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DasDesertFox's Avatar

10.30.2012 , 04:55 AM | #331
So far, it seems BioWare's strongest argument against making less-humanoid species playable (specifically, those that already exist ingame as NPC's/Companions) is the average player's inability to "identify" with these species.

This is garbage.

I'll put it simply. If players can not identify with these species, why do they continue to request them?

The vastness of the Star Wars universe is one of its greatest appealing factors, yet I feel like I'm restricted to a tiny little humanoid corner of it. This feeling of being walled in is stifling, uncomfortable, and puts a big old damper on immersion. It goes against one of the most basic principles of the MMO--the player's ability to be and do anything they choose, within the realm of that creative reality.

One quote that was referenced earlier talked about how non-humanoid species wouldn't fit the class stories because all the side characters would have to be altered. Supposedly, they'd need to react to the player being "the weirdest thing in the room." Also garbage. This is Star Wars--the idea that the story NPCs have no idea how to interact with aliens is patently absurd. It's no different than people of different cultures relating to one another, which we do today on a global scale.

Other excuses have been given, and they're equally invalid. Don't want companions smooching up blobs? Easy fix--a tooltip at character creation tells the player there is [currently] no romance arc for that species. Those who wish to play a nonhumanoid (Ithorian, Bothan, etc.) won't miss it, especially if they've already pursued these romances on other characters...they'll be overjoyed just getting to play as their chosen species.

Worried about voiceovers for non-basic-speaking species? Again, the players that choose them won't fuss about it--many have posted saying they'd be perfectly happy with subtitles, as long as they got their [insert species here].

The hypocrisy of the developers' philosophy is what gets me. Legacy unlocks now allow a player to roll through the Jedi Consular story as a Sith Pureblood. BioWare enables these obscure crossovers, yet feels strangely comfortable citing story-related issues when I wonder why I can't have a Trandoshan bounty hunter. In my humble opinion, this illogical double standard is nothing short of laughable.

The ugly truth is that they did the same thing with species as they did with the endlessly, tiresomely reskinned gear. Whether it was due to insufficient resource allocation, a lack of vision, or just simple laziness, they tried to get a lot more mileage out of their artwork than it could ultimately provide.

The problem is that we noticed. Why all the hullabaloo, you ask? Because at our core, we want to feel unique. We want to be treated as individual players, not a faceless playerbase. In a story-driven MMO, we want our choices to have some sense of meaning. And for many of us, having a choice between nine shades of Human just doesn't feel like much of a choice at all.

I love the tales you tell, BioWare...just let us choose the shoes we walk them in.