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Altmer or Dunmer. Which culture is more "advanced"?

  • Jaimeh
    Jaimeh
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    On the whole I would say the Altmer tend to be more magically knowledgeable and magic seems to be woven in their daily lives to a greater levels. Sapiarchs would be pretty comparable to a Telvanni archmagister if not more so. Divayth Fyr is a huge exception to normal Dunmer. In short I would say it is really difficult to compare them. Building houses out of magical trees or magical mushrooms seems more a mystical or esthetic choice by the Bosmer and Dunmer respectively. I believe the Altmer are more likely interested in the older interests of their forebears: the magic of light, the source of all magic, aetherius, Magnus. I would suggest that Dunmer and Altmer are simply interested in different things and have a very different world view which shapes the kinds of technology they will utilize.

    I agree with your view. I haven’t played the previous games, but from what I’ve seen in the Morrowind and Summerset chapters, I would say Altmer are potentially more advanced; the difference is that they are not in a hurry to reach their potential, whereas Dunmer appear to be more driven: to grow, become more powerful, expand… and I think this springs from having different motivations; Dunmer enjoy power dynamics, machinations, and seem to have a need to prove themselves as being superior—on the other hand Altmer seem almost complacent, like they don’t feel they need to prove their superiority, because being superior is something that's completely embedded in their collective consciousness, and their motivation is the strive for perfectionism in any one area. They also value tradition and favour the status quo, which are not a great advocates for swift change or advancement. I think part of why magic in Summerset seems inconspicuous and mundane is because magic is so infused in their daily lives that it becomes something normal. I imagine a non-magical race would react to Altmer society a bit like when Harry Potter first visited the Weasleys, gaping at everything in their house, while they were all like ‘eh...’. :smiley: Both cultures are talented with magic, but the motivations behind studying it, adding to it, and wielding it are very different--scientific advances in Dunmeri cities may seem more ‘flashy’ than what we see elsewhere, but I believe, with the exception of some Telvanni Magisters and characters like Divayth Fyr and Sotha Sil, the average Altmer to know/use more about magic than the average Dunmer.
    @stargold

    PC/NA CP810

    AD Nefelyn - Altmer Sorcerer - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror ǀ Master Angler ǀ Hero of all the things (fine, some of the things)
    DC Bastiene - Breton Templar - Healer ǀ The Flawless Conqueror ǀ Brigadier
    AD Niobeh - Dunmer Nightblade - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror ǀ Black Market Mogul ǀ Master Thief ǀ Silencer (but we don’t talk about that)
    AD Ashayam - Khajiit Sorcerer - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror
    DC Sydhe Narjes - Redguard Nightblade - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror
    DC Eva Saint Claire - Breton Warden - Healer ǀ The Flawless Conqueror
    EP Rruns-With-Scissors ­- Argonian Dragoknight - Tank ǀ He’s a good boy, OK Bront?
    EP Moiranni Deyr - Dunmer Dragonknight - Healer ǀ The Flawless Conqueror
    DC Anur Imagua - Redguard Templar - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror
    AD Azoke Sen - Imperial Sorcerer - Tank ǀ The Flawless Conqueror
    DC Sàverin - Redguard Warden - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror
    DC Zuwane Okoye - Redguard Dragonknight - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror

    PC/EU CP490

    AD Ariadne Nearil - Altmer Sorcerer - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror
    EP Máyim - Dunmer Nightblade - DD ǀ The Flawless Conqueror

    vSO HM · vAA HM · vHRC HM · vMOL · vHOF · vAS+1 · vDSA · vBRP

    It's not zerging if we are all solo and just happen to go to the same place independently xD
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Grayfax wrote: »
    Just take a look more deeply into the Crystal Tower. It exists across all the planes and acts as a gateway to all realities. Pretty impressive. It is said there are greater advancements in the Arcane University, but there is much shrouded from outside eyes. This doesn't mean the Altmer treat outsiders kindly. But the "advancement" is certainly there.

    Everything the Altmer have to set them apart was instead made by the Aldmer. Zenimax seems committed to portraying the Altmer themselves as generic, arrogant xenophobes who have nothng concrete to back up their high opinions of themselves.
    No one is saying there aren't multiple interpretations of the lore, and we're not arguing that ESO did it "wrong".

    We're arguing that they decided to go for the most boring, mundane, seen-before interpretation possible. Like they almost always do, unless they can ride on the coat-tails of past games.
  • Rhoande
    Rhoande
    ✭✭
    I'm going to put up a counter argument to the idea that Vivec's smooth buildings are really that much of a feat. I've read quite a bit in this thread, but that seems lacking..

    Has no one mentioned adobe architecture? Sure, we see a lot of it in Abah's and Alik'r but it doesn't seem that dramatically different from the round shapes we're talking about in Vivec city. Yeah, there's more effort, but it's not actually *that* hard to do that.

    No harder, no more difficult than the cathedral-esque style of the Altmer. It's literally just a different aesthetic and architectural design unless someone with a degree in architecture can tell me one or the other is easier or harder, I really don't think it is.

    With Telvanni making mushroom houses, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal when you have bosmer literally spinning and weaving trees into homes because they need them. Alteration is a mage skill, and it's known that the Telvanni are using it, and likely Bosmer too, and also, coincidentally so are the Altmer.

    There's a mention in the book 'Price of Praxis' that describes the Altmer Calian (a coming of age talisman of sorts) as made of Aethquartz and Sunblown glass.

    Which *has* to be made from some kind of magical manipulation, because there's no modern way to blow glass, however there is a machine that utilizes the sun in the -desert- to 3D print objects.. It looks horrid. Meaning the Altmer are either, using magic to blow glass around a bit of polished round quartz, to make a perfect glass sphere around something or they've figured out how to literally use the sun (which isn't even a sun!) aka Magnus to make glass.

    I know it's an obscure reference but it's one I feel compelled to throw in the hat. Altmer may not be as showy as Dunmer, but since Bosmer can innately grow their own homes I think it makes mushroom houses much less impressive.

    The Altmer are also touted as having one of the most, if not greatest naval forces in the TES universe. Greater than Maormer, even. The reality is that the references are smaller, and we have less to go on.

    And no one has mentioned taming Gryphon's or indrik's yet, I Imagine?
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rhoande wrote: »
    I'm going to put up a counter argument to the idea that Vivec's smooth buildings are really that much of a feat. I've read quite a bit in this thread, but that seems lacking..

    Has no one mentioned adobe architecture? Sure, we see a lot of it in Abah's and Alik'r but it doesn't seem that dramatically different from the round shapes we're talking about in Vivec city. Yeah, there's more effort, but it's not actually *that* hard to do that.

    No harder, no more difficult than the cathedral-esque style of the Altmer. It's literally just a different aesthetic and architectural design unless someone with a degree in architecture can tell me one or the other is easier or harder, I really don't think it is.

    With Telvanni making mushroom houses, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal when you have bosmer literally spinning and weaving trees into homes because they need them. Alteration is a mage skill, and it's known that the Telvanni are using it, and likely Bosmer too, and also, coincidentally so are the Altmer.

    There's a mention in the book 'Price of Praxis' that describes the Altmer Calian (a coming of age talisman of sorts) as made of Aethquartz and Sunblown glass.

    Which *has* to be made from some kind of magical manipulation, because there's no modern way to blow glass, however there is a machine that utilizes the sun in the -desert- to 3D print objects.. It looks horrid. Meaning the Altmer are either, using magic to blow glass around a bit of polished round quartz, to make a perfect glass sphere around something or they've figured out how to literally use the sun (which isn't even a sun!) aka Magnus to make glass.

    I know it's an obscure reference but it's one I feel compelled to throw in the hat. Altmer may not be as showy as Dunmer, but since Bosmer can innately grow their own homes I think it makes mushroom houses much less impressive.

    The Altmer are also touted as having one of the most, if not greatest naval forces in the TES universe. Greater than Maormer, even. The reality is that the references are smaller, and we have less to go on.

    And no one has mentioned taming Gryphon's or indrik's yet, I Imagine?

    The problem is that cantons are not made of adobe. It’s harder to tell in TES III but in ESO it’s clear that the curves are made of hard stone. You can even see the brick in some places. So we’re back to my original point there.

    What makes taming gryphons more impressive than taming silt striders? The dunmer have an advanced understanding of anatomy and biology, as seen in the way they directly manipulate silt strider organs to precisely control them.

    You bringing up the bosmer only furthers my point that, comparatively, the Altmer don’t seem all that impressive.
    No one is saying there aren't multiple interpretations of the lore, and we're not arguing that ESO did it "wrong".

    We're arguing that they decided to go for the most boring, mundane, seen-before interpretation possible. Like they almost always do, unless they can ride on the coat-tails of past games.
  • Rhoande
    Rhoande
    ✭✭
    We know alteration exists, seems feasible changing stone to something like concrete would be easy if not done through alchemy first. I just don't see any architecture in game, as that much of a major feat compared to others. Sewers, pipelines, heating and ventilation maybe.. yet still, ancient romans did it pretty well and they had less science/magical know-how than the people of the 2nd era do.. and a lot of the cities in TES seem to have sewers, even some backwater ones.. But not what looks like concrete basically to me. With magic? The idea just seems like an easy one. I find their BUG houses more unique and interesting, but that's just me.

    I'm not saying they are more impressive. I'm just saying I don't see the dunmer as some technological marvel that outshines any other race in particular. The bosmer, which are not thought of as a powerhouse of anything, have created far more advanced natural cities than the Telvanni with their tumor towers. But in other ways we'd consider them less technologically advanced, even though they have masteries of some things that Altmer and Dunmer don't. Like ink that can write in rain and bows that are superior to every other race, and yet no other race can figure out why.

    Manipulating an animal through anatomy and biology is cool...but it's not that hard to learn that either. A bit of biology class and you'll learn you can make animals' legs twitch. Yes, maybe not quite to that extent, but Telvanni also have magic on their side and the leap doesn't seem that far off. The rest of Nirn just isn't willing to exploit creatures like that. But we're seeing evidence of Altmer doing experiments on Indrik, actually trying to improve the species and control them. Even if she's a crazy wackjob. Indrik = far more impressive than silt striders.

    If anything, I'd be more likely to call all the mer (and perhaps even some cultures of men and beast!) to be on a relatively even playing field at the time of ESO. The Altmer don't really have a technical advantage of 'age' over anyone else exactly, because while the 'name' of the race is older, the dunmer were the chimer, which were descendants of Aldmer, just like they were. Just like Maormer were, just like falmer were, just like -- you see where I'm going with this right? The altmer aren't just straight up aldmer, they're descendants too. (Even if they would tell you otherwise.)

    Even with the glass thing, and any other thing you could pull out of the woodwork.. I actually think, advancement wise, most of them are. It's just whether or not they choose to do something.

    For example: Bosmer, they have a culture that shuns certain things and their choice to deal with 'trash' is the middens. It's not glamorous but it works. Altmer have about the equivalent level of relevant knowledge to the dunmer imo, it's just different in method. Method is where almost all of TES cultures differ, it's also very relevant to magic.

    I also feel like there's some seriously lacking commentary on the Direnni here. Comparing the Telvanni to the Direnni seems like an apt comparison to make but I don't recall anyone bringing them up in this thread.

    Anyway, I didn't come to do more than make a few casual points. You seem pretty convinced yourself, of Dunmeri superiority so I won't push it any further.
  • spartaxoxo
    spartaxoxo
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    psychotrip wrote: »
    kikkehs wrote: »
    Altmer > dunmer all the way.

    Explain? I really want to know what the Altmer have that puts them above the Dunmer. Don't get me wrong: you SHOULD be right, but I haven't seen any prove in the current lore.

    The Psjics are mostly Altmer and steeped in Altmer culture(though they don't turn aways others of sufficient aptitude), and they are the most advanced scholars and magical knowlege holders in the game. Sotha Sil is the greatest singular person in this regard, but that is down to the greatness of Sotha Sil not his culture. Psjics are mostly Altmer because of Altmer natural aptitude and greater advances and studies.
  • Aristocles22
    This is a tricky one. I'll do my best to keep this one short. There are somethings that the Dunmer can do that the Altmer probably cannot, such as grow mushroom towers and clone themselves. However, when it comes to the most advanced, I have to give it to the Altmer, with the exception of Sotha Sil who could throw a wrench into this if he is counted.

    Clockwork City is ahead of anything anyone else has or has probably ever had, including the Dwemer; Sotha Sil's machines even developed beyond their somewhat crude forms into something which might as well be total science fiction. Even the Psijics don't use anything that complicated, despite the fact that Sotha Sil visits them often enough to have a room reserved in Cephorah tower. For our purposes, let's leave Artaeum and Clockwork City out of the discussion; neither is fully Altmer and Dunmer anyway, and Sotha Sil's long lifespan and possibly his knowledge are owed to an Aedric artifact (the Heart of Lorkhan), not a product of Dunmer society.

    Even apart from the Psijics, the Altmer have shown an understanding of time, space, and dimensions which few if any Dunmer can match apart from Sotha Sil. The closest the Dunmer have to anyone from the college of Sapiarchs in terms of what we would call high-end physics is Divayth Fyr, and his superlative knowledge in that field is mostly (from what we know) in the area of transdimensional travel; ie, going from Nirn to a realm of Oblivion or another plane further removed, such as Aetherius.

    In terms of architecture, the most advanced things we see the Dunmer make are comparable to Mesopotamian Ziggurats, vaguely Romanesque-level castles and towers (such as in most mainland Morrowind cities seen in ESO), and whatever style the Tribunal Temple in Mournhold is. While impressive, none of them match the complexity of the Gothic Architecture seen in Summerset, an example which very clearly shows the inspiration that the High Elves (and Ayleids) gave the Imperials for their chapels. It takes fairly advanced math, architectural skill, and yes, some trial and error to get the angles correct, along with many innovations rarely seen in Morrowind. Athough both cultures use pointed arches, the Altmer makes greater use of it for their buildings as a load-bearing structure, while it seems like it is mostly decorative in Morrowind. To make it brief, Gothic Architecture is hard to do; the walls are thin, the windows large, and the height is great. Tall buildings prior to Gothic architecture had to sacrifice internal space in order to support the walls, limiting the usefulness of the building on the inside. Gothic buildings aren't just big and tall; they are incredibly voluminous on the inside, and the structure has to hold itself up with minimal support from pillars and/or significantly wider lower levels on which smaller levels rest.

    Then we have the fact that the best magic school in Summerset (the College of Sapiarchs) is clearly ahead of the best in Morrowind (Shad Astula), although there may be others in each land which we haven't seen. There are no less than two-hundred-and-twenty-three Sapiarchs at any given time, each one studying his or her own subject, each with his or her own students. That alone should give one an idea of the sheer breadth of knowledge the Altmer have. It is also safe to assume that these two-hundred-and-twenty-three subjects all relate to magic or other complex subjects, so these two-hundred-and-twenty-three subjects likely don't even begin to cover the more practical and down-to-nirn skills possessed by the Altmer, such as making their famous glass armor or their ships.

    On that note, I have to give the Altmer points for more advanced shipbuilding techniques than the Dunmer, whose vessels appear ancient and inefficient, whereas the Altmer have ships which would fit in just fine in the 1700s. There is even a quest where a member of House Telvanni attempts to steal ship designs from Redguard vessels. Now, the Redguards make fine ships, but it is widely accepted that the Altmer have the strongest navy in all Tamriel (and if you think the Maormer are more advanced in that way, keep in mind that they are not from Tamriel). So, if the Dunmer felt the need to steal ship designs from a group of humans to advance themselves, imagine how far behind they are compared to the Altmer.

    Finally, the Altmer are more advanced in a way which few other people seem to touch on; government. In this, they are likely matched only by the Imperials. It is clear that the Altmer have a single united state directly ruled by a single body, with little need for local rulers to administer matters.They also seem to have abolished the concept of private armies (at least, legal ones) inside of their territory, with the exception of the fighter's guild, which is a licensed and official organization. The only military in Summerset is accountable to the crown, including several distinct groups of special forces and intelligence services (First Auridon Marines, Eyes of the Queen, Fists of Thalmor, etc).

    By contrast, the Dunmer have at least five houses which rule over their land, each one of which could be a state in itself. The houses have their own small armies, have been known to fight each other, and they co-exist alongside the Temple, an institution with its own force of Ordinators, which can be further subdivided into different groups. The closest thing they have to an intelligence service outside of the Three Banners War (with the Hidden Armigers, a group which is better described as part of the Ebonheart Pact rather than Morrowind, as they report to King Jorunn directly) is the Morag Tong, a group of assassins loyal to Mephala's teachings first and everything else a distinct second. The Dunmer also have the private armies of their three gods, at least as long as the Tribunal remains intact (Buoyant Armigers, Hands of Almalexia, and the machines and disciples of Sotha Sil), none of which report to any central authority. Even when Morrowind selects a King, he is little more than a figurehead. The situation is so chaotic that it is a wonder Morrowind didn't fall in on itself several times over. It might have done just that if not for the Tribunal, come to think of it.

    To be fair, most other races in Tamriel have pretty poor governments. The Nordic Jarls are basically rulers of their own private realms, with a High King usually being a nominal ruler, more in charge of his own hold than anything else. The Khajiit are usually divided into two kingdoms, if not several more (and they are pretty lawless as it is). The Bosmer King seems to have little control over his own territory (most of which seems to be ruled directly by the Treethanes, even though he appoints them, IIRC). High Rock is famous for being a fractious mess of petty kingdoms always fighting each other (until the Warp in the West), and the Argonians barely have a government beyond the tribal level. Many villages seem to have no real government at all; the only native Argonian leader in his own land that we have seen (not the Vicecanons, two of who aren't Argonian) is the war-chief of the Nagas in Dead-Water Village, a crazed Tree-Minder who dies at the end of the Ruins of Mazzatun dungeon, and whoever you select to run a ruined village at the end of Murkmire's main questline. And the Redguards have been divided between Crowns and Forebears for centuries. Hammerfell itself doesn't seem to even have one ruler. Faharajad seems to only rule over Sentinel, not the entire country. And the Orcs don't even have a country most of the time. Building and maintaining a stable government for millennia is a feat even the Imperials cannot manage, as their empire has declined and/or fallen at least three times by the start of Skyrim.

    So, for all of the above, I'd have to give it to the Altmer.

    P.S. Fixed a few typos. There are probably some more that I missed. Sorry I didn't keep it short.

    Edited by Aristocles22 on October 28, 2018 1:19AM
  • crjs1
    crjs1
    ✭✭✭✭
    This is a tricky one. I'll do my best to keep this one short. There are somethings that the Dunmer can do that the Altmer probably cannot, such as grow mushroom towers and clone themselves. However, when it comes to the most advanced, I have to give it to the Altmer, with the exception of Sotha Sil who could throw a wrench into this if he is counted.

    Clockwork City is ahead of anything anyone else has or has probably ever had, including the Dwemer; Sotha Sil's machines even developed beyond their somewhat crude forms into something which might as well be total science fiction. Even the Psijics don't use anything that complicated, despite the fact that Sotha Sil visits them often enough to have a room reserved in Cephorah tower. For our purposes, let's leave Artaeum and Clockwork City out of the discussion; neither is fully Altmer and Dunmer anyway, and Sotha Sil's long lifespan and possibly his knowledge are owed to an Aedric artifact (the Heart of Lorkhan), not a product of Dunmer society.

    Even apart from the Psijics, the Altmer have shown an understanding of time, space, and dimensions which few if any Dunmer can match apart from Sotha Sil. The closest the Dunmer have to anyone from the college of Sapiarchs in terms of what we would call high-end physics is Divayth Fyr, and his superlative knowledge in that field is mostly (from what we know) in the area of transdimensional travel; ie, going from Nirn to a realm of Oblivion or another plane further removed, such as Aetherius.

    In terms of architecture, the most advanced things we see the Dunmer make are comparable to Mesopotamian Ziggurats, vaguely Romanesque-level castles and towers (such as in most mainland Morrowind cities seen in ESO), and whatever style the Tribunal Temple in Mournhold is. While impressive, none of them match the complexity of the Gothic Architecture seen in Summerset, an example which very clearly shows the inspiration that the High Elves (and Ayleids) gave the Imperials for their chapels. It takes fairly advanced math, architectural skill, and yes, some trial and error to get the angles correct, along with many innovations rarely seen in Morrowind. Athough both cultures use pointed arches, the Altmer makes greater use of it for their buildings as a load-bearing structure, while it seems like it is mostly decorative in Morrowind. To make it brief, Gothic Architecture is hard to do; the walls are thin, the windows large, and the height is great. Tall buildings prior to Gothic architecture had to sacrifice internal space in order to support the walls, limiting the usefulness of the building on the inside. Gothic buildings aren't just big and tall; they are incredibly voluminous on the inside, and the structure has to hold itself up with minimal support from pillars and/or significantly wider lower levels on which smaller levels rest.

    Then we have the fact that the best magic school in Summerset (the College of Sapiarchs) is clearly ahead of the best in Morrowind (Shad Astula), although there may be others in each land which we haven't seen. There are no less than two-hundred-and-twenty-three Sapiarchs at any given time, each one studying his or her own subject, each with his or her own students. That alone should give one an idea of the sheer breadth of knowledge the Altmer have. It is also safe to assume that these two-hundred-and-twenty-three subjects all relative to magic or other complex subjects, so these two-hundred-and-twenty-three subjects likely don't even begin to cover the more practical and down-to-nirn skills possessed by the Altmer, such as making their famous glass armor or their ships.

    On that note, I have to give the Altmer points for more advanced shipbuilding techniques than the Dunmer, whose vessels appear ancient and inefficient, whereas the Altmer have ships which would fit in just fine in the 1700s. There is even a quest where a member of House Telvanni attempts to steal ship designs from Redguard vessels. Now, the Redguards make fine ships, but it is widely accepted that the Altmer have the strongest navy in all Tamriel (and if you think the Maormer are more advanced in that way, keep in mind that they are not from Tamriel). So, if the Dunmer felt the need to steal ship designs from a group of humans to advance themselves, imagine how far behind they are compared to the Altmer.

    Finally, the Altmer are more advanced in a way which few other people seem to touch on; government. In this, they are likely matched only by the Imperials. It is clear that the Altmer have a single united state directly ruled by a single body, with little need for local rulers to administer matters.They also seem to have abolished the concept of private armies (at least, legal ones) inside of their territory, with the exception of the fighter's guild, which is a licensed and official organization. The only military in Summerset is accountable to the crown, including several distinct groups of special forces and intelligence services (First Auridon Marines, Eyes of the Queen, Fists of Thalmor, etc).

    By contrast, the Dunmer have at least five houses which rule over their land, each one of which could be a state in itself. The houses have their own small armies, have been known to fight each other, and they co-exist alongside the Temple, an institution with its own force of Ordinators, which can be further subdivided into different groups. The closest thing they have to an intelligence service outside of the Three Banners War (with the Hidden Armigers, a group which is better described as part of the Ebonheart Pact rather than Morrowind, as they report to King Jorunn directly) is the Morag Tong, a group of assassins loyal to Mephala's teachings first and everything else a distinct second. The Dunmer also have the private armies of their three gods, at least as long as the Tribunal remains intact (Buoyant Armigers, Hands of Almalexia, and the machines and disciples of Sotha Sil), none of which report to any central authority. Even when Morrowind selects a King, he is little more than a figurehead. The situation is so chaotic that it is a wonder Morrowind didn't fall in on itself several times over. It might have done just that if not for the Tribunal, come to think of it.

    To be fair, most other races in Tamriel have pretty poor governments. The Nordic Jarls are basically rulers of their own private realms, with a High King usually being a nominal ruler, more in charge of his own hold than anything else. The Khajiit are usually divided into two kingdoms, if not several more (and they are pretty lawless as it is). The Bosmer King seems to have little control over his own territory (most of which seems to be ruled directly by the Treethanes). High Rock is famous for being a fractious mess of petty kingdoms always fighting each other (until the Warp in the West), and the Argonians barely have a government beyond the tribal level. Many villages seem to have no real government at all; the only native Argonian leader in his own land that we have seen (not the Vicecanons, two of who aren't Argonian) is the war-chief of the Nagas in Dead-Water Village, a crazed Tree-Minder who dies at the end of the Ruins of Mazzatun dungeon, and whoever you select to run a ruined village at the end of Murkmire's main questline. And the Redguards have been divided between Crowns and Forebears for centuries. Hammerfell itself doesn't seem to even have one ruler. Faharajad seems to only rule over Sentinel, not the entire country. And the Orcs don't even have a country most of the time. Building and maintaining a stable government for millennia is a feat even the Imperials cannot manage, as their empire has declined and/or fallen at least three times by the start of Skyrim.

    So, for all of the above, I'd have to give it to the Altmer.

    Excellent post, and makes so much sense
  • Tinus_92
    Tinus_92
    ✭✭✭
    If you take other races into consideration, guess the imperials are also quite strong scientific (not magically though). But none of those equals the technically advanced dwemer.
    PC/EU - 810CP+ (Main; Magplar PvE dps)
    PvE: > vAA HM - vSO HM - vHRC HM - vHoF HM (121,529 pre-HotR) - vMoL HM (160,738 pre-morrowind) - vAS+1 - vCR +1
    Guilds: Eastern Dragons (PvP/PvE) - Ghost & Goblins (Endgame PvE, retired) - Late Night Dungeoneers (Endgame PvE) - Dragonia (Casual PvE, NL/BE) - Colovian Brothers (Endgame PvE, NL/BE)

    PC/NA - 400CP+
    PvE: > nAA, nSO, etc.
  • notimetocare
    notimetocare
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Easy, neither. Racial purity, racism, slavery, and the like are far from advanced.
  • Brittany_Joy
    Brittany_Joy
    ✭✭✭✭
    I think Altmer is more advanced. They constructed the crystal tower and understand longevity of the tools used in it. Dunmer is still slave driven technology and the building materials seem organic and may need slave labor to maintain their structures.
  • MythicEmperor
    MythicEmperor
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Easy, neither. Racial purity, racism, slavery, and the like are far from advanced.

    It isn’t ‘racism’ if it is directed towards animals
    With cold regards,
    Mythic

    Favorite Characters:
    Kilith Telvayn, Dunmer Telvanni Sorcerer (main)
    Kilith, Dunmer Magblade (old main)
    Vadusa Venim, Dunmer crafter (older main)
    Hir Hlaalu, Dunmer Warden
    Søren Icehelm, N'wah Warden
    Fargoth of Morrowind, Bosmer commoner
  • Unit117
    Unit117
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    The dwemer.


    But between the 2 I would say altmer.

    They seem to have a very extensive knowledge base. They are a part of almost every major conflict dealing with advanced magic and a recurring theme of transcending themselves.

    I find the dark elves impressive but I think a lot of that comes from thier geographical location. The culture they have based around fire opens doors to them that the altmer don’t have as accessible. I would think this is part of the reason they stray away from a lot heavy machinery
  • ProudImperial
    ProudImperial
    Soul Shriven
    Why you people bring slavery and racism into the conversation? Who told you that a civilization that embraces slavery is not advanced?
    So the ancient Greeks and Romans, the summerians, and the modern European colonial powers were not advanced because of the slavery?

    This is weird. So here is a great fact that applies both in real life AND in Tamriel: The more civilized you are, the more atrocious crimes you WILL commit.

    In other words, civilization and savagery goes hand by hand, they are not opposites.

    Personally I believe that the most intellectual and scientifically/culturally advanced races of Tamriel are: Altmer and Imperials

    Imperials have the Arcane university and they also have a mage school in almost every city. Altmers have their own tower of science (I dont remember the name right now) plus have you seen their capital city? It is magnificent, it is the greaterst architecture in the entire Tamriel!

    Plus the Altmer and their ancestors are the inventors and/or discoverers of almost everything we know: Engineering, philosophy, magicka etc (and yes include Ayleids to Altmer's ancestry)
  • Scythe_Mercer
    Scythe_Mercer
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    Easy, neither. Racial purity, racism, slavery, and the like are far from advanced.

    It isn’t ‘racism’ if it is directed towards animals

    So the races of Redguards and Imperials are 'animals?' :thinking: I think they meant racism in general and not just thinking like someone obsessed with TES III.
  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    Easy, neither. Racial purity, racism, slavery, and the like are far from advanced.

    It isn’t ‘racism’ if it is directed towards animals

    So the races of Redguards and Imperials are 'animals?' :thinking: I think they meant racism in general and not just thinking like someone obsessed with TES III.

    wnzt0lfx6cqz.jpg
  • Scythe_Mercer
    Scythe_Mercer
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    83wqdytoakqd.png


  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    83wqdytoakqd.png


    Yeah, the Dunmer reaped what they sowed :)
  • Scythe_Mercer
    Scythe_Mercer
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    Back to the topic though I do love both races as the Altmer are my second favorite race and the Dunmer being the third, both have their own historical advancements be it magic or mundane. Both races are 'advanced' in their own way so I myself cannot pick a side.
  • rexagamemnon
    rexagamemnon
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    Altmet
  • rexagamemnon
    rexagamemnon
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    Altmer
  • TelvanniWizard
    TelvanniWizard
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    This thread wasn´t needed at all. We all know dunmer are best. There is no point in comparing advanced, glorious and unique dunmer culture (sthetically, socially, philosophically) with lame altmers, just booked from some european medieval fairytale.
    Si hoc imprimis intellegis, nolli dubitare, scribe me ad latine loquendum. Lingua est colenda.

    PAWS - Say NO to crown crates!

  • Claudman
    Claudman
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    They're one of the same coin really...It's just that Altmer is head and the Dunmer are tails. Dunmer when you look at the general picture is essentially what happens if you slap Daedric influence into the Altmer culture and just make them really mad all the time. An Ordinator would stab you if you looked at him wrong...However, a Alinor Guardsman would send you to the stocks for just smelling bad or acting daft.
    Welcome, Moon-and-Star, to this place where destiny is made.

    I play healers often for vet dungeons and trials (NA, CP780). I play mostly elves or Argonians.
    I also love gaining more knowledge both metaphysical and mundane regarding TES lore.

    I also occasionally role-play, but I prefer playing the game.
  • dodgehopper_ESO
    dodgehopper_ESO
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    This thread wasn´t needed at all. We all know dunmer are best. There is no point in comparing advanced, glorious and unique dunmer culture (sthetically, socially, philosophically) with lame altmers, just booked from some european medieval fairytale.

    They really aren't. Alien shaped heads (at least until ESO). Yellow banana skin. Apart from the architecture the Altmer are extremely different from any conception of European medieval fairytale. Altmers in other words are a modern invention and diverge greatly from the vision of elves you see by the likes of Tolkein or even d&d stuff. The only comparison is that they are magical and have pointy ears. I don't see them living 'beyond the mists' or in 'Vanguard' or 'Avalon' or any such thing. In some ways the elves are less magical and powerful than the medieval and pre-medieval myths because they were more godlike in view to the point of being part of some pantheons in old pagan religions. I do believe there is a hint at this in the TES lore in the sense that the Altmer claim to be descendants of the gods but they themselves have lost this distinction.
    US/AD - Dodge Hopper - Vet Imperial Templar | US/AD - Goj-ei-Raj - Vet Argonian Nightblade
    US/AD - Arondonimo - Vet Altmer Sorcerer | US/AD - Azumarax - Vet Dunmer Dragon Knight
    US/AD - Barkan al-Sheharesh - Vet Redguard Dragon Knight | US/AD - Aelus Vortavoriil - Vet Altmer Templar
    US/AD - Shirari Qa'Dar - Vet Khajiit Nightblade | US/AD - Ndvari Mzunchvolenthumz - Vet Bosmer Nightblade
    US/EP - Yngmar - Vet Nord Dragon Knight | US/EP - Reloth Ur Fyr - Vet Dunmer Sorcerer
    US/DC - Muiredeach - Vet Breton Sorcerer | US/DC - Nachtrabe - Vet Orc Nightblade
    EU/DC - Dragol gro-Unglak - Vet Orc Dragon Knight | EU/DC - Targan al-Barkan - Vet Redguard Templar
    EU/DC - Wuthmir - Vet Nord Sorcerer | EU/DC - Kosh Ragotoro - Vet Khajiit Nightblade
    <And plenty more>
  • Kambo
    Kambo
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    In the most simple ways I am capable of putting it, I feel like the Dunmer are more advanced.

    The Altmer are regarded as being the most naturally gifted magic users on Tamriel, and at that they are likely the most skilled. The Dunmer have the Telvanni wizards, sure, but the Altmer have the Psijic Order. The Telvanni can make Mushroom towers and operate based purely on power. A Telvanni way of life states that if two wizards get into a discussion or argument, and one of those wizards kills the other, then the one still standing must have had a better argument. If someone manages to steal from a Telvanni wizard, then clearly they were deserving of what they stole. They have a great respect for power and skill, not just when it comes to magic. The Psijic Order on the other hand operate similarly to the Mages Guild as a close example, but are far more secretive and careful. They are arguably the most powerful mortal mages in existence, and they have a pretty vast collection of strange and powerful artifacts and tools. Artifacts such as the Staff of Towers and the Augur of the Obscure just to name two of them. As of the end of the College of Winterhold questline in Skyrim, we know they also have the Eye of Magnus. And I mean, come on, these guys had enough power to flat out rip their island of Artaeum out of Nirn, and possibly even Mundus, and no one knows where it is at any given time except for the Psijic Mages themselves.

    However, the Dunmer arguably have more scientific knowledge, as has been previously mentioned it's believed that some Dunmer are capable of cloning themselves. And one would have to have a relatively vast knowledge of Neurology in order to "drive" a Silt Strider.

    The Dunmer were governed by multiple Great Houses while the Altmer were presumably all governed by the Kings and Queens of Summerset. The Dunmer worshiped ALMSIVI, the Living Gods of Morrowind for nearly all of recorded Dunmer history, while the Altmer literally believed themselves to be descendants of the divine Aedra. Back when the Chimer hadn't even split off from their Altmer (Aldmer?) brethren they simply wanted to be allowed to worship all of those who were considered gods, including the Daedra (as far as I remember) but left because they were not allowed this.

    But I think the biggest reasons why the Dunmer are more advanced than the Altmer are because the Dunmer have accepted their mortality and view it as a challenge, while the Altmer literally hate being mortal and would love nothing more than to "return" to godhood. While the Dunmer may have built most of their lives on the backs of slaves it still stands to reason that they were powerful enough to enslave other races to begin with, as well as be capable enough to survive in the harsh environments of Morrowind and live off of what the land itself offered. The Altmer basically had it all from the very start. There was essentially no struggle with how they lived. While the Dunmer have earned the right to see themselves as being somewhat higher beings than some of the other races of Tamriel, namely the Khajiit and Argonians, the Altmer believe they have had this right since before the other races even existed. And they demand the other races see them as they see themselves, and are willing to do horrible things to prove their "superiority". To even further prove this point I don't think I have ever seen a Dunmer openly state, without earned validity, that the other races are inferior to them. You could argue that the Thalmor and possibly the entire Aldmeri Dominion as it took form in the 3rd (4th?) era have also earned this right by taking the Imperial City and forcing the signing of the White-Gold Concordat. But I would also argue that it is the only truly earned validity they have ever had. Meanwhile the Dunmer have already proven on multiple occasions their validity to superiority.

    TL;DR: The Dunmer have earned more than enough right and validity to claim themselves superior to the other races of Tamriel throughout most of their history, while the Altmer have only truly recently earned validity to claim themselves superior in any right.
    Straight out of Mournhold.
    PC US
    Characters:
    Ebonheart Pact - Niveth - Dunmer Stamina Dragonknight
    Aldmeri Dominion - Keshhan-Dar - Khajiit Stamina Nightblade
  • LickingHistSap
    Neither. No race in Tamriel is any more advanced than any other, with the exception of the races that have been denied opportunities to advance, like Goblins, Minotaurs, or to a much lesser extent, Argonians.

    Dunmer aren't any more advanced than any of the other races, they just managed to have 3 people stumble into godhood thanks to the lanky nerd of their group reverse engineering what the Dwemer did to the Heart of Lorkhan. As a whole, Dunmeri civilization hasn't done anything that is impossible for any other civilization on Tamriel to do under the right circumstances. Creating houses out of carpaces and mushrooms is interesting, but it's not something impossible for another civilization to do had they had giant insects or mushrooms where they lived.

    (Yes, individuals like Divayth Fyr exist, but so do people like Shalidor, Vanus Galerion, and Zurin Arctus)

    Similarly, Altmer aren't more advanced than any other race in Tamriel, they're just obsessed with tradition. Summerset is meant to be a perfect, idealized society, but they aren't really any more advanced than any other society in Tamriel. The Sapiarchs don't teach anything that isn't taught also on Eyevea, and as a whole, again, the Altmer have done nothing that couldn't have been replicated by any other civilization on Tamriel under the same circumstances.
  • Waffennacht
    Waffennacht
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    Altmer created crystal-like-law
    Gamer tag: ShenronNacht NA Xbox One
    1000+ CP
    Battleground PvP'er
  • notimetocare
    notimetocare
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    This thread wasn´t needed at all. We all know dunmer are best. There is no point in comparing advanced, glorious and unique dunmer culture (sthetically, socially, philosophically) with lame altmers, just booked from some european medieval fairytale.

    I mean... 4th Era the Altmer basically rule most of Tamriel. And the DUNMER? They get racked by a former slave race... need I say more?
  • Ajaxandriel
    Ajaxandriel
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    Neither. No race in Tamriel is any more advanced than any other, with the exception of the races that have been denied opportunities to advance, like Goblins, Minotaurs, or to a much lesser extent, Argonians.

    Dunmer aren't any more advanced than any of the other races, they just managed to have 3 people stumble into godhood thanks to the lanky nerd of their group reverse engineering what the Dwemer did to the Heart of Lorkhan. As a whole, Dunmeri civilization hasn't done anything that is impossible for any other civilization on Tamriel to do under the right circumstances. Creating houses out of carpaces and mushrooms is interesting, but it's not something impossible for another civilization to do had they had giant insects or mushrooms where they lived.

    (Yes, individuals like Divayth Fyr exist, but so do people like Shalidor, Vanus Galerion, and Zurin Arctus)

    Similarly, Altmer aren't more advanced than any other race in Tamriel, they're just obsessed with tradition. Summerset is meant to be a perfect, idealized society, but they aren't really any more advanced than any other society in Tamriel. The Sapiarchs don't teach anything that isn't taught also on Eyevea, and as a whole, again, the Altmer have done nothing that couldn't have been replicated by any other civilization on Tamriel under the same circumstances.

    -QFT-

    Each time one is comparing such thing like "advancement", he's comparing chosen criteria. Why these criteria? Because these criteria comfort the hierarchy he intends to make happen.

    People already reviewed some "relevant" criteria regarding the OP.
    - Magics, I'd say "so-so" : Tribunal/Psijics, Telvanni/Sapiarchs, Red Mountain (robbed of the Dwemer)/Crystal-Like-Law (inherited from the aldmeri)...
    - Architecture : I'd give the point to the Altmer if the value to judge this criterium is refinement
    - Administration : as shown by @Aristocles22 the Altmer win the point if we judge in matters of stillness and order.

    (To sum up, the OP point is that the Altmer are depicted in a very underwhelming manner in ESO. Which is true if one expected some stunning civilisation like the high-elves of Warhammer, Warcraft/WoW or other fantasy settings. In comparison the Altmer seems quite mundane, but from an in-universe perspective, they are not so ...)

    Edited by Ajaxandriel on January 2, 2019 7:45PM
    TESO:Triskelion - forum RP, guilde francophone
    Dorguldun gro-Arash - orque sorcier 50
    Tahajmi - khajiit sorcière 50
    Artémidore de Corbeaulieu - bréton lame noire 50
    Altarya - haute-elfe templière 50
    Hjarnar - nordique sorcier 50
    Jendaya al-Gilane - rougegarde chevalier-dragon 50
    Zandoga - rougegarde chevalier-dragon 50
    Ajaxandriel - haut-elfe gardien 50
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    Sabbathnazar Ullikummi - elfe noir chevalier-dragon 50

  • Korah_Eaglecry
    Korah_Eaglecry
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    Neither. No race in Tamriel is any more advanced than any other, with the exception of the races that have been denied opportunities to advance, like Goblins, Minotaurs, or to a much lesser extent, Argonians.

    Dunmer aren't any more advanced than any of the other races, they just managed to have 3 people stumble into godhood thanks to the lanky nerd of their group reverse engineering what the Dwemer did to the Heart of Lorkhan. As a whole, Dunmeri civilization hasn't done anything that is impossible for any other civilization on Tamriel to do under the right circumstances. Creating houses out of carpaces and mushrooms is interesting, but it's not something impossible for another civilization to do had they had giant insects or mushrooms where they lived.

    (Yes, individuals like Divayth Fyr exist, but so do people like Shalidor, Vanus Galerion, and Zurin Arctus)

    Similarly, Altmer aren't more advanced than any other race in Tamriel, they're just obsessed with tradition. Summerset is meant to be a perfect, idealized society, but they aren't really any more advanced than any other society in Tamriel. The Sapiarchs don't teach anything that isn't taught also on Eyevea, and as a whole, again, the Altmer have done nothing that couldn't have been replicated by any other civilization on Tamriel under the same circumstances.

    -QFT-

    Each time one is comparing such thing like "advancement", he's comparing chosen criteria. Why these criteria? Because these criteria comfort the hierarchy he intends to make happen.

    People already reviewed some "relevant" criteria regarding the OP.
    - Magics, I'd say "so-so" : Tribunal/Psijics, Telvanni/Sapiarchs, Red Mountain (robbed of the Dwemer)/Crystal-Like-Law (inherited from the aldmeri)...
    - Architecture : I'd give the point to the Altmer if the value to judge this criterium is refinement
    - Administration : as shown by @Aristocles22 the Altmer win the point if we judge in matters of stillness and order.

    (To sum up, the OP point is that the Altmer are depicted in a very underwhelming manner in ESO. Which is true if one expected some stunning civilisation like the high-elves of Warhammer, Warcraft/WoW or other fantasy settings. In comparison the Altmer seems quite mundane, but from an in-universe perspective, they are not so ...)

    I personally like the way theyre depicted here in ESO. I think its more interesting that the Altmer have been built up as these advanced and beyond mans imagination types. But then we get to their mysterious islands and they are nothing particularly special. Theyre mundane and boring, and maybe ZOS never intended that. But with every fantasy franchise out there turning their elves into these shimmering smug gods among men. I like that for once, elves are just smug *** that think that because they take a few hundred years to get around to marriage it makes them advanced and really theyre just uptight and of nothing to write home about.

    I get why people would be upset with the portrayal when they look at the interesting take on Dark Elves and the way the lore has built up Summerset over the games. Especially when its your favorite race or you have always been curious about what wonders the Elves must be hiding. I just get a kick out of how plain they are. So much beauty around them and their dark elven cousins living amongst lava and sulfur are more interesting than they are.

    Edited by Korah_Eaglecry on January 3, 2019 4:09AM
    Penniless Sellsword Company
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