Star Wars Galaxies: The Making Of Update 8 – Extreme Make-Over Hits Player Cities

Hello everyone, this is James ‘Millbarge’ Michener; here to share with you some of what went on behind the scenes as we built the key features that went into Update 8. ...

Hello everyone, this is James ‘Millbarge’ Michener; here to share with you some of what went on behind the scenes as we built the key features that went into Update 8.

To start off, in each of our Updates, we always strive to fulfill as many player requests as possible.  I felt that since this was going to be the first Player City update since Player Cities launched in our game, a review of the most popular player requests would definitely be the best place to begin.

The first thing I did was to reach out to Cigaran, the City Senator, who represents the community with respect to “City” focused feedback.  I immediately contacted him to get his views on what the priorities were in the player’s perspective.  I had a list of “to-dos” as always, but needed to get a feel for the community’s perspective, and where they would like to see the update go.  I’m amazed at the amount of insight the City Senator was able to provide, which was good considering the size of the list he handed me at the same time!

I started by going through the core of the system, seeing how it was set up and fixing issues I found along the way to make the system both more fun and user-friendly.  Actually, a large part of Update 8 was fixing numerous issues ranging from making sign names show correctly to transferring the City to a new Mayor without the need for GM intervention.

With the system feeling ‘fresh’ as a result of the polish pass, I began improving the tools that Mayors use on a daily basis to run their Cities.  As a result of the update, Mayors now have access to numerous details about each citizen and structure in their City.  They also have new ways to communicate with their citizens and visitors through daily messages that they can customize.

Not all of the benefits in Update 8 were for the Mayors.  The citizens and visitors of Player Cities can take advantage of City Specializations.  City Specializations are bonuses a Player City can choose to invest in that will give the player a boost when using various game systems while inside the City Limits.  Pre-existing Specializations were revamped to provide updated bonuses and new Specializations were added.  With bonuses ranging from Storytellers to Beast Masters, there’s bound to be something for you to take advantage of.

Decorating Player Cities also received a boost in Update 8.  Cities received a 50% increase in the number of Decorations, Civic Structures and Gardens that can be placed.  New Statues, Gardens and Fountains were also added to increase a Mayor’s decorating options.  

Another popular addition gives Storyteller Items an eight hour increase in longevity just for being placed inside of a Player City.  If you think you’ll need more time, speak with the Mayor about the Encore Performance Specialization that increases the time by an additional 12 hours.

There’s a lot more to Update 8 than just what is described here, including a full Player Association revamp.  Be sure to check out the full list of official changes on the Star Wars Galaxies Forums. Or better yet, log into the game and check them out for yourself.

I want to give a BIG “thank you” to the Player City community!  They quickly took me in and made me feel at home.  Last, but not least, many thanks to Cigaran, the Player City Senator.  Without that long list of things to do, and the promises of free dinners at Fan Faire, Update 8 wouldn’t have been the same!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to start my new City!

Game Update 9 will introduce new customized housing tools which build on the already robust housing options in Star Wars Galaxies. There will be two brand new floor plans and a new housing customization tool which lets you to choose custom colors for your abode. Six existing house designs have also been updated with the addition of windows that allow you to see the action from within the protection of your structure.  In addition to the housing customization additions, Domestics Traders and Structures Traders have been given a stimulus update and several spaceships have received tune-ups that would make any pilot proud! 

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