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lajoswinkler

Less strong docking port magnetic fields

Docking port magnetic force  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Squad reduce the docking port magnetic force?

    • yes
      13
    • no
      18


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Strong magnetic fields do help new players with their first dockings, but it takes little practice to reach the level where it's just annoying. It causes the vessel (parent and target) to wobble around if their masses aren't large enough, it results in different roll so if you want symmetry and proper solar panel alignment, you're gonna have a bad day with constant undocking and docking. This is particularly important with larger lateral structures.

Only perfectly aligned vessels will approach and immediately snap together so the whole experience is like uncanny valley of the robotics - n00bs are ok with it and extreme pros are ok with it.

I'd reduce it to a more comfortable level. It would barely impact the mentioned player groups, but it would make docking easier for the rest.

 

P.S.: It appears to me the force is identical for all ports which makes situations with the Junior port quite annoying.

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In principle yes but i vote to make it configurable, either turn it on in easy mode or off in the harder difficulty settings.

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1 minute ago, gpisic said:

In principle yes but i vote to make it configurable, either turn it on in easy mode or off in the harder difficulty settings.

Yeah I would have to agree. A newer player could set it to a Stronger Setting, while somebody who is looking for more of a harder difficulty could set it to a weaker setting. 

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I agree with the slider idea. If you're building space stations, weaker force is your friend.

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TweakableEverything adds these sliders already. Having used that in the past, I will attest there is a time and place for stronger magnetic force. However for general applications, at least for the smaller ports, its definitely undesirable for intermediate players.

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The default should be appropriate for new players (because we don't know we want to change a setting until we've tried the default).  That being said, I think it would be good to weaken the default pull by a factor of 2.

As a beginner I needed decent strength from the magnets (1) when the ports first touched, but were not yet parallel do to the error in orientation between the two craft, and (2) when assembling bases on moons, to pull the ports together the last 0.1m as the extendable legs lift the newest part of a base off its wheels.

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Couldn't this just be an advanced tweakable option?

I have to admit, my first test docking in 1.2pre was amusing: I was trying an Apollo-style design, so there was a stack separator involved. I had no RCS as my intention was to simply decouple, flip 180 degrees, then just nudge retrograde to dock. Unfortunately, the engine fairing attached to the separator was non-collision, so I could knock it away soon enough. The docking ports started drawing together hard and fast, managing to sandwich the separator between them. It took some finagling and acrobatics to pull apart; the forces were that strong.

In this case, the strong forces helped in the end since I didn't have RCS (whipping the landing pod around earlier didn't help alignment matters). But yeah, the forces were absurdly strong for the vessel masses I was working with. (It was a Kerbal X-derived command module and a very basic Mk1 lander can-based lander.) Advanced Tweakable for capture distance and strength would be useful. (TweakEverything provided this, I believe.)

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