Before my Grandfather passed away I asked him a few questions that I usually wouldn’t ask a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. I actually asked him multiple questions, and I doubt his answers meant much since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease, yet still I asked him anyways.
The first one was,” Grandpa why did you join the Marine Corps?” To which he replied, “Well it was either that or get into a bunch of trouble in South Boston with the rest of the Irish kids, plus the Japs (Japanese) just bombed Pearl Harbor. Most of my friends were already going in and I didn’t want to feel left out.” My Grandfather used other words than that. I’m kind of censoring what he said.
The second question was, “Well after it was over, WW2 that is, why did you stay in the Corps?” he didn’t respond well to that, but he did answer because he knew I had a serious inquiry in enlisting. “Well,” he said,” There is a moment in every man’s life where he finds out there is something that he needs to do, and when he finds that one thing and accomplishes it he feels invincible.”
A couple of months later after he passed away–I attended his funeral– a dozen Marines and there Captain where there, waiting in the pouring rain, to fire off a 21 gun salute to the old breed Marine, my grandfather. The Captain was there and looked at me like, “this man was one of the only true Marines left.” He even told my father that when the service was finished. The Captain later found me and handed me on the shell casings to one of the bullets that were fired in the 21 gun salute. I still have it around my neck to this day kind of reminding me of why I enlisted and why I will continue to serve.
When I talked to Daniel Erickson and Blain Christine about the Troopers story they seemed to have understood somehow about the whole conciseness of a soldier’s mentality. Both the good and the bad version of it; the Troopers story can be one of nobility or one of ruthlessness. Much like how soldiers behave in real life. I like to believe my grandfather would have acted to be a soldier of nobility, but no one really knows what the veteran Machine Gunner went through on,” thepiece of shit island called Guadalcanal.” Yet like I stated the Lead Writer of SW:TOR seem to know.
The Trooper’s Story
When you first start off in the trooper’s story you are introduced to the calm before the storm. Nervously waiting to breach a fort on Ord Mantell, while you are being transported via walker, during this time I was thinking this is possibly how my grandfather felt when he was raiding his first beach in WW2. Then an explosion came and set the walker on fire, quickly I had to act and find some way to put it out or else myself and everybody in the walker was going to die. This was my first quest to put out the fires in the walker and I have to say the objectives were a huge pain in the ass!
Luckily one of the lead developers assured me that this one quest isn’t going to stay. Yet I do hope that they still have some quest that involves the Walker. It really gives you that feel that this is a War you are fighting in there is no doubt about it!
After I was done putting out the flames I was then asked to go and walk onto the fort and breach it myself by foot. After all I was in Havok Squad, the best the Republic has to offer! Right away when I reached the bunker of where the bulk of our forces where they immediately asked for my help. I didn’t even click on the Sergeant and he asked if I can kill some of the insurgents that took over the fort. I thought this to be a huge nuisance at first, but then I thought about it some more and realized that is a pretty cool feature. To have an NPC come up to me instead of me coming up to him to retrieve a quest, I understand that most people won’t like that feature, but it gave me some urgency to accomplish the tack. So I accepted and reassured the Vet that everything was going to be taken care of. I went into the fort and dealt with the helpless insurgents that didn’t stand a chance against my arms.
A New Approach to MMO Gameplay
The cool thing about the trooper is that it plays more like a third-person shooter due to the ammo system is uses. Right away you are given 4 abilities a basic attack ability, a grenade launcher, a rifle butt, and a combat-quick reload ability. Every time you use one of the abilities, other than recharge which fills up your ammo, your ammo meter goes down. No need to fear though there is an OOC reload ability as well, but it is significantly longer that the quick reload.
“I really dig the ammo feature that Bioware is using the trooper,” said a PAX attendee who was playing TOR,”It really feels like Mass Effect 2 meets WoW.”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It was fast paced and like nothing I have ever experienced in an MMO.
“Guild Wars 2 is the best game I played at PAX!” says Eric Musco. Well Eric I played Guild Wars 2 and it was fun, but for me personally the Trooper was the best thing I played at PAX, and this is coming from a guy who had a nerdgasm when he got to get a hands-on with Duke Nukem Forever.
After I was done dealing with the insurgent infestation. I then went on to find a Republic Sniper who was having trouble with scouts up above the cliff facing the fort. This was preventing soldiers from going in and taking the fort back. Once again I agreed to deal with the snipers and they didn’t stand a chance with my grenade launcher. I saw a mob all grouped under one rock and immediately I thought that one well placed explosive will deal with the scout party. Sadly this was not the case. The grenade only took down one guy as the other did not lose any health at all, but they were knocked back. I tried it again on another mob, but it seems that your grenade launcher ability can only affect one NPC at a time. I really hope that this changes, come launch, because it makes no sense to me why this ability is only limited to a single NPC and not an AOE ability. I mean you think a grenade would harm multiple people right?
Well during this time one of the insurgents took up his sword and charged towards me until he was within arms length. Well that was no problem for me. I rifle butted the poor insurgent jumped back, quickly reloaded, and launched another grenade to the enemy that was on his back. I felt like an ultimate badass!
The quest was done after I launched a grenade unto the fallen foe so I returned and told him that the soldiers can now make their advancement now. The Sniper thanked me and urged me to go find the Commanding Officer that was in charge at the nearest fort that wasn’t taken by rebel insurgents. So I did this found the base and walked in.
Then I was interrupted by a star struck newbie trooper who was just assigned to Havok Squad. The rookie couldn’t believe where he was and realized that I was somewhat new myself, yet have benn here long enough to be called a Vet. God was the kid annoying as are all noobs in an infantry unit. I pretty much told the kid to piss off, and that he hasn’t earned the right yet to call himself a part of Havok Squad. He hasn’t seen combat yet why should he go around telling people that he is part of the most elite force the Republic has to offer if he hasn’t even contributed to the war. The kid understood and quickly got out of my way.
After the annoyance I was introduced to the commanding officer of the Ord Mantell Operation. Here he gave me a quest to go retrieve a source that gave us information that a bomb was somewhere on the planet. He also recommended that I go and work with a Lieutenant who I believe to be one of the first companion character for the trooper. Right now that is pure speculation, but he was introduced to me in a fashion where it would have been impossible of me not to assume this. He gave me the rundown of the mission and said if I screwed this up I would be off Havok Squad in a heartbeat. I gave the man the proper respect he deserved after all he is a war hero ;). Sounds like a companion we used to know back in KOTOR right?
I can easily say that this is the best class in the game, in my opinion. At first I was going to play the Sith Warrior and was all,” For the Sith!” Until I got a hands on with the trooper which is seriously having me debate where my allegiances lie, Yet I will have to wait until the game comes out to see if I will indeed still play this awesome trooper.
It’s also a good testament to the Star Wars game knowing that:
“Not all heroes carry Lightsabers. Some just have the will to fight.”