Some Thoughts on “The Old Republic”

The one game that I’ve managed to actually play to any extent is “The Old Republic”. I’ve finished off Ranathawn and am working on another character for a TOR-Diary-type-thing, which is a Dark Side aligned Sith Marauder. I’m also moving from a character where I stealthed through most of the missions to a character where I not only kill the things in my way, but I also often kill things that aren’t in my way, because it’s consistent with the character. Since the combat can get repetitive, I wonder if I’ll still want to do that later in the game. Maybe that can be part of the character’s progression.

Anyway, TOR still has the common MMO problem with “glowies”, which are things in the shared world that for certain quests you need to click on to complete the quest. You usually need to do this to a number of them and once activated they usually deactivate for a set time. I was on Balmorra, and there were three or so people going after maybe six of these things, needing four apiece. I spent a bit of time waiting at a couple of them for them to reactivate because running around trying to find one that hadn’t been activated yet would likely result in my missing one. That was incredibly annoying, and I needed it for an interesting quest.

I’m struggling to find interesting outfits for my characters. I might not have enough credits for the Galactic Market, and the Cartel Market doesn’t have much interesting. I bought one outfit for Vette but still have thousands of Cartel Coins — I get them as part of my subscription — that I can’t spend because there’s nothing interesting in the Market. City of Heroes is the only MMO that had such a market that was at all interesting, as it had a lot of appearance changes and powersets and the like that were cool. TOR has never impressed me with that.

I’ve also found that playing as a Dark Side character can be uninteresting, because it’s difficult to find interesting Dark Side choices. This, I think, isn’t because you can’t make choices like that but because we have an odd idea of what makes something good or evil. For the most part, the evil choices are either reveling in brutality or else being rather directly self-interested. There is no notion of being an Enlightened Egoist and thinking ahead. At the end of Balmorra, you get the choice to keeping the General alive to discredit the Republic or else killing him. Keeping him alive is Light Side, despite the fact that even evil characters would see the use of discrediting the Republic. And there was already a way to avoid this, as the General asks you to let the civilians and others go in exchange for that. So a Dark Side character could keep him alive without letting the others go, and rely on torture to make him talk. This would be evil, but would also not require the Dark Side character to seem short-sighted. There is some handwaving that they have enough evidence against the Republic without him … but then the Light Side character can look like they’re just being good for the sake of being good as they get nothing out of it.

Anyway, I do still enjoy the game, and am planning on finishing at least two more characters over the next few months.

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