It may be massively multiplayer, but Star Wars: The Old Republic is still a BioWare game, and that means dialogue trees. Let me share with you the rules I’ve set in place to make sure my Smuggler character is every bit the scoundrel I want him to be.
Call it role-playing light. I’ve spent my fair share of the past week chatting and joking around with the rest of the players in the early start program for The Old Republic, making “arrow in the knee” comments with the rest of them, but in my own private single-player game I’m playing my smuggler character Fahey according to a strict set of guidelines.
Why? I like to think these rules make my character into something more than a simple extension of myself (yeah, great name choice then, right?). He’s doing things I wouldn’t normally do, and he doesn’t feel bad about any of it, even if I do.
Rule 1: Succumb to the Dark Side
Just because I’m on the Republic side of the intergalactic struggle doesn’t mean I have to be nice about it. In Star Wars: The Old Republic players are constantly faced with decisions that award either Light Side or Dark Side points, with special rewards available for purchase for those especially virtuous or diabolical. As you can see in the image above, I’ve been a bit of a dick, often making incredibly uncharacteristic choices in order to make sure every decision I make puts me on the dark path.
Luckily for me there’s an option to turn of the Sith corruption effects in the game’s options, preserving my blue-eyed innocent biker with a heart of gold look.
Rule 2: When All Else Fails, Be an Asshole
Not every decision drives you closer to ultimate evil or goodness. Sometimes you’re just given a series of responses that won’t have any effect on a quest’s outcome whatsoever. In these cases I pledged to choose whichever response seemed like it would generate the most negative response. From sarcasm to pure, unhindered spite, Captain Fahey can be counted on to never give you a straight answer, at least without calling you names.
Rule 3: Flirting is Your Friend
During certain interactions (generally with characters of the opposite sex) one of the three dialog tree choices will be followed with the word “Flirt” in parenthesis. This causes my character to drop in a saucy one-liner or generally be far more complimentary than he normally would be. It’s purely optional.
Except in my case.
He may be an evil bastard, but Captain Fahey has a soft spot for the ladies, at least until he kills them for double crossing him. In 21 levels choosing the flirt option has failed to get him laid, but he has high hopes. I could care less, of course, but he could definitely use a little something-something to take the edge off.
On one of my other characters, a Jedi Consular, I never chose the flirt option, as it is against Jedi traditions to make with the sexing. He never chooses the evil outcome, even if it makes sense, and he’s always calm and courteous in whatever situation may arise. He’s completely insufferable, but that’s OK. I don’t have to like them; I just have to play them, and when I do I play by my own rules.