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#51 Astyanax

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Posted 23 April 2005 - 11:06 AM

Thanks for the clarification of the Xenium-less manufacture of plasma battlefield weapons, Kikanaide. I can never remember precisely the little quirks of the original X-Com. ^_^

Also, "other standard ingredients" sounds a little weird; standard to whom, and from what viewpoint?  Unless I'm mistaken, isn't heavy water somewhat rare but easily extracted from seawater?  Perhaps use "relatively common reactants such as..." instead? 

So I sort of assumed that the player would have read one of the plasma clip entries, and know that the "standard" ingredients were defined as heavy water, a few magnetic metals (IIRC iron and cobalt, maybe a couple more), and Xenium...but then, standard has a lot of meanings...I guess I was using it to refer to "standard" plasma weaponry. I'll have to think about this one.

Hrm... in that case, maybe it could be, "...the standard/typical/common ingredients/materials/substances found/used/utilized in all plasma weapons designs-- heavy water and traces of a few magnetic metals"?

I don't really understand the third sentence's "a finite amount of these other materials can be carried" comment.  Exactly what materials are being limited- heavy water and magnetic metals?  Maybe be more specific: "While our aircrafts' finite weight allowances limit the ammunition capacity of the plasma cannon..."

Oh, yes, the limitation is on everything but Xenium (I mean, it's on Xenium too, but we've said we basically don't even shoot Xenium out...maybe a few particles but Avogadro's number says that you'll never know), since there is a finite ammunition capacity I tried to explain it by saying you can only sit so many jugs of water and metal in an interceptor cockpit (that was a joke, but I imagine you'll catch the meaning).

Ah, ok. The "other" seemed a bit vague to me, but if you accept the my suggestion above, maybe changing it to "standard/typical/common" might help to clarify the sentence?

I originally planned to comment on all of your other suggestions, but I ran out of ways to say "good catch."  So instead, I'll just say that most if not all will be in the next rewrite - say either today or tomorrow.  I've got family coming into town, so I'm not sure what the schedule is going to be.

Isn't that always how it is with family? ;) In any case, have a good time with both your family and your next draft. :P

Thanks again, Asty.  The "old friend" line seems a little odd now that I think about it... certainly the "old" part can't really apply since we've known each other for a couple months at best... Anyway, I've enjoyed working with you.

Aw, shucks. :Blush:

But I guess "old" can have another definition... that is, if you consider 7 "old". ^_^

Edited by Astyanax, 24 April 2005 - 09:53 AM.

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#52 dipstick

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Posted 23 April 2005 - 01:49 PM

IIRC E115 WAS needed for the manufacture of hand held weaponry - not for the weapons, but for the ammo...

This is another one of those dangerously physicsy things again ain't it! :NoNo:

Now, what have I said....


Good work guys, keep it up =b
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#53 Kikanaide

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 02:31 PM

Returning from a brief hiatus...gotta love college. And family. Implemented the majority of Asty's suggestions and tried a new explanation for why no clipless heavy plasmas...I'm not entirely comfortable with the 8X increase, I just chose it for the whole 2^3=8 and 2^2=4 thing...

Dipstick, could you please clarify your last post?

[PLASMA CANNON]
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Armament/[Plasma Cannon]

The [plasma cannon] is a product of X-Corps research into the Aliens' plasma weaponry, and represents an entirely new design philosophy. Unlike other plasma weapons, the [plasma cannon] requires Xenium to produce, but does not require separately manufactured clips. The [plasma cannon] easily outperforms every conventional weapon system in terms of damage output, and outranges them all save for the [Titan] missile.

Unlike the Xenium-inefficient plasma weaponry found in Alien UFOs, the [plasma cannon] was designed to deliver an impressive amount of damage while expending minimal amounts of Xenium. X-Corps scientists have also made improvements in efficiency and muzzle velocity, and added mechanisms to evenly mix reactants and fire plasma under the combat velocities and accelerations of our intercept craft. The result of their arduous labor is this revolutionary weapon design.

Through the study and maximization of the gravitic effect of Xenium, the amount of Xenium consumed during each firing cycle has been reduced to a negligible amount. The remainder of the reaction mass is made up of the other standard plasma ammunition components - heavy water and a few of the magnetic metals. While aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, the 99 shot capacity should be sufficient for any possible encounter.

Since insufficient Xenium is present in the reaction mass to enable the usual explosive reaction, the ammunition is optically heated to plasma temperatures, using some of the Xenium as a power source. The optimization of Xenium's gravitic properties has also considerably lowered the energy requirements of magnetic containment.

The resulting burst of plasma is much larger and more destructive than anything seen in handheld weaponry. The [plasma cannon] requires the use of eight magnetodynamic prongs and the fully-realized gravitic properties of Xenium to achieve the range of 52km. The miniscule quantity of Xenium contained within each burst produces an incredibly strong, short-range gravity field that is too powerful for even the tremendous thermal energy of plasma to overcome.

This gravitic bubble is disrupted upon striking the target, releasing the superheated contents to spread over any nearby surfaces. Although UFOs are expected to possess some resistance to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of the Alien Composites used in their construction, the incredible power of the plasma cannon should ensure that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted. The [plasma cannon] is 65x as effective as a [cannon], 10x as effective as a [Sidewinder], and 6.5x as effective as a [Titan], without taking into effect range or ammunition capacity.

All of the incredible advances made in the construction of the [plasma cannon] do have a single tradeoff - size. Although the [plasma cannon] is far more destructive than any handheld device, a scaled-up version of the Aliens' sidearms would have been more effective in terms of damage. The optical heating equipment is far larger and heavier than the simple transmitters used to trigger Xenium explosions. And the plasma temperature is considerably decreased in this new model. Overall, this results in the requirement of eight times the reaction mass for the same amount of destruction, which corresponds to doubling the diameter of the reaction chamber and quadrupling the weight.

These factors inhibit the development of Xenium-efficient personnel weapons, but a scaled-down [plasma cannon] could be mounted on an XCAP. However, preliminary research indicates that conventional, treaded XCAP's are not mobile enough for the use of such a weapon. Research into the principles of the construction of UFO's may allow new designs.

"At first I was skeptical, wondering how it could do all that much damage - it's not like it uses explosives or anything. After they tested it, the target was gone and part of the back wall had melted away. I never questioned the weapon after that."

Asty-I think I have some tense confusion in that newly reworked second sentence of the "gravity bubble" paragraph...can you see what I'm talking about and help me fix it? Also, please tear into the two "new" paragraphs right before the fluff text. I found the ideas, I just don't have the heart to proofread them right now.
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#54 Astyanax

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 01:42 PM

Sounds like you have a lot of love going around, Kikanaide. ^_^

Anyway, I'm having difficulty suggesting alternate phrasings today (my attempts seem to only make the text more verbose and convoluted), so my suggestions aren't as good as they might otherwise be.

Dang, I just thought of this. The plasma cannon doesn't need clips, right? But what about the plasma XCAP? ...well, I just checked, and it doesn't look like it does! That's awesome- your explanation can carry over to the plasma XCAP, too. :D

Unlike the Xenium-inefficient plasma weaponry found in Alien UFOs, the [plasma cannon] was designed to deliver an impressive amount of damage while expending minimal amounts of Xenium. X-Corps scientists have also made improvements in efficiency and muzzle velocity, and added mechanisms to evenly mix reactants and fire plasma under the combat velocities and accelerations of our intercept craft. The result of their arduous labor is this revolutionary weapon design.

Hm, if I'm not mistaken, the plasma cannon design was based on Alien craft weapons to partially explain its clip-less operation? If so, maybe change the beginning of sentence 1 to, "Although based on the Xenium-inefficient plasma weaponry..." (I'm suggesting this in conjunction with a comment I made in paragraph 7.)

Through the study and maximization of the gravitic effect of Xenium, the amount of Xenium consumed during each firing cycle has been reduced to a negligible amount. The remainder of the reaction mass is made up of the other standard plasma ammunition components - heavy water and a few of the magnetic metals. While aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, the 99 shot capacity should be sufficient for any possible encounter.

Since insufficient Xenium is present in the reaction mass to enable the usual explosive reaction, the ammunition is optically heated to plasma temperatures, using some of the Xenium as a power source. The optimization of Xenium's gravitic properties has also considerably lowered the energy requirements of magnetic containment.

Well, the way these two paragraphs are organized seem a little weird to me. What they say makes sense, but paragraph 2 starts by mentioning "gravitic effects of Xenium" and ends with "ammunition". That's ok by itself, but paragraph 3 is a bit confusing. In the first sentence, it is never explained why/whether "optically heating the ammo" assists the usual explosive reaction. As a whole, paragraph 3 doesn't really have a topic sentence; it starts with "insufficient Xenium" and "optically heating the ammo", then ends with "gravitic properties" and "magnetic containment". Imho, the gravitic properties of Xenium in paragraphs 2 and 3 should be consolidated into one paragraph, and the remaining sentences should be combined into another paragraph along with a new topic sentence. Or maybe the two paragraphs can be combined?

The study and maximization of the gravitic properties of Xenium have resulted in substantial advances in efficiency for the plasma cannon.  In addition to considerably lowering the energy requirements for internal magnetic containment, the amount of Xenium consumed during each firing cycle has been reduced to a negligible amount. Because of this, however, insufficient Xenium is present in the reaction mass to enable the usual explosive reaction.  Fortunately, harnessing a small amount of Xenium to optically heat the ammunition to plasma temperatures allows the reaction to progress unhindered.  The other standard plasma ammunition components - heavy water and a few of the magnetic metals - comprise the bulk of the reaction mass. Though aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, the 99 shot capacity was deemed more than sufficient for most encounters.

Ehh, the end of the paragraph doesn't quite fit with the first part, but I can't seem to come up with a better example at the moment. :(

The resulting burst of plasma is much larger and more destructive than anything seen in handheld weaponry. The [plasma cannon] requires the use of eight magnetodynamic prongs and the fully-realized gravitic properties of Xenium to achieve the range of 52km. The miniscule quantity of Xenium contained within each burst produces an incredibly strong, short-range gravity field that is too powerful for even the tremendous thermal energy of plasma to overcome.

The first sentence seems a bit strange... isn't it natural to assume that a craft weapon is more powerful than hand-held ones? Deleting it would not change the meaning of the paragraph. In sentence 2, maybe "The [plasma cannon] makes full use of eight magnetodynamic prongs and Xenium's gravitic properties to achieve a range of 52 kiometers"? In sentence 3, "gravitational" might sound better than "gravity", and "potent" instead of "powerful"?

This gravitic bubble is disrupted upon striking the target, releasing the superheated contents to spread over any nearby surfaces.  Although UFOs are expected to possess some resistance to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of the Alien Composites used in their construction, the incredible power of the plasma cannon should ensure that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted. The [plasma cannon] is 65x as effective as a [cannon], 10x as effective as a [Sidewinder], and 6.5x as effective as a [Titan], without taking into effect range or ammunition capacity.

Minor tweaks: sentence 1,"...releasing its superheated contents over nearby surfaces." This sentence might then be added to reinforce your plasma-spread property that you've mentioned in previous drafts: "Additional damage is wreaked as the plasma rapidly spreads outward and consumes any materials in its wake." (it's not that great, but I tried) Sentence 2, maybe: "Although we expect UFOs to possess some partial immunity to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of of the Alien Composites used in their construction, the incredible power of the plasma cannon all but ensures that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted." Sentence 3: "...as effective as a [Titan], before considering differences in range or ammunition capacity."

All of the incredible advances made in the construction of the [plasma cannon] do have a single tradeoff - size.  Although the [plasma cannon] is far more destructive than any handheld device, a scaled-up version of the Aliens' sidearms would have been more effective in terms of damage.  The optical heating equipment is far larger and heavier than the simple transmitters used to trigger Xenium explosions.  And the plasma temperature is considerably decreased in this new model.  Overall, this results in the requirement of eight times the reaction mass for the same amount of destruction, which corresponds to doubling the diameter of the reaction chamber and quadrupling the weight.

Well... I understand what you're trying to say here, but I feel that adding comparisons to hand-held weaponry complicates things unnecessarily; weren't plasma cannons based off of Alien craft weapons? The first sentence's point about size is a good one, though, and the concept of the optical heating equipment's bulkiness is also good, but the remainder seems to be too much detail, imho. The mass of the optical heating mechanism might alone be enough to prohibit "Xenium-efficient personnel weapons" in the next paragraph without having to go into "eight times", "doublings", and "quadruplings". ;)

These factors inhibit the development of Xenium-efficient personnel weapons, but a scaled-down [plasma cannon] could be mounted on an XCAP.  However, preliminary research indicates that conventional, treaded XCAP's are not mobile enough for the use of such a weapon. Research into the principles of the construction of UFO's may allow new designs.

If size was the prohibitive issue for downscaled plasma cannon-based designs, maybe make that also the reason why treaded XCAPs are inadequate-- the treaded versions simply cannot handle the large mass of the scaled down, Xenium-efficient version of the plasma cannon?


Overall, the ideas are very good, Kikanaide, but I think that some thought is needed in how the ideas are organized. Currently, paragraphs 3-4 contain all sorts of ideas about the plasma cannons' dependence on the gravitic property of Xenium, ammunition components/reaction mass, optical heating to enable the reaction, and the ammunition capacity stat, while the end of paragraph 6 lists the comparative damage of the plasma cannon. Some of the ideas can be combined into a new paragraph, while others can be added to existing ones (e.g. the plasma weapons' stats- ammo capacity and comparative damage- might fit well at the end of paragraph 1).

Whew. I hope I didn't come across as too cranky; I'm a little put-off that I can't rephrase things properly today. Anyway, I still hope my comments are helpful in spite of that. :)
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#55 dipstick

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 02:22 PM

What I meant by my post is that for plasma weaponry you required E115 to build ammo clips, but I do not think you needed it to build the weapons.
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#56 Kikanaide

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 03:14 PM

@Dipstick
Yes, you are correct in that the only Xenium requirement for handheld weapons is for the clips. Hopefully my explanation indicates that...if it does not I'll try to expand it.

I was more curious about the "dangerously physicy" comment...

@Asty
I'll take a look soon...might be a bit since I, too, and having a fight with my muse.
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#57 Kikanaide

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 10:51 AM

Hm, if I'm not mistaken, the plasma cannon design was based on Alien craft weapons to partially explain its clip-less operation?  If so, maybe change the beginning of sentence 1 to, "Although based on the Xenium-inefficient plasma weaponry..."  (I'm suggesting this in conjunction with a comment I made in paragraph 7.)

About that, I was thinking of maybe making it so that this weapon was actually a scaled-up version of handheld ones (with drastic design changes). The positive aspects of that include 1) people don't ask why they can't use weapons found on UFO's 2) it explains why, if they can research hp before pp, they can't research plasma cannon after their first ufo recovery...it's based off of previous research and not any sort of artifact or UFO investigation. The problem is that I wanted to make a brief comment about why we don't use UFO weapons, which after everything wound up as just "Unlike Xenium-inefficient alien UFO weapons," which doesn't explain anything and needs to be clarified...I'll look at this. Is it okay, though, if I proceed with my hypothesis (first sentence of this paragraph)?

Well, the way these two paragraphs are organized seem a little weird to me.  What they say makes sense, but paragraph 2 starts by mentioning "gravitic effects of Xenium" and ends with "ammunition".  That's ok by itself, but paragraph 3 is a bit confusing.  In the first sentence, it is never explained why/whether "optically heating the ammo" assists the usual explosive reaction.  As a whole, paragraph 3 doesn't really have a topic sentence; it starts with "insufficient Xenium" and "optically heating the ammo", then ends with "gravitic properties" and "magnetic containment".  Imho, the gravitic properties of Xenium in paragraphs 2 and 3 should be consolidated into one paragraph, and the remaining sentences should be combined into another paragraph along with a new topic sentence.  Or maybe the two paragraphs can be combined?

I've been thinking about this stuff...hrm...so, my idea was that in handheld weapons, that "highly fractured Xenium powder" that we've been using is in an insanely high energy state (it has to be, since we can somehow use it to transform stuff into plasma). But, it's not like the ammunition is nitroglycerin or something, I mean, it can't go off if some soldier gets shot and falls down. Hence the pulsed electromagnetic stimulus was born - the idea being that the Xenium would have to be in a "metastable" state, which basically means that although it would like to go straight to plasma (and then give off that heat and be at a lower energy), there's a potential that holds it in it's current state. The pulsed EM stimulus allows it to overcome that potential, and then BAM - it explodes, 'cause it's going down to that low-energy state and giving off insane amounts of energy.

So the point is, that with that reaction (which makes, in my mind, a whole bunch of sense), is that without Xenium (particularly a significant amount of Xenium) I couldn't think of a way to have that same reaction. So, instead, I proposed this system, where only a tiny amount of Xenium is used for the gravitational effect only, but the energy is provided by a Xenium power source + craft power, and is delivered to the ammunition (which is mainly just heavy water now) by the use of optical heating (aka, heating with lasers. But before you say "they might not have researched laser weapons yet," remember that we can currently play with atoms by using very short wavelength lasers. We just haven't put them on ships yet...)

So there, huge explanation to say "I think it says something like what I want it to, but I think you can help me say it better if I can explain what I want to say."

But yes, these paragraphs do need work. You're right, that second one basically has no point.

The first sentence seems a bit strange... isn't it natural to assume that a craft weapon is more powerful than hand-held ones?  Deleting it would not change the meaning of the paragraph. In sentence 2, maybe "The [plasma cannon] makes full use of eight magnetodynamic prongs and Xenium's gravitic properties to achieve a range of 52 kiometers"?  In sentence 3, "gravitational" might sound better than "gravity", and "potent" instead of "powerful"?

Yes, I probably should axe that first sentence. I was stuck in the "just researched handheld stuff" mode and thus thought that it might have some relevance, but looking at it now it's kinda silly. S2, good. S3, you know, that gravitational thing...that's the adjective I've been looking for when I've been saying "gravitic" - apparently because I'm retarded...that'll be changed soon.

Minor tweaks: sentence 1...

Looks good.

Well... I understand what you're trying to say here, but I feel that adding comparisons to hand-held weaponry complicates things unnecessarily; weren't plasma cannons based off of Alien craft weapons?  The first sentence's point about size is a good one, though, and the concept of the optical heating equipment's bulkiness is also good, but the remainder seems to be too much detail, imho.  The mass of the optical heating mechanism might alone be enough to prohibit "Xenium-efficient personnel weapons" in the next paragraph without having to go into "eight times", "doublings", and "quadruplings". ;)

Good calls, I've thought of a way to phrase this more cleanly.

If size was the prohibitive issue for downscaled plasma cannon-based designs, maybe make that also the reason why treaded XCAPs are inadequate-- the treaded versions simply cannot handle the large mass of the scaled down, Xenium-efficient version of the plasma cannon?

I'll probably use that...I actually thought of something like "The required machinery is too complex to be mounted on a rotating turret, and so traditional treaded XCAP's would be unable to aim with sufficient speed" Until I realized that the hovertanks still have rotating turrets (does anyone know why?) and the same turn cost in TU...

the rest

Your comments are always helpful and appreciated, Asty. This thing is still in need of reorganization...I'll get on this.
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#58 Astyanax

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 11:16 AM

Glad to help, Kikanaide. :)

I just want to clarify the weapon progression.
1.) handheld weapon scaled up to the
2.) plasma cannon, which is scaled-down to the
3.) plasma XCAP?

This sounds a little convoluted to me, imho, but you're right that scaling down an Alien craft weapon depends on a UFO recovery, not existing research, so nix that idea.

Still, maybe the unusual weapon progression can be explained by the addition of optical heating equipment/clipless operation? This greatly increases the power and Xenium efficiency of the plasma cannon, but it has a drawback: size-- a limitation that carries over to the future plasma XCAP?
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#59 Kikanaide

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 11:46 AM

Still, maybe the unusual weapon progression can be explained by the addition of optical heating equipment/clipless operation? This greatly increases the power and Xenium efficiency of the plasma cannon, but it has a drawback: size-- a limitation that carries over to the future plasma XCAP?

Pretty much what I'm trying to say. I'm actually thinking that Xenium efficiency decreases the power per size...but we make it huge to compensate for that. In other words, thought/design process - which apparently turned into a joke because I'm in an odd mood.

edit - one reason for the decreasing power for size is the fact that according to xcomufo's ufopaedia the freaking hovertank plasma does less damage than a heavy plasma...which, in fact, may be right because I remember using that damn thing all of once because when I shot stuff it didn't die (but their reaction shot sure made my tank die).

1) Realization: Need good weapons, but can't use as much Xenium as Aliens do...it's like they have an infinite supply, but we sure don't...
2) Idea from intern: If we didn't use Xenium, it'd be great!
3) Interjection from senior worker: "The words "theoretically impossible" sound familiar?"
4) Pouting comment from intern: well, how about not that much Xenium per shot...so we still have the gravitational effect to hold it together
5) Slap-down from senior: You are an imbecile, and will never make it in the world of science.
6) Small pause.
7) Realization from senior: I have a great idea! How about we use Xenium only for the gravitational effect? We'll have to heat it up somehow...lasers! We'll need to have a power source...well, maybe we'll use Xenium there, too...yeah, that'll work. Xenium as power source and gravity controller. Femtometer lasers for heating.
8) Early design
9) Realization from everyone: That's a small hole. And that laser's heavy.
10) Culminating statement from senior: Make it bigger. A lot bigger. What do you mean it'll be too big to carry? Put it on a plane or something.

Edited by Kikanaide, 04 May 2005 - 11:47 AM.

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#60 Astyanax

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 11:54 AM

LOL

All right, you've convinced me. :D
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#61 Kikanaide

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:46 AM

Hoo-ah...it returns.

[PLASMA CANNON]
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Armament/[Plasma Cannon]

The [plasma cannon] is a product of X-Corps research into the Aliens' plasma weaponry, and represents an entirely new design philosophy. Unlike other plasma weapons, the [plasma cannon] requires Xenium to produce, but does not require separately manufactured clips. The [plasma cannon] easily outperforms every conventional weapon system in terms of damage output, and outranges them all save for the [Titan] missile.

The [plasma cannon] is not an adaptation of any existing Alien weapon but is instead an entirely new design based upon understanding gathered from personnel weapons. Unlike the Xenium-inefficient plasma weaponry found in Alien UFOs, the [plasma cannon] was designed to deliver an impressive amount of damage while expending minimal amounts of Xenium. This has been accomplished through the study and maximization of the gravitational effects of Xenium, which has considerably reduced the energy requirements for magnetic containment. X-Corps scientists have also made improvements in efficiency and muzzle velocity, and added mechanisms to evenly mix reactants and fire plasma under the combat velocities and accelerations of our intercept craft.

Since the amount of Xenium consumed during each firing cycle has been reduced to a negligible amount, most of the reaction mass is made up of the other standard plasma ammunition components - heavy water and a few of the magnetic metals. While aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, the 99 shot capacity should be sufficient for any possible encounter.

However, reducing the amount of Xenium consumed produced an unintended, though not unforeseen, consequence. Traditional plasma weapons have stimulated highly fractured Xenium to cause an explosive reaction, but the miniscule amount present in the [plasma cannon]'s chambers is insufficient. Instead, the ammunition is optically heated to plasma temperatures using nanometer wavelength-scale lasers. The bulk of the Xenium required for [plasma cannon] manufacture is used as a power source instead of an ammunition component. The efficiency increase of this method, combined with decreased reduced magnetic containment requirements, has produced a weapon that will not require additional Xenium for years if operated at normal rates.

The [plasma cannon] makes full use of eight magnetodynamic prongs and the fully-realized gravitic properties of Xenium to achieve the range of 52km. The miniscule quantity of Xenium contained within each burst produces an incredibly strong, short-range gravitational field that is too potent for even the tremendous thermal energy of plasma to overcome.

This gravitic bubble is disrupted upon striking the target, releasing the superheated contents to spread over any nearby surfaces. Additional damage is wreaked as the plasma rapidly spreads outward and consumes any materials in its wake. Although we expect UFOs to possess some partial immunity to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of of the Alien Composites used in their construction, the incredible power of the plasma cannon ensures that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted. The [plasma cannon] is 65x as effective as a [cannon], 10x as effective as a [Sidewinder], and 6.5x as effective as a [Titan], before considering differences in range or ammunition capacity.

All of the incredible advances made in the construction of the [plasma cannon] do have a tradeoff - size. Although the [plasma cannon] is far more destructive than any conventional weapon, it is both larger and heavier than Alien-designed plasma weapons that can do the same damage. The optical heating equipment, and accompanying Xenium-based power source, is far larger and heavier than the simple transmitters used to trigger Xenium explosions. Additionally, the plasma temperature is lower in these models. As a result, it would be counterproductive to apply these design changes to firearms, because the weight alone would severely hamper mobility.

These factors inhibit the development of Xenium-efficient personnel weapons, but a scaled-down [plasma cannon] could be mounted on an XCAP. However, preliminary research indicates that a conventional, treaded XCAP, although able to support the weight of the equipment, might cause damage to [Condor] loading ramps. Research into the principles of the construction of UFO's may allow new XCAP designs which would be able to address this concern.

"At first I was skeptical, wondering how it could do all that much damage - it's not like it uses explosives or anything. After they tested it, the target was gone and part of the back wall had melted away. I never questioned the weapon after that."
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#62 Astyanax

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 01:10 PM

I'm a bit short of time at moment, but here are a few comments off the top of my head:

The "However, reducing the amount of Xenium..." paragraph might be a little too much detail (e.g. the nanometer lasers)? The second sentence is grammatically correct, but maybe it could be restructured to get rid of passive tense? Maybe "...the plasma cannon's design..."

:idea: Hey! How about this idea: the Xenium in the plasma cannon actually lines the interior of the oversized plasma generation chamber-- it's not in the ammo at all! Since it is affixed to the surface, it cannot take part in the traditional explosive plasma generation reaction, but it instead channels energy into the "optical heating" and magnetic shielding equipment surrounding the chamber. The tiny amount of Xenium that sloughs off during this process is enough to sustain the gravitic properties of the in-flight plasma projectile. Sorry, just a brainstorm.

Edit- Refer to the AWD model here (post #118) for the latest Plasma Cannon model. So far, nothing seems to be amiss, but look at it for yourself if you haven't already. :)

In the "All of the incredible advances..." paragraph, maybe change the "Although the [plasma cannon] is far more destructive than any conventional weapon, it is both larger and heavier than Alien-designed plasma weapons that can do the same damage" into a strict comparison between the plasma cannon and alien-designed plasma weapons: "Although the plasma cannon is quite bulky and exceedingly heavy, it is remarkably Xenium efficient and can inflict damage comparable to Alien-designed plasma weapons." Unfortunately, this version doesn't directly compare the pc to alien plasma weapons in terms of size and weight...

In the last paragraph before the fluff, the mention of the [Condor] isn't a good thing, imho. By the time the plasma cannon is researched, the player might've already manufactured advanced craft.

That's the quick version. Aside from those sections, I have few complaints. It's good stuff, Kikanaide. =b

Edited by Astyanax, 06 May 2005 - 05:15 PM.

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#63 Kikanaide

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 12:22 PM

good grief I'm getting in a habit of taking long breaks...let's see if this addresses the issues.
I'm not sure about the chamber-lining idea, Asty. Perhaps if you explained what this lining did I could evaluate it better...but then maybe I'm just brain-fried today...

[PLASMA CANNON]
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Armament/[Plasma Cannon]

The [plasma cannon] is a product of X-Corps research into the Aliens' plasma weaponry, and represents an entirely new design philosophy. Unlike other plasma weapons, the [plasma cannon] requires Xenium to produce, but does not require separately manufactured clips. The [plasma cannon] easily outperforms every conventional weapon system in terms of damage output, and outranges them all save for the [Titan] missile.

The [plasma cannon] is not an adaptation of any existing Alien weapon but is instead an entirely new design based upon understanding gathered from personnel weapons. Unlike the Xenium-inefficient plasma weaponry found in Alien UFOs, the [plasma cannon] was designed to deliver an impressive amount of damage while expending minimal amounts of Xenium. This has been accomplished through the study and maximization of the gravitational effects of Xenium, which has considerably reduced the energy requirements for magnetic containment. X-Corps scientists have also made improvements in efficiency and muzzle velocity, and added mechanisms to evenly mix reactants and fire plasma under the combat velocities and accelerations of our intercept craft.

Since the amount of Xenium consumed during each firing cycle has been reduced to a negligible amount, most of the reaction mass is made up of the other standard plasma ammunition components - heavy water and a few of the magnetic metals. While aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, the 99 shot capacity should be sufficient for any possible encounter.

However, reducing the amount of Xenium consumed produced an unintended, though not unforeseen, consequence. Although traditional plasma weapons have stimulated highly fractured Xenium to cause an explosion, the miniscule amount present in the [plasma cannon]'s chambers is insufficient to cause such a reaction. Instead, the ammunition is optically heated to plasma temperatures. The bulk of the Xenium required for [plasma cannon] manufacture is used as a power source instead of an ammunition component. The efficiency increase of this method, combined with decreased reduced magnetic containment requirements, has produced a weapon that will not require additional Xenium for years.

The [plasma cannon] makes full use of eight magnetodynamic prongs and the fully-realized gravitic properties of Xenium to achieve the range of 52km. The miniscule quantity of Xenium contained within each burst produces an incredibly strong, short-range gravitational field that is too potent for even the tremendous thermal energy of plasma to overcome.

This gravitic bubble is disrupted upon striking the target, releasing the superheated contents to spread over any nearby surfaces. Additional damage is wreaked as the plasma rapidly spreads outward and consumes any materials in its wake. Although we expect UFOs to possess some partial immunity to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of of the Alien Composites used in their construction, the incredible power of the plasma cannon ensures that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted. The [plasma cannon] is 65x as effective as a [cannon], 10x as effective as a [Sidewinder], and 6.5x as effective as a [Titan], before considering differences in range or ammunition capacity.

All of the incredible advances made in the construction of the [plasma cannon] do have a tradeoff - size. Although the [plasma cannon] is far more destructive than any conventional weapon, it is both larger and heavier than Alien-designed weapons of comparable potential. The optical heating equipment, and accompanying Xenium-based power source, is far larger and heavier than the simple transmitters used to trigger Xenium explosions. Additionally, the plasma temperature is lower in these models. As a result, it would be counterproductive to apply these design changes to firearms, because the weight alone would severely hamper mobility.

These factors inhibit the development of Xenium-efficient personnel weapons, but a scaled-down [plasma cannon] could be mounted on an XCAP. However, preliminary research indicates that a conventional, treaded XCAP, although able to support the weight of the equipment, would be too heavy to maneuver. Research into the principles of the construction of UFO's may allow new XCAP designs which would be able to address this concern.

"At first I was skeptical, wondering how it could do all that much damage - it's not like it uses explosives or anything. After they tested it, the target was gone and part of the back wall had melted away. I never questioned the weapon after that."
Kikanaide - "What does it mean? Don't ask."

#64 Astyanax

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 01:25 PM

Don't worry about long breaks; RealLife™ has a habit of interrupting things, but the texts will always remain. :P

Hrm, more detail? Well, I was sort of thinking that the Xenium used to manufacture the Plasma Cannon was physically integrated into the weapon. The Xenium would be impregnated along the interior of the plasma generation chamber. When ammo floods the chamber (the ammo comes into contact with the Xenium-lined plasma generation chamber's walls), the optical heating equipment is triggered and draws its energy from the Xenium. As the ammo is being heated, the magnetic containment begins to power up, also drawing energy from the Xenium. A slight amount of Xenium is eroded from the plasma generation chamber during this reaction, and that small amount coalesces into the center of each plasma shot, thereby providing the gravitic properties to contain the hot spheres of plasma. Is it too complicated?

Anyway, on to the text. (I'm still test-driving Azrael's new color scheme ^_^)


[PLASMA CANNON]
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Armament/[Plasma Cannon]

The [plasma cannon] is a product of X-Corps research into the Aliens' plasma weaponry, and represents an entirely new design philosophy. Unlike other plasma weapons, the [plasma cannon] requires Xenium to produce, but does not require separately manufactured clips. The [plasma cannon] easily outperforms every conventional weapon system in terms of damage output, and outranges them all save for the [Titan] missile.

The [plasma cannon] is not an adaptation of any existing Alien weapon but is instead an entirely new design based upon understanding gathered from 1personnel weapons. Unlike the Xenium-inefficient plasma weaponry found in Alien UFOs, the [plasma cannon] was designed to deliver an impressive amount of damage while expending minimal amounts of Xenium. This has been accomplished through the study and maximization of the gravitational effects of Xenium, which has considerably reduced the energy requirements for magnetic containment. X-Corps scientists have also made improvements in efficiency and muzzle velocity2, and added mechanisms to evenly mix reactants and fire plasma under the combat velocities and accelerations of our intercept craft.

1.) Clarify what kind of personnel weapons: "Alien personnel weapons". Otherwise people might think the plasma cannon was based on a rifle. ^_^
2.) Remove this comma


Since the amount of Xenium consumed during each firing cycle has been reduced to a negligible amount, most of the reaction mass 3is made up of the other standard plasma ammunition components - heavy water and a few of the magnetic metals. While aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, 4the 99 shot capacity should be sufficient for any possible encounter.

3.) Maybe substitute in "consists" here to reduce passive tense?
4.) To be clearer, maybe change this to "its" or "the [plasma cannon]"?


However, reducing the amount of Xenium consumed produced an unintended, though not unforeseen, consequence. Although traditional plasma weapons 5have stimulated highly fractured Xenium to cause an explosion, the miniscule amount present in the [plasma cannon]'s chambers is insufficient to cause such a reaction. 6Instead, the ammunition is optically heated to plasma temperatures. The bulk of the Xenium required for [plasma cannon] manufacture is used as a power source instead of an ammunition component. The 7efficiency increase of this method, combined with decreased reduced magnetic containment requirements, has produced a weapon that will not require additional Xenium for years.

5.) Maybe: "initiate plasma-generating explosions through stimulation of highly-fractured Xenium"?
6.) I'm not sure, does this optical heating generate the plasma? If so, maybe: "Instead, plasma is generated by optically heating the ammunition to plasma temperatures."?
7.) Doesn't the text later say that the plasma cannon is less efficient? Perhaps "Xenium-efficiency" or "miminal expenditure of Xenium" would be more appropriate?


The [plasma cannon] makes full use of eight magnetodynamic prongs and the fully-realized gravitic properties of Xenium to achieve the range of 52km. The miniscule quantity of Xenium contained within each burst produces an incredibly strong, short-range gravitational field that is too potent for even the tremendous thermal energy of plasma to overcome.

This gravitic bubble is disrupted upon striking the target, releasing the superheated contents to spread over any nearby surfaces. Additional damage is wreaked as the plasma rapidly spreads outward and consumes any materials in its wake. Although we expect UFOs to possess some partial immunity to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of of the Alien Composites used in their construction, the incredible power of the plasma cannon ensures that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted. The [plasma cannon] is 65x as effective as a [cannon], 10x as effective as a [Sidewinder], and 6.5x as effective as a [Titan], before considering differences in range or ammunition capacity.

All of the incredible advances made in the construction of the [plasma cannon] do have a tradeoff - size. Although the [plasma cannon] is far more destructive than any conventional weapon, it is both larger and heavier than Alien-designed weapons of comparable potential. The optical heating equipment, and accompanying Xenium-based power source, is far larger and heavier than the 8simple transmitters used to trigger Xenium explosions. 9Additionally, the plasma temperature is lower in these models. As a result, it would be 10counterproductive to apply these design changes to firearms, because the weight alone would severely hamper mobility.

8.) To clarify, maybe: "simple transmitters used to trigger Xenium explosions in Alien craft weapons"?
9.) Two things. Change "these models" to "our models" or something similar to avoid confusion between human and Alien versions. Secondly, does the lower plasma temperature actually affect anything- damage, efficacy, etc.? If so, explain; if not, maybe delete it? It doesn't have anything to do with the "tradeoff- size" mentioned earlier in the paragraph.
10.) Maybe: "impractical"? "Counterproductive" (Dictionary.com: tending to hinder the achievement of a goal) doesn't sound like the right word to me because it's not hindering anything, per se...


These factors inhibit the development of Xenium-efficient personnel weapons, but a scaled-down [plasma cannon] 11could be mounted on an XCAP. However, preliminary research indicates that a conventional, treaded XCAP, although able to support the weight of the equipment, would be 12too heavy to maneuver. Research into the principles of 13the construction of UFO's may 14allow new XCAP designs 15which would be able to address this concern.

11.) Maybe change to "could conceivably be" to address the theoretical nature of their speculations?
12.) Maybe: "difficult"?
13.) Maybe: "UFO construction"?
14.) Maybe: "lead to"?
15.) Maybe: "...new XCAP designs that can address this concern"?


"At first I was skeptical, wondering how it could do all that much damage - it's not like it uses explosives or anything. After they tested it, the target was gone and part of the back wall had melted away. I never questioned the weapon after that."

It's a large improvement over the last draft, Kikanaide. Good job! I'm glad that you're still coming back for more! ;)

Edit- Cool, 500 posts! :Tomato:

Edited by Astyanax, 16 May 2005 - 01:32 PM.

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#65 Tsereve

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 07:15 PM

Well, in my experience, you didn't have to use extra Elerium to reload the Plasma Cannon, which leads me to agree with Asty on the whole "integrated Xenium" idea.
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#66 Kikanaide

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 01:16 PM

@tsereve - nice to know that someone other than Asty and I are reading these! It is certainly true that no Xenium is required to reload it - I hope that the current version stresses that enough (for example, the line "won't need reloading for several years")...currently, though, that is addressed with using a separate Xenium power source and only a small amount of Xenium in the ammunition (perhaps a molecule/particle per shot or so, something that basically will never be missed)... If I can think of some way to generate power from the Xenium if it is lining the entire interior surface, I think I like the new idea. I may need to read the "UFO power source" entry and see how we're generating power from it in theory...

@asty - of course I'm still around. Stupid finals. Not that they were hard, just that they annoyed me and made me not in the mood to write. But they are over, and now I'm working 40 at a job where I have to run hour-long simulations that leave me with nothing to do but look online...

I'll get a new version to you in the next couple days.
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#67 dan2

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 01:31 PM

@tsereve - nice to know that someone other than Asty and I are reading these! 

Hey, that's not true, I'm reading around!
But the makers of X-Com did a terrible job making a weapon that doesn't consume anything. "Perpetuum mobile" was probably a reality in their head.
It's really tough to propose anything that uses xenium just in manufacture, but nothing else after.
Please ignore me if this "Plasma Cannon" is not the "Plasma beam" ship weapon. But if this is a weapon that humans created, maybe they used xenium just at first, to induce the hydrogen fusion and atoms of xenium are required as catalyst to maintain that fusion steady. Fusion is kept on slow burn with deuterium until firing is needed, but never ceases entirely in the weapon (like a tiny flame in the front of the flame thrower). A gram of solid xenium would have about 10(to the power)22 atoms, which is a huge number. Probably such weapon would consume it's entire amount of xenium in a few years (like 5 years).
Lining the barrel with xenium might help, but doesn't really explain the facts. Or maybe I'm just wrong :unsure:

#68 Kikanaide

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 01:55 PM

Hey, that's not true, I'm reading around!
But the makers of X-Com did a terrible job making a weapon that doesn't consume anything. "Perpetuum mobile" was probably a reality in their head.
It's really tough to propose anything that uses xenium just in manufacture, but nothing else after.
Please ignore me if this "Plasma Cannon" is not the "Plasma beam" ship weapon. But if this is a weapon that humans created, maybe they used xenium just at first, to induce the hydrogen fusion and atoms of xenium are required as catalyst to maintain that fusion steady. Fusion is kept on slow burn with deuterium until firing is needed, but never ceases entirely in the weapon (like a tiny flame in the front of the flame thrower). A gram of solid xenium would have about 10(to the power)22 atoms, which is a huge number. Probably such weapon would consume it's entire amount of xenium in a few years (like 5 years).
Lining the barrel with xenium might help, but doesn't really explain the facts. Or maybe I'm just wrong :unsure:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, I saw you reading it a couple days ago, was hoping you would reply :devillaugh:

Anyway, so the idea right now is (as per, I believe, your suggestion) that we still need the strange gravity effect of Xenium to hold this ball of joy together, since sort of by definition coloumb potential won't do. So, I think, we need to shoot some amount of it out with each shot, but as you say, there are a LOT of particles in a mol of any substance, though I didn't know that we'd worked out a density for Xenium... So the point is that we either need to stay with the original (as you say - bad) job of having it (and the plasma hovertank) be nearly Xenium-free in operation but not manufacture (i.e. the long-life powerplant and just a few atoms/particles/molecules fired with each shot, or the lining which is slowly dissolved over the course of the weapon's life...)

My current idea is that since fusion basically doesn't happen at low temperature, we just heat the stuff up using lasers (a laser with a wavelength on the order of the size of the atom should do a spectacular job, since folks are doing it now), and use a xenium power source since now I've eliminated the need for anything but a few grams of Xenium and like heck can we mount the current nanometer/angstrom wavelength lasers on a ship and expect it to provide the power needed to fire it...the fusion should make the action self-sustaining since the Xenium will keep the ball formed...you know, I should really write something about that in the entry...

Anyway, what'dya think? Poke at it, see if it works for you...on a completely related note (I assure you) Fukuyama Masuharu is an interesting band, if you like listening to ten different genre's on one CD, and don't mind listening to it in Japanese...
Kikanaide - "What does it mean? Don't ask."

#69 dan2

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 02:40 PM

Well, the way I see Xenium, it's matter that accumulated too many gravitons when plunged close to a black hole, but it's still matter, you can work with it. So if it's matter with atoms, then the number of atoms should be really huge per 1 gram.
In the near future they'll probably make fusion a reality, but the reactor will be definitely huge at first.
In order to reduce drastically the reactor size, small amount of Xenium will be perfect for incorporation in ship weapons, therefore it's used as a catalyst only(a few houndred atoms per second consumption will last a really loooong time). When fusion is needed, a much larger amount of deuterium is injected and there's your ball of fire. So it doesn't matter to me where you put the Xenium as long as it helps the fusion, but it's not the main reagent in the fusion process.
Japanese songs? I don't get too many around here, but I can assure you, I have tons of fun with "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" here, a japanese show in which people are doing a lot of fun dangerous things. Did you see it too?

Edited by dan2, 18 May 2005 - 02:46 PM.


#70 mikker

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 02:46 PM

heres my interpret of xenium.

Xenium - at any given ammount - gives off a little energy each molekyle. You might use the molekyle itself to have a vast energy source, it's like comparing a nuclear factory to a wind mill, really. But if you got many wind mills...

simple, in larger consentrations, YOU CAN USE THE AURA-XENIUM as a powersource. This gives an infinite energy source without any real maintanance! :beer:

This is used for UFO's in transit (they need big reactors to store the energy, but they know more of it then we do, so they can use the excess energy more. It appears that they have to land in order to keep the engine from overloading of stress issues due to those things about it, that we do not know about), and you also use it with the XC-33, when you go to Mars (if you don't have too high a speed, no xenium is consumed). Plasma defence generates it with extremely big power generators, which is stored and released at once. The plasma cannon is the same thing, just on a slightly smaller scale. Alot of it is actually the power source (when i'm going back to this model, i'll see to it), to generate xenium and release it. Yes, it isn't that big, and thats why i propose, that the damage must be reduced. A heavy plasma cannon thingy would also be available - that consumes xenium.

Hand guns are simply too small to use it effectivly, unless in paintball of course :P

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#71 dan2

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 02:57 PM

Xenium - at any given ammount - gives off a little energy each molekyle. You might use the molekyle itself to have a vast energy source, it's like comparing a nuclear factory to a wind mill, really. But if you got many wind mills...

simple, in larger consentrations, YOU CAN USE THE AURA-XENIUM as a powersource. This gives an infinite energy source without any real maintanance!  :beer:

Again, "Perpetuum mobile" does not really exist, so this AURA-XENIUM must loose it's energy in order to supply impulse to the ship. You can say it gives it's energy for a really long time, years or even thousands of years, but infinite is a big word.
If you like to explain xenium, then please use some quantum physics particles like quarks (just 12 types), photons, mesons, barions, gravity and so on, but to say it gives off energy with no details, it doesn't help much as an explanation

#72 Kikanaide

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 03:17 PM

So I just finished reading the Xenium-112 entry, at least the most recent one in the thread linked by the asset-list...turns out I never read it before writing all of the plasma entries, just read the main plasma weapons tech and added my own ideas (and that of those folks who commented)...turns out we'll actually have to change a couple things here or there (one of them, I suggest changing there)

So this Xenium stuff is "a fold in spacetime." What the heck that means, I have no idea, and don't know that I care to contemplate. If it is some type of matter with the ability to "fold spacetime," then, yes, dan2's comments are quite correct and there are a bunch of particles/atoms/etc per gram, or more importantly, per "unit" of Xenium that's used by inventory managers

- dan2, could you read the explanation in the current version and pick on it specifically? I think I'm going to change a few things about it, but I'm curious if there is a part of it that doesn't make clear that very, very little is shot out each time. I mean, I can mention Avogadro's number, and say that since only a few particles are shot out each time, we've got 6.022x10^23 particles per mole (and heck, even say that the units on the supply screen are moles) and say that it works, if not forever, for 5600 years of consistent firing...

I guess the point is that I do, perfectly, understand the point that you are making. What I want to make sure (and I need your help for, because every author reads his own writing with a special pair of glasses that let only his intent through) is that I never said anything that would make folk's believe otherwise.

Right now, the Xenium goes with each shot because the ball has to stay together for kilometers! We, earlier, had a discussion that plasma weapons were impracticle because a ball as such would exponentially expand the moment it left the chamber...so we send a little (by which I mean friggin deep) gravity well with it.

Hrm, so if I'm reading your post correctly, you're saying the order of reactions should be -
1) Small amount of Xenium with not much else is "lit up" in the standard way
2) Add in heavy water, which, to us, really means just add in deuterium.
3) Deuterium reaches a very high temperature, fuses and the resulting energy raises the temperature enough for plasma
4) Shoot the stuff.

I'm fine with that reaction chain, but how does it prevent the use in handheld weapons? Possible suggestion - simply size, but anyway...the existing reaction chain:

1) Small amount of Xenium (maybe a particle or two) sits in the center of chamber along with mixture
2) Lasers heat parts of the mix until fusion is achieved, the resulting energy release heats the mixture to plasma
3) Shoot the stuff.

Ok, so, this post is going to be far too huge...but it doesn't matter...I've got a couple other things that need to be said -

1) In the Xenium write-up, we need to just take out the fact that neutrinoes being produced "has to be vented" and such. Every second, an unbelievable amount of neutrinoes pass through your body (it's more than a million), and they do, well, precisely nothing. The research project I'm doing right now is neutrino detection, and we're going to build a 7m diameter sphere filled with scintillator and other fun stuff, and expect to get an interaction on the order of once a day...oh, and did I mention that nuclear reactors give off neutrinoes in tremendous amounts, and that the shielding around reactors is incapable of stopping even a percentage of them? They just don't DO anything, so they hardly have to be "vented"

2) In the Xenium write-up, I think we should adjust the very last paragraph to fit with all the write-ups about plasma, something to the extent of "When Xenium is fractured into very small pieces, it becomes incredibly sensitive to electromagnetic stimuli. The proper frequency and duration of pulse can cause it to release an incredible amount of energy, and is that this is involved in the generation of plasma in Alien weapons." Please don't just cut and paste that, but anyone is welcome to use it as a starting point and make it better.

good grief, I'm going to be quiet now. Except to say that, no, the CD came from a friend, and I've never heard of that other thing...now I'm listening to Irish drinking music, which is also quite entertaining...
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#73 dan2

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 04:02 PM

Hmm, plenty of thinking for this one. I forgot the fact that plasma needs some Xenium to mantain cohesion. But those amounts must be small (I hope).
The difference between a ship cannon and a portable weapon in Xenium consumption regard is that while the small weapons need to create fusion with each shot, process that requires large amounts of Xenium, a large ship weapon would be able to keep a small amount of plasma in continous fusion and use that to fire up all shots, without the need for fusion start-up. I guess humans engineers thought this to be a more viable way having the knowledge that Xenium is not coming from a reliable continous source (some months you capture many ships, some none).
So I guess some houndred particles of Xenium are meant to mantain the plasma and some tens of thousands to keep it in a gravitational pocket until it reaches the target.
About Xenium, if you have the time, please read
http://www.xcomufo.c...ndpost&p=114685
and the replies after that and you'll see that the topic is pretty much considered finished. Unfortunately, I came a bit too late to be able to incorporate some more into the story, but I guess we'll have to manage with the text the way it is :unsure: You can let know the CTD text writer that wrote the Xenium entry and he might change it if you present your arguments well

#74 dan2

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 04:16 PM

Denevive is the person to talk to about Xenium-122 and maybe Azrael in order to open that topic. Hmm, I see Tzuchan didn't log in since 9th April... we miss Tzuchan :Cry: We need him for this party

#75 mikker

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 03:36 AM

Xenium - at any given ammount - gives off a little energy each molekyle. You might use the molekyle itself to have a vast energy source, it's like comparing a nuclear factory to a wind mill, really. But if you got many wind mills...

simple, in larger consentrations, YOU CAN USE THE AURA-XENIUM as a powersource. This gives an infinite energy source without any real maintanance!  :beer:

Again, "Perpetuum mobile" does not really exist, so this AURA-XENIUM must loose it's energy in order to supply impulse to the ship. You can say it gives it's energy for a really long time, years or even thousands of years, but infinite is a big word.
If you like to explain xenium, then please use some quantum physics particles like quarks (just 12 types), photons, mesons, barions, gravity and so on, but to say it gives off energy with no details, it doesn't help much as an explanation

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hey, I'm still only in secondary school, take it easy! :P I've heard of mesons and barions, but havn't really fully understanded what the heck it does, glueing the sub-atomic parts together, or something along those lines?

Okay - the xenium particles emit energy - aura-xenium - which it transmit over a period of approx. 10 years. The aliens have a way to speed up this process, but then it would only last for about 2-3 days, but much more cost effective then just burning away the xenium particles for pure energy, which would then only last for half a day or so. We humans learn to use the slowed process when we make the crafts, but we can only live off the aura-xenium with the avanger, but it only works in outer athmosphere, as the energy simply wouldn't be enough to keep it in the sky at a reletevly fast speed. So they use the 2-3 days effect.

Makes more sense? It would explain alot of things, but as this is a science fiction game, I doubt that we would be able to explain every thing with science. Xenium being such an issue.

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#76 Kikanaide

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 08:37 AM

@mikker - I think you're right in that we're going to have a heck of a time explaining this is terms of "real" science...yet we would like to get as close as we can. Additionally, where is this "aura-Xenium" idea coming from - is it other texts or did you think it up? I'd like to keep this as consistent with other texts as possible, in particular the Xenium and other plasma weapons texts...

@dan2 - I know that it's an incredible pain to change things in "completed," and I know that we want to move forward instead of backward, but...if you read the thread where xenium was finished, you can see that at the time of writing they wanted to move to electromagnetic stimulation but felt that the decision had been made for particle bombardment...plus two of my texts (pistol and rifle) are in "phase two complete," where I certainly can't and don't want to touch them up to make them complaint with particle-bombardment as a method to create plasma...I think it would be easier to touch up one paragraph than rewrite four (pistol, rifle, heavy, and cannon) entries. The neutrino thing is less important, but to me, it is just silly to talk about having a problem with creating neutrinoes and needing to vent them...a highlight and delete key would fix it, because it already talks about other particles that could, conceivably, be a problem.
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#77 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 10:24 AM

*does Darth Vader's voice* Most impressive ^_^ . Agree with Astyanax, I do, a great improvement, this is. *shakes* sorry, I'm just itching to watch Episode III :P
Anyway, I really like this text, and I'm not seeing any serious problems. But I have a question, in X-Com you needed Elerium to manufacture ONLY the rounds, right?

#78 dan2

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 10:28 AM

Anyway, I really like this text, and I'm not seeing any serious problems. But I have a question, in X-Com you needed Elerium to manufacture ONLY the rounds, right?

If I remember correctly some Elerium is used in the weapon's manufacture, but somehow the rounds are appearing from nowhere during recharge. So Elerium once, ammo for the whole war

#79 Kikanaide

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 10:47 AM

@Az - Yeah, so apparently the designers of X-com, while they made an incredibly addictive game and as such deserve praise, did a really stupid, non-explainable thing when they got to "plasma beam." Instead of following the "no Elerium for manufacture of weapon, Elerium for manufacture of clip" they dropped the clips and required Elerium to manufacture the plasma beam and hovertank, plasmas. You had to fab rounds for fusion ball launchers, though, so I didn't use them and instead used beams. I'll check ye' olde strategy guide when I get home to make sure of amounts and whatnot.

And thank you for the kind words.
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#80 Astyanax

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 11:19 AM

1) In the Xenium write-up, we need to just take out the fact that neutrinoes being produced "has to be vented" and such.

I wholeheartedly agree. I think removing the following two sentences from the Xenium-122 CT will remedy the issue:

Neutrinos, in particular, seem to be given off at an exponential rate. These particles must be caught, or vented, creating a dilemma when considering its use as a power source.


2) In the Xenium write-up, I think we should adjust the very last paragraph to fit with all the write-ups about plasma, something to the extent of "When Xenium is fractured into very small pieces, it becomes incredibly sensitive to electromagnetic stimuli. The proper frequency and duration of pulse can cause it to release an incredible amount of energy, and is that this is involved in the generation of plasma in Alien weapons." Please don't just cut and paste that, but anyone is welcome to use it as a starting point and make it better.

I don't know about this. If I recall correctly, plasma weapons and Xenium can be researched in any order. The Xenium write-up already mentions the spectacular properties that manifest when it is exposed to a rotating magnetic field; the plasma CTs build on that detail in explaining plasma generation.

mikker: I think a potential problem with aura-Xenium is that there's little to prevent it from being incorporated into smaller plasma weapons... Players might begin to wonder why they still have to spend Xenium making plasma clips. :P

dan2: You're right, and I like your explanation: "So Elerium once, ammo for the whole war." :)

Kikanaide again: Yes, they must've had a "brain-fart" when they implemented the plasma cannon's weird Elerium consumption...

Edited by Astyanax, 19 May 2005 - 11:30 AM.

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#81 dan2

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 11:27 AM

Okay - the xenium particles emit energy - aura-xenium - which it transmit over a period of approx. 10 years. The aliens have a way to speed up this process, but then it would only last for about 2-3 days, but much more cost effective then just burning away the xenium particles for pure energy, which would then only last for half a day or so. We humans learn to use the slowed process when we make the crafts, but we can only live off the aura-xenium with the avanger, but it only works in outer athmosphere, as the energy simply wouldn't be enough to keep it in the sky at a reletevly fast speed. So they use the 2-3 days effect.

Makes more sense? It would explain alot of things, but as this is a science fiction game, I doubt that we would be able to explain every thing with science. Xenium being such an issue.

I'm sorry I didn't write my text in a nicer tone, I usually try to, maybe I was in a rush, I assure you I didn't intend to make you uncomfortable, but for sure your explanation needed more clarification.
I see you're proposing two types of xenium energy generation, one more efficient than the other, and that can be applied easily. For sure it makes sense. How to make xenium generate energy for years was the real trouble, but I guess now it's going to be explained. All these proposals must be unified, though, and the Xenium-122 text might be amended, once we have clear all these energy generation technologies

#82 Kikanaide

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 11:33 AM

The paragraph in question reads as this:

One other property of Xenium 122 was discovered while researching particle bombardment testing. Certain catalysts used for bombardment destabilized the Xenium samples. This mixture of Xenium and catalyst particles would lead to the creation of energized plasma and may be the basis for the plasma weapons seen wielded by aliens in the field. Further research into this area of Xenium 122 usage is recommended.

My problems are as follows -
1) we don't use particle bombardment anywhere, as far as I know, in this text or others
2) It states "may be the basis" when it could well be researched after plasma weapons...in fact, I would say that almost everyone researches at least some plasma before xenium b/c the chances of recovering weapons is much higher than intact power supplies.
3) It states that these particles "may be the basis" and as such, particularly with the order problem, unless we want to make a drastic gamebalance change like requiring Xenium before plasma, it can't stay.

Even just cutting the paragraph would be ok, or we could add a "Highly fractured Xenium appears to be very unstable" -esque paragraph as a replacement, either way is fine.
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#83 Astyanax

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 11:40 AM

Whoa, that's pretty... different... from the other CTs. I admit I didn't finish reading the CT; I just stopped at the magnetic part and then replied. :Blush:

You're right. Since particle bombardment isn't used elsewhere, I would consider deleting the last paragraph entirely. The penultimate paragraph ends the CT nicely as it is, imho.

Edited by Astyanax, 19 May 2005 - 11:54 AM.

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#84 mikker

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 03:09 PM

@mikker - I think you're right in that we're going to have a heck of a time explaining this is terms of "real" science...yet we would like to get as close as we can.  Additionally, where is this "aura-Xenium" idea coming from - is it other texts or did you think it up?  I'd like to keep this as consistent with other texts as possible, in particular the Xenium and other plasma weapons texts...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I thought of it myself, but i've thought about it for quite some time.

Well, it's the way it appears to work for me persoanlly, it is what for me makes more sence (even if not really possible :P), and would explain all in-game stuff, and wouldn't really leavy any plot holes.

The reason that that the aura-xenium can't be led into handheld weaponry, is that it is very unstable, and needs very thick metal plateing to keep it contained. That is, btw, also why power sources explode in UFOs, and hand-held weaponry does not (see? :P another thing that is explained :)). Could also explain alien grenades ;)

Heh, but if i'm off course here physically, I'm not gonna change anything here. Just voicing my opinion. :)

About keeping persistent, It was more generally speaking of xenium, not only for this text.

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#85 dan2

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 03:31 PM

So we should have an extra entry for aura-xenium? Hmm, I don't know.
Or you're saying it should be just and extra paragraph in the xenium text?

#86 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 06:10 PM

I feel this is starting to go nowhere and we're straying too much. I've read your text and have find no significant problems, the only issue I've found is the difference between the handheld weapons and this, that Xenium is only used in the weapon rather than in the rounds.
First, I seriously don't like the idea of infinite energy, as dan2 stated, that cannot exist. I don't clearly understand your idea of Aura-Xenium, but adding such a concept is innecessary, no need to complicate matters more.
Now, since the problem seems to be the rounds, my suggestion is pretty simple, and fairly logical, I hope. The Plasma weapons text explains that in the past, plasma weapons were inconvenient cause of the need for large facilities to create and contain plasma reaction. But at this point of the game, the player has studied some handheld plasma weapons, thus having X-Corps more understanding of how the plasma reactions are effectively controlled and contained. Thanks to this new knowledge, X-Corps are capable of creating these cannons which have the capability of creating the reaction with a minimal amount of Xenium, as I think someone else suggested (I think Astyanax), so minimal that the amount needed for the construction of the cannon could in theory last for the entire lenght of the Alien conflict on Earth, given that it doesn't take 10 years or something extreme like that. Now the explanation of why we cannot have these "free" reactions, is that it still takes a fairly large amount of space, but now instead of a large facility, the size required is that of the Plasma Cannon :)

#87 dan2

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 07:03 PM

This is supposed to be my 400th message. :party:
If Astyanax proposed this, then I already agree with him in post #73 :)

Edited by dan2, 20 May 2005 - 07:34 PM.


#88 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 01:15 PM

Well... no... read my post... no exactly this <_< , but something like this. :D

#89 Kikanaide

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 12:25 PM

Ok, so, I return after forever. I'm sorta feeling like most of the issues are addressed by the current version of the text (plus I'm hesitant to do too much re-writing before the issues over in the plasma weapons thread are decided). I've pulled out some sections from the text that I feel might be part of the confusion, can you folks address them and see if you can help me make them clearer? I've included what I was trying to say beside each one, with the idea that ya'll could help me make it science speak by telling me what didn't make sense or come out like I wanted.

Unlike other plasma weapons, the [plasma cannon] requires Xenium to produce, but does not require separately manufactured clips.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Does this sufficiently state that it doesn't take Xenium for ammo? I tried to avoid saying Xenium twice in one sentence, perhaps that is the source of some of the confusion. This is supposed to say "Xenium once, ammo for the war."

Unlike the Xenium-inefficient plasma weaponry found in Alien UFOs, the [plasma cannon] was designed to deliver an impressive amount of damage while expending minimal amounts of Xenium.

This was another way to say "less Xenium per shot." Notice I failed on this one and wound up with multiple "Xenium"s in a sentence.

Since the amount of Xenium consumed during each firing cycle has been reduced to a negligible amount, most of the reaction mass is made up of the other standard plasma ammunition components

This is supposed to emphasize the fact that the Xenium per shot is "nearly zero," and thus the cannon works without needing Xenium ammo.

The efficiency increase of this method, combined with decreased reduced magnetic containment requirements, has produced a weapon that will not require additional Xenium for years.

This, also, intended to impart the length of time before it runs out.

Help me, please. I feel like I've already said half and implied the rest of what's being discussed (with the exception of the aura-xenium discussion). It's not that I don't agree with the recent suggestions, it's just that I think it's already been said.
Kikanaide - "What does it mean? Don't ask."

#90 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 09:06 PM

I've had a word with Red Knight, the fault in X-Com of the plasma cannon not requiring Elerium for the rounds will be corrected, leave it at Xenium is required for the rounds as well. So nothing of infinite ammo :D

#91 Astyanax

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:45 PM

Gone are our plasma technology woes! =b That's great news, Az!
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#92 Kikanaide

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 02:56 PM

Gone are the woes...useless now the old text is. Well, that's fun...I'll work up another.

I'm assuming that we're going to be somewhat careful with how we fix this - hopefully it won't be like 1 Xenium per shot or even 1 Xenium per encounter (1 X per 99 shots, but counts as full expenditure even if only 1 shot fired)...1 Xenium per actual 99 shots seems reasonable, but any more is probably a serious balance shift. Will we then cut the Xenium requirement for manufacture?
Kikanaide - "What does it mean? Don't ask."

#93 Astyanax

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 04:50 PM

Gone are the woes...useless now the old text is. Well, that's fun...I'll work up another.

Hrm, I hadn't thought of that. That is a real bummer... a lot of time was spent on it. But maybe it isn't a total loss: perhaps the optical heating stuff helps increase the the plasma cannon's Xenium efficiency. Of course, that depends on how the plasma cannon works, now.

Gone are our plasma technology woes! =b  That's great news, Az!

...hopefully not to be replaced by new woes!
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Posted 06 June 2005 - 05:27 PM

Gone are the woes...useless now the old text is.  Well, that's fun...I'll work up another.

I'm assuming that we're going to be somewhat careful with how we fix this - hopefully it won't be like 1 Xenium per shot or even 1 Xenium per encounter (1 X per 99 shots, but counts as full expenditure even if only 1 shot fired)...1 Xenium per actual 99 shots seems reasonable, but any more is probably a serious balance shift.  Will we then cut the Xenium requirement for manufacture?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I think you can just modify the existant one, but if you're going to, I suggest you wait until we finish with Plasma Principles, that way you won't have to rewrite it more than necessary.
Also, about the rounds, don't give specific figures, that will be done during gameplay testing :)

#95 Kikanaide

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 01:19 PM

Ressurrected from the dead for your reading pleasure. It's lost some weight since you've last seen it. I'm not sure whether it has a point now, but I didn't feel up to a page-one rewrite, so I just removed everything that referenced the much-lamented infinite plasma property. I've made the assumption that it won't, whatever happens, require clips (because it just doesn't make sense to me). Enjoy and comment :)

[PLASMA CANNON]
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Armament/[Plasma Cannon]

The [plasma cannon] is a product of X-Corps research into the Aliens' plasma weaponry, and represents the first human-designed plasma weapon. Unlike other plasma weapons, the [plasma cannon] requires Xenium to produce, but does not require separately manufactured clips. However, it does still require Xenium. The [plasma cannon] easily outperforms every conventional weapon system in terms of damage output, and outranges them all save for the [Titan] missile.

X-Corps scientists have made improvements in efficiency and muzzle velocity and added mechanisms to evenly mix reactants and fire plasma under the combat velocities and accelerations of our intercept craft. They have also increased the size of the device far above that of a personnel weapon, and redesigned the ammunition system to allow for clipless operation.  While aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, its 99 shot capacity should be sufficient for any encounter.

Aside from the above-mentioned alterations, the [plasma cannon] operates in the same manner as handheld plasma weapons. In the generation chamber, the two liquids are mixed together.  Then, an electromagnetic pulse causes the Xenium to explode, heating the solution to plasma temperatures.  The explosion is contained primarily by a gravity field which is produced by the Xenium.  Then, the Xenium is electromagnetically accelerated out of the chamber, and the rest of the plasma follows, unable to escape the gravity field. The [plasma cannon] uses eight magnetodynamic prongs to collimate the burst.  The Xenium is slowly consumed even after the shot leaves the barrel, but enough is present in each burst to maintain a coherent gravity bubble for 52km.

This gravity bubble is disrupted upon striking the target, releasing the superheated contents.  Additional damage is wreaked as the plasma rapidly spreads outward and consumes any materials in its wake.  Although we expect UFOs to possess some partial immunity to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of of the Alien Composites used in their construction, the incredible power of the plasma cannon ensures that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted. Against Alien Composites, the [plasma cannon] is 65x as effective as a [cannon], 10x as effective as a [Sidewinder], and 6.5x as effective as a [Titan], before considering differences in range or ammunition capacity.

A scaled-down [plasma cannon] could conceivably be mounted on an XCAP.  However, preliminary research indicates that a conventional, treaded XCAP, although able to support the weight of the equipment, would be difficult to maneuver and would run a high risk of being stuck in difficult terrain.  Research into the principles of UFO construction may lead to new XCAP designs that can address this.

"At first I was skeptical, wondering how it could do all that much damage - it's not like it uses explosives or anything. After they tested it, the target was gone and part of the back wall had melted away. I never questioned the weapon after that."


Kikanaide - "What does it mean? Don't ask."

#96 Astyanax

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 03:45 PM

Idea-wise, I think the text covers all that it needs to. Flow-wise... well, it's kind of choppy, which is not surprising since it did just get chopped-up. It's too bad- I thought the previous version was getting nicely polished, too. :(

Oh well. In any case, from a general point of view, there's a lot of passive tense in the text, short sentences, and fewer descriptions. While these are fine grammatically, they kind of sap the text of energy, imho, but they can always be fixed later. I guess the ideas are most critical at this stage, as it's been revived from the dead not too recently. :P

Stucturally, I think I agree with your assessment, Kikanaide- it does seem to amble somewhat aimlessly.

A quick summary:
paragraph 1: 1st man-made design, impressive stats
paragraph 2: modifications made
paragraph 3: clipless operation, plasma principles
paragraph 4: more plasma principles, weapon comparisons
paragraph 5: XCAP possibility

Paragraphs 3-4 don't elaborate much on what's new or unique to the plasma cannon. The clipless operation part can be expanded and the weapon comparisons are good, but the other stuff is largely covered in the plasma principles CT. Imho, the text needs some new info to set it apart from the other texts. This might also help tie in paragraphs 3 and 4 more strongly.

Off the bat, the clipless operation could be expanded, maybe detailing the experimentation process behind the precise formula of Xenium to other materials- perhaps noting that the mixtures inside handheld weapon clips didn't scale-up well?

When it's decided exactly how much Xenium is needed, maybe a paragraph explaining why so much (or so little) is needed, and where it's used, then work in parts of paragraph 3?

Sorry for the jumble of comments, but I hope they help. :)

Edited by Astyanax, 30 June 2005 - 03:47 PM.

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#97 Kikanaide

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 03:49 PM

I think they will be helpful. I need to think about it, obviously...

By the way, Asty, you crack me up. I hear my computer beep, look at email, click the link, and see your post...and you've already edited it. Always. :)

edit: Maybe not quite always. I see at least two occasions above of posts where you never did edit...I'm amazed.

Edited by Kikanaide, 30 June 2005 - 03:50 PM.

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#98 Astyanax

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 03:54 PM

LOL

That's because I always make mistakes. I just like to cover my tracks, that's all. :P

I'm just glad this forum doesn't keep track of how many edits have been made. I'd be pretty embarassed if people knew how many of my posts have been edited 5+ times... in as many minutes. :D

Edit- and I also think of new things to say, too. :P I'm of the opinion that if I'm going to go out and critique other people's text, my own text better be pretty darn clean.

Edited by Astyanax, 30 June 2005 - 03:55 PM.

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#99 Kikanaide

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 12:46 PM

Trying again...I've tried to focus it a bit more and add things like transitions...not sure if I succeeded but it's been a slow day at work. Tried to add a bit of humor...let's see who catches it. Also tried to eliminate as much passive voice as I could. Overall I think an improvement, but not sure how much of one...well, enough of this, go read it for yourself and tell me what you think...the frost giant says so :frost_gi:

[PLASMA CANNON]
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Armament/[Plasma Cannon]

The [plasma cannon] is a product of X-Corps research into the Aliens' plasma weaponry, and represents the first human-designed plasma weapon. Unlike other plasma weapons, the [plasma cannon] does not require separately manufactured clips. Instead, it uses Xenium directly from base storage as ammunition. The research team has done its work well - the [plasma cannon] easily outperforms every conventional weapon system in terms of damage output, and outranges them all save for the [Titan] missile.

X-Corps scientists have improved the efficiency, muzzle velocity, and range compared to personnel plasma weapons, and added mechanisms to evenly mix reactants and fire plasma under the combat velocities and accelerations of our intercept craft. They have also increased the size of the device far above that of a handheld device, and redesigned the ammunition system to allow for clipless operation.  While aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, its 99 shot capacity should be sufficient for any encounter.

The ammunition system has been totally refurbished, and is more complex than its predecessors. Adding ammunition is a three-step process, but is very simple and will be performed by the pilot instead of trained manufacturing or scientific personnel.  The pilot will place the Xenium inside of a small chamber located on the side of the [plasma cannon], where an X-ray laser will fracture it into the normal powder.  Then the pilot will add the mixture of shredded uranium, iron, and carbon to form the gel.  The weapon will automatically test the gel for purity and place it in a holding tank if it passes.  Adding heavy water is the last step, which is as simple as pouring it into a third opening, though it too is tested for purity to avoid contamination and possible plasma destabilization. Those pilots who are confident in their ability to live through the war are advised to follow proper procedures when handling the uranium.

Aside from the above-mentioned alterations, the [plasma cannon] operates in the same manner as handheld plasma weapons, with the usual two-mixture ammunition and EM-triggered explosion. Eight magnetodynamic prongs collimate the burst.  The Xenium is slowly consumed even after the shot leaves the barrel, but enough is present in each burst to maintain a coherent gravity bubble for 52km. This gravity bubble bursts upon striking the target, releasing the superheated contents.  The plasma then spreads outward rapidly and consumes any materials in its wake.  Although we expect UFOs to possess some partial immunity to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of Alien Composites, the incredible power of the plasma cannon ensures that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted. Against Alien Composites, the [plasma cannon] is 65x as effective as a [cannon], 10x as effective as a [Sidewinder], and 6.5x as effective as a [Titan], before considering differences in range or ammunition capacity.

A scaled-down [plasma cannon] could conceivably be mounted on an XCAP.  However, preliminary research indicates that a conventional, treaded XCAP, although able to support the weight of the equipment, would be difficult to maneuver and would run a high risk of being stuck in difficult terrain.  Research into the principles of UFO construction may lead to new XCAP designs that can address this.

"At first I was skeptical, wondering how it could do all that much damage - it's not like it uses explosives or anything. After they tested it, the target was gone and part of the back wall had melted away. I never questioned the weapon after that."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Kikanaide - "What does it mean? Don't ask."

#100 Astyanax

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 02:45 PM

I see your :frost_gi: and raise you a :Tomato:...

(Argh, serves me right to not read the whole text first... I was reading and commenting at the same time, so some of my comments were already addressed later in the text.)

[PLASMA CANNON]
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Armament/[Plasma Cannon]

The [plasma cannon] is a product of X-Corps research into the Aliens' plasma weaponry, and represents the first human-designed plasma weapon. Unlike other plasma weapons, the [plasma cannon] does not require separately manufactured clips. Instead, it uses Xenium directly from base storage as ammunition. The research team has done its work well - the [plasma cannon] easily outperforms every conventional weapon system in terms of damage output, and outranges them all save for the [Titan] missile.

"Plasma weapon" is a little vague; it is more accurately "aircraft plasma weapon".

Using Xenium "directly from base storage" can give the impression that the plasma cannon somehow can access base storage while it's off on a sortie somewhere. Also, the "as ammunition" part implies that Xenium is the only thing in the ammunition. I know these two aren't the case, so maybe you could add something to underline the difference between plasma cannon ammo and handheld clip ammo? Perhaps something like, "Due to quantities of involved, reactants are instead pumped directly into the weapon's storage tanks supplied to the weapon in a different manner," and mention Xenium as a reactant later in the text?

X-Corps scientists have improved the efficiency, muzzle velocity, and range compared to personnel plasma weapons, and added mechanisms to evenly mix reactants and fire plasma under the combat velocities and accelerations of our intercept craft.  They have also increased the size of the device far above that of a handheld device, and redesigned the ammunition system to allow for clipless operation.  While aircraft weight limitations dictate that only a finite amount of ammunition can be carried, its 99 shot capacity should be sufficient for any encounter.

If you like the idea about storage tanks I mentioned above, you could clarify the "clipless operation" part and change the "finite amount of ammunition can be carried" to some limitation of the storage tanks. If not, well, don't worry about it. :P

The only other thing might be that "above that of a hand held device" could be "beyond that of a handheld device"... but that's more a proofreading thing.

The ammunition system has been totally refurbished, and is more complex than its predecessors. Adding ammunition is a three-step process, but is very simple and will be performed by the pilot instead of trained manufacturing or scientific personnel.  The pilot will place the Xenium inside of a small chamber located on the side of the [plasma cannon], where an X-ray laser will fracture it into the normal powder.  Then the pilot will add the mixture of shredded uranium, iron, and carbon to form the gel.  The weapon will automatically test the gel for purity and place it in a holding tank if it passes.  Adding heavy water is the last step, which is as simple as pouring it into a third opening, though it too is tested for purity to avoid contamination and possible plasma destabilization. Those pilots who are confident in their ability to live through the war are advised to follow proper procedures when handling the uranium.

Ahhhh, dag nab it. Please disregard my previous comments pertaining to "storage tanks".

Out of curiosity, why is the pilot doing this instead of maintenance crews?

"Normal"? Compared to what?

The last sentence sounds a bit strange... why are only confident pilots advised? Imho, it would make more sense if the sentence says, "Pilots who want to live through the war are advised..."

There something confusing in the paragraph, and I'm not quite sure how to explain it. I think it's because there is a change in the point of view and/or verb tense- "the pilot will place", "the pilot will add", "the weapon will... test", and then "Adding heavy water is the last step [for the pilot]" and "it too is tested". Maybe it's because sentence 2 refers to an existing process, while the explanation of the processes are in future tense...?

Argh, verb tenses aren't my strong suit. :(

I humbly suggest changing a lot of the future tense to present tense.

If, however, you keep the future tense, the paragraph might be something like (I've tried my best, but future tense is a bit confusing to me):

The ammunition system has been totally refurbished, and is more complex than its predecessors. Adding ammunition will be a three-step process, but will be very simple and will be performed by the pilot instead of trained manufacturing or scientific personnel.  The pilot will place the Xenium inside of a small chamber located on the side of the [plasma cannon], where an X-ray laser will fracture it into the normal powder.  Then the pilot will add the mixture of shredded uranium, iron, and carbon to form the gel which will be automatically tested for purity and placed in a holding tank if it passes.  The pilot will add heavy water last by simply pouring it into a third opening, though it too will be tested for purity to avoid contamination and possible plasma destabilization. Those pilots who are confident in their ability to live through the war are advised to follow proper procedures when handling the uranium.


Present tense might be:

The ammunition system has been totally refurbished, and is more complex than its predecessors. Adding ammunition is a three-step process, but is very simple and will be performed by the pilot instead of trained manufacturing or scientific personnel.  The pilot places Xenium inside of a small chamber located on the side of the [plasma cannon], where an X-ray laser will fracture it into the normal powder.  Then the pilot adds a mixture of shredded uranium, iron, and carbon to form the gel which will be automatically tested for purity and placed in a holding tank if it passes.  Adding heavy water is the last step, which is as simple as pouring it into a third opening, though it too will be tested for purity to avoid contamination and possible plasma destabilization. Those pilots who are confident in their ability to live through the war are advised to follow proper procedures when handling the uranium.

I've reworded some parts in the examples because I wasn't sure whether they were correct, and I wanted the example to be as correct as I could make them.

Aside from the above-mentioned alterations, the [plasma cannon] operates in the same manner as handheld plasma weapons, with the usual two-mixture ammunition and EM-triggered explosion. Eight magnetodynamic prongs collimate the burst.  The Xenium is slowly consumed even after the shot leaves the barrel, but enough is present in each burst to maintain a coherent gravity bubble for 52km. This gravity bubble bursts upon striking the target, releasing the superheated contents.  The plasma then spreads outward rapidly and consumes any materials in its wake.  Although we expect UFOs to possess some partial immunity to plasma weaponry due to the heat-resistant nature of Alien Composites, the incredible power of the plasma cannon ensures that an impressive amount of damage will be inflicted. Against Alien Composites, the [plasma cannon] is 65x as effective as a [cannon], 10x as effective as a [Sidewinder], and 6.5x as effective as a [Titan], before considering differences in range or ammunition capacity.

It may be confusing whether Xenium is a part of the plasma, or separate from it. Maybe say, "The Xenium in the plasma burst is slowly consumed..."?

Just noticed that the verb "consume" is used in sentences 3 and 5- this may be too close together?

A scaled-down [plasma cannon] could conceivably be mounted on an XCAP.  However, preliminary research indicates that a conventional, treaded XCAP, although able to support the weight of the equipment, would be difficult to maneuver and would run a high risk of being stuck in difficult terrain.  Research into the principles of UFO construction may lead to new XCAP designs that can address this.

Perhaps be more specific about "UFO construction"- something like: "Research into UFOs and their ability to defy gravity may lead..."?

"At first I was skeptical, wondering how it could do all that much damage - it's not like it uses explosives or anything. After they tested it, the target was gone and part of the back wall had melted away. I never questioned the weapon after that."

Sorry, Kikanaide, if this post is messy. I had a really difficult time trying to explain why paragraph 3 felt weird, plus I had to go back and revise some of my previous comments.

Anyway, you have considerably improved the text. It flows a lot better, and though there are still some rough spots, the ideas well organized in each paragraph.

Crap, I had to edit the post because I messed up the quote tags.

...and a second time because code snippets ignore color tags.

...and a few more times for miscellaneous corrections and clarifications.

Edited by Astyanax, 14 July 2005 - 02:53 PM.

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