Babylon 5 races?

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BattleHymn REpublic
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Babylon 5 races?

Post#1 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:41 pm

I think that if there's ever a VGA 5, Babylon 5 races should be added.

Why? B5, along with Star Wars and Star Trek, arguably form the Big Three of space opera. Now, I'm not saying that shows such as Farscape, SG-1, and Firefly aren't good as well, but all of those shows are more modern, not to mention they don't exactly feature the sort of 'traditional' space opera that Star Wars and Star Trek had.

Furthermore, B5 is a source for at least six new races: Earth Alliance, Minbari Federation, Centauri Republic, Narn Regime, Vorlon Empire, and the Shadows.

However, for game balance's sake, can all six races really be added?

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Havok
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Re: Babylon 5 races?

Post#2 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:20 pm

BattleHymn REpublic wrote:I think that if there's ever a VGA 5, Babylon 5 races should be added.

Why? B5, along with Star Wars and Star Trek, arguably form the Big Three of space opera. Now, I'm not saying that shows such as Farscape, SG-1, and Firefly aren't good as well, but all of those shows are more modern, not to mention they don't exactly feature the sort of 'traditional' space opera that Star Wars and Star Trek had.

Furthermore, B5 is a source for at least six new races: Earth Alliance, Minbari Federation, Centauri Republic, Narn Regime, Vorlon Empire, and the Shadows.

However, for game balance's sake, can all six races really be added?
I don't think you'll ever see a VGAP5. People have been waiting for 4 for something like 8 years now. It has to be the longest wait for a sequel with the exception of Duke Nukem 2.0.

It can be done, it's just very time consuming to do all of the images and making the ships, balancing the list, etc. I don't know if there are enough ships to flesh out each race individually. (I could be wrong, I don't have any B5 ship guides). What might be better is building 2 races with a combination of the 2 groups (Vorlon, Earth, Mimbari, Rangers, Narn) in one and (Shadows, Draak, Centuari, etc) in another. That might work out.

Matt Klauser and myself have spoken about updating the Colonies of Man and Robots to reflect the new Galactia series that has started, but we're still limited on the very little amount of ships that have been shown to us so far in the new series. I'd like to see a Gollum type super ship myself.
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Klauser
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Re: Babylon 5 races?

Post#3 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:00 pm

Havok wrote:
BattleHymn REpublic wrote:I think that if there's ever a VGA 5, Babylon 5 races should be added.

Why? B5, along with Star Wars and Star Trek, arguably form the Big Three of space opera. Now, I'm not saying that shows such as Farscape, SG-1, and Firefly aren't good as well, but all of those shows are more modern, not to mention they don't exactly feature the sort of 'traditional' space opera that Star Wars and Star Trek had.

Furthermore, B5 is a source for at least six new races: Earth Alliance, Minbari Federation, Centauri Republic, Narn Regime, Vorlon Empire, and the Shadows.

However, for game balance's sake, can all six races really be added?
I don't think you'll ever see a VGAP5. People have been waiting for 4 for something like 8 years now. It has to be the longest wait for a sequel with the exception of Duke Nukem 2.0.

It can be done, it's just very time consuming to do all of the images and making the ships, balancing the list, etc. I don't know if there are enough ships to flesh out each race individually. (I could be wrong, I don't have any B5 ship guides). What might be better is building 2 races with a combination of the 2 groups (Vorlon, Earth, Mimbari, Rangers, Narn) in one and (Shadows, Draak, Centuari, etc) in another. That might work out.

Matt Klauser and myself have spoken about updating the Colonies of Man and Robots to reflect the new Galactia series that has started, but we're still limited on the very little amount of ships that have been shown to us so far in the new series. I'd like to see a Gollum type super ship myself.
As I mentioned in another post on Trek races, I've done a couple of Trek-based ship mads for VGAP and except for some interesting variations on those lists, I've pretty much done everything I wanted to do with Trek for VGAP.

One of the problems with both B5 and the new Galactica is the relatively low number of ships per race available to translate.

For Galactica. truth be told you could simply plug in the new ship graphic for some of the ships and call it a day.

B5 is a real heartbreaker. I'm a big B5 fan and looked real hard at doing a B5 conversion for VGAP. The problem remains that the Vorlons and the Shadows - by definition - should overpower any other race you stack against them. It simply doesn't make for a good 11 player environment. You could do a 2 sided scenario where the Vorlons and Shadows are in competition to draw other races to their side, but the victory conditions would have to be structured for number of confirmed allies, instead of your standard -or even alternate - scoring methods. Another issue is the low number of ships per race you see in the series - with some exception, you only see 2, maybe 3 classes of major combattants for each race. Tough to build a VGAP shiplist around that.

][avok and I have also tossed around the idea of a Star Wars based scenario. It would be a lightside vs. darkside affair. But there's alot of details that would have to be fleshed out.
Klauser

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BattleHymn REpublic
Posts: 17

Post#4 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:53 am

How would the characterizations of the 6 B5 races be like? I'm not sure how you would make the Earth Alliance and Centauris distinct from the already-established races. And I'm unsure about the Minbari and the Narn as well, to some extent.

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Klauser
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Post#5 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:57 am

BattleHymn REpublic wrote:How would the characterizations of the 6 B5 races be like? I'm not sure how you would make the Earth Alliance and Centauris distinct from the already-established races. And I'm unsure about the Minbari and the Narn as well, to some extent.
If your goal is to incorporate B5 races into the standard VGAP list, here's some ideas about how to do it.

The first step is to look at who's in the list now. You've got 11 races - 7 Trek races, 2 SW races, and 2 BG Races. As I mentioned in a previous post the obvious approach is to swap out some of the Trek races:

Player 1 - Solar Feds
Player 2 - Lizard
Player 3 - Birds
Player 4 - Fascists
Player 5 - Privateers
Player 6 - Cyborg
Player 7 - Crystals

In my opinion you want to leave the in Solar Feds, Birdmen (Romulans), and Fascists (Klingons) at a minimum because they are the signature Trek races. That leaves you four races to play with.

Before going further, you need to decide what races you're going to add to the list. The major races from B5 are: Earth Alliance, Minbari, Narn, Centauri Republic, the Shadows, and the Vorlons. That's six. The obvious two to eliminate are the Shadows and the Vorlons - they're comparatively too powerful compared to the rest. That leaves you four races: Earth Alliance, Minbari, Narn, and Centauri Republic

So, take a look at the four remaining trek races and see what B5 races you can replace with what:

Player 2 - Lizard
Player 5 - Privateers
Player 6 - Cyborg
Player 7 - Crystals

Ouch. Each of these races has significant race abilities that are tailored to that race.

Right up front, the Narn is a fair fit to replace the Lizards - so they go in Player slot 2.

That leaves the Earth Alliance, Minbari, and Centauri.

Look at the remaining race abilities

- the Privateers have rob ship, 3x crew kill, and can't clone.

- The Cyborg have assimilation, recover minerals and ship repair.

- The Crystals like desert worlds, web mines, tow capture and can't clone.

To be honest, none of these B5 races are a good fit.

You can use HCONFIG to trim back some of the abilities - for example have the Crystals like normal temperature worlds. Other abilities you can't.

If I had to make a choice, I'd make the following:

Player 2 - Narn
Player 5 - Centauri Republic
Player 6 - Minbari
Player 7 - Earth Alliance

- Narn: I'd pretty much leave the Lizard abilities intact.
- Centauri: Again, I'd pretty much leave the Privateer abilities intact, but would not give them the gravitonic ships.
- Minbari: I'd turn off the assimilation (rate=0), but leave the rest of the abilities.
- Earth Alliance: Use normal temperature worlds and turn off web mines.

These choices are not perfect - in fact it makes them somewhat weaker in special abilities than the remaining races. Other folks would may make other choices for different reasons.

Now that the race assignments are done, you've got to look at the ships - both hulls and abilities. For example, the Centauri Republic - which is now in the Privateer slot - is a challenge. Not counting freighters and alchemy ships, the Privateer has the following ships: Outrider, BR4, D7a, Little Pest, Dwarfstar, BR5, Small Transport, Meteor, Skyfire, D3, Redwind, and Bloodfang. Many of these ships are shared by other races, so if you eliminate all the shared ships, the Privateer-unique hulls are: Dwarfstar, BR4, BR5, Meteor, Bloodfang. Five ships - and three of those are gravatonics.

While the Centauri are the worst case scenario, the other races have similar problems - like the Narn now sharing two Fed hulls. These hull problems can most likely be solved by creative hull swapping between B5 races plus some pilfering of useless hull slots from other races - an obvious example is the Small Transport.

Next is the deciding what the new ship names and stats will be. As a general rule, there are not alot of ships seen for each race in B5 - which is a good thing as we are dealing with a small number of avaiable ship slots here. You've got to determine which ship classes you'll use, get graphics then render them for the game - both for DOS and WINPLAn - and then come up with ship stats that reflect their race abilities without imbalancing the game.

Hope that helps shed some light on the issue ...
Klauser

"Any ship can be a minesweeper ... once!"

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Shardin5
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Post#6 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:27 pm

What a really cool Idea, but you would almost have to create a new host version, like phost or fhost, call it bghost. As you would have to create all sorts of new features, Bab5 is my all time favorite Sci-Fi show, even more than the new BSG, which is a very CLOSE second.
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Post#7 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:36 pm

Enemy#1 wrote:What a really cool Idea, but you would almost have to create a new host version, like phost or fhost, call it bghost. As you would have to create all sorts of new features, Bab5 is my all time favorite Sci-Fi show, even more than the new BSG, which is a very CLOSE second.
So did you know that JMS is talking about bringing B5 back in 07? They offered him a major motion picture, but he refused because of G'Kar's and the Doctor's deaths. He said that they will not be re-cast in any way shape or form. So he's going with a series of short stories about the individual charaters.
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][avok

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Shardin5
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Post#8 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:54 pm

yeah, but producing rights are still owned by turner broadcasting, they will screw it over.
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference.
The US Marines don't have that problem.
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Post#9 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:22 pm

Enemy#1 wrote:yeah, but producing rights are still owned by turner broadcasting, they will screw it over.
More on B5 : The Lost Tales here and a link to free downloads of the first season.

http://www.filmfodder.com/scifi/archive ... he_l.shtml

Another decent article here.

http://news.com.com/2061-10802_3-6099041.html
Regards,
][avok

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Post#10 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:24 pm

Enemy#1 wrote:yeah, but producing rights are still owned by turner broadcasting, they will screw it over.
More on B5 : The Lost Tales here and a link to free downloads of the first season.

http://www.filmfodder.com/scifi/archive ... he_l.shtml
Regards,
][avok

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