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Old 2012-08-07, 20:46   Link #1
relentlessflame
 
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Sword Art Online - Game Mechanics and Technology [for Novel Readers, with Spoilers]

The purpose of this thread is for novel readers of Sword Art Online to discuss and speculate about the various game mechanics and technologies shown in the Sword Art Online novels (and the adaptations of said novels, including the anime).

If you are an anime-only viewer and do not want be spoiled, please use the Game Mechanics and Technology Speculation Thread instead!


Some on-topic ideas for discussion in this thread:
  • NervGear System
  • SAO Gameplay and User Interface
  • Known Bugs and Exploits

What do we know/have we been told about these systems and issues? Do the explanations given make sense? Are there plot holes or seeming flaws? What are the drawbacks of the approaches described, and how could they be addressed?


If you wish to ask questions about the systems shown, please use the Q&A Thread. This thread is for novel readers to speculate and discuss about the systems, how they are portrayed to work, and whether they are feasible in reality.


Spoiler tags are not required but please use discretion when revealing major plot information or details from later novels.
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:24   Link #2
ronelm2000
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Since this is an LN only thread, then wouldn't it cover AmuSphere's System as well? (I mean, in a gamer's sense, AmuSphere is almost like NervGear with performance boosts...and less immersion.)
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:28   Link #3
larethian
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^ Well, since relentlessflame isn't totally spoiled, he wouldn't know of that. Since this is for novel readers, I guess we can even talk about STL here LOL. And I guess he won't be moderating this thread (not that this thread needs much since it's for LN readers).

And
Spoilers
Spoiler for v10 STL-related rant
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:49   Link #4
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by larethian View Post
^ Well, since relentlessflame isn't totally spoiled, he wouldn't know of that. Since this is for novel readers, I guess we can even talk about STL here LOL. And I guess he won't be moderating this thread (not that this thread needs much since it's for LN readers).
Yeah, well, all I know is that there are different arcs/"worlds"/stories... not what they are or what they mean. But given that other people may not even know that much, I didn't want to name the thread in such a way that gives away this detail. In short, yes, you can discuss anything up to the latest novels here. I'm going to try to avoid this thread to avoid details, but please keep things on-topic. Other members of the staff may be familiar with the novels (or willing to spoil themselves on them), plus there are reports... so yeah.

(I also debated, per your suggestion, whether to create a thread just for the current arc of the novels... but again, that would give away part of the story... so yeah.)
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Old 2012-08-07, 21:58   Link #5
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Ok... let's start with depicting what are the non-canon stories that might probably be brushed off when depicting modern story. Like <<Versus>> and <<There is one but ultimate way>>.

Should those stories be actually counted in discussion?

Second, is VR in 2022 a little bit too advanced? I mean, sure, we have 3D right now, and someone has already worked on a Kinect-powered AR, but I still feel that we're still off of discovering such a thing. I mean when you look at the Biotech world, has there been progress about interpreting neuro-signals?
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Old 2012-08-07, 22:08   Link #6
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We've got monkeys feeding themselves with robot arms and paralyzed people controlling computer screens with their minds. I think that end is making steady progress.

The other side though, the part where they send carefully controlled senses into your brain, is a lot harder though. When it comes to "output" the person doing the controlling can adjust themselves to compensate for any interpretation errors, but for "input" the computer has to be perfect in the first place. I think this part is pretty unreasonable.

And let's not even get into the "AI that fixes all the bugs and writes the quests" thing.
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Old 2012-08-07, 22:14   Link #7
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Let's put it this way. The events of chapter 2 in Alicization will be enough to create more than half the debate and speculation over here. I'm not going to spoil it though.
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Old 2012-08-07, 22:22   Link #8
larethian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
(I also debated, per your suggestion, whether to create a thread just for the current arc of the novels... but again, that would give away part of the story... so yeah.)
Makes sense, never thought about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
And let's not even get into the "AI that fixes all the bugs and writes the quests" thing.
Sorry I've forgotten most of the details, but which part was that?


By the way, I'm foreseeing plenty of debates here. Hope that everyone can keep things civil, and not go into raging and personal attacks or unreasonable de-rep sprees.

If I do have the time to make quality detailed posts, I'll probably be one of those getting shot by the fanatics. (Have mercy on me).
That being said, I might not have the time after all, since things go back and forth and I don't want to make too many biased opinionated statements without backing up some of the stuff I said with links to publications (which I need time to find those books and refer to the biblio I've read a long time ago)
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Old 2012-08-07, 22:25   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
We've got monkeys feeding themselves with robot arms and paralyzed people controlling computer screens with their minds. I think that end is making steady progress.

The other side though, the part where they send carefully controlled senses into your brain, is a lot harder though. When it comes to "output" the person doing the controlling can adjust themselves to compensate for any interpretation errors, but for "input" the computer has to be perfect in the first place. I think this part is pretty unreasonable.

And let's not even get into the "AI that fixes all the bugs and writes the quests" thing.
Not quite true. The brain is actually very good at correcting errors to the senses. You can try wearing trick glasses that turns the world upside down if you like, it only takes a while before the brain has learned to compensate for the upside down view and you can act as normal while wearing them. It's actually equally disorienting to take them off again.

In the same way so would the brain adapt itself to any minor faults in a VR rig and get more used to those senses as time goes by.
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Old 2012-08-07, 22:25   Link #10
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Originally Posted by larethian View Post
Sorry I've forgotten most of the details, but which part was that?
Cardinal. Most notable in Calibur SS where it researches Norse mythology on its own and writes a quest that will end the world if failed.

In general though, it's always been their excuse for why the game is so free of bugs despite never being tested past floor 9. And how there can be so many quests, since the game is ridiculously huge.

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Originally Posted by Znail View Post
Not quite true. The brain is actually very good at correcting errors to the senses. You can try wearing trick glasses that turns the world upside down if you like, it only takes a while before the brain has learned to compensate for the upside down view and you can act as normal while wearing them. It's actually equally disorienting to take them off again.

In the same way so would the brain adapt itself to any minor faults in a VR rig and get more used to those senses as time goes by.
The glasses are different, because it's just altering the perception in a uniform manner. With VR, they're generating the entire world from scratch. This isn't just a matter of one big change to everything, it's everything being slightly off in idiosyncratic ways. If your goal is to "present a consistent world to the player" that doesn't work too well if half of their experience is their brain making stuff up that doesn't exist in the game.
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Old 2012-08-07, 23:00   Link #11
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Well, <<Cardinal>> is more of a quest generator and statistics analyst than a real AI program in my opinion. I mean, if he was so smart then he would have had a "patch that fixes <<Sleep PKs>>". Then again, maybe that was part of the entire gameplay after all.

I mean, even a 10 year old child can create some kind of story from scratch, after all. XD <<Cardinal>> just happens to create a story by analyzing <<Norse Mythology>> from different Internet sources, I think.
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Old 2012-08-07, 23:03   Link #12
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Originally Posted by ronelm2000 View Post
Well, <<Cardinal>> is more of a quest generator and statistics analyst than a real AI program in my opinion. I mean, if he was so smart then he would have had a "patch that fixes <<Sleep PKs>>". Then again, maybe that was part of the entire gameplay after all.

I mean, even a 10 year old child can create some kind of story from scratch, after all. XD <<Cardinal>> just happens to create a story by analyzing <<Norse Mythology>> from different Internet sources, I think.
Making an artificial ten year old child is an incredibly impressive feat of programming.
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Old 2012-08-07, 23:57   Link #13
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Originally Posted by ronelm2000 View Post
Ok... let's start with depicting what are the non-canon stories that might probably be brushed off when depicting modern story. Like <<Versus>> and <<There is one but ultimate way>>.

Should those stories be actually counted in discussion?

Second, is VR in 2022 a little bit too advanced? I mean, sure, we have 3D right now, and someone has already worked on a Kinect-powered AR, but I still feel that we're still off of discovering such a thing. I mean when you look at the Biotech world, has there been progress about interpreting neuro-signals?
Quote:
A new device may give physicist Stephen Hawking the ability to talk just by thinking about the words. Hawking tested out the iBrain last summer, but the results - that the device can decipher different human brain wave patterns - were only revealed recently.
The iBrain was developed by Phillip Low, adjunct professor at the Stanford School of Medicine and co-founder/CEO/chairman of device manufacturer NeuroVigil, and his team. The portable machine, which is approximately the size of a small matchbox and attached to the head with a black headband, can be used to measure and diagnose neural conditions like sleep apnea, depression and autism. Data can be monitored remotely, saving researchers time and money according to KGTV.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_1...t-by-thinking/
We might not get a full immersion like NervGear by 2022 but i think we will have something like .Hack at least.
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Old 2012-08-08, 00:09   Link #14
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
We might not get a full immersion like NervGear by 2022 but i think we will have something like .Hack at least.
Ok, I take back what I said about no VR in 2022.

Hmm... the only thing missing would probably be how to actually insert back the necessary brain waves necessary to change the 5 senses of the brain... well... okay let's just start with the 4 senses of the brain first. (taste excluded) then go for interpretting brain waves for controlling the various parts of the body.

It might just be possible by a long shot.
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Old 2012-08-08, 00:11   Link #15
Clarste
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Why would taste be harder than the others? Although in SAO they specifically note how the taste function is a bit more primitive.

Although honestly the system needs to include the sense of balance too or else absolutely everyone will get insane motion sickness.
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Old 2012-08-08, 00:35   Link #16
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And let's not even get into the "AI that fixes all the bugs and writes the quests" thing.
Everytime I read people complain about the resource issues in SAO and "Chinese Gold Farmers" finishing the game in 1 week, I laugh because Cardinal "fixes" most farming spots in game and randomizes them lawlz.

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Let's put it this way. The events of chapter 2 in Alicization will be enough to create more than half the debate and speculation over here. I'm not going to spoil it though.
Interesting. I some people here know that Alicization is somehow connected to the Military, so yeah. On the other hand I have to bring up the issue of how "rights" would be conferred to these Fluctlight based AI's, considering that they are indistinguishable from normal human's if given the proper physical appearance. And if they are used as artificial shock troops...would they still truly follow orders from above blindly? Knowing the consequences of their actions?
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Old 2012-08-08, 01:00   Link #17
Utsuro no Hako
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We might not get a full immersion like NervGear by 2022 but i think we will have something like .Hack at least.
I'm sure we'll have brain-controlled computer systems by then, but I don't think we'll have VR until the technology is considerably more advanced. The reason early attempts at VR in the '90s failed was because it made people motion sick -- our sense of balance comes from the inner ear, and if your ear says you're sitting still while your eyes say you're moving (or vice versa in the case of sea-sickness), your brain interprets it as, "Crap, I must've eaten something hallucinogenic; better initiate emergency stomach purge." So at the very least VR will require something that can override your inner ear.
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Old 2012-08-08, 04:45   Link #18
Flere821
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Originally Posted by ronelm2000 View Post
Well, <<Cardinal>> is more of a quest generator and statistics analyst than a real AI program in my opinion. I mean, if he was so smart then he would have had a "patch that fixes <<Sleep PKs>>". Then again, maybe that was part of the entire gameplay after all.

I mean, even a 10 year old child can create some kind of story from scratch, after all. XD <<Cardinal>> just happens to create a story by analyzing <<Norse Mythology>> from different Internet sources, I think.
Cardinal doesn't just create storylines, it also deals with xp rates and other game mechanics.

Spoiler for Cardinal Quest 'bug':
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Old 2012-08-08, 05:16   Link #19
ronelm2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarste View Post
Why would taste be harder than the others? Although in SAO they specifically note how the taste function is a bit more primitive.

Although honestly the system needs to include the sense of balance too or else absolutely everyone will get insane motion sickness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
I'm sure we'll have brain-controlled computer systems by then, but I don't think we'll have VR until the technology is considerably more advanced. The reason early attempts at VR in the '90s failed was because it made people motion sick -- our sense of balance comes from the inner ear, and if your ear says you're sitting still while your eyes say you're moving (or vice versa in the case of sea-sickness), your brain interprets it as, "Crap, I must've eaten something hallucinogenic; better initiate emergency stomach purge." So at the very least VR will require something that can override your inner ear.
Override the inner ear nervous impulses? -_-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Netto Azure View Post
Interesting. I some people here know that Alicization is somehow connected to the Military, so yeah. On the other hand I have to bring up the issue of how "rights" would be conferred to these Fluctlight based AI's, considering that they are indistinguishable from normal human's if given the proper physical appearance. And if they are used as artificial shock troops...would they still truly follow orders from above blindly? Knowing the consequences of their actions?
It reminds me of Kirito in ME1: Progressers. Even if things are NPCs, as long as they look much alike, and look like living creatures, our actions and emotions to them will always reflect the parameter called "Heart."

/unrelated which concludes why robots don't have them. And Yui-chan does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flere821 View Post
Cardinal doesn't just create storylines, it also deals with xp rates and other game mechanics.

Spoiler for Cardinal Quest 'bug':
Like I said, statistics analyst:

Example:
10 players found a suitable spot to level (as in legendarily good).
Then it the players flock there.

According to <<Cardinal>> and based on the players' actions, it will analzye the EXP and battles around that area and eventually conclude that it's <<unfair>> and move on...

...and so on and so forth...

Hey, I just realized a good idea for MMOs. (it's possible to do!)
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Old 2012-08-08, 06:19   Link #20
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Originally Posted by ronelm2000 View Post
According to <<Cardinal>> and based on the players' actions, it will analzye the EXP and battles around that area and eventually conclude that it's <<unfair>> and move on...

...and so on and so forth...

Hey, I just realized a good idea for MMOs. (it's possible to do!)
In theory it's just analysis, it should be possible... but I'm certainly not a programmer and would hate to write the error checking code required.

OTOH, when Cardinal was mentioned in Calibur, Kirito and Klein point out that it came out with some rather broken repeatable quests. So it's certainly not perfect. Then again, how good does your code engine have to be to produce a "<cough> <cough>, I'm sick and need ten wolf pelts to get better", "Oh my, I'm feeling much better now, unfortunately I won't be able to work today either, could you collect ten boar pelts for me?", "Thanks so kindly adventurer, I wanted to take my wife out for a date in big city X today, could you collect twenty five rabbit pelts for me? I'll give you this wonderful piece of pocket lint and a healing potion in exchange".
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