Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Sith are the good guys, and why swtor will have incredible roleplaying opportunities

An alternative title could be: How Bioware can completely and utterly fuck up everything that could make this game so great.

- "This game" Being Star wars the old republic, or swtor amongst friends.

What is it then, that I am talking about? It is, of course, the filosophy behind the -so called- dark side. And why The Jedi order are the bane of everything good in the universe.

Confused? well you should be... Possibly.

Allow me to start by explaining why I think that Dark side of the Force is really the good guys. And why I very much fear that Bioware may just not "get it", and if they do not, how I just may be forced to play the bad guys... The Jedi, that is.

Allright, now i'm confusing myself. Let's talk about why and how the Sith are the cure to the disease known as Jedi.

"If you seek to aid everyone that suffers in the galaxy, you will only weaken yourself … and weaken them. It is the internal struggles, when fought and won on their own, that yield the strongest rewards… If you care for others, then dispense with pity and sacrifice and recognize the value in letting them fight their own battles."

The dark side, ensures that the old saying of: 'give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, teach him *how* to fish, and he can eat every day' - holds true in the universe. Where the Jedi constantly craves and ensures that all beings in the universe become dependant on them, the Sith ensures that all they meet in the worlds become strong enough to fend for themselves.

Where the Jedi teach their students to fear emotions and never be swayed by personal feelings - to be cold and distant to the world, the Sith teaches us to use our emotions to control the Force to our means. The Jedi think that the force is a all knowing all seeing justifier and all mighty ruler of the galaxy. We know that the force is merely a tool to be used to our means.
They fear power, because they are the only ones who want to have any power. We embrace the search for power, because we want everyone to have their own power. To fuel that power with emotions, makes sure that the power you have are used for good. Fighting for the ones you love, or against those you hate will always ensure that you are on the right path.
The only ones the pesky Jedi scum fight, are those that would challenge the power they crave for themselves.

Why would you cheer for the Jedi slime? Why would you fall for their rotten gifts of day old fish? Join the dark side, We will teach you to fish for yourself and not be the lap-dogs of self-righteous-holier-than-thou-asshats!

Is there really any choice? Is it no obvious which path is the right one to follow?

Why I fear that Bioware will screw up on making this game great.
If it was not obvious to everyone at the end of the above, then that was my attempt to show how and why the dark side (if done right), could have a moral high-ground. Or at the very least *FEEL* that they have one, against the Jedi.
That would make the conflict, not so much be about good versus bad, but a philosophical one of using the force or being used by the force. Where the Jedi pray that the force is with them, and try and listen to what the force have to tell them, the Sith could be the ones who bends the force to follow them.
That would make for an interesting game-conflict.
Unfortunetely for my hopes, you really have to read a LOT of stuff into the previous Old Republic game(s), in order to see this interpritation of the force.
Instead you see the boring old
I am a bad guy, so I will betray everyone, even if it has no meaning whatso'ever in my attempts to reach my goals, i'm the bad guy, so i will do bad things.
I am the janitor/cleaning lady/grunt/general/lawyer/warrior of the Sith and I will spit on you and be an complete asshole in every way, because I am bad and you are good... or you may be bad, but I don't care!!

Every single Sith you meet in those games (i've only played through the first one again recently... so if anyone remembers otherwise please enlighten me), are cartoon villain evul. Everyone.
How can you build up a society that rivals the Empire, with that attitude from everyone? Betrayal, just for the sake of it? scheming and plotting against everyone.
Imagine the builders of one of the space-ships in that universe: He will install faults in the main-line, that will cause the ship to explode on the first attempt at lightspeed. He will then go home, and have dinner, but be poisoned by his wife since her plot was to get impregnated by a distant cousin to darth malaaalalala and then inherent his worksman pension.

They wouldn't get anything done. It is stupid and silly to assume that they all act like this, yet, in former bioware games, this is how the Sith work. Just like the Dark choices your character has to make: Burn an orphin or kick a puppy or go do your mission. You have to go out of your way and be evil in order to get dark side points. There is NO allure of the dark side, there is no point in getting dark side points, other than wanting to roleplay a baddie.

If this is the path the chose to go down in swtor, then I just might have to end up rolling a Jedi, since all of a sudden those emotional-blackmailing good for nothing force-worshippers, might be my only hope at playing a normal guy.


  1. wow..
    ok, well, no way I am playing a crummy jedi *good* character, so I shall hope with you that I don't have to kick puppies and poison my husband in order to make the galaxy a place of right and good :P

  2. It is only because Bioware are frikking treehugging pansies that act as the willing puppets of the Jedi!

    Hopefully right will shine through

  3. I just hope there's a faction change option, because I so wan't to play an "awakening" (I would call it fall, but that's Jedi terminology)

  4. I think both factions are trouble. Long live the self-sufficient smuggler, sticking it to The Man. ;)

  5. Remember, if you join the -socalled- dark side, you get cookies!

  6. This IS bioware we're talking about here. If they can't do morally dubious, no-one can. No I'm confident they'll get it right in a major way, it's the players who are going to fuck it all up.

  7. You, clearly, do not remember Knights of the Old Republic very well. Every sith-friendly you meet in game, could just as well have had a big mustache to twirl.

  8. Maybe so, but that was years ago and you clearly don't remember Mass Effect 1 and 2. ;)

  9. Well, the bad guys in that game, where villains in the very truest sense of the word. There wheren't an actual conflict of two good groups fighting. You are most definitely right, that your character got into a lot of moral grey areas, but they have yet to portrait two opposing good sides if you ask me.

  10. That's kinda my point though. ME1 and 2 were single player games, and "your character", who was on the "good" side, got into all sorts of moral grey areas. In SWTOR, your character has as much chance of being a "good" guy as a "bad" guy, and I highly doubt Bioware decided to only give the interesting levelling quests to the Republic players.

    No, if anyone fucks this up it's going to be the cretins playing DarthArthas213.

  11. Two points: moral grey areas do exist in KOTOR (they abound in K2SL, they just don't serve any but a sophist viewpoint...) in at least two commentaries:

    1. The Greedo alien who runs the supply shop on Tatooine. He talks about how 'nothing ever changes and mixing things up might be a good idea', particularly as 'nothing ever changes' (people will still need to buy things that can only be sourced as long as someone has the cash to pay for them). The error of which assumption is that a Sith (or Mando Pirate or Tusken Raider) who took everything would necessarily care whether you could continue to serve the community. And reduces morality to the level of which trader you can afford to knock off vs. which are critical to the game.

    2. When dealing with the Star Map on Kashyyyk, there are a series of Situational Ethics 101 scenarios that have to be played through 'as though' you were a Sith. When in reality, there is nothing to say that 'good or evil' these questions wouldn't face everyone who was put in such a position. i.e. They are questions of empowerment to choose. Not of whether the choices themselves are wrong. And the player is never given those choices. Instead being forced to play through the insipid, vapid, juvenile 'side quests' of the angsty NPCs.

    The ultimate problem here is one of instigation. If you set up the circumstances by which a war happens and -then- 'profit' (whoohoo, a chance to bang some heads together!) from the resulting chaos to empower yourself; it doesn't matter whether you acted for the betterment of the few or the many among the entropically trapped.

    Rather, only the fact that you exploited a situation which -created- violence that gave you the excuse to fight to take money and XP from your dead enemies.

    Since you cannot die in any real sense and cannot avoid those whose (scripted paths) you are forced to encounter, this is not 'teaching strength', it is victimizing weakness.

    No matter which side you are on, the Star Wars RPGs essentially are about enjoying the power to do what ordinary society forbids.

    And one would think that that would be something a _precognitive_ Jedi/Sith would seek to avoid as it's own justification. Or risk.

  12. You have a somewhat accurate depiction of the sith... Except for the whole "hate the jedi" bullcrap. Obviously you overlooked the quote. "What fuels your power but your passion? The stronger, darker emotions... anger, hatred, love and fear... these passions empower us."

    It's not about fueling your hatred and channeling rage on the Jedi. It's about using your feelings to make your own decisions. If you try to think about what is right. Then it's an obvious decision.

    If you actually read into the sith teachings, then you will know and understand that the sith do not hate the Jedi. The Sith just see the Jedi as an obstacle that must be overcome. The sith are indeed capable of love and relationships. They are commonly seen as the over-emotional gothic kid in high school that's sitting in the corner sulking and cutting himself, but that's not the story at all for actual sith. It's entirely possible for a Jedi and a Sith to be friends. The conflict comes when the Sith feels the need to harm someone/something that has commited no crime (be it for reasons unknown like judgement is clouded by emotion). It's the Jedi's duty to intervene and protect that which can't defend itself. If you think that's stupid then by all means. Join the sith and go kill puppies and skulk in the corner cutting yourself. As for myself, I don't hate on the sith, but if you mess with me, my family or innocent bystanders then we will not be friends. If u keep ur cool and mind your own business then we can be friends.