Chad "Pappy" Moore and Mike Donatelli introduce us to the new WildStar races
As a preview of the event and to discuss the newly revealed races, I attended a conference call which included Carbine content director Mike Donatelli and WildStar’s lead narrative designer, Chad “Pappy” Moore.
To introduce us to the Chua and Mordesh—an overview of which you can read here—Chad explained the initial concept behind the two new races:
“When we developed the races for our factions we wanted to have, on each side, our outcast race; what we’re calling our ‘dirty little secret.’
The reason the Dominion looks down on the Chua is that it is all about power, pomp and circumstance and the Chua don’t really fit that image really well. They’re also, of all the races of the Dominion, the least bought into the hype that the Dominion sells itself as. They‘re mischievous little guys, nobody trusts them, who are always doing pranks and that sort of thing.
They’re looked down upon by a lot of the other races of the Dominion but they’re a necessary evil because they supply the empire with all of its firepower and technology, which has made it the driving force in the galaxy for the last couple of thousand years.
On the Exiles side you have the Mordesh. If you look at our races, the Exiles [are mainly] positive, happy-go-lucky guys: The humans have a rough and tumble attitude. The Granok, they like to drink beer and fight, they’re generally positive guys. Then you have the Aurin who are perhaps the friendliest and most positive of all the races.
We wanted something that could be a counterpoint to all those races so we created the Mordesh to fill that role for them.
From a personality [aspect], the Mordesh are tortured and dark. The Contagion basically makes them into space zombies. The only thing that stops them devolving into a cannibalistic rage is a blue serum called the Vitalus Serum. If you see their models there are repositories that have replaced their bodies and this is where the Vitalus Serum exists.
“There’s a certain longing, regret and bitterness that the Mordesh have. When you hear them speak there’s a dark lyricism to their language. We say the Mordesh are sort of the Emo kids of our factions. You’ll see that a lot in both how they look and how they speak.
Jokingly, Mike Donatelli interjected to add, “They’re like zombies in skinny jeans.”
When talking about the inspiration for the Chua, though the pair felt they were very distinctive, particularly in the MMO genre, Donatelli made the apt comparison to Gremlins. In my personal perception of the Chua, they seem to look like Gizmo and act like Stripe.
I asked the devs whether having diverse silhouettes among the races—a staple of MMOs—was important when the initial design of the Mordesh and Chua was considered.
“Yes, absolutely. The Chua are very small. Of all the races on both sides they’re actually the smallest. The Mordesh are very tall and lanky and present a very unique silhouette. So artistically it was a big focus, not only do we want them to have interesting back stories, but visually we want them to be unique as well.
I asked what class restrictions the two new races would have. Initially, the devs were hesitant to answer the question as it transpired that they involve the remaining unannounced classes. Explaining why the two new races are associated with those classes, while not naming them outright, Donatelli continued:
“Both of them are scientists, so their thematic, scientific personas lend very well to the two new classes.”
Let the speculation commence—well, continue.
Chris Lynch, lead combat designer, made a special guest appearance to confirm that the Mordesh’s class options include Warriors, Stalkers, Spellslingers and one of the unannounced classes.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: There is a little confusion on whether the Mordesh can be one or both of the secret classes. It is possible that Mordesh can be both of the unannounced classes as well as the three shiny ones that are known. I have reached out to Carbine for clarification. Thanks to Jarinolde for bringin up the issue]
[EDITOR'S NOTE UPDATE: After verifying with Carbine, the team confirms that the Chua and Mordesh can have the same number of classes and that the Mordesh have access to one, not two, of the secret classes. The original statement in the article was correct.]
The Chua’s class options are Spellslinger, Esper, “Coughahemharrumph” and “Ahemcoughhrrffmfle.”
Lynch wanted to add that he plays all of the classes at the moment—considering his role, he has to—and he could firmly state which his favorites are:
“The two new classes that no one has seen or played yet. I’m sorry, but it’s absolutely true.”
If you get the impression that the Carbine dev teams are malevolent teases, then just read that line and end it with a Bond villain laugh. It’s pretty appropriate.
Later in the conference call, Donatelli stated it would be roughly a month or so until those classes will be revealed. Perhaps PAX or Gamescom will be the prime opportunities?
Chad and Mike explained the attention that has been given to the voice of the characters.
Moore: “The Mordesh, especially, are near and dear to my heart. What you’ll hear when they speak is a lot of lyrical alliteration in almost everything they say; which sounds great, but it was extremely challenging. By the end of developing their voice and writing some of their dialogue, my writing team was just about ready to kill me because I asked them to write everything in that very specific style.”
Donatelli: “Which is super disturbing because that’s how Chad speaks normally.”