Oolite FAQ

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Revision as of 14:16, 23 April 2008 by Bulrush (talk | contribs) (Added "How do I make the most profit" question)
Question: Where do I get the program? And what about the different versions that exist?
Answer: Oolite is a work in progress. The latest 'official' release that it considered stable is version 1.65. It is also the last release made by the original programmer, Giles Williams (a.k.a. Aegidian) and is best available from his website oolite.aegidian.org. All releases after this one are in alpha- or beta-stadium and therefore contain a certain amount of bugs. The latest test-releases can be downloaded from BerliOS. The current development version is 1.70, with installers available for OS X, Windows and Linux (x86). More detailed information can be found in the Oolite Bulletin Board, in the respective sections for Oolite-Mac, Oolite-Linux and Oolite-PC.

Question: What's the point of the game?
Answer: To fly from planet to planet, buying and selling goods, shooting pirates or committing acts of piracy. There's no goal other than perhaps to achieve the rank of ELITE.

Question: I'm still confused, how do I play?
Answer: It's a good idea to start with the Oolite ReadMe file for some basic information. For further information you may wish to consult the Oolite Instruction Manual here on the wiki. A load of helpful information can be obtained from Mr Gimlet, the quite talkative dockmaster on Lave Station. If you're a fresh graduate from the Flight Academy on the way to your first ship, you should see him. It's also a good idea to have a look at Ian Bell's Flight Training Manual for the original BBC Elite, although some of Oolite's control keys are different from the original, so be careful.

Question: How do I make decent profits?
Answer: Trade between a Poor Agriculturual and Rich Industrial planet. Trade between an Average Ag and Rich Industrial is also good. Write down the prices for everything on both planets and find out where you make the most profit per ton.

Question: My keyboard doesn't have a particular key used by Oolite, or I even want to change the keyboard layout completely to my liking. What can I do to change the keys?
Answer: Oolite reads a key configuration file called keyconfig.plist that you can find at /AddOns/Config/keyconfig.plist; that is the Config-folder that you find inside your AddOns-folder; which is where you put your OXPs. (PC-users have to create the folder /AddOns/Config/ first and then drop a copy of the keyconfig.plist found in /Oolite.app/Contents/Resources/Config/ to this folder.) You can open this file in any text editor and change the ASCII values of the keys used to suit your own preferences. Information on the default keys is also found in the Oolite Keybord Controls-documentation here on the wiki.

Question: Speaking of OXPs, I've heard a lot about them. What are they? And where do I find them?
Answer: OXP stands for 'Oolite eXpansion Pack'. As the name suggests, an OXP is an expansion to the game. It can contain virtually everything: new graphics for your ship, new ships for the player and/or the NPCs, new stations, new missions, new fun. To install an OXP you simply have to drag it into your AddOns-folder (only the OXP itself, not the folder it probably comes in). And as for finding them, you're already at the right place. All OXPs are now (or will become) accessible through the OXP-page of the wiki. Just follow the link.

Question: Will there ever be an Oolite Massive Multi-player Online Role-Play Game (MMORPG)?
Answer: At present Ahruman and Co. (the developers) have no plans to develop either Oolite or a separate branch to accommodate either an MMORPG or an MOG (Multi-player Online Game). This, however, doesn't mean one of you clever bods out there can't try ;-)

Question: What do the various colors represent on the radar?
Answer: White - unpowered items that can't mass-lock the in-system drive (jumpdrive). Green/Yellow - navigation buoys. Yellow - powered craft. Red - powered craft identified as hostile. Green - space stations. Green/Red - thargoids. Purple - police. Blue/Red - police on intercept. Red/Yellow - active mine (about to detonate). Blue/Cyan - witchspace wormhole.

Question: It takes so long to get to the station after each jump. Can I do anything to speed the trip up?
Answer: Well, space is huge. It is vast. I mean, have you ever imagined a football-field with an orange in one of the goals and a walnut in the other goal? If you haven't, then don't. It takes you nowhere. As will your ship's engine at normal speed. But then that's what your jumpdrive is for. Hit J, and your journey speeds up. Unfortunately your jumpdrive doesn't work when other masses, like ships or planets, are nearby. They will 'lock' it. And in the 'corridor' between the witchpoint and the planet you are very likely to meet other ships. On the other hand there is no rule that you have to stick to the corridor. Just leave it sideways in any direction with your jumpdrive engaged for a couple of seconds, and head for the planet then. Makes your voyage much smoother. If you're a bounty-hunter and eager to meet lots of pirates, however, this is not your method of choice.

Question: I have already made my first intergalactic jump to Galaxy 2, but now I remember that I forgot my Zero-G cricket set/food blender/deadly lobstoid/edible arts graduate on Lave/Tionisla/Xeesle/Reesdice! Or I just found out that there are some more missions I'd like to do in the first galaxy. So how can I jump back to Galaxy 1?
Answer: You can't. Unfortunately due to their very physical nature intergalactic wormholes allow for one-way travel only. Fortunately, though, the intergalactic wormhole in Galaxy 8 connects back to Galaxy 1. So you can go full circle. And you have to, if you want to return to the first galaxy. Of course that will cost you another 5000 credits for each galactic hyperjump. So the complete 8-Galaxies-Sightseeing-Tour has a pricetag of a total 40000 credits.

Question: The other day I got killed when I launched from a Rock Hermit/Behemoth/whatever, and all the profits/kills that I made before were gone. Why couldn't I save there? Why only on main stations?
Answer: First of all, congratulations to you for having internalized the Golden Rule: save early, save often! Unfortunately in Oolite you can save and load a commander only on main stations. That's because they are the only 'fixed' objects in space. The rest of the system is populated anew each time you load a game and is not saved in your savefile. So chances are that the Rock Hermit or Behemoth you docked with when saving simply wouldn't exist when you load again, and you would find yourself in nirvana instead of in a safe haven. To prevent odd behavior like this saving and loading is prohibited anywhere else than in a main station.

Question: Can the range of hyperspace jumps/my fuelcapacity be increased?
Answer: No. Jumprange in Oolite is hardcoded for a reason. The game would become less challenging and thus less fun. (Although I can imagine hacks that give unlimited fuel. Also JS-scripting may be more flexible in this department.) And don't forget that there are already various ways of refueling while you are in flight.

Question: I want Laser Cooling Boosters!
Answer: There are none at the moment and the reason is simple. It may unbalance the game too much, remember anything that is available to the player, is available to NPCs. Even if said Jameson is just a harmless dirtbug. So the ultimate advice on this is: Aim carefully. Don't waste your laser fire. Prevent overheating.

Question: I would like to switch between different ships of mine, e.g. have a nice racer for the weekends, meanwhile leave my freighter docked somewhere and take it back on Monday. Why can't I do this?
Answer: What else do you want? Custom paintjobs and interiors? A millionaire's spaceship-flotilla, one for every occasion? Who do you think you are? Jay Leno??? (Apologies if you are Jay Leno, but then you should have something else to do than playing computer games.) Let me tell you something: Space stations are no garages. Docking bays are limited, and the 'garage'-fees would be prohibitive. Imagine everybody else out there would want the same parking facilities! -- Having said that, there is also a technical reason: A player can't have two ships and switch between them, because for the game the player is his ship, and you can be only one ship at a time. There is no way of storing a ship in your savefile and retrieving it later.

Question: I've got a trumble! First it was cute and fluffy. But then it started to multiply. Even worse, they started to eat everything on board and they are confusing my sights. I don't want them anymore! How can I get rid of them? Help!
Answer: First of all, don't feel embarrassed. It happens to all commanders sooner or later. I mean, they're really cute and fluffy, aren't they? But seriously, there are several things you could try. E.g. sell them to other unsuspecting noobs. If you don't find enough willing buyers, you could use your escape capsule and abandon your infested ship, hoping that they haven't yet made it into the escape pod, of course. I mean, you can always hope, can't you? If that all doesn't work for you, just remember the old Klingon saying: 'Revenge is a dish that is best served cold.' Now consider that for trumbles it's just the opposite. Want some BBQ-sauce?

Question: Every so often some of the messages (either from other ships or from my ship) on the bottom of the screen remain and end up 'scrolling' up the screen to cover my gunsights. What's up with that?
Answer: The 'sticky messages' bug is, unfortunately, a long standing issue in Oolite, but the tireless developers are trying to rectify this. In the meantime, flicking between views (either internal or external) is probably the quickest way to clear the messages.

Question: Every so often I meet a ship or a cargopod that I can't lock on. My laser fire goes right through it. Sometimes it happens with a ship I have just killed. Sometimes after a while it even starts again firing at me, but I can't harm it anymore.
Answer: The 'ghost ship' bug is another very old acquaintance in Oolite, and again the tireless developers are trying to rectify this. In the meantime, ignoring the ghost ships (or cargo pods) is the best thing you can do.

Question: I've completed a number of native and OXP missions and my Cobra Mk. III has a number of new and funky pieces of equipment. However, I'm planning a change of ship, what pieces of equipment will I lose as a result?
Answer: Many missions award equipment as a result of either accepting or completing them. For the majority of ship equipment, trading ships will result in the equipment being sold as well, with a few exceptions. The Cloaking Device and the Mark Transponder Scanner, available from the (native) Cloaking Device and (OXP) Assassins missions respectively are transferred to your new ship. The Naval Energy Unit, although awarded with the completion of the (native) Thargoid Plans mission, will be sold when you trade ships. However, completing the mission allows you to buy these units from high TL systems.

Question: I have Oolite V.1.68 and I want to see the cool new planet textures everyone is going on about. How do I do it?
Answer: The next time you leave a station pause the game (press P), then press T. A message saying 'Procedural Textures On' will pop up. Unpause the game and the next time you jump and after all subsequent jumps and on exiting stations, you will experience the new textured planets.

Question: When I close Oolite (V.1.68) and restart it later, I don't have the textured planets, even on saved games. How come?
Answer: Just follow the steps in the above answer to turn them on again. You will have to do so every time you open Oolite. The textured planets are at present experimental and not a default. However they may well be integrated as a default option in a later version.

Question: I have Oolite V.1.69 or V.1.70 and I want to see the cool new planet textures everyone is going on about. I tried pressing P and T. But it doesn't seem to work.
Answer: There was a bug causing a crash with the new planet textures in version 1.69, which is not yet fixed. As a result the textures are disabled in later versions. But be patient. There are new efforts currently underway to re-introduce textured planets, either by an OXP or even procedural. For more information about this work in progress have a look at the Oolite Forums.

Question: I want to write an OXP or add content to the Wiki, but some (or all) of the content was written by another author. What copyright issues do I face?
Answer: Anything submitted to the Wiki is on the basis that anyone else may edit or fiddle with it. OXPs are submitted under the creative commons licence. The author (stricty speaking) owns the copyright, but licences users to use or distribute the OXP as long as they don't sell or charge for it. In practice virtually all OXP authors don't assert copyright and are pleased and flattered that somebody thinks their stuff is worth writing about or pinching to use in another OXP (its good manners to credit the orginal author in the readme though). I expect the author will be pleased if you want to add some background, but if you are in doubt, send him a PM asking him for permission. At the end of the day, Oolite is a fun project and everbody is doing stuff for it on that basis. (nicked wholesale from Little_Bear's post on the Oolite Forums)