Poll

What do you think about the subject?

I wholeheartedly agree. More Terran factions would have ensured a deeper and meaningful plot.
I agree, but only partially. At least one alien species is necessary to consider FreeSpace a true space shooter
I don't agree. I think more Terran opponents, however, may have raised the overall quality of FreeSpace.
I don't agree. Things are fine as they are, and I can't think of any Terran faction which may have replaced the Vasudans and/or the Shivans.
I don't agree. More Alien species would have been a great idea.
Snuffleupagus. Sincerely indifferent to the topic, as I put hostile Terran factions and alien species to the same level.

Author Topic: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?  (Read 8685 times)

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Offline The E

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
And even if he wasn't, it's not my job to die for my country. It's my job to make sure the other guy dies for his first.
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Let us begin to feel again
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Offline Spoon

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
I like exotic alien races with colorful beams and strange technology.

You made that quite apparent. I'd make fun of it if it weren't for the fact that it's also one of the best pieces of modding I've seen in years.
You make fun of everything that isn't Die hard science fiction so no big suprise there  :p

No I don't. I quite enjoy FreeSpace.
I see you are trying to make a point here but I fail to see it  :p
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
You make fun of everything that isn't Die hard science fiction so no big suprise there  :p

No Spoon that's me, but even I can enjoy things other than hard sci-fi.

It's just that then the other stuff (mainly, gameplay) needs to be fun and immersive enough to draw my notice away from all the physical inconsistencies that my mind homes in if I'm given time to look at things at my leisure. :p

If I start looking for inaccuracies, I usually find them. Like, in Avatar, Pandora is well within the Roche limit of the gas giant Polyphemus and should likely be part of the planet's rings, but then the whole moon is made of phlebotinum so I can just ignore that inconsistency (amongst others) and I can concentrate on ogling at pretty things (like blue alien girls).

Regarding the post topic: I don't agree, and on parts I have to take a stronger stance and actually have to disagree. There aren't too many aliens in FreeSpace universe, we've already seen four sentient space-faring species mentioned by name (it's implicated that the Ancients saw many, many more and subjugated them, as would be expected based on Drake's equation and the lifetime of their civilization).

On the other hand I don't think FreeSpace as a story would benefit from any more aliens. In fact, Volition's story writers did take quite a minimalist route in the depiction of aliens. It works for the story in its context, though. As space-faring civilizations, both humanity and Vasudans are utter noobs and have barely gotten away from the spawning area into the PvP territory, and their tussle attracted the attention of something a lot more experienced, stronger and uglier. It's expected that if they survive longer and expand to the galaxy, they would encounter other species that would have evolved and filled the niche left by the destruction of Ancients.

If the Shivans let them.

And what comes to different human factions, we've already seen splinter groups in both human and Vasudan camps (GTI, NTF, Hammer of Light) in the narrow scope of view given to the player through the official campaigns. The name Galactic Terran Alliance in itself implies that it is an alliance of more than one factions. Vasudans are more singular entity than humans in my opinion; in my interpretation of FreeSpace, I see humans in each system being quite autonomous and independent, with GTA and later GTVA armed forces acting on a mandate of the alliance, whereas the Vasudans are an empire headed by Emperor.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 12:49:51 pm by Herra Tohtori »
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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Didn't read the thread, just throwing in my two cents: the Shivans present a bigger threat than any Terran faction could ever be. The "oh ****ing ****" feeling I got when they blew up Capella, was one of the top FS moments for me.

 

Offline Rodo

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
I think Freespace as a whole game is ok, the inclusion of Terran factions would have made a difference, but I truly believe the essence of FS is the fact that the plot was conceived differently to other sci-fi games of the era (AFAIK), you see the common theme would be human vs human, then a second species buts in and we all forget our differences and start slaughtering the other race.

In real life, that's what we all expect to happen if another species comes to kill us all right?
BUT it also allows you to center your hate point toward an enemy that you'll probably have no problems in slaughtering, thus the player's hate becomes real and personal.
No such thing can be achieved with human counterpart... why? simple:

I bet 90% of the people in this forums hesitated to pull the trigger in "But hate the Traitor".
el hombre vicio...

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
I understand stereotypes are quite strong here. When I mentioned more enemy Terrans, I wanted to take distance from the way the NTF has been handled in FreeSpace 2: has anyone ever felt sad when taking down an NTF fighter or bomber? Has anyone ever thought that, under certain points of view, the rebels' motives were understandable?

No, not really. I'm not even sure what you mean by stereotypes.

I've never felt much sympathy for the NTF. They represent an armed rebellion against the duly constituted government that advocates a policy of ethnic cleansing. There's pretty much nothing there to feel sympathy for. Destroying the NTF is, from my point of view, doing a favor to the greater human race.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Yeah, the genocidal aspects of the NTF really prevented there from being much ambiguity.

 

Offline Mobius

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
NGTM-1R, things change completely when you try to understand the motives of those Lost Generation younglings who decided to join the NTF. Try to do that, especially with the FS2 Intro in mind, and you may look at them from a different perspective.

The most memorable moment I've ever experienced in FreeSpace was the battle between Koth's NTD Repulse and the Colossus, during which I was told how many human lives were about to be lost during the engagement. I felt the gravity of the moment and also experienced a form of empathy.

Guess what, I've never experienced the same thing when taking down a Vasudan or Shivan destroyer.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
The most memorable moment I've ever experienced in FreeSpace was the battle between Koth's NTD Repulse and the Colossus, during which I was told how many human lives were about to be lost during the engagement. I felt the gravity of the moment and also experienced a form of empathy.

The loss of human lives is always tragic. The death of 10,000 Nazis is tragic...but they're also Nazis. The NTF was a regime not dissimilar to the Nazis, and no matter how thoroughly I understand why people found the Nazi ideology appealing, the fact is that everyone on that ship was a volunteer fighting for an evil cause.

Quote
Guess what, I've never experienced the same thing when taking down a Vasudan

That's sort of a problem.

Quote
or Shivan destroyer.

Not as much (from what we know.)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 02:36:55 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline Mobius

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Well, I think the "problem" with FreeSpace is that it makes killing the way too easy, without trying to show the psychological implications of it.

Citing the Nazis serves no purpose, as not all German soldiers and pilots were cruel and worth dying. Your generalization is a bit bogus and kind of surprises me... :rolleyes:

 

Offline Rodo

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
The loss of human lives is always tragic. The death of 10,000 Nazis is tragic...but they're also Nazis.

The need to eliminate other people that you are expressing because of their beliefs or convictions, is no different of what the Nazis did.
You just needed a more "human" excuse to eliminate the problem they pose to you.

I'm not defending Nazis (or flaming you), I'm just saying... if you are gonna look for justification of your decision to kill humans, then what's the difference presented with decisions the Nazis took?

NTF is a government founded from rebellion, it cannot sustain it's power by other means.

From Bosch monologues you can understand he's move was not about hate to the Vasudans per se, that was either a consequence or a casualty of using the wrong resources to reach the power position. (my bet is that he used the hole "hate to the Vasudans" to get to the power, then he was overwhelmed by the amount of xenophobic scum that joined the NTF).

The fact is that everyone on that ship was a volunteer fighting for an evil cause.

So there's no possibility of a non fanatic NTF person being aboard and not being able to leave because of the possibility of being caught and killed in the action?.
el hombre vicio...

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Citing the Nazis serves no purpose, as not all German soldiers and pilots were cruel and worth dying. Your generalization is a bit bogus and kind of surprises me... :rolleyes:[/color]

That's exactly the point I'm making. The fact that you didn't get it surprises me.

Seriously, how the **** did you read that and not understand that this was not exactly the point I was making? With the (possible) exception of psychopaths even people fighting for the most misguided, morally compromised causes do so for reasons they see as valid - and no matter what they believe they are still human beings with emotions, desires and fundamental worth.

But the fact is that in air combat - and in FreeSpace's space combat - there is no empathy with the target. Pilots do not suffer the same psychological duress as infantry. In this respect FreeSpace retail is very accurate. It doesn't mean all fan work has to be the same way. War in Heaven is very much about the difficulty of killing another human being.

 

Offline Mobius

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
When NTF ships attempted to get to Gamma Draconis and so many lives were lost, I kept wondering if it was really necessary. I know the destruction of those ships was preferable over a defeat at the Knossos, but still...

That's exactly the point I'm making. The fact that you didn't get it surprises me.

Seriously, how the **** did you read that and not understand that this was not exactly the point I was making?

To be honest you seemed more focused on idealogy than empathy in your previous post.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
I'm sure that many a NTF pilot fought and died for a cause they believed to be right. 'Evil' is subjective. 
I'm sure that if you interview a NTF pilot and ask him why he is fighting for such an obviously evil cause, he would smack you in the face.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Reread my last post.

 

Offline Angelus

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
I am happy with FS as it is.

Also, this thread is doomed.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
If there's any opposing human faction in FS I have sympathy for, it's definitely not the NTF, since their whole philosophy was heavily on the douchebag side of things anyway.  What really gets me are Lt. McCarthy's forces in FS1's "Avenging Angels."  During the mission, they're yelling at you in anxious voices that the Vasudans are the least of humanity's worries, that there's something else out there that's far more dangerous, yet you wipe them out anyway.  And in the end, you find out they were absolutely right.  You really can't look back on that without thinking, "...well, ****."

 

Offline ION3

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Imagine the vasudans were less human. Insect-like, like bees with a queen and a completely differing view of how to fight. Vasudan pilots doing suicide attacks on a regular basis. Having the whole equipment and strategies formed around the idea of dying for the queen. This is realistic. Real bees fight like this if it isn`t avoidable.
Now imagine you fighting them and suddenly the shivans turn up and vasudans and terrans become allies. Now you have to fight alongside them. Could you identify with them ? Would you defend a Vasudan civilian convoy under attack, knowing that these civilians would die for their empire the moment they have a chance to do so? Imagine them requiring you to participate in one of their suicide missions. Imagine...

Like if the shivans were your allies and e vasudans the enemy.

I would find the implications very interesting. I think the vasudans are too human to really exploit the full potential of what other races could bring to freespace. They're just Humans that look different.



I would like to add that an abstraction of inter-human relationships and feelings can also be a plus for storytelling. Sometimes not seeing the other caracters in person is a good thing.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
NGTM-1R, things change completely when you try to understand the motives of those Lost Generation younglings who decided to join the NTF. Try to do that, especially with the FS2 Intro in mind, and you may look at them from a different perspective.

No, they really don't. I'm not interested in the slightest as to why they do something. It is possible to make any cause, no matter how vile, sound noble if you try. The only safe and sane way to judge a cause is in its actions, not its intents. Utopia does not and can not justify the means.

As a pilot, your means of interacting with the enemy is limited. By destroying the NTF's ability to wage war, you are depriving it of the ability to commit the Vasudan genocide they wanted to carry out. If this causes some collateral damage, there isn't much to be done about it from your cockpit. Use the tools you have been given to the best of your ability.

Guess what, I've never experienced the same thing when taking down a Vasudan or Shivan destroyer.

While this remains perfectly true to me for the Shivans, that is because the Shivans have demonstrated fairly consistantly that your options for interacting with them are limited to kill or be killed, and all other things being equal I'm going to prefer the species that usually doesn't go in for xenocidal.

However there were exactly two moments in FS2 that presented me with a moral quandry. Both were in SOC Loop 1. The obvious one from But Hate The Traitor applies. The one that would apparently surprise you is in Rebels And Renegades. I actually found myself quite conflicted in fighting off the Vasudans. At this point all you know is that ETAK is probably a weapon of mass destruction and that Bosch as the head of the NTF's military is a high-value target.  Given that and the basic premise that the NTF needs to be dealt with for the greater good,  the Vasudan assault makes a great deal of sense, and I sincerely did not want to interrupt it regardless of their renegade status because they were doing the right thing. This is perhaps the only mission in the FS canon that unequivocally casts you as the villian.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
The loss of human lives is always tragic. The death of 10,000 Nazis is tragic...but they're also Nazis.

The need to eliminate other people that you are expressing because of their beliefs or convictions, is no different of what the Nazis did.
You just needed a more "human" excuse to eliminate the problem they pose to you.

I'm not defending Nazis (or flaming you), I'm just saying... if you are gonna look for justification of your decision to kill humans, then what's the difference presented with decisions the Nazis took?

If you actually can't tell the difference you may have a problem. I understand what you're trying to say, but there's a big difference between action against an innocent and harmless group and action to prevent a hegemonic group from carrying out a genocidal agenda. While everything is subjective it doesn't mean everything is equally valid, especially not in our moral system.