10/05/2012

Day 2: Class Stories

This is the second post in my 10 Days of SWTOR Screenshots challenge. Click on any screenshot to see a larger version.


One of the things I feel The Old Republic doesn't get nearly enough credit for is its cinematic direction. Everyone talks about the conversation choices and the voice acting, but imagine that all these things took place with your camera panned out in the same way it usually is. Would that be fun? "Wait, which of these two NPCs is the one talking right now? That one is waving his hands. Let's look at the chat log to see who's speaking. Is she frowning at me? /zooms in... oh, what were we talking about again?"

But no, Bioware knows that voice acting aside, humans are very visual creatures. They make sure that the camera is focused on who's speaking, that we can see their expressions and body language, and that the camera angles change frequently enough to keep us engaged. I think that this is great stuff. While doing my Jedi consular's class quest on Balmorra, there was one encounter in particular where I was actually squealing at my screen with glee (no hyperbole) because of the camera work and my character's expressions. I tried to take pictures of it but unfortunately I was suffering from the bug at the time that sometimes prevents the print screen button from working during cut scenes.

Anyway, as for the screenshot above, I like it because of the faint smile on my trooper's face and how you can see her companions watching in the background.


Purely in terms of game mechanics, the final chapter of the trooper class quest remains my favourite so far because of how your choices actually change how you play through part of it. Basically an attack is being staged along three parallel paths, and you get to pick which one you want to cover personally. I picked the one that the NPCs advertised as the most difficult one, and while I don't know whether it actually was the most difficult, I was certainly impressed by the visuals of getting to blow up giant droids by calling in air strikes. I have to admit that this is one of those cases where I kind of find myself wishing for a single-player save game, just so I could check out all the different options without levelling another two troopers from scratch.


So that my Jedi consular doesn't feel out, let's have one screenshot of her with Supreme Chancellor Saresh. Female twi'lek power! As an aside, I found it quite interesting how Saresh, whom you first meet as the governor of Taris, ends up becoming Supreme Chancellor, especially considering that we know that the Taris reconstruction effort doesn't actually work out in the long run. What made her so popular? Does anyone know whether her story is covered in another class story or a book? I'm really quite fascinated by the various glimpses we get of her character.

4 comments :

  1. Do you get much information about the previous Chancellor while levelling, before Saresh takes the post? (Just curious as to whether Bioware totally hide it from the Republic that he was assassinated.)

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    1. Not at all actually! As far as I remember I saw neither hide nor hair of him on my trooper or Jedi consular; only my knight got a brief glimpse of him during a holocall so far. We'll see if he shows up anywhere else - you've certainly got me intrigued now!

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  2. Wait, Saresh, that pushy Twi'lek from Taris gets the top post in the Republic???

    Oh, and for those of you interested in cross-pollination of characters ... remember Kolovesh from Tython? The Twi'lek elder who seemed so innocent and helpful?

    Yeah, she's not a saint. You learn that in the culmination of Chapter 3 of the agent's story. Is was a pretty cool reveal.

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    1. Yeah, that's her. I was very surprised as well. And I do love those little cross-references that only make sense if you've played multiple characters! (My favourite so far might be Malgus telling Imperial characters that the Jedi prisoner was "allowed to" escape. Hah!)

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