Smugglers – the only folks who could probably get away with romancing a Jedi without getting their hands (or worse) cut off for it.
That’s what today’s developer blog for TOR talks about when it tries to typify the Smuggler class and how it is conceptually tied to the game as a whole. The Smuggler, apparently, is a class that makes their own choices, is agile enough mentally and physically to survive in a world full of dangerous (and more powerful) figures, and is out to make a buck and have fun doing it.
I find smartass behavior and mischevious scoundrels terribly attractive, which may explain the people I hang around and the women I’ve dated. So it is that the Smuggler’s description, which borrows a lot from Han Solo and Lando Calrissian but adds some flavor of its own, is certainly a tempting class to play, if not to group with.
Details are a bit sparse – from the blog article, some of the specifics are things which we know about already – you’ll have the element of surprise, you’ll be able to use cover in order to heighten your effectiveness in battle, and the best of your companions will probably be a bit of muscle to help you out of the worst of the worst smuggling situations. There is, however, a few other nuggets to glean – the fact that the amoral nature of the Smuggler class means you can be a heartless, cunning mercenary or a whipsmart, kindly profiteer, for example, plays directly into TOR’s moral choice system. There’s also the passage about “unorthodox combat moves”, which makes you wonder that to eliminate the vast advantage a Jedi or Sith might have, you’ll be able to pull off certain tricks that’ll confuse even the best of Force users, exclusive to the Smuggler class.
The appeal of Smugglers “shooting first” aside, the article itself reveals a curious way of marketing the class on the part of Bioware. They’re clearly aware that the Jedi and Sith classes, using “the best conversation-stoppers in the galaxy”, are going to be extremely popular. The article was a way to create appeal for standing out among those who might for the most part be drawn to being Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, instead showing how even someone who uses the Force might have trouble against a well-trained Smuggler. Jedi romancing aside, the text has a ton of other examples about how Smugglers are not just able to deal with and come out on top of their more powerful foes, but also be unique, flashy, and most of all, be a sarcastic scoundrel about it. I have to say, knowing and understanding that Jedi and Sith are going to be hugely popular, and writing your article to subtly address those things, is a good move by Bioware. This, of course, wrapping everything in with the immersion and story factor of the character that is the Smuggler.
If you haven’t checked out the dev blog post yet, be sure to give a read, because even if you don’t want to be Han Solo, being able to crack a joke even as an Imperial Star Destroyer is about to ram your ship does have its good side.