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
When you begin your career as a Consular on Tython, you are not flung into an urgent battle -- no, the Consular will always take the slow and patient approach. Your priority, rather, is to recover a handful of ancient holocrons recorded by the founders of the Jedi Order before attending to your new trainer, Master Yuon Par. It's only when you start recovering these holocrons that you find one of them to be missing. Worse yet, it's the recording of the Jedi Master Rajivari, a founder whose philosophies stood far from what the Order has come to symbolize. The loss is more than a coincidence...
As you seek the truth behind the lost holocron and the further mysteries that await, you'll no doubt need to make good use of the Force to stay alive. Appropriately enough, the central resource of Jedi Consulars is Force, which starts out full and depletes as you use abilities. While it slowly replenishes, the replenishment is slow, meaning that going in with everything you have will leave you almost unable to act for want of Force. Play as a Consular, moving slowly and steadily and husbanding your resources as necessary.
At level 10, you'll have no doubt discovered that solving one mystery simply leads to another mystery. You'll also have discovered that you can pick between the Jedi Sage and the Jedi Shadow as your advanced class. There's no going back once you make the choice, but fortunately both will offer you numerous enlightening abilities.
A Jedi Sage is truly one with the Force, eschewing material concerns to deepen his or her connection to metaphysical abilities. A sage may choose to specialize in mending the wounds of others and defending them from harm, or choose instead to focus on telekinetic abilities to destroy those who would threaten the Order and the Republic. Whether healing or attacking, the Sage is gifted with ample power if precious little physical strength.
Meanwhile, a Jedi Shadow acts as the eyes of the Council and a seeker of hidden truths. Cloaking herself in the Force and wielding a double-bladed lightsaber, a Shadow may take to the front lines to defend her allies with artful motions or simply move, observe, and strike from hidden vantages. If you wish to use your powers in conjunction with an elegant yet complicated lightsaber, then perhaps the Shadow speaks to you.
Even though the Consular is probably the least iconic class in the game, in its own way it feels the most natural. The Jedi are a peaceful order, dedicated to learning and protecting others, and the Consular is the purest expression of that. Even the story is more reserved than others, giving you a chance to uncover mysteries that have more to do with the nature of the galaxy than an arbitrary war.
Be calm. Be contemplative. And above all else, remember that your quest is not simply for information -- it's for answers, sometimes to questions that may not have easy answers. Not every problem is solved with bolts of energy and saber theatrics, after all.
SWTOR column, the Hyperspace Beacon!