I don't see why it would be so hard to store anti-matter, assuming your 'magnetic' (correct me if I'm wrong, this is how they store anti-matter today) doesn't fail. I suppose you're danger is getting hit by EMP weapons and losing power. Losing power, with antimatter... is a bad thing...
There are only 3 kinds of people; those who can count, and those who can't.
(This message has been edited by Joveia (edited 04-01-2003).)
Ok.. ignore the above post...
This is some stuff I drew up since I'm serious about getting this accurate. Here are some constants:
Upper limit, lower limit
Upper limit will be more effecient. Every weapon will have an upper and lower limit. This is to ensure that weapons do realistic amounts of damage (i.e. it is impossible to do more than 60 kj's worth of energy damage and expend LESS than 60 kj). The closer you are to upper limit, the more 'cost' effective your weapon is, the more effecient. Although this could also be applied to outdated weapons that have been improved over time. For example, a new weapon might be much less cost-effecient because it is new. So it depends on relative scientific advancement and how long the weapon has been in society.
Lower limit weapons will be of course, worse and worse for their output.
A bonus for kinetic weapons. In some research (hint, I looked it up) I found amazingly that you actually get MORE energy from an object travelling at 99% the speed of light (in terms of energy it would expend if it HIT something) than converting the thing into energy (E=MC^2). Which means that the faster kinetic weapons go, they get to do more damage. For example, somewhere near the speed of light, a 1 kg projectile weighs something like a hundred times it's normal weight not at that speed, relativistically. So it would do 100x the damage normally allowed via converting it via fusion. I think this means that kinetic weapons should play a big part.
Larger objects can't have the same strength or relative hitpoints of a smaller object. To create a large object you have to magnify it's strength so it will, in effect, be that much stronger. For example, if I build a Nikko starfighter, and then another one exactly the same 100 times larger, it has to be 100 times stronger - over each metre^3 compared to the original. This is if you wanted it to maneouvre and hold it together with the same tenacity as the tiny version.
Generally speaking, larger ships cannot just be weapons platforms. Larger = more hitpoints. This means that ships will tend to favour towards 'battleship' design than 'destroyers.' (I.e., no hitpoints but tons of weapons.) Ships will be well-rounded in terms of armaments:hitpoints.
I've been actually writing some of this down as you can see... I am serious about this.
Originally posted by Joveia:
**A bonus for kinetic weapons. In some research (hint, I looked it up) I found amazingly that you actually get MORE energy from an object travelling at 99% the speed of light (in terms of energy it would expend if it HIT something) than converting the thing into energy (E=MC^2). Which means that the faster kinetic weapons go, they get to do more damage. For example, somewhere near the speed of light, a 1 kg projectile weighs something like a hundred times it's normal weight not at that speed, relativistically. So it would do 100x the damage normally allowed via converting it via fusion. I think this means that kinetic weapons should play a big part.
There's a reasoning gap. Accelerating the mass to .9c takes a lot of energy. Where's it coming from? Other matter-energy conversion (all energy sources that I can think of do this, some are more obvious about it).
"In literature as in love we are astounded by what is chosen by others." Andre Maurois
Onii7/Frinkruds and his funky forums
(This message has been edited by Fleet Admiral Darkk (edited 04-03-2003).)
Yeah, I think actually the article I read only meant to factor in the equivalent cost of accelerating it versus it's kinetic damage. I think that was pseudo-sci fi I made up there. oh well.
Assuming shields exist and can be constructed. There are some ways of going about this. The easiest shield to imagine is this one:
I think this is pretty realistic as far as ultra-zaney shields go. The shield just projects 'itself' it's own force substitute across matter. It's substitute accepts kinetic energy and the projector is thrown back. Few problems:
You could not possibly protect a delicate piece of electrical machinery - assuming the pressure occurs inside the piece of machinery which actually does the blocking, assuming the generator has more than one component. And 2) the shield would most likely be torn to pieces as a 70 m asteroid has the kinetic energy (at 1 km/s) of 7.5 NUCLEAR BOMBS. Lets say our railgun fleets will do atleast that much damage regularly.
Ouch. So I have come up with a new method. Supposing the generator blocks it - but our society has invented a way to store the energy brushed from the generator into batteries/absorbers. So it would be like the diagram above. The asteroid hits, the generator feels 6.25E 14 J of pressure, and the energy is transferred immediately into actual 'stored' energy ready for use and no different from storage for it's weapons.
So shield strength would be in effect (unless they got lucky and it had a crappy energy transformer, or something) the charging ability of the ship. If the kinetic energy was simply too great for their batteries to handle, then they'd have a massive overspill of energy. What would this do? Well, first off it would completely overload their recharge systems. That much energy at once will do no good. I assume that the generator could have a failsafe installed, so that if it detects it's at maximum capacity it automatically shuts it's shields down and lets the ship take the hits. If it did NOT do that, then it would probably overload every electrical system in the area, including the absorber, and destroy the shield generator with collateral damge to nearby ship systems. Something like a Dresden electrical firestorm inside the ship.
I think that fits nicely. 'Shields recharging' in Nova would mean the opposite in terms of energy. The ship would desperately try and find ways to burn of millions of joules of energy as fast as possible. This is not easy. It is in fact, almost impossible to simply get rid of energy without some kind of cheating device, like a blackhole. This might have an interesting side effect of making ships captains extremely anxious to fire their guns as often as possible. (although for nova's sake, lets pretend that due to the volatility of the energy system related to the buffer, it has to be disconnected from the main power sources.)
I guess you could use 'singularity projectors' to funnel the energy in. So a ship would have 'projector' for shield size, 'batteries' for strength, and 'singularity projectors' as well as their size, for the recharge rate.
Oh, and every time the shield drops theres a chance that it fails because the generator failed to shut off the shield quickly enough.
That's one way of implementing a shield, and it seems to work fairly well against kinetic weapons, but I don't see (or understand) how effective it would be against energy weapons.
I think that another viable shield implementation would be to project a gravity "wall" around the ship. Against kinetic weapons it would alter their trajectory to go around the ship rather than through it (ouch!). Given sufficient armor on the ship, having the projectile hitting the ship at an angle and skipping off would be a lot less harmful than a solid blow. And deflecting energy weapons would be much more effective than with the absorbtion shields. We already know about gravitational lensing around large gravity wells. If a ship is able to project a pseudo-gravity well around itself, this would bend the beam of an energy weapon away from the ship.
Also, you wouldn't have to worry about having the shields overload. Since the shields function by warping spacetime around the ship, the generators don't have to worry about absorbing any shocks. If something gets across the gravity gradient then it's up to the ship's armor to stop it. Otherwise, the weapon would just bounce off/deflect in a new direction with little or no effect on the generator.
Probably a combination of the two would be most effective. Project a gravity gradient around the ship, and then inside that project the absorbtion field to deflect and stop whatever gets across the gravity shields.
"That was quick."
"Well you know, when you don't do it right it doesn't take as long."
Gravity is created in cones and non-hollow objects. I don't see how you could do that. Even if presumably you had a gravitron emitter that could emit however much gravity you wanted it to...
Oh, if you idea is so that the gravity field also affects the spaceship, then it could work. But then it would crush the delicate electronics if they were activated.
I suppose you could bring the existence of a gravitic 'nullifier' too. The gravitic field is projected outside the ship, and inside the ship's living quarters there is a gravitic nullifier.
But anyway, such an idea, however cool, isn't easy to implement in Nova, as the field has no strength, just makes weapons slide off it.
Well, since I'm no physicist nor much of an engineer either I really can't say how the whole deal would work. Some sort of manipulation of gravitons. There are a couple of books where this level of control over gravity fields is done.
But as to saying that the shield has no strength, and that weapons just slide off of it, isn't that the whole point of having shields in the first place? To prevent the damage of the ship?
Besides, with a weapon of sufficient strength, it would be able to penetrate through the shield and impact the hull of the ship although somewhat attenuated by being pushed around by the gravity field. The field would have to be immensly strong in order to knock massive attacks out of the way.
So it's a different approach I see. Instead of using shields as another layer of armour you want to use it as a kind of 'blocking' attack.
Well, I suppose it could work. It's net effect would make a hierarchy of shields and weapons where the more advanced weapons can only affect the more advanced shields.
However it might be hard to implement. Considering that your traders shield is going to be weaker than a generals. Every weapon has got to have an element of ignore shields, but how do you define which are the stronger shields? You can't, unless you only have one weapon. Because of this, shield damage has to be done so theoritically it will still be a shield which takes damage in Nova. But that runs contrary to the design principle.
You'd have a weapon do an amount of SP damage, and then normal damage. This would affect any kind of shield - the SP. The normal damage has to destroy the shield to get through, so you have the simulated effect of the stronger shield. But it would be totally useless versus stronger shields unless it's a kick ass weapon, because of high values.
My idea is of course very regular. I think it would block ray attacks by catching the heat the same way it catches kinetic energy. Remember that lasers are very ineffective compared to kinetic weapons at .99C, which should be a relatively easy task for an advanced railgun. So it may turn out lasers aren't affected by these shields. You have to exterminate laser ships yourself.
In regards to lasers, I doubt they'll play a major part. This is because they inherently don't do enough damage fast enough. Our beam weapons will have to be hybrids of lasers mixed with some other more advanced method. Neither Star Wars nor Star Trek actually use lasers except on special occasions. Star Wars have 'turbolasers' which except such different characteristics as to be considered totally un-laserlike, and Star Trek first of all, dismisses lasers as completely useless and uses 'phasers' which are multidimensional weapons that cause long-range particle reactions, converting matter with lower atom signatures into massive numbers of neutrinos (err... technobabble.)
So even if common lasers can't be deflected, the upgrades to them to make them effective beam weapons will somehow interact. Of course, all this is besides the point if I decide my advanced generator system also sucks heat off the hull...
Phasers use gamma rays. And lasers are not useless.
In any case, shields in Origin Conflict are implemented as a double-layer of negative gravity (generated by field effectors, which I'll go into on request), with a layer of negative energy sandwitched between. The negative energy "melts" lasers fired through it, and the gravitons generated by the negative energy are used to hold up the double layers of gravity, which slows projectiles down enough to make them easier for the nega-energy to cancel, as matter is energy. To massed projectiles, the shield acts as a combination vaporizer/speedbump. The energy evenly distributes itself throughout its assigned area in the form of solitons (which are basically energy that acts like non-energy). Another note, shields will damage people who touch them. To fire through a shield, matter weapons simply have a shield of their own projected around them. An energy weapon simply is phase-linked to the frequency, which hops in a truely random pattern that's linked by spins (so you don't need to update).
Quite a lot of dense technobabble, eh?
I find my philosophical mindset is well geared for technobabble.. be prepared to be defeated in any such duel!
Hopefully this will clear things up (takes out calculator and looks at intelligent sounding page)
A laser will do 90% effeciency for power input over a centimetre surface (edit - divide results by 1000 for a much more powerful but wider beam - 1 m). Suppose no heat is lost along the way (in reality this would require a totally different calculation to suppose and probably the support of Nasa's staff.)
Fusion reactor 100% effeciency 6.2E14 J/kg pure deuterium. 10,000 kilograms of deuterium / over 7 months (212 days). .0005 kilos of deuterium / second, = 3.38 E11 Joules power. (This is laser only reactor).
3 E11 joules damage total. Damage to water in excess of 7.1E10 degrees Celsius. Getting the heat resistance of diamonds would be a more valuable comparison.
(This message has been edited by Joveia (edited 04-05-2003).)
From now on I'll use this as an online log for my ideas. If anyone has any advice I might be partition to it... however. Since I spend so much time on the internet, may as well write some of this down.
-Ships that require acceleration will have to have a strong basic structure which means they'll have a large number of hitpoints and must have good hull strength and armour. Space stations/immobile objects need have none of this, so they can in theory become weapons platforms.
-Missiles can be warp fired. Don't know how much applicability this will have in the game though.
-Space travel is similar to EVN. I'm guessing 1-3 for all ships.
-Acceleration and top speed will be similar to EVN. Despite the well-worn (and very accurate) argument that in space, bigger engines = better acceleration ergo carriers should be very fast accelerators, this does not hold up. Because of their huge size the structural tolerance levels placed on these ships will be tremendous. Therefore ships that are large need to have smaller acceleration to keep the thing from falling apart.
-Intertial dampening exists, as does artificial gravity for ships. This is mostly because otherwise, speeds would be limited to 2> G's for most combat, severely putting a restraint on acceleration.
-There are only a certain number of shields that CAN exist, theoritically. This based on the second law of thermodynamics which states that obviously, energy has to go somewhere. So that means that all the possible shields in the universe are based on basically somehow getting rid of that energy. This narrows it down a bit. Types of possible shielding methods:
Absorbtion are deflector shields from Star Wars that absorb the shot, it does not counter it, it takes the energy in. Most ships in sci fi have absorption shields.
Redirecting is mirroring shields or gravitic shields (spamo's idea.) These basically move the shot or redirect the energy someplace else.
Countering shields move interception beams or missiles up, similar to a Star Wars defense system. They find the precise 'phase' of the energy, and move counterring energy. Similar to the way it is possible to blanket out noise by generating noise on the exact opposite spectrum, which is how you can general a cone of silence in real life. Or else they throw something in the way. You could use transporters to transport antimatter in the way of slugs. Workability for this is ok, and it is atleast realistic on some levels.
Nullification is like the phase cloak of Star Trek. You basically move out of this dimensional or move someplace or affect the shot so basically it cannot affect you, regardless of it's energy. I suppose you could call this the 'displacement' method, you merely move yourself/the energy to make it no longer a target. This is the most tricky to implement. It is also the most evil... Ideas for this are phasing out into 10 dimensionals, phasing into subspace, teleporting across someplace, teleporting the enemy shot into some useless asteroid. Creating a gravitic field of actual blackhole - light bending strength around you...
Spanish situations. Massive gold influx made prices at home skyrocket, causing great home economic misery. Spain became so wealthy it was easily more wealthy than all other European nations combined. Good exchange between spain and non-spain became strained and difficult due to incredible inflation of prices. Beaurcracy flourished and tore the economic system down a hundred years later. Caused incompetnet market tactics. Caused incompetent fiscal management. Caused them to like their old outdated system when it failed them, slowing their adaption. Completely destroyed their economy and civilisation economically when the gold RAN OUT.
-similarity in the game-
Britain - classification. Trading Empire. Hitler germany. Rampant Expansionist. Xerxes. Rampant Expansionist. Greece - Peaceful. Rome, Warlike Expansionist. Etc.
Peaceful - doesn't invade except in defense.
Warlike Expansionist - invades on threats. Looks for threats.
Trade Expansionist - invades on fiscal opportunities. Looks for fiscal opportunities.
Rampant Expansionist - no clearly defined reason why to invade. Invasion is sustained by government.
Rampant expands are the evil guys, trading empires can become stable, warlike expands can become stable (like klingon?) The peaceful ones are very good, but carry an aura of fatality...
Interesting ideas. I like how you summarized everything. I still think you should take a second look at that well-worn idea that bigger engines = better acceleration. Bigger ships would have much more massive internal support, and with inertial dampening to keep the crew alive, that can be extended to maintain the hull. It would add a very interesting dynamic to ship combat, and make people think through their strategies a little more. Small ships become flying eggs armed with shotguns. Delicate and slow, they have to wait until a ship gets close enough to blow it away. Also, starships are surprisingly delicate.
Bah. I highly recommend that you go out and buy some of David Weber's books. I suggest that you start with "On Basilisk Station." It's actually free online at this address:
Once there look up David Weber. Read any of the Honor Harrington books. Excellent military sci-fi.
Your paradigms for governmental types need a little tweaking. The problem with trying to classify something like that is that you have to either make lots of buckets, or a few massivly huge ones. Governments and cultures change over time, and in doing so can change their spot in your classifications. Britain was once a Rampant Expansionist style country, taking over large chunks of the world by force. Only after they had slowed their expansion and trade began to roll in did they move to a trading empire paradigm. Hitler had VERY clear reasons why he was invading other countries. Very few governments were ever reckless expanders, and those that were didn't last very long (i.e. Assyrians).
Also, your classifications tend to leave out the positive aspects for Warlike Expansion and Rampant expansion and the negative side-effects of Trade Empire and Peaceful.
Warlike Expansion: Brings a great deal of disunited land into the fold of one government that can oversee its growth and well-being. Much like Rome did when it tamed Europe. Those were very prosperous years under Roman rule.
Rampant Expansion: Can create the basis for a more stable government. China was a Rampant expansionist, primarily due to population pressures as well as the vast amounts of unclaimed land. Brings widely spread natural resources under one control.
Trade Empire: Exploitation of client states and lassiez-faire(sic) business policy can lead to tragic human rights violations and bring poverty, disease and oppression to those that toil underneath the business barons and government contractors. Think the pre-union work force in America in the early 1900's and during the Great Depression. Read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair to know what I'm talking about.
Peaceful: Pushovers that can leave their people undefended to the wolves that roam the wilderness. Like it or not, there will always be someone that is coveting your people and your resources, and it is up to you to defend them. A pacifistic ideal can only exist in a few circumstances, the most important being a very stable community of many governments together. Regardless, a country must be prepared to defend itself from threats. Reactive or proactive, it doesn't matter. As long as it is willing to defend what is rightfully theirs.
Redefined in greater detail:
Peaceful. These are economies that are best characterised as isolationist. They trade, they like others (?) but they do not deliberately start a war for profit and they thus have massive accountability and must have a democracy or constitional monarchy. They have a strong sense of patriotism.
Something else which I failed to mention is that these perfect utopis are rare. Governments will usually get more and more trade expansionist the larger they get. For one reason - how do you hold together a bunch of planets that may for all you know, dislike each other. I forsee Peaceful empires as being small groups of 3-4 planets settled by a particular ethnic group, like the British could settle 3-4 islands and then those islands would willingly be part of Britain. To not have a trade empire they would have to willingly be part of it... you can see how amazingly rare it is for these to happen.
And it becomes even more difficult once you realise that injuries would be dealt and received over the course of galactic history. So it could end up like the nations on earth, being asked to join together...
Trade: Trading empires result on massive abuse of human rights. They are corporate governments. The cheaper it is maintain someone for making profit the better. If profits are threatened, massive fleets entail. This could become quite awful... quite awful indeed.
On the plus side, they will likely favour democratic institutions because of the effeciency bonus. Atleast at home. on the colony worlds they will have second class citizens and likely slavery. Also they would rule with client states. they would extort money... it is possible to make a fleet into one huge profit making machine I guess. You could threaten to blow up a planet unless you get 50% of it's GNP. And other such charming things... I suspect Trade empires would vary wildly. The only thing we know for sure is that they'll be coming from a democratic institution so they'll probably be democratic on the outside. It depends how it turns out. I'm sure we'll have plenty of villain empires that are just as bad, if not worse - than warlike ones.
I should note that the slaughter of above 6 million people in India during a famine which the British could easily have averted went practically unopposed by it's democratic institutions... the same institutions which abolished slavery about a hundred years ago... Can you imagine anything like that happening today?
There was the famine in Ireland... above 1 million people... on their doorstep!
But in Britain people enjoyed rights greatly. I think these governments will be Republics. Also note - although they do not need effeciency as much as el peaceful they will still like it.
In this empire, large navies will come with it. Because of all your territorial acquisitions which you have to defend and stuff. You will be gathering tribute not only from client states, but from states you are terrorising. Or colonising you are forcing to stripmine.
But remember, it is not economical to wage a war on a colony that doesn't actually threaten your navy. So I predict the Trade Empire may actually end up with a 'heart' in a very real sense. They would have their fair share of planets, but they wouldn't feel the need to go out of their way to conquer one if they could simply make it a colonial acquisition. I imagine the root of Trade empire in space would be a home planet, that star system, and then several star systems around it which they've intimidated. These star systems would eventually be joined and integrated as nations, with the occasional rebellion and have sympathetic governments installed. Their main production would be on those planets.
Outwards they'd find other colonies where you'd land some troops and make it an outpost. So it would progress continually and continue to seperate - since trade empires know that they want their military to be centralised because it's the cost effective thing to do. Eventually things would get more and more massive. The outposts will become internal worlds, internal worlds will become core worlds. Democracy might even have a chance (or atleast a republic.) Once the internal worlds get accepted by centuries of association they will need representation and that is what they'll get.
Then you'll reach a point where you have a federation. States that are colonised at the outskirts go through an initial process of barbarity, become familiar and then get integrated by force. I'm still thinking... this theory doesn't quite hold up. India never became integrated into Britain. Scotland maintained degrees of seperation despite being next to Britain.
I suppose it's feasible you could get your internal circle of same ethnic planets. These would form your interior parliament. The centre parliament would experience ruptures depending on how close they really were. Then there'd be lines of tyranny extending outwards. You could have something like a hundred star systems under your control, massive fleets, robotic armies, and all of it coordinated from this tiny star system. It's cost effective!
Well, you forgot crusading expansionism - imposing a belief system of yours on others at any cost. These aren't often successful, but sometimes can be. May have ulterior motives but are not required to. I'm not clear on the exact events of the Muslim expansion into Africa and Spain, but that might have been this. The US also did similar things, acting to promote anti-comunism in areas with little strategic significance.
Also, why famines occur is a rather complicated process caused by market forces. Similar famines occured during WW2 when the British were shipping food to bases. There was still plenty of food left for the people, but price panic set in and nobody could buy it.
(This message has been edited by Fleet Admiral Darkk (edited 04-08-2003).)
The reason was I believe that giving Indian's food would artificially lower the price of the market cost for grain. Not power, or not wealth... they're weren't greedy, they didn't want to interfere with sacrosanct market laws. (any parallels between the 1970 recession and our blind following of Maynard Kayne and strong government intereference in the economy is welcome.)
Just something else. There is actually, once you read the full body of my insano-text, alot of stuff that doesn't add up. Principly, my empire has no soul. What are it's objectives? Power? That's highly unrealistic. It's not like a real human empire. There has to be many more forces in the mix.
Empires generally have a unified vision that involves conquering a bunch of stuff.
Nazi germany had a vision of a world of just Aryans, with "perfect genes".
Rome had a vision of a Catholic world.
Spain had a vision of the wealth of the world being poured into Spain.
Avaracial empires are not at all like the ones in 1984 - Orwell fails to understand that those with power wish to benifit from it. Most people wish for power for the purpose of using it or abusing it. Those people drive the empire towards more power.
Some sci-fi empires:
Abh - want to control everything because they honestly believe humans would benefit from their control.
Verden - wants to unify mankind via eugenic means.
Paul Atreides - wants to prevent Jihad, gain power for his own use.
I understand the vision of the Abh one.
Abh: A desire to provide good government. This desire is rooted in fear of bad governments? A desire for effeciency on a galactic scale? To make humans evolve in a perfectly controlled environment? Fear of another species being ungoverned by a good government? Contempt for the human's ineffeciency? Altruism with a very arrogant posture? I like the Abh sound of things. Because it's so much better to have an empire which does evil trying to be good, rather than have a black and white good/evil stereotype. All of my civs will attempt to do good, for some, however, it turns out horribly.
Verden (A human empire?): Eugenics seems to be a nazi idea. So the Verden are afraid of imperfections? They judge things physically or mentally? I suppose this really could be spliced with nazism.
(This message has been edited by Joveia (edited 04-09-2003).)
I'll suggest one.
Empire: peaceful, can morph into warlike
The Nathrezim are based off a martian colony of Deimos. They are genetically engineered for the gravity of deimos moon. So they are weaker. But they have tremendous control over their mental faculties (a rating on the PSI scale of 1.22... which is tremendous.) They have short range telepathy (a few feet) which gives an overall feel of another mind. Masters can achieve a PSI scale if they're Nath-born of a maximum of 2.55, which allows very short range mind control.
These masters are kept on board fighting ships and are an integral part of the nath peaceful empire.