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Author Topic: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy  (Read 13828 times)
hackdx
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Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« on: December 09, 2011, 01:34:01 am »

After playing the good old UQM again (my favourite game of all times to this day), something struck me as odd.

The Sentient Milieu is supposedly from the same corner of the galaxy as Earth -- for example, the Taalo lived literally just a stone's throw from Sol. Also, at the end of the Dnyarri slave revolt, the Ur-Quan started enslaving/eradicating the Milieu members, until they started the Doctrinal War. So far so well. Now, the agreement was that both subspecies would travel in opposite directions around the galaxy in order to put their respective doctrines to the test, and then, when they would meet again, they would have their ritual fight for supremacy.

But... the next time they would meed would be on the other side of the galaxy! How does this work? How come the second engagement of the Doctrinal War is fought near Earth?

Even if we assume that there was some agreement that they'd pass each other by until both sides had come full circle around the milky way, then that would mean that the entire galaxy has now been eradicated by the Kohr-Ah, and there isn't actually anything left to fight over. Or did they go half-way, meet up at the other end, and then hurry back home to start the final fight?

It's not hugely important, but it just made me wonder.
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 01:45:01 am »

The entire Milieu aren't indicated to have resided in this part of the galaxy, just the Taalo.
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hackdx
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 01:51:45 am »

The entire Milieu aren't indicated to have resided in this part of the galaxy, just the Taalo.

I think the Melnorme tell you expressly that the SM is from "this part of space", don't they? I don't have a transcript of their "information" segments, but I'm reasonably certain they said this. Even if not, it would mean that the Mael'Num world (where the Doctrinal Conflict begain) would have to lie diametrically across the galaxy from Earth... so the SM would literally be spread out over the entire galaxy?
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 02:17:22 am »

The Melnorme say the Sentient Milieu 'spanned five hundred light years and included the membership of a hundred worlds'. They also state that the Taalo homeworld was 'one of the few Milieu worlds located in this region of space'. Given that information, it's entirely possible the Mael-Num homeworld was on the other side of the galaxy. Even if it wasn't, it's also entirely possible that the two Ur-Quan fleets did not travel around the galaxy at the same speed. The Kzer-Za had a strong fleet and the Sa-Matra at the end of the first Doctrinal Conflict, the Kohr-Ah would have had a few ships and a lot of debris.
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hackdx
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 02:27:44 am »

The Melnorme say the Sentient Milieu 'spanned five hundred light years and included the membership of a hundred worlds'. They also state that the Taalo homeworld was 'one of the few Milieu worlds located in this region of space'. Given that information, it's entirely possible the Mael-Num homeworld was on the other side of the galaxy.

Our galaxy is about 100,000 lightyears in diameter...

Also, the Role Playing Guide's entry for "Drall" says, "the Sentient Milieu [...] dominated the local region of space some 20,000 years ago." I would take the phrase "this region of space" from your quote to have a much narrower meaning and referring only to the visible map of SC2 (so that it'd make sense to the player why she wouldn't discover any other SM relics during her explorations).

Edit: Ah, I found the Melnorme transcript. They say, "Almost twenty-five thousand of your years ago, there existed near this region of space an association of starfaring races called the `Sentient Milieu'."
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 04:15:02 am »

Our galaxy is about 100,000 lightyears in diameter...

Yeah, there's another thing where there's probably a seperate 'HyperSpace galaxy' (see the original starmap here.) Basically, Hyperspace star names are not the same as TrueSpace ones (e.g. Alpha Centauri is actually a trinary system, Betelgeuse is a red supergiant, Rigel is a blue supergiant, Vela is a whole constellation, etc.) As to the Mileu dominating this region of space, you'd expect them to if one major race lives here, that doesn't mean their domination is limited to something not much bigger than SC2's starmap.
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 04:20:19 am »

I asked this very same question not too long ago over on the star-control.com forums.  The most logical answer that was shaken out from that discussion was that the two Ur-Quan fleets just missed each other a few times as they traveled around the galaxy, and the time they met was back in (roughly) their own space.  Considering how truly wide 100,000 light years is and considering that the two fleets would have to maintain a certain degree of coherency if they're going to fight their way through any and all sentient life forms they encounter, it's not that unreasonable.  Also, keep in mind that 25,000 years is a pretty long time.  Admittedly the game is somewhat vague on exactly how long it would likely take to circumnavigate the galaxy through HyperSpace, but you'd think they could do it at least a couple times in that amount of time.

If you don't like that answer, here's another which I had thought of (and ultimately let go of after some discussion): If you allow the Kohr-Ah to win the Doctrinal War and then go talk to the Kzer-Za, they will eventually make mention of the fact that they two Ur-Quan races will now go their separate ways (with the Kohr-Ah in possession of the Sa-Matra) and continue around the galaxy until they meet AGAIN.  At which point they will fight AGAIN.  In other words, there's no real guarantee that the Doctrinal War occurring in our region of space during the game was the first one since 25,000 years ago.

Also, keep in mind that the Ur-Quan (both types) track potential target races by homing in on HyperWave broadcasts.  In theory, it's entirely possible that several sentient races have gone unnoticed simply because they hadn't reached that level of technology when the Ur-Quan passed by.  So, just because the Kohr-Ah have covered half the galaxy (or the entire galaxy, a few times over) doesn't mean the entire galaxy is devoid of sentient life.  New races will rise to power in the wake of the Ur-Quan fleet, to be eventually discovered and attacked by one or the other at a later time.  And so, the Ur-Quan Path of Now and Forever truly is forever.  It's not one quick loop around the galaxy and then home in time for tea and biscuits after a little rejuvenating scuffle with your off-coloured brothers.  It's a continuous hunt will persist until the end of time itself (or until some uppity alien captain flying an ancient Precursor tugboat with a really big bomb strapped to its spine destroys the one uber-powerful weapon you had going for you.  After that, it's apparently time to sit down and rethink your schemes for galactic domination.)
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hackdx
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 10:38:17 am »

The most logical answer that was shaken out from that discussion was that the two Ur-Quan fleets just missed each other a few times as they traveled around the galaxy, and the time they met was back in (roughly) their own space.

I was considering that, too. The only thing that worried me was that if the Kohr-Ar were permitted to go around the galaxy full circle at least once, they'd have annihilated all sentient life already and there'd be nothing left to fight over. But as you say, the galaxy is huge and it's entirely possible that you could go around many times and only cut out a very small cross-section. In fact, it actually makes sense in that light that they would only ever meet again in the original region of space, since that's the only common reference point they both know of and can be sure to target.


If you don't like that answer, here's another which I had thought of (and ultimately let go of after some discussion): If you allow the Kohr-Ah to win the Doctrinal War and then go talk to the Kzer-Za, they will eventually make mention of the fact that they two Ur-Quan races will now go their separate ways (with the Kohr-Ah in possession of the Sa-Matra) and continue around the galaxy until they meet AGAIN.  At which point they will fight AGAIN.  In other words, there's no real guarantee that the Doctrinal War occurring in our region of space during the game was the first one since 25,000 years ago.

I'm pretty sure that the Melnorme say that this now is really the second meeting, with no intervening prior meetings. Anyway, the idea of this being a recurring event is appealing. It sounds like the sort of agreement they would have.


After that, it's apparently time to sit down and rethink your schemes for galactic domination.

Hehe, true. Yes, no doubt that the prevailing ideology would be a permanent driving force, rather than a one-off business matter. I'm not sure what happens to the Ur-Quan without the Sa-Matra (unless you want to count SC3 as evidence!); it seems that they were doing fine enslaving and annihilating everything and everyone they encountered till now even without it... but maybe they just give up? :-) In any case, I suppose it's fair to say that they'll no longer be the dominant force in the SC2-part of space. Maybe they'll even give up the Doctrinal War, given that there's nothing left to fight over, and just go their separate ways without having settled the question who's more right.


On a side note, this is one of the many reasons I love SC2: The Ur-Quan are genuine, real aliens. They're not evil, they're just alien. Different. Not like us (with funny foreheads). They're the antagonists because their interests are incompatible with ours, but they're so alien that human morality doesn't apply to them. That just makes them all the more terrifying. SC2 is a formidable example of science-fiction entertainment done right.

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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 02:56:38 pm »

Maybe they traveled something like this:
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2011, 03:47:06 pm »

I'm pretty sure that the Melnorme say that this now is really the second meeting, with no intervening prior meetings. Anyway, the idea of this being a recurring event is appealing. It sounds like the sort of agreement they would have.

You're right, they do.  That was the primary bit of evidence shaken loose in the other discussion that made me give up on my crackpot theory about multiple past Doctrinal Wars and throw in with the "they just missed each other a few times" theory.

Hehe, true. Yes, no doubt that the prevailing ideology would be a permanent driving force, rather than a one-off business matter. I'm not sure what happens to the Ur-Quan without the Sa-Matra (unless you want to count SC3 as evidence!); it seems that they were doing fine enslaving and annihilating everything and everyone they encountered till now even without it...

Indeed, and i certainly don't count SC3 as evidence in this regard.  I don't want to derail this thread with ranting about SC3, but the idea that the ur-Quan just gave up and joined the Alliance after their one super-powerful ship was destroyed always bugged me.  The Ur-Quan are terrified of enslavement and perfectly capable of fighting a war without the Sa-Matra (as evidenced by the fact that they keep it in reserve unless the situation becomes truly desperate.)  Having that ship blown up might scare them, but that would only make them more dangerous in my opinion, not less.

I haven't played the P6014 demo yet (though I intend to in the near future), so we'll see what they have to say about the Ur-Quan reaction to the Sa-Matra being destroyed.

In my opinion, they most likely would retreat with whatever battle thralls they can still command and plot a counterattack against our sector of space.  Maybe, just maybe, the Kohr-Ah would even be willing to tolerate working with battle thralls - temporarily of course - until this sector was subdued.

On a side note, this is one of the many reasons I love SC2: The Ur-Quan are genuine, real aliens. They're not evil, they're just alien. Different. Not like us (with funny foreheads). They're the antagonists because their interests are incompatible with ours, but they're so alien that human morality doesn't apply to them. That just makes them all the more terrifying. SC2 is a formidable example of science-fiction entertainment done right.

Absolutely agree, and well said, by the way.  One of the most memorable moments of my young life was when I realized the Kzer-Za weren't just mindless overlords bent on galactic domination for its own sake.  One of the most spine-chilling moment was when I realized there was something out there WORSE than the greens. =P
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 04:00:11 pm »

Quote
The First Doctrinal Conflict ended in about 16000 BCE.
The Kzer-za first moved into our sector about 1940 CE
That means that there were 17940 years during which the Kzer-za were performing their Doctrines.
The First Kzer-za war ends 2135 CE.
So, it took the Kzer-za 195 years to conquer our region of space.
Say it does take around 200 years per sector and rounding 17940 to 18000, the Ur-Quan have conquered around 90 Sectors.
Assuming that each sector is as populated as ours (we have 23, not including Chmmr and Androsynth).
Then the Kzer-za have conquered around 2300 races.
And assuming the Kohr-ah also meet the same resistance they have killed around 2300 races.
The Kzer-za and Kohr-ah have conquered around 200 sectors together.
Assuming that their are 200 sectors in the galaxy (which I have no way of proving), then this is the second doctrinal war as they have met again after travelling around the entire the galaxy.
This is the numbers I posted on the other board (corrected, since I made a mistake on the last one).
Since you've already stated that this is only their second meeting then that means that if they missed each other a few times he circumference of the galaxy would be less than 200 sectors.
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 04:11:35 pm »

Maybe they traveled something like this:


We are not in the center of the galaxy.
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hackdx
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2011, 06:29:02 pm »

We are not in the center of the galaxy.

Yes, quite - - I actually found this picture really amusing: It's a great example of not letting realism get into the way of a good story.  "You ask how this works? Easy: like this!" :-)

Actually, since the galaxy is rather wide in terms of its radius (50000 ly), I'm happy to believe that both races went full circle around the galaxy to come back to their original region, give or take a bit, and they just didn't meet on the way. One could have stuck to the rimward side while the other could have travelled nearer to the coreward side (and more slowly).
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 01:55:13 am »

Actually, since the galaxy is rather wide in terms of its radius (50000 ly), I'm happy to believe that both races went full circle around the galaxy to come back to their original region, give or take a bit, and they just didn't meet on the way. One could have stuck to the rimward side while the other could have travelled nearer to the coreward side (and more slowly).

Indeed.  Or one could've gone over the other.  The galaxy may be flatter than it is wide, but it's not exactly flat.

I actually found this picture really amusing: It's a great example of not letting realism get into the way of a good story.  "You ask how this works? Easy: like this!" :-)

To paraphrase Gene Roddenberry's famous response when asked how fast the Enterprise could go: "They travel at the speed of plot!"
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Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2011, 07:09:01 pm »

I thought that was J Straczynski.
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