Xeen's Flight School (Interactive, not just reading!): Course 101 (Alpha Build)

Xeen

Posts: 5661

Posted:
Edited: by Xeen
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Flight School Main Thread:

https://forums.robertsspaceindustries.com/discussion/237989/flight-school-officially-open-xeen/p1

I recommend you read the manual before following my course, it has a great description of ship systems and keybinds. I offer you some further understanding and exercises to facilitate learning

Manual (as with all things alpha, subject to revision and updates)

You may contact me to setup private lessons, however availability may be limited, particularly around patch time (high demand + I want to playtest the game)

Star Citizen Flight School Inroduction Courses 101 + 102


SECTION 1:


Greetings Citizens, my name is 'insert title' Xeen. Welcome to the introductory course to piloting in Star Citizen. *I'm good, but I'm not perfect* I'll teach you what I can. Important details may be omitted out of oversight, or the game may change. It is up to each and every pilot to log flight time on their own and learn for themselves in order to be a capable individual, valuable to an organization. Piloting and/or combat piloting may not be for everyone, but you should still make an effort to learn.

As an introduction to piloting, this course will cover a broad range of topics intended to prepare you for all of your flight needs, which includes: reading and interacting with your HUD, control modes, targeting, and flight control.

By the end of this course, you should be familiar with:

101 2.1-2.4 Using your HUD - Status panel, Target panel, TDAS, Signature
101 2.2 Targeting - Friendly, Enemy, Directed
102 3.1 Control modes - Joystick and Mouse
102 3.2 Throttle control - Indicators, Velocity, Throttle
102 3.3 Flight modes and safeties - Coupled/Decoupled, G-safe, ComStab
102 3.4 6 Deg of Freedom - Strafing (up down left right), Freedom to achieve any orientation and continuous 360 degree motion

Let's begin!


Course 101


SECTION 2.1: Using your HUD - Status panel, Target panel, TDAS, Signature: The Status Panel

Before picking up useful information from your HUD, you must first understand what information is being given to you, where, and finally, how to read it.

At the top left of your HUD is your ship's status panel. At the top right is your targeting panel. Centered below is your Trans-Directional Awareness System (TDAS) or radar. To either side of your TDAS lie signature indicators. Lastly, your velocity indicators are centered on screen, as these will be the most important to keep track of (don't slam into things!).

Your status panel, by default, is in overview mode. Here you can see your ship's shielding, energy management, weapons status, and damage states (indicated by your ship's parts changing from blue to yellow to red or missing). There are three other panels that can be displayed by pressing the corresponding f-key (f1 to f4, f1 being the overview). To toggle HUD interaction, press the HOME key.

Pressing f2 will display your weapons management page. Here you can arm or disarm weapons, assigning them to any of (currently 3) weapon groups.

EXERCISE 2.1a *Danger, do not face a friendly target during this exercise*

-Press your group-1 weapons fire button for a few seconds and observe the resulting barrage
-Press f2 to select your HUD - weapons panel
-Press HOME to enable HUD interaction
-Use the ARROW keys to navigate your HUD
-Press the ENTER key to interact with an element on the HUD
-Activate/assign all of your weapons (they will be lit up if done correctly) on group 1
-Press HOME again to toggle HUD mode off (NOTE, this step may not be explicitly stated in following exercises, but may be required)
-Press your group-1 weapons fire button for a few seconds and observe the difference
-Repeat the process with all weapons disabled from group 1
-Reset your weapons however you like.
-For extra practice: assign weapons to each of your 3 groups and observe energy, heat, and ammo indicators from your HUD overview panel as you fire

Pressing f3 will display your energy (and reactor throttle) management page. From here, you can assign how much/priority of energy distribution to your ship's systems (currently not working at all/well in AC). Group 1 is your weapons. Group 2 is your shields and avionics. Group 3 is your main and maneuvering thrusters. In addition to energy management, you can also power down devices aboard your ship, which may be very useful for a stealth operation (to be discussed in greater detail later).

I HIGHLY recommend that you do not interact with the energy management panel directly. Instead, use the shortcut keybinds 1, 2, 3, and 0. Respectively, 1, 2, and 3, increase power to energy groups 1, 2, or 3 while detracting equally from the other two groups. Pressing 0 resets your distribution to an equalized 33% (default starting state).

EXERCISE 2.1b

-Press f1 to select your HUD - overview panel
-Press hotkeys 1, 2, 3 as you will to re-distribute power and observe changes on the overview power indicator box
-Press 0 to reset your power to its default balanced state

EXERCISE 2.1c

-Press f3 to select your HUD - energy panel
-Observe weapons group row, avionics/shield group row, and thrusters group row
-Press HOME to enable HUD interaction
-Use the ARROW keys to navigate your shield
-Press the ENTER key to power down your shield
-Observe glow visible outside cockpit as your shields power down
-Press ENTER again to re-ebable shields
-Observe shields charging

-For extra practice later: power down your engines and/or m-thrusters + observe changes to flight control, power down all of your systems quickly + observe chagnes to signature and overview panel (weapons), be able to power down and up all systems within about 2 or 3 seconds

Pressing f4 will display your shield status panel. From here, you can see the charge levels (indicated by the number of boxes/number to right of boxes) and relative strength distribution by the lines below the boxes for each shield facet. Shields may have 2, 4, or 6 facets (as the current plan goes).

Again as with energy management, I HIGHLY recommend that you do not itneract with the shield management panel directly. Instead, use the shortcut keybinds on the numpad 4 (left) 6 (right) 8 (fore) 2 (rear) 5 (center) to re-distribute shield capacity. You may only re-direct your shields within a certain limit. For example, a 2-face shield can go from 50/50 front/back to a maximum of 66/33 or 33/66.

You should note that adjusting shield strength to one direction (currently) takes a symmetrically equal power from your shielding in the opposite direction.

EXERCISE 2.1d

-Press f4 to select your HUD - shield panel
-Observe shield charge levels, numbers, boxes, distribution indicators
-Press HOME to enable HUD interaction
-Press ENTER on your distribution box (may be a 2-axis grid or a 1-axis grid depending on which type of shield you have, both are visible, but only one will be accessible)
-Move your shields to full forward and observe changes to the strength lines below the charge boxes
-Press f1 to select your HUD - overview panel
-Observe shield strength indicators around your ship, note that they are no longer all equal in size, the shield (fore) that you boosted appears larger, while the other(s) appear reduced
-While still on the overview panel, press NUMPAD5 to re-center your shields and observe changes

-For extra practice later: bring a buddy to a private match, carefully shoot single rounds (use your newly learned weapon group management skills!) at each other while observing the HUD shield panel. You may also note, you can see your target's shield strength on the targeting panel (discussed later)!
School
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    SECTION 2.2: Using your HUD - Status panel, Target panel, TDAS, Signature: The Target Panel

    To begin understanding the targeting panel, first you must learn to target something! There are several VERY important keybind functions that you must be familiar with to be an effective pilot. I will not give you ALL of them, as they are not all needed. Streamlining what you use, master, and need keybinds for is very important to fluidity, speed, and accuracy of commanding your ship.

    Target nearest hostile - C
    Cycle hostiles - T
    Cycle friendlies - H
    Target reticle - V
    Pin target - G

    EXERCISE 2.2a

    -Try out the various targeting methods
    -Pin something and change to another target
    -Observe that your pinned target now has its own, different, indicator so that you can keep track of it + information is provided about pinned targets below your target panel

    By far, targeting nearest hostile and target reticle (directed targeting) are the two most commonly used targeting functions in current pvp (at least by myself, sometimes I want to find a particular person, such as the score leader, which requires spamming T to constantly cycle all hostiles until I find who I want, or maybe I just want to find someone/a buddy in particular that I enjoy pooping in their cheerios/messing with :p).

    Now that you have something targeted, we will look at the information available from the target panel. First, you should be able to identify the 'make' and maybe even 'model' of your targeted ship by the silhouette (you must learn to do this on your own with practice and the manual, know how fast, agile, durable, and powerful each ship is, know what to engage -head on or not- and what to avoid).

    Much like your own ship's overview panel, you can see your target's shield status and damage states (bugs permitting). Additionally, you can see your target's orientation and distance relative to you (especially important to note if your target is behind you, facing you, and under ~3000m, aka within weapon range). You can get all of the same information on any target you have pinned, but in a smaller window (current max is 2 pins + 1 main target)

    So you have something targeted, but don't see it in front of you... now what? Time to learn to use the radar!
    School
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    SECTION 2.3: Using your HUD - Status panel, Target panel, TDAS, Signature: The TDAS

    The Trans-Directional Awareness System or TDAS for short, allows you to see detected entities around you and particularly your selected target.

    Ship cockpit permitting, you should see a sphere centered at the lower region of your forward-looking view while seated. Along the center region of this sphere is a reference horizon (a circle scribed around the outter edge of the sphere) Within the sphere is a disc that changes orientation based on how you move. Extending from the center of this disc (your relative position, always) will be colored lines (sometimes faint, hard to see with certain ships/contrasts/backgrounds) that extend outward in one direction, and then break 90 degrees up or down. The first line tells you the target's relative position to you on a horizontal 360 degree plane, the second bit of information tells you if they are above or below. Red markers are enemies (or missiles, bad things in general) and blue markers are friendlies (you will only see these in co-op/single swarm). Additionally, your current target will have a its ship icon on your TDAS instead of a small triangle marker at the end of the lines.

    In conjunction with the TDAS for determining the position of targets, you also have an arrow indicator that will be along the border of your view should your target not be in your current cone of vision.

    EXERCISE 2.3a

    -Practice selecting targets and locating them using your TDAS
    -You should be able to center your target in your field of view in roughly 2 sharp motions, one to correct your horizon, one for your pitch (or better yet if you can get to where it's just one fluid motion from source to point!)
    -Look at your TDAS, determine position, adjust heading (Be able to know where your target is before you move, don't just guess)

    -For extra practice later: with a friend, once you have located a target and are aware of its position, take turns chasing your target (and being chased/trying to evade) and use the off-screen indicator arrow to help you re-orient your view should your target pull a tight turn around you. If either of you (make sure to cap your speeds at whoever's is the slowest) can escape effective weapon range (appx. 2000m), you win!
    -DO NOT SIMPLY SCAN ALL AROUND AND HOPE TO FIND YOUR TARGET, this is slow and unacceptable, you will likely be dogged to death by an opponent that stays outside of your frontal vision if you cannot learn to use your indicators and TDAS
    School
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    SECTION 2.4: Using your HUD - Status panel, Target panel, TDAS, Signature: Signature

    Signature is a measure of how visible (or invisible) you are. There are three types of signature: EM, IR, and CS. EM or electromagnetic signature is generated by all energy sources and consumption of your ship (reactor on, weapons firing, shields charging, etc). IR or infrared is the heat your ship puts out (weapons, engines, maneuvering, afterburners). CS is the cross-sectional footprint of your ship (the visible portion by sight lines and how big it is), which is subject to change based on relative orientation (are you looking dead at someone's face or their broadside? It matters!)

    Your signature (EM and IR) is displayed at the bottom left (EM) and bottom right (IR) of your HUD. The absolute number is what's really important, not so much the relative scale (the bars give a bit of a history of how much IR or EM you were/are putting out, not all that important, but looks nice). Another important aspect of signature is noise. Noise is just that, the ambient/stray signature of the environment or objects around you (not quite implemented yet, but an ambience indicator with a default value of 20 is visible on your sig panels). A noisy area will make detection and locking missiles more difficult, with the exception of CS missiles, which are not affected by noise. CS, can however, be obstructed by line of sight very easily.

    Your signature combined with the avionics of others (or vice versa) determines how far away you can be detected. In addition to being detected, signature determines how easily missiles can be locked onto a target.

    EXERCISE 2.4a

    -Observe 'resting' state signature values (don't move or do anything)
    -Go to your power panel
    -Turn off your systems
    -Observe changes to signature
    -Turn on all systems and observe elevated EM signature relative to resting state as more power is flowing through your ship to recharge shields, etc.

    -For extra practice later: bring a friend and find the maximum distance at which you can detect them while they are in a 'normal' (all systems powered up) operational state, which may be around 12000m in direct line of sight (no rocks in the way), then have them power down completely and observe the change in how close you have to be to detect them. If you want to get really fancy and have the toys to do so, conduct a similar experiment using missiles and lock-ons!

    -For extra extra practice: Activate your self destruct mode and check out your EM output as the reactor overloads, 3... 2.. 1... OK TURN IT OFF NOW !!

    102 coming soon!
    School
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    XFC 101 Exercises 2.1 and 2.4




    Note: I cut my mic off on accident towards the end, all the important things are covered well before then. I cannot do all that I want to do and/or hold courses in person like I want to with the bugged 350r engines, so I'll have to try to get lucky to cover exercises 2.2 and 2.3 in another video (coming soon, trademarked!)

    XFC 101 Exercises 2.2 and 2.3




    Note: I mentioned 'east' when I meant 'west' (over my left shoulder) trying to describe rellim's position around me using my radar (yes I know NESW isn't the best thing in space, it's all relative, did it while not moving for a reason :p)
    School
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    reserved
    School
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    By the way, seeing plenty of views right away, but if no one comments/gives feedback, the thread will fall into oblivion and I will take it as a sign to discontinue any further attempts at schooling on the RSI site.

    It's good enough to just comment "thanks for the info" or possibly "could you explain XYZ" or "I'd like to learn about/can you teach me ... "
    School
  • Magoots

    Posts: 113

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    Please keep it up Xeen. However, a guide such as "How to beat Xeen's 350R" may be more useful to most of us.
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    [hide]

    Please keep it up Xeen. However, a guide such as "How to beat Xeen's 350R" may be more useful to most of us.

    Wait till I run out of ammo, then I have to respawn for 10 minutes trying to get working engines. :p

    Sometimes I wonder if this bug isn't intentional as a way to throttle overall 350r performance. It ONLY occurs in multiplayer.
    School
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    Video part 1 of 2 (exercises 2.1 and 2.4) added, will cover the other exercises if I can get a 350r to spawn properly in multiplayer with enough time left on the clock...
    School
  • McKetten

    Posts: 7079

    On Probation
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    On Probation
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    Please keep it up Xeen. However, a guide such as "How to beat Xeen's 350R" may be more useful to most of us.

    Wait for Xeen to respawn with broken engines. Take the ship out before the eject sequence completes. Repeat.

    ...you didn't ask how to do it honorably.
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    Video part 2 of 2 (exercises 2.2 and 2.3) added

    I decided to avoid 350r engine bugs by flying my Orion-concept loaner F7C for this video, which turned out to add a little bit extra.
    School
  • screamingeagle

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    Thanks for the guides Xeen. Very new to the game using a mustang alpha. Your description in the video of a guy lost in battle is me right now. Will practice more using the radar. Definitely not ready to go against real people yet.
  • Xeen

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    Thanks for the guides Xeen. Very new to the game using a mustang alpha. Your description in the video of a guy lost in battle is me right now. Will practice more using the radar. Definitely not ready to go against real people yet.

    You are welcome!

    New players really need to know just about everything in the 101/102 courses first and I'd recommend the remedial 099 bonus course + combat courses too. Then when you get comfortable, you can start learning the advanced stuff while moving into pvp.

    099 and 102 are not available yet. Maybe when I get some downtime at work (Thursday or Friday) I'll build those courses.
    School
  • Whitesnake

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    This is great, especially the timing, because I was going to do something like this soon for people coming into my org so that they weren't flying around without a clue during the first few events. Now I don't have to - you covered everything I was going to and more. Very nice work, Xeen. I'm linking this thread on the TL forums if that's alright with you.
    “TeamLegacy
  • Xeen

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    This is great, especially the timing, because I was going to do something like this soon for people coming into my org so that they weren't flying around without a clue during the first few events. Now I don't have to - you covered everything I was going to and more. Very nice work, Xeen. I'm linking this thread on the TL forums if that's alright with you.

    Totally fine, and this is only the beginning. Lots more to cover still.
    School
  • Xeen

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    Glad controller qq is getting KD'd

    Useful threads have no chance with 15 of the above threads always stuck on the front page.
    School
  • Whitesnake

    Posts: 2922

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    So, @Xeen, I thought I'd share the layout I had made when I was trying to decide how I wanted to divide up my own course. It looks like you already have a plan for the combat stuff, but I thought I'd post this in case it sparked any ideas:

    6caad90ce5.png

    Like you, I was going to have exercises that can be practiced in free flight. Then I was going have videos of usage during PVP battles. My org mates were going to help me, so that I could record what it looks like to the enemy when performing certain maneuvers (including what I think is my version of your "RIX roll").

    Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.
    “TeamLegacy
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    @Whitesnake

    Yes, I have some ideas laid out already, but I'll give it a look when I have some more time. Thanks for your ideas/feedback, I appreciate it.

    Also, I forgot to tag several people who gave express interest in flight school, so here's to you: (Hope I didn't overlook anyone, this school has been pending for quite awhile and I lose track of things) Go read the OP, guys, let me know what you think!

    @Kleptik
    @Grey_Hawk
    @IOStream
    @BuddyRichard
    @Rougarou420
    @Ethose_Unset
    School
  • RedMenace

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    Excellent effort, @Xeen. Well thought out and concise. +42!
    | #alwaysbestrafing | fssb r3 warthog : t16000m : mfg crosswind : x55 throttle
  • Grey_Hawk

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    Xeen, thanks for taking the time to put this tutorial together.

    You obviously put days and days of work into this and it shows. It's amazingly complete and easy to follow along and understand.

    Even for a hopeless noob like me. Now I'm thinking that armed with this info you've given us and a lot more actual practice on my part, I might start getting into the multi player games and having some fun in there.

    I'll still be cannon fodder, of course, but I'll be lasting longer before going down in flames.

    Thanks!
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    Xeen, thanks for taking the time to put this tutorial together.

    You obviously put days and days of work into this and it shows. It's amazingly complete and easy to follow along and understand.

    Even for a hopeless noob like me. Now I'm thinking that armed with this info you've given us and a lot more actual practice on my part, I might start getting into the multi player games and having some fun in there.

    I'll still be cannon fodder, of course, but I'll be lasting longer before going down in flames.

    Thanks!

    I'll be putting in the 099 and 102 courses first, then I'll start combat topics.

    You will want to see the evasion one. In a nutshell, learn to stay alive first, then you can work on doing other things from there!
    School
  • Rougaroux

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    @Xeen i'm glad you're getting the flight school ready! I look forward to participating!
    0NWMBEZ
  • Xeen

    Posts: 5661

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    Rougarou420:
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    @Xeen i'm glad you're getting the flight school ready! I look forward to participating!

    @Rougarou420

    You can already take the first course on your own (some parts require a buddy) if you like. You don't have to wait for me to start holding classes!

    Did you read the original post? I didn't tag you guys until several comments later.
    School
  • Ethos_Unset

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    I look forward to practical learning exercises with you, @Xeen!

    Also, excellent writeup. It must have taken you a good while to type all that up to post!
    photo ATRAXSCtag_zpsd05b0336.jpg
  • Rougaroux

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    Was planning on catching up when I got home from work. The sky is falling over here. :-/
    0NWMBEZ
  • JoVanguard

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    Thx for the excellent work, Xeen, looking forward to reading more!
  • Grey_Hawk

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    If you need someone to help you demonstrate targeting later, just let me know when and where.

    I'm actually quite good at being a target.

    *Sigh
  • Grey_Hawk

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    Forgot to mention...

    If you need a temporary voice chat server to use later for the interactive parts, I think we could get a group together on one of the public Teamspeak servers over at TOG (The Older Gamers) .

    Let me know.
  • Xeen

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    If you need someone to help you demonstrate targeting later, just let me know when and where.

    I'm actually quite good at being a target.

    *Sigh

    I decided to just fly my loaner F7C for that video. It's posted btw.

    Edit: I have several TS servers I can moo... use? :p no, I'm good, thanks! Although I may need one that I can use with random people for doing in-person classes/training.
    School
  • Derbefrier

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    good stuff, boomarked so i can link it to friends when they start playing and askig me questions. I'll probably learn a thing or two myself.
    "It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires, both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." -Q
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