2000 - 2003
X-Wing Alliance is the fourth game in the venerable Star Wars space combat series. Maker 'Totally Games' puts you in the seat of a number of Alliance fighter craft and a few new ships that you've never had the pleasure to commandeer.
The multiplayer options in Alliance were quite good, considering it was created in 1999. Up to eight people could compete via a LAN or through the MSN Gaming Zone and the game ran well on a 56k or ISDN connection. Higher was always better but there was a major back-draw. The game was rushed to the market (being part of the original timeline of Return of the Jedi) and Lucas film was about to release Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
As a result the implementation of the netcode was not perfect. The player acting as server had an advantage we will not explain here (classified). The best players in the Zone knew all those quirks and therefore ruled the game.
XWA Pilots could choose between 28 different fighter craft from both the Alliance and Imperial factions (as well as a few non-aligned ships), each offering a unique flying experience. For example, the A-Wing is swift and can out turn nearly every other craft in the game, but is lightly armored. The Imperial Shuttle, on the other hand, is a sloth in comparison, but it can dish out plenty of damage and take a beating to boot. In addition to the ship variety, there's a nice diversity of game types, ranging from simple races to the standard deathmatch to huge capital ship runs. Nearly every game variable is customizable by the host, who will have full control over such variables as time limit, point limit, and the setting of the mission (either in deep space, a mine field, or an asteroid field).
Murgen started playing via 64k ISDN with low ping (5 ms). Unfortunately ISDN was dial-up and charged per minute making XWA and TLords an expensive hobby. He switched to cable in 2001 but cable was slow in those days and had a very high latency due to insufficient capacity to the actual internet. His rating plummeted down, playing was no longer fun. ADSL became available in 2003 but it was too late. XWA was fading away, and so was the MSN Gaming Zone. It was time to move on.
2002 - 2004
Freelancer was a space trading and combat simulation video game developed by Digital Anvil and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It is a chronological sequel to Digital Anvil's Starlancer, a combat flight simulator released in 2000. The game was initially announced by Chris Roberts in 1999, and following many production schedule mishaps and a buyout of Digital Anvil by Microsoft, it was eventually released in March 2003.
In the game, players take on the roles of spacecraft pilots. These characters fly single-seater ships, exploring the planets and space stations of 48 known star systems. They also engage in dogfights with other pilots (player- and computer-controlled) to protect traders or engage in piracy themselves. Other player activities include bounty-hunting and commodity trading. In multiplayer mode, players are free to take on any role and to explore anywhere from the start.
Waiting for something better TLords participated in the Star Wars Mod of Freelancer: Free Worlds. Murgen was even briefly involved in the development team but thrown out when TLords B-Wings suddenly had better armor then regular ones.
He also found out that the hit-box from Imperial ships where as small as possible where every Rebel ship had the hit-box size of a freighter. Clearly this mod was rigged by it’s (Imperial) makers. But because of his work the TLord flagship CC-9600 Cerberus appeared in the mod Free Worlds.
It was in Free Worlds we met Mr Decanus, who later in the story of TLords would become Murgen’s arch-nemesis. In the Free World days it was good fun and with a small group of players we were able to make a lot of credits by mining and making Bacta cargo-runs.
However, the mod was too small to be interesting for large groups of players and the central server was run by a player close to a burnout and not always 24/7 available. So, somewhere in 2004 it was time to move on and that time came when Onion and Hunter established a TLord guild in Star Wars Galaxies.
Next slide please!
2004 - 2007
Star Wars Galaxies was a multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows, developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts. Released June 26, 2003, to much critical acclaim, it spawned three expansions through 2005. The game was completely overhauled in the last expansion, which frustrated many longtime subscribers. Star Wars Galaxies continued operation for six more years. The servers shut down on December 15, 2011.
TLords started a guild in SWG and our small settlement was at first on Dantooine and later on at Tatooine. We started playing JTL, just before Sony really screwed up, with a focus on Space Combat. As a result we were Ace pilots in no time while it took months to level out on the ground.
Only a couple of the original TLords were playing SWG. Let’s call out Hunter who did a great deal of all the work in JTL. He provided us with the best components and was an ace in space. Some new members joined us in SWG, Khairn and Xacova. Both from the UK and friends in those days.
Mixed feelings, a great game but sad to play because it started to fade away when Sony introduced 9 starter-classes including Jedi. Before this overhaul, every server had one or two full-developed Jedi’s (Xacova was one of them) because grinding one took more then 10.000 hours. After that update the server was flooded by Jedi’s. In a timeline which was supposed to be around the Battle of Hoth (The Empire Strikes Back). Sony also tried to shift the timeline to A Phantom Menace but was already unsuccessful in their attempts to revive the game. Rumours that Bioware started developing a new Star Wars MMO and to my believe no TLord ever visited SWG between 2009 and 2011.
2007 - 2009
From Murgen’s point of view LOTRO was TLords death. And it started so well. To make sure TLords was not hindered by Murgens real life obligations he stepped away from LOTRO’s leadership but made one drastic mistake, he kept presenting himself als leader of TLords. In a large group of players who did not bothered to make any difference between the clan and the kinship in LOTRO. Leader of the kinship was after all Khairn. Another problem was that, especially in the first year of LOTRO, quests could take up to 24 players and would last 4-8 hours. Many players burned-up in that year and after a night of gaming, drinking and smoking any small argument could explode into a fierce flamewar. One morning Murgen logged in to find out the kinship was disbanded after such a row.
Things went really wrong when Murgen invited Decanus into the kinship. Decanus suffers from seizures, bad eyesight and hearing-problems and has been blessed with a very firm believe in God and himself.
Anyway … one night Khairn decided to leave and took most of the active LOTRO players with him. The remaining members voted on a new leader and Decanus was elected.
From there things went from bad to worse. Decanus indeed fixed the kinship and kept that little group together but also created a rift between the clan and his group in a very unfriendly way. The kinship had nothing to do with what TLords stood for. Decanus eventually decided to ban Murgen from the TLord kinship. Murgen made one more attempt to revive TLords in LOTRO but also made the decision the effort to lead and built a kinship took so much time it was not healthy anymore. By then Khairn and Murgen made peace. The story of TLords in LOTRO stopped early 2009.
2011 - 2012
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based in the Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare Austin and a supplemental team at BioWare Edmonton, the game was announced on October 21, 2008. The video game was released for the Microsoft Windows platform on December 20, 2011 in North America and part of Europe. Early access to the game began one week before release, on December 13, 2011, for those who had pre-ordered the game online; access opened in "waves" based on pre-order date.
This story takes place in the Star Wars fictional universe shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. The game features eight different classes. Each of the eight classes has a three act storyline that progresses as the character levels up. Players join either the Republic or the Sith, but players may possess a morality at any point along the light/dark spectrum.
The game had one million subscribers within three days of its launch, making it the world's "fastest-growing MMO ever", though in the following months the game lost a fair share of its subscriptions. The game has since adopted the hybrid free-to-play business model with remaining subscription option.
TLords played the game for only a brief period of time. This was the third MMO we played and all of us noticed the continuous grinding in each and every MMO is not what we were looking for. When space-combat turned out to be very primitive and arcade-like the effort we put in the game quickly stopped.
As a result TLords more or less went in hibernation mode early 2012.