Monday, May 21, 2018

Knights of the Eternal Throne

This post contains significant spoilers for The Old Republic.

I played through the latest expansion of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Knights of the Eternal Throne. Actually, apparently I left halfway through the previous expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, so first I finished that off.

I feel the same way about KotET as I about The Last Jedi. The initial setting is absurd, and is a drag on the entire story. Vitiate and Valkorion being the same entity and having two empires doesn't really fit in with the rest of the game, or the way Vitiate has been presented previously. But if you just accept that premise, the rest of the story is pretty decent.

I liked a lot of the small touches, the way SCORPIO gave the Gemini droids free will, and how Vaylin took it away from them. The ending was quite strong as well, being a family affair just as the entire story had been. Bioware made a good attempt at reconciling Vitiate and Valkorion, invoking Nathema.

It was also interesting the way the Empire, under Acina, was the faction willing to ally with you, while the Republic chose to stand aside. At first glance, it looks a little odd, but it actually fits well that the Sith would chafe more under Zakuul's rule.

The "Virmire" choice between two companions was done well. It was obvious that the companion you didn't chose was going to die, but they delayed and faked it out to create enough doubt that it was still a bit of a shock.

I did play it through on my Agent, and it was decent enough. It still felt like it would have been a better story for a force user though. Of the non-force users, though, I think the Agent is the best option, as much of that story revolves around mind control.

Speaking of the Agent, I loved the reunion with Vector. Vector was my companion of choice up until companions were taken away at the start of KotFE. The reunion was done perfectly, and it's so good to have him back.

The Traitor story that came after was a little obvious and silly (Theron's haircut!) but it was done well, and did a pretty good of resetting the setting closer to the Republic vs Empire state. It was insightful of Bioware to see that the Eternal Fleet was the only element which needed to be removed to restore the balance.

I did like how the instances had a story mode tuned for you and a companion. It's much better than the instances with the "Jesus" droid.

All in all, Knights of the Eternal Throne was a good expansion for the TOR. The story ended quite well. The real problem, though, is that I played through it in two weeks, going relatively slowly. I'm not sure there was enough content for a steady subscriber. It will be interesting to see what Bioware is going to do next.


  1. The initial setting is absurd, and is a drag on the entire story. [...] But if you just accept that premise, the rest of the story is pretty decent.

    Sounds pretty apt to me. KotFE wasn't a good follow-up to Shadow of Revan, because the way they continued the story felt very forced and made little sense. But once you accepted that particular turn of events, what came after was pretty fun.

    I'm guessing that after completing the whole thing once you probably don't feel like immediately repeating it (plus I'm not sure if you have a suitable alt lying around), but it's definitely worth playing through at least twice. There are some interesting twists if you make choices that were completely opposed to those in your last playthrough (even if the thrust of the main arc doesn't change).

    It's kind of funny to me to see you say that the traitor story arc was a little obvious! I guess it would feel that way now if you play through the whole thing in one go. Especially after the first installment came out there was quite a bit of discussion about it however - combined with the fact that it had some seriously awkward bits of dialogue, it had some people worried that the story was basically just jumping the shark, with events simply not making any sense anymore.

    1. For replaying it, the bigger problem is that I don't really have any hardcore Dark Side characters, so there's a lot of options that I'm just never going to take.

      I'm taking my LS Jedi Knight through it, and playing her as someone falling to the Dark Side, mostly by becoming more short-tempered, not showing mercy, and accepting Valkorion's aid. And it is pretty different so far. But I'm not sure I'll do anything which triggers the major changes like bombing Zakuul with Kaliyo.

      For the traitor, Theron and Lana were pretty much the two major characters at the end of the story who exist in all possible scenarios. I'd class Arcann, Senya, Koth, SCORPIO, Kaliyo, Jorgan, Vette, and Torian as the other major characters, and there's no guarantee that they would have been alive at the end. That's the whole "story choices constraining the future" thing.

      (Maybe Gault could have been a traitor. But I don't think that would have really worked well.)

      So then, of Lana and Theron, whichever was doing it is going to be a double agent. They're too central and *complicit* for a true betrayal. And Lana already did something similar on Rishi, so that makes Theron the most likely person to pull something like this.

      Perhaps a better story would have the player make a major choice at the end of KotET, with each option opposed by one of Theron or Lana. Then whichever one you didn't side with is the one who betrays you, and it would be a true betrayal.