs are moving around and doing things, there’s music, and the décor feels unique rather than just the same generic furniture and paintings adorning the walls as in every other NPC building in the game. There may not actually be much to do there content-wise, but in a sandbox game like SWG, it’s so important that places feel immersive and interesting. I would definitely host an event or even just hang out with some friends here sometime in the future.

It’s certainly a lot more interesting than the perennial favourite social spot in Mos Eisley, the cantina. Which, speaking of, has been subject to a thread on the game’s forums discussing whether or not it should be revamped similar to the work done on the Lucky Despot. Players generally seem split on this and I can understand why. It is without question the place where players have spent most of their time over the years and therefore there’s a lot of nostalgia tied up in the place.

Still, there’s no denying that the atmosphere from the films is sorely missing in SWG‘s interpretation. All the background characters are there, and the layout is spot-on, but it still feels kind of … empty. Players all tend to huddle around the front end of the bar, which means the back of the bar and the side rooms are eerily quiet save from the odd AFK Entertainer. Personally, I feel that there’s room for improvement here and judging by the interior design work I’ve seen at the Life Day grotto and the Lucky Despot I would be completely comfortable with those team members having a go at breathing a bit of new life into the cantina.

The newly revamped Lucky Despot.

At the end of the last entry in this series, I was left wondering whether or not to join UMBRA – an Imperial guild that had offered me an invite. Well, I went ahead and joined, getting myself a nice little house in the city of Rivermont on Rori while I was at it. As a low-level character I’ve not really had the opportunity to interact with the other members very much so far, but last night I attended my first guild event. One of the reasons I joined the guild was because of its emphasis on hosting events, and they sure didn’t disappoint!

Our city was all decked out for the holidays, and a race, present swapping, and costume contest were organised, with some great prizes on offer. I mostly lurked on the outskirts of the event, making a minimal effort in the outfit department by donning a Life Day jacket which I had purchased with the event reward tokens I had earned earlier that day. I had a great time and everyone in the guild seems really friendly, so I’m jazzed that I’m going to have a good group of people to do endgame content with. First though, I’d better go sort out this Meatlump problem on Corellia…

Rivermont City Hall decorated for the holidays.
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