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Influence System

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What I am going to say has probably been addressed before but I really don't have the inclination to sort through all the threads.


I have not finished TSL yet but I am enjoying it so far. However my enjoyment has been marred by an annoying and confusing issue - that of the Influence system. It seems that in TSL there was an attempt at making party influence more visible than it was in KOTOR1. Sounds great, but what I have found is that instead of influencing others, their influence is being forced on me. Pretty much everyone you meet already has a certain bend in one direction or another which is the way it should be but the problem comes in when that bend doesn't change in their speech and attitudes no matter how your character is aligned.


I noticed this most prominently with Visas. I had LS Mastery when I first met her; she was obviously a DS Jedi. After one conversation with her she was literally one point below LS mastery herself. I thought this odd to say the least and decided to take her around Onderon to see what she was like. Everything she said during that time was strongly DS and anytime I disagreed with her I lost influence with her, even though I had supposedly influenced her almost to LS mastery. So basically the only way to gain influence with Visas is to be influenced by her. I would suspect this is the same with other characters as well.


This makes no sense and seems to go against the whole idea of the Influence system in the first place. If I, as leader of the group am supposed to have the power to influence the way the other members of the group think then I shouldn't have to bow to their thinking on matters in order to gain influence points with them. I will stop ranting about this now but I just wanted to say that it is too bad that this portion of the game - arguably the most enjoyable - is a big disappointment because enough time was not spent on it.



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You pretty much nailed it on the head.


The other big thing... From a purely game-design perspective... Is that the Influence system and the storyline are working against each other for a lot of reasons. Mainly, the fact is the story is very DS no matter how you interpret it. This wouldn't be such a bad thing... But the limitations of the game engine, the Influence system and how they all work together... Or against each other at times... Often makes for a less than enjoyable gaming experience as far as trying to accomplish what each separate element tries to do as a whole.


For example, as you said, you're supposed to influence your party members... But in reality, thanks to the limited engine that strictly interprets certain phrases and actions as either LS or DS... You can't really do that and maintain a consistent RPG experience as far as your main player character goes.


Ultimately, TSL is designed to be a Jolee Bindo-type game. Meaning, completely Neutral if we are going to be honest. Everything from Kriea's philosophy to even the Exile's own choice to distance himself from the Force is rooted in Neutrality to some degree.


However, there is no benefit in playing Neutral as you can't make a Prestige Class if you're Neutral and you'll basically miss the entire point of the game (that forces you to chose a side to further the plot).

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