OOC – Why scars don’t make sense

Some things I learned at Fanfest:

  • players are passionate about Eve Online
  • devs are even more passionate than players when provided with solutions to player issues

The Issue: Scars

Scars are cool. Scars are badass. Scars are shiny. Problem is, in the universe of the capsuleer, scars don’t make sense. Through clone technology, we are immortal; we die, and a new body awaits us.

Our bodies are still mortal. We bleed. We break. Aura clones us when our bodies are deemed unable to continue functioning in the capacity needed.

For the amount of isk we pay for the privilege of being immortal, I can’t imagine any of us not demanding a refund if we woke up in a less than perfect body; one not grown to maturity, or with deficient organs or limbs, or blind in one eye, or scarred.

It just doesn’t make sense to me from a continuity perspective. Can I be injured? Of course. Would I be scarred? Probably. But would that carry over to my new clone? I damn well hope not. A new clone is a fresh and unblemished copy; a new chapter in my immortal life.

I spoke with several devs at Fanfest about this, and the look of sudden realization and verbal response was unanimous; “You’re right, but it’s already on SiSi, and promised to players.”

The Solution

I’m not a cold hearted bastard. I’m not going to say this wouldn’t be the first time CCP has dangled the carrot, then failed to deliver. I know players want their scars. I know removing them would upset a great many people.

I also don’t want a “make work” project for the devs. There was talk of dynamically aging characters, physically showing the effects of boosters over time, etc. All great ideas for the future, but scars need to be dealt with now.

So what if they became badges of honour? What if your ship is destroyed around you, but you manage to get your pod away?

The structural value of your pod is one quick server call. The higher your pod damage, the greater percentage chance you’ve been injured in your escape. Randomly assign a scar; it’s a few lines of code, and a viable solution with quick turnaround that maintains continuity.

Imagine it, if you will. You see a player, blind in one eye, with several scars on their face and body. You just know they have stories to tell. You know they’ve barely survived some epic battles.

Could it be abused? Of course. Everything can. But were CCP to implement this minor adjustment, it would reinforce their commitment to their new slogan “Eve is real”. One more step towards immersion. One more step towards role-play and continuity.

Will all players be happy with this? When have you ever known all players to be happy?

Let the scars tell the story of just how harsh New Eden is. Let the scars serve a purpose instead of just being cosmetic fluff, “Oooooooh, I’m going to carve up my cheek today to look more badass.” Let the scars sing the anthem of “Harden the fuck up.”

My two isk.

13 responses to “OOC – Why scars don’t make sense

  1. See, the flaw in all of your argument is in the line “But would that carry over to my new clone? I damn well hope not. A new clone is a fresh and unblemished copy; a new chapter in my immortal life.”

    That may well be your decision but maybe other capulseers would chose to carry scars with pride. Maybe they picked them up as slaves before they joined the capsuleer programme. Maybe they view them as a mark of honour or a link to their past lives. Either way, CCP are not forcing scars upon people. You don’t HAVE to have them. You can indeed chose to have a perfect body or you can chose to carry the marks of your past upon you in the same way your tribal tattoos carry marks of your past.

    On a separate note, I am against random scar generation because I run away in my pod a lot and I would like to actually be able to see my features without them being covered in several inches of scar tissue.

  2. This has actually been dealt with before in the annuals of Science Fiction, I can’t remember where at the moment, but this issue has come up before. The scars, the permanent ones, are the ones we had BEFORE we became Capsuleers. They are captured and embedded at that moment in time, just as our clones are. I can imagine the choice being an option from the Doctors, “So Mr. Javix, keeping that nasty scar or not?” “You’re damn straight Doc, got that one from the Gallente scum that kill my Mother.”

    As Wensley said above, to have or have not is a choice and should remain that way. I was actually upset when I lost my original scar, I had created an entire backstory to explain it and now it’s gone.

    • Face-Off, the movie with Nicholas Cage and John Travolta. The super-sappy, poorly acted portion at the end where he says, “I don’t need the scar anymore, Doc” or some-such drivel, to show he’s healed.

      That said, is the lore of EVE such that all of our clones are preorderd? Obviously, ones that you buy to match your SP level should be – and I would have no problem with maintaining scars or tattoos that way. But what about the silly folk who fly around with no clone ready? Perhaps wipe tattoos and scars from those instances? Of course, that’s probably a significant amount of hassle for a relatively minor immersion level.

      That said, this does open up for the invention in the universe of New-Eden of genetically mapped tattoos…

  3. Thanks #tweetfleet, Rixx and Wensley.

    You’re all absolutely right. It was a perspective of roleplay I wasn’t seeing. I guess we all get blinded by our own point of view sometimes.

  4. The difference between capsuleer life and real life. Yeah, if I had some bad ass scar in game, I would definitely want to keep it if I made up some awesome story to go along with it and we can all play like Quint and the others on the Orca recounting stories about how we got them until someone starts talking about flying through a field of frozen corpses being devoured by giant spaceworms or some other craziness. (speaking of which, why aren’t there giant spaceworms in EVE? There has to be some type of biological form capable of traversing the stars, right?)

    But when I think of real life scars, I guess I’m just not as bad ass as I would like to be and wish they would go away, like that one on my arm? Oh, did something stupid as a kid. Chest? Yeah, I had a mole cut off as a kid. My left eye? Stupid motorcycle mishap, you don’t want to hear about that…

    So, basically, I can see both sides of the story.

  5. I quite like the idea, but I feel it would need refining. How about, you gain scars from your pod damage, like you said, but if you were podded any previous scars are removed? I think it would need quite a lot of thinking about so not to affect people who don’t want it. We will be able to change hair and clothes, so why not scar removal?

    • I had purposefully worked around keeping scars or being able to add/remove them at will simply based on having them as system generated damage indicator.

      Since posting, there have been some great discussions on #tweetfleet and I’ve come to see alternative points of view on this issue.

      Seems roleplay and immersion are alive and well in Eve Online. That makes me happy.

  6. You’re going to hate me, but: shouldn’t this apply to tattoos too? The impermanence of clone life means everything about your body is inherently temporary.

    • I thought about tattoos and came to the conclusion tattoos could be pre-ordered.

      As others pointed out, some people would keep their tattoos intact exactly for the reasons I stated, battle scars, good stories, etc.

      I now see both points of view, and isn’t that what conversation is about?

    • Stop being reasonable. This is the internet. You are supposed to cling onto your original idea/opinion until your dying death and fling pooh at anyone who says otherwise until they give up the will to post.

  7. You could have the Damage system apply to the clone you are in.
    The Database already keeps track of implants on jump clones.
    You could use Capitain’s quarters to modify features of your Medical Clone.
    Jump Clones would be static versions. (Could be clothed differently)
    Profile picture while in it could be updated. (It seemed to me like there was a profile re-customizing section of Capitain’s quarters in the video from fanfest.)
    I Voted Roc!

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