Solistx, on 09 December 2011 - 12:36 PM, said:
Can anyone please explain the battletech story in a short summary for me? Ive been a big fan of mechwarrior since I was kid, my first mechwarrior game being MW3 back in 99 when I was still a little kid. I've always wanted to understand the whole story, but my public library offers no battletech stories, and the online wiki is rather confusing.
I just dont understand how the whole inner sphere works with its founding and all these houses, as well as how the clans came to be and their part in the story.
I just want to understand whats going on so I dont feel like a total loser when all this ISN news goes on and I have no clue what it even means.
Thanks for any replies,
In 2107, the first manned faster-than-light jump through space was made (interstellar jumps are made using "JumpShips" which have to charge up extremely delicate drives over the course of a week, and then they can leap forward up to 30 light years. On average, this is about the equivalent speed of Warp 9 in Star Trek. These ships cannot be repaired, and the knowledge of how to build them has been lost, so the few new ones are built by automated factories. They do not travel to uninhabited systems, since if they had a drive failure they would sit in orbit of the star for the next few months as they slowly starved to death. FTL communication is not possible except on a plentary scale, so they can't even call for help. This means there are standardized 'travel lanes' between star systems, and so even though this is space
we're talking about, ships can pretty much only move in paths that have been planned out for the last 1,000 years). 9 years later, the first interstellar colony was established.
The major Earth territories--roughly Germany, England, Japan, China, Russia, and America and (you know, the old World War II/Cold War best friend club) all went their separate ways, exploring different nearby planets and settling them. (Footnote: Statistics in BattleTech break down in terms of population; the current population is so many orders of magnitude above what is at all realistically possible that there must've been a straight millenia of baby boom generations
). Some of these nations were close enough friends with other nations (such as England and France) to stick together. Other nations (such as Japan and some Arabs) chose very close territories to settle, and one ended up annexing the other (in this case, the Japanese absorbed the Arabs).
As is the theme in BattleTech, war happened between all the states, with peace treaties pretty much only existing for the sake of backstabbing people.
Meanwhile, lesser nations--African states, Greece, Spain, etc--set up their own nations far, FAR from the five primary World War II states. Sometimes they got annexed when a bigger state got too big (like the Arabs and Japanese), sometimes they got conquered, a few of those states still exist today (usually because they're so far away from the central hub of nations that it costs too much or is too dangerous to travel faster than light out that far to conquer them).
In 2400, the BattleMech was invented. Basically, it was the solution to a number of problems: BattleMechs have height advantage, being taller than any other war vehicle, they also can aim at multiple targets, require minimal pilots, can climb, crawl, squeeze through cracks, or even be used for after-battle things like salvage or rescue efforts, using their hands. The BattleMech, as you might predict, revolutionized how war was done forever--they might be too expensive to field regularly (the current edition of BattleTech
, I can't speak for others, has BattleMechs composing roughly 1/6 of all combat units) but they're worth every penny.
The Star League was founded in 2558. Widely considered the zenith of human civilization, it was a single unified council and army that all the other nations were required to provide forces and funding for. It ushered in an era of phenomenal technology, wealth, exploration, peace, and so on. Basically, the Star League was the closest thing humanity has ever had to a utopia, and the phrase "Star League" resonates with pride for everyone
--the Clans, the Inner Sphere, bandits, people on the outer rim of inhabited space, etc.
Side note: there are only humans in BattleTech. There are more alien non-sentient
species than anyone has ever counted, as BattleTech is a universe where there is an incredibly improbable number of human-inhabitable planets in the galaxy complete with vegetation, Only two sentient aliens have ever been mentioned: one was only questionably intelligent, and the other only two groups of humans have ever met, and nobody's sure whether they encountered them in an alternate dimension, a galaxy on the other side of the known universe, on an unknown planet that the explorer corps have never found, or what. However, those two groups of humans never communicated with the rest of the universe what they found, so as far as 100% of still-alive humanity is concerned, humans are the only species in the galaxy with sentient thought.
In the 2700's, the Star League collapsed after a series of wars and a failed coup d'etat. The lead general of the Star League, Aleksandr Kerensky, gathered up all the Star League Defense Force who would follow him (80%), and left the Inner Sphere, headed toward the Deep Periphery (what is, on the standard map layout, the top half of the map).
WAR HAPPENS FOR THE NEXT 350 YEARS
. The BattleTech universe is honestly fascinating, with generations upon generations of really interesting characters. It's wonderful to read one character's story, then read the story of their son, then of their grandson, then their great-grandson... there's no one particular era over the next 350 years that's worth note, so I'll just focus on the lead-up to the current year in MechWarrior Online
There were four succession wars (wars over who would get to take charge of the Inner Sphere in the power vacuum left by the Star League). Each one set back scientific knowledge of the Inner Sphere to the point that most of the basic technologies which make BattleTech possible--interstellar spaceflight, interstellar communications, efficient fusion engines, and so on--were destroyed (basically, every state was nuking/biochemicalling all of the enemies' research facilities, universities, and assassinating their researchers. All backups were destroyed as each nation sought to reduce the other
nations to the stone age, but since they were all doing it, everyone was equally effected).
The third succession war lasted 60 years--2866 to 3025--which was mostly characterized by each planet becoming a sort of feudal state, still loyal to their larger nation as a whole, but political and military backstabbing was no longer on a nation-to-nation basis, but a region-to-region basis or even a planet-to-planet basis.
Peace lasted for three years, since everyone was so gutted they simply could not fight anymore. Then Hanse Davion (leader of the English/French people, the Federated Suns) went to war with Maximilian Liao (leader of the Chinese/Russian people, the Capellan Confederation). It was the last and most one-sided of succession wars: the Capellan Confederation was halved in size, its major sources of technology and industry were conquered by the Davions, and basically in 3030, when the war ended, the Capellan Confederation was smaller than any other of the five major nations, and smaller than even a large number of the Periphery States.
Very little happened, a few wars, border skirmishes, the Capellans lost more territory, until the current year, 3048. The biggest thing was that the Gray Death Legion's 3028 find of the "Helm Memory Core", a cache of how-to guides and blueprints for Star League era technology, was really starting to take effect. Instead of ancient 'Mechs operating off of salvaged components, ancient JumpShips choking along at about a million lightyears beyond their maximum mileage, everything was getting built new--and better
3048, not much is going on besides everyone testing out their new guns in border skirmishes and minor conquests. Planets are still very feudal, the five nations still hate each other a lot
. Oh, one major thing is that the English/French and the German/Irish people formed an alliance during the start of the Fourth Succession War (in fact, it was an alliance of marriage, and the war was declared at the wedding ceremony), called the Federated Commonwealth. Everyone is nervous and almost prepared to band together against them, because they're just so massive and powerful as a united force that they could easily conquer all
of known space in one fell swoop if they wanted.
Solistx, on 09 December 2011 - 01:59 PM, said:
What about different nationalities and languages? Do they still exist much like in Star Wars or is English the only existing language in the BattleTech universe?
Everything is very much segregated by race and language and which nation you came from on Earth.
Except when it's not.
It's very confusing sometimes. You have some authors who make a point of saying how races and languages have evolved so much that you can be a blond-haired, blue-eyed citizen of the Draconic Combine or a slant-eyed, dark-skinned member of the Lyran Alliance. Because that's what makes sense 1,000 years in the future: bloodlines merge or swap, and race is no longer a big thing because it's become so muddled.
Then you have authors who have characters get ostracized because they have racial characteristics of a Capellan (Chinese), which obviously makes them a spy and a traitor! ...even though that doesn't really make sense in the future.
Language is the same. All the words, grammar, and meanings are the same in Japanese, English, German, whatever. Except, not, because many authors make a point of saying that when the characters listen to holovids of something even as old as 500 years in their past (our future), it sounds archaic and strange and all the words have different meanings. You can put this off to the authors "translating" the future speech of the characters into something that we modern readers can understand.
Think of it this way, if it helps: languages are very, very different in the future, but it's not new
languages, it's just... Future English instead of our Modern English, Future Japanese instead of our Modern Japanese, and so on. Races are distinct in the future, but they're no longer distinct in the way we
have them distinct. All Capellans look alike, all Lyrans look alike, all Federats look alike... but that doesn't mean they look like our Earth Chinese/German/English, those races have fallen apart and gotten re-sewn into new
races. Maybe the Capellans all have Russian hair, Vietnamese eyes, and a British build, and to us that's "mixed race" but to someone in the BattleTech universe that's "the Capellan race".
Or maybe leave race out of it, since the authors can't seem to agree over it
Edited by Mr. Smiles, 09 December 2011 - 03:45 PM.