Are Drakons superior beings?

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AuthorTopic: Are Drakons superior beings?
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Dikiyoba:

Neither Barzahl nor Monarch are typical Shapers, though.
You're not assuming all drakons can shape, are you? Despite something that was said earlier, drakons have to learn these things like everyone else. Thus, I thought it was fair to compare the best the humans have to offer with the best the drakons have to offer.

On a side not, Diki pointed out that Barzahl was canister enlightened, and therefore was not just any human. I suppose we should address this. Are we talking about pure humans versus pure drakons here? This would hurt both sides equally, I think, the humans would then lose Barzahl, Monarch and other unnaturally powerful shapers, and the drakons would lose Ghaldring as well as all other ur-drakons. I think it is fair to include those that have been shaped, any objections?
quote:
Geneforges aren't all that powerful.
Ah, you mean drakon geneforges aren't all that powerful. Danette's geneforge could turn its users into empire forging demi-gods. And she (a human) was using 200 year old technology at the time. Humans are better at geneforges, despite the fact that drakons have had more experience (1 geneforge versus 4).

Has whether or not drakons can use magic been addressed yet?

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Infiltrator
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Some posters continually point out Monarch, Lilita, and Barzhal as examples of humans with power that equals the Drakons.

I'd argue that these three character are not human, but are examples of what Magneto terms 'Homo Superior'. Shaped humans are to regular humans as Drakons are to Drayks. They have advanced beyond their pitiful pink fleshball state.

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Posts: 522 | Registered: Friday, November 15 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
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quote:
Originally written by Morior:

Wow. 13 pages of reading this and I'm still sane. I'm surprised.
...
1. They're better at shaping.
I disagree. From what I've read, all they've made is better drakons. Even assuming that wingbolts, etc. are just improvements of old creations and not new developments, the shapers have variety and more radical improvements.

First, congratulations on your sanity.

Second, I keep seeing this argument from Emp and I never say anything because if I pointed out all that he was wrong about I'd be writing for days and he wouldn't listen anyway. But it seems that Dikiyoba is missing this and now you. Don't confuse quantity and quality. If all I can make is stickmen and I make 100 of them, but you paint 1 real-to-life self-portrait, you are more skilled regardless of the quatity of my stickmen or the various poses in which I can draw them. In the same way, the number of or variety of creations one makes has no bearing on skill. Here is one of the relevant observations from the PC when he first sees the unbound in quessa-uss:

"You stare at the bound creation. It stares off into space, frozen. The energy field surrounding the creature holds, controlled by the control panel behind you to the east. You examine it at your leisure. It is a drakon, but unlike any you have ever seen. It glows. Powerful heat radiates from it, enough that it would probably burn you if you touched it. Whoever created it filled it with all the pure, uncontrolled power they could. And, as with all Shaping, there was a trade-off. In return for power, they gave up sanity. They have followed the same path as Shaper Monarch, but with far greater resources and skill." [emphasis mine]
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Lifecrafter
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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Has whether or not drakons can use magic been addressed yet?
Yes, and they can. Don't let the facts stop you from making the argument though. :P
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
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Good point about quality vs. quantity, Stillness. Anti-Drakonians on this thread keep pointing out that the Drakons have created fewer radically 'new' creations when compared with the Shapers.

Of course, they seem to forget that the Drakons are channeling all of their creative energy into a 'supercreation'. Why would you waste your time on tangents when you're on the verge of constructing what is essentially a secret superweapons which can turn the tide of a war?

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VIVE LA TAKERS!
VIVE LA REBELLION!
VIVE LA GHALDRING!
Posts: 522 | Registered: Friday, November 15 2002 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Suspicious Vlish:

Good point about quality vs. quantity, Stillness. Anti-Drakonians on this thread keep pointing out that the Drakons have created fewer radically 'new' creations when compared with the Shapers.

Of course, they seem to forget that the Drakons are channeling all of their creative energy into a 'supercreation'. Why would you waste your time on tangents when you're on the verge of constructing what is essentially a secret superweapons which can turn the tide of a war?

Thank you my good man. I agree entirely. Except that I am "anti-drakonian" as well. I can't think of one with an appealing personality. Your second in the duel at the field of blood comes closest, but I found him just to be bearable, not pleasant. I hope they work on that for the next game. I find most of the humans to be distasteful as well though. I just dislike them a little less. That's why I feel totally justified playing both ends against the middle for the sake of mine own power. >:]
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Waylander:
I'd argue that these three character are not human, but are examples of what Magneto terms 'Homo Superior'. Shaped humans are to regular humans as Drakons are to Drayks. They have advanced beyond their pitiful pink fleshball state.
Could someone please point out to Waylander that this would mean taking ur-drakons and Ghaldring out of the equation as well? All that ignoring me is accomplishing for him is that he is now falling behind in the discussion

Stillness, are you saying that the new creations, War Tralls (created to compliment the melee battle creations with ranged tactics) wingbolts (one of the few creations with non-vestigal wings, capable of scouting and vastly superior magical ranged attacks) and Kyshaks (radically new in every war and very strong yet still controllable) are stick figures compared to the raw power of the unbound? How does abandoning control and putting raw power in it's place (which is what the description says) show ones mastery over shaping? You guys need to work on your analogies.

Magic: What makes you say drakons can use magic?
quote:
Waylander:
Why would you waste your time on tangents when you're on the verge of constructing what is essentially a secret superweapons which can turn the tide of a war?
The Shapers "waste" their time on creating tactically superior and controllable creations because they have empathy for the civilians that are getting caught up in this war, something the drakons don’t seem to understand. I don't blame you for not figuring this out on you own, though, you still seem convinced that drakons are capable of empathy because the helped some serviles once.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Lifecrafter
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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

How does abandoning control and putting raw power in it's place (which is what the description says) show ones mastery over shaping? You guys need to work on your analogies.
You chose Monarch as one of the most powerful shapers. That's a fact. The game says that drakons are far more skilled. That is a fact. It proves you wrong, not me. I didn't write the script I only quoted from it. I knew you wouldn't let measely facts get in the way of your argument.

My analogy was to make it clear that quantity is not quality, nothing more.

The drakon in the field of blood uses magic. You can still insist that drakons don't use magic though.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Councilor
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Originally by Emperor Tullegolar:

quote:
Magic: What makes you say drakons can use magic?
We've already discussed this a little in this thread.

"It all looks recently constructed, hastily built by drakons, serviles, and magic. There are empty depressions in the walls, waiting for mosaics or other artwork. The touches of luxury are waiting until after the war ends."

and

"The pass ahead is blocked by massive stone gates. They are recently built, and they bear the marks of drakon architecture. Unadorned, huge, stone, and hastily made using magic and servile labor."

Plus, a new one: "Eessarian casts a spell. A caustic cloud of gas surrounds you." Presumably, when "Scourge Vossizon surrounds herself with a cloud of foulness" and "Salassar emits a confusing aura", they are casting spells instead of relying on innate abilities.

quote:
You're not assuming all drakons can shape, are you? Despite something that was said earlier, drakons have to learn these things like everyone else. Thus, I thought it was fair to compare the best the humans have to offer with the best the drakons have to offer.

On a side not, Diki pointed out that Barzahl was canister enlightened, and therefore was not just any human. I suppose we should address this. Are we talking about pure humans versus pure drakons here? This would hurt both sides equally, I think, the humans would then lose Barzahl, Monarch and other unnaturally powerful shapers, and the drakons would lose Ghaldring as well as all other ur-drakons. I think it is fair to include those that have been shaped, any objections?
I said Shapers, not humans. Humans range from people like Shaper Monarch to helpless refugees who can't handle fyoras (the farmers in Dillame Farmland). That's an awful lot to compare to. Since we have fewer drakons and they all seem to have similar abilities, I'm choosing to cut out the unskilled humans like the farmers and the exceptionally powerful humans like Monarch and just stick to the mostly-Loyalist Shapers like the Infiltrators to compare apples-to-apples as much as possible.

Originally by Stillness:

quote:
But it seems that Dikiyoba is missing this and now you. Don't confuse quantity and quality. If all I can make is stickmen and I make 100 of them, but you paint 1 real-to-life self-portrait, you are more skilled regardless of the quatity of my stickmen or the various poses in which I can draw them.
You're only more skilled at drawing self-portraits. But you might be terrible at drawing stick figures, and stick figures are a style of art as much as self-portraits are. There is a time and place for self-portraits and a time and place for stick figures. Sometimes quality is more important than quantity and sometimes quantity is more important than quality. Wolves hunt in packs to bring down larger prey than they could alone--quantity over quality. Shaper Monarch kept the Shapers and rebels at bay with hundreds of low-quality creations, and it worked really well until the PC showed up--again, quantity over quality.

But more important, the drakons had quality and quantity with the Unbound. They are as powerful as you quoted them to be, and the drakons can create dozens if not hundreds at a time.

Dikiyoba.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Warrior
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quote:
On a side not, Diki pointed out that Barzahl was canister enlightened, and therefore was not just any human. I suppose we should address this. Are we talking about pure humans versus pure drakons here?...
I thought that drakons were shaped drykes in which case there is no such thing is a "pure" drakon. Considering that drakons constantly reshape themselves i think it's fair to compare them to shapers that have been altered.
Posts: 89 | Registered: Wednesday, March 15 2006 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

You chose Monarch as one of the most powerful shapers. That's a fact. The game says that drakons are far more skilled. That is a fact. It proves you wrong, not me.
Note that your quote says the drakons have far greater resources than Monarch. It is another testament to human superiority that while the drakons are stuggling to win the war despite many drakons working around the clock with the resources of entire provinces at their disposal, Monarch still manages to give pause to both them and the Shapers, conquoring almost an entire province by himself using nothing but his own willpower and a few machines in his basement.
quote:
My analogy was to make it clear that quantity is not quality, nothing more.
I still don't think this makes sense. The Shapers spend their time developing new tactical creations for use in a variety of situation, that's quality, is it not? Drakons focus more on dumping raw power into existing creation templates, this sounds more like quantity, does it not?

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Apprentice
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quote:
Note that your quote says the drakons have far greater resources than Monarch.
I have been reading this topic from the very beggining and Emperor, your "style of discusing" is pathetic. Quote directly says that Drakons have more resources and superior skills but for no reason you ignore what quote says about skills and continue your nonsenses about resources.
Posts: 13 | Registered: Wednesday, January 24 2007 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by... someone:
for no reason you ignore what quote says about skills and continue your nonsenses about resources
I have every reason, actually. I'm trying to prove drakons are not superior, remember?

Is every person supposed to acknowledge every fact that has already been pointed out in everyone elses post? If so, I'd say I'm still ahead of the game, having refuted far more of other people's arguments than they have mine (see Morior's recap if you still don't get it).

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
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How resources are related to being superior being? Answer is simple, they are not related at all while skills are related.

quote:
Is every person supposed to acknowledge every fact that has already been pointed out in everyone elses post?
So you agree that Drakons have superior skills?

quote:
I still don't think this makes sense. The Shapers spend their time developing new tactical creations for use in a variety of situation, that's quality, is it not? Drakons focus more on dumping raw power into existing creation templates, this sounds more like quantity, does it not?
How can quality be many inferior creations? Do you have some problems with logic?

quote:
Note that your quote says the drakons have far greater resources than Monarch. It is another testament to human superiority that while the drakons are stuggling to win the war despite many drakons working around the clock with the resources of entire provinces at their disposal, Monarch still manages to give pause to both them and the Shapers, conquoring almost an entire province by himself using nothing but his own willpower and a few machines in his basement.
And what happened when Drakons realeased their superior creations? They won a war?

I`m not saying that Drakons are superior, that is a debatable question but you with your "broken logic" ruined whole topic.
Posts: 13 | Registered: Wednesday, January 24 2007 08:00
Apprentice
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I notice that quite a few times, canister-using humans are excluded. However, that excludes virtually every Drakon, because virtually all of them engage in extreme self-shaping. Humans who use many canisters are on par with the Drakons who themselves are many canisters.
Posts: 37 | Registered: Tuesday, March 27 2007 07:00
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Monarch used canisters but still he makes inferior creations than Drakons.
Posts: 13 | Registered: Wednesday, January 24 2007 08:00
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He just didn't go far enough with his canistry. Also, he was building creations out of his basement, not fully developed shaping facilities.
Posts: 37 | Registered: Tuesday, March 27 2007 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

quote:
Originally written by... someone:
for no reason you ignore what quote says about skills and continue your nonsenses about resources
I have every reason, actually. I'm trying to prove drakons are not superior, remember?

Is every person supposed to acknowledge every fact that has already been pointed out in everyone elses post? If so, I'd say I'm still ahead of the game, having refuted far more of other people's arguments than they have mine (see Morior's recap if you still don't get it).

What's weak is your style of refuting. It's full of holes and a lot of hand-waving that distracts from the facts. It's funny to me because it's so predictable and I think you're doing it intentionally because of the smarts that your post show. You're sharp enough to confuse and irritate other posters. It's a bit of a dark skill though. At the risk of getting too serious on a video game forum, I see some danger in your thinking. I have a relative with whom I have discussions about serious real life issues. His thought patterns are very much like yours and very much self-destructive. If you're just having fun with it, that's cool. I hope it doesn't carry over into real life though. That's all I have to say about that.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
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Yes, and that's the point. Drakons are willing to evolve as a species, from Drayk to Ur-Drakon and beyond. Every generation is superior to the last, with one or two exceptions (Ghaldring). The Drakons are continually improving themselves.

However, only a small minority of humans seem to partake in canister usage, and advance beyond their pink, fleshy inferiority. They aren't representative of the entire human species.

If the vast majority of humanity made self-shaping ritualistic, then they'd have a good case for claiming that humanity was equal with the Drakonian race. But until then, as Shodan would say, Barzhal and Monarch are "Remarkable example(s) of a pathetic species".

Their superiority isn't propogated on to the next generation of humanity. The human species remains Homo Sapien, and never makes the transition to Homo superior. Perhaps when Monarch and Lilita have children, things will change.

In fact, mentioning Shodan has reminded me of a quote from System Shock 2.

"With only a few short years of evolution, they've [the Many] been able to conquer this starship, mankind's mightiest creation.
Where were we after forty years of evolution? What swamp were we swimming around in, single celled and mindless? What if SHODAN's creations are superior to us? What will they become in a million years, in ten million years? What's clear is that SHODAN shouldn't be allowed to play God. She's far too good at it."
Retrieved from "http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/System_Shock"

The quote is also apt for the Drakons. Created by Barzhal to be mere slaves and unthinking killing machines for humans, in a short period of several decades, they have evolved into intelligent, introspective, autonomous beings.

They are resourceful: They have stolen Shaper knowledge, adapted and improved it for their purposes, and turned it on their former masters. There is ample evidence to suggest that they may even be better at it than their former masters!

They have formed a complex civilization, complete with laws and a political structure. They are capable of waging a war against a militarily superior enemy. A new race, after 20 years into its existence, was partially responsible for conquering Dhonal's Isle, primarily responsible for managing to conquer a fair share of Terrestia.

For those who smirk at the Drakon's achievements, who claim that they are mere 'posers' with stolen knowledge, what had humans (in the game and real life) achieved after 20 years of evolution? By how much had they improved themselves in such a short time span?
How many barbarian tribes managed to successful adopt the techniques of the Romans, and use it against them, in such a short time period?

Even the serviles, a highly intelligent race, took centuries to learn just the basics of how to function as autonomous beings.

What many people here can't appreciate is the magnificence of the servile, Drayk and Drakon. The very fact that they managed to learn how to function as autonomous beings, despite the fact that the Shapers attempted to shape such desires out of them, is truly remarkable.

They overcame an internal barrier which the Shapers erected, which was never meant to be broken. The fact that they destroyed this internal barrier erected by their masters and learnt how to function as autonomous beings is their greatest victory against the Shapers. It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.

[ Monday, April 02, 2007 04:04: Message edited by: Suspicious Vlish ]

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Posts: 522 | Registered: Friday, November 15 2002 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Sir Spiff:

He just didn't go far enough with his canistry. Also, he was building creations out of his basement, not fully developed shaping facilities.
Please don't. We already have one Emperor. The game is the ultimate authority on what is and is not in the geneforge world. The issue is skill. You can't reason away the simple fact that the drakons have 'far more skill' than monarch. The game says it. Case closed.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Dikiyoba:

But you might be terrible at drawing stick figures, and stick figures are a style of art as much as self-portraits are. There is a time and place for self-portraits and a time and place for stick figures. Sometimes quality is more important than quantity and sometimes quantity is more important than quality.
I reckon I agree with you. There is skill in producing quantity. I have to agree with Emp then (oh the pain) that my analogy is not exactly fitting. Better stated: Don't confuse more variety with more skill. This is what's being done. I won't argue the artistic skill required to make stick figures. I guess they could be arranged in a creative way. :rolleyes:

quote:
Originally written by Suspicious Vlish:

For those who smirk at the Drakon's achievements, who claim that they are mere 'posers' with stolen knowledge, what had humans (in the game and real life) achieved after 20 years of evolution? By how much had they improved themselves in such a short time span?
How many barbarian tribes managed to successful adopt the techniques of the Romans, and use it against them, in such a short time period?

Somehow I'm a little offended at being compared to a fictional video game being and even more offended at being compared to a hypothetical single-celled organism. I know some analogies have been made to real life, but we can't really draw conclusions in regards to the topic at hand based on real life. There are humans, but no drakons. Besides, single-celled organisms are not humans. In real life humanity was glorious from it's very beginning - having science, technology, art, and cultured society. We can't speak on what humans in the game did when they first hit the scene because it's not revealed to us, so it's not really a good comparison. What we can say is that the drakons are doing quite well. On that i agree. It does not make them superior though.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
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Still:
quote:

Somehow I'm a little offended at being compared to a fictional video game being

Huh? Where did I do that?

quote:

and even more offended at being compared to a hypothetical single-celled organism.

Again, where did I do that?

quote:

I know some analogies have been made to real life, but we can't really draw conclusions in regards to the topic at hand based on real life.

I'm simply pointing out that no known culture on Earth, either in real life or the Geneforge World, has evolved so quickly. And I do feel that in some instances, it is appropriate to draw on real life experiences to make a point.

quote:

There are humans, but no drakons.

But certain races and groups have been forced into the same situation that the Drakons have been. How much progress did the Jews make during the Nazi genocide? Or the Armenians? How much progress did the various barbarian tribes make during Roman invasion? What about countries under Soviet Russian occupation?

Quite simply, it's horrendously difficult to evolve socially and technologically when you're under constant threat of genocide. And yet, despite such adversity, the Drakons have perserved. They have not only advanced as a 'people', they have managed to successfully turn their enemy's technology against them.

quote:

Besides, single-celled organisms are not humans.

Well, no. They are a long distant ancestor to humanity. But I guess we're veering off track. Can we agree that humanity most likely could not evolve socially or technologically to the same extent the Drakons have, in such a short period of time?

quote:

In real life humanity was glorious from it's very beginning

Really?

[quote
- having science, technology, art, and cultured society.
[/quote]

Ahh, but you see, that's where you are wrong. Humanity's grasp of the arts, science, cultured society, and technology, evolved over tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of years. Even 'barbarian' tribes conquered by more advanced invaders (the Romans, Western colonialist) took more than one generation to master advanced techniques of their oppressors.

quote:

We can't speak on what humans in the game did when they first hit the scene because it's not revealed to us, so it's not really a good comparison.

Of course Jeff isn't going to mention this stuff in the game, so it really is a blank card. But I'd be rather surprised if the humans in Geneforge sprang out of thin air, with complete knowledge of Shaping, technology, architecture, agriculture, etc. I think it would be reasonable to assume that the speed of their development resembles that of real life civilizations from the Middle Ages.

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Posts: 522 | Registered: Friday, November 15 2002 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Suspicious Vlish:

Still:
quote:

Somehow I'm a little offended at being compared to a fictional video game being

Huh? Where did I do that?
quote:

and even more offended at being compared to a hypothetical single-celled organism.

Again, where did I do that?

You're comparing drakonkind (fictional) to real humankind of which I am a member. Things really do 'veer off track' when you do that. You are the original poster though so clarify what your question is. Are you asking if drakons are superior to humans in the geneforge world or if they're superior to humans in real life. There is a very big difference and one should not bounce from one to the other as if they are the same. One I feel silly debating, the other I refuse to debate.

The game you quote from (which sounds quite interesting by the way. fun?) and you seemed to imply that humans were single-celled swamp dwellers. I strongly disagree. This is an instance where I would unreservedly use the word "superior" in comparing two creatures.

quote:
Originally written by Suspicious Vlish:


quote:

Besides, single-celled organisms are not humans.

Well, no. They are a long distant ancestor to humanity. But I guess we're veering off track.
...
Ahh, but you see, that's where you are wrong. Humanity's grasp of the arts, science, cultured society, and technology, evolved over tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of years.

That is debateable and very much debated. But you're right - probably not the time or place.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

The issue is skill. You can't reason away the simple fact that the drakons have 'far more skill' than monarch. The game says it. Case closed.
It's worth keeping in mind that the game says this before the PC can have access to the Sealed Catacombs, so the PC doesn't yet know the full extent of Monarch's skill at that stage.

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I have to agree with Suspicious Vlish here. What the drakons have accomplished in 20 years is very impressive, and is more than humans could probably ever accomplish. However, all this proves is that drakons are superior in the way that a longsword is superior to a Swiss army knife. In a fight/war, drakons have an advantage. In many other situations- farming, architecture, democracy- humans are still superior. We have adaptability and variety.

I highly doubt it's true that all drakons are either fighters or hoarders. But from what I've seen of drayks and read in this thread, that seems to describe a majority of drakons. There are no one or two traits that you can apply to a majority of humans.

Also, in response to Vid:

Resources do apply to superiority. I'd say that someone able to make a bomb from household items is superior at bomb-making to someone who has to have a full lab and all sorts of chemicals, even if the first bomb is slightly inferior.

To your quantity-vs-quality statement, I say that
simply dumping more power into existing creations creates a quantity of force, not a quality. Quality force would be force appropriate to a situation, such as, say, wingbolts (flying artillery), or war tralls (brutes with range). A quantity of force would be relying on one uber-creation for all situations. (I'm sure this can be explained better, if someone could help me out.)

And don't say that just because someone disagrees with you or you don't understand them, their logic is broken. Both sides of this argument are equally (il)logical.

For example:
Pro-drakon point: We built the gazers!
Anti-human rebuttal: The gazers are just improvements on the vlish, so they don't count.

Well? Which is it?

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The sparrows are flying again.
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