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Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*
Date: 3/7/15 6:27 am
In Response To: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? (MacGyver10)

: I guess I'm really just wondering if there's an argument for ODSTs beyond the
: dislike for 343I's handling of the Spartan-IV program?

: - MacGyver10


Let's discount 343i's execution of the Spartan-IV stories. Let's just ignore the fact that the Spartan-IVs are incompetents who doff their helmets at the silliest moments possible. Let's ignore that the few moments they spend acting like professional soldiers are usually overshadowed when the plot requires them to be idiots.

The reason why I'm disappointed in the Spartan-IVs is because I'm a hardware junkie. I love seeing how technology develops over time, the different paths taken to performing the same task, and sometimes how that task is abandoned for other objectives.

That's one of the reasons why I like the history of firearms development so much. It's anarchic. Automobiles are interesting, but the heavy up-front investment for a new design mostly limits innovation to a few big players. But firearms... there's just so many people working on the problem of how to build a better gun, and no-one can agree what exactly constitutes a better gun. You can trace the origin of an idea and see how it inspired later designers. You can see the impact other fields have on firearms development, like shifts in tactical doctrine or advances in machine tooling.

What I'm getting to is, technology develops incrementally. Before you can have an M-16, you need a fairly advanced understanding of aluminum alloys. Non-corrosive propellant must be readily available from the supplier, someone has to have poured resources into the study of using polymer-and-fiberglass in place of wood, and a shift in tactical doctrine must have occurred for the military to develop a fast, light round like the .223/5.56mm NATO round. And before the military did that, some German design team had to invent the Sturmgewehr 44, get it fielded, and prove that the assault rifle was a game-changer. And even that gun was a culmination of new tactical doctrines and bleeding-edge stamping/metal pressing techniques.

Technology develops incrementally. Nothing springs forth fully formed from the mind of an inventor. You can probably see the same patterns in any piece of military hardware, from helmets to armored vehicles to aircraft.

So, yeah. Where did the Spartan-IVs come from? Six years ago, Spartans had to be augmented during puberty. Halsey specifically cited the genetic augments as working best on pre-pubescent subjects. The augments to improve muscle density, the ceramic ossification, and the catalytic thyroid implant all read like something best done during puberty, when the body is already growing and changing. For years, I had this mental image of Halsey's surgeons hijacking the puberty process and using it to shape the Spartan's bodies.

The Spartan IIIs also had to be augmented during the puberty process, clear up to the Gamma class fielded in the 2550s.

These augmentations are not one process. If you can get the ceramic ossification process to work on adults without washouts or long-term health complications, that doesn't necessarily work for the one that makes nerves superconducting. And there's been zero indication that any progress was made on augmenting adults. I'm serious. You would think that the ODSTs would set up a division for augmented troopers with the motto "Screw you suckers, it's our turn now!" and implement the augments as soon as they become available. And there would be some sort of conflict over those points I mentioned concerning the augmentation of people who won't be in the military for the rest of their life.

And if augmentation is no longer strictly tied to the Spartan programs, the chances of a new elite force of volunteers being called Spartan IVs are pretty much the same as a snowball's chances in an industrial smelter. Even someone as levelheaded and amiable as Buck thinks that the Spartans are glory hounds. So Musa's offer to join a new ultra-special branch of Spartans should have been met with a bureaucratic kick to the balls. And while he's trying to politically get back on his feet and drop the tenor, the ODSTs would be running out the door with the scientists under one arm and the funding under the other.

Some people argue that the UNSC was able to ignore genetic requirements for the Spartan IIIs, which proves that work was being done on making the augmentations general-issue. I believe that it's a qualitatively different sort of advancement, if it was even a technological improvement. After the first round of Spartan II augmentations, the UNSC would have had plenty of empirical data on how to treat and prevent some of the failures and abnormalities. After that, was very much accomplished?

All design decisions are tradeoffs between one aspect of performance and another. A decision was made to run large classes of disposable Spartans through the augmentation procedure. I've opined again and again that the long-term health of the candidates would not be a priority for the people training suicide troops. If a Spartan III is going to be killed by an Elite in a year, it does not matter that chains of malignant brain tumors will kill him in three years. So the augmentations that would work for Spartan III suicide troops would not be a good choice for the Spartan IVs.

: I like the idea of the ODSTs about as much as most people. I also get the
: attachment many of us have to them after their starring role in a great,
: different perspective in the halo universe with their own game. It's cool
: to see these Seal/Ranger/Delta Force-like (yet even crazier dropping from
: space!) simple human beings do what they do, but my question is why
: wouldn't an ODST want to become a spartan? To me it's another set of armor
: (and now energy shields) between me and death!

Now you've gotten me started on the armor.

MJOLNIR was every cutting edge theoretically-possible technology miniaturized and packed into one suit of armor. The manufacturing process was long and complicated and the rejected parts probably outnumbered the correctly manufactured parts by several orders of magnitude. The price reflected this.

We've seen what the UNSC fields when it has thousands of soldiers to armor. The ODST armor is rugged and has a few nice features, but it is strikingly primitive when compared to what Spartans wear. No shields, no automatic biofoam application, no power assist, no link to the user's nervous system.

Halsey's Journal was just about the greatest entry into the Halo franchise. The origins of both Spartans and MJOLNIR and how they evolved from their initial concepts were revealed in a wonderful blend of storytelling and universe-building that 343i hasn't even come close to reproducing. That's because Nylund cared about the details of how MJOLNIR came together, even if the pieces were glued together with technobabble. 343i turned MJOLNIR from the Space Shuttle to cosplay Guyver armor, no intermediate steps. No missing... OK, it's all missing links.

If Gen II MJOLNIR is basically general issue, what came before it? When were the Marines fielding cheap strength-boosting power armor? Did the ODSTs ever have cheap shielding that fell apart like Brute armor from Halo 3, on the principle that some protection is better than no protection at all? At what point did the UNSC start dipping full body armor into liquid anime?

: I'm assuming the UNSC doesn't still use chain-mail armor on it's infantry, so
: why wouldn't they want to continue to upgrade their soldiers into spartans
: that realistically have a chance head-to-head against a brute, elite or
: other alien life form comparatively?

For the same reason that kevlar didn't directly replace chain mail.

: Seems to me you would want all your
: infantry to have these 'super-suits' eventually as costs to deployment
: becomes acceptable.

Yeah, better-than-the-original super-suits that cost a slim fraction of what the original did six years earlier when the UNSC still had a complete manufacturing base is part of the problem.

: Am I missing any reason other than pride or 'this is
: how we've always done it' to not gradually want everyone wearing mjolnir?

Basically, it's because the UNSC has metaphorically gone from muskets and carbines with a few lever action breech loaders to general issue of self-loading battle rifles in the span of six years.

Some people wouldn't notice the difference. Others are calling bullshit.

Messages In This Thread

Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/1/15 4:55 pm
     Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/1/15 5:10 pm
           Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/1/15 5:14 pm
                 Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Hyokin3/1/15 6:01 pm
                       Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/1/15 6:20 pm
                             Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Morhek3/1/15 11:07 pm
                                   Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 2:46 am
                                         Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 2:51 am
                                               Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 2:56 am
                                                     Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 2:57 am
                 Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 4:18 am
                       Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 5:46 am
                             Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Quirel3/2/15 4:22 pm
                                   Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*Archilen3/3/15 7:17 am
           This.Archilen3/2/15 1:27 am
                 Re: This.Quirel3/2/15 4:21 am
                       Re: This.Grizzlei3/2/15 5:35 am
                             Re: This.Quirel3/2/15 5:48 am
                                   Re: This.Grizzlei3/2/15 5:55 am
                                         Re: This.Quirel3/2/15 6:02 am
                                               Re: This.Grizzlei3/2/15 6:09 am
                                                     Re: This.Quirel3/2/15 6:22 am
                                                           Re: This.Grizzlei3/2/15 6:25 am
                                                                 This thing that we do.Quirel3/2/15 4:23 pm
     Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*TDSpiral3/1/15 11:20 pm
           *SP* *GIF* *TARDIS*Grizzlei3/2/15 6:04 am
     This kinda bugged me *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 2:40 am
           Some thoughts and stuffs *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 5:19 am
                 Nothing is sacred.Revenant19883/2/15 9:51 am
                       Re: Nothing is sacred.robofin1173/2/15 2:07 pm
                       Valar Morghulis *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 2:38 pm
                             Re: Valar Morghulis *SP*General Vagueness3/2/15 11:36 pm
           Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Stephen L. (SoundEffect)3/2/15 2:24 pm
                 Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Grizzlei3/2/15 2:48 pm
                       Re: +1Hyokin3/2/15 4:29 pm
                             Re: +1Grizzlei3/2/15 5:32 pm
                                   Re: +1Hyokin3/2/15 5:53 pm
                             Re: +1Cody Miller3/2/15 7:06 pm
                                   About that... *GIF* *NSFW*Grizzlei3/2/15 7:20 pm
                                         For real?Cody Miller3/2/15 8:12 pm
                                               Four reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 8:22 pm
                                                     Re: Four reels *IMG*Hyokin3/2/15 8:24 pm
                                                     Re: Four reels *IMG*Cody Miller3/2/15 8:26 pm
                                                           Five reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 8:34 pm
                                                                 Re: Five reels *IMG*Cody Miller3/2/15 8:42 pm
                                                                       Re: Five reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 8:56 pm
                                                                             Re: Five reels *IMG*Cody Miller3/2/15 9:06 pm
                                                                                   Re: Five reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 9:21 pm
                                                                                         Re: You're my hero, Grizzlei. *NM*Hyokin3/2/15 9:30 pm
                                                                                         Re: Five reels *IMG*Cody Miller3/2/15 9:41 pm
                                                                                               Re: Five reels *IMG*Grizzlei3/2/15 9:58 pm
                                                                                                     Re: Five reels *IMG*Quirel3/3/15 4:08 am
                                   Re: +1Hyokin3/2/15 7:33 pm
                             Re: +1munky-0583/4/15 10:45 am
                                   Re: +1Grizzlei3/4/15 11:56 am
                                         Re: +1Hyokin3/4/15 1:49 pm
                                   Re: +1General Vagueness3/5/15 1:53 am
                             Re: +1 - I'm backTuna3/4/15 2:55 pm
                                   Re: +1 - I'm backQuirel3/4/15 4:24 pm
                                   Re: +1 - I'm backJoe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)3/5/15 8:50 am
                                         Re: +1 - I'm backTuna3/5/15 10:59 am
                                         Re: +1 - I'm backbluerunner3/5/15 6:40 pm
                                               Halo CE shottyLawnmower1723/5/15 11:41 pm
                                               Re: +1 - I'm backJoe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)3/6/15 3:43 am
                                                     Re: +1 - I'm backCaneCutter3/6/15 11:31 am
                                               Re: +1 - I'm backmunky-0583/6/15 6:27 am
                                                     Re: +1 - I'm backCaneCutter3/6/15 11:30 am
                                         Re: +1 - I'm backKermit3/6/15 6:36 pm
                       Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Stephen L. (SoundEffect)3/2/15 8:01 pm
                             Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*uberfoop3/2/15 8:14 pm
                             Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Cody Miller3/2/15 8:27 pm
                                   Re: This kinda bugged me *SP*Stephen L. (SoundEffect)3/3/15 6:54 am
           HBO has officially gone full 343. RIP. HBO.munky-0583/3/15 4:07 am
                 Edit...munky-0583/3/15 4:09 am
                 *Reads post*Quirel3/3/15 4:10 am
                 Re: You're my hero, Korny. *NM*Joe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)3/3/15 4:17 am
                 343: Now featuring characterizationGrizzlei3/3/15 12:45 pm
                       Re: 343: Now featuring characterizationPostmortem3/4/15 1:02 am
                             Re: 343: Now featuring characterizationGrizzlei3/4/15 1:40 am
                                   I am optimistic about where this thread is going.Quirel3/4/15 6:19 am
                                         +1Archilen3/4/15 7:26 am
                                               Re: +1munky-0583/4/15 11:21 am
                                                     Zip.Quirel3/4/15 4:24 pm
                                               Re: +1Quirel3/4/15 4:27 pm
                                         This. *NM*Ragashingo3/4/15 5:54 pm
                                         Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiGeneral Vagueness3/5/15 1:37 am
                                               Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiQuirel3/5/15 3:32 pm
                                                     Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiGeneral Vagueness3/5/15 8:17 pm
                                                           Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiArchilen3/6/15 7:14 am
                                                                 Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiscarab3/6/15 12:59 pm
                                                                 Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiQuirel3/6/15 2:40 pm
                                               Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiQuirel3/6/15 4:38 am
                                                     Re: I am optimistic about where this thread is goiGeneral Vagueness3/6/15 8:04 pm
                                         +1 *NM*Kermit3/5/15 8:53 am
                                   part ARevenant19883/4/15 12:20 pm
                                         Re: part AGrizzlei3/4/15 12:51 pm
                                               Re: part Amunky-0583/4/15 1:10 pm
                                                     Re: part Akanbo3/4/15 1:24 pm
                                                     Re: part AGrizzlei3/4/15 1:42 pm
                                                           Re: part AQuirel3/4/15 4:35 pm
                                   part BRevenant19883/4/15 12:45 pm
                                         Your two posts need to be laminated and displayed.munky-0583/4/15 1:02 pm
                                         Re: part BGrizzlei3/4/15 1:25 pm
                             Re: 343: Now featuring characterizationQuirel3/4/15 3:46 am
                                   Re: 343: Now featuring characterizationPostmortem3/4/15 9:18 am
                 Re: HBO has officially gone full 343. RIP. HBO.*OTGeneral Vagueness3/3/15 8:02 pm
           Noble Six was always male.Celestis3/4/15 8:08 pm
                 Re: Noble Six was always male.Grizzlei3/4/15 8:33 pm
                 Good find. *NM*Quirel3/6/15 2:41 pm
     Finished it *SP*Archilen3/2/15 12:46 pm
           Can you answer for me a question?Revenant19883/2/15 12:53 pm
                 Is Half-Life 3 out yet? *GIF*Grizzlei3/2/15 1:02 pm
                       othankgod *NM*Revenant19883/2/15 1:02 pm
                             Re: othankgodGrizzlei3/2/15 1:08 pm
                 Re: Can you answer for me a question?Archilen3/2/15 1:02 pm
           Finished it as well *SP*davidfuchs3/2/15 1:51 pm
                 Re: Finished it as well *SP*Archilen3/3/15 7:12 am
                       Re: Finished it as well *SP*davidfuchs3/3/15 4:54 pm
                             Re: Finished it as well *SP*Postmortem3/4/15 1:12 am
                                   Re: Finished it as well *SP*Archilen3/4/15 7:18 am
     Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?MacGyver103/2/15 4:32 pm
           Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?p bro3/2/15 5:06 pm
           Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?Anton17923/4/15 3:48 pm
                 Good to see you around. *NM*Quirel3/4/15 3:51 pm
                       Re: Good to see you around.Anton17923/4/15 5:20 pm
                 Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?MacGyver103/4/15 6:55 pm
                       Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?Anton17923/4/15 8:04 pm
                             Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?Archilen3/5/15 3:52 am
                       Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST?Quirel3/9/15 6:34 am
           Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*Quirel3/7/15 6:27 am
                 Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*Anton17923/7/15 11:59 am
                       Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*Quirel3/9/15 6:50 am
                 Re: Why not Spartan-IVs instead of ODST? *Long*Archilen3/9/15 9:59 am
     I wish this came out 3 years ago *SP*Dervish3/2/15 8:44 pm
           Re: I wish this came out 3 years ago *SP*davidfuchs3/2/15 10:44 pm
     Re: Halo: New Blood excerpt *SP*General Vagueness3/2/15 10:58 pm
     Briefly read excerptserpx3/3/15 9:22 am
     Re: New Blood - In one image: *GIF*Hyokin3/3/15 12:50 pm
     The closest Halo's gotten to Nylund since Nylund.Postmortem3/4/15 1:36 am
           A response with kinda sorta major-ish minor *SP*Grizzlei3/4/15 1:55 am
           Re: The closest Halo's gotten to Nylund since NyluArchilen3/4/15 6:36 am

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