Slow ships are not very playable in Oolite - masslocks take longer and combats are harder to escape.
Speed can remedy this but only when the player ship is faster than those it is up against: slow ships are necessary for this to work and the same ships are therefore more problematic to play.
This is a player only concession but it is only the player who gets bored. Pursuers do not tire eaily in this game and lengthy pursuits of near defeated non player foes could also be tedious. Granting the option to non player ships therefore is not necessarily desirable.
Guarding Against Exploits
When you are faster then your opponent(s) then not only is escape much easier but so is controlling the range of the combat - which is a significant factor in determining victory. Granting the speed boost only with weapons offline makes it difficult to use aggressively.
When in a faster ship such as the Cobra Mk III, this boost is sufficient to (just) escape from Viper Interceptors (the elite police fighters) making things a bit too easy for the fugitive player especially but also players in general. Consequently the bonus does not apply to injector speed, so any faster ship with injectors will still catch up with you.
Isn't this what Masslock Compensators OXP does?
A few major diferences: MLC grants it's bonus only in yellow alert (and is therefore useless in combat); it also grants a higher bonus (*2) making it more effective against masslocks; it requires no toggling of any keys or settings nor does it disable any weapons. This oxp is more strategic: do you want speed or weapons?
There may be some slowing if you toggle in yellow alert and are using both oxps but I'll look to fix that for later versions.
A couple of examples:
- Default max speed = 0.24
- Offline max speed = 0.36 (0.24 * 1.5)
- Max injector speed = 1.68 (0.24 * 7)
Cobra Mk III
- Default max speed = 0.35
- Offline max speed = 0.525 (0.35 * 1.5)
- Max injector speed = 2.45 (0.35 * 7)
Note that the Adder with weapons offline can now escape just as well (fractionally better in fact) than a Cobra Mk III with weapons online. The Mk III meanwhile could escape from anything without injectors. When using injectors however, the Mk III (just like any other ship) is no faster than before.
v 1.0 available from the in-game manager.