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Rapture would have been better off not portrayed with illogical excuses to facilitate a shoot-em-up game plot :
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Rapture was subjected to a new factor ('bio') that society could not handle ('shock'). It overwhelmed all the normal methods that could be used (unless you were North Korea where the leaders dont care if they have to kill half the population to 'control' things, and even that would be ineffective). The BS1 'twist' (darth vader is your father luke...) was largely irrelevant to the real story ( bio-shock overwhelms city and society breaks down, bringing doom) - the main character doesnt actually solve anything, only plays thru as another pawn, like Ryan -- Rapture is still on its death spiral at the end). Solving the destructive problem would have been the real epic story.
The uncontrollable ADAM phenomenon was a powerful enough threat to civilization without having to turn Ryan into a fake tyrant and have some dig against 'free market' ideals -- somehow painted as the cause of all the problems). If the ADAM 'Bio Shock' was sprung on our half socialist world it would do the same things and have the same result.
Illogical excuses :
The whole Rapture project would have been planned out better - Ryan wasnt stupid. To prevent things like supply problems happening, he would have had a balanced mix of housing and sufficient resources from the start, before 'self sufficiency' could get working. There were years of time for adjustments/corrections, while they still brought in more (most of the) the population and additional resources from 'the Surface'. Such realistic adjustments seem to have be missing. In business and industry you make allowances for failures/setbacks, which would be triply important in a place that was planned from the start to allow nobody to leave.
"Free Market" has mechanisms within it to self-balance which was largely ignored for the sake of the plot.
Over-emphasis in the story of people being 'put out on the street' and 'not enough low end housing'. Low end wages would NOT have been fixed (its not allowed in a free market) so wages would go up with demand (there was a definite demand for maintenance workers as per 'the novel' and the Wales brothers mention of 'leaking' of their design). Apartment rents would likewise come down (higher rent units would stand idle with NO income and still have maintenance expenses - which would increase as conditions degraded over time). Owners would eventually HAVE to offer lower Rents or people like Sinclair would come in and undercut them. That would be true for higher skilled workers and professional who would move in to occupy the upscale accomodations as rents dropped.
The plot put a big emphasis on 'free market' and Ryan would not have wanted to control Wages as they are also part of a free market and free competition. He would not allow unions as they are the same thing as price fixing/monopolies in commerce, but wages/salaries will adjust themselves anyway (and remember there were years of time for this to happen by the time of the game).
Would Ryan not encourage competing companies ... power company, transportation company, industries, manufacturing, security firms -- all possibly competing against him (and he likewise would have to lower prices as his competitors did).
Would Ryan Industries have actually owned most of the buildings (controlling most rents) or were some (many?) sold to (or built by) the many rich people who came to Rapture with their life savings (who even if they werent businessmen, would they not make investments for income)?? Surface money was converted to 'Rapture Dollars' on arriving and rich people understand controlling their own assets via ownership (versus renting when rents could be changed at any time or banks fold taking deposits with them). Low/non-existant taxes made ownership an even better prospect.
The same would go for other expenses like power and other utilities. Ryan would have encouraged others to build competing sources for everything. Those DIFFERENT owners would have to compete, which would allow corrections to costs for worker living expenses. Same for other consumer goods that could adjust to more low-end production when the market called for it. There were likely many niches in such a small closed economy, but if something grew largenew businesses so much in OUR world). Ryan would have actually planned to invite people who would start businesses that would compete to eliminate the problems of monopolies.
The out-of-work construction crews were said to be a major problem (Atlas fodder), but they were winding down building the City before most of the population had arrived (long before the events of BS1). Their numbers (a coupla-thousand at most) would have been only a small part of the City's total population (20000-40000). No more workers with those obsolete/unused skills would have been brought in. The existing construction workers would have been shifted over to manufacturing/maintenance jobs that the City required (it would have been part of 'the plan', and they would have vetted the personnel with that in mind, since noone was 'allowed to leave Rapture' once they got there). Not all the construction would have been 'high skill' and general skills could be put to work in Rapture's expanding industries (farming for one) as well as many other jobs. It is unrealistic to think that the workers could NOT have done other jobs.
People coming to Rapture would have brought along entire industrial/manufacturing plants (starting them from scratch would be insane and likely impossible - there is just too much specialized machinery need in modern industry). Many ordinary jobs of all kinds would have been required to support those operations (another source of switch-over jobs for the 'construction crews', many of whom would have a wide range of skills themselves). Most of a decade went by for this to happen.
Fontaine was actually the largest cause of much of the economic distress :
- Smuggling operations undercut in-Rapture production of goods (those with money would have bought and encouraged more local 'luxury/quality' goods if they didnt have an easy alternative). Apparently Ryan knew there was an operation, but his men could come up with no evidence, even after years -- and he followed Rapture's (his) own rules about 'due process'. In as small a place as Rapture, this inability to discover the mass of criminal behavior seems ludicrous, even with the bribery hamstringing Ryans security. Meanwhile, the smuggling profits went into Fontaines pockets to be used to further his other criminal ventures.
- Fontaine swindled his own employees on wages (an Audio Diary mentions this) and those that didnt like it wound up dead.
- Criminally running competitors out of the fish business and raising prices because of his monopoly (you think he wouldnt ??) Like Capone, he branched out to many other businesses and no doubt employed the same unfair tactics. When people started getting killed by Fontaine THEN it should have been enough for Ryan to go after him, but that doesnt seem to have happened (would have gotten in the way of the plot).
- Highly addictive ADAM being intentionally distributed -- that incapacitated workers and took away money they needed to support themselves, and causing mass violence and disruptions (including murder) amongst the population.
- The Kashmir incident that caused the run on the banks (market crash). It bankrupted many who had to shutdown businesses further damaging the economy (Ryan wouldnt have done the 'just print more money' that politicians these days do so much).
- Fontaine's Splicers disrupting normalcy in many sections of the city, quite a while BEFORE the Civil War even started.
- And of course 'the plot' called for Ryan to not be able to prove any of Fontaine's crimes/treasons (a huge smuggling operation that ran for years) and shut down Fontaine BEFORE he built a whole Splicer army to start a war with (violence and criminal activity were NOT part of the 'free market' system and Ryan would have had the public's support). The Smuggling was actually Treason against the safety of the people of Rapture, but that seems to have had little significance.
- ADAM obviously causing insanity and mayhem -- common knowledge throughout the City, even 'No-Laws' Rapture would allow Ryan to publicly call for the proven mass-poisoners to be shut down and let the public denounce and charge the poisoner (Fontaine) if he did not desist. But no, Ryan couldnt possibly do that (even though simple Public awareness would NOT be against his 'principles', he wasnt given this as an option in the plot). Shutting down the ADAM business as a public menace was somehow 'against the free market'.
Ryan the cardboard cutout villain :
Ryan intervening in the 'civil war' only when normalcy is long gone : "was damned if he did and damned if he didnt" -- now when he finally intervenes for public safety he is labeled a tyrant.
Maintaining order WAS one of the things that Ryan had a mandate to do.
Apparently seizing Fontaine Futuristics was the 'breaking point' that enabled 'Atlas' ('Ryan the tyrant' propaganda) even though it was the source of the poison and was being used to arm the gangs of murderous Splicers that were disrupting Rapture (crazy Splicers murdering MANY citizens to the point they couldnt go to work or even out to buy food). Ryan should have shut the company down and let Atlas's Splicers wither away as their ADAM was cut off -- instead of the lame excuses showing him running it 'business as usual' -- you dont have business as usual in the middle of a War. Poisoning further Citizens instead was a bad decision he probably would NOT have made (except the plot said so) -- Rapture IS its Citizens. There is NO 'market' to be 'free' when psychotic maniacs are shooting everyone in sight.
The later control Pheromone vs Free-Will issue wouldnt have happened (the supposed 'final' abandonment of his principles...) Even with THAT measure, hadnt the Splicers already surrendered their Free-Will to their ADAM addiction (the Pheromones control ONLY worked on Splicers geneticly modified by plasmids...). Instead the game makes Ryan only interested in profits.
So Ryan waited too long to go against his 'principles' - only when Rapture was heading for destruction and Splicer armies were taking over and he finally had to take strong measures and fought back instead of simply surrendering to those who would take all the power for themselves (and destroy any hope of going back to Rapture's founding principles).
Was Ryan intelligently allowed to follow his principles? Or was he really just turned into a inflexible cardboard cutout tyrant to set the stage for a blast-fest shoot-em-up game in a flimsily contrived 'ruined city' ????
Nothing, even logic, gets in the way of 'The Plot'.
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SO where do we go from there with the MMORPG ? :
'The Plot' is now Lore/Canon. The City is a Wreck and the players are now tasked with bringing Rapture back to life. Further lame and illogical excuses can be avoided for the continuing story. New explanations might disclose further events that explain better what happened and why. Explanations directly from Ryan (New Audio Diaries) explaining WHY he had to make certain decisions with factors not previously disclosed -- plans that went wrong, unforseen circumstances, betrayals by critical people at critical times...
He had to fight fire with fire, as his conventionally equipted security men could not handle the Splicers inhuman abilities (even with the heavy hardware he equipt them with). Equipping his supporters with plasmids to counter the enemy before half the city was killed and the other half to starving to death - the disruptions were so severe.
Again and again being told there was NO TIME to develop certain things he would rather have used.
The Pheromone Control scheme to try to nullify Atlas's Splicers being rushed into use (and needed because his own spliced forces would eventually go down the same uncontrollable path). The Pheromones effect would not be like 'Would You Kindly' with exact orders, but would be a general mood changer -- to make Splicers passive when needed so that disruptions would stop and Rapture's essentials could be resumed (when Jack was there things were still running and noone but splicers in sight - so who do you think was doing all the work??)
The long term plans to use ADAM technology to wipe memories so that problematic people could be sent out of Rapture safely.
A 'cure' would have to be looked for to fix the people already addicted and poisoned by ADAM.
ADAM still held alot of potential but would have to have the insanity/genetic mutilation side effects eliminated (and would be banned until then).
People who he had trusted were spies or worse for the enemy and they needed to be eliminated (all the ones he had 'locked up' arent mentioned all that much -- remember Persephone). Instead a 'trophy' wall some were crucified on was created as an easy scene for 'the plot' (but how many people were ever allowed to that place to see if it was supposed to 'serve as a warning' ???) Even the hung people in Apollo Square should have had signs on them ' 10 trips to the surface and 10 possible times to give Rapture away to the KGB or CIA" -- it would have given a much clearer message.
Give a simple explanation to those who might not understand that WAR changes things. Real war isnt a computer game that you can turn off and go get something to eat then go watch TV. Strong Measures not usually considered under normal circumstances become necessary to avoid losing EVERYTHING -- unless you prefer to surrender and then be at the mercy of those who dont care anything about fairness or even any law. Wouldnt THAT reality have been a significant point to make in the game???
Perhaps in the MMORPG Player Created Content there would be some people willing to tell the missing parts of the story.