Solid defense mechanics when not online

As I have said before, no MMO in the world will be able to thrive if you risk losing your progress when you are offline and the vast majority of gamers have jobs and private life and cannot be online more than a couple of hours per day. That being said, having a solid offline protection is crucial for having this game work for anyone but the hardcore 24/7 gamers.

  1. Guardian fleets - I know this is being worked on but I have seen no details about it and it seems the devs are spending the majority of time fixing the fundamentally flawed mine-laying mechanics so no idea when/if this will arrive. So my idea for this is the following:

Guardian template fleets - You select one, or several of your existing fleets, as a template for a guardian fleet. This can be any fleet with any configuration.

You then select a circular/ecliptic area X LY from one of your systems (which has a fleet defence building) and select which fleet template(s) should be used. Once logged off the AI will spawn Y number of those fleets for the area (the number could be decided by the aforementioned building and its tech level) and then these phantom fleets will guard your area. They will be:

  • Immune to mines (mines are the ultimate cheese weapon against offline fleets)
  • Travel at warp 10 at all times and 10.000 km/s inside of systems
  • Will give no loot if killed and spawned A seconds after destroyed
  • Prioritize targets based on power/distance to target
  1. Planetary shields - Guardian fleets will stop most invading fleets but incase some slip by then “The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment”. Another planetary building which will activate when you log off and will prevent any bombardment.

Both of these have a set period they can be active (could be anything from 24h to 1 week) and will slowly recharge when online and playing. So the maximum someone could be offline, for vacation or whatever, is one week in which time the offline defence will be disabled and you will have to log in again. Also they could consume some resource, say Limbalt, to function which gives more strategic need for that resource.

I dont like the idea that fleets are created when a player goes offline. I would rather lady_aura’s or niz’s ideas on automated defense fleets.