BakaMatt made a comment on a previous blog entry asking me to explain a bit further what I would want to see for the Sith Warrior class. I know that I’ve been fairly negative with the way the class has been described. This stems from me originally most looking forward to playing that class, but now it looks like the kind of character, the kind of story, I would want from it won’t be possible.
So what is it then that I am looking for?
Put shortly what I want to play is basically “a Jedi on the Empire side”. A Force user who uses the Light Side of the Force, likely follows as close to the Jedi teachings as one might without the centuries of Jedi indoctrination, but who still fights for the Empire.
This, I feel, is what BioWare has been promising when they said that you will be able to play a Sith (Force user) and that you will be able to be Light Side. But with them now describing the class as learning to use the Dark Side, with the class using hate and anger to fuel their powers, and with even their ‘good’ choices seeming no more than “the lesser evil” (saving the captain not because saving a life is good, but because it’s tactically advantageous) it doesn’t sound like that will be possible anymore.
Some confusion comes, perhaps, from the question of what is a “Sith” and what is a “Jedi”. A lot of people seem to hold the view that “a Jedi is a Light Side Force user and a Sith is a Dark Side Force user”. But that, to me, seems to be ignoring the question of faction.
In Star Wars: The Old Republic one plays either on the Republic side or on the Empire side. Which side you play on restricts your choice of class (Republic only has Jedi and Empire only has Sith). So what, then, do you call a Dark Side Force user on the Republic side? It seems to me that in the past these have always been called “Sith” (hence the confusion), but only because there was no Sith Empire, just the Republic. And these Dark Side Force users were just calling themselves “Sith” in an attempt to seem more like the Dark Side Force users from the Sith Empire (and to set themselves apart from the Jedi). I think Kreia actually makes a remark along those lines in KotOR 2.
But technically I think a Dark Side Force user on the Republic side should be called a “Dark Jedi” and, similarly, a Light Side Force user on the Empire side should be called a “Light Sith”. The latter is what I was looking forward to playing; one who might perhaps be called a “Jedi” by all those on the Empire side, but who would still have the Sith class and still fight for the Empire.
So why not just play a Jedi then? Well, and let me be clear, I’m not looking for a defector. I’m not interested in a character that leaves the Empire and starts fighting for the Republic suddenly. After all, such a character would likely have a lot of friends and family and such in the Empire that they wouldn’t want to abandon. Instead such a character would try and work from within, do good things, keep a good philosophy, etc. Perhaps even try to defeat the Emperor to get rid of what’s hurting the Empire the most. And statements from BioWare that you can play just that now seem to sound more like it being for selfish reasons instead.
The appeal of such a “Light Sith” character lies in the fact that you’re playing a good character in a difficult situation where everyone expects you to be evil. Playing a Jedi is less interesting to me because Jedi are expected to be good. I don’t like playing that which everyone expects me to be. I like the added depth and complexities that come with the struggle to be good in a situation where evil is all around you, trying to lure you down. The Sith Academy in KotOR was for me the most enjoyable part as there I was good, trying to survive (and remain good) in an evil environment. But it seems that BioWare is going with a very dull “Republic good, Empire bad” and alignment choices being nothing more than being a little more or less so.
Perhaps BioWare will offer that yet; the Sith Warrior class actually looks like a lot of fun to play (such melee classes are right up my alley). But if so, how hard is it for them to state that they’re only thus if they choose to be (they sure added it for the Bounty Hunters that they could be more independent)? With the descriptions they’ve given I fully expect the Sith Warriors point building to be called a “rage bar” (and Light Side users wouldn’t use “rage” at all) and not given a choice in whether to take Dark Side abilities (sure, there might be a few abilities if you make a lot of “good” choices, but does everyone get Force Choke or only those of evil alignment?).
We will see, but so far I’m very disappointed in how one-dimensional they’ve painted the Sith Warrior; as nothing but evil. Boring. And every time that they describe the class as evil without also adding that you have the choice to be truly good my heart sinks a little further.
I hope that makes sense and is understandable.