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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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Author Topic: Why don't my ships follow orders ?  (Read 1843 times)

Yunru

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2021, 08:32:14 AM »

There is evidently a bug that locks a ship into attacking a single ship. This can evidently be circumvented using 1) Direct Retreat, 2) wait until it disengages, and 3) give new order.
Nope on 3! It might not be so bad except 1 requires annoying micro, 2 can get the ship killed, and 3 would be an okay workaround, except for not working.

Amoebka

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2021, 10:26:33 AM »

These are the 3 consecutive steps, not 3 different alternatives.
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Gothars

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2021, 11:05:06 AM »

AI can be as cautious and self-reliant as it wants when left on autopilot, but if the player felt the need to issue an order, that order needs to be respected. If following said order gets the ship killed, THAT'S FINE. The player made a bad order and got punished. You don't like it - you don't use orders.

The problem would not be that rts-style orders get ships killed, it's how they would change player behavior. If you can turn your ship stupid with an order, you arenoe responsible for its wellbeing. You have to constantly check its position relativ to the enemy, and be ready to give updated orders. That would completely distract you from the action of the fight.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 11:08:11 AM by Gothars »
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The game was completed 8 years ago and we get a free expansion every year.

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SCC

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2021, 11:18:48 AM »

If orderless ships remain as capable as they are now, I don't think an addition of stronger orders is going to hurt people focusing on piloting their ships.

Deshara

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2021, 11:42:55 AM »

it will. if micromanaging your ships is viable then players will feel pressured to do so, even if they don't want to and even if they never actually do it. just it being available will lessen the experience for everybody except people who want to micromanage their ships, which is just straight up not the game that it is -- which means that effectively what this complaint boils down to EITHER that the game could do better to establish what it expects from the player, or that the player wishes they were playing a different game
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SCC

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2021, 11:47:56 AM »

It used to be entirely possible to solo entire fleets with a Conquest. It is currently possible to solo them with a Doom. Many other ships can also deal with early or midgame fleets by themselves (Tempest, Fury, Aurora). It doesn't matter if it's possible, if it's too much effort for an average player to put into the game.

Deshara

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2021, 06:29:04 PM »

doesn't matter. human brains aren't rational.
if there's an area of your gameplay where you could be performing better (especially for free like pausing is) because the detail of control allowed by the game is too high, then even if a player has no interest in ever issuing an order to their fleet & purely 100% only flies their flagship, it will still make them enjoy the game less bc some facet of their brain will keep telling them they're playing the game inoptimally. It's a very famous truism that players will optimize all the fun out of a game if you let them, and SS making your AI ships self-sufficient enough that it's justifiable for the player to not be capable of micromanaging is a way for them to roadblock off the possibility of optimizing the fun out of the game.
& the cost of your ships being self-sufficient enough to justify you having no capacity to micromanage them is that they are just not gonna be designed to handle micromanagement well.

like, removing the ability to issue orders to individual ships at all & only be allowed to put orders on enemies & objectives and the game assigns ships for you with no control over which of your ships does what, which would a complete removal of your ability to micromanage & a 100% full-scale focus on macromanagement in-combat, would be less detrimental to the game than the game allowing you to micromanage more. I'm happy that SS focuses on the it's good at being instead of trying to be games it's not good at being & burying what it's good at
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 06:33:45 PM by Deshara »
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Ericus

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2021, 07:15:46 PM »

it will. if micromanaging your ships is viable then players will feel pressured to do so, even if they don't want to and even if they never actually do it. just it being available will lessen the experience for everybody except people who want to micromanage their ships, which is just straight up not the game that it is

The feature is available in the game. therefore it should work as reasonably expected.
If the player makes a tactical decision to complement the fleet routines as they are now (and they are good, this wasn't the object of my post), that is not micro managing, that is simply being the commanding officer with the appropriate information in the field.

I don't believe you get to decree what the game is for people ...
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Deshara

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2021, 10:47:10 PM »

yeah i dont, alex did that lol
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2021, 11:27:53 PM »

There's definitely a point where certain strategies are 'optimal' but not worth the IRL time, however I don't think RTS orders fall under that category. If you could control your fleet like an RTS game, it would definitely be more effective the play the game like an RTS rather than a 2d shoot-em-up because you control so much more of your fleets combat power. Then the dev has an obligation to make that RTS game a good RTS game too. As far as I can tell, that's just not the intended direction of the game.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2021, 03:12:44 AM »

Yeah, it's very much intended to not be an RTS, which is why there's an order limit and units have their own AI at all times. And personally I think that's a good thing. I would hate having to micro a fleet just to get performance out of it. In fact, micro in general is a clutch of RTS games that the genre should have grown out of decades ago.
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pairedeciseaux

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Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2021, 03:20:07 AM »

This, basically, is a frequently asked question. It should probably be in the forum’s FAQ thread.

The game definitively is not an “RTS” game: it’s gameplay and UI are really different compared to the typical “RTS” game. In Starsector individual ships (or rather, their captains) are smart and largely autonomous. In so called “RTS” game, mobile units are like “I’m stupid, I’ll wait for your orders, God-Player”. Just for fun, search “warcraft 2 quotes sound effects” on Youtube if you want to hear a pretty accurate representation of this. :P

The question is addressed in-game in several ways:
Spoiler
(1)
Quote
Command Points

Command points are required to create assignments and give direct orders to your fleet. Once an order is given, all other orders are free for a few seconds while the command frequency remains open.

Cancelling assignments does not cost command points, and cancelling all assignments will allow your fleet to engage the enemy at will.

Ordering a full assault will cancel all assignments and also make your ships engage very aggressively. Cancelling a full assault requires a command point.

(2)
Quote
Engage

Order your fleet to engage the target and any nearby enemy ships, without exposing themselves to undue danger.

(3)
Quote
Eliminate

Order your fleet to launch a dedicated attack on this ship. Ships given this assignment will try to attach the targeted ship regardless of the tactical situation, exposing themselves to greater risk.

(4)
Some of the missions (I mean out of campaign missions), are there to teach player how to handle various tactical situations with various orders.
[close]

Sources of confusion are:
  • the use of the word “order” or even worse: “direct order”
  • the fact that the game has weak orders and strong orders
  • and the expectations some players have for all those so called orders
  • some players do not read (or understand?) the in-game description of the Engage and Eliminate orders

Some ideas to raise player awareness and hopefully adjust expectations:
Spoiler
  • Have some more flavour text somewhere regarding what “order” really mean as far as ship captains are concerned (hint: it rarely mean “go there, do that” for sea ships or planes IRL, it’s much more subtle).
  • Have some more varied out of campaign missions to teach player how to manage various tactical situations.
  • Have some incentive for player to play battle tutorials and out of campaign missions, maybe display some kind of meter or percentage on the title screen representing an overall score/completion of said tutorials/missions so that player gets a overall assessment of his progress at learning the game.
  • Display a warning when player tries to start a new campaign while this score/progress is too low.
  • In some instance use the word “goal” (or “optional goal”) rather than the “order” noun, and use “assign goal” (or “assign optional goal”) rather than the “order” verb.
  • Maybe… add an explicit “do not engage this ship” order. Which would be quite different than the “avoid this ship” order. But I’m afraid if such a thing was possible in a non-confusing way it would already be available.
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