Nanite Plague

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jmercer
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Nanite Plague

#1 Post by jmercer »

Hi, just had an idea, a Nanite Plague.

The effects would be similar to a standard plague but while the population is decreasing, factories are being built. This is basically the "Grey Goo" scenario. There would be 2 ways to deal with this plague. Either research a way to eliminate it or let the goo transform every last non-factory thing on the planet into a factory leaving a very industrial, unpopulated, minimal world. The goo would eventually burn itself out. There may be a chance that it would turn the world into a poor world.

The thing to tune with this is to make sure that this is seen as a bad thing. So bad that it can't even be harnessed as a weapon since carrying it on a ship would quickly rip the ship apart.

If this occurs on a gas giant where resources are plenty, it may take 100s of turns for the goo to finish it's task, but the result will be something quite unique and probably not a gas giant anymore. The resulting planet may be coveted as much as Orion.

marhawkman
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#2 Post by marhawkman »

What would be the source? a Research acident? sabotage?
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jmercer
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#3 Post by jmercer »

I'd say a research accident, perhaps if you're researching a certain technology then there's a chance that this event can occur on one of your worlds. Or perhaps after a tech has been discovered then this event is possible.

I don't think it'd be a good thing to be able to inflict this on someone. It would be too powerful a weapon.

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utilae
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#4 Post by utilae »

Such an even could be created by a research accident or deliberately. The 'grey goo' could become a scourge that spreads accross the galaxy and that has to be dealt with by all that meet it. It would be like those space eels in Moo2 but far far worse.

ErikAlbert
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#5 Post by ErikAlbert »

utilae wrote:Such an even could be created by a research accident or deliberately. The 'grey goo' could become a scourge that spreads accross the galaxy and that has to be dealt with by all that meet it. It would be like those space eels in Moo2 but far far worse.
Why would anyone want to do it deliberately unless they were immune somehow?

This leads me to the idea of biological weapons. I think it would be great if we had REALLY powerful ones, not like the lousy versions in Moo2, cant remember if moo3 had them.

I'm talking about biological weapons that can spread, and can wipe out colonies in a few turns .... You could either research and antidote, or quartatine colonies to stop it from spreading. They would be planted by spies.

The biological weapon would be aimed only at a certain race (one affecting all would be maybe very high end tech). Using such weapons may have certain serious dipol effects if we have a moo3 like council....

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Geoff the Medio
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#6 Post by Geoff the Medio »

ErikAlbert wrote:The biological weapon would be aimed only at a certain race (one affecting all would be maybe very high end tech).
[realism]That seems backwards... It's generally a lot easier to be indiscriminate than exacting and specific in most activities...[/realism]

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#7 Post by Daveybaby »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
ErikAlbert wrote:The biological weapon would be aimed only at a certain race (one affecting all would be maybe very high end tech).
[realism]That seems backwards... It's generally a lot easier to be indiscriminate than exacting and specific in most activities...[/realism]
I dunno, IMO biological warfare would run counter to this, since we're talking about each species having a totally different biochemistry, from the genetic level up. Regardless, IMO it would be more fun to target them at a specific species, with maybe the odd chance that something will mutate and jump species at random.

Anyway, there's a biowarfare thread here if anyone feels like resurrecting it.
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Geoff the Medio
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#8 Post by Geoff the Medio »

I guess it seems odd that you'd even need a biological agent that could target all races... If you can already make separate agents for all the races, why do you need to research how to make an uberagent that can do all races at once?

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#9 Post by Yoghurt »

To prevent another race from colonizing the wiped out world, perhaps?

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#10 Post by ErikAlbert »

Geoff the Medio wrote:I guess it seems odd that you'd even need a biological agent that could target all races... If you can already make separate agents for all the races, why do you need to research how to make an uberagent that can do all races at once?
What i was getting at is you should research once each for each target. As for why it works only on one race, i thought realism isn't a big deal? In any case yeah, races could be very different biologically speaking, so it requires research. You can't catch germs from mar probably.

Is there any practical difference between researching x times each for x races, and creating one that affects all life except yours? I say there could be.

The former would require separate research (plus 'volunteers') each time ,so you couldn't research one until you met the race.

While the later would be a catchall thing you can unleash on the galaxy once you got it that would affect everyone even those you did not meet except yours and maybe allies if you want to.

marhawkman
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#11 Post by marhawkman »

I'd make it something indiscriminate. Make it so that it's non-biological nature means that it doesn't care what type of race it infects. Maybe give it a chance to uplift spontaneously?
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#12 Post by ewh02b »

Well, if it was a biological plague, it would start out infecting one species, and then have a chance to mutate and spread to another species.

But if we are talking nanites, which I take to be microscopic machines that consume everything and build something they are programmed to build, then they would affect everything they come in contact with, with the possible exception of a crystalline race that was too hard for them to consume, or something.

I'd say that they could be used as a weapon, kept in some sort of containment field and discharged against an enemy ship. Of course, there would be a chance that they would defeat the containment and escape, destroying your own ship instead. Even the shipyard that built the ship would be suceptible.

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Geoff the Medio
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#13 Post by Geoff the Medio »

ewh02b wrote:But if we are talking nanites, which I take to be microscopic machines...
More like nanoscopic...
...affect everything they come in contact with, with the possible exception of a crystalline race that was too hard for them to consume, or something.
A race that itself has nanoscopic manipulation inherent in its physiology could be immune. This could include a race with nanites in it, or an amorphous race (eg. T1000, DS9 Changlings). A non-corporeal race (pure energy, ghosts, etc.) would also be immune, unless the nanites are also able to manipulate spacetime or somesuch in order to indirectly affect the race.

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#14 Post by haravikk »

ErikAlbert wrote:moo3 had them.
MOO3 had some pathetic biological ground combat option with huge political ramifications. You use biological weapons in your ground strikes and everyone hates you in a single turn.

But if you bring in a huge fleet loaded with guns and bomb the holy crap out of a planet until it's dead, then no-one cares. Even though the biological weapons if engineered only to kill the enemy would be far less damaging than flattening the planet and evaporating it's oceans from sheer firepower.

The kinds of weapons you're talking here though would be much better suited for such political effects =)

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#15 Post by Impaler »

I think one of the race ideas that was submited for "Grey Goo" to BE a playable race. This would be kind of cool I think. I had an idea along similar lines for Space Pirates to be a playable race. Perhaps even Giant space Amebas as a playable race?
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

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