In my first post about playing KOTOR I didn't include any spoiler warnings because I barely scratched the surface of what the game is about, but I guess as I write about my progress, some proper plot spoilers might end up showing up sooner or later. So if you've never played KOTOR yourself and still care about avoiding spoilers for it... consider yourself warned.
First off, after Calphy's comment on the last post I double-checked all the settings and found an option to turn off the auto-pause after every combat round. Yes! This was sorely needed, especially as I started to run up against fights that were made hard mainly by 95% of my attacks failing to hit their target, making the fights really, really long. I daren't imagine how much worse it would've been if the game had paused after every combat round on top of it all.
So, after escaping those annoying Sith fighters above Taris, your next stop is the Jedi enclave on Dantooine. If you were wondering at the start of the game why a game called Knights of the Old Republic wouldn't let you create anything but some sort of soldier type character, here comes the answer: It turns out you're Force sensitive after all!
I thought it was interesting that the Jedi make you undergo three trials before you even get promoted to padawan. This kind of surprised me as I tend to think of padawan as the lowest rank there is. Is there some sort of lore explanation for this or is it just a matter of power creep that in SWTOR your Jedi characters already start out as padawans and get promoted as soon as they finish the starter planet?
Once you get accepted into the Jedi order, you also get asked to choose a class: Guardian, Sentinel or consular. Hah! You can definitely see that SWTOR took inspiration for its class system from here, as the descriptions of Guardians and consulars are pretty spot-on. It's just Sentinels as something between the two that doesn't really fit into my world view as established by the MMO. In SWTOR they are mainly marked by their wielding of two sabers and by having a short attention span.
While exploring Dantooine, you keep running into Kath hounds. For some reason most of them look quite different from the ones in SWTOR. Seems we only have the horned version in the MMO.
There was a quest to solve a murder mystery which clearly served as inspiration for Broonmark's Alliance alert, though the KOTOR version is more demanding, offering you a bunch of wrong options to click through before you get to the correct answer.
Then there was a side mission that has been copied into SWTOR almost wholesale: the obsessive lady missing her pet droid (found in the Nar Shaddaa bonus series on Republic side). Interestingly, the KOTOR version is both funnier ("She treats me like her dead husband!" "Er, all the time?" "You don't want to know...") and darker, with the smothered droid wanting to commit suicide to escape it all, which kind of forces you to choose between a rock and a hard place. I guess that's why SWTOR made the droid an astromech and had him escape to live with an enclave of free droids, which makes it a much more obvious choice between light and dark side.
What you could call the main side mission is about two feuding houses whose children are in love with each other. Hm, where have I heard that before? It was an enjoyable storyline nonetheless. The only thing that bugged me was that the two fathers remained mad at each other and the matter of the other missing son was never resolved. I can't help but wonder whether it would have made a difference if I had found his datapad sooner (he appeared to have been eaten by Kath hounds as far as I could tell). However, after the two lovers had run off, there was no opportunity to ever bring the matter up again, neither with the young man's father nor with his sister.
Anyway, I keep talking about side quests, but the main goal after passing my Jedi trials was to investigate some ancient ruins with Bastila, because a vision had indicated that Revan and Malak had found something powerful there. The mystery of the ancient aliens is set up well, even though I already know who they are (and not just because the Rakata Prime background music was playing in the background). I was just annoyed by the two droids I had to fight my way past, which was the awfully tedious bit of combat I referred to at the beginning of this post. I sure hope there is some better way to get past them and I just chose a bad option, otherwise that's pretty bad gameplay. I actually went broke from buying medpacks just to survive long enough to beat both of them.
Now I'm supposed to explore the galaxy to find the missing pieces of a mysterious star map. Oddly enough, having such a specific goal has actually reduced my motivation somewhat. Running around randomly was more fun! But we'll see how it goes.