I have gathered a few suggestions for the handling of future romance content in the game.
I know this is not a pressing issue for many of the players (
), those who are more into the combat side of the game and not necessarily into the fluff and such, but I consider romance content to be part of story content (which I greatly care about) and helpful for immersion and would like to add my voice in support of further implementation of such content with maybe a few possible changes to consider, in case the writers are still thinking of working on more such content in the future.
People who have played and enjoyed romances with their companions in the game so far do expect those romances to continue in some shape or form as this would be the natural progression. Some, if not most of these romances are kind of hanging in the air right now though; they basically just stopped.
We had marriage proposals, hushed talk of the Jedi Code (Consular) and a few mails. That was it. Same can probably be said about the Empire side, which I haven’t really played yet. Same-gender romance players haven’t even had the option of having a romance for their chars yet. That, we heard, is gonna be changing with Makeb though.
I think most of us know that the way the existing romances in the game are put on hold poses quite a few problems for further development. It’s also difficult to get OGR and SGR on par, since OGR have had a much longer developing time, there’s more content overall.
The fate of the existing romances is largely depending on future story content, possibly even class content (Jedi Consular for instance) which makes it very hard to update these romances outside of class and larger story content updates. And we know that we have had to wait around a year now for new story content to come.
My suggestion is the following:
Separate the romance content from class and/or companion content, if not entirely, then optional.
That poses the need to give players the chance of breaking up with existing romances, but will make for easier updating in the future.
Makeb, of course, is largely finished, I’d imagine, but it shall stand as an *example* for future story content coming with new expansions or updates that may or may not provide more romance content. We’re only guessing here.
Smuggler A lands on *Makeb*, ready to witness the rise of the Hutt Cartel and all the ensuing mayhem. Insert whatever planet you like here, and whatever storyline that might still be coming.
When you enter *Makeb* for the first time, usually you start out by talking to a lot of people, get quests, get infos etc.
Now some of those NPCs you end up talking to would provide flirt options and your char may choose to respond, or may choose to ignore them.
Once you’re returning to the ship for the first time (or possibly a little later, whenever it fits) a cut scene with your current romance companion triggers (in case your char has already pursued a romance in the game). Your char's existing romance may worry about the state of the romance and suggest to break up.
Given your char agrees, said char may now officially pursue a romance with an NPC on *Makeb*. These romances would function as stand-alone, possibly long term romance options for those who’d like to pursue them. Current companions wouldn’t necessarily need to be altered this way, unless the writers still want to go down that path.
You get to flirt with those NPCs for starters. The flirt activates further conversation options but the flirt may also be cancelled and pursued with another NPC. There should be at least a few SGR and OGR options on *Makeb*, to make it more interesting.
Once your char actually asks the NPC out (or whatever the equivalent in a galaxy far, far away would be
), the romance is logged (text could trigger, like: “You really wanna ask me out? You thought about the implications?”… something like that).
Once in a while, while on *Makeb*, you stop by to have new conversations and once you're done with *Makeb*, the player should be able to decide whether the char should break up with that NPC or keep up the romance. If the romance is upheld, the char should once in a while find letters in the mail from that NPC, asking him/her to come see him/her.
You'd have to travel back to *Makeb* to have a conversation, a flirt, spend the night, the now infamous fade-to-black. Next day you're off again to save the galaxy, kind of like a long-distance relationship. There could be cutscenes, showing your character’s current companions react to your char’s return, like eye-rolling, joking, whatever.
These romances could be updated, together with patches - you'd find a letter in the mail after some extensive mob socking action on Planet XYZ and go back to *Makeb* to have a conversation, the romance evolves that way and is potentially infinite.
This romance NPC might even function as a quest giver for some fun little side quests, once in a while.
New expansions could always bring new romances, whatever pleases the writers here. These kinds of romances are easier to update than companion romances, since these NPCs are not (necessarily) deeply involved with the story and class content but maybe more on the periphery of things, say, a doctor on Ord Mantell, or a bar owner on Nar Shaddaa and so forth.
Now, if you ever implement proper housing (which I hope you guys will) make sure that’s on different planets, so the chars actually have a reason to travel and won’t have to stay in the ship for conversations which is kind of a silly idea anyway since there’s nothing much to do on a ship right now, other than space missions.
This is one of certainly many ideas out there of how to make the world of SWTOR a little richer and multi-variant. I know it’s reminding a little of the way the romances were dealt with in Bioware single-player-games, like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, but in an MMO context, this is actually quite do-able and should be fun, for those who enjoyed these kinds of things in those other games.
I know there are other things that people would like to see in SWTOR, many things we have heard already, like mini-games, Pazaak, events, hobbies, etc etc.
Well, this is my story-content suggestion and I hope you guys like it and may even consider trying that out, at one point in the future.