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    The model actually needs a wider face, a thicker neck, some more greenish skin (not too green either) and smaller, more vertical horns.

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      Originally posted by toninus View Post
      The model actually needs a wider face, a thicker neck, some more greenish skin (not too green either) and smaller, more vertical horns.
      Did you even read the rest of the thread?

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        Originally posted by DutchHollander View Post
        Skaarj are semi-eusocial. Warriors have no sexual organs, only warlords and the Queen are able to reproduce.

        Time for some more fluff:

        The way I imagine it, the Skaarj have one Queen that rules over the Skaarj empire. The empire is made up of clans, each clan is led by a warlord. The queen mates with the warlord of a clan and this produces the clan's pupae. The queen travels from clan to clan and keeps the number of warriors per clan even to maintain political balance between the clans. Only one Queen is allowed to exist in order to preserve this balance.

        All pupae (actually a nymph) start their life looking identical and it is when they molt that they differentiate into warriors or troopers (subimago). When the old warlord dies, in battle or because of an unfortunate "accident", the strongest warrior or trooper undergoes a second molt into a new warlord (imago).

        Queens are only born from pupae that have been fed a substance similar to the royal jelly fed to bee larvae that are to become queens. This substance can only be produced by the Queen and is stored in a central depot deep within the Skaarj empire, heavily guarded by warriors hand picked by the Queen from every clan. A lot of politics and decorum is involved in deciding which clan gets the honor of producing a new Queen in the event of her death. Ultimately, this clan is selected after an extremely bloody homologue of the olympics of Earth. Champions from each clan compete in sports varying from Nali hunting to last-man-standing melee deathmatches.
        This is very good, with a single problem: there's a Queen for each colony, not just one Queen for all Skaarj.

        Originally posted by DutchHollander View Post
        Clan Iron Skull has long been excluded from the succesion games for many generations for their failure to protect the queen and for losing the mothership when leading the assault on Earth, causing their defeat at the height of the Human-Skaarj war. Still, the balance of power must be maintained and since all clans regularly performed genetic experiments on their clanbrood, no-one questioned the creation of Human-Skaarj hybrids by clan Iron Skull. What none could have suspected, what was kept in utmost secrecy, was that during the chaos of the Human-Skaarj wars clan Iron Skull had managed to salvage some tissue samples of the Queen that died on Na-Pali . After nearly a hundred years in cryostasis the tissue samples were used, along with human female DNA, to create a new type of hybrid. Where previously only warlords and the Queen had sexual organs, these female Human-Queen hybrids were sexually mature without a second molting. The new female hybrids were dubbed amazons. After some initial failures, a viable male Human-Queen hybrid was created which was able to succesfully reproduce with the female hybrids. These male hybrids were of lesser stature than their female counterparts, looking more human-like, and were dubbed myrmidons. Undergoing their first molt just as quickly as normal pupae, the sexually mature amazons and myrmidons were able to quickly snowball into a sizeable army, taking the other clans completely by surprise when they finally were unleashed from their secret underground breeding ground...
        Now this doesn't go past Occam's razor. It requires an entire new subspecies just for that. A much simpler explanation would be to say that the female-looking Skaarj are potential queens still in development. Also note that Human-Skaarj hybrids are quite a cliche in the Unreal universe: the ones seen in UT1 were created by the NEG, whereas the ones seen in Unreal II were created by the Drakk. Do we really need a third kind?
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          Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
          This is very good, with a single problem: there's a Queen for each colony, not just one Queen for all Skaarj.



          Now this doesn't go past Occam's razor. It requires an entire new subspecies just for that. A much simpler explanation would be to say that the female-looking Skaarj are potential queens still in development. Also note that Human-Skaarj hybrids are quite a cliche in the Unreal universe: the ones seen in UT1 were created by the NEG, whereas the ones seen in Unreal II were created by the Drakk. Do we really need a third kind?
          I didn't know there were multiple queens, do you have a source for that?

          As with all fluff, occam's razor doesn't really apply. It's about making a believable, but mostly interesting backstory. Now I know this isn't canon, but in the Xidia SP mod for UT there were Skaarj-bred hybrids in Outpost Pheonix (sic). That's where I got the idea. Also, the original Unreal had tons of cases of Skaarj genetic experiments. Now juvenile queens don't really strike me as logical for several reasons:

          Skaarj molt from pupae directly to warriors. I have seen nothing to the contrary, as we never encounter any juvenile-looking Skaarj. This is also seen in eusocial insects. The only difference being that even pupae (larvae/nymphs) fight the player. A queen would either need to molt from a very large, fattened pupae or have more moltings between pupae and queen. One of these stages would then have to somehow look humanoid enough to fight in the tournament. This would not be efficient in the process of becoming a queen. Then we have to assume there's a reason there's only one queen per hive and what happens to the other candidates. Then we have to question why potential queens would be sent out to the tournament. Another ascension rite like the Nakhti had in UC2? This hypothesis would raise more questions than answers if it were true. Also, they'd need to have 8 boobs.
          Last edited by Zargøthrax; 08-10-2015, 04:50 PM.

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            Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
            This is very good, with a single problem: there's a Queen for each colony, not just one Queen for all Skaarj.
            If you take the games literally, that doesn't seem to be the case.
            While it is absurd that a space-faring race would have all its eggs in one basket, or that a Skaarj population of sufficient size to threaten humanity could even be maintained by a single queen, the Skaarj in AS-Mothership are consistently referred to as THE Skaarj, not just a colony or a particular clan. Likewise there is only ever mention of one queen at a time.

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              Originally posted by Dementiurge View Post
              If you take the games literally, that doesn't seem to be the case.
              While it is absurd that a space-faring race would have all its eggs in one basket, or that a Skaarj population of sufficient size to threaten humanity could even be maintained by a single queen, the Skaarj in AS-Mothership are consistently referred to as THE Skaarj, not just a colony or a particular clan. Likewise there is only ever mention of one queen at a time.
              I had not yet looked at the numbers. Even a termite queen can lay only (!) 30,000 eggs per day, while the current global human deathrate alone is 151,600 people per day. At the more likely number of 2000 eggs per day (bee queen), the maximum polulation size per queen would be roughly 40 million (extrapolated from human global population size, birth rate and death rate in 2011).

              When assuming a short pupae stage of perhaps only a year, perhaps 2-3 years of training (kindergarten+bootcamp+AIT). Everything 4 years and up could be comprised of battle-ready warriors and troopers. With their lifestyle I'd expect their life expectancy to be around 60 years tops, main cause of death being combat related injuries. I expect a strictly triangular population pyramid, with a surface of (base*height)/2. If the base of the triangle is 2E3*365 = 7.3E5 and the life expectancy is 60 years, the rate at which the cohort size declines with age would be 12,167 per year. The first three cohorts would then contain (7.3E5*3)-(12,167*3) = 2,153,500 pupae and trainees. This leaves 4E7-2,153,500 = 37,846,500, so around 38 million able-bodied and trained Skaarj. The current combined number of active military personnel is 10,5 million globally. If you count reserve troops and paramilitary forces, this would come to a total of 38,5 million globally.

              The course of the Human-Skaarj wars might be explained by humanity being spread thin beyond the solar system and globalization causing a decrease in millitary prescence within othe Sol system. The Skaarj would have superior technology and they would have the element of surprise, picking off colony after colony. However, this is a large stretch and a population size of 40 million individuals is indeed highly unlikely for a spacefaring species.

              Therefore, there should be at least a hundred queens, perhaps even a thousand, within the Skaarj empire. This would mean all the fluff I wrote can go straight into the bin.
              Last edited by Zargøthrax; 08-10-2015, 06:49 PM.

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                Originally posted by DutchHollander View Post
                I didn't know there were multiple queens, do you have a source for that?
                Originally posted by Dementiurge View Post
                If you take the games literally, that doesn't seem to be the case.
                While it is absurd that a space-faring race would have all its eggs in one basket, or that a Skaarj population of sufficient size to threaten humanity could even be maintained by a single queen, the Skaarj in AS-Mothership are consistently referred to as THE Skaarj, not just a colony or a particular clan. Likewise there is only ever mention of one queen at a time.
                In RtNP, it was said that there was a second Skaarj colony nearby, and you fight organised Skaarj and pupae there. And AS-Mothership had a different Queen. So while technically it wouldn't be a direct contradiction that there's only one Queen, but it makes no logical sense: why would the Skaarj Queen be on Na Pali, and not safe on the Skaarj homeworld; and why would the Queen be on the front lines of the Human-Skaarj war, and not safe on the Skaarj homeworld? Also, if we go by the insect analogy, the queen typically controls the colony by using specific chemicals. Doing that across different planets is not plausible.

                As for "the" Skaarj: "the" means a specific group. In this case, it was the Iron Skull clan, as stated in their team description in UT2004.

                Originally posted by Dementiurge View Post
                Skaarj molt from pupae directly to warriors. I have seen nothing to the contrary, as we never encounter any juvenile-looking Skaarj. This is also seen in eusocial insects. The only difference being that even pupae (larvae/nymphs) fight the player. A queen would either need to molt from a very large, fattened pupae or have more moltings between pupae and queen. One of these stages would then have to somehow look humanoid enough to fight in the tournament. This would not be efficient in the process of becoming a queen. Then we have to assume there's a reason there's only one queen per hive and what happens to the other candidates. Then we have to question why potential queens would be sent out to the tournament. Another ascension rite like the Nakhti had in UC2? This hypothesis would raise more questions than answers if it were true. Also, they'd need to have 8 boobs.
                As I said above, if the Queen suppresses her underlings so that they don't develop into a rival Queen until the Queen herself dies, then that would account for it. It would also mean that some Warriors/Infantry may very well actually be females all along, and thus we wouldn't need a new mesh, and everyone wins!
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                  Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                  In RtNP, it was said that there was a second Skaarj colony nearby, and you fight organised Skaarj and pupae there. And AS-Mothership had a different Queen. So while technically it wouldn't be a direct contradiction that there's only one Queen, but it makes no logical sense: why would the Skaarj Queen be on Na Pali, and not safe on the Skaarj homeworld; and why would the Queen be on the front lines of the Human-Skaarj war, and not safe on the Skaarj homeworld? Also, if we go by the insect analogy, the queen typically controls the colony by using specific chemicals. Doing that across different planets is not plausible.

                  As for "the" Skaarj: "the" means a specific group. In this case, it was the Iron Skull clan, as stated in their team description in UT2004.
                  The queen was participating in a rather profitable and large scale invasion of the Nali homeworld. I think it's rather quaint that the Skaarj enjoyed the personal touch. It's not unreasonable that the new Queen would do the same with the Human homeworld. Regarding chemical control, the Skaarj are a technologically developed species that could surely manipulate chemistry just as easily as they travel space, and they would need to when accounting for distant vessels and isolated outposts and the occasional Tournament participant*.

                  The Iron Skull were blamed for the loss of the mothership. Meaning there were at least two clans involved in the conflict, and the Iron Skull were charged in particular with the protection of the mothership and its queen. Otherwise the Iron Skull would only have themselves to blame for losing their own queen.



                  *Would a Skaarj tournament fighter isolated from the queen go through 'puberty'? More material for DutchHollander's next awkward and sexually explicit fanfic saga I suppose.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Dementiurge View Post
                    *Would a Skaarj tournament fighter isolated from the queen go through 'puberty'? More material for DutchHollander's next awkward and sexually explicit fanfic saga I suppose.
                    Oh please, no. I don't ever want to go down that dark path again...

                    A young Skaarj warrior, just emerged from his pod, finds himself marooned on an alien planet. As he tries to find a way to survive on this strange planet, away from the comfort of his broodmates and the guidance of his clan, he feels changes happening to his body. When one day he wakes up with four pairs of horizontally spaced protrusions on his chest, she suddenly has to come to terms with her newfound femininity. Soon after, her world is about to be turned upside down again, as an unfamiliar shuttlecraft crashes in the lake behind the cave she has come to call home...

                    Maybe seeing Vandora's (four) **** at a tender age left a mark on my psyche...

                    I don't believe the Skaarj are controlled by pheromones, though. They are way too intelligent and individualistic for that. Pheromones could be a way of communicating silently and over distance. Like when a killer bee stings you it releases pheromones that attract and enrages it's sisters. It's an interesting thing, the Skaarj mind. While the trooper caste is organised and social like ants, their warriors more individualistic, like hornets. Perhaps the troopers were once worker caste proto-Skaarj, while the warriors formed the soldier caste. All castes are now strictly bound by tradition, pheromones only serving as a means of communicating with the mindless pupae, increasing tactical synergy of the trooper caste or as a way for members of the warrior caste to communicate silently while stalking prey. The Queen can still exert a degree of control over those in her proximity, but the nature of the skaarj psyche and the ingrained traditions of the caste system are what ultimately make all her subjects bend to her will.
                    Last edited by Zargøthrax; 08-10-2015, 08:00 PM.

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                      Originally posted by DutchHollander View Post
                      I don't believe the Skaarj are controlled by pheromones, though. They are way too intelligent and individualistic for that.
                      Humans are affected by pheremones, though it doesn't impede our conscious behavior, and there are many bioactive chemicals that affect us in our daily lives to a much greater degree than pheremones, whether or not we're aware of them.

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                        Sure, but a relay system for the Queen's pheromones? Why not just relay direct orders through the command structure?

                        Comment


                          When talking about spacefaring societies actual pheremones would be quite ineffective since there's no efficient method for transmitting those across space to the numerous self-contained habitats (space ships) that you're going to have. I favor the idea of Skaarj having some sort of ansible-like subconscious communication with their Queen. Head-canonically, the Skaarj 'dreadlock' are receptors for this communication, which would primarily be vague emotions (sense of purpose, belonging, desire to subjugate non-Skaarj or assert dominance over other Queens) rather than direct control (ala Ender's Game).
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                            Yo, dey got cloned n shiiiiiit. Nakthi emperor done changed the game with his **** stick.

                            The skaarj used the mass effect relay stargate to breed skaarj pupae character designs for the new unreal tournament. Imagine getting flakked in the face by a skaarj pupae. Would be sick dude. The next emperor of the nakthi planet will be a skaarj pupae, mark my words. The liandurp mining company really has come a long way with their research in nanoblack technology. I anticipate that we will see necris skaarj pupae concept art very soon. Complete with tribal nanoblack tattoos all over their faces. Because that is totally rad. That skaarj queen really gets around if you know what I mean

                            The new skaarj queen will be more realistically proportioned. I'm really sick of the way they portray alien monster queens in video games. Nobody has 6 breasts, ok? It's just unrealistic. AND SERIOUSLY, put some clothes on! Where is her realistic armor? She is going to war, correct?

                            I think that the new skaarj pupae should be given emo haircuts and nanoblack tribal tattoos.

                            I have a great example for what ruins scifi stuff. The matrix. The first one left a lot of mystery. The rest of the movies nerded it out to the point that your average person could no longer relate to it. I think that could very easily happen here.

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                              Originally posted by cafe View Post
                              Yo, dey got cloned n shiiiiiit. Nakthi emperor done changed the game with his **** stick.

                              The skaarj used the mass effect relay stargate to breed skaarj pupae character designs for the new unreal tournament. Imagine getting flakked in the face by a skaarj pupae. Would be sick dude. The next emperor of the nakthi planet will be a skaarj pupae, mark my words. The liandurp mining company really has come a long way with their research in nanoblack technology. I anticipate that we will see necris skaarj pupae concept art very soon. Complete with tribal nanoblack tattoos all over their faces. Because that is totally rad. That skaarj queen really gets around if you know what I mean

                              The new skaarj queen will be more realistically proportioned. I'm really sick of the way they portray alien monster queens in video games. Nobody has 6 breasts, ok? It's just unrealistic. AND SERIOUSLY, put some clothes on! Where is her realistic armor? She is going to war, correct?

                              I think that the new skaarj pupae should be given emo haircuts and nanoblack tribal tattoos.

                              I have a great example for what ruins scifi stuff. The matrix. The first one left a lot of mystery. The rest of the movies nerded it out to the point that your average person could no longer relate to it. I think that could very easily happen here.
                              Real Queens have curves and 8 breasts! Stop sexualising the Queen's body!

                              On a more serious note, the UT series never had more than of a couple of lines of fluff. Sometimes they were laughably corny (I'm looking at you, Field LAttice Generators) and many times the rule of cool glossed over details. Doesn't mean we can't try to create a canon on which to base the distilled ingame fluff.
                              Last edited by Zargøthrax; 08-11-2015, 07:34 AM.

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                                The Queen is quite a chimera type of creature. If she ever does return to this game, it'd most likely be Invasion as a boss fight.
                                Last edited by OMNIETY OMEGA; 08-11-2015, 10:24 AM.
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