SWTOR is far from the first game to have a bi-faction system with “good” and “evil” sides. However, this is the first game I’ve played where the bad guys really act bad and know it. When I played World of Warcraft, the Blood Elf Paladin on the Horde side seemed to be doing a lot of quests that seemed good. There was nothing like “kill this man in front of his son because you didn’t like how he responded to you.” Allods has the Empire and the League. It’s hard to say there who are the “bad guys” as the leaders of both have done bad things and many of the quests seem to involve doing good things one moment and a bad thing the next.
In most games, we find parallels to real life. There’s usually not a good team and bad team; there are two opposing forces and both sides believe their way is right. Star Wars: The Old Republic has that too to some extent. The difference though is that the Sith know they are evil. During one of my quests as a dark side warrior, my Sith decided to shoot down a shuttle of fleeing women and their children. There are no qualms about murder and mayhem, in fact it can be relished. I do enjoy being evil most of the time. Unfortunately, if you care only about upping your dark side or light side points, sometimes you have to make choices for your character that are not as much fun. I’ve found that if I really want my character to do something, it’s worth it to choose the choice that makes me happy and I can make up the difference in points in a future flashpoint run. You also have the option of viewing the choice you want and then hitting the escape key before the conversation ends. Then go back and choose the options that give you the faction points you want. However, I just take the hit in case that choice affects future decisions as well–it’s rare when that happens but it does happen.
Mu Nianci was my Sith Juggernaut leaning towards the Dark Side. The questing was fun all the way and out of all of the class quests I’ve played through so far it was my favorite. When I made my Marauder, Guo Jing, I decided to have him lean towards the light side. This worked out well for me as their class quest is the same but I was able to experience some differences based on the choices I made. The most obvious is Jaesa Willsam, the Jedi padawan who becomes your companion. As the dark side, I got to kill her parents and I eventually force her to kill her own Jedi master before coming over to the dark side. As the light side player, I offer to rescue her parents from servitude and set them up in a nice home on Dromund Kaas. Actions like that confuse Jaesa and with a few sweet words, she realizes that my Sith is a good guy in disguise while her master is evil. She joins believing we’re secretly going to create a third faction of light side Sith. Her parents even send you a “thank you” letter which says how happy they were that you were so kind to them and that they are leaving to go meet Darth Baras who they hope will be as nice as you (so it is safe to assume they die anyway).
My favorite difference was on Alderaan. You are ordered to meet up with an NPC who isn’t a very pleasant character. You have to force him to help you and he still requires you to jump through hoops. One of the missions you are sent on is to fetch a woman for him. It turns out he wants to boink her and her willingness in that matter is irrelevant. As the dark side character, I give her to him. As the light side character, I got to cockblock and deny him the woman. Proper punishment for someone who disrespects a Sith lord so casually. Yes, I realize it is just a game and none of it is real…lol
Did you know there’s some cool official SWTOR merchandise? I’ve been selling it on eBay for about a year and the t-shirts are actually what got me to try out SWTOR in the first place. You can check out my Star Wars merchandise here.