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Dismantling, studying, and reproducing Archeotech.


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#41 ak-73

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:53 AM

Well, what (how much) does it take to becoming mass-produced from there? Because there is clearly high demand.

 

 

 

he is busy worshiping his machines, doing other tech projects and forwarding his political agenda. 

 

 

And he is risking the most sacred of knowledge getting lost again, if he does not spread it.

 

Alex


Edited by ak-73, 19 June 2014 - 07:05 AM.

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#42 Marwynn

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:05 AM

I don't subscribe specifically to the stagnant and declining tech level view of the Imperium. I prefer a dynamic exchange between recovering and losing tech, with a net loss of technology in the end. Allows for fortunes to be made and lost and is somehow more tragic to me. 

 

It's also mentioned that the Imperium does recover a lot of technology and lose access to many other technologies several times in various pieces of fluff. 

 

That one victory, despite all the odds, is just one bandage against the ruptured body of the Imperium. 


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#43 RogalDorn01

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:31 AM

I don't subscribe specifically to the stagnant and declining tech level view of the Imperium. I prefer a dynamic exchange between recovering and losing tech, with a net loss of technology in the end. Allows for fortunes to be made and lost and is somehow more tragic to me. 

 

It's also mentioned that the Imperium does recover a lot of technology and lose access to many other technologies several times in various pieces of fluff. 

 

That one victory, despite all the odds, is just one bandage against the ruptured body of the Imperium. 

I am with you here!  For every old discovery brought back into the fold there is a forge world that falls to the implacable advance of mankind's many enemies and takes the secrets they fought so hard to uncover back with it.  It is a much more dynamic situation for sure.


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#44 ak-73

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:35 AM

"If archaeotech (except under near impossible circumstances) can be reverse engineered, we're no longer in a declining Imperium of Man. This is a complete setting rewrite.

 

Change on emphasis to drive the point home.

 

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#45 AtoMaki

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 10:36 AM

 

 

he is busy worshiping his machines, doing other tech projects and forwarding his political agenda. 

 

Because clearly, the praise, fame and unspeakable wealth he'd garner from recreating one of the ancestors' most holy and useful machines, never mind progressing the AdMech's understanding of warp-science by several thousand years would not further any of his goals at all.

 

The problem is that the Magos in question couldn't see this and thus he wouldn't care at all. It is just the usual Imperial ignorance, the real obstacle of progression. 



#46 Radwraith

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:24 AM

I don't subscribe specifically to the stagnant and declining tech level view of the Imperium. I prefer a dynamic exchange between recovering and losing tech, with a net loss of technology in the end. Allows for fortunes to be made and lost and is somehow more tragic to me. 

 

It's also mentioned that the Imperium does recover a lot of technology and lose access to many other technologies several times in various pieces of fluff. 

 

That one victory, despite all the odds, is just one bandage against the ruptured body of the Imperium. 

I also agree with this. It is specifically the mandate of the Explorators to research and recover "lost" technology and STC's. This is why they serve with rogue traders rather than your run of the mill Tech priests whose sole purpose would be the maintenance of your Starship! To suggest that archeotech cannot be recovered or reproduced is to defy the entire reason for the Explorator's existence! Explorators are researchers, archealogists, engineers and scientist as necessary to achieve this specific goal! Of course, That doesn't make it easy!



#47 Traejun

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 01:11 PM

William, I disagree with you on so many levels, but you're none the less free to do as you wish.

 

As for Traejun, I sincerely question your statement. The abundance of archeotech both in the equipment and ship component lists makes me suspect that archeotech was in fact intended to be usable.

 

Also, the fluff can be interpreted in a myriad of different ways, depending on your sources and preferences, so claiming that you play "as close to the fluff as possible" is, quite frankly, nothing short of empty bragging.

 

I disagree with you on so many levels that I have neither the time nor inclination to go into every single one.  I will, however, leave with these:

 

1. Saying I stay as close to the fluff as possible isn't bragging.  If you truly think it is - rather than you being upset that I disagree with you on this issue - then perhaps you should think about focusing on your own insecurity rather than Archeotech.  Just sayin'

 

2. You're free to do whatever you want with the games you GM.  You want Archeotech to be "abundant," go for it.  Your game, your rules.

 

3. (see bolded portion) Archeotech is neither abundant in the fluff nor in the equipment lists.  A handful of components in a few books does not make things abundant, it in fact shows just how rare such items are that there's a fraction as many of those as there are of more standard equipment.  Furthermore, actually obtaining even one of those items requires effort and a whole hell of a lot of luck.  Calling that abundant is plainly a misnomer.   



#48 Erathia

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:12 PM

The Core Rulebook does say that the way to acquire Archeotech is through a limited number of methods:

 

1) The Reliquary of Mars ship creation path

2) The players earn one through their Warrant of Trade

3) The GM decides that they can find one.

 

I imagine that Teleporters are Very Rare for an example of Archeotech, but are still much rarer than any other manufactured component. It's almost like the ancient and wiser predecessors of the Imperium realised how incredibly useful they would be and produced far more than they needed so that they'd never run out!

 

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#49 BaronIveagh

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:01 PM

"If archaeotech (except under near impossible circumstances) can be reverse engineered, we're no longer in a declining Imperium of Man. This is a complete setting rewrite.

 

Change on emphasis to drive the point home.

 

Alex

 

You do realize that you can even have advancing technology and still have a declining IoM right?  The decline of the IoM is more cultural than technological.  And tech gets reverse engineered all the time in fluff.  A STC find on a space hulk for example is usually an example of that STC, not a literal diagram of the item.

 

Remember that the reason that technology is failing is NOT that admech etc do not understand it, it's that knowledge is hoarded and controlled.



#50 Traejun

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:22 PM

 

"If archaeotech (except under near impossible circumstances) can be reverse engineered, we're no longer in a declining Imperium of Man. This is a complete setting rewrite.

 

Change on emphasis to drive the point home.

 

Alex

 

You do realize that you can even have advancing technology and still have a declining IoM right?  The decline of the IoM is more cultural than technological.  And tech gets reverse engineered all the time in fluff.  A STC find on a space hulk for example is usually an example of that STC, not a literal diagram of the item.

 

Remember that the reason that technology is failing is NOT that admech etc do not understand it, it's that knowledge is hoarded and controlled.

 

 

The decline of the IoM is both cultural and technological... simultaneously.  On balance, mankind has lost WAY more technological capability than it has gained in the last 10,000 years.  The only real advancements have been through STC discoveries... while during the same period, the capability to construct Terminator armour, volkite weaponry and many many voidship components has been outright lost.  And that's just a few examples.



#51 ak-73

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:49 PM

You do realize that you can even have advancing technology and still have a declining IoM right?

 

You're pointing out the obvious here though. Yes, you can.

Furthermore, the term advancing is undifferentiating. You can have advances in some areas while experiencing a general decline in technology too.

 

The decline of the IoM is more cultural than technological.

 

Well, that doesn't sound right at all.

 

 

And tech gets reverse engineered all the time in fluff.  A STC find on a space hulk for example is usually an example of that STC, not a literal diagram of the item.

 

Remember that the reason that technology is failing is NOT that admech etc do not understand it, it's that knowledge is hoarded and controlled.

 

How is a STC find not a unique, momentous occasion? Also, I'm assuming that it's easier to reverse engineer an STC toaster than a Teleportarium.

 

The fact is that the Teleportarium exists and that it is rare. So, either

  • the players try to reverse engineer something that is very, very hard to reverse engineer (RT page 198 shows that even maintaining a piece of Archaetech equipment is at -20, how much more so reverse engineering it?), or
  • it is not so hard to reverse engineer because the decline is more cultural and then the reverse engineering players play with a 21st century mindset and not with a 41st millenium mindset in which technology is something mythical.

If every faction in 40K was to act with such a mindset, then every fleet that had at least a single ship with Teleportarium would soon have about every ship fitted with one. And once players reverse engineer one piece of ship equipment, they will try to do that with other gear as well.

 

I'm sorry but I don't see how this can lead to anything else but an altered setting. I hope the players get hunted down as the hereteks that they are.

 

Alex


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#52 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 04:00 AM

 

 

 

 

You guys are only encouraging her you know. Between the lack of a PC Tech Priest and the fact she tends to play brainy support characters with a bent for tech use, her interests are more down the path of a Tech Priest than a Senechal. And I never said she was a good Senechal. And she refuses to admit that flesh is weak and get proper mechanical parts installed unless absolutely necessary.

 

Huge thanks to everyone that replied. It was a learning experience and fun to boot.

 

 

If that's the issue, by the way, note that there are Tech-priests who don't look like a walking scrap-yard. The Organicists are a faction who explicitely espouse biotechnology and the primacy of the human genome - the Omnissiah/God-Emperor chose augmented humans, not combat servitors and battle automata, when going to conquer the galaxy for a reason, they point out.

 

Equally, there are Tech-priests who just prefer to stay human-ish - or at least retain the appearance of human form. Magos Tychon, in the Priests of Mars series, appears to be a friendly, very attractive young lady with some very discreet augmetics. However, this is entirely through personal taste, and her neural augmetics are sufficiently ridiculous that at a glance she can correct the astrogation calculations of a battleship's tactical department....



#53 Magellan

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:07 AM

Magos Tychon, in the Priests of Mars series, appears to be a friendly, very attractive young lady with some very discreet augmetics.

For whatever reason, I'm just picturing a bunch of magi in red robes and black ties sitting around a table going, "gentlemen, we have to make our organisation more accessible to general audiences!".

 

Which, come to think of it, is probably exactly how Mechanicus preachers work.


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#54 Chopper Greg

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 01:40 PM

 

 

Equally, there are Tech-priests who just prefer to stay human-ish - or at least retain the appearance of human form. Magos Tychon, in the Priests of Mars series, appears to be a friendly, very attractive young lady with some very discreet augmetics. However, this is entirely through personal taste, and her neural augmetics are sufficiently ridiculous that at a glance she can correct the astrogation calculations of a battleship's tactical department....

 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong ( and I might be since I haven't read much 40K fiction ), but isn't Priests of Mars a single book rather than a series?



#55 BaronIveagh

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:33 PM

 

Well, that doesn't sound right at all.
 

 

Not really. Hereteks make advances all the time and both fluff AND crunch make it readily apparent that they do, in fact, understand the underlying principals at work.  (Feel free to read the quote at the beginning of the Arch Heretek entry)

 

The issue is that culturally innovation is strongly frowned upon and punished harshly (you become a servitor if you're lucky) and the sharing of knowledge is STRICTLY controlled by the mechanicus.  Learn more than you're allowed to know?  HERETEK! *BLAM*

 

So, with this culture in mind, yes, understanding technology becomes the bailiwick of a few, who ruthlessly defend the power and authority it gives them. 

 

 

 

 

How is a STC find not a unique, momentous occasion? Also, I'm assuming that it's easier to reverse engineer an STC toaster than a Teleportarium.

 

 

Because GW does not advance the timeline but constantly throws more events into the mix, there's been a 'unique, momentous occasion' about once a year.  Or every time there's a new codex, because the suddenly rediscovered STC is GW's Go-To way to introduce new vehicles. 

 

If you have not noticed, no fewer than four new STC aircraft alone have been found in the last hundred years now.

 

'New' Teleporariums were being produced on Mars and Cypra Mundi, timeline wise, as recently as M41 999.  Or, in other words, right now, or 100 years in the future from RT.

 

I suspect the real reason is as simple as it is obvious: most teleportariums are taken for use by IN or the Space Marines.Looking strictly at ship losses for demand, the SM alone would have required over 200 of them in the last two centuries.  Assuming that construction is slow and methodical with much chanting and praying, I can see where demand out strips production capacity and leaves 'civilians' like Rogue Traders to fend for themselves.

 

As far as AdMech doing reverse engineering, it is sort of key to the plot of the first Soul Drinkers novel.

 

Further,  certain patterns of Terminator armor are still produced, but in very small numbers.  Where do you think they come from every time a new chapter is founded?

 

 

 

If every faction in 40K was to act with such a mindset, then every fleet that had at least a single ship with Teleportarium would soon have about every ship fitted with one. And once players reverse engineer one piece of ship equipment, they will try to do that with other gear as well.

 

I might point out that outside Rogue Trader, every navy ship above an escort DOES have a teleporter...  including Space Marine ones built BY the Space Marines.  (Both in recent BLfluff and in GW released product) So someone's got an STC someplace.



#56 Magellan

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:43 PM

I agree with everything in the previous post, except the implication that Black Library is a valid source of fluff.


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#57 ak-73

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 12:14 AM

 

 

Well, that doesn't sound right at all.
 

 

Not really. Hereteks make advances all the time and both fluff AND crunch make it readily apparent that they do, in fact, understand the underlying principals at work.  (Feel free to read the quote at the beginning of the Arch Heretek entry)

 

The issue is that culturally innovation is strongly frowned upon and punished harshly (you become a servitor if you're lucky) and the sharing of knowledge is STRICTLY controlled by the mechanicus.  Learn more than you're allowed to know?  HERETEK! *BLAM*

 

So, with this culture in mind, yes, understanding technology becomes the bailiwick of a few, who ruthlessly defend the power and authority it gives them. 

 

Okay, I think we're talking a bit past each other here. You said: "The decline of the IoM is more cultural than technological."

This is different from saying: "The technological stagnation of the IoM is based mostly on cultural roadblocks than technological problems."

 

Because on the technological front, the Imperium seems to struggle to hold things together overall. What is more so: if devising a complex device such as a Teleportarium (which interacts with the Warp and as such dabbling with it borders at tech-heresy) isn't very difficult, the few you are refering to would have huge difficulties to keep control on technology. Restricting technology only works if reverse engineering is relatively difficult to achieve and you have the means to discover and take out those who manage.

 

 

I might point out that outside Rogue Trader, every navy ship above an escort DOES have a teleporter...  including Space Marine ones built BY the Space Marines.  (Both in recent BLfluff and in GW released product) So someone's got an STC someplace.

 

Seriously? Well, that's news to me. Alright, that DOES change the equation. Furthermore, in that case it will be very hard to control the knowledge required for building your own by the powers that be. It might be much easier to acquire a production plan from some source rather than disassembling, studying and reassembling it yourself. No need to reinvent the wheel.

 

Well, my basic point is: if something is very rare and hard to get, it is so for a reason. Players always seek to circumvent game world restrictions and GMs are well-advised to consider why such restrictions exist and what experiences are people in the game world have made breaking boundaries.

 

Personally, I find too much innovation or modern day approaches to technology a bit inappropriate for 40K; I prefer it being a giant struggle to keeping the whole thing together and going. The IoM being pushed on defense on the technological front with only sporadic leaps ahead here and there.

 

Alex


Edited by ak-73, 21 June 2014 - 12:22 AM.

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#58 Magellan

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 02:48 AM

Personally, I've always been strictly against the idea that technological innovation in the Imperium is only stunted because of their approach to technology. That would mean that all it would take is one heretek to completely revolutionize basically everything, and organisations like the Logicians would be impossibly far ahead of everyone else.

 

The Adeptus Mechanicus is an organisation full of inhumanly intelligent super-geniuses, experts in every field of science, in whose hands lie all the knowledge mankind possesses. They are too smart to miss all this ****. What I have been saying since forever, is that technological evolution over an area as large as the Imperium, when there is no central power able to keep the Adeptus Mechanicus all working together instead of vying for power internally, hoarding power to the point where even individual Magi don't always share their knowledge, is incredibly difficult.

 

Here's an example of how this would work if large-scale technical progress was done in the Imperium.

 

Alright, so you're a magos. You just spent the last couple of years developing a new lasrifle. It's more powerful than the previous version, holds more ammunition than previous versions and impossibly, is still as easy to learn to use and maintain, still as ergonomic and still as indestructible, and the power packs can still be charged in sunlight. Now you have to step up to the galaxy-wide Mechanicus community and explain why *your* new las-rifle design should be adopted by the whole Imperium, rather than one of the thousand other ones created by other Magi, all of whom are just as good at this and proud about their work as you. You can do this either by sending millions of astropathic messages back and forth between forge worlds, or you and all the other Magi can abandon their work for years to go to a meeting somewhere and discuss it. Traveling will take years, some will undoubtedly be late by years, some may be lost in the Warp, and the discussion itself will likely take years as well.

 

Now that you've finally managed to convince them your las-rifle is truly the best, spending almost a decade away from your work, the retooling process will have to begin. Across the galaxy, factories the size of cities are completely rebuilt, billions of workers have to be re-educated and billions of servitors reprogrammed to fashion the new parts. Paperwork has to be altered on thousands of worlds, production lines tested and perfected, numbers run and new quotas created - all the while, no new lasguns are being produced, because all those workers are busy with construction. If your new lasgun functions somewhat differently from the last, battlefield tactics and such may also need revision. All of this has to be coordinated across the galaxy. All of this, of course, can't even begin before information on the new weapon has been disseminated throughout the Imperium, and you'd better hope no system governor or Archmagos is too cheap or conservative to agree to this change, because how are you going to make them? I can't even begin to speculate on how long this would take.

 

And a few years later, a thousand artificers have developed a new lasgun design.

 

Or you could just let it be, and equip your personal skitarii bodyguard with the new lasgun nobody knows about, so you'll have an edge when the next uppity little bastard comes to claim your position.

 

Of course, that's not very relevant to smaller organisations like the Logicians. My second, less ranty point is pretty much that reverse-engineering supertech can't be that easy, or the Logicians would have brought back the Dark Age already. Reliable, self-replicating combat androids would solve most of their problems in an explosive fashion.

 

At the same time, I do feel that there could well be more unique, personal weapons in the game. I don't see anything wrong with a rogue trader having an easy time getting hold of plasma, melta or any other standard type of weapon regular imperial guardsmen have easy access to, but purchasing rarer and better weapons from your connections in the Mechanicus or other unique places. I would have liked to see more unique weapons that actually have a point to their existence, instead of just another useless pattern of lasgun or stubber that nobody will ever bother to use, since everyone starts with bolters and hellguns. There are some exotic Imperial weapons, but most of them are utter crap. Toward the end game of my campaigns, my parties are usually littered with homebrewed weapons and devices, simply because there's nothing in the books that fits their needs.

 

Lastly, it seems insane to me that a Tau pulse rifle is no harder to get a hold of than a bolter in the Expanse.


Edited by Magellan, 21 June 2014 - 02:59 AM.

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#59 Annaamarth

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 04:48 AM

 

 

 

I might point out that outside Rogue Trader, every navy ship above an escort DOES have a teleporter...  including Space Marine ones built BY the Space Marines.  (Both in recent BLfluff and in GW released product) So someone's got an STC someplace.

 

I agree with everything in the previous post, except the implication that Black Library is a valid source of fluff.

Baron, your statement is only correct if you accept BFG crunch, BLfluff and whatever nonspecific sources you haven't cited as a trustworthy source of fluff. Magellan, the interesting thing about your statement is that many people don't necessarily consider Games Workshop a valid source of fluff.

 

Consider the following:

Newcrons

Oldcrons

Khornateknights

KaldorDraigo

Centurionarmour

DeepstrikingLandraidersBanebladesorTitans

NaiveTau

OrwellianTau

 

These are things which evoke some amount of discussion or debate on the forums, and yet these are all things mentioned in the tabletop at one point or another.  Not only that, but consider how the rules of the tabletop (where the "everything above escorts gets teleportia" rule comes from in BFG, for example) frequently don't mesh with the fluff- "movie marines" are the best example of this.  In the fluff, a Space Marine can shrug off unending volleys of lasbolts.  In the crunch of the tabletop, this is... not exactly true.

 

So, we all have to find the fluff where we can.  In this case, I think, crunchwise, making Teleportaria Archeotech was a deliberate design decision to prevent the game from become Star Trek with Hats.  I think, fluffwise, making Teleportaria universally available is silly, because the only things that can be safely teleported have to be shielded or protected from the warp.  This is why the Astartes only teleport Terminators, at least historically- their shields gave them protection for the brief transit, but you still had a chance of a 'mishap' on the Deep Strike.  So, you go ahead and use the teleportarium in your fashionable longcoat and tricorn.  Let me know how that works out for you, after you gain a lascannon damage rolls worth of corruption points.

 

Contrast BFG, where everything was given Teleportaria so that boarding actions could be handled without overcomplicating things by giving everyone assault craft or boarding torpedoes.  Again, crunchwise, a deliberate design decision.  I think, fluffwise, they glossed the hell over it, because it was an awkward decision done for the sake of some value of simplicity. This is similar to the Deepstriking Baneblade that Creed is so fond of- it's not that it teleported in, it's that it was always there but nobody noticed until he told it to go active. That it just happens to use the same rules as teleportation is because the fluff and crunch don't always play nice.

 

In short, for the purposes of running a game of Rogue Trader, I consider no source of fluff canon until confirmed by me. BL, GW, FW, FFG, Lexicanum or fandom- all falls under the same scrutiny, and my feelings on the canonicity of a certain publication may vary from line to line and page to page.


Edited by Annaamarth, 21 June 2014 - 04:50 AM.

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#60 ak-73

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:27 AM

Let me just quickly remind everyone: there is no 40K canon. Ultramarines are blue but not red, that's it.

 

Personally, I like an IoM that is struggling to maintain it's technological level AND hopes for regaining lost knowledge at every opportunity. I also think that if reverse engineering is easy enough, it kinda detracts from the "holy artefact from a bygone era" vibe that surrounds archaeotech. I do accept the collapse in mentality and I accept people/groups controlling tech, I just don't want it to be all there is to it.

 

There's no accounting for taste and other people will have different preferences and I am cool with that.

 

Alex

 

PS Because there is no canon, I also prefer debates which go "I like a 40K setting in which..." rather than "In the world of 40K, there is/is not..." Not that I ain't guilty of that myself. :P


Edited by ak-73, 21 June 2014 - 05:28 AM.

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