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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Topics - Cik

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Suggestions / Frigates
« on: October 09, 2018, 04:51:37 AM »
one issue that's near and dear to my heart is the plight of escorts, specifically the small ones. while my traditional plank is carriers and fighters, those are now in a good place (and often rule the field, especially with mods) however, while trying to run what i consider a "reasonable fleet" here defined as a fleet that isn't too top heavy with only a few cruisers, a single capital, and many destroyers and frigates it has come to my attention that smaller ships need some help in the current schema of the game. two things in my view have proliferated that makes frigates* mostly obsolete by midgame:

*by frigates i mean conventional frigates, NOT phase frigates which work basically regardless of their size as their ability to ignore incoming fire, position to deliver reapers, deliver reapers and then disengage is basically foolproof

1) preponderance of officers, especially piloting cruisers equipped with gunnery implants / ITU and standoff weapons that can delete frigates, regardless of fit from standoff ranges in seconds

2) preponderance of fighters, which have the trifecta of warfare at their disposal (initiative and ability to close range, striking power easily enough to overwhelm frigates, and near perpetual ability to re-attack)

so the question is, what do we expect frigates to achieve in relatively high level combat, and what prevents them from doing these things really?

my expectations are fivefold:

1) i expect them to be able to control territory (in significant numbers) capture objectives against things that aren't the bulk of the enemy fleet, and thus contribute to tipping the balance of power in the favor of their fleet.

2) i expect them to be hold their own while providing picket/PD/fire support assistance to larger ships. this doesn't mean that they will be invincible while doing so, but if they can do it without dying instantly that would be good.

3) i expect them to be cheap to employ, maintain, and deploy. costs should be low both in DP and supplies necessary to keep them going.

4) i expect them to be disposable, more than heavier ships. they shouldn't necessarily be a huge headache either in time or resources to replace every now and then as you kind of expect them to get chewed up when AI fails the tightrope walk that is a frigate's existence.

5) i expect them to be strategically mobile. they need to be able to move around the field fast enough to apply pressure in specific spots. ideally, i should be able to get them around and to the side of heavier ships that they can attack with strike weapons while heavier ships attack from the front.

so, problems:

1) objectives don't do that much. it's usually simply better to deploy more DP in eavy gunz, ignore the objectives entirely and just focus on shooting your opponent's center of gravity to pieces. this isn't really a frigate-centric problem, but since the ability of fighters to capture things was removed, it now seems like a "frigate job" since on your average battlefield the objectives will be very close to the center anyway, frigates do not really gain anything by being slightly faster than your average median mobility destroyer, and lose lots of range and firepower. just IMO, objectives should be more widely distributed and should be made more effective. in addition, they should probably be crucial in increasing allocated DP to your fleet, meaning that you can bring in more, heavier ships for "free" on top of the frigates after a short wait. this might mean that if you ignore the objectives, you will be significantly outgunned at the "center map shootout" after a short time. battles should be made "wider" so that travel speed matters more, and frigate zero-flux speed boost could be made higher than on other ships so that they can really move strategically very quickly, while still retaining a reasonable combat speed so that they aren't immune to being shot or chased down.

2) this is chiefly a range problem. the proliferation of very high power standoff guns that have no problem hitting even the relatively narrow profile of your average frigate means they cease to exist in seconds with almost zero chance of survival. your average mid-sized fighter engagement's stray missiles also tend to destroy them utterly mostly by accident. it is hard to say how this can be fixed exactly without just giving them capital-level range increases which i think is a poor idea. perhaps just making them strategically faster will solve this to some extent- if you are not in front of your opponent's main battery you don't have to worry so much about the firepower of it. one of the chief survival problems of frigates as they are though, and one that is fixable is that the officer cap means that if you have a mid-to-large size fleet you will not be able to provide officers for your frigates, for a multitude of reasons: you don't have enough, even if you've maxed them out, they may not have the specialized skillsets required for frigates, and you fear losing them every time a frigate blows up (which happens often) i propose that frigates be "squadronable" where a permanent or near-permanent formation is set up consisting of certain frigates, and an officer commands the squadron from either a heavier flagship or one of the frigates. that way, multiple small ships can benefit from an officer without dedicating an officer to each one. i propose frigates having a mass squadron size of 4, and destroyers a max squadron size of 2. squadrons should stick together for the most part, and attack the same target. perhaps an AI sub-behavior could be written for them to make them a little braver when attacking targets they think they can take together.

3) the majority of them aren't cheap enough. 4 frigates costs 16-24 DP which is almost as much as a line cruiser(!) whereas a line cruiser is just on average much more effective. it has greater range, firepower, usually much more capable strike weapons, a much stronger shield, and with the proliferation of mobility systems, it may not even be significantly slower across the table or even tactically. it's also a lot easier for the AI to handle, as getting 4 frigates to attack something in a concerted manner is much harder than to get one cruiser to deliver standoff fire to achieve the same effect. the cruiser is less vulnerable to instant death or flux lock, and doesn't necessarily have the same "instant death weakness" like frigates do (salamanders, sabots, etc) monetarily i think they are costed fine at the moment- by midgame you will be able to buy them en masse with the money you have in pocket.

4) money-wise they are cheap, but that isn't really the game's chief obstacle in terms of disposability. the chief obstacle to disposability is the ability to replace them not monetarily but just finding them in a shop somewhere. every time a frigate dies, you must return to a port that might supply the type you want, check it, see that it is not in stock, then perhaps launch a quest to go find the one or two hulls you like, then track down the relatively rare weapons it takes to make a usable frigate hull. once you've fitted it, it will probably survive two battles and you will be back to square one. a more concrete ship production system is needed that the player can earmark. really i just want to tell tri-tachyon "i am a ship captain in good standing with your faction, you produce 120 wolf frigates a year, i want 2 a month, i am willing to pay you X money for it" and then they will be waiting for me when i get back, with the weapons and crew that i need. if my wolf squadrons are under-strength, i can click one button to draw from my reserves until they are up to strength. done.
the second BIG ISSUE is that you LOSE OFFICERS WHEN THEY BLOW UP, or else forgo officers entirely which is literally a death sentence in the modern game. either basically condemn frigates to uselessness by missing out on the insane scaling officers grant or make the disposability problem MUCH WORSE because now you will have to replace officers which are a real pain to find especially with a good skillset. frigate squadrons would alleviate this problem by moving the frigate officer off the frigates, or at least giving you more mass to work with so they don't die as easily.

5) the preponderance of mobility systems means that frigates are not really significantly faster across the table than other ships. in your average battle (that i see) basically everybody moves into center of the table at the same time, there's a shootout and then the battle is de facto over. the solution is probably a zero-flux boost boost (heh) and making objectives / terrain control matter more. once frigates can move faster, and moving faster means something (getting to the objectives before your opponent) frigates will be more important in general. when the battle spreads out, being able to apply force in one place, and then another, and then another, and the ability to bring in support quickly also means more. i can count on one hand the times i have said to myself "i have been strategically outmaneuvered" where i was significantly surrounded because a bunch of enemy support had gotten around behind me and i was so spread out that i could not regroup fast enough to not get picked off one by one.

tl;dr make frigates good again(tm)

edit: also feel free to disagree with my premises or spitball alternate solutions. i'm presupposing here that frigates aren't supposed to become useless by endgame.

Suggestions / sensor diversification
« on: December 20, 2015, 09:38:17 AM »

he he

this'll probably be a megathread but it needs to be to cover the complexities.

i probably don't need to outline how the current sensor system works. i think it's a good baseline.

first a note on philosophy: this game isn't a simulation. what does that mean? it means that you shouldn't add extra depth and confusion to it for realism's sake. that does not mean that you cannot add realism, just that it must serve a gameplay purpose. my suggestions are taken from how some sensor systems behave in real life as a baseline, however in the end they don't really need to compare that closely; as long as they add depth and interesting gameplay options, they can behave however.

now: what are the problems with the current sensor system?

1. in the end-game it pretty much stops mattering. once fleets blow up to a reasonable size they can see each other from halfway across the sector even if they are perfectly stationary.

2. sensors are not very granular. there's a huge mishmash of sensor types that are all rolled into one "sensor strength" which allows you to see, and a "sensor signature" which is really simple and allows you to be seen.

3. the omnidirectional and "invincible" nature of the sensors of all fleets mean that there are very few strategies that can be employed in trying to lose or gain a sensor advantage over an enemy fleet. this is mostly a result of problem #2

4. sensors are too binary. it's almost impossible to gain a sensor advantage with the current mechanics. you are nearly always detected at almost exactly the same range they detect you. this means that it's almost impossible to sneak up on fleets, or to hide effectively while surveying an area.

so, my suggestion is diversify sensors a little bit into distinct types. there are a few types of sensors we can reasonably extrapolate will be used in pretty much any space setting, as they are relatively simple, robust, and can be produced by pretty much anyone. all sensors should have tradeoffs, strengths and weaknesses and i'll do my best to point out what these are and why.

first, sensor types: for our purposes we will divide sensors into active and passive.

active sensors emit detectable radiation or 'noise' that means that anyone who is listening for an active system and is in it's area of effect will 'hear' it with whatever system they are using. an example of this is active sonar. you emit a pulse. the pulse hits the enemy. the enemy hears the pulse hit them. the pulse comes back. you can detect the enemy. active systems necessarily reveal at least your rough position. that means they should allow you to be detected better by the enemy (if they have some means of detecting you)

passive sensors don't emit anything. the eyeball is a passive sensor; the light hits the object, the light enters your eye, you can see it. you can of course look at someone who isn't looking in your direction and they won't notice. infrared systems are also passive, you can see the heat coming off something without emitting anything. passive systems are necessarily more stealthy because there isn't a way to detect that something is looking at you, however they usually have other downsides such as lower detection range, uncertainty about detected object's bearing, speed, range etc. or possibility of false-positives in detection.

now, onto specific sensors.

infrared: simple, lowtech and in use in pretty much every combat vehicle since the late 40s, infrared is a sensor that sees heat, or more accurately heat radiated off of surfaces. infrared leakage is pretty much impossible to stop (in fact, totally impossible) and because of the extremely low temperature in space it is easy to detect over vast distances. infrared sensors should detect larger heat sources better, and anything that has it's engines engaged much better. e-burn should light up like a christmas tree in infrared. infrared should probably have a 360 degree detection ability, however it would not detect as well on your tail because of your own drive plume blinding the sensors. crazy ivans may be required. infrared is a passive sensor, meaning you do not have to emit anything to see hot objects. because of this, it is far stealthier than an active system and thus should not increase your sensor signature. since infrared is technologically fairly simple, nearly every ship should have an infrared detection system.

RADAR: basically a radio echolocation system. radar is an active system (should increase your signature if you turn it on) but provides a superior detection against targets at long range, especially if they are large. detection arcs can be anything from a forward fixed beam to a 360 degree system, but a smaller frontal arc might be better for gameplay and simplicity's sake. note that unlike infrared, RADAR only cares about how big and how far away you are. it doesn't matter if you are standing still or what your engines are doing, it can detect you anyway. the downside is that anyone caught in the radar beam knows they are being looked at. radar systems should be standard on most ships, perhaps barring civilian vessels. I'd expect pretty much any warship to have one.

RW (radar warning) not so much a detection system as a defensive measure, the RW system tells you if a radar is looking at you. useful to know if someone is trying to find you, it's range should be almost unlimited. it is a passive sensor as it does not emit anything. most military-grade ships should have a comparable system.

exotic sensors: these should be rarer, and the amount of them is almost unlimited. but for starsector i'd suggest two.

gravimetric: gravimetric sensors detect massive objects, and the more massive the easier and the further away it can be detected. for our purposes we can assume these are relatively coarse, however they should be very effective at detecting large concentrations of cruiser+ ships as the entire point should be hunter-killer type actions. passive, as you are not really emitting anything, only reading the gravity of an object from range. should be standard on most phase-ships, as they are the u-boats of space. dedicated scout or surveying ships may also have them.

phase detection (cool name needed): detects phase fields at long range. effectively cuts through phase ships' sensor signature reduction. active(?) should be present on most expansion epoch+ or tri-tachyon ships. domain prototypes or very expensive scout ships may also have them.

other things:

sensor fuzz

Q: what's the difference between a hound and a cerberus at millions of kilometers?

A: uh...

some 'fuzziness' to sensors at long ranges might not be amiss. you should nearly always be able to tell with any sensor what class the ship is, but the difference between the aforementioned hound and cerberus might be impossible to tell. some sensors should be better at determining the exact ship, while others (infrared, probably) just tells you the rough direction it's moving and it's approximate size.

likewise, not being able to detect the whole fleet, but only the less stealthy parts of it would be pretty cool. for example, you turn on your IR system and hide in a belt. you're watching the jump point and you see an onslaught. it gets closer. then you see it's medium escort of destroyers, then it gets closer, you start to see it's less stealthy frigates. it gets closer. then you see it's phase frigates. the sky's the limit with this sort of thing.

more granularity to move speed: would be nice to have a few more buttons that limit your fleet's speed but at which you gain bonuses to your signature, but which aren't as crazy as go dark is.

deployables, more specifically sensor buoys: these are of course attendant on a system that isn't there (yet?) but i mean come on that's the rest of the post too so whatever.

deployable sensor buoys would make a ton of sense in-setting (in the tactical map already!) and add a far larger non-personal aspect to sensors. these should be anchorable to objects or able to be put into orbit around planets, asteroids, or the sun; depending on the sensor type they are using they should have their own signature. they should of course be able to be destroyed, perhaps more interesting though is the opportunities to tie these to factions and allow the AI to use them as more limited objectives in their constant wars. not only that, but they would be of great help to the player in allowing them to scope out jump points or ring systems or what-have-you in order to get a much better picture of local areas without directly approaching and risk being blown up.

the uses for these are of course endless, but they have downsides; they would be vulnerable to destruction by your's or your factions enemies, perhaps only have a limited duration, etc. if or when these are added the sector factions should likely have them deployed around their space already, as that would make sense. a deliberate campaign to blind a specific faction seems like it would be great fun.

so, if we implement any of this what will we have to modify about the sensor system as it is right now?

well, a bunch of new hotkeys for the bar will need to be added to turn off and on various systems. several more 'layers' will have to be added to the detection mechanic; each fleet will need a signature for each type of sensor in the game, and each fleet will need as many sensors as that fleet will have. how difficult is that? i'm honestly not sure. it could be anything from easy to impossible. the hardest part seems to me like it would be teaching the AI to use new systems, though maybe the backbone of that is already there. it seems pretty smart about the current system, for one.

so what's the payoff?

the payoff i believe will be relatively awesome. the sensor mechanics of cat & mouse will get more interesting. in particular, ambushes should be easier to pull off as a stationary target will be comparably much harder to see (due to infrared having trouble seeing stationary ships) breaking up the omnidirectional nature of current sensors means that how you approach the enemy will matter. ships can be easily diversified within the system via sensor types and strengths. factions, too.

this of course skips the effects entirely of electronic warfare, jamming etc. perhaps i will go on about that later.

nobody's going to read this are they?

anyway those are my thoughts. thoughts?

Suggestions / belts, terrain, and sensors
« on: December 13, 2015, 10:54:11 PM »
hi, maybe this is just an overlooked thing or a bug, however i noticed that when you stand still in a belt you get a negative 50 percent(!) (stackable with go dark) sensor profile reduction.

this isn't a problem, in fact it's amazing and will be even better when you don't have to move every now and then to keep up with the system.

however, some belts that probably deserve the modifier don't get them, at least not that i can find. example: nemo's belt in jangala, and the barad asteroid ring both don't get the mod, however some of the other belts which are about the same size do (though i can't remember which ones exactly at the moment, sorry..)

can we get all the belts to give this bonus? in particular nemo's belt nearly jangala would be perfect as right now it's IMPOSSIBLE to sneak into due to all the patrols nearby.

Suggestions / fighters - a new analysis for a new patch
« on: December 11, 2015, 05:34:07 PM »
in this thread i will give what i hope is a well-reasoned brief on the state of fighters in the new patch, what works and what doesn't, etc.

fighter roles:

what should a fighter be able to do? it's a wide question but at least for me, fighters generally fill three roles:

-fighters are a fast pursuit role. in numbers, they should be able to gang-up and swarm on fast frigates that play the edges of the battle.

-interceptors: fighters need the staying power, speed and sensors to break up enemy fighter and bomber groups to protect larger ships from the effect of these craft

-close escort: fighters can run a close escort of friendly ships and act as extra damage or lend their PD against missile threats.

all three of these appear in the game of course, however they are only marginally effective in 2 of the three (pursuit, escort) at the moment due to recent changes.

to achieve this, fighters require three things:

tactical speed. remember that you are limiting your fleet's burn quite a bit just by using them at all, considering you need a burn 9 carrier (or well, several) to deploy them. tactically, most of them should be faster than anything else. fluffwise, they have no FTL engine, so ton-for-ton they should have the largest percentage of weight dedicated to raw engine output.

survivability: they need to have a chance of closing to close range to use their weapons, either by raw armor or by evasion.

weapons: once they get there, they need to be able to destroy or otherwise incapacitate a frigate or destroyer. strike bombers of course can destroy larger craft.

a note on standoff:

currently there are no fighters built for standoff; all of them (including the strike bombers, even) are built for what is essentially an assault role. they close, they shoot, they get damaged, they rearm, repeat. i would like to see some fighters built that are built around spinal guns and are long-range harassment, which at least would resolve the problem of them getting slaughtered by anything with a few vulcan cannons to knock together. obviously, these would be vulnerable to interception, relatively slow, etc.

IMO, fighters should fit into 3 categories

fighters: fast, agile space superiority fighters that can quickly intercept and chew up harassers, bombers, and other fighters. almost all current vanilla wings fit this category.

harassment: built around spinal guns, hover at long range and provide difficult-to-hit supporting fire. vulnerable to long range return fire and interceptors. no examples ingame.

strike bombers: built for runs on slow, nigh-immobile targets like dominator/onslaught. piranhas and daggers are the only ones currently in the game.

first, i will go over the positives:

-fighters are 'immortal' though you do lose crew this is usually inconsequential. the fact that even after a battle with 'heavy casualties' you lose almost nothing as long as you don't lose all of your carriers is a large advantage.

-IMO, they look very cool. massed dagger runs and the mingling of lines at the front of the combat look really neat.

now, the pitfalls

-fighters often spend 70% of their time travelling from the carrier (where they were respawning) to the combat and then immediately dying again once they get there, making their presence in combat very tenuous.

-fighters have exclusively short range weapons (the longest, i believe being the xyphos pulse laser, which has 600 range)

-fighters are rather flimsy, with few exceptions

-fighter damage is relatively low, for a number of reasons, excluding daggers of course

now, all of this was true in .65 as well, however the new patch has added a new brand of gruesome attrition to fighters in particular, and this can be narrowed down really to the addition of officers, whose stat buffs even when at a sub-20 level is incredibly powerful. I'll go over that here.

officer stat buffs, or how nearly every ship in the game got enormously more powerful, except fighters, many times in ways that directly counter fighters:

weapon preprioception: or how weapon ranges got much higher, and weapons got much more accurate:

this one is probably the one that had the most impact. officers with gunnery implants are not uncommon, and gunnery implants drastically increases range and accuracy of even long range, relatively inaccurate guns. fighters commonly die to heavy maulers, the space equivalent of a 16-inch gun. the hail of (relatively accurate) long-range fire that comes out of a single line destroyer/cruiser is a problem, let alone a line of them. to have ANY effect on your average line battle you must really swarm, and the attrition rates are usually truly horrific.

helmsmanship: or how things fighters could barely catch in the first place are now far, far faster:

another issue. as i pointed out above, fighters are bound to pursue because of their short range weapons, unfortunately this is no longer possible against most frigates with helmsmanship. fighters fill a natural role of fast pursuit, especially necessary against graviton/tactical laser kite frigates. unfortunately, they are incredibly vulnerable to the lasers of the things they are supposed to be able to catch, and also cannot really catch them either. this leaves beam-kite frigates (and even some destroyers) almost uncounterable; if you cannot catch them with anything you have, your fighters will not be of any help.

ordinance expertise: or how everything got far more lethal, except fighters

not much to say here, even xyphos get slaughtered by nonspecialized damage now. raw damage output on a large number of enemy ships is far, far higher.

besides officers, there are a few other problems:

flight decks or: this really wasn't a problem, but now it is

the number of flight decks on your average carrier was not really a problem in .65x because fighters were far more effective, however the new patch brings a new battlefield, brimming with large numbers of ships with large stat bonuses. in order for fighters to work in this new battlespace, incredible numbers of fighters are needed; where before i needed maybe 1 deck for every three wings, casualties are much higher and come much faster now. getting 1 deck/1 wing is the ideal, however 1 deck is the norm for destroyer, and 2 for cruiser. in order to actually kill a destroyer, i'd need far more than 1 wing, and for a cruiser, especially a line cruiser, 4-8. it's obvious then that trying even to reach 1deck/2wings is probably a losing battle, considering each time you face another destroyer or cruiser you will need more ships than the enemy will to field enough decks to reliably engage them. you can of course choose to deploy a lower number of decks, however that means that probably within 30 seconds of the combat really beginning you will have lost as many fighter wings as you don't have flight decks for, meaning you're probably just wasting CR and fleetspace fielding them.

fighters do not dodge enough: they make some small lateral movements, but nothing like what they need to evade the long-range fire currently on the field. they need to dodge more, or have a dodge% chance added. even high-tech fighters are no longer survivable, even past their own guns range. fighters who are not even engaged with the enemy frequently die to random artillery fire from passing ships.

fighters miss too much: even at relatively close range they do not adjust for their momentum correctly. in older versions, this was not a problem as they had some hope of surviving when in the proximity of enemy ships, and you could count on a swarm of them to kill things. since that is no longer a thing, they really need a buff to their aiming (note: this is when they have an elite crew)

specific fighters, specific problems:

thunders: release harpoons into shields pointlessly. as far as i remember, this is a new behavior: one of the reasons they were so dangerous in .65x was that they would hold their harpoons until they were on the unshielded flank or the enemy was overloaded, then fire them all as a group, usually achieving a kill. now they fire harmlessly into shields at max range, significantly reducing their effectiveness.

piranhas: these might have once been effective in like .5x or something: these things have gotten worse and worse, and are now almost unusable. the combination of slow advance in straight line, relatively low yield bombs, the fact that it can't hit anything it's supposed to (even dominators just burn drive out of the way!) incredibly weak to being shot, general slowness, etc make them UNUSABLE. please make these things "launch and leave" or up their speed, or the bomb yield, or SOMETHING!

daggers: still the best strike bomber, not that there's any competition. they seem reticent sometimes to fire their reapers, even when they have a good shot. i think you should up the range they fire at on average, as they for some reason will fly directly into the target and get wasted when they don't have to.

alright, now that the list of complaints is over (finally) i can move onto the solutions. solutions you say? sure.

officer problems: someone suggested this in my other thread, add a new officer type, the CAG, who can attach to fighters and adds a strong, but singular and unique bonus.

some of the ones i can think of

-dodge: adds a dodge chance
-sharpshooter: adds a large range bonus
-turnaround: adds a huge bonus to refit time
-hot dog: speed bonus

these are just examples really, but it makes sense that fighters would have officers too, and that they should be relatively unique (as just applying the regular officer bonuses doesn't really make sense and wouldn't help them that much anyway due to percentages working like they do)

flight decks: CAGs may in part resolve this, however i think the solution to this problem is just to buff flight deck numbers across the board. destroyer should be 2, heron should be 3 or 4, astral (which is supposed to be a supercarrier, but only has 6 decks, that is not nearly enough to justify the cost in supplies, lowering your burn, etc.) should probably have 10. maybe more.

speed and survivability: speed really is life for fighters, so a across-the-board speed buff isn't out of the question, besides that though, they need to weave and evade more. getting hit by long-range artillery guns like heavy maulers probably should not be common.

aim: i assume it would be easy to buff their accuracy. the AI seems to adjust really well already for momentum, as long as it's told to.

other solutions are of course welcome.


Suggestions / fighter effectiveness in .7
« on: November 22, 2015, 08:51:39 PM »
fighters and bombers are very near and dear to my heart, and i tend to play large carrier groups with only a few stronger mainline ships, which in .65 was perfectly fine; there was a skill in the leadership tree that made them damn effective, as what they really lack is mobility (strangely enough) i searched rather thoroughly in .7 but i think it's been removed. my question is, why? i think most frigates are faster than fighters now, which makes the lighter ones almost perfectly useless considering they can be easily kited. the whole point of broadswords etc. is the ability to hunt and kill frigates in large swarms. unless i'm wrong, can you look into either putting the skill back in or buffing fighter base speed? they seem much less powerful now, which i doubt is intentional because they never seemed overly strong.

likewise, strike bombers (especially piranhas) seem very weak. in large battles they are easily slaughtered by casual backhands from destroyers, let alone cruisers. even massed piranhas are easily obliterated when attacking the targets they are supposed to be able to kill (enforcers, dominators and other types of slow, frontal shield ships) let alone things that are capable of motion.

the other thing that limits their effectiveness is how the flight deck mechanic works; as far as i can tell, if all flight decks are currently occupied any fighter unit that's totally destroyed is just removed from the battlefield, regardless of how many replacements are remaining due to CR. is this the case or have i misunderstood, and if that is the case should i just be fielding nothing but fleet carriers? with the attrition rate in battles of any scale even the 4-5 flight decks i have are not even close to enough. during the first line merge i lose half of my fighter force almost instantly due to the effectiveness of nearly any medium+ weapon at shredding fighters.

perhaps other opinions are different, and i'd like to hear them. was the indirect nerf to fighter effectiveness intentional or just an oversight? is the skill somewhere else that i haven't found? am i doing it wrong? opinions welcome

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