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Let's Talk About: Largos

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#31 Dasryn

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:19 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 27 March 2013 - 12:04 AM, said:

There's also a largos in Brisban who attacks a group of sylvari wardens without provocation (it's the only largos I know of that can be killed rather than fleeing at the last moment), and there's also the assassination of the Claw of the kodan settlement in Snowden. They're a race that hunts and kills sapients for sport, which could hardly be regarded as 'good'. There may be differences in largos society regarding what are and aren't acceptable targets, but having a dislike for krait doesn't mean they're good... it just means that they're smart enough to know that krait are bad news.

so what about the telling comments about how they dont know how their "mark", the Krait Hypnoss, was able to come back from the dead?

that tells me they have no knowledge of Zhaitan.  and the way you've described them they are almost like a Predator type race, in which they hunt for sport.  or maybe they serve a higher power.  both of the other instances of largos can point in that direction.
  • "There's also a largos in Brisban who attacks a group of sylvari wardens without provocation" - the sylvari are a very new race, only about 23 years old according to the roleplay wiki, maybe they were being tested as to how formidable they are by the largos?
  • "there's also the assassination of the Claw of the kodan settlement in Snowden" - The kodan are a very righteous race. honorable and good, but that type of zero compromise can prove as a threat to an authority that wishes to manipulate Tyria.
it seems like ANet is really poisitioning the Largos to be the harbinger of something terrible.

#32 draxynnic

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:54 AM

That doesn't necessarily say they don't know about Zhaitan, simply that they didn't know that Zhaitan would be able to make a Risen out of the krait in question after they'd killed it. Other largos make it quite clear they're aware of Zhaitan.

From the behaviour of the largos in Snowden - if defeated, the largos claims the assassination attempt to be a test and congratulates the Claw on surviving it. So at least some of their attacks are something they regard as tests rather than simple assassination - however, they are tests that are fatal to those who fail.
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#33 Dasryn

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:54 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 27 March 2013 - 02:54 AM, said:

From the behaviour of the largos in Snowden - if defeated, the largos claims the assassination attempt to be a test and congratulates the Claw on surviving it. So at least some of their attacks are something they regard as tests rather than simple assassination - however, they are tests that are fatal to those who fail.

this is simply due to their culture, in which survival of the fittest is their policy.  if you die, its nothing personal, just you werent strong enough to survive.

the fact that it was a test and not sheer bloodsport tells me that arent innately evil.  as for the sylvari getting killed i nthe woods. . . well, maybe the largos or that particular largos, view them as weak. . .

#34 draxynnic

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:52 AM

Personally, I wouldn't regard killing another sapient for failing a test that the sapient in question did not volunteer for as an act of a benevolent or benign race. At best, it's in Well-Intentioned Extremist territory (look it up on TVTropes).

The overall impression I get from them is that it is, at heart, a bloodsport. If the target offended them in some way, it becomes personal - otherwise, a target who survives earns their respect, but at heart, their culture - or what we've seen of it - is one where status is gained by killing worthy prey. Similar to the norn, except that the norn as a rule are a little more selective about who they kill

Now, I wouldn't say that the largos are evil, per se, but as a race they're certainly a long way from good.
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#35 Doctor Overlord

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:54 PM

I have to ask, does anyone else find the largos design disturbing with how it combines sexy and creepy?   The accents add to that not to mention the icy ruthlessness.  Rawr  :)

Edited by Doctor Overlord, 27 March 2013 - 02:56 PM.


#36 Illein

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:09 PM

Best race ever, quite simply. I doubt it'd be a playable race any time soon, but alas, such is life. On the other hand, it might not be that bad, because seeing how Kekai Kotaki made all the bad-ass concept arts, their entire aesthetics would probably be compromised (that and the fact that it'd probably give an uproar of concerned parents/guardians of public morals. ;)

It might simply be my inner Forgotten Realms fanboy speaking - but I completely love their look/habitus.

#37 JaKBear

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:29 PM

View Postdraxynnic, on 27 March 2013 - 12:04 AM, said:

There's also a largos in Brisban who attacks a group of sylvari wardens without provocation (it's the only largos I know of that can be killed rather than fleeing at the last moment), and there's also the assassination of the Claw of the kodan settlement in Snowden. They're a race that hunts and kills sapients for sport, which could hardly be regarded as 'good'. There may be differences in largos society regarding what are and aren't acceptable targets, but having a dislike for krait doesn't mean they're good... it just means that they're smart enough to know that krait are bad news.
Many races hunt. Because one Largos attacks a group of sylvari doesn't mean their entire race is "evil". Several other Largos you meet including Sayeh from the personal story are friendly and have a "good" morale. Azura abducted several sylvari and made experiments on them, and is not considered evil by the other races. Even though some sylvari will never be able to forgive the Azura.

One need to see a bigger picture; perhaps the Largos aren't "good" but they aren't "evil" either.

We know the Largos likes challenges and put it highly in their society; other than that they are merely a mystery at this point.
I think we will know a lot about these deep sea creatures when we are -supposedly- fighting the deep sea dragon.

#38 draxynnic

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 03:59 AM

Some of the discussions with Sayeh point towards her working alongside you now because you have a common goal, but under different circumstances she'd just as happily make you another trophy of her hunting sport, and she herself says that the dictates of the Tethyos Compact specify acting "with honor and without mercy". Honor tempers it somewhat, but I always consider having a rule of your society being to act without mercy to be a danger sign. (Look where that got Abaddon...)

The asura experiments were performed by asura who didn't realise at the time that sylvari were sapient, and by the Inquest (the designated villain faction). Basically, your analogy there is flawed because the majority of the asura have a taboo against experimenting on sapients, and the Inquest is explicitly an evil organisation within asura society. Norn are a closer analogy since they have a similar culture of hunting for individual glory (part of the reason I suspect largos will never be playable - they're too close to the norn) but the norn also appear to avoid including sapients in the list of targets unless it's a challenge agreed on by all parties directly involved, or the target has done something to make them an enemy of the norn. Largos society, on the other hand, sees nothing wrong with attacking sapients innocent of any wrongdoing towards them or anyone else.

Now, there's certainly some variation among the largos, and the largos certainly have some redeeming features (for instance, they won't attack noncombatants) that distinguish them from most races that are labelled as 'evil', but I really don't think a race that explicitly attacks sapients without warning or provocation can be good. Essentially, they're the fantasy equivalent of the Predator from the movie of the same name, and I don't think anyone would call the Predators the good guys... although sometimes they may be allies against something worse.
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#39 JaKBear

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:49 PM

View Postdraxynnic, on 07 April 2013 - 03:59 AM, said:

Some of the discussions with Sayeh point towards her working alongside you now because you have a common goal, but under different circumstances she'd just as happily make you another trophy of her hunting sport, and she herself says that the dictates of the Tethyos Compact specify acting "with honor and without mercy". Honor tempers it somewhat, but I always consider having a rule of your society being to act without mercy to be a danger sign.
That's one interpretation.

Quote

The asura experiments were performed by asura who didn't realise at the time that sylvari were sapient, and by the Inquest (the designated villain faction). Basically, your analogy there is flawed because the majority of the asura have a taboo against experimenting on sapients, and the Inquest is explicitly an evil organisation within asura society. Norn are a closer analogy since they have a similar culture of hunting for individual glory (part of the reason I suspect largos will never be playable - they're too close to the norn) but the norn also appear to avoid including sapients in the list of targets unless it's a challenge agreed on by all parties directly involved, or the target has done something to make them an enemy of the norn. Largos society, on the other hand, sees nothing wrong with attacking sapients innocent of any wrongdoing towards them or anyone else.
Yeah, my comparison was on the edge. The whole point of it, was just to look at other races with different "glasses".

Quote

Now, there's certainly some variation among the largos, and the largos certainly have some redeeming features (for instance, they won't attack noncombatants) that distinguish them from most races that are labelled as 'evil', but I really don't think a race that explicitly attacks sapients without warning or provocation can be good.
Yes, we agree. However I don't think one individual attacking sapients should determine how you look on the race. Yes, one largos attacked sylvari, but we also see largos that don't.

Yes, some largos are "evil", but there is also Nightmare court, Svanir, Ministry Guard, Inquest and Flame Legion from the other races. Again we do not know enough of the largos to determine whether they are "good" or "evil". There could easily be an evil group like the one mentioned above, we do not know yet. But it seems to be the case with almost all the races introduced at this point.

Edited by JaKBear, 08 April 2013 - 03:53 PM.


#40 draxynnic

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:47 AM

Two, actually - there's the one in Snowden Drifts as well. And the general demeanour of the others indicates that this is nothing special - they hunt sapient creatures for glory, and the main things stopping most of them from attacking you is that they're going after some other prey or that you or your allies have done something to prove yourself worthy of greater consideration. Sayeh, for instance, threatens to make the PC her prey several times in Wet Work.

The distinction is that the others are explicitly deviant factions, not representative of the whole*. From what we've seen, though, Predator-style hunting of sapient prey does seem to be representative of largos culture in general. Of course, our sample size is pretty small and it may be overturned by new information as it comes to light, but at the moment we go off what we have.

*I'd also contest the Ministry Gard as being evil. There are certainly corrupt elements in it, but I think there are others in the Ministry Guard who are genuinely looking to do the right thing and feel that's their best place for doing so - it's just that the ones we come into conflict with are the ones that Caudecus is using to do his dirty work.
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#41 Zyamani

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:56 AM

You may want to take note that they aren't attacking Sylvari, they're attacking Sylvari Wardens(trained soldiers) and a Kodan Claw(warleader) these aren't defenseless innocents, they're opponents capable of putting up a fight. The Tengu come right out and say they're eyeing everyone up and deciding what races are worthy of being their allies, who's to say the Largos aren't doing the same in their own manner?

#42 draxynnic

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:47 PM

I've acknowledged all along that the largos don't attack helpless civilians, and this is part of what distinguishes them from races like the krait that can unambiguously be deemed 'evil'. Nonetheless, they are still launching unprovoked surprise attacks aiming to slay unsuspecting victims who did nothing to offend them.

The Predator, from the movie of the same name, is a perfect analogy for the largos - it only hunts those that are armed, albeit while possessing such a massive advantage in technology (including cloaking) that despite being armed its prey really doesn't have a sporting chance. That's largos society in a nutshell - there's no prestige in slaying prey with no capacity to fight back, but the ideal kill is one where the prey never had the opportunity. Now, I don't think there are many people who came away from watching that movie thinking that the Predator was a good guy... and neither are the largos.

Those sylvari wardens you speak of, for example? Yes, in theory, they're armed. In practise, they don't stand a chance unless players intervene (and in my experience it's an easy event to fail if there's only one player intervening, especially if playing a build that relies on conditions for damage and/or damage mitigation) and half of them die being shot from the water regardless... it's only when they pull back from the water and the largos pursues that there's any chance at all.

Now, Guild Wars 2 is a game of complexity and shades of grey, and the largos often do act as allies against worse races - but in my book, a race that builds a culture around killing by surprise and without provocation simply cannot be good. Regardless of whether the target was theoretically capable of fighting back or not. Such a distinction makes them less evil than races that don't bother to make such a distinction, but if you consider that the behaviour of a good race, you must have pretty low standards to consider someone to be a good person. Even if they are doing it as some sort of warped test, at best it falls into Well Intentioned Extremist territory, which I'll point out is normally a villain trope.

Not evil? Maybe. Good? By Dwayna no.
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#43 Dasryn

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:51 PM

in DD terms they are either chaotic good or neutral evil

#44 Zyamani

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:34 AM

Draxynnic, perhaps I could ask you for your example of what races are "good"? Or even good even for a playable race?

#45 draxynnic

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 06:01 AM

There is no race that can be said to be 'Always Lawful Good'. Or neutral or chaotic good, for that matter. That's typical, though - in most settings, the majority of people in 'good' factions tend to be aspiring towards good.

Sylvari of the Dream, however, are probably the race/faction that can most easily be labelled good - they genuinely do what is in their power to help other and wholeheartedly aspire to a code of ethics that promotes righting wrongs and restraining from harming others without really good reasons. Modern Kryta - those not trying to pull down Jennah through morally dubious means - classifies enough that I'd consider modern Krytans to be a good race. They're open and sympathetic towards other races and cultures settling in their vicinity if they're not causing trouble, and while they don't have the altruistic streak to the extent that sylvari do, they do seem to try to do right by others.

Asura, as described earlier in this thread, have taboos against deliberately harming sapients for knowledge or profit except for the designated villain faction. Charr have had a violent history but have largely overcome that, having apparently ceased looking to expand their borders at the expense of everyone else and putting their power towards self-defence and assisting their allies. Norn are the closest in attitude to the largos, but by and large the norn do not hunt sapient prey unprovoked - they will hunt something they regard as a threat, but a norn wanting to test their strength against another sapient being with whom they have no quarrel will generally challenge their target openly rather than attempt to assassinate them.

Of the nonplayable races, tengu, kodan, and quaggan all demonstrate a policy of not attacking those that do not offend them. Even most of the always-enemy races - centaurs, dredge, red-skinned hylek - have reasons for doing what they do that go beyond 'for the lulz' - they see themselves as defending what is theirs or reclaiming it from someone that has taken it. (They may be mistaken in this belief, and they may take pleasure in mayhem as well, but they do have more reasons than the simple joy of the kill.)

Largos society - what we've seen of it - glorifies the taking of sapient life without warning or provocation*. In my mind, that is not compatible with a good outlook.

Now, if the question is one of whether they'll ever be playable... the above isn't really relevant. A race doesn't have to fit the standards of good in order to fight against evil. Evil fights against evil often enough, whether in defending themselves against a greater evil or simply because their objectives are incompatible, and races of similarly dubious morality have been introduced into MMOs before. I do think the largos are less likely to be playable than many people do, but my reasons for thinking that are unrelated to alignment.

*although there does seem to be more honour in slaying a foe that has offended the largos in some manner.

Edited by draxynnic, 17 April 2013 - 06:05 AM.

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#46 Zyamani

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:34 AM

The Sylvari are kind and helpful, with the exception of the Nightmare Court who have their reasons for torturing innocents. Humans are "open and sympathetic towards other races", of course they've been in decline for the past 250 years. The Asura have rules against shall we say inhumane experimentation on sentient life, except when they don't.... Charr are no longer expansionists, the ongoing civil war and occupation by Ascalonian Ghosts might be a factor there. And finally the Norn, who you define as better because of their chosen method of attack? You're saying a thief is evil cause he uses stealth to kill, but a warrior is good cause he charges in shouting?

It seems to me you're fixating on the Largos in the worse possible light without trying to acknowledge a different set of morals than your own. The Largos have shown themselves to be capable and willing allies against the Elder Dragons, they clearly have a set code of honor and likely a moral standard for themselves.

You've fixated on the Largos attacking these Sylvari, who again should be capable of defending themselves, with overwhelming advantage, but 1st aren't all events(design wise) meant to be difficult and therefore likely to fail without player aid? and 2nd who's to say the Largos in Brisbane is associated with any of the others we encounter? Every race, major or minor, has some division in their society, how can you say the Largos of who we know so little aren't the same?

In short its my opinion that the Largos are perfectly viable for a future playable race, both morally and mechanically. However it is far too soon and we know too little to judge them.

For good or ill I look forward to learning more about these silent hunters.

Edited by Zyamani, 17 April 2013 - 08:35 AM.


#47 draxynnic

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:21 AM

Sure, you can find explanations for things, but just because someone has a reason to be good doesn't change the fact that they don't kill people for bloodsport, and just because a race has a few criminals doesn't mean they're representative of the rest.

I'm going to pick out the Norn specifically, since their culture is closest to the largos and makes for the best contrast and comparison. While it depends on the spirit, a typical norn will use all forms of underhanded methods to defeat an enemy that has wronged them or that presents some credible threat to something the norn cares about.

If a norn wants to test their strength against another sapient whom they bear no grudge against, though, they don't do so by killing them out of ambush. They issue a challenge to the competitor and fight it out in an arena - or, if the norn concerned are so inclined, they might arrange a different sort of arena so they can stalk each other. The exact mechanics don't matter - when a norn wants to test their strength against someone with whom they have no quarrel, they give their prospective opponent the option to opt out (albeit not without shaming the challengee, but nobody's perfect), and such challenges are rarely fought to the death.

A largos, though, appears out of nowhere and, if it doesn't turn out that they've underestimated their prey, mercilessly eviscerates them.

That's the distinction. Yes, they have a code of honour that ameliorates this somewhat and restricts them from killing civilians. But is killing someone who is armed but in practise had no chance against you really all that much better? Imagine that you had a relative who was a policeman, and one day someone shot them with a sniper rifle from the top of a building for no reason apart from the bragging rights for killing a cop. Would you then think that someone was a good person?

Largos culture, from what we've seen of it so far, is entirely built around such assassinations. It's not a few bad apples. It's not a set of rules that many aspire to but some flout. Their society, rules, and system of honour is built around finding targets that are theoretically capable of defending themselves, finding a way of killing them at minimum risk to yourself, and doing so, regardless of whether they've ever done anything to deserve it.

Is it possible that the largos in Brisban and Snowden represent rogues? Possibly. But everything we've seen from the other largos suggests that they're entirely representative, it's just that the other largos are chasing different targets. For now.

Edited by draxynnic, 17 April 2013 - 10:23 AM.

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#48 Zyamani

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:11 PM

View Postdraxynnic, on 17 April 2013 - 10:21 AM, said:

Largos culture, from what we've seen of it so far
Exactly my point, we haven't seen or read enough of them to know anything and you immediately assume the worst. What if I had that relative and he was corrupt? Yes as a relative I'd be sad, but society would still be better off after the assassination. I'm not condoning this or anything like this, I'm simply offering the possibility of further reasoning other than "I'm bored"(we certainly have had no indication of bloodlust from them). Do not condemn without first trying to understand.

#49 Trei

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 01:43 AM

Humans like to hunt for sport too, even in real life.

Which trophy would be more prestigious? Rabbit or tiger?

The latter would of course be considered much more honour worthy, but when have a tiger hunter ever announce to tigers that he is coming for them? Call for a duel? Hand to hand with a tiger?

No.
We would stalk the poor innocent cat, try to bring it down in the safest way possible to self, by taking it unawares.

It's a sport.

The largos may simply not regard sentience as highly as we do.
So what if the prey has self awareness? Wouldn't such a trophy be a logical step up in worth from tigers?

Just because their values towards sentient brings are different does not necessarily make them evil.
Maybe they feel they are yet another step above mere sentience.

#50 Kurosov

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:17 AM

View PostTrei, on 18 April 2013 - 01:43 AM, said:

Humans like to hunt for sport too, even in real life.

Which trophy would be more prestigious? Rabbit or tiger?

The latter would of course be considered much more honour worthy, but when have a tiger hunter ever announce to tigers that he is coming for them? Call for a duel? Hand to hand with a tiger?

No.
We would stalk the poor innocent cat, try to bring it down in the safest way possible to self, by taking it unawares.

It's a sport.

The largos may simply not regard sentience as highly as we do.
So what if the prey has self awareness? Wouldn't such a trophy be a logical step up in worth from tigers?

Just because their values towards sentient brings are different does not necessarily make them evil.
Maybe they feel they are yet another step above mere sentience.

Well seeing as concepts such as good and evil are based entirely on morals, yes their contrasting values would indeed make them "evil"

#51 draxynnic

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:36 AM

View PostZyamani, on 17 April 2013 - 11:11 PM, said:

Exactly my point, we haven't seen or read enough of them to know anything and you immediately assume the worst. What if I had that relative and he was corrupt?
It doesn't matter, because the corruption (or otherwise) of your hypothetical policeman relative is unrelated to the reason he was killed. He's just walking down the street one day, and BAM! Shot in the head by someone who cared nothing about who he was or what he did except that he had a weapon at his belt.

Thing is, everything we've seen of the largos indicates that this is what largos culture is about. The degree of honour received for kills is managed by the largos ruling houses, and the largos in Mount Maelstrom tell us that we're lucky they're after other prey or we'd be their prey instead. Unless the Tethyos Houses are the rogue faction, it's the entire largos culture that's built around being the fantasy expy of the Predator species.

@Trei: You have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise you get a situation where any creature that is born a carnivore is by nature evil (clearly silly) or one of total nihilism where good and evil is meaningless and all that matters is whether you have the power and will to take what you want. Clearly, ArenaNet's idea of the Guild Wars universe does not sit at either of these extremes, so you have to draw the line somewhere.

I consider harming and killing sapients purely as bloodsport to be crossing the line. Doing the same for nonsapients is still bad, but not as bad. Either way, it's not an issue to take enjoyment out of a hunt if you have some other reason for it (food, remove a potential threat, and so on)... but the largos don't.

If the largos have a set of morals that allow them to do evil things, that does not mean they get a pass because their morals are different. It means their set of morals are, themselves, evil. (Lawful evil, to be precise, if using D&D alignments.)

Also, as a point of information: Many people get them confused, but sapience != sentience. Sapience is, essentially, possessing human-like intelligence and ability to communicate through language. Sentience is just self-awareness - something that most animals possess.
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