One of the main features in SW:TOR revolves around just what type of person you want your character to be. If you continually extol the virtues of good behaviour, you’ll accrue points on the Light side of the Force and be known as a good egg. If, on the other hand, you choose to run around pulling the wings off of flies, scrumping in a local orchard or flipping an old man the bird, you’ll net yourself Dark side points and you start to visually see the corruption in your character’s face.
Personally, I love this. It makes your decisions have a meaning beyond completion of your current mission, and it has an impact on the game because certain items (commendation ones particularly) only become available at a certain level of darkness or light.
Unfortunately, however, the problem is exactly that – when items become bound to strong Light or Dark sided players only, the simplest way of getting those items is to make sure every choice you make is either one side or the other. In turn, this stops it being a choice because the option you think makes the most sense for your character (or looks to be the most fun) might be detrimental to your character in the long term if it happens to be marked as the opposite to the alignment you’re trying to build. Naturally, this assumes you care about your performance which, in a great many cases, will be true.
My particular problem here is that I play a Sith warrior who, though Dark-aligned, is something of a pragmatist who wants to see to all ends. Unfortunately, pretty much every Dark side choice has been relegated to an overt show of murderous brutality. When, in many cases, I’d have much preferred a more calculating or subversive approach with an eye to manipulation, I’ve chosen the bloodbath route because it had the Dark side points I wanted.
I suppose I’m bemoaning the fact that the options for Light or Dark have been watered down to the baseline western notion of “good” and “evil”.
I also suppose that’s a bit stupid on my part, considering good and evil are far from moral imperatives. They’re dependent on cultural influences, upbringing and genetics.
This isn’t a huge complaint, really. It’s just a minor itch I wanted to scratch and I honestly don’t know how you would best go about fixing the issue.
Making half a dozen options available would stunt the flow of the game, while allowing you to choose what you happen to think is Dark or Light would make the whole system effectively pointless.
And like I said, I totally support the idea of decisions having lasting impressions on the world and your character.
It’s a conundrum, to be sure.