Fleet Command Discussion - what we want developed.

General discussions about the games by Egosoft including X-BTF, XT, X², X³: Reunion, X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

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Post by kmiller1610 » Tue, 28. Feb 06, 13:35

Interesting proposals. But baby steps are more likely to be implemented, so is there any consensus here on what is most needed first?

I just want my cap ships to stay in a wingman formation so that I am just focusing on firing arcs, like a B-17 squadron and letting my fighters go after stragglers that stay out of range.

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Post by NovusBogus » Tue, 28. Feb 06, 13:46

This has probably already been discussed (I only skimmed the thread), but basically what I want to see is the ability to create a Fleet object in the property menu. Ships could then be added and removed from the Fleet through the command console (i.e. the same way you assign homebase), and doing so would remove it from your property list and put it in the fleet (show info would display the various ships in the fleet). The #1 thing I DO NOT LIKE about X3 is basically having each ship display on the property list and having to give out individual orders to a 15 ship fighter wing.

A fleet could be given direct orders a la traditional ship commands, or be assigned a Fleet Officer to make it smart. You could then give special orders that the FO would try to carry out based on his level (gain levels by completing objectives and killing stuff). Some examples:
Provide Fighter Cover - carriers launch their fighters and individual fighters group up in squads and engage targets of opportunity in the specified area. Capital ships stay away from direct combat.
Attack Strike Craft - Capital ships equip flak/pac/etc, fighters launch and swarm to kill hostile m5/m4/m3 in a specified area
Attack Capital Ships - Capital ships equip ppc and heavy missiles and engage hostile m6/m2/m1. Fighters launch to guard the capitals but they dont go offensive.
Protect Sector(s) - Capitals pair off with escorts and split into patrols in the region in question.

Additionally FO's could be given money and freighters with authorization to repair damaged fleet vessels, replenish jump fuel, and trade to support adding new strike craft to the fleet (no matter how rich, FO should not buy capitals). They could also be totally automated with very basic instructions such as 'defend my assets' and 'build up and attack hostiles'. Basically fleets and FOs should automate a lot of the tedious issues regarding large scale warfare. One other thing of note, when ships in a fleet are lost they should not be sent directly to your log, but compiled into a combat report which is sent to the log periodically (if one of my fleets engages a khaak strike force, I would rather have one message from my FO saying 'we lost 25 M5s and 5 M3s but they were all replaced after the fight' than 30 messages sent to my log)

Also, the property menu needs to be revamped to offer more filters and display options.

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A sort of plagerism?

Post by bikerbob1016 » Thu, 6. Apr 06, 08:35

X2 and X3 are superb 1st person games, but nothing can be perfect and the third-person aspect of controlling massive fleets of massive ships doesn't work very well.
However, another game I've played handled very well what the X games lack: third person control of massive fleets. That game: Homeworld

-You could assign fleets that could be re-selected using hotkeys.
-You could design your own fleet formations.
-Shield and hull stregth of each ship in fleet displayed
-Ships would fight in formation, stay in formation, and it would actually be more effective than a free-for-all.
-3-dimensional sector map. Mouse-controlled zooming and rotation.
-Kamikaze orders (Actually the X games do have this, but its called "Auto-Pilot")

When I play Homeworld, I'm always wishing I could pilot one of the ships. I can do just that in X2-3, but I lose the great 3rd person interface of Homeworld.
If these two games were combined into one, where one could play the beginning as first person and then evolve into third person later on (X4: Perfection Acheived!) I could die happily--playing it, of course.

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Post by Hit_Moose » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 05:23

Sorry if im repeating, haven’t had time to read whole thread yet, have to go to work.

What about preconceived plans. Before you jump into a system you pass out orders to be completed on your mark, so for eg, all ships form up. Stage 1, all m1, m2 and m6 jump in, and move into a pre designated formation. Stage 2 launch all pre-determined fighter groups to attack/defened/other roles that you have previously assigned them. Stage 3, execute attack procedure. I don’t own my own carrier fleet yet, but I thought maybe if you could have an attack plan ready before you moved in, it might save a whole load of hassle, if each unit knows his pre-determined role.


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Post by OzK » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 07:14

Lots of good stuff here. Excellent thread.

Without pressing the "this is better" button, here is an alternative organization, and being relatively new around here I'll preface my remarks by saying I am retired military, US Navy 23 years service. I have spent a fair percentage of that time in carriers, so here is a suggestion based on that experience:

Organize the system in such a way that you can build a fleet from the ground up.

TE - Task Element: Any ship can form the core of a task element. a Task Element can even be a single unit. The base unit can then be assigne up to (some number, 4?) units as escorts. So a Task Element could be a supply element with a TS escorted by 4 M5's or a TL escorted by two M6s or a combat element with an M-3 escorted by 4 more M3's etc. Flexible, you see?

TF - Task Force: A Task Force contains at least two and as many as 5 TE's. The core unit of a Task Force must be an M-6 or above or a TL. As an example, TF 1 is TEs 1.1 through 1.5. TE1 the TF commander, is a TL with embarked fighters. TE 1.2 through 1.5 are each an M6 with 4 M3 escorts.

BG - Battle Group: A Battle Group has either an M1 or M2 as core, with at least two TFs in support. It could be either a CVBG (Carrier Battle Group) or a BG based around an M2.

Fleet: A Fleet has at least two and up to 4 BGs.

So that First Fllet is made up of:

BG 1.1
CVBG 1.2
BG 1.3
CVBG 1.4

CVBG 1.2 is made up of:

TF 1.2.1 CV and wing
TF 1.2.2 M2 and escorts
TF 1.2.3 TL and escorts
TF 1.2.4 M2 and escorts
TF 1.2.5 4 x M6

TF 1.2.5 is made up of:

TE TL (Support ship or with fighters in jeep carier role?)
TE M6 and escorts
TE 5 x M3
TE M6 and Escorts

Note that ineach case an even number designates a "surface" unit ie. no carrier. But you can use whatever system makes sense to you.

My point is that you could begin to group your units for mutual support right from the beginning Two M4's can be a TE. You don't need to worry about a Fleet when you are starting a game. you build a fleet by assembling the smaller units below it first.

The interface questions are being addressed rather well, but how you organize the units must be not only flexible, but logical and standardized.

I admit the designations might seem a bit arcane at first glance, but you get used to it quickly. :wink:

One last thing: In the discussion about drag-n-drop roles and commands I was thinking you should be able to prioritize the commands. So that when a command is completed (if it's the type of command that's completable, such as "Attack my Target") the unit drops to the next highest priority ("Protect..." for example) unless a new target is selected. So in order to recall your escorts, all you would need to do is not select another target. You get the idea?
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Post by jlehtone » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 13:19

One question is who you can give orders to, and the other is what orders.

Currently, one can instruct two groups at best. First all in sector, then wingmen. Or have escorts set to protect and then instruct only the wingmen. Well, you really get to consentrate fire, for there are no other options.

The other thing, what orders? If I see a K and fighters, how do I say to the wingmen: "Wait here while I Hammerhead that K. Then you can start the furball."? No wait or even "Move to position" IIRC. And "Attack all" has no power of the consentration.

OzK mentioned next highest priority commands. Somebody expressed that in the DevNet as "default command for a ship". Completion of "Attack target" should not jump to "Idle". There is "Attack and land", but only for carrier fighters.

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Post by shadowfang2 » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 14:11

Sorry if this has been said but as yet i havnt had enough time to read all pages

But we really need a system to beable to re supply our carriers and ships with out having to fight for it each time

We need a system where we can have 1 max trade ship dockable in any tl m1 or m2. Then we need a resupply screen where we can set what we want the ship to stock and if its from closest local station or if its from one of out facs and as long as the carriar isnt in heavy combat the supply ship will go out and refill form where it needs to ( ability to set a thresh hold so like if u go like 100 missiles down from the max u want then it will go get them ) also the supply ship will be able to get new oeders from carriar while away so it doesnt fly all the way back and then find it needs some thing that can be got from same station ( it will have enough intelligence to get multiple items if close together )

my 2 cents worth - this is one of my most annoying problems with my TL

ps also u can set how much of each thing to give to each docked ship so that like it refills missiles and md ammo automatically when u dock

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Post by Hit_Moose » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 15:30

The RTS interface should only be available in large ships of m6, tl or cap ship class size, or a hq, to make it a thing you use when you have a fleet or a business. In real life, you don’t start a multi million dollar business at the top, you work for it. Oh and I cant wait for the multi play version, X-3 1/2: Fleet Commander. Heh, my fleet vs ur fleet buddy, n e day!

Oh, here is a few links to Myros's Combat pilots and Task Force addon scripts, if you havent already, have a read through this and see what you think, might liven your game play up a bit, has for me.



http://www.neuralstudios.com/work/cpilo ... force.html

but that may be a bit off topic, my bad


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Post by TerrorTrooper » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 15:35

its been said before.. but my No1 issue with fleets is formation...

it would be real nice if they attempted to stay in formation..

its real annoying when a lone carrier breaks from a battle group to go
and engage 2 destroyers on its own...
And verry expensive...

There is a "workaround" for loose formations...
Just have other cap ships follow each other, you can get a nice flying V or other formations, but as soon as you hit a gate,, of the shots start to fire.. it falls apart, also, if one dies, any ship behind it will sit there twiddling its thumbs..

it would also be nice to set your ships in either a tight or loose formation,

(tight to drive your 4 destroyers striaght through the middle of a Xenon secter keeping them all close together...)

(Loose for fanning your ships out wide to catch things in a crossfire but ensuring all ships are still moving together..)

At the moment, taking a fleet into battle kind of reminds me of watching over toddlers in a nursery!!!

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Post by bartenderpho » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 17:32

Okay...sorry I know this is my second post but I've been watching the fleet command thing go one for a while now so it's gonna be long :(. When I think of fleets in X3 the idea is pretty massive :o. I guess there are three main areas to consider strategic planning, tactical planning, logistics, and fleet creation. Before I start let me say I would hate to see fleet commands take away from the ability to micromanage...I happen to love this part of the game, doing the trading and fighting myself.

STRATEGIC PLANNING: This should be left up to the user. Let's consider a takeover of Xenon 101. Strategic goal elimination of Xenon in area 101. I don't think having a takeover Xenon 101 command would be much fun. Strategic planning would be along the lines of, need to destroy the M1 and 2 M2's then destroy any remaining fighters. Or Evade M1 and M2's destroying fighter escorts first. But this all goes on in the users head.

TACTICAL PLANNING: Okay this is where drag and drop commands, expanded commands and queueing of commands, and additional combat parameters becomes important.

Drag and drop: would b nice to drag a group icon to an icon on the screen to basic commands would be really useful. If its a enemy then attack that enemy, friend defend that friend. This could be accomplished without drag and drop through the traditional menu systems but wouldn't be as clean and not nearly as quick.

Expanded Commands: Scouting, Capping are two that come to mind scouting would not engage enemies but attempt to draw close enough to allow you to see opposing forces. Capping is self-explanatory disable and recover craft...though you better have SOS software. Attack commands would need to be expanded to allow a hierarchy of options....attack all enemies...sure I can do that, or I can attack all M5's. Note: I don't even know of too many RTS's that give you the capability to only attack a particular group of enemies. Also include attack with missiles (torpedo runs)

Queueing of commands: Attack M1->attack M2 alpha->attack M2 beta that way I can line it up and go. Cancel or finish one command on the queue and it's on to the next one. Ex. Scout Xenon 101->attack M5 when the attack begins cancel the scout command and the fighter will go after an M5.

Combat parameters: There's already a couple, missle fire precentage comes to mind right away. Ones I would add strict formation would ensure the group will not leave formation (unless collision avoidance). Group jump order, simultaneously, sequentially. Attack target at range either a number or possibly at the max range of the longest weapon in the group.

LOGISTICS: Okay how do we eqiup and keep this stuff flying. Well groups are really like factories or complexes that don't produce, just consume. Energy, weapons, shields, hull. I say assign transports to groups to get what they need, that's how the military does it....a convoy will drive the stuff out to them or they'll have to pack it in and head to base. Probably would need a mobile repair capability (prehaps requiring varoius amounts of teladnium to accomplish).

I would suggest to allow multiple types of resources to be bought by a transport ohhh and you're going to need transports that jump besides the UT's. Might be asking alot but could I also please assign multiple homes for a transport? People don't like logistics but I think X3 handles it well by only requiring energy cells for fighting units. Ohh and before the battle begins you need to be able to suspend logistics and restart, kind of a command all TS/TP thing.

So how do you equip all these guys. Well when you have a group selected select the type (buster vanguards) and a group equip option should be available. Equip as you would if you had a single buster vanguard with every weapon available...and if the the buster doesn't have the weapons guess what the TS now needs to do. TS/TL/TP's could keep stocks of weapons and common items for deployment.

Also let me set the resource levels the group or even factories and complexes will hold this way I can set APAC to 20 and AIRE to 20 and I'll have a store of 20 AIRE on hand for when I change my mind. Ohh and you're not going to want 1 billion in weaponry floating around in space in TS's so I've got throw in my 2 cents for a player HQ or expanded shipyard/EQ dock support.

I'd follow the RTS model. But if you could expand on it don't force me to assign a ctrl # or shft # to a group. I would love to have a sub-group of M3's protect but be part of the centaur group. I kinda dig the star wars: empire at war methedology and I think it might even fit in with the current universe map.

BTW I like the jump gates....forces you plan a little more....jump in a fast mover to draw away the enemy....send in the big guns to hold the gate and then bring the invansion. It's kinda like gaining a beachhead before landing the invasion. I just wish the enemy was relegated to using them.

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Post by CABM » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 17:36

Sorry haven't read everyones but OzK ideas are close to my own as trauling through the "r" button list is painfull long and annoying with not enough headings so being able to select fleets, task forces etc. would be good but first more commands are needed like attack M2s, deploy fighters etc. plus setting multply commands to these fleets would be useful so when your fleet jumps into xenon sector the:

M2s would a)attack ememy M2s and b) protect your M1s

M1s would a)Deploy fighters then b) attack all ememies

Fighters would a)attack ememy fighters then b) attack ememy M1s

Hopefully M7s will be in X4 so M2s can do what they do best and blow each other up.

apricotslice i hope you email egosoft the best ideas so they don't em. . . skip a page or two like me :oops:
If life was easy it wouldn't be so fun.

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Post by [TGU]SOL » Thu, 13. Apr 06, 21:14

A problem with fleets is jumping into sectors M1's & M2's should be able to jump to a postion in sectors rather than through gates like the XENON do in XI missions , makes for a much more tatical expierence.

we should have commands for what ships attack like the priority commands given to turrets for example.

1. attack m4's m5's
2. attack m3's m6's
2. attack m1's m2's
3. attack all enemies
4. attack station
5. attack...

would like to see flight groups and being able to select a ship in a flight group with the above commands under a flight group option also as in

1. navigation
2. combat
3. flight group combat

defend commands should also be able to target NPC ships meaning you could gain rep by protecting other races ships priority based and with the option for issuing them as a flight group command to just like the attack commands.

1. protect all boron ships
2. protect all split ships
3. protect all teladi ships
4. protect all paranid ships
5. protect all argon ships
6. protect station
7. protect...

combat navigation commands should differ also

1. jump and patrol single sector
2. jump and patrol multipul sectors
3. jump and attack all enemies
4. jump to postion attack all enemies( not through a gate)
5. jump to postion( not through a gate)
6. jump and launch all ( m2's only) (would love launch all in flight group as well)
7. jump to gate

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Post by Bandus » Fri, 14. Apr 06, 14:59

I really like a lot of the ideas in this thread so far. My favorite are the ideas involving having "containers" that can be named and ships dropped into.

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Post by destyre » Fri, 14. Apr 06, 22:26

Hell yeah new fleet commands. Was thinking about that myself recently when a Freighter of mine came under attack and decided that it would try to destroy an entire fleet with its BPAC... Admirable, but thats an example of something that I think is needed. ie: "When under attack, dock at nearest station do not return fire" etc

What would be really great is if you could put ships into command groups like an RTS. "Group A attack target, group B defend me, Group C...." well you get the idea. Having to talk to one ship only or all the ships in a sector with no middle ground is annoying.

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Post by Pirate hater » Sat, 15. Apr 06, 02:53

In X2 i used the protect order alot when it came to fleets. For example my M1 with 150 split mambas entered a xenon sector with 2 M2's escorting it. Each M2 had 4 split dragons escorting that so when the M1 was attacked. K's and J's where killed with ease but fighter where a problem but once all 150 fighters had been launched they cleaned up all the fighters with only 1 or 2 losses. But i really did not want to expand my fleet because of the lack of managerment i could do.

I restarted about a month ago and have a very organised trade empire unlike my 1st one when i had battle fleets and 200+ factorys spread over half the universe. Now i have 40 in 2 parinid sectors and its going very well wont be long till i have full sector defence and my first M2.

But in all fairness they could not really include Fleet management as that would add a large asspect to the game.


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