With one week to go before it's shut down, we search a nearly empty MMO Star Wars Galaxies for other users.
After my time spent learning the complexities of dance animations in Galaxies' tutorial, I've landed on Mos Eisley - the Star Wars sandpit just over the road from Luke Skywalker's homestead. Mos Eisley is a big town of sand corridors and buildings that seem to grow into one another like a patchwork wall of beige graphics. Not unlike its film counterpart, Mos is rough around the edges; unlike the film counterpart this comes down to bugs and a lack of in-house cleaning in SOE's programming while the game gets ready to be laid to rest. Walking down the streets you can see NPCs leaning against buildings, some facing the wrong direction and propping themselves against objects using their faces, their backs turned to the user in an eerily depressing display of what it must feel like to be a dejected NPC in a dying MMO.
I begin to explore this land as part of my ongoing attempt to find other users on my server, but between the Arctic silence of this Mos ghost town and the fact that the families of twin orange buildings make every turn like being lost in a funhouse, I somehow lose my bearings. I bring up my map:
Good, there I am - between the 20 identical opaque green quadrangles, underneath the walls of overlapping hieroglyphic text. Instinct tells me the best place to aim for is the Cantina, so I begin my eight-minute search for text that alludes to that area. Cloning facility, Guild Hall, Guild Hall, Terminal, Guild Hall, Terminal, Cantina – got it.