Somehow the whole “May the 4th be with you” joke has become a real thing which Disney continues to embrace more and more each year. This year the date sees the beginning of a new animated series over on Disney+, while gamers can bag themselves a cheap deal on the extensive catalogue of Star Wars titles available on digital games stores.
Outside of a few tchotchkes being handed out to players of The Old Republic and Squadrons however Disney isn’t really offering gamers anything new. That’s where the fans step in. Here are four Star Wars Galaxies rogue servers who are offering players something a little different on or around the May the 4th date.
Legends: City in the Clouds Expansion
After years in development, Bespin is coming to SWG Legends. This is by far the most ambitious content drop on any SWG rogue server to date and from my early impressions back in January the claim that this is a full-fledged expansion seems absolutely justified. Players of every profession will have something new to do and there are sure to be plenty of surprises that we still don’t know about. It’s pretty likely that the release of the expansion will see the server flying past the 3000 concurrent players mark sometime next week which is an incredible feat, but it’s yet to be determined how this will affect the gameplay experience with so many players scrabbling over the new content at once.
Restoration III: The First CU Rogue Server
The history of Star Wars Galaxies can be divided into two distinct eras: NGE and pre-NGE. Between those two however, the short-lived Combat Upgrade overhauled the game in a somewhat less severe manner than the NGE. As the CU-era lasted less than six months it doesn’t quite have as many fans as the other two eras, but there is certainly a contingent which argues that it was the best version of the game’s combat systems, and would’ve resulted in a stronger game had LucasArts and SOE stuck with it. As Restoration III is based on the same source code as SWG Legends, the server will also feature the Jump to Lightspeed expansion as well as lots of custom content. It’s not quite ready to launch yet, but a release date is set to be announced on May 3rd.
An Empire in Flames: Schisms of the Force Update
One of the longest-running pre-NGE servers, An Empire in Flames is celebrating its fourth anniversary by releasing the Schisms of the Force update, which promises to bring Jedi to the game in an all-new way. Although concrete details are scarce on just how the system will function, the server’s Discord and Twitter channels have given an exciting visual preview of some of the new items and abilities that players can expect to find in the update (including Inquisitor and Ahsoka-style lightsabers!). Considering the ways that Halyn and the team at EiF have been able to push the limits of the SWGEmu code, players can be certain that this system will have plenty of unique features that set it apart from other servers’ implementations of the glowbat-wielding alpha class.
Sunrunner II: Mandalore
Empire in Flames‘ twin server has been around for a couple of years now, and while the two share a fair amount of content, their server manifestos are quite different. Where you’ll find post-ROTJ content and experimental systems on EiF, the focus on Sunrunner II is to attempt a continuation of the game in line with the live development team’s original concept for the game. Lead developer Takh and his team have repurposed a lot of the post-NGE content into a form which suits the pre-NGE game, but they’ve also created several new planets. While it won’t be coming on May 4th, the latest planet, Mandalore, has been well into development for a few months now and should be ready to launch in the not-to-distant future. It promises to be “the most detailed custom planet” on the server so far and will feature new quests, collections and instances.
And for those looking for something a little different…
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds: Expanding Fronts Update
It’s been well over a decade since a new RTS set in the Star Wars universe has been released, but the modding community for both Galactic Battlegrounds and Empire at War have flourished in recent years, filling a gap in the market which Disney has otherwise ignored. The Expanding Fronts mod was first released back in 2016, but a new update is set to be released on May 4th. There aren’t any update notes yet, but players can expect balance and AI improvements, graphical improvements, and all new units based on the sequel trilogy and expanded universe, as well as The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Mandalorian television shows. As the base game will be on sale this weekend, now would be a great time to check this out if you’ve been itching for some Star Wars real-time strategy.