History Main / FasterThanLightTravel

28th Apr '16 6:21:00 PM katrinahood
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* In ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins'', the Rockhopper, the Penguins' spaceship, has the ability to travel faster than light-speed.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins'', the Rockhopper, the Penguins' spaceship, has the ability to travel faster than light-speed.to distant planets in only a few minutes.
15th Apr '16 3:51:11 PM Morgenthaler
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* In Creator/GordonRDickson's ''ChildeCycle'' books, which includes ''Dorsai!'', space travel is achieved through a series of jumps, where the ship is annihilated at one spot and reconstituted in another. The jumps not only have to be extensively calculated (the ship must be located absolutely in the universe, and its destination point must also be exactly calculated, to the same degree), the jump itself has a psychological effect on the crew and passengers, so the more often the jump, the greater the psychic shock and the closer the people on board get to insanity. Tranquilizers are made available to help lessen the experience, but cannot nullify it. This is a subplot point in ''Dorsai!'', where the effect is shown during a raid on a planet - something nobody thinks possible.
* Joe Haldeman's ''TheForeverWar'' uses "collapsars" (an old name for black holes) to instantaneously jump up to thousands of lightyears to the next collapsar along the ship's vector at entry. Unfortunately most collapsars are far from any inhabitable system, the nearest one to earth, "Stargate", is one lightyear away, so starships still need to spend several years at relativistic speeds.

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* In Creator/GordonRDickson's ''ChildeCycle'' ''Literature/ChildeCycle'' books, which includes ''Dorsai!'', space travel is achieved through a series of jumps, where the ship is annihilated at one spot and reconstituted in another. The jumps not only have to be extensively calculated (the ship must be located absolutely in the universe, and its destination point must also be exactly calculated, to the same degree), the jump itself has a psychological effect on the crew and passengers, so the more often the jump, the greater the psychic shock and the closer the people on board get to insanity. Tranquilizers are made available to help lessen the experience, but cannot nullify it. This is a subplot point in ''Dorsai!'', where the effect is shown during a raid on a planet - something nobody thinks possible.
* Joe Haldeman's ''TheForeverWar'' ''Literature/TheForeverWar'' uses "collapsars" (an old name for black holes) to instantaneously jump up to thousands of lightyears to the next collapsar along the ship's vector at entry. Unfortunately most collapsars are far from any inhabitable system, the nearest one to earth, "Stargate", is one lightyear away, so starships still need to spend several years at relativistic speeds.



* In many of Creator/AnneMcCaffrey's series (particularly, the ''Literature/TheShipWho...'' series), FTL travel is possible, but obscenely expensive. Trips between star systems still take months or years (with the bulk of travel spent ''slowing the ship down safely''). In the ''{{Talents}}'' series, ships are simply thrown through space and teleported via PsychicPowers.

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* In many of Creator/AnneMcCaffrey's series (particularly, the ''Literature/TheShipWho...'' series), FTL travel is possible, but obscenely expensive. Trips between star systems still take months or years (with the bulk of travel spent ''slowing the ship down safely''). In the ''{{Talents}}'' ''Literature/{{Talents}}'' series, ships are simply thrown through space and teleported via PsychicPowers.



* DavidWeber's ''Literature/EmpireFromTheAshes'' trilogy features both warp drives ''and'' jump drives, though they're so ridiculously large that most ships the size of a ''planetoid'' only have enough space to mount one or the other. It's explained that each type has its own advantages; jump drives are faster, but the destination cannot be changed mid-jump, while warp drives are slower, but allow for more flexibility.

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* DavidWeber's Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/EmpireFromTheAshes'' trilogy features both warp drives ''and'' jump drives, though they're so ridiculously large that most ships the size of a ''planetoid'' only have enough space to mount one or the other. It's explained that each type has its own advantages; jump drives are faster, but the destination cannot be changed mid-jump, while warp drives are slower, but allow for more flexibility.



* In the ''HumanxCommonwealth'' series by Creator/AlanDeanFoster, ships use the posigravity, or Kurita-Kinoshita drive (Named for the scientists who invented it). Ships are said to look like a balloon stuck on the end of a plunger. The suction cup looking part of the ship generates a gravity field that pulls the ship along. Changing the shape of the gravity field changes how matter behaves and allows the ship to exceed the speed of light, taking it into "space-plus". KK-drives are very dangerous and sophisticated computers are needed to keep everything working properly. Due to dangers imposed by the drives there are restrictions in where they can be used.

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* In the ''HumanxCommonwealth'' ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' series by Creator/AlanDeanFoster, ships use the posigravity, or Kurita-Kinoshita drive (Named for the scientists who invented it). Ships are said to look like a balloon stuck on the end of a plunger. The suction cup looking part of the ship generates a gravity field that pulls the ship along. Changing the shape of the gravity field changes how matter behaves and allows the ship to exceed the speed of light, taking it into "space-plus". KK-drives are very dangerous and sophisticated computers are needed to keep everything working properly. Due to dangers imposed by the drives there are restrictions in where they can be used.



* In UrsulaKLeGuin's ''Hainish Cycle'' novels, while faster-than-light communication is possible with the SubspaceAnsible, all travel between stars is done with NAFAL ("nearly-as-fast-as-light") ships. The principle on which these work is not described in detail - presumably traveling "nearly" as fast as light would still require some AppliedPhlebotinum. The time dilation resulting from the speeds NAFAL ships achieve serves to underscore just how distanced the traveler becomes from their home - while to them the trip might have taken mere hours, anywhere from decades to centuries would have passed on their home planet, all their friends would have aged and died, and so on. And you need to get outside the system before activating the drive, unless you want the sun to explode. However, in three later short stories set in the same universe as the Hainish Cycle, Le Guin describes the development of faster-than-light ships, based on the principles of the Ansible. She focuses on the impact their appearance has on society and individual lives.

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* In UrsulaKLeGuin's Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin's ''Hainish Cycle'' novels, while faster-than-light communication is possible with the SubspaceAnsible, all travel between stars is done with NAFAL ("nearly-as-fast-as-light") ships. The principle on which these work is not described in detail - presumably traveling "nearly" as fast as light would still require some AppliedPhlebotinum. The time dilation resulting from the speeds NAFAL ships achieve serves to underscore just how distanced the traveler becomes from their home - while to them the trip might have taken mere hours, anywhere from decades to centuries would have passed on their home planet, all their friends would have aged and died, and so on. And you need to get outside the system before activating the drive, unless you want the sun to explode. However, in three later short stories set in the same universe as the Hainish Cycle, Le Guin describes the development of faster-than-light ships, based on the principles of the Ansible. She focuses on the impact their appearance has on society and individual lives.
9th Apr '16 4:38:57 AM Yenzen
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* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' all three options are available at the beginning of the game, but a species can only use one. Warp is direct and omnidirectional but slow, expensive in terms of costs and energi and can only be done from the edge of solar systems to prevent... accidents. "Jumps" exist as wormholes that can be created from [[OurWormholesAreDifferent "wormhole stations"]] in systems to any other system in range, but the stations are expensive, vulnerable and have significant recharge times. Hyperdrives use existing connections "Hyperlanes" between systems and are much faster than warp, but they must abide by the paths already present, forming networks that may easily be cut off if vital systems with few connecting lanes are occupied.

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* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' all three options are available at the beginning of the game, but a species can only use one. Warp
**Warp
is direct and omnidirectional but slow, expensive in terms of costs and energi energy and can only be done from the edge of solar systems to prevent... accidents.
**
"Jumps" exist as wormholes that can be created from [[OurWormholesAreDifferent "wormhole stations"]] in systems to any other system in range, but the stations are expensive, vulnerable and have significant recharge times. times.
**
Hyperdrives use existing connections "Hyperlanes" between systems and are much faster than warp, but they must abide by the paths already present, forming networks that may easily be cut off off, if vital systems with few connecting lanes are occupied.
31st Mar '16 5:01:35 AM Tron80
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[[spoiler:Fan Works]]

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[[spoiler:Fan [[folder:Fan Works]]
31st Mar '16 4:59:36 AM Tron80
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Added DiffLines:

[[spoiler:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', the explicit lack thereof due to [[spoiler:the C'tan's machinations closing off the Warp -an alternate dimension that was used to travel faster than light-]] and the consequences of this is what forced [[spoiler:the ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}}'' gods to work together.]]
[[/folder]]
30th Mar '16 9:57:36 AM Morgenthaler
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** Deep Space Nine tended to use the term "Alpha Quadrant" somewhat broadly. The way the quadrants are defined is that the Galaxy is cut in half by a line passing through Sol and the center of the Galaxy, and then cut again into quadrants by the perpendicular bisector of that line, also through the center of the Galaxy. As such, Earth spends six months of each year in the Alpha Quadrant and 6 months in the Beta Quadrant. Most of the Federation lies in the Alpha Quadrant, but much of it lies in the Beta Quadrant. According to the "Star Charts" publication, the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Star Empire lie almost entirely in the Beta Quadrant, on the oppposite side of the Federation from the Cardassian Union (which makes the Klingon-Cardassian war in Seasons 4 and 5 of [=DS=]9 seem tactically tough to conduct with the Federation sprawling between them). During the Dominion War, the "Alpha Quadrant", when used in dialogue, seemed to stand in for the large portions of both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants that were players in the conflict. Also, since Sol moves on its own vector within the Galaxy, the precise definition of the Quadrants would be constantly in motion, although only of consequence in the very long term.
** A lot of the problems with the way Deep Space Nine uses the term "Alpha Quadrant" could be fixed if the definitions of the quadrants were changed to put Earth at the centre of the Alpha Quadrant rather than at the edge.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. As they were stranded on the other side of the galaxy, Voyager sought various means of getting home faster than possible using its (already highly-efficient) warp drive, ranging from transwarp and quantum slipstream technology, to a graviton catapult which can catapult a vessel across space in the time it takes to say "[[BuffySpeak catapult a vessel across space]]."

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* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
** Deep Space Nine tended to use the term "Alpha Quadrant" somewhat broadly. The way the quadrants are defined is that the Galaxy is cut in half by a line passing through Sol and the center of the Galaxy, and then cut again into quadrants by the perpendicular bisector of that line, also through the center of the Galaxy. As such, Earth spends six months of each year in the Alpha Quadrant and 6 months in the Beta Quadrant. Most of the Federation lies in the Alpha Quadrant, but much of it lies in the Beta Quadrant. According to the "Star Charts" publication, the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Star Empire lie almost entirely in the Beta Quadrant, on the oppposite side of the Federation from the Cardassian Union (which makes the Klingon-Cardassian war in Seasons 4 and 5 of [=DS=]9 seem tactically tough to conduct with the Federation sprawling between them). During the Dominion War, the "Alpha Quadrant", when used in dialogue, seemed to stand in for the large portions of both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants that were players in the conflict. Also, since Sol moves on its own vector within the Galaxy, the precise definition of the Quadrants would be constantly in motion, although only of consequence in the very long term.
** A lot of the problems with the way Deep Space Nine uses the term "Alpha Quadrant" could be fixed if the definitions of the quadrants were changed to put Earth at the centre of the Alpha Quadrant rather than at the edge.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''.
As they were stranded on the other side of the galaxy, Voyager sought various means of getting home faster than possible using its (already highly-efficient) warp drive, ranging from transwarp and quantum slipstream technology, to a graviton catapult which can catapult a vessel across space in the time it takes to say "[[BuffySpeak catapult a vessel across space]]."



** the Nickelodeon show ''Series/SpaceCases'' has a similar premise, although the journey time was estimated to be 10 times shorter. It is also implied that their home civilization has access to faster ships than the one featured.

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** the * The Nickelodeon show ''Series/SpaceCases'' has a similar premise, although the journey time was estimated to be 10 times shorter. It is also implied that their home civilization has access to faster ships than the one featured.



* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' uses slipstreams, a kind of portal drive, which requires a [[HumansAreSpecial human pilot]] --well, an organic lifeform, anyway (a computer can only navigate slipstreams accurately if it has access to a [[MacGuffin one-of-a-kind perfect and complete map]] of all slipstreams, or the willingness to use [[BrainInAJar less savory tactics]]) and is described as "not the best way to travel faster than light, just the only way".
** The series is also notable for having a complete lack of reliable [[SubspaceAnsible FTL radio]], meaning all messages have to be delivered by couriers. [[AllThereInTheManual Background material]] mentions attempts at using slipstream to send messages, but packet loss was ridiculously high, and the attempts were abandoned.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' allowed ships to travel faster than light using hyperspace, envisioned here as an alternate dimension in which travel is much more rapid. More advanced (or, at least, bigger) ships could enter and exit hyperspace at will, while less advanced ones could still travel faster than light using a [[PortalNetwork network of stationary gateways]] which had been positioned throughout the galaxy.

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* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' uses slipstreams, a kind of portal drive, which requires a [[HumansAreSpecial human pilot]] --well, an organic lifeform, anyway (a computer can only navigate slipstreams accurately if it has access to a [[MacGuffin one-of-a-kind perfect and complete map]] of all slipstreams, or the willingness to use [[BrainInAJar less savory tactics]]) and is described as "not the best way to travel faster than light, just the only way".
**
way". The series is also notable for having a complete lack of reliable [[SubspaceAnsible FTL radio]], meaning all messages have to be delivered by couriers. [[AllThereInTheManual Background material]] mentions attempts at using slipstream to send messages, but packet loss was ridiculously high, and the attempts were abandoned.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** The show
allowed ships to travel faster than light using hyperspace, envisioned here as an alternate dimension in which travel is much more rapid. More advanced (or, at least, bigger) ships could enter and exit hyperspace at will, while less advanced ones could still travel faster than light using a [[PortalNetwork network of stationary gateways]] which had been positioned throughout the galaxy.



* ''Series/StargateSG1'': The gates themselves act as portals, generating wormholes between planets. Ships too large to fit through a gate usually travel through hyperspace. However Earth-made hyperdrives are the textbook examples of TimTaylorTechnology[[note]]and ExplosiveOverclocking...[[/note]], due to their use of highly unstable [[MadeOfExplodium Naquadria]].

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* ''Series/StargateSG1'': ''Series/StargateSG1'':
**
The gates themselves act as portals, generating wormholes between planets. Ships too large to fit through a gate usually travel through hyperspace. However Earth-made hyperdrives are the textbook examples of TimTaylorTechnology[[note]]and ExplosiveOverclocking...[[/note]], due to their use of highly unstable [[MadeOfExplodium Naquadria]].



** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' had introduced the wormhole drive in the series finale. Apparently the Ancients have mounted an experimental drive system onto Atlantis that can generate a wormhole and cross intergalactic distances in ''seconds''. The downsides are that it uses insane amounts of energy and doing even a slight miscalculation will completely vaporize the ship.
** The starship ''Destiny'' from ''Series/StargateUniverse'' seems to use a different method of travel that is slower/faster than normal hyperspace travel as the plot demands. The characters don't know much about it, so they just call it FTL.

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** * ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' had introduced the wormhole drive in the series finale. Apparently the Ancients have mounted an experimental drive system onto Atlantis that can generate a wormhole and cross intergalactic distances in ''seconds''. The downsides are that it uses insane amounts of energy and doing even a slight miscalculation will completely vaporize the ship.
** * The starship ''Destiny'' from ''Series/StargateUniverse'' seems to use a different method of travel that is slower/faster than normal hyperspace travel as the plot demands. The characters don't know much about it, so they just call it FTL.



** The original 1978 ''[[Series/BattlestarGalactica1978 Galactica]]'' 's drive systems weren't FTL in the traditional warp style. In fact, I wouldn't say they were FTL at all. [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale The writers simply didn't understand the difference between interplanetary and interstellar distances]]. Once, Adama ordered the Galactica to accelerate ''to'' the speed of light, but nowhere did they claim to exceed it... Not that accelerating a ship ''to'' the speed of light is any less impossible with physics as we know it.

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** * The original 1978 ''[[Series/BattlestarGalactica1978 Galactica]]'' 's ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'' drive systems weren't FTL in the traditional warp style. In fact, I wouldn't say they were FTL at all. [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale The writers simply didn't understand the difference between interplanetary and interstellar distances]]. Once, Adama ordered the Galactica to accelerate ''to'' the speed of light, but nowhere did they claim to exceed it... Not that accelerating a ship ''to'' the speed of light is any less impossible with physics as we know it.



** In fact, the ship computer explicitly explains how this isn't possible, and how it's now "[[BringMyBrownPants brown trousers time]]" because of it. The episode "Future Echoes" explains exactly why it's not advised.



** Oddly the True Ancients warn against using wormholes in part because they can cause a relativistic paradox even though this isn't an issue with any other kind of FTL travel.



** There are several mentions during the series of the Moon passing through space warps that greatly accelerate its speed of travel. Also, during the first season, there is a StoryArc regarding a "cosmic intelligence" that may have influenced the effects of the initial explosion that sent the Moon on its way, and was later affecting its course (most notably in the final first season episode "Testament of Arkadia"). Critics of the series frequently miss these references.



* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', the most common form of FTL is achieved by traveling through the Warp, [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace a nightmarish dimension]] [[TheHeartless where the thoughts and emotions of sentient creatures give rise to]] [[GodOfEvil dark gods]] [[LegionsOfHell and hordes of]] [[EldritchAbomination gibbering monstrosities]]. As such, ships require {{force field}}s to (hopefully) keep the crew from being eaten by daemons during Warp-jumps, and it takes members of a caste of psychic mutants called Navigators to pilot ships through the Immaterium. Since the Warp doesn't obey the laws of physics, vessels traveling through it move much faster than they would in realspace, but the exact ratio is fluid - sometimes a day in the Warp is equal to just under two weeks' travel in the material universe, while in other cases starships are lost for thousands of years, or [[TimeTravel emerge before they've left]]. Some charts even indicate that it's faster to travel across the galaxy than it is to hop to an adjacent sector. Further complicating matters are "currents" or "storms" in the Warp that can displace or destroy vessels, and unfortunately the only navigational aid is a psychic beacon on [[EarthIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Holy Terra]] [[PoweredByAForsakenChild powered by the souls of thousands of psykers]], which has been known to flicker and dim on occasion.

to:

* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', the 40000}}'':
** The
most common form of FTL is achieved by traveling through the Warp, [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace a nightmarish dimension]] [[TheHeartless where the thoughts and emotions of sentient creatures give rise to]] [[GodOfEvil dark gods]] [[LegionsOfHell and hordes of]] [[EldritchAbomination gibbering monstrosities]]. As such, ships require {{force field}}s to (hopefully) keep the crew from being eaten by daemons during Warp-jumps, and it takes members of a caste of psychic mutants called Navigators to pilot ships through the Immaterium. Since the Warp doesn't obey the laws of physics, vessels traveling through it move much faster than they would in realspace, but the exact ratio is fluid - sometimes a day in the Warp is equal to just under two weeks' travel in the material universe, while in other cases starships are lost for thousands of years, or [[TimeTravel emerge before they've left]]. Some charts even indicate that it's faster to travel across the galaxy than it is to hop to an adjacent sector. Further complicating matters are "currents" or "storms" in the Warp that can displace or destroy vessels, and unfortunately the only navigational aid is a psychic beacon on [[EarthIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Holy Terra]] [[PoweredByAForsakenChild powered by the souls of thousands of psykers]], which has been known to flicker and dim on occasion.
22nd Mar '16 6:30:04 AM Morgenthaler
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Faster-Than-Light Travel is a staple of SpaceOpera that allows an "out" to the unfortunate fact that [[SciFiWritersHave/NoSenseOfDistance space is honking big]], making it impossible (within physics as we understand it now) to get anywhere remotely interesting within the average lifetime of a civilization. This has been an issue for writers since TheFifties or so; [[ScienceMarchesOn before then]] you could get away with having your aliens come from [[InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen Neptune]] without totally losing the audience.[[note]]Because now we know nobody lives there, so far as we can tell having had pictures taken of it and its moons.[[/note]]

to:

Faster-Than-Light Travel is a staple of SpaceOpera that allows an "out" to the unfortunate fact that [[SciFiWritersHave/NoSenseOfDistance space is honking big]], making it impossible (within physics as we understand it now) to get anywhere remotely interesting within the average lifetime of a civilization. This has been an issue for writers since TheFifties or so; [[ScienceMarchesOn before then]] you could get away with having your aliens come from [[InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen [[Film/InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen Neptune]] without totally losing the audience.[[note]]Because now we know nobody lives there, so far as we can tell having had pictures taken of it and its moons.[[/note]]
22nd Mar '16 6:29:23 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''Franchise/StarWars'', the hyperdrive of course. Among the most typical around. It's also fairly fast; [[CasualInterstellarTravel one could travel from one end of the galaxy to the end in about one week]].

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* ''Franchise/StarWars'', the ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** The
hyperdrive of course. Among the most typical around. It's also fairly fast; [[CasualInterstellarTravel one could travel from one end of the galaxy to the end in about one week]].
8th Mar '16 2:01:28 PM Yenzen
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* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' all three options are available at the beginning of the game, but a species can only use one. Warp is direct and omnidirectional but slow, expensive in terms of costs and energi and can only be done from the edge of solar systems to prevent... accidents. "Jumps" exist as wormholes that can be created from [[OurWormholesAreDifferent "wormhole stations"]] in systems to any other system in range, but the stations are expensive, vulnerable and have significant recharge times. Hyperdrives use existing connections "Hyperlanes" between systems and are much faster than warp, but they must abide by the paths already present, that may easily be cut off if vital systems with few connecting are occupied.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' all three options are available at the beginning of the game, but a species can only use one. Warp is direct and omnidirectional but slow, expensive in terms of costs and energi and can only be done from the edge of solar systems to prevent... accidents. "Jumps" exist as wormholes that can be created from [[OurWormholesAreDifferent "wormhole stations"]] in systems to any other system in range, but the stations are expensive, vulnerable and have significant recharge times. Hyperdrives use existing connections "Hyperlanes" between systems and are much faster than warp, but they must abide by the paths already present, forming networks that may easily be cut off if vital systems with few connecting lanes are occupied.
8th Mar '16 2:00:06 PM Yenzen
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' all three options are available at the beginning of the game, but a species can only use one. Warp is direct and omnidirectional but slow, expensive in terms of costs and energi and can only be done from the edge of solar systems to prevent... accidents. "Jumps" exist as wormholes that can be created from [[OurWormholesAreDifferent "wormhole stations"]] in systems to any other system in range, but the stations are expensive, vulnerable and have significant recharge times. Hyperdrives use existing connections "Hyperlanes" between systems and are much faster than warp, but they must abide by the paths already present, that may easily be cut off if vital systems with few connecting are occupied.
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