Nov 25, 2011

Posted by in Force Fields: Jedi Knight | 7 Comments

Force Fields: The Professor Takes a Look at the Jedi Knight

“A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force.” -Master Yoda, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

Hello all, the Professor is here and he has a brief overview for you of the class that you have all been waiting for: the Jedi Knight. I’ve been playing this class for a while now and I’ve seen what it can, and cannot do.

For those who have read my articles this one will not be much different, I’m going to go over the good, and the bad, of the Jedi Knight in Star Wars the Old Republic.

The Jedi Knights: guardians of peace, before the dark times; before the Empire.

Before I go any further, despite the flaws that I’ll be bringing up, I really did enjoy playing a Jedi Knight. There are actually more good things than there are bad.

Without further delay, let us dive into the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Jedi Knight.

Character

“A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” -Master Yoda, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

A Jedi Knight in the Old Republic, like all classes, may become one of two advanced classes. Each of those advanced classes have different roles, as well as a flavor that is unique to them.

The Jedi Guardian of the Old Republic is the more versatile of the two; the Guardian can either specialize to become a Tank, a DPS class, or a hybrid of the two. Though I feel I must state that the effectiveness of the hybridized path has yet to be determined.

That droid is about to have his day ruined.

The Jedi Sentinel of the Old Republic is extremely focused as far as roles are concerned. The Jedi Sentinel can only be a direct damage class. Though it may choose several methods in how it chooses to deal that damage. They may focus on DoT (damage over time) attacks, burst attacks, or sustained damage. The defining characteristic of the Jedi Sentinel is the dual lightsaber style that is employed by the class.

Your Jedi Knight begins his (or her) adventure as a Padawan. You have been sent to Tython to finish your training and fully become a Jedi Knight. It is here that you begin to define your character for who he, or she, really is.

The character dialogue options for the Jedi Knight are, unfortunately, a bit predictable at first. You usually have a supremely honorable and dutiful response, a neutral “to the point” response, and then a sarcastic or evil response. Some of these are actually quite amusing given their placement in the story, and that is executed less from the dialogue itself and more from a masterful sense of comedic timing on behalf of BioWare.

As a Jedi Knight your conversations will center around what is the right and wrong thing to do, as well as center on what a Jedi should and should not do. Occasionally what a Jedi should do, or, “The Light Side Option,” doesn’t always feel good to the player unless it is looked at from the perspective of a Jedi Knight. This can be a little jarring at first as it forces places to confront what it means to be a Jedi. That can be good and bad as it may not mesh well with a person’s own beliefs on what Jedi are and how they are supposed to act.

This Jedi hates droids. Hates them, I say.

The only real complaint I have regarding the dialogue is the same one that has been echoed by many of my fellow testers and columnists. The dialogue wheel doesn’t accurately display what the character is saying. This can lead to the character saying things that you did not initially intend for them to say and that can feel a little frustrating, as if I had lost control of my character.

Story

“The Jedi, at their core, are pragmatic.” -Mace Windu, Shatterpoint

Without going into spoilers the story of the Jedi Knight feels a little bland at first. You arrive on Tython and are preparing to finish your training. You are confronted with an emergency only a few seconds after arriving on Tython and you must rush off to protect the temple grounds from an attack by Flesh Raiders.

After the initial action it falls to you to deal with several other minor problems which then, of course, culminate into a much larger threat. Once all of these minor problems are dealt with, and the major threat is confronted, your character constructs his (or her) first lightsaber and becomes a Jedi Knight. Along the way you meet your new master and can influence the lives of quite a few people.

The good part about the story is that it is well-told, logical, and expansive. You travel to different groups and you get to discuss some of the most important points of being a Jedi. You discuss attachment, you discuss if the Jedi serve the Senate or not, things of that nature. It is smooth and handled very well.

This Jedi wants to know: if he attacked me, I won't get dark-sided for returning fire. Right?

The bad part about the story is that it feels very slow. The initial group of story points seems to take forever and there is a lot of filler that simply doesn’t feel like it needed to be there. The plot also likes to toy with you by pretending that it is going to give you a lightsaber earlier than it actually does.

The ugly part about the story might be a little more of a gameplay issue. The early portions of the Jedi Knight’s story feature a lot of back tracking. It is a lot of repetitive back and forth between areas to talk to some person or another. Many of these seem unneeded due to the fact that many of these could have been accomplished by holocom calls. It all served to make the story feel padded at points and at times more of a chore than an enjoyable experience.

Abilities & Game Play

“The Force will be with you, always.” -Obiwan Kenobi, Episode 4: A New Hope

The Jedi Knight is a melee class. For the first ten levels you don’t have an advanced class so you are basically playing the role of “DPS” or of a high damage dealer. The Jedi Knight must gain “Focus” in order to use their more powerful abilities. These abilities then use this focus up and it must be rebuilt.

What it looks like to be on the receiving end of Force Leap.

This generally leads to a need to reach melee range as quickly as possible and remain in the thick of combat for as long as possible. The Jedi Knight must be dealing damage as quickly as their resource mechanic allows; their Focus drains at a steady rate outside of combat. This means that a Jedi Knight is most effective in prolonged encounters where they are not being focused on by large groups of enemies.

The Jedi Knight does not have many “AoE,” or Area of Effect abilities, early on. This means that they must rely mostly on single target attacks to take their foes down. Fortunately they do have one mainstay AoE ability. This ability is currently known as Force Sweep and it is a point-blank area effect attack that can hit, and stun, up to five enemies who are within melee range of the Jedi Knight.

The tactic that I found I often employed was to use Force Leap, to close the distance instantly and generate three Focus points. Then I would initiate Force Sweep with the Focus generated by Force Leap to stun my enemies. I would focus on the strongest enemy in the group usually and initiate Master Strike which is a channeled ability that did high damage. Finally I would finish off one of the weaker enemies with a normal Strike to build more Focus and finish off the remaining enemy by using Slash against them until they fell.

It's like David Caruso is stabbing you with two lightsabers.

Sometimes I would find myself facing a stronger enemy. It was here that consumables came in handy. A Medpack kept me alive more than once. This became a key tactic when facing a few of the tougher boss enemies in the initial storyline.

The Jedi Knight does have one, very nice, damage mitigation ability known as Saber Ward which is a short duration buff which greatly increases damage mitigation and chance to parry attacks. Saber Ward works well in conjunction with an ability called Riposte which is a moderately high damage dealing ability that has no cool-down but may only be used after a successful block or parry. Using these two abilities becomes key when taking on tough enemies throughout the course of your Jedi Knight’s life span.

Always follow through when you Master Strike.

My only complaint regarding the Jedi Knight’s game play is the lack of Force Abilities. With the exception of Force Leap there weren’t any really obvious Force Abilities. I was hoping for at least a Force Push or some such, but alas it was not to be. The only true Force Ability in the early Jedi Knight’s arsenal is Force Might, a buff that raises damage and healing.

Itemization

“[The lightsaber] is a more elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.” -Obiwan Kenobi, Episode 4: A New Hope

The Jedi Knight base class uses medium armor and uses a single lightsaber as their primary weapon. The armor ranges from classic Jedi Robes to more form fitting jump suit style outfits that were favored in the films by such iconic Jedi as Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker. These felt very much in-setting and I found the aesthetic quite pleasing.

The Jedi Knight really uses two stats early on, and even later in their career. These stats are Strength and Endurance. Strength increases the Jedi Knight’s melee capabilities while Endurance increases the Jedi Knight’s health. Both of these stats are invaluable to an up-and-coming Jedi Knight.

Companions

“First we eat, then help you find your friend.” -Yoda, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

The point of companions in The Old Republic is to help you cover up for the weak spots in your personal character. For the Jedi Knight this weakness, like most classes, is survivability in protracted conflicts. For that we are given, about two thirds of the way through the starter world, our first companion.

T7 + screenshot = looking good.

His name is T7 (Teeseven) and he’s probably one of the best companions I have seen from any of the starter classes. T7 is a tank, and he can take a beating, which is great as it lets the Jedi Knight focus on bringing the pain. T7 has an enigmatic personality and even though he communicates through only a series of beeps and boops he somehow manages to put emotion into those noises.

T7 can also deal out a healthy dose of damage. As the player character levels up he becomes a viable tank and even brings a healthy dose of AoE (Area of Effect) attacks which make taking our groups of mobs a walk in the park.

T7 has a lot of spunk and he instantly managed to endear himself to me. His dialogue (though you have to read it) is hilarious as it is a combination of English and computer code. For a nerd like me this brought a chuckle on fairly often. He enjoys when you do the right thing and agrees with almost every single Light Side action. (There is one later on that he oddly didn’t seem to like.) He likes the concept of justice but doesn’t like shows of cowardice.

Basically T7 is an analogue of R2-D2. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Summary

“There is no Death, there is the Force.” –The Jedi Code

The Jedi Knight is a good class, though it is still being modified. It seems to be lacking in some areas of game play but those are being addressed as we speak. The class story is good, the companions are fine, and with the exception of only a few snags in the lore it is overall extremely enjoyable.

My only warning is that the class does start out slower than the other classes. However, without spoiling it, this picks up speed around the time the Jedi Knight hits Coruscant. I am enjoying it, and all my readers know how critical I am about this game.

I give it the Professor’s Seal of Approval and a rating of 8 out of 10.


  1. FYI, Force Push is an ability you get in the Guardian advanced class, which is why you never saw it. Likewise, Sith Warriors will get it in the Juggernaut AC.

  2. Abner Ford says:

    Pretty fair and accurate assessment. Only thing I would say (in addition to the comment earlier about Guardians getting Force Push) is that in terms of the light side options, they’re really targeting the morality as dictated by the Council in that era. A relationship might be completely rooted in good intentions and love, but the Council disapproves. I understand why some people struggle with that, but to me the variety in writing and morality judgments is one of the strongest aspects of the game.

    The moral compass of the Jedi, Smuggler, and Trooper are all appropriately different.

  3. Dead on assessment imo. T7 is a brilliant companion – when he was announced, I was a little disappointed (even if he is iconic) – but as soon as I met him in game, I loved him.

    Also agreed on the slowness of the starting story – I felt like it was the weakest of the Republic classes in the prologue. That said, I’ve heard it gets engrossing later on. I really liked the design choices though, both in Jedi robes as well as the art nouveau inspired temple…though that may just be because I like art nouveau.;-)

  4. I agree with just about everything said. I was kinda disappointed with T7 when I heard about him, but after playing Beta, I love the little guy. With Force Push, I believe it was removed this last build, much to the dismay of many players. I could be wrong though?

  5. well you also get a move called blade storm that is a force move. its a raged attack.There is also force stasis gardion move
    the gardion is a bit more force sensative and some what more well rounded then the sental.
    My rating 9 out of 10 why not 10 ou of 10 slow lv which is why i give swtor a 9 out of 10.

  6. I cant speak for the guardian, but the jedi sentinel is one of the more complicated classes in the game.
    You end up with tons of abilities all on 6-15s cool downs.
    If you enjoy complicated characters and relatively steep learning curves then you will love this class. If you prefer spamming 2-3 buttons then you really wont…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *