Continuing to shock myself by following through on my plans, I have now completed my third class story in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
An inconsistent journey:
The inquisitor story has probably the strongest start of any class story in The Old Republic. Beginning as a slave and having to fight tooth and nail to survive in the harsh world of the Sith is an incredibly compelling underdog story. It gives you such a strong motivation and such a strong backstory for your character right off the bat.
I’ve heard it said that the inquisitor is the dark side class of all dark side classes, but honestly, going light side felt more natural to me as an inquisitor than any other Imperial class. To me, the idea of someone who has seen the worst the Empire has to offer and is determined to make it better is very compelling, and it felt perfectly natural to me.
Despite that, though, it still manages to feel incredibly Sithy as a story. I particularly liked the whole “harvesting the dead” angle.
It’s a decently entertaining class, too. A bit slow to kill sometimes, as you’d expect from a tank, but the core rotation was pretty fun.
Unfortunately the story as a whole doesn’t really live up to its fantastic start. The inquisitor story crashes hard in chapter three, maybe even worse than the consular story did. Most of chapter three boils down to, “You’re a stupid idiot who bit off more than they could chew.” Not a thrilling climax.
Darth Thanaton is also a very underwhelming villain, lacking personality, a strong motivation, or any real intimidation factor.
By comparison, I wanted to murder Harkun from the moment I met him. He would have made a fantastic villain for the entire storyline. But instead he falls by the wayside, and I didn’t even get to fight him.
All of the class stories suffer from Bioware having to scrap their plans to continue them post launch, but the inquisitor doubly so. The entire class story is clearly just a prelude to a story that will now never be written. It’s not a complete story at all; just a beginning.
Companions were also a disappointment for this class. Granted, there were none that I hated as much as Kaliyo or Tharan, but also none that I found particularly memorable.
Ashara was the biggest disappointment. I really like the idea of turning a Jedi, but the way it was handled was incredibly rushed and just didn’t make a lot of sense, and throughout the whole story her personality is utterly lacking in consistency. “I HATE YOU AND EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR YOU EVIL SITH, which is why I’ll continue to faithfully serve you of my own free will, my lord.”
Andronikos (or “Andy” as I like to call him) is far more likable than a trigger-happy pirate has any right to be, but in the greater scheme of Bioware characters, he’s still not especially memorable.
Talos, at least, had his moments. I just picture him and my Sith discussing ancient history whilst sipping tea and wearing monocles.
He’s still no Nadia, Vette, Temple, or Lokin, though.
Lacking any characters to be invested in definitely sucked a fair bit of the fun out of the story. Wasn’t really anything to fight for. It’s a shame because there are several characters throughout the story I’d have really liked to have as companions: Zash (yeah, I know, but properly), Zash’s apprentices, or my cultists.
I’m still kind of bitter all that flirting with Rylee never went anywhere.
Hell, I’d have taken one of those crazy Force ghosts over Xalek.
Skipping to the good parts:
With the inquisitor, I also began enacting my plan to focus more and more on the class story to the exclusion of everything else. I skipped nearly all the planetary storylines, bar the first few planets, Quesh, and Taris. I managed to stay on-level for everything, though only by the barest skin of my teeth.
I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the planetary content in SW:TOR just isn’t that good. It isn’t that bad, either, and it’s worth playing through once to get an idea of what’s happening on any given planet, but rarely are the stories compelling enough to be worth a repeat.
The only one that really stands out to me is Imperial Taris, mainly just because Thana is so entertaining. I don’t think I’ll skip Taris too often.
There are a few others that are okay. Corellia has great environment design, being very convincing as both a city and a warzone. Voss has its moments, though it drags on too long. Dromund Kaas is pretty cool; great ambiance. Nar Shadaa is visually interesting, though a bit of a pain to navigate.
Then again there are also several planets on my “if I never see them again it will be too soon” list: Balmorra, Tatooine, Coruscant.
I also haven’t been doing many dungeons on my alts. SW:TOR’s dungeons just have way, way too much trash.
I’m a little unsure how I proceed from here. I still want to do more class stories at some point, but I am starting to feel a little burnt out.
I also should start on expansion content on my agent at some point, but I’m not sure if that’s enough of a change of pace to cure my burnout or not.
We shall see.