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  1. In regards to the new docking mechanism, please consider reducing or eliminating the clearance for docking blocks. The current clearance required is so large that it hampers some designs. It shouldn't be necessary to force a player to have a large open space for this. If they want to design a ship with a small docking bay, or even a cavity inside it for some of their smaller ships to dock to for protection during transport, then they really should be able to. If at some point you all are going to include AI commands for docking, then I can see the AI needing the clear space, but for the purposes of us manually flying our ships in or whatever, we really shouldn't be restricted in this regard. Edit: So, as there seems to be some confusion elsewhere, I am not talking about the clearance needed for the "docking lane" that you use to interact with a station or that NPCs use to "dock" with a station. I'm specifically talking about the physical ship-to-ship / ship-to-station / station-to-station docking mechanism introduced in 1.3 where you can then use one ship to drag the other around like in the image below. Only, I'd like to be able to do it in a bay of the ship, like here (small ship in the small forward bay of the Star Destroyer): Without the need to extend the size of the dock outside of the bay: What I'm asking for should not have anything to do with AI pathfinding seems we're having to manually fly and line these objects up in the first place.
  2. I have a couple of ideas -- any responses would be appreciated! Currently, docking multiple ships together (last I checked) is pretty awkward. I also understand that coding these things can be hard. As such, I tried to avoid anything technically outrageous, and to create the idea to provide as much value as possible with as little modification as possible. Nevertheless, this is somewhat complex. Please be patient in reading it. For those less patient, the TL;DR of it is: Pad-to-Pad docking that aligns the pads rotationally Allows for captains/AI to dock a ship and have it point in the right direction Docked ships can be semi-permanently bonded to a ship they are docked to, and receive commands like fighters Bonded ships consider their working range to be within one warp jump (by default) of the mothership for most tasks Bonded ships can be configured to react to mothership actions (like warping away) Bonded ships gain a few extra mothership-related commands to choose from (return, dock/launch, unbond, work) Alignment visuals for player docking Personally, I would be more than happy to buy this as a DLC. Core Ideas This is what I'd really like to see done, however it's done. I'd be happy with these being implemented in any way. Captained ships can be commanded to dock with another ship Finer-grained control over docking/undocking Docked ships can be "bonded", which provides additional mothership-related captain commands, as well as fighter-like controls over the bonded ship while it isn't docked Bonded ships can be controlled like fighters, and stay relatively close to the mothership, or roam within a specified work area Details This is my conception of what implementation would look like. New Captain Abilities Any place a captain can be given commands, it can be commanded to dock with any other fleet ship. If it is not in the correct location, it will seek out that ship to dock with it. Captains of bonded ships gain additional mothership-related commands (detailed below in 'Bonding' Docked and Bonded Ships List Docked and bonded ships show up as icons on the top left above fighters, with a similar interface Docked ship options: Undock, Bond Undocked ships are immediately selected so they can be switched to easily Bonded Ship default options: Dock/Launch, Attack, Mine, Salvage, Support, Escort Me, Escort Target Has a 'roam' checkbox - if checked, ship is allowed to roam within its working range. Otherwise, it stays in the sector. Docking There is a "docking" and a "receiving" ship. The receiving ship should be immobile. The docking ship performs the docking action. Both ships must have a pad, and the configuration must be compatible. Specifically: The plane of the receiving ship's docking pad must encompass the plane of the docking ship's pad when aligned. see technical notes on pad matching Docking is done with a consistent process, and results in a consistent orientation see technical notes on automatic docking procedure Docked ships show up in the Docked and Bonded Ships List for easy bonding or undocking Motherships A mothership is just a receiving ship that has bonded a docked ship. Bonding Bonding a ship associates a ship with a mothership until unbonded. The docked ship becomes bonded to the pad it is docked on, and the pad cannot be used by other ships (even if the bonded ship isn't docked) The number of bonded ships is limited -- either they take up a fighter squadron slot, or they have their own max Bonded ships gain additional command actions relevant to their mothership, available in the relevant interface areas. Examples Return - return to mothership Return to range - return to working range Dock - return and dock with mothership Work - Default activity - Do the configured default activity Configuration Each bonded ship can be configured, in a screen similar to the fighter squadron configuration tab Configuration options Working Range - Number of warps this ship is allowed to go from mothership - default is its max warp range This may be circumvented by some commands Menu Actions - These are the icons available via the ship's icon in the Docked and Bonded Ships List (icons on top left above fighters) Any general action that can be assigned to a captain can be set to appear in the ship's list of actions Some actions (escort target) may explicitly require moving out of the working range). These could have a checkbox to allow that. Default Activity - Activity this ship will do if the ship is launched, but no command given (or if mothership / player launches all) Mothership Warp Reaction What to do when the mothership warps away Applies whether or not this ship is in the same sector as the mothership (or checkmark for 'same sector only') Normal captain action options, plus options such as Warp to new/expected working range (default) Stay within old working range Return (Warp to Mothership's sector) Dock Mothership Warp Select Reaction What to do if the mothership just *selects* a sector to warp to same extra choices as Mothership Warp Reaction Unbond (or [x]) - Cease to be bonded to the mothership -- return to being a regular docked ship Control Control goes to the mother ship. If the player is controlling a docking ship, they lose control, possibly with an option to switch to the receiving ship, or perhaps switching automatically. Nesting (or lack thereof) A ship which has ships docked to it cannot dock to another (except normal docking to stations for goods and services) Ships may still dock to the remaining open pads on the receiving ship (but not to pads on the docking ship Technical Details These are details that I considered too fiddly to put above, but still wanted to include. They may or may not be relevant, and aren't really the core idea. Some parts of it, like the chatter in the docking process, I really like the thought of, though. Orientation Docking pads are changed so that they now have a relevant rotational orientation - a 'forward'. This can be modified in the editor with the 'r' setting When docking, ships attempt to align so that 'forward' is the same direction for both pads. Pad Alignment pad-to-pad docking requires that the pads *should* be aligned for player docking, and *must* be aligned for AI docking. this results in consistent orientation except when people are intentionally doing something else Pad Matching The largest pad on the docking ship must be used Any *matching* pad on the receiving ship may be used To be considered 'matching', the receiving pad must fully encompass the docking ship's pad when properly aligned Pad Selection AI (and guides for players) could use the following criteria to choose a pad: Pads with an identical docking surface are selected first The smallest matching pad is selected if an identical pad isn't available. Docking process, AI or Player Get to the same sector as receiver Get within range of the receiver Request docking (hotkey applies to targeted ship, or request via ship menu) -- largely the same for player or AI. "This is the USC Dragonmount requesting docking clearance from the HMS Snoot Booper" Positive responses "Clearance granted, USC Dragonmount" "Clearance granted on Pad 3, USC Dragonmount" "Welcome home, USC Dragonmount - proceed to dock" (for bonded ships) Negative Responses "Negative, USC Dragonmount. We don't have a pad large enough for you." "Negative, USC Dragonmount. We have no available pads for you." "Negative, USC Dragonmount. We have sustained damage and cannot accommodate you." Follow visual alignment guides (or AI, follow alignment process Example Docking Procedure for AI or Visual Alignment Guides First, the docking ship flies out to docking distance from the pad, approx 1.2 ship lengths (of the longest dimension) away Then, the docking ship rotates so that the 'forward' direction of its pad is aligned with the 'forward' direction of the receiving ship's pad. Then, the docking ship rotates so that the pads are on parallel planes (facing each other, but possibly not aligned) Then, the docking ship 'strafes' along the same plane(s) as the docking pads until the pads are aligned with each other Then, the docking ship closes distance until pad tractors take over. If the docking process is interrupted, it starts again (until cancelled? for a few tries?) If you have made it this far, I commend you. edits: small / organizational changes, shifting tl;dr to top
  3. I rather enjoy playing Avorion and love the amazing creativity, effort, support, and love that can be, and is poured into the game, it's content and ship. What I think might be interesting, if it is doable, is the ability to attach smaller vessels to larger ones. Ships can dock at stations, sure... But, Let's say though your ship is in the middle of nowhere, and not near a docking station, or at least not a friendly and/or player built one, and unable to jump to a station as it is out of his jump range, or lacking in power or the capability due to combat... In such a scenario, you could in theory attach/link/dock the smaller vessel to the larger one, making it into a sort of Transport ship for those smaller Craft. Other uses for this could be for jumping larger collections of forces without relying on individual ship jump systems and wormholes. It could also give me incentive for designing ships for specific purposes and classes. For Example, a transport ship for ferrying those smaller vessels would not be a capable frontliner and could perhaps serve as a bit of a mobile refueling and repair station or something like that, with limited resource depending on it's cargo capabilities and such. Additionally a ship designed specifically for ship ferrying, could potentially free up upgrade slots in frontliners and allow for more capable frontline vessels with greater weaponry and firepower, and/or more defensive capability. Depending on your choice of design. I have a whole slew of ideas centered around this that could add a great possibilities and benefits. Thought I might throw this out there and see what others think. I came to realize recently that I need further clarification on what I mean. Thank you to AvorionCraft, for bringing me around to that realization. When a ship is docked to another ship, all but the most basic systems needed to run that ship are shut down in a manner of speaking. It is, in some way attached or held in place by docking clamps on the exterior of the carrier ship, and all functions and controls are essentially handled by the transport ship. The carrier ship would only change in mass, and thereby the required energy needed to produce thrust and/or to make a jump, which could be supplied by the docked ship(s). It would have the capability to transfer crew, fighters, and any cargo (including torpedoes) and both ships would still be separate entities, but so long as the smaller ship is docked to that carrier transport, it's incapable of moving or acting on it's own. Shields are powered down or minimal (less than 25%) and all turrets are inactive. If the transport ship is attacked and destroyed while the ship(s) are still docked, all ships docked are also destroyed. In the case of needing an emergency undock due the carrier transport being nearly destroyed and under heavy fire, An emergency undocking procedure could be performed that undocks all attached ships by destroying/severing the carrier's docking clamps and it will be incapable of having any ships redock, or new ships dock until the ship has been fully restored and repaired at a repair dock. Additionally, in order to make a carrier transport/ferry for ships, maybe this could be something designated through specific equipment modules that must be permanently installed or even a new Artifact module, and any ship with the module(s) suffers a percentage reduction in current total Shield points, Hull Points, and Turret Slots and gains a number of docking hardpoints to determine how many ships it can ferry, and an increase in jump range, and an increase in cargo capacity. I believe doing it through an equipment in this manner would also reinforce the idea that the carrier transport is not meant to be on the frontlines and that this would be a support ship that can resupply and transport other space craft. My reasoning for all this is a combination of thinking more realistically and strategically. This would allow one to dedicate a ship specifically to transporting other ships across the sectors but would provide a reason not to always have a ship docked to another, and it would give incentive not to just jump into a combat sector and deploy a massive fleet of ships. Instead, you would jump your carrier ship a few sectors out, ideally in a safe sector controlled by you or an ally, undock your ships, and then jump into combat. In this way there would be a combination of balance and utility. P.S. Thanks again to AvorionCraft for the realization of how vaguely I described my idea, I hope this is more clarified, and possibly a greater understanding of my idea for Carrier Transports and ferrying vessels. Edits: Feb 22 2021: Spelling and grammatical errors. April 07, 2021: Clarification and more detailed break down
  4. When you dock stations to each other you have to use a single station as the primary and dock all stations to it. this is slightly frustrating but the real problem is it also seems to prevent NPC ships from docking to buy or sell goods. at the non primary factory. Edit: if this gets fixed it would also be really cool if you could initiate docks from already docked stations. It would also be really cool to dock stations to each side and make a ring world type station chain. Edit 2: I moved this to Bug reports it can be deleted here if a Dev sees it.
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