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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#31
DWMagus wrote:So, why would you want a smaller ship then if a larger ship is more capable in each regard?
I can see no benefit whatsoever where long-distance traveling is concerned. A cruiser is built to operate over great distances. A patrol boat or corvette is not.

I see some ways to make them desirable in other areas but that would be way off topic.
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#32
Gazz wrote:I can see no benefit whatsoever where long-distance traveling is concerned. A cruiser is built to operate over great distances. A patrol boat or corvette is not.
That's more a question of modern fleet strategy and tactics than of the size of the ship as such, though. Historically, in the Age of Sail, it was the precise opposite, with the smaller ships (esp. frigates) operating distantly as scouts and patrols, whilst the large ships of the line were kept in or at least close to the home waters for defensive purposes. I could easily imagine strategy in an interstellar setting being similar.

So why, or rather when, would a small ship be better? Larger ships require more fuel, have more expensive overheads in crew and maintenance, and perhaps most importantly, attract way more attention than small ones. If you want to go somewhere without anyone noticing, you don't show up with a carrier or a bulk freighter, you bring a small tramp freighter that can hide in the crowd. It's all a question of circumstances.

As far as jump gates are concerned, they're always accompanied by a couple of important questions: Can they be blown up? If no, why not? If yes, what happens if someone does?
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#33
Gazz wrote: I see some ways to make them desirable in other areas but that would be way off topic.
Based on the original statement, it's not off-topic. A larger ship, i.e. one with more jump range, would be better in terms of jump travel. That's why it makes for an easier start, for those who want to jump around right away.

However, it may well NOT be better in other areas, such as sub-FTL speed and manoeuverabilty. If they both have the same engine, then the smaller ship will be a better performer at sub-FTL assuming Newton's 2nd Law. I'm already presuming that the pseudo-physics is ignoring Newton's 1st Law like most space games i.e. we can fly around like aircraft in space. Apart from the excellent Orbiter simulator, I don't know of anything that is fully Newtonian.

So in general, larger ships will be more sluggish (sub-FTL) than smaller ones if they use the same technology. I suggested a larger, more jump-capable one, purely to allow an easier start for those who may want it. I think that's a perfectly legitimate thing to do, and doesn't imply any general rule that larger ships are always better than smaller ones. If you want to argue that a large start ship should also have better technology engines so it's just as manoeuvrable, making it even easier, by all means do so!

Edit===
So really, this is a specific quantitative (range) argument, not a general qualitative (better/worse) one.
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#34
JabbleWok wrote:
Nerfherder wrote:In theory, a jump gate, because it's "always on" would be cheaper even with tolls
Ah, here's an idea - it's NOT always on! It could be that a jump gate works by sending a 'bubble' of spacetime to the far end, and all ships travelling have to be in that bubble. That would mean a) queueing until the bubble is ready to be sent, and b) only one bubble can be in transit at a time. Thus there are regular departures, possibly with a set timetable, and perhaps it shuts down for maintenance several hours a day and on public holidays!
Conceptually that works well. The problem is how does that work from a game mechanic. In a single-player game, do I really want to fly to the gate and then have to wait some amount to time before I can jump? How long is "too long" to force someone to do nothing? From a game perspective it may make sense to just do it on-demand. One of the great balances of "reality vs game fun".

I remember a certainly early MMO (Everquest 1), where you might have to wait for up to an hour for the boat to arrive to take you to the next continent. Once on board, you'd have to sit there for 30 minutes while the boat traveled to the next location. Realistic? Sure. Boring? Very. And this game isn't an MMO designed to slow down your playtime.
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#35
Large vs Small ships - it depends how you want to make your living in the universe.

If you want to move massive amounts of cargo, then small ships suck.
If you want to be a bounty hunter killing off individual people, a BSG-sized carrier is probably not the best choice.
Want to smuggle illegal goods through the lines? do you really want a huge freighter vs that Falcon-sized small-yet-fast cargo runner?

Yes, using the idea of jump-engines-are-big, maybe those small ships have to use established jump lanes instead of being able to travel any-to-any. But that simply becomes part of the universe mechanics and a risk:reward balance.

Of course, you could also have a relatively small ship that managed to squeeze in a jump drive and still enough cargo or weapons to surprise the bad guys. Think the Whitestars in Babylon 5 - it was a pretty major plot point that ships that small just didn't have their own jump engines and how much of a shocker it was to the Shadows (and later Terran) forces. Most ships that size either had to use gates or fleet with a larger capital ship that could open a wormhole.

Depending on the crafting/research/ mechanics, maybe within the game research can lead to smaller and smaller ship components over time. Maybe 1st generation jump drives are 100,000 Tons in size, but over time you can research 8th or 10th generation engines that are a more reasonable 15,000 tons, and suddenly frigate-sized ships can fit one in and still have a reasonable working space for cargo or weapons.
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#36
Nerfherder wrote:do I really want to fly to the gate and then have to wait some amount to time before I can jump? How long is "too long" to force someone to do nothing?
If you have the timetable (probably broadcast throughout the system), then you can time your trip. It's also more incentive to get your own jump drive, or just take a ferry if that leaves sooner. Perhaps the gate has a bar & services area where you can spend a little time, maybe pick up some rumours or even a lucrative contract. In any case a "realism" slider in options could keep realists and fast gamers happy by adjusting such timing. Plus, isn't there accelerated time available, where a minute of play time might be an hour of game time?
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#37
I think hyperspace travel should be instantaneous, but requires you to charge up a battery to full, which take a long time, or some expensive energy. It should work like this. I'm a merc in my fighter, I have to get to point B to help my client with a siege, I have enough "jump power" to get to this point B, I select point B as my destination and open a "hyperspace gate." Instantaneously, my destination loads up in game, and an arrival portal appears there. Scouts from point B could happen to see the point, forcing me to move the point outside of their patrol range. I arrive, and little in-game time has passed, it takes me actual time to get to the RV point because I couldn't place my arrival portal too close to Faction of point B to avoid suspicion. There should also be faction-managed gates that arrive at faction controlled points as arriving in the middle of neutral (and of course hostile) factions with a gate of your own is considered a low-mid level act of aggression depending on several factors (like if it is close to an important resource or city i.e factory, capitol, ect.)
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#38
Josh already has a mechanism built into the game to scale the flow of time (Tech Demo 3 & 5), so any non-instantaneous FTL can be used in conjunction with this element if the player doesn't wish to experience travel time. This allows us to compromise and say that those who want to experience travel time can, while others don't have to.
For any interested in reading it, We've got some good theories forming over here about the mechanics of FTL travel.
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#40
Actually, quantum mechanics doesn't place such energy limits on the concept itself; the various energy constraints are based on specific suggested methods. There may be other methods, based on physics we don't yet know but compatible with QM, which have much lower energy constraints. Indeed QM states it's theoretically possible for a spaceship (or a person, an apple, or a postcard addressed "far side of the galaxy") to just relocate to the other side of the galaxy, as part of normal quantum fluctuations, it's just extremely unlikely to happen.
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Re: Interstellar Travel, Wormholes, and Jump Drives

#42
JabbleWok wrote:Actually, quantum mechanics doesn't place such energy limits on the concept itself; the various energy constraints are based on specific suggested methods. There may be other methods, based on physics we don't yet know but compatible with QM, which have much lower energy constraints. Indeed QM states it's theoretically possible for a spaceship (or a person, an apple, or a postcard addressed "far side of the galaxy") to just relocate to the other side of the galaxy, as part of normal quantum fluctuations, it's just extremely unlikely to happen.
Thanks for the clarification! :D
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