Star Wars: The Old Republic varies from other MMOs in its use of companion characters. Your computer-controlled pals assist you in various ways—fighting your enemies, ineffectually pawing at your enemies, digging through piles of garbage, making out with you, and so on. Just like in real life.
This brings us to the affection system. If your space girlfriend is angry at you because you are constantly shooting lightning at people for no apparent reason, all you have to do is give her presents until she forgives you—again, just like in real life. Unlike in real life, your gifts will produce a clearly-stated result (Affection: +23!) that lets you know how your present was received, and thus how to placate her the next time you forget her space birthday. Feedback like this would make our lives significantly easier, and in that spirit, we have attempted to apply the SW:TOR gift-giving system to real-life relationships. Here is a look at five in-game gift categories.
Good Gift: Opera Tickets. On one hand, this is the Star Wars universe we're talking about. Whatever opera these tickets are for, it's unlikely to contain any beautiful arias, and in fact probably features a troupe of those fat blue elephants prancing around and blorting out impossibly unromantic noises. Still, it is an opera, and is therefore about as good as these gifts are going to get. Girlfriend Affection Gain: +31
Bad Gift: Fossilized Hutt Gallstone. What could be a better gift than something that was once coughed up by a monstrous space slug, then sat in a ditch for thousands of years? The answer is anything. Girlfriend Affection Gain: +2
Good Gift: Czerka Universal Translator. This thing translates every variety of trumpet-nosed alien honking into "Galactic Common," which, if you think about it, can't possibly be English, so this gift is pretty useless. But at least it is unlikely to blow up and maim your girlfriend, which cannot be said for other gifts in this category. Girlfriend Affection Gain: +24
Bad Gift: Unknown Technological Device. Anyone who actually enjoys technology would only look down on you for giving an "unknown technological device" as a gift. Whatever this device does, you may as well ask your girlfriend if you can get Youtubes on it, your tongue lolling dumbly out of your mouth, as she rolls her eyes in exasperation. Girlfriend Affection Gain: -4
Category: Underworld Goods
Good Gift: Honorary Hutt Cartel Membership. Whatever your girlfriend needs, she will be set for life; assuming what she needs is green tentacle-headed women or a rusty barge. Girlfriend Affection Gain: +3
Bad Gift: Incriminating Evidence. What are the odds that this evidence incriminates anybody you've ever met? Sure, it could be about her ex-boyfriend or something, but it's probably evidence that some space muppet stole a robot. Girlfriend Affection Gain: +0
Good Gift: Sith Lord's Mask. It does not bode well for a category when this is the most romantic option it has to offer. Girlfriend Affection Gain: +5
Bad Gift: Unidentified Organ. It's safe to assume that no girlfriend, anywhere, would want any of the gifts in this category, but this is the worst of them. At least if you gave your girlfriend a Greater Cthon Brain, you could explain, as she prepared to dump you, that it is a brain, and it came something called a Greater Cthon, which you think is some kind of naked zombie. But if you tell your girlfriend that you have a surprise for her, and then you plop an unidentified organ in her waiting hands, you aren't giving a gift; you're playing a prank. Girlfriend Affection Gain: -39
Good Gift: Zeltron Personal Aroma Set. The Zeltrons seem to have been some kind of bikini aliens, which means they are among the best aliens your girlfriend could smell like. Girlfriend Affection Gain: +12
Bad Gift: Tashelin Serenading Droid. This seems like a nicely romantic gift, until you consider that zero of the robots in the Star Wars universe are capable of romance. You will spend all evening preparing a candlelit dinner for your girlfriend, and you'll turn on some mood music, and then C-3P0 will burst out of the closet, gyrating around like a lunatic and making pneumatic machine noises. "MY HUMPS MY HUMPS," he will drone robotically, hip-thrusting with wild abandon at your girlfriend's face. Girlfriend Affection Gain: -60
What SW:TOR gifts do you plan to give?