Sunday, May 12, 2013

Scrin playstyle and overview

With the next release of the mod one of the bigger changes with our work going forward is the overview.  Basically this is a small description of what we're going after with a faction and how it stands out against the other forces in the game.  The Scrin as always stand out as a unique force that will play different than any other force while appealing to that type of player that simply wish's to be the nastiest thing out there and the biggest target when playing online.

Scrin Overview and Playstyle -

The Scrin are one of the most feared intergalactic and inter-dimensional forces in the known universe.  They are like locus, sending swarms out into space to seed and harvest planets for their own war efforts.  They are in the middle of a war with the Invid that has lasted for over 1000 years and has no end in sight and because of this they have evolved to be a very efficient and cautious force, developing techniques that will always help tip the balance into their favor in a fair fight.

Scrin bases are always protected by a Mothership.  These Motherships are very powerful, able to attack from a great range and produce more than enough power to keep a Scrin base up and running in normal situations.  Harvesting fields that have Accelerators in them also have special Iconic Capitol Ships that protect the fields from enemy attacks making forces that focus on harassing the Scrin Economy a very difficult proposition.

Scrin forces have evolved over time to take advantage of their enemy and to modify an enemy force on both a biological and technological level to make the Scrin force stronger.  What this means is as a Scrin force engages an enemy they start to corrupt the enemy, either by using the raw materials of an enemies force to build their own force up or by gaining information about how the enemy technology works and gaining the ability to make perverse, corrupted versions of the enemy technology to use against them.  When an enemy is killed by a Scrin unit and that Scrin unit is using a Conversion Beam to kill the enemy then there is a chance to turn the enemy into a Scrin unit.  For example when a Scrin Corruptor kills a GDI Infnatry Squad there is a 10% chance that that squad will turn into a Desintegrator Squad.  When that same Corruptor kills a Predator Tank that tank has a chance to be converted and turned into a Devourer Tank.  This allows the Scrin force to gain power while engaging the enemy and forces the enemy to fight smart, not sending small squads out to be sacrificed.  When fighting the Scrin you ever go for the kill or go home.  As another example if the Scrin Corrupter kill a GDI unit and spawn one of their forces in they also gain the ability to build Scrin Mammoth Tanks.  These tanks look like GDI Mammoth Tanks but are graphically different and have some obvious changes done to them making them look like a perverse alien knock off, firing Lance's instead of Rail Cannons and having Energy Shields instead of Secondary Plate Armor.  

Finally the ultimate goal of any Scrin player will be to build a Rift Generator.  Once a Rift Generator is built a count down will begin.  At the end of the countdown the map will be covered in a large time-shift rift that will do many things.  Scrin forces will gain a 200% speed and attack rate increase, enemy structures will lose 50% of their structural integrity, and enemy units will lose 50% of their vision and movement speed for 3 minutes.  This will be the time to strike as a Scrin Player as the enemy, no matter how well they had built up their defenses, will be at their weakest at this point.

With the Scrin the players have the chance to play a force unlike anything else in the CNC universe.  The Scrin are the bad guys, they are a serious force with serious power and are a threat unlike any other in the game.  However they are a force that must engage to truly flourish.  By hiding in a base and trying to play defensively the Scrin force will stagnate and ultimately fail.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The truth about the latest Star Trek reboot....

Or as an alternative title to the post : "Why Spock is a fucking lying bastard."

First off I want to say this post has less to do about the mod as a whole and more to do with Dougs latest podcast about Robotech 3000.  In it he brings up a lot of good points but at one point he starts talking about the last Star Trek movie, the one that rebooted the series not the one about to come out.  Now I am not a big Star Trek fan.  I like it well enough, especially the original series, but have lost interest in the series after I turned 15 and Deep Space 9 / Voyager starting coming out.

Doug was talking about looking at things in different perspectives, about catching the little things, and pulling from all known sources when a small but crucial bits dropped into the story.  Now when the last Star Trek movie came out I liked it but there were a few parts that really pissed me off.  There were things that they said or plot points that were so weak to the point of being bull shit that it just put me off.  Now putting the issue of what is "Red Anti-Matter" aside after Dougs podcast I felt like I should go back and watch the movie and look at it from the point of view of "Is there any way that this could actually make since?" Believe it or not the answer is yes and once you see it it makes you just go "Fucking bastard."  Yep, this entire thing is centered around Spock and really if you watch the movie even though the movie tries to make the movie about how Kirk rises to the challenge and becomes Captain really its a story about Spock.

Let me put the Red Anti-Matter part to rest right now.  We are just going to assume the stuff exists and works the way we see it work in the movie.  Simply put they don't explain it and really it doesn't matter, whatever this stuff is we know that it causes black holes and causes temporal rifts.

So now where is the key moment that the movie go's off rails with the believability issues?  When Spock does a mind meld to explain to Kirk just what is going on.  He claims a Star went supernova and it's blast threatens to destroy the entire galaxy.  This right here is BULLSHIT.  A star going supernova would not destroy a galaxy.  A solar system sure, but not the entire galaxy.  THEN he go's on to say that the Vulcans and the Federation try and go to help the Romulans as their planet is the next to get hit by the blast wave and destroy it.  What the hell?  If a star did go supernova then a lot of planets would have been destroyed.  For Romulus to be in the line of fire it would have been their star that went up and honestly not only would they have seen the damn thing coming from watching their own freaking star they would not have time once the star did go to do anything.  How long do you think the Earth would last if Sol exploded?  A few minutes at best?

Ok, continuing on this line of thought the Vulcans had time to BUILD a fucking ship to go and stop this blast wave before it hit, and he "raced to save them but was too late".  No shit you were too late, I just explained why.  You would have had to be building that ship before the star went up for it to be ready to save Romulus.

And the planet was destroyed but the Romulan Mining Ship and Spocks Red-Matter ship were fine?  This shit does not make sense!  But I have figured it out, follow me here and you'll see how this works.

Now, lets ignore Spock for a moment.  He's old, he won't mind.  He's used to it.  From what the Romulan Mining Ship tells us what parts of Spocks story hold up?  They obviously blame Spock specifically for not saving their planet.  They also blame the Federation, so obviously the Federation had something to do with the planets demise, even if not as directly.  But they are more pissed at Spock!  Hell technically they are more pissed at the Klingons as well as they attacked the klingons first and destroyed 20-something bird of preys according to the Lieutenant Ohora says.  So what we know is whatever happend it dealt with the Klingons, with Spock, and with the Federation.

We also know from Star Trek - The Next Generation that Spock has been on Romulus for a very long time trying to change the Romulans from the inside.  It was one of the 2 parters they had, season 4 or 5 I think.  Point is whatever happens in the future takes place after Next Generation at the least, probably after Voyagers time line.

Ok, now to the part I was talking about before.  If we take what we know and apply it forward what conclusion can we come to?  The problem is everyone believes what Spock says cause he's Spock and it sounds good.  But thats all it is, it's talk.  And really he only tells Kirk.  I'm saying that Spock has known Kirk for such a long time that he simply knows how to get Kirk to do what he wants.  Kirk is a great leader, he's cunning and charismatic.  He knows how to win no matter what the odds.  If he's in a situation that he can't win he doesn't just stand there and take it, he changes the situation.  Thats why he got in trouble with the test at the beginning, he knew he wasn't supposed to win and instead of playing by their rules he changed the rules to make it possible to win.  But he's a moron.  He's been dealing with issues like storms in space, massive Romulan ships that can destroy a planet, all sorts of crazy shit.  Then he finds old Spock on this frozen planet and what happens?  Spock realizes the situation and knows that Kirk needs to be the Captain so he tells Kirk a story that sounds good enough that Kirk will buy it and then he push's Kirk back into the fight.

Now I'm not saying he did this with malice in his heart, he did it because he felt he had to so that no one else would get killed by the Romulan ship, and he used Kirk as a weapon to do so.  So while we will never really know WHAT he did in the future to piss the Romulans off or what really did cause their planet to be destroyed we do know he had to have had something directly to do with it.  But other than that the rest of Spocks "this is what happened" story is pretty much smoke.  And hell even at the very end of the movie when old Spock and new Spock are talking old Spock even admits that he had no issues with allowing Kirk to think what Spock wanted so that the mission would get done.  But no one calls him out on it because, well, he's Spock.

My point with all of this is that when looking at a story as a whole with a series that has a lot of history already in place like Robotech or Star Trek its the little things that make the story believable.  And after watching Star Trek again I know feel that maybe the movie wasn't as bad as I originally thought (even if it still does have a few issues at least the major ones actually have a way to be true) and the next one will have a chance as it's not being based on something on an inconsiderably bad  foundation.  This also gos for Robotech 3000, I can see what Carl was working towards and I can see exactly what Doug wants from the Scrin in our mod (see, we did get back to the mod).

So the next time you see a movie or watch a new series based off of an older one look at it and don't say "does it stand on it's own" ask yourself "does it build on what came before it and take it into a new and interesting direction or does it simply exist for the sake of existing?"

Maybe next week the blog will go back to being about the mod, or maybe it will turn into a place where I'm just going to post my current thoughts on whatever as I work on the mod.  Either way if you have an opinion on what I have said above feel free to post.  But just remember, Spock is a fucking lier just to get what he wants.  And he's Spock.