Player-Driven Economy

The cornerstone of the sandbox is the player-driven economy. Combat should never be the primary focus of a game. A player can make an impact in the world of entrepreneurship. Veterans of Star Wars Galaxies all have their own stories on how they changed the outcome of the Galactic Civil War without firing a single shot.

Harvesters outside Trinity City.

Harvesters outside Trinity City.

Explaining just how revolutionary the concept of a player-run economy was in 2003 would require a novel. In short, your reputation meant everything. Did you work hard to craft the very best weapons on the server? Then your name was probably well known. A person impressed by your weapon may ask you who you bought it from and where to find his place of business.

My guild Paragon Federation was an economic powerhouse, with several key members of the council running their own companies in-game. An endless sea of harvesters around the outer borders of major cities was a common sight when traversing through the planets. Raw materials and resources were simply the beginning, and building the end-product in its proper form required mastery in certain professions. An Architect was needed to build the deeds of houses to be put in a player city. A Tailor would be able to craft the widest variety of fabrics, including built-in skill modifiers.


Harvesters

Medical Center

Player-Owned Vendors – Starting a Business in the Galaxy


What is a Merchant in Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided?Management Vendor

For the most part this is really up to you. Merchants in SWG can be massive enterprises of galactic trade and commerce or they can be small shops of any kind of merchandise. The toolset of the merchant profession is intended to empower merchants to sell things in an efficient and continuous manner to large numbers of users.

How do I become a merchant?

The merchant profession is based off of the Business Skill tree in the Artisan profession. After you have found an Artisan trainer and become a Novice Artisan you must progress up the Business Skill three to get to Business III where you will get your first vendor. The first vendor isn’t much to look at, a big bulky affair that looks rather like a Soda Machine and is fondly known as “Old Bulky” by the old hands of the Merchant profession. It functions quite nicely though and you will be able to use it to get your Novice Merchant skill when the time comes. You will continue on in the Business tree to Business IV, which will give you your second type of vendor, a small droid called Robo Bartender. He is tiny and almost unnoticeable, a complete opposite it seems from “Old Bulky” but he functions exactly the same.


Player-owned vendors could be listed as shops in drop-down menu on the Galactic Map.

Player-owned vendors could be listed as shops in drop-down menu on the Galactic Map.


In the map above is a list of the major Medical Supplies shops and vendors on Dantooine. The Commercial District in Crystal Valley was a high-traffic site for tourists from around the galaxy, both Rebel and Imperial.

Vendor Terminals

It was not uncommon for rival competition among players of the same faction. This actually fostered the growth of the economy, as people continued to strive for the best raw materials and experiment with new methods in order to build the weapons with the best stats. Over time, weapons only got better in a competitive marketplace. A server’s economy was completely unique, with its own price trends and base weapon stats, a sort of technological arms race.

A Bounty Hunter’s Scatter pistol could be far more powerful on Chilastra than on a server like Bria because of Weaponsmith specialists like Stettin Palver. Unlike today’s MMORPGs, most player-created items in Star Wars Galaxies were superior to their counterparts obtained from loot. However, certain rare drops like Krayt Dragon pearls, were used in the construction of lightsabers.

Composite armor resists have been known to be quite variable depending on the creator and the raw materials used in producing it. Quizart was arguably the best Armorsmith on Chilastra during pre-CU, and he created sets that could be afforded by relatively broke players like me. With him, quality was always guaranteed. I remember these players like it was yesterday.

Stettin Palver – The Crafting Menace

Welcome to Stettin’s X-Force Weapons 

Open for business from 7-18-03 to 12-20-05
Chilastra Server; Corellia, South of Coronet (275, -5959)

A Guide to Crafting


Stettin Palver, the creator of X-Force Weapons, was undoubtedly the best Master Weaponsmith on Chilastra. That’s not a bold statement. Chilastra was big, but anyone who was worth a damn knew Stettin was the best. My character, Spawnarak’, bought some of his highest quality pistols during his training as a Bounty Hunter/Pistoleer specialist, which can be seen in some of the Stettin Palverscreenshots.

Stettin's world famous "Exceptional Republic Fleet Blaster", a weapon I was proud to have owned. It was the mark of a true Rebel soldier on our server.

Stettin’s world famous “Exceptional Republic Fleet Blaster.” This weapon wasn’t crafted but Stettin consistently produced the best Republic Fleet Blasters, a common sight among Rebel Pistoleers because of its lax skill requirements but deadly efficiency.

Experimentation was the key to producing the best weapons. Doing so came at a risk but the bonuses to damage, rate of fire, HAM costs, and other parameters were insane. Stettin Palver was talented for his ability to utilize the maximum potential of all types of weapons – pistols, rifles, vibroknucklers, maces, flamethrowers, and so on. His weapons were known to be the best while also retaining competitive prices. For select customers, he sold his most exceptional versions of each weapon. These were expensive as hell but could be the difference between life and death against an experienced PvPer.

Unlike most MMORPGs today, the items in Star Wars Galaxies had a durability modifier that would run out the more it is used. Therefore, a new weapon would have to be bought, and Smugglers needed to ‘slice’ it to enhance their stats. This drove the supply and demand for weapons, armor, and all other modules on the server. Exceptional weapons were also subject to item decay (as well as a flat reduction upon death without insurance) so they were used for only special circumstances, such as an important PvP duel.

Stettin Palver ran a website to showcase his works outside of the game, which became a useful guide on the actual process of constructing a weapon and the level of meticulous care that goes into it.


Stettin’s X-Force Weapons is currently the oldest registered weapon vendor on Corellia, Chilastra server of Star Wars Galaxies. X-Force is derived from the name Exiled Force, a PA I am a founding member of. Simply hit Ctrl-V to bring up the worldmap and click on weapons, I’m listed at the top.

I have been playing since launch and worked toward weaponsmith from the start. There were many players that mastered Weaponsmith before me, but few if any remain active. Weaponsmith vetrans are a rare breed, many have come and gone over the many months since launch, but I still remain. I started by selling CDEF pistols for 1k and Scouts for 3k on the bazaar during the first few weeks of the game. On 7-18-03 I opened my shop and placed my first vendor and since then I haven’t looked back.

Stettin Palver


Stettin's Shop

Stettin and other Merchants like him expanded upon their networks and built shops and vendors on other planets, not just their base headquarters.

Stettin’s website had a Weapon Builder, Enhancement Calculator, Custom Order page, and many other tools. Not only did he make the best weapons for all tiers of customers, but he was damn good at selling them. Presentation is everything. His Pricing and Stats page gave the low-down of what he had for sale. Which was everything. Stettin was an example of a Weaponsmith who crafts all types of items in his profession, but there were many “specialists” who focused on a specific tree. Teleck Fragger <CR> from Crimson Republic, to name one, was second to none when it came to Heavy Weapons. This class of weapons included flamethrowers, lightning cannons, grenades, and rocket launchers. Things a Commando or Bounty Hunter would use.

In the same way, different Master Armorsmiths focused their expertise on only certain types of Armor sets, like the Ubese or Composite armor. Ubese armor was known for its high-end kinetic resists (but weak elsewhere) and was a favorite for beginner level melee professions for grinding XP. Composite armor resists could range from 33% to 85% omni-resists, and the quality you got depended on the price you were willing to pay.


Stettin earns a Critical Success for his weapon. Experimentation determined if your weapon could defeat your competitors.

Stettin earns a Critical Success for his weapon. Experimentation determined if your weapon could defeat your competitors.

Stettin's "Exceptional Sliced T21 Rifle", the Master Rifleman's wet dream for PvP.

This T21 Rifle was a Master Rifleman’s wet dream for PvP.


A Weaponsmith also needs harvesters and raw materials to build the pre-requisite parts of his weapons, which enlisted the help of other players. In this way, a team helped a shop work in a cohesive way and drove change into the player-driven economy. It’s nothing at the level EVE Online is today, but for the time period, the potential impact a single player could have on the entire server was never before seen. The fact that I can recall names like Stettin, Quizart, and others over 10 years later is simply testament to the power of that community, who happened to be playing SWG. Ask any veteran from Chilastra who still remembers.


Stettin's Scatter Pistol, "Final Doom", was a common sight in the highest ranks of Bounty Hunters.

Stettin’s Scatter Pistol, “Final Doom”.

The "Exceptional Acklay Power Hammer" was designed for the solo Master Swordsman who aspired to take down AT-STs and AT-STs like shit was going out of style.

The “Exceptional Acklay Power Hammer” was good for the soloists who dared to take down AT-STs and AT-ATs like shit was going out of style.


Stettin’s success story was also a tragic one in the end. SOE decided to overhaul the game with the CU and NGE. Weapon modifiers significantly changed and it wasn’t long until the Weaponsmith profession itself was never the same. The same happened to Armorsmith, Architect, and other crafting professions. It was a huge blow for someone who dedicated so much to his business and his customers. People like him were hit the hardest. This was a game where a person could defeat someone more skilled in the same profession if he had the intelligence to counter and have enough credits to buy only the most superior weapons. Unlike World of Warcraft, not all items and players were born equal.


Stettin's Post-CU Collection.

Stettin’s Post-CU Collection.

In his goodbye video to Weaponsmith, Stettin shockingly surrenders all his Weaponsmith and Artisan skills. But he proclaims that he never gave up on the cause and he was proud to have been one of the last players in the game to continue the craft for his customers. The video can be downloaded from his website, X-Force Weapons. It’s not just a goodbye to his life-long profession, but also a final farewell to the Star Wars Galaxies community.

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