Navigation Tools Update – Beacon Network

June 1st, 2014

jump-beacon-routeLong time ago that the navigation tools received a major update. The most recent one is already live for a couple days, so I tried to find some spare time to actually write about it. (TL;DR below)

Couple people approached me before and during fanfest and asked if I could add “one tiny” *caugh* feature to the jump planer: The ability calculate a route and take alliance cyno beacons and cyno alts into the route calculation and prefer them if possible.

This would/could be a major improvement for those entities, pilots and fleet commanders that have access to a large network of cyno beacons and/or cyno alts to place. The calculation wasn’t easy! Up until now the route calculation was based on 3 weights: The number of jumps, the traveled distance and the distance to the destination to get a result (within a reasonable time for a webscript) to show. Adding more weight factors in could make this calculation even more complex. After some couple thoughts and failed attempts I came up with a modification on how to make certain midpoints more expensive or cheaper without hopefully screwing up one of the most used feature on DOTLAN EveMaps.

jump-beacon-listSimilar to the already existing “bridge network” feature, I created the “Beacon Network”: A share-able listing of your beacons and cyno alts. Similar to the Bridge Network you can share, export and import (even copy&paste from the capital navigation window) the beacon list. Additionally to the unsexy list of system names and comments you can open up a map that shows you all possible jump paths are highlighted. If you’ve a bigger and wide spreaded network this can look quite funny and maybe point out where you’ve some

The beacon navigation is now a well integrated into the jump planer. Based on your selected beacon networks, the preferred waypoints will be taken used for the route decision and used if they could benefit the direction you want to Go. I you want to select a different midpoint other reachable beacons or cynoalts will be highlighted as well.

jump-beacon-mapCause I was doing some changes on the weight calculation I touched a few features as well: I changed “Use Station only” to “prefer station systems” and the same applied for regions or systems to avoid. But the most unique feature is now the ability to avoid constellations that are currently having incursions (and are cynojammed therefore). But don’t worry: Even if you don’t select the “Avoid Incursion” option, you still get the little skull/boss icon that indicates in the route listing that in one of the waypoints is an incursion active.

Dream: Maybe one day CCP releases the list of active cyno beacons along with the other public map statistics from the ingame map. The those beacon networks or the use of the jump planer can be adapted again to directly use what is exist live in the game: 

The 3 screenshots that shows how the result could possible look like (yes it was only done for presentation only and does not reflect the actual game).

And before you ask: Yes someday ™ I’ll rewrite the Share function and replace it with some nice group management feature where get better control over who can access your shared bridges, beacons, notes, etc. One day(tm) I’ll find the time 🙂

TL;DR:

  • Added Beacon Network (similar to Bridge Network) to manage your cyno beacons and cyno alts
  • Beacon Networks can be shared (public via access token), exported and imported (copy&paste via Capital Navigation Window)
  • Beacon Networks can be taken into the jump route finding decision (and will be prefered)
  • Systems with Beacons or CynoAlts will be hightlighed on the “Select alternative midpoint” listing.
  • “Avoid Incursions” option for jump planner
  • “Use Station Only” will change to “Prefer Station Systems”

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