With Bioware’s Star Wars the Old Republic seeing a surge of new players lately, thanks to the experience boost leading up to Shadow of Revan, I’ve seen a few people ask: “What class should I play?”
Unlike “normal” MMORPGs, SWTOR is unique in that it has a fully fleshed out, voiced, customisable storyline for every single class. Which is to say when it comes to choosing a class, I suggest letting the story be your main motivation. Especially since the class story lasts all the way from level 1 to level 50, it’s one of the strongest and most memorable features of the entire game.
So what do I believe is the best class storyline? Despite what you may expect, it’s the Imperial Agent.
Playing as a Jedi or a Sith is very fun, don’t get me wrong they’re good choices too. But the Imperial Agent story, written by Alexander Freed, is just simply fantastic. In my opinion, it’s easily the best.
You get a really unique experience as an Imperial Agent. As a member of the Sith Empire you work for Imperial Intelligence, an organisation that isn’t actually staffed by Sith, but does answer to the Sith Order. This brings up interesting decisions regarding loyalty. Does your agent serve the Sith as an instrument of the Empire? Or do they only believe in the Empire as a society, while secretly resenting the Sith? Are they loyal to the other members of Imperial Intelligence? Or do they view them as just tools to further their career? You don’t get these type of questions on any other class, they help you mould the storyline to suit your own idea of who your character is on a deeper level… At least, only if you want them to! Otherwise you’re free to just shoot from the hip and decide as you go. The storyline does have these more thoughtful moments but it’s also just fine to pretend you’re James Bond in space, playing things out more like an action movie.
Across your career you’re sent on clandestine missions of critical importance and even go deep undercover. You get to experience stories that you don’t typically see in Star Wars, yet none of it feels out of place. There’s simply an extraordinary amount of diversity to the plot.
To be brutally honest every class story has a segment where it drags just a little. Because the classes all visit the same planets, there are times when the story feels just a little bit forced. It’s annoying and takes you out of the immersion, as you know you’re only there because Bioware have to send the classes to the same place at the same time per faction. That’s just how the rules work and it makes perfect sense from a gameplay point of view. But it doesn’t stop you from realising you’re on rail tracks, being sent to a location that doesn’t quite fit. Yet the Imperial Agent story never breaks that immersion. Across the whole story I never once felt like I was being “forced” to visit a planet that didn’t make sense for the plot. Everything flows masterfully, letting you get completely drawn in.
So there you have it, I won’t gush on any longer and I’d hate to spoil the story in any way so I’ll leave it at that.
I’ll conclude by saying that I totally understand the allure of a lightsaber wielding character, but the world of espionage and intrigue offered by the Imperial Agent topped any other experience in the game. It’s a story full of twists, memorable characters and fantastic dialogue. If you’re unsure of what class to play in SWTOR, I highly recommend signing up to work for Imperial Intelligence.
Just be careful who you trust.