Archive for August 6th, 2010

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SWTOR Species Watch

August 6, 2010

The Friday Star Wars: The Old Republic update unveils new playable species!

Bioware says all classes will include optional non-human species. Already revealed are the Rattataki, Chiss and Twi’lek races, and now we can add the Sith (the red-skinned species, that is), Miraluka, Mirialans, and Zabrak to the list, which I hope will continue to grow as we get closer to release. A couple of these I had to look up to remind myself who they are, what they look like, and why they are significant to the Star Wars universe.

Sith Pureblood (Red Sith)

This species was instantly recognizable, and coincidentally I had just finished reading the Lost Tribe of the Sith ebook novellas in which the Red Sith play a huge role, so they’re still fresh in my mind. This originally evolved on Korriban but experienced a long period of interbreeding with human Dark Jedi after the latter group fled the Republic and arrived on the planet. Many of their descendants were subsequently very strong in the Force. The prominent traits of Sith Purebloods include cheek tendrils and red skin.

Miraluka

I forgot about this species until I was reminded of Visas Marr. Probably the most notable Miraluka, she was a companion of the Jedi Exile in Knights of the Old Republic II. Miraluka are a near-human species who adopted the planet of Alpheridies as their home. Because this environment was mostly flooded with energy from the infrared spectrum, they gradually lost their eyes and subsequently their ability to see visible light waves. Instead, they evolved to utilize “force sight” to sense the world around them. Due to their strong affinity to the Force, Miraluka may become powerful Jedi.

Mirialan

I had no clue who these guys were, but it turns out they are near-humans from the planet of Mirial. Cool, I learned something today! They possess yellowish to greenish skin, and some individuals will have tattoos on their face to symbolize certain accomplishments. Many wear protective gear on their heads to cover sensitive, extrasensory organs on their skull. They are a deeply religious and spiritual species that have embraced the Force, so I would expect to see them as a playable Force-class in SWTOR.

Zabrak

This one seemed like a no-brainer to me. The most well-known Zabrak is of course, Darth Maul, one of the characters whom the Sith Inquisitor class is base on. Zabraks are a humanoid species from Iridonia that similar to humans, except for some notable differences such as the horns they sport in a crown around their heads. Members of this species sometimes also bear striking facial tattoos that can reflect their clan lineage or which could have been designed by the individual. I’m hoping this is indication that we’ll be able to customize our own tattoos in the game.

Bioware has confirmed that the list of playable species is not yet complete (why release them all now when you can milk them for several more updates, right?) and hinted that players might not be solely limited to the factions or the combinations featured on the new article.

There are combinations we haven’t confirmed. James recently talked on this subject at Comic-Con International, though, and announced that there will be some restrictions. For the time being, the combinations we have announced you can count on. What other combinations will there be? That’s an update for another day…

I’m happy to hear this. I get how certain species might be restricted to faction and class (such as Sith Purebloods available only to the Sith Force-users) and how making “Zabrak” and “Sith Inquisitor” go hand-in-hand might seem like the good, logical and “iconic” choice…but at the same time, I know a lot of players would be disappointed if it turns out we can’t make any other combinations. I for one foresee some flexibility, and I see hints of this in sources like Fatal Alliance, for instance, which includes a minor character who is a Zabrak Trooper.

Today’s update also includes a new timeline, focusing on the Mandalorian Wars. Again, fans of the KOTOR games will already be familiar with much of its content, though don’t expect too much emphasis on KOTOR II or the Jedi Exile. Not much to say here except that it’s worth watching for the background information and details on arguably one of the most significant events of the Old Republic era. It also further drives my suspicions that while Revan and Malak’s fall to the dark side was probably something that happened over a long period of time, their meeting with the Emperor and whatever occurred during that encounter was mostly likely what sealed the deal.