Author Topic: Exile - Discussion  (Read 22676 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

I mean, by the time you actually get out of the system you've got what, a million people or thereabouts? The Cbriefs give you the exact number. Assuming the entire sol system in ~2400 has a population of 100 billion that's a survival rate of 1 : 100 000 or 0.001%

Surely that would've been higher if they all abandoned helping eachother and gunned it for the node the moment the saths jumped in. Self-interest is a better survival strategy here.

AS for the acutal writing it's pretty ~meh(most characters are interchangeable) even after the patch to remove Polgrish but I never really had a problem with the City of the Sun mission. And the 4th wall breaks (lazy or retarded) are pretty unnecessary.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 05:14:27 pm by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
I'm not an Exile-expert, but the story was set in 2367 (the arrival of the Saths was related to the Capella supernova IIRC). Sols population was huge - during the civil war there was a bombardment of Mars and it got over a billion people killed.

The plot is pretty good; the beginning is a bit wonky as it drops you in the middle of the action (unless you read the entire techroom before) and some of the wingmate characters feel a bit like plastic, but those of the command level are quite interesting.

The only thing I noted was that at some point there was a brief talk about cryogenics during the campaign what would leave the entire resources point mood, but it's simply logical to me that resources in this scenario are limited (and actually dropping when Shivans attack), so by "saving" people that are asking for help you probably end up having fewer lives not too long from now.

 

Offline Woolie Wool

  • 211
  • Fire main batteries
You're not getting it. It's not about how killing shuttles full of kids and old people can be justified according to very specific rules that the authors made up. You're so wrapped up in the perspective from inside the verse that you don't even seem to acknowledge what I'm saying. What is there to fight for in Exile, beyond bare existence? What is there to believe in, besides "necessity"? What is there to look forward to, besides killing someone or something? What is the place of the people who aren't holding guns or flying ships in Exileverse? To passively stand there and accept their fates as armed thugs "sacrifice" them for a chosen few?

Without some ethical center, all you have is horrible people doing horrible things to each other and to faceless, helpless, agency-less extras. A friend of mine called this sequence "the Saw of Depression", and it fits: the sort of gratuitous, sadistic brutality of Saw filtered through a nihilistic, hopeless cynicism that excuses both the existence of such brutality ("it's just the way things are") and the authors' complicity in it ("isn't it awful we have to do this?"). Even the Shivans themselves are cheapened by this filter. They're degraded to generic doomsday villains, stripped of the ambiguity, mystery, and mythic importance they had, that was the beating heart of FreeSpace. If you rip this heart out, and don't replace it with something equivalent, then all you have is a violent spectacle to indulge, as Undertale put it, a perverted sentimentality.

Why did the team tell this story? What is the player supposed to walk away thinking, feeling, or considering at the end? Or were you only ever interested in the explosions and death?
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
--General Battuta

 
Exile is... not that thoughtful. It's pretty simple. If it's red... shoot it dead. Shuttles turn red, you shoot them dead. simple.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
Probably I can't be helped anymore, but I still like it. Yeah it's not about ethics but it tells an interesting story. In that way it's different to BP but I don't want to play BP clones.

I like the idea of Exile - you have fight only to survive, but how? I don't know how much you played of it (yet), but it adds more aspects as the story continues. Also, keep in mind that it is only the first of 4 chapters.

 

Offline QuakeIV

  • 28
I tend to seriously enjoy stories that aren't actively contriving to achieve a specific narrative objective.  It makes it feel like a much more real and authentic experience to me.

The shivans come to kill everyone, chaos everywhere, shuttles trying to force their way into an evac ship that has no room for them, et cetera.  Lines like "take one last look, this is the last you will ever see of this system".  The campaign was far from perfect but it certainly had its moments and therefore I feel obliged to defend its merits.

I also didn't really observe a huge shift in the shivans personally, there was a lot less focus on 'shiva, why u do dis' but I think that made sense given that the humans had already seen the shivans in action.  For the common person there wasn't all that much expectation that they would find an answer, they just had to try and get away.

 
Ehhh, the campaign flip-flops between shivans being a serious existential threat that'll wipe out your entire race and there's **** all you can do about it and an ineffective enemy that pilots joke about. It's as if they're shivans in the 'story' but a joke in the pilot dialogue as they constantly call them bugs, insects, and have casual dick-waving contests with their killcounts.

Though that's kinda true for the entire campaign, it flip-flops between serious grimdark and parody-level fourth wall breaks.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
Ehhh, the campaign flip-flops between shivans being a serious existential threat that'll wipe out your entire race and there's **** all you can do about it and an ineffective enemy that pilots joke about. It's as if they're shivans in the 'story' but a joke in the pilot dialogue as they constantly call them bugs, insects, and have casual dick-waving contests with their killcounts.

Though that's kinda true for the entire campaign, it flip-flops between serious grimdark and parody-level fourth wall breaks.

I admit I'm not a huge fan of the pilot dialogs; it seemed kinda F***-say-contest to me...
But calling them bugs (ain't that part of FS2 retail as well?) or insect and making fun of them doesn't seem unrealistic to me. Or would you prefer to fly with people who constantly say things like "were are all going to die if we fail this mission", "all my loved ones are dead, but we'll soon join them yay", "I don't care if I survive this mission, it won't change anything"?

 

Offline Macielos

  • Moderator
  • 26
You're not getting it. It's not about how killing shuttles full of kids and old people can be justified according to very specific rules that the authors made up. You're so wrapped up in the perspective from inside the verse that you don't even seem to acknowledge what I'm saying. What is there to fight for in Exile, beyond bare existence? What is there to believe in, besides "necessity"? What is there to look forward to, besides killing someone or something? What is the place of the people who aren't holding guns or flying ships in Exileverse? To passively stand there and accept their fates as armed thugs "sacrifice" them for a chosen few?

That's the point of Exile. You cannot save everyone. You can save only a small fraction of those that need to be saved and if you hesitate or make a mistake, you can also bring doom on those who can be saved. Lots of commanders had to make decisions like that during the Exodus. An inspiration for this mission was Battlestar Galactica pilot episode in which during the Cylon invasion there was a vast crowd of refugees from Caprica and only one shuttle so only a handful of them could be saved.

Quote
Without some ethical center, all you have is horrible people doing horrible things to each other and to faceless, helpless, agency-less extras. A friend of mine called this sequence "the Saw of Depression", and it fits: the sort of gratuitous, sadistic brutality of Saw filtered through a nihilistic, hopeless cynicism that excuses both the existence of such brutality ("it's just the way things are") and the authors' complicity in it ("isn't it awful we have to do this?").

I strongly suggest you play further missions, at least finish the prolog. You will have a more comprehensive view of ORS, its rules and its ethics.

Quote
Even the Shivans themselves are cheapened by this filter. They're degraded to generic doomsday villains, stripped of the ambiguity, mystery, and mythic importance they had, that was the beating heart of FreeSpace. If you rip this heart out, and don't replace it with something equivalent, then all you have is a violent spectacle to indulge, as Undertale put it, a perverted sentimentality.

I wouldn't say they're cheapened, they're simply presented from a perspective of common pilots. If would be unrealistic if everyone just referred to them as the mysterious opponents like in times of the first contact. The pilots invent all these nicknames, try to rationalize them, make them more familiar, so it's easier to confront them. It is a popular theory since the Great War that they probably have a swarm structure a bit like the zerg, so insects/bugs is a natural nickname for them.

Quote
Though that's kinda true for the entire campaign, it flip-flops between serious grimdark and parody-level fourth wall breaks.
Hey, there is only one fourth wall break :).

Apart from that, general narrative of Exile is grimdark, but with brighter moments when the situation allows it. Our intention was to show how various people try to deal with trauma of losing their homeworlds and the constant threat of the Shivans all around the Exodus Fleet. Some of them try to remain calm and seek comfort in discipline, religion, spirituality and meditation (Raji, Al-Zardari, Valkyries squadron) while the others try to forget about their fears by taking dangerous, reckless actions (Fives) or hide them behind sarcastic approach (Harper).
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 08:03:38 pm by Macielos »

 
So what? In Battlestar Galactica pilots also made idiotic callsigns for others, dumb jokes even when in-flight and give cringy names for their enemies. This is one of the ways human mind copes with such danger: you either lay down and die, or you fight against the odds - whether by face them in a calm, Buddha-like approach or just... joke and laugh about it. Don't you tell me you've never had or witnessed the "Oh man, we're sooooo ****ed lol" reaction.

Besides, it's all about the "You can't save everyone" approach. This has been explored by like every single serious-ish universe (note that FS itself does it really often), but when it comes to Exile somehow it becomes bad? Is saving few hundred people right away worth the loss of hundreds of thousands aboard, not to mention the vessel itself? Because if life support got pushed too much it would probably break - and at this point really everyone would be facing death, perhaps even taking the vessel and the Fleet with it.

Oh, and if you get really humane, you don't fail the mission if you allow for up to 3 pods to enter the colony ship.
Mito [PL] - Today at 8:52 PM
I was supposed to make a short presentation about basics of optical fibers and here I am, listening to Eurobeat while reading about quantum cryptography.

 
Nah, there are multiple times when the campaign calls you retarded, lazy, or stupid for failing(or when picking a mission in that one infamous instance).

Like in the mission to investigate the Knossos portal where you get called lazy when those Maras jump in and immediately hornet the transport to death. The debriefing even states that the ORS could easily just send another transport and then insults you for being too 'lazy' to protect the first one.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Woolie Wool

  • 211
  • Fire main batteries
So what? In Battlestar Galactica pilots also made idiotic callsigns for others, dumb jokes even when in-flight and give cringy names for their enemies. This is one of the ways human mind copes with such danger: you either lay down and die, or you fight against the odds - whether by face them in a calm, Buddha-like approach or just... joke and laugh about it. Don't you tell me you've never had or witnessed the "Oh man, we're sooooo ****ed lol" reaction.

Besides, it's all about the "You can't save everyone" approach. This has been explored by like every single serious-ish universe (note that FS itself does it really often), but when it comes to Exile somehow it becomes bad? Is saving few hundred people right away worth the loss of hundreds of thousands aboard, not to mention the vessel itself? Because if life support got pushed too much it would probably break - and at this point really everyone would be facing death, perhaps even taking the vessel and the Fleet with it.

Oh, and if you get really humane, you don't fail the mission if you allow for up to 3 pods to enter the colony ship.

Even at its most self-indulgent, Battlestar Galactica was never half as childishly "edgy" as Exile. Exile wants to have "dark" things without taking responsibility for them, it wants you to indulge in shooting defenseless civilians without actually considering what it means to do something like that, or how it would affect others. Exile doesn't just say "you can't save anyone" but "it's not worth even putting in the effort". Even in BSG people help each other, they have friendships, they sacrifice for one another even when they have very little. When they do commit atrocities, the consequences of those actions weigh on them, others judge them. You want to have this super srs, dramatic, grimdark high-production-value super-campaign, but you don't want to take the responsibility of putting actual ideas behind it. Because of this, your campaign's ambitions come off as phony and your grimdark moments childish and contrived. If you want your moral complexity, you have to earn it. Otherwise you're just a pornographer of war.
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
--General Battuta

 
Ironicly I quited watching BSG for the reason you crtiticize Exile, because it never got me hooked for the reasons you list. The reason I don't hold it against Exile is that this here has a more appealing background story; while BSG just stopped interesting me after a while. But I'd guess comparing a multi-million $ TV production with a FS2 campaign is still a compliment if you consider this was made by just a few people compared to BSG.

 

Offline Woolie Wool

  • 211
  • Fire main batteries
You quit watching BSG because the people there weren't cruel and dickish enough? I find what that implies about your values deeply disturbing.
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
--General Battuta

 
No, I got annoyed by people arguing for and against military dictatorship while being 2" from being killed by Cylons altogether. Also, this is a series; but instead troublesome things like a blackmarket (not that I wouldn't totally exclude the possibility there's one) popping up from nowhere instead of being built up, among several other things.

 

Offline Woolie Wool

  • 211
  • Fire main batteries
They don't deal with nerd logic things like "how did the black market get there" because they weren't important to the story they tell. Nobody cares.

And then "arguing for and against military dictatorship when 2" from being killed by Cylons", wow there's a lot to unpack here. Soldiers are not gods. They are not kings. Only a vanishingly small proportion of them will ever become "heroes", and even then, only heroes to one side. They are not wiser, nobler, or more virtuous than anyone else. Most of the ones doing the shooting are practically still children. Many of the rest are lifers who have very little contact with, understanding of, or concern for the ideas, perspectives, feelings, and lives of society at large.

Even in the most brutal war, only a small proportion of the activity in a society is fighting. The refugees aren't going to passively lie down and accept their fate while the big manly men swing their manly weapons around and discharge them into people. They're going to carry on their lives, cook, clean, work, play, raise families, start families, get married, get divorced, party, pray, eat, sleep, ****, and all the other things humans do. They are not livestock to be corralled and culled by 21-year-old man-boy ensigns who think they're Judge Dredd, acting on a tiny sliver of "need-to-know" information. Even the admirals are acting on such expansive bird's eye views that they will have no connection to the societies they are suddenly tasked with governing, or any idea how to govern them, plus they'd be far less able to stay on top of their actual job, which is fighting the Shivans.
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
--General Battuta

 

Offline QuakeIV

  • 28
There isn't really much room for civilian administration over fleet movements, as they generally lack the expertise to do so in any competent fashion without going through pretty considerable training and thusly becoming at least paramilitary if not fully military.  The fleet also has pretty significant logistical issues that are more than severe enough to keep their entire remaining population busy tending to them.  There isn't really that much room for a non-military government that wouldnt rapidly lead to their deaths.  This is because there aren't any meaningful decisions they could make that wouldn't reduce fleed readiness and probably cause them to be destroyed relatively soon down the road.

I personally think its kindof unlikely people would be bickering about the morals of a military government when 99% of the species just died and they are constantly being hounded by killer robots come to finish them off.  I could see riots due to horrid working conditions, but its not exactly going to be some prissy moral debate.  It would mainly just be people too enraged to continue working, no matter the consequences.

Also, I disagree with the notion that how something happened is nerd logic that is irrelevant to the plot.  Certainly if the plot is purely a character driven story and the whole sci fi universe is just decorations on top of that, but generally speaking sci-fi is not meant to be that.  The whole point is nerd logic.


e:  I also disliked a lot of the needlessly insulting the player moments.  They pretty severely took me out of the moment.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 11:25:59 pm by QuakeIV »

 

Offline Macielos

  • Moderator
  • 26
Even at its most self-indulgent, Battlestar Galactica was never half as childishly "edgy" as Exile. Exile wants to have "dark" things without taking responsibility for them, it wants you to indulge in shooting defenseless civilians without actually considering what it means to do something like that, or how it would affect others. Exile doesn't just say "you can't save anyone" but "it's not worth even putting in the effort". Even in BSG people help each other, they have friendships, they sacrifice for one another even when they have very little. When they do commit atrocities, the consequences of those actions weigh on them, others judge them. You want to have this super srs, dramatic, grimdark high-production-value super-campaign, but you don't want to take the responsibility of putting actual ideas behind it. Because of this, your campaign's ambitions come off as phony and your grimdark moments childish and contrived. If you want your moral complexity, you have to earn it. Otherwise you're just a pornographer of war.

Did you even reach the dialog that takes place right after you successfully destroy the shuttles? Because you sound like you didn't and just stick to your first impression. For gameplay reasons there can't be loads of text in a moment we have to destroy the shuttles (besides, Harper cuts off all the talks), but just after the fight pilots share their doubts about what they just did.

There are lots of dialogs later in the campaign in which pilots discuss the consequences of their actions in previous missions. Obviously not every single one of them because there's simply not enough space for that between the missions, but later almost every mission has a fiction viewer and there are also longer skippable in-mission dialogs.

  

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
  • 214
  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
There isn't really much room for civilian administration over fleet movements, as they generally lack the expertise to do so in any competent fashion without going through pretty considerable training and thusly becoming at least paramilitary if not fully military.  The fleet also has pretty significant logistical issues that are more than severe enough to keep their entire remaining population busy tending to them.  There isn't really that much room for a non-military government that wouldnt rapidly lead to their deaths.  This is because there aren't any meaningful decisions they could make that wouldn't reduce fleed readiness and probably cause them to be destroyed relatively soon down the road.

There's plenty for a civilian government to do. That's half of what the show is about. What kind of laws and punishments do you implement in a society that's basically a giant lifeboat? To what extent can the military dictate policy, given that without the Galactica the fleet would be extinct? Who gets to decide when and where they stop and settle down? How will people be compensated for their labor, or should everyone be made to work for human survival at no personal gain? Are women allowed to have abortions? How and where will children be raised, what will they be taught? How do you prevent mass suicide? Do civilian ships have any right to self-determination, and if they assert it, are there options to bring them into line short of military force (such as a representative council)? Is medical treatment reserved for military personnel first? Should remaining luxuries be given to the soldiers? Is military morale so important that they should be granted special privileges? Is forced labor justifiable, especially using prisoners? Are they slaves now? Is everyone a slave?

These are all immensely important issues to solve in the BSG situation and if they're all done by military fiat then your fleet is ****ed.

 
Is forced labor justifiable, especially using prisoners? Are they slaves now? Is everyone a slave?

I think it's a different thing than in a normal state where those in charge would be able to take advantage of such a situation and get away with that - if they did a mistake, they would be dead themselves.

I'd presume that the military doesn't have the "mentality" to analyze all aspects and subsequently to distribute the resources at an optimum, and prefer military criteria; just think about RL where military options were considered to solve a problem where other options were more success-promising. However, one of the reasons military leaders would prefer military solutions - to make themselves important - would fall away for the reason above.