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View Full Version : A Better 'Force'

Kurt Plummer
09-27-2001, 09:15 AM
Through Superior Powers Execution.

As I stated before in the Force Speed/Sabre Duels post, we now know that there is 'more to The Force than simply magic'. It is a symbiosis with a rare microorganic viral mechanism tuned to some pretty powerful galactic constants through the some cellular nuclei level ('Midi Chlorian'=Mito Chondrial'??) of all living things.

IMO, from the movies, this 'Infection of Force' is a capability which manifests itself in two main ways.

As a subtle quantum-connected 'harmonic' whereby the action of every thing is shadow-shared with everything else and powerful actions ring through time as well as across space. Call it enhanced awareness, ESP, precognition, clairvoyance or clairaudience, even telepathy; because it appears to be all of these things depending on the power of the act and the concentration of the user/s doing the sending or receiving.

The other element of force control is as an ability to /alter/ the literal realitivity physics of objects in fairly close proximity through their mutual 'Force' shared effect upon common constants of Newtonian and Relativistic laws. Gravity and Mass-Inertia specifically.

Where the use of the Force acts as a motor-pathed (very powerful but not very 'smart', conscience-driven), release of energy along the big linear nerve pathways of the biomusculature, it is 'red', like a blood tinged freeclimbing rose moving up destiny's wall.

Where the mind iself is able to 'expand out' the consciousness of awareness it is a blue-white flare like a pure snow of thought where you can feel 'connected to everything', forward and back, as a trellis feels the rose on the wall without necessarily being able to effect it's destination, directly.

Motivational Use of the Force drives the strengths and 'deepens the color' towards a blinding whiteness or a near black oblivion.

Neither 'side' of Force existence is functional without the other to direct or empower it and thus neither is capable of individual 'value' based action in and of itself.

Again, we get this concept expressed throughout the series as a function of Eastern reality confluence philosophy.

Special Cases where BOTH sides are held in equal hi-balance can result in weird interactions like the Chain Lightning effect of magnified natural neural electrics being essentially frissioned free of the body or surrounding environment as a result of the meeting of the two powers, perhaps front to back or side to side in the brains hemispheres.

It could be the reason why ultrahigh level Force users have a tendency to go mad and/or to take on a semi-diseased appearance as not only the Force but it's active agent (the brains midi-chlorian 'infected' nerve cells red, blue or otherwise) are obliterated or badly mutated from fritzing around with some exceptionally powerful physics once to often.

Whatever, it is this latter ability to focus, combine and alternate brain activity 'concentration' which dictates ones 'Aptitude In The Force' (skill set), even as 'Strength In The Force' (executional success rate) is dictated by the individual saturations of sub-cellular MC particles.

If I were designing JKII, I would like to stress the ability of a player to execute a strategy derived from this interpretation of 'how things work' in a combat mode of EITHER OR BOTH 'red/blue' driven mental capacities based on his chosen method of stealth or combattant entry to the fight. Where these actions would also influence his future skill enhancement as well as mental/physical health associated with 'Light or Dark Side' moral useage.

In their specific use employment though; I think we need a TOTAL CHANGE. Because I believe that there is a definite false-ring to any combat system where you have to 'think to execute' what I call a DIRECTED action as opposed to sublimating it to an INSTINCTIVE (subconscious) preempt.

Any time you have to envision what you are going to do as different from what you are doing now, you are vulnerable to the man-in-ambush or multi-threat effect which destroys you between thought and action.

IMO, this is why we are stuck using totally bogus _Personal Shielding_ for instance. The Dune universe has this technology. The Star Wars one **Does Not**.

As such, I would like to suggest that powers be split into DIRECTEDS, EXPANDEDS and INSTINCTIVE CONSTANTS as a function of **Mental Evolution**, in-game.

1. ALL powers are available, all the time, from the very beginning to what is after all a 'Fully Trained Jedi Knight'. Without cheat code guilt, without excessive (individual power use) drain loss, and without 'boy if I'd had that ability two levels ago...' inability to play out all options to a given encounter.

2. ALL powers 'enhance themselves', as the game advances.
Not simply in range or endurance but in forms and types of execution. You, as a Jedi Warrior Initiate, may have access to all powers (you wouldn't live for long outside the Academy in a world where everybody else has blasters otherwise) but you will not be able to use them as well as a Knight or a Master.

3. A Player doesn't always end up 'reacting' to threats but is instead forced to choose between selective Blue Awareness OR Red Action based _PREEMPTIVE_ defensive bypass or active encounterment preparation scaled to a vertical graph 'concentration' emphasis between Light or Dark side actions (Blue or Red).

I think this is the effect you see when Old Obi Wan holds but doesn't activate his Sabre as he 'extends his senses' at several times in Ep.4 while not apparently able to 'see', directly, any threat. A Knight but not a Master with the ability to view things out of sight but not the ability to split his consciousness between do-and-see simultaneously.

As Examples of how this could be applied:

FORCE DISARM
Force Pull was probably THE MOST useful of combat tools in any of the games because it basically permitted one to disarm an opponent regardless of the distance or other (sabre block) activities. The biggest problem of the original Force Pull was that it was clearly not so much a telekinetic 'push-or-pull, lift or smash' generic tool as a singular 'power' that had no environmental physics interaction. This made it especially weak when you were dealing with multiple foes, one foe who was an inanimate droid, or had a 'Rail Gun/Concussion' attack coming at you that couldn't be batted aside with your sabre and which simply didn't react to your 'magician waves hand' nonsense.

I would make the following changes:

Level 1
You can pull weapons from hand, that you can see at most distances, one at a time, most of the time. Sometimes you 'get carried away' (increased RED graph at long range) and the limb comes too. If you 'think about it' you can also shunt aside mechanical missiles but you must always 'wave your hand' (tie motor execution to brainwave pattern) in doing so and this monkeys with sabre blocks.

Level 2
You can pull weapons from hand or hand (robot) from body _all the time_ and you can /break/ those weapons when they come free so that they cannot be picked up again, one at a time. Shunting explosive or concussion based weapons is simpler now and you don't always have to wave.

Level 3
You can pull/block all weapons in the line of sight to you, most of the time and it doesn't take as much effort. You can cause it to happen without interrupting other physical activities.

Level 4
You can 'disarm or disable' ALL foes in your line of sight and most foes in a given room or volume around you. Where the enemy is hidden behind a box or is somebody/something like Boba Fett or a Droid, that means the entire threat OBJECT is smashed flat, weapons pointed away from you, into the nearest horizontal or vertical hard surface (snicker, I always wanted to see Luke do this to BF in Jabbas throne room in ROTJ...;-)

Level 5
You can disarm all foes, all around you, and you can do so whether or not your combat mode is set to 'FACE' or 'FREE' and regardless of whether you press 'force button X'. The ability is subliminated so that the instant you step into a room, if you are threatened, you act without thinking about it and everybody who wants to /try/ to hurt you eats dirt or is rendered weaponless. Yoda could probably stroll through an Imperial Division at Full Alert and not have a weaponed hand anywhere in the ranks.

FORCE SEE/SENSE/INFLUENCE
Next to Force Pull and Heal, Force Sight was probably the most often useful power at your command (mine anyway), even beating Force Persuasion. It highlighted opponents which improved weapon sighting and it used fairly little power so you could almost always renew it.

However; as a 'power' of higher conscience, it is actually little more than an animalistic Cats Eyes enhancement to conventional vision.

At a couple of points in JK and especially MOTS there are dialogues when your character warns you that you're about to step in the deep excrement 'sensing many beings' as a future vision etc.

MOTS even attempted a form of 'remote viewing' that was probably the most worthless of all powers but at least 'had the right idea' of depicting this as an active skill.

What I would like to see for JKII is a power that COMBINES ALL THREE.
Level 1
You are given Cats Eye blue-green monochrome effect in all but the most closed-room conditions where you are somewhat (available photon) 'blacked out' but can see dim outlines.

You suffer from the abilty to be flash-dazzled if exposed to sudden brightness like Blaster Fire or an ignited Sabre Clash or even bright Daylight. Requires healing to reuse after damage.

In /normal/ light conditions it enhances clarity of movement at range as with the 'IR bright white contrast' effect of the old Force Sight. It lasts as long as you wish but requires full concentration on Blue Power.

Level 2
When you are confronted with a danger, you get "I sense something..." vocals and a flashing arrow direction-of-threat for ambush conditioned enemies encountered when entering a room. When coupled with auto-'FACE' it brings you into alignment with the highest threat (biggest gun, most guns etc.) as you step in.

As before, you must /deliberately/ 'extend your awareness' in full-Blue mode when doing this and are nearly helpless to react instinctively when you are 'elsewhere' remote sensing.

Level 3
You are given full vision (a little bleached out but still with apparent color) mode as if looking through the Sniper Scope with Force Sight activated in MOTS.

You are no longer vulnerable to flash blinding. You can now /see through walls/ as if through a light fog when close to a threat and when sensing someone or something (around a bend or at extreme range) you can now clarify this as being a man or a droid and in what numbers, vocally. You must still extend yourself.

Level 4
You can now sense and see as if 'normally' (with 50:50 set Blue/Red power options) and all the time. Dark Rooms will show up as if lit but in the same bleached-color view as described above so that you will know whether someone passing by is likely or not to see you with normal vision if you choose to hide there.

If you tweak up the Blue, you can now add _influence_ to awareness so that any enemy within your line of sight turns away so long as you are 'looking at him' in this mode. This includes through walls.

When attacked, you fight with all the conditional advantage of balanced reaction times inherent to your Red setting muscles.

Level 5
You can now sense+influence people AND DROIDS (or remote cameras=static) in a sphere around you at all but the lowest Blue setting and at higher Blue settings you can extend this like a beam to ranged targets you are auto-'FACE' to and if you swing your vision arc around, you can see and deceive for 10 seconds ALL threats, regardless of range or viewing mechanism.

The perfect means for ferreting out ambushers and mesmerizing them for just a few seconds while you dash across an open space.

Of course if you rush things and miss somebody, his yell or shot may effect all the others.

You can now BOOST Red to get better muscle twitch without jeopardizing Blue capabilities this effectively means you are fighting at full Blue+Red Awareness-with-Speed.

FORCE HEAL/RECHARGE
I _DON'T_ believe in 'shields'. I think they are the biggest load of BS in the entire game. Only the restrictions on your ability to precognit, block or deceive your way past major obstacles with more than 'random perfection' of Sabre/Force justifies their use.

However; I do think that the Way Of The Jedi is one of natural, mutual, nurturement with all the surrounding environs such that you should be able to do more than simply repair physical damage (i.e. deny a specific mental ability to all but high level Knight/Masters). CONCENTRATION should allow you to gradually boost any given energy level to a point where you can act for a short while at a greater degree of 'expertise'.

Level 1
Accelerated Healing of Surface Burns and Light Trauma. Broken small bones, glancing laser wounds (heavy synth-weave cloth fabric should also help protect here) and combat-dulled senses.

WHEN specifically asked for. This is an internalization 'balance of mind and body' action and so your accessible powers should be turned off and your ratio of Blue:Red at 50:50 when you enter 'contemplation of navel' mode.

Level 2
Limited Force Regeneration. As above except that your Mana regenerates back to full capability at the same time. As with the scene in Ep.1 where Quigon relaxes between the force fields and again assuming completely passive action.

Level 3
Deep Wound Regeneration/Mana Expansion.
As when stabbed with a Sabre or hit with more than a glancing blaster bolt.

Will work effectively when still in combat or at least movement modes but to expand Mana (effectively boost ones ability to do Force Related Actions as if at a higher level of mastery) one must still 'meditate'.

Healing can be applied to AI companions and when Mana is used in this mode, the natural 'light side' recharge (combining your body harmonic of midi-chlorians with the victim in need of healing) a 'soul factor' assures the your energy is conserved overall.

Level 4
Stoneskin. Basic Healing occurs all the time, regardless of other power use and force setttings.

In expanded (BOTH) Red:Blue modes, one also gains the ability to alter the surface density of the epiderm and expansively regenerate skin to the extent that one can endure multiple-directional light blaster impacts 'realtime' without lasting harm and at least /survive/ major (turret or tripod) single impacts.

If overused (for extended periods) the skin actually begins to fuse solid, slowing movement until 'statuesque' where eventual Force Use subsidation changes return you to normal conditions.

Explosive/Projectile weapons still do conventional damage.

Level 5
Complete Regeneration.
Including Lost Limbs and Destroyed Sensory Organs when meditating. IMO, a mandatory capability for anyone playing with bladed weapons as casually powerful as the light sabre.

Also the ability to constantly regenerate at Deep Wound levels of 'everyday' healing and _much longer_ levels of Stoneskin protection.
Mana Recharge is instantaneous for all but highest levels (lift big ship, chain lightning etc., full Blue:Red discharge required) of force power use.

TELEKINETICS/LEVITATION/TRANSLATIVE SPEED
Another area where a *lot* is demanded of the player in terms of 'smack ones head to pulp on a bad viewing perspective leap' type of skill set which is not trained for because of minimal true usefulness (practice practice), most of the time.

IMO, -all- physical movement skills (including disarm) are linked to a basic ability to either levitate the object free of gravity, nudge it with mental force acceleration of molecular densities on one side and/or reduce the inertial factors on resultant motion/acceleration. Because you must change all of them to do the simplest of things you must be able to /control/ all of them, real time. If you see that you're coming up on the roof mighty darn fast, you slow down. If you leap to get there with a computer key, the automation takes over on execution.

Level 1
Player can jump as with Force Skill of JK1. Any object, in front or behind which is within 20ft of ground is reachable, automatically and without default with each additional 10ft, plus or minus, requiring a plus or minus increase in Red Graph concentration to avoid falling short or overshooting.

This is the basis of the 'Enter/Exit Fight' key with single press equalling horizontal movment and double press equalling vertical escape/attack.

Level 2
Player can 'Skin Mold' himself (natural surface tension increase) to any fixed object and climb up it with lightened gravity effects at full Red.

When falling, the player can hit the equivalent 'jump' key for every ten feet and slow his fall to either land safely or merge into 'Skin Mold' mode and stop the fall completely.

This is actually a real capability that Shaolin Priests have demonstrated for falling "Infinite distances with X feet of a wall".

Bounce Don't Break and you WILL 'brake', eventually...

Base Obstacle Leap-To is now the equivalent of 50ft without prejudice of injury (effectively the player is _adjusting_ his velocity vector in both rate and direction 'on the fly').

Level 3
Static Levitation and 2 Dimensional Translation. When at Full Red the player can command an 'up' (S-key) motion and lift off the ground into a lotus position to rise up to 10ft high off the 'ground' or local equivalent.

According to most SW universe literature, adjusted gravimetrics seem to require a nearby 'mass of reference' (strong gravity well to be cancelled) to work.

I have no reason to disagree but it should still save on smacked head problems in tight quarters while granting the option to see /\over/\ the top of walls without 'commiting to the leap of faith' of high-leap.

And of course it is perhaps the most 'Ooh WOW!!' powerful effect of simulated freedom from the earth inherent to mans' overall psyche.

Translative Motion is the equivalent of Force Speed but you are moving complete /lengths of travel/, automatically, in double-forward/back/side calculated hop-increments between current position and next-obstacle.

As a single blur of bumped mass+no-inertia accelerative continuity.

Combinations of Levitate and Translation allow you to climb up in the air and then 'freefall across' chasms where your fall is limited by the length of travel to safely reach a landing on the other side.

Level 4
Player can now do all of the above at (normal balance) 'half power' so as to use other (Blue) abilities and will never again hit himself on the head.

Expanding the Red Line force influence will still increase the rate at which he does whatever kinetically-enhanced activity is selected however and this includes the ability to 'step off' ledges and similar hazards without falling into an abyss.

Truly sensational when dueling with light sabers, very high up.

Level 5.
Continuous Flight. The ability to fly up to 100ft (or game 'sky roof', whichever is closer) in the air and any distance down you choose at full red with forward+back as well as up down controls.

Never fall again from a conventional leap-attempt, at minimum power setting/drain.

CONCLUSION:

Where the graph shows:

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BR

LVL3 Jedi Knight

The difference between accelerated Blue and Red mental states, absolute (as yet to be * achieved) potential power and 'slow drain' gradual depletion during use, the specifics of force power employment and loss are inherent to the level at which you are now trained and vs. the level you are attempting to use.

As well as the 'emphasis' of your desired action/awareness mode based on past attempts.

Some actions must still be commanded like high leaps or sudden movements but as you get 'wiser', other modes like disarming and expanded senses become simpler so that just /being/ under threat makes you respond to it, self protectively, without harm to others and so quickly that you are safe before you are targeted.

Such a concept is beautifully meshing with the _THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE JEDI_ even as it is modifiable (higher Blue or Red Graph Lines, quicker, the more you use each type of action) by preference of power application during each incarnation of character gameplay and progression of levels (no more dumb 'Find the hidden door and get a star!' crap).

Most importantly, it allows one to interact with the environment naturally (no 'shields', fewer SFX special key presses and ZERO weird damn noises to flaw the immersion).

As if an Expert from the very beginning of gameplay because _that is what you are_.

Providing a player with a sense of Everyday Power inherent to simply existing as a Force Empowered Being and not a carnival sideshow act: "And now, the monkey presses the F6 key and waits for the synthesizer speedy tones to drive him completely off the deep end..." is inherent to giving him the confidence to play the game from a physically weaker (fewer weapons, lighter weight, NO SHIELDS), psychically Herculian, perspective without fear of dying every second step.

Kurt Plummer

[ September 27, 2001: Message edited by: Kurt ]

Hannibal
09-27-2001, 01:58 PM

Krayt Tion
09-27-2001, 03:48 PM
Furthermore, I think that there is a definite false-ring to combat where you have to 'think to execute' what I call a DIRECTED action as opposed to sublimating it to INSTINCT (subconscious). Any time you have to envision what you are going to do as different from what you are doing now, you are vulnerable to the man-in-ambush or multi-threat effect which kills you between thought and action.

IMO, this is why we are stuck using totally bogus _Personal Shielding_ for instance. The Dune universe has this technology. The Star Wars one **Does Not**.

In your etiology here, I don't think it is applicable to criticize this feature from a purely Jedi or universal cannon perspective. There were more factors involved in the inclusion of such a feature that should prevent you from judging it based on the rules you find appropriate for the universe alone. You'll need to partially throw aside the prevailing desire to see the game develop based on a 'better force' analysis to recognize that even the best ideas and their intentions can play second fiddle to the mighty Power of Marketing, among other things.

When million dollar game budgets are on the line the true artists, which are the developers, are often hampered by the necessary placation of those emptying the Fat Pockets. Dark Forces, where this personal shield technology first debuyed in a Star Wars video game, needed to seperate itself from or at least stay on par with the likes of DooM and DooM II. DooM had health points and armor that would lengthen your life and take some of the sting off your more vital statistic. It makes sense to me that someone at LucasArts probably decided they had to at least match in features the most popular FPS out there at the time. Armor had already been done. If they were more concerned with adhering to movie cannon (which I'll get to in a later post along with some EU comments) they might have just stuck with a StarWars-ish variant of wearable armor for our mercenary. What seems more likely is that just 'doing armor' did not distinguish itself enough from the other FPSes. I can see this line of thought coming into fruition: Star Wars has shields---> let's personalize them and make them our 'Star Wars armor' for our hero character---> that will really stand out as something unique. Maybe I'm delusional, but I can see the beady little eyes of Fat Pockets himself light up with glee as he approves this with a big thumbs up.

In the original Dark Forces Kyle was for all intents and purposes just a force-less mercenary; DF devs have been quoted saying how they wanted to do more of a Jedi Knight type of game the first time around (mainly with Force and Lightsabers), but they weren't confident enough that the technology could do it justice. When they finally got to do their Jedi game years later they included personal shielding as a throwback to the original Dark Forces. Maybe they shouldn't have done this (after considering how the force could be made to serve similar purposes, better than what they eventually did with protection), but they needed to establish some continuality between the original DF might and JK, especially since they were using the same hero character, Kataran. The needed the transition from mercenary to Jedi, or perhaps more accurately the birth of a Jedi from a mercenary, to be the least disjointed as possible. I would fathom that the personal shields were something of a sacrifice in that department.

Why do you see so many sequels of computers games on the market today? Is it for developers to continue exploring the plethora of ideas associated with the original games and their concepts? Perhaps. But not so much as it is the Safe and Easy Beat for the Big Wigs to put their money up for a sequel to an already successful game. Build on it, sure, but you'd better be damn sure to keep your core audience. As much as Pre-TPM LucasArts was regarded as a gaming pioneer, I doubt they were much different in this regard when JK rolled around. Even now, witness the title for the third game in the Dark Forces series, Jedi Outcast: Jedi Knight 2. Not Dark Forces 3, mind you, but the sequel to the game that more up and coming buyers will recognize.

Long story short, I don't necessarily dislike your concepts that lend themselves to the elimination of the personal shield, I just don't think your gave a proper assessment of the circumstances which lead to its implementation.

I have other thoughts on your post, but if I don't stop surfing and start working, someone is going to have my ass. I'll get back to you later.

Darth Lunatic
09-27-2001, 04:40 PM

Kurt Plummer
09-27-2001, 05:01 PM
Hannibal,
Thanks for struggling thru...:-)

Krayt,
I appreciate your point of view though I find it somewhat hard to envision the Big Wig having much direct input (or care) at any given 'similarity smells like succe' personal level.

How many sitting board chairman, multi-gazillionaires play Jedi Knight I wonder?:)

Instead, I think it was much less grandiose with the designers themselves going with a new icon for a similar function what was so much a 'well known'. Absent a motive to change this well known has now become a Very Bad Habit.

In the absence of true wealth-building schemes such as even Ultima and similar 'Avatar' driven early elevated consciousness plot systems allowed, in SW one is given the incentive to grub like a hog after acorns on the basis of Utilitarian Materialistism or what I call: 'The Need Fer Greed'.

Never mind that it is a cover for a gain based profit:risk marginalization system that is in NO WAY 'Jedi Like' (my primary disgust).

Or that it doesn't follow the laws of the SW universe that we know (Han Solo once unshipped shielding from the Millenium Falcon once to protect the static entrance to Xim's treasure bunker and it took him _hours_ to move the weight and tune the field overlaps, even with antigrav).

No. None of these are 'important'.

The REAL problem with the idea of shields-over-brains is the question: "Where's the dang Easter Bunny?"

Where's the phunny wittle wabbit that leaves behind these presumeably valuable little Easter Eggs out in the middle of nowhere with no relative connection to even a local 'mechanically inclined' environment?

i.e. they are SHIELD BELTS that have no use on a farm or in civillian ship hangar or even outside the storeage armory of a military base.

Which leads to the next 'Bothersome Question' if shield belts are born of two mature, caring, adult, shield belt parents in the deep wilds of OBF, why aren't they being herded for domestication by Storm Troopers?

Snicker, OHHHHH MYYYYYY!!! Why I may need /years/ of therapy!

This is what nearly ruins the immersion for me and this is a shame because it tosses out some pretty serious/fun/realistic psychology-of-psychics 'social evolutioning' exploration as well.

_I'm all for it_.

It is one theme of other adult adventure-entertainment games that makes total sense to me.

Not everyone is born a fighter pilot but darn near everyone can shoot an M-16 and they get a heck of a lot more rounds to cap off every year of career.

So too, by personal choice or random character generation, why not grant the ability to become 'Ye Compleat Warrior', groaning under a donkey's worth of firepower, as opposed to a sleak, sexy, agile, dressed in fashion-stunning black (but oh so pitifully light-armed) 'Jedi Knight'.

A cleric-*** -diplomat-bodyguard-spy with only his pure heart, faith in The Force, and trusty-rusty light sabre (plus maybe a small pistol or few grenades) to save him from all manner of Evil Thangs.

All of which he will meet nose-to-fang or blade-to-muzzle.

Without a two ton shield generator strapped to his behind.

Kurt Plummer

Krayt Tion
09-27-2001, 07:43 PM
I'm am hearing you on several things.

Shield belts. Many of them are sitting around near imperial troops, why don't they ever use them? Someone might declare, "You don't know they aren't using them!" Someone would be wrong. Shoot a stormie point blank a few times with a stormie rifle then let another one shoot you a few times at point blank range with your shields to full. No additional healing or blocking. Place your beats now (psst: 500 on Katarn).

Item placement. The placement of shield belts as well as bacta tanks, health kits, and even ammo was indeed whack at times in JK. The poor placement of items does indeed go a long way in ruining the immersion.

As far as shields are concerned, it was painstakingly clear in JK how they existed only to be used by Katarn. Since the shields gave no benefits to the imps themselves nor anything else of theirs that was apparent, the existance of shield belts anywhere in imperial confines only existed to aid Katarn. This makes no sense.

Now, for shield belts, let's pretend for a moment the imps some how were using the personal shields: they were still often in the silliest of places as you have pointed out. They need to think of a way to avoid putting in shields in seemingly random tunnels, walkways, rooftops, etc. Now, I have an active imagination; it is not too much of a stretch for me to believe that in a cave nearby an imp outpost some trooper is secretly stockpiling weapons, ammo, shields, etc for his own uses or deviant plans. When you add up repeated similar occurences like this though it paints a much lamer picture. Only so many troopers can be keeping secret stashes, ya know?

Health kit placement is also troublesome. Some times in JK levels it was if Johnny HealthKitSeed came through and planted his little HealthKits to 'grow' just about anywhere. Similar to your Easter Bunny.

Here is my take on all this bunk item placement: It is a cheap way to dictate the difficulty of level advancement in certain areas. Without certain kinds of ammo or enough health/shields, facing certain situations becomes difficult. Just determine the kind and number of enemies throughout certain areas, possibly factoring in some terrain, then simply sprinkle in shields, health, ammo, and powerups in the appropriate places near/between certain enemies- and be damned if that placement actually makes much sense. Squad of stormies and an AT-ST coming up? Have Kyle visit a bar on the way that has some rails and bacta sitting around behind the bar, don't forget some shield belts sitting in the corner of the bar for no apparent reason. :rolleyes: Some people might think that finding this stuff behind a counter makes sense, but when you consider at what intervals you are finding this stuff, the overall scheme becomes highly transparent at times.

Good bacta placement can cut down on the Wandering Health Kit- they need to put a stockload of bacta in a place that makes sense and not reward the people for being careless with it- make the next batch that it is possible to find a longer ways off. A more utilitarian Force Heal would do the trick as well. You are after all a Jedi.

Another reason why the item placement gets botched is Difficulty Levels. It is painfully obvious sometimes how additional items are just slammed down in silly places on the Easy setting, for example. There are many ways you could decrease the difficulty of the game without just letting it snow Items. It works both ways too. If you want to make the game more difficult you don't have to put the Item Union on strike, you could: increase Enemy Toughness (through strengthened AI or damage absorbed), increased enemy damage per normal shot to your person, additional traps in levels, etc. All of these things, including item placement, will effect the pace of the action.

Hopefully Raven can find a way to keep the old pace of JK (I liked it, for the most part) without smacking the immersion factor in the family jewels with a sack of doorknobs by creating silly items for the game and placing them poorly. All for now.

wardz
09-27-2001, 07:57 PM
If you want to make the game more difficult you don't have to put the Item Union on strike

hahaha. A nice analogy.

Thats a good point K-Ti. I would personally prefer it if it at least looked like the stormies used some of the shields.

Also, I have noticed that on many games in regards to difficulty settings they just swamp the place with goodies instead of being a little more creative in their approach.

Perhaps Raven can buck the trend?

wardz

Alan
09-27-2001, 08:24 PM
Hey Kurt, could you please be more in-depth in yor posts? ;)

Denise
09-27-2001, 11:19 PM
I offer nothing so lengthy (edit: okay, it did turn out pretty long, my apologies :)) or so eloquent as my two associates here, and do heartily agree with them on the inherent cheesiness of Jedi shielding and haphazard item placement.

However, I would like to point out that there is indeed a parallel for "personal shielding" in Star Wars: the droidekas ("destroyer droids") of Episode One. These droids are insectile-looking devices, not terribly bulky. Further, they are armed and transformable, meaning that at least some of their internal space must house the transformation equipment and {ammunition/power generators, take your pick} for the blasters.

Their system is also more efficient or perhaps merely stronger than Kyle's; they inspired our two heroes to take flight rather than simply deflecting the droids' bolts back at them until their shields were worn out. This suggests that the shields are either unphased by antipersonnel weaponry or would have lasted for considerably longer than Kyle's are capable of under such a barrage. If it is indeed a more powerful system, it could well be even bulkier than what we've seen Kyle using.

Also, as the droidekas' maneuverability (and rapid deceleration) in the "rolling ball" mode partially indicates, they don't seem to be particularly weighty. A human might well be able to carry a backpack-mounted outgrowth of the system if indeed it cannot be miniaturized to the "shield belt" level.

As to why the technology was demonstrably absent later in the timeline, well, we know that there is a rather devastating series of wars coming up. Perhaps the technology for the small-scale projectors was simply lost in the fighting. More plausibly, the equipment could require rare components (be they fuel, focusing crystals, whatever technobabble you choose to insert). The sources for such components could well have been exhausted by the Clone Wars, making their appearance (in operating condition) rare by the time of A New Hope.

Is personal shielding out of character for the Jedi we've seen thus far? Absolutely. Has the item placement in the two prior games been more than a little implausible? To be certain. Is the technological capability for personal shielding completely absent from the Star Wars universe? Presumably not. :)

[ September 27, 2001: Message edited by: Denise ]

Kurt Plummer
09-28-2001, 01:40 AM
Krayt,

Good points all round. My thoughts on stormtrooper armor is that a 'blaster bolt' is actually some form of activated plasma detonation wave that is focused down and then terminator lens 'pulsed' to form bolts.

I've got a big long 'theory' of this somewhere around here together with a list of items to add to the game but the short version is that the Storm Troopers white refractive armor is only indirectly useful against actual kinetite impact and that their suits have an electrothermal (enhanced Peltier Effect) mesh or grid underneath the outer shell which is used to dissipate the massive heat buildups.

A memory plastic inner shell melts and reforms with any residual heat as well as acting as a 'ballistic nylon' type spall shield from breakup of the outer layers.

Because it's pretty clear (from the 'too accurate for sandpeople' blastpoints on the Jawa Crawler) that the effect of the blaster is to literally flash vaporize large chunks of metal and then shock wave dislodge a cratered divot out beneath the damaged surface.

If so, I wonder if we aren't talking perhaps /millions/ of degrees worth of heat that must dissipate equally rapidly, like a lightning bolt.

Pistols could then 'work' because they fire short but wide-aperture, high density loading, bolts to maximize impact energy while rifles fire literally longer pulses that hold up better at range.

And indeed, over longer, 'military', ranges of perhaps a 1,000 meters, maybe the armor works fairly well (ahehehehem, sniper scopes 'not included'...;-) but in MOUT conditions the enemy is so close that it just burns right on through.

If they needed shields for fielded infantry combat (say an advance on a static defensive line), with all their walkers and crawlers and repulsor lighters and scooters, I would have to assume that they would get it in 'accompaniment mode' from a vehicle.

As you mentioned earlier, THIS is the way to treat armor plating, if you use it at all.

Denise,
Even Better. I should have thought of the Destroyers but think you may still be underestimating their available mass.

I have found three posted 'heights' (nowhere a /hint/ of weight)

1m, 1.83m and 2.2m

The diameter of the ring looks like the equivalent of large dumptruck tire rim which are not 'light' at all. The guts are deceptive for want of a real understanding of the technology (plastic, resin-composite, titanium, aircraft aluminum, 'other'...;-) but from below they are at least extensive:
http://www.motf.at/Boushh/destroyer/destroyer_droid_3.htm http://www.starwars.com/episode-i/snapshot/2001/06/snapshot20010615.html

To me, the last looks like between 300-400lbs of gear, maybe more if we're to assume those are really steel segments.

Whatever; you both bring up valid points in that, IF you are going to have 'energy shields' you SHOULD have at least the following:

1. Wall Sockets.
No kidding, as long as they don't turn off the power to a given section, _any_ building or ship should have free and easy access to legitimate, integral-structural, **POWER**.

Whether you hack into it through a sabre whacked wall conduit or juice up from the charger plate next to the Storm Troopers bunkroom combination jute-box-and-espresso-
machine.

We have examples in ESB and elsewhere where droids are barbecued after getting intimate with the wrong 'computer interface' so it's not exactly going to be a case of missing precedence.

2. Portable/Rechargeable/Cross-Portable.
If I find one of these legacy device 'ultra rare personal shield generators' in say the SINGLE occurance of a wrecked Clone Wars era Colicoid ship (_in the whole game_), then assuming I can make it work, I should be able to also put together a charger pack for it.

Even if it's a fusion lamp the size of the one Luke fed Artoo with, it would be 'worth it' to have a gradual regain on shielding.

Because it's not in the 100-200 range where you start to take sudden, dramatic, power loss and personal injury.

It's in the 80-100.

Similarly, why not an 'AC/DC adapator'?

Remember when Vasquez plugged what looked like an ordinary magazine into an adaptor plug before attaching it to her smart gun in Alien II?

Something similar (and equally small) could DOUBLE the ammo load for any given weapon combination, or pick-up-clips scavenging.

Instantaneously.

The first law of firepower says that the more you shoot, the more static attrition factors favor trading your 'bullets' for their men.

These are -easy- 'generic' things to justify finding or barter/buying/paying to have built early on when you're still basically in civilization and free to do so.

Later on, ten floors down in an Imperial Base crawling with snowmen in the Outer Rim Territories, it rewards the smart and betrays to stupid to have invested in a little flattery at the local appliance repair shop.

While leaving the dang Bunny completely out of things...:-)

3. Power Armor.
Last but certainly not least. For 'warrior class' fighters in particular, I would provide either a scooter, an anthropomorphic mobility suit or a repulsor raft.

Because if /anybody/ is going to 'cache weapons', it's gonna be _ME_!! :-)

But think how nice it would be to have a fixed carry limit expanded by a 'come to my location' air-dolly (or fly back to your stash repulsor bike).

Nice Conversation, Thanks- Kurt Plummer

digl
09-28-2001, 01:50 AM
OMG!
Kurgan, your force long posting supremacy is in danger!

[ September 28, 2001: Message edited by: digl ]

Lord_FinnSon
09-30-2001, 09:42 PM
I wonder if Raven have considered reducing down the number of the Force keys originally used in JK/MotS. I Remember that when LucasArts was still developing Obi-Wan for PC they said it might have only one Force key that could be used in combination with others: when you jump, for example, and use Force key at the same time, Kyle(in this case) makes Force jump or while he is running, Force key speeds him up etc. I guess this would make using the Force much more intuitive in the heat of battle... :D

[ September 30, 2001: Message edited by: Lord_FinnSon ]

Denise
09-30-2001, 10:10 PM
Sounds more prone to mistakes, to me. What if, while activating another power in a room with a low ceiling, the situation requires you to jump? Ouch. :D

C Shutt
10-20-2001, 01:31 PM
Was that supposed to be a parody of some kind? If not, it's the geekiest goddamn thing I've ever read.

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: C Shutt ]