Massively and Wow Insider shutting down after February 3rd :(

I’ve seen speculations that Massively and Wow Insider might be shutting down.  So quickly?  These sites have been so valuable to me throughout my gaming life. 

They’ve written about new and ongoing games with wit and intelligence and enthusiasm.  I can’t think of any other sites with such fine writing and excellent guides to the gaming worlds.

In theory the sites will be archived for a time, but if they are willing to shut them down so summarily, I’d not trust that, and I would copy any of their exceptional guides for yourself to help you get those last achievements, or figure out how to play that gnarly class.

Luckily, both posts gave the Twitter handles of our favorite writers and you can hopefully soon find them guiding us all through the MMOscape elsewhere.

I’ll miss Massively most of all:


Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous, Working As Intended
I'ma let you finish, but Star Wars Galaxies was the best MMO of all time.

I have sad news for the Massively staff and community today, news most of you already knew was coming.

This week, we learned our AOL overlords have decided that they no longer wish to be in the enthusiast blog business and are shutting all of them down. This mass-sunset includes decade-old gaming journalism icon Joystiq, and therefore, it includes us. February 3rd, 2015, will be the final day of operation for Massively-that-was.

I would like to be able to tell you truthfully that this is an equitable and just decision that makes some sort of logical sense, but the reality is that our overlords’ decisions have always been unfathomable. I know more of what I know about corporate from reading tech and finance news than through my own job. We all suspected this was coming eventually a year ago when a VP whose name I don’t even know and who never read our site chose to reward our staggering, hard-won 40% year-over-year page view growth by… hacking our budget in half. There’s nothing to do in the face of that kind of logic but throw your hands in the air. It’s not about merit or lack thereof, and it’s not about journalism or gaming being dead or anything grand like that, so there’s no point in taking it personally.

But for me, it’s hard not to. This was a lot more than a job for me. I’ve worked as a lead editor at Massively for just shy of five years, half of that as its boss, and it seeped into my life and became more than a full-time job, even though none of us ever received any benefits. You know that two-week “maternity leave” I took last year when my daughter was born? That was my vacation for the whole year. And I wasn’t alone in that foolishness/dedication; the Massively writers, past and present, bent over backward for the site. I flat out love these guys. I came in here as a geeky copyeditor and am leaving with a fleet of good friends and a much deeper understanding of how and why my favorite genre runs the way it does, and it will forever influence how I play games and whose games I buy.

Massively’s writers are second to none in the MMO genre; I’ll so dearly miss the day-to-day, down-in-the-trenches collaboration with my team. People actually cared about this place. In a year when other sites were finally discovering ethics, we wondered what took them so long because our network already had a transparent ethics policy. We already didn’t play dirty pool. You might not have agreed with all of our opinions — I didn’t always agree with our opinions! — but our hands were clean, and you can’t say that about a lot of sites in this industry. Some sites out there actually employ industry PR as fan writers, out in the open, like it’s no big thing.

That’s your industry now.

We tried to rise above it.

Our whole network did.

Penny Arcade

Thank you, PA.

Massively’s community deserves its kudos too. We had some trolls and some people who made me tear my hair out, but we also had a core of whip-smart regulars who sparked lively, thoughtful debate and inspired us to write more and better. I love our community, and I proved it by hiring several writers straight out of the comment section. I’m really going to miss being challenged to think harder and type faster by you. Where do I go to learn now? Even if I were still just a player, even if I had never worked here, I would be deeply troubled by the vanishing of a site like Massively. It’s just not fair, but it’s happening anyway.

I would like to thank each and every one of you who sent your condolences and best wishes and #savemassively tweets to us and kept #savejoystiq trending all Tuesday as the rumors began to leak out. There’s even a petition, for skies’ sake. I am sorry we couldn’t overtly confirm it then, but I’m pretty sure most of you reading have been around long enough to understand why. We’ve spent a lot of this week linking those comments to each other to keep our spirits up. Heck, some of our harshest critics and even devs we’ve written about unflatteringly nevertheless rallied around us, and we’re grateful and touched. Really, thank you. You’re genuinely classy in an industry that too frequently isn’t. But then I always knew that MMO players were a special breed of gamer. It’s why I’ve stuck by this genre for over 17 years. Community may be degrading inside of MMOs, but outside of them, nope — I see community every day.

I want to thank my team for standing by me through this brutal and exhausting last year in particular. Jef, who never put up with bullshit and always put the site first. Justin, who never complained and always did so much more than he had to. Eliot, with whom I spent so many mornings arguing just to argue. MJ, whose enthusiasm reminds me games are supposed to be fun. Toli, whose articles make me wish I could write half as well as he. Brendan, whose longevity is surpassed only by his talent and expertise in so many subjects. Larry, who wore any hat I asked him to and always found the inside scoops. And Mike, a consummate professional who for some reason willingly came back to write for me even after I had to lay him off once already. That is how much people love this place.

I would also like to thank my boss at Joystiq, Ludwig Kietzmann. He demonstrated tremendous faith in me to run Massively as a unique outlet in the industry. He insulated us from so much corporate ick, creating a writing-first environment that few internet editors ever experience. He kept us online last year when he could have cut us loose. And he treated the MMO genre with respect, which is nearly unheard of on mainstream gaming sites. /salute, Luddy

Many of you have asked us what’s next. As we’ve been alluding, we are considering striking out as a team on a site that isn’t beholden to indifferent corporate overlords. Those of you who are begging us to crowdfund might get a chance to put your money where your mouths are and help shape that idea. We’ll be releasing more information over the next few weeks as we formulate our plans and will be using our social media feeds to communicate when we’re ready. If we go forward, we hope you’ll join us.

In the meantime, I invite you to follow our writers and share your own Twitter handles in the comments so we can follow you right back. (I mean it: There are some posters here I really don’t want to lose track of.)

​Bree Royce (@nbrianna, blog)
Jef Reahard (@jefreahard)
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog)
Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog)
MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog)
Mike Foster (@MikedotFoster, blog)
Anatoli Ingram (@ceruleangrey)
Brendan Drain (@nyphur)
Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog)

The site, I’m told, will be archived and kept online, at least for a while. We’re here until the lights go out on Tuesday. When you can’t run, you crawl, and when you can’t crawl… well, you know how it goes.


Wow Insider!  How will I EVER get that #$%^&*^  Children’s Week Achievement without you?

WoW Insider is logging off

WoW Insider began operations on November 23, 2005. On Tuesday, February 3, 2015, WoW Insider operations will cease. I’m finding it difficult to say much more than that; eloquence fails at a time like this. We certainly weren’t expecting it.

Barb Dybwad personally launched the site that evolved into the one we know and love. Elizabeth Harper later took the helm as Editor-in-Chief, ushering the site from infancy to adolescence, and from there the helm passed from Liz, to Dan O’Halloran, then eventually to me in October of 2011. It’s a tough job steering this ship. The winds are fierce and the waters choppy. It’s a bit dramatic to say something like heavy lies the crown, but I suppose I need to take the opportunity while I have it. Though, I don’t think sea captains wear crowns.

What a terrible metaphor.

I meant to segue all of that into a discussion of our merry crew, our beautiful band of staffers, the WoW Insider personalities we’ve all come to love in the years, but I suppose you already know them. How couldn’t you? Just imagine Matthew Rossi singing a sea shanty. We wrote by shanty, you know. Audio conference call on the high seas all day, every day. Honest truth. Cross my heart.

In our final hours, however, I want this to be about us. Not just us, the staff. You, too. Our readers. We did what we did, and what we do, for all of you and with all of you. We’ve always done our very best to embrace the World of Warcraft community. We worked to ensure all were welcome. It didn’t matter who you were or how you played, how casual or hardcore, we wanted you to know you had a place. It wasn’t about being first to the news — it was about ensuring everyone had the context and information necessary to understand it. Through features like The Queue, and through you, we tried to pinpoint exactly what the players needed and how to deliver it. It was about giving praise where it was due — and criticism, too. We pushed to make the game better, and a better place, whenever we could and wherever we could. We couldn’t have done any of it with you.

In the end, we were friends. I can think of no other way to put it. Staff, audience, community. We were friends.

This is the end of WoW Insider, but it isn’t the end of us. Friendship lives on. What comes next for our intrepid crew? You’ll find out soon, but not here. Follow us on Twitter and keep that date, February 3, close in mind. You don’t know what our Twitter handles are, you say? Let me help:

Give me a shanty, lads and ladies. Onward until dawn!


I found a bunch of interesting folks to follow on Twitter (including the glorious Crowfall).  I thought about putting in a Tweet, but as a friend once said “my mind is erased”.  So.

Tiny Screen Adventures: Monument Valley Stuck

I tried level five from the start and am stuck in the same spot.
You can’t pass the Crows by, they just yammer in your face when they’re nearby.
If you step on a purple square, the lever which turns to create stair ways and openings becomes inactive.
I was sailing along on these puzzles till this one.  Time to search the net for a solution.
Note:  I found the solution.  I did not see the possibility of it. I was able to use the same trick in the next bit of the puzzle as well so they won’t fool me again.  In this particular way.

Galaxies Tuesday: Dead Crafter.doc

In addition to the 32 professions wedged into 9, crafting was dealt a near death blow.    Rangers and Scouts were gone, as were their gathering skills.   If you had a stock of meats and hides you could still make things but you couldn’t get any new resources.  The NGE made it impossible for quite awhile to get meats and hides for crafting at all.  This was as intended.  When you could finally get these items again, it was made difficult for you because you couldn’t loot while in combat, and creatures who had died disappeared pretty quickly, and I believe you had six seconds to loot a dead creature and select what resource you wanted (you couldn’t have it all).  If you weren’t quick enough your efforts were for nothing.

Here is a statement from Chris Cao about where crafting fit in with the new “adventurous” world and Q and A’s with players about the changes and possible fixes for their now changed/deleted professions.

1.     This PM came from ChrisCao

Thanks for the link. I read the post and the comments that followed it. And I think the thread gave me a really good idea of the current opinions and gameplay preferences of this segment of the Trader community. As we’ve posted elsewhere, the recent enchancements brought about by the NGE are focused on bringing a greater sense of Star Wars adventure to SWG. In some cases, these changes necessitated the modification or removal of existing systems. This is especially true of the various items systems (which are integral to the Trader profession).

SWG post-NGE is a world where creatures drop items that players can and want to use. This is a fundamental change made to increase the enjoyment for the adventuring player and entice Star Wars adventure gameplay by offering tangible rewards for killing creatures. Yes, it means that many of the things crafters previously expected no longer apply to tradecraft in SWG (e.g. decay, exclusive markets, strict market interdependency), but it does open other options that better support and adventurous Star Wars experience.

We understand and realize that players enjoyed the previous trader-centric items system. It offered a lot of options for artisans and created a unique economic environment in SWG. At the same time, this system had its limitations when an adventurous Star Wars experience is considered. What we are now working towards is a system that continues to make Trader a viable and interesting profession while supporting rather than limiting a more action-centric core game.

We’re committed to continuing to modifying and improving the Trader profession, especially as it enhances the sense of Star Wars adventure offered by the NGE. At the same time, the new direction offered by the NGE necessitates fundamental changes that will make some prior systems no longer apply.


2.     Re: So TH… What (according to you) are the top 5 player concerns   3/9/06

Thanks to everyone for posting.

So about those “Top 5” Issues.

If you look through this thread and read people’s posts, you can see that there are a wide variety of issues. There are quite a lot of issues and a lot of lists are very different from each other.

The first thing to consider is that every single issue posted by every single person here is very important to them. They aren’t issues that should be dismissed or belittled.

The next thing you have to consider is the context of the top issues. Is it a top 5 issue overall? Is it for a specific profession? Is it for crafting? Entertaining? Combat? The top 5 issues from Publish 27.5? SWG is a huge game and there are many things to consider – – Thousands upon thousands of things to consider.

Also, another thing to consider is that discussing this topic is like going into a crowded theater and pulling the fire alarm. But for the sake of discussion, I will answer this in a way that will hopefully inspire positive discussions.

In no particular order here are three of the possible ways this could be answered:

• Add content/things to do
• Community interface requests (2nd toolbar, resizable radar, etc)
• Profession development/specialization/individuality
• Traders / Entertainers want to play a more important role in the game
• More GCW

• Improve performance of special abilities
• Increase PvE XP
• Profession development/specialization/individuality
• Make the overall game challenge harder
• Make skill bonuses matter more

Publish 28…
• Entertainers want more profession development
• Traders don’t want armor loot drops
• BH PvP system is considered highly exploitable; would prefer something with the terminals
• No PvP Item decay
• Improve performance of special abilities

The top issues for any given category have to be appropriate depending on why the question was asked and who you are going to communicate the issues to.

The community has been through a lot and personally, I’m very sorry that you feel so bad. When it comes to a matter of believing in me and how I represent you, I do take that very seriously. For some people, I certainly understand why you don’t, wouldn’t or couldn’t believe in my representation. If I knew of a way to change that, I would certainly pursue it.

For those of you who do or are unsure, I always have and always will continue honestly representing your requests, desires and opinions while working with everyone I can in all the ways available to me so that I can have the best impact on the game for the community.

Regardless of anything else, I will continue reading the boards, summarizing the issues, collecting your good ideas (as best I can. There are a lot) and sharing them with the team.

3.          Re: Traders aggro Elite and Boss NPC’s


Heswindu wrote:

Swede, what about other dungeon areas such as the Corvette, Geo Cave, Avatar Station, The Warren?

Same rules there, only boss mobs will aggro. Anywhere there’s a boss mob indoors, they will be aggro to traders.

Niklas “Swede” Johansson
Star Wars Galaxies Game Designer 3/8/06

Gold chevron only.

Niklas “Swede” Johansson
Star Wars Galaxies Game Designer 3/8/06

jultam wrote:

However why put elite bosses in the actual won’t stop anything you are just adding an annoyance. and getting into the crafting room wasn’t the original problem..

Getting in to the crafting room solo was the original problem (or a big part of it).

Niklas “Swede” Johansson
Star Wars Galaxies Game Designer 3/8/06

The loot boxes aren’t the main problem, they are just part of it. We’re now looking in to locking them based on Combat Level though, as you suggested.

The other change will be to make Traders only aggro of Boss mobs (not Elite) and place a few Boss mobs in the crafting room. That way you shouldn’t have a problem getting there with a group but you couldn’t go there solo, as you need someone to clean out the bosses inside the actual room.


Niklas “Swede” Johansson
Star Wars Galaxies Game Designer 3/8/06

dee-oh-gee wrote:

This is all we wanted to hear. I know that it is hard to make it perfect for everyone, but communication is all we asked. Thake you Swede for making an apearance, but please respond quicker next time. Tell us that you are thinking about it, instead of letting us stew of it.

My apologies,

Niklas “Swede” Johansson
Star Wars Galaxies Game Designer

03-08-2006 03:08 PM

Yeahawk wrote:

But reading through it all it seems the only problem is the loot bins in the DWB, and the solution seems pretty clear, just have them cause agro like everyone else.

The problem with that is, you can still loot the item and take a death, then just run back and rinse/repeat. Unless I’m missing something here?

Niklas “Swede” Johansson
Star Wars Galaxies Game Designer 3/8/06

It’s not that I’m unwilling to communicate but we’re still trying to think about what to do with this one. Nothing is set in stone and I’ve read every comment in this post.

Also, someone said that mobs always go for the player with the lowest health, which is not the way our AI is set up. The only difference is that a CL1 player would get aggro from much further away but that can be solved just like in any other MMO by having the low level player stay behind their escort.

I appreciate everyones input and concern and it’s being taken in to consideration. I’m just the implementer though and several people has to come to a decision on what will be the best way to fix this.

Niklas “Swede” Johansson
Star Wars Galaxies Game Designer 3/8/06

4.    Re: Publish 28 Armor Changes


 DocSavag wrote:

I hope that is exactly how that turns out. I also hope that we eventually get stat components that drop that can be added to crafted armor in slots like AA’s did. That would go a ways to closing the gap between looted armor (cost) vs crafted armor (convienience and on demand)

TH’s point is that if you want to get the armor with the best stats and you want it in the same color and you want all the pieces at once you still have to go talk to a crafter. This is true but that stats buffs not being available to crafted armor means that its less than it could be if you get it crafted. If we can find a way to add those stats after the fact then it will make crafted armor much more desirable.

I disagree with those calling for schematics or cores to drop. No combat player wants to get a really great crafting schematic loot drop. Having to then take that to someone else before its useful feels like they have been cheated a little on their reward. If you create loot that they can use but can get upgraded later you will have a better chance of creating both a rewarding loot drop and incentive for commerce.

I agree. I would hope this is the way things go. Kurt “Thunderheart” Stangl
Community Relations Manager 3/7/06


ZionHalcyon wrote:

Overall, this is a pretty nice START, and I understand doing something quick and easy that yields benefits right now.

But when are you guys going to work on the harder, yet more rewarding stuff?

I think many here would be more than willing to wait out a more in-depth, yet more rewarding system that ties crafters back in rather than having things haphazardly tossed in that are “easy”, so long as we knew how the progress went.

If you need a summary, THIS is what the community wants, generally speaking:

1) Get rid of armor and clothing loot drops. Instead, replace them with armor component loot drops that have those stats, that can then be taken to a crafter and built into the armor that you choose. Plus, this can finally allow some crafting diversity back into Traders.

2) Make all armor decay except Mando armor, and severely slow the rate of decay for RIS, so that armor that takes a long time to make also lasts a long time in battle.

3) Allow crafters a consumable tool that allows them to recolor any armor in the game. This would also allow easy future content as trader quests can be done to unlock colors not normally a part of an armor set (like purple RIS).

That is what the community wants.

You say so matter of fact that these armor drops will make people go to Traders to get full sets made. That’s a nice theory, but in practice, it doesn’t happen – either the person wears a mismatched piece of armor, or doesn’t even bother with it. THAT is the reality of the situation; the examples you gave as to how this helps the traders just don’t normally practically happen in-game.

You did all this work, so I say keep this system for now, but PLEASE, seriously take all of what I said into consideration. The above 3 points are what the MAJORITY have been asking for for a very long time now, since the CURB, before the NGE.

Even if it is hard, and takes a while to achieve, work towards putting customization back in the trader’s hands.

We’d all be greatful for it, and I would imagine you would see a HUGE improvement in Customer Satisfaction.

This is a great post

We’ll be working on the bigger, harder stuff, but the reality is the long winding road of time

Kurt “Thunderheart” Stangl
Community Relations Manager 3/7/2006

Ausoshi wrote:

If they’re getting a “taste” where do they get the full menu? The drops have stats and mods on them crafters can’t copy. A “taste” would imply they could. They get the full menu by continuing to loot for them..which people on my server are doing. I’m constantly being asked if I have “this” type of looted armor or “that” type…because they’re going for the full suit. So I stand by that…crafters are being left out of the loop.

Well that’s not going to be a one-publish solution. The best thing to do would be to create a dialogue so that we can track all the things that work and don’t work.

Kurt “Thunderheart” Stangl
Community Relations Manager 3/7/06

EvilOfTdawg wrote:

Rocket science deals with constants. Humans are emotional. Crafters cry, noone else cares. Comparing “Rocket Science” and “Entertainment” is asinine. Don’t do it again. That is all.

Please don’t do that. This change isn’t going to make their lives easier.

And FWIW, rocket science deals with constraints and the constraints we’re dealing with on this side have a lot to do with technology. Sure the end product is entertainment, but the back end is a lot of pretty solid computer science. If you recall, it was always said that SWG was the next evolutionary step in MMO’s and the technology needed to make that baby step is pretty complex stuff.

As for me? Anyone who’s been around for a few years knows that I will always look for the brighter side of things. I love this game and I always have. It’s a big virtual world set in the Star Wars universe and that’s good enough for me.

We’re making changes so that SWG is fun for all, but getting there isn’t going to be done over night. As we make our way there, we’ll make changes that are fun for all in the short term and keep working towards achieving the long term goal.

Kurt “Thunderheart” Stangl
Community Relations Manager 3/7/06

LecheHombre wrote:
Why not include armorsmiths in the process by dropping armor coresinstead of ready-to-wear armor?


TailorEbau wrote:

TH… Please!!!!!

Read the bottom of my sig.. PLEASE give me something to craft!

Why can’t I, as a Tailor, make these protective Jedi clothing(s)??????


Because these changes are changes that could be completed in one publish and have a positive impact on a lot of people.

New crafting items are not easy to add. It’s just that simple. Adding one or two items that one small group of people can craft and then charge high prices as sell to another small number of players just isn’t a fair decision.

This way, more armor gets out to more people, all players can wear a wider variety of armor and really, with the random colors and drops, the munitions traders who get out their and work with their customers stand to make quite a bit of money running a good business.

Kurt “Thunderheart” Stangl
Community Relations Manager 3/7/06

Ausoshi wrote:

Not nice…once again, it’s leaving out the crafter >=)

I disagree really.

Here’s why:

Pieces are randomly dropped. If you want a full suit that matches, you go to a crafter.

If you want armor that has great stats, you go to a crafter.

If you want faction armor, you go to a crafter.

If you want armor that you’re not finding, you go to a crafter.

If you want armor with customized color sets, you go to a crafter.

I also think that people getting “a taste” of all the different armor types is a good thing – – it’s like a sample plate at the super market.


Armor Changes

The armor system will be changing for Star Wars Galaxies so that all players can have more access to a wider variety of armor.

Here is a look at some of the details:

Armor certifications have been removed. Individual certifications for Battle, Recon and Assault armor will be replaced by a single “Use Armor” skill that is gained at the beginning of Phase 2 (level 22).

All armor hindrances removed. There is no longer a penalty for wearing armor.

Entertainers will gain the ability to wear armor at the beginning of Phase 2.

Wookiees and Ithorians will now be able to wear all three types of armor available to them.

Improved Armor Loot Drops

As part of the new armor system changes, players will be finding armor pieces as loot.

Here is a look at some of the details:

Armor will drop with randomized protections (fire, acid, etc).

Armor protections will be scaled based on the level of the creature killed.

Armor protections are further modified based on one or more special bonuses or penalties to opposing special protection types.

For example, a piece of armor that drops with a bonus to protection from kinetic attacks might have a penalty to protections for energy attacks.

Armor may drop with randomized character attribute bonuses. These attribute bonuses are scaled to the appropriate level (based on the level of the creature or NPC).

These armor loot drops will drop instead of the previous type of loot drops.

Loot drops will drop starting at level 22 and go up to level 90.

The armor loot drops will have randomized colors.

Increased granularity and variety is an improvement over existing static armor which increases only at 10 level increments.

This does not include Factional armor.

New Jedi Clothing and Armor loot drops

New Jedi Clothing loot drops will be available for Jedi. This will offer protection for Jedi that will work similar to armor for other professions.

This will offer Jedi a means to protect themselves as an alternative to their Jedi robes.

These clothing and armor loot drops will be restricted to Jedi only.

These clothing and armor loot drops will have randomized colors.

These clothing and armor loot drops includes all features of above Improved Armor Drops.

Improved Character Attribute Clothing Drops

New clothing items with a wider variety of character attribute bonuses will drop as loot with random stats appropriate to the level (based on the level of the creature or NPC).

These clothing loot drops will have randomized colors.

These clothing loot drops will drop instead of the types of clothing with character attribute bonuses that dropped previously. 3/7/06

I just made a change that will make Elite and Boss NPC’s aggro players of the Trader class. Not sure yet when it will hit live servers but at the latest, the next publish.

Niklas “Swede” Johansson
Star Wars Galaxies Game Designer

Re: Introduction: David Jones, Live Associate Producer for SWG

GunJacker wrote:

lol nope dont think you broke any rules with the call on 2nd Mr. Jones (ha reminds me of that song). Anyhow… prepare yourself for lots of heated questions from the entertainer and crafting community.

Driving the live publishes, can you give us some specifics as to when we can expect to see:

1. Creature Handler return

2. Crafter revamp or removal of crafters all together

3. Smugglers smuggling

Message Edited by GunJacker on 03-03-200607:42 AM

We do not have CH on our current schedule.

We have scheduled for Trader enhancements in publish 32:

Item Differentiation System

• Customize your profession abilities based on specific item attributes (Example: Power-up your force lightning by using a Force-focus amulet)

• Mix and match these items to specialize your character and make it different from other members of your profession

Trader Profession Enhancements

• All new ground reverse engineering system. This will have direct tie-ins to the item differentiation system described above. ( NOTE : We will be posting the design for the community well in advance.)

Smugglers are on the schedule for publish 31:

Smuggler Profession Enhancements

• All new Smuggler-specific abilities

• Deceive – Ability to appear non-PvP while being PvP enabled (see below)

• Rig – Retrofit and overpower your starship while in flight

• Stash – Ability to open your bank from anywhere in the galaxy

• All existing abilities will be examined and polished as well.

David Jones
Associate Producer
Star Wars Galaxies

Re: Harvesting Hide/Bone/Meat

Just to give you a head’s up, this was being discussed today. If anything else comes up, I’ll post the latest info (or ask someone else to pop in and post an update).

Kurt “Thunderheart” Stangl
Community Relations Manager

03-01-2006 08:20 AM

Re: -===- ATTN: Thunderheart: Creature Resources. (STILL WAITING FOR RED NAME RESPONSE) -===-

Homper wrote:

Good news for anyone following this thread: TH states that he has at least read this thread now, and will post as he gets more info.

I’ve been following the issue. FWIW though, for the sake of discussion, this is part of the virtual economy that people have been talking about.

Economies always have an ebb and flow of resources – – it is what drives supply and demand.

For me personally, I’ve managed to collected a fair amount of creature resources, though I agree that it is something that needs to be watched.

Kurt “Thunderheart” Stangl
Community Relations Manager

02-28-2006 01:06

Re: aweful quiet this week


Player Association of the Month Q&A
Stormtrooper Detachment Epsilon from the Bria server

Answered by Kurt “Thunderheart” Stangl, Community Manager SOE

1. There are many, many iconic clothing and armor items that are missing from SWG. Will we be seeing Stormtrooper scout armor, commando armor, shoulder pauldrons, desert backpacks, black Imperial uniforms, AT-ST driver uniforms, Rebel flight helmets, Rebel gunner helmets, or others? Many of these are already in-game on NPCs, and I will refrain from commenting on the Imperial command cap 🙂

This is a great question. I know the idea of having more iconic clothing in the SWG universe is at the forefront of all player’s minds. The challenge here is that creating one “wearable” in the game for players is a more intense process than it seems. Sure, you may see these outfits on NPC’s, but NPC’s as you see them are all crafted as you see them – – that means everything automatically fits. A player, on the other hand, can be one of 8 possible species, has custom body measurements and so on. That means that player wearables in the game need several versions of each item to accommodate all the different possibilities a player may choose for their avatar. Big, small, short and tall and most importantly, alien heads, the wearable has to adapt to the form the player creates with their avatar. This effects the priority list of what we create and when. There is also the consideration that anything iconic has to approved by Lucasarts and all of those variables effect the final outcome. We want these things in the game and players can expect these things being added to the game after the Jump to Lightspeed.


The answer to why the developers have trouble adding clothing items to the game was actually given in a straightforward way at one time, by Thunderheart, bless his explanatory little heart:

1. There are many, many iconic clothing and armor items that are missing from SWG. Will we be seeing Stormtrooper scout armor, commando armor, shoulder pauldrons, desert backpacks, black Imperial uniforms, AT-ST driver uniforms, Rebel flight helmets, Rebel gunner helmets, or others? Many of these are already in-game on NPCs, and I will refrain from commenting on the Imperial command cap

This is a great question. I know the idea of having more iconic clothing in the SWG universe is at the forefront of all player’s minds. The challenge here is that creating one “wearable” in the game for players is a more intense process than it seems. Sure, you may see these outfits on NPC’s, but NPC’s as you see them are all crafted as you see them – – that means everything automatically fits. A player, on the other hand, can be one of 8 possible species, has custom body measurements and so on. That means that player wearables in the game need several versions of each item to accommodate all the different possibilities a player may choose for their avatar. Big, small, short and tall and most importantly, alien heads, the wearable has to adapt to the form the player creates with their avatar. This effects the priority list of what we create and when. There is also the consideration that anything iconic has to approved by Lucasarts and all of those variables effect the final outcome. We want these things in the game and players can expect these things being added to the game after the Jump to Lightspeed.


Okay, so the player models themselves are the problem in this case. Giving us so many options at player creation is a plus and minus. This also explains for me why some other games don’t allow any body size customization, or they use one model somehow under the skin…Also, I kept going back to the many new outfits for Ithorians created with JTL and wondered why if they could do that they couldn’t keep adding more-there’s the answer, one species only to work with dimensions wise.  So, add in slowly then, devs, or be creative and find a way to make the clothing etc appear to fit the character models.

This *does not* answer however why we can’t have the plants and furniture and paintings we see everywhere.  Those never change size or shape.

Supermom said:

Plus it would allow the 1% who activaly play a tradernot just have one for vendors to really sell a lot more things and increase compotion of the traders.

Really in your own words the development team said like 2% or less were non combat players thery want decay as a whole no doubt but dont let them bring yet another downer to a game thats has suffered so maney.

Where are you getting your information on these stats? I just spent some time looking for the old Astromech stats on professions to no avail. I did find the info below. I would like to see new profession astromech stats to see where we are now:

Least played to most played:
Force Sensitive – Crafting
Droid Engineer
Bio Engineer
Image Designer
Force Wielder
Force Defender
Force Enhancer
Force Healer
Light Saber Mastery
Creature Handler
Combat Medic
Force Sensitive – Senses
Teras Kasi
Force Sensitive – Reflexes
Bounty Hunter
Force Sensitive – Combat

Rebel Pilot
Neutral Pilot

Added notes: these are from August of 2005, in hindsight, a preparation for showing why they could compress the professions to nine with the NGE. They failed to post notes comparing these profession stats to Pre-Combat Upgrade status. Chef, Armorsmith, Weaponsmith, Doc, Teras Kasi and others all took huge shots in the Combat upgrade. Many players left. The period from April 2005 to August 2005 was not a long enough period of time to have recovered from the CU. So these actually just show, in a way, the impact of the combat upgrade, not interest in the professions without Nerferdom.

Message Edited by Athela on 08-24-2006 04:40 AM


This may already be out there, but:


Faction Crafting XP and Expertise

A new additionto crafting would be the ability to craft factionally useful structures, munitions, clothing, droids, vehicles, ships and get specific Faction XP points for crafting these items.  This faction xp would not be useful for combat, but would aid in crafting abilities.

The expertise would be a choice for each of the four (or more if they allow mix and match) crafter specializations.  The more Faction Crafting XP you gained, the more effective your items will be, also ideally resource quality will figure in.

Just a thought.

Time to interrupt the ROT Wars with some actual crafting talk, but, hey….

My thoughts of the day:

Definitely keep harvesters. Make them more efficient to run and maintain. Make them environmentally friendly. This is a repeat source of income for structures crafters since they blow up if not maintained. I would like them visible above ground so I can see if somebody has found a good spot of something. There are more lairs (the new big hill sized ones), randomly spawned bases, etc in the world hogging up real estate for no good reason. Get rid of those instead of harvesters.

Revisit the idea of making banners for all planets craftable. Also Guild Hall Banners. Old idea but still a good one.

Since people can have 300 quests in their quest journals (unless they changed this number), revisit only being able to take two regular terminal missions. If I’m hunting for hides, it is frustrating enough to deal with the randomness of resource drops. Let me take say, at least 5 at a time. Also, the higher level players looking to make some money can take missions as an income source if they have done every quest.

Orletobi wrote: im sure money sink into your pocket lol……

So..Orthethobi, how does your character make money? Quests? Selling loot to the junkie? Running regular or faction missions? What do you currently need money for?

What do you buy, if anything? Are you not given everything you need through quests or loot (which nobody has suggested altering)?

What changes for you if crafters get new schematics so they can offer fresh things for sale after three years? There is nothing you aren’t given or can’t loot. You don’t need to pay a crafter ever. How are you affected by positive changes to the crafting economy, seriously?

Liamo wrote:

Then where was the discussion for crafters when “no-decay” was introduced-that affected all classes.

What about levels, that affected non-combat more than anyone yet we were ignored. Combat players are really worried they’ll be ignored, this one time, on something that hurts them and benefits crafters.

Valid point.  I’m pretty bored with all the discussion of “rot” in this thread.  Shouting down anyone who talks about anything specifically crafting related in this thread with a barrage of “no decay” stuff, arrggh.  Also, for the rollback fans, you *do* recall decay was in the game originally.  How on earth did you all cope?  You planned stuff out, strategized, gave yourself the best advantages you could with food, drink, armor, weapons, buffs, stims.  You won or you lost.  No complaints of being bored except by a few, not by a whole “level” –90s—No complaints fights were too short.  No demands that your profession be the Uber Leet.   *sigh*

So, anywho…how about profession specific clothing, with ability to add in clothing attachments or their equivalents that add to profession specific skills?


Pleasure crafts for the non-pilot types. It has been a long time since JTL and the Sorosub Luxury Yacht. Sharp looking models, no boats in space, please.

Alot of people might like to go into space without those nasty Black Sun and Tie Fighters blowing them out of the air.

Space Stations, various sizes, including, yes! Shops in Space! All the latest parts and equipment for the weary pilot or space traveler. Clothing shops with the latest space wear designs for the pilot or traveller about the galaxy. Mining equipment and supplies. Bars and cantinas on the larger ones for recharging the spirit and sharing stories.

Outside the box ideas:

Tailors, Armorsmiths, Weaponsmiths:

Species specific clothing, armor, weaponry. Lots to work with there.

Planet specific clothing, armor, weaponry: Let the planet you’re on be reflected in the clothing you wear there, the armor that is most effective against the natives, weaponry that takes care of the local baddies best.


Workshops. Specific designs for each crafting profession that include crafting stations (added in at the crafting stage), built in storage (wall units that could be individually name changed like backpacks to reflect contents), wall paintings/hangings that reflect the profession as inspiration/decoration. These would look very different from the outside so you could tell what type of crafter’s workshop it was at a glance. Oh, and thanks to CrimeDoggie for the cool idea of having an indoor factory capability as part of the workshop. Some unique looking item that would do all the same functions of current factories, but it would be handily in the workshop. They would need to be small so you could have multiples for multiple factory runs.

Shops: These could be built into/onto the workshop when the architect makes the workshop, or they can be made to be freestanding. Built into the unique designs would be display racks, shelves, seating, mirrors, plenty of display space for all the wares of the crafter. These would also be unique looking from the outside so you could tell immediately if it was the sort of shop you needed.

Message Edited by Athela on 08-21-2006 08:49 AM

Message Edited by Athela on 08-21-2006 08:55 AM

Now that over 3000 posts in the general discussion forums have wielded a good deal of feedback and information, maybe new threads can be started in the individual crafting forums that are specific to each crafting type.

Since there is still time before the crafting changes, very specific topics can be addressed, from the tools used to the schematics possible and finally how the expertise trees would be set up.

Before we move forward, could the developers answer a few questions about how we got to where we are now? If some of these are answered someplace, please refresh my memory. Although much stayed the same for crafters with the NGE, some odd things did change, and I’d like to understand the thinking:

Why call us Traders?

Why were the crafting professions mixed together the way they were? How did you decide what went together?

Why didn’t all profs get Master Artisan at master?

Why split Weaponsmith?

What caused the harvester bug?

Why was there no reactive gas for awhile?

Why remove Bioengineer (at all…) but keep the schematic slots for their product?

Why remove Ranger/Scout and not give their abilities to Spy in the lower part of their skill set as was proposed in the Ranger Revamp discussions immediately before the NGE?

Why make creature resources random loot?

When the overall NGE was developed, there must have been some over-arching vision for crafting and where it would go, or none of these changes would have been made at all. What was that overall vision? Are you all still on track with that plan?


Message Edited by Athela on 08-21-2006 04:37 AM

Liamo wrote:

I can’t see how this can be ready in a few months – unless this is just a “feel good” thread.

I missed the “feel good” part. Both Helios posts and this one have more of the flavor of “we taketh away with the right hand, and muahahaha! we taketh away with the left too!”

To sum it all up, the base idea of both, was, it will be more synergistic if TRADERS deal exclusively with REing loot. Nothing else really matters, does it?

The chrysalide, also known as the “chrysalis beast”, was a type of rancor altered by Sith Alchemy, possessing two four-fingered claws and two three-toed feet. Their teeth could chew through X-1 Viper armor.

Emperor Palpatinekept some as pets at the Imperial Citadel at Byss, where they would attack on his command.

Just a reminder we’re not dealing with a butterfly here

Since the crafting professions will be reorganzied into expertise trees similar to the new Jedi and Bounty Hunter trees, perhaps we should be giving some thought to how current professions would fit into an expertise tree structure.

It would be nice to see some ideas on how that could work, and especially how it could bring more choice back about how we mix desired profession skills.

For myself, I would like to start off the trees with a setup very similar to the former artisan tree that taught you some of each kind of crafting skill and what was required. I would also like to see a return of xp points for surveying. There was way in the past talk of being able to put all those accumulated (past the first artisan boxes) surveying points into some farming skill. Would that still be desirable?


The big difference is that extra storage space is additional database space.

Items in SWG aren’t like any other MMO. Every item in SWG has more data attached to it. An example would be any other game; when you find or craft an item, the item is a 2-D inventory icon and all of the items are the same (meaning there is 1 icon and the data for the item is common among all items).

In SWG, every item is not only unique, but you can place virtually any item in a house and have a 3D “thing”. It has graphics data, crafter data, game play data, etc. This is only one of many aspects about why SWG items and item storage are more complicated to handle on the tech side of things.

Items in SWG are snowflakes…lots and lots of snowflakes.

We are reasonable, and the dev team can provide us with a reasonable answer, then we’ll stop asking.

Sometimes you just need to remind me. I’ve been around for 5 years now and I forget who remembers what when it comes to specific game development details.
























Crowfall in the News

Here’s a nice article from Eurogamer on newly arisen MMO-to-be Crowfall:

12 Archetypal Classes with the ability to distribute Attribute Points at character creation is pretty interesting!

The interview with Thomas Blair, lead designer about Crafting is what really sent me over the side.  I appreciated how he talked about playing crafting in many games, and really looking hard at what they did well and what not. From there comes the desire to make a game that is engaging and creative for us.   I can’t recall the company that used to have the motto “For Gamers by Gamers” or something near that.  That thinking is exactly what a game needs. People who like to play creating the sort of game they themselves would like.

Massively has a story and video with game design guru Raph Koster about his consulting work on Crowfall.  Another reason to have high hopes for the game is the inclusion of this brilliant fellow.

From the Ultima Codex, an article on team member Mike McShaffry’s involvement.


Blessing of Kings is interested but a bit cautiously

Keen and Graeve, deep DEEP Galaxies fans, had some nice things to say.

Raph Koster makes his own announcement of his involvement

Engineering Northrend

Lagging behind my other crafting characters are my Engineers.  Since they don’t make much that other characters can use, they sort of get bypassed.

It was pointed out to me that on Blackwater we only needed a craft level 600 Engineer in order to get some useful guild vendor item.  We have all the others. So cool.

I’ve put everyone else in the background and spend some time each day working on leveling her craft and getting her towards 90.  She is about halfway to 80 finally.

She is a Warrior, not my favorite class.  Her combat feels so clunky and slow.  Even at this stage she doesn’t ever seem as if she has that satisfying ability to take down foes quickly.   It’s all thunk, thunk, thunk.

On the Engineering front, she is a delight.  I found she can loot constructs and robots around Fizzcrank’s Airstrip for actual Engineering components.  This has added a delightful dimension to killing these.  I also found that some of the same constructs in The Halls of Stone drop parts sometimes!  Too exciting.  Imagine my annoyance when I found that others were tapping MY constructs in the dungeons.  How dare they.  On the plus side I got the recipe for Jeeves, the Engineer’s personal portable Mailbox from a construct in the Halls of Stone.  Now to get the components.

Although I love mounts I most often do not have the patience to grind the reputation to get them.  I am determined to get the Mekgineer’s Chopper offered by the Quartermaster at Valiance Keep.  My Engineer has two flying machines but she needs a Chopper, right?  Rite of passage?

There are a few dungeons which give the proper rep.  I like The Halls of Lightning big time, and can tolerate the Halls of Stone for the newly found Engineering bits.  Agh, the horrific Oculus and the long boring depressing Culling of Stratholme.  Poke my eyes out.  Utgarde Pinnacle, on the other hand, is always a pleasure.

Crowfall: Deep Cover

I just found out about Crowfall, an upcoming MMO today.  The key thing for me is the crafting system.

Yet, the game is apparently full PVP.  In order to get the crafting life of my dreams, I need to knock off some people and loot their pixelated bodies.  I can do it if I must.
Now I’m thinking I need to create a so-not-me persona on their forums.  First, I need a good PVP name.  I can make up names all day long.
All of these seem brilliant but I can’t decide between them:
  Might need to play some PVP so I can channel my inner bloodthirsty me.

Tiny Screen Adventures: Monument Valley

Monument Valley is an elegant little puzzle game for IOS.  You guide The Silent Princess through a world of bridges and towers and rotating platforms.

Sometimes she’s upside down or sideways but she can always make her way along with a twist here or there.
There is a storyline but I’m only up to chapter five so I can’t guess what our mysterious Princess is making her way towards.
Music in the game perfectly fits the gameplay.

Note:  I’m stuck on level 5 😦     The crows have me blocked and I am not seeing how to bypass them.  I will give it some more effort before I cheat and see if anyone has tips.

Galaxies Tuesday: Brenlo Speaks

Brenlo Speaks being what I named the document. As you see all dialog between the players is pretty snappy.  This document is really messy and I’m going to try to make it a little less so though I don’t like to edit, just present what is in the files.  These are just small back and forths between Brenlo and players.  When he first started, I thought maybe he might be a force for good and he would smooth communications, but perhaps the time for that had passed.

Unknown Questioner:

Hey brenlo stupid question, not sure if you are still paying attention, but do you think it wold be possible to reformat the front page to show all the professions, that would stop a lot of misguided posts.
Only way to do this for everyone is to shift the forums over from portal view. You can adjust how you see the boards in your preferences, if you change from portal, you should see all the profession forums at once.
Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE
It’s a rough life, but someone has to live it.
Also as a general FYI, I am going to be tinkering with these forums and you may see some boards get shuffled around or even archived. For example the Fan Fest boards will probably get archived until the next Fan Fest is announced.

Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE

sli-aib wrote:
Brenlo, you’re moving the fan fest stuff? Seems a pity as I thought there might be a lot of interest in it next year.

Clown. =P
Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE

Aulendil wrote:
/sigh I think Brenlo has me on his ignore list

Sorry did you say something? =P
Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE

Xethar wrote:
I’ve read it in many announcements and such from devs but I don’t see the day it will be fixed. I am waiting to respec and I need it fixed, don’t feel like losing 10 levels atm.

The word I have recieved is that this is fixed. However it was not a retro-active fix. Folks who did lose levels, should contact CS. Those who respec now, should be fine.
Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE

Filetmignon wrote:

I like the look of that but where’s the Dev Tracker?
Odd it should still be there. Methinks it is not hard coded on this board.
Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE

DocSavag wrote:

throws vegtables at Brenlo for screwing with the forum format

It’s the only fun I get today. =)

Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE

Neghtasro wrote:
OMG It’s a conspiracy. Brenlo tried to get rid of it so eventually there would be only one board, but he got found out too soon. HAX!!!!1!!one!!eleventyone!!!
Argh you caught me. I told them not until Midnight!
Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE

At the moment, I have no news for crafters. I do apologize for the lack of updates and as soon as TH, I or one of the other folk has news, we will post it.

Smed has a great many things to do in a given day, week and month. He stops in here when he is able and he reads a lot more than he posts. I know this as he asks me about specific posts all the time. His post was to gather your ideas for the team, to kick off that conversation in a focused format. Which it accomplished. The SWG folks are working on the top issues that you discussed. Please do not expect Smed to post here often. He is actually quite the busy guy. He is aware of your concerns and he is pressing the team to work on the top problems.
Thanks gang.

Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE

ThreeTimesOneMinusOne wrote:
Why was his last login in dat Nov. 25th then?
Psychopyro80 wrote:
Actually, we were discussing how this position would affect gameplay. Then it got to Cowbell, my bad…

I think there is a misconception. We do not impact gameplay directly as members of the Community Team. We offer suggestions, we pass along your thoughts and feedback and we try to gauge your reaction. We are here to educate (when appropriate) entertain (with forum games and conversation) and inform (when we have information to give)
So we work with the development teams. We also work closely with marketing, PR, webedit and CS in order to try and accomplish those tasks. Sometimes we do better than others. =)
Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE



Not at all. I moved all the posts to the Development Discussion forums.  That will be the new central hub.  Messages were going to too many different boards and some were getting lost.

Brenlo Bixiebopper
Director, Global Community Relations – SOE
It’s a rough life, but someone has to live it.