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 Post subject: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:22 pm 
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Dangerous
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:31 am
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Location: Vladivostok, Russia
Traffic Lights

Latest OXZ - Version 1.1.1
Uploaded 29 January 2019

Traffic jams sometimes happens. You approach main station, call tower and take your queue position in incoming traffic. Number 12 or so in busy systems. OK, no problem. About ten minutes for incoming queue, maybe 2...3 minutes for departing traffic and you’ll get docking clearance.
But wait, it seems traffic frozen again without apparent reasons. Sometimes motion will be continue five or ten minutes later, sometimes not. Pause, F2, set Docking clearance protocol OFF, return to game, docking, reset Docking clearance protocol ON again. Damn, this is not funny part of game experience.

Well, we have already OXP dealing with traffic jam issue – Instrumental Landing System (author Norby). Maybe it works fine, I just didn’t try it. Honestly I don’t like any equipment assisted flight and combat mods. I prefer to control manually all that I can with few exceptions. This is a part of game experience.

Traffic Lights is not alternative docking mechanics. It did not prevents traffic jams. It only provides bypass to override traffic jams. Idea is simple: if you’ll did not get docking clearance in 15 mins after taking queue position, Docking Clearance Protocol for main station will switch to OFF and you’ll can dock. Docking Clearance Protocol will reset to ON after next launch from station, you have no need to reset it manually.
Emergency docking clearance is performed on main station only and if you have no Fugitive status!

How it works in game.

Case #1. There is no any traffic in proximity of main station. You’ll get docking clearance with 2 min docking window. Proceed to dock as usual.

Case #2. Regular traffic pattern without traffic jams. Contact tower and wait your docking clearance as usual. In this case timer calls message with 1 min intervals:

Docking clearance status: Emergency docking in # min

When you’ll get docking clearance timer will stop and message will not be displayed anymore. Proceed to dock as usual.

Case #3. Traffic jam. 15 min after taking queue position timer will stop and you’ll get message:

Docking clearance status: Emergency docking allowed

Proceed to dock. Now you have permission.

Case #4. Main station in red alert state (station was attacked). In this case any regular traffic is stopped to provide launch window for Galcop Vipers. You’ll get message:

Docking clearance status: Emergency docking frozen

Wait for “all clear” state. Timer will continue from stopped state.
Sometimes station in red alert cancels traffic queue. In this case you need to contact tower again. Timer will continue from stopped state too.

Timer will be killed if you’ll dock with any station (including PlanetFall surface port), leave AEGIS zone of main station or enter wormhole.

Case #5 is my special case. I have OXP simulating shields shutdown after fuel depletion. In this case you’ll get emergency docking permission immediately after request, if station is NOT in red alert state. I think this case is not matter of interest for casual gamer.

The second part of this OXP is visual helper – string of colored flashers on approach lane between main station docking port and beacon. It is the most obvious way to inform player state of docking clearance. I borrowed critical part of code from Neo-Dock Lights OXP (author Thargoid) and tweaked it. Flashers rearranged from string to box configuration (I don’t like “airstrip” lights configurations) and more complex color coding scheme is implemented:

RED – docking is prohibited.
YELLOW – docking is allowed, but there are ships in approach lane OR you have less then 30 seconds to dock.
GREEN – docking is allowed and approach is clear.
BLUE – player is not in docking queue.

But wait, you probably ask. Moray before you already has docking clearance and traffic lights must be green or yellow for her. But you have no docking clearance yet and continue to see red lights. How you explain this contradiction?
Try to think in terms of augmented reality. Flashers are not real objects but visual effects, simulated by avionics. Moray before you has docking clearance and her avionics displays green lights for pilot on her HUD. You have not docking clearance and you see red lights on your HUD.

Compatibility issues:

Traffic Lights is incompatible with Neo-Dock Lights OXP (author Thargoid).
Technically it is not conflicting with other OXPs generating dock assist lights but I recommend to avoid using other visual docking helper OXPs to prevent graphic clutter.

Credits:

Modified code from Neo-Dock Lights OXP (author Thargoid) was used for visualization of docking status.
I thank commander vasig for invaluable help in testing this OXP in state of development.
I thank also commander cyxoway for multiple timer issue report and improved method of timer management.


Last edited by stranger on Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:42 am 
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---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
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Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 9:53 pm
Posts: 2541
Location: Budapest, Hungary (Mainly Agricultural Democracy, TL10)
Good idea! Players who think 15min is too long can give a try to TAF feature in oxp developer and trunk versions, which offer 16x time acceleration, so possible to get emergency docking even after a minute in real time.

You can install ILS oxp safely: it will change your control only if you buy the ILS equipment, but NPCs will dock faster if you just install the addon and fly without the equipment.

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OXPs by Norby


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 Post subject: Re: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:32 am 
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Location: Vladivostok, Russia
Thanks for feedback, Norby!

ILS is not declared in manifest.plist as conflicting and I have no reasons to do it. Player will have possibility to install both expansion packs. It seems quite safe.


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 Post subject: Re: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:57 pm
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Sounds like an interesting idea - I must try this oxp out.

I must confess that I struggled with docking traffic queues at stations for a long time - usually I would hit "c" for docking computer and use the opportunity to have a break and put the kettle on.
I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I only realised in more recent times that once the "S" (space station hud icon) was active that you could simply hit "C" (shift & c) to instantly dock.
Evidently when I was learning to play oolite (or more to the point relying on old knowledge gained when playing elite on an electron in the 1980's) I yet again failed to read info on wiki pages (sighs) or I may have spotted the following:
Quote:

Holding shift and pressing c ("C") activates a hypnotic sleep inducer (MemmSomn Pilot Interaction) at the same time as the docking computers - this allows the pilot to sleep while the ship docks and awake refreshed when docking procedures are complete. This allows Commanders to devote more concentration on important commercial decisions once docked. Note, this option is not available with certain large vessels and non-standard stations.
Instead my brain naively said to itself "you know it's c to dock, why bother wasting time reading what you already know?" :oops:

In fairness this may only reduce playing time waiting for docking and may penalise mission / cargo contracts which are time sensitive, all I know is that it saves me potentially waiting a long time (when docking queues get out of control).

Just thought I'd mention this in case it is use to anyone else

Or if there is anyone else as daft as me (now there's a scary thought) :wink:
:lol:

_________________
O.C.T.D (Oolite Crash Test Dummy) Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm......


Last edited by Damocles Edge on Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:10 pm 
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Quote:
In fairness this may only reduce playing time waiting for docking and may penalise mission / cargo contracts which are time sensitive...
If memory serves, manual docking saves twenty minutes over auto-docking. On a cross-chart contract (say 35-40 jumps), that adds up!

_________________
Knowledge is a deadly friend, if no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools


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 Post subject: Re: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:26 pm 
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Sometimes interesting events happens during manual dockings. Being attacked by gangsters from Random Hits Shipset just before entering docking well - it is nice addition to game flavor. So I prefer always to dock manually to keep fresh my skills of situation awareness.


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 Post subject: Re: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:33 am 
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Quote:
Sometimes interesting events happens during manual dockings.
Indeed they do! Getting attacked as you enter the slot by a crazed lobster in a Hognose comes to mind.

_________________
Knowledge is a deadly friend, if no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools


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 Post subject: Re: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:45 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
Sometimes interesting events happens during manual dockings.
Indeed they do! Getting attacked as you enter the slot by a crazed lobster in a Hognose comes to mind.
Sometimes these stupid lobsters launched during your final approach... damn!


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 Post subject: Re: Traffic Lights
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:52 am 
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Aye, damn lobsters have cost me a 5K fine several times! The Holy Joes are sweet though, and often good for a free ride.

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Knowledge is a deadly friend, if no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools


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