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Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 7:49:04 AM   
thiosk


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quote:

Space... is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindboggingly big it is...

--Douglas Adams, the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy.



And so, as it goes, are our empires. Our collective militaries serve many roles: protection details, rapid response, invasion, defense picket, monster protection, police force... to name but a few.

Not that a game should be "reality," but fleets are much more than a collection of ships that moves together, fuels together, and fights in tandem. Fleets are where the action is; an empire is nothing without fleets. Five individual ships are pissed away against a fleet incursion; and our fleets will demolish anything but another fleet in open combat (do you ever lose a fleet to anything but another fleet? honestly?). You can build a megadreadnaught, but my 35 destroyers will live up to their namesake.

I propose a change to this game. I propose we spend more time on the fleet management screen than the production queues.

Ships should be (able to be) ordered from and managed from the fleet management screen. Purchased ships should NEVER go out on patrol detail on their own. They should go into a FLEET. From the fleet management screen, one should be able to design his or her fleets. If I want my generic battle fleets to contain 4 troopships (loaded with troops, of course), 10 escorts, 8 frigates, 4 destroyers, two cruisers, and a capital ship... BY GOD I should be able to order such a fleet and design it from the fleet screen, rather than moving from star to star picking ships and trying to remember which ones I added them to.

Fleets are institutions.

The glorious first.

The heroic third.

the razzin' ma'tazzin' 104th


Lets talk now about how this shift in design might help us, the lowly gamer.

1: Continue the trend of decreasing micromanagement. Why do I have to build fleets by hand? And don't say autofleet. Not even the birds want autofleet.

2: Disaster response. Our allies have declared war on us while we are fighting a protracted war on another front. I need three fleets assembled in orbit at three different star systems yesterday. I don't care if they get there at different times; they just need to get there.

3: Continuity. When the Fourth suffers a near-defeat in the battle of Merengus 6, it needs to be replenished with new ships-of-the-line as quickly as possible. There is no reason for me to be manually clicking individual ships and adding them to my fleet; the admiral should have some more leeway. He can't requisition from the construction yards, but he can replenish from new products AS I HAVE DEMANDED,



In closing:

-the fleet screen should be more than "heres your fleets," "refuel" "repair" or "change homeworld"

-Consider fleets as an institution. Ships die in battle; fleets live forever! (or until all of the ships die)

-Instead of "admirals" or "ministers" or other special leaders, consider giving bonuses to ships in fleet when operating as a fleet. Fleet wins heroic battle against long odds? Add a skill to that fleet. If that fleet disbands, no more skill.

-Technology could improve fleet communication and behavior. Early game, there should be negatives for fleets in fleet actions. As technology improves, formations, and other bonuses for ships in fleet actions could happen.

Example: "Warp Drafting" You know how following a big semi truck closely improves your gas mileage? ships in fleets should be able to take advantage of that to improve their fuel usage.


And thats it! Long post, lots of crap here. Lets think FLEETS!

Long live DW.

< Message edited by thiosk -- 4/10/2010 8:02:16 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 9:11:05 AM   
lordxorn


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Very detailed and passionate, with alot of good points.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 9:27:44 AM   
SiempreCiego

 

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quote:

If I want my generic battle fleets to contain 4 troopships (loaded with troops, of course), 10 escorts, 8 frigates, 4 destroyers, two cruisers, and a capital ship... BY GOD I should be able to order such a fleet and design it from the fleet screen, rather than moving from star to star picking ships and trying to remember which ones I added them to.


Definitely agree with this. IF the AI can suggest building X amount of destroyer, frigates and so on, and then spread the build order amongst 6 contrcution sites, we should do the same.


quote:

1: Continue the trend of decreasing micromanagement. Why do I have to build fleets by hand? And don't say autofleet. Not even the birds want autofleet.


Does happen though.

quote:

2: Disaster response. Our allies have declared war on us while we are fighting a protracted war on another front. I need three fleets assembled in orbit at three different star systems yesterday. I don't care if they get there at different times; they just need to get there.


Fleet creation waypoints? I need 20 ships here, all military ships with no orders converge on the spot? maybe within X radius.

quote:

3: Continuity. When the Fourth suffers a near-defeat in the battle of Merengus 6, it needs to be replenished with new ships-of-the-line as quickly as possible. There is no reason for me to be manually clicking individual ships and adding them to my fleet; the admiral should have some more leeway. He can't requisition from the construction yards, but he can replenish from new products AS I HAVE DEMANDED,


I guess if a fleet has a set structure, there could be a replenish button? sends an order to the nearest shipyards to build needed ships.

If you have you home fleet in quadrant G6 for example. You should also be able to make it a quadrant fleet and have it patrol the relevant volume of space and react to relevant threats.
I know if its automated, it does that to a degree. But it would be cool to see the fleet jumping from system to system on its patrl route.

quote:

-Instead of "admirals" or "ministers" or other special leaders, consider giving bonuses to ships in fleet when operating as a fleet. Fleet wins heroic battle against long odds? Add a skill to that fleet. If that fleet disbands, no more skill.


Skill? Fleets co-ordinate targets better? Hold better formations. IF you have one ship faster than the others it actually waits for the rest of the fleet instead of speeding ahead?




(in reply to thiosk)
Post #: 3
RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 9:39:50 AM   
Marcuso

 

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I really agree with the OP on his points, particularly the one about being able to design a fleet and have the shipyards do the building and assembling. I wish this sort of macromanagement could carry on to other parts of the game. For instance:

Click on a pirate base and click "order 1st fleet to attack" or "order nearest fleet to attack"
or
Right click on the outskirts of a black hole and click on "build research base here" and have the AI automatically order the nearest construction ship to do your bidding
or
Right click on an unexplored system and select "explore this system with the nearest exploration ship" and have the AI take the nearest exploration ship, temporarily interrupt its automation if it is automated, explore the system, and then re-automate the exploration ship.

Sorry if this appears as a hijack attempt - it's not - it just really made me conjure up some thoughts I had while playing that I forgot about. This game is so great - it just needs more tweaks to its core idea of macromanagement.

(in reply to lordxorn)
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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 9:42:27 AM   
Ranbir


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I think it would be good to order construction on a per-fleet basis.

And yes, more contextual menus to give orders relating to fleets. It really would help give the feel that, "Yes, this is my Starfleet(as an organization)"

(in reply to Marcuso)
Post #: 5
RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 9:46:02 AM   
thiosk


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As far as waypoints go... every 4x game i've... ever... played has had waypoints. Hell-- warcraft 2 had waypoints, if i recall correctly.

DW does not, and I don't think this is a gave omission by the designers. I HATE waypoints. The POINT is not the important spot, the FLEET is the important entity. I don't want ships in the POINT, I want them in the fleet, even if the fleet has left already. New ships are reinforcements, not laggards.

DW automates ships by design, eliminating the needs for waypoints, but fleets remain important entities. Waypoints are tactically useless and should not be included in DW in any form.

< Message edited by thiosk -- 4/10/2010 9:54:01 AM >

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 10:13:30 AM   
elliotg


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Good points thiosk. I like your points too Marcuso.

Giving high-level orders like "make a fleet with these ships in it", "attack this target" or "build something here" are great ideas.

These are certainly areas we'd like to focus on in future.

You probably already know this, but you can assemble a fleet from existing ships in the Ships and Bases screen: multi-select the ships you want in the fleet and select the fleet from the dropdown list underneath the ship list.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 10:14:35 AM   
SiempreCiego

 

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maybe waypoint is the wrong word.

be able to give an order for a fleet to form as X starbase/refuel location

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 11:26:31 AM   
Mus

 

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Load troops on fleet button somewhere?



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Post #: 9
RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 1:12:18 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Some good suggestions here.

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Post #: 10
RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 7:22:38 PM   
Wade1000


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-Maybe when we select a ship to build we also could select which fleet it goes to and merges with. AI opponents or Automation should do this also. It's like Thiosk states about waypoints; fleets as moving waypoints instead of traditional stationary wayponts...or I suppose both would not hurt.

If a fleet is destroyed then the first newly constructed ship that was assigned to the destroyed fleet might form a NEW fleet and wait at construction site for orders. All other newly constructed ships that were assigned to join the destroyed fleet would then form to the new fleet. Alternatively, for ease of programming, that first ship constructed after its assigned fleet is destroyed could form a fleet with the SAME fleet name.

< Message edited by Wade1000 -- 4/10/2010 7:58:25 PM >


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Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 7:45:56 PM   
Flaviusx


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I love this idea, make it happen.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 11:28:34 PM   
Aloid


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Another vote in favor.

Aloid

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 11:44:43 PM   
ASHBERY76


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What is this?

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/10/2010 11:51:19 PM   
Wade1000


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It looks familiar.

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Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 3:04:29 AM   
monsterfurby

 

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Also, ships need to stop leaving fleets at their own accord. That's currently the one thing that annoys me about this otherwise great game - despite having fleet management set on manual and the ships non-automated as well, they still leave the fleet I assign them to after a while. Some of them, at least.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 4:58:23 AM   
elliotg


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wade1000
-Maybe when we select a ship to build we also could select which fleet it goes to and merges with. AI opponents or Automation should do this also. It's like Thiosk states about waypoints; fleets as moving waypoints instead of traditional stationary wayponts...or I suppose both would not hurt.

Things actually work this way already: if you assign a fleet to a ship under construction (e.g. in the Ships and Bases screen), then that new ship will travel to the fleet location when it's completed.

(in reply to Wade1000)
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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 7:06:15 AM   
Gertjan

 

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Elliot, good tip!

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 7:40:04 AM   
thiosk


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quote:

ORIGINAL: elliotg

Things actually work this way already: if you assign a fleet to a ship under construction (e.g. in the Ships and Bases screen), then that new ship will travel to the fleet location when it's completed.


This is what I was doing in today's game; I would queue up 15 ships or so from a single base, organize the list properly, select them all and assign to a new fleet.

So using the lists and tools properly, you can control things pretty well. On the downside, you must access multiple screens to really do it the way you want to do it.

I really would like to see fleets take a more central role in the military aspect of the game.

I have forgotten which game restricts fleet size... was it sword of the stars? I found that unintuitive and arbitrary, and poorly justified-- an important balancing tool for multiplayer, but annoying.


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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 9:44:45 AM   
forsaken1111

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thiosk

I have forgotten which game restricts fleet size... was it sword of the stars? I found that unintuitive and arbitrary, and poorly justified-- an important balancing tool for multiplayer, but annoying.

I don't know what game you mean but SotS does not restrict fleet size. It does restrict the number of ships you can have in combat at any one time based upon your level of command and control research and how advanced your CnC ship in the fleet is.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 6:37:26 PM   
Kushan

 

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[Quote]I have forgotten which game restricts fleet size... was it sword of the stars? I found that unintuitive and arbitrary, and poorly justified-- an important balancing tool for multiplayer, but annoying.[/Quote]

Sins of a Solar Empire limited both your fleet size and the number of capital ships you could have.

I agree with the OP on all his points. I'd personally like to see fleet coordination get better as technology improves. For example, Travel and fight in formations, travel at the speed of the slowest ship instead of getting strung out as they travel through hyperspace individually, and also jump out of hyperspace closer together as well.

Kushan


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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 6:51:19 PM   
thiosk


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I don't know that it should get much better as technology improves. For example, a warmongering race could have poor technology, but because of their military traditions, they could have spectacular coordination between ships in their fleet.

Some race of techy eggheads, on the other hand, could build amazing individual ships, but have more difficulty in getting them to operate together as a fleet, lacking the centuries of military tradition.
I'd envision that fleet behaviour would improve as a function of usage, rather than a function of raw technological advancement.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 9:12:14 PM   
Wade1000


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quote:

ORIGINAL: elliotg

quote:

ORIGINAL: Wade1000
-Maybe when we select a ship to build we also could select which fleet it goes to and merges with. AI opponents or Automation should do this also. It's like Thiosk states about waypoints; fleets as moving waypoints instead of traditional stationary wayponts...or I suppose both would not hurt.

Things actually work this way already: if you assign a fleet to a ship under construction (e.g. in the Ships and Bases screen), then that new ship will travel to the fleet location when it's completed.

Cool. Thanks, ElliotG. You've created a great game.

quote:

ORIGINAL: forsaken1111


quote:

ORIGINAL: thiosk

I have forgotten which game restricts fleet size... was it sword of the stars? I found that unintuitive and arbitrary, and poorly justified-- an important balancing tool for multiplayer, but annoying.

I don't know what game you mean but SotS does not restrict fleet size. It does restrict the number of ships you can have in combat at any one time based upon your level of command and control research and how advanced your CnC ship in the fleet is.

I will state any time it's in a disscussion that I dislike artificial limitations in a game. :)

I think it'd be good to have fleets maneuver better according to both technology and military traditions (and genetics of potential updates with new of a new family called Avian. :))

< Message edited by Wade1000 -- 4/11/2010 9:23:18 PM >


_____________________________

Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.

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RE: Fleets... as institutions - 4/11/2010 10:01:22 PM   
Fishman

 

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More macro-management functionality would be nice, like an order for "Gruesomely Kill Every Enemy Ship Here". Because it's a right pain in the ass trying to shoot down a bunch of random ships flying around while trying to remember which ones haven't declared war on you yet. Especially since the targeting reticle gives no indication of whether you are firing on a neutral ship, or an enemy ship, and many of the colors are so similar. Once I declared war on a guy simply because his red color was too close to the other guy's red color, so after being unable to tell them apart, I just decided EVERYTHING RED IS DEAD.

< Message edited by Fishman -- 4/11/2010 10:02:20 PM >

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Post #: 24
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