Medi

The Issues with Vulpkanin (They Make No Sense)

Recommended Posts

NOTE: I am not writing this out of hate but out of a desire to fix the race so that they're not just "dog people". 

 

So I have an artist friend who deals a lot with animals, anthropology, and such and I asked them to draw my character. When attempting to explain what a Vulp is, I used the Wiki article and that's when we both discovered that there are some things that definitely need explained if this race is going to be anything other then "Dog Person". I have a background in medicine so we put our heads together and came up with a few things to point out.

 

  • Based on their anatomy and physiology we determined that prior to NT finding them they were likely a hunter-gatherer society that likely had some amount of farming capability but primarily relied on tools and ambush tactics.
    • This idea is supported by the fact that they have low light vision, opposable thumbs, and plantigrade feet which would not make them very fast in comparison to something like an actual dog.
    • Their ribs are apparently fused in a web-like lattice structure. This structure, we deduced, has to be relatively flexible not only to suit their ambush tactics but if it was rigid, they'd have more 'barrel chested' appearances. Additionally, having this lattice like structure would actually give them more blood flow then a human (as humans have bundles of veins and arteries tucked under each rib in a small notch) since blood flow can go and reach just about anywhere in the chest cavity without major obstruction.
      • This would require them to have rather tough lungs to help push up against their own chest.
    • As far as organs are concerned, it is noted that they have two primary differences to humans: 1. A two chambered stomach. 2. A 'special' liver.
      • Ill discuss these later.
    • Their face will have to have center focused eyes (like a human) that don't offer as great of a field of vision as a prey would have. In addition, due to their overall structure and nature they can probably smell very well but at the cost of requiring them to have strong muzzles. Their jaws, on the other hand, don't need to be as strong nor do their necks as they don't appear to need to be able to hold thrashing animals in their teeth, thus their teeth aren't too tough in comparison to humans.

 

Here are the things that we feel need to either be clarified or otherwise changed as to make the race actually make some means of practical sense.

  1. If Atlam was a temperate world, why the increased blood flow to the ears? You wouldn't need greater thermo-regulation in a temperate environment, regardless of how 'big' their ears are it's otherwise excessive. If you're saying it's an evolutionary adaptation, it's been about 4 generations since they've moved and become space fairing, that's very fast evolution by anyone's standards and while variances in height might be possible in that time, developing entire networks of collateral blood flow in ears to accommodate space?
     
  2. Color blindness and correction. The reason why a lot of creatures are colorblind is because they've got an advantage in light conditions that we as humans (who see more color) don't have. Most wild animals are able to see in low light areas which increases their ability to hunt. As we already mentioned, we're pretty sure that they were ambush predators who relied on hunting so them having relative color blindness in favor of low-light visibility makes sense. What doesn't make sense is if it's later corrected, they should, in theory, lose the ability to see in the dark as effectively as they previously could. Possible solution: Only one eye is usually fixed. The brain will be able to bridge the gap and fill in the color blindness while also allowing them to retain their low light visibility.
     
  3. Chest cavity. Due to how their chest is made up, it's got to be more flexible then a humans. This would be a lot more akin to our floating ribs due to their overall requirement of flexibility and allowing expansion during inhalation. The ribs, in conjunction with the muscles of the chest, would support them taking breaths in and would also do decent jobs protecting their chests from slashing damage but would be relatively shit at protecting them from blunt trauma. This is due to the fact that, unlike a human's semi-rigid chest thanks to the presence of a sternum, they have nothing but a flexible chest that prioritizes supporting their stream-like design rather then being protective and thus take more organ damage from blunt trauma.
     
  4. Organs. While their heart is likely 4 chambered, lungs will have to be different in the sense that they're more tough and able to support moving their chest in a uniform motion as they draw in a breath. Otherwise, the muscles on their chest have to be rather significant as they're always relying on these (what would be to a human 'accessory') muscles to help move their chest in a meaningful way. Additionally, their stomach is two chambered apparently? We actually figured this is reasonable if they're able to consume raw meat. We're aware that creatures like bears are able to do both with a single chambered stomach but we realized that while the stomach is very strong in a bear, it requires a ton of intestines to help support its large structure as the whole system is generally inefficient when compared to the relatively compact design we're going for here. Thus, the stomach should be noted to probably be able to handle raw meat a lot better then most other crew members could be able to. What about the specialized "vulpkanin liver" as when a vulp is gibbed, it's even denoted as such? Well that thing has to support a very fast metabolism which makes since with the +11% loss to hunger. In turn, medications, toxins, and food should all be processed quickly though the body but remain for very brief amounts of time. For example, if you give a vulp and a human the same med: The vulp will have the medicine activate sooner and end sooner then the human would by a significant amount. This means that vulp may require more medication to heal them then most crew.
     
  5. The issue with the tails: Since they're plantigrade creatures they are able to enjoy all the benefits that humans do with their hands and feet, like the ability to be bipedal, climb, pick things up, wear clothes, etc. Since their so plantigrade why have the tails in the first place? Tails are usually used as a means of providing some amount of balance to a creature as it moves in some form or fashion. Cats use it to turn while running and falling. Now, their tails do have some use in the way of communicating in their language as well as playing a role in their overall body language. Where this doesn't make sense is that their tail has a similar bone structure to a limb rather than a usual tail? Monkeys, dogs, cats, etc all have tails that are essentially part of their spines and play an active role in such. They are, thanks to their spinal nature, light weight and generally easy to control in some form or fashion. Vulps apparently have a bone structure more akin to a limb? For a vulp to wag their tail as they do in game, that means that we know it's at least greater than one to two bones (likely closer to around three to six at least) because the more long bones present, the less flexible and able to 'wag' the tail. This means that not only is their tail Heavy due to the bone presence but the flexibility required to communicate would be staunched greatly. Simple fix: have it as a part of their spine. Makes it light weight, non-weight bearing (can't pick shit up with them), but able to be controlled to some degree that would make it essential for communication.

 

Simple fixes: Amend the wiki and potentially give them more organ damage as a result of blunt trauma to the chest. 

Edited by Medi
  • Like 1
  • stunbaton 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Point 5 was super interesting as I had not thought of that.

But yeah, if they are plantigrade why do they have tails?  After walking upright, apes lost their tail, as it created problems.  It actually created a bunch of problems, considering how skeletons work.

A possible reason to keep the tail would have been balance, but we solved that with plantigrade feet.

#removevulptails2019

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Allfd said:

Point 5 was super interesting as I had not thought of that.

But yeah, if they are plantigrade why do they have tails?  After walking upright, apes lost their tail, as it created problems.  It actually created a bunch of problems, considering how skeletons work.

A possible reason to keep the tail would have been balance, but we solved that with plantigrade feet.

#removevulptails2019

If it was spinally based then it would make Some sense given that its part of the language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, but its a very big cost and that cost would be felt likely before language was created.

Staff chat has been talking about the cost, but um.  I will leave players to determine what it is on their own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Allfd said:

Sure, but its a very big cost and that cost would be felt likely before language was created.

Staff chat has been talking about the cost, but um.  I will leave players to determine what it is on their own.

Simply amending a lot of the wiki would resolve this and maybe adding organ damage to brute chest trauma. It would make them more alien.

As far as tails are concerned, if it's a part of their spine it would be light enough to work I believe.

  • fastparrot 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having gone back to talk with my friend about this, these are the following suggestions:

1. Amend wiki for ears and eyes.

2. Brute chest trauma = light organ damage. 

3. Either digitigrade (remove ability to wear shoes and give them the foot wraps except for things like mag boots etc) or remove tails. 

4. Amend wiki in regards to their culture and such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creative and realistic ideas, but ultimately I don't see it happening; mainly just because people who play vulps like having tails and a variety of footwear. That and getting organ damage, which requires surgery or mitocholide to fix, from just taking chest damage from anything seems like it would just be really annoying. Flashes damaging eyes hurts enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, rb303 said:

Creative and realistic ideas, but ultimately I don't see it happening; mainly just because people who play vulps like having tails and a variety of footwear. That and getting organ damage, which requires surgery or mitocholide to fix, from just taking chest damage from anything seems like it would just be really annoying. Flashes damaging eyes hurts enough.

Frankly, as someone who plays a vulp, I don't think they'll mind the footwear thing too much. It wouldn't be the greatest sin.
Also with the organs? It's light damage, I'm asking for realistically 3-5% with Heavy brute damage. If some greytide wacks you with a pack of cigarettes it shouldn't pop a lung. Now if you took a tool box to the chest, I think a small amount of organ trauma in the chest is both realistic, non-debilitating, and fair. In all honesty, your chest is more likely to be cracked then your organs compromised from the trauma in the long run.

Plus, given the differences, toxin damage to him lasts a lot less long so the trade-offs kinda work anyway.


The whole flash thing, I discussed it and if anything you could reduce that if they accepted my suggestion of the whole "one eye" fix.  I think my biggest deal was just giving Vulp some love when you compare it to literally any other wiki, especially the Vox. The Vulps are written off as "Here have a space dog" while the Vox have this intricate system (that doesn't delve too deep into their actual biology but thats okay) for their entire wiki's basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Vulpakin are magnificent beings...." 

Tetra Vega whimsically states while twirling her hair seemingly lost in her thoughts.

 

Edited by ZN23X
  • stunbaton 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! As the original creator of the species it should be noted that none of the lore that has ever been posted for vulp was written by nor approved of by me. Even the name of the race wasn't intended to be what it is. Vulp got merged in too quickly when they weren't close to being finished and there was a sea of drama surrounding their implementation that lead to the choice to back off and let things settle as there was a chance they would be outright removed. I did not want to risk wasting time on something that was going to be slated for removal.

While I had no say in anything regarding the current lore and am unsure who all worked on it or why they made the choices they did I can at least comment on some of my intentions for the race and a bit of explanation on what my original goal was for them.

- Vulp are not plantigrade. They have digitigrade legs but this is not reflected in their sprite and that choice to have plantigrade legs for their sprites was one made to allow vulp to wear any clothing humans could with the only things requiring editing being headgear/masks that cover the muzzle/ears. This was a design choice made to ensure vulp did not generate needless sprite bloat. It shouldn't be reflected in their lore.

-Vulp tails cannot grasp things and are meant to help with balance and aid in communication. (is that actually in vulp lore? okay then.)

-Colorblindness, not at all something that I think makes sense for the race. This was something added later when people really tried to make them more like dogs and that's something I personally was trying to avoid. It makes no sense to demand a race be "more" alien but to then add more things that make it seem less so.

-Chocolate was never poisonous to vulp and it shouldn't be since that just further tries to make them more like dogs and less their own thing.

Ultimately people who were uninvolved with the creation of the race made their own lore without any idea of what the original plan/goal was for them. It was just people being particularly unwilling to wait for the dust to settle and pushing their own ideas through and now we're stuck with it. I honestly just ignore vulp lore because I find it really silly and boring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly - what I'd want is the re-adding of dietary mechanics for Vulpkin and all races. Partially for 'flavor' and realism, the other part to give the chef something to do and have to serve more types of food.

Vulps are supposed to be carnivores only, just like Unathi, but dietary mechanics in game are turned off. That and making chocolate poisonous to vulps would be GREAT.

Edited by Rebel0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Rebel0 said:

Vulps are supposed to be carnivores only.

That and making chocolate poisonous to vulps would be GREAT.

No they're not.

And they're not supposed to be earth doggos. 🙂

 

Also, not sure why you think the diet mechanics are not on? As far as I am aware there has never been a PR to remove/disable them. You can still eat things that are not within your diet, you just dont gain nutrition from it.

Edited by FoS
+more info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, FoS said:

No they're not.

And they're not supposed to be earth doggos. 🙂

Given what you said and, from what is apparently a bastardized version of the original concept boiled down to what would have made sense, I see no reason not to push for some kind of reform since they're popular enough now. Done correctly, I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to implement at least some of the ideas.

I get your core concept though: They're not space/earth doggos and that's why I am trying to diversify them and making them more 'alien' in nature.

 

That being said: give some bullet points to things that you feel are practical and could change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, FoS said:

No they're not.

And they're not supposed to be earth doggos. 🙂

I mean, to an extent. They are based off earth doggos in looks. But it would make sense since the Wiki even says they 'resemble' Earth's canines but are structurally and organically different. Still would make sense.

On Oracle code they were allergic to chocolate and I found it to be interesting and fun - even when playing as a Vulp. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ZN23X said:

"Vulpakin are magnificent beings...." 

Tetra Vega whimsically states while twirling her hair seemingly lost in her thoughts.

 

I appreciate how OP made an extremely detailed and intricate post on how to make vulpkanin more realistic and you just have ZN in the corner silently mumbling about vulp.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just trying to have a little fun folks.

Unathi have the same problem with thier tails. I think both would look really weird without tails. Some stuff in fantasy and video games doesn't make sense when applied to reality. Could find plenty of stuff like that in this game.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, ZN23X said:

Just trying to have a little fun folks.

Unathi have the same problem with thier tails. I think both would look really weird without tails. Some stuff in fantasy and video games doesn't make sense when applied to reality. Could find plenty of stuff like that in this game.

Well, per the apparent creator they're suppose to have digitigrade legs so that would make sense for them to have tails it's just a bit harder for them to wear shoes is all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are designed to look like characters commonly depicted in the "furry" fetish art community. I believe that certain individuals affinity for this art movement was the impetus for adding this particular race to the game.

All the descriptions of weird organs or anatomical features are afterthoughts, it is a way to retrofit this "furry" stock character into a sci-fi setting. 

Let us imagine me creating a Head of Security outfit based on Tom of Finland drawing, i would then need to craft a justification for this being in the game, just adding some bluespace mumbo-jumbo in the description might be enough if the maintainers are receptive and i am in good standing with the community.

Edited by Kryson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Kryson said:

They are designed to look like characters commonly depicted in the "furry" fetish art community. I believe that certain individuals affinity for this art movement was the impetus for adding this particular race to the game.

All the descriptions of weird organs or anatomical features are afterthoughts, it is a way to retrofit this "furry" stock character into a sci-fi setting. 

Let us imagine me creating a Head of Security outfit based on Tom of Finland drawing, i would then need to craft a justification for this being in the game, just adding some bluespace mumbo-jumbo in the description might be enough if the maintainers are receptive and i am in good standing with the community.

Well, obviously. While I don't believe this is entirely true it's a factor. However, from a gameplay standpoint that doesn't justify non giving them diversity from other species on the station. I don't need bluespace mumbo-jumbo to justify a description as there are some biological necessities.

Just because they're depicted to look like 'furries' we are suppose to not care about them at all? That doesn't seem to make a ton of sense. Look at the Vox for example: They're crazy space birds. They've to a ton of justification to them. We didn't just call it at: "Here have a bird person" and walk away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Medi said:

Well, obviously. While I don't believe this is entirely true it's a factor. However, from a gameplay standpoint that doesn't justify non giving them diversity from other species on the station. I don't need bluespace mumbo-jumbo to justify a description as there are some biological necessities.

Just because they're depicted to look like 'furries' we are suppose to not care about them at all? That doesn't seem to make a ton of sense. Look at the Vox for example: They're crazy space birds. They've to a ton of justification to them. We didn't just call it at: "Here have a bird person" and walk away.

Adding onto this, I think everything (or mostly everything) sci-fi in SS13 has the same excuse. Portals? Bluespace. Bluespace? We found it. Nanotrasen? Plasma. Plasma? Space... And you could go on and on, because almost everything in this game is nonsensical and whacky with little explanation. Why does a company have a team of essentially terrorists to kill their employees and destroy their assets if "it's too far gone"? Because. Why are assistants, bartenders, cooks, etc on a research station? Because. Why are we still here? Just to suffer.

  • Like 1
  • honk 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had to stop by to address point 2:

That's part of the design rationale behind my original implementation of colourblindness on the race, you take it you get 8 darksight, you don't and you get 2 (standard) darksight

Now I just feel nobody's got no idea what it's all about so we just wing it, IMPROV FTW

Edited by KasparoVv
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the one who wrote the current lore, I feel I should chime in here.

First note, the current species lore were written well after any of them were added to the game, as part of a single project to revamp the lore. The dust had long since settled (well, as much as it was ever going to. Vulp's addition to the game was before my time, even)

My intent had also been to make them less "dog people" and more alien, though I could only get away with so much. Couldn't change their name from a mashup of Earth words for dogs. One thing that eventually got axed was that their integument was chitin rather than keratin (got changed to fibroin, but that's still different than dogs). I'm all for things to make their biology more alien, and not just "dog." Plantigrade was already established and I had no argument there because I thought it helped better distinguish them from dogs (and from the other "animal" aliens who by lore are digitigrade).

I do object to the suggestion that we drop their tech level down to hunter gatherer though. We have too many races already who were pre-spaceflight until they were subsequently discovered and exploited by NT. People already constantly complain that vulps are too similar to Tajarans

Edited by HugoLuman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, HugoLuman said:

As the one who wrote the current lore, I feel I should chime in here.

First note, the current species lore were written well after any of them were added to the game, as part of a single project to revamp the lore. The dust had long since settled (well, as much as it was ever going to. Vulp's addition to the game was before my time, even)

My intent had also been to make them less "dog people" and more alien, though I could only get away with so much. Couldn't change their name from a mashup of Earth words for dogs. One thing that eventually got axed was that their integument was chitin rather than keratin (got changed to fibroin, but that's still different than dogs). I'm all for things to make their biology more alien, and not just "dog." Plantigrade was already established and I had no argument there because I thought it helped better distinguish them from dogs (and from the other "animal" aliens who by lore are digitigrade).

I do object to the suggestion that we drop their tech level down to hunter gatherer though. We have too many races already who were pre-spaceflight until they were subsequently discovered and exploited by NT. People already constantly complain that vulps are too similar to Tajarans

I mean, you can expand upon that to state that they're more akin to our modern setting, hunting and trapping with more advanced means like firearms and such. I think for their species to make sense in the grand theater of what's going on, space flight needs to be something that is out of their reach or something they don't practice. The reasoning for this is that it really enhances the whole concept of Why they weren't around sooner without making them like the Unathi and xenophobic. If anything, NT can be written in as being beneficial to the survival of the race as they would likely have to assist in some capacity with them relocating (for the modest fee of their continued services).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now