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 Thread: A Better 'Force' Thread Tools Display Modes
 09-27-2001, 02:58 PM #2 Hannibal @Hannibal Guest   Posts: n/a Eyes hurt...to much reading... You really thought about this. you may:
09-27-2001, 04:48 PM   #3
Krayt Tion
@Krayt Tion
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 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.
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 09-27-2001, 05:40 PM #4 Darth Lunatic @Darth Lunatic   Join Date: May 2001 Location: Alpha Quadrant Posts: 167 Oooo he card read good! No way, man. No way, man! Get yourself another patsy, man. No way am I wearing a freakin' wire! you may:
 09-27-2001, 06:01 PM #5 Kurt Plummer @Kurt Plummer   Join Date: Sep 2001 Posts: 61 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. As for your character classification. _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 you may:
 09-27-2001, 08:43 PM #6 Krayt Tion @Krayt Tion Guest   Posts: n/a 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. 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. you may:
09-27-2001, 08:57 PM   #7
wardz
@wardz

Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 926

Quote:
 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

Welcome to JKII.Net.

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 09-27-2001, 09:24 PM #8 Alan @Alan   Join Date: Sep 2001 Location: Behind you Posts: 34 Hey Kurt, could you please be more in-depth in yor posts? Fear Me you may:
 09-28-2001, 12:19 AM #9 Denise @Denise   Join Date: Jul 2001 Location: Washington state, USA Posts: 231 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 ] you may:
 09-28-2001, 02:40 AM #10 Kurt Plummer @Kurt Plummer   Join Date: Sep 2001 Posts: 61 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 http://www.the-chaos-crew.com/swrpg/.../destroyer.htm http://www.starwars.com/databank/dro...eka/index.html http://www.inlink.com/~tumby/destroyer_droid.txt 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/...er_droid_3.htm http://www.starwars.com/episode-i/sn...t20010615.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 you may:
 09-28-2001, 02:50 AM #11 digl @digl Guest   Posts: n/a OMG! Kurgan, your force long posting supremacy is in danger! [ September 28, 2001: Message edited by: digl ] you may:
 09-30-2001, 10:42 PM #12 Lord_FinnSon @Lord_FinnSon   Join Date: Aug 2001 Location: Finland Posts: 166 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... [ September 30, 2001: Message edited by: Lord_FinnSon ] Remember, the Force will be with you... always! you may:
 09-30-2001, 11:10 PM #13 Denise @Denise   Join Date: Jul 2001 Location: Washington state, USA Posts: 231 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. you may:
 10-20-2001, 02:31 PM #14 C Shutt @C Shutt Guest   Posts: n/a 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 ] you may:
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