WHAT I THINK COULD BE DONE
Having sideways thrusting on A and D when IAS is off and turning the ship on A and D when IAS is on, (I recommend this, because you don’t need sideways thrusting for IAS on, and )
Having sideways thrusting on A and D when mouse turning is on and turning the ship on A and D when mouse turning is off.
What the latter would probably lead to is two modes of playing helm: IAS off, mouse turning on, and IAS on, keyboard turning on.
WHY DO THIS?
TLDR: No sideways thrusting means IAS needs to be on. IAS on means you can’t really use mouse turning mode and shoot with PDC. Best option is now IAS on, keyboard turning on - all other options are blatantly inferior, to varying degrees. Readd sideways thrusting = other ways of helming are viable.
After the testmerge of Proof of Concept: Ghost Ships by Karmic-Skink · Pull Request #1781 · BeeStation/NSV13 · GitHub, which replaces the A and D control of sideways thrusting with turning, the control scheme of IAS off when using mainships has become practically useless. It is extremely clunky. Additionally, as you can only go forward and backward now, as the helmsman, going mouse turning mode on is a suicidal idea.
Readding sideways thrusting would bring back an entire control scheme, letting players helm the ship in different ways and enjoy the game in different ways. Every other way of playing besides IAS on and keyboard mode on is pretty bad right now. The following elaborates why a lack of sideways thrusting makes other control schemes completely inferior.
WHY IAS IS WAY BETTER NOW
IAS off is useless because this it requires sideways thrusting. Without sideways thrusting movement, IAS off is exceedingly difficult - especially changing direction of travel.
With IAS a turn/change of direction is almost immediately responded to. The ship’s movement direction becomes the direction it is facing in.
Without IAS a turn/change of direction is exceedingly sluggish. The direction you are facing is the direction you are applying thrust in. When you’re at a low angle the amount of thrust that isn’t going towards the turn is really low. So you need to perform a full turn to get any actual change of direction. With the turning rate of the mainship, this is really tough. Adding to this, if you don’t go over the direction you want to go, your turn will be much slower, so you have to over-turn.
So, with IAS on, your change of direction involves one step. Just turn the ship. With IAS off, you feel like you are playing KSP and trying to perform a docking maneuver with no RCS. Every change in direction requires a turn to or past the direction you want to go, and then application of thrust. Small movements are basically impossible, and with NSV’s dodging gameplay, you are extremely restricted in how you can move and evade, and just making general movements is utterly painful.
Does sideways thrusting help? Yes. It REALLY is required when going IAS off. You can actually make fine movements by doing light taps of A and D when you need to, and making big dodging moves is possible with the speed of IAS - you simply use full thrust sideways. This makes both control schemes rather viable and fun to play because you have good control over the ship, just in different ways.
WHY MOUSE TURNING IS SUICIDAL NOW
This is about why mouse turning is completely useless if one wants to fire PDC on helm. Think about what the mouse is always used for on helm - PDC. So when mouse turn mode is on, your aiming at incoming projectiles/enemies also is your entire ship turning to aim at the projectiles/enemies (projectiles often come from the enemy so firing pdc at them is a good way to stop the projectiles).
Why is this a problem? When IAS is on, you’re moving the ship towards the projectile/enemy, because your ship is starting to point towards the target. Not a good idea in smaller ships especially when you need to be dodging, or if you just want to disengage from the enemy.
With IAS off and with sideways thrusting you can be facing a completely different direction from where you’re actually traveling, so you can dodge and disengage. But now that IAS is the only viable control scheme, mouse turning is also rendered useless because only with keyboard turning can you face a different direction and move at a different direction while firing.
With IAS off and lacking sideways, shooting with mouse turning on is literally unplayable. I would recommend trying it sometime, as you are trying to both handle KSP docking with only main thrusters and shooting at the enemy/projectile while the aiming at the enemy/projectile is pointing you toward it, completely messing up any of your maneuvering - you can only go towards or directly away from the projectile/enemy instead of dodging side to side.
Basically, IAS off with sideways thrusting feels like you’re an ice skater, in my opinion, while IAS on feels like you’re flying a big plane. Both are pretty fun but for me, personally, I really enjoy IAS off. This suggestion has a lot of personal investment for me, I haven’t played NSV at all since I tried playing the game without sideways thrusting. It’s just too clunky to enjoy. IAS on just isn’t fun for me, and I would really appreciate it if sideways thrusting was added back for IAS off.