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Fleet Command Discussion - what we want developed.
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apricotslice





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:18    Post subject: Fleet Command Discussion - what we want developed. Reply with quote Print

From another thread,
giskard wrote:
Fleet Combat:

We really should start a new thread about this, its a huge topic and i think most of us want to see X improve this area of the game. After reading a few posts it seems we all want roughly the same things too for the same reasons.
So if somebody wants to start a new thread, please do and be sure to pm me a link because im busy right now but would very much love to take part in such a thread.
Giskard


So here it is Smile

The object of this thread is to voice what we want in terms of the future development of fleet command interface and the ability to give orders to large numbers of ships of all kinds.

The existing scripts can be considered a starting point.

For my money, I'd like to see a whole new interface built for fleet commands that reflects the way combat and the ships capabilities was designed into X3.

For example, M2's support M1's, but the M2 need M6 support and M6's need fighter support.

How do we assign the hiarchy of a fleet like this ? How do we give orders to several hundred ships all at once ? How do we specify commands for individual 'units' that refelct the fleet action as a whole ?

For example : The M1 is assigned the role of attacking a Khaak Destroyer. It launches fighter squardrons. The M2 is assigned as a diversion, with M6 support, with fighter support, while several M6's with fighter support take out the clusters supporting the Km2.

Its all got to have some sort of fleet co-ordination or its just 200 ships buggering up the framerate.

Within say the M2/M6 part of the fleet, there is a squadron of mixed fighters that support the M6, so what exactly are the options for commanding them and what discretion do they have on the orders ?

How can we get distinct units to act like a unit ? we need formations that fight and attempt to stay in formation.

is all of this possible within the current game and if so, how does it get done ? Scripts, mods ? Recommendation to egosoft for an add-on release ?

Let discussion and ideas begin, but please, try to keep arguing to a minimum.


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apricotslice





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:21    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The thread which started this was X3 Combat: The Right Role (guide) by giskard :
http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=123895

An understanding of how the ships were role designed for X3 is a necessary first step to thinking about how fleet command will work.


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Last edited by apricotslice on Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:26; edited 2 times in total
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bendyspex





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:24    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The game needs to support more of a seperate interface. Imagine having a sector map, but rather than all the stations and ships, just show your ships and the enemies. When right clicking on one of your ships you can assign it a squadron, then give it an order. By right clicking on an enemies you can assign a squadron to attack it. E.G. You assign two M6's to 1 M2, then that 1 M2 to an M1. This is your first squadron. Then if you right click on any of these ships and give it an order, then the whole squadron will work together.
Don't know how possible it would be to use scripts for this, but you never know (unless your a scripter, in which case you should know Rolling Eyes )
Just my idea

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D_Zorro





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:33    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

bendyspex wrote:
The game needs to support more of a seperate interface. Imagine having a sector map, but rather than all the stations and ships, just show your ships and the enemies. When right clicking on one of your ships you can assign it a squadron, then give it an order. By right clicking on an enemies you can assign a squadron to attack it. E.G. You assign two M6's to 1 M2, then that 1 M2 to an M1. This is your first squadron. Then if you right click on any of these ships and give it an order, then the whole squadron will work together.
Don't know how possible it would be to use scripts for this, but you never know (unless your a scripter, in which case you should know Rolling Eyes )
Just my idea


Actually there is already an option like this, you can customise your view windows with your own ships, like only select your M3, M4 and M5 visible in map. Also for M6 and TL and M2 and M1. And also show only your factories. etc.


But this is a great thread, I always wanted a better way of handling big fleet and give them some orders, but like it is now, it's not really feasable, we need better commands, in order to achieve this.



DZorro,


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apricotslice





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

bendyspex wrote:
The game needs to support more of a seperate interface. Imagine having a sector map, but rather than all the stations and ships, just show your ships and the enemies. When right clicking on one of your ships you can assign it a squadron, then give it an order. By right clicking on an enemies you can assign a squadron to attack it. E.G. You assign two M6's to 1 M2, then that 1 M2 to an M1. This is your first squadron. Then if you right click on any of these ships and give it an order, then the whole squadron will work together.
Don't know how possible it would be to use scripts for this, but you never know (unless your a scripter, in which case you should know Rolling Eyes )
Just my idea


I'd agree that it needs to be a separate interface, in addition to whats there now.

But it needs to allow the grouping of ships in many different ways, and allow you to assign ships to a 'unit' by just 1 click per ship, and then rearrange the display to show the unit and its ships, and allow the unit to be selected by 1 click and the group of units assigned to say a carrier or a command.

It also needs more group oriented ability, say to click on an existing carrier and with a single click, divide the fighters already on board into squadrons with predetermined roles based on ship (already defined elsewhere). So if a carrier has 100 ships, turning those ships into say 10 squadrons just requires a single click.

The interface must be designed to allow huge numbers of ships to organisied with the absolute minum of player input. Otherwise, it will be just as bad as it its now, with every ship having to be given orders manually.

I'd also suggest the fleet management needs to be cross-referenced to player defined roles, and that the role also defines ship load out. So once a ship is assigned a role, a fleet freighter will source the equipment needed and upgrade ships using transporter.

This leads to another needed upgrade, being that software and fittings must all be products that you can buy 50 of at a time. The biggest example is jumpdrives. A freighter must be able to be sent to the Goner temple and buy a hold full of them and return to a carrier or TL from which fleet ships get given one each. After battle, these fleet freighters source anything that ships have lost during battle, sourceing and transfering as they need to. Fleet tender or Fleet repair roles for standard freighters. etc.


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Last edited by apricotslice on Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:41; edited 1 time in total
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D_Zorro





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:40    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

apricotslice wrote:
bendyspex wrote:
The game needs to support more of a seperate interface. Imagine having a sector map, but rather than all the stations and ships, just show your ships and the enemies. When right clicking on one of your ships you can assign it a squadron, then give it an order. By right clicking on an enemies you can assign a squadron to attack it. E.G. You assign two M6's to 1 M2, then that 1 M2 to an M1. This is your first squadron. Then if you right click on any of these ships and give it an order, then the whole squadron will work together.
Don't know how possible it would be to use scripts for this, but you never know (unless your a scripter, in which case you should know Rolling Eyes )
Just my idea


I'd agree that it needs to be a separate interface, in addition to whats there now.

But it needs to allow the grouping of ships in many different ways, and allow you to assign ships to a 'unit' by just 1 click per ship, and then rearrange the display to show the unit and its ships, and allow the unit to be selected by 1 click and the group of units assigned to say a carrier or a command.

It also needs more group oriented ability, say to click on an existing carrier and with a single click, divide the fighers already on board to into squadrons with predetermined roles based on ship (already defined elsewhere). So if a carrier has 100 ships, turning those ships into say 10 squardons just requires a single click.

The interface must be designed to allow huge numbers of ships to organisied with the absolute minum of player input. otherwise, it will be just as bad as it its now, with every ship having to be given orders manually.

I'd also suggest the fleet management needs to be cross-referenced to player defined roles, and that the role also defines ship load out. So once a ship is assigned a role, a fleet freighter will source the equipment needed and upgrade ships using transporter.

This leads to another needed upgrade, being that software and fittings myust all be products that you can buy 50 of at a time. The biggest example is jumpdrives. A freighter must be able to be sent to the Goner temple and buy a hold full of them and return to a carrier of TL from which fleet ships get given one each. After battle, these fleet freighters source anything that ships have lost during battle, sourceing and transfering as they need to. Fleet tender or Fleet repair roles for standard freighters. etc.


I also aggree with this, but we also need a new option to rename all fighter squadren, into diffrent names, without having to name all of the ships one at a time, if you have 100 ships in your fleet it takes a lot of time te rename all of your ships this way.


DZorro,


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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

D_Zorro wrote:
it takes a lot of time


And thats exactly what it must NOT do, for any of the fleet management.

It must be designed to be extremely simple and very very quick.

We are an Admiral giving fleet orders here, not a ensign carrying those orders out. (as someone put it recently).


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bendyspex





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:53    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Would any of these ideas be possible through scripting and modding, as they would definetly help. Also, how can I make my view only show my ships, as that would help for now?

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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 15:59    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

bendyspex wrote:
Also, how can I make my view only show my ships, as that would help for now?


Please, I'd rather people took questions about the existing interface to another thread so we can concentrate on going beyond it in this thread.


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Morbius





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 16:22    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

My thoughts on the subject would likely require an expansion or the next major release version.

But generally, I'd say it needs to be adjusted in ways that scripting, the AI, and the player can all take advantage of the new system. Here's my thoughts on it.

First create a task list. Maybe 100 to 500 different assignable tasks. Categorize the list into groupings of related tasks. Like combat tasks, support tasks, etc to make it easier to find individual tasks.

Then create a containter class, to hold multiple tasks. We'll call it our 'roles or jobs' container. We have a new window to create ship roles, and we can just drag and drop tasks to these roles. We can give this role a name. So I name it Sector Defence, and drag in from the task list things like, Patrol Sector, Defend My Assets, Defend Everyone's Assets, Attack Enemies, etc. Now, I've created a Role by Naming it and dragging in all of the tasks I want for it.

We go on to create a Unit container. Similar to the roles, it does not require a ship to be placed in it. Its the name of a Unit, and we can pull up a list of ships/stations, then drag and drop Ships into these Units.

Now I can give an individual task to a ship/station, or I can give a Role to a ship/station. Likewise, I can give an individual task, or a role to a Unit. And I can move ships in and out of Units. I can assign Units for current jobs, like sector patrol, support, trade, or whatever. Or I can assign Units where the current role or task is to just dock somewhere and await further orders. So I create five or six Units, which I station on my carrier or something. When the battle begins, I assign those units the role of attacking whoever or doing whatever Role it is I've created in advance. There needs to be a mechanism to assign quick keys or some method of quickly assigning commonly used Roles to Units.

The AI can use this system easily. EGO just needs to create predefinded roles for pirates, and whoever else they want and let them at it. Scripting could be built in quite easily with a defined system that has a task list, roles (containers to hold multiple tasks), and the current ship list with an additional list of Units (containers to hold multiple ships). Players gain flexibility and customizability. Players gain speed and ease of use by being able to command multiple units with one task or role. And we add in shortcut keys or something to make it easy to quickly change the roles of a unit/ship in a hurry when its needed.

Thoughts/ideas?

Oh, and I've been around since X2 as a lurker.

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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 18:13    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Some interesting ideas here. I was just thinking about the same subject.

At the moment there's no real definition of groups, beyond a bunch of ships following a leader, in X3. Being able to set a group number and leadership in the same menu as homebase or wingman settings would be a start. Then the scripting tools to access these groups would be a start.

We could simulate this completely in scripting but that feels like a bit of a cludge.

Scripting new fleet control commands and hot keys should be relatively simple, once we've worked out how to actually define the group. I've started to make some notes on possible script ideas here. Feel free to add to it.

I'd like to find out what other people are working on scripting wise before I leap into anything though.


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ajw2255





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 18:20    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

You should check out

http://forum2.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=107795

Its a great script for commanding large amounts of ships


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giskard





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 18:30    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Thanks for starting the thread apricotslice.

Im spending a lot of time out the house right now for personal reasons relating to family health so im not here as often as i normally am.

Anyway...

I love the ideas and comments being posted. I think all are good solutions but Morbius ideas sound the most interesting to me so far.

Preconfiguring a fleet would appear to be best way to go, the easiest to deal with at any rate.

Id also like to see some work done in the fuel supply area for fleets. EG if a TL ship exists in the fleet, all ships get their jump fuel from that ship instead of having to carry they own. Refueling so many ships is a royal pain but refueling 1 ship would not be.

Being able to assign ships to groups indepentantly of their home base setting would mean a carriers fighters could have their roles assigned before they launch so when they do launch they automatically carry out the jobs they where give.

Such system would allow strategists to plan out their fleets in advance and deploy them in the sector they wanted simply by launching a carriers fighters. Other ships such as m6s could also be given similar roles but since they dont launch from carriers it just means 1 less order needs to be given during deployment.

I feel its important that members of a fleet can jump togather the moment the fleets flagship jumps. But having lot of ships suddenly turn up at a jump gate would cause problems.

It might be better to allow fleets to jump to any part of a sector, somewhere clear of stations and asteriods. That way the player could jump his fleet to empty area, deploy his ships and launch his attack from there.

On the subject of strategic control of fleet ships, the groups idea would be the way to go, control the groups rather than the ships. Tell a group to attack target A and have members of that group carry out those orders.

The trick is though, wingmen assigned to protecting a group leader should follow the orders they where given previously, eg defend leader. So the moment the leader is attacked, they jump in to action. If they have no orders then they should do as they where told when a group order is issued.

I think that would work very well.

Let us also not forget that fleet commands should allow the player to chose his own formations and not force somebody elses idea of a fleet on all players. The group system would allow this and we would soon see people posting their fleets in this forum and a whole new debate on the best fleet setup would begin.

A day i am looking forward too, i must say.

Giskard


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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 18:47    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I like the idea of groups best. It would be easier to command them this way than micro-manage a bunch of single ships.

I'd also like to fighting levels for pilots like there are with the UT's. I think this would add more depth to the fleet or fleets.

On a side note and this might deserve it's own thread. But, I'd like to see capital ships be played differently. I'd like to see a full functioning crew, and as the captain of the ship, you give the orders to the crew. It would make it feel more like a real flag ship. Instead of just flying it like any other ships, you'd have the navigator plot courses...would have to "man battle stations"...etc, etc. This game has so much scope already, I don't know if it would be possible for this happen.

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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 18:47    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

bendyspex wrote:
Would any of these ideas be possible through scripting and modding, as they would definetly help. Also, how can I make my view only show my ships, as that would help for now?


some of them are possible, assigning groups and squardrons can be done via scripts
and adding commands or hotkeys to control these squadrons

what you cant do is change the inferace to add the commands or creating a new interface to use with it

the best you could do is use hotkeys and incoming questions to help orgasnis them, which could work quite well


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