Would you want the STO Iconian look in the novelverse? - SPOILERS

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Enterprise1701, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not even close. Why do people keep thinking that? As I said above, Pahkwa-thanh have the proportions of a therapod dinosaur, with horizontal bodies and tails. Think Utahraptor with a Komodo-dragon head and more dexterous forelimbs. (And, uhh, no feathers.)
     
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Out of interest, is the Xindi representing his/her own people particularly, or is it a Federation representative?
     
  3. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    He is an unnamed male Federation Starfleet officer and states specifically his people are UFP members. He draws a parallel between the Sphere Builder's manipulation of the Xindi against Earth, and the Iconians' manipulation of Species 8472 against UFP and Klingon Empire.

    The most noteworthy aspect is his open disgust for the Sphere Builders. The Xindi came to accept they were pawns in their game.

    Another side-note: I toyed with character customization: You can't make a Jelna endomale or -female. Rigelian skin options are limited to the white/brown spectrum and they can't be red-eyed, and the distinct facial textures of Jelna are not available for Alien characters.
     
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Awesome. :) There's a lot I don't like about the STO interpretation of the Trek 'verse (granted that their first priority is what makes an entertaining game), but this I fully support.
     
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    So, remind me, for Federation member races, the game offers:

    Human
    Vulcan
    Andorian (plus Aenar)
    Tellarite
    Rigelian (Jelna)
    Saurian
    Caitian
    Benzite
    Bolian
    Betazoid
    Trill
    Bajoran
    Denobulan?

    And I'm sure you can make a bald human or Betazoid and call it a Deltan. Add possibly Xindi-Primate if they become playable...and that's not a bad selection of member races, actually. Nicely diverse.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You could perhaps make a Zami Rigelian (a la Tower of Babel) if you can modify a Vulcan skin with lighter hair and complexion and more subtly pointed ears. Or you could just go with a human-looking one. A big, burly human could be a Kalar with the right costuming. If you wanted a Chelon character, though, sounds like you'd be out of luck.
     
  7. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oh, I don't know. Maybe the Voth will field some sort of bipedal Psittacosaur in the near future that can provide the base model...
     
  8. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Let's check. I'm a sucker for species diversity and keep track of my characters and bridge officers. There are given playable species but you can make more "rubber-forehead" species using an Alien.

    Federation playable species: Andorian, Bajoran, Benzite, Betazoids, Bolians, Caitians, Ferengi, Human, Human (liberated Borg), Klingon, Pakled (no kidding), Rigelian (Jelna exosexes), Saurian, Tellarite, Trill (unjoined), Trill (joined) and Vulcan.
    Additional bridge officer species: Aenar (Take that, Extinction!), Android, Photonic, Voth
    Klingon Empire: Klingon, Gorn (male only), Orion, Nausicaan (male only), Lethean (male only), Ferasan (sabertoothed Caitian offshoot)

    Some notable species available via Alien: Denobulans, El-Aurian (or using Human), Deltan (or using bald Human/Betazoid), Cardassian, Hirogen, Nalori, Preserver, Vorta, Xenexian, Xindi-Primate (no other Xindi species, though), etc. etc.
    Playable species of D'Tan's Romulan Republic are Reman, Romulan, liberated Borg Romulan and Alien.

    You can't make an Yridian (yet?). Previous Dev comments suggested Talaxians and Ocampa could become playable UFP species, and the Empire would receive the Kazon. That would coincide with a Delta Quadrant expansion. The DQ is in focus since Season 8.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm afraid to ask how they interpret "Preserver." Please tell me it's not the First Humanoids from "The Chase."
     
  10. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's them. :rommie:

    They seeded the galaxy and went into hibernation in an underground archive on Lae'nas III, occasionally awakening to see what their descendants have built. The implication is that they're taken care of by the Deferi, their closest living relatives.
    http://sto.gamepedia.com/Preserver
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'll never understand how people can confuse a race that transplanted existing populations a few hundred years ago with a race that seeded the evolution of entire biospheres four billion years ago. Why do people assume everything in the past happened at the same time?

    I guess the conceit of them going into hibernation makes a little more sense, except there's no reason the two should be associated at all, besides the metatextual reason that they're both excuses for humanoid aliens.
     
  12. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can sympathize with your frustration here. According to Memory Alpha, Ronald D. Moore said back in the 1990s that he had considered but did not end up using the interpretation that the progenitor humanoids were the Preservers. He noted, however that
    There's no reasonable way that it could be true in the novelverse given what your novel The Buried Age says that the Manraloth did, though, can there?
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, it wasn't reasonable anyway. It makes no sense to expect a single species, let alone a single civilization, to survive for four billion years. That's just fundamentally failing to comprehend how big a billion is. (Okay, the Q are billions of years old, but they're presumably not corporeal, organic beings.)

    Not to mention, again, that the two races have nothing whatsoever in common aside from being excuses for humanoid aliens. One engineered biospheres on the genetic level, one simply transplanted existing cultures.

    Not to mention that the Preservers simply aren't advanced enough to be four billion years old. They didn't demonstrate any technological capability beyond what the 24th-century Federation has -- just space travel, powerful tractor beams, voice-activated locks, and memory-wiping rays. They were far from godlike.

    The problem is that so little was established about them that there's an enormous void for people to fill in with their imaginations, and in circumstances like that, people tend to go to extremes with their imaginings. So the Preservers have been blown up into this mythic, ancient, nigh-divine cosmic force, when there's no actual basis to ascribe such qualities to them. For all we know, they were just a space Greenpeace, an organization rather than a species. Heck, I still think they were the Vians from "The Empath," who were doing the exact same thing.
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Markonian, I have an off topic general MMO question. Is there a reason you couldn't have horses in an MMO? I read in an article that the creators of the Defiance TV show wanted to include horses, but they couldn't because they couldn't include them in the game. I just find this kind of confusing because tons of games have included horse, including (I think) all of the Assassin's Creed games, Red Dead Redemtion, and (I think) Skyrim. Is it something to do with the Deifance game being an MMO?
     
  15. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm no expert apart from playing STO and keeping taps on dev posts. Theoretically, you can have horses in STO, like any other quadroped. However, you wouldn't be able to ride on it.
    To include riding would include tweaking every costume to fold in the right way, new animations (sit up, sit down, galloping, runnin, using gear (i.e. shooting) while on horse, etc.), and making it possible for humanoids of every available size. A huge undertaking for something that, in the early 25th century, would be outdated. (The devs, however, are taking steps to introduce ground vehicles like the Argo because the Star Wars MMO has that already.)

    In short: horses are possible, riding would be a time-consuming effort.
     
  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds like that would probably be the reason for Defiance too.
     
  17. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    ^JD, I might also be able to shed some light on your question. I'm an art director in AAA games development, and I've had hands-on experience with the types of things you're mentioning.

    You guys are on the money with the prime issue being, well, money :). As with what was brought up earlier in this thread, anything that can share a 'skeleton' as we call it, can significantly reduce production costs, hence the proliferation of human-shaped aliens in STO. For a development team to create something that has a different body structure, it requires many things - planning, r&d, modeling, rigging, weighting, animating, pathing, and AI. A different body shape requires it to move differently, react differently with its environment, and also possibly requires a brand new set of movements - what we call an animation tree.

    The other thing to note is that the budgets of said games might not be apparent to the end user, but those ones you mentioned are in drastically different budget categories. Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft), Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar), and Skyrim (Bethesda) are all massive projects being made by hundreds (if not thousands) of people, over sometimes 3-5 development studios split all over the globe. I would wager none of them has a budget of less than $50 million, and as much as $130M. I don't know the budget of Defiance, but if I would guess it's a medium-sized dev team of less than 200 people, and a budget in the neighborhood of $15-30 million. Adding a horse might be the difference between having one or two genders of main character, or even - when drastic cuts happen - between finishing the game or not.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which is why I'm saying that it would be nice if the developers of a new SF game would make the effort to build multiple basic body structures into their game from the ground up, accounting for such variety in their initial planning and budgeting, so that we could see some genuinely imaginative aliens rather than just humanoids all the time.
     
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Games like these are stuck in boringzone. Always the same 4-5 character archetypes (healer, warrior, blabla), and always the same humanoid avatars.
    I think developers wouldn't take the "risk" of changing those things.
     
  20. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I forgot to mention that while the humanoid body plan (torso, head, 4 extremities) is the basis, you can cary the sizes of body parts like limbs, allowing for very alien characters who are tiny, big-eyed and have enormously bulbous heads. Or they can be big with absurdly small, deformed heads.
     

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