Fractal Softworks Forum
June 24, 2018, 02:23:05 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: New blog post: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives (06/12/18); In-dev patch notes for Starsector 0.9a (06/01/18);Starsector 0.8.1a is out!
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: How the Sector Ended Up Out on a Limb  (Read 1109 times)
SafariJohn
Admiral
*****
Posts: 1108



View Profile
« on: May 07, 2018, 05:00:53 PM »

As we are all familiar with, the Persean Sector was cut off from the Domain of Man when the Gates mysteriously shut down. Bad Times followed.

This leaves a question many have asked: Why can't the Persean colonists fly back to the Domain? The common answer is fuel - they just can't carry enough. That's true, but I'd like to offer a possible explanation of how it became true.

The key is the Gates and how they allowed the Persean Sector to be colonized. Before the Gates, ships could only fly a couple hundred light years at most before they ran out of fuel. Fuel production facilities had to be built farther and farther out to send ships farther, and building such a facility takes a long time.

The Gates didn't change how far ships could go, instead they allowed the Domain to skip all that construction time. (They also allowed the Domain to kick everyone else's butts.) Once a Gate Hauler reached a system and activated its Gate, that system was immediately adjacent to all the refineries in the Domain. I am willing to bet Gates were moved in pieces through other Gates, which allowed the Domain to leap-frog across the local part of the galaxy to the most promising colony regions, such as the Sector, in a relatively short period of time (maybe less than a century).

Note that all Gates are found orbiting stars or star-like objects. I think this means the Domain had to take the long way around to get to the Sector. In other words, they had to travel far along the Orion Arm to find a chain of systems they could use to bridge the vast empty space between them and the Perseus Arm. This total distance is probably much longer than the 6,000 light years figure mentioned in the trailer. (Though that still doesn't explain how long it took Battlegroup XIV to show up...)

The downside to the Gate Network is that most colonies were too far away from other colonies and the Domain to survive when it went down. Even regions that were able to sustain themselves, like the Sector, have nowhere near enough resources to reconnect with the Domain without the secrets of the Gates.


The forbidding side of all this is that, even if the Domain couldn't remotely reactivate the Persean Gates, it still probably could have retaken control of the Sector in a few decades. That there has been no contact at all in 200 years implies the Collapse had dramatic consequences for all mankind.
Logged

MajorTheRed
Commander
***
Posts: 110


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 05:11:21 PM »

I like this explanation. Have a lot in common with the way gates are built in Babylon 5. I would also add some precisions or alternative about your explanation.

In the same way that the sector doesn't have the resources to get out of the it, it probably doesn't have the technology to construct true waystations with AM producing facilities. I also probably lack the manpower to do it.

But the most important obstacle is probably the political situation in the Sector. Any faction wanting to explore really far from the sector would have to commit formidable resources, and would thus weaken it in comparison to other factions. To succeed, the Sector would have to be a united entity.

As a side note, in every sci-fi setting, old world tend to become reliant on other worlds to be sustained with basic products like food. It's likely that the core experienced a dramatic collapse caused by food shortage on any significant world. On the other side, frontier world would lack manufactured resources and technology to survives. At best it lead to a long decay (Asharu, Maxios...). At worst, failure of infrastructure and living systems would cause the death of the world (example : a barren world without atmosphere, a still-in-progress terraformed world reverting to its natural biome...). In my mind, the Sector got the right balance between primary ressources worlds and cosmopolitan centers, meaning this cluster survived.
Logged
Destructively Phased
Ensign
*
Posts: 12


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 05:02:01 AM »

This does fit pretty well with what we know though I wonder how the exploration mother ships fit into this. Are they the gate carriers, vast automated vessels designed to find locations for settlements and waystations and build the appropriate infrastructure. It would make more sense that way as otherwise your sending 2 waves of ships, the explorers and the builders and given how risky hyperspace is and the hardware requirements to send little more than localised distress signal it seems right that the motherships would approach a region, survey and then if suitable for a waystation or colonies, build a gate.

As for why the XIV took so long to show, the lore is that they were at way station some few hundred light years away from the sector. Given that a player fleet at full sustained takes about 2-4 months for trip out of the core worlds, to the frontier and back at full sustained, assuming the XIV were on conventional burn so that they could easily dodge hyperspace storms and conserved supplies 50 odd years does sound about right for that voyage.
Logged
SafariJohn
Admiral
*****
Posts: 1108



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 09:21:35 AM »

While automated ships were invented before the gates, I think in the Sector the motherships came after the gates. They have the same fuel constraints as other ships, so it seems to make the most sense for the gate hauler to reach a region first, deploy the gate, then the drones come through to explore around it. Around the same time, the next hauler comes through and heads for the next region.


Burn 10 is equal to 1 light year per day. At burn 20 it takes 1.3 months to cross the entire Sector (78 light years). 300 light years at burn 10 would theoretically be covered in less than a year, and even being pessimistic (time spent confiscating supplies, etc.) I don't really see it taking more than 5 years.

So up it to 1000. Now the theoretical minimum is less than 3 years, and the maximum is still like 12-15 years. I mean, seriously, how far out do they have to start to make 50 years seem reasonable? 2000 light years? 3000? Even that could theoretically be done in about 8 years!
Logged

Destructively Phased
Ensign
*
Posts: 12


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 10:14:48 AM »

While automated ships were invented before the gates, I think in the Sector the motherships came after the gates. They have the same fuel constraints as other ships, so it seems to make the most sense for the gate hauler to reach a region first, deploy the gate, then the drones come through to explore around it. Around the same time, the next hauler comes through and heads for the next region.


Burn 10 is equal to 1 light year per day. At burn 20 it takes 1.3 months to cross the entire Sector (78 light years). 300 light years at burn 10 would theoretically be covered in less than a year, and even being pessimistic (time spent confiscating supplies, etc.) I don't really see it taking more than 5 years.

So up it to 1000. Now the theoretical minimum is less than 3 years, and the maximum is still like 12-15 years. I mean, seriously, how far out do they have to start to make 50 years seem reasonable? 2000 light years? 3000? Even that could theoretically be done in about 8 years!

I’d estimate a burn level of 4-5. Namely as supplies are crucial to a fleet stuck in that situation. Assuming the XIV were using Atluses(atlusi?) and promethiueses (promethi?) to carry their supplies, the max burn of these ships is 6. You can’t use Ox tugs, as the fuel and supply costs are too great, so the best you can get is 7 with augmented drive field. Since supplies are critical and the last thing you want is accidents, hitting storms and hemoraging supplies is not the way to do that. So we’re looking at not using sustained or emergency burn, meaning that 7 is the best you’d hit, before we have to take into account that deep hyperspace slows you down.

Assuming a burn level of 5 once you’ve taken deep hyperspace into account, we have a speed of 0.5LY, or a quarter of that 78 Ly speed. You’ve got 5 months to cover 75 Ly (nearly) or 15 Ly per month. 180 Ly per year and about 10000 ly in 50 years... okay. Assuming every combat vessel was mothballed and every civilian vessel was scuttled as soon as it hold/fuel tanks were empty doesn’t make a difference either. No. Not fealsible. We’re looking at 10000 units of fuel per frigate for this journey.

So... the answer as to why this journey took so long? Probably the time that they had to spend scavenging fuel en route (which conviently lowers the fuel they’d need anyway, as less time in HS and more time in normal space scavenging helps lower fuel costs.)
Logged
MajorTheRed
Commander
***
Posts: 110


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2018, 11:57:14 AM »

As Destructively Phased says, it can more be other activities than travel which took this long to the XIV to arrive in the sector. I don't expect that on the first day they just say "how, look: the gates closed, we leave immediatly for the Persean sector".

I expect a ton of complication à la Battlestar Galactica : sedition, leaderships problem, supplies, fuel, navigation, where to go?, mechanical breakdown, errance to places supposed to be inhabited but finally devasted, rotation of crew on cryo-sleep...
Logged
Embolism
Commander
***
Posts: 228



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 10:10:38 PM »

Battlegroup XIV's journey to the Persean Sector could probably be a game of its own.

But I'm more interested in what Tri-Tachyon was up to before XIV arrived. Neither the Hegemony nor the Persean League yet existed and the Luddic Church was in its infancy. They had 50-odd years to consolidate power, yet they didn't. To me that tones down the likelihood that they played a part in the Collapse, or at least it didn't go the way they planned.
Logged
Sarissofoi
Commander
***
Posts: 136



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 12:09:08 AM »

Dunno if this part of lore still actual but wasn't XIV BG part of some sort of experiment about cryostasis?
They could run on low speed on autopilot so don't need to come from far away.
Also Domain have Gates so they could have some sort of one direction device that speed up ships and they would use fuel only to break and stop.

Also do not forget drifting. If you use fuel only for getting away from gravity well so another gravity well will pull you off and to correct course you could save a lot of fuel.
Logged

Linnis
Admiral
*****
Posts: 700


View Profile Email
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2018, 09:02:51 AM »

Battlegroup XIV's journey to the Persean Sector could probably be a game of its own.

Could be a story mode campaign. Wink
Logged
c0nr4d1c4l
Commander
***
Posts: 103


Local forum transient


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 12:55:23 PM »

It would be interesting to experience that journey.
Logged

"Slap slap slap, clap clap clap"

Head salesman and CEO of the Discount Shipyard
SCC
Admiral
*****
Posts: 557


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2018, 09:10:56 AM »

In general I avoid thinking about things like lore in sci-fi games, because once you thought enough you realise that realistic approach wouldn't make for good storytelling. By the way, that empty space between the galactic arms is full of stars too, they're just sparser than in the arms.
XIV battlegroup was an experiment with some older FTL drive, that seems to be more fuel efficient, but slower as well, which meant that they opted to use hibernation to avoid being generational ships. I can't remember anymore how that went exactly.
Logged

SafariJohn
Admiral
*****
Posts: 1108



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2018, 12:24:07 PM »

XIV battlegroup was an experiment with some older FTL drive, that seems to be more fuel efficient, but slower as well, which meant that they opted to use hibernation to avoid being generational ships. I can't remember anymore how that went exactly.

This is a good explanation. It's easy to forget Burn 20 is over 700 times faster than light. I didn't remember anything from Alex and co. about different FTL drives, so I went digging and rediscovered this in the obsolete State of Affairs blog post:

About three months after the Collapse, a Domain task force emerged from hyperspace in the sector. It was named Strike Force Pollux, and consisted of elements of the 14th Domain Naval Battle Group. The ships were running on full automation, as it was sent many years ago with the objective of studying the effect of long term cryo-sleep on human beings. Soldiers from the disgraced 200th Legion constituted the bulk of the test subjects. As the officers and crew of the task force were awakened, they quickly recognized the small colonial community was on the brink of collapse.

No mention of slow-but-efficient FTL drives, but I like the idea. Reminder: the long term cryo-sleep study is no longer canon. The current lore is:

[The] Collapse happened just as Domain Battlegroup VI was rotated out of the Sector with Battlegroup XIV not yet arrived[.]  Battlegroup XIV ... was cut off from the Gate Network at a transfer point in vicinity of Persean Sector.


With slow-but-efficient drives (or a mode of normal drives) I could see it taking 50 years if Battlegroup XIV was staged far enough away to make normal travel impractical. That could be less than 1000 light years, which is a believable distance. Stopping to loot reduces the distance required, but it still has to be far enough to prevent normal travel. Works for me, thanks SCC!


By the way, that empty space between the galactic arms is full of stars too, they're just sparser than in the arms.

I am ashamed to have forgotten this. Doesn't really change much about what I said in the OP though, other than the "going around" part, of course.

In general I avoid thinking about things like lore in sci-fi games, because once you thought enough you realise that realistic approach wouldn't make for good storytelling.

Hmm, reality produces many great stories. It must be because Reality is Unrealistic.

I kid! I kid! Personally, I don't really care if lore is realistic, so long as it's (generally) consistent with itself.
Logged

SCC
Admiral
*****
Posts: 557


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2018, 01:23:19 PM »

   Given more thought about this, I realised that there is already that slow, but efficient FTL drive - it's the one everybody uses anyway. If we assume Domain of Man had something like several mountains' worth of telescopes and other measurement devices devoted to monitoring stars Orion - Perseus, as well as much more spent on computers, it might be possible that they've predicted trajectories of the majority (if not all) of stars and similar massive objects between the arms and thus were able to accelerate XIVth in the hyperspace to significant velocity, sending them on a trajectory to the Sector that they'd arrive slower than if they were using fuel to overcome gravity pull of all those stars and just go straight through, but it'd be massively more efficient since they need to use it just to slow down at the end, and half the fuel is typically used to accelerate in the first place. This is more or less just a standard sublight speeds interstellar travel, except in a hellish dimension where gravity seems to have an inverse effect on the space, it being naturally (and relatively to normal space) contracted and tiny, but gravity would expand it significantly, which means that it conveniently means that empty spaces are much less of an issue, but at the same time complicating aforementioned sublight travel techniques. We still have inertia, though, so we're good to go.
   That hypothesis was, obviously, shot down by the fact that XIVth isn't cryogenic now, which means they're travelling a much shorter distance and thus their arrival after gates were shut is illogical. Unless DoM collapsed on a civil war and they were sent off in a slower way so that they wouldn't intervene. Or DoM just set up an experiment without them knowing; the fact that this particular Sector didn't receive any signals even after 200 years is suspicious.
Logged

Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2006-2011, Simple Machines
Simple Audio Video Embedder
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!