Walking, player-focused Wraith + DMC Guard = Dead Wraith

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Walking, player-focused Wraith + DMC Guard = Dead Wraith

I discovered this after realizing that NPCs could be pit against each other. Take off talisman, walk onto hex with DMC Guard inside. Chat it up, Wraith appears, cue Yakety Sax as I kite it and DMC Guard wallops it/shoots it/calls drone to tear it apart.

Does it have no sense of self-preservation? It probably should bugger off if most of the damage wasn't from Philip himself.

Dualists: one soul, two bodies. dualists.wordpress.com

Considering the nature of the thing - why, sure, may be it has no self-preservation instinct at all. The thing is completely alien as far as i know, - do we even know who or what exactly it is? I don't. For all i know, couldn't it be, say, something like a matherial object consisting of unusually configured electromagnetic and force fields (in a manner not totally unlike to how ball lightnings exist - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_lightning if you never heard about them; those are amazing!), projected into the realm of Philip via unknown to humanity laws of physics from an another dimension - i.e. just a _thing_, having no will nor instincts of its own.

... our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load. (c) William R. Catton, Jr

In one occasion it can be observed that the Wraiths have a form of highly organized society and are at least as mentally capable and organized as humans are. What's more there is evidence leading to a conclusions that they purposefully interacted with mankind for ages, in a covert/secret manner.

The notion of intelligent creature with it's own agenda, quite possibly a mission even, being so suicidal to just let himself be gunned down by random by-standers feels highly unlikely.


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

If you'd read Stanislav Lem's "Invincible", then you'd know that such a society, organization and even intellectual capabilities do not nesessarily indicate the presense of living beings, nor even presense of system(s) under a living beings' direct real-time control - whenever we talk about some who-knows-could-be-possible ET phenomena, that is.

The description of such an "evolution of dead matter" is given on this page: http://mreadz.net/new/index.php?id=78121&pages=24 . And i heartily recommend the whole book, too. This is as good as science fiction can get, in my humble experience. One of best books of the whole SF jenre.

... our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load. (c) William R. Catton, Jr

Warning, big plot spoilers ahead!

Spoiler: Highlight to view
They are stealing and hiding any evidence, in order to keep their very existence a secret. They even trying to kill off our poor Phillip because he messed with them/uncovered parts of their plot. The one Merga that is stalking us through the game, goes to such lengths as trying to mess up with Phillip's cryo pod or pretending to be a human to convince the Hatter to send mister Kindred into a certain doom in the haunted house at the Hidden Lake.

Those are not actions of any particularly "alien" entity. More like a sloppy work of a covert operative who's work suddenly starts to burn his hands.

Basically, while they might not care about death (or may even be immortal in our plane of existence) their prior actions suggest that going full berserk in front of multiple witnesses is not part of their modus operandi.

My suggestion - Wraith should never appear in front of other people at all.


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

Ok, then i understand you've proven the initial point - i.e. that wraith not going away from a DMC guard is one wrong thing to happen. There are reasons to think wraith should do it, it doesn't, fixing it would be appropriate, OK, i get it. Yet, you've made your point with an argument which is totally different from the original one.

So my own point still stands: what i know (including everything you said in this topic so far) still does not make me any sure wraiths are actually alive and/or sentient. Even if they demonstrate behaviour which obviously is aimed to achieve a certain goal, like you described, - this still doesn't mean they are alive and/or sentient beings with any definite self-preservation. Because,

Spoiler: Highlight to view
pretending to be a human, communicating with someone(s), rigging in any way some cryo pod, trying to kill a certain individual - nothing of this is something which modern day top-notch super-computer-controlled units couldn't do (i've seen recent report about computer system passing the Turing test - if only barely (33% with the treshold being 30%) and using questionable method). If modern state-of-the-art computer systems can do it, then you can imagine what should be possible for any entity who can open inter-dimensional portals. In particular, wraiths could be even less than a _bug_ in some big system - they could be as little as some service programs, controlling approrpiate (for the big system's goals and realities) hardware as nesessary, but in themselves having no more sentience nor self-preservation than a bacteria, and being not any more alive than the well-known woman in red. Yep, i mean this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXQozTxQSiE .

Even turing test is not actually enough - it's only half of the deal (2nd half, even): to demonstrate the presense of the "sense" of self-preservation, - you'd need to prove that
- 1. The creature is biological in its origin (i.e., is a product of a long and blind process of natural evolution of mainly electro-negative - non-metallic, - matter);
- 2. The creature is intelligent enough to achieve and maintain sentience.

The 1st part is needed, since machines don't have "sense" of self-preservation - they simply have corresponding priority and/or function. The differense is, "sense" does not control the unit - it's only one of many inputs which may or may not form the behaviour (kamikaze; shakhids; countless soldiers who sacrificed themselves to protect their countries/friends/families/etc); while priority and function - are not inputs; those are, given specific fitting conditions, are direct control schemes which the machine would follow _always_.

Afaik, neither of the two can be proven, conclusively, if we talk about wraiths. Like the woman in red, those can possibly be a mere procedure, complex like hell in its details, but dead as a rock and, in despite complexty, as completely determined and predictable (for anyone who knows all the "code") as a purely ariphmetic calculation. But of course, that's only "for all i know", as said above; perhaps i know not enough, yep, it's definitely possible.

... our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load. (c) William R. Catton, Jr

But those "prior actions" are a consequence of Philip wearing the amulet. As far as we know, as soon as they can they do go full berserk. It took the hatter (and others) route because it was forced to be more subtle. And even then, there is an instance where the wraith reveals itself when another of it's plans is twarted, even if it would have no reason other than spite.