Players who have installed the Advanced Navigation Computer
OXP have noticed the change that takes place to hyperspace countdowns. Now, instead of just jumping with your ship pointing in any direction, the ANC will auto-rotate your ship to align with a visible witchspace destination. This is without even purchasing the ANC equipment item itself.
I always liked the idea that a witchspace jump needed to be aligned with some destination, and I really appreciated the ANC for this reason, except for one thing - I wanted to do the alignment myself. I was OK with the ANC doing auto-alignment after it was purchased, but I wanted the process to be manual if I hadn't.
Changes in Oolite 1.85/86 now allow this manual alignment method to be fully implemented. The OXP linked below borrows heavily from the ANC, and so I must give credit to Cmdr. Cheyd, Phantor Gorth, Svengali and Submersible for their original work.
Once this OXP is installed, and you initiate a hyperspace jump, your jump will not start straight away. Instead, you will see a new item appear on your space compass, showing you the direction you must face to start the countdown. Once you align your ship with the beacon, the countdown will begin. You must keep your ship aligned with the beacon in order to complete the jump. If you are forced to deviate from your course, the countdown will stop and you will need to re-align to start it again. If the destination beacon is behind a planet, the sun, or a station, you will need to navigate around the entity before the countdown will begin.
If you don't have a space compass (eg when you start a new commander), you will instead be given console messages informing you of the location of the beacon. eg "Left and Up" or "Down and Right". These messages will also be shown if you find yourself in interstellar space, where the space compass does not work.
The instructions above apply whether you are using the ANC or not. The ANC is not a pre-requisite of this OXP, although if both are installed they will operate in harmony. Up until the point you actually purchase the ANC, you will need to manually align your ship. Once you have the ANC on board, however, the auto-alignment operation will take over.
To force a mis-jump with the Manual Witchspace Alignment OXP installed, first align your ship with the destination beacon. Then quickly pull up using the keyboard (normally the down arrow key). The countdown should continue while your ship is looping.
Feedback welcome. As a technical note, the method I'm using the check if a station is in the way of the player is rather clunky - I'm essentially using the same method as for a planet, taking the largest side of the bounding box and using that value divided by 2 as a radius. If anyone can suggest a better method of telling if the player is heading directly for the station please let me know.
You can download via the manager, or if you want to do it manually, here's the link: ManualWitchspaceAlignment.oxz