Power To Engines

From Elite Wiki

A simple oxp to grant a boost to player speed (an extra 50%) when weapons are off-line (underscore key).


Slow ships are not very playable in Oolite - masslocks take longer and combats are harder to escape. Speed can remedy this but only when the player ship is faster than those it is up against: slow ships are necessary for this to work and the same ships are therefore more problematic to play.

This is a player-only concession, but it is only the player who gets bored. Pursuers do not tire easily in this game and lengthy pursuits of near defeated non-player foes could also be tedious. Granting the option to non-player ships therefore is not necessarily desirable.

Guarding Against Exploits

When you are faster then your opponent(s) then not only is escape much easier but so is controlling the range of the combat - which is a significant factor in determining victory. Granting the speed boost only with weapons offline makes it difficult to use aggressively.

When in a faster ship such as the Cobra Mk III, this boost is sufficient to (just) escape from Viper Interceptors (the elite police fighters) making things a bit too easy for the fugitive player especially but also players in general. Consequently the bonus does not apply to injector speed, so any faster ship with injectors will still catch up with you.

Isn't this what Masslock Compensators OXP does?

A few major differences: MLC grants it's bonus only in yellow alert (and is therefore useless in combat); it also grants a higher bonus (*2) making it more effective against masslocks; it requires no toggling of any keys or settings nor does it disable any weapons.

This oxp is more strategic: do you want speed or weapons?

There may be some slowing if you toggle in yellow alert and are using both oxps but I'll look to fix that for later versions.

An example


Default max speed = 0.24
Offline max speed = 0.36 (0.24 * 1.5)
Max injector speed = 1.68 (0.24 * 7)

Note that the Adder with weapons offline can now escape just as well (fractionally better in fact) than a Cobra Mk III with weapons online. The Mk III meanwhile could escape from anything without injectors. When using injectors however, the Mk III (just like any other ship) is no faster than before.

Cobra Mk III before tweaking as below

Default max speed = 0.35
Offline max speed = 0.525 (0.35 * 1.5)
Max injector speed = 2.45 (0.35 * 7)

Reducing the oolite speed of the Cobra Mk III and the Moray

I think this oxp could be my excuse to return the mk III and the Moray to their original elite speeds of 0.3 and 0.25 respectively.

Cobra Mk III at original Elite speed

Reduced new max speed = 0.3
(Original Oolite speed = 0.35)
Offline max speed = 0.4 (reduced new max speed * 1.5)

Moray at original Elite speed

Reduced new max speed = 0.25
(Original Oolite speed = 0.3)
Offline max speed = 0.375 (reduced new max speed * 1.5)

With weapons offline both would do better than they currently do vs mass locks and pursuers (the two main gameplay issues making play more enjoyable with a faster ship). The mk III would again be unable to escape Viper Interceptors.

Meanwhile with weapons online they'd be a bit more within the range of expected performance for their size and type - the Cobra mk III still one of the best ships but not quite as super as before.

Version History

version 1.2

  • Cobra Mk III and Moray speeds reduced, reasoning that they no longer need the boost to be playable (if you don't like it you can remove the shipdata-overrides.plist file in the config folder)
  • Elements added for future compatibility with Masslock Compensator oxp (once that oxp is accordingly adjusted)

version 1.1

  • Bug fix to ensure recognition of correct weapons status (online/offline).

version 1.0

  • Original concept as adumbrated above.


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