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The Trooper's Rank

First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

Ouroborica's Avatar

11.02.2012 , 04:33 PM | #61
TOR doesn't have millions of heros. It has 8.

Period. There are 8 stories. That's it. You are just one of millions who happen to be playing a particular version of that story.

Just like there is only one Revan or one Meetra and millions of people played them, there is only 1 Jedi Knight, 1 Sith Inquisitor, 1 Sith Warrior, 1 leader of Havoc Squad, etc

Seelvir's Avatar

11.03.2012 , 01:43 AM | #62
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
Things have been getting a little heated in this thread and while I don't mind critiques of my work (that's what this forum is for!), everyone should try to remain civil while discussing such critiques.
Hey! I'm so glad that you responded to this thread - sorry about how it turned out. I didn't intend for it to get so flamey, but it doesn't look like it's improved much. :-/ Still, I really appreciate your willingness to share some of the thoughts behind the creative effort.

Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
With that being said, I'm happy to give a little insight into our thinking when we developed the Trooper story, and the interactions with General Garza in particular. As with the rest of the game, evoking the spirit of the films was the top priority; and in the films, the protagonists almost always receive their military-style briefings from generals or equivalently high-ranking individuals. In A New Hope, General Dodonna briefs Red and Gold squadrons directly; in Return of the Jedi, the squadron commanders and ground teams are briefed by General Madine, Admiral Ackbar, and Mon Mothma. Leia gives Rogue Squadron their briefing in Empire Strikes Back; I can't recall what exact rank Leia carries at that point in the story, but she and General Rieekan seem to treat each other more or less as equals, so Leia certainly carries a lot of responsibility regardless. All of the Jedi Generals in the Clone Wars regularly lead and give orders to individual clone squads.

I never interpreted these scenes as indicating that there are no chains of command or support staff anywhere in the galaxy far, far away; we just don't see them because they're not dramatically relevant. Watching Mon Mothma's directives filter down to Admiral Ackbar and General Madine, then down to their subordinate officers, and so on wouldn't fit the films' storytelling style.
I agree with your point about the films' storytelling style - mostly! Those iconic briefings prepare the audience along with the protagonists for the climax of the story, and having all the Important People there makes a ton of sense. It adds weight to the proceedings that wouldn't be there if the storytelling was overfocused on the minutia of command structures and having Mon Mothma's people getting with Madine's people. That might be realistic, but it would definitely not be either interesting or dramatic (unless your audience consists of military enthusiasts and/or you make the staffers meaningful characters who carry the drama themselves).

However, Garza conducts some pretty mundane briefings throughout the course of the Trooper story, even when you consider that Havoc is one of her most valued assets. I personally feel like, from a storytelling standpoint, you make Garza a much more interesting character when you make her someone the squad knows about, takes orders from by proxy of a staff, and then occasionally gets to meet when the chips are all on the table and she's taking the reigns herself. I imagine the first meeting on Coruscant after arriving from Ord Mantell being more like this:

Garza: (all gruff and matter-of-fact, a little hurried, busy talking to her staff, on the way out of the office to a briefing with other generals, admirals, and sentaors) Leiutenant. I've heard impressive things about you from people whose opinions I care about. They said to give you Havoc, and I trust them. Don't let them down, because it's them I'll blame if you fail."

Lightside Femshep: (deferentially snapped to attention, exuding pride, speaking with a professional tone) Thank you, General. I won't fail you, sir."

Darkside Femshep: (pridefully) "I hope these aren't the same advisors who told you to trust Tavus. Either way, General, there's no soldier in the galaxy better than me to run Havoc. I'll be delivering that message to Tavus personally."

Garza: Carry on Leiutenant. (And off she goes to be powerful and important, while the Trooper branches off to take orders from one of Garza's command staff.)

Then later, maybe at the culmination of each chapter, Garza makes an appearance all Dodonna/Madine/Leia style. We get a taste of that variety of story-telling at the end of the Trooper story as-is, but I feel like the reason behind the notion that it was anti-climactic is because there was too much Garza all along. It's too much of a good thing.

When you interact with Garza so much, you take her for granted, and her rank and personality become familiar and routine. Then when she steps up to be powerful and commanding, it's just a yawn and press the "1" key for a lightside choice.

Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
So, we adjust things in order to achieve those same dramatic goals. Havoc Squad is designated as a special, elite team with a huge amount of operational freedom, reporting directly to General Garza instead of running through the normal chain of command like the rest of the Republic military. This allows the Trooper to have a single "command" character to develop their thoughts and reactions to over the whole course of the plot; it allows the Trooper to have a personal ship and take it anywhere they want; it allows the Trooper to take on any side quest at any time, rather than calling to secure approval to operate outside of given mission objectives; and basically glosses over all of the many, many other realistic aspects of military life that don't fit with the get-to-the-drama pacing of Star Wars and the gameplay requirements of our design.

I'm certainly not here to tell you that you're wrong for finding these things unrealistic or unenjoyable. But everything we do is done for a reason.
If you'll indulge some apples : oranges, the Agent story has a boss who has a staff, and you spend the early goings interacting mainly with the staff. The Agent storyline is widely considered superior to the Trooper story. I'm not gona say that what I'm talking about is THE reason for the prevelance of that opinion, but it's a component I think. The Trooper story should be more straighforward than the Agent one, which should rely on plot twists and does effectively. But plot twists make storytelling a lot easier. A straightfoward story has to be much more epic in fact to affect people as much. By tweaking the relative value of Garza, I think that would be easier. Even at the end, the new boss's boss is someone I've already worked with in the small time.

Maybe it's just me and I'll just get flamed more and no one will agree with me. If so, that's fine. I'll just write a full blown fanfic showing you all how wrong wrong WRONG you are. Right after I'm done with my fanfic about how Obi-Wan is Luke/Leia's real father and how Obi-Wan and Padme tried to kill Anakin so they could be together, but failed, Padme died instead, and ... well, it goes something like this:

Vader: Obi-wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed him.
Vader: No. He was your father.
Luke: No ... that's not true ... that's unpossible!
Vader: Search your feelings, you *know* it to be true.
Luke: NoooOOooOOooOoooooo.... nooo
Vader: Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as two awesome dudes!
Luke: You ... you mean you don't want to kill me?
Vader: Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You are the son I should have had. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can *end* this destructive conflict, and bring order to the galaxy.
Luke: Yeah, okay. I like the sound of that ... you know, better than dying right here like a punk.
Vader: All too easy.

Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
Wow ... I just ... I mean ... that's brilliant!

Sorry, this is what happens when I make forum posts at 2:40am.
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Bleeters's Avatar

11.03.2012 , 03:24 AM | #63
Quote: Originally Posted by BanPearson View Post
Exactly what I'm talking about. I did the same thing, and later (after the 1.2-patch), I got an invitation from her to catch up. We met on Coruscant and had sex. Same with every single "decision" - it's more like a shooter, where the fights are mine, but the story is a movie.
To be fair, it's my understanding that quest is supposed to happen somewhere around act two, but was disabled. It wasn't new content they patched in.

That said, it was kind of weird to hang out with Jaxo and her friends months after finishing my class story, yes. But it wasn't the developers just ignoring your decision.

Oggthebase's Avatar

11.03.2012 , 05:10 AM | #64
Quote: Originally Posted by TalonVII View Post
I get what you are saying. But again it just felt OFF. Yes General Dodanna briefed red and gold squadrons. But that was an extreme situation, again with Leia briefing Rogue duirng the evac. There really wasn't time for a solid briefing.

But on ROTJ, that was actually a good look at how a military chain of command big briefing works. You see that the General Madine and Admiral ackbar was addressing the senior commanders and squadron leaders of the fleet. But you notice something else. Other staffers and officers. Not just 1 general breifing a LT as when you first arrive on Courscant.

I guess what I'm driving at is that you don't see a COMMAND staff for Garza. It made it seem like she does it all alone. That just doesn't work with the kind of duties she has. I mean greeting you when you get to courscant, I can see that. But like when you arrive at a planet, does the General REALLY need to brief you on every planet.

Look at the IA. Keeper only briefs you on the MAJOR important stuff. Everything else, handed to a staffer IE Watcher Two.

Now for say the Guantlet when you first meet the supreme commander cause of the importance, yes the general would be there, that was handled to the T.

But say going to Hoth just to pick up a member of the team, again I don't see the relevance of Garza herself giving the briefing.

I hope you see what I am driving at.
This exactly. In the IA storyline, you feel you're part of an organization, with the different level of the hierarchy with watchers, minders, and Keeper at the top that you meet a few times because of extraordinary reasons, but normally watchers give you the briefing. You even get "bonus" missions to speak to fixers and other NPCs just to learn what they do.

RazielHex's Avatar

11.04.2012 , 08:06 AM | #65
Quote: Originally Posted by TalonVII View Post
What do you think staff officers are for? Really wish people who have NO clue on how military operates would say they do like they know something.

NSA...not how a military works.
The Trooper is an Officer right out of Ord Mantell. He ranks upwards to a Major.

Officers do brief with flags, especially when they're no longer JOs.

Enlisted don't know how the military works at the higher end officer ranks and their equivalent civilian counterparts.

You didn't get to go to those meetings because you didn't rank for them when you were a terminal lance.

EmposterII's Avatar

12.08.2012 , 06:14 AM | #66
I'm more concerned by the fact that every single Sergeant I run into seems to think they can give me orders, including my own direct subordinates. It's kind of pissing me off, and even in the few situations where the game gives you the option of smacking them down for it (the "I'll give the orders here" answer), they go right on giving you orders anyway.

Republic rank doesn't seem to matter as much as it should.

angrydurf's Avatar

12.08.2012 , 07:58 AM | #67
Personally I always took it as a combination of "because Special Forces" and "Because hero Protagonist"

See thing is a trooper is not a random grunt. From your very first mission you have been promoted as the most junior member of the best of the best, Havok Squad. Even at that you are a sergeant, (Who in normal military republic or Real Life would be a rank to lead a squad), Tavus was a major as the leader of the squad so it's pretty clear from day one that Spec force has higher ranks from the bottom up than normal military.

As for the RW comparison most 6-12 man spec ops teams are lead by at least a captain if not major (though this is confusing since captain means very different things dependent on branch of service.) So while in the real world there is alot more overhead and bureaucracy to the military than presented in the trooper story the ranks are not that far off for the super elite special snowflake forces of something like Havok squad (though really RW special forces are rarely that special really.)

As for Garza's hands on approach there is some suspension of disbelief that needs to go on and a general acceptance that the trooper story isn't presenting the life of a soldier (even a special forces one) so much as a cinematic story in the style of an eighties action movie about special forces. Just be glad you don't end up as a wholly inappropriate baby sitter learning the value of family on Alderan or something.
Quote: Originally Posted by GeorgZoeller View Post

Star Wars: The Old Republic is the spritual successor to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, also made by BioWare, and not any other game.

mycommando's Avatar

12.08.2012 , 10:24 AM | #68
Here I am quoting Star Wars The Old Republic Encyclopedia page 43 Agile Operations Paragraph 3 "SpecForce squad commanders often have much higher ranks than standard infantry team leaders. It's not unheard of for majors or even colonels to lead small units into battle. All squads report to SpecForce Command on Coruscant, and receive near-constant oversight from General Garza."
If peace is an option I'll take it ......
But a big gun never hurts
You shouldn't just run in and blow stuff up.
Thats my job.

Lady-Natascha's Avatar

01.06.2015 , 07:42 AM | #69
Like in every other game EA produces and publishes, they think they have knowledge about military stuff like rankings and units. But the fact is, they have no cleu what they are talking about. For example:

** The Snipers in SWTOR are not really snipers. They have to get to damn close to be even a proper sniper.
I would actually see it as someone who uses an M4 wth a simple scope to target its enemys.

** Snipers are supposed to get prone, take out their targets without being seen or heard, yet they cant in SWTOR. They cannot even lay down and SNIPE. (because that is what a sniper does mostly) They cannot use camouflage, they cannot conceal themselves,.......

** if you target an enemy in SWTOR as a sniper, they see you and start shooting at you. EA, let me teach you something about snipers: They are long distance assassins!! They use scopes to target one or multiple units, and the target(s) would NEVER know what hit them untill the bullit goes thru the head!! One Shot, One Kill!!!
Its just not right to have snipers be caught when they scope their targets!!! thats just plain ********!!!

* Commando's in SWTOR cannot even kneel down to balance their rifles and take a good shot.
wth is up wth that? They cannot go in cover, they cannot protect themselves from enemy fire.....
Some commando's eh??

EA thinks they know everything about snipers and other special forces units.
Just like in Battlefield games. (in their bootlegs they write how you can stay hidden and not be spotted and take out your enemy from a looon distance. But in fact, its all a lie to sell their product. They ALWAYS see you and your never hidden, and sometimes a good headshot does not even kill because they just dont want that.....)

If you cant make a proper Commando, or sniper.... then DONT, EA..... because your not really doing a good job!!!
But knowing EA and its way of doing business, they will never change it because they are to damn amateuristic to even research military units, operations and ranks. Blehhhhhh

Lady-Natascha's Avatar

01.06.2015 , 07:52 AM | #70
Quote: Originally Posted by mycommando View Post
Here I am quoting Star Wars The Old Republic Encyclopedia page 43 Agile Operations Paragraph 3 "SpecForce squad commanders often have much higher ranks than standard infantry team leaders. It's not unheard of for majors or even colonels to lead small units into battle. All squads report to SpecForce Command on Coruscant, and receive near-constant oversight from General Garza."
Thats just made up crap by Electronic Arts.
It is NOT how its being done in the real world. Not ever......