Having already discussed my views on the Grey or Shadow Jedi in a different post, I thought I would address my current attempts at attaining so-called ‘neutral alignment’ in SWTOR.
Neutral Alignment: Amorality in Action?
Dictionary.com defines amorality as
having no moral standards, restraints, or principles; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong.
In short, they define their ‘moral standards’ on how they feel or think at the time, given the circumstances presented to them, rather than on an absolutely correct ‘bar’ of morality. This is very similar to the Theory of Situational Ethics, which is defined as
Situational ethics, or situation ethics, takes into account the particular context of an act when evaluating it ethically, rather than judging it according to absolute moral standards
So it’s not so much that a person has no moral standard, but more than the rightness or wrongness of an action changes depending on the situation before them. This is the epitome of neutral alignment, where you are in balance going to choose as many so-called ‘Light Side’ choices in SWTOR as you are ‘Dark Side’ choices.
SWTOR Jedi Shadow vs the Shadow Jedi
So it was with great confusion when I first picked up SWTOR that I could create a Jedi Shadow class. Now I love playing that class for a number of reasons, but you can be a Dark Side ‘Shadow’, a Light Side ‘Shadow’ or a Neutral ‘Shadow’, which kind of flies in the face of what the ‘Shadow Jedi’ stand for – perfect balance.
It is only when you reach the planet of Voss in SWTOR that you are introduced to Force Users which are neither Jedi nor Sith. The Jedi are resistant to such untamed power, and the Sith wanted to harness it. But in reality, the Voss fit the bill for neutral alignment or ‘Shadow’ Force-users.
Attaining Neutral Alignment: My Journey So Far
“Reaching” Neutral alignment is easy if you decide to do it from the moment you create your character. You start “Neutrally Aligned” or Grey. I discuss how to maintain it below. As with Light and Dark Side, you still get conversation choices that may affect your alignment. Certainly under KotFE or KotET, there were very few choices that contained three outcomes – light, dark or neutral. But you can use the LvD Switch to counter any decisions that adversely affect your Balance. I now have three neutral characters and one who is trying to find balance in the Force. I have one other male one who is too new to share, who I intend to become a Darth Occlus in the Inquisitor Story.
As your alignment is affected by more than your conversation options, it can prevent the massive volatility in decision-making that you used to have to go through! So my Shadow Jedi is a generally nice person, wants to save people’s lives, but won’t hesitate to take a foe down rather than show mercy. That’s just one example – so in the Consular story, she saves all the Jedi Masters from the Plague, but doesn’t simply become a Light Side Jedi. This is more easily attainable now.
Maintaining Neutral Alignment Under LvL
Since the LvD (or DvL depending on your point of view) state was made a permanent feature in SWTOR, maintaining a neutral alignment is both easier and more annoying. I’ll explain what I mean.
What Alignment Range is ‘Neutral’?
The requirement for Light I was changed to +3000, and for Dark I was updated to -3000. This means you have an effective -2999 to +2999 to stay neutral.
What You Should Know about LvD
There are a few pitfalls to be aware of, especially if you want to me a Grey Jedi or Sith and keep your neutral alignment in SWTOR.
- Every kill of an enemy (and I believe players in PvP) counts towards your alignment. If you have a busy day of gaming, hitting 3000 points either way isn’t difficult.
- If you have the Diplomacy Crew Skill this is still broken. Some of the quests will yield light and dark points. Read the description carefully as you can’t count on the DvL indicator here.
- You can still take Light/Dark decisions in conversations and that will be off-set (or reinforced) by your DvL Switch
- When you level up your command rank, you’ll get a Light or Dark Token depending which side of Absolute Zero you are. But you cannot equip any Light/Dark cosmetic gear from the vendors on fleet because you have to be Light II or Dark II.
- Every Crew Skill (except actual crafting) counts towards your alignment changes.
All these updates means that it’s quite complex to retain a neutral alignment. But then in reality, being Force Balanced in a divided Galaxy isn’t easy either. So it’s probably a fair representation.
How I Manage to Stay Neutral
On the one hand you have complete control over your alignment, but on the other hand you have to be constantly aware of it. You’ll find you need to change your DvL Switch at least once/day that you play that character. It’s annoying but if your character’s story means they need to be more Force Balanced, then it’s worth it.
Over To You
Have you managed neutral alignment? How did you find it and was it intentional? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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