Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

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drageuth
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Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by drageuth » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:01 am

I can understand the Loa building their major Cores down planetside. For all the intricate machinery that makes up their servers, they probably need a good atmosphere/magnetosphere to block cosmic radiation.

But why don't they build solar collectors up in space? Sure, you could get a lot of energy out of a planet by mining its geothermals, burning its fossil fuels and biomass, and all those other things... But it seems like they're missing a lot of potential joules by not setting up collector satellites.

They don't have a wandering population to worry about misfires of microwave transmission beams and the like, and they have the material tech to make space elevator/cables. So they can easily pipe down the energy they collect. Wise Clay seems like it'd certainly be a prime way to set it up, you just need to throw up enough chunks of it that reconfigure into solar arrays. Or hell, throw a few chunks of it into an asteroid belt, set them to build self-replicating semi-intelligent factories (that know the difference between an asteroid and a Loa Core), consume the whole damn belt, and then return to cube/reconfigure the whole thing into a dyson sphere/maritoshka brain.

So why don't Loa have solar collector stations to bolster their growth on new worlds and boost their energy economy?

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Hari Seldon
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by Hari Seldon » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:30 am

Search this forum for "plants" and "Loa" and you will find out that some Loa choose to run off of solar panels.

Loa space stations have nuclear reactor modules instead of habitat modules, I think.

As for the Dyson sphere, all races are too low tech level to build one. Stations are expensive enough.

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Azrael Ultima
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by Azrael Ultima » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:52 am

Actually, Loa use "Memory Augmentations" instead of hab modules.

As for dyson spheres, none of the playable races is anywhere remotely close to the capabilities needed for that. Not to mention that an Asteroid belt doesn't have even remotely enough matter for that. Or a planetary system, for that matter.
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BlueTemplar
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:23 am

Gameplay. Sure, with Wise Clay they should easily be a Tech Level 8+ race that can easily build such things, but to be equals to other races in the game, they are considered only Tech Level 6, which visibly cannot.

drageuth
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by drageuth » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:36 pm

Hari Seldon wrote:Search this forum for "plants" and "Loa" and you will find out that some Loa choose to run off of solar panels.

Loa space stations have nuclear reactor modules instead of habitat modules, I think.

As for the Dyson sphere, all races are too low tech level to build one. Stations are expensive enough.

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Okay, no dyson sphere/swarms then. But I still kind of wonder why Loa don't build dedicated power collection stations. The civilian stations seem to just contain dedicated memory aug nodes, with only enough power to keep however many Loa they need to keep the station running.

The main thing that makes Loa colonization so slow is power collection. They have to continually expand their power grid to get more civilian programs running. If they had a big collector going in space, they could easily double or triple their growth rate, and help offset things like solar activity with additional magnetic shielding and solar deflection/redirection dishes. It would finally put the Loa at a similar economic growth rate to other races, if the player could micro building/deconstructing the collector stations. Heck, they could just leave the stations up after a colony is at 100% and have them give a small boost to economy.

And a station is easily small enough to be economic for that... The Hivers build stations pretty much just to improve their farcasting accuracy and study gate tech (and to protect gates and amplify them, but really, I've never needed that much boost to my gate network.) So the Loa could easily justify investing that many resources in making their colonies grow faster. It'd be the equivalent of making big orbital hydroponic farms to feed your people on a barren world, only you wouldn't need to cart up chemicals to keep the farm going once it's started.

Azrael Ultima wrote:Actually, Loa use "Memory Augmentations" instead of hab modules.

As for dyson spheres, none of the playable races is anywhere remotely close to the capabilities needed for that. Not to mention that an Asteroid belt doesn't have even remotely enough matter for that. Or a planetary system, for that matter.



Not for a solid shell, but a solid shell is kind of a silly structure anyway. A d-sphere in the classic sense is more like what people nowadays call a d-swarm. It's a huge collection of hab stations, power collectors, and things like that orbiting around the sun. You could pretty much make a really basic one just by hollowing out all the > ~1km asteroids, and using the mined materials to make power collectors and life support systems for your new caveman hab modules (and to pay for the project of putting the constructors out there in the first place.)

A Loa d-sphere would be more of a maritoshka brain; layers of power collectors and radiation shielded servers, each attuned to work off black body radiation of the previous layer (or the sun itself for the first layer.) An asteroid belt wouldn't have enough resources for even a single layer, but you could still make a swarm big enough to be considered another 'planetary body' in terms of population.

Neither of these options sound out of reach of the tech I can see in sots... But I guess I can understand them not being in game. Anyway, I was just putting the d-sphere in there for conversations' sake.
Last edited by drageuth on Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Azrael Ultima
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by Azrael Ultima » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:43 pm

Have you considered the option of "they do, they just aren't visible in-game"?
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drageuth
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by drageuth » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:45 pm

I'm talking more about something on the scale of a station. Something you could use to boost a world's growth and economy by throwing more money and wise clay at it than the initial colonization trip. Something you most definitely would see (and that other players would be able to attack.)

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:21 pm

A more interesting question is probably, as you noticed, why do they bother colonizing carbon-life filled planets in the first place, if the biosphere bothers them so much? It's not like they need gravity, oxygen, and stable temperatures to live...

drageuth
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by drageuth » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:54 pm

Yeah... There aren't many annoying microbes floating around in space, protean pods notwithstanding.

Azrael Ultima
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by Azrael Ultima » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:17 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:A more interesting question is probably, as you noticed, why do they bother colonizing carbon-life filled planets in the first place, if the biosphere bothers them so much? It's not like they need gravity, oxygen, and stable temperatures to live...

Radiation shielding, probably. Also, while they don't need them as much as we, they probably still prefer stable temperatures, and cooling things is much easier in an atmosphere.
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BlueTemplar
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:34 pm

Meh, you're telling me that we can do radiation shielding with our puny tech levels, and they can't even with their Wise Clay? And what about just hallowing asteroids and live in them for protection?

Azrael Ultima
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by Azrael Ultima » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:47 pm

No, we can't. At least, not as well as earths magnetic field does for free. Radiation shielding is one of the problems we still have with space flight.
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Genth
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by Genth » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:23 am

Azrael Ultima wrote: cooling things is much easier in an atmosphere.


This. Getting rid of heat in a vacuum is very difficult, at least without making frankly huge dissipation thingies or continually venting massive amounts of matter. Thermoelectric cooling helps, but when you're trying to actually -build- and run a planetary population of cores, you'd have a serious heat problem without an atmosphere. I'm sure they'd be very good at shielding radiation, hell, they can make hulls that reflect lasers! But that doesn't help stop their CPUs from overheating.

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Sevain
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by Sevain » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:54 am

Not to mention the terrifying possibility of having the heat radiators of your massive orbital colony blown into pieces by hostile neighbors. It would be much safer to house the Cores in a bunker deep, deep under the surface.

Birdco
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Re: Why don't the Loa build orbital power collectors?

Post by Birdco » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:58 am

A planet is free shielding, allows for simpler constructions, and is, in its own right, a huge solar collector. How large of a solar station would you need to build to generate the same amount of energy per day that we get from the Hoover dam? You are probably looking at 10s to 100s of square kilometers.

And how do you get that energy to the planet surface?

The earths water cycle is solar powered. The hydrocarbons we burn are stored sunshine. Heck, the wind is just sunshine converted into mechanical energy.

Why build massive space structures when you have this wonderful solar absorber with its own built in radiation shielding and heat dissipation medium. So what if there are a few annoying carbonites? They'll eventually be burned away.

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