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  • Greetings everyone! In this thread I would like to propose a change to the usage of Characters and Creatures templates, mainly for ESO, as there is no Creation Kit for it and most of the entities in the game technically don’t have any difference between a character and a creature. This distinction is further complicated by the fact that some of the hostile characters (beings belonging to Races) use the creature template. Therefore, this subject can be divided into two parts:"Are hostile characters creatures?" and "Are some of the creatures characters?".

    The current stance on the first question (dating back to February 20, 2012) is "Most hostile NPCs should use the above templates [Characters]. In some cases, these NPCs are simply named enemies and should be treated as Creatures. Follow the creatures style and formatting for these articles, using the creature templates". This explanation is highly vague: the NPCs which should be treated as creatures are decided based on their hostility, which, in my opinion, is not related to the being’s type. The suggestion about this part of the "Style and Formatting" is that hostility should not affect the decision, should the being be considered a character or a creature.

    Another part of this topic is the actual decision whether the being is a creature or a character. At this moment, most of the creatures and characters from other games are discriminated between each other on the basis of the parameters in Creation Kit. This approach cannot be taken to characters and creatures from ESO as there is no CK for it (or rather it was not publically released). Therefore, there should be another way to distinguish between a creature and a character. I suggest developing some list of requirements to decide a being's type. For example, making this decision based on lore or interactions with the being (e.g. a Dremora would be a character because he is sentient).

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    • I'd argue that we seperate creatures and characters based on what they are. All humanoids should be listed as characters, while everything else should be listed as a creature.

      But that's just my opinion.

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    • Blademaster Jauffre wrote: All humanoids should be listed as characters, while everything else should be listed as a creature.

      Under this definition minotaurs, spriggans and goblins can be considered to be characters.

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    • All human and elf beings should be characters.

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    • What about the humanoid Daedra? They were considered to be characters even in previous games.

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    • That was also a question I asked myself. Maybe... them too?

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    • This is a really difficult call. We should have some sort of documentation somewhere laying out what the wiki officially considers to be a character versus a creature, probably on TES:SF. Perhaps we could go off of the way that the races are categorized in the Construction Sets/Creation Kit, and just apply this to ESO as well. For the ESO-only creatures, I feel that we would have to make some sort of judgment based on their humanoid characteristics as to whether they are characters or creatures. I don't know if we can just generalize here. Sentience/sapience is a good start.

      Edit: another idea is to classify them based on their interactability. For example, there are "creatures" in Skyrim whom we presently classify as characters, like Paarthurnax, probably because they can be spoken to. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but it's one approach we could take.

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    • Construction Sets'/Creation Kit's distinction can be inconsistent. For example, Morrowind lists Dremora as creatures, while Oblivion and Skyrim list them as characters.

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    • I think the traditional wisdom has been to use the most recent data available as the "most true" source, if there is a conflict like this that can't be resolved ambiguously. With that logic we would go by the classification of characters that Oblivion and Skyrim use, in this example.

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    • Atvelonis
      Atvelonis removed this reply because:
      Duplicate?
      21:30, May 25, 2019
      This reply has been removed
    • Why just not classify as any playable race as characters and everything else as creatures. This way it will be easier to indentify what templade we should use:

      - Any Breton, Redguard, Orc, Altmer (Highelf), Bosmer, Khajiit, Nord, Dunmer (Darkelf), Argonian and Imperial npcs are classified as Character.

      - Anything else is a Creature.

      • A giant has a humanoid appearance yet is not a playable race. So it's a creature.
      • Flesh Colossus - Hostile Creature - Creature.
      • Withered Hand Defiler - Hostile "person" - Characters.
      • Werewolfs and Vampires are Creatures. Even tho the Vestige can polymorph into one it's not a standard race.
      • Any character that have died and now it's a ghost it should be divided into two pages, as Character (alive) and Creature (ghost), and it should have a link to each others pages.
        • The alive character page should only be created if the vestige talks to them while they are alive and have the requirements to be a Character or if it's mention in any place (book, scroll, paper, paint in wall, etc) when they were alive.
        • The ghost creature page should only be created if the vestige talks or there is an interaction\reference to them.
        • If Vestige visits the past by a portal or wtvr, and talk with someone that is dead or a ghost in the present then it will have a character page. Maybe it should also be referred that any conversation etc was done in the past.  
          • Sword-Singer Navid - ghost (Creature). If vestige talked with him alive, it also should have a character page.
          • Haidar al-Sentinel - ghost - (Creature). If vestige talked with him alive, it also should have a character page.
          • The Initiation - Vestige goes to the past, he talks with several NPCs that are already dead. Each NPC belongs to a playable race - Character templade, with the mention that it is in the Past.
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    • If we set a rule like that, King Laloriaran Dynar becomes a creature.

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    • Right, I wouldn't classify all non-playable men/mer as creatures. I also think that since a lot of ghosts were at one point humans, it would be a little strange to consider them creatures after death, if they can still communicate and/or if they still act like characters (i.e. they are still sentient). In Skyrim, I think their Creation Kit data still uses traditional racial info too; there's just a checkbox for "ghost." Although ESO doesn't have a CK, I suspect that the way they trigger something being a ghost is very similar. So if something uses the model of a creature and is a ghost, like a ghostly elk, it's a creature.

      With that said, I agree with Wendigohmer's sentiment; we should aim for a straightforward decision that won't require that attention be given to individual cases in the future. How about this:

      • All playable races are characters (naturally)
      • All men and mer are characters (covering races like the human Akaviri or the Ayleids)
      • Anything that uses the model of one of the races covered above is a character (e.g. ghosts)
      • Anything whose race is unclear in ESO but is defined in a previous game uses the most recent such appearance's unambiguous classification (through the CS/CK) as the classification in ESO (e.g. Dremora in ESO would be considered characters because they are considered characters in Skyrim)
      • Anything else is a creature? (e.g. the new races that ESO has that aren't covered by the above)

      That sounds like it would be fairly manageable. Still, I feel like I must be missing something, but I'm not quite sure what. Maybe we need to work in some lore classifications? Like, if someone in ESO describes a creature as a character (would that happen?), we could consider that reason to classify said creature in that way. Not sure.

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    • We are reaching a consensus. We could create a table that identifies which race\type is a character.

      Something like:

      Characters
      ESO Playable ESO Non-Playable Possible Non ESO
      Ancestors name Present name Ancestors name Present name
      Breton Sea Elves Maormer Goblins (1)Lilmothiit
      Yokudans Redguards Reachmen Sload (2)Tang Mo
      Orsimer

      (Orc)

      Imga (mention only) Ka Po' Tun
      Aldmer Altmer Akaviri (mention only)
      Bosmer Tsaesci
      Khajiit Kamal (mention only)
      Atmorans Nords Kothringi
      Chimer Dunmer Dremora
      Saxhleel Argonian Dwemer (mention only)
      Nedes Imperials Dwemer (mention only)
      Snow Elves Falmer
      Wild Elves Ayleids
      Any ghost by any of these races

      1 - Even tho Goblins are too primitive, they live in society by their own primitive rules.. Also in a Skyrim's DLC there were these goblins-like that could talk with the dragonborn aka Vestige. In counterpart:

      Atvelonis wrote: Maybe we need to work in some lore classifications? Like, if someone in ESO describes a creature as a character (would that happen?), we could consider that reason to classify said creature in that way.

      2 - From what I read they are wise and have careful and deliberate personalities. They can interact with others races.

      There are more races but I found these the most propitious to be classified as a Character from what I read\researched. It should help as a start.

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    • On ghosts:
      There are Wraith (Online) and Ghost (Online), who I think should be conisdered creatures because they lack the model of a character. There is also Ayleid Spirit (Gold Coast), who has a model of a character, so he (and others like him) should be considered a character.

      On possible races:
      Should Ehlnofey (Guardians of the Earth, Water and Air), Lamias, Rieklings, Riekr, Factotums and Dragons (Online) also be in that list?

      On daedra:
      Spiderkith, Herne, Xivkyn, Skaafin, Dark Seducers, Golden Saints and Xivilai possess humanoid features and are sentient. They should also be considered characters.

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    • On ghosts

      Yes.

      On possible races


      • Ehlnofey I will leave this one for ES experts.
      • Lamias Aren't the Lamias from the same family as Tsaesci?
      • Rieklings They are the ones that made me say goblins should be a character aswell. Quest
      • Riekr Goblin-like
      • Factotums I will leave this one for ES experts.
      • Dragons (Online) They don't have a humanoid body yet they are sentient, wise and it's possible to interact with them.
      On daedra:

      Totally agree.

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    • It looks like Ehlnofey in ESO use some sort of existing model, like Dringoth, who inhabits a skeleton. Goradir and Olphras both use some sort of skeleton/skull model. I think I'd classify them all as creatures.

      I would consider both Lamia and Tsaesci to be creatures (same with Lilmothiit, Tang Mo, and Ka Po' Tun); the only Akaviri whom I'd describe as characters for the time being are the human ones, like Akaviri Commander Mishaxhi in Oblivion.

      I guess I see what you're saying about rieklings/goblins, but they strike me much more as creatures than characters. Goblins are classified as creatures in the Oblivion and Morrowind Construction Sets, and rieklings are classified as creatures in Morrowind's as well, so under the guidelines I proposed above, I think they'd be creatures.

      Now that I think about it, we may be getting into overly subjective territory with sentience/sapience. Perhaps that would require too much guesswork on our part. I think that dragons would fall into the "everything else" category, as would factotums.

      I agree that Spiderkith, Herne, Xivkyn, Skaafin should be considered characters due to their very humanoid features. Dark Seducers and Golden Saints are defined as characters in the Oblivion CS. However, Xivilai are classified as creatures in there.

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    • Atvelonis wrote:

      I would consider both Lamia and Tsaesci to be creatures (same with Lilmothiit, Tang Mo, and Ka Po' Tun); the only Akaviri whom I'd describe as characters for the time being are the human ones, like Akaviri Commander Mishaxhi in Oblivion.

      I'm thinking then Argonians and Khajiits should be consider creatures because they also have animal resemblances..

      And what about orcs?

      Edit: Ok, orcs are Mer.

      If it helps.. I updated the table, anyone feel free to change\update it tho.. Link

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    • Argonians and Khajiit are beastfolk but they're always described as characters in the CS (Orcs are arguably beastfolk but we tend to consider them to be Mer). I feel like classifying certain playable races as characters and others as creatures would sort of devalue certain playthroughs, or it would appear that we were trying to devalue them. So other than that I personally think your table is pretty good.

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    • Ok, I think that we have found a good way to deal with this..

      The Table is here. Feel free to copy\paste and update it wherever it's needed!

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    • To completely formalize this, it would be prudent to hold a final vote. We are voting to adopt the system of character/creature classification described in this thread and visualized on this page.

      Please indicate your support, neutrality, or opposition to this proposal in a new comment using {{VoteSupport}}, {{VoteNeutral}}, or {{VoteOppose}}. Under consensus track guidelines, we technically need at least 10 votes, of which at least 3/4 must be supporting for this to pass. This rule has been ignored in the past, but it would be good practice to see it through.

      Voting-support Support
      I believe that standardizing the way that we classify characters/creatures in this way, based more heavily on existing definitions rather than case-by-case guesswork, will serve to simplify the process of NPC categorization for many games.
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    • Voting-support Support
      I believe any sapient humanoid being should be considered characters. Of course this means any human, mer or beastfolk, but I always saw dremora and xivkyn, for example, as characters. In the past if I created ESO pages with the latter two, I used the character infobox. However, a couple years ago a former admin changed most, if not all ESO dremora and xivkyn infoboxes to creature. That kinda threw me off, but I was not aware of any standards for classification, nor has there been discussion on the issue; at least that I’m aware of. In short, I believe the classifications on Wendigohmer’s table should be the standard we use.
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    • Voting-support Support
      as the one who proposed it. This standard is needed and will replace the outdated and vague definition in the guidelines with a new one that makes sense. Plus it will seriously help with the articles' contents and categorization.
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    • Voting-support Support
      I think this is the best decision we can make lore-wise, game-wise and wiki-wise. This was hard, we had to make a CT about this, but this seems to be a good solution that will make things run better.
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    • Voting-neutral Neutral
      Personally I'm fine with any decision. The categorization will be subjective anyway, if there is no categorization in-game. I'm comparing to Skyrim where all of them are actors.
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    • Voting-support Support
      I like Atv's "Can you dialog with it?" criteria. In the end, the distinguish from the reader's perspective is, "Is it combat only?" (creature) or "Can I interact with it in some way besides killing it?" (character). That keeps us out of the estorica and also out of the philosophy of intelligence weeds.
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    • Voting-support Support
      The more structured the guides are, the easier it is for new and older TES wikians to develop new pages.
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    • Voting-support Support
      We should definitely adopt a clear-cut way to categorise the characters and creatures in ESO, and I believe the table is as good as it gets given the complexity of the topic.
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    • ​ 
      Voting-support Support – I​​​​ believe this will help both editors and readers in the long run
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    • Voting-support Support
      From what I've read, some kind of system needs to be put in place, and from what I've seen so far, I agree with the decisions made. The only thing I skeptical on are ghosts that speak, which might be more like characters than creatures.
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    • A FANDOM user
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