The writing in this game is confusing the hell out of me

Well, servers down for maintenance, that means idle hands, and idle hands are someone’s tools or other.

So, welcome to another edition of “Walkiry has a Rant.” I’m your host, Walkiry 😀

Unlike previous rants, this one isn’t going to be full of anger and fury. Well, mostly. I say this because my problem this time is that I’m confused as all hell. I’m confused by the consistency of the writing, or the lack of thereof.

Let’s recap for a moment. As far as we know, the story has been put together by a team of a dozen writers or so (and editors, I hope… assume… imagine… okay, maybe not), working under the guidance of one, or maybe two people, whose job is to create the general plotlines and keep some sort of consistency. That’s of course my assumption, I have no idea how things have been done or what the process entails.

My confusion, however, comes from the, for lack of a better word, irregularity of the writing. Not just between quests, or classes, or factions, but often inside quests themselves, and sometimes even from one paragraph to the next. It’s confusing as hell, and really throws me off when the story jumps from a high to a low, to a high again, and just doesn’t seem to know where it’s going. I have ranted before about the Bounty Hunter and one of his companions, and let’s not forget the now (in)famous line: “I’ll accept payment in kisses.” (Blargh!).

Why is this happening? Are there too many writers and not enough editors? How is the writing process? Are there cliques that made some writers have more weight than others?

Seriously, all the good lines mixed with bad lines mixed with good plots mixed with idiot balls only come together into one whiffy ball of confusing awesome when one plays the one and only Raving Lunatic class: The Inquisitor.

Hat tip to Fabint for the suggestion of playing the Inquisitor as a bat-**** insane lunatic for maximum enjoyment. From now on, everything I’ll say will be passed through the WWTLIMD: What Would The Lunatic In Me Do?

[Rant and Spoiler Mode On]

So, I chose the class and gender (female inquisitor, oh joy) by random coin flipping based on the accumulated suggestions from the previous ranting threads. So, after creation, the credits roll in and I get the general idea, a [i]former[/i] slave who is about to undertake the trials to become a Sith.

I arrive to Korriban and am greeted by a rather unfriendly dude (overseer, apparently), who tells us we’re all worms and I’m just a slave, yadda yadda, you know the drill. A sweet-as-pie girl named Kory reassures me in the cutest way possible that everything’s going to be all right *hugs* *cuddles*

I want to hug her and pet her and take her home and name her Kory!

Spoiler: She dies. Yeah, I acted surprised too.

Anyway, I’m off to interrogate some dude. So far? I’m bored as hell and the Sith academy has not changed one bit. Remember KOTOR? Yeah, High School Drama all over it, only with more lightning and less singing. In that sense, Korriban doesn’t disappoint. Or it does, depending on your point of view.

I’m expecting someone to try and shake me for my lunch credits.


I get to the interrogation room, I start sweetly enough, and after a couple of questions I hit the dude with some lightning.


Ahhh, so good. Just to get  into character you see.

He begs me not to hurt him anymore, and says he’ll do anything.

Among the options to reply, I see the following:

2. Sing

I… I never… I had to do a double-take. Did they just offered me…? WWTLIMD?


Prisoner: “What? I… Sure! I mean… What do I…?”

2. Something cheerful.


So there I am. Listening to a prisoner *sing* while doing an interrogation quest.

It’s awesome.

It’s awesome for all the wrong reasons. It’s a line tossed at the fourth wall that didn’t quite manage to break it, and it’s awesome. I finish with a *ZZZZZZAP* and leave the interrogation room in a daze. I still can’t believe that happened. Is it even allowed to make something so crazy awesome in this game?

My disbelief only increases when the next trial comes:

Overseer: “Sith dude I’m fawning over, go upstairs and write a note, I’ll send you milk and cookies. Slave (that’s me by the way), go to the bottom of this monster-infested dungeon and retrieve a holocron nobody has managed to retrieve in the last thousand years.”

Oh yeah, WHAT A  SURPRISE! I’m starting to think I should have named my Inquisitor “Kenny.”

So what happens when I get to the place where the holocron is?

I open it and retrieve it, yes, of course, but…

“Open I say!”



In one thousand years, not a single Sith has thought of zapping it with lightning.

ARE YOU ******** ME?!

Sith are MADE of 99% lightning and 1% a thin layer of skin to hold it all together!! Seriously. They go through medical droids at the Academy faster than players go through Doritos.

Medical Droid: Please hold still while I inject the Kolto with this metallic syringe…
Sith: Cleanup in aisle five!

How can you do this after the interrogation room scene? HOW?! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!

Next. Another bottom of a monster infested tomb to retrieve the darkest secrets of some dead Sith Lord or another,. WWTLIMD? Why am I n-

My Lunatic Inquisitor: “Yes, I get it already. You send me into a tomb to do the impossible, hoping I die, and I come back and prove you wrong.”

I can’t *********** believe it. Did… Did my character lampoon her own storyline with a perfectly pitched line bouncing off the fourth wall like that?


What the hell is this?! Seriously, one absolutely idiotic thing after a hilarious scene, and now another great line before you toss me into yet another “tomb of the really scary dude”.

Genius or idiot, just pick one already and make up your mind! You’re going to give me a bloody aneurysm!

I think I’ve just discovered why they call this a themepark MMO. I just found the rollercoaster.




And then it dawns on me. The storyline is, so far, idiotic, boring, more boring than idiotic, and *someone* involved in it, a writer, one of the voice actors, someone, was much too talented to be doing that ****, and even more disgruntled about the crap they were forced to write. Someone who can toss lines at the fourth wall and make them bounce off like that is way too good to be wasted in this crappy… [i]thing[/i].

But here we are. The writer and I. Sitting on a tree. Sithing.

Time for a low. I get back from the quest, and some blonde I have never seen and who doesn’t introduce herself starts talking about… Oh right, holocron, that was the previous quest, this must be Lord… um… Whassherface. She tries to lampshade the idiocy of the holocron and the lightning, saying how curious that nobody tried that simple method… in a thousand years… yeah, it fizzles halfway through as both the voice actress and the writer clearly give up. It’s just too stupid.

Anyway, after a brief pause to kill  the High School bullies (didn’t see THAT coming, did you?), my first companion awaits. Khem Val.

Oh dear god.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:


So, yeah, that’s Khem Val in a nutshell. According to the quest, freeing, defeating, and enslaving this dude is mandatory to unlock the darkest secrets of the Sith Lord WhoeverIsInThisTomb. What lost secrets does this oversized lump of meat know? What powerful Sorcery? What unrivalled insight into the mind of his former Master? What could possibly-


He punches a wall, and I’m through to the final area.




I use the trip to the bathroom to grab a stack of sickness bags because the up-and-down rollercoaster of idioticy and awesomeness is really making me sick, and I get back to the academy.

I’m not even going to go into being stuck with this guy forever JUST SO THAT HE COULD PUNCH A WALL!

I’m contemplating stabbing myself with a rusty spoon on my back to end the suffering. I’m pretty sure I would be able to reach if I dislocated my shoulder.


In the meantime, the overseer and his pet are rather surprised and quite annoyed at this turn of events, that I survived and succeeded. A sticky situation, what should I do? What strategy should I use? Sith politics are complex and hard to unravel, is it worth-


Or that. Thank you Sinistar.

Anyway, Lord Whassherface shows up, fries my rival, and berates the overseer. I poke the overseer for fun, and he proceeds to threaten me and be all Sithy and all that. Apparently he forgot I’m standing next to one big ugly mofo who was the servant of some Dark Lord and who-


Yes, that, the Star Wars version of a Tasman Devil. Apparently my character forgot too. And the writer as well. Because he’s just not big enough obviously. Or maybe they’re in a hurry to put all this crap behind us and move on.

Can’t say I blame them.

I smoulder with unlimited rage at this point.

After getting my lightsaber and killing some idiots, I get my first customization for Predator here.

It’s green.

He’s wearing a purple loincloth.

“Don’t make me angry, you won’t-”

Wait, wait, it’s Khem Val.


That’s better. I can’t believe they gave me this customization option. This isn’t carrot and stick, this is cat-o-nine-tails and *********** Ambrosia. JUST MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY!

So on my way to Dromund Kaas I stop at the fleet, and passing through the Cantina the quest symbol appears over The Starving One™.

The Strongest Frog In The World: “I WILL DEVOUR YOU!”

*Quest complete*

For crying out loud, someone get this guy a sandwich!

Did I just order my female character to get this guy a sandwich? Is that why I’m suddenly feeling more manly?

No time to think, rather it’s time to get the regular shuttle down to Dromund Kaas. I make a mental note ask my master for a ship ASAP.

Seriously, after boarding I sent the over-muscled Christmas tree to sit on a different row because I don’t like cramped spaces, and let me tell you, the poor little Twi’lek sitting next to him looked like he wanted to melt into the seat and disappear. And worse still when the stewardess came around:

Stewardess: Peanuts, sir?

Of course, it could have been worse:

Stewardess: Peanuts, sir?
Khem Val: I WILL D- Oh, no thanks, I’m allergic.
Stewardess: I see, is there anything else I could give you?
Khem Val: (Eyeing the Twi’lek) I think I’m set here.

Longest, most awkward flight I’ve ever had to take, let me tell you. I gnaw at my wrists during the loading screen trying to reach the veins and kill myself, but the game finishes loading before I chew through the first tendon.

Damn Raid 0 SATA 3 disks.

Once in Dromund Kaas, I have a run-in with some scary-looking cyborg Dark Lord dude, and we engage in a subtle, complex, play-of-power exchange to generate the canny conflict one would expect in internal Sith politics.

Dark Lord Dude: “G.T.F.O. noob!”
My Lunatic Inquisitor: “No, u!”

I’m not longer in Korriban! I’m not at the academy! This is a gosh darn Sith Lord! STOP THE TEENAGER SCHOOLYARD **** ALREADY!

I toy with the idea of letting the double-jawed wonder here handle it, but that’d entail acknowledging his existence, so WWTLIMD?

My Lunatic Inquisitor: “Go jump in a sarlacc pit.”

I think our rebellious disgruntled writer is losing the fight with his nearly broken spirit. Anyway, time for me to visit my master, Lord Whassherface.

I’ll give you three guesses to figure out what happened.

My Master: “You will go to retrieve something deep inside this Dark Lord enemy territory and kill the unkillable cyborg. I’ll be upstairs drinking wine at a party.”
The One True Muncher: I WILL DEVOUR HER!

Can I give these two idiots ten minutes alone? I don’t care about the outcome, just that it’ll halve my suffering.

Seriously, this is starting to feel like

Wait a minute, Stephen Notley IS Canadian too.

Mind = Blown.

My Master makes a quip about working for her, because as she goes up in the ranks, so do I. Jeez, thanks, I always wanted to play a Remora. Only I get to do all the work too. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE OPPORTUNITY!

And before the servers went down, my next quest.

My Master:”You will go deep into the ominous, forbidden temple and confront the ghost of some powerful Darth Dude, where you may perish.”
Nom-Nom: I WILL D- Uh…. I’m afraid of ghosts.

Don’t worry PacMan, I’ll make sure I bring power-up pills and cherries for you. And call me over-sensitive, but I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe mind you, I might be getting a whiff of a hint of a pattern here.

And what happens next? Why, one of Bioware Vintage Specials™:

Khem Valzzennegger: “The witch (that’s my master btw) reeks of lies.”

STOP DOING THAT GODDAMIT!! It’s bad enough when Mako spots a bad idea and tells my Bounty Hunter, this time even Giant Lamprey Man here is capable of spotting something so blatant it makes him say something other than


and point it out, and I’m forced to go along with it!

“Dashade, KILL!”

“No dammit, kill ME you moron, and end my suffering!”


[Rant and Spoiler Mode Off]

Seriously, what the hell is going on here? It’s the same pattern over and over and it’s so worn out it left the running joke station a planet ago, yet there’s someone talented enough in there to toss lines at the fourth wall that crack me up and work in context, and I swear I don’t know whether to cut my veins or grow them long.

Listen, Bioware, I know you think you have some overall vision for the game story. Really, I sympathize. But it ain’t working. You’re killing me here, and you’re killing the writers too.

Here’s my advice:

1) Find who that writer is.
2) Have an earnest, sincere, open-minded discussion about why he’s so disgruntled and address his concerns.

There is an alternative explanation of course, and it’s that the writer is actually young and inexperienced, and thus the level of writing varies a lot. If that’s the case.

1) Find an editor, a good editor, willing to work with him.
2) Get them together and do whatever it takes to make sure they understand each other, and the editor helps the better ideas flourish, and that the writer improves in selecting good ideas from the slush pile of bad ones.

And whatever you do, I recommend you:

4) Get him a gosh darn sandwich, because it’s clear as hell he’s *********** hungry.


~ by The Sarlacc on February 14, 2012.

4 Responses to “The writing in this game is confusing the hell out of me”

  1. 1. I. Love. You.

    2. More rants. Naow!

    • *Laughs* Thanks! And don’t worry, there will be rants, the Inquisitor is the gift that keeps on giving.

      • If you want to get really pissed off (or bored to death, probably both), you should play the trooper. The class quest is really well done. Things like “I’m going to shoot a senator in the head, directly at the beginning of a senat hearing, without any explanation and walk away, without anyone stopping me. Oh and yeah. I’m going to accuse a bunch of senators of treason, but they still don’t care enough, to throw me in prison.”

        The republic story was unbelieveable awesome, that I quit two weeks after release. In other words, I need your rants to calm my hatred for SWTOR, Bioware and EA. :ugly:

        Why are you still playing SWTOR?

      • Well, it’s already paid for, I got a multi-month subscription 🙂

        I’ve found things that amuse me, and taking the game apart mechanically to do things I’m not supposed to is fun enough (my Bounty Hunter has a sizeable notch count for soloed World Champion mobs, you know, the ones that have 100k+ hit points).

        And ranting about the game with a few nice people I’ve met in-game, and on the forums, is entertaining.

        That said, not sure how long I’ll stay, for now it’s all paid for until end of April, after that… I’ll burn that bridge when I cross it.

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