Greetings once again everyone! You may have noticed that TOR Lore has not been appearing on the site for the past few weeks. This is because I need to retreat deep into my lore cave and recharge my geek power cells in order to keep bringing you all of the sweet lore tidbits that you love. But now I am back, recharged and ready to go!
To celebrate my somewhat Ali-like return to the realm of lore I am going to be talking about some of the changes we will be seeing in 1.2, specifically how these changes are going to affect us from the lore immersion of our game. It’s no secret that there are players out there who are not happy with some of these changes and their reaching implications. I am referring to the Legacy unlocks, specifically the various species unlocks and Heroic Abilities. How are these going to affect our immersion, and are these changes going to be positive or negative?
In case you have missed one of the zillion announcements BioWare has made on the subject, let me give you a recap on these Legacy features BioWare is giving us. With the species unlocks you will be able to play as a species and class combination that was previously unavailable when you complete a class storyline with a particular species. For example, let’s say you have a level 50 Chiss Imperial Agent who has completely finished their class story. When 1.2 is finally made live you will be able to make any class be a Chiss, regardless of the faction. This would allow you to make a Chiss Jedi Knight, Trooper, or any other combination you can think of.
Now the Heroic Abilities are a little different. Like the species unlocks they will require you to finish your class story before they are unlocked, but in this case you will unlock a special ability that can be used on your other characters when their Heroic Moment ability is activated. These abilities that you can unlock are considered to be iconic abilities for the class. Finish the Sith Warrior story and you will gain the ability to Force Choke your enemies, finish the Jedi Consular story to gain the ability to rip debris form the ground and hurl it at your enemy. Because they can only be used when the Heroic Moment ability is active, which can only be activated with a companion character present, the abilities cannot be used during Warzones and Operations, or during times when you are in a full party. Since the cooldown on the Heroic Moment ability is fairly high you will not be able to use these abilities often even when you are able to access them, ensuring that these abilities are not game breaking in any way.
Now this all sounds pretty cool right? Well some people don’t think so. There is a large number of players out there who feel that these Heroic Abilities go against established lore, specifically when a non-Force using character like a Smuggler is running around Force Choking people. Doesn’t this fly in the face of everything we know about Star Wars? How can the Force remain a mystical, unique energy when it is used by everyone? Does this ruin what the Force is, at least in the area of this game? These are not easy questions to answer, and there is no one “right” answer. But if you want my humble opinion the answer is to these questions is, kind of, but only if you want it to.
BioWare’s explanation for the non-Force using classes getting the Force abilities is tied in with the Family Tree aspect of their Legacy system. Basically, since the Force runs in your “family” (made up of your different characters) it stands to reason that all your characters have the ability to be Force sensitive, even if it is just a little bit. Don’t like this explanation? That’s fine, because I have a simpler one for you. It’s just a game mechanic, nothing more and nothing less. More importantly, it’s a game mechanic that is completely optional. You only need to use it if you want, there will never be a time in the game that you are forced to use it if you don’t want to.
And that’s what I mean when I say that this will only ruin your lore immersion if you let it. If these things bother you, really bother you, then don’t use them! Now I am of the mind that even if your parents were Force users it doesn’t necessarily mean you should have a lick of Force Sensitivity . Will I still use these abilities in game when I have a chance? You’re damn right I will. They sound fun and I play games to have fun, not to bicker over whether or not it is 100% true to a lore that is so massive and complicated that almost nothing put out nowadays adheres to all of the rules set by what came before.
Plus look at this from a Role Playing perspective. Even if you don’t like to RP yourself, you cannot deny that this opens up some interesting possibilities for those who do. An instant example that comes to mind comes straight from one of my fellow swtor-life writers, MJ. Any long time follower of Mj’s column may remember that one of the items it revolves around gives any non-Force user who wields it limited Force abilities. With this update they would actually be able to show off these abilities in game, bringing even more depth to the story. This is just one possibility, but if there is anything the RP community is good at it’s finding awesome ways to use game mechanics to further their story.
You run into a similar issue with the species options. Sure, there is not much of a chance that a Sith Pureblood would ever become a Republic Trooper, or that a Chiss would become a Jedi Knight, but there is nothing forcing you to make these species/class combinations if you don’t want to. I have had issues with this ever since the game came out. In my mind you would never see one of the Chiss become a Bounty Hunter, it just doesn’t make sense for someone raised in the Chiss society. The same thing comes up with the Sith Pureblood being an Inquisitor. The Inquisitor storyline pegs the Inquisitor as a former slave, and there is no way a Sith Pureblood would ever be a slave, ever. So I will never make an inquisitor a Sith Pureblood, nor would I make my Bounty Hunter a Chiss. But at the same time I won’t deny another player the chance to make their characters that way if they so choose.
Well that’s my stance on these issues. Do these issues fly in the face of established lore? Sure, and nothing BioWare says is going to change that fact. Still, games are meant to be fun and more options means more fun. If you don’t like them then don’t use them, but don’t rain on the parade of others just because you have a problem with it. That’s it for this week, thanks for reading. Let me know what you think of these changes in the comments section below, and tune in next week for another edition of TOR Lore!
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