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Author Topic: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks  (Read 1810 times)

dgorsman

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #30 on: 11 September 2019, 20:59:44 »
Right.  If someone got lucky and crippled someplace like the Galax yards, it would have been extremely difficult to rebuild.
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victor_shaw

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #31 on: 11 September 2019, 21:58:28 »
Actually it did become LosTech.

From Sarna...

So while the Great Houses were able to make more Jumpships like the Scout, Star Lord and Monolith, they were basically just carbon copies. They couldn't create entirely new classes, which was another factor in why they couldn't begin to create Warships until quite a bit later during the Invasion era.

And IMHO this is another one of the accuses lores that FASA/FP/CGL is famous for.
Like why it took 90+ years for the Innersphere to catch-up to the clans in tech when they had a multiple Clan's worth of salvage to work with.
And at least two clans worth of techs for assistance.

I can believe that Jump Drives tech requires resources that during the successor wars were hard to come by and the factories being destroyed could limit their production, but you can't tell me that tech that predates the original exodus from earth was too advanced for the successor states. Plans, construction diagrams, and other information would be available in most library at that point.

If you want to tell me that the successor states did not hove the funds to devote to the construction of new factories and the Ares Conventions reduced the need for rapid Jumpship construction then that I could believe, but the idea that they forgot how to made them and could only copy them I don't. Like mbear said "A WarShip is a massive investment in time, money, and equipment. For the same amount of money, time, and (non-capital scale) equipment  House Lords could build up several regiments of 'Mechs with supporting aerospace and combat vehicles." That I can believe, but the "they forgot how" argument is just plan ridiculous.

dgorsman

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #32 on: 11 September 2019, 22:10:37 »
Pretty believable to me.  ComStar assassinating technicians and scientists, sabotaging development.  And not just those who can build JumpShips and other tech, but the supporting industries as well.  Computer backups?  Scrambled, poisoned with viral loads, or falsified with bad data.  I think the cyberwar aspect has been underserved in the story thus far (wasn't that big a deal in the real world at the time), and could use some work to get it into the continuity.  Someone starts asking too many questions, like Hanse did, and you end up with a specops intelligence war to outright interdiction.
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Alan Davion

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #33 on: 11 September 2019, 23:04:31 »
Pretty believable to me.  ComStar assassinating technicians and scientists, sabotaging development.  And not just those who can build JumpShips and other tech, but the supporting industries as well.  Computer backups?  Scrambled, poisoned with viral loads, or falsified with bad data.  I think the cyberwar aspect has been underserved in the story thus far (wasn't that big a deal in the real world at the time), and could use some work to get it into the continuity.  Someone starts asking too many questions, like Hanse did, and you end up with a specops intelligence war to outright interdiction.

Or a rogue ComStar Precentor teaming up with the local nobility and conspiring to frame you for a civilian massacre equal to Kentares IV in order to plunder a Star League library system on the planet you've been put in charge of by the House Lord.  >:D

victor_shaw

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #34 on: 11 September 2019, 23:13:00 »
Pretty believable to me.  ComStar assassinating technicians and scientists, sabotaging development.  And not just those who can build JumpShips and other tech, but the supporting industries as well.  Computer backups?  Scrambled, poisoned with viral loads, or falsified with bad data.  I think the cyberwar aspect has been underserved in the story thus far (wasn't that big a deal in the real world at the time), and could use some work to get it into the continuity.  Someone starts asking too many questions, like Hanse did, and you end up with a specops intelligence war to outright interdiction.

Again even this is like saying "I destroyed all the files on building a cars so we have millions of them over there and can't figure out how they work or how to make them"
If you where talking about one planet say "earth" I could believe that, but we are talking about well over 2.5+ thousand planets and if we average out the populations to just 1 million a planet that's still 2.5+ billion people, Then you have to say that ComStar a faction that couldn't even manage to figure out who the Wolf's Dragoons where, managed to destroy all records on 2.6 thousand planets, kill everyone who knows anything about that level of engineer and everyone learning about it, make sure every factory was destroyed (which we know did happen), and to top it all off, prevent anyone from examining existing Jump Drives to figure them out. That a big stretch by any form of imagination Considering that even today there are 7.53 billion people just on this planet alone, then there are just the major planets in the BTU, Tharkad 7 billion, New Avalon 7.2 billion, Luthien 7.3 billion, Atreus 8.4 billion, and Sian 7.3 billion, all equaling 37.2 billion, and these are just the faction capitals.
Now lets say that just 1% of these people know how to build or design a Jump Drive and teach no one else how to do it. That's still 37 million people on just the faction capitals. IMHO you have way to much faith in ComStars abilities to accomplish this.

P.S. Rom was not even formed till 2811, and ComStar did not become the faction we know today until 2819 after the end of the First Successor War.
So all this would have had to be done during the Second Successor War.
« Last Edit: 11 September 2019, 23:31:26 by victor_shaw »

Mendrugo

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #35 on: 12 September 2019, 00:58:04 »
One of my handwavium explanations for the loss of tech on worlds that were far from any active fronts and never saw fighting is as follows:

The technological development of the BattleTech setting is an outgrowth of what was "cutting edge" at the time it was being written.  (The old "future of the eighties" argument.)  Thus, Mike Stackpole's "Warrior Trilogy" featured, on both backwater Pacifica and House capital Tharkad, a single planetary mainframe computer, with all other devices on the world being dumb input/output terminals.  If this is the network structure on both Pacifica and Tharkad, we can extrapolate that such arrangements predominate throughout the Inner Sphere.  The comparative rarity of removable storage media (data cores) indicates that the central hub model was standard even during the Star League era.  (One explanation might be that initial colonies would set up a central computer at the landing site, and then keep expanding that mainframe's capacity as the colony grew.)

These mainframes are shown as being vulnerable to malware and hacking in the Warrior Trilogy.  Thus, ComStar, with its LosTech equipment and training, could send operatives to each world and use viruses or malware to scrub technical documents, blueprints, etc. from the planetary mainframe.  Then it's a matter of killing any scientist actively trying to recreate the data.  It's easier on border worlds - planetary mainframes would be prime targets - take it out and the planetary e-commerce economy disappears.
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victor_shaw

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #36 on: 12 September 2019, 01:30:31 »
One of my handwavium explanations for the loss of tech on worlds that were far from any active fronts and never saw fighting is as follows:

The technological development of the BattleTech setting is an outgrowth of what was "cutting edge" at the time it was being written.  (The old "future of the eighties" argument.)  Thus, Mike Stackpole's "Warrior Trilogy" featured, on both backwater Pacifica and House capital Tharkad, a single planetary mainframe computer, with all other devices on the world being dumb input/output terminals.  If this is the network structure on both Pacifica and Tharkad, we can extrapolate that such arrangements predominate throughout the Inner Sphere.  The comparative rarity of removable storage media (data cores) indicates that the central hub model was standard even during the Star League era.  (One explanation might be that initial colonies would set up a central computer at the landing site, and then keep expanding that mainframe's capacity as the colony grew.)

These mainframes are shown as being vulnerable to malware and hacking in the Warrior Trilogy.  Thus, ComStar, with its LosTech equipment and training, could send operatives to each world and use viruses or malware to scrub technical documents, blueprints, etc. from the planetary mainframe.  Then it's a matter of killing any scientist actively trying to recreate the data.  It's easier on border worlds - planetary mainframes would be prime targets - take it out and the planetary e-commerce economy disappears.

A again this assumes that every one of those 2.5 thousand planets uses these system, there are no hard copies anywhere in the Innersphere, and that ComStar was able to kill the billions of people needed to make this a possibility without anyone noticing they where gone.

The main issues here is that everyone seems to have this overblown view of Roms capabilities. From the reading I have done their only true successes where in the periphery, and in information gathering due to their control of the HPG network. Outside of this they don't come across as an organization that could pull this off.

Now I have no problems with ComStar taking full control of the HPG network and none of the Houses being able to maintain and control them, because the HPG network was never in the houses control anyway. It was maintained and controlled by the Starleauge, and after the fall they gave control over to what would become ComStar. So they never had the infrastructure to build or control it and never bothered to try.

But they had always built jumpships and jump drives and had the infrastructure to build or maintain them. So the idea that after the 2nd Successor War they just  lost this is another one of Jordan Weisman hand waves to keep the setting in the dark ages, just like when he did it again with wizkids.
« Last Edit: 12 September 2019, 01:32:35 by victor_shaw »

Alan Davion

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #37 on: 12 September 2019, 02:31:28 »
But they had always built jumpships and jump drives and had the infrastructure to build or maintain them. So the idea that after the 2nd Successor War they just  lost this is another one of Jordan Weisman hand waves to keep the setting in the dark ages, just like when he did it again with wizkids.

Let me see if I can give you a more compelling answer to this conundrum.

According to Sarna the K-F Drive is
Quote
A K-F drive is comprised of a meters-thick core made of a titanium-germanium alloy (wrapped in a liquid helium jacket), controller, initiator, tankage and other associated equipment.
So now let's take the Scout class jumpship, massing 90,000 tons and 273 meters long, it would be easy to reverse engineer how much material would go into the K-F Drive for that particular class.

Now let's jump ahead a little bit to a Warship class, the Avalon class lets say, at 770,000 tons, and 812 meters long, that thing is 8.5 times heavier than the Scout class.

How much of that weight is dedicated to the K-F Drive? After the Successor States lambasted themselves back almost to the bronze age, somewhere along the way, between a combination of factors, they ended up incapable of determining how big a jump drive was necessary for any potential new classes of ships.

Sure, they might be able to design new ships, but I'd bet dollars to pesos that a specific size of ship requires a specific size of K-F Drive, and the bigger the ship, the bigger the drive has to be, so along with not being able to get proper jumpship sized sub-light transit engines working properly, no new Warships, or even jumpships were able to be built until the Helm memory core started making its rounds across the Inner Sphere, and even then it took decades to categorize and sort through god only knows how much information to find technology that would lead to the eventual creation of new IS starships.

Frabby

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #38 on: 12 September 2019, 04:46:40 »
A again this assumes that every one of those 2.5 thousand planets uses these system, there are no hard copies anywhere in the Innersphere, and that ComStar was able to kill the billions of people needed to make this a possibility without anyone noticing they where gone.
I don't agree with the apparent ease you're applying to reverse engineering. If someone dumped an F-35 in your back yard, how long would it take you to set up mass production?

Same about recovering lostech. To quote an often-used example, at this present day the US doesn't (to the best of my knowledge) have the infrastructure in place to manufacture Saturn V rockets. That's even when you assume all blueprints for all constituent components are readily accessible.

You'd be surprised to find out how much real-world, currently-in-use military gear is actually "lostech" - even consumables.
I've heard of one case where the manufacturer for radar-obscring chaff "ammo" on a certain aircraft type closed down 15 years ago, and the military in question supposedly only found out when they needed to replenish their stocks.
Another case is shrapnel armor/netting in a cargo airplane that has surpassed its sell-by date but cannot be replaced because it's not manufactured anymore. The military in question supposedly reacted by officially postponing the sell-by date.
Similarly, armor plating for real-world naval battleships isn't made anymore and as far as I gathered, the last people to know the ins and outs of its manufacture are retired long since, and dying off.
« Last Edit: 12 September 2019, 04:48:16 by Frabby »
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victor_shaw

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #39 on: 12 September 2019, 05:48:43 »
I don't agree with the apparent ease you're applying to reverse engineering. If someone dumped an F-35 in your back yard, how long would it take you to set up mass production?

This has to be the worst analogy I have every seen. Of course I would not be able to setup mass production
1. I'm not an aerospace engineer. (I'm a network construction and administration specialist)
2. I don't have anywhere near the resources to do it I'm just one man.

Now let me reveres this on you if I was to slap down a new wiring and network diagram how long would it take you to set it up.
Now I could do the same thing to a newly graduated Network engineer and they could have it done fairly quickly.
If someone was to hand over the plans for an F-35 or even just the plane itself to china I would bet they would have one flying in under 2 years.

This type of argument is used all the time and it never is true. Yes you are right if I gave a F-35 to a farmer they would probably not be able to reverse engineer.
But if I gave it to a group of aerospace engineers and funded them, They more then likely could.
It truly depends on the level of tech we are talking about, and contrary to popular belief Clan tech was not that far beyond Star league tech. As the Innersphere was able to copy a bulkier less powerful version of the weapons fairly quickly. Now I would give 5-10 years for that but they did it in less then 4 years. With that out of the way I would at most say it would take 10-20 years for them to duplicate the tech seeing as they not only had the finished equipment in front of them but later on had Clan techs that could help (Nova cat,WIE)
Even on are own planet many nations have got a hold of foreign equipment and reverse engineered it fairly quickly. Russia did it quite a lot during the second wold war, and was able to reverse engineered new forms of aircraft titanium just by visiting a British factory and wearing sticky shoes to collect samples (see the mig- 17). Plus their version on multiple occasions were better they the vehicle they where copying.

Same about recovering lostech. To quote an often-used example, at this present day the US doesn't (to the best of my knowledge) have the infrastructure in place to manufacture Saturn V rockets. That's even when you assume all blueprints for all constituent components are readily accessible.

Another misquoted and misused statement. The issues is not can the US build infrastructure to manufacture Saturn V rockets. The issues is that it is not cost efficient to backwards engineer a single use item for a mission that has no real purpose, as it would not advance science or increase our knowledge of space and space travel.   

You'd be surprised to find out how much real-world, currently-in-use military gear is actually "lostech" - even consumables.
I've heard of one case where the manufacturer for radar-obscring chaff "ammo" on a certain aircraft type closed down 15 years ago, and the military in question supposedly only found out when they needed to replenish their stocks.
Another case is shrapnel armor/netting in a cargo airplane that has surpassed its sell-by date but cannot be replaced because it's not manufactured anymore. The military in question supposedly reacted by officially postponing the sell-by date.
Similarly, armor plating for real-world naval battleships isn't made anymore and as far as I gathered, the last people to know the ins and outs of its manufacture are retired long since, and dying off.

No actually I wouldn't, As these are truly not example of in service weapons in that sense. These items you are talking about are export surplus or phased out items.
Or in the case of the battleships, decommissioned vehicles. As a former Air Force crew chief I can tell you that this happens on some of our older planes all the time, and the parts or equipment are not lostech, they are just not mass-produced anymore , an example being one of the bolts on the B-1B (the plane I worked on) having to be specially machined since it was a torque bolt and had special shear tolerances. Now the manufacture no longer made the part or any part for the plane because it was not part of the original contract after the aircraft's were made (got to love government foresight). The part is still able to be made by a machine shop but just cost more now.

« Last Edit: 12 September 2019, 05:51:28 by victor_shaw »

Mendrugo

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #40 on: 12 September 2019, 06:25:32 »
A again this assumes that every one of those 2.5 thousand planets uses these system, there are no hard copies anywhere in the Innersphere, and that ComStar was able to kill the billions of people needed to make this a possibility without anyone noticing they where gone.

Your argument is that it makes no sense for the tech to be lost.  That's a supportable argument. 

However, in the fictional setting, the underlying premise is that the tech was lost.  So, how do we account for that?  If it's good enough for both a backwater and the Lyran capital, that's a strong argument for the central planetary mainframe infrastructure to be standardized, and accounts for the vulnerability of such systems to malicious interference.  So, yeah, to try to fit the sequence of events into what's been established, we have to assume that most of the 3,000 colonies extant in 2780 used that sort of setup. 

People certainly noticed that scientists and technical experts were dropping like flies.  But they attributed it to the activities of their enemies, who'd already killed billions more with nukes, gas, plagues, orbital bombardment, etc.  Never a shortage of culprits during the Succession Wars.  ROM was good at covering its tracks and shifting blame.  As such expertise became increasingly rare, per the early fiction, technicians and their families were housed in underground bunkers for protection, and raids would be mounted to capture them as valuable commodities.

The main issues here is that everyone seems to have this overblown view of Roms capabilities. From the reading I have done their only true successes where in the periphery, and in information gathering due to their control of the HPG network. Outside of this they don't come across as an organization that could pull this off.
 

In some texts, the Maskirovka comes off as blisteringly incompetent, thuggish, and ineffective.  In others, they're masters of the quintuple fakeout, capable of bringing down an entire planetary government with a well orchestrated terror campaign, and able to infiltrate super-commandos into the heart of enemy strongholds. 

Similarly, ROM is as capable as the plotline demands.  Sometimes they're making colossal messes that kill millions as "collateral damage" (usually blamed on "rogue agents").  Sometimes they're manipulating events behind the scenes to start new rounds of the Succession Wars.  If the sources say they successfully executed Operations HOLY SHROUD and HOLY SHROUD TWO (Hyperpulse Boogaloo), then they were capable of doing so at that juncture.
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DarkISI

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #41 on: 12 September 2019, 06:39:10 »
I want to throw in, that we have no clue how the hell the pyramids were built or how it could really have been possible with what they had available. Yes, we have theories, but nothing definitive.
We also have no clue how to rebuild Notre Dame. We have lost the knowledge of how things were done back then. The French are now throwing a lot of money at people to find out how the heck Notre Dame was constructed and how they could ever be able to rebuild it how it was. It's not absolutely certain they can. We are talking low tech here, very low tech. They cannot do it.
And that is without someone assassinating everyone who finds out how to do it. It gets a lot more difficult if someone starts doing that.
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victor_shaw

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #42 on: 12 September 2019, 07:01:20 »
Your argument is that it makes no sense for the tech to be lost.  That's a supportable argument. 

However, in the fictional setting, the underlying premise is that the tech was lost.  So, how do we account for that?  If it's good enough for both a backwater and the Lyran capital, that's a strong argument for the central planetary mainframe infrastructure to be standardized, and accounts for the vulnerability of such systems to malicious interference.  So, yeah, to try to fit the sequence of events into what's been established, we have to assume that most of the 3,000 colonies extant in 2780 used that sort of setup. 

People certainly noticed that scientists and technical experts were dropping like flies.  But they attributed it to the activities of their enemies, who'd already killed billions more with nukes, gas, plagues, orbital bombardment, etc.  Never a shortage of culprits during the Succession Wars.  ROM was good at covering its tracks and shifting blame.  As such expertise became increasingly rare, per the early fiction, technicians and their families were housed in underground bunkers for protection, and raids would be mounted to capture them as valuable commodities.
 

In some texts, the Maskirovka comes off as blisteringly incompetent, thuggish, and ineffective.  In others, they're masters of the quintuple fakeout, capable of bringing down an entire planetary government with a well orchestrated terror campaign, and able to infiltrate super-commandos into the heart of enemy strongholds. 

Similarly, ROM is as capable as the plotline demands.  Sometimes they're making colossal messes that kill millions as "collateral damage" (usually blamed on "rogue agents").  Sometimes they're manipulating events behind the scenes to start new rounds of the Succession Wars.  If the sources say they successfully executed Operations HOLY SHROUD and HOLY SHROUD TWO (Hyperpulse Boogaloo), then they were capable of doing so at that juncture.

I will and do except that this is a fictional universe and the writers wanted it this way.
The doesn't in any way keep it from being a plot hole or a Hanging Plot Hooks.
Just like how ROM, DEST, and Wolfnet can be super agents in book, and completely incapable of finding the light switch in their own house the next.
« Last Edit: 12 September 2019, 07:35:51 by victor_shaw »

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #43 on: 12 September 2019, 11:03:28 »
This has to be the worst analogy I have every seen. Of course I would not be able to setup mass production
1. I'm not an aerospace engineer. (I'm a network construction and administration specialist)
2. I don't have anywhere near the resources to do it I'm just one man.

Now let me reveres this on you if I was to slap down a new wiring and network diagram how long would it take you to set it up.
Now I could do the same thing to a newly graduated Network engineer and they could have it done fairly quickly.
If someone was to hand over the plans for an F-35 or even just the plane itself to china I would bet they would have one flying in under 2 years.

This type of argument is used all the time and it never is true. Yes you are right if I gave a F-35 to a farmer they would probably not be able to reverse engineer.
But if I gave it to a group of aerospace engineers and funded them, They more then likely could.
It truly depends on the level of tech we are talking about, and contrary to popular belief Clan tech was not that far beyond Star league tech. As the Innersphere was able to copy a bulkier less powerful version of the weapons fairly quickly. Now I would give 5-10 years for that but they did it in less then 4 years. With that out of the way I would at most say it would take 10-20 years for them to duplicate the tech seeing as they not only had the finished equipment in front of them but later on had Clan techs that could help (Nova cat,WIE)
Even on are own planet many nations have got a hold of foreign equipment and reverse engineered it fairly quickly. Russia did it quite a lot during the second wold war, and was able to reverse engineered new forms of aircraft titanium just by visiting a British factory and wearing sticky shoes to collect samples (see the mig- 17). Plus their version on multiple occasions were better they the vehicle they where copying.

Another misquoted and misused statement. The issues is not can the US build infrastructure to manufacture Saturn V rockets. The issues is that it is not cost efficient to backwards engineer a single use item for a mission that has no real purpose, as it would not advance science or increase our knowledge of space and space travel.   

No actually I wouldn't, As these are truly not example of in service weapons in that sense. These items you are talking about are export surplus or phased out items.
Or in the case of the battleships, decommissioned vehicles. As a former Air Force crew chief I can tell you that this happens on some of our older planes all the time, and the parts or equipment are not lostech, they are just not mass-produced anymore , an example being one of the bolts on the B-1B (the plane I worked on) having to be specially machined since it was a torque bolt and had special shear tolerances. Now the manufacture no longer made the part or any part for the plane because it was not part of the original contract after the aircraft's were made (got to love government foresight). The part is still able to be made by a machine shop but just cost more now.

Nah . . . this really gets pretty well addressed in Turtledove's World War books.  A better example is go back and hand a modern car to Henry Ford right after the Model T line kicked off.  He can duplicate some things . . . like maybe the tires, avoiding the whole tube/patching thing.  Maybe able to set up better controls for ergonomics . . . and when he test drives the car, he is going to understand gas/break but will be looking for how to shift and unless someone shows him, he is not going to understand power windows or locks . . . To duplicate the modern car, even for a guy with the money and who is in the business of cars means he has to create all sorts of industries that feed into that production- microchips, computers, composite/plastics, more advanced distilling to create the proper fuel (without that its going NOWHERE fast), more precision in welding/machining parts- heck the AIR filter today has more advanced filter medium than existed at that time.  Henry Ford could duplicate SOME of the structural and technological design aspects but he is not going to be able to duplicate the engine, composite body, or even most of the modern safety features . . . he look, the Inner Sphere managed to build their own XL engines, DHS, OmniMechs and BattleArmor but they are not clones so they are bulkier or if same size not as capable.  IS BA with missile packs cannot jump until empty, the Mad Dog gained 10 tons to become the Avatar, etc.

But as has come up before, by the mid 50s NAIS could hand build Clan ER Lasers at great expense (b/c hand made parts) but to create a mass production program and overhaul the industrial infrastructure of a House is expensive, complicated and would be very time consuming.

Look at some of the studies on how long/hard it is to resume production let alone R&D.  The number typically thrown out is that if you close down a research product but then decide to restart it even a short time later it takes roughly 10 years to get back to the point the R&D team was at when they were disbanded.  IIRC its efficiency studies used in Congressional budget discussions.

But its not a Plot Hook . . . its a setting artifact.  Plot Hook would be like the short story I was reading from Frontlines last night where a fleeing merc group on Galatea in '72 stumbles across a guy with a first name, last name, acting as a farmer has a Templar Prime in his barn, does not use contractions, and calls a merchant 'stravag' . . . who is this apparent Clan warrior with a IS Omni living as a farmer on Galatea?
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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #44 on: 12 September 2019, 12:36:15 »
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Betrayal_of_Ideals

Pretty sure that's the final wrap up to the Not-Named-Clan.  8)

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #45 on: 12 September 2019, 13:08:53 »
I want to throw in, that we have no clue how the hell the pyramids were built or how it could really have been possible with what they had available.

Know - we know how they could have done it. We just don't know specifically how they did it.

Quote
We also have no clue how to rebuild Notre Dame. We have lost the knowledge of how things were done back then. The French are now throwing a lot of money at people to find out how the heck Notre Dame was constructed and how they could ever be able to rebuild it how it was.

The debate there is more or less should they rebuild it it as it was, or build something new. The destroyed spire was only added around 1850.
« Last Edit: 12 September 2019, 16:12:19 by Talen5000 »
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Colt Ward

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #46 on: 12 September 2019, 13:09:16 »
The Wolverine Clan is dead Jim.  Survivors may have gone on to do something else, but Nic's last cultural genocide worked.  Even for the Jihad or even Dark Ages- they are dead, since it would only be descendants who assumed other identities.
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Natasha Kerensky

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #47 on: 12 September 2019, 13:43:16 »
Another misquoted and misused statement. The issues is not can the US build infrastructure to manufacture Saturn V rockets. The issues is that it is not cost efficient to backwards engineer a single use item for a mission that has no real purpose, as it would not advance science or increase our knowledge of space and space travel.   

I work in this field, and that’s a misleading statement.

Even if we wanted to restart Saturn V production, we could not because many of the alloys and materials, welding and cutting methods, and lubricants involved are no longer used.  (The asbestos in the first stage is an example.)  Not to mention the half-century old flight computers and programming techniques.

Even a society that is advancing technologically like ours forgets how to do things out of disuse or replacement.  It is entirely reasonable that a society in technological decline like the Successor States will have forgotten how to build new jump cores or design, develop, and prototype new jump core models.  Blueprints and reverse-engineering don’t give you the subsystem suppliers, materials, processes, and programming necessary to build or develop a complex system.
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Lone-Wolf

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #48 on: 12 September 2019, 14:35:14 »
I would like to add my two cents to ROM`s efficiency.

As soon as some badly needed scientists drop dead / shipyards / mechfactories are blown skyhigh the noble ruler wants to protect the remaining scientists who can build and operate them and puts them in a special unit.
And normaly thats on the capitol planet. And as ROM has a presence on the capitol they find out.
Considering that the most rulers want to brag: "No lousy Davion / Kurita etc Special Forces guys are going to kill MY scientists!" or "Thank God, we protect our knowledge!" and Bingo, ROM knows where to strike.
And even if they are not on the capitol planet they must be kept close to either a shipyard / mechfactory and / or University. Bingo again.

And if some Baron / Duke decides to start a Research base on his own, as soon as the main ruler finds out, the Baron / Duke is either "invited" to turn his precious scientists over to the ruler or he is killed as a traitor and an example to other Barons / Dukes.
And as the ruler wants to encourage les autres (Don`t do this if you want to live!) he will make it very public. And ROM has knowledge to visit another planet.


And I would like to add two plot hooks:
1) What did Siriwan Kurity hide under a City? (I think it was the main citiy on the former capitol planet of the DC, but I am not sure.)
2) the Head-Hunter-Missile.
3) Why does nobody think of rewriting the operating system of the HPGs? (According to what I read the Star League put some Basic programmes into every HPG and added over time new programms. Why dont they now that they know how a HPG works erase the old OS and put in a new one. Just like in Real World where we have thrown out Windows 98 and replaced it with Win10.)

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #49 on: 12 September 2019, 14:39:06 »
The Wolverine Clan is dead Jim.  Survivors may have gone on to do something else, but Nic's last cultural genocide worked.  Even for the Jihad or even Dark Ages- they are dead, since it would only be descendants who assumed other identities.

Still would be nice to know how they died.  Personal theory?  Two groups.  One ended up in the OWA area and just blended in, the second kind of faded away or met up with Com* under TOyama.  But as small as both groups were, yeah, any Wolverine heritage just kind of got lost in the muddle.
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Alan Davion

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #50 on: 12 September 2019, 15:21:03 »

1) What did Siriwan Kurity hide under a City? (I think it was the main citiy on the former capitol planet of the DC, but I am not sure.)


I can't find anything on Siriwan Kurita's page or New Samarkand's page on Sarna to do with this. Where did you get this from?

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #51 on: 12 September 2019, 15:36:31 »
Probably some stash of valuables moved by a secret society from the old world to the new to hide it from ambitious men.
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Maelwys

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #52 on: 12 September 2019, 15:48:35 »
Its from Jihad Secrets in the Through the Looking Glass section.

"...Alice Phuong never did find what Siriwan had buried under Imperial City..."

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #53 on: 12 September 2019, 16:12:20 »
Its from Jihad Secrets in the Through the Looking Glass section.

"...Alice Phuong never did find what Siriwan had buried under Imperial City..."

Through the Looking Glass?  Alice?  You know I thought they had tried to kill off any pop culture references & easter eggs in products.
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victor_shaw

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #54 on: 12 September 2019, 17:10:38 »
I work in this field, and that’s a misleading statement.

Even if we wanted to restart Saturn V production, we could not because many of the alloys and materials, welding and cutting methods, and lubricants involved are no longer used.  (The asbestos in the first stage is an example.)  Not to mention the half-century old flight computers and programming techniques.

Even a society that is advancing technologically like ours forgets how to do things out of disuse or replacement.  It is entirely reasonable that a society in technological decline like the Successor States will have forgotten how to build new jump cores or design, develop, and prototype new jump core models.  Blueprints and reverse-engineering don’t give you the subsystem suppliers, materials, processes, and programming necessary to build or develop a complex system.

There is a big difference between no longer used and in some cases deadly materials (asbestos) not being made anymore and forgetting how to make current for the time anyway production level materiel and equipment. If the tech is no longer needed for any practical reason why keep up with it. The difference here is jump engines where still being used and had a continual uses. The Saturn V was not and had no farther uses so there was no reason to keep current with the construction methods.
The big question there is need. Is there a reason to even try to make these older techs.
Why do we need to know how and by what techniques the pyramids where made outside of historical curiosity? There are no practical uses for the knowledge. If we truly needed to replicate the building process for some unknown reason and put enough resources behind it I'm sure it could be done.
Why do we need to build The Saturn V? Again there are no there are no practical uses for the knowledge.
Outside of historical recreation why do we need to know the construction methods use to create man of war sailing ships, they are not needed and dangerous to use, but again if all fuel sources and modern materials where gone and we had to rely on wind power, I have no doubt we could figure it out in short order with the proper resources and drive to do it. Look up the Hudson River Sloop "Clearwater" out of New York.
The point is all these "see we forgot how to do this" references always come down to things that we forgot how to make because we didn't need them. They fell out of use because why they where made is no longer needed.

And the idea that before the Helm core was discovered the Innersphere was in a "dark age" needs to be address.
First, most tech (Mechs, Dropships, Jumpships) of the era could be reproduced if at a limited rate. A lot of Jordan Weisman more extreme takes on the era like mechs not being built at all have been retconed by this point.
Second, the term dark age was a metaphor for the drop from Starleague tech levels not a true representation of tech during the era.

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #55 on: 12 September 2019, 17:24:42 »
Why do we need to build The Saturn V? Again there are no there are no practical uses for the knowledge.

The point is all these "see we forgot how to do this" references always come down to things that we forgot how to make because we didn't need them. They fell out of use because why they where made is no longer needed.

Actually, Space X (BFR), Bezos, and Boeing are trying to re-invent that Saturn V wheel . . . its what the cancelled Orion program was about, and that was done by NASA.

The problem with trying to make 'new' size jump cores- 7 or 8 collar JS for example- is they do not quite know the how.  Outside of ComStar shipyards, no one has the modeling programs, before the 50s no one had built a core that did not go in a current model JS.

When I was in the Army I had TMs for my vehicles, and with that guide book I could repair most problems.  I could even tell you how a lot of it worked.  But I could not take that book and go design a whole new armored vehicle.
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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #56 on: 12 September 2019, 18:08:15 »
Actually, Space X (BFR), Bezos, and Boeing are trying to re-invent that Saturn V wheel . . . its what the cancelled Orion program was about, and that was done by NASA.

And was is cancelled because it couldn't be done, or more likely because the funding was dropped.

The problem with trying to make 'new' size jump cores- 7 or 8 collar JS for example- is they do not quite know the how.  Outside of ComStar shipyards, no one has the modeling programs, before the 50s no one had built a core that did not go in a current model JS.

Again, this seems to be for lack of trying more then it not being possible.
If you want to tell me that the House lords were find with the current model and did not see any reason to invest the large sums on money and resources to make new Jumpship then find, I can believe that. But to tell me that its was not possible.

When I was in the Army I had TMs for my vehicles, and with that guide book I could repair most problems.  I could even tell you how a lot of it worked.  But I could not take that book and go design a whole new armored vehicle.

I don't know so I'm asking are you an mechanical engineer or just a vehicle mechanic?
First, a Technical manual is a repair guild not a blueprint. As I said before I was a crew chief in bomber phase while in the Air Force, so I've been through my share of TOs and TMs.  :thumbsup:

Second, my guess is like me you were not and aerospace/mechanical engineer, so I would not expect either of us to be able to go design a whole new armored vehicle/ aircraft.

My point from the start was, I doubt any group even ROM at their best from the novels/sourcebooks could take out ever jumpship engineer, student, professor in the Innersphere along with destroying every record of KF theory, and every design for every working jump drive ever made dating back to Terra.
Add to this that even if we take the global computer idea, you can't tell me that there are no hard copies anywhere in the Innersphere.

Now if you want to say that this is just lore for the sake of plot, I will except that.
It is sci-fi after all, but don't try to justify it as anything else.
« Last Edit: 12 September 2019, 18:18:31 by victor_shaw »

masdog

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #57 on: 12 September 2019, 18:45:46 »
Again, this seems to be for lack of trying more then it not being possible.
If you want to tell me that the House lords were find with the current model and did not see any reason to invest the large sums on money and resources to make new Jumpship then find, I can believe that. But to tell me that its was not possible.

That's not to say they didn't try.  But there are multiple factors that go into creating a new Jumpship design or KF Core design.  All it would take is ROM interferring in one phase of that process, and the House is out a great deal of time and money, and a young engineer/scientist is discredited due to the failure of their project. 

My point from the start was, I doubt any group even ROM at their best from the novels/sourcebooks could take out ever jumpship engineer, student, professor in the Innersphere along with destroying every record of KF theory, and every design for every working jump drive ever made dating back to Terra.
Add to this that even if we take the global computer idea, you can't tell me that there are no hard copies anywhere in the Innersphere.

Now if you want to say that this is just lore for the sake of plot, I will except that.
It is sci-fi after all, but don't try to justify it as anything else.

ROM doesn't have to kill anyone or destroy all copies of the knowledge.  They can also prevent projects by succeeding by causing "system failures" that render the prototype inoperative or destroyed.  Or by corrupting simulations of proposed designs to they appear flawed.

And just because you have knowledge and detailed blueprints for every Jumpship design going back to the first ones doesn't mean you can actually produce them, even if you have a yard.  Industrial tooling is a huge part of the production process, and if the tooling isn't available for some components, you won't be able to build complete the final design.  And if people don't know how to build that tooling, or the new tooling continuously suffers catastrophic failures...  Do you see where I'm going here?

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #58 on: 12 September 2019, 18:58:26 »
That's not to say they didn't try.  But there are multiple factors that go into creating a new Jumpship design or KF Core design.  All it would take is ROM interferring in one phase of that process, and the House is out a great deal of time and money, and a young engineer/scientist is discredited due to the failure of their project. 

ROM doesn't have to kill anyone or destroy all copies of the knowledge.  They can also prevent projects by succeeding by causing "system failures" that render the prototype inoperative or destroyed.  Or by corrupting simulations of proposed designs to they appear flawed.

And just because you have knowledge and detailed blueprints for every Jumpship design going back to the first ones doesn't mean you can actually produce them, even if you have a yard.  Industrial tooling is a huge part of the production process, and if the tooling isn't available for some components, you won't be able to build complete the final design.  And if people don't know how to build that tooling, or the new tooling continuously suffers catastrophic failures...  Do you see where I'm going here?

In all this you are forgetting that Jump Drive construction did not stop.
New ships where made, and new drive where produced.
So for that to be the case the tools where there.
The argument for the loss always seem to come back to the idea that all Jumpship construction stopped after the 2nd successor war.
While this was hinted at in the old stories just like the idea that Mech could not be produced and had to be pieced together from old parts.
All this has been retconed to limited production not no production.

victor_shaw

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Re: Biggest/Best Hanging Plot Hooks
« Reply #59 on: 12 September 2019, 19:15:57 »
As to the effectiveness of ROM, DEST, Etc.

This is one of the problems with a in-universe view of the organizations and the Innersphere in general.
Yes I know the point is to give the writers wiggle room for storytelling. 
But it also leads to inconsistent storytelling and as I said earlier covert gods one minute and complete incompetence the next.
If you look at most representations of ROM, they are from a ComStar perceptive which is dubious to say the least.

 

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