When I first came to The Old Republic, I came from a culture where if you were new, your character was restricted to a low level of power and authority, so SWTOR’s culture came as a bit of a shock. I could make any character I wanted. I could make a Darth, or a General, or a Master Jedi. I ended up making a very rich Sith and spent the first few months of my time here going around giving out ridiculous amounts of money while trying to solve as many characters’ problems as quickly as I could.

It’s hard not to feel embarrassed now when I think about that. When I see other people doing the same, it’s easy to see where it comes from. People like to be popular, and they like to do good things for other people. It makes sense that in a fantasy world where you can have as much power to do good as you want, you’d instantly go into a glut.

The problem it results in is the same one faced by the first writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I know; it’s a bit of a reach. Stick with me.

Information Cockroach A good read addressing a circumstances I've seen all too often. I've always stressed to my peers that I disli...

EDITOR'S DISCLAIMER: this article is matter-of-fact and contains mild course language. If you're like an Anakin Skywalker and soft around the edges, meaning you're easily offended by course sand, then this article might upset you and cause you to slay countless younglings. Read at your own risk of falling to the dark-side.

I’ve met a lot of different kinds of writers. Lyrical writers in bands, hobby roleplayers and fanfiction writers on the internet, public speakers in debating clubs and film and television writers, both young and old. Writing is a pretty broad field. Putting words down in the right order covers a lot of hobbies and professions in a lot of walks of life. There’s a common denominator I’ve noticed in every competent writer I’ve met though. The word ‘competent’ is important, because I’ve met writers who were good, but not competent.

The difference is how the competent ones respond to their mistakes. I’ve met a lot of people who could put down some really nice words, even in the right order, but they were the same nice words they’d been putting down for the last five or ten years, and in the same order. Consequently, the mistakes they were making were the same ones they’d been making for the last five or ten years.

The competent writers I’ve met are a different story. They all have their own version of a (pretty good) bullshit detector.

Iknayid Jerumasel Oh wow... Makes me think of my fourteen year old self. If I could, I'd go back in time and give that smug little sh...
Carne'acal'sabosen Takrael you forgot that magic word tact. The magical art of telling someone they suck and coming out smelling like roses...
Magenta Sparrow Innovations I have to admit I tend to relax my standards a bit when I'm writing SW stuff, either RP or fan-fiction. I spent an ...

Some role-players prefer to have at least the main people in their character's story (whether it be their background, or their present, such as a love interest, companion, or family member) be represented by another player in The Old Republic, allowing interactions to be played out in real time by another real person. However, it is not always easy to find that special someone to play the important role that you may want filled for your character, and as a player, you find yourself just creating a 'made up,' non-player character {NPC} to fill that void, even if he or she is not represented at all physically in the game itself.

Thus, today's Force Reflection asks: Are NPCs that you create yourself important to who your character is, or do you prefer to rely on other player characters to build your story?

Many role-players do not define their character much aside from history and personality, and allow in-game actions and role-play with other people determine everything else. However, when looking for a specific plot or a direction for your story to go, sometimes it can be difficult to find another person willing to role-play that particular part of your saga with you, or with their character, and thus, you have to create a stand-in figure yourself that you may then only reference. 

Others who may be more focused on the game-play and canon story arch may allow that to shape their character instead, preferring to let their character's story be shaped almost entirely by NPCs. Which are you? Do you create many NPCs for your story or allow ones already in the game to play a significant role, or do you prefer real-time interactions with other players to shape your story instead? Or are you somewhere in the middle?
Solyc Shahruun Most of the people involved in my character's story are other players, there are some things that are NPC's, p...
Kiyosa I generally avoid using NPCs or alts for my main's development for a very simple reason: interaction, suspense, sur...
Magenta Sparrow Innovations I find people to be unreliable, at best, and finding someone with both a solid knowledge of the lore and whose style is ...
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