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I know a lot of people liked the professions pre-NGE but to be honest, I still felt SWG was one of the best MMOs out there even afterwards. I enjoyed the star wars universe and the epic player created towns.
Even servers that were dying (my own server of radiant) managed to keep GCW battles and pvp active everyday up to a few months ago.
I had a lot of fun and I know towards the end they were adding in a lot of content that they had been preparing.
A lot of NGE haters definitely missed out on a great star wars experience.