For the second round of our Star Wars: The Old Republic press beta experience I went to a class I didn’t think I’d be playing in the live game: The Sith Inquisitor. Now, as it happens, I think I may have accidentally just stumbled onto my main squeeze when SWTOR launches on December 20th. The Sith Inquisitor is like stepping into the shoes of a young Emperor, eager to prove just how badass you are, and willing to do anything to be taken seriously. I’ve tried the Jedi Knight, the Smuggler, and a bit of all the Republic classes… but it’s the Inquisitor that really rang true to my play-style and I didn’t feel too bad about being supremely evil either. Let’s get to it, eh?
Let’s give you a little brief background about what the Sith Inquisitor’s story is about okay? I won’t be giving too many spoilers, just the equivalent of what you’d get from a TV episode trailer. But still, you’ve been warned.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
I chose (of course) the Pureblood Sith, because well… what self-respecting Empire Sith player wouldn’t? The game for the Inquisitor and Marauder begins on the ancient Sith home world of Korriban. You’re a slave to the Empire and the Sith, but you’ve been called upon to prove yourself worth of true training in the ways of the Dark Side. The only problem? Your supervising officer in this task is a major butthole. Yes, I just said “butthole”. Overseer Harkun is the guy they had in mind when they pictured someone in 1984 with a Swatch and neon Keds calling their big brother “butthole”.
That’s three times in one paragraph.
Anyway, you’re part of a group of several hopeful Sith, and because of your lineage, Harkun has it out for you. He gives the easy tasks like reading books to your competition and sends you off to hopefully die in the caverns of Korriban. BioWare has done a really superb job crafting his character into a terrible person. It makes you, someone playing a Sith that feeds on emotion, hatred, and power, feel like you’re the good guy. Well done, chaps.
CONSIDER THIS THE END OF THE STORY SPOILERS
Anyway, here’s why I wound up loving the Inquisitor so much: Force Lightning at level two. You have a normal lightsaber which you wield well, and wear light armor (skirts are for the strong!) so you’d better have some great powers at your disposal. Well, the Inquisitor’s skills certainly don’t disappoint. In the early stages here are a few of your powers:
- Saber Strike – Melee attack, builds force to use (mana)
- Shock – Direct Damage and temporary stun
- Force Lightning – Channeling damage over time
- Whirlwind –hold one target and damage
- Overload – Knockback and damage
- Seethe – Out of combat self-heal
I had all of these by level six, and there are a whole lot more where that came from. You wind up getting in-combat heals, more and more CC and damage abilities, and of course a stellar tanking companion (Khem Val, a Dashade) to make sure you don’t bite it. I sadly didn’t quite make it to the point of choosing my advanced class in this beta build before publish day, but I plan on choosing the Sorcerer so I can make use of the extended spell-casting range and go nuts on mobs with my force lightning and so many other ranged damage abilities. I want to fry people… is that so wrong?
Speaking of evil-doing on the Empire. I have to say; while the prevailing feeling of the Empire is one of greed, power, oppression, and domination… they really do make it possible to be a compassionate Sith. There was one mission where I was asked to torture someone and I could stray from doing so to get the information I needed. It was harder than just making smoke come out of his ears with my lightning, but the option was there. BioWare isn’t lying: if you want to play a Light Side Sith, you really can. It’s all in how you choose to act. And believe you me, you will be given some tough decisions on the Empire. There were a few times, where I found myself questioning whether I should go Republic, but then I remember I had that Force Lightning and well… yeah, power is cool people.
In all, I came away from the Sith Inquisitor surprisingly changed in my view of SWTOR. I expected to stay away from the Force users, and now I truly believe that the Inquisitor is what I’ll be playing come 12/20. There’s something about the history of the Sith, even though they went so far down the Dark Side, that lures me to playing one so that I might try to find balance between that sort of power and the morals that lead one there. Plus I’m Irish, so I know a thing or two about using my anger and emotion for drinking… I mean, power.