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Author Topic: MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate  (Read 606 times)

Akamia

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MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate
« on: 08 June 2021, 03:59:19 »
"If you stat it, they will kill it."
– An old RPG adage

Unkillable characters. We've all seen them in a game somewhere, completely invulnerable to the player. Very often it's because the character in question shouldn't be killed by the player, but some players will try anyway. You know who you are. ;)

But if a developer wants to make an NPC invulnerable, they must take care to ensure they actually are. A sufficiently determined player can and will find any weaknesses that exist.

Enter the Lord British Postulate. Named after a particular character from the Ultima series with whom this phenomenon is a long-standing tradition by my understanding, this is all about players killing intentionally unkillable characters, usually important ones. Many video games have this sort of NPC, and MechWarrior games are no exception; in MechWarrior, these sorts of characters are usually tutorial instructors, I believe. To draw an example from a relatively recent entry, I refer to Captain Adams, from the MechWarrior Academy in MechWarrior Online.

Adams pilots a nominally invulnerable Atlas of unknown configuration. Indeed, the configuration is not of significant importance here, as he has the power to instantly kill you if you provoke him with enough shooting. The game even awards you an achievement for making this happen, which comes with 100 C-Bills attached; unless you're an achievement hunter, completionist, or just enjoy shooting at NPCs for giggles, this is generally not worth the precious seconds it takes to acquire. ;D

But some folks see Adams as a challenge. I do not know if it has been patched away in the years since, but approximately 5 years ago, one Reddit user managed to kill his Atlas by blasting his cockpit with the King Crab's dual AC/20s, overwhelming his hit points and thus his regenerative invulnerability. I'm pretty sure the game killed the player anyway.

I'm curious about whether this has been attempted successfully in other MechWarrior games. I admittedly don't know if any other "instructor" character in the series was ever made invulnerable in any sense, but surely attempts to kill them have been made in the past? ;D I'd be absolutely shocked if that hasn't happened.
« Last Edit: 09 June 2021, 20:24:16 by Akamia »
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

Mendrugo

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Re: MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate
« Reply #1 on: 08 June 2021, 04:04:53 »
In MechWarrior 2's training missions, you were in a Dasher and the instructor was in a Vulture.  It was possible to destroy him, if you were both good and lucky, but doing so just resulted in a "Mission Failed" result.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

martian

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Re: MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate
« Reply #2 on: 08 June 2021, 08:35:01 »
I do not remember the details, but any attempt to kill Khan Vladimir Ward in MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries gave you the automatic "Mission Failed" result.

Akamia

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Re: MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate
« Reply #3 on: 08 June 2021, 18:01:08 »
In MechWarrior 2's training missions, you were in a Dasher and the instructor was in a Vulture.  It was possible to destroy him, if you were both good and lucky, but doing so just resulted in a "Mission Failed" result.
Yes, I remember. Later in the training, the missions put you in a Mad Dog as well. The Clan Wolf version of the training puts the instructor and, later, you in the Timber Wolf instead, although I think the ones the player uses are configured identically, which would make either the training Timber Wolf underweight or the training Mad Dog overweight. Or maybe they're both underweight; I hear there was quite a bit of that going around in that game. ;D

I do not remember the details, but any attempt to kill Khan Vladimir Ward in MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries gave you the automatic "Mission Failed" result.
That doesn't surprise me. And since the game is coded in such a way (or so I heard) that makes one-hit-kills impossible even on a headshot...

Actually, I’d imagine most situations in which the LBP occurs and the player succeeds in assassinating their supposedly invulnerable targets would at best result in no significant effect or a “mission fail”, and at worst, crash or otherwise break the game, almost by definition. :P We’re dealing with NPCs that the developers actively do not want the player to kill, after all.
« Last Edit: 09 June 2021, 00:08:15 by Akamia »
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

Akamia

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Re: MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate
« Reply #4 on: 09 June 2021, 20:48:37 »
Okay, so I just tried to shoot Adams dead in the Academy’s King Crab the same way that Reddit user did it, and it turns out that yes, that method was indeed patched away. I dunno if he simply takes no damage at all nowadays, or if he’s got a truly ungodly amount of HP on his head, or what, but he’s probably truly unkillable in current versions. ;D

To my surprise, though, he didn’t actually instant-kill me this time. I dunno what’s on that Atlas of his, but he one-shot my Timber Wolf when I aggro’d him in that, while it took him three or four blasts to kill the King Crab

I think the only way to know for sure is to hit him in the face with as many AC/20s as one can possibly load on a single ‘Mech. Or some other similarly deadly weapon that does all its damage instantly. I’m gonna need an Annihilator… Alternatively, I could try and slap him with a DireStar. ;D That particular Dire Wolf configuration is known to one-shot every other ‘Mech in the game, albeit for a heavy price. If a shot to the head from that doesn’t kill Adams, nothing will.
« Last Edit: 09 June 2021, 21:08:25 by Akamia »
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

Bedwyr

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Re: MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate
« Reply #5 on: 09 June 2021, 22:16:00 »
Commenting mostly as an Ultima fan. I remember there was both the infamous UO incident, but also an easter egg in Lord British's castle in Ultima VII.
Alas poor Photobucket. I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

Sartris

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Re: MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate
« Reply #6 on: 09 June 2021, 22:19:16 »
With sufficient firepower you can take out lord british in Ultima III iirc

Akamia

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Re: MechWarrior VS Lord British Postulate
« Reply #7 on: 10 June 2021, 02:09:46 »
So I brought up the subject of Captain Adams on r/OutreachHPG and findings are quickly converging on "Adams is truly invulnerable in the current version of the game". If there's a means to take him out in the present day, we haven't found it yet. ;D

In the case of other such characters in the franchise... I can at least theoretically see how to take out Khan Ward in MW4; just load up on weapons and turn on invulnerability in the game settings so you don't get killed by the rest of the Clanners in the attempt, since I remember that an invulnerability setting for single-player was a thing in the MW4 games at least. Made use of it all the time as a child – and was consequently confused at the time when I discovered it didn't work against the bots I was fighting in the multiplayer lobbies I was creating for myself back then – while as an adult/teenager, I found it beneath me, although in cases such as these, I think falling back on old habits might be warranted. :P
« Last Edit: 10 June 2021, 02:20:22 by Akamia »
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

 

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