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Why Altmer are by FAR the greatest threat to Nirn

  • FantasticFreddie
    FantasticFreddie
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    I have always played high elves, and yet I have never delved too deep into their lore.
    All my elves have their own backstories, I like to think they fit in with the lore without being awful racists.
  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    psychotrip wrote: »
    Radiance wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    Radiance wrote: »
    My main is an altmer but this made me shudder! Am I the only non Alt-Supremacist? The SummerSet Chapter is about fighting against those kinds of racist ideals...

    This is what happens when racism becomes your people's only defining trait...

    The only, really? I prefer to reference their magic and pointy ears. It's funny that racism is a defining trait of the Altmer but you turn around and use a that reductive generalization to be racist against them. And let's not act like every other culture doesn't have their faults. The Dunmer are Slavers, the Bosmer are Cannibals, The Orcs are polygamists and think they can solve everything with violence, not unlike the Nords. I could go on, but I think you get my point. I still play all of those races but I choose not to partake in those parts of their cultures.

    I'm comparing them to the old lore, and what many expected from them based on previous descriptions and the intent of the original writers.

    I'm also comparing them to any other decent fantasy world, where having some magic and pointy ears is the bare minimum, not an achievement of creativity. The Altmer, post retcons, really have nothing unique about them as a people, especially compared to the other ES elves. They feel like what bretons should be if anything.

    Remember, this is the race that forced Zenimax to come out and make an official statement that Tamriel isn't a very magical place just so they could justify how much they "toned the Altmer down" despite the last expansion being the clockwork city, because dunmer are the only elves allowed to be powerful or unique anymore.

    All I'm saying is we could've had stuff like this from the Altmer:
    qv87jkdie0x9.jpg
    sq0zi7nfnoj9.jpg
    kmkwfp28jt9r.png
    0yatnh9aso90.jpg
    vzyz6boi0ltz.png

    6m41a0xjek6d.png
    v9ysur65bgyi.jpg
    mhb5b8z3b06a.png
    us.v-w44ab8u5te6h.png
    cdn.net/5020507/uploads/editor/ea/v9mc8bhyjn2z.png
    bn4qowp5rfe9.png
    y8pvaqcrzsrj.jpg
    zxffc1yt0l68.png
    ngnvgyaqabb5.png
    cr0me2ed7yc1.png



    Instead we got this:
    9n6zaz5dcwb5.jpg



    I know most people here like the latter, but I just feel like they missed a great opportunity to portray the Altmer in a more nuanced way, like the community has for decades.

    Instead, Zenimax scrapped half the lore in favor of a lazy expansion that reduces the Altmer to generic high elves, which was exactly what the original writers were trying to prevent.

    Step outside the lore for a second and look at what was lost, from a narrative and environmental perspective, FOREVER.

    Zenimax wanted to rush its way through and make an expansion on a land they had no interest in doing justice to. The result was the death of one of The Elder Scrolls most complex and unique cultures.

    So yes, when you compare the current Altmer even to themselves they come up lacking. So now we're left with threads like these, where the only thing there really is to talk about as an Altmer fan is how delusionally "better" we are than everyone else despite all evidence pointing to us being the most pathetic race of Nirn.

    Tell me where you got some of that art from? I lobe it!! Except... why shark people?

    Weresharks. Alinor is an island nation to the far south. Now it feels like it. Link below. They're trying to make a version of the dominion thats more of a balance between the different interpretations of the lore. Its not just Alinor being worked on either.

    https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/images/773454/
    Kadraeus wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    Radiance wrote: »
    psychotrip wrote: »
    Radiance wrote: »
    My main is an altmer but this made me shudder! Am I the only non Alt-Supremacist? The SummerSet Chapter is about fighting against those kinds of racist ideals...

    This is what happens when racism becomes your people's only defining trait...

    The only, really? I prefer to reference their magic and pointy ears. It's funny that racism is a defining trait of the Altmer but you turn around and use a that reductive generalization to be racist against them. And let's not act like every other culture doesn't have their faults. The Dunmer are Slavers, the Bosmer are Cannibals, The Orcs are polygamists and think they can solve everything with violence, not unlike the Nords. I could go on, but I think you get my point. I still play all of those races but I choose not to partake in those parts of their cultures.

    I'm comparing them to the old lore, and what many expected from them based on previous descriptions and the intent of the original writers.

    I'm also comparing them to any other decent fantasy world, where having some magic and pointy ears is the bare minimum, not an achievement of creativity. The Altmer, post retcons, really have nothing unique about them as a people, especially compared to the other ES elves. They feel like what bretons should be if anything.

    Remember, this is the race that forced Zenimax to come out and make an official statement that Tamriel isn't a very magical place just so they could justify how much they "toned the Altmer down" despite the last expansion being the clockwork city, because dunmer are the only elves allowed to be powerful or unique anymore.

    All I'm saying is we could've had stuff like this from the Altmer:
    qv87jkdie0x9.jpg
    sq0zi7nfnoj9.jpg
    kmkwfp28jt9r.png
    0yatnh9aso90.jpg
    vzyz6boi0ltz.png

    6m41a0xjek6d.png
    v9ysur65bgyi.jpg
    mhb5b8z3b06a.png
    us.v-w44ab8u5te6h.png
    cdn.net/5020507/uploads/editor/ea/v9mc8bhyjn2z.png
    bn4qowp5rfe9.png
    y8pvaqcrzsrj.jpg
    zxffc1yt0l68.png
    ngnvgyaqabb5.png
    cr0me2ed7yc1.png



    Instead we got this:
    9n6zaz5dcwb5.jpg



    I know most people here like the latter, but I just feel like they missed a great opportunity to portray the Altmer in a more nuanced way, like the community has for decades.

    Instead, Zenimax scrapped half the lore in favor of a lazy expansion that reduces the Altmer to generic high elves, which was exactly what the original writers were trying to prevent.

    Step outside the lore for a second and look at what was lost, from a narrative and environmental perspective, FOREVER.

    Zenimax wanted to rush its way through and make an expansion on a land they had no interest in doing justice to. The result was the death of one of The Elder Scrolls most complex and unique cultures.

    So yes, when you compare the current Altmer even to themselves they come up lacking. So now we're left with threads like these, where the only thing there really is to talk about as an Altmer fan is how delusionally "better" we are than everyone else despite all evidence pointing to us being the most pathetic race of Nirn.

    That's some absolutely gorgeous artwork. Thanks for sharing them here. Honestly, I don't really see how the Altmer can't be different in the future. ESO is like 1000 years before Skyrim, so things are expected to have changed. I mean, the Dominion already changes a ton between the 2nd and 4th eras, considering the persecution the Thalmor are responsible for in Skyrim. 1000 years is a long time. If you compare our 2021 world to the world of 1021, there would obviously be HUGE differences. If you really want the Altmer to be so otherworldly, I think Bethesda could totally do this in future games since we don't know what Summerset looks like in the 4th Era. For all we know, there could've been a huge change in their culture and art between those periods. Perhaps they tore down the old buildings and completely redesigned them.

    Irl, we went from stuff like this (Milan Cathedral, Italy):
    1200px-Milan_Cathedral_from_Piazza_del_Duomo.jpg

    To stuff like this (Valencia Opera House, Spain):
    Valencia-Opera-House-Spain-by-Jorn-van-Maanen-837.jpg

    Even then, the Thalmor robes and armor in Skyrim don't really look all that different from what we see in ESO, so I doubt Bethesda Game Studios imagined Summerset as being very different from what ZOS went with.

    Their environment and architecture cant be drastically different in the future because that would make absolutely no sense with what both ESO and previous lore established.

    For example, Aldmer ruins in this mod are completely incompatible with whatever greco-roman stuff ESO did. How could we explain them going from magitech cities filled with malfunctioning horrors, to crumbling greco-roman ruins, then back again?

    Summerset, as portrayed by ESO, is fundamentally different from most other portrayals in the series. Granted, it was never portrayed in full to begin with, but I'm talking from a broader, worldbuilding perspective here.

    Most of this stuff is based on the old ESO datamine, but like I said they completely retconned all that stuff when Summerset released and replaced it with...what we got.

    This stuff would never be canon in any modern version of The Elder Scrolls. Like Firor said, the setting is too "mundane" and grounded now. The Altmer of ESO are what the Altmer will be from now on. Most of you guys seem to love them as they are, so I dont see that changing either.

    But to respond to your last statement: both Bethesda AND Zenimax had very different ideas about Summerset than what we ended up getting. Again, there's public evidence for this. The Altmer just got retconned, guys. We just gotta accept it.
    Edited by psychotrip on February 15, 2021 5:47PM
    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.
  • Jacarranda
    Jacarranda
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    I think they should retcon Altmer lands in later games so they would fit their earlier descriptions more. Summerset is ok, and while Auridon is beautiful, the architecture is downright ugly, so are the clothes. Nothing gives 'race that strives for perfectionism'. The only place where the architecture is somewhat different is Cloudrest. Shame because Altmer are one of my favorite races and you can see devs dont really care for them like they do for other races.
  • Syldras
    Syldras
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    I find their snootiness more of a charming trait. Like dunmer calling me an N'wah or swit. I LIKE IT

    I wish all n'wah would think like that. It'd be so much easier. Like
    "Hey n'wah! Go home!" -
    N'wah: "Oh, sure I will! You're so nice, I don't want to bother you :love: "

    Nah, honestly, I think you n'wah might be strange with your... dogs... and horses... and your absurd looking clothes, but you're okay. I guess.

    Fun fact (okay, just a rumour I heard, actually - maybe someone can verify): The main story concept for TES3 Morrowind was originally supposed to take place on the Summerset Isles. So I've always wondered which of the things we now know as Dunmeri culture were formerly supposed to be Altmeri culture.
    @Syldras | PC | EU
    The forceful expression of will gives true honor to the Ancestors.
    Sarayn Andrethi, Telvanni mage (Main)
    Darvasa Andrethi, his "I'm NOT a Necromancer!" sister
    Malacar Sunavarlas, Altmer Ayleid vampire
  • Crazyprophet
    Crazyprophet
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    Jacarranda wrote: »
    I think they should retcon Altmer lands in later games so they would fit their earlier descriptions more. Summerset is ok, and while Auridon is beautiful, the architecture is downright ugly, so are the clothes. Nothing gives 'race that strives for perfectionism'. The only place where the architecture is somewhat different is Cloudrest. Shame because Altmer are one of my favorite races and you can see devs dont really care for them like they do for other races.

    Especially regarding earlier content... I dunno. I mean if you play the Daggerfall Covenant zones you'd better like generic blue houses literally everywhere except Al'akir. It's hard to even tell which Great House you're dealing with in mainland Morrowind most of the time - they're all really much the same. The earlier content didn't really give ANY races especially wonderful or detailed treatment.

    I don't think it's specific hate towards the High Elves. Summerset was awesome.
  • Sinlar
    Sinlar
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    I might be worth contemplating, that without the limits that Altmer impose upon themselves, through a belief in the pursuit of perfection and thus limitations to acknowledge and overcome.
    Which in turn lead to concepts of balance and transcendence.

    That you end up with the existential threat that was the Ayleids.


  • psychotrip
    psychotrip
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    Syldras wrote: »
    I find their snootiness more of a charming trait. Like dunmer calling me an N'wah or swit. I LIKE IT

    Fun fact (okay, just a rumour I heard, actually - maybe someone can verify): The main story concept for TES3 Morrowind was originally supposed to take place on the Summerset Isles. So I've always wondered which of the things we now know as Dunmeri culture were formerly supposed to be Altmeri culture.

    There's plenty of evidence for this, and I'm pretty sure Bethesda never made a secret of it.

    There's even a piece of concept art for TES III: Summerset, or whatever it was going to be called. Summerset originally had a giant desert and the Tribunal were the main antagonists. You can find this all online, including the concept art. None of its even remotely canon (this was EARLY stuff) but its fascinating nontheless.

    The glass armor we see in Morrowind is supposedly of "high elven design" (according to the old morrowind website) so its likely the closest we'll ever get to knowing what Altmeri stuff was supposed to look like.

    Unfortunately the textures are blurry and low-res, but HD versions exist in mods. Its all vicious looking but also covered in extremely intricate shapes and designs. It looks kinda weird and lumpy but I'd love to see how this style would've improved with better graphics.

    https://images.uesp.net/thumb/3/30/MW-item-Glass_Armor.jpg/187px-MW-item-Glass_Armor.jpg

    You can especially tell it was originally Altmeri because of all the bird symbolism, which carried over into later games:

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/elderscrolls/images/c/c0/M_GlassThrowingKnife.png/revision/latest/top-crop/width/360/height/360?cb=20130122030337


    Of course, they retconned the Morrowind glass armor to be made by the dunmer (because only they're allowed to be visually weird) so now its referred to as "Buoyant Armiger" armor, and we just ignore how the Altmer in Morrowind seemed to run several of the glass mines (judging by the altmer npcs in glass mines).

    I tell you, its a conscious campaign to make the Elder Scrolls more "normal" and easier to produce, with the east being the exception because they know they cant retcon all of what we saw in Morrowind. That's it. The Altmer just got shafted hardest because they were arguably weirdest of them all.

    Someone mentioned High Rock, and its a good example of how this tonal shift for the series affects all the races.

    Its especially bizarre that the most magical races in Tamriel seem to integrate magic the LEAST into their day-to-day culture, but again this is an intentional shift in focus.

    One of the core components of The Elder Scrolls is how it blends realistic problems with high fantasy worldbuilding.

    Daggerfall is basically world war 1 but with ghosts, necromancers and a giant robot god. I'm oversimplifying of course, but the parallels are obvious.

    Morrowind addresses colonialism, religion, and the inevitability of change. It argues that even in a world of living gods, ridable ticks, and mushroom wizards, that people are still people at the end of the day, and have the same problems we all have.

    So, when Matt Firor is on record saying they want to make the world more "mundane", and that if magic disappeared no one would notice, it flies in the face of the very foundation of the series, and what always set it apart from its competitors.

    But thats not what they want the series to be about anymore, so we're left with threads like these clinging to what little substance this series has left.

    Anyway, you guys know I just pop in here to rant at this point. Carry on :P
    Edited by psychotrip on February 23, 2021 6:35PM
    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.
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