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Is it wrong that, revisiting SoR, made me think what the hell went wrong w KotFE?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Is it wrong that, revisiting SoR, made me think what the hell went wrong w KotFE?
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Storm-Cutter's Avatar


Storm-Cutter
06.29.2017 , 02:55 PM | #51
Quote: Originally Posted by Darkbloom View Post

I also think that I just really missed the "MMO feel" of places where you could wander about, get side-quests, find odd things, explore. Like the planet we visited with Gault and Vette. That was a cool planet. It was like Hutta, only better. But then we didn't get to do anything there except go through the story--which was the exact same story every time...
It's often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result...

And "You've lost that MMO Feeling... oh,oh, that MMO feeling....Oh....woooh!"

Seriously, though, you're right. The wandering over new terrain, getting involved in different stories, meeting new people ( NPC and PCs) and just having that sense of wonder of not knowing exactly what is around the corner are key ingredients. Repeating the same chapter time after time, even with different convo options has little re-playability. - And that one is one of my faves - but I've done it.... 3 or 4 times. Some of the rest are one-shot things. didn't like it..... moved on. never to return. - Certainly not putting 20+ alts through the same old cut-scene-and-star-troopers snoozefests.
-Storm Cutter.
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ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
06.29.2017 , 07:19 PM | #52
Quote: Originally Posted by Darkbloom View Post
Here is what I found so strange.

I was not expecting this at all.

As time went on, during 4.x, I found myself enjoying the Alliance Alerts more than the cinematic story chapters. I was dumbfounded. How could this be happening? Why on earth would I enjoy these "classic conversations" more than the cinematic experience?

I've been thinking about it, and I think the reason is that my character mattered in the Alliance Alerts. The Skadge alert, for instance. That alert has many different ways it can end, depending on your choices. So my character mattered. And different characters I had did that alert in different ways.

Even if I did the Alert the same way every time, I knew that it could end differently. So, it mattered.

I also think that I just really missed the "MMO feel" of places where you could wander about, get side-quests, find odd things, explore. Like the planet we visited with Gault and Vette. That was a cool planet. It was like Hutta, only better. But then we didn't get to do anything there except go through the story--which was the exact same story every time...
Well of course. People play the game for story and choice not to be led down a tunnel of wave after wave of the same Mobs playing a non Star Wars story in a Star Wars game

ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
06.29.2017 , 07:25 PM | #53
Quote: Originally Posted by commanderwar View Post
pretty much this, every opinion we have is subjective it is unknown if its is the most like or hated, I like Kotfe and kotet. I greatly dislike SOR and the Rep side makeb storyline, not Imp side storyline I very much like that one but imo the missions and bosses were annoying .

also another note Charles is not the lead writer he is the creative director, Ian Ryan is the lead writer for SWTOR
At some point though, you have to be willing to open your eyes. While I understand the forms isn't representative of everyone it can be a microcosm of popular opinion. Look at this thread and other threads similar to this. Look at the number of people who hate the story in some form or manner saying relatively the same things and all different people, and then look at the people who liked the story and how they are usually fewer in number and sometimes passionate enough to repeatedly post.

Passion however is not numbers. And if you look it by the numbers of people posting against versus people posting for you can at the very least make a logical conclusion that it appears that the majority of people on these very forums did not like Knights of the Fallen Empire or Knights of the Eternal throne.

To ignore even that and continually throw out phrases like we don't really know is to ignore reality when it is staring you in the face. And if someone is going to be like that no one is going to change their mind. But the facts are still the facts in the fact of the matter is more people posting on the forums disliked the direction and the quality of knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne than did like it.

Now if someone wants to say that's the forums only and move the goalposts because the facts are contradicting what they are saying or what they are deflecting then that's entirely on them and actually to be expected. One could point to a similar trend on Reddit as well or even Twitter at the time or other social media. And if the person in favor of how those stories went down once to ignore all that and still insist that we don't know how people really feel about the story then there's nothing anyone will be able to do to convince them.

But just because they aren't convinced doesn't mean there isn't a massive amount of evidence that the stories for Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne failed greatly and failed to resonate with the majority of people based on Forum post social media and even in game complaints.

All that really means is that some people like the story and because they like the story they feel threatened by others who say they don't. In particular they feel threatened that a lot of people are saying they don't like the story. I don't think they feel is threatened if it really was 50-50 but something in their subconscious is making them defensive. And for those of us who love psychoanalyzing others that's all we really need to know to tell the truth on the whole matter.

Mzuta's Avatar


Mzuta
06.30.2017 , 06:46 AM | #54
Quote: Originally Posted by phalczen View Post

The only thing I can think of is that he only let Revan and Scourge think he was going to destroy everything for immortality, when really all he wanted was to destabilize the core galactic powers. And really, that means the Republic and its Jedi Order, since he was presumably working hard on the Eternal Empire even during the events of the Returned trailer when the Sith Empire returned to Korriban. Is this implied in the Revan novel? Are we to conclude that the rituals of the JK story, the Yavin 4 machine, and Ziost, were merely meant to increase his power as Valkorion, and weaken his only serious opposition, but he never needed them to be immortal. Or maybe he's like a vampire ... he wants to rule and has the resources to do it with the Fleet, but needs to refill his immortality tank every once in a while by destroying all life on a planet or two? Scourge just had the project scope wrong?

In the revan novel ( It takes place between kotor 1 and 2 then a bit after kotor 2) is more about revan and him getting his memories back after getting mask back then getting canderous and going to fight the emperor again. He gets captured by scourge and Nyriss and held for a long time until the exile free's him then they attempt to strike down vitiate with scourges help. Though I don't believe it was the emperor. Vitiate could possesess several bodies at once. We've seen this in the sith warrior story as well as on ziost. I believe the person are defeated by in the jedi knight story and in turn whom you strike down was another emperor's voice. I believe Vitiate was already planning to take over zakuul as vitiate. The dark council as well as Marr had said he's been absent for centuries. And with his Voice and Wrath as well as his children (of the emperor) he would never have to physicaally be there to ensure things were going to plan.

I have other loose ends too. For example, in Chapter 2 of KOTET, Vitiate tells you he found Valkorion centuries prior and he was a great warrior for the planet. But we also know from KOTET Chapter 4-5, and the Iokath daily story line, that the builders of Iokath tested the Eternal Fleet and the superweapon droids on ancient Zaakul, giving rise to the mythology (in which Valkorion is well versed). And Koth says the stories about the Gravestone (also part of the Iokathian weapon program) were that it was the only thing that stood up against the Fleet, and Vitiate acknowledges that the Gravestone isn't what he expected in KOTFE chapter 5, implying this is the first he's set eyes upon it. It would stand to reason that the Builders of Iokath used the Gravestone to tame their fleet after their weapons test on Zaakul, but it doesn't explain how Vitiate/Valkorion gained control of the Fleet. I guess when Vitiate found the ancient warrior known as Valkorion it was probably right after the test. He must have been intrigued by the prospect of an unstoppable fully automated fleet and reworked the Knights and the Scions to help him forge his Empire. I presume he must have gained control after the builders were killed by the superweapon or ARIES and its minions and his Knights and Scions were stronger. But its all educated guessing on my part so there's a lot of details we're missing there.

110% agree Plot holes are leaving us to wonder.

But that still doesn't compare to the apparent personality change from Vitiate to Valkorion. The time frames just don't jive. Knowing now what Charles Boyd said about how the trilogy of the Eternal Empire was condensed, I can't help but feel that we got robbed of some of these plot holes.
I think we should get snippets of info back in little codices when we click an item or datacrons.


I agree with other that one storyline for 8 classes wasn't the best way to go. I think for the Sith Warrior you should have been able to choose to defend valkorion and have defeated arcann only to have arcan escape with 1/3 of the fleet and 1/3 or the knights and as The hand of Valkorian you should be tasked with hunting arcann down and bringing him to justice. For the Inquisitor and jedi knight the regular story would have been fine with the knight with the ending being the knight creates an alliance the inquisitor now dark council elite turns zakuul into a second sith empire. The Imperial Agent should have been tasked (depending on your ending) with discovering this rumored new power in wild space to assess how much of a threat it would be to the empire (this story would take place before arcann and thexan's attacks) Your agent would go undercover as a part of zakuul's elite to learn more... The smuggler would be trying to steal resources from a resource rich planet not knowing it belongs to zakuul. You run into skytroopers and you start being hunted down by one of the captains of the knights of zakuul. Jedi sage story have been meditating and have seen a vision of what is to come and have been sent by the council to find this new threat and maybe you come back and try to stop thexan and arcan only you end up escaping with your crew due to overwhelming odds......idk Maybe im grasping at straws but we need to go back to having separate class stories for each characters.

menofhorror's Avatar


menofhorror
06.30.2017 , 07:52 AM | #55
I still think it's cool that Charles Boyd confirmed that they condensed the story.

CharlesBoyd's Avatar


CharlesBoyd
06.30.2017 , 12:40 PM | #56 Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. Next  
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthDymond View Post
One of my absolute favorite lines from the vanilla game is when you encounter the Emperor in the Jedi Knight's story and he gives his big villain speech about out why he wants to be an immortal god:
  • "You discern a fraction of reality. Beyond these stars exist other galaxies, other worlds, other beings. I will experience or ignore them as I wish. I will spend eternity becoming everything: a farmer, an artist, a simple man. When the last living thing in the universe finally dies, I will enjoy peace and wait for the cycle to begin again."

That is a villain I can easily believe was already spending centuries of his ageless life building Zakuul - exploring what it was to build a "perfect" society where he was a beloved ruler (and even as close to 'benevolent' as he is capable of), and exploring what it was to fall in love and have children. (Which, of course, he is terrible at since the guy is legitimately evil to the core as we already knew.)
Hey, that's the line I was going to quote!

Since Valkorion is one of the biggest discussion points lately, and it's been a while so I feel like it's free range to discuss, I'll just lay out everything we had in mind for Vitiate/Valkorion and y'all can have something concrete to discuss and/or kick me about

**HEAVY SPOILERS BELOW**

Centuries before our story begins, Tenebrae becomes Vitiate, becomes Emperor of the Sith, and leads the survivors of the Sith into exile to Dromund Kaas. He rules directly for many years.

As years go by, he becomes more and more dissatisfied with the Sith Empire he's created. He finds himself increasingly distanced from the Sith philosophy that first brought him to power and sees it as a dead end (as he expresses several times in KOTFE/KOTET) and, with the immense power at his disposal, begins striking out in search of something better. This is when his "long periods of silence" begin.

He discovers Zakuul, which is in a comparatively primitive state (by Star Wars tech standards, anyway) and dominates Valkorion, as he describes in KOTET Chapter 2. He learns the ancient legends of the gods, of the Eternal Fleet, etc, and investigates them with his considerabe resources. By this point, he has certainly already started the collection of rare and powerful technologies and artifacts that we find in the Arcanum, his vault on Nathema, etc. He (or perhaps agents working for him, such as the Servants) finds the Eternal Fleet disabled in deep space and is able to seize control of it (based on how ARIES talks, we can be fairly sure that neither Valkorion nor his agents ever visited Iokath itself).

The technology of the Fleet helps him raise Zakuul still further. In his Valkorion persona, he constructs a more stable society that he finds more interesting, one that has more potential to let him explore different experiences for centuries to come (his quote above and his many claims of Zakuul being the bestest thing ever). So now, he just needs to ensure that he'll live forever, and that nothing else will threaten his new creation. The ritual (the one the Jedi Knight ultimately stops) will serve both purposes, so he sets that plan in motion, kicking off the Great Galactic War between the Sith Empire and the Republic. (I don't think it's much of a stretch to believe that he could avoid destroying Zakuul, which is waaaay out at the outer edge of the galaxy, when using a ritual that he himself is creating over many, many years, but that should've been something we at least let Jedi Knight players ask.)

Then, Vitiate abruptly stops the war, proposes a treaty claiming seemingly-random planets, and starts the Cold War. An obscure step in his plan to complete the ritual? Makes sense, though if we look at how old Valkorion's children appear to be, they'd be getting born right around this time... coincidence?

Senya tells us that Valkorion started becoming colder and more distant as the children grew up, so we can surmise that he's splitting his attention again during this period. The assault of Sel-Makor and the final attack by the Jedi Knight take a lot out of him. His ritual is thwarted, and he is too weak to dominate another body or risk Valkorion until he's reinvigorated by Revan's plot in SoR - otherwise, he would've surely done so. He could've used the Fleet to cause the necessary deaths, but he wasn't ready to reveal its power to the galaxy yet - more on that shortly.

The events of Shadow of Revan give him the boost he needs to become active again - and he does so in spectacular fashion on Ziost, all while playing up his "evil destroyer of everything" Vitiate persona to the max. He's greatly reinvigorated, he's dealt a significant blow to the Sith Empire (which had been rapidly increasing in strength after Rise of the Hutt Cartel), and he's baited the player and their allies in one fell swoop. All of which leads inexorably to the confrontation in the throne room in the beginning of KOTFE - but why?

For this, we just have to look at the last person who ever stood up to Vitiate at anywhere near the level that the player's character did on Ziost: Revan. When Revan took a crack at him, Vitiate locked him up for centuries, picking and prodding at his mind the entire time. So we know that Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion doesn't destroy people who are a legitimate threat to him; he's fascinated by them. He entraps them, studies them, manipulates them, and corrupts them. (He did it to Vaylin, too! And Dramath!)

So, to review: Valkorion has been revitalized; he's got a tremendously powerful fleet; he's got the Republic in the weakest state it's been since the treaty of Coruscant and the Sith Empire not far behind; he's discovered a new threat that can actually take a shot at him; and he's got a wife who's left him and children that he finds deeply disappointing (see pretty much any time he ever deigns to speak to them) in line to take over his supposedly perfect society. Time to solve all of his problems at once!

He spurs his son's bloodlust and ambition by setting him and the fleet loose on the galaxy (now that they're definitely in no state to resist the fleet's power or endanger Zakuul). He lures his new enemy into a trap and captures them. He arranges his own "death", whether by the player's hand or Arcann's, and invades the player's mind. Arcann and Vaylin do exactly what he expects, which is to generally muck up the galaxy and establish themselves as tyrants in need of overthrowing. And then he arranges and guides the player in doing just that, all the while laying the groundwork for dominating their mind at the moment of their victory and commanding a newly-reshaped galaxy as a heroic liberator - an all-new experience to try out. Too bad it didn't work out for him

So, all of this leads to a perfectly reasonable question: why didn't we just come out and say this in the game?
  • First, we only have so much room to tell a story, so we have to pick what seems most crucial. If a detail isn't vital to understanding the plot or really entertaining or personal, then we don't have time to spend talking about it. Maybe we assessed things wrong, or aimed to cover too much ground in too little time so too much was left out - perfectly fair feedback, and something I would certainly take moving forward. But in principle, there will always be details we don't explain purely because we don't have time to do so.
  • Beyond that, I don't like explaining every single detail of everything anyway. I think it's boring. It's boring to write, and it's (almost always) boring to experience as a player. It's fun to read in a Wookieepedia article sometimes! But I don't think it's the job of the story to lay out every single thing (the movies certainly don't do so). Plus...
  • Mysteries are fun, and I like leaving at least a few things up to players to work out, theorize, or decide for themselves. Surely it's more fun to leave some things to the imagination?
  • Selfishly, it's good for us as writers to leave some things vague so that we can expand or change them later. For example, I never said anything about Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion's original body anywhere up above, because I think it'd be a pretty cool plot element to explore someday. Maybe we won't get around to it, maybe we will, but if it's something that we can't give a lot of love now and want to do later, I won't hesitate to leave it out so that we have room to do so. Plus, as this thread plainly demonstrates, people don't like it when you retcon past details, so if those details aren't there to retcon...
  • Lastly, and this is specific to this particular situation, but the only real source that could give the player all of this information directly is Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion himself. There's clearly no reason he would tell someone about a lot of these things if his goal is to seduce and destroy them, so we used more indirect means to reference them where it made sense.

So, there's my giant post about Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion and our reasons for going about it as we did. Having a reason to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do, of course, so I'm happy to hear everyone's feedback and take it in mind going forward. But, as usual, please be cool about it and be respectful to one another

Quote: Originally Posted by ZionHalcyon View Post
we may need a different lead writer
It's treason, then!
Though as others have clarified, I haven't been the Lead Writer since late 2015
Charles Boyd | Creative Director
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omaan's Avatar


omaan
06.30.2017 , 01:11 PM | #57
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
Hey, that's the line I was going to quote!

Since Valkorion is one of the biggest discussion points lately, and it's been a while so I feel like it's free range to discuss, I'll just lay out everything we had in mind for Vitiate/Valkorion and y'all can have something concrete to discuss and/or kick me about

Centuries before our story begins, Tenebrae becomes Vitiate, becomes Emperor of the Sith, and leads the survivors of the Sith into exile to Dromund Kaas. He rules directly for many years.

As years go by, he becomes more and more dissatisfied with the Sith Empire he's created. He finds himself increasingly distanced from the Sith philosophy that first brought him to power and sees it as a dead end (as he expresses several times in KOTFE/KOTET) and, with the immense power at his disposal, begins striking out in search of something better. This is when his "long periods of silence" begin.

He discovers Zakuul, which is in a comparatively primitive state (by Star Wars tech standards, anyway) and dominates Valkorion, as he describes in KOTET Chapter 2. He learns the ancient legends of the gods, of the Eternal Fleet, etc, and investigates them with his considerabe resources. By this point, he has certainly already started the collection of rare and powerful technologies and artifacts that we find in the Arcanum, his vault on Nathema, etc. He (or perhaps agents working for him, such as the Servants) finds the Eternal Fleet disabled in deep space and is able to seize control of it (based on how ARIES talks, we can be fairly sure that neither Valkorion nor his agents ever visited Iokath itself).

The technology of the Fleet helps him raise Zakuul still further. In his Valkorion persona, he constructs a more stable society that he finds more interesting, one that has more potential to let him explore different experiences for centuries to come (his quote above and his many claims of Zakuul being the bestest thing ever). So now, he just needs to ensure that he'll live forever, and that nothing else will threaten his new creation. The ritual (the one the Jedi Knight ultimately stops) will serve both purposes, so he sets that plan in motion, kicking off the Great Galactic War between the Sith Empire and the Republic. (I don't think it's much of a stretch to believe that he could avoid destroying Zakuul, which is waaaay out at the outer edge of the galaxy, when using a ritual that he himself is creating over many, many years, but that should've been something we at least let Jedi Knight players ask.)

Then, Vitiate abruptly stops the war, proposes a treaty claiming seemingly-random planets, and starts the Cold War. An obscure step in his plan to complete the ritual? Makes sense, though if we look at how old Valkorion's children appear to be, they'd be getting born right around this time... coincidence?

Senya tells us that Valkorion started becoming colder and more distant as the children grew up, so we can surmise that he's splitting his attention again during this period. The assault of Sel-Makor and the final attack by the Jedi Knight take a lot out of him. His ritual is thwarted, and he is too weak to dominate another body or risk Valkorion until he's reinvigorated by Revan's plot in SoR - otherwise, he would've surely done so. He could've used the Fleet to cause the necessary deaths, but he wasn't ready to reveal its power to the galaxy yet - more on that shortly.

The events of Shadow of Revan give him the boost he needs to become active again - and he does so in spectacular fashion on Ziost, all while playing up his "evil destroyer of everything" Vitiate persona to the max. He's greatly reinvigorated, he's dealt a significant blow to the Sith Empire (which had been rapidly increasing in strength after Rise of the Hutt Cartel), and he's baited the player and their allies in one fell swoop. All of which leads inexorably to the confrontation in the throne room in the beginning of KOTFE - but why?

For this, we just have to look at the last person who ever stood up to Vitiate at anywhere near the level that the player's character did on Ziost: Revan. When Revan took a crack at him, Vitiate locked him up for centuries, picking and prodding at his mind the entire time. So we know that Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion doesn't destroy people who are a legitimate threat to him; he's fascinated by them. He entraps them, studies them, manipulates them, and corrupts them. (He did it to Vaylin, too! And Dramath!)

So, to review: Valkorion has been revitalized; he's got a tremendously powerful fleet; he's got the Republic in the weakest state it's been since the treaty of Coruscant and the Sith Empire not far behind; he's discovered a new threat that can actually take a shot at him; and he's got a wife who's left him and children that he finds deeply disappointing (see pretty much any time he ever deigns to speak to them) in line to take over his supposedly perfect society. Time to solve all of his problems at once!

He spurs his son's bloodlust and ambition by setting him and the fleet loose on the galaxy (now that they're definitely in no state to resist the fleet's power or endanger Zakuul). He lures his new enemy into a trap and captures them. He arranges his own "death", whether by the player's hand or Arcann's, and invades the player's mind. Arcann and Vaylin do exactly what he expects, which is to generally muck up the galaxy and establish themselves as tyrants in need of overthrowing. And then he arranges and guides the player in doing just that, all the while laying the groundwork for dominating their mind at the moment of their victory and commanding a newly-reshaped galaxy as a heroic liberator - an all-new experience to try out. Too bad it didn't work out for him

So, all of this leads to a perfectly reasonable question: why didn't we just come out and say this in the game?
  • First, we only have so much room to tell a story, so we have to pick what seems most crucial. If a detail isn't vital to understanding the plot or really entertaining or personal, then we don't have time to spend talking about it. Maybe we assessed things wrong, or aimed to cover too much ground in too little time so too much was left out - perfectly fair feedback, and something I would certainly take moving forward. But in principle, there will always be details we don't explain purely because we don't have time to do so.
  • Beyond that, I don't like explaining every single detail of everything anyway. I think it's boring. It's boring to write, and it's (almost always) boring to experience as a player. It's fun to read in a Wookieepedia article sometimes! But I don't think it's the job of the story to lay out every single thing (the movies certainly don't do so). Plus...
  • Mysteries are fun, and I like leaving at least a few things up to players to work out, theorize, or decide for themselves. Surely it's more fun to leave some things to the imagination?
  • Selfishly, it's good for us as writers to leave some things vague so that we can expand or change them later. For example, I never said anything about Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion's original body anywhere up above, because I think it'd be a pretty cool plot element to explore someday. Maybe we won't get around to it, maybe we will, but if it's something that we can't give a lot of love now and want to do later, I won't hesitate to leave it out so that we have room to do so. Plus, as this thread plainly demonstrates, people don't like it when you retcon past details, so if those details aren't there to retcon...
  • Lastly, and this is specific to this particular situation, but the only real source that could give the player all of this information directly is Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion himself. There's clearly no reason he would tell someone about a lot of these things if his goal is to seduce and destroy them, so we used more indirect means to reference them where it made sense.

So, there's my giant post about Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion and our reasons for going about it as we did. Having a reason to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do, of course, so I'm happy to hear everyone's feedback and take it in mind going forward. But, as usual, please be cool about it and be respectful to one another


It's treason, then!
Though as others have clarified, I haven't been the Lead Writer since late 2015

TIME TO admit that players prefer republic vs empire story content rather than fighting some third party.... fighting third party content should be provided rarely as a distraction and something new, but main story content must be related to war between reps and imps

DarthSpuds's Avatar


DarthSpuds
06.30.2017 , 01:16 PM | #58
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
Since Valkorion is one of the biggest discussion points lately, and it's been a while so I feel like it's free range to discuss, I'll just lay out everything we had in mind for Vitiate/Valkorion and y'all can have something concrete to discuss and/or kick me about
I can see some of what you were trying to do with the story - but if the player doesn't have enough information IN-GAME to piece that together for themselves then it it will always seem there are glaring plot holes and inconsistencies.

What you basically said with your "we don't have the time" comment is that "we don't have the time to tell a coherent story" - if that really is the case you really should get out of the story led MMORPG business; because you are doing neither the IP nor the paying customer any favours by dumping incoherent stories on us.

Your comments about how and why the story was condensed, and this post on a more detailed story still leave some huge questions though:

1) At which point did Star Wars The Old Republic officially become Keeping Up With The Valkorions?

2) More importantly WHY did it become that?

3) What "Developer" decisions, based on which feedback, led anyone at all at Bioware to think this was a good idea?

4) And why is the most interesting and action-packed part of both FE and ET the full cinematic trailers? These used to be called "Teaser Trailers", now it seems they should be called "Suck It Up - The Game Will Never Be Half As Good As The Trailer - Trailers".

All The Best
#Is-This-As-Good-As-It-Gets?

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casirabit's Avatar


casirabit
06.30.2017 , 01:18 PM | #59
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
Hey, that's the line I was going to quote!

Since Valkorion is one of the biggest discussion points lately, and it's been a while so I feel like it's free range to discuss, I'll just lay out everything we had in mind for Vitiate/Valkorion and y'all can have something concrete to discuss and/or kick me about

**HEAVY SPOILERS BELOW**

Centuries before our story begins, Tenebrae becomes Vitiate, becomes Emperor of the Sith, and leads the survivors of the Sith into exile to Dromund Kaas. He rules directly for many years.

As years go by, he becomes more and more dissatisfied with the Sith Empire he's created. He finds himself increasingly distanced from the Sith philosophy that first brought him to power and sees it as a dead end (as he expresses several times in KOTFE/KOTET) and, with the immense power at his disposal, begins striking out in search of something better. This is when his "long periods of silence" begin.

He discovers Zakuul, which is in a comparatively primitive state (by Star Wars tech standards, anyway) and dominates Valkorion, as he describes in KOTET Chapter 2. He learns the ancient legends of the gods, of the Eternal Fleet, etc, and investigates them with his considerabe resources. By this point, he has certainly already started the collection of rare and powerful technologies and artifacts that we find in the Arcanum, his vault on Nathema, etc. He (or perhaps agents working for him, such as the Servants) finds the Eternal Fleet disabled in deep space and is able to seize control of it (based on how ARIES talks, we can be fairly sure that neither Valkorion nor his agents ever visited Iokath itself).

The technology of the Fleet helps him raise Zakuul still further. In his Valkorion persona, he constructs a more stable society that he finds more interesting, one that has more potential to let him explore different experiences for centuries to come (his quote above and his many claims of Zakuul being the bestest thing ever). So now, he just needs to ensure that he'll live forever, and that nothing else will threaten his new creation. The ritual (the one the Jedi Knight ultimately stops) will serve both purposes, so he sets that plan in motion, kicking off the Great Galactic War between the Sith Empire and the Republic. (I don't think it's much of a stretch to believe that he could avoid destroying Zakuul, which is waaaay out at the outer edge of the galaxy, when using a ritual that he himself is creating over many, many years, but that should've been something we at least let Jedi Knight players ask.)

Then, Vitiate abruptly stops the war, proposes a treaty claiming seemingly-random planets, and starts the Cold War. An obscure step in his plan to complete the ritual? Makes sense, though if we look at how old Valkorion's children appear to be, they'd be getting born right around this time... coincidence?

Senya tells us that Valkorion started becoming colder and more distant as the children grew up, so we can surmise that he's splitting his attention again during this period. The assault of Sel-Makor and the final attack by the Jedi Knight take a lot out of him. His ritual is thwarted, and he is too weak to dominate another body or risk Valkorion until he's reinvigorated by Revan's plot in SoR - otherwise, he would've surely done so. He could've used the Fleet to cause the necessary deaths, but he wasn't ready to reveal its power to the galaxy yet - more on that shortly.

The events of Shadow of Revan give him the boost he needs to become active again - and he does so in spectacular fashion on Ziost, all while playing up his "evil destroyer of everything" Vitiate persona to the max. He's greatly reinvigorated, he's dealt a significant blow to the Sith Empire (which had been rapidly increasing in strength after Rise of the Hutt Cartel), and he's baited the player and their allies in one fell swoop. All of which leads inexorably to the confrontation in the throne room in the beginning of KOTFE - but why?

For this, we just have to look at the last person who ever stood up to Vitiate at anywhere near the level that the player's character did on Ziost: Revan. When Revan took a crack at him, Vitiate locked him up for centuries, picking and prodding at his mind the entire time. So we know that Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion doesn't destroy people who are a legitimate threat to him; he's fascinated by them. He entraps them, studies them, manipulates them, and corrupts them. (He did it to Vaylin, too! And Dramath!)

So, to review: Valkorion has been revitalized; he's got a tremendously powerful fleet; he's got the Republic in the weakest state it's been since the treaty of Coruscant and the Sith Empire not far behind; he's discovered a new threat that can actually take a shot at him; and he's got a wife who's left him and children that he finds deeply disappointing (see pretty much any time he ever deigns to speak to them) in line to take over his supposedly perfect society. Time to solve all of his problems at once!

He spurs his son's bloodlust and ambition by setting him and the fleet loose on the galaxy (now that they're definitely in no state to resist the fleet's power or endanger Zakuul). He lures his new enemy into a trap and captures them. He arranges his own "death", whether by the player's hand or Arcann's, and invades the player's mind. Arcann and Vaylin do exactly what he expects, which is to generally muck up the galaxy and establish themselves as tyrants in need of overthrowing. And then he arranges and guides the player in doing just that, all the while laying the groundwork for dominating their mind at the moment of their victory and commanding a newly-reshaped galaxy as a heroic liberator - an all-new experience to try out. Too bad it didn't work out for him

So, all of this leads to a perfectly reasonable question: why didn't we just come out and say this in the game?
  • First, we only have so much room to tell a story, so we have to pick what seems most crucial. If a detail isn't vital to understanding the plot or really entertaining or personal, then we don't have time to spend talking about it. Maybe we assessed things wrong, or aimed to cover too much ground in too little time so too much was left out - perfectly fair feedback, and something I would certainly take moving forward. But in principle, there will always be details we don't explain purely because we don't have time to do so.
  • Beyond that, I don't like explaining every single detail of everything anyway. I think it's boring. It's boring to write, and it's (almost always) boring to experience as a player. It's fun to read in a Wookieepedia article sometimes! But I don't think it's the job of the story to lay out every single thing (the movies certainly don't do so). Plus...
  • Mysteries are fun, and I like leaving at least a few things up to players to work out, theorize, or decide for themselves. Surely it's more fun to leave some things to the imagination?
  • Selfishly, it's good for us as writers to leave some things vague so that we can expand or change them later. For example, I never said anything about Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion's original body anywhere up above, because I think it'd be a pretty cool plot element to explore someday. Maybe we won't get around to it, maybe we will, but if it's something that we can't give a lot of love now and want to do later, I won't hesitate to leave it out so that we have room to do so. Plus, as this thread plainly demonstrates, people don't like it when you retcon past details, so if those details aren't there to retcon...
  • Lastly, and this is specific to this particular situation, but the only real source that could give the player all of this information directly is Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion himself. There's clearly no reason he would tell someone about a lot of these things if his goal is to seduce and destroy them, so we used more indirect means to reference them where it made sense.

So, there's my giant post about Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion and our reasons for going about it as we did. Having a reason to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do, of course, so I'm happy to hear everyone's feedback and take it in mind going forward. But, as usual, please be cool about it and be respectful to one another


It's treason, then!
Though as others have clarified, I haven't been the Lead Writer since late 2015
Thanks for this. I am probably one of the few that actually enjoyed getting away from the Republic and Empire, especially my agent. She has no trust for the empire after the mind washing they performed on her and this actually gave her a way to not be tied to the Empire. Of course, I would have prefer for Iokath that she would have remained Alliance and not have to side with one of them. Empire she doesn't trust. Republic she not sure about but if since it came down to it, she will support the Empire.
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TUXs
06.30.2017 , 01:19 PM | #60
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
Hey,

*snip*
Wow...interesting read. Very interesting. Thank you for this!!! I know it has helped me understand it all much better.
All warfare is based on deception If his forces are united, separate them If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near A leader leads by example not by force
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