Interview: Daniel Erickson on The Jedi Classes
We gathered a great deal of information about the Jedi Classes at last month's Jedi Immersion Day for Star Wars: The Old Republic. In addition to playing both the Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular, we were allotted interview time with a couple of the developers. We shared the first of these interviews last month and now we can finally show you the rest. Without further ado, here is our interview with BioWare's Daniel Erickson on the Jedi Classes.
What is the overall feeling someone should get when they first start out on Tython?
Daniel Erickson: Tython is the original birthplace of the Jedi Order. They were gone for quite awhile, and they just came back, as it is only a couple of decades since they were back on the planet's surface. There is still a lot of exploring to do on Tython. It is a beautiful area but it is still very dangerous; there are a lot of leftover remnants from The Force Wars, which is when the Jedi and Sith originally broke off.
The start of the two classes is very different. The Consulars are wise and sort of know a bit more about the underpinnings of the Force. You go there because you are a scholar; you know more about what is going on. You get quickly involved with the mysteries of Tython and try to discover what really happened.
The Knight is our go-to action guy. He has a lightsaber and likes to hit things with it. We start you out, and immediately you're in the action. The guy gets about halfway through his speech about how you're going to train and do all this and then everything goes wrong. Instead of doing any of your Jedi Trials, you have to go off and save Tython -- fight bad guys and all that.
There are two very different feels running in parallel together with it.
How do the Jedi Consular and Jedi Knight work complimentary to one another?
One of the great things is -- if you are playing with one another and talking about it -- you get a complete picture of Tython from both of them. There are the World Quests, which fill in the other gaps like "what is everyone else doing on Tython? What is normal life on Tython? What are the larger stories?" But then between the large threats of Tython, and what does it mean to be a Jedi in the day to day in the action coming from the Knight, and what is happening under the surface for the Consular... you kind of get a full picture of what a Jedi experience is like.
How do you tie in a planet like Ilum, another important planet to the Jedi, and Tython together?
Well, one of the important things we do when we start -- and this is going to sound funny -- is just knowing where you are going, and knowing which planets are thematically covering which areas; knowing where your story is taking you at the beginning so things feel consistent in where they go.
A lot of the strong Force user planets represent ideas in the Force. Tython is very much about the Light side tempered by the Dark. The planet is beautiful, it is lovely, but it is wild, and there is darkness sort of always around the corner. You can feel the danger infringing on it, because that is what the Jedi feel like. The Jedi are people who are always trying to hold themselves up to something that is not doable for most humans. The danger of falling and the dangers of the Dark side are always right there.
Korriban is obviously for people who gave themselves over to it. So Korriban is much more a feeling of despair, and a feeling of oppression. You see the statues and everything always have the weight of the world on them and trying to hold up the Sith Academy... with little moments of hope in there; little glimmers of life and how things could be better.
Ilum is definitely a very different feel because Ilum always represented the austerity. Ilum is where the Jedi would go maybe one or two at a time. There were never more than a half a dozen of them sort of living on the planet. You go there to put everything behind. It is way, way off the star charts. It is frozen. There are no distractions. It is less about the day to day political and warrior aspect, and more about the monk aspect of being a Jedi.
That makes it all the more distressing when it is invaded. This is a clean, austere place that we go to be serene, and having the Empire there is like a big wound on the planet.
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