04/09/2012

Jedi Knight of the Old Republic


For once, a ding shot that's not on Corellia, as my Jedi knight was my first character to finish her class story before hitting the level cap. As a result I decided to grab a few more warzones in the levelling bracket before she became my fourth character at max level. Unfortunately this made the actual dinging experience rather bitter, as I then ended up losing multiple matches against the same low-level premade from an Imperial PvP guild. Even if my team fought back tooth and nail, we simply didn't stand a chance against their coordination and it wasn't a lot of fun. Still... yay fifty!

First, a word on knight gameplay. As a general rule of thumb, I suck at playing melee, and I have great respect for people who are good at it. While I didn't keep track, I believe that I died many, many more times on my Jedi Guardian than I did on any of my other characters while levelling. The lack of healing abilities and crowd control became painfully apparent very quickly, and meant that content that had been a breeze on previous characters suddenly became an unsurpassable obstacle for this Jedi. Mind you, part of it simply may have been lack of skill on my end, and the fact that the levelling path I chose this time around saw me underlevelled for my class quests more often than it saw me overlevelled. But still... I'll never forget the random gold mini boss (not even a proper boss!) I faced towards the end of Act I who sent me back to the medcentre over and over again. (I sort of brought it up tangentially in this post.) When I struggled against the Imperial agent's Act I boss, I felt that this was because the fight was hard. On my knight, I just spent a lot of time feeling woefully inadequate.

Nonetheless, levelling a Jedi Guardian was fun. Force Leap is possibly the most fun ability I've ever encountered in any game, and combat generally felt very visceral and exciting. It seemed like everything but my default wiffle bat attack had a cooldown or depended on a proc, so even comparatively simple PvE fights had a certain crazy whack a mole quality to them. I don't think it's a playstyle that I'd want to spend most of my time on as it's a bit manic for my taste, but as an occasional distraction it was okay. Towards the end of my levelling experience I felt a bit like I was truly fighting like the Jedi in the cinematics, cutting down an opponent here, kicking the next enemy in line in the face to prevent him from hurting me with a heavy-hitting attack, and then immediately descending on yet another foe.

As far as the knight's story goes, I enjoyed it, but possibly less so than previous classes that I've played. It was just too much of a rollercoaster for my taste: one moment I'd be completely and utterly captivated by events, the next I'd be rolling my eyes at what felt like a tired old cliché to me.

I've seen people refer to the Jedi knight story as KOTOR 3, and while I haven't played any of the previous KOTOR games, I could easily see where that idea comes from. While levelling other classes, I never felt like their missions were more or less important than those of other classes, but the knight story gives off strong vibes that it's meant to be the main event (on Republic side at least). Superweapons and conspiracies seem like small change compared to what you come up against as a knight as your story progresses. In fact, it's hard not to go: "How come none of the other classes have even heard about these events?!" It's both cool and weird at the same time.

The one thing that I can definitely point out as a positive in the knight story is that I can easily see it working for a light side or a dark side path, leading to stories that are different but still make sense. (Unlike, say, the consular, where I've been told that playing dark side frequently left people feeling awkward and like the NPCs reactions didn't actually fit their character's actions.)

Another thing that made the Jedi knight story a bit less enjoyable to me than other class stories I've played so far is that I didn't really connect to any of my companions that well. I liked T7, but playing with a ranged tank companion was just a major pain in the butt, and I didn't have the option of changing to a playstyle that had better synergy with him, so I dumped him for a healer as soon as I got the chance. Kira felt to me like she was trying too hard to be spunky sometimes, always hovering on the edge of becoming annoying. Sergeant Rusk came across as a good man, but too gruff by half to make for pleasant company.

Doc became my permanent companion as soon as I acquired him, as anything but a healer by my side left me feeling hopelessly squishy and vulnerable. Fortunately we also got along in terms of personality and I gained a lot of affection from his approval of my conversation choices. I even romanced him, as it was hard to ignore his constant flirtations... but he wasn't really my kind of guy. I have to admit I cracked up when I actually gained affection with him from rejecting his marriage proposal.

The one character I could have seen myself connecting to a little bit was Lord Scourge, as I knew him to be a fascinating character beforehand, but you don't get him until very late in the game, and I knew that he'd just disagree with me all the time if I took him anywhere. And of course you can't romance him and his sexy voice either. /sigh.

Most of the recurring story NPCs didn't really engage me all that much either. My master had a very hands off approach to teaching, and I never really connected to him. The general I worked with repeatedly just came off as a bit incompetent, constantly losing vital information and resources. And Master Satele may be a cool character, but she gives missions to everyone, so talking to her hardly felt that special.

Still, I'm moaning too much. It was a fun ride regardless; a lot of it just didn't exactly match my personal taste. As I stated in previous posts, I'm quite happy to play a character who is slightly less important and just quietly doing her duty, so the bravado of the knight's story, being the one chosen to save the entire galaxy and so on, wasn't exactly my cup of tea.

7 comments :

  1. I am currrently leveling a Sith Maruader and I feel your pain on the melee, I also suck at it. Except that I don't have many issues with PVE its the PvP that gets me. I'm constantly having to run around after the person I am beating on, screaming at my screen "Just stand there and take your beating!!" very frustrating. But I do love leaping out and putting a whooping on mobs and the occasional PvPer that I catch unawares.

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    1. Oh definitely, PvP is even worse. I always imagine that my opponents are laughing at my clumsy attempts to chase them.

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  2. Heh. Since I started playing MMOs as melee (Paladin), I guess I don't have the same sort of view on melee combat. Of course, trying to level via quests out in a PvP server as Holy Spec wasn't exactly the smartest thing I've ever done, either. That probably is why I tend to take things nice and slow when I can.

    I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of the class quests, but the Gunslinger still has my attention.

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  3. I am a ranged classes girl. I love my Imperial Agents to tiny-itty-bitty pieces. Nevertheless, I am currently leveling a Sith Juggernaut, and let me tell you.... once I got my healer (Quinn, yummm!) I turned into an unstoppable carnage-machine. *wheeeeeee*

    I am surprised that I like the playstyle, I find it quite intuitive (which might say more about the setup of my mind than the playstyle itself...). And yes, the leap is one of the things which make me love this character so much. Which is why I started a Knight yesterday, because I like to level the mirror-classes side-by-side.

    She just started Coruscant, and until now her story didn't particularly grab me. (With my Juggernaut I had lots of fun sassing my master. And shocking Vette. And make idiots believe I want to eat them...).

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    1. I have to confess that I like the Sith warrior jump a lot less than the Jedi version. I can't say why exactly, I just know that the Jedi leap animation feels a lot more "right" to me.

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