First I want to clarify my level of dork-i-tude here. I logged out of SW:TOR after playing for roughly 10 hours and then laid down on the couch to watch a Star Wars Marathon. You know, because I’d clearly not had enough of the world. (The originals not the prequels mind you.)
(Photo Credit - swtor-spy.com) Theran AKA My Heal-bot Playboy
If you’ve read my other Star Wars posts, you probably have noticed that I enjoyed Beta, and now that I’m in the Gold (live) edition I’m enjoying that as well. Particularly PVP (even though I’m to terribly good at it), Space Missions (which I do seem to be good at) and Crafting in particular. Crafting requires a fair amount of micro-management of your companions but that sort of play is one of my favorite things in MMOs. (I think it speaks to my estrogen driven need to organize things)
Which brings me to those who do all of your crafting bidding – the companions.
Chances are that if you are playing SW:TOR you are already familiar with the fact that some of the companions are “Romance-able” which is to say there are opportunities to buy them copious amounts of expensive gifts, and maybe get some play in return. However you want to cut it though, achieving the proverbial “Giggity” motivates a lot of us – plus it’s just fun to see how it all happens (not literally, just the lead up). What this seems to result in (at least in those I’ve
(Image credit - swtor.wikia.com) Mako - Who I'm pretty sure will be the most cosplayed character from SWTOR next year
observed from myself, my guild, and my household) is behavior that is tailored to ensuring your companion is pleased – thereby raising the chance to make with the bang bang. This goes way beyond the constant maintenance of the tamogatchis of the 90s and the prized hunt for the perfect WoW pets off yester-mmo but instead I believe that it actually alters our playing psychology and motivates us to make moral story choices based on – the approval of our companions.
Now maybe you’re the opposite – maybe you want to piss your companion off, but I would argue you’re still making choices based on the reaction of your companion! You’re still being motivated by your companion’s moral code – just to the opposite side. This is genius on Bioware’s part. It’s a way to make things replayable and as far as I can tell that’s the endgame hope – play the game for the love of the story and the “Guess what ____ will say/do next!” Even if you’ve got a level 50 (the current cap), chances are you’re anticipating trying a different quest chain.
(If you’re curious there’s some cool articles that talk about how SW:TOR was written and what the documents looked like for the various quest chains.)
I’ve found often myself wondering “Hey – what will my companion think of this?” during quest chains. I’ve also noticed that the Empire side characters might have a few more light side points (especially the Bounty Hunters who get Mako who seems to be a bit morally questionable herself, but for the most part is a good person.) All in all the companions have altered the landscape of the game making us reconsider if we really want to vent those spies out of the airlock in front of our companion – which begs the question – who’s really running the show? You or your “possible” lay?
This is a true case of the game mirroring life.
As for me, I’ll be over here trying to get Tharan to do my Landry.