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More interesting items/ideas for Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
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. Part 19
. .


The Tethered Antenna Balloon at the Lighthouse :

- Ryan maintained communications with his remaining World empire and used a special radio-like link (heavily encoded transmissions of course).

- The Balloon aerial was raised for regular transmissions to similar (frequently moved) installations in Ryan's Surface organization.

- Yet another of the many Lighthouse features seen when the Player gets the Quest(s) to go there and survey it for its planned demolition.

- The suystem used a low frequency technology developed by "The Greatest Electrical Engineer of our Age" (Ryan) that could not be traced/located (so it cannot give away Rapture's location).

- Somewhere in Rapture is Ryan's War-Room, where he has his maps and status boards for ALL of his operations. One board traces Jack's progress from the safehouse in America to the Apollo Airlines plane flight and then across Rapture. A posted order is still seen ordering the LightHouse's light to be turned on the night of Flight DF-0301.

- Ryan's Faction (who largely have joined New Rapture, but a shadow group still operates) still maintains contact with his Surface Organization and have assisted in acquiring components/materials/knowhow the New City desperately needed. The same communication system is still employed (the Secrecy is still maintained) and there is more to the system than is commonly known even to those privy to its existance.

- The Balloon also could mount a high-powered light beacon to help guide supply ships to Rapture when radio silence was maintained and inclimate weather effects visability.

If and when the Lighthouse is removed, the Antenna system's function needs to be retained.


Real submarine section doors are so small - must resist pressure and force :

Most submarines have a maximum operating water depth (much) less than Rapture's depth (the one I figured which has a 'street level' of about 600 feet).

MMORPG Rapture's large sliding Section doors are big enough to let Trolleys go thru their portal (and similar doors are used for the AE train airlocks). Such large doors have to be massive to resist the water pressures that would act against them (same problem as large single-pane windows - leverage works against them). The Bathysphere airlock doors are smaller, but have to be just as strong and operate constantly without failure. The common Securis doors (used to enforce local compartmentalization of buildings) are yet smaller (about 7 foot tall by 6 foot wide) and so can be thinner/easier to move.

Submarine style doors are simpler (cheaper) than the various automatics seen in Rapture. Down in the Basement/Foundation levels (where Maintenance Workers usually only go) they are used extensively to partition off the drainage sections (each section has its own pumps). Players who go down to those levels will be opening and closing alot of those manual water-tight doors.


UFO stuff :

UFOlogists - some set of Splicers believe there are Aliens down in the Abyss, unfortunately they (Splicers) usually manage to drown/crush themselves when they try to go down to investigate. Some of the same people are thought responsible for 'crop circles' in the City's Farms (kinda pathetic/unimpressive when its a 'circle' in a 6 foot wide hydroponic tray). If Splicers could fall for Lamb's delusions, they should have no trouble falling for UFO fantasies. Think 'Saturnine', but even more rediculous.


Quest :

Sinclair 'Knows where all the Bodies are Buried' ...

Mission to get some critical research information - tracking down Sinclair's secret stash.... But he wasnt one to put all his eggs in one basket, sooo.... Follow a trail through various places in Old Rapture to try to locate data important to New Rapture's future.

Sinclair owned many companies and had a wide range of resources - thus he probably had some good loot hidden and some interesting 'bolt-holes'.


Big Concrete Pipes :

The Boiling point of water at typical Rapture depth pressures is near twice (400F) as at Sea Level pressure (212F). This means that the liquid water can be alot hotter (and hold more heat) for delivery to keep the City warm.

Hot salt water erodes metals and large volumes of Very Hot water is shipped all over Rapture from the Hesphaestus geothermal sources.

Source of the hot water for all those Hot Water heating Registers seen throughout Rapture (keeping it nice and warm in the middle of a near frozen ocean). Central heat exchanger systems in buildings are used to keep corrosive salt water out of all those multitudes of smaller pipes that exist in all the buildings (some buildings were designed with central 'air' heating - using the same heat source).

Unfortunately, corrosion rates also go up with the water temperature and the water used is salt water (much too huge a volume to use fresh water and such a system would require twice the piping/pumps to return it for reuse).

Long term design would require pipe replacement, no matter what pipe material was used (even Ryanium which might last longer but was extremely expensive by comparison).

Solution - Use Concrete Pipe (most of the salt damage to concrete is ice crystals unlikely in this hot environemt and only an issue at shutdown (problem occurs with may repeat cycles of warm/freeze). Concrete would wear/corrode about as well as metal and even metals like steel would be a significant cost for such an extensive network of huge pipes. Ceramics and Concrete is one thing that Rapture could manufacture from local materials (there is no source of iron anywhere near Rapture). Thick concrete can wear away millimeters per year and last many decades. Thick iron pipe is an alternative for certain situations (accepting the expected metal wear/replacement). Large diameter Concrete is still far cheaper.

Structural strength is less important because this is not a high pressure pipe (as high-tmperature steam would require) and the liquid would only be circulated at near the outside sea pressure (small differential of pressure to structurally resist).

The Material Insulation factor for Concrete Pipe is better than Steel but still much too low for long distances and the surface areas involved (even when buried). So a fast high volume flow is needed to make sure sufficient hot water (heat content) arrives at the other end. Large pumps along the routes would be needed to push the water flow the miles across the City.

Once the heat content of the water is expended, it would simply be vented out into the ocean (again the another reason for the water to be near the same pressure as the ocean).

Air lines to circulate fresh air (thru the farms or from the surface intakes on the Lighthouse or the emergency units in the shallows) would also be large diameter and here would be another use for concrete pipes because of their size (these would require structural strength against the water pressure (though some of this air could be compressed at the source UP to match the water pressure if needed, to decrease the pipe size (cheaper) for the air volume flow required. The air would be chilled by the ocean and would be reheated on the receiving end.


I made the phones ring by hitting them :

Unlike in BS1/BS2, in the MMORPG you can smash payphones and bubblegum machines and newspaper dispensers to get the CASH in them. But you would be stupid, as compared to what little old (R$) money in them you might find, they are worth far more intact, as working useful objects or as a source of parts. An anti-griefer mechanism to handle players who destroy resources just to deny them to other players will find their 'Team' NPCs quitting their 'Team' leaving that plyer rather vulnerable out in 'the Wilds' (as well as attracting dangerous Splicers who dont like idiots destroying their stuff).


In the MMORPG, there wont be bodies 'turning into Lock Boxes' :

For one thing, Splicers will be harder to kill (and fights will be a bit more involved, plus they will likely run away more), as well as you will be interested in keeping them alive to be 'Cured' (though you can still loot their stuff).

The Game Engine (and target hardware, whenever this MMORPG eventually happens) will allow for many more human figures (generally the most complicated rendered assets in the game) to be shown simultaneously (look at Infinite that promises you a dozen enemies attacking you at once...). In the MMORPG there wont be the endless respawns that might cause piles of bodies.

"But Im not quite dead ! " - incapacitated Splicers can be resuscitated (prefereably after immobilizing and restraining them securely) and even dead Splicers have some research/medical/ADAM-recovery value (it may not be a cakewalk carrying them all the way back to civilization though). Splicers may often drag off their comrades for some 'healing' and 'resuscitation'.

'Dead' Players will similarly continue to exist, as there is no perma-death -- just some difficult 'splaining' to do by the game maker/designer to justify 'en-livening' dead player characters. We dont have those convenient BS1/BS2 Vita-Chambers machines everywhere to fix 'dead' players.

Perma-death might be an interesting idea, but for a character advancement/resource developmental game (particularly MMORPGs) they just dont make sense (and you rarely see a workable solution even in Solo games).


New Blood :

The New Rapture City Council is talking about having Ryan's Surface organization look for some new Citizens (ones having the appropriate mindset). One hopes they would be 'vetted' sufficiently (this time). They may not be too hard to find when the outside world has gone so much further downhill from Ryan's early post WW2 era. Genetic biologists and Reconstruction specialists would be particularly useful. The continuing need for secrecy hampers much potential help the City might get from the Surface. Some personnel from Ryan's organization may be available for temporary duty. Knowledge of course can be obtained if specificly requested (another game mission could be doing the 'research' and generating such requests to help the City progress against its numerous problems and difficulties.)

Part of the reason for New Rapture's 'beautification' projects is to make an environment suitable for new blood (otherwise Rapture's ruined state would scare off anyone sane -- "Yes, I DO want to move my family to a half drowned battleground, populated with insane mutants !!! -- Where do I sign up for that ??" ).

It is unknown how many adults Lamb kidnapped from the Surface to use as slaves in Lamb-lands farms and who were forcibly turned into Splicers so they could 'sacrifice' themselves and 'add' to the 'First Utopian'. Same for the actual number of children kidnapped to feed Lamb's insanity. How many died before they could be converted or ones she did 'experiments on' to create the process where Eleanor could 'achieve her destiny'. Possibly not 1 in 10 of the disappearances were reported in the newspapers that Mark Meltzer was investigating.
How many people were murdered/maimed trying to resist these kidnappings ???


IMPORTANT feature of this MMORPG - an integrated Program Interface

Needed even when the game has its own 'scripting' capability ...

Client Program Interface to allow external scripting/programming for control/coordination of player's Avatar/Team NPCs using the same data provided to Player while playing the game (not cheats). The Client program can call DLL containing custom player code and game actions/commands/events get transmitted back) Nope, sorry, no Aim-bots.

Allows plug-ins Client assistance tool enhancements (useful ones become very popular with players)

Allows exploring/developing/testing NPC behaviors/AI that can eventually be generally incorporated into the game.

Provides another INTERESTING aspect that will draw some customers to play the game (let the programmers out there show their skill).

Limited to the data usually sent to Player's client (to prevent cheating) and actions all go thru the Server for validation (to prevent more cheating).

Allows access by external programs (ie- piping data to a seperate machine - REAL AI takes huge amounts of CPU processing)

I would even go as far as allowing player Clients to run as bots (one player avatar per paid account) - but this is a very complex game and anyone who can make an AI that can operate like a player should be allowed to try.
Still no aim-bots.

Of course, this is yet another lump of work for the Company Game Developers to have to provide, but if they are intelligent and design it properly from the start, THEY can use it in-house for much of the functionality the Client is initially to provide (and the SAME mechanism is also applicable to various Server development tasks).


Jet Postal Station in the Atlantic Express Depot still has Pneumo items visible going thru the tubes :

As late as 1968 parts of the Pneumo system are still working. The Long distance system would be down thru many routes due to floodings and other damage (and general lack of maintenance).

Numerous other Pneumo Mailbox machines have goodies in them (you would think that such things would be long gone -- if they hadnt arrived more recently - though who is doing the sending and who the receiving??? Resupply for the thugs sent after Delta ?? )

The Pneumo system was meant to be robust and easily repaired and was fairly new (activated in 1956). So even with poor maintenance and neglect, it would likely keep operating (at least in parts of it) for a long time.

Grace (if you havent killed her) sends you stuff via Pneumo from Paupers Drop to Siren Alley. A pretty good distance to still have working (including all the intermediary Jet Postal routing equipment -- 2 Local Offices and a Trunk Line). When you are in Sirens Alley, Sinclair sends you useful stuff from Dionysus Park (at the "1919" door lock) - when apparently he isnt quite trapped in the train -- unless he has radio'd some minion to mail it to you from some other location.

For New Rapture, it only takes a little 'Rocket Science' (or some old manuals) to get their Pneumo systems working again and expand it as needed. Where there is a Will, there is a way.... Automatic mail is a useful labor/time saving device. If the Pneumo doesnt yet work in YOUR neighborhood, then its up to YOU to do something to get it back in operation, which will earn you Prestige from the other Citizens.


Fuel Cell technology (solutions to power submarines) :

Fuel Cells usually operate at 200F. Bulky, caustic fluids... (not practical for lightweight/compact/portable power units...) Heavy - so we wont see them powering Fly-bots....

So, its back to lightweight batteries, internal combustion engines and compressed gas.


Little Sisters predated the Big Daddies :

They were around quite a while before the Kashmir incident and the need for ADAM to build Ryans army to fight Atlas's murderous hordes.

The 'Orphanages' supplied Fontaine with the children to implant the SeaSlugs in so that they could provide many times as much ADAM (20 to 30 times) as the Seaslugs by themselves created. Fontaine used the ADAM to build his Plasmid technology company and then his Splicer army.

Later, extra ADAM from Splicer corpses was found to be collectable. And as the disturbances by the Splicers accelerated and Little Sisters were put out in the streets, this precipitating the need for the Big Daddies to protect them. The additional amounts of ADAM they collected this way must have been far greater than simply 'farming' LS in well controlled 'safe' environments.

An alternate process of systematically collecting and bringing Splicer bodies to Well-Protected Little Sisters would not have resulted in quite the same game (plot overrules logic and reason). The Pneumo was unfortunately a bit small to use for this purpose. Corpse Collecting stations ( 'deposit' machines with a Cash payout ? ) might have been an interesting addition to Raptures landscape.

Consider that the Little Sisters public gorging on Splicer blood, likely left large amounts of ADAM in the Splicers body unrecovered. How much more efficient if the bodies were processes systematicly and were flushed with even simple procedures, how much of that wasted ADAM could have been collected. (Dont think Im dwelling so much on this subject - I wasnt the one who came up with this idea for a game plot element/situation. Heh, think of the odd/long 'discussions' the devs must've had over this issue/subject).


Water Column Elevator :

Internally (inside a Rapture building) it would not practically work - problem - 200 feet column of water = 6+ Atm difference in pressure top to bottom. Might be used as an architectural gimmick (high maintenance).

Could be used as an external elevator for Daddies and other maintenance tasks - just a captive float cage held within guides, with some simple automatic mechanics (a filled air chamber will cause it to rise, bleed out air and it descends). A bubble shrinks the lower it descends - with less displacement - which can cause accelerate descent as the water displacement also shrinks (solution is a pressure sealed ballast chamber isolated from the outside water, which you adjust the water content in via pumps).

Use on the sides of buildings for maintenance - like Window cleaning platforms (on high rises) - to do work like removing accumulated sea grime, algae, to clean lights, etc... (would be easier than trying to do it from a Submarine).

Attachments and semi-automated washer rigs on high-rises with regular/even window patterns. Automated units using Flybot type robotic-control tech had been experimented with, but manned control was better/simpler.


Smart feature for the Lighthouse Island - a breakwater :

In the earliest phase of contruction when 'The Sinker' was at the bottom building foundations, 'platform ships' (moored barges) were on the surface acting as docks for the supply ships. There was much trouble with the heavy Atlantic storms causing constant damage. A better system was required.

Huge amounts of quarried rock was hauled up from the depths and dumped in a shallow spot on the submerged volcano to build up an artificial island (with a good dose of concrete and rebar to fully solidify it) which the sea and storms could not damage. A surrounding rock seawall was built up above the waters surface to protect an unloading area (about where the Lighthouse steps are), for small boats to use for transfering cargo and passengers from the larger ships anchored a safe distance away. Ryan probably already had a vision to built 'the Lighthouse' by then, as the Bathysphere/tunnel that goes straight down on that spot was built at about the same time.

Initial building on the Lighthouse island site housed large diesel generators used to supply the construction works below with power and large compressors to supply air.

There was a seperate dock added for an underwater Cableway to facilitate transfer of masses of materials/freight down to Rapture (to Port of Rapture ). A Cable Tower was built on the island which ran a transfer cableline directly to ships moored 500 feet away, so that the mass of cargo could be efficiently transfered without clumsy loading and unloading of small boats.

From Port of Rapture, Atlantic Express freight trains and construction submarines distributed the cargoes throughout the growing City.


Moonshine :

Farmers 'out in the hills' (farming communities outside Rapture City) making whiskey/moonshine. Stills (to utilize excess grain production after the City was cut off - some of those isolated communities may be largely ethanol powered). For lack of money people might take payment in whiskey. Tins of hardtack (another storable/portable item made from 'grain') might be another popular product.

- And large-scale industrial production (at least in the old days) as a liquid fuel (ethanol) and methanol as an industrial chemical. For lack of petroleum in later days (after surface links were largely cut), internal combustion equipment (even autos) could run on ethanol. The startchy/sugary components were also used as foodstuffs, so alcohol production had to compete with that use.

Moonshine/alcohol has interesting uses (BBQs/Flame-throwers/Lighters/Molotov cocktails/Fire breathing stunt for when that Incinerate plasmid runs out of EVE...)


Missions/Quests with clues/puzzles :

The same way we got combination locked goodies and had to find the combination somewhere -- the same mini-plot device can be used in various quests. Needs the grafitti mechanism to have the 'numbers/word scrawled in blood' type clues.

More puzzle types... (not too complex/tedious - people will just 'look it up on the Internet' anyway...)

Locks on : (maybe this time with a more realistic 6 or 7 digit numbers...)
- Doors,
- Safes,
- Security systems,
- Control Panels
- Comp-u-tor access codes
- Access to equipment like camera views (didnt they have remote camera views in the old Duke Nukem ??)
- Directions to go follow (door #1 or door #2 or door #3)

Mined (explosive) floors with a stepstone pattern (may be a field of trap rivet imbedded in tiles but certain ones are dummies)

Lever combination type keys (levers/switches can be a little less 'gianormous' (not huge frankenstein knife switches))

Different (imaginitive/amusing) hack mechanisms (Player's/Teams's skills/tools can assist in solving )

Physical Keys (objects -- as unusual/bizarre as imagination can allow) -

Biometrics - Handprints, etc..

Quest's locks/lockings get scrambled to avoid the 'look it up on the internet' method of solving game puzzles, endemic in today's MMORPGs.


"Join the Rapture Family" (Lamb - from public address in AE Depot in BS2) :

Whaaaa? I Thought Lamb ran Rapture by 1968.

If she is still having to exhort Splicers to 'join the Rapture Family' ... Apparently there are still many that never bothered to join/resisted (and have survived all that time without her 'help' ).

Does not sound like Lamb controlled 'all of Rapture' to me. The AE Depot is likely a 'unsecured' border area (and the location is still only in the southern 'old' section of Rapture -- and this is years after the power vaccuum left by Ryan's "death"...)


More role playings (Mini-Game?):

- Previously mentioned : role playing a Splicer/Big Daddy(again)/Little Sister(again)/A Security Flybot :

- A New one ---  Roleplay a Security Camera (half a joke - but see it thru its bio-logic eyes.)

- Weren't these things controlled by circuitry made from a sea-slug brain ???

- Watch the traffic and spot the Splicer (amusing episode of Splicers trying to 'fit in' (act naturally) and doing it badly)

- The infrared view/ terminator view style graphics of what the machine sees

- Watch in horrified fascination as you are hacked and turned against those you are supposed to protect... (But you have that hidden circuit they missed .....)

- BTW, wouldnt it have been intelligent to set off an alarm if the Security Camera itself was destroyed ?? (Kind of a 'dead-man switch' type signaller...)


Dole jobs for NPCs :

- Some Citizens had few real skills when they came to Rapture and may have trouble getting more skilled work. For others, their skills eroded while they existed as Splicers (or rather other survival skills supplanted them). The City offers basic jobs to those who havent 'got on their feet' for standard pay.
- Low Skill Jobs :
--- -- Sweeping steets
--- -- Washing windows
--- -- Emptying trash receptacles (not too many goodies in these ones)
--- -- Simple (re)painting of rebuilt interiors of reclaimed buildings
--- -- Clearing wreckage and rubble and accumulated trash in 'redevelopment' areas.
--- -- Shoveling out sewers
--- -- Moving supplies and furniture as City Offices are shuffled yet again
--- -- Processing trash at the Recycling station of the 'dump'
- Citizens are encouraged to train for higher skilled jobs

Interesting idea that 'training' is more re-awakening skills that have lain dormant for years - like the cliche - 'remembering how to ride a bike'... Game Design issue of what skills the individual might hold within their reconstituted brains (dont want to limit a players chracter or have them deleting and starting new ones till they get what they want...). Possibilities that all that ADAM they absorbed in the past may have given them a wide variety of options and it is a (flexible) matter of selecting from the same large set available for all player characters.


Points of Interest :

- Miniture Golf course (recreation) from Raptures old days. Now an eerie half destroyed and overgrown place.

Note - Persephone only hangs on the side of a cavern/chamber on the edge of the Abyss (and not very far into it) but it does have a nice view (and was probably had a tourist attraction before the penal colony was built). Abyss Overlook was actually a better (more spectacular) competing tourist site and thus became the end-of-track destination for the Short Line AE trains. (Literal 'end-of track' that would dump yyou into Abyss if you went any further).

- Did somebody really build a fake mermaid city down in the bottom of the Abyss Elevator trip below at the The Abyss Overlook ?? A Seedy tourist trap thing that now looks like an 30-year abandoned Miniture-Golf course (but more eerie and sad). Underwater Golf .... hmmmm. (What do big Daddies do on their days off ???)


"Johnny" - King of ________ :

BS2 - As an Alpha 'out on the street', what part of Rapture would you like to get stuck in ? You are Delta's clone "Johnny" who appeared in Adonis Luxury Resort sometime later when the Vita-Chamber shorted (and those adorable Little Sisters were never told to stop dragging Big Daddy Suits to that Vita-Chamber and filling its reservoir with ADAM). With all the wreckage left in Delta's wake, you wont be able to get to Lamb in Persophone or Eleanor (and maybe you wont die from the LS seperation conditioning and only go a bit insane instead). Since Splicers/BD seem in adaquate supply (they just keep showing up), you can live off their loot forever, even after depleting all the freebies (or can you ? ).

Possibly a long 'special' quest in the main MMORPG, where you get to re-experience Johnny's solo adventures.


Flea Market for New Rapture (variation on 'Auction House') :

A place to find strange/unusual items 'found' by NPCs and Players in their Adventures -- Players would have their NPC lackeys (one of your 'Team' members) stand in for them at the tables selling.

Table Rental at a reasonable price. Uses the Dialog and Display-Case based view/selection mechanism for sales.

There would be NPC dealers - regulars who will buy/sell certain types of goods (their operation isnt big enough for a 'Shop')

You never know what you might find for sale in such places. And often the sellers dont know the value of the things they have.


Abstracted behavior visible in BS2 :

Ive mentioned how the MMORPG has much more complex simulated environment/economy/behaviors and how the Servers will run the various elements 'in generalized abstract' when the players are not there to see it. The proper actions would be generalized but be close enough to full detail that the states can be converted to Full Detail when a player comes near (so that objects/NPCs will appropriately appear to be in the middle of doing things - which they actually should be doing).

Using the cheats and hiding inside of walls in BS2, Ive seen Splicers and Big Daddies 'step' their movement (jump from point to point without animation frames) by many second increments when the program didnt think the player was viewing the situation. You've probably seen a hacked Security Camera detect Splicers and activate Flybots (you see the alarm counter) when you are quite a distance away, showing that both the camera and Splicers are not really deactivated when the player is a distance away. There probably is a maximum distance on the Level where the simulation is mostly frozen, but between there is a range outside of the players view where the simulation goes on at a simplified level of detail. Abstract object tokens walk their behavior patrol paths and interact with objects like Security Scanners/turrets and precipitate events with outcomes that effect the game state (I find new Lockboxes from the Splicers the Flybots killed...).

The Simulation the MMORPG would do across the whole (huge) City map would have many more degrees of abstraction, so as to save on Server computing power, yet still carry on a sufficiently valid simulation across its whole breadth - with pockets of the highest quality simulation where the players are.