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So about new races...


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So whenever the topic of new races comes up, there's always one argument that always irks me.

It's that, "so and so can't be playable because of [insert lore reason here]". Like, for instance, the Kodan and Quaggan can't be playable because they're pacifists.

Here's the thing though, a race's culture does not define a character's personality. I always roll my eyes in fantasy stories when you have dwarves that are always like "I'm a dwarf so I have a beard and love drinking alcohol and I work in the mines and am super manly all the time because that's what dwarves do." or that all Orcs are big and strong, all Elves are extremely well mannered and swift etc etc. Basically, why do fantasy races always have to be walking stereotypes of their own nation's culture?

Especially in Gw2, has done well to establish that a character's race doesn't define their personality with characters like Tybalt. Heck, going back to Quaggan and Kodan, there are Quaggan and Kodan who choose to fight seen everywhere. There's an entire Quaggan village in Hirathi Hinterlands that is almost empty because all the young Quaggan left to fight in the war against the centaurs. We have Quaggan fighting alongside us in the Pact, the Quaggan path in the personal story deals with helping them stand up and defend their village instead of running away. There's a decent amount of them who are not pacifists.

Heck, by this logic, the Asura shouldn't even be playable because a scholarly race like them wouldn't lower themselves to barbaric acts of violence. But, here we are, running around in the field as an Asura, fighting monsters and getting our hands dirty. Being an Asura warrior is the least Asura thing you can be. (Bonus points if you went Vigil) but we can do it! So if Lore was ever a reason to have a race not be playable, we wouldn't have Asura,

There are other examples to pull from also but I think I got the point across that this argument is always BS when it comes to new races being added to the game. Any race is game and lore is never a valid reason a certain race cannot be playable. Well, you know, unless they're basically extinct like the Dwarves.

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I actually don't see that one very often at all, not in this corner of the forums. Around here it's almost always 'a quaggan would be too difficult/time-consuming to make greatsword animations for,' or 'an ogre's horns would clip as bad as a charr's with all the different helmets they'd have to design, and they can't get away with that on a feature they'll sell an expansion on,' or 'wouldn't implementing tengu break the personal story for all kinds of reasons?,' or 'for the love of Dwayna, spare us from centaur swimming animations and screenhogging in jumping puzzles.' Lore forum or not, the pragmatic objections get the most traction.

Granted, there's also a fair deal of 'kodan bore me personally so it'd be [insert hyperbole here] of the devs to add them' and 'the largos are a mash-up of tropes I can't stand, so I'm not in favour of the devs spending time on them,' but even there, it's not claims that it'd be lore-breaking to play them.

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@Aaron Ansari.1604 said:I actually don't see that one very often at all, not in this corner of the forums. Around here it's almost always 'a quaggan would be too difficult/time-consuming to make greatsword animations for,' or 'an ogre's horns would clip as bad as a charr's with all the different helmets they'd have to design, and they can't get away with that on a feature they'll sell an expansion on,' or 'wouldn't implementing tengu break the personal story for all kinds of reasons?,' or 'for the love of Dwayna, spare us from centaur swimming animations and screenhogging in jumping puzzles.' Lore forum or not, the pragmatic objections get the most traction.

Granted, there's also a fair deal of 'kodan bore me personally so it'd be [insert hyperbole here] of the devs to add them' and 'the largos are a mash-up of tropes I can't stand, so I'm not in favour of the devs spending time on them,' but even there, it's not claims that it'd be lore-breaking to play them.

This.

The workload already is very high to make armors work on 5 different races, I doubt it is a realistic assumption that arenanet will be willing to increase this even further.

Imagine:

  • having to rework all existing armors, weapons, backpieces to work with a new race. Even if it was similar in size as norn (in case of big tengu) or human/sylvari, the work would not be insignificant
  • creating entire new racial sets (otherwise this race is just 2nd class)
  • having to design armors around then 6 races
  • people suddenly complaining why race X was added and not race Y
  • making the story work for a new race not only from a lore point but voice over
  • designing a new capital city for the new race

Granted some of those issues could be left to a minimum accepting that a new race just isn't as huge as the established ones, but even then the workload would be huge.

The lore argument is mostly moot and tiny compared to the problem of realizing this dream.

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@"Magek.4718" said:Here's the thing though, a race's culture does not define a character's personality. I always roll my eyes in fantasy stories when you have dwarves that are always like "I'm a dwarf so I have a beard and love drinking alcohol and I work in the mines and am super manly all the time because that's what dwarves do." or that all Orcs are big and strong, all Elves are extremely well mannered and swift etc etc.

You should read some Salvatore novels. Pikel Bouldershoulder will be the most refreshingly different dwarf you can find.

Orcs are big and strong because they are big and strong, just like humans have 5 fingers, so that comparison doesn't really work. Sure there could be midget Orcs(not sure if that's offensive?) but I think the general orcish custom would be to banish such elements.

Basically, why do fantasy races always have to be walking stereotypes of their own nation's culture?Why are 98% of Somalian girls circumcised to this day? Because customs and culture are strongly rooted. Even more so without the influence of media and the internet.

Returning to fantasy stereotypes, how do you know what the psyche of an elf is? Are their reasons and thoughts even comprehensible to humans? Can an elf have the desire to be different from his kin? Is their culture inherently tied to their physical being?

Humans in a multicultural environment, members of sub-groups tend to emphasize their heritage to distinguish themselves from others and to also seek kinship from fellow members of said sub-group. That also brings out stereotypical behaviour. Humans devolve to the most common denomination to find kinship, or in modern terms, friends.

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Stereotypes exists because they can be reinforces by reality. That is to say, they are true. Nobody just made them up. Exaggerated them for comedic effect, sure, but they’re clearly originating from real life observation.

Simple as that.

That being said, there will always be outsiders. Drizzt from DnD has fallen out of favour (anyone but me even know what I’m talking about? lol) but remains an awesome character because of how he breaks the mold.

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@Oglaf.1074 said:Stereotypes exists because they can be reinforces by reality. That is to say, they are true. Nobody just made them up. Exaggerated them for comedic effect, sure, but they’re clearly originating from real life observation.

Simple as that.

That being said, there will always be outsiders. Drizzt from DnD has fallen out of favour (anyone but me even know what I’m talking about? lol) but remains an awesome character because of how he breaks the mold.

I do I read Forgotten Realms for years. It spawned some of my most beloved, and probably my most hated, writing tropes all at once. These days I look at my old Do'Urden books rightways, sideways and upside down trying to decide if they were the best writing i'd ever seen, or the absolute worst.

Ironically, I think I liked R.A Salavatore other book, the Crimson Shadow, more then all of them now that i'm older.

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@Loesh.4697 said:

@Oglaf.1074 said:Stereotypes exists because they can be reinforces by reality. That is to say, they are true. Nobody just made them up. Exaggerated them for comedic effect, sure, but they’re clearly originating from real life observation.

Simple as that.

That being said, there will always be outsiders. Drizzt from DnD has fallen out of favour (anyone but me even know what I’m talking about? lol) but remains an awesome character because of how he breaks the mold.

I do I read Forgotten Realms for years. It spawned some of my most beloved, and probably my most hated, writing tropes all at once. These days I look at my old Do'Urden books rightways, sideways and upside down trying to decide if they were the best writing i'd ever seen, or the absolute worst.

Ironically, I think I liked R.A Salavators other book, the Crimson Cape, more then all of them now that i'm older.

Maybe “so schlocky it’s good”?

Y’know like every Schwarzenegger movie ever?

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@Oglaf.1074 said:

@Oglaf.1074 said:Stereotypes exists because they can be reinforces by reality. That is to say, they are true. Nobody just made them up. Exaggerated them for comedic effect, sure, but they’re clearly originating from real life observation.

Simple as that.

That being said, there will always be outsiders. Drizzt from DnD has fallen out of favour (anyone but me even know what I’m talking about? lol) but remains an awesome character because of how he breaks the mold.

I do I read Forgotten Realms for years. It spawned some of my most beloved, and probably my most hated, writing tropes all at once. These days I look at my old Do'Urden books rightways, sideways and upside down trying to decide if they were the best writing i'd ever seen, or the absolute worst.

Ironically, I think I liked R.A Salavators other book, the Crimson Cape, more then all of them now that i'm older.

Maybe “so schlocky it’s good”?

Y’know like every Schwarzenegger movie ever?

I would definitely qualify the later books as that. Artimis Entres side stories were straight up awesome all around if you've seen them. The concept of a Drow more like a human with a counterpart whose a human more like a Drow is so simplistic, but it meshes so well.

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"Drizzt" fell out of favour because how much it got copied, over and over, in all kind of stories, games, movies and franchises. The "black elves" were born from drizzt novels, hammered into a shallow trope and then became the edgelord stereotipe first choice for decades.

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@Loesh.4697 said:

@Oglaf.1074 said:Stereotypes exists because they can be reinforces by reality. That is to say, they are true. Nobody just made them up. Exaggerated them for comedic effect, sure, but they’re clearly originating from real life observation.

Simple as that.

That being said, there will always be outsiders. Drizzt from DnD has fallen out of favour (anyone but me even know what I’m talking about? lol) but remains an awesome character because of how he breaks the mold.

I do I read Forgotten Realms for years. It spawned some of my most beloved, and probably my most hated, writing tropes all at once. These days I look at my old Do'Urden books rightways, sideways and upside down trying to decide if they were the best writing i'd ever seen, or the absolute worst.

Ironically, I think I liked R.A Salavators other book, the Crimson Cape, more then all of them now that i'm older.

Maybe “so schlocky it’s good”?

Y’know like every Schwarzenegger movie ever?

I would definitely qualify the later books as that. Artimis Entres side stories were straight up awesome all around if you've seen them. The concept of a Drow more like a human with a counterpart whose a human more like a Drow is so simplistic, but it meshes so well.

Indeed. I mean, there’s definitely a reason why the character is so relatively famous after all.

Though it definitely might be the nostalgia goggles talking. I haven’t read the books in ages, and it was at the height of my nerddom I did read them. I first encountered the character in Baldur’s Gate and when I learned it was merely a cameo and he was from a book series I eagerly went out and got them. Ah... memories...

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after reading OP thread three times, I'm still lost what his argument is trying to justify...

what dev is going to work on is whatever will bring in the most revenue for the work required to put inin simple financial terms, Return on Assets, how much extra dollar is gained for every dollar spent.

even though they said "they are here for the players", but at the end of the day they cannot feed their employees and their families with words

slapping on a new race skin does not make people to spend more on gem store nor does potential new players would buy a game just because of a race, people buy games to play new contents

creating a new race require a new player model to be created, even if there's already an existing npc model that can be reused, anet need to go back and tweak 5 years of existing armor arts for the new race

if you give Anet $100,000.00 USD, probably they will be more than happy to hire a new person to work 100% of the time on giving you the new race you wanted in a year's time.

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@crepuscular.9047 said:if you give Anet $100,000.00 USD, probably they will be more than happy to hire a new person to work 100% of the time on giving you the new race you wanted in a year's time.

We could always do a Kickstarter campaign for that purpose. With Anet's approval. Companies are willing to do all sorts of things, they normally wouldn't invest resources into, with outside funding.

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@Oglaf.1074 said:That being said, there will always be outsiders. Drizzt from DnD has fallen out of favour (anyone but me even know what I’m talking about? lol) but remains an awesome character because of how he breaks the mold.

I also own several of those books. :heart: I don't think they've been anything amazing(outside of the origin trilogy) as pieces of writing but they are sufficiently light reading to pick up every now and then. I do enjoy the characters very much, I think it's the one thing Salvatore does excellently.

My first love, though, was Wheel of Time. (and no, I didn't know what I was getting myself into...) Was a lot of pages but I never regretted any of it.

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@"crepuscular.9047" said:after reading OP thread three times, I'm still lost what his argument is trying to justify...

what dev is going to work on is whatever will bring in the most revenue for the work required to put inin simple financial terms, Return on Assets, how much extra dollar is gained for every dollar spent.

even though they said "they are here for the players", but at the end of the day they cannot feed their employees and their families with words

slapping on a new race skin does not make people to spend more on gem store nor does potential new players would buy a game just because of a race, people buy games to play new contents

creating a new race require a new player model to be created, even if there's already an existing npc model that can be reused, anet need to go back and tweak 5 years of existing armor arts for the new race

if you give Anet $100,000.00 USD, probably they will be more than happy to hire a new person to work 100% of the time on giving you the new race you wanted in a year's time.

I think we are talking about completely different things. I've got no clue what you're trying to say here.

@Randulf.7614 said:Never seen the lore argument of xyz being pacifists etc before I have to say

@Aaron Ansari.1604 said:I actually don't see that one very often at all, not in this corner of the forums. Around here it's almost always 'a quaggan would be too difficult/time-consuming to make greatsword animations for,' or 'an ogre's horns would clip as bad as a charr's with all the different helmets they'd have to design, and they can't get away with that on a feature they'll sell an expansion on,' or 'wouldn't implementing tengu break the personal story for all kinds of reasons?,' or 'for the love of Dwayna, spare us from centaur swimming animations and screenhogging in jumping puzzles.' Lore forum or not, the pragmatic objections get the most traction.

Granted, there's also a fair deal of 'kodan bore me personally so it'd be [insert hyperbole here] of the devs to add them' and 'the largos are a mash-up of tropes I can't stand, so I'm not in favour of the devs spending time on them,' but even there, it's not claims that it'd be lore-breaking to play them.

Really? It always seems to come about whenever there's a discussion about potential races. So I wanted to make a thread explaining why that's not a good argument.

@Cyninja.2954 said:

@Aaron Ansari.1604 said:I actually don't see that one very often at all, not in this corner of the forums. Around here it's almost always 'a quaggan would be too difficult/time-consuming to make greatsword animations for,' or 'an ogre's horns would clip as bad as a charr's with all the different helmets they'd have to design, and they can't get away with that on a feature they'll sell an expansion on,' or 'wouldn't implementing tengu break the personal story for all kinds of reasons?,' or 'for the love of Dwayna, spare us from centaur swimming animations and screenhogging in jumping puzzles.' Lore forum or not, the pragmatic objections get the most traction.

Granted, there's also a fair deal of 'kodan bore me personally so it'd be [insert hyperbole here] of the devs to add them' and 'the largos are a mash-up of tropes I can't stand, so I'm not in favour of the devs spending time on them,' but even there, it's not claims that it'd be lore-breaking to play them.

This.

The workload already is very high to make armors work on 5 different races, I doubt it is a realistic assumption that arenanet will be willing to increase this even further.

Imagine:
  • having to rework all existing armors, weapons, backpieces to work with a new race. Even if it was similar in size as norn (in case of big tengu) or human/sylvari, the work would not be insignificant
  • creating entire new racial sets (otherwise this race is just 2nd class)
  • having to design armors around then 6 races
  • people suddenly complaining why race X was added and not race Y
  • making the story work for a new race not only from a lore point but voice over
  • designing a new capital city for the new race

Granted some of those issues could be left to a minimum accepting that a new race just isn't as huge as the established ones, but even then the workload would be huge.

The lore argument is mostly moot and tiny compared to the problem of realizing this dream.

Oh, believe me I know it's a lot of work. I studied game development in college and I work in the industry. This would be a thing for an expansion, not just some random update.

But I know for a fact that it is possible. Heck, other games do it relatively often.

@Yannir.4132 said:

@"Magek.4718" said:Here's the thing though, a race's culture does not define a character's personality. I always roll my eyes in fantasy stories when you have dwarves that are always like "I'm a dwarf so I have a beard and love drinking alcohol and I work in the mines and am super manly all the time because that's what dwarves do." or that all Orcs are big and strong, all Elves are extremely well mannered and swift etc etc.

You should read some Salvatore novels. Pikel Bouldershoulder will be the most refreshingly different dwarf you can find.

Orcs are big and strong because they are big and strong, just like humans have 5 fingers, so that comparison doesn't really work. Sure there could be midget Orcs(not sure if that's offensive?) but I think the general orcish custom would be to banish such elements.

Basically, why do fantasy races always have to be walking stereotypes of their own nation's culture?Why are 98% of Somalian girls circumcised to this day? Because customs and culture are strongly rooted. Even more so without the influence of media and the internet.

Returning to fantasy stereotypes, how do you know what the psyche of an elf is? Are their reasons and thoughts even comprehensible to humans? Can an elf have the desire to be different from his kin? Is their culture inherently tied to their physical being?

Humans in a multicultural environment, members of sub-groups tend to emphasize their heritage to distinguish themselves from others and to also seek kinship from fellow members of said sub-group. That also brings out stereotypical behaviour. Humans devolve to the most common denomination to find kinship, or in modern terms, friends.

Well, an orc that doesn't exercise wouldn't be very strong. And I'm sure Orcs can be short too. But maybe I should have said "gentle"? I mean, when was the last time you saw an Orc sit down to read a book? Heck, when's the last time you saw an Orc wearing glasses? I've never seen it. My point is, in every fantasy setting, every member of each fantastical race seems to be the same character/ collectively have the same personality as if the race itself was the character. It's a huge pet peeve of mine.

I mean, I'm Lebanese but you don't see me wearing that on my backside or upholding my knight's honor because I'm also a quarter English or something like that. But in a fantasy setting it's always "Yeah, my entire character revolves around my heritage." It's like they can't be their own person.

And like I said, this game has done well to distance itself from falling into that trap. We have Quaggan warriors, Charr who don't like to fight, Norn who are scholars etc. So it especially irks me when people use that logic for this game's lore.

And as for the Elf bit... That would imply that elves don't have free will and I'm not sure how much stock I'd put into that because that would mean they aren't a "race" but just another creature. And that's... not really a discussion we should get into. >

@Oglaf.1074 said:

Stereotypes exists because they can be reinforces by reality. That is to say, they are true. Nobody just made them up. Exaggerated them for comedic effect, sure, but they’re clearly originating from real life observation.

Simple as that.

That being said, there will always be outsiders. Drizzt from DnD has fallen out of favour (anyone but me even know what I’m talking about? lol) but remains an awesome character because of how he breaks the mold.

But when your entire character revolves around those stereotypes or that every member of your fantasy race is a walking example of those stereotypes, it gets kind of silly.

On another note, looks like there's a lot of fantasy books that I should be reading. I didn't realize there was so much good stuff out there. Usually when I'm at the bookstore a lot of the fantasy books I see seem really generic.

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@"Magek.4718" said:Well, an orc that doesn't exercise wouldn't be very strong. And I'm sure Orcs can be short too. But maybe I should have said "gentle"? I mean, when was the last time you saw an Orc sit down to read a book? Heck, when's the last time you saw an Orc wearing glasses? I've never seen it. My point is, in every fantasy setting, every member of each fantastical race seems to be the same character/ collectively have the same personality as if the race itself was the character. It's a huge pet peeve of mine.

How do you know orcs even need exercise, and that's not just how their muscles grow naturally into? I mean opossums can lift around 10 times their own weight and they certainly don't exercise. Human muscles are actually rather weak if you start comparing with real life animals. Orcs are also frequently short in some settings. Orcs in the Forgotten Realms setting are shorter than humans on average but there is variation, and usually it's the big and strong ones that lead tribes of orcs. Survival of the fittest and all. Point being that it's usually based on setting. In the Warcraft setting you can frequently see Orcs reading books. Heck, their longtime Warboss Thrall was a scholar basically, a shaman. Shamans are rather sophisticated in that particular setting.

And as for the Elf bit... That would imply that elves don't have free will and I'm not sure how much stock I'd put into that because that would mean they aren't a "race" but just another creature. And that's... not really a discussion we should get into. >

You didn't quite understand what I was getting at but that's alright. I don't really want to continue that line of thinking. It's a rabbit hole.

On another note, looks like there's a lot of fantasy books that I should be reading. I didn't realize there was so much good stuff out there. Usually when I'm at the bookstore a lot of the fantasy books I see seem really generic.

Book stores usually have a rather limited selection. You should maybe do some research online first, then order the books online as well. It's best to learn to read in english, as a lot of the good books have never been translated. I have that problem usually as my language is very small.

"100 fantasy books to read before you die" is a good search title IMO, and your basic reference. It'll give you your basic Tolkiens, Rowlings, Pratchets and what-not but you'll likely see names you haven't seen before. Then just get acquinted with their production, see if they're in the habit of making trilogies, standalone books or "sagas". Usually you find a good place to start.

Personally I just finished Steven Erikson's 6th Malazan book, The Bone Hunters. He's an amazing writer but I always have to warn people that it's some effing advanced reading. You will be very confused from page 1 of the first book and it doesn't really start unraveling until the 3rd book in the series. Then book 5 throws you right back into the deep end. He's designed the entire 10-book series to constantly keep you at the edge of your seat, never really sure if you are reading the main story. Or what the narrative for the entire series is supposed to be.

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I didn't read all the comments I admit, but the main reason making a new race would be difficult, is because they have to make a personnal story path for them. With new voices, new areas, new instances, new paths, all fitting perfectly into the end of the personnal story with the pact and all. This is no small work. Add to that they need to design new racial skills for the sake of "race equality", and that they also need to record new dialogues for ALL the living story and expansions, and you start to understand why this would be quite difficult. And don't forget adapting the armors and weapons to that new race's body shape, for both genders...

But yea, I would absolutely love a new race. Tengu? People have been asking for them for quite a while and we already have a dedicated, unused spot in the map for their starting area (behind the great wall that's east of the Caledon Forest). I've always imagined the skritt as a playable race but you would control 3 grouped individuals, to fit with their "smarter in numbers" lore. Of course they would count as one for all the game's mechanics, it would be merely cosmetic.

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@Magek.4718 said:

Really? It always seems to come about whenever there's a discussion about potential races. So I wanted to make a thread explaining why that's not a good argument.

Took a quick gander at your posts, and it looks like those discussions have been in General? That'd probably explain it. Different regulars there, and different regular arguments.

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@Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

Really? It always seems to come about whenever there's a discussion about potential races. So I wanted to make a thread explaining why that's not a good argument.

Took a quick gander at your posts, and it looks like those discussions have been in General? That'd probably explain it. Different regulars there, and different regular arguments.

It didn't cross my mind that folks would exclusively stay in one section of the forums. Weird that that wouldn't come up here, considering it is about lore.

As a result, I thought this would be the most appropriate place to post this. Weird.

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Oh, don't get me wrong, we still have plenty of suggesting/discussing/debating new playable races here. It's just that the folks who regularly check the lore forum seem to be on the same page as you are, at least on this. A quaggan adventurer might be a few different things, but it isn't lorebreaking.

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I frankly have only on very few occasion seen the "because lore doesn't allow them" argument. I have applied it myself, but usually to races non existent in Tyria, like the whole "high elves" thing, which to be honest, goes way farther than merely "their stereotype doesn't allow it". The notable exception are largos, to which I have spoke against in every possible way, just to demonstrate how farfetched using them would be. But even in their case, the "because lore doesn't allow them" criteria has never been between the more relevant ones.As has been exposed in the previous posts, the major counters to a new race are technical and cost-benefit ones. Lore and story can always be adjusted.

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@Aaron Ansari.1604 said:Oh, don't get me wrong, we still have plenty of suggesting/discussing/debating new playable races here. It's just that the folks who regularly check the lore forum seem to be on the same page as you are, at least on this. A quaggan adventurer might be a few different things, but it isn't lorebreaking.

That's very interesting. Heh, funny, I guess those who argue about the lore, don't really know it that well.

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@"Magek.4718" said:

Well, an orc that doesn't exercise wouldn't be very strong. And I'm sure Orcs can be short too. But maybe I should have said "gentle"? I mean, when was the last time you saw an Orc sit down to read a book? Heck, when's the last time you saw an Orc wearing glasses? I've never seen it. My point is, in every fantasy setting, every member of each fantastical race seems to be the same character/ collectively have the same personality as if the race itself was the character. It's a huge pet peeve of mine.

Skyrim got an Orc like that..

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@norbes.3620 said:

@"Magek.4718" said:

Well, an orc that doesn't exercise wouldn't be very strong. And I'm sure Orcs can be short too. But maybe I should have said "gentle"? I mean, when was the last time you
saw an Orc sit down to read a book? Heck, when's the last time you saw an Orc wearing glasses? I've never seen it.
My point is, in every fantasy setting, every member of each fantastical race seems to be the same character/ collectively have the same personality as if the race itself was the character. It's a huge pet peeve of mine.

Skyrim got an Orc like that..

That's true but Elder Scrolls NPCs aren't exactly characters but lifeless cardboard cutouts. So I don't know if that counts.

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