Lave Academy OXP
With the rise of interest in becoming a space pilot following the recent galactic financial troubles, Lave Academy has never been busier. To help in both the training of new recruits, plus the skills maintenance and re-certification of more experienced commanders, they have invested in a new orbital station equipped to offer training in three key areas - piloting, gunnery and docking.
It is designed for both new commanders who need a bit of practice before venturing out into the wild black galaxy. The courses are however also open to more seasoned veterans who would like to return to their alma mater and show off their skills to the student populus.
As the popularity has grown further, new stations have been planned for other locations, both in Galaxy 1 and beyond.
- Station located at the edge of the security zone of Lave station (G1). A new buoy is also spawned part-way between the main station Nav-buoy and the Academy. Simply fly to the Nav-buoy and face towards the new buoy on your scanner to line up with the Academy (it should be visible anyway). Alternatively you can follow "A" on your ASC where fitted.
- Dock with station by flying into the blue glow in the centre.
- Three training missions available, via special screen accessible by F8 when docked at the station.
- Instructions given in-game, plus detailed instructions below.
- Once test is selected, launch and the fly to the relevant course buoy. It will communicate to your ship to indicate which one to approach.
- For the docking and gunnery tests, keep the main course buoy on-screen at all times during the test.
- All tests are against the clock, with the best time for each recorded.
Known Issues and Incompatibilities
- Take care with the docking test, as the drones are very solid and can make just as much a mess of your ship as a real station can.
- To prevent distracting information appearing from the course buoys, the OXP disables the Planetary Information System (Welcome Mat) at the beginning of the tests. It is re-enabled once they are completed or aborted.
- Logging - Not used.
- Audio - Not used.
- ExtraA - If set true causes academies to appear in each galaxy, if not only at Lave (true by default).
- ExtraB - If set true (and extraA is also true) five academies appear per galaxy, if not only one does (false by default).
The locations are as follows:
- Galaxy 1 - Lave, Esteonbi, Enonla, Esanbe, Xequerin.
- Galaxy 2 - Maesaron, Erenanri, Reveabe, Legeara, Tigebere.
- Galaxy 3 - Radiqu, Edxeri, Ceedleon, Atius,Rerebi.
- Galaxy 4 - Mavelege, Bemate, Cebitiza, Mausra, Ensoor.
- Galaxy 5 - Zaaner, Vebi, Inenares, Azaenbi, Dioris.
- Galaxy 6 - Teesso, Oresmaa, Celaan, Ariqu, Inesbe.
- Galaxy 7 - Isdilaon, Aenbi, Ataer, Orreedon, Qutegequ.
- Galaxy 8 - Ceenza, Aarzari, Biatzate, Inbein, Oredrier.
For one academy per galaxy, the first planet in each list will be its host.
Watch a flight between the Galcop main station in the Lave system and the Lave Academy orbital station here.
Full Details and Instructions
Lave Academy Orbital Station
This large structure can be found in orbit around the planet Lave in Galaxy 1 (and now in certain other locations around the 8 galaxies, see above), just at the edge of the security zone of the main planetary station. It can easily be found by launching from there and locating the way marker buoy on your scanner. This is roughly half way between the station and the Academy, which should be easily visible behind it. Alternatively for ships equipped with such equipment, it can be found by selecting "A" on your advanced space compass.
As this is an official Galcop location, trading of any commodity is banned, and due to its academic nature the only general equipment available is the witchspace fuel that may be needed for or consumed in undertaking the training tests. Therefore the normal marketplace information screen (F8) is now replaced by an access screen where you can review and sign up for the three offered training courses.
The station itself has been especially designed for its purpose, with thought towards its users and their general lack of experience in maneuvering and docking. At great expense a special system has been employed of tractor-beam assisted docking. To engage this, all the commander needs to do is to fly into the blue glowing area in the stations centre and the system will automatically take over and bring the ship into the station. For richer commanders whose ships are equipped with docking computers, these may also be used. It should also be noted that after some recent unfortunate incidents with ships equipped with semi-AI defense turrets, such ships are presently banned from docking at the Academy orbital station, at least until the V1.73 turret operating system has been installed to cure this issue.
Once docking is completed, one of the three available tests can be selected from the F8 screen. Each of these has built-in instructions, but more details are given below. All three are based around specially equipped course buoys which can be found in the vicinity of the station (all are within standard scanner range at launch). When a course is accepted and the commander launches from the station, the relevant buoy will automatically detect the ship and initiate communications with it to guide it to the correct place. Each course will begin within a few seconds of the ship approaching the buoy.
One final note, for those wishing to cause trouble, the academy is defended by a small squadron of very well equipped Vipers and Viper Interceptors who are experienced at dealing with unruly students.
This course is offered to improve and test the commanders skills in astro-navigation and in ship handling. Once the test has begun, the commander needs to fly in sequence to a number of buoys which make up the course. Each buoy will identify itself by communicating with the ship, and must be approached to proceed to the next one. To make things more interesting a number of asteroids also populate the course area, which must be avoided. They can also be destroyed, but this is considered minor cheating and incurs a small time penalty. The course is run against the clock, with the best time being noted.
Also randomly placed within the course are a number of standard-issue ring drones. When flown through, these give a bonus time reduction to the commanders overall score. It is up to their skill and judgement to decide whether the time taken to detour through them is worth the bonus that they give (flying through them is optional, the course can be successfully completed without utilising them).
This is the most popular course in the academy, colloquially known as the "Shooting Gallery". When the buoy is approached and the test begun, it generates in sequence three sets of 5 target drones, each of which must be destroyed. These drones have a maximum lifetime of 30 to 60 seconds (depending on the commanders rank and ships equipment), after which they automatically self-destruct. The drone lifetime is announced at the beginning of the test by the buoy. The drones at level one are static, whilst those of the other two levels move faster and are increasingly more agile and a challenge to hit.
The test ends once all fifteen drones have been destroyed or have self-destructed, and the best time achieved is recorded. One other key consideration is that throughout the test the commander must keep the main buoy within scanner range, or else the test will be aborted.
The last of the three tests, and arguably the most challenging, is the docking practice course. This simulates the requirements to dock with a standard station "letterbox" docking bay, one of the most difficult routine tasks a commander faces (and no, in this one you can't use a docking computer!). Once buoy approach is completed and the test begun, three sets of three drones will appear in sequence. The first set is simply for familiarisation, and has a large ring which must be flown through. The second set is similar, but an insert appears within the ring, gradually restricting its size down to that of a standard docking bay. The third set are the same as the second, except this time both the ring and insert begin to rotate, to fully simulate the conditions when docking with a real station for the final buoy.
It should be noted that approaches to the drones should be made slowly, as there have been cases of students who got over-confident with the accelerator smashing their ships against the drones with fatal consequences. To aid in successful traversal a line of glowing mini-buoys (nicknamed the "trail of breadcrumbs" by students) indicate the ideal path to take through the drone. The drones are also programmed to orient themselves perpendicularly to the main course buoy, so this can also be used to orientate the ship in lieu of the normal station nav-buoy.
Finally each drone must be successfully traversed within a three minute window of its appearance, or else it will self-destruct. And at all times the commander must keep the main buoy on his scanner, or else the test will automatically be aborted.
This OXP requires at least test version 1.77 of Oolite.
Lave Academy v1.34 can be downloaded from Box.Net by clicking on the link.
With thanks to:
- Griff for the superb shaders and overall appearance of the station.
- Lestradae and PAGroove for the discussions and beta-testing.
- Eric Walch and Kaks for deep playtesting and bug reporting on the positioning issue (which was a bug in the 1.72.2 trunk).
- Dr Beeb for the idea of multiple galaxies.