Friday Feature 11/3/2017: The Friday Feature Archives!

Empire in Flames turns six months old tomorrow! Since we launched EiF a Friday Feature has been put together nearly every week! (except one, oops.) The staff and community has found over the past months that we’ve referred to these posts over and over and over! So now you have an archive of them to easily reference for personal use or to direct a new player to the information!

Sandarie, Community Manager

Friday Features: The Archives!
By the Numbers 5/5/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=330
Pauleh Plays! 5/12/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=361
Planetary Factional Alignment in EiF 5/19/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=376
Decorating in Empire in Flames 5/26/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=391
Enter the Cats! 6/2/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=415
EiF Character Builder Beta Testing! 6/9/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=424
Player Cities 6/16/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=433
Server Hardware 6/23/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=456
Player Goods and Services 6/30/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=461
Port Jato 7/7/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=474
Player Events 7/14/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=492
Creature Resources 7/21/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=505
Macros 7/28/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=514
Badges 8/4/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=527
Old Content – Racetracks 8/11/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=535
Teaser! 8/18/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=541
oops… 8/25/2017
Heavy Weapons Y’all! 9/1/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=560
A Chat with Halyn 9/8/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=586
Loot Kits/Recyclers 9/15/17 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=595
A Chat with Anishor 9/22/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=599
Invasion 9/29/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=609
RP on EiF 10/06/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=623
A Chat with Abi/Gail 10/13/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=628
A Chat with Kelta 10/20/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=638
EiF Combat 10/27/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=647
The Friday Feature Archives!  11/3/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=659
A Chat with BluePyros 11/10/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=667
 A Chat with Wefi  11/17/2017  http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=680
Bonus Posts!
Question and Answer Time with the Devs! 5/2/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=291
Racial Bonuses 5/1/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=282
Professions and Skills 5/1/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=271
Housing in EiF 4/27/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=245
Empire in Flames Contact and Social Media Information 4/22/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=216

Friday Feature 9/8/2017: A Chat with Halyn

Halyn and I got a chance to sit down virtually and talk about him and Empire in Flames. Well, actually, Gail and I wrote up a list of questions and Halyn answered them! The first way just sounded more cozy. *broad grins* Enjoy!

Sandi: Which versions of SWG did you play? pre-CU, CU, NGE?

Halyn: All of them!

Sandi: If you played in the pre-CU live, approximately how long did you play in the pre-CU?

Halyn:    I started in October of 2003 and played until the game shutdown. I had a couple breaks in there of a few months at a time, and periods where I was more and less active, but largely played from almost the beginning all the way to the end.

Sandi: Which server did you play on?

Halyn:    Starsider from beginning to end. I had an RL friend who rolled there first, and the RS guild started there as well. I never had a reason to go elsewhere.

Sandi: Which classes and which was your favorite?

Halyn:    Pre-CU, I largely played a weak combination of classes – pistoleer, smuggler, creature handler, ranger, and a few others. At the time, I wasn’t interested in min-maxing. I had fun in particular as a smuggler, and generally had one smuggler characters from mid-pre-CU all the way through the end of the game. During the early CU, I played a smuggler/commando which had some hilariously awesome potential until SOE nerfed cross-classing weapons.

Sandi: How many accounts did you own/manage?

Halyn:    Only one actively, but I wound up inheriting a number of accounts that I kept running. At peak, I had four accounts I was paying for before my then-girlfriend started playing and took one or two of them off my hands.

Sandi: What type of gameplay style do you most enjoy?

Halyn:    One we don’t have yet – space!

Sandi: What’s a typical gaming session for you, what activities?

Halyn:    On days I’m not wearing a dev hat, I log in and decide which character I want to play with. Sometimes I run missions, but I often spend more time now days just touring the galaxy and seeing what other EiF players are doing. Even with a small population, some amazing things are happening in-game, with deco that’s breath-taking and cities that are amazing.

Sandi: What do you most enjoy about SWG?

Halyn:    It may be cliche to say at this point, but it’s the sandbox. There’s a sense of freedom in the game – I can go anywhere I want, do anything I want, and it’s a legitimate gameplay experience. I can decorate a locale, ride a narglatch across Naboo, race a swoop on Tatooine, fight stormtroopers at a starport, or conduct some seedy business on Port Jato.

Sandi: What do you enjoy most about Empire in Flames?

Halyn:    Seeing other people enjoy the work we’ve put in is number one. Number two is working on new things that other servers haven’t done, like our extended selection of species and the upcoming GCW system.

Sandi: When you are not ingame, what do you enjoy doing?

Halyn:    Hunting, reading, and being a father to two wild boys who love Star Wars as much as I do.

Sandi: What do you do outside of EiF / do for a living?

Halyn:    I’m an author (check Amazon!) and run a small computer business out of my home. It’s enough to keep the lights on and food in the fridge.

Sandi: What is your role with EiF? What does that entail?

Halyn:    Lead developer/owner. As such, I’m often knee-deep in the muck of code, working on new features. It also means I screen patches and additions submitted by the rest of the team, make tweaks, and ensure nothing breaks. I also manage code merged from SWGEmu’s development to make sure we stay up-to-date and that our customization remains compatible with new upgrades. In other words, I do at least some of almost everything on the backend.

Sandi: If you could have ANYTHING instantly in EiF, what would it be?

Halyn:    JtL. Everything else on my immediate want list our team can handle from scratch, even if it will take a while.

Sandi: What gives you Developer’s Crack?

Halyn:    There are few things I like more than seeing players enjoy a new feature we’ve worked hard to implement. We introduced new races with the client patch, and I love seeing them already in use! Cat mounts started as a whim, but anyone who has some creature handler skill seems to prefer them over speeders, and it’s extremely satisfying to see them racing around.

Sandi: Feel free to add anything else!

Halyn:    I’m grateful for the players here. I know new content has been slow in coming, but the steady player community here is an awesome thing to see and participate in. I’m grateful for our volunteer team, too – Sandarie and BluePyros in particular have taken a huge amount of work off my hands, which lets me work on all the new features I’ve dreamed off.

Halyn:    I’m hoping in the next few weeks to start previewing bits of the Galactic Civil War system. It’ll be unlike anything else on a SWG server, with new features that will continue to shape EiF into the most unique SWG project around!

Patch Notes: Client Patch 8/30/2017

The much anticipated CLIENT PATCH arrives tomorrow! Patch notes follow down below. The brand spanking new EiF Launcher will be available to load up the patch, as well! Instructions will be available. I’m sure you will all be grateful  I didn’t add my *squees* and *happy dances* throughout these notes, you’ll just have to guess at which ones are my favorites!

  • 4 new player races:
    • Devaronian Females
    • IG-100
    • Mirialans
    • Zeltron
  • New creature mounts have been introduced! Note that not all variants of a creature can necessarily be mounted – only the largest, toughest versions of some of these animals can carry a rider.
    • Narglatches
    • Gurrecks
    • Greater Sludge Panthers
    • Tusk Cats
    • Gualamas
    • Bordoks
    • Blurrgs
  • Entertainer Missions have been reworked using the new Fame system, which replaces the old Image Designer line in the Entertainer Profession. Entertainers with more fame can command higher payouts, particularly for gigs that require travel.
    • Fame-enhancing clothing and attachments will be coming at a future time.
    • Fame is not retroactive for already-established entertainers. The SWGEmu code that should force an update does not work, and we are investigating and will patch as soon as we have a solution.
    • Only a single entertainer mission can be taken at a time.
  • Munitions crafting has been re-added to the game. See the next Friday Feature to learn more about the Heavy Weapons revamp.
    • Weaponsmiths now have a number of new cores and components to craft to create heavy weapons.
    • Grenades, mines, and rocket launchers use explosive cores.
    • Flamethrowers and acid rifles use tanks.
    • Heavy beam weapons use capacitors.
    • Light lightning cannons use static cores.
  • Armor slicing has been re-added to the game.
  • Races that previously lacked customization now have basic morphs and palettes available, including:
    • Abyssin
    • Cerean
    • Duros
    • Gungan
    • Iktotchi
    • Kel Dor
    • Kubaz
    • Togruta
  • The first stage of the GCW has been implemented. All planets participating in the GCW now have factional troops present. (See this Friday Feature!) Planetary control scripting is still in process and has not yet been enabled, but is coming soon.
  • Port Jato, an underworld-themed player hub, can now be visited via friendly smugglers who take cash in advance. These smugglers generally don’t like being found anywhere near law enforcement, but can likely be found at the watering hole of criminal-infested hives of scum and villainy.
  • Devaronians and Kel Dor no longer appear headless when wearing hats or hoods.
  • Paintings now have backs.
  • Cats can now swim.
  • Ubese armor jackets now correctly offer chest protection.
  • Two-strap bandoleers now use the correct color palette.
  • Up to six missions can be taken from a standard mission terminal.
  • BER rates on harvesters have been changed from pre-CU BER calculations to NGE BER calculations.

Sandarie
Community Manager

One Happy Twi’lek!

Friday Feature 6/2/2017: Enter the Cats

Star Wars Galaxies has long struggled with the idea of obsolescence. An Empire Divided launched without any player transportation – only shuttles – which meant characters spent a lot of time on foot, hoofing it to distance POIs after landing at the nearest shuttle.

Creature Handler mounts were the first to cut into that, with a handful of mounts available to everyone (well, everyone who had befriended a Creature Handler!): carrion spats, kaadu, lesser dewbacks, and lesser bols quickly became a common sight; larger mounts, like the giant carrion spat or the larger dewbacks, were sources of pride among the Creature Handlers.

Then came the speeders.

Creature mounts quickly fell out of favor, even among the Creature Handlers. Fast-moving swoops became ubiquitous; even the slower speeders, like the Speederbike and the X34, barely saw use. Speed was king.

And it’s hard to blame players. Creature mounts were clearly obsolete, and have remained so ever since. Even NGE mounts like the rancor were a novelty, not a serious mode of transportation.

That changes on Empire in Flames.

The Clone Wars CGI cartoon actually demonstrated Talz riding narglatches. Not only were they a viable mount, but they kept pace with the Republic force’s BARCs!

In SWG, creature handlers running missions often use cat creatures for just that reason. Cats in various forms can almost keep up with a swoop. That said, creature handlers still generally resort to driving a swoop themselves, since the mountable creatures are too slow to be efficient at running missions.

Adding cat mounts to Empire in Flames has to walk a fine line – on one hand, they need to be valuable and useful if we expect players to actually seek them out, rather than just use the same old swoops (and improved speederbikes) that are already in use. On the other hand, creatures aren’t killed off in the same way speeders are blown up; if they’re too good, we essentially kill off the speeders market.

How do we walk the fine line?

First, by speed. Cat mounts are slightly slower at natural speeds than a swoop; at /gallop the speed boost makes them slightly faster.

Second, by skill. Only the largest cat types can be used as a mount, and none of them are available to non-creature handlers. Your CL10 cowardly gurreck or BEed narglatch? Don’t expect them to carry you across the planets. While the list has not yet been finalized, powerful wild cats like the narglatch matriarch, grand wrix, and greater sludge panther are strong enough to carry a rider.

Coming soon in the client patch!