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Wiegraf Folles

Why do the elves behave like other races?

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Tolkien's Elves are essentially immortal because they remained untouched by age. They can only be killed in battle or by a grievous injury. Legolas, the elf from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is nearly three thousand years old by the time the events of the books take place. Elrond, the older elf who organizes the Fellowship of the Ring is at least six thousand. The reason the elves in Lord of the Rings are aloof and mystical is because they really are old enough to master many things and many most assuredly believe they're superior.

 

That's quite a bit more longevity if you ask me. Elves from Eora may wisen with age but they've got nothing on the ones from Middle Earth.

Edited by Big-Ben
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Obsidian deliberately didn't use race to mean nationality or culture because they wanted Eora to be more cosmopolitan. There is no elven culture, just as there isn't a dwarf, aumaua, orlan, or even human exclusive culture. Heck, godlikes can come from any of the races.

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Elf lifespans in PoE is only like 310 right? I mean, don't get me wrong that is absolutely a lot comparatively speaking, but it's not insane. The thing that always bothered me with the insanely long ones (1000 to 2000) is that they pretend it doesn't matter. Either these people are kinda dense if you're going on 800 and their skill/knowledge is comparable to a 45 year old person, or there's a hard cap on skill/knowledge their lifespan waaay overshadows (in which case why not branch out to new stuff?) or the creators really didn't put too much thought into what such a staggering amount of time really means. I mean imagine dating/marrying an asari, they live for a millennia. That means a person's entire lifespan is analogous to a dog or a cat for them. How does that effect the relationship dynamic? Is there some part of asari culture that implicitly deals with their longevity in comparison to members of other species they often choose for mates? We humans can still semi-comfortably accommodate decades long periods in planning, how would it be different if that was centuries? It should be more than "This elf is tsundere cuz he old yo."

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I’m not a huge fan of the way races are handled on Eora, or at least in the game settings. Not enough that it really bothers me or lowers my opinion of the games... but I suppose enough to muse about it in a thread.

 

Two arguments I’d make in favor of the way Obsidian has handled them are 1) if kith know souls are recycled then they also know they’ve probably been every race at some point. And 2) there’s been enough intermingling over time that overarching cultures (Valiens, Adeyrans etc) fall outside or at least overlap racial boundaries.

 

But even so, it makes sense just from reproductive purposes that races would tend to be a little more insular.

 

There seem to be examples of it like the Junvik village or the dwarven citadel in the White March, but mostly I feel differences are ignored.

 

And the racial differences are not trivial. Elven lifespan is a good example. I mean, even as human beings we tend to socialize in peer groups of similar age. In terms of perspective and life experience a 60 year old isn’t going to have much in common with a 20 year old. Sure they might be casual friends through a common interest or social activity but it’s rare that they would spend much time together outside of that. Tack on an extra century and things go even farther afield.

 

Also pale elves. Judging by their racial bonuses they are really the only ones capable of living in the White that Wends, and should by their vary nature have a distinct culture, but the only one you interact with in a meaningful way seems more Valein than anything else.

 

Again, I move the games and none of this botheres me, but on reflection it does seem a little odd.

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The races of Eora are pretty homogenized overall, but maybe the cultures of individual races will be explored more over time? Or maybe the racial traditions were destroyed or replaced by Engwithans during their era of dominance. After all, everything has to be their fault. ;)

 

As far as the longevity of elves, I do like the idea that was mentioned that they may just take things slower. It could also be a case where, like old people, they just become set in their ways.  They may become easily averse to change and prefer things to stay comfortable and predictable. Which brings a point to mind, do cultures in Eora that value tradition and predictability over innovation and risk have higher elven populations?

Edited by Epixia

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Two arguments I’d make in favor of the way Obsidian has handled them are 1) if kith know souls are recycled then they also know they’ve probably been every race at some point. And 2) there’s been enough intermingling over time that overarching cultures (Valiens, Adeyrans etc) fall outside or at least overlap racial boundaries.

 

But even so, it makes sense just from reproductive purposes that races would tend to be a little more insular.

 

You make excellent points.

 

I don't want to open a can of worms here, but have you noticed that even in our very cosmopolitan, modern society, you'll often find people of the same race hanging out together? There really is a lot of truth to the old "birds of a feather flock together" thing. 

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I think the setting would have been better without any elves or dwarves.

 

Should have stuck with Obsidian's unique races Aumau, Orlan, Godlike and humans. Would have made for a much tighter narrative.

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Two arguments I’d make in favor of the way Obsidian has handled them are 1) if kith know souls are recycled then they also know they’ve probably been every race at some point. And 2) there’s been enough intermingling over time that overarching cultures (Valiens, Adeyrans etc) fall outside or at least overlap racial boundaries.

 

But even so, it makes sense just from reproductive purposes that races would tend to be a little more insular.

 

You make excellent points.

 

I don't want to open a can of worms here, but have you noticed that even in our very cosmopolitan, modern society, you'll often find people of the same race hanging out together? There really is a lot of truth to the old "birds of a feather flock together" thing. 

 

 

Thanks, and yeah, I'd think elves would tend to stay with elves, dwarves with dwarves, Orlans with Orlans... just out of who they can relate too.

 

To KDubya's point on the one hand I kind of agree, on the other, I do like Pale Elves, even if they called them something else (though White Walkers is taken ;p) because of where they hail from and their racial bonuses they don't really resemble typical fantasy elves. Plus the notion of the White that Wends and the culture surrounding it is potentially different and interesting.

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Oh and about Dungeon and Dragon elves. 
On Second Edition they lived 1000+ years. Pretty much immortal like tolkien elves, they just said after 1000 years a elf became bored and went on a journey to never return. 
On third edition elves got the age knife and reduced to around 500 years.

On fourth edition 300+ years. 

Don´t know now on the 5º edition. 

 

this explain why some elves on D&D changed a lot from the 80´s to today. 

 

 

On witcher.
There is only one elf know to have 650 years   (Auberon Muircetach, Killed by Alderon, the one that appears on Witcher III).    On Witcher you can clearly see the difference beetween the white hunt (a old elf society where they think themselves superior and with tons of knowledge) vs  Geralth Dimension Elfs that are too busy dying young while they fight in a world that is killing them little by little. 

 

On Dragon Age 

Elves live no longer than Humans.  Some Elves where immortal by using magic but that age is long gone. 

 

 

Warhammer:Fantasy

Elfs live 1000 years and they do think themselves superior to everyone else, and they do have reasons to believe that.  In fact they do have quite a share of the top 10 most powerful beings in that universe.   Specially if you count all 3 of them. (High Elves, Dark Elves, Wood Elves).      

 

They did lost a war to the dwarfs ^^.  (That live 350 years and you are only a proper warrior for them once you reach 100+ years alive and become a longbeard). 

 

 

Warcraft Elves.

Night elves -> Pretty much immortal. They lost their immortality but they have projects to regain it and will likely have a sucess before the first of them meet a natural death. 

 

High elves + blood elves = 2500 to 3000 years. 

 

Draenei =  27000 years (someone smoked a lot to come up with such a long lifespan). 

Edited by sterrius
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The case of night elves in Warcraft is pretty funny. Every time you get a squad of archers killed in a skirmish, the world has apparently just lost a group of immortals. So wasteful, commander.

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Obsidian deliberately didn't use race to mean nationality or culture because they wanted Eora to be more cosmopolitan. There is no elven culture, just as there isn't a dwarf, aumaua, orlan, or even human exclusive culture. Heck, godlikes can come from any of the races.

 

Huana seem pretty aumaua exclusive? 

 

And the Pargunnen are dwarf exclusive aren't they? 

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Two arguments I’d make in favor of the way Obsidian has handled them are 1) if kith know souls are recycled then they also know they’ve probably been every race at some point. And 2) there’s been enough intermingling over time that overarching cultures (Valiens, Adeyrans etc) fall outside or at least overlap racial boundaries.

 

But even so, it makes sense just from reproductive purposes that races would tend to be a little more insular.

 

You make excellent points.

 

I don't want to open a can of worms here, but have you noticed that even in our very cosmopolitan, modern society, you'll often find people of the same race hanging out together? There really is a lot of truth to the old "birds of a feather flock together" thing. 

 

 

IMO that's because there are way more cultures in our society than races and there's a significant overlap between races and national states (culture). I doubt that in Eora  Glanfathan elf will have more in common with Aedyre elf that with fellow Glanfathan Orlan. 

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I believe they're talking about mental, rather than physical characteristics. So Hanar are just very polite humans in a squid costume, Buggers are telepathic humans in bug costumes, etc.

 

EDIT: The philosopher Thomas Nagel actually wrote about this idea in his paper "What is it like to be a bat?"

 

Then Buggers would still stand out. They are an insect Hive-mind with no concept of the individual. The Hanar work similarly, they ahd to learn how to interact with the other races. This isn't even bringing up the Great Old Ones from Lovecraft's stories.

 

 

That's missing the point. Yes, the buggers are an insect hive-mind with no concept of the individual, but they're were still invented by a human and filtered through human experience. So their depiction isn't of a hive-mind, but what a human thinks it might like to be in a hive-mind.

Edited by illathid
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"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

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The case of night elves in Warcraft is pretty funny. Every time you get a squad of archers killed in a skirmish, the world has apparently just lost a group of immortals. So wasteful, commander.

 

specially if you remember they don´t replenished their numbers, not even in W3 not even in WoW so every single Night Elf you kill have at least 10000 years. At least 9 of them fighting or training to fight. 

when you think like that and add they are faster and stronger than humans (not orc level strong but still) and you find hard to believe for them to ever lose a fight outside of luck or magic trick  :p

 

I do like night elfs, but blizzard did killed a lot of immersion if you start to think about how they lose wars and are still alive after tons of losses. 

 

 

at least warhammer does make elfs more easy to believe.   

 

A group of Swordmasters of Hoeth,  that trained centurys in the use of swords is not a group of elfs you want to face in meele. They will cut anything in their path that is not helped by magic like a Chaos Chosen.  

 

A normal human swordman don´t stand a chance,  not even if you bring 5 times their numbers. 

 

Always fun to do some of those battles on the warhammer: total war ^^. 

Edited by sterrius

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