Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Send in the Clones

In the early days of Star Wars Galaxies there were no "levels" to categorize toons, NPCs or creatures. You used your best judgment and hoped to live to tell about it.

But naturally, the trial-and-error method led to several "gosh, darn its". (Typically, the language would become more colorful as the evening wore on.)

There were two ways to really die. One was getting knocked out and then having a death blow delivered by whatever it was that attacked you (some creatures would always death blow, others... well, maybe a person could get lucky. "Oh no! Here he comes! No No! C'mon! Get up! Get up!!")

The second way to die was being KO'd a certain number of times in a certain number of minutes. I think you were allowed two in ten, but the third was a trip to... the Cloners! Usually when this happened, a person would feign shock, or claim that it was a game bug. Pride exists, even in pixel form.

If you died, and you were smart, you'd have already registered your clone data in the nearest Cloning Facility. If you were really smart, you'd have insured your gear as well. It could get expensive, but that was just more incentive not to kick the bucket. It was very important to take care of these basic points.

Our old friend IceFalkon taught us to clone every time we travelled.

It was a risk you took: either not registering your clone data, or fighting on after you had already been knocked out recently. Credits still had value, and gear wasn't readily available. It wasn't a stiff penalty for becoming a stiff, but you wanted to avoid it.

And we did learn how to do just that. We learned when we shouldn't have tried in the first place:

And we learned that discretion really was the better part of valor:

But we learned it all together, like in this picture below where the squad met a very quick and ugly end at the hands of a single Bothan brigand who was swimming in the water outside one of the outposts on Dantooine. We literally ran out of the Outpost, all gun-ho and rarin' to go! Rah Adventure! Hey, let's kill that Both-

On second thought. I'm not sure we learned very much at all. The picture below is from the first or second day after launch. It looks strangely familiar.

The more things change...

It was probably that infuriating squill again. Or maybe a game bug. Yeah. Probably a bug.

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