Enhancing combat

The basic idea of how combat is done I believe is sound for a game like this. I.e. AI controlled with pre-set formations and orders, that way you don’t need to be actively be controlling the battles or even be online.

However the way it is right now is too simple and one dimensional so what I suggest to improve the combat is to introduce the concept of range.

Basically there will be three ranges:

Short Range, High DPS - Turrets and cannons
Medium Range, Medium DPS - Missile and Torpedo launchers
Long Range, Low DPS - Carriers/Fighters

So when combat starts between two non-cloaked fleets they start at maximum distance, which is at max long range. At this time only fighters can be launched and will move towards their targets.

By the time the fighters have reached their targets then the ships should be at medium range and missile/torpedo launchers start firing. Meanwhile fighters are still doing damage.

By the time the ships have reached short range then the launchers have landed a few volleys and now the high DPS weapons start doing damage.

As the combat progresses the launchers will surpass the fighters in damage and the turrets/cannons should surpass all other weapon types, assuming not all ships have been destroyed.

And to add a third element to this type of combat is to introduce a new small energy turret that can target missiles/torpedoes and fighters. That way you can counter carrier only fleets or missile/torpedo only fleets that destroy other short range fleets before they even get into range and, as these small energy turrets should only be able to be fitted on smaller ships (frigates, destroyers and corvettes) they will finally actually fill an escort role in large fleets which can no longer be full of battleships.

This could then be built on further by also adding ship speed so that smaller ships, which should travel faster, could close in quicker than large Cruiser/BS. And another added bonus is that cloaked fleets would be able to decide at what range they want to engage, further enhancing cloaked combat.

For this to work then all weapons need to obviously be re-balanced so they fit in the above cathegories but I think it will make combat much more interesting.