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GizmoGomez

Rename "Antimatter" in plasma mechanics to "Graviton"

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Hey, guys. Howzit?

So, thinking over the plasma weapon mechanics, I remembered that the ionized gas (the plasma itself) is prevented from dissipating by the inclusion of a bit of antimatter at the core, which somehow binds it together for longer. Antimatter doesn't behave like this, and it kind of breaks a lot of immersion for me, and probably would for a lot of others who know how antimatter operates. Actually, it's my main complaint in the game right now, now that I think about it.

I would recommend calling it a graviton (inject a cluster of gravitons, inject a single graviton, etc) instead of antimatter, because calling it antimatter makes no sense. Antimatter would simply annihilate with some of the plasma (it being regular matter), creating a release of energy (if a lot of antimatter, a whole heck of a lot of energy.) It would just detonate inside the barrel of your gun, leading to a big mess and probably a dead soldier.

However, gravitons are the hypothesized elementary particle relating to gravity, just as the photon relates to electromagnetism (light), the gluon relates to the strong nuclear force, and the W and Z bosons relate to the weak nuclear force.

While gravitons technically wouldn't act as the game says either, I think they would make a much better particle to techno-babble away as the reason the plasma doesn't dissipate. I mean, since they actually relate to gravity, it'd make a lot more sense to people who actually know what antimatter is and how it behaves, even if only on an elementary level, and how gravitons (probably) actually operate isn't nearly as well known as antimatter's properties, so it'd be much less likely for people to notice what's wrong. Besides, graviton's just sound cool.

I don't think it'd take all that much changing of the game, just a few lines of research description and xenopedia, I'd expect. But it would increase the level of immersion for me (and probably other people who know how antimatter operates) significantly.

That's all.

Thanks!

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Sci-Fi enthusiats would probably scratch their heads too, because antimatter is presented as 'explody' pretty much all the time. Very explody. And in a game with killing aliens there'd probably be a good few.

And gravitons sounds like gravity anyways, so its a good change.

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Gravitons are...iffy. I'd use something like "self-stabilizing magnetic vortex" or just simple "exotic matter".

Ahh, guys from encyclopedia galactica will tear any theory to dust anyway.

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Eh, I just figured that since a good portion of the game is techno-babble, we may as well use something that most people don't know about, instead of the stereotypical antimatter that shows up in just about every science fiction story. I mean, it's common knowledge that antimatter annihilates with matter, or at least it makes "big booms" and the like, but few people know what gravitons actually do, so I figured it wouldn't matter that much. Besides, gravitons just sound cool, and like they involve gravity, which is what the "antimatter" injected into the plasma is doing, creating a gravitational field to keep the plasma bolt together for longer.

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From that point of view you are completely right, but gravitons also obviously correlated with "gravity". Kind of known as the Earth pulling force.

Well, at least this will explain the fact that missed shots always drop to the ground and never flying upwards =)

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Well, wasn't the point of the "antimatter" being injected to hold the plasma together, and keep it from dissipating as quickly, by creating a gravitational field?

That's why I chose gravitons, because the point of the injected particle was to create a gravitational field to hold the shot together, and keep it from spewing everywhere like ionized gas would without something to keep it together. Gravitons sound like gravity, and thus them making a (magical) gravitational field makes sense, from a layman's point of view (I'd hope so, anyway.)

Also, the plasma is what would be acted upon by the Earth's gravity, not the graviton itself. I mean, sure, it would, but it'd me incredibly negligible. I mean, it's a massless particle for goodness sake. It'd be affected the same as a photon would be. Do you see light visibly bending down when you shoot a laser? It wouldn't make a difference to the players, is what I'm trying to say, hopefully they'd realize that.

Also, an anti-graviton would (probably) just annihilate, seeing as it's still antimatter.

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Even better idea: 'Space magic'. Or 'magick' if you prefer.

So it'd be something like: "And the plasma bolt maintains coherence due to what I can only call 'space magic' as one of the engineering trolls coined it. Personally I find the term fitting their crude natures but I find that the description is as good as any. We have no idea how it does it, but further study of alien weapons could advance our knowledge of how to copy the 'magic' generator."

Or something.

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Billions of tiny stardust fairies with their needles made of nothing but the perfect moonlight are living inside the plasma ball. And their duty is to keep sewing their home together with a thread as thin as the chance of shoemaker uncovering the new fundamental force while eating his burger in the second-rate inn. Generations of these fairies are born while the ball is slowly (by their measures) moving towards the destination, and every newborn is told by the grandseamstress fairy about their Journey onward, and the Needle Unbroken, and the Great Splurt awaiting, and how the Strongforce Needlenobles will rise from their eternal rest and bring all worthy fairies to the Quantum Heaven.

Or something.

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Anyway, concluding my POV: graviton is better than antimatter. But there are more appropriate and scifi-fan-neutral variants.

PS: Possible scientific explanations of ball lightning phenomena is a nice variety of reliable (to a degree) hypothesis about self-stabilizing plasma charge.

Edited by a333

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I dunno about the fairies, that might not go over so well with Chris. I love it, though. ;)

I just wanted it renamed, it doesn't have to be graviton.

I like the "space magic" idea (I'm being serous now, I do think it'd work), it fits with the "we have no idea what we're doing, but we're doing it anyway" theme that researching seems to have touched upon in this game. I mean, we don't have time to understand all of these technologies, we just need to repurpose and reproduce them to combat the aliens.

Perhaps when we initially research a plasma weapon, it'll use the "space magic" description, and when we research the actual manufacturable plasma weapons it'll tell us that through further study, it's been proven to relate to ball lightning (because I like ball lightning, it's fascinating), and because we now know how it works, we can finally make plasma weapons of our own. It'd give us a sense of the research continuing on, and connecting them together by referencing their previous ignorance as to what the little ring on the end of the barrel did.

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Look boss, the Unicorn just arrived and dropped it off. I don't know how it works. No one does. Not even the workshop dwarves.

Coming soon in the new sci-fi epic Lord of the Rings (of Saturn)

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Lord of the Rings (of Saturn)

I love you.

I like the "space magic" idea (I'm being serous now, I do think it'd work), it fits with the "we have no idea what we're doing, but we're doing it anyway" theme that researching seems to have touched upon in this game.

It also fits well with that science-jerk attitude of "I can explain to you how it works, but your brain will splode after the first two sentences and i DO hate brain-stains, so... magic."

I'm afraid that there can be only one description for each project, though.

the little ring on the end of the barrel

Aaaaand here it is my prrecious.

Edited by a333

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Aha! The ball lightning space magic ring to rule them all is what is causing some of the civilians to be invisible on the map!

It all makes sense now...

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Yeah, the antimatter think irked me, too, when I first read it.

How about changing it to "exotic matter"? That seems like a real enough thing for people to know that it's real, but also weird enough for people to not know what it can do. I know I don't.

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It also fits well with that science-jerk attitude of "I can explain to you how it works, but your brain will splode after the first two sentences and i DO hate brain-stains, so... magic."

I'm afraid that there can be only one description for each project, though.

No, not changing the description. The first time you research an alien plasma weapon, you get a report on how the guns work. We can't build plasma guns ourselves yet, though. That's the space magic one. When we research plasma weapons to construct ourselves, we add that it involves ball lightning in that research description, not change the previous one.

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Aha, that's seem logical. We'll need to bring Chris here later, when it will be time for such adjustments.

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Well, I try to be the devil's advocate here. Why should there not be a small amount of antimatter be injected into the plasma? After all the matter/anti-matter annihilation reaction will create a huge amount of energy, which in turn could be used by some unknown physical process to power the creation of a gravitational field that gives the plasma bolt its coherence. An Annihilation reaction means a release of energy not necessarily an exothermic reaction akin to an explosion.

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I have actually changed this, mostly because I already made up some stuff with gravitons for the Alien Antigravity Emitter so I figured I may as well be consistent.

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Cool, I'm glad we have consistency. Thanks Chris!

EDIT:

Although, on second thought, I did really like the "space magic" idea (with the scientists clarifying to graviton, or ball lightning, etc when we research plasma weapons for ourselves), as it could make the xenopedia entries appear to have more continuity, in that we're building upon our previous research and figuring out how to understand the space magic, as the technicians call it. You go ahead and do whatever you think'd be best, just my 2 cents.

Edited by GizmoGomez

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