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Old December 5 2010, 09:06 PM   #31
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Anwar wrote: View Post
And frankly, if the only way to keep an enemy intimidating and fearsome is to keep them "Mysterious" they're a lamely thought-out enemy.
How about the Reavers from Firefly? Personally, I think the Borg could have worked out alot better if their level of menace was kept on THAT scale: they have no territorial/planetary ambitions, they rarely make an effort to roll an entire planet or a civilization, they mainly just wander around, attacking ships and settlements that happen to have something they find interesting.

In that sense, a "major" Borg threat need only reflect the fact that Borg cubes are very troublesome in groups, rather like a sudden infestation of sharks near a popular tourist beach. It's not like the sharks are going to gang up and try to conquer Miami or something, but if something isn't done about them they could make the beach unusable for years.

All I'm really saying is "They're determined to enslave the whole human race!" is setting the bar a little high. It doesn't need to be that epic, "They will invariably try to assimilate anything more sophisticated than a garbage scow" would accomplish a good amount of menace without the need of "unleashing" the monster.
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Old December 5 2010, 09:07 PM   #32
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

They started to wreck the Borg when they let Picard be de-Borged. The ruination continued with the Queen and the overuse on VOY, so that the Borg looked like easily defeated chumps.

The Borg should be very difficult to defeat (generally impossible); have no Queen or any other aspect of individuality; and once you're Borged, no de-Borgification is possible.
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Old December 5 2010, 09:14 PM   #33
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
I think they ruined the Borg adding the Queen. They were much more menacing without a single mind behind, but as a pure hive. Now it's just a slave race with some ambitious lady at the helm. Without her they would be more of a mystery and harder to understand.
That's not what the Queen is. The Queen is the representation of the entire single hive mind. She IS the Borg. All the billion Borg drones form one single individual.
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Old December 5 2010, 09:16 PM   #34
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Anwar wrote: View Post
And frankly, if the only way to keep an enemy intimidating and fearsome is to keep them "Mysterious" they're a lamely thought-out enemy.
The Borg are a monster, not a villain. Villains are like Cardasssians, Romulans and Klingons - complex societies that can be just as diverse and interesting as the good guys. They are "real" characters who become more interesting the more you explore them.

Monsters are forces of nature that represent some primal fear. They aren't "real" characters so they become less interesting the more you explore them. The Borg are an example of this type.

There is a place in Star Trek for both villains and monsters, but they require different approaches. The biggest difference is that monsters cannot tolerate exposure the way villains do.

Instead, spare the monsters and make more direct use of your villains. Here's an example of how to do that: if the Borg are a threat to everyone in the galaxy, perhaps the villain characters (Romulans for example since this maneuver would be beneath the dignity of the Klingons to attempt) divert the Borg from their own regions of space towards the Federation. Then the story is really about Feds vs Rommies, with the Borg hanging back as the looming, unseen threat.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
I think they ruined the Borg adding the Queen. They were much more menacing without a single mind behind, but as a pure hive. Now it's just a slave race with some ambitious lady at the helm. Without her they would be more of a mystery and harder to understand.
That's not what the Queen is. The Queen is the representation of the entire single hive mind. She IS the Borg. All the billion Borg drones form one single individual.
Then they misrepresented the Queen badly. She should have been emotionless and completely, terrifyingly self-contained, with a remorseless drive towards greater perfection through assimilation, instead of a scheming minx-type dominatrix who wriggled around and drooled all over poor Data. I really can't envision the entire Borg Collective like that! The sexual aspects alone rendered the character comic, and to think of the whole Borg Collective in those terms is downright hysterical.

There are undeniably sexual aspects to assimilation, but to start making them obtrusive and literal turns them into gross comedy. Just another way in which the Borg are very delicate, like all Monsters, and easily misused by poorly thought out writing.

All I'm really saying is "They're determined to enslave the whole human race!" is setting the bar a little high. It doesn't need to be that epic, "They will invariably try to assimilate anything more sophisticated than a garbage scow" would accomplish a good amount of menace without the need of "unleashing" the monster.
If the Borg will just attack whatever's right in front of it, a la the Doomsday Machine, and have no will to selectively go after humans or Ferengi or whatever, then that's a good way to keep them from being too powerful for it to be plausible they wouldn't take over the galaxy right away. Then it becomes a game of each society in the galaxy trying to divert the Borg to their foes - that could be an interestingly nasty little game in which the Borg are the threat, but not really the ones driving the story.

Another idea: what if Founders are the only beings in the galaxy that the Borg can't assimilate, and the Feds have an iffy relationship with the Founders? Extend the Dominion's immunity this way: when the Founders find Borg on their boarders, they institute a policy of immediately killing any Jem or Vorta who is assimilated by remote control (via whatever tech you like) so that the Dominion's military and command structure is immune to the Borg. That complicates things for all Alpha Quadrant powers!
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Old December 5 2010, 09:35 PM   #35
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
Then they misrepresented the Queen badly. She should have been emotionless and completely, terrifyingly self-contained, with a remorseless drive towards greater perfection through assimilation, instead of a scheming minx-type dominatrix who wriggled around and drooled all over poor Data. I really can't envision the entire Borg Collective like that! The sexual aspects alone rendered the character comic, and to think of the whole Borg Collective in those terms is downright hysterical.
Each drone is a brain cell, all drones together from a single brain. A single cell is nothing, without function. All together form something greater. Just like with a human brain, but on a much larger scale. Why shouldn't the individual mind that is the collective have emotions?
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Old December 5 2010, 09:47 PM   #36
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

True as all that is, a recurring monster can still have effect as long as you construct it in such a way that the monster's ambitions are always VERY specific. TOS, for example, featured multiple monster stories all with slightly different motivations. "The Doomsday Machine" would have worked exactly as well with a Borg Cube ransacking a series of major cities in a densely populated system.

Come to think of it, the Husnok from "The Survivors" would have worked just as well as the aftermath of a Borg attack, provided you change the ending to have Uxbridge merely destroy their fleet and not the entire species.

So it isn't, in the end, necessary to have the Borg as a threat to the entire Federation, just as a potential threat to everyone everywhere whenever you see them. Sort of like Q, come to think of it; he initially started out trying to pass judgement on all of mankind and humanity's future in space is implied to depend on Picard's actions. Later on, he's just an omnipotent jackass who likes to punk the Enterprise whenever he gets bored. IMO, Q had more appeal in the latter context than the former.
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Old December 5 2010, 09:51 PM   #37
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
Then they misrepresented the Queen badly. She should have been emotionless and completely, terrifyingly self-contained, with a remorseless drive towards greater perfection through assimilation, instead of a scheming minx-type dominatrix who wriggled around and drooled all over poor Data. I really can't envision the entire Borg Collective like that! The sexual aspects alone rendered the character comic, and to think of the whole Borg Collective in those terms is downright hysterical.
Each drone is a brain cell, all drones together from a single brain. A single cell is nothing, without function. All together form something greater. Just like with a human brain, but on a much larger scale. Why shouldn't the individual mind that is the collective have emotions?
Because the individual mind isn't going to start giving out handjobs to every pale-skinned microbe it happens to find by the wayside.
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Old December 5 2010, 10:24 PM   #38
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Comparing the Borg to the Reavers isn't valid, since the Reavers aren't as overpowered as the Borg are. Their weaponry and numbers aren't stupidly superior to the protagonists/main authorities.

Comparing them to tornadoes or shark packs isn't valid either, because neither of those things go out of their way to attack humanity. Sharks will attack whoever they encounter and not try to invade the land, and tornadoes just dissipate or move on after a while instead of actively trying to kill every human it encounters.

The Borg were too overpowered, too poorly thought-out, too boring and too dead-end to work more than once or twice. A major overhaul of the entire Borg concept would be needed if you wanted to use them more than once or twice.
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Old December 5 2010, 11:16 PM   #39
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
They started to wreck the Borg when they let Picard be de-Borged. The ruination continued with the Queen and the overuse on VOY, so that the Borg looked like easily defeated chumps.

The Borg should be very difficult to defeat (generally impossible); have no Queen or any other aspect of individuality; and once you're Borged, no de-Borgification is possible.
I have to agree with this... When you think of the medical implications of Borg nanoprobe infiltration, there just doesn't seem to be any plausible way to recover considering the extent of neural damage. The nerve and brain cells are hijacked, plus who knows how much of the other cells are re-engineered to Borg specifications (they have this uncanny ability to regenerate plus they can function in space without a pressure suit). Given what we've seen with other humans that have been significantly damaged by aliens or infections, and how they ended up dying from it, I just didn't buy into Beverly's ability to reverse the damage.

Frankly, if they came up with some kind of technique involving the transporter, that uses a previous image of a being and can revert them to it, I could believe recovery from being Borgified.


Anyway, recovery aside, my big beef was this whole "sleep" technique to cause an overload. Give me a break... these are super technologically advanced beings. They wouldn't have such an obvious loop hole. I really have to believe they'd have all kinds of safeguards in place to prevent any kind of overload. After all, look at how adept they are at recovering from significant damage. To me, this was the big mistake.

What should have happened is that Data would have been able to slip in a command to sleep and STAY in sleep mode. The stipulation being that the Enterprise wouldn't be able to conduct an overt attack, because that would trigger them out of stasis. You just go aboard, plant a bunch of matter anti-matter explosives at key stations, then get out... and watch the fireworks from a safe distance.

Later, when encountering the Borg again, they'd try the sleep command again and find that the Borg rewrote the subroutine to authenticate the source, foiling the attempt. Going forward, they NEVER should have introduced a Borg Queen. They were far more menacing as this massive collective with no real face. There would be plenty of story alternatives to work on this concept, rather than giving focus to some kind of Queen. Although, I could see them capturing a Starfleet officer and making them a spokesperson again, like they did with Picard/Locutus.

Also, there some serious flaws with a Queen. You're bottlenecking processing into one being. The open collective has far more capable throughput. And remember... with all of that processing, don't you think that they'd be far more intelligent and agile? No other species would stand a chance. Not even species 8472.
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Old December 5 2010, 11:27 PM   #40
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

The only way to get the "Faceless Collective" thing to work repeatedly would be if each Borg ship was it's own Collective, and each Collective was different in its' methodology because of the people its Collective was made up of (A Collective that contains more Klingons than others surely would reflect that in its actions).

A big voice saying "Resistance is futile" over and over and over, just is boring.
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Old December 6 2010, 02:31 AM   #41
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Anwar wrote: View Post
Comparing the Borg to the Reavers isn't valid, since the Reavers aren't as overpowered as the Borg are. Their weaponry and numbers aren't stupidly superior to the protagonists/main authorities.
In the Reavers' case, they only have to be superior to the Protagonists. That the Alliance Military could still take them in a standup fight doesn't matter much since none of the protagonists work for the alliance.

Likewise, the Borg need only be superior to the Federation's best ships. That other races out there exist that could clobber them in a fight would make no difference, unless Picard ends up going to them for help for some reason.

Comparing them to tornadoes or shark packs isn't valid either, because neither of those things go out of their way to attack humanity.
That's kind of my point. Why should the Borg go out of their way to attack humanity? Having them being opportunistic ravagers of anything they stumble across keeps them sufficiently dangerous without elevating them to an existential threat.

The Borg were too overpowered, too poorly thought-out, too boring and too dead-end to work more than once or twice. A major overhaul of the entire Borg concept would be needed if you wanted to use them more than once or twice.
And I'm saying that major overhaul could be accomplished by narrowing their motivations. Say, the Borg have no interest in assimilating whole civilizations, their ships have very narrow and specific needs that they doggedly pursue month by month, year by year. In that sense you'd never have to worry about them trying to conquer Earth; like the Doomsday Machine, you'd merely need to prevent them from tearing up some local population center in a colony somewhere because their ship has a sudden need for palladium.
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Old December 6 2010, 02:37 AM   #42
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Gary7 wrote: View Post
Temis the Red-Nosed Vorta wrote: View Post
They started to wreck the Borg when they let Picard be de-Borged. The ruination continued with the Queen and the overuse on VOY, so that the Borg looked like easily defeated chumps.

The Borg should be very difficult to defeat (generally impossible); have no Queen or any other aspect of individuality; and once you're Borged, no de-Borgification is possible.
I have to agree with this... When you think of the medical implications of Borg nanoprobe infiltration...
They weren't even using nanoprobes at the time, so that's a non-starter.

Actually, I'd be happier if the Borg never bothered to ASSIMILATE anyone at all. We saw in Q-Who they apparently raise their own young, so why would they need to assimilate people in the first place? As Q said, they're only interested in your technology, raw materials to be consumed. I think the only reason to ever take live captives from the ships and worlds they assimilate would be to eviscerate them for spare parts and organ/tissue replacements for their own drones.
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Old December 6 2010, 02:49 AM   #43
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

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Likewise, the Borg need only be superior to the Federation's best ships. That other races out there exist that could clobber them in a fight would make no difference, unless Picard ends up going to them for help for some reason.
It didn't really help that by the time of FC and VOY the fandom had this ludicrously overblown idea of the Borg and what they were invulnerable against. They hated the 8472 storyline because they couldn't believe that a species strong enough to defeat the Borg in straight up combat existed.

I mean seriously, here are some suggestions:

1) A Fed starship on the run from a Borg ship ends up at some dead world where they find leftover tech, including a device that can teleport objects as big as a Starship but the range isn't super far. They try to use it to get away, but the Borg are still fast enough to catch up since they can still detect them. At the last second they realize the teleport device can be used as a weapon and they teleport the Borg ship into a nearby black hole and/or the Sun where it's instantly destroyed.

I can guarantee that if a story was done like that, the audience would hate it.

2) The Feds simply run into/catch the attention of a species like the Voth. They're being chased by the Borg, but the Voth decide to study the Feds and easily destroy the Borg ship.

I can guarantee that the audience would hate THAT story too.

and finally 3) An arc story of the Feds looking for some ancient civlization's outpost with it's defense system still operable. They're being chased by a Borg armada to the planet. The away team find the system and activate it, but in the process they all sacrifice their lives. The defense system rips the Borg to shreds.

If THAT was done, then the audience wouldn't care that the characters had to sacrifice themselves or it was an arc, or that the tech was clearly powerful enough to do that. That the Borg were destroyed by ANYTHING would be enough to infuriate them.

There really wasn't any point in putting much effort into a smart way of defeating the Borg after TNG, because the audience had become ludicrously unpleasable by then regarding the Borg.

That's kind of my point. Why should the Borg go out of their way to attack humanity? Having them being opportunistic ravagers of anything they stumble across keeps them sufficiently dangerous without elevating them to an existential threat.
That works, as does the idea of each Borg ship being its' own collective independent of the other ships. That way there's little chance of there ever being a real Borg attack in force since they don't get along.

And I'm saying that major overhaul could be accomplished by narrowing their motivations. Say, the Borg have no interest in assimilating whole civilizations, their ships have very narrow and specific needs that they doggedly pursue month by month, year by year. In that sense you'd never have to worry about them trying to conquer Earth; like the Doomsday Machine, you'd merely need to prevent them from tearing up some local population center in a colony somewhere because their ship has a sudden need for palladium.
Too bad BOBW already made it clear they DO want entire civilizations and are out to conquer Earth.

The Borg concept was ill-conceived to begin with. Major thought should've been put in first.
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Old December 6 2010, 03:48 AM   #44
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

Anwar wrote: View Post
1) A Fed starship on the run from a Borg ship ends up at some dead world where they find leftover tech, including a device that can teleport objects as big as a Starship but the range isn't super far. They try to use it to get away, but the Borg are still fast enough to catch up since they can still detect them. At the last second they realize the teleport device can be used as a weapon and they teleport the Borg ship into a nearby black hole and/or the Sun where it's instantly destroyed.

I can guarantee that if a story was done like that, the audience would hate it.
I can gaurantee you I could write a story based on that precise outline that would make a perfectly respectable episode.

2) The Feds simply run into/catch the attention of a species like the Voth. They're being chased by the Borg, but the Voth decide to study the Feds and easily destroy the Borg ship.

I can guarantee that the audience would hate THAT story too.
Considering how much the Voth sucked as a villain species, I would have too.

3) An arc story of the Feds looking for some ancient civlization's outpost with it's defense system still operable. They're being chased by a Borg armada to the planet. The away team find the system and activate it, but in the process they all sacrifice their lives. The defense system rips the Borg to shreds.

If THAT was done, then the audience wouldn't care that the characters had to sacrifice themselves or it was an arc, or that the tech was clearly powerful enough to do that. That the Borg were destroyed by ANYTHING would be enough to infuriate them.
Again, I could think of a thousand ways to write a story that would eliminate that problem. Not as much promise as #1 though. What else you got?

That's kind of my point. Why should the Borg go out of their way to attack humanity? Having them being opportunistic ravagers of anything they stumble across keeps them sufficiently dangerous without elevating them to an existential threat.
That works, as does the idea of each Borg ship being its' own collective independent of the other ships. That way there's little chance of there ever being a real Borg attack in force since they don't get along.
Exactly. Or you would present the Borg "swarm through your system" scenario has a sort of feeding frenzy scenario, something you try to avoid by keeping track of Borg activity in a sector and then taking steps to thin out their population so they won't accidentally go after the same target at once. That could become the basis of many a storyline; for example, five Borg cubes are detected on the edge of Federation space and the Enterprise is assigned to a task force intended to scatter them and lure them into other sectors so they won't suddenly become attracted to nearby populated colonies. The objective being not to destroy those cubes (not possible with the amount of ships they have) but merely to use long range signals, probes, fake transmissions or whatever to get their attention and lure them away. The story would, of course, involve the Borg moving somewhat faster than Starfleet hoped, having one of the task force vessels getting caught and assimilated and the Enterprise having to try to evade another cube that almost catches them.

Too bad BOBW already made it clear they DO want entire civilizations and are out to conquer Earth.
Yeah, but I think that could be mitigated using YOUR idea: different cubes with different motivations. It's possible that the quest to conquer Earth was something unique to just that one cube.
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Old December 6 2010, 04:17 AM   #45
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Re: Anyone else think they should have left the Borg well enough alone

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I can gaurantee you I could write a story based on that precise outline that would make a perfectly respectable episode.
Well, you're the first. I tried to use that idea as the basis for a "Voyager vs the Borg" story that could show how one ship could face off with the Borg and survive. Of course, the response was that since it was Voyager it would suck no matter how well done it was because they just wanted to hate it.

Considering how much the Voth sucked as a villain species, I would have too.
The point is, I brought up the issues of "Hey, there are species out there who would wipe the floor with the Borg so why not just convince them to do so?"

The VOY staff did that with the 8472 storyline. Response being "They invented a species that can defeat the Borg in straight up combat, without the use of a plot contrivance! They've RUINED the Borg by showing they aren't invincible!"

Again, I could think of a thousand ways to write a story that would eliminate that problem. Not as much promise as #1 though. What else you got?
That last one is what Stargate SG-1 did to destroy a Goa'Uld armada attacking Earth. I was just saying that there's a double standard that what was used an epic season finale story to wipe out a long-running enemy. If one show did it, it's a success but if VOY did it, then it sucks and "ruins" the Borg.

The audience couldn't handle the idea of ANYTHING that VOY could do to survive a Borg attack intact. I thought up those three scenarios just off the top of my head, and it's still all rejected as "ruining" the Borg. Totally unpleasable.

Yeah, but I think that could be mitigated using YOUR idea: different cubes with different motivations. It's possible that the quest to conquer Earth was something unique to just that one cube.
I'd just have made the Borg like the Goa'uld from the start and "faction" them: Each Cube being the source of its own Collective, with its own identity and methodology based on the combined minds and personalities within it (A Klingon majority Collective would be an aggressive hostile one, for example) with maybe a few other ships in its own Mini-Collective.

That way, each Collective encountered can vary in strength. Some are single Assimilation Cubes, other are smaller weaker Tactical Cubes that have other smaller spheres to bolster its power, others are Massive Collectives with Assimilation Cubes AND other Borg ships. Some can be nothing but weak Spheres that rely on infiltration and spy missions to avoid or outwit their enemies, or play them against one another.

Hell, some of the Collectives might not care about the Feds at all and just want to assimilate the other Collectives for more firepower. That would be one way of ending a story: The stronger Collective arrives, defeats and assimilates the attacking Collective, and then departs because it has no interest in assimilating the Feds. The Borg end up SAVING the heroes.
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