It really can't be said enough. Y'all did great.
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It really can't be said enough. Y'all did great.
Would be interested to see what people think of the Conversations post-release.
Hi! Thanks for downloading the GTI Veles. Hopefully this station will be exactly what you need for your campaign, but in order to use it to its full capabilities, there are a few things you should know.
Almost all of these notes are focused on docking - the Veles has nearly 100 dockpoints, and is designed primarily as a place to transfer cargo. First and foremost:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!DO NOT TRY TO FILL ALL THE DOCKPOINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Many of them overlap, and will look bad, but also the sheer number of objects will cause FSO to slow down to a crawl. So avoid it. Use a sensible number of cargo containers and ships so that the station looks busy, but keep the number reasonable. Your players will thank you for it.
Second key thing - use the correct dockpoints for the correct ships/cargo containers. This will be explained in detail below.
Generally speaking, the docks are not generic, and are instead designed for specific ships and cargo containers. In most cases, a cargo dockpoint without a name in it is designed to fit a TAC-1, TC2 or TSC2. TTC 1 will work, but will probably be a bit sparse in most cases. VAC 5 and VAC 4 will generally also fit.
A few exceptions apply:
CargoDockShelf10 - Do not use a TAC 1 or similarly long container here or you will overlap the crane structure. a TC or TSC 2 will work fine.
CargoGas* - These are designed exclusively for the TGas-1. Anything else will clip badly into the geometry of the model.
CargoTCTRI* - These are designed exclusively for the TC-TRI. Anything else will just be sitting off in space randomly.
CargoSmall* - These are designed for the TTC 1. Other containers may or may not fit into the small spaces in which these dockpoints have been crammed.
These are a bit more specific than the cargo dockpoints. Some are generic, and will work with a wide variety of ships. These are:
PadA, PadB, PadC - These are transport docks for ships landing on the pads on top of the main fighterbay.
Transport Dock* - These are the 4 normal looking dockpoints with the red and yellow lights leading to them on the angled side of the station.
DockingPoint* - These are the 3 normal looking dockpoints on the TC-TRI pad.
DockCPad* - These are the generic versions of the three Cronos exclusive dockpoints inside the main cargo bay.
The remaining dockpoints are ship specific, and must be used more carefully.
PosTACDock* - These are the animated dockpoints in the cutaway section above the main cargo bay. Use these dockpoints -only- when a Poseidon class freighter carrying a TAC 1 cargo container wants to dock. This ensures that the docking tube underneath the dock extends to the correct height and doesn't clip the geometry of the cargo container.
PosTCDock* - As above, these are the animated dockpoints in the cutaway section above the main cargo bay. Use these dockpoints -only- when a Poseidon class freighter carrying a TC 2 or a TSC 2 cargo container wants to dock. This ensures that the docking tube underneath the dock extends to the correct height and doesn't clip the geometry of the cargo container.
DockCronos* - These are the dockpoints which allow Cronos freighters/Amazon Advanced drones to land on the three large cargo pads in the main bay. For any other ship, use the DockCPad dock.
PoseidonDockA and PoseidonDockB - These dockpoints are used when a loaded Poseidon wants to drop cargo into the pits marked A and B on the top of the station. Docking is simple. Undocking is complex - simply using the Undock AI command will cause a lot of grief. Instead, to undock, the following is recommended.
1. Use the jettison-cargo sexp on the Poseidon to sever the link between the freighter and its cargo. Make sure to set velocity at 0.
2. Set the cargo and the Poseidon to the same collision group using the add-to-collision-group sexp.
3. Use the set-object-speed-y sexp to give the Poseidon a push up away from the cargo container. I've found an initial speed of around 120 moves it far enough up, but alternately use the every-time sexp to have a lower speed for a few seconds.
3. Have the Poseidon follow a waypoint up and forwards, away from the dockpoint.
4. Once the Poseidon has cleared, close the door. This is done using three copies of the trigger-submodel-animation sexp, using the following arguments:
1. <GTI Veles Name>
6. <relevant submodel name>
To close the door over Pad A, the three <releavant submodel name> entries are C1-A1, C1-A2 and Cover01.
To close the door over Pad B, the three <releavant submodel name> entries are C2-A1, C2-A2 and Cover02.
The Freespace docking system is messy, and has been since retail. The potential for screwy behaviour (small transports swinging huge stations around, for example, or stations smashing into the player and exploding) is enormous. Therefore, there are a number of things that are of great significance that you should do every time you use the Veles.
1 - Jettison Cargo at the start of the mission.
Ideally, the Veles' dockpoints should be used in FRED to easily position cargo containers. Then, insert a sexp that jettisons all docked cargo from the Veles at speed 0. This means that a maniac with a morning star can't shoot a docked cargo container and send the entire station flying. Same goes for an errant cargo explosion or whatever. The fewer ships you have docked, the better.
There is one caveat here. Unfortunately, at present, there is no way to only jettison cargo - if you jettison a ship docked to one of the dockpoints linked to an animated submodel, that submodel will retract. You can either manually extend the submodel using the animation sexps or manually jettison just the ships (i.e. cargo) that you choose.
2 - Make use of the set-immobile sexp.
Even using a jettison-cargo sexp, you should set the Veles to immobile, either using a sexp or using the "Does not Move" checkbox in the misc settings. More importantly, however, any ships docked to the Veles also need to be set immobile as soon as they dock. This is important. Otherwise, a docked Poseidon that has its cargo shot out from under it will throw the Veles hundreds of metres away, and often spin it around enough to hit and kill the player. This is bad. Therefore, as coon as a ship has docked, use the "set-immobile" sexp to keep it in place. It can be "set-mobile" again as soon as it undocks.
3. Be careful about Bay Paths
The Veles has 7 "bay" subsystems corresponding to its main bay (inside the cargo bay), it's rear secondary shuttlebay and its four drone bays on the side of the installation. FSO only really recognizes a single type of fighterbay, so in theory any ship can exit or enter from any bay. In practice, this will lead to some pretty bad clipping/collisions if a larger fighter or bomber attempts to enter/exit through a small bay. Therefore, all ships using the docking bays should have their bay paths restricted.
Bay*DB - Will direct the ships to enter/exit through the Drone Bays on the side of the installation. Use these solely for very small ships - repair drones such as MJN's Phidias, Dark's drone (3301 on the wiki) or the Amazon will fit, as will the Mercury class shuttle. There are 4 of these paths.
Bay*SB - Will direct the ships to enter/exit through the Shuttle Bays at the rear of the installation. These were designed for the Mercury class shuttle, however, in practice, most strikecraft up to and including some bombers will fit. There are 4 of these paths.
Bay*FB - Will direct the ships to enter/exit through the main bay inside the installation. This was intended to be the bay used by large transports, heavy bombers etc. There are 3 of these paths.