Cyrodiil Creatures

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Anumaril
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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:43 am

Infragris wrote:You're completely right. This is something I've been struggling with as well, except I couldn't really put it into words. Morrowind has its alien bug/reptilian premise, Skyrim has its prehistorical vibe, Cyrodiil has ... exotica? Bizarro jungle? schizo-mythology? Composite creatures? We lack a theme.
I think it impossible to create one theme for Cyrodiil, considering that it's been influenced by every province and culture out there. Not to mention the entirely different regions of Colovia and Nibenay, combined with the smaller, yet still varied environments of the Metropolitan Imperial Isle, the more mountainous regions along the Jeralls and Valus, the oddities of Blackwood... It's all rather difficult to wrap up under one theme, even for something like creatures. However, for the most part, I imagine an East - West dichotomy as R-Zero said, with Colovia and Nibenay being entirely different regions, and sub-regions holding some unique creatures within them as well. Then we'd obviously have specific enemy types for different dungeons.

My main philosophy is no real-world creatures unless they've been given decent enough reason to be there and made unique either in design or within the lore. Also, when creating anything, we should be able to answer basic questions like "What do they eat?", "Where do they live?", "What's their relationship with civilized races?", etc. All would help is designing a believable ecosystem. Something I don't feel vanilla Morrowind did very well.

Many creatures native to Ald Cyrod I still see being heavily influenced by the culture and symbols of the Nedes, considering what occurred after mankind's taking of the Tower (This might be displayed through runic fur patterns, horns, antlers, etc.). There would certainly be many creatures not native to the land that would have migrated into Cyrodiil for whatever means over the Eras, or not have been affected due to having not been bound to the Tower as much of Ald Cyrod was. These could be anything from a feral breed of Pahmar in the Highlands (Something like mountain lions, but actually identified as Khajiit and with more original of a design) to Land Dreugh.

TL;DR: It's the Heartland, everything and it's mother has been in or nearby it. Each sub-region is likely to be somewhat diverse, with Nibenay and Colovia being entirely different worlds from one another.

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vrolok
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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:09 am

I personally thought that maybe quests should come first, or at least basic ideas for the quest lines and factions. Creatures can probably wait until more details are clear. Right now many ideas are thrown around. I myself am on a fence about real creatures vs. fantasy creatures. Probably would prefer real ones, unless there is a reason for more creative creatures. Nibenay should probably be more creative with its creatures to further emphasize the divide.

Though once again, I think quest lines should come first, or at least faction concepts more flashed out. Once they are decided, it should be easier to decide on the critters. That would allow to make creatures that would complement the world and not the other way around.

What about means of transportation in Cyrodiil?

I would imagine proper horse carriages on the roads, boats, plus mage guides, right? Carriage design and horses could vary by the region.
I also think that while it is totally possible to use some other creature rather than a horse and it would look good, it would also make horses kinda pointless, no? Maybe not, but from I gather in the lore, horses are pretty important in Cyrodiil.

Examples of possible Colovian and Nibenese carriage:
Colovian
Image
Nibenese
Image

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Saint_Jiub
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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Saint_Jiub » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:02 am

worsas wrote:I think I know why I'm so bugged about this discussion here. I think that this whole discussion on creatures
1. is missing some kind of solid foundation. Everyone just tosses in his random ideas. Sorry to say it as harsh as this.
2. is trying to squash the whole matter of unique aesthetic for Cyrodiil into creature design. It all sounds a bit like you guys just wanted another silt strider or another Netch for Cyrodiil, just with a different name and model.

If we had some kind of premise in this whole discussion, which could be summarized by just two or three words. Let's say one of these words were "diversity". Cyrodiils fauna could be very strange just by being extremely diverse and heterogenous (and generally very open and tolerating on differing creature ideas coming), with all kinds of fictive and real-world creatures living side at side. This is just a thought, I had. I know that it somewhat contradicts the things said by me above, but the difference would be some kind of common base on approaching the whole matter.
Infragris wrote:You're completely right. This is something I've been struggling with as well, except I couldn't really put it into words. Morrowind has its alien bug/reptilian premise, Skyrim has its prehistorical vibe, Cyrodiil has ... exotica? Bizarro jungle? schizo-mythology? Composite creatures? We lack a theme.
I think my "theme" has been lost in the fact that I've been doing textures for vanilla or resource models and compromising my viewpoints for the sake of producing something for the project, but my idea has always been "birds are at the top of the food chain"- there are mammals, insects, and reptiles in there too, but of the original concepts I've drawn for fauna, over half have been some manner of large bird. The idea being that just like mammals have evolved into all these crazy shapes and sizes in our world, in this environment avians filled that niche- so you have deep jungle hunters with camouflage and poison quills, flightless plains hunters, bipeds, quadripeds, etc, stemming from this avian root.

Image

Perhaps I'm misreading, but I'm kind of surprised to hear this critique here, since I've been pretty transparent about my design approach and I've been posting concepts, and not just of creatures, under the general philosophy of "let's do something we've never seen before", and generally received nothing but positive feedback from all of you. Right now, I'm feeling like if anyone here felt like I was being haphazard in my approach to design, literally *years* ago would have been the time to do it. Or is it just that everyone's been letting me paint in the corner and talk to myself this whole time, and it was never really intended for most of my concepts to make it in?

I also feel like I've been very vocal as far as spreading unique aesthetic and lore into other areas of design; I hand-created an aesthetic for the art of the Imperial Cult that yes, had real-world influences, but was ultimately unique to this project. I fought tooth and nail for beverages that were unique to our setting, instead of just using generic "beer" and "ale" as others wanted to do; I've put as much if not more thought into clothing, arms, and armor than anyone else here, again with the goal of capturing the idea of certain aesthetics but making it unique to our world. I don't feel like I'm just trying to make animals weird for their own sake, I do honestly feel like there's been relative consistency between the things I've done and that they feel like they could be part of the same world.

Eh, maybe I'm just being oversensitive (I am a teensy drunk tonight), I'm sure I'll be over it by morning.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:20 am

Don't worry Saint_Jiub, your job is actually fantastic and I can totally see your point with creatures. The designs are great and they are pretty consistent. It's just that Cyrodiil is so huge and has so many themes going on that it's almost impossible to grasp a single direction IMHO (not for me to judge though)

While bird theme is good, it just seems relatively narrow for Imperial province (only my opinion and I am a noob here, so it's likely that I am wrong). I believe it definitely belongs to Cyrodiil, but will it be its main thing? For Ayleids - sure, but what about Imperials? And Imperials themselves are split. Plus a lot of influence from the provinces.

Cyrodiil will probably have several themes running at the same time, which I think is good and very fitting for an Imperial province. But it also needs some deep connections, so it's also consistent. Tricky, but I believe it's possible
Last edited by vrolok on Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Anumaril
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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:50 am

Saint_Jiub wrote:I think my "theme" has been lost in the fact that I've been doing textures for vanilla or resource models and compromising my viewpoints for the sake of producing something for the project, but my idea has always been "birds are at the top of the food chain"- there are mammals, insects, and reptiles in there too, but of the original concepts I've drawn for fauna, over half have been some manner of large bird. The idea being that just like mammals have evolved into all these crazy shapes and sizes in our world, in this environment avians filled that niche- so you have deep jungle hunters with camouflage and poison quills, flightless plains hunters, bipeds, quadripeds, etc, stemming from this avian root.
I've practically just joined this project, so clearly have not been around long enough to know much about past discussions regarding this (Can't be expected to read everything). However, I'd like to give my opinion on the subject of this paragraph.

Unless I've misread, you seem to imply evolution plays some part in Tamriel, when it does not. There is no evidence of any semblance of evolution within the lore of Elder Scrolls, rather, in most cases things were just created by higher beings during convention or otherwise. While your ideas for avian creatures I very much enjoy, I don't believe that they'd be the most prevalent creatures in Cyrodiil. Reason being, they were likely a result of the Ayleids' kingship of the Tower, and thus, when humans took it, these Tower-bound beings would have been altered to suit the nature of the Nedes; and even if that never happened or people take issue with such metaphysics, these things scream Ayleid, and would likely have been purged by the Alessian Order (At least, in most regions other than Colovia).

Metaphysics standing, however, I'd very much like to believe some of these creatures managed to avoid being altered. Most likely method I imagine would be those in or around Ayleid city-states whose Great Welkynd Stones remained active, and partially held back that mythic force that bent things to Mankind's ideal Cyrod (Possible reason for many being inactive, instead of just saying 'looters took em'). Otherwise, it'd be interesting to see featherless, less bird-like versions of these creatures. Some avian elements might harken back to their Ayleid-based origins, but we'd see them bastardized into something more reminiscent of Nedic and Cyro-Nordic symbolism. (Should this happen, it'd be very interesting to see old feathered illustrations of the creatures appear in Ayleid texts. This, I think, would open up greater opportunities for lore on the metaphysics of White-Gold and the nature of Ald Cyrod, all while making the creatures unique in appearance and background.)

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:23 am

If we are talking about a specific theme, the most obvious choice for Cyrodiil is the antique mythology. Imperials clearly have connection to Romans, thus it is kinda obvious. As such, it might be boring to see many mythical creatures, because they are very common in games, but they could be somehow made more interesting with various additions and changes.

I myself am not sure about this idea, because it can get kinda boring, that's true. It definitely is not very creative. Yet, there are many creatures in the lore like centaurs, harpies, nymphs, minotaurs, lamias, etc. Well, if they do exist in Tamriel, there is no better place for them than Cyrodiil. They don't exactly fill too well into medieval theme of High Rock, but fit much better in Cyrodiil.

Still, this is not something I can recommend or discourage. I do feel like some antique theme could improve overall experience of Cyrodiil, while making it too mythical will do no good. I do believe that a few mythical creatures wouldn't hurt though.

Like maybe having hydras in the Black Wood. Just huge snakes with several heads, no legs. As an example.

It depends only on the fact how much Roman connection is going to be used in relation to Imperials. If often, then it would make sense to have associated creatures. If rarely, then it doesn't matter.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:43 am

Vrolok wrote:Mythical Creatures and Blackwood
Some mythological creatures are fine if made interesting enough and make sense within the lore, the Minotaur, for example. However, I'm still of the opinion that original creatures should take precedence. Harpies I feel don't belong, as they would only serve to create a connection to the Ayleid, which they have no business having. We already have Tsaesci, which are more interesting and I think too similar to the Lamia for them to be included (Unless the Lamia could appear different enough, utilizing a much more snake-like design such as that of ESO). Nymphs are somewhat already represented by Spriggans. Centaurs, I am personally against, as they scream 'generic fantasy' to me more than anything else listed. As for the Hydra, if it can be made interesting, I see no issue there.

Blackwood is practically the outskirts of Black Marsh, and would likely be inhabited by creatures native to that region, such as Hackwings (Basically would be low-flying, smaller cliffracers), Wamasu, Voriplasm, or swarms of Fleshflies (If an enemy appearing as a swarm of insects can even be implemented). Additionally, giant venomous snakes, though I imagine these would appear throughout Nibenay alongside smaller variants.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:16 am

Lamias are probably going to be underwater creature, so they shouldn't compete with Tsaesci. More like vicious mermaids, but antique. Something snake-like like on the picture could still be used and called Echidna, for example. But I am not sure, there are already Tsaesci as you said.

Agree on the harpies, there are already ayleids. Unless some sort of connection is drawn between the two, there is no point in harpies. But maybe there could be some connection? Plus they don't really have to look like generic harpies, their design can be quite creative.

Nymphs are debatable, but I can see your point. As such, I am not even sure spriggans are needed in Cyrodiil. They could probably just be replaced by the nypmhs. That wouldn't be generic, that would actually fit quite well. But, it really is not that important.

Centaurs - yeah, kinda meh. Especially because I can't think of their role in Cyrodiil. Too bland. Even though visual design can get pretty creative for them.

Hydras I think actually fit Cyrodiil very well. They are not that generic either. Not mentioned in the lore though, but that shouldn't be a big problem. I just think that it kinda mixes reptilian theme of Argonia with antique myths rather well. Really seems to be the creature living on the border between Cyrodiil and Black Marsh.

P.S. Additional thoughts:

Are ogres really necessary? If not, something like Cyclops would fit much better, in my opinion.

Trolls of all forms should definitely stay, they are iconic.

P.P.S. Another thought regarding medusas - what if they are different from Tsaesci? They don't really have to have snake body if they have snake hair. And these girls are lore-friendly. Well, to some extent. They can be implemented if needed, but not necessary by any means.

Maybe I am cramping up too many antique monsters in Cyrodiil, sorry about that. I just believe that Antique theme could be one of the important themes of Cyrodiil and mythical creatures provide versatility. There are a lot of them, their exact roles and physical appearance can be altered to better fit Tamriel. Their names can be changed as well. And if you disagree, that is completely fine ;) I just want to discuss all possible approaches.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by worsas » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:53 am

Perhaps I'm misreading, but I'm kind of surprised to hear this critique here, since I've been pretty transparent about my design approach and I've been posting concepts, and not just of creatures, under the general philosophy of "let's do something we've never seen before", and generally received nothing but positive feedback from all of you. Right now, I'm feeling like if anyone here felt like I was being haphazard in my approach to design, literally *years* ago would have been the time to do it. Or is it just that everyone's been letting me paint in the corner and talk to myself this whole time, and it was never really intended for most of my concepts to make it in?
Argh, sorry. I'm sorry, really. My critique was mainly pointed at the current discussion with Anumaril and Vrolok, where out of a sudden creature ideas were brought up, that in my eyes, were just made up to have some cool ideas in place of current realworld animals, without following a true theme or a common basis. It felt plugged in to me. Generally, I'm worried that stuff that is made up just for the sake of alienness will feel plugged in later. This is why I agreed with Vrolok on the point of implementation. It's often really just a question of implementation, if something will feel right or wrong in the end.

Another thing is that I, personally, haven't really thought about our creatures very in-depth so far. Yes, I have seen your bird-themed creatures, but I have considered them as proposals in the first place and I have never found the idea of including bird-elements too bad at the same time. Though, opposed to the clothing and architecture, creatures are much more difficult and work-intensive. I can only implement a fraction of what I would actually like to, myself. Another thing is that up to this point I have never thought inclusion of real world creatures or generic designs to be a problem. Right now I'm thinking about our Skyrim, that really has much of those things in it that one takes as granted (which are apparently unwelcomed) and I wonder, if I need to take action and get back to it to fix the errors of the past. There is actually much more deliberateness and randomness to the creatures of SHOTN than it is the case for P:C and it's something I'm facing after all the years of that project running.

That said, I have liked all of your implemented designs for Cyrodiil so far. I have always liked this little bit more vibrancy and smoothness in look and I feel that really everything we have so far, works very nicely together, including the striped and dotted creatures, you added. They make for a consistent look and work really well with the Savannah-look of the Gold Coast.

At this point it matters that we get on a page with each other. I don't know, if we should really take a step back with the creatures that are already in place, just to avoid real world animals. I have similar thoughts as Vrolok, except that I hesitate about the mythical greek creatures, he speaks about. They would have to be no composite creatures, but creatures with an own logic and foundation in the gameworld (composite creatures should have a separate role). The argument of bird-creatures being based on Ayleid-influence sounds a little bit like there could be no birds in Cyrodiil anymore. That doesn't sound reasonable, considering there are birds in Skyrim with the hawk being a reverred animal. Why would the rule of the Imperials necessarily lead to such a massive vanishing of bird creatures?

On the harpy, generally. I wouldn't mind a harpy that is basically a more southern hagraven. Centaurs would seem overly random and they are missing some kind of biological plausibility that minotaurs and harpies still have. There is already a Lamia in our data files, btw. But these three, harpy and lamia aswell as the minotaurs are a different niche.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:02 am

Oh no, don't take any of my word as a demand or something, I myself only say some of my thoughts out loud. It's kinda like a brain storming process. Maybe some of my ideas will find reflection in what the team actually wants to achieve. I do not favour mythical Greek creatures per se, I myself am very hesitant about the lot. But they do kinda fit in with Imperial theme. Seems a shame not to explore that route. If there were ways to implement some of them in a meaningful way, then I would be happy. Otherwise, no, no and no!

It all depends on the vision you guys have of the province. Plus, mythical designs can be altered quite a bit to fit Tamriel much better. But not all will fit.

I do rather fancy the idea of harpies and Ayleid connection though, now that I think about it. There could be a lot of possible connections between the two. Who knows? Maybe they are product of Ayleid experiments? Or maybe they were Ayleid and somehow became this (Falmer/Riekling route)? Or maybe there is something else entirely going on? Possibilities are quite various and it doesn't even have to be clear, it could be ambiguous with several theories going on.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Infragris » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:25 am

Perhaps I'm misreading, but I'm kind of surprised to hear this critique here, since I've been pretty transparent about my design approach and I've been posting concepts, and not just of creatures, under the general philosophy of "let's do something we've never seen before", and generally received nothing but positive feedback from all of you. Right now, I'm feeling like if anyone here felt like I was being haphazard in my approach to design, literally *years* ago would have been the time to do it. Or is it just that everyone's been letting me paint in the corner and talk to myself this whole time, and it was never really intended for most of my concepts to make it in?
I've always been a fan of your bird-designs and didn't mean to imply that they were unfitting or a wasted effort. I'm sorry if it came across that way. This, and your other concepts, have been invaluable to the project. What I meant to say in regards to the "premise" problem is that the concept only touches one subset of creatures, whereas we need a general design philosophy to account for the entire ecology.
Unless I've misread, you seem to imply evolution plays some part in Tamriel, when it does not. There is no evidence of any semblance of evolution within the lore of Elder Scrolls, rather, in most cases things were just created by higher beings during convention or otherwise.
It's more complicated than that: While this is not really the space to get into metaphysics, there are a number of accounts that do point to an evolution-like metaphysical system. Look, for example, at the original division of the "races": once everyone was Ehlnofey, then they split up into the wandering and the sedentary clans, who became the common ancestors of humans and elves respectively. Now, this progression from Ehlnofex to human is influenced more by mythosociology than genetics, but it is still an evolution, and these beings currently do not have the shape they had in the beginning. We also have books like Notes on Racial Phylogeny, which states that children inherit traits from their mother and father: in the long run, this system is evolutionary in nature.

In other examples, it is stated in game that the flora and fauna of Morrowind has adapted to ash-heavy environments. Also, look at creatures like the Guar, Kagouti and Alit, who seem to have evolved from a common ancestor. Even if they haven't the implication is there and influences our perception of them. On another note: I think you're staking too much on the importance of metaphysical rule and the nature of White-Gold Tower. Texts such as the one you linked are as much lore as excuses for why Cyrodiil is not a jungle. We won't need to make these excuses. The Tower should definitely have an influence on its environment, but this should be done in a plausibly deniable way (ambiguity!) and not in such a blatant way as to replace an entire ecosystem. Also note that the flora and fauna of Cyrodiil predate the Ayleid and the building of the tower - in fact, they predate pretty much everything else. The bird-theme is not only linked to the Ayleid, but also to the mythical "bird-people" who lived in the Heartlands before the arrival of the Elves. In general, I don't want to make our ecosystem a metaphysical battlefield between elven and human mythospheres. The idea is to create a functional, grounded ecology: we can't do this by limiting an entire class of creatures to these ruins.

---

About Lamias: I have always envisioned them as a maritime version of Hagravens, shape-shifting witches sort of. In general, our water life doesn't need much deliberation because Morrowind didn't have any comparable water life + we already have most of them and they're pretty cool.

I am not in favor of basing ourselves on Greek/Roman mythological creatures:
  • It would be as much an inserted theme as any other. The only connection we have to this theme is the Minotaur, which is not really a form of wildlife and has a completely different background.
  • It would still be a disjointed theme, lacking common biological attributes or a shared ecology beyond "let's all fight this adventurer fellow". This is my Encyclopedia of Mythology complaint. These are also mostly creatures associated with the supernatural, which I've already whined about at length.
  • Imperials have a strong Roman theme in governance and military affairs, and also somewhat in mainstream religion. Not so much in mythology and the minor cults, which seem more based on Perzian/Indian concepts than anything else. Most importantly, they have little to no association with ancient Greek concepts, which is where most of these mythological creatures have their roots.
---

Now, for some positive thinking:
The Nibenay/Colovia split: I think most people here agree that this should be a thing. These areas are vastly different in culture and environment, and it would be awkward to have the same creatures in both places.

Colovia and the presence of "normal" creatures: bears, wolves, horses and donkeys, cows, etc. should, in my opinion, stay, and the presence of such common animals should continue to inform our idea of Colovia. One condition would be that current and coming creatures follow the semi-africanized style that Saint_Jiub laid out with the horses and donkeys. Following reasons:
  • Books, dialogue, and iconography from Morrowind indicate that they are native to the province. Not much we can do about that.
  • There are no insurmountable barriers to stop animal migrations to and from western Cyrodiil. Morrowind is weird because the mountains make it difficult to get to, and the ash completely changes the ecosystem so most things can't survive there. There's no such excuse for Colovia.
  • Colovia remains a migratory land: the Colovians themselves are settlers from Skyrim. We can allude to this theme by showing that its wildlife consists also, in a way, of newcomers with a strong nordic bent. Even if they've been here for thousands of years.
Nibenay: the prototypic jungle: the east is more difficult to picture, mostly because we do not yet have clear concepts of how the jungle works, what it will look like, and how we will implement it. Basic region and environment concepts should come first, then fauna concepts. That being said, I also couldn't resist putting down some outlines:
  • I think we should avert the melting pot scenario in the Nibenay, show little to no influences form other provinces. The jungle is very different from surrounding lands, far more insular. The Imperials themselves do not have a good grip on it, nor on its wildlife.
  • The jungle would be old and unchanged: a primeval wilderness. Cyrodiil is the Heart of Tamriel, the origin of life. Whereas the other races wandered the earth and split off to different continents, the Nedes remained in their valley, unchanged for thousands of years. It abounds with archetypic lifeforms, amphibians like the Gila and River Newts, with a Devonian signature, "simple" lifeforms like kollops, crayfish, or sea-slugs, and creatures who are in other ways archetypes, like the Coutal or Belhak: prototypical mammals, who could be the shared ancestors of horses, hyenas, wolves and yaks (the opposite of a hybrid creature, in other words).
  • the bird theme: in relation to the previous proposal, I can think of two implementations: a subtle reference to their dinosaur origins, placing them on the same scale as unfinished, prototypical multiforms, or as a pan-province phenomenon: a creature type that occurs in both Colovia and Nibenay, sign of the province's unison (the sky that connects us all).

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by R-Zero » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:01 am

Anumaril wrote:Reason being, they were likely a result of the Ayleids' kingship of the Tower, and thus, when humans took it, these Tower-bound beings would have been altered to suit the nature of the Nedes; and even if that never happened or people take issue with such metaphysics, these things scream Ayleid, and would likely have been purged by the Alessian Order (At least, in most regions other than Colovia).
You must understand that the "tower shaping the land" "lore" is nothing more than an excuse for retconning the jungle Cyrod out - the same way "From the Many-Headed Talos" MK spewed out years after Oblivion did it is. Also ZOS' damage control after their "transcription error" fiasco.
P:C goes with the original PGE1 interpretation afaik, so these concepts don't need to apply.

I dig Saint Jiub's Bird ideas, especially the terror birds! I don't think they were done in any ES game yet, and they are both realistic enough and exotic.

In Chinese Mythology, there are four apex creatures - Dragon, Bird, Tiger and Turtle, perhaps these could be appropriated? Birds being Saint Jiub's bird beasts, Turtles representing Nibenay river fauna (newts included), Tigers I heard were planned, and Dragons - well, these are Imperials themselves.
Snake creatures are a great idea too! Parallels to Akaviri could be drawn, Hydras seem cool and fitting too. Another interesting snake creature I know of is Cockatrice/Basilisk, and these are birds too, how do you like them apples!

And yeah, Infragris' post is reasonably in-depth and spot-on, I would take it as a base.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by berry » Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:19 pm

I've been trying to follow this lengthy discussion, and I had a thought today, as an external observer.

I am not a lore expert by any means, but isn't the "material world vs. what's metaphysical" dichotomy the main conflict of Cyrodill, since the mythical days of the elven rulers and the Alessian uprising? I'm just saying that seen from the side, this heated discussion you guys are having is exactly that: a conflict between what can be considered normal by a player, and between what is mythological, fantastical, bizarre. So how about naming that a dominating theme for the province? It would be damn interesting I'd say to have wolves and bears next to terror birds and those cute little troll-monkeys. And a newt herder hiring PC to shoo away giant birds harassing his animals. :) Sounds great to me.

We'd have to give some more thoughts to the ecosystems to make them believable then, but frankly, I think we are quite good at conceptualizing things. I wouldn't myself limit it to the letter to the Nibenay-Colovia polarity, even though that's a great trope to follow, but I think there should be some exceptions from this outline too, for the sake of the feel that Cyrodill as a whole is one entity. Making normal creatures transcend their real world counterparts (like with "a Tiger is a Dragon" idea) is a great way to go with this too.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Saint_Jiub » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:23 pm

So....... yeah, woke up this morning and I can't believe that I got so whiny with all y'all last night. Disregard me, nothing to see here :oops:

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by worsas » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:20 pm

Infragris wrote:Nibenay: the prototypic jungle: the east is more difficult to picture, mostly because we do not yet have clear concepts of how the jungle works, what it will look like, and how we will implement it. Basic region and environment concepts should come first, then fauna concepts. That being said, I also couldn't resist putting down some outlines:
  • I think we should avert the melting pot scenario in the Nibenay, show little to no influences form other provinces. The jungle is very different from surrounding lands, far more insular. The Imperials themselves do not have a good grip on it, nor on its wildlife.
  • The jungle would be old and unchanged: a primeval wilderness. Cyrodiil is the Heart of Tamriel, the origin of life. Whereas the other races wandered the earth and split off to different continents, the Nedes remained in their valley, unchanged for thousands of years. It abounds with archetypic lifeforms, amphibians like the Gila and River Newts, with a Devonian signature, "simple" lifeforms like kollops, crayfish, or sea-slugs, and creatures who are in other ways archetypes, like the Coutal or Belhak: prototypical mammals, who could be the shared ancestors of horses, hyenas, wolves and yaks (the opposite of a hybrid creature, in other words).
  • the bird theme: in relation to the previous proposal, I can think of two implementations: a subtle reference to their dinosaur origins, placing them on the same scale as unfinished, prototypical multiforms, or as a pan-province phenomenon: a creature type that occurs in both Colovia and Nibenay, sign of the province's unison (the sky that connects us all).
I'd actually had thought that the Nibenay was the melting pot of influences and less much so Colovia. I don't know how much bearing such books as "Dance in fire" have, but I always thought that Valenwood had this kind of forest you're describing, while the inside of Cyrodiil, even the Nibenay would comparably hospitable and traversable. Though, ultimately, we are speaking about a huge area, so it's probably easy to have all kinds of varying landscape.

Generally, I think that diversity would be a very good foundation of work. Bethesda and TR with their com-assets have pretty much projected all of their Western ideas onto Cyrodiil. This could be taken as a source of annoyance, but oppositely, we could just aswell embrace it all and use it unbiased together with all other things that make the imperials more special on the inside. Ultimately, it would be cool to have everything sourced somewhere and explained from inside of the game-universe. And to me it feels a bit strange to put it all into the Colovian areas and treat the Nibenese as something absolutely new and different. It feels like taking the approach of disparation between these too far.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Infragris » Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:45 pm

But isn't diversity the same as saying no theme at all? In that case we can just continue the way we were doing before.

I see the diverse nature of the Nibenay as mostly affecting the settled regions. The cities are eclectic, cultured, home to influences from all over the world, but the hinterland is untamed, impenetrable marshlands and forbidden jungles. These would show what inner Cyrodiil actually is, as opposed to what is has taken from other places. I would also rank the Valenwood jungles as less dangerous than the Nibenese ones: the Bosmer and Imga actually live in their forests, while Imperials take refuge in walled cities. Even if the Valenwood wildlife is more dangerous, the place would also be home to more non-hostile, civilized life.

About Valenwood: mix n' match critters would actually be right at home here. So the basic premise of the Bosmer is the Wild Hunt thing, right? All the beings in Valenwood couldn't decide what they were until Yffre gave them shape. But the Bosmer can still return to that original state, and when they do, they turn into a "flood of horrific beasts, tentacled toads, insects of armor and spine, gelatinous serpents, vaporous beings with the face of gods". Valenwood creatures could give testament of their instability by having attributes of many creatures at once: antlered bears, wolf-serpents, etc. Valenwood's premise would not be the primeval archetype, but the birth of new shapes, young things.

I agree that the division shouldn't be absolute: these are abstract themes, and in practice they should influence each other. In a more practical sense, they'll also mingle in the center regions, like the Massiqueran Forests and the area of Bruma. Colovia's theme would also not be diversity in this - colonization is perhaps a more appropriate term.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:19 pm

Worsas wrote:The argument of bird-creatures being based on Ayleid-influence sounds a little bit like there could be no birds in Cyrodiil anymore. That doesn't sound reasonable, considering there are birds in Skyrim with the hawk being a reverred animal. Why would the rule of the Imperials necessarily lead to such a massive vanishing of bird creatures?
Not quite what I was trying to imply, simply that based on the workings of the Tower, Ald Cyrod would have been suited to the Ayleids. That being jungles across the province, subtropical climate, feathered creatures around every turn, etc. I've nothing against inclusion of Jiub's bird creatures, in fact, I love the designs and didn't mean to come across otherwise. I was more or less brainstorming, sharing opinions on the subject. If they were to be included, I'd just think it interesting to have them play into Tower lore a bit, create some of that mythic suspicion Morrowind had in it's more metaphysical concepts. I certainly see them being prevalent within Nibenay, which as of current P:C concepts, seems to have some form of jungle within it. This creates quite a lot of opportunity for creative design and I wholeheartedly support it. I've had Colovia on the brain, and was against their inclusion in that region.
Vrolok wrote:I do rather fancy the idea of harpies and Ayleid connection though, now that I think about it. There could be a lot of possible connections between the two. Who knows? Maybe they are product of Ayleid experiments? Or maybe they were Ayleid and somehow became this (Falmer/Riekling route)? Or maybe there is something else entirely going on? Possibilities are quite various and it doesn't even have to be clear, it could be ambiguous with several theories going on.
Of any concept, this is one I really do oppose. Include harpies if they work, but please, omit the feathers. Humanoid feathered things would certainly allude to Ayleid given P:C's design of the elves, a connection I really don't see working. Ayleids becoming harpies just sounds silly and a copy/paste of Skyrim's Falmer, Bloodmoon's Rieklings, and that panned 'Dworc' theory that circulated about the lore community. Honestly, the only possible reason I see for Ayleid-harpies to have been a thing is through some curse placed by a Daedric prince, a theme which has occurred far too often in TES to be considered original.
R-Zero wrote:You must understand that the "tower shaping the land" "lore" is nothing more than an excuse for retconning the jungle Cyrod out - the same way "From the Many-Headed Talos" MK spewed out years after Oblivion did it is. Also ZOS' damage control after their "transcription error" fiasco.
P:C goes with the original PGE1 interpretation afaik, so these concepts don't need to apply.
Regardless of what the motivation behind a piece of interesting lore is, if it fits and is widely accepted, I don't see what is so wrong about taking it into consideration. Metaphysics are just as huge a part in TES as any other facet of the world. Despite their mistake, ZOS made up for it in their Tower lore, which is now the basis for much of what we understand about the structures. P:C uses the PGE1 as a base, and any interesting lore that might benefit the project, at least last time I checked. You may have an issue with some of what ESO or MK have done, but that doesn't mean all their works are to be ignored. I've issues with Oblivion, yet the Ayleid are my favorite subject. I love MK's work, but things like Ayrenn = KINMUNE I find to be ridiculous at best. You just have to be selective.
Berry wrote:I am not a lore expert by any means, but isn't the "material world vs. what's metaphysical" dichotomy the main conflict of Cyrodill, since the mythical days of the elven rulers and the Alessian uprising? I'm just saying that seen from the side, this heated discussion you guys are having is exactly that: a conflict between what can be considered normal by a player, and between what is mythological, fantastical, bizarre. So how about naming that a dominating theme for the province?
This is pretty much what I was trying to say, just couldn't get across so clearly. "Mundane v Magick", "Physical v Metaphysical", "Ald-Cyrod v Nu-Cyrod" These are themes I believe are strongly present in Cyrodiil, and are apparent throughout history and in the other games. You've a province of man inherited by one of the most mysterious and magick-obsessed elven races in history. From the Alessian Order to the banning of Necromancy, there is a constant debate within the Empire as to Magick's place in society as well as what's ethical when it comes to it's use. I think this is a very strong theme that may be reflected in nearly every subject of the world.

Now, when I say 'Mundane', I in no way support sheep, dogs, deer, and other creatures of Earth within Cyrodiil. But, things like the Belhak or wild Pahmar would be grounded close enough to reality in regions like Colovia, to make the strangeness of bird-based animals and multi-headed snakes more apparent in Nibenay.
Worsas wrote:I'd actually had thought that the Nibenay was the melting pot of influences and less much so Colovia. I don't know how much bearing such books as "Dance in fire" have, but I always thought that Valenwood had this kind of forest you're describing, while the inside of Cyrodiil, even the Nibenay would comparably hospitable and traversable. Though, ultimately, we are speaking about a huge area, so it's probably easy to have all kinds of varying landscape.
I actually assumed that as well before I really read up and investigated the topic. Take into consideration history and the surroundings of the land. You've got heavily-settled Colovia, a land that's seen a great number of wars, many being infighting between states. This region borders Hammerfell, Valenwood, Elsweyr, and holds the popular trading port of Anvil. It has all the means and reasons cultural exchange would occur, not to mention, past influence by the Ayleid. Then you have sparsely-settled Nibenay, a land of jungles, forests, and marshes; bordered by Argonia and Morrowind, two largely-xenophobic provinces. Just look at a map of Cyrodiil, Colovia has such cities as Kvatch, Skingrad, Sutch, and Chorrol, the only open region being the Imperial Reserve, which is populated by a number of Imperial forts. Now look at the east, the large, vacant stretch of the Nibenay Basin all the way down to Blackwood. It's only real cities being Cheydinhal and possibly Leyawiin (Bravil may as well be in Elsweyr, if you ask me), along with the decaying Mir Corrup (Which I assume to have held the monastic complex of the Alessians, if someone could confirm). This region has been forced to adopt it's own traditions and culture, not only due to the little opportunity foreign culture has had to influence them, but also due to the fact Ayleid culture was all but purged from the east by the Alessian Order. Now, that's not to say there is not sign of foreign influence on them, considering their heavy involvement in politics and the Eras of opportunity, but it is safe to say that they are by far the more isolated and less-influenced region between the two, though you are certainly right in saying there is varying possibility within sub-regions

TL;DR: Colovia is heavily-populated and enjoys a great exchange in trade and culture. Nibenay is sparsely-populated save for their cities and lacks the same trade capabilities, with most cultural influence coming from the rare travelling trader, tourist, or through their political activities.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Infragris » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:37 pm

Anumaril wrote: TL;DR: Colovia is heavily-populated and enjoys a great exchange in trade and culture. Nibenay is sparsely-populated save for their cities and lacks the same trade capabilities, with most cultural influence coming from the rare travelling trader, tourist, or through their political activities.
I'm sorry, but this is entirely incorrect. The Colovians have, time and time again, been depicted as isolationist, xenophobic, averse to foreign contacts and influences. The Nibenese are the mercantile branch of their civilization, open to foreign elements, forming the urban heart of culture. Your analysis seems based entirely on the old Oblivion map, which we have modified in a number of ways + doesn't give all that much information about population density and city size.

First, the Imperial City. Biggest city in the world. Even if Colovia had ten more cities, they would still have less population than this one place. Besides this, we're also planning to include a lot more minor cities (Suran-size) in the east. I would suggest giving the cartography thread a look, if this interests you.

Second, relative city sizes. Apart from the popular port of Anvil, most cities in Colovia will be a lot smaller and less populated. West-Colovia is a harsh, rocky place, mostly unsuited for large populations or massive agriculture. If you were to look at the map again, you'll see that most cities lie along the major trade roads, the Gold and Black Roads. These roads lead to the Imperial City. Colovia is flyover country, in a way; nobody comes to trade or exchange culture here because there it pales in comparison to the east, and the Colovians don't want them there anyway.

Third, the Niben river. Instant access to the sea, and a connection to Skyrim through Pale Pass. It's a lot easier to transport things by boat than to lug it across the Highlands. Pale Pass puts them in close contact with Skyrim, a friendly province, and to the south you have Elsweyr, also a major mercantile nation. Morrowind and Argonia may be hostile, but they are also (mostly) pacified, and the exotic products from their mines and plantations flows directly to the Nibenay. Colovia has one port town, whereas every city along the Niben is a comparable port. The environment is also much more fertile, leading to the vast heartlands rice fields: capable of supporting a much larger population.

Lastly, Colovia's trade partners. Who are the neighbors of Colovia? Southern Hammerfell is mostly a desert. In fact, it it the desert: the Alik'r, inhabited only by violent Dunedwellers. Valenwood is mostly unexploited jungle, a backwater by all reports. The green Pact forbids harming the vegetation, which likely impedes major industry or agriculture. They have little worth trading. Lastly, Elsweyr: a major trading partner, except that the northern half of the province is, again, mostly desert, inhabited by drug addicts. The popular trade cities are all in the south, close to Leyawiin.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:00 pm

Infragris wrote:Your analysis seems based entirely on the old Oblivion map, which we have modified in a number of ways + doesn't give all that much information about population density and city size.
Yeah, I've not taken too great of a look at P:C's cartography efforts, most of what I know is based on old official maps. I'll have to look through that stuff, your points make a lot of sense. My interpretation of Nibenay being secluded was more accounting for the Basin on old maps and it's lack of roads and towns.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by R-Zero » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:12 pm

Anumaril wrote: Regardless of what the motivation behind a piece of interesting lore is, if it fits and is widely accepted, I don't see what is so wrong about taking it into consideration. Metaphysics are just as huge a part in TES as any other facet of the world. Despite their mistake, ZOS made up for it in their Tower lore, which is now the basis for much of what we understand about the structures. P:C uses the PGE1 as a base, and any interesting lore that might benefit the project, at least last time I checked. You may have an issue with some of what ESO or MK have done, but that doesn't mean all their works are to be ignored. I've issues with Oblivion, yet the Ayleid are my favorite subject. I love MK's work, but things like Ayrenn = KINMUNE I find to be ridiculous at best. You just have to be selective.
While it's true that I have a lot of major gripes with ESO and think that it's not a good source for stuff overall, there's actually a good reason to reject the Tower mechanics from it:
If we accept if it's indeed the masters of Tower who shape the land around it, then 3E Cyrod must look like what we have in ESO or Oblivion, not its description in PGE1. The whole reason ESO tower stuff and Many-Headed-Talos exist is because of the portrayals of the province in these games, and P:C has the different, the original one. Ergo, both breathing in royalty because you love red dudes and Cinna's scribbles just plain don't fit.
And I love most of MK's stuff by the way. Just not the artificial retcon excuses.
Infragris wrote:About Valenwood: mix n' match critters would actually be right at home here. So the basic premise of the Bosmer is the Wild Hunt thing, right? All the beings in Valenwood couldn't decide what they were until Yffre gave them shape. But the Bosmer can still return to that original state, and when they do, they turn into a "flood of horrific beasts, tentacled toads, insects of armor and spine, gelatinous serpents, vaporous beings with the face of gods". Valenwood creatures could give testament of their instability by having attributes of many creatures at once: antlered bears, wolf-serpents, etc. Valenwood's premise would not be the primeval archetype, but the birth of new shapes, young things.
Couldn't put it better, that's exactly how I imagine Valenwood - Spooky Crazy Jungle. Could've also mentioned their bizarre Vampire clans.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:17 pm

R-Zero wrote:While it's true that I have a lot of major gripes with ESO and think that it's not a good source for stuff overall, there's actually a good reason to reject the Tower mechanics from it:
If we accept if it's indeed the masters of Tower who shape the land around it, then 3E Cyrod must look like what we have in ESO or Oblivion, not its description in PGE1. The whole reason ESO tower stuff and Many-Headed-Talos exist is because of the portrayals of the province in these games, and P:C has the different, the original one. Ergo, both breathing in royalty because you love red dudes and Cinna's scribbles just plain don't fit.
Not necessarily, that's the thing about TES, subjective canonicity. Our Cyrodiil can look however we want it to, while maintaining the function of the Tower. So long as we admit to Ald Cyrod having appeared much differently, being suited to the Ayleids, the Tower lore fits in perfectly. We're already retconning the appearance and environments of Cyrodiil in Oblivion and ESO anyway. Besides, there is literary proof that even P:C's PGE1-based Cyrod is different than that of Ayleid times. P:C's jungle lies in Nibenay, with a variety of environments and surely differing climates across the province. If Ayleid-centric texts are to be believed, nearly the entirety of their domain was jungled (Notably the Heartland) and the climate of a subtropical nature, in order to suit the masters. Just like any other post-Morrowind text, we take the interesting concepts and alter them in such a way that they are compatible with P:C. Hell, I'd love to write a P:C-based lorebook on the subject if it's agreed upon that the Tower theory is 'canon' within P:C, I think such metaphysical concepts unique to the province should be very much welcome, helping to separate it not only from the mundane features of Morrowind, but the trans-mundane as well.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:21 pm

By the way, any thoughts on Ogres? How important are they? Could they be replaced with Cyclops?
These would fit into the same niche, but I feel that they would be less generic fantasy and more Imperial theme.
It's a small touch and the only difference is style. One is more mythological, another is more fantasy.
They are not in the lore though, but Ogres and Ogrims are so similar in many ways, it kinda seems redundant in a way.

Aren't these guys give more of the Colovian vibe?
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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:44 pm

Ogres
Well, they are in general quite similar to the Ogrim, so I'd say we would have to differentiate them more, making them closer to Orcs and Goblin-Ken, as well as changing their name so as to separate them (I'd recommend both a Colovian or Elven-based name for the dialogue of most races, of a demeaning nature, and an Orc-based name as their true identity). They make sense in the lore, so are a 'generic fantasy' creature that belongs there, being children of Malacath.

They are said to have a primitive culture of their own, living in small hunter-gatherer communities, often stealing things from nearby settlements. This makes me think of them as 'gentle-giants', like others of their kind, only presumed to be dangerous due to their appearance and mythic history of Daedric origin, and as such, are hunted by other races like beasts. As such, I'd say they live largely in the deep hills of the Highlands and cliffsides of the Jeralls, often in open-mouthed caves. They've primitive structures within constructed from logs, rocks, branches, animal bones, and stolen materials from nearby settlements; often times dedicating 'shiny-shiny' objects to makeshift idols of Malacath. While sentient and of limited intelligence, they've learned to be distrustful of outsiders, so any player interaction would have to be prefaced by some method of earning their trust, likely through mediation with an Orc, who they'd obviously feel comfortable with, and are likely the only race known to have sympathy and recognition for them.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:02 am

About ogres:
Yeah, I would agree with these things, definitely. Makes sense from both lore and world building perspective. Especially the name idea is good, they need a cool name. Maybe even leave them to be known as Ogres to the general population, kinda emphasizes connection to Ogrims and Malacath, but their true name spoken by Orcs and maybe scholars who studied them. Would be great to read a book about them in the game.

Style wise, you could probably still give them only a single eye to make them slightly more unique. I mean, trolls have three eyes, ogres could have only one. It could also be a funny superstition among Nibenese commoners, that trolls from the Jungle "stole" the eye from Highland ogres, so the Jungle inhabitants are wiser and see things more clearly than Highlanders.

About hydras:
I see them kinda like that. Living in the southern jungles of Cyrodiil on the border with Black Marsh. They would also have different name, something more Nibenese. These might be important for some of the snake cults, located in the area.
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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:27 am

Ogre
Not sure how I feel about the one-eye thing, I feel it'd make them too similar to cyclops, which I'd choose to avoid. That image I shared is what I imagine them to look like: hulking humanoids, with relatable facial features similar to that of Orcs. I'm also a fan of those odd-looking feet, perhaps they'd have some thick hair on them in some places as well, considering they'd live in more windy regions.

Hydra
Hm, perhaps less of a classic Hydra look, and something like a rat-king. They'd literally be a bunch of snakes that managed to become tangled together. This would look very strange, perfect for Nibenay if you ask me. There'd be many local myths surrounding the strange occurrence, and it would present the idea of there being A LOT of snakes within those jungles, so many that they become tangled with one another.

Truth of the matter is that the mass of snakes choose to tangle themselves together, in protection of something. Perhaps some native fruit or plant that emits some kind of pheromone and uses the attracted snakes as a means to protect itself and spread it's seeds. (Can't let just the creatures be weird, plants need love too)

Closest thing of a concept to this is Bloodborne's balls of snakes:

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Image

These would be larger, not as huge as those in this image, but I love the design of ESO's giant snakes:

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:39 am

Regarding the ogre picture - okay, but isn't it a bit too orcish now? I mean looks more like a big orc to me, not sure about it. Legs are cool, but I still think something like what I posted is a bit more fitting, though it's just my thought.

I am okay with Bloodborne style for hydras, but I am not sure how well it would translate into Morrowind engine. I only want to avoid dinosaur style hydras with legs, which I personally do not fancy. Idea of a group of snakes together is fine, though once again, engine has limitations. Design should be both weird and simple, so it isn't easy.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Anumaril » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:55 am

Well, it's Goblin-Ken, they should look somewhat similar. Main problem with them having one eye is that you want players to see something and say "Woah, what is that?", and be intrigued enough to head over to that cave, meet some ogres, and learn about them from lorebooks and such. I feel if they had one eye as you suggest, players are going to react differently, "Oh, a Cyclops" is what I imagine, at least, that's what would come to my mind. They wouldn't see this uniquely named and inspired creature, they'd see a cyclops, and that's what I want to avoid. Single eyes aren't bad, I just wouldn't give them to such large, humanoid creatures that would immediately make players think 'cyclops'. I feel we can differentiate them better, like weird legs and other features that would make moving around the highlands and mountains easier. Orcs are built like regular humanoids, goblins are built to scuttle about beneath the ground, and Ogres to lift heavy things and move around mountainous terrain. Each are unique, yet similar in design, given their origin.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:06 am

No, you are definitely right about Cyclops association, I am just not sure if that's a bad thing in itself. That was kinda the point, but to make it somewhat subtle.

I think I am okay with your ideas and I do rather like them, but not sure about the visual design. Goblins and orcs are very different in TES, so I think Ogres shouldn't be too similar either. And this design looks very generic fantasy to me, but maybe it's just my vision.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by Infragris » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:06 am

A hydra or a snake orgy, despite how tantalizing it sounds, would be extremely difficult to animate properly.

Ogres and Cyclopses ... look, I really hate that I have to be so negative in this thread, but at the same time I feel like I'm talking into the air. I've made my point about the classical mythology before, and received not even a token acknowledgement or counterpoint of it:
  • It would be as much an inserted theme as any other. The only connection we have to this theme is the Minotaur, which is not really a form of wildlife and has a completely different background.
  • It would still be a disjointed theme, lacking common biological attributes or a shared ecology beyond "let's all fight this adventurer fellow". This is my Encyclopedia of Mythology complaint. These are also mostly creatures associated with the supernatural, which I've already whined about at length.
  • Imperials have a strong Roman theme in governance and military affairs, and also somewhat in mainstream religion. Not so much in mythology and the minor cults, which seem more based on Perzian/Indian concepts than anything else. Most importantly, they have little to no association with ancient Greek concepts, which is where most of these mythological creatures have their roots.
To elaborate further: classical mythology is not a coherent theme. The myths and legends of Tamriel are vastly different than our own, so there's no real connection there. Mythological beings also do not form a sound ecology. Lastly, they are in no way adapted to or reflective of their environment, wether it be jungle or wasteland.

We already have every theme that the ogres could represent: minotaurs and goblins are the primitive tribes, trolls are the mindless animals, Ogrims have the looks and the name, and Orcs have their material and spiritual culture. Between goblin caves and minotaur camps, I'm also unsure where we can squeeze in yet another primitive culture.

Yes, Ogres were present in Oblivion. So were Imps and Wisps. But frankly, if I was happy with the way Oblivion did things, it would not be here doing this thing. And, I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but the only esthetic I get from this assembly of creatures is a Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.

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Re: Cyrodiil Creatures

Post by vrolok » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:25 am

And, I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but the only esthetic I get from this assembly of creatures is a Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.
Don't be sorry, Infragris, as far as I am concerned your vision is central here. And having a vision is incredibly important for the project this big to be coherent. And I myself am sorry if I am somehow disrupting otherwise productive discussion, I am just very excited about the project.

I always loved Cyrodiil, even in Oblivion, which was my first TES game. But if it had level of detail of Morrowind, that would be truly grandeur. And this project is definitely on the right track.

My only concern so far is that while the creatures you talk about do fit the world very well, I am not sure minotaurs or trolls alone could fill the whole niche. There could be few creatures competing, that would make sense to me.

And while classical mythology is not a coherent theme from the point of view of world design, it is a coherent theme in terms of visual representation. So I mostly think it would be good fit, especially for Colovia. Not because of magic or something else, but because of aesthetic.

I do not say "Use them, they are good!". I say "Certain elements of classical mythology could be incorporated into various creatures of Cyrodiil, simply to improve overall visual representation and cohesiveness of the world".

P.S. Some counterpoints, just for fun, because I don't really feel like I should be pushing it any further, but I can, so why not?
It would be as much an inserted theme as any other. The only connection we have to this theme is the Minotaur, which is not really a form of wildlife and has a completely different background.
Not really. I mean, there are already huge numbers of mythological creatures in the lore, so the theme is used commonly in Tamriel. You might argue that a lot of them were brought before TES got creative, in times of Arena and Daggerfall. That's true, but it gives a great excuse to use these themes and give them that unique TES reimagination.
It would still be a disjointed theme, lacking common biological attributes or a shared ecology beyond "let's all fight this adventurer fellow". This is my Encyclopedia of Mythology complaint. These are also mostly creatures associated with the supernatural, which I've already whined about at length.
Yes, but I am not proposing to use it as world building theme, but rather design choice in some cases. Morrowind had more variety than just bugs. Plus I do not propose to add creatures simply because they are mythological, but rather use mythical creatures in certain places where they fit and how they fit.
Imperials have a strong Roman theme in governance and military affairs, and also somewhat in mainstream religion. Not so much in mythology and the minor cults, which seem more based on Perzian/Indian concepts than anything else. Most importantly, they have little to no association with ancient Greek concepts, which is where most of these mythological creatures have their roots.
Now, this is a rather poor excuse. Antique myths are antique and had a lot of influence on Romans as well. And Romans are important inspiration for Imperials, no matter how you look at it. Yes, Nibenese are strange and definitely have many other influences, but Roman influence is still there, just different kind.

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I can see strong opposition to the idea, so I really am not gonna push it anymore. I do not understand it, because I believe it could be one of the best sources of inspiration if used properly. Still, it's up to you to decide.
Last edited by vrolok on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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