Tuesday, September 14, 2004

SWG: Species-Specific Abilities

WarFerret wrote:
is it any wonder that 2 species make up two thirds of the population?
What you said.

It's a shame that species distinctiveness doesn't play more a part in SWG than it does. Right now I can count three areas where a character's species matters:

  • Maximum HAM point assignments

  • Special commands (esp. /wookieeRoar)

  • Visual appearance (this feature really is very well developed)
It's good to have these features -- in particular, the visual distinctiveness of the various species is very well rendered, and is a credit to the developers. But so many opportunities remain undeveloped! Here's a collection of possibilities just off the top of my head:

  • Innate capabilities:

    • additional species-specific commands

      • /monCalAwareness ("It's a TRAP!")

      • /zabrakDetermination

      • /twilekPersuasion

      • /ithorianDepression (kidding!)

    • physical/mental characteristics:

      • thick skin or scales treated as armor

      • resistance to or awareness of Force Persuasion

    • environment-based effects:

      • movement rate across sand, water, etc.

      • temperature (heat, cold effects)

      • light (too much reduces vision, sees better at night, etc.)

  • Innate skill modifiers -- meaningful bonuses/penalties to skills:

    • combat

    • crafting

    • entertaining

    • healing

    • taming

    • sensing

    • hiding

    • piloting

  • Species-specific movement animation:

    • walk cycles

    • combat animations

    • emotes
I could go on, but you get the idea.

As with most topics in this forum, this particular thread should be important to SWG's developers because it offers ideas that, if implemented, improve both roleplaying and gameplaying. An improved sense of the distinctiveness of one's species would make experiencing life as that species more immersive. And the valuable bonuses and complicating penalties that every species (with the possible exception of Human) should have would significantly improve gameplay by letting players make interesting choices.