Star Wars Galaxies: You broke my heart and I stopped loving you. Really. Stop emailing me.

Heya SWG:

I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me. I’ve been busy. I got your recent email. I was going to ignore it, but I think it’s time that I tell you the reason why I stopped playing you and why I really don’t want to hear from you again.

First of all, please understand that I do treasure the times we had spent together. You were such a big part of my life for 2 years. You were closer to me that my very best friend. You introduced me to many exciting things that I never would have experienced without you. I’m a little embarrassed saying this, but you were my “first”. I’d never played a game like you before and you hold a special place in my heart because of it.

I find myself reminiscing about our time together from time to time. But enough is enough. After this letter, I hope that I can stop reminiscing and truly move on.

You really had me wrapped around your little finger from the start. I was a pre-order player, and launchie. Well, I was kind of a launchie. Since you weren’t quite ready when we met (I’m sure I’ll bring this point up again!) you couldn’t really handle the server load. Once I was finally able to register my account and start a character, the server crashed. Awhile later I tried again, starting over on another server, this one actually worked. Oh character creation! You let me be who I envisioned myself to be in the game! I chose to be a flame-haired Zabrak and you were able to let me adjust every little nuance down to the angle of my nose and the length of my chin. I invested much of myself in my avatar even in creation, and my fierce loyalty started right there.

You were patient with me, and I really appreciate that! I never heard a complaint when I spent my first 2 days as a Scout shooting at mobs but not knowing to harvest the corpse for Scouting XP. I met some new friends with you, and I met some people that seemed to follow me around all the time.

There were some things that didn’t seem quite right from the start. Your Battlefields were broken, some of the crafting systems seemed to be missing vital pieces, and a few other annoyances came up. But I didn’t care! I was hooked and in love. Slowly my real life friends saw less of me every day.

I was so happy when mounts and then vehicles were introduced! Even when someone said that you had promised these things from launch, I didn’t even have to forgive your lateness, as I didn’t care at all.

Then, you kept a promise on your packaging. You introduced the Jedi. At first a rare, mystical puzzle became a mad rush to find the secret formula. Suddenly players were mastering every available profession to figure out the magic combination. People were leaving the roles they had loved and forges in hopes of finding something better – and then in the end finding themselves with a new character who couldn’t interact with other players in fear of becoming a bounty. This promise became a curse instead of a blessing.

Your economy was out of control. Your players were no longer playing for fun; they were playing for an obtuse achievement. Even with attempts to change the Jedi system your flaws were exposed. Your Jump to Lightspeed space expansion seemed to good to be true at first. Another dimension to your game personality. I didn’t even complain when that was somewhat easily mastered, completed and moved on from for lack of content. And yet, I remained. Frustrated for sure, but my love was steadfast and true and I held out hope that you’d fix your bugs.

Then, you changed. I’m sure you thought I’d be happy about this, but your Combat Upgrade didn’t engage me. In fact, it gave me a headache. And you asked me to sacrifice many of the skills I had come to love. While half-heartedly pursuing the Jedi mania with the rest of my comrades, I had found a new unique role I was comfortable with and excelled at – Pistol Goddess Build. Then you asked me to abandon it. And I did, so that I would not abandon you.

While I held on to you so tightly with both fists, white with effort, others slipped through your fingers. I began to realize that I was increasingly more and more alone. I would look around at the grand city I had helped build and see an empty expanse of houses and broken promises. My companions had found fairer shores. My sadness turned to ire at them, and I still did not abandon you.

Unfortunately, my other corporeal life began to change and I was separated from you for a time. In that time I experienced freedom and perspective. Your hold on me was loosened. Moving and having no Internet will do that. But I began to see what others had noticed about you. Maybe I had been too close to see it before. But your flaws and your broken promises were glaring at me. I still held out hope that we would still make it though.

By the next time I was ready to visit with you again SWG, you really changed. And I mean you basically had plastic surgery, electro-shock therapy, a lobotomy and a vivisection at the same time, changed.

You promised this New Game Experience would fix everything. But – when I look at you now, you are not the same game I fell in love with. I don’t know what you are anymore. Everything I had known, and all that I had come to believe in with you was turned upside down. As let down as I felt, I looked around at the carnage of players around me. Many others (cough. Creature Handlers. cough) were left in much worse shape.

I packed up and I left. There wasn’t anything left for me to fight for. By the time it was at this point, I closed down 4 accounts. Two were mine and 2 were others I had picked up in a vain hope to keep my community alive. Another testament to the sacrifice I had tried to make in an attempt to work things out with us.

Thank you for introducing me to a game like you once were. Because of you, I can love other games now. Thank you for being great scaffolding for a community. I’m so happy that I have met, in real life, 8 of my former in-game companions. Thank you for providing another dimension for my life that I could share with my real-life and in-game partner. I think you helped make the 2 of us stronger and a team. (There’s nothing like some carnage on Endor to bring a couple of people together – just ask Han and Leia!) Thank you for showing me I can be a leader. I helped create a player city with over 75 residents, and managed to get re-elected every 2 weeks.

Thank you for these things, but please understand, I’m done now. I’m finished. I’ve moved on. You don’t have the power over me you used to. Between the time I’ve been away and the transformation you have made – I have no interest. No amount of free online playing time can convince me to go back. It would break my heart more than it is already. You let me down. You let a lot of people down. And I can’t just forgive and forget. I spent too much time already on you and I and I’m not willing to try anymore. I get a clean slate with other games. That is more appealing to me that to be with you and revisit my regret at potential unrealized and sadness for one of the best times in my life lost.

So stop, stop trying to get me back. It won’t work. My mind is set. My resolve is solid. I wish you well and I hope the younger people that you have cleaned yourself up to appeal to have as much of an enjoyable experience as I have had. But our time is over. We can look back and smile at the good things, but the bad parts are still there. We can try and skip over them for the sake of nostalgia. But they are still there. And that’s why I’m not coming back to you.

~Forever for the Glory of the Free Peoples of the Rebellion and especially the Keepers of Free Corellia,

Emide Gallorum

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