Inhabitants Overview DissectionBioWare recently revealed a new section of the HoloNet titled Inhabitants. This section of the Star Wars: The Old Republic official site is dedicated to the NPCs and mobs we will encounter in-game, broken up into three subcategories: Creatures, Droids, and Humanoids. In addition to new screenshots and animations, each entry contains few paragraphs dedicated to the mob's defining traits and features. We took a closer look at the writing on these pages (both English and Aurebesh), picking specific statements that inspired gameplay speculation.
After examining the Inhabitants section, we concluded this area of the HoloNet pertains to non-player characters only, and is restricted to introducing mobs, companions and potentially friendly NPCs. One observation that stood out to us was that none of the the Humanoids shown are seen in distinctive class specific gear, much like the Deshade companion we saw last fall. This is important because we repeatedly see BioWare and LucasArts' marketing making a distinction between players and non-player characters. This decision was made to specifically avoid confusion in the community, and the Inhabitant section appears to continue this trend. When the non-human player characters are revealed, they will almost certainly be clothed in the distinctive class outfits we are accustomed to seeing.
Additionally, the screenshots for the Humanoid species lack the facial customization indicative of the human PCs. The faces in the images for the Trandoshan and Gormak lack any differentiation from one to the next, which is against the player-customization message BioWare and LucasArts focus on. If these species were indeed playable, then we would expect to see a variety of faces in the released media.
Since it is unlikely that every creature, droid, and humanoid species in the game will be listed in the Inhabitants section, we conclude those mentioned must be notable or significant in some respect. These pages are full of clues pointing towards future companion characters and other beings that could be pivotal to a player's personal story. We need to wait for more information, but it would be folly to discount this enhanced bestiary as a simple mob list.
"They filtered for such traits as extended and naturally sharpened claws, ultra-keen senses, tremendous jaw strength, and a vicious demeanor."
The "sharpened claws" and "tremendous jaw strength" could be simple nods to the abilities and attacks we will see when fighting Salkies. Unfortunately, there is not enough information for us to speculate on how this particular feral combat style will effect players. On the other hand, the "ultra-keen senses" point towards a large aggro range or high stealth detection. This focus on mob perception is a recurring theme throughout the Inhabitants section.
"...their vicious instincts were impossible to contain. Even when ordered by their masters to simply restrain, Salky Hounds attacked their targets with lethal force."
This implies a "berserk mode" or "enrage" style of attack. Additionally, if some mobs in The Old Republic do flee from combat, Salkies probably will not.
"Several criminal and mercenary organizations have purchased the Salky Hounds. Rumors suggest some of these dangerous beasts have even been purchased by entities on Coruscant."
We should see Salky Hounds in criminal zones across the galaxy, such as the gang ridden lower levels of Coruscant. By explaining this creature's distribution in the lore, BioWare supplies a reason for this mob type to be used in multiple locals as opposed to being limited to one planet of origin. This is important because it shows they are justifying their placement of mobs as opposed to simply reusing assets to save time.
"This would be highly illegal as Salky Hounds are banned from the Core Worlds."
This quote is probably a hint that some quest line will involve NPC targets being arrested or attacked because of their illegal hounds. It also supports why players may discover this mob in areas dominated by criminal activity.
Vertical, Left: Rancor Personality Genes?
Like much of the Aurebesh contained in the Inhabitants section, this phrase suggests a broad range of speculation. In addition to reinforcing the ferocity of this species, this could also be implying a story line involving either the creation of this species or possible behavioral similarities with Rancor.
Vertical, Right: Beware of Dog
This humorous line supports this species lore based dispersion as guards, and could be seen as a friendly reminder to anyone looking to take on a criminal base.
Horizontal, Right: Justicar Contract
Almost certainly a story hint, this could be suggesting a number of narrative paths, missions, or quests.
"Gundarks are more notorious for their speed and brutality; it's the agility and ferocity combined with that strength that makes them so deadly."
This seems to be a description of mob abilities and combat style. It makes Gundarks sound difficult to hit in combat as well as quick to engage players, possibly making them hard run away from. The multiple crowd control abilities utilized by the player classes will certainly be needed if Gundarks do end up being fast, tenacious foes.
"For centuries, Gundarks have been among the most ambitious targets sought by big game hunters."
This could be a nod towards a Bounty Hunter quest line. We already know the Bounty Hunter story involves the "Great Hunt," and although many assume this involves hunting only sentient targets, it may also include the more difficult feral creatures like Gundarks.
"...what makes these creatures exponentially more difficult to kill is that they often nest together and even when they leave the nest, they almost always travel in packs.
Here we see BioWare restating the view that heroic combat involves NPC groups being comprised of multiple targets. Much like the justification for the Salky distribution, this shows BioWare's desire to support their gameplay choices by weaving it into the story and lore of The Old Republic.
"The final note on Gundarks is to beware of their heightened sense of hearing. Many a Bounty Hunter has learned all too late that the only safe way to take down a Gundark is from a long distance.
In addition to supporting the idea that Gundarks will be involved in a Bounty Hunter quest line, this quote points out their ability to notice threats using their advanced sense of hearing. Much like the Salkies, this could be directed towards aggro range or stealth detection. Additionally, the specific focus on hearing could be implying multiple forms of detection beyond just a simple "see/don't see" mechanic. For example, a Smuggler or Imperial Agent using a "stealth belt" would be invisible to most target's eyes, but not to a Gundark's ears. Unfortunately there is not enough information for us to know if this implies multiple forms of detection or simply a lore based justification.
Vertical, Left: Drooga the Hutt
Similar to the Justicar hint on the Salky Hound page, this suggests a quest or storyline link. There is a very good possibility this will be an NPC encountered by players, however there isn't enough enough information to conclude what the Hutt's connection is to the Gundarks.
Vertical, Right: Sithspawn
This word could end up being very important to the Gundark species and story. The current Star Wars lore does not comprehensively state where or how the Gundarks originated, with previous records only going as far back as the Clone Wars. By connecting the Gundarks to Sithspawn, BioWare and LucasArts maybe implying that the true origin of this unusual creature will be revealed in The Old Republic.
Horizontal, Right: Dromund Kaas
Although mentioning Dromund Kaas is not shocking in and of itself (each screenshot shows Gundarks on a different planet), it could be very telling when you connect it to the Sithspawn Aurebesh. As we learn more about this species, and possibly it's origin, their connection to the Sith and the dark-Force tainted Dromund Kaas will almost certainly be revealed.
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