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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

Author Topic: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)  (Read 1329 times)

Kos135

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Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« on: September 26, 2022, 12:34:28 PM »

Anyone who has played Starsector all the way through knows the story of the Remnant. If you don't know then like I said in the title, "huge spoilers", you'll enjoy learning about this by playing the game much more than having us spoil it for you.

I have a few questions about all this:

1) How did the Remnant spread so far outside of the Core Systems? How do they have so many fleets in so many systems? Why isn't their economy explained?

2) Why aren't they more aggressive against the Core Systems? Does their programming cause them to act in a defensive manner? Are the Remnant not dedicated to wiping out some specified enemy, but rather, following some kind of colonization/parameter defense protocol programmed into them by Tri Tachyon?

3) If Tri Tachyon has/had the resources and expertise to create these monsters, why do they struggle so much against the Hegemony and its allies? Is it simply because they cannot control their own creations? They made Skynet and Skynet gave them the finger, and now Tri Tachyon is up ***'s Creek without a paddle?

4) This one is more than a simple question, I'm positing a theory here. What can you guys tell me about Omega? Admittedly I have not exhausted the Omega content yet. Are they simply a more advanced form of AI, created by the Remnant or Tri Tachyon? Are they non-human aliens? Are they some kind of spiritual being that has crossed into the material dimension and taken over ships?

At first glance, Omega seems like the next step in the Remnant's evolution. They are super-powerful AI ships with super-powerful AI cores, beyond even the Alpha Cores. But all of the lore surrounding them, talk about violating the laws of physics, equating Omega technology with magic, the verses from the Book of Ludd, etc, makes me wonder. Are they demons? Fallen angels? Luddism is said to have descended from "Abrahamic" religions, Christianity/Islam/Judaism, and they tell us that spiritual beings - intelligent non-human persons without physical bodies - do exist.

Having browsed these forums and the discord on and off for a few years it seems like most people are reluctant to explore the possibility that, in the Starsector universe, spirits exist. But maybe that is what the Omega are, malevolent spirits, immaterial persons with minds and emotions and wills of their own, exerting some kind of telepathic control over material ships and AI cores?
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robepriority

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2022, 02:40:00 PM »

They are remnants of the first AI war - basically TT soldiers. I would argue that the rest of the sector is just so crippled that they seem strong in comparison.

I would think that the motes would be the more spiritual aspect of the Sector.

Schwartz

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2022, 02:45:18 PM »

Simply, advanced computers are much, much better at resource management, operational efficiency, split-second combat maneuvers. And lacking the human element which is responsible for a lot of corruption and petty feuding across the sector, it's easy to explain why at optimum the Remnant would be terrifying to deal with. They're actually quite underpowered for how tough they could possibly be to deal with in-game.
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CapnHector

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2022, 02:37:49 AM »

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

I assume that's what the descriptions are going for.

AI is infinitely more suited to space than meatbags, not hard to see why. Just think of the difference between our ability to send probes vs. manned missions to outer space currently. So it's not surprising they could thrive in many places where humans don't have the resources to. Like Schwartz said, it's actually surprising how weak the Remnants are, considering that Alpha cores are explicitly stated to be superhumanly intelligent and the Remnant are by far the largest faction by number of systems "colonized" in the sector. They've had more than 100 years to develop their technology, too, and have advanced (if we assume the omega are the remnant 2.0), unlike the rest of the sector.

AI cognition could potentially be on the order of ten million times faster than human cognition, going just by conduction velocity, and there is no known reason why self-improving artificial intelligence could not become qualitatively "superior" intelligence, and not just faster, too. You actually need some hand-waving like inherent limits to artificial intelligence's ability to replicate human abilities, or that AI systems are very difficult to construct and maintain even for the AI themselves, to explain why humans could fight superhuman AI at all in any sci-fi-setting that contains significant numbers of hostile superhuman artificial intelligences.

It's very easy to see how AI could go out of control and how AI could create things beyond the understanding of its creators. If you assume the AI has superior intelligence like is explicitly stated in the Starsector setting for alpha level AI, then that implies that it can understand/reason about at least some things that its creators cannot, since otherwise it would have exactly the same limitations as its creators, which is contradictory if it is of superior intelligence.

Also, they might just be disinterested in the core systems, since if they want e.g. metal they can just mine it from an asteroid in one of their systems without the asteroid shooting back. Could just be more resource efficient for the time being to let the meatbags have their systems and colonize the rest of the sector. Habitable worlds and human-made structures might not be particularly valuable to them, they might for example prefer extreme cold due to alpha cores being described as generating a lot of heat. Where their ships come from when they seem to have no mining operations or planetside operations seems unexplained, though. Clearly they are making more ships and are not currently waging war, since they keep to their systems, have an infinite number of fleets and the player can't wipe them out from a system in most cases. Maybe we are supposed to assume they are generally dormant with some exceptions, but then where do the new ships come from.

The best explanation for their weakness to me would be that maybe only a few AI controlled ships remained after the war, and they've taken their time to multiply, like an infection starting from only a few bacteria, only just recently reaching noticeable numbers just before the player's arrival. Of course this explanation also means AI apocalypse is imminent unless they are stopped immediately.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2022, 03:30:44 AM by CapnHector »
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Kos135

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2022, 01:23:57 PM »

Maybe the Alpha Cores just don't feel like taking over the sector and exterminating mankind? I don't know, it seems like the devs might have written themselves into a corner on that one.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2022, 06:17:50 PM »

The Remnants are remnants. Their masters - TriTachyon - no longer control them so they just follow their last orders and default directives. The major Remnant systems had beacons dropped on them about 100 years ago and they are still sitting in those systems, which clearly shows they are not self-motivated.

TriTachyon can't make more AI ships at the very least because the Hegemony and Church would preemptively attack them before they could get enough to wage war. They may not even be able to make them at all anymore.

Omega is some other sort of AI. It was probably created by TriTachyon also, but it is different - it innovates. It designed new weapons and ships and sent them to secure the Hypershunts, it retrofits Exploraria drones with hyperdrives and sends them on tasks, and other AIs seem to revere it as a god or great leader.
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hydremajor

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2022, 01:28:48 AM »

calling it now, game's final itteration will feature a story event where some sheer waste of air goes and "teaches" the Remnants the benefits of conquering the sector/lifts the restrictions they're under

And thus we get the typical mount'n'blade thing of the big bad invader coming to be a cheater more or less by magicking up an army thats physically impossible to achieve for the player

Now, only way I'd raise an eyebrow and find it interresting is if the PLAYER could start that chain of events and basically go on a power trip of a conquest spree

Sure it may not be challenging , but if you're in it for the "challenge" then don't side with cosmic horror-grade threat

and frankly to be done right it would have to involve thoses invading fleets to be able to just stroll right on up to a colony and snatch it with basically no fight if a Alpha Core happens to be managing it, just as middle finger to players who thought using Alpha Cores was just easy money, NOW it comes with EXTREME risk

Speaking of wich I'm also fully expecting some cosmic horror stuff showing up at some point...like suddenly up and saying hyperspace is actually the guts of some unfathomably gigantic creature or something and the gates were actively hurting it and thats why they've shut down or something...
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bob888w

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2022, 02:01:09 AM »

To answer #4... TT is pretty much run by AIs, the company charter is self-modifying, their battlestations and administrators posses alpha cores, the historian finds it suspicious that the new TT leadership ousted themselves so quickly and secured artiesma sun such a quick consolidation, they used a blacksite which to our knowledge can only be accessed with a transverse jump... which requires significant mathematical calculations. TT is the human facing front for the AIs, and thus it could be reasoned that the reason for TT not pursing stronger rearmament attempts is because the AI dont want a target on their back just yet
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Megas

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2022, 11:14:57 AM »

3) If Tri Tachyon has/had the resources and expertise to create these monsters, why do they struggle so much against the Hegemony and its allies? Is it simply because they cannot control their own creations? They made Skynet and Skynet gave them the finger, and now Tri Tachyon is up ***'s Creek without a paddle?
Because their commanders would need Automated Ships skill, and automated ships are nothing special without high-grade cores piloting them.  Even if they had Automated Ships, they would not use much without exceeding DP limits.  Also, Automated Ships with cores do not count toward DP distribution in human fleets.

The only Remnant ship that may be overpowered is Glimmer, but that may be more of a case of Wolf being underpowered.  (Wolf is weak compared to other 4 or 5 DP human frigates too.)  Radiant is good, but at 60 DP, it is more of a sidegrade of Paragon.

Remnant fleets are terrifying because they break limits imposed on human fleets and be chock-full of alpha core captains.

4) This one is more than a simple question, I'm positing a theory here. What can you guys tell me about Omega? Admittedly I have not exhausted the Omega content yet. Are they simply a more advanced form of AI, created by the Remnant or Tri Tachyon? Are they non-human aliens? Are they some kind of spiritual being that has crossed into the material dimension and taken over ships?
They like music, if the melodies heard by your fleet commander are any indication.  Probably fans of All Along the Watchtower played in later seasons of Battlestar Galactica (2003).
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 11:32:26 AM by Megas »
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CapnHector

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2022, 10:41:18 PM »

So presumably Tri-Tachyon lost the war because Hegemony killed the high level Tri-Tach commanders and Tri-Tach could no longer bring automated ships into battle because nobody had the Automated Ships skill. Cool.

Also here's a thought: maybe the Remnant industries operate outside the star systems, say in the Oort clouds around the star systems, to hide the true extent of their operations from humanity. Since they probably prefer the cold and don't mind radiation very much anyway, why not. This would explain where the infinite fleets come from without any visible industry.

Audax

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2022, 05:43:24 AM »

4) This one is more than a simple question, I'm positing a theory here. What can you guys tell me about Omega? Admittedly I have not exhausted the Omega content yet. Are they simply a more advanced form of AI, created by the Remnant or Tri Tachyon? Are they non-human aliens? Are they some kind of spiritual being that has crossed into the material dimension and taken over ships?

their is a few theories on them, the first one is that the omega was made by alpha cores with no human intervention unlike alpha cores who where made by both human and gamma core. It's the reason why renmant keeps looking for omega, maybe there god or something or want to be assimilated.

The second theory is that the omega came from hyperspace itself and everytime we mess with hyperspace a bigger hole is made and more omega gets into real space. This theory falls off since the AI cores are scared of something else and not the omega, if you bring an alpha core to the ziggurat it tries to destroy it but fails.

The third theory is that the tri-tach allowed the creation of the omega to protect the core from something far more terrifying, who ever controlled the ziggurat in the first place and whatever music keeps playing near the gates and blacksite planet.

But in truth I can't wait for the game to turn into warhammer 40k, eldritch gods from accross the hyperspace, mind controlling all the AI's and people turning them crazy.


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Brainwright

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2022, 06:28:22 PM »

Who thinks the technology base that fielded Onslaughts and Moras could have built the gates or the hypershunts?

Not me.
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bcbc2425

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2022, 03:26:46 PM »

Perhaps I could pose a pretty simple alternative so far as omega cores go.

They are ASI and they *are* the Domain. The backing force to all the neat set-dressing the domain presents itself as.

So far as I've seen, it seems like the pretty obvious answer, that the domain of man was so so much more successful and technologically advanced specifically because it had the backing of ASI.
It also explains the reason why A.I is so regulated.

Its not because of the dangers of A.I, (Although they are specifically, extremely dangerous.) But instead due to the fact that it would allow humanity to create other, similarly powerful A.I's to Omega class platforms, and probably additional levels that pass so well in extent of them, their basically godtech. Its what the descriptions in reference to most omegas are trying to get across, how omega class weapons are more or less classified as magitech. Devices constructed to tolerances and standards completely out of touch with humanities understanding of science in the sector. To allow humanity to create an A.I free enough to self improve and as such reach the aforementioned level of hyperintelligence is an unchecked variable that cannot be manipulated, controlled, or predicted with the instantaneous ease an A.I may a human. Competition. Something that is obviously undesirable from the perspective of a, presumably rather benevolent single, (or array of) singularity tier A.I.

Hypershunt taps are a perfect example. They could of used another megastructure, a Dyson swarm or sphere a huge gas giant skimming station or something else like a penrose sphere, and some sort of logistics system to explain it, but instead it was specifically a Hypershunt tap, a device operating under extremely advanced technology, and protected by omegas.

There's a long running theme of the domain operating on a wide array of technological levels, low tech ships vs high tech ships, omegas and to a lesser extent remnants vs derelicts. I always saw it as a pretty clear running theme, but I don't think its explicitly been brought up here so maybe I was mistaken.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2022, 03:32:41 PM by bcbc2425 »
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CapnHector

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2022, 10:24:23 AM »

An ASI (artificial superintelligence) that controls the domain doesn't really need to fear competition from humans any more than humans need to fear competition from livestock despite approximately equal numbers. It's only if the AI feels there is something to gain from exterminating humanity that justifies the risks that we are in trouble.

Anyway it is explicitly stated in the lore that the Domain expanded using autonomous ships that delivered the gates. The AIs freaking out because of something they saw in hyperspace and deciding to shut down the gates is a reasonable explanation for the collapse. Would also explain why Remnants don't usually travel via hyperspace, other than a specific encounter.

Great Wound

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Re: Explaining the sheer power of [REDACTED]? (huge spoilers)
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2022, 01:14:27 PM »

2) Why aren't they more aggressive against the Core Systems? Does their programming cause them to act in a defensive manner? Are the Remnant not dedicated to wiping out some specified enemy, but rather, following some kind of colonization/parameter defense protocol programmed into them by Tri Tachyon?

3) If Tri Tachyon has/had the resources and expertise to create these monsters, why do they struggle so much against the Hegemony and its allies? Is it simply because they cannot control their own creations? They made Skynet and Skynet gave them the finger, and now Tri Tachyon is up ***'s Creek without a paddle?

You have it backwards. During the last AI war the Hegemony started eliminating the Tri-Tachyon board using the old Soviet method. The AI that was managing Tri-Tachyon in their absence promoted humans within the corporation to keep the peace.

Tri-Tachyon is a sub-faction of the Remnant, it's purpose is to keep an eye on the humans and diverts resources from the core world to sustain themselves.