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Fleet Command Discussion - what we want developed.
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alphalvr





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 16:18    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

giskard wrote:
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


well the xenon invasions are a bit fake, a little work could be done there, and after restarting with 1.3 i saw a khaak invasion after about a few hours (jumped right in behind me in family whi in my buster) needless to say i died quick and i was only trying to run away. reloaded and it didnt repeat.......35 game days and not another sausage Crying or Very sad

perhaps im a bit strange but battles i havent pre planned and organised would be much more exciting quickly gathering together my fleet that r out on manouvres and getting them to jump in and save whats left and extract revenge Wink as opposed to `entire fleet jump to khaak sector tell me when you have mopped up im off for a coffee ` Smile

xenon invasion = jump in what ships you want, start mission, decimate, collect 20 million Smile hmmmn not my idea of a challenge. of course i could make it a challenge by using a disco....but i want to use fleet commands to Crying or Very sad

funnt thing with x is most games get tougher....to the point where ive given up in the past, x is the opposite....tough (well 4 some) at the start....then gets a bit easy

anyway, off again....what were we talking about....ah yes fleet commands, well yep they would be nice but still as chucking a immense fleet in wins anyway seems a bit lost without a challenge to go with it.......can u hear me beg Laughing

haphazard random spawing engagement...hmmn yes....thats it, that wot i want.....preferably armed to the teeth with heat seeking mass drivers (experimental) Very Happy

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giskard





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 21:11    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Dont forget a fleet could but 1 m6 and some fighters or several m2s. The same system would work for all types of fleets. Besides if anybody is assuming its all going to be m1s and m2s, consider the Frame rates during battle.

Any fleet commands would have to work for small and large fleets equally well.

I do think its possible to do this without ruining X or making it in to homeworld. I think a few movement commands and group options would be a good start. After that a sector view style map where orders can be given quickly would finish it off.

X doesnt need a roving 3d view of space like homeworld has. Just a strategic display where the ships can be controlled from would do.

So if i was to make a shopping list for this it would be this.

1) A standard set of fleet/group commands.
2) A strategic display to give orders quickly.

I dont think theres much else needed since you can alway target a ship and give it orders, X just needs a quicker way to deal with lots of ships.

Giskard


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acrh2





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 21:31    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

This game is not really designed to handle large battle groups, and after playing around with them, I have to conclude that advanced commands like described above aren't necessary.

Here's the reason:

LARGE BATTLE GROUPS AREN'T NECESSARY IN X3.

One can accomplish any task in X3 with a single M2. Using more than 1 ship usually is neither necessary nor safe. In fact, since you don't get fighting rank increase for non-player kills, it's best to use one ship only.

There's one exception - M1. If a player prefers to fly an M1 (because of speed, the ability to carry favorite fighters, and the jumping capabilities), there would be a need to have some rudimentary ability to control wings of fighters belonging to a carrier.
Something above the most basic commands already available in vanilla X3, but not as sophiscticated as what was discussed above.

This is my own opinion reached after countless hours of player the game with fleets (using my Fleet Orders script).

Someone else's opinion might differ, but trust me, when you play with the fleets enough, most of you might reach the same conclusion - large fleets are not necessary.


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Dr.Donkeys





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 22:16    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

acrh2, your answer to adding fleet management functions to the game is that all players do not need fleets because it is possible to beat all battles with an M2?

Face it, the reason fleet management is not neccessary at present, is that the AI fighters have strong ships, but weak minds. They do not exploit the weaknesses of the ships they attack. Fix the AI, and suddenly you do need some fleet coordination.

Even with existing AI; what about the players who can't buy or do not care to buy such a large ship?

What happens when it suddenly is not possible to clear Xenon sectors in a Python without fighter support? How about when the enemy fighters realize that it's possible to hit you with AHEPTs without mindlessly flying into Flak or PSG range?

I think part of the goal for adding fleet management should be to make fleet management fun; and at least somewhat necessary.

That might mean making it very difficult to attack a Xenon sector alone.

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acrh2





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 22:28    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Dr.Donkeys wrote:
acrh2, your answer to adding fleet management functions to the game is that all players do not need fleets because it is possible to beat all battles with an M2?

Face it, the reason fleet management is not neccessary at present, is that the AI fighters have strong ships, but weak minds. They do not exploit the weaknesses of the ships they attack. Fix the AI, and suddenly you do need some fleet coordination.

Even with existing AI; what about the players who can't buy or do not care to buy such a large ship?

What happens when it suddenly is not possible to clear Xenon sectors in a Python without fighter support? How about when the enemy fighters realize that it's possible to hit you with AHEPTs without mindlessly flying into Flak or PSG range?

I think part of the goal for adding fleet management should be to make fleet management fun; and at least somewhat necessary.

That might mean making it very difficult to attack a Xenon sector alone.


A whole bunch of what ifs.
What's your point? Am I wrong somewhere in my post?
Is what I said not 100% correct?

By the way, I am the author of Fleet Orders script, and the reason why I made this script is because I felt the need for it, not because someone requested it.
It is my opinion NOW that I stated in my previous post.


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Grassturtle





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 22:40    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

apricotslice wrote:
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


I saw the same weakness in donkeys post wich is why i posted the add on for player HQ's

with the HQ's and donkey's layout i think that is a very solid fleet management core .....

plus with what apricotslice added to it .... i see increased uses for some ships

such as TS's and TL's for fleet support ships

example :

using my fleet management setup that we have designd .... i am readying a fast response fleet action

i notice my TL assignd to that fleet does not have enough supplys to refit the fleet its supporting ....

I order my ships to within transporter range of my TL and oder them to start refitting anyway

then i order some of my ts's (that have been trasnporting goods to my HQ or HQ's)to load the goods i need

and jump to my TL (directly)and resupply it ..... all while my fleet is moving to the target or preparing to move to the target

........................................................................

also giskard mentiond not needing the 3D space environment as used in homeworld for fleet management <----- with this i totaly agree

however i think we need that sort of implementation for placing stations to achieve better cleaner placements

sorry about the off topic comment i just felt we shouldnt loose any valuable information


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flagg209





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PostPosted: Mon, 27. Feb 06, 22:49    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I think what I would like is an entirely different view available to the user upon pressing a said keystroke -

this would switch all existing interface to something akin of any RTS released over the last 4 years or so (iso view - 3d rotation totally not necessary).

Trade:

In the RTS view one can click on their factory and see resources available, and resources needed; clicking a button named "gather resources" will send a TS shuttle docked and homebased to that station to gather what is needed. If there is no TS available an option to purchase from nearest shipyard should flash. Clicking on a button in the factory entitled "sell wares" will take that TS or another TS somewhere within a certain distance that will by said ware (you can then perhaps develop a tech tree, where TSs go farther to sell their ware) Another option would be the stockpile ware option - say you own a GPPC forge - you have maybe 3 TSs running for resources and another that runs the actual product to the destination of your choice.

Build

In the Iso / RTS view one can click on a TL and select the dock at nearest shipyard command. The TL will then walk or jump (drive necessary) to nearest shipyard - from there the very familiar shipyard command window will open - you can buy your facts and then jump where you want them and deploy - For deploying facts a sector map will appear similar to how it is now. Lay in your coordinates and select build here. Finally I think you should be able to designate an HQ (weather a seperate station or a complex that you build out of facts). Once you designate your HQ two new products will become available at the shipyard: First a hanger (for storing ships) second: a warehouse for storing well wares!

Fight

(though I agree with the only needing one ship school of thought -here is what I think)

Basically a draging created box around all of your ships would give you control of grouping and orders. So say we have a carrier with 3 novas in it - since the carrier's main job is to launch fighters selecting the carrier and then right clicking on a pirate base will do two things: first the carrier will start to fire it's weapons on the pirate base; second: the carrier will launch it's fighters which will by default attack the carrier's target.
An M2 in the same situation will NOT launch it's fighters unless told to do so; at which time the fighters will attack the target. It would also be nice if you could highlight enemy ships and group them as well - for instance lets say there are 3 Khaak destroyers and you have 6 Argon M2s - you can select the 3 Khaak destoryers to be enemy group 1 and then select your group of 6 argon M2s to attack enemy group 1; the 6 m2s will then act according to a few options; for instance: Attack nearest threat; spread fire; cover fire (perhaps for a fleet of M3s to get in close) - that sort of thing

Think
Your primary resource is credits and your secondary is race relations - both can be attained from the RTS view (credits as seen in the trade section and race relations indirectly from the aboive)...your ship would be like a hero character in any RTS game - and basically if you die in either view the game is over.

All in all - I don't know how to program a single line in any language; and therefore don't know how feasible any of this is; I don't think it really needs to be that granular though as anything that thick (in my opinion) is going to be too hard to complete.

I don't know if any of this is desired by ego or not; but maybe they could incorporate this by buying an RTS engine similar to how FPS games buy the "unreal" engine or the "Q3" engine...

I don't know - just my dreams


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gray1107





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PostPosted: Tue, 28. Feb 06, 00:41    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Just wanted to stop by and say that this is a great thread with lots of good ideas!

The interface does feel like something put in at the alpha stage to 'get things going', I think just about every review has mentioned something to this effect. This really should be EGOs main focus at the moment, I'm slightly worried that they are going in the wrong direction with the thread asking for mission suggestions for the expansion. We need function first then content.

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Grassturtle





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PostPosted: Tue, 28. Feb 06, 01:34    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

acrh2 wrote:
This game is not really designed to handle large battle groups, and after playing around with them, I have to conclude that advanced commands like described above aren't necessary.

Here's the reason:

LARGE BATTLE GROUPS AREN'T NECESSARY IN X3.

One can accomplish any task in X3 with a single M2. Using more than 1 ship usually is neither necessary nor safe. In fact, since you don't get fighting rank increase for non-player kills, it's best to use one ship only.

There's one exception - M1. If a player prefers to fly an M1 (because of speed, the ability to carry favorite fighters, and the jumping capabilities), there would be a need to have some rudimentary ability to control wings of fighters belonging to a carrier.
Something above the most basic commands already available in vanilla X3, but not as sophiscticated as what was discussed above.

This is my own opinion reached after countless hours of player the game with fleets (using my Fleet Orders script).

Someone else's opinion might differ, but trust me, when you play with the fleets enough, most of you might reach the same conclusion - large fleets are not necessary.


I agree .... and since i can and have single handely destroyed over 200 xenon in 1 sector in my buster ......

and single handedly destroyed several K's , J's , L's , M's , and N's in a falcon .....

and cleand out 5-6 pages of pirates with no assistance in my Nova Raider in grand exchange ...

we should just scrap the whole fleet management idea Surprised

Headbang not !

Thinking where was i going with this Confused

oh yeah .... not everybody can fight that well ..... and for very many of us that can ...

we want fleet management both for the people that cant fight that way and for a greater fealing of realism

the interaction capabilities in X3 are admitadly small ... but my hope is that with improved player interaction and ability ....

we will see improved NPC interaction and ability .....

even if we cant get a fully working model for X3 Reunion ..... then maybe this will be the jumping off point for ......

(dare i say it) X4 the frontier and beyond

i almost said X4 the final frontier Shocked


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apricotslice





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PostPosted: Tue, 28. Feb 06, 03:20    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

One of the joys of sleeping is waking up to an extra page of excellent discussion Smile

Some thoughts from the last page or so of comments :

Egosoft made a giant leap forward with the graphics of the game, but in contrast, their menu interface is a giant leap backwards.

Like it or not, the interfaces of Homeworld and other such games have become a standard for graphical oriented games.

The current ship list is designed for a dozen at most on a screen. In terms of font sizes verses graphics display, the fonts are huge and clunky. In the same space used by a screen of ships now, you should be able to graphically display all the details of a single ship, or details of many ships and much of the dynamic options.

The nav map for example. Put the mouse over a sector and a list of stations and ships in it, what their status is, armament, orders, highlighted problems etc., all should appear in an instant and be readable. The graphics supports this now, the programming falls way short.

A lot of the frustrations of some people come from the apparent inconsistency of major graphical sectors and ships, but complete absense of graphical display of details.

Imo, Egosoft needs to headhunt a graphical detail display specialist to completely redesign the way the information is displayed within the game, and bring the information display up to the standard of the rest of the graphics. This would have to start with the nav map. And then the player property list.

Seriously, the forum is far better as a graphical display than the game menus are. Egosoft needs to think about getting web style click boxes and info popups into the game

You should be able to put your mouse over a ship, or click on it in the nav map, and instantly see a complete set of details for it, especially the absense of something from damage.

Every single game that uses long lists of assets gets bogged down and unworkable by the time you get past a 100 in the list. By 200, often the arrays overflow.

For a game that is intended to last 6 months and beyond, most players will end up with 100's of ships, and the interface has to facilitate rapid information and orders. Which it currently doesnt and cant.

The more people outline how they want to do things, the more it comes back to menus and sub-menus being the most ineffecient way of doing it, and I will add, the most obsolete way of doing it.

Just thinking with my fingers. Smile


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Grassturtle





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PostPosted: Tue, 28. Feb 06, 05:51    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

i have this game ... im not sure if anyone is familiar with it ... its called ....

starship tycoon

by positech games .... its a take2 company

any way if you know it or have it load it up sometime and check out the menus ... id say they are in alot of ways far supperier to X3 ...

mind you it was made somewhere around 2004

I like X3 far more for its immersiveness in comparison to starship tycoon ...

but whatever happend to 2 or more companys working together to create somthing really outstanding ....

i have in fact seen several games several years old using customiseable menus ....

so if i only want my ships displayed in a menu i can do that ... and if i want my enemys or potential enemys ships displayed in another menu i can do that

you could have seperate menus for all faucets of fleet management or even ... every aspect of the game ...

but what about having to many menus on your screen clutering up the veiw .... Confused

simple i easily create my own menu template complete with hot keys to open and close those menus ...

and wahla

i also like the mouse over ideas from apricotslice each bringing up its own menu under different circumstances ...

combine those two together and you have one very powerful menu structure ....


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Tracker001





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PostPosted: Tue, 28. Feb 06, 09:56    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The more I open up the X Universe ,and place a satallite
or station .The more usefull the "Properties " menu becomes.
Part of the game is remembering what you've done, and
where it's at. And that menu is like a well orginized note pad.
For me anyway. I've given commands to other ships in
other sectors , while in battle.
As far as the control interface , I do most certently prefur
A joy stick \ keyboard setup . ( Saitek style ) I can controll
all the features of
the game from the joy stick , from flying to menu control.
A mouse is just to slow for me.

The menu coloration sould be diffrent.

"Fleet set up" = in peacefull formation

One Carrier (group) ( with on board fighters ,of course)
Two Destroyer's
Four Corvets
Two Heavy fighters protecting each corvet
Two medium fighters protecting each heavy fighter.
Your light fighter's are for potrol's ,Early warnning or
snoop and report back. preferably 4 per flight. X 4 flights.
One flight per corvet.
Rotated from the carrier.
And the TL as the Carrier group's "moble"resupply center.
> Now here I would design a new class of ship that
has the cargo space of a :Mumba. But limited to - lets say
1 turret (beta size) one or two front guns. And may be hold
only four missels, that are not dumb fire . The point of
this ship ,is to delever goods to the front line. Not to stand
and fight. ( I would prefer four wasp as a max).
The delivery interface would have to be a "UPS" style.
And so it doesn't get to complicated . Have the food supplie
last longer. These are highly fortified meals.

And for the other M1 and M2 ships , should have enough cargo
space for spare rockets and shields. To resupply and repair.
Until supplies can come up from the rear. Which ,in some
casses have to fight thier way through.

Now your "HQ" Could be on a station . Or on the Flag Ship "BOB".
And make so you get informed before half your fleet is detroid.
You know - Get a report of enamy activaty, Patrol x has
not reported back .Needs your attaintion. etc........
These peeps had trainning before they came on board.
So I should'nt have to hold thier hand evry step of the way.
But of course the player does have to take control in a timly manner.

Ok here you are at the Teladi Gardens. Enjoying some down time
with Saya (your choice ) and a call comes in of a massive
invasion. (of course). What do you do first. Go to cmd and cotroll
within the station. But it's not your station. Hope your smart
enough to cruse around in a Nova or mumba. You all ways need
the speed and weps.

You should be able to defend several secters with one cairrer group.
Deployment is the name of the game.
What do you think those displays on Argon 1 are.

That's my Cairrer Group . Very Happy


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halo112358





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PostPosted: Tue, 28. Feb 06, 12:00    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

acrh2 wrote:
This game is not really designed to handle large battle groups, and after playing around with them, I have to conclude that advanced commands like described above aren't necessary.

Here's the reason:

LARGE BATTLE GROUPS AREN'T NECESSARY IN X3.

One can accomplish any task in X3 with a single M2. Using more than 1 ship usually is neither necessary nor safe. In fact, since you don't get fighting rank increase for non-player kills, it's best to use one ship only.


Out of curiousity: Are battle groups not neccessary because there is no use for them, or are they not neccessary because they don't function well?

I don't know about you, but I fear clearing a kha'ark sector without serious backup. You *could* do it solo in an m3, but I don't know that I want to spend 20 hours of my life doing it by hand. That sounds more like cleaning than game-playing Smile

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g33kstar





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PostPosted: Tue, 28. Feb 06, 12:48    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

On the subject of displaying so many ships in fleet actions - can X3 drop to a lower frame rate during fleet actions??

BTW - the fleet controls [like the up an coming Supreme Commander perhaps] sound real good but the base menus need a rewrite first - see further comments...

The navigation screen and controls need better 3D capability...okay so Homeworld does it ..so what? - a space game needs to have a genuine 3D control interface to go anywhere with fleets manouvers....other wise it is just a 2D "who has the best resources/weapons wins" scenario

Also the Ships owned/properties page could be better organised. As especially earlier in the game you can spend most of the time flying under a dock command to another sectors factory and have the ships owned page open waiting for a freighter to dock...you dont see much of the X universe that way.

In this case an onscreen docking queue down the right hand side would be beneficial, when you get a moment you then could select a freighter and either issue a command console to dock somewhere or trade with station command.

Basically the user should be able to load his common menus to the desktop ansd change them to the a different set as the progress of the game changes. Can any scripts write a short menu to the HUD or view windows??

On the gameplay side the battle groups should be able to escort single freither or freighter convoys and screen them while they deploy factories and defences, as it adds a significant tactical value to gameplay.
[cleaning out khaak or Xenon then jumping in freighters from oos is not as interesting tactically]

Just my 2 cents worth - still enjoying this excellent game.

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PostPosted: Tue, 28. Feb 06, 13:33    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I like part of that idea.

I'd like to see selected ships with key info displayed on the hud, out of the way of combat. Move the guns icons to where they can be viewed while aiming, and use the side places made vacant to display stuff you want to keep tabs on.

For example :

Each UT so you know where they are all the time.
Each capital ship.
Each Flight/Squadron Leader.
Complex hubs.

Mouse over the icon and you get popup information as to where it is, what its condition is and what its doing. Option to click this information on permanently for an icon, until clicked off again. So for UT's, you could always know at a glance where they are.

Then, if one of them is attacked, the icon flashes red, you click on it, nav options and combat options appear and you can give orders at a single click without needing to pull up the nav map of that sector to find the ship and get it out of there. Double click and you get the nav map of the sector with that ship already selected and commands menu already open. An option for avoidance would flash the icon when an enemy is in scan range, to prompt you for orders before combat happens.

Click on jump to safety and it jumps to the nearest gate without an enemy presense. Click jump to repair, and it jumps to the nearest shipyard.

Drag a cap ship or flight leader over the flashing red icon and the cap ship or flight jumps to resue it.

Drag a ship over another ship in the same sector, it forms a unit. If the latter is a carrier, then it forms a unit with the carrier as homebase. If the latter is a station, then the station becomes homebase. Mouse over the carrier and the units are displayed. click to hold them in place. Drag another ship onto a unit and the ship joins that unit and flies to the base. Drag a ship off a unit and it becomes a single ship again and appears on the hub, unless you drop it on another unit. Flight leaders and such are assigned automatically, from criteria selected from a menu of options.

I'd be happy to sacrifice a lot of the crap that floats around the edge of the hud, so I can keep tabs on all my ships instead.

Claim a ship, it appears on the hud, mouse over displays commands, click on move to shipyard or move to carrier, dock at nearest station, double click to move to sector, or drag it over a TL or M1 or hub to have it go dock there, whereever it is.

Click on the hub icon and it brings up the details screen for the hub with sub-clicks for landed ships and other options.

In fact, most of the repetitious menu searching can be done by putting your key assets on the main hud as small icons and clicking or dragging them gives orders quickly.

This would be in addition to the existing menu system, and within that is the ability to turn on or off the hud icons. On each hud icon, the last option is turning it off.

Damaged ships or stations, or ships that have just had a part damaged and needs replacing, show a small cross or something as part of the icon.

Ships without guns show an icon that indicates they cant fight. Ships without full shielding show an icon that indicates they are vulnerable.

At a guess, you should be able to put 30 to 50 small icons on the hud in non-critical areas of the screen, and be able to manage your empire predominantly without menus.

As you get more ships, you join them into flight, then squadrons, then fleets, and each time you do, the ships become a group icon, with mouse over showing the composition of the group.

Other information shown is if the ship of group is jump capable, and if not why not, including no jump drive fitted or short on e-cells.

Have a freighter full of e-cells and drag it over any other icon, and it goes (jumps/flys) and beams over e-cells to the ship or group, then restocks either from your SPP or complex if you ahve supplies, or from the nearest SPP. When its stock is low, it goes and fills up, or flashes low to tell you for orders. Ditto ships with missiles and alternate gun loads.

See enemies icon would expand when clicked to display icons of all enemy units in proximity to player assests. At the same time, units available to attack come brighter, units inappropriate to attack go dimmer. Dragging our own ship icons onto the enemy one initiates an attack on the specific enemy. Moving a fleet to attack an enemy M2 would take only a few quick drag and drops.

Pretty well all the stuff we want to do could be done like this.


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