Welcome aboard fraterchaos.
I run Manjaro XFCE myself (great distro).
Can I ask which version you are running (XFCE, KDE, GNOME) ?
I don't use compiz myself (I use the stock XFWM).
The only issue I ever really encountered with oolite was using the version installed by pamac - I found that it spread oolite files between my root partition and my home partition
(this was some time ago now - whether the pamac installed version behaves the same way I couldn't say)
I can without any doubt second the recommendation of removing the version installed by pamac and going with downloading and installing the oolite.org version.
Installation of it really is a breeze - just pick a folder of your home partition.
I have always used free drivers with my ATI card (I won't have any proprietary software on my machine) and have never had any issues.
I'm running the XFCE version as well, but I use Compiz-Reloaded (which is basically the old 0.8 version of Compiz with all the "unstable" bells and whistles) I'd really hate to have toe remove it, as my entire desktop and everything I do on the computer revolves around the way I have things set up in Compiz. (if you want to see what I mean, here's a link to a video of my desktop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uLu9taUBd4
As I stated earlier, I did install the version from the website, and that fixed everything (well except that the audio is a little weird now... the voices of the "radio chatter" are too loud, and actual comms messages are too quiet) But other than that small glitch, all the graphics stuff works fine.
I first used the proprietary ATI drivers when I installed Manjaro, then I had some issues with them and switched to the free drivers. But I recently had to reinstall the whole system (due to something totally unrelated) and decided to try the proprietary drivers again (since Manjaro makes it fairly painless to switch back) and they've been working fine this time around. I like the proprietary ones if they work right because you can access more of the settings. Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be any difference in performance.
But anyway, everything is fine graphics wise now. And I really appreciate the help!