Re-Inventing the Wheel

Edto Xar'Sivaree

Lizard Freak!
Necromancer
Jan 5, 2016
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#1
Disclaimer. A lot of this is written with humorous anger. At no point was I ACTUALLY angry writing this post. I make a lot of comparisons that are intended to make people laugh. Please don't get angry reading this thinking I am actually angry, but understand there is a point :p

We've all done it, and we all do it. The entire Wiki is dedicated to reinventing the wheel. We all make guns. We all make power armor. We all make ship, ship components, etc etc etc. We all make stuff, but we are all so limited that we are all just remaking the same things, over... and over... and over...

At a certain point, where do we stop?

Small arms, can't really stop. Every faction has its own flavor. Has its own goal. They have their own designs, and they have their own image. Can't really stop that. Okay... What's next?

Ship system. We CAN stop reinventing this wheel. We do not need to reinvent Ship systems. Engines? Nope. FTL drives? Nope. Shields? Nope. Crew Quarters? Nope. Weapons? Not really, though this would fall under small arms as well. Flavor and such. We just don't need too. I don't even know why we need too. A lot of these systems could just be solved with a generic article explaining what the system does with suggestions of effectiveness based on tech level.

How about metals?! Materials? In this big galaxy, I am pretty sure there are only a few ways to put MATERIALS together. I go through the material list, and I see that a lot of materials are "Faction Locked" which in ways causes a lot of problems.

Yeah, I know, factions have rights to their stuff and can stop people from using shit, but like, can we get a generic version? Can we get an Ibuprofen to the Factions Advil? Like, I want to make a metal that does the same thing as X metal, but what is the point of adding that metal to the setting if X metal already does the exact same thing? Fancy words to have what is effectively, the exact same metal.

What I suppose I am saying, is that there is a lot of cases of reinventing the wheel on the Wiki. Is this okay? One of the rules for the NTSE is that everything you submit, should be useful to the setting. It should provide something THAT WAS MISSING, so that the Wiki just scream "YES BABY THAT'S THE GOOD SH*T!"

But... I don't think we are missing FTL drives. I don't think we are missing metals. I don't think we are missing GUNS, christ, don't get me started on guns. I don't think we are missing pretty well ANYTHING a Sci-Fi setting needs. Yet, we have rules that actually force people to add things the setting doesn't actually need, have it go through the NTSE process like everything else, tie up NTSE members time, do all sorts of negative things, so that we can make sure that... Areigs latest gun isn't a pistol that can blow up planets.

Not to mention, that PVP basically doesn't exist on the site. Like, IT DOES, but no one is going to be that Dick. Not to mention, that faction managers can just say no. From my understanding of the rules, Yamatai itself, could decide that they need to Exterminatus the Vekimen, and wipe it off the map. Literally just vaporize the planet. We all know that they could easily do that, and could just as easily use so much force that it would be melting a snowflake with the pure concentrated heat of the entire sun at 5 feet away.

Yet... I could just say "No thank you, I don't want to fight that war," and my ability to say that is protected by the VERY FIRST RIGHT of a faction manager. 1-A, An active Faction cannot be destroyed or conquered without their managers consent.

Can we imagine that? Like, join me in this imagination scene.

The Vekimen and Yamatai go to war. The Vekimen hold their own, the entire time, and it ends in a draw. Everyone goes home.

NO! NO NO NO NO NO! NOOOOOOOOO!

I'm the author of the Vekimen, and I am well and truly aware that what I just wrote above is WRONG.

Vekimen and Yamatai go to war. Vekimen are turned into a grease stain. Yamatai goes home.

That is how that story would play out if realities rules took place. The rules don't let that happen though. This is why PVP is DEAD. PVP is dead on a faction level, because for PP to work, both Managers need to agree on how the story will pan out. They need to agree on a winner. They need to agree on everything, to such a degree, that it doesn't matter how powerful their equipment is, or what the fancy numbers all say on a page that I spent an hour trying to find specifics for because it was written 8 years ago when the Wiki wasn't all that strict.

In that war scenario? Vekimen vs Yamatai? Wes could have like, a stroke that causes sever hallucinations, as well as impare judgement to a terrible degree, talk to me about this war, somehow agree that the Vekimen win, continue to have this stroke and roleplay it out with me, and then the Vekimen beat yamatai and won the war.

Did reading that give you a stroke too? Yeah, I feel your pain.

But what was the point of all that Edto/Daran? You were talking about reinventing the wheel on the Wiki and then slipped into War stuff! War stuff that made me uncomfortable and need to reevaluate my life decisions!

Well, the point is that a lot of the information on the Wiki... Actually doesn't matter. Like, actually does not matter. I have seen enough DRv# arguments, as well as see the system all but scrapped, in my just two days over year and 11 months on this site, to know that the numbers are bullshit. They are. They don't matter. Game Managers write fun stories for their players, they aren't AI in a computer game. "What do you mean this gun can't do much damage to that enemy?" doesn't happen often. God forbid said enemy is a player.




GET TO THE %&$*ing POINT ALREADY!

Fine! Yeesh. No need to be so rude about it... >.>

Point is, lots of information on the wiki, lots of worthless number talk, lots of articles that all do the same thing only slap a sticker on it to make it different, etc etc etc.

What are y'all thoughts on this sleep educed rant? I kinda wanted to record it.
 

raz

A Princess of Yamatai
Necromancer
Setting Submissions Mod
FM of the Kudhacari
Game Master
Jul 21, 2005
2,704
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I was everywhere.
#2
You had a lot of points, but the two I noticed in particular are "too much tech stuff" and "we should be able to PvP."

As to the first point, I entirely agree. This is why I never really care about stuff like CFS updates and the like. New stuff does the same thing as the last version did, and creating new tech pieces for new ships does nothing but make the new ship better only because it has a new thing that is functionally identical to the old thing.

I asked Wes about this a few months ago and he told me to make a thread about it, but I never did because it hasn't been relevant for me to ask. It'd be cool to have tech more pieces like "weapons tech type" and "ftl drive" and "sci-fi power plant" instead of "ke-m5-2876." This is what I'll be attempting for the Kudhacari. Basically, instead of making sure the guns or modules on all my ships have a ridiculous article about the precise size and caliber of that gun, I'm gonna have an article about "microwave heat borers" or something, and that article will contain standard DR for that type of weapon regardless of the ship it's mounted on or caliber of the weapon. This way, I can just make new ships and note that they have "the latest version of this gun or this sensor suite or tech."

Moving on to your second major point:
PVP is dead on a faction level, because for PP to work, both Managers need to agree on how the story will pan out. They need to agree on a winner.
True. To me, this is a perfect arrangement. The difference of opinion between players "like me" and players "like you" seems to be that some people see SARP as a living universe, much in the same way that World of Warcraft (not PvP server where the theme is "one day I'll own this boot!") or Warhammer 40k or custom D&D settings exist while others see SARP as a homebrew D&D campaign that they GM and/or play in and don't care that SARP is more than a series of sourcebooks. Some of us want a static setting as a backdrop where we can all play and create common history while some of us want to run our RPG campaign and don't care at all about what it means for the universe all of us have to share in.

That's why I like what we have right now. If you want the Vekimen to get realistically crushed then that's up to you to arrange with another FM. I think that if such a conflict ever happened — let's use Yamatai as an example like you did — you'd find an appreciation for the arrangement we currently have because the "realistic" scenario is that all your ships die without seeing their enemy and you don't get to respond to the RP other than to describe wreckage. Planning fights is nice because, even if you know you're going to lose, you can lose within the framework of good storytelling.
 

Edto Xar'Sivaree

Lizard Freak!
Necromancer
Jan 5, 2016
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#3
@raz, I love the dedication, I appreciate the effort. I know where you are coming from, and I see where the slight misunderstandings came from.

First point. The Wiki. When I say I want generic plug and play articles, I don't mean faction side. I mean "This is a FTL Drive. This is what it does. This is how fast it can go based on X level of technology"

And I want every. Single. Ship. That has FTL on this website, to have the right and ability to put that article into their ships systems section, and for no one to bat an eye.

I dont want faction wide plug and play, I want SITE WIDE plug and play baby. Let's stop re-inventing these wheels.

As for PVP. I don't want PVP. What me and you agree on is how what PVP there is should work. To me that isnt Player verse Player. That's Player working with Player. That's a collaboration, not a conflict. That's a story, not a c*** waving contest.

I just find a lot of the NTSE getting bogged down sometimes is when players who make factions or companies or what have you need to remake EVERYTHING from the ground up to have "Their Image" when in reality the finished product is all that is important. Not only that, but there is a lot of information about the weapon that should just be flat out optional.

Like, one on one question Raz. Do you care how fast a bullet is travelling?

EDIT

I forgot to explain my point on the PVP. The senario was used to explain why all the numbers we use on the NTSE is worthless. I could take out a Tier 15 ship with a Tier 1 gun if the FM allowed me too.
 
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raz

A Princess of Yamatai
Necromancer
Setting Submissions Mod
FM of the Kudhacari
Game Master
Jul 21, 2005
2,704
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I was everywhere.
#4
And I want every. Single. Ship. That has FTL on this website, to have the right and ability to put that article into their ships systems section, and for no one to bat an eye.
One hundred percent this exists already. You can link to an FTL type, for example, on a ship and then describe it on the ship article according to whatever the wiki article requirements for that are. If you want more stuff like this, please make the articles. People will still make faction-specific stuff, though.
Like, one on one question Raz. Do you care how fast a bullet is travelling?
I do not. But some people do. Some people try their best to emulate Jane's Defense. Try getting a traditional-style wheelgun or SMG through the NTSE without @Doshii Jun telling you how it should work.

It's just how it's always been.

I, myself, used to be all about "concise" articles that only had stuff I thought was "necessary for RP." My submissions were shit because I would explain why I shouldn't have to do anything else and then nobody would want to fight about it.

These are bad articles that I need to redo now and their age is no excuse. They appear fine at first glance but are missing so much essential information for RP simply because defending my opinion seemed easier than just fixing the article with stuff I didn't think was necessary. The "difficulty" that I experienced discouraged me from submission writing. Stuck to JPing for the longest time.

I came back years later with the 38 Special and just filled in the template, even when I came across superfluous numbers or "unnecessary detail." And I took peoples' suggestions during the approval thread. The end result is not only good on the surface, but is substantively good beyond that. The entire process made me feel good, people use the gun in RP, and a then-new member even liked it so much he made a 3D rendering out of nowhere!

Not telling you my NTSE life story to be like "stop caring about this thing you think" or "Be Like Raz.™" But take time to consider that stuff you hate might actually be awesome and useful and exist in the way it does for a reason.

And after all of that tl;dr, I realize that yeah, I do care about muzzle velocity. Knowing that is absolutely essential for when I'm playing any of my Neko, whose computerized brains can calculate trajectories in an instant and have enhanced reality targeting systems overlaid on their vision with the help of an AIES. I need to know the color of the deck and what sheets are on the bunks so that I don't need to PM Wes and ask him. Really minor stuff ends up mattering just when you think it's a waste of time.
 

Ethereal

Discord Mod
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Setting Submissions Mod
Game Master
Oct 12, 2015
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Northern England
#5
People put too much importance on making new tech. RP potential is the only thing to consider in whatever is made or done on the site. Making the thousandth shuttle shouldn't be needed to justify more useful settings elements.
 

Zack

Site Supporter
FM of Uso's Organization
Game Master
Jan 21, 2005
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#7
I could certainly write volumes on this.

It would be nice to have a solid rules system where you had guidelines for what you can put on a ship but so far we can't seem to get that. A point-buy system would be awesome to help alleviate the problem of everyone's ships being extremely samey but don't count on getting anything like that anytime soon.

The real solution here isn't to ask the staff for something, since that won't happen. What you should be doing is building a tech library for your faction. I did this once with Nepleslia back in the day, and you could come up with a design in DOGA, render the image, and quickly make a ship article just by linking to the appropriate parts. Being able to put together a good ship design without having to rewrite or copy/paste large blocks of text was amazing AND linking to components makes for a much slimmer and easy to read article.

The newer hotness is to share those tech libraries. USO is building a pretty solid one right now, and they are filling the gaps in it by buying components from other factions. This is a win on multiple fronts since now we're not duplicating work, our articles are filled with the best component articles on SARP (and also look pretty good themselves!), and now we have tons of RP with characters negotiating deals and working together to put stuff together.


If you really need some generic articles, you should really look at what other factions have to offer then buy stuff you need from them. Just using things like USO's generator article or ship computer can really help drive RP and improve your own articles.
 
Likes: raz