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How can anyone take the empire seriously?


Lium

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My main is a 50 sentinel and has been since I've been playing SWTOR. Recently, however, I've started playing a marauder so I can experience the other side of the story. And as I'm leveling up and doing all the quests, I keep thinking, "How can anyone take the empire seriously?"

 

I know this is Star Wars and other than Anakin and Revan most evil in the universe is pretty cartoonish. But just from a strategic standpoint, most of the thinking of the imperial officers, Sith Lords and Grand Moffs are beyond silly. I've heard a lot that part of the reason the empire has more players is because the stories are better.

 

Really? When?

 

Because even though I'm having fun playing my marauder, the writing is really after school cartoon quality. Maybe it's because I'm playing a Sith and not an agent or a bounty hunter. I hear that the IA story is one of the best in the game. While the Force users have really hokey stories.

 

I can believe that. Because as I said before, I'm left wondering how anyone can take the empire seriously at all.

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The Empire are taken seriously because they whipped the Republic's butt. They trashed the center of galactic civilization and the best the Republic could do was keep things together enough that the Empire offered them a crappy peace deal since, despite their best efforts, the Empire just wasn't ready to take the whole of the Republic.

 

However, as is pointed out by several people in game, the Empire is pretty much a house of cards that will eventually fall. And they're proven right.

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Its about the concept of a person having power to control others. Its a realism perspective.

 

The powerful do as they please and the weak follow. However, its not total anarchy, its more organized and with a goal that becomes mutual. This also ties in with the realism perspective, and how there are no friends but only people with mutual interests.

 

If you do not accept the force as something that is powerful enough to control others then either the story was not convincing enough to prove that point or you lack the ability to believe in such things. Probably due to browsing the internet too long and reading too many witty atheistic and skeptical comments that they leave a person without imagination or sense of belief to play along with anything.

 

The republic is more about being responsible with that power. And also how that responsibility borders on certain hypocrisy but because the force is so powerful certain things have to be done to control it and fight the opposing side, the empire as well.

Edited by VegaPhone
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Empire...lol.

 

All they have is a crappy small city on a jungle planet, which would blow up if they don't keep a 24/7 watch on their lightning spires. Plus they can't go anywhere since major portions of their own planet are now controlled by rebelling slaves, a rogue Sith lord, an invading mercenary army and a bunch of angry Mandalorians.

 

I wonder how they can ever get something done, when they can't even control their homeworld ?!

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I have finished 6/8 of the class stories.

 

I would rank them thusly:

IA > SW > Smuggler > SI > JK > JC.

 

Empire stories are just better. You say afternoon cartoon? JK is the very definition of cliche afternoon cartoon. JC tried to go the more mature route but fell flat on keeping it interesting. IA is good enough to be its own full feature film. SW is amazing if you actually RP it (by that I mean making choices based on the situation and not full dark or full light). If you just mash the dark button it's cheesy.

 

Although I tend to agree that the overarching empire bits leave a lot to be desired.

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Empire...lol.

 

All they have is a crappy small city on a jungle planet, which would blow up if they don't keep a 24/7 watch on their lightning spires. Plus they can't go anywhere since major portions of their own planet are now controlled by rebelling slaves, a rogue Sith lord, an invading mercenary army and a bunch of angry Mandalorians.

 

I wonder how they can ever get something done, when they can't even control their homeworld ?!

 

Yes because the Republic has such amazing control of their homeworld the senate tower nearly gets destroyed by a bunch of low life crooks that's much more impressive right?

 

I do agree the whole slave rebellion thing is just as pathetic but gameplay / story segregation is your friend here.

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Recently, however, I've started playing a marauder so I can experience the other side of the story. And as I'm leveling up and doing all the quests, I keep thinking, "How can anyone take the empire seriously?"

 

Playing as a Light-sided Sith Warrior you can see how the Empire took over half the Galaxy.

 

Playing as a Dark-sided Sith Warrior you do begin to wonder how anyone in the Empire can survive to be old enough to breed.

 

I think the problem is their "Dark-side" is more "Raaaagh kill!!!!111" than a Darth Sidious or Darth Vader calculated self-interest (they might blow up a planet, but they do it for a specific goal not just for "fun").

 

However it's arguably worse as a DS Jedi, because that just comes across like a sulking 3 year old much of the time. :)

Edited by Goretzu
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despite their best efforts, the Empire just wasn't ready to take the whole of the Republic.

 

Wrong. Revan got into Emperors mind and made him to make this deal with Republic. Otherwise Emperor would destroy and conquer whole republic in that time.

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Empire...lol.

 

All they have is a crappy small city on a jungle planet, which would blow up if they don't keep a 24/7 watch on their lightning spires. Plus they can't go anywhere since major portions of their own planet are now controlled by rebelling slaves, a rogue Sith lord, an invading mercenary army and a bunch of angry Mandalorians.

 

I wonder how they can ever get something done, when they can't even control their homeworld ?!

 

republic.. lol

 

Sith operating on Coruscant itself (not to mention the whole jedi temple destruction), you cannot turn around without hitting a corrupt senator and/or their lackey. as someone summed up - republic planetary stories (and some of the personal ones as well) in a nutshell are basically players cleaning up the messes that republic itself created. its a wonder, they can resist empire at all, considering how disorganized, corrupt, sanctimonious, self righteous and ineffectual they are. while I enjoy playing through stories on both sides, what little illusion I had left about republic being the side that should or will prevail - died on Belsavis. at the core, republic is just another side of the same coin.

Edited by Jeweledleah
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I disagree with your point.

 

Of course if you go Dark Side all the way just for the DS points, then obviously you'll end up with some cheesy dialogues. But how about rolling a new character just for the storyline and playing it with actual choices? Turn off showing alignment gain, pick options with 1-2-3 buttons, immerse yourself in the story.

 

What I encourage players to do is doing side quests, PvP and flashpoints and then going through all class quests on the planet in one streak uninterrupted by side grind quests. If you do that, and if you pay attention to the cutscenes and dialogues, you'll see how awesome they can be.

 

For example - Sith Warrior(Mara/Jugg) dark side storyline on Alderaan. It was brilliant! Overall Alderaan shows the magnitude of the Empire and it's ways of dealing with planets they want to conquer by other means than just battling the republic.

 

What you seem to fail to see is the imperial structure. It's far more complex than just "strong push weak around". It's the whole philosophy. It's ruled by a Sith. Hell, one of the greatest Sith in Star Wars universe. He's almost almighty! And he gave special rights to the other Sith. Now imagine a caste of priests or nobles having absolute control over the military. Do not forget about the Dark Side corruption that runs through their brains and, well, their immense powers.

 

You say that you find Empire hilarious because of the sometimes tedious, overdone evil attitudes. I say that Republic sucks and in my opinion it should fall. And that's because my main is a Trooper whose storyline puts more focus on the Republic itself rather than personal plots. Let's see how it looks on every planet:

 

Corrupt / incompetent / weak governor / leader;

Understaffed crew / starving garrison / ragtag bunch of rebels;

Occasionally a corrupt senator/politician that undermines whole operation for his own gain;

Empire / mercenaries / pirates / gangs giving them hard time and rendering them helpless.

 

While the Sith Empire, from Republic Trooper perspective, looks like this: strong, well trained military with high funds on high-tech toys and advanced weaponry, led by VERY competent commanders that crush all that stands in their way. AND those ****** commanders, unlike most governors/senators/other local leaders on republic settlements/planets actually answer to unified leadership of the Council and the Emperor which gives them strength of quick decisions and careful planning on their end.

 

Troopers defect from the Republic because they don't like the indecisive leadership, arguing senate that can't agree on even most basic things and lack of support from their commanders(Ord Mantell trooper storyline). And almost all the people who defect from the Empire are spineless weaklings who can't stand the pression and violence that will lead to the war(Black Talon pretty much).

 

Now let's sum up average Sith activity on most planets:

Strong leader acting as the harbinger of Emperor's will / ambitious Sith;

All the means necessary to win the war;

Constant communication with the Council / Darth that oversees the whole campaign;

Republic pretending it's not supporting the rebels or the force it deployed, ready to be crushed.

 

Long story short:

Republic - "oh my God, the Empire/bad guys are tearing us apart, sir, please, help us! We can't do it on our own!"

Empire - "My lord, we have located the Republic / Rebel / Resistance / Pirate / Mercenary base and we're ready to slaughter them. Will you do the honors and spearhead the whole operation?"

 

And, last thing, beware, mild spoiler from Trooper storyline:

 

Once you break The Gauntlet, you get a holocall(or was it a conversation in person?) from the command that the Empire launched an all-out offensive and is tearing the Republic forces on all fronts. It even managed to besiege Corellia which is pretty much next to the Republic capital planet and it is helpless!

 

Empire would do just fine without the Agent or Sith Warrior. Republic would fall apart if it wasn't for the Havoc Squad saving everyone's asses and winning their battles for them.

 

So yeah, it's the Republic that is silly and can't be taken seriously. It's like a dying empire that crumbles from it's own incompetence, too weak to support itself, let alone stand against the Empire.

Edited by Kleryk
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Op the one thing I enjoyed about the empire story is it was about the war, and it was about bringing the end to the republic. I was not there to kill a few creatures here and a few creatures there. I was not there to play diplomat. I was also not there to play science boy. Thats what I enjoyed about it most, and the sith story just was pure epic.

 

This being said I have studied military strategies and tactics as a hobby. Biowares story line is a failure in this regard. No general, no leader abandons a clear advantage, unless they are completely incompetent. Let me put it in other terms. The sith were hitting the republic everywhere they could in the last war, and they were beating the republic up pretty good. Maybe not making allot of headway, but they defiantly were getting to the republic, both by morale and by military means. Then the sith empire comes out of no where and sacks the capital world of the republic. Destroying a large portion of the Jedi order. It does not take a genius to see the rippling effects. If you were a trooper in the trenches barely hanging on, and then you receive word that the sith just sacked the capital world of the republic, I think the last thing you would want to do is stick around. It was the perfect time to destroy the republic, and the Empire did not need to have overwhelming force to do so. Bioware decided however to go a incorrect route and make it seem as both sides fought to a stalemate, its pretty clear by their own lore this was no where near the case.

 

So when I played the empire, yea I took it seriously. I would have to admit that having to watch the sith squander advantages did not make much sense to me for a military society. Military societies are not known for throwing away military advantages. For some odd reason you got lightside points for removing corruption from the imperial military, didn't make much sense. Or for that matter you got lightside points for helping out the Imperial military. So I wont deny that it could use some tweaking.

 

Lastly the games got bigger problems.

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Empire...lol.

 

All they have is a crappy small city on a jungle planet, which would blow up if they don't keep a 24/7 watch on their lightning spires. Plus they can't go anywhere since major portions of their own planet are now controlled by rebelling slaves, a rogue Sith lord, an invading mercenary army and a bunch of angry Mandalorians.

 

I wonder how they can ever get something done, when they can't even control their homeworld ?!

 

Republic is just the same, with squabbling planetary governments threatening to leave the Republic, under-supplied army which has to contract mercenaries with rich criminal records and doubtful loyalties, and the capital city underworld controlled by gangster clans.

 

To make real life parallels. Every state that has nuclear bombs is taken seriously, independently of their economical and political situation and stability. And actually, the less stable they are, the more seriously they should be taken. As a threat to the stability and prosperity of the rest of the world. So, be the Empire stable and prosperous, why would they need to threaten nearby worlds? Those worlds would seek membership in the Empire themselves...

I think that the storylines on the Empire side make perfect sense to describe the conflict and the atmosphere.

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Military societies are not known for throwing away military advantages.

 

The Sith Empire is not a true military society. It's not rational, the very basis of the Sith Code is irrationality - passion doesn't usually lead to clear rational choices. It's leadership has no interest in the good of the empire, they are only concerned with their own personal long term struggles for power.

 

The Empire's reasons for signing the Treaty of Coruscant have nothing to do with military advantages or disadvantages but the insane whims of their emperor. The slave revolts on Dromund Kaas aren't due to a lack of power or control, but are a direct manipulation by some Sith to undermine other Sith.

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I have finished 6/8 of the class stories.

 

I would rank them thusly:

IA > SW > Smuggler > SI > JK > JC.

.

 

I feel almost exactly the opposite regarding the Jedi Consular and Imperial Agent. The Agent story is completely absurd and proves the OP's point. I don't believe the Sith Empire could conquer anything. All three Acts, the Empire characters are following these mostly myopic and personal stories while the Republic is kicking their butts off planet after planet.

 

The only major world they manage to capture after Chapter 3 is Taris. They lost Balmorra and Corellia, no matter which sides' stories you're playing (Republic Balmorra is after the Empire victory in their version). And losing the weapons factories and the shipyards means they've effectively lost the war. However, as I said, I don't believe this society could have ever achieved much of anything.

 

One example, failure and the Empire's response to it. We know that failure and struggle are absolutely essential to long-term success. If you always succeed at everything you never learn from any mistakes. The Empire executes anyone who makes a mistake and can't finish a mission. That's so cartoonishly silly that I have a hard time understanding how anyone takes that side seriously.

Edited by Master-Nala
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Now I don't know how much you know about human history and societies in the past. But that military -survival of the fittest -regime isn't that far fetched from what happened some time ago :confused: / still happening. If you look at foreign politics how can you take todays clowns seriously?
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Now let's sum up average Sith activity on most planets:

Strong leader acting as the harbinger of Emperor's will / ambitious Sith;

All the means necessary to win the war;

Constant communication with the Council / Darth that oversees the whole campaign;

Republic pretending it's not supporting the rebels or the force it deployed, ready to be crushed.

 

Long story short:

Republic - "oh my God, the Empire/bad guys are tearing us apart, sir, please, help us! We can't do it on our own!"

Empire - "My lord, we have located the Republic / Rebel / Resistance / Pirate / Mercenary base and we're ready to slaughter them. Will you do the honors and spearhead the whole operation?"

.

 

I don't think that's true at all:

 

 

Empire storyline

Dromund Kaas - The slaves are rebelling, Lord Gratham is rebelling, Revan's wackos are rebelling DO SOMETHING!

Balmorra - The resistance is rebelling sir! We need your help to defeat them and prove the Republic is helping them!

Nar Shaddaa - Help an idiot diplomat, idiot intelligence officer, idiot general all of whom can't figure out how to do their assignments without your help.

Tatooine - We can't take over this world because of these gangsters, sand people and jawas, do something sir!

Alderaan - Help the weak and spineless Thuls stay alive through Ulgo's and Organas attack. (Hint: We know they lose, it wasn't Princess Leia Thul after all).

 

Taris - OK, I give you that one. IMO, that's the Empire's best hour.

 

Quest - Help us steal this venom mine from the Republic sir, we can't do it alone.

Hoth - Help us be annoying to the Republic so they can send more troops. (THAT'S the stated storyline)

Belsavis - Help us break out the Dread Masters sir, so you can raid them in a few levels. :p

Voss - Help us trick these primitives into joining the Empire since they kicked our butts when we tried to Conquer them.

Corellia - Help us get our butts kicked off this world as our military coop falls apart.

.

 

 

Both sides stories are presented as you have to save the day.

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Empire storyline

Dromund Kaas - The slaves are rebelling, Lord Gratham is rebelling, Revan's wackos are rebelling DO SOMETHING!

Balmorra - The resistance is rebelling sir! We need your help to defeat them and prove the Republic is helping them!

Nar Shaddaa - Help an idiot diplomat, idiot intelligence officer, idiot general all of whom can't figure out how to do their assignments without your help.

Tatooine - We can't take over this world because of these gangsters, sand people and jawas, do something sir!

Alderaan - Help the weak and spineless Thuls stay alive through Ulgo's and Organas attack. (Hint: We know they lose, it wasn't Princess Leia Thul after all).

 

Taris - OK, I give you that one. IMO, that's the Empire's best hour.

 

Quest - Help us steal this venom mine from the Republic sir, we can't do it alone.

Hoth - Help us be annoying to the Republic so they can send more troops. (THAT'S the stated storyline)

Belsavis - Help us break out the Dread Masters sir, so you can raid them in a few levels. :p

Voss - Help us trick these primitives into joining the Empire since they kicked our butts when we tried to Conquer them.

Corellia - Help us get our butts kicked off this world as our military coop falls apart.

.

 

 

Both sides stories are presented as you have to save the day.

 

Strange, in my opinion it looks much different than my version of republic quests. I have to admit that Tatooine is worst with the "OMG, MY LORD, WE NEED HELP WITH THOSE FEROCIOUS JAWAS!", but Balmorra? All I remember was pretty much what I wrote earlier about the Sith spearheading the assault. Did they lose Balmorra?

 

You are wrong when it comes to Alderaan imho.

When you arrive there, you are asked to be the emissary of the Empire to show it's strength and rape everyone with a nailed baseball bat if they don't do exactly the Emperor's bidding. Also - remember how ****** was the imperial commander(moff?) that you talked to before meeting with Thul. Thul was merely a puppet in hands of the Empire and I loved how clearly that was shown.

 

 

What I mean, aside from occasional PC saving some imperial NPCs or doing errands for them, is that most of the quests revolve around one thing - performing face surgery with a glowstick/blaster on everyone who disagrees with the Empire to subdue him while Republic actions are like wrapping a car that falls apart with duct tape so it holds just a bit longer. Rep side Hoth was pathetic, for example.

 

If it wasn't for the Havoc Squad, it'd just lose one battle after another.

 

And what does Sith Warrior do in his storyline?

He actually embarks on an epic quest to kill enemy commanders in attempt to throw the Republic into disarray just before launching the offensive.

 

 

Edit:

Forgot to add - It's not really like that on Dromund Kaas. You pretty much do errands to hurt the rebelling lord, you get a task(not a plea for help, mind you!) to infiltrate Revanites and as for the slaves.. well, that's the only case of you actually saving someone's *** because of the officer's incompetence.

Edited by Kleryk
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I don't really know much about the Star Wars universe, but after playing both Sith War and Inqs story lines, their society as a whole resembles much like the Drow in the D&D fantasy setting, except more chaotic. A lot of back-stabbing, in-fighting, disagreeing and that is pretty much the only thing that prevents the forces of good from being totally overwhelmed.
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Empire...lol.

 

All they have is a crappy small city on a jungle planet, which would blow up if they don't keep a 24/7 watch on their lightning spires. Plus they can't go anywhere since major portions of their own planet are now controlled by rebelling slaves, a rogue Sith lord, an invading mercenary army and a bunch of angry Mandalorians.

 

I wonder how they can ever get something done, when they can't even control their homeworld ?!

 

I fixed all that a while ago...

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I dunno, I have had the opposite experience of the OP. Playing the Republic everyone is like corrupt or defecting and they are always outgunned and outmanned. There were times I just wanted to take my Sent and kill off my own faction they were so pathetic.

 

Empire felt a lot more organized and in control of the planets. Sure there were "help me" quests, but the overall tone was "we just conquered this, this, this and this, how about you go have some fun and kill a bunch of people?"

 

It is all perspective, I suppose

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The writing does bog down in cliches or MMO quest-absurdity, often, which is why I find it hard to play Republic. The Jedis are unrelentingly boring. Even the Jedi Knight story almost put me to sleep. Jedis are really boring in the prequel trilogy, too, so it's not even Bioware's fault.

 

I could never go dark-side in most Bioware games because I took the characters too seriously. But there's a tight, focused story in SP games. In my opinion the best writing in TOR basically shows how the Sith Empire is a fractious mess doomed to failure, and your Sith is a part of that dysfunction.

 

Also, imagining a universe with trillions of people, the idea that 100 people compete to be Sith and only 1 survives is totally plausible, even if you imagine there are 100,000 Sith running around.

 

Sith might be cartoonishly villainous, but it keeps me sort of interested, since the story is not gripping or tight, otherwise, because of the hugeness. And I'm not dogpiling on the game like trolls and "critics." Yeah: the stories could have been better, even as they stand (i.e., removing the ridiculous "gift" requirement for seeing companion conversations,) but in an MMO like this they are pretty great.

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