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Thread: Campaign Portraits

  1. #71

    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Plus when you've got FTL and psionics you can't really afford to be picky about protoss biology. Going into FTL requires harnessing unfathomable amounts of energies from anti-matter that simply doesn't exist in large enough quantities in our universe. A dropship that can go into FTL should be able to blow up a sun and/or the solar system.

    And I'm pretty sure the biology of the entire zerg race is bullshit. Being able to sequence DNA (or whatever genetic material the alien uses) doesn't mean you know dick about how it works and that you can just insert the parts you like into your own genome. It's like knowing the letters of the alphabet to a language but not knowing the language itself.
    Tell me something then Gradius: when you were still young and only knew the alphabet, if there was no outside help, how long do you think it would take for you to learn how to read, and eventually start to understand the language?

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by ragnarok View Post
    Tell me something then Gradius: when you were still young and only knew the alphabet, if there was no outside help, how long do you think it would take for you to learn how to read, and eventually start to understand the language?
    You just proved his point.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Plus when you've got FTL and psionics you can't really afford to be picky about protoss biology. Going into FTL requires harnessing unfathomable amounts of energies from anti-matter that simply doesn't exist in large enough quantities in our universe. A dropship that can go into FTL should be able to blow up a sun and/or the solar system.
    There's an infinite number of realities for every possible outcome. We're simply concerned with the reality where FTL did not extinguish the galaxy. At this point I'd accept an explanation like, I don't know, mutually assured destruction (if someone does it, then everything dies), the xel'naga or first age protoss built interdicts to prevent FTL from destroying all life, the zerg are either unwilling or unable to comprehend the concept of opening a wormhole between a planet and the corona of a star, or something of that nature. Farscape had a long-running story arc devoted to exploring the consequences of using wormholes as weapons.

    There's a difference between getting real science wrong and introducing concepts that have no basis in reality. You cannot get psionics wrong when they don't exist in reality to begin with. With photosynthesis, we know from crunching the numbers and observation that it cannot support organisms bigger than 30 centimeters (and then only if ectothermic) and is not competitive compared to pure plant or animal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    And I'm pretty sure the biology of the entire zerg race is bullshit. Being able to sequence DNA (or whatever genetic material the alien uses) doesn't mean you know dick about how it works and that you can just insert the parts you like into your own genome. It's like knowing the letters of the alphabet to a language but not knowing the language itself.
    The zerg parasites had centuries to millennia of trial and error to figure out how to manipulate genomes using biochemicals specifically evolved for that purpose and psychic powers allowing them to coordinate, while humans only created practical means of molecular engineering within the last few decades. In mission three of your StarCraft: Origins campaign you brought this up as a plot point. The overmind and cerebrates devoted their massive brain power and psychic powers to overcoming the biochemical barriers of alien species like the Gargantis Proximae and the behemoths (which might have been aided by the xel'naga, only to backfire when this made the zerg aware of their ships). When the Gashyrr wasps proved too difficult, the Overmind created Abathur to apply their new understanding of "protogenetics."

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I dunno. If I were, like you, to take the same issue with them using photosynthesis, I would also be compelled to take issue behind the biological basis of their psionic power as well - you know, the more overt and important trait the Protoss possess. And yet, you don't. What makes you rationalise their psionics but not that that they could be using some form/equivalence of photosynthesis as a means of energy production? It could be that the process is described as photosynthesis to make it easier to understand but it could be a process that has no comparison to what we have on Earth.
    As long as they follow conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum (otherwise the laws of physics would change over time, distance and direction, making life as we know it impossible), I don't have an issue. Real science cannot even begin to explain how psionics could possibly work.

    Also, Protoss photosynthesis is a retcon introduced by the Dark Templar Trilogy. They were originally hunters and, by implication, carnivores. Since I generally dislike the post-2006 canon, I find it easy to simply ignore the photosythesis retcon and keep the Protoss as carnivores who eat in some weird alien way that doesn't involve an orifice on their head.

  4. #74

    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    There's a difference between getting real science wrong and introducing concepts that have no basis in reality. You cannot get psionics wrong when they don't exist in reality to begin with. With photosynthesis, we know from crunching the numbers and observation that it cannot support organisms bigger than 30 centimeters (and then only if ectothermic) and is not competitive compared to pure plant or animal.
    You're being too particular about photosynthesis being the exact same process as we see it on Earth. Given the nature of science-fiction, we can easily handwave the discrepancy by just saying it's an alien form of photosynthesis or that the Protoss version of it has extremely high efficiency compared to "regular" photosynthesis that we see on Earth since the Protoss are supposedly superior on a physiological level in all ways afterall. Such high efficiency (both in receiving of the light energy and the metabolic processes to convert that into usable energy by the organism) could easily go into powering their psionics and help building mass on their frames without having a need to physically eat.
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  5. #75
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    Hey man. If we even detect a change equivalent to one part in a billion, then it's all a matter of engineering after that.
    Yeah, but is warping space a proof of concept for FTL? If we actually accelerated a particle to FTL, then we'd have something. But as you know, quantum physics governs small scale, while general relatively governs large scale. So even if you got it to work for a particle, you could face totally different challenges in transitioning this technology to larger objects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    There's an infinite number of realities for every possible outcome. We're simply concerned with the reality where FTL did not extinguish the galaxy.
    Simply assuming that somehow nobody leveraged this insanely powerful technology doesn't seem like a great solution to me. Maybe this universe has different laws of physics that allows FTL travel without insane amounts of energy or some random loophole, but this definitely isn't a thing in our reality which is why most hard sci fi avoids this concept entirely. People vastly underestimate how insane the distances between stars are.

    At this point I'd accept an explanation like, I don't know, mutually assured destruction (if someone does it, then everything dies), the xel'naga or first age protoss built interdicts to prevent FTL from destroying all life, the zerg are either unwilling or unable to comprehend the concept of opening a wormhole between a planet and the corona of a star, or something of that nature.
    Well, I think the manual says only the protoss are advanced enough to warp to the surface of a planet. But they can already destroy worlds, and they have and are more than willing to do it. If there was an easier way I'm sure they would be doing it (like throwing a black hole at a planet). But that would break the narrative and setting. Still, I totally get that protoss honor would prevent them from resorting to these tactics. But terrans and zerg? Not so much.

    Farscape had a long-running story arc devoted to exploring the consequences of using wormholes as weapons.
    I loved Farscape, but not every superweapon has to be the type that will take the rest of the galaxy with it.

    There's a difference between getting real science wrong and introducing concepts that have no basis in reality. You cannot get psionics wrong when they don't exist in reality to begin with. With photosynthesis, we know from crunching the numbers and observation that it cannot support organisms bigger than 30 centimeters (and then only if ectothermic) and is not competitive compared to pure plant or animal.
    FTL has no basis in reality. Check out this article, it's by a theoretical physicist: http://io9.gizmodo.com/5840071/what-...an-light-drive

    But the point is, if you're willing to fudge the problems and energy requirements needed for FTL, there's no reason you should be so picky about fudging the numbers for protoss photosynthesis.

    The zerg parasites had centuries to millennia of trial and error to figure out how to manipulate genomes using biochemicals specifically evolved for that purpose and psychic powers allowing them to coordinate, while humans only created practical means of molecular engineering within the last few decades. In mission three of your StarCraft: Origins campaign you brought this up as a plot point. The overmind and cerebrates devoted their massive brain power and psychic powers to overcoming the biochemical barriers of alien species like the Gargantis Proximae and the behemoths (which might have been aided by the xel'naga, only to backfire when this made the zerg aware of their ships). When the Gashyrr wasps proved too difficult, the Overmind created Abathur to apply their new understanding of "protogenetics."
    Man I would have loved to have finished that. But yeah, zerg assimilation is a problem... There's nothing I can do other than say "yo, the Overmind recognizes this problem and created a special guy to work on this."

    As long as they follow conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum (otherwise the laws of physics would change over time, distance and direction, making life as we know it impossible), I don't have an issue. Real science cannot even begin to explain how psionics could possibly work.
    Why not apply the same logic to protoss photosynthesis? There's no reason it has to work exactly like the plants here on Earth do.

    Also, Protoss photosynthesis is a retcon introduced by the Dark Templar Trilogy. They were originally hunters and, by implication, carnivores. Since I generally dislike the post-2006 canon, I find it easy to simply ignore the photosythesis retcon and keep the Protoss as carnivores who eat in some weird alien way that doesn't involve an orifice on their head.
    I still don't understand your line of thinking here. There's no evidence that they are carnivores, and they already have named energy sources which are way more than enough to meet their metabolic requirements. I'm pretty sure the manual writers knew the protoss don't have a mouth. Therefore Protoss seemingly don't have to worry about feeding themselves. Therefore they have loads of free time on their hands. Not only is it possible, but it's also plausible that they hunt for sport (or claws, skins, whatever) just like people here on Earth do.
    Last edited by Gradius; 08-07-2017 at 12:14 PM.

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Yeah, but is warping space a proof of concept for FTL? If we actually accelerated a particle to FTL, then we'd have something. But as you know, quantum physics governs small scale, while general relatively governs large scale. So even if you got it to work for a particle, you could face totally different challenges in transitioning this technology to larger objects.


    Simply assuming that somehow nobody leveraged this insanely powerful technology doesn't seem like a great solution to me. Maybe this universe has different laws of physics that allows FTL travel without insane amounts of energy or some random loophole, but this definitely isn't a thing in our reality which is why most hard sci fi avoids this concept entirely. People vastly underestimate how insane the distances between stars are.


    Well, I think the manual says only the protoss are advanced enough to warp to the surface of a planet. But they can already destroy worlds, and they have and are more than willing to do it. If there was an easier way I'm sure they would be doing it (like throwing a black hole at a planet). But that would break the narrative and setting. Still, I totally get that protoss honor would prevent them from resorting to these tactics. But terrans and zerg? Not so much.


    I loved Farscape, but not every superweapon has to be the type that will take the rest of the galaxy with it.
    I don't have an answer for why FTL is not used as a weapon. Realistically, any civilization that achieved FTL would already be god-like by modern standards. None of the three races should have any FTL capability given how much less advanced they are in every other area. The backstory for the Terrans alone suggests they are closer to Cyberpunk 2020 than Transhuman Space or Eclipse Phase. It is more realistic to build a dyson sphere around the sun and travel the galaxy at normal speed over millions of years then to build an FTL drive.

    I am pretty sure someone out there has already written an article that explains a method of FTL which cannot be exploited as a planetcracking superweapon, which could justify the bizarrely limited applications of gravity manipulation in fiction. I just cannot find one right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    You're being too particular about photosynthesis being the exact same process as we see it on Earth. Given the nature of science-fiction, we can easily handwave the discrepancy by just saying it's an alien form of photosynthesis or that the Protoss version of it has extremely high efficiency compared to "regular" photosynthesis that we see on Earth since the Protoss are supposedly superior on a physiological level in all ways afterall. Such high efficiency (both in receiving of the light energy and the metabolic processes to convert that into usable energy by the organism) could easily go into powering their psionics and help building mass on their frames without having a need to physically eat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    FTL has no basis in reality. Check out this article, it's by a theoretical physicist: http://io9.gizmodo.com/5840071/what-...an-light-drive

    But the point is, if you're willing to fudge the problems and energy requirements needed for FTL, there's no reason you should be so picky about fudging the numbers for protoss photosynthesis.


    Man I would have loved to have finished that. But yeah, zerg assimilation is a problem... There's nothing I can do other than say "yo, the Overmind recognizes this problem and created a special guy to work on this."


    Why not apply the same logic to protoss photosynthesis? There's no reason it has to work exactly like the plants here on Earth do.


    I still don't understand your line of thinking here. There's no evidence that they are carnivores, and they already have named energy sources which are way more than enough to meet their metabolic requirements. I'm pretty sure the manual writers knew the protoss don't have a mouth. Therefore Protoss seemingly don't have to worry about feeding themselves. Therefore they have loads of free time on their hands. Not only is it possible, but it's also plausible that they hunt for sport (or claws, skins, whatever) just like people here on Earth do.
    The short answer is that it is simply impossible for the Protoss to subsist on light because that violates the Shockley–Queisser limit and converts photons into matter. It would require a whole library to explain how they can break the laws of physics over their knees without being omnipotent superbeings that use galaxies as softballs.

    It would be simpler to assume they eat with their skin or something similarly freakish, or even just leave the whole thing unexplained. It's quite frankly impossible for any living creature to fly in space with conventional wings: the lore explicitly states that nobody understands the mechanics of mutalisks flying through space rather than trying to claim they have super-efficient solar sails or something. I don't understand why a similar explanation cannot suffice for everything else.

    I've engaged in versus debates on spacebattles, which commonly hands out a "vlad tepes" award for exceptional cruelty whenever these kinds of arguments come up. If I let the Protoss turn visible light into cells, then I am likewise compelled to let the Zerg use radio signals as an infection vector.

  7. #77

    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    To be fair, the Shockley-Quiesser limit makes several assumptions, not all of which are true for every system; and is applicable to cells with a single p-n junction.

    I'd be more concerned with the conversion process and capacitance.
    Last edited by Visions of Khas; 08-07-2017 at 05:27 PM.

  8. #78

    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    The short answer is that it is simply impossible for the Protoss to subsist on light because that violates the Shockley–Queisser limit and converts photons into matter.
    Um, that's why they call this science-fiction?
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  9. #79
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    Default Re: Campaign Portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post
    To be fair, the Shockley-Quiesser limit makes several assumptions, not all of which are true for every system; and is applicable to cells with a single p-n junction.

    I'd be more concerned with the conversion process and capacitance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Um, that's why they call this science-fiction?
    It doesn't really matter how they do it, we're long past real physics. The Zerg have infested, assimilated and mutated numerous bizarre things like mutalisk flight and anti-gravity cancer. The far less advanced Dominion was able to create Protoss/Terran hybrids by grafting Protoss tissue onto a human test subject. If the Zerg get samples of Protoss skin, which should be trivial, they could duplicate and reverse the space magic photosynthesis to infest light and sound.

    Could we get this split off into its own thread? I think we're interfering with the discussion about portraits.

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