Playing Game Characters Against My Nature

DSBountyHunterI admit it, in the dark side/light side equation, I’m pretty far into the light side of things by nature. The characters I relate to the most in games, books and movies tend to be heroic and look out for others more than themselves. I think that is why I really like Mal from Firefly even though he made some ruthless and dark choices. Ultimately, he did them for what I considered to be the right reasons. I’m certainly not black and white when it comes to making choices in games, but more into shades of light gray. That is why trying to play a character outside my general nature can be so hard for me. SWTOR definitely pushes those boundaries when I play both fully dark side but also fully light side characters. Another Bioware game, Mass Effect, causes similar quandaries when I try to play fully renegade.

The Bounty Hunter class has been the one class in SWTOR that I’ve had the most qualms when playing fully dark side. That class has some pretty gruesome and highly ruthless dark side choices to make. I don’t want to go into specifics to spoil things, but this weekend I played my dark side bounty hunter through to the end of chapter 13 and she made a choice that actually put a look of shock on a dark side NPC’s face. Seeing a Lord of the Sith, Lana Beniko, shocked and subdued was interesting. I hated that choice. Talk about regret. I’ve stuck to my guns (pun somewhat intended) with playing one Bounty Hunter dark side, but it has been really rough. And I had to play a mostly light side Hunter to redeem that class for me.

Of the classes in SWTOR that I’ve played dark side, the Sith Inquisitor seems to lend itself best to going that route, at least for me. With the Sith Warrior, I found some of the dark side choices to be the stereotypical thug choice, and I went light side with some of them instead. She’s still dark and evil, but I allow her a bit of pragmatism now and then. I started playing a dark side Jedi Knight and a dark side Smuggler and just couldn’t continue down that path with them. For the smuggler, there needs to be a little bit of the hero in them or I just don’t enjoy them as much. However, some of the best lines in that class come from being less diplomatic or helpful. My Jedi Consular was easier to play dark side, but I still had a hard time justifying why the Jedi Order kept him around.

I enjoy games that make me stretch outside my comfort zone every once in a while. It does make me wonder about the kind of person who actually expects to play characters that way all the time. I wonder if the things that make me cringe bother them, and if not, yikes! The ruthless leader may work for some people, but I don’t consider that real leadership. Part of me hopes that poor leadership choices on the part of my Bounty Hunter really cause her problems later on, at least as much as is possible in an MMO. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out later. Either way, having made a certain dark side choice in chapter 13 once, I’m good for not doing it again.

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9 thoughts on “Playing Game Characters Against My Nature

  1. I have played it all the way on both sides. Especially with the Warrior , I did that so I could get both sides of Jaesa, and plus at one time I only wanted Dark Side choices for one character, and then when I redid that character I wanted Light Side Choices again to get Light Side Jaesa, and wondered why the Empire kept the warrior who was different from the rest. I’ve done it with the Inquisitor, and with the Agent as well. Now I just make rational choices and pretty much keep them neutral or close to Dark or Light I or II, Sometimes it’s hard to make the right choices, and what you think of is right, but in some eyes it may be wrong. I commend you for attempting to come out of your comfort zone and play both sides of the fence so to speak.

    • What is your opinion of Jaesa? I found her kind of creepy both light and dark. 🙂 There is a type of fervor in her voice that the voice actress pulled off really well.

      • She is kind of creepy regardless of the choice I picked to get her, if you get her Dark side, she’s a psycho path bent on killing all the light out there, and if she’s light side, she’s still bent on killing the dark side, so there is no really happy medium with her. Which is why when I rolled Ezyra Ryder, I decided I was going to romance Vette, at least Vette stayed the same through out the whole thing. But at least with Light side Jaesa, I didn’t have to her about her bedroom killings.

  2. Ooh, I know what choice you mean (well, one of two anyway). I was quite shocked when I read that it was an option, so I ended up watching a YouTube video of it since I think I’m unlikely to ever go down that road myself… harsh!

    • I know that option as well and sadly I was feeling a bit dark outside of SWTOR that day, and picked that option, then screen capped it too. Don’t ask why, but sometimes all the decisions I make depend on the mood as well. I’ve went down it once, don’t think I’ll do it again, also picked another option on my Light Side Trooper, and was happy with it overall.

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