Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SWTOR: Romancing a Jedi

The end of Doc's proposal.

Nadia, my Jedi Knight, received her first Dark Side points last night. She made it all the way to 45 without a single incident. 

I didn’t have her kill someone or take the easy way out of a situation.

I let her marry Doc. 

When I first learned about the romance aspect of SWTOR, I was intrigued. I’m a major fan of The Sims games and all of the fun relationship angles those games permit. I hadn’t tried SWTOR-style love out on any of my characters until now. Nadia was the first who gained a companion where that was an option. I wasn’t sure if I wanted her to romance Doc because of the Dark Side point factor. When I created Nadia, I didn’t picture her as the straight and narrow Jedi. I wanted her to have a bit of an edge.

Instead of working on Voss, I decided to raise the relationships with my companions. That unlocked some quests, giving me about a fourth a level. Not bad at all, really. I gave gifts to my companions, mainly Doc and made several trips to the ship for conversations. It’d be really helpful if BioWare did something so that the conversations with companions would work in cantinas. It’d save on time. 

During my conversations with Doc, I had several opportunities to take the romance path but I didn’t. I wonder if the outcome would have been the same if I’d gone with the “let’s have some commitment free fun” instead of dragging out several conversations and raising his affection level. 

Finally, Doc proposed. Good timing too, as I was on my last Courting and Luxury gifts (items he prefers). I debated it for a couple minutes before agreeing to it. The funny thing was while Nadia had flirted, they had yet to kiss.

First kiss
What happened next surprised me: BioWare actually showed the ceremony. When my husband’s Sith Warrior married Vette, all he saw was a black screen for a moment and that was it. I figured the same thing would happen with all the other characters, which may have contributed to the lack of push to explore the romance angle. Not with Doc and Nadia. A gold droid appeared (looked like C2) to lead the ceremony, “I do” were said and vows declared. How awesome is that? 

In addition, Doc’s proposal was probably one of the most entertaining ones I’ve ever heard. I wish I’d known it was going to happen. I would have made a video of it. 

Now that my Jedi’s taken the forbidden path, I’m glad I followed that story option through. The Dark Side points are somewhat annoying, but she is a Knight of the old Order. Love is a big no (even though someone important is breaking that rule). I can live with the 50 points and subsequent others for the sake of the romance. I’m curious as to how it will play out later in the game. Will the other companions aboard the ship notice something? Is Kira going to tell the Jedi Council? I hope some type of conflict occurs. Nothing soap opera-like, of course, but an interesting twist. For example, given Kira’s past with the Sith Emperor, she owes the Jedi Knight character quite a bit. Is that enough to keep her quiet? I can't see anything happening, but the possibilities are fun to ponder.

Showing the actual ceremony gave the game something extra. It made the characters seem a little more interesting. The companions sometimes go off on missions of their own. All players see is a black screen for a second, 99 percent of the time. There was one with Kira that involved actually traveling to Nar Shaddaa. Being able to see what was going on between Nadia and Doc made a huge difference in play. 

This development easily makes the list of my favorite moments in the game so far. I can’t see it being knocked off, either.

Most importantly, it put romance into the TOR story. I’ve discussed before about how importance romance is to a story. Arguably, the most important characteristic of SWTOR is that it feels like Star Wars. It feels like it during battles or missions, but adding romance completes the package. It wasn’t enough to allow players to select a romantic interaction. Actually seeing it made the story more concrete. How many times have readers complained about a major romantic moment happening off-camera? (Example: Jaina and Jag’s reunion in Vortex)

A quick YouTube search revealed that other classes show a ceremony also, like the Smugglers and Imperial Agents. I’m glad to see that BioWare included these weddings in the game.

Now if only we could see those strange Twi’lek wedding rituals Vette spoke about…

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