Gravity Wells

An Interesting Aspect

I'm not sure if anyone has noticed this, but if you enter a negative value into a planet's gravity field, the planet will actually repel ships as opposed to attract them. Could be useful for planets you don't want players to get to if you put in a high enough value that makes it almost impossible to get near.

I discovered this by chance of experimenting with SFA. A few of the systems have 'gravity shear' listed as a navigational hazard. This struck me as odd since most ships in SFA are inertialess and therefore immune to gravity. I went to one such system to see how strong the fields were by launching the shuttle all Starfleet vessels are equipped with in SFA. Nothing happened (in hindsight, this also means ships susceptible to gravity in formation with a ship immune to it also become immune). When I had the shuttle hold position, it began to move—but away from the planet in the system I had selected. I checked the system in Mission Computer and found only one spöb in it. After checking the spöb, I noticed it has a gravity value of -1.

After a simple test, I confirmed negative values do cause spöbs to repel ships.

On a related note, gravity wells actually do get weaker as you move farther away from them, though I suspect that is widely known.

This is actually being used in EVN Firefly. In point of fact, you can actually have both repelling and attracting gravitational bodies in the same system.

Huh. Had I known this when I was making Colosseum, I would have used it to make for some interesting battlefields.

@joshtigerheart, on Jan 3 2011, 02:52 PM, said in Gravity Wells:

Huh. Had I known this when I was making Colosseum, I would have used it to make for some interesting battlefields.

Doth I detect the scent of an update?

@darthkev, on Jan 3 2011, 06:23 PM, said in Gravity Wells:

Doth I detect the scent of an update?

CTC has a gravity system. But its just one stellar that pulls, not two The AI has enough trouble with it as it is. Its better used for a player-only "see if you can fly this" system than anything else, maybe with short-range uberweapons on the spobs.

Speaking of which, you could use CTC to test missile/rocket/weapon behavior in a gravity system.

@darthkev, on Jan 3 2011, 05:23 PM, said in Gravity Wells:

Doth I detect the scent of an update?

Extremely unlikely.

A plug-in then, to incorporate such a battlefield? Heck, I could make one if it's alright with you. I'd even test it to make sure the AI can still pose a challenge in it.

a lil off related question but still dealing with gravity. im trying to make a warp scrambler type of secondary gun. I noticed that if u use a grappling beam on a ai ship trying to enter warp itll pull it out of warp hyperspace if it crosses the beam. i was wondering if a player ship can be prohibited in a like many from an ai vessal?

Tractor/grappling beams are supposed to stop hyperspace, though I've never managed to do so when using one on an AI ship. Additionally, I've never seen an AI ship equipped with one. I always assumed the AI simply doesn't know how to effectively use a tractor beam so no one's given them one.

It would be a neat trick if it works, however, to have the AI prevent the player from escaping under certain circumstances.

@darthkev, on 21 January 2011 - 02:43 AM, said in Gravity Wells:

Tractor/grappling beams are supposed to stop hyperspace, though I've never managed to do so when using one on an AI ship. Additionally, I've never seen an AI ship equipped with one. I always assumed the AI simply doesn't know how to effectively use a tractor beam so no one's given them one.

It would be a neat trick if it works, however, to have the AI prevent the player from escaping under certain circumstances.

well under the conditions i was using the grappler on a fleeing auroran gunboat, and a auroran fighter. i dont know or think it works on larger mass vessels though im not sure of the physics in the game engine. was chasing after her and caught the auroran gunboat on the rear just as it was moving forward in warp. one second later and i woulda missed. the fighter was horizontal northwest of my ships position just off screen. i assumed she was trying to hyper out so i hit the grapple and relay laser at once. she stopped mid warp crossing the beam and the relay popped her seconds after.

and yea my thoughts exactly! i was thinking of making tackler fighters/drones. not sure how the ai responds but if it could be programmed to periodically activate a tractor beam when the player is in armor since thats when most players attempt to flee thatd be perfect for its role. the player would have to be more strategic in choosing its targets as opposed to rushing in guns blazing. if he bites off more then he can chew itll be a long trip in a pod!

This post has been edited by Sleipnir : 21 January 2011 - 04:50 AM

The difference is in the mass. If you have ships with a large mass, they pull along smaller ships and can still enter hyperspace. As far as I'm aware, stacking multiple small ships doesn't change that unfortunately.

So hyperspace-stopping drones would work only if they're supermassive and the AI can use tractor beams correctly.

@darthkev, on 21 January 2011 - 06:26 AM, said in Gravity Wells:

So hyperspace-stopping drones would work only if they're supermassive and the AI can use tractor beams correctly.

again not positive about game mechanics but couldnt you design a small sprite high mass drone?

Well yes, that's what I meant. Especially since the player would never fly the drone, they wouldn't know it has a high mass value except for the fact it wouldn't react much to weapons with impact values, unless very high.

That's exactly correct. You could design them as spobs as well. Also, as you suspected, the engine only takes the highest mass ship if multiple ships are engaging tractor beams. If the targeted vessel is more massive than any of them, it will still be able to jump out.

@krugeruwsp, on 02 January 2011 - 10:41 PM, said in Gravity Wells:

This is actually being used in EVN Firefly. In point of fact, you can actually have both repelling and attracting gravitational bodies in the same system.

It is? I know we have a couple of gravity wells, but I don't remember any repellers offhand.

@lindley, on 21 January 2011 - 09:52 PM, said in Gravity Wells:

It is? I know we have a couple of gravity wells, but I don't remember any repellers offhand.

Blackthorne system, I believe, right?

@krugeruwsp, on 22 January 2011 - 12:24 AM, said in Gravity Wells:

Blackthorne system, I believe, right?

Black stone is the sector with two massive brown dwarfs creating a navigational hazard, but they are attractors.

Aren't the buoys repellers? Been a while since I've looked at the data files.

@krugeruwsp, on 22 January 2011 - 08:41 PM, said in Gravity Wells:

Aren't the buoys repellers? Been a while since I've looked at the data files.

No. It's an interesting idea, though.

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