The Old Republic Sith Divide Explained

By John Walker on January 27th, 2010 at 4:07 pm.

Careful, that stings.

Today’s been a good day, I know, but it doesn’t mean you haven’t had that nagging question in your head. Like the small stone in the bottom of your shoe, it’s been frustrating you throughout. You’ve been wanting to know the difference between the Sith Warriors and Sith Inquisitors in Star Wars MMO The Old Republic. We’re here for you, the answer’s below.

It’s important to not ever just say “inquisitor”, but rather to boom, giant emphasis on the “or”:

“INQUISIT-ORRRR!”

Sadly the developers do not adhere to this rule during the video, but they do go into some depth about how the two types of Sith class are differentiated, why they chose to make two types in the first place (think Darth Vader vs. Emperor Palpatine), and a little bit of detail about how playing the Dark Side doesn’t necessarily mean being constantly evil. Plus, rather significantly, there’s (eventually) a bunch of in-game footage, rather than the flipping artwork BioWare keep putting in the trailers.

Dave Tosser says: I’ve never properly understood why BioWare are persisting with this era of the Star Wars universe. George Lucas carefully crafted an elaborate back-story to the classic films with his recent trilogy, rich with ideas and worlds in which an MMO could be set. Also, I’m concerned this game isn’t nearly enough like World of Warcraft.

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51 Comments »

  1. the wiseass says:

    I doodled a little portrait of our dear Tosser:
    http://i45.tinypic.com/2vwi3yh.jpg

  2. skalpadda says:

    Oh look, a whole new game where you can gank people in Silithus!

    Looking forward to a little more detail about the light side jedi as well. Shame you can’t be a TIE pilot, even if the game doesn’t have any space combat :)

    LCM Skalpadda
    [HUSS] CBX-CSS-GFX-IBX-M/1/2-MS-TLN-TT}

    • Leelad says:

      I don’t believe the Twin Ion Engine existed in the days of the old republic.

      There was however some quite awesome technology present. Zip forward 5000SHITTING YEARS!!!!!!! and not much changed. They might have lightsabers but they suck at technological advances.

    • Klaus says:

      When you’re busy being stuck in a holy war between two factions of zealots with super powers and then fending off the super powered fauna there is little time for technological advancement. In fact, the Sith or the Jedi probably development most technology so they can kill each other faster.

    • Pantsman says:

      Perhaps they’d already pretty much reached the physical limits of what was possible by then. Technological advancement can’t continue forever.

    • Tei says:

      Nah… I think are the star wars universe is stuck on the years just before the collapse of the roman empire. Is never getting there (like in Asimov “Fundation”), because the authors of Star Wars don’t want to go beyond that. Maybe the episodes we know of Star Wars are just a tiny part of a bigger drama, one where the whole galactic civilization… dies.

      I mean… Coruscant == Trantor!

    • skalpadda says:

      Leelad: According to Wookieepedia “The Twin ion engine system was a sublight drive system that was first invented about the time of the Jedi Civil War. This form of propulsion was first used in the Sith fighters of Darth Revan and Darth Malak’s Sith Empire.”

      Still not actual TIE fighters, but close enough!

  3. Rosti says:

    D’you mean “INQUISIT-ORRRR!”, like that angry robot dude from Red Dwarf? ‘Cause that’s the best way to say inquisitOR.

    • bill says:

      I think he means INQUISITOOOOORRRRR…. in the style of Dolph Lundgren in Universal Soldier.

      TRAITOOOOORRR!!!

  4. Lord Bigglesworth says:

    Good Lord, the graphic engine looks horrible. Even WoW has better graphic than this.

  5. MasterBoo says:

    Gameplay looks very WoWish. Bah. Why companies can’t make a decent original MMO these days, or even something UOish (still consider it as my best MMO experience).

  6. alm says:

    That Inquisitor class does look appealing. Damn and I wasn’t going to get this game…

  7. PixelCody says:

    Still hoping this isn’t a subscription game (yeah, right), or I’d rather have had KOTOR 3.

    As for the video, sounds like they’re pushing the idea of starting over with new characters rather than having an endgame.

    • Rabbitsoup says:

      SNAP, I will buy guildwars 2 just to support the bloody idea of sub free MMOs.

      on a related not I just got KOTOR, its unstable as hell on XP, any tips? Guys

    • neems says:

      The only problem I ever had with KOTOR on XP was with some radeon drivers causing artifacts, pther than that not a peep. Can you be more precise about the problem?

    • Axess Denyd says:

      Rabbitsoup: KOTOR really doesn’t like multiprocessor systems. Set the affinity to one processor and it should be better.

  8. Jimbo says:

    After having played a decent chunk of Star Trek Online during the beta, I think Bioware should try and incorporate some kind of space combat into TOR. I found having two distinct gameplay types to switch between every 30 minutes or so really helped keep everything fresh. And just getting from A to B is always half the fun in Star Wars.

  9. Brumisator says:

    I love Dave Tosser! He’s my favourite person on the internet!

    HIS WORD IS LAW!

  10. somnolentsurfer says:

    Woah! No one’s mentioned the most important new reveal: Hot girls playing MMOs!

  11. Vadermath says:

    Dave Tosser for PRESIDENT.

    OF THE WORLD.

  12. Doth Messar says:

    Is it just me, or are the characters in this game equipped with huge hands?

  13. Marcin says:

    The more footage of this I see, the more I fear it’s going to end up being WoW – with dialogue trees.

    Do not want.

  14. Labbes says:

    Do they use the Dragon Age engine for this? Because the eyes look like Dragon Age on lowest settings.

  15. disperse says:

    Wow. Gripping box-clicking action.

  16. Bhazor says:

    To carry on from Tosser’s point. Why are they persisting with the crummy made for tv version of the Old Republic rather than the 1990′s comic book one with the spaceships made from skeletons and back pack powered light sabers?

    The least they could do is make it a bit Steam Punk.

  17. Exonin says:

    Looks like a more advanced version of the STO ground combat than wow from my perspective.

  18. Joey says:

    Total chubby

  19. Dain says:

    Meh, at least the original games still had some fairly unique designs while still being recognisably SW.. this new game basically has slight variations on the film designs. Compare the Sith trooper from the first game with the storm trooper rip offs we have now.

    Lots of influence from those prequels too.

  20. Pip says:

    you know what they say – bigger the hands the bigger their… force =)

  21. eyemessiah says:

    Hahaha, inquisitors doesn’t haf much armors. Just like durid lol :D

  22. rargphlam says:

    It’s using the HeroEngine. What you’re describing is the BioWare effect, where all characters stare almost blindly and awkwardly into space.

    Except in Mass Effect, where they twitch like they’re neurotic.

  23. Wednesday says:

    Gents, you’re always so late with your Old Republic news! You should just pay me to tell you about new videos.

  24. plant42 says:

    I’m having a hard time imagining how this could look *more* like World of Warcraft. Purple elves might do it, but possibly not.

  25. invisiblejesus says:

    Oh, holy god… I loaded up that video thinking “Hahah, stupid comparisons to WoW, let’s see what it really looks like”, and got watching, and I’m thinking “OK, enough concept art, let’s see some in-game footage”.

    And then my exhausted brain realizes that the concept art is moving and that, yes, this is in-game footage. And it does, in fact, look like WoW. Which I’d be OK with, if the WoW-y look fit the mood of Star Wars AT ALL. It does not. Shit.

  26. Wulf says:

    The first and only thing that strikes me about this video is:

    Oh look, eleventybillion buttons, a life of watching cooldowns and micromanaging skills. The very definition of Anti-fun.

    Did they learn nothing from Guild Wars and the concept of skills so smart that the bar only needs eight of them? The reason Guild Wars is so well loved is because it works with the concept of smart skills, you don’t micromanage, you’re not playing an MMORTS (I’m looking at you, World of Warcraft), you’re a hero and not some kind of faceless unit. But watching eleventybillion buttons takes away from the heroic feel of the game, because you’re paying more attention to cooldowns than you are to having fun.

    Guild Wars managed to be clever, tactical, and complete with just eight skills. I really wish they’d copied that approach instead having that many bloody buttons on the screen.

    Well, to those who play this game, I don’t salute you. Have fun watching your eleventybillion cooldowns. I’m giving this a miss. :p

    (Don’t worry, Mr. Tosser, we’re looking at pure WoW-clone material here, unashamedly so.)

    • skalpadda says:

      @ Wulf: That’s why you keybind everything and hide all your action bars, turning every combat encounter into a memorizing/guessing game. :)

    • Guildenstern says:

      Please explain what you mean by “smart” skills? I did play GW for some time, and there was plenty of cooldown watching and micromanaging.

    • Wulf says:

      @skalpadda

      I tried that, oh the memories. x.x

      @Guildenstern (appropriate name)

      Sorry, but you’re either trolling or being purposefully dense, as I’d think anyone could tell the difference between a small bar of eight buttons, and 3+ bars with 12 buttons each. That’s eight versus 36! And if they embrace racials, crafting, and so on, that number could easily go up to 50+.

      There wasn’t much cooldown watching in Guild Wars because there were only eight skills, but moreover the game was designed not to be cooldown-happy, there weren’t any long cooldowns like you see in World of Warcraft, I don’t think I saw one with a cooldown of over 20 seconds (that was the feel of it). It wasn’t like… oh, that one’s got two minutes, that one’s got five, that one’s got 48 seconds,s that one’s got ten minutes on it, that one’s got two seconds but I shouldn’t use it yet because the skill it relies on has got 83 seconds left on it… and so on, ad nauseum.

      There’s really no comparison, and trying to compare the smart skills of Guild Wars with the idiotic system given to us in games like World of Warcraft (and apparently the old republic) is a joke.

      Seriously, watch the trailer, it’s quite sickening, loads of skills all cooling down on different timers. There’s no fluidity with that.

      And no, there’s no micromanagement in Guild Wars, unless you’ve somehow managed to fark up your build in an amazingly spectacular way, and you’re having to compensate for a stunningly shitty build.

    • Serenegoose says:

      Wulf: Thank you. I will have fun watching my eleventy billion cooldowns. I rather enjoy it. Hopefully GW will continue to play to your sensibilities re: smaller and tighter skill bars, though I do recall as a mesmer/necro I was constantly wishing I had more than 8 slots. Perhaps other class combinations don’t feel punished in the same way for it.

    • skalpadda says:

      To be fair to WoW though, you never ever have to watch 10+ cooldowns at once, it’s just not something any class has to do in normal PvE play. Also, you make it sound like long cooldowns are a bad thing, which is strange since the good thing about them is that they’re usually very powerful skills and the trick is to find the best time in a fight to use them, then not worry about it.

      And that’s now in Wrath of the Lich King. Before then there were several classes who didn’t have more than 2-3 buttons to frequently push in combat. You’ll be spending a lot more time worrying about what the enemies do rather than how to manage your own damage/healing/tanking in most situations.

      The place where the large amount of available skills are a problem for WoW is in the PvP game, which will never be completely balanced because of the vast amount of utility skills available to most classes; changing one will interfere with a whole bunch of others making it a balancing nightmare. The PvP game is a marginal part of WoW though and even Blizzard have stated that the whole arena and “E-sport” thing was probably a bit of a mistake.

  27. Shedeep says:

    Is it just me, or are the characters in this game equipped with huge hands?

  28. mr distended rectum says:

    I think it looks great. Can’t wait for it.

  29. Lilliput King says:

    Wulf isn’t really explaining what he means very well, I doubt Guildenstern meant to annoy.

    Point is, in GW you were forced to pick only 8 skills from your vast selection of available skills to take into an instance, and you could switch those round between instances. That meant that a clever combination of skills was something that made a tangible difference. It made the trad-MMO stylings skill based, and it was very clever indeed.

    Still plagued by boring MMO combat problems in that all you really do is click on buttons, but hey.

  30. neems says:

    Plus an awful lot of the skills interacted with each other in various ways, so you were literally making a build. There were cool downs (generally related to the ‘power’ or usefulness of the skill), but they worked in such a way that instead of sitting around waiting, you would use another skill that complemented the first, and so on down the line, creating chains of effects and damage.

    It was a rather nice system, and the number limit always made you think about your build, as invariably you would have to sacrifice something (I always felt like 9 slots would have given me the perfect build ie overpowered).

    People did still get stuck on certain character builds and ways of thinking though. I always used to get abuse in public groups when people discovered my Elementalist was specced primarily for water.

  31. Guildenstern says:

    I know how GW works, I just don’t understand what is meant by “smart skill” here. Yes, you do all you need in GW by just 8 buttons, but that’s simply because you are incapable of using more then that. It’s artificial limit. And it’s true cooldowns in GW are short, but they are still there, pretty much on every skill.

    Besides, I don’t use much more buttons then that on my WoW character during actual combat. Maybe there are some buff buttons and such that won’t fit into 8 button bar, but those are used every 30-60 minutes. And I have no idea why would you bring crafting into that.

  32. Raquel says:

    I think they chose that particular Star Wars era because they don’t really need to worry much about contradicting stuff with their plots.

    It makes sense to me to place it in that part of the Star Wars timeline, because of that, and also because it’s a time where there’s no issue if there are Jedi and Sith running around the place. Over 5 years ago I played Galaxies and was put off by how many Jedi ended up being around, after only a few months…

  33. Guildenstern says:

    Also I agree that GW gives you great freedom to build your character, but it only works because developers don’t even make any attempt to balance PVE. PVP they do care about, obviously, but in PVE they just don’t care that monks or assassins can make themselves invulnerable, that paragons can reduce damage on party by 80% and keep it up, that monks can use 2 elites at the same time or that necros are best healers who never run out of energy, or whever cheesy stuff players have discovered recently.

    If this skill system was implemented in WoW developers would never be able to tune PVE content appropriately because there would always be a way to cheese through with some crazy combo of skills. So that wouldn’t work.