09/04/2012

Jedi Consular Story Thoughts

I have a second level 50 character! And this time I was good and made sure to finish my class quest soon after, so that I'd be able to talk about it. (Though I do have to admit that immediately after dinging, I did run off to the station to train instead of continuing to work on saving my padawan from mortal peril. Ahem.)

On a side note, it's interesting that my consular ended up being my second character to 50, and not my Imperial Agent, who was the first alt that I rolled. I think it's because I haven't been playing my Imperial alts much at all lately, and there are two reasons for this: Firstly, while there has been talk among the officers about creating a sister guild on Empire side, it hasn't actually happened yet, and it's just a lot more fun to log in to familiar names on Republic side instead of a sea of strangers on Imperial side. Secondly... I think the PvP has got to me. It's completely irrational because I'm sure that Imperial players are no less friendly among each other than Republic players, but something about the thought of playing among The Enemy, the same people who dominate me in PvP day after day, has simply become very unappealing now (though the encounter with Issy the other day has alleviated some of that).

Anyway, I digress. Let's talk about being a consular. As usual, there'll be some minor spoilers, but I'll keep them vague.

Looking around the forums, many people seem to consider the Jedi consular story boring, though you'll also find some that absolutely loved it. I think the heart of the matter is that it was written to appeal to a very specific kind of taste, one that is probably in the minority. I suspect that for a lot of players there isn't such as thing as being "too badass" and the more they get to kick butt and take names, the better. The Jedi consular story is a calmer and more quiet experience about being a healer and a diplomat however, and I can completely understand why some people might consider that boring. While you do get to swing your lightsaber aplenty, the core of most missions pretty much comes down to talking.

Personally, this suited me perfectly. I mean, both of the characters I've levelled to 50 so far have been healers from the get-go. I love healing and helping people, so a class story centred around that naturally appealed to me too. On my trooper there was one mission where you run into a heavily wounded man, and I was really annoyed when I found out that my boyfriend got to save him because he had Elara with him (the healer companion) but I didn't get the option even though I was a combat medic myself. Healing people is just not what the trooper archetype is all about, so it doesn't come up in conversation. For Jedi consulars it's the opposite, and in Act I in particular you'll get to do a lot of healing, even if you are a Shadow and technically don't have any healing abilities (though this is explained within the story). I do think you get the option to just kill people if you're going dark side, but even then it's a matter of getting rid of the sick before their illness can spread and harm others.

I suppose saying that Act I was a bit repetitive in its structure would be a valid criticism, but from what I've seen so far all the class stories seem to have a bit of that going on in their first Act. I didn't really mind because I was happy to rescue someone new on each planet. Act 2 and 3 sort of blended into one for me and I didn't actually notice where the "break" was supposed to be, which I guess is a good thing in terms of storytelling? I'm not sure. It was an engaging story though.

My companions were an extremely random bunch of people, though I suppose this too fits the theme of being a diplomat and bringing individuals from different backgrounds together to work as a team. What surprised me was that in addition to my actual companions, I also amassed a sizeable entourage of additional NPCs that were supposed to be staying on my ship as I gathered allies for the Republic across the galaxy. To be honest it became a little ridiculous after a while... where do they all live? My ship's not that big. And does the president of Balmorra really have nothing else to do than have a holographic transmission of himself follow me around everywhere? I do have to admit though that seeing them all gathered up with me at the end was pretty sweet.

Another thing that I really came to appreciate while levelling this second character is how Bioware made all the different class stories fit together. My first companion for example mentioned during a conversation that he knows the bounty hunter's first companion. The companion I picked up on Balmorra talks about how his first resistance cell was betrayed from within... which is something that you get to play out during the Imperial Agent story! On Balmorra you also get to face off against the Darth that serves as the Imperial governor of the planet - who is the same person you work for as an Imperial player on lower-level Balmorra. I loved all those little moments that made me go "aha!", and I imagine that it will only get better as I play my way through additional class stories and become able to recognise more of the connections.

A final note on the ending: I thought that the big reveal was a bit predictable, but the build-up to the final confrontation was nonetheless very powerful. I actually yelled "nooo" at my screen when a certain character died at the end. And when you get to have a bit of a speech afterwards as you get lauded by the Supreme Chancellor, the whole thing felt so "Star Warsy" to me, I half-expected to hear the main theme and watch movie credits rolling after it ended. Very satisfying.

The only factor that detracted ever so slightly from my experience of the ending was a minor bug. After I had completed my class quest, I got one of those follow-up letters in the mail - but it was the wrong one, talking about how the guy that died was still alive. This actually made me feel kind of bad, because I had tried to save him, but figured that his death was just unavoidable. Now that I know that it's possible to save him, I can't help but wonder where I went wrong.

3 comments:

  1. I've been slacking off on my Consulars. I was initially really engaged with their stories, but then, felt like my Master went MIA, at which point I got caught up in other alts. I'm looking forward to seeing the final chapter, after reading your post...
    :)

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  2. It's funny, and entirely by coincidence - I just finished the Consular, after having first done an Agent. Makes this particular blog entry quite satisfying to read!

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  3. I've been debating whether or not to try out a consular. Leveled a sniper to 50, and a jugg to 40, and currently working on getting my inquisitor off of Korriban, lol. I might play one up to 20 just to see if I like it at all, but previously I couldn't even make it off of Tython. :/
    I guess I could always give it a try though! And great post by the way. :D Thanks!

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