Magestar

Feruchemical Steel; Steelrunning, a Comprehensive Conglomeration.

37 posts in this topic

Well, here goes nothing.  

So, there has been quite a bit of discussion about how steel feruchemy works, and I am going to try and put together a bit on how I think it might work, why, the problems with it working in this manner, etc.  I know this has been discussed before; I am trying to put it all in one place, I don't want to necro, and I want people to start talking about this again.

To start, steel feruchemy stores physical speed, supposedly.  When you store it, you go slower, and it has been described as feeling like 'moving through molasses'.  When you tap, you go at much higher speeds than normally possible, including feats such as running faster than late 20th century automobiles, shooting several people in one room, from different angles, in a small enough space of time that it sounds like only one shot was fired, and dodging bullets.

How I propose to suggest it works is thus; when you store speed, you are storing a percentage of the speed at which you do things.  Not muscular speed, or the speed at which your metabolism works.  At least not technically.  The second is close, but only to the effect that your body has more speed, not that it is going faster. Speed is a function of Distance/Time.  To go slower/faster, you must either increase/decrease distance, or decrease/increase time.  I propose we decrease/increase time.

This would fit most of the usual parameters of feruchemy.  You store a percentage of something for a set amount of time; you get back the same percentage for the same amount of time.  The quicker you burn, the faster you go, for the shorter period of time.  This would solve most of the problems with friction with the ground, running into things, etc.  Because you are technically moving at the same speed you normally would, only with more time to run in, running into things should effect you normally, while the things you hit would be hit by something moving in twice the amount of time they are(twice the speed?), which would mean that they are being hit by something moving twice as fast, while you are being hit by something in half the time as you are (half the speed?).  This would also explain the problems with storing it, especially if you have a lot to do, as Sazed did.If you are literally storing time, it's going to take a while to store anything meaningful. And it would never be worth it to store speed to go faster later, unless you have some empty days before packed days.  Other than that, it will always be end-neutral.  It would also solve most of the problems with cornering, and stopping, aside from some possible road/rug/floorburn.  It even loves the problem with continuing with speed while jumping, as your momentum would carry with you.  This would work because you are still moving twice as fast, because S= D/T, so when you jump, you will retain the same S, to some extent.  It would be very interesting to see someone fall while tapping F!Steel though, as they would experience it more slowly, while falling at the same speed.

Also, there are very few WoB's about F!Steel, which makes this all based on speculation.  Also, I am not a physics major, so this is all based on whatever I have left in my head from years of liking this kind of thing.

The problems...

This does not explain things like not having to eat while you are using it, as I am pretty sure Sazed did in the HoA.  

Air friction might still be a problem, but not until you hit extremely high speeds, at which point it would be a problem anyway. 

There are still a few problems with friction, heat, etc. 

There are also a bunch of places where this has already been discussed, most of which I have read.  I will provide them for context:

http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/48947-steelrunning-secondary-powers-what-kind-of-imbalanced-broken-power-is-that/#comment-354409

http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/53664-sazeds-waste-of-steel/#comment-423200

http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/53168-why-is-it-difficult-to-store-speed/?page=3#comment-408019

http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/54107-bleeder-using-feruchemical-steel/#comment-434023

http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/49981-feruchemical-steel-suspended-animation/#comment-363373

http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/23414-what-specifically-is-the-deal-with-feruchemical-steel/#comment-231088

http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/3459-feruchemical-steel-physical-or-temporal/#comment-55569

If you can think of more links, I will edit them in, and if there are holes, I will be very happy to discuss them.  

I know there are problems with this theory, and I don't mind them being pointed out.

Edited by Magestar
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Interesting thought. The only issue I see with it though is that you're storing time related to physical movement, but not related to mental thought. How does that work? Clearly mental speed is being changed at the same amount as physical since you can perceive the physical slowness when storing.

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True.  I answer this question in two parts.  1: I think that the perceived slowness is in relation to things around you.  I think that if you stored time, you would see a difference, and that you would feel sluggish in comparison to how fast you normally would go.  Same with speeding up.  That's the first bit, even if I'm not sure why that works.

For the second bit, I think storing mental speed works differently then we would normally think.  I think it has less to do with perceiving things around you at a faster rate, like tin(zinc?) or atrium might do, but more to do with making mental leaps.  I think that it is different from physical speed because it effects your ability to think through things, not how you perceive things.  Sure, physical speed would give you more time to think through it, but mental speed allows you to make jumps you would not be able to with physical speed.

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I think this is a good theory. Your explanation of storing time wasn't easy to understand for me at least, so I'm going to try clarifying it.  You are storing the time in which you are moving. You lose time to storing and then condense that time into a burst of experience that essentially manifests itself as superspeed. It is virtually the same as using a speed bubble, the description of the effect is also really similar. A person tapping Feruchemical steel is a blur of motion, a person in a speed bubble is a blur too, though some of that is distortion from the bubble's edge. Inside a speed bubble, you think 'faster' relative to people outside the bubble, but your mental speed isn't affected. You are literally experiencing more time. You age faster inside that bubble, you move faster, and you think faster.

This is different from storing age in that age changes you physically to that age, while Feruchemical steel changes how you go through time.

Does anyone like this explanation? @Magestar in particular.

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Yep.  That's largely what I was trying to say.  Usually, Feruchemy works in percentages, so, if you stored 50% of your time, you would experience 30 seconds, and 60 would pass.  Later, you could tap the same amount, and, for the same amount of time, you could experience 90 seconds while everyone else experiences 60.  Approximately.  Does anyone else have a problem with this?

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It's an... interesting theory, and not what i was expecting. Good job.
But  because discussion, there is probably something to disagree with:

5 hours ago, Magestar said:

This does not explain things like not having to eat while you are using it, as I am pretty sure Sazed did in the HoA.
Assuming I am thinking of the right scene, I think that was just him hiding the fact that he was storing when the Kandra gave him food in his cell.

Quote

http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/49981-feruchemical-steel-suspended-animation/#comment-363373
This reminded me of the fact that Hoid has used both Feruchemy and some form of Time Dilation... Interesting

@Djarskublar You have a feasible idea. No idea if it's right, but it could potentially work

1 minute ago, Magestar said:

Yep.  That's largely what I was trying to say.  Usually, Feruchemy works in percentages, so, if you stored 50% of your time, you would experience 30 seconds, and 60 would pass.  Later, you could tap the same amount, and, for the same amount of time, you could experience 90 seconds while everyone else experiences 60.  Approximately.  Does anyone else have a problem with this?
This may be my lack of memory again, but I'm not sure the math works that way. Adding time is a strange concept to visualize logically

 

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My issue with the time-modulation theory is that how Sazed perceives his movements is different from how someone in a time bubble perceives their movements compared to the inside and outside of the time bubble. Sazed describes how he feels like he is moving more slowly. This indicates that his mental processing power is still operating at the same pace, more or less, or at least, faster than his physical movements relatively when compared to when he's not storing speed. On the other hand, when Wax is in a time bubble, he feels like he is moving and thinking as normal, but outside the bubble, everything is really slow or really fast. While you could argue that there is the different because Wax is in the bubble with an environment to compare to, but I don't think that would change things. In any case, I think the time theory could only make sense is if the time is being altered to a lesser degree on his mind than on his body. 

Actually... that makes sense. Just had a breakthrough when I was writing this. Time bubbles change time for someone's spiritual, cognitive and physical. On the other hand, Zinc only modulates time around your cognitive while steel modulates time around your physical. And changing time does make sense for Zinc. If you're thinking a lot more quickly than normal, you have the time to make the connections and leaps you wouldn't normally have had time to make.

I like this theory. (y)

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Based on this, I can see Feruchemical steel being one of the easiest things to charge. It doesn't affect your metabolism or physiology, so you could maybe store like 95% without it killing you. You could one evening start hardcore storing and go all night and through the next day then sleep the next night. You would feel like maybe an hour or so had gone by, but you would have a huge store of speed to use. An entire day has passed though, so things with that could suck.

And Sazed experiencing a sensation of being slow makes sense. I'm having trouble putting this into words, but he does have an environment to compare to. He can watch the effects of his actions happen in superspeed. He doesn't experience it mentally, but he can perceive that more time is going on outside him, so he feels normal, but he understands that things aren't the same.  Like watching a 3D movie in fast forward. On the other end, if you tap really hard, if your 'mental speed' wasn't increased as well, you would just smack into things like a doofus because you can't react. There may be something to the effect of less mental speed is associated with it, but a fair chunk HAS to be stored or tapping wouldn't be nearly as useful.

That was pretty poorly worded, but a good analogy is escaping me. Maybe I'm storing too much zinc right now...

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32 minutes ago, Djarskublar said:

It doesn't affect your metabolism or physiology, so you could maybe store like 95% without it killing you.

Read Voidus's comments on this one Like he said, not sure if that line was for F-Pewter but..

Edit: Read Spool's WoB again (that's twice today :) )

Edited by The One Who Connects
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WoB that there is a limit on storing speed.

The thing about Sazed perceiving things, is that he didn't just see others being a lot faster when storing. He also perceived that his body was moving a lot more slowly than how his mind was expecting it to move. This indicates to me that there is a disconnect between the time change of his body and his mind.

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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Of course there is a limit, but that WoB was talking about making yourself multiplicatively slower to store faster, which isn't how it works. The limits on how fast you can store are more about what your body/mind can handle. You can't store a ton of strength because you would lose the ability to pump blood to your head. Or even breathe. I recall seeing something that around 50% is the limit for strength before you hit heart failure.

Feruchemical steel sounds like it can store at a higher rate than others because storing time doesn't kill you. You still can't store 100%, but I could see in the 90-95 range being possible. Brandon appeared to mention 75% off the cuff, and implied that it could be really any thing that didn't get too close to 100%. Anything past 95%, though, and you wouldn't be able to perceive well if someone did something. They could walk right past you and you might not see the blur of them.

The difference in charge you get at storing 95 vs 96 percent is negligible, but the amount you could see would be significantly different. You would only see about 80% of what you could see at 95%. 90-95 sounds like about the max for Feruchemical steel for safety reasons.

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That sounds pretty accurate, but if I were to try and store it, I would do it in a safe area, with a couple of stopwatches. Just to make sure I don't spend a week sitting down.

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I agree. You wouldn't do this in the street. I would do it facing a window that can see a sunset. Watch the sun go down, then wait for it to be about to set again and stop storing. Skipping a day wouldn't be too bad, and at 95% (1/20th) a 24 hour day would take a little over an hour for you.

What I'm curious about is how it would affect storing other attributes. I assume you would store them slower because you are actually storing them for less time.

This makes me like the idea of being a steel compounder less. Compounding your ability to move through time= you die sooner. Steel compounders are still the strongest Twinborn by far though. (if you don't count my theory about gold shadows)

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I like this theory a lot, especially taking into account @Spoolofwhool's idea that it only speeds you up in the Physical.  That means your thoughts are running at "normal" speed, but since your body's not responding at the same speed, you only get a little bit of a bullet time effect as you perceive things quicker, and the slow thinking/processing when you're perceiving things much slower as you store.

I think it's been brought up before, but we need to ask Brandon if using Steel Feruchemy regularly would cause someone to age faster. EDIT: Without compounding, though, I guess you wouldn't, since you're losing and then gaining back the same speed.  End-neutral and all that.

jW

Edited by Jondesu
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If anything, without compounding you would age slower. You store a bunch of time, and likely tap it in a burst that would 'destroy' some of that time. 

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46 minutes ago, Djarskublar said:

If anything, without compounding you would age slower. You store a bunch of time, and likely tap it in a burst that would 'destroy' some of that time. 

The question is whether the temporal powers actually affect your relative age or whether the magic auto-compensates to keep you relatively the same age. It's just that I feel like Wayne uses bendalloy a fair bit, but no one comments on him looking older than he should.

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Although F-Atium straight up affects age, it is still probably important to note that once he stopped using the power, his body rapidly reverted to where it should have been at, so perhaps Spool is right on this one

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Ehhh... He doesn't use it enough. It would age him a couple minutes when everyone else ages a few seconds. That is per use, but he doesn't use it that frequently, or in tiny bursts that make no difference. He may over the course of his life so far have aged a day or two extra at the outside. Bendalloy is expensive after all! He didn't have access to it easily a lot of the time either.

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True. Hard to say really. In any case, why do you say that tapping a lot of speed at once destroys some time?

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Because Feruchemical "Compounding" gives diminishing returns if you try to use more of stored power in a shorter time-frame.
*My assumption on his statement, possibly not what he meant.*

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28 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

Because Feruchemical "Compounding" gives diminishing returns if you try to use more of stored power in a shorter time-frame.
*My assumption on his statement, possibly not what he meant.*

Really? I thought it didn't. If you double your speed for one hour or quadruple for half an hour, you're still gaining the same net multiplication.

 

Also, regarding relative age with time bubbles. It would be easier to test it with cadmium so I wouldn't be surprised if someone had at some point."

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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@Spoolofwhool You'd think that.

Quote

A Feruchemist can use metals to store particular attributes in metal, somewhat like a battery. The larger the piece of metal is (and the closer it is to Allomantic purity), the more of that particular attribute can be stored. A Feruchemist can draw upon their metals in increased, compounded qualities, but the faster they do this, the lesser returns they receive. Only the Feruchemist who stored those attributes can draw upon them later, however.   Source

I think this has to do with the fact that you don't actually store all of an attribute (most of them) so storing time is longer than using time.
Say the limit on speed is 75% and you store for 10 minutes. You can go to 175% for 10 minutes, but you would lose time for anything faster.

Oh great, Storing/Tapping F-Anything is literally like doing proportions. Brandon why have you done this to us...

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15 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

@Spoolofwhool You'd think that.

I think this has to do with the fact that you don't actually store all of an attribute (most of them) so storing time is longer than using time.
Say the limit on speed is 75% and you store for 10 minutes. You can go to 175% for 10 minutes, but you would lose time for anything faster.

Oh great, Storing/Tapping F-Anything is literally like doing proportions. Brandon why have you done this to us...

Yes, it's multiplications, which is not only hard to calculate, but makes little sense as End-Neutral. Consider. You store half your speed so you're at 50%. However, when you tap that, you're doubled, so at 200%. You've lost 50% to gain 100%. Can someone explain that?

 

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1 minute ago, Spoolofwhool said:

Yes, it's multiplications, which is not only hard to calculate, but makes little sense as End-Neutral. Consider. You store half your speed so you're at 50%. However, when you tap that, you're doubled, so at 200%. You've lost 50% to gain 100%. Can someone explain that?

That confusion was the whole reason my post cut off when it did. I always thought of it as:

Quote

-50%     =    +50%      but the math wasn't very nice for figuring some of the other stuff.
10 min        10 min     We should really get this clarified at some point.

 

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That's what I used to think to, that it was subtractive/additive, since that made the most sense end-neutralwise and based on the descriptions on how feruchemy works in-book. Then there was WoB and AoL which said they were multiplicative and I got confused.

The only one truly end-neutral is copper. Also, think in terms of multiplication screws with my understanding of Atium as well, though I think I just need to think about it more

EDIT. I just realized that you could qualify that feruchemy is end-neutral when you take into account the lesser returns when you amplify the tapping. Consider. As I point out, at lower tap rate, there is a net increase in how much attribute you are taking out versus how much you put in. This means that you are gaining an end-positive effect. However, at higher tap rates, you end up losing a bit, and I imagine once you really amplify it, it becomes end-negative. Now when you put its end-positive aspect and its end-negative aspect together, you get end-neutral. I still don't like it though. 

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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