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Author Topic: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)  (Read 13161 times)

Gothars

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Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« on: December 08, 2012, 09:36:43 AM »

Ok, this has been suggested before, but I refined the idea a bit. I'll be honest, the main reason I'd like this is because it's just incredible cool to have fighters start from carriers. Formations of Tie Fighters launching from Star Destroyers , Viper Squadrons launching from Battelstars and Clouds of Cylon Raiders from Basestars, Swarms of Interceptors from the Homeworld Mothership – all dramatic and memorable moments. The gradual fighter appearance on the map boarder in SF is just a bit pale in comparison.

I think one reason that carrier deployment is not in the game is that it would be a pain to manage without adding that much to the gameplay. (here is a recap of what it would add anyway: )
Spoiler
- A not permanent retreat for fighters that are currently not needed, but might be needed later on. Think Talons waiting to recapture objectives after the enemy Wasps have been dealet with, bombers waiting for the second enemy capship to appear etcetera.
- Possibility of carrier surprise launch makes carriers a less easy and predictable target
- Easier coordination of bomber runs
[close]


Suggestion:
So here's an idea how it would be easy to manage: Utilize the new group number system (strg+ 1 etc.). A group could be associated with a carrier. A carrier would get only one additional command: A launch / do not launch toggle (standard setting: launch). If a carrier is deployed before the associated fighters, they will all be docked (as many as fit in the hangar). If you then deploy them via the reinforcement menu, they will start from the carrier (if deployed before carrier, they start from the boarder as now). Refitting, repairing and re-launching would then be normal. At least until you toggle the launch button, then all fighters of the associated group would stay docked after they come back for repairs. Fighters outside the group and normal carrier activities would not be influenced by this whatsoever.

One question that is left is how to associate a carrier with a group. Here is an idea: Mark the carrier with a different combination, for example Alt+1. That might even be expendable later on as a general support group function, so things like freighters and repair ships can be associated with a group without following the same orders. Another way would be to just let the carrier be in same strg group, but have it ignore all direct order issued to the whole group. Other ideas are welcome.

In the end this would add very little complexity (one button, one key command at worst)  for a good amount of gameplay and optic value.

Pictures:
Deploy button (near "Other" commands) deactivated, all fighter of group 1 are inside the carrier (which is in group "support 1"). You can see what's inside the carrier:
Spoiler
[close]


Deploy button toggled, fighters start:
Spoiler
[close]

e/ I will answer everything after I have enjoyed my post count a bit more.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 10:09:03 AM by Gothars »
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Thaago

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 10:04:53 AM »

I've previously been pretty skeptical of this idea, but you've really sold me. I really really like the docked fighters showing up in the ship info panel!

Quote
A not permanent retreat for fighters that are currently not needed, but might be needed later on. Think Talons waiting to recapture objectives after the enemy Wasps have been dealet with, bombers waiting for the second enemy capship to appear etcetera.

This would require a direct order for fighters: Dock. But with the new command system thats not a problem - you could dock any number of fighters for 1 CP with 2 key presses. Of course any carrier that has a fighter ordered to dock at it would have their launch toggle set to Do Not Launch.

Can we assign combat groups out of combat at the moment? (From the fleet screen?) I don't think we can. If we could: assign fighters to a group (a little number would appear under the picture of the wing). Drag any fighter onto a carrier to assign all fighters in that group to that carrier. (The fleet screen needs a little bit of TLC, so speculation on this might be a bit moot).


Here is one concern: say you launch a carrier with fighters inside, but do not have the FP to deploy the fighters. The carrier is destroyed before you have the FP - are the fighters destroyed? I would say yes!
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erynr73

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 10:26:51 AM »

Being able to send fighters back to dock with the carrier until needed is a great idea.  I usually have to assign them to a way point in the corner so they don't get destroyed by the enemy.  Then you could include a feature that would make them return to the carrier by default whenever their assigned objective is complete, instead of wandering the map getting destroyed.  Also instead of assigning the fighters to an objective you assign the carrier, the carrier AI would deploy the most appropriate fighter (bombers for strike, interceptors for captures, launch all when carrier is under fire).  But that may be less"simple".  
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Vind

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 10:34:59 AM »

The idea is good but why only launch from carriers? Many cruisers have large hangar space too. Generally it is a nice idea.
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Jazwana

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 12:31:04 PM »

Re: above

The lore for hangar space is that it exists for traveling with fighters on board between systems using the jump drive, however hangar space by itself is not conducive to flight ops i.e. fast take off and landing (and repairs) that a battle would require.  A flight deck is needed for that.

The reasoning is that if any ship with hangar space can launch fighters then while a carrier retains its ability to repair, carriers lose out on the additional uniqueness and functionality that this post is trying to add.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 12:33:29 PM by Jazwana »
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erynr73

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 01:01:05 PM »

When I use the term carriers I mean only ships with a flight deck.  Otherwise if you only have hanger space then fighter would behave the same as they do now, or can only be deployed once then the are stuck on the battle field.
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Gothars

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 01:32:58 PM »

I've previously been pretty skeptical of this idea, but you've really sold me. I really really like the docked fighters showing up in the ship info panel!

Good to hear  :)

It would be best if not only docked (meaning currently in hangar) wings would be shown but also the ones currently repairing and rearming (meaning currently on the flightdeck). On all carriers, not only Base Carriers. There could even be a little timer. The way I imagine it docked wings would get repaired to, one after the other with normal times, as long as no other wing is occupying the flight deck.

This would require a direct order for fighters: Dock. But with the new command system thats not a problem - you could dock any number of fighters for 1 CP with 2 key presses. Of course any carrier that has a fighter ordered to dock at it would have their launch toggle set to Do Not Launch.

Don't know if you meant that, but it would not require at new dock order, the current Rearm and Repair will work like a dock order as long as Launch is inactive. 


Can we assign combat groups out of combat at the moment? (From the fleet screen?) I don't think we can. If we could: assign fighters to a group (a little number would appear under the picture of the wing). Drag any fighter onto a carrier to assign all fighters in that group to that carrier. (The fleet screen needs a little bit of TLC, so speculation on this might be a bit moot).

No, we can't at the moment. As you said, the whole menu will probably get an overhaul, the potential improvements are accumulating more and more.

Here is one concern: say you launch a carrier with fighters inside, but do not have the FP to deploy the fighters. The carrier is destroyed before you have the FP - are the fighters destroyed? I would say yes!

Yeah, that's a little risk you'd have to take. The price for being able to protect multiple damaged wings instead of having them circle the carrier. I'd say it would be a rare case though, usually you deploy your fighters way before the enemy reaches your carrier.

Being able to send fighters back to dock with the carrier until needed is a great idea.  I usually have to assign them to a way point in the corner so they don't get destroyed by the enemy.  Then you could include a feature that would make them return to the carrier by default whenever their assigned objective is complete, instead of wandering the map getting destroyed.

Yeah, fighter protecting is a bit awkward at the moment. Especially since retreating them is not much of an option either, now that CP are so limited it will cost your half your command abilities to retreat your capture interceptors.

Also instead of assigning the fighters to an objective you assign the carrier, the carrier AI would deploy the most appropriate fighter (bombers for strike, interceptors for captures, launch all when carrier is under fire).  But that may be less"simple". 

Most carriers don't have enough hangar space to support multiple kinds of wings, and in many situations some of your fighters will be without a Base Carrier. I think it's better to keep controlling your wings directly.


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Gaizokubanou

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 01:05:08 PM »

I support the general idea of this since I would love to see any improvement to fighter/bomber to carrier functionality.

About fighter-carrier association...  Just make it simple so that you can click-drag-drop a wing to a carrier on fleet management page.  Then keep the wing on fleet page but grey/fade it out with a note that tells you which ship it is assigned to, and have some small icon for carriers that tells you how many wings are assigned to it.  For flavor maybe destroyers get 3 wings, 4 for cruisers and 5 for capital, or 3 per flight deck or whatever that works.

Another suggestion I want to slip in through this thread is maybe by carrying fighters into the battle through carriers, wings get fleet point discount for battle deployment only?  This idea was suggested before and it seem to go hand in hand with this suggestion.
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TJJ

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2012, 03:28:31 PM »

Here's my idea:

- Increase FP cost of carriers in proportion to (but less than) their fighter capacity. (I'd suggest ~66%)
- Fighters assigned to carriers now cost 0 FP.

This would have a number of effects:

- Carriers would be a more efficient means of both transporting fighters in your fleet, and deploying them into battle. You'd get more 'bang(fighters) for your buck(FP)'.
- Underutilized carriers would be an incredibly wasteful use of Fleet Points.
- lose a carrier without losing any its fighter wings, and you'll likely find your fleet jumps over both its fighter & fleet point limits.

Astral: 22 + 50*2/3 = ~55FP
Condor & Gemini: 9+15*2/3 = ~19FP
Odyssey: 18+30*2/3 = ~38FP
Venture: 12+25*2/3 = ~28FP

Obviously these numbers could be tweaked to represent the efficiency of the various carrier designs.
For instance, the Astral being a dedicated high tech carrier would be a more efficient design so perhaps 50%(47FP) rather than 66%(55FP) of its fighter capacity would suite it better.
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Gothars

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 03:50:06 PM »

Another suggestion I want to slip in through this thread is maybe by carrying fighters into the battle through carriers, wings get fleet point discount for battle deployment only?  This idea was suggested before and it seem to go hand in hand with this suggestion.
Mh...that's good. Gives more incentive for a good carrier fighter infrastructure. Fighters will have to catch up after the other ships got all those OP improvements, to build up the synergy effect between fighters and carriers would be a nice way of realizing that.


Here's my idea:

Interesting idea, but it would not work. How many FP would it cost to deploy a assigned wing before it's carrier?
- Zero FP? You can just spam fighters.
- Normal fighter FP? You will not have enough FP left to deploy the carrier.
- You cant launch fighters before the carrier? Fighters become useless because they can't deploy early to capture points.
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TJJ

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 04:14:20 PM »

Another suggestion I want to slip in through this thread is maybe by carrying fighters into the battle through carriers, wings get fleet point discount for battle deployment only?  This idea was suggested before and it seem to go hand in hand with this suggestion.
Mh...that's good. Gives more incentive for a good carrier fighter infrastructure. Fighters will have to catch up after the other ships got all those OP improvements, to build up the synergy effect between fighters and carriers would be a nice way of realizing that.


Here's my idea:

Interesting idea, but it would not work. How many FP would it cost to deploy a assigned wing before it's carrier?
- Zero FP? You can just spam fighters.
- Normal fighter FP? You will not have enough FP left to deploy the carrier.
- You cant launch fighters before the carrier? Fighters become useless because they can't deploy early to capture points.

3rd one, and yes - no more charging forward with fighters to cap all the points.
Fighters should be unable to capture objective points.
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Squigzilla

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 04:29:50 PM »

I'm going to play devil's advocate here and ruthlessly poke holes in people's ideas.  I love the general concept of reinforcing your fleet with fighters launched directly from carriers, and I'd love to help refine this concept into something truly awesome.

Here's my idea:

- Increase FP cost of carriers in proportion to (but less than) their fighter capacity. (I'd suggest ~66%)
- Fighters assigned to carriers now cost 0 FP.


Personally, I don't feel that adjusting fleet point values in this way is a good idea.  The difference in combat effectiveness of a Talon wing (3 FP) and a Warthog wing (10 FP) is huge, and fighters are balanced around these fleet point costs.  Say I could assign three wings of fighters to my Gemini -- why would I deploy three Talon wings when I could send out three Warthog wings for the same cost?  IMO, this requires too much balancing work for too small a benefit.

I have a different suggestion: i think fighters deployed at the start of a battle should start outside of a carrier (or launch the moment the first carrier arrives on screen).  One of the best uses for fighters is as point-cappers, and this functionality is wasted if the pilots start each battle twiddling their thumbs in a Condor's hangar bay.  Plus, I love the image of a huge Conquest drifting through space while swarms of fighters streak by on their way to objectives.

If a player wanted to reinforce their fleet mid-battle, they could launch fighters directly from carriers instead of bringing them in from off-map.  Wings of fighters could be assigned to any carrier (i.e. ship with a flight deck) on the fleet organization screen, provided that each carrier did not exceed its hangar space limit.  During battle, fighters could be deployed from carriers as deployment points allow.  The catch is that each carrier has a significant "recharge time" for this deployment ability; each flight deck could have something like a 10 second cooldown, possibly adjusted up or down relative to the FP cost of the fighters.  This seems short enough to make this ability relevant while not allowing a single Condor to disgorge 30 FP of Thunders the instant it comes under attack.  It also allows ships with multiple flight decks to shine, giving the much-maligned Astral the ability to scramble three fighter wings at a time!  IMO, this level of power is acceptable for a capital ship but would be game-breaking when given to destroyer-sized ships.
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TJJ

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2012, 05:23:47 PM »

I'm going to play devil's advocate here and ruthlessly poke holes in people's ideas.  I love the general concept of reinforcing your fleet with fighters launched directly from carriers, and I'd love to help refine this concept into something truly awesome.

Here's my idea:

- Increase FP cost of carriers in proportion to (but less than) their fighter capacity. (I'd suggest ~66%)
- Fighters assigned to carriers now cost 0 FP.


Personally, I don't feel that adjusting fleet point values in this way is a good idea.  The difference in combat effectiveness of a Talon wing (3 FP) and a Warthog wing (10 FP) is huge, and fighters are balanced around these fleet point costs.  Say I could assign three wings of fighters to my Gemini -- why would I deploy three Talon wings when I could send out three Warthog wings for the same cost?  IMO, this requires too much balancing work for too small a benefit.

You misunderstand; my proposal wouldn't allow you to do that.
The carriers still have their fighter capacity restricting how many FP-worth of fighters they can carry. In the case of the Gemini that's 15FP-worth of fighters.

The only difference I'm proposing is that the FP cost of fighters be rolled into the FP cost of the carrier; though with a slight discount to make carriers a more efficient way of delivering fighters into battle.
Another way of looking at it, is that the FP cost of the carrier itself would be significantly reduced, BUT ONLY so long as it's being fully utilized for its intended role. (carrying fighter craft).
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Gothars

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2012, 06:44:41 PM »

The only difference I'm proposing is that the FP cost of fighters be rolled into the FP cost of the carrier; though with a slight discount to make carriers a more efficient way of delivering fighters into battle.

Mh... I feel that Gaizokubanou's idea of just lowering the FP needed to start a wing from a carrier would archive the same without such a fundamental change. I don't see whats good about making fighters useless for capturing.
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Iscariot

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Re: Deploy fighters from carriers (simple handling)
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 11:30:56 PM »

For what it's worth, I think this is a good idea.
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The idea is that the various tech levels represent different - not "better" - ways to do things.
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