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Star Wars Galaxies: City Building Guide

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member Common Star Wars Galaxies Correspondent Jef Reahard writes this new guide giving players some insight into creating player cities in SOE's Star Wars Galaxies.

So you're new to Star Wars Galaxies, or you're a veteran looking to see what all the fuss is about regarding the building and management of a player city. Well, you've come to the right place. Your humble correspondent has designed and run two such projects on the Starsider server, dating back to 2004, and if there's a nagging question regarding Galaxies' city system lurking in the back of your mind, chances are this article will provide the answer.

Star Wars Galaxies Screenshot

Read the article

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,575Member Uncommon

    Housing and player cities were one of my favorite aspects of this game.  Me and three other friends established a city on the edge of a pristine lake on the planet Dantooine.  I built a military outpost nearby, and the city grew up around the lake.  Pretty soon, the town kinda took a life of it's own. 


    We would have competitive events, practice our fighting skills, hold war rallies and town meetings, etc.  We all pitched in to build the city up.  And in the middle of the lake, there was this small island.  Sometimes the town founders would swim out there and make a little campfire, and we'd sit around it and discuss the local imperial versus rebel politics and our plans for expanding the town, running the militia and bringing more services to town.


    Unfortuantely it wasn't all good.  There was drama.  For instance, as the guild leader I wanted to allow anyone to shop in town as long as they were not faction pvp enabled.  The increased income to shop keepers would draw more crafters, and taxes would pay for town improvements.  But the militia decided they wanted a zero policy against all rebels, and would immediately flag them and kll them.  I felt this was wrong from a rp perspective since an unflagged reb was supposedly 'covert'.  Also, it was bad for business.


    Ultimately, this divided our town between crafters and adventures.  Crafters left town to more friendly cities and city coffers and traffic dried up. The militia decided eventually that they should be running the town and not the politicians and guild leaders.  The mayor decided to disappear with the city's funds, and I ended up dismantling my town faction base, which at the time were not very common.


    In general it was probably one of the most interesting times in my gaming life.


  • SuvrocSuvroc Toronto, ONPosts: 2,383Member

    Player cities in SWG were simply awsome.

    They provided a social area for your guild/citizens as well as a focal point of pride when your city came under attack from the opposite faction - there's nothing like fighting for your own territory!

    But some of the problems associated with player cites really hurt the over-all game IMO.

    One, they made most NPC cities obsolete and desolate.

    Two, there were far too many player cities which eventually kept everyone issolated in their own smaller communities.

    Three, there really wasn't much desire for people to run for mayor as there wasn't really much variety in what they could/would do for their towns - voting for one person or another meant virtually nothing.

    And lastly, player cities were ultimately affected by the overall direction the developers took the game. If you cause an exodus of players (or likewise an exudus occured due to people leaving for another game being released) then it could be very disruptive to your city status.

    Speaking from my past experiences with player cities in SWG I think it would be a much better idea to have areas in NPC cities where you can setup a "suburb" for your guild.



  • Aked_elBosseAked_elBosse camden, SCPosts: 22Member

    A fairly nice article featuring something most players on any server can do to a limited degree anymore. The problem is most (if not all) the planets on most (again,if not all) of the servers are capped!  While it is possible to start your city on any planet or server, the hopes of gaining the use of a shuttleport are nil. And lets face it a shuttleport is still the major draw to owning a city even with our ITVs.  With the new transfer feature coming up the beginning of next year the question again becomes will the SWG devs remove the abandoned housing/cities in a more productive purge again or not?

    In a move that makes udderly no useful sense, SOE will allow players from lightly used servers to transfer to more populated ones sometime in the beginning of 2009. After getting too much heat from the playerbase on several of the proposed ideas to SOE has fallen back on this method which does little to actually help the players in the long view. Yes, players can move ONE toon to another more populated server and yes that would be great for them but, they lose by coming to servers that have little or no room to create new cities and are burdened with hordes of abandoned houses,factories etc. Personally i liked the cost saving method of creating 3 totally new servers and repopulating them with players from less used servers and then eliminate that old server totally. That method had merit in that players would move onto virgin territory and have the same gratifying experiences we did years ago but, with all thier skills and levels intact. From population estimates, this method would mean 3 new servers with light to medium populations and the possible cost reduction of removing as many as 8 old servers or more.

    Anyway got off subject, still a nice read thanks!

  • DevourDevour LiverpoolPosts: 902Member

    This article seems resoundingly useless in my opinion. Building cities, which require players, in a game without players, whilst players are already in other cities?

    Makes sense.


  • jedijefjedijef Star Wars Galaxies Correspondent Atlanta, GAPosts: 27Member
    Originally posted by Devour

    This article seems resoundingly useless in my opinion. Building cities, which require players, in a game without players, whilst players are already in other cities?
    Makes sense.


    Well, you know what they say opinions are like.  Thanks for the insightful commentary though.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 8,156Member Rare

    Ah yes Starsider, that ghost of a server.  Sorry, but what a complete waste of time this article is.  Most of these servers, including Starsider don't have the population to even support more than the existing city or two, than build a new one.

    Just an aside for the above poster, you need players who need housing to build a city and that is one thing none of these servers have.   So it was not just opinion, it was fact that he stated. 

  • DeeweDeewe Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,967Member Uncommon

    Player cities where a nice concept... on paper.

    Too bad they never took time to polish them before publishing.

    First there where no way to level the ground.

    Then there where never walls, fences, roads, streets nor floor textures like concrete, grass, gravels, sand...

    In the end most of them where messy, not looking neatly designed.

    In the very end, apart a few major ones, they where mostly ghost towns.

    A few key ideas could have made them better like having pre-designed city plans you have to choose from.

    Neighbourhood spots in NPC cities.

    And lastly only very specific spots where you can drop your city.

    What was nice is they wheren't instanced. Like LotRo empty ones...

    Once again SOE way: great idea, poor implementation.

  • khristenkhristen Granite City, ILPosts: 10Member

    A couple of corrections... 

    It only takes 5 citizens to start and maintain a Rank 1 city.  The initial e-mail you get when creating a city may still be bugged and say you need 10, but they lowered the citizenship requirements (at the same time they doubled the number of characters you can have per server /boggle).

    The Entertainment District works, however the gain is so tremendously slight that you don't gain more than a few seconds' time.  It's an "essentially worthless" specialization.  The crafting ones are questionable, too, although you have many crafters who will swear by them.  The crafting roll numbers are so unknown and variable, it is very difficult to accurately test it.  So it's really up in the air on whether it works or if it falls into the category of the old superstition that slicing worked better if you stood inside of a Weapons Crafting stations (which was total bunk).

    They are supposed to be doing a Player City update with GU6 next year, but I'm still classing that as an "I'll believe it when I see it."  So much has been thrown in with that update that I don't see them being able to spend much time on Player Cities despite the fact that they sorely need it.  Add to it that they've already stated that the number one issue (abandoned housing) isn't going to be addressed, I don't hold out much hope for the update actually accomplishing anything significant as far as improvements go.

    It's really sad that they've neglected one of the most unique aspects of SWG and one of the biggest community-building tools in the game.  They've been so busy trying to be like everyone else to compete that they've overlooked the things that have kept people playing all this time.


    If you're looking for more information on Player Cities, you can also look here:  Don't let the February 2007 date fool you--not much has changed for Player Cities between then and now.  There are a few additions that need to be expanded on, but it is still a very accurate guide.


  • admriker4admriker4 boise, IDPosts: 1,070Member

    The article doesnt mention Endor as being unbuildable. Did they change that and allow houses on endor ?

  • JYCowboyJYCowboy Northlake, TXPosts: 652Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by admriker4

    The article doesnt mention Endor as being unbuildable. Did they change that and allow houses on endor ?


    You are correct.  Endor, Dathomir, Yavin IV, Mustafar (expansion) and Kashyyyk (expansion) can not hold player housing.

    I would imagine, having not read the artical, that this comes with the looming free CTS being implimented after the first of the year.  This will be followed with the announced House Pack up that will free up some land for new cities.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 8,156Member Rare

    Why in the world would they even bother to free up land for houses, there is hardly anyone playing the game and there is still literally millions of house locations to choose from.  Housing and Cities are a dead issue when you have such low population.

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