ultron2099 wrote:Here's a phaser power nips (bug/annoyance) .. and I'll limit this just to what is published for Constitution and Excellsior.

The Early Constitution starts with 6x lasers total 2000 terrawatts averaging 333 1/3 terrawatt per cannon

The Basic constitution switches to Type 6 phasers (6x cannons) total output 4000 terrawatts averaging 666 2/3 terrawatts per cannon

The Refit Constitution upgrades to Type 7 phasers triples the cannons to 18 with a total output of 6000 terrawatts ... or better known as 333 1/3 terrawatts per cannon?!?! In the movie they increased phaser power by channelling it through the main energizers, yet here it looks like they've found a great way to cut phaser power.

Then we create the Excelsior arm it with Type 8 phaser banks, cut the number down to 12, and now you have an output of 18,500 terrawatts, or 1541 2/3 terrawatts per cannon. Enterprise B same number and phaser type however output per cannons increases to 1708 1/3 terrwatt per cannon.

THEN 80 years later, an Excelsior class is upgraded to 30x Type 9 phaser banks, only the per cannon output is somehow drastically reduced again to 1333 1/3 terrawatts.

One can only conclude that every other phaser type in the chain is a complete failure to its previous. Phaser 6 new, Phaser 7 failure, Phaser 8 breakthrough, Phaser 9 a flop.

There is very, very little in canon to indicate that the Type number of a phaser necessarily relates to how powerful it is. Whilst it's common sense that it should, in a general sense at least, this assumption is fraught with difficulties.

For example, is the TNG Type 1 pocket phaser more powerful than the TOS Type 1? One might expect that such weapons would get more powerful over time... but if that is so then the TNG pocket phaser should be called a Type 2, yes?

But the way the Type numbers are used at the low end, the implication seems to be that they specify what type of weapon it is as much as how powerful it is - literally the "type" of weapon. Under that system Type 1 seems to mean "pocket phaser", Type 2 means "handgun version", Type 3 means "rifle version", and so on. We know that a Type 2 is "far more powerful" than a Type 1 in TOS, but what if somebody made a pistol style phaser that was only as powerful as a Type 1? Would that then be a Type 1, or a Type 2?

And if Type number refers to the weapon Type, then are the GCS's Type 10 something like "Big powerful phasers for the main weapons on ships"? But then, wouldn't ALL ships have Type 10 phasers if that's true?

In the end, what I decided was that Type designations are partly about power, but also about the general type of weapon. So there is a general rule that a given Type more powerful than a Type with a lower number, but not necessarily so.

Think of it kind of like Modern ammunition. A .45 pistol round is more powerful than a .22 pistol round, yes? But it's not that simple, because a 5.56 (.2189) rifle round is more powerful than your .45 pistol round, and a 7.62 (.3) is much more powerful still. And that's before you consider that different types of round can have very different effects. It's a general rule that larger caliber weapons are more powerful and damaging, but that's far from being the only factor.

Similarly, as a general rule different Types of phaser might follow a general trend of bigger number = more power, but in any particular case that may not be so, with other factors playing into it.

The phaser article in the main site's articles section talks about this, but the above is the gist of it.

Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...