Forums » Pantheon Races

Drow (Dark Elves) missing? :/

    • 29 posts
    April 30, 2018 9:18 AM PDT

    I personally wish they had just used Dark Elves. 

    I get that it is new IP, and this is not EQ (or other 100 year old fictional traditions) but the concepts (if we are really honest with ourselves) are all somewhat analogs for other traditional fantasy species. Reinvisioned and modernized but greatly reduced in the luggage of historic tradition (and IP ownership challenges). 

    I see the value, and I understand the desire to create something new, but I for one, hope they redesign the character spread; leave in these new Alien races (because they are amazing in their own right), but also add in some more of the traditional fantasy tropes. 

    I am not saying anyone is wrong in anyway, I am just providing my feedback. Some races have a cult following and Dark Elves are one of them. 

     

     


    This post was edited by Finbar at May 1, 2018 6:43 AM PDT
    • 781 posts
    May 4, 2018 5:02 PM PDT

    Finbar said:

    I personally wish they had just used Dark Elves. 

    I get that it is new IP, and this is not EQ (or other 100 year old fictional traditions) but the concepts (if we are really honest with ourselves) are all somewhat analogs for other traditional fantasy species. Reinvisioned and modernized but greatly reduced in the luggage of historic tradition (and IP ownership challenges). 

    I see the value, and I understand the desire to create something new, but I for one, hope they redesign the character spread; leave in these new Alien races (because they are amazing in their own right), but also add in some more of the traditional fantasy tropes. 

    I am not saying anyone is wrong in anyway, I am just providing my feedback. Some races have a cult following and Dark Elves are one of them. 

     

     

    Preface: I'm a huge fan of the Dark Elf race as well. 

    I absolutely hate this argument I'm about to use, but isn't what you're suggesting kinda a ....slippery slope?

    Some races indeed have a cult following. Dark Elves, Barbarians, (traditional) Gnomes, Ogres. And don't even get me started on those Iksar nutjobs (though I concede that, since it's not a 'traditional' race in most IP's, it doesn't really apply here).

    Why would we single out Dark Elf as the race to make a sudden appearance, and not Barbarians? Why Drizzt, but not Wulfgar? Why announce the traditional Dark Elf race, while not announcing the more traditional Gnomes? Or halflings, for that matter? These little Peter Pan looking guys definitely aren't the little Hobbits I remember so fondly. 

    It seems like it's a matter of going all or nothing. A matter of making the choice between trying (and failing) to please everyone, and trying to create something new. I mean, I get it, people love Dark Elves. I do, too. But are people suggesting that the Dark Elf cult of die-hard followers is bigger than any others? Maybe it is. But bigger than all of them? Surely not. So I think they've made the right choice in trying to be different, even when it comes to the more well-known races being approached in a different way. 

     

    • 29 posts
    May 10, 2018 8:08 AM PDT

    Hi Tralyan! 

    Thanks for responding. I generally agree with what you said there. I did not mean to imply that DE were more important than any other classic race. And indeed in other racial forums I have made note of my personal interest in, and the rational for, using more traditional racial tropes for the other races as well. 

    Specifically to what you say here (the Forgotten Realms IP aside): Barbarians) Barbarians I can accept as a subculture to the human-kind. And gnomes, I feel the same as I do about Dark Elves, and the other racial analogs provided. They all have traditional histories (going much farther back than R.A. Salvatore). Indeed the very success of almost every fantasy IP, has been because of their reliance on the classics, and the players love of them. 

    It's just my opinion that the classic races are more than just neat choices for players. They have connection to our real world cultures (via art, history, religions and folk tales). They are hand-picked from a global/international history because they represent analog to human-kinds behaviors and analog to human-kinds dreams, desires and indeed fears. They are inherently tied to the players, culturally…that is market buy-in you could not pay for!  

    Indeed races do have cult followings; just for example (and there are a number of examples) - there are people who ONLY play gnomes, and always play gnomes… their gaming identity is tied to them (same with DE, Barbs, Humans, Dwarves, Elves, etc.). While it is easy to shrug this off as exceptional, or perhaps inconsequential, it is not. Aside from the cultural buy-in noted above; for many this roots to 30+ years of table top gaming, and the reading of thousands of novels that rely on these classics. These racial (and class dynamic) tropes are the very foundation of fantasy gaming. Overly altering, or excluding the classics, runs the risk of the game being identified (like it or not) as something other than a Fantasy Game (in the classic sense).

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not the culture police, and I understand that game developers must be sick of the classics (probably more sick of them than anyone else), but they are the classics for a reason. And I can empathize if they want to innovate and drive change. It’s a totally valid approach, indeed it is needed. I just sometimes feel like Pantheon is pushing the envelope (from a fantasy standpoint) too far, and becoming that weird setting that your indi-gamer friend always brings to the table: for those who do not play Dungeons and Dragons, there is always THAT GUY, who goes to conventions and comes home with some independent “indi” game, that they want you to play. These games are often Dungeons and Dragons with a few words changed, a half tested rules system and a much lower production value. I don’t disparage independent developers for trying, but it always seems crystal clear to everyone but them, where they went astray.

    Pantheon can be the next great game – the next great fantasy MMORPG (up on the shelf with my big four: 1) EQ1, 2) Acherons Call 1, 3) Dark Ages of Camelot, 4) World of Warcraft); I believe it (I really do). But consider that so many games get it wrong from the beginning, and make a mess of their cultural and world setting framework. They go weird… They don’t understand how important it is to appeal to the core fan base, they under estimate the importance of origin story, they ignore the players unspoken desire to carry their own characters story across games... Yet only by capturing these die-hards (the fans of the genre in general), can you capture the mainstream market. Appealing to the core fan-base, those who will carry your flag; that is the key to unlocking success. So given the opportunity to provide my opinion and feedback, I would say – do what you do well, stick to the classics, don’t blur your brand. Innovate within that framework, but be ever aware of becoming that weird indi game that appeals to only the one player at the table (figuratively speaking).  

    Thanks.

    Finbar


    This post was edited by Finbar at May 10, 2018 8:33 AM PDT
    • 1692 posts
    May 10, 2018 11:38 AM PDT

    I generally appreciate classic fantasy with races but I don't see any pushing of the envelope with Pantheon designs. Gnomes are still gnomes, just with a horrible tragedy in their history that changed them forever. I can accept that, especially given the rest of their culture still falls very in-line with traditional gnomes. 

     

    You listed games like DAoC and WoW in the big four great fantasy MMOs but even those two had deviations/oddity: In DAoC Trolls were big rock creatures like Thing from Fantastic Four and Kobolds were little blue skinned gnome/halfling looking things. Even WoW has hippieish Orcs which is a pretty huge deviation compared to most all fantasy orcs, as well as the peace loving minotaur/bull people, and Goblins that are mostly neutral yet also devious intelligent/refined bankers and engineers (even if often unstable/explosive). 

    • 15 posts
    June 2, 2018 2:15 AM PDT

    Tralyan said:

    I love the Dark Elf race. Neriak was one of my favorite cities, and dammit if they just didn't look cool. 

    That said, what I love even more is VR's willingness to scrap some of the old standbys and try something new. Dark Elves wouldn't have happened in modern games if, somewhere in the past, someone hadn't thought to add them. They were new once. 

    I'll miss them, but I'm excited to learn about the Dark Myr and the Skar

     

    A very healthy mindset and I totally agree. If fantasy stops growing, then it starts to die. Creating new worlds is at the core of fantasy. 

    • 15 posts
    June 2, 2018 2:25 AM PDT

    Iksar said:

    I generally appreciate classic fantasy with races but I don't see any pushing of the envelope with Pantheon designs. Gnomes are still gnomes, just with a horrible tragedy in their history that changed them forever. I can accept that, especially given the rest of their culture still falls very in-line with traditional gnomes. 

     

    You listed games like DAoC and WoW in the big four great fantasy MMOs but even those two had deviations/oddity: In DAoC Trolls were big rock creatures like Thing from Fantastic Four and Kobolds were little blue skinned gnome/halfling looking things. Even WoW has hippieish Orcs which is a pretty huge deviation compared to most all fantasy orcs, as well as the peace loving minotaur/bull people, and Goblins that are mostly neutral yet also devious intelligent/refined bankers and engineers (even if often unstable/explosive). 

     

    The gnomes don't seem like just gnomes to me. Not really following how hippie orcs are a huge deviation, but a magic-infused race of gnomes aren't. There's a significant amount of discussion around the fact gnomes are divergent. 

    • 608 posts
    June 2, 2018 3:22 AM PDT

    miromiro said:

    The gnomes don't seem like just gnomes to me. Not really following how hippie orcs are a huge deviation, but a magic-infused race of gnomes aren't. There's a significant amount of discussion around the fact gnomes are divergent. 

     

    Stating it a fact is just making your opinion a truth. Some love it, some hate it, that's enough split opinions not to make any of them a fact of some sort.

    • 799 posts
    June 3, 2018 5:21 PM PDT

    Stating it a fact is just making your opinion a truth. Some love it, some hate it, that's enough split opinions not to make any of them a fact of some sort.

     I didn't take it that he was saying his opinion on gnomes was fact.  He was saying the fact is that there has been a significant amount of discussions about how different the gnomes are.  There has been, he's correct in that.  Multiple threads.


    This post was edited by philo at June 3, 2018 5:23 PM PDT
    • 15 posts
    June 3, 2018 7:24 PM PDT

    philo said:

     I didn't take it that he was saying his opinion on gnomes was fact.  He was saying the fact is that there has been a significant amount of discussions about how different the gnomes are.  

    Yeah, that's what I meant. 

    • 608 posts
    June 3, 2018 9:46 PM PDT

    My bad then !