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Star Wars the Old Republic: The story that could have been

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Star Wars the Old Republic: The story that could have been

Neltronluur's Avatar

10.06.2017 , 08:52 AM | #1
Over the last couple years I've been watching and examining the story and the following thread is my honest opinion on how the storyline could have possibly been done better.

The first aspect that I would have changed was the inclusion and overemphasis on Revan. Don't get me wrong, Revan was a great character but he served his purpose and his storyline should have essentially ended with KOTOR. Now I know what you are thinking. "But we would never know of his final fate." I have three answers to this, all in the form of questions. Does it really matter? Do you really need someone to tell you what happened? Were you satisfied with the way it all ended?

Going back to why I would remove Revan from the storyline.

I understand that BioWare probably wanted to legitimize this game as a worthy successor by tieing it to KOTOR. Great! By all means go ahead and do so but how much sense does it really make for a 300+ year old human character to still be alive and still be in perfect fighting shape? By putting Revan in the storyline, BioWare essentially made the storyline a little too dependent on Revan for success, whereas the focus should have (IMO) been more geared towards the mysterious aspects of Vitiate and the overall war as a whole.

Long story short, I feel Revan was shoehorned in as an afterthought to draw in more fans and his story (to include the novel about him) was very rushed and overhyped, making it sort of cringe worthy at times. My personal fix for this would have been taking Revan out of the story entirely but still maintain the little hints and nods to him. I would have centered his story arc around releasing high level political prisoners who might be willing to defect (Pubside) and attempting to harness the power of the Foundry (Impside).

For those of you intent on hearing of his fate, okay, I have a plan just for you. The events of the Revan novel proceed as usual (with better characterization) but instead Revan dies at the hands of the Emperor. By changing the ending, we solidify Revan's legacy and overall he stills manages to slow the Emperor down. Later on in the game, we hear of his sacrifice and eventually the story is told to every citizen in the Republic. A fitting end to a once great character.

The Second aspect I would changed is the over-reliance on third party factions to placate both fan bases, this a temporary fix to a long term problem. Myself and hundreds of others have called for a return to the war as the focus of the overall Plotline multiple times over the last 4 years but to no avail. By focusing too much on "hey Empire and Republic work together to stop the enemy for the 8th time," they essentially destroy the fundamental aspect of Star Wars: Light vs Dark. It also destroys any sense of war/combat related realism when you have 8+ factions that are credited with being able to "wipe out both the Republic and Empire." I can understand the desire to appear as though BioWare is not favoring one side or the other but the truth is that one battle can shift the outcome of a multiple year campaign and a battle one by the opposite faction my shift the tide back the other way. Hiding from this simply because it might kill off some highly popular characters within the game (ahem Marr, Satele) is the wrong way to go about it. It's a war, people die, it's the nature of the beast. If you truly don't want certain characters to die, all BioWare would have to do is put forth a believable/plausible reason for their survival.

The Third aspect revolves around the overall progression of the storyline. After Corellia we have Ilum, okay not much to complain about here then next up is Rise of the Hutt cartel. Personally I didn't have many issues with ROTHC other than the fact that it made the Empire seem ungodly incompetent without Vitiate and that it really wasn't that exciting. From a story standpoint, it was pretty solid and meshed with the base storyline without a great deal of difficulty. I would only make minor changes.

Moving on we have the Dread Masters arc. Let me stop here and say that I love the Dread Masters as villians BUT and this is a big BUT. I would have packaged them as part of a bigger expansion storyline, which I will elaborate on in a minute. After the Dread Masters we finally come to Shadow of Revan. "But wait a minute, I though you said you would remove Revan from the storyline?" Right you are, this is where I believe the Dread Masters should have had their day. Were it my choice, I would have had the Dread Masters go rogue (seemingly) and begin a rampage of terror across the galaxy. Republic and Sith forces (independently) engage them on Oricon in a full expansion length story arc centered around defeating them. It is important that both sides DO NOT work together and I would even go so far as to divide the Dread Masters so that the Republic fights half of the Dread Masters in boss battles and the Empire fights the other half. At the end it is revealed that Vitiate (gasp he's still alive!) commanded the Dread Masters to bring the Galaxy under their mental control to make it easier to suck the Galaxy dry of all life. His influence will then override theirs sort of thing.

Now that we know the Emperor is back, we roll into Ziost with no changes. After Ziost however, we lead into another story arc intent on defeating the Emperor's agents across the Galaxy, all of them up to some sort of bad stuff we can assume. After this we roll into a new Expansion centered around Nathema and learning the origins of Tenebrae/Vitiate. The story begins when Darth Marr contacts members of both factions and grudgingly decides to form a coalition to research the Emperor's origins on Nathema. Throughout the storyline you will gather Intel and learn of a way to defeat Vitiate once and for all. Oh hey and you find Lord Dramath's holocron! You will also fight agents of the Emperor that were left to protect his secrets, namely the Imperial Guard. You eventually find a way to end Vitiate permanently and receive word that Vitiate is initiating another Ziost, this time intent on finishing the job. Both forces rush to the planet to stop him once in for all, the final showdown being the same as Shadow of Revan's only this time your character pulls the trigger that ends Vitiate for good.

Once Vitiate is dead, focus goes back to the Eternal War of light vs dark and both sides go back to killing each other. The end.

Just my opinions on how the story should have been done but hey, everyone thinks differently. I want to hear what you guys think.
"Master of the Living Force"

Diviciacus's Avatar

10.06.2017 , 09:55 AM | #2
I mean realistically, if you left Revan dead for reals at the end of the Foundry and turned the Revanites into "fanatical servants of the Emperor" - we know those exist from the Knight story chapter 3 - Then your post's TL;DR is "remove all the stupid parts of KOTX." And I'm ok with that.

I do have to say though it is my opinion that the in-game treatment of the Dread Masters arc is superior to your suggestion.
Nonne mei fratres congruitis nobis nostram cruore ferroque humum recipienda esse aut Imperium Aeternum quae omnia speremus peregerimusque vere perdat?
Conquering the Darkest Places, the ongoing misadventures of a Sith doing what's right by her.

SolarSaenz's Avatar

10.06.2017 , 01:28 PM | #3
I like most if not all of what you suggested.

The solution to the whole focus on Revan is simple, especially for those of us who don't want to read the tie in novel(s) about Revan.

BW back in the day should have made a true Knights of the Old Republic 3 as an offline RPG game just like KOTOR 1 & 2. The would-be KOTOR 3 could have wrapped up the Revan and Exile stories.
Then, SWTOR, while of course having nods to the KOTOR games, would feel hopefully much less obligated to bring Revan into focus so much.

Back like before SWTOR's release, one of the promotional videos I saw was a SWTOR guy saying something like "Play this game and find out what eventually happened to Revan, the Exile, Carth, et. all" and called SWTOR KOTOR 3, 4,5, etc. I'd probably have still come to this game even if SWTOR hadn't been promoted as the sequel to the KOTOR games because, you know, it's Star Wars.

Of course, hind site is always 20/20.

kepeskvaeri's Avatar

10.08.2017 , 01:40 AM | #4
I agree with your story suggestions completely. The expansions after SoR was to me a great disapointment. The story overall was just another version of Inquisition and Andromeda, which is neither original or vey well done.

My problem with the expansions is firts and foremost that the Outlander always goes through thesame story despite the fact that he/she could be 8 completely different people with 8 completely differnt aproaches to how to solve the problems. Sure the JC or JK could getaway with that Alliance story but most of the Imperial characters would take a completely differnt route. SI had a enormous power base and the thought that all of it were gone or that the Empire would ignore Marr's number 2 is silly.
Plus the expansions makes the Outlander look very weak throughout the story which is completely ridicoulus since the force-wielders all can (and have in some cases) destroy entire armies on their own. That Arcann and Vaylin would mopp the floor with them so easy is painfull.

You idea is so much more into the original game. You can pick up old threads, your companions stories could still play into the main plot and the thought that their was a all powerfull Empire just around the corner that no one could have known about is also a bit farfetched.
Sure that that 30 or so % of the Galaxy is never really explored in any of the media I have read is a big plothole but still.

DAWUSS's Avatar

10.10.2017 , 08:41 PM | #5
The only main gripes about SOR was how the Revanites went from fringe nobodies to galactic shakers in such a short period of time and (to a lesser degree) that coalition.

After Ziost, instead of Zakuul and the Eternal Empire and all that, the Republic and Sith could have just resumed conflict (the Republic blaming the Sith for the unchecked Emperor), and both sides awkwardly waiting for the Emperor to devour another planet.

And we could have also delved into third party criminal factions on the side.

JakRoanin's Avatar

10.20.2017 , 03:56 AM | #6
I HATE HATE what they did with Revan and Exile! I hate it as much as some people hate the Alliance! No, More than people hate JAR JAR! But I figured out a work around in my head canon. Still if SOR was gone I'd be overjoyed! Other than that I love the story.It isn't perfect but for me its compelling.

DavidKatski's Avatar

10.22.2017 , 12:16 PM | #7
I like Neltron's overall story arc. However, what's done is done. BW has, in my opinion, taken a detour off the main road for the SoR, KotFE, & KotET expansions and now we have to find a way to get back on course, so to speak. The fact that BW tied up the Revan storyline, (however loosely) was alright with me. I can even handle living with the Marr/Shan coalition on Yavin 4. That ended as how I would expect it. With both Imps and Pubs going back to there respective sides. While there were many things I liked about KotFT and KotEE, I do feel that BW should have handled the ending much differently. In my opinion, the choices at the end should have been to rule Zakuul as Emperor with access to the Eternal Throne and Fleet, or to turn it back over to a redeemed Arcann. Either one of these could have affectively ended the Eternal Alliance, thereby addressing the elephant in the room of how do we contend with a third party on the Galactic stage. Clearly the Eternal Alliance has to end at some point, because it doesn't exist in the future. BW's answer appears to be the Iokath and Umbara FPs with a shadowy villain in the wings. (My guess, the Scions, Heralds of Zildrog, Star Cabal, or ???. Take your best guess).

At any rate, my main problem is with the Eternal Alliance. I play my characters more on the RP side of things. So, realistically thinking, the Eternal Alliance works well with my LS character, but not so great with my DS one. If I were to stay in character with my DS Sith Marauder, then my alliance might possibly have never even been formed, as I would have killed Koth and possibly Sentya before we even left Zakuul. So I'm forced to make decisions that go against my character's disposition in order to placate my companions. To do otherwise and still have them as alliance companions would not be logical to me and would diminish my enjoyment of the game.

I first played these expansions as LS characters. A JC and a JK. playing them as anything other than Jedi did not make sense to me. On the flip side, playing them as anything other than Sith would also not make much sense. The only way I was able to reconcile playing a DS Sith Marauder for these expansions and have him end up as the Commander of the Eternal Alliance was to redeem him, at the very least, to a grey alignment. This was able to work with only one of my DS characters, since his back story has him as a descendant of a famous Jedi who turned to the DS. In a sense, he ended up redeeming his family name.

So how is BW going to get SWTOR back on the main path of DS vs LS that we know is the future of the SW universe? Whatever they, do, I'm sure I will have to adapt my characters to fit their narrative.
Lost a planet, Master Obi Wan has. How embarrassing.

Cuiwe's Avatar

10.29.2017 , 02:51 AM | #8
I agree with your story OP. There are some details I'd change:

-> Change Warrior Act III: Instead of relying completely on orders of Hands, Sith Warrior now does this by himself. Oh and also, no more of "fake Emperor / Horcrux" crap, tyvm!
-> Emperor DIES on Dromund Kaas
-> a Dread Master of sorts tries to revive the Emperor on Ziost. You stop him.

With everything else I agree to a T. Good job!
"I am not in this for politics, nor the wanton destruction, hell not even for credits. I have chosen this way of life because of the hunt and because it was pushed onto me on some ugly slimeball called a "pearl" and Honour bound me to this path ever onwards" Caelestinus

noctoi's Avatar

10.29.2017 , 07:05 PM | #9
Totally agree. Nice to see someone else of the same mind about the inclusion of Revan. Itís seriously pigeon holed the storyline, and has been the trigger of some truly horrifying flame wars on the forums that lost the game more than a few players.

The hardcore KOTOR fans were out for blood before SWTOR even went live, as evidenced by my friend handing me her birthday present back in a fit of temper because it wasnít KOTOR like she was rather naively expecting, and she wasnít going to play some ďstupid KOTOR rip-off when the real thing should have been made firstĒ.

I always believed that throwing Revan into the mix was like giving ADD ridden children neat red cordial and a truckload of explosives...and it blew up predictably and spectacularly, and pushed the game places it was never intended or marketed to go until the post protest redacted forums became the new canon.

I liked the Dread masters, didnít love the concept, but the storyline was done well enough that it would have made a decent expac, and allowed much more MMORPG scope than kotfe did.

I came back to the game a couple of weeks ago to see what the storyline was doing and I have to admit itís improved a LOT since I left just after the initial chapters of kotfe dropped, but I miss the game from beta to 2.x. Itís a lotta style and precious little buggy inconsistent substance now.

At least the forums are working again and the developers are keeping the players updated now, and thatís a vast improvement over last time I played.

Neltronluur's Avatar

11.18.2017 , 09:19 AM | #10
As I said before, I think the biggest issue with the overall storyline was the fact that the same ground was tread on too many times (I.E. Third party factions). It really broke the immersion for me because it became obvious that BioWare was doing it as a means of placating both Sith and Republic fan bases. The truth comes down to this: "You can't always please both sides otherwise you may suffer in overall story quality." I think we as fans are really at fault for this because we get so attached to a particular character and then once they die, we just get upset. What we sometimes fail to understand is that the character's death or a faction's defeat at a certain battle doesn't equate to. "Oh BioWare just hates this character or faction." Sometimes it's necessary to advance the story. If BioWare kept every fan favorite character alive, the story would go stale.

Long story I believe we as the fan base share half the blame for the direction the story took.
"Master of the Living Force"