Spherical ships aligning and warping

As far as I am aware (Correct me if I am wrong that is the purpose of the thread)

Ships are all assumed to be a spherical shape for purpose of calculations

A ship has a front which is the direction it is moving.

What if a ship is not moving , certainly the graphic seems to have a front / direction that it is facing and in first person mode that is what you see.

So the question that there seems to be a common multiple opinion about is whether a ship has a direction for calculation purposes if the ship has no velocity ?

You are correct - ships are modelled as velocity vector and thus have no direction when they aren’t moving. The direction the model is shown has no mechanical meaning.

You can test this yourself, but it is most obvious when webbing a ship into warp. Ships will ‘drift’ into the warp tunnel, often far out of apparent alignment with the direction of warp.


It doesn’t. This can be tested by positioning ships on a grid stationary, two different players warping in. They will (in most cases) see the ships facing different ways. Note. The ships must be 100% stationary before you warp in, as the client remembers the last velocity.

One slight change in recent times with the introduction of micro jumpdrives.

Even if you are perfectly stationary, when they activate they still activate in front of the direction that the graphic of the ship is facing, so there is a rotation value stored, even though ships have no alignment when stationary.

I just tested it to make sure I was correct and it is. No matter what direction your ship is facing graphically, MJD will always activate in front of it. It doesn’t happen in a random direction.

For combat calculations (eg. range) the ships are still definitely spheres, but there is a minor mechanical aspect associated with the rotation of the ship, even when not moving.


Try it after a gate jump. Though I can see the server just asking the client the question if it has 0 velocity.

you can’t activate a module until you decloak

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Wait the timer out.

If you do it immediately on decloaking from a gate jump, the behaviour is slightly different. It is within about 25 degrees of the facing of the graphic of the ship every time, otherwise it’s always perfectly in front.

So there is something mechancially that changes, though it’s strange, because it still isn’t in a random direction, never behind the ship or at right angles, etc. It’s still definitely always out in front’ish from a session change with 0 speed, but not as accurate as if travelling prior and then stopping to a complete stop (like waiting 20 minutes at 0.0 m/s before activating will still activate out in front).

It certainly seems to remember your last facing as part of that patch they put in.
The 25 degrees variation is interesting. Is that the same as the undock variation by chance?

I thought undock cone was +/- 15 degrees, though it’s also possible that the angle on this isn’t as large as 25 degrees. Mechanically I’d think these would be different because of the full speed v 0 speed, but maybe CCP has worked something into those that means there’s a similarity in how it’s coded.

Yeah. I was wondering if they just lifted the formula for deviation from it.
To avoid clients feeding a false facing to the server for exact jumps.or bombs after a gate jump.

So now I’m curious, anyone know if a similar deviation occurs when launching a bomb from a gate decloak? Or will it always move straight out from the ship?


it is a different story when you had not moved at all when you just came into system (via any means - cyno/bridge/stargate/wh) and at some point it was abused by bomber wings - they jumped in the middle of enemy fleet via titan and launched their bombs without moving. Game had no way to know which direction the bombs should be sent so it just sent them nowhere - they remained in position, unmoving.

Also (not sure if that has changed) ship’s model that you see used to automatically adjust its facing in space in case you stopped moving completely. Game always tries to align ship’s model with horizontal plane after you have flown directly “up” or “down”.


As far as I know when go through a star gate you will be facing the opposite direction from the system you jumped from so an autopilot route visible should show that system directly behind you. This would account for always facing roughly the same direction upon entering system from the same gate but yes there is some variation 15-25 degrees not sure how you would measure it.

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