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The Darlok - Welcome to the Cabal: A Mini-biography


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ApolloArtemis #1 Posted 14 August 2015 - 12:19 AM

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This week we presented to you the Shadow Fleet of the secretive Darlok race....today we dive a bit into their secretive society and try to unlock the secrets of this shadowy race.


The Darlok

 

Belief System

Darloks are solipsistic by nature. This means that they fundamentally believe that the only thing that can be known is the individual’s own existence. This comes from the fact that a race of shapeshifters understands that the world around them may not be a real as it seems, leading them to only truly believe in themselves and their own existence/experiences. They have no religion. 

 

Darloks do not have a creation myth, but believe they were made by genetic manipulation rather than organic evolution. Darloks are not sure who intervened in their development or why they were created this way. Some Darloks express an interest in their creation and search the galaxy for clues about their origin, but the general population does not consider it an effort worthy of their time.

 

Origins

The origin of the Darloks is that they started as small, almost slug like beings. They evolved on their dark planet as shape shifters, an elaborate form of camouflage. They took on a humanoid appearance once they encountered their first aliens, the humanoid Bringers of Light. They adopted the uniform appearance and over time, their bodies assumed their new stance as their “base” form.

 

Culture

Entertainment

Darloks are often depicted in front of many screens, watching signals from around the galaxy. Darloks watch everything. They don’t necessarily pick up on the humor or emotions of other races, but watching intergalactic programming is how many Darloks learn to imitate other races.

Cultural Aesthetic

Darloks, who prefer dark places and planets with weak stars, are drawn to dark colors. Bright colors tend to make Darloks uncomfortable. Darloks avoid bright colors when in their “natural form” and no Darlok space would be boldly decorated. In fact, decoration of any kind is often seen as unnecessary to life.

 

Much of Darlok technology has been stolen, either the machines themselves or simply the technology behind them. This of course means that there is no consistent style between their machinery, other than the ubiquitous pasted together look.

Clothing

Darloks wear skin tight clothing that covers their entire bodies and leaves no bare skin exposed. The material they use is engineered (or stolen) to be lightweight and flexible enough to still provide coverage if the Darloks shape shift into another type of life form (though they usually do not shift with clothes on). Their necks and heads are not covered by this material, but smooth and reflective helmets are used as protection from the elements and to hide their faces. On top of this basic clothing format, Darloks may use other swatches of fabric or clothing utilized for identification purposes. All outer clothing tends to be loose fitting.

 

Architecture

Since so much of their technology is stolen, the places that they occupy have a clustered, cobbled appearance to them. They seem to constantly exist in a snarl of wires and screens (the result of forcing compatibility between many alien technologies).

 

Housing for Darloks is dark and cramped because of all the mismatched technology inefficiently rigged into compatibility. Their homes do not have a personal feeling to them and aliens often feel confused and lost when in Darlok cities and buildings. Darloks have no problem navigating their spaces and see small differences that are lost on outsiders. Darloks often have a complicated network of underground tunnels and subways in their urban areas that also serve as an escape route/fallout shelter.

Diet

Darloks can eat any organic or synthetic materials, an offshoot of their ability to take the form of any living being. They do not take any pleasure from eating and have a poorly developed sense of taste. Most of the time Darloks will simply hook themselves to tubes which provide sustenance while they do something else, since food is just a means of survival and they do not care about preparation or taste. The Darloks stole their food prep and agricultural systems from the Psilons.

 

Foods prepared on their home planet often have a slimy texture as they are based on underground mushrooms. Darloks are unfazed by it, but aliens find it horribly unpalatable.

 



OrionSol #2 Posted 14 August 2015 - 03:59 AM

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This mini-biography seems to odd to me, but then again, this species would be enigmatic 

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Varadhon #3 Posted 14 August 2015 - 04:07 AM

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from the OP

 The Darloks stole their food prep and agricultural systems from the Psilons.

 

If this is the case, then is there some major part of the MoO back story that we are missing?  MoO and MoO2 both open with each of the races having just achieved FTL and without having made first contact with any other race.  If that remains so, how could the Darloks have stolen anything from anyone? 



RayFowler #4 Posted 14 August 2015 - 01:38 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 14 August 2015 - 04:07 AM, said:

 

If this is the case, then is there some major part of the MoO back story that we are missing?  MoO and MoO2 both open with each of the races having just achieved FTL and without having made first contact with any other race.  If that remains so, how could the Darloks have stolen anything from anyone? 

 

There was a ton of lore introduced in MOO3 that sets the game far in the future after races have gained FTL and then lost it. I think MOO2 was supposed to have occurred in 17000 AD or something.

 

Kind of wonky, imo. I always preferred the MOO1 idea of "it's 2300 and your race has just discovered warp drive"


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OrionSol #5 Posted 14 August 2015 - 03:18 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 14 August 2015 - 04:07 AM, said:

 

If this is the case, then is there some major part of the MoO back story that we are missing?  MoO and MoO2 both open with each of the races having just achieved FTL and without having made first contact with any other race.  If that remains so, how could the Darloks have stolen anything from anyone? 

 

A question I had as well 

 

Also... who made them?  The Antarrans?


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VMetalic #6 Posted 14 August 2015 - 03:36 PM

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View PostOrionSol, on 14 August 2015 - 03:18 PM, said:

 

A question I had as well 

 

Also... who made them?  The Antarrans?

 

Or Orions :) Both races were sufficiently advanced. The Orions were on Alkari's homeworld, while Antarans were on Trilarian's homeworld, affecting both races. One or the other may have developed Darloks the way they see fit, for whatever reasons.

Edited by VMetalic, 14 August 2015 - 03:38 PM.


ApolloArtemis #7 Posted 14 August 2015 - 04:14 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 13 August 2015 - 09:07 PM, said:

 

If this is the case, then is there some major part of the MoO back story that we are missing?  MoO and MoO2 both open with each of the races having just achieved FTL and without having made first contact with any other race.  If that remains so, how could the Darloks have stolen anything from anyone? 

 

View PostOrionSol, on 14 August 2015 - 08:18 AM, said:

 

A question I had as well 

 

Also... who made them?  The Antarrans?

All great questions and a mystery I will reveal later today. ;)



Varadhon #8 Posted 14 August 2015 - 04:55 PM

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View PostRayFowler, on 14 August 2015 - 01:38 PM, said:

 

There was a ton of lore introduced in MOO3 that sets the game far in the future after races have gained FTL and then lost it. I think MOO2 was supposed to have occurred in 17000 AD or something.

 

Kind of wonky, imo. I always preferred the MOO1 idea of "it's 2300 and your race has just discovered warp drive"

 

I agree--the "it's 2300 and your race has just discovered warp drive" was part of the charm for me.  It was more sandbox in character. 

 

I'd be curious about how much of the MoO3 lore serves as back story.  There was a lot of great work that went into the story, though much of it was there to serve important game design choices: 1. allowing for multiple states with the same starting race (hence the story of bombing the major races back to a pre-FTL status and scattering them from their homeworlds); 2. creating a more scientific aesthetic by eliminating the Darloks, Elerians, Alkari, Mrrshan, Bulrathi and Gnolam as major playable races; 3. enhancing the nature of Orion by making it the seat of Antaran power and giving them a huge fleet capable of projecting a lot of power.   

 

Those elements of the back story seem totally incompatible with the notion of having the races start in their home systems.  Maybe the MoO3 lore has been sifted and rewritten to be compatible with the MoO1/MoO2 starting positions.  Maybe we are even further in the future and the races have been returned to their homeworlds.  Looking forward to ElPozoleOlmeca's next post.



VMetalic #9 Posted 14 August 2015 - 05:15 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 14 August 2015 - 04:55 PM, said:

 

I agree--the "it's 2300 and your race has just discovered warp drive" was part of the charm for me.  It was more sandbox in character. 

 

I'd be curious about how much of the MoO3 lore serves as back story.  There was a lot of great work that went into the story, though much of it was there to serve important game design choices: 1. allowing for multiple states with the same starting race (hence the story of bombing the major races back to a pre-FTL status and scattering them from their homeworlds); 2. creating a more scientific aesthetic by eliminating the Darloks, Elerians, Alkari, Mrrshan, Bulrathi and Gnolam as major playable races; 3. enhancing the nature of Orion by making it the seat of Antaran power and giving them a huge fleet capable of projecting a lot of power.   

 

Those elements of the back story seem totally incompatible with the notion of having the races start in their home systems.  Maybe the MoO3 lore has been sifted and rewritten to be compatible with the MoO1/MoO2 starting positions.  Maybe we are even further in the future and the races have been returned to their homeworlds.  Looking forward to ElPozoleOlmeca's next post.

 

... or, this is a remake of MoO1, and this little bit of data about Psilon tech in their hands, is said in the way of that Darloks have established colonies and made contact with other races. Such as the mention of "colonizing systems with weak stars". This clearly implies that the info we get is said from a time Darloks arent at the start of their first FTL voyages.

Varadhon #10 Posted 14 August 2015 - 05:45 PM

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View PostVMetalic, on 14 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

 

... or, this is a remake of MoO1, and this little bit of data about Psilon tech in their hands, is said in the way of that Darloks have established colonies and made contact with other races. Such as the mention of "colonizing systems with weak stars". This clearly implies that the info we get is said from a time Darloks arent at the start of their first FTL voyages.

 

It certainly implies some kind of history.  That said, there have been plenty of tidbits that confuse me about what the setup in the back story is.  Take this bit from the Bulrathi back story:

 

per Bulrathi: a Mini-Biography

 

Dissident Factions

 

Some Bulrathi believe that the government is not there to serve the people as a whole, but the interest of those connected to the War Trust and the Emperor’s personal causes. This is a small, but vocal portion of Bulrathi society. These dissonant Bulrathi usually live off world where it would be hard for the Bulrathi government to charge them with treason. 

Many Bulrathi believe that the practice of The Harvest is outdated and savage, but the government keeps it going in order to collect revenue from tourists and even take a cut of the Black Market. This is less of a “Dissonant Faction” and more of a contentious issue, but it is cause for punishment and those who act to protest The Harvest have been known to be punished on the grounds of domestic terror or treason.

 

If the starting position for all races is (1) the race's basic stats, (2) a partially populated homeworld, (3) 1 scout, 1 combat frigate, 1 colony ship, and (4) associated technologies, then how could there be dissident Bulrathi who "usually live off world?"  All the evidence from the hands-on previews from Gamescom points to this.

 

Is there some sort of story/campaign mode version of the game that opens with some the galaxy at a later stage of development and conforms to the back story?  I know that MoO2 had an "advanced" start option inspired by MoM's difficulty level modifier which gave all opponent AI's a head start on the player, but this doesn't sound like the same thing.

 

And what in Ursa is the Harvest???

 


Edited by Varadhon, 14 August 2015 - 05:45 PM.


RayFowler #11 Posted 14 August 2015 - 06:03 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 14 August 2015 - 04:55 PM, said:

 

Those elements of the back story seem totally incompatible with the notion of having the races start in their home systems.  Maybe the MoO3 lore has been sifted and rewritten to be compatible with the MoO1/MoO2 starting positions.  Maybe we are even further in the future and the races have been returned to their homeworlds.  Looking forward to ElPozoleOlmeca's next post.

 

Right, because now you have to construct a convoluted rationale as to why FTL was acquired and then lost, and all of the races are back again on their home planet.

 

It's better to wave your sci-fi hands and say "FTL travel was long thought impossible but now suddenly experiments show it is possible."

 

Then you have explained why all of the races get FTL at the same time and you can then use the game to explain what had been suppressing FTL (i.e. cue the in-game discovery of the ancient Orion-Antaran storyline). This also allows a great disparity in ages between the races (which you need for the Meklar).

Edited by RayFowler, 14 August 2015 - 06:04 PM.

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VMetalic #12 Posted 14 August 2015 - 09:12 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 14 August 2015 - 05:45 PM, said:

 

It certainly implies some kind of history.  That said, there have been plenty of tidbits that confuse me about what the setup in the back story is.  Take this bit from the Bulrathi back story:

 

 

If the starting position for all races is (1) the race's basic stats, (2) a partially populated homeworld, (3) 1 scout, 1 combat frigate, 1 colony ship, and (4) associated technologies, then how could there be dissident Bulrathi who "usually live off world?"  All the evidence from the hands-on previews from Gamescom points to this.

 

Is there some sort of story/campaign mode version of the game that opens with some the galaxy at a later stage of development and conforms to the back story?  I know that MoO2 had an "advanced" start option inspired by MoM's difficulty level modifier which gave all opponent AI's a head start on the player, but this doesn't sound like the same thing.

 

And what in Ursa is the Harvest???

 

 

I believe I have just answered that. What is written here is meant as a background for you, to see how the factions acts and who they are. BUT, it does not correspond to the way how are things when the game will be starting. As I suspect, you will still be starting on a single planet. Because, what if you will have a game with Darloks but not Psilons? How can they steal technology from someone that isnt there? Dont take this all too strictly, including the Dissident Factions. How can Humans have Dissident Faction within them, which is opposing any connection with aliens, right at the start of their FTL travel, when they havent met any?

 

To put it bluntly, imagine it like that the start of the game is in 2300, but the backstories here are taking place in 2350. Dates are random, just to make an example.



RayFowler #13 Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:00 PM

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View PostVMetalic, on 14 August 2015 - 09:12 PM, said:

 

To put it bluntly, imagine it like that the start of the game is in 2300, but the backstories here are taking place in 2350. Dates are random, just to make an example.

 

ok,  but the backstory given here for the Darloks is not based on  that. It's based on established MOO lore (written for MOO3) which takes place far in the future. In this lore, I believe the Darloks were indeed the result of genetic manipulation by the Antarans, as this backstory implies. Personally, I'm a  little surprised that they are leveraging off of the MOO3 lore, but the Dev Diary makes it pretty clear that they are.
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VMetalic #14 Posted 14 August 2015 - 11:58 PM

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View PostRayFowler, on 14 August 2015 - 10:00 PM, said:

 

ok,  but the backstory given here for the Darloks is not based on  that. It's based on established MOO lore (written for MOO3) which takes place far in the future. In this lore, I believe the Darloks were indeed the result of genetic manipulation by the Antarans, as this backstory implies. Personally, I'm a  little surprised that they are leveraging off of the MOO3 lore, but the Dev Diary makes it pretty clear that they are.

 

Well, if it fits, why not use it than? :) While I am not so much in-the-know of MoO3, I know that a lot of afford was given to its lore, and I am sure that there are some great pieces. Why waste it only because the gameplay overall sucked horribly?

RayFowler #15 Posted 15 August 2015 - 03:06 AM

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View PostVMetalic, on 14 August 2015 - 11:58 PM, said:

 

Well, if it fits, why not use it than? :) While I am not so much in-the-know of MoO3, I know that a lot of afford was given to its lore, and I am sure that there are some great pieces. Why waste it only because the gameplay overall sucked horribly?

 

My opinion of the MOO3 backstory is not based on the gameplay. Here is a link to the story: http://moo3.quicksilver.com/game/background.html

 

It's very much a space opera and many people like it.


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Varadhon #16 Posted 15 August 2015 - 04:20 AM

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View PostRayFowler, on 14 August 2015 - 10:00 PM, said:

 

ok,  but the backstory given here for the Darloks is not based on  that. It's based on established MOO lore (written for MOO3) which takes place far in the future. In this lore, I believe the Darloks were indeed the result of genetic manipulation by the Antarans, as this backstory implies. Personally, I'm a  little surprised that they are leveraging off of the MOO3 lore, but the Dev Diary makes it pretty clear that they are.

 

Yes, based on what the loremaster had to say in the Dev Diary, the references latch onto a lot of the lore created for MoO3.  I'm curious to see if they built on it (i.e., we are now further into the future, AFTER MoO3 concludes) or if they used it as mere inspiration to fashion a whole new back story.

 

It's a curious thing to me for three reasons:

 

1.  If this MoO is set further into the future, then the new lore has to explain how the races returned to their homeworlds.

 

2.  If this MoO is set further into the future, then the new lore has to explain how the Darloks, Bulrathi, Alkari and Mrrshan (and prospectively the Elerians and the Gnolam) regained a prominent place in the galaxy.  By extension, does that mean we get to see the Cynoids, Raas, Eoladi, Grendarl, Imsaeis, Nommo, Evon, Tachidi and Ithkul eventually?

 

3.  The Devs have a made a big deal about ignoring MoO3 in public statements reflected in the media coverage of the game.  If so, why then so clearly acknowledge its existence either as inspiration or as a back story that has to be worked around?  That rather undercuts the whole "What's MoO3?" line.  

 

I don't really mind the use of MoO3 lore.  It was one of the better parts of the what was done with the game.

 


Edited by Varadhon, 15 August 2015 - 04:20 AM.


VMetalic #17 Posted 15 August 2015 - 10:02 AM

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This is a reboot of MoO1, not continuation of MoO3. The devs only use some pieces of the lore of MoO3 because it helps them in defining the original races into the standards of "the races you can play as has their own history", not just "we are here, we look like this, our stats minimally defines us" like it was in first and second game.

 

MoO3 lore is only an inspiration for the WG MoO, not an "past". A parallel timeline/dimension if you want. I think devs said it many times already that this is a new start. Because, if it was like you are thinking its continuing from MoO3, how can Mrrshan, Bulrathi, Alkari, Darloks, Elerians and Gnolams be there, when if I remember correctly they were annihilated by Antarans? This doesnt make sense at all.



Varadhon #18 Posted 15 August 2015 - 04:44 PM

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View PostVMetalic, on 15 August 2015 - 10:02 AM, said:

This is a reboot of MoO1, not continuation of MoO3. The devs only use some pieces of the lore of MoO3 because it helps them in defining the original races into the standards of "the races you can play as has their own history", not just "we are here, we look like this, our stats minimally defines us" like it was in first and second game.

 

MoO3 lore is only an inspiration for the WG MoO, not an "past". A parallel timeline/dimension if you want. I think devs said it many times already that this is a new start. Because, if it was like you are thinking its continuing from MoO3, how can Mrrshan, Bulrathi, Alkari, Darloks, Elerians and Gnolams be there, when if I remember correctly they were annihilated by Antarans? This doesnt make sense at all.

 

The kitschy races (Darloks, Elerians, Gnolams, Mrrshan, Bulrathi, and Alkari) weren't annihilated.  They were bombed into near extinction in the MoO3 back story for badmouthing the "New Orions" at the first reconstitution of the galactic council.  Each of those races appeared as a minor race in MoO3.  They had no diplomatic presence on the galactic level, but they frequently showed up as pockets of population in the galaxy.  They were very useful for jump starting expansion efforts and seemed to have a more aggressive migration setting than the primary races.

 

Regardless of whether the the MoO3 story is mere inspiration or canonical lore for this reboot, the racial mini-biographies imply some kind of galactic history, including rather recent history.  If, as you say here:  "To put it bluntly, imagine it like that the start of the game is in 2300, but the backstories here are taking place in 2350. Dates are random, just to make an example." then the Devs are wasting an awful lot of effort.  

 

Back story should serve to flesh out each race, but it shouldn't interfere with the player's own sandbox experience of the game.  The sandbox nature of the game is a major attraction of the genre for most players.  Requiring the player to fast forward into an imaginary game that doesn't reflect the player's own game isn't lore any longer, it's just literary masturbation.



RayFowler #19 Posted 15 August 2015 - 06:09 PM

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View PostVMetalic, on 15 August 2015 - 10:02 AM, said:

This is a reboot of MoO1, not continuation of MoO3.

 

I think it's probably going to end up being a reboot of MOO2. They're already basing the game mechanics off of MOO2, and I'm confident that the Antarans will show up and perhaps the additional MOO2 races in an expansion.
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VMetalic #20 Posted 15 August 2015 - 09:15 PM

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Talking to you is pointless when you are stuck into your beliefs, turning everything so that it fits into what you think.

 

View PostRayFowler, on 15 August 2015 - 06:09 PM, said:

 

I think it's probably going to end up being a reboot of MOO2. They're already basing the game mechanics off of MOO2, and I'm confident that the Antarans will show up and perhaps the additional MOO2 races in an expansion.

 

I am not so confident about that, but also pretty conflicted. From the images from the beta, there are thus far only the basic 10 races from MoO1, and from the info I found out it is indeed implied only these 10 would be playable now. But, in the lore for some races there are mentioned Elerians and Gnolams... Really not sure what to make of this. But thus far I think its still the MoO1 reboot, just taking game aspects from second game which was better at some things I suppose. The Elerians, Gnolams and Trilarians may eventually come in some sort of expansion pack. Maybe even a new races, the plants are the last archtype of alien race thats missing so far, I think :D But, thats pretty far cry. How it will be with MoO2 races, we have only to wait and see, same for this game.






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