It's always struck me as odd that our weapons only have a range of 10km. Why is that? I could understand it better if it was set for that on early tiers, but later on, with more powerful weapons, why isnt the range increased?
One is so that kiting isn't really possible, which it would be if they increased with tiers, if you were fighting someone lower level. Longer range weapons would also make escort type attack runs more deadly as well, so there's that to consider from a balance perspective. Another is for theme. Most combat in Trek takes place at relatively close distances, because that way, both ships can be shown in the same camera shot and it is more dramatic, cool, and all that.
I believe it is the established range in some of the technical manuals. I think at these ranges, Trek weapons are most effective. Any further and the beams weaken or the energy pulses start to dissipate. We also see this with the plasma torpedoes from Balance Of Terror.
I guess if you really wanted we could have it like EVE where you start throwing 425mm railgun rounds so far you can barely see battleship sized vessels. I like the way they have it now, keeps things in chick otherwise it would be pretty dull.
The phaser and photon torpedo ranges of a Nebula Class (Phoenix Variant) Cruiser and Cardassian warships are actually significantly greater than given in STO as established in the TNG episode: The Wounded: Along the lines of one light-second or greater. In that show, Captain Ben Maxwell of the Phoenix has gone rogue and is hunting for and attempting to board and search Cardassian vessels for illegal arms. At one point, the Enterprise D, which is not in the Phoenix's sector, is monitoring a battle and it overlays actual weapon ranges of the combatants on the Enterprise D's viewscreen.
Picard, Riker, Macet, Data and Worf -- all watching the
Sir, the Cardassian warship is
moving on the Phoenix.
33 ANGLE - VIEWSCREEN (OPTICAL) - INTERCUTTING
The Okudagram shows that the Cardassian ship has
turned toward the Phoenix and is rapidly bearing down
34 FULL SHOT - THE GROUP (OPTICAL)
Mister Data, overlay weapon
ranges of the two ships...
On the screen, two circles appear around the flashing
blips. They are just beginning to touch.
The warship is three hundred
thousand kilometers from the
Phoenix. It is opening fire.
The Phoenix has taken a direct
The men stare at the screen as Data, in his emotionless
way, narrates the grim battle.
STAR TREK: "The Wounded" - REV. 10/29/90 - ACT THREE 30.
The Phoenix is beginning evasive
It has positioned itself outside
the weapons range of the opposing
The Phoenix has powered up with
both phasers and photon
The Phoenix is firing photon
On the screen, the Phoenix has turned and is engaged
with the warship. The blips flutter a moment on the
screen... and then the Cardassian ship simply
300,000 kilometers is about the distance light can travel in one second. This is given as the effective range of the Cardassian warship, probably a Galor Class cruiser judging by the casualties resulting from this exchange of fire cited later in the scene. Now a Nebula armed with Mk X phasers and Mk X Photons can fire farther than that...effectively enough to vaporize a shielded Galor class starship....with a full volley of photon torpedoes.
Now for game purposes these ranges are probably unplayable...to give you an idea....the distance across an entire sector in STO is probably about a hundred times smaller than a light second...also consider that in the Canon Star Trek Universe, Photon Torpedoes are FTL and Phasers (of course) travel at the speed of light "c" so a ship travelling at warp would not be able to fire phasers without weird relativistic effects. Ships would have to drop out of warp, as they do in STO, to engage each other with beam weapons.
It would be very interesting to play a game with real beam weapons and real space ranges and real physics....I'm just not certain how fun it would be. At 300,000 km, you wouldn't be able to see your enemy in space, not even as a dot. Consider that the circumference of the Earth is 40,000km.
How can photon torpedoes be faster than light? So your saying that they are quicker than a phaser beam? That's just not right. Just not possible. If photon torpedoes were real they would just be light as thats what photons are so they could be faster than light because it is light! lol...
If your referring to the times we see them fired at warp maybe it's because they're in the warp bubble and thus move as they would relative to "normal"s space.