Yay… it’s Ewok Festival of Love month… … … OK, I have to confess, I struggle to conjure up any real interest in this holiday event. As a real-world holiday, I’ve always ignored Valentine’s Day (sorry Mrs MMOFolklorist-to-be), and the imagery of love hearts, teddy bears and cupids doesn’t appeal to me in the same way that those other two great MMO holiday event inspirations do (those being Halloween and Christmas of course). Still, in the great MMO spirit of giving players something, anything to do to keep them from playing something else (and this month had a whole lot of something else to tempt gamers away), a lot of servers flicked the switch to activate this silly little annual event.
Most of the servers that are running the event are offering some kind of custom quest or reward(s), and many have also used the opportunity to patch in some other tweaks and hotfixes. Beyond, Legends, Prophecy, Restoration III and Sunrunner II are all still running the event as of the start of March, so if neon angel wings and halos are your idea of Star Wars-y and iconic then by all means go jump on over to one of those servers while the going’s good.
Dark Rebellion (SWGEmu-based server)
Usually, the news of yet another Galaxies server launching is something to be met with a groan, but Dark Rebellion is promising something quite different. Describing itself as “not a play server“, the game’s mechanics have been opened up by its developer to offer an immersive roleplaying experience.
Set in an alternate canon where the Empire was victorious in the Battle of Endor, players can customize the appearance of their character any way they want (without the need for crafted clothing) and jump straight into the original story with regularly hosted live events. The tabletop RPG inspirations even extend to a D20-bas skill system, which crucially means that players won’t have to grind skills to become the character they want to be.
While my unceasing state of self-consciousness has always quelled any interest I have in roleplaying proper, the concept behind this server has me very interested in seeing how it develops. You can jump into the Alpha now, and check out the roadmap to see what’s planned for the coming months.
SWG: Legends (Custom NGE rogue server)
Legends celebrated its sixth anniversary at the end of February, and in return, it’s giving away some new paintings and a cantina-hopping Instant Transport Vehicle. Players can also finally set up home on Bespin – provided they’ve got enough credits. One of a limited number of stunning apartments can be yours for the hefty sum of 25 million credits, making the new abodes not only a good bragging right but a considerable credit sink for a game whose economy has always been quite rampantly out of control. Bree over at MassivelyOP has some great shots of the interiors, but what’s really exciting is to think of what players will do with the new apartments once they start decorating them.
SWG Expanded (Custom content for SWG Source servers)
If The Book of Boba Fett has got you hankering for more Mandalorian content in your SWG then Expanded has you covered with its latest content release – the Death Watch Armor Pack. Featuring a colour scheme and armour piece combination more closely resembling their Expanded Universe aesthetic, any server is free to add this content to their own provided they give credit.
An Empire in Flames (SWGEmu-based server)
OK, technically this patch dropped on the first of March, but it’s out there and it’s a juicy one so I’m covering it now. EiF has added yet another two species, Arkanian and Echani, to its already huge list of player races. They’ve also added further customization options to the Chiss and Dathomiri witch races.
Furthermore, they’ve teased the addition of “worn weapons”, such as a wrist-mounted flame thrower.
SWGEmu (Pre-CU vanilla emulator)
And finally, in a double-whammy of not-so-great news, SWGEmu announced that its Basilisk test server will be coming offline in the very near future. This news isn’t really all that bad as the Finalizer server has pretty much resulted in Basilisk having no legitimate reason to exist anymore, but it’s still kind of bittersweet to see such an important part of SWG‘s history disappearing. The devs have shared that it’s unlikely that the server will make it to its monumental tenth anniversary in June, but they have promised to send the server out with a big event.
SWG RPG (Unreal Engine 4 remake)
While SWGEmu will live on, the same can’t be said for the SWG Unreal Engine 4 remake, which sadly ceased development this month following legal action from Disney. While it was always unlikely that this project would ever make it to release without attracting a little too much unwanted attention, it seems that the dreaded day has arrived sooner than we would have all liked.
While it won’t be the game we all wanted to see, the mysterious developer behind the project has vowed to continue building a similar game without the Star Wars IP attached. What they managed to accomplish in porting SWG to the new engine was quite incredible, so I wish them all the best in their future developing endeavours.