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Inhabiting the Player Character


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Skip the first paragraph if you don't have the patience for context. :p

Rob's (from A Gay Guy Plays) video about "Getting Ready" for The War Within made me think about something that has been kinda bugging me a bit.  I know a few people were really pissed off about the operators, feeling like this was some sort of betrayal because they couldn't identify with the teenage characters (based mostly on their appearance) and therefor couldn't sympathize with them.  While I definitely have trouble identifying with a heavily traumatized thousands of years old teenaged out of control magic space ninja child soldier I can definitely sympathize with them, and have never had a problem sympathizing with characters just because I couldn't identify with them.  I don't have to think of myself as the character to enjoy a game, and despite what Activision for some reason thinks, neither do most gamers.  How do you think Tomb Raider has a male audience?

Anyway, this all brings me around to my main point.  Do you guys identify as the operator?  Do you think of the Operator as the representation of yourself in the game or are they just the character you happen to be controlling as you experience the game through their eyes? ... Or well... a camera magically hanging behind their Warframe's shoulder.

The reason I'd like to know is because right now I don't identify as my operator.  Right now I feel like the operator is this other character who is the protagonist of the story that I'm viewing (based on Eureka from Eureka Seven), and I wonder if War Within will change that.  It's been suggested that you'll be forced to make choices during the quest that will have some sort of actual consequences.  If I actually get choices that would allow me to really inhabit the character I might decide to finally try to make them vaguely resemble some version of myself rather than a favorite character from an anime.  While I don't expect you guys to be able to tell me whether or not War Within will do that for me and I don't expect to get an answer from anyone who could actually give one I would like to know what others think of this topic.

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11 minutes ago, Shoelip said:

 Do you guys identify as the operator

Nope. 

11 minutes ago, Shoelip said:

are they just the character you happen to be controlling as you experience the game through their eyes?

They are vegetables. Optionally mute (thank god!), static, dumb, and ugly like a bag of spuds vegetative life forms that waste one square meter of otherwise useful space.

 

Damn, I just realized that I offended actual vegetables :(

Edited by Teloch
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I identify the Operator as a main character, but I can't go further than that.

I think the big reason being that they don't do anything, and so we personalize ourselves as the cool ninja doing all the work. Quite interesting from a storytelling point of view.

Edited by Beggining
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I must admit that I'm really angry with all this "Operator" stuff (I'm very strict in terms of game immersion like gender choice), but if DE allow us to wear warframes like armor after building them from blueprints as exo-suits I'll be cured :) I have high hopes with this scene from trailer where Tenno is walking through blizzard :)

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Honestly I think it just all comes down to the individual.  Can't say i Identify with my Operator all that much, but then again the lore and quests haven't really drawn me into the game as deeply as a RPG would.  

Yet even then, the reason i say it comes down to the individual, is how not everyone likes, or can get into RPG's that have a voice protagonist, or otherwise a protagonist that has a character already predefined by the game makers.    

If the story and lore for warframe, and the operators can get more fleshed out, and involved, i could see myself getting drawn into identifying with my operator, just as it stands can't all that much.

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i guess im one of those people who didnt really identify with their warframes, mostly because i kinda had it in my head already that there's no one inside the suit and someone is controlling the frames, got that idea mostly from switching frames and some dialogues from the different quests we have before the second dream, so to answer your question

in mmorpgs, most of the time i play a male character, if its genderlocked, i dont play it, not because im sexist or anything, but because when i play, most of the time, i identify myself with the character i am playing, so i always choose a male character, for the features, i just anything that i currently dont/wont have, like a different race, facial hair[i cri myself to sleep], and a really big bulky body, but with warframes, i never really got that feeling of identifying with my frame as stated in my first paragraph, so with the addition of operators, there's now something that i can identify myself with, sure he cant be buff, have facial hair, or be another race, but its "me"

tl;dr: i identify myself as the operator

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6 minutes ago, Tveoh said:

Honestly I think it just all comes down to the individual.  Can't say i Identify with my Operator all that much, but then again the lore and quests haven't really drawn me into the game as deeply as a RPG would.  

Yet even then, the reason i say it comes down to the individual, is how not everyone likes, or can get into RPG's that have a voice protagonist, or otherwise a protagonist that has a character already predefined by the game makers.    

If the story and lore for warframe, and the operators can get more fleshed out, and involved, i could see myself getting drawn into identifying with my operator, just as it stands can't all that much.

Well of course it varies with individuals.  Why do you think I'm asking?  :p

This is my worry.  If War Within does actually flesh out the operator enough that I can I identify as them I'd rather do so, but I can't identify as Eureka from Eureka Seven, so I'd want to change the operator's appearance before playing the quest.  But I won't know whether the quest will do that before I play it and if it doesn't it'll lessen my enjoyment of the quest to be playing some dude who sorta vaguely resembles me rather than my badass and pretty girl who vaguely resembles Eureka.

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I did my best to customise operator in a way that i could identify with him. Or... At the very least sympathise.

The thing is... Warframe is not a game that allows for good identification with your character. I understand that people had it better while Tenno were nothing but silent battle-suits, but ever since TSD when Tenno finally got their own face, voice, and character... 

You see... There are 2 major things that allow players to "identify" as game's character (imagine that you are basically playing yourself): if the game is first or third person and if the playable character has his own personality that he actively puts out there to see.

First-person simply allows for better immersion into your character and the world. Makes all the stakes higher. However: its lack of character's personality that allows us to identify as them. The moment that character gets his own personality - voice in particular - identification is basically impossible at this point and now you are role-playing - taking role of someone else. Mass Effect series are a good example.

Warframe is exactly that kind of game now. Before, when Tenno were just silent battle-suits people had at least something to project themselves on. But now - we just assume the role of operators. Even if their personalities are not flashed out that well and limited to a couple of voice-lines.

One more reason to wait for TWW. Maybe we'll get more insight into Tenno story, what they think of themselves and the world around them. I wonder ifnour operators will talk during the quest? Not just in general, but in dialogue with others. Much like we talked to Lotus at the end of TSD.

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On my part, yeah, my char is me as I'd be in this world. Even though there are some of the recorded sentences that I wouldn't be saying. 

We lack a lot of informations on our operators backstory aside from the tid  bits we received from the devs, Zhariman, Ballas, Margulis,  etc... For now out chars aren't all that much developed and I hope that TWW will give us more to build upon. 

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Yeah, my Operator is absolutely my player character. I don't exactly 'identify' as him, I don't literally think that he's 'me, but in Warframe's universe', but he most certainly is the player character, my point of view character, the character I inhabit, the character I chose and shaped* for this exact purpose, and whose story I am telling/being told.

 

I am really looking forward to new dialogue options which will hopefully come with War Within, and to being able to use the Operator as my default body for walking around my ship, at the very least.

 

 

*I am entirely aware that Warframe's full character creation/customisation suite is not spectacular compared to some other games, but I do most definitely hope for the ability to make choices about Operator dialogue and attitudes after War Within. I want a brooding space samurai mech pilot, DE. That's what I'm here for.

Edited by BornWithTeeth
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I am no magic space teen. I am the White Void. I am the Cold Steel. I am the Just Sword. With blade in hand shall I reap the sins of this world and cleanse it in the fires of destruction. I am Hakumen. The end has come!

I forgot the punchline...

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29 minutes ago, Artek94 said:

I did my best to customise operator in a way that i could identify with him. Or... At the very least sympathise.

The thing is... Warframe is not a game that allows for good identification with your character. I understand that people had it better while Tenno were nothing but silent battle-suits, but ever since TSD when Tenno finally got their own face, voice, and character... 

You see... There are 2 major things that allow players to "identify" as game's character (imagine that you are basically playing yourself): if the game is first or third person and if the playable character has his own personality that he actively puts out there to see.

First-person simply allows for better immersion into your character and the world. Makes all the stakes higher. However: its lack of character's personality that allows us to identify as them. The moment that character gets his own personality - voice in particular - identification is basically impossible at this point and now you are role-playing - taking role of someone else. Mass Effect series are a good example.

Warframe is exactly that kind of game now. Before, when Tenno were just silent battle-suits people had at least something to project themselves on. But now - we just assume the role of operators. Even if their personalities are not flashed out that well and limited to a couple of voice-lines.

One more reason to wait for TWW. Maybe we'll get more insight into Tenno story, what they think of themselves and the world around them. I wonder ifnour operators will talk during the quest? Not just in general, but in dialogue with others. Much like we talked to Lotus at the end of TSD.

Well it's been confirmed that the opperator will have several hours of new dialogue.  Of course it's not clear if they meant hours across all operator voices or actually hours per operator voice.

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1 minute ago, Shoelip said:

Well it's been confirmed that the opperator will have several hours of new dialogue.  Of course it's not clear if they meant hours across all operator voices or actually hours per operator voice.

Their actual quote was something like two hundred hours of dialogue. Now....let's halve that and say that they end up scrapping a lot of it, unusable, not what they were looking for. That leaves us one hundred hours. Now, divide by four, as there are four voices. That gives us twenty-five hours.

 

Let's take off the equivalent of, I dunno, ten hours of potential quest-specific dialogue.

 

That's still a massive amount of Operator dialogue holy crap.

 

 

 

Unless, of course, I misremember. Can anyone recall the exact amount of recorded dialogue they said they had to work with?

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55 minutes ago, Varacal said:

in mmorpgs, most of the time i play a male character, if its genderlocked, i dont play it, not because im sexist or anything, but because when i play, most of the time, i identify myself with the character i am playing, so i always choose a male character, for the features, i just anything that i currently dont/wont have, like a different race, facial hair[i cri myself to sleep], and a really big bulky body, but with warframes, i never really got that feeling of identifying with my frame as stated in my first paragraph, so with the addition of operators, there's now something that i can identify myself with, sure he cant be buff, have facial hair, or be another race, but its "me"

tl;dr: i identify myself as the operator

I have the same rules, because if I can't "project" myself (gender, body build) into the game, nothing will lure me into it, not even the best story ever or most shiny things or original concepts. That's why I play only with one kind of warframes (Ash, and now Loki), as only they are "fit" in terms of body build and "class". I don't care about other frames, especially "female" ones, despite the fact that Ivara suits me the best (but it's "female", so nope). TSD solution is alienating for me, thus I hope for real exo-suit warframes :)

Edited by Valorosus
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Why should I identify with any video game character? When I'm playing game and making choices it's not me living through these events or making said choices but protagonist.
I don't like mute protagonists, and even less those without backstory. Give me full-fledged character to lead, not a hollow puppet whose strings I'll pull. It can be man, woman, black, white, fully customizable or not, I don't care.

As for my opinion on Operators, they aren't that bad. They aren't really children, most look and sound like 16 years old at least. Their slim bodies are likely result of spending past thousands of years in stasis. Only things I really don't like is that amongst decent line we have abominations like "You'd think they'd clone something a little less... ugly"

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I love the lore immensely for this universe, but I can't say I 'identify' as any characters in any games really. Now, I can't say that I identify specifically with the Operator themselves, but I would agree that you can see a player's personality through their customization of the Operator. And the choice of Focus power, and through their Warframes and weapons and playstyle. Maybe less so if the player is one of those that only care about meta, but even then you learn about their personality because of preference to be the strongest and win rather than purely by enjoyment of the tactics and style of a given piece of gear.

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16 minutes ago, Slaviar said:

Why should I identify with any video game character? When I'm playing game and making choices it's not me living through these events or making said choices but protagonist.
I don't like mute protagonists, and even less those without backstory. Give me full-fledged character to lead, not a hollow puppet whose strings I'll pull. It can be man, woman, black, white, fully customizable or not, I don't care.

As for my opinion on Operators, they aren't that bad. They aren't really children, most look and sound like 16 years old at least. Their slim bodies are likely result of spending past thousands of years in stasis. Only things I really don't like is that amongst decent line we have abominations like "You'd think they'd clone something a little less... ugly"

Suspension of disbelief.  You're supposed to suspend your disbelief for the sake of your own enjoyment.  I mean, you're already playing a game about magical space ninjas so why not pretend you're a part of it?

Oh and don't get me wrong.  I actually have a similar build to the operator for a change.  That's not why I can't identify with them.  It's because I can't actually choose actions for them that I would take. 

I didn't identify with the character in GTA 3 because even though they were mute because they took actions I wouldn't take, showing an independent personality.  I also couldn't sympathize with him because he didn't have a personality beyond his actions.

Edited by Shoelip
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13 minutes ago, Shoelip said:

Suspension of disbelief.  You're supposed to suspend your disbelief for the sake of your own enjoyment.  I mean, you're already playing a game about magical space ninjas so why not pretend you're a part of it?

I never identify with video game characters. Never ever. I may build their personalities by choosing certain paths and responses to be closer to mine but it's never me.

So far, Warframe's characters are very simple. Which is not necessarily bad

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A lot of interesting replies here. I don't really view myself as the Operator, even though I modeled it to vaguely resemble me: I've found more entertainment in viewing myself as the hypothetical (though I believe it) suppressed sentience in all the Warframes the Operator controls. I read a post here a while ago about someone viewing the Operator as someone they were "protecting" and watching out for, and that's pretty exciting to me.

I do enjoy the concept of the Operators as teenagers with horrific experiences. But I prefer a pretense wherein I'm still the Warframe, as far as creative liberty-ized lore will allow.

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2 hours ago, Shoelip said:

Anyway, this all brings me around to my main point.  Do you guys identify as the operator?  Do you think of the Operator as the representation of yourself

Other way around, when I play Warframe I play it as my Tenno, I adjust my decisions to align with the motivation I think my Tenno should have. Right from the very beginning (Way before the second dream) the player was addressed through the perspective of a singular, persistent character who was referred to as a "Tenno" so that's what I played the game as.

The Second Dream just gave us the opportunity to assign a voice and a face to that character.

Much in the same way my "Commander Shepard" wasn't me in mass effect, I just made decisions the way I wanted/expected "Commander Shepard" to act.

This is why I don't care for "What Warframe will you be using in TWW"-like threads, because my Tenno would use the right tool for the mission be it rifle, pistol, melee or warframe.

Edited by SilentMobius
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3 minutes ago, SilentMobius said:

Other way around, when I play Warframe I play it as my Tenno, I adjust my decisions to align with the motivation I think my Tenno should have. Right from the very beginning (Way before the second dream) the player was addressed through the perspective of a singular, persistent character who was referred to as a "Tenno" so that what I played the game as.

The Second Dream just game us the opportunity to assign a name and a face to that character.

Much in the same way my "Commander Shepard" wasn't me in mass effect, I just made decisions the way I wanted/expected "Commander Shepard" to act.

This is why I don't care for "What Warframe will you be using in TWW"-like threads, because my Tenno would use the right tool for the mission be it rifle, pistol, melee or warframe.

But Valkyr is so clearly the answer to that question!

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4 minutes ago, Shoelip said:

But Valkyr is so clearly the answer to that question!

In what way?

"Valkyr" Was a single Warframe (that may or may not have had an active Tenno at the time) that was vivisected by Alad V and ultimately escaped with either an active Tenno or under the Warframe's own steam. Each player-Tenno then defeats Alad V and builds their own jury-rigged Valkyr Warframe from the data Alad-V gained.

How does that answer anything?

Or are you just saying that you'd use Valkyr?

Edited by SilentMobius
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I recognize and identify, to a degree, with both the Operator and my Warframes as the player character, given their propensity for autonomous movement and their unique "personalities" given off by their idle animations.

Edited by Gelkor
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2 minutes ago, Gelkor said:

I recognize and identify, to a degree, with both the Operator and my Warframes as the player character, given their propensity for autonomous movement and their unique "personalities" given off by their idle animations.

Personally I wouldn't call once maybe removing a sword their chest by themselves a "propensity" but I guess we'll see come TWW.

Also I see the stances the same way I might swagger a bit more when I'm dressed up and wearing my good boots vs moping around in a hoodie rather than indication of identity.

But thats just me.

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