“A highly talented field medic, Elara Dorne was born Imperial and served in the Empire’s military for two years before defecting to the Republic. She has since served with distinction as a search-and-rescue squad leader, earning several commendations for aiding wounded men under direct enemy fire.” —From In-Game Codex, Star Wars: The Old Republic
I’ll admit that I only started playing Lucas Arts and BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic because my cousin gave me his unused subscription. I’d heard mostly mixed reviews on the game, most of which are pretty deserved to be honest. The game play is fairly standard for the action-RPG genre. Graphics are above average but not remarkable. The extensive cut-scenes and voice-overs give the game a cinematic feel, but also make certain parts of the game kind of time consuming. And I get fed up quickly with Electronic Arts’ shabby treatment of SW:TOR’s non-subscriber players. I do, however, find it has the strongest overall story of any MMO I’ve tried. BioWare has a history of hiring excellent writers, and I didn’t find TOR to be an exception. The Cold War setting between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire is incredibly well-thought-out, as are the over-all story arc and the stories for the individual character classes.
In particular, I feel like the characters are smartly and believably written, in terms of the player’s companions and the countless NPCs. Sergeant Elara Dorne of Havoc Squad quickly became one of my favorite heroines (and I’ll be honest, this game has a lot of good ones). Elara is a Republic field medic who defected from the Empire (a gutsy stunt in itself) and joins of the restoration efforts on the devastated world of Taris. The Trooper character encounters her when Havoc Squad’s mission takes them to Taris. Dorne becomes invaluable in assisting the player in their assignment and is invited to join Havoc at the mission’s conclusion.
As archetypes go, it’s easy to immediately think of primary healers as rear-echelon characters—as a background or support figures. The truth, however, is that field medics have been patching their wounded comrades on the front lines since the phalanxes of Ancient Greece. I admire that Sergeant Dorne carries on this tradition in a galaxy far, far away, first in her search-and-rescue efforts in the Republic Armed Forces, later beside her teammates in Havoc Squad.
A front-line solider, Elara wears the Republic’s top-of-the-line commando armor. Her armor is impervious to projectiles and shrapnel, and highly resistant to blaster fire. With the resurgence of Sith in the galaxy, Elara’s heavy trooper armor also contains a cortosis weave to protect against lightsabers. The armored plating attaches to a flexible bodysuit, for unhindered movement around the battlefield. Torso plate comes in two pieces for pivotal and rotational flexibility. I like, too, the attention to protection at the shoulders, elbows, and knees. Our flaxy-haired medic’s armor gives her a white-knightly feel, bringing to mind the Knights Hospitaller or the D&D Paladin—reinforcing our image of Elara as a healer and defender of the Republic.
As better armor is available as the game progresses, sets tend to get swapped out altogether every few levels. Most of the heavy armor I’ve seen so far for the Republic characters looks fairly similar to Sergeant Dorne’s pictured above. However, the game designers thoughtfully opted to include gear for the teenaged pocket-miner demographic by letting players take Elara and other smart, likeable heroines into battle in a tube-top or Slave-Leia bikini. *grimace*
Screen captures taken from game play. Thanks for reading and stay awesome!