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playing geneforge 4. it's crazy how my opinion of shaper changed over 4 games


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G1: Shapers are sort of dicks but we don't see enough of them to make firm judgements, Awakened I sympathize with to the point where I have difficulty playing the other sides, Takers are nuts, Trajkov actually turns out to be pretty egalitarian and chill once you help him take over the world.

 

G2: Shapers are still kind of dickish and the way we see the serviles treated makes me uncomfortable. Awakened: see G1, hard not to sympathize with these guys and since they really don't have any morally unpleasant traits to speak of the shapers really look like assholes. Barzites: if they'd stayed Egalitarian I would lean towards them, but by the time you meet them they're essentially just Shapers without any of the self-restraint who are being really sloppy with their research and quest for power; the one thing I do like about them is that out of all the factions they give your character the most respect. You're treated as more than an errand boy, you reap rich rewards and basically become a god. The Takers are just as crazy as ever, unfortunately they're the only ones that survive.

 

G3: Shapers are still being dicks to their creations but we see that their lands are relatively peaceful and prosperous before the rebels start [censored]ing [censored] up. When on Harmony Isle it becomes apparent that the Rebels are actually terrorizing innocent civilians to incite them to revolt agains the shapers I lost all respect for them. Lankan is too dumb to stop his little insurrection even when you point this out to him. I totally sympathize with their plight, but it was the [censored]ing Rebels that created all the monsters, not the shapers and while the shaper in charge couldn't' save them, it was because he genuinely lacked the power. I get to the next Island and it's more of the same. I can get behind creation rights but it becomes painfully clear why the Shapers control their knowledge so tightly and are so secretive. No excuse for mistreating the serviles but they're right to be so cautious and restrained. I played this one as hard to the right, unrepentant shaper as I could.

 

G4: now that the rebellion is in full swing, and your first exposure to them seems mostly sane and sympathetic I'm willing to go along with them for now. I didn't like the shapers in G3, but I sided them because the rebels seemed worse, but Greta is no Litalia and I figure maybe I can help bring about some justice. The rebels are still worryingly careless about their powers however, and I don't agree at all with the "sharing power with outsiders" bit.

 

I was conflicted for much of the game, the Shapers rhetoric about restoring order and the rebels being nuts and preparing something awful was convincing, but the rebels I encountered until the later parts of the game were so sympathetic that I had difficulty betraying them. The bit in the swamp sort of illustrates again why shaping needs to be so tightly controlled. In Burwood I still hadn't seen the rebels do anything too [censored]ed up yet (except the rebellion's origins in G3) Litalia even seems to have regained her sanity. The shapers seem "mean" still. but then we figure out what the Drakons are planning

 

Well, it seems that the shapers were right. This unbound stuff is not cool. I still sympathize with the serviles but the Drakons are morally bankrupt and the other parts of the rebellion are more than happy to go along with them. I played G4 a pure shaper path my first time, and a pure rebel the second. With the shapers, I felt sorta guilty until the last chapter, where I then felt vindicated and morally justified. With the Rebels I felt good most of the way but really felt like I was on the wrong side when it came time to release the unbound.

 

G5: Finally! more than two choices again, no longer am I forced between to choose between peaceful oppression and blood drenched anarchy. Rawal I can only describe with profanity. Astoria I can get on board with, reminds me of the Awakened. Alwan, well I get where he's coming from, and had I met him before Astoria I may well have thrown my lot in with him. Taygen, I'm actually tempted by at this point surprisingly; his solution is very… Final. With the Unbound traipsing about and the Drakons still in charge it seems the rebellion is never going to achieve anything positive and this chaos needs to be stopped somehow. I'll burn in hell before I side with the Drakons (until I do a rebel game just to see how that plays out of curiosity.

 

 

What's interesting to me is that the Shapers barely change at all throughout the whole series, and our opinion of them is defined by how they compare relative to the other side. When I had a "3rd option" unambiguously good faction like the Awakened or Astoria, I supported them fully without hesitation. When the only choice was between the Shapers and the power mad Drakons, the Shapers won out every time. I actually don't mind the moral conflict created by that 2-sided dichotomy in 3 and 4, because it really makes you think and weigh the pros and cons of each side on your conscience instead of the easy way out offered by the multiple factions in 1-2, and 5. That more ambiguity, those richly painted shades of gray are part of why I love the Geneforge series so much. way more sophisticated and interesting than the usually "kill orcs and such until you've hacked your way to the big dragon/demon and save the princess" type RPGs or the ones where your only choice is between the generic good guys and begin a cartoonish mustache-twirling villain.

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Actually, I would say starting with GF4, that I hate the shapers. The Rebels have a lot of blood in their hands, there's tons of warcrimes being commited from both sides, but the Rebels fight dirty against a Tyrannical empire that keeps species enslaved just because it's convenient and wants to wipe out different forms of sentient species just because they consider them dangerous. Yes, the Drakons are very, very dangerous. But the Rebellion is MORE than the Drakons as you've probably seen with GF5.

 

 

As such, while both sides fight dirty (Rebels fight dirtier), the rebels at least fight dirty to liberate slaves and topple a tyrannical, genocidal magical order while the Shapers fight in order to keep absolute control including control over creatures created subservient.

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I agree with idontexist42's comments above as I've discussed similarly in my LP thread recently.

 

What really interests me is if there is any correlation between real world political beliefs and in-game alignment. Are rebels naturally conservatives in real life (or vice-versa)? Or is it all over the place with mortal real world enemies joining together and singing kumbaya on the side of the shapers?

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What really interests me is if there is any correlation between real world political beliefs and in-game alignment. Are rebels naturally conservatives in real life (or vice-versa)? Or is it all over the place with mortal real world enemies joining together and singing kumbaya on the side of the shapers?

I had originally thought this might be the case too, but when I looked at the data in the Grand Poll, the conclusion was "I couldn't find any correlations with real-world political views at all."

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idonotexist42's points are pretty much spot-on to what i feel too. in 1 and 2, we get "good moderate" faction that is the awakened. they are rational, reasonable, and avoids violence whenever they can. they fight for freedom in its very core.

 

now skip to 3 and 4. people with moderate view can't survive anymore. in the end, they have to pick sides. and like you said, between power hungry drakons, and tyrannical shaper, i'd choose shaper.

Actually, I would say starting with GF4, that I hate the shapers. The Rebels have a lot of blood in their hands, there's tons of warcrimes being commited from both sides, but the Rebels fight dirty against a Tyrannical empire that keeps species enslaved just because it's convenient and wants to wipe out different forms of sentient species just because they consider them dangerous. Yes, the Drakons are very, very dangerous. But the Rebellion is MORE than the Drakons as you've probably seen with GF5.

 

 

As such, while both sides fight dirty (Rebels fight dirtier), the rebels at least fight dirty to liberate slaves and topple a tyrannical, genocidal magical order while the Shapers fight in order to keep absolute control including control over creatures created subservient.

 

i haven't played 5 yet, but so far the rebels are dirtier. in 3, they razed town, terrorize townsfolk and pretty much throw them into starvation, and force them to join. shaper usually try to take control, but never destroy (unless it's clear that a faction is truly an opposition). towns taken by shaper don't necessarily flourish, but safe, as long you don't act against them. while how they treat creation sometimes disgusting, it's the lesser evil compared to rebels, playing with something they don't really know.

 

skip to G4, there are literally rebel faction that HATE ALL HUMANS, no matter if they are against and for shaper. and if the shaper fall, all other human would fallen prey to these savages. i'm all of equality, but in the end, i side by my species, and if siding with rebel contribute to human's extinction, i'd choose shaper dictatorship anyway.

 

anyway, this much constrasting opinion on this matter prove how much thought and effort mr. vogel thought into creating this world. plus G4 pretty much show and tell how they started treating the creation differently. they have laws that prohibit mistreating creation, but failed to enforce them. it will be a slow change, but 300 years ago they literally pit creations for kicks and entertainment. it may took centuries, but it's now banned worldwide.

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in 1 and 2, we get "good moderate" faction that is the awakened. they are rational, reasonable, and avoids violence whenever they can. they fight for freedom in its very core.

Rational beings would take into account that actions have consequences. Something the awakened don't do. They are ignorant and that makes them dangerous.
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Some of the Awakened, particularly some of the leaders in G2, yes. But the bulk of the Awakened are not like that at all.

Since when does the general populace matter ? Ellrah matters. So do Tuldaric and Pinner. Random awakened in Medab or Vakkiri ? Nah.

And even the consequence-unmindful Awakened are not less unmindful than the loyalist, rebel, and (obviously) Barzite leaders.

Disagree. In both G1 and G2 the Awakened are working from a flawed premise, that they can (want to) deal with the shapers as equals. A ridiculous stance born out of ignorance.

 

And in both games their ultimate plan to defend against the shapers is equally flawed.

Telling you to use the Geneforge so that you can deal with the shapers when that thing is the reason Sucia was barred makes sense how ? There was never any chance the shapers would deal with someone who used it. And let's not forget Ellrah's reaction once you actually do use it. Being scared at how you turned out. What the heck did he expect would happen ?

 

And don't get me started on the Barrier of the Wind in G2. Making drakons is bad enough as is, but not having any means to control them ? And giving them the ability to fly ? How is that not going to backfire ? Especially when the only person who could do something about it (Tuldaric) is right on the way to canister madness and doesn't really care about the Awakened anymore ?

 

The tragedy of the serviles. They never stood a chance. They were always dependent on others to give them what they wanted/needed.

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Honestly i could get behind the awakened, traskov and the sort on the first game. I felt sorry for the other shapper but i never played for him. On the second one i guess the choice would really be between power and morals. But i couldnt stand behind zachary out of principle he was reckless and weak. I might have joined the barzites but they killed shanti. And I took great pleasure in completelly destroying them. Ultimatelly i could do awakened or unnaligned.

In the third i actually tried to join up the rebels. But i couldnt bring myself to kill khyrik. He was really reasonable. The further you go on the island chain the less you can get behind the rebels. In 4 it was hard to choose. I supported alwan because we had history. Same with greta. And i liked how they paint it as if our stay with them on 3 changed how they view the world. Honestly i even liked litalia by then. So i played it many times settling with the trakovite ending even if it wasnt pleasant it seemed to do justice to both greta and alwan. I really liked ghaldrin too really honourable.

On the fift i was pissed cause it painted ghaldrin as a huge prick. And i gladly killed him repeatedly. But i couldnt wholeheartedly get behind any faction. There was something missing. I felt strongly about nothing.

So i mostly agree with idontexist42 almost always spot on.

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to be fair, between greta and alwan, alwan is the more fanatic for me. especially in the end, if you side with the shapers, he decided to make the sect even more harsh in enforcing their rules. it is just the rebel in G4 has grown very dangerous and a threat to mankind as a whole.

 

it's pretty much segregated by 2 sides, human rebels, and creation rebels. in G3, they are at least still shown to work together, people opressed by shaper banding and fighting.

 

now another whole ideas like pirik's start to appear, and when the rebellion ends, humans and creation will separate, and honestly, they won't do much again the crazy drakons.

 

also, litalia is as crazy as those drakons she served. half of the destruction in G3 is caused by her reckless use of shaping magic.

Since when does the general populace matter ? Ellrah matters. So do Tuldaric and Pinner. Random awakened in Medab or Vakkiri ? Nah.

Disagree. In both G1 and G2 the Awakened are working from a flawed premise, that they can (want to) deal with the shapers as equals. A ridiculous stance born out of ignorance.

 

And in both games their ultimate plan to defend against the shapers is equally flawed.

Telling you to use the Geneforge so that you can deal with the shapers when that thing is the reason Sucia was barred makes sense how ? There was never any chance the shapers would deal with someone who used it. And let's not forget Ellrah's reaction once you actually do use it. Being scared at how you turned out. What the heck did he expect would happen ?

 

And don't get me started on the Barrier of the Wind in G2. Making drakons is bad enough as is, but not having any means to control them ? And giving them the ability to fly ? How is that not going to backfire ? Especially when the only person who could do something about it (Tuldaric) is right on the way to canister madness and doesn't really care about the Awakened anymore ?

 

The tragedy of the serviles. They never stood a chance. They were always dependent on others to give them what they wanted/needed.

 

makes sense too i guess. they went from shaper's slaves into drakon's lackeys. i think the servile is doomed from the very beginning. on their own, no matter how they train and enhance themselves, they will lose, obtaining help from more powerful creatures, they end up getting pushed too.

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There's a difference between "unmindful of the consequences" -- which certainly describes Tuldaric -- and "aware of the consequences, and taking them seriously, but still concluding they may be necessary, however unfortunate" -- which sounds a lot more like Ellhrah.

 

 

I'm not sure I agree that only the leaders matter, but if that's the standard you're using, then the other sects are as bad or worse. Certainly the rebel leaders are all less mindful -- I mean, what's the best option there, Greta-after-the-Drakons-betray-the-rest-who-finally-figures-out-whoops-that-was-a-bad-idea? The loyalists have a few okay options, but they also have Zakary, Agatha, Alwan, and the like. The Trakovites have Khyryk, but Litalia doesn't really live up to his standard of mindfulness. The Obeyers aren't so much mindful as mindless. And Barzahl and Taygen I assume don't require a mention.

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There's a difference between "unmindful of the consequences" -- which certainly describes Tuldaric -- and "aware of the consequences, and taking them seriously, but still concluding they may be necessary, however unfortunate" -- which sounds a lot more like Ellhrah.

Not sure that Tuldaric was this unmindful when he actually set things in motion. And how can Ellrah be aware of the consequences when he doesn't have any idea what the geneforge is or what it will do to the player ?

I'm not sure I agree that only the leaders matter, but if that's the standard you're using, then the other sects are as bad or worse.

] Certainly the rebel leaders are all less mindful -- I mean, what's the best option there, Greta-after-the-Drakons-betray-the-rest-who-finally-figures-out-whoops-that-was-a-bad-idea? The loyalists have a few okay options, but they also have Zakary, Agatha, Alwan, and the like. The Trakovites have Khyryk, but Litalia doesn't really live up to his standard of mindfulness. The Obeyers aren't so much mindful as mindless. And Barzahl and Taygen I assume don't require a mention.

Putting Alwan in with two traitors is a bit unfair. Apart from that I agree which is why unaligned is the way to go for me.
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If you compare the Awakened to the other sects, aside from the pure loyalist shapers, they're still the least reckless about using shaping compared to the Takers and Barzites. The Awakened ending depicts the Barrier of the Wind working essentially perfectly so presumably their Drakons were designed to be more obedient and less intelligent, more like a normal creation than the "Drayks on Steroids" we encounter elsewhere. Compare this to the Barzite's creations that they could barely control (needed the buzzy rod thingy) or the Takers just creating whatever random monsters they felt like and sending them off to wreak havoc, the Awakened still come out as the sane ones. Waging a defensive war to hold onto their own little independent state easily maintains the moral high ground over the Takers plunging the world into chaos and destruction to spite the shapers with no thought to the consequences or the Barzites nearly as bloody path to World Domination, or over the shapers dogmatic genocidal purge.

 

The cannon ending of G2 seems to roughly follow the loyalist one, so the barrier would not have been completed. You can't say "oh the barrier was a bad idea that could never work" when if you successfully finish the game as the Awakened the post-game slideshow talks about it working as intended without any hiccups. It fails in the cannon timeline because the shapers wiped everyone out before they had a chance to finish the Barrier.

 

Even the G1 Awakened ending (which I always thought was odd in that your character doesn't do anything at all to help them and just runs off to have some kingdom for himself in the wilderness) involves the Shapers eventually bargaining and negotiating with the Awakened.

 

 

I can see that telling you to use the Geneforge may have been a poorly thought out idea, since the awakened didn't' really even know what it did, but there is nothing inherently flawed about their ideological premise. The only reason we don't see them succeed is that they're wiped out by the more bloodthirsty sects before they have a chance to gain momentum because in the cannon timeline our GF2 protagonist sided against them. As usual the balance of fate rests squarely in our hands.

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You know who has a flawed premise? The Trakovites. You can never put the genie back in the bottle; it doesn't matter whether the world would be better off without shaping, you just can't feasibly get rid of it. The Shapers tried to do it on a smaller scale, trying to erase all knowledge of the original Geneforge and the advances in shaping discovered along with it. That worked out real well for them didn't it? Someone is always going to uncover the secrets and they'll come back to bite you in the ass. In order to get rid of shaping, you'd have to get rid of everyone who can or knows how to shape, and destroy every last text on it in the world. And since presumably people will remember that Shaping exists, there's nothing to stop some particularly determined mage from rediscovering the techniques on his own from scratch. It's not logistically feasible and if you could accomplish it, you'd have more blood on your hands than the Shapers or the Rebels. And you'll probably just get killed by the people who shape anyways, like bringing a sword into a fight between two nations wielding nukes. There's a reason their movement never gained any traction.

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Putting Alwan in with two traitors is a bit unfair. Apart from that I agree which is why unaligned is the way to go for me.

We weren't judging loyalty, we were judging mindfulness of consequences.

 

Can't argue with Aodare having the right idea in G2, though.

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If you compare the Awakened to the other sects, aside from the pure loyalist shapers, they're still the least reckless about using shaping compared to the Takers and Barzites.

Least reckless when compared to 2 crazy factions doesn't mean a lot. And really, all their shaping efforts are made by one crazy shaper who is growing madder with each canister. That's still a recipe for disaster.

The Awakened ending depicts the Barrier of the Wind working essentially perfectly so presumably their Drakons were designed to be more obedient and less intelligent, more like a normal creation than the "Drayks on Steroids" we encounter elsewhere. Compare this to the Barzite's creations that they could barely control (needed the buzzy rod thingy) or the Takers just creating whatever random monsters they felt like and sending them off to wreak havoc, the Awakened still come out as the sane ones.

More likely Jeff simply went for the feelgood ending and ignored the contradictions to ingame happenenings. See also the Barzite ending. How much fun would it be if you help the awakened and they lose control of their drakons who then take over. Or as a barzite you simply go crazy.

You can't say "oh the barrier was a bad idea that could never work"

Who said that ? The barrier can work assuming you make damn sure the drakons are under absolute control. Judging from the the drakon you have to get rid of in the barrier, the other factions results with drakons and later games the odds for that seem slim though.

I can see that telling you to use the Geneforge may have been a poorly thought out idea, since the awakened didn't' really even know what it did, but there is nothing inherently flawed about their ideological premise. The only reason we don't see them succeed is that they're wiped out by the more bloodthirsty sects before they have a chance to gain momentum because in the cannon timeline our GF2 protagonist sided against them. As usual the balance of fate rests squarely in our hands.

The flaw in their ideological premise is that it ignores reality. Expecting a global superpower that is immensely more powerful to treat you as equals is a fools errand. Trying to get that superpower to recognize your rights by fighting a defensive war is only going to work in an ending slide. In reality the shapers would have a massive manpower, resource and research advantage, it would simply be a question of time. Why would the shapers ever negotiate there ?
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Nice post about the damn Traks, idonotexist42. Just to add, wiping out all who can shape and all knowledge wouldn't work. That would set the clock back to before the protoshapers on Sucia discovered shaping. You'd have to remove the possiblity to shape from the universe. And good luck with that :)

 

Slarty, was Alwan that bad re mindfulness of consequences ? The only thing I remember is that he may have turned a blind eye to what Koerner was doing in G5 ? Iirc he was fine in G4.

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He was and he wasn't. In terms of "uh oh guys what could we unleash on the world if we do this crazy shaping thing" he wasn't so bad. In terms of "uh oh what could the immediate negative consequences of my actions be on other people" he was not so great, whether or not you count serviles as people. Some of the most damning stuff is actually in G3, where he's not in charge but we do see constant personal reactions from him and opinions about what the Shapers should be doing, that are pretty callous and vile.

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I really see a growth in Alwan that I appreciate. In G3 he is a little child as you indicated Slarty but in 4 and 5 he experiences some of the world and grows more capable. It is something that I feel more of the leaders should have done. Admittedly I'm not finished G5 yet and his rampant alcoholism is troubling but so far he seems calm and in control as a stable leader should be. Better for sure than the rest of the council by a long way.

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Personally, since he's a loyal shaper (i.e pro-slavery, pro concentrating power to few hands and denying the rest, pro-genocide), although I admire his patriotism and his willingness to break a few eggs to make an omelette... I find his a good, loyal supporter of an evil regime. Astoria on the other hand allows people (Serviles) the right to self-rule and knows when enough is enough.

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Actually what seems to be the biggest mistake was barring sucia island instead of nuking it back to the stone age. Had the shapers cleaned up the island with a flamethrower mopping up all mention of the Geneforge then the whole story would never have started. It was their secretive escape which lead to the centuries of buildup on the island which just needed any shaper to show up to unlock everything.

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Actually what seems to be the biggest mistake was barring sucia island instead of nuking it back to the stone age. Had the shapers cleaned up the island with a flamethrower mopping up all mention of the Geneforge then the whole story would never have started. It was their secretive escape which lead to the centuries of buildup on the island which just needed any shaper to show up to unlock everything.

yeah. judging on the position of the island, it's kinda weird. if it's some super isolated, and hard to rreach island barring, might work. the problem is sucia (based on the ending) is only few miles off the coast of the mainline somewhere. they bar it with no real way to enforce it.

 

my theory is the shapers are too proud, and doesnt have the guts to destroy it. they value the discovery they made there and someday when they think they are ready, they will be back and seize control of it.

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my theory is the shapers are too proud
Too much evidence points this way to call it a theory. :) It's practically written on half the endings I've seen that Shapers pay for their arrogance.

 

Why they kept it? Well, I really, REALLY doubt they anticipated it would lead to the rebellion.

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They were too compassionate in the end. If they had been heartless and destroyed everything then there would be no story and the island would have been cleansed (in the 40k sense). I guess the flaw of the shapers was that they cared too much. :)

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yeah. judging on the position of the island, it's kinda weird. if it's some super isolated, and hard to rreach island barring, might work. the problem is sucia (based on the ending) is only few miles off the coast of the mainline somewhere. they bar it with no real way to enforce it.

 

my theory is the shapers are too proud, and doesnt have the guts to destroy it. they value the discovery they made there and someday when they think they are ready, they will be back and seize control of it.

The Shapers were the supreme power of the land at the time. Nobody would dare to oppose them - besides, if the Shapers forbid going somewhere, it's best to not even ask why. Probably filled with horrible rogues, clouds of poison, or magical shades. Maybe even all three!

 

There are notes on Sucia indicating that the researchers there were convinced that the Shaper Council was overreacting and that they would be able to return within a few years (or planned to return regardless), which is why many things were sealed to prevent people getting in easily but not adequately sealed to prevent the contents from escaping after centuries of neglect.

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The researchers that made something that could turn a SERVILE to a shaper, were thinking they could return to the island soon? That's waaaay to optimistic considering Shapers were being executed for far less from what I've seen in GF 3-5.

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I can see why they balked at the canisters and the Geneforge, especially since the side effects of the Canisters are so readily apparent, but I think they made a mistake by suppressing the "tiny scrolls", more scientific method of shaping in general, which when used with appropriate restraint, be a much less messy method than their traditional Trial and Error "zap things with magic and hope it does what you want" method, that would advance their abilities tremendously. Refusing to adopt this technique while the rebels did is how the rebels initially gained such an advantage in terms of powerful creations (Drakons, Gazers/Eyebeast, Rots) and made their insurrection possible in the first place.

 

The "we thought we could go back at some point/too proud" angle seems legit, totally in line with the Cannon lore. I do suspect however that there had to have been some kind of major that prompted such a hasty and absolute shutdown. Yeah, they would balk at the canisters and Geneforge on principle to a certain extent but something must have gone horribly wrong to provoke such an extreme reaction. My guess is that whoever first used the Geneforge got a major case of "canister madness" and went on a rampage or something along those lines.

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It does appear that DNA shaping lead to much increased intelligence which was able to break from the shaper mental control. This fear of a disgruntled apprentice being able to summon a drakon would explain much of the panic behind the barring of sucia island. The whole shaper society is based on the mental control of all shaped creations and the discovery that they can share crayons that were beyond control would have been devastating. This can be compared to toasters and tractors going rogue and demanding rights or they start killing people. Society could collapse from the shock regardless of how credible the threat is.

 

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Well, society didn't collapse when Roman Slaves were gradually granted more and more rights and more and more protection from the Roman empire... they did turn to serfs which is not that great an improvement, but still, society didn't collapse. It just adapted.

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Well, society didn't collapse when Roman Slaves were gradually granted more and more rights and more and more protection from the Roman empire... they did turn to serfs which is not that great an improvement, but still, society didn't collapse. It just adapted.

 

Well... the roman empire did colapse? And stone buildings? Not for hundreds of years did we see them being errected. By the time the danes invaded britain, the roman empire as was had colapsed for some time. A lot of countries in europe rellied heavilly on wooden infrastructure. Ny the time napoleon invaded stone buildings were still not standart and tsar alexander actually burned moscow to the ground like that. Im not saying viva la slavery. Im saying that society heavilly rellied on it. Its understandable why they chose to ignore sense. Goes back to the geth quarian war in mass effect.

Quarians were more insightfull though.

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To be fair owenrus, the romans didn't build extensively in stone either. The vast majority of houses would have been wooden. Rome did burn several times.

 

I agree its not that they were benevolent and farming vilages had great aqueduts and marble statues. But stone buildings stopped being a thing after the romans technically. If i remember correctly in britain the only started to actually invest on those during the cursades. And that was mostly due to richard's prolongued abscence. What im trying to put across is rome before christ had a better structure than moscow during the napoleonic wars. Say roman empire finally desintegrated in 520 A.D. the napoleonic wars were 1300 years after that and life wasnt much better. We had guns and canons but our citties burned us easilly if not easier. I think the problem with rome,shapers,quarians etc isnt that they adapted or didnt adapt to abolition. Its that they built their nations based on slavery to begin with. Were they treated like equal citisens progress would be slower. But more sure and less likelly to stop. Of course that would go back to rulling class wanting cheap labour. Working class wanting better conditions. And rebelion. But in a perfect scenario it should work out well enough.

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OK, you make a point that gradual abolition of slavery hurt the Roman empire. However, I remind you that the Romans were giving more and more rights to slaves (or serviles as they were calling them ;) ) for 3 centuries before the Roman empire collapsed. After a point, a slave could not just be killed by his owner and the slaves were entitled to payment.

Remember aaaaaaall those outsiders making sure Serviles are looked after in the games? Well, the Romans had those too by law.

 

Anyway, while stone buildings were far fewer during the decline and collapse of the Roman empire, it was because we entered the dark ages not because of a lack of slaves. It's not that Lombards, Huns or Goths did not have slaves. It's that they didn't put any value on theatres and didn't know how to build aquadects.

So, the drop is not really because the Romans decided to treat their slaves better.

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OK, you make a point that gradual abolition of slavery hurt the Roman empire. However, I remind you that the Romans were giving more and more rights to slaves (or serviles as they were calling them ;) ) for 3 centuries before the Roman empire collapsed. After a point, a slave could not just be killed by his owner and the slaves were entitled to payment.

Remember aaaaaaall those outsiders making sure Serviles are looked after in the games? Well, the Romans had those too by law.

 

Anyway, while stone buildings were far fewer during the decline and collapse of the Roman empire, it was because we entered the dark ages not because of a lack of slaves. It's not that Lombards, Huns or Goths did not have slaves. It's that they didn't put any value on theatres and didn't know how to build aquadects.

So, the drop is not really because the Romans decided to treat their slaves better.

 

Good point. I'd say the drop was due to the fall of roman civilisation. Which was partly due to abscence of free labor force. But yah the huns had slaves so did other people. They just lacked the technology and ambition.

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I feel that the collapse had a great number of factors. This isn't really the time or place to go into the huge range of factors that contributed to the fall but I am under the impression that slaves, or the lack thereof would have played a very minor part in that fall.

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A large part of why rome fell was that it was bankrupted by lots of spending on building projects and "bread and circuses" programs without enough revenue from successful military campaigns to pay for it all. Slaves were part of that yes, but they were only part of a larger issue with cash flow. The fact that towards the end their salaried citizen legions had largely been replaced with germanic mercenaries also played a role; their security was now dependent on buying off the people they were trying to protect themselves from and praying that the goths didn't decide it was better to help the vandals sack rome instead of fighting them off when push came to shove (note goths and vandals are just two examples because I can't remember off the top of my head which tribes sided with who when). A gamble that failed when rome couldn't really pay them, and so their mercenaries had an alarming tendency to turn on them and join the invading armies. After being repeatedly sacked by various tribes (Huns sacked everything in the western empire except Rome itself, the Vandals and Goths both sacked the city of Rome) the empire was totally destitute and at the mercy of the various germanic peoples who'd now settled there and eventually figured "screw it, we'll just declare ourselves kings of wherever we settled" and the empire crumbled into an assortment of successor states. It didn't help that the empire suffered from a lot of internal conflict, what with there being periods of time where as many as nine different individuals declared themselves emperor simultaneously and resulted in a series of civil wars that made the events preceding Julius (and Augustus) Caesar's rise to power roughly 500 years earlier look like sunday afternoon gladiatorial game. Everything that could go wrong did and the empire gradually fell apart piece by piece till there was nothing left and the closest person left to begin an Emperor was the Pope.

 

yay for having an awesome history professor whose main area of expertise was roman history.

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We're kinda off topic. My point was, the Shaper empire could do without enslaving the Serviles or pursuing genocide of Drayks and Drakons. We don't know how Drakons would react if they weren't targeted for elimination with Litalia (before joining them) wiping most Drakons out. But drayks would probably never have gone for a war with the Shapers if the Shapers didn't decide unilateraly that drayks shouldn't exist.

The Shapers started the war. The atrocities Drakons, serviles and rebels do are many. But the Shapers started the war because they didn't like the other side even before the other side was born.

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the Drakons were planning on starting the war anyways, if you play the Taker faction in G2 you see that. yeah they'd probably be fine without servile slave labor and the Drayk genocide was both morally wrong and horribly impractical imo. can't blame the drayks for being pissed about being genocided. Of course, the Drakons might never have come to exist in that case. Except it was Barzal who made the first one, and he wanted to take over the world just for the sake of it, so who really knows.

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The Drakons would have gone to war, cause that's how Drakons are. You see that in GF4 and GF5 in the way they treat everyone else. They would not be better than the Shapers. We have proof of that in one of the GF5 finales but I won't say more since there are people in this discussion that haven't finished the game.

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But the Rebellion is MORE than the Drakons as you've probably seen with GF5.

 

Not in G4, it isn't. The entire goal if you play the rebel side in G4 is to aid Greta in forging (forcing?) an alliance between the two sides of the rebellion at any cost. Also, I have yet to play G5, but I'm assuming that the different factions of rebels arose BECAUSE of the Unbound at the end of G4.

 

You see that in GF4 and GF5 in the way that Drakons treat everyone else.

 

You see that in G2 and G3 as well, though in G3 to a far lesser extent.

 

As such, while both sides fight dirty (Rebels fight dirtier), the rebels at least fight dirty to liberate slaves and topple a tyrannical, genocidal magical order while the Shapers fight in order to keep absolute control including control over creatures created subservient.

 

Except the Rebels (or at least their leadership), to a much greater extent than the Shapers, are willing to go to the lengths of forfeiting the lives of the very people they are fighting for. Ghaldrig tells us that the Unbound will likely destroy most of the life on Terrestria, and that there won't be much left for the survivors. Greta states that she is starting to believe that anything is acceptible in order to overthrow the Shapers. We see other rebels in G4 who in many ways have become the very thing that they hate-- e.g. rebel fighters who are angry that the civilians who lost their homes to the war curse rather than thank them for "fighting for their freedoms:"

 

Some of the most damning stuff is actually in G3, where he's not in charge but we do see constant personal reactions from him and opinions about what the Shapers should be doing, that are pretty callous and vile.

 

That's young G3 Alwan you are talking about. His personality changes a fair amount on G4, just like Greta goes from being the kindly, indecisive, timid girl-next-door type to a hypocritical, hot-headed leader who swears like a sailor. Sure, she still has much of her G3 principles, but she throws them out the window for the sake of victory. Ethics and convictions mean little if you don't stand up for them.

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Hyena, I've said this before, but not having played G5 means you are missing a big chunk of the picture here. I'm not trying to belittle your opinion by saying that, but it is a little weird that you are so sure other people are wrong when you don't even know if the last third of the source material (since this is mostly G3-G5 arc stuff) backs up your argument or contradicts it.

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that is noooot a good description of greta's personality at any point of the series

 

Yes, it perfectly describes her, up until the Isle of Spears. She's a bleeding heart who is not easily angered and prefers to fight only in self-defense, can't decide which side to join but follows you like a lost puppy (Alwan follows you like a lost puppy as well) She sometimes wants to side with the rebels but tells you flat out more than once that she wouldn't have had the courage nor conviction to do it on her own (e.g. if you give the canister to Lankan) Timid, though tends to have a big mouth nonetheless (see the "wouldn't have had the courage to do it myself" part above

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I'm not trying to belittle your opinion

No, you're just telling me I have no right to debate in these threads and that I need to stop because I have no clue what I'm talking about.

 

*Sigh* I guess you're right, though. I'll try to remember not to participate in these threads anymore. I'll probably forget, though. You'll have to remind me if I forget.

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