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Luminara

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  1. Plausible, but we have to go back to that 30+ year period between the Nostromo and the founding of the colony. That alone implies that they didn't know the alien ship was there. Someone knew, but that knowledge apparently disappeared in that span of time. Had the person who knew really been keen on further investigation, he/she could've had a ship there in far fewer than 30 years. In Alien, the cockpit chatter after they wake up suggests that, despite using sleep pods, ships travel relatively quickly. Ripley also promised her daughter that she'd be home for her twelveth birthday, again indicative of ships traveling fast enough to transit large sections of space in a comparatively short period of time. Where you see inefficiency, I see conspiracy and cover-up.
  2. They were using buckets to add plutonium solution to a mixer in Japan. Caused a criticality event that killed three people. There was a US Army small reactor that went critical when one of the men climbed on top and yanked the primary control rod out (it was stuck, and they were operating the reactor with far too few control rods in that particular assembly). Three people died... one when he was impaled on a strut on the ceiling (the rod yanker). These are real events. These actually happened. Never underestimate human stupidity. Especially when there's a bottom line involved.
  3. Of course they knew it was there. WY issued the original order which took the Nostromo off course and woke the crew. But that doesn't tie in with your theory. The 30+ year gap between the disappearance of the Nostromo and the founding of the colony on LV 426 indicates that whatever information WY had was purged (by whomever was responsible for sending the Nostromo to investigate) and LV 426 was forgotten until it popped up as a potential colonization prospect, with little more than a celestial map reference and basic passing scan data. In other words, they knew it was there, but nothing else.
  4. It would be more economically feasible to make the coolant system double as complex heating and hydroponics and greenhouse climate control, as well as easier to package for transport and assembly on site. There would also be the cost of power delivery if the reactor were housed away from the terraforming rig and colonial settlement. Presumably, these rigs are in large-scale production and use, and rarely fail, otherwise WY wouldn't be in control of a colonial operation, and cost-saving measures like combining a reactor, terraforming rig and colonial outpost would be exactly what one would expect. Even an explosion of simple hydrogen would be extremely dangerous in that sort of situation. Keep in mind the size of the reactor and facility, and the length of time it had already been in operation ("We've had colonists on LV 426 for over twenty years, none of them ever complained about any aliens."). Presuming it was the least expensive type of fusion reactor, even if they only used what they created in situ in the process of developing a breathable atmosphere, there would have been an enormous amount stored. When the reactor went, there were many scenes indicating that none of the safety systems were functioning (if there were any to begin with), and with 20 years of accumulated hydrogen stored... Again, not Nebraska, but definitely not a little pop.
  5. That's not how it went down. Burke sent a request to the colony, asking them to investigate a coordinate. That was, initially, all he did. He wanted firm confirmation or denial of Ripley's reported "derelict alien ship". If she was lying to The Company, he lost nothing, but if she were telling them the truth, he saw it as an opportunity to acquire control over the evaluation, research and development of the site and potential contents. The Wildcatter, Newt's father, had the same general idea. All he'd been ordered to do was find out if anything was there. His greed drove him to enter the ship, subsequently leading to his ensnarement by the Facehugger. Events ensue, colony goes silent, etc. Burke, either realizing or strongly suspecting that Ripley had been honest, concluded that he had to go to the colony and secure whatever he could. Remember, at this point, only Ripley really comprehends how bad it could be, and Burke sees only percentages and exclusivity. It's likely that he already had Gorman on standby, someone with little field experience, looking to make his career or find a comfortable niche to sit in until retirement. Alternatively, he may have asked for Gorman based on that same psychological profile (inexperienced, easily manipulated). He did have access to Ripley's psychological evaluation records, which implies he could obtain records for others. Burke doesn't order the Marines to drop their ammo. Ripley suggests that shooting around the reactor might not be the best idea, and Burke reinforces her, but it's at Ripley's urging that Gorman gives the order. Later, when the survivors are shoring up defenses, Ripley confronts Burke about being responsible for the situation, as he was the one who asked for the "grid reference" to be checked, and tells him that she intends to inform The Company. Then Burke goes all in. He decides to infect Ripley and Newt. Whether he would've sabotaged the Marines' sleep pods as well, or expected to buy Gorman off, or had another plan, is all speculation. Also, there was no distress signal. "Ripley, we need to talk. We've lost contact with the colony on LV 426." He did protest to "nuking the place from orbit" because he couldn't be certain he'd manage to smuggle a specimen back with him, but once the reactor's cooling system was breached, that was moot. Regarding the reactor, it was a fusion reactor. Fusion reactors use hydrogen for fuel, not enriched uranium. The entire complex was a multi-use facility, providing energy via the fusion reactor (as well as water, likely), fulfilling the purpose of terraforming LV 426, and housing the colonists, manufacturing workshops and hydroponics gardens. Regarding the likelihood of an explosion "the size of Nebraska", that part is Hollywood fiction. But reactors can explode, both fission and fusion. Fission reactors can vaporize water in a few milliseconds, creating enormous pressure and blowing apart containment vessels, pipes, etc. It's happened a few times in reality. Fissile material can cause an explosion even if it's not in a containment vessel, under certain conditions (Japan had one criticality event which blew out windows when a mixing machine was switched on). A fusion reactor, being reliant on hydrogen, would definitely explode without proper cooling if the hydrogen were ignited and safeties were compromised. Given the events portrayed in the film, I consider it plausible that the reactor in the movie would explode, though I couldn't hazard a guess of how much damage it would do. It would depend on the way the reactor was constructed, the types of safety mechanisms and how effective they were, etc. Lastly, addressing Haijinx's comment about weight, that's only applicable when a ship is entering or exiting the gravity well of a large body, and given the accomplishments of civilization in the film, namely, the capability to create and maintain large space stations, it's irrelevant. The question you should be asking is, why was there a queen? "Cain... the crew member who went onto that ship, Cain, he said he saw thousands of those eggs."
  6. Slept with Arachnos, got crabs... Have you spoken with a physician?
  7. But in a very real way, you are. IOs are the end game. One of the most basic design principles shared by nearly all MMORPGs is the stat chase. Incremental improvements keep players logging in and playing. Other games do it with shoulder pads the size of skyscrapers and Doom Sombreros™, Co* does it with IOs. That ability to improve your durability by 1.4%, or the damage output of a power by 3 DPA, or add a supplementary effect to a power, that's the end game. Content has never been the end game in MMORPGs. It can't be because players consume it at such a rapid pace, it's impossible for any development team to keep up. And all stories end, eventually... except the one(s) you're keeping alive by playing your character(s). The stat chase is perpetual, even when development has stopped, even when you may not be chasing stats on a particular character (you're still making alts, buying and selling at the AH, etc). You are as trapped in that end game as anyone else in any MMORPG. But, realistically, as end games go, Co* has the best. The flexibility of IOs opens up so many potential avenues, permits such a vast array of concepts to work, whereas other games confine you in ways you can't begin to comprehend unless and until you've experienced what Co* has to offer.
  8. I wonder how much power leveling being done is due to the uncertainty of the future existence of this incarnation of the game. All of those characters people intended to make, all of those beautiful dreams they wanted to bring to life... I don't doubt that the majority of it is simply impatience or entitlement, but there have to be more than a few who are frantic to make the things they wanted to make years ago, and anxious over the possibility of this iteration of the game being killed, too.
  9. Except, the modifier is the reason. More specifically, all of the applicable modifiers are the reason. You aren't playing a defender with fewer offensive options when you're playing a petless mastermind, you're playing a defender-lite with fewer offensive options. Mastermind scales are lower than defender scales across the board. Buffs, debuffs, heals, damage, everything. Attacks can be replaced with pool powers, as I proved back in 2006, so only having access to three of your primary set isn't actually relevant in this context. What's relevant is that you're not only working with a base 0.55 damage scale, you're also working with lower base scale values on all of your buffs, debuffs, heals, everything. And that's why the vast majority of players do not choose to play petless masterminds. It's not just because the pets are the primary mode of damage dealing for masterminds, it's also because mastermind secondaries are significantly weaker than their corruptor and defender versions. Playable, yes, for the right people, but not most. The point, though, was not about petless masterminds. The ATs share a scale value, so I used that as a reference people would understand. That could be done, but, speaking from experience, it would still be crap. Not only because the base damage would still be low, but because very few defender primaries have status protection which player can use to his/her own benefit. It's just not a viable option without significantly redesigned sets. Status protections would have to be included, numerous debuffs would have to be reduced in strength and many of the ally-only buffs would have to be replaced with versions which offered some benefit to the defender. That's not a change of 0.55 to 0.65, it's a rework of at least eight defender primaries, possibly all of them, and several months of testing and rebalancing. Because melee attacks typically have higher base values, and defenders have access to the most powerful -Res and +Dam. Defenders are a force multiplier, even in a team of one.
  10. Defender melee uses 0.55 scale. Mastermind use 0.55 for their attacks (the character, not the pets). The generally unfavorable opinion of petless masterminds indicates that proliferating melee sets to defenders would be somewhat less than enthusiastically embraced by the majority. And without reworking some of the melee sets to include status protection, they'd only be usable with roughly half the defender primaries. You really would be better served with a new AT for melee/buff.
  11. The magnitude factor could be thrown in the trash. The framework for this approach already exists in Resistance. Resistance debuffs are resisted by Resistance. The same thing could be applied to all debuffs, then all status effects removed and replaced by corresponding debuffs which functioned in an appropriate manner. Slows (-RunSpeed, -Recharge) would completely replace holds and scale up to the point of locking down the player character in the same manner, while simultaneously giving players the means of partially abating the effect via +RunSpeed and +Recharge slotting in their powers. Magnitude would be obsolete in this system. But, again, it creates new problems. How, in a game where every player can achieve capped +Recharge, do you really make -Recharge powerful enough without also grossly penalizing those who don't take Hasten and/or build up significant +Recharge from IO set bonuses and Incarnate abilities? How do you make existing status protection powers meaningful again, especially the ones which serve no other purpose, when they are less effective or broadly applicable than simply slotting enhancements, and avoid removing them entirely (which would necessitate multiple powers to be designed and implemented as replacements for the out-dated status protections)? The NPC problems still remain, as well. The current spawn model imposes limits to prevent players from being hit with, for example, three Rikti Mentalists at the same time. If you use the same spawn model, you consequently have to give your mezzer enormous debuffs. A mezzer with small debuffs isn't a threat, at all, because it's never going to survive long enough to stack the debuffs to mez level. And a single, overwhelming debuff that hits mez level right away is no better than the current mez system. The other option is to rework the spawn model and give everything debuffs, but that doesn't actually solve the problem for ranged ATs, it merely shifts the problem to ranged ATs with lower initial damage output. It might work for blasters, but ATs with lower base damage scales and caps are unfairly penalized. In effect, they're "squishier" than they were under the original system. And going back to defenders, corruptors and dominators, what is their purpose in the game under the new debuff-mez system? Do we, then, start redesigning defenders and corruptors to compensate for their reduced effectiveness as primary debuffers, given that controllers are the new debuff kings and queens? Or do we simply reverse the roles, giving defenders and corruptors massive debuff values which automatically jump to mez level, and how do we reposition controllers so they remain unique and relevant? How do we fix the problem of dominators having to survive long enough for their debuffs to flip to mez? What does the new system entail for Kheldians, or masterminds? It would be a very workable and flexible system, if we were creating the game from the ground up. But as an adjustment of existing content, in the existing context of the game, it creates so many problems. But, there's always hope. System Shock 3 is in development, so a Co* 2 is always possible.
  12. That would be dependent on the mass of the planetary body, wouldn't it? A significantly more massive world should have sufficient gravity to "feel" Earth-normal while simultaneously exhibiting a greater rotational velocity.
  13. That's basically it. Can't access pet or pseudo-pet information on it, but the rest of it is there. The complete data package (all info for all powers, including pets) is still available as a download on City of Titans, somewhere (forum post), though, if anyone wants to use it to build a new site.
  14. Everything can be viewed as binary, from a certain perspective. You either have enough health, or you don't. Or endurance. Or damage. Defense is definitely binary, you're either avoiding hits, or being hit. But I grasp your intent. It would be more interesting, from a gameplay perspective, if status effects were more like scaled debuffs. Slows scaling up to immobilizations, immobilizations scaling up to holds, as effects stacked, for instance. The problems, though... In players' hands, it would actually be detrimental to several ATs, as it would essentially change a primary form of immediate damage mitigation to delayed "if you live long enough" mitigation. Controllers, as an entire AT, would become mega-defenders, which would make debuffing defenders and corruptors all but obsolete. Dominators would have a significantly more difficult experience, as they're reliant on the immediacy of their controls. And which soft control debuffs would stack to create which controls, and what do you do with the ones you can't crowbar together? And if debuffs require two or applications to scale up to status effects, is there any purpose to NPCs using them at all? They won't provide any actual threat or require player response. A slow won't prevent a player from generating an enormous upper hand in a fight against NPCs. Neither will an immobilization. So the AI has to be reworked, and NPCs overhauled with more, and more dangerous, ranged attacks, because there has to be some kind of threat mechanic (and i don't mean aggro) to engage the players. I'll even posit that the debuffs applied would have to be reworked, to include other debuffs, just to give them weight. That stacking slow would have to have a massive -recharge attached, for example, or, again, it's simply not worth paying attention to. The inevitable result would be piles of -ToHit, -defense, -recharge, whatever it took to make the stacking debuffs threatening enough to keep players from ignoring them completely... and players would be up in arms over that in short order. The system we have, binary though it may be, is about as good as it can be made without being even more irritating, or less forgiving. It's not the most creative solution Cryptic could have implemented, but it works, in the sense that it poses a sufficient challenge to players to keep them engaged, but can be countered in enough ways to prevent it from being instantly overwhelming.
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