Space Engineers - "Open" Changes Everything

I was lamenting my woes when @Old Duck logged in. He was kind enough to inform me of a bug regarding ships with subgrids I wasn't aware of, and my Starbird redesign had them so I could track the Sun in space.
An alternative to using rotors for solar tracking in space on a ship is overriding your gyro(s) to a really slow pitch. This is in theory - I haven't tested it yet to know if you can pitch the ship that slowly (once rotation every two hours). I have successfully used gyro overrides for mining (allowing me to drill big holes as if I had a rotor / hinge combo), so it's worth looking at.

For stations, solar panels on rotors work fine. Things get a little more dicey when you start having lots of weight distributed over subgrids, at least in gravity, due to multiple centers of gravity. This is a weakness in Keen's physics model.
 
For stations, solar panels on rotors work fine. Things get a little more dicey when you start having lots of weight distributed over subgrids, at least in gravity, due to multiple centers of gravity. This is a weakness in Keen's physics model.

The silly thing is, Starbird II only had a pair of small rotors attached. That little mass, especially compared to the main body of the ship, shouldn’t have thrown things off that much. I have a theory about what happened, but it’ll have to wait until I get an opportunity to test it. Hopefully tonight, I’ll be making my first proper foray into space on this server. :)
 
Hopefully tonight, I’ll be making my first proper foray into space on this server. :)
I've kinda hit a wall of sorts, but I don't blame the game any. A combination of some IRL distractions (the kinda that occupy the brain 24x7) along with unreliable Internet of late has made long, "in the zone" sessions somewhat difficult. SE isn't the best "hop in, hop out" game, at least not when it comes to achieving any sort of goals. I still log in to check on my refinery, maybe explore a little bit, but life and wire need to settle down a bit before I can figure out what I want to do next.
 
I've kinda hit a wall of sorts, but I don't blame the game any. A combination of some IRL distractions (the kinda that occupy the brain 24x7) along with unreliable Internet of late has made long, "in the zone" sessions somewhat difficult. SE isn't the best "hop in, hop out" game, at least not when it comes to achieving any sort of goals. I still log in to check on my refinery, maybe explore a little bit, but life and wire need to settle down a bit before I can figure out what I want to do next.
I can sympathize. Weirdly enough, the fact that we’re playing online actually makes it easier for me to “hop in, hop out”... assuming I plan ahead, and I my base/station is located in a good position. Currently, my base is within 2km of all the resources I need, and my base material mine (iron, nickel, and cobalt) is within 600 meters. I really lucked out when it came to where my escape pod landed. :D I can hop in for fifteen minutes to do some mining early in the morning, or maybe order some parts, and hop right back out again. That way I when I get an opportunity for an evening log in, I can simply start my next project right away.

Ore deposits in space, on the other hand, can be separated by dozens of kilometers. Which explains why I lingered a bit when it came to surface building. Between the 45km climb out of the gravity well, and the long distances between asteroid clusters, the next phase of my game is going to be long and rather dull, unless I get really lucky. I may have found iron and silicon, but I'm going to need at least one nickel asteroid as well before I can start space construction in earnest.
 
Thankfully, I thought to put my Imgur links into Notepad, since this form was down this morning, because that particular site hates me on mobile... ;)

I logged on to the server, and was greeted by the Sun low on the horizon to the east. I quickly hopped into my new Star Flea, eager to get into space. Meanwhile, Casey decided to invite the rest of those online to witness this momentous occasion. Sadly, I had at best two hours available to me, they were many jumps away, and I was burning valuable daylight. So I shot for the stars!

Just one problem:


I actually forgot to switch over the H2 tanks from stockpile. I really should’ve made a checklist... or even better, I could use a timer block for liftoff. After adding one, and setting up the necessary actions, I was ready to go!


Having someone to chat with made the long wait between asteroid clusters more interesting. The plan was to rendezvous over my base, though the night was getting long by the time they were ready for the last jump. I’d managed to map four asteroid clusters, finding iron and nickel, by the time I was almost out of fuel. Finally, they jumped to my location... and the RNG dropped them into the gravity well. I didn’t know about that little quirk of the game mechanics, otherwise I would’ve made GPS coordinates further out. 🤦‍♀️


I was maneuvering for a closer look, and moments after I took this screenshot, my game froze. :( By the time I got online again, my tiny ship was already 20km down, and falling fast. Thankfully, I installed and armed a parachute!


I landed less than 300m from home. I jet packed back to base, and used the Dragonfly’s landing gear to return the Flea to base. Casey and company were still trying to sort things out in orbit when the server crashed. The last update was about 30 minutes ago. Everyone found themselves respawning at survival kits and medical rooms.

It was already late for me, so at that point I decided to call it a night.

The good news is that I retained all my bookmarks from scouting. That was valuable information. The bad news is that unless I get very lucky, my Star Flea is very likely drifting into the void, batteries completely drained. The great news is that I realized my strategy to establish a presence in space was flawed, and my new plan is going to be much more efficient. :)

Especially if the Flea is recoverable. ;)

... what happened to the preview button???
 
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What is this "subgrid" you frequently talk about? Part of some modular design? Something you can undock and make part of another construct?
When you want moving parts on your ship or base, you use things like pistons, rotors, and hinges to do this. Anything attached to those moving blocks become "subgrids", since they basically have their own XYZ in space separate from the main grid (your ship or station). It usually is a "behind the scenes" mechanic, but it can cause some issues in unique cases.
 
When you want moving parts on your ship or base, you use things like pistons, rotors, and hinges to do this. Anything attached to those moving blocks become "subgrids", since they basically have their own XYZ in space separate from the main grid (your ship or station). It usually is a "behind the scenes" mechanic, but it can cause some issues in unique cases.
Ahh, I tried to refrain mostly from rotors and that. They used to be buggy. A shame, I'm a piston guy, and not because I'm male.
Well, who knows, maybe it is.
 
I was maneuvering for a closer look, and moments after I took this screenshot, my game froze. :( By the time I got online again, my tiny ship was already 20km down, and falling fast. Thankfully, I installed and armed a parachute!

For me this is usually the internet quitting. I've lost too many small ships to this (thankfully no big ships yet). So I install both parachutes and dead-man switches to help. The latter is a timer that I reset ever couple of minutes, and if I don't, it brings my ship to a stop (so I don't face-plant into an asteroid or moon).

Speaking of your adventures, I still have an adventure equal but opposite of yours - bringing my large spaceship down to a planet (in survival). I'm curious how these atmo thrusters will work!
 
In other news, I used to be able to post to this forum with Javascript turned off, but apparently Frontier broke that
Here you go.



Unfortunately, the only option is the on/off toggle, as opposed to having a proper on and off option as well.
Interesting! Well I can't use that directly in a timer, since it might just turn them off instead of on, but with scripting I could add a conditional toggle (only toggle if ID is off to begin with). In the meantime, turning off braking thrusters works fine without scripting. The only time I really like having ID off is "orbiting" asteroids or enemies, or making approaches to connectors in space.

Speaking of ID, I really wish FA-off in ED worked like ID in SE - where you have gyros to stabilize your spin instead of thrusters.
 
I popped in this morning just long enough to add some landing gear to my explorer, and a stinking pirate ship once again started closing in on my position. I jumped my ship out in hopes that it'll fly past my starbase without noticing it, but this seals the deal - I need to build a moon base so that I can work in peace! These NPC pirates are worst than Harry on the CA2 server. :mad:
 
I don’t know what I was expecting when I logged in last night, but it certainly wasn’t a “party” at my base. ;) I ended up giving everyone a tour... after I loosened security levels in my base. Naturally I set them back to normal before I logged off for the night. Everyone on site lined up for a group shot.



Both ships are repurposed NPC ships that they captured.


Which made them kind of cramped... with stuff everywhere, though they did try to give them a little character.


During the tour, the conversation turned in an interesting direction...


Not a productive night, but it was definitely a fun one. It was great to be able to show off my work. Unfortunately, it looks like my Star Flea either despawned after it lost power, or it hit an asteroid and took enough damage to despawn. No great loss, it just means I'll have to build a new one.
 
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