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July|August 2003
To Kill an Avatar By Dan Hunter and F. Gregory Lastowka
May The Best Wookiee Win
The Copyright Cage By Jonathan Zittrain
Your Cellphone is a Homing Device By Brendan I. Koerner
Camera Shy By Patrick Keefe
Seeing it Both Ways By Orin S. Kerr
The Science of the Small By Glenn Harlan Reynolds

May The Best Wookiee Win

From an FAQ posted on the website for Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, a massive multiplayer game developed by Sony and LucasArts. The game is set to launch later this year.

Will the game be difficult to play? It is our intention to make the game as new player friendly as possible. To this end we are continually focus testing with "non-gamer" people to see where they are having problems.

When in the Star Wars timeline is the game set? The game takes place during the Galactic Civil War, which fans refer to as the "Classic Era," in reference to the "Classic (or Original) Trilogy."

How many species will be available for me to play, and does that include a Wookiee? There will be eight species you can play. These species are Rodians, Mon Calamari, Twi'lek, Human, Trandoshan, Bothan, Zabrak, and yes, even Wookiees.

Will there be varied races within a species? We're planning to allow for a wide range of races within species, where it makes sense and fits within the continuity. Twi'leks are a good example of this—there are several different types, with a variety of skin coloration.

Will I be able to own slaves in the game? No, you will not be able to own slaves. We felt it was totally inappropriate for this type of product and is not integral to the sense of immersion.

Is my character going to be weaker than a womp rat when I start out? When you begin the game, you'll have a basic ability to use a blaster and, depending upon your starting profession choice, some combat skills. However, you'll still be like that farmboy from Tatooine—just starting out on your adventure . . . We're striving to make combat with all enemies exciting and dangerous. And remember, Luke pointed out that womp rats are pretty big . . . .

Will I be able to kill Darth Vader? At this point, you will probably not be able to kill Darth Vader, but some players may have the opportunity to interact with him, and possibly even fight and defeat him. Vader is key to the trilogy, so you probably won't be able to kill him (like you would really stand a chance against the Lord of the Sith anyway . . . ).

Can you change hairstyles after character creation? Yes, but you will have to get another player to help you to do it. A skilled enough player can change your hairstyle and hair color temporarily, and experts in the skill tree can make the change permanent.

If I customize my character to be fat or thin, will it adversely affect my abilities or gameplay? No, visual customization of your character during creation will not affect your statistics or hinder your gameplay.

Can I do things like laugh, blow kisses, and dance in the game? Yes, there will be lots of animated emotes.

Can I choose what color my lightsaber will be? We will offer multiple lightsaber colors.

Will I cast twin shadows on Tatooine? We are remaining true to the continuity of the movies, so only one shadow is cast on Tatooine (although there will be twin suns in the sky).

How much gore will be in the game? You can expect that the level of gore and violence
in SWG will be similar to the level of "gore" in other LucasArts products, such as Dark Forces and Jedi Knight. We certainly understand that combat is violent in the Star Wars universe (and elsewhere), but none of our games contain gratuitous gore or bloodshed.

Will there be Thermal detonators? We will have several different types of thrown grenades that players can use to supplement their attacks including CryoBan, Fragmentation, Glop, Imperial detonator, Proton and the famous Thermal detonator.

Will there be character aging and death from aging? No, your character will not age and die.

Can I kill someone accidentally? No . . . Killing someone involves issuing an additional command, like a fatal blow or a coup de grace. However, if you are incapacitated three times within a 10 minute window, you will have to respawn.

What do you mean by "respawn"? Respawn is a term for the system used to "bring a character back to life" in the game. We feel that players will invest a great deal of time into creating compelling characters, so we're not enforcing permanent death (or "perma-death") in the game; instead, if you are killed, you will be "resurrected."

Will there be an Alarm Clock? To help people monitor their play time, there will be an in-game alarm clock that you easily can set with a personal message. For example, you might set it for 2 hours with the message "Don't forget to walk the dog."

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