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ryleyra

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There have been a number of threads recently in which the subject of sector scale has come up. I don't believe the units used for distance are stated anywhere in the game, but in the Artemis wiki, it's stated as meters. I think this is unlikely to be the true scale, because a sector 100 km across would not even cover the radius of the Earth. The TSN RP Community uses the term "units", which I am going to stick with here.

Now, you may be wondering, what does it matter what scale everything is in? Who cares if ships are in one scale, and planets are in another. Well, it doesn't matter, really, but it would still be helpful to decide if our "sector" is supposed to represent a Solar System, a Planetary Neighborhood, a cluster of star systems, or something else entirely. Plus, there are assumptions, such as that Warp 1 is the speed of light, and that those races without Warp Drive (the enemies) are limited to sublight speed.

If you don't like numbers, long-winded discussions about trivial minutiae, or analysis of the math and physics of said minutiae, you might want to read some other post.

I'm going to use the term "units" for the game measurement, as I said, and "sector" for the total range of space on the game map. Your own terminology may vary, but the numbers should remain the same no matter what you call them.

First, I will define some comparison values for use with the analysis: 

 Speed of Light  - approximately  300,000 km/s
 Astronomical Unit - approximately 150,000,000 km - Distance from the Earth to the Sun
 Moon's Orbit - averages 385,000 km - Lagrange points are on this orbit
 Solar System Radius  -  30-50 AU
 Light Year - about 63,239 AU - Nearest star is 4.24 LY
 Diameter of Earth - approximiately 13,000 km

Here are some in-game measurements:
 Sector  - 100,000 units square
 Warp 1 - 666.67 units/s - I timed a trip across the sector at ~2min 30s
 Beam range - 1000 units
 Torpedo range - 5400 units

And some weapon ranges from Star Trek:
 Phaser range  - 500 m min, 190,000 km max. Optimum range 2000-10,000 m. Warp may effect range
 Photon Torpedos - 300,000 km  (1/50 AU - Voyager had 1/2 AU range with admittedly advanced torps)

From the above it would seem that all we have to do is compare the value for Warp 1 to the speed of light and come up with a value for "units". Which is 450 km per unit. However, there is a complication. Warp 1 is not a constant. It depends on Engine Power, with more power increasing the speed of Warp 1. I had to make the assumption that a ship going Warp 1 with 100% engine power is going the speed of light. Plus, I made my test of the time taken to cross the sector some time ago and my estimate is based on memory. I do remember that it was more than two minutes but less than three minutes, but I will have to test again if my measurement is to be exact.

It may be more helpful to approach the problem from the other direction. If we assume a sector is the size of a Planetary System, it can be anywhere from 2 AU across (covering the area of habitable life in the system) to 50 AU. For a 2 AU sector a unit is exactly 3000 km, which seems to be a good measure for interplanetary travel. It's the distance light travels in 1/100 of a second, and ~1/4 the diameter of the earth.

"But Ryley," I hear you say, "the Artemis is about 100 units long. If a unit is 3000 km, then the Artemis is 300,000 km long, which is bigger than the Earth! Plus, Warp 1 is about 6 times the speed of light."

Well, that's true, but we can't rule out the possibility that distance is rendered on a different scale than size. I've already noted that if the Artemis is 100 m long, and the sector is to scale, the Earth should be bigger than the entire sector. If the Earth is 4000 units across, and we make that the scale for the sector, then the Artemis would be 325 km long. (And Warp 1 would be 0.007 the speed of light) If a unit is 450 km, the value I came up with above for Warp 1 being the speed of light, then the Earth would be only 30 units across, and the Artemis would have to be miniscule by comparison.

In fact, I would have to say that any travel at the speed of light with reasonable sizes for the Artemis, other ships, space stations, or even planets, would make the screen move so fast the eye couldn't follow it. You would be far from the Earth or another ship before you could even blink. So I think it's reasonable to say the game displays ships in a large enough size to be visible. Plus, it takes light 8 minutes and 20 seconds to get to Earth from the sun. If the game represents both of those locations in one sector, then it should take 8 seconds to travel from one to the other. If it takes 2 and a half seconds, then you have to be going faster than the speed of light.

On the other hand, it's never specifically stated that Warp 1 is the speed of light, just that it is proportionally faster than Impulse. For that matter, Impulse drive may be faster than light, and Warp Drive a sort of "afterburner". It should be noted that Warp Factors in Artemis appear to be linear, not exponential, so Warp Factor 4 in Artemis would be Warp 2 in Star Trek. And interstellar travel was impossible in the Star Trek universe (or took decades of travel at the speed of light, anyway) until Warp 4 was broken. (Old system, not new system with Warp 10 as the max) Even at six times the speed of light, a sector of 2 AU is 270,000 AU and 257 days away from the nearest planetary sector.

Object scale may follow the same exponential progression as Warp Factor in Star Trek. The Artemis, at 100 units long is 100 meters, but a planet is 5000 units, representing 15000 km, and the system center is 100,000 units away, representing 150,000,000 km. So a unit is 1 m, 3 km (3000 m), and 1500 km respectively. This could apply to weapon ranges as well. The Artemis's 1000 unit beam range could be 10,000 m, (10 m per unit) but at 5400 units it's 3 km per unit for 16,200 km.

My conclusion is that the individual mission crafter can decide how big a sector is, depending on what needs to be displayed in it. For a planetary system, between 2 and 8 AU would cover the inner planets and asteroid belt. Warp 1 can be proportionally faster than the speed of light on this scale, or you could assume there is "time compression" for the sake of the game. As you get close to objects, the scale decreases so they look more realistic from your point of view, so distances within your viewing range could be less than 10 km per unit. As with the BSG mod, it may help to reduce the scale on the ships, to compensate somewhat for the larger system scale and make planets seem larger.

Sectors intended to hold the neighborhood of a gas giant or a "regular" planet could be in the neighborhood of 30-50 km per unit. I think a sector the size of the moon's orbit would be too small (it would be about 8 km per unit and the Earth would be about 2000 units) but you might wish to make a larger sector and put the Earth and Moon, or some other double planet system, close to each other. Jupiter would be 4000-6000 units across (remember, Artemis's maximum range is 5400 units) and its moons would be 45,000 to 10,500 units away (easily fitting in the sector) and 90-130 units across. The scale would be very constant across the sector, but Warp 1 would only be 1/10 the speed of light.

A compromise would be about 500 km per unit. This is probably the scale used by Artemis's non-mission modes, since there are no planets to give a sense of scale. This is just above the estimate of 450 km per unit based on Warp 1 being the speed of light, and will cover about 1/6 of a planetary system. (Which would make the War Server 2.6 AU across, pretty close to the estimate for a planetary system, especially if there are gaps between the sectors) Planets can probably be rendered to the same scales as above, since the distances can be said to be smaller at close quarters. Even though it wouldn't be realistic to have to planets of 2000 radius 5000 units apart, for instance, you might do that to represent the location of the planets properly, if not their size.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #2 

Okay, with all that above, how can I sum that up for those who want the quick version:

Well, I can suggest three possible scales:

5000 km/unit - This would be big enough to contain the Sun and Earth's orbit around it, as well as the Asteroid Belt and other inner planets. Planets could be rendered at about 2000 units in radius, even though that's large for the sector scale.

500 km/unit - Renders a sector containing a gas giant or asteroid belt, or two planets on the same side of their respective orbits. Planets can be about 2000 to 3000 units in radius, with gas giants more like 4000 to 6000. This is probably the scale of the Invasion Mode and War Server.

50 km/unit - A Planetary Neighborhood, like a gas giant and its moons, a planet and its moons, or two planets in a shared orbit. Planets would be rendered in "true" scale, 6000 for gas giants, 200-300 for smaller planets, and around 100-150 units for moons, with the moons spread out across the sector.

Basically, while the distances are chosen from the scale of the sector above, planetary sizes would be the same 5-50 km/unit.

As for sublight speeds and travel between sectors, the idea that the Kraliens, Arvonians and Torgoth are capable of sublight speeds only is not very realistic. (Just as Star Trek claiming the Romulans were only capable of sublight speeds until the Klingons sold them Warp Drives) Either Impulse Drive is capable of achieving faster than light speeds, or they have Warp and/or Jump Drives that cannot be used in combat.

Both the enemies and the TSN may use gateway type technology to travel from one system to the next. Note that even at the speed of light, interstellar travel takes years. You also need enough fuel to power the drives for years, unless your drive has some sort of momentum. (And Warp Drive definately doesn't. Impulse drive appears to be possible without fuel, but not at full speed)

Jump Drive introduces more possibilities. If there is no limit to how far you can travel in a jump, then it is usable in interstellar travel, and with greater speed. However, the fact that it is limited in range when in combat may indicate that there are complex calculations or procedures involved in Jumping over a distance.

Note that when you really get down to it, space contains a whole lot of nothing. So you need to exaggerate size while reducing distance.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #3 


Since the Black Hole is the only object in the game that provides any kind of scale information, I thought I would add a bit of info about that.

The event horizon, otherwise known as the Schwartzchild radius, is proportional to the mass of an object. At one solar mass, our sun has a Schwartzchild radius of 3 km. The smallest possible black hole that could possibly form has three solar masses, and so the smallest radius an event horizon could ever be is 9 km. Note I'm going to assume Warp 1 is the speed of light for this, so the event horizon is where you have to use Warp power to escape from a Black Hole. From testing, this appears to be 2000 units.

Obviously, if 2000 units is 2000 meters, this isn't possible. However, at just 4.5 meters per unit, the event horizon is 9 km, which matches the minimum possible. Any value higher than this is perfectly reasonable for a black hole.

At 450 km/unit, the point at which Warp 1 becomes the speed of light, the event horizon is 900,000 km. A black hole of this size has 300,000 solar masses. This is a supermassive black hole, although a very small one.

At 3000 km/unit, the black hole's event horizon would be 6,000,000 and the black hole would contain 2 million solar masses. While not the biggest black hole, that would be about half the size of the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

If we use the exponential scale for size instead of location, and assume 5 km/unit for planet-sized bodies, then the event horizon would be 10,000 km, and the black hole 3,333.3 solar masses. This is classed as an intermediate mass black hole; not a stellar black hole, as those are less than 100 solar masses, but no one has yet detected such a black hole. (Since they don't have enough gravitational pull to effect a whole galaxy)

Being as the Black Hole in Artemis doesn't draw in anything that is sufficiently outside of its event horizon, I prefer to think that it is an intermediate mass black hole, rather than rendering the scale at 450 km/unit. I've always thought that Thom's version of a Black Hole was somewhat special, being as it had a large enough escape velocity to be a threat, but didn't have enough gravitational pull to send the whole system whirling around it. (And eventually, pulled in) Stellar black holes, with an event horizon of less than 300 km, would be even smaller and easier to avoid than a planet. So I'm going to go with the next step up.

 

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #4 
I've tried for years, Ryley, and there is just no way to make the math or physics that you and I know work in the Artemis universe. It's off by a scale of millions.

I've tried to introduce the map scale unit of micro light seconds (a real unit that is seldom used in everyday conversation) but that doesn't solve any of the problems. I keep meaning to make up a better sounding fictional unit that seems somewhat military (like hectar and metron from original Battlestar Galactica or Kellicam from Star Trek III).

Besides, Thom always says the Artemis unit of measure is meters because that is standard terminology for game programmers. So by that scale the sector is 100km x 100km and Warp 1 in Artemis is almost exactly Mach 2 in our universe. Your typical Kralien ship zips around the universe at the speed of a Studebaker Lark, and Arvonian fighters attack at the speed of a Harley Davidson.

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #5 
Nevertheless, I admire your work, Ryley.

I'm working on the next edition of the manual right now, and I'm considering the total elimination of all references to the speed of light, as if that doesn't exist in the Artemis universe. What is your opinion?

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janx

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Reply with quote  #6 
Yeah, I've had a thread like this as well...

I think ship scale has to be inherently separate from map scale.  I don't think either of them can be said to be true Meters.

If Artemis is 100 units long, a Meter is about a yard, and that would make it a football field sized.  I thought Artemis was the tiny Scoutship...

So for sanity, we at least need to keep the Map scale to not mean the same metric as ship scale.  I'm not even worried that objects on the screen are smaller than they appear [smile]


I think, as Mike is heading that direction, that unlike Star Trek, Warp 1 does not equal light speed.  Warp in Artemis is just warping space in a very fuzzy factor way given that Warp 1 varies on its actual speed based on energy supplied.


I think the game shows distances with M, as in range is 1200M.  M can mean Macrots, Metra, Mercons, whatever crazy thing named after a dead guy we want.  And the standard gridding of 100,000 M is large enough to define a useful sector of space.  Presumably, and asteroid zone, a planet, a space station, a black hole, etc.

I'd maybe consider NOT defining how big M is in relation to our modern units of measure.  Basically, never say M = meter, or AU or anything...



Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #7 
I have never like the comparison of Warp in Artemis to Warp in Star Trek. Warp doesn't have to be the speed of light. It could easily be a sub-light speed that is just very fast and personally this is the concept I prefer.

From what I can ascertain, the idea is to build a universe that is the Artemis Universe, and distinctly different to other sci-fi universes already created. Although the original concept seems to be based on the idea of being an officer and bridge crew from star trek, there is no reason why the Artemis universe has to resemble the Star Trek universe at all (though I like drawing parallels or ideas from other universes - the Jump Gates I created in the TSN Sandbox come from a series of sci-fi books I have read.)

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leaola

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Reply with quote  #8 
so we need a small game rewrite, change the word 'warp' to something else like 'ecton' named after the gooey ectoplasm left by the first guy (who died in the process) to make the 'REALLY fast drive' and the fact no one like his idea of calling it 'really fast drive' and having to call for 'really fast drive 2'.[wink]
cxfAtheus

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Reply with quote  #9 
Isn't the idea of warp that the ship isn't moving faster, but it's warping space to bring two points closer together? If that's the case, then you don't have to base warp off of lightspeed, but you can base it off the ability of a drive to shrink space in front of the ship.

Trying to approach this from a different angle.
Charlie

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Reply with quote  #10 
Also jump probably would be considered FTL travel.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
Nevertheless, I admire your work, Ryley.

I'm working on the next edition of the manual right now, and I'm considering the total elimination of all references to the speed of light, as if that doesn't exist in the Artemis universe. What is your opinion?


I would say that if you're going to ignore the speed of light, then all you really need to say is that travel between sectors is by some means that isn't specified in game, such as jump gates. You can then ignore the issue since it doesn't effect gameplay. Presumably, attacking invaders are dropped off at a point just off the map.

One thing I forgot to point out in my original post is that while the sector ranges from -500 to 500 vertically, making it 1000 units high, my testing seems to indicate that it's closer to 2000 units high. This may indicate that a unit in the Y coordinate is twice the length of a unit in the X or Z direction. The vertical distance is largely irrelevant, though.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by janx

So for sanity, we at least need to keep the Map scale to not mean the same metric as ship scale.  I'm not even worried that objects on the screen are smaller than they appear [smile]


Well, as detailed above, we can't, realistically, have a constant scale for ships, planets and suns. Rendering all those objects on a 45 km/unit scale, would be 1/450 units for the Artemis, 300 units for the Earth, 3000 units for Jupiter and 30,000 units for the Sun.

Then again, if all our objects are ships, stations, asteroids, and random space dust, then maybe we CAN render our objects in the same scale. The most common asteroids measure less than 1km in diameter, so that would be consistent with the 1 meter/unit scale.

That just means that the desire for planets appearing within a sector is impossible with a constant scale, as they'd be at least 130,000 times the size of the ship. You could still render them as part of the skybox.

Quote:

I think, as Mike is heading that direction, that unlike Star Trek, Warp 1 does not equal light speed.  Warp in Artemis is just warping space in a very fuzzy factor way given that Warp 1 varies on its actual speed based on energy supplied.


I'll note that in the 2002 online game Earth and Beyond, Warp was described as a sublight method of increasing speed by folding space. It took about 8-10 minutes to cover an area from one end of Saturn's rings to the other. So that's significantly less than the speed of light, although it was said that Warp travel allowed the speed of light as a MAXIMUM. In game, however, it was exclusively used to travel in planetary neighborhoods.

Interplanetary travel was managed by way of Gates, which were discovered technology abandoned by an ancient race of aliens. By all appearances, it was instantaneous, or at least, the time taken to transfer from one to another was not a factor of distance.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #13 
Since Mike asked, I'll go ahead and post my two cents' worth on the issue. I really made the post to invite discussion, though, I don't really want to influence the answer to this question in any way. I really think that it may be up to the individual mission writer, or even up to the installer of the game, as to what scale is involved.

On the other hand, for the incredible backstory that has been developed for this game, and for "official" functions where Artemis is featured at conventions and the like, Thom and Mike might want to establish standards and stick with that. Xavier and his friends with the TSN RP group would probably want to make sure all their documentation, their missions and the Sandbox all agree with each other, as well.

Anyway, when I first started playing this game, I was definitely influenced by Super Star Trek and its other clones, which I played when I was a kid. I even wrote a version myself. So when I first saw that sector map, I had already formed certain ideas about it. Star Trek is a well known point of reference, and it's terminology is well known. Given that there were several starbases in the Super Star Trek grid, and Star Trek starbases are typically assigned to isolated sectors (plus, there were multiple stars on the grid) I felt that a "quadrant" covered a lot of space.

To me, that was part of the appeal and suspense of the game. The invading Klingons have all the advantage (too much, in fact, which is why I wrote my own with multiple friendly ships) and they are spread out, requiring you to race at a frantic pace to deal with the most serious threats first. As with Artemis, the Enterprise had the advantage of speed in Super Star Trek, being able to essentially cross the galaxy in a few moments.

However, my comparison to Earth and Beyond above brings up another possibility. Rather than a massive invasion on a galactic scale, you have a smaller scale battle that takes place in the vicinity of a planet or a similar sized area of empty space. The whole battle takes place inside a "sector", and there is no "galaxy map". Artemis's technology is not advanced as Star Trek's, and the ships are smaller, have shorter range, and there are multiple starbases in a sector. (With different purposes)

In fact, you could say that the War Server is Super Star Trek (or Star Raiders, with it's Galactic Map) and each battle in Artemis is just a really long, involved battle for an individual quadrant. I can see either a Super Star Trek like Warp command to take you to the next sector, or a gate of some kind that leads to the next sector.
davisn456

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cxfAtheus
Isn't the idea of warp that the ship isn't moving faster, but it's warping space to bring two points closer together? If that's the case, then you don't have to base warp off of lightspeed, but you can base it off the ability of a drive to shrink space in front of the ship.


Has anyone heard the reference to "gravimetric" engines, both in Enterprise and on Babylon 5? Babylon 5 ships didn't have FTL capabilities like Star Trek, but the gravimetric engines used on Minbari ships and the hybrid Earth/Minbari ships were capable of traveling at 0.2c in normal space, I assume with some kind of space "warping" capability. On Enterprise (specifically Cdr. Tucker) described the NX-01's drive system as a "Gravimetric Field Displacement Manifold", so very similar sounding technology. Although Trek's engines were very different, at least in how fast the ship could travel anyway. I always imagined the engines in Artemis working much like cxfAtheus mentioned, that impulse was more of a "conventional" engine, using fusion-based thrusters (rockets basically), and the warp engine actually used subspace fields and space bending technology to move the ship faster, but possibly not faster than light. The only "true" FTL drive that Artemis has are jump engines, which effectively makes the ship disappear when traveling, hence FTL. I don't know how the math works out if we set the max speed at 0.2c, but that might be something to work with...

For scale purposes, I like the idea that ryleyra mentioned about Earth and Beyond. I'm also thinking about the idea of Firefly operating in a single solar system as well, just with LOTS of planets/sectors. For the most part, BSG operated in a single system as well, that is until the Cylons invaded. They just had more capability to travel long distances. Thinking about the Babylon 5 universe too, in the RP, we pretty much use jumpgates to travel between sectors, just like Babylon 5 did, so we pretty much operate within a small area for each sector. B5 even used multiple jumpgates within the same solar system (jumpgates near Io, Mars, Earth, etc.)
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisn456

 I don't know how the math works out if we set the max speed at 0.2c, but that might be something to work with...


No problem, 0.2c is 60,000 km/sec, and a unit would be 90 km. Which would put the size of the sector as just above gas giant neighborhood scale. (About twice, meaning Jupiter's moons could be comfortably on Jupiter's side of the sector)

Quote:

For scale purposes, I like the idea that ryleyra mentioned about Earth and Beyond. I'm also thinking about the idea of Firefly operating in a single solar system as well, just with LOTS of planets/sectors. For the most part, BSG operated in a single system as well, that is until the Cylons invaded. They just had more capability to travel long distances. Thinking about the Babylon 5 universe too, in the RP, we pretty much use jumpgates to travel between sectors, just like Babylon 5 did, so we pretty much operate within a small area for each sector. B5 even used multiple jumpgates within the same solar system (jumpgates near Io, Mars, Earth, etc.)


You just reminded me of something else that I forgot to mention.

In Star Trek, as in the Super Star Trek game, the Federation has the ability to cover vast distances very quickly. The Enterprise, or any other ship rated for "exploration" can respond to any emergency anywhere in the known galaxy in real time.

Battlestar Galactica, on the other hand, while the Galactica was CAPABLE of faster than light travel, (with a form of Jump Drive) was basically going in a straight line. There was no rushing around the galaxy looking for trouble, they had a destination and headed for it. The story wouldn't have lasted very long if they had been able to get where they were going in a short time. (Although they were limited in speed to the slowest ship in the convoy)

Star Trek was only able to maintain this kind of storyline by making Voyager so far outside of known space it would have taken 75 years to get home.

Babylon 5's Jump Gates were actually a form of hyperdrive. While they usually allowed entrance to hyperspace at a set point, the "Jump Gate", ships with Jump Drives were able to "punch through" to hyperspace on their own. Once in hyperspace, travel was faster than the speed of light, but still took an amount of time that was proportional to the distance travelled. Most travel was fairly slow, but advanced ships like the White Star were able to travel to places like Z'Ha'Dum (on the Rim of the galaxy) fairly quickly in an emergency.

As I said above, Earth and Beyond's gates appeared to have a constant time of traversal, but it was not assumed to be infinite. I just assumed that the gates were "wormholes", and thus there was a constant distance "inside" the gate between the entry and exit points. It's possible the larger "interplanetary" gates required a longer wormhole to make a connection across the proportionally larger distance. However, unlike Babylon 5 Jump Gates, these wormholes couldn't take you ANYWHERE. They would only take you to the exit gate they were designed to connect to. This meant exploration was SLOW, as a colony ship had to be sent out at Warp to establish a gate before commercial traffic could begin.

So really, Star Trek is unique in the advanced speeds that their ships are able to achieve, with no apparent restrictions. They may have had small ships, but they packed more power into those ships than other sci-fi shows.
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