|All ships need to move around at some point. This section will detail advanced navigational techniques so that you can master control of your vessel.
|6.1 Jump Drives|
|Every ship in DarkSpace has a Jump Drive. There are varying types of Jump Drive, which can be installed as an upgrade to your ship. These devices are used to travel at extreme speeds across long distances. Jump speed, range, and recharge time depends on your vessel. If you are in the scout, you can travel hundreds of thousands of "GU" on a full fuel tank. A Dreadnought can only travel a fraction of that distance before having to refuel, as its massive hull forces increased fuel burn.
The hotkey for any kind of Jump Device is "J", which can be used to jump in a straight line to any selected target. It is extremely important, however, that you be careful to know where you are jumping, as carelessness can send your vessel hurtling into the solid core of a gas giant or through the destructively searing corona of a star.
|6.2 Plotting a Jump's Course|
|Fortunately, checking for a clear course to your target is easy. Activate the Navigational screen using F2, and any target you select will have a line drawn to it from your ship. If this line is white, your path is clear of all major obstacles such as planets. If it is blinking red, then your path is not clear and you should see a blinking red box somewhere along the line indicating that your vessel will not survive a pass with a certain object.
It is important to remember that not all obstacles are easily detected by your vessel's jump alignment systems. Asteroids are an often invisible and extremely lethal source of damage to your vessel should you ram into them while traveling at several hundred thousand kilometers per second, so it is important to be aware of the dangers, no matter what color your jump line is.
|6.2.1 Advanced Plotting|
|You can also use CTRL+click in the tactical or navigational screens to select a jump location. This has numerous uses within DarkSpace (such as close-jumping a planet or enemy vessel or jumping straight through a gate), as you will discover as you play more and more into the game.
|The only requirements to start a jump are that your ship's bow be facing the jump target, that you have enough fuel to reach your destination, that your jump drive is charged, and that you are not within range of an enemy interdictor. Once you have selected a target and are ready to jump, hit "J" in either the tactical or the navigational screen and an "alignment" indicator will show you how long it will take to face your target. Once the timer is up, the jump will begin and the indicator will switch to show you how long it will take you to reach your target.
When you leave your jump, you will exit at the same speed at which you entered. The faster you are going when you start your jump determines how far away you will arrive from your target, ensuring that you have plenty of time to get out of the way should you be jumping toward a planet, then end up cruising toward it at 30 gu/second.
|6.4 Jump Fuel and Refueling|
|All jump fuel is indicated by the number on the jump drive device, ships carry different amounts of fuel depending on their hull size. All ships, if they jump around long enough, will eventually run out of jump fuel. The bigger the ship, the faster it will burn this invaluable resource. There are multiple methods of replenishing your tank.
o Resupply: Planetary Depots or Supply Vessels will refuel your tank quickly when you are within 250 gu of them.
o Hydrogen Planets: Several different types of planetary bodies ranging from Gas Giants to Terran planets might have the "Hydrogen" resource available in mass quantities within their atmosphere. Orbiting these planets will refuel you slowly.
o Orbiting: Orbit any friendly planet and you will regain fuel, though much slower than if you were being resupplied.
|6.5 Jump Gates|
|Jump gates are static objects that provide instant point-to-point travel between two connected gates. While jump drives are used to move ships around within a system, jump gates are used to move ships between systems. These gates are the fastest method of getting from one place to another (aside from wormholes).
Jump gates are shown on the Navigation Screen (F2 key) as a white line between star systems, with a yellow icon for the gate itself at each end.
Using a jump gate is a very simple process, simply locate the end nearest you, and fly straight into it. Your ship will then pop out at the opposite end.
|6.5.1 Wormholes and the Wormhole Device|
|Some vessels, such as Stations and the Command Dreads, can utilize devices which have the ability to create intense gravitronic pressure in order to form temporary tears in the fabric of space. These singularities are called wormholes, and they can be used for transit from one end to the other as long as they are active, and are used in the exact same manner as jump gates.
These Wormhole Devices replace the Jump Drive slots on their respective ships, but both are potent weapons that can be deadly when used effectively in an enemy fleet's strategy.
Random wormholes have been known to open at uneven intervals, linking vastly separated systems together instantaneously. A wormhole's white, star-emulating glow and powerful hum are unmistakable.
|6.6 Advanced Autopilots|
|There are several autopilot options in DarkSpace, which will be detailed below.
o Follow: Use this to match the direction of your target and close in on it from a distance. Following usually limits you to about 50-60% throttle. This can be used on both planets and vessels, but be careful when choosing to "follow" a planet, as vessel computers are not programmed to follow objects for which the command was not truly meant (i.e., other ships)(Hotkey: F)
o Shadow: This is a more advanced follow that will match speed and direction without closing in on the target. This is not possible to use on planets, however, it is useful for formation flying and escorting other ships such as Bomber/Supply pairs. (Hotkey: G)
o Orbit: This will set your ship to get within orbiting distance of a planet and then stop. Your ship will cruise up to its maximum speed until it reaches the deceleration point where continuing to travel faster will result in not enough space in which to slow down to avoid cratering against the planet's surface.
Using any of these commands at a long range will cause your ship to automatically plot and follow the fastest course, whether by sub-light or FTL (faster than light) travel, and whether by single or multiple jumps. Note that the automatic jumps will automatically account for obstacles. Your ship is in safe hands when in autopilot to its destination, however, you should be advised that a ship will not steer clear of a planet when a "follow" autopilot command guides it toward that planet.
|Some vessels, as well as structures on planets, have the ability to stop all enemy jump drive functions within 1,000 gu of their position.
Running such a vessel is a highly respectable activity in any fleet's operation, as the inability of enemy vessels to escape from a skilled Interdictor pilot can easily turn an outnumbered fleet into the victor.
However, this threat goes both ways... when jumping, your course line will not indicate any danger by an interdictor field. If you hit one, your ship will stop its jump and be at the mercy of any enemy defenses or ships nearby.
Therefore you should always be mindful of the presence, or the need, of the Interdictor.
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