Aug 1, 2011

Posted by in News | 63 Comments

Ask A Jedi: Holy Kark, That Was Evil!

If you spend any time on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic forums, you are sure to have seen his passion and prose regarding all things Jedi. You know him as Professor Walsh. Each week (or thereabouts,) Professor Walsh will answer a few reader-submitted questions in order to enlighten us all with the ways of Star Wars lore and history, in this sometimes highly-opinionated piece. You can submit your own question at the end of the article!

This week, we’re taking a slight departure from the reader Q&A format, and instead focusing on a recent reveal that I just find too juicy to ignore. This is regarding the Esseles Flashpoint Developer Walkthrough, which was recently unveiled during San Diego Comic Con. Specifically, I am referring to the point where the party makes the choice to… “jettison” the engineers.

If we were formatting this similar to past Ask A Jedi columns, it would go something like this:

Dear Jedi,

How do you feel about the engineers getting spaced in The Esseles Flashpoint?


Dear StarWarsNut,

I am a bit shocked by the event in question.


Now, for the long version

For those of you who have not seen it, you can view it here:

In case you can’t view it, or don’t want to view it, allow me to give you the recap.

The party of 4 player characters, consisting of a Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Trooper, and Smuggler, have made their way to the engineering section of the ship in hopes of having the head engineer open the bridge for them so that they can retake the ship from the boarding Imperial troops. The engineers present a fast, and a not so fast, solution to the problem. The fast solution, chosen by the players in the video, is to space the engineers.

For those who don’t know what spacing is, in Star Wars spacing is the term used when someone ejects someone else into space. More specifically, eject them without any kind of life sustaining equipment. It is considered, in Star Wars, one of the most horrifying ways to die.

Imagine suffocating while at the same time having your body torn apart from the inside out. It is horribly painful, terrifying, and is rightfully feared as a fate by many characters in Star Wars. Even characters like the famed Smuggler Han Solo and Jedi Knight Jaden Korr fear spacing people.

This is such a huge issue in Star Wars it was partially the basis for Jaden Korr’s existential and moral crisis in the novel Crosscurrent. Jaden even had issues with it when it happened to people whom he considered his enemies. That’s how horrible spacing is.

In the video the characters seem very casual about it. Claiming simply that the people murdered will be honored as heroes. Interestingly enough, the Jedi Knight who pressed the button later tells the Mandalorian villain of the Flashpoint that he doesn’t want to hurt him.

This has a very surreal quality to it. I have no idea how many Dark Side points one would get from such an action, but I am fairly certain that you would get more for doing that then you would for slaughtering an entire village of Sand People… Not just the men, but the women and the children too.

I am curious as to why BioWare included this in the game. This isn’t the kind of choice that a character who wasn’t already heavily tainted by the Dark Side would make. This is just a really horrific thing.

Though I guess for all those people who wanted to know if you could go Dark Side as a Jedi in The Old Republic this is a clear answer. Not only can you go Dark Side, you can commit acts that are so evil even Luke Skywalker is likely to kill you on sight for performing it. I am squeamish about ever doing that Flashpoint with anyone who isn’t a guildie at this point but at least we can say that BioWare is absolutely allowing evil choices.

My only question is, since this is part of a low level Flashpoint, how does BioWare plan to top it? I mean seriously, that is one of the most horrific things in Star Wars lore. So where do you go from there?

  1. Probably the best way to top that would be spacing people who you had no right to cause to suffer – civilians, not Republic Troops. A whole refugee ship’s worth. Whilst in low orbit around a star.

  2. Excellent article and I very much agree, I have never seen anything make the community as a whole scream GO BACK AND CHANGE IT NOW! like the Esseles Flashpoint has. Really Bioware that is what you are revealing this close to launch contentious story choices that almost guarantee no one will pug for fear of the whole: “Itz c00lzorz 2 draksidz0rs” gestalt. It’s a shame too because the last walkthroughs knocked it out of the park, this one has me asking what the flock Bioware.

    • Umm, if you are in a pug, all you have to do is choose the light side choice and you will get light side points. It doesn’t matter who wins the roll, it won’t affect your personal story at all.

      • Although you get your light side points, and it’s not in your personal story, that character (or in this case, characters) are dead to you… you don’t see them later on.

        Now the real problem with this is that it makes the choice itself entirely meaningless, and essentially turns into a morality points min/mx proposition instead.

        • SorcererBiggz says:

          Incorrect Lethality, they made mention that if you chose LS option, your story plays through the LS option unless you change your option via play through.

          And if I am mistaken, just play through the flashpoint again with a LS group. The last decision made is what affects your story.

          • II don’t think that’s the case. They’ve remarked several times that a character is dead if you see him die.

            Here’s where the re-play won’t work. If you get to max level and find out there was good reason to keep the guy alive you killed at level 30, you shouldn’t be able to go back and “resurrect” him to fix yourself at level 50.

            It gets too complex to resolve, so my hunch is they’ll err on the side of choices that don’t matter a whole lot either way.

          • SorcererBiggz says:

            Well both of those were stated by devs. I’m not sure which one is current. However, the latter isn’t a bad choice. Being able to rerun it to ressurect is just an issue with an MMO with story.

            However do note they do not want to penalize your choice because someone chose something else. Ergo, they will, if haven’t already, have made the system work only tword your choice. What you see was just a decision that was ‘chosen’ to win. They can’t punish players for random gameplay. Just like they can’t punish player for choosing an AC they didn’t know they didn’t like or killing a companion they didn’t know they would need.

            I’ve lost all respect for bioware in this aspect. They’ve shown they will cave to the people who don’t care about what happens. It seems every new update, the less they care about story. It’s quite funny actually. ;)

          • What they mentioned in the press conferences is that if someone is killed earlier on by a choice you’ve made then they will not be seen later in the game but that is in regards to your own personal story. From anything I’ve seen (and granted I may have missed it) while the Flash points may be part of an entire flash point story overall that reaches through multiple worlds I haven’t seen anything mentioned about previous decisions for anything, light side or dark side, affecting anything outside of the actual flash points. The only long standing personalized quests where the decisions you make will affect a greater element of the story waaaay down the line is your personal story. Even the world story events where you play as a group I would imagine are just part of the overall plot. It wouldn’t make sense to let anyone else shape something that affects your story much farther down the line especially after everything bioware has been mentioning about it being your own personal story. So er….to recap and this is based on what I’ve seen, I might have missed something…the only instances where choices really affect the story further down the road in a significant manner is your own personal story where it’s your choice. There shouldn’t be any concern about other people edging you out of a particular story based on the group’s decision.

      • Just to clarify, at comicon, one of the devs did mention that in those large decisions that matter, it’s majority rules, so if 3 people want the light side option, and 1 wants the dark side option, no matter what the rolls are, the light side option wins. The roll would just determine who pushes the button or voices the response.

        • If you are in a class quest and you are the owner of that instance the decision is up to you because its part of your class quest, your team will only agree or disagree with you. Now if you are in a Pug for a random dungeon and you decide to not kill him but everone else wants to then it just as you see it. Whoever wins the roll all you are seeing is the action played out. Now if you won the roll same thing. Your class quests are all in your hands and you will see those people later in game if you choose to spare them. Now if you dont Bioware hasnot made a way to raise the dead yet but hopefully sith will be able to lol.

        • Disagree, this is flashpoint you can complete it countless times, even run it as HC mode on lvl 50, these death guys won’t affect your gameplay… The important choices whether kill him or not will be in class quests. In regular quest like in Tatooine walkthrough kill darth slithar or not, in my opinion you won’t see him either way.

          At least I hope so, or I’d be best to quest alone

          • Then they may as well remove choices like that in Flashpoints completely, I would say. I mean, if it doesn’t mean anything…

            And the second part of your comment is actually what has me most concerned about the way BioWare is building their game.

  3. I liked it, to a degree. I would like to see Bioware push that moral compass a little further and come up with something a little juicier than “The quick and easy route leads to the dark side…”
    I would have liked to see the dark side decision play out more. Even though they killed the engineers, the commanding officers on the bridge are prisoners of Ironfist, and he’s just sitting there waiting for you, clapping… why won’t he stop clapping, make it stop!! …point is, they didn’t save any time by killing them.

  4. I personally wouldn’t believe this was a Bioware game without some of these disturbing options. Games like Kotor, Mass Effect 1 and 2 bring to mind some really disturbing choices. Like commanding one friend to kill another, destroying a cure to eliminate sterility, reprogramming (brainwashing) an A.I. group/culture to see your views. Really they have always brought some big “Wow that was evil” and “Maybe I shouldn’t only pick evil options” moments. I really like Bioware for including these. Not that I like picking these, but they do put in some real tough moments to anyone remotely invested/immersed into their character.

    Thank you Bioware.

  5. pagandog says:

    I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. BW has to give story options so that Republic players can aquire darkside points. Not to mention I’m sure some of you have heard of similar situations in RL. For example… on a warship if it were to take significant damage and you were ordered to close a bulkhead to stop the ship from flooding…you are expected to do just that, regardless of who you will trap on the inside. Would that make you evil? no, altho you would probably have nightmares depending your your personal morals but it needed to be done to save the rest of the ship and not doing it WOULD be evil as you just killed the rest of the ship.

    • Not quite a good analogue Pagandog,

      The difference is that on a ship in that situation you do not have any other option. In this case there was clearly another option and despite what the “ambassador” says we have no reason to believe there wasn’t enough time. Spacing is the most evil thing you can do in Star Wars and I have to wag my finger at BioWare, it is over the top in this case. Again spacing ENEMYS was enough to make Jaden Korr almost ditch the Jedi Order.

      We haven’t even seen a Sith do something that Dark Sided yet.

      • pagandog says:

        I think it works pretty good here. You dont truly know how much time you have and the Jedi in the video felt it was what must be done. This isnt a choose your own adventure so turning to page 98 wont kill you! The Devs arent going to kill you if you choose the other option. Do you think the scoundrel would risk his life to save a stranger? how about the trooper? Even the Consular might take the grayer path! THats the RPG in the MMO…we should be happy we have the option to space them..

  6. SorcererBiggz says:

    Not everyone else considers it horrific Walsh. While in Star Wars it’s terrible, the common people playing this game won’t think it’s that bad.

    I seriously doubt anything you find ‘horrible’ like this will be that ‘horrible’ in the actual game.

    If you do, you have too much trust in BioWare.

    We also have to keep in mind, this is a Flashpoint in which they most likely are cutting corners in context from dialogue to dialogue. “Ohh I killed these people” will not be “YOU MADE ME KILL THESE PEOPLE, YOU BASTARD”. Which is exactly what you are expecting from the Jedi Knight in the end. A lot of the conversations are going to be passive. Simply because it’s easier to make sure it works.

    Now the people who are noticing it’s non-chalant. Are right, but they’re not noticing because spacing is gruesome. They’re noticing because this guy just killed people and he’s not phased whatsoever.

    Also your trust that there will be evil actions that even Luke Skywalker will kill you on the spot for performing, is just laughable. We know that the story won’t kill you, we know they won’t exile you from the Jedi Order, and we know that they need as many members as possible. Your repercussions and your actions will not be that severe. And it’s obvious BioWare doesn’t consider Spacing as horrific as you do.

    And before you state Lucas won’t allow it, it’s already been done.

    Simply put: this article is informative from a Star Wars view and only a Star Wars view.

    • Oiy.

      I don’t want to sound too hostile but there are points I want to address here. The fortunate thing is I am not on the BioWare forums so here I can say whatever I want… Until Lethality smacks me… Which requires him driving to my state… Which is unlikely…

      Heheh.

      You said:

      —–

      Not everyone else considers it horrific Walsh. While in Star Wars it’s terrible, the common people playing this game won’t think it’s that bad.

      —–

      I don’t give a damn (I have long wanted to say that) what the common people think. I’m a Star Wars nerd and this is a Star Wars product. As such it is BioWare’s responsibility to show the player based just how horrible it is supposed to be. If they do not do that then they fail as storytellers.

      Your next point:

      —–

      We also have to keep in mind, this is a Flashpoint in which they most likely are cutting corners in context from dialogue to dialogue. “Ohh I killed these people” will not be “YOU MADE ME KILL THESE PEOPLE, YOU BASTARD”. Which is exactly what you are expecting from the Jedi Knight in the end. A lot of the conversations are going to be passive. Simply because it’s easier to make sure it works.

      —–

      I actually would rather see things like…

      You save the ship, you are walking down the hall, then someone steps out of the line and spits on you. He then gets up into your face, “You slimy piece of worm-ridden filth!” he rages, “I saw it! I saw it all on the security monitors! You spaced them! You scum! You piece of trash! THEY WERE MY FRIENDS!”

      Then I expect everyone to look at the PC’s in shock and revulsion. The guy to lunge at the PC’s but be pulled back by his friends. Then anyone the PC’s try to talk to in that area who are Republic soldiers to reply things like, “Please don’t talk to me.” and “I have nothing to say to you.”

      I expect BioWare to do their best to drive the point home that such behavior as we saw is not acceptable in the Star Wars universe.

      While you may think that Lucas allowed it (he hasn’t, he likely doesn’t know about it) that won’t stop me from talking about it and making such a fuss.

      To be honest, I am part of Ask A Jedi because I am direct and confrontational and I don’t care about being politically correct. In recent situations I have begun thinking of a lot of the devs as friends and sadly that has made it very hard to me to be as blunt as I should have been. Fortunately the old prof, the one who made a name for himself by being confrontational, is back!

      • Johnny5ive says:

        *Quote* You save the ship, you are walking down the hall, then someone steps out of the line and spits on you. He then gets up into your face, “You slimy piece of worm-ridden filth!” he rages, “I saw it! I saw it all on the security monitors! You spaced them! You scum! You piece of trash! THEY WERE MY FRIENDS!”
        Then I expect everyone to look at the PC’s in shock and revulsion. The guy to lunge at the PC’s but be pulled back by his friends. Then anyone the PC’s try to talk to in that area who are Republic soldiers to reply things like, “Please don’t talk to me.” and “I have nothing to say to you.” *end Quote*

        I agree that this would be a really cool and perfectly reasonable conclusion to what the PCs did. The only problem with your argument is you are assuming this won’t happen when you haven’t seen the conclusion of the flash point. Maybe something does happen like this at the end of Esseles.
        I’d say give Bioware the benefit of the doubt until the game actually comes out and you can actually play through the whole scenario before saying it’s terrible.

      • SorcererBiggz says:

        You again, like normal, side-stepped the argument. I understood what you want. I also know you think you matter on BioWare’s decisions, which unfortunately you don’t. What I stated was the reaction was based on taking the easy way out of the design implementation.

        I think we both understand, or at least should considering you were a game designer, that the reason why there was no impact is the multiverse they presented. Which if they decide to actually do it the ‘correct’ way would make coding and designing this game a living hell. Especially now since we know they didn’t start off that way.

        Your a part of AAJ, because Lethality believes you understand Star Wars lore very well. No one here refutes that. We do refute your bias. I mean Niarcmon has crushed you in many crucial points on the forums.

        And your not sounding hostile, your going back on my points. Selectively, as usual, but you are still doing it.

        Now we can go back to the Lucas statement. Lucas allowed Revan to use a pistol, Lucas allowed for many things in games that aren’t canon. So regardless of what happens in this game, there will be non-canon actions and reactions that make no sense to the hardcore Star Wars fan. I think it’s safe to assume the Republic side Canon options are all LS options and that most likely the Empire’s Canon options are all DS. However, it is possible Empire’s Canon is LS as there hasn’t been one Star Wars game in which the Canon choices were dark sided.

        I’m not against you, I think spacing is a vicious option to have so soon. I also think the reaction was terrible at the end. However, I’m not blinded by pride or trust. I also know many people took the video and the choices for what is was worth. They enjoyed the hell out of it.

        • Hoooboy.

          First of all… I’ll state this directly… BioWare has made a number of design mistakes. They compromised their vision and instead went the “Safe” route which involved limiting their innovation.

          I’ve crushed Niarcmorn a number of times as well. Nobody is perfect. Niarc and I go back and forth pretty regularly.

          Lucas didn’t allow Revan to use a pistol. Lucas Arts did. I’ll bet money that George Lucas probably doesn’t really know who Revan is.

          Yes… BioWare is making canon errors in the game. Just because the average gamer enjoys it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t make it okay.

          • SorcererBiggz says:

            First of all, they’ve changed their design. Any Systems Analyst will tell you this is natural. I would expect a Game Designer to know this.

            Lucas does know about Revan, or are you telling me you don’t remember the Mortis Trilogy originally suppose to have a guest appearance by Bane and Revan. Secondly, Lucas Arts set canon down that Revan as a Jedi didn’t use a blaster. In the game Revan was able to use a blaster. This is called making a video game.

            BioWare isn’t making canon errors in the game. Canon hasn’t been declared. BioWare is making a video game. Options that oppose canon are going to happen. The simple fact that Jedi and the Sith aren’t seen capable of using the same abilities is example of this. We all just hope that they come through with LS/DS abilities. Which most likely won’t happen to the degree we want as it could brake balancing.

            Seriously I’ll set you up a standard UML for their obvious set-up for flashpoints… And ‘why’ there is no obvious reaction. The only time a ‘serious’ difference between options will happen is when you kill someone you meet later in the flashpoint. Otherwise if everything is the same there is no differentiation in dialogue or cinematic. The options still give the same response, regardless of how it ‘should’ be when there isn’t something different within dialogue and cinematic.

            The Class Story however will have much more branching choice factors. As they have that freedom. In multiplayer dialogue they do not.

          • Biggz,

            Lucas didn’t write the Mortis trilogy. That was the main writing team, Lucas doesn’t oversee every aspect of TCW. Lucas came on board after most of the Mortis trilogy was already written.

            Lucas never planned on using Bane nor did he ever plan on using Revan. He does not read the EU and has stated this many times in panels.

          • SorcererBiggz says:

            Walsh, that contradicts the exact statement between Lucas and the TCW team that was shown here:

            http://starwars.com/theclonewars/?video=v001225#vid

            Which also shows Lucas working on the design concepts of that story. Also he was looking for the Sith Lords. Like to let you know that you can’t refute footage of him working on it.

            George Lucas had his hands on this piece of EU. He denied it as it would be ‘too powerful’ of a scene. And it makes sense.

          • SorcererBiggz says:

            *edit*
            he rejected it*

          • Biggz,

            You are misunderstanding what is being said in the clip you referenced. Lucas didn’t come on board and say, “I want Bane and Revan!” Lucas said, “I want two Sith Lords.”

            Lucas has before stated, many times, that he doesn’t know the EU. He specifically has people who do that for him. Most likely Feloni’s team suggested Bane and Revan, and later Lucas rejected it.

            I’ll state again, Lucas likely knows next to nothing about Bane or Revan. In fact at an interview at Cel V Lucas admitted that he “Doesn’t read the EU” and that he “Has people who’s job that is.”

          • SorcererBiggz says:

            This argument could go on. You say potaeto, I say potato.

            I’m surprised you didn’t state that the whole concept was inherently flawed. Or do you not remember Revan left a Jedi to face the Empire alone? So he either died a Jedi, or he fell to the dark side, again. The latter being very gimmicky.

  7. TalisRedstar says:

    I don’t mind the option being in game, if you choose it, then yes dark side points galore. IMO. I personally will pick the light side decision for two reasons. One Not going for a dark side Jedi, and 2 I believe the other option will lead to more experience for the rest of the group. More mobs, more objectives usually equal more experience.

  8. So why would they have an area that big that could be vented to space and not put a little room off to the side if the venting would happen where the workers could stay at?

  9. I think that this is an amazing addition to the game, and the choice as simple as the article makes it out to be. Sure, this is obviously the dark side choice, but it is pretty easy to argue it from a light side point of view. This was the easiest and best way to get to the bridge, limited in time and for the greater good a Jedi could make this choice. The dialog of the characters in the video rationalizes it.

    But what I think is really interesting is that by choosing the dark side path the group is choosing to take the shorter version of the instance. If the light side is longer, and groups choose the light side, the Bioware has successfully managed to put the importance of a player’s character’s identity ahead of gameplay.

    That is something incredibly important and why this game is going to be so awesome.

    • Sorry to double post, but as to your statement “commit acts that are so evil even Luke Skywalker is likely to kill you on sight for performing it”, it’s important to note that the Force and morality in the Star Wars universe is a lot more complicated then that. Evil acts do not instantly make one evil, I point to Kyp Duron (particularly in the Jedi Academy series) for an example.

      These Jedi could easily justify their actions in pursuit of a greater good.

      • Kyp Durron was a special case as he was being partially possessed by the wraith of the Sith Lord Exar Kun.

        This is the kind of thing that would get a Jedi outright kicked out of the Order.

        • This is the sort of thing that YOU would kick a Jedi out of the Order for. I’m sure Mace Windu was working on his dark side when he tried to kill the “defenceless” Palpatine. Its not like they spaced the engineers for fun or out of spite.

    • A true Jedi would never make that choice. The willful destruction of another living being would be unconscionable and unthinkable.

      • Like when Obi killed Grievous… or Anakin killing sand people…Or like Darth Mule points out at the bottom of the comments…Luke spaced many civilians when he blew up the Death Star. Or do they not count because they are Empire Civilians?

  10. I think the thing I am most annoyed about – and I completely agree with Professor Walsh about this being quite possibly one of the most evil things you could do to anyone – was that this was done using characters playing on the Republic side.

    When I watched the flashpoint with the Sith and Bounty Hunter on that spaceship, killing the captain was most probably the right thing to do from a Dark Side point of view. Vader would have killed him, Sidious would have done something probably more gruesome – it’s the Dark Side, you’ve failed me for the last time, mwahahahha etc. I get that. That’s the Dark Side, they rule by fear, that’s what the majority of people playing that type of character would go for.

    However, if I see the characters from the Republic, on a Republic mission, sorry guys but I don’t want to see any Dark Side behaviour, the Smuggler could make some wise remarks but that’s it. I expect the characters to be heroic, a real hero would find the time not only to get around the security but also put their lives first over the engineers. I would bet a considerable fortune against those saying “oh, there was not enough time, the engineers had to be spaced” by saying heroes MAKE time.

    In this game your actions determine your destiny, if you play Dark Side I think it is in your best interests to do evil things, your reputation will grow, people will fear you more than others, you control your evil destiny that way. If you play Light Side the good that you do will also fall back on you later – the Light side is not the easy and quick path, you have to put your all into it, do the best you can even if it means sacrificing yourself for others.

    If Bioware are going to show these flashpoints I would like to see less of a bias towards the Dark Side if it is something connected with the Republic.

    • Johnny5ive says:

      Republic does not equal light side though. Both factions have capacity for good and evil, it’s just that the Empire skews towards evil, and the republic towards good. That doesn’t mean that everything the Republic does is always going to be light side or good. Just like everything the Empire does isn’t always going to be Dark side or evil.

      • Actually the line of that “Factions are political and not moral” is the largest pile of BS I have ever seen spewed.

        Yes, the Sith are evil. Yes, the Republic is good. Yes, there will be some things the Republic does that are “less good” and there are things the Sith do that are “less evil” but this whole spacing thing is out of hand.

        • So your saying that the Republic is always “Good” and the Empire “Evil”? Sounds like an absolute to me-something G-Cannon, which you seam to treat as gospel, establishes as something only the Sith use.

      • Yes, there are some morally questionable things the Republic has done, but I am specifically talking about a typical group – Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler and Trooper – that group would never have done that to the engineers, no way is that a typical response.

        I appreciate the Dev team having a laugh, they are the Dev team and have a very good sense of humour which I share – but, this is not representative of a typical Republic player. Most players will join the Republic faction out of a desire to do good – sure, some will turn to the Dark Side, but I’m talking about a majority experience here and I’m positively certain the majority Republic players would choose the Light Side option.

        If I see a Sith/Empire Faction in a Flashpoint – then I’m expecting the Dark Side option, of that I have no objection at all, because that side is more disposed towards doing that.

        Professor Walsh just outlined for you why Spacing folk is positively evil, yikes, it’s a revolting thing to do for supposed “heroes” of the Republic. No way would a Republic orientated player choose that option every time. This is Level 9-12 or something like that, this is near where most folk get to choose their AC class – come on, nobody unless in the minority of gamers would choose the horrific “Space Them” option.

        Just as much as those of us who would spare the Captain in the Sith/Bounty Hunter senario, I would be in the minority view in that part and since this is supposed to be an advert for showing a small part of the Sith way of things, I’d be horrified if the Empire route was anything less. I also want to see the Republic being the Republic in the public eys – I want to know that the Trooper, the Smuggler, The bloomin’ Jedi were being heroic – I want all the Darth wanna-bes to be Darth-like but not in my faction cheers very much. I want to see the love, I want to see the hero, not some near genocidal lets gank the innocent for 5 mins easy game time.

        Jedi would have saved them, Trooper would have saveed them, Smuggler would have made a wise remark, teased the crap out of them and then agreed to save them – that would have been right.

  11. I really think that this choice made the video and makes the game itself very interesting. I am extremely excited that stuff like this is in the game. Because well, for one thing, no matter how you feel about it, you actually feel something about it. As opposed to the quests and things noone even reads in other MMOs.

    Kudos to BioWare.

  12. Kryssprollz says:

    I think deaths are affecting your personal story (people won’t come back and you close options) but only when you’re doing unique quests and running your class story arc on your own. I don’t think killing a secondary NPC in a flashpoint is affecting its final outcome and your quest global objective.
    I am pretty sure you woudn’t have seen those engineers later in the game whatever your choice at that moment. Imagine how terrible it would be if other players could decide what your own story will be : it is pretty opposite to what Bioware intends to do.

    Also, at the core of the instance/flashpoint concept is replayability. I think NPCs killed in flashpoints are still there the next time you do it, as will be the dead republic Captain, the panicked second-in-command, the ambassador etc. It’s one of the numerous MMO paradoxes. So, I don’t see why the engineers wouldn’t be there (to be spaced a second time ?) next time you run the flashpoint.

    I think this LS/DS choice in Esseles only makes the flashpoint shorter or longer. In one case, you access quickly the main bridge to kill the Mandalorian, in the other case you have to run through more corridors and kill more ennemies. I don’t think it has consequences on your main story arc, besides potentially giving you a good amount of DS points and an incentive to rerun the flashpoint and try the longer route and more LS route next time…

    And I think, this replayability is one of the explanations on why characters will be able to change their LS/DS ratio by running the same flashpoints several times : the “spacing” option is one of those means.

  13. Kryssprollz says:

    … But BW could have done that intelligently :

    – instead of right out spacing the engineers, they could have offer you a choice where being on time to kill the Mandalorian came with a slight chance of killing the republic men (they weren’t sure of their emergency protocols) or being sure they won’t risk their lifes could imply more risk for your character (arriving too late, confronting more Mandalorian support teams).

    Spacing would then be a bad surprise for a jedi who do too risky choices but a logical one.

    Also, BW could have come with an intelligent way to replay flashpoints : first time is the real one, next time you choose to reenact it through simulations to see if you could do it better or the flashpoint “replay version” is somewhat different (same corridors but different spaceship, more straightforward run – ie without the “spacing choice”, generic boss – destroyer droid, mandalorian pack – or random one with same abilities but different tag name/appearance.

  14. Slithers says:

    Yah that was a disturbing scene for me also. I am not surprised that BW put it in there but what I am hoping is if that you choose for them to live in your story they do. Has anybody asked for clarification from BW on this??

    • Whenever we’ve asked that question in the past, the answer has been “nope, they’re dead. But so many other things have change recently, it’s hard to say… we’ll try and get more clarity at PAX!

    • I’m pretty sure that when they changed flashpoints to be repeatable they mentioned that the FP’s would become more self contained stories. So while those engineers would be dead even if you picked LS it wouldn’t really affect your game later down the line.

  15. I think we are still missing some important information about the way the flashpoint plays out. We don’t know what happens if you make the LS choice. Perhaps that option really does leave you with little time and while the engineers lived maybe other people on the ship die because of that choice.

  16. Nighthaunter says:

    Can’t say anymore than this, but lots of the information here is wrong.

    • My information is based on lore, if you say that I have interpreted the lore incorrectly then I would appreciate it if you would provide evidence regarding it.

      Note I cited specific books where I was drawing the information from.

      • SorcererBiggz says:

        I think what he meant was that you were solely looking at it through one view, one view that doesn’t actually notice it’s a multiverse with a to-be-determined canon.

      • To me it seems more like he’s familiar with it, but can’t talk due to the NDA

  17. prenerfed says:

    War is hell and both sides in any large conflict will have grey areas in their actions. Having things like this in the game may not exactly adhere to the G-Canon movie dichotomy of Pub and Imp representing good and evil, but is more realistic that in a large galaxy spanning conflict mistakes will happen on both sides. Some people will not be happy about it, and some people will get to role-play not being happy about it, the rest of us will simply be entertained by making some interesting choices.

    And the bottom line is that BW has to give ‘Pub Players a way to gain DS points, and sarcastic remarks aren’t going to be evil enough over the course of a 200+ hour story.

    As for the choices made impacting an individual’s character story in some adverse way, I’m not worried at all. The individual Class stories are your own choices, and they impact your own character accordingly. Group content can be played and replayed again and again so there’s no practical way to make those choices mean anything significant down the line. “If I’ve killed the engineers in the last three runs can I spare them this time to get a different outcome?” No way that’s going to be necessary. It’s too much confusion, too many customer service calls.

  18. Flamegear says:

    Your reaction tells me that this dialogue option has achieved its purpose.

    To my mind this is exactly the reaction Bioware wanted out of members of the community with this video. Two major (and unnecessary) questions that have persisted in the community revolve around “single bosses = giant bosses” & “how evil can Republic really be?”. This video neatly addressed both in one package, and I have no doubt Bioware expected an outcry, especially when they chose a video where it is the Jedi Knight spacing the engineers, not the Trooper or Smuggler.

    The point is this, this situation is in game to speak on two separate levels. On one level you have the casual fans who will say “well that was kinda evil”. Then you have the people like you Walsh, who will react more like “… they did not just do that! I cry FOUL!” This means the evilness of the act will resonate with those it needs to, without driving away those who might quit over a more obviously evil scene (such as, on-screen torture perhaps).

    On a personal note, the part that spoke most to me was when the Jedi Knight turned away from his victims, almost like he couldn’t bear to watch what he was about to do. This did not seem to fit with the overall tone of the scene.

  19. “I mean seriously, that is one of the most horrific things in Star Wars lore”

    Uh no it isn’t. Have you heard of the Vong? They torture people to death and worse…

    • I’m quite familiar with the New Jedi Order series. I have read every Star Wars novel written. All 201 of them. I still hold true to my statement.

      I never said that there weren’t other horrible acts, nor did I say that it was the most horrible thing done, however it is one of the most horrible things done.

      Again, spacing his enemies caused an existential crisis to occur in Jaden Korr. Spacing AN ENEMY was almost too much for a Jedi, who had fought the Vong, AND had fought Marka Ragnos, to handle.

      That speaks volumes about how big of a deal spacing is.

  20. I fail to see how this could possibly be as bad as slaughtering a village full of (arguably) innocent Tusken raider children. Sure, spacing is apparently a horrible way to die in the Star Wars universe, but you shouldn’t just look at the consequences when determining how good or evil an action is – you should also consider the motivation behind it.

    Anakin’s motivation for slaughtering the Tusken village was hate, and a will to get revenge on anything remotely linked to the death of his mother. Meanwhile the Republic group are making sacrifices to increase their chances of completing their mission – they’re not killing off the engineers as some sort of punishment – from their point of view they might believe this action will save more lives.

    If Luke were to have killed the Emperor in RotJ he would have fallen to the dark side. When Anakin tossed the Emperor down that shaft he cemented his return to the light side. It was the same act – killing the Emperor, yet the results would have been different based on their motivation for doing so. Luke would have killed the Emperor out of hate, Anakin did it to protect his son.

    Back to the spacing issue – even with Star Wars physics I doubt that the engineers would survive for more than a few seconds. After that well… dead is dead. I’m not trying to justify the action – it’s definitely dark side – but it’s not nearly as evil as say… forcing a wookiee to kill his only friend. I am positive we will see actions governed by significantly more evil motivations than this in the game, especially among the Sith.

    While I might not agree with your stance on this topic I really enjoy these articles. Keep up the good work ProfessorWalsh!

    • Inferno1518 says:

      I like that we have the CHOICE to save them or not. If you want to save them go ahead, if not, space em. Personally I plan on playing a Trooper who is supposed to defend the Republic, who would I defend if there’s no one left to defend?

  21. The decision was not even remotely emotional enough. The NPCS stand around with their peen in their hands instead of doing things a REAL person would do. Cry, scream, rant and rave, try anything to stop the PCs. Only ONE NPC was doing that.

    Then after they kill those people its all “ho hum”. That’s BAD storytelling. Dude I want good storytelling, not this crap where I do something evil and it’s forgotten a minute later. I hope this decision comes back on the PCs. Like the family of the people they killed comes for revenge or their superiors hear about their evil ways. SOMETING other than just numbers. Storytelling you need to have real consquences to actions you make, not just “Oh you get a +1 to damage but a -1 to hit”. Have NPCs change their views of you and storylines open or close if your evil or good.

  22. Darth_mule says:

    When Luke blew up the Death Star I am sure he spaced quite a few engineers and maintenance people and kitchen staff…etc. They weren’t all soldiers. And don’t give me that stuff about them getting vaporized quickly. He still killed civilians. When you destroy a ship in space people get spaced. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t make it any better. I am sure there will be a lot of stuff fanboi’s will not be happy with because it is not true to SW lore. Huttball for once but I reconcile it with the fact that … It’s just a game. Now where did I leave my lightsaber?

  23. If you think the idea of spacing them is so terrible, dont space them. Some people may want to play a jedi and space a bunch of engineers, would a jedi do that? I guess that one would, its there story they are playing out. Thats biowares whole philosophy.

  24. I believe what BioWare is doing here is exactly what they have been trying to sell these past 3 years. Each player gets to make choices. Dramatic choices at that. Choices that will affect the way their story plays out till the end. Once that choice is made, the only way to un-do it is to re-roll a new character. I think it’s awesome and really makes you stop and think before acting. SWTOR is truly a RPG.

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