17/07/2017

The Trouble With Voss

I took an alt of mine to Voss this weekend and it reminded me of how much that planet bugs me at times.

At first glance, there is much to love: I adore the open, grassy zones in autumn colours; they are simply beautiful. And the Voss themselves are at least intriguing initially if nothing else. My very first impression of the planet back in 2012 was mostly positive, even if I found it a bit awkward to deal with the Force-obsessed Voss as a trooper.


But the more often I've revisited the planet, the more it's bugged me, and I've long struggled to put my finger on why. I now think that one reason at least is how extremely repetitive all the storylines on Voss are. If you look back at the original class stories in general, the writers did a pretty amazing job at constructing plots that forced you to visit the exact same planets (not to mention the different sub-zones on each one) in the exact same order on every character while still making for a vastly different experience on each class. Everyone comes to Tatooine, but while a smuggler visits a crime lord's hideout, a trooper goes on a mission to hunt down a traitor and a Sith warrior has a spiritual experience while trying to find a certain Jedi.

On Voss though, everything feels the flipping same. The planetary arcs for both factions, while spiced up with different details, both have you visiting the Shrine of Healing to impress the Voss and then follow this up with a visit to the Nightmare Lands while emphasising what a scary place they are and how the Voss don't like you going there. Yet when you look at the class stories, they all have you do the exact same thing! We're not just talking about visiting the same sub-zones here, but every single class having to enter the same building to grovel to the Voss mystics. It made me feel thoroughly sick of the place, which wasn't helped by the fact that part of the planetary storyline is a prerequisite to get the local endurance datacron, so it was one of those pieces of content you wanted to redo on every single alt too... at least that's something that legacy-wide datacrons have done away with.

The Voss as a species grate on me too, and I'm continuously surprised by their popularity with roleplayers. I guess it's fun to pretend to be a Voss purely because you can't actually play one, so you get to feel all special and different for having thought of it (even if lots of other people have actually had the same idea). But as a species, they are extremely dull. They love their mystics, hate the Gormak, and... what exactly? Through class and side missions we get a bit of extra insight into the lives of Voss Commandos, but not everyone can be a mystic or a commando. What are "normal" Voss like? There don't seem to be any. I'm somewhat reminded of how in early Star Trek all aliens were basically slightly funny looking humans with some random character trait exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness that then defined their entire species (Klingons with wanting to fight for their honour, Vulcans with the logic etc.). That's the sort of vibe I get from the Voss too and it feels old.

As the cherry on top, I really dislike the way they talk. They aren't supposed to be emotionless, but for some reason they always speak in some sort of weird monotone that makes it sound like nothing interests them. It's rare that they display even a tiny bit of excitement in their voices and on their faces, and that even though there is nothing in the dialogue or lore to explain this strange lack of emotional expressiveness.

Feel free to tell me why you think Voss and its people are totally awesome though.

12 comments :

  1. I kind of agree. Voss is one of those planets that felt like it just went on and on and on. I had never really put my finger on why it got tedious so soon. You may be right as to the reason, though I'm still not totally sure.

    But for me it is redeemed by a few things:

    1) Always had loads of fun doing the Nightmare Pilgrim with guildies (back when we still had enough people to do things as a guild). Lots of fun moments, including the guild master running around checking everyone had "eaten their sweetie" like a mother hen.

    2) The eldritch monster buried in a hole in the ground in the Nightmare lands. I'm always a sucker for that type of thing.

    3)My favourite character says her best line on Voss. When confronted with the fact that she must have a chaperone while on Voss, the female smuggler says:

    "Ohh, are you here to make sure I don't kiss any boys?"

    (I love the female smuggler, she gets all the funniest moments.)

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    1. Nightmare Pilgrim was fun, I agree. I haven't done him in ages though. I wonder if they ever got rid of the consumable requirement?

      I think Voss is also a nice place to hang out in general, since the landscape is very open and not too crowded with mobs in most areas.

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  2. Though the Voss themselves, you can keep them. Incredibly tedious people. I like how they look, though.

    Thinking about what you said about Klingons, the early Star Trek Klingons actually had very little honour. They were violent and scheming, barbaric and nasty, honour in quite short supply. Honour was more the hat they wore in the Next Gen and beyond. But I get your point.

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  3. Do I think the Voss are awesome? No. I think they are easily manipulated. If they can fall for the Empire's flattery and very basic attempts at manipulation, then I'm not impressed at all.

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  4. There are aspects of the Voss which I absolutely adore, most notably the Voss Commando who aids the Knight in her quest and how she remembers her fallen husband through poetry. It is rather touching on a personal level.

    On the whole, I do tend to disagree with them as a species because they are just so very conceited. They are just so superior and they love the attention they get from both Empire and Republic, to the extent that of course sensibly denying them their wish to have access to a WMD is perceived as a most grievous insult.

    Also, really; Bas-ton's family didn't notice that he'd been replaced by an Imperial? That never sat right with me at all; did they really not know Bas-ton so well that they'd notice him acting "odd"? Additionally, considering how easily the actor slips back into his natural personality I just don't believe he was incapable of accidentally letting things slip every now and again within their earshot...

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    1. I wouldn't say that they love the attention... as I said in my post, they seem far too indifferent to everything to show such strong emotions about anything.

      And yeah, Bas-Ton is like some kind of meta-joke about how boring the Voss are. You could replace any one of them with a random outsider and nobody would notice! (More seriously though, I think it's just supposed to show how awesome and devoted Imperial operatives are.)

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  5. I love the visuals of the Voss; both the look of the Voss themselves and their outfits. I'd love a set of Voss Commando armor.

    But the Voss themselves... They're elves (and the Gormak are Orks) and not a lot beyond that. And it doesnt' help that by the time I've gotten to Voss, I'm in the home stretch for my own class story and I want to be in and out and done. And I find the Voss maps to be annoying to navigate, almost as crazed as Taris or Corellia.

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    1. Hm, in terms of maps I always thought Voss was one of the less annoying planets out there. It's all very open except for a few cliffs creating bottlenecks here and there.

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    2. I'm thinking specifically of the Nightmare Lands, which always felt very channelized to me, even though there's a lot of open space in them as well, the transits between them are ... not as obvious as I'd like, and you HAVE to follow the routes designed. Unlike, say, Alderaan or Tatooine.

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  6. To be honest, I never liked Voss...at all. I didn't like the quest line, the premise for it's culture etc. It just never appealed to me. I don't hate it, just don't like it either.

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  7. I really hate the Voss. My mostly-light-side jedi knight had a moment of insanity and killed a priesty-type (saying "Bet you didn't foresee THAT!") - but seriously, the priest says "it's your fate to die" and the commando goes "duh, ok" and lemmings off a cliff.

    Other than that, their vulcan-like reactions are irritating. I speak, of course, about attempting to BSOCK them. My smuggler totally got it on with a voss guy who apparently was confused by his new "feelings." It ended up that he was MARRIED too... and then I was brought before his wifey for some dumb transgression (hell if I remember but she KNEW and it was AWKWARD)... I atoned for the stupid transgression and then commed the one-night-stand, who was totally like "why are you calling me?" Ouuuch.

    In another fun instance, my chiss agent had to "marry" one of the idiots to get some sort of planetary access. (Really? I can just WALK OVER THERE!) Afterward she suggested a wedding night and he totally blew her off. So sad. I mean, he's blue, I'm blue, he has creepy eyes, I have creepy eyes - match made in heaven. Vector also has creepy eyes and talks like a robot. I'm sensing a pattern.

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    1. I remember you also hating the Voss!

      On my most recent agent playthrough, I took the "I'm not marrying any of you" option for the first time. It felt quite cathartic actually. :P

      Don't bring Vector into this though! He's a dear.

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