Before the NGE I would give this game a full 10.0. After the NGE, well, just take a look at the score now...
SOE changed the game to a first-person shooter-like system where you had to hold your mouse over your target and hold the left mouse button to fire. If your cursor left the target your character would stop firing. There was no longer any target lock, and gameplay was extremely frustraiting. SOE added flashy new particle effects that looked cartoony and didn't fit with the game and they even changed the target audience to children (at one point the target auidence were older teens and adults, back when SWG launched).
A later "Chapter", which was once known as a "Publish" back pre-NGE, added a target-lock and auto-fire feature back into SWG but it did little to help the poorly thought combat system and extremely painful and boring gameplay. Crafters were made completely useless in the NGE because you could loot better items then crafters could make, meaning players could aquire better items for free. Sure you'd look like a clown running around in a bright blue "Shirt of the Bantha", dark red "Hat of the Fat Hutt", neon yellow "Pants of Strength", bright green "Sandles of the Damned" and light purple "Gloves of the Insane" but all those items would have stats on them and you'd be stronger... right?
Battle Fatigue was removed during the NGE as well, making Entertainers completely useless as well. Before the NGE the only real reason a combat player would have to visit an Entertainer was to have their Battle Fatigue healed and without it Entertainers quickly died away. Wounds were removed as well, meaning Medics no longer had any reason to go to medical centers and be paid to heal players. Smugglers lost their ability to slice weapons and armor, they also lost many of their unique combat abilities, making them simply another cookie-cutter combat profession.
Later SOE introduced the profession Expertise system, which allowed professions to select different expertise skills to "customize" their profession to their liking. Unforunately the Expertise failed to add anything useful to the game and most skills were either useless or were too similiar to other skills, and there weren't enough to choose from. The Expertise really didn't affect a profession in any way, other then giving them a few new skills.
Smugglers, a profession that had been ignored for the past three plus years, finally got some content added to the profession a couple months back. Unfortunately the attempt to add profession content, again, failed miserabely. It was obvious SOE didn't listen to what the players wanted and added in a horrible, boring "Smugging" system that was simple a glorified delivery mission, and each mission was exactly the same as the one before it. The missions were mind-numbingly boring and really had no point at all. Once you completed the final mission and reached "Master Underworld Smuggler" you had no reason to continue with smuglging at all; not that you'd want to continue, the missions were just too painful.
Yes, smuggling is truely the matter of taking one item from point A to point B without getting caught. However, there were many ways in SWG to spice up smuggling and make it fun. SOE didn't do this, though, and the missions were simply this: go to an NPC, a static NPC that's always in the same location, pay him money and he'll give you a container simply marked "contraband". You then have a set time limit to take that container to an NPC in another city. You cannot use shuttles or starports, so you have to use your vehicle. You will be attacks along the way by two to four NPCs during your missions usually once, sometimes twice, but you will always be attacked. The NPC you must give the item to is always in the same position and is always surrounded by NPCs that will attack you on sight (and there are usually law enforcement NPCs nearby as well for some reason). If you manage to get to the NPC you click on them, the item disappears and you recieve some money and some Underworld faction. If you fail you lose Underworld faction.
You need Underworld faction to climb through the "ranks" of the Underworld Smuggler. But there's no real point to climbing the ranks, other then getting some crappy rewards that are pretty useless in almost every aspect. The rewards don't even look good.
The Smuggler quests are simply another failed attempt, and a rushed effort on SOE's part yet again.
The Galactic Civil War was also something that was completely pointless in SWG. When walking the streets of Theed you'd never know there was a war going on. A couple months ago SOE attempted to change that by adding a new GCW rank system in. Not surprisingly, though, they failed to do anything smart or fun and simply tossed together something easy and simple, and copied it from the MMORPG "World of Warcraft". The added ranks into the GCW and to gain ranks you need to kill NPCs. The thing is ranks require you to have thousands of GCW points, and the higher ranks need millions. NPCs, however, only grant you 1-6 GCW points, roughly, and PvP kills grant you about 8, which means you have to stay online and grind constantly to gain a level. Oh, but that's not all... at the higher ranks your GCW points will actually decay, meaning you have to constantly grind so you wont lose your rank. There are no quests to help you, there are no missons to help you, just mindless NPC grinding or broken PvP. It's about as much fun as licking a cactus.
Another bad move was that at the rank of General, the highest GCW rank a player can achieve, there are items better then any other item in SWG. Rings that greatly increase all your stats, weapons that have extremely high damage and DPS, armor that has very high defences... This means that only those who can stay on SWG and mindlessly grind 24/7 will get these items, and anyone without these items and anyone without a life will never stand a chance against these people in PvP. If you actually have a life you will mostlikely never reach the rank of General.
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with having to earn your rewards but this is insane. Sadly SWG is nothing like it used to be. It's been "dumbed-down" as many have put it and has been changed not for the better. Sure, it still has some really great features like player housing and the graphics are great, but that's all it has going for it anymore. Every MMO on the market has something about it that makes it unique, but the only thing unique about SWG is that it now gets all its ideas from existing MMOs and doesn't even do a good job of copying those ideas. SWG fails in every way possible.
It's sad, really. SWG was a wonderful game when it first launched, it really was. I loved the game back then. The servers were full and bustling with people; always busy and lively. Once the NGE came out the servers died away and 90% of the population stopped playing. Now almost all the servers are completely void of life. It still makes me sad walking through Theed and Coront, which were two of the busiest cities pre-NGE and were always filled with people talking, selling and buffing; and to now see those cities without a single player in them. It's very, very sad.
If you're thinking of getting a good MMORPG don't waste your time with Star Wars Galaxies. It's a disappointment through and through. Believe me, I've played this game since it launched, and yet I can't figure out why. The game is horrible. Before the NGE I would give this game a full 10.0 for a score. After the NGE, well you can see the score I gave it...