Raph Koster (Google him) wrote a fascinating narrative on how the entire SWG Jedi fiasco unfolded. Although quite long, and honestly not saying anything particularly new, it’s well written and a much better explanation of why SWG failed than what Gordon Walton threw together.
Jedi ruined SWG. This isn’t news. This isn’t something MMO news sites should be announcing as a reveal. If anyone out there thinks CU or NGE were what killed SWG then they weren’t actually playing SWG at the time. CU and NGE were why we quit, but Jedi were why SWG was put onto a failing trajectory. Raph does a nice job of accurately explaining why.
I’m one of the people who loved SWG in its launch to shortly after launch state. Yep, I was one of the people building a crafting empire with my own employees and supply chains. I was one of the people enjoying playing a musician and socializing in the cantinas. I was the mayor of a glorious player city. I was even one of the people who enjoyed the broken combat. SWG gave me an opportunity to embody each of the Bartle-types — and I loved every second of it.
I was also one of the beta testers. While I wasn’t one of the people flown out to talk with the dev team, I was still actively involved with the community and I can remember how shocked we all were that the game was going to launch. Still, as Raph said, we supported them because this game — this game set in the Star Wars universe — allowed us to create a character and thrive in almost any way we desired.
I remember the rumors we would all whisper while playing. I definitely remember the conspiracies about player councils and electing Jedi. For a while we thought that we might even become Jedi by visiting these special caves off in the corner of dangerous planets where force-sensitive witches would reside. Honestly, the speculating was great fun.
There’s this sentiment floating around lately about “the game that could have been.” Yeah, that “game that could have been” sounds fun. That’s the game we were wanting too. Hardcore Jedi were one of our conspiracy theories. The more action-oriented SWG with Jedi and all of that set in a different point on the timeline is another game we wanted. You could have made that game, but you didn’t. We got SWG. It was awesome — flawed, but awesome. What I don’t like to see are the after-the-fact reveals about what could have been. Those types of retrospectives make me wonder if instead of focusing on making what you had better you just floundered around thinking about how to make it something else. Focusing on trying to make something else is why we all quit.