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"No True Bosmer" - Lore versus Gamedesign discrepancies ?

Ajaxandriel
Ajaxandriel
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While replying to the insightful topic about cultural foods and drinks of Tamriel ( https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/435193/list-of-confirmed-food-and-drinks-for-different-races-of-tamriel ), I remembered something that bothered me for years since I roleplay a woodelf spinner girl (first as a sorc then as a warden) with a self-behavior of fundamentalism into the Green Pact. You know, thou shalt not eat plant matter, and so on!

Many quests in Valenwood fits to this lore and they suggest that most of (not-acculturated) bosmer do follow the Green Pact rules in daily life. Sometimes it even becomes serious business when the forest is angry and call for a head to roll... (remember this insane case between the khajiit supplier, the alchemist husband and the dying damsel). Apostates were sentenced to the Ooze, some of them were living as outsiders (in caves with their gardens).

So of course we are shown Bosmer NPCs who do eat plants in game lore, but they are depicted as "no true bosmer", merely ...exceptions, like those apostates in Valenwood, the "sinners by constraint", the acculturated wood elves (usually living in altmer/breton/imperial towns).

I'm not even speaking of the bosmer Player-Characters x) The rate of those who try and follow the lore rules may be low, and those who actually follow the hardcore way, even lower.

One can easily find moot points and forbearance in the Green Pact rules.

All those who follow the Pact just in Valenwood but eat/harm vegetables once elsewhere (no pun intended) in Tamriel. After all, the Green Pact only matters inside Valenwood.

And harvesting dead plant matter in Valenwood may or may not be a "sin" according to the Green Pact. So lore-wise, a bosmer woodworker is not breaking the law since all the wood in game mechanics is dead wood (logs on the soil). One could also argue that the wood that is used by your bosmer woodworking crafter is kept alive (there are shield item names that imply this, living wood) just like bosmer houses.

Now, let's keep all those exceptions aside, and look at the core / mainstream cases.

Even then, the Green Pacts is not actually followed.

Just go in any Wood Elf house or campsite in Grahtwood, Greenshade or Malabal Tor, even hostile ones.
Look at the content of the supply jars and sacks. (You can rob it also, remember the Rite of Theft.) Then check by yourself:

vegetables-vegetables-everywhere.jpg

Okay then, maybe these wood elves are sinners, or hypocrites who bought this to apostates or strangers, or maybe the supplies are imported and these plants were harmed "abroad".

_

Then go and visit the most hardcore followers of the Bosmer culture, who rejected the Aldmeri Dominion laws: City of Ash (that was the Whisper Grove before its collapse).
I screenshot this on my altmer:

carots10.png

CARROTS! GREENDAM CARROTS!! :lol:

And there was quite some radish and other plants too.

I could admit the gamedesign limitation, it may be hard to design the provisioning nodes - like jars ands sacks - in these zones to pop up as only-meat or only-insect parts...
Well ...City of Ash is instanced. It should be doable.

But above all - why putting "out-of-sack" vegetables on the floor? They are clearly put here on purpose. What was the developer who put them here thinking about? :p

Now roleplay-wise, Angelith is feeling like a disillusioned preacher among a people who doesn't follow their own culture.
Even the Whisper Grove was all fake, a daedric plot and its fools.
Y'ffre and The Green are not even able to enforce their rules.

Definitely there is no more true bosmer...

Person A: "No Bosmer puts plants on his rotmeth."
Person B: "But my uncle Anguth is a Bosmer and he puts plants on his rotmeth."
Person A: "But no true Bosmer puts plants on his rotmeth."


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

What I'm wondering here is ---

Is this a case of gamedesign mistake? that could be fixed?
or is this intended design to show the hypocrisy of Wood Elf culture? or the vanity of purism?
(Maybe both? X) )

@ZOS_Lawrence_Schick ?
Edited by Ajaxandriel on September 30, 2018 2:34PM
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
Angelith - elfe des bois gardienne 50
Sabbathnazar Ullikummi - elfe noir chevalier-dragon 50

  • PrinceShroob
    PrinceShroob
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    I wouldn't worry too much about it -- Green Pact-breaking provisioning ingredients in Valenwood are a reflection of game mechanics, not lore. If not, we're driven to the conclusion that Barenziah can beat Vivec in a fight, or that the player can swallow a football-sized kwama egg in one gulp.

    It might be possible to change all the baskets and barrels in Valenwood to only produce meat, but I think that's a lot of work for something I think most people accept implicitly as having no lore impact.
  • Ajaxandriel
    Ajaxandriel
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    You bet a gamedesign mistake then.

    I hardly see how "most people accept implicitly as having no lore impact" still...
    Maybe they don't play the game as an immersive/roleplay experience so, don't you think? seems sad.
    or that the player can swallow a football-sized kwama egg in one gulp.
    What's the source of this sorcery?! D:

    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
    Angelith - elfe des bois gardienne 50
    Sabbathnazar Ullikummi - elfe noir chevalier-dragon 50

  • PrinceShroob
    PrinceShroob
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    You bet a gamedesign mistake then.

    I hardly see how "most people accept implicitly as having no lore impact" still...
    Maybe they don't play the game as an immersive/roleplay experience so, don't you think? seems sad.

    Well, there are different levels of immersion and, consequently, what breaks immersion. For example, Gogan's description of removing his "items" during "The Siren's Deception" in Oblivion always takes me out of the game because no one talks like that. On the other hand, seeing Bosmer NPCs in Oblivion pick up and consume fruits and vegetables when eating doesn't bother me because I implicitly understand that that incident is just how the AI works, and I don't need to rationalize it to stay immersed.
    What's the source of this sorcery?! D:

    Morrowind.
  • Bruccius
    Bruccius
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    Vegetables that are imported are fine for Bosmer consumption.

    It's only the local plantlife in Valenwood that may not get harmed. But produce from say, Cyrodiil, or High Rock, is fine for consumption, even if it's a plant. 't least, as far as I know.
    Edited by Bruccius on October 1, 2018 11:27AM
  • Danikat
    Danikat
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    I think it's definitely just a case of game mechanics taking priority over lore.

    I suspect the contents of all the crates, barrels, bags and other containers are randomly generated, firstly because doing it any other way would be a huge amount of work and secondly because that would explain how two people can pull completely different things out of the same container.

    Showing most/all bosmer in Valenwood follow the Pact would require having a second version of each container with a different drop table, just for those maps. Then any changes which need to made have to be done twice, there's twice as many opportunities for bugs, twice as much to test each time a change is made and so on.

    As for items on top of crates I can think of two possibilities. One: They have pre-made 'sets' of items, like a kitchen table with food and utensils, or provision crates with food and bags scattered around, or a campsite set, and they can simply drop these as a whole into maps to save time when decorating them, and like the containers they didn't make separate versions for Valenwood. Or two: they mentioned when stealing was added with the Justice system update that they had some interns whose entire job was to go through all the maps and either edit existing items to be stolen or to add items to be stolen, and it's entirely possible those interns didn't know or care about the lore and were instructed to use the same procedure for all maps.

    It would also be pretty annoying for players going through the AD storyline - most of those maps are in Valenwood, so for most of your time going through there you would miss out on provisioning ingredients (and presumably light armour materials too).

    So in brief it would be a lot of work to produce improved immersion for the minority of players who are bothered by seeing vegetables in wood elf camps, whilst inconveniencing everyone, including those same players. It does look strange, but it's just one of those things where it's not practical to try and achieve perfect immersion in a game.
    PC EU player. | PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say No to Crown Crates!

    "Remember in this game we call life that no one said it's fair"
  • StamWhipCultist
    StamWhipCultist
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    Wasnt there like a shady part in green pact that do not prohibit woodelfs to consume plants from outside valenwood?
    #stamwhip
  • lordrichter
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    I wouldn't worry too much about it -- Green Pact-breaking provisioning ingredients in Valenwood are a reflection of game mechanics, not lore. If not, we're driven to the conclusion that Barenziah can beat Vivec in a fight, or that the player can swallow a football-sized kwama egg in one gulp.

    It might be possible to change all the baskets and barrels in Valenwood to only produce meat, but I think that's a lot of work for something I think most people accept implicitly as having no lore impact.

    It would be a lot of work now, but at the time the zones were being created, it would not have been that much more work. It comes down to a matter of defining the containers and contents that will be used across Valenwood. Once done, it is a matter of placing that set of containers instead of the set they used, where they wanted the Green Pact represented.

    There are limited reasons as to why they did not do this. My favorites are:
    1. They cared but were busy and had deadlines, so they decided it was below the cut level and the game would just have to do without that detail.
    2. It was not in the specification for the zone. The zone teams did not know and never asked a Lore person for guidance. They just did the standard thing, and now it is too late.

    My money is on #2.
    PC North America since March 2014
    PAWS (Positively Against Wrip-off Stuff) - Say NO to Crown Crates!
    I collect free, unopened, virgin Crown Crates! 300, so far!

  • Derbforgaill
    Derbforgaill
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    While replying to the insightful topic about cultural foods and drinks of Tamriel ( https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/435193/list-of-confirmed-food-and-drinks-for-different-races-of-tamriel ), I remembered something that bothered me for years since I roleplay a woodelf spinner girl (first as a sorc then as a warden) with a self-behavior of fundamentalism into the Green Pact. You know, thou shalt not eat plant matter, and so on!

    Is this a case of gamedesign mistake? that could be fixed?
    or is this intended design to show the hypocrisy of Wood Elf culture? or the vanity of purism?
    (Maybe both? X) )

    @ZOS_Lawrence_Schick ?

    This "aspect" of the game also really bothered me, as a wood elf myself (who is a strict adherent to the Green Pact). Most wood elf houses, even in zones where they are supposed to be true adherents to the Green Pact have plant matter items lying around. I, like @lordrichter , think this is lazy game design rather than anything else.

    I'm not a game designer, so idk how hard would it have been to specify these restrictions, but surely it could have been done. I mean, look at the level of detail you get in pickpocketing. Depending on their race and "background" (ie: cultist, mage, warrior etc) you will get different items. I don't think avoiding plant-based items in wood elf zones would have been much more of a hassle, right?

    I have the Bouldertree refuge decorated following strictly the Green Pact. I know that this makes things a bit more difficult, as putting random veggies and sacks around helps to fill up the kitchen and the like, but it is totally doable. [Maybe another day I'll make a post about the lack of non-wood elf alternatives for certain objects, another oversight from a design perspective imo]

    PS: If you play on PC EU, I would be happy to show you my Green Pact-compliant wood elf house :)
  • ghastley
    ghastley
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    I've always seen the Bosmer as not strictly carnivores, because they don't have the teeth for it. But they'll avoid eating leaves and roots, and prefer fruits (that the plant is offering as a bribe to spread the seeds anyway).

    They'd have to take sides in conflicts between plants, too, as some species of plant are parasitical to others (choking vines, etc.) and they'd fight back if a strangler or lurcher attacked them. It's hard to find a clear single source of guidance, but individual quests suggest "the forest" does collectively guide them when needed, Some quests do have specific local plants in charge, such as the Brackenleaf's Briars, but they're just the regional ones.
  • Derbforgaill
    Derbforgaill
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    ghastley wrote: »
    I've always seen the Bosmer as not strictly carnivores, because they don't have the teeth for it. But they'll avoid eating leaves and roots, and prefer fruits (that the plant is offering as a bribe to spread the seeds anyway).

    Well, that's simply incorrect according to the lore (regardless of how Zenimax/Bethesda has chosen to portray their characters). If anything, the wrong dentition should be attributed to another design oversight, and not as a reason as to why bosmer should eat some plant matter.
  • Bruccius
    Bruccius
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    ghastley wrote: »
    I've always seen the Bosmer as not strictly carnivores, because they don't have the teeth for it. But they'll avoid eating leaves and roots, and prefer fruits (that the plant is offering as a bribe to spread the seeds anyway).

    Well, that's simply incorrect according to the lore (regardless of how Zenimax/Bethesda has chosen to portray their characters). If anything, the wrong dentition should be attributed to another design oversight, and not as a reason as to why bosmer should eat some plant matter.

    Bosmer are only not allowed to harm the forest.

    Anything that falls from plants, or is imported, is safe for consumption.
  • Derbforgaill
    Derbforgaill
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    Bruccius wrote: »
    Anything that falls from plants, or is imported, is safe for consumption.

    That is true, there is that quest where a bosmer alchemist uses dead plants. And some will accept imported items, but there are also those who would not use or consume plant products regardless of their origin. And even green pact bosmer who use wood for housing would frown upon eating veggies. And of course there are non green pact bosmer who eat vegetation, but it's most unusual as far as I have seen. But I think that generally speaking, bosmer don't consume plant material.
    Edited by Derbforgaill on October 7, 2018 11:33AM
  • Bruccius
    Bruccius
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    Bruccius wrote: »
    Anything that falls from plants, or is imported, is safe for consumption.

    That is true, there is that quest where a bosmer alchemist uses dead plants. And some will accept imported items, but there are also those who would not use or consume plant products regardless of their origin. And even green pact bosmer who use wood for housing would frown upon eating veggies. And of course there are non green pact bosmer who eat vegetation, but it's most unusual as far as I have seen. But I think that generally speaking, bosmer don't consume plant material.

    I suppose the Bosmer would, generally, view it as hypocritical.
  • Kiralyn2000
    Kiralyn2000
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    edit: ah, nevermind. I stumbled into a Lore forum discussion, when I thought I was in General. Sorry. :)
    Edited by Kiralyn2000 on October 7, 2018 4:20PM
  • Ajaxandriel
    Ajaxandriel
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    Come, enter and don't be afraid @Kiralyn2000 We won't eat you (already) :p

    @Derbforgaill Yes it's an oversight about supply crates and sacks, that works as nodes, with a "worldwide" loot tab, but that are definitely fixable since some specific recipes drop in specific zones (Alinor plans in Summerset, Dunmer Houses in Vvardenfell) yet I don't know if it's doable in base-ESO zones...
    The Justice system was introduced later so they may have had the time to create separate and meaningful theft drops.

    Anyway, imported vegetables can explain this oddity, even if it's hypocritical from a devout's perspective.

    The core problem that remains is all the vegetable models used directly in the setting, on the soil, even in a place like Whisper Grove x)
    I have the Bouldertree refuge decorated following strictly the Green Pact. I know that this makes things a bit more difficult, as putting random veggies and sacks around helps to fill up the kitchen and the like, but it is totally doable. [Maybe another day I'll make a post about the lack of non-wood elf alternatives for certain objects, another oversight from a design perspective imo]

    PS: If you play on PC EU, I would be happy to show you my Green Pact-compliant wood elf house :)
    I'd like to see this, simply add @Ajaxandriel
    I have such a version of Bouldertree too ;) (you can check some pictures here: http://fr.triskelion.wikia.com/wiki/Bosquet_d'Écorsoleil )

    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
    Angelith - elfe des bois gardienne 50
    Sabbathnazar Ullikummi - elfe noir chevalier-dragon 50

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