BioWare writer Rebecca Harwick has explained the developer's decision to create two Sith classes in its upcoming Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic.
Profiling the Sith Inquisitor class, Harwick explained, "When we set out to build our game, we knew we needed more than one Sith class. The original trilogy only has two Sith in it, but they couldn't be more different: the heavily armoured brutal physicality of Darth Vader compared to the frail but immensely powerful Emperor Palpatine.
"When we extend our inspiration to Episodes I-III and The Clone Wars cartoons, Count Dooku, Darth Maul, and Asajj Ventress further expand our concept of what a Sith can be. Is a Sith a lithe quick fighter who uses the Force to enhance his/her physical combat prowess, a calculating deceiver adept at Lightsaber duels, or a master manipulator and amasser of dark side secrets?... Having multiple Sith classes allows us to embrace all of those Sith inspirations, instead of having one Sith class that was the jack-of-all-trades and the master of none."
But Harwick said the decision was made for story decisions as well as class differentiation. "With two Sith classes, we have the opportunity to explore the Sith order from two very different perspectives, to develop a more complete picture of the Sith Empire at the time our game is set, and to present strikingly different character arcs and choices...
"And where that other Sith class starts in a position of privilege, born to lead and prepared from childhood for training at the Academy on Korriban, the Sith Inquisitor begins the game as a slave, plucked from obscurity and toil in a highly stratified, unforgiving Empire because of his Force-sensitivity and sent to become a Sith or die."
It's not just the Sith that get such close attention in The Old Republic; there are two Jedi classes too, the Knight and the Consular. You'll also be able to play as a Smuggler, Trooper, Bounty Hunter or Imperial Agent.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is due for release on PC in 2011.