Theory on the geomagnetic storm and story of the game


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So a geomagnetic storm would not cause electricity to stop working, which some people need to understand. The simplest electrical circuits would still work provided the inductance of the circuit is low. This is because magnetic flux can only affect a circuit through inductance, more commonly a coil. However even a straight wire can be considered a coil with one turn, which would still induce a voltage, albeit lower. Why does this matter? It might take a while to find an undamaged circuit, but most simple circuits such as an LED attached to a battery would still likely work. It's only when you get to more common circuits that use semiconductors (transistors, diodes etc) or IC's where voltage spikes really start to matter. These components and circuits are much more susceptible to voltage spikes, particularly if the circuit contains some kind of inductor. But it's still possible that if the components or circuit was shielded enough (like a really good faraday cage) the components would be undamaged. It is also possible that some components would be undamaged, even if the rest of the circuit blew up. This is because a particular component could be open circuited and wouldn't have enough inductance for the geomagnetic storm to induce a damaging level of voltage.

We know that there was a geomagnetic storm that has blacked out a large portion of Canada at least. We don't know for sure that the rest of the world is affected by the storm however.

This leads to my initial theory, perhaps the playable characters are responding to the disaster from a different country? Perhaps after several weeks of no contact they fly their plane into the affected area, whether that's the entire northern hemisphere or just Canada before the storm destroys all the electronic systems on the plane. The other theory is that the plane was simply shielded in a hanger and luckily did not receive enough geomagnetic flux to damage the components which allowed the pilot to fly it until something went wrong.

This explains why you crash into an area that has been apparently deserted for a while, maybe even several weeks.

Throughout the levels there are radios which seem like you can interact with them, it is also possible to pop the hoods of the cars to reveal the battery. In the hidden valley there is a radio tower that looks like it's an important land mark. Perhaps in the story mode we are required to scavenge enough components in order to build a radio to transmit for help using the radio tower. The circuit for this would be specifically designed to avoid damage from the geomagnetic storm and operated while the storm is not very active. Or possibly someone has already done this and is broadcasting on all the radios in the game for help and our mission is to find him\her and get their help.


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I think that's some creative thinking you've done there :)

But I think there is a much simpler explanation: the devs haven't added NPC's yet.

Raph answered on the AMA he recently did to the question "Will there be NPC interaction in the sandbox modes?": "Yes!"

So there will be NPC's in the sandbox in the future.

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Thanks for this post, I hope people will get a better understanding of what a geomagnetic storm can and cannot do.

I remember when about a decade ago, Sun Microsystems issued a document that described how cosmic rays can affect memory of a unix machine and cause soft errors, they are even viewed as the main reason for softerrors:

It's that kind of error that a solar flare can induce, unless we are hit by a gamma ray burst the circuits won't get literally burned, only some bits might be swapped and confuse the system or make it inoperable. Far worse for everything flying/orbiting though would be the influence on the navigation instruments which either would get wrong or no data at all.

For LEO satellites as I just read up btw, the biggest concern is an increase in air density of the athmosphere which is leading to higher drag and therefor slows them down, which changes the orbit slighty, until they get burned up in the athmosphere. So I might revisit my point I stated in the Meteor thread after I did some more reading on this:

For sure an interesting topic you brought up renegade :D

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An event like a cosmic ray burst would kill everything made up of DNA on the Earth if in sufficient magnitude.

An event like a solar flare erupting out and hitting the Earth would wreck just about all of the digital equipment which was powered on or plugged in. The real catastrophe would be to the power grid. As transformers worldwide would short. The global capacity to rebuild transformers and an underlying electrical grid, without a functioning electrical grid would be an impossible task made impossible by modern reliance on layers of sophistication. Communication equipment, the internet, itself all run on the assumption you can power those electronics from a dedicated reliable power supply. Even the best Uninterruptible power supplies rely themselves on a internal combustion engine of some type which rely on the ability to be re-fueled.

Problem aside from ordering new fuel is, how does the fuel get manufactured, refined, transported, all without electricity. Chickn - Egg problem. Essentially the only power generation which could be relied on would be the renewables, solar, wind, and nuclear. Getting the power from the power plants distributed would be a major decade long enduring issue. In a few months or years the production capacity necessary could be setup in the local vicinity of power plants able to power the factories. Assuming society can prevent itself from breaking down without electricity, water, communication, services and etc for an extended period of time which of course we know it can not.

At which point the best survival plan is to evacuate from urban areas which will fall into decay and retreat to the rural areas for natural resources.

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given the aurora in the demo, with its spiraling auroras and the plane crash trailer were the lady at the control town mentions the aurora and never seeing it like that before she get cut off... the event might just be a Magnetic pole reversal. I remember reading that when this occurs that earth magnetic field collapses and a multitude of weak new poles can begin to form until eventually they either merge or weaken until only two strong ones remain...

And as I have said before high electromagnetic fields can cause paranoia, hallucinations and even cause shifts in peoples morals. Look how the mirrors are broken in every bathroom... and at the farmhouse in pleasant valley it looks ransacked like the people that lived there were taken... by whom... well we dont know yet

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