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What basic human principles or important philosophical viewpoints is AC missing?

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by MysticWind, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. MysticWind

    MysticWind Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    54
    SMAC is about the major facets of human existence, or at least how we saw ourselves at the end of the 20th century. Each of the seven factions embody a distinct philosophy and emphasis on a part of human life. So what other aspects did Firaxis miss out on? Perhaps none, given that SMAX's factions are all more narrow and so less better-received. (Though Domai's focus on labor rights and the downtrodden workingmen is pretty good once you get past the drone aspect.)

    I've been looking at the fragmented archives of the old NetworkNode website, which was a treasure trove of fan-made custom factions. Most of them were awful or simply adaptations of existing sci-fi groups, but there was decent effort put into many of them. Here's a wiki that attempts to archive them. Peep the AOL, Yeerk Empire, and Enron factions. Ah, nostalgia.

    One thing I noticed is that there's been at least a couple of attempts to make Anarchist factions. The wiki has one previously on NetworkNode.org. The early-'00s SMAC Fac Pack project had one as well. Which made me think that the space for an individualist, freedom-oriented, even libertarian, faction makes sense. You've got Yang, right? Where's his opposition? And all the other factions are telling you what to do- even Morgan only wants to corner the free market that he loves so much. So there could be a smallholder settler faction.

    Another one could be an actual war faction. I always found the Spartans to be interesting in how they're militaristic without being necessarily aggressive- heck, their aggression is Erratic. But the problem then is it'd be boring and cheesy for a faction that just wants to openly subjugate everyone.

    And that goes into one last point- the factions have to conform to SMAC's game mechanics (even though imo a sequel should have more social engineering choices), and also some of the principles of human existence are universally practiced by the existing factions. Say, law. Could there be a faction that obsesses about it? In fact, I do recall one from the site, the Juridic, because its faction leader was Perry Mason and the creator wrote a long fanfic about them. But would that actually make sense? All of the factions care about their laws, from Yang's authoritarian decrees to University policies to the U.N. Charter. Could there be a faction that focuses on law as a principle? Law has to have an end- would that then be a faction focused on justice? But that's a virtue, and all factions have a concept of it. So it's tricky.
     
  2. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,354
    ...There's nothing about gender fluidity. People who live in space for over 500 years can probably manipulate that pretty casually. Gender is pretty basic to our view of ourselves and the world - thus why people get so upset about others skirting the borders; it messes w/ their sense of reality...
     
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  3. MysticWind

    MysticWind Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    54
    Funnily enough I'm working on a matriarchal faction inspired by feminist sci-fi visions. But I'm not sure if gender fluidity is enough to start a new society over on a hardscrabble virgin world like Chiron. I can see new societies happening later on like in ultra-high-tech post-scarcity transhuman settings like Orion's Arm or Eclipse Phase. Immediately after Planetfall though, I think the survivors would unite over greater issues. And I would think most of the societies except the traditionalist Believers would be largely okay with genderfluid people anyway.

    Interestingly enough, Network Node had an Androgynous faction that even had its own fiction. Their review, while problematic by today's standards also captures a kernel of truth:

    otoh there was a good amount of work put into the faction. Maybe it would be a faction that embraced gender fluidity even while including non-genderfluid people, looking to build a non-gendered society from the ground up?
     

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