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Star Wars: KOTOR Novice Battle Strategies Part III: Your Lightsaber and You
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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Novice Battle Strategies Part II:
Character Usage

Written By: J. Michael Neal

Previously I give you pointers on how to plan out your character around them becoming a Jedi. Well, let’s say that time has finally come, you’ve completed your Jedi training, now what? You have all these incredibly awesome Force Abilities staring at you, and I’m sure you’d want nothing more than to have them all, but you can’t. Your character will top out at level 20, which means that all-powerful uber-Jedi will forever remain out of reach. If you follow my advice, however, you’ll come to realize that such a character is totally unneeded. Heck, if you follow my advice by level 12 you’ll be handing ever enemy that comes within 10 paces of you his ass!

Before we begin, however, I’d like to talk a little about “saving levels”. It is possible to get up to the Jedi Academy portion of the game without gaining any levels, difficult but possible, the logic behind that being to save all your level progress until AFTER you become a Jedi so that you can earn more Force Abilities. This is a very unwise move, however, as not only does it trigger a bug (or is it a safeguard?) that will noticeably effect your level progression throughout the rest of the game, but it makes defeating the foes of Dantooine very, very difficult. If you do EVERYTHING there is to be done on Taris you should only reach about level 8 by the time you depart for the Jedi Academy on Dantooine, which should leave 12 levels to gain as a Jedi, more than enough for Guardians and Sentinels. Consulars may want to save a few levels, seeing how they rely more on Force Abilities than the other classes, but even so I wouldn’t recommend reaching Dantooine anywhere below level 4 just to be safe. Besides, saving levels will force you to miss too many memorable side quests, and who’d want to do that? The side quests are what make this game!

Anyway, on to the topic at hand:

Part II: Character Usage

First of all let me say that it’s nearly impossible to make your Jedi all things to all men. You’ll have to pick just what kind of role you’d like them to play on the battlefield, then run with it, using your other two party members to fill in the cracks. Remember, the combat is highly team-based, and the better team you have the more successful you will be with this game. Of course with a game this opened ended you can play it many ways, but for the purposes of this guide I’ll use how I chose to play the game as the model. It’s a solid, tested method you can go by until you get your feet wet. Use this run down to get a feel for what role each character is best at filling:

  • Carth Onassi – In the beginning of the game he’ll serve as your lock-picker. Continue to develop his Awareness, Security, Treat Injury, and Computer Use skills, outfitting him with skill boosting equipment in the mean time. He will not reach the same levels as Mission, HK-47, or T3-M4 in these areas, but he will make up for it with his combat skills. He’s a dual blast-wielding master, so focus on his Dexterity and Feats like Power Blast or Rapid Shot and give him the best Blasters you can find. Round out his Feats with Implant, Gear Head, and Caution if you have room.

  • Mission Vao – Much better at the Awareness, Security, Repair, Demolitions, and Computer Use than Carth, but a little weaker in the combat area. If you wish you could equip her with blasters or melee weaponry, but since she is relatively low on HP through most of the game I’d keep her away from the major conflicts. Either way you go put most of your attribute points into Dexterity and Constitution. She does excel at Stealth, and her Stealth Attacks and Scoundrel's Lucks do offset her diminished combat skills. Make sure she has Caution and Gear Head maxed out, and give her as many Implant, Toughness, and Conditioning levels as you can afford.

  • Zaalbar – Think of “Big Z” as a really hairy, really strong Mission. I mean really, really, really strong mission. This guy has unmatched strength and should definitely be equip with the best melee weapons you can find. Plan on him being a dual wielder, make sure he has Power Attack and/or Critical Strike, and put everything else into Gear Head, Conditioning, and Implants to compensate for not being allowed to wear armor or head gear. Put the majority of his skills into Treat Injury, Repair, Computer Use, Awareness, and Demolitions and pour all his attribute points into Strength.

  • T3-M4 – Don’t underestimate this little guy. If you plan him right he can end up being the most valuable member of your party. His Computer Use, Security, and Repair are off the charts, and with some planning and some really good parts he can end up doing healthy blaster damage off each “arm”. Bump his Intelligence as high as it can go and put a little into Demolition and Awareness and you’ll end up having a Swiss Army Knife with legs… err… wheels; someone that will pull your crack out the fire time and time again and provide some decent cover fire while he’s at it.

  • Canderous Ordo – In all honesty, I don’t quite know what to do with Canderous. He doesn’t outwardly excel at any skill except maybe Demolitions and other party members eclipse all his combat abilities. He does, however, look cool, act cool, and provide a lot of color commentary. Plus, he and Carth make one badass tag team, especially when decked out in bitchin’ armor! Experiment with the guy and see what you can do with him, but plan on benching him through most of the game.

  • HK-47 – Coolest. Character. Ever! HK has the tech skills of T3, the weapon skills of Carth, and the personality of… well… of no one you’ve ever seen. Pump everything you’ve got into Repair, Computer Use, Demolitions, and Security, give him high Dexterity and solid Intelligence, and go nuts with the combat abilities like Power Blast. Use high-level parts to boost his most important skills.

You may be wondering, “where’s the Jedi?” You didn’t think I could forget about them, did you? The Jedi are special cases. For starters, the Jedi will end up being your primary party members. You may want to swap one out from time to time to accomplish specific tasks like hacking into an important computer or defusing a dangerous landmine, but Jedi are the meat and potatoes of this game. As such, a whole ‘nother kind of game plan needs to be set for them.

The Jedi

Like I said before, you are free to play this game any way you wish, but “any way you wish” can be overwhelming to new players and can lead to sloppy characters and no real strategy for the game. What you need is a plan!

You’ve already got your main character planned out in your head by now, and you’ve already seen the best ways to use the rest of your party, now what about your Jedi? How should they be used? Like the other party member’s, tasks can be broken up amongst them to better focus each character. Of the endless configurations, I found the two-fighters/one support set up to be the best. This consists of using two Guardians or otherwise combat focused characters to forge ahead and wail on the enemy, and one Consular, Sentinel, or otherwise Force Power focused character to bring up the rear, casting a steady flow of offensive and defensive “spells”. It results in the cleanest battles with the least amount of damage taken by your party. For the purposes of this section of the tutorial I’ll assume your character is a light Guardian and round out the rest of your party with Juhani and Jolee, but feel free to adapt this to your, no doubt, unique situation.

As previously stated, our goal right now is to maximize the potential of your party by divvying up abilities, and hence, roles amongst your Jedi. We’ll start with your Guardians, as they will be the brunt of your offensive front. If/when you have left over abilities put them in whatever else sounds best to you.

Guardians:

 

Necessary Force Abilities - Don’t leave home without them!

  • Throw Lightsaber/Advanced Throw Lightsaber (Perfect long distance attack to compliment Force Jump and clear out crowds of weak or near dead enemies.)

  • Burst of Speed/Knight Speed/Master Speed (The most important weapon in the Guardian’s Force arsenal. With this in action, Flurry can land up to seven attacks if you follow my Feat advice. Up until the very end, few enemies can handle more then two Master Speed enhanced Flurries without going down, and a Master Speed enhanced Master Force Jump can end most encounters before they even begin.)

  • Force Resistance/Force Immunity (I can’t stress how necessary this ability is. Once cast, it will protect you against everything a Dark Jedi has up his/her sleeve, leveling the playing field to a pure lightsaber duel. I’m talking about blocking everything from Death Field and Force Storm to Stasis Field and Plague, all favorites among the Sith. Once those abilities are out of the way they are forced to take you in a head-to-head lightsaber duel, and with Master Speed and Flurry on your side there is no way that will be a problem for you.)

  • Cure/Heal (Pretty self-explanatory. Use it often.)

  • Drain Life/Death Field (Following the light doesn’t mean you are shut off from all dark power. You can still afford to learn two really evil but incredibly necessary abilities per character without falling too far into the dark side, and I consider Death Field pretty damn necessary. Not only does it damage enemies, but it refills some of your health and is practically a requirement to win the final confrontation.)

Primary Guardian (presumably you):

Recommended Force Abilities - Try to equip your primary Guardian with these babies.

  • Affect Mind/Dominate Mind (Better known as the “Jedi Mind Trick”, this bad boy allows you to “talk” others into doing things they might not ordinarily want to do. Not required, but it highly, highly recommended that your primary character have this available to them.)

  • Stun/Stasis/Stasis Field (I couldn’t hurt to outfit everyone in your party with this one, but you can get away with only one Stasis Field user, and it might as well be you. It will freeze and ENTIRE group in their tracks, allowing you to hack them to death without fear of taking damage. I recommend giving this to your primary character, as occasionally throughout the game you are forced to go solo, and you’ll be a whole lot safer with this trick in your bag.)

Secondary Guardian (presumably Juhani):

Recommended Attributes – Try to put the majority of her points into Dexterity, Strength, and Constitution.

Recommended Skills – Just dump everything into Awareness, leaving a little for Treat Injury and Stealth.

Recommended Feats – Lightsaber Proficiency, Two-Weapon Fighting, Flurry, and Jedi Defense should be your main concerns.

Recommended Force Abilities - Try to equip your secondary Guardian with these babies.

  • Force Push/Force Whirlwind/Force Wave (Force Wave works great on your secondary Guardian. It not only creates a little breathing room between you and your enemies, but can also stun them for a few seconds, allowing you to regroup, heal, etc, and otherwise gain the upper hand in battle.)

  • Slow/Affliction/Plague (Someone should have this one, might as well be your secondary Guardian. It seriously messes up whomever it’s cast upon, absolutely destroying their stats, declawing even the fiercest enemy. Cast a Stasis Field on a real tough bastard, throw some Plague on top, and cut through him like butter!)

Now, your Consular (Jolee for these exercises) will be primary working the back of the battlefield, supporting the fighters and lending a hand in the combat whenever necessary. Speaking of “necessary”, here are the abilities he should definitely have to work well:

  • Force Resistance/Force Immunity (Of course!)

  • Stun Droid/Disable Droid/Destroy Droid (This attack is devastating to droids, and on Jolee using it barely puts a dent in his huge well of Force Points. It’ll cripple and entire room full of the most nasty droids in mere seconds!)

  • Force Valor/Knight Valor/Master Valor (Two, three, and five points respectively added to attributes and saving throws, as well as poison immunity at later levels! This should be cast at the beginning of practically every encounter, as it will really help the Guardians clean house, especially if their enemy is Stunned and/or Plagued.

  • Cure/Heal (‘Nuff said.)

  • Shock/Lightening/Force Storm (Good or bad, Jolee should be one Force Storm using mofo. It’ll harm everyone in the area and help wear down enemies for the Guardians to hack down.)

You’ll have plenty of left over abilities to select, I’d recommend investing them on a second Stasis Field user and Death Field, but it’s all up to you.

For his Attributes, put the majority of the points you receive into Wisdom, Constitution, and Dexterity.

His Skills are relatively unimportant, so just throw them into Awareness and Treat Injury evenly.

Since Jolee’s role will put physical prowess on the back-burner, give him more passive Feats like Jedi Defense, Conditioning, and Toughness and only develop his saber and combat related Feats towards the end of the game.

With this line-up you’ll have everything you need to kick some serious galaxy far, far away ass. Consider it KOTOR training wheels to use until you get comfortable enough with the PC crowd favoring set-up to handle things on your own.

Now, if you though it was over, you were wrong, as there is one last installment of this guide to come. Check back next time to find out which lightsaber is best for you and how to handle some of the game’s nastier enemies.

Posted: 8-14-03
 


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