Powering/shielding docked entities: Test results about something undesirable(?)

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    Had some questions about the details of how power/shields work with docked entities, and did some experimentation for the answers.
    Sharing the results for those still unaware of these details, as well as to suggest a change (which seems much-needed and straight-forward, at least to me).


    Have a ship with a shield generator (that consumes power) and a power system (that can feed everything onboard). While undocked, the shield generator will protect all blocks (of main entity and its docked stuff) within its bubble, and put a load on the onboard reactor. However, when docked to a station, things start making less sense.

    Have a station with reasonably long docking arms (to leave space for the parts of big ships that protrude beyond their USD ports). Plot twist: the ship is comparable in size/mass to the station. When such a ship is docked, power/shields behave as such:

    • ship reactor shuts down, and transfers all of its loads to the station (as reflected in the ship's flight-mode power bar or build-mode power stats, which stop showing onboard reactor load, and start showing the station's reactor load instead)
    • ship shield bubble no longer protects either main entity or its docked stuff (or the station)
    • ship shield generator still consumes power, adding its full load onto station's reactor
    • ship blocks outside station's bubble can get damaged, despite both station/ship shields being full and consuming power

    Further plot twist: if the ship is larger/heavier than the station, its inactive shields can overload the station.

    Suggestion: disable power consumption on inactive shields (and perhaps on other inactive systems).

    I don't think it's uncommon or unreasonable to have stations anchor ships that are either individually or collectively more massive/power hungry than the station itself...
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    Had some questions about the details of how power/shields work with docked entities, and did some experimentation for the answers.
    Sharing the results for those still unaware of these details, as well as to suggest a change (which seems much-needed and straight-forward, at least to me).


    Have a ship with a shield generator (that consumes power) and a power system (that can feed everything onboard). While undocked, the shield generator will protect all blocks (of main entity and its docked stuff) within its bubble, and put a load on the onboard reactor. However, when docked to a station, things start making less sense.

    Have a station with reasonably long docking arms (to leave space for the parts of big ships that protrude beyond their USD ports). Plot twist: the ship is comparable in size/mass to the station. When such a ship is docked, power/shields behave as such:

    • ship reactor shuts down, and transfers all of its loads to the station (as reflected in the ship's flight-mode power bar or build-mode power stats, which stop showing onboard reactor load, and start showing the station's reactor load instead)
    • ship shield bubble no longer protects either main entity or its docked stuff (or the station)
    • ship shield generator still consumes power, adding its full load onto station's reactor
    • ship blocks outside station's bubble can get damaged, despite both station/ship shields being full and consuming power

    Further plot twist: if the ship is larger/heavier than the station, its inactive shields can overload the station.

    Suggestion: disable power consumption on inactive shields (and perhaps on other inactive systems).

    I don't think it's uncommon or unreasonable to have stations anchor ships that are either individually or collectively more massive/power hungry than the station itself...
    This is a pretty big issue; one that even I experience at my scale of building.

    Quite frankly, it makes no sense for a ship to put that kind of drain on a station unless said ship is still using its shields and weapons (presumably on turrets)

    I tend to keep my ships considerably smaller than my stations but even I find it "challenging" to manage a station's power output/drain ratio when multiple or larger ships are docked.

    I'll have to check if there's a config setting that can eliminate this.
     

    Crashmaster

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    For the power consumption problem I was wondering if two home bases might be a solution. One for normal and one just to dock to. If it was an easier config change than fixing the problem.
     
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    For the power consumption problem I was wondering if two home bases might be a solution. One for normal and one just to dock to. If it was an easier config change than fixing the problem.
    Right, I forgot about the invulnerability of homebases, lol.

    I guess if used solely to anchor and protect ships, a homebase wouldn't need either shields or power... The constant overload by the ships' systems wouldn't matter, if you use no power consuming stuff on the homebase. The savings could be invested in the defenses of a second station, where factories, etc. would be set up.

    Don't know if these issues apply to carriers too.
     

    DrTarDIS

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    The irony here: That entire system was put in place to "stop people bypassing size requirements for reactors" and to "prevent exploits like the docked reactors caused"

    Typical Squeaky wheels breaking other stuff when they get all the grease they ask for.
     

    Maxajax

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    Had some questions about the details of how power/shields work with docked entities, and did some experimentation for the answers.
    Sharing the results for those still unaware of these details, as well as to suggest a change (which seems much-needed and straight-forward, at least to me).


    Have a ship with a shield generator (that consumes power) and a power system (that can feed everything onboard). While undocked, the shield generator will protect all blocks (of main entity and its docked stuff) within its bubble, and put a load on the onboard reactor. However, when docked to a station, things start making less sense.

    Have a station with reasonably long docking arms (to leave space for the parts of big ships that protrude beyond their USD ports). Plot twist: the ship is comparable in size/mass to the station. When such a ship is docked, power/shields behave as such:

    • ship reactor shuts down, and transfers all of its loads to the station (as reflected in the ship's flight-mode power bar or build-mode power stats, which stop showing onboard reactor load, and start showing the station's reactor load instead)
    • ship shield bubble no longer protects either main entity or its docked stuff (or the station)
    • ship shield generator still consumes power, adding its full load onto station's reactor
    • ship blocks outside station's bubble can get damaged, despite both station/ship shields being full and consuming power

    Further plot twist: if the ship is larger/heavier than the station, its inactive shields can overload the station.

    Suggestion: disable power consumption on inactive shields (and perhaps on other inactive systems).

    I don't think it's uncommon or unreasonable to have stations anchor ships that are either individually or collectively more massive/power hungry than the station itself...
    The thing with docked entities is considered undesirable, for reasons I will get to below.

    The irony here: That entire system was put in place to "stop people bypassing size requirements for reactors" and to "prevent exploits like the docked reactors caused"

    Typical Squeaky wheels breaking other stuff when they get all the grease they ask for.
    As someone who was there when the Deep Magic was written, docked reactors were never an exploit. They were a functional facet of the game, and I for one always shared my blueprint with new players to help them power their station and ships.

    They were axed for a practical reason, not a moral one, as the only excuse for not having them was sloth. When one of the warships powered by docked reactors suffered damage that resulted in the destruction of the docking block, the docked reactors would begin to spasm within the hull. This would usually result in the server crashing. This was considered undesirable, especially since servers only updating at certain intervals meant that each crash resulted in a rollback. Thus using them was made impossible.

    On the other hand, they were beautiful, complex pieces of engineering, and the people who pioneered them all put in countless hours to get as much energy as possible out of the smallest amount of cubic meters. Those were Omnissiah-blessed days.
     

    DrTarDIS

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    They were axed for a practical reason, not a moral one, as the only excuse for not having them was sloth. When one of the warships powered by docked reactors suffered damage that resulted in the destruction of the docking block, the docked reactors would begin to spasm within the hull. This would usually result in the server crashing. This was considered undesirable, especially since servers only updating at certain intervals meant that each crash resulted in a rollback. Thus using them was made impossible.

    On the other hand, they were beautiful, complex pieces of engineering, and the people who pioneered them all put in countless hours to get as much energy as possible out of the smallest amount of cubic meters. Those were Omnissiah-blessed days.
    Fully aware, but considering the "size requirements" that the new reactors/stabilizers put in when introduced you have to admit there had to be some misguided balance objective as well.

    Considering the "easy" way to fix undocking and clipping poblems would be to make docking blocks act like they do now...yeah, I maintain squeaky wheels breaking other things. Docked entities being the "shut down parasites" they currently are are also done AFAIK for that same kind of misguided balance objective.

    See the old shield tech blueprint I've still got on the dock (in a pre-rails update so it doesn't explode and lag-bomb you) to get an example of a self-powered-and-shielded overlapping shield wall. With a bit of thought you'll probably figure out some Omnisiah-blessed use cases.