Light Side Choices: Having Your Cake And Stuffing Your Face With It Too

OK, this bothers me. Let me try to explain.

Let’s say the empire is building a big bad thing in a museum.  The easiest and most effective way to get rid of the thing is to just nuke the shit out of the museum.  However, there are thousands of years of history, blah blah.  There is a way that it is POSSIBLE to lure the troops out and disable or destroy the thing without destroying the museum.

Now, as you can imagine, the dark side choice is to nuke the museum to pieces while the light side choice is to disable the thing while still preserving history.

But this is a bullshit choice!  The light side option doesn’t actually carry the risk of failure, despite what the NPC’s say.  The reason that you would nuke from orbit is that you aren’t sure that you can do it the stealthy way, and people’s lives are on the line.  There is no chance in this scenario that the light side choice will fail and the empire will be successful in building or using its thing.  You can safely pick the light side choice knowing that the people will be safe and sound even if you take this in-theory risky method.

Would it even be a light side choice if you could fail, leading to the demise of innocent people?  Of course not.  But the way it’s presented, you can absolutely do both successfully: save the people, save the history.  If it’s a choice between people OR history, history becomes a dark side choice.  But if there is a WAY to save both, it’s assumed that you CAN save both.  And that is a faulty assumption.

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    Light Side Choices: Having Your Cake And Stuffing Your Face With It Too — 11 Comments

    1. Do you know at the time of the choice that the Light side choice carries no chance of failure, or are you metagaming by knowing there’s a quest given to complete it the ‘good’ way?

      Sounds a bit like the Agent’s storyline – at the end of one of the chapters you have to make a choice; do a thing and save a lot of people but potentially let someone escape, or do nothing for a bit, sacrifice some folks, and definitely get the bad guy.

      Also, this just proves that the Agent storyline is better than all your Rep stories put together.

      • I have never had a light side choice that carries a theoretical risk of failure ever fail or backfire. If there’s a light side star next to it, I can assume that all will go according to plan.

        • Because good guys always win? Well, the light side may never fail, but the dark side has better cookies.

          But in all honesty, the game doesn’t really give you the chance of failure often; most times you just get a quest and you finish it off, no problem. I think in later xpacs, the stories will get more and more varied and perhaps better.

          And not to beat a dead horse, but the Agent’s storyline gives you plenty of chances for failure. In fact, I made a choice at the end of Chapter 1 that still haunts me to this day. I let a lot of folks down in order to collar a bad guy … and I wonder if it was the right choice. In fact, the third act of the Agent’s storyline is all about failure and redemption.

          Really, I can’t state it enough – the agent story is just superb.

    2. Thinking about this (admittedly w/o knowing much about the storyline) the thing that strikes me is that if the stealth option does fail, then you have the nuking option as a back-up option. So you can save as much history and culture as possible while saving the Galaxy and if that fails, nuke the place till it glows.

      The one choice I’ve run into on the Inquisitor is how can monkeying about with a Lord’s scientific research be a Light side choice while not doing so (so as to let scientific truth be known) is a Dark side choice? As a Chemist in RL, that makes no freaking sense to me! I was trained that scientific facts come before all else.

      • Think about it from the Imperial perspective: the Empire is about efficiency, domination, the overwhelming power of the Dark Side, and the natural right of the Pureblood Sith to rule all creation, right? Well, by sabotaging the research you not only 1) divert valuable resources back to the Empire, 2) sabotage research that weakens the Siths’ control of the Force (by insinuating that the Force resides in lesser creatures – you can see more of this bias on Tatooine, concerning the Jawa shaman), and 3) further the career of a promising Sith by getting her out from under the thumb of a tyrannical and abusive master.

        1) Save the Empire’s resources
        2) Preserve the honor of the Sith
        3) Save the apprentice

        Granted, they’re not ‘great’ choices, but those are sort of the light-side choices that Sith are presented with for the most part.

        • Targeter, you are assuming that the apprentice knows more that her Master in this case. If the Master IS correct, then mucking about with the experiment is wrong as it both causes waste of resources as well as denying the Empire knowledge. Knowledge is power or as GI Joe taught us all “Knowing is half the battle” lol.

          I’d be pissed if one of my lab techs did anything like that in my lab. (Eyes start to glow red)

      • I think it is perfectly reasonable to say “we will try this first and if it doesn’t work, then we nuke.” But in many of these scenarios there is the “hurry up” aspect… will there be time to do both? If I get my ass captured in the first run, who will be available to do the backup plan?

        • I agree that it is not a perfect choice, but the crux of the question in my mind comes to this: How much collateral damage are you willing to have to accomplish the objective? Dark siders don’t care about collateral damage while Light siders try to limit it.

    3. Light or dark side is a roleplaying choice, not a gaming choice. If one was guaranteed to succeed while the other one wasn’t, it would quickly turn into a question of metagaming. (“Crap, I don’t have the skills to pull off the light side option! Guess I’ll abandon the quest and do the dark side thing instead. Way to let me play a heroic character…”) Also, like Targeter says, you might know that the light side choice will work regardless, but your character doesn’t.

      • My problem is that in a case such as the above, it shouldn’t BE dark side to put lives over property just because there is a *chance* that both can be saved. In other cases, when it’s clear that both cannot be saved, it is a light side choice to save people over property.