Gunsan should have no major threats

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
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Kourtious
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Gunsan system in Eternity Port has the Gunsan Shipyards which are critical to the Commonwealth war effort. Not only is it past Point Juno, making it easy for the Ares to attack, it's also filled with enemy bases as well. I don't understand why the Commonwealth would have a shipyard there? Is it perhaps the previous Commonwealth Strongholds have been breached? Even so, shouldn't the system be heavily guarded by Centurions, Britannias and Aquilas to guarantee its production of ships?
Tiber
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Thats assuming they are winning. Maybe the war effort is not going so well...... ^^
Admiral Skippy
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It's outright stated that everything beyond St Katherine's Star is not firmly held Commonwealth territory. For realistic nation-state operating sensibly under strategic and economic realities, having crucial military infrastructure in warlord-haunted wildernesses space is madness. It would be like the United States in 1942 deciding to relocate Chicago and Detroit to Taiwan for absolutely no reason.

The overriding concern here is simply the logistics, which are almost always the biggest overriding factor in warfare. If your production facilities are in effectively the middle of hostile territory, ravaged by pirates, hostile empires and warlords, every nut and bolt that travels there has to travel a longer distance from your own economic network, which uses much more fuel. Moreover, it has to do so under threat of being destroyed, or requiring escort. This massively pushes up the costs of your products, because all the raw material and components have had their costs inflated by several times, potentially hundreds of times.

Furthermore, all the same costs apply when you are shipping your now-competed products back through warlord-infested wilderness space to the bases or CSCs they are bound for. Yes, you could potentially crew them at the shipyard and fly them to their destinations, meaning in theory they could defend themselves, but there are reasons why no military in the world has ever preferred do this if given a choice. It massively complicates the already hellish business of shuffling personnel around, and raises wear and tear on both people and machines.

Simple ensuring normal operations of the shipyard would require efforts on a parallel to the Atlantic Convoys in the Second World War, except worse in every conceivable way, and a totally self-inflicted wound rather than something enforced by geography. This is before we even get to deliberate enemy action, like the Ares apparently not realising that they could cripple or the Commonwealth or force them to the negotiating table with one raid.

There is simply no sane justification which can be made for having a shipyard in such a location, if we are treating the setting of Transcendence as a consistent universe. If the Commonwealth's defensive lines had imploded to such a point that its most vital shipyard was now located in enemy territory, it would have effectively already fallen. The idea that the systems were Gunsan is found were ever once Commonwealth territory is also pretty clearly contraindicated by the game itself, in any case.

However, this is all from a "Watsonian" perspective*, treating the game as if it were a secondary world which had to obey a consistent internal logic. If we take a step back and remember that this is a computer game, looking at it from the "Doylist" perspective*, then the reason is pretty obvious. The way systems work in Transcendence is approximately a linear progression of challenge, and Gunsan is located towards the end of the story, which means it has to be located towards the end of the systems, which naturally puts it well past Point Juno and the zone of Commonwealth influence. On the whole it would also make the system somewhat more boring for players if there were less diverse enemies to fight and encounter in it, although things could in principle be done to make up for this, but at a cost of development time.

At the end of the day, the biggest consideration has to be making things fun. Of course you could locate Gunsan further back into Commonwealth space, with a gate like Huamerica, and come up with some sort of military passkey to access it. But then that simply adds hassle in terms of back-tracking, and what does it actually gain in terms of enriching game play?

There would be some gain in verisimilitude for players who enjoy that sort of thing, I suppose, and I'm one of them, but a developer has to consider all of their players when making such choices.


(*https://fanlore.org/wiki/Watsonian_vs._Doylist)
Kourtious
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In my opinion, the Gunsan System should be behind Point Juno and the Gunsan Shipyard should be guarded by Centurions.

Lorewise, it is known that the Commonwealth appears to be on the verge of collapse.

They lost three Commonwealth Star Carriers in the last few years, a few Point Juno equivalent strongholds, and been struggling to maintain morale and loyalty among its forces. Furthermore, the slow adoption of more advanced weapon types - positron, antimatter, and plasma - compared to the Ares, has seen the Commonwealth presence in the Outer Realms decline.

This led to massive amounts of blackmarket trade to Rebel deserters and significantly weaker protection of civilians. This is hinted at with several refugee missions and destruction of civilian facilities by Xenophobes, Ranx Dreadnaughts, and Marauders alike. Significant Omnithor trading only emphasize the lack of Commonwealth enforcement to the point that CSC don't even protect civilian stations anymore.

Not to mention, the Ranx Empire was formed out of Commonwealth territories, meaning defection among early Outer Realm territories, leaving many Commonwealth supply lines vulnerable. This hints at a significant decline in Commonwealth strength decades before the player start date.

In the current timeline, the Sung Empire has seen immense technological and imperial rise among the Ungoverned Territories to the point that an all-out war is possibility against the Commonwealth. This is shocking since the Commonwealth is a massive entity. Proof of Sung prowess are their Dragon Slavers, which can hold their own against Britannias and even against Aquilas if in superior numbers. Conversing with officers in Commonwealth Fortress shows a lack of morale and a desperate wish for the Commonwealth to pull back their CSCs to the Ungoverned Territories.

Furthermore, the economic backbone of the Commonwealth, the Corporate Hierarchy has seen increasing threats from Dwarg, fearing mass raids and destruction of Corporate stations. This is represented by the Corporate Command missions to protect Corporate assets.

In the New Beyond, the supposedly safe zones of the Commonwealth are infested with pirates, blackmarket trading, illegal weapon dealings, and anarchists. Even an entire system is filled with pirates.

In fact, the only "safe" region in the entire game are the Near Stars, where the Four Powers of Earth have a military arms race that allows them to protect their assets and make other threats appear meaningless. The only possible threat are the Luminous, which thankfully the CDMs of Eternity Port are powerful enough to check on them. What's interesting here is that, the player solves the Luminous crisis and makes one of the powers of Earth stronger, meaning the Near Stars are probably the most difficult to breach by any opposing entity.
Admiral Skippy
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As you rightly point out, the Ungoverned Territories are also dangerous and lawless, which makes it even less sensible for a vital production facility to be located there. Overall the New Beyond is by far the best option. Whilst not totally safe by any means, the New Beyond is much safer than anywhere else in the main game, especially for military transports and super-freighters which are virtually immune to most enemies which can be encountered there. Again though, the biggest consideration here is not just safety, but the sheer distance of shipping components, and the added costs this can bring. The best place might be St Katherine's Star itself, given it logically has to be the hub of the Commonwealth economy.*

This is, however, is assuming that verisimilitude is the main consideration here, when for a game designer, the prime consideration has to be what enhances gameplay. If the end of the Corporate Command storyline is located before Point Juno, then this comes too close to Anaxes, and messes up the pacing, and also ends the Corporate Command storyline kind of prematurely given how long there is to go until Heretic. The system or the encounter itself could be somehow "gated", but this just forces the player to backtrack for no particular reason, which is mildly annoying.

There isn't really a compelling reason I can think of in terms of enhancing gameplay to relocate Gunsan before Point Juno. Unless we're ditching a linearly progressing stargate network altogether, of course, but there are good reasons to want to keep one.

Having some Centurions around as guards would be a nice touch, though, and probably just enrich the mission a bit, so I'd have no issues with that.


*[There is probably an argument which could be made that a lot of the Commonwealth's mining of advanced minerals clearly takes place in the Outer Realm, and this mineral wealth is why the Commonwealth, Ranx and Ares are all staking claims there and defending them, so a location in the Outer Realm or close to it brings proximity to these minerals. Even assuming this is the case, you don't put your vital production facility in a warzone, and unless the shipyard is building ships from scratch using raw ores, (which is admittedly not totally implausible in the setting of Transcendence), these still need to be shipped back to the Commonwealth's industrial heartland to be turned into components and refined materials anyway.]
relanat
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Remember that only the relevant systems are shown in a game. Perhaps Gunsan was a long way behind enemy lines at one stage. Point Vesta may be 5 or 6 systems more distant. The destruction of the Australia and Amazonia may have left an area open which allowed rapid progress by the Ares. Maybe the thrust towards St Kats is only a salient. No one but George knows where the Ares home system is.

You don't fight a war under ideal circumstances. You use what you have wherever it is. Gunsan may have been a civilian shipyard once until taken over by the Commonwealth. That would explain it being in the 'wrong' area.

Even during wars there are some relatively 'neutral' areas. Gunsan may be a sort of open system where there is an unspoken agreement that no action takes place. The Ares may control a couple of systems nearby which supply a great deal of resources. So the status quo is maintained in Gunsan and these Ares systems. You can't garrison everywhere.
Or Gunsan may be left alone for political reasons. Most civilians don't seem to know much about the war. So they aren't being affected. The loss of control of a few mineral rich systems isn't a big deal to most of the Commonwealth citizens. Destroy a major shipyard close to their home and kill someone they know and the war suddenly becomes a big deal for all the Commonwealth. Not what the Ares would want.


I've always imagined the Transcendence galaxy to be at the "end of the beginning" stage. With the new antimatter weapons being produced there is scope for some great adventures where the Commonwealth strikes deep into Ares controlled space. I wish I had the imagination and skill to write them.

The newly reconnected Renegade systems might have the industrial capacity to back the Commonwealth. Or one of the other factions might ally against the Ares if the Ares do something bad to them. They did target the Europa escape pods and I get the feeling they despise other human variants so this could possibly happen especially if they think they are unstoppable.

It is a very exciting galaxy!
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