The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Mr._Jiggles on July 30, 2005, 01:28:15 am

Title: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Mr._Jiggles on July 30, 2005, 01:28:15 am
Well, how come after you give ZEX the beast and he dies, wouldn't the VUX attack you. Plus when i go back to it, noones guards it.

Also, when you first meet the ZFP they have an infinite amount if ships on their planet, but yet they need ur friggin help to kill a 1 kohr-ah which 2 ZFP stingers can destroy with a good pilot.

Those are 2 aspects of game play i don't understand.....

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Art on July 30, 2005, 10:13:00 am
It's. A. Game.

The "game world" mostly exists in the writing -- the way the ships actually work was often programmed long before the details of the race conversations were thought up, and the actual mechanics of game interactions are incredibly simple. Don't ask things from the game it can't deliver. Hell, many times when you talk to a random VUX ship the pilot picks up your conversation from last time as though it were the same guy, even if you *killed* the last guy you were conversing with. It's not really supposed to make sense, and the game pokes fun at its own hokeyness many times.

That said, I *can* provide in-game answers to your two questions:

1) The VUX are *already* hostile to you. They attack you whenever they see you. They have no way of actually tracking you through hyperspace, and you never let them know where your starbase is, so how could they mass a fleet to track you down and kill you? If you haven't noticed, *no one* ever tracks you down and kills you in the game -- it seems to be very difficult, if not impossible, to track a ship through hyperspace, which is why no one does it, including the Ur-Quan when they're desperately trying to eliminate you -- and it's similarly why *you* can't do it and so finding the location of a race you've never met, like the Supox, is damn hard without in-game hints from conversations -- which is why the 3DO version is harder than the PC version.

Also -- come on. You get the hint pretty strongly that the VUX don't like ZEX, at all. He's a huge disgusting pervert to them -- you get the idea that human-philia is as horrifying to them as having sex with babies or dead bodies would be to us -- and the reason they let him live is because even their own rather corrupt sense of honor won't let them kill off someone who saved their slimy green asses over and over again in the War, and now he seems to have made it pretty clear that he's retired and he intends to be of no further use to them.

They were willing to spend the resources to give him his *own damn planet* just so they'd never have to talk to him or deal with him again. If they're so willing to avoid contact with him that they'd buy him a planet and an entirely independent bodyguard and staff, they're probably not keeping that regular tabs on him, and they're probably not going to be too broken up to find out he's dead. Notice that the VUX who tell you about him don't seem to know anything about him or what he's doing -- I seem to recall they tell you to look for him at his planet "if he's still there", and so on.

2) Well, infinite fleets are only infinite for *game* purposes; I don't think we're really meant to think that a planet could have thousands and thousands and thousands of ships around it and only send out, like, twenty to scout the surrounding area. They just didn't want to implement the icky mechanics of you beating a planetary fleet and then blowing up cities and capturing prisoners and all the other stuff that planet-based warfare would entail.

That said, I think this quote answers your question perfectly:

"they need ur friggin help to kill a 1 kohr-ah which 2 ZFP stingers can destroy with a good pilot. "

Do you see *any* indication that *any* of the ZFP are good pilots? This is the species that just made interstellar contact a few years ago and had no experience with space warfare till the Ur-Quan started kicking their asses.

And what do they tell you when you beat the Kohr-Ah?

"Captain, it is clear that in matters of war you are more capable than ourselves. With this in mind, we would like to give you our four finest starships and crew. I hope they bring you many victories.... Try not to lose them all right away."

Yep. Not much confidence there....

Besides, you really must have done a *lot* more practicing than i ever did if you managed to take down a Kohr-Ah Marauder with 2 Stingers. I've played the game a lot and I still can't use Stingers to do jack squat. They get scrapped and the ZFP put to work as redshirts on the Vindicator in all of my games.

...Along these lines, I think it's possibly a point of intentional irony that the Spathi Eluders are clearly powerful enough to destroy Dreadnoughts by the score and that the obvious, only reason they lost to the Kzer-Za is that they surrendered before firing a shot. Goes to show ya.

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Arne on July 30, 2005, 05:24:34 pm
Stinger can be pretty good, like all ships can in certain situations. It's far from useless anyways. I've destroyed a Skiff, Jugger and Podship with a single Stinger. AI Juggers and Skiffs dun react in time so you can just lick 'em to death before they have a chance to blink. Stinger vs Mycon is more interesting. AI 'Za dreadnoughts are a bit retarded and tend to launch all their fighters, which fall prey to asteroids and the Stinger 'tommygun'. Then you just lick it to death. They state in the dialogue that the 'Ah ships has given them more trouble, and it makes sense. The Marauder is harder to defeat with a Stinger, but 10-20 ships could probably do it even with amateur pilots.

Judging from some of the dialogue, it seems 'Ah has approximately 400 ships and 'Za has 266 (Sunflare got 'over a hundred' ships, which was 1/3rd of the 'Za fleet, which initially was same as the 'Ah). I'd assume that ZFP has something like... uh 20-40 ships (wild guessing based on vague dialogue stuff). It's possible that it took several 'Ah ships to destroy the ZFP fleet, and only one Marauder survived, but that's not really suggested by the dialogue: "The black ship appeared in orbit several days ago and began raining down bolts of destructive energy on the surface of our planet!"

The infinite starships at homeworld thing is most likely just a gameplay thing to prevent the player from tampering with the story too much.

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Captain_Smith on July 30, 2005, 05:45:37 pm
"they need ur friggin help to kill a 1 kohr-ah which 2 ZFP stingers can destroy with a good pilot. "

yeah actually for storyline considerations the capabilities of any of the AI pilots don't match with the game.  Like in this case, I got so I could do it with 1 ZFP...but other cases:

The Chmmr talk up their ships against both Quans, but if you're even any good you can take out fleet after fleet of both of them with either the Utwig or Supox while a single Chmmr doesn't last that long.  But if you look at the dialogue both of those races describe "little success" against the Quans.  Yet allied and Chmmr forces defeat the Quans at the end of the game.  Whaaa?  Basically don't look at the script of the game as if it implies anything given what you can do against the AI.

They don't let you take over planets for game mechanic purposes.  Or actually they didn't code for it.  But having colonies under your thumb would probably throw game balance way off.  But even though, I've imagined many times sending my fleets of landers down and chopping the cities to ribbons as I bring the people into submission.  ;D

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Mr._Jiggles on July 30, 2005, 08:08:45 pm
Chrispy is gonna hate this but i find killing the supox easy with a stinger.  One lick destroys a supox blade. I mean the AI for the supox is so bad its retarded. ZFP can easily take out a supox. I once took out 6 blades before having to use escape pod for my stinger.

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Death 999 on August 01, 2005, 07:09:36 pm
I'd bump up the numbers of Ur-Quan ships. After all, that would make the Sa-Matra bodyguard a significant fraction of the entire fleet.
Now, go into random star systems in Ur-Quan space and clean them out... you're going to find more than hundreds of ships. I think the low-mid thousands would fit better.

Some people at SpaceBattles had an argument over this, using the suspension of disbelief method. Unfortunately, they chose to suspend disbelief on the "Infinite Ships" element, thus coming up with, well, MILLIONS of ships, which is pathetic.

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Arne on August 01, 2005, 11:28:59 pm
When the Ur-Quan were entering our home star system at Gamma Serpentis we had a thousand starships prepared to defend our home, BRAK!!

A million tongues of fusion fire spread through the star system devastating the inner system planets, but incinerating ALL the Ur-Quan vessels! In that moment, the Hierarchy's war fleet was reduced by almost thirty percent.


Or at least, they caused it to flare like a nova, destroying the many hundreds of Hierarchy vessels that had invaded our system to enslave us Shofixti.

The resulting storm of solar flares cooked the life off the Shofixti homeworld and incinerated over a hundred Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts which had just entered the system to conquer the Shofixti.

the Shofixti caused their sun to explode in a colossal supernova destroying the entire planetary system, and not incidentally dozens of Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts! (Snork-snork-snork!)

(So it's many hundreds (over 300?), or over a hundred (lower than 150) or 'dozens' (24-48 maybe?))

[...] however we did eventually develop tactics in conjunction with the Utwig that were effective against them. We destroyed dozens of their battleships!

(This was enough to tilt the balance, but is it just the Supox alone or both the species?)

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Art on August 02, 2005, 08:11:59 am
The number of encounters the game randomly generates for you in space isn't that much more realistic an indicator of what the story-universe is like than the number of ships the game throws at you from a homeworld.

As we can see from those quotes, the dialogue isn't always consistent, but the game does give off the aura of having one ship be a whole lot of firepower, relatively speaking. You're supposed to take it as a great diplomatic gesture when a race donates four ships to your cause rather than a blowoff. The intro text in the SC2 manual depicts an encounter between a single Earthling Cruiser and Androsynth Guardian as a pulse-pounding disaster. Large numbers of ships are, as the quotes show, regularly referred to as "hundreds" or even "dozens". Most telling is the way things work in SC1, where only a handful of ships constitute "control" or "domination" of a sector and where building a single ship is a really big accomplishment that requires several turns of mining planets.

From a suspension of disbelief perspective it's just a stretch to imagine that a universe where battles are conducted between millions of ships at a time -- or even thousands of ships at a time -- could turn on the actions of a fleet of six or so ships, even if one of them is a crazy big flagship. For one thing I choose to believe that "real" combat in the SC2 universe is pretty similar to the combat mode in the game, which means that ships close to short distances and duke it out one-on-one, which would be almost impossible to arrange in engagements of hundreds of ships at a time but makes sense if most planets keep fleets of a few hundred or so and only send out ships in groups of two or three at a time on missions.

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Death 999 on August 02, 2005, 04:44:02 pm
If you have a few hundred ships at your planet, why send only two or three out on missions?

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Art on August 03, 2005, 11:20:27 pm
Because in a galaxy torn by war and conflict your highest priority is protecting your planet?

Also, possibly, because of the costs of supplying a ship with fuel to extend its range. Keeping a fleet in orbit above a planet probably costs a great deal less than sending that fleet ranging about the galaxy.

After all, in our world, only a small percentage of our military is ever deployed on active duty during peacetime. It's important to keep things in reserve so you can readily respond to new threats that crop up.

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Megagun on August 04, 2005, 11:39:27 am
Maybe, the "infinite ships" just mean "a hell lot of ships", or "nearly infinite ships if you look at a planet's production".... Last one meaning that.. well.. planets should be able to produce ships like a madman...

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Novus on August 04, 2005, 03:15:12 pm
I always took "infinite ships" to mean "enough ships to allow the guys on the surface to get production going on building new ships quicker than they are destroyed long enough for reinforcements to arrive, when motivated by an insane guy with a small fleet demolishing one ship at a time".

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Chrispy on August 04, 2005, 03:30:11 pm
I always took "infinite ships" to mean "enough ships to allow the guys on the surface to get production going on building new ships quicker than they are destroyed long enough for reinforcements to arrive, when motivated by an insane guy with a small fleet demolishing one ship at a time".

To bad the earthlings didnt have that going for them in the first conflict.

Title: Re: ZEX Fleet & ZFP Fleet
Post by: Arael on August 10, 2005, 01:00:33 am
Naaah, Ur-Quan, despite their territoriality, prefer multi-player cooperation ;D