Dev Diary #17 – Fleet management continued


#1

#2

Nice of you to post on the weekend Joe; Much appreciated

Answer is still massively no, No NO! “Self correcting positions” So much for the game of skill where we can attempt to find our own techniques. Do this and you may as well throw out a major point that drew a lot of us to the game.

Skill-Is-King among the older and better funded Gamers.

Please just roll the Fleet manager Back to what it was, despite its faults it was so much better from a skill point of view once you knew its quirks. Its only real fault was too small fleet circles which you have demonstrated are not an issue to you or you would have given us this huge area to arrange our fleets in - except we cant as we’d like to!

The old fleet managers issues could be solved by widening its radius as much as you dare and providing better documentation & tool tips/pop ups. You have gone to a lot of effort here to make things worse.

Glad your still trying but trust me you are barking up the wrong Arcturian Megatree here.


#3

To provide an example of why this auto-correct is bad:

Current layout:
A - B - C - D

I want to swap A and C. Since we no longer have the Swap Position option I have to move A out of the way
A
B - C - D
Then I move C to where A was, and D auto corrects:
A
C - B - D
Now I need to move D out of the way
A - D
C - B
Next I move A to it’s desired location
D
C - B - A
Then I can move D back
C - B - A - D

To me, all of this is making fleet management much more cumbersome. Sure, it might be easier to understand, but it’s a painful process.

To me, the old system could have been resolved by simply adding a bit more info stating that:
“A ship’s Flagship Level is the maximum number of ships supported in a single fleet. The fleet is still constrained by the size of the ships in the fleet, and how they fit in the fleet radius.”

Sure, players stumbled, and some grumbled. However, this new system overall seems worse.

Also, I liked the idea that you couldn’t attach some ships to other fleets. A scout shouldn’t be the flagship with 3 dreads. It limited some of the fleet options to counter some OP builds. Now, it appears we can do whatever we want. I have a fleet that’s 12 battleships and T2 destroyers wide. They are significantly less bunched up than before. So just by layout I am less prone to AoE now, and after the AoE nerf, AoE is even less of a worry.


#4

Instead of a full redesign, efforts in explaining how it worked in the first place should have been made.

Now we have 2-3 blog posts explaining how this new system works, in great detail, but we never had anything like that for the original system.

The original system just needed tool tips, and explanations.

SUGGESTION > Go back to old system, but keep the over lay grid so that we can see distances. Put a HELP feature on the fleet management screen to explain a lot of the questions that pop up.

The next thing, and regardless if you guys want to do this or not, it needs to be done to maintain balance. You need to look at EVERY SHIP and determine the individual flagship levels and the individual radius of the deployment circle.

Last, AoE weapons need a counter and a redesign. We need a flak module that reduces damage from AoE weapons that we can put on ships. AoE weapons need to do MORE damage to the primary target, but less damage the further away, to make it easier, it can be coded into the grid system. So adjacent squares take 60% damage, the adjacent squares to that take 40%, and the final squares take 20%. You could have a modules that further reduces WHATEVER damage that is taken from Missiles and Torps by 5% for a small slot, 10% for medium slot, 20% for large slot. These stack up to 50% reduction in damage. Note Flak modules only work against Missiles and Torps, not against cannons/turrets.

Finally, we need to go back to the old system, things use up way too much Ordnance.

Honestly, Alpha Two had better combat balance than Alpha Three.


#5

This is an excellent point.
The fact that despite being Flag 4 scouts could only pair up with similar sized ships never bothered me a bit. - Once I realised that was what was happening (which took a few days!)

Though I am loath to speak ahead of any Military (Navy) players that might wish to comment here: in history a fleet (Flotilla) has always been (very) approximately
1 Big ship
1-2 Not quite as big ships as heavy guards
1-3 Small ships as fast escorts

For example Carrier Group =

  • Fighter carrier (Battlship Sized Hull)
  • Cruiser Capital Defence ship
  • 2x Destroyers (Flank defence)
  • Anti Fighter frigate
  • Armed freighter for extra supplies

Six ships total. If you had up to three such groups in a task force fleet than thats Flag 18 pretty close to what we have now. BUT only a couple of Heavy Boyz that would eat smaller ships but be countered by an opposing race ship of the same class.

Cloaked Corvette fleets of 4-6 simulate Submarine Wolf packs check

Pure scout units don’t need more than about three four units

Freighters if not Armed need bigger fleet sizes, but the 7 used here for T2 cargo carriers could mean 1x Warship as escort. + 6x Freighters so again a six ship physical limit per group is close to ideal. With the option of having 2 or 3 of those in a Task force (Super fleet)

Basically a fighting group only ever needs to be about 6 strong (Humans ought to get 8x) and for the T3 led fleets two of those for most races (three for humans) 12-18 ships total is all you can justify.

Plus doing things that way avoids the obscenity that is my 16x Red Radiance group that frankly IS going to eat anything it comes across short of its twin brother or a Dreadnought led Battle group.

You want battles longer? (I do!) cut down on the amount of giant ships we can have, ramp up hit points/shields, give some kind of mechanic where ships break off before being destroyed. Don’t just make ways to bunch more ships together in too smaller place.

In historical warfare it was pretty rare for more than one or two Battleships to be grouped together. Bring that real world model in to here: The old fleet System very nearly did so - apparently by accident!

Summed up in ONE sentence what was needed!

The old system did need a bit of love. The Flag adjustments made from A2 to A3 did leave it squeaking here and there as it was not designed for them. BUT… it had all the features and flexibility needed, all it wanted for as a lick of paint in the form of some pop ups and tool tip notes and we woulda be just fine!

We do need NEW content. We DO NOT need things that work reworked (incidentally invalidating all the efforts to test the systems that used those tools since Alpha 1).

Honestly how hard would it be to run a poll asking what folks thought? if a majority of respondents were unhappy about something how about proposing some solutions and seeing how they are revived?

Obviously folks are not ever gonna agree fully in any scenario but IF the current discontent had been raised BEFORE you had spent several hours designing a system that is back in the stone age, then maybe you wouldn’t feel so bad about dropping it and returning to the original. I understand Nobody likes wasted effort! Whomever has put the time into this new fleet thing right now probably feels like Hell (and likely hates my guts) for it being blasted when they sweated bullets trying to get it to work…

I have BEEN that guy! I SO understand the reluctance to drop something that somebody else says is bad when YOU think its good.

But that is emotion. Don’t listen to that, whats the thing best for the game? Right now a significant portion of your veterans are going Arrrgh Ugh Oh No! We are not saying that to spite you, its because all the alarm bells we have developed of years of spending money on good games is going “Oh no this is gonna be trouble…”


#6

This. So much.

Being able to make fleets of nothing but battleships and dreads is pointless. It takes the strategy out. Whichever race can field the biggest ship wins.

Under the old fleet radius the stronger ships (Syntis and PR) were larger, so they should have been impossible to fit 16 battleships in a fleet. Humans, with weaker ships also had smaller ships. That meant they should have been able to fit more.

Mixed fleets should be a requirement. Generally, I should only be able to have 1 dread, 3-5 battleships, 4-6 cruisers, 4-8 destroyers, and 4+ frigates or corvettes. This would also make targeting more important. Knowing that I will likely be hitting a mixed fleet means the targeting is going to have a much bigger impact. With full battleship fleets there’s less optimization to be had.

To me, there’s still a way to have the ease of understanding of the current system, and the ease of use of the previous. We implement ship cost and fleet control points. Fleet control points are consumed by the ship cost of member ships.

For example:
Dread - Fleet Control 50, Flagship 18, Cost 8
Battleship - Cost 6
Cruiser - Cost 5
T2 Dessie - Cost 4
T1 Dessie/T2 Frig - Cost 3
T1 Frig, Corvette, T2/T3 freighter - Cost 2
Scout, Colonizer, T1 freighter - Cost 1

So, using the above numbers a Dread fleet could only have 7 battleships. Or it could have 10 T2 destroyers. Or 14 T1 destroyers. Or 17 T1 frigates.

Or, 1 dread, 2 battleships, 4 T2 destroyers,4 T1 destroyers, and 1 Corvette.

The fleet radius should be based on the fleet control points. So, a fleet control of 50 would give say a 10x10 square. Each ship area would then match the ship cost. So, in the above example a full fleet would consume roughtly 1/2 the total space. Tailor the distance so that a fully loaded fleet is going to have plenty of AoE overlap.

Fleet control, flagship, and ship cost are very basic examples here,and would need to be tweaked heavily for balance. Also, the values shouldn’t be consistent across races because of the imbalances in ship strength.


#7

I think if you are going to auto correct anything, it should be AFTER the fleet placement has been completed NOT during the fleet adjustments. Allow us to move our ships where we feel they should be, then once we are done with our adjustments, IDENTIFY where there is an illegal positioning, allow us the chance to correct it and once we feel we have completed our fleet placements, have a command we choose that says we have completed the task. THEN if any are still illegally placed, highlight it and move the ship to it’s closest legal position. Or something along these lines.

I hope something is done soon, as I can barely form a fleet. Adjustments to positioning takes forever and is a PITA.

My preference is you return the fleet design to what it was prior to the first change, but if you intend NOT to do that, quit restricting how we get our fleets placed until we are done moving the ships around.


#8

Introducing flak modules would help counter torpedos, but should only be on destroyers. This increases the utility of destroyers, makes including them in a mixed fleet more valuable. Also Destroyer is just a short form for Torpedo Boat Destroyer, in this case the role is effectively the same.


#9

Some kind of counter missile ship/weapon would be a valuable addition. Never knew that about Destroyers! Thanks! Are you Navy or a student of Navy history?

I was thinking of a Rapid fire anti Missile Laser type weapon or fire control system myself. To complete the circle:

Shields beat Beams. Ordnance beats shields, a Beam weapon beats (some) ordnance… Seems so logical and time tested to me…


#10

I VERY MUCH second Archo’s suggestion regarding a form of flagship level + fleet control + ship cost. I’d also suggest other more mechanical i.e. stat buff and/or class specific modules for all classes to make them relevant possibly for a couple of roles.


#11

Might i also suggest the possibility of modules that could increase flagship level and/or fleet control, and possibly ship cost reduction modules. Allows for tweaking of things at the cost of other attributes if your willing to make the sacrifices.


#12

I just like history in general. You might also like that battleships as we know them actually descended from frigates, as opposed to 1st rate ships of the line.


#13

So now its 600m and its better. but I still feel we lost something…

We lost the ability to put less than the max number of ships and space them so splash damage cant hit them… I think this is a sad loss… If you identify a target that has all AoE Weps you cant be strategic and prevent splash… at all… ever…now…

@Morri had the suggestion that ships only move to legal positions after we’re done all our moves… and ships that are illegal should be given a red border… a Save button would be good…

I would suggest that AoE weapons be reduced in damage… The notion of 100% guarantee of hitting 2/3 ships should mean that the damage is share across those ships… they should not all get the same damage…


#14

I agree that if the ILLEGAL ships weren’t auto corrected until AFTER ALL PLAYER CHANGES are made and they tried to exit the fleet management screen without accounting for the illegal positioned ship it would be much more pallatable. @deicide they already lowered AoE damage so not thinking that it needs to be further reduced by distributing the full damage across all the ships hit as opposed to each ship being hit by full/portion of full damage based on range, but thats just my opinion. Further testing required.


#15

Here is the thing, I don’t think we need restrictions on fleets like is suggested, but we need ships that can do things others can’t, not functions but special abilities.

I am now going to make some suggestions, all suggestions from my design document >

  1. Adding in degrees of range, and setting range for your fleet.
  2. Accuracy
  3. Critical Hits
  4. Damage over Time
  5. Ballistics (changed to do slight damage to shields, have less accuracy than plasma weapons, but a higher critical chance)
  6. Plasmas (100% accurate, low critical chance, normal critical hit against shields, massive critical hits vs armor, small chance to over heat and not work for a round).
  7. Ion (fairly accurate, no crits, does 1.25x damage to shields, -50% damage to armor, can only do damage to armor after shields are down.)
  8. Missile/Torps (80% accuracy, small crit chance, they do 25% damage to shields and 75% damage to armor, splash is 1250-1500 for missiles, 1500-2000 for torps, on a hit does 100% damage to target and 25% damage to everyone else, on a miss does 25% damage to target 10% damage to everything else)
  9. Carriers (The most inaccurate, 10% crit, 50% damage bypasses shields, 25% of fighters are consumed per attack, 25% chance no fighters are lost on a hit, 50% none are lost on a miss. Fighters do initial damage then a DoT)
  10. Research that turns 1 limbalt into more efficient ammo, research to make fighters, research to reduce cost of fighters
  11. Flak modules (reduce damage by Carriers by 10% and make them use up more fighters per attack, Flak modules only have small to medium radius)
  12. ECM (Electronic Countermeasures can cause missiles to redirect to a different target, lowering overall damage by 10%, and can cause a miss chance)
  13. Targetting changed (Primary and Secondary Targetting, Primary targets ship types, while secondary is what we have now)
  14. Facing (always a small chance to out maneuver someone when you attack from the side/back, if you intercept someone at high speeds faster than them, this increases the chance of a side or back attack)
  15. Special weapons for different races (Humans get more cannons and a LARGE version, Syntis get Drone Carriers and Ion weapons, Ripchee get their beams plus a LARGE beam, and PR get their Missiles)
  16. Dodging (Dodge is based on the size of the ship and the total armor they have, the smaller the ship the higher dodge rate. 25%, 20%, 10%, 5%, and no Dodge rate. By adding more armor to a ship, you can reduce its total dodge rate by adding weight to the ship.)
  17. Turn rate (changing the turn rate so that smaller ships turn much faster and larger ships turn much slower)
  18. Deflection rating ( This is damage reduction, how much damage your armor deflects off, larger hulls with better armor can deflect more damage. If you put a ton of extra armor on your ship you might be able to deflect more damage as well)
  19. Retreat options, to back you out of a battle based on conditions you set, you warp away at warp 1, but can go faster in a random direction depending on your tech levels.
  20. Transports/Freighters/Haulers (Techs to increase cargo, personnel, and troops that effect the BASE module when attached to just these SHIPS)
  21. Colonizers (tons of new modules for colonizing, which we have seen)
  22. Scouts ( Fuel efficiency techs just for this ship type, tech to make scouts hard to spot on their own, increasing their base speed, and when attached to a larger fleet increases that fleets chance of a side/back interception when attacking)
  23. Destroyers (Techs to increase their armor, techs that give a 20% chance that they will be attacked in place of a larger ship, tech that increases their accuracy)
  24. Corvette (Have access to Flak Modules, and have techs that make Flak Modules better, and have the ability to critical much more than other ships)
  25. Frigates (have access to mines, and techs that reduce the cost of mines, armor that reduces damage from mines, and tech that boosts the amount of energy these ships have)
  26. Stealth/Utility (These ships have access to stealth modules, mine detection, cloak detection, and mine sweeping, tech that reduces the consumption for cloaking, tech to increase the flagship size so more ships can fit and be cloaked, and increased dodge rage of these ships)
  27. Cruisers (Has access to Orbital Bombardment weapons AND Flak Modules, tech to increase shields, reduce cost of orbital bombing, and gives other ships in its fleet special targeting options.)
  28. Battleships (Has access to carrier modules, they are also considering shipyards for repairing ships that are much smaller, they share ordnance with the entire fleet, tech for increased shields, increased damage during the first round of combat, increased size for the deployment zone (its circle), and a tech to make it turn faster)
  29. Carriers, think Dreadnoughts we have now (These are so massive that they take additional damage from mines, Carriers can share Ordnance with the rest of the fleet, and repair much smaller ships, they also boost shields, armor, personnel, troop, and cargo modules by 25% of other ships in the fleet making them useful for a multitude of missions. Their tech increases their shields, allows them to use more efficient fighters, and allows them to turn faster when getting attacked from the back/side)
  30. Titans, think bigger than Dreadnoughts (They take 1.25x damage from mines, share Ordnance with the whole fleet, repair smaller ships, boost various modules like Carriers. Their tech boosts shields, armor, gives them access to special weapons that only Titans can use, has an ability to turn unused energy on the ship to extra shields when its shields are below 25%, has another ability that turns extra power into higher damage for their plasma weapons when their armor is below 25%.)
  31. HUMANS ( techs to increase ballistic accuracy, ordnance storage, better mine layers ,increase dodge rate of larger ships by 2.5%, and better shields)
  32. SYNTIS (techs that give them better drones/fighters, reduce damage from mines, use up less resources while cloaked, increase their armor values)
  33. RIPCHEE (techs that increase critical chance to plasma weapons, reduce penalties when firing plasmas from long distances, increased rate of turning for all ships, much higher increased dodge rate for small ships, and increased energy from energy boosters)
  34. PR (techs that increase splash radius of missile/torps, increases to missile damage when hitting armor with no shields up, increased turn rate for large ships, better sensors to detect cloaking, shields that increase the amount of shields they get, while slightly decreasing splash damage.)
  35. An entire system for sensors and cloaking, where there are 5 levels of each, and you need one to detect the other. Sensors don’t require active sweeping, but function normally. If you have an equal cloaking level to the senors, or less you are detected, if you have greater than you are undetected. IF a stealth ship is a solo ship, its rating is considered 1 higher to determine if sensors can pick it up, meaning a solo ship at level 5 stealth can not be found except by level 5 PR sensors. However the Nuego Sor will have an ability that will give them tech that allows them to be 2 levels higher giving them the distinction of the ability to scout without being seen at the far far end of the game.)
  36. Tech for flak modules to make them better
  37. Tech for ECMs to make them better
  38. HUMAN CHANGES (larger happiness starting bonus, increased in credits, every 5 mines increases the overall mining rate slightly, lower ship costs, advanced armor modules, advanced cargo capacity, 5% homeguard, 1 str, low to moderate ship costs)
  39. PR CHANGES (slightly slower growth rate, happiness 1.25, increased credits, homegaurd 7.5%, Increase range of radars by 1.5x for planets, higher ship upkeep, better missile/torp tech, moderate to expensive ships, larger ships, 1.1 str, temp changes 5 degrees warmer)
  40. SYNTIS CHANGES (much slower growth rates than organics, increased boost to credits if unemployment and labor shortages are less than 20%, Syntis start with first level of terraforming, Deatomization Tech that allows them to turn other races into base compounds for extra resources, Mining rates higher, Ships have RESERVED slots for repair modules, require larger power supplies in planets, buildings cost more raw resources, 7.5% homeguard, 1.5 str, tech for much hotter and colder climates than organics, moderate ship costs)
  41. RIPCHE CHANGES (20% more growth than humans, happiness starts at 1, at 100% happiness homguard is 12% instead of 10%, tech that increases the base value of Farms so they need less farms, decreased ship upkeep, better flagship levels, better shields and plasmas, low ship costs, larger fleets, ships have RESERVED slots for fuel, 1.2 str, can withstand colder climates)
  42. Taxes can only be gotten from EMPLOYED workers

#16

I’m sure some specific details could be haggled over, but i’m certainly a YES for this direction of things to come @cheatle. If i could “heart” it a few more times i would :smile:


#17

There are a lot of ways to make battles good and interesting. There are a lot af games with non-control battles as examples for taking smth from them (like Endless space). There are a lot of ideas wich community can suggest or probablydevs have their own thoughts. Everything can be good after good work.
Anyways I hope devs will revolutionary rebuild piece of disappoitment wich battles in Outscape looks like now. And visual part is the smallest problem here.


#18

It’d be awesome if they could implement something similar to endless space combat system. But due to the nature of the game, opponents not always likely to be online to respond with a “command card option” might have to be set up with some “if then” options preset for a given fleet. Even if they don’t opt for us having some form of input on battle like that i’d still like to have some dynamic visuals similar to endless space as opposed to just seeing our ships stand off and pew pew like turkeys.


#19

@joe

one word for you to consider

BATTLESHIPS!

think of the game Battleships

1 grid, 5 ships

possible tactics?

spread out to avoid fire - sucks if enemy loaded all torpedoes?
four corners to draw it out - sucks if enemy put all ships in rows/blocked lines
bunched up to confuse the enemy - sucks if enemy spread out
if i want to build my battleship to be a carrier and torp spitter and hide it at the back, then let me! its my fault if a stealth fleet pop it from the rear!

THIS is what we want!

limit the ship numbers to what the flagship is
keep the grid and just limit the overall deployable area

THEN LET US USE TACTICS!!!

thank you for your work on the game, i know from experiance its hard, especially when one damn bug causes mayhem, or when one little change causes mayhem and upsets the many but pleases the few

we do appreciate it and we do care, but if you keep removing the ability to make choices and use tactics you are killing the games key feature? (pre designed fleet positions and fleet layouts with battles that have no control has already been done and died, ((sid miers starships, galactic civilizations ETC ETC)) please do NOT follow their demise?

EDIT :

Other improvements needed

Another difficulty players still have is how to change the flagship. It’s currently only possible by using the ‘split fleet’ function, which isn’t ideal… This will need to be solved, including what to do if the new flagship isn’t of a high enough flagship level to support the number of ships currently in the fleet.

how about returning the old way? “switch flagship”
if theres too many ships a simple “Illegal Action - too many ships in fleet” message would suffice, WE can then go and split the fleet removing what WE choose, after all we may be simply checking for a minefield? or want to sweep one?, or lay one? (frigates and corvettes) and then we can remerge when we are done, this then gives US the choice, 3 fleet for one task or one fleet with 3 special ships, again this gives US the choice and the TACTICS