Friday, November 9, 2007

Lessons of Star Wars Galaxies +

Originally Posted by mosschops:
the force ranking system was nerf because of the fight clubs right? There's little you can do when people start to exploit a system like that, hope it doesn't happen here.
The history of the Force Ranking System (FRS) is a whole story in itself.

Short version: Introduced in Publish 9, "Secrets of the Force" (AKA "Jedi Revamp Part 1"), the FRS was intended to give Jedi more presence in the Galactic Civil War. Now being a Dark or Light Jedi counted for something, both against each other and within the "enclave" for each type of Jedi for gaining rank.

Publish 10 tweaked this a little when it introduced the Force Sensitive Village (to replace the old hologrind method for unlocking the Jedi character slot). Force Ranking System XP for killing another Jedi was "significantly increased" at this time.

A month and a half later, in what I call Publish 10.10 (October 13, 2004), came the first nerf of this system, as the granting of Jedi XP for dueling was turned off. The Force Ranking System was still in place, though.

Publish 11.2 (about three weeks after the Jump to Lightspeed expansion) included several changes to the FRS. Among other things, FRS experience from killing rival enclave members (and Bounty Hunters) was increased, but all FRS ranks got reset (all Jedi Knights were set to Rank 0) to allow the new rules to take effect. (One day later, the ranks got reset again.) This encouraged new Jedi players to jump into the FRS since it was an even playing field once more, but it probably offended a lot of the existing Jedi.

Then came the Combat Upgrade, Publish 15. Among its many changes, it allowed players to "respec" into other professions... and Jedi was one of those professions. To allow Jedi to participate, the FRS system was wiped and turned off, including the Knight Trials. Although the "Jedi Knight" and "Jedi Master" titles were retained, internal enclave ranks got wiped.

And up through Publish 23, the FRS system never got turned back on.

So overall, my impression is that the reason the FRS got whacked with the nerf stick wasn't so much because of the "fight clubs" where players would fight just to get rank XP for each other -- that got nailed in Publish 10.10. If anything was responsible for the ultimate removal of the Force Ranking System, it was the Combat Upgrade. Presumably the respec system was already so complicated that trying to wedge the FRS for Jedi into the general respec model would have taken too long to implement and test.

What's curious is why it was never turned back on again... at least until the NGE. At that point, when anybody could start off as a Jedi, then respec out of it, then respec back into it, having the FRS might have been impossible to maintain.

Funny how this interesting game feature (and others) got harder to preserve as SWG moved away from being a pure skills-based game and became more of a typical class-based game....