Wild Mass Guessing

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
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Wolfy
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Why would you want your backup plan to nullify your main plan though?
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Perhaps the Iocrym displeased her and she wants to dispose of her useless servants? Or maybe because they did that annoying "Oh I can do it. Pick me! Pick me!" This displeased her, so she said ok then got the real solution working, which incidentally involves destroying the annoying Iocrym
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george moromisato wrote:
Wolfy wrote:Out of curiosity, what is the status of information released in those early design notes & commentaries we've been referencing?
3. As I've said in other posts, I want to support a multiverse with varying canons. Rather than dividing things into canonical and heretical, I think it is better to think of "distance from canon". For example, which is more canonical, a vanilla game in which the player destroys Eridani or one in which the player uses the Osaka class instead of the Sapphire? Sometimes even vanilla games are less canonical than modded games.

I think the best way to think about it is as a superposition of alternate realities (ARs). Some ARs are very likely; some are very rare. Some can only be reached through mods. If you superimpose all the possible ARs you end up with a fuzzy cloud with a dense center. At the center is canon; outside the cloud is heresy. When does canon turn to heresy? It is impossible to say, and different people may have different answers.
Say... with such twist in mind, I might end up introducing super robots (Domina sent them for "defending humans" drama).
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I've thought a decent bit about the Trans story line, and have the following thoughts.

I think the Huari reveals can be taken as mostly canceling each other out, in that the 'prophecy' is likely planted by both Domina and Oracus, and that there are inconclusive truth values to any of it.

I think the Domina/Oracus situation has likely parallels to the Vorlon/Shadows situation in Babylon 5, in that there are probably long-set strategies or viewpoints that are coming to a head with the pilgrim, and that the dichotomy between the stated and apparent goals of both sides [assuming only two] will be better revealed in Part 2. I think that it's easy for Domina and Oracus to meddle with QZ humans and frame their arguments(destroy humanity or not) in terms that make local cultural sense. Assuming that any non-local narrative or vision is ultimately reliable is probably a bad assumption, leaving the ambiguities in a fairly resolvable place. (i.e. the story line is open [but not muddied] enough that explaining the ambiguity is possible and satisfying.)

I think also that there is a larger question to resolve - what is saving/destroying humanity. As evidenced by the advanced technology the Iocrym possess, races outside the QZ probably wouldn't really recognize humanity as a threat, more of a nuisance competitor, and destroy it casually. Oracus could be out to protect less advanced races by creating QZs, thus preventing them from coming into contact with and being threatened by advanced races. Similarly, Domina could be out to introduce less advanced races to the larger galaxy, and if they perish, they perish. So, in it's quest to save humanity, Oracus creates institutions and orchestrates events that cause massive death to humanity to prevent it from reaching outside the QZ area and being crushed. Parallels to this story in other fiction media, along with the B5 parallel, can be found in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space universe, along with Iain Banks' Culture novels [or it might be a non-culture one that I'm not remembering properly]. Perhaps Oracus has parallels to the Blight from Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep, and Domina is also trapped inside the QZ and is trying to break the QZ in a gamble to get the advanced races to unify, step in and knock Oracus off. Humanity may definitely be a pawn here, and is being played with the side effect being saved vs being destroyed (parallel here is to humanity's role in David Brin's Uplift universe)

(Also, I haven't played through in a few months, so I may be remembering details wrong and invalidating large swaths of my argument]

Taking these views, and not knowing where you are heading with the story, George, I think that certain things need more fleshing out in P1 to make the narrative more apparent. (And I think that the current Heretic missions have gone a long way to make the narrative more readily apparent to a casual player.)

- I think that there should be some form of narrative interaction with the Penitents. Perhaps a mission set in a binary system where a Penitent and Sisters station are in some kind of conflict, and the pilgrim is engaged to help resolve it. I think some exposure to the Penitents and Oracus beyond storyline miscellanea would help.

- I think the Arco Vaughn mission could have an Oracus parallel mission in Charon, explaining how (if true) Oracus influences the Charon pirates.

- I would like to see a greater explanation of how Heretic and the factions therein were operating before the Iocrym started to vape the star (which I seem to remember was recent?)



Those are my general views. I'm personally excited by the ambiguity that Transcendence has in P1, and would like to see that ambiguity (or at least moral ambivalence, similar to B5) carried on as long as possible. I think it makes for a nice universe to play in.



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This debate is very similar to the debates to decide the end of the world; using various theories and logic you can get any answer. Personally, I like my idea of the
"QZ Television".
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After playing through the game once, I came up with this theory:

Domina has to annihilate the QZ to stop Oracus, but therefore has to kill all humans as well, something she does not want to do (like humans try to conserve lower species). She therefore orders the Iocrym to barricade Heretic and prepare the star-explody-thingy, but also orders a select few humans (the ones that aren't Oracus, or under his control or something) to escape the quarantine zone. Since the Iocrym were ordered to exterminate humanity, they fight you when you try to leave. Therefore, humanity lives on-a few of them anyway-and Oracus gets destroyed. The reason she calls you to herself specifically is because now that the only three (known) human-inhabitable worlds have been destroyed, the only place we can survive is in a world created by Domina herself, at the Galactic Core (in "captivity", if you will). This assumes that Oracus manifests himself as a human/a group of humans, and is not just humanity itself. It also assumes that more pilgrims have escaped/will escape, as only one won't allow humanity to survive, as stated by the laws of how-species-don't-die.

I also managed to explain the ENTIRE STORY of the game by the simple assumption that every time Kate Monegral meets with someone, she eats one of their kidneys.

Of course.
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I haven't played in so long, but I remember this game fondly. So I'm gonna take a crack at this:

Firstly:
george moromisato wrote: 3. [Atarlost] We know that the Ares claim to be followers of someone called Domina. Call this entity D3.
UNKNOWN: I forget whether this is revealed in-game or from my design notes or commentary [maybe someone find an in-game reference?]. Are the Ares considered "human" by Domina, Oracus, and the Ancient Races? If so, then I think there is no conflict between D3 and D2.

This was from the UT forums. There is a particular subform which houses this sort of information:

http://z8.invisionfree.com/Transcendenc ... owforum=12
Ares Orthodoxy [neo-humans]: The Ares Orthodoxy is colonizing dozens of systems beyond Jiang's Star. They use clone banks and intensive training to create a utopian society without dissent. They claim to be guided by Domina, but almost no one believes that.
I don't believe this is evidenced in-game, but it makes sense that the CW wouldn't believe in the truth of the religion of the society they are trying to wipe out. Also some of the Ares don't believe that the war against the CW is a good thing, if the CSC Antarctica is to be believed. This alone would resolve any conflict between D2 and D3 if the military is not inclined to listen to the Ares priesthood.
8. [Atarlost] The followers of D2 believe D2 and D3 are not the same entity.
UNKNOWN: Why is that? Is that because the player fights the Ares?
Yes, but design notes corroborate with this.
5. [Atarlost] We know there is a human extinction movement following someone using the name Oracus. Call this entity O.
UNKNOWN: Again, I think this is from early design notes and my commentary. I don't think this is revealed in-game [at least, the Penitents themselves never say anything to the player--again, correct me if I'm wrong.]
From the same source as before:
Order of Penitence [Simples]: The Order of Penitence began as a voluntary campaign of voluntary extinction. Although it was never popular, its charter was twisted by extremists to promote forced human extinction. They are a feared cult of fanatics who seek to destroy as much life as possible before their alloted time expired. They worship Oracus.
This is never revealed in-game, but is evidenced by the fact that they try to kill *everyone*.
7. [Atarlost] D2 and D3 are at odds with D1 and O and their goals are in line with freeing X.
COMMENT: D1 and D2 could be the same, if D2's goal is to allow a small number of humans to leave, but not everyone. [More difficult to explain is why D2 doesn't tell the Iocrym to let some people through.]
I think this can be essentially discounted, as the only known way to open the gate opens it for everyone unless the iocrym were to let people through willingly...unless the iocrym itself were to be quarantined...
I think the goal of Part I should be to allow for multiple theories. In Part II, some of those theories should be disproven. I confess that Part I needs work in that area--I think it needs more clues and I also think that some existing clues are needlessly misleading. So this exercise is useful for me.

If that's the goal, Atarlost's analysis points out that there are two problems with the storyline so far:

1. The storyline needs to allow for the possibility of D1 and D2 being the same. How do we do that?
2. The storyline needs to allow for the possibility of O being opposed to D1. How do we do that?

If we fix those two things (in-game), then I think a lot more theories open up.
I would like Part I to maintain the following ambiguities (i.e., nothing in Part I should *disprove* any of the following possibilities):

P1. Domina wants to destroy humanity and Oracus wants to save it.
P2. Oracus wants to destroy humanity and Domina wants to save it.
P3. Both Domina and Oracus want to destroy humanity.
P4. Domina and Oracus are working together on a "long-con" to destroy humanity or something else.

In order for P1 to be true, we have to explain why Domina is calling pilgrims to leave the QZ and explain why the Oracus-controlled Penitents want to destroy humanity.

In order for P2 to be true, we have to explain the Iocrym AI's statements and the Huari priest's vision.

In order for P3 to be true, we have to explain why it seems that Domina and Oracus are in conflict.
D1 and D2 could be the same if the goal is to act as a capacitor for human power. Prevent humanity from contact with the alien races (and being utterly destroyed) until the humans are capable of at least harming their spaceships (send pilgrims to prove that the humans are ready). This would align D1 and D2 with X, and O against X and D1/2. This possibility allows for both storylines. I don't think it strains the current facts very much.

To elaborate: If this theory is correct then the Huari prophecy is then almost certainly from O (who hasn't been making a huge effort of trying to destroy humanity, as it thinks humanity will take care of itself). it is quite possible that X does not actually exist (or can be destroyed by domina)(or is a human characteristic like pride or ingenuity), and domina is lying to keep the aliens away from the humans (who would seem destructive to the aliens given the constant infighting). A very simple revelation (or crazed monk who explains his theory that the iocrym are trying to help us) could make this a more obvious possibility.

Aligning D2 against X is more difficult. If D1 and D2 are the same, then the easiest way to explain this is for D1/2 to have changed its mind about the necessity of destroying humanity, and been unable to convince the iocrym (or the iocrym are going about it in a way that will fail). The pilgrims are therefore a fairly recent development.

It is possible, but IMO unlikely that Huari prophecy comes from D1/D2 if the iocrym are going to botch the job of destroying humanity in some way or another. Either the iocrym are preventing other races from destroying humanity, or are going to try, fail, and give humans technology with which to defend themselves.

Aligning O with X and humanity is...nigh on impossible if the penitents are trying to destroy humanity, unless the penitents are just O's way of being a prick. If the penitents worship O, then it is also very difficult to explain, given that they tend to attack anything they see and have no goals to fight the iocrym. It is possible that O is capable of cleansing humanity of X, but only those that allow O to act on them willingly (or only with a near-death experience). However, this requires that D1 belongs to O and that the quarantine is a ruse to help humanity, since D2 and D1 have managed to do a heck of a lot (sisters, iocrym, etc.) whereas O (assuming its not D1) has barely been able to do anything.

Aligning O with X against humanity is more promising. If O wants the aliens to destroy humanity (perhaps this allows O to get closer to the aliens?), and X to escape the quarantine zone things make much more sense. This requires D1/2 to be in the dark as far as O's actual purpose however, unless D1/2 also wants to destroy the iocrym (which seems unlikely).

EDIT:

Various possible alignments then include (abbreviating the humans as H, and the Iocrym as I):

1. {(D1, O) + I} vs {(D2, D3, X) + H}
  • (P2) It seems D1 vs D2/3 is unwanted, but Atarlost's hypothesis seems pretty good to me. Huari probably mislead by Oracus, although many humans could die in the oncomming war to fulfill it.
2. {(D1, D2, D3)} vs {(O, X) + H} vs {I}
  • (P1) where D1 changes its mind about whether or not to kill humans, and the Iocrym mess up (or are simply wanted dead for other reasons). D2/3 is then misleading the humans to destroy both the humans and the poor iocrym, and O/X is not being very good at trying to save itself. Oracus doesn't like humanity, but it exists because of humanity. The penitents are essentially a sick sort of joke. Huari potentially mislead by Domina, but could very well be telling the truth if the humans lose the war and some of the few humans who survive are spared by the victorious transcendent, probably Domina.
3. {(D1, D2, D3)} vs {(O, X)} vs {H} vs {I}
  • (P3) as in #2, D1 changes its mind about whether or not to kill humans, and the Iocrym mess up (or are simply wanted dead for other reasons). D2/3 is then misleading the humans to destroy both the humans and the poor iocrym. However, Domina is wrong about the nature of X/O. O/X actually can survive without the humans and is more than willing to have the humans die, perhaps so it can take over the Iocrym itself. Huari potentially mislead by either transcendent being, but could be telling the truth in the same way as #2.
4. {(D1, D2, D3, X) + H} vs {(O) + I}
  • (P2) where Domina is trying to keep humanity alive, despite X having been discovered. This requires the aliens to have found out about X on their own, or for O to have impersonated D1 telling them about the existence of X. I personally don't think this is very likely. O probably misleading the Huari, but most humans could die in the oncomming war to fulfill it.
5. {(D1, D2, D3) + H?} vs {(O, X) + I}.
  • (P2) In which Domina is trying to save a few humans untouched by Oracus, but I'm not sure how blowing the QZ wide open is supposed to accomplish that (all militarized humans should be able to escape wholesale). Perhaps the scenario in which the Huari prophecy makes the most sense.
Are there any other alignments mentioned in this thread that I've missed?

EDIT: another interesting design note I found
23rd Century: The Age of Apocalypse

The Commonwealth grows and prospers throughout the 23rd century. Meanwhile, the Martian colonists who fled the genetic engineering ban have formed the Syrtis Conclave--an almost utopian civilization with genetically engineered neo-humans living in on the Martian surface. In 2243, however, guided by what they believe to be a divine intelligence in the Galactic Core, the Syrtis Conclave decides to annihilate Earth.

The war leaves the Solar System in ruins and it is only with the help of the Commonwealth that the Syrtis are defeated. Most of the martians are left as refugees (Mars is left uninhabitable) and today Syrtis refugees are found in many systems. The Syrtis leadership, however, escaped into deep space and they have formed the Ares Orthodoxy out beyond Jiang's Star. The old Commonwealth Fleet fights them still, but few people in St. Katharine's System (far from the fighting) believe that they are a threat.


24th Century: The Age of Emergence

Centuries after the discovery of the Kuiper Stargate, the first alien of the Ancient Races visits Human Space. The Iocrym, in their gigantic ships visit St. Katharine's Star System and begin a long and complicated dialog.

After much effort, humans learn that:

1. The Iocrym had visited the Solar System more than 250 million years ago and when they detected complex, multi-cellular life on Earth, they shut down all the stargates in the region and designated the whole area as a "nature preserve"

2. The Ancient Races want to welcome Humanity as a new member of the Galactic Community and future visits will begin that integration process.

3. There is some confusion about exactly how the stargates in Human Space where activated (they were supposed to be shut down). But now that contact has been made, there is no harm.

The Iocrym leave St. Katharine's System and promise to return.

A few decades later, Humans find that the entire volume of Human Space has been quarantined and that the Iocrym are guarding all stargates leading out into the rest of the Galaxy. The only explanation that the Iocrym will give is that humans have been quarantined until further notice because of an unspecified threat.
Woah, this is a lot longer than intended
Last edited by F50 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hi F50! :D
Great to see you again - I still remember that difficulty mod you made way back when I first joined. :lol:
I haven't had time to read the whole post through yet as I have to go to breakfast in ~5 mins, but I'll check it out when I return.
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Also, I noticed that nothing yet has taken account the existence of other core minds (which I saw on the website, and was indicated by the sentence structure and word use that there were plural core minds, and thus being either alpha canon or an error), but george could just say "no" and that would mean its only D & O. I mean, it probably is just D&O given that the campaign is named "Domina and Oracus". >.>
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Transcendence
The quality or state of being transcendent.

Transcendent
Transcending the universe or material existence.

I haven't given that much thought to this theory, but it would account adequately for the Huari prophecy. The humans don't die, they ascend into core minds, maybe?

George himself said that part 1 is halfway to the galactic core, and part 2 is the rest of the way. What then, is part 3? Some kind of cosmic struggle on another plane of existence?

I know there isn't a lot of evidence for this theory, but George didn't call the game Space Shooter 3000. The name had to come from somewhere.
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Part III is the core from what I can tell
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The Transcendence universe is dark, heroic, ambiguous, and epic. Good coexists with evil, sometimes in the same person. You have the freedom to hack as well as heal. And regardless of the choices that you make, tidy simple answers are seldom found. That will not change.
I now officially love the Trans universe.

I don't know what to do with this thread, I mean if Domina or Oracus was the name of two houses in the Ancient Races' Parliament, that means that everything could be sponsored by D or O that, even though having seemingly contradictory aims, is really just a reflection of the differences in the makeup of the Domina or Oracus house. (sorry, studying for history is interfering with Trans) The one thing that's on my mind is that first we have to establish that all the entities are entities as in one person [being, thing, noun?]. Then, we can go on to talk about motives because now each entity has only one motive (unless in the end Ancient Races/Core Beings are totally alien, and thus we don't even know if their logic can be comprehended by mere humans).

It all depends on what direction George wants to take the game. Viper's idea is a dark, grim reality that totally fits the Trans setting.
What is the cost of surviving in the galaxy? Is it really worth so many deaths just to produce more weapons of destruction?

I don't know about how people are using the Huari prophecy.
The Huari prophecy could be explained away because the Pilgrim, if his/her journey were to continue, would pretty much disrupt the balance
of power amongst Human Space (and in parts II and III, the galaxy,) and then Mutually Assured Destruction would occur for all humans/beings.

The direction I would personally take it:
MSUniverse
Iocrym+ future humans+ ancient races vs some evil[like Daleks]:
Time War happens
QZ is to prevent time anomalies
Playerships blows everything up
end of story
end moral:
we're all the same. We either learn to live with each other or the world becomes who shoots first.
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Personally, I see Domina being both Domina and Oracus, much like Jupiter- Of two faces, one that wants to destroy humanity, and one that wishes to preserve that which is best of humanity. Anyone who fails to overcome the Iocrym are at best failed experiments to figure out the exact formula for what makes the best of humanity. Anyone who succumbs to the forced extinction plan of the Penitents obviously fails, and thus it acts as a chaff blower- removing the least likely portions of humanity from the equation before they even become a possibility.

Humanity is not about being noble, or about being truly evil, but as George said- evil and good coexisting within the same person, being a consummate survivor and more than that a winner in the game of life. The rest of humanity is basically a festering parasite, and those that win through the QZ- the successful pilgrims- are the best humanity has to offer, while the rest are dregs that, left uncontrolled, will grow exponentially and devour the galaxy- Much like locusts devour fields of crops.

Heck, though we destroy the Iocrym, who says that after that pilgrim passes through, that someone doesn't come along and fix everything, readying it for the next pilgrim to test itself against?

Domina is too war-like in her powerset to be reasonably a peaceful being- In fact, one power looks a lot like the Penitant station's shield barrier/damage ring.... thing. Their powers seem very similar- Yet, her chosen ones abhor slavery and free those made captive against their will, and are otherwise helpful to those in need- Just as Jupiter has two faces, demanding human sacrifices for his assistance, yet helping humans in the end that manage to trick him or appease him otherwise.

...Gonna end this ramble now.
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christian
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:? Domina may be just a little bit schizophrenic..... :?



:lol: ....Ironically, I'm Domina-pilgrim and an atheist at the same time... :shock:
....I'm even more confused now, than I was before reading this... :|
Amariithynar
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christian wrote::? Domina may be just a little bit schizophrenic..... :?



:lol: ....Ironically, I'm Domina-pilgrim and an atheist at the same time... :shock:
....I'm even more confused now, than I was before reading this... :|
"Domina is just a very powerful alien with high-end tech that simulates magic." Answered the issue in one sentence. :P
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