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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

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Author Topic: Lack of Fighter Control  (Read 6632 times)

TaLaR

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2019, 12:18:16 PM »

Yeah, I really don't have a clue why the Heron is considered a combat carrier, because it doesn't have the armour, or weapons, to warrant this. A Mora? Yes please. Two turreted missile launchers are always great to have, especially since they almost have Dominator grade of armour, on top of having a ship system that allows them to tank Reapers.

It can decently support from afar (~1000-ish range, HAC + Tac lasers + ITU), almost no risk involved considering it's speed. Which is also more or less optimal distance to safely reduce bomber return trip.
But sadly AI tends to go Leeroy Jenkins instead.
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Euphytose

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2019, 12:25:50 PM »

But sadly AI tends to go Leeroy Jenkins instead.

Unfortunately apart from the Astral it seems to do just that with just about every carrier. It's actually starting to make me think there's a bug and it behaves like aggressive or even reckless at times, because it really goes right in the thick of things, even more so than a Dominator for example. It's like they're using the ship as a shield whenever you give escort orders.
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Wyvern

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2019, 12:32:34 PM »

It's like they're using the ship as a shield whenever you give escort orders.
Ding ding ding.  This is exactly what escort does, and it's exactly what I almost never want escort to do.  The proper escort behavior is what you get if you just let a (non-combat) carrier do its own thing with no orders at all - it'll pick a same-size-or-larger ship and just follow it around, trying to keep itself mostly out of line of fire and help out where it can.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Euphytose

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2019, 12:36:25 PM »

That's very counter intuitive then. If I give an escort order to a destroyer I want it to defend the sides and rear of the capital, not blindly place itself in front of it to catch incoming missiles. Maybe this should be changed, or a new order should be created "protect" or "bodyguard".
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Thaago

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2019, 12:46:11 PM »

...

I do find it slightly odd that we can't dictate the "aggressiveness" of ships without finding the right personality officers. I think another part of the problem is many of the carriers getting denoted as "combat carriers" for the purposes of which AI behavior to use. For something like the Legion and the Odyssey? Yeah, I want them on the front lines. For something like a Heron with only a single medium sized mount? Not so much.

We can a little bit, but its a global setting rather than on a per ship basis. On the 'doctrine' tab you can set the aggression level of AI fleets. In addition to influencing the officers for sale on your own colonies, it sets the default behavior of non-officered ships.

Unfortunately, most of the time I want all of my 'combat' ships to be aggressive or even higher, while I want my carriers to be cautious. So it doesn't help the carrier situation too much. :)
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Alex

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2019, 01:23:38 PM »

Unfortunately apart from the Astral it seems to do just that with just about every carrier. It's actually starting to make me think there's a bug and it behaves like aggressive or even reckless at times, because it really goes right in the thick of things, even more so than a Dominator for example. It's like they're using the ship as a shield whenever you give escort orders.

(It is indeed a bug, fixed for the next release. The issue comes up when too many ships try to auto-escort at the same time - and also nearby ships take up "escort slots" around a ship - which can push some of the carriers out to less-desirable slots forward of the ship being escorted. Also, the Mora and the Legion will no longer use the auto-escort behavior, i.e. they'll behave like regular combat ships that just happen to have fighters.)
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Cosmitz

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2019, 01:34:14 PM »

I have a different set of gripes with the existing orders.

Clicking 'Eliminate' on a target, and then clicking Strike, unsets Eliminate and leaves the Strike. Clicking Eliminate again on the Strike targets sets both Strike and Eliminate. And secondly, how many carriers get assigned to a Strike is completely random as far as i've seen. You can have anywhere from 1 to 3 getting assigned to anything, frigate to a capital. I don't know if it's a matter of range, or agression, or danger of enemy ship or.. i don't know.
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Deshara

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2019, 09:16:57 AM »

consider lack of control to be a balancing factor against how affective fighters as-is could be if put under direct player control.
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Schwartz

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2019, 11:14:24 PM »

consider lack of control to be a balancing factor against how affective fighters as-is could be if put under direct player control.

Fair, but that's still the worst of both worlds. You have a system where, when fighters happen to coalesce into an efficient attack or an efficient formation 'by accident', they're overwhelmingly effective. And when they don't, all you can do is watch.

I'd rather see fighters weakened and commanders and AI given tighter control. In fact, I would expect them to be weakened if that were to happen.
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Plantissue

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2019, 05:41:39 AM »

The main problem would be the bomber type fighters. They have the same problem as missile spam. That they can achieve a critical mass. As it is now, a pair of Drovers, if they can Strike/Eliminate if they happen to be working together will destroy cruisers in a couple of passes and move on to the next cruiser. I don't really like the "new" system as the player feels helpless and out of control and sometimes the amount of fighters assigned feels completely random. Then again, the lack of control in a battle is as designed and is not unique to carriers in particular.

It'll be difficult to retain the feel of bombers and balance it whilst giving player agency.
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Megas

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2019, 06:10:50 AM »

Fighters are simply better missiles than missiles.

Astral with six Perdition wings and a carrier officer will destroy big things quickly and efficiently.
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Thaago

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2019, 06:00:29 PM »

The main problem would be the bomber type fighters. They have the same problem as missile spam. That they can achieve a critical mass. As it is now, a pair of Drovers, if they can Strike/Eliminate if they happen to be working together will destroy cruisers in a couple of passes and move on to the next cruiser. I don't really like the "new" system as the player feels helpless and out of control and sometimes the amount of fighters assigned feels completely random. Then again, the lack of control in a battle is as designed and is not unique to carriers in particular.

It'll be difficult to retain the feel of bombers and balance it whilst giving player agency.

Its true that 2 Drovers can take on a cruiser in a few passes - but is this different from 2 normal high performance destroyers? After all, Drovers are 12 deployment points/supplies, so 2 of them is nearly the same cost as a cruiser (and you can get 3 Hammerheads for 2 Drovers, or 3 Enforcers for just a bit more). And if the cruiser is actually fitted for anti-fighter, or is part of a fleet fitted for anti-fighter, it will be almost completely immune.

Fighters are simply better missiles than missiles.

Astral with six Perdition wings and a carrier officer will destroy big things quickly and efficiently.

The advantage of missiles that they will sit there and be fired on demand by a ship mounting them (and the ship is generating opportunities), while fighters are limited to doing runs and getting shot down. Fighters are certainly powerful, but not completely missile replacements.

Re: Astral. It is indeed a powerful ship, and Perditions are powerful fighters! I would say Astrals are about right for a Capital ship, being no more powerful overall than an Onslaught or a Paragon, but they can be specialized for anti station/capital work quite nicely.
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Megas

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2019, 08:11:16 PM »

Missiles can get shot down too.  And fighter runs are basically launched missiles, except they shoot things instead of ramming them like a missile, and they regenerate, unlike missiles that can hurt things.
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Plantissue

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2019, 10:08:41 AM »

The main problem would be the bomber type fighters. They have the same problem as missile spam. That they can achieve a critical mass. As it is now, a pair of Drovers, if they can Strike/Eliminate if they happen to be working together will destroy cruisers in a couple of passes and move on to the next cruiser. I don't really like the "new" system as the player feels helpless and out of control and sometimes the amount of fighters assigned feels completely random. Then again, the lack of control in a battle is as designed and is not unique to carriers in particular.

It'll be difficult to retain the feel of bombers and balance it whilst giving player agency.

Its true that 2 Drovers can take on a cruiser in a few passes - but is this different from 2 normal high performance destroyers? After all, Drovers are 12 deployment points/supplies, so 2 of them is nearly the same cost as a cruiser (and you can get 3 Hammerheads for 2 Drovers, or 3 Enforcers for just a bit more). And if the cruiser is actually fitted for anti-fighter, or is part of a fleet fitted for anti-fighter, it will be almost completely immune.
Yes it's totally different. Different in range, in time taken, risk taken. A cruiser or 2 destroyers can't kill a cruiser in 20 seconds at range 2000, then roll over to the next cruiser ad infinitum. Of course, it can be hard to get 2 drovers to just work together.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 03:47:39 AM by Plantissue »
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TrashMan

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Re: Lack of Fighter Control
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2019, 12:02:10 AM »

Anything can achieve a critical mass.

Get enough guns together and any target melts away.

The reason why fighters/bombers are OP is because of how they are implemented to being with. They are infinite (unlike missiles) but fighters are more tanky than missiles, enabling you to far more easily overwhelm point defenses.
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