Building Stellar Empires , the resources of a star system in Homemade Settings, World Building & Galaxy Construction
derek_holland Feb 28 2018, 14:24 Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation Quote Post
There is no planet in the universe that could be terraformed in decades*. All serious proponents look at 10-100 thousand years for worlds like Mars and even longer for tough nuts like Venus.

And those numbers are big, but they don't surprise me. People have a hard time comprehending how large and massive a planet is. That being said, PL 8+ cultures should be able to dismantle gas giants and get so many resources that times of scarcity would be all but impossible to remember.

* No, not even Earth. Geoengineering is enormously complex, makes my head hurt thinking about it.
cobalt_phoenix Mar 1 2018, 03:12 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
Author
There is no planet in the universe that could be terraformed in decades*. All serious proponents look at 10-100 thousand years for worlds like Mars and even longer for tough nuts like Venus.


Yeah, pretty much.

I will say that I think, though, that you can reduce that down by one order of magnitude for each PL you advance. For example, the 10-100 thousand years for PL6 becomes 1-10 thousand years in PL7, which becomes 100 to 1 thousand years in PL8. By PL9, you have the tech to pull it off in, say 10 to 100 years.

The only reason I say that is that the advancement of technology (much of it fantastical) can't be ignored very easily. At PL6, it takes at least weeks, and more than likely months or even possible years, to traverse the solar system. How much material you can effectively move to where you need it, and the cost of moving it, are much higher.

By contrast, at PL7, you can traverse the entire solar system in days or weeks thanks to new engines. Hell, a PL7 civilization can manipulate asteroids easily by having a number of relatively small ships generate a combined large gravity well in the direction of desired travel, and can accelerate it up (and slow it down) with shocking speed.

Once you really start getting into later PL's, with the capacity of transforming matter into energy and back again... Well, how exactly can't you terraform a planet by just building massive fusion-powered atmosphere generators?


Author
And those numbers are big, but they don't surprise me. People have a hard time comprehending how large and massive a planet is. That being said, PL 8+ cultures should be able to dismantle gas giants and get so many resources that times of scarcity would be all but impossible to remember.


I admit I was a little surprised. I knew they would be big, but I didn't think they would be that big. Then again, I was trying to not think out ahead and just let the numbers lead me to the end.

Even so, it does make me start to laugh when I see a lot of science fiction where a massive multi-system government only deploys a couple of hundred warships.

It also makes me start to wonder how long it realistically takes before they would skip building 3,000 ton frigates and 8,000 ton destroyers and just start calling heavy cruisers "destroyers" and battleships "heavy cruisers". Lord knows they are building enough of them to take over the roles.
derek_holland Mar 1 2018, 12:58 Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation Quote Post
I don't know if a PL 8 culture would want to terraform any more. They could easily live underground and not waste the resources to transform the surface into something that is nostalgic rather than functional. And PL 9 may not have biological or even physical bodies any more.

Edit- PL 8 may be the last time that empire building may make sense. At 9 and higher, all one needs for a paradise is a few kilograms of advanced computronium floating in intergalactic space (as the people upload themselves into it). Just avoid the less advanced neighbors and enjoy the next few billion years.

This post has been edited by derek_holland on Mar 1 2018, 13:07
cobalt_phoenix Mar 2 2018, 03:49 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
Author
I don't know if a PL 8 culture would want to terraform any more. They could easily live underground and not waste the resources to transform the surface into something that is nostalgic rather than functional. And PL 9 may not have biological or even physical bodies any more.


I think that would depend on the specific group or broader society on the whole. If they value bright skies or have a religion that dictates ready access, I can believe that they would.

But I will say that I generally agree with you. I personally don't think that, even though they have the tech, they will just terraform for the sake of terraforming. However, I can see them tearing apart a small world (say, a rock the size of Earth or smaller) and using it to build a large world around something like a small gas giant. You know, a mega project that would make the mind explode just thinking about it.

With the above example laid out, I would say that a PL8 civilization would probably prefer to not terraform (even though they could quite quickly), and instead just build something bigger and better.


Author
PL 8 may be the last time that empire building may make sense. At 9 and higher, all one needs for a paradise is a few kilograms of advanced computronium floating in intergalactic space (as the people upload themselves into it). Just avoid the less advanced neighbors and enjoy the next few billion years.


Again, I'm not so sure on this one. I can see PL9 civilizations terraforming to the extreme, as in the case of S*D's Glassmakers. They did, after all, craft Bluefall to a pretty hefty extreme.

I can also see them going ahead and crafting new worlds and species while they await their digital immortality. And why, you ask? Because the only thing better than digital immortality is digital godhood, and the best way to pull that off is create them from the literal ground up.
Guardian Mar 2 2018, 05:05 Group: Heroes, WarHulk AI Quote Post
Bluefall wasn't terraformed for living space or anything. It's just a giant psionic amplifier.
cobalt_phoenix Mar 2 2018, 05:23 Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 Quote Post
That was actually my point, Guardian. PL9 civilizations are more likely to find other reasons for terraforming rather than living space.

Hell, PL8 civilizations are not likely going to terraform just for living space. That's what space stations are for, and PL8 civilizations can easily build massive stations with their own ecologies spanning hundreds of kilometers, all of it perfect for their tastes.
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