30/04/2013

Looking forward to the Cathar

One bit of news that I came back to after my holiday was that the Cathar finally have a release date. Well, sort of that is. We know that they'll be part of patch 2.1, whenever that's supposed to come out.

I'm really excited about this. I love rolling alts of different races/species; even though it's mostly a visual thing, variety in character customisation still manages to set characters apart and helps to keep the game fresh for me. Not to mention that I've been interested in rolling a Cathar ever since I first met that thieving cat lady on Ord Mantell. (Which you do at... level three or so? Basically I've been looking forward to this for quite some time.)


I've seen some critical comments from people that don't like the addition of the Cathar because they think they're not a... "cool" enough species for one reason or another. On one side we have the players who want to play something more alien, like a Wookiee or a Jawa. I can sympathise with their plight as I'm quite fond of playing "weird" looking characters as well, but I think Bioware has previously made a fair point in saying that player characters like these wouldn't fit as well into this style of game, considering the personalised story and voiced conversations. That doesn't mean that more variety of some kind is a bad thing.

And then we have those fans who feel that if we're going to get more humanoid-looking species anyway, then Bioware should at least prioritise iconic races from the films, such as Rodian or Nautolan. Because who would want to be a boring old Cathar? I think those players might be in for a surprise, because we mustn't forget what MMO players are like when it comes to their characters. Look at any survey on race popularity in various MMOs... who always comes out on top? Humans and races that look like slightly prettier humans with a twist (in fantasy that's often elves). I can easily see "cat people" appealing to the same kind of crowd.

I for one have already bought an additional character slot so I can make that Cathar Shadow that I've been dreaming about as soon as they become available. And yes, that would be my third consular, but who wouldn't want to be a stealthy kitty with the Force on her side...?

13 comments:

  1. I already reserved a name for my future Cathar assassin. I think the Sith Inquisitor's slave background fits the race quite well, if you want to play an imperial cat lady.

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  2. I'm not unhappy that people who want Cathar are getting them. I am concerned that poor sales will kill the chances that we will ever get any of those races you mention that actually appear in the films.

    Bioware stated that this is an indirect referendum on whether it is worth the development time to make new species - they have to make a significant amount of money or else they have to go back to making cheap cosmetic outfits that people will pay for with much less dev time invested. Unfortunately, their pricing model seems ill suited to capitalize.

    This race is a genuinely optional cosmetic unlock, and is at a relatively low price point besides. Yes, every subscriber who spends their monthly stipend on the unlock is a POTENTIAL additional sale if they later purchase more Cartel coins to replace the ones they spent, rather than just reducing their consumption of other things for a month. Yes, the player who unlocks Cathar might later pay in some other way to play that new character (whether by continuing a subscription, buying stuff in the store, etc). Theoretically, people might pay money to buy the things to re-sell on the GTN for credits, but, again, this is an optional once/legacy feature, even if it isn't available for credits. (For reference, most of the current species unlocks on my server, which have the same CC price tag planned for the Cathar, go for around 150K on the GTN.)

    It may just be that a new species isn't ever going to pay for its development costs unless you force everyone to buy it by shoving it in an expansion. It may also be that all of the iconic Star Wars species can never happen due to the requirements for size/shape/speech. All of the above may well have happened regardless of which one species was the first to try and fail. But in any case, I'll disappointed if the only race ever to be added to SWTOR is one that I personally don't care about.

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    1. Well, like I said in the post I think "cat people" will be reasonably popular. Your concerns about the monetisation model sound like they would've applied no matter which species they chose to add first.

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  3. I'm ready for a Cathar Trooper, because I figure that a female Cathar would make a nice companion for Jorgan.

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  4. I think I must be the only person who had an instant strong negative reaction to Aric Jorgan. I dislike him less on my second try at playing a Trooper, but on my first attempt he sailed straight to the top of the "companions I hate" list (and, in fact, comprised the whole list for a long time). Partly, that was because my first attempt at a Trooper was a group character (which means that I missed out on some of his dialogue, as you can't have a companion out in a group) and partly, well, he's a jerk.

    Unfortunately, that leaves me not terribly interested in playing a Cathar.

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    1. Actually I disliked Aric at first as well. "What, this guy is my first companion?" It's not exactly as if he's set up as a sympathetic figure from the start. However, I thought that as you progressed through the story it became apparent that he was a good person under that gruff exterior and he grew on me.

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    2. I can see that out of Aric, although what I really want to see is the Risha story. I've already made it to the end of Elara's story --even though I'm only just entering Chapter 3-- and I did like the end of it.

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    3. Yeah, he's a good person, even if he is a jerk 90% of the time. Like I said, part of the problem was that my first attempt at a trooper was a group character - if you only have him out when the game forces you to or for his companion talks, he's more 99.9% jerk. (Especially early on.) I'd also made a female trooper the first time - his constant "I think you suck." followed by "I don't respect you, I think you'll fail as a commander, and, by the way, YOU STILL SUCK." can read as horrifically sexist. Not exactly something I want from my entertainment.

      (He is, of course, every bit as much of an ass to a male trooper. But it _feels_ different. At least to me. I probably wouldn't have _hated_ him if I'd started off playing a male trooper.)

      So...really bad first impression. (I was shocked when he approved of _not_ killing those civilians on Coruscant. I totally expected him to be all "Orders, RAR! You're the worst commander EVAR!" His actual personality _is_ much better than my initial impression.)

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    4. I don't really like Aric either, but there's also fun Cathar, like the one Shintar mentioned on Ord Mantell, or what about the Cathar refugee leader on Imp side Taris? I thought the latter was pretty cool.

      I'll be rolling a Cathar scoundrel for sure. It's the only class I don't have on Rep side, and I've reserved it for my Cathar for ages.

      I'm only not sure yet if it will be female or (my first!) male. I generally play female characters, but I think the female Cathar look a bit skinny. I want manes! ^^

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  5. Can't wait to play as Darth Meow-mix. To be completely serious, I hope the Cathar sell well. It's a minor point of irritation that subscribers don't get this for free. It could get very pricey down the line if they introduce new species that I *really* want ... like Gand, Rodians, Kel Dor, or ... droids!

    God I want to play a droid bounty hunter. SO BAD.

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    1. I think you can forget about flirting as a droid toon, because Data they ain't.

      Just sayin'..... ;-)

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    2. We have to pay for it? That *is* annoying. The sort of stuff you have to put up with as soon as a game goes F2P, I guess...

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    3. It's only in Cartel Coins though - 600 is a single month's subscriber stipend for me, so I have no issue with that.

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