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

Posted Tue, Apr 21, 2009 by Cody Bye

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.

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