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"Good Guy Nanotrasen"

Guest Marlon Phoenix

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

As the next push for wiki work is winding up, we're slowly finding ourselves closer to our objective of being finished with all our required basics.

Lore-wise, most major things are locked down. However, two big questions remain:

How "evil" do we want Nanotrasen? As it stands, outside some conspiracy theories over Nanotrasen involvement in the issues on Ahdomai and the war on Moghes, there's not a lot they do that's exploitative or otherwise morally questionable.

Do we want a more corrupt Nanotrasen? Do we want a truck system to explain the high prices of goods on the station and in the vending machines? Do we want it to be a true monopoly, with massive influence across human space, with its fingers in every pocket in a way that's reminiscent to Gilded Age monopolies? We don't really support this currently, we always hear "You can't do [morally questionable thing] Mr. Antag, even as an NT official, the Sol Alliance will tan your hide >:c"

This leaves a little bit of a dissonence. The HoP has access to your finances, NT has the right to execute you just by asking Sol Alliance nicely, there's an entire syndicate dedicated to destroying Nanotrasen, and in many ways Nanotrasen is almost sovereign.

Do we want to justify this further, cut back, or just keep NT in its current weird state of being chaotic neutral, but with no real 'dark underbelly' to it?

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Unrealistic levels of grimderp aren't fun, they are immersion breaking and awful. Whisteblowers exist. Saying NanoTrasen can just execute whoever whenever repeatedly with no one making the connection is stupid.

Walmart used to use child labor in the 90s and there was a huge scandal about it. Humans do look past the surface, and I highly doubt you can just kill someone to make all the problems go away. A station of 50 blows up, that leaves 50 families to blow the cover-up sky high. Less grimderp, more like a real corporation.

I'd rather the Sol Alliance play a larger role and fill the niche of 'good' or 'bad' guy as the government, which is how most people view their own in reality.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

Whistleblowing could create fun persistent-stories. And the goal isn't total grimdark, but expanding the idea that Trasen is the new Rockefeller: nearly all-encompassing.

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As long as we don't start saying 'NanoTrasen can execute anyone they want silently and pay off every single member of the Sol Alliance' (someone has said this to me before, I am not embellishing) I am totally okay with them being at the forefront of whatever like Apple or Microsoft.

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I, personally, would like NT to be quite strong. Very nearly, but not quite, a sovereign nation of its own within the Sol Alliance. It is a megacorporation that spans several systems and should hold vast tracts of space.

There are a few things I would personally like to see brought to the forefront with NT.

1. Distance

Space is fucking ridiculously huge. Even with FTL, we are talking days-long trips between systems. While yes, I agree that NT should be subordinate and adhere to Sol Alliance laws, I feel that we really need to bring to the forefront the distance and isolation that space brings with it.

Help should be rare. Emergency Teams from Odin/Central command should be expensive and difficult to get. Help from a Sol Alliance cruiser should be almost unheard-of. Calling in things that should be left to local government, such as executions and status reports, should be expensive and yield very little in-game. Folks who go into space should be self-reliant and with a fair bit of self-determination. Help should not be expected for situations and very rarely provided. If an emergency happens, you play the hand you are dealt with.

2. Corruption

I do not think anyone will contest that Nanotrasen is supposed to be huge. Corporate, government, or something else, it's always been envisioned as a large organization. Crime and corruption should be notable, and it should be something that more law-abaiding characters need to work at to stamp out.

All too often I see people say, "You wouldn't get away with that." or "You would never sneak that through Odin customs" or even "everyone who isn't a head would be searched at arrival." Things like that, accountability that relies on individuals... even in the real world all across our one tiny planet people do such things all the time. For every truck of cocaine or cannabis that the US authorities catch at the border, dozens more pass unmolested. People shoplift all the time. Every year we hear of dozens of politicians that are bribed or who lose face to scandal. Even recorded, convicted felons can occasionally land a good job that might require faking a background check.

I want to see NT as more fallible. I want to see the cracks in an organization that is going through growing pains. I want to see people who, every day, fight that corruption tooth and nail.

3. Negotiation, Double Agents, and Intrigue

Finally, I feel that in-game Nanotrasen as a whole and the players who represent it are far too... stiff... when it comes to upholding "the law". The station is expensive, likely worth more than the bulk of the people who work there. Yet far too often bomb threats are simply dismissed out of hand or thrown back in the face of the person who attempts them, often to catastrophic results. People who are traitors are often simply "bagged, tagged, and brought home." when, quite frankly, a more interesting story could be developed if the company and the players sought out the reason 'why'.

I want to see traitors negotiate with security, selling out their companions and traitor organization to save their own hide. I want to see the brass look at a low-class thief or spy and say, "Make them work for us." I want to see corrupt officials and heads, who climbed the chain of command through sheer politics, irregardless of actual ability. I want to see plots in the background. I want to see conflicting command reports from two factions within Central command.

Essentially, I want NT to feel large and organic. Right now it feels very sterile, and that is something that can be changed.

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I feel like NT would be, not legally, a country. Providing educations and housing for workers, sticking their fingers into politics like Moghes and Adomanhai, and being incredibly corrupt under the surface of them doing charity work, helping the economy.

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I really miss the whole "Nanotrasen is corrupt as fuck and mysterious as shit" I like to think, yes they adhere to the SA's laws but barely, Nanotrasen does what it wants, enforcing SA laws but doing what they want and getting away with it because taking them down would be too much of a resource dump. I have the feeling that complaints get brought up about Nanotrasen to politicians and they just kinda side step the question due to Nanotrasen probably funding their election campaigns.

I liked the idea of Nanotrasen being just as evil as the syndicate, and that it was kind of ambiguous whether the syndicate were even the bad guys. They hated NT but if NT is as bad as the rumours go, maybe they are justified? It made it a lot more believable when characters switched sides, rather than just 'LEL money.'

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I loved "evil" Nanotrasen. It brought us into a universe where everyone was bad. Nanotrasen and the Syndicate were both equally evil, yet most people viewed one as Walmart and the other as ISIS. Your loyalty towards NT made you considered a "good guy", but they were evil therefore you weren't good. Being edgy, anti-NT skeptic made you darker in the station's perception, but you were also sorta good for going against the force of evil.

How about, we keep NT evil, but subtly evil? Immoral tactics to secure monopolies. Sizable bribes on SA senators. Cheap labor that tiptoes into slavery. Loyalty implants. Hello, people.

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Or we just establish them as a corporation with specific economic interests, weighing in risk and cost with every decision they make?

You don't need to be good or evil when you can be neutral. Corporations are mostly neutral, anyway. One day, they produce and sell weaponry off to the Sol Alliance, freely marketing that detail. Another day, they might accidentally fund a terrorist cell masquerading as a civil rights organization.

If you don't want a corporation that acts completely out of character, then just establish them as neutral professionals with a few moral concepts in mind, but the one goal is mind being the longevity of NanoTrasen.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

We're not debating on whether or not every single decision Nanotrasen makes has to be either good or evil. Of course they're going to weigh their decisions; the question is the overall shadow Nanotrasen casts on those it lords over, and how "evil" it is on the whole.

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I like my NT like I like my coffee. I don't like coffee, but I like the idea of it. I prefer hilariously greedy buttgoblin execs to boring paperpushers, realism or no. Space like in general fits my views best as a lawless wild west, and this whole 'you'd never get away with being this completely terrible' stuff that people like to pull takes away some of the dimension from the game.

because you are in space. space is really big, and there is enough space for everyone in space. even the sol alliance, which has its own space to manage. the sheer impracticality of policing space has to account for something (oh no. some corp faraway in their own little bit of space is funding terrorists to attack its own people to make them work harder or something else stupid enough you could expect nt to fund it. whistles are blown but-- who cares? every organization can be expected to have its hands relatively full dealing with its own stuff.

if a station of 50 explodes, there will be no coverup. nt's pr team will make a spacetube video of a guy saying 'i'm sorry' with really sad music playing, and then they'll pull 'unforeseeable complications came up that we're very sorry we could not prevent' and then they'll be like 'but on the bright side we have their genetic records on file and because we care so much for our employees we are personally going to foot the cloning bills because we believe in doing what's right."

and then the people who see that will be like, 'oh. nt is so nice. shame what happened. at least no one died forever.' and then the nt execs roll in golden bathtubs full of money and they high five the pr team because they solved the pr crisis with a homemade video and like three hamburgers worth of meat and a little electricity.

Grimderp is extremely stupid. I agree. But good is kind of boring, and tongue-in-cheek evil is fun. Like evil wild-westy mayor evil and not 'i'm so powerful you can't do anything ever because i have all this money' evil.

I like to think NT has a ten gallon hat and a goatee.

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We're not debating on whether or not every single decision Nanotrasen makes has to be either good or evil. Of course they're going to weigh their decisions; the question is the overall shadow Nanotrasen casts on those it lords over, and how "evil" it is on the whole.


Why don't we just make NT how it is already ICly? Some people love , others simply do not trust the higher ups. NanoTrasen may or may not have done some questionable things. Let's not make them blatantly obvious NT are a bunch of buttmonkeys.

Let the community, or rather, characters, decide how they view NanoTrasen, hm?

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Opinion warning, once again.

I dont think we can pull off an evil Nanotrasen simply because nearly all command characters are LG. The few "evil" characters on station are constantly on the brink of being fired and facing reprecussions for being evil. Further more, most LG command characters seem to come from the Sol Alliance, and seem to uphold Sol Alliance law above coporate interests many times (This, often being seen when said corporate interests are immoral). There's just a complete visible lack of emotionless corporate executives, pushing for research into infants as a renewable fuel source. Nanotrasen might be considered the Economic space order of Torm at this point.

Still, what I mean to say is that if people want Grimdark, people can change the situation I describe and make evil, grimdark Nanotrasen command. There's no need to force them to do it. I suggest keeping NT's morality poorly defined as it is now, to allow for it to shift based on whatever people feel like playing.

Edited by Guest
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Guest Marlon Phoenix
Still, what I mean to say is that if people want Grimdak, people can change the situation I describe and make evil, grimdark Nanotrasen command. There's no need to force them to do it. I suggest keeping NT's morality poorly defined as it is now, to allow for it to shift based on whatever people feel like playing.


I don't really want the level of "grimdark". We have corporate shenanigans today (Like Nestle sucking up California water then selling it back to them during the drought) but it's only grimdark if you're doom and gloom about it all. If we settle on the moral ambiguity leaning in one direction or another, then the question is how we execute it.

I reserved my own full opinion because I wanted to see other's first, and now I have to say I am in duck's camp.

Removing the total guarantee that the Sol Alliance will punish all the naughty bad guys because Command are total bribe-immune robocops could see that system of Command moral infallibility start to decay. I already have two of my characters in Command who would happily accept bribes depending on the circumstance over a wide variety of topics. You yourself got pretty angry at it, so there is the danger of people not enjoying a lawful neutral corporation anymore, but them's the beans, yo.

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Significantly pricklier opinion incoming. Apologies for any feet, tails, tentacles, masses of gangrenous flesh or other miscellaneous extremities I may step on.

I dislike how a lot of the lore seems to focus on political, social and most of all military conflicts that generally arent that related to Nanotrasen itself, or its corporate space station, and corporate research. Specifically, in my opinion things focus far too much on the Sol Alliance. There's a huge chunk of lore about it, there's a lot of characters who come from the Sol Alliance, and there's been a lot of events that involve Nanotrasen helping the Sol Alliance, or the other way around.

Note, this is where I get rude as usual.

I have noticed that a lot of folk here come from a military/police background, or hold those institutions in high esteem and I cant help but think this reflects ingame by having the Sol Alliance act as this omnipotent lawful good space police force that rescues every kitten from every tree, knocks out every terrorist, and upholds all the righteous virtues of liberty, freedom and smiting evil. A "Mary Sue" organization, of sorts.

This sort of seems to spread to Nanotrasen which is a very moral organization that has to make sure that all of its employees fit the lawful good quota, dont do any immoral scientific experimentation, dont put machines in charge of things because they cant comprehend the concept of lawful good and moral values, dont do anything illegal like make a captured enemy agent disappear. etc, etc.

My anger wasnt at the fact that one of your characters was evil, but rather because I felt anyone else trying to make a character that productively evil would be informed that such a thing is impossible, because the Sol Alliance and Nanotrasen would put a stop to his evil scheming immediately while the Rocky IV soundtrack plays in the background.

I have seen an overwhelming ammount of morally grey or outright evil ideas be rejected because the Sol Alliance wouldnt allow it, and Nanotrasen isnt evil. This, coupled with the syndicate being a vague Red coloured organization of evil makes the universe seem like a futuristic rendition of G.I Joe vs Cobra.

I'd argue that working on a corporate space station in a future where space megacorps could qualify as independant nations we'd get a lot more Shadowrun-esque corporate backstabbing, both legal and illegal. There's already quite a bit of megacorps which likely want Nanotrasen out of the game(Osiris Atmospherics, Einstein Engines, Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals, Hephaestus Industries, Eridani NanoTech.) so why cant we focus the lore, our character and the events on them more? Note how Nuke ops always spawn as being employed by a randomly named corporation. Why always play them as terrorists when they can be described as shadowrunners?

I dont like how Nanotrasen&friends seem to have been pushed out of the spotlight in favor of the Sol Alliance suplexing criminals and putting a stop to nuclear war and global warming. It reminds me of numerous fanfictions in which the main character of the franchise is reduced to a complimenting side character to a newly introduced OC.

So, in summary.

In my opinion we should nerf Paladins and reintroduce Rogues as a class.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

The threads on NT and the SYndicate have had me decide that Nanotrasen's control of Biesel will be semi-autonomous. And Biesel is for all intents and purposes mostly a puppet of Nantrasen, because its leadership will be in the pocket of the mega-corp, and basically everything from immigration, customs, police forces and hospitals are all leased to NT.

Sol Alliance law will be cited when necessary, but as the system is not Sol Alliance space after "[X] Treaty on MegaCorporations", Nanotrasen's directives and regulations are the law of the station and Nanotrasen space.

How's that sound?


I got into a good debate with Skull over this, and the biggest argument against it was "This isn't sustainable/not how corporations work." I'll put my retort here, to be preemptive.

See, the system doesn't have to be ideal of exist indefinitely. Nanotrasen can be a corrupt, huge behemoth that's going to become irrelevant in 20 years. But we don't live 20 years from now, in 2477. We live in 2457. Our setting takes place when it is relevant. You couldn't stand there in ~1752, when the british east india company was at its height of power or whenever, and say "This isn't viable. It'll never survive." You'd be laughed off the street.

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I also intently dislike this idea.

There's the fact that this just..... wouldn't sit with the people in Tau Ceti. I mean honestly, how would you deal with transition from a Liberal democracy to "Oh, Companies own everything now". Try to be subtle or not, people have a habit of finding out corruption and dealing with it, usually violently. And this isn't "Oh, that one city that riots all the time is rioting again" it's more likely to be "Holy shit everyone hates us, run". That along with the fact that any revelation of N.T. undermining the Republic of Biesel would just result in Sol voiding the treaty.

I also hate the fact that the one single, tiny system is independent, yet surrounded by a Sea of Sol Alliance worlds.

I want Nanotrasen to be ambiguous. I want them to be a somewhat shadowy megacorporation (Not grimdark) I want rumors to circulate about that one colony where NT deported everyone to mine for Plasma. But I don't want that to be set concrete as fact. It may or may not true, but N.T. has essentially an unlimited supply of money, and a relatively good reputation for being that corporation that gives anyone a second chance (Please keep that)

I want the Sol Alliance's morality to be ambiguous as well. Colonials should hate them for "Strangling freedom" and being Imperialists. Sol loyalists should love the Alliance for its stability, it's bountiful resources and its technological advances. This shouldn't be "Oh the colonies are asshats" or "Oh the Alliance are asshats" It should be "I hate x because of x" and then someone else hates Y because of Y.

In short. Don't make anyone evil, don't make anyone good. Put "facts" out there and let the players decide, I think most people agree that differing opinions on these such things creates a basis for (maybe minor) roleplay.

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No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

I detest this idea. It isn't how cororations work, leave Tau Ceti as a Sol Alliance system. Leave Biesel as a Sol Alliance world. Stop trying to enforce this crappy grimderp supercorp Eclipse Phase shit, it is really awful.

I am totally okay with NT having shady business practices and sneaking things like real corporations do but they shouldn't get any extra special leeway and shouldn't own entire systems like some sovereign nation or have ridiculous amounts of government officials in their pockets. Corruption is okay. Super grimderp 'we own your entire world our law now' is not only unfeasible and difficult to swallow, it sounds like crappily thought out Light RP lore from /tg/ or something justifying Security being able to beat people with batons.

Let the players determine who is good and bade by their own IC viewpoint. Just present NanoTrasen and the Alliance as neutral. Everyone will have differing opinions just like in real life and we don't have to go down this ridiculous path of having NanoTrasen be some stupid sovereign, recognized state despite being a corporation.

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I detest this idea. It isn't how cororations work, leave Tau Ceti as a Sol Alliance system. Leave Biesel as a Sol Alliance world. Stop trying to enforce this crappy grimderp supercorp Eclipse Phase shit, it is really awful.


All of my yes. Agree completely with Sue right now

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Thank you, Sue and Dea.

You have said exactly what I wanted to say but I wanted to hold my tongue because of the two board warnings I have on 'aggressiveness.'

To add to what Sue and Dea said.

There is no good or evil. None, at all. No one is fathomably, good or evil.

There are those with power, and those that are either accepted and hailed by society, or labelled as tyrants and awful individuals.

But are those people absolutely right? Who knows. That's up to society to decide, hm?

In this case, this is the community. Let the community, ICly, define what is good and bad for themselves. They can make some plausible things up and play them off as pretty big things during antag rounds.

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First of all, I'd like to remind you all that neither Nanotrasen or the Sol Alliance are real factions, and that you should not push the opinions of your characters during an OOC discussion about those factions.

If Nanotrasen is a completely regular corporation doing completely regular corporation stuff, why the backlash?

Lets look at Mcdonalds.

Its big, way big. There's probably a bunch of them wherever you live, you could call Mcdonalds one of the most succesful corporations in the world.

Now, lets ask some questions.

Have there been any terrorist attack specifically aimed at Mcdonalds?


Have there been any vast criminal networks formed specifically for the purpose of taking down Mcdonalds?


Does Mcdonalds have access to a private mercenary force with access to lethal weaponry and the authority to shoot to kill?


Does Mcdonalds have the authority to rule an entire country along with its regular government?


Is Mcdonalds HQ a highly fortified maximum security bunker?


Does Mcdonalds have secret high security research laboratories hidden somewhere, complete with a nuclear warhead for emergencies?


Repeat the same with Microsoft, if you'd like. The answers are more or less the same.

Corporations do not work the way Nanotrasen does. As a result, they dont get rival corporate kill teams sent after their assets. Why would the government and Military work so closely with Walmart in space?

Now, assuming this is all retconed somehow, we're left with another question.

How can you possibly justify turning something as exciting as Eclipse Phase shittery into something as ridiculously boring as Walmart in space?

Now, as for who has the power. I dont think Nanotrasen should be "buffed", their shady dealings are suspicious as they are.We're left with the vague understanding that the farther you get from the core worlds, the more their influence and corruption grows to the point where they may or may not actually be their own sovereign nation in some system on the edges of the "Middle of nowhere" Nebula.

The problem I see lies with the Sol Alliance being so ridiculously competent and lawful good. Nanotrasen, as I see it currently has enough implications of tyrranical behavior behind the curtains, all while maintaining a good enough public image to attract people who genuinely think Nanotrasen is good for humanity (Which it may be, good and evil should not be outright defined).

However, the Sol alliance's closet is currently lacking Skeletons, Zombies, Ghouls or any other type of unethereal undead with which people can work with to hate them. Sure, the outer colonies might hate the Alliance but Aurora is in the middle of Sol Space, what would someone from the outer colonies be doing there? Im asking for more reasons why the average core world Joe would decide to yell at his beloved Sol Alliance.

Beyond the lack of implied, rumored or confirmed war crimes, atrocities or undoubtedly bad deeds the Sol Alliance has commited, there's a general lack of incompetence and corruption in the organization which I dont like, especially considering the fact that it is many times bigger than Nanotrasen and has a lot more things to deal with than a corporation, being a vast political entity and all that.

Why would such a ridiculously huge, spread out political institution be able to succesfully inspect every single bit of one of the most influential economic powers in known space all the time?They supposedly manage hundreds of planets, but still find the time and resources to dig trough all of Nanotrasen's shady dealings and put a stop to everything Nanotrasen plans, at all times?

Note, most real life law enforcement agencies would have difficulty being that effective in coordinating around a large city, the Sol Alliance governs hundreds of planets this way.

Now, all of this wouldnt have been a problem if the Sol Alliance wasnt so closely tied to Aurora all the time.

Most events include the Sol Alliance, we have characters walking around with the Sol Alliance uniform, we have a huge chunk of lore dedicated to the Sol Alliance (While Nanotrasen's corporate rivals remain mostly unloved and abandoned) and there's a lot of characters who come from the Sol Alliance military.

If we're going to continue seeing the Sol Alliance in action more than Nanotrasen or any of the corporations, I dont want it to be a Mary Sue institution. I realize that you guys really like the army and the police in real life, but shoving the Sol alliance in and having it be the perfect ultimate police army that completely kicks NT out of the spotlight and solves all the problems in the universe immediately makes it a very boring constantly operating Deus Ex Machina.

So, in summary I think you should :

1. Leave Nanotrasen as it is right now - vast, powerful and somewhat shady. Refusing to expand on just how much power they hold leaves a lot to the imagination.

2. Agree that an infallible organization which exists for the sole purpose of being better than any other faction and solving all the problems immediately is an extremely boring plot device.

3. Significantly lower the competence of the Sol Alliance because of point two.

4. Stop implementing copies of institutions you like in real life into the IC universe and making them perfect and infallible, im not shoving my political beliefs down your throat, please return the courtesy.

5. Expanding on the previous points, give me an IC reason to hate the Sol Alliance besides "Im from the borderworlds", as you might tell from my post I hate the Sol Alliance OOCly because it is a boring, perfect Mary sue. However I can not hate it ICly with any character because I cant find a reason - it is just that perfect.

This isnt about turning the universe entirely black and recreating WH40k 38 thousand years earlier, please dont try to say that's what im pushing for. This is about giving people a chance to be evil. For example, one of Bokaza's characters recently had a vampire's eyes gouged out for scientific study. This was pointed out in a character complaint with what I assume is the request for OOC action to be taken against Bokaza, because his character did that. The universe is too noblebright, tone it down a bit to an acceptable shade of grey and please, tone down on the Military/Police stuff. We have a shitload of it already, we dont need even more.

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