Author Topic: Why not?  (Read 6134 times)

Kamov

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #30 on: 01 June 2011, 08:04:27 »
When I think "alien invasion", I always think about the vast span of human history and technological development, and how astronomically small the odds must be that the alien invaders have tech on a similiar level to mankind.  I enjoy popcorn movies like "Independence Day", but I can't take those sorts of stories seriously.  Battletech would become a joke game.
(The above writing is entirely my opinion based upon my own incomplete knowledge of life, the universe, and everything beyond it and should be taken as such although I don't want to tell you what to do, because that's your right and your freedom to choose your own opinions and ablah blah blah legalese etc etc)

Neufeld

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #31 on: 01 June 2011, 08:20:20 »
Once you add aliens, the game will start to look like Warhammer 40k. We already have warrior societies with big guys in power armor that consider Terra a holy place, cyborgs worshiping technology living on Mars, and a divine frozen ruler.  :P


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Fear Factory

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #32 on: 01 June 2011, 08:29:37 »
The idea of predator with a BattleMech intrigues me....   ;D

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #33 on: 01 June 2011, 08:37:43 »
The idea of predator with a BattleMech intrigues me....   ;D

Why, yes, the Raptor II is a good 'mech ;)
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Fullback

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #34 on: 01 June 2011, 08:46:32 »
Besides i don´t ever never want to see aliens fight humanity, what should those aliens be like on the game board, just thinking about rules and game-mechanics.
When playing IS vs Clan, there are enough people fighting about one side being overpowered.
And there are not very few people out there completely ignoring the clans existence.


So what rules should those aliens get? How could they fit into gameplay?

martian

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #35 on: 01 June 2011, 08:54:53 »
I am the guy who pointed to exact threads and cited what Battletech line developers think about Aliens. The only effort expected is to read them. But of course it doesn't matter.  :)

Actually there are some Aliens which weren't discussed that much before - Hyperspace Aliens from Interstellar Players 2.



In fact there are two big problems with Aliens:
  • biology and intelligence
  • technology

1. If you have Aliens which are close to humans in their psychology, then you actually don't need them. You can stay with humans.
Or their psychology can be completely different and their intentions and motives so strange that the human being can't get a grasp on their thoughts. In this case, you can write maybe a short story or perhaps even a novel, but it would have been pretty difficult if not impossible to integrate them into Battletech universe.

2. Their technology is the same as human - then you don't need aliens at all.
Or their technology is completely different. In this case, you would need to multiply complete Battletech by 2. Writers would need to write complete TechManual, Total Warfare and Tactical Operations... just to describe Alien machines, their use and rules for them. And most important.  There would be a need for a Rulebook (I am afraid it would have to be a BIG one) to bridge a gap between Human technology and Alien technology. You know, how human technology/weapons affect alien (war)machines and opposite. As I said, you  would have been writing Alien Battletech.

RichardC1967

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #36 on: 01 June 2011, 13:12:22 »
I am the guy who pointed to exact threads and cited what Battletech line developers think about Aliens. The only effort expected is to read them. But of course it doesn't matter.  :)

Actually there are some Aliens which weren't discussed that much before - Hyperspace Aliens from Interstellar Players 2.



In fact there are two big problems with Aliens:
  • biology and intelligence

  • technology

1. If you have Aliens which are close to humans in their psychology, then you actually don't need them. You can stay with humans.
Or their psychology can be completely different and their intentions and motives so strange that the human being can't get a grasp on their thoughts. In this case, you can write maybe a short story or perhaps even a novel, but it would have been pretty difficult if not impossible to integrate them into Battletech universe.

2. Their technology is the same as human - then you don't need aliens at all.
Or their technology is completely different. In this case, you would need to multiply complete Battletech by 2. Writers would need to write complete TechManual, Total Warfare and Tactical Operations... just to describe Alien machines, their use and rules for them. And most important.  There would be a need for a Rulebook (I am afraid it would have to be a BIG one) to bridge a gap between Human technology and Alien technology. You know, how human technology/weapons affect alien (war)machines and opposite. As I said, you  would have been writing Alien Battletech.

Thanks for pointing them out..I got the information I needed from them.Just wanted to see what other people that may not have been aware that the question had been asked before(like me)
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Re: Why not?
« Reply #37 on: 01 June 2011, 14:17:07 »
Richard, don't get too offended by the "Use the search function" monkies here.  every web forum has them.

guys, lets be a little more welcoming to the newbies.  leave the "RTFM"ing to Linux and warhammer 40K Forums... and 4Chan.
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Rael

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #38 on: 01 June 2011, 15:39:15 »
I'm almost completely anti-alien when it comes to BT. I think the only way I could tolerate them would be if say, at some time around the 2900s, someone like the Hanseatic League or other Deep Periphery power came across a small Stone Age alien population and wiped them out. The whole affair would be heard of by only a handful of people and even they'd think it was just a crazy spacer tall tale. A footnote like that I could live with.

Aliens as an active faction - I wouldn't be into that at all. It would be too big a change.

rlbell

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #39 on: 01 June 2011, 16:23:18 »
A big deal about adding aliens is that the make up of the human militaries would change drastically.  For the most part, warfare in the inner sphere is the game of the Great Houses and even the clans do not really take it seriously.  An alien race that actually competed with humanity for resources would bring in total economic warfare.  If battlemech factories were hard to expand and harder to build, battlemechs would become lone islands in a sea of tanks.
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Re: Why not?
« Reply #40 on: 01 June 2011, 16:33:34 »
I am the guy who pointed to exact threads and cited what Battletech line developers think about Aliens. The only effort expected is to read them. But of course it doesn't matter.  :)

Actually there are some Aliens which weren't discussed that much before - Hyperspace Aliens from Interstellar Players 2.



In fact there are two big problems with Aliens:
  • biology and intelligence
  • technology

1. If you have Aliens which are close to humans in their psychology, then you actually don't need them. You can stay with humans.
Or their psychology can be completely different and their intentions and motives so strange that the human being can't get a grasp on their thoughts. In this case, you can write maybe a short story or perhaps even a novel, but it would have been pretty difficult if not impossible to integrate them into Battletech universe.

2. Their technology is the same as human - then you don't need aliens at all.
Or their technology is completely different. In this case, you would need to multiply complete Battletech by 2. Writers would need to write complete TechManual, Total Warfare and Tactical Operations... just to describe Alien machines, their use and rules for them. And most important.  There would be a need for a Rulebook (I am afraid it would have to be a BIG one) to bridge a gap between Human technology and Alien technology. You know, how human technology/weapons affect alien (war)machines and opposite. As I said, you  would have been writing Alien Battletech.

Yeah, I'm one of the idiots who made those two points in the 16-page thread. ;)

And the hyperspace aliens are apocryphal, based on the ramblings of a madman... just as word of the Genecaste is. The latter is there to give the GM a new enemy that's more out of the ordinary than the. Average Clanner.  The Hyperspace ones are there to explain weird things... not to be fought.  Or exist in a standard game. 


Kamov

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #41 on: 01 June 2011, 16:36:54 »
*snip*
  An alien race that actually competed with humanity for resources would bring in total economic warfare. 
*snip*

The elephant in the living room in a "resource war" scenario is... How vast and resource intensive must this alien culture be, to need to go to war over a lack of resources!?  Battletech may be a game of warfare, but the wars (on a large scale) are hardly ever about resource acquisition.  Space is far too vast, planets too numerous, for overcrowding or resource depletion to be a concern for humanity in this setting unless you purposely settle lousy worlds.  Any alien race that uses enough resources to require wars to get more must be impossibly innefficient at using them, or impossibly overpowering.
(The above writing is entirely my opinion based upon my own incomplete knowledge of life, the universe, and everything beyond it and should be taken as such although I don't want to tell you what to do, because that's your right and your freedom to choose your own opinions and ablah blah blah legalese etc etc)

PurpleDragon

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #42 on: 01 June 2011, 16:38:39 »
I run the roleplaying system a lot and have found it's more fun to have an almost sentient creature, a.k.a. a gorrilla; only it could be an insectoid, avian, or other creature.   

I ran one game wherein the players stumbled on a wrecked Potempkin (it had misjumped and wound up buried just beneath a planet's surface).  I used a modified form of the Tikkitti from the GURPS space creatures as the (OPFOR).  In that instance, as I've used them other games as well, they would be curious and try to communicate with the characters or their machines, using a laser light that is generated biologically.  However, one of the players decided to set off explosives in an attempt to blow open a "jammed" door.  Yeah, the insectoids, not quite being sentient went into defend the nest mode. 
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martian

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #43 on: 01 June 2011, 16:46:58 »
An alien race that actually competed with humanity for resources would bring in total economic warfare.  If battlemech factories were hard to expand and harder to build, battlemechs would become lone islands in a sea of tanks.

Please, could you elaborate the thougt about resources?

  • Personally I would say that any alien race developed enough to master the interstellar flight would be more than capable to mine all needed mineral resources on deserted planets (even without atmosphere) or asteroids.
  • Energy? With fussion, fission or anti-matter reactors, or maybe even with more powerful energy sources at their disposal, what energy could possibly take from mankind?
  • Agricultural products? E.T.s stealing this year's harvest? Not probable.
  • Aliens as maneaters? Bah. (Yes, I know there are some Sci-fi series with theme like this, but I don't believe anybody would considered this seriously in Battletech).
  • Habitable planets? Maybe, but space is enough infinite. Aliens would have it easier to find some uninhabited planet than start an interstellar war.
  • Aliens stealing our women? Bah. What use would we have for females of alligators.
Make allowance for me taking part in this thread to my old love to Science-fiction.  ;)

MEP

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #44 on: 01 June 2011, 16:54:43 »
At the heart of every war in Battletech is a very human motivation. Every conflict is driven by ambition, greed or anger (or some combination of the above). The problem with adding aliens is deciding what motivates them. Do they just want resources? Boring. Do they want to dominate? Word of Blake, Aleksander Kerensky, Stefan Amaris, Katherine Steiner; already been done. Do they want to infect us like a parasite? Creepy and not really suitable for the setting?

There's no compelling reason to add an alien race to Battletech. Even the games that do have aliens in them (like 40k) are just using them as exaggerated representations for some human impulse. Eldar represent an arrogant elitism born of knowledge and age. Dark Eldar represent the same thing taken to a nihilistic extreme. Tau are a thinly veiled representation of collectivism of the cartoonish type depicted as the enemy of all things by people like Ayn Rand. Chaos Demons represent untempered emotion and selfishness. And humanity ends up representing a hopelessly dogmatic fear of change.

They're all just caricatures of human motivations. They're not really that alien at all. CBT is a universe that doesn't need cartoonish metaphors. It's grounded in fundamentally human flaws and ideals.

That's not to say that aliens in other games are bad. Different universes should use different approaches to engage their audience. Aliens just don't fit the look and feel of Battletech. Since aliens are never used for anything more than creating funny looking versions of human motivations, they are unnecessary in a universe that already represents the full spectrum of those motivations in the human population.
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Paint it Pink

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #45 on: 01 June 2011, 18:03:47 »
I tend to disagree with the no alien camp. For me the question is why are there no aliens to be found given the statistical likelihood of alien races being met?

As for what they bring, I would see them as the immovable object and unstoppable force, acting like a cross between a sleeping giant and a force of nature. They would fight us because we are vermin that are lowering property values in the Milky Way; for definitions of property values that include not being able to tolerate destructive neighbours living nearby.

As for the people leave the game if aliens were added, I would skirt that whole issue by having CGL do it as an alternative universe; a choice for those that do, not something that everyone has to do.

YMMV.
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martian

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #46 on: 01 June 2011, 18:25:38 »
I tend to disagree with the no alien camp. For me the question is why are there no aliens to be found given the statistical likelihood of alien races being met?

Since we haven't met any aliens, we can hardly have any verified data to base our statistics at.

As for what they bring, I would see them as the immovable object and unstoppable force, acting like a cross between a sleeping giant and a force of nature. They would fight us because we are vermin that are lowering property values in the Milky Way; for definitions of property values that include not being able to tolerate destructive neighbours living nearby.

So you imagine your Aliens as something like the Borg colective (instoppable force of nature),
"Our sentry vessels tossed aside, no defense against the storm. And by the time they had surrounded our star system... hundreds of cubes... we had already surrendered to our own terror."

or better yet Species 8472 (disregarding story details)?:
"The weak...will perish."

As for the people leave the game if aliens were added, I would skirt that whole issue by having CGL do it as an alternative universe; a choice for those that do, not something that everyone has to do.

I'd like to express my personal opinion that one of the greatest strengths of Battletech was adherence to ONE universe. Of course, there were retcons and such, but writers spared no effort to make everything part of the same universe. Just personally, I feel that alternative universe would be a big misstep.

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #47 on: 01 June 2011, 18:25:52 »
Another concern on the realism side:

Time.

Humanity in BT held its progress back a few times. Dark ages. Succession Wars. A few centuries worth of progress were lost.

What happens if we meet an alien race that started exactly at the same time, but without those speed bumps?
Or, more likely still: an alien race that has a 10,000 year head start on us?

Or, far more likely still:
This planet's about 4.5 billion years old. Life started about 2 billion years ago.
There's bits in the universe that are 13 billion years old.
Can you imagine a technological race that has a billion year head start on us? How about 5 billion? Yeah, how about a race that figured out interstellar travel before our planet even existed.


IOW, it goes back to the realism vs. gameplay issue.
Ranges in BT suck for gameplay reasons; to keep the game fun. Realistic damages and ranges would be 1 shot = 1 kill games, and they'd be considerably less interesting.
Likewise, a realistic encounter with an alien race would likewise be unsatisfying and lobsided.
The only exception is to make the aliens all to much like us, ref, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc, etc. It's been done. We're more unique and unusual for not having aliens, despite the statistical impossibility of that.

Paul

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #48 on: 01 June 2011, 18:58:38 »
I vote No Aliens. For all the reasons given.

Besides, if you want an universe not too far from Battletech with Aliens, Renegade Legion is for you. I believe it is out of print, and the rights belongs to...? No idea !
But the setting is simple, black and white (good rebels versus bad imperium) and the rules quite fun, each weapon having a different profile of damage. And a few alien races, allied with one faction or the other. No mechs, but flying tanks, fighters and capital ships.
It was a FASA game.
Good luck to find it !!
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Lafeel

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #49 on: 01 June 2011, 19:13:05 »
Actually been tempted to get that as I know a local guy that owns some of it (he kind of runs a game store out of his own cellar), just keep hesitating as players tend to be somewhat nostalgic (myself very much included) and only remember the good points of a game and not so much it's bad points.

Am behind the PTB view on aliens and Battletech 100% though.

rlbell

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #50 on: 01 June 2011, 19:26:25 »
Please, could you elaborate the thougt about resources?


The big motivator in the BTU is conflict.  Unfortunately, being alien, an alien faction either will not interact with humanity at all, or only interact with humanity for the basest of reasons.  If they only interact with humans because humans force the issue, they are targets for raids/piracy.  If the aliens have a reason for conflict, it is for something (however unlikely) that they cannot get within their own space.  Resource scarcity is probably a poor excuse for human/alien conflict, but other excuses are even worse, save xenophobic hysteria that makes one side believe that it must eliminate the other.


I tend to disagree with the no alien camp. For me the question is why are there no aliens to be found given the statistical likelihood of alien races being met?


Depending on how optimistic/pessimistic you are when assigning values to the Drake Equation the number of civilizations varies from one in every ten thousand stars through one in every ten thousand galaxies to it being unlikely that there is anyone else out there, at all.  Being alone in the galaxy, but with the nearest alien civilization in the Andromeda galaxy is actually one of the more optimistic estimates.  Even if we acquire a star drive, the statistical probability of encountering anyone else is still almost zero.
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martian

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #51 on: 01 June 2011, 19:59:32 »
I don't think nothing good about equations like this. When you have no data about Aliens, and no possibility how to verify the result ... You can use any variables you wish and end with any result you desire.

Some variables about intelligent life, technology or signals are completely fictional and comical.  You can use any number because the only inhabited planet is Earth and the only civilization is ours too.

Edit:big spelling error
« Last Edit: 01 June 2011, 20:01:57 by martian »

Kamov

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #52 on: 01 June 2011, 20:07:43 »
I agree.  There could be a pre-radio civilization thriving in a star system 10 LY away, and we would have no idea that there was even a planet in the habitable zone of that star.  In such a situation, it is better to just say, "I don't know", rather than do something like old mapmakers where you squiggle out some lines to make things connect back to known areas and write "Here be Dragons" in between.
(The above writing is entirely my opinion based upon my own incomplete knowledge of life, the universe, and everything beyond it and should be taken as such although I don't want to tell you what to do, because that's your right and your freedom to choose your own opinions and ablah blah blah legalese etc etc)

verybad

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #53 on: 01 June 2011, 20:11:06 »
There's no purpose for aliens. For aliens to be interesting, they have to be understandable. Their purpose has to be something that makes sense. Whether they're here to steal our women, to eat us, or to blow up Terra, without a reason they're boring.

Aliens have to be human. Oh you could have monsters like Zergs/Tyrannids, or you could have Orks/Klingons, or what not, but when it comes to it, they must have a reason.

There have been sentient aliens in Battletech numerous times. In the beginning it was the Capellans with their crazy dictator, who replaced the good king Hanse with a double. Then it was the Clans, a warlike "Klingon" race that practiced planned breeding to forge the next stock of battlebabies. Lately it's been the "Robot Race", the Word of Blake, a species willing to destroy planets to keep their secrets safe from humanity.

We havn't had Zerg, though I think the entire concept is ridiculous (the protomechs were an experiment in that direction IMO). The WoB probably were not so far from a central mind however, with C3i being brought down to Battlearmor IIRC, the next step would be an implant into their cyborg brains...

Slavering monstrous flesheatng aliens are animals, and deserve no great place in the fiction, they are concerns for individuals trapped in a cavern or lost in a forest, they are hungry wolves in the Russian winter, not nation breaking forces.

Battletechs enjoyment in the factions is because their is an understanding, a broken mirror through which each faction can see a bit of itself in it's opponent. The cultural differences, and the individual flaws in leaders are what make battletech's universe interesting. We need no monsters, they come from us. Mankind is the alien.
« Last Edit: 01 June 2011, 20:13:03 by verybad »
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Re: Why not?
« Reply #54 on: 01 June 2011, 20:42:33 »
-snip-
 We need no monsters, they come from us. Mankind is the alien.

Well said, good sir.  I think I'm adding that last bit to my signature.

TS_Hawk

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #55 on: 01 June 2011, 21:31:20 »
will the Battletech Universe ever see an alien invasion from deep space, which will force all the Houses and Clans to band together to fight a common foe, or will they just continue to fight each other for the NEXT 25 years?

Might as well just play warhammer 40K then

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #56 on: 01 June 2011, 21:45:05 »
I tend to disagree with the no alien camp. For me the question is why are there no aliens to be found given the statistical likelihood of alien races being met?

As for what they bring, I would see them as the immovable object and unstoppable force, acting like a cross between a sleeping giant and a force of nature. They would fight us because we are vermin that are lowering property values in the Milky Way; for definitions of property values that include not being able to tolerate destructive neighbours living nearby.

As for the people leave the game if aliens were added, I would skirt that whole issue by having CGL do it as an alternative universe; a choice for those that do, not something that everyone has to do.

YMMV.

Problem: If the aliens are immovable object and/or unstoppable force, it would become a frustration of the efforts of the players, since the aliens could storm out at any moment, mopping up everything, like the hilarious joke about the hidden Tetatae Battlefleet ready to start armageddon...

Plus, if that force is such, what challenge should they pose tho the players, other than making them become minced meat at the speed of light?

Such is why (from an in-game perspective), IMHO, unstoppable aliens are a potentially dangerous direction.

Vulnerable aliens? There's already the clans, though powerful, which play that part.

RichardC1967

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #57 on: 01 June 2011, 22:40:57 »
Might as well just play warhammer 40K then


Tried it..hated it..I more of a Warhammer Fantasy Battle fan..but GW's constant price increases and "You gotta have this new rule book/army book now" mentality is forcing me to find a cheaper alternative.If I knew my topic would have started such a big discussion, I'd have never posted it..but hey at least it got people to state their opinions..
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Re: Why not?
« Reply #58 on: 01 June 2011, 22:49:29 »
OK, so I get the point..but hypothetically if the Developers at BT decided to add an Alien storyline all of the sudden, then how many of you guys would stop playing BT? or at least not buy the new line of TRO's or miniatures?

I'd stop. they'd lose my gaming dollar, and quite a few others, I suspect.

if they wanted to publish NONCANON scenario books to aid people in running what-if campaigns for this and other scenarios, I would encourage that. But the official storyline? No way.
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Korzon77

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Re: Why not?
« Reply #59 on: 01 June 2011, 23:02:36 »
Here's my problme-- we have complaints already, justified to some degree that many cultures in battletech, human cultures are not given enough attention-- thousands of high population (1 million plus) worlds not even on the map, the fact that some capital worlds are treated as "one capital city and other...stuff", the "village of hats" phenomena-- and that's even considering what a good job the designers have been doing avoiding that. 
The problem is, that unless you want Btech to have as many books as oh say the social studies section of UCI's library, you'll get lots of places where get get stuff glossed over.

Now, you're going to add aliens to this?

either 1. They're just humans in funny suits, in which case why bother, or2. you're going to be spending tne next several years of real time publishing establishing their character. 

Neither one is much of a draw for me.