SWTOR: Smugglin’ Ain’t Easy

I continue my march toward legendary status in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’ve now completed the smuggler story.

My smuggler in Star Wars: The Old RepublicThe heist:

On paper, the smuggler was the class that least appealed to me, and in a sense, I was right. It is pretty much a collection of all the sorts of tropes I normally don’t like — over the top lovable rogues, selfish criminals as protagonists, and so forth.

It’s just that the story is told with so much wit and charm that it won me over anyway.

Of all the class stories I’ve played to date — which is nearly all of them now — the smuggler puts by far the most emphasis on humour. Others have had occasional moments of levity — the warrior story especially — but the smuggler story is pure comedy. Which is probably a good thing, because otherwise the story of a selfish idiot somehow stumbling into conquering the galactic underworld and saving the Republic would be a pretty hard to swallow.

I do credit a lot of the story’s success to the voice actress who plays the female smuggler. The entire story is pretty much just her putting on a master class in snark and smugness, and it’s just delightful.

I was also once again amused by the maturity of the content in the smuggler story — even if some of it is a pretty immature sort of maturity. At one point I somehow wound up debating the villain about the size of my companion’s Johnson. I may not have been romancing him, but I wasn’t about to let the good name of Corso’s dingus get dragged through the mud.

My smuggler meeting in Port Nowhere  in Star Wars: The Old RepublicAlso I killed a Hutt by throwing a grenade down his throat. So there’s that.

This was also the first class I’ve played mainly dark side (though I still made more than a few light choices). Just seemed to make sense to bit a more ruthless and selfish than usual on this class.

Smuggler is another class story whose best chapter is definitely the first. The good news, though, is that its quality doesn’t fall off a cliff the way it did for the inquisitor.

Chapter two and the first bit of chapter three are a bit dull, but it’s all part of setting up something pretty interesting (best I can do without major spoilers), so it works out in the end.

Part of the problem is they start trying to tie the smuggler’s journey into galactic politics and the like. It sort of makes sense for them to do that in an MMO, but it’s an awkward fit for a class whose whole identity is based around being a petty criminal.

I’m definitely glad I was able to skip everything but the class missions. I can’t imagine how you could logically justify doing all the other content as a smuggler.

My smuggler and her companions  in Star Wars: The Old RepublicMust be even worse in the expansions. Parts of the Eternal Empire story felt a bit awkward as an agent, but as a smuggler, it all must be patently ridiculous.

The crew:

Smuggler has very good luck when it comes to companions, compared to most classes. While none of them are quite as amazing as, say, Vette or Nadia, they’re mostly likable, and smuggler is the only class I’ve played who don’t have any companions I strongly dislike.

Corso was probably my favourite. Yeah, his over the top folksiness can be a bit much sometimes, but mostly he’s so decent and good-natured it’s pretty hard for him to not get under your skin a bit. He reminds me of nothing so much as a big, dumb puppy following you around.

I decided not to romance him on the grounds he didn’t seem like a natural match for my smuggler, but they still had a pretty warm, compelling relationship. Interestingly, it seems like Corso will develop feelings for a female smuggler regardless of whether you choose to flirt with him. He never said so in so many words, but he got really jealous whenever I flirted with other guys, and his feelings for the player character seem pretty deep.

He also has a lot of hilarious interjections when you bring him along on missions — nearly as many as Vette.

My smuggler and her companions at the conclusion of the class story  in Star Wars: The Old RepublicSmuggler: “Why do people always assume the worst about me?”

Corso: “I’ve been wonderin’ that mahself. I think it’s got somethin’ to do with the hair.”

The others are mostly a good lot, too, though. Risha’s not the most warm or lovable person, but I liked her “girlfriend” dynamic with my smuggler. I can just see them planning their next robbery while they do their nails or something. Bit of a shame her story never really gets a proper resolution, though.

One other interesting thing about Risha is the fact she’s probably the most clear example yet of crossover between different class stories. If you’ve only played the smuggler story, Risha’s history will be a big question mark at first, but if you’ve played the warrior story, you already know quite a lot about her and her big reveal.

Gus is kind of amusing, and I like the “failed Jedi” angle. It’s an interesting take on the Star Wars lore — obviously not every Force wielder is going to be good at it, but you never think about the washouts. They could have done more with him, though. He suffers from the lateness of his introduction to the story.

Bowdaar can be a bit irritating just because Wookie screeching gets hard on the ears after a while, but if you can get past the noise, he’s a fairly compelling character otherwise.

My smuggler  in Star Wars: The Old RepublicAkaavi is the only weak link in the chain. She’s as dull and one-dimensional as every other Mandalorian I’ve met in this game to date. Would still take her over Kaliyo, Jorgan, or Zenith, though, that’s for sure.

The next job:

I still have two more class stories to do: knight and bounty hunter. I’m also tempted to play more of the expansion content on my alts — I miss playing my warrior.

I think that stuff can wait though. I’ve been playing a lot of SW:TOR for a while now, and I’m starting to feel a bit burnt out. Boy am I ever sick of Hoth, let me tell you.

So I think it may be time for me to take a break. Maybe not a long break — maybe just a few weeks. We’ll see. But I want to play something else for a bit.

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