Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fray Classes

Hi. This needs some editing, but I'm tired. It also doesn't cover everything, or at least I'm not satisfied with just these, so I'll probably do some more later.

Reaper: Reapers are the heavy machine gun class, combined with the speed and mobility more commonly associated with ninja types. They have very fluid ground movement, but lack vertical speed unless they can find or make ramps, because most of their movement isn’t actually walking, it’s jetting around on slipskates. Their iconic loadout is pair of circular machineguns, barrels located on the bottom of the cylinder, hanging from the chest with leather postboy satchel straps. Ammo is located in the backpack, which carries an impressive amount at the cost of little actual general carrying capacity.
Reapers as a class generally rely on their namesake scything streams of bullets, forgoing grenades or explosives almost entirely in favor of cutting up bits of their environment. They also have exoskeletons that let them ignore almost all recoil, making spinning rocket dashes plus fully automatic machinegun fire an entirely viable tactic. This also makes them slightly less versatile, especially in high cover, long range environments, as they don’t actually have the accuracy to properly engage snipers or the indirect, indiscriminate fire needed to sweep bunkers. As a result, they are one of the most utterly fun classes to play, but serious gamers tend to pass them up unless they have heavy backup. A shame, really, because they are supposed to be the game’s mascot role.

Buster: Busters are a class specializing in long range explosive attacks, with relatively lower mobility than their fellows, designed to allow devastating first strikes and assaults, destroying cover from afar. Limited ammunition is its main weakness, it requires careful budgeting of shots to destroy cover and kill opponents without leaving oneself defenseless. Nevertheless it can be a very fun class for anyone who really just loves blowing stuff up, especially with the addition of incendiaries, as one can often destroy huge portions of the environment with a full loadout.
Despite its obvious advantages, a skilled player can often use the Buster’s own explosives against it, as they produce large smokescreens if deployed in mass, as well as the tendency for long bursts to make the followup shots detonate early. Combined with the time it takes to change positions and its limited close combat capabilities, it is mostly a support or ambush class, requiring a lot of skill to use solo.
Because of this, Busters are mostly only used by the unskilled and the very skilled, the latter of which tend to use it in a somewhat traditional sniper role, with carefully placed and timed shots, high concealment, and a very careful approach to close quarters fights. They are, however, regarded as one of the top tiers for skilled players, allowing the potential for unparalleled battlefield control and very long range, as well as the best ammunition lethality to quantity ratio available.

Keeper: Keepers are the defensive packrat trapmaster class, with a large backpack, several weapon types, decent speed, and an emphasis on versatility. Keepers move both by running and with short range rocket assisted jumps, and their backpacks carry lots of grenades, armor, and fuel.
Their iconic loadout is a huge, semicubical backpack, heavy armor with visible rocket funnels at the back, and a recoilless assault rifle, with a split exhaust port that make it resemble a truncated crutch, with a large box magazine that is shoved all the way through, keeping the gun symmetrical. The gun has an optional bladed edge and rear handle, allowing it to be used as a combination sword and carbine at the cost of some comfort while aiming, and they can be dual wielded. As the Keeper specializes in endurance and versatility, their main advantage is in extended firefights, where they have the option to fortify a position with their enhanced strength, large capacity for smartmines or other defences, and where their extensive ammunition reserves will let them outlast other classes.
For experienced players, keepers are critical parts of any team, allowing much better long term performance, but mostly viewed as a class to offload to the less skilled, as they lack the obvious firepower of other classes. Despite this, they actually have the third best track record for kills to losses, as they rarely engage anyone with longer effective range then themselves, being able to simply rely on their fortifications.

Sniper: Snipers still exist in Fray, despite the emphasis on small teams of heavy hitters that can ignore such boring things as logistics, simply because being able to kill entire teams of opponents from concealment well away from where they could return fire is very fun for a select few. Most rely on beam weapons, which have reasonable range, somewhat slow firing speed, reasonable ammunition, and instant pinpoint accuracy. The limited firing speed can be compensated by simply carrying more than one, and all these factors make them ideal sniper weapons, allowing players to avoid many of the difficulties in actual sniping.
Some snipers, however, prefer projectile weapons, accepting the steep learning curve, target leading, and extra visibility in exchange for range, rate of fire, ammunition capacity, and minor indirect fire ability. While significantly less popular than Busters, which have most of the same advantages but with much bigger explosives, a small but dedicated fanbase remains, notably including Kiska/Aimbot.

Driver: Drivers are pretty much exactly what they sound like, being a dedicated vehicle class. They (mostly) forgo the exoskeletons of other classes, instead piloting wheeled or treaded vehicles, allowing the best speed, armor, firepower, and carrying capacity of any class, but trading most of the ability to navigate uneven surfaces, evade fire, or utilize cover proportionally. This only applies to dedicated vehicle specialists, as most classes love the ability to use motorcycles, preferably with a mounted turret of some kind. Well liked for transport of fire support, but generally treated as inferior to Busters, which can usually kill them before they can return fire. While aircraft are generally rare, Drivers become a much more attractive class if they can get their hands on one, as the few available are both really cool and very powerful.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dive Units (Fray Universe)

Full Immersion Physical Simulators, better known as Dive Units or Divers due to their use of fluid suspension, are a type of virtual reality simulation equipment.
They take the form of an adjustable body frame within a thick plastic saline filled shell, a bodysuit attached to the frame, a fairly powerful computer, an air helmet, and a filter to keep the tank clean. Procedures exist to flush the tank if the mask seal breaks, breathing is obstructed, or the user goes into cardiac arrest.
The frame can be rotated to manipulate balance and the sense of motion, but the body is intended to be locked in place--touch and muscle movement are entirely simulated, decreasing the cost, maintenance, and safety concerns, although more articulated frames are in development as next generation Units.
The actual control and tactile feedback is accomplished by the skintight bodysuit. Said bodysuit is actually an enormous number of microelectrodes, tuned and wrapped to the contours of the body, so that it can artificially stimulate the nerves. The suit is then attached to the frame, through which the computer cables and air hose are routed, and the frame has emergency release mechanisms placed where the jands can be comfortably reach them, but designed that activating them is difficult to do by accident.
While microelectrodes are sufficient to simulate muscle movement, there is no viable way to directly simulate vision artificially, so it simply uses advanced goggles, which employ some very clever tricks to produce a higher definition 3D image than the system actually computes.
During login, users are rendered unconscious, partially to reduce the risk of discomfort or seizures, but mostly to take advantage of the body’s natural tendency to dream about being in positions it isn’t actually in, and believe its eyes over its actual tactile senses. When the user wakes in the gameworld, their entire body is stimulated somehow, generally with water or fierce wind, and this is actually a way to fool the brain into believing the false sensations it is being fed. The hands are still free and capable of movement, however, and can be used to pull the eject switch if necessary.
A full set costs about 500$, not including saline or filters, and it required some very clever marketing to actually sell, due to the required space and one player limit. It was originally marketed, along with it’s accompanying physics system, as an advanced military training device, designed to let soldiers simulate action in conditions well away from training centers, and after that became unprofitable, they offered a significantly cheaper version to the civilian market as a combination luxury bed and MMORPG. This actually became a runaway success, mainly because they decided on an open sandbox style crafting system, and it was sufficient for testing real gun, vehicle, and house designs.
Now, they’re fairly common, at least partially because they really can be quite comfortable to sleep in, allowing them to take the place of the bed in many small apartments owned by geeks. A fairly popular, slightly more traditional MMO named Fray was released for it about five years ago, with the distinction of being a similar work in progress, most notably in the form of it’s debugging; Several professionals and many players take the role of the Red Team, trying to break the ingame society in any way possible...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Observed Universe Intro

Hi. The author is tired, so his last minute rewrites may suffer for it. He might go back and fix it eventually, but probably not soon.
Anyway, here.

Pact: Noun: A binding alliance or treaty. Usually intended for the long term, or until all set goals have been achieved.

Observer: Noun: One who witnesses events.

In this world, it is possible to attract the attention of beings from outside it. One side effect of this is to allow feats that would otherwise be impossible, so long as they fit within preset parameters, which can be defined by any form of communication. The only beings capable of being reached have been dubbed Observers, as that was all it was known they could do for some time.

It was eventually discovered that Observers could take control of a willing host, so long as that control was both well defined and freely offered, and in the process it was found that Observers were not bound by time in the same manner as anything else in the universe-they frequently displayed foreknowledge of events beyond all but the most precise forms of omniscience, and their skill or preferences could vary dramatically during a task, but they would always succeed eventually. This was taken to it's logical conclusion when the man who discovered all this decided to make a Pact to take over his country, and ended up leaving enough destruction in his wake that most knowledge from that era was lost. In the chaos that followed, Powers based on those granted by Pacts were developed as a much safer alternative, various systems to suppress Pacts developed similarly, and the world still faces at least one major catastrophe per century.

Welcome to the Observed Universe.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Timeless Intro Speech

Hi everyone. This is something short I came up with a couple days ago, and liable to grow into a proper universe. That said, enjoy!

“Once, long ago, the world was unified. Oh, there were many nations, to be sure, and many cities, but rare indeed were those that could not talk to the others. The world entered an age of progress that has never been seen before or since. But with that progress came war, and eventually, weapons that could end those wars with little more than the touch of a button.
The world entered an uneasy truce, that no two sides with these weapons would fight each other, lest either be convinced to use them, and this this truce lasted for nearly a century.
But something had to be done. And eventually, three young scholars developed a solution.
They created a machine that could wall cities off from time, allowing flawless interdiction of the great weapons. But this great defence had a great cost, as communications that had once taken seconds now took hours, and if the target was similarly walled, months. Gone were the days where one could carry conversations across the world.
But the great weapons were once again being deployed, frequently and without warning, and so the loss was considered acceptable, and so the great age of progress ended.
That was more than two hundred years ago, by our reckoning, but outside it has been a fraction of that.
And you, brave souls, are those who would travel outside, becoming our messengers, our repairmen, our couriers, our soldiers.
Our Timeless.

Admit it, you'd read the series.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Selection of Historical Archetype Pieces (Binding Universe)

Hi. Do you like the new heading? The author has actually Googled it, and now believes he may have been the first to coin it. Anyway, have a post.

The Coalheart: A device of some prominence in the history of the European Empire, believed to be the first instance of a device base for an Artificial Changeling. Allows immortality so long as it contains burning coal, although it may be possible to substitute wood instead. Over time, the blood of it’s user turns black as it dumps smoke into their veins, this is faster if they take advantage of the ability to avoid eating or breathing normally.

Natan-Natan, the Sword of Exile: Retrieved from the Castle of Loss in the First Timeline by Fourth England only recently, so its history is mostly unknown. Capable of opening portals to banish or cut targets, and while said portals are connected to a pocket timeline unique to the sword by default, the target can be changed with training. It carries a strong impetus to never return to the place where one gained the sword until one gives it up, although this is not entirely compulsory. Can also be used to make access to an area difficult, although this is a more advanced function.

The Seal of the Amethyst Emperor: Used to authenticate the lords of noble houses, as well as every new set of Samurai armor during the reign of the Wandering Empire, effectively controlling the military and symbolic strength of the various factions. It is therefore of incredible cultural and strategic value, and whoever it recognizes as its master was the rightful leader. It cannot easily be stolen, as it will burn those who take it from a rightful master without leave, and can be summoned at will by its rightful master, to which it is spiritually linked, and similar measures are in place to prevent its destruction. It will only acknowledge a ruler who fits certain criteria, determined both at the time of its creation and by the previous emperor at the time he last held it. In modern times, its use is almost purely ceremonial, but if the need seems dire, it may once again grant its blessings to worthy servants...

The Thousand Blades of Battle: A more mythical Piece, straddling the line of full Eidolon, The Thousand Blades of Battle are a collection of weapons that appear to worthy wielders in moments of need, generally with the restriction that they be carrying a blade of their own to give it in trade. It contains at least a thousand Archetype Pieces of varying power, and is suspected to absorb any sufficiently unclaimed blade that has been used extensively in true, if not mortal, combat.