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The Klackons: A mini-biography.


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ApolloArtemis #1 Posted 18 September 2015 - 06:08 PM

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The Klackons

"Klackons, born into their societal roles, exist harmoniously among each other. They work for the good of the community rather than the individual. "

Society: Values

Klackons value efficiency above all else. Work is the reason that they exist. Every Klackon understands that their role is important to the Klackon Hive, or Empire, and treasure it as such. Klackons who are unable to work or are severely disabled will be put down without resistance (unless they can prove themselves capable of intellectual work).

 

They are on the whole almost unable to care about other races. While they are peaceful among themselves, they get along disastrously with outsiders. They will hesitantly try to communicate with other races, but will almost always be met with awkwardness, failure, and someone taking offense. They are suspicious of outsiders and only trust other Klackon.

 

An infamous example of this was when a small Sakkra convoy visited the Klackon ship growth district (as Sakkra also grow some architecture), but their alien germs infected the base and killed many growing ships. The Klackon took offense to this and are now very uneasy around Sakkra.

 

Klackons are obsessed with cleanliness. Klackons are unfortunately vulnerable to many alien diseases, some of which are harmless to aliens but deadly in their systems. In fact, the jobs of many Klackons is simply the repeated cleaning of buildings, ships, and public transportation. 

Early History

Klackon began as mindless drones, creatures solely motivated by the demands of survival on a harsh planet. However, over centuries, Klackons became more intelligent and aware of their individual selves. As sentience spread, the Klackon identity remained unchanged. While others expected revolutions or social change, Klackons simply continued to remain at harmony with another and co-exist peacefully. They remember the time when they were bound together by duty and evolution. 

 

Culture

 

Architecture

Klackon ships and buildings require special care. They are living organisms, though not sentient. Klackon buildings are specialized organs which are grown and require unique care.

 

Many parts of their buildings and homes are underground even though they are a mostly surface dwelling race. Klackons are very quick creatures and often travel by foot through the various passageways of their large and interconnected cities. It is deadly for aliens to try and initiate military contact in Klackon cities, for they are able to camouflage to the point of invisibility.

 

 

Govenment: The Queen

The Queen’s role is to make critical decisions on behalf of the Klackon Hive on the intergalactic stage. As the Klackon have a single, hive mentality on most subjects, most domestic matters are handled domestically by the active parties in the issue. The Queen is tasked with all intergalactic issues – which helps the Klackon have an incredibly quick response time in galactic issues. 

 



Joshuashalo #2 Posted 19 September 2015 - 04:42 AM

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Edited by joshuashalo, 23 September 2015 - 03:28 AM.


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VMetalic #3 Posted 19 September 2015 - 09:42 AM

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Its she, jushuashalo. Thats the queen.

 

I must say that you have really got my heart for this depiction of Klackon. While their appearance is greatly changed from the past ones, I like that you took the "unification" aspect of MoO2 Klackons and embraced it fully. All Klackon are part of one hive mind, but there are individuals that are tasked with the local or planetary issues, and then that there is a Queen which is responsible of the intergalactic matters with other races, but probably not so much about the internal Klackon matters. Good work :)



OrionSol #4 Posted 19 September 2015 - 02:07 PM

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Reminds me of the Silicoids a little with their lack of Diplomacy. 

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Varadhon #5 Posted 19 September 2015 - 09:52 PM

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View PostOrionSol, on 19 September 2015 - 02:07 PM, said:

Reminds me of the Silicoids a little with their lack of Diplomacy. 

 

Sounds pretty consistent.  In both MoO1 and MoO2, the Klackons had a significant racial leader bias towards being xenophobic or erratic, which always made dealing with them pretty frustrating.  MoO2 also borrowed part of Master of Magic's handicapping system at higher levels of difficulty, which allowed the AI to pick up additional race picks.  I've multiple times come across "repulsive" Klackons when the AI attempts to rebalance its picks.  Repulsive was the Silicoid trait that disabled normal diplomacy.  It almost seemed to be particularly scripted for hard and impossible Klackons.  

VMetalic #6 Posted 21 September 2015 - 07:24 PM

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Bulrathi were at higher difficulties also repulsive.

Phoenix_Down711 #7 Posted 04 October 2015 - 07:50 AM

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They look awesome!

Varadhon #8 Posted 06 October 2015 - 07:38 PM

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View PostPhoenix_Down711, on 04 October 2015 - 07:50 AM, said:

They look awesome!

 

I still think they look dreadful.  They are the most stylistically inconsistent race in the game and barely resemble any previous iteration of the Klackons.  

Vahouth #9 Posted 07 October 2015 - 12:37 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 06 October 2015 - 07:38 PM, said:

 

I still think they look dreadful.  They are the most stylistically inconsistent race in the game and barely resemble any previous iteration of the Klackons.  

 

I disagree. The most stylistically inconsistent races across the games are the Trilarians and Meklar, though the best looking Klackons IMHO were in MoO3.

Besides, I don't think that the Queen Klackon we're looking here will be the same with the rest of the Klackons. Something tells me that there'll be an entirelly different model for scientists, warriors etc.

I believe that both the Klackons and the Meklar, will be the most diverse race in this game.


Edited by Vahouth, 07 October 2015 - 12:43 PM.


VMetalic #10 Posted 08 October 2015 - 01:15 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 07 October 2015 - 12:37 PM, said:

 

I disagree. The most stylistically inconsistent races across the games are the Trilarians and Meklar, though the best looking Klackons IMHO were in MoO3.

Besides, I don't think that the Queen Klackon we're looking here will be the same with the rest of the Klackons. Something tells me that there'll be an entirelly different model for scientists, warriors etc.

I believe that both the Klackons and the Meklar, will be the most diverse race in this game.

 

Yep. Klackons are insects, which are different between each other depending on their role, and Meklars are machines/cyborgs, which have bodies specifically customized for their profession.

Varadhon #11 Posted 08 October 2015 - 06:20 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 07 October 2015 - 12:37 PM, said:

 

I disagree. The most stylistically inconsistent races across the games are the Trilarians and Meklar, though the best looking Klackons IMHO were in MoO3.

Besides, I don't think that the Queen Klackon we're looking here will be the same with the rest of the Klackons. Something tells me that there'll be an entirelly different model for scientists, warriors etc.

I believe that both the Klackons and the Meklar, will be the most diverse race in this game.

 

1. I think my meaning has been misunderstood.  I agree that the Meklars and the Trilarians vary in styling significantly from each game to the next.  That wasn't what I was talking about.  (Though, by that measure, I'd throw the Alkari in as the most stylistically divergent from one iteration of MoO to the next.  In MoO1, they were birdlike; in MoO2 they were reptilian and resembled pterosaurs.)

 

TL;DR:

 

The Klackons diverge in style from all the other races in THIS game.  The other races (minus perhaps the new Meklar art, where I share your preference for the old race pic over the newly revealed scorpion-like Meklar) are generally lighthearted, if not somewhat cartoonish and generally draw on MoO1 for inspiration.  By contrast, the Klackons have a very dark art direction.  They look like a cross between Babylon 5's Shadows and a StarCraft hydralisk.  That take bares little resemblance to the Klackons in any previous version of MoO where the Klackons were easily the most stylistically consistent non-human race from game to game.  A 3D rendered version of the MoO1 Klackons would have been excellent and very plastic with the other races thus far presented.  

 

If the character model AT LEAST got rid of the human-looking mouth and "nose," that would go a long way toward making the Klackons less objectionable.

 

 

2. As for the "queens" having a different appearance than what we might see in other Klackons, that's all well and good--many social insects, especially ants, have serious morphological differences from caste to caste.  That said, we've always presumably interacted with "queens" in past games, so that's the one Klackon representation that I'd expect to look most similar to past games.

 

 

3. On a side note, reading through the Klackon bio, the following also confused me:

 

"Klackons are obsessed with cleanliness. Klackons are unfortunately vulnerable to many alien diseases, some of which are harmless to aliens but deadly in their systems. In fact, the jobs of many Klackons is simply the repeated cleaning of buildings, ships, and public transportation."  And, "Klackon ships and buildings require special care. They are living organisms, though not sentient. Klackon buildings are specialized organs which are grown and require unique care. Many parts of their buildings and homes are underground even though they are a mostly surface dwelling race."

 

If the Klackons prize cleanliness and their buildings are living organisms, then why is the queen depicted as standing inside a dirty-looking earthen cavern?  There's a lot of rich material in that description that isn't showing up in this picture.  I hope the ultimate background art more closely and obviously resembles the description.

 

 


Edited by Varadhon, 08 October 2015 - 06:22 PM.


Vahouth #12 Posted 08 October 2015 - 06:52 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 08 October 2015 - 06:20 PM, said:

 

1. I think my meaning has been misunderstood.  I agree that the Meklars and the Trilarians vary in styling significantly from each game to the next.  That wasn't what I was talking about.  (Though, by that measure, I'd throw the Alkari in as the most stylistically divergent from one iteration of MoO to the next.  In MoO1, they were birdlike; in MoO2 they were reptilian and resembled pterosaurs.)

 

TL;DR:

 

The Klackons diverge in style from all the other races in THIS game.  The other races (minus perhaps the new Meklar art, where I share your preference for the old race pic over the newly revealed scorpion-like Meklar) are generally lighthearted, if not somewhat cartoonish and generally draw on MoO1 for inspiration.  By contrast, the Klackons have a very dark art direction.  They look like a cross between Babylon 5's Shadows and a StarCraft hydralisk.  That take bares little resemblance to the Klackons in any previous version of MoO where the Klackons were easily the most stylistically consistent non-human race from game to game.  A 3D rendered version of the MoO1 Klackons would have been excellent and very plastic with the other races thus far presented.  

 

If the character model AT LEAST got rid of the human-looking mouth and "nose," that would go a long way toward making the Klackons less objectionable.

 

 

2. As for the "queens" having a different appearance than what we might see in other Klackons, that's all well and good--many social insects, especially ants, have serious morphological differences from caste to caste.  That said, we've always presumably interacted with "queens" in past games, so that's the one Klackon representation that I'd expect to look most similar to past games.

 

 

3. On a side note, reading through the Klackon bio, the following also confused me:

 

"Klackons are obsessed with cleanliness. Klackons are unfortunately vulnerable to many alien diseases, some of which are harmless to aliens but deadly in their systems. In fact, the jobs of many Klackons is simply the repeated cleaning of buildings, ships, and public transportation."  And, "Klackon ships and buildings require special care. They are living organisms, though not sentient. Klackon buildings are specialized organs which are grown and require unique care. Many parts of their buildings and homes are underground even though they are a mostly surface dwelling race."

 

If the Klackons prize cleanliness and their buildings are living organisms, then why is the queen depicted as standing inside a dirty-looking earthen cavern?  There's a lot of rich material in that description that isn't showing up in this picture.  I hope the ultimate background art more closely and obviously resembles the description.

 

 

 

1. Still, the Meklar are the more divergent. They went from 3 fully metallic exoskeletons (one of which was a saucer :p) and a pipe, to a bulky suit with a visor in MoO2, to a floating ball with ears in MoO3!!! Hillarious. :D

I have yet to reserve judgement on the Klackon as we haven't seen yet how the 3D model speaks and interacts.

2. This is a valid point and it may still be true in this game. I just expressed a wishful thinking that they could go the other way around and make different models for each caste. This way we may still see a Klackon that resembles those of the previous games. :)

3. This part of the bio made me think something else. If their buildings are living organs, will this be represented in the game? Shouldn't Klackon buildings have different models from those of other races? I believe this will also be an issue for the Silicoids as well.

 

As for the artistic representation of the Klackon Queen here, If you ask me, she's not that insect-like to begin with.

- I don't mind the crest if it is only a queen thing. Not every Klackon should have it.

- The neck collar is ridiculous and impedes neck movement.

- The Queen in the artwork has an extra wrist than the 3D model. :p

- Anatomically speaking, she is clearly not an insect. She has a "skin" and a neck for crying out loud that implies a skeleton instead of an exoskeleton! And as you said a mouth, a nose and mandibles that seem to serve no purpose.

 


Edited by Vahouth, 08 October 2015 - 06:55 PM.


Varadhon #13 Posted 10 October 2015 - 08:03 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 08 October 2015 - 06:52 PM, said:

 

1. Still, the Meklar are the more divergent. They went from 3 fully metallic exoskeletons (one of which was a saucer :p) and a pipe, to a bulky suit with a visor in MoO2, to a floating ball with ears in MoO3!!! Hillarious. :D

I have yet to reserve judgement on the Klackon as we haven't seen yet how the 3D model speaks and interacts.

2. This is a valid point and it may still be true in this game. I just expressed a wishful thinking that they could go the other way around and make different models for each caste. This way we may still see a Klackon that resembles those of the previous games. :)

3. This part of the bio made me think something else. If their buildings are living organs, will this be represented in the game? Shouldn't Klackon buildings have different models from those of other races? I believe this will also be an issue for the Silicoids as well.

 

As for the artistic representation of the Klackon Queen here, If you ask me, she's not that insect-like to begin with.

- I don't mind the crest if it is only a queen thing. Not every Klackon should have it.

- The neck collar is ridiculous and impedes neck movement.

- The Queen in the artwork has an extra wrist than the 3D model. :p

- Anatomically speaking, she is clearly not an insect. She has a "skin" and a neck for crying out loud that implies a skeleton instead of an exoskeleton! And as you said a mouth, a nose and mandibles that seem to serve no purpose.

 

 

1.  There are certainly different art directions taken on them, but does that really compare to being a completely different family of animals (Alkari in MoO v. Alkari in MoO2)?  As for the Meklar appearance in MoO3, remember that one has to also look to the representation of the Cynoids as well.  

3.  I hope so, but I would hope that this would be true of the races in general, though it does present a problem in multi-racial states and in a colony of more than one race (if that's possible, and I certainly hope it is).

 

I agree with your assessments of the Klackon Queen.  She has lots of physiological features that are insufficiently insectoid (the human-like mouth and "nose" in particular, the seemingly soft "skin" of the neck as you mentioned).  She does at least have a distinctly insectoid sectional body composed of a head, thorax and abdomen with six main appendages attached to the thorax.  I don't really care for the "collar" or crown-like extensions on the neck and head either. 



VMetalic #14 Posted 11 October 2015 - 08:39 AM

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One of other things that shoudlnt be forgotten is, that while all races of MoO are meant to represent the general... "cliché" of "space cats, space lizards" etc. But, in the first developer diary it was said that while the races are evoking that, they are meant to be "alien". Like Alkari, people were bickering that they look like a human in bird-cosplay costume. Well, that was the intention. To make an "avian race that has some humanoid features (fingered arms)", not "intelligent birds". That Klackons has mouths and noses. And? They come from different planet in different part of galaxy. They may developed that. That it was not seen in any previous game... Alkari also changed from feathered birds into pterodactyls. Psilons lost a pair of arms. And so on. The changes happen as the developers sees fit.

Varadhon #15 Posted 13 October 2015 - 06:05 PM

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View PostVMetalic, on 11 October 2015 - 08:39 AM, said:

One of other things that shoudlnt be forgotten is, that while all races of MoO are meant to represent the general... "cliché" of "space cats, space lizards" etc. But, in the first developer diary it was said that while the races are evoking that, they are meant to be "alien". Like Alkari, people were bickering that they look like a human in bird-cosplay costume. Well, that was the intention.1 To make an "avian race that has some humanoid features (fingered arms)", not "intelligent birds". That Klackons has mouths and noses. And? They come from different planet in different part of galaxy. They may developed that. That it was not seen in any previous game... Alkari also changed from feathered birds into pterodactyls. Psilons lost a pair of arms. And so on. The changes happen as the developers sees fit.2

 

1.  I don't see how that was the intention at all.  By that logic, these alien races are more alien by looking more human?  I see no logic in that.

 

2.  Of course they get to make changes as they see fit.  WG bought the IP, they get to make the call. Regardless, I'll continue to call out what I feel are horrible art direction choices.  This isn't merely a matter of disliking what they've done with the Klackons, it's about the lack of internal consistency in this game and a failure meet WG's own goal of evoking the feel of the original.  



VMetalic #16 Posted 14 October 2015 - 05:51 PM

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View PostVaradhon, on 13 October 2015 - 06:05 PM, said:

 

1.  I don't see how that was the intention at all.  By that logic, these alien races are more alien by looking more human?  I see no logic in that.

 

2.  Of course they get to make changes as they see fit.  WG bought the IP, they get to make the call. Regardless, I'll continue to call out what I feel are horrible art direction choices.  This isn't merely a matter of disliking what they've done with the Klackons, it's about the lack of internal consistency in this game and a failure meet WG's own goal of evoking the feel of the original.  

 

1. But its simple. They are alien species because they look more human despite being not human. Alkari are in MoO1 as "birds who walk on their back legs", same are Mrrshan only as cats. Like if you took your cat and made it stand on its back legs. Here, they made Alkari as "avian race of humanoids", not again "space birds". Mrrshan are feline race, but are not like Human cats. They have different ears, females have breasts, and are even more leaner. WH MoO races are more unique, not just "make an animal walk on two legs".

 

2. The original had virtually no backstory. You cant compare that. The consistency... well, if you have the whole picture for every of the ten races like WG, you can tell that way. Also depend son the interpretation of given material. If you are going to look for every tiny little inconsistency, there is no point telling you otherwise because you will stick to your belief that this is a bad idea and will end bad.



Varadhon #17 Posted 14 October 2015 - 06:43 PM

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View PostVMetalic, on 14 October 2015 - 05:51 PM, said:

 

1. But its simple. They are alien species because they look more human despite being not human. Alkari are in MoO1 as "birds who walk on their back legs", same are Mrrshan only as cats. Like if you took your cat and made it stand on its back legs. Here, they made Alkari as "avian race of humanoids", not again "space birds". Mrrshan are feline race, but are not like Human cats. They have different ears, females have breasts, and are even more leaner. WH MoO races are more unique, not just "make an animal walk on two legs".

 

2. The original had virtually no backstory. You cant compare that. The consistency... well, if you have the whole picture for every of the ten races like WG, you can tell that way. Also depend son the interpretation of given material. If you are going to look for every tiny little inconsistency, there is no point telling you otherwise because you will stick to your belief that this is a bad idea and will end bad.

 

1. I still don't accept this logic.  All that making these races look more human accomplishes is to make them appear to be people inside cheap animal costumes. Jeff Dee's stated original intention with the MoO races was to make them not be "Earth [animals] that went into space and evolved into people . . . they could certainly evoke Earth creatures, but they're not; they're aliens."  If that's the intended end result, then WG needs to dial back the human-like elements in the campiest races.  We may simply disagree on how many human-like qualities are acceptable before a specific race begins to look silly.

 

2. I think my primary point is being missed here. Yes, I admit that I loathe the art direction for the Klackons specifically. That's not going to change unless the art direction does. But there is a separate point here about whether the Klackon art direction per se aesthetically fits with the art direction of the other races. It doesn't--not in the slightest. The other races have a campy, mildly cartoonish feel and appearance to them. The Klackons, by contrast, have a notably dark and disturbing look to them. That's a shame because the the bumbling bugs depicted the original MoO didn't need much more than a 3D render to fit perfectly into the generally campy look of this version of MoO. Whatever one's view on the Klackon art direction, it MUST be artistically plastic with the setting in which it has been placed. Based on the images available, that's not the case. 

 

As for "looking for every tiny inconsistency," I'm clearly not.  For example, the Klackons in the original MoO, Master of Magic, and MoO2 only had two legs and two arms (from what anyone can tell based on the pictures available). MoO3 featured a more insect-like body structure for them with four legs and two "arms."  This version of the game has done the same.  I think that's an improvement over the original MoO even if it isn't consistent.

 

As for the backstory, I don't see your point. I didn't compare backstories, I contrasted the art direction here with the stated backstory for THIS game. That's perfectly acceptable. 


Edited by Varadhon, 14 October 2015 - 06:48 PM.


RayFowler #18 Posted 15 October 2015 - 01:15 PM

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View PostVMetalic, on 14 October 2015 - 05:51 PM, said:

 

. Mrrshan are feline race, but are not like Human cats. They have different ears, females have breasts, and are even more leaner. WH MoO races are more unique, not just "make an animal walk on two legs".

 

ok, hold on. If you think that the thought process for drawing that Mrrshan was anything more than "draw a sexy female body with a cat head", then you are giving way too much credit to the art direction for that character. There was clearly no academic thought about "hmmm, let's make a cat-like race with some human attributes" and then bam, it just happened to look like a sexy female body with a cat head.

 

The game is being designed for the predominantly male audience of the 4X genre, and the Mrrshan drawing is Exhibit #1.

 


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Vahouth #19 Posted 15 October 2015 - 07:13 PM

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View PostRayFowler, on 15 October 2015 - 01:15 PM, said:

 

ok, hold on. If you think that the thought process for drawing that Mrrshan was anything more than "draw a sexy female body with a cat head", then you are giving way too much credit to the art direction for that character. There was clearly no academic thought about "hmmm, let's make a cat-like race with some human attributes" and then bam, it just happened to look like a sexy female body with a cat head.

 

The game is being designed for the predominantly male audience of the 4X genre, and the Mrrshan drawing is Exhibit #1.

 

 

And Big guns Exhibit #2 :P

 

Btw, I love the effort you're putting for a Java MoO and I think more people deserve a look at it. 

If I were you, I'd link my work in my signature. :)



JeanBaptisteEmanuelZorg #20 Posted 15 October 2015 - 08:15 PM

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I was thinking that all races look like humanoids because ancient Orions *genetically modified* 'em to look like they are. Perhaps, Humans are modified apes. Mrrshans are modified cats... Why not ?

Edited by JeanBaptisteEmanuelZorg, 15 October 2015 - 08:17 PM.

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