A Star Wars Galaxies player city on Naboo, Eclipse Galaxy

History

This page is an attempt to provide an in-depth history of Lianorm. It remains a work in progress. If you have a story that you think should be included as part of Lianorm’s history, or wish to submit a correction, please send an email to lianorm.city (at) gmail.com.

Early Beginnings (2002-2003)

Lianorm’s City Hall was placed on 16 December 2003 which was the day that the planetary cap was raised on the newly added player cities. But the town’s history didn’t begin there, however…

Pre-launch and Beta testing days

Ludossk, Bodan & Xru

During the Star Wars Galaxies beta testing phase in 2002, the east shores of lake Lianorm was already a meeting place for the newly formed starwarsgalaxies.nl Dutch community. Two members, Bodan Vissekop and Xru, were building houses and factories there. It could be said that these two were the founding members of what would later become the Lianorm settlement. As other community members new to the beta joined up, they received free houses, weapons and armour from these two crafting pioneers. Some of these new members were Korassha (better known as Ludossk), Axthor, Zarion and Twister (aka Quistis/Xilian). That lakeside area became the main staging area for hunting for these early low-level players.

The Game Release

Dutch Unofficial SWG Server, EclipseOn 26 June 2003 Star Wars Galaxies was officially launched. As there were no European servers available at that time, the Eclipse galaxy was labelled as the unofficial European server. It took most members of the community one or two days to get the game installed and log in to Eclipse for the first time, while several were already in-game for a few days, exploring the new worlds before the rest of the community could join. Bodan, Axthor and Korassha placed the first Medium Naboo House in the Lianorm Swamp area just a few days after SWG went live.

After a couple of weeks more and more community members logged into Eclipse, each placing their new homes in the same area so that a small settlement was born. But people left the fledgling town almost as quickly as they came, which was mainly due to the long and dangerous walk from Keren to the lake, which took between five and ten minutes. There were no mounts or vehicles in those days and there were many dangerous swamp cats inhabiting the area, ready to stalk any fresh low-level meat that wandered into their territory. So, out of practicality, most people left the Lianorm area to build their main homes close to Kaadara, which provided easy access to a Starport and the rest of the Galaxy. Although most of these Kaadara-dwellers left a house near the shores of Lianorm, the settlement was practically dead.

Early days

Star Wars Galaxies Kimogila huntIn those early post-launch days, the Dutch community hunted in big groups that gathered every day on Lok. It took two or three hour-long walks to find the desired Kimogila nests near the big volcano, Mt Chaolt on the very southern area of the planet. In those days, slaughtering Kimos was the best thing to do to gain experience in combat professions, and group of between 15 and20 players were needed to take the massive beasts down. The community formed bonds that would last for many years and transcend many other games beyond Star Wars Galaxies.

The Concept of Lianorm

When mounts (kaadu, dewback, falumpaset, etc.) were introduced with Publish 4 on 10 November 2003, nearly five months after launch, the time it took to travel to Lake Lianorm from Keren was dramatically reduced. With the help of their community site, starwarsgalaxies.nl, the main guilds WaTON, UL, GFH (later GRF) and Majestic went back to the shores of Lake Lianorm to rebuild their settlement. Due to the sudden increase in members, the east short of the lake was found to be far too small to accommodate them all. The community upped sticks and set down again on the south side of the lake, where the city still lies today. As people built their houses one after another, it was not before long that there were about 50 houses standing in the area. After the game developers implemented guild halls, the community started thinking about the layout of their upcoming city.

Snags in the planning

It was decided very early that the community wanted to build their own player city, however by the time the community had moved back to the Lianorm Swamp area, the player city system was not yet built into the game. They had another month to plan and wait before the system would go live in mid-December 2003. This, however, was a positive thing. The wait gave them time to reshuffle their houses and homes to accommodate a city hall with its large footprint. Expansion of the city also had to be kept in mind. Another problem was that the houses of people who had already left the game blocked some spaces where it was intended to build the city hall. To move a house in those days wasn’t as simple as it is today with house pack-up; the owner of the house needed to empty the building completely before re-deeding it, and placing the structure in its new location.

The formation of the United Lowlands alliance

Feature about the UL Community in Dutch gaming magazine, PC ZONE Benelux

From the earliest days, community members Fragture (Rohar) and Kronos (Zarion) had plans to create a big alliance of Dutch-speaking SWG players. This began with the formation of starwarsgalaxies.nl in 2002 but later, after the game launch, the community began to take on more structure.

Rohar and Zarion, together with Bodan and Wanderer, formed the United Lowlands alliance and became the Senators of the UL Council. The Senators took on the role of mediators, caretakers and maintainers of the peace within the growing in-game settlement and on the forum of starwarsgalaxies.nl.

The first guilds to join the United Lowland alliance were:

United Lowlands <UL>, aimed at new players. The leaders were the Senators of the UL Council.

War and Trade federation Of Naboo , a Rebel guild led by Crasher and his second-in-command, LordWusacki.

Majestic, an Imperial aligned guild led by Dazl. Majestic later left the Eclipse server for one of the new EU servers, right before the player city patch in December 2003.

Guardians From Heaven <GFH>, a guild founded by Naxthor and Vexthor on starwarsgalaxies.nl which later became the Rebel guild, Galactic Resistance Front.

Brotherhood of GoT, a PA led by Terr and second in command Vorlon. This PA never made it in-game and most of the members went to WaTON and GFH.

The alliance

The Naming of Lianorm

New AmsterdamOn the starwarsgalaxies.nl forum a discussion was growing about how the community was going to name their new player city. Some members liked UL City, others preferred New Amsterdam, while others favoured Lianorm. In the end it was a close race in a poll between New Amsterdam and Lianorm.

Eventually Lianorm won through because the community was made up of largely hardcore Star Wars fans. New Amsterdam wasn’t considered to be a very “Star Warsy” name. Also, Lianorm seemed to obvious choice because the area on the Naboo planetary map where the town is situated is known as “Lianorm Swamp”. The decision was final and the name stuck and remains in use ’til this day.

(In 2005, Mayor Xilian briefly changed the city’s name to VirvurVille as a joke. The city’s long-term relationship with vir vurs has been well documented in the older issues of the Lianorm Telegraph.)

The Placing of the City Hall

Lianorm City Hall at night

Of course, the UL community weren’t the only players who had designs on having a city of their own. When player cities were finally launched on 13 December 2003, the amount of city halls permitted on each planet was very low, a mere 10.

Many players across the Galaxy, were poised to log in at the moment the server went up after the update went live to craft a city hall and place it. There was no time to waste! Unfortunately, the UL community were too late on their first attempt. Being a very popular planet, Naboo was city-capped within minutes of the server going up.

A few days later UL got to have a second try. After the successful roll-out of the first set of player cities, the SOE development team doubled the cap on the amount of cities on Naboo to 20 with Publish 5 on 16 December 2003. The UL community had made a plan, and were ready this time. Several players, including Fragture and As’em, had a city hall deed in their inventory and were standing by to log in at server-up. This time they were in luck. As’em was the first one to log in. He placed the city hall and the dream that was Lianorm was realised at last.

As the player to place the city hall, As’em became the “unofficial” first mayor. The task had already been assigned to Rohar, who took over the position after the first city elections were held a week later.

The Golden Era (2004-2005)

So named because this period was one of peak activity for the United Lowlands community. Many of Lianorm’s greatest achievements took place during this time which would put the town firmly on the galactic map.

The Lianorm Revamp

Not long after Lianorm was founded, a committee was formed to restructure the layout of the city. The community didn’t want their city to be a random hotchpotch of houses like so many other player cities in the galaxy. However, with the early difficulties of moving a house and the added problem of the “tombstone houses” of players who had already left the game, a concerted effort was needed to make the community’s dream of a beautiful Lianorm — with organised streets and decorations — come true.

The project was spearheaded by MegAtomic with assistance from Derot, Faas’li, Imia and Arth’ra and continued to be coordinated by the latter four players upon MegA’s many departures from the game. Lianorm has always been one of the best designed cities in the Galaxy and we have the Revamp Team to thank for that. They laid down the design for today’s main square (6 Player Association Halls, 2 Gardens, a Bank, Cantina and the City Hall). From there many side streets branched off.

The Revamp has remained an ongoing project throughout Lianorm’s history, with many highs and lows. The city’s design is now monitored and taken care of by Mayor Alyxa.

The formation of the famous Synergy guild

About year after the game release, a number of important community members, like Starpilot (Ludossk/Korassha/Iranda) expressed a wish to move to an EU server to start over and build an imperium. However, before that would happen, the UL Senators left the United Lowlands Guild (which was taken over by As’em), dropped their Senator titles and asked Starpilot if he would be interested in creating a new guild together with them on the Eclipse server.

After several discussions in and out of game, it was finally decided that everyone would stay on Eclipse, pool their belongings, resources and wealth in order to create a large self-sustaining guild, thereby becoming one of the biggest players in the chef, armour, med-stim (and later on ships and ship module) markets.

The guild was named Synergy with the tag <SYNRG> , and the founders were: Kronos, Bodan, Fragture, Wanderer and Starpilot. They were later joined by Twist on his character named Quistis Trigit.

It was decided that all members within Synergy were equal and all decisions were to be made together. New members were added on an invite-only basis.

The Death Watch Bunker

DWB ToolsSOE’s SWG development team announced the addition of the Death Watch Bunker on 25 May 2005 (Publish 8) but the United Lowlands community were on the case much earlier than that. While the new dungeon was still on Test Center, community member Twist was busy exploring and mapping the empty bunker (without enemies) for later use.

There was much talk and excitement about the coming Death Watch Bunker patch on the community forums and when it finally arrived practically the whole community turned out to take it on. A large team of two groups consisting of about 35 people led by Twist’s character, Quistis, stormed the bunker and made it as far as the shuttle room (key #2) before suffering a complete and epic wipe-out.

Twist worked hard to create a balanced, trustworthy and disciplined squad of combat professions, which was what it took to be successful in the pre-CU Death Watch Bunker. Every Dutch person at starwarsgalaxies.nl who had mastered at least one combat profession, was allowed to sign up for the raids.

The DWB was raided daily by members of the UL community from early in the afternoon until late at night. After two weeks they had already looted two sets of the main components, Protective Liquid Coating and Binary Liquid, but had yet to complete the Alum Minerals quest or obtain a jetpack stabilizer (which was prevented from dropping from the Overlord of the Deathwatch by a bug, which was corrected on August 31 2004 with Publish 10).

The lack of Alum Minerals caused the project to hit a wall which would never had been surpassed in time without the help of Vorda, Quistis and Renato. They discovered it was possible to complete the quest by using a smuggler ability known as Feign Death, while another team member dragged them through the treacherous tunnels of the bunker with the Medic’s +Drag+ ability.

With this, and after many hours of planning, analysis, thinking, disappointment, cursing, frustration, Twist’s teams managed to complete their goal. They made six full strikes and six smaller strikes with their team, from June 1st until mid-July 2004. With each attempt they made it a little bit further. With the great feedback and de-briefing sessions after each strike, Twist was able to plan the final strike which led to the creation of the first Mandalorian Chest Plate (on live servers) and the third Helmet in the history of Star Wars Galaxies. They also achieved a server first for Eclipse after creating not only one, but two pieces of Mandalorian Armour in one strike. This was a monumental achievement for everyone involved and truly was a community effort.

The bunker is supposed to eject everyone in the group upon the completion of a successful crafting run, however in those early days this was temperamental at best. After crafting the Mandalorian Chest Piece, Ludossk became stranded alone with no combat skills while the rest of his group was ejected back to the surface. There was a risk that he would be killed, resulting in a 5% condition decay on the uninsured armour piece. With a bit of luck and a set of 90% armour, Ludossk made it out safely and the group went on to complete a second run which resulted in the creation of the helmet.

Mayor Quistis’s Rule

Imperial subject and full-time Death Watch strategist Quistis Trigit became Mayor of Lianorm in October 2004. She promised many tax reforms and the continuation of the Lianorm Revamp, which had ground to something of a halt in the months prior to her election. Mayor Quistis is also credited with charging Faas’li Neth-er’land with the task of writing and editing the Lianorm Telegraph, a community newsletter aimed at citizens of Lianorm which reported on all aspects of life in Lianorm.

Early in her rule, Quistis was accused of a conspiracy to undermine the relationship between resident rebel guilds, GRF and WaTON, while on the surface being seen to provide neutral counsel for a possible merging of the two guilds. It was said that she was encouraging one to take over the other. Later, when GRF collapsed, many of their members, including Derot Bro’Ma, Kapitein Archibald and Cappie, switched faction to become Imperial and joined Synergy.

Jhequal stepped down as leader of WaTON following the GRF/WaTON controversy and was later caught stalking Mayor Quistis, seeking revenge for her alleged part in his abdication.

The Battle of Lianorm

In January 2005, the Lianorm Telegraph began receiving a number of letters from someone only naming themselves as “someone with a new job as a leader” which issued a number of complaints about Mayor Quistis’s inability to keep the city neutral. There were many citizens who were disgruntled about the increasing Imperial presence in the town. To show that TLU meant business, they broke in the Quistis’s house and stole her nightgown and placed it on public display in a tent for a week. After the Imperial presence declined somewhat, the nightdress was returned and the tent removed.

However, despite this it appeared as though the Mayor had asked Bounty Hunter Mierek to ambush the members of TLU and sabotage some of their equipment on Dathomir, which led to further escalation of the tensions within the city. Later, Jhequal revealed himself as the leader of TLU and laid down the gauntlet to the Mayor after it was reported that she had launched several savage attacks on the group in an attempt to wipe them out. The Mayor called in additional Imperial troops to occupy Lianorm, and the members of the Underground placed a Detachment HQ outside Lianorm in response. Jhequal called for a showdown between the two sides on 27 February 2005. Mayor Quistis was killed during the event, which was filmed almost in its entirety by observer Orit Kelteel, as shown below.

After the death of Mayor Quistis, Jhequal called for the clean up of Imperial equipment in Lianorm and disbanded The Lianorm Underground, thereby returning the city to its former neutral status. Mayor Xilian took over from Quistis shortly after her demise.

The CU, NGE, and the near death of Lianorm

Combat Upgrade

The much anticipated Combat Upgrade finally hit the live servers in April 2005. It came as something as a shock for many players to find that their formerly “uber” weapons and armour were reduced to useless trinkets overnight, but the UL community, strong as it was, banded together and adapted. After all, the changes in the CU didn’t radically alter the nature of the gameplay as such. If anything, it enhanced the community aspect by forcing people to group up to gain their experience and do the new Kashyyyk quests instead of relying on the old “solo grouping” system. Armours and weapons could easily be recrafted by the community’s active weapon and armoursmiths. After the initial shock wore off, everything seemed to return to some level of normality, despite losing a few members along the way.

The short Combat Upgrade period gave something of a boon to the community’s growing Jedi enclave. Now much stronger at lower level than they were before the CU, these Jedi banded together to assist each other in getting experience and watched each other’s backs for Bounty Hunters. The newly strengthened Jedi suddenly made the attacks on the Death Watch Bunker much more manageable, and small groups made regular jetpack crafting runs.

It was at this time that Ludissk and Elu began making regular trips to Dathomir to repeat the Dark Jedi Master quest spawn in order to loot +25 armour and clothing attachments for the nearly completed UL Mandalorian Suit. Several weeks of exchanging aggro and using avoid incap yielded an awesome array of useful attachments that would really be the crowning glory of Eclipse’s first suit of Mando.

to be continued