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Cel Cawdro's Ultimate "Community Desire for Species" Poll


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Official Statements Regarding New Playable Species:



For the interest of those who share my enthusiasm for this topic, I thought I'd add a few developer quotes:


- Directly addressing the "Chewie/Leia" quote, a year or so before release, if I recall:


Hey Folks,


Sorry for the confusion. Booth chat is, let's be clear, not an official information release. What you got was one line of an extended conversation that was had between me and one of the players at the booth. We started talking about what made a hero in Star Wars and then, once that was clear, there were some jokes about what the romances would look like had we gone for the toybox approach of letting you play anything in the action figure line. That's the part of the conversation the quote came from.


The first part was merely a repetition of something we've said before. Namely that lead characters in an RPG must be something the player can relate to. There has never been a movie or major Star Wars series with a complete freak job as the lead and that's because dramatically it doesn't work. We don't understand what it means to be a giant lizard or a droid or a walking ball of jelly. We love the weird characters but they are always the sidekicks, not the emotional connection in the movie. To do an RPG that way every NPC you ran into would have to react to you depending on their own cultural bias and the entire "into the strange" adventure that is Star Wars would be lost as you would be the strangest thing in the room. People would constantly be asking you for information about your weird species and their emotional content that the vast majority of players simply wouldn't have and their ability to really BE this character would be nil.


So whether it's Dragon Age, Mass Effect or The Old Republic, PCs are near enough to humans for us to crawl into their skin. They have generally understandable facial expressions, they don't look ludicrous speaking the basic language, they can interact with the rest of the galaxy without a constant "what the heck?" reaction from the NPCs. The freaks, the droids, the weird that we get to know and learn about--that's where our companions come in.


It's okay to turn to your companions and say "What are you supposed to be?" It's not okay to look in the mirror and say that.


In the future I can see a day where we would do a Trandoshan or Wookiee type story but it would have to be just that. Not a simple graphic swap where now your smuggler is a giant lizard man and nobody notices but a full class story where you learn what it means to be this strange alien and deal with the rest of the galaxy and their reactions. For the present, however, our heroes are our projections of self, headed into a galaxy of wonders and adventures.


I know that this isn't what some people want but I hope it helps them understand that game design isn't simply throwing random features into a game because they seem cool. You have to have a goal, a final holistic ideal that you're trying to hit. The Old Republic is, and always has been, about starring in your own version of a Star Wars movie. Not playing a background character from scene 5, not about living a humdrum day to day existence in the Star Wars worlds (there are no refreshers--sorry!) and not about pulling out the extended action figure line and getting to use it as virtual costume party. None of these are, by themselves, bad goals and could absolutely be fun in a very different sort of game. But in TOR they would work directly against what we were trying to achieve.


So did we limit species choice for romances? No. Did we limit them for our goal of bringing cinematic storytelling and the dream of living the Star Wars movies to the MMO space? Absolutely.


Hope that helps!



- From Darth Hater, E3 2012

You talked yesterday about new species that are playable…


The Cathar is the first one, and what we’re going to start doing is really looking at how much interest there is in species. The Cathar will be the first we’re rolling out as they’ve always been popular. We have the stuff, and we know we wanted to do them. After that the hope is if people say “Oh yeah, this is really exciting here. We want to do this.” Then it becomes open to the community and we’ll say, “Hey, ok folks, what do you really want?” I think it’ll be an interesting plan. I think it’ll be really interesting to put the negatives right out there for people to see. Understand that if you demand a species that does not speak English and is made out of Jello, these are going to be the problems that it brings to you. And if people say “that’s what we want more than anything else,” then at this point it is community power.


- From the Community Q&A


CelCawdro: What are your long-term plans for implementing playable species? Are Cathar merely the first of semi-regular species additions?


Daniel: Like all of our ongoing content updates, we’ll release Cathar into the wild and see how they perform. If new species are clearly popular we’ll keep them coming!


CelCawdro: If Cathar are successful, what kinds of species can we expect to see? May we see anything beyond the current selection of near-humans? What is the process behind selecting new species and gauging community interest?


Daniel Erickson (Lead Game Designer): We’d like to open the selection of future species to the community as a whole with clear positives and negatives provided for each selection. That way we can go a bit further afield in our species selection.


- From the "Next two playable races" thread:


We probably would never make a non-English speaking player race. I know it seems attractive, but simply put, hearing alien for way too long drives you crazy. An early build of the game had Tython populated by a race other than Twi'leks, and after about the fourth quest, you want to put a fist through your monitor.


So any races we add in the future will need to plausibly be able to speak basic.


Making an alien race fully human playable is a huge amount of work, at least if you want to give players the level of customization options that they have come to expect. It takes a lot of work to make all of the customization options work together and look good, while still ensuring people still can find looks that are unique to each other.


The Togruta provide a unique problem in this regard, in regards to the tentacles. Yes, the Twi'leks have tentacles too, but they are typically behind the player, whereas the Togruta's canonically drape across the front of the character. This means that they struggle to work with the existing animations and gear without clipping -- indeed, the first screenshot you see for Ashara if you google her is one with her chin ridiculously clipping through her tentacle. While this may be acceptable for a companion who is frequently offscreen while fighting, or NPCs who we can dress and pose carefully, its much more problematic for player characters who need to be able to wear anything and perform any animation and still look good. (The Twi'leks clip somewhat as well, but much art was tweaked to make this a lot less prevalent than it otherwise would have been)


I'm not trying to pour cold water in the species discussion. Quite the opposite - if the Cathar do well, I hope to expand your options even more, and we should know the answer to that 'soonish'. I just don't want anyone to think that just because an alien is currently in the game as an NPC, that it is trivial to turn it into player art -- it's a TON of work to do that, and do it well.




Hello, fellow forumites. With the announcement of a new playable species (Cathar) coming to grace our beloved SW:TOR, I've decided to put together a rather structured and clutter-free poll to aid BioWare in seeing which species the community desires more, and which are most likely to be a fit for SW:TOR. What makes this poll different from the dozens that have come and gone? Three aspects:


1. Every person gets three votes. In order you vote, you must list your desired species in descending order. Example, my vote:


1. Kel Dor

2. Nautolan

3. Mon Calamari


Here's the interesting part - going by my example, Kel Dor gets three votes, Nautolan gets two, and Mon Cals get a single vote. This ensures that species that people have an interest in, even if it isn't their primary favourite, will still be accounted for in this poll. And no voting for the same species more than once.


2. Species will be segregated by type. Near-humans (ie. Kiffar, Zeltron), humanoids (ie. Kel Dor, Nautolan), extreme humanoids (ie. Jawas, Wookiees), and non-humanoids (ie. Ithorians, Chevin) will all get their own category. Going by BioWare's statements and the current species selection, we can be assured that they will give preference to the former in that list rather than the latter, for better or worse. Thus, these categories will be visually separated. Note that I will only count near-humans and humanoids for the top five - the other categories will still be tracked for reference, but BioWare has shown an inclination towards the most humanlike species and these species can easily utilize existing assets.


Note: Species that would be problematic if they were to be implemented, due to canon or the rules governing it, will be marked with a red asterisk (*). Likewise, if a species cannot plausibly utilize the current class voiceovers, they will be marked with a yellow asterisk (*).


3. A species requires five separate posters to vote for it to be listed. Again, this will ensure that this list is as free from clutter as possible. A lot of people have a soft spot for an obscure species, but in order for them to be implemented, they need to have a wide range appeal. If everyone can simply toss their obscure reference on the list, its usefulness is diminished.


Overall Top Five


1. Togruta

2. Nautolan

3. Kel Dor

4. Rodian

5. Mon Calamari




212 - Voss*

99 - Zeltron

45 - Echani

35 - Falleen

15 - Arkanian

12 - Kiffar




533 - Togruta

441 - Nautolan

323 - Kel Dor

187 - Rodian

155 - Mon Calamari

112 - Kaleesh

99 - Bothan

89 - Devaronian

66 - Weequay

61 - Selkath

31 - Chagrian

29 - Duros

25 - Sullustan

22 - Nikto

17 - Gormak

13 - Quarren

9 - Bith*



Extreme Humanoid


237 - Wookiee**

205 - Jawa**

203 - Trandoshan

38 - Yoda's species*

38 - Ewok**

30 - Gamorrean*

16 - Gand*

7 - Talz




163 - Droid

83 - Ithorian

29 - Selonian

23 - Shistavanen

10 - Hutt



Pending More Votes



1 Ongree (2)

3 Gran (8)

4 Ugnaught (9)

4 Anzati (6)

1 Squib (1)

1 Noghr (3)

1 Yuuzan Vong (2)

3 Arkanian Offshoot (8)

1 Defel (3)

1 Celegian (2)

1 Askajian (1)

2 Tchuukthai (3)

3 Muun (4)

3 Rakata (5)

1 Odenji (1)

3 Sarkhai (4)

1 Kaleesh cyborg (2)

2 Dug (4)

4 Taung (9)

2 Original creation (2)

1 Geonosian (1)

1 Dashade (2)

1 Aqualish (1)

1 Omwati (3)

1 Rishii (1)

1 Thisspiasian (1)

1 Jinda (3)

1 Neimoidian (1)

1 Omwati (1)

1 Tusken Raider (2)

2 Gungan (5)

2 Verpine (4)

2 Givin (3)

4 Cerean (7)

1 Skakoan (2)

2 Pau'an (2)

2 Ortolan (6)

1 "More machine, now, than man" Cyborg (2)

2 Aleena (4)

1 Wizard of the Night Spririt (2)

1 Sarlaac (1)

1 Celestial (2)

2 Massassi (4)

2 Iktotchi (4)

1 Gen'Dai (3)

1 Terentatek (3)

1 Anomid (1)

3 (Rak/Nek)ghoul (4)

3 Fosh (7)

2 Besalisk (5)

4 Barabel (10)

1 Ramoan (1)

2 Togorian (5)

1 Farghul (2)

1 Sephi (3)

1 Iktochi (3)

1 Killik (1)

1 Ssi-ruu (2)

1 Theelin (2)

1 Nagal (2)

1 Kerestian (1)

1 Evocii (3)

1 Anx (2)

1 Pantoran (3)

1 Esh-ka (3)

1 Gree (1)

1 Kaminoan (2)






Edited by CelCawdro
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How many alien types were accepted into the empire at this time period. I dont know the TOR lore at all.


While aliens were not actively sought out, and indeed actively discriminated against in the Empire, the Empire still respected excellence. Those with enough power or skill, regardless of species, were able to take part in the Empire. That being said, it would take a lot more effort from a non-human to make any sort of progress therein, but it was possible.

Edited by CelCawdro
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1. Jawas


2. Jawas


3. Jawas


According to your own weighting system that'd be 6 points for Jawas! :D


I knew I was forgetting something as I went to post. ;) Edited the main post to make it clear that you cannot vote for the same species multiple times. ;) You may edit your own if you wish to have your second two selections counted.

Edited by CelCawdro
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But if that were an impossibility, you wouldn't mind playing ______________ or ______________. ;)


No preference. Other than playing as a Droid I prefer Sith Pureblood, Human, and Zabrak which are already all in the game.


If I absolutely had to pick two more, I'd just throw my vote away on Wookiees and Jawas.

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