SWTOR Bolsters Customization With Cat People

By Jim Rossignol on April 29th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.


The next SWTOR update is all about customization, allowing radical visual overhauls for any and all characters. Nice move, space developers, but what won’t get me playing your game is the inclusion of cat-people. As we all know, the inclusion of cat people in any franchise (we’ll omit Thundercats for now) is an admission of creative bankruptcy. Yes, even in Elder Scrolls games. It’s just not okay. If you are looking around for that other race, the crazy alterative to elves or stormtroopers, and the best you can come up with is a man that looks like a cat, well… no. Anyway, that’s what this next update brings. Not player Jawas, or anything like that. Hell, even Star Wars Galaxies had playable Ithorians.

Grumble. Videos below.

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82 Comments »

  1. Brun says:

    Ma’iq knows much, tells some.

  2. Lemming says:

    I’m guessing this is Juhani’s (from KOTOR) species? She was pretty unremarkable as a character, I thought. Whined alot…

    ..should fit well for MMORPG players, then. HEEEEEYYYYYOOOOOOH!

    • Berzee says:

      I ended up dueling her at a weak point on the development curve of my character, and thus got to hear the phrase “Iiiii vill be your DOOM!” about 8 times.

      I’m still holding a grudge. =P

  3. ScubaMonster says:

    Of ALL the alien races you could pick from in Star Wars… cat people? I already had a beef with the awful race selection to begin with. Bioware shows they are a complete failure again. It might not seem like it should be a big deal, but seriously… any number of familiar and popular races. And they pick friggin cat people. Pick Wookiees for god’s sake. That would make more sense. It’s almost as if they are going out of their way to make sure this isn’t a good Star Wars game. Jedi Knight and SWG had better races and those games are ancient.

    • Eddard_Stark says:

      They simply chose *cough* recolored *cough* humans.

      • ScubaMonster says:

        Yeah, that was my gripe with the original races. All variations of humans. That works in Star Trek, but not Star Wars. But heck, even Star Trek had some non-human looking races.

        • Brun says:

          Well it makes sense for the Empire, given that one of the basic premises of the “Empire” (in its many forms) throughout Star Wars history is that it’s a human supremacy (including human subspecies and offshoots such as Chiss and Ratataki).

          • ScubaMonster says:

            True. but then you have bounty hunters as Empire and there are plenty of non human bounty hunters. which really makes no sense anyway. Bounty Hunters don’t care who they work for, just who is paying them But I think it’s mostly a problem with how they set up the game in the first place. I think Star Wars works better as more of a sandbox. They should have let you join a side instead of being pigeon holed into the whole Alliance vs Horde paradigm.

          • Brun says:

            The Empire is practical – they’ll use mercenaries when they have to, regardless of species, they just won’t like it. See Empire Strikes Back dialogue – “Bounty Hunters! We don’t need their scum…”.

            The point was that the Empire is all about humans being on top – all of the officers, government officials, soldiers, etc. are humans and they tend to look down on other species as inferior (like when Chewbacca is brought to the cell block in the Death Star, the guards ask “Where are you taking this…thing…”). This is one of their biggest contrasts with the Rebels/Republic where aliens are pretty much everywhere.

      • Lemming says:

        So, expect Weequay, Chiss and Anzati to be trickled out with much self-aggrandizement over the next four years.

        • Vangu Vegro says:

          Chiss have been in since launch, actually.

          • Premium User Badge

            Malibu Stacey says:

            Hooray for the blue skinned humans!

            They ain’t got nothin’ on Rogue, Helm, Gunnar, Bagman, Friday, Top, Eightball, Lucky & Venus though.

    • Lemming says:

      Wookiees, Ithorians and Rodians are all musts for a Star Wars game, IMO.

      • Brun says:

        All of those are present in SWTOR, just not playable necessarily. I’m unfamiliar with the playable races on the Republic side since I played Empire.

        • ScubaMonster says:

          Republic races are just boring human looking races too. Twilek are the most exotic, and that’s just humans with tentacles on their heads.

        • Lemming says:

          I meant playable of course. It would be pretty weird for a Star Wars game to just have human models throughout. I assumed a certain degree of knowledge on the reader’s part.

      • Koozer says:

        How dare you forget Mon Calamari!

      • Premium User Badge

        Jackablade says:

        I want to play as one of those guys with the snail heads.

    • Arglebargle says:

      It’s all mechanics: Anything they can’t simple paste on over the skeleton armature, isn’t going to happen. They deep sixed it at release for that reason, and with a lessoned work crew, it isn’t likely to change. Of course, other games do the same BS. (TES)

      Think Small!

    • ucfalumknight says:

      After several meetings with our designated focus groups Middle Management has decided that the sub 14 age group would prefer cat people over dog people, chicken people, or fish people.

      • VengefulGiblets says:

        Dilbert, is that you?

        Anyway, it’s obvious that they slapped some textures onto the human head and called it a day. This says that they’re either as broke as we all pretty much know that they are, or they think very little of their existing customer pool. It’s not good no matter how it shakes out.

        smh.. whatever. It’s effectively a dead horse at this point.

    • Hypernetic says:

      You are talking about a game that considers “cyborg” a different playable race from human, “cyborg” is exactly the same as human but with some circuits painted on their face.

  4. serioussgtstu says:

    Haha Cathar. I demand Doghar in the next expansion pack . Starwars: mists of Dogharia.

    Feck it, I’ll make it myself. Coming to PC and next gen toasters Tuesday week.

  5. Beelzebud says:

    SWTOR is a mountain of wasted potential. It’s like a shrine to mediocrity. They could have done so much, and decided on just doing a paint-by-numbers WoW clone. If you’re going to do that, at least be better than WoW.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Yep. That such mediocrity was the end result of the most expensive game ever made is quite staggering.

    • akeso says:

      At this point I just kinda feel back for Bioware Austin and EA.
      It’s as if they thought all they had to do was get a good name/studio, throw a ton of money at it, then really believe and they could create their own World of Warcraft. It seemed like the recipe Blizzard used yet it completely blew up in their faces.

      The problem is they got a lot of great people in the room who didn’t know a whole lot about MMO’s and believed way to much of their own bullshit and far too little of outside criticism.

    • Rollin says:

      I’m not sure if Bioware is like that cool big brother who got old and boring, or if EA strongarmed them into it, but SWTOR really was the biggest gaming disappointment in the past few years.

      I’m mainly looking towards indie games for the fun stuff these days, whereas a few years ago that wasn’t the case.

    • ColonelClaw says:

      ‘a shrine to mediocrity’ – splendid!

      “Ok people, who’s got the most awesome idea for a new race?”
      “Wookie”
      “Bothans”
      “Rodians”
      “Bartokk”
      “Rishii”
      “Quarren”
      “How about a re-skinned human? One of our guys could knock it out in a week”
      “Good idea, lets hit the pub”

  6. Phasma Felis says:

    No sale until I can play an Ewok starfighter pilot, sitting on a stack of phonebooks to reach the controls.

    No, wait, this is SCIENCE FICTION. They’d have to be…Holonet tablets. Yeah. Which somehow have all the properties of phonebooks, including thickness.

  7. Elmokki says:

    Indeed. It’s one thing to add a race of recolored humans as a new catpeople race, but to even name them CAThar. Seriously :D

  8. Baddiekins says:

    As much as I disagree with the addition of the Cathar race, people need to realize they’ve existed in Star Wars canon before this. There was even a Cathar character in KotOR.

    That being said, Togorians would have been a MUCH better if they really had to have a feline race.

    • aepervius says:

      Ho, don’t worry we are niot laughing because they are cannon or not, we are jsut pointing out at the mediocrity of adding a reskinned/recolored human when you already have 8 of those. Plus if I recall correctely, there is no real bonus for races, and you get the same quest as all. So…. It is purely cosmetic. Which i guess is OK , but not really that great a news for the floundering MMO.

      • wryterra says:

        You get the same quests regardless of species, true, but you get 8 completely different, fully voice acted, fully cut-scened storylines, one for each class with dialogue variation for some races, for some genders and whether you’re solo or grouped.

        • Avatar says:

          ^
          and THIS (the story content) is a big thing for this game. without it it’s gonna be in huge trouble.

          it’s also very easy to coop the story with a buddy, with multiplayer convo and all..

          to me, its the only reason i am groing thru this game. cause the gameplay and engine are making me cringe.

        • Narzhul says:

          Oh come on, put a wookie in and all the voice acting could just be some variations of wooaargghhh.

    • Turkey says:

      I chose not to control the Cathar character in Kotor.

  9. SkittleDiddler says:

    LOLCATS IN SPACE!!!

  10. DXN says:

    Cat people are alright by me. These ones are rubbish, though. Also, the game.

  11. Barberetti says:

    Fully expecting mouse people and duck people in future updates!

    • Barberetti says:

      Fully expecting mouse people and duck people in future updates!

      Don’t mind me, just testing something.

  12. Hunam says:

    It’s a cat beard.

    The horror.

  13. Zepp says:

    Good thing is that you have to buy them from Item Shop, so not everyone will reroll cat thingy instantly.

  14. cube1701 says:

    It amazes me how long it’s taking them to add this stuff from the game. At last year’s E3 it was suggested that this, along with an extra planet and HK-51, would all be released in 2012.

    Not only that, but it seemed like they were going to be free for subscribers – but it turned out that even the subscribers had to pay for the extra planet.

    • Avatar says:

      now that they’ve gone F2P, they got some kind of “revival”. really, the game is packed.
      “EA” is milking this batch of players.

      don’t expect this game ot have a bright future after that…
      the engine and gameplay is so dated that I also wouldn’t invest in that game anymore.

      aside from that, it’s still a fun game for any star wars fans.

  15. Avatar says:

    this really aint a bad game. especially the amount of cut-scene and voice over in that game; insane.
    and lets be honest.. it’s always fun to rock a lightsaber and listen to star wars music and sound effects.

    unfortunately for them. gw2 is almost everything swtor should have been on a technical and innovative level. and they do the “cat people” much better. Charr ftw.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Shockeh says:

    Just… ugh. Why is it so damn UGLY? It’s a horrible looking game, in every respect, I don’t have a clue how anyone during development at any point thought it looked current, or had a unique style, or was even very Star Wars esque. It’s so utterly bland and generi… oh, I realise why now.

    Because it typifies the rest of the game!

  17. Captain Kirk says:

    I can’t find the link now but there was a developer comment on why both playable Wookies and Jawa’s as well as some of the other species (Mon Calamari, Torguta, etc) were not added to the game despite the fact that clearly there were body models in the game that were animated for all those species. It comes down to two things -

    1.) There are literally hundreds of thousands of armor pieces that need to be checked against the various body shapes, appendages, hair types, etc. Adding a new race is extremely difficult – hence the reason there are mostly humanoid species. Some may feel this is a lame response, but think of adding in armor for wookies for example. They need to create entirely new assets for each piece of armor since it won’t fit on the wookies bodies. And I will preemptively counter your next argument of ‘Well, just give them no armor/the armor that is currently available for wookies in the game” with “Do you know any MMO players who would not complain when they found out that their wookie must look identical to everyone elses?”. It takes a lot of resources to create a whole new set of armor/weapons that are unique and usable to one species that will only be used by a small subset of the game.

    2.) Voice acting. Wookies and Jawas in particular are incapable of speaking basic (english) in this game. They appear to be incapable in the movies/books as well. I don’t know if it is a ‘biological’ issue in the sw universe, but in any case, all they do is scream or speak gibberish. There are A LOT of cut-scenes in SWTOR. Think mass effect times some multiple. The main stories for each character type plus side quests and planetary quests will take a new player between 100-200 hours. That’s a lot of gibberish. People would think it was great to be a wookie/jawa and then the novelty would wear off after 200 hours of gibberish. Until this new expansion, the game didn’t allow you to change your basic appearance options or species.

    • Koozer says:

      1) Wookies are basically tall humans, I’m not sure I see the difficulty with itemisation seeing as hair will be hidden by armours. Jawas could be trickier though as they are so much shorter.

      2) They could give Wookies and Jawas a toggle in options: native speech or translator unit (read: human voices with vox effect). People would prefer that to no Wookies/Jawas at all.

      How much interaction is there during cutscenes? That could be the real major problem if your Jawa can’t reach the datapad he’s supposed to be picking up.

      • Captain Kirk says:

        Wookies are both taller and slimmer. None of the armor models will work/fit on them. And there are only a half dozen wookie armors in the game already.

        As for the voice, I personally agree. I don’t care if people pick to be a Jawa and then 200 hours of gibberish later they regret it or have a synth voice option – the developers said that they didn’t want to have to worry about all the people complaining about the lack of voice options. Considering that people have complained about the synth voice in helmets they like and want the ability to turn it on and off, I understand not wanting to upset people. They claimed to have already considered Wookie/Jawa, but turned it down due to both the voice and itemization issues.

        –edit to add–
        There are other factors, such as romance options that would need to be considered as well.

    • derbefrier says:

      yet for most people none of that will matter we want our popular races. I dont care how much work it is just get it done, also space battles please

  18. imralizal says:

    The Cathar are kinda pathetic, but at least they were a legitimate part of KOTOR. STO added cat people about a year back too. Caitians (Federation cat people) and Ferasans (Klingon cat people). Sadly, it seems there was a cat person in at least star trek IV, V and the animated series, so I guess it’s canon, but they were wisely never given much screen time. Every sci fi universe with aliens eventually makes cat people, it’s inevitable. It’s also apparently inevitable that they all look exactly the same and have similar names; Cathar, Caitians, Ferasans, Felinetta, Kilrathi, Kzin.

    • Berzee says:

      My experience with the Cathar is (as far as I can remember) limited to Juhani in KotOR1, and from that experience I feel confident in saying with utmost conviction:

      The accent of the Cathar-people really annoys me. I haven’t even watched this video yet, I should probably do that before making such a bold and visionary statement…but I am afraid to click play because what if they sound like Juhani? Then I’d be annoyed again, and I’ve already had enough annoying things happen to me today!

      • Voronwer says:

        They simply won’t since the voice acting is set for the character class you pick. Also, I have yet to meet a Cathar in the game that sounds like Juhani. Not even the Cathar you get as a companion sounds like that, he just has regular voice acting so your fear is completely unfounded.

        Honestly, I hope they bring in the Cathar soon so the game can expand at least a bit away from all the human races. Yes, they could have picked a more daring race, but I don’t think this is a bad pick as so far the Cathar in the game are pretty cool.

    • Subatomic says:

      Caitians actually orginated in the Star Trek Animated Series, in which the Enterprise had a Caitian bridge office (who replaced Chekov). They later had some background appearances in Star Trek IV and V, but were never really mentioned by name outside the Animated Series, so their inclusion is a bit of a stretch in ST:O… but hey, cat people!

    • Arglebargle says:

      There should be something like the time-to-crate number that refers to the time it takes for a game to go to a cat race. You could call it the Cat-shark number!…..as in jumping…

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      Malibu Stacey says:

      Every sci fi universe with aliens eventually makes cat people, it’s inevitable. It’s also apparently inevitable that they all look exactly the same and have similar names; Cathar, Caitians, Ferasans, Felinetta, Kilrathi, Kzin.

      Seriously?

      • imralizal says:

        Seriously… what?

        • Grygus says:

          I imagine he’s referring to the fact that it’s supposed to be a list of “similar” names, with the last two being nothing like the rest.

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            Malibu Stacey says:

            Lets conveniently sidestep the fact that the Kilrathi were entirely based on Larry Niven’s Kzin and also conveniently forget the Kilrathi were the only protagonists in most of the Wing Commander series.

            Those things aside they both perfectly fit into that convoluted description.

          • imralizal says:

            God really? I know the Kilrathi and the Kzinti (who I was going to put initially) were based on the Kzin, there simply wasn’t any point in mentioning that because it didn’t really further the discussion. It was a light hearted observation about cat people. People are so pedantic and childish sometimes.

  19. Palindrome says:

    Is SWTOR worth playing now? I played it during one of the free weekends just after it came out and was less than impressed. I don’t suppose much has changed?

    • Tomac says:

      It’s actually worse if you’re not a subscriber. Non subscribers are basically second class citizens in every way.

      • Grygus says:

        This is my main problem with their current model. And to be clear, I actually don’t necessarily have a problem with free players being second-class citizens, but TOR is so in-your-face about it; once you make level 10, each and every quest has a little icon to denote that you got less experience, and many quests include rewards have little icons to denote that – oh – you can’t actually have them. One quest had these little icons on all the rewards, so I didn’t actually get anything other than the (reduced) experience. Being told that you earned something but can’t have it isn’t as fun as one might imagine.

    • derbefrier says:

      All of the main story lines are free to enjoy which is the best part of the game. From what i understand if you want to raid or PvP you have to pay though. SO if you just wanna play it like its KOTOR 3 then you should be all good.

    • Voronwer says:

      Pretty much what they said. The story lines are generally well done and I like how they tied in the different classes together in one story. I subbed in december thinking I’d play the Jedi Knight class and be done with it, but so far I’m still playing. I won’t deny that it gets tedious going through the same planets sometimes, but the storylines at least have kept me going so far.

      I do recommend subbing, it will just make your life easier, though I understand your reluctance as it cost way too much. And it’s definitely more fun if you group with a buddy, soloing can be a bit of a grind fest.

  20. Berzee says:

    Does your disapproval extend to all forms of animal-people, or specifically cats?

    (If the former — did you ever play Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb, and how did you feel about it? =P)

  21. Berzee says:

    Also: does this mean I should not be holding my breath for the “Growl Of The Cat-Man-Bot” expansion for Sir?

  22. HunterZ says:

    I’ll just leave this here: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/09/22

  23. Alboin says:

    Cathars were a group of medieval heretics. According to Alain de Lille they were called this because “they kiss the posterior of the cat, in whose form, as they say, Lucifer appears to them.”

    • tormos says:

      I do hope you’re joking, good sir.
      For anyone who’s wondering the name Cathar is derived from a Greek word meaning pure, although people debate whether or not they actually were called that at the time. They also hold the distinction of being the only Christians ever targeted by an officially sanctioned Crusade (other than the Byzantines, but Constantinople was not the original target there)

      • iridescence says:

        A race based on the medieval heretics would be far more interesting. Although if the cat people in the game look like early 80s David Bowie I might just re-sub:

      • Blackseraph says:

        Cathars also had female spiritual leaders which in my mind makes them much better people than their opponents (catholic church) who eventually annihilated whole movement completely. With massacres and such.

  24. thegooseking says:

    I love Cat People!

    Oh, wait, we’re not talking about the 1942 film? Well, then, yeah, that’s kind of insipid and uninspired.

  25. Darth Fez says:

    I can’t believe people are still griping about the cathar being introduced. That announcement was made nearly a year ago. Ten months from the announcement of the new playable race to the announcement that they’ll be in the next patch. Those who are hoping for other races should gripe about how long it took from announcement to execution. If it took them a year to make the cathar work, which are little enough more than humans with a different skin (and already exists in the game as a companion), how long can anyone expect them to take to introduce something like jawas, wookies, or nautolans to the game?

    • CorpseFX says:

      its all about number reduction by obtaining the best numbers. cats or jawas do not increase my numbers to reduce your numbers so it is meaningless. i applaud their slow implementation for dessert items.

  26. CorpseFX says:

    “i already had my childish, sheep/baby attitude developed about this game before the post. now im just writing lame macho arguments about it to show how cynical i am. i am smart and see through this games attempts to steal my precious lard ass time.”

    you guys should write similar posts about your own lives and this blog. it’d make for great entertainment on here.