Premise of Parallel Universe Civil War?

Forum for discussing various mods for the VS-engine based upon Privateer. (Please play nice now, and extinguish all flaming materials.
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Postby Melonhead » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:48 pm

Hey, chuck_starchaser's more cynical than me, and that's quite a compliment! :D After reading your Privateer storyline, I can't help but think there are many more things in the Wiki than I've discovered--it always seems like there's some reference in forum threads to a gold mine I couldn't find.

In general, I think I can buy into your thoughts on the Privateer/RF storyline--as you said, there are many things that are speculation, but they're as good an answer as any other, so why not? I'm not sure I'd go as far in the Navy's corruption--I guess playing WC1 and WC2 made me think of the Confed Navy as pure as Starfleet. But, then again, if 99.99% of the organization is complety dedicated and honest, that would leave plenty of folks to run the illicit weapons sales you suggest, and plenty to try to stop them, with the rest just following orders whether they understand them or not.

The comments about the Merchant Guild got me thinking about how that would work--I've never seen any evidence of pirates leaving ME alone, and I'm a fully paid up member. :wink: (Then again, just because the game didn't implement something doesn't mean it isn't the right answer.) I think a logical approach would be for the Guild to pay off the pirates to stay out of certain systems, or to limit the number of pirates allowed to go raiding. Non-guild merchants benefit, too, but it wouldn't be obvious to anyone what was going on. The Merchant Guild could even spread rumors that certain systems were paying off pirate groups, and the pirate bosses wouldn't be likely to spread the truth. That could make for some interesting bar gossip. At pirate bases, different gossip could explain their version of why there's limited raiding in System X.

The other thing I was thinking about was why pirate bases don't get attacked. I think there's a second piece to this--assuming it doesn't transmit its location it would be very difficult, in reality, to find a base that doesn't want to be found. Privateer reduces solar system scales for playability, but we're really talking about finding something in a system spread out across billions of kilometers. That raises a question I've always wondered about--how do WC ships identify friend/foe? Assuming it's some type of transponder, here's my logic: once you're in space, the WC universe is pretty close to anarchy. You transmit your identity so your friends don't attack you. Everyone else can read your transmission, so your enemies know who you are, too. If you choose to not identify yourself, by turning off your transmitter, now everyone assumes you must be hiding your identity from them, and everyone will probably attack you. Not a good plan, so you leave your transponder on.

That also means the pirate base can leave bouys near the jump point that read your transponder. If you're someone they know, you get the base location. If not, you don't. In an asteroid field, the base's orbit will be affected enough that you'd take a long time finding it, and there'd be plenty of time to send a welcoming party for any Confed patrol that came looking (which would approach from some other vector). The base itself doesn't care what your relation is to any particular group--unlke in Freelancer, they are "open cities." It would be bad for business if they took merchants prisoner after landing. On the other hand, you might want to think twice about visiting that bar after landing--you might discover there are a lot of folks there who'd really like it if you had an accident.

Which leads me to one question I've never resolved--why is it I can blast someone out of space and not get in trouble, but if I do it on a base (like Regis did), it's murder? :?

I definitely agree that the Privateer economy is an area we could make a lot of improvements to. The real trick will be trying to create a robust free market that makes sense given the game's predefined locations for various bases.

Well, that ended up being longer than intended.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:00 pm

Melonhead wrote:Hey, chuck_starchaser's more cynical than me, and that's quite a compliment! :D

Sure it is. One thing is being cynical and quite another being jaded. Cynicism is simply a type of awareness, IMO.

After reading your Privateer storyline, I can't help but think there are many more things in the Wiki than I've discovered--it always seems like there's some reference in forum threads to a gold mine I couldn't find.

Not sure what you're referring to, but quite possibly you've found links to threads that have been pruned. Sourceforge has a size limit, and the vegastrike website has overrun that limit more than once, if my understanding is correct.

In general, I think I can buy into your thoughts on the Privateer/RF storyline--as you said, there are many things that are speculation, but they're as good an answer as any other, so why not?

And quite possibly better, if I may say so.. :D Seriously, we brainstormed and brainstormed, and tested just about every possible theory, and ran into many contradictions, and changed the theories again, until we got to something that held its own weight. The ideas I exposed in this thread were not at all the *first idea* we came up with, about anything. It represents a lot more analysis work than you'd think. Take for example Murphy. We went through like a dozen theories about her: That she was a mercenary, a mercenaries contractor, a militia, a confed, and for one reason or another none of those theories made any sense; and in the end, the only theory that was left standing was that she was a Merchants Guild exec, in charge of Lanes Safety, on a fixed budget; and that before holding that job she used to be Militia.

I'm not sure I'd go as far in the Navy's corruption--I guess playing WC1 and WC2 made me think of the Confed Navy as pure as Starfleet. But, then again, if 99.99% of the organization is complety dedicated and honest, that would leave plenty of folks to run the illicit weapons sales you suggest, and plenty to try to stop them, with the rest just following orders whether they understand them or not.

Well, you kind of answered your own question. But it's a lot more than 1%. However, that doesn't in any way tarnish the honor of honest military personnel, and what usually happens is that the kind of officers on paper, that get there by political appointment, who never saw combat in times of war, or even training, --the military bureaucracy, let's say-- is a fertile ground for plot and intrigue and corruption. Laws might go into place that officers can only reach limited rank without seeing combat; and all that leads to is those same bureaucrats setting up fake campaigns to give themselves tours of duty, and so on. Accountants and bureaucrats are unstoppable even in small companies, let alone in big organizations like a country's military. And here we're talking about a unified military spanning like a hundred systems...
But at the end of the day, I didn't make any of it up: Corruption in the Confed is more than just alluded to in all of WC:
    * Bar rumors at pleasure bases
    * Bar rumors, period.
    * Belisarius Group, recruiting Tolwyn into a plan to manufacture a new war
    * Y12 assassinating uncooperative officers left and right
    * Black Lance, and the production of their modified Excaliburs, all hidden from official military planning, implies a huge amount of money laundering.
    * The fact that Menesch was selling Confed ships to retros and pirates. One would presume he was paying for the ships... Where's the money going?
I think rampant Confed corruption is a given, in WC canon.

The comments about the Merchant Guild got me thinking about how that would work--I've never seen any evidence of pirates leaving ME alone, and I'm a fully paid up member. :wink: (Then again, just because the game didn't implement something doesn't mean it isn't the right answer.)

Exactly; but, besides, it may depend on your ranking within the MG. One thing is flying a tarsus, and another is owning a fleet of a dozen Draymans.
And, this may just be me... But I did have a feeling I was getting attacked a lot less when flying missions for the MG, than when flying missions off the mission computer, in the original game. But it may just be me.

I think a logical approach would be for the Guild to pay off the pirates to stay out of certain systems, or to limit the number of pirates allowed to go raiding. Non-guild merchants benefit, too, but it wouldn't be obvious to anyone what was going on. The Merchant Guild could even spread rumors that certain systems were paying off pirate groups, and the pirate bosses wouldn't be likely to spread the truth. That could make for some interesting bar gossip. At pirate bases, different gossip could explain their version of why there's limited raiding in System X.

Good idea!
By the way, the plan is in place to have bar rumors that are triggered or synchronized to your progress in the story.

The other thing I was thinking about was why pirate bases don't get attacked. I think there's a second piece to this--assuming it doesn't transmit its location it would be very difficult, in reality, to find a base that doesn't want to be found. Privateer reduces solar system scales for playability, but we're really talking about finding something in a system spread out across billions of kilometers. That raises a question I've always wondered about--how do WC ships identify friend/foe? Assuming it's some type of transponder, here's my logic: once you're in space, the WC universe is pretty close to anarchy. You transmit your identity so your friends don't attack you. Everyone else can read your transmission, so your enemies know who you are, too. If you choose to not identify yourself, by turning off your transmitter, now everyone assumes you must be hiding your identity from them, and everyone will probably attack you. Not a good plan, so you leave your transponder on.

We once had a long running thread, at the WCU forum about ID's and transponders. We came up with a theory that stands up pretty well and explains things as they are in the game. Goes like this:
Ship manufacturers are few and tightly controlled by an agency that makes sure that every ship that is produced has a unique ID. The ID will never change until the ship is destroyed or recycled. There's not just one transponder, but a number of them, built into every vital part of the ship: Engines, nav computer, comm system, etceteras. These transponders are tamper-proof (imagine a silicon chip inside a titanium sphere that is snapped together unseparably without breaking the chip), and periodically communicate with one another, and challenge each other cryptographically. The chip also contains circuits that are vital to the functioning of the part; so you cannot change one part of the ship without obtaining a replacement permit and feed it to all the parts of your ship at the same time so that they will welcome the new part. And so, not even pirate bases can change a ship's ID. Not even the ship's manufacturers can. And to change more than one part of a ship you need more than one permit, and you have to change one part at a time, repeating the introductory protocol.

Now, where does the faction come in?

Well, the transponders only return the ship's ID number; NOT "faction", since faction is a pilot thing, more than a ship thing, really.
What every ship also has is a database of all ships in existence. Upon getting an ID number, it looks it up in its database and finds out its reported faction.
Where does the database come from?
It's a distributed database. Whenever you encounter a ship and it does something that surprises your database, it reports the event automatically the next time you dock at a station. The station's database is updated, and any ships landing or leaving the station get their databases automatically updated.

The biggest problem this model presents is in trying to answer the question: Wouldn't computers be built to ALWAYS show law enforcement ships as friendly, so you cannot target them?
Two answers:

The targeting computer software is not as easily secured from hacking, as it can be programmed on any hardware. You could just ignore the official targeting system and install a second one you actually use, unhindered by a built in transponder. Wheras, the chip that controls engine functions might be very complex to duplicate without a huge R&D investment, so you can't substitute the existing, transponderfull one.

But another possible answer is that there might have been a stron popular movement at one time or another --a book written or something; which influenced politicians to pass laws regarding the power of machines. The idea is that if people can't trust their own machines to serve them, technology will suffer, economies will suffer, and progress might be halted. That a guarantee of *machine serves human owner* is more important a principle than crime prevention.

Farfetched? I'm not sure. We might see such a movement happening soon in RL... once all the war against terrorism propaganda loses its loving feeling... ;-)

That also means the pirate base can leave bouys near the jump point that read your transponder. If you're someone they know, you get the base location. If not, you don't. In an asteroid field, the base's orbit will be affected enough that you'd take a long time finding it, and there'd be plenty of time to send a welcoming party for any Confed patrol that came looking (which would approach from some other vector).

Might be doable; but still doesn't explain how you can find pirate bases, but confeds and militia can't. Doesn't make a whole heap of sense.
But if my explanation of Confed corruption doesn't satisfy you, I have a better one up my sleeve:

Space is 3-dimensional.
:)

Yep.
The 2D maps of Privateer are only the "official" maps. There are many systems that are there but are not in the official maps.
This is not actually too farfetched. Consider the following pieces of "circumstantial evidence":
    * At least ONE system we know of, that was there, but the official map did not reflect its presence... The Retro base. The informant says that they have "a contact in the ES" that made sure it was kept off the official maps...
    * Slaves. If slaves are illegal to carry, where are they kept?
    * There are like 50 corporations named in mission computers, but only a handful for which we know where their headquarters are located; namely AVR ships, Corcoran, Bronte and Rondell. Where are all the rest based?
    * Kilrathis are showing up at New Detroit all the time, but you never see where they are coming from. Not from the South, since you hardly see any at Oxford and so on; and not from the North, since, presumably, they'd meet some resistance from Perry.
    * When you arrive at the ES, they are in a hurry to find Delta Prime. This is not the Confeds... Taryn Cross says "HQ"... But we know from the Retro informant that the retros have a "contact" in the ES; probably Taryn's boss... But anyhow, they are desperately looking for something (just like the kats are). But what happened the previous 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? The ES were doing NOTHING. Why?
My theory is that most of Gemini is hidden systems. Government couldn't even pull the plug if they wanted to. It would mean having to take responsibility to police twice as many systems.
I call the network of hidden systems the Grey Zone. Grey Zoners call the people of the official map "Flatlanders".
The pirate bases you see in Privateer are not REAL pirate bases. If you get a key to the Grey Zone, and you visit a REAL pirate base, you'd find it pretty well defended; like hundreds of pirate ships orbiting; and you can buy Caernavens, you can buy military grade weapons, and you can waste your money on "treasure maps"... or not always waste it.
And all new exploration going on in Gemini is expanding the Grey Zone, NOT the official map.

In my plot, Burrows is introduced to the Gray Zone in Part 3: "Grey Ops".
To get access to the Grey Zone, he first has to become a pirate. But not just friendly to the Pirates; of course that; but he has to do enough piracy to get an invitation to join the Broderhood. He has to do missions to prove his worth. Finally he's given the jump-point data to get to a REAL pirate base. Once there, he can buy maps and visit other systems in the Grey Zone where he can get more maps, and so on. Many of the corrupt politicians and military officials he'll have to assassinate have their bases in Grey Zone systems. Also, many of the most lucrative occupations only exist there, in the underworld. For example Explorer. Why so lucrative? Because jump-point telemetry equipment and supercomputers are tightly regulated and hard to find. You'll see them advertised at REAL pirate bases, from time to time, but costing many millions of credits. If you can get one, somehow, you're rich. That's why there's pirates in, was it Beta? They are there hoping to catch ES ships that they can steal equipment from.

Which leads me to one question I've never resolved--why is it I can blast someone out of space and not get in trouble, but if I do it on a base (like Regis did), it's murder? :?

I think you could do it at a base and not get in trouble, if the game had an fps mode; but in the case of Regis, the problem is not that he killed anyone; the problem is that he killed Sandoval; and Sandoval was SOMEBODY. Possibly Rondell's top executive. Militias wouldn't plaster a suspect's face all over town just for a run of the mill murder. Sandoval's murder, though, is a bit more like an assassination. And perhaps some Confeds are aware of what's going on; they possibly knew or suspected that Rondell had part of the Steltek map, and were tagging Sandoval. Regis' killing Sandoval not only kills that lead, but also implies that he, Regis, and probably Lynch, have, or know where to find the other half.
Remember that the fact that Monkhouse had a piece of a Steltek map is a matter of public record: It said so in the library at Oxford. And it is also a fact that Confeds, or some Confeds, have the Steltek in their minds. They wouldn't have closed down Mars Sita capriciously.

I definitely agree that the Privateer economy is an area we could make a lot of improvements to. The real trick will be trying to create a robust free market that makes sense given the game's predefined locations for various bases.

Indeed; there's been a lot of talk at the VS Features forum about refurbishing the economic system, but nothing's been done, that I know of, software-wise. This needs to be done. Else, the amount of work adjusting prices by hand is a bit daunting to consider.

Well, that ended up being longer than intended.

Hehehe, same here :)
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Postby Dilloh » Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:49 am

Kilrathis are showing up at New Detroit all the time, but you never see where they are coming from.

If you think of Jump Points as a natural phenomen, then you won't find an explanation. If jump points are just calculation spots, then you have it - the ES calculates those points for the people, so that all the merchants won't warp into an asteroid. The cats surely have their own ES, and they don't have an "open" economy, so they won't mark their "secret" jps for civil ships.
The other thing I was thinking about was why pirate bases don't get attacked.

Hey, ever wondered why pirates bases look like mining bases? Because they are abandoned mining bases maybe? So there was a time when they were on the official map. Hard to believe that the confeds forgot about them. Those bases exist, and many officials know about that. You need a troop transport to crack them, and Gemini is low on ships.
Indeed; there's been a lot of talk at the VS Features forum about refurbishing the economic system, but nothing's been done, that I know of, software-wise. This needs to be done. Else, the amount of work adjusting prices by hand is a bit daunting to consider.

Not at all... at first we'd have to give those factions their own space. More spawning points with lesser ships and lesser radius (e.g. by reducing their jump fuel) would create clear no-go areas for opposing factions. Then, we can take a look at the economy :wink:
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:42 am

Dilloh wrote:
Kilrathis are showing up at New Detroit all the time, but you never see where they are coming from.

If you think of Jump Points as a natural phenomen, then you won't find an explanation. If jump points are just calculation spots, then you have it - the ES calculates those points for the people, so that all the merchants won't warp into an asteroid. The cats surely have their own ES, and they don't have an "open" economy, so they won't mark their "secret" jps for civil ships.

In WC, jump points ARE natural phenomena. They are a subject of study. Burrows' girlfriend, Jolene, before the start of Privateer, worked as a researcher at Sheol, "studying unstable jump points".
In WC and the books jump points were first discovered by accident, I think, and then someone finds out that their presence affects the movement of antigravitons (don't ask me) and go as far as to explain the technology required for detecting jumpoints as, paraphrasing, "Letting loose a bunch of antigravitons and observing their drift. Doing this at multiple locations. Feeding the data to a supercomputer that can perform a regression to get a first approximation; then making a second round of antigraviton drift experiments, to finally get accurate coordinates" or something along the lines. The farthest I've heard in terms of playing around with jump points was that the kats could cloak them. Never heard of jump points being manufactured or intentionally destroyed. (Except, much later, with the nephilim gates; but they are not officially jump points; they are something else.)

The other thing I was thinking about was why pirate bases don't get attacked.

Hey, ever wondered why pirates bases look like mining bases? Because they are abandoned mining bases maybe?

Sure they are; that's obvious.
So there was a time when they were on the official map.

Not necessarily. If my theory of the Grey Zone is correct, there are many legitimate mining operations there, as well as agri planets, whatever, that are not in on the official maps.
Hard to believe that the confeds forgot about them. Those bases exist, and many officials know about that.

If not all of them.
You need a troop transport to crack them, and Gemini is low on ships.

I'm not convinced that a pirate base could operate stably, for years or decades, while depending solely upon the Confeds being low on ships... Notice how quickly the Confeds were able to put together a fleet to send due West to fight retros in RF? Remember?; --when your mission is to sweep Death, Pestilence and War? Why couldn't they have done something similar to that to bust a pirate base or two?
And what about the previous missions for the Confed, helping them way out West, around Sherbrook?
Give you a tip: Part of the reason the Confeds sent out a fleet, then, was to ***protect*** a pirate base about to be overrun by retros and kats, namely Tucks, where Tayla is in personal danger. Sherbrook is Damien Lang's base, who is, after the disappearance of Lynch, the only mob boss left in Gemini that is still buying Talons from Confed Decommissionings. Menesch, at the time, is already done with Lynch (food blockade of New Detroit (Bronte)), and is about to bust Tucks, Sherbrook, in order to gain sole monopoli of the illegal ships market. The retro and kat forces you and the Confed fight are at every system connected to Sherbrook. Long story, but Tayla and Goodin know each other well... Ever wonder how is it that Monte gets references about you from both of them? That's why. They all know each other, and Masterson. The Confeds go all around Sherbrook under the pretext of fighting the Retros. They are, indeed; but it is to break up the retro and kat forces blockading Sherbrook from all sides and prepairing for an assault on Tucks; --the last remaining outlet for Confed illegal ship sales.

Indeed; there's been a lot of talk at the VS Features forum about refurbishing the economic system, but nothing's been done, that I know of, software-wise. This needs to be done. Else, the amount of work adjusting prices by hand is a bit daunting to consider.

Not at all... at first we'd have to give those factions their own space. More spawning points with lesser ships and lesser radius (e.g. by reducing their jump fuel) would create clear no-go areas for opposing factions. Then, we can take a look at the economy :wink:

This I agree also: One thing that wasn't very polished in the original game, and continues to be unpolised in the remake, is spawning policies. Often they don't make much sense.
Another thing is jump drive inconsistencies. In WC, small ships don't have jump drives, and need to be carried in a ship that does, to get across systems. Case in point: Talons. At least, in the original Privateer game, we never see Talons jumping. Not sure how it is in the Remake; too long since I've played it; but in WCU we had Talons jumping jump points last I played it. This is an error that needs fixing if it's still there.
BTW, I think that once in a while the player should come across a Drayman or Caernaven spawning Talons and then disappearing back through the same jump point it came in, as to explain how pirate and retro talons usually get there.
But to go back to the point you make, indeed, the areas of influence of factions need to be blurry, but not so undefined.
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Postby Dilloh » Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:48 pm

Never heard of jump points being manufactured or intentionally destroyed.

It's good that they cannot be destroyed, though I think they can be blocked wonderfully - I always wondered why they didn't park an obsolete carrier right into the jump outlet in the wc movie to make the cat fleet warp into it.
But I feel sure that there can be jump points detected, calculated, whatever, even decades after a system has been fully populated. So every ES is somehow dealing with fortune.
If my theory of the Grey Zone is correct, there are many legitimate mining operations there, as well as agri planets, whatever, that are not in on the official maps.

Really, I simply don't think this is logical. We're in space. Space facilites and populated planets cause energy emissions which are surely being recognized by 27th century scanners. You'd have to hide the whole system. I remember from the original game, systems like Pentonville were on the map, but not the bases. So the system itself is surely known. I'd like to hear a better explanation, not insisting I have one.
Notice how quickly the Confeds were able to put together a fleet to send due West to fight retros in RF? Remember?; --when your mission is to sweep Death, Pestilence and War? Why couldn't they have done something similar to that to bust a pirate base or two?

Because "pirate" is a term for "corrupt guy" in any way. Patrols can be bribed, nearly in every single system some pirate affiliate is monitoring fleet movements or officer's communication. They're warned better than retros who don't like to infiltrate this way. The police knows this, and resignates.

Pirates who live on bases trade with slaves, so they have hostages. If the pirates have to leave, they can shut down the oxygen and kill their hostages - not too good for the feds reputation as the war doesn't turn out to be successfull at this point. Pirates are popular - they bring drugs, they live a life that many mine workers, farmers and others dream of: Action, girls, money.

Eliminating the retro threat was politically vital for guys like Terell, and also for Geminis moral. Who could one afford loosing the famous Oxford library just because of some freaks trying to disassemble it by violent means? The feds need a huge victory. A victory requires a battle, which requires a lot of kills. So you decide to kill someone who is hated by everyone else, and voilà - the retros. It's the same old story like we have today. When interior politics are bad, go make some good exterior politics via war. In Gemini, it's the other way around: Distract the people from the war at the borders by means of a strong, safe and popular strike.

Do not always think of the factions, think of the people itself which is not sitting in a cockpit.
Sherbrook is Damien Lang's base, who is, after the disappearance of Lynch, the only mob boss left in Gemini that is still buying Talons from Confed Decommissionings.

Funny, I really know Damien Lang personally. When I was 15, I participated in a scholar exchange with France and I visited a town near Verdun. The guy I shared a room with was named Damien Lang. I didn't know he'd make it to a mob boss, but deep inside my mind, I always knew it.

Menesch, at the time, is already done with Lynch (food blockade of New Detroit (Bronte)), and is about to bust Tucks, Sherbrook, in order to gain sole monopoli of the illegal ships market. The retro and kat forces you and the Confed fight are at every system connected to Sherbrook. Long story, but Tayla and Goodin know each other well... Ever wonder how is it that Monte gets references about you from both of them? That's why. They all know each other, and Masterson. The Confeds go all around Sherbrook under the pretext of fighting the Retros. They are, indeed; but it is to break up the retro and kat forces blockading Sherbrook from all sides and prepairing for an assault on Tucks; --the last remaining outlet for Confed illegal ship sales.

Why not solving two problems with one strike? But I'd rather have let the retros and furs attacked the pirates, and killed the remaining faction afterwards. Maybe the feds saw all those Salthis (thinking they're Kilrathi) and got nervous that Tuck could serve as a Kilrathi base (not knowing anything about Eden at all), and they lured you into the trap of helping them by telling you to find the retro base. Terell doesn't seem too smart too me, not asking me at any time if I know anything about the drone. He just sees Kilrathi all around him.
Indeed; there's been a lot of talk at the VS Features forum about refurbishing the economic system, but nothing's been done, that I know of, software-wise. This needs to be done. Else, the amount of work adjusting prices by hand is a bit daunting to consider.

I agree, I even think it wouldn't work... You can set buy and sell values for each type of base, so you'd have to give every base an own type, or at least per "region" (E.g. borderworld refineries pay weapons higher). Cargo missions currently depend on distance and number of cargo units, right? So this'll be a serious problem.
Another thing is jump drive inconsistencies. In WC, small ships don't have jump drives, and need to be carried in a ship that does, to get across systems. Case in point: Talons. At least, in the original Privateer game, we never see Talons jumping. Not sure how it is in the Remake; too long since I've played it; but in WCU we had Talons jumping jump points last I played it. This is an error that needs fixing if it's still there.

Both is correct. In the original, no ship ever jumped except of a few campaign guys like the Steltek scout, Oxford Draymans and Kroiz. In PR, every KI-controlled craft has a jump drive and uses it. This is quite easy to fix, e.g. by creating low-potent jump drives (e.g. by making the fuel usage much higher) and adding them to the template ships instead of the stock drives.
BTW, I think that once in a while the player should come across a Drayman or Caernaven spawning Talons and then disappearing back through the same jump point it came in, as to explain how pirate and retro talons usually get there.

I'd be happy to see that, but how does this work? The spawning points are in /modules/faction_ships.py and only allow systems to spawn. KI-controlled milspec Paradigms definetively carry fighters (dock at them and you might be able to buy some) but never launch them. The only thing I can think of right now is to put a stationary carrier at a spawning point, still neither the ship nor the spawning point would be able to move.
But to go back to the point you make, indeed, the areas of influence of factions need to be blurry, but not so undefined.

Yes! Nine Kamekhs attacking Munchen? Impossible.

Sorry if the discussions gets hot. Nothing here is personal, I just want to help tying those loose ends properly... and personally, I'd like to see them tied :wink:
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:39 pm

Dilloh wrote:
Never heard of jump points being manufactured or intentionally destroyed.

It's good that they cannot be destroyed, though I think they can be blocked wonderfully - I always wondered why they didn't park an obsolete carrier right into the jump outlet in the wc movie to make the cat fleet warp into it.

Well, according to the CIC's WC Encyclopedia's dissertation on jump points and jump drives, where the ship comes out, after a jump, is a probability distribution spanning many kilometers. This disagrees with the graphical representation of ships coming out of jump points at the jump point as it is shown in Privateer. I like the inderminacy idea better; otherwise your trick would work and nothing would make sense, so I've in fact proposed, long ago, that we fix the representational problem, and have ships come out somewhere within eye shot of jump points, but not at them.

But I feel sure that there can be jump points detected, calculated, whatever, even decades after a system has been fully populated. So every ES is somehow dealing with fortune.

Three answers:
1) Jump points sometimes come into existence.
2) Some jump points are harder to detect than others.
3) Some may have been known to the ES but are only said to have been discovered when it is decided a hitherto hidden system can be made part of the official maps.

If my theory of the Grey Zone is correct, there are many legitimate mining operations there, as well as agri planets, whatever, that are not in on the official maps.

Really, I simply don't think this is logical. We're in space. Space facilites and populated planets cause energy emissions which are surely being recognized by 27th century scanners. You'd have to hide the whole system. I remember from the original game, systems like Pentonville were on the map, but not the bases. So the system itself is surely known. I'd like to hear a better explanation, not insisting I have one.

Well, now I think you're going a bit too far in applying real world expectations to the WC universe. In the real world there are no jump points, and we have telescopes. Ever heard a telescope even being mentioned in any of WC lore? In the WC universe, knowledge of it comes from exploration only, as far as we know. And mostly only the ES has access to exploration equipment. I suppose antigravitons are pretty hard to produce :D
I'm trying to come up with explanations that are coherent, within the WC universe; not necessarily consistent with real world expectations. I think we can expect more consistency on the aspect of human relationships, sociology and politics, than we can in terms of science and technology. Scientifically speaking, nothing in WC makes any sense at all. Space ships with speed limits???!!! And the fact that Eden was hidden proves beyond doubt that it can be done... in WC.

Notice how quickly the Confeds were able to put together a fleet to send due West to fight retros in RF? Remember?; --when your mission is to sweep Death, Pestilence and War? Why couldn't they have done something similar to that to bust a pirate base or two?

Because "pirate" is a term for "corrupt guy" in any way. Patrols can be bribed, nearly in every single system some pirate affiliate is monitoring fleet movements or officer's communication. They're warned better than retros who don't like to infiltrate this way.

Oh, come on; the retros have infiltrated the government; not just the police. They have a mole high up in the ES; someone with the power to keep the existence of Eden off the official maps. And somehow they came to have a former governor become their arms supplier. But you think the pirates are better organized?

Pirates who live on bases trade with slaves, so they have hostages. If the pirates have to leave, they can shut down the oxygen and kill their hostages - not too good for the feds reputation as the war doesn't turn out to be successfull at this point. Pirates are popular - they bring drugs, they live a life that many mine workers, farmers and others dream of: Action, girls, money.
Oh, yes, very popular... :D

Eliminating the retro threat was politically vital for guys like Terell, and also for Geminis moral. Who could one afford loosing the famous Oxford library just because of some freaks trying to disassemble it by violent means? The feds need a huge victory. A victory requires a battle, which requires a lot of kills. So you decide to kill someone who is hated by everyone else, and voilà - the retros. It's the same old story like we have today. When interior politics are bad, go make some good exterior politics via war. In Gemini, it's the other way around: Distract the people from the war at the borders by means of a strong, safe and popular strike.

Neat theory, but the war with the kats is not an unpopular war. Gemini bartenders don't seem like the biggest fans of the Confeds, but this has more to do with the Earth politicians than with the men of uniform. Only a year earlier the Earth government fell for the armistice that led to the Battle of Terra, and now are reluctant to send carriers to the front because they want Earth to be well defended. Plus, everybody can see that pirates and retros are flying ships of Confed manufacture. It doesn't take a genius to realize that they are buying ships that were supposed to be decomissioned. So, the people of Gemini know full well that the Confeds are full of corruption and money laundering; and this is what they don't like. And the Confeds don't really give a damn. Or, maybe some of them do, as individuals; but it's not like there's an election coming up soon...
I think I've presented enough evidence that the Confeds don't attack pirate bases simply because they depend on the pirates' buying Confed ships, for off-the-book income, for off-the-book projects.

Do not always think of the factions, think of the people itself which is not sitting in a cockpit.

I'm definitely thinking about those.
Sherbrook is Damien Lang's base, who is, after the disappearance of Lynch, the only mob boss left in Gemini that is still buying Talons from Confed Decommissionings.

Funny, I really know Damien Lang personally. When I was 15, I participated in a scholar exchange with France and I visited a town near Verdun. The guy I shared a room with was named Damien Lang. I didn't know he'd make it to a mob boss, but deep inside my mind, I always knew it.

I was expecting a question, namely "who is Damien Lang?". Wasn't expecting sarcasm, though.
There were a set of missions that never made it into the game. I don't have the link on me. The original story plot for Privateer was that after you find the gun at Delta Prime, the gun is in your cargo. If or when you land in New Detroit, Lynch offers to have your gun installed on your ship, and when you come back for your ship he says he's wants you to do some missions for him. The first of these four missions is to intercept and destroy Merchants Guild draymans that are supposed to make a food delivery for his rival, Damien Lang. Says that he wants to cause Lang "embarrassment".
From that last statement I deduce that Lang is the sender of that food shipment; as a recepient would be mad, not "embarrassed". So this Lang guy is a rival of Lynch, and like Lynch is in the food business. Probably other businesses as well. But we know his agri company is neither Bronte nor Rondell; and one would assume that Beto Food Corp, from the mission computers, might be owned by some guy named Beto :D
For some other elucubrations of mine about this Lang character, consider the fact that he's contracting with Merchants Guild to deliver the food shipment. That's interesting...
Lynch is a tycoon-come-mobster, rather than the other way around. Not only he controls Bronte, and delivers weapons to Siva, Rikel, but in the mission computers you find three companies with his name on them: Lynch Mining, Lynch Trust, and Lynch Shipping. Which means that Lynch doesn't do business with the Merchants Guild, but rather competes with them. But Lang is probably also a tycoon-come-mobster; otherwise Lynch wouldn't refer to him as a "rival". And if my theory is correct that the Merchants Guild have deals with the pirates, they need a pirates representative with whom to deal. Could this be Lang?
What other rivals of Lynch do we hear from?
There's an unnamed rival for whom Kroiz works. Lynch is sending weapons to Siva, Rikel, which is just a jump away from Eden. Could it be that they need weapons for defense from Retros? Why would Kroiz want to intercept that weapons shipment? Chances are Kroiz works for the other rival of Lynch; --NOT Lang, but Menesch.
So, if I stretch this scenario just a little more, we got Lynch and Lang are both anti-retro mobsters, both rivals of Menesch. Lynch's area of control is the southeast of the map, from New Cons and New Det to Pentonville. Lang's territory is the north-west and probably includes Tuck and the other pirate base, can't remember the name now; even though it was my favorite smuggling route :). Anyways, I think Menesch is expanding from the middle, and Tayla's presence in New Detroit is probably Lang trying to propose to Lynch joining forces agains Menesch.
This doesn't contradict my theory that Tayla is also Confed. The Confeds are equally concerned about Menesch's rumored dealing with the kats for supplying ships. The illegal ship sales flourished a year earlier, during the False Peace. Now the Confeds don't have as many ships to sell, and won't be able to raise prices if Menesch starts importing salthis.

Menesch, at the time, is already done with Lynch (food blockade of New Detroit (Bronte)), and is about to bust Tucks, Sherbrook, in order to gain sole monopoli of the illegal ships market. The retro and kat forces you and the Confed fight are at every system connected to Sherbrook. Long story, but Tayla and Goodin know each other well... Ever wonder how is it that Monte gets references about you from both of them? That's why. They all know each other, and Masterson. The Confeds go all around Sherbrook under the pretext of fighting the Retros. They are, indeed; but it is to break up the retro and kat forces blockading Sherbrook from all sides and prepairing for an assault on Tucks; --the last remaining outlet for Confed illegal ship sales.

Why not solving two problems with one strike? But I'd rather have let the retros and furs attacked the pirates, and killed the remaining faction afterwards.

I've already answered why: The Confeds need the illegal ship sales market to finance their secret operations. The Earth government are a bunch of useless bureaucrats; and the Confeds couldn't do anything if everything had to be approved by Earth. On the other hand, once an illegitmate economy and money laundering begins within the military, it is hard to stop from it acquiring a life of its own.

Maybe the feds saw all those Salthis (thinking they're Kilrathi) and got nervous that Tuck could serve as a Kilrathi base (not knowing anything about Eden at all), and they lured you into the trap of helping them by telling you to find the retro base. Terell doesn't seem too smart too me, not asking me at any time if I know anything about the drone. He just sees Kilrathi all around him.

Exactly. Terrel is a good man, but doesn't have a clue what's going on. The one that knows is Goodin. Remember when you're being followed by the steltek drone she meets you at a mine?
Asteroid mines have a symbology in Privateer. All things hidden and secretive happen at mines. Pirate bases are abandoned mines. Monte meets you first at a mine, the retro informant meets you at a mine, Lynch goes into hiding at a mine. To me this says that Goodin wasn't acting under orders, but on her own, when she comes looking for you. She's doing it in a hush hush way. Like she wants to make sure she'll have your cooperation before even speaking to Terrel about it. She knows more than she's letting on, I say.

Gotta stop writing; I'm not getting anything done :D
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Postby Dilloh » Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:41 am

Okay, you explained quite a lot. I'm impressed. As I said, I haven't read the timeline that deep. I still see some other reasons why everybody has talons, plasmas and so on (coding laziness in the original), but a reasonable story is getting tighter.

I'm currently working at a campaign on my own and would like to present the story to you as soon as I'm done - just to tell me about its canonity. It'll be rather short and I hope you'll aid me with that.

Regards
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:48 am

I'd be glad. I'm hoping to also find a way that we can join efforts, rather than work on competing and incompatible plots. My plot line spans many years, overlapping all the rest of WC; but it's mostly only a skeleton, --very little meat on it.

Let me just clarify one thing, though: It's never been my intention to expose the story behind the story any more than it is exposed in Privateer. The purpose of my analysis was, and is, to have a clear picture of what's going on behind the curtains, so that, when writing a campaign, one doesn't contradict it. It allows me to reject outright the idea of militias busting a pirate base, for just one example.

OT:
I'm done texturing the new Demon...
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/forum ... 8994#78994
It's on Klauss' hands now; should be ready for import as a patch in a few days.
/OT
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Postby Dilloh » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:34 am

Thanks alot. I'll tell you when my progress is far enough. I'm currently trying to understand the structure of the campaign file - I've never learned a prog language properly. I managed to create a single mission campaign, but still encountering trouble with multiple missions. We shall see.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:42 pm

Not sure if this might be relevant to you. In my plotline, Kroiz is still alive. He managed to eject and hide because he had an advanced, stealth ejection capsule. He is disfugured, though, and has but one aim in life: to exact revenge. He has taken over Menesch's business, and is more diplomatic in his dealings with Belisarius than his former boss. He will secretly amass a very large fleet, including carriers.

But to go back in time, prior to Privateer, for whatever it may be worth to you... I was just doing some work on another WCU plot, WC0, leading up to WC1; and I started digging into the hypothetical situation in Gemini at the time of the Iason Incident (2629).

So far, what I seem to have is that:

New Detroit has been settled already, but hasn't yet grown to a planet-wide metropoli. Perry is probably a small military outpost.

By about 2639, Menesch will become governor of a planet in a system in Avalon (West of Gemini). Not sure which system yet, perhaps Baroda, in the Challenger quadrant; but it would probably better be a system that includes a planet base with a large population, as well as a Confed shipyard.

This shipyard will later be expanded to include ship disassembly, scuttling and recycling; and it eventually comes under the control of Confed Decommissionings.

By about 2649 (after Cluster's Carnival), Menesch is kicked out of office and faces corruption charges. He escapes direction South-East. Crosses all of Gemini, and ends up at the Grovsner Colonies, right on the Kilrathi border.

The Grovsner Colonies are a very independent bunch who refused to participate in the signing of the armistice or Torgo. How can they manage so much independence right next to katland? My theory is that they are a safehaven for criminals like Menesch, and to Mandarins; so the kats leave them alone. Menesch gets to meet mandarins there, who eventually introduce him to important Kilrathi characters.

There may be an unofficial jump line connecting Grovsner with 44P-1M.
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Postby Dilloh » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:45 am

Not sure if this might be relevant to you. In my plotline, Kroiz is still alive. He managed to eject and hide because he had an advanced, stealth ejection capsule.

It is not, though it always seemed clear to me - Kroiz was no mission objective, I didn't even shoot down his ship, neither in the original nor in PR.
He is disfugured, though, and has but one aim in life: to exact revenge. He has taken over Menesch's business, and is more diplomatic in his dealings with Belisarius than his former boss. He will secretly amass a very large fleet, including carriers.

He behaves like a Gentleman, still like an insane one. I suppose he buys the carriers from the Kilrathi? Since no other private faction in Gemini owns carriers, his contacts must be very good. I might be able to help out with that... since my storyline inflicts kilrathi defectors, there'll be a Fralthi carrier for sale to a faction afterwards.
How can they manage so much independence right next to katland? My theory is that they are a safehaven for criminals like Menesch, and to Mandarins; so the kats leave them alone.

Sounds logical... the cats also "cooperate" in this way by non-aggression with the retros in 2670.
There may be an unofficial jump line connecting Grovsner with 44P-1M.

Reasonable, but not necessary... The Grovsner colonies are quite near to Gemini, easy to reach without a refuel stop, especially when you are at good terms with the cats. This is why at least the feds leave Grovsner alone... The colonies work like a blockade point system which the cats spare from their attacks.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:38 am

Dilloh wrote:
Not sure if this might be relevant to you. In my plotline, Kroiz is still alive. He managed to eject and hide because he had an advanced, stealth ejection capsule.

It is not, though it always seemed clear to me - Kroiz was no mission objective, I didn't even shoot down his ship, neither in the original nor in PR.

I wasn't thinking... That's true. My story should detect/remember whether the player supposedly killed Kroiz and change the dialogues accordingly.

He is disfugured, though, and has but one aim in life: to exact revenge. He has taken over Menesch's business, and is more diplomatic in his dealings with Belisarius than his former boss. He will secretly amass a very large fleet, including carriers.

He behaves like a Gentleman, still like an insane one. I suppose he buys the carriers from the Kilrathi? Since no other private faction in Gemini owns carriers, his contacts must be very good. I might be able to help out with that... since my storyline inflicts kilrathi defectors, there'll be a Fralthi carrier for sale to a faction afterwards.

Good idea; thanks!; I'd been thinking of pre-war carriers, of which there should be 3, mothballed somewhere; but yes, kitty carriers make more sense. Leave the confed pre-war carriers for the player to acquire... ;-)
How can they manage so much independence right next to katland? My theory is that they are a safehaven for criminals like Menesch, and to Mandarins; so the kats leave them alone.

Sounds logical... the cats also "cooperate" in this way by non-aggression with the retros in 2670.

There's also a story somewhere of pirates the kats leave alone; I just read about it couple of weeks ago; wish I'd kept a record of where that was...

WRT, 2670... We've discussed this at length at the WCU forum, and decided that RF happens in 2669; to consider the "A Year Later" opening screen at the start of RF a "canon error" on the part of Origin, and to change it to "A Week Later". Reasons are multifold:
    * If Menesch wants your gun, he wouldn't wait a year to get it.
    * By 2670 the war is over, but from all indications, plot-wise as well as bar rumors, the war is heating up during RF. In particular, note the bar rumor at Peryy, regarding the loss of the TCS Kinney; Terrel's references about the forces being split between the Retros and the kilrathi front, etceteras. Some may say that perhaps these are attacks by renegade kats, but it's too much for it to be renegades. Specially the loss of a carrier (and I'm not talking about the TCS Winterrowd, which was destroyed by the steltek drone; the Kinney was destroyed by the kats, on its way to Perry).
    * We wanted to have an opportunity to have Burrows do a stint in the Confed, and fly missions off a carrier in kat territory, if only for the sake of building bridges between Privateer and WC; but also for the opportunity to have Burrows meet Blair (after a secret mission, right after the Temblor bomb drop). His military stint is cut short by the end of the war, and he goes back to privateering --now a retired officer with honors, and a war hero within Gemini. And this is where Part 2 of my plot begins in earnest. Part 3 will be all about fighting corruption in the Confed (and the fact that he's a war hero is important here: he will become officially enemies with the confed, and confed ships will look red in your sensor screen; but the pilots will love you and not fire on you; long story); as well as having a sort of cold war with Kroiz; but I'm talking too much... ;-)
But anyhow, my Part 2 of the plot begins early in 2670, and I have tons of space for plots in there. That's what I'm thinking in the way of merging our plots. Part 1, the military stint, is pretty much done. Part 2, however, is only like 10% done.

There may be an unofficial jump line connecting Grovsner with 44P-1M.

Reasonable, but not necessary... The Grovsner colonies are quite near to Gemini, easy to reach without a refuel stop, especially when you are at good terms with the cats. This is why at least the feds leave Grovsner alone... The colonies work like a blockade point system which the cats spare from their attacks.

Sorry; I meant ND-57. I was just trying to put in a shortcut for the kats to reach New Det, to explain their frequency there. See also the start of my plot:
http://www.deeplayer.com/doku/doku.php/ ... arta:start

EDIT:
Something else that might help you:
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/ ... F_Timeline
This timeline combines all canonical sources and then some, into a unified WC and RF timeline, almost day by day. Timing Privateer and RF was an arduous amount of scientifically exacting work. Sources include the Encyclopaedia, the books, and Fleet Tactics' secret emails.
For a Privateer (part 1) + WC combined timeline, just follow the link from that page.
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Postby Dilloh » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:57 am

WRT, 2670... We've discussed this at length at the WCU forum, and decided that RF happens in 2669; to consider the "A Year Later" opening screen at the start of RF a "canon error" on the part of Origin, and to change it to "A Week Later".
Absolutely no objections. To quote Burrows: "I was going to take an extended vacation, but it got cut short." If 1 year is short, how long would he have desired to spend his holiday? 10 years? And why is he looking for work afterwards (Remember, before he finds a trace of his gun, he's "just" looking for work). If he can afford an "extended vacation", shouldn't he be really wealthy then? A week or a month is much more canon.
Part 1, the military stint, is pretty much done. Part 2, however, is only like 10% done.
Do you mean that the storyline is done or the scripting as well?

Here is what I thought of in short, rough words (SPOILER):
A Fralthi carrier with defectors and fugitives comes around "eastern" Gemini, Mah'rahn or something like that (ND-57 seems also reasonable by now). They were sent on a mission into the backwaters of Gemini because their public friendship with Grovshner is a shame for the Empire. They decided to seek asylum in Grovshner, without success. The Emperor heard about that, became cholerical and sent some bombers after the ship. The feds under the command of Terrell just saw the furballs = they saw red. The Fralthi survived both attacks, but now lies stranded within the system. The player needs to defend them from further attacks, bring in supplies to repair the ship and eventually help evacute the carrier as the sensors retrieve a large hunter armada (Kroiz!) trying to capture the carrier. Burrows manages to evacuate the Kilrathi to Rikel (Remember - secret connection to Eden) where they hide on an unpopulated island, the carrier vanishes. Players reward is some cat tech, maybe a cloak or the Kamekh the cats fled with. In RF Burrows will eventually find out that the defectors were rehabilitated by the Emperor and now help out as negotiators to finally trade with the Retros.

I'm going to fully implement this into priv so that you need to play this, maybe after the drone is destroyed. This will be more canon considering a possible part 2 in RF, when Burrows tracks the defectors down after Menesch is dead. What do you think of it?
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:38 am

Hmmm... I don't understand it, really; this is kat or human defectors and refugees? What confuses me the most is that they are defectors/refugees; and yet they are on a carrier, and are "sent" ... (by who, the kats?). On a mission? Or is this a prisoner ship? And about "their friendship..." whose friendship with Grovsner is a shame? The kats or the refugees? I know that English is a hard language to master (took me 27 years living in Canada, and I haven't succeeded yet), so please don't take my pointing out things in a bad way. I don't know how it works in German, but in English one needs to disambiguate when mentioning two groups in one sentence, for example, or implying more than one group, and then using pronouns like "they" or "them". There was a hilarious example in a writing style book: "Because he barked all night, George threw Toby out the window." On first reading, the reader might think that George barked all night. :D
I'm completely lost, when the Confeds (or is it the refugees?) "saw red".
Either way I interpret it, I don't grasp the reason why, since I don't know what or who the refugees are, and who are they aligned with or against.
And when you say the player has to help evacuate them, I'm even more confused: Who is the player's employer? And when you say they hide in an unpopulated island after mentioning Eden, I'm not sure if you mean an island in Eden, or still in Rikel; and I'm not sure who they are hiding from.
Nor is it clear why the carrier vanishes, --you mean gets stolen?
Not sure about the player getting new tech. New techs are always dangerous to play balance; and there's very few of them to go around, so one has to be very careful not to throw "new tech as reward" all over the place. In my story I have two specific missions where the player gets new tech, and these are very long missions, and the new techs are non-renewable.
As for refugees becoming negotiators, I don't think you need a shipload of refugees to do consular work. Just one guy (or kat) with a suit and a tie might do better than a whole shipload of renegades.
But other than for the last point, I don't agree or disagree, like or dislike the rest of it. I simply don't understand any of it, the way you wrote it.
Sorry that I can't give you any positve feedback yet. Except perhaps to say that if this is how a carrier ends up with Kroiz, it seems like a good idea for it to happen out of a chain of incidents from which he takes advantage.

One last concern of mine is that, if you're thinking of inserting this into the Privateer Part 1 plot, you might catch a lot of flak from people among WC fandom who absolutely abhorr any kind of changes to ships or weapons or characters or stories, and who defend existing canon with religious zeal. I once baptized them "retros", and gave them a hard time, at another forum; but they do have a point: If everybody started changing things, the continuity would become intractable. The ONLY thing I've changed in my story was "A Year Later" to "A Week Later", and this after a lot of debate, and after concluding with the unquestionable fact that the title is indeed in contradiction to other facts, and therefore can safely be said to be a "canon error".
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Postby Dilloh » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:59 am

Hmmm... I don't understand it, really; this is kat or human defectors and refugees?
The defectors AND fugees are cats, they are stating that they're peaceful traders. The military staff on the carrier didn't have too many great battles in the past, this is why the cat emperor diverts the ship to the backwaters of Gemini. The commander feels disappointed. This feeling becomes stronger when he meets the Kilrathi near the border, tired of the war, making friendship with Grovshner. We had some ideas about that in the PU thread half a year ago:
z30 wrote:The Kilrathi commander of your carrier storyline would be one in disgrace or in disfavor - maybe from a clan that was formerly in power but not anymore. All the hotshots get to fight in the Vega sector - those the Emperor dislikes get sent to the backwaters of Gemini.
So he gets issued an obsolete & outmoded Fralthi with an equally dispirited crew, all either rejects or disliked by other "successful" Kilrathi commanders.
He needs to belong to a clan, maybe the one that engineered the false peace that led to the battle of Earth.

On a mission? Or is this a prisoner ship?
No missions, no prisoners. This is what disappoints them. They fly unimportant patrols in unimportant systems. Not directly the warriors dream.
And about "their friendship..." whose friendship with Grovsner is a shame?
The cat defector's friendship with Grovshner. Kilrathi usually don't make allies if I remember correctly.
I know that English is a hard language to master
Ah yes, I'm sorry, I frequently apologize for my terms. I'm often drifting into german grammatics when I'm writing too much and too fast, or sometimes I simply cease thinking. Although I think my English is okay, I must admit that I didn't have to use it that much ever before like I need it in the VS forum. No skin off my nose. :wink:
I'm completely lost, when the Confeds (or is it the refugees?) "saw red".
:oops: That's a common german saying, "rot sehen", you see something which is making you angry, something you hate, it's like the Torrero's red cloth to the bull. I apologize again.
Who is the player's employer?
The defectors employ the player to help them. They have connections which allow a "human" payment.
And when you say they hide in an unpopulated island after mentioning Eden, I'm not sure if you mean an island in Eden, or still in Rikel; and I'm not sure who they are hiding from.
They land on Siva and settle on an island there, knowing that neither Terrell nor any other Confed would agree to have that many Kilrathis on a Confed base. I've chosen Rikel so that we'll have a connection to the retros and the RF ship tradings.
Nor is it clear why the carrier vanishes, --you mean gets stolen?
Kroiz appears to capture it - he'll take it. Both confed and cat patrols won't be able to do so due to massive battles with the carrier before - an easy bait for Kroiz, getting his first carrier for free.
Not sure about the player getting new tech.
The campaign I want to create will be optional in one of my patches. Since I'm involved in PU, I guess it's okay to add those features. There are already so many others like Lev9 shields in a fighter. PU tries to spice the game up basically by means of adding new features. Rebalances are done afterwards after some player feedback. I added a cloak to my milspec Fireblade, including a very long activation time. A good compromise in my opinion. However, if you finally like the campaign, feel free to take it into PR1.3 or whatever and modify whatever you like - it'd be an honor in any way.
As for refugees becoming negotiators, I don't think you need a shipload of refugees to do consular work. Just one guy (or kat) with a suit and a tie might do better than a whole shipload of renegades.
Of course, but a single cat wouldn't try to escape in a carrier, rather in a Dralthi. Well, I don't need a carrier for this campaign, but I simply want to add a new feature to PU. Of course a single cat would be enough to lead through the campaign, and it will naturally be just one cat who employs the player.
But other than for the last point, I don't agree or disagree, like or dislike the rest of it. I simply don't understand any of it, the way you wrote it. Sorry that I can't give you any positve feedback yet.
I'm sorry that I didn't express it clearly enough. I hope those answers will help understanding it.
Except perhaps to say that if this is how a carrier ends up with Kroiz, it seems like a good idea for it to happen out of a chain of incidents from which he takes advantage.
In my first thoughts, the carrier shouldn't vanish at all, but if it harmonizes with your story - why not? Glad you like at least that point so far...
if you're thinking of inserting this into the Privateer Part 1 plot, you might catch a lot of flak from people among WC fandom who absolutely abhorr any kind of changes to ships or weapons or characters or stories, and who defend existing canon with religious zeal.
As I mentioned, this'll be for Parallel Universe. We have had positive feedback for any major change so far, e.g. both for the new Speke planet and the Militia Guild campaign. Since the PU users are used to changes that are not too canon, they'll most likely appreciate a longer storyline. I won't change or even delete any stock mission.

Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate any form of critics, so feel free to tell me if the story now makes sense or not.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:40 pm

Sorry, I'm still not understanding anything...
Dilloh wrote:The defectors AND fugees are cats, they are stating that they're peaceful traders.
Are we still at war, or is this after the war. If it's during the war, how could kats on a military carrier claim they are peaceful traders?
The military staff on the carrier didn't have too many great battles in the past, this is why the cat emperor diverts the ship to the backwaters of Gemini.
To fight, I suppose? But, a carrier?! Never saw a kat carrier in Gemini. Not in Privateer, nor in RF; not that it couldn't happen; just a bit shocked.
The commander feels disappointed. This feeling becomes stronger when he meets the Kilrathi near the border,
When he meets which Kilrathi?
tired of the war, making friendship with Grovshner.
Who's making friendship with Grovsner? The captain of the carrier or these Kilrathi they meet?
We had some ideas about that in the PU thread half a year ago:
z30 wrote:The Kilrathi commander of your carrier storyline would be one in disgrace or in disfavor - maybe from a clan that was formerly in power but not anymore. All the hotshots get to fight in the Vega sector - those the Emperor dislikes get sent to the backwaters of Gemini.
So he gets issued an obsolete & outmoded Fralthi with an equally dispirited crew, all either rejects or disliked by other "successful" Kilrathi commanders.
He needs to belong to a clan, maybe the one that engineered the false peace that led to the battle of Earth.

I still don't get it.
No missions, no prisoners. This is what disappoints them. They fly unimportant patrols in unimportant systems. Not directly the warriors dream.
Okay, but they DO have a mission to attack humans, I suppose?
The cat defector's friendship with Grovshner. Kilrathi usually don't make allies if I remember correctly.

You do remember correctly; I'm just missing a whole bunch of pieces of background information here.
Although I think my English is okay, I must admit that I didn't have to use it that much ever before like I need it in the VS forum. No skin off my nose. :wink:
Your English is very good. I think the problem is you can't picture the state of my mind with the little information you give me. Like who, what, when, how, how come, what's going on?
I'm completely lost, when the Confeds (or is it the refugees?) "saw red".
:oops: That's a common german saying, "rot sehen", you see something which is making you angry, something you hate, it's like the Torrero's red cloth to the bull. I apologize again.

The expression is the same in English. My question was WHO saw red, and why?
The defectors employ the player to help them. They have connections which allow a "human" payment.
And who sends the player to them? How does the player come into contact with them, in the first place?
They land on Siva and settle on an island there, knowing that neither Terrell nor any other Confed would agree to have that many Kilrathis on a Confed base. I've chosen Rikel so that we'll have a connection to the retros and the RF ship tradings.

Okay, I may be starting to get a glimpse of the story now.
Kroiz appears to capture it - he'll take it. Both confed and cat patrols won't be able to do so due to massive battles with the carrier before - an easy bait for Kroiz, getting his first carrier for free.

My obvious question is how he manages, but I guess you know that.
The campaign I want to create will be optional in one of my patches. Since I'm involved in PU, I guess it's okay to add those features. There are already so many others like Lev9 shields in a fighter. PU tries to spice the game up basically by means of adding new features. Rebalances are done afterwards after some player feedback. I added a cloak to my milspec Fireblade, including a very long activation time. A good compromise in my opinion. However, if you finally like the campaign, feel free to take it into PR1.3 or whatever and modify whatever you like - it'd be an honor in any way.

Thanks.
Of course, but a single cat wouldn't try to escape in a carrier, rather in a Dralthi.
My objection was three-fold: First the fact that if this was a renegade ship (which it isn't, if I'm understanding anything), they would have no authority to negotiate. Secondly, negotiation skills aren't usually found among military personnel. Thirdly, there is no need for negotiation. Menesch has a long history of politics and corruption.
Well, I don't need a carrier for this campaign, but I simply want to add a new feature to PU. Of course a single cat would be enough to lead through the campaign, and it will naturally be just one cat who employs the player.
You haven't told me what the "purpose" of the campaign is, so I was dumbfounded that you needed a carrier; now I'm dumbfounded by your saying you don't need it... What IS the whole idea?
I'm sorry that I didn't express it clearly enough. I hope those answers will help understanding it.

I'm beginning to get a trickle of understanding, I guess, but I'm not sure.
As I mentioned, this'll be for Parallel Universe. We have had positive feedback for any major change so far, e.g. both for the new Speke planet and the Militia Guild campaign. Since the PU users are used to changes that are not too canon, they'll most likely appreciate a longer storyline. I won't change or even delete any stock mission.

Okay, fine by me.

Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate any form of critics, so feel free to tell me if the story now makes sense or not.

It's like I have a few pieces but still missing the plan. So, the objective is to get a kat ship into Gemini and make it disappear? These are NOT renegades and refugees, they are low level military kats, right? The business of befriending Grovsner I don't get. How the player gets into this carrier in the first place I don't understand. Their claiming to be merchants I don't understand. How Kroiz manages to capture it I don't see; but I guess this would be my problem ;-)

EDIT:
Another problem is carriers aren't atmospheric flyers. They can't land, on an island or anywhere.
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Postby Dilloh » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:13 am

Are we still at war, or is this after the war. If it's during the war, how could kats on a military carrier claim they are peaceful traders?
We're at the time of the drone incident, somewhere between Kroizs first appearance and the beginning of RF. The carrier holds two "sorts" of cats: the disappointed warriors and civil merchant cats who have lived too long too far outside the heart of kilrathi space, feeling like the border world guys who don't get any government support at all. Now both cat groups have decided to ally to follow their common aim: Getting into confed space and hiding there until the war is over - whoever will win. THIS is the point where they'll meet the player: When they've reached Gemini and now are stranded.
To fight, I suppose? But, a carrier?! Never saw a kat carrier in Gemini. Not in Privateer, nor in RF; not that it couldn't happen; just a bit shocked.
No, not to fight... To be busy and to be out of sight for the emperor's eyes. The carrier is supposed to do lower work like patrolling strategic unimportant systems. I also haven't seen carriers in the game yet... But you also want them AND there have been, e.g talking of the TCS Winterrod which has been destroyed by the Drone.
When he meets which Kilrathi?
The carrier commander will meet the Kilrathi leader of the merchant group. They'll eventually ally to make their escape on the carrier.
Who's making friendship with Grovsner? The captain of the carrier or these Kilrathi they meet?
Grovshner are human colonies which have gained their independence from the feds, right? The cat merchants begin trading with them, and they'll realize that humans aren't that bad at all and later decide to better live in confed space to escape the war. The Grovshner part and the merchants are not necessary for the story, still I thought it would explain why a large group of cats wanted to live in confed space.
z30 wrote:
The Kilrathi commander of your carrier storyline would be one in disgrace or in disfavor - maybe from a clan that was formerly in power but not anymore. All the hotshots get to fight in the Vega sector - those the Emperor dislikes get sent to the backwaters of Gemini.
So he gets issued an obsolete & outmoded Fralthi with an equally dispirited crew, all either rejects or disliked by other "successful" Kilrathi commanders.
He needs to belong to a clan, maybe the one that engineered the false peace that led to the battle of Earth.

The war is good for the Kilrathi. The cat emperor thinks he can afford sending out warriors he dislikes to the "dustbin" of the galaxy. He does so with the carrier commander who is known to favor a peace agreement with the humans, so the emperor gets rid of him. Near Gemini, he'll meet cats who think the same peaceful way.
Okay, but they DO have a mission to attack humans, I suppose?
Of course. They're still under the command of the kilrathi, but they virtually face any major battle, when they eventually disobey, hail confed HQ and offer to defect (but not to surrender). The confeds think it's a trap, so the carrier gets in need of other peoples help.
My question was WHO saw red, and why?
The feds see a cat carrier on course for Gemini, maybe for Perry, and they SEE RED, they don't even think that the carrier commander could tell the truth and is willing to defect. Terrell thinks he'll be attacked.
And who sends the player to them? How does the player come into contact with them, in the first place?
A human informant. If I implement the campaign after the drone is destroyed, I'll even have Terrell send Burrows to directly look if the confed strike to destroy the carrier was a success.
My obvious question is how he manages, but I guess you know that.
The carrier will be damaged from both cat pursue attacks and fed defense attacks. Both feds and cats will need some time to assemble a capture team. Kroiz comes up sooner with a troop transport.
My objection was three-fold: First the fact that if this was a renegade ship (which it isn't, if I'm understanding anything), they would have no authority to negotiate. Secondly, negotiation skills aren't usually found among military personnel. Thirdly, there is no need for negotiation. Menesch has a long history of politics and corruption.
After the cats settled down on Siva, they're happy. With the beginning of RF, Burrows will find out that he has helped with the evacuation of spies, not merchants or defectors. The cats on Siva used the secret jump point Rikel-Eden to come into contact with the Retros and eventually find a way to deal with them, selling constantly Salthis to them. This creates a closer connection between cats and Retros.
You haven't told me what the "purpose" of the campaign is, so I was dumbfounded that you needed a carrier; now I'm dumbfounded by your saying you don't need it... What IS the whole idea?
To spice up the game of course, and additionally respecting the canonity of the storyline as good as possible. I just want to add a campaign on my own, I'm not trying to answer any questions of the timeline. Still, I don't want my campaign to add additional questions.
It's like I have a few pieces but still missing the plan. So, the objective is to get a kat ship into Gemini and make it disappear? These are NOT renegades and refugees, they are low level military kats, right? The business of befriending Grovsner I don't get. How the player gets into this carrier in the first place I don't understand. Their claiming to be merchants I don't understand. How Kroiz manages to capture it I don't see; but I guess this would be my problem Wink
They're spies in the end, they (say that they) used to trade with Grovsner, using Grovsner as an argument to tell everyone that they like humans (the feds can't check that - Grovsner doesn't belong to them). Burrows will be sent to look up if the carrier is destroyed - finding it heavily damaged, sending out an SOS adressed to human civil forces. Kroiz will see the opportunity of his life in the damaged carrier. He originally pursued Burrows and wanted to track him down on a base rather than in a ship (therefor he has troop transport).
Another problem is carriers aren't atmospheric flyers. They can't land, on an island or anywhere.
As I said, they'll evacuate the carrier - using most likely a Kamekh, which will be defended by the player. There will only be a few jumps until Rikel.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:00 am

Ah, Okay. Now I understand everything.

Frankly, I find the story too unbelievable. To explain all you have just explained to me through the story and dialogues, this should be a campaign as large as Priv or RF. Furthermore, there are serious problems:
One of them I already mentioned: Carriers cannot land on planets; they can only dock with stations or other ships.
You mention something about Khameks in reply to that; but Khameks cannot land either. Only some of the small ships could fly through an atmosphere and land. So the bigger ships would have to be left orbiting Siva.
Which makes them visible and/or detectable.
Other problems are that carriers are slow. There's no way for them to escape to Rikel without being followed. That Confeds would come and demand a formal surrender or destroy them. I don't see a provision for a *defining event* that causes the kats to make the difficult descision to desert. Motivations are not enough; motivations are like a bomb; but you also need a fuze.

But I also have problems with it in my understanding of Priv/RF:

For my historical background, and for what I read into Privateer/RF background, Menesch's connections with Kilrathis were forged years earlier. I first assumed it would be while being Governor, but a governor isn't a diplomat.
However, he has connections with Confed Secret Ops, who have their fingers on a lot of stuff. So I had him be a governor in a system in Avalon where there's a shipyard that at some point becomes part of Confed Decommissionings. After his government is deposed and he faces charges, he escapes to the Grovsner Colonies, where corrupt confeds had some dealings he was party to; and there he meets Mandarins, and through them, Kats. ***Important kats, like Khal.***

But anyhow, as far as strict canon goes, Menesh was solely responsible for forging a relationship with Khal and gettin a ship supply line from Kilrah. I don't like the idea of fabricating an (unbelievable) explanation for something that is already explained. Much less the idea that kat *defectors* would negotiate on behalf of Khal, the Commander of the 6th Fleet, no less.

Too many problems, I'd say; but I'm not your boss, and I can't tell you not to do it. All I can say is that I could never integrate that as-is.

But I do find it "inspiring". If I were to suggest some ways to change it, to make it more believable, I'd start with the same background you had, of this being a backwater patrol fleet. No merchants or strange things aboard.

I would add a trigger: The commander was framed by a kat officer belonging to a rival clan. They get attacked by kats and escape towards human space.

You get a Confed mission to go and save them, escort them to Grovsner; by a shady looking Confed officer fixer, with SO on his lapel insignia.

After defending the carrier, when you tell them to follow you to Grovsner, the kats say it's a trap; that Grovsner is a secret kat base of operations.
And that the Confeds that gave you the mission to escort them there are in league with kat secret ops; that they don't feel safe going to Grovsner.

If you go to grovsner, you find more kats than you think, so you come back and help them get into human space via some route they suggest, but along the way you're attacked by kats and by confeds, and you run into a large kat cargo ship carrying weapons and salthis into human space.

So you end up helping them find a place to hide in human space, and you have to jump ahead of them and clear all nav points of every system before they jump; but you can land on the carrier to refuel, between jumps.

Not Rikel; too close to Confeds; I'd take them all the way to Sherbrook; might help explain why Sherbrook is surrounded by kats and retros in the first half of RF.

EDIT:
I should give credit where credit is due; the part of my story about the player helping the carrier by jumping ahead of it and clearing nav points, and landing back on it for refueling, is actually from a plot that Shissui came up with, for WCU's WC0 project. It just happened to be in my mind when I wrote the above.

EDIT2:
I think even better would be to continue on past Gemini and into Avalon, so that they are never heard of again; as is the case in RF.
But frankly, I see nothing but problems, rather than solutions, coming out of this. Not so much with the story itself, but with the time it happens at.
But I'm not even sure what a good time for it might be.
That's why my approach is to first deeply analyze the background of Priv/RF and all of WC, and then start working from the top down; rather than come up with stories and then trying to fit them together.
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Postby Dilloh » Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:11 pm

To explain all you have just explained to me through the story and dialogues, this should be a campaign as large as Priv or RF.
Yes, why not? If I will be able to do so? Who would complain of an additional campaign? Still, I believe I can make both parts below 12 missions.
1.) Meet the carrier and defend it from a small confed/cat attack
2.) Go get some space salvage for repairs
3.) Defend the carrier from cat pursuers
4.) Go get some advanced fuel
5.) Defend the carrier from a confed strike
6.) Go get some food
7.) Abandon carrier + evacuate + defend the fleeing Kamekh from attacking Kroiz members, while the main Kroiz forces attack the carriers shields
8.) Landed on Siva, the commander thanks you. The carrier "disappears" (using the same script like the Derelict Base does after the Drone is destroyed).
9.) RF part storyline (after Jones is dead): Terrell tells you that the cats are spies. You're sent to destroy retro Draymans which deliver the Salthis.
10.) Defend a confed blockade force en route to Siva.
11.) The cats abandon Siva and try to get back into Kilrathi space. Destroy the fleeing Kamekh and its Salthi escort fighters.
You mention something about Khameks in reply to that; but Khameks cannot land either.
If you played the Oxford missions, you see a Drayman "docking" with Oxford. I'll relate to that. Surely corvettes need shuttles to dock a planet, but I don't mind.
Only some of the small ships could fly through an atmosphere and land. So the bigger ships would have to be left orbiting Siva.
Again, if you explain to me why Draymans bought at Oxford can launch or why I can land even with my Paradigm at any base and Kamekhs not, I'll reconsider about this point. But I don't see a severe canonity problem here.
Other problems are that carriers are slow. There's no way for them to escape to Rikel without being followed. That Confeds would come and demand a formal surrender or destroy them.
My carrier won't even move a milimeter during the whole campaign because it is heavily damaged and the cats are running out of spare parts. Luckily, the confeds are also low on ships and the only valuable strike force (Reismann) is sitting around in blockade point alpha and examining the drone wreck. The confeds don't demand a surrender. Terrell only wants to see the carrier vaporized. He is worried that the cats request for asylum is a trap and they just want to place a carrier deep into confed space.
I don't see a provision for a *defining event* that causes the kats to make the difficult descision to desert. Motivations are not enough; motivations are like a bomb; but you also need a fuze.
Well, I agree, I can't think of anything better right now. This part of the story stinks, but at least the cats will turn out to really be kilrathi spies in the end. Burrows will be left as the only one who was naive enough to believe them, but he doesn't mind since he has earned big bucks.
I don't like the idea of fabricating an (unbelievable) explanation for something that is already explained.
As I said before, I want to create a reasonable, but new campaign, and the idea of defecting cats found its friends. And they don't really defect, no one except Burrows (who just cares for the money) swallows the pill. I primarly don't want to explain how the Retros acquired Salthis, but I can give an additional one by this. I primarly want to add another story. The cats establish an "outpost" for their trading partners on Siva, a relative safe place if you consider the neighborhood with the Retros.
Too many problems, I'd say; but I'm not your boss, and I can't tell you not to do it. All I can say is that I could never integrate that as-is.
That wasn't meant to be... the original story itself didn't care for canonity, I just thought about getting closer to the plot, but I also realize this will be quite hard and I really want to stick to the idea of the Fralthi in Gemini. It's also a matter of if I can technically realize all of this, since I have no clue about Python. So I'll copy and paste missions and see what happens.
But I do find it "inspiring". If I were to suggest some ways to change it, to make it more believable, I'd start with the same background you had, of this being a backwater patrol fleet. No merchants or strange things aboard.

I would add a trigger: The commander was framed by a kat officer belonging to a rival clan. They get attacked by kats and escape towards human space.

You get a Confed mission to go and save them, escort them to Grovsner; by a shady looking Confed officer fixer, with SO on his lapel insignia.

After defending the carrier, when you tell them to follow you to Grovsner, the kats say it's a trap; that Grovsner is a secret kat base of operations.
And that the Confeds that gave you the mission to escort them there are in league with kat secret ops; that they don't feel safe going to Grovsner.

If you go to grovsner, you find more kats than you think, so you come back and help them get into human space via some route they suggest, but along the way you're attacked by kats and by confeds, and you run into a large kat cargo ship carrying weapons and salthis into human space.

So you end up helping them find a place to hide in human space, and you have to jump ahead of them and clear all nav points of every system before they jump; but you can land on the carrier to refuel, between jumps.

Not Rikel; too close to Confeds; I'd take them all the way to Sherbrook; might help explain why Sherbrook is surrounded by kats and retros in the first half of RF.
Okay, this sounds much more reasonable, except of two things: A large cat cargo ship enroute to Gemini. I'd think it would be better if the Retros would send Draymans, transpondering Guild signals to cover. The other thing: I'd have to integrate parts of a new space sector, but I could "borrow" that from WCU.
I should give credit where credit is due; the part of my story about the player helping the carrier by jumping ahead of it and clearing nav points, and landing back on it for refueling, is actually from a plot that Shissui came up with, for WCU's WC0 project. It just happened to be in my mind when I wrote the above.
Now THIS is one of the oldest missions of any spacesim - Patrol your mothership's surrounding area. As seen in WC1, WC2, WC3, WC4, WC5, X-Wing, Tie-Fighter, X-Wing vs. Tie-Fighter, beat me if I forgot something - I don't think this idea needs credits at all, not that I don't want to show respect to storywriters.
That's why my approach is to first deeply analyze the background of Priv/RF and all of WC, and then start working from the top down; rather than come up with stories and then trying to fit them together.
You're right... but when the first ideas of this were posted, I didn't even know that such a detailed timeline existed. However, I don't think that I will have this completed within the next 3 months, so I'll also have time to reconsider plenty of this.

Thanks for your patience. I'd like to end this dialogue by now, or I'll never get anything working. I might post further questions as soon as I'm getting closer to an end... And I'll think of your storyline.

Regards[/b]
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Postby Shissui » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:32 pm

I should give credit where credit is due; the part of my story about the player helping the carrier by jumping ahead of it and clearing nav points, and landing back on it for refueling, is actually from a plot that Shissui came up with, for WCU's WC0 project. It just happened to be in my mind when I wrote the above.
Now THIS is one of the oldest missions of any spacesim - Patrol your mothership's surrounding area. As seen in WC1, WC2, WC3, WC4, WC5, X-Wing, Tie-Fighter, X-Wing vs. Tie-Fighter, beat me if I forgot something - I don't think this idea needs credits at all, not that I don't want to show respect to storywriters.

And, while I appreciate the credit, I seem to remember writing last week (in another context) that if it isn't already a cliché of some form, then it is harder to use in a story line.

The big advantage of clichés is that it takes SO much less effort to tell the story, in exchange for the risk of it seeming just rehash of something else.
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