Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: The Pilgrim's Path (07/19/22)

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Increasing carrier interactivity with separate fighter controls and more!  (Read 1771 times)

Helldiver

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
    • View Profile

Currently, the player and AI have little control over fighters beyond targeting one ally or enemy and having all fighters attack or regroup. It's always been a big problem in my opinion, one that kills the fun of carrier gameplay for both ends of the gameplay equation.

There are multiple issues with this:

-Little interactivity and room for skill expression for a player playing a carrier = no fun from dedicated carrier gameplay.
-Any composition of fighters that isn't all fighters, all bombers, or bombers+specific escort is made horrid by the inability to order groups separately (can't have fighters doing one thing and bombers another, all are forced to return at the same time etc).
-Fighters can only attack in a straight line with no control. The player can't do anything creative, and conversely never has to think about how to deal with enemy fighters that always come to them like lemmings.

I have two suggestions regarding this, plus one inspired by a game that, in its old iterations, succesfully managed to make certain aspects of pure carrier gameplay fun and dynamic despite being a simple, fast-paced and arcadey shooter game.

1. Allow the player and AI to select and order fighter groups separately like weapons are (while keeping the ability to select all).
2. Allow the player and AI to target locations for their fighters, not just ships. This allow fighters to flank or circle around ships exactly as the player/AI needs (giving control to do more than just click ships and watching them lemming into main guns), allows them to wait to the side before attacking when needed (instead of being stuck at the carrier under regroup or being blapped by flak uselessly), allows for pincer attacks, allows fighters to be sent to a location in advance to intercept an enemy fighters or frigates instead of reacting after it's too late, etc

The third suggestion is inspired by manual fighter attacks as they were originally implemented in old versions of the arcade shooter game World of Warships (I know that game is now hated for many reasons - but stick with me here).

In old versions of World of Warships, carrier players could target enemies with a selected fighter group for an automated attack, target an ally for automated escort, target locations to move fighters exactly where they wanted, and one more thing: players could manually "aim" bomber attack runs.

The player would click anywhere, drag a cone, and release/click again. The selected bomber group would then automatically maneuver to reach the "attack cone" and release their torpedo spread at the desired location and direction.
This allowed more skilled carrier players to make precise bomber attacks with perfect timing to catch and surprise even quick targets. In a game designed for fast paced shooter combat, it allowed carrier gameplay to require some skill despite being played from ships that hide away from the big fight. "Manual air attacks" effectively replaced "aiming your guns" for regular ships.

For Starsector in which fighters are treated as the carrier's "weapons" (LPCs and all that), this is, in my opinion, a perfect addition to make playing a dedicated carrier fun alongside the previous changes.
Logged
Nex is life, and my helm is pointier than yours!

Cik

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
    • View Profile

It used to be this way in .5 actually. There were fighter rally points and package-level strikes. It was better.
Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 10638
    • View Profile

Before 0.8, fighters were ship-likes that took Logistics (pre-0.7) or fleet slots (0.7.x) instead of OP (0.8+).  They could be commanded like ships, and fighter had some commands exclusive to them.  Fighters were generally as strong as an unskilled frigate, and could be deployed without the carrier.

I prefer the pre-0.8 way because carriers back then had the OP to arm up like a warship and defend themselves (or bully smaller enemy ships).  Today, they need to spend most of their OP on fighters and Expanded Deck Crew just to do their basic job of using fighters, at the expense of weapons and ITU.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 07:20:25 AM by Megas »
Logged

Sutopia

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1005
    • View Profile

Op:I think you played too much world of warship



Before 0.8, fighters were ship-likes that took Logistics (pre-0.7) or fleet slots (0.7.x) instead of OP (0.8+).  They could be commanded like ships, and fighter had some commands exclusive to them.  Fighters were generally as strong as an unskilled frigate, and could be deployed without the carrier.

I prefer the pre-0.8 way because carriers back then had the OP to arm up like a warship and defend themselves (or bully smaller enemy ships).  Today, they need to spend most of their OP on fighters and Expanded Deck Crew just to do their basic job of using fighters, at the expense of weapons and ITU.

Is there a specific ship in your mind that doesn’t have enough OP to arm itself?
It’s also very bold statement of “doing basic jobs” because pre-0.8 carriers can’t even “do the basic jobs”. They take the full replacement time to re-arm bombers and it feels like forever.
Ships should be OP starved is the bottom line. Otherwise there will be lack of decision making.
Logged

Helldiver

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
    • View Profile

Op:I think you played too much world of warship

I played it during beta years ago and dropped it knowing it'd become P2W due to who the devs are lol

Before 0.8, fighters were ship-likes that took Logistics (pre-0.7) or fleet slots (0.7.x) instead of OP (0.8+).  They could be commanded like ships, and fighter had some commands exclusive to them.  Fighters were generally as strong as an unskilled frigate, and could be deployed without the carrier.

I don't mind the current LPC implementation of fighters or their balance.

My only gripes come from lack of control of separate groups and lack of control over fighters.
Logged
Nex is life, and my helm is pointier than yours!

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 10638
    • View Profile

Is there a specific ship in your mind that doesn’t have enough OP to arm itself?
It’s also very bold statement of “doing basic jobs” because pre-0.8 carriers can’t even “do the basic jobs”. They take the full replacement time to re-arm bombers and it feels like forever.
Ships should be OP starved is the bottom line. Otherwise there will be lack of decision making.
Using fighters better than Talons then adding Expanded Deck Crew eats too much OP.  What is left is not enough to support guns and ITU, except maybe for Legion with a lean loadout.  At that point, better to put what is left into speed and defenses so carrier can run away better.

Basic job of carrier before 0.6a was simply being on the field (to let fighters rebuild in mid-battle).  During 0.6.x, simply being in the fleet to grant fighter wings immortality may be enough.  Otherwise, deploying carriers with enough bays to let fighters regenerate in-battle would be.  The stronger carriers could brawl like a warship too, basically acting like the Battlestar Galatica.  (During 0.7.x, officers made carriers and fighters obsolete.)

No, ships should not be OP starved.  That leads to the abomination of hulls with too many empty mounts because they need what little OP they have for one or two main guns and whatever flux stats and hullmods they need to fight effectively, not to mention no room for QoL campaign mods.  Before 0.8a, with high OP and powerful skills, better ships could put guns in every mount (or most mounts) and support them.
Logged

Sutopia

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1005
    • View Profile

Is there a specific ship in your mind that doesn’t have enough OP to arm itself?
It’s also very bold statement of “doing basic jobs” because pre-0.8 carriers can’t even “do the basic jobs”. They take the full replacement time to re-arm bombers and it feels like forever.
Ships should be OP starved is the bottom line. Otherwise there will be lack of decision making.
Using fighters better than Talons then adding Expanded Deck Crew eats too much OP.  What is left is not enough to support guns and ITU, except maybe for Legion with a lean loadout.  At that point, better to put what is left into speed and defenses so carrier can run away better.

Basic job of carrier before 0.6a was simply being on the field (to let fighters rebuild in mid-battle).  During 0.6.x, simply being in the fleet to grant fighter wings immortality may be enough.  Otherwise, deploying carriers with enough bays to let fighters regenerate in-battle would be.  The stronger carriers could brawl like a warship too, basically acting like the Battlestar Galatica.  (During 0.7.x, officers made carriers and fighters obsolete.)

No, ships should not be OP starved.  That leads to the abomination of hulls with too many empty mounts because they need what little OP they have for one or two main guns and whatever flux stats and hullmods they need to fight effectively, not to mention no room for QoL campaign mods.  Before 0.8a, with high OP and powerful skills, better ships could put guns in every mount (or most mounts) and support them.
ITU and EDC are not meant to be used simultaneously in first place.
A dedicated carrier does not necessarily need ITU since it doesn’t benefit as much; Support fighters on combat carrier shouldn’t need EDC since they almost never die.

A fighter bay should be safe to count as a medium mount in terms of Op observing from vanilla fighter cost distribution, thus as long as a ship can fit EDC + all weapon slots + 10* fighter bay count + some spare vent it is already considered having enough OP. The wide variation of OP cost is where you’ll need to make decisions and make fitting carriers not as brain dead.

https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=9052.0

I don’t have the brain to do the math atm but I don’t think vanilla has strayed away from the OP suggestion too much.
Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 10638
    • View Profile

ITU and EDC are not meant to be used simultaneously in first place.
A dedicated carrier does not necessarily need ITU since it doesn’t benefit as much; Support fighters on combat carrier shouldn’t need EDC since they almost never die.
Why not?  I think both are mandatory on Legion, since the point of using one instead of either Onslaught or Heron/Astral is it can brawl and use fighters (which it used to do decently before 0.95).  Otherwise, it is best to ignore Legion and use either Onslaught and/or Heron/Astral, depending whether player wants guns or fighters.

(Odyssey used to be played like a carrier, but 0.9a has turned it into an extra-large Shrike, and the bays it has is a legacy of its former role and could be removed without affecting its modern role.)

Without ITU, there is no point to using guns on a carrier, and it is best to leave carriers unarmed (or minimally armed with flak or burst pd), which is a travesty.  Carriers should be able to brawl or at least bully inferior ships with their guns while using whatever fighters they want (namely top-tier fighters or bombers), but current releases make that clearly sub-optimal or impossible.  For carriers, better to use good fighters and overspecialize in fighter stuff instead of using Talons and guns.  That used to not be the case before 0.8a.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 05:08:12 PM by Megas »
Logged

Sutopia

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1005
    • View Profile

ITU and EDC are not meant to be used simultaneously in first place.
A dedicated carrier does not necessarily need ITU since it doesn’t benefit as much; Support fighters on combat carrier shouldn’t need EDC since they almost never die.
Why not?  I think both are mandatory on Legion, since the point of using one instead of either Onslaught or Heron/Astral is it can brawl and use fighters (which it used to do decently before 0.95).  Otherwise, it is best to ignore Legion and use either Onslaught and/or Heron/Astral, depending whether player wants guns or fighters.

(Odyssey used to be played like a carrier, but 0.9a has turned it into an extra-large Shrike, and the bays it has is a legacy of its former role and could be removed without affecting its modern role.)

Without ITU, there is no point to using guns on a carrier, and it is best to leave carriers unarmed (or minimally armed with flak or burst pd), which is a travesty.  Carriers should be able to brawl or at least bully inferior ships with their guns while using whatever fighters they want (namely top-tier fighters or bombers), but current releases make that clearly sub-optimal or impossible.  For carriers, better to use good fighters and overspecialize in fighter stuff instead of using Talons and guns.  That used to not be the case before 0.8a.

I can’t believe a min-maxer doesn’t want specialization.

Exactly as you said. Not every ship is meant to be a brawler. Dedicated carriers have AI programmed to stay way out of enemy gun range, for example, Astrals and Drover.
Logged

Cik

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
    • View Profile

can you guys keep on topic please. can anybody come up with a reason why fighters shouldn't be given back an ability they have (and had) to attack at oblique angles instead of just yolo-ing directly into the enemy armor and gun belts please.

the fact that this was simplified away in the first place bothers me and since fighters are no longer nearly as oppressive as they were in .7x or w/e it was it'd be a good time to put it back and right the ship a little.

oh and if I were emperor i'd implement some real terrain in the game as well while we're throwing out ideas.

Totally on topic. promise.
Logged

DatonKallandor

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 717
    • View Profile
    • Email

Unfortunately the old fighter commands don't work with how strikecraft are currently controlled. I also liked being able to set bomber rally points for them to wait at until they had built up a critical mass for strikes and then return to after rearming - but it's gone and almost certainly won't be coming back.

The only fighter control upgrade that I could see being easy to implement with the way fighters work right now is the ability to tell strikecraft to dock and stay docked. That would be easily done by making it the hold-for-1-second functionality of the toggle-fighter-command button. No need for new controls, no possibility of conflict with existing controls.
Logged

Helldiver

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
    • View Profile

Unfortunately the old fighter commands don't work with how strikecraft are currently controlled. I also liked being able to set bomber rally points for them to wait at until they had built up a critical mass for strikes and then return to after rearming - but it's gone and almost certainly won't be coming back.

I'm not advocating for the old fighter system though? I'm not talking about controlling all fighters with old rally points or anything.

Only for each carrier to have separate control for their own fighter groups like with other weapons, and to be able to move them to locations and not just click enemies/allies.

Right now you have this idiotic situation where your only interaction with your fighters as a player is "send ALL of my fighters to this targetship in a straight line" and "ALL of my fighters return". It's trash. It fails in every way at making fighters interactive and fun. It punishes you for having a variety of fighter wings. It makes any tactics impossible. It boggles my mind that an entire combat aspect of the game is in this state in 2021.
Logged
Nex is life, and my helm is pointier than yours!

SCC

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 3610
    • View Profile

the fact that this was simplified away in the first place bothers me and since fighters are no longer nearly as oppressive as they were in .7x or w/e it was it'd be a good time to put it back and right the ship a little.
Fighters became meta in 0.8, after control over individual wings was taken away in favour of the current carrier-based approach.

Cik

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
    • View Profile

it doesn't really matter that much. bring it back please.
Logged

JUDGE! slowpersun

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 614
    • View Profile

Bump.  Especially after carriers/fighters appear to have been further nerfed in .95 patch.
Logged
I wasn't always a Judge...
Pages: [1] 2