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There are currently 33 users playing Freelancer on 40 servers.
October. 17, 2019

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Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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After all those years, I still find paths a pain in the ass to make and to edit. It would be so much easier, if, instead of the (central) position, rotation and size, the begin and end positions and the width could be given. That way it'd become very easy to make a multi-legged path, without a crash, because the connecting ends would certainly meet.

Of course, the new format should be able to co-exist with how it is done in the vanilla files, because we don't want to have to rewrite all those.

So, next to :
Code:
nickname = Zone_Br07_path_mollys7_5
pos = xxxxx, 0, xxxxx
rotate = -90, xxx, 0
shape = CYLINDER
size = 750, xxxxx


this should be posible as well:
Code:
nickname = Zone_Br07_path_mollys7_5
pos_begin = xxxxx, 0, xxxxx
pos_end = xxxxx, 0, xxxxx
shape = CYLINDER <--- maybe this line could be used to let the program know this is a special case? Like, a new shape PATH?
width = 750

Posted on: 2018/11/28 18:16
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)

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Back in time when i've a done a mod, i used FL Explorer to do paths. It makes it much more easier, copy/paste the ini text generated in the actual system i wanted to edit.

Those paths, tricky as hell, isn't it !

Posted on: 2018/11/28 18:44
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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FL Explorer is the easiest way of doing paths. You just need to be very very careful when doing them, especially with path numbers which must be consecutive. There's a lot of editing after doing them with Explorer. If you're careful, no issues

Posted on: 2018/11/28 20:14
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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FL Explorer and such programs, while very tempting, are rather alien to my modus operandus, which is simply Notepad++, the dreaded FLMM 1.4, and trial-and-error.

Btw I'm quite convinced that the publishers could have earned twice (a very cautious estimate) the money they made on Freelancer, if they had published a level editor / system creator with it!! We now* (*a relative concept; I feel that 'now' includes the last 5 years; not everyone will agree) see the advent of games like Empyrion, Space Engineers, Astroneer etc.

Posted on: 2018/11/28 20:24
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)

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Not a fan of FL Explorer but this one do the job with the paths. If I remember well, take care if you use it, it can screw up the solar system ini file, so, just copy/paste the slice of text you need.

Or do it manually, so good luck, you're a courageous one

Posted on: 2018/11/28 20:34
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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n/m

Posted on: 2018/11/29 22:52
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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Quote:

Lady}{Diamond wrote:
Not a fan of FL Explorer but this one do the job with the paths. If I remember well, take care if you use it, it can screw up the solar system ini file, so, just copy/paste the slice of text you need.

Or do it manually, so good luck, you're a courageous one


That isn't so much courageous , but a huge pile of work for little result. I occasionally made some manually. My grasp of math is fairly basic, so I have to keep notes of the begin and end locations in some file, use Pythagoras' Theorem to calculate the length, similar to how I do Trade Lane traffic zones. And I even use the Trade Lane Calculator to render the angle. But it is much boring work for little gain.

In general it makes more sense to just use Adoxa's tlfail plugin and make sure that there are likely to be some pirates roaming the area when a trade lane is interrupted. But at the moment I am working with building new systems from existing systems (e.g. mirroring them, enlarging them and replace the entire factions' context with another one, e.g. Liberty with Rheinland). Occasionally a path will have to go (especially when you enlarge a system, so for the sake of continuity it'd be nice to get some other patrol path instead.

Posted on: 11/30 13:16
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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You can calculate manually and use whatever theorem you want to, i'd die of boredom doing it that way. Takes a few minutes in FL Explorer and you're done. You must however understand a bit about patrol paths for them to work properly. I've made hundreds of patrol paths with FLE, all work, no crashes, but you must pay attention when making them.

Have a read of Buck Danny's awesome tutorial, pretty much all you'll ever need to know about encounters, including patrol paths

Attach file:


zip Trying to understand encounters.zip Size: 124.61 KB; Hits: 35

Posted on: 11/30 19:25
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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Thanks. I actually do think that I know how they work though and why they can cause crashes etc. (and I do think that this tutorial, and other posts at the older Lancers Reactor and here helped a lot with that, so kudos to all those folks who figured it out!).

That isn't the issue; I've just grown used to working with xml files. I suppose I could make paths with such an editor and copy to code over to my work file, but iirc there were issues with each and every graphical System designers that were published.

Posted on: 11/30 20:40
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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Where would I find the Trade Lane Calculator?

Posted on: 12/1 6:58
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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Quote:

adoxa wrote:
Where would I find the Trade Lane Calculator?


In your inbox (provided you still use the same email address).

Posted on: 12/1 8:24
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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Got it, thanks. I'm still not sure if I should do this, though. If I did I'm thinking given pos_begin and pos_end a plugin could generate pos and rotate; I think with CYLINDER it could generate the second size, too (i.e. the distance between the points). I might whip something up, if you're willing to do all the testing...

Posted on: 12/1 9:15
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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Quote:

adoxa wrote:
Got it, thanks. I'm still not sure if I should do this, though. If I did I'm thinking given pos_begin and pos_end a plugin could generate pos and rotate; I think with CYLINDER it could generate the second size, too (i.e. the distance between the points). I might whip something up, if you're willing to do all the testing...

Are you're thinking about a standalone tool like the Trade Lane Calculator, that generates the position, rotation and length values for (one leg of) a path? That might be even better probably because the star system .ini files would remain 'orthodox'?

Of course, I'd be willing to do the testing (provided I can fit it into my working method, because after all those years, it'd be counterintuitive to do it otherwise).

Posted on: 12/1 20:52
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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Pretty sure adoxa means a plugin that just does a preprocessing pass to the INIs as they're read by Freelancer. You'd just be able to use pos_begin and pos_end directly in the INIs.

Posted on: 12/1 23:55
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Re: Request: an easier way to implement paths (no idea whether this is even possible)
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A standalone tool would have the advantage of working should the plugin go astray, but a plugin is presumably what you're really after, and what I've done. It will add pos_begin and pos_end to [Zone] shape = CYLINDER (they'll be ignored with other shapes). You don't even need pos_begin, as it'll automatically use the previous pos_end; shape will automatically use CYLINDER; and size will automatically use the previous value (or 750). I've done basic testing, roughly converting Zone_Li01_path_navy6_{4,5,6}:

Before:
Code:
pos = 77275, 0, -29852
rotate = -90, -70, 0
shape = CYLINDER
size = 750, 8972

pos = 90291, 0, -26487
rotate = 90, -60, 180
shape = CYLINDER
size = 750, 19834

pos = 101756, 0, -9864
rotate = 90, -13, 180
shape = CYLINDER
size = 750, 23794


After:
Code:
pos_begin = 73000, 0, -28000
pos_end = 81000, 0, -32000

pos_end = 99000, 0, -21000

pos_end = 104000, 0, 1500


Have fun...

Attach file:


zip ZonePos.zip Size: 5.13 KB; Hits: 39

Posted on: 12/2 8:13
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