Over the past few days, SWTOR has received some harsh criticisms from various news agencies and services who are complaining about some of the options players have, in regards to how they treat their companion NPC’s in the game.
I happen to have a fairly strong opinion on the matter, as well. Read on to find out what I think about the treatment, or MIStreatment of companions.
Mine is a fairly simple and straight forward take on the controversy: Get over it.
This crap has been getting shouted louder and louder over the last several years as more games become available which give the player the power of choice. The more choice a player is given, the more chance there is of that player making choices which are ethically or morally wrong. The more times players make those “wrong” choices and the media hears about it, the more the bleeding hearts make peepee in their tight, white cotton undies and cry about the abuses which are being carried out.
One of the things they’re talking about is the ability to choose whether or not you’re going to remove the shock collar from a particular companion in SWTOR. If you do, the companion appreciates it and you can travel the path of a decent, if not compassionate superior. If you do not, you can travel the path of a torturous, overbearing taskmaster.
Flip that script and you can still be quite the jerk, even if you do remove the collar while, in the other side of the pyramid, you can be nice and caring, even with the collar in place.
What these whiney, peace-loving, joy-to-all-man-kind types don’t get is that these options were put into the game as a method of expanding the richness of the story line and giving the player the ability to shape their experience and their character to suit their vision of what playing as that type of character means.
In the instance provided, the companion starts as a prisoner and is given to a sith warrior as his ward and “partner”. The sith then has the option, soon after, to remove the collar, thereby removing any chance of using it as a form of punishment or “motivation” or to leave it on so he or she can more easily “convince” their companion to comply.
As stated, though, removing it, or not, does not dictate the player’s future actions.
As the game progresses, every class and every race will be presented with a number of opportunities to directly interact with their various companions. The player may choose to be friendly and forthcoming or may choose to subjugate their companions entirely. If they choose the route of domination, they can certainly do some horrible things to their companion, at various times…or not, depending on how they feel at any given moment.
Some of these stories also make a big deal of the fact that a companion can be forced to watch the player’s character engage in relations with the wife of a slain enemy. They don’t mention that the same companion can become a love interest with a developed romantic sub-plot, if the player so chooses, or that some classes may choose to risk their very lives in order to help their companion through a personal issue…and those are on the Empire side of the light/dark coin.
What this boils down to, in my opinion, is sensationalist journalism designed and intended to whip the masses into a frenzy, in hopes of scoring a bit of extra ad revenue, and at the expense of the people who worked so hard for so long to bring these masterpieces of entertainment to their fans.
I’d like to see those same “journalists” (read:hacks) post a sensationalist article about the scene in Gone With The Wind when Butler drops O’Hara on her ass and shatters her heart or all of the classic movie bitch-slaps where a woman takes one in the face from her male companion, including the film Gone With The Wind (and let’s not forget about the instance of marital rape in that one). Sure, guys…go ahead and let’s complain about that too. You’ll get laughed right off the internet.
Oh, wait…what’s that you say? Those are movies and aren’t interactive? Yeah, that’s right, they aren’t interactive and don’t provide choices…meaning once you were in the theater, you didn’t have the option to decide whether or not you’d have to watch Alex and his crew savagely rape a woman and beat her husband in the classic film “A Clockwork Orange” or witness the aforementioned acts of physical and emotional abuse in Gone With The Wind. No choice at all.
Where’s the criticism, there?
Get over yourselves, you fancy little crybabies. What, do we all live in a convent?