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Why Merging a ship to a station is BAD idea...

Discussion in 'General' started by Rydekk, Jul 14, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Rydekk Trainee Engineer

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    As i happened to find out on my survival server. Me and my friends were Testing out our new resource carrying ship. We also build a space station the size of Cairo station of Halo 2. As we tried to dock the ship, a massive lag spike happend. And what i could see next is the entire left side back end of the ship destroyed (4 large ship engines destroyed). and a massive 6x6 wide hole in the station where both collided.

    The station had 2 layers of heavy armor, punched right through...

    Now as we assesed the situation. Trying to figure out what exactly happened, one of my mates had the theory that the ship went to fast when it docked. issue is, i only went 2.ish metres per second. No way that this was the reason. Then i tried to detach the vessel. Only to find out i couldn't...

    Now, it took me a few moments before realizing that merge blocks are there to merge... So merging a ship to a station block = that my ship became a "station" so i went on and "convert" my ship back. Only to find another horror...

    The entire station became a ship aswel. and it began to drift toward the asteroid we build it next...
    As we were unable to stop the asteroid from smacking in the asteroid. Me and my buddies figured to just load up an old save before the event. So no real harm there done.
    note, i did "turn off" all blocks attached. I didn't do anything wrong there.

    But is it just me or are the merge blocks just to clunky at the moment?

    What i discovered is that the larger your ship becomes, the more dangerous it become to "merge" things together or for example, "docking" a ship to a station.

    Are they working on that issue? because if they aren't. I don't see a reason to use these blocks of doom since they're just to dangerous to work with.

    Also, we need an option that makes it impossible for a ship to become "part" of a station. So you don't have to convert your "station" to a ship once more...
     
  2. RayvenQ Moderator

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    Connectors solve your problem, not only do they secure you to the station, can can transfer items through them and power is transferred too. Its pretty much what you should be using for docking.
     
  3. Rydekk Trainee Engineer

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    We use to do that, but we never worked with merge blocks before, and we wanted a quick way to get in and out station/ship so we used a cross design merge block system with doors...
     
  4. Mansen Apprentice Engineer

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    481
    Merge blocks are for a more permanent connection between links. Like a grinder/welder/miner attachment to a basic ship - A connector is a bit too wobbly for these.

    You can even use merging blocks to do extensive repairs if a ship breaks apart. Link the broken parts together with the block and then remove it once the rest of the ship is linked back up.

    The thing to keep in mind is that merging blocks fuse your "ships" - If any other parts than merging blocks are touching, they permanently fuse.
     
  5. RayvenQ Moderator

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    562
    Well you could replace the cross design with connectors instead of merge blocks, it'll still be the same. Also the problem with your merge blocks being turned off and the station coming with you could be due to flat pieces of the ship and station touching each other, therefore they permanantly become one thing.
     
  6. incarnatus Trainee Engineer

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    10
    After u do that how do u plan on transporting your loot?
    The only connection is on the back of a welder/miner/grinder.
    And merge blocks do not tranfer items.

    At least that is what i remember people saying.
     
  7. xwhitemousex Apprentice Engineer

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    197
    Why would you merge your ship to the station?

    Just build connector block on the station with conveyors to the cargocontainers, the same on your ship.

    Then connect the ships connector to the station connector, open inventory and click-drag items from ship to station.

    Doesn't get easier.

    Ore is even auto-pulled from ship to refineries (if the refineries have enough storage) as soon as you lock the connectors together.
     
  8. Mansen Apprentice Engineer

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    481
    http://peecee.dk/uploads/072014/merger.jpg

    Something like this is what I used for an early game proof of concept. Basically I'd put a merger block in front of the cockpit and dock it to a front end like the one shown. Two tools tubed to a center piece, the cargo hold. If I needed to eject or insert things there'd be a small frontal port I could access.

    Of course revisiting this, I'd put a conveyer in place of the cargo hold and add one or more cargo holds, with the merging block behind those instead. I prefer small ships - These were mostly used to weld, grind and drill inside of an asteroid base, not for large scale construction.
     
  9. Rydekk Trainee Engineer

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    20


    Registered: 04/07
    Posts: 2<table border="0" width="100%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="post_body"><tbody><tr><td><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" name="3"></a> <a name="post1283529769" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a> Posted 33 minutes ago</td><td align="right"> #3 </td></tr><tr id="post_date_divider_row"><td valign="top" colspan="2"><hr class="post_date_divider" size="1" /></td></tr><tr><td valign="top" colspan="2" height="100%" class="post">We use to do that, but we never worked with merge blocks before, and we wanted a quick way to get in and out station/ship so we used a cross design merge block system with doors...</td></tr></tbody></table>
     
  10. Iamus Apprentice Engineer

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    313
    Yeah; I understand wanting to play with new blocks.

    My advice is to make you understand them in the small scale, so you don't ruin hours of work, and lose hours and hours of work.
     
  11. Willemina Senior Engineer

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    1,433
    Yeah, the minute you see just how sickening the snap is if alignment is off by more than a hair, you'll realize this isn't a good way to do temporary links. Plus it merges grids, so that may have been your lag spike, the huge recalculation the server had to go through to handle it.

    If you really want to do the merge thing, for God's sake put distance between the station and the business end of the merge airlock. Otherwise you'll catch yourself on little things, and then any contact point turns in to a solid connection.
     
  12. Infekted Apprentice Engineer

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    359
    As pointed out here, don't bother with Mergers for ship to Station docking. It creates more problems and doesn't really provide anything useful.

    They are awesome for construction and repairs, allowing you to stick things together. And I also use them for modular designs.
    For things that are meant to detach and reattach (in a more solid way than connectors can provide), not only do you have to ensure there's at least 1 block clearance between anything that doesn't want to be permanently bonded. But it is also helpful to place all merging blocks on a one block pylon.
    If you do this, snap damage shouldn't go much further than the mergers them selves and the pylon blocks. If you mount directly onto a flat surface, there's a good chance of damage to 9 blocks around it, and if you embed the merger in the surface you'll almost always end up with lots of damage to the surrounding volume of blocks.

    [​IMG]

    Also the fewer you can get away with the better. It's fairly easy to get one connection lined up for minimal damage, but the more there are, and the further apart they are, the more snap movement you will tend to get, resulting in more damage. More mass will also increase potential damage, but really you can't do much about that for some applications.

    Oh and it's also important to approach with the mergers turned off, then turn them on when you get a good alignment. That sucking in, combined with the grid merge lag spike is probably what caused the OP's issues.
     
  13. Hatchie Apprentice Engineer

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    194
    Merge blocks are pretty useless for anything else then repairing things that broke into 2 pieces. Using them for modular ships are not good aswell because as it works now it offers nothing.
     
  14. Infekted Apprentice Engineer

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    359
    Mergers off plenty...
    There's ofc the numerous detachable but still controllable weapon/tool extensions.

    It gives a permanent connection that wont get ripped off by gravity drive over speeding. Or any other accidental over speeding.

    Allows detachable thrusters. For example, a large refinery ship that can move between asteroids, merge it with a single station merger to stationize it, then the engine nacelles come off and become mobile gravity scoops, which are also housing drilling ships...

    Or to pack a long tube like drill shaft into sections for movement or fitting into confined spaces.

    Or to make a switch to isolate or re-engage power or control panel visibility to different sections of a station or a conceptual idea.

    I could go on.. My only issue with them right now is the violence of their merging together. Not their functionality.
     
  15. Obsidian_eclipse Apprentice Engineer

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    182
    Merging is violent. I had a crane ship which docked with a engine ship for long distance power ( along with cargo modules and such like). Having huge boosters on the crane is inefficient for my purposes, plus the engine ship can drop off the crane and carry on with its business. Using connectors and landing gear wasn't much good either but had to settle with them in the end. Using merge blocks, even disabling them and then enabling last minute to prevent such a huge 'pull' would always resort in my crane arms exploding with the force of a supernova causing widespread destruction and mayhem to anything unfortunate enough to be hit by debris.
     
  16. entspeak Senior Engineer

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    1,744
    The problem with merge blocks is that the magnetic force is to strong. They are best used for repair, but can be used for other design elements using rotors. The merge block is great for designing a ship as a station and then converting it. It is also great for aligning things like doors. The one thing it's no longer necessary for is station docking. Easiest to use a connector link for that.
     
  17. Tairon96 Apprentice Engineer

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    143
    I am using the merge blocks quite often. And if you know its disadvantages there is no real problem with them:

    • Merging a ship to station for grinding the ship -> no floating blocks anymore
    • Merging a ship to station for changing the design with grinding / welding -> no breaking accidently apart anymore
    My modular drill train has serveral merge blocks. Every modul has a merge block and at least one connector at its front and its rear. If I change the composition of moduls, I dock the train at a 1 block station: A merge block. If I reposition the train for a new tunnel, I dock the train at a 1 block station: A merge block. Most times I am careful enough to prevent any damage. But sometimes one or two of the wheels break apart while merging. Therefore I have a small shunting space craft to catch the wheels and drop them back into the correct place.

    Anyway: As I have already mentioned > [SIZE= 11.0pt]here[/SIZE] &lt; the pull force is super natural for an unpowered, rather small block. It should be much less to be / feel realistic.
     
  18. rjustice2006 Trainee Engineer

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    20
    Hopefully you were covered by Allstate when mayhem struck.
     
  19. Polenicus Apprentice Engineer

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    I've experimented with all sorts of merge block 'docking' configurations, and the result is always the same: After you merge, no matter how careful you are, you will need to perform repairs.

    The damage seems to take into account the mass of the ship you're docking too, so something like a Military Transporter can do a LOT of damage. And that can be enough force the crush the merge block itself, which means your ship is now smacking into your station at whatever speed the magnetic pull of the merge block accelerated it to. I was welding a Military Transporter to a Mining Hauler. I kept it dead slow, had the merge blocks inches apart, turned off, then once it was all lined up perfectly, I turned them back on. Merge block went *MUSH* and 5 million kilograms of heavy armor crushed the Mining Hauler like it was made of warm butter.

    I imagine a 'docking tube' kind of setup would work much better using two connectors to line things up. As long as both objects are stationary, you're fine.

    For towing though, nothing is better than a merge block, especially on multiplayer.
     
  20. Jacob Wood Trainee Engineer

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    3
    I've found merge blocks are good for attaching manual turrets to ships but I've had similar issues with ship/station hibreds... all ending in a similar astroroid shaped mess... Unfortunately I was on single player and the autosave loaded me back to replay the last 5-6 seconds before impact... needless to say I still tried to prevent it about a dozen times, in the end settling to just watch the carnage from as many angles as possible

    I also have found them, like some people already mentioned, great for modular ships when combined with a small (large) ship with a landing gear, its great for interchanging parts... providing they aren't connected to rotors... then at least in my experience death... just death.
     
  21. Rosenkranz Apprentice Engineer

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    135
    Saddly, I'm at work so I can't test this but what about this:

    Use 2 or three connectors to fix the ships position while having the ships merge block off. Once the ship settles into position, turn on the merge block. One of the connectors could also serve as a umbilical for cargo transfer.
     
  22. SeeJayEmm Apprentice Engineer

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    120
    If you want to have a modular tool that also can transfer items between the tool and the base ship you need to align connectors so that they'll be in range once the merger is complete. I have used this with success in some experimental designs but it's a pain in the butt to disengage because of the mag locks on the connectors.

    I have a couple small workhorse tugs and use a similar modular design for my tools. In my designs I have a connector in the center between the 2 tools so I can easily load/unload them. All of my tools have self-contained storage and the tugs themselves have none.
    I also have a larger design with a large cargo can and 6 tool arms. I'm not home to post screenshots.

    If we ever get the ability to bind items to a hotkey (i.e. a merge block) it would be epic.
     
  23. Kayatami Apprentice Engineer

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    340
    I disagree. I have a large utility ship that has add-on components. For example, I might feel like mining one day ... I attach the mining arms using merge blocks to provide power &amp; control as well as a connector to transfer the items into the ships giant containers.

    Or if I need to grind down a ship, I disconnect the mining arms and replace it with the grinders.

    There are more uses to it than just docking.
     
  24. NetSlayer Trainee Engineer

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    To counter the magnetic force just use suspension wheels.
    [​IMG]
    Further info from my thread (sorry for hijack) :
     
  25. Infekted Apprentice Engineer

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    I tried that, and found it basically negated the only reasons to use mergers over connectors without providing any kind of benefit..
     
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