Tricksy Skritt

April 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 6 Comments
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Nanananana Nanananana Ratman!

When I was talking about how thoroughly disappointed I was in the quests of Rift, I mentioned one of the problems was lore. For me, it is just one more generic string of fantasy tropes strung together by a few interesting ideas in the Rift universe.

One of the reasons I appreciate Arenanet so much is that while I’m sure, some of those tropes will exist in Guild Wars 2, they do go through extra effort to make things different, new, and original.

Today’s blog post is an example of that. It’s a lore post telling us more about the brand new race of rat people called the skritt. It’s a long post all about, where they come from, what their culture is like, how they think, how they act and even how they breed.

If you’re interested in lore, go read the post for yourself, but if you’re not, I’ll ramble on about the things I found most interesting.

One of the features in Guild Wars 2 is a day night cycle, and we’ve heard it’s possible that things could possibly happen rarely, only at night, or under a full moon.

The entire group gathers en masse at least once every moon (usually on the full or new moon, as it is easiest to note) in order to share large-scale information. They commune, discuss the events of the past month, and prepare for any difficulties they know to be approaching during the next moon.

To me this seems like it might be a direct reference to some sort of rare event. Or it could be nothing.

It seems to me a lot of game developers lately are letting their beliefs show. Rift has the atheist defiant, Arenanet has the atheist charr and now the skritt?

The skritt have only a faint sense of faith—more a sense of empathy for the world than a belief in a divine source or power. Skritt feel that life exists simply so that one can have pleasant times and good memories.

I’m probably reading too much into it, but why the sudden uptick in atheist ideas in MMOs. Is it that interesting a concept to play with?

I like the idea of a hive-mind, and the implementation with the skritt. Arenanet seem wise to avoid an insectoid style version as well, as it’s been done all too often.

The most likely theory is that the skritt simply communicate so rapidly that, when together, they can vet their ideas and choose the best one within seconds, rather than going with whatever plan each individual first conceived.

Another note I like about this version of a hive-mind is that it’s not telepathic. Just about every previous version I’ve ever seen in fantasy or sci-fi has been so. Instead the skritt simply seem to debate ideas at light speed. A marked difference.

One minor complaint I might have is yet another species, which is either very intelligent or very stupid, viewing others as being stupid by comparison.

Due to the unique method of their race’s interpersonal communication, skritt often simply assume you know what they’re talking about. They also assume that you have the ability to keep up with their fast-paced idea transfer, and will speak rapidly and without specifics—because another skritt would simply understand without needing those details. Skritt also occasionally get over-excited and repeat themselves to make sure the “slow-witted not-skritt” actually understand them.

Where are the super intelligent races that know their place? Where are the humble races that know they’re unintelligent when alone or more intelligent in the presence of others? Bleh. I just wish the Vogon knew how bad their poetry is, if you know what I’m saying.

Anyway, I love a good lore post and this was great. Lore I can get into instead of the usual monsters attacking without any definitive goal. With skritt you know what they’re about. They’re not inherently evil, just moochers who want your stuff.

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6 Comments

  1. As a quick note – I feel like when we meet the quaggan, they’ll know that they’re not tremendously bright, and they’ll be comfy with that fact.
    Additionally, the skritt’s description of the “slow-witted not-skritt” is, in the strictest sense, accurate, given their rapid manner of communication. While they might not have a staggering intelligence, they process information faster together, and I can see how it would be frustrating for them to go from feeling smarter when conversing other skritt to being hampered by human/sylvari/etc abilities in conversation.

    Just thoughts.

    Nice post. I hadn’t even connected the idea of the moon-lit meetings to events (because I’m a dumb). ^

    😀

    • Well sure they’re smarter when they’re together, but why does every smart species have to be a pompous ass about it in every fantasy or sci-fi setting i’ve ever encountered?

      Otherwise I agree. must be pretty frustrating to go back and forth.

      Can’t wait for the quaggan post. one of the most anticipated i’d have to say.

  2. My Sylvari character will be most interested in any quests or events helping out the Skritt in Asuran areas. 🙂

    Drat, was hoping they might have a nice large Skritt wallpaper image I could nab.

    • yeah they should really think about making wallpapers for these npc race features.

  3. Well I think that it’s just a thing that happens with intelligence. If you’re smart, and you know it, no matter how hard you try you will think of other people in a condecending way. Even Humans in GW2 think this way, they know the Asura are really smart but they still laugh at their size and don’t really trust them to plan anything for them. No-one wants to admit that anyone else is smarter than them. Not really.

    • Come on, there are plenty of smart people out there and they dont’ all treat less intelligent people with disdain. Look at the members of destiny’s edge who treated snaff and zojja with complete respect.

      In the real world, people treat each other with the most basic respect the vast majority of the time.


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