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Future Tech Advice and Assistance Thread [O.O.C.]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]

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Sunset
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Postby Sunset » Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:21 am

Don't think length, think volume. Figure out how much volume each mariner uses on your chosen submarine, work out whether you want some kind of FT bonus or even debit, then multiply by the number of people you want to carry.
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SquareDisc City
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Postby SquareDisc City » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:08 am

To add on converting civilian craft to military use, a large part of it is what you're going in for. Turning a civvy craft into a full-blown warship indeed probably wouldn't be worth it, though in settings where even civilian craft are quite well protected it could be. Doing something like the space equivalent of a Q-ship or a technical would be another matter, I can see that working well and being interesting to RP. You'd have something that would pose a decent threat to unprotected targets and other q-shippy/technically things, but hardly stand a chance against a "real" warship.

There's also the possibility of warships built by civilian shipyards, as Britain did with HMS Ocean. And perhaps most likely of all are originally-civilian craft in non-combat military roles such as tankers, troop carriers, and hospital ships.

Fayt wrote:sunset could you help i im trying to class a new ship im desegeineng is 1.4km long triple armoured tritantium hull heavy shields has a top speed of warp 7.5 crew of 1000 heavily armed

weapons 120 light pulsed phase cannons 60 heavy phase cannons and fifty missile bays each packing five thousand mark seven star arrow mulptile warhead offensive kill missiles

im not sure weather its a dreadnought or destroyer
Depends primarily on how it stands with respect to your own other ships and what you see it as being used for. If it's going to be your biggest thing taking on your enemies' biggest things, regarding it as some sort of battleship would be appropriate. If it's going to be relatively small and spend its time swatting hostile fighters and missiles regarding it as a destroyer would be appropriate. Or maybe you'll get away from the naval analogy altogether and call it a Foobar Bazifier. There's not a strong unified scale in FT, though you should probably think twice before going into the tens of kilometres or bigger.
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Feazanthia
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Postby Feazanthia » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:55 am

Depending on the design of cargo ships in your empire (whether they carry cargo internally or externally), a theoretically decent Q-ship could be made by replacing external cargo containers with disposable missile launchers and some form of target acquisition system.

Target appears and threatens cargo ship, cargo ship jettisons its cargo and jumps away, cargo pods open up to reveal racks and racks of missiles, target gets missile spammed.
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The Fedral Union
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Postby The Fedral Union » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:32 am

Doppio Giudici wrote:How long would a ship with 20,000 people need to be if it was built the way I described? Just a rough guess?

I picked a space destroyer-like size for a ship, but I guess I can go much much bigger.


Well considering modern day aircraft carriers at a few hundred meters pack small cities in to their hulls.. And as sunset said, volume not just length.

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Nazis in Space
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Postby Nazis in Space » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:34 am

Though, speaking of missile spam, missiles are expensive. Suspension of disbelief tends to take hits when hundreds or even thousands are expended on a handful of targets - I doubt they can be any cheaper than, say, 1/10 €/kg of a proper spaceship, and that's me being remarkably optimistic. Less if it's a nation with a high degree of automatisation, as the difference between the spaceship proper and a missile becomes ever smaller.

At the same time, missiles can't be too small - they need to cross significant distances (Okay, that can be solved by launch tubes and inertia) and presumably maneuver (That can't), they need to pack enough oomph to do significant damage (Whether the energy to do so is stored within a warhead or within the fuel storage makes little difference), they need a decent avionics package...

Presumably, all they're lacking that a proper spaceship has are life support, FTL and maybe shielding. Though personally, I'd shield my missiles. Meanwhile, it's got a significantly more impressive (Expensive) engine-to-volume ratio.

Unless one's missiles are really more guided projectiles - getting the majority of their KE via launch tube, and only having enough fuel for some maneuvering with painfully limited delta v -, the idea of missile spam strikes me as... Ah... Expensive.

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The Fedral Union
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Postby The Fedral Union » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:41 am

Nazis in Space wrote:Though, speaking of missile spam, missiles are expensive. Suspension of disbelief tends to take hits when hundreds or even thousands are expended on a handful of targets - I doubt they can be any cheaper than, say, 1/10 €/kg of a proper spaceship, and that's me being remarkably optimistic. Less if it's a nation with a high degree of automatisation, as the difference between the spaceship proper and a missile becomes ever smaller.

At the same time, missiles can't be too small - they need to cross significant distances (Okay, that can be solved by launch tubes and inertia) and presumably maneuver (That can't), they need to pack enough oomph to do significant damage (Whether the energy to do so is stored within a warhead or within the fuel storage makes little difference), they need a decent avionics package...

Presumably, all they're lacking that a proper spaceship has are life support, FTL and maybe shielding. Though personally, I'd shield my missiles. Meanwhile, it's got a significantly more impressive (Expensive) engine-to-volume ratio.

Unless one's missiles are really more guided projectiles - getting the majority of their KE via launch tube, and only having enough fuel for some maneuvering with painfully limited delta v -, the idea of missile spam strikes me as... Ah... Expensive.



This is FT.. Space is big. I doubt the cost will matter much unless your worried about fuel, and so forth. Even then anyone with a developed infrastructure will have the ability to mass produce things easily.
Last edited by The Fedral Union on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lubyak
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Postby Lubyak » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:45 am

Nazis in Space wrote:Though, speaking of missile spam, missiles are expensive. Suspension of disbelief tends to take hits when hundreds or even thousands are expended on a handful of targets - I doubt they can be any cheaper than, say, 1/10 €/kg of a proper spaceship, and that's me being remarkably optimistic. Less if it's a nation with a high degree of automatisation, as the difference between the spaceship proper and a missile becomes ever smaller.

At the same time, missiles can't be too small - they need to cross significant distances (Okay, that can be solved by launch tubes and inertia) and presumably maneuver (That can't), they need to pack enough oomph to do significant damage (Whether the energy to do so is stored within a warhead or within the fuel storage makes little difference), they need a decent avionics package...

Presumably, all they're lacking that a proper spaceship has are life support, FTL and maybe shielding. Though personally, I'd shield my missiles. Meanwhile, it's got a significantly more impressive (Expensive) engine-to-volume ratio.

Unless one's missiles are really more guided projectiles - getting the majority of their KE via launch tube, and only having enough fuel for some maneuvering with painfully limited delta v -, the idea of missile spam strikes me as... Ah... Expensive.


This makes me feel better about my torpedo sizes. I was beginning to worry they were far too big.

Also yay excuse to show off some work.
Last edited by Lubyak on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SquareDisc City
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Postby SquareDisc City » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:23 pm

It seems a reasonable assumption that delivering x kilotons by missile is going to cost more than delivering x kilotons by laser or railgun. That's not at odds with them being cheap enough to spam though. A missile's components only need to last a few minutes or hours, and a force spamming them can probably tolerate a fair bit of unreliability, both of which could bring the cost down.

The UPT Space Force's approach is that if it's going to fire missiles, most of the time it may as well spam them. Yes that is costly, but the expectation is that a small salvo will all be swatted down by the enemy point defense so a large salvo is required to do any damage; spending a lot on destroying a target is still better than wasting a little on doing nothing. There is though a reluctance to missile spam until it's clear it's needed, less for cost reasons than to avoid running out of missiles!

As for size, the largest I've specified are comparable in size to a Saturn V. By that point you are at single-use ship territory. And are sometimes carried by "bombers" scarcely larger than they are, though this does have the pilots raising eyebrows.
Last edited by SquareDisc City on Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sunset
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Postby Sunset » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:12 pm

SquareDisc City wrote:It seems a reasonable assumption that delivering x kilotons by missile is going to cost more than delivering x kilotons by laser or railgun. That's not at odds with them being cheap enough to spam though. A missile's components only need to last a few minutes or hours, and a force spamming them can probably tolerate a fair bit of unreliability, both of which could bring the cost down.


That right there is pretty much it; Space ship components need to have - to turn an IT phrase - a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) that is far, far higher than those of a missile/torpedo/rocket/snarfblarg. To take it to more familiar terms, nearly everyone has used a flash USB drive, and a lot of people have had one fail on them. But it's $5 and you can pick one up at the corner store. But the exact same flash memory is in your iPhone 6 Plus and you expect it, for $600, to last a lot longer than said $5 USB stick. And it will because the manufacturing tolerances as well as the failed-during-testing checks are that much higher. But will that $5 USB stick work 99.99% of the time?

Sure.

And that's an acceptable margin of error for ordinance as well.

There is, however, a however. If you look at how much it costs to kill a man, that cost has been rising significantly over time. Right now the estimate is that it costs about $250,000 for the US military to kill someone. Of course, that's with a hyper-protective attitude (kill ratios of 10,000:1 or some other really high number, achieved through advanced medical care, over-planning, redundancy, extreme caution, etc. All of which costs... $$$ and is thus part of that $250,000 figure.). Since this is supposed to be an Advice Thread, I would then expect that number to rise in the Future.

Some of this depends on several things, and a big part of that is Politics and The Media and these two things play off each other. Politicians want to succeed; If their military saber-rattling fails, they look like idiots and it's out-the-door-Mr-Smith. The Media loves blood and violence - If it Bleeds, It Leads - and nothing combines the raw emotion better than a dead soldier. Nationalism, Violence, Blood, Failure, Honor, Pride... All in one convenient casket. Am I saying that the Media are vultures?

Fuck. Yes.

And you can expect them to be more-so in the Future where they will blast every little gory detail all over the galaxy. That one dead soldier will look like the War Is Lost and to the politicians, unless they can come up with a 'But we killed a million of them!' or some such spin, you're going to end up with some un-incumbents come election season. Which is why wars in the Future, at least for the democracies among us, will be even more less likely and we will see governments do everything in their power to limit their own losses (IE spending more money - more tax money - to kill one enemy).

Of course, not every government is a democracy... And you can save a lot of money by just Throwing More Men At It.

Woo! Rambling.
Last edited by Sunset on Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Doppio Giudici
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Postby Doppio Giudici » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:22 pm

My government was run by officers who proved themselves in combat or at least in the training simulations. It's okay to lose a lot of men so long as you are mere meters from them or at least in the same company or so on. If you do something dangerous while on the front, you are brave. If you do something dangerous while kilometers away you are an traitor.

The problem is now there is not much to fight over, so the government is willing to go to extremely lengths to find problems worth fighting against. If that means fighting pirates that take a whole month to get there, so be it. Without conflict there is fear that the people as a whole would have no reason to be alive and would then become useless to their creator.
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The Fedral Union
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Postby The Fedral Union » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:25 pm

as Patton said .

"No dumb bastard has won a war by dying for his country, he won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

and

"Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets."

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OMGeverynameistaken
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Postby OMGeverynameistaken » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:52 pm

The Fedral Union wrote:as Patton said .

"No dumb bastard has won a war by dying for his country, he won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

and

"Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets."

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I AM DISAPPOINTED

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Kyrusia
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Postby Kyrusia » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:32 pm

Future Technology: A Beginner's Tutorial
An Honest Guide for the Wholly Uninitiated and Those Wanting to Become Informed



Hello and welcome, dear player and NationStates user! No doubt if you've found yourself reading this, you're likely interested in the Future Technology tech-level and the Out-of-Character community and network which forms its backbone, or have been linked here by someone whom feels it might be of use to you - as a player - in integrating yourself into Future Tech, getting involved in the community, and otherwise beginning your days of victory and adventure amongst the stars. Yet, before we get started, let's get a few matters of business out of the way.

First and foremost, I am Kyrusia - the author of this little tutorial. I am a member of the Future Technology community, a Future Tech roleplayer, and a NationStates International Incidents Roleplay Mentor specializing in Future Technology and all of the accoutrements associated with it and its community here. Even so, I do not know everything, nor do I profess to know everything; I am not the most experienced, most veteran, or even the most popular member of the Future Technology community. No doubt there are countless others more deserving of those stations within this humble little sphere of pretend and storytelling. Likewise, I am in no way attempting to say the contents of this tutorial are comprehensive, nor that my perspective is the only valid perspective; I am not attempting to say that it is "my way or the highway"; in fact, one might even say, for the sake of this tutorial, that I am not even speaking as a Mentor first. In truth, I am speaking as a Future Technology community member and a Future Technology player first, with my station as a Mentor merely being a secondary caveat to said position in this context.

What I am, however, is a concerned player whom felt it might prove pertinent to attempt to provide an honest (even brutally honest) guide to the first few steps a prospective member of the Future Tech community should familiarize themselves with before they take a step into the yawning void that is the fictional cosmos we all inhabit. Because of that, I have written this guide, Future Technology: A Beginner's Tutorial.

This guide, unlike some, is not going to attempt to dazzle you, to confuse you, or to even scratch the surface of the nuances that fill the Future Technology community and the In-Character reality we all collaboratively make together. What it is attempting to provide, however, is something that sometimes newer players miss or otherwise desire: a list of steps, tips, and fundamental advisement that one should take into consideration from the very start, presented in a blunt and honest, but respectful manner.

Even so, this tutorial might not be for everyone; some players, we are all quite well aware, do not merge themselves with the Future Technology community, canon, and line of continuity at-large that we sometimes call "FT-Prime"; that's fine, you're welcome to completely ignore this tutorial, though I would still recommend giving it at least a once-over - for your sake, and mine. Further, I understand that some individuals do not necessarily feel comfortable being "spoken to" bluntly - regardless of how respectfully it might be presented; if you are such a person, please, do not be alarmed, and feel free to skip this little guide at your leisure. Though, once again, for both your sake and mine, I suggest giving it at least a once-over.

For everyone else, for individuals whom are unaware of the Future Technology tech-level and the Future Technology community and are otherwise attempting to get involved in either, or are just attempting to grasp a greater understanding of how Future Tech and its associated community at-large functions, please carry on. I invite you, however, to keep an open mind, to understand that this guide is presented as a compilation of the author's experiences with the community, and is directly attempting to address certain "potentially unsavory" aspects of the community that individuals need to - frankly - be aware of from the start.



Step One: Come to terms with the fact that, as a player, you are not special.[ LINK HERE ]
Remember what I said at the beginning, that I intended for this tutorial or guide to be honest - even brutally so? That I intended this guide to actually present some potentially unsavory or even jarring facts about the Future Technology community (perhaps even the roleplaying community of International Incidents itself) and the associated tech-level? This is one such truth; it is a cold, hard fact that each of us that have come to enjoy the community and find experience within the world of Future Tech rewarding, were forced to face very early on in our endeavors to find roleplaying partners, collaborators, and friends. For many of us, we never got the benefit of being told this, and may have spent years without ever addressing it. So, please, before you dismiss this tutorial, at least read this part and comprehend what I am attempting to convey before you wholly stop reading and cease to continue.

What I mean when I say that you (as a player), or any player for that matter, are not special, is exactly that: you are not the first individual to seek to get involved in Future Technology, nor will you be the last; you are not the first individual whom has felt overwhelmed by the seemingly wide array of advice and assistance provided, nor the first to feel overwhelmed by the Future Tech In-Character world, all it holds, and all the potential that is within it. You are, also, not the first person whom might have had false expectations about Future Technology as a tech-level and a community, nor are you the first person whom might have received some jarring advice (like this very step).

You are not the first player whom has been inspired by such literary series as Dune, Honor Harrington, or Revelation Space. You are not the first player that has felt a desire to play as the "Imperium of Man" from Warhammer 40,000, the "Covenant" or "Forerunners" from the Halo game series, or the "Hiigarans" or the "Taiidan Empire" from the Homeworld franchise. You will not ever be the first player to want to have an absolute or elective monarchy, a theocracy, a military junta or stratocracy, or even a democracy as a nation-state in space.

As you can imagine, this means that, in all likelihood, what you create will, also, not be wholly special - at least when you're first beginning your foray into this tech-level and this community. It is often said that, in reality, there is no truly novel form of "originality" to be found; any form of creativity or originality a human individual creates is, in all likelihood, a gestalt collection of memories and experiences, aggregated together and re-interpreted. This means, a part of realizing this is that you, as a player, must accept that whatever you are currently imagining to build, create, or develop and put into Future Tech - regardless of what it is - will never, ultimately, be special purely by existing.

Stop! Take a deep breath, and reflect on what you have just read (Laugh. This is suppose to be humorous and is a key aspect of "not taking yourself too seriously."). No doubt, a few of you are beginning to have deep, gut-wrenching revulsion at my comments, and that is to be expected - honestly. Even I first had it, years ago, when I first started to get into roleplaying on NationStates; I thought of myself as if I were something "special", something this community had "never seen before", that I could "make my own way" and that people would simply respect me for it without even knowing me.

To be blunt: I was an arrogant nitwit.

Now, if you're ready to continue, you will note something. I said, verbatim: "...must accept that whatever you are currently imagining to build [...] will never, ultimately, be special purely by existing." That last bit, the "purely by existing" part? That's the most important thing to grasp from Step One. Nothing, no matter what it is, is special because it exists. A chunk of stone is not special because it is owned by a sculptor; a sculptor makes the stone special by carving it into a masterpiece of rock and sweat. A pile of boards and a box of nails is, in no way, special purely because the person that owns them wants to build a home; they become special once they are made into a home for the individual's family. This is one of the most important things any player simply must grasp before they ever step foot into the world of Future Technology, that no matter what you say about your stellar civilization, your aliens, your weapons, etc., they are not special until you have committed the time and effort, blood and sweat, and - bluntly - the hard work required to make them something above and beyond "a theocratic monarchy with a love of desert worlds" in the eyes of the community.

You have all the pieces, no doubt, just in whatever you are imagining at the moment; be it you're inspired by existing canon, or reflect on human history for your sources of inspiration, you have the boards and the nails or the slab of stone sitting there, and all you have to do to make it special - to make it stand-out, to make it be creative - is to sit down, to think, and to recognize that even if someone in the Future Technology community has seen a "theocratic monarchy" before, you can still make it something creative, lively, special, and even original simply because you dedicate time and effort to it and, with others, develop it into something that no one else has seen, is unique to you, and would not exist without you.

Now, Step One also means a number of other things. You, for example, are not the first player to make mistakes or to need help; you are not even the first player to have an imperial republic spanning six galaxies and twelve parallel realities ruled-over by a demi-god of an emperor. You're, also, not the first player to have something like that and find the Future Technology community telling you that you should tone it down a bit.

What this boils down to is, ultimately, you are considered equal from the start to every other member of the Future Technology community; that means that you, and everyone else, have the same set of expectations from that community. You are expected, just like everyone else, to abide by the same set of fundamental standards (see below) as everyone else is, and expected to abide by the often-unspoken, unconscious community consensus over certain things which are or are not considered absurd or beyond feasible until you have demonstrated, to the community, that you - as a player - are willing to collaborate and compromise with others, write fiction which is enjoyable to others, and - most importantly - understand that there is a difference between expecting players to respect your civilizations simply because you made them, and the community coming to respect that civilization (and you, as the player) by seeing it (and yourself) in action - and in how you, the player, behave and handle the fictional power granted to you through the respect of the community and the demonstrable evidence of such.

In short, the reason why many players advise others to "start small" is because if you, as a player, cannot be trusted to handle a handful of systems and to get along with other players without using them to god-mod, power-game, or meta-game, how can you expect the community to ever respect your claims at controlling a galaxy-spanning hegemony without doing the same? The community is not going to change itself to fit what you, as a player, may feel is "correct" or "just" or "proper"; your best bet for the highest potential possibility to have a rewarding experience in Future Technology - or in any community - is to look, listen, learn, and conform to what is accepted by the broadest amount of people as fundamental.


Step Two: Accept the rights and responsibilities which accompany the phrase, "Do as you wish."[ LINK HERE ]
This is, another, big step that newer players have to learn to accept, face, and understand. It is fundamental, and not merely to Future Technology; it is found, in various forms, throughout the roleplaying boards on NationStates - just especially in International Incidents. It is a concept that is, in all likelihood, as old as roleplaying on these boards and as widely understood as it is that one player cannot make another do anything they do not wish to do - which, of course, goes both directions.

It is often said - usually at the end of some exasperated attempt to help a newer player - that, ultimately, the player can do whatever they want, with whomever they want, however they want - insofar as it is still within the bounds of the rules and regulations of the forums and the NationStates "Terms of Use" agreement. This is patently true, and it includes completely ignoring Step One and this tutorial in whole and in sum.

This means that you - or any other player - can have a multi-dimensional empire which spans the known cosmos, multiple realities, and have it be ruled-over by time-traveling nobility; this means you can play a single planet with ten people on it and a faster-than-light capable starship. This means, more or less, you can do just about anything and no one can stop you - so long as it conforms to the rules and regulations of the forums and this website. This is often what is told to new roleplayers who find themselves in their first major war where another player has decided to declare their (the original player's) entire military has been destroyed and that their nation is seized, and to hand over the password to the account. Roleplay-oriented moderators often tell players, "No one can make you do that; no one can say your country is destroyed. No one can make you do anything you don't want to do with your characters, countries, and concepts." Again, this is patently true; however, what is often not discussed is how this street goes two different directions, and that it must for either statement to be true.

Now, this is not to say that - in any way - is it valid to god-mod or meta-game (much less demand of a player to surrender their password). It does mean, however, that while you, as a player, can do what you wish, when you wish, that everyone else also has the exact same right to do that. This means, as it relates to Future Technology, that while you might think its fine to have your stellar civilization control multiple galaxies, and while anyone will tell you that is fine, you - as a player - are often not also told that, as a consequence of the collaborative and community-based nature of roleplaying here, people have the power to simply ignore you if they so choose if they decide that a civilization controlling multiple galaxies is silly, absurd, or simply not enjoyable.

In Future Technology, much of the roleplay on the forums - assuming it is not taking place in a closed roleplaying group - all occurs in, roughly, the same astronomical region: the Galaxy (or the "Milky Way Galaxy") and its immediate vicinity, to include several globular clusters, dwarf galaxies, etc. Virtually all of the major action you see on the forums, further, takes place in places within this astronomical domain. Yes, Future Technology is - by-in-large - relatively "smaller" than some think, insofar as it is not a community with drama and stories that "span multiple dimensions, parallel universes, or galaxies" regularly. That's simply not how most people play. Most people, as noted, play within the Galaxy and its immediate vicinity - which is where most players are found. As you can imagine, this means, by claiming multiple galaxies, dimensions, or what have you, you might be working on a scale that most of the community simply doesn't work at - and, more often than not, due to prior experiences with people using such claims to try and "win at Future Tech", simply don't respect.

Again, with the way freeform roleplaying works on NationStates, you are free to have massive empires which span the known universe, but look at it this way: presumably, you are here to roleplay with other people. If most people in this community roleplay on a smaller scale, and you - as a player - want to maximize the amount of potential roleplay partners you have, doesn't it make logical sense to - in the least - abide by the same principles, standards, and scale they do?

Think of it selfishly if you must: "If I don't scale to something which most of the community works at, am I likely to be ignored and, by consequence, limit myself to fewer and fewer potential roleplaying partners?" The answer is, typically, "Yes." So sure, if you want to exercise your right to have a massive empire which dwarfs, statistically, most of the whole of the Future Technology community and In-Character world, go for it; but also be willing to accept the responsibility that, as a consequence, you're likely to find fewer people playing on the scale at which you play.


Step Three: Learn to embrace and love collaboration, compromise, creativity, and consistency.[ LINK HERE ]
This has been, to be blunt, pounded into most of the player base of the Future Technology community. It goes by many names: the Code of Bro/Sis, the Rule of Cool, C4, etc. What it boils down to, however, is that - unlike Modern Technology, Past Technology, or even Post-Modern Technology - Future Technology lacks a "hard baseline". There is no any one, universal "floor" (or "ceiling", for that matter) which anyone can point to and say, "This is acceptable; this is not." Sure, as a general rule, Future Technology has been defined as "any roleplay which takes place in a canon and continuity after the advent of faster-than-light travel"; also, surely, that gives folks some idea of where to work from.

Except it doesn't, not really.

See, to make a science-related joke, in Future Technology, your level of advancement beyond "capable of faster-than-light travel" is quite relative and varied. One player might have weapons which still use bullets with chemical propellants, another uses energy weapons; one player might have massive, two kilometer long vessels composed of sleek handwavium, another might have a clunker with a fusion torch plated in steel and titanium. Because of this relativity in the level of advancement within Future Tech, over the years, people have tried to enforce various artificial "baselines" to determine a hard "floor" and "ceiling". One was the "Thousand per Billion" Rule which meant, in effect, for every billion persons in your population statistic on your gameside nation-page, you could have one thousand starships.

This artificial baseline failed miserably - even catastrophically - largely because, to be blunt, gameside statistics (and the various off-site calculators which use them to calculate statistics) don't play much of a role in Future Tech - if any. It's a consequence of the fact that your account's foundation date, and all of the gameplay-oriented statistics related to it, are largely meaningless to the average Future Technology roleplayer.

Most of us, however, have found a happy medium which balances a player's ability to be as "realistic" or "fantastical" as they desire, against a defense toward god-modding, power-gaming, and meta-gaming. This is, in essence, the key component and reasoning behind why accepting the willingness to collaborate and compromise with other players, to be creative, and to be consistent is so important.

To give you, the player, a basic rundown of what these terms mean...

Collaboration is, simply, working with other players in the creation of threads, helping out, providing assistance, and generally creating with friends, associates, and partners. Compromise means being willing to come to an agreement with other players over differences in technological advancement, understanding, and perspectives over many different concepts for the mutual betterment of the experience. Creativity is being willing to not simply rip from pre-existing canon (such as Dune, Halo, or whatever film is popular at the time) wholesale and being willing to put in the hard work it takes to create something unique to yourself, your thoughts, your experiences, and your perspectives. Lastly, consistency is understanding and accepting that your civilization, technology, and concepts should not change drastically in a short period of time and that you should execute their use based upon the relative internal rules of how they function; in short, if Laser A doesn't cut through Shield B in one thread, Laser A shouldn't be able to cut through Shield B in another thread, either.

Grasping these core principles - perhaps the most fundamental principles in the whole of the Future Technology tech-level and community - will ensure that you will at least find someone whom wants to roleplay with you and finds collaboration with you enjoyable and rewarding.


Step Four: Immerse yourself in the community and be willing to get to know its members.[ LINK HERE ]
This step cannot be overstated. You, as a player, must understand that Future Technology is, by far, the smallest and most close-knit tech-level in the NationStates roleplaying community - possibly with the exception of Fantasy Tech/Fantasy. Because of that, getting to know the community and its component members is paramount if you wish to find roleplaying partners easily and readily. This means going to IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels, sending telegrams to Future Tech players you see in closed threads to ask them how to get involved, it means even talking to Future Technology-oriented Mentors (if you prefer this to sending unsolicited telegrams to random people).

Unlike in Modern Technology, as an example, getting players interested in roleplaying with you is not necessarily as easy as simply putting up an "open" thread and waiting for the posts to come rolling in to you. Many - if not most - players in Future Technology have highly-developed political, social, and economic drives, motivating factors, doctrines, policies, and procedures which dictate their behaviors down from the collective nature of their states, to individual characters living in them. Due to that, many have entrenched histories and plots, meta-plots, sub-plots, and story arcs which have existed for years that they are involved in to this day; as such, it is often sometimes hard for them to pull away from them or find a reason to plop a few vessels into a thread about some random, derelict freighter from a stellar nation-state they have never heard from and have no prior knowledge regarding.

This is further complicated by the fact that, on average, the general median age for Future Technology players is considerably higher than in Modern Technology or the rest of NationStates even; as a consequence, most Future Tech players have social and familial lives, careers, schooling, and all manner of real-world responsibilities that consume much of their time. This leaves little in the room for motivation to pop into a random thread created by an individual account they have never heard of, simply due to the possibility that they might be wasting their time or otherwise burning time that could be spent on more entrenched endeavors.

As such, it is important for you, as the player, to immerse yourself in the community; get involved and ask questions, don't be afraid to be wrong, and don't feel overwhelmed. We have all gone through exactly the same thing that you, right now, are going through.


Step Five: Stop. Inhale and exhale. Don't rush, don't worry, and don't burn out.[ LINK HERE ]
This is a lot of reading. No doubt, if you are truly interested in getting involved in Future Technology, this is also not the only lengthy post you have read. No doubt you've scoured over links sent to you, over advice given in threads and IRC channels, and over telegram. You've sat yourself down only to find yourself overwhelmed and a bit confused.

Stop. Relax. Inhale and exhale.

Future Technology, perhaps more than any other tech-level, requires more reading and more preparation simply to get involved - at least in some ways. Yes, there is nothing stopping you from throwing together a few basics and going immediately into a thread; in a lot of ways, that will teach you more than this tutorial ever could. That would be learning the ways of the tech-level and the community the way most of us did. Even so, it's understandable that isn't the only way people learn; some people - like myself - learn more through abstraction, internalization, analysis, and interpretation. Others learn best through practice and development. Regardless of whichever type of person you are, as a player, be willing to stop, sit back a minute, think on what you've just learned, and not to be overly critical of yourself or others.

Do not rush, for example, in creating your given stellar civilization. For most Future Technology players, the better part of a decade has been spent developing their own stellar nation-states, each with a distinct political structure, culture, and the like - in some cases, more than one. Don't worry if you mess-up a few times, because that's how you learn; even if your "mess-up" is claiming six galaxies and seeing a bunch of posts about how you should "tone it down". Most of us have an analogous experience we could share, but don't due to our own pride. What matters most importantly is that you are willing to learn from your mistakes. That you are willing to listen to the people whom are in a place and a part of a community you wish to be a part of and, further, have been there far longer than you have.

No one who is worth their weight in salt is going to chastise you for asking a question - much less for simply being new. Now, they might be crass - even blunt - in how the answer, advice, or critique is given, but understand that, to a degree, that's a part of the community itself. Poking your head into one of of the Future Tech-oriented IRC channels will find you amidst all manner of inside joke and off-color humor and mocking of one another. It's a part of the way it works; most of us don't mean anything by it, and more often than not we're being silly for the sake of being silly. Just because we poke and prod at you doesn't mean we hate you; if someone is trying to give you advice - no matter how crass, blunt, or even rude it is - it means they have taken time out of their day because they feel you are worth helping. It means they have spent time on you that they could have spent elsewhere.

This is how this community, more often than not, works. It's a great community, in my personal experience, and is far more inclusive than one might think; it's simply a matter of people - of you, the player - willing to put in the work required in the first few steps. It's about you being willing to contribute to the community, a community that wants you; a community that is only made better by another person to work with who understands the basics and the fundamentals. It's not about being the "best" or the "most powerful empire" or the "largest stellar civilization"; it's about writing stories, it's about making friends, and it's about developing a fictional world that you - that we - want to be a part of and proud for the work of it.

That is, ultimately, all this is. It's about getting you, and everyone else interested, involved and working from the same expectations that everyone else has. It's about having fun with other people, not simply yourself. Sometimes that means making adjustments, collaborating, or even compromising - greatly - just to get into the action. Yet, I will say this: if you do, if you take the first steps, if you at least try to commit to the work involved, I will guarantee you will find the experience far more rewarding and enjoyable for it.


Thanks,
Kyrusia
Last edited by Kyrusia on Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Doppio Giudici
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Postby Doppio Giudici » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:02 pm

It's overall very effective and the language is very clear. It touches on what every single player needs to know when they get into FT, as far as I am concerned.

There is one problem however. The text is very long and the words can be quite large at times, I had to pull out google for at least one of them I recall. If the player doesn't know what is spelled out in the guide, what are the odds they would be old enough or would have the patience to read the guide?

I know it's important at times to backtrack and make sure the reader is not completely about to go insane because they are so offended; but a long guide that requires patience and thick skin can be a lot to muster.

I admit I skimmed thru the last two or three paragraphs.

Would it be possible to avoid the backtracking by avoiding the blunt bits, using careful language that is frank but somehow not seeming offensive? If not I think we could use this guide as a way of sorting thru the more mature players, since it's likely not everyone will read it. I mean there are hundreds of players who only put down two paragraphs max, simply because they are new or young.

My first RP I used barely a para at any time, the same went for my second and third. I was 17 at the time, but I had never written before actually so I was very inexperienced.
I use this old account for FT, Pentaga Giudici and Vadia are for MT.

"Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening"

Construction is taking forever, but Prole Confederation will be paying millions of Trade Units for embassies and merchants that show up at the SBTH

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Kyrusia
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Postby Kyrusia » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:06 pm

Doppio Giudici wrote:[...]


To be honest? It's length and its fairly sophomoric and blunt tone is apart of the tutorial itself. Shortening it would remove that quality.

Re-read over "Step Five" in its entirety. It says as much that, more or less, a part of finding the most rewarding experience in this community is about being willing to "give the extra 10%" and to actually put in a bit of the work. By "Step Five", a reader should need at least one break to stand-up, tab away, or such; that's a part of the reason "Step Five" is called what it is. Stop. Inhale and exhale, because if a player is, at least, not willing to give one, single guide a comprehensive reading, in truth, then Future Tech as a whole (a tech-level known for its lengthy posts, heavy description, and thorough development [where some single posts literally reach the 60,000(?) character limit]) might simply not be to their liking.

If an executive summary is necessary, then simply read the steps themselves; even without actually reading the guide, they get the point across.
Last edited by Kyrusia on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:16 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Doppio Giudici
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Postby Doppio Giudici » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:16 pm

Kyrusia wrote:
Doppio Giudici wrote:[...]


To be honest? It's length and its fairly sophomoric and blunt tone is apart of the tutorial itself. Shortening it would remove that quality.

Re-read over "Step Five" in its entirety. It says as much that, more or less, a part of finding the most rewarding experience in this community is about being willing to "give the extra 10%" and to actually put in a bit of the work. By "Step Five", a reader should need at least one break to stand-up, tab away, or such; that's a part of the reason "Step Five" is called what it is. Stop. Inhale and exhale, because if a player is, at least, not willing to give one, single guide a comprehensive reading, then Future Tech as a whole - a tech-level known for its lengthy posts, heavy description, and thorough development (where some single posts literally reach the 60,000[?] character limit) - then, in truth, the tech-level simply may not be to their liking.


I used to have really long posts when I was somewhere in the middle of my experience so far. I think they got around...eight maybe nine paras at least a few times.

The problem was that most of the Information couldn't be replied to and the longer posts simply made the other person take even longer to respond. I've gotten plenty of complaints about it as well to be honest. I think it's just that players don't want to know anything that they can't use. I find that when I withhold information that the other player doesn't need to know, or needs to be put down to prove I am not cheating; that there are less complaints.

However FT is widely different from MT and I am completely aware about that if only because it's what everyone tells me. I'm still skeptical about putting down that many words and sorta forcing the other person or person to read that much. I'm already considered egotistical as is and I really am not fond of getting any kind of complaint.
I use this old account for FT, Pentaga Giudici and Vadia are for MT.

"Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening"

Construction is taking forever, but Prole Confederation will be paying millions of Trade Units for embassies and merchants that show up at the SBTH

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Kyrusia
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Postby Kyrusia » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:20 pm

Doppio Giudici wrote:[snip]


Not being willing to read a post simply due to its visual length is nothing but a disservice to the player who chooses not to read it. May it put some people off because of it's length? Maybe, but if so, wouldn't the original post of this thread be just the same way? And, furthermore, the question becomes that if a player is simply not willing to read a single post due to its visual length, can other players expect them to put just as much effort into their own civilizations as they have?

It becomes a matter of principle, really. If a player is not willing to do their research and to do the same amount of work that others have done - but this time, presented in a single, legible, and blunt format (where most FT'ers had to learn through an amalgam of links and different posts - each which still contain valid points, and still should be read as well) - then why should other players desire to roleplay with them? If you wish to learn about the community, you research the community.
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Doppio Giudici
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Postby Doppio Giudici » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:23 pm

I'm talking about 60,000 word posts in RPs more then your topic now, you have already convinced me about your guide.
I use this old account for FT, Pentaga Giudici and Vadia are for MT.

"Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening"

Construction is taking forever, but Prole Confederation will be paying millions of Trade Units for embassies and merchants that show up at the SBTH

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Cerillium
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Postby Cerillium » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:34 pm

Kyrusia wrote:
Future Technology: A Beginner's Tutorial
An Honest Guide for the Wholly Uninitiated and Those Wanting to Become Informed



Hello and welcome, dear player and NationStates user! No doubt if you've found yourself reading this, you're likely interested in the Future Technology tech-level and the Out-of-Character community and network which forms its backbone, or have been linked here by someone whom feels it might be of use to you - as a player - in integrating yourself into Future Tech, getting involved in the community, and otherwise beginning your days of victory and adventure amongst the stars. Yet, before we get started, let's get a few matters of business out of the way.

First and foremost, I am Kyrusia - the author of this little tutorial. I am a member of the Future Technology community, a Future Tech roleplayer, and a NationStates International Incidents Roleplay Mentor specializing in Future Technology and all of the accoutrements associated with it and its community here. Even so, I do not know everything, nor do I profess to know everything; I am not the most experienced, most veteran, or even the most popular member of the Future Technology community. No doubt there are countless others more deserving of those stations within this humble little sphere of pretend and storytelling. Likewise, I am in no way attempting to say the contents of this tutorial are comprehensive, nor that my perspective is the only valid perspective; I am not attempting to say that it is "my way or the highway"; in fact, one might even say, for the sake of this tutorial, that I am not even speaking as a Mentor first. In truth, I am speaking as a Future Technology community member and a Future Technology player first, with my station as a Mentor merely being a secondary caveat to said position in this context.

What I am, however, is a concerned player whom felt it might prove pertinent to attempt to provide an honest (even brutally honest) guide to the first few steps a prospective member of the Future Tech community should familiarize themselves with before they take a step into the yawning void that is the fictional cosmos we all inhabit. Because of that, I have written this guide, Future Technology: A Beginner's Tutorial.

This guide, unlike some, is not going to attempt to dazzle you, to confuse you, or to even scratch the surface of the nuances that fill the Future Technology community and the In-Character reality we all collaboratively make together. What it is attempting to provide, however, is something that sometimes newer players miss or otherwise desire: a list of steps, tips, and fundamental advisement that one should take into consideration from the very start, presented in a blunt and honest, but respectful manner.

Even so, this tutorial might not be for everyone; some players, we are all quite well aware, do not merge themselves with the Future Technology community, canon, and line of continuity at-large that we sometimes call "FT-Prime"; that's fine, you're welcome to completely ignore this tutorial, though I would still recommend giving it at least a once-over - for your sake, and mine. Further, I understand that some individuals do not necessarily feel comfortable being "spoken to" bluntly - regardless of how respectfully it might be presented; if you are such a person, please, do not be alarmed, and feel free to skip this little guide at your leisure. Though, once again, for both your sake and mine, I suggest giving it at least a once-over.

For everyone else, for individuals whom are unaware of the Future Technology tech-level and the Future Technology community and are otherwise attempting to get involved in either, or are just attempting to grasp a greater understanding of how Future Tech and its associated community at-large functions, please carry on. I invite you, however, to keep an open mind, to understand that this guide is presented as a compilation of the author's experiences with the community, and is directly attempting to address certain "potentially unsavory" aspects of the community that individuals need to - frankly - be aware of from the start.



Step One: Come to terms with the fact that, as a player, you are not special.
Remember what I said at the beginning, that I intended for this tutorial or guide to be honest - even brutally so? That I intended this guide to actually present some potentially unsavory or even jarring facts about the Future Technology community (perhaps even the roleplaying community of International Incidents itself) and the associated tech-level? This is one such truth; it is a cold, hard fact that each of us that have come to enjoy the community and find experience within the world of Future Tech rewarding, were forced to face very early on in our endeavors to find roleplaying partners, collaborators, and friends. For many of us, we never got the benefit of being told this, and may have spent years without ever addressing it. So, please, before you dismiss this tutorial, at least read this part and comprehend what I am attempting to convey before you wholly stop reading and cease to continue.

What I mean when I say that you (as a player), or any player for that matter, is not special, I mean exactly that: you are not the first individual to seek to get involved in Future Technology, nor will you be the last; you are not the first individual whom has felt overwhelmed by the seemingly wide array of advice and assistance provided, nor the first to feel overwhelmed by the Future Tech In-Character world, all it holds, and all the potential that is within it. You are, also, not the first person whom might have had false expectations about Future Technology as a tech-level and a community, nor are you the first person whom might have received some jarring advice (like this very step).

You are not the first player whom has been inspired by such literary series as Dune, Honor Harrington, or Revelation Space. You are not the first player that has felt a desire to play as the "Imperium of Man" from Warhammer 40,000, the "Covenant" or "Forerunners" from the Halo game series, or the "Hiigarans" or the "Taiidan Empire" from the Homeworld franchise. You will not ever be the first player to want to have an absolute or elective monarchy, a theocracy, a military junta or stratocracy, or even a democracy as a nation-state in space.

As you can imagine, this means that, in all likelihood, what you create will, also, not be wholly special - at least when you're first beginning your foray into this tech-level and this community. It is often said that, in reality, there is no truly novel form of "originality" to be found; any form of creativity or originality a human individual creates is, in all likelihood, a gestalt collection of memories and experiences, aggregated together and re-interpreted. This means, a part of realizing this is that you, as a player, must accept that whatever you are currently imagining to build, create, or develop and put into Future Tech - regardless of what it is - will never, ultimately, be special purely by existing.

Stop! Take a deep breath, and reflect on what you have just read (Laugh. This is suppose to be humorous and is a key aspect of "not taking yourself too seriously."). No doubt, a few of you are beginning to have deep, gut-wrenching revulsion at my comments, and that is to be expected - honestly. Even I first had it, years ago, when I first started to get into roleplaying on NationStates; I thought of myself as if I were something "special", something this community had "never seen before", that I could "make my own way" and that people would simply respect me for it without even knowing me.

To be blunt: I was an arrogant nitwit.

Now, if you're ready to continue, you will note something. I said, verbatim: "...must accept that whatever you are currently imagining to build [...] will never, ultimately, be special purely by existing." That last bit, the "purely by existing" part? That's the most important thing to grasp from Step One. Nothing, no matter what it is, is special because it exists. A chunk of stone is not special because it is owned by a sculptor; a sculptor makes the stone special by carving it into a masterpiece of rock and sweat. A pile of boards and a box of nails is, in no way, special purely because the person that owns them wants to build a home; they become special once they are made into a home for the individual's family. This is one of the most important things any player simply must grasp before they ever step foot into the world of Future Technology, that no matter what you say about your stellar civilization, your aliens, your weapons, etc., they are not special until you have committed the time and effort, blood and sweat, and - bluntly - the hard work required to make them something above and beyond "a theocratic monarchy with a love of desert worlds" in the eyes of the community.

You have all the pieces, no doubt, just in whatever you are imagining at the moment; be it you're inspired by existing canon, or reflect on human history for your sources of inspiration, you have the boards and the nails or the slab of stone sitting there, and all you have to do to make it special - to make it stand-out, to make it be creative - is to sit down, to think, and to recognize that even if someone in the Future Technology community has seen a "theocratic monarchy" before, you can still make it something creative, lively, special, and even original simply because you dedicate time and effort to it and, with others, develop it into something that no one else has seen, is unique to you, and would not exist without you.

Now, Step One also means a number of other things. You, for example, are not the first player to make mistakes or to need help; you are not even the first player to have an imperial republic spanning six galaxies and twelve parallel realities ruled-over by a demi-god of an emperor. You're, also, not the first player to have something like that and find the Future Technology community telling you that you should tone it down a bit.

What this boils down to is, ultimately, you are considered equal from the start to every other member of the Future Technology community; that means that you, and everyone else, have the same set of expectations from that community. You are expected, just like everyone else, to abide by the same set of fundamental standards (see below) as everyone else is, and expected to abide by the often-unspoken, unconscious community consensus over certain things which are or are not considered absurd or beyond feasible until you have demonstrated, to the community, that you - as a player - are willing to collaborate and compromise with others, write fiction which is enjoyable to others, and - most importantly - understand that there is a difference between expecting players to respect your civilizations simply because you made them, and the community coming to respect that civilization (and you, as the player) by seeing it (and yourself) in action - and in how you, the player, behave and handle the fictional power granted to you through the respect of the community and the demonstrable evidence of such.

In short, the reason why many players advise others to "start small" is because if you, as a player, cannot be trusted to handle a handful of systems and to get along with other players without using them to god-mod, power-game, or meta-game, how can you expect the community to ever respect your claims at controlling a galaxy-spanning hegemony without doing the same? The community is not going to change itself to fit what you, as a player, may feel is "correct" or "just" or "proper"; your best bet for the highest potential possibility to have a rewarding experience in Future Technology - or in any community - is to look, listen, learn, and conform to what is accepted by the broadest amount of people as fundamental.


Step Two: Accept the rights and responsibilities which accompany the phrase, "Do as you wish."
This is, another, big step that newer players have to learn to accept, face, and understand. It is fundamental, and not merely to Future Technology; it is found, in various forms, throughout the roleplaying boards on NationStates - just especially in International Incidents. It is a concept that is, in all likelihood, as old as roleplaying on these boards and as widely understood as it is that one player cannot make another do anything they do not wish to do - which, of course, goes both directions.

It is often said - usually at the end of some exasperated attempt to help a newer player - that, ultimately, the player can do whatever they want, with whomever they want, however they want - insofar as it is still within the bounds of the rules and regulations of the forums and the NationStates "Terms of Use" agreement. This is patently true, and it includes completely ignoring Step One and this tutorial in whole and in sum.

This means that you - or any other player - can have a multi-dimensional empire which spans the known cosmos, multiple realities, and have it be ruled-over by time-traveling nobility; this means you can play a single planet with ten people on it and a faster-than-light capable starship. This means, more or less, you can do just about anything and no one can stop you - so long as it conforms to the rules and regulations of the forums and this website. This is often what is told to new roleplayers who find themselves in their first major war where another player has decided to declare their (the original player's) entire military has been destroyed and that their nation is seized, and to hand over the password to the account. Roleplay-oriented moderators often tell players, "No one can make you do that; no one can say your country is destroyed. No one can make you do anything you don't want to do with your characters, countries, and concepts." Again, this is patently true; however, what is often not discussed is how this street goes two different directions, and that it must for either statement to be true.

Now, this is not to say that - in any way - is it valid to god-mod or meta-game (much less demand of a player to surrender their password). It does mean, however, that while you, as a player, can do what you wish, when you wish, that everyone else also has the exact same right to do that. This means, as it relates to Future Technology, that while you might think its fine to have your stellar civilization control multiple galaxies, and while anyone will tell you that is fine, you - as a player - are often not also told that, as a consequence of the collaborative and community-based nature of roleplaying here, people have the power to simply ignore you if they so choose if they decide that a civilization controlling multiple galaxies is silly, absurd, or simply not enjoyable.

In Future Technology, much of the roleplay on the forums - assuming it is not taking place in a closed roleplaying group - all occurs in, roughly, the same astronomical region: the Galaxy (or the "Milky Way Galaxy") and its immediate vicinity, to include several globular clusters, dwarf galaxies, etc. Virtually all of the major action you see on the forums, further, takes place in places within this astronomical domain. Yes, Future Technology is - by-in-large - relatively "smaller" than some think, insofar as it is not a community with drama and stories that "span multiple dimensions, parallel universes, or galaxies" regularly. That's simply not how most people play. Most people, as noted, play within the Galaxy and its immediate vicinity - which is where most players are found. As you can imagine, this means, by claiming multiple galaxies, dimensions, or what have you, you might be working on a scale that most of the community simply doesn't work at - and, more often than not, due to prior experiences with people using such claims to try and "win at Future Tech", simply don't respect.

Again, with the way freeform roleplaying works on NationStates, you are free to have massive empires which span the known universe, but look at it this way: presumably, you are here to roleplay with other people. If most people in this community roleplay on a smaller scale, and you - as a player - want to maximize the amount of potential roleplay partners you have, doesn't it make logical sense to - in the least - abide by the same principles, standards, and scale they do?

Think of it selfishly if you must: "If I don't scale to something which most of the community works at, am I likely to be ignored and, by consequence, limit myself to fewer and fewer potential roleplaying partners?" The answer is, typically, "Yes." So sure, if you want to exercise your right to have a massive empire which dwarfs, statistically, most of the whole of the Future Technology community and In-Character world, go for it; but also be willing to accept the responsibility that, as a consequence, you're likely to find fewer people playing on the scale at which you play.


Step Three: Learn to embrace and love collaboration, compromise, creativity, and consistency.
This has been, to be blunt, pounded into most of the player base of the Future Technology community. It goes by many names: the Code of Bro/Sis, the Rule of Cool, C4, etc. What it boils down to, however, is that - unlike Modern Technology, Past Technology, or even Post-Modern Technology - Future Technology lacks a "hard baseline". There is no any one, universal "floor" (or "ceiling", for that matter) which anyone can point to and say, "This is acceptable; this is not." Sure, as a general rule, Future Technology has been defined as "any roleplay which takes place in a canon and continuity after the advent of faster-than-light travel"; also, surely, that gives folks some idea of where to work from.

Except it doesn't, not really.

See, to make a science-related joke, in Future Technology, your level of advancement beyond "capable of faster-than-light travel" is quite relative and varied. One player might have weapons which still use bullets with chemical propellants, another uses energy weapons; one player might have massive, two kilometer long vessels composed of sleek handwavium, another might have a clunker with a fusion torch plated in steel and titanium. Because of this relativity in the level of advancement within Future Tech, over the years, people have tried to enforce various artificial "baselines" to determine a hard "floor" and "ceiling". One was the "Thousand per Billion" Rule which meant, in effect, for every billion persons in your population statistic on your gameside nation-page, you could have one thousand starships.

This artificial baseline failed miserably - even catastrophically - largely because, to be blunt, gameside statistics (and the various off-site calculators which use them to calculate statistics) don't play much of a role in Future Tech - if any. It's a consequence of the fact that your account's foundation date, and all of the gameplay-oriented statistics related to it, are largely meaningless to the average Future Technology roleplayer.

Most of us, however, have found a happy medium which balances a player's ability to be as "realistic" or "fantastical" as they desire, against a defense toward god-modding, power-gaming, and meta-gaming. This is, in essence, the key component and reasoning behind why accepting the willingness to collaborate and compromise with other players, to be creative, and to be consistent is so important.

To give you, the player, a basic rundown of what these terms mean...

Collaboration is, simply, working with other players in the creation of threads, helping out, providing assistance, and generally creating with friends, associates, and partners. Compromise means being willing to come to an agreement with other players over differences in technological advancement, understanding, and perspectives over many different concepts for the mutual betterment of the experience. Creativity is being willing to not simply rip from pre-existing canon (such as Dune, Halo, or whatever film is popular at the time) wholesale and being willing to put in the hard work it takes to create something unique to yourself, your thoughts, your experiences, and your perspectives. Lastly, consistency is understanding and accepting that your civilization, technology, and concepts should not change drastically in a short period of time and that you should execute their use based upon the relative internal rules of how they function; in short, if Laser A doesn't cut through Shield B in one thread, Laser A shouldn't be able to cut through Shield B in another thread, either.

Grasping these core principles - perhaps the most fundamental principles in the whole of the Future Technology tech-level and community - will ensure that you will at least find someone whom wants to roleplay with you and finds collaboration with you enjoyable and rewarding.


Step Four: Immerse yourself in the community and be willing to get to know its members.
This step cannot be overstated. You, as a player, must understand that Future Technology is, by far, the smallest and most close-knit tech-level in the NationStates roleplaying community - possibly with the exception of Fantasy Tech/Fantasy. Because of that, getting to know the community and its component members is paramount if you wish to find roleplaying partners easily and readily. This means going to IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels, sending telegrams to Future Tech players you see in closed threads to ask them how to get involved, it means even talking to Future Technology-oriented Mentors (if you prefer this to sending unsolicited telegrams to random people).

Unlike in Modern Technology, as an example, getting players interested in roleplaying with you is not necessarily as easy as simply putting up an "open" thread and waiting for the posts to come rolling in to you. Many - if not most - players in Future Technology have highly-developed political, social, and economic drives, motivating factors, doctrines, policies, and procedures which dictate their behaviors down from the collective nature of their states, to individual characters living in them. Due to that, many have entrenched histories and plots, meta-plots, sub-plots, and story arcs which have existed for years that they are involved in to this day; as such, it is often sometimes hard for them to pull away from them or find a reason to plop a few vessels into a thread about some random, derelict freighter from a stellar nation-state they have never heard from and have no prior knowledge regarding.

This is further complicated by the fact that, on average, the general median age for Future Technology players is considerably higher than in Modern Technology or the rest of NationStates even; as a consequence, most Future Tech players have social and familial lives, careers, schooling, and all manner of real-world responsibilities that consume much of their time. This leaves little in the room for motivation to pop into a random thread created by an individual account they have never heard of, simply due to the possibility that they might be wasting their time or otherwise burning time that could be spent on more entrenched endeavors.

As such, it is important for you, as the player, to immerse yourself in the community; get involved and ask questions, don't be afraid to be wrong, and don't feel overwhelmed. We have all gone through exactly the same thing that you, right now, are going through.


Step Five: Stop. Inhale and exhale. Don't rush, don't worry, and don't burn out.
This is a lot of reading. No doubt, if you are truly interested in getting involved in Future Technology, this is also not the only lengthy post you have read. No doubt you've scoured over links sent to you, over advice given in threads and IRC channels, and over telegram. You've sat yourself down only to find yourself overwhelmed and a bit confused.

Stop. Relax. Inhale and exhale.

Future Technology, perhaps more than any other tech-level, requires more reading and more preparation simply to get involved - at least in some ways. Yes, there is nothing stopping you from throwing together a few basics and going immediately into a thread; in a lot of ways, that will teach you more than this tutorial ever could. That would be learning the ways of the tech-level and the community the way most of us did. Even so, it's understandable that isn't the only way people learn; some people - like myself - learn more through abstraction, internalization, analysis, and interpretation. Others learn best through practice and development. Regardless of whichever type of person you are, as a player, be willing to stop, sit back a minute, think on what you've just learned, and not to be overly critical of yourself or others.

Do not rush, for example, in creating your given stellar civilization. For most Future Technology players, the better part of a decade has been spent developing their own stellar nation-states, each with a distinct political structure, culture, and the like - in some cases, more than one. Don't worry if you mess-up a few times, because that's how you learn; even if your "mess-up" is claiming six galaxies and seeing a bunch of posts about how you should "tone it down". Most of us have an analogous experience we could share, but don't due to our own pride. What matters most importantly is that you are willing to learn from your mistakes. That you are willing to listen to the people whom are in a place and a part of a community you wish to be a part of and, further, have been there far longer than you have.

No one who is worth their weight in salt is going to chastise you for asking a question - much less for simply being new. Now, they might be crass - even blunt - in how the answer, advice, or critique is given, but understand that, to a degree, that's a part of the community itself. Poking your head into one of of the Future Tech-oriented IRC channels will find you amidst all manner of inside joke and off-color humor and mocking of one another. It's a part of the way it works; most of us don't mean anything by it, and more often than not we're being silly for the sake of being silly. Just because we poke and prod at you doesn't mean we hate you; if someone is trying to give you advice - no matter how crass, blunt, or even rude it is - it means they have taken time out of their day because they feel you are worth helping. It means they have spent time on you that they could have spent elsewhere.

This is how this community, more often than not, works. It's a great community, in my personal experience, and is far more inclusive than one might think; it's simply a matter of people - of you, the player - willing to put in the work required in the first few steps. It's about you being willing to contribute to the community, a community that wants you; a community that is only made better by another person to work with who understands the basics and the fundamentals. It's not about being the "best" or the "most powerful empire" or the "largest stellar civilization"; it's about writing stories, it's about making friends, and it's about developing a fictional world that you - that we - want to be a part of and proud for the work of it.

That is, ultimately, all this is. It's about getting you, and everyone else interested, involved and working from the same expectations that everyone else has. It's about having fun with other people, not simply yourself. Sometimes that means making adjustments, collaborating, or even compromising - greatly - just to get into the action. Yet, I will say this: if you do, if you take the first steps, if you at least try to commit to the work involved, I will guarantee you will find the experience far more rewarding and enjoyable for it.


Thanks,
Kyrusia

These are, beyond all doubt, the best words of advice I've ever seen regarding this topic.
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Dubious
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Postby Dubious » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:12 am

Do spaceships really need dedicated anti-missile defense such as counter missiles and point defenses? Could the same degree of security for the occupants not be accomplished by using those same resources for more armor and shielding?

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Nyte
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Postby Nyte » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:32 am

Dubious wrote:Do spaceships really need dedicated anti-missile defense such as counter missiles and point defenses? Could the same degree of security for the occupants not be accomplished by using those same resources for more armor and shielding?


Shields and armor can only do so much, plus those same point defenses are useful against more than just missiles. You also need to worry about fighters, bombers, boarding craft, space debris, etc...

Also, its always better not to be hit by a weapon than it is to be hit and hope your armor or shields are up to the task of saving you...

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-The Unified Earth Governments-
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Postby -The Unified Earth Governments- » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:37 am

Nyte wrote:
Dubious wrote:Do spaceships really need dedicated anti-missile defense such as counter missiles and point defenses? Could the same degree of security for the occupants not be accomplished by using those same resources for more armor and shielding?


Shields and armor can only do so much, plus those same point defenses are useful against more than just missiles. You also need to worry about fighters, bombers, boarding craft, space debris, etc...

Also, its always better not to be hit by a weapon than it is to be hit and hope your armor or shields are up to the task of saving you...

This, armor, kinetic shielding...it only does so much, and fucking Disruptor torpedoes (If they weren't so fucking hilariously ineffective) would just make that an non issue.

Flak, laser defense, and kinetic point defense is were its at for me.

Personally I leave the missiles themselves for offensive use, and since we have a brain (I'm a cheat, sue me) we have disruptor missile pods, etc.

The odd thing is that missiles play such a large factor, if it wasn't for the high velocities and general (Lets attack at all angles) approach, my Sloops would be worthless :P
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Nazis in Space
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Postby Nazis in Space » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:54 am

Sunset wrote:
SquareDisc City wrote:It seems a reasonable assumption that delivering x kilotons by missile is going to cost more than delivering x kilotons by laser or railgun. That's not at odds with them being cheap enough to spam though. A missile's components only need to last a few minutes or hours, and a force spamming them can probably tolerate a fair bit of unreliability, both of which could bring the cost down.


That right there is pretty much it; Space ship components need to have - to turn an IT phrase - a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) that is far, far higher than those of a missile/torpedo/rocket/snarfblarg. To take it to more familiar terms, nearly everyone has used a flash USB drive, and a lot of people have had one fail on them. But it's $5 and you can pick one up at the corner store. But the exact same flash memory is in your iPhone 6 Plus and you expect it, for $600, to last a lot longer than said $5 USB stick. And it will because the manufacturing tolerances as well as the failed-during-testing checks are that much higher. But will that $5 USB stick work 99.99% of the time?

Sure.

And that's an acceptable margin of error for ordinance as well.
You'd think that but, falling back to Things We Can Loosely Compare To, same-medium missiles (Basically, air to air ones) of the same generation as the planes that carry them also have a pricetag per unit of mass that's barely lower than the planes it is supposed to shoot down.

This isn't to say that 'Mass' is the be-all, end-all factor - fuel is cheap, and an ICBM's cost/ mass ratio is much better than an AAM's despite being faster and much longer-ranged, since, well... Much of said mass is fuel.

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean anything for spaceships vs. missiles - for the simple reason that we don't know what a feasible pricetag for our spaceboats would be. For that matter, propulsion methods can completely throw things out of the window - ohhai, I don't need reaction mass, reactionless engines ho!

As a consequence, I cannot honestly say 'You're wrong'. Too many variables, and we're basically just bullshitting, anyway.

But I can say that missile spam leaves me with an uneasy feeling, since within the frame of reference we've available, it just... Isn't particularly feasible.

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The Akasha Colony
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Postby The Akasha Colony » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:28 am

Nazis in Space wrote:
Sunset wrote:
That right there is pretty much it; Space ship components need to have - to turn an IT phrase - a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) that is far, far higher than those of a missile/torpedo/rocket/snarfblarg. To take it to more familiar terms, nearly everyone has used a flash USB drive, and a lot of people have had one fail on them. But it's $5 and you can pick one up at the corner store. But the exact same flash memory is in your iPhone 6 Plus and you expect it, for $600, to last a lot longer than said $5 USB stick. And it will because the manufacturing tolerances as well as the failed-during-testing checks are that much higher. But will that $5 USB stick work 99.99% of the time?

Sure.

And that's an acceptable margin of error for ordinance as well.
You'd think that but, falling back to Things We Can Loosely Compare To, same-medium missiles (Basically, air to air ones) of the same generation as the planes that carry them also have a pricetag per unit of mass that's barely lower than the planes it is supposed to shoot down.

This isn't to say that 'Mass' is the be-all, end-all factor - fuel is cheap, and an ICBM's cost/ mass ratio is much better than an AAM's despite being faster and much longer-ranged, since, well... Much of said mass is fuel.

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean anything for spaceships vs. missiles - for the simple reason that we don't know what a feasible pricetag for our spaceboats would be. For that matter, propulsion methods can completely throw things out of the window - ohhai, I don't need reaction mass, reactionless engines ho!

As a consequence, I cannot honestly say 'You're wrong'. Too many variables, and we're basically just bullshitting, anyway.

But I can say that missile spam leaves me with an uneasy feeling, since within the frame of reference we've available, it just... Isn't particularly feasible.


But the question is, what is the alternative?

The air-to-air missile analogy can be extended further: they are indeed quite expensive, and are only becoming more so as sensor technology improves. Yet they are still manufactured and are considered the primary component of a fighter's armament (when engaging other aircraft, at least). They are expensive, but there is no alternative that provides even remotely similar capabilities. Guns can't do it, and directed energy weapons are a rather long way off for fighter applications (and still won't fully replicate missile capabilities).

What alternative exists to missile "spam?" Using a smaller number of even more expensive missiles equipped with more powerful defenses, therefore hopefully needing fewer of them to score a hit? Eschewing missiles entirely and relying purely on directed energy and kinetic weapons? Missiles provide a number of capabilities that cannot be replaced by these systems, and the usefulness of any tactic is dependent on the capabilities of the target.

Furthermore, at what point does it become "spam?" Ten missiles? A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand?

Cost per unit of mass isn't a particularly useful comparison of relative efficiency either unless we consider what an alternative would cost. How many kilograms of reactor fuel would a ship need to expend to destroy the target with its directed energy weapons? What would the cost of these weapons be, presuming there would be more of them as the ship cannot rely on missiles? Especially given that these weapons must be engineered to a much higher standard of safety and reliability than a missile. It also does not indicate at all the cost of actually destroying the target, nor of other relevant tactical factors. It may well cost less per unit of mass to fire a laser at the target, but if it takes a thousand laser blasts over the course of an hour to destroy the target versus just ten missiles in the course of ten seconds, which is more advantageous?

It is certainly feasible, but whether it is tactically advisable is of course something that is subjective at best. Against an enemy with little to no defense against missile attack, it is unnecessary and inefficient. An attack with more limited numbers will do. Against an enemy with extremely powerful missile defenses, it may be wasteful relative to other forms of attack, as missiles are no longer a competitively efficient means of defeating the enemy. Whether it is a worthwhile tactic on a strategic level is dependent on variable factors as well, such as the rate of depletion of missile stockpiles relative to the depletion of the enemy's fleet, or the relative scarcities of other forms of consumable supplies. Costs are not weighed relative to the list price of the hardware involved, but on the effectiveness of the strategy in achieving a nation's tactical and strategic goals.
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Postby The United Remnants of America » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:53 am

I honestly come here with a bucket of popcorn to watch the theoretical arguments about things that don't exist.

It's much better than the similar arguments that sometimes spawn from my religion class.
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