Commitment

15 02 2012

Whenever that word comes to mind, I think on a book I read back during my first degree program; the theory that comes to mind is that of commitment and consistency. Basically if I’m into a thing, I feel the potent (if passive) need to stand up for it. I don’t really feel the need to enumerate all of the things I love about SW:TOR, nor could I as it would really fill a volume of text roughly equivalent to the time spent playing from launch to now; though when others enumerate the things they dislike about it, I always feel a bit defensive.

I haven’t found the questing anymore repetitive than any other combat game mechanic suite I’ve encountered over the course of my gaming life; if anything, it’s less, because it’s punctuated by dialog sequences that are engaging and a story that keeps twisting on me in fun ways. Crafting in this game is far more useful far more immediately and consistently than any other MMO I’ve played yet; I have used a great deal of equipment from Synthweaving and look forward to getting fancy material drops in flashpoints to make the currently big and bad stuff to wear. I’ve done a few flashpoints now (Esseles, Hammerstation, Directive 7) and I’ve really enjoyed them. Directive 7 in particular was awesome as it’s basically a beautiful homage to Left 4 Dead, set in Star Wars. It worked in a way I couldn’t have predicted.

All of this is enhanced by the true necessity in any game like this: I found a fine group of people to experience it with. If I hadn’t found a group of positive, easy-going but persistent players to experience this stuff with, I wouldn’t be getting all curious about how the hit tables and spell coefficients in this game work and what kind of gear I should look for and try. The game is very young and I feel I can appreciate it in a way I couldn’t appreciate WoW in its youth. I get to not only see it grow, but to grow with it.

I’ll be staying.

I also want to see the next wave of stories that will inevitably come, especially since my romanced companion and I have a lot more terrain to cover. She sends me love letters. Love letters. Maybe one every few days, and – always – they have a Courting gift attached to them.

Let me spell this out for you.

My companion is giving me Courting gifts.

She’s playing the game too, which explains perhaps why she jumped on my Jedi’s face so quickly when she saw the opportunity. The entire Master-Padawan relationship paradigm is remarkably interesting. Bioware did it. Jedi can love if they can control it. It involves this transcendental understanding of attachment: that it is transient, like we are; that it is fundamental and – in fact – at the core of the very thing the Jedi (and the Republic) are fighting to protect. Recommended against as it’s ludicrously difficult to get a handle on, but then nobody’s really telling the Barsen’thor – a Jedi that single-handedly liberated several wartorn planets and raised one of the most powerful armies ever encountered – that he’s not allowed to throw his cute and intelligent padawan a vial of Huttese Perfumes now and again.

The love letters are well-written (in character) and really flush the story out in an interesting way. Bioware, I like what you’re doing. You’re making me kind of regret not sending you a resume to reject a few years ago when you started on this project. I like it so much that I wish I was a part of making it.

Last night in EVE I got pretty excited about buying and injecting Accounting. Perhaps a little weird when the word “accounting” is included in any sentence starting with “got pretty excited”, but there it is. I think that means I’m committed now.

I bought a ring for the real-life lady. She doesn’t know and naturally doesn’t read her man’s nerdy blog. We have been tossing Courtship gifts and love letters at one another for quite a while now. And, as you probably have guessed by now, I’m not the kind of guy that gives up on anything without a fight.

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8 responses

15 02 2012
Telwyn

I actually really like the e-letters you receive from NPCs in general, as they’re nice additions to your characters story and updates on situations you have lived through.

I haven’t done much with my companions as yet, so can’t comment on that. I do question whether wooing potential mates is the only option though? After all if when I reach level 50 on my Consular I still have Qyzen faithfully defending me I’d like some reaction from him to our journey together. Perhaps in future content Bioware could expand beyond their trope of NPC romancing to something a little more varied?

15 02 2012
thade

Me too; they’ve all impressed me. The love letters are far and away the best ones I’ve seen yet. 🙂

15 02 2012
Adventurer Historian

I’m sorta excited for this prospect! I mean, I’ve already dug the after-quest emails I’ve been receiving — it really adds an element of “my actions have affected this world in some way”, however artificial that feeling might be — and I can foresee myself liking the love letters, too.

Especially from grumpy Jorgan. Oh, yes.

16 02 2012
thade

Qyzen I think is my favorite companion, still. He’s a remarkable and interesting character. “Herald, you have the Force. What do you see?” He does start making comments on his personal story missions leading up to them (his skin itches) and there’s some cool commentary he has in general during discussions.

16 02 2012
thade

Oh, and my Trooper companion had some funny things to say about Jorgan. 🙂

16 02 2012
Adventurer Historian

I guess word of our unfriendly cat-man gets around?!

16 02 2012
thade

We are aware that he is a Thundercat infiltrator. We are watching.

16 02 2012
Adventurer Historian

“Some of them are programed to think they are Star Wars companions. And they have a plan.”

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