An Epic Battle in the

Star Wars Galaxies vs. a
Knights of the Old Republic MMO

By Chris "Spare" Higgins

Rumors have been flying around the game industry that BioWare
is talking with LucasArts to develop a Knights of the Old Republic
(KotOR) MMO.  No official announcements have been made nor any
game designs leaked, but I thought it might be fun to compare Star Wars
Galaxies (SWG) to the rumored KotOR MMO.  

I have broken down this battle into four main topics:
Timeline, combat, crafting, and - of course - Jedi, then at the end we
will tally up the points and see who emerges the victor.



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The Knights of the Old Republic timeline is rife with
unexplored plots and planets, more so than the SWG timeline.

Both of the single player Knights of the Old Republic RPGs
were based in the 3950 BBY (Battle before Yavin) timeframe. The 3900s
is when we see a firestorm of activity happening in the Star Wars
Universe. In a 50 year span, there are two Sith wars and the
Mandalorian Wars. This gives any game company a virtual smorgasbord of
content. The availability of three factions who truly hate each other
also provides a lot of player-based content through PvP and
role-play.  No matter where this game would pick up in this
timeline, writers would be able to write a new chapter in the Star Wars
Universe with ease.  


Star Wars Galaxies takes place between the movies, A New Hope
and The Empire Strikes Back. This is the time where - some would say -
Luke is a padawan and learning the basic ways of the force and Jedi are
being hunted down. The Rebels are now being tailed across the galaxy
for their success in blowing up the first Death Star. Everyone within
the known universe feels the weight of the Empire. It is a dark time
for all. A game company would not have much breathing room in this time
line because it’s always been the most popular. Scores of
novels and short stories have been written during this particular era,
and I would imagine it would make it extremely challenging to create an
epic plot and stay true to timeline.

Winner - KotOR

Clearly, KotOR would have a cleaner slate and the
opportunities to provide new and exciting content are much greater.
This is not to say the timeline for SWG is not compelling, because
personally I prefer the SWG timeline to the KotOR timeline. However,
you cannot have a compelling storyline if so much of the information
has already been written for you. So my choice has to be KotOR.



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A real time combat system is essential to making a pure
Star Wars atmosphere.

I am going to base this purely on what I saw in both KotOR
games, so don’t get the notion that the KotOR MMO combat
has been explained at all.  It hasn’t.

I personally did not like the combat systems for either of the
existing KotOR games.  The stop motion aspect of the turn
based combat was somewhat of a game breaker for me.  Star
Wars, to me is a fast paced thrill ride and that can only be achieved
with the dynamics of a real time combat system.  

However, I understand that stop-motion turn-based combat
wouldn’t be employed in an MMO. Rather, I simply worry that a
slower combat style might be employed to handle the nuances of an MMO,
and that just wouldn’t work.


While I am not a huge fan of the NGE, it's still not a very bad
combat system.  Many of the changes we have seen in the past
year or so have made the combat system into a CU meets NGE system that
is not bad.  Combat is in real time, can be thrilling, and
presents a challenge.

Winner = SWG

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the KoTOR games but that
stop action combat was something I did not like.  However if
the MMO that is developed includes a real time combat system vs. what
was in the games, I would have to change my answer.



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Crafting things like houses and speeders makes Star
Wars Galaxies a step above KotOR.

With the KotOR universe as the background, I have a hard time
seeing a pertinent crafting system making a whole lot of sense in
KotOR.  Even the single player games were very
combat/adventure oriented; there wasn’t a whole lot of time
or room for building houses or making speeders. The console games had a
“form” of crafting, but it wasn’t pretty
skimpy. KotOR would probably lack in this department.


I cannot emphasize this enough; SWG has one of the best
crafting systems seen in MMO’s today.  The sheer
amount of knowledge and factors that goes into crafting is
mind-boggling.  Everyone can be a crafter in SWG but not
everyone will be a great crafter.  Crafting has taken a few
for the team in the past few years but if decay was added back into the
game, the economy would be booming like it was Pre-CU.

Winner - SWG

SWG wins hands down in my opinion.  Of all the
crafting systems I have tried SWG is by far the most complex and
engaging system I have ever played.  The system allows you to
use business sense and manufacturing systems to compete vs. just
collecting items. You set up your shop and start selling and in the
process you have to monitor prices, quality, resources, and
stock.  You really set up a virtual business to succeed and
make money.  The amount of effort you put into it determined
how much you made in the long run.  Granted its not like it
was but you can still make some decent money crafting in SWG.



You could not throw a rock in this timeframe without hitting
at least two Jedi and a Sith.  This was the period in the Star
Wars Universe where Jedi reigned supreme and were the dominating force
in the galaxy.  My conclusion here is that Jedi would probably
dominate the player character’s path, if not be the only real
choice offered to players.

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Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies seem a little out of place
compared to the KotOR timeline.

Also the light and dark Jedi system in the KoTOR single player
games allowed us to choose our own paths and be slightly evil or a
complete villain.  Your choices also allowed you to wear
certain gear and get certain items.  The Jedi system in these
games was very innovative and allowed the player to really be a Jedi or
a Sith.  


It’s been argued Jedi have no place in this
game.  I however feel Jedi do have a place in SWG, but how
it’s presented is not accurate to the time line. 
This is a time where the Emperor and Darth Vader would kill any Jedi on
sight and would also try to turn Force sensitive beings to the Dark
Side.  In the expanded universe, Jedi are around but not
standing in a Star Port in Mos Eisley dueling each other. 
This topic deserves its own editorial so I will be writing one in the
future to address this concern.  

Winner - KotOR

KotOR really gets no competition on this front; the Jedi
Knights were the mainstays of the Old Republic and were prevalent
everywhere. In the single player KotOR games, you could truly feel like
a Jedi or a Sith while playing, and I think this would be echoed in the
MMO as well.

In SWG, being a Jedi is really just about being a profession
and how you look in the world.  Your in-game actions do not
have any effect on character development.  As a Light Jedi, I
could kill commoners all day without any fear of reprisal. This is
something that should be changed in SWG…along with other
aspects of the Jedi.


So the final total is, KotOR 2 and SWG 2. I hate ties, because
I know how much everyone likes having a winner and a loser. 
These two tie because both games have a place in the Star Wars game
library and can co-exist in the MMO market.  Hopefully the
rumors are true and there is a KotOR MMO in the works but even a third
single player RPG by BioWare would be nice.  As Star Wars fans
all we can do is wait and hope.

Ten Ton Hammer is your
unofficial source for href="">Star
Wars Galaxies!
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016