Knights of the Old Republic EP17: Leveling Montage

By Shamus
on Oct 8, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I know I already covered this in my Mass Effect series, but if you missed it for whatever reason, I think the structure of Mass Effect and KOTOR have a lot in common:

You have a brief section aboard the (Endar Spire / Normandy) followed by the tutorial area on (Taris / Eden Prime), which is destroyed by (Saren / Malak) to establish the villain. Then you go to (Dantooine / Citadel) and talk to (The Council / The Council). They scorn you at first, but after some quests they agree to make you a (Jedi / Spectre) and send you in search of (The Conduit / Star Map). You get the (Normandy / Ebon Hawk) to hop around to a few different planets and pick up new teammates. Each planet tells a self-contained story, which then leads back into the main plot at the very end. You share a series of visions with (Bastila / Liara) that do a little mystery exposition and foreshadowing. Once you finish the next-to-last planet, you have the stakes-raising chokepoint mission on (Leviathan / Virmire) where one of your companions is (captured / killed). Then you go to the hidden mystery world of (Rakata / Iilos) where the BIG SECRETS ARE REVEALED, which leads to the final battle on the (Star Forge / Citadel).

Man, I’m loving this season. I know we’re not doing a lot of analysis, but it’s so fun to just joke about this game. It’s this perfect blend of earnestness, enthusiasm, quirky retro charm, odd mechanics, and that classic STAR WARS feel.

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202020208Great Scott! 88 comments! If only this post was a DeLorean.

From the Archives:

  1. Deadyawn says:

    The only advantage sentinel has over the other classes is more skill points. In kotor 2, having skills on the PC actually matters because stuff like repair, computer and awareness actually have contextual use in dialogue.

    But yeah, in this one sentinel is pretty much just worse.

    • Merlin says:

      Force Immunity is pretty great. It’s not flashy like Force Jump, and you generally won’t notice when it works because it’s not a tabletop game, but it’s a great ability.

      • AdamS says:

        I loved when it bugged out in the sequel, because you’d still have the particle effects swirling around your head, you’d jut ignore them completely. “Oh, am I supposed to be stunned right now? So sorry, I was too busy kicking your teeth in to notice.”

      • Hector says:

        Unfortunately, the Immunities are terrible as a game ability.

        You can run through entire games without actually failing a save against one of the abilities. If you do, it’s probably at level where you wouldn’t have the immunity yet anyway. By the mid-game, you probably have no more than 5% chance of failure if anybody even uses the abilities on you because the DC for all these effects is pitifully low. This would be more useful is enemies actually used lots of save-or-effect abilities, but they don’t, and the ones they do use tend to be trivial to avoid.

        It would be a great ability in a tabletop game. It would be a great ability if we had a wide variety of debuffs. It would be a great ability if the DC’s were quite high. None of this is true in KotOR, however. Most players started the game with a 50% chance of a saving throw, most of the things which require a save have a low % chance to apply the effect, and they have to hit you first. This is why Sentinel really doesn’t work: it’s ability isn’t just passive ad uninteresting from a gameplay standpoint, but you may never actually need it. And it’s far more likely to pop up in low-threat battles where the enemy just happens to use a flamer, poison grenade, or stun stick than in a serious fight where it would be useful.

        This issue, reversed, is why Force Wave is so incredibly good. It’s guaranteed to hit, and certain to apply the effect, and extremely hard to resist once you stack up the save DC.

        On the flipside, Immunity also doesn’t change gameplay at all, which isn’t good for a signature ability. There’s no battles where you can use the Immunities to out-maneuver foes or set up tactics that take advantage of it. Whether the ability stunned you for six seconds or not, it really won’t change your next attack or combat choice. If you get poisoned, you might have to use a medpack or Force Heal slightly earlier. More than likely, you’d just tank the effect (even as a Consular) and keep going.

    • Hal says:

      I think the only actual exception is with HK-47. You need the Repair skill to repair him, which gives him permanent bonuses which become unavailable after the plot twist comes out.

    • John says:

      Sentinel, despite what the documentation may say, does not have more skill points. It’s supposed to, but it doesn’t. Juhani and Bastila have the same INT stat, but Juhani is a Guardian while Bastila is a Sentinel. They both get 2 skill points per level.

      What’s worse is the other classes can easily obtain the other advantage of playing a Sentinel–the immunity to Stun, Fear, Stasis, and whatnot–simply by equipping certain belts, implants, or headgear.

  2. Warclam says:

    Oh my god Carth, shut up! Nobody cares about your problems! Shut up and stop blathering about your “man-feelings”. Just. Shut. Up. Romance Juhani instead of this intolerable windbag, please. Or nobody, that works too.

  3. Smiley_Face says:

    Yeah, the personality test! Have we seen this done better than Fallout 3’s GOAT, where it’s funny while also clearly acknowledging how nonsensical it is?

    Consular gets all the nice force powers – but I agree with Shamus, the Guardian leap attack is SO MUCH FUN. You walk into a large hangar, then leap across the room at 100mph. So good.

    As to the cognitive dissonance behind the violent methods of the Jedi and their peaceful philosophy, I feel like it’s something that the movies have sort of stuck with the franchise (particularly the new three), where most people watching the films will come away with the impression that the lesson was that using violence is awesome as long as you’re the good guy, and any videogame where you’re a Jedi sort of has to deliver on the fantasy of using violence, rather than running around, and solving problems without violence, like the Jedi would nominally like to do.

    Part of it is perhaps mitigated that only you and your party are the ‘violent’ Jedi – the rest of them pretty much do just stand around and talk about non-violence and serenity all day, so your party is just a statistical outlier.

    • Tizzy says:

      Return of the Jedi is the only movie that ever sold the pacifist Jedi to me.

      Kotor2 made me realize that Jedi are just bullies with good PR. They come round and decide what the “good” outcome is for a situation, usually rather arbitrarily. Then, they offer their diplomatic skills to make it happen. Where diplomacy means: “you can do what I say, or I can whip out my lightsaber.” You can almost hear them hoping that somebody will mouth off so they can get the fight started.

      • krellen says:

        The Jedi aren’t the good guys. They’re misguided throughout the series – the entire message of the original trilogy is that their philosophy is wrong. Luke ignores the “sage advice” of his Masters – both Obi-Wan and Yoda tell him he’s not ready to face Vader – and because of his passion, his intense feelings and conviction that his father is still good, he ends up not only redeeming the irredeemable Vader, but also destroying the Sith Lord Palpatine.

        And ultimately, by rejecting the rewritten Code and embracing both peace and passion, brings Balance to the Force.

        (It’s too bad Lucas didn’t realise this is what his movies said.)

        • Nidokoenig says:

          This makes a good deal of sense. Resisting temptation in an environment where everyone goes to great lengths to isolate the tempting things takes far less fortitude than if you have it right there in your hand. Not having knowledge or access to Sith powers at all makes not misusing them morally neutral, whereas using Force lightning to power a hospital despite the personal risk is obviously good unless the temptation factor borders on mind control and screws with the cost/benefit analysis.

          • guy says:

            It does border on mind control, though, which is why the “using darkside powers is actually morally neutral” faction is explicitly identified as an undercover Sith recruiting tool.

        • Shamus says:

          Also, he doesn’t actually throw down with Vader until Vader threatens his sister. It was love, not anger, that let him overcome. The Jedi’s solution to avoiding the anger of the dark side was to try and feel nothing. But “nothing” isn’t the opposite of evil, only the lack of it. Which is why they sucked.

          But yeah. I don’t think we can claim authorial intent. I just find it the most satisfying reading of the material.

          • krellen says:

            I hope you know that converting you to my way of thinking on this is one of my proudest achievements in life.

          • djw says:

            Well, in the sense that he copied from other authors (Joseph Campbell, Frank Herbert, Edward Smith, and others) I think you could probably find some authorial intent in there somewhere. To bad he didn’t do that for the prequels too.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            Yeah, there’s a word for cutting yourself off from your emotions: Depression. And its not a very useful state apart from being a temporary means of self healing. In fact, one of the chief struggles with depression is that you need help and often aren’t much use to others.

            I was told as a kid by a friend of mine who loved the expanded universe that the path to Jedi Master involved embracing the dark side and then overcoming it, achieving a combination of dark side power with Jedi self control. This made sense to me and still does.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Yeah, there’s a word for cutting yourself off from your emotions: Depression.

              Wrong word.Depression is full of emotions.Its just that they are all negative.The word for being cut from all emotions is psychopathy.

        • Slothfulcobra says:

          There is a very clear theme throughout the movies of the Jedi’s traditional wisdom being wrong, from Luke denying some basic tenets of the Jedi (although he did skirt close to the dark side) to the entire Jedi order following a prophecy that will get them all killed and missing a Sith lord right in front of them. The Jedi are doing the best job they can, but in the prequels they’re destined to fail, and in the original trilogy they’re playing it too safe to get anything done.

          Lucas pretty clearly was trying to get the idea that the Jedi, for all their greatness, are deeply flawed, but it comes across all muddled, both because it’s a weird angle and because Lucas failed at a lot of storytelling. Dooku has a whole speech about it, but that is lost in the whole sea of failed intrigue plots.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        The ethical metaphysics of Star Wars are underdeveloped? Knock me over with a feather.

        The need to dress the good guys in white and the bad guys in black with a death’s head mask didn’t already telegraph that pretty hard…

        :)

        • Joe Informatico says:

          No, it’s the Imperials wear black or white, while the Alliance wears earth-tones. Leia wears only wears white in New Hope because she’s still in her senatorial robes, and in Empire because it’s snow camouflage for Hoth. And Luke shows up in that black outfit in Jedi–which the children’s book version I had as a kid said was the “uniform of a Jedi Knight” (before the prequels decided Kenobi’s hiding-in-the-desert robes were Jedi clothes). So black and white were probably symbolic of the Empire, and the Republic before it (again until the prequels deep-sixed that).

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          Underdeveloped until you get into expanded universe material. There was the seed of something within the original movies clearly and that seed grows in the expanded universe having found fertile soil in a cynical generation that needed things to not be cynical about.

          The expanded universe for me will always be the only canon that matters. I expect nothing out of Disney and Abrams and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I get more than nothing.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The whole “jedi are pacifist” and “jedi are good guys” is something that was introduced later on.As it was presented early on,they were advocating levelheadedness and deliberation.Thinking before you act,not letting your feelings take over you.Basically,order of mind and body vs the chaos of emotions.

    • Amstrad says:

      The answer you’re looking for is Jagged Alliance 2’s Personality Test. The personality test was witty and funny and determined your starting gear, skills, attitude and personality traits. In fact the GOAT is so strikingly similar to JA2’s IMP test that I wouldn’t be surprised if the latter was a direct influence on the former.

    • I’ve been planning to make a image comprising all the first moment of every fight between jedi and sith in the whole series. I may do it as it’s about time I get this year’s viewing of the films (original trilogy, of course, without all the crap of remasterizations). The point is: every time the jedi is the first to get his weapon out. I’m not sure if Darth Maul is the exception.

    • John says:

      Ahem.

      Master Speed + Double-Lightsaber + Force Jump + 4D6 Sneak Attack Damage = Dead Enemy.

      Easiest run through the Star Forge ever.

  4. lucky7 says:

    Both lightwhips and gun-wielding Jedi are actual things. There are also those who use wooden sticks and martial arts.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      Actual wood or Cortosis-grained mahogany from Bullshittium V?

    • Slothfulcobra says:

      Don’t forget light-tonfas and lightsaber-chucks.

      It bugs me how double-bladed lightsabers and dual weilded lightsabers have become just a common thing now, while curved hilts are mostly ignored by the expanded universe, despite being based on a real thing in swords?

    • Atarlost says:

      Blasters are nice too. You get +10 to attack for being in their face and they get +10 for being melee against ranged, but they don’t get it to blaster deflection rolls. Not having to run up to people is pretty cool for non-guardians.

      Remember those really annoying guys with blasters that spammed push and pull in Jedi Academy? You can be them. Except that Pull doesn’t exist in KotOR, but you can still knock people down and shoot at them while they get up.

  5. Michael says:

    Josh, there is no Sentinel in D20 Star Wars. It’s a class Bioware cooked up for this game.

    Which is probably why it doesn’t really work.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      See, I like the sentinel class -all the skill points… And especially if you like to rock the droids, having lots of skill points (especially sunk into repair) can make them super effective.

      And the consoles… Oh, blowing up sith with consoles, reprogramming robots…

      • GloatingSwine says:

        Which is basically irrelevant as soon as you get T3-M4 because he’s better at that stuff than you can ever make your main character, because he has super high starting Int and enough free perk choices from his super limited range to take all three ranks of Gear Head, and gear slots that aren’t in competition with anything good that can further boost his skills to ludicrous heights (+7 to everything but repair in one slot), and you can just go and get him whenever there’s something to repair or hack.

        You need to take enough Repair that you get it to 17 with your Int bonus for maximum HK-47 and no more.

        Sentinel really doesn’t offer anything but some immunities, which you can obviate, and get better skill points, by starting out with Scout 5* then going either Guardian or Consular. (*More feats than Soldier 5, better saves, and only lose +2 AB and 10HP which are trivial to make up)

  6. guy says:

    If you aren’t a cheaty bastard, the light side gives you cheap access to the best buffs and still leaves you with the room-clearing force wave power.

    • Lachlan the Mad says:

      Also, Jolee is neutral in alignment and gets a ton of Force points and powers, so you can use him to drop Lightning everywhere without suffering too heavy a price.

  7. Lachlan the Mad says:

    At 23:36, Josh is offered the opportunity to ask “Who are you?”, and he doesn’t choose that option.

    That’s it, I’m never watching Spoiler Warning again.

    [/sarcasm]

  8. SlothfulCobra says:

    Personally, I wouldn’t have gone through all my levels at once, I prefer to bank them and use them as heals in a tight spot.

    Of course, Josh has all this arcane knowledge of how the game works that evens everything out. I never knew that force valor was worth anything.

    • Viktor says:

      Oh, it definitely is. It lasts for IIRC 6 rounds(If you’re not being a cheating ass, JOSH), which is an entire combat, and basically gives your whole party +2(or 3) to-hit, damage, AC, all saves, and a bonus 2 HP and FP per level. Not to mention +4-6 to save DCs on your powers. That’s a big deal in a D20 system.

      Really, between Valor, Speed, Energy Immunity, and a few others, buffs are ridiculously broken in these games. But Force Storm is so much more broken it’s not even worth being a self-buffing Guardian who murders everything with +99 Lightsaber of Death.

      • djw says:

        It’s also handy for boosting the stats you need for skill checks.

      • Thomas says:

        That’s why I love the lightside special force ability in KOTOR2 which casts all your buffs at once.

        Of course darksiders got Force Crush which is arguably even better. Picking up giant monsters and crushing them slowly with the force even beats +2 to hit.

        • John says:

          You need that multi-buff in KotOR 2 because the interface is so bad at telling you which buffs are still active.

          Seriously, Obsidian buried that information down with the dialogue and combat logs for some reason. In the first game, you could get that information with a single button-press, but it takes–if I remember correctly–something like three button presses to learn the same thing in The Sith Lords.

          • MichaelGC says:

            Blimey – I didn’t realise it was even possible! That still sucks, but it’s better than the nothing-at-all I’ve been trying to work with. So thanks! :D

  9. SlothfulCobra says:

    There’s this whole big mystery about the true nature of the task the Jedi Council is sending you on, the masters dodge your questions when you ask them, and Nemo makes a big show of not telling you when he learns that the council is keeping you in the dark. It could really get you wondering, what is making the Kath Hounds aggressive? What is the council hiding?

    Then if you just talk to a couple of the non-quest-related NPCs right outside of the temple like Josh blatantly doesn’t they pretty much fill you in on all the details. You might not bother to connect the dots the first time, but it’s pretty clear when you hear, “The Jedi Council is telling us to stay away from this area. Just as well, the Kath Hounds are really aggressive there anyways” and “I hear one of the Jedi apprentices hurt her master bad and ran off into the plains” right next to each other.

    It’s all pointless anyways, because even after you finish the quest, you still have to fight every Kath Hound you come across.

  10. kunedog says:

    Rutskarn’s bit about emergency teleportation reminded me of when cats were first added to Minecraft.

    I sought out jungles and went through some effort to tame a breeding population of each color and transport them back to my base. Creepers are afraid of them, so i tried stationing them as sentries around town. Well, it turns out that if they are injured, then they will teleport straight to you.

    Fairly often, one would get struck by lightning, and then (wherever I was; usually underground) my tamed cat would suddenly appear in front of me, on fire and screaming in pain, then fall over dead.

    That’s probably the most depressing failure of anything I ever tried to accomplish in Minecraft.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      Wouldn’t that be easy to solve with a stone platform above the sentry post to block lightning? Or is electricity dumb in Minecraft?

      • kunedog says:

        You’re probably right that a single block would stop lightning (if only because I never saw any while underground). Can’t remember whether I tried that, but it would’ve been more work and affected the looks of the place. Instead of a (mostly unobtrusive) cat on every corner, there would also be a cathouse. Also IIRC cats didn’t reliably stay affixed to the exact block you told them to sit on, so you couldn’t be 100% sure they were protected even if you made the cathouses bigger.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I like how dragon age origins dealt with sustained powers:They take a chunk of your mana that you cannot use as long as that buff is active.This way you dont have to worry about constantly recasting them,and the penalty it gives is significant enough that you cannot just use all the buffs all the time.Also,there is a tradeoff between being buffed and being able to spam all of your other spells.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    What was that cool flying thing at 19:27?Shamoose dropped the ball this time as the resident “Looking at the skybox” guy.

    • MichaelGC says:

      The giant airbased manta ray thingy? That’s a brith. There’re rumours that one once turned to the dark side, but I reckon the ‘Sith Brith’ is a myth.

  13. Joe says:

    It’s a brith, though at first I thought it was a thranta imported from Alderaan.

    • Thomas says:

      That wiki article you linked to described Dantooine as a ‘Grassy’ ‘Outer Rim’ ‘World’ with a wiki link on each word. With delight I thought, there can’t possibly be an article on Star Wars grass can there? But yes, there is!

      “Grass was the term used to denote a wide variety of plants of a certain type that were common on worlds throughout the galaxy. The typical species of grass grew as a single thin leaf from the ground; many single plants grew in close proximity to form literal carpets across the landscape. While most species flourished in broad plains, others thrived in the shady environs of forests.

      The planet of Alderaan, before its destruction, was noted as being the home of over eight thousand species of grass; it was also the home of grass paintings. Chandrila was also known for its balmgrass, a species that was soft to the touch. “

  14. Wray92 says:

    “Suplexes boulders just because she can.” Is Mumbles playing Undertale?

  15. Pyrrhic Gades says:

    Wait what? The different Jedi Jobs give you different stats/feats/skills. Am I the only one that finds it a bit bullshit how nowhere is it stated that the different Jedi jobs give you different kinds of bonuses.
    I took the same classes as everyone else at Jedi school, yet somehow my character’s future growth is all dependant on some arbitrary multiple choice questions. I only chose my character’s Jedi Job based on the colour of their light-saber.

    What KOTOR should have done is after your first hour/year of tutorials in Jedi School, then you get to choose your character class. And by “Character Class” I mean hit the books and cram for your Councilor exams.
    —–

    I actually like how your alignment only effects how much mana your force-magic uses. Out of the 3 Bioware games I’ve played (Mass Effect, KOTOR and Jade Empire), KOTOR is the only one where I fealt I was never forced to take an extremist path. So long as I get to shoot sith-lightning out of my hands and alchemise my med-packs into credits (whilst retaining a free source of healing), I don’t care what my alignment is.

    In Jade Empire, for the 3 chapters I played, I always fealt constrained in how there’d be dudes that won’t let me take on their quests unless I didn’t follow one or another path

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I took the same classes as everyone else at Jedi school

      Thats the thing,its not a school,its a college,where you get to pick your subjects before you take them without any real info and then you get barred from other classes because…um,because of reasons.

      • MichaelGC says:

        When I was in college I had these two courses where the lectures were always scheduled at the same time. (Both were mandalorian mandatory, of course. These were philosophy lectures – I’m not entirely convinced it wasn’t the Faculty’s little joke.)

        So maybe that’s it – Force Jump training is always on a Taungsday morning, at the same time as Droid Repair class.

    • guy says:

      Which is pretty ironic, because the Star Wars setting and even this very game has a proper reason for requiring you to take one or the other. It’s generally a pretty firm rule that if you try to split the difference you wind up Dark Side, because whatever Kriea and Vergere say, the Dark Side is actually a supernatural force of evil and it will eat your sympathetic motivations. Which is why the Emperor tried to recruit Luke by getting him to give into anger.

      I also like KOTOR’s split better than Jade Empire’s because the dark side doesn’t try to split the difference between being unsympathetic and being a viable heroic motivation. The Closed Fist options were pretty much all crazy or unbelievably petty. Maybe the worst is the ghost quest in old Tien’s Landing, where you murder a guy for no reason; one of the ghosts thinks they’ll be able to rest if you do it, but by this point the game has made it abundantly clear that no one can pass on under any circumstances.

      It’s so bad that on my first playthrough I decided not to pay attention to the morality values for choices and went entirely Open Palm anyway; I took polite conversation options in peaceful conversations and whichever option most closely approximated “Bring it!” in hostile ones, I went for honorable battle, and I didn’t intentionally harm innocents for petty amounts of cash.

      KOTOR 2 tries to put in some idealism vs. pragmatism into the light-dark thing, but I don’t think it worked. Most particularly on Telos; the light-side option is to side with the Ithorians, who are peaceful and working hard to restore Telos, while the dark side option is to side with Czerka, which is a corrupt corporation. Supposedly, Czerka is the pragmatic option because the Ithorian planetary restoration is costing too much and that will derail the restoration of other planets, but Czerka is corrupt and incompetent. By all indications, the Ithorians are the lowest qualified bidder and Czerka is cheaper because they’re cutting corners and won’t succeed in restoring the planet.

  16. Blovsk says:

    Sentinel’s actually got a lot of USPs. Not as high damage as Guardian or Consular but you get a reasonable balance of health and force powers, all the best skills, the most skill points, the best saving throws and immunity to fear and stun effects as you level up.

  17. Blovsk says:

    Also, this episode is a really good example of the RPG/statbuilding side of it. You’ve got 9 possible class combinations, a range of Light/Dark powers and alignments to stick on top of that, attributes, skills that affect non-combat options and the option of conserving levels for Jedi classes or taking loads early.

    It’s very shallow compared to KOTOR 2’s system or BG 2’s ton of classes and sumptuously designed items BUT this offers so much replayability and depth compared to the Mass Effect games’ four largely uncustomisable classes, paragon/renegade (with no gameplay impact), and a couple of companion choices thing this is just luxurious. Warts and all, I think the KOTOR games just have so much more replayability out of this.

    • Josh says:

      Small quibble here, Mass Effect has six classes.

      But yeah, I get what you’re saying. Hell, just being able to customize your companions’ gear setup is a huge step beyond Mass Effect.

      • If I remember correctly, those classes were FemShep, Racistgade, Reporterpuncher, Rogue Cell Leader, Jackhole, and Buzz Aldrin, right?

      • MichaelGC says:

        Yeah, but no one ever picks Sentinel nor Engineer, so those two don’t count.

        OK, OK, I used to play both plenty. Particularly in ME3MP, with the Human “TECHBURSTTECHBURSTTECHBURST” Engineer, and the Turian “Keep Shooting Me! It Pleasantly Tickles” Sentinel.

        • AdamS says:

          Everyone I played ME3 with HATED it when I played Engineer, because I always played with the combat drone maxed out and named her Bernadette, and then whispered sweet nothings to her while we played.

          …I realize this has nothing to do with the usefulness of the class, but there you go.

        • James says:

          I think one of the engineer or sentinels in the MP gets a tech shield that i just ran around hitting people with for oneshot kills.

          that and playing a krogan and using krogan charge and only that all game cus lol 1hit kill lifesteal.

          • MichaelGC says:

            Aye right! – you could even almost combine the two. A Krogan Sentinel with Rage & Tech Armor & Grenades carrying a Saber and a Black Widow has no idea what a ‘cooldown’ even is, and possesses only a very limited understanding of this thing they call ‘taking damage’…

  18. Alex says:

    If I remember correctly, I took 3 levels in Scoundrel and then 17 levels in Guardian. +2D6 Sneak Attack plus Force Jump made for some fun fights.

  19. Re the outline of Knights of the Mass Effect: That is _exactly_ what put me off playing ME1 – I felt like I was playing a re-skinned KOTOR and the prospect really didn’t grab me. I’m not sure I even got off the Citadel. :/ (Well, that and the realisation that all the “interesting”, i.e., the non-bipedal non-humanoid ones, weren’t likely to ever be party members…)

  20. Taellosse says:

    That isn’t just the structure of KotOR and ME1 – it’s the structure of every Bioware game from Neverwinter Nights through ME1 – Jade Empire and Dragon Age: Origins also have the same basic format to their plots. It wasn’t until ME2 and DA2 that they started to innovate that format a bit (mostly by adding more significant locations – and making each one smaller – into the middle bit). The structure is just most obvious when comparing KotOR and Mass Effect because they’re both wearing sci-fi trappings.

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