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Reviews Section
Star Wars: Reach of the Empire by Scott

Reach of the Empire has reopened after a roughly 8 month hiatus for a theme reset and some changes to the systems and layout of the game, as well as some restaffing.  The biggest changes relate to the theme itself.  The current timeline of the game is roughly 1 year prior to A New Hope, the Empire is still at the height of its power and the Rebellion consists of a single stolen Nebulon-B frigate and a relatively small group of dissidents.  Like the previous version of the game, the prequels are not considered canon.  While the general backstory is similar to that of the prequel trilogy, many of the specific details are different.  

Possibly the most important change, apart from the resetting of the theme itself is the introduction of the ability to app and play feature characters and pregenerated characters.  Previously, feature characters were under admin control for the purpose of furthering arc events, but now the opportunity exists for players to play those characters.  Feature characters come with a preset backstory and personality and are expected to be at least somewhat similar to the canon version, but there is still a lot of freedom to influence the evolution of the character and their impact on the world as a whole.

As far as factions are concerned there are always opportunities.  The Imperial Armed Forces, The Rebellion, The Bothan SpyNet and Defense Force, and at least 1 Hutt organization are active and looking for characters of various types.  There are also opportunities for more independent characters, although the effort to establish on-faction characters of various roles is somewhat more involved, since factions obviously supply the character with a set of readily available RP opportunities to exploit and explore.

The shortcomings of the game thus far from what I have seen are generally what you would expect from a smaller MUSH.  The playerbase is fairly robust, but not large enough that niche type characters are easily supported.  As I mentioned certain independent types and niche roles require a lot of effort to establish because there just isn't the character base to support them.  The earning system offsets this somewhat, by allowing characters to be employed by a non-player run agency of some kind, but the problem still exists.  Also, while the Ospace system is very nice, the cargo system is not in place which likewise limits the profitability of merchant/smuggler types when there aren't enough characters buying and selling goods.