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Discussion: Adding Yuuzhan Vong bio-technology and Ysalamiri to the Restricted Materials list

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#1
Captain Larraq

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Lately, I have been discussing the idea of adding Ysalamiri and Dovin Basals (which evolved into all Vong tech) to the Restricted Materials list. The argument being that Orbalisks are on the list, even though nobody uses them. And unlike the rest of the list, Orbalisks are very much an organism. So why can't other highly exotic creatures be added to the list?

Void Stones are less effective than Ysalamiri, but are on the list while Ysalamiri are not. And unlike Void Stone, there have been recent-ish cases of claims of abuse and over-use of Ysalamiri (one of the few powers in Star Wars with no canon counter-strategy to utilize).

The entire range of force related crafting technology (Alchemy, Jal Shay, Imbuement, exc) is on the list of Restricted Materials, so why not Vong Biots? They (all Biots, not just Dovin Basals) can be just as powerful as anything a force user can create, can offer exceptional lightsaber resistances, and can create armor that rivals Beskar'gam in durability and utility... So why is that avenue of tech left open where others (even nano-technology) are restricted?

I had proposed a petition to get the two organisms added to the RM list, but decided that that was a bit much (and that it'd be rude to try and force staff's hand on the issue)...

So instead, I would like to propose a discussion on the idea and see how people feel about the proposal. I'd like to get people's input on how they feel this would balance against existing restrictions, if they feel it's needed or fair, and get people to share any alternative suggestions they have on similar issues.

Edited by Captain Larraq, 25 June 2018 - 06:50 PM.

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#2
Kuat Drive Yards

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Captain Larraq

I would have to disagree simply because anyone can be a force user and have master powers. Outright making them RM would hinder NFU combat with FUs. Not by a serious degree, but the playing field would tilt in the FU's favor. I do agree some powerful objects should be RM, but in a way that levels severity instead of the entire thing. Perhaps allowing a Void Stone to have less strict production perimeters or taken off RM completely would improve a balance. But unfortunately, I'm looking at a rebirth of RM Missions and FU Training Required for balancing, and everyone knows that won't happen.

Putting Yuuzhan Vong in the RM may restrict or ban my Vong character, and destroy my characters concept completely.

That's my two credits.

#3
Triam Akovin

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I have long wondered it myself honestly, because although the list is called Restricted "Materials", there is an awful lot of non-material things on it. Like A.I., Orbalisks, Nanomachines, Sith/Jedi magic etc.. A whole sleuth of odd balls.

 

Vong tech has long been exploited on the board, and I think in too great of numbers, maybe not of late but at least in the past. One Sith were notorious for them, and now I've heard Mandalorians have been notorious for Ysalamiri.

 

Vong tech is a little harder to deal with than Ysalamiri, as, unlike ysalamiri, they aren't exactly rare things. The Vong came in great prolific numbers when they invaded the galaxy, and their tech was no less wide spread. Of course, a lot of it could have died off or been lost to history in the 800 years since then, but even so in recent Chaos Lore they were still persistent enough to fuel an entire Sith war machine that ravaged the core for years.

 

With that said however, Vong tech is exceptionally powerful, and so varying and different from itself, taking a hit to production values wouldn't diminish it at all, since variation is the flavor of Vong tech. A lot of similar stuff with a wide variety of differing adaptations for specific functions. I could see it working marvelously.

 

It does get a little hairy though, as we are lead to wonder whether something belongs in the Codex or the Factory, whether something is a "material" or a "species". I think it can work like this however: you can create a Vong species in the Codex all day long, but as soon as you attempt to use its parts, or its abilities, in technology then it belongs *in a separate submission* in the factory where its production can be necessarily limited through the Restricted Material Rules.

 

For example, you create a Gauntlet Biot. You have a full fledged species submission. Great, it gets approved! Now you go wearing it like a Gauntlet... well now, that's a no no unless you make a specific tech submission for your specific character or small group. Its like crystals and lightsabers.

 

Honestly this shouldn't even be a discussion, it should be a straight up suggestion to be taken into consideration right now.


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#4
Daro Tarsi

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I vote no.

Mostly because I think the RM list is already overflowing with things that don't have a place in it. I'd rather have it shrink (or be completely removed altogether) than add more to it.

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#5
Darth Carnifex

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Do it.



#6
Darth Arabris

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Do et


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#7
Djorn Bline

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How bout no.


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#8
Koda Fett

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Broken Vong Tech?

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Begone Vong


Edited by Koda Fett, 25 June 2018 - 07:26 PM.

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#9
Klesta

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Daro Tarsi Exactly what are those items that have no business being in the RM list? Is it based on their usage level? Or their strengths not being good enough to warrant their position as RMs?

 

If you have any idea of what those items are, I'd gladly swap out one of them for ysalamiri or Vong biotech. But I'd probably remove the least-used RMs while acknowledging the RM list is there for a reason.



#10
John Ash

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 My main concern with the Ysalamir, and with any anti-force tech if we are being honest, is the way people play Force Users generally. They double down on force powers, which are insanely powerful yet have 0 regulations or controls on them, but the moment an NFU or anyone else pulls out the anti-force stuff they begin to complain. They complain their character is utterly worthless and unusable so it isn't fair. They call it godmodding and power gaming and whatever else comes to their minds. But the issue isn't that someone else has made their character worthless but that they did by making them so dependent on the force to function in general.

 

 You want to know the best tactic to stop anti-force stuff? Have your character able to function without it. Have them be able to use a weapon other than a lightsaber or force power. Have them be able to slice or be silver tongued naturally or any other NFU field. If you don't double down on the force so much, because of how easy it is on the site to be a demi-god due to the FU status, then you won't feel worthless if you lose the ability to use the force for awhile. There needs to be a checks and balance in place to make NFU viable. Anti-force tech is part of that as it evens the playing field for them.

 

 The thing is though is that all anti-force tech does is even the playing field. If your character literally can't function without the force then you aren't doing yourself or your character any favors. You are gimping their growth and potential story development. The force is a double edged sword in that it provides you a lot of strengths and a lot of weaknesses. If you want to double down on the use of it then you need to remember that losing it is a major weakness for your character. Does it suck when your weakness gets exploited? Very much so yes. Does it mean you should throw a fit because someone actually exploited it? No. That is the risk you take when you RP. If you want to completely control the narrative then you should write your own story or fanfiction not write collaboratively with others.

 

 Now with all of that said, I could easily see both going onto the RM list. Lightsaber resistant material are on there, such as phrik and beskar. It does limit it a bit, but doesn't stop people from using it. Honestly the amount of weapons and armor that utilizes RM over standard ones for personal gear is dramatically big. The only thing the RM list does is keep the stuff off of NPC subs, which is fair and needed. You can treat Vong tech and Ysalamir the same way so that it is just a personal thing rather than being on everything. So while I feel the root cause of a lot of the complaints against them is people not wanting to adapt or get creative when their weaknesses are exploited, I would support them both going onto the RM list.

 

EDIT: To give an example of what I mean. In a thread once, Darth Carnifex was in a ysalamir field so he couldn't use his force abilities. A fight breaks out which involved explosives. He could have just died there without his force powers, but that wasn't the case. The character is the Dark Lord of the Sith, but he is also a former agent. His character has skills, that he used, to survive getting thrown out a window several stories up and not die. He could defend himself with hand to hand fighting skills without the force. His character is not reliant on the force so being in a force null field sucks for him but is not a death sentence in any way. He just had to fall back on a different set of character skills and get creative in how he approached things. THAT is how you beat anti-force tech and why it isn't nearly as bad as people like to act like it is.


Edited by John Ash, 25 June 2018 - 07:43 PM.


#11
Kaine Australis

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Why not ban Gurlanin and Fallanassi while we're at it? 

Invisible telepath shapeshifters who can hide from the Force?

Uncounterable illusionists?


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#12
Captain Larraq

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Kuat Drive Yards

I'd honestly be ok if RM dev thread requirements came back. I also liked that Tier 6 companies and workshops could specialize in a narrow field of products and dodge the RM dev thread requirements for those specific products. I just thought it was an interesting dynamic. And since dev threads end up making their way into company/workshop tier up requirements, doing drv threads just gave you writing prompts for going about your tier up requirements and slowed down people who spammed the factory (of which I'm as guilty as anyone).

Also, making Ysalamiri a restricted material, or Vong tech for that matter, doesn't stop anyone from using a 1x canon version on a personal level with no factory submission. Anyone can "have" a void stone or a Ysalamiri or crab armor or Beskar'gam or whatever. I've never seen anyone get flak over it and most people who go to the Factory to submit their toys do so voluntarily.

Here is the difference though.

You have a handwavery company of 1,000 NPCs in handwavery canon armor. If you say those NPCs are in Beskar'gam (with actual Beskar, not just "Mando style") and insist on them all being able to shrug off lightsabers and such... You get flagged by someone and sent to the factory/codex. But if you do the same thing with Crab armor, nobody can really complain about it because Crab armor is not restricted.



John Ash

I don't disagree, but I find it to be a widely different issue if a character is trapped in a 10-30 meter Ysalamiri bubble and being trapped in a 1,000 meter Ysalamiri bubble. If you are a non-FU and are facing a force user at 1,000 meters who is throwing force abilities at you, you have several defensive options to protect yourself from those abilities. Be it mental defense or various artifacts that block some of the more general force abilities.

On the other hand, if a FU wants to protect himself from a Ysalamiri field, there really isn't anything he can do. There have been plenty of attempts to make defensive counters to Ysalamiri, and staff have been fairly adamant about shooting them down. Which I get, there is no example in canon of the Ysalamiri effect being countered in spite of some very important EU characters throwing themselves at the task. But personally, I feel that if Ysalamiri are to remain off of the Restricted Materials list, then staff needs to start allowing the creation of more practical counters to their use.

Edited by Captain Larraq, 25 June 2018 - 09:06 PM.

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#13
Captain Larraq

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Kaine Australis

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#14
John Ash

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Captain Larraq

 

 If a judge allows a 1km Ysalamir field through the factory and/or Codex then that judge goofed up. It doesn't matter what the material/item in question is, if it is taken to an unrealistic extreme and allowed to happen then the fault is on the person who was suppose to be responsible for preventing it. The same can be said for Vong Tech too in this regard.

 

 You say little gets allowed through to counter Ysalamir, but I have seen 2 examples of it that do so effectively. 1 is a ysalamir field detector that Jorus Merrill made and the other an actual device that kills ysalamir that The Slave made. Both do that job pretty well in dealing with the problem and can be used by anyone who can get their hands on the tech. It also allows for counter play, which is sort of the key here to either argument. Even with a 1km ysalamir field though, there are ways to deal with it. You can kill the critter, which is always the solution to that problem, for one. Even if it is protected all you need to do is hit it with artillery and/or ships. And another solution is what I said before on knowing how to use a weapon that isn't a lightsaber or the force. Just snipe the operator or your opponents.

 

 Now to address the whole canon thing, it is that way for a lot of materials. Phrik is supposedly able to withstand a planet blowing up and still be fine. That is not how it gets treated but that is in the information on it. Same for beskar, and even duraplast/steel are overpowered in their descriptions with no real downsides. It is true for ysalamir too. You treat them the same as other things though. They are just lizards like beskar and phrik are just metals. Look at it that way and things get much easier to address.

 

 I was hinting at this point before, but ysalamir and vong tech are already being treated like RM by judges as it is. They are not allowing people to get too crazy with them regardless of if it is factory or codex. The only difference is that they can be made mass/minor production where a true RM can't. Outside of that, they all get the same treatment. Look at what happened to the bral subs. The old one, which was honestly overpowered, got archived due to it being so out of date by this point and because of it not being in line with the current balance system. They allowed a new bral to be subbed and approved however that is far more balanced. The whole process played out the same way it would if a RM was being used as well without it having to be on the RM list.

 

 So my point here is that the solution you are wanting is honestly already in place. The judges aren't going to allow crazy things to happen with those kinds of subs and they are allowed to exist because they were balanced in the first place, at least the newer ones. Making them RM or not won't matter too much in light of that. The main thing is that people just have to learn to play around them and get more creative. The reason these things show up is that it does counter the current trend, so the trend is going to have to shift with it. You see the same thing happening with ships right now. Either a ship has an interdictor or a HIMS in place. It is now a race on who can make the best version of each. The only people who suffer right now are the ones who aren't working around this new ship tech environment and so are getting countered hard.



#15
Kuat Drive Yards

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I'd honestly be ok if RM dev thread requirements came back. I also liked that Tier 6 companies and workshops could specialize in a narrow field of products and dodge the RM dev thread requirements for those specific products. I just thought it was an interesting dynamic. And since dev threads end up making their way into company/workshop tier up requirements, doing drv threads just gave you writing prompts for going about your tier up requirements and slowed down people who spammed the factory (of which I'm as guilty as anyone).

Also, making Ysalamiri a restricted material, or Vong tech for that matter, doesn't stop anyone from using a 1x canon version on a personal level with no factory submission. Anyone can "have" a void stone or a Ysalamiri or crab armor or Beskar'gam or whatever. I've never seen anyone get flak over it and most people who go to the Factory to submit their toys do so voluntarily.

Here is the difference though.

You have a handwavery company of 1,000 NPCs in handwavery canon armor. If you say those NPCs are in Beskar'gam (with actual Beskar, not just "Mando style") and insist on them all being able to shrug off lightsabers and such... You get flagged by someone and sent to the factory/codex. But if you do the same thing with Crab armor, nobody can really complain about it because Crab armor is not restricted.



Forgive me if I feel that is more of a community problem than something a rule can fix. We've had discussions about rules. About adding rules, removing rules, making them more detailed, etc., and while I have been into rule changing, everybody seems to vote against me if it means adding more rules.



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Edited by Kuat Drive Yards, 25 June 2018 - 09:51 PM.


#16
Tefka

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How many reports have been made against Ysalamiri, and how many reports have been made against Vong tech.

I can make a case for lightsabers being RM if we look at it from a “stats on paper” aspect, but I prefer to see how big of a negative impact these things have on the community before passing judgement.

#17
Cyrus Tregessar

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I wouldn't call the abuse of ysalamari recent-ish, though it may well still be occurring. The backbone of the entire Mandalorian strategy vs Force User's might be a more apt description. But joking aside you're still confronting a symptom rather than reaching for the root cause, which would be abuse of force powers prompting people to reach for every more grasping ways to deny them.

 

Overall I'd say live and let live. Especially given the inherent vulnerabilities of things like ysalamri (shoot it) and dovin basals (five rounds rapid). More rules here doesn't help much, in my opinion.


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#18
Lily Kuhn

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They allowed a new bral to be subbed and approved however that is far more balanced.

Can you link me to this? I haven't heard of a new approved bral sub. 


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#19
John Ash

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Lily Kuhn

 

 The sub is here. You were the one who did the judgement and approval on it to make sure it was balanced properly. The effective field is only 150m, the thing has no weapons on it, it can't stealth itself, and they can't overlap each other to completely carpet block an area without all of the ysalamir dying. Plus there is only 10 of them max. Compared to the old bral that was archived, it is far more fair and balanced.



#20
Alkor Centaris

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Let's be real here, there are plenty of answers to the problem that don't involve outright restricting or banning them.

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