Friday Feature: The Force

“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
-Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker on the nature of the Force

Obi-Wan Kenobi | StarWars.com

May 4th, 2021, the EiF development team finally released the Jedi unlock to the EiF community. Two weeks and three visions later, the first players unlocked Jedi with a single system message going out to all online players: There is a tremor in the Force.

Players have begun to learn the ways of the Force from their holocrons – gatekeepers modeled on the venerable Jedi Master Yoda and the fearsome Sith Lord Darth Vader, who trickle knowledge out only slowly, allowing their students time to ponder the nature of the Force…and the dark side.

Jedi on EiF is built as an experience unlike any other – quests, meditation, travel, conversation, and only occasional combat in place of grinding massive quantities of XP. But some mysteries need to be unveiled – if only a little – to help new player Jedi understand their place in the galaxy.

 

“Remember, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware: anger, fear, aggression – the dark side, are they.”
-Yoda’s final lesson to Luke Skywalker

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A critical element of Jedi on Empire in Flames is “alignment.” It’s a nebulous thing to players – there’s no stat to check on a character sheet. There’s no Jedi trainer who will tell you exactly how in tune you are with the Force or its dark side. This was a deliberate design decision – the Force shouldn’t be entirely quantifiable to the player (even if it does have hard numbers behind-the-scene).

However, meditating on the Force can give you an idea of your alignment – while a message like “Your anger gives you strength” shows you starting down a dark path, “You feel the Force flowing through you” shows you becoming more Jedi-like.

Alignment has a critical effect on some of a player’s powers. While some powers can be used by either dark or light without penalty or boon – such as mind tricks – others benefit greatly (or are penalized heavily!) by appropriate alignments.

As a rule of thumb, generally defensive powers – such as Force healing or absorption – benefit from Jedi-like alignments, while offensive powers – like Force choke or lightning – are more befitting Sith-like alignments.

 

“My mentor taught me everything about the Force – even the nature of the dark side.”
-Chancellor Palpatine to Anakin Skywalker

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Alignments are affected two ways.

The first is by the decisions a player makes while questing as a Jedi student. These decisions begin from the moment of opening a holocron, light or dark, which affects a character’s starting alignment. From there, there are opportunities to affect alignment with many (but not all) of the quests. For example, asking Rostek Horn for Nejaa Halcyon’s journal while gathering information to build your lightsaber may earn you positive alignment – but forcing Rostek to turn over the information by threatening to report him to the Empire is not very Jedi-like. About half of the quests for leveling Jedi will give alignment changes.

The second way to affect a character’s alignment is simply using powers. Saying the “nice” things in a quest while running around choking enemies to death will quickly find a character deep in the dark side, with those light-side powers becoming weaker and more distant. Actions become important – and mean that no alignment is permanent.

 

“May the Force be with you.”
-VariousGood bye old friend, may the force be with you | Obi-Wan Kenobi | Revenge of the Sith - YouTube

Ultimately, your decisions determine your character’s reality. Will you take the path of a Jedi Knight to heal the galaxy? Will you take up your lightsaber to strike down your foes and rule the battlefield as befitting a Sith initiate? The decision is yours – and remember: no one is beyond redemption…or corruption.


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