"The Galactic Civil War is being introduced with Update 15. With this update, your GCW points are directly responsible for control of cities, planets, and the galaxy. You will see these changes reflected on your planetary and galactic maps."
Game Update 15 was first discussed with producers at FanFaire 2009, and is hyped as being the largest, most complex and most exciting addition that Star Wars Galaxies has seen in the past few years. Producer "Teesquared" had said, "This update will bring with it the most engaging GCW content we have ever put into the game," whilst teasing the content in his Producer Note in November 2009. Various aspects of this mammoth Update started to appear on the Test Center on the 3rd December. The first invasion took part on 16th December, with another two cities being fought for from the 7th January. The Update reached live servers on Tuesday 26 January 2010.
The Update was designed with one sole purpose: To bring the GCW to the forefront of the game. The intention was to make sure that every player was affected by the very real Civil War that the Galaxy was in the midst of and had, until this point, not quite made its mark on gameplay.
The Update has included, amongst other things; a regional, planetary and galaxy-wide control game, a "one storey" fix for Battlefield LOS issues, the "factional helper" system and large scale planetary invasions.
Galactic Civil War Screen
This new part of the User Interface allows players to see the control that each faction has over certain areas of the Galaxy. Percentage of control in all different aspects for all planets can be accessed from this User Interface, as well as other features.
This part of the User Interface allows players to track the rise and fall of their faction over the previous few days. Percentage scores are represented as blue and red bars, one for each day, that give pop-up information about the time/date and scores for that day. The score history of any planet, any Galaxy or simply any aspect of the Galactic Civil War can be shown, no matter how minor.
On the Planetary Map regions are shown with one of three symbols showing Imperial Control, Rebel Control or Contested. Percentage control over various areas of a planet are calculated according to a number of specific objectives and are displayed on the GCW screen. Controlling a region increases the number and combat level of NPC spawns that patrol that region.
As well as overall military control of the various regions, Planetary Control can be influenced by other aspects of the game. The GCW screen shows percentage scores from Battlefields, Player vs. Environment and Player vs. Player. These scores are totaled up along with the scores from Regional control and the result effects the control of the planet. The Travel Map on Starship Terminals and Ticket Terminals shows Imperial and Rebel icons depending on the current occupiers.
In the top left hand corner of the screen the be-all-and-end-all control of the Galaxy is shown as a percentage score. Every act taken in the Galactic Civil War serves to tip this balance slightly and give one side the advantage. Kashyyyk, Mustafar and the space sectors of Ord Mantell, Kessel and Deep Space remain neutral and as such are not explicitly included in Galactic Civil War.
Above all other modes of control is the "Galaxies Control" cross-server leader board in the top left corner of the interface. Forget Regions, forget Planets, the only factor that contributes to this score is the players. The number of GCW points (and Factional Presence points) that every SWG player scores are added together according to their factions and the Imperial and Rebel percentages are calculated. A faction that could claim majority dominance over not only their Galaxy but over every single one of the Star Wars Galaxies would be a force to be reckoned with!
Use of the new /factionalHelper command will give Neutral players the ability to fight as mercenaries in the Galactic Civil War. Players who are not aligned with either the Imperial or Rebel Factions can use this command to temporarily sign up for active duty and take part in the new content. This is currently limited to ground based PvE and PvP, Neutral Pilots can still align with either faction in the traditional manner during their training as a Freelance Pilot.
- Confirmation of a change in status, takes one minute.
- Players cannot switch faction for thirty minutes.
- Players can switch between Combatant and Special Forces (within the same faction) as often as they choose.
- The use of the /factionalHelper command gives players access to all PvE and PvP GCW content. Some NPCs (such as Recruiters) will converse with the players as if they are members of the faction, but others (such as certain quest givers) will not.
- The player is given an number of different titles, to make it apparent to other players which side they are currently fighting for.
"Another system added to the upcoming publish is a city invasion system. We have built a framework that can be used to populate a city with GCW aware structures, spawners, events, and quests. The new framework will allow us to quickly add an invasion to more cities in the future. In the GCW update, we have built out three cities for the invasion system which are: Dearic on Talus, Bestine on Tatooine, and Keren on Naboo."
In what is the most obvious, sizable and dynamic part of this update, three cities will be invaded by large scale NPC forces and defended by towers, turrets and barricades. A whole host of new missions have been added that allow all professions to take part in the battles and influence their outcomes. The three affected cities are:
In each case, the battle unfolds in two stages. The first is a Construction Phase and the second is a Combat Phase. Missions are obtained from the Offensive and Defensive Camps that can be found outside and inside the cities respectively. Defensive Camps are also the location of the defending General whose defeat is the objective of attacking forces (and as such their survival is the objective of defending forces). Invasions take place in each city once every three hours. Completing missions in either Phase grants the player GCW points and GCW Tokens. To partake in these missions all players (including Entertainers and Traders) must be at least combatant, and setting your status to Special Forces grants twice as many rewards and tokens.
Phase I: Construction
Everything that is required for the construction stage is provided in the contested city so that all that players need to do is arrive at the correct Terminals at the correct time to begin their role in this Phase. Both sides of the invasion take part in the Construction Phase to increase the number, type and offensive/defensive skills of the combat units that will be available to them in the Combat Phase. This Phase lasts for 30 minutes.
As the Construction Phase begins Pylons spawn to either side of the camps and throughout the city in predetermined positions. Traders can converse with the Resource Terminal to receive resources and build Tools. Architects make the best Barricade Tools, Chefs make the best Defensive Patrol Tools, Droid Engineers make the best Tower Tools, Weaponsmiths make the best Turret Tools, and Artisans make the best Offensive Patrol Tools and Offensive Vehicle Tools. Traders use computer terminals near the defending general and in offensive camps surrounding the cities to get components to craft these tools. Smugglers can use the terminals first to do logic puzzles to slice the terminals, which gives bonus components to increase the quality of the tools crafted. These tools can then be kept or traded to other players and used to increase the level of the Pylons, which in turn strengthens what the pylons spawn in the second Phase. Clicking on a pylon with its associated tool in your inventory begins a 10 second Constructing timer to successfully increase the pylon's level. Each time combat characters and entertainers expend 1 use of a tool they gain 5 Fatigue debuff points (traders get 1 Fatigue point). This debuff doesn't affect combat stats or movement speed, but the more Fatigue points a character has the longer the Constructing timer gets. Entertainers can get a repeatable quest from Imperial Captains or Rebel Field Commanders to remove Fatigue points from themselves and other players by dancing or playing music. The Fatigue points are removed in 5 point intervals regardless of the fatigued characters' professions. Participating in Phase I rewards 100 GCW Points and 20 GCW Tokens (doubled if done in PVP mode).
Phase II: The Invasion
The invader's objective in the Invasion is to eliminate the defending general, so it follows that the defender's objection is to defend the general. This Phase lasts for a further 30 minutes. Within these overarching objectives are a whole host of other missions that include multiple professions. Entertainers on the defending side can dance or play music for NPCs spawned from Patrol Pylons to give them an extra buff as well as dance or play music for groups of Demoralized Troopers spread throughout the cities to turn them into combative NPCs. Traders on the defending side can use Barricade and Turret Tools to repair spawned Barricades and Turrets (causes Fatigue points) while traders on the offensive side can repair broken Vehicles using Vehicle Tools (causes Fatigue points). Medics on both sides can heal Injured Troopers lying on the ground throughout the cities (causes Fatigue points). Spies can disable Trooper and Vehicle spawn points. Taking part in a winning invasion rewards 1,000 GCW Points and 40 GCW Tokens, whereas taking part in an unsuccessful invasion is rewarded with 100 GCW Points and 10 GCW Tokens (all amounts doubled if done in PVP mode).
Click on any of the three cities listed above to find a more detailed guide to the GCW Invasion.
Phase III: Occupation
Also considered as "Phase Zero", this Phase signifies relative peace in the affected cities. The Invasion items and NPCs will despawn and the city will return to its pre-invasion state. During the next few hours the NPCs regroup and prepare to fight all over again. Players can use this time to gain additional GCW points in the region in the hope of flipping control from one faction to the other or to shore up their faction's hold.
It should be made very clear that the "winning" faction during a particular invasion will not necessarily become the "defenders" in the next invasion. The "defending" faction is decided solely upon the percentage control of the city's region at the start of the invasion. "Winning" an invasion does obviously grant considerably more GCW points than "losing" an invasion, and these GCW points will be used in calculating who owns the city at the start of Phase I, but often an invading side will see that the point gain has not been enough to tip the balance and, even though they may have decimated the city and slaughtered the General, they will find themselves invading once more.
- Main article: GCW Invasion Collections
New collections are added in to the game with this update that reward players of all professions for repeatedly taking part in the invasion systems.
Phase I: Construction
- Imperial Builder
- Imperial Barricade Construction
- Imperial Patrol Point Construction
- Imperial Tower Construction
- Imperial Turret Construction
- Imperial Vehicle Construction
- Imperial Siege Vehicle Construction
- Rebel Builder
- Rebel Barricade Construction
- Rebel Patrol Point Construction
- Rebel Tower Construction
- Rebel Turret Construction
- Rebel Vehicle Construction
- Rebel Siege Vehicle Construction
Phase II: The Invasion
- Defend Imperial Towers
- Defend Imperial Barricades
- Defend Imperial Turrets
- Imperial Fighter
- Kill Rebel Grunts
- Kill Rebel Commandos
- Kill Rebel Specforce Troops
- Kill AT-XTs
- Kill a Hailfire Droid
- Kill a Rebel General
- Destroy Rebel Patrol Points
- Slice Imperial Supply Terminals
- Heal Imperial Soldiers
- Imperial Entertainer
- Cure Fatigue from Imperials
- Rally Demoralized Imperial Troops
- Entertain Imperial Reinforcement Points
- Imperial Vehicle Repair
- Imperial Turret Repair
- Imperial Patrol Point Repair
- Imperial Barricade Repair
- Defend Rebel Towers
- Defend Rebel Barricades
- Defend Rebel Turrets
- Rebel Fighter
- Kill Imperial Stormtroopers
- Kill Imperial Veteran Stormtroopers
- Kill Imperial Elite Stormtroopers
- Kill AT-STs
- Kill an AT-AT
- Kill an Imperial General
- Destroy Imperial Patrol Points
- Slice Rebel Supply Terminals
- Heal Rebel Soldiers
- Rebel Entertainer
- Cure Fatigue from Rebels
- Rally Demoralized Rebel Troops
- Entertain Rebel Reinforcement Points
- Rebel Vehicle Repair
- Rebel Turret Repair
- Rebel Patrol Point Repair
- Rebel Barricade Repair
- Main article: Game Update 15 Rewards
The GCW Update involves lots of new Galactic Civil War Era rewards and items, including consumable GCW Insignia Battle Worn Armor and Factional Capes. Tokens can be collected from various missions that take place during the invasions of Bestine, Dearic and Keren and the rewards can be bought from Imperial Recruiters and Rebel Recruiters
Frames Per Second Cap Increase
Since the game's launch, the game operated at a maximum of 30 Frames Per Second (FPS). Now that technology has advanced considerably the developers have increased the FPS cap to 60, meaning that your PC screen will now show more images per second that before. Many argue that this should not make much of a difference, as the human eye cannot see more than a certain number of images in a second (which is incorrect, though motion pictures have always operated at 24 FPS for production and effects reasons, and this is often seen as "good enough") but once it has been seen, the smoother animations and graphical renderings are evident.
There has been some moderate (sic) discontent about the two story bunkers that are used throughout the game and were implemented as the large bunkers inside the three of the four Battlefields. The two story issues meant that players that where standing inside would not be able to get proper player positioning to their clients due to a layer that is responsible for vertical axis updating was lacking in the buildings. This means that their opponents would appear to be in one location while actually being somewhere else. The issue caused great frustration as players in some cases where unable to see, identify or attack their opponents while their attackers would be able to fully see, target and attack them. In some cases, the participants would exploit this knowledge to quickly run up/down the stairs to trigger the slow client updating and get a kill on their opponents before their clients could update the position of the attacker.
To "address the issues caused by pvp'ing in those buildings" Undertoad, 7th January 2010 a one story bunker has been designed and implemented in the Battlefields.
The new Battlefield Bunker layout: