This game is beautiful and a blast to play, so this has no disrespect in its critique.
I tried searching and can't find any mention, but the glide does not feel like a true glide. During the training mission I tested the glide trying to orbit the Theseus and the viper kept pulling forward as i pointed the nose at the battlestar, getting closer and closer. A true glide would not do this. My comparison is Tachyon: The Fringe. That game had a true glide feature and i mastered pinpoint subsystem killing on caps with it. I will keep testing it, but at this point it feels like a partial glide, not executing as Aethers guide seems to describe it. Bear in mind i have love for the series and this game, and it might be a limitation of FS2, but if i'm off base, please let me know. The game is an amazing accomplishment aside from that.
Try setting throttle to zero when in glide mode.
When you have throttle on, the spacecraft will eventually equalize your heading and vector.
The only realy limitation on the glide mode is top speed - you cannot accelerate indefinitely due to gameplay reasons (and engine restrictions, collision detection for example would be impossible at arbitrarily high speeds and you would pass through objects).
This is, incidentally, also why the heading and vector will equalize after some time. In reality, if your ship's nose is perpendicular to velocity vector and you apply thrust, your velocity in original direction will not change - instead, your total velocity will be the pythagoran sum of your velocities in three dimensions:
In reality, you could increase your velocity to any direction by simply applying thrust in that direction.
However, since in this game the total velocity is limited, applying thrust on, say, vx
direction will eventually reduce the vy
velocities, until you are traveling only in the direction of thrust - in this example, v = vx
; and thus, it appears that the ship will eventually travel in the direction it is pointed at, if you also apply thrust in that direction.
However, as long as your total velocity is less than your total velocity limit
, the glide feature should be exactly, or very close, to Newtonian glide.
Additionally, as long as your total thrust is exactly zero (acceleration = 0), the glide feature is exactly what you would expect from Newtonian mechanics.
The orbit trick is possible to do, but almost impossible to do so that you can have perfectly constant thrust (centripetal force) and perfectly circular orbit.
Perfectly circular orbit means you would have to turn your ship at exactly the same rate as your orbit around the centre point proceeds.
Your centripetal acceleration depends on your orbital velocity and radius of orbit, and both affect the rate of turn you have to keep going.
Then, your thrust level depends on following factors:
-how far from the center point you start your orbit at
-how fast you are moving when you start your orbit
When you are very close to the orbit target, you need high thrust because you need a lot of centripetal acceleration.
When you are further from the orbit target, and possibly moving slower on your trajectory around it, then you need less thrust.
Unless you can absolutely nail these parametres, it's more than likely that your distance from the target will change depending on your thrust level and rate of turn.
Thus, the trick is easiest to do when you constantly adjust your thrust and rate of turn to keep the target in view and the distance approximately
This is a completely manual process, and you need to practice it a lot to become proficient in it.
Also: The closer your orbital velocity is to the total speed limit, the more the behaviour of your ship will deviate from the perfect Newtonian behaviour. At small speeds, the orbit trick works quite well.
Since the top velocity is limited to relatively small value (due to aforementioned gameplay reasons), it might be impossible to orbit a target as fast as you would wish to, which would perhaps limit its practical utility in this game.