Questions and Answers

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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Haze on Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:35 am

There won't be any currency in the server. The ship will have basically a mass stockpile of suits, and each character will have their own. If they want to change the suit or helmet, they'll have to get another from the ship's stockpile.

These things won't be kept under lock and key either (Unless that happens due to in character events), each character will have their equipment and they'll be responsible for keeping it and maintaining it. It won't get locked away in some storage cupboard after every episode. The exception to that will be the Pioneer suit, which is only for EVA. Pretty difficult to keep one of those under your bunk anyway.
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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Blitz on Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:44 am

are you going to go in depth into any other forms of tech? new medical procedures, genetics, firearms, etc?

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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Haze on Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:05 am

Yes, yes, and yes.

I'd say more but it's going to be covered in further updates and I'd rather wait 'till then.
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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Redeemer on Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:05 pm

How will positions on the ship be handled? Say, for example, I want to be a military policeman. How would that work?

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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Haze on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:16 pm

That is a very well timed question. Today's update is on the ship's crew and passengers. I will say that basically any role will be catered for, and you'll be pretty much free to pick what your character's area of experience is.

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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by xeanos on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:40 am

How do episodes work?
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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Haze on Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:14 am

xeanos wrote:How do episodes work?

The server comes up at a pre-determined time, everyone gets a few minutes to join, then the roleplay starts. We have a rough idea of what's going to happen at the start of each episode, but it's all down to the choices characters make. When the episode is over, the server will go down again, to be continued...

xeanos wrote:I was just wondering,

Could a player play as a Quartermaster or maybe even some kind of weapon or armor maintenance person?

Yeah. Pretty much any role is free to be filled. Check the thread about ship roles and specializations for more information on that.
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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Faust on Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:29 am

I apologize for bringing up such an old thread, but I had a few questions, and this seemed like the best place to put them. Sorry if there are quite a few: I missed the original Q&A session, obviously, by virtue of being late.



How is the chain of command going to function?
Is there going to be some kind of ranking structure (be it naval in origin, or whatever you decide), or is it going to be Space Station 13-esque, where the roles themselves are imbued with the power to boss other people around? From the looks of things, it looks like it's going to be the second one- but clarification is always welcome (especially since the UNS Constellation article references a "command staff").

About the ship...
The UNS Constellation page offers a good amount of information about the ship, but it leaves out some important details, namely with regards to the crew complement, the ship's capabilities, and other miscellaneous details. So I have a few specific questions about the ship:

How many souls are on board? 
The fluff you've written mentions that the ship is about 1.5 kilometers in length, which would suggest hundreds, if not thousands of people- but I'd assume that she'd require far less than that number to actually function, given that a good portion of that number are bound to be on ice. The medical section of the "Specializations and Ship Positions" document says that there's only a hundred people, but does that mean the people actually crewing the ship, or is that everyone on-board?

What exactly does "UNS" mean?
This is probably a right stupid question, but I couldn't find it anywhere (probably due to lack of trying) so I figured I might as well ask it here. My guess is "United Nations Ship" or something to that effect, but who better to ask than the admin team?

How long does it take to transition to FTL?
It says "60 percent of an FTL jump is spent accelerating or decelerating," but it doesn't specify exactly how long it takes to perform the "jump." The actual travel time from point X to point Y, as you mentioned, may only be a few days (to the people on-board, anyway)- but how long does it take to spool up and actually jump? Does it take hours or minutes? Could it be done in combat? It says the ship can't accelerate too fast, or everyone on-board will die- but a ballpark estimate as to how fast that is would be good, if only for consistency's sake.

What kind of sensor packages does the ship carry?
This is kind of nitpicky, so specifics don't really need to be addressed- but what are the general capabilities of the ship? How far can it see? For example, can we detect life on planets at a glance, Star Trek-style? Can we determine a planet's composition in seconds? Or is it a bit less precise than that?

How are the AIs treated?
You've mentioned that there are multiple AIs on-board the ship, each with varying roles (crew monitoring, maintenance, door control, etc.), and that they assist with calculating fire solutions in ship-to-ship combat. Is this to be expected for our journey, or is having so many AIs unprecedented? What's the legal status of AIs? Are they treated as second-class citizens, computer programs, or individuals? Do they follow Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, or some other code? Can they be tampered with, or otherwise adjusted? I suppose my question can be boiled down to this: are these AIs more closely related to William Gibson's Neuromancer, or are they more closely related to Space Station 13?

How about weapon and armor technology?
You've vaguely hinted at the weapons tech of the setting before, but I don't think you've actually fully explained it. That being said, once we see them in-game, we're likely to understand them all we need- but I think it's important to have some kind of background knowledge before we do. What's the basis for most of the setting's weapons tech? Are they ballistic in nature? Do they fire lasers? Or are they some other kind of technology, like "handheld particle rifles," mentioned in the UNS Constellation article? In addition, the Modular Environment Suits article provides an excellent overview of the suits we're likely to be wearing, but in broader terms, could you explain how the armor of the setting rates up against the weapons? What's considered a "basic" level of protection?


Last edited by Faust on Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:24 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Ducky on Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:39 am

Don't worry, this thread is going to probably going to remain open even after server launch.

I'll only answer questions relevant to my role right now.

Chain of command

There will be ranks of each role, a "ladder" for characters to climb is technically there but not the focus of the roleplay. Some will be different than others. On an OOC level, none of those ranks mean anything- there won't be any "private faction leader meetings" happening, for example. "Power" is exclusively on an IC basis.

Total crew

It has been decided that the ship will house around a hundred and twenty crew members at the start of the series. As the episodes progress, the threat of death may be seen as more apparent but we won't be out to kill people's characters "just because they've been around for a while" or other arbitrary reasons like that. It is possible that new crew members will be introduced in a variety of ways.

Weapons and armor

Compared to the armor, the weapons are fairly weak. Most of the armored outfits available to the crew can absorb the impact of, if not completely deflect, more than a few rounds. We want to keep the action interesting and fair, without making it too contrived and based on tactical operator style characters stealing the limelight over and over again, as most every member of the crew will be able to survive or tough out and keep fighting after having a fair amount of damage done to their outer shell as the suits aren't designed to die before their wearer does. Basic armor in this series is capable of saving lives from practically any weapon, if only for a burst or two. Sustained damage, however, is the most potent way to combat armor, because while the initial shock can be absorbed, armor's ability to do that will deteriorate over time as the wearer feels each hit more and more.

In the end, characters in-server will have the ability to get through a lot of fighting as long as they don't subject themselves to it constantly. Some gear setups, however, make it easier to force engagements to go that way, and some make it easier to disengage at will. The armor that does both at once only does it decently, and weapons designed for constant fighting have terrible range, giving them a low impact beyond room-to-room combat.

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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Hades on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:35 pm

How many souls are on board?

That is indeed correct, the life support systems of the ship are not built to sustain thousands of people at the same time. Although I can't really say an accurate number yet, there are about a thousand people frozen in stasis.

What exactly does "UNS" mean?
It stands for United Nations Ship. The title has been maintained, even though mostly everything has been switched to EarthGov naming, because it would be too expensive to change the entire ship registry.

How long does it take to transition to FTL?
Preparing for the jump itself depends on various factors.

A) Sensor precision. The FTL drive requires extremely precise sensor data about background radiation, star positions, gravitational fields and any objects between the ship and its target. Although space is mostly empty, radiation from stars, gravity wells from planets and particles from nebulas can all slow down the data gathering process.
B) Computer load. After the sensor data has been acquired, the computer needs to process it and turn it into something useful. The calculations are so complex that even the quantum computer farms onboard have trouble performing them. If the AI is busy countering electronic countermeasures, then this obviously slows down the process.
C) Power up. The FTL drive has four gigantic capacitor banks spread throughout the ship's spine, all connected to a priority power grid. At least three out of four need to be at full capacity to perform a jump. The speed at which they charge depends on the power usage of the ship and the output of the antimatter reactor. In a combat engagement, the ship obviously needs to redirect power to weapons and sub-luminal maneuvering.

After all four processes are complete, the FTL drive can be engaged. The process takes a few seconds, during which the AI checks all redundancy systems and ensures that there are no last-minute errors in the system, and then activates the drive.

What kind of sensor packages does the ship carry?
In regards to sensors, the ship is very much conventional. An active RADAR/LADAR (Radio Detection and Randing)/(Laser Detection and Ranging) hybrid system is used for detection of objects 'near' the ship (Less than 5 light-seconds or 1,500,000km distance), pinging every few seconds, and a passive array of optical, radiation and gravity sensors are used for long-range detection in space.

Of course, the information is limited by the speed of light. A ship detected passively at a distance of one light minute was there one minute ago, and could have moved by then. That is why the Constellation comes equipped with a stock of FTL-capable probes the size of a rugby ball, that come equipped with a quantum entanglement array; this allows them to get to the target, ping, and then send the information back to the ship. They are, however, very fragile.

For in-game sensor detection, you can expect a very 'traditional' experience; if we had to describe space combat in Futurism, it would be much like submarine combat. There is no funky unobtanium-based tech.

When it comes to surveying planets, the Constellation also uses conventional sensors. Optical and radio detectors are used to map the surface of planets, while advanced heat detection can track down active sources of heat within a few hundred meters. Sadly, the technology is slow. It could take days to survey an entire planet.

How are the AIs treated?
That is a question for Haze.

How about weapon and armor technology?
Almost all weapons in Futurism are glorified electromagnetic acceleration cannons. They fire ferromagnetic shells at a fraction of the speed of light, with a special category, 'particle weapons', firing weapons smaller than human cells at relativistic speeds. These weapons, commonly referenced to as 'railguns' (even though some of them are coil weapons), accept hybrid magazines with both their bullets and their power source, usually a miniaturized antimatter cartridge.

Particle rifles are, however, a very new concept, and remain as experimental weapons so far.[/quote]
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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Visiblewind on Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:18 pm

Haze wrote:Our goal here is to give you as much range for customization as possible.
Sorry if I'm a bit slow on the up-take, but just to be clear, do we have to start out as a red-shirt crewman? Or can we already be on the research team or be a guard or things of that sort?

Which brings another question, I'm guessing the research that the scientists are doing would be a team effort with some kind of pool of "shared" knowledge. Same with the engineers. If I just created a character who fills either one of those roles, things may be a bit...difficult at the start. My character would already be there and have experience, but as a player I have no idea what the hell is going on lol. Should I expect to be asked specific technical questions right from the start?

(This form of "episodic" RP is new to me and I don't fully understand it, but it seems pretty interesting.)
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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Ducky on Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:22 pm

All of the divisions are open for any player to go into but they come with character-bound responsibilities. A scientist who doesn't do science is probably not going to keep their position for very long if someone else wants to do science.

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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Faust on Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:30 pm

Ducky wrote:There will be ranks of each role, a "ladder" for characters to climb is technically there but not the focus of the roleplay. Some will be different than others. On an OOC level, none of those ranks mean anything- there won't be any "private faction leader meetings" happening, for example. "Power" is exclusively on an IC basis.

I don't mean for this to sound like I'm worried about getting promoted or other stupid tripe- I'm just wondering how the chain of command is going to be handled IC, especially if this is a government operation, which, in my mind, would probably imply some kind of military involvement (hence a ranking system).

What kind of ranking system is going to be put in place? Will the ranks correspond to anything in real life, like naval ranks, or will they just be generic grades? Will we all start out at a certain rank (say, Petty Officer 3rd Class), and then go from there, or will we be able to choose our own ranks, within reason? Will there be an officer cadre on-board composed of certain individuals, or will things be more lax? What about specific, mission-critical roles, like the captain and the helmsman? I'm assuming they're filled already, but what's the plan for people who want to involve themselves to that degree (be a part of the bridge crew, for instance)?

Alien wrote:Almost all weapons in Futurism are glorified electromagnetic acceleration cannons. They fire ferromagnetic shells at a fraction of the speed of light, with a special category, 'particle weapons', firing weapons smaller than human cells at relativistic speeds. These weapons, commonly referenced to as 'railguns' (even though some of them are coil weapons), accept hybrid magazines with both their bullets and their power source, usually a miniaturized antimatter cartridge.

The Modular Environment Suits page references "ceramic ballistic plates," which are currently used today. As these plates have a challenging time stopping today's small arms (though they do a decent enough job, I suppose, or nobody would use them), is it safe to assume that the setting's armor encompasses some kind of "electromagnetic armor" system similar to the one described in the UNS Constellation page in order to stop the rounds fired by handheld railguns? Or are we just to assume that materials science in the future has advanced to a sufficient degree to weather impacts by sub-luminal lumps of metal? Not that one is preferable to the other- I'm just curious.

Sorry if my questions are a bit specific. I find that science-fiction roleplays work best when everyone knows and abides by an established canon, so the more that's set in stone, the better. Obviously, there needs to be room for creative thought- but when you get shot by somebody, it's best that both parties know and understand the fluff behind their weapons and armor, so there's no room for squabbling.



Also, as an aside: I know some people are here who were involved in Jutland RP, which had a very similar premise (science-fiction, ship-based, episodic roleplay), but I don't know if any of the head admins are. If they were, how similar would you say Haven is to Jutland?



Actually, shit, I'm on a roll.

What about religion?
The Origins of EarthGov document notes that after 2040, most people "embraced the ideals of humanism and individualism by default." Given that secularism is on the rise even today, I'd imagine that 30 years in the future, after most of the world's governments are replaced with technocracies, religion would be on the down-and-out (and unless I'm mistaken, EarthGov probably wouldn't be too terribly interested in fostering spirituality among its people, either). However, religion has been a driving force throughout most of human history, and I don't think that even a hundred years of science and progress could stamp it out altogether. How's religion doing in the 22nd century? Are smaller, ethnically-oriented religions like Judaism and Shinto still around? What about Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam? Are spiritual folk shunned, persecuted, or neither? What's the government's take on all of this religious business?

Transhumanism...
Several of the short stories have mentioned cybernetic implants, most notably Blitz's "Redemption," which hints at different "grades" of cybernetics, and also implies that getting cyberized is an "upgrade." How far do cybernetic implants go? Do we have Ghost in the Shell-style cyberbrains or Deus Ex-style full-body rebuilds? How widespread are they? Are there any downsides or drawbacks to the process (Human Revolution's Neuropozyne jumps to mind, here)? What's the public's thoughts on getting cyberized? How about the government?

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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Hades on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:28 pm

Faust wrote:
What kind of ranking system is going to be put in place? Will the ranks correspond to anything in real life, like naval ranks, or will they just be generic grades? Will we all start out at a certain rank (say, Petty Officer 3rd Class), and then go from there, or will we be able to choose our own ranks, within reason? Will there be an officer cadre on-board composed of certain individuals, or will things be more lax? What about specific, mission-critical roles, like the captain and the helmsman? I'm assuming they're filled already, but what's the plan for people who want to involve themselves to that degree (be a part of the bridge crew, for instance)?

As far as I know, everyone can start with every rank up to Lieutenant. The ranks are (I think) as follows.

Crewman
Petty Officer 3rd Class
Petty Officer 2nd Class
Petty Officer 1st Class
Senior Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
Warrant Officer
Ensign
Lieutenant

Lieutenant Commander (Department Heads)
Commander (Executive Officer)
Captain (Commanding Officer)

Marines follow a different rank structure.

Private
Corporal
Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Master Sergeant
Sergeant Major (Senior NCO)
Lieutenant (Platoon Leader)
Captain (Executive Officer)
Major (Commanding Officer)

Your character can join with any role that falls under the ranks they can be, so they can't be the captain, but don't get too attached to the job; IC circumstances might prove to be more important than your character's choice.


The Modular Environment Suits page references "ceramic ballistic plates," which are currently used today. As these plates have a challenging time stopping today's small arms (though they do a decent enough job, I suppose, or nobody would use them), is it safe to assume that the setting's armor encompasses some kind of "electromagnetic armor" system similar to the one described in the UNS Constellation page in order to stop the rounds fired by handheld railguns? Or are we just to assume that materials science in the future has advanced to a sufficient degree to weather impacts by sub-luminal lumps of metal? Not that one is preferable to the other- I'm just curious.

The suits have a dual defense system.

The basic defense layer is, as you mentioned, their 'armor'. Ceramics, steel, carbon nanotubes, anything that can possibly serve as a means of stopping a projectile. But the highly penetrative nature of the small railgun rounds renders those obsolete; hence, electric-reactive armor was invented. When the ferromagnetic projectile hits the suit, it closes a high-voltage circuit and triggers a 'zap', heating it up to a degree where it heavily deforms before and after hitting the armor itself, preventing it from penetrating.

If the ceramic/steel/carbon/whatever each suit uses for armor were to be removed, all you'd get is a superheated projectile traveling at the speed of light hitting bare flesh. If the electric component was removed, then you'd have a knife slicing through very expensive butter.

The effectiveness of a suit depends both on how much it heats up the projectile (aka its power source) and how well it can stop the weakened projectile from penetrating (strength of the armor itself). Hence, heavier suits are more effective than their lighter, faster counterparts because they can fit a larger power source and stronger armor.

I'll leave the rest to the experts.
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Re: Questions and Answers

Post by Bospy on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:09 pm

Religion still remains a driving factor in the daily lives of much people in the world (ala Islam, mostly), and the Pope is still around in Italy, and religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Judaism, and other religions are still practiced to a wide degree without persecution on its people, but not much to the point where the President of the USNA, an EarthGov puppet, would openly speak out about it.

In more developed areas, religion doesn't have much a play in the open, mainly being a backyard religion (ala not practiced to the full degree, Muslims drink alcohol, etc.), but people still practice it in churches, mosques, and other places. People don't see religion as a point to argue in the west. In the east, spiritual practices are still a part of everyday life, with Buddhism still heavily practiced in the mountains of Tibet or China, and Hinduism in India, and significantly in the rural parts of the Middle-East. Islam in specific has still got extremists and ideologies, but these aren't in major cities like Abu-Dhabi and Qatar.

I won't go into much detail about places like Israel or some crazy ass Zoroastrianism holdout in Persia, as those really don't contribute much to our storyline unless you make an Israeli character. Assume that Israel is still a thriving country today, and a base of operations for EarthGov to quell middle-eastern uprisings from Islamic religious and nationalist uprisings, as it's still a hotbed. As for ancient religions like Zoroastrianism and branches of Neo-Paganism, most of those have died out, not having many followers to sustain them.

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