virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
[personal profile] virtualvoyages posting in [community profile] swtor
Perhaps I've overlooked something (or many somethings), but there are a few aspects about the galaxy of SW:TOR that I can't quite sort out. I'm rather hoping someone has. Or do we all throw up our hands and headcanon everything?

Sith Empire Questions
Are Bounty Hunters even Imperial citizens? (Some signs point to no. Like the guy on Balmorra with the booby trapped comms.)

How does the power structure go once you get below the Sith? Actually, it gets confusing even before you get below the Sith, given that there are some military people who seem to have power to order (player character) Sith about. How exactly do the Sith power structure, the Imperial military, and Imperial Intelligence interconnect - who has power over whom? (For that matter, is Imperial Intelligence separate from the military or not? Signs seem to point several directions.)

According to Wookieepedia, for a time the Sith Empire practiced universal military service (making pretty much everyone of a certain age part of the military). There are signs in game that this is no longer the case, but at the same time, you meet so very few apparent civilians that I can't help wondering if it's still true or close to it.

Republic Questions
How are Jedi being recruited in this time period? You meet at least one trainee who was recruited as an adult, but Jedi player characters are assumed to have been trained from childhood. (Though how young is unclear.) For that matter, how long do Jedi train anyway?

Are Smugglers assumed to be Republic citizens? Does the Republic even keep track of its citizens? Anyone else's citizens? Any records at all?The fact that a Sith Lord managed to get a job designing superweapons for the Republic without even changing his name makes me wonder.

I'd ask about the power structure, but, honestly, the Republic is such a disaster that it really doesn't much matter.  If the Empire leans Lawful Evil, the Republic seems to be tipping rapidly into Chaotic Neutral.

Date: 2012-05-02 04:51 pm (UTC)
miarrow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] miarrow
Haven't played as much Republic as Empire, but I can say from playing a DS Sith Warrior and a LS Bounty Hunter pretty far, I've gotten a good idea of the power structure of the Empire.

Sith Lords and Sith alike have the "official" rule of being above everybody else and if you remind one of the dudes that is an Imperial Military person who is bossing you around, they will either actually placate you, or just pretend to. It's sort of like Sith have this royalty status in terms of "official" power, but only certain ones are actually respected in terms of having political or military prowess/status.

There's the Dark Council (who I've yet to meet, so this is some conjecture) that runs the Empire, with a heavy investment in Sith dealings and there's the Empire itself with it's own military branches that stack more conventionally. You have Imperial Military that seems to work the same as Republic on the basic levels and then the branches of Imperial Intelligence (which the Republic seems to have a branch of, that you do run into, but not as heavily as the Sith).

One thing that's interesting is the way the Sith and Jedi interact with their "non-Force" companions in terms of the Imperial and Republic military. The Jedi seem to have more official standings as generals and rank in terms of how the military views them, but with Sith it's directed towards the individual groups that they're relating to (like Quinn decides to be assigned to you and calls you his General, but your SW doesn't get called General anywhere else but the group you have on your ship).

Bounty Hunters versus Smugglers is more interesting. Smugglers have no "official" place within the Republic, for all intents and purposes they're criminals that sort of get a blind-eye thrown their way, because they're being criminals for the Republic (which develops more into official status). Whereas Bounty Hunters and Mercenaries seem to be an established group in the Empire. They're a well tapped resource that the Empire, Sith Lords, and Military officials use to their resources. Some of the less couth bounties are unofficial, but a lot of them are run directly through the Empire, usually by way of the Mandalorians.

I think the Mandalorians and their connection to the Mercs really add a level of authority and establish the Bounty Hunters as an actual group. They're freelance to be sure, but they are Imperial Citizens (whether they like the Empire or not, a BH definitely doesn't like the Republic, seems like it's the lesser of two evils depending on how you play your character).

Date: 2012-05-02 05:38 pm (UTC)
nebelstreif: The smuggler Nebel, relaxing on Coruscant. (Default)
From: [personal profile] nebelstreif
aaahhhhhh this reply is so good! I really, really like it!

I just wanted to throw out a few related ideas, that all generally agree with exactly what Miarrow said:

Citizenship is probably a sorta tricky, fluid thing in The Old Republic. Within the Republic proper, ever person has at least two civic identities -- as a citizen of the Republic, and a citizen of their home planet. This could get even more complicated, if the planet the individual lives on is not their original or home planet. (For instance, it seems that some planets -- Corellia, Alderaan -- inspire a much greater sense of identity than others. For instance, see Nar Shaddaa's Corellian Sector. Also,historically: Alderaan and Corellia's withdrawal from the Coruscant-based government, along ideological lines.) Sometimes there isn't a problem, especially if the planet really identifies its interests with the Republic. (But again: Alderaan withdrew because it felt that the Republic was defaulting on its own values.) But given that the Republic's capital is often literally a thousand light years away, there's are all sorts of local self-identities, not to mention independence movements. Ord Mantel is an interesting case because the secessionists closely identify the corrupt ruling government with the Republic, but that problem isn't unusual.

I get the sense that Imperial citizenship might be slightly more straightforward -- you are either a loyal member of the Empire, a member of an occupied planet that is being assimilated into the Empire, an outright rebel, or a slave. The Empire much more closely identifies citizenship with service, particularly military service. However, this raises it own host of problems, particularly the ethics of occupation and assimilation.

There are also autonomous or semi-autonomous powers across the galaxy. The Tion Hegemony was once more powerful than it is today; the Hutt Cartel is its own sovereign power; the Chiss Ascendency is far away, and thereby afforded the autonomy that comes with distance; and I suspect that, within Imperial space, the Mandalorians function as something of a "special" category allowed some leeway because of their general usefulness. But that gets into another topic, the issue of law and order.

Date: 2012-05-02 08:12 pm (UTC)
miarrow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] miarrow
Haven't played as an Agent yet! But I suspect people don't know what their deal is, so that probably colors a lot of their interactions.

I think the Empire is fairly well organized, not including the issues they're dealing with involving being spread out over so many planets (which Nebel brought up) and the nut-job Sith doctrine that runs so many of their recruits. You're practically encouraged to be a psychopath if you get the wrong influence/master so they've got these powerful Sith entities running amock. It's like Lawful Evil with some Chaotic Evil darting around corners every five minutes.

Date: 2012-05-02 10:40 pm (UTC)
miarrow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] miarrow
I feel like possibly some classes lean towards certain allignments in storyline. I felt very compelled to be mostly DS when I was playing a warrior, but the LS BH is pretty begrudging about it, so it felt right. I know it conforms either way, but even looking at your companions (all the BH's up to the last one, prefer LS decisions; all the SW except maybe Vette prefer DS decisions, although Jaesa is either or, obv).

I will try Agent one of these days. Probably to get a Chiss up to 50 and play as a Chiss Inq. I just was burnt too hard by the Smuggler class type to try soloing as that type of DPS again.


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