Rough Guide to the Ooniverse

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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Post by Disembodied »

Hmmm... but that creates a problem. Genuinely bad buggers would attempt to opt out of the EF score system. They'd try anything to jam the reporting of any kills at all to the EF. Which would push some of the most combat-oriented pilots out of the reckoning.

I tend to think that, for a lot of the time, there's precious little co-operation in the Co-operative. I see it more as a whole bunch of powerful interests balanced against each other in precarious equilibrium. The EF has its own principal purpose: to encourage capable, combat-trained pilots. From their point of view, piracy is a police problem, and none of the EF's business. The EF records might be protected, like client-lawyer discussions are supposed to be. Or like the Catholic confessional. If the police want to stamp out piracy, let them do their own work! Anyway, if law-abiding citizens were all well-armed and sufficiently skilled, then piracy wouldn't be an issue. What's required is not more police but more Academy places, and maybe cheaper hardheads and some subsidies on military lasers. Or so the argument might go.

Which is not to say that, in some circumstances, EF ratings information might not be leaked, or purloined, or somehow otherwise obtained, for legitimate reasons or otherwise. No doubt there are little power-struggles back and forth within and between the ranks of the police and the EF. But the EF's power would depend on its (supposedly) unbreachable seal of secrecy: it would be in its interests to protect this information. After all, information is power!

If you snatch a cheap kill here and there, where the cops can't see, you'll almost certainly be fine. But someone, somewhere, will have that information. That information will have a value. Commit too many secret acts of piracy, and maybe -- just maybe -- someone might decide that that information is worth cashing in. After all, those shiny gold Elite badges don't come cheap. And then there's the record keeping, security, overheads... perhaps a contribution to the EF fund is in order... thank you, most generous; you have a good day, now.

How many is "too many"? I'd imagine this kind of judgement is more art than science. :wink:

Edit: actually, there's an FE2 page on the wiki that covers some of this ground:
The Elite Federation has come under fire from human rights protesters in recent years due to their policy of not questioning what sort of kills are made. They will award kills to pirates and lawful pilots alike without issue. This has opened up many claims that they support piracy and terrorism. the EF answer these charges with the same defence every time: "...it is not our job to protect against lawlessness or to assign blame for actions beyond our control. Our job is to assign ratings. A pirate is still a pirate no matter what his Elite Rating - it is up to the police and the Navy to deal with their crimes."

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Post by Selezen »

Yup! Good point, well made!

I does make more sense for the EF to be totally absolved of all responsibility on moral grounds. That's the way to go then, and that little snippet is most enlightening. I'll nick that, I think... ;-)

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Post by Captain Hesperus »

And another point to raise:
When is a ship pilot truely 'Clean'?
As a trader in illicit lifeforms, I tend to ensure that my Legal Status remains Clean, it saves me all the hassle of having the ship constantly searched by armed GalCop Inspectors. Just because the Scanner Targeting Enhance ment tells you the ship's pilot has a Clean record, doesn't mean they aren't an amoral bastard who'd cook and eat his own grandmother for profit.

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Post by Selezen »

In the comminity, legal status is a matter of opinion or point of view...

To a beleagured militia in the middle of an invasion, the arms trader is a messenger from God. To a society in the middle of a plague, the narcotics dealer could mean the continuity of that society's existence.

Who are we (or the EF) to judge?

Some 'pirate' may shoot down a cargo ship. That cargo might have been trumbles... nuff said. ;-)

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Post by Captain Hesperus »

Selezen wrote:Some 'pirate' may shoot down a cargo ship. That cargo might have been trumbles... nuff said. ;-)
Uhhhmm, excuse me....

<gets coat>
<sneaks out back door>

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Post by Commander McLane »

Captain Hesperus wrote:Uhhhmm, excuse me....

<gets goat>
<sneaks out back door>

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Goat? What goat?!? :wink:

*****

Apart from that: I like this discussion! I like it a lot!!! I think it's by far the best thing going on on the board recently. :D :D :D

After all, this is what I want: Background, not eye-candy. It enriches the Ooniverse so much more than any fancy ship you might buy...

<fades out in a derwish-like trance>

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Post by Captain Hesperus »

Commander McLane wrote:
Captain Hesperus wrote:Uhhhmm, excuse me....

<gets goat>
<sneaks out back door>

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Goat? What goat?!? :wink:

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I want some of what you're smoking/popping/injecting..... jk :D

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Post by Commander McLane »

Oh, there's one small correction I'd like to make.
Selezen wrote:If you look close enough, you'll note that GalCop is never once mentioned in the actual game - it's just the background, manual and fiction that mention it...

In fact, the game only ever mentions one thing, and that's His Majesty's Space Navy (in one of the missions). So In the context of the game there is no GalCop at all - there is only an unnamed monarchy.
I don't know at all about any Elite version (too long ago, and right now I don't have access to any), but in Oolite you meet "Captain Curruthers of Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy" during the Constrictor mission. So it's not His Majesty's, but Her Imperial Majesty's. Therefore it is not just an unnamed monarchy, but an unnamed Empire.

Which of course causes some more trouble. Because the only Empire we know of is that of Achenar, which raises some questions: Does the Empire of Achenar at the time in question have a (female) Emporess? And how on Earth can the Empire of Achenar, which is - as far as we know - not on good terms with GalCop, have a shipyard at Xeer, a GalCop-world?

It gets even worse. The second contact, two galaxies later, is with "Captain Fortesque of Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy". As far as we know the Empire of Achenar does not stretch above Galaxy 1. So how come we meet its representative in Galaxy 3? The Thargoid plans themselves are then handed over to us by "Agent Blake of Naval Intelligence". Which Navy? I can't really prove it, but to me it seems to be the Galactic Navy (so GalCop's Navy), because he mentions the ongoing struggle with the Thargoids, which we know to be a specific GalCop-struggle, eventually leading (or at least contributing) to the downfall of this noble cooperative.

So how can we explain that the Imperial Navy operates not only a shipyard in GalCop-space, at Xeer, but also operates in Galaxy 3, and even seems to co-operate with GalCop's Navy?

I see two distinct (meaning: excluding each other) possible explanations:

1) The Thargoid Threat has led to a secret, hidden co-operation between GalCop and the Empire of Achenar. We don't know about the Federation, perhaps even they are somehow "in the boat", but that's pure speculation. One fruit of this co-operation is the development of a new ship, the Constrictor, which is obviously meant to counter the Thargoids. Unfortunately the prototype gets stolen and is eventually destroyed by the player, so it never reaches production stage. The shipyard on Xeer would be a joint venture in order to produce the ship (and therefore Captain Curruthers is only grosso modo referring to it as "our" shipyard).

A later stage of the co-operation between Empire and GalCop involves transporting the stolen plans. Here the player is first contacted by Captain Fortesque, simply because he happened to be in the vicinity. The plans themselves are handed over by a GalCop-agent.

As a whole the secret co-operation between Empire and GalCop turns out to be a failure, at least from GalCop's perspective. The specially developed anti-Thargoid ship never is mass-produced, and worse, GalCop's final downfall is not prevented.

This might look different from the Empire's perspective. Maybe the whole thing was a covert operation in order to weaken GalCop in the first place? Pretend to lend them a helping hand, make sure that the joint venture fails (you surely can help in having the prototype ship stolen, if you control the shipyard's security), sit back and watch as the Thargoids take over GalCop space and the unloved rival stumbles and falls. A masterplan, for sure!

The main question is: Why do the two Captains easily identify themselves as Imperial Navy, but never explain the nature of their involvement with GalCop? The player, after all, is expected to be loyal to GalCop. So, if the intention of "Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy" is to help GalCop fighting the Thargoids, they should and could say so. If, however, their intention is to weaken GalCop, they should not so willingly reveal their provenance.

2) "Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy" doesn't refer to the Empire of Achenar at all. Instead there is a small empire within GalCop. Covering at least Xeer, probably a couple of systems around it, and strong enough to be an independent partner of GalCop's own navy, even in Galaxy 3. In fact, Xeer is located in the middle of a small cluster of systems, which could be under a common rule.

There are, however, some problems with that interpretation: While it is not impossible that some systems could be interlinked or part of a substructure, there is no further evidence that supports this possibility. If there is an "Empire of Xeer and the systems surrounding it", it is completely invisible, which is not too likely. "Monarchy" is not even one of the possible government forms in Elite. And ironically, Xeer happens to be a Democracy!

The issue of "Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy" was already briefly brought up in the Galactic Navy thread, but never resolved. I would like to read some more thoughts on it, especially on my ideas here, by both of you, Selezen and Disembodied.

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Post by Selezen »

Commander McLane wrote:I don't know at all about any Elite version (too long ago, and right now I don't have access to any), but in Oolite you meet "Captain Curruthers of Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy" during the Constrictor mission. So it's not His Majesty's, but Her Imperial Majesty's. Therefore it is not just an unnamed monarchy, but an unnamed Empire.

Which of course causes some more trouble. Because the only Empire we know of is that of Achenar, which raises some questions: Does the Empire of Achenar at the time in question have a (female) Emporess? And how on Earth can the Empire of Achenar, which is - as far as we know - not on good terms with GalCop, have a shipyard at Xeer, a GalCop-world?
Aha! Well spotted, but there is an answer. I have a training thing in a minute, so short answer first then more detailed answer later.

First, the Achenar empire never has and will never have a female empress (note spelling). It clearly states in the background information for Frontier that the Duval family do not let females rise to empress. They kill the direct line female family members. This is all because of the first female Duval, who wanted to usher in an age of peace and prosperity, and who was quickly bumped off by her brother who brought about the empire we all know and love.

In that case, the Empire in question here is NOT the Achenar one.

One option I played with for a while was that the Imperial Majesty in question here was the Lavian dictator, who may have put his or her hand into the makeup of the GalNavy. I didn't go with that in any history I wrote due to its controversial nature.

Darn. Need to go learn Sharepoint. Be back later.

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Post by Disembodied »

It's maybe not a tremendously satisfying answer, but one possible getout could be that it's all just a question of terminology. Monarchs are notorious for claiming things that aren't theirs (generally it's the historically accepted method of establishing a monarchy in the first place...). For example, from the reign of Edward III to that of Queen Anne -- well over 300 years -- English monarchs claimed to be kings (and queens) of France, as well as England. I think they also claimed a variety of other stuff from time to time, like Cyprus and Jerusalem, too. Chinese Emperors always acted as if all other foreign rulers were mere subjects of the Universal Emperor, i.e. themselves, sending diplomatic letters to "vassals" such as Napoleon, Queen Victoria and so on.

What we might have here is two members of the regular, Co-operative Navy, who happen to come from a Feudal planet ruled by a monarch with a similar pretence to universal authority. Maybe it's just a coincidence that these two, Curruthers and Fortesque, are both from the same world (part of a two-man team?). Anyway, it could be that people from their planet refer to the Galactic Navy as "Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy". Other planets might call it "God's Mighty Voidborne Battleforce", or "The Fleet", or "The Military Caste", or "Starclaws" or something else entirely.

The reality doesn't change, and the Co-op is flexible and pragmatic enough not to care. If some ruler somewhere wants to pretend that she rules the universe and commands the fleet, let her. For her part, Her Imperial Majesty isn't stupid enough to force anything which might spoil the illusion: she's content to let "her loyal subjects" work unsupervised where necessary.

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Post by Selezen »

Yeah, that's kind of where my second post was going. The affectations of "Her Imperial Majesty's Navy" could be a courtesy to whatever monarch is being referred.

Here's a likely scenario. Lave is home to the GalCop offices and training facilities. Lave is a dictatorship (nothing in the manuals or fluff speak out against Lave being under the rule of an imperial monarch during the Elite era - the landmasses could be under the general control of the Firstfallian Empire). A hundred or so years ago, the emperor of the time began to get hissy about the fact that all these outworlders were travelling to Lave and not bringing any benefit to the economy, since they were just here to do some piddly little flight exam then bugger off, leaving all thier litter and empty Reidquat Ale bottles lying around.

So GalCop put together a committee, then a sub-committee, then an evaluation board, then a study group, then GalCop's president looks at all the proposals and says "bugger all that lot, let's just give the moaning faced old git a fancy hereditary position and make up a title for him - how about Commander in Chief of the Navy!" Hence, to keep the old codger (the Emperor) happy, he's called Commander in Chief of All The Galactic Navy, and the Navy sometimes gets called His Imperial Majesty's Space Navy. Out of his earshot, it's still the darned Galactic Navy, but at least old royal bones has shut his face. He thinks he has some sway with the Navy and how it's run, but in reality there's about fifteen levels of beurocracy before any of his ideas even get to someone important.

Over the years and decades, the name kind of sticks in certain areas, especially with those Naval officers who hail from Lave. they're kind of proud of it, and use it whenever they can. Other officers just use it to make everything sound impressive in front of the proles.

Hence, Carruthers and that other bloke could either be trying to 'big themselves up' in front of our lowly pilot bloke or could actually be from Lave!

:-)

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Post by Disembodied »

I like that! Unless someone can see any glaring issues with it I think it's the best solution. "Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy" could be used pompously, or seriously, or sarcastically!

"I, sir, am an officer of Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy!"

"Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy stands ready to do its duty."

"So, you're an officer of 'Her Imperial Majesty's Space Navy', are you?" (for best effect, try to imagine a frog making "quote marks" in the air with his fingers as he says this)

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Post by Commander McLane »

Is there already an ad for that? If not, hmmm, whom shall I ask for it? :wink:

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Post by Disembodied »

On a different topic, I'd like to try to compile a glossary of spacer slang. I'll kick off with a few -- some my own invention, others from other sources: my apologies to anyone if I've nicked their jargon! Other suggestions, variant definitions etc. welcome:
  • Abbo dabbo: "space madness"; Witchspace psychosis
  • Annie: an Anaconda
  • Blues: police
  • Bug: Thargoid
  • C-monkey: a spacer (pilot or crewman -- usually specifically human or humanoid)
  • Cobby: a Cobra (usually followed by "One" or "Three", to distinguish a Cobra Mark I or a Cobra Mark III)
  • Dancing the Tionisla Two-Step: deceased
  • Dock-jock/Dock jockey: station dockmaster
  • Doughnut: a Torus station
  • Downer: a fuel leak
  • Ferdy: a Fer-de-Lance
  • Hardhead: an ECM Hardened missile
  • Iron ass: a heavily shielded ship
  • Jameson: an inexperienced pilot
  • Kiss the stars/kiss the sun: sunskimming
  • Quarksman: an engineer (usually highly skilled)
  • Rock-jock/Rock jockey: an asteroid miner
  • Scutter: a low-grade technician
  • Slim/Slim Jim: a Cobra Rapier
  • Sparkler: a plasma cannon
  • Squawk: distress call
  • Squealer: an ECM
  • Sucker: a planet-dweller
  • Sunshine: quirium
  • Tagalong: any ship which uses another ship's wormhole to make a witchjump to the same destination

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Post by Selezen »

There's a topic somewhere else with this sort of thing in it - drew posted it a while ago as part of his research into writing his fiction, I think...

As I said there, I've never been a fan of posting lists of slanf or jargon for things. In the case of slang words, slang is supposed to be mutable, and thus is ever changing, hence a list of it would be out of date very quickly.

In addition, making a lot of slang available like this will encourage those who are "in the know" to use it a lot, and any newcomers to a community will have no idea what anyone in stalking about.

Very creative, yes, but no real benefit to a community in my opinion.

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