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 Warbots Feedback

The Golden Eye
Writer
Terminators + 40K Necrons + 40K Orcs + Jack Nicholson's Joker + HK47 = Nuetralizers


I am looking for feedback on my Wardroids, The Nuetralizers, because Shredder wouldn't be half as memorable if he didn't have the Foot Clan to throw at the TMNT.

How are they as an antagonist. Are they nuanced? Have they had any memorable scenes? Anything needing improvement?
 
The Albino
Character
Have gone up against them a few times under different characters even. The scenario's in which I have faced them I will be perfectly honest make no sense to me.

These droids/robots are designed for killing and extermination so you would think these would be the weapons of a sith or darksider or in rare cases maybe even more neutrally aligned faction. However ever time I have faced them they are aiding Jedi which is where I find they make no sense to me.

It isn't that I don't believe a Jedi can't kill or wont ever kill it's that a Jedi will generally make that their last resort option, I get they see the Bryn for example as heartless monsters however even then past Jedi who came up against similar enemies like Vong as example tried to find alternative methods over mass murder and genocide of a species to halt the problem and eventually they did. So I don't get why a Jedi group would allow these things to aid them as they a purely designed to kill and exterminate.

So that's my biggest critic of them is they are a weapon of mass murder but aid the Jedi, which just doesn't make sense. If for example the sith, Maw, NIO, or other somewhat morally ambiguous groupd had them I wouldn't think they were so out of place.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
Udomek Seker Udomek Seker

Laertia isn't a Jedi. She's a heretic, and every time the Droids have aided Jedi it's because they happen to be fighting Bryn'adul, who they are actually out to exterminate. And at both times they aided them, it was because the Jedi had their hands so full with the Bryn'adul that there was no chance of trying to stop them from fighting the Bryn'adul also. Laertia is also a Jedi Killer and these droids constantly fought the NIO
 
To be blunt, I don't take them seriously. And there are a few reasons for this I will get into. But I want to add the caveat that this is as blunt as I can be, but I hope the feedback provided can be of a standard to guide the creation and use of your warbots in a better fashion. Right now, I feel they're exist in a premise is ridiculous, and they could be used so much better. To both the benefit of your PvP opponents, and to enhance the stories of the Amalgam, Laertia etc. There is a great deal of passion which exists within your subs, and the amount of them you've made on your own time is admirable. It shows a vision. But visions can, and often times should be tempered, and the tempering's can lead to improvements. So I ask this not so much be taken to heart as an attack. But rather as a writer, trying to help another one out. But first and foremost, my criticisms in full.
  1. First and foremost. The formatting of the submissions. They're to me at least, a struggle to read. The formatting is off. it's bland text with no colours, poor spacing etc. It's a struggle to get through. Of course this is very surface level, but take the Nuetraliser MK 2 vs say the Project RUUSAN Impervious strain. Obviously one is a codex sub, the other is factory. But the use of bolding, spacing and colour. It makes it, to me at least, far easier to read.
  2. Secondly there is the choice of images for the series. Taken directly from both Terminator and what looks like Matrix imagery. And I get it, not all of us are artists. And there may be a want to use the imagery there, presupposed. But using the bipedal T-whatever, it feels out of place in Star Wars, and does not fit in the established aesthetic of droids in universe. Of course Chaos takes place in a very strange place, but it feels out of place to be battling Arnold Schwarzenegger. And obviously, it's a powerful and intimidating aesthetic, but only in that universe. In Star Wars it comes off as showboat-y. .
  3. Thirdly lack of coherent use. These are supposedly an elite unit. Take the NIO invasions of Sith territory especially, they were used indiscriminately regardless of Eternal Empire or Confederate presence. And they're fielded in such numbers, where they don't feel special or unique, but, and this feeds into section 4.
  4. They are written as too OP. This is sort of something I notice with most, if not all Chaos subs and writers and is not at all something you should be singled out on. Everyone does this when they sub an elite unit. And God knows I've done it. But when the Neutralizer's are dispatched they seem to treat everyone with a disrespect. Smacking about everyone like nobodies business. And when tied into four, you ask, "Why?". And there's such power necessary to sort of, take them down, it becomes a slog. And it's just not fun. And just as an aside when they are deployed, they seem to not be deployed firmly, and there's no grounding as to whether it's a static line, tactics. Just that you're winning, inspite of no clarification on the tactical circumstances.
  5. And this is the biggest one. The spelling. Why did you choose to deliberately spell Neutralizer wrong? Look, I can get just wanting to use made up words. I use Stossjaeger. Literal nonsense and a blending of two German words. So maybe call me a hypocrite here. But to misspell a word? It's just, not good. And it hardly lends a credibility, when tied into critique 3.
Advice for the future. I feel it unfair to lend such criticisms and not at all at least provide some recourse on how I would approach things differently in the future as to ensure that writers on the whole treat your death machines with the threat and menace you crave. So, here goes. This list of course, is not entirely comprehensive of my criticisms. But, it should throw some steps in the right direction.
  1. Take your time with subs. Think like you're about to put them in a museum, which is sort of what a factory sub is. It's an image into a sub, and should be treated with some creative pride. Some rando, will one day duel you. And click on it, and read it. Make it look all snazzy and the like. Invite the reader in with colours, nice formatting etc.
  2. I would personally choose either a more obscure model, from a less recognisable franchise, or maybe model them after something that aesthetically could fit in universe. Because as it sits, using the T-1000 or what have you, it's sort of jarring to write Stormtroopers/Jedi/Sith and just have these robo skeletons run up on you. Even a cursory search of 'bipedal combat droid' through google revealed these examples like this, or this and even this. All acceptable and all feel more lived in than using James Cameron.
  3. I shan't comment at all on how your subs are used as that is both merely a personal gripe and of course an opinion. But what I will discuss is how you are writing them. Your subs ultimately when used are NPCs, who are mass-produced models of droid. Ergo, I would find it very difficult for them to be these sort of, durable fighting machines, with an advanced combat ability. Not that I'm asking for them to be treated like the B1's of the Clone Wars, but maybe aim for BX-Series Commando Droids. Elite, able to be around the block. And used in small numbers. But not some infallible force, and they are only available in certain tactical settings, dependent on model.
  4. And maybe this is one of the larger things. But the spelling. Please. The spelling. My inner autocorrect is begging you.

    I do hope you take this advice on board, and in the sort of spirit it was given. You clearly are a passionate writer with a big plan and big story to tell. I cannot reiterate that enough. But as it sits at least, your fancy warbots don't really do much to stimulate much of any IC fear. Or any OOC sort of, respect. Which does not of course translate to you as a writer, just the submissions as they sit. I hope to maybe see you having taken some of these critiques on board in the future sometime. Until then, see you around.
 
The Golden Eye
Writer
I had to take a while to organize my thoughts and respond to the critique offered by Caarlyle Rausgeber Caarlyle Rausgeber .


On the way the subs look, I can't really contest his assessment on how the subs look, because a lot of the time I focused on just getting it done and looking presentable.

But as to his other critiques I felt it necessary to explain my reasoning behind design choices...

As to the Robo-Skeleton look and how it seems out of place, I must reply that this does have a basis in Canon: They are meant to be updated versions of the YVH-1 Droid. Droids originally created to kill a powerful enemy that heavily favors biotech, just like Laertia's droids, except much smarter, taking the preprogrammed taunts Lando Calrissian used for his droids to another level.

Now, as to making them smart, as well as a full army...well, Laertia's throwing out the rulebook on Droid armies, making them all smart as humans at least while still unable to rebel. I would have used a good image of a YVH Droid from somewhere other than wookieepedia, but couldn't find it (Your pictures also don't display to me) so I went with the closest I could find for it. And I figured, since the YVH is probably in of itself a shout out to Terminator, I felt it wouldn't hurt to essentially come full circle. Also, it's 800 years in the future. The classic Droid designs are still around, but it's inevitable in terms of IC logic that those designs would start to get replaced...there are already in this setting, many droids that don't look anything like classic star wars droids, and are often much smarter. Laertia is so desperate to stop the Bryn'adul, she made something capable of going to go toe with their infantry--thats why they seem so deadly to Standard troops, because they were built to fight infantry a lot stronger and tougher, but that would have ultimately been a fruitless endeavor for her if the army was not capable of out thinking their opponents. They had to be given logic, intuition, emotions themselves, because the mind is the most dangerous of weapons. They had to enjoy what they do and understand and appreciate it. No typical BX is going to be much use against such an enemy.

As for their attitude towards others, the 'dissing' you mentioned...that is strictly an IC thing. They do that because it's part of their Psychological Warfare programming... Laertia based their factory fresh personality somewhat on the mindset of ancient Mandalorian Crusaders (Making Laertia a sort of Ad Hoc equivalent of Mandalore to them), in which proving one's prowess in battle is one of the paramount tenants of their "Culture" so to speak. That's why they laugh and joke (even if out of pure sadism) to nearly everyone they meet: because when they war against Non-Bryn'adul, it's regarded as sport, with all the accompanying locker room trash talk. With The Bryn'adul it's serious. It's business. They use the NIO and the GA, (as well as the SJC) as their sort of teachers in how to wage war.

Also, I understand I need to get better at describing the positioning of Forces, can't really contest that, but please remember I only just got really into the hang of warposting, but as to display of actual tactics, I honestly believe that I have been displaying this. In fact, I feel I went to great lengths to describe their tactics, and have demonstrated an evolution of them since their first appearance. They've made mistakes and paid heavily for failure.

When their enemies fight them for the first time in Generis, they essentially fight as Berserkers, with only minimal reliance on sabotage, they kill many due to their shock and awe tactics, but suffer immense losses once it's understood that shooting them in the head is the most reliable method of killing them. (This Berserker method resembles how Laertia fought when she was still a Jedi and had no or minimal back up).

At Ziost, They were deployed in larger numbers, and their encounter with the NIO and Guerilla warfare led them go implement it more heavily against their enemies. They were still berserkers but the results of Generis had started to shake them out of this mind set. They were learning to control their mindset, and got sneakier, experimenting with sapper and sniper duties more.

At Dubrava, their first real encounter with Bryn'adul, their experience against the NIO and the relative success of sabotage warfare, led to them partly mimicking NIO infantry tactics more and more.

Serenno: Battle hardened warriors, still in a transitional state between Berserker and Soldier, began to employ ambush and sabotage more effectively than before, but lack of artillery and back up cost them dearly.

Sarka: The Last Battle where Model 1's were ever used in numbers over a thousand, and the Model 1's worst defeat. Despite inflicting a catastrophic kill count and being introduced to Tunnel Warfare, they are forced to retreat, marking the last time the Droids employ Berserker tactics except at moments of extreme opportunity. This battle led directly to the Model 1's getting banned from Mass Production...the baseline Model 1, despite how effective it is, is ruled simply too dangerous to field as an army, and this starts the transition of the role as Spec Ops, Officers, Command and Advisory positions (The very role of The BX Droids you mentioned), and leads directly to the development of The Model 2, which learn slower, and have Weaknesses that make it more acceptable to mass produce as an army.

Csilla: Their first real experience with Starfighter Warfare. No enough to save Csilla, but the data taken from that battle was given to all Model 1's after, and they gained insight into slipping past shield defenses, though their Starfighter work resembled their original infantry work--berzerker like

Sev-Tok...The Revenge of The Nuetralizers. Every prior experience came together when they fought at the Militia's side against the Bryn'adul, revealing that, like, The Bryn'adul, they have come to favor a constantly advancing offensive, only rarely holding positions as absolutely necessary, resorting to extremely primitive methods of warfare to stay in the fight, along with terror tactics, such as torture, audio based Psychological Warfare, and codifying their serenading of an enemy as a chief means of Psychological attack, not hesitating to capture beasts of the enemy to use against them, constantly using the enemies own equipment and passing it to their allies, coming back as relentlessly as the Bryn'adul do, In essence, becoming a mirror of the ones they are sworn to destroy.

Vjun: Despite it being a defeat the droids realize they have a weakness at Defensive Siege warfare. They also experiment with animal warfare also

Krayiss: Another defeat. They are unable to fully suppress the rebellion due to lack of their own vehicles

Ziost III...They employed everything the NIO and GA taught them through constantly trying to kill them, essentially finally experimenting with full scale combined infantry, tank, starfighter and artillery warfare, their infantry using Roman Legion-like columns to advance, employing suppressing fire from the front rows and Sides, with parabolic weaponry in the back, their tanks very Light and very Mobile. They also made full use of booby traps, such as IED's mini-crab bombs and used less advanced battle droids like Combat dogs, sending them ahead to soak up fire and soften the enemy up before moving in. As before they favored constant advancement, and only occasionally employed Berserker tactics, marking their full transition to a professional army, albeit in a war already lost.

And as to your spell check critique, yes, you're right. I mess up sometimes. Not proud of it. But the misspelling of the droids was deliberate, one hundred percent. Done for the same reason Steven King let his book be called Pet Sematary---the wrongness of the misspelled word is supposed to leap out at you constantly.

Do I need to improve descriptions of where exactly my armies are positioned? Certainly. I will do my best to be more concrete on that. But I do feel that great lengths were taken to show their evolution in thinking in each invasion thread. But I nonetheless thank you for your critique, and hope I have adequately answered a few questions you or others had as to why I made them the way I do. And you are right, future subs need to look more crisp, but it's not exactly my best ability, Though I will try to improve.
 

Davak

Writer
Writer
Heyoooo,

you might remember me as DarrVack DarrVack from some of the invasions I had the pleasure of war posting alongside with you in the last months.

Great job btw, I really enjoyed how eager you were to progress and push those threads!

Now for some feedback:

Why the haste?
It often seemed to me that they jumped right in the action from the getgo and start firing their lasers and chest blasters. Partly this has to do with that whole positioning topic that's been mentioned and addressed before but what could help with that is spending some time to lay out the battlefield or situation in the post.
Simple rule, back, and foreground, background meaning what's behind the current setting? What's the wheater? Night or day? Sounds from afar?
Foreground gets more in detail, what's the terrain like? What people and places are around you? The temperature even? Humid or dry? Loud noises directly near you? Colours?
This could help you get better at the positioning ting and make it clearer for those rping with you.

Why not get more in touch?
This doesn't mean to make it longer, I would actually suggest you cut back a bit in the size of the posts it gets hard to follow when you drop like 1600 words hehehe. Instead, check the "amount" of stuff you can do. In DnD you have 6 seconds per round in combat, think of it a little like that. What is a reasonable amount of things for the bots to do at once? And then really flesh it out for me, what do they do? How do they do it? Why do they do it? Why like that? How might it come across to others? I promise this technique will lead you to be much closer in the moment and to the characters your writing.

Who are you rping with?
Dude some of the battles you and the crazy tank man had on Ziost and also Traitors Gate were craaaazy. I wont forget the moment where suddenly dubstep played a role XD My point here would be and this holds especially true in group PvP like Invasion, bring yourself into what we call in german "roter faden" like the main themes and narratives that drive "our" side of the plot. In the end, it will be partially judged on exactly that, how well did we cooperate? So while it's easy to get lost in their robot narrative how can you find a healthy way to include it in the overall arc?
Another point here would be to check out who you are fighting, what abilities do they have? When fighting other NPCs it seems your droids just walk over them, a super trained force will be difficult to fight. And it can potentially be interpreted as a weakness not to respect that.

Overall I enjoy your drive, and hell there are some crazy quotes from both the model 1s and your rpcs. I suggest just slow it down a bit, take your time. Write a post, then come back a few hours later read it again, change some stuff and then post it. Go into detail while keeping it short and sweet and flesh out the actions of your droids.

Hope there's some stuff in here you can make use of I know it got a bit general.
Anyhow all the best to you and hope to see you on Korriban or some other battlefield soon =)
 
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Master of Knowledge
Character
Maple Harte Maple Harte

Took a while for me to get around to this, but I wanted to read a few more examples of how they've been used in past threads.

I don't really mind the stylistic choices you've made as far as the characterization and quirkiness of the warbots. I don't care about the art you use in your subs, I don't care about the quirky misspelling of certain words, I don't even care about the pop culture references or the memes or the dark humor. To a certain extent, your flamboyance and the over-the-top Tarantino-esque style you use is one of the qualities that makes you stand out as a writer here on Chaos. It's certainly one of the reasons why I've had fun writing with you in the past, but I do think it needs to be reined in and used carefully to avoid becoming chaotic in a bad way. A confusing, convoluted, messy way.

So, I'm just going to focus on the mechanics of gameplay here, the stuff I consider most important. A lot of the concerns and frustrations about Neutralizers stem from the fact that they are written as extremely difficult to destroy, and the parameters for how many of them there are, especially in invasion and other such warposts, are left very vague. It seems like there is an endless number of them on any given battlefield, which is logistically impossible no matter how many hidden manufacturing plants Laertia has access to.

Your warposts also tend to be very long, with excessively detailed run-on sentences packed with information that isn't always necessary for the reader/opposition to know. Excessive information can lead to confusion as surely as too little information.

So, my recommendations are thus:

1. I consider it a good thing that the Neutralizers cannot be killed through conventional means, as it forces characters to be more creative. However, treat them like Vong biotech in Legends: it took everyone by surprise and was extremely effective when it was first introduced, but over time people wised up, figured out its weaknesses, and were able to exploit them, leveling the playing field. You can keep creating updated versions of your warbots, engaging in a kind of technological arms race, but keep in mind that the bulk of Laertia's Neutralizer forces will still be older models with vulnerabilities that are known to your enemies. Let them fall in battle because of this.

2. Having them die will also address the numbers issue, provided you don't just keep putting more of them out there. But here's a more specific incentive: larger casualty rates for Neutralizers can also allow you to write drama and tragedy. The Neutralizers have existed long enough to develop personalities of their own... right around the same time they start to perish in large numbers because their enemies have figured out how to destroy them. Some will witness the destruction of their comrades in battle and actually feel something from the loss. Maybe they go overboard, becoming crazed Colonel Kurtz-esque lone wolves that have to be put down, or maybe they begin to question the war itself and wonder if all this fighting is futile. Or you could go the other way and have a Neutralizer become a pacifistic hippie distributing flowers to people. I dunno lol.

3. Some tips for reducing the length of your posts:

  • Avoid describing the appearance of already established characters like the warbots. This includes references to their voices, gear, and weaponry. The Factory subs already tell you these things, so it's kind of unnecessary. Also, at this point most readers have seen them before in previous threads.
  • If you can get something done in a sentence or two, don't pad it out into a paragraph. "The Neutralizers moved to attack the reactor, sonic blasters shrieking" is effective precisely because it's brief and leaves the details up to the reader's imagination. Have faith that other writers will treat you as legitimate opposition, and even if they don't, do not go off the rails in an attempt to force them to take you seriously. That's not going to help.
  • Don't have so many characters in a thread together to begin with. Remember that this is roleplaying, so your primary interactions should be with other PCs, not NPCs. Laertia should issue the bulk of her orders to her troops in her first post, and all subsequent posts should be action-reaction with another writer. The same goes for story writing with NPCs.
  • Avoid repetition. Don't have your characters rehash the same arguments over and over again across threads, and definitely don't repeat the same types of scenes. At this point Laertia should be tired of monologuing, having met so many opponents who didn't listen, so don't have her monologue anymore. Also for example, I think I've read almost identical interactions between Laertia and the Battalion where the Battalion tries to tempt her with power and sex appeal only for Laertia to just barely resist it on at least 3-4 different occasions in threads. It's no longer interesting to read and things need to move on in terms of plot. Either have Laertia give in to temptation, or deliberately distance herself from the Battalion, avoiding her on the battlefield and refusing her calls, etc. If you're waiting to see the outcome of a big story arc before you can move forward, then I'd say just focus on the thread you're in without including references to other events. There has to be change and development or else it'll get stale, not just for the people reading your posts, but also for you as a writer. I am just now realizing that I'm not talking about Neutralizers anymore, crap.

Ahhh... I think that's all I've got. Yeah. I apologize if this is a lot to take in, or if any of it is confusing, I did my best lol.
 
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The Golden Eye
Writer
I'm gonna try and do most of the things you said, Nimdok Nimdok , but on the issue of Laertia's monologues, I did that because I have had Laertia desperate to convince others she encounters at every opportunity. Also, her rehashes of arguments are a symptom of her one track mind and Monomania. They are meant to sound crazy, especially with how hard she sticks to her points.

As to Laertia and the Battalion, I think I have been showing the subtle change in each interaction. Sure, Xiphos rejects the argument so far, but I've been making it so it becomes more and more difficult each time, and if you look it over, you'll notice the Battalion tries a different angle to her argument and actions every time. When they first meet during the end of the second battle of Ziost, Laertia keeps her distance and doesn't react to her subtly hitting on her. At Serenno, The Battalion's interaction is far more casual and for Laertia's end is less stiff and formal. By the time of Vjun, Xiphos is aware she wants her and by Korriban, is making physical contact (literally sweeping her up at one point in a bridal manner)

but you and Davak Davak have a fair amount of points, and that's why I have the numbers of bots in the annihilation of Korriban at 1400 (Most of which haven't even arrived--only 400 are on Korriban itself)
 
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