Guidance Consular: A SWTOR Jedi Shadow Playthrough Thread [Spoilers]

Do you remember Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare’s 2011 MMORPG follow up to the critically-acclaimed Knights of the Old Republic series? No? That’s okay, most people don’t, at least judging by the numbers of players it has on any given day and the consolidation of servers late last year.

I didn’t play the game when it came out; I didn’t have a computer that could run it at the time, and I was also a poor downtrodden grad student who couldn’t justify the $15 a month price tag. Once it went free-to-play, I wanted to check it out, but just never got around to it.

Fast forward to a super depressive episode two winters ago and a much fresher laptop, and I started playing the game. Just as a free-to-play person at first, but then I was hooked and wanted more, because apparently I have “sucker” tattooed across my forehead.

I’ve been playing it for about a year and a half now, and I have a real problem of leveling characters and finishing the storyline, and then just deleting them to do it all over again. And I’ve been thinking I wanted to do it with the Jedi Consular storyline, since it’s the force-sensitive storyline that I haven’t played lately. Moreover, inspired by @VulpesAbsurda’s entertaining Souls Playthrough writeup and @BigNoNo’s equally entertaining recap of the God of War series, I figured, what the hell. Maybe playing it for sharing with others here will make me excited about leveling a new character!

So: I’ll be checking in every so often as I play through the Jedi Consular storyline. I’ll be creating a backstory for my character, sharing screenshots of her adventurous exploits, and more!

PS please tell me someone else on this forum enjoys suffering and plays SWTOR still…


Character Creation

So as I mentioned in the OP, I’m going for Jedi Consular. Specifically, a Jedi Shadow, because that means I get the cool Darth Maul-esque double-bladed lightsaber, and I am a sucker for a gimmick like that.

Before starting my new character, I watched the three movies that they introduced the game with, where we see a young Satele Shan beating up Sith and her run-ins with an increasing ass-kicked Darth Malgus. And you know what? They were good. Like, they looked really good! Then it was time for character creation and I was reminded that no, the game does not look anywhere as good as those movies. Dammit.

So I decided to go for a female jedi this playthrough. The outfits just look better? And fashion is, for me, an integral part of the SWTOR experience. I was reminded of the disparity in body diversity between the male and female options. There aren’t any sliders, just four presets. For men, that becomes “short and weedy”, “medium and kinda buff”, “super tall and built like a brick shithouse”, and “really portly but still has abs, somehow, even though that’s not how bodies work”. For women, however, that becomes “skinny but busty”, “skinny but really busty”, “Big, buff and busty”, and “curvaceous and also busty”.

I almost went for big and buff, but my Jedi Knight I had recently played had that body preset, and I wanted something new. Skinny it is!

I don’t understand anyone who would play an RPG as a human when they are given the option to be an alien, so it was between Twi’lek and Togruta for my species, and my Jedi Knight was a Togruta, so Twi’lek it was.

I was going to do purple eyes, but I settled on orange skin and the purple sorta disappeared. Went for blue instead. Chose a lekku pattern that was dots, dots everywhere. I liked the look of the purple eye shadow and lipstick, but the lekku pattern was so boring! I hated most of the headbands but also hated the no headband look, so I just picked the least terrible one.

Scars! Of course scars. Went for lower chin and neck scars. Gonna have to give her an in-universe reason for those scars…

Name? I’m on my @austin_walker New Earth Hegemony bullshit in my naming conventions these days, so I gave her the moniker Countenance’s Divine. Because why only be extra when you can be super extra?

This is a jedi you don’t wanna mess around with. Or maybe you do? I haven’t decided how I wanna play her yet. This game gives you light side and dark side options, and I’m a goody two-shoes who tends to play all light side all the time, but maybe Countenance’s Divine should be a sith-in-hiding. I dunno. I guess we’ll see as her adventure begins…

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Not I! But I’ll gladly read someone else persevering through their miserable gaming choice.

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Thanks for the encouragement, @BigNoNo! Hopefully people will enjoy it. And now, the next installment:

Tython Part I: Man They Make the Consular Do Some Stupid Shit

First off: the opening crawl makes anything Star Wars just feel so, Star Wars, man. That was maybe the most disconcerting thing about Rogue One in comparison to other Star Wars media. The games always have a crawl. (Maybe the new Battlefront games don’t? I’d have to play them to find out, and that’s not happening, because my money and time are spent in the past, man.)

Finally, it’s time to make my first decision. I’ve always thought it was strange that they port over the radial decision interface from the Mass Effect games (to be fair, it is also in the latter Dragon Age games, but ME1 was its genesis) because there’s only ever a max of three choices in SWTOR, and they’re always on the right side. Like, why bother? I don’t get it.

It’s interesting to me as I start this Consular playthrough to compare it to the Jedi Knight. The stakes just feel higher in the first mission! As a Knight, you’re tasked with stopping an invasion of hostile forces basically by yourself. As a Consular, you have to . . . go pick up some Google Homes that they just left out on the bridges? Kinda anticlimactic in comparison.

But my first order of business, as always, is to get my fashions on point. I look through the outfits I’ve unlocked for all my new characters and I quickly narrow it down to two possibilities: The Jedi Strategist robes:

Or Satele Shan’s outfit:

Ultimately, it’s the shoulder pads that win me over for the Jedi Strategist robes.

And, of course, gotta get my companion’s ‘fit also looking fire. I roll with Hexid (one of the benefits of being a long-time player: I have a fair amount of companion options before you actually get any in the game); I Sith her up just right.

Finally, I get into the game itself. As I play through the opening mission, roaming from one Google Home to the next and collecting holocrons, I start to formulate what kind of person Countenance’s Divine is. Given her look and my plans for playing her, I make some Serious Character Choices™ that should make this playthrough interesting.

Countenance’s Divine:

  • Was raised as a slave in a Sith household, thus the lekku and face tattoos
  • Was discovered to be force sensitive at a young age
  • Was sent to Korriban to train as a Sith
  • There she met and befriended Lana Beniko (who we’ll get to much, much later in this game)
  • Was attacked by another acolyte for being an alien (thus, the scarring) and left for dead in the tombs of Korriban
  • She woke up on a stowed away on a freighter, with no memory of who she was or how she got there. Who put her on the freighter? Who helped her to escape Korriban’s harsh racism at the young age of 12? (Why did I in many ways just rip off Kira Carsen’s story? Because I felt like it, dammit.)
  • Because of her history being raised in the Empire, even if she doesn’t quite remember it, she doesn’t buy into the whole “serenity is the key, passion is bad” bullshit that makes the Jedi just reinforce so many of the terrible things in the galaxy. A focus on justice with no mercy and no emotion is a recipe for supremacy! (This is an argument I have with one of the Google Homes. It doesn’t agree.)

So the goals for this playthrough are set: Compassion, passion, liberation, and equality. Those are the basis on which I’m going to be making my choices, not “light” or “dark”. What is most liberatory? What makes the galaxy a better place?

Next time: what else happened on Tython…