SWTOR Neutral Alignment (Updated for LvD State)

SWTOR Neutral Alignment - a Realistic Target?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

The Force is in Balance - perfect for Neutral Alignment
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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3 thoughts on “SWTOR Neutral Alignment (Updated for LvD State)

  1. I’ll preface this by saying I am not a roleplay player, nor am I an MMO player. I play TOR because I love Star Wars, but I am frequently chided by more experienced, or more proper MMO/RPG players for using incorrect terminology.

    I was determined to play my Sith Inquisitor neutral because I wanted the neutral Darth title. However, the only way I was able to accomplish it was to train Diplomacy so I could compensate for whatever choices she made. I also like to connect with my characters, but in her case, I didn’t find using Diplomacy to balance her alignment made it hard for me to access her. Oscillating between dark and light, she is definitely chaotic — but a freed slave with no loyalty to the empire that forced her into the Darth life has no reason to be loyal to the Empire or the Sith, nor does she have any reason to respect the life of someone begging on the floor in front of her. Her decisions are generally based on whim, chaotic, as you say for the neutral Jedi.

    That being said, I have not found that the neutral alignment is necessarily always “situational ethics.” Bioware’s assignment of LS/DS points for a response are, to me, a little arbitrary. For example, when I started playing, I was determined that my agent would be LS because I wanted to get the light side ending (I didn’t realize at the time the light side ending was a choice at the time, and not determined by my alignment). However, the very first thing I did with her was get DS points when I was on Hutta intimidating some work bosses for ignoring their Evocii overseer. Was that amoral? Not in my opinion. Telling them “it’s okay, don’t worry about it” sounded to me like it would affirm their behavior and they would continue to make life miserable for scrawny Morsel the Evocii. But shaking my fist under their noses and saying “If I have to come back here…” forced them to have respect for their previously despised overseer. Seeing that Morsel had the ability to command a (from their perspective) hired gun caused them to shape up and it made Morsel’s life a lot better. Same thing with the first batch of DS points I earned for my smuggler by shooting a criminal who gloated how he was going to live so much better in prison than I would out of it. He had murdered people, horribly, the evidence was right there — I caught him red handed. Justice demanded his life, not his imprisonment, but shooting him was DS. Trying to play pure light (which is my goal with my Consular) comes off as occasionally naive; I haven’t yet tried to play a pure DS game.

    Right now I have two smugglers, two agents, a bounty hunter, an inquisitor, and a consular, and I’ve found that if I play without concentrating on the alignment at all, I’m about 75% light. So for me, as a Christian in real life living under a certain highly moral code, I find that Bioware’s assignment of LS does not always = moral and DS does not always = immoral. So I wouldn’t, necessarily, insist that the neutral alignment means amoral. And that’s my take 🙂

    1. Always good to get another gamer’s experience on this thing. And the more I’ve thought about it and discussed with others, the more I think Bioware’s methodology is flawed. There are some parts of the Corellia storyline (for various classes) where you’re asked to make a war decision – if you go ‘all guns blazing’ or rain fire on the enemy, a valid war tactic, that can be classed as DS. Somewhat out of kilter with what decisions in a combat scenario look like.

      Good to meet another Christian! Have to say it was hard when I chose to do a DS character as I can let my personal ethics govern my characters if I’m not careful, but at the end of the day, you need to enjoy the game and if you can’t enjoy how your character reacts then you’ll enjoy the game less. Which is why my Bounty Hunter is LS 🙂

  2. My Sith Inq is pretty much neutral with a slight deviation toward LS, but not being level 1. It’s not something I planned, and I usually don’t plan such things. My characters, shortly after being “born” get on with their lives and get out of my control, so to speak. A HUGE part of that is VO. I have a looong history of being a fan fiction author, and my characters taking fate in their own hands regardless of what I may have planned for them is not surprising for me. It’s actually expected. In SWTOR I make their faces, but they get their voices. And the inflection, sarcasm, softness or harshness of tone a VA gave them in turn gives them something I don’t — which is great. So my Sith Inq Nim’loth ended up neutral. That’s what she is. No doing of mine 😉

    On the other hand my other Inq, N’Ayel, looks like shaping into an arrogant, overconfident bum. He’s still young (doing chapter 1 currently), but I think he’s going to end up quite high on DS.

    My main Warrior needs 400 point to Dark V. I love her, love the VA voice to no ends, but she’s not an insane psychopath, so she collected 2000+ light points in the course of her actions. Still, she’s as dark as Sith come, so in this case I take her there on purpose. Not by choosing psychopathic answers, if they don’t suit her personality, but by re-playing FPs and Heroics to get DS points. Still, I wouldn’t ruin her (making “wrong choices”) for the sole purpose of choosing points.

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