The History of the Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies

The history of the Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies. I did a series of tweets on this, and copied them here:

  • I just stumbled on @RaphKoster‘s article on the original planned Jedi-Gameplay from #StarWarsGalaxies #SWG. Go check it out, it’s #gamedev-gold!
    https://www.raphkoster.com/2015/04/16/a-jedi-saga/ More details (from that article and my memory) in thread below:
  • The main issue with #SWG was that it was set between Ep. 3 & 4, in which Jedi were -really rare- and -really powerful-. Everyone would love to play a Jedi, but having 1000’s of them running around would break the illusion of the gameworld
  • The article details ways they tried to accomplish that with gameplay. One (discarded) option was that everyone could be a jedi, but once you use force-powers the empire would come after you in increasingly unfair numbers.
  • Additionally your Jedi would have to endure permadeath. If you die as a Jedi, you are dead forever.
    What ended up being used was this, and for a time it was wonderful :) :
  • #SWG had 30+ “professions”. People would become bounty hunters, animal tamers, dancers, cooks, form guilds, etc. They just did that and lived in the world, and no-one cared about Jedi. No-one ever saw any, and they were just legends. Just like in that period in StarWars.
  • Then, 6 months after the game came out, the first Jedi appeared.
    The community went WILD.
  • How did she manage it? She didn’t even know it herself. No “you achieved Jedi Status” marker popped up in the moment, it was just there at one point. The player posted a list of all the things she accomplished, incl. visiting all planets, never marrying, reaching a certain level, and about 20 more things.
  • People were scrambling to find out how she became and Jedi and tried to reproduce these actions, but nobody could figure it out. So they went back to living in the world, being dancers, cooks, traders, etc.
  • What was going on under the hood is that every player had 5 professions randomly “chosen” for them, without them ever knowing. Once these were maxed out they would become a Jedi, but they would be only told when logging in next time.
  • Originally this idea also included things like “climb this mountain” or “do 5 duels”, but in the short development-time they only managed to implement the profession-based Jedi system (as professions were already present and could be tracked)
  • It was good. People loved the game, and Jedi were exceedingly rare and mythical. This kind of game would not be built today.
  • Then people (Players? Excecutives? idk) demanded more Jedi. Holocrons were added to the gameworld which could tell you one of the skills you needed to max out to get closer to becoming a Jedi. People knew the way now, and all they did was farm to become a Jedi
  • The illusion was broken, and now all people wanted to do was to become a jedi. There were many, and they were not mythical any longer.
  • Eventually development caved and an entire addon called “Trials of Obi-Wan” was released, which was centered on Jedi.
    A MONTH later the New Game Expansion was released, which was practically a new game, in which “Jedi” was a starting profession, and utterly mundane.
  • And that was the story of the Jedi in #StarWarsGalaxies, and how utterly brilliant the game-design-concept behind them was. Totally recommend reading this piece, and the accomplishing articles about other parts of #SWG https://www.raphkoster.com/2015/04/16/a-jedi-saga/

-Matthias

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