I’ve got lots of happy, nice thoughts about the the Legacy of Romulus expansion pack. In my experience, however, if I plan on making a lengthy post enumerating many different points, I either never do it, quickly burn out on blogging, or both. So in the hopes of keeping my blogging leaner, meaner, and longer lived, today I’m just posting about one aspect of the new release that I like: Tovan Khev.
One of the major features of the new Romulan story line is that it’s a story populated by actual characters: during your missions you meet and recruit named bridge officers as the plot progresses, not to mention the fact that you meet a series of heroes and villains that you have routine interactions with. A cynic might say that Cryptic is taking a page from The Old Republic‘s “story driven” plot and its personable companions. However, it’s worth pointing out that Star Trek has always been about the character interactions of the bridge crew and away team.
To be fair, the vast majority of your interactions are one-off — you meet a potential bridge officer on a mission, they have a few lines of voiced dialogue, you recruit them, and then they never speak again. The one major exception is Tovan Khev.
Tovan Khev is the first bridge officer you recruit. In fact, he’s the first person you meet in the game. He can’t be dismissed, and the majority of his lines are voiced. Torvan’s dialogue and story adds a personal dimension to the overarching plot arc. He is, for all practical purposes, the main vehicle through which the plot gains resonance.
He’s also, if the official forums are anything to go by, a divisive figure. Some people don’t like having a bridge officer forced on them. For a while, he couldn’t be customized, which added insult to injury. Others point out that everyone running around with the same bridge officer breaks the illusion of MMO individuality.
Maybe running around with companions in TOR has inured me to having the same companions as everyone else, but it’s even less a problem here than in TOR, as you almost never see other peoples’ bridge officers in this game.
For my part, I like Torvan. He’s well voiced and relatable. He also says what I, the player, am thinking a lot of the time, so he’s also a nice voice of reason to have around. Here’s to him, and to me not having to write the backstory of another bridge officer.