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Gateways are probably the most overpowered weave


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I'm not sure if other people have talked about it, but I can't stop thinking about how gateways could have been used. It doesn't matter how powerful the enemy is or what kind of defenses they have if all you had to do is make very small gateways with the endpoint being inside their body's. It could just be a millimeter or two wide and all the enemy would have to do is move slightly or take a step and their insides would be ripped to shreds. It would take very little power and be all most impossible to detect happening. You could even make eye sized gateways for you to see from and you could attack anyone from anywhere without them being able to detect you. You could even send a millimeter wide beam of balefire if you wanted to stop the forsaken. It seems like gateways are just the most overpowered weave I can think of and I want'ed to see what anyone else thought.

 

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They are. But it's still gonna take the channelers time to figure out how to use them in battle (and, with the Dragons Peace, hopefully no-one will for a long time). You see how Androl is using them, and the reactions to his use; he's the one with most undrstanding of them and so realizes how they can be used as weapons. Similar to how someone figured out to make one in the ground that gave you an aerial view of the enemy. They are still learning. But yes, some day will probably come when someone figure out how to use them as weapons like you mention. But we also know there existed weaves in AOL that "stopped" a gateway until the weaver gave permission for it (sort of like knocking on a door), and someone will probably figure out how to do that again, and find a way for it to also protect the body of a person.

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Problem is a lot of what you suggest depends on the person standing still.  What you suggest sounds a lot like the deathgates against the trollocs.  The small ones you mention just seems like to me to need a lot of time to try and do and could fail too easy.  Sending a stream of balefire at the forsaken is fine but if he takes a step or two to one side you just missed.  Some of the small weaves you suggest sound like more of  a hassle then they are worth.  Why create small ones to look through when you can create one in the air and simply look down on them?  Also there is a risk if they detect the gateway being made of the bad guy sending something back at you as it opens.  You have no idea what weaves Dem had set up to detect channeling, especially when he was in a full circle.  he would have to be somewhat aware that the enemy might create a gaeway and send a force through at him.  Also Asmo mentioned in TFOH that Dem and Semirhage were two who could block a gateway once it had started to close.  So against Dem it would of been especially dangerous to use gateways against.  Imagine firing something through a gateway at him, only for him to block it and shoot balefire back through using his secpter. 

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I'm not sure if everyone would be able to do it effectively, but at least for Androl it would be the easiest thing ever. It wouldn't matter if the person is standing still or moving. You would be able to make gates that small almost instantaneously. You could make a dozen gateways in or directly around  them in a second. The reason you make them so small is so that they will be undetectable with how little of the power they use. The ones for you to look through only need to be an inch wide for you to see through them. You could put those a hundred or a thousand feet into the air and look down on them. You don't need a big hole in the air like Matt was using that could possibly be detected. You could also cover the opening with the weave that blocks all weaves from getting through, so that nobody would be able to send anything through it towards you. Dem wouldn't be able to pinpoint a one inch hole looking at him even if he could tell the direction channeling came from. Especially if you had a weave on your end that made it invisible as well. When you are firing something through the gateway I'm talking about one of the millimeter sized ones you make inside their body so they cant block it or even notice it until its too late. 

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The weave that blocks everything would work like a wall, or you could use a wall of air. Also about weaves that would block a gateway, I looked on a wiki and it matches what I remember. "Apparently, in the Second Age, it was customary for the user to use a sound to herald the coming of a gateway". I don't think people could stop gateways. It was just polite to "knock" first so you wouldn't seem like you were attacking. The only thing that would help that I know of is a dream spike, and Androl would still be able to make the small gateways inside one of those.

Edited by Captnkatsura
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Several channelers seem to be aware of the dangers of gateways.  At least Elayne.

 

Not sure about gateways harming the channeler making them.  as far as I recall, all starting points of gateways in this series were in front of the channeler.

 

Dreamspike block at least Traveling and Skimming.  As far as I recall, Deathgates were not attempted in them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gateways are, indeed, overpowered, which I think is why they were so underutiized until Androl.

 

I mean, just a simple 'tie off a big gateway on a wall (or on the outside of the city wall) in each great city' would have massive effects on the economy. Instant trade to basically everywhere (probably the reason everyone stopped tieing off gateways). Instantaneous troop movements, as Rand showed, are insanely powerful as well.

 

And that's just uses that are exactly what a gateway is meant to be, nothing at all like the extra tricks you propose (which sound hilarious, if tricky. Tiny gateways in arteries to drain someone's blood, maybe? :D )

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Actually, the movement (through a Gateway) is not instantaneous.  It takes time to move any number of people/creatures through a Gateway.

The closest thing to instantaneous troop movement in this series seems to be the technique Perrin figured out for entering telaranrhiod physically.

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I think one of the things that got lost in the series was how difficult Gateways were to make from a standpoing of needing to know your start and destination quite intimately. That's why gateways weren't used too often in the beginning and why skimming was used more.

 

Sure, Androl had a talent for the weave itself and could make them really easily. However I think that later in the series RJ/BS got a little too relaxed with that rule/limitation.

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I never fully understood why is was more important to know your current location for a gateway rather then the destination.  As for the tiny gateways mu guess those would be almost impossible since not only would you have to know where your target was but everytime they moved before you cast it then you would have to start over.  Gateways just are not good during the fight because as Dem thought when he considered just gatewaying to where he thought Mat was hiding, what if there is people waiting for you.  They are good for instance when the Sharrans suddenly appeared, the Aes Sedai were totally unprepared for the huge army suddenly rushing out at them.  Anything you shoot out of a gateway your enemy can shoot right back at you. 

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Unless the shot thing ceases to exist after hitting something.  That would be easy for projectile type weaves; they disappear after hitting.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Dreamspike blocks all gateways from forming inside, not even androl could make one until Perrin removed it.

I thought that Androl could make a tiny one even with the dreamspike.  And when Perrin removed it that is when he was able to make greater use of them. 

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Howdy All,

 

As one might say when calling into a radio show "Long time listener, first time caller!"  I'd definitely love to weigh in on this topic.  As an engineer and amateur physics nerd, I've also been thinking about the larger implications of gateways.  I recently finished my umpteenth read through of WoT, and three truly horrifying ideas stood out in my mind regarding "Combat" gateways.  

 

1.  Sun Gun:  Open one gateway into the middle of your opposing army to spot your target, look through it, and immediately open a gateway to the Sun.  Anchor the starting point where the bad guys are, tie off the weave, then close your "spotting" gateway.  The Photosphere (surface) of the sun is around 6000K, which is kind of hot.  You also get the bonus of vacuum.  It'll flash fry your opponents and suck their bodies away.  NO MESS CLEAN UP!  You do need to be pretty quick with this idea, though.

 

2.  Death Gates, Now TWICE as Deathy!:   I don't really recall where the exit point of a death gate is, but why not open to the surface of the moon?  Yep, that's right, lets abuse our old pal vacuum again.  Now your death gates suck the enemies in from a radius larger than the actual radius of the gateway.  You can't hide, and now you can't run!

 

3.  Mariana Trench Routine:  Nah, it's not a dance number, but if you want to create the world's largest fire hose to shove your enemies away from you, or just flat our drown them, you can open a large gateway to the bottom of the ocean.  Granted, WoT world may have a different name for it, but one assumes that they have some know deepest part of the ocean (I think Bayle Domon was going to throw the male a'dam in just such a place).  Anywho, 6 miles of water pressure adds up to an impressive amount of force.  You could open this over the heads of a cavalry charge, i'm pretty sure this action would prove slightly disruptive.

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I would guess there is a limit to the distance you can create a gateway.  The sun and moon would probably be a little far off.  My issue with the gateway to bring the lava in they uses is the placing a gateway where you are not physically at like when they used the lava, shouldn't that gateway in the lava be the destination and aren't you suppose to know the destination well before you can create it?

 

I don't think Rand or LTT knew where a deathgate went to either.

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That first one, there is at least one problem::  The channeler would likely to be also fried regardless of how quick he/she is.

 

Deathgates; the scene tells that the destination changes each time it opens.  Not sure if any of the destinations could be set by the channeler.

 

That third one could probably work.

 

 

Gateway distance limits; the only one I recall is with Traveling::  the closeness when the starting point is unknown.

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I would guess there is a limit to the distance you can create a gateway.  The sun and moon would probably be a little far off.  My issue with the gateway to bring the lava in they uses is the placing a gateway where you are not physically at like when they used the lava, shouldn't that gateway in the lava be the destination and aren't you suppose to know the destination well before you can create it?

 

I don't think Rand or LTT knew where a deathgate went to either.

 

Deathgates are a separate weave to Gateways, so they do not work like Gateways, and you can't choose the destination. 

 

With Gateways, you only need to know the spot you are Travelling FROM really well. So technically, the lava gateway was fine. They also used a buffer to protect their own people from the heat, so as much as I wasn't keen on it, it was a valid use and could happen. 

 

The problem with the sun etc.. is it is too far away as mentioned. I can't imagine the damage done to the entire area if you exposed part of the sun to the earth at that proximity. Unless you used Chodean Kal proportioned barriers to enclose and funnel the sun's heat, you'd probably be fried as soon as the gateway opened. The heat alone would likely destroy all surrounding life. How far would depend on the size of the gateway, but even a small one would probably kill the one who opened it. 

 

I think the biggest thing though is nobody in the 3rd Age would ever think to use any of these methods, particularly not in the heat of battle. Androl only came up with extreme uses for Gateways because it is basically the only thing he can actually do. However, a normal channeler with the strength to use Travelling wouldn't bother. Why contrive a plan of using a Gateway to open to a pit of lava when you have perfectly good fireballs and lightning. 

 

As for the Age of Legends, they lived in peace, and the term 'war' was forgotten. They only had ten years of fighting, to rediscover war while a horde of Shadowspawn and Chosen were destroying them. Creative use of Gateways would not be high on the priority list for them. They discovered Deathgates, which was sufficient enough for their liking. I also think with their eco-friendly attitude, they wouldn't even contemplate messing with ecology for war. But again, I think it's a case of simple is best. 

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In regards to the sun, it was just a funny idea.  I'm pretty certain thermodynamics agrees with you regarding it flash frying everything in a rather impressively large area.  I just got a chuckle out of the idea of "Use Travelling to make a Nuke."  Heat aside, i shudder to think about what the other affects of that radiation would be.  Needless to say, that army of shadowspawn would go by bye bye.  You would go bye bye.  A significant part of the countryside would go bye bye.

 

In regards to whether or not it would be possible to open a gateway to an off-planet location, i still think it's completely doable given the framework for travelling as created by RJ.  I'm might be wrong on some of this, but i remember a conversation between Rand and (i believe) Egwene.  This would have occurred some time in FoH or LoC.  Egwene had learned enough about dreamwalking to theorize a way to enter the dream in the flesh.  She eventually figured out travelling from using this method to go to Salidar.  Anyway, she was asking Rand about travelling, and she said something like:  "Are you sure there isn't a sense of sameness, like making the two places the same in the pattern?"  Rand responded by picking up a piece of cloth and folding the ends together and saying that he punched a whole between the two places.

 

So, assuming we use Rand's version of travelling, which seems to be bending two points of the pattern together and stepping between the threads, we can make inferences about limits.  I'm pretty sure i never saw any time delays associated with travelling, which implies it is instantaenous in all observable circumstances.  If that is true, there is no limit on distance because distance travelled is not related to time travelled.  The only true speed limit in our real world is the speed of light.  If Travelling dodges the Speed of Light Issue, there should be no physical limit on distance travelled in Rand Land, assuming Rand Land still does business with Physics aside from The One Power.

 

If you want to philosophical about it, there may be a pattern limit.  If the pattern only compromises the people of their planet, and all variations of their planet, then i suspect you are right.  If one assumes the threads are made of people, and there are no people who originally came from their reality on their planet residing on another stellar body, then one assumes there are no threads of the pattern leading to that stellar body.  However, it doesn't eliminate it as a possibility.  All you need is one person to ride a space shuttle to the moon to allow a channeler to have a thread to pull on travel.

 

Okay, brain hurts.  Coffee Time!!

 

 

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the problem with gateways is, it takes significant amount of power to produce one. So why bother with that, if you can make a filament of air stronger than steel slice through everything? Or throw boulders? There is millions of basic things that would be more lethal, requiring less power and making you able to use more.

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In regards to the sun, it was just a funny idea.  I'm pretty certain thermodynamics agrees with you regarding it flash frying everything in a rather impressively large area.  I just got a chuckle out of the idea of "Use Travelling to make a Nuke."  Heat aside, i shudder to think about what the other affects of that radiation would be.  Needless to say, that army of shadowspawn would go by bye bye.  You would go bye bye.  A significant part of the countryside would go bye bye.

 

In regards to whether or not it would be possible to open a gateway to an off-planet location, i still think it's completely doable given the framework for travelling as created by RJ.  I'm might be wrong on some of this, but i remember a conversation between Rand and (i believe) Egwene.  This would have occurred some time in FoH or LoC.  Egwene had learned enough about dreamwalking to theorize a way to enter the dream in the flesh.  She eventually figured out travelling from using this method to go to Salidar.  Anyway, she was asking Rand about travelling, and she said something like:  "Are you sure there isn't a sense of sameness, like making the two places the same in the pattern?"  Rand responded by picking up a piece of cloth and folding the ends together and saying that he punched a whole between the two places.

 

So, assuming we use Rand's version of travelling, which seems to be bending two points of the pattern together and stepping between the threads, we can make inferences about limits.  I'm pretty sure i never saw any time delays associated with travelling, which implies it is instantaenous in all observable circumstances.  If that is true, there is no limit on distance because distance travelled is not related to time travelled.  The only true speed limit in our real world is the speed of light.  If Travelling dodges the Speed of Light Issue, there should be no physical limit on distance travelled in Rand Land, assuming Rand Land still does business with Physics aside from The One Power.

 

If you want to philosophical about it, there may be a pattern limit.  If the pattern only compromises the people of their planet, and all variations of their planet, then i suspect you are right.  If one assumes the threads are made of people, and there are no people who originally came from their reality on their planet residing on another stellar body, then one assumes there are no threads of the pattern leading to that stellar body.  However, it doesn't eliminate it as a possibility.  All you need is one person to ride a space shuttle to the moon to allow a channeler to have a thread to pull on travel.

 

Okay, brain hurts.  Coffee Time!!

This is one of the differences between saidin and saidar. Men punch a hole, women create a 'sameness', neither can use the alternative. Although it's also worth noting that it's possible to weave a gateway in more than one way (Avi)

 

We also know that there's a power limit associated with using the weave that relates to size of gateway. I'm not sure about distance, they can open gateways to the other side of the world easily enough (Avi's first gateway was to Seanchan), but there are exponential differences between distance from within a planet to another, so 'big' distances may also matter.

Edited by BFG
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WEEK 19 QUESTION
How far can a channeler Travel with the One Power? I know they can Travel anywhere on the globe, and enter Tel'aran'rhiod through a slightly different weave, but is it possible to Travel to other planets, or even planets in other galaxies?
ROBERT JORDAN
Travel to other planets within the solar system would require a circle of fairly strong channelers, though not necessarily as many as thirteen, depending on exactly how far out they wanted to go. Travel to a planet in another solar system would require a rather large circle (of the maximum possible size) of very strong channelers, and there would a limit on how far they could go in one jump. They could planet-hop, of course. Travel to another galaxy would be beyond them even if they began on the planet in this galaxy nearest the target galaxy.
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  • 4 weeks later...

You wouldn't even need a gateway, I was thinking about this the other day - we see various channelers using big flashy ways to kill enemies - landmine style explosions, fireballs, setting them on fire from the inside out, lightning bolts coming down from the sky, balefire, etc. Now obviously this is all cool as hell from the readers perspective, and effective in large battle scenarios where you want to cause maximum carnage from a distance, but it makes no sense for channelers to be using these flashy (and presumably complicated and power-intensive) ways of killing on a single target one by one, as they so often do, when instead they could simply create a very small blade of hardened air, the size of a small pen, and shove it through the heart or use it to cut their throat like a normal dagger, except from a distance. For that matter they could channel directly inside the body, use air to pinch a major artery, water to block it, or create a tiny flame inside their heart - we've seen that even regular Aes Sedai novices can create small, floating flames, one of those pretty much anywhere in the skull would kill the target with a fraction of the power required to create a huge ball of fire that can ignite them from the outside.

 

It's mentioned that there are various weaves the Black Ajah use to kill via. stopping the heart, etc. but it's described as being complicated and linked to the ability to heal, with one of the Blacks, Liandrin I think, lamenting her inability to do it, but really compared to calling lightning out of a clear sky or condensing a ball of flame and then hurling it at the target, it should be the simplest thing in the world for even the weakest channeler to achieve on a single target at a time.

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