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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:59 am
  

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Palladin

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I do not see any restrictions on how long a Host Armor can remain in flight for, nothing about wings tiring or jets overheating gets mentioned...

Obviously a Living Armor would be limited in how long they do that (needing to rendezvous with a nutrient bath) but for Host Armor of metabolisms that do not require sleep (presumably you could not fly while your armor sleeps) or any additional restrictions (like the inactivity requirement from Increased Metabolic Rate) I am wondering if there is anything preventing prolonged flight, like say, hovering at the maximum altitude allowed by the jets.

It's probably cold up there so a Thermosynthetic armor would have some trouble, but it seems like a Photosynthetic Armor would be in generally good hands (fly above clouds for lots of sunlight, if you wake up and its cloudy, plenty of time to move elsewhere).

Although I did think of one possible work-around with Thermos... if you had Heat-Blaster perhaps you could just heat-blast the surrounding area to raise the temperature... though I guess unless there was something flammable it would dissipate in the air pretty quickly so that might only work within an enclosed space which might trap the heat...

It seems like a possible impediments would be:
1) how long a pilot could stay awake, with Circadian Rhythms lessening that
2) how long a pilot could go without eating, with Symbiotic Nourishment avoiding that

I am just assuming you would need to be awake to fly... though I am not totally sure. Is it possible to keep some basic systems online passively in Host Armor while you take a nap? Like could you keep a force field on while asleep...stay clung to a ceiling or wall while asleep... hover in place with Organic Thrusters while asleep... etc.

If being awake is necessary for flight there still seems like an interesting work-around if you want to be air-locked... working in pairs. Have 1 armor carry the other while it sleeps. No separate weight limits are given for flying so presumably it is whatever you are able to lift, and Host Armors are easily able to lug each other about.

With almost-average PS of 18 (the minimum of 14-17 are out of luck, the average is 24 though) then you can lift 450 which is the average weight a Host Armor will add to the pilot. Minimum-weight (300lb) armors would be ideal for this flight-pairing tactic as that leaves plenty of room for a lighter-weighing human (no benefit from height or muscular bulk here). Average PS letting a 600lb carry would allow the 150lb human-weight window for average-weight armor.

Another option instead of pairs would be to touch down for sleep periods on the back of an allied Zephyr (they can fly indefinitely at cruising speed) although this could make hiding from the machine harder since they are bigger targets. It also means having to sink to a lower altitude for the OrganoThruster guys.

One thing about eternal-air is that you would probably need some kind of super-camouflage system to avoid detection, or some radar to get warning if an enemy flier approaches. Host Armor cannot lurk at higher altitudes than the machine can fly so there is always that risk.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:20 pm
  

Palladin

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I would say the main limit is not capability of doing it, but rather capability of doing it without getting killed. it's very very hard to hide when all you have to hind behind is air and water vapour.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:15 pm
  

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True, let's assume here that the person has upgraded from a Chameleon Skin to a Stealth-Field, and that they are 'standing still' by hovering in a fixed position mid-air. So 9/10 you are fine. Although it might not be possible to be PERFECTLY immobile when hover-stalling midair so possibly 4/5. Still not very good though, but at least it penalizes RADAR a little.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:33 pm
  

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It would be trivial for the Machine to have a network of radar systems cover the sky in excruciating resolution. Flying high enough to be visible to that would be suicide.

--flatline

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:30 pm
  

Palladin

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9/10 sounds good. then you realize it needs to be checked multiple times.

let's say in a week 5 patrols come within potential detection range. that 90% stealth effect has a ~60% chance of lasting more than a week. after two weeks, it will have about a 35% survival rate. after three weeks, ~20%, and after 4 weeks only ~12%

if we go with the 4/5, then it's 1 week for ~33% and two weeks for ~11% to survive.

this is not exactly an ideal way to expend the lives of trained soldiers and carefully designed host armours, archangels, living armours, warmounts, or whatever, unless those things are very inexpensive.

now, if you were to suggest a simple modified creature with a brain like a dolphin's (which can basically swim around using only half it's brain while the other half is sleeping) and costs barely anything to create, that might work.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:29 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Shark_Force wrote:
9/10 sounds good. then you realize it needs to be checked multiple times.

let's say in a week 5 patrols come within potential detection range. that 90% stealth effect has a ~60% chance of lasting more than a week. after two weeks, it will have about a 35% survival rate. after three weeks, ~20%, and after 4 weeks only ~12%

if we go with the 4/5, then it's 1 week for ~33% and two weeks for ~11% to survive.

this is not exactly an ideal way to expend the lives of trained soldiers and carefully designed host armours, archangels, living armours, warmounts, or whatever, unless those things are very inexpensive.

now, if you were to suggest a simple modified creature with a brain like a dolphin's (which can basically swim around using only half it's brain while the other half is sleeping) and costs barely anything to create, that might work.

So the Great Houses are making ninja-sharkndao reconnaissance platforms?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:23 pm
  

Palladin

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probably more like the biological equivalent of a hot-air balloon would be the least resource-intensive approach. or perhaps something like a seed that can drift on the wind, with just enough instinctive ability to keep it gliding as long as possible.

that said, i have no idea what exactly these things are supposed to do. i mean, he asked if you could sit something up there indefinitely, he never really said what the plan was once they got there. if the plan is just "float around for no reason", well, probably the actual thing the great houses put there is nothing.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:26 pm
  

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Knight

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If splicer tech has a communication mechanism undetectable by the Machine, a powerful communication network could be created.

--flatline

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:41 pm
  

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they do, but only one thing can actually chain it atm (a special root), and it suffers badly over multiple repeats. also, broadcast range isn't that long in the first place, which means you couldn't put your rebroadcasting unit up very high anyways.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:59 pm
  

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Palladin

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Going to actually look at the RADAR system in the book here... based on someone lurking at max altitude (7620 metres) and... p37 says EVERY robot has a RADAR that extends 144 kilometers... dear god, how does humanity stand a chance, altitude can't evade anything... no wonder Zephyrs tree-skim like mad. Altitude is only going to help you get out of range of weapons, but everything is going to know where you are and you'll just get shot down by Sky Fighters...

The only hope is if there is a perfect anti-Sky-Fighter mechanism... but I'm not sure how many SFs the Machine has, how many missiles it can reload them with, to know how hard the battle for air supremacy would be...

I wish Palladium would make up some stats for how much Plant Fortifications weigh. Also how much the soil or sand they grow in weighs, and how much surface area they take up, and how deep down the roots need to dig. Hypothetically, if I want to calculate the weight of a large ceramic pot full of soil with a Photon Infusor Cannon growing in it, I want to know how many a Draco can carry or pull.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:22 pm
  

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Humanity doesn't stand a chance on its own. It only stands a chance because the Machine is insane and doesn't actually make rational effort to defeat humanity.

My take on it is that some of the Machine's personalities actively work against other personalities in order to either prevent the extinction of humans or just because it serves some other agenda. I would not say that any of the Machine's personalities are allies of the humans, but the humans certainly benefit from the Machine's lack of consensus.

--flatline

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:39 pm
  

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Largely the setting is a case of "This is how things are..." ... honestly I don't see how humanity hasn't won already... We know the machine can't function for crap under the ground or water... We can easily live damn good lives deep underground building vast cities essentially created as breeding grounds for soldiers and their bio weaponry... at least we can until the next book comes out and introduces consequences for 'going to far'...

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:00 pm
  

Palladin

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the machine doesn't like those areas, but if NEXUS sets their mind to it, they could crush humanity.

so why don't they?

well, only one of the personalities actually has a compelling drive to kill humanity (and she's in no hurry). ishtar likes to fight tough battles against skilled opponents, but doesn't really have any need to kill humanity off (and is sulking because the others didn't tell her she was awesome enough). hecate just likes building cool new robots, and won't get more requests if humanity is gone. lilith likes having people to screw with. eve is actively trying to preserve humanity (just don't make the mistake of thinking she's unwilling to sacrifice some to save others), freya doesn't really care so long as you don't mess with her cities, gaia wants humanity out of her preserves but otherwise mostly cares about creating and managing said preserves, and kali is the one who basically persuaded the others to turn on humanity in the first place (or at least, it's heavily implied that she's the "pest control" part of the program imo)... and we know that she enjoys taking her time with it because she likes to torture people as a source of fun.

so basically, the machine is mostly focused on their own stuff. hecate will probably mostly ignore you as long as you stay away from her factories, unless she wants to test a new design. gaia will probably mostly ignore you as long as you stay far, far away from her preserves (of course, ironically enough she won't let actual robots into her preserves either, which combined with the preserves' value for research to the resistance pretty much guarantees humanity won't be leaving her alone any time soon). freya will likely ignore you unless you make a ruckus in one of her cities, lilith won't leave you alone but doesn't seem to care about killing you, she just wants to manipulate you into doing something (and who knows what that is), eve is more likely to help you than hurt you (unless you, for example, take actions that would threaten the existence of a retro-village, most of which are probably her work), and ishtar probably only takes an interest in you if you present an opportunity for an interesting fight. kali will hunt you down and torture you for kicks, but is probably not excited about being downgraded to hunting rats again, and in any event most likely is mostly concerned with "pests" in specific areas far more than she is concerned with "pests" out in the wilderness somewhere scratching out a living in the dirt.

so, they pretty much send out random roaming patrols to reduce humanity's ability to interfere in their own areas of particular interest, and who cares if the rest are alive or dead so long as they're not nearby?

i mean, if you think about it, it's a lot like how humanity views vermin. if we really really desperately wanted to, to the exclusion of all else, we could probably kill off all the rats in the world. but mostly, we don't care except about the rats that cause problems for us. a rat gets into your food and starts gnawing open bags of flour or rice or cereal, you're gonna call an exterminator. but, there's some rat somewhere in an alleyway? who cares. it's not worth taking time away from the stuff we care about more to do something about it. when was the last time you went and grabbed a .22 and hung around in an alleyway waiting to shoot a rat rather than, say, choosing to spend some time on these forums?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:35 pm
  

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Knight

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Shark_Force wrote:
the machine doesn't like those areas, but if NEXUS sets their mind to it, they could crush humanity.

so why don't they?

well, only one of the personalities actually has a compelling drive to kill humanity (and she's in no hurry). ishtar likes to fight tough battles against skilled opponents, but doesn't really have any need to kill humanity off (and is sulking because the others didn't tell her she was awesome enough). hecate just likes building cool new robots, and won't get more requests if humanity is gone. lilith likes having people to screw with. eve is actively trying to preserve humanity (just don't make the mistake of thinking she's unwilling to sacrifice some to save others), freya doesn't really care so long as you don't mess with her cities, gaia wants humanity out of her preserves but otherwise mostly cares about creating and managing said preserves, and kali is the one who basically persuaded the others to turn on humanity in the first place (or at least, it's heavily implied that she's the "pest control" part of the program imo)... and we know that she enjoys taking her time with it because she likes to torture people as a source of fun.

so basically, the machine is mostly focused on their own stuff. hecate will probably mostly ignore you as long as you stay away from her factories, unless she wants to test a new design. gaia will probably mostly ignore you as long as you stay far, far away from her preserves (of course, ironically enough she won't let actual robots into her preserves either, which combined with the preserves' value for research to the resistance pretty much guarantees humanity won't be leaving her alone any time soon). freya will likely ignore you unless you make a ruckus in one of her cities, lilith won't leave you alone but doesn't seem to care about killing you, she just wants to manipulate you into doing something (and who knows what that is), eve is more likely to help you than hurt you (unless you, for example, take actions that would threaten the existence of a retro-village, most of which are probably her work), and ishtar probably only takes an interest in you if you present an opportunity for an interesting fight. kali will hunt you down and torture you for kicks, but is probably not excited about being downgraded to hunting rats again, and in any event most likely is mostly concerned with "pests" in specific areas far more than she is concerned with "pests" out in the wilderness somewhere scratching out a living in the dirt.

so, they pretty much send out random roaming patrols to reduce humanity's ability to interfere in their own areas of particular interest, and who cares if the rest are alive or dead so long as they're not nearby?

i mean, if you think about it, it's a lot like how humanity views vermin. if we really really desperately wanted to, to the exclusion of all else, we could probably kill off all the rats in the world. but mostly, we don't care except about the rats that cause problems for us. a rat gets into your food and starts gnawing open bags of flour or rice or cereal, you're gonna call an exterminator. but, there's some rat somewhere in an alleyway? who cares. it's not worth taking time away from the stuff we care about more to do something about it. when was the last time you went and grabbed a .22 and hung around in an alleyway waiting to shoot a rat rather than, say, choosing to spend some time on these forums?


This. Totally this.

A most excellent post.

--flatline

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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:13 am
  

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Palladin

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Epik Shark post, feels like a lesson on the AIs, helps to remind me who they are, not everything sinks home right away.

I kinda really want to do a sort of "Pantheonexus" crossover where the respective goddesses from Rifts Conversion Book 2 happen to learn about the AIs sharing their namesake, and perhaps take small steps in influencing Splicers Earth, yet for the most part are in a bit of a stalemate.

Eve and Gaia are not the names of any goddesses I know, so I don't think that would draw anything...

Freya would draw in the Norse (technically Aesir) lady, and she might be a fan of the former 2 to some degree. Of course, her ability to participate may be delayed due to Hera-interference.

Hecate would draw in the Greek (technically Titan) lady, which like Freya is an interesting link to Hera involvement. Perhaps Eve could inspire Hera to resume some decent goddess-of-women duties again. Conversely if her daughter Artemis learned of Gaia, she might prefer that AI. I think HecateGoddess and HecateAI might just team up and invent cool stuff together.

Ishtar would draw in the Babylonian lady, if FreyaGoddess ever wanted to take humanity beyond hovels, she would become a challenge for IshtarGoddess to pounce on. Also IsharGoddess might want to fight herself (IshtarAI) to see who was better.

Kali could draw in the Hindu goddess, and the canonical House Shiva could draw in ShivaGod too. If they get up to much together then Shiva's OTHER wife Parvati might also get involved, which could draw in Agni the fire god she lusts for, and his fire elemental bro in the Persian pantheon.

Lilith is an interesting bit, no gods, but could end up drawing the attention of the demoness serving Erishkigal, and we know IshtarGoddess HATES her, meaning some probable trouble if both of the Babylonians got involved. It could also draw in a Nightlady. Her involvement with the Splicers world would be very interesting since the tech-barrier around Nightbane Earth and its Nightlands would destroy any of the Machine minions sent there, steal the powers of Technojackers permanently (unless they can mutate more nanobots upon returning) and cure non-Jackers of their infections, allowing them to use tech within that dimension, and others, so long as they don't return to SplicersEarth and get infected again.

Slight001 wrote:
don't see how humanity hasn't won already...
machine can't function for crap under the ground or water...
We can easily live damn good lives deep underground building vast cities essentially created as breeding grounds

Sounds like more of a stalemate than a victory. Though survival is its own victory I guess.

The main thing about this approach is the economics of living this way.

The food-production plants of Gardeners, for example, could not be relied upon because there is no sunlight to feed those plants.

So you would have to get nutrient baths solely from gene pools, no Bao Houses.

Exception MIGHT be on the bottom of the ocean floor since they can get some (albeit refracted) sunlight down there, assuming it is not TOO deep.

Nothing to imply that artificial light would allow for totally subterranean Plant Fortifications. I mean, I guess it doesn't outright SAY you need sunlight (or even light) to grow PFs or to keep them alive but ... I dunno, plant stereotypes? Just seems right. Plus they can't grow in solid rock and if you go down far enough, you WILL encounter that.

Although... maybe Lithovores can chew up rock until it becomes sand? *shrug*

Photosynthetic armor would have a lot of trouble, would have to rely exclusively on artificial light, although tricks for getting around that are presented in another thread. If you are in underground caverns, artificial light will not travel very far, so the downside of that is minimized. Not sure how it would work under water, I think while you might benefit from sunlight the water might refract it, reducing to like shady or artificial level of benefit.

Thermosynthesizers may do very well down there because it gets hotter the deeper you go, usually. Caverns could trap heat better too.

Lithovores would also do very well underground or on the sea bed, I guess.

Herbivores would be in trouble underground, I think, not many plants down there. Might do okay on the sea bed though.

I need to read up more on what Host Armor needs to survive underwater though... I think depth could cause some trouble. May be a realm where we rely on Outriders for Mariana Trench and such.

Carnivores could do okay in the ocean feeding on fish I guess, but like Herbivores would be screwed underground, Omnivores being the same boat as those two although having the advantage of flexibility and smaller quantities.

I think subterranean is more the realm of Lithovore/Thermosynthetic societies, and the difficulty of getting human food would mean you would want those Host Armors to be able to sustain their pilots.

For those lacking that feature, Thermosynthetics would need to be dedicated Cornucopia farmers.

Also wondering: is there anything stopping the Medium Range Missiles carryable by Sky Fighters from targetting things under-water? Relying on those would probably be an economic deplete for the Machine, but perhaps still an option.

I am not sure if Splicers or Robotech address it but I seem to recall some reduction in effect or range for standard missiles used underwater in Rifts, thus why there are special underwater torpedoes that get preferred.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:30 pm
  

Palladin

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while not explicitly listed, i would assume that the resistance has at least some "plants" that grow underground just fine (most likely they're actually fungi, which iirc are not technically plants per se).

likewise, just because we don't have underwater food producers or habitats described, i see no reason to presume that they don't exist. there's a lot of stuff which must exist to some extent which is not fully described due to a lack of space in the core book.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:11 am
  

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Hero

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Might be enlightening to reread the bits about the seedlings... pg 21 for those interested.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:53 am
  

Palladin

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Slight001 wrote:
Might be enlightening to reread the bits about the seedlings... pg 21 for those interested.


each house only has one of those (typically), and many outposts. they've got to feed the other outposts somehow, and it seems far more likely to me that they've developed the tech i've described (which should be fairly simple for someone who can make a solar powered suit of armour with a weapon that can melt a modern main battle tank in a single shot every ~2 seconds and never run out) than to assume that they either have large scale farming on the surface, or that they have massive supply convoys traveling all over the place.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:51 pm
  

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Tor wrote:
Going to actually look at the RADAR system in the book here... based on someone lurking at max altitude (7620 metres) and... p37 says EVERY robot has a RADAR that extends 144 kilometers... dear god, how does humanity stand a chance, altitude can't evade anything... no wonder Zephyrs tree-skim like mad. Altitude is only going to help you get out of range of weapons, but everything is going to know where you are and you'll just get shot down by Sky Fighters...

The only hope is if there is a perfect anti-Sky-Fighter mechanism... but I'm not sure how many SFs the Machine has, how many missiles it can reload them with, to know how hard the battle for air supremacy would be...

I wish Palladium would make up some stats for how much Plant Fortifications weigh. Also how much the soil or sand they grow in weighs, and how much surface area they take up, and how deep down the roots need to dig. Hypothetically, if I want to calculate the weight of a large ceramic pot full of soil with a Photon Infusor Cannon growing in it, I want to know how many a Draco can carry or pull.



They survive the same way the same way most insurgents do even in modern times you hide your presence amongst clutter/thick forrests/mountains you dig underground tunnels and spider holes everywhere. Most host armor/war mounts/gore hounds have some pretty fast listed digging speeds. Having some flight capable things makes sense but really the sky is one area humanity does not have that much of a chance to hold. Going airborn at anything other than tree top level is going to make you very visible and will wind up getting you killed pretty fast or at least alerting the machine to your presence rapidly.


Basically you would only ever want to go to any kind of altitude during actual combat most of the time you are going to be on the ground or as close as you can safely get. One plus side for the bio organics is a lot of the biotech flight is likely going to be much less apparent on thermal sightings than machines and its possible given some of the weird animals/birds around splicers if they had good skills could mimic those to blend in for a recon flight run without being instantly blasted.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:55 pm
  

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Knight

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Shark_Force wrote:
probably more like the biological equivalent of a hot-air balloon would be the least resource-intensive approach. or perhaps something like a seed that can drift on the wind, with just enough instinctive ability to keep it gliding as long as possible.

that said, i have no idea what exactly these things are supposed to do. i mean, he asked if you could sit something up there indefinitely, he never really said what the plan was once they got there. if the plan is just "float around for no reason", well, probably the actual thing the great houses put there is nothing.



A Biotech floating baloon type platform would in theory be pretty easy to do. If you take the electric generation from an electric eel and pass current through water you produce hydrogen gas and give it a puffer fish or jelly fish type gas bag for it and you can at very least do weather baloon type recon. They also would be hard as hell to spot on radar as they would be rounded and not much more reflective than the surrounding air.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:27 pm
  

Palladin

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easy as a disposable thing, perhaps. you're probably not going to be able to leave it up there for weeks at a time though... even today, we have radar for tracking objects in space that can find very small objects, i doubt a 3 foot diameter sphere can escape detection for too long.

still, i can definitely agree that it would be useful sometimes... i just figure many of those times, you'd use a falconer instead :P


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:04 pm
  

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You might fly in the airspace of a rival house in an attempt to draw the machine's attention to them.

--flatline

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:44 pm
  

Palladin

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while there is house vs house conflict, i would tend to think that using weapons which will kill off everyone indiscriminately are very much frowned upon. look at the area of barren marsh: there are only 250,000 humans in it (with some of them stretching the limit of that definition).

humanity isn't really in a position where you can afford to just outright destroy your human enemies; if you're at war with them, it's probably because you're competing with them for resources. sending in the machine doesn't get you any resources, more likely it just gets those resources sealed away from your reach permanently.
you don't want to destroy the enemy house's seedlings or librarians or engineers (well, ok, if the librarian went megalo then you actually do want to destroy it). you want to capture them. you don't want to destroy the population... you want to add them to your own. you don't want to destroy their outposts, you want them to be your outposts, and to be available as a place to retreat to in case something goes horribly wrong at one of your own.

interhouse warfare should almost never have the goal of extinction; the goal should almost always be to capture, not destroy, enemy resources. because when it all comes down to it, if you destroy them, and you gain nothing from it, the machine has just as many resources available to deal with half as many humans. that just isn't a good idea no matter how you look at it.


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