Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

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Kaks
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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Kaks »

Got to admit I'm with cim about sorely underestimating the possible repercussions of such a change...

As we were talking about making beaconCode read/write, he mentioned maybe making the main station beacon visible from any distance, and I saw no problems whatsoever with the idea... :?

I didn't even think about the N beacon thus becoming redundant.... :shock: - I can only say d'oh!




Anyway, we do have a conundrum or two: it's 'a bit' pointless to have 2 beacons pointing at essentially the same place, but why can't the main station have its own long range beacon? Quite a few oxp stations do have beacons, so there can't be a technical reason.
And: when the main station is destroyed, does it mean the second main station needs to lose its own beacon, if it had one?

Hmm, it looks like we might need to mull over this subject for a while.
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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Commander McLane »

Kaks wrote:And: when the main station is destroyed, does it mean the second main station needs to lose its own beacon, if it had one?
In my view, it should keep whatever beacon it had before (including "no beacon"). Full stop. It should not get the main station beacon, neither on top of another beacon, nor as a replacement.

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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Diziet Sma »

cim wrote:While I'm talking about the ASC, does anyone else find it really difficult to get proper pitch alignment with the triangle beacons? The point at which I think the triangle is centred on the compass usually leads to me pointing some way above the actual object. What do people think about changing it to a diamond, or some other object with both vertical and horizontal symmetry?
I agree that a more correctly oriented icon on the ASC would be helpful.. durn thing has always been misaligned, so far as I'm concerned.. it bugs the hell out of the Virgo in me.. :mrgreen:
Smivs wrote:speaking as this 'born-again' manual docker, I still find it useful, even when approaching the station/dock at a weird angle and a high-ish speed. Seeing the beacon in relation to the station helps to assess the approach angle, and gives a good idea as to the orientation of the station in relation to both the planet and the player.
Agreed.. being able to mentally draw a line between the beacon and station on the scanner helps a lot with orienting my approach angle to the station.
Last edited by Diziet Sma on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Cody »

Diziet Sma wrote:I agree that a more correctly oriented icon on the ASC would be helpful.. durn thing has always been misaligned, so far as I'm concerned.. it bugs the hell out of the Virgo in me..
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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by cim »

Okay... looking at what's been said so far, what about this as an alternative suggestion? I think it fits most of what people want from the beacons while fixing up some of the oddities with the current set up.

A basic system has four ASC targets, all with their own symbols, none of which are controlled by ship.beaconCode.
- Planet (as now)
- Station (points at the main station's navigation buoy, not at the station itself, square symbol)
- Sun (as now)
- Witchpoint (points at the witchbuoy, spiral? symbol)
(Station and Sun could be in the other order; I have no strong opinions on this)
Following those in forward cycling order is current target, and any ship.beaconCode from OXPs.

If the nav buoy or witchbuoy objects have triangle beacon codes, these are ignored.

The existing main station compass target disappears entirely (so if the original main station is destroyed, you can find the wreckage from the station buoy's beacon, but the new main station doesn't get the square beacon)

Basic Space Compass behaviour changes slightly in this proposal - when you get close to the planet, it points at the nav buoy, not the station. (Or we could continue to have it point at the station, to follow Elite more closely, but since we're varying from Elite here by having the nav buoy at all...) What the BSC does if the nav buoy is destroyed I'm less sure about - following the ASC behaviour and only pointing at the planet seems easiest.

Advantages:
- keep the dual role for the buoys as both "radio" beacons and visible navigation markers
- remove the oddity of there being two "main station" compass targets not far from each other
- lose the beacon if the buoy is destroyed, just like in 1.76, but also allow it to be restored by a friendly GRS ship without changing the order of the key beacons on the ASC
- retain compatibility with OXPs that expect the buoys to be there and have ASC visibility.
- see the nav buoy beacon across the system, as in 1.76
- don't need changes to shipsets/buoy OXPs to remove or change existing beacon codes
- fix the oddities related to COMPASS_TARGET_STATION on main station destruction.
- fix the Commies oddity

Disadvantages:
- probable change to BSC behaviour that's 8km less close to Elite original.
- may be some OXPs which require buoys to specifically have N or W codes. I can't think of any, though.
- change in order of compass cycling (if planet-sun-station-witchpoint is picked over planet-station-sun-witchpoint) and new compass constant COMPASS_TARGET_WITCHPOINT may require some OXP changes.
...and probably some other things I've not thought of.

Thoughts? Either way I'm convinced that what is now in trunk is worse than both 1.76 and this idea, so I'll be backing that out (minus the bits that actually make beaconCode writable) fairly soon.

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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by snork »

Today I am not able to follow more complicated things, so do not get what cim is mainly on about. So just about the simpler things.
cim wrote: While I'm talking about the ASC, does anyone else find it really difficult to get proper pitch alignment with the triangle beacons? The point at which I think the triangle is centred on the compass usually leads to me pointing some way above the actual object. What do people think about changing it to a diamond, or some other object with both vertical and horizontal symmetry?
Hm, yeah, so what ? I got used to it easily, just like with the Laser parallaxes on each ship.
Eric Walch wrote:Without a signal on the compass, the whole station buoy becomes rather useless.
Öhm, I disagree. I still use buoys to get aligned with the docking tunnel. I need them in bad lighting situations - though those may mostly be with non-main stations, for example when the sun is so that I can hardly see the rock hermit, leave alone any details on the Rock Hermit (docking slit).

But I think to remember I also had this with main stations, that they can be positioned in the planet's umbra shadow.

Combine that with playing in bad (real world) lighting situation - thank Good there's beacons/ buoys.
El Viejo wrote:My opinion: do away with the station nav buoy completely.
Please no, see above.
Disembodied wrote: And slow down the station rotation in the core game too, for that matter – it makes the stations seem larger and makes docking less fatal for those who are still getting the hang of it.
I find slower rotation to look better, yes, but not making docking easier, rather the opposite.

Maybe I am just used too much to the fast rotation, or it is that I am so lucky that the rotating counterwise for me works fine with what is the outcome of my gamepad's full-tilt "counter-rotating". :|

------------------------

If there was one thing I'd want changed in ASC behaviour, it would be to remember my last choice and try to set itself to that on hyperjumps.
If not possible, default to planet like it does now.

But that is so minor, not even a nuisance.

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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Cody »

cim wrote:The existing main station compass target disappears entirely... Basic Space Compass behaviour changes slightly in this proposal - when you get close to the planet, it points at the nav buoy, not the station. What the BSC does if the nav buoy is destroyed I'm less sure about - following the ASC behaviour and only pointing at the planet seems easiest.
This dumb pilot is a little confused. At pesent (1.76), if the nav buoy is destroyed, the station's own beacon still shows on the ASC (within the aegis, that is). With the proposed change, does this mean that there'll be no station beacon at all on the ASC if the nav buoy is destroyed?
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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by cim »

El Viejo wrote:
cim wrote:The existing main station compass target disappears entirely... Basic Space Compass behaviour changes slightly in this proposal - when you get close to the planet, it points at the nav buoy, not the station. What the BSC does if the nav buoy is destroyed I'm less sure about - following the ASC behaviour and only pointing at the planet seems easiest.
This dumb pilot is a little confused. At pesent (1.76), if the nav buoy is destroyed, the station's own beacon still shows on the ASC (within the aegis, that is). With the proposed change, does this mean that there'll be no station beacon at all on the ASC if the nav buoy is destroyed?
Yes. (Though, "No" could also be justified by saying that the station switches on a low power back-up beacon if the nav buoy is destroyed)

Of course, now launching ships no longer generally plough into the nav buoy, the only thing that tends to get it outside of OXP plots is Thargoids with nothing better to shoot at, so either way it won't come up very often.

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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Cody »

cim wrote:Of course, now launching ships no longer generally plough into the nav buoy, the only thing that tends to get it outside of OXP plots is Thargoids with nothing better to shoot at, so either way it won't come up very often.
<chuckles> I shoot nav buoys up occasionly. However, it'll be no problem for me... I can find a station easily enough without an ASC beacon.
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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by cim »

Commander McLane wrote:Speaking of that, I find it difficult to get proper alignment with any beacon. On my compass it seems (and has always seemed since C64-Elite) that all beacon symbols have to be aligned with a point slightly above and slightly left to the crosshairs in the compass. That's the point where the beacon symbol doesn't move when rolling the ship. Otherwise the symbol rotates around this point, not around the centre of the crosshairs. Having a triangle to align instead of something square only adds a little to the confusion.
Changing the compass icon for beacons to one much easier to check this with, I can't see anything wrong with the alignment. The code for the icon display also seems entirely fine.
Image
The triangle is a particular problem to line up, I think, because 75% of its area should be below the compass centre for it to be correctly positioned. Though it's not intended for precision flying so much as pointing the ship in the right direction to get close enough to see the object, so maybe it doesn't need to.

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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Wildeblood »

Changing the beacon icon from the isosceles triangle, which people think looks off-centre because they expect it to be an equilateral triangle, into a diamond. That's an obvious improvement. It should be done immediately.

Making beaconCode read/write has been requested by several people over the last year or so, although I don't really see the point, myself.

Nothing else that's been suggested here has any merit whatsoever.

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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Okti »

Also beacon code may not be a letter, a description entry with the same name can define an icon. I did not check if that aproach works because I did not have time, but if someone can confirm an icon definition works or not will be more than wellcome.
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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by cim »

Okti wrote:Also beacon code may not be a letter, a description entry with the same name can define an icon. I did not check if that aproach works because I did not have time, but if someone can confirm an icon definition works or not will be more than wellcome.
The translation from description entries happens as part of beacon display rather than beacon assignment, so you can do (e.g.) ship.beaconCode = "fuelStation_satellite"; and if Fuel Stations is installed it'll get a pump icon, and if it isn't it'll get an 'f' icon.

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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by CommonSenseOTB »

cim, please don't change anything except making beaconcode read/write. I've never had any problem with the rest of it and neither have most people I suspect. The triangle used for nav beacons is something I'm used to and is part of the game's character. Oxp's are one thing and adding options to the oxp creator is great but when it comes to the core game "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Until this viewtopic appeared no one had any problems. Looks like change for the sake of change. And for the record, when I do a manual dock I aim at the nav beacon and turn to face the station just before hitting it so I'm lined up nice. Anything that changes my ability to find the nav beacon and then the station through instruments alone is bad for my game. Please don't.
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Re: Beacons on the Advanced Space Compass

Post by Switeck »

I too use the NAV buoy to line up with the station, please don't change that. :(

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