Sometimes, you reach a point where you look back on games you’ve left behind, and think to yourself, “I wonder what things are like back there.”
For some games, the thought is made, and nothing more; after all, those games are gone, closed, finished. But for many, the temptation is there to revisit them and see what’s what. The game producers are undoubtedly aware of this tendency-hence the occasional “come back trials” that are sent via email to former players to (in theory) lure them back in.
I’ve seen this with City of Heroes reactivation weekends, for example. It’s not particularly applicable to me, since I still play it, but there you are. Star Trek Online has had a couple reactivation events as well. I had gotten one or two from World of Warcraft in the last six months, and I’ve had a number from EVE Online (one of which is still pending; more on that in a few). Champions Online and Lord of the Rings Online, being free to play, are effectively there whenever I feel like it (although several characters are more or less hosed or locked behind the sub fees if I want to access them-or change them beyond recognition).
But one game that has been firmly put behind me was Star Wars Galaxies. Or so I thought.
It wasn’t just my unwillingness to pay SOE another red cent ever. The offers simply were never extended. (Perhaps they knew it was a lost cause?) Plus, my primary characters were on the Corbantis server, and that server closed a long time ago now, where only a fee could move them out.
But a little while ago, SOE enabled free character transfers for all servers to go to any server (except Starsider, which had a huge population). Doing a little research, I found that this also applied to characters on closed servers, although a customer service ticket needed to be opened on their behalf. Again, however, I was unwilling to pay SOE even a penny to resub.
And then the hacks hit.
With SOE offering as compensation 45 days to any game any of their players had ever played on their network, the stars aligned, and for the first time in about three years, I reinstalled Star Wars Galaxies on my system. Within twenty-four hours, Coreth Landwalker and Zhaven Rel lived again-on the Sunrunner server. I’d heard that the server was a pretty dead one, but then, since I wasn’t exactly planning on staying beyond the 45 days, I wasn’t exactly looking for community. What I was looking for was memories.
I wasn’t a prolific screenshot guy back in those days, and as a result, much was lost over time. I’d seen a lot in the game worth preserving, and I decided to make that my goal for this month. So I broke out Coreth and got him ready to roam the galaxy once more.
I went to Rori to locate the site of the old hunting lodge. The waypoint was gone, but I still had the waypoint for the city that had been nearby. While there were no cities even remotely close to that spot, a little travel never bothered a Ranger. I located a spot that seemed similar to the old one, and plopped down my hunting lodge. On Corellia, I popped my bunker down near Coronet; the fact I was able to do so is an indicator of how things are in Sunrunner; in fact, there are no player cities with an active shuttleport. From there, I went to the various points of interest that I thought were screenshot worthy, as well as a couple waypoints where I’d been struck by the area, like a huge natural arch near a set of houses. Finally, because some things had to be done, I traveled to the site of where the city of Horizon stood. At the site of the city hall, I placed a small house I renamed as “New Horizon”. Because some places deserved to be marked, and remembered.
I finished up in Theed (for now), as I always felt it to be the most well done city in the game, artistically speaking. I plan to hit all the planets again, though, and appreciate the sights-and record for personal posterity.
Of other interesting note: SOE also restored an account that I’d only been on a very short time-my Vanguard account. As my PC now is far better than the one I’d had back in the day, and since it’ll be a 45 day activation as well, I will likely head over there and check things out-although how much I’ll do is probably an open question. And I’ve also got a 5 day activation for EVE as well, which I also have fond memories of (although not nearly as much as other games; but there was much to appreciate about EVE, too). If developers are going to give me some free time to go back and remember, it’d be silly for me to not at least take a peek, no?