Discussion on Megastructure Limits

This is a continuation of the discussion on the megastructure limits. I will bring up the main points from last time:

  1. There are semantics that are present within the term megastructure with its current (lack of a) official definition. We should clear this up to avoid skewing the vote.

  2. Some have stated that their perferred solution would be a complete removal of the limit, and that the A1-0 community is capable of regulating themselves to that end. Others are concerned that this will lead to power creep.

  3. Other stances argue that the limit should be maintained or increased to a higher value.

Please discuss as you see fit. I will interject with my personal opinions and to keep the discussion on-topic and such.


If I may interject real quick, I have a few questions on the megastructure limit.
1.) If a plot is split into several star nations, does each new sub-plot have its own individually counted limit, or do they each count towards the same limit?
2.) If a star nation has territorial gains (for example, if a war results into the capture of territory from another side), does the megastructure count for the gaining star nation increase? Does the star nation that loses territory lose the capacity for megastructures?

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I think this is actually a good point to bring up because it reflects on other limits of stars and planets. We should probably set a precedent one way or the other here.


Can Megastructures be ships?

iirc @Legend constituted some of their fleets as megastructures


Specifically the Capital Ship that LIABA takes place on

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New thread time

(Underline added)

This argument does not, at present, make any sense to me. Spamming megastructures is just a single way of implementing power creep, and the prohibition on over-building megastructures is extremely easy to circumvent by just spamming vast numbers of normal-sized structures and stations instead. These currently remain unrestricted, and are at present only regulated by the same community self-moderation processes that were deemed to be unsatisfactory when applied to megastructures. Does this mean that A1-0 would, if the current configuration of the megastructures cap remains in force, need to add supplementary caps on general stations in order to prevent such circumvention? What about if the rules-prevented power creep just gets displaced into other areas, like technology level or the production speed of factories; will we need to implement hard rules and caps for those too?


Arguably a megastructure would by definition need to be on such a large scale that it can’t compare to thousands if not millions of said normal stations. I can see your reasoning, but I believe there’s a significant size difference.

Let’s assume in this case the definition of a megastructure to be at least the size of a star. This means that, if we take our solar system as an example, a star can fit about 1,300,000 Earths. To illustrate the sheer size, a cathedral (120 m height) is merely 100,000 times larger than an ant (1 millimeter length). I think it’s safe to assume in comparison to a megastructure, normal-sized stations/ships (which I believe the current average to be at about 5 km, just a hunch though) are quite literally ants. It’d be like applying car laws on atoms. Yet even though these normal-sized can be spammed into millions, they might only equivalate to just one megastructure. In essence, there is in fact an enormous size difference at play here that perhaps our minds can’t truly comprehend.

To that extent, I don’t think large capital ships over 100 km or even 1,000 km should be considered megastructures. Because they too are not comparable by size to a megastructure. As such, because of the sheer size of a megastructure, they’d have to be stationary for they are too large for out star nations to move around. Nor would power creep have any real means here because of the giant size difference. Or at least, that’s my view on it.

In short, megastructures are in fact so large (or at least the definition should clarify the size) that can’t be compared to normal-sized structures. The latter are already capped in a way, because each plot has a maximum number of planets, so it wouldn’t need any additional rule I believe. Because of said immense size difference, there needs to be a cap to ensure a power balance between star nations.

Technology-wise, maybe. But I believe we should and can still leave that largely open to ensure a large enough freedom.

As for the sub-plots, yeah it kind starts biting us in the ass now, doesn’t it? But overall I think the cap should apply to the larger plot and different subplots can discuss this internally I believe. That seems like a bargain to me.
Similarly, if a star nations makes territorial gains, I’d go to say that it becomes a modified plot and the previous rule doesn’t apply to it, because that rule would only apply to the original plots. Ergo, document each plot very well OOCly.

Edit: Anyways, I’ll probably not be able to join this discussion for quite a while because of RL priorities.


I still continue to think that classifying megastructures through exotic materials is the best compromise between completely removing the limit, and keeping it as it is. It allows large amounts of freedom for everyone, while still limiting the amount of largest megastructures one can have, like Dyson Spheres and Ringworlds.

While completely removing the limit would be my preferred choice, I’m also fine with the exotic matter option. You people decide.

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If your ship is a Bishop Ring or an McKendree Cylinder, then most definitely yes

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We can’t put a good definition on exotic materials, though

I class Cascadium (Reactant in my Reactors) as an exotic material, but someone in A1-0 might have plentiful amounts of it, and we just don’t know about it

Same thing applies to the Mirial Space and Mirions, BrightSpace tech, and the resulting spiral would lead to adding (or removing) certain materials as “Exotic” because we can’t find a common definition. Exotic Materials is an opinion, and we shouldn’t use it as a base for one of our rules

We can always restrict it to just magmatter and neutronium, since those would be the only two that are respectively hard scifi or proven by current scientific models. Magmatter is expensive to produce and requires very advanced technology, and a similar situation goes for the extraction of Neutronium.

I don’t know if it would be a good idea though, you people decide that. Aside from that though, I don’t think any other alternative works: size doesn’t because dyson swarms are huge but they still don’t require nearly as much material or technology as Ringworlds or Dyson Spheres, and age or tech clearly don’t work as well since newcomers and already present members would start balooning their age or advancing their tech trees beyond reason.

I’m probably wrong, but I really do believe basing it off of those would be the best option we have.

I think the most logical option here would just be defining what exotic matter is, making it not an opinion.


Yeah, probably

Like, maybe specify what kind of exotic matter

For example, Q-balls are also exotic matter but you can’t build a Ringworld out of them

So maybe we could define a set of properties and availability constraints?

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Saying just magmater and neuteonium would open holes if someone introduces something just as strong but different, like the mirial microthreads in starbreak engines. They’re as strong as mag matter but with Calerost’s current tech can’t be kept stable outside of starbreak engines

Yeah, that should work

I’ll reply to this Saturday night

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My point of view is that if you need readily available materials, it should be fine, but if you need nuclear pasta or strange matter, there should be regulations (exotic materials are not to be taken lightly)

The exotic materials limit makes sense to me, but at the same time (and maybe this is just me) I’m not really thinking about what goes into building Colonus’ stuff when I say it’s being built.

Maybe the best way to approach this would be to have two different categories of megastructure, one based on size/technology and the other based on materials needed

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I mean it doesn’t have to be specific. You can use my megastructure list as a reference: if you’re building a Dyson Sphere, you just need to acknowledge the fact that it’s using some kind of exotic material.


But you’re not always going to be able to know that

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