Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?



  • Basically what it says there in the title! I remember when I first looked into MU* in 2016 (and promptly disappeared from it) there were a ton of big Star Wars MU* around. Legends of the Jedi, Generations of Darkness, Dawn of Defiance, and I recall at least a couple others that sprouted and were pretty decently big there the brief time I was around. Did people just suddenly stop liking Star Wars or are there more insidious forces at work here?



  • Code is one.

    Star Wars is something that needs code. And most of it is so out of date and no one's around to work on it.

    Fires of Hope tried being a more narrow focus on just a couple planets, but it still struggled because it lacked that feel of a universe and so many of us (I absolutely include myself in this) wanna be on a ship.

    The last reason is perhaps the biggest: many people wanna play Force Users. Not all but enough. Games would limit these....usually to 'applications' in theory, but in practice it always went to a staff alt or a friend of staff.

    That soured many of us on SW games. I know I'm really hesitant to join them and have been for a long time. I don't wanna play somewhere that I can never play what I want. (Pern games used to have the same issue, but nowadays save for gold largely just let people have whatever they want.)


  • Pitcrew

    I really enjoyed Chontio (just didn't have the time to play) and that inspired me to start trying to adapt another often rules/code heavy setting to the Ares system. I think I had just as much fun during the brief time I played there as I did on SW1/2, Brak Sector, ect.

    I think it definitely can be done! But yeah one of the problems with such a rich theme and universe is figuring out how and where to narrow the scope to something you can handle (I'm currently struggling with this now as I plod along). I haven't seen a lot of space-travel games partially because of that being something that I think it's just the right ideas haven't yet come to make that easier to juggle, but I am certain there is definitely SOMEONE/a team of someone who will be able to eventually!


  • Pitcrew

    *Star Trek



  • Chontio isn't one I've heard about until now! I've mostly been finding things through mudstats or MUDConnector, so my view of things might be a little limited. Fires of Hope is also one that I haven't heard of until now. It sucks to hear about what's happened with them, though! Nepotism and the like finds its way into anything I guess.

    I'll admit to being biased towards playing Force Users, though, the mysticism and space magic - along with the cool sword fights - are one of the main things that really draws me into Star Wars. Which is why Age of Alliances makes me sad * sob *

    I can only hope something comes around that'll change them for the future, though! Maybe after the latest movie premieres and hype explodes again.



  • @Joyeuse Star Wars has a bit of an "up and down" reputation with Mushers.

    1. SYSTEM: There have been multiple attempts using the West-End Games d6 system (low complication, but pretty rigid when it comes to force users), the d20 edition (D20, Saga, both were like D&D: level-based, lots of stat blocks, lots of code to support it, but definitely WALLS of +5 to this, +7 to that, +2 if you're within 5 feet of another...), and the new Fantasy-Flight system (low complexity, but using a dice system most games aren't currently designed to handle. Will take effort to port it over). In the end...the fan favorite seems to be the D6 WEG system.

    2. The Dreaded Force-Slot Debacles: For years (probably from about mid 1990s-2008) the D6 WEG games were the only Star Wars games, and it seemed the same issue with Feature Characters (Han, Luke, Leia...) and Force Users (as in, users ALLOWED to have the Force) happened at every game: There were a limited number of allowed FCs and FUs, and everyone else had to have a normal-type character. In many cases, FC/FUs were slotted to staff members or friends of staff, and because they were special characters a lot of the good plots and great things were built around that higher caste of characters. There were rules on each game as to how active FC/FU characters were supposed to be, but rarely enforced. Often, when one would open up there would be this weird "Hunger Games" display of "taking applications" for Force User slots, which would STILL often go to staff or friends of staff.

    So, some players have a bit of fatigue from dealing with #2. Sure, there was fun to be found, but it was very hard to simply play what you wanted to play.

    1. Divided Playerbase: Some people want BIG UNIVERSE with MANY FACTIONS, and others seem to want ONE PLANET with LESS FACTIONS. There seems to be no general consensus as to what makes a Star Wars game work. Some have tried and people have cited not playing because the game was in too small of a setting without many factions. For some it's WHO staffs the game. For others its WHICH system is used. For some, the moment FC/FU slots get mentioned they're out (I would probably be one of those, because that feeling of waiting and being rejected just to play a character concept you have in mind suuuuucks).

    Sidebar: Not long ago were some D20 Saga Edition games where the guy running the game would constantly berate the playerbase, calling them stupid, etc. I quit 2 of them within a day after watching the head staffer bitch people out for not being smart enough to listen to him. This staffer, who is a bit infamous, was also taking side money from people over paypal for stuff like "buying levels" or "purchasing rare equipment".

    1. Repeated Playerbase Habits: This may not be a popular opinion, but I think it's relevant. Star Wars, World of Darkness, and Battlestar Galactica have revolving-door players. By this I mean that if you go onto a Battlestar Galactica game, you'll probably come across players who were on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh etc Battlestar Game that has come and gone. With enough time in the hobby you may notice that players and/or characters tend to repeat things from game to game. I don't think this is KEEPING anyone from making a new Star Wars game, but I think most elder-type players will expect things like this:

    Example:
    Steve played "Chad Starshooter" on four different iterations of Star Wars games. When a new one comes out, he may want to play "Chad Starshooter" again. If not allowed to, he may make "Bill Sunblaster", who maybe uses a different PB, but is the same character in essence. Ellen, who played "Tiffany Darkside" on those previous games was a girlfriend to "Chad Starshooter". She will then play "Debbie Shadowside" and be with "Bill Sunblaster".

    Also an example:
    Dave ran Star Wars games 1-3. On the 2nd, he disagreed with some player resulting in an OOC spat. The 3rd consisted of players who either sided with him in the spat or people who didn't care. The 4th Star Wars game after Dave's was a "refuguee game" of players/staff that said "FUCK DAVE" and made the new Mecca of Star Wars Mushing. Eventually, the players of that 4th game splintered, some went back to Dave's game. Some just moved on. POINT: A NEW Star Wars game will likely involve the players of Dave's 1-3 game and the 4th game, and will likely bring old baggage based on who is staff and who plays who into the game, resulting in a number of players passing based on who is there or chosen as staff.

    Also another example:
    I've also seen some players who had issues on, say, one Star Wars game in 2004 get back into Star Wars in, say, 2019 (theoretically) and come back with those same issues. This is kinda like the above example, but more like "I put up with this shit on "Dave's" game in 2004 and am super on alert for it in 2019, so many of the same complaints to staff and whatnot can get repeated or handed down from game to game.

    I'm not without my preferences. I think the best there was (despite force user slots) was some of the EPIC starfighter stuff I got into on SW1 eons ago (shit, when was that? closed in 2003? fuuuuuuckme #old). I'd consider coming back for some RP for a few games, one of them being a proper faction/galaxy-spanning Star Wars game that allowed for playing force users right out of character generations. I think it might do well if people gave it a clean slate chance.


  • Pitcrew

    Reading all these reasons for shit pisses me off. Because people should be allowed to play what they want. God, it's like, I don't know. There's a time period where people can play whatever they want. It's called a buttload of thousands of years BBY. You can have all the jedi and sith you want. You can have all the wacky force traditions. You can have smugglers and nobles and dudes who do cool ass pilot shit.

    Enforced rarity can eat my ENTIRE asshole.



  • @Ghost Incredibly thorough, thank you! I guess it makes sense. I've seen the same thing happen in RL or elsewhere gaming groups, so it'd make sense that such a thing would apply to MU* as well. Still disappointing, but at least understandable! The MU* community probably has a long and storied history of Star Wars things.



  • @popes I disagree entirely. You want to play whatever you want, play a game that allows it. Or make one.


  • Pitcrew

    You definitely do have to worry about expectations of people who are used to a specific theme being run a certain way (I am anticipating some of that from Fading Suns). I dont know if the runners on Chontio had that happen, but it wouldn't surprise me. Nostalgia can be pretty strong, both for negative experience, rose colored memories, and positive experiences.

    I think enough time has lapsed that probably a newer star wars game wouldn't be automatically caught up in the dramas of the 90s era ones, but I think it would be good to make scope and expectations clear.

    Will some people complain on guest channel or pub chan or here, I mean probably yes, but that would happen no matter what.


  • Admin

    For me it was a combination of three things.

    1. The rules. SO many rules. Like come on, SAGA required me to be knowledgeable about (or at least willing to learn) content and mechanics found over something like 6+ books. That's an insane barrier to entry.

    2. The enforced rarity. No, you can't play a Jedi/Sith/Mandalorian/whatever until you prove... something by jumping through hoops for months. Yeah, that's not going to happen - I need to have fun on day one or I'll find something better to do with my time. It's okay to play a lowly, neonate-level character of 'restricted' archetypes at first but that's it. It's like going to a fantasy MUSH and only being allowed to play peasants until you can earn the right to roll a Lord or Lady.

    3. The playerbase being spread out between different planets, galaxies, etc. That's such an easily preventable way for a game to suffer that it's always on its staff; if you expect your game to have low number of logins to begin with, then players are routinely unable to play with each other due to geography you need to fix it.


  • Pitcrew

    If I weren't working on this Power Rangers thing, I'd jump at SWTOR era for a MU. I think there's a FFG plugin for Ares?



  • @popes said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    I think there's a FFG plugin for Ares?

    There is, but it comes down to what @Auspice said earlier - a great many SW players are more interested in the gritty simulationist aspects. They want gear lists and ship code and all these ancillary systems. Ares just provides a chargen + die roller; doing the rest of it would require a crap-ton of custom code, and that's a big barrier to getting a game off the ground.

    @Arkandel said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    It's like going to a fantasy MUSH and only being allowed to play peasants until you can earn the right to roll a Lord or Lady.

    Except in the "Rebels" era, it's more like going to a fantasy MUSH and not getting to play the king. It's not like Jedi are an entire class of citizenry like lords/ladies, they're crazy-rare as an intrinsic part of the setting. Sure you could do KoTOR or whatever, but for some folks (like me) it's the rebels vs. empire that are interesting, not jedis running around rampant.

    @Arkandel said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    The playerbase being spread out between different planets, galaxies, etc.

    This was a big problem even in early SW games. Some of my earliest MU experiences were being frustrated as all heck because I was stuck on a planet with no RP. It's only compounded with the smaller playerbases of modern MUs.

    @Ghost said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    By this I mean that if you go onto a Battlestar Galactica game, you'll probably come across players who were on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh etc Battlestar Game that has come and gone. With enough time in the hobby you may notice that players and/or characters tend to repeat things from game to game.

    That does happen in every genre (I know WoD players have complained about it too), but I really don't think it's as widespread of a problem as you make it out to be. I've played on most of the BSG games that have been made, but I can count on one hand the number of blatantly-repeated characters. I don't really think it's cause for concern.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ghost Those are also the issues with literally every fandom game: comics, Trek, WoD...



  • @Runescryer said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    @Ghost Those are also the issues with literally every fandom game: comics, Trek, WoD...

    Which includes Star Wars, yes.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ghost Right. I wasn't saying that Star Wars was outside that collective, just that those problems aren't unique to Star Wars games.



  • Is it weird that it feels to me that base FS3 Ares would be better to use than the FFG thing? Primarily because among the short list of things it's actually designed for includes flying space fighters around and shooting each other?

    Are people (out of those here, I guess) very intrinsically interested in any of the particular (d6/d20/dFunnySymbols) systems? Just kind of curious. I've talked a bit about how I think FFG's system is a terrible choice for MUing, but it's not like the prior ones are all that great either.



  • @bored said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    Is it weird that it feels to me that base FS3 Ares would be better to use than the FFG thing? Primarily because among the short list of things it's actually designed for includes flying space fighters around and shooting each other?

    FS3 isn't awful for Star Wars until you get into Force users, which it's not built for at all. In theory you could handle Force stuff via opposed rolls, though that feels kinda hacky. Or you could rip into the guts of it and code a Jedi system like Spirit Lake's done for a magic system but...that magic system was in development for a literal year and is still in beta after months, so.

    It'd work quite nicely for a game that focused on the rebels who were pilots or Rogue One-style spies and soldiers, but idk how wide the appeal of a game like that would be. Jedi are what make that setting shiny. Admittedly, I'd probably play it.



  • @Three-Eyed-Crow I guess? You could pretty easily make Lighstabers just cheesy, broken weapons and restrict who gets to equip them, give them a special stance for blaster deflecting (if you want?), and weapon profiles for things like TK/Force Lightning and... that's it?

    Everything else would be narrative, I imagine, and I don't see why it's difficult to give characters a 'Force' skill (or Sense/Alter/Control or w/e) and have them roll those in TPs otherwise. I agree it wouldn't be good at simulating the 'library of detailed force powers' style play, but that's something (pertinent to this discussion) that WEG SW more or less invented not something really inherent to SW canon, right? 'Video game' force powers are very much a result of the EU rpg expansions and, well, videogames.


  • Admin

    @faraday said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    @Arkandel said in Whatever Happened To Star Wars MU*s?:

    It's like going to a fantasy MUSH and only being allowed to play peasants until you can earn the right to roll a Lord or Lady.

    Except in the "Rebels" era, it's more like going to a fantasy MUSH and not getting to play the king. It's not like Jedi are an entire class of citizenry like lords/ladies, they're crazy-rare as an intrinsic part of the setting. Sure you could do KoTOR or whatever, but for some folks (like me) it's the rebels vs. empire that are interesting, not jedis running around rampant.

    Oh, for sure. I'm not even trying to say every game should fit my tastes - just that it was why I didn't want to play in one that didn't even give me the option to play something I wanted.

    Mind you, Star Wars is by far not the only setting with rare concepts yet those are often what players want to play. Playable male channelers in the Wheel of Time might not fit certain timelines either and I'd understand why a MUSH might want to not want them as PCs. Once again though if a player wanted to play that concept and it wasn't available... well, I wouldn't blame them for passing on it too.

    In my opinion it's a design choice in the same vein as not spreading the playerbase too thin. While the average population in many MU* is low staff need to take that into consideration when they're creating a game; can the theme support (and how many) of the cool concepts we've see in movies and TV series so far - clone stormtroopers, Force users of different varieties, Mandalorian warriors and bounty hunters, smugglers, droids, pilots... all of that stuff?

    "No" is a valid choice. All I would ask is that it's a deliberate one. And if it is, it might be one of the answers to this thread's main question.


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