Docking Problems

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davcefai
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Docking Problems

Post by davcefai » Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:58 pm

I have discussed this in the General Forum but think it should be considered a bug.

In earlier versions, if you were a little sloppy while docking, you bumped and scraped your way in.

In 1.80, either I dock perfectly or my ship is destroyed. Moreover I get the impression that some of the docking ports have shrunk a little.

This is very discouraging. I believe a game should not be too easy. On the other hand if after fighting your way through half a dozen pirate infested systems your crippled ship gets blown up because you are just about invisibly imperfectly lined up, the tendency is to dump the game and do something else!

i truly feel that this feature will reduce the number of people playing Oolite. Is there a chance that the previous behaviour will be restored?

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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Disembodied » Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:10 am

Personally, I've not noticed any change in docking difficulty. This might be down to an OXP rather than the core game: what ship are you flying, for example?

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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Smivs » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:20 am

I haven't 'just played' at all since long before 1.80, so was intrigued by this. I therefore tried a few docking maneouvres to see what was what. For a fair test I tried with a Cobby 3 and a Boa CC, both old and new style ships, with the new stations (all three types).
With reasonable care all were successful. If I was fairly sloppy, the ship did explode, so to summarise I did get the impression that sloppy docking will lead to destruction rather than a lot of scraping and crunching. This should not be a problem for most Commanders, but accept that a novice might find this irritating.
Conclusion:- things are basically OK, but a bit more leeway might be wise to avoid newcomers from getting terminally frustrated. In this case I do feel that bad docking (even if successful) should perhaps be penalised, perhaps with some fines or similar, just to make a point.
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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Cody » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:13 pm

I cannot see any difference in docking - though don't core stations rotate a tad slower now? Even easier for a new player, one would think.

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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Diziet Sma » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:09 pm

Smivs wrote:I haven't 'just played' at all since long before 1.80, so was intrigued by this. I therefore tried a few docking maneouvres to see what was what. For a fair test I tried with a Cobby 3 and a Boa CC, both old and new style ships, with the new stations (all three types).
With reasonable care all were successful. If I was fairly sloppy, the ship did explode, so to summarise I did get the impression that sloppy docking will lead to destruction rather than a lot of scraping and crunching. This should not be a problem for most Commanders, but accept that a novice might find this irritating.
Conclusion:- things are basically OK, but a bit more leeway might be wise to avoid newcomers from getting terminally frustrated. In this case I do feel that bad docking (even if successful) should perhaps be penalised, perhaps with some fines or similar, just to make a point.
Well, a Cobby and a Boa are one thing, but some ships are a tight fit at best.. so I daresay in one of those, death may come far too easily..
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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Norby » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:21 pm

davcefai wrote:either I dock perfectly or my ship is destroyed.
This is changeable in the core only, but meantime you can use [wiki]ILS[/wiki]. Much easier if you must perfectly roll only than roll+pitch.

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Re: Docking Problems

Post by cim » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:47 pm

At least some of the change was intentional - 1.77 and earlier had a bug which would let you dock a Cobra III sideways-on at some stations, so the game will be a bit pickier about rotations.

There does seem to have been an unintentional change I made to one of the other safety margin factors while sorting that out, which made non-fatal bad dockings harder to come by. I've changed that back now for tonight's build.

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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Smivs » Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:01 pm

Diziet Sma wrote: Well, a Cobby and a Boa are one thing, but some ships are a tight fit at best..
Not really, they are the widest and tallest of the core ships. If an OXP ship is much bigger in any dimension it is tempting fate and might be considered not fit for purpose :wink:
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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Disembodied » Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:51 pm

cim wrote:There does seem to have been an unintentional change I made to one of the other safety margin factors while sorting that out, which made non-fatal bad dockings harder to come by. I've changed that back now for tonight's build.
Sounds good! Is there any mileage in instituting Smivs's nifty idea for penalties for dodgy docking? Or would this be better done via something like the [wiki]Traffic Control OXP[/wiki]?

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Re: Docking Problems

Post by cim » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:16 pm

There's already a penalty in potential equipment or cargo damage, so adding a fine on top of that might be unnecessary.

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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Smivs » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:37 pm

Yeah, but somebody's got to pay to repair the docking bay!
How about a small docking fee, which is refunded if you don't trash the dock when you land :)
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Re: Docking Problems

Post by cim » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:44 pm

I would think if you're hitting hard enough to penetrate the bay shielding, there won't be enough left of your ship to fine...

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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Smivs » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:57 pm

<chuckles>
That's true.
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Re: Docking Problems

Post by Fatleaf » Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:12 pm

Just to throw my tuppence in, I too like the Friendly Gourds fine idea.



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Re: Docking Problems

Post by davcefai » Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:30 pm

While I had had a few explosive dockings with a Cobra and an Arafura the problem "exploded" when I re-equipped myself with my favourite Imperial Courier.

Novice I'm not. I've been playing Oolite since 2006 and had amassed ridiculous numbers of kills and credits.

After an absence of almost a year I restarted from scratch with v1.80.

Try docking an Imperial Courier with a seedy space bar. You will find that it is not as easy as it used to be. I'm sure that the docking port height is lower than it used to be. I've changed to a DTT War Lance which has a more sensible shape and I can dock it easily.

Nevertheless I think that the severity of the penalty for a slightly bodged docking will put off newer players. By all means dump the Imperial Courier, or redesign it with a lower overall height. Maybe put a warning on all oversized ships.

Think of this scenario: You're a fugitive. You've fought your way through a series of systems carrying a fortune in firearms. You MUST dock at a station. The cops are shooting and your shields are low. Then you have a little scrape with the side of a tunnel. Press Space Commander.

I agree that sloppy docking should be penalised. My only issue is with the death penalty.

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