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Thread: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

  1. #51
    Gradius's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by Mislagnissa View Post
    That doesn't change the total mass of poo coming out. For protoss, every single pore of their skin is a tiny anus. I don't see humans gagging whenever they're around Protoss, so obviously Protoss shit literally doesn't stink and that's why they are so stuck up.
    Except you haven't proven they need to poop anything out. Their bodies are a self-sustaining machine. I see maybe a few waste products being released analogous to sweat or body odor in humans, but maybe they don't even have that.

    I pointed out that the photosynthesis explanation doesn't make sense. Defenders claim that it's magic we can't explain, which I see as reason to ignore the whole thing as unnecessary.
    It doesn't make sense to you because you're assuming that's where 100% of their energy comes from, which is another fallacy. Unnecessary? Yes. Objectively wrong and nonsensical like you claim? Not really. It can be another form of sustenance that they need without which they'll die, but other than that, they have the khala and the void as energy sources. Why does this have to be such a difficult concept? You buy all the other nonsensical bullshit like archons and psi storms, why not this perfectly reasonable explanation? They can use it to channel psi blades, but not power their own bodies?

    You're the one who suggested that pylons provided food. Fair enough, it just works, we don't need the science. But whenever I criticized a minor aspect of your explanation, like the psi matrix having a limited range, you always deflect because you seem to really dislike the idea that Protoss could ever be capable of eating and drinking. Why? Just because they don't have mouths in their faces?
    I just ignored all that because when I have no clue what you're talking about... and when did I say anything about pylons or the psi matrix? -_-

    I said they have access to psionic powers at all times (i.e. khala and void).

  2. #52

    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Except you haven't proven they need to poop anything out. Their bodies are a self-sustaining machine. I see maybe a few waste products being released analogous to sweat or body odor in humans, but maybe they don't even have that.


    It doesn't make sense to you because you're assuming that's where 100% of their energy comes from, which is another fallacy. Unnecessary? Yes. Objectively wrong and nonsensical like you claim? Not really. It can be another form of sustenance that they need without which they'll die, but other than that, they have the khala and the void as energy sources. Why does this have to be such a difficult concept? You buy all the other nonsensical bullshit like archons and psi storms, why not this perfectly reasonable explanation? They can use it to channel psi blades, but not power their own bodies?


    I just ignored all that because when I have no clue what you're talking about... and when did I say anything about pylons or the psi matrix? -_-

    I said they have access to psionic powers at all times (i.e. khala and void).
    The "self-sustaining" part is what I don't agree with. You seem to be assuming that Protoss get free energy from nowhere and that they don't need to eat or breath or shit, which is contradicted in the hunter lore and the photosynthesis lore, whereas I am assuming that they do need to do those things so their energy/nutrition comes from pylons. If they really were self-sufficient, they wouldn't need to interact with others. That's like nirvana.

    I can believe that Protoss might need sunlight to synthesize vitamin D or whatever, like you say. But the lore does not frame it that way, and that is what I took issue with.

    As I understand Psi, it functions the same way as Supply does for Terrans. It provides food, water, housing, energy for weapons, etc. Psi powers buildings like power plants. Nowhere do I suppose that Protoss get free energy from nowhere any more than Terrans do. The fact that they need to harvest ore and fossil fuels would suggest they cannot.

    Your claim isn't stated in the lore and isn't a widely held belief, which makes understanding you difficult. It is important to be clear about the distinction between canon, headcanon, fanfiction and whatever else there is.

    In canon, the protoss both photosynthesize and hunt. Different sources disagree about the details, but since canon is a clusterfuck anyway we can just assume they need to do both or they will starve or get rickets or something. Where they get the energy for psychic powers is not explained, but it can be assumed to be the pylons and psi matrix. There are two different psi matrices, one for the khala followers and one for the void users. This is what I subscribe to.

    In your headcanon, the Protoss produce free energy from nowhere. You refer to this magical free source of energy as khala and void. What exactly led you to that conclusion?

  3. #53
    Gradius's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    1) I thought it was obvious to everybody that the khala and void are external energy pools (see VoK's post 43). Literally, every piece of lore alludes to that. The knowledge of dead khalai being accessed in the templar archives, preservers, etc. The fact that you draw from the void when your nerve cords get cut off, etc. It's explicitly mentioned as an energy pool in some short stories, etc. How did protoss even have normal conversations according to you if it requires machinery for them to get their psychic abilities? Your interpretation is literally not even possible when there have been instances of nerazim only having khalai tech around and khalai only having nerazim tech around.
    2) Protoss hunt for skins, not for food. See the DT saga.
    3) Where does it say they need to harvest ore and fossil fuels? You think their shit runs on gasoline? Does Aiur look like it has smog? Did you just miss the "advanced technology" portion of the protoss race?

    You have some truly unconventional headcanon, I'll give you that.

  4. #54

    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    I think it's important to note that, once aboard the Spear of Adun, Karax states the solar core provided ample nourishment to it's crew. They are literally being powered by a nuclear reactor. Assuming a vessel of such grand design would probably be made to closely stimulate Aiur's atmosphere, that speaks to the Protoss' resilience, and possibly Aiur's powerful and active electromagnetic field. I think their planet is part of a flux tube connected to it's Sun.

  5. #55

    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    Mislag, my points about plant people weren't necessarily that Protoss themselves were made of plants, but that the Xel'Naga might have engineered them to have plant-like DNA, or having adapted this DNA to make the Protoss more efficient by not having to waste time eating and cooking.

    Now that I think about it, how do plants get rid of waste? That's probably the same method by which the Protoss do.


    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  6. #56

    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Now that I think about it, how do plants get rid of waste? That's probably the same method by which the Protoss do.
    Well, photosynthesis produces oxygen as a "waste" product along with other gaseous waste products. Resin and sap are apparently waste products but they serve other functions within the plant, such as transport of materials (like blood) for the former and protection (like immune response) for the latter. Also, because plants are generally rooted and immobile, I'm sure some waste materials will leech out into the ground they're stuck in, too.
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  7. #57

    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    1) I thought it was obvious to everybody that the khala and void are external energy pools (see VoK's post 43). Literally, every piece of lore alludes to that. The knowledge of dead khalai being accessed in the templar archives, preservers, etc. The fact that you draw from the void when your nerve cords get cut off, etc. It's explicitly mentioned as an energy pool in some short stories, etc.
    I am reading the Starcraft wiki articles, and they say absolutely nothing about this. The khala is a telepathic network produced by living Protoss and their tech, not the akashic records (if it was, severing nerve cords would not have destroyed it). In fact, the original manual and the wiki articles citing it states that power is drawn from the psi matrix.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starcraft 1 Manual p.79
    The Protoss are a meticulous species, and their manufacturing techniques and tools have been developed over generations by Khalai workers. Protoss structures are produced on the Protoss Homeworld of Aiur.
    [...]
    Protoss buildings and units, to a lesser extent, draw their energy from a great psionic energy matrix that emanates from Aiur. While the Nexus provides a link to this matrix, Pylons are needed to actually tap into the energy required to provide Psionic energy (Psi) to new colonies.
    Before you start arguing semantics, the "lesser extent" part means that units don't require a constant connection to the Psi Matrix or else shutdown like buildings. As abstracted by the game mechanics, they store Energy for spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    How did protoss even have normal conversations according to you if it requires machinery for them to get their psychic abilities? Your interpretation is literally not even possible when there have been instances of nerazim only having khalai tech around and khalai only having nerazim tech around.
    I never said that. I said they draw energy from their tech and store it for later use, but I did not say tech was the only source. You are assuming khala and void are types of energy, which I don't: the meaning seems to vary by context, but in this context they are opposing disciplines for using psychic power. Energy is energy regardless of whether it is produced by pylons or dark pylons, so it stands to reason both can sustain any Protoss. In the absence of a pylon, maybe Protoss get sustenance by hunting prey and eating it with their skin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    2) Protoss hunt for skins, not for food. See the DT saga.
    That is another retcon the author included to try reconciling the statement in the SC1 manual that the Protoss were hunters with the previous retcon that they were photosynthetic. You are moving the goalposts: you previously argued that the xel'naga removed the Protoss' digestive system, but the DT saga claims they were always like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    3) Where does it say they need to harvest ore and fossil fuels? You think their shit runs on gasoline? Does Aiur look like it has smog? Did you just miss the "advanced technology" portion of the protoss race?
    I was referring to the minerals and vespene gas in the games. The SC1 manual states that Protoss require raw materials for construction and warping.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starcraft 1 Manual p.85
    Protoss buildings and equipment are mostly produced on Aiur and warped to wherever they are needed. Raw materials, however, are still required both for shipment to the Homeworld and the creation of the warp rifts used to bring in new items.
    The Protoss do harvest minerals and vespene for construction and energy production. They cannot produce stuff from nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    You have some truly unconventional headcanon, I'll give you that.
    What I have just said is conventional canon, with citations in the source material, and reasonable assumptions made based on it. You deflect, argue semantics and move the goal posts whenever anything I say or cite disagrees with your headcanon. Sure, I'm one to talk, but let's try to learn from our mistakes and be more civil about this, kay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Mislag, my points about plant people weren't necessarily that Protoss themselves were made of plants, but that the Xel'Naga might have engineered them to have plant-like DNA, or having adapted this DNA to make the Protoss more efficient by not having to waste time eating and cooking.
    That is still an ad hoc rationalization for the retcon and is contradicted by the lore. The DT saga claims that the Protoss always functioned like that, and hunted for skins not food, not that they were modified into such by the xel'naga. If you are going to ignore that part of the explanation, why not ignore the whole photosynthesis thing entirely?

    Saying the Protoss are photosynthetic is irrelevant trivia, like saying humans need sunlight to produce vitamin D. Was there ever any point in the games where this came up or made any difference? Do we really need this detail?

    If they were carnivorous plants, as I suggested, that could be used as a springboard for explorations of their daily life. Maybe they have numerous plant-like traits such as bones made of cellulose, alternate between haploid and diploid generations, etc. My idea for introducing this gradually would be to proclaim that the Protoss we see in the game art are actually tightly wound, and when a Protoss unwinds they look dramatically different. Here is pic attached that gives some idea:


    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Now that I think about it, how do plants get rid of waste? That's probably the same method by which the Protoss do.
    Plants excrete gaseous waste through their leaves and solid/liquid waste through their roots. This isn't really efficient for animals, though, since we have far lower surface area to volume ratios. That's why we have digestive and excretory systems.

    I am not opposed to Protoss having weird anatomy, but writers really should not try to justify it using detailed pseudo-science they do not understand.

  8. #58
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    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    1. The Void Ray explicitly gathers the energy of the Khala via mechanical means. It’s more than just a telepathic link between Protoss. The high templar channels the energy of the khala, etc.
    2. The psi matrix is an energy source that emanates from Aiur that is used to power their buildings (and some parts of units). If it’s part of the Khala then that’s proof it’s an external energy source. If not, then it’s completeky unrelated and you can’t keep saying Khala = psi matrix.
    3. They mine minerals to construct their equipment and gas serves as a catalyst for their psi driven machines. It doesn’t serve as the main source of energy though. You can’t purify a planet with a gas powered carrier. Think about how stupid that sounds.
    4. Khala and Void are in fact energy types. That’s literally from the game and manual.
    5. Protoss produce energy from “nothing” all the time. Warp blades, psi storms, purification beams, etc. There’s no way to store all that energy, which is something you made up. There’s no instances of that in the lore other than one off examples like the shield battery.
    Last edited by Gradius; 02-27-2018 at 12:02 PM.

  9. #59

    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    1. The Void Ray explicitly gathers the energy of the Khala via mechanical means. Itís more than just a telepathic link between Protoss. The high templar channels the energy of the khala, etc.
    I checked the citation on the wiki, and this originates from the short story "Lens of the Void." Canon is inconsistent at the best of times, so I would write this off as the author misunderstanding how the Khala and Void work. The games themselves always explain the Protoss as deriving energy from khaydarin batteries and resources. So claiming that energy is channeled from the Khala is a poetic way of saying they channel energy from the psi matrix.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    2. The psi matrix is an energy source that emanates from Aiur that is used to power their buildings. If itís part of the Khala then thatís proof itís an external energy source. If not, then itís completeky unrelated and you canít keep saying Khala = psi matrix.
    The Khala is produced by living Protoss, but its range is extended by the Psi Matrix. It's analogous to how the internet is dependent on the power grid, cell towers, and submarine cables. It stands to reason that in common vernacular the Khala would be used as an umbrella term even if that is technically inaccurate. In real life lots of people have no idea what "the cloud" is and often have ridiculous misunderstandings of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    3. They mine minerals to construct their equipment and gas serves as a catalyst for their psi driven machines. It doesnít serve as the main source of energy though. You canít purify a planet with a gas powered carrier. Think about how stupid that sounds.
    Please stop putting words in my mouth. I said the Psi Matrix provides power and I suppose it gets power from geothermal, wind, solar, vespene, etc. The carriers might use nuclear bombs, maybe they refine the gas into a high density fuel, or something more exotic. The details don't matter, but they don't draw power from nowhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    4. Khala and Void are in fact energy types. Thatís literally from the game and manual.
    What they are varies by context, often contradictory, because the words have multiple different meanings that authors cannot keep straight. No source explains them as infinite sources of free energy by themselves. That does not make sense given how the Protoss rely on pylons or dark pylons for power and psi-link spires for long range communication. If the Khala was just an energy type, Artanis would not have been able to destroy it in Legacy of the Void by cutting everyone's hair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    5. Protoss produce energy from ďnothingĒ all the time. Warp blades, psi storms, purification beams, etc. Thereís no way to store all that energy, which is something you made up. Thereís no instances of that in the lore other than one off examples like the shield battery.
    E=mc≤. A few grams of uranium can level cities and of course that energy can be stored. We see Protoss units storing Energy in the game to power special abilities. Maybe they carry uranium or whatever the exotic equivalent would be. The details don't matter.

    Gradius, there is no reason to believe the Khala and Void are infinite sources of free energy. The Protoss already use the psi matrix, solarite, etc, so there is no reason to include another power source. If the Protoss did have infinite free energy, they would be omnipotent and invincible. They would not have gotten their asses handed to them by the Terrans and the Zerg. Think about how stupid that sounds.

  10. #60

    Default Re: Protoss photosynthesis is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by Misla
    If the Protoss did have infinite free energy, they would be omnipotent and invincible.
    On the topic of Khaydarin, Stetmann noted:

    I've just observed the smallest details from it and somehow wrangled a few tidbits when the crystal... helped me. I don't understand how the protoss can possess technology of this magnitude and not rule the known universe. Perhaps they simply don't want to?
    Moreover, the Overmind itself claimed that there is power "undreamed of by the Protoss" contained within the crystals. I suspect the Protoss do understand the power they could achieve, but some taboo -- perhaps culturally related to the Aeon of Strife -- prevents them from unlocking that potential.

    I say chock it all up to quantum zero-point energy and Stochastic electrodynamics, and Khaydarin is some kind of Jahn-Teller metal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius
    4. Khala and Void are in fact energy types. That’s literally from the game and manual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Misla
    What they are varies by context, often contradictory, because the words have multiple different meanings that authors cannot keep straight. No source explains them as infinite sources of free energy by themselves. That does not make sense given how the Protoss rely on pylons or dark pylons for power and psi-link spires for long range communication. If the Khala was just an energy type, Artanis would not have been able to destroy it in Legacy of the Void by cutting everyone's hair.
    I agree. In the StarCraft era, we had the Khala, the mental disciplines and training of the Aiur Protoss; we have the Communal Link, the emotional bond they share; and the Psi Matrix, the energy source originating from Aiur -- all conflated into one concept in the StarCraft II era.
    Last edited by Visions of Khas; 02-27-2018 at 12:40 PM.
    Aaand sold.


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