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03.23.2012 , 05:49 AM | #9
Welcome to the Same-Gender Romance Arc (SGRA) Clarification Request thread!

First off, I'd like to thank the following posters for the continued input: Jenovan (who gave me permission to use her document and is responsible for much of the final product), MusedMoose, Lurkz, sparklecat, Zandilar, Captain_Zone, Suaine, JediElf, Kioma and many many others. I'd also like to thank anyone that comes in and gives their support. If I didn't mention a name, I assure everyone wasn't a slight against them. Without the support and contributions by all the posters, neither this thread nor this FAQ would exist. Please feel free to quote and link this at your leisure, just give credit where credit is due.

This thread’s main purpose is as a place to discuss implementation of SGRAs in SWTOR. While Bioware has committed to providing this content within 2012, the community still has many questions regarding how it will be done, and plenty of thoughts on possible solutions.

1) Why do you have the quote from the moderators on page 1?(aka the T-word)

The thread is not a place for the discussion of whether SGRAs should be added to the game (again, Bioware has already committed to them), or of a SGRA “toggle” or other method of turning off this content. The OP poll is outdated and no longer relevant to this thread. On March 13, the following statement was released by the mods:

Quote: Originally Posted by Moitteva
Discussion of the implementation of toggles to filter same gender romance options is considered discriminatory language and is neither appropriate nor allowed on the forums. Posts along this vein of discussion will be removed.
The forum rules regarding these sorts of toggles came about after several months of discussion. Over time, the general consensus was that it wasn't needed, and it was agreed upon that it was discriminatory. The best filter a player can have is their own judgement. If a player doesn't wish to return a [Flirt], they can always pick a different option.

The following quote is by David Gaider, one of the lead writers of Bioware, and he worked on the Dragon Age series. He also wrote HK-47, Jolee Bindo and Carth Onasi for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Quote: Originally Posted by David Gaider
The "rights" of anyone with regards to a game are murky at best, but anyone who takes that stance must apply it equally to both the minority as well as the majority. The majority has no inherent "right" to get more options than anyone else.

2) Why are you concerned with this when the game needs work elsewhere?

There are multiple teams working on different aspects of the game at any given time. There would be one team for PvP, one for Ops/Hard Modes, one for story, one for game fixes, ect. This will not divide resources from other teams. And most of us do not demand this right now. The one thing we all have in common is our love of this game and we all want to see it as polished as possible. The SGR thread is for this particular aspect of the game.

While we should make no assumptions about why any player wants any feature -- everyone has the freedom to play for whatever reason they like -- here are several commonly cited reasons for which people request this content:

  • *Fairness -- there is already a great deal of heterosexual romance content in the game, and it would be fair to offer the same opportunities for gay or bisexual characters.
  • *LGBT players would like the chance to play their in-game characters as “themselves.”
  • *Players of all stripes who enjoy roleplaying and storycraft would like to play different kinds of characters.
  • *Players who play characters opposite of their own gender would like to be able to flirt/romance NPCs also opposite their own gender.
  • *Some NPCs currently exhibit behavior that seems very much like same-gender flirting, but in the game as it is now, these leads go nowhere, disappointing players who thought they’d stumbled onto a romance.

3) Why did you buy a game knowing it didn't have your preferred choice of relationships?

Many players fully expected SGRAs to be a part of this game before launch, because of Bioware’s track record of offering such content before. Bioware stands firmly behind their choices to include this content, and in this interview from February 28th with Drs. Muzyka and Zeschuk (co-founders of Bioware) about SGRAs in Mass Effect 3 explains why.

(Muzyka) "It's the player's choice. It's a role-playing game."

"Yeah," Zeschuck followed, "It's a choice based on preferences."

"We let players take on a role and really immerse themselves on how they feel they want to be playing the game," said Muzyka. "Be true to that. Be true to your ideal of a game of choice."
"We are doing it as a service to our fans, because we think it's part of the expectation of a role-playing game," Muzyka said. "It's part of the expectation of a BioWare game because of the way our games have been for the last couple decades. We've had that kind of choice going way back to Baldur's Gate back in the 90's. It's been refined. We think it's a good thing to offer players. Choice is always a nice thing, when it works. When it's high-quality."

4) Has Bioware/EA changed their minds about including SGRs?

The short answer is no. As far as EA goes, The Sims have had SGR content since the first game, and it continues to do so to this day. When it comes to SGRs in The Old Republic, we do know that they’re coming, and that some thought is being put into doing them well.

The following statements were made in September 2011 by Stephen Reid, the Senior Online Community Manager for SWTOR.

Quote: Originally Posted by Stephen Reid
Due to the design constraints of a fully voiced MMO of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set. Same gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature. Because The Old Republic is an MMO, the game will live on through content expansions which allow us to include content and features that could not be included at launch, including the addition of more companion characters who will have additional romance options.
Quote: Originally Posted by Stephen Reid
First of all, this is definitely not an audience that consists of a 'couple of people' and we're aware of that. We take this decision very seriously. Second, it's very important to realize that this is just one of many, many content additions that will be going into the game post launch. The vast majority of our content will be of interest to the vast majority of our potential audience.
However, one of the amazing things about MMOs is that over time we can get to add things that are exciting and interesting to smaller audiences. Normally, that's not something that's addressed too far ahead of time. In this case, we felt the addition was warranted and should be addressed early. There will be plenty of content for all to play and enjoy.
Quote: Originally Posted by Stephen Reid
We can't guarantee that a character you play at launch would have romance options 'unlocked' for an existing companion. It's something that will be taken into consideration when making design decisions. Not a promise it'll happen, but we'll take that feedback and relay it through to design. We fully intend to do justice to the story in our storylines. As you may have heard, we take story very seriously - this included.
Here is the transcripts the PAX Q&As on Darth Hater with a mention about SGRs coming in The Old Republic:
Day One Day Two

This is another quote from Mr. Gaider regarding Bioware's stance on SGRA in their games in general:

Quote: Originally Posted by David Gaider
The romances in the game are not for "the straight male gamer". They're for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention. We have good numbers, after all, on the number of people who actually used similar sorts of content in DAO and thus don't need to resort to anecdotal evidence to support our idea that their numbers are not insignificant... and that's ignoring the idea that they don't have just as much right to play the kind of game they wish as anyone else.

5) Will I end up "tricked" into starting a same gender romance?

I'll just let Mr. Reid himself answer that question.

Quote: Originally Posted by Stephen Reid
Lastly for those of you who seem concerned that you will be 'tricked' into any romance arc in the game - all romance choices are clearly marked. You will be aware you're making those choices as you make them.
6) Has anyone heard of more updates and not just "Soon"?

This is a quote from the Guild Summit:

Quote: Originally Posted by Daniel Erickson
(The question, gathered from online submissions, was summed up as, "Is there any update on same gender romance?")

This is an interesting one because it sort of lit up, and we didn't honestly -- if we should give an update on it every single time -- We've always said the same thing with it, which is that it's coming, and it's coming with story updates. And we totally understand when people hear "soon", um, maybe I should have put the TM next to it that, "writer Soon"? The writers have a much, much larger lead time than you would expect, and we wanna do any of this stuff right. We heard suggestions, and we do read the stuff, and let's talk a little about the stuff we were not willing to do. We were not willing to go in and just change all the dialogue to work for the other gender. That is not writing. That is not good storytelling.
There hasn’t been any new information at this time. We’ll continue to update this FAQ as answers become available.

7) Why wasn't SGR in at launch?

Take it away again Mr Erickson!

When we do this, we wanna do it right, we wanna do it with the characters that make sense, that we always knew that we wanted to do it for those, so you guys know and we've talked about it before, it ended up being a budget and scheduling issue. There are romance arcs that we wanted to do that didn't make it in the game, we knew which characters (I'm not gonna tell you)... [some audience joking about characters] So the short answer is, it's never changed, it's still coming, it's coming when full story comes, and when is full story coming? This year. So we are still on track.

8) Isn't George Lucas opposed to SGR?

If the original owner of the IP(in this case Lucas) says no to something, it stays that way. A company can not use an IP and say, "Yes, X will be there. No doubt, it's being worked on" if the original owner said it wasn’t going to happen. This simply becomes a bad business move. It's detrimental to lie about something like that. Especially to customers and even more so to investors. Not to mention that would make said company liable for a lawsuit. In short, if Lucas didn't approve, they would have never started talking about SGRs in any of the Star Wars Bioware games the first place. Besides, there is already a precedent for this content in the Star Wars Extended Universe. Which leads me to the next question...

9) Is SGR even canonically in Star Wars?

There are plenty of examples of SGRs in the Star Wars IP. In the games, it began with original Knights of the Old Republic in 2003, with the companion Juhani, who would only romance female Revans. There was also a same gender romance in the books as well, with Goran Beviin, who's husband was Medrit Vasur. Goran was first featured in the e-book Boba Fett: A Practical Man. The two of them were later fully realized in the book Sacrifice, both of which were by created by author Karen Traviss. They are officially recognized as canon.

10) Wouldn't extra flirt options take away from dialogue options from the wheel?

A very popular suggestion is to move all [Flirt] dialogues onto the left side of the wheel. I suspect that Bioware has already considered that eventuality and are planning for it. I personally don’t believe that the developers will take away options just for SGR content.

11)Is this going to be like DA2?(aka everyone is bi/"herosexuality")

The developers, at the Guild Summit, stated that they have known from the beginning who was going to be available for SGRs. No more information has been given at the time of this writing, so we enjoy speculating about whom may be available when the SGR patch drops.

12) Is this going to be "pay for gay" and only available as an expansion?

This is a tricky one to answer, simply because there is no official information at this time. However, some of the posters have tried their hand to answer this question. Thanks to MusedMoose for the great answer below!

Quote: Originally Posted by MusedMoose
I think the confusion here - which tends to persist - is the term "future expansion content" was used when someone from BioWare first talked about when SGRs would be added. Too many people latched onto the word 'expansion' and assumed 'expansion pack', not realizing that "future expansion content" pretty much means anything that adds new content to the game. Besides, we've been told that SGRs will be coming with new story content this year, and less than a year is far, far too short of a time for a game like this to have an expansion pack like other MMOs have.

I'd also like to think that BioWare is aware of how having to pay extra to get SGR content would be perceived, and would not like to deal with that controversy. I don't think anyone's against paying for a full expansion that raises the level cap and provides tons of new content, though.

I hope this covers most of the common questions that new posters have in this thread. This is no means a complete list. Answers will be updated as new information has been released. The main things we strive for in the thread is constructive and respectful conversation. Feel free to be silly or be serious, but always be respectful for the choices of others. Again, thanks to all the posters of this thread!