Your views on Imperials?

Post » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:06 am

In your opinion but far from mine
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Karine laverre
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:32 pm

Voted for Cyrods. I like them as they seem fairly versatile.
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bonita mathews
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:36 pm

Playing against the stereotype is nowadays a stereotype on itself. I mean yeah ok, you are playing a shadow-stalker Orc assassin or whatever instead of the typical brutish one, at the end of the day you just play with a sub-stereotype of the actual stereotype. Tough change :P

If you really want your character to be rare and unique, stay with it's original stereotype. No one seems to play those any more. Like, if you want your character to be a unique mage, try an elven one and don't worry about it, all the other mages are currently Orcs and all the elves are now two handed Barbarians. :lmao:

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Danial Zachery
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:07 pm

I seldom see Orcs played as Mages, for Orcs are stuck as Barbarians forevermore.

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Benito Martinez
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:47 pm

The Colovian/Nibenean divide needs to be better defined. I can go either way with their name, but I guess I prefer "Cyrodiils" over Imperial defining both the race and the political part.

They've always been European knights. Or rather, Knightly Orders has always been a big part of their society, alongside wizards, both being due to Elven influence. ESO didn't really add much to Breton identity that wasn't already there.

Ah, yes, Orcs and their warhammers and armors. You know how they're all about their hammers and armors. Why, even their houses are made of hammers and armors! Their rulers? Hammers wearing armor. Their art? Expressed entirely through armor. (Okay, this one's actually a legit part of Orc identity, more or less)


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Tasha Clifford
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:30 pm

While a touch more snarky than I'd have gone, this highlights my biggest issue with stereotypes in defining cultures. If the 'Average' Orc is a burly, armour bound, hammer wielding Warrior, you create an extremely one dimensional depiction of their society. Who grows their food? Who tends their livestock? Who builds their homes? Records their histories? Trades their goods? Specialisation is the cornerstone of complex societies, and while you can get away with people doing a bit of everything on the Stronghold Scale, Orsinium would collapse if it operated the same way.

Is like why I hate everything Viking. People define an entire society by the Vikings, and act like Viking Culture was even a thing, that somehow the Danes survived entirely on raiding neighbours. A relatively small portion of the population, representing a job that you may do for a single season (most Vikings went on a handfull of raids in their entire life) somehow came to define an entire people, never mind that 70% of the population probably never even engaged in it. It would he like defining all of modern American society by Programmers.

Is an Orc Warrior likely to be heavily armoured and wielding a Hammer? Sure, maybe. But why does he define what it is to be an Orc, while the Farmers, Carpenters, Herdsmen and Scholars don't?

Tying it back to Imperials/Cyrods... You can't define the entire population by Legion-Trader Imperial, Warrior-Scholar Colovian, or Mage-Aristocrat Nibenese. The overwhelming majority of the people there arent going to conform to any of those identities. But they do share a language, art style, history, multiple generations of governments and world-view that creates a unified ethnic body. Are there factions and diffent identities within that, but they're at least as unified as the Bretons and Dunmer.
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Czar Kahchi
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:46 pm

Yeah I agree, just stereotyping a race into a "This race is nothing but warriors!" is frankly stupid and horrible writing. It's basically saying that the people of the race aren't people, but instead work as a hive mind. These people, no matter their race have hopes and aspirations, that's what makes them believable.

Anyway, I do refer to them as Cyrods.

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Matt Terry
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:45 pm

I think it's the difference between what sets a given society/culture apart. Almost every society cultivates food, has homes (however temporary), trade, etc. It's nothing special, so there's no need to put focus on it. It's what's different or stand out about a culture that makes it worth studying and exploring. Even if it's a relatively small part of their culture, that's generally what makes them interesting.

Of course, it is wrong to define the whole society by those interesting bits. As you say, it's not as if all Orcs are burly hammer wielding warriors. But especially from a gameplay perspective, if they're all largely the same, why have them separate? And given that the game is a scaled-down representation of the world, why fill it with all the people who are the same as each other? If we're talking on the scale of Daggerfall, that'd be one thing, but on the scale of Morrowind Oblivion, or Skyrim? As it is, Skyrim didn't even have enough room for mercenaries or spouses of each race and gender.

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JUan Martinez
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:25 pm

I played Oblivion for about 7 years so I view them as one race ;)
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Fam Mughal
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Post » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:27 am

Oh, I don't mean to say that some degree of stereotypical depiction isn't warranted, or even valuable. Particularly when dealing with foreigners, you're more likely to get a stereotypical depiction. The Danes certianlly LOOKED like they were all Viking Raiders to the people they raided. While I expect more diversity out of the cultue of the province we're seeing, some homogeneity from outsiders isn't that much of a problem.

If we're in Valenwood during the second Great War, with the Imperials invading, it's perfectly reasonable to never see an Imperial farmer. In fact, we're reasonably going to see a disproportionately high number of soldiers from the Cyrods, and that's fine. But translating that into a bunch of buffs to warrior-centric activities for Cyrods doesn't really reflect what it is to be a Cyrod.

Which is part of an ongoing discussion about exactly what the Races represent and what they should cover. For my part, Race represe ts superficial appearance and some minor physicality. Altmer may be taller, Imperials may have more bronzed skin, Orcs may be a little bit more muscular...

But none of that is cultural. Culture is something entirely seperate. Culture is what drives their customs and behaviours, and would be the primary determiner of, say, what kind of armour they prefer. And even within a single Race, you can have a huge diversity of cultures. The Dunmer are a prime example. Not only between the Great Houses and the Ashlanders, but between the Houses themselves. Your favoured weapons, armour and spells are determined more by the culture you are brought up in, than your race. A Dunmer brought up amongst the Ashlanders is going to be radically different than one brought up in the court of Cheydinal. On the opposite end, an Imperial brought up in Dragonbridge is going to act more like a Nord than his kin down south. But does that make him a Nord?

The history of the people's of Cyrodiil is... Vague and complicated. Unlike most other populations, they don't really have a divine genesis of clear emergence onto the scene. We know they've been an independent population for about 4000 years, and have during that time developed a distinct culture and identity. Whether influenced by outside sources or not, things in Cyrodiil are not Nordic, or Breton, and neither are it's people.

Without diving too deeply into things, if I had to paint a genologocal portrait of Cyrodiil, I would mark them as predominantly Nedic. Maybe the most Nedic of any remaining population in Tamriel. Yes, there are still the cultural divisions of the Colovians (which have more Nordic leanings) and the Nibenese (whose leanings are less clear) but those don't represent the race of people in Cyrodiil, simply their cultural camps.

I may toss in some Tsaesci to explain the more tanned (dare I say, golden) complexion, but at that point it wouldn't really make a difference. A Cyrod will still be a Cyrod, regardless of where he is raised, though again... Race is barely more than a cosmetic choice.
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Dalton Greynolds
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:54 pm

Exactly this. It is after all a game and not a novel. It should first think about gameplay before extra reading material. Races input towards identity as class does. If a player decides to go with the grain of a race or choose to be individual, then this is only possible through stereotyped (unique) races.

No one has said that all orcs are hammer weilding warriors. My Orcs character that I made was a dual axe weiding barbarian in fur armor and with a bow. The comment I made is that if they made Bosmer so they are equally heavy armored with a two-handed hammer it would kill off the (uniqueness) identity of the Orcs. It would also kill off the identity of the Bosmer as light footed small numble elves who live in and around trees. Their rich identity is thrown away (especially when remembering this is a scaled down world designed to support gameplay)

Already people are saying why have Imperials? Whats the point to Bretons and Nords being seperate as they are all Nedic.. and so on. This is a game. Each race should be unique in their features, their heights and stockiness, skills and society etc. That is what make fantasy interesting. That also allows a player to go against the grain and be different. A Bosmer can still have an invented back story of how they were raised and became a hardened heavy warrior with a warhammer.

My argument is that "stereotyped" races creates them to be unique and different. Without this the races become pointless and we may as well just have one human race and one elven race with colour and height sliders. Goodbye fantasy races.

With regards to unique racial society, then all it really effects is the type of racial equipment that you are likely to find in-game (vanilla). If someone choose a Nord and knowing that they are primarily a warrior based society, then they can play with the expectancy to come across some good Nordic armor sets and weapons. The same is with someone choosing a Breton and finding some good looking High Rock wizard robes or ancient staffs. Someone playing a Bosmer wizard may have to settle for some Almeri robes as Valenwood doesn't really cater for mages.
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Crystal Clarke
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:45 pm

And ultimately, I disagree. I think that the stereotyping is exactly what causes problems like this. Races, cultures and peoples aren't differentiated by stereotypes, they're homogenized by them. If you can't make a stereotype obvious enough, it encourages just rolling them into another population. Relying on them limits what you can do and express.

True distinction comes from actually taking the time to develop a population. It comes from breaking those stereotypes and adding depth. The more stereotypical you get, the less unique a people become, and the less functional they are as an option.

The fact that this is a Game, or that these are Fantasy Races, doesn't change that. In fact, for me, it makes the problem even more pronounced. When you start giving mechanical bonuses to cater to stereotypes, you diminish the identity of the race and turn them into a caricature. Rather than treating identity and cultural tendencies as something you experience, you're treating them as something you ARE.
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:36 pm

Lemme put it this way, what's the point of including multiple NPC's of the same race if they're all going to be exactly the same as the other members? You meet one of them, you've met them all, right? Basically you'd only have ten different characters total. Unless I read it wrong, that's what Huleed tried to say with their post, not that it'd homogenize all the races if they weren't pigeonholed into their stereotypes.

Because the fact that Bosmer are nimble warriors or Orcs have their hammers and heavy armor is the entirety of their identity, right? Take that away and suddenly they have nothing? Gotcha. It's not like they have other forms of combat anything. Or that things like Orc Wisewomen or Bosmeri Spinners exist. It's a lot harder to "go against the grain" than people make it out to be, unless they're relying entirely on game stats which is also an extreme simplification that really shouldn't reflect the races as a whole.

Unless, y'know, the game's not set in or near Nord land so it's highly unlikely they'll find any Nord gear at all. Maybe there will be some collectors or extremely limited quantities, but can you really expect to find Nord equipment in, say, southwestern Valenwood? Nope, gotta rely on the local's armor and weapons which, let's be real here, it's unlikely they won't have something to cater to every class. You could argue that the quality of a Bosmer-made set of heavy armor won't be as effective as an Orcs, but I doubt that's the point trying to be made here.

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Emmi Coolahan
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:34 pm

I've done pretty much all the stereotypes and anti-stereotypes in my time, the point is the system should be flexible enough to allow both.

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Chris Jones
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:51 pm

Yes, I mean look at me, I'm an author!

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Queen of Spades
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:00 pm

Kind of, but not rerally. I see "stereotypes" as what most people see of that culture. Farmers, historians, cloth weavers are not the part that goes out adventuring, which is what the "stereotypes" do.

Look at all of the stereotypes in TES. Are any of them farmers, or scribes, or weavers? No, they're all based on combat and interactions with other cultures. Vikings are stereotyped on how other cultures viewed them. Not many longboats carried their farmers or weavers. Maybe later for trade, but not first impressions.

For some odd reason, we humans tend to "classify" based on physical prowess, usually in how we kill others. Is there any society that doesn't have hunters or farmers or weavers or historians?

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Alexx Peace
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Post » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:29 am

Sort of, yes... But they tend to be extremely small-scale and lack specialization, meaning everyone is basically everything. So, you both do, and do not have those things, because the scale of living doesn't encourage people to specialize in activities, and thus doesn't drive those distinctions.

But I should probably clarify that I'm not against the existence of stereotypes. They are an entirely natural part of establishing Self and Other identity lines. The issue I have is turning those perceptive distinctions into mechanical ones.

Take, for instance, the Altmer, Dominion and Thalmor. For many who started with Skyrim, there is a deep rooted association between the three, to the point where many have argued that all Altmer are basically Nazis. And that stereotype is very strong in Skyrim, with only a handfull of High Elf characters in the province not fitting into that Thalmor model. But does that mean all High Elves should be given stats to reflect that stereotype? Should the perception of a people become the functional basis of playing one of its members?

I say no, because it inherently stifles options and what you can do, either as a player or as a developer.

Which kind of ties back to the issue of Imperials... The Colovians and Nibenese are rather distinct cultures, yes. But so are the people of Daggerfall and the Reachmen, despite both being Bretons. So, to try and determine whether or not Imperials/Cyrods constitute a Race of their own, you need to look more at the history and population, and less as the cultural divide and perceptions.

The people of Cyrodiil have existed since, at least, the onset of the First Era, likely longer. While they have experienced cultural flow and influences from the Nords, Redguard and Bretons (as well as the Ayleids and the Akaviri) they have been a continuous population for as long, if not longer, than some others on the continent. If we could classify Ayleids and Chimer as their own races, then we have to afford the same to the people of Cyrodiil.

Now, they can have their own cultural divides on top of that. The Dunmer got along quite well with 2 dominant cultures, each further divided by Tribe and House. But that doesn't make the Redoran their own race, any more than it makes the Thalmor or the Nibenese their own race.
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Marion Geneste
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:34 pm

But 90% of people playing the game are just gamers and will never read into the game further. They will look at the races at face value. Having the races with specialised ("stereotyped") skill sets actually adds culture to the game. It has worked on the last games very well, so why change it now? ESO has gone away from this and personally I don't think it has worked. Maybe the sales and marketing feedback may say different.

To me it's like comparing a Japanese warrior to that of a European knight. One uses banboo or small leather plates for armor and relies heavily on agility, whilst the other tended to wear iron chainmail or plate and is more defensive in their attack. Go to the Aztecs and you will find they wear next to no armor and used wooden clubs with sharp volcanic stone edges. If they were near on the same, it would be boring. I much preferthe armors in Morrowind. Nedic armors looked mostly European inspired with the addition of Skaal and Dragonscale, Dunmer used bone and chitin and the Ordinator armors were totally unique in styling. The Altmer armor (orcish was based on an Altmer design) looked almost samurai.
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Teghan Harris
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:45 pm

I don't think they have. In fact, the one game where they designed the culture through little to no influence from in-game stats or stereotyped identities, they produced the single most beloved cultural depiction in the franchise. Trying to lean on those stereotypes is what got us the crap that was Oblivion, or the shallow depiction of the Nords as Honour-Driven Warrior-God Worshipping Viking rejects. Playing to those stereotypes has made these cultures WORSE. It's made them shallow and childish and almost comedic.

And those people would be better served with no racial skill sets anyway, because then they could play what they want, when they want, how they want, with no consideration for cultural norms and traditions anyway. Forcing shallow cultural stereotypes on people who don't care anyway, at the expense of those who do care, isn't really benefitting anyone.
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luis dejesus
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Post » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:53 pm

What are you talking about? ESO is the game where we actually see the different cultures of the races instead of them being Imperialized.

Seriously, have we been playing the same game series? Glad Bethesda hasn't limited us that way in ANY of the TES games, ESO included.

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Bethany Short
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