Guide: How to Use the Tractor Beam

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RavenIII
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Guide: How to Use the Tractor Beam

Post by RavenIII » Wed, 15. Mar 06, 15:51

All seems to apply aswell to the v1.4 patch, I am currently in the process of practicing rotation. But see page 4 for "Help Wanted".

Image

Version When Wrote: 1.3.2Beta
Still Applies in v1.4

Introduction:
(Important) Buying The Tractor Beam:
Okay, so you have a station you want to move nearer a complex. How do you do this? With the tractor beam! It can be fun to use, as it can a nuisance. It can usually be found in Split and Paranid sectors. The one I know of is in Tharka’s Sun. They are about 700,000Cr so they aren’t the cheapest bit of hardware, so make sure you will make use of it.

(Important) What Ship I use:
Even though you can use transports for the job, I find it easier with the smaller ships, e.g. the Centaur, which is what I’m using, it allows you to get a sense of size, and distance… it’ll also make some of the future stages easier.


Using The Tractor Beam:
There are a number of steps you have to take in order to move a station successfully. And some can be complicated, or easy, depending if you practice a lot. I decided that it would be beneficial for me to attach the tractor beam onto my Rear turret of the Centaur, making some future steps easier.

Lining Up With The Station:
Firstly, you need to line up with the station, how I do this is I pick where I want to move the station, then I line up with the Target Box that surrounds my station, and point in the direction I want to go in, and to the destination. This usually takes about 5 minutes, but may take less with practice. (See Screenshot Below For Example of Lining Up). Then simply shoot the tractor beam once (a quick tap, it latches on, and you can then continue).

Image
(This image basically shows you the process I use to line up… the lines where drawn on after just to show you that I’m quite accurate :p …there is no need really to be too accurate).

Moving The Station:
This is the easiest part, and the slowest, so patience will help a lot here. Now I found problems with tugging when I started doing this, but this is another story (see end of guide).
Basic Guidelines:
-If you attach to the station at 2.70km, then you have a rough margin of 500metres before the laser detaches, and you start over. Making the detachment point roughly 3.20km. If you attach at 1.20km, then the laser will detach at 1.70km, do you get the idea yet? :)
You can tell when you’re pushing the limit as the laser changes colour, it starts at green, goes to amber (yellow) then to red (or orangey-red). I suggest when it gets to red; you stop and let the station catch-up. Don’t worry it won’t hit you, it’ll return to the distance you started at, and then stop, ready for you to continue.

Now you may be wondering about what speeds to be going at? Well, in the centaur, I found that going at 6m/s was just perfect, the station takes a little time to speed up, and then match your speed, allowing for continues moving. You can even go as fast as 10m/s although the station may give a little wobble on its axis, and then smooth out.


Note: It is possible to push the station, and the speed limitations still apply, although I haven't practiced this technique, I imagine its the same process as above, apart from pushing the station, not tugging it.

Using SETA:
At first I had problems using SETA like the station would start spinning like a globe on an axis, when I learnt to line up properly, then it would do this just a little, and even once finally settled. If you suffer problems at x10 SETA I suggest you turn it down to x5, and practice on that, once you think it works fine put it up to x7, and try that out, if that works fine, bump it back up to x10. You should have perfected the technique of using the tractor beam, and shouldn’t need to change SETA compression ever again.

Added: Limitations!
You are limited to using the tractor beam on your stations, you can't pull any AI stations or Asteroids. At some point you may be able to use it on your injured ships, although it is not currently possible. Also you're not able to pull stations through the Gates... although this is theory, I haven't tried it, but most stations look too big to fit through the gates. It is also not possible to move complexes, due to the potentially giant scale they have become unmovable, there'd be alot of problems to move 5+ stations through a sector... due to other "smaller" obstacles.

Distance Limitation:
I have found that there is a limitation of 2km from the stations hull. Go over this and it will not work, this does not mean you have to be 2km, from the stations core, which is what the target box is homed in on.

Graphics Problems:
[v1.3.2Beta]
I suffered graphics problems without knowing it, the tractor beam on my game was constantly on Orange, later I changed my Shader Detail to High, from Medium, and it works fine, having the Shader at medium detail also caused problems with other things non-tractor beam related.
Image

Extra's:
As we all know there are numerous problems with the tractor beam, especially moving mines and large stations (although there's not many of them). So in order to aid these problems, the scripting community has been "tampering" with the files. Here I present to you, one of the more known scripts - apricotslice's Tractor Beam Range Mod

Image

Tractor Beam Guide in Other Languages:
- French/François
Last edited by RavenIII on Tue, 18. Apr 06, 22:32, edited 8 times in total.

Player.
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Post by Player. » Wed, 15. Mar 06, 17:41

This can be useful you should Ask merroc to add it to the sticky :wink:
http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=183585 - X2 The Threat High Definition Mod - You know you wanna :)

fud
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Post by fud » Wed, 15. Mar 06, 18:20

So, does this work on regular asteroids too, or is it only ones you've stuck a mine on?

flagg209
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Post by flagg209 » Wed, 15. Mar 06, 20:04

also can you pull a station through a gate?
I do this for Aiur...

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antman112
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Post by antman112 » Wed, 15. Mar 06, 20:40

flagg209 wrote:also can you pull a station through a gate?
no

good guide

i like it
sorry of any spelling mistakes

mroeder
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Tug Laser help 1.4

Post by mroeder » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 09:41

Anyone want to shed some light on effective tug/tractor beam work.?

I've kitted out a dragon with forward lazer #1 (group4) as a Tractor beam. All I seem to be able to do is spin the asteroid around (that i'm trying to drag into place).

I'm getting as close to the 'roid in the Dragon as I can ( less than 1.5km according to monitor - seems to be almost touching, which infers that the distance is to the center of the 'roid - not the surface)

Then firing, while "reverse thrusting (z key)".

It just spins around (left to right)

Very frustrating.

Thanks -

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RavenIII
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Post by RavenIII » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 10:19

Thanks, Player. I've already asked TSM to add it, I've also asked nilof to add it to his own list.

fud: It only works on your stations, AI see it as an attack, and ships it won't attach to.

flagg209: Not to my knowledge, and I'm not really willing to try at those speeds. I'd guess the laser would detach before you get too close.

antman: thank you for the kind words :)

Also added a new section "Added: What Can I Use It On?"

Cheers,
RavenIII.

The NME
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Post by The NME » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 10:43

Can you move stations which are part of a complex?
Can you move whole complexes?

Just thought I would be short & sweet, and ask the obvious before someone else does
Beware Machines !!!
What do machines actually do?
They increase the number of things we can do without thinking.
Do you sense the irresponsibility in that

Bishop149
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Post by Bishop149 » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 11:28

Good little guide many thanks.

God is it slow!! Took me most of last evening to drag a mine the length of Moo-Kyes revenge.

Can't get the hang of using SETA with it, was working for a while but then after nothing changed the mine started to spin on its axis as you described. Is it really just a lining up thing, I've been lining up perfectly and they still spin on SETA.
Its ok just don't use SETA, its gonna take for ever to drag it any distance anyway.

This really needs an OOS command for "Move station to. . " something I thought would be included seems incredible it isn't.
Scripters?
"Shoot for the Moon. If you miss, you'll end up co-orbiting the Sun alongside Earth, living out your days alone in the void within sight of the lush, welcoming home you left behind." - XKCD

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Post by fchopin » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 11:46

The last time I tested the tug ship you could only move asteroids you have mines on.

You can also go faster than 6M/S but this depends on the station you move. I would say you can go as fast as 9 or 10M/S. The distance between tug and station also depends on what you are moving.
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Post by Player. » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 12:17

http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=183585 - X2 The Threat High Definition Mod - You know you wanna :)

yrkoon99
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tractor help

Post by yrkoon99 » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 13:33

hi i was wondering what are the cheapest ships that can equip the new tractor beam earlier on i tryed to equip one to a centaur but it wouldnt fit on any of the laser slots :(

i dont have the money for a mammoth either :(

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Post by Tha_reaper » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 13:40

the cheapest ship that can equip it is a Xpermental shuttle. I got my shuttle trough a bug (spawned as an ally in a XI mission and i capped it :P). There are a couple of M6s that can carry the tractor beam. I thought the dragonw as able to. correct me if im wrong. Just fly to some core sectors and scan the races' M6 ships and see what lasers they take.

Bishop149
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Re: tractor help

Post by Bishop149 » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 14:11

yrkoon99 wrote:hi i was wondering what are the cheapest ships that can equip the new tractor beam earlier on i tryed to equip one to a centaur but it wouldnt fit on any of the laser slots :(
A centaur can equip a tractor beam, in most of its slots I think. . . . definatly the rear one.
I've put mine on a Hydra as its cheaper than the Centaur, which has better uses than as a tug boat anyway.
It will fit on a Dragon, but only on the front gun slots. . . not too useful (I think. . .Haven't tried pushing a station yet) Dunno about the Nemmy, haven't looked.
"Shoot for the Moon. If you miss, you'll end up co-orbiting the Sun alongside Earth, living out your days alone in the void within sight of the lush, welcoming home you left behind." - XKCD

Fingoniel
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Re: tractor help

Post by Fingoniel » Thu, 16. Mar 06, 15:43

Bishop149 wrote:
A centaur can equip a tractor beam, in most of its slots I think. . . . definatly the rear one.
I've put mine on a Hydra as its cheaper than the Centaur, which has better uses than as a tug boat anyway.
It will fit on a Dragon, but only on the front gun slots. . . not too useful (I think. . .Haven't tried pushing a station yet) Dunno about the Nemmy, haven't looked.
if you latch on with the front guns you can turn around and still tug it away - just a bit annoying if you have to re-connect to it.
(though I end up just backing away from the station at first. -10m/s works fine for me)

Someone was saying about the station spinning - I think it's down to you locking on to the wrong place so it's trying to turn it - just keep trying and you'll eventually get a place you can pull it from rather than spin it.

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