Saturday, January 10, 2009

Classic SWG: Creature Handling

The Creature Handling system allowed players to deploy multiple pets, depending upon both their level of skill and the level of the pets in question. A Creature Handler could either decide upon one strong pet, or a makeup of up to three pets that were individually weaker then a single, but offered more flexibility and attacking options.

Vincer preferred to use cats for his combat-related adventures. Operating in a support role as a Squad Leader with some First Aid abilities, the three pets Onyx, Opal and Peridot offered many opportunities to help the squad in their endeavors.

Usually, a fight would begin by Vincer selecting the primary target. Once the squad was set, the three "gem" kitties would be sent in: Peridot first - the strongest of the three, then Onyx... and finally Opal, the youngest and most vulnerable. Vincer would give the order for the squad to engage after the required number of cats had picked up their targets and acquired their aggression.

With the battle in full tilt, the cats could be called back individually for heals. This freed the squad's combat medic from worrying too much about the cats and concentrate on the others.

By individually controlling the pets, each could be sent onto a different opponent in order to tank for the squad. Opal would rarely get a chance to take on an enemy all by herself, though.

The Squad Leader/Creature Handler support role was an engrossing position to play. Charged with choosing, acquiring and holding opponents with agression were the primary goals. The squad found it a boon to have up to three tanks to keep the enemy occupied, but were not frustrated by the pets as they were not "stealing the show" by being more powerful then the team.

To see the whole squad - complete with pets - in action was a thing of beauty. It wasn't always a sure-fire recipe for victory, but the system was sound and everyone learned their parts to play to turn the squad into an effective fighting unit.

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