I’ve been playing a lot of The Old Republic of late, these past couple weeks. Taking advantage of the March Double XP Weekend, I’ve managed to level a few alts and taken my Jedi Knight to 50. It has been enlightening to finally finish off the story side of the Republic. I’ve taken quite a few Republic characters past chapter 1 of the storyline, but I always got bogged down in Balmora.
Playing the Republic in the first chapter is somewhere between playing a goody-two-shoes and playing an insufferable jackass. Unlike the Empire, there are few memorable dark side moments in the first chapter; all that changes as things start heating up in the Galactic War. Playing my Knight dark side was rather enlightening. A few times I even cringed at what I’d have to do to earn those dark side points. There were moral decisions to make, letting people die without actually killing them yourself or killing soldiers with large cannon on the same train as civilians, soldiers who’d be too much for your troops if you spared the civilians.
The Empire tends to much more up close and personal with the killing and the differences and nuances make for a more philosophical morality system. The Old Republic’s cut and dry, black and white morality system (well blue and red actually), often gets short-changed by the min/maxers who will pick a choice regardless of outcome to get the best light side/dark side equipment; playing through the Republic storyline really drove home the fact that it was people who were simplifying the choices in the game, not the other way around.
Now Makeb is next up on the plate, the planet that will likely define the next 12 months for The Old Republic, and whether or not it sticks around for a while. I have high hopes for it; In BioWare I Trust! In all seriousness, though, I’m enjoying my return to Star Wars. I find myself pleasantly enjoying it a lot more than I had anticipated. I don’t think I’m ever going to play MMO’s like the old days, for months and months on end; but I have a feeling TOR is going to be an old friend that I habitually visit every few months to stay for a while.