The Jedi Problem

One of the questions that’s inevitably come up when I mention playing SWTOR is: so what are you going to play? I haven’t decided yet, but it does touch on one potential issue I see with the game.

SWTOR has eight classes, four Republic nad four Empire, with two in each faction being Force-using Jedi or Sith, respectively. It seems likely to me that the Sith side will prove substantially more popular, and furthermore that Force-using classes will be much more common than non-Force alternatives. In short, it seems like the two Sith classes will be commoner than dirt.

This may or may not prove to be an actual game balance problem, but if my guesses are right the it will certainly be an issue with the feel of the game out of the gate, especially in whatever passes for world PvP in SWTOR.

In part, Bioware’s marketing is part of the coolness imbalance issue. And in part it comes from Lucas’ execrable prequel trilogy. By and large, the Jedi of the prequels are a bunch of self-righteous pricks. The Sith may be as well, but at least they have the benefit of being utter badasses as well. Bioware’s trailers fed into this too; there are a couple of cool Jedi in there but they end up going down in the face of overwhelming Sith badassdom. The trailers make me want to play Sith, not Jedi, and I have a hunch I’m not alone.

In a way I find this especially annoying, because I kind of like to play less popular classes, and it seems like the most visibly appealing class is going to be the one most popular out of the box. I’m torn between conflicting impulses. So I’m probably going with a Republic Trooper instead.

3 responses to “The Jedi Problem

  1. All this means is that my Imperial Agent will be worth his weight in gold in group content.
    Once the theory crafting is done and the ‘most powerful’ class is figured out, I’m sure we’ll see the balance redressed as people go for what they see as the ‘easy way’.

  2. I’m definitely planning to play one of the soldier types. I’m playing a commando in SWG currently, and enjoying it quite a bit so far. The game really does not make a good first impression, but if you stick it out there’s a unique and interesting MMO buried under the surface.

  3. “By and large, the Jedi of the prequels are a bunch of self-righteous pricks.”

    It’s so true; the Prequel Jedi are just so damn unlikeable on multiple levels. I guess they’re like the Elves of SWTOR; as in they’re stuck up repressed holier than thou-types that most people will just hate on principle.