WARNING: The wall of text below is not liable if it hits you for 999999 damage and you die. If you don't feel like reading my reasoning, skip to the bottom for the summary.
So I lost internet access for four months between April 30th and August 30th, and when I got back the Caitians were released. I wanted to jump for joy. Finally I would be able to play normally, 7 months later. I had been patiently saving the (Now discontinued) retail code bonus 500 + 400 Cryptic Points for having bought CO and STO. I know registering one gave 500 and the other gave 400, but not sure which was which. Unfortunately the patch size was a bit big and I knew I would not make it in time to buy them during the sale. I almost gave up hope of getting them cheaper, but then I had the idea to get it on another computer. We downloaded the game at my friend's house, I loged in from his place, and got the race along with the 21st Century "standalone" costumes before the sale ended.
Everything is peachy right? No, it isn't.
I soon realized that the race requires making a new character to use. That would have been otherwise all fine and dandy, but Caitians have very limited (To my standards, having been used to CO and the elaborate customization system) options and don't allow for having hairless skin or humanoid hair. I waited patiently for this race, not leveling much in the event that we would need to make a new character. I would have been perfectly fine with making a new char as long as I could have more control over the looks. And if that failed I expected to have tails, "head ears", and body hair unlock for Aliens. I mean why not right? I unlocked access to the race, so I should be able to use the look on Aliens right? Aliens are designed for hybridizing races right?
Wrong. My entire character concept is ruined. I wanted to play either a Caitian that looks like a cross with a Human or an humanoid Alien that looks like there's Caitian heritage. But no, it didn't unlock for the Alien Creator either and now I either have to stick with my Alien as is or give in and use the race as is and give up on a hybrid character concept.
Can't there be a third option? I know I'm not the only one who would like a character to have hybrid heritage, and the only way to do this would be if buying a race unlocked it's race-specific "costume pieces" for Aliens on the same account. Surely a Human can fall in love with a Caitian or a Klingon can fall in love with a Caitian? The Alien creator allows for a Human-Vulcan look, why must CStore purchased races be different? Why do any non base races not unlock features for Aliens? Real life isn't cut and dry with Caucasians always falling in love with Caucasians, why should a game be so?
Surely there's no intergalactic ordinance that says members of different races can't get together, fall in love, and have a baby that has characteristics of both? I seem to recall a lady in one of the seasons that was half Klingon and half Human. Did I dream this? My memory of the canon and what characters were where is fuzzy, but surely there were characters in the ST canon that were hybrids?
I don't think asking for this is outside the scope of the canon the game is based on, is it? Purchasing a costume set for CO unlocks it account wide. It's just a slightly different implementation here. STO has both purchasable costume options and purchasable races, but what are we really getting when we buy a race? It's pretty much an advanced costume set. This is purely for aesthetic purposes and doesn't give Alien characters any actual gameplay advantages, so nobody can argue the game would be unbalanced if Alien characters could use any unlocked uniforms or race looks they want. The Alien Creator is a great feature, but the inability to use all unlocked costume options severely limits what kind of "hybrid" characters can be made.
I sent a PM to Matt about this and he is yet to reply to so I thought I'd post a thread and see what others think. Maybe he or other staff will notice and explain why this is not so, and when it will be possible.
So to recap, here's what I'm requesting:
I respectfully ask that a race unlocked on the account should unlock it's race-specific parts for use on Aliens on the account. It's only fair. In comparison, unlocking costume pieces in CO finally became account wide a while back, so why limit race "costume pieces" on STO to new characters only? If I have access to the race, I should be allowed to use the pieces on an Alien, or it's not truly allowing us full use of the race. This is purely for aesthetics and making an Alien incorporate Vulcan ears (Which is currently doable IIRC) or a Caitian tail grants absolutely no gameplay advantages over other players.
i totally agree 100% - it's only fair, we could use the c-store race parts on aliens, please make it so cryptic! This would definitely give a boost to buying races from c-store. Having all available options for aliens would be very nice and probably some members would buy races just for the diversity!
Well, the counter argument is that then every single character would be an Alien, with 4 choosable traits, and no one would use the various races as intended.
Personally, I don't really care, but that's a consideration.
Except, you will miss out on the specific race traits - you can make a trill using the alien parts (granted, they look kinda human) but you wont get the 'joined trill' trait, which is pretty damn cool. Same goes for other species.
I certainly think we should get c-store race parts for use on aliens. Only other problem I see is that you could use alien parts to make BOffs look like c-store races - which cryptic for some reason doesn't want.