SWTOR: So you want to play a Smuggler

SWTOR - The Smuggler
If someone were to ask Star Wars fans which of the characters had the most personality, most likely they would answer Han Solo. In the Expanded Universe, and most notably in the Star Wars video games, smugglers always mirror this dashing rogue of a character archetype established by none other than Harrison Ford. If that's why you're wanting to play the Smuggler class in Star Wars: The Old Republic, then you're in luck because you'll get exactly what you're hoping for.

The SWTOR Smuggler starts out on the world of Ord Mantell, a fringe planet on the brink of civil war. Of course, being a Smuggler, he breaks through the planetary blockade to deliver his shipment of weapons to gangsters on the ground. After that, things get really interesting...

Who's scruffy-lookin'?

The Smuggler class excludes some of the Force-specific species from character creator, like the Miraluka and Sith Pureblood. But Smugglers introduce us to the Cyborg species -- humans with different facial attachments including one that looks like an eye-patch. Should you choose to play this class, your space ace can be a Human, Twi'lek, Mirialan, Zabrak, or as mentioned, a Cyborg.

When you land on Ord Mantell, you are introduced immediately to Skavak and Corso Riggs. You'd like to get off the planet again as soon as possible, but you find out quickly that Skavak is not a man to be trusted. He steals your ship, and you spend the next several levels attempting to earn favor with the locals to grant you access off the planet. Interestingly enough, you become something of a local hero because you practically put an end to the civil war. All in a day's work for a Smuggler, right?

Good, I prefer a straight fight

Combat for a Smuggler takes on a unique flavor because of the cover system. All Smugglers have an innate ability called Cover -- imagine that. When a Smuggler stands behind an object in the world and activates the Cover ability, he is granted a positional buff that negates a percentage of the attacks coming at him head-on. On top of that, if a Smuggler targets an enemy, he will see a green-outlined figure behind objects, to which he can roll if he activates the Cover ability. This ability is both a blessing and a curse. It increases the Smuggler's ability to deal damage, but at the same time, it roots him to that position.

At level 10, a Smuggler chooses between two wildly different advanced classes. Gunslingers wield two blaster pistols and have an advanced cover system. Scoundrels combine healing and stealth mechanics. On the surface, it appears that the Scoundrel class may be a bit over-powered. However, because of the way the skill trees are set up, you can specialize either in burst DPS or in healing. Although you can augment your healing with a bit of stealth, if you attempt to become a hybrid and split the difference between the two styles, you wind up good at neither. The Gunslinger, on the other hand, is very straight-forward DPS role that can put out excellent single-target damage, area-of-effect damage, or a combination of both.

Uh, everything's under control; situation normal.

If you are looking for non-traditional MMO gameplay, then the Smuggler class may just suit your needs. And if you like to combine unique combat mechanics with a story full of classic one-liners, odds are high that you'll like this class. But I'll never tell you the odds!

More resources:

Star Wars: The Old Republic is finally here, and the Force is with Massively! We've prepared a Hutt-sized feast of class introductions, gameplay guides, lore roundups, and hands-on previews to help you navigate the launch period and beyond. And don't forget our weekly SWTOR column, the Hyperspace Beacon!
This article was originally published on Massively.