Thursday, December 3, 2009

Canned Heroes

[Editor's note: Wow, the wall'o'txt struck back, so I added a short version as intro, then you can dig in if you feel like more.]

Teh Skinny:

  • Clones become actual bodies (like corpses, but slightly less dead), which you can move around in coffins cryostatis containers. They are grown-on-demand in medical facilities for about 10% of the price of a matching medical clone, and it takes time to bake one (about a day).

  • MedClones and JumpClones are no longer different animals: a 'backup' clone is a regular clone that you bind to your brain-insurance.

  • Medical/backup clones can now be bound to Clone Vat Bay-capable ships, potentially turning those into your respawn point as long as they are in space, Clone Vat Bay active, and you have enough fresh clones in their medical bay.

  • Medical/backup clone contracts are now billed to you on a weekly basis, to the tune of roughly 1% of your medical clone grade price.

  • New death penalty for the uncaring: stuck in limbo !

  • You get to play in new and creative ways with your body(ies) — other people too.

See below for the non reading-averse version.

Clone Vat Bays are one of the most exciting ideas introduced with SuperCapitals. Unfortunately, their adoption and use have been limited by several factors:
  • Only Jump Clones (not Medical Clones) can be installed on ships.
  • Managing Jump Clones on ships is unduly cumbersome.
  • SuperCapital ship maintenance bays don't do such a great job as mobile ship hangars.
The last point is no less important than the two others, yet I'll save it for another post, as it ties into a different set of capital ships features.
Meanwhile, the two main issues can be tackled with some changes in how clones work.

Canned heroes.

Strangely enough, in a game where we have actual corpses floating in space, ripe for the scooping and subsequent mounting on a trophy wall, which act as reminders of both our fragile condition and the fact EVE is a space-op fantasy game (frozen fucking corpses really ?), our clones have no in-game presence or reality, despite their defining place in the lifestyle of pod-pilots.

I say this needs fixing, not only because it would be awesome to haul a MrFreeze twin of myself in my space-trunk, but because it makes for good gameplay, and notably for Clone Vat Bays to finally see some use, thus helping motherships fit their intended role.

Solution: Clones 2.0.

Clones are now physical objects in game, of about 2 m3 size, and 200kg, and since I don't think they gain mass when they turn into corpses, I have to assume at least female pod pilots are strangely overweight yet have a body density of 0.1… that, or somebody skipped a decimal on the volume and we're just regular obese nerds, even in space — could be interesting if Walking in stations reflected that.

Walking in Stations, realistic to a fault.

Assuming your clones are grown without the body fat index of junk food-addicted walruses, they should fit in a standard-issue 3-cubics cryo-container until such time you decide to upload your mind into their frozen zombie brains and transfer your reasonably trim butt into a pod, where it can comfortably fatten up to its fully oversized potential.

What's new ?

• Clones can no longer be instantly summoned out of thin air, they must be grown in vats. It takes time (about 24h), money (about 10% of your current medical clone ISK price), and requires top-notch medical facilities, usually found only in NPC stations and Gallente Outposts (although other outposts types can offer the service by installing upgrades).

• Once grown, clones can be packaged into CryoCans for safe and compact storage and transportation.
CryoCans are also useful to transfer the mind-scan of a pilot into a previously 'blank' clone of hers, as they sport the necessary interfaces to hook up to any medical facility memory banks.

• While held in a CryoCan, a clone is kept in stasis, and can be preserved for several decades without maintenance, as long as the can remains sheltered and powered (suitable power sources are available in any ship, POS or station hangar, at no cost worth mentioning).
Left to drift in space, however, a CryoCan can keep the meat inside from going bad for a few hours to a couple days at best, while its accumulator and weak radiation shielding last.
• Until a CryoCan is properly hooked up to a medical facility, the clone inside is essentially frozen meat, and is unsuited to the purposes of uploading or downloading its owner mind-scan.
You can own as many CryoCanned 'blank' clones as you wish, but you are limited in how many clones you can hook up to medical facilities by your Infomorph Psychology skill level.

• The medical facilities aboard supercapital vessels have been upgraded and can now manage the retrieval and transfer of an ultimate mind-scan as performed by a capsule onboard equipment at the time of death. As a result, medical/backup clones can now be made available aboard supercapitals, in addition to generic/jump clones.

• From a client's standpoint, the only difference between a generic/jump clone and a medical/backup one is that the latter is bound to a mind-backup contract that guarantees the client's ultimate mind-scan will be transferred to that specific clone and facility in the event of the client's death while aboard a capsule.

• While generic clones in CryoCans can be hooked up to a medical facility in essentially anonymous fashion, behaving much like a numbered safe deposit box, upgrading them to the role of a backup/medical clone entails full disclosure of the clone owner's identity, and is subject to approval by the station medical services operators.

• Because legal concerns forbid to have one's consciousness loaded into more than one clone at any one time (there have been nasty precedents of clones fighting over who's the 'real' one through lawyers and assassination attempts), only one such mind-backup contract can be subscribed per pilot, attached to a single station's medical facility and clearly identified clone of their choice.

• The nature of supercapital mind-backup links puts them in a grey area: since they basically intercept the mind upload originally meant for a station by posing as a communication relay, unbeknownst to the station's medical facility operators, the arrangements to maintain a backup/medical clone on a supercapital come as an additional, largely separate, and dubiously legal contract.


[Editor's note 2: I really can't post this as one entry in good conscience, so consider this Part 1. The rest is coming.]

No comments:

Post a Comment