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,
-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 >