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Let's talk about the 1.0 lore rewrite

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by Guest0241525, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    This post was originally made on Reddit. You probably also saw me make similar arguments in other threads, and if you did, you pretty much know what to expect. Click here for the original Reddit post.

    Often I'm told that the current lore was made more "childish", "dumbed down", or "budget cut"... but frankly, I do not see it. All I see was that the lore was overhauled from the old mess that it had been. Maybe people just do not see the old lore's flaws as clearly as I do...?

    Well then, I guess it's time for me to get all opinionated. I'll cover why exactly I think the new lore is much, much better than we had before. You may have heard about this from me in posts like this one and this one.

    It's quite a ride, probably an unpleasant one if you actually liked the stuff I'm about to complain about... So if you don't wanna read it, feel free not to. And if you do, buckle up!

    RACE LORE
    Avians


    "let's endlessly throw people off towers to see if they can fly!"

    A big part of what defines Avians is their religion. While in the current canon, the Ascension is more of a willing sacrifice, a great honor of joining Kluex in the afterlife... Previously it was just an act of complete idiocy.

    "Let's jump and hope we will suddenly gain an ability to fly," say the Avians, after the last 38,490 attempts resulted in no Avians flying. That's not just devotion anymore - it's an idiotic delusion. While it's okay for a religious society to be misled, you would need to braindead to believe this was ever going to happen.

    Believing the sacrifice to be of spiritual importance rather than physical one, in which Ascendants shed their physical forms and ascend to the Aether makes a lot more sense.

    Glitch

    "medieval robots, which are meant to simulate a medieval civilization, should totally be a hivemind!"

    Okay. Let me just me just open with this: Civilizations do not function as hiveminds.

    Here's why that's important - a civilization is a collective of individuals, each with their own ambitions and agendas, forming social structures and hierarchies. So, the Glitch were purportedly created to simulate one.

    Except they demonstrably didn't.

    That's something that never made sense to me. If the Glitch were meant to be an experiment that was meant to provide their creators with useful data regarding civilizations... then there'd be no useful data at all.

    Everything about the machine race they created was superficial and in no way applicable to any other society in the universe.

    That's called a waste of resources. Putting lots of effort into creating something for creation's sake. It does not feel like a sensible background behind their creation at all.

    They failed to deliver on their premise as robots living a medieval lifestyle, too. Hivemind Glitch were fully aware of what they were, and actively hunted down Outcasts for being unlinked... Which made even the basest of character concepts such as "an honorable Glitch knight" an impossibility.

    RACE RELATIONS
    Hylotl and others


    "all Hylotl are hilarious abusable punching bags and Hylotl genocide makes for a great punchline!"

    You could see it all over the old racial descriptions and lore books. Most obvious in the Floran in particular - whether or not they hunted other races was up to individual taste, but when it came to the Hylotl, they all unanimously wanted to carry out a full genocide, with statements indicating that they knew exactly what they were doing.

    Other races weren't genocidal, but judging by their comments on the Hylotl it would appear that other races wouldn't particularly mind a Hylotl genocide either.

    Everybody just hated the Hylotl. It was bizarre. Conveniently, the Hylotl played their part of being abusable punching bags by always acting as walking, unlikable caricatures. It frankly disgusted me, and I strongly feel that adjustments to that weren't just beneficial - they were absolutely necessary.

    Sadly this did in tiny part sneak its way into the current canon, through "Never Invite a Novakid to Tea", which follows exactly this kind of characterization - a walking caricature. Personally, I opt to dismiss the letter as some adolescent Hylotl's "write a letter to your friend" school assignment.

    Glitch and Floran

    "Glitch and Florans are forever BFFs, universally! all Florans and Glitch feel this way! they bond over Hylotl slaughters!"

    This was simply absurd. For some odd reason, Glitch were almost universally friendly with Florans. Which meant turning a blind eye to everything Florans did, including actual genocide.

    It's weird that Glitch being made of metal would change anything for Florans, too. While Florans couldn't eat Glitch, they could still get shiny trophies. If the Florans in question were savage, there was next to no reason for them to treat Glitch any differently than the other races. All a savage Floran would think of was making the metal moving thing stop moving and turning it into a decoration. That's what they usually did with bones, after all.

    There was next to no grounds for such a friendship.

    CHARACTERS
    Greenfinger


    "here comes the super genius flawless Floran scientist, with ties to literally everything important in the universe!"

    A textbook example of a villain sue. Part of what makes a story is its characters, but the way beta lore presented it, you had one super genius responsible for literally everything that happened - this is a character that had prior knowledge about the entity that destroyed Earth, knew all the secrets, and was allowed to get involved with top secret Miniknog experiments.

    He had agendas of his own, but everyone fully trusted him, or admired him, or worked for him, or were his friends. Bleh. It's the kind of character that nauseates me just by talking about him.

    Platinum Ace

    "my robot rebel character is a murderer, but it's okay cause the bystander she killed was one of those Glitch that don't matter, and she was actually a victim of the society anyway"

    What a start for a character I'm supposed to find likable. Just have her murder someone and then come up with excuses for why it was actually okay upon the actual introduction. Killing people is no big deal after all.

    That sure didn't feel right to me.

    Hiraki Corale

    "this super awesome adventurer girl is friends with all the baddest villains, she can easily shrug off that one time she got a bunch of rebels executed, and it's all okay cause she's still awesome."

    Not much to be said. I actually really like the Hiraki Corale we have now. But I don't miss any of her books that were scrapped. She was pushed into an unhealthy friendship and presented as way more callous than she really is, and she's honestly not a bad person like that, you know?

    SUMMARY
    So, this hardly covers everything. There's no way I could cover everything. But to sum it up? That lore rewrite wasn't "dumbing down". It was "cleaning up".

    And yeah, I actually complained about the old lore more than talk about the rewrite, but after seeing what I thought was a huge improvement ran through the mud and back, I just needed to get that off my chest.

    Everything about the lore now feels healthier and more nuanced.

    Floran tribes still differ. Some are peaceful, some are savage. But those that are peaceful don't feel baseless hate, and those that are savage don't make targets of anyone in particular - just whoever is unfortunate enough to encounter them.

    Glitch are now more of a medieval folk, living simple lives, and occasionally warring among each other. They do so obliviously of their true nature, and all they know about self-aware "outcasts" is that they're strange, crazy fellows.

    For that matter, Floran and Glitch appear to lack any central authority, which is why you can't really speak of "race relations", as far as they are concerned. They are not a single entity that unanimously feels one way or another.

    Hylotl still think very highly of their culture. But their approach to that is now much more sensible. They seem to have a strong bond with humans, too - often lamenting that they were unable to visit Earth, appreciating human poets, and admiring humanity's dedication to peace.

    It's those small things that made me appreciate Starbound so much more. Chucklefish overhauled their lore into something that they felt better fit their vision. And I honestly believe that it's a decision that should at least be respected.​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2020
  2. STCW262

    STCW262 Heliosphere

    You should also note the smaller issues. In the case of the Glitch, for instance, one of their codex entries outright stated that they were unable to reproduce, which was easily even worse than the hive mind (After all, it could have been argued that they were an experiment on how a hive mind would develop socially and technologically, but making them unable to reproduce not only could have resulted in the entire experiment being unable to produce useful information because of the initial Glitch dying before even getting past the Paleolithic, and would also prevent resource scarcity).
    Let's call a spade a spade, and say that Greenfinger was a Villain Sue. The basic concept of a Floran scientist could have worked (Specially as a minor character), and likely still would, but that character in hindsight came off as less of a character and more of some sort of god-like being that has the power of making everyone act like idiots to the point of turning any room he enters into a fiddle shop as long as there's other people in it.
    And, of course, there was the way the Agarans were built up to be more important, but that didn't really go anywhere. There were hints at them being evil, but for the most part, all they did was sell you guns and attack you if you attacked them first.
    AND THEN there's the bunny people, who were hinted to be some sort of experiment in their dialogue, but that also led nowhere. Not even lore entries.
     
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  3. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    Funnily enough, we ended up talking about that as well. :nurutease:
    I definitely agree on Greenfinger - in fact, Villain Sue was just the term I was looking for.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2017
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  4. STCW262

    STCW262 Heliosphere

    I read the links, and also read the thread about Agarans that was going on during development (Not completely, because it's really long, but at least part of it). And even then, it clearly didn't match the actual gameplay, which was among the many issues of the old lore.
    And, in the case of Greenfinger, it actually feels less like a deliberate Villain Sue than being similar to [Redacted], in that he was practically used in situations where other characters would have been more fitting (Particularly the "Apparently knows nearly every other important character", which would have fit with a separate character), specially as other characters were less relevant in the lore than the lore itself implied that they would be, and that some of those roles may have fit more with Thornwing or Big Ape, who was back then an idiot as, in one Codex entry (That you mentioned in one of the replies when making the point that Beta Big Ape was a moronic comedic relief character rather than a dark character as he's usually said to have been), he somehow didn't really seem to suspect Thornwing (The harshest he gets is saying that Thorwing will "get an earful the next time we have cocktails" after the latter's organization attacks a Miniknog top secret lab that didn't even have a fixed location in order to keep it secret, to the point of outright saying in that entry that he would call Thornwing in order to get rid of a blogger (Which makes this even more ridiculous, as it meant that, somehow, a blogger posting classified information was more important than having been attacked by his "ally"). Of course, it's true that this would have been able to be salvaged as Big Ape feigning stupidity and trying to lure Thornwing into a trap, but the rest of the lore related to him hinted otherwise.
    As for the race lore, another notable bit is that, in the old lore, the Hylotl were hated by pretty much everyone as you mentioned, but somehow the Florans weren't shown being anywhere near as hated, with their sheer bloodthristyness and violent nature being used more for comedy than seriously, or, in other words, somehow a race of stuck-up twits was somehow more hated than one of murderous savages that didn't even have any other notable traits... Talking about which, you should have put the Florans in the "Race Lore" bit, as they were not just shallow, but they also didn't even have the "What measure is a Non-Floran?" mentality they were stated in the intro (Even back when they first got a "meet the X" post!). In fact, even most of the village NPCs tended to have dialogue that felt as if they wanted to kill you but were unable to, unlike practically every other villager NPCs, who wouldn't be anywhere near as hostile in most cases, to the point that, in hindsight, it could be argued that they were easily very unlikeable, to the point that they were probably the only race that you could kill an entire village of them without feeling bad.
     
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  5. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    I did touch on Florans somewhat in both race relation parts and in the summary, but yeah, I get what you mean. It's clear there was active malice in their actions back in the beta. Those actions being barely condemned by anyone who's not a Hylotl and just accepted as if it's a normal thing was a huge problem as well.

    We were often told that Florans acting like this was primarily caused by ignorance, but that had no reflection in reality until the full release.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2017
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  6. M_Sipher

    M_Sipher Master Astronaut

    I find the Beta lore is very much... a Moffatty deal where LOOK IT'S A MYSTERY LOOK ANOTHER PIECE OF A MYSTERY HEY MORE MYSTERY LOOK ANOTHER STEP OF MYSTERY and jesus on a tilt-a-whirl WILL YOU REACH EVEN A SINGLE GODDAMN CONCLUSION AT SOME POINT.

    None of it seemed to serve a story the player would have jack-diddley to do with. The Drysap. The vague hints about the rainbow bunny people. Whoever [REDACTED] was. Anything and everything about Thornwing. Whatever was up with the Agaran and their supposed relation to the Floran. Whatever the Miniknog were attempting that was sooooo super-bad and super-secret. It was a directionless, goal-less spill of a "story".

    And of course the problem with the Glitch "hivemind" lore is that is both didn't match in-game behavior (an actual hivemind would present a VASTLY more effective force against an intruder, and if any Glitch could do any job than all those civilians would pick up weapons and attack rather than run) AND contradicted itself with the "King Dreadwing" story where somehow nobody noticed their new King wasn't connected to the bloody hivemind.

    And then there's the tonal dissonance on top of all that. SB is a very... light game. It's silly. It's frequently cartoonish. Yeah it has serious elements, but it's largely "friendly" in most of its day-to-day play. But its Beta lore is a dank, dark web of evil people doing evil things (for unclear reasons).

    It needed pruning, and needed it bad.
     
  7. Sparklink

    Sparklink Pangalactic Porcupine

    I completely agree with M_Sipher there. Great mystery novels, games, other media are only good when they come to a stratifying end that ties up all of the lose ends, suspense is a good thing but with this it was simply too frequent. I did not like the direction they were taking the lore; when I saw the first blog posts regarding Starbound 1.0 and the Protectorate I realized that there was likely going to be some large lore rewrite.

    I think what confused me most was the Glitch attaining self-awareness. I always imagined hive-mind Glitch to (as cliche as this analogy is) to be like bees. The old starter codex says "eventually deconstructing themselves to discover that they were artificial." I thought that it was odd that this hive-mind would issue an order that could cause the Glitch to realize their state. I think that for machines to imitate a natural species they would need to be prevented from realizing that they are artificial; otherwise they could attain technological advancements at paces that would exceed normal species simply by looking at themselves. If anything this hive mind should be careful to make sure that the Glitch do not realize that they are artificial. It would make more sense if the lore book said something like "one day a clumsy Glitch slipped and cracked his metal shell open revealing his mechanical insides."

    The last oddity regarding Glitch is their presence across the galaxy. If the Glitch are stuck in a medieval mind set they should not have access to advanced space flight technology; encountering hive-mind Glitch all over the galaxy makes no sense. I could understand the presence of self-aware Glitch; perhaps they learned some advanced engineering techniques simply by examining themselves, still a little far fetched though.

    I was also disappointed by the complete lack of Hylotl lore; they were all driven off their home planet by savage Florans; that is all? I remember searching for weeks after every update hoping for just one codex from the Hylotl, and being disappointed every time.

    I also thought it strange that Florans and Avians with their primitive societies would be more advanced than the Humans, the Hylotl, and even the Glitch (they are certainly a step above the Florans).

    All in all I think that the the old lore had some largely underplayed characters and occasionally tripped over itself. The new lore is slightly more "balanced" each have their own unique presence in game. Now the new Starbound is not entirely without its mysterious race secrets; I am referring to the Novakids. It takes some searching around (primarily scanning things) but the Novakids seem to have a history dating back to the time of the Cultivator, but I will not spoil it for anyone who may not know.

    One question; I think I remember hearing something about the original story writer for Starbound being fired, is this true?
     
  8. M_Sipher

    M_Sipher Master Astronaut

    Frankly, a REALLY good story doesn't wait til the end to tie up everything, as that can lead to rushed and halfassed connections and general clusterfuckery. It ties up things as it goes, as it serves the narrative. Resolving one plot thread leads to another, or provides the tools needed to resolve a related thread that'd been an issue already.

    A good story is not just a collection of things that happen. That gets you a Michael Bay movie.

    And the Beta lore was a TERRIBLE fit for the style of game CF was attempting to make. It'd be like trying to saddle Animal Crossing with a plot out of The Da Vinci Code.
     
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  9. Sparklink

    Sparklink Pangalactic Porcupine

    It is funny how the new lore contrasts the old lore (possibly funnier than the lore itself)

    The Apex go from having the rebellion crushed by Big Ape to the rebellion knocking on Big Ape's front door. In the old lore I figured that Big Ape was more like a title, similar to how in "The Princess Bride" the name "Dread Pirate Roberts" was passed from pirate captain to pirate captain. With the new lore I am curious if Big Ape was once an Apex or was he has simply a figure head since the beginning. As I see it the Big Ape prime, as I will call him for now, took control of apex society; one Big Ape prime was gone (or past his prime) they started constructing the Big Ape weapon as a way of "keeping Big Ape prime alive". It may be possible that there is another leader of the miniknog but he is acts slightly more behind the scenes.

    Kluex goes from some politician who rose to godhood to no conspiracy and ridiculous verses like "followers of Kluex are better than others simply because" (I am saying this is a good thing). Avolite crystals went from being a gift from aliens to a strange ore found on their home planet Avos.

    The human Terrine Protectorate was much better than the United System Colonial Marines. The Protectorate seemed to be much like Starfleet in Star Trek, but that is alright with me the U.S.C.M just felt old and trite to a larger degree.

    "Thoughtful. Human military tactics involve a lot of bravado."
    --A Glitch

    That was my thoughts on the U.S.C.M.
     
  10. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    According to the current lore, Big Ape is a work of fiction created by the Miniknog to maintain a psychological grip on the Apex population - a fabricated figure of an idealized authoritarian leader. Rather than being ruled by any "Big Ape", Miniknog itself is administrated by a ruling council, decisions of which are then presented as Big Ape's will.

    It's been answered as part of a Chucklefish AUA, actually. Here's the link.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2017
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  11. Sparklink

    Sparklink Pangalactic Porcupine

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    I keep hearing about some kind of "Bunny people" from the old lore; but the most I can remember regarding the old lore is one Floran codex that describes a picture of a Floran fighting a rabbit monster, and several rabbit related items in the Avian tombs. The rabbits were simply a mark of shame upon heretics, atheists, and other criminals in both the old and new lore. Perhaps it was something from the days of the Koala beta, I would not know because I first played Starbound during the earliest of Giraffe beta.
     
  12. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    At one point during the beta, there had been villages of weird colourful bunny-like NPCs that seemed to use Apex lines as a placeholder. That ended up going nowhere and they had been removed since.
     
  13. Nibolas O Anelbozas

    Nibolas O Anelbozas Spaceman Spiff

    Well, now the bunny tombs are a symbol of shame, the bunny itself is a symbol of shame, because the ones that defy kluex (the power almighty kluex, praise the sun!) won't get their wings in the afterlife, and will hop forever. So yeah, bunny tombs are for the weak u_u
     
  14. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    Well, "atheist" is not really a term that's used by Starbound, ever. But otherwise, that's pretty much right.

    It's amusing that criminals and heretics get the cutest sarcophagus though.
     
  15. Nibolas O Anelbozas

    Nibolas O Anelbozas Spaceman Spiff

    Yeah, but i always liked shiny stones soo...gold sarcophagus with crystals for me thanks u_u and wings, afterlife wings.

    The old Lore had this nice punishment for heretics that they would toss the heretic into tar, so the feathers would get all nasty and ruined, just to shame even more the ones who defied the mighty Sunborn. it was implied that it never would rid off either. I don't remember finding the same codex again, i think they took if out, which is a shame because i thought it was very interesting.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2019
  16. Sparklink

    Sparklink Pangalactic Porcupine

    It is amusing that Avians now have rabbits as their pets, almost as if it were some throw-back to the rabbit people.
     
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  17. Sparklink

    Sparklink Pangalactic Porcupine

    I looked into these rabbit people. Interestingly, it looks like they were costumes like the current Froggs and Alpaca, additionally the fact that they use Apex dialog could also imply that they are simply Apex in rabbit costumes. I would guess that the Rabbits were simply an experiment with costume species.
     
  18. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    That would actually explain a lot, huh!
     
  19. Roskii Heiral

    Roskii Heiral Heliosphere

    I want more snarky quips about the races' previous incarnations!

    Do the Florans next! Tip that sacred cow!
     
  20. Guest0241525

    Guest0241525 Guest

    I've already covered Florans' previous characterization in race relations, summary, and a number of comments.:nurutease:

    But the reason they didn't have a section of their own because honestly, there wasn't much lore to them at all. They were just there as needlessly cruel genocidal plantpeople, and they were running prisons for some reason, and they were ruled by that one scientist guy who was pretty much the only involved in anything (and everything) else and that was basically all there was to them.
     
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