June 6, 2023
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Today we’re reflecting on two years of SWG Restoration. After going live on May 28, 2021, we’ve seen a Combat Upgrade-inspired era of Star Wars Galaxies like never before. A lot has changed in the past two years so we’re taking the opportunity to look back on our past and celebrate our future.
• Infrastructure - We’ve rebuilt and refactored a number of game systems and services.
• Combat - Combat continues to be refined as we aim to maintain balance between professions with more to come.
• Economy - The economy is routinely monitored and under control. Pricing is stable with inflation within its appropriate range.
• Content - Significant releases over the past year including numerous community events and all of Mustafar.
• Space - Space Bounties became a reality and space recently saw a hefty lift with new content and more tokens.
• Jedi - The first two phases of Jedi Unlock have been released with the Village coming soon!
• PvP - So many ways to participate - Open world, Invasions, Battlefields, bounties (ground & space) - all with no decay!
"I started Restoration after a lifelong passion for Star Wars Galaxies and a deep desire to play the Combat Upgrade era again. My vision for the server is to bring back the feeling people had experiencing Galaxies decades ago — from the first time you see a Jedi to the final bosses of Mustafar — and everything in-between."
All in all, the dream to continue Star Wars Galaxies on an alternate pathway is still alive and well today.
There is still much work to be done. 2023 continues to be a busy year with greatness on the horizon. Recent additions to Staff have enabled the project to pick up some momentum as of late, with everyone working hard to accelerate releases as best they can amongst busy lives. We’re all excited to share our recent areas of focus for the project:
Our Community is the most important facet of our project. Our strategy is always to reach out to new audiences, and continue to strengthen the amazing community we’re lucky enough to have.
We have recently added a new website, the Comlink (comlink.swgr.org) to help spread the word about SWG Restoration and to enhance communication around the project. This website is used to communicate more formally and frequently with the Community and also allows players to share their own news and ideas with the community.
The Community Corner section was created to promote your writing and published articles, in an area more formal than our wiki. Daesha Fenn has done a fantastic job thus far writing posts about Mandalorian culture, for example. We would like to open this up to the greater Community and highly encourage you to reach out to CNiper or Fuego if you are interested in writing!
No doubt you’ve noticed Restoration exploring new media outlets as well. The project has always had Twitter and Facebook accounts, but have recently expanded to TikTok. Our hope is by expanding to more channels we can reach audiences that may not have otherwise heard of SWG Restoration (or even SWG in general!). As part of that effort, Restoration is seeking volunteer videos to contribute to our crowdsourced content. More information can be found here.
“Despite its issues, the Star Wars fandom is a community that feels like home. For me, Restoration represents an accessible space that any fan can download and insert themselves into, instantly surrounded by fellow enthusiasts and maybe even some friends.
Our community continues to grow into one I’m proud of playing alongside. On the whole, our players are helpful, passionate, and kind. Of course there are exceptions, and good moderation is key, but in comparison to the rest of the internet… this place is pretty great.”
- CNiper, Community Lead
We also want to ensure we’re able to answer your questions and take a proper pulse of how our players are feeling about the project. To this end, we’ve created an intake form to do just that. Ask your most top of mind question, and we’ll endeavor to answer it in a future Community Comlink.
Player Voices are a cornerstone at Restoration and let the Community voice their opinion on elements of the game that need attention or features that players desire. Creating Player Voices and generating support amongst the Community is the primary way to make changes to the existing game.
Here are a few examples of Player Voices that have been recently implemented:
“PlayerVoices are the best way to get the attention of the Development Team. By empowering the Community to crowd source their ideas or solutions to the gameplay papercuts they experience every day, we’re able to ensure we keep abreast of what is top of mind for the players, which can otherwise be challenging in a MMORPG as large and complex as Star Wars Galaxies.”
- Light, Developer
As well as just a handful of the Approved Player Voices Marked in Development:
Releasing content has been a major priority for Restoration in 2023. Developers heard the Community and have spent a significant amount of time focusing on releasing Mustafar instances as well as adding senate-prioritized content add-ons, like the upcoming title vendor and Bestine Humanities Society Menagire, a new private club that will allow the community to bid on original artwork.
“Game Content has been an interesting challenge for the project. We have an amazing Development Team but their primary skills are in systems, engine, and application development, making the more creative and simplistic-but-meticulous creation of content like quests a slower process. That’s why we’re always looking for help and would love to hear from you if you have design, development, or 3D art skills.
Nevertheless, we’ve built tools and infrastructure to make content development easier and faster. We’ve also been refactoring older work that was already done to correct past mistakes from the original team’s learning curve when beginning to work with the engine that has slowly begun to resolve longstanding issues in combat mechanics and other core systems."
- Aconite, Lead Developer
Releases so far this year have included:
• Mustafar Droid Army
• Mustafar Operational Droid Factory (2)
• Mustafar Destroy HK-47
• Galactic Senate Inauguration (Bi-Annual)
• Dr. Fool’s Toy Tantrum (April Fools)
• The Ewok Festival of Love (Valentines Day)
• Spring Cleaning: Dusting the Dust Durni (May)
• Empire Day and Remembrance Day (Independence Day)
• Galactic Moon Festival (Halloween)
• Wookie Life Day (Winter Holidays)
• Jedi Phase II - Mending Mindfulness
• Space Convoys & New Missions
• Battlefield Revitalization & Vendors
"We’ve got a lot of momentum and inspiration for moving the project forward. Outside of our 1.1 roadmap items, including content additions like our Casino, Nuna Ball, and Podracing mini-games, we’ve recently made decisions, as a result of Community feedback, to reprioritize other high-demand content, and I’m excited to share (for the first time, surprise!) that we’re very close to the release of a major GCW update, that will include Officer Ranks, Base Busting, and enhancements to the Planetary Control Game, with custom mechanics and brand new features. Be on the lookout for a Developer Diary soon sharing more, and that’s not the only surprise we have in store for 2023!”
- Aconite, Lead Developer
There’s no doubt that implementation of Jedi has taken longer than expected. In many respects, creating a quality foundation for the game has taken a priority over Jedi work. As we finally turn the corner on some of the content and stability issues that we have been addressing, we turn our eyes to the Village…
Developers have been working on Phase III of the Force Sensitive path, which entails recreation of the entire Village. We are aiming to update every single Force Sensitive quest into the NGE’s quest system, which in many cases means starting over from scratch. We are also working on our own prelude and prologue quests that better tie it into the custom Jedi storyline developed for SWG Restoration.
As you'll remember, there are four phases in the Village each with their own unique quests. Each quest yields its own rewards and Force Sensitive skills. Force Sensitive skills are also being completely revamped for release of the Village to ensure the profession trees are highly valuable to reflect the investment it takes to become a Force Sensitive and the true benefit of Force Sensitivity. This is where a character begins their transformation. This is quite the undertaking, and we are committed to making Jedi on Restoration a special experience.
An upcoming Developer Diary will also share more about the safe houses for Jedi, inspired by “The Path” smuggling underground popularized in the Obi-Wan Kenobi Series. We’ve already introduced the first of three safe houses, The Ranch, into the game. The Ranch is a tucked away conclave that will offer three unique quests (and rewards) to players who have completed the village, As Above; So Below, Wayward Wayfinding, and Tumbling with the Thesselbeast. Additional features will include a special Jedi vendor, private cantina, cloning facility, and library, as well as access to the mines for secret transport across the planet.
The last several updates to the game have addressed many issues that were holding back PvP in Restoration. 1.0 brought a slew of rebalances and new abilities to combat, and we’ve been working hard to make sure that every profession gets some additional attention to make sure things are working as intended and people are having fun. Gear decay was a major topic of debate, as to whether or not it was holding players back from participating in PvP. Well, the jury is in: with the addition of a consumable buff to prevent decay, PvP has reached levels never seen before in Resto. Moof Mud is here to stay.
"When I joined Restoration I saw so much potential in such a brilliant game. There is so much I want to do to unlock this game for players, and creating challenging PvE instances as well as railroading a number of PvP-promoting changes into the game has been a dream from true for lil baby ornj. I guess I’m stuck here."
In addition to fixing the highest priority bugs and balance problems, another piece of feedback has been very consistent: it feels bad to miss a lot. So we recently announced that we are working on an overhaul to the combat engine under the hood that will give players a lot more control over their accuracy and defense, and give us as developers more tools to diversify combat rolls and professions. This refinement to the CU system is undergoing testing now, and we will be giving a deep dive very soon.
All of this is in service of living up to the promise of the CU: pairing the best sandbox MMO with the ultimate flexibility of the profession trees and the dynamic combat for every playstyle.
Although not typically in the spotlight, there has been an enormous amount of work going on behind the scenes. Infrastructure covers everything from how and where we deploy game servers, ensuring there’s enough horsepower (at not too high a cost!), work on the launcher, improving the patch system, and modernizing the client. Even aside from the technical end, we also do a lot behind the scenes that might not be obvious. Monitoring and analyzing game logs, building a custom CSR web backend to empower fast and easy resolutions to issues by our Community Support team, bolstering security and account auditing… everything is in service of providing a robust and consistent service to our players.
"We've gone to a much more resilient architecture using an easily reproducible setup. One that makes it easier to change things and make sure all our locals match the production environment. We've upgraded the hardware itself and made significant changes to the network pathing. And that's only the changes to the main game server — nearly every other piece of infrastructure has been modified as well."
-Toadster, Infrastructure and DevOps Lead
One of the next major steps for Restoration will be implementing a 64-bit client which is currently in the final phases of development and will soon be release for public beta. Although the average user may not notice many direct impacts, the overall capabilities of the client are significantly improved. This allows newer graphics APIs, utilizing more memory, taking advantage of newer CPU architectures, and much more. Most noticeably, frame rate performance of the client is expected to be much more consistent.
Thank you for helping celebrate two years of Restoration — we look forward to many more to come.
May the Force be With You
SWG Restoration Staff