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The Basics of Flight
People fly from one planet to another because each planet has something new to offer some have cool quests, others have nice shops, others have cool social areas, others are just great to explore. You need a ship to get to each of these, and you need to learn how to fly so you’re not stuck on just one.
When looking at some of the help files all of the info can be a bit overwhelming. LotJ flight is far easier than it initially seems to be. Think of it as a series of simple steps that you repeat to go to different places instead of a three-dimensional world made out of text.
Acquire a Ship
The first step is getting a ship. There are two ways of obtaining said ship: Rent it (‘TAXI’ command), or buy it.
Method one: Rent vessels by using the ‘TAXI’ command (as shown above) while on a landing pad to call a public transport ship. They will cost 200 credits. (Not a lot at all).
Method two: Buy it. You can buy ships from engineers, clans, and straight off of the pad you’re on. Ships will usually cost upwards of 150 thousand credits, and some are well worth it. Some ships are larger than player homes, and often times have more features than a home. But don’t go ship crazy! Depending on your piloting levels, you may not be able to fly them. You can have a max of 3 personal ships at a time.
Board the Ship and Familiarize Yourself
Once you have gotten your ship, you now must find I way to get into it. This calls for the ‘OPENHATCH’ and ‘BOARD’ commands. Opening the ship hatch is like opening a door. You have to do it before you can climb into your ship. Boarding is how you can move from one docked ship to another, or climb into your ship. The boarding syntax is ‘BOARD (SHIP NAME)’. Simple as that.
Next, you will want to find your way to the cockpit. The cockpit is the only place on a vessel where you can grab the controls via the ‘PILOT’ command. Once at the cockpit, make sure and run a ‘STATUS’ on the ship. The readout will tell you important information – such as if you have fuel or damaged components!
The next step is to make it to grab the controls and launch from your landing pad. When you’re in the cockpit of the ship, use the ‘PILOT’ command to assume control over the ship. Then you can use the ‘LAUNCH’ command on your ship. When you launch your ship, make sure to power up the shields using the ‘SHIELDS ON’ command right after you launch. Launching and powering up the shields may take a few tries if you haven’t researched your piloting skills because your character doesn’t fully know what they’re doing yet. Your shields are important because they give your ship some more health and protection so that rockets and lasers don’t do as much damage to it. Once you have finished launching, you should be able to tell easily because of the new ship status prompt appearing. Now you are in space.
Orienting Yourself in Space
Think of space as a cube with X Y and Z coordinates, but don’t get overwhelmed. Use the ‘PROX’ command (screenshot above) to see what distance you are relative to other ships, planets, stars, and objects in the local area of space.
The ‘RADAR’ command helps you during space combat (a whole new world of things) and with flying in general by displaying the exact coordinates of the objects in your local area of space. If you want to see the ships around you, or how far away from a planet you are, then you should use the ‘PROX’ and ‘RADAR’ commands very often.
Hyperspeed is a really cool thing in LotJ. It also is your only means of traveling between systems. Each system contains a different planet, so to get anywhere, you’ll need to know how hyperspace works. However, there is a little prep work that goes into it. The ‘CALCULATE’ command (shown above) should show you different planets and how close or far they are from you. Your ship has enough fuel to make it to the ones that show up in green text. Your ship will have to land and refuel at least once to make it to the ones that show up in red.
The ‘PLANETS’ command should show you the planets and the systems they’re in.
Once you have determined which planets you get to via hyperspace, and selected the planet you want to visit, you need to find out how to get there! Use the ‘SHOWPLANET (PLANET)’ command to find the coordinates of your selected planet.
To calculate a jump to a planet, subtract or add 500 to one of those coordinates. This makes sure you don’t fly straight into the planet from your hyperjump. Then, input ‘CALCULATE (PLANET) (X COORDINATE +/- 500) (Y COORDINATE) (Z COORDINATE)’. This will begin the calculations for your jump. Depending on how far away the planet is, it may take some time to prepare.
You can’t jump out of the system unless you are 500 units away from the nearest ship. Use the prox command a few times to see how close/far you are from the nearest object. Once your jump has been calculated and you are clear from all obstructions, enter the ‘HYPER’ command to start your jump. In hyperspace, a count-down will appear of how far away you are from your destination.
Entering a New System
You will be notified by a completion message when your ship enters the new system. A good practice to get into is to use ‘PROXIMITY’ to see what is around you, and adjust ‘SPEED 100’ (if you are in a fast ship) so that you do not zoom past the planet’s orbit.
Use ‘COURSE (PLANET)’ to move your ship in the direction of the planet you want to land on. Setting course is a great skill to have. With course setting, you can track other ships, and fly to any coordinates you want – not just planets. To set your course to some random coordinates, you can use ‘COURSE (X) (Y) (Z)’ or ‘COURSE (OBJECT)’.
When you obtain orbit, use the ‘LAND (PLANET)’ command to see available landing pads. Once the pad name is chosen, you may ‘LAND (PLANET) (PAD)’. This also may initially take a few tries depending on your skill. Don’t leave the controls or do anything while your ship is landing, as you could crash and die.
Once your ship has landed, type in ‘AUTOPILOT ON’ and ‘SHIELDS ON’ to make sure your ship isn’t attacked or stolen while you’re gone.
Now you can exit the cockpit, then open the hatch with ‘OPENHATCH’, then ‘LEAVE’ the ship and explore!
Congratulations on your first flight experience on LotJ! May you have many more to come.
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