Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dirty Little Secrets...


This week we have seen a TON of articles and reviews based on the two newly released races in WildStar. I have linked a few I have reference inside the blog here and I highly recommend checking them out! Also a hearty cheer for the return of Malvolio, who was the one who brought my to WildStar in the first place ;)


Team WildStar added two more names to their “Meet the Devs” Vine series:

Part Four: Jeff Kurtenacker-Lead Composer (And the fantastic gentleman who worked on the Q&A for my latest music blog with an exclusive video on the Dominion theme )

Part Five: Tim Hume-Combat Programmer

And proving that crazy things come from letting friends hang out late at night, check out Evion's thread on WSRP: Chuamogrify Your Character! For some awesome and silly Chua art. I even contributed my own piece...much to Hawken's chagrin.

Whoops almost forgot to put this in. Chua Hawkens! MWAHAHAHHA!

Stay tuned next week for a special guest, when I post my Q&A with the talented Packetdancer as we discuss addons and WildStar.

Also thanks to all my Twitter pals who engaged in a lovely round of some light hearted faction smackdown. I am pretty certain the Dominion won though ;P #DominionDomination!

And once again, Hawkens and I always love hearing from you, our dear readers. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions on future articles! Or take a look at our threads on WSRP for a slightly better place to discuss these articles and then stay awhile and hang out with the awesome community there!

Here we go!

 Here they are at last. The final races revealed. With the dark and brooding Mordesh and the hyper and maniacal Chua, WildStar reveals that not everything is black and white in this epic struggle for Nexus.

Showcased in yet another stunning video of a series Carbine now refers to as “A WildStar Flick.” (and I would like to point out that it mentions that the graphics are all done with the game engine!) we see the return of Malvolio and Kit as they explain, somewhat reluctantly, on the remaining races of their faction. Joining me will be Agent Hawkens of the ICI as we explore not only the races themselves, but their impact on their factions and the community as a whole.

First of all, if you have yet to see the amazing video, or just want to see it again, here ya go!

So my initial reaction was a bit skeptical. Gnomes and Forsaken? Were these to be comic relief races for their factions? Mind you, not so much that I doubted the Lore Master Chad Moore so much as I was really turned off by these races in WoW. Every time I tried to play Forsaken, the sheer dreariness of the zone was just a massive turn off and the comic relief of the gnomes endlessly grated on my nerves. See, I tend to be a very serious person...

Serious enough you could almost be mistaken for a Cassian.

I, uh, think I will take that as a compliment.

You should. Seeing as Cassians are by far the most glorious--

Right! So. I tend to be an overly serious person. Gnomes, Goblins, Claptrap...they all irritate me to no end. They are just /silly/! It's something my friends always tease me about. So when I saw the Chua for the Dominion, I was preparing for an epic eyeroll.

And then I remembered one of the reasons I joined WildStar: the humor. It isn't to say that there is no seriousness to this game. In fact, there is a ton of depth in the lore as it stands. But they aren't afraid to bring out the laughter, or to remind us it is a game. And thus, for fun. ( I know, crazy right?)

With this in mind, I delved head first into the new races and was pleasantly rewarded.

The Chua and the Mordesh represent to each faction a sort of discord with their central theme, something I found quite interesting. In fact, let's take a moment to talk about this.

The Exiles and the Mordesh

A tense relationship at best...

One of the strongest pulls of the Exiles is the sympathy with the underdog. The Exile humans broke free from their Cassian ancestry from under the harsh Vigilant Declaration when the Dominion turned their ferocity on controlling their own people. The Granok were exiled for defending their people with the tools of their enemies. The Aurin were attacked for befriending the Exiles as they fled the Dominion, their planet ravaged for the needs of the Empire. These are all people fleeing oppression, fighting for freedom and searching for a place to call home. Facing off against the impressive might of the Dominion, you really feel for these guys in their epic struggle to hold true to what they believe in.

And then come the Mordesh.

The Mordesh are a people who have doomed themselves in an effort to find the secret of Immortality. Victor Lazarin created the Everlife Elixir following the tragedy of his wife's early death after decades of relentless work, only to find that it could only provide the grotesque illusion of his goals. Though the elixir worked initially, it was soon discovered that it turned upon the consumer, devouring them, body and mind.

With the entirety of his homeworld afflicted, Lazarin barely managed to create the Vitalus Serum: a fluid that would hold the effects of the devastating Everlife Elixir at bay until a true cure could be discovered. But it was nearly too late. In weeks, almost the entirety of the Mordesh people lay dead or wandering in madness, setting them on the edge of extinction. High above, their once allies in the Dominion responded with an uncompromising quarantine on the planet of Grismara, forever sealing the hatred of the Mordesh.

The only answer we had for a people foolish enough to destroy themselves so utterly.

You mean to say, Hawkens, that the Dominion could not have helped in researching a cure for their allies?

With the onslaught of the contagion killing in numbers beyond counting, how could we be certain it would not infect or mutate to our own people? What would a disease like that become amongst the might of the Dominion?

…what would an epidemic like that become amongst my people? We still have not forgotten the pyres of Shade's Eve, burning the bodies of our fallen. How could we invite such calamity on ourselves again to help a people who had manufactured their own demise from greed?

It was not sheer cruelty, but fear and necessity. The Dominion must survive and prevail in the Will of the Eldan. On this scale it became the suffering of the few for the preservation of the many. One race's demise would serve as a warning to the rest.

A harsh truth that forced the Mordesh to turn to the Exiles in a final, desperate bid to save their race from extinction. Those that still survived were smuggled through the blockade.

There is little joy in their new alliance, however. As WildStar replied on their Gamebreaker Q&A:

Media: How old are the Mordesh that we are dealing with in the game? Are we still dealing with the survivors of the plague?
The Mordesh can’t procreate because of the contagion so all of the Mordesh that we have in our game are survivors from Grismara and the outbreak. Grismara is where they’re from and that happened about 80 years ago from the point of which the game begins.

Lazarin now leads a dying people. Their only hope is that Nexus will allow them the ability to discover a cure to undo his mistakes and save their kind from extinction. With so much at stake, they have become jaded to morality and risk. They are willing to get their hands dirty where the Exiles might balk for a sense of honor and justice.

The Mordesh are unsettling to the rest of the Exiles. Dark and mysterious, their bodies alone are frightening, with whole limbs and flesh replaced with cyberpunk style augmentations filled with the Vitalus Serum. Their burning hatred and desire for vengeance against their one-time allies in the Dominion show a darker side when many Exiles would prefer the Dominion to just leave them be. And let us not forget the ever present fear of a contagion outbreak or of the regression of Mordesh who do not get their Serum...

Just look at the Mordesh on the left...that is all sorts of disturbing. Can you imagine watching that talk? Also note different colored Serums for the characters... (image found on Massively)

It is in their talents that the Mordesh are valued in the Exiles. Their skills in technology and alchemical research have already aided the Exiles by curing epidemics on their fleet. Their skills in deception and sabotage have led them to establish the Black Hoods, the intelligence agency formed to counter the ICI.

As though they think they could ever really compare to the strength of the ICI...

The Mordesh add, in my opinion, an interesting “dark side” of the Exiles. The humans eye them warily, the Granok tolerate them so long as they are useful and the Aurin seem to pity them. Though their story is sympathetic, it should also be taken with a grain of salt. This is a desperate race that will stop at nothing to undo the tragedy they brought upon themselves.

It was mentioned in the Gamebreaker Q&A that in a zone called Whitevale there is something terribly wrong going on that was started by the Mordesh and that this horrified not only the Exiles, but the Dominion as well. There was also a mention of that squid-like creature in the end of the new WildStar flick, saying that it would be discussed soon and is “way way cooler than a pet.” I wonder if these might be connected? Another creation of the Mordesh gone wrong?

Actually! This reminds me of something I saw in the DevSpeak Movement video awhile back! When they mentioned that movement was in everything in the game from questing to raging, they also mentioned “trolling” and we got this image (see below) of someone with this weird octopus-squid thing on their head. Trolling implies bothering someone. But if it also refers to that squid thing, does this mean, seeing someone like that should be bothersome or perhaps even scary? Maybe these squids are something evil the Mordesh have found/created/released into this strange zone? I am excited to see what Carbine has to say about these things...

Are these the same thing?

I personally like the style of the Mordesh. I like the darker element added to the “noble downtrodden” feel of the Exiles. Something that they are not entirely comfortable with. This better helps to portray that the Exiles are not necessarily “good” in this struggle. I also love though I haven't said that a million times already...

Am I the only one who felt this Mordesh bears a striking resemblance to Jake Armitage from Shadowrun! AWESOME!

The Dominion and the Chua

Clearly there is no love lost here...

Ugh...must we?

Well we /are/ covering all the dirty secrets of the factions here...and that includes the Chua.


So I agree full-heartedly with Eliot Lefebvre's comments on the Chua and the Dominion in their review on the new races in their Massively article:

“In one respect, I'm a little upset that the last race isn't a bit more friendly or likable. I'm not really down with the idea that the Dominion are pure evil, and having a more genial species in the last slot would have sent that message quite nicely. They might not like the Exiles, but they're not monsters. Instead, we have an explicitly nasty little race, which sends the same message in a more roundabout way.

Obviously the Dominion isn't completely proud of the Chua, but it's not because of size or capability. Watch the race reveal video again. Our dear Malvolio says he dislikes the Chua chiefly because he wishes they weren't all so psychotic.”
"Sane" and "Chua" do not appear to belong in the same sentence. Ever.

I agree with this entirely. Often, I hear that the Dominion is “evil” compared to the Exiles and that everything in WildStar is very black and white. I just don't see this. Perhaps it could be blamed on working with Agent Hawkens here.

After enough time, even someone like you must eventually learn to come to their senses...

Or perhaps it is because it's just part of who I am. Ever since I was little I have always tried to find the redeeming elements in the “darker” factions. What is it that makes them do what they do? Do they have a reason for their beliefs? Do they have a purpose?

Like all the races of the Dominion, it all began with the Mechari. Noticing that this highly competitive and intelligent race could potentially be useful, they decided to pay them a visit. Presenting the Chua with instructive examples of Dominion technology, the Mechari were gifted a native beetle that exploded into corrosive black ooze which took some time for the Mechari dignitaries to recover from. This alone says a lot about the Chua. Had this been Cassians instead, they could very well be dead instead. However the Mechari still stepped back to watch as the Chua exceeded projections and dove into their new tech with a fervor that soon saw their planet covered with factories that choked their skies and defiled their lands.

When the Chua finally joined the Empire, they did not do so because they particularly wanted to. They did because they had gluttonously consumed all the resources their planet had and required the resources that the Dominion could provide in order to continue their endless quest for advancement. Their benefit to the Dominion was intensive and endless new technology that their new allies could create at an alarming rate, particularly in weapons.

If you need something that can hurt people...

What I find interesting, is that the Chua are not really the “comic relief” race of the Dominion, even though they can be silly. They are more of a necessary evil of sorts. The Mechari found that they could produce the weapons and tech at a much more efficient rate than any others of the species in the Empire. While the Draken make excellent soldiers and brutal warriors and the Cassians could maintain the political, economical and heart of the Empire, the Chua were the best used as unrestricted inventors.

The Draken like the Chua well enough, since they provide them with more weapons to go to war with. The Mechari seem to treat them like any other race they add to the Dominion: as a tool for the continued existence of the Dominion itself. The Cassians, however, find them extremely distasteful. Which I think actually says a lot about the Cassians themselves. While they are arrogant and unrelenting, they are not evil. They find the hyper-violence and moraless Chua disgusting and irritating. A nuisance only tolerated because the Mechari recommended them and their results are still useful.

In the end what we seek, above all else, is to bring the Lost Children of the Empire home. We seek to pull all under the folds of the Dominion to elevate them into the Golden Future under the promise of the Eldan. Though rebellion and aggression must be met in turn, we do not believe in wanton slaughter. Our purpose gives us meaning, not endless blood and destruction.
Which brings me to another point on the Chua. On the WildStar site, they post this:

“Predicting that a species unconstrained by economic or moral considerations could prove useful, they opened communications.”

So the Mechari specifically picked the Chua for the very traits that the Cassians would find so offensive to their own refined culture. This actually reminds me a lot of the Krogan from the Mass Effect series. The Krogan were found to be a race who were ridiculously powerful, hard to kill and with a thirst for battle. When the insectoid Rachni were overwhelming the galaxy in a brutal war, the Salarians uplifted the Krogan to the stars to turn their natural ferocity against their enemies. This worked out very well and the Krogan were able to completely turn the tides of the battle. The problem arose when the wars were over. Now free in the stars with hyper advanced weaponry and armament, this warlike race needed to expand their ever growing numbers. This ended up in the Krogan turning on the very races that had prematurely elevated them as they sought new worlds to settle their people, forcing the Salarians to create a genetic weapon that devastated the birth rate of the Krogan people so they faced extinction at the rate of their losses in their new war.

So what about the Chua? When the Krogan were elevated to the stars, they did not have the time needed to create a civilization or economy that would be needed to work together in order to create space faring flight or advanced weapons and armor. Think of giving a child control over a rocket launcher. You might be able to teach them how to fire it, but it might then be difficult to explain why it is sometimes acceptable for them to use it and sometimes unacceptable to use it. They have not reached the ability to comprehend such complex reasonings because they have not yet reached that stage in their development. Such it was for the Krogan, and such it seems to be for the Chua.

So when do the Chua turn on their makers? They have completely consumed their homeworld, as was recently released in this GameGeex article, as they have also consumed Arboria. This leaves us to wonder, is that why the Aurin were not given a choice to join the Dominion? Was harboring the Exiles enough to damn their world, or was it just enough to tip the scales before the Emperor threw them to the Chua to keep their voracious allies sated? With this in mind, what about the fate of Nexus? How will the Dominion keep the Chua from consuming this world as well or will the Chua finally turn on their creators with their need for resources?

In this case, do the Mechari have a weapon against the Chua just as the Salarians used the genophage against the Krogan? Do they have a hidden trump card to protect their precious Empire against this unstable race? It has been stated that Chua are genderless, or rather they are impossible for non Chua to tell. Is there, perhaps, a means for the Mechari to control the population of the Chua to keep them in check? Are there maybe an extreme lack of males or females, making it possible to kill off what they would need to continue their race or do the Mechari have something even more sinister in mind?

Food for thought...

I personally prefer that we rid ourselves of the nasty beasts before they betray us all. Their aid will soon be overshadowed by their disregard for sanity and the greater purpose of the Dominion. It is not so much a matter of /if/ they will turn, but /when./

The impact on the roleplaying community from the release of the Mordesh and the Chua has been phenomenal. Not only have many people been waiting for these races before making their final decisions on characters, but they have provided a wealth of lore and new concepts for people to use while they delve into the rich galaxy of WildStar. There is also a great deal who have now found that perfect race for them, just as I am so very fond of the Cassians, which always makes roleplaying and just plain, playing the game that much more fun.

Ultimately these two races have not just added a whole new depth to the lore of the races of WildStar, but they have also opened a more complex dynamics within the factions themselves. Nothing is black and white. There is no good and evil. There are two forces struggling for a home that they believe they have a right to. And by their logic, both the Exiles and the Dominion have a right to Nexus.

And so they meet in brutal conflict, each seeking to drive off or destroy the other side while also attempting to discover why the mysterious and powerful Eldan have disappeared from the galaxy. The question remains of what drove the Eldan away and if it still remains, will it consume these two factions while they waste their energy on each other.

Only time will tell.


I would also like to think that this is the fancanon of WSRP: Something Expensive ;)

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