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Where are all the ships?
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:



Siris Habitat:

Spacefarer Union:

Beamrider Network:

Sagittarius Preservers:

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.

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,


Messages In This Thread
Where are all the ships? - by echammond - 04-24-2017, 05:36 PM
RE: Where are all the ships? - by Rynn - 04-24-2017, 06:26 PM
RE: Where are all the ships? - by echammond - 04-24-2017, 10:59 PM
RE: Where are all the ships? - by Liam - 04-24-2017, 11:40 PM
RE: Where are all the ships? - by echammond - 04-24-2017, 11:53 PM
RE: Where are all the ships? - by Drashner1 - 04-25-2017, 01:56 AM
RE: Where are all the ships? - by Rynn - 04-24-2017, 11:44 PM
RE: Where are all the ships? - by Drashner1 - 04-25-2017, 12:38 AM
RE: Where are all the ships? - by Cray - 04-25-2017, 03:20 AM

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