I've been bothered off and on by an apparent contradiction: It is possible (in fact, standard procedure) to make a hyperspace jump shortly after launch, as soon as we clear masslock from the main station. However, we continue to see individual traders and entire convoys braving the dangers of the spacelane to make their way out to the witchpoint beacon.
I believe that I have come up with a reasonable (In-world) explanation:
Every Jaimeson on the spaceways knows that jumping through hyperspace requires very precise calculations to prevent such mishaps as running right into a star, or bouncing through a supernova. What they may not have realized is that, for these calculations to be effective, the computer needs to know not only where it is going but also where it is beginning.
Planets, stations, and their associated beacons, are always in motion. Using them as a starting point is chancy, as the computer needs to also be able to trust the ship's chronometer down to the microsecond. Jumping from the middle of empty space is just as bad.
A well maintained hyperdrive and navigation array can
make a free-jump, at the cost of some greater transit risks, and extra strain on the components. Longer jumps are harder to make than short ones, due to the extra intervening interstellar features. Wise commanders, however, prefer to start their hyperspace journeys from a calibrated location at the witchpoint.
(End in-world justification)
For purposes of this discussion:
A 'free jump' is just jumping from wherever, as most of us do now.
a 'calibrated jump' is:
- Within scan range of the witchspace beacon
- Scanner locked on the beacon
- throttle <25%
- oriented as per this oxp:
I'd like to latch into the Service Level of the ship, as well as the distance to the target system, and change some risk levels.
'Good condition' means not in need of ship overhaul.
Jump Distance: <2.5 LY 2.5-5.8 LY > 5.8 LY
Good condition, Calibrated Jump: Same as core jump ---------------------------------------------------------------------->
Good Condition, Free jump: same as core x3 sl reduction chance, x1.5 misjump x4 sl reduction, x3 misjump
Rough condition, Calibrated: same as core x1.5 misjump x2 sl reduction, x2 misjump
Rough condition, Free jump: x3 sl reduction chance, x1.5 misjump x4 sl reduction, x3 misjump 50% jump aborts, x6 sl reduction, x5 misjump if jumps
I'd also like the trader AIs to take this into consideration when deciding whether to jump immediately, or to run for the beacon.
Thoughts on how difficult this would be, or gotchas regarding how exactly it would affect game balance, would be appreciated.
EDIT: Sorry for the hand-keyed spreadsheet thing. Apparently, BBCode tables are disabled?