Star Wars Galaxies, first impressions

I just got into Star Wars Galaxies for a few minutes. It’s been down a lot today, and downloading the patches took quite some time, too.

Character creation is nice. The character models can be morphed quite a bit (they don’t use actual bones to do that, but it looks pretty good anyhow). The character models have a nice resolution, there’s some bump mapping on them, too. They learned from our mistakes, and didn’t try to do character creation ingame 🙂

The tutorial explains the most important bits of the GUI rather well, and it’s part of a little sequence where I get to ill a terrorist. Nice, I’m totally by myself during the whole time. The camera controls are something you need to get used to. They’ve done something new with the controls, the character makes actual steps when turning around, so you don’t have those instant 180 turns that other games have, which is probably nice for the client-side prediction, too. No overshooting compensation. I wish I had a second client to see how they compensate for errors in the local prediction. Later.

The scanning of your clone data is directly taken out of Anarchy Online. They even call it insurance terminals, funny. There are a lot of things taken from AO, like the 10 buttons at the bottom right (which AO has in the top right).

Characters that you talk to have their conversation selections around their head. This is pretty irritating if you want to read them and the character moves his head as part of the idle animation (nice idle animations on everyone, btw). It keeps jittering by a few pixels all the time.

After the tutorial, I went to a starting city, met two other players, was happy to see that the character models stay the same. I’ll have to look at the technology some more when I’ve got more time.

Visuals are really nice. The screenshots look better than the game, unlike AO where the game always looked better than the screenshots. The physics are not impressive. There is very little that I can collide with. I can walk through people, tables, chairs, etc. and it seems like the only things that have a collision volume are walls and larger contructs (like the fountain I’m just standing next to). You can’t jump, which is probably a blessing for the level designers…

Now playing: Never on Sunday – Radiohead

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