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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Kohr - Ah Crew on: June 09, 2006, 03:33:33 am
You're assuming that the Builders and Doers of the Slave Empire aren't better at tolerating cramped conditions than those "effete bureaucrats and scientists".
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A random thought about the Kzer-Za on: March 27, 2006, 06:45:00 am
I don't see why there's any reason to think that the fighters must be remotely piloted, since the crew lost/regained thing makes *way* more sense if you assume the crew leaves on the fighter. Why is a crew member "useful" when he's not piloting a fighter *before* the fighter blows up, but then no longer "useful" and now counts toward how long the ship has before it explodes? Not that the abstraction of crew = HP makes much sense in the first place, but it makes a lot more sense if you assume it's literal, and take the game at its word when it says that something that makes the ship lose crew literally causes it to lose crew (launching a fighter, launching a Space Marine, abandoning ship for a Syreen call).

In any case, I don't see why it's necessarily true that remotely piloting the fighter is a better explanation for the clumsy fighters than the simple explanation that Ur-Quan Lords don't want to give their slave races too much power and purposely made the fighters as crippled and cheap as they could.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: The Captain's wife??? on: December 07, 2005, 02:56:52 am
Not true. It actually happens quite a bit that one offspring looks a lot like one parent and another looks like the other parent. The way physical traits get passed down is not homogeneous at all. Ever seen a Punnett square?
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: SC3r plot idea #690340 - No new alien races - No "Accept this or Die" on: November 09, 2005, 05:41:19 pm
Just a comment on a few things:

I have little time as I write this, and will probably comment on everything else said here later on..
There is actually quite a lot known about the Keel-Verezy. At least their outline: they might have very damn good cloaking technology (check the Melnorme text: they say that "you nearly collided with a Keel-Verezy") or something else which renders them unnoticable.. Same goes for the other races: their outline might be a bit known, and a lot of their history certainly is... I think it's better to create an identity for those (and thus give the player at least SOME familiarity over them) than to create new races. In my opinion, everyone wants to make their races too special, too interesting, and only THEY want to have total control over it, and are probably the only ones that show interest to that race. Example? I wrote up a race of my own one day, thought it was great, but apparantly, others didn't think so... Not having new races also allows us to develop on the existing foundation of "old" races...

Okay, but if you create a Keel-Verezy race that's not much better than creating an all-new race. In fact, it's worse, because you're still spinning most of the details of the race out of whole cloth while at the same time undermining what *was* cool about the Keel-Verezy in SC2 -- their mysterious nature. The cool factor was that it was creepy for the Melnorme to mention that they existed and then refuse to say any more because it would "...disturb" you, to give no explanation of why you almost crashed into their vessel ("Oh. Never mind.") or to explain what pronouns like "he/she/they" mean.

If you were to go in and explain all that, it'd have to be *really* damn good, because otherwise you just ruined one of the cool unexplained patches in the SC2 universe for nothing.

Along these general lines -- some mysteries are cool because they're mysteries. Having a fully fleshed out Melnorme culture and civilization would, I think, suck. Giving a long-winded and fully explained backstory for the Arilou would suck. Even if the Orz play a bigger *role* in the sequel, actually explaining, in detail, with lots of pseudoscientific terms, where the Orz came from and what their motivations are and how their powers work, would suck.

The worst impulse in fanfiction is to, rather than create something genuinely new and interesting, first try to flesh out everything in the original that the creators *deliberately* left shadowy and vague. Which is always, in my opinion, a mistake.

New races are a good thing -- if there aren't new races, the feeling of expansive empty space, of exploration, of discovery from the original is completely gone. No new races could also be a good thing, if you really wanted to focus deeply on the conflicts and development of a few preexisting races from SC2. But the in-between of new races that have the same name as cameo races from SC2 is a very bad thing.

What people don't seem to get is that SC2 was good because you had so little idea of what to expect, because it felt like you were wandering in uncharted space and might stumble upon *anything*.

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Anyone here thinks that new races are a must for a new Star Control game? I myself wouldn't mind it too much, but I fear a new Star Control game might --WITH new races-- go way too far out of hand, Timewarp style..

Just because I'm not a huge fan of Timewarp's plot doesn't mean I think it's "out of hand". A Timewarp-like thing is the only reasonable way to do an SC2 sequel -- new ships, new voices, new monsters. Otherwise you might as well just play SC2 again.

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I'd actually prefer if the Ilwrath and Thraddash were dead, if only because most treatments I've seen of their future are kind of hokey. (I mean, they're both evil and warlike and kill things. It makes it really easy to use them as uninteresting thugs.)
The thing that made the Ur-Quan interesting, was their whole doctrine, and whatever they believed. They were totally evil, yet they still had another, different side, which you got to find out. So "evil and warlike" can definitively give you a good and interesting race, with a nice plot! Would you think that -if they got a good plot- they would be allowed to not be dead?
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You'd have to uncover really interesting secrets about those two races for it to be worth giving up the time and space to them that might otherwise be used on new races. I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying that their being dead might be more interesting than their being alive and rehashing the same roles. For that reason I fully support TFB's decision to kill off all the Androsynth from SC1. (Remember that SC2 *itself* is a sequel and might serve as a model for good things one ought to do with a sequel.)

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No flight to the Magellanic Clouds? I like that better than the Ur-Quan randomly hanging around inside the Doctrinal War battleground. They were only their to have their fight in the first place -- they'd be rather foolish to just stick around after seeing the Sa-Matra destroyed and taking the full brunt of the Chmmr's forces.
Think Kzer-Za style.. They just lost a war, and now they're being attacked.. It's not their *style* to Spathi their way out of something. If it was their *style* to do that, they would certainly have sent their Battle Thralls to attack the Kohr-Ah.. Also, they themselves gave other races an option when they conquered them. Enslavement or Fight with them. That proves that they do believe in "if you lose a war, you're being left as a pet of the winners of that war". In this case, the Chmmr/Alliance won the war, and they lost it... They would likely admit their defeat, as they did with the loss of the Doctrinal Conflict..
...either that, or there's a hole in this theory...
And if you *really* want a lame way to keep the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za there, just let the Chmmr surround their whole SoI.
Hmm. A little quote from the Ur-Quan:
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Human? You are a fool! Why are you still here?
Flee!... before the Kohr-Ah find you!

Why should we run away?
Because you are doomed if you remain here!
Our Doctrinal War is over. We, the Kzer-Za, have lost.
RUN HUMAN!
Because if you do not run -- do not find somewhere to hide and nurture your species
you are extinct, and we, who have tried to protect you
are now powerless to stop the killing frenzy of the Kohr-Ah.
Looks as if they accept their loss of the war, right? Maybe because that is because it's a war between Ur-Quan species, but still, it looks as if they surely would accept a defeat and go with whatever their "masters" say... At least the Kzer-Za species, right?
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I feel like this whole bit deeply oversimplifies the Ur-Quan.

But, in any case, 3DO ending, dude. It's canon, whether you choose to accept it. (Even the PC ending gives the impression that the Ur-Quan are pretty much dead as a military force shortly after your actions at the Sa-Matra.)

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Why do the Spathi acquiesce so easily? Why don't they demand that the shield be reinstated? They seemed really in love with that thing, and they spent a lot of time making it.
Think about it.. What would you, or any Spathi rather be: locked up and pretty damn safe, or free and safe? Besides, the Earthlings are sort of their heroes, and I bet even they have this liiitle bit of honour left...

Earthlings? Their heroes? WTF? *Zelnick* is *Fwiffo*'s hero, and that's it. They never lose that sort of xenophobic contempt for you after you bully them into joining the Alliance.

You have the Spathi read wrong, all wrong. "Honour left"? Earthling honor means a little -- or should mean as little -- to them as the Ilwrath glorification of mutilation and pain means to us. So does freedom. Their actions up to this point are evidence enough of that.

Look -- They *put the frickin' Slave Shield up themselves*! Not because they were afraid of the Kohr-Ah -- they knew *nothing* about the Doctrinal War -- but because of the "Ultimate Evil", which is nebulous and imaginary and has no evidence for its existence! And at the time they were under the protection of the *Ur-Quan*, whom they had every reason to believe was the most powerful force in the entire galaxy!

Damn straight a Spathi would rather be "trapped" and safe rather than free, especially since I doubt being on Spathiwa counts as "trapped" for a Spathi -- they'd spent generations trying to get back there, after all.

Think about the trouble they must have gone through to *create* that shield and *put it up themselves* -- why would they be anything other than royally pissed to have you take it back down, *especially if it means forcing Spathi to fight in yet another war*? Frankly I don't find their point of view that alien at all; from the perspective of the self-preserving coward, the Chmmr in this scenario are horrible, imperialistic monsters. They would bow under and agree to fight out of abject fear, sure, but they wouldn't be happy.

In fact -- I'm now thinking that a good (Timewarp-inspired) plot would be the Spathi repeatedly re-shielding themselves, and you having to keep going back and un-shield them again.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: SC3r plot idea #690340 - No new alien races - No "Accept this or Die" on: November 07, 2005, 08:46:55 pm
I don't want to be a jerk, but writing an outline of a plot and asking people to make a whole game out of it is likely to be even less well-received than the usual "cool idea for a UQM feature that y'all should implement" requests.

Even so...

Star Control 3 - the REAL sequel - SC3r plot #690340, unless I missed a few.. Contact me if that is the case.. Tongue
v0.2 - needs more stuff to be explained, etc. This is just a draft! Not even complete yet!
----------------------------------------------------

*snip*

 Instead, i'd like to spark some more activity about a sequel. Also, I thought that people were slowly getting sick of the SC3 races, and the "new races" that were to be part of a sequel (think Timewarp plot.. While there are some nice ideas floating around over there, I do not think everyone likes new races as much as the writers themselves do. Maybe that's where the SC3 guys went wrong?)... There are still a few "untalked to" races, though, but they already existed. Think Keel-Verezy, etc...

I'd actually rather see interesting new races than see attempts to create an identity for "mystery" races like the Keel-Verezy. Remember that the majority of the SC2 races were "new" races in SC2, and that TFB wasn't afraid to do serious violence to the situation that existed in SC1 -- right up to the point of having the bad guys win the war! -- in order to make SC2 interesting.

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# Quick Setting Details (about dead/not-dead races, etc.)

*Ilwrath dead? NO! (see below)
*Thraddash dead? NO! (see below)
*Ur-Quan Kzer-Za/Kohr-Ah dead? NO! (see below)

I'd actually prefer if the Ilwrath and Thraddash were dead, if only because most treatments I've seen of their future are kind of hokey. (I mean, they're both evil and warlike and kill things. It makes it really easy to use them as uninteresting thugs.)

I don't think anyone ever thought that the Ur-Quan would be extinct at the end of SC2. Irrelevant, maybe, but not extinct.

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*Pkunk and Yehat have the same SoI, which is pretty large, and they both "live" there (both their ships are there).. Pkunk rank less in numbers, though...

This is basically what I think everyone imagined for the Pkunk/Yehat.

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*The Spathi are BACK. (see below)
*NO NEW RACES!!!!! However, some of the "old", minor non-SC2 races that were slaveshielded "out of the quadrant" by the Ur-Quan have small Spheres of Influence now, and you can actually talk to them, and have fights, too, etc.. They're not nessecarily NEW races, but they ARE new to the player.
--Possible races: Androsynth, Chenjesu, Mmrnmhrm, Faz, Keel-Verezy, (Mael-Num), (Precursors), ("They"), Taalo.
--Races that are "dead" but not in SC2:  (Dnyarri), Androsynth, (Precursors), Algolites, Burvixese, Chenjesu, Drall, Dramya, Gg, Yuli, Yuptar, Zebranky.

See... it makes more sense that there should be random races out there that you haven't met yet than that, for instance, there should randomly be un-Processed Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm out there, or that you'll randomly run into the Faz. (Though I do like the Faz = Utwig theory I've heard.)

Mael-Num are Melnorme, by the way. That's fairly strongly established.

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About the non-deaths of aliens: they're not dead, no.. But they ain't living either.. The Ilwrath and Thraddash have SoI's that are.. well. TINY (think Arilou-sized, or even smaller).. A few of their race survived, and they're SLOWLY regaining their population numbers.. Throughout the game, you'll see their SoI's expand...  Also, the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za have a ZFP-sized SoI somewhere in their old SoI.. The Kohr-Ah have an SoI that's of the same size, just next to the Kzer-Za's one. Their SoI's do NOT lie near the remains (dust) of the Sa-Matra. That place is secured by an Alliance party... The Ur-Quan species, too, will slowly get a larger SoI. Also, Chmmr forces have an extra SoI that completely overshadows Kzer-Za/Kohr-Ah SoIs..

No flight to the Magellanic Clouds? I like that better than the Ur-Quan randomly hanging around inside the Doctrinal War battleground. They were only their to have their fight in the first place -- they'd be rather foolish to just stick around after seeing the Sa-Matra destroyed and taking the full brunt of the Chmmr's forces.

But thinking in terms of Sphere of Influence is problematic anyway. I'd really prefer a sequel that didn't do that but actually charted what species control which specific star systems and where the species' actual fleets are at any given time.

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Actually, it's an Alliance SoI: they're sometimes being backed up by other Alliance races (you'll see a few Cruisers flying around, etc). The name of this SoI, is therefore, "Alliance Peacekeeping Party", or something along those lines... Mostly Chmmr forces still, though... Why, you ask, are these Alliance dudes here, and why didn't they just kill the Ur-Quan? It's not something they'd do, really, even when the Ur-Quan were REALLY evil. This way, the Ur-Quan will still live, but they're closely monitored by Alliance forces.. If they do ANYTHING illegal, they'll be punished. The size of this Alliance force decreases overtime, until certain stuff happen that allow it to get larger/smaller (people leaving back for home/joining
in).. More on that later.. This is just the settingstuff, after all...

Ugh. No. Allowing the Ur-Quan to have their own little area of space to do whatever the hell they feel like in -- with their own ships and Starbases and whatnot -- is just asking to be the victim of a massive surprise attack.

The Alliance may not hold with genocide, but massive invasion, conquest and internment of the Ur-Quan population, followed by long-term, enforced rehabilitation, is very much their style in a case like this -- in fact, it's the *only* sane thing to do. If they're capable of continuing the war at this point they'd be fools not to press on until complete victory, after they've seen what the Ur-Quan are capable of.

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Also, about the spathi being back: their slaveshield got cracked by the Chmmr (imagine the horror in the eyes of the Spathi! Tongue), which are now also camping near Spathi homeworlds, to protect them from stuff happening.. In fact, the cracking of the shield was a mistake.. More on that later..

I have no objection to this. It's frankly what I would expect from any sequel -- the Spathi are too popular to shelve.

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About the SoI's of "dead" races (Thraddash/Ilwrath): WHY? Well, it's pretty hard to COMPLETELY kill an alien race, right? Some must have survived, and settled near their old homeworld...

No... why should it be pretty hard? The Kohr-Ah do it all the time. The Thraddash *told* you they have enough nuclear missiles to wipe off all life from the surface of their homeworld -- I can easily picture the Ilwrath doing a saturation bombardment of the Thraddash homeworld and the Thraddash turning around and launching some kind of HyperSpace-based attack that targeted and destroyed all life around the Eye of Dogar.

Sure, there might have been ships that escaped the final conflagration, but the attitude of both races would very much lead them to sacrifice themselves if possible in the final battle. And, anyways, I doubt Ilwrath or Thraddash vessels are like Shofixti Scouts, meant for long-term self-sufficient survival the way Tanaka's ship was. Without homeworlds they'd likely starve to death and die.

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The starmap is also enlarged. Maybe the UQM quadrant takes up 30% or so of the new starmap (where the UQM quadrant lies in the lower left corner of the new starmap). So yes, you'd be able to visit the old races again. No more new homeworlds, unless someone's old one has been wiped out, har har har...
To allow new mining minerals, the Planet Lander MK II will be equipped with a driller. This will make you able to get more minerals from far beneath the surface. Unfortunately, it WILL take a while to drill. So don't drill in a bad neighborhood!

Oh, and ofcourse some of the lifeforms on planets reproduced...

This is all reasonable. I'd actually like a mining subgame that was deeper even than simply incorporating vertical movement. Something where the world felt like the surface of the world and not just a map.

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# What happened after...

Well, so, you basically have the Sa-matra, that exploded, leaving a nice ring orbiting Delta Crateris V (and some nice burn spots on the planet's surface).. Immediately after the event, Alliance forces began securing the areas around Delta Crateris, while most of the Chmmr fleet began destroying Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts and Marauders which were supposedly trying to escape the area, hoping to establish a new colony somewhere far, far away... The battles were fierce, and both sides lost a considerable ammount of ships and crew...

Meanwhile, Earth's slaveshield was cracked by the Chmmr. Leaving a few Avatars behind, they soon left to crack the "slave"-shield around Spathiwa. They were unable to contact the Spathi on the surface (blame them for giving away that Hyperwave 'Caster!), but they thought that the Spathi would appreciate their doings, anyways. While they were cracking the shield, Spathi all over the surface ran towards the safety of their homes, fearing that The Ultimate Evil had arrived, or maybe even the Ur-Quan, to punish them for cowering out of the Hierarchy... The Chmmr -who soon noticed their mistake- left another small defensive force back at Spathiwa, to protect the Spathi -who were now again free, and decided that they would help the Alliance with their further doings- from any harm.

Why do the Spathi acquiesce so easily? Why don't they demand that the shield be reinstated? They seemed really in love with that thing, and they spent a lot of time making it.

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Zelnick decided to lay low for a while, living part-time on both Gaia and Earth, to recover from his wounds and memories... And ofcourse to have "some fun" with Talana...

Few years and millions of casualties later (most on Ur-Quan side), the Chmmr announced a council for all the leaders of both the old Hierarchy races, and the Alliance races at the Chmmr homeworld: Procyon II. There, the future of the quadrant was to be decided... The remaining Ur-Quan forces were to release all of their slaves immediately, and retire back to their new homeworlds: **((ALPHA LENTILIS))** and **((BETA CANCRI))** ((NOTE TO SELF: CHECK OUT THOSE STARS AND FIND A SUITABLE PLANET)).. Incidentally, these homeworlds have a lot of "free hyperspace room" next to them, which makes for an easier quarantining mission.

Enh, okay, I might buy it. I still think allowing the Ur-Quan to have their own civilization, even with boundaries drawn around it, is tantamount to suicide.

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A few years later (2163?), the Chmmr sent out an exploration party (read: large fleet) to explore the Coreward area (the area the Rainbow worlds are pointing at).

<<MORE STUFF THAT HAPPENS HERE, BUT THIS IS MOSTLY "INTERESTING HISTORY" OR SOMETHING? ANYONE GOT SOME IDEAS? PLEASE MAKE IT SOMEHOW REASONABLE FOR A RACE TO DO THAT. LIKE DON'T BOTHER COMING UP WITH YEHAT DECIDING TO ATTACK SHOFIXTI FOR.. UUUH.. REPRODUCING TO FAST OR SOMETHING... Tongue>>

At around 2165, a distress call was heard from a coreward system. Zelnick (who else?) got assigned a Cruiser, the "Tobermoon II", and a small fleet (consisting of one Avatar, a few Terminators, and a few ships of all other Alliance), to investigate... Here's when the game starts..

No Mark II?

I mean, the Mark II was pretty cool. Why does the Mark II never get any love? It was the one hook we absolutely did have as a promise for the sequel.

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# Some general ideas I had that I didn't work out yet, or that just needed a place to go for the heck of it and I was too lazy to write 'em up.. Don't take them too seriously yet, but if you've got any ideas, feel free to speak!

-Chmmr as evil guys (bad and good Chmmr? Something weird happened to the Chmmr exploration fleet? Why? Chmmr are AND powerful, AND the process went way too fast, AND they were just "too nice to be true".. Would make a nice enemy.. )

Quite a common idea, that was actually used in SC3.

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-Orz as evil guys (in both Hyperspace and their own playground. Why? Because FF and PR3 would probably want this. Orz were pretty damn weird and somehow evil, after all..)
-Return of the Taalo? In Orz Playground?

All de rigeur.

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-Return of the Brown Ur-Quan? Umgah do this genetic stuff? Maybe when Ur-Quan see Taalo?

Damn it, why is it that because a race was mentioned in the game people have to see it made flesh? What's so damn cool about re-creating the Brown Ur-Quan? I can't see anything cool about it myself. For crying out loud. It's not like making them brown again undoes all the changes to their culture or the psychological trauma of the past 20,000 years or whatever.

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-Multiple ways of killing evil guys? Either wipe them out with method A (while getting race #1 mad at you), or wipe them out with method B (while getting race #2 mad at you)? Maybe wipe out Bad Chmmr by returning the Brown Ur-Quan, but with that you need to invade Orz playground and get the Orz mad at you?

This is a standard way to keep the story moving, yes.

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-Chat with some of your fleet guys when something happens/something is investigated (Think: a Chmmr going mad when he sees a broken Avatar flying around in space with burn marks on it, or something.. Gives your "fleetmates" a face...)
-Find out about the Mark II Precursor Starship while on one of your missions

Not bad ideas overall. I would much rather start with the Mark II than Tobermoon II, though.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Some questions that need anwsering. on: November 02, 2005, 04:32:14 pm
I never thought of the Chenjeshu as superior intelligences, just  cooler heads.  If my xenobiology is correct, the Chenjeshu's nervous system equivalent consists of microscopic hyperwave caster arrays rearranging the silicate crystalline structure... er... they're sort of like sentient calculators.
What -I- want to know is: if Earthlings are too similar to the Syreen for it to be a coincidence, why are the Arilou interested only in Earthlings?  Syreen & us human people would seem to be the only twin species in this part of space, and presumably humans came to be like the Syreen through Arilou modifications.   Though we may have all been seeded from the same source, genetic drift would surely stop species from different planets from reproducing together!

Not if the species weren't separated until very recently (in terms of evolution). If they were separated six to ten thousand years ago, for instance, they would probably evolve to look somewhat different but still be genetically close enough to be cross-fertile.

Interestingly that seems to be the timeframe in which the Arilou started manipulation of human destiny, or at least as far back as evidence of their intervention (in the person of gods and faeries and such) goes -- the beginnings of human civilization and recorded history, the start of the transition from hominids to true Humans. Take that plus the idea that humans seem to regard Syreen society as like their idea of "Eden", and you start to get a picture.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: UQM Challenge Games on: November 02, 2005, 04:23:34 pm
It isn't possible to win without him; the Sa-Matra's guard is infinitely large.

-Bob

i thought you just had to fight that ring of ships... and once you kill the first batch of 6 you are invunerable for enough time to pass through the rest, right?

But i have never tried it :-)

No. IIRC there isn't a "first six" -- that ring *itself* is an infinitely large battlegroup where you keep on fighting until you die or escape.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Some questions that need anwsering. on: October 28, 2005, 10:32:21 am
And even then, Shofixti don't have to learn much beyond: ,,Slam the throttle and point your nose at the enemy. When close, flip these three switches. Feel free to experiment, but don't flip the switches until you are in a real combat situation and flipping the switches has priority over everything else at that point."

But yeah, this sounds good. Maybe they have a simulator somewhere, but you can't simulate the entire ship accurately (if you try that, then why not just build a real one?) and nothing beats some real experience. It also explains why you can't build the Spathi ships after they cower behind their slaveshield. You can build them, but what is the point if you can't have an experienced captain, pilot and other vital crew transferred from Spathiwa's moon? (those lying bastards! Evacuating the moon didn't take that long! Angry)]/quote]

Well, the simple pick-a-ship-and-fight-it-against-another-one mode in SC1 was supposed to be an ship simulator programmed by the Alliance. Of course, there's no reason the Ur-Quan maintenance Starbase would be equipped with any such thing -- remember that your SC2 Starbase is a glorified gas station with jury-rigged equipment, *not* a genuine Alliance military base.

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I must say it is quite an achievement. No one seems to know any way of breaking the shield, exlcuding the Chenjesu who are supposed to be the most intelligent beings in the universe anyway. And breaking isn't the same as building one.

Most intelligent in our neck of the woods, sure. But surely not most intelligent in the universe -- or at least not the most knowledgeable. The Ur-Quan are definitely far superior in what they know to the Chenjesu. The Melnorme probably are, too, along with, in their way, the Arilou, and even maybe the Pkunk (depending on the kind of intelligence you mean). The Utwig, once they're empowered by the Ultron, might even be smarter, or at least as smart.

In any case: I'd dispute that breaking is always easier than building. With something like the slave shield that might not actually be true at all. It's easier to fry an egg than to unfry it, to lock a door than to unlock it, and so on.

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(I suppose you can get through with enough firepower, but there wouldn't be much left of the planet. The Kohr-Ah would love doing this.) Yet still, the Spathi manage to figure out how it works in just a few months and build one of their own. Then again, Fwiffo has been hanging around for a while. Maybe he is a genius who has figured out how to build slaveshields and told his fellow Spathi  during a visit. I don't know, haven't asked him/her/it (anyone know what genders the Spathi have?).

The Spathi seem to be two-sexed just like us -- Fwiffo talks about his "male parent" and his "female parent", who even seem to have traditional human gender roles -- the male goes out and works and the female takes care of the kids.

They also, of course, seem incredibly intelligent in their way -- Bronze Age to Atomic Age in a century -- which was always a very appealing part of the joke to me. They have ships that can clearly take on several Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts with ease, and yet their whole personality keeps them from ever becoming a dominant power.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Some questions that need anwsering. on: October 25, 2005, 04:41:28 am
This hardly seems unrealistic at all. It doesn't need to be some statement about native captains having the biological ability to fly the ships -- all we need to say is that ships still require some skill to fly, and that the different ships -- which are shown to have very different structures and to behave in very different ways -- take a lot of training to learn to use. The relatively tiny Starbase in the game doesn't really have the resources to train people for a year in learning to effectively fly a strange alien vessel, and most of the ships don't have the advantage of having a hyperintelligent Precursor computer controlling them that can communicate with a genetic freak who has an unusual intuitive gift for talking to it.

In real life, if a less advanced civilization -- say, an Industrial Revolution-era England -- stole the plans for an F-22 fighter jet from the modern USA, and they had the resources to build one -- they'd taken over a modern factory, just like Hayes  has taken control of an Ur-Quan Starbase -- they'd still have a big problem with finding someone who could effectively pilot one. Within the time scales of the game -- on the order of months -- training new captains would be effectively impossible, especially since you have to maintain secrecy and can't fly manuevers all over the solar system. The captains the aliens give you are just as important as the blueprints.

The exception here is the Shofixti, who are all born after the game starts and only have a few months to learn to pilot their vessels. But we might claim that no one but a Shofixti would *want* to learn to fly one of those dangerous Scouts.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Which alien stands above all the rest? on: October 24, 2005, 02:21:02 pm
As for the arguments over the UrQuan doctrines and the plots...
Psionics is nothing more than 'magic' and shouldn't even be included in science fiction...

So? Much -- probably *most* -- of what gets labeled as science fiction isn't "hard" science fiction that firmly bases itself on extrapolation from scientific principles. Certainly not what the term "science fiction" was coined for, the pulp Golden Age stories of the 30s and 40s.

Science fiction isn't a class of possibility -- space opera-style bug-eyed monsters and blaster pistols and hyperdrive aren't any more plausible than dragons and flaming swords and magic wardrobes leading to another land. They just have a "science-y", technological, metallic feel to them.

SC2, with its psionics, its energy-beings, its dimensional warps, its ascension of beings to higher states through spiritual advancement -- it's firmly in the category of "science fantasy" a la Star Wars and the Force or Star Trek and its own brand of mysticism. And that's a fine genre to be in.

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Slave shields are physically impossible, the energy requirements to encase an entire planet with a shield impentrable by energy or physical matter is so great that there would be no way to power it short of taking all of the energy provided by the local sun and using it to supply the shield.  Or by blocking all but the visible range of light input from the planet would create such havoc as to destroy the underlying ecosystem by denying the planet so much energy from solar rays (very high energy particles)  and the sub-infrared that the planet freezes over...

You know what's also impossible? Hyperdrive. The whole concept of practical interstellar travel and an interstellar civilization and near-instantaneous faster-than-light communication.

Slave shields are comparatively okay. They don't explicitly rely on a false or nonexistent scientific principle -- they're just from a society so much more technologically advanced than ours that we couldn't hope to understand how they work. Which I find believable enough for the purposes of a silly computer game. I would find it more implausible if we ran into a super-advanced race and they *didn't* have technologies that, at first glance, violated our laws of physics. (Think about how a modern human's house would affect a man from the Middle Ages who thought he understood how natural law worked.)
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11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Mother Ark on: October 11, 2005, 09:48:31 am
Doesn't exist in the game. Probably dismantled, destroyed or impounded for further study by the Ur-Quan -- I mean, being them and *not* doing something like that wouldn't make any sense.
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Which alien stands above all the rest? on: October 11, 2005, 09:47:31 am
Furthermore, the slave shield should provide at least some protection against Kohr-Ah attack, although it is likely that the Kohr-Ah will eventually be able to break through slave shields based on Chmmr success in breaking them (although they may have needed help on the inside).

Kohr-Ah *do* break through slave shields, very easily. The Kzer-Za out and out tell you that this is the fate of all slave-shielded worlds if they lose the War. And it's confirmed -- if you let the Kohr-Ah win, they will kill *all* other species on the map, including slave-shielded worlds like the Chmmr homeworld, Gaia, Spathiwa, and, eventually, Earth (and then you lose the game).

I don't think they even have to use Chmmr-like technology to "crack" the shield, although I think they're certainly capable of doing so. I feel like the Kzer-Za might actually feel obligated to give them the codes to turn off thei shields at will after losing the War. It is all about honor, after all, and whoever wins the War has *proven* that their Doctrine ought to apply to all planets.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Which alien stands above all the rest? on: October 11, 2005, 09:45:08 am
Ok then that comes in the phrase (the needs of the many surpass the needs of the few),cause if they lost the war then we all die and thats much greater loss of life.Yes i know they might think of us as lesser beings,but then why they say they do it to protect us?Meaning they do care for our lives,probably much less then thier own.But even if one of us was worth 0.01 of thier lives our lives outnumber thiers.

Oh and sorry for spelling it wrong Undecided.

They're so damn superior that living as their slaves is infinitely more likely to lead to our welfare than letting us roam free. Think of the logic humans use when they adopt animals from the wild to keep as pets. We "protect" our pets, even though making them into our pets gives us the right and the power to kill them if they ever threaten *us* -- we protect them not (usually) because we think of them as our equals, deserving of rights, or even as lesser citizens deserving of fewer rights, but because they are our *personal property* and *we* have the duty to protect our property. They have no rights at all.

Among the majority of non-animal-rights-activist humans, you might go to all sorts of great lengths to protect your little pet potbellied pig from the rain, from wild animals, from getting run over, etc. -- but if you were forced to sell your pig to the local meatpacking company, you might be heartbroken over what was going to happen to your pig -- but you would feel that you had *no legal right* to stop the *people* who now own your pig and want to slaughter it from doing so, and you probably wouldn't lift a finger to do so once it'd been sold.

Ur-Quan view us the way most people view animals. Plain and simple.
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Which alien stands above all the rest? on: October 11, 2005, 09:41:17 am
K first of all, both doctrines are flawed.
for one thing both doctrines use war to protect,
and what happened when they met the Dnarri (hope thats how it spelled),the Dnarri didnt need to fight they just controlled.
once the Kohr-ah come in contact with a similar species
and start there doctrine the species will just control them.

They probably still have the Excruciators, you know.

Why do you assume that they *haven't* come into contact with other telepathic species -- even if none were as powerful as the Dnyarri -- and overcome them? Remember that they *did* originally defeat the Dnyarri in war during the Slave Revolt, under extremely unlikely odds. In their full strength, against telepathic species much younger and weaker and less malign than the Dnyarri (who really seem to be a very unlikely extreme case), with techniques like the Excruciator under their belt, they'd likely stand a very good chance of winning.

I mean, the brute fact is that the Doctrines have worked for *twenty thousand years* so far, and have allowed the Ur-Quan to dominate *every other race in the galaxy*. At that point it's hard to argue with success.

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And the Kzer-ah just sent away the Kohr-ah and had them come back,
some set number of years later. so they can fight to find out which doctrine is better. now the Ur-quan's doctrine includes having battle thralls. now look at what the Kzer-ah do to their thralls that try to help fight the Kohr-ah. So the Kzer-ah dont use one of there strong points of the doctrine.

They don't see it as a strong point, really. It seems to be that keeping Battle Thralls is a matter of a philosophical kind of mercy, and a way to make their economy more efficient. At root it's just as much about the Ur-Quan being a unique and completely dominant species as the Kohr-Ah's doctrine -- the Kzer-Za just can't, philosophically, bring themselves to kill wholesale. They can't believe, unlike the Kohr-Ah, that lesser forms of life exist *only* to be destroyed. They still, however, believe that lesser forms of life are firmly lesser, and that *no lesser life form may kill an Ur-Quan*. This is of deep, paramount importance, akin to some cultures' insistence that no commoner may harm a noble. The Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah may compete with each other, but if a lesser race were ever allowed to harm an Ur-Quan that would turn their whole value system upside-down.

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Another idiocy of the Kzer-ah is that they claim that they slave shield so we can be safe. But we cant freaken be allowed to help the Kzer-ah defend ourselves. and look what happens to all the species that are slave shielded, when the Kohr-ah win the second Doctrinal war, man it must of felt good to be safe under that slave shield, when the Kohr-ah blasted it then killed everyone on the planet Huh.

p.s. Please forgive my grammer Cool

"Safe" from everyone but the Ur-Quan. Our safety is secondary to the Ur-Quan's safety -- in Ur-Quan eyes, Ur-Quan survival is paramount, and everything else -- either a united, orderly and "safe" galaxy or a galaxy that's been simply "cleansed" -- is secondary to that goal.

It makes perfect sense, if you stop thinking from a Thrall-centered point of view. From an Ur-Quan centered point of view, we're like pets, or livestock -- they'll fight other people for the right of people to keep livestock, but they *will not* allow the livestock to harm people. They'll protect the livestock from all manner of natural disasters, but if the livestock should pass into the possession of people who aim to destroy them (as happens if they lose the Doctrinal War) then they will not lift one finger to stop them, because destroying an animal that *belongs to you* is the right of a person.
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: scII redux? on: October 03, 2005, 04:12:08 am
I don't see why "Hey, this would be a cool game to make!" is inherently more of a useless post than "Hey, what's your favorite alien from SC2?" Both only exist because people want to talk about them, not because either one is going to generate useful code for any project. It's not like this is a coders-only forum.
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