So… parts of the Mechagnome questline dialogue have been datamined:
The story of the dialogue seems simple enough: Gnomes and Mechagnomes meet, talk, and the Mechagnomes help with saving Gelbin from his pod, as we kind of expected. During the operation they discuss things and decide to keep the changes to a minimum… but it sounds like Mekkatorque will still get some Modifications that are needed for medical reasons.
The Mechagnomes ask around and are quite impressed by what they hear other gnomes say about Gelbin as a leader. In the end they decide that they want ro reunify the gnomish people - under Mekkatorque, who accepts.
It’s… better than I feared. Far from making unmodified gnomes out to just be inferior Mechagnomes, it actually discusses the value of imperfection and empathy. Indeed, I think it’s Mechagnome fans (if there are some) that might feel more slighted here. It’s their way of live that is put into question, not the one of normal gnomes, and it’s their leadership that bows to others, not the normal gnomish one.
As a fan of normal gnomes I very much appreciate that. But I do have my nitpicks:
- Gnomish rulership:
At the behest of Prince Erazmin, it is my privilege to be able to announce the ruler of an undivided gnomekind–Gelbin Mekkatorque, King of the Gnomes!
“King of the Gnomes” was supposed to be a bit of an ironic title, because the feudalists of the Alliance would understand that better than the concept of a leader elected by some voting body for his engineering prowess.
That’s one of the very, very few facts we actually have about gnomish society. I certainly hope this doesn’t change that, and that the “King of the Gnomes” stuff is still just shorthand. But it doesn’t look that way.
So… that’s a disappointment. Though not a final one, yet.
- Balancing Tech:
Just a little turn here and he could have sharp strategic mind, and then a little to the left - and he could have incomparable logic. Imagine the possibilities…
Some of that I can account for in my modifications, the rest seem extraneous to the process. We have a singular opportunity to perfect him - body and mind!
Mechagnomes have the tech to modify anyone, in any way they please. Body and mind. That’s really powerful. I’m quite sure that power will never really be relevant, but it raises the tech level once again. This one was expected, of course, but it’s still worrying for the game feeling really cohesive. Certainly not the only worry in that regard, but one more.
Not a fan of the gnome leader as a cyborg, really. I do hope they don’t overdo it. By all means, give him some 7of9-like facial features and a glowing power core at the chest, or something, but please, please, please leave it at that. The mecha-limbs of the Mechagnomes are horrible.