Groups General Discussion

Developing the NPC groups in the game

Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby Exo-Buster » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:07 am

The Alikoro outpost security forces aren't the Alikoro so much as they're the Alikoro's directed pesticides. The Alikoro were a mechanistic and secular species that had taken science and machinery to a level that most of the current species in the universe can't begin to comprehend. To the point that their war with the Jiracho, a much more spiritual and naturalistic precursor civilization, was frequently described as "A War in Heaven" rather than a military confrontation. Because it may as well have been conflicts between gods for it shook the foundation of entire galaxies, burnt out suns, and was waged across multiple dimensions.

Throughout their ancient war, the two polities set up outposts just about anywhere they could just to deny the enemy room for expansion. Due to the scope of their war, it was not feasible to man every last outpost with full garrisons of living soldiers, and so both sides created their own warriors, sometimes out of natives, sometimes out of whole cloth. The Alikoro created both machines and utilized natives who either disturbed their outposts or requested recruitment.

Organic life forms that willingly submitted themselves to recruitment were given a great number of enhancements and placed into suits of incredibly advanced power armor. While those who disturbed the stations of the Alikoro were either outright killed and vaporized, or infected with a Nano-machine spore that attacked their tissues and rapidly rendered them down into a gelatinous goop that was would then be placed into cybernetic suits in a process that rewroite the brain of the attack to make them feel all consuming joy even as they were turned into flesh-Jell-O.

With a hard, angular aesthetic and encased head to toe in insectoid power armor, it's easy to think that all the Alikoro's security forces are robotic in nature, or that they are the Alikoro themselves, but the truth is rather more disturbing. The rendered down are simply rephered to as "the processed". It matters not what they were in life, for they are now the processed and nothing more. Anything organic can be made into the processed, even the undead.

Alikoro security forces are divided into Guardian machines, which tend to be distinctly unhumanoid and can range from buzzing drones to terrifying multi-legged walkers or spider like attack drones, the processed whose forms tend to be specialized to a certain task such as stealth, front line infantry, massive heavy walking tanks, elite defenders, commanders, or support units who can utilize technology to replicate a lot of effects commonly associated with magic or psionics. Then there are "the recruited" and the "true" who have long remained dormant.

Some believe that some of the "Recruited" and the "True" are indeed active in the wider universe, but following the "ascension" of both the Alikoro and the Jiracho, it is believed that their numbers must be far less than what they once were, when they tore at the very fabric of things to wage an interminable war that the universe thankfully no longer has to live with on the same scale.

Even though the security forces are merely the tools of the Alikoro, they would still be formadible opponents for even high-end metahumans simply due to how advanced the Alikoro were. And while the "Processor" spore is not the "Assimilator Plague" that the Alikoro deployed towards the end of their war with the Jiracho, it is still a terrible infection that luckily does not appear to replicate on it's own. Essentially meaning that while it is extremely infectious, it is not contagious past those who are directly exposed to the spore.

However, the first excavation of an Alikoro outpost near Titan city resulted in an outbreak of the Processor spore that rapidly claimed the lives of the entire dig team when the automated defense systems deemed their incursion a threat to the outpost. The area was quarantined while a way to counteract the spore (other than walking in environmentally sealed gear) was devised, and eventually a way to protect against the spore was devised using experimental nanotechnology from top researchers in the field, though currently the vaccine remains expensive and it's unknown if the defense systems won't release a new version of the spore.

A magical vaccine was also developed as mage organizations proved to be very interested in studying the wisdom of the ancients. Though it too proved to be quite expensive. However, villainous and shady organizations have also proven to be quite interested in studying the outpost, and it was one of these that found the Jiracho outpost not too far from the Alikoro facility, where it seemed that the two had ground themselves into inexorable stalemate.

The sudden upsurge of interest in these areas though, has begun to awaken the security forces, and it would take the bravest and most powerful heroes and villains to plumb the depths for their secrets.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby MrManhattan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:33 am

Helix_Group wrote:
Golden Girl wrote:That's a novel take on frat boys, but I think it'd work well in the setting - they're kind of a gang of super-bullies.


They're our Hellions!


I was thinking more our Outcasts. I didn't specify that they had different elemental powers because I was going to wait and see how the other villan groups developed. If we wind up with to many magic groups then these guys would end up with a science origin other wise I planned on our "not Circle of Thorns" being behind it.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:54 am

MrManhattan wrote:
Helix_Group wrote:
Golden Girl wrote:That's a novel take on frat boys, but I think it'd work well in the setting - they're kind of a gang of super-bullies.


They're our Hellions!


I was thinking more our Outcasts. I didn't specify that they had different elemental powers because I was going to wait and see how the other villan groups developed. If we wind up with to many magic groups then these guys would end up with a science origin other wise I planned on our "not Circle of Thorns" being behind it.


Talking of outcast people, I was chatting with one of the development team the other day about the theme of useless/dangerous supers - in a world where freak accidents can give people superpowers to use for good or evil, there'd also be an equally large number of freak accident sthat gave people powers that were either useless, or were unable to be controlled - an unusal lightning strike can turn someone into a speedster, which si fune - but what about the unusual lightning strike that leaves someone who generates half a milion volts of electrical discharge everytime they touch something?
They'd be a danger to themselves and society, and it's highly unlikely that any government would just let a risk like that remain on the loose - there'd be facilities where they could be kept safely away from harming the public or themselves - the person who generates a firestorm around themselves while they sleep could be cared for in a special fire-proofed room, for example.

And while the majority of people with these kinds of dangerous powers would willingly go to this type of place, giving an impression almost of a "voluntary prison", it would actually be a legalr equirement for them to turn themselves in - and, naturally, not everyone with dangerous uncontroleld powers would accept the loss of their freedom - which is where the outcast/outlaw angle comes in.
There'd be an unknown number of these people hiding out in Titan City, in the sewers or abandoned warehosues and apartment blocks, sometimes just by themselves if their powers were especially dangerous, or sometimes in small groups.
They'd be a sort of "underclass" in superpowered society - while the supers who "got lucky" with being able to control their powers are hailed as heroes, or have gained wealth and status as villains, the "wild" supers without the ability to control their powers are forced to live out lonely lives on the run, a danger to themselves and society, but never having committed any crime.

Of course, the term "uncontrolled" is rather vague - someone like the Hulk, for example, is borderline "wild" because of the way his powers are triggered, so there'd be a number of "wild" supers in Titan City who had managed to find ways to gain a kind of semi-control over their powers, and while soem of them would use them to help stay free, or to help their fellow outcasts stay free, others might try and band together to strike back at what they see as persecution, or attack normal supers out of anger and resentment, or even deicde that if society says they're a danger, then that's eaxactly what they'll be.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby Exo-Buster » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:20 am

Now on aesthetics, the Alikoro were basically sea-dwelling symbionts, a jellyfish like organism bonded to a vaguely crustacean creature. The crustacean provided armor, stability, and of course the ability to move on land. The more gelatinous organism is effectively the brains. It's not known how such an arrangement could have evolved, but that's how the are. Due to being sea-based, a lot of their designs and outposts are also hydrodynamic, but there's always at least perfect symmetry to them, everything looks neat and orderly and everything has it's place.

In essence, the relationship between the processed and their suit is sort of a reflection between the mind form (Alik) and body-form (Orovaxi), a gelatinous organic computer piloting a hardened shell. Though it's worth noting that the "processing" does not leave the original personality intact. Someone rendered down by the Processor spore is dead. Their biomass is then liberally spread according to the defense protocol's needs, and the goop is separated, mixed up, and stuck together with little regard as to who the processed biomass originally belonged to.

To us it's a rather disturbing process, but to them it's a way to make combat ready drones while saving a bit on raw materials and simultaneously neutralize intruders.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby MrManhattan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:27 pm

Golden Girl wrote:Talking of outcast people, I was chatting with one of the development team the other day about the theme of useless/dangerous supers - in a world where freak accidents can give people superpowers to use for good or evil, there'd also be an equally large number of freak accident sthat gave people powers that were either useless, or were unable to be controlled - an unusal lightning strike can turn someone into a speedster, which si fune - but what about the unusual lightning strike that leaves someone who generates half a milion volts of electrical discharge everytime they touch something?
They'd be a danger to themselves and society, and it's highly unlikely that any government would just let a risk like that remain on the loose - there'd be facilities where they could be kept safely away from harming the public or themselves - the person who generates a firestorm around themselves while they sleep could be cared for in a special fire-proofed room, for example.

And while the majority of people with these kinds of dangerous powers would willingly go to this type of place, giving an impression almost of a "voluntary prison", it would actually be a legalr equirement for them to turn themselves in - and, naturally, not everyone with dangerous uncontroleld powers would accept the loss of their freedom - which is where the outcast/outlaw angle comes in.
There'd be an unknown number of these people hiding out in Titan City, in the sewers or abandoned warehosues and apartment blocks, sometimes just by themselves if their powers were especially dangerous, or sometimes in small groups.
They'd be a sort of "underclass" in superpowered society - while the supers who "got lucky" with being able to control their powers are hailed as heroes, or have gained wealth and status as villains, the "wild" supers without the ability to control their powers are forced to live out lonely lives on the run, a danger to themselves and society, but never having committed any crime.

Of course, the term "uncontrolled" is rather vague - someone like the Hulk, for example, is borderline "wild" because of the way his powers are triggered, so there'd be a number of "wild" supers in Titan City who had managed to find ways to gain a kind of semi-control over their powers, and while soem of them would use them to help stay free, or to help their fellow outcasts stay free, others might try and band together to strike back at what they see as persecution, or attack normal supers out of anger and resentment, or even deicde that if society says they're a danger, then that's eaxactly what they'll be.


Now this sounds like a good source of random antagonists. People not part of any of the established groups. That was one thing that bugged me a little in CoH when i was playing it. EVERY body you ran in to was part of a larger group/Organization. You didn't have Hulks or Rhinos or the Rouges, everybody worked for someone with tons of minions. The Rhino is a solo villain most of the time. Occupationally he teams up with some guys to make a Sinister Six team but they don't have a bunch of powerless minions running around doing their dirty work they go out a do it. It was a classic sort of villain CoH was lacking.

Now this isn't likely to be as big a deal in HaV as the player Heroes and Villains will be in the same city. So the PC villains can kind of fill that niche story wise.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby MrManhattan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:29 pm

Exo-Buster wrote:The Alikoro outpost security forces aren't the Alikoro so much as they're the Alikoro's directed pesticides. The Alikoro were a mechanistic and secular species that had taken science and machinery to a level that most of the current species in the universe can't begin to comprehend. To the point that their war with the Jiracho, a much more spiritual and naturalistic precursor civilization, was frequently described as "A War in Heaven" rather than a military confrontation. Because it may as well have been conflicts between gods for it shook the foundation of entire galaxies, burnt out suns, and was waged across multiple dimensions.

Throughout their ancient war, the two polities set up outposts just about anywhere they could just to deny the enemy room for expansion. Due to the scope of their war, it was not feasible to man every last outpost with full garrisons of living soldiers, and so both sides created their own warriors, sometimes out of natives, sometimes out of whole cloth. The Alikoro created both machines and utilized natives who either disturbed their outposts or requested recruitment.

Organic life forms that willingly submitted themselves to recruitment were given a great number of enhancements and placed into suits of incredibly advanced power armor. While those who disturbed the stations of the Alikoro were either outright killed and vaporized, or infected with a Nano-machine spore that attacked their tissues and rapidly rendered them down into a gelatinous goop that was would then be placed into cybernetic suits in a process that rewroite the brain of the attack to make them feel all consuming joy even as they were turned into flesh-Jell-O.

With a hard, angular aesthetic and encased head to toe in insectoid power armor, it's easy to think that all the Alikoro's security forces are robotic in nature, or that they are the Alikoro themselves, but the truth is rather more disturbing. The rendered down are simply rephered to as "the processed". It matters not what they were in life, for they are now the processed and nothing more. Anything organic can be made into the processed, even the undead.

Alikoro security forces are divided into Guardian machines, which tend to be distinctly unhumanoid and can range from buzzing drones to terrifying multi-legged walkers or spider like attack drones, the processed whose forms tend to be specialized to a certain task such as stealth, front line infantry, massive heavy walking tanks, elite defenders, commanders, or support units who can utilize technology to replicate a lot of effects commonly associated with magic or psionics. Then there are "the recruited" and the "true" who have long remained dormant.

Some believe that some of the "Recruited" and the "True" are indeed active in the wider universe, but following the "ascension" of both the Alikoro and the Jiracho, it is believed that their numbers must be far less than what they once were, when they tore at the very fabric of things to wage an interminable war that the universe thankfully no longer has to live with on the same scale.

Even though the security forces are merely the tools of the Alikoro, they would still be formadible opponents for even high-end metahumans simply due to how advanced the Alikoro were. And while the "Processor" spore is not the "Assimilator Plague" that the Alikoro deployed towards the end of their war with the Jiracho, it is still a terrible infection that luckily does not appear to replicate on it's own. Essentially meaning that while it is extremely infectious, it is not contagious past those who are directly exposed to the spore.

However, the first excavation of an Alikoro outpost near Titan city resulted in an outbreak of the Processor spore that rapidly claimed the lives of the entire dig team when the automated defense systems deemed their incursion a threat to the outpost. The area was quarantined while a way to counteract the spore (other than walking in environmentally sealed gear) was devised, and eventually a way to protect against the spore was devised using experimental nanotechnology from top researchers in the field, though currently the vaccine remains expensive and it's unknown if the defense systems won't release a new version of the spore.

A magical vaccine was also developed as mage organizations proved to be very interested in studying the wisdom of the ancients. Though it too proved to be quite expensive. However, villainous and shady organizations have also proven to be quite interested in studying the outpost, and it was one of these that found the Jiracho outpost not too far from the Alikoro facility, where it seemed that the two had ground themselves into inexorable stalemate.

The sudden upsurge of interest in these areas though, has begun to awaken the security forces, and it would take the bravest and most powerful heroes and villains to plumb the depths for their secrets.


Sounds like a good back story for a end game raid/taskforce!
Or maybe even an invasion event/Storyline.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:01 pm

MrManhattan wrote:That was one thing that bugged me a little in CoH when i was playing it. EVERY body you ran in to was part of a larger group/Organization. You didn't have Hulks or Rhinos or the Rouges, everybody worked for someone with tons of minions. The Rhino is a solo villain most of the time. Occupationally he teams up with some guys to make a Sinister Six team but they don't have a bunch of powerless minions running around doing their dirty work they go out a do it. It was a classic sort of villain CoH was lacking.


Right from the start of this project, that's been one of the biggest things we've wanted to address in the lore.
The approach used by CoH is understandable - as an MMO, even allowing for the solo option, in comic terms it was was still basically a "team title", so stories had to be designed from the point of view that they were very likely going to be played through by multiple heroes, rather than just a lone hero, so it made sense from a development point of view to have the enemies as costumed gangs, rather than a colletion of costumed individual villains, which is major resource saver time and art wise, and for any individual villains to be attached to a gang, which is a major time saver story wise, as the writers don't need to keep coming up with plausible reasons why various individual villains are working with various gangs.

But I think that some of this could be solved by an enemy type that was almost nonexistent in CoH - the Random Thug. They're career criminals, but they don't belong to any gang, or really follow any ideology - they just like money and violence. They're good with guns, knives, clubs and fists, and hire themselves out to anyone looking for muscle, and don't display any fanatical loyalty to this week's temporary employer.
In between these bigger jobs, they fill in the time with various criminal activites, including mugging and burglary.

These are the men that the solo supervillains usually turn to first when they need bodies for their latest scheme - they provide all the usefulness of a gang, but without the hassle of having to run one 24/7, or the associated difficulties of trying to keep a permanent organization hidden from the authorities.

By adding this type of enemy to the game, we can open up a lot more ways to have active solo supervillains on the loose in the city, and have the Random Thugs take over some of the street crime activities that other groups really should be carrying out.
As example of unsuitable street crime for groups in CoH, just take a look at what Crey were doing Brickstown.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby Golden Girl » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:03 pm

MrManhattan wrote:That was one thing that bugged me a little in CoH when i was playing it. EVERY body you ran in to was part of a larger group/Organization. You didn't have Hulks or Rhinos or the Rouges, everybody worked for someone with tons of minions. The Rhino is a solo villain most of the time. Occupationally he teams up with some guys to make a Sinister Six team but they don't have a bunch of powerless minions running around doing their dirty work they go out a do it. It was a classic sort of villain CoH was lacking.


Right from the start of this project, that's been one of the biggest things we've wanted to address in the lore.
The approach used by CoH is understandable - as an MMO, even allowing for the solo option, in comic terms it was was still basically a "team title", so stories had to be designed from the point of view that they were very likely going to be played through by multiple heroes, rather than just a lone hero, so it made sense from a development point of view to have the enemies as costumed gangs, rather than a colletion of costumed individual villains, which is major resource saver time and art wise, and for any individual villains to be attached to a gang, which is a major time saver story wise, as the writers don't need to keep coming up with plausible reasons why various individual villains are working with various gangs.

But I think that some of this could be solved by an enemy type that was almost nonexistent in CoH - the Random Thug. They're career criminals, but they don't have superpowers, or belong to any gang, or really follow any ideology - they just like money and violence. They're good with guns, knives, clubs and fists, and hire themselves out to anyone looking for muscle, and don't display any fanatical loyalty to this week's temporary employer.
In between these bigger jobs, they fill in the time with various criminal activites, including mugging and burglary.

These are the men that the solo supervillains usually turn to first when they need bodies for their latest scheme - they provide all the usefulness of a gang, but without the hassle of having to run one 24/7, or the associated difficulties of trying to keep a permanent organization hidden from the authorities.

By adding this type of enemy to the game, we can open up a lot more ways to have active solo supervillains on the loose in the city, and have the Random Thugs take over some of the street crime activities that other groups really should be carrying out.
As example of unsuitable street crime for groups in CoH, just take a look at what Crey were doing Brickstown.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby Darkaiser » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:11 pm

The Nazi Uberkreiger Program

The Fourth Reich

After the Nazis came to power one of Hitler’s many fascinations was the idea of the ‘perfect man’. To this end he assigned many scientists to one facet or another of what would eventually become the Uberkreiger (supersoldier) program. Among these were Hermann Stieve, head of the German School of Anatomy and Karl Gebhardt, consulting physician to Heinrich Himmler. Along with many others, these men performed terrible experiments on dissidents and prisoners resulting in the deaths of thousands. It also resulted in the first Nazi super team to emerge during the war.

Touted only as The Heimliche Waffe (Secret Weapon), the 5-person team was one of the worst-kept secrets of the war. Their every appearance was a huge propaganda event for the Nazi war effort although the individual members of the team were dangerous in their own right. Although the roster changed during the war, the core members of the team consisted of:

Iron Eagle: Real name unknown. The leader of the team through most of the war, this highly-effective agent acted as a saboteur and spy as well as battling Allied supers. Believed to be a pilot in the Luftwaffe, Iron Eagle was capable of flight via a set of jet-powered mechanical wings. His metal gauntlets were tipped with razor-sharp talons and his helmet was believed to be equipped with a gas mask.

Panzer: Originally Alrich Adler, a German soldier badly injured in the invasion of Poland. Adler was kept alive by virtue of a number of implanted life-support devices as well as an armored suit powered by an unknown radioactive material. The suit, which was heavy enough to resist gunfire up to that of a machine-gun, was equipped with twin flame-throwers mounted under the arms as well as automatic weapons in the gauntlets. Later versions of the armor, piloted by one or more unknown men, included a backpack with a rocket launcher and boot jets that enabled the wearer to fly for short periods of time. The suit made the wearer strong enough to lift and throw a large car.

Der Gheist (The Ghost): Elsie Ishard was a nurse serving in the Charite Hospital in Berlin at the start of the war. Early in 1941 the hospital caught fire and a number of the patients and staff were trapped inside. Due to some unknown supernatural phenomenon, Elsie’s spirit remained as a ghost. Horrified by her condition, she became bitter and resentful of the living. Iron Eagle managed to direct her anger towards the Allies and she joined the team soon after. As a ghost Elsie was the perfect spy, able to penetrate any security and steal secrets. Her spirit was apparently dissolved at the end of the war by a coven of witches performing a modified form of exorcism. The Ghost was able to affect the living by passing through them. This was often referred to as a Chill Touch. Over time she became able to solidify parts of her body through concentration and thus grasp with her hands.

Der Blitzkreiger (Lightning Warrior): An unnamed assistant working in a Berlin lab was struck by a tremendous amount of electricity while working on a transformer. Some unknown factor in the man’s DNA apparently enabled him to not only survive the jolt but store the power that struck him and redirect it outwards. Taking the name Der Blitzkrieger, he joined the team late in 1941. Der Blitzkrieger was able to store electrical energy to an unknown degree and then direct it outwards to a variety of effects. Not only could he electrify metal objects that he touched but he could cause lightning to arc from his hands to metal objects some distance away.

Doktor Vergessen (Doctor Mind): Dr. Rudolf Kemp was a brilliant researcher in the fields of anatomy and psychology before the war. While working on new drugs to inspire courage in their soldiers, Dr. Kemp was accidentally exposed to a massive overdose of the latest serum. The drug excited his frontal lobe, granting him superhuman memory and reasoning abilities. It also granted him telepathic powers, enabling him to read the minds of others and implant his own thoughts into them.

In the last days of the war most of the files related to the team were destroyed along with countless other secret documents. The surviving members fled Europe and presumably hid in South America along with many other Nazi war criminals.

On January 30th, 2003, a new team using the name Fourth Reich delivered their manifesto to several media outlets. On that same day, exactly 70 years after Hitler came to power, the new team attacked Berlin and destroyed the WWII memorial there. Over the last decade they have risen in prominence in the ranks of international terrorism and they are known to operate virtually anywhere in the world. The current team consists of the following members:

Iron Eagle
Panzer
Der Gheist
Nacht-Macher
Der Blitzkreiger

It is believed that all of these names have been adopted by new team members since several of the original members have been confirmed as deceased.
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Re: Groups General Discussion

Unread postby Exo-Buster » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:58 pm

MrManhattan wrote:
Sounds like a good back story for a end game raid/taskforce!
Or maybe even an invasion event/Storyline.

I'd hope a species whose wars caused reality shaking effects on a mass scale would be end-game level opponents. :P
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