Masslock Compensator

From Elite Wiki
Redspear's analysis of Masslock (2017)

In a nutshell, the Masslock Compensator is an OXP that permits the player ship faster speed (approx. x2) when alert status is yellow (i.e. passively masslocked but not in combat). It is a solution to the masslock problems in Oolite (the current version provides on-board Masslock Compensators which activate, allowing faster travel under certain conditions).

There are 3 pages of discussion and analysis of the 4 versions of this OXP here: BB thread (2018+)

Overview of original Version 1.0

A simple little expansion to make masslocks less time consuming.

It works by recognising two types of masslock:

  • Passive Masslocks - These are how typical masslocks begin: the player is masslocked by an entity that has no wish to delay the player. In game this is the situation during yellow alert.
  • Active Masslocks - This is where an entity actively hinders the player's escape from masslock, typically to engage in combat. In game this is the situation during red alert.
During passive masslocks, the player ship's masslock compensators will be activated granting extra speed (x2) to assist in escaping masslock.
During active masslocks, the same compensators will be disabled by 'jamming' from enemy vessels.
  • Pros: The slower player ships are less tedious to pilot and masslocks generally are less mind-numbing.
  • Cons: Like the torus drive itself, it's another player-only concession.
  • Rationale: (This is up to the player of course but here's one to consider...)
Assuming (for sake of argument) that non-player ships actually had torus drives, it becomes highly likely that masslocking ships meet one of the following three conditions:
They are heading in the opposite direction
They are slower than the player ship (torus drive based on ship max speed)
They are somehow dawdling or have only just started up their torus drive

Each of these conditions provides (IMHO) a reasonable argument for the player to be travelling faster than the masslocking vessels. So it could further be argued that this oxp creates a simulation of torus-slowing rather than torus-breaking in a way that isn't obviously player-centric. A player can be masslocked from behind of course but (for me at least) this is a very rare ocurrence considering that there is typically a good deal of space that the player has already torus-driven through.

There are other conditions in which masslock can occur but they typically don't involve a tedious spacelane 'race' to overtake or evade other vessels.

Future Considerations:

Speed boost could be reduced or increased but x2 seems about right to me
There could be an equipment item to gran a further boost for slower vessels (x3 perhaps)
It could be disabled within the aegis of stations

Meanwhile, if masslocks are getting you down then this little thing should make things much more tolerable without significantly changing gameplay.


  • Author: Redspear
  • License: CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0
  • Version: 1.4
  • Requires: Oolite v.1.81


Other oxp's with similar effects

Note that Redspear's three oxp's are compatible with each other!

Redspear's summary of his four Masslock OXP's (from the BB)

Power To Engines

Speedboost (150%) when weapons offline
Useful for escaping faster opponents (if they did same then they wouldn't be able to shoot)
Helps reduce duration of masslocks

Masslock Compensator

Speedboost (200%) when masslocked but cancelled by red alert
No benefit for combat
Significant reduction of time spent in masslock

Traffic Redistributer

Adjusts traffic to increase frequency of slower traders (and so that the 'best' courier ships aren't also the most common)
Station bound traffic becomes easier to overtake because it's usually slower
Pirates, hunters and police are unaffected

Masslock Reimagined

Masslock lasts for a fixed duration rather than until scanner is clear
No speed changes to either player or average encountered NPC
Taking fire negates the effect but possible to dodge your way out of a masslock without being the faster ship
Likely to make Masslock Compensators obsolete if it develops as I hope

Gameplay and Balance Indicator