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Expanded Multiverse Discussion Topic

Aethion EM Bionicle

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#321 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 04 2013 - 06:30 AM

*snip*

 

While true, crystal does have diferent "feel" than Stone, I would still argue against because crystals simply aren't comparatively common enough to be a specialized elemental power. While I won't argue the fact that Crystal was considered, I'd still argue against whether it is a good idea or not. And if we are going by the Author's words, I also like to remind that it was also rejected at the end of the day. Crystallization is a complex phenomenon, again I still don't think it's such a common occurence that we need an entire power set dedicated to it.

 

And while true, the water/ice and stone/earth separation is a little silly, it is still relatively explaineable. You could argue that Ice controls temperatures whereas Water doesn't, for example. Earth can also mean soil and clay, things that are not entirely solid like Stone. Stone could also denote raw physical power, seeing as how many Toa of Stone are widely considered the strongest of their respective group.

 

Separating things like Tar, Crystal and Lava into specific categories would be like if we were separate out Air into Steam and Vacuum. Yes, both occur naturally and both aren't exactly Air, but the separation is still a bit, well, plain silly.

Just because there was the whole water/ice and stone/earth separation, doesn't mean we should have more of that.

 

If we are going to have Lava as an element, we might as well also have Glass as an element, and separate Water into different stages of water, you dig?

 

The connonation "Ghost" is still a little confusing.

 

I get Fungus and Virus, but again I fail to see the necessity of making them an element, especially when trying to imagine a scenario where a Toa of Fungus would be useful in any location that isn't dark and moist, or how a Toa of Virus wouldn't be single most OP character around for having the power to kill everyone with diseases.

 

Oh no, Alchemy isn't just the process of transmuting gold. Alchemy also has many philosophical and mythological concepts and the "goal" behind varies from culture to culture. In China for example, they try to reach immortality instead of gold. Alchemy also has the idea of symbols, where through the manipulation of symbolic you can cause physical change, and vice versa. Philip Sandifer here explains quite well on the use of alchemical themes on Doctor Who.

 

And I don't quite understand your point on occultism. Sure, occultism has quite an infamy around it, but I don't see how it somehow makes it inappropriate not to be used in fiction. It's not like people are going to imediately stop what they are doing and join the nearest cult because a story used the ideas of occultism. For example, Avatar the Last Airbender uses quite a lot philosophical concepts and ideas from Hinduism and Taoism, which aren't exactly "kid-friendly" either and could be considered "evil" by religious zealots, but that certainly didn't do any damage on the show, quite the opposite really. Or if we are not going to use certain things because it's "evil" to some, what about violence in Looney Tunes?

Even Bionicle was based on Polynesian aesthetics and ideas, remember?

 

If you don't find any particular room for alchemy and occultism, sure, whatever man. But arguing you can't use it because it's not kid-friendly? That's just silly.

 

While yes, it is certainly my opinion that Toa should have a wider range of powers than crippling overspecialization, it's still worth discussing is it not? After all, common knowledge tells that a wide variety of opinions is always important to get different points of view and perspective. That's how new ideas and improvements come from, true?

Also a bit nitpicky here, but "preference of most fans" is a little too generalizing now isn't it?


Edited by SarracenianKaijin, Aug 04 2013 - 06:37 AM.

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#322 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 04 2013 - 07:15 PM

I would still argue against because crystals simply aren't comparatively common enough to be a specialized elemental power.

Actually, they're more common than natural fire (at least in Bionicle). :) Commonality is clear not necessarily a factor in canon elements -- Plasma is even rarer. Magnetics is fairly rare (on a noticeable scale). But at the end of the day, it's an element because we want it to be one and so do a lot of people. 

And if we are going by the Author's words, I also like to remind that it was also rejected at the end of the day.

The EM is not the canon -- we're free to accept what the canon doesn't. And the only reason the canon rejected it was that it wouldn't have room. We do. Again, that's part of the "expanded" theme. :)The canon rejecting any element was never meant as a prohibition on fan fiction featuring it. Far from it -- Greg often encouraged people to do things differently in their own fanfics. :) And our use of Crystal here doesn't require you to show it. You could even do an EM fanfic with a character who, perhaps having some mystical superelement, has control over Stone, Crystal, and maybe more, plus maybe others, if you want. The EM tries to allow for whatever fans want, within reason. :)But notice that if we followed your preference totally and said Crystal isn't its own element, that would displease others whose tastes make them want it to be. :)Also note that the canon had only an arbitrary dividing line of what counted as its own element and what did not, based just on preferences, whims, some logic, but that logic not applied consistently. The EM list applies logic consistently in all cases so that distinct enough things are their own element in all cases, avoiding arbitrariness.With crystal for example, the real-world conditions that allow macroscopic crystals to grow are often quite different from what allows Stone in general to grow, and just at a glance you can easily tell the difference, plus their usually linear growths and the like has different story potential, etc. As well as lightstones, heatstones, etc. coming in handy to easily make. 

don't think it's such a common occurence that we need an entire power set dedicated to it.

This is what I call "need fallacy." In fiction, these things are generally done not out of need -- nothing in fiction is really needed at all -- but out of want. :) However, given that we decided to eschew the canon's arbitrariness and go with what was popular especially and make sure the logic is consistent across the board I would actually say we DO need Crystal as its own element. :)Your motivation in writing this post appears to be to seek ways to condense the list to short, based on your tastes to do so and perhaps simply the desire to be constructively critical, looking at the list, and coming up with that idea. That's fine, but that was not our motivation in making the list at all. It was in a sense to be constructively critical of the arbitrary narrowness of the "unexpanded" canon list... but really to just let the two lists coincide in different universes, ours being "expanded." :)Make sense? :) 

And while true, the water/ice and stone/earth separation is a little silly

It's only silly if you start with the arbitrary assumption that elements should be wide-ranging. This was not the basis of Bionicle elements; rather it was to have an element for distinct natural (and later physics-based and the like) environmental feels and the like. Living amongst an arctic zone presents very different challenges than a lukewarm bay, and same with tunneling into caves versus living amidst rock formations in a desert. :)Also note re: the commonality argument -- commonality depends on the setting up of the "arena" of a world and we say that there is at least a Shard for each lesser element including the EM ones, so there would be one where even things like "Ghost" materials appear naturally. It's fiction, and part of the fun is being different from real-world assumptions, etc. 

it is still relatively explaineable. You could argue that Ice controls temperatures whereas Water doesn't, for example.

Yes, and there's no reason not to apply similar important distinctions to other materials, like heat being in two canon element so why not at least three with Lava, etc. 

Separating things like Tar, Crystal and Lava into specific categories would be like if we were separate out Air into Steam and Vacuum.

Well, a fanfic author or collaboration actually CAN do that too if they want. Just because we chose not to doesn't make it impossible or wrong. :) I have seen one at least that uses Vacuum/Void. The reason we do not is that it's not really a substance or energy but a lack of any of them, so really it's the opposite of all elements. However, the power of Vacuum certainly exists and was indeed separate from Air in the Lehvak-Kal canonically.As for steam, that really belongs more with water or (I believe) in our case as a combo. You can make a strong case for it, especially along the logic of fire's rareness, but it tends not to stick around, unlike fire which will self-perpetuate in for example a dry forest. In any event, the combo elements can definitely be used as their own elements in the EM so in a sense we do have, it's just on one list instead of the other. :)Glass was used as a combo primarily because this is the main example of a combo element that actually was shown in the canon (twice), and in fact opened up the whole idea of combos, other than Storm. And in contrast to Lava, which got a whole world themed on it and in the canon was often a major environmental factor, glass is rare both in the canon and in the EM. When it does show up in the canon it's emphasized that it's a combo. 

a Toa of Fungus would be useful in any location that isn't dark and moist

That's just the natural way to grow fungus; Toa make their element anywhere, directly from elemental energy. :)If you personally haven't thought of an application of it, that's fine. You need not write of one in your fanfics. :P But others can imagine many uses, and listed many possibilities when suggesting it originally, etc. 

or how a Toa of Virus wouldn't be single most OP character around for having the power to kill everyone with diseases.

Given that the canon has Toa of Fire, Plasma, Electricity... and let's face it, even Stone could coat you and suffocate you to the death, having a potential for harm is not a ban on it being a Toa element. Also, I must wonder why you seemed to accept Acid, which has the same issue. :P Please note that Viruses, especially in canon Bionicle, can do much more than only harm. Grant powers, etc. But we consider there to be rather severe limitations on this one, similar to the GBs' limitations on Gravity and Psionics, to avoid the OP possibility.Plus, of course, say a Toa of Virus goes rogue and tries to attack a Toa of Ice. The Toa might see the beam of energy flying, and simply freeze it and the Virus Toa. Even if he was infected first, it would take a while for the virus to take effect, while the Toa of Virus is still open to attack.Manipulation of something like symbols to cause physical change may very well be possible with protodermis, since the physical effects and substance identities are "programmed" somehow in the protodermis molecules, and can be switched, theoretically, from one substance to another. I mention this in more detail in a theory of protodermis I plan to release coinciding with my upcoming Bionicle history retelling. :)Re: occultism -- Well, we do have mysticism. We draw the line somewhere that isn't a total ban on similar things, but clearly controversial things we shy away from as does LEGO. But there IS an island of BZ-Koro that's devoted to mysticism, if memory serves, mentioned I think on the map of Alarist.You raise a reasonable point about the Last Airbender, but it handles them in a general mysticism and elemental powers type of way at least from what little I've seen, with the movie and the LEGO line. Either way, not really Bionicle's style anyways.Polynesian cultural elements are not widely viewed as inherently evil; having a style of a statue for example is, as you say, just aesthetics. But Bionicle would not feature some things from that culture that would be more controversial and in any event, none of this is what we're going for with the Expanded Multiverse. Others can tell their own fanfics in their own preferred styles and aspects. :)And note that you are being critical of not using these elements [Edit: That's probably a confusing word choice in this context lol... aspects?], but if that alone was a reason for us to do it, then those being critical OF using it would logically also be a reason to not do it, so where would that leave us?At the end of the day, the EM is a story with core secrets that are meant to be brought out eventually through the Cipher Chronicles that have a lot to do with why the world is how it is, and these just don't happen to be along these lines of the ideas we picked for those secrets. I obviously can't make the reasons why clear to you yet without giving away spoilers. :)Re: crippling overspecialization -- I really don't buy that kind of reasoning. Toa of the canon elements that are also present here can do all the things they're shown doing in the canon and canon Toa get along without adding extra powers like crystal or acid or lava within their elements. Having a narrower range of powers does obviously have limitations (and it's generally agreed by fans that this is a good thing; otherwise you get overpowered characters, and you yourself mentioned that this could be a problem), but the primary limitations -- one of the core themes of Bionicle -- is imagination as to how you apply what you've got. :)And I must wonder why a story could not be told about a "cripple" either? ^_^ It makes for conflict and that's generally needed for plot and good characterization. Maybe the mysterious origins of the EM have in a sense inflicted some limitations on the characters that others in other universes don't have -- that doesn't amount to a reason not to tell this story. :)In any event, the elements that are on the approved EM list are not coming off. We may add a few more if good suggestions are made (though at this point I doubt it as it seems pretty complete to me), but taking off approved ones wouldn't be fair to fans who got their ideas approved or others who used them in their own EM fanfics, etc. There's no need to take them off, obviously.

 

 

Ultimately this comes down to an apparent difference in personal taste, which is perfectly okay, but doesn't amount to a universal rule that all other fans must adhere to, and the theme of your post -- trying to narrow things -- is pretty much the opposite of the theme of the Expanded Multiverse. Neither option is inherently better or worse, so it really doesn't matter which way we went, and we picked this one. ^_^Hope this helps.


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 04 2013 - 07:34 PM.

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#323 Offline Katuko

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Posted Aug 04 2013 - 07:20 PM

I agree with all of the above. (EDIT: Before bonesii butted in in-between.) I believe certain elements - such as crystal - were voted highly mostly because the alternatives I remember ("void", "energy") were too far remove from the core principle, leaving mostly just the stuff that canon hadn't already added. There's no real reason to add more full-fledged elements. The rest had already been taken, and Psionics in canon was really stretching it already.The below rant was written before bones came with the post above, which kinda explains some of the issue (that the Expanded Multiverse is already rampantly non-canon and distanced from the original BIONICLE), but I'll just let my two cents stay below anyways.Why would "virus" be considered an element? Plant is so-and-so because it creates a certain brand of organic matter, but a virus is mostly getting into some strange medical science form of Toa that is too far removed from the original idea of elements as somewhat mystical and integral parts of the world. Ditto for fungus. I'd just toss that under "plant life", definition be darned. What would a Toa of Fungi contribute to anything?Tar... it's just sticky goo. What can you do with sticky goo? Water can make semi-goo by mixing with mud or something, but I can't think of a single occasion where "Toa of Tar" would be appropriate for a story or even plausible in a story. I can get behind a Toa capable of manipulating water, earth, etc; but tar doesn't have any reason to be created.Alchemy... it's a concept of "how to mix this and that together", not an force of nature or something. What would Alchemy even do as an element? Transmuting whatever into whatever works more like "magic" than an element. What would the Elemental Energy be? "EE of Change"? "EE of Alchemy?" How do you absorb Alchemy? How do you create raw Alchemy in the air? At least tar is a substance that can be created, and heat/electricity/magnetic waves can all be found naturally.Toa having wide control is not all that necessary. Magnetism push/pull/fling/crush, that's fine. You can shoot magnetic waves, remove magnetism in the area, change the magnetic properties of an object. Magnetism is commonly found everywhere. It fits as an element. Tar does not. It's derived from wood and some other stuff, so if anything I'd jam that under Plant Life too.I also don't get the last part about occultism and "elemental feel". Virus control, tar and fungi sound about as far removed from the standard concept of an BIONICLE element I can think of, and that has nothing to do with occultism. It just has to do with how it sounds more like some Dark Hunter's mutant power, or just not fit to be a full-fledged element in the first place. I like to think about what reason a Great Being would have to sit down and say "Yeah, we should make tar an element. Let's have Tar-Matoran walking around in their Tar village; building and manipulating Tar for a living. Their special ability would be to be dark and dirty and sticky all the time, and to burn really well when lit on fire. Their Toa would shoot streams of black goo which yields no cleansing or utility like water; no solid material like earth and rock; no damaging effect like fire or plasma; and no inherent motion like magnetism, gravity or telekinesis." Replace Tar with Virus or Alchemy and you get the core issue of this.I can see the GBs sticking Tar as a power on some random creature just to see how it works out, but to make it a primary function of a division of their "primary" species doesn't make much sense based on the rest of the theme. If anything I'd see an amalgation of Water/Air/Plant Life/Earth into the Robo Riders-esque "Swamp" theme be a lot more fitting for BIONICLE than Tar as an element would be. Or Virus. Or Alchemy. Or I'm going to bed now, I've made my point.

Edited by Katuko, Aug 04 2013 - 07:24 PM.

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#324 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 04 2013 - 08:14 PM

Note: Your opening clarifications are noted, K, but might as well answer your specific questions. :)

Why would "virus" be considered an element?
I should mention that all of our specific reasoning may not be available anymore, and my memory is notoriously unreliable so I'm just going off of what I do recall (the entire EM discussion topic on the old forum was unfortunately lost). But I believe the common use of it in canon and the fact that it's a major branch of common non-sentient life was the main reason, as well as of course story potential and imagination.

What would a Toa of Fungi contribute to anything?
Well, any benefits that fungus could impart. :) I really don't see why it needs to be lumped in with plants. We felt that wouldn't make as much sense.

Tar... it's just sticky goo
And ice is just frozen water, fire is just combustible materials plus heat. Why would identifying what an element is amount to an argument against including it?

I can't think of a single occasion where "Toa of Tar" would be appropriate for a story or even plausible in a story.
Well, that's perfectly fine. Others can and did, and we intend to use it at least somewhere in the Cipher Chronicles. I don't see why it would be too hard to imagine uses same as anything else. Just think about its properties and use your imagination (what LEGO's all about after all and what the EM is all about fostering ^_^).Yes, it's exotic, but that's part of the fun of it. :)

What would Alchemy even do as an element?
I didn't get the impression that he was suggesting an element of Alchemy. Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought he brought up alchemy as part of his reasoning why he didn't get why Gold was a separate element from Iron (answered in my first reply).In any event, I would see that as a power if anything... or a science if it gets into protodermis's physics as mentioned earlier.Note that Transmutation is essentially what alchemy does, if I understand it right (I admit alchemy is not an area of my expertise), and many EM approved powers involve transmutation (some of the winning Tyrant powers come to mind, and I think some of the mask powers).

Tar does not. It's derived from wood and some other stuff, so if anything I'd jam that under Plant Life too.
I think we considered that, but much real-world "tar" can come about through purely geologic processes (especially volcanic), and in any event need not be related to plants in the EM/Bionicle fiction. If anything we would have made it a combo element rather than actually in Plant Life, since it's not alive.

I like to think about what reason a Great Being would have to sit down and say "Yeah, we should make tar an element.
Don't assume that this is the reason the EM elements ended up how they were in-story (again I can't reveal the actual reason; it's tied in to the biggest secret to be revealed in the finale).But IF a GB or anyone else DID pick these elements (not saying they did), then I guess it would depend on their personality, imagination, etc. There could be some people who would say yes to this and some who would say no.

Let's have Tar-Matoran walking around in their Tar village; building and manipulating Tar for a living.
Actually one of the primary uses of tar would be to stick wood together to build waterproofed huts. :) That's not at all unimagineable. I forget if this was mentioned in a Shards entry for it (only that at least one entry was made for it), but that'll come up soon as I'll need to be reviewing them all before making the polls. Tar-Matoran, if they were at least good at using tar (if not making it) would actually be able to make a very good living out of it, as many other Matoran and other species would likely want the product.

Their special ability would be to be dark and dirty and sticky all the time
It would not be sticky all the time per se (there would be a lot of variety of what counts as Tar). Roads often use tar, which will dry to unsticky hard solid, after all. And come to think of it, roads would be another valuable use of it, although I tend to think of what roads are there as dirt paths in the EM (but I'm sure there are exceptions where wheeled vehicles are used).Of course, if someone wanted a type of Tar that was sticky and gooey all the time I definitely see that as possible as well. I imagine the Tar Shard would have permanent tar pits as an environmental thing (though again I forget if this was actually mentioned in the contest entry/ries). Perhaps a slightly sticky one to use as reuseable glue to temporarily stick a wooden tablet to a wall, as "sticky tack" is often used in real life.

to burn really well when lit on fire.
That would be another good use too. :) Seems to me you're actually doing a good job of thinking of uses! And this is where its story potential comes in, and it felt unique enough to us to gets its own element and Shard Moon. :)

Their Toa would shoot streams of black goo which yields no cleansing or utility like water; no solid material like earth and rock
You can list things that any element doesn't do. Air has no solid material either; certainly we wouldn't think that amounts to a rule not to have it. Since Ice was separated out, neither does water (probably the closest comparison to tar in its more liquid state). And I dunno about no cleansing utility. If you wanted to remove grains from a smooth surface, something relatively sticky could help with that.But I wouldn't think of Earth (essentially dirt) as inherently cleansing either (except that of course a Toa of it can command it to leave a surface, but so could a Toa of Tar with his element), nor Sand, etc. (Although there's sand-blasting... but I digress.)

no damaging effect like fire or plasma
Well, if you made a flammable type and heat was around... But honestly, I tend to think of natural tar pits as a rather terrifying danger if you fall in; I would think if anything someone might question it as a Toa element due to being TOO dangerous (but then Plasma disproves that as a universal rule).

and no inherent motion like magnetism, gravity or telekinesis.
I'm really not sure why you bring this up in relation to tar.

Replace Tar with Virus or Alchemy and you get the core issue of this.
I'm also not sure what you mean by this. Could you perhaps clarify, if only for sake of having fun discussing it? :) And just in case it's clear, Alchemy is NOT an EM element, while Tar and Virus are.

If anything I'd see an amalgation of Water/Air/Plant Life/Earth into the Robo Riders-esque "Swamp" theme be a lot more fitting for BIONICLE than Tar as an element would be.
I probably should actually check the list to make sure I'm not remembering these things wrong (though I'm short on time at moment), but pretty sure we DID include Swamp as a combo element.

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#325 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 05 2013 - 02:58 AM

 

*snip*

 

 

I still don't believe that anyone is actually losing much without an element that won a popularity contest. This is not the problem of wide-range, so much a problem, again, of needless overspecialization.

"Most people like it", but "most people" that I know would also agree with me.

Overspecialization sure creates conflict, but its the cheapest conflict, that only makes people question the point of it. When a Toa of Tar gets into trouble, the question wouldn't be "Ooh, what's gonna happen next?", but "Why on earth is Tar an element?". It's the same arguement with video games with overtly complex control scheme; yeah it's difficult, but the difficulty doesn't come from the actual game at all.

 

And when you take account how canon powers are still the same, that makes the overtly specialized elements even more ridiculous. It's adding things for the sake of adding things that doesn't actually give depth, that's my problem with these new elements. Overtly specialized powers is something pretty much every superhero parody has made fun of since forever now.

 

I still don't see how occultism is exactly controversial, when all I said was suggest using a specific idea of it, rather than actively promote occultism.

 

And I don't think you've really understood what I meant by "manipulation of symbols".

 

Also on an unrelated note: Brevity is the soul of wit, man. It's good when people have much to say, but man, cut stuff out, summarize and condense. You don't need to be this specific and throughout.


Edited by SarracenianKaijin, Aug 05 2013 - 03:01 AM.

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#326 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 05 2013 - 03:41 AM

I still don't believe that anyone is actually losing much without an element that won a popularity contest.

Sure, but that's probably "in the eye of the beholder". :) Instead of trying to measure how much is lost, given that losing it is not at all necessary, why not just allow it to be gained? :) 

This is not the problem of wide-range, so much a problem, again, of needless overspecialization.

Honestly, I'm not aware of any objective, generalized sound argument that one or the other is inherently better. I have had fun imagining lists of elements that put all forms of water into one (Ice included), Earth and Stone into one, etc. I get that. It's just not the story we chose to pick for the Expanded Multiverse because again, the theme we're going for with this one is "expanded". :)

 

Overspecialization sure creates conflict, but its the cheapest conflict

By what measuring scale?

 

that only makes people question the point of it

Are we not equally free to question the point of for example, what I did with some ideas (not actually published as of yet) condensing Ice and Water into one element? Isn't this really just subjective? :)

 

Obviously Bionicle saw some use of separating the two as it allowed for more Toa with major natural regions originally. Likewise with the increased separation here, with the same basic point at least in the cases of the Shards and also with some of them with whole planets. The idea is to reward imagination, if you will, by challenging it.

 

To take the example of Tar -- it's less stimulating to simply neglect to mention tar at all as the current canon (as far as I recall) does, than to say "Tar is an element" and challenge you to think of ways it might be useable. That's the basic idea of the EM. (It also provided for more possible contest entries, for example.)

 

When a Toa of Tar gets into trouble, the question wouldn't be "Ooh, what's gonna happen next?", but "Why on earth is Tar an element?"

Maybe, but people have been having that question since 2001 about Ice and yet loving Kopaka. :) Kopaka challenges us to go beyond what we had previously imagined. And at least with LEGO-themed stories, since imagination is the whole rallying cry of LEGO, I find that to be possibly the more valuable route, certainly not the cheapest. :)

 

Though ultimately it is probably entirely subjective. (Since we can theoretically use the imagination even more if increased specialization as well as decreased specialization can both exist in different stories, different corners of the same stories, etc.)

 

And when you take account how canon powers are still the same, that makes the overtly specialized elements even more ridiculous. It's adding things for the sake of adding things that doesn't actually give depth, that's my problem with these new elements.

Except that adding things itself is desired out of depth. :) Or so we feel. I mean, there's a somewhat casual (intentionally) feel to the EM, largely due to the contest theme, but we certainly do try to have deep emotional themes and psychology and the like in the Cipher Chronicles, and it's intentionally heavily mysterious. But to each his own. I think no experienced author would ever imagine that his or her stories would happen to please everybody equally. That's the nature of the beast of varying personal preferences. :)

 

It's enough to write stories that please us and please the people who have been fans all along or being new instantly resonate with it when they discover it, or it grows on them, etc. :)

 

Overtly specialized powers is something pretty much every superhero parody has made fun of since forever now.

Well, a parody's job is to make fun of something. I imagine they could do just as well making fun of beings as overpowered. But I wouldn't know what's more in vogue at the moment as I can't offhand think of any that I've actually found interesting enough to watch/read/whatever. :P

 

BTW, do you mean "overly?"

 

Anywho, my thinking is that someone can ridicule a wider imagination, but still miss out on something that is actually worth it if they were to open their mind to it. (I suppose that goes both ways as I guess you can argue I miss out on superhero parodies?) I actually find it thrilling to take the very things the self-proclaimed experts claim you can't do well in fiction and actually do it well according to the people who read my stories. I like to challenge preconceptions.

 

It occurs to me that maybe people have sort of subconsciously been assuming, "you can't have a story with Tar as an element" and all along missed out on how, if you just allow yourself to take that idea seriously, you could enjoy it, be intellectually stimulated by it, etc. and maybe even come to a deeper realization that your preconceptions may have only been a habit of tradition after all.

 

Might be worth it to add that when these were suggested generally the reaction was, "hey, I love that idea!" and we definitely factored that into the decision. People had opportunities to raise criticisms long before these were accepted, and the ones that they did (though this is hardly all that went into it) generally were not accepted, or were relegated to obscure combos or whatnot. If (to continue the example, not to beat a dead horse) Tar had been as ridiculous to everybody as it appears to be to your personal tastes, I would have expected a very different reaction. :P

 

I still don't see how occultism is exactly controversial, when all I said was suggest using a specific idea of it, rather than actively promote occultism.

Actually I think I probably misunderstood what you meant by it, yeah. Maybe for example the island of mysticism (or whatever we called it) might already fill the sort of role you were thinking of? Of course, the EM also takes a heavily science fiction route, but with some kind of balance there, given that it's a mystery-themed story (that is, most of the mysteries have a rational explanation and the idea is to get thrill out of the chase after it and the eventual discovery in the story).

 

And I don't think you've really understood what I meant by "manipulation of symbols".

Well, what I brought up was more of a suggestion of another way it could plausibly work in the EM. :) But perhaps you could clarify what you did mean?

 

Also on an unrelated note: Brevity is the soul of wit, man. It's good when people have much to say, but man, cut stuff out, summarize and condense. You don't need to be this specific and throughout.

Pet peeve when people say this, especially after raising a large number of questions which to do justice with clear answers takes space. :P (And usually when I actually follow this advice I get the opposite criticism that I left points unanswered. :lol: If you notice, my first reply to you actually was very condensed but it seems you did not feel that was sufficient?) But I agree with the general sentiment, I'm just (ironically) short on time at the moment to refine drafts. Feel free to skim and such.

 

Also, I think you meant thorough. But thoroughness is of course my signature style. :P


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 05 2013 - 04:14 AM.

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#327 Offline Katuko

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Posted Aug 05 2013 - 06:09 AM

What would a Toa of Fungi contribute to anything?

Well, any benefits that fungus could impart. :)

And then you know what I have to ask: What would that be? :) 

Tar... it's just sticky goo

And ice is just frozen water, fire is just combustible materials plus heat. Why would identifying what an element is amount to an argument against including it?

It is an argument against it if the element does not provide any utility that can not already be done better by other elements. That's why I compared tar to the existing ones.For liquids, we have water, which is very versatile already. For solids, we have earth (loose, tunnels) / stone (hard, thick, buildings) / ice (cold, environmental) / metal (strong, thin, objects) / plants (organic, natural, environmental). For destruction we have fire (heat, flame, combustion, smelting) / plasma (high energy, vaporization) / potentially lightning (electricity, power). For manipulation of natural forces we have magnetism, gravity and later psionics.Tar accomplishes nothing special compared to these, is my point. Maybe you can make a hut out of it, but the other Matoran seem to be doing fine already with stone, metal and regular plants in their own environments. While Matoran already live in dangerous places, I'd say that at least Ta-Koro's volcano provided a shield against intruders. Meanwhile, making a hut in the middle of a tar field sounds more like an invitation to disaster for yourself, and as far as defense goes a single torch might counter it.Reading up on it, tar could be useful for one thing that others can't do, though: It could be used to flavor shampoo. Woo-hoo. ;D 

What would Alchemy even do as an element?

I didn't get the impression that he was suggesting an element of Alchemy. Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought he brought up alchemy as part of his reasoning why he didn't get why Gold was a separate element from Iron (answered in my first reply).In any event, I would see that as a power if anything... or a science if it gets into protodermis's physics as mentioned earlier.Note that Transmutation is essentially what alchemy does, if I understand it right (I admit alchemy is not an area of my expertise), and many EM approved powers involve transmutation (some of the winning Tyrant powers come to mind, and I think some of the mask powers).

Sorry, I saw it listed and assumed it was being discussed as an EM element. But yeah, alchemy would be the idea of transmuting one substance into another. Ancient alchemists sought to change worthless material into gold and other valuables, while others wanted to find a method of living forever.In pop culture, Fullmetal Alchemist is a series which embraced the concept of alchemy as the main power of its characters. An alchemist would draw complex diagrams to use as a magic trigger circle of sorts, and add the required ingredients. They would then be able to transmute the provided material into something else made of the same base. For example, a rock could be transmuted into something else of the same size made out of rock; a pile of sand could become glass; carbon could become diamond; and so on. The key was that you could never go beyond the limits of the material provided, unless you provided a cost. The main characters' backstory involves losing limbs after they tried and failed to resurrect his mother -- because he had provided the material for reconstructing a body, but not anything to pay for the extra cost of regaining her soul/personality/"life spark"/whatever.Going off topic here, but in short: the idea of an alchemy/transmutation power would probably fit better as a mask than an element. I misunderstood that it was not on the table for element discussion anyways.

Tar does not. It's derived from wood and some other stuff, so if anything I'd jam that under Plant Life too.

I think we considered that, but much real-world "tar" can come about through purely geologic processes (especially volcanic), and in any event need not be related to plants in the EM/Bionicle fiction. If anything we would have made it a combo element rather than actually in Plant Life, since it's not alive.

Elemental names have been shown to be somewhat misleading anyways. Iron is "metal", not just iron, and what I call Plant Life is actually called just "The Green" in canon, if I'm not mistaken. I just prefer "plant life", I don't think that the plant matter such a Toa creates needs to be alive at all.

I like to think about what reason a Great Being would have to sit down and say "Yeah, we should make tar an element.

Don't assume that this is the reason the EM elements ended up how they were in-story (again I can't reveal the actual reason; it's tied in to the biggest secret to be revealed in the finale).But IF a GB or anyone else DID pick these elements (not saying they did), then I guess it would depend on their personality, imagination, etc. There could be some people who would say yes to this and some who would say no.

Well, there's still the

It would not be sticky all the time per se (there would be a lot of variety of what counts as Tar). Roads often use tar, which will dry to unsticky hard solid, after all. And come to think of it, roads would be another valuable use of it, although I tend to think of what roads are there as dirt paths in the EM (but I'm sure there are exceptions where wheeled vehicles are used).

I'd toss road-making under stone or earth depending on the type of road. Unless you want to make asphalt etc. separate elements too; I think a bunch of Po-Matoran would be capable of creating a nice and smooth surface without any tar or asphalt or such. They've certainly made smooth enough objects before. 

Seems to me you're actually doing a good job of thinking of uses! And this is where its story potential comes in, and it felt unique enough to us to gets its own element and Shard Moon. :)

I just feel that it's still not an Element. It's more of a cop-out to stick any given thing as an element, I think. Like, the Sisters of the Skrall were a nice way to have a psionic-using species around, whereas Toa of Psionics sounds iffy because they breaks the "rules" of the other elements. I could get right behind a tar-dwelling species of some sort, but making them Toa element sounds to me like people absolutely have to have Toa do everything instead of focusing on other potentially interesting species for once. Wasn't that some of the point of the EM in the first place, to branch out to new settings and species and stuff?

Their Toa would shoot streams of black goo which yields no cleansing or utility like water; no solid material like earth and rock

You can list things that any element doesn't do. Air has no solid material either; certainly we wouldn't think that amounts to a rule not to have it. Since Ice was separated out, neither does water (probably the closest comparison to tar in its more liquid state). And I dunno about no cleansing utility. If you wanted to remove grains from a smooth surface, something relatively sticky could help with that.

Air is everywhere around us. Air can be used for floating and gliding, for breathing underwater, to create pressure or suction. It fits into the environmental theme. It's also a classic element for the reason that it holds dominion over the skies, whereas earth controls land and water the sea. Fire is often associated with the sun, and with warmth and life and also "pure" destruction. BIONICLE chose to split classical earth in two, and made one hard/desert and the other loose/underground. Similarly, the frozen mountaintops recieved their own unique environment.I can potentially get behind tar pits being a place. Just not an element. Making tar an element just seems to be like grasping for elemental straws because every other aspect of nature has been "filled in" by an element.What I meant about cleansing is that typically, water is seen as "pure" -- and thus it was given the arbitrary healing properties we saw in Mask of Life. A clear blue ocean is a symbol of openness and purity. Make that an ocean of tar and you just get goop, dirt and pollution.

But I wouldn't think of Earth (essentially dirt) as inherently cleansing either (except that of course a Toa of it can command it to leave a surface, but so could a Toa of Tar with his element), nor Sand, etc. (Although there's sand-blasting... but I digress.)

no damaging effect like fire or plasma

I didn't call earth cleansing. There's a semi-colon between each comparison there. 

Replace Tar with Virus or Alchemy and you get the core issue of this.

I'm also not sure what you mean by this. Could you perhaps clarify, if only for sake of having fun discussing it? :) And just in case it's clear, Alchemy is NOT an EM element, while Tar and Virus are.

I'm saying that "virus" does not fit any definition of "element" I have seen. It's stuff that the Makuta made in labs, yes, but making a Toa of Virus sounds like perhaps the most ridiculous element so far. I mean, what does it even do? Create a virus? Any custom-tooled virus affecting cells in the target? How would you even get/produce Virus Elemental Energy? It's creating living things, even. I'd toss Virus under Life, perhaps. Apart from that, it breaks elemental convention, so to speak.These better fit as abilities, or else you're opening up for making a Bacteria element, an Insect element... or, if judging by Sulfur and Silver and Mercury apparently being their own elements already, you should just grab the periodic table already and go to town. Toa of Noble Gases. Toa of Nuclear Energy. Toa of Viscous-yet-still-pliable-Rubber. 

If anything I'd see an amalgation of Water/Air/Plant Life/Earth into the Robo Riders-esque "Swamp" theme be a lot more fitting for BIONICLE than Tar as an element would be.

I probably should actually check the list to make sure I'm not remembering these things wrong (though I'm short on time at moment), but pretty sure we DID include Swamp as a combo element.

Combo elements are fine by me. Elements that are made out of minor, more specific ideas such as tar; or which grab elements off the periodic table (Mercury for liquid metal, when a Toa of Iron could already move metal almost as easily as liquid) just strikes me at moving away from the idea behind BIONICLE elements.

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#328 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 05 2013 - 05:59 PM

It is an argument against it if the element does not provide any utility that can not already be done better by other elements.

The main reason we approved it if memory serves is that it is the only (room temperature; lava is an exception but that has the obvious problem) major natural substance that exists in a state in between liquid and solid. Technically a gel. You can make a case for a few things like mud or sap but these more clearly belong as combo elements or simply products of another (plants).

 

However, as has been pointed out many times in past element discussions, "use not already done better by other elements" is not the only use of an element or only reason to consider it one. For example, much of what Ice does, being solid, can be done by Stone. Being slippery could be done by Water. Being cold is pretty much its only unique trait, but if we list everything Ice can do, it goes far beyond this.

 

Now, granted, Ice is far more common than things like Acid or Mercury, but that's intentional. The idea of the rarer elements was to fill in the list of what of the major but not super-common substances would make more sense having someone to control them in a universe in which there's plenty of room for it, or which ones would work better as combos etc. Rarity was not meant to mean it couldn't be considered an element, nor being the only useful thing that could do something, as multiple elements can exist that can do many of the same things as others, just in different ways. :)

 

It's more about what is a more unique substance (or energy), what's major substance types (again, not counting rarity but in form, since rarity really depends on the authors in fiction), different feels of things, etc. Also things that present dangers that a Matoran specialty could be better adapted to, etc. (like natural tar pits or knowing what types of mushrooms are poisonous, similar to heat or freezing, etc.).

 

Note that one problem with the "ban an element if another element already handles it is", which element, then, comes first? For example, the things that fungus does that plants do could cover most of the good of plants, and the rest could go under Stone or others, so perhaps Plants should be banned? Where do you start? So you see, that's a type of reasoning that strays from strict objectivity because you have to pick one to start with. Obviously, you would have to start with the canon ones, but from the POV of the EM, fungus is just as valid as plants.

 

Let's dispense with the quotes for now:

 

 

Re: uses of fungus -- Well, what are the traits of fungus? Much of it tends to be mushrooms. Here you get a lot of practical purposes. For example, natural water pool collectors, or shelves. Shelf fungus itself will make even better natural shelves obviously. Other stranger shapes of it like puffy fungus (not sure of the proper term) could have any use those shapes have. There's the many medicinal or nutritious uses, contrasted with poison uses (such as a stun poison, though evil beings could go beyond that).

 

In this case, of course, the fact that it's the third major branch of life and it's so alien compared to plants and animal life, so fragile in ways that plants aren't for example, growing in regular, easily recognized shapes that plants usually don't, etc. really should be enough. Having a Toa of Ferns because they're very different plants wouldn't make much sense, but fungus is not plants at all. That should leave it distinctly outside the control of Toa of Plants, I think we can agree if we look at it objectively, which means in the canon it wouldn't be controlled by anybody (merely because there was no story room for it). Well, here it is. :)

 

Re: Liquids, solids, etc. -- well, there's more to it than this. EM liquids include Water, Acid, Lava, and Mercury. Each has a (rather obvious) distinct trait that separates it from the other. Tar is semi-liquid normally so is the only main one (other than again the combo of mud, cooler lava, etc.) that is naturally in the gel state.For Solids, we have Earth, Sand, Stone, Iron, Silver, Gold, and others. Just starting with these, there is a major distinct trait in each case; Earth is technically solid and can pack together but can also flow like a liquid. Sand is the same but with larger grains so it's more abrasive, harder to walk on, yet has other obvious distinct traits. Stone is hard but brittle, Iron is hard but more malleable, Silver is about the same but channels protodermic powers, Gold is a soft malleable substance, strong enough to form basic supports but also very good when you need inherent flexibility.And then there's Tar which can go beyond the bounds of these, somewhat similar to Earth but in a more sticky or liquid-like way.Re: "tar accomplishes nothing special" -- but this is only so if you ignore what it does accomplish, and I don't know why someone would want to do that. Also, you clearly have your own philosophy about what should qualify as an element, which goes quite a bit beyond the canon one (which is simply, a major aspect of nature and is inherently arbitrary, re: the old points about how some cultures call wood an element, etc.). Accomplishing something special (especially when you're arbitrarily confining what counts as something to a very, very narrow list) is not the primary consideration either in canon or EM per se. It helps give additional reason to make something an element, sure, but I think of it more as "being unique and more like a basic building block than a combo".In the case of tar, being a gel that can have a variety of sources (rather than all plant residue or whatever), and behaves in ways not the same as any other element is enough.Re: "Matoran are doing fine without tar" -- Actually I strongly suspect that Ga-Matoran at least use sap for the equivalent or the hut that "sank" would have leaked and they'd have drowned. Either way, the ability to survive without it is not the same as it not giving an advantage. Again, you could already make that case for many canon elements. Ga-Matoran seem to generally get along fine without Ko-Matoran being involved for example.Also, don't forget that being a main element means it will have at least some Toa who control it. There the usefulness gets really obvious; far beyond "hey Matoran, need something to keep those bricks in place?" now you can make sticky patches on the ground to trap an enemy's feet, shoot a flowing beam attack with more oomph than water but not quite as dangerous as ice or stone, spook a more gullible one in dim lighting by animating it to seem eerily organic (versus a very slow moving rock monster or an obvious water animation, etc.), or easily encage a foe despite even strong attempts to shatter the cage.Re: "hut in the middle of a tar field" -- I never meant to imply they would do such a thing. Only that Tar Matoran would likely be better at extracting it for use in building huts. :) But they probably would feel more comfortable living near one. Although, your point about Ta-Koro is a good one but it seems you haven't realized it works against the anti-tar conclusion -- I suppose a situation like that but replace lava with tar could indeed make for an effective defense.Keep in mind that the flammable types of tar are not all that I consider to count in this element. Gooey, dark substances are the rule; the other traits vary (and given that this is artificial physics from protodermis anyways, even varieties you don't happen to find in real matter can exist).Let's do a quote on this one: 

For example, a rock could be transmuted into something else of the same size made out of rock; a pile of sand could become glass; carbon could become diamond; and so on. The key was that you could never go beyond the limits of the material provided, unless you provided a cost.

My protodermis theory actually provides a way to be very similar to that, interestingly. The easiest examples would be switching a molecule from behaving like limestone to behaving like (say) granite. With more cost you could transcend boundaries of categories and switch to other categories. But I'd rather save the exact mechanism for when I post that theory along with the retelling so yeah. Suffice to say, I consider a "mysterious process" of that kind of full alchemy to be possible in the EM (and anywhere else there's protodermis; even if my proposed method were not correct other methods could do the same basic thing). 

Elemental names have been shown to be somewhat misleading anyways. Iron is "metal", not just iron, and what I call Plant Life is actually called just "The Green" in canon, if I'm not mistaken.

Well, for the EM we took that poetic name of Iron as a basic guideline (not that this is canon) for "Iron-like varieties of metal", while some of the stranger ones like Gold, power-channeling Silver, and Mercury got their own.With Plant Life, I forget if Greg ever actually used it, but it IS the basic definition. It's at least "Jungle" on Bara Magna, and "The Green" is a poetic name that means at least "Plants", even if it includes for example dead wood. The wood is at least produced by what was once living, if you find it naturally. (I suppose Toa might be able to make dead wood on the spot, but yeah.) 

Well, there's still the

Methinks you forgot to finish a thought here. :)Re: "I'd toss" -- Just so I don't repeat myself over and over, from now on consider part of all my replies to this kind of thing to be "your own preferences for a system of what would go on your own elements list is valid but is largely a matter of personal taste; ours is intentionally less stringent than that."Yes, a road could be made out of earth (as I say I think most EM roads we actually mentioned are, to be fair), or Stone but tar could be more durable than Stone. (Technically I would consider its hardened state to BE stone, actually, but probably of a type that in hot weather might cross back over into a very tough gel state and be controllable again.) It could also be easier for a non-Toa to make a smooth road with it, simply by collecting it from a natural source and applying it, unlike Stone.Re: Po-Matoran making smooth stone road -- well, only if they chisel it out from bedrock or the like. If they're laying stone pieces down over a dirt route it'll be like a Roman road, which is better than nothing in general but for wheels less than ideal, and would fall out of place eventually as the ground settles, etc. Tar Matoran could do a much better job. True, Tar can crack but can also be more easily readjusted. 

I just feel that it's still not an Element. It's more of a cop-out to stick any given thing as an element, I think.

Well, I don't see it that way. And it IS an EM element. It need not be a Katuko element to be an EM element. :) You could even tell an EM story if you wish while entirely ignoring the existence of Tar. I don't consider it a common element. For the most part if you simply don't have the Tar Shard get visited it would be easy to live most of your life never encountering it (as with several of the lesser elements like Plasma).It's true that at the get-go we intentionally try to expand the list, but there's no set number of how big the list need be, and artificially inflating it is not what we want. Tar has a unique and fundamental enough of a "total set of traits" compared to other more fundamental, naturally-found and not combo-like substances/forces total sets that if we just toss any emotional bias aside, clearly it belongs on the list, albeit as an obscure one. 

Like, the Sisters of the Skrall were a nice way to have a psionic-using species around, whereas Toa of Psionics sounds iffy because they breaks the "rules" of the other elements.

That's a fair point -- on the other hand, I never considered those extra restrictions to be necessary. There's no logical reason the GBs CAN'T add special cautionary restrictions to some elements, so the judgement on the iffy question here can easily come down as it did. However, in my own fanfics at least I see no reason Psionic energy can't be absorbed, for example.So, that rule-breaking (or rather extra rules) was Greg's own idea and is not essential for Psionics to be an element. 

I could get right behind a tar-dwelling species of some sort, but making them Toa element sounds to me like people absolutely have to have Toa do everything

I wouldn't put your emphasis on it, but calmly trying to figure out what is more "elementary" and what is more combinatory and having Toa control all "aspects of nature" (major types of substances and forces) makes sense. :) There's no reason Toa can't do this.Re: "instead" -- why must the two be contrary rather than complementary? Having Tar be an element makes it more likely for there to be Tar-dwelling other species as well, and the EM certainly smiles on having strange new species at will. :) (Within reason lol.) You could even suggest one yourself right here and now!For example, having a Toa of Stone didn't harm the canon's ability to have Vatuka stone monsters; if anything it helps enable it. There were also (briefly) snow-based monsters in the GBA game. (Elementals). 

Air is everywhere around us. Air can be used for floating and gliding, for breathing underwater, to create pressure or suction. It fits into the environmental theme.

Yes, while Plasma is trickier to do that for, but possible. More to the point, Tar also fits into the environmental theme well which is a big reason we accepted it. I at least like the alien feel of a region of tar pits.And please note that EM still holds to the idea that the main six elements are just that. Air being far more common is thus appropriate. Tar is a secondary element, and one of the more obscure ones, like Sand (in some regions) or Iron (which is highly rare in any obvious natural setting in real life, unmixed into ore), yet the Arena setting can easily be adjusted to make there be at least one place where it's very common. 

I can potentially get behind tar pits being a place. Just not an element. Making tar an element just seems to be like grasping for elemental straws because every other aspect of nature has been "filled in" by an element.

I think you've actually hit on the reason right there on your own, though -- if you strip away the negativity from this third sentence, you'd just agreed that tar is a distinct aspect of nature (the Bionicle definition of element), rather than for example a combo or whatnot. :)We COULD have justifiably made it a combo... but then so could Fire be a combo of Plasma and Plants or Plasma and Air, or Iron a combo of Stone and Fire/Plasma (which is normally how metals are extracted from ore), Lightning and Magnetism could have been Electromagnetism, etc. Bionicle is at times bold with going right for the more obvious fundamental aspects of nature but unfortunately at other times timid. The EM intentionally goes all bold, all the way. :) There's a clear difference between water + earth = mud and multiple ways to arrive at Tar.In any event, the distinction is not that important, other than for the Shards Contest, as there would be Toa of the combo elements as well, Matoran of them, etc. via Element Keys, plus there are minor Shards for all the combo elements too (we just won't likely feature them in the CC). 

What I meant about cleansing is that typically, water is seen as "pure" -- and thus it was given the arbitrary healing properties we saw in Mask of Life. A clear blue ocean is a symbol of openness and purity. Make that an ocean of tar and you just get goop, dirt and pollution....I didn't call earth cleansing. There's a semi-colon between each comparison there.

And this is where the problem with your reasoning comes in. First of all you're arbitrarily limiting the qualifications to a random list of traits while excluding others that would be just as reasonable. Second, you're saying the fact that tar isn't cleansing helps rule it out while not helping rule out earth -- this argument appears self-refuting. You allow for earth because it has other attributes; the same is true of tar; just not the same ones and possibly attributes you didn't happen to pick for your initial arbitrary list of qualifications. 

I'm saying that "virus" does not fit any definition of "element" I have seen.

It's one of the major branches of life (I think we meant it as a more poetic name for microbes in general but not sure, but in any event viruses are very Bionicle), with unique traits, which has even been controlled in the same basic way as elemental powers in-story, just not happened to be called an "element". Makuta will channel the power through their hands, materialize a virus, and make it do what they imagine and think of having it do. This is virtually identical to what for example a Toa of Plants does with his element, but is clearly not plants. 

but making a Toa of Virus sounds like perhaps the most ridiculous element so far.

As I often point out, "ridiculous" simply means "able to be ridiculed" which includes everything. What one person finds ridiculous depends on his point of view; another may find many of the things he sees as reasonable as ridiculous.And in the EM we enjoy being a little silly in order to challenge the imagination and the mind. Many people write perfectly non-silly stories that avoid even a hint of anyone they know of laughing at it that also tend to be very boring and unoriginal. Yet original stories (like robots on a tropical island) tend to be the most ridiculed when they come out but also the most loved due to being original and imaginative. :)I for one have no pride to speak of, so if someone laughs at me, that's cool. But if after calming down and thinking things through more, they might go, "wait, that actually works and I can enjoy it!" that's way cool! If some never do, that's okay too -- that's how personal taste goes. 

I mean, what does it even do? Create a virus? Any custom-tooled virus affecting cells in the target? How would you even get/produce Virus Elemental Energy?

Katuko, do you remember on the old forums I used to often talk about what I call "Mocking Tone Fallacy"? The point was that you can make anything sound ridiculous (without it being justified per se) if you phrase things like this, yet the same thing often can seem interesting if you phrase it in a more curious or neutral way. Maybe you're missing out by choosing to have a closed mind to it before you even start?But if we take away the negativity, these are good questions (which could be asked of any element). By making it negative you risk taking the fun out of the discussion, and the whole point of Bionicle and its fanfics is entertainment, not negativity. And you're being needlessly antagonistic, which could make even obviously reasonable things seem unreasonable and cause other problems... Just take a deep breath man. :P Just have fun with thinking about it -- don't make it a negative. That's not to say constructive criticism isn't good, but emphasis on constructive belongs there. :)Anywho, to the questions:What does it do? The EM definition says: "short-lived beneficial or harmful microbes, lifespans depend on energy used to create them"Create a virus? I must wonder if you would bother to ask this if you were being calm and rational about this. Isn't that obvious?Custom-tooled virus affecting cells? -- Sure, that's a fair definition. Basically anything Makuta can do with theirs or what real-world viruses can do. So, splice in new equivalents of DNA (protodermic "code"), imparting powers, transformations, control over certain life functions (like controlling a mind or paralyzing muscles). Except "cells" in this case means "protodermis molecules".How would you get Virus Elemental Energy? Again, where in the world is this coming from, Katuko? I don't see how you could, in a calm and rational state, need to ask this, any more than you'd wonder how Toa of Fire get Fire Elemental Energy or Toa of The Green get Plants Elemental energy. This comes across as antagonistic. You're better than this... 

It's creating living things, even. I'd toss Virus under Life, perhaps.

Well, Life is one of the three Legendary powers. So it's an ingredient in Plant Life, Fungus, and Virus, as well as what is considered non-elemental in the EM with animal and sapient life. 

Apart from that, it breaks elemental convention, so to speak.

Well, in some sense yes, but this is semantics. Adding any element by definition breaks past "convention" of "the old list of elements is all that was established", at the very least. Yet by a more objective, open-minded definition we could say it fulfills elemental convention by applying existing rules more universally -- non-mental life like Plants can be an element and distinct material forms like Stone and Iron are separated (and same with forces with Lightning and Magnetism), so since Fungus and "Virus" are inherently distinct from Plants they get their own.Which use of "convention" you have in mind is subjective. I would go with the latter more meaningful one personally, since adding any element always makes the list different yet this was done canonically so it's okay to do so (plus it's fanfics anyways). 

These better fit as abilities, or else you're opening up for making a Bacteria element

Not according to the "convention" that made Plants count as an element. :) Also, given that these are not really cells but are protodermis molecules, I believe we meant that all microbes count under virus and the name is more poetic. All of them are particles rather than large-scale solids (so like Earth rather than Stone), are alive (like Plants), non-mental (so distinct from Insects and Animals), and can affect other living (or even non-living) things (this is where the somewhat poetic "virus" name comes from; but both viruses and bacteria can affect other cells). 

if judging by Sulfur and Silver and Mercury apparently being their own elements already, you should just grab the periodic table already and go to town. Toa of Noble Gases. Toa of Nuclear Energy. Toa of Viscous-yet-still-pliable-Rubber.

Be careful what you wish for. :P But this isn't the intent of Sulfur and Silver -- keep in mind protodermis isn't actually any of these things, but these two have some major distinct traits that others on the atomic element don't, while also being "basic" to environments (although Silver is different intentionally along with Gold due to the "precious" alien environment of the Enlightened planet, Izumal. Both are also more commonly known by everyday people. If we were for example to have an element of Magnesium, even though it has unique traits, it's not so commonly known.The same basic problem is there with "Noble Gasses" (and we prefer one-word element names, not sure what could go to that, although Blue Energy is one exception but it doesn't have that kind of feel IMO). Also, I consider those to be major components of Air.Nuclear energy I believe was actually suggested before, and Radiation did make the list of combos, but not accepted as a main element since its primary use is inherently and very dangerous. Antimatter got the same answer.Rubber is on the combo list as well, as is Plastic. :) 

Combo elements are fine by me. Elements that are made out of minor, more specific ideas such as tar; or which grab elements off the periodic table (Mercury for liquid metal, when a Toa of Iron could already move metal almost as easily as liquid) just strikes me at moving away from the idea behind BIONICLE elements.

But this strikes me also as essentially saying nothing except the obvious -- since it's different, it's clearly moving away from the exact idea of (previous) Bionicle elements. I see no reason why tar or mercury shouldn't exist in Bionicle. The canon just didn't choose to focus on those things. This is fan fiction.

 

 

And you say on the one hand that something is fine with you, but on the other hand, apparently going beyond what Bionicle elements do is not fine with you. Then why even have the discussion? (Although I find it enjoyable as long as it stays civil and constructive.) But combo elements go beyond exactly what Bionicle did as well. It only rarely even hinted at the idea, and our list goes far more complete than any canon list of combos. Why does the latter reasoning not prevent you from saying the former thing? I'm genuinely curious; it doesn't seem consistent to me.

 

In both cases, we are taking things given an official nod in the canon to their logical conclusions. Combos are given very basic justification but barely delved into, so we do go there. Likewise, an elements list that is at least in some cases free to go down to the more "elementary" dividing lines (like Electromagnetism being separated into its two main parts), is also used here except we just take off the arbitrary canon plot constraints since the EM doesn't have those same plot constraints.

 

Once again, sorry for wallotext but hope this helps and was interesting. ^_^


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 05 2013 - 07:25 PM.

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#329 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 08 2013 - 06:24 AM

All the individual justifications in the world still won't make the Toa of Fungi not be an incredibly ridiculous idea.


Edited by SarracenianKaijin, Aug 08 2013 - 06:24 AM.

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#330 Offline MechaFizz

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Posted Aug 08 2013 - 11:02 AM

As the original proponent of the Fungi element, I feel somewhat compelled to explain some of its versatility and why it became an element on our list.  Back when it was first discussed, as I recall, it was met with some opposition as it did, as has been stated, seem more like a component of plant life or just two narrow a power.  Originally, for a brief time, it was listed under combo elements as a compromise.  It was soon promoted to full element, however, under the realization/rationalization that Fungi is a separate and distinct Kingdom of life separate from plants and that the Bionicle universe, and the Expanded Multiverse especially, could potentially have a wide variety of unique and alien fungi species just as they do animal (rahi) and plant, making it a reasonable candidate for element.

 

Now, I recall that I created a list of example usages of the element by Toa in support of the element.  Since the old topic was lost (right?) I cannot copy it here, but I can remember some of the examples (if not all) with a few additional:

- On Tribal, a Toa of Fungi could use their power to spawn a number of mushroom-like fungi to rapidly decay logs obstructing village roads or feed tribes.

- On Warzone, an amoral Toa of Fungi could grow mycelium underneath an enemy's armor to decay and eat his muscle tissues.

- On Shattered, a Toa could create a large fruiting body to cushion a crash landing of an ally ship.  Or crash an enemy ship.

- A Toa of Fungi could also use their power for utility purposes, such as shielding with fruiting bodies, creating a "staircase" or other kind of "lift", or releasing poisonous spores, etc.

- They could also create any number of species with bizarre properties.  I believe one of my entries into the past EM Rahi contest was a type of fungi which was parasitic and grew on Rahi and sapient species with fruiting bodies that were thick and durable like a second layer of armor, making it a valuable tool as a regenerative armor amongst some who were fine with the price of losing some of their lifeforce over time to feed the parasite.  (I don't recall if this entry won, but I by submission it becomes "freeware" for writers, I believe.  :) )

 

Now, I don't intend for this to necessarily change anyone's opinion that Fungi may be ridiculous, but I do want to put to rest assertions that it might be "too narrow" or "not unique enough" to be a full element.  With some imagination, it can be versatile and is worthy of being its own element, ridiculous or not.

 

Adieu,

~MechaFizz


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#331 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 08 2013 - 02:54 PM

All the individual justifications in the world still won't make the Toa of Fungi not be an incredibly ridiculous idea.

But not Toa of Plants? It's the same concept. A distinct type of life that has no mind (Morby's an exception but Toa couldn't control him), so is comparable to Stone or Earth, clearly environmental.

 

The only distinction I see is that it's rarer. Why it would be inherently ridiculous, I must say I have no clue. My guess is you're just not used to it.

 

BTW, this discussion has made me think. We have left out, perhaps, a fourth branch of non-mental life. Animal cells are usually mental, but esp. in the sea this is not always so. Coral? As a poetic label for a category including anenomes, etc. (Although not really sure if there's any mind involved in those.) I think it's too late for another main element, but we could put it as a combo somewhere. Possibly under the element-related list with Rahi Control though.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Thanks, Mecha, for that. Yes, unfortunately the old topic is totally gone (I checked). We could add:

 

-Grow giant shrooms as the central support stalk and roof of a hut (or even just a Toa's temporary shelter from a downpour)

-On Tribal, create a spiraling series of sturdy shelf fungus around one of the giant trees so it can be climbed easily

-Do many of the things you would do with Plants but with a more temporary nature in non-jungle environments (as once you plant a plant it tends to stay even in harsh weather, but fungus tends to disappear everywhere but in favorable conditions, though Toa would make more durable kinds where desired of course). So for example if you want to obstruct an enemy's progress along a road, but don't want to have to come back to clean your own mess up (also an advantage over most other elements other than maybe Ice).

-Embrace the silly and make "pop-up" shrooms that go from down to upturned mode fast to send enemies flying into the air (you'd be laughing, but the enemy wouldn't be!)

-Do that sideways and you've got the Wipeout qualifying round punching wall. :P

-Make ball-fungus ammo of whatever qualities you want on Warzone.

-Stepping stones across a stream, same temporary nature (if you want) as earlier example, versus actual stones.

-Work with Toa of Plants to manage your region if you live on Tribal, in general

-And to summarize several uses plus the mycelium thing, an amoral Toa who really meant business could do nearly everything Halo's Flood do (minus "onboard intelligence"). You wouldn't be laughing at all then. One Spo-Toa could potentially wage war on entire armies this way if he did it just right (and depending on what powers they had to counter).

 

In short, use the imagination. :)

 

But if none of that works for you, you could always just not use it yourself.


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 08 2013 - 02:58 PM.

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#332 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 08 2013 - 03:32 PM

BTW, this discussion has made me think. We have left out, perhaps, a fourth branch of non-mental life. Animal cells are usually mental, but esp. in the sea this is not always so. Coral? As a poetic label for a category including anenomes, etc. (Although not really sure if there's any mind involved in those.) I think it's too late for another main element, but we could put it as a combo somewhere. Possibly under the element-related list with Rahi Control though.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Sounds like something out of Bionicle Custom Wiki.


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#333 Offline MechaFizz

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Posted Aug 08 2013 - 05:56 PM

BTW, this discussion has made me think. We have left out, perhaps, a fourth branch of non-mental life. Animal cells are usually mental, but esp. in the sea this is not always so. Coral? As a poetic label for a category including anenomes, etc. (Although not really sure if there's any mind involved in those.) I think it's too late for another main element, but we could put it as a combo somewhere. Possibly under the element-related list with Rahi Control though.

 

Thoughts?

 

I'm would have to disagree on coral, along the reasoning that it falls under the kingdom animalia in real life, thus would be more distinctly a rahi species in Bionicle, so should best be left under the jurisdiction of Rahi Control.


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#334 Offline Katuko

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 09:49 AM

I had an incredibly long reply written out yesterday, but since it was about 10 pages (quotes included), the forum didn't seem to like it. Particularly not late at night. I have now shortened it down a bit, with some sacrifices made here and there. Ask for more if you want it. :PQuick note about the "Create a virus?" line... it was actually another unfinished paragraph. I tend to make notes to myself when writing a long post, and as you found half a line in my previous post that one was also unfinished. Still, I've replied with it as-is in this post, adding onto my original thought line (as much as I can recall after 8 hours of work, at least).First of all, though: I find it kind of funny that my reasons for limiting the introduction of new elements are dismissed as "arbitrary", when the reasons for splitting existing elements and including ones that could very well fall under existing element or as a combo is an equally arbitrary decision. It's creative differences, and that's pretty much it. 

Note that one problem with the "ban an element if another element already handles it is", which element, then, comes first? For example, the things that fungus does that plants do could cover most of the good of plants, and the rest could go under Stone or others, so perhaps Plants should be banned? Where do you start? So you see, that's a type of reasoning that strays from strict objectivity because you have to pick one to start with. Obviously, you would have to start with the canon ones, but from the POV of the EM, fungus is just as valid as plants.

The idea behind "the green" slash "plant life" slash "jungle" seems in canon to be like a mix of plants and wood - a "nature" element, if you will; and fungi would fall rather neatly into that category as well. Fungi do not have green leaves - we see green just about everywhere when it comes to nature - and do not have a wood-like material. For that reason, Jungle/The Green is above Fungi on the priority list as far as "being an element" goes. Same reasoning behind having Water rather than some other liquid as the "main", and Metal (although poetically named Iron) controls all kinds of metals in canon. Fungi has always come naturally as part of The Green to me, because it also incorporates vines and branches and roots and other natural growths. The list of mushroom uses above does not strike me as anything a Toa of The Green wouldn't be expected to do; with wood or thick plant matter for solids and vines/leaves for softer/flexible material. Plants may also suck up liquid; cacti for example.In addition, the usage of mushrooms and fungi, even the word itself, is one which registers as "inherently funny", and there lies my reason for using the word "ridiculous" -- because I see fungi as falling under The Green, and because the power itself would be odd, funny. 

Re: Liquids, solids, etc. -- well, there's more to it than this. EM liquids include Water, Acid, Lava, and Mercury. Each has a (rather obvious) distinct trait that separates it from the other. Tar is semi-liquid normally so is the only main one (other than again the combo of mud, cooler lava, etc.) that is naturally in the gel state.

Onua made a mud spurt directly in Karda Nui, with no help from Gali. Water is the "liquids" element, Stone is the "solids" of various kinds (it would have had sand as well according to Greg, if it had been mentioned earlier in the run of the series). Earth happens to be the in-between of soil and mud. If Tar was a specific power, it would actually fit rather well into Earth, or as a combo with Plant Life. I'm sorry, I just can't see Tar as anything unique enough to warrant its own element. 

Accomplishing something special (especially when you're arbitrarily confining what counts as something to a very, very narrow list) is not the primary consideration either in canon or EM per se. It helps give additional reason to make something an element, sure, but I think of it more as "being unique and more like a basic building block than a combo".

The list is narrow because each element is very broad. Iron (metal) in canon controls all types of metal, whereas you are the one to arbitrarily split it into iron, gold and silver. Is gold really unique enough to warrant that? It's a soft metal with some good electrical conductivity. But bending metal and letting electricity pass through metal is a rather obvious part of most things that fall under the definition of "metal" as used by the original element, isn't it? Silver channels powers well in the EM, apparently, but apart from the Protosteel introduced in later years of the series most every Toa seems to run around with a regular proto-metal tool; which channels their power efficiently enough. The metal Silver actually seems even more minor of a distinction compared to regular metal than tar does to earth/mud/soil. 

In the case of tar, being a gel that can have a variety of sources (rather than all plant residue or whatever), and behaves in ways not the same as any other element is enough.

I suppose. Creative differences in the end, but adding new Toa elements when the list of them is already pretty much filled is what makes me react a bit. There is so much variety in them already, and the poetic distinction of "element" began to falter near the end of the line when Psionics made it in. Adding more needs solid reasoning behind it, I feel, as I've seen such things as "blackfire" and "vaccuum" being tossed about in fanfics with no clear distinction. Other suggestions - and the trend of iron, gold etc. - makes me worry that you'll just end up with a mess of Potassium Toa and Vegetable Toa. 

Re: "I'd toss" -- Just so I don't repeat myself over and over, from now on consider part of all my replies to this kind of thing to be "your own preferences for a system of what would go on your own elements list is valid but is largely a matter of personal taste; ours is intentionally less stringent than that."

That much is self-evident, but your system for determining what is an element and what is not seems equally arbitrary to my distinction of element. Why is Air still its "full" element, for example? Toa of Air cannot create things like poison gas in canon, so shouldn't there then be an element for Gas in the EM? 

I just feel that it's still not an Element. It's more of a cop-out to stick any given thing as an element, I think.

Well, I don't see it that way. And it IS an EM element. It need not be a Katuko element to be an EM element. :) You could even tell an EM story if you wish while entirely ignoring the existence of Tar. I don't consider it a common element.

I'm just commenting here because this is the only fanfic stuff I know of which has its own pinned topic in the offical Storylines and Theories. If it had been in Epics or something I wouldn't have bothered to even start discussing what is clearly non-canon anyhow; this just has such prominence on the sight that I feel like I have to put my two cents in. 

Re: Po-Matoran making smooth stone road -- well, only if they chisel it out from bedrock or the like. If they're laying stone pieces down over a dirt route it'll be like a Roman road, which is better than nothing in general but for wheels less than ideal, and would fall out of place eventually as the ground settles, etc. Tar Matoran could do a much better job. True, Tar can crack but can also be more easily readjusted.

Po-Matoran are exceptionally skilled carvers. Look at the Coliseum, for example, or the Kolhii fields. You'd pretty much need a Toa to apply the ease argument, because Matoran has to bring their own material anyways. I don't think any Matoran would have much trouble with just applying a small pile of dirt/mud/tar and then brush it flat across cracks. 

Like, the Sisters of the Skrall were a nice way to have a psionic-using species around, whereas Toa of Psionics sounds iffy because they breaks the "rules" of the other elements.

That's a fair point -- on the other hand, I never considered those extra restrictions to be necessary. There's no logical reason the GBs CAN'T add special cautionary restrictions to some elements, so the judgement on the iffy question here can easily come down as it did. However, in my own fanfics at least I see no reason Psionic energy can't be absorbed, for example.

The impression has been that Psionics run directly off the user's brain energy, which is why they can sense other's "brain waves" and get heavy-headed after using their powers too much, unlike regular Toa who feel more general fatigue. The actual energy itself has been stated to not occur naturally, like how Gravity can manipulate gravitational fields by adding energy from themselves, but can't absorb actual gravity in order to recharge.It gets close the boundary of what we can consider elements. If Gold is a thing in the EM, then that means Gold Elemental Energy is a thing that can be made. That it is not the same as regular metal EE would then further imply that something internally is very unique about Gold as a material. Meanwhile, The Green gets away with both plants and wood from the same energy type (some type of organic material energy, perhaps), and Stone can work with any types of stone because they are similar enough to each other. 

Re: "instead" -- why must the two be contrary rather than complementary? Having Tar be an element makes it more likely for there to be Tar-dwelling other species as well, and the EM certainly smiles on having strange new species at will. :) (Within reason lol.) You could even suggest one yourself right here and now!

Yes, and I essentially did by mentioning a potential tar species. But why must there be Matoran/Toa for everything; especially such things that can be combo'd? 

We COULD have justifiably made it a combo... but then so could Fire be a combo of Plasma and Plants or Plasma and Air, or Iron a combo of Stone and Fire/Plasma (which is normally how metals are extracted from ore), Lightning and Magnetism could have been Electromagnetism, etc. Bionicle is at times bold with going right for the more obvious fundamental aspects of nature but unfortunately at other times timid. The EM intentionally goes all bold, all the way. :) There's a clear difference between water + earth = mud and multiple ways to arrive at Tar.

Plasma was an unnecessary addition to canon. It accomplishes nothing new, since the finer aspects of the fourth state of matter is lost on pretty much everyone, and it involves heat (already in fire) and other energy (lightning, perhaps) with no clear distinction on where the border goes. I can't recall any named character having used the power, nor any trait being revealed outside of forums.Fire does what Plasma does, except it's more clear. It sets things on fire, makes them melt when intense enough, controls heat. Metal is also much more distinct from stone than eventual fungi would be to other plants. Metal as an element makes magnetism almost obsolete, and magnetism is another somewhat questionable element. As you say - electricity incorporates some magnetic control too.About virus:

It's one of the major branches of life (I think we meant it as a more poetic name for microbes in general but not sure, but in any event viruses are very Bionicle), with unique traits, which has even been controlled in the same basic way as elemental powers in-story, just not happened to be called an "element". Makuta will channel the power through their hands, materialize a virus, and make it do what they imagine and think of having it do. This is virtually identical to what for example a Toa of Plants does with his element, but is clearly not plants.

I was under the impression that Makuta create a virus via a lab, not by their own power. They have Insect Control as a power, but nowhere on the giant list of powers is virus creation mentioned. I recall plants being argued about - whether they incorporate Life or not. You can easily create a plant structure that is dead from the get-go, however, whereas a virus must have some aspect of life in order to affect cells. A cloud of virus is the kind of thing I'd expect from a wielder of Life... not to have as a non-legendary power. 

And in the EM we enjoy being a little silly in order to challenge the imagination and the mind. Many people write perfectly non-silly stories that avoid even a hint of anyone they know of laughing at it that also tend to be very boring and unoriginal. Yet original stories (like robots on a tropical island) tend to be the most ridiculed when they come out but also the most loved due to being original and imaginative. :)

True again. But once a universe has been established, adding new thing to it can disturb it. Many people reacted negatively to Metru Nui and the new urban setting, because it broke with what BIONICLE had been up until then. Then the reboot on Bara Magna alienated older fans who were not prepared to deal with an entirely new setting in the middle of the most major conflict in the MU's history.To drag in another series: The Team Fortress 2 universe. Always a bit silly, but it was a rather "standard" 60's themed cartoon shooter. Later more non-standard elements were added, such as weapons with debuff properties and the ability to fake a death with a certain Spy item. Further along the line, we get a lot of cosmetic items which utterly break the original art style due to conflicting with established character traits. (Like, a mostly serious Scout wearing a Christmas Tree hat).While the items themselves look nice, and the game is still balanced around all the new mechanics, the breech in theme has made many people wish that the game had either incorporated these things from the start, or that there would be some switch to go back to "original" mode. Having the explosives-crazy Demoman charge in with a golf club and a Persian shield just didn't fit his character anymore, see.Many people love TF2, and I still do as well. But can't help but look back sometimes, and feel a tinge of regret at how the game has changed over the years. They're all still there, of course, unchanged. And fan-characters such as a cowardly Spy vs a confident Spy, or a female Engineer or a Pyro who is just a loner instead of a psychopath... they work instantly for me. No questions asked. Applying such definite character traits to characters who were already there, though, might break things a bit.The same goes for BIONICLE. It's a wonderful world with lots of potential for expansions in many areas, but that is also why I wonder why people feel the need to seemingly change certain parts. Things I easily get on board with is removal of the "gender rule", because stereotypical personalities were a bad way of handling the issue and it just removes fanfic potential. Adding several new elements, on the other hand, seems more of a way to avoid working with what one has, or some urge to add more powers to a character species which already have a rather clear universe-wide role and potential aplenty in pretty much every field. Hence, I am much more likely to view new mask powers, new Dark Hunters, new sub-powers in Skakdi/random-species-two-from-the-left as favorable, while new elements are ironically enough lazy writing in my eyes. 

Katuko, do you remember on the old forums I used to often talk about what I call "Mocking Tone Fallacy"? The point was that you can make anything sound ridiculous (without it being justified per se) if you phrase things like this, yet the same thing often can seem interesting if you phrase it in a more curious or neutral way. Maybe you're missing out by choosing to have a closed mind to it before you even start?

To be honest, no, I don't remember that. But the Appeal to Ridiculy (as it's also called) does not apply in the event that the statement is accurate – and as the degree of ridiculousness is indeed subjective, then it's maybe premature to call a fanfic ridiculous, but neither does it have a real-life state of being non-ridiculous. Suspension of disbelief is important in fiction, and as an audience we have different tresholds. We have all accepted that semi-organic robots can live in a tribal island setting, that comes with BIONICLE at its core. We have accepted the usage of special elemental powers, and the existence of many other powers. But at some point, the suspension of disbelief breaks. For some, the Giant Robot fight on Spherus Magna seemed really wrong due to scale differences and such. For others, the revival of people in Mask of Light was a bit off and not properly set up or explained. To me, right now, Virus just doesn't seem to fit the mold of "element", just like Psionics in canon felt off and Plasma felt tacked on along with the whole Magnetism/Metal overlap.So yes, I do find the idea of a Toa of Virus... if not ridiculous per definition of the word, then at least the more controversial word "meh". It immediately strikes me as someone really really really wanted a new element for some reason, so he penned down whatever came to mind; along with other fanfic element such as "blackfire". How is it different from regular fire? It's apparently cold and doesn't emit light. Why does that merit its own element when the basic effect is still fire-esque destruction? No idea. If "blackfire" was in a gun-type weapon or loaded into some Dark Hunter, there wouldn't be a problem to me. The application of new powers is just as important as the idea behind them. 

But if we take away the negativity, these are good questions (which could be asked of any element). By making it negative you risk taking the fun out of the discussion, and the whole point of Bionicle and its fanfics is entertainment, not negativity. And you're being needlessly antagonistic, which could make even obviously reasonable things seem unreasonable and cause other problems... Just take a deep breath man. :P Just have fun with thinking about it -- don't make it a negative. That's not to say constructive criticism isn't good, but emphasis on constructive belongs there. :)

I don't need a breath. Perhaps my way of asking questions come across as mean to you, but I have a tendency to not sugar-coat things. I don't have time to do that when I'm already writing a whooping long post, and I'm used to getting direct feedback on my own ideas in other ways – such as in game creation, a passion of mine. I have enough imagination to understand how these elements you proclaim could conceivably work, but I don't see the need for any of them to be Toa elements in the first place. As I've said, we've got Fungi or at least replacements covered with The Green, defintions of fungi vs plants nonwithstanding. Tar's useful aspects are mostly spread across other elements already, and tar in the first place does strike me as more of a combo due to the broad strokes of other elements. Gold, silver... separation not needed, unless the defintion got updated to include lots of other similar metals in each of those subgroups. But I must ask again: If we were to pull the periodic table and start using it at abandon, then I feel the risk is to go the way of many other fanfics: To introduce off-the-wall powers that are implied (by their element status) to have much more significance than they actually have. Like, in a modern society Plastic could be an element, perhaps, and perhaps wood/plants/fungi should be separated elements, and so on. But in BIONICLE so far most elements have been broad enough to even start overlapping, in which case it's kinda time to stop introducing new ones when the old ones have barely been used in canon as-is.I love discussing sci-fi and fiction and writer's tropes etc., but it needs to tickle my fancy first. The EM has a lot of stuff that don't tickle, so to speak, and I am here to comment on that so that maybe I could start tickling. It's a pinned topic in the otherwise official/canon Storyline discussion forum, that's why I'm visiting. 

Create a virus? I must wonder if you would bother to ask this if you were being calm and rational about this. Isn't that obvious?

I was bewildered because you seemed to mean real-life viruses and microbes, with all the things they could do; while at the same time Makuta viruses are made in labs and have many ways they can affect a target. Life is the only power we have seen which can directly change a living thing to such an extent. Illness is virtually unheard of in the MU apart from Makuta Infection back in '01, and MU beings do not have blood. Their organics are very different from ours, and so the defintion of "virus" is far from clear-cut. 

Custom-tooled virus affecting cells? -- Sure, that's a fair definition. Basically anything Makuta can do with theirs or what real-world viruses can do. So, splice in new equivalents of DNA (protodermic "code"), imparting powers, transformations, control over certain life functions (like controlling a mind or paralyzing muscles). Except "cells" in this case means "protodermis molecules".

This does not strike you as a problem as far as power balance and/or definition goes? Virus, if taken this way, essentially becomes a "do anything" element, with the power of being nigh impossible to defend against as a bonus. 

How would you get Virus Elemental Energy? Again, where in the world is this coming from, Katuko? I don't see how you could, in a calm and rational state, need to ask this, any more than you'd wonder how Toa of Fire get Fire Elemental Energy or Toa of The Green get Plants Elemental energy. This comes across as antagonistic. You're better than this...

Adding Virus Elemental Energy means that it is considered somewhat distinct from Life energy and other types of matter. I am merely asking how such a Toa would work in practice. Fire gets its energy by absorbing heat and using the energy to fuel itself. The Green can absorb plant matter. Virus must naturally absorb viruses, but then that means that hundreds upon thousands of micro-organisms gets killed every time such absorption happens. It also means that we must define some limit to what constitues a virus and what does not, and we must ask if BIONICLE air is filled with as many organisms as our air (and if so, how Air happens to work around it) If Air is absorbed, does that leave a free-floating cloud of organisms?If we are to go that way, I could say you sound kind of antagonistic at times yourself, when it comes to rebuttal of points. You ask me if I am calm and rational, in such a tone as to imply I am not? That is already antagonistic right there, pal. You are arguing your standpoint, and I am arguing mine. I am not attacking you as a person or anything, but making an argument usually involves picking the other's apart by necessity.So don't ask me to be "better than this", when the things on the table here are defintion aspects of a sci-fi story. There isn't much to be better than. You feel tar, gold and virus might fit as elements in BIONICLE, I do not. It's personal analysis of the canon and a look at the inspiration behind the original elements that lead me to conclude that while more have been added as time has passed, very little more needs to be added to Toa, and I believe Greg has said he didn't plan to touch upon any more elements because what we had was pretty much complete. 

Not according to the "convention" that made Plants count as an element. :) Also, given that these are not really cells but are protodermis molecules, I believe we meant that all microbes count under virus and the name is more poetic. All of them are particles rather than large-scale solids (so like Earth rather than Stone), are alive (like Plants), non-mental (so distinct from Insects and Animals), and can affect other living (or even non-living) things (this is where the somewhat poetic "virus" name comes from; but both viruses and bacteria can affect other cells).

Still, it's an odd one. If I understand you correctly, you mean to tell me that such a Toa would pretty much dominate any living thing by having controls of micro-organisms. Hand this Toa to a writer who knows about microbiology, and you'll get a string of science followed by swift decimation of pretty much anyone. Hand it to a writer who doesn't know, and it'll just be a gas cloud and little more. Black-n-white portrayal, perhaps, but if you allow Virus to have full control then it becomes even more unhinged than a Toa of Iron's extremely versatile metal control; and whereas a created plant doesn't necessarily have to live to match the structure of a real plant, a functional virus has to. 

And you say on the one hand that something is fine with you, but on the other hand, apparently going beyond what Bionicle elements do is not fine with you. Then why even have the discussion? (Although I find it enjoyable as long as it stays civil and constructive.) But combo elements go beyond exactly what Bionicle did as well. It only rarely even hinted at the idea, and our list goes far more complete than any canon list of combos. Why does the latter reasoning not prevent you from saying the former thing? I'm genuinely curious; it doesn't seem consistent to me.

When you say combo elements, you do mean things that can only be controlled by two Toa working together, right? If so, I don't see the problem with my reasoning. We have seen lava being made by fire and earth, a storm being conjured from water and air, fire and air/sand whirl creating glass, and so on. Later in BIONICLE we actually seemed to have less elemental mixing and more mask power focus, so that's one likely reason why combos didn't appear as often. I more easily accept combos because they are precisely that – a combination of rather basic parts to create something more complex. Meanwhile, Lava becoming its own element wouldn't bring anything new to a race of Matoran, when Matoran of Fire already live near lava. As I've said a few times over now, Tar does not fit in my eyes as its own power, because the muddy aspect is inherent in earth and the matter itself is decaying plants. Tar could be a combo of Earth and The Green, no prob. Fungi doesn't actually seem to have all that much potential next to The Green as a whole. 

In both cases, we are taking things given an official nod in the canon to their logical conclusions. Combos are given very basic justification but barely delved into, so we do go there. Likewise, an elements list that is at least in some cases free to go down to the more "elementary" dividing lines (like Electromagnetism being separated into its two main parts), is also used here except we just take off the arbitrary canon plot constraints since the EM doesn't have those same plot constraints.

The EM just seems to have other arbitrary limits in what gets "canonized" and what does not. Why would, for example, Nuclear Energy not be fit as an element just because it's destructive?

Edited by Katuko, Aug 09 2013 - 09:51 AM.

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#335 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 09 2013 - 08:00 PM

Re: Mecha -- yeah, you're probably right. On the other hand, what about Insect Control? If even that gets separated out of "Rahi", perhaps things like Coral would be even more different from what Rahi Control was intended to mean?

First of all, though: I find it kind of funny that my reasons for limiting the introduction of new elements are dismissed as "arbitrary", when the reasons for splitting existing elements and including ones that could very well fall under existing element or as a combo is an equally arbitrary decision. It's creative differences, and that's pretty much it.
It wasn't meant to be equally arbitrary though, nor ironic. If you make a list of standards to start out with that includes highly specialized yet apparently random selected traits like "cleansing", yet does not include other equally as specific traits, then you could end up excluding some things from an elements list that an objective approach would include, no?To be fair though, I realize you didn't intend it to be literally random. Maybe a better way to phrase it would be, what reasoning would you have to begin the initial standards that way? Beyond just random?I would personally not seek to set up a list of standards in such a way and then apply potential elements to that list. I would look at each element on its own merits on a case-by-case basis, considering it could have any number of good reasons to qualify that we might not think of before ever looking at it.What standards we have, beyond the very basic of "unique environmental substances and forces that are not easily chucked into the combo category", tend to come out later in the process (like the decision not to include mental things like Rahi), due to story logic (like that Makuta don't just make Rahi directly but indirectly through Virus).However, ultimately the decision of Bionicle to have "elements" be the sorts of things they are, whether the canon list or fanmade lists, IS arbitrary, as has always been made clear (likeisay, the whole cultural thing with Greek elements versus the one culture that says "wood" is one). And certainly our specific rules beyond the basic can get a little arbitrary. Gold and Silver is probably the most obvious example yet even that came out of story logic (just story logic for -this- story rather than canon :)). A universe without an Izumal would have less need of separate elements for those.That should summarize the philosophy we applied to it. I don't have time for a line-by-line reply at moment beyond this. And noted about the unfinished part. :) I'll try to jot down some quick bullet-point replies though:-An element of "Nature" is perfectly valid in the fundamental sense, but is not what Bionicle has done; that is Plants. Fungus is not included. If we were to throw it in, I would only see it as justified if we changed the name of the element and that would deviate too much from canon IMO.-Fungus has a different trend of shapes than plants, so a Toa of Plants is unlikely to do the exact same things as a Toa of Fungus. Nearly any Toa could, of course, overlap what other elements can do, however, within reason.-"The word itself" logic utterly fails to me, because that is both subjective and irrelevant. A label for something being able to sound funny has nothing to do with whether you would want to control it in practical terms in real life. People fish "crawdads" despite the humor of the name. To those with a healthy sense of humor it can even be a draw. =) The only reason I could see the likelihood of laughing at something as a problem is if a Toa had a highly unhealthy insecurity. :PI would not want to foster that kind of insecurity, so I actually see it as a very good thing that we (sparingly) challenge that kind of thing. Some of us grew up being the brunt of bullying that used that logic too and see it as a very serious problem to be combated or at least something we should all be able to see past -- because we had to. :)I'm out of time for now, maybe more later. :)

 

Also, I know "I asked for it" but this may be a bit overthinking it now. :P But whatevs, I'll read the rest when I have time. ^_^ I'm sure it'll be fun and interesting. :)


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#336 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 03:17 AM

And here's where I ask what was the point of adding more elements aside for Gold and Silver which according to you has an odd basis to it.


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#337 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 10 2013 - 04:08 AM

We wanted a planet called "Enlightened" which would be fundamentally alien but not in a typical alien way, in some way feeling like a self-important idea of what that might be. A world based almost entirely on silver and gold came to mind, and then it made sense (along with the special traits of those elements as explained) to have EM elements just for them. Similar reasoning for lava (just as the original six canon elements had the same type of plot reasons to exist in canon story, etc.). And of course most obviously with Blue Energy, a force that actually exists only in the EM. :)

 

If I may... you seem a tad combative... Is there any particular reason why? Or am I reading you wrong? I get the vibe something about this may irk you... and that is disappointing, since it's meant to be entertainment. (Keeping in mind that due to tastes it's inevitable some won't like everything any author does.) It's just for fun; relax and stuff. :P Pardon if I've completely misread you. ^_^

 

And you can relax and give constructive criticism too; some of your original post seemed along those lines and I'm surprised you haven't continued to elaborate what you meant there. Make a good enough case and we may very well listen however we can; that's what we're all about with the EM (though by the same token that means previously approved stuff isn't going away). Don't sell yourself short and assume we won't listen (per se :P). Just try to make it constructive criticism about something we can do better rather than something we can stop doing so as not to risk irking someone who happens not to have a taste for it. If that helps at all. :)


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#338 Offline TLhikan

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 08:53 AM

Of all the elements we added, I think that Tar is one of those I had the least issue with. There are a few I wasn't on board with right away (such as Fungus and Ghost, or the canonical Psionics), but I liked Tar when it was suggested (also, the elemental prefix is Res-, not Tar-, but I think you guys know that :P) .


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#339 Offline MechaFizz

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 09:47 AM

Re: Mecha -- yeah, you're probably right. On the other hand, what about Insect Control? If even that gets separated out of "Rahi", perhaps things like Coral would be even more different from what Rahi Control was intended to mean?

 

I always believed the logic behind the separation was the difference the regular Rahi minds and insect-like Rahi minds.  A regular Rahi's mind is going to probably be very similar to that of a sapient being like a Toa or Matoran, just simpler (and for the reason that it is simpler being partly why Rahi Control is a separate power from generic mind control - a simpler mind probably does not need as much mental stamina by the user to control, so Rahi Control is probably fine-tuned to tax the user's stamina less than a typical mind control power would since we have seen mind control users take control of Rahi with it, like Onewa did in [font="calibri, sans-serif;"]Voyage of Fear[/font]).

 

Insect Control is further distinguished because many insects probably have a form of hive mind which probably is very alien in comparison to the single mind of a regular Rahi.  The Rahi control power could probably seize control of a single one or two insects from a swarm about as well as it could any other Rahi, but Insect Control I would imagine would allow complete control over the entire swarm (or at least a large enough portion), possibly by emulating and overriding the existing hive mind.

 

Now, I am not that familiar with coral on Earth, but from the Wikipedia article, I gather that they a colonized type of animal and are very simple in terms of intelligence.  This would lead me to believe that in Bionicle, they would be close to insect-like Rahi in terms of mind and perhaps hive mind intelligence, so may actually fall closer in line with the Insect Control power.  However, they still seem very alien in comparison still, so maybe a type of control power custom tailored for the minds of coral and similar life forms would be called for.

 

The main logic I have against coral being an element is that unlike all the other arguably unusual EM elements we have, like Gold, Silver, Lava, etc., is that we do not have a large plot-relevant environment that heavily involves coral as a primary or even secondary distinguishing characteristic – or even really mentioned at all.

 

To further delve into the “elementary problem”, while I do believe that in general we have been very sparing with the majority of what is added to the list, I believe that we have reached or nearly reached a point where no new elements can logically be added without adding new exotic locations to the plot.  Every element on the list, with the exception of two, in my opinion, has fallen rather nicely within the parameters of “environmentally prominent or otherwise relevant or feasible” (which were our parameters all this time, right?  I honestly was not paying attention up until this discussion, lol :P).

 

This discussion has really made me think, “What measure is an element?” and I believe that for the most part we have answered that question.  The arguments raised are fairly sound and reasonable, if not somewhat opinionated in places.  However, I would argue in response that although they seem arbitrarily chosen, they fit our parameters quite nicely.  The only two that I alluded to above that deviate from this would be, in my opinion, Ghost and Virus.  Of the two, Ghost would be the only one I would argue for the removal or alteration of for the reasons that (A) it is not descriptively named (not obvious what it is or does from the name alone) and (B) it does not show up prominently in any environment and will not until after the much awaited Shards contest polls/results (hint, hint :P).  Virus I am fine with because I think it is fun, just does not meet the above parameters as well from what I can tell.  Everything else fits nicely into our criteria and is neither too broad nor too specialized.

 

Still, it's an odd one. If I understand you correctly, you mean to tell me that such a Toa would pretty much dominate any living thing by having controls of micro-organisms. Hand this Toa to a writer who knows about microbiology, and you'll get a string of science followed by swift decimation of pretty much anyone. Hand it to a writer who doesn't know, and it'll just be a gas cloud and little more. Black-n-white portrayal, perhaps, but if you allow Virus to have full control then it becomes even more unhinged than a Toa of Iron's extremely versatile metal control; and whereas a created plant doesn't necessarily have to live to match the structure of a real plant, a functional virus has to.

 

The “death by science vs. death by ignorance” argument you make for Virus is interesting.  I would actually argue that this has a sort of metaverse explanation.  The skill of the writer is, within all reason, proportional to the skill of the Toa he or she is writing about.  Just because a Toa is of an element, that does not mean he or she is skilled at wielding it.  We saw the Toa Metru grow to understand how to control their elements, sometimes figuring things out on the fly.  We have also seen Helryx do things that even Gali would have some trouble managing.  This is what makes a story interesting – two Toa of the same element can have very different skill sets and experience levels, just like writers.  An unskilled Toa of Virus that may not really know how to do more than make a viral cloud and a few other tricks, and that’s fine, same way an unskilled Toa of Fire may not know how to do more than light his opponents on fire and burn stuff ( :P). 

 

Likewise, a skilled Toa of Virus has the potential to do terrifying overpowering things with an understanding of microbiology that lead to swift victories.  A skilled Toa of Fire could very well manipulate and violate the laws of thermodynamics to accomplish equally terrifying and overpowering victories.  The trick here is to maybe consider making them the villains.  Overpowering villains are the best kind to read about – keep the reader guessing how the heroes can beat opponents with near godlike mastery over their elements [font="wingdings;"] ^_^[/font].

 

Adieu,

~ MechaFizz


Edited by MechaFizz, Aug 11 2013 - 10:24 AM.

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#340 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 11 2013 - 08:32 PM

However, they still seem very alien in comparison still, so maybe a type of control power custom tailored for the minds of coral and similar life forms would be called for.

 

The main logic I have against coral being an element is that unlike all the other arguably unusual EM elements we have, like Gold, Silver, Lava, etc., is that we do not have a large plot-relevant environment that heavily involves coral as a primary or even secondary distinguishing characteristic – or even really mentioned at all.

Right, I was thinking more like the former. If this was prior to the Shards contest I might disagree with the latter but I feel that it's too late to have more main elements due to that. However, there's also the in-between option of combos. Many of the existing combos don't have common environments. And I would actually say that surely Coral type environments are actually very common, more so even than some of the main elements, since most of the planets are mostly ocean. (And there could be 2007-style people who breathe water, harvest Airweed, etc. to live down there.)

 

But I was mainly thinking it would be a control-only thing, not called an element but listed along with Insect Control and Rahi Control (and a few others) as "element-related."

 

However, I would argue in response that although they seem arbitrarily chosen, they fit our parameters quite nicely.  The only two that I alluded to above that deviate from this would be, in my opinion, Ghost and Virus.  Of the two, Ghost would be the only one I would argue for the removal or alteration of for the reasons that (A) it is not descriptively named (not obvious what it is or does from the name alone) and (B) it does not show up prominently in any environment and will not until after the much awaited Shards contest polls/results (hint, hint :P).

Well, I think the reasoning for Ghost was a more poetic name for what's basically forcefields that are self-stable and the like, similar to how Iron is poetic for "metal in general" (and now "iron-like metals in general"). Also, isn't it descriptive, actually? The typical idea of a ghost as an intangible or semi-tangible energy being would come to mind instantly, I would think. I guess it depends on what fiction you are into. This sort of thing seems common with kid-game type things like Mario or Angry Birds, I've noticed, but has not yet been delved into much with more serious fiction despite the obvious potential. So that was kind of the thinking there. And obviously we will at some point feature its environment in the CC. I'm kind of hoping to include that in the S1 finale, though that'll depend on how the ranking poll comes out for the contest.

 

Also, I think of it as a component or ingredient in nearly all protodermic powers, actually, so I see it as very common in the environment (in the intangible energy variety).

 

I would also think Virus would be environmental, just not in one specific location (anymore than air would be). Although there's a difference there in that the Toa version has a special limitation of a time limit that natural ones wouldn't.

 

 

 

[EDIT: After writing what follows these brackets, I decided to check over the combo list more carefully. Some of the later comments in this post are inaccurate due to forgetting some things we had on there. Take with salt (Sand + Crystal! :P) accordingly.

 

 

Additions to previous post after checking the list:-Blue Fire actually did get on there as a combo of Fire + Plasma, sorry that I (ironically) forgot that.-No, Shadow Fire (as I call it) or Blackfire did not get on the list. And maybe it should (as a combo)? No real reason it couldn't, other than a taste reason, but not sure if it would have a practical benefit.-What we did with Wood was call it a make-only combo element with Plants + Stone; not that Toa of Plants couldn't make wood, but Wood users could for example make a chair out of wood directly where Bo-Toa would have to grow a plant, kill it and reshape the wood. So, I guess what we meant (though I don't really recall this) was that we took the "life" in Plant Life literally. Or maybe we meant it to be a sub-power; I guess I wouldn't be nitpicky either way there as the distinction is subtle.-Just to make sure this is clear, the definition of Virus is: "short-lived beneficial or harmful microbes, lifespans depend on energy used to create them".So, a Cha-Toa is not overpowered due to this, because if you want to make one that will really be dangerous you have to exhaust huge amounts of elemental energy. Most will die rapidly, so are more of a delaying tactic against your enemies, or would be used in more controlled settings for more useful purposes, etc. And I agree with Mecha that to use the really clever or dangerous ones would take a lot of experience and learning. If anything they are seriously hampered compared to Toa of Plants who can make plants that last as long as they like that have whatever poisons they want, etc. (Which is not necessarily a good thing; Bo-Toa really do seem kinda OP to me.)-Worth noting also that we actually did separate out Protosteel (calling it just Steel), as a combo of Iron, Silver, and Fire. Iron is strong, but Silver is stronger, too. The combo of the two, plus fire to temper it, makes the strongest material. So that's one thing we actually did take away from what Fe-Toa do in canon (but not entirely so; if for example they carried a tool with Silver and Fire powers they could still make it). We also called that make-only, although I don't really recall why (I guess that means Toa of Iron could still control it so would still be a threat to Makuta).-There's also the combo element of Magnets (Iron + Magnetism), which is also make-only. However, I am not sure if we meant to say Iron, Gold, Silver, etc. Toa couldn't make magnetic versions of their metals. :shrugs: At the very least they could still control them if someone else magnetized them.-And there is Copper; Iron + Electricity which makes highly conductive metal. Yet again this is make-only.So in short, we really chopped up Iron. I would not in principle be against doing something more like this with Plants, it's just hard to see how it would work. Different types of metals are as different of things as Ice and Water are, arguably more, but once you have an element named "plants" that does imply it includes everything. But maybe you can begin to see why at the very least we would not want to lump fungus under plants. :)-We did include Poison (Acid + Water), but whether that includes poison gas I don't think we ever specified. Given the ingredients it would naturally be liquid, but then Water can include vapor. However:-We also called Cloud a combo element of Water + Fire. We put the border more on steam; Water Toa can control steam to a limited extent too, but full water vapor goes under this in the EM.-I sit corrected on Vacuum -- we actually did call it a combo element, not just a power; Air + Shadow (the latter being negative energy and the former being the main thing that's hard to remove in order to make it). Basically it's just a subpower of telekinesis, though; you remove air and other things out of the area. But we're not calling it a main element since it is not a thing or a specific form of energy, but rather a use of telekinetic energy (so arguably maybe the ingredients really should include Psionics... but whatevs).-Ironically we never did put a definition down for Radiation, nor say what ingredients are used. Forgot about that. Maybe Gravity + Magnetism + Shadow, meaning "not those other major forces"? (This one being the strongweak.) I was thinking something with Kinetics, but we'd already said mixing any other element with that produces a unique combo. Or maybe something with Blue Energy but it might be best to avoid that. Thunks?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I'm now going to try to get to more of Katuko's points and you responded to the "hand it to a writer" thing, I might as well do that first. Personally, I feel like the limitation is easily understandable. Whatever you want to do as a Toa has to be fast because the virus will die fast. Surely any writer can do this, whether they keep it simple as a gas cloud that makes you feel sick briefly or gets sci-fi technical as I love to do in my writing.

 

And that is a very Bionicle thing. Most elements can be simple and obvious or can get very technical. Bionicle has always had a variety of both.

 

 

 

 

Okay, back to mud now. :P Picking up where I left off...Not really sure why you bring up the Onua mud example, actually. I think that speaks for itself. Mud is earth + water. With a little thought this should be easy to figure out. If you control just one or the other of existing mud, the other ingredient in the solution will move along with it due to "stickiness". But this isn't the same as one wielder of the combo element making mud from scratch or two Toa working together to make it where neither ingredient exists, etc. Same would apply with a Toa of Fire who uses existing Sand to make glass, versus a combo where no sand existed, etc.In short, all elements overlap other elements, a rule I've been pointing out repeatedly for years in S&T. :)Re: Tar as included in Earth -- if you're arguing that mud would be in earth, therefore Tar would be, I disagree. Onua cannot make mud from scratch. And Tar isn't even loose flowing particulate. Also, the combo with plant life argument was considered, and reasons already given earlier why we rejected it (eventually), since volcanic origins of Tar also exist. Bottom line is, it's a very unique natural substance with multiple possible origins so doesn't fit well under any other category or combo, ergo, a main element.However, you don't have to see it as an element you would want to control. Think of yourself as "Lewa" here; how he hated water, but that certainly didn't preclude Water being an element. :) I would personally love to control Tar (my city is notoriously bad at fixing potholes lol), to to each his own.Re: Iron -- Actually I felt it was a problem in canon that Iron has WAY more variety than other elements. Look at Water by contrast. There's just a handful of types that they control. So I'd say your argument is actually counterproductive to your point if you think about it. Metal is one of the most numerous atomic element types. By contrast, Earth and Stone got separated. So it actually is more consistent for the wide variety of metal to get a little separation. :) So we put the soft metals under Gold and harder ones under Iron (plus Silver has that unique trait that's specific to Bionicle of course). And Mercury with its obvious difference.Also worth pointing out that the example uses of Iron seen in canon didn't include any of the things we have separated out into other elements, so it's not like we're robbing Toa of Iron of anything they likely ever did in the canon. Even if so, I would say in this case it's a good thing as it's making them less overpowered.Also, I really don't think Gold and Silver can be applied to canon logic in this case due to the unusual plot considerations that come out from Izumal, who are our main antagonists.Re: the list is pretty much filled -- well, we disagreed. :) I would say it's nowhere near filled canonically. And many people have noticed this; this is why so many suggestions kept being made, and they were turned down not due to an idea of being filled but due to lack of story space.Re: other types of fire -- I think we actually allowed for at least one other type in the combos, but Blue Fire was brought up (due to being a special element in the Paracosmos), but we turned it down because 1) it exists for plot reasons in the BP that the EM doesn't share and 2) there are already two (questionable) specific separations of plasma state of matter. Blackfire would fit if we had an Izumal-type place for it but we didn't choose to make one here.Re: Vacuum -- Already explained. In short, it's not a substance or force, but the lack of (some of) them. So it's a power, but not an element, in the EM.Potassium -- This goes under the same reasoning as Magnesium so covered already. Actually not sure where I would count these things, but probably Iron.Vegetable -- I suppose a case could be made, based on the reasoning that Plants could be OP now. But to make these, you kind of need to make the rest of the plant, so that's one OP factor I think we just have to live with, yeah?Re: Air -- well, do we know they can't make poison gas? But that would probably go as a combo of Acid and Air (I forget if we did include it... if not, we could add it). Also, not really sure why you raise that example. Being poison, and being "everywhere" it would be hard to justify that by the same ways Fire, Lava, and Acid are (dangerous but confined).Air seems like a fairly simple element in canon. You blow things around, basically. It may seem OP due to everybody needing to breathe it, but I don't see an easy way around that.Yes, I get why you're commenting here. It's a major collaboration that tells fans "yall can use this stuff freely" so it is not the same as other fanfics. That means we hold it to a higher standard. However, by the same token, it is not the canon universe, so those things that really are arbitrary must come down on the "allowing" side rather than the restricting side due to that very purpose. That way we give everybody what they want, within reason, and allow them to ignore what they don't want. :)People will due to taste and such disagree on what standards should be applied, but I've shown why the ones we apply are logical, so that really should be enough IMO.Some of your next points I think are also covered by previous points; ask again if you disagree, but I think I made my reasoning clear there. Re: "both plants and wood" -- wood is part of plants. They're not two separate things... But I think we did do something about this in the combo list, I forget what exactly.Re: Toa/Matoran for everything -- this is again "need fallacy". It is not that there "must" but that there can be and it's wanted and logical. Also, it seems to me you're not putting yourself in the characters' shoes. Surely there would be some personalities that would want to control things that you by your personality would not (Lewa vs. Water again). I don't see why one personality's dislike of one material should be imposed on all others by denying them that option. If we took that to its logical conclusion we might have to remove all elements.Re: Plasma unnecessary in canon -- I actually agree with this, at least that it's questionable. They could have just as easily said the Plasma Kal had a subpower of Fire, just as Acid Bohrok have nothing to do with Air, and Void is a subpower of Air (admittedly the color matchup works in that case though), so wouldn't need to be either a separate element or be a subpower of Stone.However, the canon did make a good justification for it later, with Plasma being superheated, so it does end up working. At least it shows that the canon disagrees with you on what standards need to be applied. :P It does give a nod of approval to separating things out to avoid being OP or to reward variety of specific unique traits, etc. 

They have Insect Control as a power, but nowhere on the giant list of powers is virus creation mentioned

In any case, EM Makuta have the subpower of Virus. However, your "via a lab" interpretation seems highly unlikely to me. They could just as easily make Rahi without using viruses if that was the case, and this was the main reason they were created. Surely they wouldn't be made with so many powers yet neglect the main reason they exist. :P. More to the point, the power of Shadow Hand has its own special rules so is clearly a unique power yet is also not on the list of Kraata powers. Makuta seem to have a number of powers besides those 42. Antidermis has also been called a "virus" at one point, so they may make it in a similar way to biology, similar to how they grow Kraata, versus a power. Either way, it isn't an element in the canon so this really is a moot point; it IS one here. 

But once a universe has been established, adding new thing to it can disturb it.

This doesn't really work for your conclusion here since taking away old things can disturb it and that's what you're arguing for. Complaints about Tar is what is new here. ;) When it was originally suggested we weren't entirely sure what to do with it but it seemed to have been calmly accepted in general. It's certainly off-the-wall, but so are many canon elements so we felt it was fine.And the basic rule you bring up here is also why we're not adding new elements at this time (not main ones anyways), even if they might make sense. :shrugs: 

Many people reacted negatively to Metru Nui and the new urban setting, because it broke with what BIONICLE had been up until then.

I would be very cautious with trying to use Metru Nui as evidence that negative reactions should be listened to per se (although as I have said there were some valid criticisms). If anything this is evidence that even a large number (though likely not percentage; vocal minority but large minority) of people having a negative reaction to an addition cannot disprove that it was a good addition. The reasons for this have been gone over in great detail. But suffice to say, a story also cannot stay stagnant and you're bound to get some people disliking any addition. Any change is risky, but change is necessary, and Metru Nui was in hindsight largely a successful one, albeit not as deeply loved as Mata Nui (no other location was, though, so this really wouldn't be a fair judgement).Really not sure this is a good analogy here though. EM had been a place where new elements could be suggested from the start, among other things, due to being an open fan collaboration to some extent. Accepting more of them, where the arguments made sense, isn't really a breaking with anything, anymore than you apparently see Bohrok, Kal, Rahkshi, Nuva, and Takanuva as a comparable break. :PRe: Bara Magna alienated older fans -- not me. Again, any change will not please everybody, and in execution it made some major mistakes, etc. but the idea of it was good and actually greatly pleased many older fans who wanted some new mystery, exploration of totally new places, etc. Where it really failed was in drawing more new fans (and again those few big mistakes in execution), which isn't comparable here at all. (Keep in mind also that it was part of what made the giant robot reveal possible, which was seen widely as a thrilling twist well loved by old fans in general.)I'm not sure why you're now talking about Team Fortress 2 (which I don't seem to recall hearing of, incidentally), but if you're trying to prove that not all change is good, nobody disagrees. This really isn't necessary. :P But if you're trying to prove that all change is bad, sorry no (though I doubt you meant this :P). And again, I don't think of this as a change per se. We had always said there more elements beyond what we'd initially thought of and needed help establishing them "at the start" (just not all on the first day!). And now that's been done, and it's quite old by now. :PRe: "for some... for others..." -- Bottom line is you can't as an author go around worrying about what some might have an unusually strong negative reaction to that might break them out of suspension of disbelief because this applies to everything, and if you write with worry, you write bad. You have to relax and just write what you like, what is quality to you, what makes sense in the world as you create it, and accept that mistakes will happen and not everybody will love it as much as others will. So a good author knows that it's virtually irrelevant to point to the existence of some fans who had such a reaction to this or to that, because a good author has encountered this on nearly everything -- the only things that get exempt are the boring things that nobody likes.It's an ironic, somewhat cruel, but indisputable rule of taste that the very things that a few people will dislike the most also tend to be the things that many others will love the most for being so bold. So you can side with bland but safe, or bold and at least somewhat risky -- I go with the latter for many reasons given already. 

It immediately strikes me as someone really really really wanted a new element for some reason

The problem with this criticism is that this situation exists only in your imagination. I cannot know what people's motives are beyond "reading" them, and being fairly good at that, I do not recall getting that vibe from whoever suggested the ones you're talking about. We don't even keep track of credit in this case, so it would not seem like something anybody would do that for. I don't even recall who actually made which element suggestion; part of the nature of the EM is that by submitting you agree credit is not needed (though we do give it for the contest winners and mask suggestions).Another, more serious problem is that motive for making a logical suggestion should not be allowed to ban that suggestion being implemented, as that could (rarely) rob the story of a genuinely good suggestion just because of a personal issue with whoever suggested it. If you think about it, the chances of something like this actually being approved are surely incredibly slim; those suggestions that are made not based on thoughtful imagination but on desperation will be those we tend to easily dismiss for not following the criterion we laid out.Also, while we're on the subject of how things strike us, I've seen nearly this exact wording used by a small minority of fans of many fiction franchises, whenever they encounter something their tastes make them especially dislike. It strikes me as a copout, albeit one likely not consciously intended that way. :)In short, elements of a story should be judged on their own merits (with the caution about not everyone sharing your tastes, etc.).Re: your apparent dislike of "blackfire" (something I actually really like, albeit we didn't choose to include it in the EM largely because it's been done so often and/or it can just be a combo of Shadow and Fire) -- This is probably irrelevant here, but in defense of it in other franchises, my issue with your reaction is that you're taking the side of anti-imagination. You have to imagine it, therefore you don't like it? I always instinctively react against any such argument, especially in association with LEGO which is all about celebrating imagination. But we aren't doing this in the EM (at least as far as I recall, and not a main element if so) so it's off-topic for the most part...You bring up the need fallacy again. Please seriously take this into consideration. It's not about need (nothing in fiction is needed). And once again the temptation to try to make it about need illustrates that you're making the mistake of putting your subjective personal tastes ahead of your objective judgement. What you're really saying is that (for whatever reason, possibly choice-based or just what you're used to), you don't immediately like some things, and/or dislike, and thus you must ignore or tolerate them in the story, thus you tend to only appreciate them if they feel needed. The problem with this is you're not the only fan, and others have different tastes. (Also, I would suggest that it involves a lack of learned open-mindedness, which you can and should improve on. :)) 

I love discussing sci-fi and fiction and writer's tropes etc., but it needs to tickle my fancy first. The EM has a lot of stuff that don't tickle, so to speak, and I am here to comment on that so that maybe I could start tickling.

And I am here to try to show you how the issue is with your approach in how to do that. :) Rather than try to take away what 'tickles' others (a self-refuting argument) just because it doesn't tickle you, you could either ignore the parts you don't like or actually learn to like them!Think of it like this. There are three types of stories (not exhaustive :P):1) Stories that allow anything someone likes (lowest quality, though subjectively allowable)2) Stories that ban anything someone doesn't like (what you're arguing for; higher quality than the previous but not the highest quality as in practice they tend to be boring)3) Stories that base what's in it and not on consistent logic and encourage the liking of it to be based on appreciating this in addition to whatever happens to please various people off the bat (what we do here; you may confuse this with lower quality because it isn't Type #2, but it isn't that; we're challenging your mind as well as your feelings, so I see it as even higher quality) 

Fire gets its energy by absorbing heat and using the energy to fuel itself. The Green can absorb plant matter. Virus must naturally absorb viruses, but then that means that hundreds upon thousands of micro-organisms gets killed every time such absorption happens.

Still not following you. Absorbing a plant absorbs just as many living cells; they just work together using solid cohesion versus cloud/mass/loose particle physics with viruses (cloud in fiction, potentially, not in real life). It's the same mass either way, just as a clump of dirt is the same mass as a stone of the same weight, etc.Re: Air absorbed -- well, logically if there was a cloud of viruses in the air before it was absorbed, they would be left. I must wonder why it's relevant to bring this up? It's as true as that there would be water left over if you took away the air from fog. 

If we are to go that way, I could say you sound kind of antagonistic at times yourself, when it comes to rebuttal of points. You ask me if I am calm and rational, in such a tone as to imply I am not? That is already antagonistic right there, pal. You are arguing your standpoint, and I am arguing mine

K, this "you did it no you did it" thing is why I find it better to just remain calm and not at all antagonistic to begin with. To some extent "it takes two". :) Just relax, seriously. It's not good to turn things into a fight. I was making a deeper point, and I hope you don't miss it. :) And also a lighthearted point which is, if you come at something intending to be argumentative you might miss out on enjoying it, and that very attitude may simply explain why you don't like it, rather than the arguments you're using. Arguing about entertainment with that kind of approach to me undermines your own conclusion because it comes across as tainting your judgement.That said, I separate your attitude from the logic you bring up and judge that only on its merit. I say this for your own benefit. It's not good to be stressed out / combative, etc. Doing so produces chemicals in the bloodstream that can have actual negative health effects for the user. I don't say relax for our benefit but for you. :) We can discuss all the same logic without that downside, so just don't do it man! :PI must apologize, though, if my honest reaction to what struck me as a very odd question about Virus elemental energy was too blunt. :( I had judged you as understanding of that level of bluntness based on your past posts but it appears I estimated wrongly, and I'm sorry for that. :) It just seemed too obviously illogical to be a point you would raise if you were calm enough to think it through. But maybe it was just poor word choice or I'm just being too thick-skulled to get it or whatnot. Anywho, it's advice given as an aside in the hopes of benefiting you. Take it up or ignore it as you wish. :)Also, again, turning this into something to "argue" in the negative sense about totally misses the point of entertainment. It's just not what it's for. It's meant as something you either like or are neutral about (to some extent anyways); whatever you dislike (again, within reason), you can just ignore and say to others, "whatever floats your boat". That's the healthy response, yes?In any event, I say this simply in the hopes of constructive criticism, K, which I think you can appreciate. :) I assume you know that I appreciate your approach of picking apart reasoning and the like. I just felt those two lines seemed to lose your usual calm, and was worried that it might not be good to just let that go without pointing out the possibility.No hard feelings? :) 

Meanwhile, Lava becoming its own element wouldn't bring anything new to a race of Matoran, when Matoran of Fire already live near lava.

In the EM, the main Shattered fragment of Fire actually has fire. :) There are also commonly volcanoes on some worlds (It's mainly for Tanuuk and the Tyrant species, not Matoran per se, but Ig-Matoran would be more at home there of course). Natural fire is actually rare; this is why the canon had to settle for lava as a loose connection. But we came up with a way to get natural fire coming out of gas vents so didn't have to settle for that here. Ig-Matoran would thus be the ones more likely to live near actual lava. And this argument only works for Matoran anyways; for Toa there's obvious differences.

 

 

Why would, for example, Nuclear Energy not be fit as an element just because it's destructive?

See, this is a good example of how to me it seems like you're reaching to describe things as "arbitrary." I don't see how something that is highly and almost inherently destructive to control could possibly be arbitrary for beings. Isn't survival one of the more basic things that is the opposite of arbitrary? :POf course, to be fair, it would have its uses. But given that you're not actually suggesting it yourself, it seems that you actually do understand our reasoning for leaving it out, so it's puzzling that you would use this tack. Nuclear energy is in all (material) things, but controlling it is inherently risky. Controlling some Fire or Tar has its risks but it's fairly easy to just not stand in it. Ergo, we simply relegate it to a combo rather than a main element. If anything, you could argue it should be another Legendary, but we felt we didn't want to go that route for the EM (I do in the BP, though not for the same reasons), as it's not what we want to focus on in the plot.


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 11 2013 - 11:02 PM.

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#341 Offline MechaFizz

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Posted Aug 12 2013 - 02:24 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RE: Coral[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Yes, the environments are there and very prominent, but my point was that no one lived there - well, as far as the plot was concerned, at least, other people's fanfics aside.  So, yes, it would be very plausible to have as a straight up element if a culture of beings lived in a coral based environment.  But since they do not, and since it would seem odd for it to be a combo element (may just be me, though, I find coral to be a very strange animal IRL), it should be a power.  Or perhaps a power mutant?  As I recall we had three varieties of exceptionally rare "power mutant" types of M/T/T - Rebuff, Technology, and Shielding, I believe.  Perhaps adding a fourth would be permissible?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RE: Ghost[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Well, my problem is I feel the name Ghost may be too poetic, as I personally do not make the connection.  However, I do not care to really care to engage in debate over it - it has been cemented in place for far too long and I do see its potential.  The name just always struck me as an odd name for "forcefields".  Honestly, the reason I brought it up was that I was more in awe that people were arguing more over the validity of Tar than of something that I at least find more abstract and removed from nature, lol :P.[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RE: Absorption of elements[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Actually, canonically[/font], isn't that "Toa absorb their element to produce it later" incorrect?  I recall someone asking Greg a while back and he stated that once an element is absorbed by a Toa, that energy must then be released almost immediately, giving Vakama's battle with the Fire Entity as an example.  So, this basically means that Toa can only create their own element, not destroy it or hold it indefinitely.  But I may be wrong, is there a way to get a check on this?

 

 

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Additionally, all this discussion of elements has brought to mind something from a while ago.  As I recall, there were a number of times someone suggested "anti-matter" as an element which went over about as well as you would imagine it would.  This eventually led to a discussion about "anti-elements".  Did we ever come to a finite conclusion on that matter or was it met with too lukewarm a response or became too convoluted and just dropped?[/font]

 

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Adieu,[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]~ MechaFizz[/font]


Edited by MechaFizz, Aug 12 2013 - 02:32 PM.

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#342 Offline Meta-Mind

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Posted Aug 12 2013 - 07:43 PM

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]RE: Coral[/font]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Yes, the environments are there and very prominent, but my point was that no one lived there - well, as far as the plot was concerned, at least, other people's fanfics aside.  So, yes, it would be very plausible to have as a straight up element if a culture of beings lived in a coral based environment.  But since they do not, and since it would seem odd for it to be a combo element (may just be me, though, I find coral to be a very strange animal IRL), it should be a power.  Or perhaps a power mutant?  As I recall we had three varieties of exceptionally rare "power mutant" types of M/T/T - Rebuff, Technology, and Shielding, I believe.  Perhaps adding a fourth would be permissible?[/font]

 

I actually believe it was specified that almost any regular protodermic power had a small chance of being the power of a newly-formed Toa/Matoran.  So yeah, as a power it could also be the ability shared by a group of power mutants.

 

Although I think that "create, control, and absorb X" sounds a bit too element-like for a regular power... hm.


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#343 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 12 2013 - 10:11 PM

Honestly it's been so long since the power mutant thing was established I'd have to review (again) and don't have time (again sigh) right now. But maybe. I'm thinking a simple"Coral Control", along with Insect/Rahi, may be best.

 

Well, Ghost does include actual elementals of Ghost... in other words Ghosts. But anywho, yeah, no need to debate it really. Just felt like putting that on the record as my thinking. :shrugs:

 

You are correct about absorption. In my Paracosmos I actually nixed this but I don't recall anything about it in the EM. (It is really awkward to have lost our old decisions with the archives... If anything this is the time to bring these things up while there's any chance we still recall them!)

 

 

 

I thought that we were going to do something kinda like anti-elements, but not anti-matter itself. Come to think of it, that actually would be where Shadow Fire would have gone. And I kinda thought we actually had already but it's not in the elements list so I guess not. (Yes, I notice nearly every answer in this post is forgetful lol.) But we likely would not have plot room for it, so yeah. Only if there's popular demand now (these would be special combos, presumably with Shadow, similar to the special combos with Kinetics).

 

 

Yes, Power Keys at least would enable any protodermic power to replace an element.


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#344 Offline The First Speaker

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Posted Aug 13 2013 - 07:45 AM

 

BTW, this discussion has made me think. We have left out, perhaps, a fourth branch of non-mental life. Animal cells are usually mental, but esp. in the sea this is not always so. Coral? As a poetic label for a category including anenomes, etc. (Although not really sure if there's any mind involved in those.) I think it's too late for another main element, but we could put it as a combo somewhere. Possibly under the element-related list with Rahi Control though.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Sounds like something out of Bionicle Custom Wiki.

 

 

If you identify Custom Bionicle Wiki with low-quality, then I invite you to write, build or just do anything better than what our members have done ;) (BTW, you got the word order wrong).

 

On topic: I think that Plantlife and Virus as elements should have more limitations. I think that the users need to have some knowledge of botanics/microbiology to make useful plants/virus, just like users of the Mask of Healing need to have some knowledge on the injures to be able to treat them.


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#345 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Aug 13 2013 - 11:10 AM

 

 

BTW, this discussion has made me think. We have left out, perhaps, a fourth branch of non-mental life. Animal cells are usually mental, but esp. in the sea this is not always so. Coral? As a poetic label for a category including anenomes, etc. (Although not really sure if there's any mind involved in those.) I think it's too late for another main element, but we could put it as a combo somewhere. Possibly under the element-related list with Rahi Control though.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Sounds like something out of Bionicle Custom Wiki.

 

 

If you identify Custom Bionicle Wiki with low-quality, then I invite you to write, build or just do anything better than what our members have done ;) (BTW, you got the word order wrong).

 

... I think I'll let you figure out yourself how fallacious of an arguement that was.


Edited by SarracenianKaijin, Aug 13 2013 - 11:11 AM.

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#346 Offline MechaFizz

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Posted Aug 13 2013 - 02:45 PM

Honestly it's been so long since the power mutant thing was established I'd have to review (again) and don't have time (again sigh) right now. But maybe. I'm thinking a simple"Coral Control", along with Insect/Rahi, may be best.

 

Okay, that seems fair.  Coral Control as a related power seems perfectly feasible.

 

 

I thought that we were going to do something kinda like anti-elements, but not anti-matter itself. Come to think of it, that actually would be where Shadow Fire would have gone. And I kinda thought we actually had already but it's not in the elements list so I guess not. (Yes, I notice nearly every answer in this post is forgetful lol.) But we likely would not have plot room for it, so yeah. Only if there's popular demand now (these would be special combos, presumably with Shadow, similar to the special combos with Kinetics).

 

I do remember that Anti-Fire was described as a "black flame that emits no light and burns cold" similar to what Dark/Black/Shadow Fire has been described as here, yes.  But, yeah, if there is no demand for it, no point in getting terribly clear definitions on all or any of them.  Though, as combos with just Shadow I feel makes them a little too accessible.  The idea was that Anti-Elements would have physical properties that were alien, opposite, yet somehow the same as their positive element counterpart - hence Anti-Fire burning cold and lightless - and causing a usually highly explosive and volatile reaction when coming into contact with their positive counterpart.  In order to reflect this in the combo recipe if we handle them as combos, I would suggest a mix of the positive element and Blue Energy, or maybe positive element + Shadow + Blue Energy.

 

 

On topic: I think that Plantlife and Virus as elements should have more limitations. I think that the users need to have some knowledge of botanics/microbiology to make useful plants/virus, just like users of the Mask of Healing need to have some knowledge on the injures to be able to treat them.

 

I always understood this to be the case.  I would assume that if a Toa of Plant Life does not know what, say, a Thornax plant is or would even look like, he probably would not be able to create it - I mean, it just makes sense that you cannot make something you are not familiar with, and it is most likely it would never come to mind to try to make something you don't know about.  I suppose they could perhaps "accidently" create plants unknown to them in a Nova Blast or similar scenario, though.

 

As for Virus, I think it would be the same sort of principle, but I cannot say for certain.  It was my understanding that it was based off the Makuta's ability to create viruses.  And in the case of Makuta, viruses seem to have whatever properties their creators desire at that time.

 

Adieu,

~ MechaFizz


Edited by MechaFizz, Aug 13 2013 - 02:57 PM.

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#347 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 14 2013 - 02:07 AM

This isn't the place to review other fanon/fanfics, guys.

 

Also, that actually wasn't fallacious (since this is about subjective preference, not truth/falsehood), but neither does it mean your tastes have to be such that you would prefer things that others do. :)

 

 

 

On topic: I think that Plantlife and Virus as elements should have more limitations. I think that the users need to have some knowledge of botanics/microbiology to make useful plants/virus, just like users of the Mask of Healing need to have some knowledge on the injures to be able to treat them.

They already have this limit. :)

 

Please note that the brief definitions given for (only some of) the elements in the EM elements list are just to help give a sense of the less blatantly obvious ones (including for some of the canon ones), not to include all limits, etc. Those were all written the way they were just to confine them to less than one full line so the list would look tidy. At some point I'll write out a brief but more definitive guide to all the main (non-combo) elements at the very least, which would include this. I've just been lazy/swamped.

 

Also note, Greg just canonized "innate understanding" trait for Bo-Matoran (which we probably would have gone with anyways as said in the poll since it won). So, some basic level of knowledge should come easy for Bo-Toa, probably already well learned before even becoming a Toa. (So, making a vine and having it move how you want for example or making a tree, and probably basic edible fruit, irritants, mere numbing poisons, etc.)

 

However, doing more complex things and using traits of more obscure and powerful plants should still be hard to learn (making tasty fruit, highly effective poisons, flytraps, etc.).

 

Same basic thing is what I imagine for Viruses. The stuff any Cha-Toa would know how to do would include making the target feel sick, sleepy, dizzy, in pain (obviously moral ones would draw the line against some of these), etc. But if she wants to actually make them fall asleep or the like she must learn better techniques by sensing how viruses that do that work or meditating on the way the weaker ones work and amplifying them, etc. Actual deadly ones would be even harder (and probably cause an extra drain on EE). And to actually splice the DNA equivalent to make mutagens should require advanced scientific study and extreme experience methinks -- even just sensing an existing mutagenic virus probably wouldn't be enough.

 

 

 

So, any others wanna comment on "Coral Control"? Any arguments yea/nay/"make it a combo not just a power"?

 

 

While I'm at it, any other obvious element-related powers I should be adding to that list at the end of the elements post? (Here.)

 

 

 

I do remember that Anti-Fire was described as a "black flame that emits no light and burns cold" similar to what Dark/Black/Shadow Fire has been described as here, yes.  But, yeah, if there is no demand for it, no point in getting terribly clear definitions on all or any of them.  Though, as combos with just Shadow I feel makes them a little too accessible.  The idea was that Anti-Elements would have physical properties that were alien, opposite, yet somehow the same as their positive element counterpart - hence Anti-Fire burning cold and lightless - and causing a usually highly explosive and volatile reaction when coming into contact with their positive counterpart.  In order to reflect this in the combo recipe if we handle them as combos, I would suggest a mix of the positive element and Blue Energy, or maybe positive element + Shadow + Blue Energy.

Rightly... I remember that now. The main plus there was that it went beyond just "oh it's fire but it's black" and had the potential to act like antimatter yet the simple and practical limitation of only actually reacting in that one rare situation.

 

We could just give the definition on one line below the special kinetics combos and give Anti-Fire and maybe one other example to help define it.

 

Re: the formula, I definitely like the idea of Blue Energy + Shadow + Source Element (as we could list it).

 

I also have two reactions, though, about the number:

 

1) If we have three ingredients, then by the rules of Element Keys, Toa/Matoran/etc. could swap elements to control the Anti-Fire. That at first sounds good. If people like this, I'm all for it.

 

2) On the other hand, it might be cool (though harder to remember) if we even added a fourth ingredient, to knock it off the list of elements Toa could directly control (like protocages), so it would have to be done either by multiple Toa working together or with a special tool. It would also help keep it rare.

 

What element that would be I dunno. Glancing through the list for ideas... Ghost could work. Or Psionics. Both strange energy-based powers that might help it seem plausible that it crosses a boundary over normal elements. Of course, another downside to this is it would get strange if the source element is these things... Shadow has an opposite already... Well, then, maybe its opposite should be the other ingredient if we go for that (and Blue Energy mediates them so they don't just cancel each other out but fuel the transformation?).

 

I also don't imagine there would or should be an Anti-Blue-Energy, so makes sense to put that in the ingredients on that basis alone. :) So... IF we want to prevent individual Toa from controlling it, Blue Energy + Shadow + Light + Source Element?

 

 

This same logic could also give us our ingredients for Radiation since it doesn't have any yet. Blue Energy + Shadow + Light, without anything else. Likey?

 

 

I mean, it just makes sense that you cannot make something you are not familiar with...

 

I suppose they could perhaps "accidently" create plants unknown to them in a Nova Blast or similar scenario, though....

 

And in the case of Makuta, viruses seem to have whatever properties their creators desire at that time.

Lemme number the replies by the parts I've cut out into separate lines here:

 

1) Yes, this is actually a universal rule of all elements, a result of elements being controlled mentally.

 

A Toa of Ice might for example be technically capable of making a thick layer of ice and snow on a slope with layers where the ice crystals between the above and lower layers are much less numerous, creating a stress fault that could trigger it to avalanche if an enemy walks on it. But unless he knows of the concept, or has thought of it using logic, he will never make it. And just knowing that avalanches occur would likely not be enough.

 

2) You know, I don't think the potential of limits of knowledge affecting what happens in a Nova Blast has ever really been discussed that I recall seeing, either for canon or not. That could be a downside or upside depending on what the user of the Blast hopes to achieve; if Kopaka learns how to make avalanche-faults his Nova Blasts could (even if he never intended to use the knowledge) become more deadly.

 

And if we go with that, it would imply that Bo-Toa would be unlikely to accidentally make plant features they didn't understand... but random recombinations of what they do understand should work.

 

3) My understanding is this is why Makuta were to be scientists. They could tell the viruses to do some basics innately (make your basic Rahi that's able to survive on food, water, air, and give it mobility, limbs, and basic senses), but for more powerful things would need science (bestowing powers, figuring out what the ideal designs are even for the basics, and more advanced mechanical or biological features like the treads on a Muaka, figuring out new powers to even bestow, etc.).


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 14 2013 - 02:23 AM.

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#348 Offline The First Speaker

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Posted Aug 14 2013 - 06:37 AM

Same basic thing is what I imagine for Viruses. The stuff any Cha-Toa would know how to do would include making the target feel sick, sleepy, dizzy, in pain (obviously moral ones would draw the line against some of these), etc. But if she wants to actually make them fall asleep or the like she must learn better techniques by sensing how viruses that do that work or meditating on the way the weaker ones work and amplifying them, etc. Actual deadly ones would be even harder (and probably cause an extra drain on EE). And to actually splice the DNA equivalent to make mutagens should require advanced scientific study and extreme experience methinks -- even just sensing an existing mutagenic virus probably wouldn't be enough.

 That's what I was thinking about. To make a complex virus, it's not enough with knowing what a bacteriopahge does, but rather you'd have to know about the enzymes, the capsid, mutliplication cycle, etc. I wasn't familiar with the Bo-Matoran trait thing. It makes sense I guess.

So, any others wanna comment on "Coral Control"? Any arguments yea/nay/"make it a combo not just a power"?

I think coral shouldn't be a combo but rather a sub-power of life. Maybe control-only? It could be similar to insect/rahi control. What would coral be classifed as anyway in BIONICLE?

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#349 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 14 2013 - 07:51 AM

Yes, control-only is what I had in mind.

 

They're clearly animalian, rather than plants, fungus, and microbes (Virus). They could have insect-like minds, or at least neural cells of some sort (the still-living parts, not the dead built-up mass underneath). And I mentioned that it would almost certainly be a poetic term (like Iron) to refer to a category including things like anemones. Any of those could get fairly smart considering it's fiction, really.

 

Of course, Morbuzakh shows that even plants can be smart... but then Vatuka show the same for rocks so I tend not to count that. I would draw the line at the animal-cell classification, I think (although protodermic organics might not actually use cells, but let's keep this simple and just call them that). The question, to me, is whether that line goes at "not a main element" or "not an element at all."


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#350 Offline The First Speaker

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Posted Aug 14 2013 - 08:31 AM

I wouldn't say it's an element in any way, in the same way that Rahi control isn't. Maybe Coral Control could be the non-Rahi counterpart of Insect control? It would control creatures (like the ones in Aqua Magna and Bara Magna) with hive minds.


Edited by The First Speaker, Aug 14 2013 - 08:39 AM.

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#351 Offline LewaLew

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Posted Aug 14 2013 - 10:30 AM

I've already spent a half hour reading the discussion and skipped the latter portion because I don't have another half-hour to spend. However, I must say I am in favor of all of the elements that are currently listed. Coral, I'm against, because corals are colonies of tiny animals. As a power, sure, as an element, no.

 

 

Onua made a mud spurt directly in Karda Nui, with no help from Gali. Water is the "liquids" element, Stone is the "solids" of various kinds (it would have had sand as well according to Greg, if it had been mentioned earlier in the run of the series). Earth happens to be the in-between of soil and mud. If Tar was a specific power, it would actually fit rather well into Earth, or as a combo with Plant Life. I'm sorry, I just can't see Tar as anything unique enough to warrant its own element.

To my understanding, Onua was only controlling the soil in the mud. He didn't need a Toa of water because the swamp was already full of it. And water can't control every liquid, just the ordinary water of Aqua Magna and the protodermic water in the MU. Stone also cannot control solids made of metals, only ordinary rock and protodermic rock. Iron controls only ordinary metals and protodermic metal--we've never seen gold or silver in BIONICLE in any form, so we don't know if Fe-Toa can command those metals, but the EM does include gold and silver extensively, giving a reason to include them for the same reasons as the Blue Energy element.

 

Tar can't be an subpower of Plant Life, because many forms of tar are not composed of plant matter, and earth controls only soil. Tar and tarlike substances are not composed of soil either, and don't fall completely under any element. Plus, if you use the real-world definition of tar, it applies to far more than what tar in its most conservative definition means.

 

Your arguments also give something of a bias towards canon elements. You argue that earth, stone, and iron should be wide-ranging, but extracanon EM elements you treat as extremely limited and useless. If you held all to the standard you hold tar, then a Toa of Air would be limited to controlling only oxygen, rather than essentially any atmospheric gas, as toa of air actually do.


Edited by LewaLew, Aug 14 2013 - 10:32 AM.

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#352 Offline Katuko

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Posted Aug 15 2013 - 07:15 AM

Your arguments also give something of a bias towards canon elements. You argue that earth, stone, and iron should be wide-ranging, but extracanon EM elements you treat as extremely limited and useless. If you held all to the standard you hold tar, then a Toa of Air would be limited to controlling only oxygen, rather than essentially any atmospheric gas, as toa of air actually do.

I have been told that I arbitrarily limit what I consider an element, but I consider the same to be true for the EM. Some things are suddenly split from what they are in canon, while others are not. I see Mud and Tar and Sand and similar to be viable combos of canon elements. I view Plasma as a redundant addition in canon, and Psionics to be an odd-one-out compared to the theme of the rest. I consider the Earth/Stone split to be somewhat logical given their environmental differences of dank, dark underground and bright, dry desert; but in terms of elemental control they are pretty similar. But then I see Tar as just another earth or plant based material; meaning that either Earth has just gotten even less reason to exist, or there needs to be more splits to justify it.So, yes. I argued before that if the EM feels like splitting metals into separate categories, then the same should happen for Air --> Gases and so on. There should be Toa of Acid, Toa of Bases and Toa of Water; there should be Toa of Natural Air, Toa of Noble Gas and Toa of Toxic Gas (or similar). If Plants and Fungi are separated, then Wood should likely also be.

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#353 Offline Click

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Posted Aug 15 2013 - 09:52 AM

Well, I too have been kind of skimming the conversation, so here's my two cents:Tar may seem really weird as an element at first, but as I thought about it more, it actually fits quite well. There are natural tar pits, and in the EM there could be larger fields contained within the vast amounts of environments, so they would have plenty to control. It also has great uses on each of the planets, from the practical roadway construction to your own tar traps or whips or something. Also, as Bones pointed out, it isn't Earth, or mud, or plant life; it's just somewhere in the middle, so I say let it stay.As for Coral, I like the idea of a power mutant. Coral may be common in the oceans, but how are you going to get there on say, Ta-Clysmax or Tanuuk? To use the element most effectively, you would need to be in a body of water to control the living coral. The dead coral is practically like stone or earth and doesn't have many more uses. I do agree it would be cool to see, especially out on the penal islands on Tanuu where a Toa of Coral could create dwellings for all the new prisoners, but I fail to see how it could even be a sub-power.One thing I really do agree on is that Ghost needs a new name, even though it sounds so much better than anything I've got. With pretty much any of the other elements, you immediately know, "oh, they create, control, and absorb x." Ghost doesn't have that connotation to most people. It makes me think of Iden "Astral Projections," which makes me even more confused.On all the rest of it, I agree with Bones: if you don't like it, don't feature it! Eventually, someone may come out and write a story about a Toa of Tar in the EM that turns out to be the best thing you've ever read, and it may change your mind, but that won't happen if it is removed from the list. Just ignore it. It's better to have it there for someone who knows how to use it than take it out. "Expanded Multiverse is all about expansion" after all.By the way, Bones, which EM/Paracosmos mask would you say is the coolest design and/or most important to the storyline (Cipher Chronicles or Paracosmos)? Mostly out of curiousity of course. :D

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#354 Offline LewaLew

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Posted Aug 15 2013 - 10:31 AM

Ghost as an element name never made sense to me. To my knowledge, it was called that because of the Nynrah Ghostblaster connection, but the Ghostblasters were named for their creators, not their function.

 

Actually, ghost as an element never made sense to me either. It's just energy constructs, right? Would that be something to viably include in the powers of Light or Lightning?


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#355 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 15 2013 - 02:15 PM

Gonna reply to latest posts a bit out of order to reply by subject:

 

As for Coral, I like the idea of a power mutant. Coral may be common in the oceans, but how are you going to get there on say, Ta-Clysmax or Tanuuk?

Actually keep in mind there are refugee communities on Tanuuk that live out past the steamwalls and never touch the land (since those walls are so dangerous to pass; once is enough), so they are living off of what sea creatures they catch, probably diving to any shallower reefs, etc.

 

There are no oceans on Ta-Clysmax or any of the other pieces of Clysmax, just the large lakes on the Water Fragment and smaller lakes and ponds on others. There might be coral in the main lake on Ga-Clysmax, but probably not the others.

 

Maybe Coral Control could be the non-Rahi counterpart of Insect control? It would control creatures (like the ones in Aqua Magna and Bara Magna) with hive minds.

Well for the record I think in the EM "Rahi" should be understood to include all similar animals, since here everything is made of protodermis, unlike SM. So any literal hivemind large-scale creatures would still be Rahi, and hive insects insects (actually "insect" would include spiders and things too probably so is itself likely a poetic or evocative name rather than technically accurate label for the category that's meant).

 

Also, coral IRL have hive behavior but not mind literally (hivemind usually means things like the Borg, telepathy, etc.). I dunno if that answers your suggestion but that's that thoughts that came to mind. :P

 

However, I must say I am in favor of all of the elements that are currently listed. Coral, I'm against, because corals are colonies of tiny animals. As a power, sure, as an element, no.

Alright. Swert and I are planning to discuss some EM things soonish, whenever I can get some kind of chat program to work (they don't seem to like my comp), so I think we'll go the power route for this if he agrees. And I'll try to write up those bios of the elements soon, though I think Shards polls need to take a higher priority, no?

 

 

I'm working on updating the masks list now BTW -- I'm altering some of the bios according to discussions after them though so will post those here so if the suggesters don't like the alterations could say so. Not ready at moment.

 

With pretty much any of the other elements, you immediately know, "oh, they create, control, and absorb x." Ghost doesn't have that connotation to most people. It makes me think of Iden "Astral Projections," which makes me even more confused.

Other than that this is a strange element to begin with (which would be true with whatever name we give it), I don't get how the final sentence is not good for it? Astral projections are part of what Ghost makes (though that one is only viewable with a mask of vision etc.), just visible and/or semi-tangible. :)

 

Ghost as an element name never made sense to me. To my knowledge, it was called that because of the Nynrah Ghostblaster connection, but the Ghostblasters were named for their creators, not their function.

Well I don't recall this being brought up, maybe it was, but in my mind that has nothing (direct) to do with it. Although the hard light version of the Ghostblaster does qualify as part of this. Have you considered that maybe the Ghosts thought of using hard light because it reminded them of what "ghost" is supposed to mean? (Though, in the canon, not in an elemental way.) Self-stable energy structures, etc. It may have been their sense of irony at work. :)

 

Actually, ghost as an element never made sense to me either. It's just energy constructs, right? Would that be something to viably include in the powers of Light or Lightning?

Lightning itself and magnetism could have gone under light and just called the whole thing Electromagnetism. But no, there's an important distinction here in that what you're making is a genuine self-stable substance, which may happen to glow (if they want it to), made out of fictional ghost energy. It is more closely related to matter than light, as it's another type of the same thing as matter but one that can be intangible to matter ("phased out" if you will, or as I think of it, constructed differently on a "subatomic" scale). Light is just one narrow kind of energy in the range of energies (mostly fictional ones) possible in Bionicle physics.

 

It's true that Toa of Light can at least overlap making a hologram with no tangible substance, but they would have to hold it on constantly. This is radically different in that a Toa of Ghost could make a hologram, die, and it could stay there potentially forever. Toa of Light apparently can also, with intense practice, make hard light structures, but not self-stable ones (at least not in the EM :P).

 

 

 

 

Your arguments also give something of a bias towards canon elements. You argue that earth, stone, and iron should be wide-ranging, but extracanon EM elements you treat as extremely limited and useless. If you held all to the standard you hold tar, then a Toa of Air would be limited to controlling only oxygen, rather than essentially any atmospheric gas, as toa of air actually do.

I have been told that I arbitrarily limit what I consider an element, but I consider the same to be true for the EM

I agree with LL here, and he did point out why your approach was more arbitrary in that way. :) And I showed in detail why we're working off of things established in canon but applying them more universally and consistently than the canon does. I really think it's that simple -- it is not at all arbitrary, except for the fundamental choice to go with the basic idea of Bionicle elements in the first place.

 

Plus, it does seem, like Click said, that a big part of what was affecting your reasoning was your taste not to prefer Tar and some others and you can solve that simply by ignoring it. Again, notice that by arguing against Plasma which is already canon you are (to my mind) saying your tastes are already deviating from what Bionicle elements were, so to hear as a criticism that ours deviates from that (even though I don't think it really does, because we actually incorporate Plasma for example), just doesn't make sense to me. Same with what you said about Sand -- it's already canon.

 

You agree with Earth/Stone based on the environ argument, and then not Tar which has the same argument... No offense, I know you mean well and you're just trying to express your tastes and that's very welcome here. But the logic seems all over the map.

 

By the way, are you familiar with the "reality shifting" sci-fi idea we have in the EM? It introduces a fusion of alternate reality plus a single connected reality.

 

I don't consider it to apply in such major ways in the "EM-canon" but there are exceptions and characters who go through the same universe seeing things in radically different styles, etc. (As currently one of the main Cipher Chronicles characters does, after an incident in Sticks and Stones.) The Mask of Reality Shifting can even do more extreme effects. We have given the official nod of approval to people who just don't like to imagine certain things are part of their headcanon version of the EM to keep what they like from what we do, say the rest is reality-shifted away somehow, and thus sort of "have it both ways."

 

You might feel it would be a copout to go there (though that's not our intent), but something to consider. :) We do also say there are actual alternate but parallel timelines just like this one (which is what reality shifting gets the main one tangled up with), and you could validly just see your headcanon as taking place entirely in one.

 

So, yes. I argued before that if the EM feels like splitting metals into separate categories, then the same should happen for Air --> Gases and so on. There should be Toa of Acid, Toa of Bases and Toa of Water; there should be Toa of Natural Air, Toa of Noble Gas and Toa of Toxic Gas (or similar). If Plants and Fungi are separated, then Wood should likely also be.

Because of the context of how this came up I just want to make sure I'm understanding right -- you actually are suggesting this and want it? Or is this to say that you don't want these but are trying to say that the lack of them makes the list inconsistent so others should be removed?

 

Did you see my edit to one of the previous posts (near the top) about Wood, etc.? Wood does have a combo (make-only) element, so EM Plants can only make living wood or control existing wood, so at least something was done. I do wonder if we should alter it so that Wood makes and controls dead wood, while Plants only makes and controls living wood, though. (But in general, wood is legitimately part of Plants, so is not really comparable to Fungi.)

 

I covered toxic gas (under Poison) there too.

 

Bases are a bit too obscure in my mind, and this is protodermis, not literal atomic or molecular chemistry to begin with. I would rather see Acid as a bit poetic and could refer to some things that more technically would be grouped with bases. The label is also confusing as base has other primary meanings in English.

 

I am not opposed to a (combo) element of Noble Gas, but I don't like the name as-is, personally. Really it seems to me these fit just fine as part of the normal percentage of what Air is made up of and don't tend to have enough effects on their own to be unique enough. Maybe as a combo though. But if so we should think of something that sounds more elemental.


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 15 2013 - 02:59 PM.

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#356 Offline Click

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Posted Aug 15 2013 - 04:02 PM

For Coral on Tanuuk, I meant to imply on the mainland, since I referred to the islands later, but I didn't really specify. Sorry about that.Ghost is still really confusing. So, basically, they create energy fields of any transparency, size, shape, or visibility? That's what I'm getting out of this.Also, I was thinking about powers, and the only thing that comes to mind is Mutation/Illusion. Maybe they have a stronger control over the change and can change their mass in a similar manner to the Mask of Mass Reduction, or at least experienced users can. That may just be grasping for new elements though, and I'll be fine if you didn't feature it.By the way, I was looking through the Paracosmos Kanohi post in the reference topic and noticed many of the mask images give a "404 Page not found" error when you click the links that have now replaced the images. Might want to fix that.
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#357 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 15 2013 - 10:46 PM

Ghost is still really confusing. So, basically, they create energy fields of any transparency, size, shape, or visibility? That's what I'm getting out of this.

And that continue to exist without being held in existence by the Toa, plus can range from intangibility to somewhat tangible, and the Toa can add special rules on what materials or beings can go through them or not.

 

Basically, think of it as creating solid objects, that happen to go through other solid objects (sometimes) and look translucent. :) Just like ghosts (by the common idea of them anyways).

 

There's a section of one of the Angry Birds games that shows what I have in mind (one of the halloween-themed ones). A stack of cubes and other typical AB shapes includes some that the birds and pigs can pass through as if they were thin air. These look faint, whitish, and see-through. Yet they can stack on each other, and "normal matter" boxes also stack on them.

 

*suddenly realizes he's now allowed to just show you!*

 

Like in this ad.

 

That's not the clearest vid of it, but yeah. I guess they actually call them "ghost bricks" (didn't know that :P).

 

 

Also, I was thinking about powers, and the only thing that comes to mind is Mutation/Illusion. Maybe they have a stronger control over the change and can change their mass in a similar manner to the Mask of Mass Reduction, or at least experienced users can. That may just be grasping for new elements though, and I'll be fine if you didn't feature it.

You mean for the element-related powers list? Not sure I understand.

 

Yeah, I see that about the images. Will get to it, thanks.


Edited by bonesiii, Aug 15 2013 - 10:46 PM.

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#358 Offline Katuko

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Posted Aug 16 2013 - 05:59 AM

Your arguments also give something of a bias towards canon elements. You argue that earth, stone, and iron should be wide-ranging, but extracanon EM elements you treat as extremely limited and useless. If you held all to the standard you hold tar, then a Toa of Air would be limited to controlling only oxygen, rather than essentially any atmospheric gas, as toa of air actually do.

I have been told that I arbitrarily limit what I consider an element, but I consider the same to be true for the EM

I agree with LL here, and he did point out why your approach was more arbitrary in that way. :) And I showed in detail why we're working off of things established in canon but applying them more universally and consistently than the canon does. I really think it's that simple -- it is not at all arbitrary, except for the fundamental choice to go with the basic idea of Bionicle elements in the first place.

Plasma has no natural environment and is too similar to what fire already does, that's one part of it. The thing about Earth/Stone is that the only reason they are not joined is that they'v been split since BIONICLE's beginning. They could likely have made it more clear by having Stone actually be orange Plasma or the more recent metallic colors for that power; but they chose to make Stone a desert and Earth underground since that fit the island of Mata Nui.I see reasons for joining the two, and I see reasons for keeping the separate. My personal preference is influenced by the nostalgia of MNOG, but more recent elements are not nostalgic to me. Therefore my mind much more easily lashes out at Plasma than at Earth.But if we were to have them all - the canon elements - and then add new ones, I want radically new ones. My personal viewpoint, which is all each of us really have to argue around in the end, when it comes to creating a fictional world - is that "The Green" has meant "nature" and thus involves "the growths you find in the forest". To me, the arbitrary point is then to split fungi apart from it; or to split Metal into iron/gold/silver but not split other elements into parts. 

You agree with Earth/Stone based on the environ argument, and then not Tar which has the same argument... No offense, I know you mean well and you're just trying to express your tastes and that's very welcome here. But the logic seems all over the map.

As far as I know, BIONICLE has shown deserts and swamps, but no tar, anywhere. For me it's the same reasoning here than when they don't have gunpowder; it would be entirely alien to them and there would be no Toa dedicated to it because Toa were confined to the environments of Spherus Magna and Mata Nui. I realize that your EM has a tar-based location, however, so I'll just let it drop. I then have to wonder about Virus locations, but meh.

So, yes. I argued before that if the EM feels like splitting metals into separate categories, then the same should happen for Air --> Gases and so on. There should be Toa of Acid, Toa of Bases and Toa of Water; there should be Toa of Natural Air, Toa of Noble Gas and Toa of Toxic Gas (or similar). If Plants and Fungi are separated, then Wood should likely also be.

Because of the context of how this came up I just want to make sure I'm understanding right -- you actually are suggesting this and want it? Or is this to say that you don't want these but are trying to say that the lack of them makes the list inconsistent so others should be removed?

It's kinda both. While personal preference would see the removal of some of the more exotic inventions, what I'd like the most is some form of consistency in splits. If different kinds of metal and natural growths are considered different enough to split, then surely there must also be types of gas and stone that deserves their own category. 

Bases are a bit too obscure in my mind, and this is protodermis, not literal atomic or molecular chemistry to begin with.

But then gold and silver pops in; two metal types that seem to only be distinguished by color in the canon this EM is based on? 

I am not opposed to a (combo) element of Noble Gas, but I don't like the name as-is, personally. Really it seems to me these fit just fine as part of the normal percentage of what Air is made up of and don't tend to have enough effects on their own to be unique enough. Maybe as a combo though. But if so we should think of something that sounds more elemental.

The name I used was just the first denominator that fit. "Ghost" doesn't sound much like an element either, for that matter. "Toa of Ghosts" sound to me like spirit manipulation, while "Toa of Fungi" at least immediately conveys "this guy can make mushrooms pop up".Again; I'm mostly here because this is a pinned topic in the official Storyline and Theories forum. I'm arguing about small part of your fan-made universe; because the rest (like the whole shards thing) stands so far from canon already I don't see much point in starting there. Elements... those I know to an extent; personal preference or not. Thus I argue elements.

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#359 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Aug 16 2013 - 09:36 AM

As far as I know, BIONICLE has shown deserts and swamps, but no tar, anywhere. For me it's the same reasoning here than when they don't have gunpowder; it would be entirely alien to them and there would be no Toa dedicated to it because Toa were confined to the environments of Spherus Magna and Mata Nui. I realize that your EM has a tar-based location, however, so I'll just let it drop. I then have to wonder about Virus locations, but meh.

I'm talking about environments you might find within a Bionicle universe, or understandable from the real world. Not having seen any is technically irrelevant. And it's the canon that doesn't have gunpowder. Kyn as a demolitions expert is always looking for new explosives and I would not rule out "proto-gunpowder" as one possibility, or at least something identical in essence. (And Bionicle does have explosives, with Madu Cabolo for example.)

 

Well, I'm planning to get back to the shards poll checking next week, and will review what people came up with for Virus if you want. Either way, polls should be soon ish ish.

 

 

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Bases are a bit too obscure in my mind, and this is protodermis, not literal atomic or molecular chemistry to begin with.

But then gold and silver pops in; two metal types that seem to only be distinguished by color in the canon this EM is based on?

Neither Gold nor Silver are obscure (nor Mercury), all have clearer definitions (not just color; malleability and power-channeling), and also have clearer names. So, again, there are standards we're going by, even if many things will be borderline. Point also stands that what is meant by all three of these has more variety than literal real-world gold, just as Iron retains much variety, so they are consistent. Bases being part of Acid helps it have some variety; some strong acids, some weak ones, some material-specific ones, some "opposite" ones. :) They all refer to categories of varied but similar protodermic substances. :)

 

The name I used was just the first denominator that fit. "Ghost" doesn't sound much like an element either, for that matter. "Toa of Ghosts" sound to me like spirit manipulation, while "Toa of Fungi" at least immediately conveys "this guy can make mushrooms pop up".

Well like I said, I guess it comes down to what fiction, games, etc. you've played and stuff with ghost. But this material can also have "elementals" which can be called ghosts in the sense of spirit, so still not really seeing how it's unclear. It refers to the substance of ghosts, within the fictional, scif-fi context. "Cold" and "Shadow" also don't immediately call to mind positive existence (of negative energy) versus a lack of positive energy, yet Bionicle is comfortable going there, expanding the horizons of imagination rather than relying on what everybody might have already thought of per se. :)

 

Again, if you seriously want Noble Gasses (combo), then I'm not opposed. I bring up the name thing because if there is a better name possibility we should have a chance to think of one. Something perhaps with "air" in it versus the stranger "gas", etc. Please note we do have Natural Gas (also possibly tentative name) as a combo with Tar (as well as oil), so the use of that is still possible if we can't think of anything else and think Noble Gas would be useful enough. For a combo the "element feel" rule is less stringent but still preferred.


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Posted Aug 16 2013 - 11:55 AM

Ghost is still really confusing. So, basically, they create energy fields of any transparency, size, shape, or visibility? That's what I'm getting out of this.

And that continue to exist without being held in existence by the Toa, plus can range from intangibility to somewhat tangible, and the Toa can add special rules on what materials or beings can go through them or not. Basically, think of it as creating solid objects, that happen to go through other solid objects (sometimes) and look translucent. :) Just like ghosts (by the common idea of them anyways). There's a section of one of the Angry Birds games that shows what I have in mind (one of the halloween-themed ones). A stack of cubes and other typical AB shapes includes some that the birds and pigs can pass through as if they were thin air. These look faint, whitish, and see-through. Yet they can stack on each other, and "normal matter" boxes also stack on them. *suddenly realizes he's now allowed to just show you!* Like in this ad. That's not the clearest vid of it, but yeah. I guess they actually call them "ghost bricks" (didn't know that :P).  

Also, I was thinking about powers, and the only thing that comes to mind is Mutation/Illusion. Maybe they have a stronger control over the change and can change their mass in a similar manner to the Mask of Mass Reduction, or at least experienced users can. That may just be grasping for new elements though, and I'll be fine if you didn't feature it.

You mean for the element-related powers list? Not sure I understand. Yeah, I see that about the images. Will get to it, thanks.
Ghost is starting to seem a bit overpowered. I mean, theoretically, they could create solid-looking walls that only certain people can pass through, use invisible weapons with long range so they can maim or even kill someone without them even knowing what happened, lay various traps that are nigh impossible to detect, and a lot of other dangerous uses. Should they be nerfed a bit? I would say that the ghost energy visibility should be at least confined within limits, such as dim enough only to be missed in a dark room, and only solid enough to still provide a hazy look through it. I guess some of this would be unnecessary too if Ghost energy was always a sparkly white or pale green or something so it can be easily distinguished.As for mutation, a few posts ago you mentioned adding more things to the powers list, so I was just throwing that out there.

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