[HIVE-2380] Add Binary Datatype in Hive - ASF JIRA

First Contact - Part Seven / Realization of Second Contact

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Many great cycles had passed without a single contact within the Great Emptiness.
Many of the members of the Unified Science Council began to believe that perhaps it was some kind of lingering energies left over from the Precursor War that had created mass hallucinations, or perhaps it was just isolated incidents with no meaning.
Seventeen Great Cycles and not a single clue that supported the existence of the Solarians, the Clone Directorate, sentient AI's, or any of the other strangeness discovered over that Great Cycle.
Even the Unified Executor Council had been forced to agree that the Solarians had simply, well, vanished.
The Unified High Council had no choice but to allow exploration of the Great Emptiness and so passed legislation to repeal the prohibition against exploration of that region of space.
That is how Monnat Banaltee of the HiKruth found himself in charge of a crew of a dozen of the Deep Space Explorer's Guild and in possession of one of the most advanced ships the Unified Technology Council would permit to be built.
The ship, named To Wrest Answers from the Darkness, had the best jumpspace engines, the most advanced computers with the most powerful computation and analysis lobes, laboratories and testing capabilities more advanced that any other ship, with sensors more sensitive than any other, communications capable of hearing the slightest whisper. Additionally, the ship's omnitranslator had been loaded with the TerraSol lexicons learned so far.
That was an entire Great Cycle ago.
Which was why Monnat, who refused the title of Captain and preferred Most Learned, was almost sick from boredom despite his race being legendary for patience. Even the upcoming arrival in a new solar system, deeper than anyone had gone so far into the Great Emptiness, failed to alleviate his boredom.
How could it? The last thirty systems they'd scanned had been the same: deeper than anyone had explored.
And empty except for a hundred million years of isolated evolution, largely resulting in a few plants or maybe even some non-sapient life more evolved than a cluster of cells.
Monnat was willing to bet his next three research grants that the next one would be the same.
"Preparing to drop," Aastruk stated. A master of astrogation and navigation, who had led whole fleets through jumpspace with his skill during his many years as part of the Unified Military Fleet, Aastruk was capable of making such sublime jump transitions that even the most sensitive of the scientists suffered little more than a light spell of dizziness.
At the end of the countdown there was a slight queasiness and that was all, allowing Monnat to tap his vestigal claws together and stare at Billik, a sensor's technician of extreme skill.
After nearly an entire cycle Monnat was beginning to wonder if Billik had decided not to do his job out of sheer boredom.
"Scan Master Billik?" Monnat asked.
"A moment, please, Most Learned One," Billik said. The scan tech looked over at Z'Mak, the Chief of Maintenance. "Oh Attentive One, Lord and Master of the Mechanical, can you perform a diagnostic upon my lowly instrumentation?"
Monnat sighed internally. Sometimes he wondered if all the insistence on titles and honorifics made it so things took longer than necessary. A heretical thought, he knew, but one had had asked himself many times over his long life.
Z'Mak, who was a stickler for protocol, nodded, the ruffle around his neck and down his spine flushing in pleasure. He examined his displays, tapped in some commands, then leaned back.
"Your instrumentation and displays are all functioning at over 90% efficiency, most attentive and inquisitive scanning technician," Z'Mak said.
At least Billik did not take offense at the obvious omission of honorifics, as he had during the first long cycles of the voyage, as Z'Mak was of the belief that those who joined the Unified Military Council or the Fleet were somehow less than those who devoted their lives to other pursuits.
"Then it appears, at long last, we have found a system with unknown xenosapients," Billik stated. "There are several settlements on the surface, four orbiting stations, solar collectors, and power readings everywhere."
"Launch a probe," Monnat said. "I will be waiting in my chambers. Announce to me when the probe begins to relay data."
Billik nodded as Monnat stood up on all four legs and moved toward his personal chambers.
-------------------
"Most Learned One," E'kotat's voice interrupted Monnat's viewing of a lecture on how a stable reaction within the translation chamber of a jump-drive was only established one way, despite crackpot claims of other possibilities.
"Yes, Second Leader?" Monnat sighed. He doubted that it was going to actually be anything. There had been nearly a dozen false alarms in the first few cycles of his mission. Every time it had turned out to be just a lost colony.
"You should come to the bridge immediately," E'kotat said. "Make all due haste."
Monnat frowned. E'kotat was a Drimarian, cold blooded quasi-mammal who's race's physiology was almost incapable of excitement. For him to urge haste was unusual.
And noteworthy.
When he entered the bridge, Monnat noted that Security Officer Lukamit, a computer code researcher who held a position mostly ceremonial, was busy over his terminals, all three of his lab assistants working with him.
"What is the emergency? Did something happen to the probe?" Monnat sighed, settling into his crash couch.
"We lost contact with it, Most Learned One," Billik stated. "It was intercepted by an energy pulse that shut it down. Soon afterwards, we were..."
"I will inform the Most Learned," Z'Mak snapped. He looked at Monnat. "It was then that we received communication signals. It attempted to open a communications channel but at the same time attempted to penetrate our computer network. Whoever the signal is from, they are most insistent that they be allowed access to our computer systems."
Lukamit interrupted, ignoring Z'Mak's flutter of his crest. "We are fortunate that they only use a binary type logic and only binary signalling. This allows me to use the lobes in parallel to more effect than they can. However, they did access the omnitranslator's lexicon and have been attempting to transfer it to their systems."
Monnat thought a moment. "Allow it."
"But standard is to exchange lexicons," Z'Mak protested.
"Do as I command as Most Learned One," Monnat told Z'Mak, fixing him with a stare that used all four eyes.
Z'Mak backed down.
"Lexicon is transferred. Wait, they've stopped trying to access our systems," Lukamit said. "They've purged their own code and completely withdrawn."
"We have an incoming signal," Juketet stated, listening closely. "Audio and visual, although only across a limited base three-primary color scale. They are not permitting any reply. Transmission only. It's quite rude."
Monnat sighed, fully expecting it to be another lost colony. Probably fallen back to aggression and superstition.
Instead the figure that appeared on the screen was unlike any he'd ever seen. Tall, graceful appearing for a biped, mammalian, with jewels adorning them, dressed in comfortable and gossamer appearing cloth, long golden hair and pointed ears. The female, and it had to be a female as it had mammalian milk ducts that were prominent, was surrounded by scantily clad bipeds that were shorter but had the same lithe build and pointed ears.
For some reason she gave off the appearance of being superior to everyone present. As if something more than nature, because nature could never produce such a perfect specimen, had crafted her to be perfection embodied.
It was a strange feeling for Monnat.
When she spoke, it was a strange language, linguistically designed to flow together and sound like music even mathematically.
Monnat noticed that Z'Mak seemed offended by the being.
The translation showed below, at the bottom of the screen.
"Welcome to the Magic Realms of Meratarrian. I am Queen Radosalvov the Graceful, you may call me Queen, Your Highness, or Radiant Divine One."
Z'Mak almost seemed to choke.
"According to Confederate Law, attempting to pirate views via recording probes without a license as well as permission from Galactic Studios Incorporated and Electronic Artistic Studios is a grave violation of our legal rights."
That caught Lukamit's attention.
"As your language is unknown to me I will assume that you were not meant to intrude upon this realm and I have decided to extend elven hospitality to you."
Monnat kept his expression from changing. Another race. Bipedal, warm blooded, mammalian, forward facing eyes. Obvious Solarian.
"I will allow you four local hours upon the surface as a freeware demonstration for one of your crew. I formally invite a sentient of your choosing in to my realm and invite your ship to stay within communication range of this planet."
She gave a gesture that used up the least amount of effort but still looked imperious, as if she was the most important being in the entire universe and the crew of the Wrest Answers from the Darkness should considered them blessed just to be allowed to view her.
"I will give you one of your time units to decide who shall enter the Magic Realms of Meratarrian."
The image vanished.
"They've cut transmission," Juketet stated unnecessarily. "Wait, they're transmitting a document. It looks like a legal document of some kind."
Monnat perked up. "Send it my ready room and have the ship computer go over it. Let us see what they are offering."
Juketet nodded.
------------------
Halfway through the time limit Monnat realized that even with the computer's help deciphering the document, which was some kind of terms of service, would be impossible. It was, quite possibly, the largest legal document he had ever seen. The ships operating system took up less storage and used less data than the document itself. Just viewing the document gave the issuer of the document legal rights over all kinds of things.
It repeated over and over that the issuers of the document, one Electronic Artistic Studios and one Galactic Studios Incorporated, could not be held liable for any damage to anyone using their services, to include death, dismemberment, disintegration, damage to neural or emotional networks, physical or metaphysical discomfort, damage, or alteration.
It went on and on and on.
But Monnat had been tasked with exploration, and he'd seen that Galactic Studios Incorporated and Electronic Artistic Studios operated under Terran Confederacy law and were based on TerraSol, which meant, despite appearances, the "elven queen" was a Solarian.
Which made no sense.
How many species rose to prominence in the system?
Monnat needed information, but most of all, he needed a volunteer.
And for that, he called Aastruk into his ready room to see if the saurian would volunteer to be part of the "free demonstration" that the "Queen" was offering.
To Monnat's surprise, Aastruk agreed immediately.
Monnat figured it was out of boredom.
-------------------
The shuttle that gathered Aastruk was flamboyant, lavishly decorated with rare elements to enhance its appearance and obviously built to appeal to anyone's eyes. Even mathematically it was almost perfect. Aastruk boarded wearing a vacuum suit and carrying a transponder.
The Queen had agreed to that much of a safety measure, even if she refused to allow recording devices.
Monnat settled down, as the shuttle left, and waited. Four local hours was less than a dozen cycles.
----------------
When Aastruk returned he stated one simple sentence: "We must leave now."
Monnat respected Aastruk's time with the Unified Military Fleet and ordered that the ship move to jumpspace immediately. Once they were safe in jumpspace he called Aastruk into his quarters and urged the reptilian navigator to speak.
"When I first got there, I was given many options. Enhanced virtual reality, real-skin which apparently involves me actually going down to the planet, skin-sheathe which is allowing me to mentally control a cloned version of myself from the station, or something called 'hitch-hiker' mode which is allowing me to see through someone else's eyes," Aastruk said, rubbing his snout wearily.
"What did you choose?" Monnat asked.
"Hitchhiker is the only option available for the free demonstration version," Aastruk said. He shuddered. "It allowed me to not only see and hear what was going on, it allowed me to taste, smell, and feel it. Not only that, I knew I could, well, share thoughts with my host."
Monnat made an annotation. "Did you?"
Aastruk nodded. "She is from someplace called Alpha Centauri, one of the earliest Terran Confederacy's colonies. That's aside, however, and not the important part."
Looking up Monnat frowned. "What is important than that?"
"She was, to use her words, reborn as something called a 'dwarf' and took the profession of blacksmith," Aastruk said. "Working in iron, steel, some exotic metals I've never heard of. She makes armor, weapons, and other metal objects as well as wood carving..."
"Who does she make these weapons for?" Mannot asked.
"Soldiers who guard the town and being who wish to enter into the wilderness to seek out adventure even at the risk of encountering dangerous wildlife that will seek to slay them if they do not slay the wild-life first. She makes weapons and armor for these people and then, and I use her words: magics the excrement out of them which is why...."
"Magic?" Monnat scoffed, interrupting. "A people that advanced believing in magic."
Aastruk nodded. "When she explained magic to me was when I realized we must leave at once."
"What was so frightening about it?" Monnat asked, wondering if Aastruk would need therapy.
"Nanotechnology is something we use. For medical, research, manufacturing, computation," Aastruk said. Monnat nodded as Aastruk continued. "They have devised a type of nanite that uses broadcast power to sustain itself and floats through the very air. It permeates he atmosphere, is in everything they drink, everything they eat, even in the objects."
"Risky. What if it went out of control? Entire planets have been lost to such ill advised experimentation," Monnat asked.
Aastruk shook his head. "They aren't worried about it. You see, they use the nanites to manifest certain reactions. From creating a monomolecular sword edge and infusing the blade with nanotech like my host did to calling up fire out of thin air, this so called magic is nanites."
Monnat cringed slightly. "And anyone can use it with a simple interface?"
Aastruk shook his head again. "No. It requires will, being able to chant out loud the command strings, and being able to withstand pain. The more energy intensive the task the nanites carry out, the more pain the nanites inflict."
"Madness," Monnat whispered. "And they willingly subject themselves to this to use this so called magic? I understand, if they are born there and this is the path to power, but still, to willingly subject one's self to pain."
Aastruk shook his head. "No, Most Learned One, it is worse than that."
"How is it worse?" Monnat asked. "Please, Aastruk, will you define worse?"
"While some beings who live on that planet were born there, Most Learned One," Aastruk took a deep breath. "The majority pay for the privilege of living their lives there. Some even pay to be other species, such as my host, who had her entire body rebuilt from 'Pure Strain Human' to 'dwarf' in order to live out her fantasies."
Aastruk fixed Monnat with his gaze. "It's a planet sized, fully interactive, nanite assisted, amusement park that they pay to experience, sometimes for their entire adult lifespan."
Monnat goggled at Aastruk. The thought of having one's body changed to live out a fantasy was grotesque, but the idea that it was some kind of amusement park horrified him.
"You were correct in having us leave at once. Was there anything else that made you so urgent to leave?" Mannot asked.
Aastruk nodded. "At the end of my 'free trial' several of the 'High Elves' offered to sponsor me if I agreed to fight in their name for their glory," He said, shuddering.
Mannot nodded. "A wise idea, returning. I do not blame you for wanting to return when that undoubtedly caused such fear, to be dumped in such a place where advanced technology is used to live out a fantasy of primitivism."
Shivering, Aastruk shook his head. "No, Most Learned One, I did not want to return out of fear, I returned because I wanted to stay."
Aastruk hung his head and whispered softly. "Glory and honor to my house, with eggs and burrows the envy of all, by might or trickery my house, my burrow, my clutch ascendent."
Mannot stared in horror at Aastruk repeating such an ancient mantra of his species and decided that the expedition was over.
----------------
The Unified Exploration Council examined the records as well as the statements of Fleet Admiral (retired) Aastruk eshThsashal and ordered another exploration expedition created.
The Unified Science Council determined that the Solarians, perhaps the entire Terran Confederacy, was using technologies in ways that were prohibited as well as dangerous, not only to the Terran Confederacy itself, but to all those around it.
The Unified Executor Council decided that armed Executors would accompany all other research and exploration vessels to prevent any desertions to such a dangerous civilization.
Aastruk eshThsashal converted all of his possessions and wealth to simple gold bars and vanished.
------------------
I, AASTRUK eshTHSASHAL, agree to abide by the above terms and services as set out by Galactic Studios Incorporated and Electronic Artistic Studios, as well as the Meratarrian code of conduct.
------------------
TO: CONFEDERATE INTELLIGENCE
FROM: QUEEN RADOSALVOV THE GRACEFUL, OVERSEER OF MERATARRIAN (All Rights Reserved)
Had visitors not long ago, like I told. However, it appears that one of their number liked their trial time so much they've returned to my divine embrace (LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP PURCHASED). Attached is crude documents and illusions of their statements about the mundane and boring life they left behind, the poor dear. I'm sending these to you out of consideration.
He is a lovely subject (ITEM SHOP PURCHASE: PLATINUM STARTER PACK), who has been yearning all his life for the adventure (DLC PURCHASED) only I, in my infinite wisdom and beauty, can provide to him (ITEM SHOP PURCHASE: USER GENERATED FRIENDS AND FAMILY PLATINUM PACK). I have hereby granted him asylum from such a dull and dreary place, and made him a citizen (DLC MEGAPACK PURCHASED) of Meratarrian (EXPANSION PURCHASED) with permission to found his own house (DLC PURCHASED) as well as quest for his true love (DLC PURCHASED) as well as create offspring (EXPANSION PURCHASED). I have high hopes for my new subject (ITEM SHOP PURCHASE: KOBOLD HERO PACK) and know that he will go far (ITEM SHOP PURCHASE: DRAGON BLOODED) in my realm.
Enjoy your files.
Love and kisses.
Her Eternal Elven Grace, Divine Light of the Aether, Lady of Magic and Power, Queen Radosalvov.
--------NOTHING FOLLOWS-----------
CONFEDERATE INTELLIGENCE MEMO
CC: Artificial Biological States; Digital Artificial Intelligence Infonet Worlds; TERRASOL.GOV; Cyborg Cooperative; Clone Directorate; Mantid Free Worlds; Traena'ad Hive Worlds
Xenosapient government identified. Native species identified. (See attachments)
Military potential is initially classified as low, to be revisited upon any new information which will be shared to all Confederacy governments as per treaties.
Chance for incursion into Confederate Space is high.
Place all rimward stations, colonies, planetary governments, and military forces on stage two alert. Do not fire unless unable to withdraw or casualties are incurred. Abide by Rules of Engagement for inferior forces unaware of Confederate military and industrial power.
-------NOTHING FOLLOWS-----------
TRAENA'AD HIVE INTELLIGENCE
RE: Your Last
Let's hope we do better with them than when the two of us first met.
--------NOTHING FOLLOWS--------
submitted by Ralts_Bloodthorne to HFY [link] [comments]

Perspective on the State of Destiny and What it can do to Improve, written with care by a longtime hardcore fan of the games

This post ended up being pretty long-winded but I feel I made my thoughts as clear as I could for what it is. I see a lot of disconnect between what popular content creators, whose careers it is to make content for destiny, and what average players have to say regarding a few things. I feel like I can at least attempt to make a somewhat decent middle of the aisle argument, since I have been somewhat active in the streaming community on twitch with a small audience, but its not my career, and most everyone I know that plays Destiny has done it merely on the side of other games, or as their main game, with gaming being simply a hobby for them. I have tried to compile takes I've seen from streamers and youtubers, as well as from average players, as well as my own thoughts. Take this post as that: my own thoughts. I am by no means saying these are 100% the only problems or solutions to this game's issues, but this is what I've seen firsthand with it and what I think could be done to fix it. Im gonna reference another similar game, Warframe, a bit due to my experience with it as well and compare it to Destiny.

I'm gonna start off by saying, I am not trying to bash bungie with this post, nor am I trying to defend their every action with it, and even though this post is gonna probably die in new, here's some food for thought. Destiny 1 Launched in a fairly rough state in terms of content quantity, but theres a good reason that many of the core playerbase, myself included, chose to stick around. Why was Destiny 1, which was at the time devoid of much in the way of content, stick around and build a fanbase, while games such as Anthem, which had similar issues, were unable to? (I'm aware that Anthem had other issues as well, but even then I would expect it to build a following of people who just love the game for one reason or another, like Destiny did).
I think the answer to this question lies in the fact that Destiny 1 had some potentially very engaging content that the playerbase latched on to, and as far as I am aware, no other shooter games at the time outside of the Borderlands franchise and potentially Warframe provided similar experiences, but Destiny, which plays very different from both of those games, naturally attracted people who became fans of it.
When I mention potentially engaging experiences, I am talking things such as the Vault of Glass Raid, as well as the nightfall strikes which rotated weekly with some potentially very crazy modifiers on it. In addition, there were reasons to chase these activities, even in D1 Year 1. Nightfalls were generally seen as the best way to get most of the game's exotics, as well as being strikes but cranked up to 11. Raids were the ultimate thing to chase however, with many of the Raid weapons competing for the title of "Best in Slot" (Such as Fatebringer, Black Hammer, and Hunger of Crota, if we are leaving exotics out of the question. Sorry Gjallarhorn and Ice Breaker) for their respective slots during the time of their release. Much of this can be seen in how many of the legendary raid weapons are remembered fondly by the Veteran players still playing Destiny 2. In my opinion, this factor, combined with both the fact that the game's max level could not be reached without raid armor, and the fairly chill community of PvE players at launch, made it fairly easy for me to find a team for these aspirational activities that I could never have run. I even ended up joining a raid team back on Xbox One with the LFG group that helped me finish VoG for the first time, and I made friends that I still play games with 6 years later. Basically, Destiny 1 Year 1 was, for me at least, some of the most fun times to have been playing Destiny. (Small note, I think its not a good thing for the Raid armor to be the only way to reach the max light level but its part of what fueled engagement in Year 1 raiding compared to
So what makes me see Destiny 1 Year 1 as a much more competent time in the game's lifespan than Destiny 2 Year 3, which has far and away more content, but little player interest in that content? I would start with the Core Activities. Bungie considers the Core Activities to be the Crucible, Strikes, and Gambit. Oddly enough, I would argue that Destiny 2 has more engaging strikes than Destiny 1, with more complex bossfight mechanics and arenas designed to create a more engaging experience for the player, while most Destiny 1 strike bosses were essentially "Big Captain/ServitoHydra/Colossus/Ogre with tons of health." So why do so many people I know argue that Destiny 1 had better strikes?
I believe the reason lies in the fact that strikes actually gave good rewards in Destiny 1, even in Year 1. Heroic Strikes in Year 1 were the game's primary source of Strange Coins, which were the only currency which Xur accepted. Therefore, when you logged in and played 3 Heroic strikes to get your 27 weekly coins per character, you would, upon Xur's visit that weekend, feel the reward of your work in those strikes. Even if Xur came and didn't have something you wanted, you could save your Coins and visit Xur again the next week and purchase both a Weapon and an Armor piece, since you didn't spend last week's coins. It also incentivized playing on multiple characters, as the coin drops were not account based, but character based. In my opinion, part of when Exotics stopped feeling "Exotic" was when Destiny 2 launched and streamlined Xur's currency into legendary shards, which most players have a large enough number of that they can spend them like they're monopoly money. (As a small side note on strikes, with the addition of the Taken King expansion at the start of Year 2, a lot of strike specific loot was added to the game which further incentivized running playlist strikes compared to their seemingly small incentive to play in Destiny 2).
I feel it is helpful to take a step back and look at a big picture of the game and how it is played. In Destiny as a whole, there is not an overwhelming amount of loot, just a few pages of each type of gun. Compare this to a game like Borderlands, where there are tons of different guns and there are a much larger variety of weapons when you take into account the unique foundries. When comparing it to Warframe, which has a much bigger focus on Abilities and Stats, you will find that the Armor in this game provides a different angle for how the game is played and therefore more of a diversity in how the game can be played. In Warframe, I can choose to be a tanky juggernaut, or a support, or a stealthy assassin. The classes in Destiny, by comparison, do not provide as big of a difference in gameplay (this isn't a bad thing, but it IS a part of how the game is played and how it feels to play the game.) Combine this with the fact that the Guardian arsenal is much more limited in scope than games like Warframe, where the different types of weapons and even the individual weapons in one type vary extremely wildly from one another.
Now that we've established the fact that Destiny provides its players with less tools than similar games in the genre, (again, not a bad thing, but a fact of the game that must be addressed in its design process) we can look at what makes the current state of the game and its content feel less engaging. Guardians, with their limited arsenal, must have engaging playgrounds in which to push these limited arsenals to the test. Destiny 1 had only one raid at launch, but many of the encounters in the raid could be tackled in a few different ways, allowing for players to have tested their potential with different loadouts. A potential counterargument to this is the idea that the optimum loadout was not set in stone like it has been in the past few seasons, but even in D1Y1, there was the "god tier" loadout of fatebringer, black hammer, and gjallarhorn that destroyed encounters, but people still raided every week because there was good loot to chase that could be used in the strikes that they had to run in order to buy their weekly exotic from Xur. Currently, the only raid that is viewed as worth completing is Garden of Salvation, and the guns from that raid have no chance at being "Best in Slot", due to the fact that many other guns, namely the pinnacle weapons, have taken over those titles. This creates little incentive for the average player to run Garden of Salvation again aside from getting Pinnacle Gear to use as Infusion Fodder, but this can be acquired much easier from other sources. From the looks of it, Bungie SEEMS to think that sunsetting gear will fix this problem, but if the loot simply isn't good, people won't chase it due to the fact that the raid itself isn't incredibly popular, unlike the Destiny 1 raids, which provided compelling environments for the player to use their weapons in. Basically, games like Warframe can afford to have repetitive content with little compelling loot in the content, due to the massive variety of tools the player is given to complete that content, since the content itself simply exists to push the limits of the player's equipment. However, games like Destiny cannot afford to have repetitive content or uncompelling loot, since the player's tools are limited much more, and are merely tools for completing the content, with the content itself being the main attraction.
A good explanation of this difference can be found in the fact that in games such as Warframe, as the player grinds with their equipment in order to hone its stats and make it able to slot more mods, therefore making individual pieces of equipment, be them weapons or armor, stronger through the grind. Destiny does not have this (another obligatory "Not a bad thing, just the nature of Destiny as a game") as I can grind a million strikes with the same loadout equipped, but aside from the overall power level of my character, those weapons have not improved at all in terms of strength. Basically, Destiny's power level system does not actually make the players STRONGER, but instead tweaks the damage that you will deal in content close to your power level. This is fine if it is handled correctly, but recently, it has felt as though Bungie has looked at boss design the wrong way, and therefore it feels as though the fights are less challenging, aside from whatever mechanics the encounter may employ. In the Vault of Glass, not only are the trash mobs and exploding harpies threatening, but so is Atheon as well. Atheon provides a threatening presence in the arena that players cannot easily go near for danger of getting killed. Even during damage phase, Atheon continues firing splash damage blasts at the players, and while this can be counteracted by using the Aegis relic's bubble shield mode, that strategy causes players to lose potential DPS with the trade off being increased safety, since the Shieldbearer could easily use the super of the shield on repeat to add damage to Atheon. Contrast this to Garden of Salvation, which provides a similar fight as well as a boss that fires at the team. However, during what should be the most tense part of the fight, Damage Phase, the boss sits still and floats into the air for no obvious reason. This makes the fight simply a sequence of Complete Mechanic, followed by a DPS check, and then repeat if you didn't kill the boss. Crown of Sorrow is another example, as Gahlran simply sits still during DPS, but ends up being worse than the Sanctified Mind in that he also is never the primary threat on the field. The primary threat is always a yellow bar enemy or his deception, but this doesn't make the players feel like they're fighting a massive boss that's been possessed by Hive magic, but rather makes them feel like they're clearing trash mobs, waiting for a bather(which is a mechanic from a different raid might I add) to spawn, then punching it to clear it, all while playing a minigame of the Witch's Blessing and crystals, only to then get to shoot a big boss that they aren't really fighting against, but rather waiting to shoot. Granted Gahlran shoots fireballs but those fireballs do very little damage and are extremely slow. Compare this to Atheon or Oryx, who are actively fighting the player during all parts of the raid. Even in the Oryx encounter, he will keep shooting despite the players having their immortality buff. This at least makes the player feel as if Oryx is fighting back at the player fireteam instead of simply channeling an attack before getting stunned. Essentially, the raid bosses need to fight back against the player somehow so that they are forced to stay on their toes even in damage phase. If strike bosses can shoot at me while I'm trying to damage them, then I would expect raid bosses to attempt to do so as well. Calus is the last example of this kind of design I can think of in a main raid (The raid lair bosses do shoot rockets at the players so they get credit but I don't count those as full raids with a comprehensive loot pool, rather as additions to the Leviathan's loot set, they do not count in terms of "main" raids. Sorry Argos and Val Ca'Uor). Calus will occasionally detonate an explosive on the plates required for damage. This at least allows the players to make a decision between staying on the plate longer for maximum DPS, and bailing to the next plate earlier for maximum safety, similar to the decision in the Atheon fight between shielding with the Aegis or attacking with it. This kind of boss design is important to making raids feel like the apex of our work in PvE, rather than the odd state they seem to find themselves in now.
Furthermore, Bungie seems to be trying to shift the PvE sandbox around with certain changes that they have made in order to force diversity into the raid encounters. This becomes problematic as it simply makes the DPS check stage of bossfights harder instead of encouraging the players to find their optimal method of strategy. If the boss is going to sit still 20 feet in the air while exposing his crit spot, and also being in the middle of a damaging pool of Vex fluid makes Izanagi's Burden, a high damage, long range precision weapon, should be a natural choice for players, similar to how Touch of Malice was the optimal choice for fighting Oryx due to the immortality buff during damage phase. This is the reason that the data for Garden of Salvation showed an overwhelming use of Izanagi's Burden in the boss encounters. It made sense to use such a precise, but powerful, weapon. Nerfing snipers due to their overwhelming use in Garden caused such outrage not due to snipers being overpowered, but due to the fact that they were the most viable option in this encounter. If snipers were truly overtuned then they would have been the weapon of choice for encounters such as Shuro Chi, another stationary boss, but they weren't, since this fight can be tackled more easily with a shotgun. Shotguns are simply more viable for fighting Shuro Chi, and so they are used for this. I will point now to Aksis, the final boss of Wrath of the Machine's raid. I remember when swords were first added to Destiny in The Taken King, and they were considered something of a neat novelty, but not all that viable. The reason for this was due to the fact that the raid encounters of the time usually demanded something along the lines of a rocket launcher or machine gun in the heavy slot, which provided similar potential stopping power to a sword while also being able to hit bosses in a pinch for big damage compared to other primaries, partly due to the fact that the special slot was usually taken up by a sniper rifle. This changed when Rise of Iron and Wrath of the Machine dropped. Now, swords, specifically the Dark Drinker, were the optimum choice for parts of this raid. Why? The encounter fit the sword well. A tool in our arsenal, which had previously not had a use, was now the top tier. This won't happen if bungie continues their trend of boss designs, since making long range, precision based encounters will only push us towards snipers. Gutting them back to their pre-Shadowkeep values only hurts the number of people that will be willing to attempt these encounters since now they take much longer and require much more of the same loadout instead of pushing players to try new weapons, even if they're still sniper rifles. After these nerfs, Whisper of the Worm is now far and away the best sniper for fighting the Sanctified and Consecrated minds, but Izanagi's Burden has been left to rot after having very limited time to shine. Before, we had a true decision to make in terms of which toys we wanted to play with, but now, Whisper is the best and everything else feels much worse.
On another note, I didn't want to talk about Sunsetting, seeing as its a very controversial topic, but I guess I will since it seems like its relevant to my thoughts on the content and engaging. I do not want to defend sunsetting, as I am very much a believer of the "play your own way" style (if you want to call the versions of the game "sandboxes" then give us the freedom of a sandbox and don't make us play the way you want us to Bungie). However, I agree with certain aspects of sunsetting while disagreeing with others. Currently, certain guns like the Recluse are just simply put the optimal options for much of this game's content. This is nothing new, however, as I previously mentioned the Fatebringer, Black Hammer, and Gjallarhorn, all of which dominated Year 1 Destiny 1. However, these weapons were all sunset when the Taken King came out. But don't people love the Taken King? Yes, they do, myself included, but there is a VERY good reason that we do. The content was engaging. Essentially having to start from the beginning didn't feel bad since I was excited to do the content. Replacing my Fatebringer with a Doom of Chelchis scout rifle from King's Fall felt good, since I loved that scout. I loved Fatebringer too, but it was fine to put it down and chase new guns, as long as chasing those guns was fun. Kind of a "its the journey not the destination that matters" feeling. The problem with sunsetting as Bungie has proposed us is this: they haven't shown us (recently) that they can make compelling content to get those weapons from. I have no problem retiring my Recluse, or my Luna's Howl, as long as whatever I have to do to get my next great gun is engaging content. This, like Bungie has stated, also avoids power creep, while also giving the players an opportunity to continue playing the game they love in new ways. The biggest problem with that, however, comes from two factors. The seasonal model of content, and the lack of new things being added into the game at a rate that players can explore what new items they like. Seasonal style content has given us thus far: one ok season(undying) one pretty good season(dawn) and one pretty bad season(worthy). Part of the problem is that each season adds a few guns, and to get them, players must grind a horde mode or some similar event to get the new gear. This is boring and repetitive for a game like Destiny, which has such a limited amount of gear to play with, and the enjoyment is in the gameplay. For a game like Warframe, horde modes are fine since players are trying to push the limits of their gear, whereas in Destiny, I want the gameplay to push the limits of my ability to play the game, given that much of the gear is at least decent at conquering what the game throws my way. The second problem combines the issues with the seasonal model and the issues of gear not being added at a good enough rate. Every season, guns are added, and at the end of that season, will be removed from being obtainable. This pushes players with a fear of missing out to play, but it will NOT make them enjoy the content provided. Players will enjoy good content because it is good and engaging, not because they got to play the same horde mode again to get a new round of good weapons. Sunsetting becomes an issue in this context. Bungie, with their transition to a la carte seasons, have stated "don't pay for any content you don't want, you can play whatever interests you" but if they decide to sunset mass amounts of good gear people like to use, then they create a problem should players set the game down for a season or two, then come back later and find they have nothing to work with, and a very limited number of available options to obtain at the time of their return. In truth, weapon sunsetting would be fine if Bungie gave us a large enough loot pool every season that we could enjoy, but if you only like a small variety of weapons, and then sunsetting takes away the old guns you liked, yet the new seasons don't provide good replacements of the same type, you're out of luck. If the loot pool was much deeper, this issue wouldn't be as big due to the fact that each season players are given the opportunity to try several different things, but currently this simply is not the case. A deeper loot pool, combined with good content each season, would make a much better experience.
I understand that Bungie has stated that D2Y2 took a lot out of their team, and I wholeheartedly believe that they are trying to give us at least some content we like. The hard truth is, they no longer have the resources that Activision provided to them in order to make content and keep it coming out. In the off chance Bungie ever sees this post, my number one piece of advice to the team is to just slow down. When it comes to games, quality over quantity is important. I don't care if there's a new season every 90 days if the seasons themselves provide little engagement. The point of an interactive experience is that the player should be able to be engaged in the experience, not feel like they are simply doing chores (like 9 million seraph towers). The game's technical state has also declined quite a bit. This game worked on my old PC before I built a new one, and I was impressed since that thing never ran well on most games. However, I have noticed, in addition to the server and bug related issues, the game just doesn't run as well anymore(at least on PC). I truly love Destiny, it's honestly my favorite game that I have played in recent years, and the Destiny community has provided me with many of my closest friends from gaming, and if you guys at Bungie are struggling to make content at the pace you think you should, just slow it down. You guys can make some truly amazing things from your game. I know you can, I've seen and played it for myself. I am willing to wait longer for more engaging content drops. For more of the old days looking for secrets in the Vault of Glass, for more attempts at decoding binary since I was the only programmer amongst my old Raid team on Xbox One. Even Destiny 2 has shown it can shine. Forsaken was fantastic, but the game has flaws that need some addressing, and I feel that this post is already long enough, so I'd like to just say to Bungie if they somehow see any of these points: learn from your old content what people like and do not like about Destiny. Stop attempting to make Destiny something that it is not with all of the MMORPG style mechanics. Just make Destiny like it has been before. I know it'll never be perfect, but it will always be improving, and that's what's important in evolving a game.

TLDR:
Current content is too bland and repetitive and Bungie keeps trying to make the game into something it isn't, but it isn't working and the game should go back to doing what it does well
EDIT: added TLDR
submitted by Kzungu to DestinyTheGame [link] [comments]

[WOTC/TLE] Infinite Load After Missions

[EDIT] UPDATE: I think I've figured something out. I tried reloading the mission with a different squad and we got back to the avenger no problem. The key difference is I had no faction hero units in the squad. That makes a lot of sense actually, "New Promotion Screen" is interacting strangely with faction heroes for me, who already get the new promotion screen, which is confusing the game. It also makes sense why I've have problems with gatecrasher and this mod in the past since because it always gives you a faction hero. Either it's straight up broken for faction heroes or it's interacting weirdly with Mitzruti's faction hero classes (Templar Dragon, Reaper Scion, etc.)
Anyone know if there's any way to get into contact with either Mitzruti or Tzarnal - MoonWolf about the mods and see if they know of/can patch a fix?
TL;DR: My game goes into an infinite load after completing missions in a way similar to previous issues I’ve had with New Promotion Screen by Default, but now it happens whether or not it’s on. Anyone have a similar experience or have any ideas how one might fix it? I’ve tried deleting my config folder and verifying game cache to no avail. Thoughts?
Hello kind and wonderful people. It’s me again! After enjoying my new heavily modded XCOM 2 WOTC campaign for a few weeks, I’ve run into a new issue that is rather poetically the opposite of the issue I had last time. When I finish combat and load back to the avenger, I get caught in an infinite loading loop and the game softlocks. I was wondering if anybody may have had a similar issue before, and if so whether and how they were able to resolve it?
The Issue: I'm using the Alternate Mod Launcher loading between 200-300 mods (yes, I have a problem) depending on the attempt. I am able to load into the game and play normally (I can watch cutscenes, use all features of the avenger, go into the world map, load into missions, and complete them,) but when I finish a mission and load back to the avenger I run into a gamebreaking issue. When I finish a mission on of two things happen:
Option 1: The game goes into a loading screen with the victory music playing and the XCOM logo spinning in the bottom right corner. The logo spins, then freezes for a second, and then starts spinning again. After this a voice line plays, either the speaker or the ADVENT newscaster, and then the avenger loads normally.
Option 2: The game does all the previous but doesn’t load the voice line. Instead the logo spins forever, sometimes crashing to desktop, sometimes stuck in an infinite load. When it CTD’s, here are the last few lines of the crash log for reference.
[0606.66] Error: (AddNetObject) Objects AkEvent SoundX2CharacterFX.FastRope_Land_A and AkEvent SoundX2CharacterFX.Evac_Rope_Up_Sweetener have duplicate NetIndex 28
[0606.70] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_79.SkeletalMeshComponent_1709 with skeletalmesh FX_Weapons_Shared.Weapon_Dummy
[0606.71] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_80.SkeletalMeshComponent_1710 with skeletalmesh MOCX_NewAdventWeapons.SM_AdvShotgun
[0606.71] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_82.SkeletalMeshComponent_1718 with skeletalmesh MOCX_NewAdventWeapons.SM_AdvShotgun
[0606.72] RisingTides: Patched Focus Effect Visualization invoked!
[0606.83] Log: Crash Detected: Dumping E:\Documents\My Games\XCOM2 War of the Chosen\Binaries\Win64....\XComGame\Logs\XCom-JILL-CL374751-2020.03.22-18.14.51-Crash\XCom-JILL-CL374751-2020.03.22-18.14.51_Minidump.dmp
[0606.83] Log: Crash: GettingNameData
[0606.83] Log: Suspending Threads
[0606.86] Log: Writing Minidmp
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array Data
[0609.27] Log: Dumping name table: (6741872)
[0609.27] Log: Dumping name table: 0xd5ad4000 (6741872)
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array Blocks
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects Array
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects Array Data
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects
[0613.68] Log: Waking Threads
[0628.19] Log: Crash: appSendCrashTelemetry
[0631.80] Log: CRASH: Copying Log
The current mission of the game is stuck in a situation where it always goes into the infinite load/sometimes crashes cycle.
My Theory: I’ve had similar issues before with New Promotion Screen by Default in similar saves but now that some of the mods I use are dependent on it, I can’t get around not using it. I’m pretty sure it’s either this mod or another mod that interacts with the after-action report screen or cutscenes, but I’m not sure what it could be. Is there an interaction or conflict I’m not seeing? The mods I’m using are below.
The Mods:
General: Community Highlander WOTC, WOTC Mod Config Menu, Stop Wasting my Time, Yet another F1, Smooth Scrolling, More Starting Resistance Order Cards, Extended Perk Pack, Pyrrhic Victories, Mechatronic Warfare, Ketaros 2D Package, Multiple Faction Soldier Classes, Rebellious MOCX, Starting Psyamps, Mizruti Perk Pack, Additional Soldier Console Commands, New Target Icons + 2020 edition, E.W.T.-115 'Reaper' Squadmate, Bondmates with More Benefits, More Resistance Order Pages, WOTC allow for larger squads, Faster Reload Animations, I'm the Commander Here, Unintegrated Shen's Last Gift, Starting Traits, Show Health Values, More Resistance Ops, WOTC Gotcha Again, Gravely Wounded Scars, Quicker Reload - WOTC, Alien Hunters DLC Icon etc WOTC, Non-Skirmisher Advent Hybrids, Additional Mission Types Redux, Empty WOTC Deco Slots, WOTC Overflow Ability Points, More Traits
Cosmetic: Unrestricted Customization, Arms and Legs, DFHP_WOTC, ~20 flag mods, a few tattoo mods, Custom Face Paints, Mass Effect Jack's Appearance, Hijabs, MOCX Visual Replacement, WOTC New Heads Pack, Alien Armor Customization, Community Pose Pack, TLE Aimsets, Cannon Animation Redux, Modular Shanty Clothes, Ryder's Casual Jacket, Mark VI in WOTC, More Cities, Free the Hood, More Nations and Names, Stenchfury Modular Helmets, Capnhub's Accesories + FTH Addons, Cinematic Rapid Fire, Birthdates [WOTC], MGSV:GZ MSF Headgear, [WOTC] Advent Armour [dead], Expanded Mission Names, WOTC Hours Instead of Days, WOTC Invisible Parts for Hero Units, Change National Language WOTC
Voice: About 40 voice packs
Music: Music Modding System, Xcom: EU soundtrack, Halo: CE Music pack, Mass Effect Soundtrack, Stranger Things Soundtrack, Restore Loadout Music, Soundtrack Restoration,
Weapons and Armor: Standalone Metion Battlesuit, Primary Secondaries, Ballistic Shields, Dual Wield Melee, Vest Slot, Katana Pack Reloaded, LW2 Secondary Weapons, WOTC Combat Knives
Gameplay: WOTC First Aid, Gene Mods and Iridar's Pack (+Rabbit,) More Mission Types, Chosen Reward Variety, Light Strategy Changes, Rising Tides: The Program, Dual Wielded Pistols, WOTC Stabilize Me, Kinetic Strike Module, Simple True Concealment, WOTC Stealth Overhaul, Covert Action Missions, Peek from Concealement
Class: Supersoldiers, Supersoldiers non RPGO, LW2 Classes, Shepard class, Brigand Class, Psyckertech Class, BurnOut Class, Trooper Class, Sorcerer Class, Necromancer Class, Templar Dragon and Psion, Skirmisher Heretic and Heavy, Reaper Cryptic and Scythe, Warden Class, Mech Troopers and PSionic Mec, Akimbo, Bio-Operative Class, Fixer Post-human Class, Warrior of the Light, Long War Leader Pack, Shocktrooper Port, WOTC Samurai Class, Buildable Geth, Bionic Class Redux, CPU Custom Class, Brawn SPARK Classes WOTC and SPARK custom class support, Wotc Specops class
Avenger: Elerium Grounds, Blackmarket Usage, Additional GTS Perks, Infermia Ex Mortis, Pause Scanning, Color Coded Bonds, Full Crew Avenger, [WOTC] Detailed Soldier Lists, Better Laboratory,
Maps: More Environmental Lighting Maps, Even More Maps, Dr. Mandarb's Map Packs (WOTC and TLE,) Darker Nights, Map Expansion UPK, Eclipsezr Map Expansion, Operations: Unknown, Missing Packages Fix - Parcels and Maps, Maps by Vozati WOTC, Waterfowl’s Map Pacl
Enemies: All of NightNinja54's Cerberus enemy mods, Standalone Exalted Custodians, Purge Preists, WOTC Bio-division 2.0, Even More Robots, The Hive and More, Children of the King, Sectoid Abductor, Armored Viper, Berserker Omegas, All RealityMachinas Mass Effect Aliens, Sangheili Spec Ops, Advent Custiodians Standalone, Alien Elite, Advent Sentry, Celatid Alien, World War L, Synthoids, Advent Psi Ops, LEB's Lategame Enemies, Creative Xenos Archons, WOTC Pathfinders, Collector Trooper, Collector Captain
Sets: All the A Better... and ABA Better Double Agents mods except A Better Barracks and a better missions PLUS, Mission Overhaul Core and Mercury, A Harder War Advanced Aliens and Missions and Fanatics, Allies Unknown mods except Twi-lek, Augmentations and Augments: XCOM Prosthetics (+WOTC Prosthetics, cross-faction, holo begone, codex begone, and Mark Zero Augments,) Puma_The_Great's SCP mods and raiders, All of RealityMachina's Raider factions and bases (Mocx, Cult of Jariah, etc.), Raider Faction Collectors, Terminus Mercenaries Resistance Firearms Main +assets and Accessories
Fixes and Balance: WOTC Weapon fixes, Hero Armor Equality, Standard Melee, Fairer Fights, Skillful Skirmishing, Reaper Reworked, Critical Skirmishing, Sabotage Covert Action Rebalance, Carry Unit Fix, Tower Detection Fix, Incendiary Grenade Damage, Turrets are Cover, UI Mod for Defence/Mobolity/Psi, WOTC Zombies Don't Count, Surgical Sitrep Fix, Defense Matrix Sabotage Fix, Rend the Lost, Missing Packages Fix + Resource, Custom Soldier Evac Zone Fix, Insider Knowledge Fix, High Ground Gives Defence, Sparks Can Bond, Robots on Covert Actions, Recruit Multiple Heroes from All, Evac All, WOTC Revival Protocal Fixes, Scientific Staff Slots WOTC
What I've tested so far: So far, I’ve tried to run the game with and without the mod, as well as deleting and rebuilding my config. I’ve tried loading into gatecrasher and completing that mission and it works fine. Also, I’ve tried loading into the previous geoscape and it also loads no problem. What do you all think?
PS: I will also be posting this to XCOM2mods and XCOM to cast the widest net possible and find a solution. I apologize in advance if you see this more than once :)
submitted by lil200797 to Xcom [link] [comments]

[WOTC/TLE] Infinite Load After Missions

UPDATE 2: SOLVED! (I think) So, as it turns out I think I've been blaming the wrong mods for the issue. I hit the infinite load again in another mission and it behaved the same way. I tried disabling Combat knives, Stealth overhaul, Unrestricted Customization, and Eclipsezr's map pack (and temporarily my Robbie Rotten voice because it was throwing minor errors so you can never be too safe. Yes I'm a scrub,) and the game loaded no problem! I haven't tried loading without those mods with a custom faction class yet but that's next on the list. I'm going to re-enable Robbie, Knives, and Stealth because the former is hilarious and the latter are dependencies for other mods. If I have any more updates and information I'll post them right here!
UPDATE 1: I think I've figured something out. I tried reloading the mission with a different squad and we got back to the avenger no problem. The key difference is I had no faction hero units in the squad. That makes a lot of sense actually, "New Promotion Screen" is interacting strangely with faction heroes for me, who already get the new promotion screen, which is confusing the game. It also makes sense why I've have problems with gatecrasher and this mod in the past since because it always gives you a faction hero. Either it's straight up broken for faction heroes or it's interacting weirdly with Mitzruti's faction hero classes (Templar Dragon, Reaper Scion, etc.)
Anyone know if there's any way to get into contact with either Mitzruti or Tzarnal - MoonWolf about the mods and see if they know of/can patch a fix?
TL;DR: My game goes into an infinite load after completing missions in a way similar to previous issues I’ve had with New Promotion Screen by Default, but now it happens whether or not it’s on. Anyone have a similar experience or have any ideas how one might fix it? I’ve tried deleting my config folder and verifying game cache to no avail. Thoughts?
Hello kind and wonderful people. It’s me again! After enjoying my new heavily modded XCOM 2 WOTC campaign for a few weeks, I’ve run into a new issue that is rather poetically the opposite of the issue I had last time. When I finish combat and load back to the avenger, I get caught in an infinite loading loop and the game softlocks. I was wondering if anybody may have had a similar issue before, and if so whether and how they were able to resolve it?
The Issue: I'm using the Alternate Mod Launcher loading between 200-300 mods (yes, I have a problem) depending on the attempt. I am able to load into the game and play normally (I can watch cutscenes, use all features of the avenger, go into the world map, load into missions, and complete them,) but when I finish a mission and load back to the avenger I run into a gamebreaking issue. When I finish a mission on of two things happen:
Option 1: The game goes into a loading screen with the victory music playing and the XCOM logo spinning in the bottom right corner. The logo spins, then freezes for a second, and then starts spinning again. After this a voice line plays, either the speaker or the ADVENT newscaster, and then the avenger loads normally.
Option 2: The game does all the previous but doesn’t load the voice line. Instead the logo spins forever, sometimes crashing to desktop, sometimes stuck in an infinite load. When it CTD’s, here are the last few lines of the crash log for reference.
[0606.66] Error: (AddNetObject) Objects AkEvent SoundX2CharacterFX.FastRope_Land_A and AkEvent SoundX2CharacterFX.Evac_Rope_Up_Sweetener have duplicate NetIndex 28
[0606.70] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_79.SkeletalMeshComponent_1709 with skeletalmesh FX_Weapons_Shared.Weapon_Dummy
[0606.71] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_80.SkeletalMeshComponent_1710 with skeletalmesh MOCX_NewAdventWeapons.SM_AdvShotgun
[0606.71] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_82.SkeletalMeshComponent_1718 with skeletalmesh MOCX_NewAdventWeapons.SM_AdvShotgun
[0606.72] RisingTides: Patched Focus Effect Visualization invoked!
[0606.83] Log: Crash Detected: Dumping E:\Documents\My Games\XCOM2 War of the Chosen\Binaries\Win64....\XComGame\Logs\XCom-JILL-CL374751-2020.03.22-18.14.51-Crash\XCom-JILL-CL374751-2020.03.22-18.14.51_Minidump.dmp
[0606.83] Log: Crash: GettingNameData
[0606.83] Log: Suspending Threads
[0606.86] Log: Writing Minidmp
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array Data
[0609.27] Log: Dumping name table: (6741872)
[0609.27] Log: Dumping name table: 0xd5ad4000 (6741872)
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array Blocks
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects Array
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects Array Data
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects
[0613.68] Log: Waking Threads
[0628.19] Log: Crash: appSendCrashTelemetry
[0631.80] Log: CRASH: Copying Log
The current mission of the game is stuck in a situation where it always goes into the infinite load/sometimes crashes cycle.
My Theory: I’ve had similar issues before with New Promotion Screen by Default in similar saves but now that some of the mods I use are dependent on it, I can’t get around not using it. I’m pretty sure it’s either this mod or another mod that interacts with the after-action report screen or cutscenes, but I’m not sure what it could be. Is there an interaction or conflict I’m not seeing? The mods I’m using are below.
The Mods:
General: Community Highlander WOTC, WOTC Mod Config Menu, Stop Wasting my Time, Yet another F1, Smooth Scrolling, More Starting Resistance Order Cards, Extended Perk Pack, Pyrrhic Victories, Mechatronic Warfare, Ketaros 2D Package, Multiple Faction Soldier Classes, Rebellious MOCX, Starting Psyamps, Mizruti Perk Pack, Additional Soldier Console Commands, New Target Icons + 2020 edition, E.W.T.-115 'Reaper' Squadmate, Bondmates with More Benefits, More Resistance Order Pages, WOTC allow for larger squads, Faster Reload Animations, I'm the Commander Here, Unintegrated Shen's Last Gift, Starting Traits, Show Health Values, More Resistance Ops, WOTC Gotcha Again, Gravely Wounded Scars, Quicker Reload - WOTC, Alien Hunters DLC Icon etc WOTC, Non-Skirmisher Advent Hybrids, Additional Mission Types Redux, Empty WOTC Deco Slots, WOTC Overflow Ability Points, More Traits
Cosmetic: Unrestricted Customization, Arms and Legs, DFHP_WOTC, ~20 flag mods, a few tattoo mods, Custom Face Paints, Mass Effect Jack's Appearance, Hijabs, MOCX Visual Replacement, WOTC New Heads Pack, Alien Armor Customization, Community Pose Pack, TLE Aimsets, Cannon Animation Redux, Modular Shanty Clothes, Ryder's Casual Jacket, Mark VI in WOTC, More Cities, Free the Hood, More Nations and Names, Stenchfury Modular Helmets, Capnhub's Accesories + FTH Addons, Cinematic Rapid Fire, Birthdates [WOTC], MGSV:GZ MSF Headgear, [WOTC] Advent Armour [dead], Expanded Mission Names, WOTC Hours Instead of Days, WOTC Invisible Parts for Hero Units, Change National Language WOTC
Voice: About 40 voice packs
Music: Music Modding System, Xcom: EU soundtrack, Halo: CE Music pack, Mass Effect Soundtrack, Stranger Things Soundtrack, Restore Loadout Music, Soundtrack Restoration,
Weapons and Armor: Standalone Metion Battlesuit, Primary Secondaries, Ballistic Shields, Dual Wield Melee, Vest Slot, Katana Pack Reloaded, LW2 Secondary Weapons, WOTC Combat Knives
Gameplay: WOTC First Aid, Gene Mods and Iridar's Pack (+Rabbit,) More Mission Types, Chosen Reward Variety, Light Strategy Changes, Rising Tides: The Program, Dual Wielded Pistols, WOTC Stabilize Me, Kinetic Strike Module, Simple True Concealment, WOTC Stealth Overhaul, Covert Action Missions, Peek from Concealement
Class: Supersoldiers, Supersoldiers non RPGO, LW2 Classes, Shepard class, Brigand Class, Psyckertech Class, BurnOut Class, Trooper Class, Sorcerer Class, Necromancer Class, Templar Dragon and Psion, Skirmisher Heretic and Heavy, Reaper Cryptic and Scythe, Warden Class, Mech Troopers and PSionic Mec, Akimbo, Bio-Operative Class, Fixer Post-human Class, Warrior of the Light, Long War Leader Pack, Shocktrooper Port, WOTC Samurai Class, Buildable Geth, Bionic Class Redux, CPU Custom Class, Brawn SPARK Classes WOTC and SPARK custom class support, Wotc Specops class
Avenger: Elerium Grounds, Blackmarket Usage, Additional GTS Perks, Infermia Ex Mortis, Pause Scanning, Color Coded Bonds, Full Crew Avenger, [WOTC] Detailed Soldier Lists, Better Laboratory,
Maps: More Environmental Lighting Maps, Even More Maps, Dr. Mandarb's Map Packs (WOTC and TLE,) Darker Nights, Map Expansion UPK, Eclipsezr Map Expansion, Operations: Unknown, Missing Packages Fix - Parcels and Maps, Maps by Vozati WOTC, Waterfowl’s Map Pacl
Enemies: All of NightNinja54's Cerberus enemy mods, Standalone Exalted Custodians, Purge Preists, WOTC Bio-division 2.0, Even More Robots, The Hive and More, Children of the King, Sectoid Abductor, Armored Viper, Berserker Omegas, All RealityMachinas Mass Effect Aliens, Sangheili Spec Ops, Advent Custiodians Standalone, Alien Elite, Advent Sentry, Celatid Alien, World War L, Synthoids, Advent Psi Ops, LEB's Lategame Enemies, Creative Xenos Archons, WOTC Pathfinders, Collector Trooper, Collector Captain
Sets: All the A Better... and ABA Better Double Agents mods except A Better Barracks and a better missions PLUS, Mission Overhaul Core and Mercury, A Harder War Advanced Aliens and Missions and Fanatics, Allies Unknown mods except Twi-lek, Augmentations and Augments: XCOM Prosthetics (+WOTC Prosthetics, cross-faction, holo begone, codex begone, and Mark Zero Augments,) Puma_The_Great's SCP mods and raiders, All of RealityMachina's Raider factions and bases (Mocx, Cult of Jariah, etc.), Raider Faction Collectors, Terminus Mercenaries Resistance Firearms Main +assets and Accessories
Fixes and Balance: WOTC Weapon fixes, Hero Armor Equality, Standard Melee, Fairer Fights, Skillful Skirmishing, Reaper Reworked, Critical Skirmishing, Sabotage Covert Action Rebalance, Carry Unit Fix, Tower Detection Fix, Incendiary Grenade Damage, Turrets are Cover, UI Mod for Defence/Mobolity/Psi, WOTC Zombies Don't Count, Surgical Sitrep Fix, Defense Matrix Sabotage Fix, Rend the Lost, Missing Packages Fix + Resource, Custom Soldier Evac Zone Fix, Insider Knowledge Fix, High Ground Gives Defence, Sparks Can Bond, Robots on Covert Actions, Recruit Multiple Heroes from All, Evac All, WOTC Revival Protocal Fixes, Scientific Staff Slots WOTC
What I've tested so far: So far, I’ve tried to run the game with and without the mod, as well as deleting and rebuilding my config. I’ve tried loading into gatecrasher and completing that mission and it works fine. Also, I’ve tried loading into the previous geoscape and it also loads no problem. What do you all think?
PS: I will also be posting this to XCOM2 and XCOM to cast the widest net possible and find a solution. I apologize in advance if you see this more than once :)
submitted by lil200797 to xcom2mods [link] [comments]

Vault 7 - CIA Hacking Tools Revealed

Vault 7 - CIA Hacking Tools Revealed
March 07, 2017
from Wikileaks Website


https://preview.redd.it/9ufj63xnfdb41.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=46bbc937f4f060bad1eaac3e0dce732e3d8346ee

Press Release
Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Code-named "Vault 7" by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.
The first full part of the series, "Year Zero", comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence (below image) in Langley, Virgina.
It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.
Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including,
  1. malware
  2. viruses
  3. trojans
  4. weaponized "zero day" exploits
  5. malware remote control systems

...and associated documentation.
This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.
The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.
"Year Zero" introduces the scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of "zero day" weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include,

  1. Apple's iPhone
  2. Google's Android
  3. Microsoft's Windows
  4. Samsung TVs,

...which are turned into covert microphones.
Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force - its own substantial fleet of hackers.
The agency's hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA's hacking capacities.
By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI - below image), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand,
hacking systems trojans viruses,
...and other "weaponized" malware.


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Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more codes than those used to run Facebook.
The CIA had created, in effect, its "own NSA" with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.
In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA's hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency.
The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.
Once a single cyber 'weapon' is 'loose' it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor stated that,
"There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber 'weapons'.
Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such 'weapons', which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade.
But the significance of 'Year Zero' goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective."

Wikileaks has carefully reviewed the "Year Zero" disclosure and published substantive CIA documentation while avoiding the distribution of 'armed' cyberweapons until a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA's program and how such 'weapons' should analyzed, disarmed and published.

Wikileaks has also decided to Redact (see far below) and Anonymize some identifying information in "Year Zero" for in depth analysis. These redactions include ten of thousands of CIA targets and attack machines throughout,
Latin America Europe the United States

While we are aware of the imperfect results of any approach chosen, we remain committed to our publishing model and note that the quantity of published pages in "Vault 7" part one ("Year Zero") already eclipses the total number of pages published over the first three years of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks.

Analysis

CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs
CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA's DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation).
The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see above image of the CIA for more details).
The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.
The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell's 1984, but "Weeping Angel", developed by the CIA's Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.
The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom's MI5/BTSS.
After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a 'Fake-Off' mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In 'Fake-Off' mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.
As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
The CIA's Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user's geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone's camera and microphone.
Despite iPhone's minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA's Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads.
CIA's arsenal includes numerous local and remote "zero days" developed by CIA or obtained from GCHQ, NSA, FBI or purchased from cyber arms contractors such as Baitshop.
The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.
A similar unit targets Google's Android which is used to run the majority of the world's smart phones (~85%) including Samsung, HTC and Sony. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year.
"Year Zero" shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 "weaponized" Android "zero days" which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors.
These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of, WhatsApp
  1. Signal
  2. Telegram
  3. Wiebo
  4. Confide
  5. Cloackman
...by hacking the "smart" phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.
CIA malware targets Windows, OSx, Linux, routers
The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware.
This includes multiple local and remote weaponized "zero days", air gap jumping viruses such as "Hammer Drill" which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ("Brutal Kangaroo") and to keep its malware infestations going.
Many of these infection efforts are pulled together by the CIA's Automated Implant Branch (AIB), which has developed several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as "Assassin" and "Medusa".
Attacks against Internet infrastructure and webservers are developed by the CIA's Network Devices Branch (NDB).
The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more, such as EDB's "HIVE" and the related "Cutthroat" and "Swindle" tools, which are described in the examples section far below.
CIA 'hoarded' vulnerabilities ("zero days")
In the wake of Edward Snowden's leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis - rather than hoard - serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or "zero days" to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.
Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability.
If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.
The U.S. government's commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities.
The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis.
"Year Zero" documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration's commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA's cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.
As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in "Year Zero" is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts.
The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities ("zero days") possessed by the CIA but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else who has obtained or discovered the vulnerability.
As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.
The same vulnerabilities exist for the population at large, including the U.S. Cabinet, Congress, top CEOs, system administrators, security officers and engineers.
By hiding these security flaws from manufacturers like Apple and Google the CIA ensures that it can hack everyone at the expense of leaving everyone hackable.
'Cyberwar' programs are a serious proliferation risk
Cyber 'weapons' are not possible to keep under effective control.
While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber 'weapons', once developed, are very hard to retain.
Cyber 'weapons' are in fact just computer programs which can be pirated like any other. Since they are entirely comprised of information they can be copied quickly with no marginal cost.
Securing such 'weapons' is particularly difficult since the same people who develop and use them have the skills to exfiltrate copies without leaving traces - sometimes by using the very same 'weapons' against the organizations that contain them.
There are substantial price incentives for government hackers and consultants to obtain copies since there is a global "vulnerability market" that will pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for copies of such 'weapons'.
Similarly, contractors and companies who obtain such 'weapons' sometimes use them for their own purposes, obtaining advantage over their competitors in selling 'hacking' services.
Over the last three years the United States intelligence sector, which consists of government agencies such as the CIA and NSA and their contractors, such as Booz Allan Hamilton, has been subject to unprecedented series of data exfiltrations by its own workers.
A number of intelligence community members not yet publicly named have been arrested or subject to federal criminal investigations in separate incidents.
Most visibly, on February 8, 2017 a U.S. federal grand jury indicted Harold T. Martin III with 20 counts of mishandling classified information.
The Department of Justice alleged that it seized some 50,000 gigabytes of information from Harold T. Martin III that he had obtained from classified programs at NSA and CIA, including the source code for numerous hacking tools.
Once a single cyber 'weapon' is 'loose' it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by peer states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.
U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt is a covert CIA hacker base
In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ("Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe" or CCIE) are given diplomatic ("black") passports and State Department cover.
The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany's counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: "Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport" Your Cover Story (for this trip) Q: Why are you here? A: Supporting technical consultations at the Consulate. Two earlier WikiLeaks publications give further detail on CIA approaches to customs and secondary screening procedures.
Once in Frankfurt CIA hackers can travel without further border checks to the 25 European countries that are part of the Shengen open border area - including France, Italy and Switzerland.
A number of the CIA's electronic attack methods are designed for physical proximity.
These attack methods are able to penetrate high security networks that are disconnected from the internet, such as police record database. In these cases, a CIA officer, agent or allied intelligence officer acting under instructions, physically infiltrates the targeted workplace.
The attacker is provided with a USB containing malware developed for the CIA for this purpose, which is inserted into the targeted computer. The attacker then infects and exfiltrates data to removable media.
For example, the CIA attack system Fine Dining, provides 24 decoy applications for CIA spies to use.
To witnesses, the spy appears to be running a program showing videos (e.g VLC), presenting slides (Prezi), playing a computer game (Breakout2, 2048) or even running a fake virus scanner (Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos).
But while the decoy application is on the screen, the underlying system is automatically infected and ransacked.
How the CIA dramatically increased proliferation risks
In what is surely one of the most astounding intelligence own goals in living memory, the CIA structured its classification regime such that for the most market valuable part of "Vault 7", the CIA's, weaponized malware (implants + zero days) Listening Posts (LP) Command and Control (C2) systems, ...the agency has little legal recourse.
The CIA made these systems unclassified.
Why the CIA chose to make its cyber-arsenal unclassified reveals how concepts developed for military use do not easily crossover to the 'battlefield' of cyber 'war'.
To attack its targets, the CIA usually requires that its implants communicate with their control programs over the internet.
If CIA implants, Command & Control and Listening Post software were classified, then CIA officers could be prosecuted or dismissed for violating rules that prohibit placing classified information onto the Internet.
Consequently the CIA has secretly made most of its cyber spying/war code unclassified. The U.S. government is not able to assert copyright either, due to restrictions in the U.S. Constitution.
This means that cyber 'arms' manufactures and computer hackers can freely "pirate" these 'weapons' if they are obtained. The CIA has primarily had to rely on obfuscation to protect its malware secrets.
Conventional weapons such as missiles may be fired at the enemy (i.e. into an unsecured area). Proximity to or impact with the target detonates the ordnance including its classified parts. Hence military personnel do not violate classification rules by firing ordnance with classified parts.
Ordnance will likely explode. If it does not, that is not the operator's intent.
Over the last decade U.S. hacking operations have been increasingly dressed up in military jargon to tap into Department of Defense funding streams.
For instance, attempted "malware injections" (commercial jargon) or "implant drops" (NSA jargon) are being called "fires" as if a weapon was being fired.
However the analogy is questionable.
Unlike bullets, bombs or missiles, most CIA malware is designed to live for days or even years after it has reached its 'target'. CIA malware does not "explode on impact" but rather permanently infests its target. In order to infect target's device, copies of the malware must be placed on the target's devices, giving physical possession of the malware to the target.
To exfiltrate data back to the CIA or to await further instructions the malware must communicate with CIA Command & Control (C2) systems placed on internet connected servers.
But such servers are typically not approved to hold classified information, so CIA command and control systems are also made unclassified.
A successful 'attack' on a target's computer system is more like a series of complex stock maneuvers in a hostile take-over bid or the careful planting of rumors in order to gain control over an organization's leadership rather than the firing of a weapons system.
If there is a military analogy to be made, the infestation of a target is perhaps akin to the execution of a whole series of military maneuvers against the target's territory including observation, infiltration, occupation and exploitation.
Evading forensics and anti-virus
A series of standards lay out CIA malware infestation patterns which are likely to assist forensic crime scene investigators as well as, Apple
  1. Microsoft
  2. Google
  3. Samsung
  4. Nokia
  5. Blackberry
  6. Siemens
  7. anti-virus companies,
...attribute and defend against attacks.
"Tradecraft DO's and DON'Ts" contains CIA rules on how its malware should be written to avoid fingerprints implicating the "CIA, US government, or its witting partner companies" in "forensic review".
Similar secret standards cover the, use of encryption to hide CIA hacker and malware communication (pdf) describing targets & exfiltrated data (pdf) executing payloads (pdf) persisting (pdf), ...in the target's machines over time.
CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well known anti-virus programs.
These are documented in, AV defeats Personal Security Products Detecting and defeating PSPs PSP/DebuggeRE Avoidance For example, Comodo was defeated by CIA malware placing itself in the Window's "Recycle Bin". While Comodo 6.x has a "Gaping Hole of DOOM".
CIA hackers discussed what the NSA's "Equation Group" hackers did wrong and how the CIA's malware makers could avoid similar exposure.

Examples

The CIA's Engineering Development Group (EDG) management system contains around 500 different projects (only some of which are documented by "Year Zero") each with their own sub-projects, malware and hacker tools.
The majority of these projects relate to tools that are used for,
penetration infestation ("implanting") control exfiltration
Another branch of development focuses on the development and operation of Listening Posts (LP) and Command and Control (C2) systems used to communicate with and control CIA implants.
Special projects are used to target specific hardware from routers to smart TVs.
Some example projects are described below, but see the table of contents for the full list of projects described by WikiLeaks' "Year Zero".
UMBRAGE
The CIA's hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency.
Each technique it has created forms a "fingerprint" that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.
This is analogous to finding the same distinctive knife wound on multiple separate murder victims. The unique wounding style creates suspicion that a single murderer is responsible.
As soon one murder in the set is solved then the other murders also find likely attribution.
The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.
With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.
UMBRAGE components cover,
keyloggers
  1. password collection
  2. webcam capture
  3. data destruction
  4. persistence
  5. privilege escalation
  6. stealth
  7. anti-virus (PSP) avoidance
  8. survey techniques

Fine Dining
Fine Dining comes with a standardized questionnaire i.e menu that CIA case officers fill out.
The questionnaire is used by the agency's OSB (Operational Support Branch) to transform the requests of case officers into technical requirements for hacking attacks (typically "exfiltrating" information from computer systems) for specific operations.
The questionnaire allows the OSB to identify how to adapt existing tools for the operation, and communicate this to CIA malware configuration staff.
The OSB functions as the interface between CIA operational staff and the relevant technical support staff.
Among the list of possible targets of the collection are,
  • 'Asset'
  • 'Liason Asset'
  • 'System Administrator'
  • 'Foreign Information Operations'
  • 'Foreign Intelligence Agencies'
  • 'Foreign Government Entities'
Notably absent is any reference to extremists or transnational criminals. The 'Case Officer' is also asked to specify the environment of the target like the type of computer, operating system used, Internet connectivity and installed anti-virus utilities (PSPs) as well as a list of file types to be exfiltrated like Office documents, audio, video, images or custom file types.
The 'menu' also asks for information if recurring access to the target is possible and how long unobserved access to the computer can be maintained.
This information is used by the CIA's 'JQJIMPROVISE' software (see below) to configure a set of CIA malware suited to the specific needs of an operation.
Improvise (JQJIMPROVISE)
  1. 'Improvise' is a toolset for configuration, post-processing, payload setup and execution vector
  2. selection for survey/exfiltration tools supporting all major operating systems like,
  3. Windows (Bartender)
  4. MacOS (JukeBox)
  5. Linux (DanceFloor)
  6. Its configuration utilities like Margarita allows the NOC (Network Operation Center) to customize tools
based on requirements from 'Fine Dining' questionnaires.
HIVE
HIVE is a multi-platform CIA malware suite and its associated control software.
The project provides customizable implants for Windows, Solaris, MikroTik (used in internet routers) and Linux platforms and a Listening Post (LP)/Command and Control (C2) infrastructure to communicate with these implants.
The implants are configured to communicate via HTTPS with the webserver of a cover domain; each operation utilizing these implants has a separate cover domain and the infrastructure can handle any number of cover domains.
Each cover domain resolves to an IP address that is located at a commercial VPS (Virtual Private Server) provider.
The public-facing server forwards all incoming traffic via a VPN to a 'Blot' server that handles actual connection requests from clients.
It is setup for optional SSL client authentication: if a client sends a valid client certificate (only implants can do that), the connection is forwarded to the 'Honeycomb' toolserver that communicates with the implant.
If a valid certificate is missing (which is the case if someone tries to open the cover domain website by accident), the traffic is forwarded to a cover server that delivers an unsuspicious looking website.
The Honeycomb toolserver receives exfiltrated information from the implant; an operator can also task the implant to execute jobs on the target computer, so the toolserver acts as a C2 (command and control) server for the implant.
Similar functionality (though limited to Windows) is provided by the RickBobby project.
See the classified user and developer guides for HIVE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why now?
WikiLeaks published as soon as its verification and analysis were ready. In February the Trump administration has issued an Executive Order calling for a "Cyberwar" review to be prepared within 30 days.
While the review increases the timeliness and relevance of the publication it did not play a role in setting the publication date.
Redactions
Names, email addresses and external IP addresses have been redacted in the released pages (70,875 redactions in total) until further analysis is complete. Over-redaction: Some items may have been redacted that are not employees, contractors, targets or otherwise related to the agency, but are, for example, authors of documentation for otherwise public projects that are used by the agency.
Identity vs. person: the redacted names are replaced by user IDs (numbers) to allow readers to assign multiple pages to a single author. Given the redaction process used a single person may be represented by more than one assigned identifier but no identifier refers to more than one real person.
Archive attachments (zip, tar.gz, ...), are replaced with a PDF listing all the file names in the archive. As the archive content is assessed it may be made available; until then the archive is redacted.
Attachments with other binary content, are replaced by a hex dump of the content to prevent accidental invocation of binaries that may have been infected with weaponized CIA malware. As the content is assessed it may be made available; until then the content is redacted.
Tens of thousands of routable IP addresses references, (including more than 22 thousand within the United States) that correspond to possible targets, CIA covert listening post servers, intermediary and test systems, are redacted for further exclusive investigation.
Binary files of non-public origin, are only available as dumps to prevent accidental invocation of CIA malware infected binaries.
Organizational Chart
The organizational chart (far above image) corresponds to the material published by WikiLeaks so far.
Since the organizational structure of the CIA below the level of Directorates is not public, the placement of the EDG and its branches within the org chart of the agency is reconstructed from information contained in the documents released so far.
It is intended to be used as a rough outline of the internal organization; please be aware that the reconstructed org chart is incomplete and that internal reorganizations occur frequently.
Wiki pages
"Year Zero" contains 7818 web pages with 943 attachments from the internal development groupware. The software used for this purpose is called Confluence, a proprietary software from Atlassian.
Webpages in this system (like in Wikipedia) have a version history that can provide interesting insights on how a document evolved over time; the 7818 documents include these page histories for 1136 latest versions.
The order of named pages within each level is determined by date (oldest first). Page content is not present if it was originally dynamically created by the Confluence software (as indicated on the re-constructed page).
What time period is covered?
The years 2013 to 2016. The sort order of the pages within each level is determined by date (oldest first).
WikiLeaks has obtained the CIA's creation/last modification date for each page but these do not yet appear for technical reasons. Usually the date can be discerned or approximated from the content and the page order.
If it is critical to know the exact time/date contact WikiLeaks.
What is "Vault 7"
"Vault 7" is a substantial collection of material about CIA activities obtained by WikiLeaks.
When was each part of "Vault 7" obtained?
Part one was obtained recently and covers through 2016. Details on the other parts will be available at the time of publication.
Is each part of "Vault 7" from a different source?
Details on the other parts will be available at the time of publication.
What is the total size of "Vault 7"?
The series is the largest intelligence publication in history.
How did WikiLeaks obtain each part of "Vault 7"?
Sources trust WikiLeaks to not reveal information that might help identify them.
Isn't WikiLeaks worried that the CIA will act against its staff to stop the series?
No. That would be certainly counter-productive.
Has WikiLeaks already 'mined' all the best stories?
No. WikiLeaks has intentionally not written up hundreds of impactful stories to encourage others to find them and so create expertise in the area for subsequent parts in the series. They're there.
Look. Those who demonstrate journalistic excellence may be considered for early access to future parts.
Won't other journalists find all the best stories before me?
Unlikely. There are very considerably more stories than there are journalists or academics who are in a position to write them.
submitted by CuteBananaMuffin to conspiracy [link] [comments]

[WOTC/TLE] Infinite load after missions

[EDIT] UPDATE: I think I've figured something out. I tried reloading the mission with a different squad and we got back to the avenger no problem. The key difference is I had no faction hero units in the squad. That makes a lot of sense actually, "New Promotion Screen" is interacting strangely with faction heroes for me, who already get the new promotion screen, which is confusing the game. It also makes sense why I've have problems with gatecrasher and this mod in the past since because it always gives you a faction hero. Either it's straight up broken for faction heroes or it's interacting weirdly with Mitzruti's faction hero classes (Templar Dragon, Reaper Scion, etc.)
Anyone know if there's any way to get into contact with either Mitzruti or Tzarnal - MoonWolf about the mods and see if they know of/can patch a fix?
TL;DR: My game goes into an infinite load after completing missions in a way similar to previous issues I’ve had with New Promotion Screen by Default, but now it happens whether or not it’s on. Anyone have a similar experience or have any ideas how one might fix it? I’ve tried deleting my config folder and verifying game cache to no avail. Thoughts?
Hello kind and wonderful people. It’s me again! After enjoying my new heavily modded XCOM 2 WOTC campaign for a few weeks, I’ve run into a new issue that is rather poetically the opposite of the issue I had last time. When I finish combat and load back to the avenger, I get caught in an infinite loading loop and the game softlocks. I was wondering if anybody may have had a similar issue before, and if so whether and how they were able to resolve it?
The Issue: I'm using the Alternate Mod Launcher loading between 200-300 mods (yes, I have a problem) depending on the attempt. I am able to load into the game and play normally (I can watch cutscenes, use all features of the avenger, go into the world map, load into missions, and complete them,) but when I finish a mission and load back to the avenger I run into a gamebreaking issue. When I finish a mission on of two things happen:
Option 1: The game goes into a loading screen with the victory music playing and the XCOM logo spinning in the bottom right corner. The logo spins, then freezes for a second, and then starts spinning again. After this a voice line plays, either the speaker or the ADVENT newscaster, and then the avenger loads normally.
Option 2: The game does all the previous but doesn’t load the voice line. Instead the logo spins forever, sometimes crashing to desktop, sometimes stuck in an infinite load. When it CTD’s, here are the last few lines of the crash log for reference.
[0606.66] Error: (AddNetObject) Objects AkEvent SoundX2CharacterFX.FastRope_Land_A and AkEvent SoundX2CharacterFX.Evac_Rope_Up_Sweetener have duplicate NetIndex 28
[0606.70] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_79.SkeletalMeshComponent_1709 with skeletalmesh FX_Weapons_Shared.Weapon_Dummy
[0606.71] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_80.SkeletalMeshComponent_1710 with skeletalmesh MOCX_NewAdventWeapons.SM_AdvShotgun
[0606.71] Warning: USkeletalMeshComponent::InitArticulated : No PhysicsAsset defined for Avenger_Root.TheWorld:PersistentLevel.XComWeapon_82.SkeletalMeshComponent_1718 with skeletalmesh MOCX_NewAdventWeapons.SM_AdvShotgun
[0606.72] RisingTides: Patched Focus Effect Visualization invoked!
[0606.83] Log: Crash Detected: Dumping E:\Documents\My Games\XCOM2 War of the Chosen\Binaries\Win64....\XComGame\Logs\XCom-JILL-CL374751-2020.03.22-18.14.51-Crash\XCom-JILL-CL374751-2020.03.22-18.14.51_Minidump.dmp
[0606.83] Log: Crash: GettingNameData
[0606.83] Log: Suspending Threads
[0606.86] Log: Writing Minidmp
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array Data
[0609.27] Log: Dumping name table: (6741872)
[0609.27] Log: Dumping name table: 0xd5ad4000 (6741872)
[0609.27] Log: Crash: Saving Names Array Blocks
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects Array
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects Array Data
[0609.79] Log: Crash: Saving Objects
[0613.68] Log: Waking Threads
[0628.19] Log: Crash: appSendCrashTelemetry
[0631.80] Log: CRASH: Copying Log
The current mission of the game is stuck in a situation where it always goes into the infinite load/sometimes crashes cycle.
My Theory: I’ve had similar issues before with New Promotion Screen by Default in similar saves but now that some of the mods I use are dependent on it, I can’t get around not using it. I’m pretty sure it’s either this mod or another mod that interacts with the after-action report screen or cutscenes, but I’m not sure what it could be. Is there an interaction or conflict I’m not seeing? The mods I’m using are below.
The Mods:
General: Community Highlander WOTC, WOTC Mod Config Menu, Stop Wasting my Time, Yet another F1, Smooth Scrolling, More Starting Resistance Order Cards, Extended Perk Pack, Pyrrhic Victories, Mechatronic Warfare, Ketaros 2D Package, Multiple Faction Soldier Classes, Rebellious MOCX, Starting Psyamps, Mizruti Perk Pack, Additional Soldier Console Commands, New Target Icons + 2020 edition, E.W.T.-115 'Reaper' Squadmate, Bondmates with More Benefits, More Resistance Order Pages, WOTC allow for larger squads, Faster Reload Animations, I'm the Commander Here, Unintegrated Shen's Last Gift, Starting Traits, Show Health Values, More Resistance Ops, WOTC Gotcha Again, Gravely Wounded Scars, Quicker Reload - WOTC, Alien Hunters DLC Icon etc WOTC, Non-Skirmisher Advent Hybrids, Additional Mission Types Redux, Empty WOTC Deco Slots, WOTC Overflow Ability Points, More Traits
Cosmetic: Unrestricted Customization, Arms and Legs, DFHP_WOTC, ~20 flag mods, a few tattoo mods, Custom Face Paints, Mass Effect Jack's Appearance, Hijabs, MOCX Visual Replacement, WOTC New Heads Pack, Alien Armor Customization, Community Pose Pack, TLE Aimsets, Cannon Animation Redux, Modular Shanty Clothes, Ryder's Casual Jacket, Mark VI in WOTC, More Cities, Free the Hood, More Nations and Names, Stenchfury Modular Helmets, Capnhub's Accesories + FTH Addons, Cinematic Rapid Fire, Birthdates [WOTC], MGSV:GZ MSF Headgear, [WOTC] Advent Armour [dead], Expanded Mission Names, WOTC Hours Instead of Days, WOTC Invisible Parts for Hero Units, Change National Language WOTC
Voice: About 40 voice packs
Music: Music Modding System, Xcom: EU soundtrack, Halo: CE Music pack, Mass Effect Soundtrack, Stranger Things Soundtrack, Restore Loadout Music, Soundtrack Restoration,
Weapons and Armor: Standalone Metion Battlesuit, Primary Secondaries, Ballistic Shields, Dual Wield Melee, Vest Slot, Katana Pack Reloaded, LW2 Secondary Weapons, WOTC Combat Knives
Gameplay: WOTC First Aid, Gene Mods and Iridar's Pack (+Rabbit,) More Mission Types, Chosen Reward Variety, Light Strategy Changes, Rising Tides: The Program, Dual Wielded Pistols, WOTC Stabilize Me, Kinetic Strike Module, Simple True Concealment, WOTC Stealth Overhaul, Covert Action Missions, Peek from Concealement
Class: Supersoldiers, Supersoldiers non RPGO, LW2 Classes, Shepard class, Brigand Class, Psyckertech Class, BurnOut Class, Trooper Class, Sorcerer Class, Necromancer Class, Templar Dragon and Psion, Skirmisher Heretic and Heavy, Reaper Cryptic and Scythe, Warden Class, Mech Troopers and PSionic Mec, Akimbo, Bio-Operative Class, Fixer Post-human Class, Warrior of the Light, Long War Leader Pack, Shocktrooper Port, WOTC Samurai Class, Buildable Geth, Bionic Class Redux, CPU Custom Class, Brawn SPARK Classes WOTC and SPARK custom class support, Wotc Specops class
Avenger: Elerium Grounds, Blackmarket Usage, Additional GTS Perks, Infermia Ex Mortis, Pause Scanning, Color Coded Bonds, Full Crew Avenger, [WOTC] Detailed Soldier Lists, Better Laboratory,
Maps: More Environmental Lighting Maps, Even More Maps, Dr. Mandarb's Map Packs (WOTC and TLE,) Darker Nights, Map Expansion UPK, Eclipsezr Map Expansion, Operations: Unknown, Missing Packages Fix - Parcels and Maps, Maps by Vozati WOTC, Waterfowl’s Map Pacl
Enemies: All of NightNinja54's Cerberus enemy mods, Standalone Exalted Custodians, Purge Preists, WOTC Bio-division 2.0, Even More Robots, The Hive and More, Children of the King, Sectoid Abductor, Armored Viper, Berserker Omegas, All RealityMachinas Mass Effect Aliens, Sangheili Spec Ops, Advent Custiodians Standalone, Alien Elite, Advent Sentry, Celatid Alien, World War L, Synthoids, Advent Psi Ops, LEB's Lategame Enemies, Creative Xenos Archons, WOTC Pathfinders, Collector Trooper, Collector Captain
Sets: All the A Better... and ABA Better Double Agents mods except A Better Barracks and a better missions PLUS, Mission Overhaul Core and Mercury, A Harder War Advanced Aliens and Missions and Fanatics, Allies Unknown mods except Twi-lek, Augmentations and Augments: XCOM Prosthetics (+WOTC Prosthetics, cross-faction, holo begone, codex begone, and Mark Zero Augments,) Puma_The_Great's SCP mods and raiders, All of RealityMachina's Raider factions and bases (Mocx, Cult of Jariah, etc.), Raider Faction Collectors, Terminus Mercenaries Resistance Firearms Main +assets and Accessories
Fixes and Balance: WOTC Weapon fixes, Hero Armor Equality, Standard Melee, Fairer Fights, Skillful Skirmishing, Reaper Reworked, Critical Skirmishing, Sabotage Covert Action Rebalance, Carry Unit Fix, Tower Detection Fix, Incendiary Grenade Damage, Turrets are Cover, UI Mod for Defence/Mobolity/Psi, WOTC Zombies Don't Count, Surgical Sitrep Fix, Defense Matrix Sabotage Fix, Rend the Lost, Missing Packages Fix + Resource, Custom Soldier Evac Zone Fix, Insider Knowledge Fix, High Ground Gives Defence, Sparks Can Bond, Robots on Covert Actions, Recruit Multiple Heroes from All, Evac All, WOTC Revival Protocal Fixes, Scientific Staff Slots WOTC
What I've tested so far: So far, I’ve tried to run the game with and without the mod, as well as deleting and rebuilding my config. I’ve tried loading into gatecrasher and completing that mission and it works fine. Also, I’ve tried loading into the previous geoscape and it also loads no problem. What do you all think?
PS: I will also be posting this to XCOM2mods and XCOM to cast the widest net possible and find a solution. I apologize in advance if you see this more than once :)
submitted by lil200797 to XCOM2 [link] [comments]

[OC] Hardwired: Updates Complete (Chapter 36)

whIn this chapter: Oh Ajax, you stupid kneejerk excuse for a toaster oven.
Next chapter: Systems Functional; Target Designated.
Fun trivia fact: By sheer tonnage, Ajax is about to come out to play with one of his top-5 largest toys.
Hardwired series homepage
Previous Chapter
CHAPTER THIRTY SIX
It took three megacycles to finally establish an encrypted line to Susan; she had been out of their apartment, and it took her a quarter-hour to input the encryption codes Ajax and Hera sent her.
“Bugs have been giving me dirty looks, but I think they know they can’t overtly interfere, so we’re set for the moment.”
Audio communication was temporarily out of the question, and instead they were communicating entirely through text. Still, Ajax’s predictive algorithm conscripted parts of his fuzzy memory files and his speech vocalizer, resulting in him hearing a tinny and stilted rendition of her words in his neural web anyways.
”Ajax, they’re visibly agitated and pissed off. I have three missed calls with our Lilu ambassador, and another missed call from the LSF Sub-Broodguard’s secretary. What in the sweet hell did you do this time?”
[What makes you think it was me?]
He automatically dismissed the almost-immediate social driver flag warning him that this deflection was pitifully unlikely to succeed. Sure enough, he could almost hear Susan’s snort of derision.
”Oh, my mistake. Maybe they were just trying to contact me because I’m friends with the other former war cogent who's prone to sticking his nose into trouble, and then blowing said trouble and the surrounding environment to fucking hell?”
[Listen, I found Xiphos.]
[Sort of.]
The speed of her reply surprised him; while she wasn't typing quickly enough to truly interrupt him, a directive from Ajax's social media driver compelled a courteous pause mid-sentence as he saw the alert [Contact [SUSAN] is composing a message...]
”Xiphos? Where? Ajax, she’s the lynchpin to this whole shitshow. We show she’s behind these attacks, we exonerate you and get us a clean pass out of this system without having a warrant breathing down our collective necks. Hell, I think they even blame you for the damage surrounding the attack on Saru’s facility.”
[About that…]
[Saru is alive.]
At this, Hera suddenly spoke up, using multiple images of cartoon robots throwing their hands up in disbelief in lieu of taking her hands off of the controls of the magnetocycle.
*Alive?* How? That was a plasma reactor, and the EMP from a point-blank plasma burst should have roasted his data core./
[‘Xiphos was never here; Saru skimmed my memories of her, and has been using her as a disguise to cover his actions. Namely, killing me in some inventive and painful method because his sense of logic and rationality has gone completely rampant.]
”When the hell did Saru have a chance to skim your memories?”
Susan’s reply was incredulous, but Hera’s contained a note of knowing and disproving suspicion.
\Underestimated our mutual friend when you connected in his cell, now?/
There was a pause, but then Susan’s reply came through, dripping with what Ajax’s social driver predicted as subdued fury despite the lack of assigned inflection to her message.
”God. Fucking. Dammit, Ajax. So, like, let me get this straight: you are literally the reason that a mad AI has been trying to murder us, and has caused millions of credits of damage to the infrastructure of an alien civilization who, by the fucking way, aren’t even sure if they want to be established allies with Earth yet?”
Sullenly, his tallying algorithm concurred with the fuzzy memory and predictive meta-social programs he had spooled up, and returned an affirmative result to Susan’s accusation.
[That about covers it.]
\Don’t forget that he’s now back up on that asteroid, and the last tally of their warmech roster was what, 4 more of the things?/
[5, not counting the one that blew itself to shit earlier].
[We need to head these off. We know they’ll be coming; it’s just a matter of time. However, we don’t know where yet.]
”I’ve still got a basket of high-ranking bugs wanting to know exactly where your ass is so they can send a cruise torpedo down your exhaust manifold. What the hell am I supposed to tell them?”
Ajax paused, bringing back up a loose collaborative net of prediction programs, adding and removing routines from his query as he considered the few facts they knew.
Xiphos-no, Saru seems fixated on making me suffer. Assassination in the market didn’t work, rogue war-mech didn’t work, incineration on re-entry didn’t work. So what is he up to now?
[Processing…]
[Observation: Latter activities following pattern of terrorism, namely antagonism of Lilutrikvian public and official opinions. Prediction: Activities focused on creating strong response against responsible individual.]
Shit. And at the end of the day, I'm the responsible individual.
At least, that's how he can frame it as with little effort.
He ignored the footnote indication from the predictive web that he was actually the responsible individual when one considered the root causes as well. Ajax dismissed the cluster of programs from the prediction net he had scrounged together, and instead redirected the query.
Assuming intent to cause anti-cogent terrorist attacks, what target would be most likely to induce strongest Lilutrikvian response?
[Processing…]
[Observation: Saru’s attacks are not suicidal in nature, suggesting desire for self-preservation and desire for eventually leaving planet. Prediction: Target will be largest public structure possible, excluding any spaceports required for escape from Lilutrikvia. Target will be the LSF Spire in Hive Silu-Prime, 66% confidence. Arterial shuttleports in adjacent cities will remain open and accessible even when Silu-Prime shuttleport will be closed for security protocols following the attack]
Smart. The possible options for escape are too numerous to be easily countered or predicted, and if Saru is even half as good as Xiphos was at frame-hopping, he’ll be damn near impossible to lock down if we do need to give chase.
Ajax dismissed the prediction net entirely as the number of possibilities threatened to balloon far beyond what they could anticipate or adequately tackle.
[Sue, Hera: Saru’s most likely planning to attack the LSF Spire. Cause some mayhem, get the bugs as pissed at me as possible, and then flee via a shuttleport at an adjacent city while I get the blame.]
There was a slight pause as Susan replied.
”Holy shit.”
”I can let them know, if you think it would help. Try to frame it as a rogue AI, the “hacker” we were looking for earlier, see if we can preemptively shift the blame off of you.”
Ajax nodded, then caught himself and instead replied affirmatively.
[Sounds good. Saru’s probably got contingency plans, but the sooner we can start to lay the groundwork to counter it, the better. Some anti-armor weaponry prepared ahead of time wouldn’t go amiss, even if it is last-minute.]
\And me? Let me borrow another of your toys from the Cube, and I can provide fire support./
[Fire support, yes, but not rocket launchers this time. Their armor just shrugged it off, and it took most of my stock of plasma warheads to cripple it. I’m thinking kinetic hits, carefully placed, may have more effect after all.]
A brief encoded message to and reply from the Cube later, and Ajax sent her over a schematic for a long-range precision Barolt Lancer 2Fx5M, a 5-meter railgun normally mounted to small vehicles or on wheeled gun carriages for towing.
[Think you can help me run antivirus interference while also landing shots with that beauty?]
In reply, Hera just sent over a timestamped video clip, no audio. It was a little over a century ago, and in the dust of some green-tinged dune strewn with green and iridescent metallic crystals, Hera steadied a standard meter-long railgun at a near-45-degree angle. The video clip didn’t show the calculations he knew she was doubtlessly doing, but she still barked off three shots.
Ajax remembered those shots, as he was, at the time, sitting in about three rough pieces a mile away in the remains of their crashed shuttle and surrounded by the bandits who had blown him apart. The pair of humans and pair of cogents were wary, but unprepared for the three shots out of nowhere. The first smashed one cogent to scrap along the middle of their entire torso, the second turned the shoulder and large part of the upper torso of one of the humans to a concave and pulverized ruin, and the third bisected the power plant of the last cogent. She stumbled for a moment, before detonating in a small green fireball.
He had been as impressed then as he was now; he had known she had to make the shot based on the quick schematic snapshot he’d been able to send her before the cogents had squelched his outgoing transmission band, but this was the first time he’d seen just how far she’d been at the time.
While he had half-expected the video file to cut off there, it still continued. Ajax could feel the slight annoyance from the personal cluster of his social driver and memory bank subnode.
Well, if she wants to show off a little, who am I to argue. We’re still a half-hour away from the Cube in any case.
The video feed from Hera’s memory files pinged an alert, from himself at the time, and Ajax watched as he focused as best as he could on the bandit who had lost nerve and began running. There was again a pause as Hera watched the video, arced the rail-rifle, made a brief and exact adjustment down and to the side, and then fired.
The running figure continued for a solid second, before his pelvis disappeared in a resounding crack and his mangled remains stumbled and fell to the side. Then the video file ended, as did Ajax’s corresponding memory files he’d been queueing alongside the video.
[Point taken.]
Even with all of the stress his social driver predicted Susan was now under, he could still detect the unspoken curiosity as her message popped up.
”So if Hera gets a big gun, what do you get?”
Ajax sent a prompt to the Cube before he replied, receiving a terse acknowledgement in return.
[Message received from contact [CUBE]. Message body: Acknowledged; beginning fusion reactor ignition sequence. Message ends.]
[That’s for me to know, and for Saru to find out.]
Returning to the warehouse for the third time, Ajax could feel the flood of information unlock as the location-encoded hash code was accepted and the inventory list of the Cube was unlocked before. He sent a set of instructions over, and as they idled the magnetocycle near the shipping container, a panel unlocked and swung open. Sliding out came the barrel of the railgun for Hera, but she cocked her apical node as it clicked loudly and multiple times before an internal support pin was finally withdrawn and the full weight fell into her waiting arms.
Hera’s message to Ajax as he stepped past the threshold of the Cube was both concerned, curious, and slightly impressed.
\Ajax, was that railgun actually integrated into the Cube?/
He didn’t turn as he began turning switches and checking readouts around the back of the Cube, but instead sent her a robotic cartoon thumbs-up.
[Figured the chances of it and possibly me being blown out into void was better than even odds at some point in our operational lifespans, so I took some precautions.]
He paused, looking again over re-remembered schematics, and ignoring a paranoid node fretting about revealing these details to someone who wasn’t encrypting the information.
Hell, it’s a small chance anyone could ever best Hera and take the information from her, and if it gets to that point, I’m in a whole lot more shit than someone just knowing I’m a paranoid metal bastard.
[There’s also a scrapped quarter-kilometer-rated hemisphere shield, some vectored ionic pulse engines, and technically all of the parts to cobble together a small blink emitter that has a range of what I was told was ten lightyears, but probably only more like five if I want to end up arriving in anything but a rapidly-expanding cloud of gas.]
Hera replied with an image of a laughing and tutting cartoon robot as Ajax leaned over and tapped a diagnostic panel, letting out a binary snort of annoyance when nothing happened, and again after he whacked it with the side of his hand: the percussive maintenance then caused the display to flicker and display the refreshed information.
\Ajax, only you would be paranoid enough to turn that armory into a honest-to-goodness jump-capable spacecraft./
[Eh, I wouldn’t go that far: It can’t even get off the ground under its own power at the moment.]
He tried and failed to let his GOM and combat readiness programs add a dozen or so points of Pride to his reply as he continued.
[Besides, reactor in here is tiny, and can only power two of the three systems between shields, weapons, and engines. The blink emitter too depends on if the damn Alcubierre coils haven’t degraded, as exotic matter is damned expensive to replace without drowning in paperwork, red tape, and unwanted questions.]
A set of diagnostics finally displayed green, and a corresponding set of stress, wear, and fusion induction calculations on his internal calculations flashed green, or at least acceptable shades of yellow, and he sat into the webbed seat on the one wall of the Cube.
[In any case, the reactor is going to be preoccupied here in a moment.]
Gonna feel good to stretch my legs again.
[Uh, Hera, you might want to take a few paces back. I was in a rush when I prepped the breach and cutting charges, and I don’t want you to get winged by anything.]
He could hear her running backwards over the whines and hums of warming and preparing components. After she sent him an ‘All Clear’ indication marker, he loaded a program he’d written years ago, and used only a few times since.
Execute ‘CanOpener_v4.8.46.59’
[Executing…]
Roaring echoed around the edges of the shipping container, as cables of C4 he’d laid along them cut through the edges of the container. There was a thump as the roof fell a foot or so onto the reinforced plating he’d laid on the top of the Cube, with the corrugated metal roof separated from the extra plating by a set of six evenly-spaced bundles of yet-more C4 clustered on one side of the Cube. The walls groaned as they teetered, and fell away to land heavily on the floor.
A second later, a thunderclap shook the Cube, as the charges on the roof flung the top of the shipping container aside, the 1500 kilograms of metal with a crunching rumble. The Cube’s roof was barely scorched, while the roof was twisted and bent rom the blast.
Wait, why did it make a crunching noise? This warehouse was empty apart from some stuff in the distant corner, Hera, myself, and-
[Warning: Connection ‘Hendee_M1350_SN23122090’ reports substantial damage. Operational ability reported as [Nil] pending substantial repairs.]
Oh. Guess I might have gotten carried away with those roof charges.
Hera’s voice echoed in the aftermath of the clanking mayhem.
UH, I’M GUESSING YOU DID NOT INTEND TO JUST SMASH YOUR MAGNETOCYCLE, AND BY EXTENSION OUR RIDE TO THE SPIRE?
He could feel his GOM driver spool up to spit something a bit more pointed back, but his social driver squelched that and instead composed an alternate response.
NO, BUT WE’VE STILL GOT A RIDE.
There was a creaking rumble as the roof sections of the Cube accordion-folded aside, clearing Ajax to the musty light of the warehouse above, the dust from the earlier explosions still settling.
Alright, time to see if it’s still like riding a really big bicycle.
He sent a series of impulses down the control spine along the back of his seat, and a set of bulky legs rotated and braced the feet as the wide, flat toes clacked into place. A few of his firearms were jostled, and here and there a grenade or magazine fell off the racks, but overall the reinforcing and bracing he’d added the last few times did its job and made sure that the mech caused little damage as it got to its feet. Servos whined in protest as they fought to bring the six-meter suit to its full standing height, but once it did the gyroscope below his seat kicked into gear, steadying his stance.
He bent down, the suit’s free left arm grabbing the right arm from where it was still folded opposite of the cockpit he had entered, and reached up to attach it to the waiting empty socket on his suit’s armored shoulder. The three-meter barrel slid up from the recess along the floor of the Cube, and Ajax slid it into place as the stubby munitions-feed in the barrel-shaped housing swung into place over his right shoulder. The feed line indicated a full green across all metrics, and his side lenses saw the feed of massive caseless rounds slide along the metal housing before clicking smoothly into place.
\Wow. Went out and bought yourself this little toy at some point in the last decade or so, I assume? Now I know why you were so shy about letting me take a peek inside./
She turned her apical node to look at her own railgun that was nearly half the height of Ajax in the mech suit.
\I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed you didn’t have one of those in there for me too./
His predictive space readouts produced an interesting proposition in response to her comment, as his disused but still-effective financial analysis and trading application showed him his most recent set of fundings.
It’s still not quite enough, but maybe after a few more jobs that might be in the realm of possibility.
[Maybe next time. For now, you at least get to blow some holes in something with that.]
Hera set him a picture of a cartoon robot with a sadisticly-wide grin, as he turned to jolt his left arm forward and back. He felt the click-CLACK of the focusing crystal and housing slide into place.
Those synthetic sapphire crystals are expensive, delicate, and can slag if you don’t take care to avoid running unpulsed beams through them, but it’s hard to get anything with more cutting power at a distance.
His fuzzy memory files brought up a reminder of their effectiveness at nearly a quarter mile, as he had danced and dodged attacks from another suited mech, this one an autonomous defense drone. His attacks had been like doing surgery in a knife fight, as the missiles and slugs of his opponent pelted his armor, but eventually he finished the last of a trio of difficult cuts, and had the satisfaction of seeing a full three cycles of hesitation as the front plate of primary armor slid off of the housing around the power core, before he blew a smoking hole through both it and both of the batteries behind it with a single wide railround.
As he stepped out of the Cube, the roof folded back into place, a sound like clicking raindrops as hundreds of small interlocks re-engaged, and louder clacks as the primary support locks fell back into place as well. The first rays of true sunlight had began to streak in through the warehouse windows, painting the roof of the Cube a ruddy yellow-read, and highlighting in relief the etched dragon, claw outstretched and grasping in a black almost the same shade and hue as the dense material of the Cube itself.
[Enyo-class personal mechanized exoarmor, serial number 5468-7573-5370-616b-6554-6865-5468-756e-6465-727d, reporting full power and combat functionality.]
Then he stepped away, past Hera and into the light. He paused, turning back and stepping back into the warehouse to lift the roof of the container off of the battered remains of the magnetocycle. However, despite the feeling of loss rumbling across his neural web his repair outlines were showing that the vehicle’s damage, while extensive, were not beyond fixing.
Replace most of the parts, and it’s as good as new. Of course, that brings up the age-old question of if it’s even the old cycle at all, or a brand-new bike.
His GOM driver spurred a wave of empathy across his nodes, an almost-alien emotion from the crotchety program.
A lot like me, in that regard.
Striding back out from the warehouse, Ajax stopped and tilted the cockpit to face Hera. She got the hint, and climbed up the set of recessed handgrips on the side of the plating, crouching to perch on his shoulder like a malevolent bird of prey.
A single message queued up from Hera: all text, with no image attached.
\Let’s go hunting./
Chapter Thirty Seven: Initiate Scenario
submitted by darkPrince010 to HFY [link] [comments]

Defining morality

Please critique me and leave comments! Thanks! This is part of a larger work. I put this here hoping it will stand on its own as a way to look at morality and what I believe is the fundamental moral system which we are living in. Enjoy!
Worldview and Moral Reflexes
Our value judgements determine our outlook. In life hueristic thinking regarding value judgements is often a necessity. Your worldview will determine how well you fit into particular group(s). Whether or not you were in a group historically meant you survived or didn’t. This makes morality a survival issue for us. Thus we are deeply social creatures that need one another. An immoral or otherwise unwanted person would have been cast out of the group in our early human history. Being cast out of the group historically had grave consequences. This is why it can be such an intense emotional and psychological trauma to be left alone or shamed. Life can happen quickly, unexpectedly and with grave consequences, including socially. This is why I believe we have our morals as a reactive force. This is what it means to have a moral reflex. Our moral reflexes reflect our worldview. I believe this is so true that the two are indistinguishable. In order to appreciate this we must consider and define what society, culture and morality are.
Morality and Society
Cooperation: the Foundation of Society
The foundation of society, the ability for different individuals of the same species to work together in order to accomplish tasks, is the result of cooperation. All animal societies are based upon survival and cooperation. Without cooperation there is no society. The reason for morality as social necessity is clear: in order to counteract the intense survival needs and/or instincts of an individual creature an evolutionary mechanism must be enacted (e.g.-a moral conscience, a hive mind, etc…) in order to gain social benefits. There has to be some sort of evolutionary mechanism involved that gets individuals to cooperate.
Evolutionary social survival strategy necessarily must enact rules and enforce them and does so through evolutionary equipping and/or limitations and through conscious enforcement. For example, many limbic brained social animals exhibit a sense of fairness and outrage at injustice as well as compassion for the suffering of others. This is the product of having a limbic brain which enables a new, more sophisticated set of emotional responses. The only way for two individuals to cooperate is to be able to communicate and to follow rules (esp. regarding fairness). Lizards and crocodiles don’t cooperate and have no limbic brain. They are amoral. There is no society that they belong to. They have no need for morality. Morality is not something that exists as a ontological reality other than as an evolutionary device that enables cooperation amongst individuals.
Fairness: the Basis for Morality
Therefore, I contend that empathetic sensibilities which lead to a basic sense of fairness between individuals is the basis for a moral structure. Either we have access, entitlement and/or protection of our needs and give the very same to the other party or we fight and end up in an exploitative situation, at best. Violations of fairness cause us to exhibit outrage and/or disgust. When ourselves or others are wronged we feel sadness. These are some very basic moral responses that we have as humans. But cats and dogs have these responses as well. Does this mean there are evil cats and dogs? I believe that is the wrong question to ask. Evil and good are relative human terms. Now, if you asked if a dog or cat were as culpable or responsible as a human being the answer would be no. Their morality is much simpler because their brains are much simpler than ours. Like a child they need to be treated differently than an adult human who posseses theory of mind amongst other cognitive abilities that most animals do not apparently possess (it is hard to prove theory of mind in an animal- we can’t talk to them about their inner states, but dogs and cats are not in the running; dolphins, pigs, ravens, grey parrots are the more likely candidates).
I want to point out that you can have a society without morality. Insects are considered eusocial creatures. Their brains are very different. I think that we would be surprised to find that they have what we would consider a morality. They certainly have rules but a consciousness that makes value judgements? Is it a concern for the welfare of the species, group and/or individuals and how it affects each individual that makes us different from say, ants?
The Complex Nature of Morality
Theory of mind is the ability to comprehend mental agency in another being. It affects a persons moral choices and seems to be located in the Right Temporo-parietal Junction (RTPJ). The medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulated, angular gyrus on the left and right sides and the ventral prefrontal cortex are also involved in making moral decisions. All have different neurological and cognitive functions. You can see that the whole issue of morality is actually quite complex from a neurological perspective. The brain is a modular instrument and therefore morality is going to look confusing to us if we think of things along a spectrum or a line. And yet this is what we do when we moralize. We think in dualisms and ask if it is right or wrong and how much so. More sophisticated questions we might ask are how and why it is so. Not all animals or even children have the capability to make the same moral judgments as adult humans due to neurological differences. We may even come to find that some species of animals may need to be regarded as morally more sophisticated than others. I believe that ultimately neuroscience will have a primary role in defining human and animal morality and in shaping our philosophies around morality as we discover more about how the brain functions.
The Neurological Nature of Morality
Words like intent, decision, volition or agency seem to be, upon initial consideration, necessarily differentiated aspects of morality. Upon considering animal morality it becomes clear that this is not necessary so. Crocodiles make decisions, have volition and intend things but cannot be considered moral creatures because they have no apparatus for morality. To exacerbate problems, we might consider crocodiles to have agency depending upon how we define agency. Therefore none of these aspects of mental reality actually have anything to do with morality. Morality is not a set of principles or a thing, it is a set of brain functions. Morality does not exist out there somewhere and it certainly isn’t a set of words. It is our brain using information and performing neurological functions. That’s the reality behind morality. There is a nuerological basis for regarding what is good for our well being and what is harmful or toxic to us, but these might just be good, convenient ways to categorize the world around us.
Good and Evil?
Our most basic neurological functions are binary in nature. A neuron either fires or it doesn’t. Just like in a computer, things are either a 0 (good/beneficial) or a 1 (evil/harmful). Our basic fear reaction is fight or flight. A binary reaction is the best one suited for survival because it’s the most efficient solution. No wonder we see things in terms of good and evil! Is this because that is the way reality is or because our brains are created this way? If reality does not come in some grand duality then what does this say about how limited we may be as far as our ability to perceive reality is concerned? Does the type of brain you get determine what type of reality you are able to witness? The scary answer is yes. We may never know if the universe really exists as a duality or not. The actual universe might be very different and may come in all sorts of possibilities beyond a mere duality. We may be ‘constructing’ a binary universe because, 1) it is possible to do so and 2) it is all we can comprehend.
Society and Morality Defined
This leads me to a very general definition of morality:
Society being defined as merely a set of rules that two or more individuals adhere to, we must conclude that any system of rules dictated by emotional responses to beneficial (good) and harmful (evil) outcomes regarding the well being of the group and/or the individuals in the group can be considered a moral system.
In this view morality is the foundation of society itself. From this point of view our individuals must possess a sophisticated enough emotional apparatus to care or have some stake in the well being of the group and/or other individuals in the group. This view also supports the idea that good and evil do not actually exist as absolutes in any real sense. These are relative terms. We use the terms good and evil because our value judgements are wrapped up in things based upon real, sometimes traumatic outcomes.
A Compassionate View: A Relative World
Societies can look very different and so can the rules about what is beneficial (good) and harmful (evil). We need to understand this about each other. People all over the world have different values about what they see as being good and evil. Oftentimes seeing things in terms of good and evil leads to a warfare stance between people, in my opinion. It is usually not the best way to look at things. I believe we need a more compassionate and inclusive way to look at problems of cultural moral differences that does not compromise our morality but defines it and clarifies the issues for us.
Morality: A Dilemma
We use a hueristic symbology we call words and attempt to describe our mental states with it. Unless you are a neuroscientist (and even they don’t know much about the brain) you have no other means to really approach mental states than to talk about them. The problem with this whole arraignment is that our descriptions are confusing because they probably don’t accurately describe the reality of what is neurologically happening. This is why we cannot adequately describe morality using words that attempt to describe mental states. And yet this is exactly what we must do because we have no other choice. As discussed, we can’t make spectrum generalizations when it comes to the actual mechanics of morality because we don’t really know what they are yet. Nuerology decides what the mechanics of morality are. Still, our brains seem to be designed to react to the world in a dualistic manner and we can’t help but speak of things in terms of good and bad. And so we continue to make spectrum generalizations when we moralize. I feel that it is useful to see that this process; the generation and sustenance of a moral framework, involves a somewhat arbitrary process of collective trust. When we explore morality as currency we shall discuss this process in more detail.
Culture
Culture Defined
Usually when we talk about culture we are talking about social norms, customary beliefs and social behaviors found in societies. I define culture as any expression of a society. If such expression is done either passively (i.e.-psychologically) or actively, then it is a cultural expression. In this view merely thinking is a cultural expression. Thinking is a cultural expression for the following reason; we are psychologically dependent upon others for a sense of self. This flies in the face of what we are usually taught about ourselves. We are taught that we are psychologically independent and therefore our psychological health is dependent upon only ourselves. This is pure fantasy. Consider that there are no ideas without symbols and no such thing as a ‘self’ without ideas. We use the symbology of language itself to create meaning. There is no self without another to teach us language. Therefore, there is no way to create a human self without another human self being involved. This is an inescapable conclusion. This indicates that relationship and society is of critical importance to our self identity and therefore our mental health. This is a new area of psychology being explored by psychotherapuetic relational theories. Dan Siegel is at the forefront of this new approach to defining the self as a social creature by nature.[2]
Even though thinking itself is an expression of culture it does not necessarily create culture. If thinking is an expression of culture, then any private thought is also cultural creation as long as it is expressed to another. Culture must be created between two or more people. You can’t create or have a society by yourself. Culture happens when society happens, that is why the two seem synonomous. Culture is the expression of society.
Institutions Defined
Culture is by its nature a social phenomenon. This means that even in our most intimate relationships we create culture. If we share any of this information with the world (like say, nude selfies!) and a group is interested (like viewers of a channel on TV) and this group therefore consumes this information, then we say that it has become a part of that group’s culture (the group that viewed it on TV, those talking about it because of someone’s viewing, etc…). If only your family is interested then it has just become part of your family culture. The power of the experience will decide whether or not you will all recall it, consider it significant and therefore call it culture in the traditional sense. Once they have become an established part of our culture and we have created artifacts around such practices we call them institutions. I define an institution as being a social practice that is established and considered significant to a community.
Power Shapes Culture
Power is what mainly shapes culture over time. Power in relationships, the lack of power, the power of an experience (including personal cognitively powerful experiences) are what determine whether or not we consider it to be culture. Usefulness, significance and meaning are all expressions of power. Consider that things have meaning when they have utility associated with them more than when they do not. For example, my broom in the closet becomes more significant if I actually use it a lot. If I never use it or need it then it becomes insignificant. When we need and engage with things they become significant to us. Usefulness or significance could be termed value and/or meaningfulness. Meaningfulness is of particular interest in defining power because we don’t typically think of meaning as being a form of power. Meaning has power to a mind. It has the power to make us feel, believe, think, interpret and dictates a person’s intent and responses. Usefulness reflects a more pragmatic approach compared to significance and/or meaningfulness which both imply states of mind. All involve an assessment of difference in states. We assess when we find something (anything – an idea, thought, feeling, experience) more significant than another thing (anything that can be imagined and or experienced).
Culture – A Discreet Process
Some people may not feel satisfied with this general definition of culture since I consider merely conversing to be culture. They may feel that there are certain things which we call culture and certain others which we don’t. Consider that everytime you speak to someone it is significant to that relationship. Every piece of information that is shared, whether that be verbal, emotional or physical is important to the relationship. Whether or not you or I or a million other people remember something or not is not a matter of whether it is culture or not; it is a matter of whether or not that particular bit of culture is significant enough to survive and how important it becomes to society over time. That society can be a society of two. It only takes two people to make a society according to my definition. What we usually consider to be ‘culture’ is really just an evolutionary process of how society and our social expressions develop over time. That is why contemporary definitions of culture seem so arbitrary. Consider that nearly anything can become significant over time with repetition. A noise, a saying can become significant. Who can say when a social expression becomes culture? What kind of expression? When does this happen? What size group does it require? For how long does the tradition need to exist for? How important to the society does it have to be? You can see that there is no way to answer these questions. I agree with the conventional description of culture when we apply it to large groups (and their institutions) that have existed over a long enough period of time to create culture. But I believe culture happens discreetly in pairs as well.
Morality and Power
Usually when people think of moral systems religion comes to mind or a grand philosophical tradition. When we consider the vast differences in moral systems across the planet and the ability for people to adopt several norms as their own, especially as the world has gotten smaller and people come into close association with other cultures, we must consider questions as to the hierarchical importance of different moral systems. Moral systems often co-exist as layers superposed on top of one another. Therefore societal norms and moral traditions do not necessarily constitute a fundamental system. If there is a fundamental system that exists it will determine the nature of a systemic order and will define all morale systems operating under its influence as well.
Relationship Power Dynamics
Being that society is two or more individuals in a relationship, relationships are of the utmost importance to the nature of morality itself. Since culture is shaped by power morality must be shaped by power and its expressions as well. Being that relationships, power and its expressions are so important to the nature of morality, this indicates that the dynamics of a relationship are what determines the fundamental nature of morality itself. The term ‘relationship dynamics’ implies a concern with the difference in power between parties. If it was static, there would be no difference in power. Therefore relationship dynamics are of utmost importance in defining a moral system. This becomes profound when we consider that there are only two fundamental types of relationship paradigms: either you are equals or you are unequal. There is no third option. This means that relationship dynamics consist of a party being either a peer, a dominant or a submissive in relation to another or others.
Fundamental Moral Systems
This clearly indicates that there are two distinct ways of expressing power. One is in a peer system the other is in a dominant/submissive system. These ‘systems’ are the fundamental moral systems of their respective societies. These are the two different types of relationship paradigms; equality, or peer to peer relationships and the dominance/submission paradigm. These relationship paradigms determine the nature of how two people will relate to one another and even can determine whether or not they will form a community together. Thus this clearly constitutes a fundamental moral system.
Once again, there are three basic types of relationship dynamics. Either you are a peer, or you are submissive or dominant in relationship to another or others. These are the basic rules, or relationship dynamics which constitute the basis for society itself. These dynamics play themselves out in the arena of our lives through four main avenues of social power; military, economics, ideas/knowledge and society itself or culture. We will explore these four avenues of social power in more depth below.
Moral Character Revealed: Wielded Power
Because culture is formed through the influences of powerful forces (experiences, thoughts, ideas, sensations, feelings, etc…) morality is based upon powerful experiences as well. The rules inherent in morality will be shaped by the power of an experience and the expressions of power in society itself. Since moral values are the rules upon which society is based the way power is expressed in a society will be a direct expression of that societies’ morale values. Whether or not we share, exploit, manipulate, coerce, allow or enable others defines us as a member of our society or as a society as a whole. These are all ways in which we exert power. This is what it means to act in accordance to your moral principles: you show up in the way you express power.
Therefore the way we wield power has everything to do with our morality. Wielding power has everything to do with the process of accumulating power as well. How one gets their power is just as important as how it is expressed. Was it obtained honestly through hard work, easily, dishonestly, bloodily, etc…is the power through someone else, is it tied to a resource? These are all questions regarding power accumulation and therefore determines how one wields power.
The fact that power is the main shaping force in culture may not be an metaphysical reality but rather an issue of perception because we have lived under despotism as a social order for thousands of years where power rules every aspect of life. This is so ingrained that we perhaps can’t see it. It may be that culture can be primarily driven by other factors than power, like information. A culture based upon negotiation where information is highly valued might create members that remember things based upon their data value more than on power value in their relationships.
The Four Powers of Society
Economist Ravi Batra theorized that there are four ages of human development (warriors, intellectuals, acquisitors and laborers) based upon the teachings of his mentor P.R. Sarkar in which he utilizes social cycle theory. [3] This theory is based on an analysis of four classes of society that claims that people are historically motivated differently. Batra believes that these are due to different types of people and that these patterns show up as historical cycles. I believe that these are types of social power, not people. Batra’s theory is similar to the Strauss–Howe generational theory, which also describes history recurring in a generational cycle.[4]
William Strauss and Neil Howe see four archetypes of people (Prophet, Nomad, Hero and Artist) that repeat sequentially throughout history. There is a striking similarity between this and Ravi Batra’s theory. I believe that both theories are correct in describing rotating cycles of history based upon human motivations. These four cycles of human motivation are merely the dynamic expression of four realms of social power rather than kinds of people, classes or motivations. Each realm of power creates a class of people associated with its power so it naturally seems like classes or types of people. Power dynamics in relationships are what truly defines us as a civilization.
Unique Powers per Realm
Each realm of power has unique characteristics associated with it, that it affects all other powers with: 1) The military trumps all other powers. Killing destroys all other social powers by killing off the (members of) society. 2) Economics sustains everything else. All of life, including thinking depends upon economics (you have to eat and expend calories to think which means that thinking is economically dependent). Nothing in society goes without the sustaining influence of economics. 3) Knowledge changes and adjusts all of society. New knowledge can be so powerful that it can and has changed the social order of humanity. It is common for new knowledge to create adjustments in society. 4) Culture is the expression of society itself. It is a subtle, irresistable force. Culture forms beliefs which allows us to know who we are as individuals and as a group. New ideas, spontaneous inspiration, robust institutions all come out of a vibrant culture.
Morals are the rules or systems of society itself. Morals determine the social order and expression of all four realms of power. The power of morality expressed is the worldview of its consumers. Worldview determines everything about a person and a society psychologically, culturally and morally.*
The Unique Power of Culture
Society and its expressions which we call culture, are like gravity. Irresistable, subtle and infused throughout our lives. In the realm of ideas we find another powerful social force. Ideas are powerful. Ideas charged with emotion (like a social movement) are potentially explosive. Such movements can become explosive forces of change. This is why when social movements take off they are often unstoppable except through means of a trump card – threatening violence or death often can suppress such movements.
The Search for a Fundamental Moral System
This all clearly indicates that we are searching for a Fundamental Moral System that operates in all four realms of power. This Fundamental Moral System will be show up as a systemically ingrained feature of all four realms of power. It will not necessarily be a set of norms, traditions, values or assumptions although these will all be aspects of our paradigm. The paradigm we seek must demonstrate a Fundamental Relationship Dynamic that is fundamentally different than a dualisticly opposed paradigm which is the cause of the psychological and cultural rift we see happening on the political stage. The discourse between right and left find their origins in these two paradigms that we seek.
Environmental Pressure and Epochal Cultural Evolution
In our quest to discover a Fundamental Moral System we must consider vast periods of time. In this context we must consider that culture is shaped and created in reaction to or in consideration of environmental pressures. Society can also create environmental pressure but environmental pressures often come from outside of social influence. It usually takes time for environmental pressure to have cultural effect. Culture often comes about not as a fully conscious decision. The cultural environment we live in can affect us in deep psychological ways. Direct personal knowledge will cause culture to change more rapidly but overcoming people’s ingrained beliefs takes time. Information sometimes only convinces people so much. The way that we live, how we live teaches us much deeper lessons about life and how the world is than any intellectual exercise ever can. Being that culture is shaped through power over time, a fundamental part of what determines cultural evolution is power in relationships just as it is for morality and for the exact same reasons. This is because morality and culture are both fundamental elements of what constitutes a society. They are also therefore different expressions of social currency.° If there is a fundamental shift in relationship dynamics then we can expect to see a fundamental shift in cultural outlooks as well.
Evolution and Cultural Development
Physics are the laws of nature which constrain and define physiological evolutionary strategies. Many human created technologies find direct analogues in nature. Cameras are the equivalent of eyes and contain the same technological elements (a rounded lens, light sensitive material, etc…). Sonar is a technology used in submarines and is used by bats and whales. The plumbing of our circulatory system is made up of valves which only allow for the blood to flow in one direction. Boolean computers are direct analogues to Boolean brains; DNA is a 4 bit digital information system as compared to the 2 bit computer system, etc... The reason life took on the forms that it did is because that is what is possible within the laws of physics.
So the question is; are there laws of physics which constrain and define cultural evolution?
In other words, if evolution has determined epochal cultural development then the development of culture over long periods of time will depend upon considerations of the survival of the species as a whole and the survival of the society in question, especially if the environment is harsh and brutal.
Sex and Violence
So what must make this cultural evolutionary system function? Rules around life (sex) and death (murder, killing, disease, etc…). I believe that behaviors and rules around these issues will simply have to appear because the issues of sex and killing/death are so weighty. Over large periods of time we can expect these things to show up as a deeply ingrained or even instinctual social expression that has become infused throughout our cultural expressions and institutions. When it comes to human beings we are no less susceptible socially, to these things (despite our cognitive plasticity) which rule over our genetic legacy; sex and death. Sex and death are what natural selection uses to determine the survival of our genes. All animal societies must contain basic behaviors and/or rules around sex and killing of members and non-members and how the individual will function within the society in relation to these things.
Evolutionary processes involve harsh environments in order for natural selection to operate. The system we are about to discuss, despotic morality, has recreated an institution which allows a selection process based upon killing and mating to occur. This institution is nothing other than warfare itself. In another environment, a peaceful environment, natural selection processes would not be able to operate. These are the same processes of natural selection. This is not a claim that natural selection is taking place. This is cultural selection happening.
Ingrained Global Morality
If culture is created and shaped through interactions with environmental pressures then evolutionary pressures will have a profound effect over long periods of time. The evolutionary pressures of reproduction/sexuality and killing/warfare should play a primary role in the creation of ingrained epochal cultural worldviews. They are evolutionary pressures because natural selection relies upon death and sex for evolutionary development. I believe that any assessment of a global morality must be shaped in terms of these factors. We must not look for an institution or a set of institutions but an ingrained system that is global in its scope. It will express itself in all four realms of power as an ingrained institutional feature.
Despotic Morality
Patriarchal Roots
There is an arena where evolutionary pressures of death and sex have a part in the historical development of an ingrained systemic order: all over the world men subjugate women. This is a global feature of modern humanity. I believe that patriarchy describes the evolution of the old moral system and that patriarchy is a social system designed to aid survival in brutally competitive warfare environments. Being that warfare is such a prominent feature of human history it cannot be ignored as a fundamental environmental pressure. There are few problems worse than war for a civilization. This ingrained system can be described as a despotic system where a patriarch or strong leader rules over subjects often with fiat power. A strong leader must be relied upon to make quick decisions of disastrous result for someone – either for your tribe or the enemies’. There is no time for debate in a war zone; thus the need for strong, decisive, faultless leaders.
The Foundations of Patriarchy: Warfare
In a warfare environment, since culture follows paths of least resistance the bigger, stronger, faster males, who don’t have to be vulnerable during childbirth would become more important to the survival of the tribe and begin to dominate in most cultures. Agriculture is widely viewed as being the reason why populations increased and specialization of duties occurred. With these changes came greater technological development. As specialization and differentiation occurred more complex social organizations begin to emerge. Eventually leadership qualities become of paramount importance (this is why women are attracted to these qualities in men!). Any specialization necessarily will create differentiation and therefore hierarchy. An increase in hierarchy in a despotic environment creates even greater differentiation in terms of rights, liberties and overall quality of life between different strata of social power. What you end up with is a king/dictatodespot/autocrat, some nobles and masses of comparatively poor except for specialized social niches like merchants, specialists, craftsmen, etc… which typically make up a sparse middle class. This is the natural order of things in the economic and cultural environments we live in today.
Despotic Morality Defined
As I stated before a moral system is defined as follows:
Society being defined as merely a set of rules that two or more individuals adhere to, we must conclude that any system of rules dictated by emotional responses to beneficial (good) and harmful (evil) consequences or outcomes regarding the well being of the group and/or the individuals in the group can be considered a moral system.
We have been living under an institution for thousands of years which features despotic systems. In this Despotic Morality you can find patriarchs and despots in all four realms of human social power: political, economic, ideological/knowledge and society itself. Kings, despots, dictators and to a lesser extent, workplace bosses, managers, executives and a company’s primary shareholders are all part of a despotic power framework. In the realm of knowledge religious patriarchs have dolled out fiat ignorance down through the ages. Also, the patriarchal hierarchy in religions across the planet historically contains little to no transparency and therefore limited agency or sovereignty on the part of its followers, at best. Traditional religion is a rank example of the patriarchal despotic moral system. On a root societal level the family patriarch should be familiar to everyone. Notice that nearly all of our corporate institutions including the corporate bodies which make up our democratic government are despotic in organizational structure. Most of them are also patriarchal and all of them were traditionally so. Notice that none of these institutions are organized as democratic systems, but they all could be.
Despotic Designs: Exploitation
All despotisms are designed to exploit. Despotism runs on power and competition at all levels of social organization. They are exploitative by their nature. Despotism is exploitative by definition: fiat power means the other party does not have any rights. A despot is someone with fiat power. The person with political fiat power literally gets to decide if the other person lives or dies. That is fiat power. In an economic fiat power situation the fiat power is limited to the laws of the land in question and therefore, usually limited to economic power, but not always. A person with fiat knowledge power means they have unquestionable authority when it comes to knowledge about a subject, idea or belief system. They can also gain fiat power over another persons’ agency and personal sovereignty. Argueably the most potent form of fiat power that there is; the control of another’s worldview. A person with fiat power in the cultural realm has the limited power of being a charismatic or popular personality. This can become a formidable power when combined with the other realms of power: i.e.- a military leader, an economic leader, a religious leader, a popular figure that charms, influences and perhaps engages in coercion or manipulation as well. Exploitation is merely a style of wielding power and despotism describes a social organizational style. It does not necessarily equate to a moral judgement. That is a matter of perceived ethical violations, which is a matter of which moral currency you ‘trade in’.*
That being said, the way in which despots in all realms have wielded power has left an indelible mark on history. They have shown very clearly what kind of morality they generally believe in by the way that they have wielded their power. I sometimes think that all of human trauma can be traced back to despotic origins. We are undergoing a crisis of abuse on an epic, global scale. Thankfully the solutions to our problems are within our grasp.
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This table shows the Hive data types and table properties that are assigned when SAS/ACCESS creates a Hive table. SAS sets table properties only when creating a new Hive table. It does not create or alter table properties when appending to an existing Hive table. Hive Data Types and Table Properties That Are Created for SAS Data Type and Format Combinations; SAS Data Type. SAS Format. Hive ... We have a use case that want to use the binary data type in Hive table: 1. In HDFS directory (e.g /data/work/hive/test/), we have several blob files which we want to store in Hive table (table1) as binary data type. 2. We have another Hive table (table2) storing regular CSV data and row number is th... Options. Sort By Name; Sort By Date; Ascending; Descending; Attachments. hive-2380_1.patch 18/Sep/11 05:50 129 kB Ashutosh Chauhan; hive-2380_2.patch 30/Sep/11 21:25 135 kB Ashutosh Chauhan; hive-2380_3.patch 04/Oct/11 00:08 133 kB Ashutosh Chauhan; hive-2380_4.patch 05/Oct/11 18:03 148 kB Ashutosh Chauhan; hive-2380.patch 19/Aug/11 00:44 127 kB Ashutosh Chauhan; Issue Links. relates to. HIVE ... When hive.cache.expr.evaluation is set to true (which is the default) a UDF can give incorrect results if it is nested in another UDF or a Hive function. This bug affects releases 0.12.0, 0.13.0, and 0.13.1. Release 0.14.0 fixed the bug ().The problem relates to the UDF's implementation of the getDisplayString method, as discussed in the Hive user mailing list. Is there any max limit for the binary and String data type on Hive. The idea is to able to store data larger than 4 GB. Oracle supports till 8 TB of data in a CLOB data type column. DO we have a similar storage capacity through Hive. The format I'm using to store the data on hdfs is parquet and to store the string/binary data I it uses bytearray datatype along with annotations. How do I know ... Apache hive is a data-warehousing tool built on top of Hadoop. The structured data can be handled with the Hive query language. In this article, we are going to see options that are available with databases in the Hive. The database is used for storing information. The hive will create a directory ... Whole Binary Files Troubleshooting ... (SerDes) in order to access data stored in Hive. Configuration of Hive is done by placing your hive-site.xml, core-site.xml (for security configuration), and hdfs-site.xml (for HDFS configuration) file in conf/. When working with Hive, one must instantiate SparkSession with Hive support, including connectivity to a persistent Hive metastore, support for ... Column Types. Column type are used as column data types of Hive. They are as follows: Integral Types. Integer type data can be specified using integral data types, INT. When the data range exceeds the range of INT, you need to use BIGINT and if the data range is smaller than the INT, you use SMALLINT. TINYINT is smaller than SMALLINT. See Type System and Hive Data Types for details about the primitive and complex data types. Managed and External Tables . By default Hive creates managed tables, where files, metadata and statistics are managed by internal Hive processes. For details on the differences between managed and external table see Managed vs. External Tables. Storage Formats. Hive supports built-in and custom ... Hive is a data warehouse that supplies metadata about data that is stored in Hadoop files. Hive includes a data dictionary and an accompanying SQL-like interface called HiveQL or Hive SQL. HiveQL implements data definition language (DDL) and data manipulation language (DML) statements similar to many DBMSs. Hive tables are defined with a CREATE TABLE statement, so every column in a table has a ...

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Binary Options Trading Strategies 2014 Can You Really ...

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