Engine Profiles - Tips and Tricks

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Warp Drive Capacity

Warp drives on WNO are true to canon in that warp factors (warp 1, 2, 3 etc.) result in exponential increases in speed. These means exponential increases in power are needed to achieve an increased warp factor. Take this into account when setting engine profiles as different types of missions and ships actions will utilize different maximum speeds. For example, some COs prefer to conduct patrol missions at a maximum speed of Warp 7 - well below the cruising speed of most vessels. Also, a standard cruising speed can be achieved at far less than 100% engine capacity. A lot of fuel can be saved, and power made available for distribution to other systems, by ensuring that you are not over-powering your engines beyond what is needed.

Most ships can achieve Warp 7 at less than 10% warp drive capacity. And many ships can achieve cruising speeds at less than 80% capacity. It's very rare that you will need to power the warp drive at 100% capacity - and remember that running a ship above its cruising speed will result in overheating the warp coils and can damage the ship in as little as 15 minutes.

So there is a difference between CAPACITY and EFFICIENCY. In the paragraph above you will see that the warp drive can reach optimum EFFICIENCY at less than 80% CAPACITY.

So how to determine how much power you need to achieve various stages of warp? Well, the exact mathematics are different for each ship. As you will likely serve on multiple ships in your WNO career, the best method of determining how to set up your engine profiles is trial and error and not trying to re-calculate the engine capacity/efficiency algorithm for every individual ship.

Many a new engineer will attempt this trial and error in active patrol, dropping the ship in and out of warp as they search for the magic power allocation to achieve what they need - or try to figure it out in the sims. This is not only very spammy and time consuming, but also will not be very efficient and may lead to overpowering the engines for the task needed.

The preferred method is to create the profiles while the ship is docked and you can spend some time testing various power allocations. You should, by now, be familiar with how to power your engines (see Engineering (Space). The next step is to get familiar with a command called 'navcomp'.

'Navcomp' calculates the distance from a current location to a desire destination, and gives estimated ETAs for various speeds. One of those speeds being the maximum speed possible with the current power settings.

Consider the following:

 _______
|       | Engineering Status
|       \____________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       ______________________________________Damage________________________)
|       /
|       | Dual Core:         22.5% (1509.84135 [                            ]
|       | Fusion Generators: 5.3% (53.15864595 [                            ]
|       | Power Produced:    1563.0 GW
|_______| Power Available:   0.0 GW
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       __System Name______GW Allocated_______Damage________________________)
|       /
|       |  Weapons             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Shields             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Warp/Hybrid Dri   263.0 (  8%)      [                            ]
|       |  Cloaking Device     0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Impulse Drive     250.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Sensors           750.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Communications    100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Transporter       100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Tractor Beam      100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|        \___________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)

Notice the warp engine is operating at only 8% capacity. Let's see how fast we can go using the 'navcomp' command. The fastest way to do this is to just type 'navcomp 0 0 0 to here'.

 _______
|       | Navigation Computer: Plot
|       \______________________________________________________________________
 \_____________________________________________________________________________)
  _____________________________________________________________________________
 /       ______________________________________________________________________)
|       /  _  ______________________________________________________________  _
|______|  (_||_Coordinates__________________________________________________||_)
            (] From:            0.0            0.0            0.0
            (]   To:  -3851166100.0     -3266221.0          126.4
            (]  Mid:  -1925583050.0     -1633110.5           63.2
            (] Bear: 180.049 mark 0.0
           _  ______________________________________________________________  _
          (_||_Estimated_Travel_Times_______________________________________||_)

            (] Max (9.9999): 5 days, 2 hours, 29 minutes, 51 seconds
            (] Cur. Max (7.0003): 2 months, 7 days, 22 hours, 10 minutes, 3
            (] Cruise (9.999): 7 days, 6 hours, 2 minutes, 20 seconds
 ______
|      |
|      \_______________________________________________________________________
 \_____________________________________________________________________________)

Under "Cur. Max" you will notice that the 8% warp capacity setting will achieve warp factor 7.

This engine profile was created by powering the warp drive to a percentage that I felt (from previous experience) might be around Warp 6.5 or 7.5 (I started with 'power warp 10%'. I then checked 'navcomp' and found that 10% capacity achieved Warp 7.6 - a bit too high and I'm a stickler for getting as exact as possible.

Knowing that the power:warp ratio is exponential, I shaved off 2 percent and entered 'power warp 8%'. This automatically set warp power to 280gw and resulted in achieving warp 7.1331. Closer, but still not close enough to the target. At this point I started setting warp power using gigawatts instead of percentages because I knew I was in the ballpark.

So from 280gw (8%), I tried 'power warp 270' (which allocates power as 270 gigawatts as opposed to setting a percentage of total capacity). This provided warp factor 7.0557. I then took the power down one gigawatt at a time, and then even lowering it by fractions of gigawatts, until I got to warp factor 7.0003 as you see above.

NOTE: If you set the engines for EXACTLY warp 7, you will not have enough power to achieve that speed. This is because the computer starts rounding off at around 6 decimal places. So always set the engines to achieve a little a teensy more than necessary.

This same method applies to setting cruising speeds, which I'll show you here:

 _______
|       | Engineering Status
|       \____________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       ______________________________________Damage________________________)
|       /
|       | Dual Core:         54.3% (3635.98391 [                            ]
|       | Fusion Generators: 12.8% (128.016086 [                            ]
|       | Power Produced:    3764.0 GW
|_______| Power Available:   0.0 GW
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       __System Name______GW Allocated_______Damage________________________)
|       /
|       |  Weapons             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Shields             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Warp/Hybrid Dri  2464.0 ( 70%)      [                            ]
|       |  Cloaking Device     0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Impulse Drive     250.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Sensors           750.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Communications    100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Transporter       100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Tractor Beam      100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|        \___________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)

 _______
|       | Navigation Computer: Plot
|       \______________________________________________________________________
 \_____________________________________________________________________________)
  _____________________________________________________________________________
 /       ______________________________________________________________________)
|       /  _  ______________________________________________________________  _
|______|  (_||_Coordinates__________________________________________________||_)
            (] From:            0.0            0.0            0.0
            (]   To:  -3851166100.0     -3266221.0          126.4
            (]  Mid:  -1925583050.0     -1633110.5           63.2
            (] Bear: 180.049 mark 0.0
           _  ______________________________________________________________  _
          (_||_Estimated_Travel_Times_______________________________________||_)

            (] Max (9.9999): 5 days, 2 hours, 29 minutes, 51 seconds
            (] Cur. Max (9.999): 7 days, 6 hours, 2 minutes, 20 seconds
            (] Cruise (9.999): 7 days, 6 hours, 2 minutes, 20 seconds
 ______
|      |
|      \_______________________________________________________________________
 \_____________________________________________________________________________)

Again, I decided on a percentage to start with based on experience (my previous ships achieved cruising speeds anywhere between 60%-90% capacity - so I shot in the middle of that and started at 75%). I then found that way overshot what I needed and shaved off some percentage points. When I got closer I switched to setting by gigawatts and started shaving off gigawatts.

It will take time and patience when you first start doing this, then somewhere around your 3rd ship you'll be able to do it in your sleep. Then everyone will look at your power settings and oooh and ahhhh at how precise you are. The women will throw their lingerie at you. Enlisted men will start calling you 'Chief' and buy you drinks. You'll never have to pay for food again.

Types of Profiles

Another trick is understanding how your ship systems work and taking this into account when setting your engine profiles. For example, try to spot what might be wrong with this profile here:

 _______
|       | Engineering Status
|       \____________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       ______________________________________Damage________________________)
|       /
|       | Dual Core:         67.2% (4505.37432 [                            ]
|       | Fusion Generators: 15.9% (158.625671 [                            ]
|       | Power Produced:    4664.0 GW
|_______| Power Available:   0.0 GW
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       __System Name______GW Allocated_______Damage________________________)
|       /
|       |  Weapons             0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Shields          1000.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Warp/Hybrid Dri  2464.0 ( 70%)      [                            ]
|       |  Cloaking Device     0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Impulse Drive     250.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Sensors           750.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Communications    100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Transporter       100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Tractor Beam        0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|        \___________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)

This is a cruising speed profile that gives power to shields. You'll notice it also, unnecessarily, gives power to transporters. But transporters can't be used when shields are raised, so this is a wasteful allocation of power. Of course there will be few instances where you will want to have these settings (such as a rescue mission conducted with hostile company - where you may need to lower shields, do a quick transport, and raise them again), but as a RULE, transporters should not be part of a shields setting.

 _______
|       | Engineering Status
|       \____________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       ______________________________________Damage________________________)
|       /
|       | Dual Core:         98.9% (6629.58490 [                            ]
|       | Fusion Generators: 23.3% (233.415090 [                            ]
|       | Power Produced:    6863.0 GW
|_______| Power Available:   0.0 GW
  ___________________________________________________________________________
 /       __System Name______GW Allocated_______Damage________________________)
|       /
|       |  Weapons          2000.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Shields          1000.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Warp/Hybrid Dri   263.0 (  8%)      [                            ]
|       |  Cloaking Device  2500.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Impulse Drive     250.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Sensors           750.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Communications    100.0 (100%)      [                            ]
|       |  Transporter         0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|       |  Tractor Beam        0.0 (  0%)      [                            ]
|        \___________________________________________________________________
 \___________________________________________________________________________)

Same thing here - shields and cloak simultaneously powered has very little use as shields can't be up while cloaked. That said, this is one of my favorite engine profiles that I have created as it gives a sort of versatility to what the ship can do in a battle situation, but it limits the ship speed to Warp 7. We've used it maybe four times in the last year, and each time we used it I had snuck it into play. I've never been specifically asked to power both shields and cloak. So while this setting has had some use, it is largely unnecessary and won't be used often.

As a general rule, you want to create engine profiles for use in typical situations. You can always load one up and modify it to fit a current scenario, but try to avoid giving power to systems you can't use.

Naming Profiles

A very important aspect to your engine profiles is a useful naming scheme. Names like 'rabbit' or 'kickass' are completely unhelpful as only you will know what they mean. Name your profiles in a manner that someone else can understand. Instead of 'rabbit' try 'MaxWarp' - then anyone will know the purpose of the settings. Instead of 'kickass' try 'battle' - then people will know it has something to do with weapons.

It can be difficult to name profiles sometimes. For example, in the profile I created above that has both cloak and shields, I've named it three times and finally settled on "AssaultCloak". It's still not a great name, but it'd be too much to type in the heat of the moment 'engload cloaking+shields+weapons'. Also, my CO seemed to like "AssaultCloak" better than "CrouchingTiger".

Creating Mods

Once you have created a basic profile (i.e. 'Cruise' - which gives enough power to warp for cruising speeds) you can use them as a base-line to create specific profiles that use those properties. For example, if you're going to cruise with shields raised, you can 'engload cruise' then adjust the settings to also include shields and then 'engsave Cruise+sh'. Then you can 'engload cruise' again to go back where you started, power the cloaking device, and then 'engsave Cruise+Cloak'.

It's easier to start with less and add more. So try to set your basic 'Cruise', 'Orbit', 'Battle' type profiles, then double back and add 'Cruise+Shields', 'Orbit+Cloak', etc.

Making it Pretty

I am a real neat freak (well, IC at least. RL is a different story) so I like my profiles to be neatly clustered in the 'engload' window.

Saved Engineering Profiles ---------------------------------------------------
Patrol, Patrol+Sh, Patrol+Cloak, MaxWarp, MaxWarp+Sh, MaxWarp+Cloak, Retreat, Sentry, 
AssaultCloak, Emerg6, Emerg6+Sh, Emerg6+Cloak, Cruise, Cruise+Cloak, Cruise+Sh, 
Orbit, Orbit+Sh, Orbit+Cloak, Standby, Battle, and Battle+Cloak
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You'll notice that like profiles are next to each other. They weren't created this way. In fact, I did the "Sentry" profile dead last, after I did the "Emergency" profiles, but you'll notice it's grouped in the middle with a lot of specialized sorts of profiles we don't typically use. (I did this because it's easier to focus on the first few and the last few profiles at a glance. So the less common ones are in the middle.)

The way to do this is to create all your profiles, then decide on which order you want them to appear. Load up the first one you want with 'engload'. Then delete the profile 'engdel <profile name>' and then re-save it 'engsave <profile name>'.

This will delete the profile from the list, and then re-add it to the end of the list. Then delete and re-add the profiles in the order you want them to appear and you will then have a nicely grouped menu.

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