Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Tunable fighter deployment flux cost  (Read 475 times)


  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 3045
    • View Profile
Tunable fighter deployment flux cost
« on: April 28, 2020, 09:07:33 AM »

Setting fighters on engage builds up some small flux percentage in carriers, and I believe this was intended just to prevent the zero flux speed bonus from making carriers too survivable, but what if there was flux upkeep for fighter engage that was set or affected by the fighter wings (a wing specific stat) instead (more like shield upkeep)? Something like each wing adds some flux/sec to the total engagement upkeep and then maybe the carrier hull has some intrinsic multiplier or upkeep as well. This would add another balance lever for fighters and carriers, particularly in balancing OP costs between fighters and balancing fighters vs weapons on carriers. You also could use it to make PD interceptors (cough cough sparks) more defensive by giving them a high engagement flux cost which would reduce deployment uptime on smaller ships (drovers) and generally encourage carriers to keep them at home (assuming some AI changes that I'll mention in a moment).

The obvious downside is that a change like this would require lots of significant changes to carrier stats and to carrier AI. It doesn't seem like it would be huge/super complicated mechanical change on the backend though (I could be wrong, please correct me if I am).

Obviously carriers would need to have their flux stats tuned to accomodate this and stats/OP costs on fighters might need to be tuned as well (although you could also just try to balance the flux costs around the existing OP costs).

Obviously the AI would need to account for the flux cost of deploying fighters. You would want the carrier AI to recall the fighters early on when threatened (before it gets high on flux) to improve it's defenses. I'm not sure if the AI already does this, but it often seems like it does not, or that it does it too late so that the fighters don't get back in time. I don't remember ever attacking a carrier and then having its fighters come back to fight me, and I can definitely remember many times where I see my friendly AI carriers getting attacked/killed while their fighters are across the map. I think it should be a 'enemies are too close/threatening' behavior rather than a 'my flux level is too high' behavior. You might also want a stronger connection between fighter usage (attack a target/ escort a friendly ship/ stay with the carrier) and fighter stats/roles (high upkeep stay near carrier, low upkeep interceptor escort friendlies, medium upkeep fighter attacks target etc). I'm not sure how the carrier AI makes those decisions now, but it feels like it makes some strange decisions in that department already although that could be related to the AI's generally propensity to get fixated on irrelevant frigates as well. To be honest, I don't understand/know the carrier AI that well, so I could just be not understanding what it is trying to do currently.

Maybe this is as much fighter/carrier AI suggestion as it is a mechanics suggestion. Thoughts?


  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 3509
    • View Profile
Re: Tunable fighter deployment flux cost
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2020, 09:31:09 AM »

This does sound like an interesting idea that could - assuming the necessary AI work proves doable - solve some problems in the current game.  (And the main potential problem with this idea - allowing some carrier builds to maintain zero flux boost while setting their fighters on engage - should, as I understand it, be fixed by next patch's change to helmsmanship.)
Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.