[SWTOR] Let’s talk about class, and role, and faction, and morality, and story

Latest news on SWTOR pre-orders is that they are through the roof and analysts are now predicting 3 million box sales in the first year with 2 million steady subscribers and I’d like some of whatever they are smoking. 2 million subs, huh?

Still, it’s great news for Bioware, and I cannot be the only person eyeing the various classes and thinking about what I might want to play. These are the types of factors you may be weighing up:

  • What faction?
  • What race?
  • What role (ie. heal/ tank/ ranged dps/ melee)?
  • What look do I prefer? (robes vs plate)
  • What theme and feel? Other roleplaying considerations? (Do I like the idea of being a sith warrior, a smuggler, etc.)
  • What will fit in best with my friends?

In addition to this, because of the heavy Bioware emphasis on story, companions and voice acting, there are other variables too.

  • Which companion do I like the look of? (Some companions seem to be class specific.)
  • Which romance option do I like, if any? (Jedi get darkside points for romance, you have been warned.)
  • Which voice actor do I prefer?
  • What type of storyline do I want? Jedi are likely to be heavier on moral choices, the imperial agent looks to be like James Bond, etc.

This information is not all available yet but expect to read more about the game as we get into September and people try out the beta weekends. Meanwhile, MMO Gamer Chick has a post showing the intro videos to all the different classes which may help a bit with getting the look/ feel and some of the voice acting out there.

The interesting thing for me with the differing class storylines is that you may get a completely different genre of RPG depending on which class you choose. The sneaky agent is going to tell stories in a very different style to the monastic, high fantasy jedi knight. In that sense, this game is a very true descendent of DAO where the starting preludes genuinely felt like different styles of story.

It also becomes increasingly clear that Bioware would like to make the dark side/ light side choices very important in play. For example, some of the crafted and dropped gear will only be wearable by light side/ dark side characters. I think this will be controversial but I hope that they stick with it, because it’s a really interesting way to drive the storytelling into the gear acquisition game. My only concern is that if you are mad enough to play a light side sith inquisitor, do you really want everyone else to be able to see it?

To do more research, I went to the official forums to see what types of conversation players who had already picked their class were having. At least it will show what the player expectation is. Here’s a roundup of each.

Jedi Knight: These guys are clearly interested in discussing moral dilemmas. My favourite thread on the front page is called “Is it wrong to use the force to make money?” which practically inspires character concepts all on it’s own. The goblin jedi!

Jedi Consular: Consulars seem more interested in social issues, such as whether they like their companion and how they feel about romance leading to the dark side. I’m not saying these are more likely to be female players but …

Smuggler: Smugglers have two full threads about what to name their ships (the first one capped at 1000 posts), so clearly of great interest. I still want to name a ship “Justifiable Homicide” since that had too many letters for STO.

Trooper: Some discussion about whether dps specced Troopers will get groups, and a long thread asking for a Jedi companion ‘to boss around.’ I’m sensing control issues, you can tell this is a tank class.

Sith Warrior: Some threads discussing the various advanced trees, and one asking if anyone is nuts enough to consider playing a light side sith warrior. I found a thread a few pages back asking if it was possible to play a non-outrageously evil looking sith warrior also (not in this genre, I suspect.)

Sith Inquisitor: Like their counterparts, sith inquisitors spawn a few romance threads. There’s a large poll on whether sith purebloods should be able to be inquisitors (controversial because Bioware have said that this would not fit with the sith inquisitor plotline because they start as force sensitive slaves, which would not be appropriate for that race.)

They also have my favourite thread so far, which is advice from a SI to their apprentice:

Alright Darth Noobster. Starting today you get to be my apprentice. Congratulations. But, before you get too excited and start planning any shenanigans, like trying to push me over a cliff, I think we should have an open and honest discussion – put all the Pazaak cards on the table as they say in Nar Shaddaa.

So, it’s like this. One of these days, you’re going to get it into your head to kill me and take over, probably while I’m in the bathroom with my robes around my ankles.

Imperial Agent: There are some complaints at not seeing enough footage of the IA in action, and some discussion of whether people like the idea of playing a Chiss Agent (I’d think the name Mystique will be gone fairly quickly given that they are blue skinned and red eyed.) I see a few threads about PvP also.

Bounty Hunter: Wide ranging discussions on specs, as well as more RP type issues like names and inspirations. There’s an active thread discussing player bounties (and the lack of same) in game.

Still not sure yet? Me either. I can’t help feeling that I’d like to know more about the storylines before I decide. For example, I really like characters who start out fairly seedy rather than heroic from the get-go, which is one of the things I liked about my uncaste dwarf in DAO and Hawke in DA2. It looks as though the smuggler and sith inquisitor (!) both come from that side of the tracks, so that’s another thing for me to bear in mind.

Do you think story considerations will come into your decision also?

14 thoughts on “[SWTOR] Let’s talk about class, and role, and faction, and morality, and story

  1. As far as I am concerned, SW:TOR is just a big story. Which is great. I’ll play the story and then quit. So, yes, the story is the most important thing to consider.

  2. Hissss. If they eventually decide to sell the game in this weird little country of mine then I may consider purchasing it. Till then I’m just going to badmouth both game and company.

    (Srsly, who’s even HEARD of Australia?)

  3. “Consulars seem more interested in social issues, such as whether they like their companion and how they feel about romance leading to the dark side. I’m not saying these are more likely to be female players but…”

    I was considering either the Consular or the Inquisitor, and this makes me strongly inclined towards the Sith side. Not because I’m male and have any particular desire to see digitial cyborz, but because I don’t think I could tolerate having my MMO character’s story arc turn into Episode 2. I wonder how common light-inclined Sith Inquisitors will be?

  4. My guild is going Sith, I want to tank, I love Vader more than Bobba, so I’m going Sith Warrior. I am concerned that I might not be inherently “evil” enough inside to play the class correctly. Plus, if I role-play all out evil, I’m going to have Vette following me around telling me how disappointed she is. It should make for great, fun dilemmas, and I can’t wait.

    I am also convinced that I will not be satisfied until I’ve given ALL the classes a fair shot. Bioware, please take my monies.

  5. The class that “calls to me” is the Trooper Commando with his BFG. And I like healing, so I plan to primarily spec down the Combat Medic tree. Heavy armor, BFG, Healer. . . sounds full of win to me!

    The 2nd one that sounds most fun to me is the Imperial Agent. I’m actually thinking Sniper rather than Operative. Operative sounds fun too, though, so I may end up making 2. . . .

    3rd down the line of appeal to me is a Force Lightning user, meaning the Sorcerer version of the Inquisitor.

    Anything else beyond these classes are down in the nebulous “Eh. Maybe someday. . . ” realm. Maybe a Consular Shadow in their dps configuration in the hoped that the dual-blade saber has nice animations to watch, but meh. Nothing else really seems to “call to me” so to speak.

    My guild is planning on going Sith, so I’m debating whether to make an IA as a main or as a “1st alt” within the guild — I’m REALLY stuck on the Combat Medic idea and wanting it to be my main. for now, anyway. It may turn out to not be fun for me and I’ll abandon it, but for now. . . .me likey!

  6. I like dual light sabers, that weapon Darth Maul used. That will bring me to Jedi Consular. Then I will change sides to the Dark Side….

  7. Story always plays a part in my character decisions, but I don’t want to know details beforehand. I’ll probably start two or three characters and continue playing whichever has the most interesting story. Probably Jedi Knight and Smuggler to begin with, since I know some people who want to go Republic. (At some point I want to play a morally ambiguous Imperial Agent, though, and a cheerful, unconflicted Sith Inquisitor sounds fun…)

  8. I must say, your posts about SWTOR do more to make me want to play it than anything else out there. I’m not sure why. (Especially since, as a long time Star Wars fan, I should be excited anyway.)

    I am sad that only one of the Alliance classes appeals to me (smuggler), while both Bounty Hunters and Imperial Agents sound potentially cool. Though if when I get the game, I’ll probably try one of the Jedi classes anyway. I might be dismissing them unfairly.

    • Spinks is particularly good at finding the story, the narrative depth in MMOs. This makes her an excellent writer for SWTOR as story is really its unique selling point.

      • You’re right. Everywhere else, including the official site, the story aspect gets rather lost. No wonder I come here, read her posts on it and am excited again. They should pay her to sell the game. She’s doing a better job than they are.

  9. Pingback: Recent SWTOR Reads: Class Identity, Morality Gear, and AH Theorycrafting « Inquisitor's Roadhouse

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