Only the fittest ground vehicles will survive... (stay alive)
A return to the original Obelisk, and the first question asked is: what are the negatives?
Well the most obvious thing is that the original Obelisk did not have the lower intensity 'sweep' laser, that the Tiberium wars Obelisk had. This laser sweep was used to wipe out masses of organic units, that did not require the full powered beam.
This will mean that building anti-infantry defences to support this Obelisk will be a must, unless you want to get overrun by sheer weight of infantry numbers.
The only other note is that there is no interface for the Beam cannon to charge up the main beam. Since the Beam cannon no longer exists, this does not really matter at all.
The brutal truth however, is that in the current environment this version of the Obelisk does not measure up at all.
The Nod Strategic Defence centre has been tasked by Kane himself to bring the Obelisk up to date, with lavish rewards promised if they make the Obelisk the most feared static defence has it once was.
The Firestorm episode will always remain one of the darkest periods in Nods history. Even darker than their surprise defeat to GDI in the first Tiberian war, this was the time when Nod was forced to ally with the GDI, and all because of some faulty software!
When Cabal was defeated, both sides drew up agreements that neither would ever develop self-aware AI again.
They also agreed to destroy the data wafers and software modules that had survived the final battle. Such heavy losses had been inflicted by Cabals cyborg army, that a zero risk policy was enacted, i.e. destroy everything.
In the time honoured tradition of agreements between major rivals, both sides ignored the treaty and began working on retrieving the data as soon as they parted company. GDI in level 5 bio-technical facilities (VERY secure!) and Nod in the most guarded of Temple complexes.
The result were... frustrating. Most of the data was protected by algorithms that both Nod and GDI super computers could not get near deciphering. GDI estimated that allowing for advances in computer software, the algorithms could be cracked within 75 years (provided that most of the military and scientific super computers were on the job 24 hours a day).
Nod scientist said... about 5 years, give or take a year (although this is probably because if they told Kane 'about 75 years', they would have continued living for no longer than 75 seconds).
Low level data, such has building maintenance and defence management had much simpler algorithms that both GDI and Nod easily bypassed. The information was of little interest to GDI, or Nod for that matter (the secrets that Cabals main algorithms protected are nearly beyond human comprehension).
Cabal did use Obelisk for perimeter defence however, and those Obelisk were much better than anything Nod had produced...
The Strategic defence centre had fully analysed the way that Cabal built, maintained and deployed Obelisk, in order to see if they could find information that would help them improve the original Obelisk.
They came up with a couple of solutions.
The first solution involved changing the capacitors inside an Obelisk for Cabal designed capacitors. These new (old) capacitors were much more efficient than the capacitors that Nod had used, even during the 3rd tiberium war.
Testing showed that upgraded Obelisk fired up to 40% further due to the extra charge that these capacitors could hold. Also the next discharge was ready up to 40% quicker due to the efficient way that the Cabal designed capacitors worked.
This update would greatly increase the effectiveness of any Obelisk that received it.
From Nod's beacon of light, a darkness emerges...
The second solution was only possible because Cabal's defence management software listed the type and location of the crystals needed to produce the beam of the Obelisk of darkness.
Has luck would have it 3 of the 5 locations were within Nods territory, and while the crystal is rare, there are certainly enough of them available for a limited roll out of 'Dark' Obelisks, which could be used to defend key locations.
Kane has insisted that the 'Dark' Obelisk are able to target BOTH ground and air units, this is almost certainly due to the intelligence from GDI military circles stating that the Scrin 'Storm-column' was the most feared defence because it could do a decisive 'attack against any target type'.
Kane wanted the to make sure that there was no doubt that Nod had the most fearsome defences.
In this regard it was also very welcome that the 'Dark' targeting algorithms were able to integrate the 'sweep' effect of the 3rd war Obelisk. Such is the immense power of the 'Dark' crystal beam, ALL ground targets are attacked with a sweeping dark laser, not just infantry!
The refitted Obelisk have a menacing glow that suggest that their new found power can barely be contained. A number of senior, very high ranking Nod officials were visibly uncomfortable when they first saw a 'Dark' refitted Obelisk... we can only hope that Nods enemies feel the same way!
There is not enough time for a full upgrade program, and Kane wants the 'Dark' Obelisk to only be used to guard key temple locations (many of the fringe elements of Nod would happily sell the secrets of the Obelisk to an enemy).
Base commanders can put a request in for each individual Obelisk that they want upgraded, then tactical command will decide whether to accept the request.
Kane wants all defences operating at maximum tolerance, so a small power usage penalty is needed for each upgraded Obelisk (for safety reasons). With our Tiberium core powerplants, this should not be an issue at all.