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Author Topic: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.  (Read 8700 times)
Profound_Darkness
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2004, 06:58:29 pm »

somehow I get the impression that the spathi would have said that about the thraddash primary weapon too...
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Sander Scamper
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2004, 01:44:47 pm »

Somehow I get the impression that the Spathi would say that about a large stick of cheese...This is a race conformed of totally abject cowards, remember?
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2004, 06:51:30 am »

The Spathi were probably exaggerating (how well could they possibly know the weapons capabilities of the Vindicator after just seeing it?). But punchign a hole through a moon doesn't imply being able to destroy large swaths of the surface. In fact the main problem is that it seems like weapons made for ship-to-ship combat would be very concentrated in force, intended to drill small holes in small objects (punch through the shields of a ship and make it explode), rather than bathing large areas in lower levels of energy in order to destroy cities and farmland.

It's quite possible that you could send a very dense projectile through a planet and out the other side, drilling a narrow hole that would close up behind the projectile as it moved. There would be a lot of vibrations resulting from such a collision, but not necessarily much noticeable damage to the structures on the surface. In order to damage the surface, you'd need a much larger area of impact, allowing the surface to absorb more energy.

In case you're curious, much of this speculation is due to the idea that there may be "nuclearites" out there, meteorites made of super-dense matter or strange quark matter. Strange quark matter would result from a compressed star somewhere between the mass of a neutron star and a black hole; a neutron star that's under enough pressure may collapse to the point where the neutrons inside them change form, combining up and down quarks to form strange quarks. Nucleons made of strange quarks are stable in much larger concentrations, allowing you to have a macroscopic object (maybe the size of a tiny pebble) made entirely of nuclear matter, rather than being made of atoms (which are lots of tiny nuclei surrounded by huge amounts of empty space). You could have a penny-sized object weighing tons, which would then be dense enough to strike the Earth and come out the other side. There are a couple of scientists who make a convincing case that a series of unusual small earthquakes that took place in random places around the globe that couldn't be explained by tectonic plate movements may have lain on the axis of a nuclearite's passage through the Earth. All a bit speculative, but very cool stuff.
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Sander Scamper
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2004, 04:02:27 pm »

I can imagine quite easily a large dense, screw like projectile, spun at ludicrously high speeds, and shot with incredible force at a planet, and  burrows through to the core, letting the sulfurous heat etc from the core destroy all life on the planet.
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FalconMWC
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2004, 08:43:50 pm »

While we are on the subject of the Precursors guns and how effective they were against ground targets:


(By commander Hayes)
Quote

All objects of human construction more than 500 years old were 'to be abandoned'.
We didn't know what the Ur-Quan meant until they moved their Dreadnoughts to new orbital positions
and opened fire on the surface with their fusion weapons.
In seconds, large sections of London, Paris, and other European cities were incinerated.


So - this means that the Ur-quan fusion bolt worked against ground and ship targets. That is a pretty good reason to me on why the Hellbore should work against ground as well as ships.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2004, 08:44:48 pm by FalconMWC » Logged
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2004, 02:21:51 am »

"Their fusion weapons" does not mean the *same* fusion weapons as their ship-to-ship fusion gun. They could easily have multiple weapons used for different purposes, or a single weapon mechanism that can be refitted for different purposes, since the requirements for blowing up cities and killing ships would be very different. After all, the Kohr-Ah *also* blow up cities using "fusion weapons", but presumably they don't go through the unwieldy practice of flying their ships through cities and releasing defensive FRIEDs. At the very least, a FRIED would have to be refitted to point its blasts in a single direction rather than a ring around the ship to make a good ground-target weapon.

I'm not saying that cities are made out of some material that's magically invulnerable to ship weapons; I'm just saying that, if you think about it, it'd be inefficient to blow up cities with ship weapons and you wouldn't do it if you could do it a better way. A ship weapon shoots a tiny area with a lot of force, because ships are relatively small and relatively strongly armored; cities are relatively big and weakly armored, so you want to reduce the concentration of force in a small area and spread it around more.

The technology behind a Hellbore Cannon probably could be used to bomb cities, but you don't have the equipment to refit it yourself (since you didn't build it, only bought it), and you don't have any real reason to want to.
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2004, 02:23:00 am »

Quote
I can imagine quite easily a large dense, screw like projectile, spun at ludicrously high speeds, and shot with incredible force at a planet, and  burrows through to the core, letting the sulfurous heat etc from the core destroy all life on the planet.


This is basically what the Mycon Deep Children are described as doing. Note that the energy requirements involved are rather extreme in order to move that much molten rock around that fast.
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2004, 07:10:45 am »

Considering that an Earthling Nuke does 4 damage to an Ur-Quan Fusion Bolt's 6, I'd say that a Fusion Bolt might possibly be usefull in orbital bombardment, especially if concentrated (more than 1 ship per target).
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2004, 09:37:27 am »

No, the point wasn't that cities are made out of more durable material than ships; they almost certainly aren't. The point is that cities are more spread out and cover a wider area than ships, and the material you have to penetrate to kill everyone in a city is probably a lot thinner. So a weapon that was weaker than a ship-to-ship weapon but that covered a wider area would make sense (especially when we're talking about energy weapons that seem to work by being directed at a very specific target area rather than exploding over a target radius). It seems like firing the Ur-Quan ship-to-ship weapon at a city would be very scary -- it would make a lot of little, very deep blast craters all over the area -- but it would not be an efficient way to burn down all the buildings and kill all the people. You could do it, but it would take a long time and waste energy; it'd be like using an AK-47 to demolish a wall. Do note that it works the other way, too; presumably the MX missile warheads are very powerful modern ones, one of which could easily destroy a city by itself, and yet isn't that much to write home about in ship-to-ship combat, taking more than one to destroy even small ships. This is probably because the warhead's output was designed for ground combat, and in a space combat situation a lot of the energy from the warhead that, on the ground, would be spreading out in a blast cloud leveling buildings, is uselessly dissipated while a smaller fraction goes into the enemy ship's hull as radiation. A lot of the problems in making an effective weapon deal with judging the nature of the target..

Also, as an aside, anything that's a direct calculation based on melee is almost certainly useless for figuring out how these weapons would actually work in real life; melee is hopelessly simplified for video game purposes. It doesn't make much sense that a laser whose energy output is measured in megawatts (the Thraddash primary weapon) would do exactly one quarter of the damage of a full-sized nuclear warhead explosion. Or that Cruisers are the same size as the missiles they fire, or that Cruisers carry an unlimited number of missiles, or that ships fly right into the planet (that they're only slightly smaller than) and bounce right off, or that any size asteroid can hit any ship at any speed and do absolutely no damage, or that lasers only travel a certain distance and then stop dead in space, or... you get the idea. Best to treat the gamelike aspects of the game as a game, and the storylike aspects of the game as a story, and not mix the two up that much.
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2004, 08:18:15 pm »

ART! You've seen the light! Now if only you'd do this with the language thread =p

If you think about it, a city the size of say, New York, is very, very smal compared to the entire world's land mass. You want a weapon that will bust ALL of the surface's area, if you want to commit genocide.

Block the sun will kill everything, provided the planet isn't 100% energy  productive, making all their food etc.

Or, you could spray 50 billion aerosol cans and destroy the ozone layer, and have global warming =p
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"Oops!" KA-BOOM!!

"Space is a dangerous place where wimps eat flaming plasma death" -The Zot....or is it the Fot?? We may never know...unless the guy in the back tells us!

UQM/SC2 = World Peace.
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2004, 05:00:49 am »

Seen the light? I thought I was the one arguing for special air-to-ground weapons from the beginning...

But yeah, there are other unconventional methods to kill off all sentient life on a planet over a very long time, or at least make life for them unpleasant for a very long time. The Kohr-Ah aren't really the type to do that, though; I think they're both too impatient and too practical. Tricking a planet into industrializing in such a way as to destroy their ozone layer and create runaway global warming is an Umgah kind of trick Smiley

Also, neither blocking out all solar radiation nor increasing ambient temperature by letting in more solar radiation will kill all life on the planet. There are chemosynthetic life forms whose ultimate source of energy is the geothermal energy inside the Earth, which would last quite a long time after you blocked out the sun. Who knows, maybe on some planets that form of energy production is the basis of the dominant sentient life form. Global warming, likewise, would change the ecosystem a lot and lead to a lot of dieoffs, but there'd certainly be more life forms left over to fill the empty evolutionary niches. Life is adaptable like that.

If you did this on Earth, while life would survive for a long time, the human species would be in trouble, but a sufficiently technologically smart civilization might be able to hold out for quite a while. If we had nuclear fusion that worked we might be able to hold out for centuries on a cold Earth burning (fusing) seawater, though we'd probably be just a few tiny communities living underground. And we might be able to survive in giant domed cities if UV levels started rising (again, it'd be a small minority of our population).

Looking at it from the bad guys' point of view, you wouldn't need to burn the whole surface to commit genocide. Burn all the cities, burn big swathes of cropland. You can skip most of the mountain ranges, the ice caps, and the oceans. What few humans are left would probably die of starvation fairly quickly (though I think the Kohr-Ah are obsessive/compulsive enough to hang around to pick them off).
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Sander Scamper
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2004, 06:24:41 pm »

"Best to treat the gamelike aspects of the game as a game, and the storylike aspects of the game as a story, and not mix the two up that much."
That light =p

Another cool idea is the possibility of a gigantic vacuum cleaner stripping a world of its atmosphere....(If you don't get that, you MUST watch Spaceballs) =p
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"Oops!" KA-BOOM!!

"Space is a dangerous place where wimps eat flaming plasma death" -The Zot....or is it the Fot?? We may never know...unless the guy in the back tells us!

UQM/SC2 = World Peace.
Mr._Jangles
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Re: I can't get the spathi to talk to me.
« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2004, 06:00:42 am »

Ahhh.... comon the precursor plating cloaking device is a hoax


               Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley
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                just 'die'."
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