*Let me apologize for the length of this post…definitely a lot of info to chew through, but hopefully you will find it enlightening.
KOTOR 3 Ideas
• Keep the item/weapon upgrade feature – just continue to expand and improve upon the idea.
• More clothing choice – hood up or down, capes, etc.
• More hilt choices
• More fixed locations for “historical/powerful” items – less randomization of item drops (I find it pretty damn frustrating when a guy is fighting me with a [fill in your weapon of choice] and after beating him not being able to pick it up…and what’s up with droids that carry credits)
• IF you place a container in a scene – put something in it!
Game Play Requests
• A complete story – don’t leave us hanging again.
• More split party missions
• Use better graphics then a simple saber thrust to open a door…perfect example is what they did for the Revenge of the Sith game – saber thrust followed by a cutting motion around the entire door frame, then kick it down or sabering open an electrical panel to cut power/hotwire doors…
• Environment interaction – use the force to throw a cargo cylinder at an opponent, etc.
• More combat animations
• NPC’s that will leave or join group based on alignment or actions…perhaps a mix of this with the old system…pool of 19 NPC’s – 8 good, 8 bad, 3 story driven > max number of NPC’s 11, max number of party 12 (PC included)…this would create the opportunity to have 4 teams of three, each team led by PC or story driven NPC. For example story driven NPC of Mandolore (Canderous) could recruit up two Mandolorian soldiers based on PC’s alignment to form his team.
• Also the possibility of non-permanent story/quest driven NPC’s that will join for a time then leave (would be a good way to introduce characters from previous game/s) – could always encounter these NPC’s again…(similar to the hunter from Dantooine that you can then meet again on Kashyyk in KOTOR 1)
• The ability to use the stealth ability with party members that have skill – to hide the entire group
• More distinct combat variations based on combat style (i.e single saber, dual blade, or dual wielding)
• More elaborate interactions between PC and “extras” – I mean if I want to be the lord of the Sith I want to just cut someone’s head off for stepping on my shoes, if I am not doing that then how evil am I, really…
• The ability to kill/try to save non-story driven NPC’s that don’t have the same alignment (example if you are good can convince a bad NPC to change ways – they then become a non-permanent story/quest driven NPC; if you are bad a goody two shoes mouths off to you, you cut their blimey head off – then go about your business)
General Player/Non-Player Character Generation/Development Ideas
The most important idea for KOTOR 3 Player Character’s is that they start out as force users. That does not mean that they don’t have a past. I think that the character should be in their early twenties and at least at level 5 of their chosen profession. This would mean that a soldier would have an idea if they were a melee expert or good with a blaster or whatever – that choice would still be yours. Instead of creating a level one character you would be able to create a level 5 character and flesh out a few more details. For example instead of being given certain feats/skills as per your profession – you would be given a pool of points that you could spend on feats/skills, making the character more customizable. More customization also means selecting not just gender, but race as well.
o you like the flurry tree or the power attack tree? Are you well rounded skill wise or do you have a speciality? You would be given the chance to pick a scoundrel that specializes in security and demolitions, but would rather run into the thick of battle and chop someone’s head off (melee focus). Once you have made your choices and the character is generated, the game starts – you return to level 1 in your new class the “padawan”. From this point you would start to learn the nature of the force, etc.
Rather than choosing a “profession”, have profession progression…where the intent is to focus on one aspect of a “profession” then progress to the next. For example start with basic training, then combat training, etc. Each progression providing new skills, feats, powers that character can learn. Also have skill learning based on attempts and attributes.
For example: Demolitions would improve over time due to the number of times used – initially has to be learned (or chosen as a skill), then with each attempt skill progresses. Initial skill would allow character to disable a basic mine, after a set number of disables would progress to being able to recover basic mine. Character would have to try and fail more advanced mines several times before learning first how to disable and then recover that mine. Set number of attempts/failures/disables would be determined by attributes (like intelligence and dexterity).
Possible Level Progressions
1. Start as Padawan First Tier (levels 1-5) – No lightsaber, unarmed combat, treat injury, basic force powers (force speed, force push/pull, etc.)
2. Progess to padawan second tier (levels 6-10) – lightsaber, dueling, blaster deflection,etc.
3. Progress to Jedi Knight (levels 10-20) – advanced tier of basic powers (i.e. knight speed, force whirlwind, etc.)
4. Progress to Jedi Guardian (levels 20-30) – class specific traits, force jump, demolitions, etc
5. Progress to Jedi Sentinel (levels 30-40) – knowledge based skills, force immunities, etc.
6. Progress to Jedi Consular (levels 40-50) – leadership skills, awareness, persuasion, mental force powers, etc.
7. Progress to Jedi Watchman (levels 50-65) – stealth, security, force camoflauge, mind trick, etc.
8. Progress to Jedi Weapon Master (levels 66-80) – advanced combat training, dual wielding, etc.
9. Progress to Jedi Master (levels 81-100) – force mastery, mentoring ability, training ability, etc.
Random Thoughts to Clear up Back Story
To uncomplicate things I think that it is important to start right where KOTOR 2 left off (I think that was the intention the entire time – even if you added back in supposed cut content, nothing really would have extended the story…). That solves a lot of problems right there – regardless of the actions you chose for your character of Revan in the first KOTOR, KOTOR 2 is very clear that Revan leaves to find/fight this unkown threat. I think that it is important to note here that in your conversations with Kreia it raises the question what is Sith, what is Jedi – this is very important when you look at Revan’s motivations (regardless of whether you chose the light side or the dark side). To sum up Revan’s motivations (light/dark doesn’t matter), he/she fought to keep the Republic strong at all times – whether it was to fight the Mandolorians, convert the Jedi, or to fight the real “Sith”. The question becomes why Revan did those things and what was learned that convinced him/her that the strength of the republic was important and how conversion of the Jedi mattered to being able to fight the real “sith”. I feel that this gets back to one of Kreia’s statements that to truly understand the nature of the force one must know both the light and the dark - to be balanced you must have ying and yang. I think that we would all agree that the line between what is good and evil, right and wrong can be blurred at any moment. This has been a central theme of the Star Wars Universe going back to the original trilogy (and more recently the prequel trilogy). Why should we be surprised that again it plays a central role here?
A very good example of this dynamic can be seen in the movie Kingdom of Heaven – for those of you that haven’t seen the movie it is about the struggles that occur in the Holy Land between religions/peoples over who is right and who is wrong (grossly over simplified, but it will work). The director/story teller of the movie does an absolutely fantastic job of creating a situation where you have two “good” people forced into a conflict to settle these things for their time. Most people that I discussed the movie with felt very confused because it was not clear who they should root for – I think that was the intention of the movie. To make us see that good is in the eye of the beholder and that good to one person can easily be seen as evil to another. This is a theme that is constant throughout KOTOR 2 – examples include your interpretation of Atton’s trials with the Jedi, the Handmaiden’s betrayal of Atris or herself, etc. Again, it was Kreia in KOTOR 2 that said ,”(paraphrasing) Did Revan truly fall, did he/she truly become a sith or is that merely a title given to behaviors that we don’t see a purpose for or understand the need for…perhaps Revan only did what he/she knew was absolutely necessary to protect the republic”. I think that it is this statement that best defines what Revan is in terms of understanding his/her role in the KOTOR universe – that is Revan is the person that will do anything to protect that which he/she sees as important.
With that all being said – I think that it should be very clear that Revan left to protect the Republic. And since in the Star Wars Universe the Republic is generally associated with “good”, I think that it would be fair to say that Revan is “good” regardless of his actions – thereby limiting the importance of establishing whether Revan was a “Jedi” or a “Sith”.
Understanding how to create a feasible back story for the Exile in context to the storyline of KOTOR 3 is a little more difficult, but still doable. First you need to establish some base motivations that were present in the KOTOR 2 storyline regardless of the light/dark choice. I think that the easiest place to start is the Exile’s unique ability to influence and then train the “Lost Jedi/Sith”. Interestingly enough these motivations are very similar to Revan’s “war of conversion”. So a good starting point, is understanding that one of the Exile’s most important functions in the KOTOR universe is creating a council/army (whatever you would like to call it) of Jedi/Sith. The questions start to snowball when you try to understand what the Exile’s motivations for developing this body of force users were.
The problem that I have is that much of the KOTOR 2 storyline is based on Kreia’s manipulation of the Exile. So, I think that it is important to understand what Kreia’s motivations were…I also feel that her final story of wanting to kill the force and everyone attached to it was another manipulation. The question should be, what did that manipulation achieve? Two things: First to begin the initial Kreia fight she states that the Exile must kill her or be killed as a test to determine the fate of the galaxy; and secondly at the end of KOTOR 2, after defeating Kreia and the floating sabers – she states that the Exile has rewarded her more than he/she can know. What do these two things mean? The first is easy to interpret if you have been paying attention to the KOTOR universe – it is the “way of the sith” for the apprentice to slay the master and assume control when they are strong enough; if they are not strong enough then the penalty is death > this ensures that only the strong survive. The second statement is easier to understand once you understand the first. And that is, if Kreia pushed the Exile into the confrontation in order to test his “strength” – and he survived than it is easy to see that Kreia was successful in her endeavor to teach/train someone to be strong enough to do what was necessary (remind you of Revan at all).
Why would Kreia need/want to train someone to be as strong as Revan? She says in the game that she thought about traveling to find Revan, why didn’t she? She never gives a clear answer on why she decided to stay, was it because she was not strong enough? If that was the case, why did she feel it necessary that someone follow Revan? Did she feel that Revan was going to need help? At the end of the game Kreia says that you have a choice – to follow Revan or stay and rebuild the “order”…which would she see as the path of “strength”? Throughout the game Kreia tries to convince the Exile that when a person chooses not to seek conflict that they are weakening themselves through stagnation – that it is only through conflict that one can grow and become stronger. Understanding this aspect of Kreia’s “philosophy”, shows that Kreia would choose the path of conflict and struggle as the path of “strength”. The choices left at the end of the game would suggest that following Revan is the path of conflict and therefore would be the path that Kreia would see as the path of “strength”. And since KOTOR 2 is as much about Kreia’s story of manipulation of the Exile, as it is about the choices of the Exile him/herself – then I think that it would be fair to assume that the Exile would make the choice that would complete both story arcs…If you use this information to help you take a leap of faith in understanding Kreia’s true motivations, the plan for the Exile starts to become clearer. Again, I think regardless of the light/dark choice; the Exile’s path, is to follow Revan into the unknown regions – completing both the story arc for the Exile’s choices and the story arc for Kreia’s manipulations.
Back Story Introduced in KOTOR 3
For the purposes of creating a streamlined feel for the those that played KOTOR 2, I think that using the dialogue system to help determine if the Exile was a light or dark jedi would be appropriate. Although there is no difference in the final outcome (the Exile follows Revan into the unkown region) the path that he took to get there will help to determine the starting location of your player character…
Light Side Back Story
After defeating Darth Traya the betrayer, the Exile was ready to silence the echo of Malachor, this time prepared for the consequencese of activating the Mass Shadow Generator for the second time. Although Goto had programmed his droid to intervene in the case that the General gave the order he did not count on the Exile ordering HK-47 to assist Bao Dur’s remote in achieving its final task. Together, Hk-47 and the remote were able to defeat Goto’s droid. HK-47 returned to the Exile with the news that all the preparations were made and the generator was ready to be activated. After gathering his friends and allies from the prisons of the Trayus Academy, the Exile was able to use the force to bring the Ebon Hawk back form the core of the planet. Once all were aboard and the Ebon Hawk was in the planet’s orbit, the Exile again gave the order to activate the Mass Shadow Generator to Bao Dur. At last, both would be able to put the demons of their past behind them. Bao Dur simply nodded and the task was done. The echo of Malachor that had spread across the galaxy was finally silenced. Knowing that he/she would have no other choice but to follow Revan, the Exile quietly mediated alone. After some time the Exile emerged to inform his/her friends that they would return to Coruscant to rebuild the jedi order. The Exile along with those that he had trained to feel the force would become the new council. Their first charge would be to reopen the jedi temple on Coruscant and then start the search for the remaining lost jedi. After arriving on Coruscant and opening the jedi temple, the Exile explained to the rest of the council that the time had come for their separation. Brianna, Atton, Mira, Visas Marr, Bao Dur and the Disciple were to remain behind and begin the search for the lost jedi. They would be charged with rebuilding the order and ensuring that republic was strong. The Exile’s path now followed Revan into the unknown regions – the only companion that the Exile would take was T3M4. Before leaving the Exile finds the first of the lost jedi for the council (this will be your player character), he/she was a young citizen of Coruscant that came to the temple because they felt unexplainably drawn there. Your journey begins with the description of the Exile to the council and why you were told to come before them. Accompanying you will be HK-47 who has been ordered by the Exile to assist (your character) in finding the HK-50 droid factory and ensuring that they do not continue to hunt jedi.
Dark Side Back Story
After crushing Kreia and feeding her body to the core of the planet, the Exile felt the rush of power, power that Malachor only gave to the strongest. It was within the rage of this storm that the Exile saw that his/her path was clear, he/she must find Revan. To do so the Exile would need to rip one of the graveyard ships form the orbit of Malchor to be his new vessel. But first he/she would need to deal with the weakness that his followers had exhibited, none had been able to stand against Kreia and none would be worthy to travel with him/her again. Their punishment would be the same; weakness, stagnation. Those that had failed to show their strength would remain behind on Malachor, but they would not become completely useless. After being released from the cells of the Trayus Academy; Atton, Brianna, Bao Dur, Hanharr, the Disciple, T3M4 and HK-47 would learn their fate. The Exile explained that only those with strength would accompany him/her on the next journey and they had all failed that test. He/She told them that the echo of Malachor was what gave them power, the power to spread across the galaxy and influence all those that heard the echo. It was from this power that they would remain useful to the Exile. In time he/she explained those that hear the echo will seek you out – remain here wait for them, when they come train them and make them strong. Let them feel the power of Malachor flow through their bodies and teach them how to use that power to gain all that they desire. The Exile had one final order for HK-47, the Exile stated that there would be a man/woman that would come to this place – they would be marked by the force (this is your player character). When they are trained travel with them find the HK-50 factory and destroy it, they could not afford to have rogue droids hunting down soldiers of the Exile’s army. As the Exile traveled to the surface he/she was joined by Goto’s droid – the only servant to show strength. Goto’s droid was successful in preventing Bao Dur’s remote from activiating the Mass Shadow Generator again. The droid’s reward was to travel with the Exile to find Revan.
KOTOR 3 Storyline
You begin the game at either Coruscant or Malachor. After completeing your training and becoming a “jedi” knight, you travel with HK-47 in search of the HK-50 droid factory. To find the trail of these rogue droids you visit the worlds where the Exile had encountered them (a rebuilt Peragus Mining Facility, the empty Academy and old military installation on Telos, and Nar Shaadaa). Along your way you find enough clues that point you in the direction of the HK-50 factory. Upon arriving you find that the plant has been completely self automated for quite some time. You either destroy or shut the factory down, effectively preventing any more HK-50 droids from being made. After communicating with the council you are asked to explore the factory to see if you can find any clues as to who built the facility. There are none – you find this mystery troubling and return to the council. HK-47 reminds the council that it was Revan that had originally commissioned him to be built and that perhaps the answer may be in Revan’s past.
After much discussion, the council asks you to return to the Ratakan world where Revan found the Star Map and speak to the Ratakans. You arrive on the Ratakan home world in the midst of a civil war. You find a group of Ratakans being seiged in the old Ratakan temple by the cruelest of their people. The destruction of the Star Forge and the opening of the temple has caused the worst of their race to descend on this island in an attempt to claim this power as their own. You either save or overthrow this group to gain entry to the temple and search for the information that you seek (*depending upon your actions here you are given the choice of allowing a Ratakan force user to join your group…you would need to save the group to have this option). Searching the massive Ratakan databases you find pieces of information that talk of a shadowed power and a great threat to the infinite empire. You learn that there may be more information to be found at temples hidden on worlds where the Ratakans once had influence. According to you research you would need to search the ruins of the temples on these worlds; Mon Calamari, Genosis, Coreilla, and Alderaan. After discussing this development with the council, they ask you to seek out these temples on these four worlds. You go and in turn; fight, scrape, negotiate your way through each planets’ issues until you find the temple and the answers you seek. All the information you find points you in the direction of the unknown regions.
You return to the council and report your findings, concluding that someone in the unknown regions must have felt that the force users were going to be formidable enemies and would need to be eliminated. You feel that all force users are not safe until this threat is discovered, unmasked, and stopped.
That's it for now...feel free to add on, share your thoughts, etc.