[SCRIPT] BOF - Ship Clamper

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[SCRIPT] BOF - Ship Clamper

Post by B-O'F » Thu, 29. Nov 07, 01:33

1.0 - 2007-11-28

Fed up with those inconsiderate people that use your stations as a free ship parking space?

Setting the 'Other races can trade with this station' to No has no effect.

Station announcements about overstaying the permitted parking time have no effect.

Trying to make them pay for excess parking time has no effect, and is impossible to implement.

So what can you do?
The answer is simple, hire my Ship Clamper software.

What do you get for your money?
You get software installed on the selected station or complex that issues docking/parking tickets and monitors parked ships.

When a ship exceeds the allowed parking time, it is impounded.

What is the allowed parking time?
If you have 'Other races can trade with this station' set to Yes, the parking time is 20 minutes; if it is set to No, then the parking time is 10 minutes.

What does 'impounded' mean?
According to my dictionary it means:- "to take possession of for use when necessary". In simple terms (my preferred understanding) it means that it now becomes your property - complete with all fittings and cargo. I have been testing this for a while, and have never had any complaints - though some of the ships were not as clean as I would have liked.

Is it legal?
If I get an idea, then I study all the relevant legislation to find the full scope - especially any weaknesses.
The legislation is quite clear - you can impose any penalties you like on any ship that breaks regulations while they are on your property.
There are just two 'grey' areas - words that are not specifically defined, and they are:-
1) Any penalties must be, and I quote "prominently displayed"
2) "A reasonable time for objections must be allowed"

What does "prominently displayed" mean?
The legislation does not define this, so to be safe (and legal):-
- It is printed on the reverse of each parking ticket issued, this has been proven to be legally acceptable (e.g. terms and conditions for Tour operators)
- A large sign is put on the back of the docking bay doors.
- Your station manager can also have a copy on his desk - it is very prominent there.

The wording is:-
"Pilots are hereby informed that any ship that exceeds the permitted docking time may be impounded".
Using the words 'may be impounded' rather than 'will be impounded' means that most pilots will take the risk - their loss, your gain.

What does "A reasonable time for objections must be allowed" mean?
Again, this is not explicitly defined.
In the old days of letter writing, 14 days would have been considered reasonable.
As this is a computer controlled system, a second is a very long time to a computer, and is considered to be more than reasonable (at least by me).....

The main point is that in all the time I have been testing this software, no-one has complained.

How effective is it?
Very. I have 'obtained' over a hundred ships, mostly TP's and TS's - including the very largest Super Freighters - and of course, all their shields, lasers and cargo. A word though, this does depend on the pilots ignoring or forgetting the allowed parking time, so the number of impounded ships will vary - you cannot depend on it for a regular income.

Where should I use it?
That obviously depends on your universe and the factories that you own - just look at the ships docked at your various stations. I have tested it on all my stations and complexes (well it had to be fully tested, and cost me nothing).

The best was obviously the Fun Place (booze and weed) as the pilots quite often 'tested' the ware... which takes time. The big advantage here is that you can put the ware back into stock for resale.
TIP: wait until there are not so many ships docked and waiting for the next batch.
TIP: many small factories are better than one huge complex, as it takes longer to create each batch, and therefore more chance of exceeding the parking time = more impounded ships.

The Rimes Fac was quite good - some nice ships from there.

The Equipment Dock and Trade Docks were fairly good - they have 'Other races can trade with this station' set to No - and they gave me a few TP's of various types.

The HQ, again with 'Other races can trade with this station' set to No, gave quite a few TP's.

TIP: Quite a few of the TP's had Very Important Passengers aboard - do not try to eject them into space, as it makes a mess on your new ship. Instead, put them all into a TP or TS (with Cargo Lifesupport) and give them a tour of the local shipyard, and a close-up view of the ship selling business.

How do I get it?
It is available at all stations and complexes, just go to your station commands and select 'Ship Clamper'.

What does it cost?
One million credits per station/complex sound about right? Or a universal licence for all your stations/complexes for ten million credits? You can get quite a few ships if you use it wisely. If you find that you are getting too many ships, then you can turn it off (select 'ShipClamper' and then None) and then turn it back on (no fee) when you have need of more ships.
If you buy it for a station, and then make that station into a complex - then you will have to buy it again. So think before buying (but not for too long, as I want your money).

Is that it?
Well... there are a few things that you can do to maximise profits...
If a rather tasty ship is docked, and you really, really want it then changing 'Other races can trade with this station' from Yes to No might just let you get the object of your desire - but remember to change it back again. This is a despicable, underhand thing to do - but very effective.

If it is a single station - not a complex - then stopping production for a while is quite effective, or running the 'Maintain Product Quantity' with a value of zero, so your ship takes all the products. Both will prolong the parking times.

Of course, if you are really nasty, you could change the permitted parking times, ($short.park = 10 and $long.park = 20 in lines 092 and 093) to lower values, but then you would have to spend all your time managing your impounded ships.

Download Ship Clamper - courtesy of Xai Corporation - in .zip format containing .spk format and the files for copying or studying, whichever you prefer.

Command slot: COMMAND_STATION_47 Note:- This conflicts with Benco's Garbage Recycler, but is listed as free in the Index
Page id: 8897

Go to Station Commands, select Ship Clamper.
You will get an incoming question to select site licence (1 million Cr), a universal licence (10 million Cr), or No, I don't want to buy it.
If you select a site licence, the money is taken from the station account - if the station does not have enough money, then the cost is taken from your account. If you do not have the money - no sale.
Selecting site licences means that you will have to do this for each station or complex.

If you buy a universal licence, then you can just start the software on each station, no incoming questions - sorry, no autostart for all your stations.


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Post by LokRar » Thu, 29. Nov 07, 01:45


pure genius!

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Post by MightyOdin » Thu, 29. Nov 07, 01:45

:D :D this is a nice one bof i must trie this sounds just rigtht in my opinion.

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Post by jlehtone » Thu, 29. Nov 07, 08:52

I'm sure the Teladi are double-checking the legal details by now. Tough for them to decide a side on the matter as they want both clients and their ships. 8)

But as a honorary member of Guard of Xaar (for unmentionable reasons) I feel compelled to ask how quickly all the Paranid stations could start using this. The Holy Trinity is particularly fed up with a loitering fleet owned by some foreign company called "Player" or "Your"... :twisted:
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Post by B-O'F » Thu, 29. Nov 07, 12:02


@: LokRar and MighytOdin, glad that you like the idea (and the profits).

@: jlehtone, the Teladi don't stand a chance. If I can keep our Inland Revenue tied up in in legal problems for five years, then I can cope with the Teladi. As for the Paranid, I have the patent on this idea, they will have to deal with me - for a very large price.

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Post by Whismerhill » Thu, 29. Nov 07, 20:49

somehow I feel like npc stations should have that software and steel your property when you stay for too long too ... :lol:

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Post by B-O'F » Thu, 29. Nov 07, 21:45

Hi Whismerhill,

The NPC stations used to steal your ships - or at least the GoD engine did. Those bugs were fixed in the latest patches.... now it's time to get your own (oh well, someone else's) back....

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Post by defiant1 » Thu, 29. Nov 07, 22:08

well its about time someone gives me the tools to take back whats mine...all 500+ ships...hey so i will have more to manage...ill send them to my impond lots...if i dont want it ill send it to the HQ to have them salvage the materials and recorses...im sure the previous owner wouldnt mind thier ship being used to make a new flag ship for my self...oh say somethin on the size of a valhala class dreadnaught? (IF you are useing XTM) but hey they shouldnt have over stayed thier welcome in the first place...

thanks BOF...useful...:) i already got the first 100 back altho most went into the recycler and wound up being turned into parts for my new flagship....

oh and on a side note i got around this by leaveing my fighters parked in the M2/M1 ships of mine and takeing my mobile parking garages to where i wanted the fighters to be and just had the ships stay...that way i wouldnt worry about some dumb station takeing my ships (altho i find it better to just park the fighters near the station and the M2/M1 some where else...hehe :twisted:
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Post by RaGodofTehSun » Fri, 30. Nov 07, 21:16

Ok quick question on this, does it run all the time or do i have to activate it manually, such as if the ship is docked for 20 min does it activate and impound the ship or do i have to keeptrack of all my factories?

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Post by B-O'F » Fri, 30. Nov 07, 22:06

Hi RaGodofTehSun,

You just have to start it once on each of the stations or complexes that you wish to monitor, it will then run on that station/complex until you stop it. It will run and time any NPC ship that is docked - and impound any that overstay the 10/20 minute limit. You get a message for each ship that is impounded - no limit on the number you can impound (except where do you put them?).

If you buy a site licence (i.e. pay 1 million credits for each station) then you have to answer the incoming question to pay - for each station. When paid for, the script will start on that station.

If you choose to buy a universal licence for 10 million credits, the script will start on that station. You can then go to all your other stations, select Ship Clamper in the station commands, and it will then start - no incoming questions. You do have to start it on each station.

I find it easy, but then - I wrote it, so I know what to expect...... and it is now running on all my stations - very profitable...

If you have any more questions, please ask - I don't charge for the answers... (thinks - that might be worth thinking about...)

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Post by defiant1 » Fri, 30. Nov 07, 22:53

hey BoF dont go stepin into my part of the profitsssssss...altho I think I should work with u on some ideas for some other scripts? maby some kinda specialized tool box of some sort...meh...just need to get a station that will have more parking room...a parking garage perhaps? for all my impounded ships awaiting their...untimely fate shale we say...
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Post by B-O'F » Sat, 1. Dec 07, 00:59

Hi defiant1,

I had to go out and get an Elephant Super Freighter with parking for 300 ships for a mobile ship park - getting rather full now, will need another one soon... and, before you ask, it was specially made to my specifications - it is not generally available.

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Post by defiant1 » Sun, 2. Dec 07, 19:30

ah...Ill just leave them in some random sector to park and make it hard for the traffic pattern :) (boy i love makeing life difficult for the boron) but u think u might be able to u know send a few of thoes my way perhaps? I got a few plans for some of the fighters...hehehe :twisted: oh and pardon if some of the boron sectors get messey...im just tossing all the debrie aside and useing it as a scrap yard (wish i had one too)
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Post by Pogi » Sun, 2. Dec 07, 19:47

:thumb_up: :thumb_up: :thumb_up: Great stuff BOF!
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Post by LV » Sun, 2. Dec 07, 19:53

Interesting idea fartface 8) :P :roll: :wink:

I must admit i have the uncontrollable urge to write software to hunt out and destroy these traffic wardens as i do in RL :)

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