Look Ma! I’m using the Force!!! Even better, I’m getting a story.

It’s tough work being a Padawan, what with all the saving the downtrodden, uncovering plots and kissing my Masters lightsaber. But that’s a small price to pay for being able to force leap 30 yards into a group of baddies and putting them down in seconds with groovy force abilities and my own trusty lightsaber.

Like any good massive mulitplayer online (MMO) game, the character classes of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) all have their roles in the game and each requires a different style of play. That’s not so impressive. What is impressive is the story at the core of SWTOR and how each class experiences it.

Playing as a Smuggler the past month or so (see my previous post) I’ve caught wind of the challenges facing the Republic. I’ve helped them out here and there but I’ve got my own life to live. Fortunes to be made. Women to be wooed. But I’m playing a Jedi now and OH MY GOD are we in trouble!

And thus the true brilliance of SWTOR is revealed. Every MMO has a story but where World of Warcraft’s story seemed pretty secondary to the game, the Star Wars story is core. And, more importantly (or deviously) the only way to get the whole story is to play every character class.

Through a Smuggler’s eyes, the Empire is a pain in the thrusters mucking up deals, holding prisoners that have information I need, things like that. I can see they’re bad and have an agenda but it’s really not my problem.

Through a Jedi’s eyes, the Empire is a threat to peace like no other. They are out to crush the galaxy and the only thing with a hope of stopping them is the Jedi Order and a seemingly ineffectual, and possibly corrupt, Galactic Senate.

There are a total of eight classes in SWTOR—Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler and Trooper for the Republic and the Empire has the Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter, and Imperial Agent. The way this game is built, it seems you need to play every class to get the full story. And of course you have to play both the light and dark sides because there’s always two sides to every story. Brilliant.

In my last post I closed by saying, “be smart and tell good stories and people will love you.” I’m adding, “and stick with you for a long, long time and give you lots of money.”

May the Force be with you.

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