Suggestion/Idea Carrier/Fleet Automatic Reinforcing

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Is this something you would like in Foundations?

Yes!
21
42%
Yes, but it's a little too complicated. Maybe do without... (comment below)
6
12%
Yes, but more/better features would be.. (comment below)
1
2%
Maybe, if it doesn't take up too much dev time or can be added later.
14
28%
No (and why in comments below, please)
8
16%
 
Total votes: 50

TonyEvans
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Suggestion/Idea Carrier/Fleet Automatic Reinforcing

Post by TonyEvans » Mon, 22. Jan 18, 18:39

(Additional Edit Notes will be at bottom of post)
Edit 1: Formatted Text. Eliminated useless text. Removed unnecessary humor. Implemented input from response. Scratch that, made humor better.
Edit 2: Added Ship Point system. Removed unnecessary text.

My Idea: Automatic Fleet Replenishment.

What I would like to see in X:Foundations is a simpler, but flexible, way to keep fleets at full strength without player micromanaging. This post will include the idea for both Fleets (either large battlegroups, trader convoys, and defense fleets) and Carriers (fighters/drones). I'll be as specific as possible, and I would greatly appreciate feedback from both players and devs.

Fleets:
Part 1- Once the player forms a fleet, its composition is automatically saved to Memory. Any loss of ships is recorded, and a Replace Order is made available.

Part 2 The player then chooses his replacement options

On Ship Loss
  • Do not replace ships -|- Always Replace Ships -|- Player Must Approve (Ask) -|- Do not ask, player will replace
When to Replace
  • Player Selects a % of fleet strength remaining (see Ship Points below)
If Replacement is permitted
  • Use Specific Shipyard(s) -|- Use Specific Faction -|- Use Only Player Facilities -|- Use any Available Shipyard
When Replacement is ordered
  • Continue with current order -|- Wait at present location -|- Meet Replacement at shipyard/as soon as possible
*Note* If the option is left open to pick where to resupply ships from, it will prioritize based on cost, proximity and shortest wait/queue. In the event automatic resupply cannot be accomplished for any reason (lack of funds, lack of friendly stations, etc), the player will receive an automatic message and further resupply attempts will be cancelled until restarted.

Carriers:
In many ways exactly the same as for Fleets, but the recovery system will be slightly different. Well, really different.

Part 1-
  • Fighter/Drone compositions are saved to memory.
Part 2-
  • Player determines If/Where/How fighters and drones are resupplied. Same rules as the first 3 lists in Part 2 of Fleets.
Part 3- ResupplyWhen the Fighter/Drone buy order is placed, the supplying station commissions a Hauler to deliver the goods.

The Hauler Dispatched Haulers are not player property, but the player is responsible for them as well as their cargo (which is your property), much in the way you would rent a car. If a Hauler is destroyed:
  • The player is not given any refund for loss of goods ordered.
    The player is fined a fee, which goes to the station so it can replace its hauler.
    If the player cannot make payment on the fee, a faction standing loss is incurred.
    Also, the player will gain an outstanding debt to the station, and will be placed on a do-not-sell list, prohibiting future transactions until the debt is paid. Teladi may add an inconvenience fee. At their convenience.
When Fighter Replacement is ordered
  • Carrier waits at current location -|- Carrier continues with current order -|- Carrier moves to meet Hauler
Carrier interaction within a fleet
  • If the carrier is the fleet commander, all ships will accompany carrier as normal.
    If carrier is not the fleet commander, it will use Fleet Commander resupply orders. If resupply is needed, command temporarily transfers to the carrier and the fleet moves accordingly. After resupply, command reverts to original ship and previous orders resume.
Carriers are typically higher maintenance than normal fleet operations, so it does mean a few extra steps are needed for optimal automation.

At some point, maybe after additional input is added, I would like to include plans to make Automatic Resupply a result of Research.

Also, to the "This is X4 not a 4X" folks, I appreciate the input, and I understand, however this is strictly asking for a feature that would help management-challenged people like myself. Plus, I have yet to see this feature in any 4X game. So there's that.


Ship Points Determining when a fleet with attempt a resupply based on % of Points remaining. Ships within each class are given a "point" value.
  • Interceptors/Scouts: 1 Point -|- Fighters: 5 Points -|- Heavy Fighters/Bombers: 10 Points -|- Corvettes: 15 Points -|- Frigates: 25 Points -|- Carriers: 50 Points -|- Battleships: 100 Points
When carriers have Fighters/Drones assigned to them, their points are not taken into consideration when determining fleet point count

Fleet Point System in Use
Fleet Consists of (2) Corvettes, (1) Frigate and (1) Battleship. Fleet Point total is 155. Player sets automatic resupply to 80%, or <124 Points.
  • Scenario A: (1) Frigate is destroyed. Fleet points drop to 130. Fleet operations continue as normal.
    Scenario B: (1) Corvette and (1) Frigate is destroyed. Fleet points drop to 115. If enabled, automatic fleet resupply commands are initiated and the fleet behaves accordingly.
This should solve any questions about when fleets should resupply, as opposed to them doing it after every fight or after every loss).

Edit 1 Notes: Thank you to Crimsonraziel for input on the commands (as well as unintentionally reminding me to format) of resupply. I did, however, change the Prioritize to be an automatic function, as well as reduced player messaging to as-required-by-emergency only. I personally detested the dozens of messages I got in a short time period in X3 and XR.

Edit 2 Notes: The point values I tagged to each "class" (as we know it) of ships is 100% fluid, and not something I'm demanding be used in game. Of course, there's non-combat ships that would need to make use of the system as well.

I am going to retain a Changelog if i start making multiple changes to the OP, for my personal future reference or anyone's curiosity. I would like this to be as-much-as-possible a feature wanted by as many as possible.
Last edited by TonyEvans on Thu, 1. Feb 18, 00:19, edited 2 times in total.

csaba
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Post by csaba » Mon, 22. Jan 18, 20:24

I posted this back in Nov in a topic about repair ships:
csaba wrote:
I wanted to start a similar topic but since this covers most of the subjects I'll just post it here:



Using carriers as support/flagships:

Most people who have played X:R know how carriers especially the 'Sul' line of ships weren't really functioning as their description would let you imagine.

Furthermore with the quadrupling of weapon systems on XL (previously M2, M1, M0) ships, small S, M (M3-4-6) and even some L (M7s, M8s, TLs) sized ships became nothing more than cannonfodder. Drones were an answer to this as "cheaply", en mass deployable XS (M5) sized ships, they however still functioned as an expensive ammo type which required slow cumbersome restocking mechanics using either cargo ships or dockyards.

This meant that drones were only effective against the player and the Arawn (the only ship fitting the M1 class from previous games) was used as a slow moving fort and the Suls were useless as they seemingly traded hard points for a nonfunctioning role.

My idea is:

- Increase carrier fuel storage 100 times
- Carriers can distribute fuel with a teleporter device (no drones needed for fast refills)
- Increase carrier drone capacity compared to other capitals x10
- Carriers can restock other ship's drones (without docking with each other)
- Give carriers ware storage capacity
- Give carriers the ability to repair friendlies with drones. Ships and stations alike.
- Add repair nanites to wares.
- Repair drones consume repair nanites ware
- Limit self repair for ships and stations
- Add Supply restock mode to carriers that work how X:R CV's buy wares for stations
- Remove ware type for drones (production was funky, alternating between 10+ types)
- Add small(civilian), medium(cheap millitary) and large drone (exp. military) kits to wares
- Add an ability to carriers to assemble drone kits (+ a drone control module for stations to do the same)

This will achive:

- Smaller carriers (M7s) like X:R's Suls would be useful
- Drones are more easily replaced, production is more streamlined and you don't have to dock the ships (taking ages) to replace them, just use the restock mode
- The simplified production combined with the new map in X4 will make the use of drones for carriers more viable for the player
- Ships don't repair "magically", but you don't have to dock 10 ships one after the another to get the fleet repaired if you have a carrier
- No NPC station parts stupidly respawning from nothing
- Would give a good strategic target for the player to kill AI carriers
- repair nanites would make a very nice high demand ware for production (would be still more expensive than normal building materials though so they don't cause a logic issue when building stuff)

https://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php ... sc&start=0

I don't mind if I have to rebuild ships manually. However I do think carriers need better roles than "more shields plus fighters".

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Post by Nanook » Mon, 22. Jan 18, 21:02

I voted no. The primary focus of all the X games has been to build a financial empire and protect it. That's the main purpose of having fleets. It has never been about building war fleets. While the game does allow for this kind of playstyle, I think this idea is best left to modders since most ships aren't really cookie-cutter copies of each other. This isn't an RTS, i.e., Homeworld.
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mr.WHO
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Post by mr.WHO » Mon, 22. Jan 18, 21:37

I'm kinda betwen yes and no.
The OP ideas is IMO overcomplicated.
Keep it as simple as possible to make effective use of carriers:


In X4 we need some effective way:
- define carrier behaviour (aggresive/attack, passive, stay away/run when attacked).
- define base fighters behaviours (e.g. this group for attack orders, this group for carrier defense, this for patrol)
- define way to fast resuply and restock pre-defined fighter compliment.

Everything else is covered by normal XR logic as well as X4 RTS GUI.

csaba
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Post by csaba » Mon, 22. Jan 18, 22:09

mr.WHO wrote:
Everything else is covered by normal XR logic as well as X4 RTS GUI.
While XR captains (and defense officers) do have a Budget and restock settings. It is still less effective than having a carrier with a larger cargohold restock them with the already working cargolifter drones.

Simply increasing the cargo and fuel capacity of carriers and using the ware exchange script from Rebirth on a broadcast command would already do wonders.

Requiemfang
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Post by Requiemfang » Tue, 23. Jan 18, 00:51

I'll be just as happy if carriers actually act like carriers and allow small and possibly a few medium sized ships can dock with them and carriers are actually carriers instead of DRONE carriers which is what they were in XR unless your using a specific mod in XR.

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Vandragorax
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Post by Vandragorax » Tue, 23. Jan 18, 14:34

I'm actually ok with carriers being 'drone carriers' because let's be honest, in that futuristic setting there'd be no way every single ship would be piloted manually (that's only popularised through fiction like Star Wars where they want you to be emotionally connected to every pilot/ship). In a real military situation, it WOULD all be drones :)

In that regard, it makes perfect sense for the carrier to contain some kind of production facility and raw materials to create replacements on-the-go.

This would actually open up some tactical possibilities such as disabling the drone command ship (carrier) and all the drones would probably go into some kind of failsafe mode and shut down, instead of trying to fight off all the drones plus reinforcements.

I'm really not a fan of having to re-stock hundreds of small ships constantly (with pilots?) when they are inevitably destroyed in service with a carrier. There definitely needs to be a quick and easy way to do this.

I do not agree with the post above that says ships in X games aren't "cookie-cutter"... have you ever bought 100 fighters and honestly equipped them all differently? I don't think so lol... it would be a mass purchase of identical ships just like everyone used to do in X3-AP.

Commander_K
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Post by Commander_K » Tue, 23. Jan 18, 17:18

It would also mean we could just jump into a drone and join the fun until it gets blown up, without any harm done to the player.

Me163
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Post by Me163 » Tue, 23. Jan 18, 17:49

It seems like you want to play RTS :D

I don't see the point of auto-refill everything in everywhere with complicate commands.

Ofc it was boring as hell resupplying, arming all those fighters.
Maybe this can fixed by add something like presets but go back to shipyard/Equipment dock?
It's not that boring as i consider this a part of carrier management.

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mr.WHO
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Post by mr.WHO » Tue, 23. Jan 18, 18:29

@Me163: The problem is not carrier management, but carriers management.

There is no problem if you have one carrier, but will become chore when you have to constantly babysit 5+ carriers.

csaba
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Post by csaba » Tue, 23. Jan 18, 20:49

Drones were semi nice on capital ships the issue was that every last one had at least 150 capacity. Namely a Sul a dedicated carrier was just as much of a carrier than a Taranis which was a destroyer. Also carrier class ships had no bonuses to drone command as far as I can tell. Drones also had very low HP often dying in the dozens in capital vs capital showdowns while not contributing much to the battle.

Othervise they were only there to annoy the Skunk since focused fire by several 7 drone squads is quite nasty even with mk5 shields.

The CES mod has a really nice fix to this giving them shields. Which increases their survivability 10 fold since they don't just pop if a capital explodes in a 5 km radius. Also making them retarget after a kill instead of docking makes them 100 times more useful and actually making them worth the credits.

We already saw the Colossus launching actual fighters into battle on a stream but I think we will still get some smaller drone carrier ships.

Requiemfang
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Post by Requiemfang » Tue, 23. Jan 18, 22:29

Also the problem with Drones in XR with carriers is that only a limited amount of the drones are launched, I think 5 or 10 and they don't launch anymore after that until those 1 or 2 waves are killed off.

Commander_K
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Post by Commander_K » Wed, 24. Jan 18, 10:55

Drones don't have to be small, they could be like fighters (also in behavior), just without the pilot. Just like it already is for the Xenon in XR.

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Crimsonraziel
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Post by Crimsonraziel » Wed, 24. Jan 18, 17:08

I'd like to see some "memory effect". Stations, fleets, carriers should remember what they lost, giving me the option to reorder the exact same configuration as replacement or ditch it entirely. As the station manager / fleet commander / captain gains more experience it should be possible to automate this process.
Options could be:
  • never replace and forget about it / always replace / always ask / don't ask, I'll take care manually
  • use specific shipyard / player owned only / restrict to factions / any ship yard
  • preorize nearest shipyard / cheapest / shortest queue
  • always inform me / never inform me / only if problems occur (insufficient funds e.g.)
  • continue as usual / wait for replacement / meet replacement at shipyard
And there should be either be a budget for the fleet, similar to stations or the option to assign the fleet to a station that pays for it. In both cases we need the possibility to transfer profit from stations to fleets or other stations. Basically a group of stations should be able to fund their own sector defense without the player getting involved once it's set up (if desired)

Is similar to TonyEvan's idea, but no predefined "Norm". If anything geht's destroyed just remember what it was and it's setup including orders.
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Post by Swiftbow » Wed, 24. Jan 18, 20:50

Agree. No. Save for modders

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