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View Full Version : [New RPG] Alt modes and Reformatting


Blackjack
2010-12-30, 09:24 AM
More of an errant thought here. Now inevitably the Transformers would have to arrive on Earth and scan Earthen alternate modes. Now how easy could the Transformers change alternate modes? Must it require a full-body rebuild like G1, or simply with the CR chamber of a ship like BW or Animated, or quick trans-scanning like Armada, Cybertron and the Movies?

Will they arrive on shuttles or crash down protoform-meteor style?

optimusskids
2010-12-30, 11:27 AM
I imagine we'll want to keep some restrictions. With the Michael Bay style scanning everyone's basically Skyfall and you could end up with everyone suddenly becoming tanks in the middle of fight scenes.

Springer85
2010-12-30, 12:41 PM
I've always liked the BW way of reformatting. Choose an alt mode and stick with it, unless a mega event or some special occasion calls for a change.

Clogs
2010-12-30, 12:49 PM
Agrees with Springer85.

The cartoons/comics imply that, having chosen a new alt mode, TFs stick with it despite all those cool opportunities around them to try something different. Let's suppose that means they get one go at adapting to a new environment, their systems selecting the best option for their given mass and original type i.e. jets is jets. Any further upgrade might need to be supplied artificially or come about as the result of some trauma.

Skyfall just doesn't have a mode lock, is all. Must be heavy on the Energon and take some toll on his internals?

Blackjack
2010-12-30, 01:51 PM
Yeah, Michael Bay transscanning wouldn't work at all.

But will we have them only able to be reformatted in a facility like their starship (or a medical building) or any CR chamber could do it? And would it be painful for them, would they need to be disassembled and reassembled?

Brave Maximus
2010-12-30, 03:10 PM
Deffinatly like the "Alt mode and stick with it"

But, perhaps in the ships CR chambers, but have it hurt, A LOT. Basically something you'd only want to go through once OR from the result of serious trauma.

I don't think we want to play the "Guess what alt mode I have today" game....

Aero Blade
2010-12-30, 04:03 PM
They way I've always seen it happen with Transformers is that they can easily take an inital altmode, but they don't change frequently because of many reasons. Firstmost, I imagine the spontaneous transformation takes a significant ammount of energy, not something you can easily do multiple times without a recharge inbetween. With an ongoing war happening, unless an upgrade of an altmode is needed for a tactical or emergency reason, they'd want to pick one good form and stick with it to conserve their energy reserves.

Second, quite a few transformers seem to have become attached to their alt modes (Sunstreaker and Tracks comes to mind, as well as the Beastwars arguement about who was most stylish). Like a favorite set of clothes for a person, a strong personal attachment to their form would be incentive enough for many to hold their shape, even if newer better ones come out.

Third, though the taking of an alt mode comes easily, it's not something that I could see them doing frequently without potentially wearing themselves out. Any recording device, regardless of whether it's a tape, dvd, or usb drive, will eventually wear out with repeated use. A transformer who changes their alt mode too many times is liable to cause damage to themselves that in the long-run could result in them losing their capability to change their alt modes or maybe even damage their transforming abilities.


As for how things happened in the G1 toon, all of the transformers had been offline for quite a long time, with neither repairs nor energy. I'd theorize that they were too low on power to initiate the alt-mode aquiring themselves, which is why Teltran had to initate thing when it came back online. Powered up after the manual installation of an alt mode had been completed, there was no need for them to waste the energy themselves changing their forms, not until they aquired a good supply of energon. As much of a meiser Megatron was about hording energon, he probably would never allow enough energy to be spared to soemone who just wanted to become the latest model ;)

Clogs
2010-12-30, 05:35 PM
:headbang:

I like what I'm reading here. Gives us plausibility for asking players to maintain a single alt mode, but we must reserve the right to refuse to change a mode if someone deliberately crashes their character.

(Although, yes, there might be a few cases acceptable within cannon that could be open to discussion if the need arose.)

Warcry
2010-12-30, 07:08 PM
The Bay-style magical alt-mode scanning is just flat-out crazy, because taken at face value a Transformer can adopt a new alt-mode in less time than it takes to transform to their current one. Any kind of magical internal alt-mode reformatting is just as bad really, because there are so many reasons why you'd want to use it that not using it constantly would be hugely illogical. Because of that it makes sense that Transformers should need external intervention to change what they turn into.

The way I've always seen it, changing your alt-mode would logically require a huge, huge rebuild. You wouldn't just be getting re-shelled, but your transformation scheme would be getting changed too which would require much more complex changes than must slapping new alt-mode body panels on. I can't imagine it would be any less resource-intensive than building a new body from scratch, and if you've got the resources to do that then you're going to be doing that and reviving as many of your troops that you've got in stasis that you can afford.

That doesn't mean that changing alt-modes would be completely impossible though. If your character managed to blow their cover to the point where they can't even step out of base in alt-mode without being IDed as a known Transformer, then spending the resources to change their alt-mode is probably a good idea. Likewise, if you've gotten your character so badly trashed that they need a complete rebuild anyway then a new alt-mode could be tossed in as part of the package. And of course, there's always the possibility of mad scientists who are constantly re-engineering themselves to test out their latest crazy inventions. But all of these things should be the rare exception rather than the rule IMO.

Brave Maximus
2010-12-30, 07:22 PM
What if we are talking purely cosmetic changes though?

Lets take Bumblebee from the movie for example. While I don't think a quick scan makes sense - changing from a 1978 Camero to a 2008 isn't that huge. Especially if it doesn't change the transformation scheme. - It really would just be some body pannelling changes.

I think though - the big thing would be to not encourage changes. Why would you want to change alt mode (even cosmetic changes) every thread? Find something that makes you happy :D

Aero Blade
2010-12-30, 07:30 PM
The Bay-style magical alt-mode scanning is just flat-out

It's not Bay, though, as it has been used in transformers series already. But it is clear that once a transformer has taken their alt-mode, it is not easy for them to change from that, nor should it be (Armada comes to mind, where we see Optimus do an insta-change, but it takes massive rebuilding on Smokescreen, which changes him into Hoist). When the RP gets going I can forsee allowing people to change their alt mode once (for more earth-like stuff) then not again unless under certain circumstances. Everyone gets one 'magic change' in their bots life, then their fairy dust is used up ;)

Warcry
2010-12-30, 07:54 PM
What if we are talking purely cosmetic changes though?

Lets take Bumblebee from the movie for example. While I don't think a quick scan makes sense - changing from a 1978 Camero to a 2008 isn't that huge. Especially if it doesn't change the transformation scheme. - It really would just be some body pannelling changes.
It wouldn't be that easy, though. A '78 Camero and an '08 Camaro have nothing in common but the name. They're a completely different shape, have completely different proportions, etc, etc... Nothing would fit together properly without being realigned, resized, reshaped or outright replaced. Try building an '08 Camaro onto the frame from a '78 one and see how far you get. ;)

It's not Bay, though, as it has been used in transformers series already.
And it was silly then too. Bay just took it to the extreme, like it's his job to do. :)

I'd much rather we just have the Ark/Nemesis rebuild our characters when they get to Earth so that we can sidetrack this debate entirely.

Aero Blade
2010-12-30, 09:13 PM
I'd much rather we just have the Ark/Nemesis rebuild our characters when they get to Earth so that we can sidetrack this debate entirely.

I don't mind the side-stepping either, but I though we were trying to be unique here and not borrow plotlines ;)

I might suggest that the overall crash (or whatever it is) that the transformers go through when they arrive damages everyone, so it's more effecient to simply upgrade everyone while they go into cr chambers for repair. More effecient use of energy and resources to change altmodes while repairing than to do the two processes separately.