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Inconsistencies In Dark and Light

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Inconsistencies In Dark and Light

Jovanna's Avatar


Jovanna
01.29.2012 , 03:31 PM | #11
How about you get Dark Side options for saving the lives of soldiers dying on an operating table, but Light Side points if you give the medical supplies to the little kid with the headache instead?

For the most part the writers are consistent and the choices really do make sense. You may not agree, but that's a philosophical issue.

There's two sides to every story. Non-force users aren't actually getting Light or Darkness. They're getting what would amount to paragon and renegade points. Everything isn't about being black and white with easy to determine good vs. evil.

Sometimes the greater good may appear evil. Getting Dark Side points for venting the crew of the Esseles for instance. Why? There's nothing malicious about it. The ship comes first. Every member of the crew knows that. Each one of them needs to be willing to give their lives for the ship and the officers must be able to order them to their deaths.

You can't think of the alignment system in black and white terms.
"It's gonna be one hell of a dogfight". - Sarah Connor, the Sarah Connor Chronicles

"Shall I blast him now, Master?" - HK-47, Knights of the Old Republic

SalsaDMA's Avatar


SalsaDMA
01.29.2012 , 04:57 PM | #12
I still think the best/worst example is the empire mission on taris where you get lightside points for subverting lightside force users into being darkside forceusers...

That, if anything, strikes me as being the biggest offender. I really have a hard time seeing how it can be a light thing to convince others to follow the dark side... Was even worse when I consider I was doing it on my lightside Sith, which made the whole lightside debates with Jaesa meaningless when taken in context of what you do in that particular case to rank up the lightside score.

Follow the light by following the dark.. yeah right...

Ranadiel_Marius's Avatar


Ranadiel_Marius
01.29.2012 , 05:43 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by SalsaDMA View Post
I still think the best/worst example is the empire mission on taris where you get lightside points for subverting lightside force users into being darkside forceusers...

That, if anything, strikes me as being the biggest offender. I really have a hard time seeing how it can be a light thing to convince others to follow the dark side... Was even worse when I consider I was doing it on my lightside Sith, which made the whole lightside debates with Jaesa meaningless when taken in context of what you do in that particular case to rank up the lightside score.

Follow the light by following the dark.. yeah right...
The reason for that being lightsided is because you are saving their lives as opposed to killing them....but yeah that dialogue was not what should be there. I have a feeling that not every class uses the dark side bit for that option because the Nekghouls don't even mention turning to the dark side in their response from what I recall. But yeah that specific line should definatly be different.

Hanscholo's Avatar


Hanscholo
01.29.2012 , 05:52 PM | #14
Yea i have noticed a few choices where i just havent agreed at all with the dark and light options presented, in which case i choose my own view on what is the right thing to do based on my chars attitude.

Diamonddug's Avatar


Diamonddug
01.29.2012 , 06:26 PM | #15
Some of the dark/light side points I disagree with on the Empire side (just my opion others may disagree):

Dark Science on Korriban. I don't see how betraying a quest giver for credits is light side.

Creeping Hunger on Korriban I think posioning the monster who eats acolytes should not be light side its self preservation.

Testing Ground: I know its light side to kill the slaves out right without having them suffer but posioning them seems dark side to me.

Finally I know its not topic but I think Thana Vesh should of had three choice options like Lord Rathari instead of just light and dark.
Peace is a lie. There is only Passion.
Though passion I gain strength. Though strength I gain power.
Though power I gain victory.
In victory my chains are broken.

Kamilumin's Avatar


Kamilumin
01.29.2012 , 06:47 PM | #16
http://pc.gamespy.com/articles/121/1215532p4.html

The last part of this interview talks about this.

Essentially, the Force is almost like an entity that can see repercussions in the future and light side is concerned with preservation of life and not succumbing to passion, dark side enjoys pain and death and complete submission to emotion.


For the Ord Mantell quest with choosing who to give the supplies to, the various quests imply that the Republic forces there are deeply corrupt and that they unjustly charge refugees for the medical supplies when they are needed, even if they have more than they need. By giving the supplies to the Cathar, they end up where they do the most good. Perhaps the original quest giver doesn't realize that his superiors are corrupt or that they don't need those supplies, but in the end the idea is that it ends up actually saving people to give the supplies to the Cathar while giving the supplies to the soldiers can cause more suffering. The quest doesn't make it that obvious though, so I understand where others are coming from, and even still it's pretty debatable.

bizcuits's Avatar


bizcuits
01.29.2012 , 06:55 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Star-ranger View Post
Lately I've been noticing a lot of inconsistencies in the dark and light options.

In one case you have a couple of lovers who you encourage to abandon their love and do their duty for the good of the Jedi order. In another case you have a bunch of soldiers who have gone AWOL and the result is their comrades are starving to death because they're not delivering the supplies and doing their duty.

Encouraging the lovers to do their duty get's you light points, encouraging the soldiers to do their duty gets you dark points. Encouraging the soldiers to desert and abandon their comrades to starvation gets you light points. Why?

Why can we blow away a gazillion minions but when it comes to blowing away an evil arch villain mass murderer war criminal we're given dark points and letting him go gives us light points... and we're not allowed to arrest him? Capturing should at least be an option.

In spite of the obvious moral relativism there should at least be internal consistency and a set of guidelines that govern it.

Doing your duty is the right thing and should net you light points... unless you're going to hurt innocent people. If they've broken the law or are bad, they're not innocent.

Hurting innocent people is always the wrong thing. Hurting them to save other people is still wrong, but sometimes necessary in war. The fact that you need to hurt some innocent people to save many more doesn't make it any less wrong. But there you go. Sometimes you have two bad choices. In which case both should net you dark points...the worst giving you more.

Killing a bad guy is not wrong when protecting the innocent or in self-defence (it should net you light points). However it's preferable to bring them to justice. Sometimes you can't wait for the courts or trust the courts, the bad guy is just too bad and is not going to play nice and bigger things are at stake... case in point Mace Windu vs. Palpatine. Putting down an arch villain should net you a lot of light points.

If you have a choice--between bringing them to justice/ or killing them--arresting them should give you more light points.

Tricking a bad guy to get the information that will save lives and win a war is OK and so is going back on any deal that would let a villain go. (You don't let mass murderers and war criminals get away so they can do it again... unless you don't have a choice.) Good guys are there to defeat bad guys.

Lastly don't make choices for people. Give enough options that a player can make the choice they want. In the case of the lovers, there should be an option to help them without reporting them (and there is for the guy but not the gal). In the case of the Soldiers there should have been light side points for helping them to come back in. (I'm mean how stupid is it for them to camp out in the middle of hostile terrain when they're deserting to keep from being exposed to that same terrain.)
over thinking you are, the force not always clear in its ways

Ranadiel_Marius's Avatar


Ranadiel_Marius
01.29.2012 , 07:46 PM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by Diamonddug View Post
Dark Science on Korriban. I don't see how betraying a quest giver for credits is light side.
You are also preventing pointless animal cruelty in the process.

Quote: Originally Posted by Diamonddug View Post
Creeping Hunger on Korriban I think posioning the monster who eats acolytes should not be light side its self preservation.
Saving the lives of future acolytes, and saving lives is pretty generally the light sided choice.

Quote: Originally Posted by Diamonddug View Post
Testing Ground: I know its light side to kill the slaves out right without having them suffer but posioning them seems dark side to me.
We don't have the option to not poison them, so the best we got is to give them a less painful death. Given the quest options it is the lighter of the two choices. *shrug*

robertapril's Avatar


robertapril
01.30.2012 , 12:40 AM | #19
While some of the choices are more obvious, the problem with these dark side / light side issues is that it could be argued both ways most of the time.

So for instances, you could take a "big picture" view to explain why one choice which appears dark, is actually light, or vice-versa, because of repercussions or some specific part of the context.
While for another choice you could simply argue that killing/stealing/passion is always dark, saving/healing/kissing is always light, and ignore everything else.

That is what makes these dark/light options so great and aweful. You're always right and wrong.

But the real problem in my opinion is clarity, limitation and expectation.

If I need knowledge outside of the current quest information, to understand the conclusion to my quest (why the hell is X dark/light), then that is a game design error. I should not need to have done all the quests in a zone to understand why the choices seem erroneous.

Then, there's the simple fact that they reduce the complex world of morality to a black and white outcome. There is bound to be multiple times where you won't agree with the decision since there is zero leeway. You're either going to completely agree or disagree with their judgement.

It could be that the Dark and Light side aren't actually good/evil. Someone mentioned dark being passion and light being love_of_local_sports_team, but few people know that, and ya can't really blame em. Dark side and Light side pretty much equates to good and bad in the majority of people's mind.

The last problem I think this system has is answering player expectations.
If I want to be evil, but the dark side option seems to be a goodie-goodie choice, I'm instantly confused and disappointed, because this is basically the conclusion, the pay-off, and it doesn't match-up with what I expected. I don't want to have someone explain to me why, it turns out being kind is actually evil. Unless it happens very rarely, or I'm slow upstairs, understandable expectations should generally be met.

Also, sometimes you get very unusual choices. A serial murderer is captured, and you can either arrest him or let him free. I instantly think... where's my murder him option?

But then, I deal with a harmful computer tech, and I have the option to kill him. Where was that option when I caught the murderer?

And as was mentioned earlier, I capture an enemy general, but I only have the option to kill him or set him free. Where is my "put under arrest" option.

I like the effort BW has put in the game. I appreciate the idea. Most of the time I'm satisfied with the outcome. But more often than I'd like, I tilt my head like a pug wondering what kind of moral compass the designer of that particular quest has.

Also, I've worked in the videogame business and I know that for a project this size, it is near-impossible to always be coherent. Different developers interpret differently design documents, so you get decisions that aren't totally in sync. There's also the fact that the right/wrong answers were decided by people who had deadlines, not philosophers with infinite time. So you're gonna get "good enoughs" and "whatever ship it" scenarios.

Diamonddug's Avatar


Diamonddug
01.30.2012 , 02:37 AM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Ranadiel_Marius View Post
You are also preventing pointless animal cruelty in the process.

Quote: Originally Posted by Ranadiel_Marius View Post
Saving the lives of future acolytes, and saving lives is pretty generally the light sided choice.


Quote: Originally Posted by Ranadiel_Marius View Post
We don't have the option to not poison them, so the best we got is to give them a less painful death. Given the quest options it is the lighter of the two choices. *shrug*
I alreay said others might not agree my thoughts you are one of the ones who don't.
Peace is a lie. There is only Passion.
Though passion I gain strength. Though strength I gain power.
Though power I gain victory.
In victory my chains are broken.