For example, my colossal dreadnoughts that with one ship lol-outgun whole enemy fleets are set to Standoff for all target types.
But the stupid tractor beams keep pulling the enemies, who are all weaker (even capitals) close.
Yes, this is great if you have plasma thunderbolts as the main battery (60+ thereof at point blank = lol on a 3300-size resupply ship, 4500-size is even more hilarious) and have more than enough PD to ward off all fighters, since PTs drop damage over range quite quickly, but why bother letting the enemy with their short-range peashooters even get to pepper your shields at all?
Why can the tractors not try their best to obey the engagement settings i.e. repel anyone from getting close enough to actually even scratch your massive shield banks while you flay them to bits with deluges of death, while keeping them within the tractor engagement envelope (i.e. outside common beam weapon range but within max tractor range?) if the setting is STAND-OFF?
Alternatively you could be trapping them in that zone using your superior speed ("borrow" Starburner Mk 2 or ideally even 3 from the Sluken if you need to, 50 cruise speed is very possible with still huge shields/armor and weapon banks) plus HyperDeny/Gravity Well, but that's not the point. It also takes a LOT of maneuvering thrusters for a dreadnought to actually keep lesser foes in such a zone, not quite worth the weight.
Only conclusion I can get is to keep putting max range tractor beams and maybe that gravity bomb area-tractor thing on dreadnoughts once I can research them (possibly by 3300-size stage, more than probably one or the other will be unlocked in Mk 1 of the most advanced form by 4500), because it seems most enemies are set to Evade or at least stand off for stronger opponents and unless I actually manage to steal Starburner Mk 2 or 3 from the Sluken I can't chase them down too easily with these behemoths. Even 25 cruise speed demands a LOT of proton thrusters (ain't nobody got time to upgrade to vortex drive when you have shields, better hyperdrives, and piles of other stuff to research...).
Is there any word on possibly having tractor beam behavior actually follow the settings for the particular ship model?