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Race & Culture Bring Change

Crowfall Columns - By Tim Eisen on June 15, 2017

Race & Culture Bring Change

This week in the Crowfall Universe ACE gave us a little lesson on culture and race and they managed to do it without any fights breaking out. Nice work ACE! Now if you could do that for the rest of the world we could collectively move onto more important things like stopping giant space rocks from ending our fragile existence, hyperspace travel and last but most importantly light sabers. I’m not holding my breath.

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Instead I’ll breathe a sigh of relief that culture and race are developing nicely. Before we go further it’s important to point out that race is different than culture. (Oh god don’t touch this!) Outside of a few celebrities race is generally something you are born and stuck with. (Sigh, he is going for it.) While races often have a culture that is unique to them cultures are not locked. One can move in and out of various cultures or occupy multiple cultures at the same time. Cultures often have sub divisions within them as well. For example, elves have their own racial culture but within that culture Knights might have a sub culture of their own and within the Knight culture there might be another smaller culture that only uses sword and board rather than a two hander etc. (That reminds me, Hugo Weaving was killing it in the early 2000’s!)

In Crowfall every race will have a set of aesthetics that match them and their culture and within the race there will be cultures that create unique aesthetics as relating to the class. What that means is rather than trying to design armor that looks great on a Human and a Guineacean ACE will be designing unique armor based on the culture relating to the race and class. (Hurm, I think I’m losing them, maybe I’ll let ACE try.)

“Once we began to think of each class as defining the weapon style and each race as defining their cultural identity (and therefore their gear set as well), it all fell into place.”

Let’s talk it out. When selecting a class, you will be able to pick one of the race options. From there you will have several race specific character adjustments you can make as well as race and class specific armor that represents the culture around that class within your race. Meanwhile your playstyle and weapons, which do scale well, will represent your class. That means all Knights will use the same weapons and moves but their armor will be unique to their race and culture. Again, let’s look at ACE’s example to further clarify.

“Perhaps you prefer to play as a High-Elf instead. High-Elves have distinctive faces and share some similar features across their variants. High cheek bones, cat-like eyes and long flowing hair are all common traits among High-Elves. When choosing the path of a Confessor for example, High-Elves will be able to choose from skin and hair colors not offered to other races. This race and class combo will unlock the potential to choose glowing flame colored eyes, charcoal or hot-white hair and skin that’s as red as the surface of the sun. We call these our Sun-Elves. Their customization options are intended to evoke heat and flame unique to this race alone.”

In this we see how the culture of a race might change that race in ways relating to the class they become. While there will be elven features shared across the race, one that becomes a Confessor will have some exclusive Confessor themed features to select. The class isn’t directly changing those features, how the culture of the race relates to that class is. An elf Confessor might have some exclusive fiery features while an elf Frost Weaver might have some exclusive icy features. Both elves of the same race with a shared racial culture that chose a class which further defined their cultural identity. (I think I identify as a tree… treent maybe?)

“Each class and race combo will unlock or allow for a variety of options that may not be available for another. Choose a class, identify with a race, customize to become a character that’s unlike a race from another class. As you play and develop your skills and choose different disciplines, you’ll begin to differentiate yourself even further from your fellow players.”

The biggest benefit of all this racy culture class stuff is a lot more visual variety within the game and an improved ability to make your character feel like you own. Prior all Knights looked almost the same. Now Knights of every race will look different, but wield the same weapons. I like that weapons will be the same as it unifies the culture of the class not unlike how the light saber identified all Jedi. They didn’t all dress the same but the light saber defined them. (Then those try-to-harders the Sith made theirs red because they wanted to be special snowflakes.)

A call for word peace in an effort for self-preservation from space rocks and a desire to wield a lightsaber in my lifetime, check. Snarky inner monolog, check. Pop culture references, check. Excessive Star Wars references, check. Something about MMORPGs, check. Whelp that finishes off my list of important things to feature in my column. (In that order of importance if you ask me). Yeah well no one’s asking you! Maybe next time you can write the column while I snark at you! (…) That’s what I thought. Now where was I…oh yeah, my list is checked off so this column must be done. Until next time, I’ll see you in the v… wait that’s not my line. Come to think of it I don’t even have a line. Whatever. End.  

Tim Eisen / In my columns I walk the line between fan and critic as I document the development of Camelot Unchained, Crowfall, and Chronicles of Elyria.