Author Topic: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?  (Read 15882 times)

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Offline Aesaar

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
MORPHEUS doesn't really have anything to do with Nagari sensitives.  It's a plan to remove Vishnan-compromised leaders from positions of power, which means the Elders, at the very least.  I seriously doubt all the Elders are Nagari sensitive (if any). 

The GTVA has known about Nagari for a long time, but they evidently aren't concerned enough about it to implement testing of even their military officials, since they didn't have a problem with Bei leading the task force going to Sol.  Or they do test, but they don't see it as a problem.

And if the GTVA has the tech to build an artificial Nagari transmitter/receiver, I'd be really, really surprised if they didn't have an equivalent to what was used to test Laporte in Ken.

 

Offline The E

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Actually, MORPHEUS is a contingency plan that tries to ensure humanities' survival in a universe that has at least one homicidal and weakly godlike entity in it.
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Offline Husker

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
The dev has spoken, now we know.

 

Offline An4ximandros

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Silly E , we all know Shambhala is a party field generator that will make everyone do 'the Shivan' to ease their submission to the omnipresent, acataleptic, Nagari no-god.

Side Note: For "epicness"... Open aney2; Slow it down by 8%; Imagine a slideshow of the leftovers from the battles throughout War in Heaven (Artemis, Earth, Saturn...) [Destroyed wrecks with junk floating around with the occasional decaying corpse] ; Profit  ; Optional: Name a background 'redshirt' craft/pilot after my forum name in honor of this idea. =p

 

Offline The E

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Silly E , we all know Shambhala is a party field generator that will make everyone do 'the Shivan' to ease their submission to the omnipresent, acataleptic, Nagari no-god.

trufax
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I seriously can't wrap my head around the plot twists, contingencies and the multiple vectors of each faction and sub-faction, all behaving with more knowledge than the player himself (that is us), and this tiny annoyance is repeated ad nauseam throughout BP ("You still don't know what is happening") which gives the series its own detective feel (each chapter giving one more piece of the puzzle for us to suss out), but at the same time continues the Freespace tradition of "**** you you're only a pilot you operate on a need-to-know-basis" shtick.

Which is fine, I don't mind it, with the proper caveat: that the underlying plot actually makes sense and is not filled with holes patched with ever increasing laborious and convoluted writing (creating ever more holes, etc.), only letting the reader / player notice this at the end when all the increasing complexities actually never successfully mesh together up to a concise intelligible narrative. IOW, a kind of a "LOST" problem.

I have high hopes this won't happen. My instincts warned me from LOST in the very first episode where I could smell the lack of any actual plot beneath all the (rather impressive) smoke and mirrors thrown at the audiences. The same instincts tell me that BP will deliver.

Having said all this, I am still shocked at the very high number of weaves and threads that this plot is multiplying at this point, with the many apparent contradictions still afoot and unexplained. If there is a damned criticism I can make against BP at this moment is that it communicates to the player (at least to chapter 3 of WiH) an unnerving feeling of unexplained urgency to do something you don't understand for reasons you weren't told, at the same time you are told to behave nihilistically and amorally because said objectives require such monstruosity of dedication and focus.

It's difficult to have it both ways like that. I can see a player trying to figure out what the hell is going on but maintaining his moral compass of a sort. I can see a player going full "beyond morals" nihilistic fashion "for the greater good", but that requires this "greater good" to be damned well explained and clear in the player's mind (a simple "I'm telling you you either do this or Earth gets it" doesn't cut it, you really have to understand the situation properly).

At the end of WiH chapter 3 I'm left with a lot of confusion in my brain. What the hell is going on? It's clear it's about humanity's own survival, but what the hell is the right course after all? Should we really defeat the GTVA? Sould we believe in Ken? Should we believe in the Elders instead? This confusion is not a bad thing at all, but I fear that the 4th chapter can start with the wrong impression that the only thing the player needs to do at this point is to follow orders by a badass faction.

Seriously guys, watch that thing. If chapter 4 starts like that, my reaction would be numbness. Why should I follow these orders if I don't even know if they amount to something directed to what's good or not? Should I just mindlessly kill anything on sight because I belong to a killing clan and not the other killing clan?

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Actually, MORPHEUS is a contingency plan that tries to ensure humanities' survival in a universe that has at least one homicidal and weakly godlike entity in it.

So why does everyone who knows anything about it talk about MORPHEUS as if it's a horrific nightmare of a plan? You'd think that the nightmare would be the circumstances/scenario which would necessitate the plan's implementation, not the plan itself.

Also, how is Shambhala so much of an unknown to everyone outside the Council of Elders? Given that it's implied to be a major logistical project of some kind (as in, has a major impact on the war because of the resources/industry/assets devoted to it instead of the war effort), how do even the Fedayeen, with CASSANDRA and a tap into the Elders' own simulation farm (and various agents that, in some way or another, keep the Fedayeen funded, supplied, and more), know next to nothing about the project? The amount of people needed to move these resources from one place to another should make such a level of secrecy extraordinarily difficult, especially when everyone is actively trying to track every subspace jump in Sol for months straight. CASSANDRA not being able to simulate the destination of all of these resources seems rather jarring to me. I mean, if anyone outside the Elders (and Byrne) would know all about Shamhala, the Fedayeen would. Instead, all they seem to know is the vague goal of the project (not even its specific aims, just an extremely vague goal) and a little about its older (and not entirely relevant) history.

And I'm right there with Luis Dias about the plot. Ken took the opportunity to finally give the much-needed answers and...offered more mysteries. Not very satisfying, nor very encouraging ("you'll know when you need this armada you need to gather, for some purpose to achieve the 'destruction' of the GTVA and/or save the UEF/ensure Shambhala's success (or something, we still don't know what Shambhala is), because of reasons I haven't explained and context I haven't given. Good luck."). It would be nice to go into the climactic endgame of the war knowing what the hell is going on, especially after having gone through tremendous trouble to get some answers. Instead, we simply know we have to stop Steele and save (for whatever definition of "save") the UEF (which we knew before, but now know for sure...probably), because if we don't, something really bad will happen sometime, somewhere, someplace, at the hands of either the Shivans or Vishnans (probably?). We need to do something for the Shivans, but we don't know what that is, when it has to be done, or why any of the current conflict matters in that context.

Good luck gathering that armada, Laporte, when you can't explain when, where, why, and what you need it for.
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Offline The E

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
So why does everyone who knows anything about it talk about MORPHEUS as if it's a horrific nightmare of a plan? You'd think that the nightmare would be the circumstances/scenario which would necessitate the plan's implementation, not the plan itself.

MORPHEUS has several aspects that have "Doing what needs to be done" written all over them, things the GTVA deems necessary, even if there is no guarantee of success. Things that start at "identify all people who have been in contact with, could be contacted by, or may have children capable thereof, then make sure they do not leak anything" and get worse from there.

Quote
Also, how is Shambhala so much of an unknown to everyone outside the Council of Elders? Given that it's implied to be a major logistical project of some kind (as in, has a major impact on the war because of the resources/industry/assets devoted to it instead of the war effort), how do even the Fedayeen, with CASSANDRA and a tap into the Elders' own simulation farm (and various agents that, in some way or another, keep the Fedayeen funded, supplied, and more), know next to nothing about the project?

What the Fedayeen know, and what they choose to tell Laporte (and the player), are two different things.

Quote
The amount of people needed to move these resources from one place to another should make such a level of secrecy extraordinarily difficult, especially when everyone is actively trying to track every subspace jump in Sol for months straight.

A capability the GTVA just did not have for a long time, and arguably does not possess even now. Also note that subspace is just the fastest way to get around in a solar system, not the only one.

Quote
CASSANDRA not being able to simulate the destination of all of these resources seems rather jarring to me. I mean, if anyone outside the Elders (and Byrne) would know all about Shamhala, the Fedayeen would. Instead, all they seem to know is the vague goal of the project (not even its specific aims, just an extremely vague goal) and a little about its older (and not entirely relevant) history.

"There are things I know, things I don't know, and things I can't know."
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
So to sum up my criticism at this point, I can say something safely robust about the story arc: it is in need of a damned good MacGuffin at this point to drive the story. This McGuffin could well be the forecoming invasion of Earth (it is), but we are so wowed by UT2 that the other thing goes right out the window of our mental focus (what was it again? Something about Steele and a fleet somewhere going to do something in a few days ... ?), that it becomes a jarring distraction.

Sorry if I insist on this, I just see a potential issue here of narrative structure. The jarring nature of such interludes are almost always used as the means to invoke a real sense of understood urgency: it's the precise moment when you get the "Lacanian cut" (to use one of Battuta's fav ideas), when the "Real" cuts inside our failed perceptions, we suddenly realise what the **** it's all about and how ****ed up we really are, and that we should really move everything we have in our power to make sure we end up on the other side of the problem.

This interlude however was the exact opposite: it confuses (with beautiful obscuring language I must admit!) rather than elucidates, it distracts rather than focuses, it conveys befuddlement when it should have conveyed clarity.

My hope is that this interlude will be further explored in the future and the needed focused clarity is reached.

As a token well known and digested example of what the hell I was talking about, compare UT2's confused epiphany* with this gem:


* Hey, it's a beautiful confusing epiphany! Don't ever get me wrong!

 

Offline MatthTheGeek

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
That whole part in ME was silly. Why does the reaper even bother talking to the ant he's gonna step on ? The only point was to shoehorn in the next part of the story because they couldn't find a proper way for the player to discover it himself other than the big villain explaining his plan, which has to be the worst cliché in the history of tvtropes.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Yeah I kinda disagree so strongly with you on that one that it's not even funny. It's bordering on mental really.

e: IMO, really, that is the single high point (the pinnacle) of the entire ME series.

 

Offline MatthTheGeek

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Dude, if the highest point of that series was the most cliché moment in the history of video gaming it would be a very sorry series indeed.

Thankfully for ME it is not.
People are stupid, therefore anything popular is at best suspicious.

Homeworld: Blue Planet     -     Help us help you     -     FSO Installer     -     BP extras portal     -     My legacy

666maslo666: Releasing a finished product is not a good thing! It is a modern fad.

SpardaSon21: it seems like you exist in a permanent state of half-joking misanthropy

Axem: when you put it like that, i sound like an insane person

bigchunk1: it's not retarded it's american!
bigchunk1: ...

batwota: steele's maneuvering for the coup de gras
MatthTheGeek: you mispelled grâce
Awaesaar: grace
batwota: oh right :P
Darius: ah!
Darius: yes, i like that
MatthTheGeek: the way you just spelled it it means fat
Awaesaar: +accent I forgot how to keyboard
MatthTheGeek: or grease
Darius: the killing fat!
Axem: jabba does the coup de gras
MatthTheGeek: XD
Axem: bring me solo and a cookie

 

Offline The E

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I would strongly advise you two to hash out your differences on this topic over PMs.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Dude, you're wrong. And your problems with that take are also wrong. (not even)

But that's not the point of the thread nor the point of my embed there, so let's just agree to disagree with that particular irrelevant issue now.

/ninja'd

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
take it to #bp so i can spectate more readily plx
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Here's a theory:

Sure, you can use a supercomputer like CASSANDRA to simulate, but why simulate when you can actually boot up the appropriate universe and take a peek?

I propose that Shambhala combines the subspace universe-crossing ability seen in AoA with mass-produced reverse-engineered (I hope) Shivan supercomputer tech to make the ultimate seer's ball. If there's a universe with a good enough outcome, and if the supercomputer has enough time, it can find it and steer us towards it.




Further thoughts / rambling / practically making up my own story here:

But... hm... presumably every quantum event that could happen is a branch into a new multiverse... so the problem state can't be the full domain of possible universes. It can probably only simulate stuff that happens in response to controlled quantum events happening on board the Shambhala station (assuming it's some sort of space station). And even with the "butterfly effect", quantum events on a space station alone probably aren't enough to be enough to change the outcome of a war. In order to make a few quantum events into something that can change history, you'd have to do something like... slave the fleet's orders to whatever the quantum thing says? Even if the station operators could see the outcomes of the fleet following those orders in time to pick the best one... in order for the simulations to have worked, some universes are going to have to sacrifice themselves "for science". Could the interpretation of the quantum events (how the fleet's orders are slaved to them) be optimized over multiple iterations? I don't know if that even makes sense.

Ramble ramble ramble

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Yeah that would drive the plot towards something more like Dune.

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I am unfamiliar with Dune. Please explain.

Don't burn the heretic plz?

 

Offline An4ximandros

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Fremen don't burn heretics, they declare Jihads. And then take them to the dungeon...

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I thought they were more likely the render down the heretics to reclaim their water?
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