Dark matter collector Dark matter collector (was Leviathan and others) posted in Spaceships & Vehicles forum comment posted by cobalt_phoenix
|The dark matter collector doesn't require power in Starships.|
Yeah, I know, but Warships doesn't really just convert everything in GMG/Starships over to the new system. They did add modifications here and there.
Although I do wonder why they left some of the systems out, like the DMC.
|By the same argument, expenditure of energy won't help you trap dark matter, unless by using gravitic technology. Perhaps it doesn't literally use zero energy, but draws off a constant small proportion of the reactor's output, not enough to add up to a Power Factor.|
Well, I wasn't saying how the system actually works. We know that dark matter only interacts with normal matter through gravity, so the idea that the collector uses gravity induction tech to do its job is not unreasonable.
At the same time, though, they did separate DM and GI into two separate tech tracks. Perhaps they should be unified, especially since the stardrive explicitly requires both to work. But that is a topic for another time.
I can see your point about the collector only using a small amount of power, so it would be functioning so long as there was some sort of power supply available to it and the system was declared to be active. I just personally think that it should require some amount of power above zero, so I think that either 0.5 or 1.0 power points is reasonable.
Of course, the amount of power used could depend on how fast you want to collect. Keeping a reactor topped off may not require much power, but refueling an empty reactor in a matter of hours could require a higher demand. It's just a possibility, but it could be that it runs at, say, double the rate of fuel burn for 0.0 PP, and then 1.0 for ten times that speed, and so forth.
|Extra containment would presumably be made of the same stuff as the standard containment, which can hold dark matter for six months and doesn't require the reactor to be powered, as far as we know (though admittedly, I don't think there's a mechanic for turning off the reactor or any fuel saving as written for doing so). The casings of mass reaction bombs would be made of the same material. It probably isn't entirely normal matter.|
This is the same problem we run into with the antimatter reactor, as well. In both cases, normal matter is known to not be able to contain the fuel. The primary difference, of course, is that antimatter interacts with the containment vessel in annihilation, while dark matter would not interact with it at all.
As for turning off the reactor, I think you are right that they just kind of jumped past that point. I think the only mechanic is "you can turn it off and back on again". But it is possible that some small amount of power is used to maintain containment. If you want to be really generous, you could say that 5% of the reactor's total output is directed to containment, so shutting it down just puts it into basically idle. With only that much power needed, fuel burn could be slowed so it increases reactor core life by 20 times (3600 days, or 9.86 years, max). That would be a house rule, but that isn't uncommon around here.
Also, we really don't know much about how an MRB warhead actually works. It could use a dark matter ram scoop system that collects after the warhead is launched, or it come prepackaged in a launch tube that draws small amounts of power from the launcher (and likely includes a power source for separate storage). It could also not contain dark matter at all, and instead causes the ignition of dark matter in the space around the warhead.
Personally, and this is only in my opinion, if you want to go with the idea that dark matter doesn't need a containment field, I would use my interpretation of dark matter for Alternity. Specifically, a while ago, I mentioned that (for gaming purposes only), dark matter was the native material of drivespace. Since drivespace and real space are linked via gravity, that explains why dark matter interacts with normal matter in real space, but is nonreactive otherwise. Of course, once you bring it into normal space (which is what the collector would do, and would need some amount of power to pull off), it can be contained in a normal container passively (though said container may require specialized materials to function properly).
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