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Fleet Command Discussion - what we want developed.
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D_Zorro





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 19:01    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

We also need e command to command large ammount of ships to select a homebase. The way it is now you have to do it one by one. That also takes way to much time.



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Cycrow
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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 19:03    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

theres already script available that can do that


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D_Zorro





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 19:08    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Cycrow wrote:
theres already script available that can do that


Really didn't know that i only knew there was a script like that for X2 but not X3 can you point me int eright direction for it ??

Anyway for those you try this one. http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=128294

It is also a fleet handling script witch you can use on your carriers so it will automaticly launch it fleets when needed. It looks really promising too.


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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 19:11    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

that script you pointed out can set the homebase of all ships to a carrier

and my homebase commands script can set homebase to a station for all ships


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D_Zorro





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 19:13    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Thanks for pointing that out, so far i only been doing this manually one by one stupid me. Headbang



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alphalvr





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 19:46    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

well to go hand in hand hand with this id like to see things to actually use a fleet for, rather than just decaring war yourself.

ie game events, maybe, where in line with the news, things happen.

ie a pirate you took outs brother declares all out war.
u side with boron or split in a fracus...whatever...just things happening to make the fleet useful, rather than the current `ive got a fleet lets jump into the 8 or so so sectors and let rip, not very involving with no repercussions.

ie you ju,p into a khaak sector to wipe it out only to find some others have retaliated from another sector and jumped in to one of your main sectors and is having a merry old time Surprised now that would be good

but i digress Rolling Eyes

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giskard





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 20:05    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

alphalvr: Yes theres some work that could be done in this area but we already have the khaak invasions and xenon invasions.

I think players prefer organised fleet engagements rather than hap hazard randomly spawning egagements they could miss entirely.

Giskard


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Whispering Death





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PostPosted: Sun, 26. Feb 06, 22:48    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I don't think this is really that hard. Real Time Strategy games have been doing this exact same thing since they where able to make them 3D.

Basically you're just asking for "Homeworld" (Relic Games, 1999).

Almost all these problems have already been solved by previous 3D RTS games. It would be far from simple, but the best answer is just to include a similar interface in X3.

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apricotslice





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 01:32    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

A few comments so far :

Dont limit yourselves. Just because we dont know how to do something now, or cant see how to do it now, should not limit discussing what we want.

What we want, is the important thing to establish. When we can quantify what we want as something akin to a specification, then we can look at how to do it.

Dont limit yourself to what you know how to do. If you script a lot, go beyond scripting. If you mod a lot, go beyond modding. If we limit ourselves to what we each can do, we will achieve nothing. If we push the envelope on what the whole group can do, we can do anything. (And now is not the time to worry about how).

And at the end of the day with this discussion, if we go back to Egosoft and say that this is what we want, but it cannot be done within the existing mod/script framework, will you do it as a full add-on, then I will still be happy with the discussion. I can see it very likely that what we all really want will require actual game programming to achieve. But there are ways of doing this, including a stand alone program that is activated when you want to give fleet orders that freezes the rest of the game timewise while your doing it (just an off the top of the head option).

It may be up Egosoft to say what can and cant be done, but in the meantime, lets not limit ourselves.

Push the envelope to the limit and lets see what our collective imaginations can define for us, and then look at the collective groups skills in terms of implementing it or defining a spec to ask egosoft for.


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Grassturtle





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 03:02    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

giskard wrote:
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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i dont think it will be said any better

A side note :

about jumping into sectors not using jump gates ....

i know exactly how this can and probably should be done ..... and not sure why it wasnt


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Dr.Donkeys





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 07:10    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

My idea of the way this should work follows a story.

Player jumps into a north gate of a heavily populated enemy sector. He is flying an M5 class ship and quickly scouts around to see the locations of 5 enemy M1-M2 class ships. Time for a fight.

Player presses "," to open the universe map and takes a look at the side menu bar.

A "Bookmark" was created by the player earlier. It is labeled simply "Staging Area". Clicking on it automatically moves the universe map to sector Rhy's Desire and zooms in on the sector.

The sector map shows many ships, some of which belong to the player, some don't.
The player ticks a checkbox at the side menu filter box labeled "my assets". Everything on the map disappears, except for the 10 M4s and 10 M3s and factories owned by the player.

Player drags a rubberband selection box around the whole blob of owned ships. The M4s and M3s should be enough for the task at hand. But they need proper equipment.

Player doubleclicks on the "Battle Ready" filter button and a battle ready config window opens.
The window shows all of the saved options for determining battle readiness.
Player unticks the box next to "M4" and "M3" labeled "Mass Driver"; now Mass Drivers are not a requirement for either of those ship classes.
The battle readiness filter is configured by the player to show only ships which mounted at least 4 BPACs and are carrying at least 5 of any type of missile.

Player clicks "save as loadout template" and is prompted for a name. He types "Raiding Party" and clicks OK.
The sector map appears.
Player clicks the battle ready tickbox and all of the ships disappear from the sector view. None of them meet battle ready specifications.
This would be a problem if it wasn't so easy to equip them all with the battle ready "Raiding Party" template of exactly 4 BPACs and 5 of any type of missile.

It is easier to equip the ships as a group using the "Raiding Party" Battle Ready Filter/Template.

Player drags a Rubberband selection around the blob of his ships in the sector map and presses Ctrl+1 on his keyboard. Those ships now are Group 1 and can be named.

Player right-clicks on the newly formed icon for the group and selects from the context menu "name group", and the naming box appears.
Player types "Xenon Killers" and clicks OK. Group 1 is now known as Xenon Killers and is still selectable by pressing 1.

Player drags the Battle Ready filter button icon onto the icon in the map designating Group 1/Xenon Killers and the ships start to move.
The player has just ordered them to fly to his equipment dock in this sector (their default homebase because it is the nearest player-owned dock when the group was made)
They will dock, automatically remove any items that do not meet Battle Ready "Raiding Party" spec, and add all items required for the "Raiding Party".

A few minutes later receives an audio message.
"Group 1 was not able to equip for battle. Beta Particle Accelerator Cannon are needed."

Player opens the the Group Manager window by pressing Ctrl-G. Xenon Killers is displayed among a list of other groups and are shown highlighted on the Universe map.

Player right-click drags the Battle Ready filter button icon onto Xenon Killers in the Group Manager.

The Split M3 pilot who designated himself "flight leader" says over the com
"Split say, where to go?"

The ships do not move because they are waiting for another input. The player drags Xenon Killers' icon onto BPAC Forge alpha in the sector map and the group moves in default formation. Ships that need BPACs dock to buy and equip them.

Still on the Group Manager window, the player sees the text description next to Xenon Killers change to "Ready for Battle".

Player drags the Xenon Killers onto a Xenon J in view on screen.
"Split say, on my way" audio message.

A few minutes later, Xenon Killers comes through the north gate and moves to within 10km of the Xenon J and matches speed with the target.

Player decides they should not engage at less than 2km to avoid the Flak Arrays.

Player clicks on Xenon Killers and selects "Attack Range" then from the popout, 2km.

Player proceeds to watch as his small group of BPAC-equipped fighters attacks the J from 2km away.

Player decides that the default V formation is causing some ships to never be in range of the J at matched speed.

Player presses 1 to select Xenon Killers and selects from the popout menu "Formation" , then "Line" with ----- icon showing the formation style.

Now all the ships in Xenon Killers get in on the fight.

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Grassturtle





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 07:32    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I like that very much but i would like to add this ......

we need the ability to place HQ's so that we can properly stockpile for this type of engagement

or game play ....


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Dr.Donkeys





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 08:39    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Absolutely.

In fact, I don't see any reason why the icon drag, filter, or template user interface metaphor could not be used for practically any command in the game.

If you want a ship to move to a certain spot in the universe map or the sector map, just pick up its icon or "ghost" and drag it to where you want it to go. Same for groups and their icons.

This could be made context-sensitive by using the right or middle mouse button for dragging, so you could give the ship or group more detailed or negated instructions.

If you want to set a group's homebase to be your Crystal Fab in Herron's Nebula, drag the Crystal Fab's icon onto the group. Right clicking with drag changes this command to enable the popout menu so you can give a more detailed command to the ship related to the Crystal Fab. Such as, "get Crystals from: amount '200' "

Going way outside of the scope of "Fleet Management", this metaphor could extend into trade management as well. If you want to establish a relationship between several of your stations, you could group them and template their ships with a "Ready to Trade" template or filter. Ships do whatever needs to be done based on the player ruleset for trading in or among those grouped stations.

A good example of this for fleet management and supplemental trading is to have context-sensitive commands for freighters to auto-resupply player docks with weapons from the player's fabs. With priority given to this behavior during a "Ready for Battle" equip scenario.

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apricotslice





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 09:48    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Dr.Donkeys wrote:
The ships do not move because they are waiting for another input. The player drags Xenon Killers' icon onto BPAC Forge alpha in the sector map and the group moves in default formation. Ships that need BPACs dock to buy and equip them.


Thats the weak spot. In all likelihood, the station will not have enough stock for a fleet, and by the time they do, your original target is gone. This would especially be the case for ahepts or anything where only 2 can be stocked at a time.

Which comes back to the ability of a player to mass stock the guns, sheilds and parts decided on for main use by a fleet. Which means an HQ or store station with mass docking facilities for all sizes and almost limitless storage, so you can dock a fleet there and have it leave again restocked in minutes.

When you have a complex building what you need, we need a freighter mission that will deliver all made stock to an HQ automatically, up to any designated ceiling level.

Taking this example up a level, instead of fighters, we use 12 M2's which also need their loadout selected and to dock and change things, before heading into combat. Same senario needs to be applied, just as effeciently.

And up a level again, full fleets of M1's, M2's, M6's, and defense fighters and attack fighters.

Logistical nightmare, yes, but thats what we need to solve Smile


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Dr.Donkeys





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 10:19    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

If we are talking about completely integrating aspects of the fleet, its supply and fitment, the transportation, and the fighting; then we are talking about making major changes to the mechanics of the game.

Then I guess it's time to take a look at this dynamic in the game play now.
I think it's obvious what needs to change. The micromanagement style play of X2 and X3 needs to be updated with "smart" player assets that function together logically like building blocks for a goal.
This is basically what I was getting at with the "Ready for Battle" metaphor.
It is a straightforward and organized method for getting player ships to do whatever they need to do to get to the battle. Basically a "Get it Done" command. It's clear, really. If A player is staring at a crowd of Khaak, it shouldn't be time to be thinking about whether the 25MJ Shield Factory has enough Soja Husk. So why are we using the same sets of menus and interfaces for fighting commands as we use for slow-paced micromanager trading rituals?

The ability for the player to set up ship behaviors and routines without command buttons and without the need for extraneous button pushing is going to be the next step to take before any real sort of overall heat-of-the-battle fleet management can take place.

I envision a system where ships work together in groups to supply their "loop" without excessive interaction from the player. As in the fleet manager, buying ships from the Paranid Shipyard and assigning them with all of the default upgrades should be a simple 1 drag 1 drop operation.

You open the Paranid Shipyard, grab the item icon for TS Demeter Variant, and drop the icon on your SPP-XL in Farnham's Legend. The prompt asks you "how many" you put "3". There, you just bought 3 Demeters, Equipped with full cargo, speed, and turning upgrades AND assigned them to the Solar Power Plant. With 1 step. The upgrades were based on your active "Ready to Trade" template settings.

You could have optionally selected Jumpdrive in the "ready to trade" menu, and the ships would have stopped at Goner Temple to get Jumpdrives on the way back to start doing whatever the SPP-XL tells them to do.

These actions NEED to be based on a method of centralized player ship management that goes way beyond just being able to tell all your ships whether Pirates are friend or foe.

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