04/03/2012

Reasons to play a trooper

After hitting 50 it actually took me several weeks to complete my class story, even though there wasn't that much left of it. It's interesting that despite of the great advances that Bioware has made with the questing in The Old Republic, I'm still having the same issue that I always had in WoW: I struggle to continue questing after the level cap. It's not even that I don't enjoy it anymore, it's just that it doesn't feel like the natural thing to do after logging in, you know? I actually have to tell myself specifically that, okay, today I'll take care of those quests that I still have left in my log, or else I'll just end up going off to do some random PvP, dailies or a flashpoint with friends. Am I the only one with this problem?

Anyway, after finally finishing my class quest I wanted to spend some time reflecting on trooper life in general. While it's hard to make fair comparisons to the other classes' stories, seeing how I haven't completed any of them yet, I do think that I have enough of a vague idea to have noticed some differences. No major spoilers.

One thing that I really like about trooper life is that the relationship with your companions feels a lot more natural than it does while playing most other classes. I don't think I'm spoiling much by saying that they all end up being members of your squad, so it makes sense that you fly around on the same ship and go on missions together. I haven't really got similar vibes from any of the other class stories so far, where a new companion joining you mostly seems to come down to: "I like you or at least want to follow you around all day for some other personal reason." That's a fairly typical storytelling trope really, but compared to the simple logic of the trooper squad it strikes me as inferior.

From a practical point of view I've also come to realise that troopers are really lucky to already have three companions by the end of Nar Shaddaa who cover all three roles of the holy trinity. You might not necessarily like their personalities, but at least you won't be stuck with a companion that's completely unsuitable for your playstyle for long (unlike a lot of other classes apparently).

Also, I think the trooper is the only class whose entire set of companions uses the same main stat as the trooper him- or herself. This is great because you can basically create a chain of hand-me-downs from your favourite to your least favourite character, which makes gearing easy and even your worst companion should never be completely useless. You can even make them wear spare pieces of tier gear that you don't need! (Personally I have a lot of gearing up to left to do, but for some reason the RNG keeps blessing me with pairs upon pairs of unneeded gloves.) The only downside is that you might start to feel slightly jealous of guildies who ask "Can I need on that for my companion?" on pretty much every drop because you never really have that excuse.

As far as the trooper class story goes, from the starter areas I've seen so far I thought that the trooper had one of the best tie-ins to the main plot of the class story's Act I. With other classes I often felt that the starter planet was a self-contained mini story that had little to no relevance to the main plot that was dropped on my head immediately afterwards, but for the trooper the entirety of your starter experience is pretty much a powerful set-up for what comes later.

Otherwise I think the main point that stood out to me over the course of the trooper story is that it's a story about being a hero of the people. When you start out as a Jedi of either flavour, you're basically being told that you're special from the moment you arrive on Tython. You may not have done anything remarkable yet, but people can tell that you're extraordinarily strong in the Force and that by itself is amazing. As a newly created trooper on the other hand you're being told that you're being given a chance to join Havoc Squad due to past achievements, but otherwise you're pretty much a normal person who just happens to be both smart and strong and is slowly working their way up.

This gives the trooper story a very "down to earth" feeling in my opinion, something that I personally liked, but I could also see why someone might find it unappealing. You get to kick butt, but probably not quite as much as a Force user. You're also a soldier, which means that you'll always have superiors bossing you around to an extent. Unlike a smuggler for example, you're not just your own (wo)man - you have a duty. In that regard, I don't think that the trooper has a true equivalent on Imperial side either - Imperial Agent is probably the closest, but they still get to live a considerably more independent life due to the nature of their assignments.

5 comments :

  1. I can't wait to try a Trooper. It was Jennifer Hale and the Trooper gameplay that pulled me in during the beta. My other beta character was a Jedi Consular, and to say I was underwhelmed is putting it lightly.

    I did roll a Republic character on Juyo, but despite my life for my IA on the Empire side, the Gunslinger doesn't quite click yet. Or maybe it's because Dromund Kaas >>> Coruscant in terms of questing!

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  2. Carb here - I loved act 1, act 2 was pretty meh but act 3 picked it right back up all the way until the final encounter that just whimpered. Also I heard so many people asking for help on their class content but not once did I feel challenged I was over level most of the time but at the end when I hit 50 I ripped through the last planet with no hear upgrades easily. I just started a female tank trooper but with legacy system now out I think i need to get to work on a Jedi of some kind

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    1. I didn't feel that the trooper class quests were particularly challenging, with one exception on Ord Mantell before you get your first companion. I think that unlike with the Imperial Agent for example, Bioware couldn't make an encounter hard by requiring interrupts, because if you're a Commando you don't have any. I didn't really mind though.

      I quite liked the finale of Act III, especially the split assault on the Bastion. I picked the path that was described to me as most difficult, and facing off against giant droids and getting them blown up was certainly cool.

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  3. I'm with you on the whole issue of coming to a questing halt when reaching the level cap. The new options opening up can certainly become quite overwhelming. At some point, however, the desire to finish all available quests gets rekindled.

    The Trooper is my favourite Republic class so far, though I haven't tested the Smuggler yet. Granted, my Trooper hasn't finished Act I and is still in her twenties, but it was the first Republic class that really "clicked" with me.

    Kadomi is so right, I could almost cry. I wanted to play a Jedi Consular more than anything, it was the very first character I created and it is my biggest disappointment that I find him (for lack of a better word) boring. Maybe it also has something to do with the male voice actor ... I'm not sure. Currently, my Jedi Consular is working as a banker and selling items on the GTN. I don't think I'll be playing him again any time soon. /cry

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    1. I don't know if the male consular has the same issue, but the female JC voice acting strikes me as slightly odd in so far as some of the options you get to choose from end up sounding like night and day, not just in terms of word choice but in terms of intonation as well. So if you try to mix your dialogue choices up a bit instead of just going 1-1-1 for example, you can end up sounding kind of bipolar: utterly serene one moment, and rudely raging the next.

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