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Hi All,

Im not new the OA, never posted on the forums before, but have been reading Encyclopedia Galactica for a while now. My question is on the lack of large civilisation ships. There is one yes, but the MPA, NA ship is more museum. Is there a reason why there are no mobile polities, vast spinning habitats connected or enclosed, functioning as an enormous mobile world. With the average distance between stars of 5 light years, a ship would either spend 5-10 years travelling from system to system, with people living as if they weren't in a mobile platform or if the ship was only a few km wide it could itlisie the wormhole nexus. I saw i think in the worldships article that worldships only moved at 0.1c and experienced cultural isolation. But there isn't any explanation for this, even if they did only move 0.1c they would still be able to utilise commgauge wormholes and be connected to the known net like any other world. A related question if and when the milky way has been settled would colonists to another galaxy in the local group use massive generation/world/civilisation ships or just take dozens of wormholes and then send people from the milky way either on route or when they've reached the target galaxy.

Cheers in advance for replies.
Welcome to the forums Smile there are worldships in the setting:

http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/4700364d11f02
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/552d0053889f1
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/487ba4c7aef9b
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/56758a236b14f (not worldships but describes a nomadic people in the last section)

Of course the golden rule is here if you think there's something lacking in the setting you're always welcome to write it up Smile a few general comments though; worldships are massive, emphasis on the mass. Top speeds are going to be quite low with accelerations even lower. Exceptions are projects backed by archai like the New Brooklyn fleets which utilise S3 overseers and displacement drives. But these are so expensive they can only afford to launch a fleet every few centuries. Theoretically you can take a comm-gauge wormhole with you but they are also massive (and you have to be careful not to create closed-timeline-loops. Or else...boom).

Essentially a "fast" worldship with Nexus access is a high archai project. They'd exist sure, but for the most part the archai seem concerned with other things. Worldships using lower being technology aren't going to be able to cart around a wormhole, nor accelerate fast. This isn't necessarily a problem, cultural drift is just a fact of life. After all the majority of systems in the Terragen sphere are not connected to the nexus.
Incredibly expensive because if what? Why would an architect buy material when they could just use planets and asteroids under their control. Aren't most of the systems in the inner civilised sphere connected to the wormhole nexus? Do you have any response to my second question on colonising other galaxies. Again cheers for the reply.
Expensive doesn't have to mean monetarily expensive. A worldship, I imagine, would need a fairly hefty input of matter, energy, and time to assemble the whole thing and get it up to decent speed. And even more so if you want to jaunt from system to system rather than just kick it off towards the frontier. And yet more needs to go into shielding if you want any sort of relativistic velocity.

And while that might be doable for an archai, it would serve no purpose for them. They have far more effective technologies of their own -- voidships and the like. It would just be an indulgence for the embodied modos.

As for colonising another galaxy. If the archai ever did want to set up some outpost, it would be all voidships and wormholes. You could send a big ship. Powered by conversion, it has a chance of making the journey. But it would be a long, long, long (and, one suspects, claustrophobic) journey. I'd imagine most would-be colonists would go for something easier.
Expensive in the sense that they require a lot of void motes for their engines and the archai don't hand them out readily to lower beings. In the post scarcity economies of OA most things are very cheap because, as you say, dumb mass is everywhere and autonomous replicators are old hat tech. But there's nothing the project can do to get more motes other than wait for their archai patrons to donate more. The NB article mentions an S4 void factory in operation in the system, this produces 1 mote per day. Each ship would need thousands so the cost is the total output of an archai's void forge for years on end.

In the Inner Sphere maybe most systems are connected but overall only a few million systems are. That sounds like a lot but Terragens are very prolific colonisers. Pretty much every star within the sphere has been subjected to some colony effort.

RE inter-galaxy colonisation the timescales involved kind of make any plans moot. Long lived generation ships would likely suffer some sort of social or technological breakdown in the journey. A very redundant sleeper ship might make it but there's no guarantee that the wormhole its carrying will connect to the terragen sphere (which would be millions of years old). A comm-wormhole would actually be a risk as you could get attacked from a Blight or something empire ending like the hypothetical Dawn Hunters.
(04-24-2017, 11:40 PM)Liam Wrote: [ -> ]Expensive doesn't have to mean monetarily expensive. A worldship, I imagine, would need a fairly hefty input of matter, energy, and time to assemble the whole thing and get it up to decent speed. And even more so if you want to jaunt from system to system rather than just kick it off towards the frontier. And yet more needs to go into shielding if you want any sort of relativistic velocity.

And while that might be doable for an archai, it would serve no purpose for them. They have far more effective technologies of their own -- voidships and the like. It would just be an indulgence for the embodied modos.

As for colonising another galaxy. If the archai ever did want to set up some outpost, it would be all voidships and wormholes. You could send a big ship. Powered by conversion, it has a chance of making the journey. But it would be a long, long, long (and, one suspects, claustrophobic) journey.  I'd imagine most would-be colonists would go for something easier.

Cheers for response. How big do warships get in Orions Arm Universe? Are there not many "no purpose" objects that are just to indulge modos? In a post-scarcity world a lot of "pointless" creativity and ostentatiousness, probably depending on culture I guess. Could you expand on the colonising another galaxy idea? Cheers.
Hi There - Welcome to the forumsSmile

So, just to throw my 2c into the discussion below, let me start with a few links to some additional worldships or worldship like elements in the setting:

We have:

Brobdingnag: http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/55b937218afcd

Drifts: http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/486019c6d276c

Siris Habitat: http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/4c647cbf1afa3

Spacefarer Union: http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/483b13ae030ce

Beamrider Network: http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/460c3685cd4c4

Sagittarius Preservers: http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/47f59ab1ed70d

In a nutshell, there are worldships here and there in the setting as well as things like the beamrider network in which staying awake through part of the journey is considered part of the experience. Brobdingnag may come closest to what you describe in terms of people choosing to travel more slowly and experience the journey in a worldship. Drifts are the province of the Backgrounders who reject Terragen culture. The Spacefarer Union and Sagittarius Preservers fall somewhere in between in that they live mainly on ships and habs but are also part of the wider culture - although they also have their own internal culture that prefers to travel around rather than stay in one system. Some, like Siris Habitat, also have access to advanced propulsion systems that let them get around pretty fast if they want to.

As far as why there aren't more such cultures described - the short answer is because no one has chosen to write up more of themSmile From an editorial perspective, the first descriptions of worldships date from very early in the OA project (OA was founded back in 2000) and mainly treated them as holdovers from the early history of the setting. The idea was that faster methods of getting around had been developed and any ships still operating mostly didn't know about galactic civilization for one reason or another. That approach has gradually changed, such that things like Brobdingnag are now described, but we've historically mainly focused on solar systems as the 'main stage' where things happen in the OA universe. But that's just an accident of history. There's no policy against more such ships or cultures living on worldships. If you, or any member really, would like to discuss how such cultures and ships might work and develop EG entries about them, you are welcome to do soSmile

Regarding comm wormholes - as has been mentioned, a comm wormhole offers various challenges, the big two being that they have to be acquired from the archai and they are hugely massive to drag around. There are some ships that do this, but they are mainly top end military vessels and it could be that the wormholes are only deployed to them in times of major crisis. As such, most ships aren't going to use them. But any ship could maintain a data link to the Known Net and so keep in touch with the wider galaxy. Interstellar distances would mean that a message would take a long time and the news would be a bit out of date - but if you're traveling in this fashion in the first place, you probably don't care about that. And tens of millions of solar systems essentially experience the same thing until/unless a wormhole is established in their system and they get along just fine. The Known Net includes both wormhole and 'normal space' (aka 'flatspace') links as a matter of routine.

Most worldships would use conversion drives, although a few would use reactionless drives. As has been mentioned, the void motes used for the latter are hard to come by for most modosophonts, but if a friendly archai (S5 or above in particular) can be persuaded to help out, then large numbers can be provided.

http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/56a75bc63a599

Regarding intergalactic travel: While there are various mentions in the EG that some elements of Terragen civilization are gearing up to try this or have already attempted it, the general consensus is that such an effort is still a bit beyond Terragen capabilities. The distances involved are so huge that even fast Terragen ships would take millions of years of ship time to make the journey. The really super fast ships that would be needed haven't been developed yet. There's also the issue that Terragens have a huge number of other places to pay attention to that are a lot closer to home. You speak in terms of the Milky Way being settled before such expeditions are launched and that is certainly a possibility. But Terragen civ currently only occupies a small portion of the galaxy and it will tens of thousands of years or even hundreds of thousands of years before it will have expanded to reach all parts of the galaxy, assuming it actually lasts long enough to do that. There are probably people in Terragen civ who dream about intergalactic travel the way we in the real world dream about expeditions to Mars or the stars. But the general consensus is that the odds of succeeding are very low. And any ships sent won't arrive until very far in the Terragen future, if they ever do.

Hope this helps,

ToddSmile
(04-24-2017, 11:53 PM)echammond Wrote: [ -> ]Cheers for response. How big do warships get in Orions Arm Universe? Are there not many "no purpose" objects that are just to indulge modos? In a post-scarcity world a lot of "pointless" creativity and ostentatiousness, probably depending on culture I guess. Could you expand on the colonising another galaxy idea? Cheers.

I believe the two biggest warships described so far are:

The Leviathan Class - 180km long by 3km in 'compact' mode, expanding up to 250km diameter in 'extended' mode.

The Juggernaut Class - 280km long by 25km dia in 'compact' mode, expanding up to 350km radius (700km dia) in 'extended' mode.

There is also a mention of Keterist 'battle moons' but there aren't really any specifics about them.

As far as the number of 'no purpose' artifacts in the setting - Even at 'mere' modosophont tech levels there is enormous capacity to just indulge in things because one can. An argument can be made that most of the megascale habitats and terraformed worlds fall into this category given that the actual Terragen population is so low that there isn't really a need for all the extra space. Often such structures are created as an exercise in artistic expression or because the builders enjoy doing that kind of thing. There is probably some element of forward planning, in that with a functionally immortal population, the numbers will grow to need the space eventually. But there is definitely a strong element of 'because we can' in much of what Terragens do.

Hope this helps,

Todd
The Brobdingnag is mostly an indulgence for modosophonts gradually heading to a neighboring galaxy. It could be much smaller.
http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/55b937218afcd