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My problems with the Jedi Consular (extensive spoilers)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
My problems with the Jedi Consular (extensive spoilers)

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:38 AM | #1
For those who are wondering what this thread is, itís a list of my issues with the Jedi consular. Most of these issues are more to do with the class story than any of the actual game mechanics. I should be clear that, on the whole, I love playing SWTOR and have been extremely impressed with how good the game is. Even with the consular, there have been a lot of good things. However, I have been greatly irritated by several aspects of the consular and I figured I might as well outline my grievances in a forum thread.

After all, if others feel the same way I do, they can add their support. If people disagree, hopefully this can start some interesting discussions. Either way, itís something that will hopefully be of some use to Bioware as far as feedback goes.

To avoid the wall of text, or at least mitigate it a bit, Iím breaking this analysis of mine into several posts. I hope that this will be a worthwhile read, or at least entertaining. Maybe even cathartic for those players who have encountered similar problems while playing this class.

First, a bit of background. The experience behind my opinions. I started playing SWTOR during the pre-release. I leveled a Sith inquisitor to the cap, light side aligned, and did just about every PvE quest available. I loved the class story, and yet I found some of the general imperial quests to be a bit depressing. So I decided to try a Jedi consular, since the mechanics would be nearly identical, and I was excited to see how the Jedi story would play out. I should note that I have also played some of the other classes through the first chapter, and all of them at least through the starting planet.

While the gameplay on the consular was nearly equivalent to that on the inquisitor, I found the story and the companions to be severely lacking by comparison. In fact, after finishing the Belsavis story for the consular and acquiring the fifth companion, I put the class on hold and went back to playing on my inquisitor and other alts.

So I am writing this thread to lay out my problems with the consular, though I will try to point out positive aspects where I found them. If you disagree with any of my statements, feel free to say so, but please say why. In any case, Iím not looking for an argument, I just want to give my honest feedback to Bioware. Also, this thread will express my opinions, based upon the facts as I see them. If your opinions are different, thatís fine. Iím speaking for myself here, not for you (at least not unless you happen to agree with me, then I guess I kind of am by default).

There will be a fair number of comparisons with the inquisitor, as the mirror class to the consular. Other classes will be compared to a lesser extent where applicable. Please note that there will be spoilers throughout the following text for the consular as well as other classes in the game now and then. Continue at your own risk.

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:38 AM | #2
Consular Skills and Equipment

Okay, youíre on the light armor class. The class that takes a fair amount of skill to play, in my personal opinion. If you go all DPS, you will probably need a tank or a healer with you. You have a lot of interrupts and stuns to work with, but you need to coordinate their use. If you go sage, you need to know when to heal and when to attack. If you go shadow, you need to know when to sneak around and how to pick your battles. That or, if youíre going to try to tank, youíd better keep your various buffs in place. One good hit and, guess what, itís light armor. What do the other two tankable classes wear? Oh, right.

I enjoy the consular gameplay, and the inquisitor gameplay for that matter. I enjoy needing to be a little more careful and strategic. As for the animations, I like both sets. Sure the purple lightning and purple smoke get a little monotonous on the inquisitor, but theyíre still fun. And the golden glows and various chunks of rock for the consular are also fun. People who laugh at the pebble attack, I see no problem with it personally. Pebbles hurt when they hit you with enough velocity.

Double light sabers are neat. They just are. I went with a sorcerer and a sage and I still like them better. I just like ranged attacks even more is all.

As for rest of the equipment appearance, well, not really a big fan of either class here. The inquisitor options look mostly like emo borg drones in skirts. I guess thatís okay if youíre into that kind of thing, but it just never really worked for me. One of the things I was most looking forward to when I started my consular was some wardrobe options that would look a little less garish.

Now I will say that the consular does dress like a Jedi. The problem is, they dress like a Jedi in much the same way that a rodeo clown dresses like a cowboy. Would a simple brown robe without various geometric designs or elaborate shoulder garb really be too much to ask for? Just about the best option Iíve seen has been the stuff from Tython and the Esseles. Not a good sign when your best outfits are outleveled (orange gear aside) by the time you reach Chapter 1 of your class story.

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:39 AM | #3
The Story. Prologue and Chapter 1.

Ah Tython, such a lovely world with its scenic forests crawling with flesh raiders and other ugly things that want to kill and/or eat you. I enjoyed this particular world, and found the story pretty decent for starters. Lots of reference to the sort of old Jedi lore that a consular would probably be interested in. That and the cutscene where you get your light saber is far more awesome than the inquisitor version of ďhere apprentice, have my old light saberĒ courtesy of your new master.

Back to the consular. Itís all smiles and happy times, but then your master collapses while giving you the rank of Jedi, and we start off chapter 1. For some reason, the enlightened Jedi council decides to send somebody who was a padawan yesterday off in search of a cure for their ailing master. Flattering, but really? I know thereís a war on, but were there no more seasoned Jedi that could be spared. I mean, a Jedi master has just collapsed due to a mysterious plague that seems to be tied strongly to the dark side of the force. Might want to spare a few more resources than a single person who is greener than the giant lizard that seems to have decided to start following them around.

You find a cure on Coruscant and manage to save your master, sort of. But there may be other Jedi masters that have gone a bit off the deep end. Since the council didnít send anybody along to help you, the cure was basically destroyed (for now anyway) and only you know how to save Jedi from this plague.

So you go from world to world, and sure enough, on each world thereís a Jedi master who has gone completely nuts and started killing innocents and ruining lives. Naturally you get there after most of the horror and senseless violence has already happened, and you get to try to talk down a raving lunatic with a light saber. Of course they never listen to you. Well, there is one Jedi who has at least a little more sense than a garden vegetable, so you manage to talk her out of an airlock, but the masters? Totally gone.

And sure itís a fun little gimmick for the first couple of worlds, but the masters get more and more annoying. Playing light side, I found myself very hard-pressed to avoid killing them by the end. Then you go find the person who is behind it all, a former Jedi who got himself possessed by a Sith ghost and started plaguing the order for giggles. Better still, all those masters you saved (or didnít, depending on how you do things), turns out they all left him for dead a while back and their past has caught up with them. When did we leave Star Wars and enter ďI know what you did last summerĒ anyway?

So that ends chapter one, you get a nice little ďwardenĒ title. One of only three in the whole history of the Jedi order, or so youíre told. This makes it all the more amusing to see half a dozen consulars run past you wearing the title next time youíre at the fleet. But that I can forgive. MMOs have that sort of problem no matter what.

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:40 AM | #4
The Story. Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 begins then with you meeting a handful of diplomats from a group of worlds that really dislike the Republic and are thinking of leaving. You shoot people of that sort on Ord Mantell. Here, you just kiss up to them and end up doing their every whim just to keep them from leaving the party. And this is AFTER you save all of their lives from a nasty little Sith attack, and they all end up living on your ship. Did I mention that you get a press release in the mail where the diplomats complain about how incompetent the Republic is for letting the attack happen in the first place?

This is where you first meet Nadia, who will eventually be your fifth companion, as well as her father, Senator Grell. These two are okay as characters go, but the rest of the diplomats. How to explain? Basically theyíre like the drunken friend who crashes at your place after a particularly rough night of partying, and gets Dorito crumbs all over your couch while they monopolize your X-Box.

And these are the people that you are helping throughout chapter 2. Thatís the story.

So after running a few errands for this live-in alliance youíre trying to appease, you find out that one of them has been sending messages to the Sith Empire. Of course youíre a very wise Jedi who is extremely strong with the force and highly skilled, proven in battle and well-versed in the mysteries of Jedi lore. So how do you find out about this? Nadia notices something amiss in the radio traffic. Wow, Jedi are wise arenít they.

It is at this point that you find out about the Emperorís Children. You know, the sleeper agents that the Jedi Knight knew about several planets ago already. You manage to come to the aid of the royal family from Nadiaís home world just in time to save the king and queen, but very much not in time to save the small army that they were going to provide to help the Republic out with the war. That seems to happen a lot with the consular. You keep showing up after the damage has already been done, and you end up needing to either apologize or fix things enough to keep everybody from joining the seperatists. Really makes you feel heroic after a while. Maybe not.

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:41 AM | #5
The Story. Chapter 3.

So as chapter 3 begins, war erupts across the galaxy once more, and your little band of diplomats is apparently the only hope for the Republic to avoid being completely crushed by yet another Sith offensive. What do you do? Go to Belsavis to find an army of aliens thatís been asleep for a few millennia. Now let me say quite plainly that I actually loved this part of the story. I enjoyed the aliens in question and found the entire Belsavis arc fun and engaging. Well, with one exception. One of the Emperorís Children has surfaced and keeps trying to kill you the whole time. Did I mention this particular individual looks like Jesse Ventura wearing heavy eyeshadow?

Now lest you enjoyed Belsavis too much, at the end of that part of the story you find that Nadiaís father, Senator Grell, has been captured. This guy was just about the only diplomat that I actually liked having around. As characters go, he was very likeable and between him and Nadia, chapter 2 was at least tolerable. It was interesting to get to know both of these characters. I thought they were both very well done, and very likeable.

So you go rushing off to save him with Nadia at your side and, well, guess what. Heís been tortured to death by another one of the Emperorís Children. Yay. This game is so much fun.

So now your fifth companion, your padawan, thanks to Senator Grellís dying request (well his post-humous request as a hologram anyway), has just had the splendid experience of finding her fatherís corpse. And he didnít die peacefully. And you never hear anything about her mother, so it can be assumed that she is most likely long since dead.

So your padawan is a young, impressionable woman who has just been violently orphaned in spite of your efforts to the contrary. This is your romanceable companion, guys. Anybody else creeped out by this turn of events? Would you want to seduce somebody who had just been through that? You would? Are you sure you shouldnít be playing for the Empire?

Anyways, off to Voss in search of mystics who might be able to dig the Republic out of the apparently deep hole that theyíve found themselves in. It was at this point that I pretty much put the consular on hold. From what I have been able to find out, you keep having Emperorís Children pop up annoyingly to ruin lives while you watch helplessly. Then, at the end, spoiler alert, the First Son, the biggest sleeper agent of them all, guess who it is? Thatís right, itís master Syo, the guy with the abhorrent hairstyle that you have been having to report to for the entire story arc. No wonder the Jedi council kept screwing up. They had this guy at the helm.

So Jedi knights get to fight and (maybe) kill the Emperor of the Sith Empire. We get to kill a twisted fruitcake with bad hair who has been several steps ahead of us for the entire game so far. I am not inspired by this ending, even if the consular ends up on the Jedi Council. Given how competent the Jedi are shown to be, it would probably be a greater honor to be appointed head of the Nar Shadaa guild of toilet cleaners.

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:41 AM | #6
The Story. A quick overview and comparisons.

With the consular story you are continually too late, outwitted, and generally cleaning up messes. It is all reactive. There is nothing proactive or heroic that I could really see. Maybe the Belsavis and Voss quests to aid the war, but the Emperorís Children are so annoying that it really damages the value of the story.

A Jedi consular should be wise in the ways of the force. Instead they seem to be the designated janitor and/or laughingstock for the Republic.

Letís compare this to the Sith inquisitor for just a moment. With the inquisitor, you rise from slavery to eventually be on the dark council. At every turn, you have other Sith trying to kill you, or take over your body, or some other such thing that Sith seem to enjoy doing. But you arenít just reacting. You arenít there too late. You are taking measures of your own, and taking your fate into your own hands. At least it feels that way, the way the story plays out.

Sure in chapter 1 youíre digging up artifacts for your master, which will eventually be used by her in an attempt to basically kill you and take your body for her own. So thatís a bit slow, but finding each artifact is interesting. Itís like some sort of deranged Sith Indiana Jones movie. Fun and engaging, in other words.

Then your old master gets trapped in your pet Dashade, and youíve got all of the interesting developments that come from that. You find that you have a weird connection to the Sith ghosts, and your long lost ancestor comes in now and then to help you out as a sort of advisor/guardian angel. This ancestor is a unique and, in my opinion, fairly awesome character to have show up now and then to lend you a hand. It also deepens your own characterís background and makes them more than just a simple slave.

Anyways, you collect various Sith ghosts to defeat Thanaton, who has tried to have you killed, but all of that power essentially shorts you out and you need to go fix yourself during chapter 3. Along the way, you see all kinds of cool stuff on Belsavis and Voss. Lore that any consular would be glad to encounter, I would think.

When you face Thanaton again on Corellia, you beat him so badly that he runs away to Korriban. You get to chase him there and pretty well clean his clock. This story felt like an adventure. More than that, each chapter proceeded naturally from the prior chapters.

There is not the same sense of continuity in the consular story. The consular story felt like being stuck in a job as a Wal-Mart greeter, and the chapters felt arbitrary by comparison. Chapter 1 to 2 is ďokay, youíve solved that problem. Now the council needs you over here.Ē Chapter 2 to 3 is, guess what, the same thing.

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:42 AM | #7
The Companions.


Qyzen

Your first companion, picked up on Tython. A trandoshan who is such an effective hunter that he gets himself captured and has a huge fall from grace in the eyes of his goddess as a result. So he decides to start following you around, since you apparently kick a fair amount of posterior and he thinks youíre the ďheraldĒ of his goddess. Yes, really. And his ongoing story is pretty much hitting the trandoshan version of middle age. So there will be ritual starvation, poisoning, and forced molting. Really want to be there for that. Oh and, by the way, he dislikes it when you show compassion to others. But what good Jedi shows compassion, right?


Tharan

Your second companion, picked up on Nar Shadaa. I cannot adequately express how much I despise this character. Especially since, as your healer companion, he is probably the most useful to do missions with unless you decide to play as a healing sage. I cannot fault the gameplay with him. He does his job well. The problem is, every single time you say anything positive about the force in a conversation, you get a reliable -1 affection from him. This is the miscreant who invites himself aboard your ship, tries to bum money and/or signatures off of you as part of his character story, and reminds people that heís a pacifist while heís shooting them. He chooses to travel with a Jedi, and yet gets all irritated when they express any faith in the force. Thatís kind of like being roommates with an engineer and being outraged whenever they do math. There is no logical reason for this character to be on your ship. The same goes for the overgrown lizard, for that matter, although to a lesser extent. Holiday is funny, and she might work better as a companion in her own right, but even she would probably fit better with a smuggler than a consular.


Zenith

Third companion, found on Balmorra while youíre running errands for your pet diplomats. A twiílek with a huge chip on his shoulder who has less to say than some geological formations. But at least he has a code of honor, sort of. Sure one of your first interactions with him is deciding whether or not he should end a personís life with his sniper rifle. Might want to sleep with the door locked for a while. How does he come to join your crew? The new leader of Balmorra doesnít want him around because heís too violent. So letís just let him stay with our errand runner, the Jedi over here. That way everybodyís happy. Or at least everybody who matters.


The Lieutenant

The fourth companion, picked up on Hoth, and the love interest for female characters. Never mind that he spends most of his time whining about having a holocron screw his mind up and cause him to lose a week back when he was an imperial prisoner. Really want to trust this guy? Didnít think so.


Nadia

The final companion, picked up after Belsavis, and the love interest for male characters. Poor little Nadia. Nice kid, had some rough times. Iíve already gone over just how she ends up on your crew, and as your padawan. I really like the character development, and her personality is fun. Also, much of the dialogue in her character story has to do with you training her, so that feels very appropriate to the class. But if you romance her, given what is going on in her life, I just think thatís beyond creepy. Not really a good love interest for the sane player, but thatís just my opinion. Also, just as an aside, why do consulars get their padawan as companion 5, while knights get their padawan as companion 2? Even inquisitors get their first apprentice as companion 3, as do warriors.

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:43 AM | #8
Alignment and the Consular.

I could be wrong about this, but it is my opinion that the Sith classes should be most easily played dark side, and there should be options for neutral or light side. This is what I have seen, particularly with the inquisitor. Shocking people is fun. One of the perks of playing that class. Yet a light side inquisitor is, for me, a very compelling character, and it fits given their character background. An independent sort who was a slave, was treated like filth by the Empire, and now has a chance to climb the ranks. I could almost go with the light side of the force out of spite, with that backstory.

On the other hand, I would think that the Jedi classes should be most easily played light side, but there should be options for neutral or dark side. What little Iíve seen of the Jedi Knight, this seems to be the case. As for the consular, Iím not at all sure.

If you play light side, you get continual aggravation. Not just from various NPCs, but from your early companions as well. The lizard doesnít like mercy, and the lecherous creep doesnít approve of the force. Why the hell are these your first companions? More than that, consider the crazy Jedi masters you face throughout chapter 1. Iím not sure it should be quite that tempting to kill each and every one of them as a dark side option. And what do you get for all of your hard work saving the Jedi order? Babysitting duty for a bunch of entitled diplomats. Half of those losers made me want to turn to the dark side after the first few conversations.

I have heard it said by some that the consular plays much better if you go with the dark side, or even the neutral option. Was this the intent? Was this how it was written? Are none of the Jedi players expected to go to the light side? Iím sure that the light side of the force is supposed to be the harder path, requiring patience and self-mastery. Fine, but itís getting a bit overdone in this storyline. It doesnít feel like a game so much as a job after a while. Itís like being stuck in customer service or something. I should not find it easier and more satisfying to play a light side Sith than a light side Jedi.

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Noctinyx
02.18.2012 , 07:44 AM | #9
In Conclusion.

The consular plays well as a class. The game mechanics are enjoyable for me, and fit well with my preferred style of play. The armor options are pretty bad, for the most part, and donít feel right for a wise Jedi master. Maybe suitable for the Naboo royal family though. That or some of those pompous nobles over on Alderaan.

The story for the consular is uninspiring. It underscores the incompetence of the Jedi order and leaves the character feeling like the galaxyís doormat. It also feels repetitive, with one insane Jedi master after another and later one insane Emperorís Child after another. In spite of the repetitive feeling, the chapters actually feel like they have very little to do with each other. In other classes Iíve played so far each chapter seems to proceed naturally from the previous one. The consular, on the other hand, is pretty much sent here and there at the whim of the Jedi council. Overall, playing the Sith inquisitor felt like watching The Empire Strikes Back. Playing the Jedi consular felt like watching Attack of the Clones.

The companions for the consular do not fit, for the most part. Only Nadia feels like she should be there. Qyzen and Tharan should have left a long time ago, and Zenith was pretty much dumped on you. The Lieutenant is so brain-scrambled he should probably be under observation on Coruscant. Even Nadia is so traumatized that you wonder if she shouldnít get some form of grief counseling before trying to follow the path of the Jedi order.

At least with the inquisitor, it felt like the companions were all there for a realistic reason. The Dashade, perfect pet monster for an inquisitor, bound to you with its defeat. The pirate, a little iffy but I could see him wanting to follow a Sith around for adventure and a chance to hurt people. The fallen Jedi padawan would have nowhere else to go after you massacre her masters. That and she had issues with the order anyway. The archaeologist would have a definite interest in working with a Sith who has spent half their story digging up artifacts and apparitions. The second apprentice, well, he went through the same training program you did on Korriban and itís sort of normal Sith procedure to take another apprentice or two now and then.

The consular is more aggravating than anything else if you try to play as a light side character. Sure you want options to go neutral or even dark side, but does the light side really need to be this annoying? It should be the most natural alignment for a Jedi to play as, not the most painful.



So the bottom line, a few requests to Bioware for future consular content.

Please let us get rid of Tharan and replace him with a healer that actually fits with a Jedi.
Please let us either get rid of Qyzen or at least convince him to respect Jedi tradition now and then after expecting us to respect trandoshan tradition.
Please let us actually prevent a disaster or two, rather than have to always clean up after them after arriving too late.
Please make the consular feel like a wise, enlightened Jedi, rather than a customer service representative in a bathrobe.
Please give us just one simple brown robe without any unnecessary additions.
Please donít ever have us have to deal with some lame recurring plot device like the emperorís children ever again.
Please make it realistic to go with the light side of the force as a Jedi, rather than having it actually be easier to go with the light side of the force as a Sith.

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Timberley
02.18.2012 , 09:02 AM | #10
Well, having read all of that (and it was a wonderful series of posts) I would have to agree and disagree at the same time.

Edit - Skip to the end for a short version. this post was longer than I thought!

I agree, Chapter 1 went on for far too long, and could've stopped at maybe Nar Shaddaa or Tatooine. Chapter 2, the diplomacy and so on, was quite dull, but felt like a Consular's role - we're meant to be behind the scenes diplomats and mediators, not warriors like the Knight - though I barely noticed where it ended and Chapter 3 began. Chapter 3, the Children of the Emperor, felt somewhat rushed by comparison, and the big reveal on Corellia was well done, but didn't feel massively powerful, not in the same way Kira's backstory was revealed (I also have a Sentinel). I would have preferred to feel more proactive though, not just lurching from one post-catastrophe crisis to the next, as you say. I think any over-arching plot should be put together piece by piece, with varied goals on each planet all coming together like a jigsaw.

The concept of the Esh-kha could've been expanded upon greatly in the Consular's story, and I would definitely have preferred to have Hallow Voice as a companion than Iresso or Zenith. The same with the introduction of Gaden-Ko. I would've loved to have had him as a new healer, to replace Tharan Cedrax, who is exactly as you described. For a guy who hates the Force and getting into tricky situations, he sure sticks around like a bad smell. Unfortunately he is the best companion to have along for a DPS Shadow like myself, so I'm stuck with him for solo work. Thank God for FPs and Ops where I can have a guildie along to heal me if I need it and not get snarky when I start talking about the Force.

One other thing struck me as I left Voss; the Defender is actually a TARDIS! With so many attendants to Gaden-Ko, where are they all? I should be falling over Voss commandos as I travel around the ship - as it is half the time my companions aren't there either!

The Consular wardrobe has been debated a lot, and there are many threads on it (some of which I've contributed to). Whilst in many ways I can see that Bioware were going for an epic feel to the endgame kit, it just looks bafflingly fantasical, almost cartoony. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest I want plain brown robes for all, but I would prefer something a little more discreet. For example, the Elder series of robes are really nice, and what I'd picture to be the high-end gear, though with the option to have a visible hood-down (not just hood vanish). Not banana shoulders and seering white, or hobo rags. Of course, that's my opinion, your mileage may vary. And I think Bioware are fooling no one when they call their lower robes 'legwraps', but that's a whole other thread.

I've played a Light Side Infiltration Shadow all of the way through, mainly to see how nice I have to be to some of these people, and at times it has been massively painful to see how much of a toady you have to be to some of them. In contrast, I'm currently levelling a Light Sided Deception Assassin (she's an Imperial, not a Sith), and it's actually a lot easier. Plus, there are several glib lines you can pull out as an Inquisitor that you can't really do as a Consular, and still retain the Light Side feel. it could just be my perception though. Certainly an Assassin feels a lot more fun, whilst a Shadow feels more about doing one's duty to the Republic.

I also have no issues with the gameplay, although some class bosses do feel like they were made for a certain build, and certainly not the one I've been levelling. And they do feel as if they all end in the familiar boss battle against a Sith (or several - look at Quesh), apart from the pre-Corellia mini-mission aboard the dreadnaught. The Knight's story felt more like a Consular one at times (Watcher One on Taris in particular).

So, in short, I broadly agree with most points, though I think the story Chapters 2 & 3 are more in keeping with a Consular's role than you do, and should have had more time as opposed to the over-long Chapter 1. Our wardrobe needs some work, our companions are interesting (in their own ways) - but not as interesting as some of the random NPCs we pick up on the way, and being a Light Sider is more about how much you can put up with being shafted rather than how much good you can actually do.

Going forward, and assuming Bioware makes some form of story expansion in the next couple of years, I hope we'll be able to feel more like Consulars - the investigators of secrets, keepers of lore, and (under the streamlining brought about by BW) destroyers of the Sith and their secrets (the Jedi Shadow's usual job). There are times I would like to finish a class quest 'boss battle' without having to draw my saberstaff, and instead convince the opponent to back down or join me. Something to make us feel distinct from the Knights. But, that's possibly a bit pie in the sky.

Tim
Kecandra - - Infiltration/KC // Kathylen - - Deception
Kiannara - - Tactics // Khellin - - Annihilation
Kascie - - Combat // Kayuri- - Marksmanship