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[Necro][SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

Fugitive Unknown

Active member
Validated User
So far I'm running through the trooper's storyline, and so far two things have really bugged me about the morality choices.

Caveat: These are pretty early on and aren't major storyline events, so I'm just using spaces instead of spoilers.
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The first dilema is when someone goes and steals medical supplies from a republic base.
You track down the theif, only to find that she was a doctor who was using the supplies to treat refugees.
You can either return the supplies to her (light side) or the medical staff (dark side).

I would have been ok with this... except that the game specifically tells you that soldiers are going to die if they don't get that medicine soon.
So, because you sided with soldiers who need the medicine desperately and who are the rightful owners of the stuff, you are dark side. That one stuck in my craw, but I'd have just forgotten it if I didn't have to deal with an even worse moral "dilemma" a few minutes later.


No, the mission that REALLY bothered me involved a couple asking you to track down their son, who's disapeared for the past two years - they are convinved he's alive.

You run into him, and it turns out he's been inducted as a child soldier and brainwashed to fight the enemy.

Somehow mentioning his parents shocks him enough to break the conditioning.
He tells you that he won't go back to his parents, and that his only chance is to get off planet and go somewhere else, which he needs some credits for.

Your options are
A. Here are some credits to dissapear, 15 year old child soldier who's addicted to heavy chemicals (light side).
B. I insist you go back home to your parents. (dark side).

Of course, by insist, they actually mean "I don't really care. Meh.".
Not "I am dragging you back to your family/psycologist/detox facility."

So my character shrugs, gains some darkside points, and I remember that in THIS Bioware game, I can't reload social choices.

There are so many things wrong with that, but I'll try and reduce them to three key points.

1) I know you need to truncate responses in the dialogue wheel, however, the player driven responses need to be accurate to both the spirit and intention of the response. "I insist you go home to your family" should have been "Meh, if you want to die here, its no busienss of mine." That would have actually been indicitive of what the choice actually entailed. You can be damn sure I'm leaving my "highlight darkside choices" tab on now.

2) I understand that you can't include every possible reasonable response in a computer game for every quest, but if I'm given A) Terrible Option B) Terrible option and ignoring something that would occur to 80% of the people playing the game, that's not exactly a well thought out choice. The dialogue options are one of the few reasons I can consider Bioware games "Role-Playing Games" with a straight face. Please put some thought into them.

3) Children being brainwashed and turned into soldiers is a genuine human tragedy and a moral abomination. Its also a very VERY real thing that happens way too often and is not heavily publicized in the media.

When you are exploring something this serious in a video game, you should treat it with a certain degree of respect and gravitas.

I feel it was handled handled incredibly poorly here.

I could have been made to felt anger at the seperatists for using child soldiers. I could have been made to feel regret if I was actually forced to fight/kill them. I could have been forced to make a tough choice (if say, I had the option of only taking them out with rifle butts instead of shooting them) that cemented my character as light side or dark.

Instead I got "Yarr! Die republican scum, for I am the mighty rebel bonecrusher!" Then the poorly voice acted kit suddenly undid two years of conditioning with a bit of headshaking. No crying, no signs of trauma, no massively defensive behavior or reversion... in other words, rushed and devoid of any real emotional weight.

The combination of the crappy morality choice, the poor resolution of the plot for both light and dark side combined to give this mission a whole sort of rushed, bored and phoned in feel, when the topic deserved more.


Rant Over.

I understand there's plenty of great writing, acting and well crafted stories in this game.
I'm probably over-reacting to two throwaway side missions - I guess I'm too used to damn-near perfect writing from Bioware.
Am I remembering any part of this mission wrong? Anyone have a different impression of this mission?
The lesson: Always leave your light side/dark side detection in dialogue boxes on.
 
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clark411

Registered User
Validated User
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

I concur.

I actually think the lollypop aesthetic of TOR (and honestly, post Empire Strikes Back SW) is making it hard to present the many adult themes of the story appropriately.

You can't get out of Hutta without dealing with nonchalant discussion of slavery, the mutilation of a native sentient race by an aristocrat, and sex trafficking. None of the issues are dealt with in any serious way- a) because the evils are monolithic and b) the introduction zones don't seem to fall into the vein of "hey- make this world a better place. Good- onward! Now fix that world!"
 

Darting Flea

Registered User
Validated User
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

This is the problem with trying to force morality choices into too many situations and trying to define giving into the Dark Side as some sort of moral decision rather than an emotion based one.
 
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Unseenlibrarian

Definitely NOT a Monkey.
Validated User
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

Well, for one thing, getting the kid off planet is probably the only way he can -get- to a detox facility. Sending him back to his parents involves sending him into a refugee camp in a warzone, literally just down the road from where the separatists have occupied an entire village, and given his mom's level of crazy, it probably would be the worst place possible for him.

As for the medicine, it mostly comes down to "blatantly riddled with-corruption local troops" vs. "starving orphans", and I don't think the light/dark gains for either choice are more than the absolute minimum, so will be swallowed up later on.
 

LeoCrusher

Rude, Dismissive
Validated User
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

I concur.

I actually think the lollypop aesthetic of TOR (and honestly, post Empire Strikes Back SW) is making it hard to present the many adult themes of the story appropriately.

You can't get out of Hutta without dealing with nonchalant discussion of slavery, the mutilation of a native sentient race by an aristocrat, and sex trafficking. None of the issues are dealt with in any serious way- a) because the evils are monolithic and b) the introduction zones don't seem to fall into the vein of "hey- make this world a better place. Good- onward! Now fix that world!"
Surely you cant make Hutta better because youre working for space nazis as a fairly dubious (at best) character?
 

d23

User Validated
Validated User
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

While I agree with a lot of what the OP says, I don't think you'll ever find an MMO that will 'explore something this serious in a video game, and treated it with a certain degree of respect and gravitas. ' -- it just won't happen. You'll either get stuff that will bring it up but never do it justice, or you'll get an mmo with poop jokes. Or both. If you need these issues treated delicately and fairly, avoid most mainstream shows and novels.

There are a lot of branched missions and choices in the game - some are really well-done and some are really, really poorly done, but to me at least it seems to balance out.
 

Final Excalibur

Not screwed in.
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

Wow suffered from this as well. They threw around the word 'slave' like candy. And stuff like people's souls keep getting eaten or corrupted somehow. Frankly, I think there'd be a bit more tragedy about someone losing their immortal soul, but to wow it's just another daily occurance.
 

Myrme

Historian for Hire
Validated User
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

Yeeeeeah, I ran into a good number of these when I tried to make a Smuggler in Beta. It's part of why I walked away from the Beta. They struck me as too Bioware, not enough Star Wars. Wait until you encounter the Republic soldiers who make refugees run through a minefield for giggles and gambling and your options are Bet on the refugees, Run the minefield yourself, or tattle to their ineffectual, apathetic and overworked ethics officer.

That was when I walked away. Right there. I turned off the game, hit uninstall and went "screw this, this is piss poor writing." Seriously, Bioware, you make the Mass Effect games, where Commander Shepard punches everyone in the face. Would it kill you to write a mission where the options arn't evil, insulting or dumbass? I know you're capable of it. Theoretically, anyways.
 

GabrielK

No puppet! No puppet!
Validated User
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

Seriously, Bioware, you make the Mass Effect games, where Commander Shepard punches everyone in the face.

Confession time: I sometimes pretend I'm playing Mass Effect Online when I log into ToR. It keeps me sane.
 

ShanG

青铜时代的中&#
Validated User
Re: [SWtOR] Trooper Mission - What the hell Bioware!??

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The problem with these games is that they continually posture the scenarios as moral choices ('good or evil'), when at the very best they're choices of ethics (does your character follow a philosophy of Consequentialism or of Deontology, etc) and at the very worst they come down to pure calculations (In DXHR, using nonlethal takedowns because they give more XP) or simply aesthetic choices (In ME2 playing Renegade because it lets you look like an awesome terminator dude.)

What I keep saying is they need to stop trying to present the character with moral or ethical choices. Instead, present them with practical and methodological choices. If you choose to kill enemies when presented the opportunity, that should be giving you 'dark side' points, it should be giving you points in 'willingness to use lethal force'. If you let a character go, it should count that as a mark for 'willing to give second chances', not for being 'good'.
 
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