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Rachel's Racial Roundup

Discussion in 'WildStar Races' started by Steampunkette, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Bravadorado

    Bravadorado Cupcake-About-Town

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    The Horde and the Alliance were pretty grey and subjective compared to the Dominion and Exiles. The Alliance is closer to the Dominion and the Horde closer to the Exiles, but there aren't enough similarities to compare them the way you want to. So, you have it correct, but "kinda like" is about as far as you can go.

    Even in a Dev interview they say something along the lines of "If you want to be hated, Dominion might be your thing, but if you want to be seen as the underdog, Exiles are for you." It's not possible to label the Dominion/Exiles as "good" or "evil", but there is no denying that the Dominion are straight up jerks (For lack of a censored word) and the Exiles are nicer. Well, you could deny it, but it is evidenced in so many things that it is ridiculous.

    The Alliance weren't as jerky as the Dominion when it comes to other races and conquering and all that jazz. The Horde weren't as nice and peace-wanting as the Exiles. So yeah, they were similar, but much more gray.
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  2. Kookieduck

    Kookieduck Cupcake

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    Thanks for the clarification!
  3. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Sudden thought: How do the different races handle sexuality?

    In our world, Heterosexuality is normative, homosexuality is generally frowned upon, but Lesbian sex is also highly sexualized by men. To the point where two women kissing or holding hands in public are typically called "Lipstick Lesbians" with the implication being that they do it to excite or entice the men looking at them doing it. Well, if they are considered attractive by the prevailing ethnocentric standards of beauty.

    And it's like that, in large part, because our society is more or less male-centric and heteronormative. Men who have gay sex are generally viewed as either the "Man" or the "Woman" in a given relationship, with the "Woman" being viewed as lesser than the "Man" because he submits to penetration. And submission is almost always viewed as a terrible breach in male etiquette.

    So what about the Aurin? There we have a female-centric and presumably heteronormative society. Does Lesbian sex get the stink eye, with one of the two viewed as "Lesser" or more "Male" by society? Is male on male sex sexualized to the point that there are "Gripping Gays" or something similar, based on the idea that they're only kissing/holding hands in public to attract female attention?

    How about multiple partner situations? Is there a strong stigma against F/F/M partnerships but a societal push for M/M/F interactions with the females high-fiving each other as they tell stories in the locker room? Do the Aurin hold Male Virginity to be a virtue while females are encouraged to be promiscuous?

    It's an interesting thought. And one I hope the game explores to some degree or another. It'd be neat to see the heteronormative positions reversed.

    But that also raises questions in the Granok society. Or, more accurately, their anatomy. The male Granok's bunk in the "Meet the Exiles" video did have a pinup of a Draken woman. Is he, personally, Xenophillic? Or is it a common predilection among a society of starfaring mercenaries who may or may not interact more with Non-Granok in their lives than Granok? Merely a side effect of their societal openess that leads them to find other species attractive, potentially more attractive than their own. I think the implication of the human girl in that video, speaking of "Boulders" when the Granok adjusted his crotch, could be that she, herself, has been or may intend to be involved with a Granok intimately. Or at least be aware of their anatomic structure.

    On the other side you've got a sexually dimorphic race of Androids. They're 9 feet tall and probably "Reproduce" via an assembly line... but how much of their body is for appearances and how much of it is personal identification of gender? They have advanced artificial intelligences which might lead them towards sexuality, which could lead to incredible difficulties or intense electro-stimulation through direct wiring, creating one of the most intimate sex acts the universe has ever seen.

    But how does their society view it? I imagine there'd be at least SOME interest in it, but it would likely be viewed as an "Activity" of the "Lesser Races" (Read: Meatsacks). Something people with genitals do to waste time and energy when they could be designing weapons platforms or fighting against he Exiles. If that's the case then any Robo-Sexual would be viewed as disgraceful and faulty, perhaps even DEFECTIVE!

    And then you have the Draken, which are a fairly obviously male-centric heteronormative society based upon the use of the Harem in the video about the Draken starting region Deradune. However it's also a very warrior-centric society, with females capable of almost anything males are capable of, except perhaps ruling thanks to ancient laws and rules on what it means to be in charge. Does that mean those females in the harem are, rather than parts of arranged marriage or trophies, actually marrying the male Draken out of devotion to his power and skill, much like animals do? What sort of honor duels do the Draken have to deal with indiscretions of their mates?

    Now what about the Cassians and Humans? I can't really speculate on the Chua or Techno-zombies, since they're both mostly unknown to us (are there even female Chua?). But one thing that keeps popping up is the insinuation that the Cassians are inbred, which among the luminai is probably true to some degree or another. But the Humans who aren't still members of the Dominion were raised within the same society for centuries. It's a lot harder to break social convention than breaking off from a nation. Notice that Americans still have religions based off of Catholicism (and Catholics, too!), even though they came from England due in part to religious persecution.

    Traditions and Culture are hard things to change. It took decades of Gandhi's life to break the British hold over India, and every step of the way he was fought by the native Indians, as well. And the Caste System's destruction was an even LONGER battle that he picked up from others. It's entirely likely that the Humans who left the Dominion hold to many of their ancient traditions. So that brings us to a big question:

    We know that the humans broke away from the Dominion. I'm FAIRLY certain they broke away from the idea of houses and castes in favor of a more egalitarian democratic governmental structure. But what is their taboo on sex with relatives? Nearly no society will allow first-blood to interbreed, due to the issues that it leads to. Heck, the Luminai probably don't interbreed within the same family (Brother/Sister, Mother/Son, etc) so just how close is acceptable? First cousins? Second cousins? How far removed does the blood link need to be separated before it becomes creepy for the Cassians, and in turn for the Exiled Humans?

    It's a fascinating series of thoughts that came upon me after reading the Underwear thread and the Insults thread...

    -Rachel-
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  4. Bravadorado

    Bravadorado Cupcake-About-Town

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    I suddenly don't understand anything.

    I thought treating people a certain way based on sexual preference and etc is a point of contention in today's society? So why are you hoping that Wildstar is going to force unnecessary social rules upon you in game? I personally hope they don't touch that stuff beyond how the females/males of a race interact with each other (Like the Aurin being matriarchal and etc). Besides, it would almost definitely be economic suicide to do something like that in this day and age I'd think.
  5. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Because exploring that which is not the norm would be a positive forward step, rather than leaving the standard assumption of male-centric heteronormative societal expectations.

    -Rachel-
  6. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    That's an awfully big can of worms you're trying to open, Rachel.

    Deradune, btw. Dunedain would be Aragorn's people.
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  7. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    It could be a big one, yep. That was made quite apparent less than 20 minutes later. I should probably just let this whole thread die.

    Also: Dunedain/Deradune? Darn the Devs!

    -Rachel-
  8. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    So a different thing which occurred: A Three Hundred Year Interstellar War

    What's that about? Let's take a look at the societal implications of this!

    Based on: http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/02/21/massively-exclusive-a-closer-look-at-wildstars-cassians/ We learn that the Cassian Society is not oppressive, straight from the mouth of a developer. This is a slight shock and makes me wonder more about the Exiled humans and why they chose to leave. If the society is largely about educating people and spreading enlightenment. The "Lower Races" and the heavily implied racism, therein, aren't active hatred of a culture but rather a disdain for the uneducated. They see the enlightenment of the Dominion as a method of raising up these less civilized cultures and give them good educations, personal autonomy and freedoms, and the opportunity to elevate yourself within the hierarchy.

    When the Dominion -does- intercede in some manner, they do so swiftly and decisively. While this has potential for disaster, it's also what we call to our own government for. Especially in situations of emergency, like hurricanes or tornadoes, where we expect immediate aid and rant if the aid isn't fast enough. So here we have a society which engages in cultural imperialism to some measure, educating people about the scientific truth of things which displaces age-old traditions or enforcing laws that create or promote safety and personal freedom, and generally go about the universe white-hatting everywhere they go.

    So what changed, 300+ years ago, that caused some portion of the populace to turn away from the personal freedoms, education, and wealth of the society?

    Well we know that the Cassian society is heavily structured. There's no word on whether it's a meritocracy, oligharchy, aristocracy, or a plutocracy. Of course it is Imperial in name, much as England is a Monarchy in name, but how much power does the Emperor -truly- have and how much of it is in the hands of the social strata nearest to him? Is there a House of Lords? Democracy? A Council of Advisors? We can't say. But something changed.

    Something changed that affected multiple striations of society. This was not a simple Class War. This was not the poor and indigent or undereducated and impoverished rising up against the wealthy portions of society. We know this because at least one of the leaders of the Exile rebellion was a highborn Cassian. Further, based on the cost of a war the Poor wouldn't be able to cover the bills for a more than a few years, much less 300! Weapons, vehicles, ammunition, and food are all expensive. And they become more and more expensive the longer the war goes on and the larger the different factions are, since the civilian populace must still be fed and clothed.

    So what sort of event could lead to a massive enough exodus that the Dominion, not just Cassian, forces couldn't hold down some portion of the Human Race? With the Mechari and the Draken along for the ride, the Dominion forces should have been easily able to destroy the Human-only force that was the Exiles, since that force was only a percentage of the Cassian people while two (or more of the Chua were there!) additional species with all of their planetary resources were also available. I think the easiest way to explain this is to assume that humans, as a species, are INCREDIBLY POPULOUS compared to the Draken or the Mechari.

    But, for the sake of argument, let's look at the factors that could lead to the exodus. Firstly there is Taxation. It's started many wars in our world with issues of quantity and also representation. Could it be a portion of the issue? Perhaps there was an interstellar war, already extant, which caused coffers to run low and taxes to rise. Perhaps alongside inflation? And while this would hit the lower classes by making their purchasing power smaller it would slam the middle class hardest, as they in most societies pay the bulk of all taxes.

    What about a Regime Change? An Unpopular result to a change of leadership resulting in protests and thanks to some criminal elements on both sides of the line: Looting and Crackdowns? It's happened many times throughout our own history, and if the Dominion utilizes a Council or a Congress of representatives to handle day to day matters while the Emperor stands as, primarily, a figurehead, some shenanigans within the voting/choosing of the newest batch of politicians could raise quite a bit of ire. Perhaps there was an issue of ascension as well. The current emperor (300 years ago) may have been indicted in the death of the "True Heir" to the throne who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

    Could it be that the Dominion, as righteous and egalitarian as they are, today, weren't as kind and benevolent at the time? Striation of society could have been the drive of a powerful social movement seeking better treatment for some portions of the populace. Maybe a group of Humans wanted androids to have the same rights as other individuals. A schism within such a movement could cause one side to become more militant while the other remains peaceful and engaging. Or perhaps the poor were, at the time, being mistreated by what was, essentially, an aristocracy. And again you had a wide-ranging social movement, even among some members of the aristocracy, to treat the lower beings well?

    What if it were a combination of all of these factors? What if during a time of interstellar war taxes were raised on an already beleaguered lower class and the middle class while a large group of Rights Advocates fought for better treatment -of- that group, only to be caught in a political trap which silenced them within the Council through Gerrymandering of Districts or other political shenanigans that lead to the disenfranchisement of the movement, perpetuated by the aristocracy who was abusing that lower class and those who fought to help them in the first place? It's far more likely that a confluence of issues created the schism, rather than a single polarizing problem.

    I think that could be enough of a schism to cause a Civil War. Or at least a complete secession of multiple Member Worlds (all of which were primarily or entirely human-populated, of course!). But how do you survive 300 years of war against the Dominion? The answer, of course, is that you don't.

    So following along on the Member Worlds Theory: The Dominion now has a war on two fronts. The secessionist Exiles and whatever war they were fighting initially. Without that initial war drawing down their resources BEFORE the secession, they'd have had enough resources to handle both sides. This cripples the Dominion and allows for an almost bloodless coup of the Exile worlds. The Dominion is "At War" with these various worlds, but doesn't actively engage them in anything but minor skirmishing and shows of force while it wraps up the war it was already in.

    And then each of the Exile Worlds fall under the combined weight of the Mechari, Draken, Cassian, and probably Chua forces. Each of the former member worlds is recovered through protracted battles that take DECADES to complete, even with high end weaponry that can level cities. Each world represents another set of resources the Exiles lose and another portion of the Human Race which can no longer help them. Almost 300 years pass before the final Exile-controlled world falls, leaving the Human Exiles on the run and living in Spaceships, along.

    Supplies run low and they've got no choice but to seek aid from the Aurin, who in turn are seen as just another "Exile World" that has to be reclaimed in order to shut off the supply line to the weakened Exiles. The War is -almost- over, at this point, with much of the Exile forces destroyed or scattered. Their supply lines are broken and their former worlds belong, again, to the Dominion. And that's when they come upon Nexus.

    But we know that the Dominion is -currently- very good to it's citizens and seeks to add to it's citizenship with other worlds to be good to them. Maybe the Exile Revolt and the 300 years of warfare broke down that specific level of social injustice that caused the split to begin in the first place? It's kind of nice to think that the Exiles made the Dominion a better government with their actions.

    What do you think?

    -Rachel-
  9. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    We know that the Luminai sit at the top of the heap, with their Great Houses apparently doing their whole Game of Thrones thing in perpetuity. I have two theories about the cause of the Exile revolt.

    1: They chose to directly challenge the authority of the Emperor, the Luminai, or the Cassian religion regarding the ascension of the Eldan. Those are the major features of Cassian society where dissenting opinions would simply not be welcomed. The Exiles might have felt that one or more of these factors needed to be overthrown.

    2: Similar to the first one, but much more specific... toward the end of the Luminai WSW entry (http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/news/wildstar_wednesday_the_luminai.php) we see this, "The current emperor, Myrcalus the Vindicator, took the throne by force after the dark reign of Vorios the False nearly brought the empire to ruin." The Luminai lifespan can apparently stretch up to three centuries in length, and if we assume that Myrcalus has been the current Emperor for a hundred years or so... the timing works out. Specifically, the Exiles might have objected to the reign of Vorios the False and, in turn, decided that the whole Luminai/Eldan worship thing was a very bad idea.
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  10. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    That ties in, nicely, with the political power portion of my post. Wheee! It may have been a revolution against an unjust monarch who has since been replaced, but the war left in the hands of the current Emperor.

    I love it!

    -Rachel-
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  11. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    Indeed. It also explains how Myrcalus the Vindicator came by his title. So it's a nice little bit of nuance, one that I think does a lot to add to the moral ambiguity of the conflict.
  12. Bravadorado

    Bravadorado Cupcake-About-Town

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    It states pretty clearly here:

    It doesn't really matter if it was Vorios or not, the problem was the policies. The policies then were met with protest and anger (Obviously they were pretty awful policies) and then instead of changing the policies they cracked down and "violently attacked" those opposed to the policies.

    It was the government not listening to protest and then stopping the protest with excessive force that caused the Humans to leave the Dominion. I also doubt that it was JUST Vorios if it was him to start with, because you would think that such drastic measures would not be needed then. Why fight back and revolt when it's just one guy that will be replaced in another decade or so? There is still a deep-seated hatred for the Dominion as a whole, not just Vorios or anyone in particular. It's likely that half of the Cassian society either wanted the policies or wouldn't speak against them, and it wasn't just the policies of one unjust leader.

    If the problem was JUST Vorios then the entire Cassian society would have removed him from power, or they simply would have waited until his term was over. It is my opinion that there were 4 types of people in Cassian society:
    Highborn but fair
    Highborn but corrupt
    Lowborn and outspoken
    Lowborn and quiet

    The corrupt policies were made and then the corrupt highborns and quiet lowborns agreed with the policies. The fair highborns and outspoken lowborns decided enough was enough, and took action. It is most likely that the conflict was split nearly in half like this and that the problem was not just the leadership at that time.
  13. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Yeah. It -really- does. You've got the Cassians who accepted the regime change to the "False" emperor to avoid getting killed or exiled or imprisoned by an unjust ruler, and those who fought back and became the Exiles. It gives the Exiles a DAMNED good reason for seceding. I enjoy that a lot.

    And then the Dominion were initially only attacking the Exiles because the Emperor was a massive jerk and a False Emperor. But after 200 some odd years of warfare and skirmishing and the Exiles likely as not becoming less and less educated due to lower and lower resources that can't be "Wasted" on anything that isn't bullets and survival... The Dominion needs to re-civilize them!

    Also it's a 300 year long war. Lots of various "Unforgivable Acts" likely occurred. The original reason for the war could be basically irrelevant to the day to day person who instead remembers their grandma or uncle or sister who died in a firefight and blame the other side...

    ... LOVING this moral ambiguity!

    -Rachel-
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  14. Apostate

    Apostate Well-Known Cupcake

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    It -does- matter that it was Vorios, because the Dominion isn't a democracy. The Luminai run things. More specifically, the -Emperor- runs things. The fact that a single Emperor is considered to have nearly brought the entire Dominion to ruin says a lot about how much power they have. And the fact that it took another Luminai to dethrone him (by force, no less)says a lot about the power structures of the Dominion.

    The Emperors are not replaced "every decade or so", the article says that Dominus himself ruled for nearly three centuries. We're not talking about elected officials with term limits and checks and balances, we're talking about god-kings whose people practically deify them.
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  15. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    The policies came from Vorios. So Unjust policies from an unjust ruler enforced, unjustly, at his command. The point remains the same: It was his fault. Yes it's also the fault of the people who followed orders, but it returns to Vorios through Coercion. "Obey me or Die" obviates a lot of moral ambiguity for a person because the moral breach falls, ultimately, on the person coercing the actor.

    If a guy has a gun to your head and tells you to lock a door and you lock that door your moral obligation to not lock that door goes to the person with a gun to your head. You may feel guilty about doing it, but you had no choice.

    And removing an Emperor from office is -hard- unless you can get a group of people to assassinate him. Of course you could ask Friedrich Olbricht about how that turns out. Him and Tresckow and Stauffenberg did their best to kill Hitler and failed. Sure you've got your Brutuses throughout history, too. But the better the technology/information/weapons the lower the chance there is of a successful assassination attempt.

    And I don't think the Exiles were willing to wait for however many decades, or centuries, it takes for an emperor to croak. Especially with his various unjust policies and unjust orders to the military and police forces.

    Also everything Apostate said. He's a smart guy.

    -Rachel-
  16. Bravadorado

    Bravadorado Cupcake-About-Town

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    What I meant is that it probably was not a very long time before Vorios got replaced by Myrcalus considering his track record.
  17. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Iosif Stalin. 30 years of terror before and after WW2. He entered office at 44 and exited at 74.

    Take a look at his track record and then imagine he could live for 300 years instead of 70 some, and have everyone in the world more or less equate him to a Godking.

    Makes assassination or overthrow that much harder. Especially if his "The False" part involved killing other Luminai closer to the Imperial Seat than himself.

    -Rachel-
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  18. Xlugon Pyro

    Xlugon Pyro Super Cupcake

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    You guys have totally dug into the lore at a much greater length than I have. Too bad I'm not much of a digger/researcher. It's just a pain, but I'll learn it all eventually. :)
  19. Dave Bowman

    Dave Bowman New Cupcake

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    Stalin comparison's a good call... cuz of all the destalinisation/personality cult condemnation that the politburo bigwigs were brave enough to do after he kicked it.

    It'd be more weird if old Vorski WASN'T called the False by the dude who whacked him and succeeded him. History written by winners, yo.

    Dunno that gets the Dominion people off the hook tho. True that removing tyrant's is hard but heads of state rolled a good few times in the 20th c and there is always the overthrow thing you mention, upending the social order that keeps the emperors in place by open revolution. The Ordinary German idea keeps being challenged all the time for a good reason. The Emp doesn't have a gun to everyone's head all the time, unless he's some mad-ass 40k kind of emperor in which case nvm.
  20. Steampunkette

    Steampunkette Cupcake-About-Town

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    Except that people did revolt. And he chased them across the stars with the full military might of the Dominion for hundreds of years.

    I think it's safe to say that after the revolution there was probably a SEVERE crackdown on civil liberties like privacy and possibly transit. Weapons rights were likely revoked and most of the people who didn't leave probably followed along with it because most of the initial combats between the Exiles and Dominions happened on Dominion Homeworlds being overthrown by what many people would consider terrorists and secessionists.

    While the Stalin comparison is apt for some of it, specifically the inability to challenge the supreme authority in the land, for the interaction of the people beneath the rulership you should probably look to Civil Wars throughout history. Though even that doesn't truly encapsulate the interaction on an interpersonal level. After all, think about the vast difference in the social impact of the French Revolutions as compared to the American Civil War.

    The quantity of people being so much higher showed a completely different interaction. Even people within the nation often saw it as something happening "Over There, Somewhere". In a time where there were plenty of guns to go around and not a lot of laws regulating their use or possession, many cities, towns,, and states saw not a single gunshot fired for either side.

    What would that look like on a planetary scale? How about an interplanetary scale? Interstellar? It's mind-bogglingly interesting, to me!

    And while it is possible to point to the death of Vorios as the impetus for painting him poorly we do know several things that support him being a monster. Firstly the Exiles left under his rule. Something happened under his watch to destabilize the society enough to create a massive secessionist movement. Secondly: Dominion Society is currently very free and liberal, in what is being described. I can't really imagine a violent uprising occurring in the Dominion society as it currently exists without the uprising being comically ridiculous.

    And while the Victor writes the history, we have the developers giving us the story. That kind of indicates that it's what "Really" happened (allowing for plot-twist explanations in mission and story-content, later)

    -Rachel-

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