Thoughts on the Tractor Beam and Spaced Cargo

Darkmatter

Rear Admiral
The Tractor Beam in the original game didn't come out as a beam from the front of the ship. It was like a self targetting turret that would lock onto the cargo once you got to within range and drag it into your hold. This was easier since you didn't have to line your ship up perfectly to the cargo. Also, currently you have to get REALLY close to tractor it in. The tractor beam should work from a bit greater range I think.

Also, I've found that often when you destroy a ship or come across cargo its flying at a rather hefty speed. Sometimes it heads off into deep space faster then the ship that carried it. While this may be possible in real life because of internal explosions as the ship blows up, but it makes it impossible to pick up the cargo in a timely manner which makes it not worth the effort. Might I suggest that the cargo is coded to stay more or less stationary? It can float way at a few kph so its not just sitting there, but having it fly off just makes catching cargo a pain in the ass. :)
 

JKeefe

Spaceman
The Vegastrike engine is based on Newtonian physics; cargo is rather light, so it likes to go flying off at high speed relative to your ship. To catch it, target it and press F9 to match speed; this sets your zero speed to the speed of the cargo. Then you can afterburn towards the cargo until it is in range.

Tractor beam range in the Remake is 1000m. Some have said that it was 10000m in the original.
 

brandonyoung

Spaceman
Another difference is firing the tractor beam in the original game was more of a toggle on/off switch. I could target some cargo, switch to the turret, fire the tractor beam, then switch back to the cockpit to dodge the incoming fire, and firing back as I tried to scoop up the cargo. I didn't have to be continuously holding the fire button to use the tractor beam.

--Brandon Young
 

Darkmatter

Rear Admiral
Thats right, the beam was a toggle on/off not "hold to fire"

As for the cargo. Can't you purposly add some code to help slow it down? Maybe a drag to bring it to a halt, or artificially increase its mass?
 

Forlarren

Spaceman
Unless every ship is carring really really volitile fule, why cant some ships be destroyed without blowing to bits? That way you could recover the contents of the cargo, and not just the odd cargo box that survived the explosion and is zipping off to the other side of the system at near relitivistic speeds.

Also saying the game uses Newtonian physics is a bit of a misnomer. As it was pointed out before in another thread, the only way objects would behave the way they do in game is if they were all perfect spheres with infinite elastisity. Otherwise those cargo crates and/or ejected pilots you crash into would just go splat aginst your hull, not go bounding off into space like a superball.
 

drunkanvil63

Spaceman
I may be remembering this incorrectly, but didn't the cargo boxes in the original actually have more than one unit of the given cargo in it (i.e. tractoring in one cargo box labeled wood might actually add say 18 wood to your manifest). This obviously would make chasing cargo containers down more practical, profitable, and fun:)

Carl
 
S

sto

Guest
I can not get to even lock on a target or even select with tractor beam. What is point of having a turret tractor beam if you cannot even lock on to it.
 

privfan

Commodore
JKeefe said:
The Vegastrike engine is based on Newtonian physics; cargo is rather light, so it likes to go flying off at high speed relative to your ship. To catch it, target it and press F9 to match speed; this sets your zero speed to the speed of the cargo. Then you can afterburn towards the cargo until it is in range.

Tractor beam range in the Remake is 1000m. Some have said that it was 10000m in the original.

an interesting side effect of the F9 thing is that you can go faster than your ship's normal max speed
 

Chernikov

Spaceman
I rather like the 1 box = 1 unit ratio. It gives cargo a nice modular appearance and a methoidcal feel to a freighter dumping cargo, and you hanging around thankful that there aren't any Confed craft in the area to tag you while you're chasing the freighter.
 

privfan

Commodore
PopsiclePete said:
Funny, what you call a side effect I call a bug :p

when it allows me to afterburn at 1200kps and get away from some gothris it's a side effect
when it screws up and makes me go 400kps at full afterburner it's a bug :)
 
J

jungle.trader

Guest
I'm curious too about how to target cargo. I have never been able to target any cargo or pilots, and neither have I ever been able to use F9 to match speed with any targets (including those I can target), much less cargo. I've been able to tractor in cargo though--but it's kind of tricky; especially since when I first jump into the turret, it gives me a weird "full screen" view, which basically allows no control input and a weird random view off into space... So, I have to hit F5 again, which takes me back to the cockpit... then F5 again, finally puts me in the turret. This usually means that I had to pass the target with afterburners, so that by the time I'm able to get into the turret... the target hasn't vanished off into the distance... :)

Speaking of turrets... does AI fire them at all for you, to help defend your own ship, while you're piloting?
 

privfan

Commodore
the U key will target cargo, then F9 will work. I don't think F9 will work with ships as the target
From what I can tell the cargo has to be pretty much straight ahead for the U key to target it. It can be far away, but needs to be close to center in the radar
 
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