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Autostrut locks ships attached via KAS/IR/etc


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This has already been mentioned in several mod reports but from what I understand it's an issue that extends to most, if not all, mods that deal with attaching/unattaching parts and vessels together without using docking ports.

Basically, if a part has been auto-strutted, and the ship that part is attached to is linked to another ship via, say, the KAS connector ports, the auto-struts re-configure themselves if they are set to "heaviest part". Whichever ship has the heaviest part, the auto-struts on the other ship will link to those instead. The problem, however, is that the re-configured auto-struts remain in place linking the two ships together even if the ships are later un-linked, meaning that you have two ships that are visually separate but invisibly attached together, making it impossible to move the two apart.

Which wouldn't be so much of a problem if wheels and landing gear weren't already configured so that they are locked to auto-strut to the heaviest part. I'm not sure why these are set and locked that way, but we need to be able to change that so as to avoid this happening. The option to change autostrut even appears on the context menus for landing gear, but it does absolutely nothing - why even put the option there if they are hard-coded to strut to the heaviest part?

This is making planetary and moon-based surface operations nigh on impossible for me since I rely on KAS links to refuel landers and pass harvested resources between entities. I've had to on-purpose destroy several landers that became locked to my base upon unlinking, because they would not move upon takeoff. Either we need more flexibility in changing auto-strut options, or we need better recognition when two ships are separate.

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It's already been reported to KAS, but right now they've only got the workaround of "not using landing gear and KAS parts on the same ship" which is zero help. I'm trying though to figure out why its necessary to have autostruts on landing gear turned on automatically and why they're locked to the heaviest part - can we at least change it so that it is locked to the root or grandparent part instead? That way I can at least have a craft with landing gear that won't fuse with my base every time I need to transfer resources.

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On 11/26/2016 at 3:49 AM, 5thHorseman said:

This is not a bug. When you connect 2 craft together they become 1 craft. This is the same as when if you throttle up after connecting, all engines throttle up and not just the "right" ones.

No no no. you misunderstand what I'm getting at. The problem is not that the two craft become one when connected. That is not the issue. The issue is what happens when I do the opposite and disconnect, making one craft into two. When the crafts are first connected, the autostruts are reconfigured as if they were one craft, but they do not change when the crafts are disconnected. The main issue is I've got landers that are still "connected" to a base even after they've been disconnected.

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Just now, Auriga_Nexus said:

No no no. you misunderstand what I'm getting at. The problem is not that the two craft become one when connected. That is not the issue. The issue is what happens when I do the opposite and disconnect, making one craft into two. When the crafts are first connected, the autostruts are reconfigured as if they were one craft, but they do not change when the crafts are disconnected. The main issue is I've got landers that are still "connected" to a base even after they've been disconnected.

Aha. Yes, that is a bug. If it happens in stock with docking ports, report it to Squad. If it's only KAS, report it to them. With logs and craft and save files, of course :)

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5 minutes ago, Auriga_Nexus said:

It's already been reported to KAS, but right now they've only got the workaround of "not using landing gear and KAS parts on the same ship" which is zero help. I'm trying though to figure out why its necessary to have autostruts on landing gear turned on automatically and why they're locked to the heaviest part - can we at least change it so that it is locked to the root or grandparent part instead? That way I can at least have a craft with landing gear that won't fuse with my base every time I need to transfer resources.

Autostrutting to the root for landing gear was the first use of autostruts. It's why they exist. If that was disabled, landing gear would be unusable everywhere and not just on KAS attached ships.

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@Auriga_Nexus, assuming that it doesn't happen with stock docking ports then it sounds like KAS isn't firing some required event either before or after disconnecting the parts.  It may be that something new has been added in KSP 1.2 or the autostruts may just use a non-obvious mechanism to reset when stock undocking...

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I play stock, but I wholeheartedly support the request to enable us to change the autostrut setting on landing gear, legs and wheels.

A fixed setting to 'heaviest part' becomes an issue in stock too, when docking two complex craft together and both have an identical 'heaviest part'. Knowing how it works one can game the system a bit, but in particular when docking things together, having the system try to be 'smart' will regularly be counterproductive. Let us decide, please.

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11 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

Autostrutting to the root for landing gear was the first use of autostruts. It's why they exist. If that was disabled, landing gear would be unusable everywhere and not just on KAS attached ships.

But they don't autostrut to the root, they autostrut to the heaviest part which may or may not change depending on the composition of a ship.

If they autostrutted to the root and STAYED there even if the ship docked or was connected via KAS, that would fix the issue while still maintaining the reason for autostrutting in the first place.

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I am in agreeance with Neroziat.  I am using IR hydraulic pistons to make outriggers for my skinny lander so it will have a wider base when landing on an incline. I just spent over an hour figuring out why the outriggers would not extend. Having landing gear on the fuel tank,which is on the end of the piston, stops the piston from extending due to the LOCKED autostrutting.  My plans for this glorious ship are in the trash can because of all this autostrut garbage. Making the feature switchable to "root part" would pretty much fix this whole fiasco. I dont care if I have to use real struts. This crap is really ruining game play.

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I had this happen on a craft with no KAS attachments, but there were mods involved, so I can't claim it as a stock issue with 100% certainty. The setup was making a satellite launcher on minmus using Extraplanetary Launchpads. I had a framework set on the ground, then three upwards-facing 1.5m decouplers with the satellites' engines set on top of them. Two of them launched fine, but the third had gotten itself invisibly strutted to the launcher's girders and wouldn't move. I used KAS to try to fix the problem, but just ended up with a bunch of parts suspended in the air as I detached their (visible) physical connections to the base.

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