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Tiberian
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blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« on: October 26, 2011, 11:56:09 am »

Hayes mentions that some woman was able to hide the Cruiser-plans before they were all destroyed.

I got to thinking that Zelnick had one Cruiser with the Vindicator when they came to Earth. Wouldn't it be logical that there were plans for the Cruiser inside that Cruiser's databanks? Or would there be any reason for not having the plans within each ship?
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 03:23:03 pm »

Either way is possible. Maybe the sneaking it on board was practically redundant, but even if it is, it strengthens the signal that the starbase contingent is willing to fight.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 04:01:25 pm »

I can't imagine the Tobermoon would have detailed plans on board for security reasons. If the ship should be captured, that would hand the enemy a complete blueprint for Earth's primary combat vessel, which is a terrible idea. So really, the smuggled plans make it so that the Starbase crew didn't have to reverse engineer their own ship (assuming it doesn't get destroyed before you finish the starbase quest).
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 03:01:20 am »

Eh, it's well known that you can't build a ship without a supply of suitably trained captains of the appropriate species…

More seriously, there's not much point in a full construction procedure being aboard, but not having very detailed technical information would be irresponsible.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 01:30:26 am »

More seriously, there's not much point in a full construction procedure being aboard, but not having very detailed technical information would be irresponsible.

Indeed, there would need to be some pretty detailed schematics of wiring and installation procedures for basically everything other than the core framework of the chassis just so that engineers have a reference for making repairs.  It would be foolish to go out into deep space with nothing better than your chief engineer's memory about how things fit together - even if he could memorize all the schematics for something as big as a starship, what if he got killed in an explosion or something?  If the ship is left without power and the only guy who knows how to fix it gets geeked, that's basically the end for everyone on board.  Contrary to what popular sci-fi teaches us, the odds of some random alien ship happening by your specific coordinates would be next to zilch.

So they may not have blueprints, but they certainly would have enough that reverse engineering the rest probably wouldn't be too hard.  Especially for the same species that built it in the first place.

That said, the Tobermoon was part of a top secret operation to a distant planet that the people back on Earth had apparently forgotten about 20 years ago.  The woman who smuggled the blueprints out of Detroit probably had no idea that ship even existed, so saving the blueprints prior to the destruction of all known ships would have been a prudent move from her position regardless.

As an aside, wasn't the Tobermoon destroyed in the introduction text for SC2?  So the ship that accompanied the Vindicator to Earth was apparently a second ship, no?
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 04:14:54 am »

The Tobermoon was attacked, but not destroyed, IIRC.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 04:15:58 am »

The Tobermoon was attacked, but not destroyed, IIRC.

Yup. It was attacked and everyone on the ship died, but the ship itself was left perfectly intact.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2011, 06:38:05 am »

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So they may not have blueprints, but they certainly would have enough that reverse engineering the rest probably wouldn't be too hard.  Especially for the same species that built it in the first place.

Not necessarily. First off, to reverse engineer anything means you have to take the entire thing apart piece by piece, carefully documenting where it all was. As you do that, you need to figure out exactly what each component is and how it works. Then you have to be able to reproduce exactly every component and construct a new replica from scratch. Now I am not saying it can't be done (in fact, I am positive it could be within the context of the universe of SC) but that could take weeks or months to do.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 08:28:01 am »

The Tobermoon was attacked, but not destroyed, IIRC.

Yup. It was attacked and everyone on the ship died, but the ship itself was left perfectly intact.

No, not everyone died. It is only mentioned that Captain Burton died.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 09:46:20 am »

No, not everyone died. It is only mentioned that Captain Burton died.

From the manual (pages 21-23):

Quote
Three days out, as you approached the perimeter of that cursed Oort Cloud, you found the Tobermoon – derelict and tumbling through space. The deep burns along her hull were mute evidence she’d seen combat. And lost. The discovery was, of course, a great shock to Captain Burton. Unconsciously she chewed her bottom lip, and for the first time her handsome face showed the awful strain of the past twenty years. She’d been engaged to Captain Chi. Through two decades she’d clung to the hope she’d see him again, kept alive the dream they’d shared of marriage and children and a life together. Now the dream was shattered. She knew he was gone, even though there was no body to mourn over. Strangely, there were no bodies at all on board. And most of the important ship systems were intact. Do you remember how Burton wondered, tears brimming in her blue eyes, if Officer Chi and the other crew members had been taken prisoner? How her words conjured up a picture in your mind of the Earthlings being tortured – their ordeal provoking mirth in the soul-less Ur-Quan. With a few days work, the engineers brought the Tobermoon back to life. What came next changed your life forever. With Captain Burton the only one aboard qualified to pilot the Earth Cruiser, you were put in command of the Precursor starship. Admit it. Standing on the bridge – those epaulets the grieving but bravely smiling Captain Burton pinned on gleaming from your shoulders – you felt proud, sure of yourself. Hey, truth be told, at that moment you thought you were invincible. Your confidence didn’t last long, did it? With the Tobermoon leading the way, you and Burton pushed your ships out into HyperSpace – the parallel dimension where distances are fantastically compressed and interstellar travel feasible. Blazing white flashes surrounded your vessels and everything took on a crimson hue. Something up there wasn’t right. Remember? Your body felt like it was in a vise and your head was spinning. You fought for control, forcing yourself to focus on the soft voice of Captain Burton radioing a command from the Tobermoon: “Set course for Earth.” A day later – you think it was a day, but now, looking back, you can’t be sure – a sinister shadow began following you through HyperSpace. It moved fast, real fast. Within a couple of hours it had approached close enough to interact with your ship’s hyperdrive field, pulling you both back into TrueSpace. At close range, the enemy ship looked like a pair of spinning red globes surrounded by a crackling energy field. Some kind of glowing rod or energy beam connected the red globes. The alien craft built up speed rapidly as it zeroed in on the starship you commanded. Burton saw the attack coming and signalled you to warp out of the area immediately. A moment later you watched on your command console monitor as the Tobermoon flashed away on a trajectory to intercept the alien ship. As you pushed up into HyperSpace, you saw a crackling bolt of energy lance out from the alien vessel and strike the Tobermoon. Burton’s craft wobbled violently, then veered off on an erratic course in the general direction of Unzervalt. The Alien craft was apparently satisfied with disabling the Tobermoon, for the strange ship made a 180 degree turn and rocketed at warp speed toward deep space.

Once your starship reached HyperSpace, you radioed the Tobermoon, only to learn that Captain Burton had been killed by the alien’s unexpected attack. You felt sick to your stomach. Then you wanted to punch the bulkhead. You’d been half in love with Burton, you knew that now. Life stunk!

So yes, it doesn't say anything about others being killed while Burton is piloting the Tobermoon, but it's pretty heavily implied that it was attacked by that same probe earlier, causing the death of everyone on board. That's actually what I was thinking of. It also doesn't mention anyone except Burton boarding the Tobermoon. Sounds to me like the only reason others aren't mentioned being killed is either because Captain Burton is particularly significant, or because she was alone on the craft.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 09:50:53 am by onpon4 » Logged

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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2011, 02:12:18 pm »

So did the Vindicator salvage the Tobermoon after that? And is it Tobermoon that is with the Vindicator when they arrive to Earth?
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2011, 03:45:41 pm »

It's right there with you when the game starts, and it's fully crewed. That would mean either that only insignificant number of its crew was killed or that casualties were replaced by some crew members from the flagship. But what's even more confusing, the flagship is in full crew capacity too. So... I believe the ships were previously overcrowded because they wanted to take as many people they could, so they don't risk leaving most of the Unzervault's population stranded and exposed to Ur-Quan scouts in Vela system.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2011, 05:33:40 pm »

The manual doesn't say anything about you going back to salvage the Tobermoon. It seems to imply that you simply move on without it. This is what follows what I quoted above, on pages 23-24:

Quote
Captain Burton’s death left you in full command of the mission to find Earth. You navigated the Precursor starship back on your original course, your mind swirling with all that had happened. A terrible doubt overtook you, gnawing at the edges of what had always been your strong self-confidence. Could you pull this off? You, a son of Unzervalt, born in a cave, raised on Ortog milk and Libixx meat. You, a man who’d never set foot in a university, never had formal space flight training beyond the crash course from Burton? You’d taught yourself everything, learning from reading computer programs and watching how engineers and scientists did things. The question ate at you now; had you been both a good teacher and a good student? Good enough at both to prepare you for the awesome task that lay ahead? Time would tell.

And time did tell. Five days after the alien attack you arrived at a stellar vortex leading out of HyperSpace. Your scanner showed the vortex spiralling down 23 to a brilliant yellow star. You knew at once that this was the great star that had given life to your ancestors, the star your Earthling progenitors called the Sun! You warped down out of HyperSpace and took a navigational fix. You were just beyond the orbit of the ninth planet of the yellow star. Earth was the third planet out from the Sun. With all thrusters on, you can reach the blue planet in two days. A horrible thought flits across your mind. Had the Ur-Quan broken through the Alliance defense lines and attacked your ancestral home? Was there devastation? Had the cities been obliterated by nuclear weapons and the survivors left irradiated mutants, genetic freaks roaming the ashen landscape like primal apes? You’ll know in 48 hours.

So it's weird, but it seems like the Cruiser you start with isn't even canon. The manual heavily implies that the flagship is alone.

It's right there with you when the game starts, and it's fully crewed. That would mean either that only insignificant number of its crew was killed or that casualties were replaced by some crew members from the flagship. But what's even more confusing, the flagship is in full crew capacity too. So... I believe the ships were previously overcrowded because they wanted to take as many people they could, so they don't risk leaving most of the Unzervault's population stranded and exposed to Ur-Quan scouts in Vela system.

I don't think this needs to be worked into the story. It's a gameplay design and nothing more. It would anger players if they started with a damaged ship because of the story that they didn't even likely read in the manual.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2011, 07:44:01 pm »

Presence in the game is higher canon than vague failures by the manual to refer to something.
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Re: blueprints for Earthling Cruisers
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2011, 10:56:08 pm »

I'd like to think that the probe's attack killed some of the Tobermoon's crew, but they managed to fly the ship to Earth without Captain Burton.

I'm not completely sure, but I think Hayes said that ships can't be flown "in combat" without native captains. It would make sense that they could fly the ship without Burton, but they wouldn't be able to fight properly.
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