HEY PATRONS and VISITORS!
I'm excited! Very, very excited! And all of you Warthog HOTAS pilots can be excited too! I've got control mappings, curves and trick features I hope you're going to love.
I will be live streaming on Friday at 7PM Central time to go over the new controls and mappings and answer your questions at https://www.twitch.tv/solarfly . I'm not a super experienced streamer, but I'll do my best.
I will also put up an early access profile to all patrons.
I still have a lot of work to do to put together the control diagrams and instructions, but here's the new instruction manual to give you an idea of the effort!
3.8 Profile Status
- Testing with MFG Crosswinds. I need volunteers for the Saitek, CH and TM rudders to let me know how those look, and I need those volunteers to have experience with loading/testing the profile. You may run into device ordering issues as usual.
- I would love your feedback on the sensitivity curves. They are set inside the XML now for the most part.
- Flight controls, flight systems, weapon, defensive, power systems, scanning systems, mining mode and navigation modes all painstakingly mapped
- View control inside cockpit doesn't have a switch at the moment, I've been heavily testing TrackIR.
- Tested in Prospector and other ships
Changes From 3.0 and Prior
Weapons & Targeting
- Cycle countermeasures moved to throttle on China Hat Forward. Firing countermeasures moved to China Hat back.
- Both the H2 (ladder) and H3 (cross) 4 ways are used for target management, including cycling hostiles, friendlies, pinned and clearing selections. Sub targeting is of course quickly accessible.
- LG/WRN (short press) cycles your weapon modes (gimbals, auto, fixed). Long press toggles look-ahead.
- Lead/Lag pip reticule is toggled in the new Master Mode (see Master Mode)
- I removed the toggle that swaps primary and secondary guns around, because CIG finally lets you group your weapons correctly in the ship. Also, you can fire weapon group 0 on first-stage trigger, group 1 on H4P, and both groups with a second-stage main trigger pull.
Views & Interaction
- EAC no longer toggles Interaction mode. I might change this back if some people want view on PSB (but honestly -- buy a TrackIR and never look back)
- Pinky Switch Back (PSB) used to put you into View mode to look around the cockpit. In 3.8, it puts you directly into Interaction mode (F held), and the Hat on the joystick transforms to look directly at the MFDs. Pressing up on H3 (cross) focuses in and out quickly. In the current version, I've removed "look around" mode, though the Hat is mapped to views in almost all modes.
- Short Pressing the SC (slew control on the throttle) will toggle external view (F4) and the Hat lets you look around. Long-press resets TrackIR centering. Look behind is no longer mapped.
- The Right ENG ignition (ENGRIGN) will toggle your mobiglass starmap.
Autopilot LASTE position determines what the AP Engage/Disengage switch does (as in the past). The new layout is:
- PATH: Toggle Mining Mode
- ALT/HDG: Toggle Cruise (short), Enable/Disable Cruise (long)
- ALT: Landing Gear (short), Auto-land (long)
Master mode in an F16 or fighter plane often cycles between A-A and A-G and other modes. The hardest problems for me to solve in this Star Citizen profile is that everything is a toggle - you can not map an "on" button and a different "off" button, which would make my life so simple. So what happens is controls can get reversed. So I tried to solve that.
What's really cool about the new Master Mode is that it puts frequently accessed control at your fingertip by combining the position of the Boat Switch (BS) on the Throttle and the side button on the joystick (S1).
- Boat Switch Forward (BSF): S1 toggles Quantum (short), and engages (long)
- Boat Switch Middle (BSM): S1 toggles between Lead and Lag targeting reticule
- Boat Switch Back (BSB): S1 toggles Scanning (tab key by default), and now the view Hat1 up and down will increase or decrease scanning ranges. See the next section on scanning and mining.
Scanning & Mining
Scanning Mode is accessed by moving the Boat Switch Back (BSB), then pressing S2. This brings up scanning mode. To increase or decrease scanning zoom, use the Hat (H1U and H1D). To scan a ship or rock and get details about what you're aiming at, pull the main trigger (TG1). To send an active ping and scan the area, push down on the secondary trigger (H4P, which is the 5-way hat under your thumb on the joystick).
To access mining mode, set Autopilot to PATH, then press Engage. To switch between Fracturing and Extraction, use the H4P (5-way hat under your thumb on the joystick). In fracturing mode, the small slider on the throttle controls the beam intensity, and you can get really awesome control over it. Use the main trigger (TG1) with a short pulse to toggle the beam on, or hold it down for momentary.
Shields & Power
It took me days to work out what I wanted to do with power on/off controls and I arrived at a solution I really like. First of all, the default keys of R, U, I, O and P are all left alone if you need to get to a specific system.
Flight Ready - Set the Left ENG Motor (ENGLMOTOR) down, which is a safe position (which means setting the switch here won't do anything unexpected to your ship). Next, flick the switch to the middle position (ENGLNORM) and this will initiate a Flight Ready power up of your systems.
Toggle the Power - Push the Left ENG ignition (ENGLIGN) momentarily to toggle power on or off. This is how you power down your ship or just start the power without closing the doors/cockpit etc.
I really debated changing shield control and putting it somewhere else. The HP4 (5-way switch on the joystick) is used in fighter cockpits for countermeasures. But shield management is critical and not everyone uses voice attack. Also, back in the 3.0 version, CIG had broken Power Profile control (the little triangle) from keyboard, but it's really working better than ever!
The Pinky Switch should be set to the middle position most of the time. In the middle position (PSM), your HP4 controls shields. Flick the Pinky Switch forward (PSF) and you will have control over your power triangle.
I have not as of this writing figured out a smooth place for resetting shields, but I'm working on it.
Saving the best for last! The new flight control mapping took most of my time over the last few weeks, and believe me, I couldn't sleep at night thinking about it. Here it is:
Zero Positions: Both the left and right throttles each have 2 modes. When toggling from one mode to another, to avoid having the throttle suddenly "jump" to a new position and relaying that to Star Citizen, which can cause your ship to thrust unexpectedly, I coded a "pickup" feature that disables the throttle until you move it to its zero position. A full range throttle's zero is pulled all the way back. A balanced throttle's zero is roughly in the middle of the travel. I also worked hard on finding a soft curve for the balanced throttles to give you a greater deal of control while using those modes.
Split Throttle (Left) - If ENG Left Fuel switch (ENGLOVR) is flipped down to the OVERRIDE position, the left throttle will control vertical strafe. I use this almost constantly and once you get used to it, it's badass. This setting puts the 0 balance in the middle of the travel range with a reasonable dead zone. Pushing left throttle forward will strafe up, and pulling back will strafe down. If ENGL is in the NORM position, this behavior is completely disabled and you can still use the CSD/CSU coolie hat to strafe up and down. Make sure you disable the vertical strafe switch if you have the throttles coupled together!
VTOL - The red throttle button (RTB) on the left stick toggles VTOL.
Full Range Throttle (Right) - If ENG Right Fuel switch (ENGRNORM) is in the Normal position, the throttle will thrust 0 to 100 by pushing it from all the way back to all the way forward. Thus, the range is from a dead stop to full speed. You can reverse the ship's direction of thrust using the reverse switch.
Balanced Throttle (Right) - If the ENG Right Fuel switch is set to OVERRIDE (ENGOVR), the right throttle's "stopped" position will be set to the middle of travel. It will "wait" for you to seek that point before responding to prevent the ship from jumping unexpectedly. Pushing forward will move the ship forward, and pulling back will move the ship backwards.
Reverse Throttle Direction - The S4 paddle on the Joystick will toggle Reverse. Now, please be aware this applies to both throttle modes. That means that in Forward/Back strafing mode, if you reverse your throttle will behave backwards! Unfortunately, this is CIG's implementation and there's nothing I can do about it, so know the direction of your ship's thrust config before committing to a huge burn :)
Vector Coupling/Decoupling - I really struggled with relocating this from the throttle, since I've had it there in the profile for six years. It is now located right under your pinky on S3 on the joystick for fast access.
Swap Yaw/Roll - I think right now it's on APU, not committed to it.
Please comment below on things you would like to see!