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    Skaarj Homeworld theme

    How do you envision the Skaarj Homeworld?
    That Skaarj concept art thread (really great stuff) got me thinking that it would be awesome if the new game came with a Skaarj Homeworld theme adding something new and yet familiar.

    Unreal (and one AS-map in UT2004?) is surprisingly enough the only places weve seen Skaaj art. (Correct me if im wrong here)

    In my mind their homeworld look something like our Jura mixed with lots of volcanos and lava but at the same time industrialised.

    - Weve seen some of their military arcitecture and spaceships. (They like green light and funky looking huds )
    - But how does their civilian architecture look?
    - Or their ancient buildings, their Pantheon and Pyramids?

    Would love to see what you guys and the Epic artists too think.

    #2
    For that you have to first define how the frak skaarj society is structured. For instance, in unreal, theyve got a queen. So, are they a bunch of drones that think in a hive mind way?

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      #3
      Originally posted by Themisto View Post
      For that you have to first define how the frak skaarj society is structured. For instance, in unreal, theyve got a queen. So, are they a bunch of drones that think in a hive mind way?
      Since this thread exists now and you asked, let me repost this:

      Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
      Actually, to expand a bit on the genders: there is quite a bit of variety in nature of how it works. Bees and ants have a queen that lays eggs, which then if fertilised become female workers and soldiers. They normally don't reproduce, because the queen alters their physiology like that. With ants, if the queen dies, newly developing ants become potential new queens, because they are no longer affected by the queen's suppressing chemicals. With bees, they always have some potential queens, who are given special food and develop in more spacious quarters, just in case something bad happens with the queen.

      Eggs that are not fertilised become male drones. They are basically diplomatic envoys to other colonies, where they mate with those queens and renew the genetic code there. They are also part of the queen's escort if she decides to create a new colony. By themselves, drones don't do anything other than eat, do minor work (dances, thermoregulation) and mate, and they only live for a short time. If there are too many drones in a colony, they are often just expelled out to die (in order not to have to feed them; if they're lucky, they will find another, preferably new, colony in time).

      Termites have it a bit differently. There is a queen and a king, both live long. Most new termites, the workers and soldiers, are male. A small number of newly developed termites are winged, and they are the backup material in case either the queen or the king dies. If they don't, they fly off to scout potential new colony sites, and once they find one, since they are both male and female, they can create new colonies on the spot. They also do the diplomatic relation thing.

      Then there are variations of this. Some species don't have queens, some are parthenogenetic (all female) etc.

      In a sense the termite variation sounds closest to what we see with the Skaarj. Warlords are obviously the male winged drones. So female Warlords would make sense too; they would drop their wings (or, more likely, hide and never use, because vertebrates use boned wings, and you can't easily drop those) and become queens on settling a new colony. Warlords being envoys across different clans makes sense as well. A male Skaarj King would also make sense.

      The wide variety of Skaarj can be explained by specialisation (soldier/worker; although Prisoner 849 didn't really have a reason to face workers, so perhaps workers are even more different) and/or differences between clans. Another interesting bit is that some termite species have elite guardian soldiers that are up to three times as large as standard soldiers, but don't attack unless enemies intrude deep into the colony. Sounds like the giant Skaarj in RTNP Bounds of Foundry, no? I'd imagine that the Skaarj homeworld would have plenty of those in their key facilities.

      Thinking about it, here's how I imagine the process on the Skaarj invasion on Na Pali went: first, one of the queens decided she wanted to expand her clan's realm. She sent several Warlords to scout the area in small ships. Seeing an untouched garden world with plenty of Tarydium, they reported back, and the queen formed an escort made of plenty of soldiers and several Warlords to fly to Na Pali. Upon landing, they started forming a colony around the mothership. They took advantage of the Nali, making them work in the mines for them (no need to use own workers!) and using their infrastructure (Warlords in Nali Castles, prospective places to create new colonies, not that much different from the mothership). Then Prisoner 849 came along, infiltrated the colony, killed the queen, left in one of the Skaarj shuttles. The hierarchy was in shambles, female warlords fighting among themselves for the control of what was left, soldiers not being sure who they should answer to (being males they can't themselves take the throne), some going with their favourite Warlords to establish new colonies separate fro the old one. Hence by RTNP, the Skaarj were still a threat, just not as organised, probably fighting among themseves more often than not (but P849's demise is obviously the priority). The Skaarj empire learned of their loss and sent lots of soldiers, as well as a colonisation ship, the UT2004 mothership (probably led by Warlords, not a queen, this time; too unsafe, too valuable to lose), to Earth. Defeated, they decided to focus their efforts elsewhere (humans didn't seem to be interested in taking Skaarj colonies, so might as well largely ignore one another, except for tournament matches to regain some of the lost honour).
      As for hive mind, depends on the definition. They certainly have culture and social structure. They're probably quite loyal to their clan. They're definitely not telepathic, though, if that's what you meant.
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        #4
        hah, that was an awesome read, greatemerald! Suddenly everything in regards to unreal lore is so much more rich and with substance, even if its fan made lore.

        As for telepathic, those tendril in the back of their heads could verywell be antenas just for that.

        Comment


          #5
          Duamn GreatEmerald!

          Sounds very plausable to me.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Themisto View Post
            hah, that was an awesome read, greatemerald! Suddenly everything in regards to unreal lore is so much more rich and with substance, even if its fan made lore.

            As for telepathic, those tendril in the back of their heads could verywell be antenas just for that.
            Thanks

            And no, they're not telepathic. Otherwise P849 would have faced the entire mothership force at the door. There are plenty of times when you surprise Skaarj in Unreal, too.

            If you want someone with something akin to telepathic abilities, look at the Drakk instead. They are networked and obviously know what is going on (just most often doesn't care much about it).
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              #7
              the telepatic communication max radius could be small enough to warant those surprises. Plus, it was really easy to surprise some of those skaarj... maybe they have weak hearing capabilities because they rather relie on telepathic link best (but doesnt cross species)

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                #8
                Originally posted by Themisto View Post
                the telepatic communication max radius could be small enough to warant those surprises. Plus, it was really easy to surprise some of those skaarj... maybe they have weak hearing capabilities because they rather relie on telepathic link best (but doesnt cross species)
                If it's small enough, it means they're not telepathic Just drop the idea, nothing in the lore suggests that ability, and "hive mind" has nothing to do with actual hives aside the name, anyway. Like I said, you can look at robots that would definitely have that ability, instead.
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                  #9
                  Maybe their planet succumbed to global warming and is now a desert with a methane atmosphere.
                  Or a lush jungle they've turned into a hunting resort for exotic species. (For all their suffering, the Nali had it pretty good, as indentured mining servants go.)

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                    #10
                    People forget that if it weren't for the Chicxulub impact event that wiped out the dinosaurs, mammals would never have gotten the upper hand over the giant lizards, which reigned supreme. Intelligent life on this planet may well have looked entirely different than it does today if it weren't for that one-in-a-million chance-collision with a killer meteor.

                    If you're wondering what the climate must have been like of a world where reptile-like species evolved into the Skaarj, look at Earth in the Cretaceous period. Obviously, a lot can happen in a few tens of millions of years, though.

                    Originally posted by Dementiurge View Post
                    Maybe their planet succumbed to global warming and is now a desert with a methane atmosphere.
                    Since the Skaarj are a space-faring civilization it stands to reason that they went through a period of industrialization and are set with their own pollution issues. It takes a looooooong time to change the bulk composition of a planet's atmosphere though, so even as polluted as all that, Skaarj would still be breathing a nitrogen, oxygen based atmosphere. We know that the Skaarj live under an atmosphere which is similar to Earth's because humans and Skaarj both didn't die of asphyxiation on Na Pali.
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                      #11
                      Cool thread. I think that I kind of see the Skaarj homeworld as an industrialized form of the Gen Mo'kai stuff. Although, a lot of what you can see the Skaarj doing on Na Pali has like this antiqueness to it that you kind of see in Gears of War. I think they call it antiquecore or something
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                        #12
                        Originally posted by TrickyVein View Post
                        People forget that if it weren't for the Chicxulub impact event that wiped out the dinosaurs, mammals would never have gotten the upper hand over the giant lizards, which reigned supreme. Intelligent life on this planet may well have looked entirely different than it does today if it weren't for that one-in-a-million chance-collision with a killer meteor.

                        If you're wondering what the climate must have been like of a world where reptile-like species evolved into the Skaarj, look at Earth in the Cretaceous period. Obviously, a lot can happen in a few tens of millions of years, though.
                        Pines everywhere. I like the sound of that! Although Skaarj pines probably look different from Earth pines.

                        Originally posted by TrickyVein View Post
                        Since the Skaarj are a space-faring civilization it stands to reason that they went through a period of industrialization and are set with their own pollution issues. It takes a looooooong time to change the bulk composition of a planet's atmosphere though, so even as polluted as all that, Skaarj would still be breathing a nitrogen, oxygen based atmosphere. We know that the Skaarj live under an atmosphere which is similar to Earth's because humans and Skaarj both didn't die of asphyxiation on Na Pali.
                        Yeap. Returning to ant/termite/bee inspiration, they all live in cone- or barrel-shaped structures, and around that the area is often rather barren of resources they make use of. Also, ants grow fungi under their hills. I could totally imagine hydroponics bays somewhere deep in Skaarj cities.

                        Originally posted by Sir_Brizz View Post
                        Cool thread. I think that I kind of see the Skaarj homeworld as an industrialized form of the Gen Mo'kai stuff. Although, a lot of what you can see the Skaarj doing on Na Pali has like this antiqueness to it that you kind of see in Gears of War. I think they call it antiquecore or something
                        Yeap. The Gen Mo'Kai have a lot of pines, too! And yes, this reminds me, we do see some Skaarj constructs on Na Pali. Nali themselves are not industrialised, so the Rrajigar Mines are of Skaarj doing, same thing with the Foundry, as well as the structures in Dusk Falls. Albeit it's not certain if it's purely Skaarj design, given that Brutes and Slith might have something to do with it as well.

                        Oh, also, in Unreal Beta there are Skaarj temples. Groovy things, those.
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                          #13
                          Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                          If it's small enough, it means they're not telepathic Just drop the idea, nothing in the lore suggests that ability, and "hive mind" has nothing to do with actual hives aside the name, anyway. Like I said, you can look at robots that would definitely have that ability, instead.
                          Agreed. Besides, I reckon a species that communicates through telepathy would cease its verbal communication entirely, and that is clearly not the case with the Skaarj. Text based communication would also be obsolete, which is also widely used, as we have seen in Unreal.


                          As for the Skaarj temples, is it possible to post pictures of those? It'll probably serve as a good reference!

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Neorej View Post
                            As for the Skaarj temples, is it possible to post pictures of those? It'll probably serve as a good reference!
                            Sure, here you go:
                            http://www.unrealsp.org/gameguide/be...7-soledad.html
                            (Use "Next" and go through four pages. Yes, it's four pages full of screenshots.)
                            And then: http://www.unrealsp.org/gameguide/be.../21-nexus.html
                            (Go through three pages here)

                            The first temple is to a Skaarj deity named "Jrath" (I think in modern Skaarj that would be "J'rath", though). Not sure about Nexus.

                            Generally they use brown and red accents, sharp edges on all the ornaments and doors, and have lots of traps. And sacrificial altars.
                            Though this is also probably not just Skaarj architecture. Nexus is clearly built into a Nali temple, and the Jrath temple also has Nali symbolics. So they probably took over some Nali temples and repurposed for their own deities. Note how the architecture is pretty much a blend of Nali temples and industrial themes from mines and Foundry. Also of note that they use these temples for developing their larvae (the purple liquid is their food), so it's not just a religious thing, but also serves a practical purpose.

                            There might be even more Skaarj temples in the PS2 version of Unreal, but I'm not really sure.
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                              #15
                              Originally posted by TrickyVein View Post
                              Since the Skaarj are a space-faring civilization it stands to reason that they went through a period of industrialization and are set with their own pollution issues. It takes a looooooong time to change the bulk composition of a planet's atmosphere though, so even as polluted as all that, Skaarj would still be breathing a nitrogen, oxygen based atmosphere. We know that the Skaarj live under an atmosphere which is similar to Earth's because humans and Skaarj both didn't die of asphyxiation on Na Pali.
                              I was picturing a gargantuan clathrate gun-like scenario that would have pushed the Skaarj off the planet entirely. Possibly leading to queens living in motherships, etc.

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