#106
3) very inconclusive indeed - there is a good chance that Ancients might have met subspace faring race as well as many non-subspace capable. Humans really would have been destroyed in their infancy but not necessary that other races too.
If the monologue is to be trusted (and I think it is - it's not conventional to outright lie to the player in your games conclusion), then the Shivans actions in destroying the Shivans 'saved' humanity (and Vasuda). I've been guilty of it myself (probably am, right now), but IMO we're getting into extreme nitpickery to point at miniscule holes in the scripts when it's fairly explicit otherwise.

Another line from the first monologue, to me, indicates that discovery of subspace gave the Ancients a key tactical and military advantage;
And we discovered subspace. It gave us our galaxy and it gave us the universe.
And we saw other advanced life. And we subdued it or we crushed it.
(etc)


I recognise that 'gave us the the universe' is, most likely, hyperbole.

The Ancients also blame their use of subspace for inciting the Shivan attack - We know when we entered subspace we were trespassers. / When we traveled subspace, the cosmic destroyers took note. - to me this implies they did not meet any other subspace-capable races, as this would no longer have struck them as a Shivan motivation.

I'd agree there's perhaps some ambiguity in the monologues over the Ancients reaction to the Shivans in this regard - in one they seem to believe they can simply evacuate the system they first encountered the Shivans without further loss (as if they don't anticipate Shivans following them), but it's not clear if the Shivans 'chasing' them comes as a surprise or not ('but they followed' can be an expression of dread both as the Shivans continued to attack, or simply at their ability to follow).
Parallel or not - that is another theory. Terrans and Vasudans have something in common but they are much more different than similar in culture, motives, actions, economy and history. What's more interesting, it is clear that none of them explored space with conquering and destructive purpose unlike the Ancients. So that makes GTVA and Ancients much more different then similar as well. So the only parallel here that both of them were destroyed by the shivans.
"Despite the physical differences between humans and Vasudans, their mentalities evolved very similarly. They have strong family structures, and enjoy many similar social activities that Terrans do. "

Technically, the Terrans and Vasudans attacked the first intelligent life they encountered. That just happened to be each other (and it didn't even take long after first contact). We don't have a chance to know what would have happened if first contact (for humanity) had been with a 20th C level race, but i'm guessing it would not have been a Star-Trekky one of live and let live (humans are, after all, paranoid).
Finally, yes the idea of this race was brought to life by humans, but I personally doubt that another sentient race will have at least something in common with ours.
Absolutely, but we're talking about game fiction here. If we're going to go realistic in this, surely the Ancients technology (skipping the issue of Vasudans entirely) would be almost completely incomprehensible to the GTA? (I recognise this is tenuous - counterpoint being adapting a Mara, ETAK, etc - but I think it's a valid point).
In fact we are discussing the tech level here and if Ancients were at least 500 or 1000 years more advanced (remember, they were spacefaring for over millennia) then the GTVA, and if, as you say, they have much in common with us (what's more important with our will for development and progress) so they simply should have been much more advanced then GTVA - as simple as that.
What's the evidence for the Ancients being 500+ years more advanced? Aside from the Knossos (which briefs say would take 5-10 years to duplicate), there's not AFAIK a figure given on how old the Ancients civilization was when it was destroyed. That said, what (and how much) pressure was there on the Ancients to develop technologically? Military threats weren't present, and neither (I think) were there environmental (greenhouse gases? Move to a new planet!).

The FS Wiki supports my idea of the Ancients being pretty close to FS1-era (just a decade or so better), but sadly there's no source available. I really wish I had it, as it'd clear this up big-time.

One thing I've not thought about too much is the Ancient-Vasudan connection; there seems to be a definite one (for one thing, they have linguistic similarities, also the Vasudans very survival on a desert planet, and of course the Hammer of Lights legends RE: the Shivans), but exactly what that connection is remains unknown. Personally I prefer the idea (pretty much unsupportable, of course, other than the 'subjugated' line) of the Vasudans being a former client species (through the '10,000 year dynasty'), but it does raise some interesting possibilities.

#107
I prefer to believe that the Vasudans are genetically descended from the Ancients. You know, like the Ancients seeded a planet before they were destroyed.

It opens up so many possibilities for fan-faction and the like.
"Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny, and old wounds open all too easily."

#108
Technically, the Terrans and Vasudans attacked the first intelligent life they encountered. That just happened to be each other (and it didn't even take long after first contact).
No they didn't. The war itself began out of misunderstanding but not because one wanted to conquer another from the start - that's quite different motivation.

What's the evidence for the Ancients being 500+ years more advanced? Aside from the Knossos (which briefs say would take 5-10 years to duplicate), there's not AFAIK a figure given on how old the Ancients civilization was when it was destroyed. That said, what (and how much) pressure was there on the Ancients to develop technologically? Military threats weren't present, and neither (I think) were there environmental (greenhouse gases? Move to a new planet!).
Oh but there is evidence. From FS2 intel files we know that vast Ancient's empire spread through this whole sector and modern GTVA space was only a mere part of it. Just as I was saying - even with knowledge of subspace Ancients would have spent much more time in order to at least find dozens of sentient races - humanity found just Vasudans after 300 years of constant space exploration. In order to find other (even much inferior) races GTA would have spent at least 1000 years. GTVA would have also spent much more time expanding its contemporary territory to the size of an ancient empire. That's why I assume that Ansients were at least 500 years ahead in their overall progress.

I understand that such is developers concept, but the logic behind it is rather weak or at least far from being complete.
One thing I've not thought about too much is the Ancient-Vasudan connection; there seems to be a definite one (for one thing, they have linguistic similarities, also the Vasudans very survival on a desert planet, and of course the Hammer of Lights legends RE: the Shivans), but exactly what that connection is remains unknown. Personally I prefer the idea (pretty much unsupportable, of course, other than the 'subjugated' line) of the Vasudans being a former client species (through the '10,000 year dynasty'), but it does raise some interesting possibilities.
I like this Vasudan-former-slave race theory too, but lots of questions arise here as well.

- Why Vasudans weren't wiped out by the shivans as well? In that case they were a part of Ancient's empire after all, and shivans always finish their job.
- Why there aren't any archaeological leftovers on Vasuda Prime in Deneb? The first one was found in Altair - and that is on the outskirts of known GTVA space.
- If we are to suggest that infant Vasudans may have miraculously survived interstellar shivan massacre, so maybe the other subjugated races were lucky as well? But in that case - where are they?

P.S. I no good in modding, but I write pretty well ;) Right now I'm working on a concept and a script for "FS Revelation" - 94 years after Capella...

Do you know any sources on FS mythology, story, information on races, technology etc?

#109
I'm sorry, but it is impossible for the ancients to be anywhere more than 100 years ahead of the GTVA at the time of the Great War.

Why? Volition explicitly stated that they were no more than 'A Few Decades' ahead of the Terrans and Vasudans in anything but subspace technology. 10 decades is a lot more than 'a few'.

Their weapons at best would be around FS2 era, which is 3-4 decades after the Great War, what I would qualify to be 'a few'. When the Terrans and Vasudans sucessfully construct their first Knossos, they would probably be well ahead of where the Ancients were.

Sheer size does not account for technological advancement. You can have a massive empire as long as you don't meet much worthwhile resistance.

In the end, it doesn't really matter. No matter how strong the Ancients are, the Shivans will be stronger. Purely for the fact that the Shivans will eventually annihilate the Ancients. For the purposes of the mod, you won't really have any way to gauge the exact power of the Ancients compared to the GTA and PVN, as they'll never meet. The Shivans don't serve as a very good standard, as there's an 8000 year gap for the Shivans to come up with a few new tricks...and retire the older ones.
Believes in 3DPD. Loli is not a crime. A cat is fine too.
War of the Squids | Not Tom Clancy's | Ice Cream | Bosch Beer

#110
Technically, the Terrans and Vasudans attacked the first intelligent life they encountered. That just happened to be each other (and it didn't even take long after first contact).
No they didn't. The war itself began out of misunderstanding but not because one wanted to conquer another from the start - that's quite different motivation.
It takes more than misunderstanding to start a war, though. This is something (the T-V war) left expressly vague, admittedly, but I think it's still fair to presume both sides had an interest in expansion and both sides saw the other as potential threats.

And humans have displayed an attitude such as the Ancients towards those viewed as less advanced in the past - the Romans in Europe, the British Empire in Africa and India, arguably Russia in Afghanistan and the US in Vietnam.
What's the evidence for the Ancients being 500+ years more advanced? Aside from the Knossos (which briefs say would take 5-10 years to duplicate), there's not AFAIK a figure given on how old the Ancients civilization was when it was destroyed. That said, what (and how much) pressure was there on the Ancients to develop technologically? Military threats weren't present, and neither (I think) were there environmental (greenhouse gases? Move to a new planet!).
Oh but there is evidence. From FS2 intel files we know that vast Ancient's empire spread through this whole sector and modern GTVA space was only a mere part of it. Just as I was saying - even with knowledge of subspace Ancients would have spent much more time in order to at least find dozens of sentient races - humanity found just Vasudans after 300 years of constant space exploration. In order to find other (even much inferior) races GTA would have spent at least 1000 years. GTVA would have also spent much more time expanding its contemporary territory to the size of an ancient empire. That's why I assume that Ansients were at least 500 years ahead in their overall progress.

I understand that such is developers concept, but the logic behind it is rather weak or at least far from being complete.
The problem here is that we know the Ancients destroyed sentient life (the exact advancement of said life before being destroyed is, I'll admit, rather open), so it's not clear how they altered exactly what life the Terrans and Vasudans would expect to encounter otherwise.

But I said earlier that I don't believe the size of an empire is any sort of indicator of technological advancement; only an indicator of the scale of resistance, and the capability of travel. That's why I mentioned comparison between things like the territory of the US versus the British empire of the 1800s - the former is considerably more advanced than the latter, but couldn't expect to dominate the globe (territorially) in the same way due to the increased opposition (i.e. if the US decided to invade South Africa, they'd come up against more than Zulus armed with spears).

Obviously there's not a direct comparison as both 'empires' followed the other rather than arose in different but parallel circumstances, but I think the principle is valid in that the primary thing holding back any expansion is the level and sophistication of the opposition. I'm not disputing that the Ancients had a vast empire and were significantly superior in subspace terms, but I don't think you could say that - given the same mentality - the GTA (let alone GTVA) couldn't have expanded in the same manner if the Vasudans were not in opposition.
I like this Vasudan-former-slave race theory too, but lots of questions arise here as well.

- Why Vasudans weren't wiped out by the shivans as well? In that case they were a part of Ancient's empire after all, and shivans always finish their job.
- Why there aren't any archaeological leftovers on Vasuda Prime in Deneb? The first one was found in Altair - and that is on the outskirts of known GTVA space.
- If we are to suggest that infant Vasudans may have miraculously survived interstellar shivan massacre, so maybe the other subjugated races were lucky as well? But in that case - where are they?
I'll admit there's very little basis for the theory, and I'd certainly not suggest it as being part of the canon (). But my best fudged guess would be;
- There's obviously room for inventing a nice story about a race of distant-cousin Vasudans here, but I'd say the most believable answer is that the Shivans were only interested in destroying the sources of subspace use rather than specific lifeforms. If they identified the Vasudans, they may have judged them as being the slave lifeforms they were - it's never established whether the Shivans are truly xeno/genocidal, some sort of cosmic avengers, or something else that just happens not to view the Ancients etc as minor pests. In the middle case, which seems to be what FS1 (but perhaps not FS2) was leaning towards, then it'd make more sense for them to leave alone slave races.

Not that the Shivan attitude towards planets is always rational, anyways, given that they (AFAIK) ignored populated planets ahead of trying to find Vasuda Prime and Earth first (begs a question how the knew Earth was the Terran homeworld, perhaps?).

- Any relics may have been altered beyond recognition by continuous use by the Vasudan population, or destroyed in a sort of fall-then-rise warfare in the power vacuum left by the ancients. If any ancients did survive on V.Prime (obviously not supported by any evidence here) to found the Vasudan royal dynasty, then they may have destroyed their own technology to hide. Another possibility is that the Ancients only had a peripheral involvement, merely landing to pick up the odd slave army or so.

- Like you said, the Ancients had a huge empire...so there may be others. Or, the Vasudans could purely have survived due to a lucky combination of circumstances - being evolved to survive on such a desolate planet, the Ancients abandoning the planet before they could attract the Shivans to it (not through goodwill, of course), etc.
P.S. I no good in modding, but I write pretty well ;) Right now I'm working on a concept and a script for "FS Revelation" - 94 years after Capella...

Do you know any sources on FS mythology, story, information on races, technology etc?
Outside of the Hard Light wiki (http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page), the best other source I can think of the Freespace (1) reference bible - http://www.volition-inc.com/fs/downloads.cfm. Unfortunately you can't really ask the developers for information like 8 years ago or so (whjen there was still an 'official' forum), and the Freespace Developers Mailing list (which was only active before my kind, but did have some good information on tech levels of the GTVA) has disappeared into the internet ether.

#111
I guess this is kind of a bump, sue me.

Anyway...reading through the earlier thread discussion on wing names, I thought I'd suggest using Phoenician letters. Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc.

They're similar enough to the Greek wing names we're used to, but are different enough to add that "foreign" feel we're all craving from the Ancients.

#113
I'll take a jab at the whole Ancient civilization idea.

Firstly, no one can argue that human civilization has been expanding for thousands of year. We have expanded and continually until we are at this point now: we rule the earth. Notice in the Ancient monolouge: "For thousands of years our empire expanded. For so long we could imagine ourselves alone in the universe. For so long never did we encounter advanced life. And we travelled faster and further, spreading in our galaxy and before long we could see the day when our reachable systems would have been exploited. And then there would be nowhere else to go." (Acients 1). Notice they mentioned they expanded for thousands of years before decovering subspace. This can only mean two things: they have just taken over their planet or they have space faring abilities and they've just conqered their own system. This sets up the idea that the Ancients have had war in space prior to discovering subsapce so it may explain their later success at killing other races. One thing to keep in mind: the Ancients probably developed earlier than their neighbours, so it would be no surprise if they won a war against one of them. As well, remember the last part of the monolouge from the player: "In the Vasudan war, we learned how to adapt, we learned how to study our enemy, we learned how to overcome, we learned how to survive. And so we did." (Campaign End). It can be interpreted that the Ancients simply did know how to adapt to the Shivan's technology. This then implies that the Ancients did not have the same resistance felt when the Terran and Vasudans fought. Without the presence of a strong enemy, it can be then said the Ancients conqered their foes rather quickly. Then, that can place the Ancient's space faring time at a few centuries to a few millenia, and given the discription of Ancient weapons technology, it can be theorised that they have only been space faring for a few centuries.
Thus, they would not have a supermassive armada but would probably have a force slightly greater than the PVN and GTA combined due to the lack of a real foe. Also, the Shivans had advance weapons. The game may have toned it down for balancing because remember, the Kayser is made from studying Shivan weapons. So imagine the Kayser gun used in FS1. That is what the GTA and PVN had to deal with. Given that the Shivans seem to love the swarm tactic, and the Lucifer fleet is hinted to the very fleet that destroyed the Ancients, it suggests the Ancients fleet and not so massive as some may believe. So the following conclusion can be reached about the Ancients:

1)They have been spacefaring for a few centuries
2)They lacked the ability to adapt to an advance foe
3)They did not have supermassive fleets

As for the Vasudans, the Ancients may have met them in the last centuries of their rule; that is, they may have provided some nesseary assistence to an 'inferior' race for them to develop enough to survive their planet's conditions. Seeing how Vasuda Prime is lacking in resources, they may have left it alone and that's why the Shivans did not kill the Vasudans. While not plausible, it is possible that a Vasudan dynasty did survive some odd thousand years and the Ancients simply gave them the ability to continue to survive either threw appearing as gods or giving them the technology to protect themselves. Finally, with the Vasudan factor in play, the Ancient's space faring time can be placed between a few centuries to 1 millenia, a very similar time to the rule when the GTA and PVN came into power.

Re: Things you want to know about ASW

#116
Copy-paste from the Knossos tech description:

"The subspace distortions generated by this portal will protect it from any influence, however strong, from the outside. Indeed, our analysts believe that it could even survive a nearby supernova. However, when attacked from within the boundaries of the subspace distortion, the portal elements do not benefit from this effect."
Ancient-Shivan War | Hard-Light forums | FreeSpaceMods.net

Re: Things you want to know about ASW

#119
Of course it isn't canon. So I like the idea of the Knossos 2 being built there after the nebula was created long before and the subspace nodes were collapsed because of the supernova that the Shivans triggered long before the Ancients discovered the nebula, so they had to build knossos devices to stabilize them. That supernova being the reason why those nodes were unstable in the first place, which makes me think that maybe Knossos 3 leads to another nebula, and we know the Shivans have a thing for blowing up stars to connect those areas of space to their core system.

Maybe the ASW team should have made the Sathanas fleet blow up a star elsewhere in the galaxy to make more sense and fit with what we know from FS2? That way it would make more sense and we would still get to see the Sathanas fleet blow up a star in ASW. A win win situation.

Also, it would have been nice to have 1 mission where an Ancient scouting force went through the unknown node in Volcar (in the mission where the node is red for hostile). :)

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