Defense Fleets, will theychange everything?
One of the big features still missing but on the list of confirmed intended features is this whole deal with defense fleets.
What is a defense fleet? Well the short answer (as far as I understand it) is that its a admiral-less c&c-less grouping of ships you can build out of your system's reserve fleet. The number of ships your system's defense fleet can hold will vary depending on how many command modules your naval base has, or if you have a naval base or not. I think that systems with no naval base will still be able to have a small defense fleet, but I don't know for sure. As currently implemented, each command module gives you 2 Command points, which, I think means you need 3 modules per cruiser and 9 modules per dreadnought you'd like to serve as a defense fleet, which is in addition to whatever the default command point value systems with no naval bases get. The defense fleet can not be moved, and I don't know if the maintence costs of ships in a defense fleet will be same as active fleets or not. I understand that defense fleets will be given options with regards as to where you place them in a system, but I'm not sure.
A defense fleet will probably not be as strong as a regular fleet of 9 cruisers unless you have a large naval base, but would have a few advantages, 1) you will be able to build system boats, which are small ships with no FTL capablity which will probably cost a lot less than regular cruisers both credit-wise and command point-wise, 2) you will be able to build defense satellites which don't count against your command points, 3) you will not need a command ship so all your ships can be war ships.
The usefulness of defense fleets will be primarily, of course, to allow you to defend your systems without taking up your valuable admirals, and additionally, i understand there will be possibility of doing other things with defense fleets like adding in police units to them to improve your planets morale.
So my question is, will defense fleets change the way the game is played, or will they have only minimal impact?
(post your opinion)
Taking the tittle of the post and your last sentence i would say neither of them.
As a 4x game, defense fleets would not change the whole game as combat is only one of its features. On the other hand, say it would have a minimal impact is like saying that gun-powder weapons didn't affected the evolution of warfare history. That addition will surely affect the game in a lot of aspects.
Along with it, defense fleets should start the debacle of the requirement of several types of fleets such as colonization or construction fleets. Are they really required to be proper fleets? Could they work autonomously like freighter ships? Do they really need admirals and atribute bonuses?
Just pointing some additional thoughts xd.
If the interface was rendered with efforts to reduce micromanagement, concepts such as this would become obsolete.
The problem is that you need to build cnc, create fleet, assign admiral, select mission and EACH of these steps is done in different screens that require 2-3 seconds for the mere loading EACH. That is the problem.
When and if that is addressed, whatever solution should become pointless. The concepts as they are now don't seem illogical. Even Construction/police cutter fleets could work as they are now if it didnt' take turns and screens to achieve their simple missions.
I have no idea right now how the police cutters work (and IF they work), really... that says it all about the confusion around the game right now where you don't know basically what works and what doesn't and how exactly it works (if it works).
A bit more of patience (6 months lol).
I really think something like a defense fleet is just something that needs to happen to make the game more enjoyable. The balance between attacking and defending should favor the defender in most situations otherwise you'll have a base race situation in most cases. The balance is way off now, it is basically even, with potentially the same amount of ships and CP's attacking each other each round and when defending multiple planets in a system then this balance favors the attacker greatly I"ve found, although I understand that the system management is a different issue?.
I would say that the defense fleet should:
* cost less maintenance to maintain the ships within the fleet
* We should see where the attackers will arrive in the system and be able to plan the defense of the system, of course this could open opportunities for useful tech such as cloaking with the attacker also planning their attack
* if there are CP's left in the fleet then it should automatically take any available ships from the reserve, and
* if a normal fleet is available in the system then it should be able to fight as normal. So I would treat the defense fleet as a kind of static defense like the stations or planets are now.
This would make attacking costly and make the decision to attack more difficult, which would make for a more tactical and strategic game to have to scout the area, decide where to attack as opposed to... oh that''s an enemy planet, blindly attack...Of course the defense fleet can't be too strong otherwise all players will turtle up and that's no fun either, so a balance needs to carefully set but in my opinion this is one of the most important aspects of any strategy game. It won't be defined by the defense fleet alone, but it's a big piece of the puzzle.
just my 2 cents, also, where is the confirmed intended features list?
Here is how I would change the game:
1. I would make admirals an option for your fleet, not mandatory.
2. I would make admirals more powerful than they are now, and I would make the ones with negative traits still bring something positive to the table.
3. I would then change the game so you could make your fleets in the main screen. Command ship still required unless making a defense fleet.
4. I would change the interface so it would be like SOTS1 on the main screen where making a new fleet is as simple as dragging a ship to a space where another fleet isn't.
5. I would also incorporate several default layouts that folks could choose as their defaults.
I think defense fleet will be nice because maybe then they can get the AI to defend planets. Right now 90% of the time you show up to take a planet there is nothing defending it, no bases on it, no defense sats. Its flat out boring.
I haven't played the game much but I've been relatively concerned about the fact you can only have 1 command ship and a very limited number of ships in combat. This system is totally different from SOTS where you could have unlimited CnC (which were the point reinforcements would come through) and unlimited ships as well (numbers were affected by command ship type AND difference in total numbers with the enemy fleet).
I can't figure out why... this means we won't have BIG battles, has any of you gotten to the point of building a real armada and clash with an enemy armada? How many total ships are present in battle then?
I think that the game not implementing technology is actually more of a problem to having or not having big fleet battles, because I have built some pretty large fleets with the current game. The problem is so far to me, that the computer players do not implement the technology and use it. Because I don't know about you, but starting at the point where you build a fleet of dreads and cruisers with battle riders and drones, the battles get pretty ridiculously big. They do not have the waves that the first game had, but there is a lot of crap going on the screen, and I haven't even had the pleasure of running into a computer opponent who is doing the same because the AI is so crippled right now. If 2 such fleets showed up and fought, I believe the large fight you are talking about would definitely be bigger than anything you would run into in SOTS1. It just wouldn't have the waves that the first game did.
Originally Posted by GShock
One big thing that is different is the fact that your fleet has no reinforcements, and because of this command ships are relegated to being something that allows you to bring more ships into the fight, but they are no longer a center for reinforcements to warp in.
The other problem I see is the fact that because attacking fleets, unless only staying for 1 turn, have to bring supply ships with them which cripples them in a fight against an evenly sized defense force which can bring all fighting ships. If 2 fleets fight and have even tech and one fleet has to bring a supply ship, the fleet without one is going to win most of the time. As it is right now with the AI making the mistake of bringing colony ships with the invasion fleet, it cripples them. Its bad enough the computer player isn't using tech in their ship designs. Then they bring 2 colony ships with them, and you can roll like 30 fights in a row without losing a ship, because they are bringing 3 non fighting ships to the battle.
Defence fleets will defiantly impact the game, just having 3 Carrier Cruisers filled with BR should be enough to hold the enemy off until your main defence fleet reach the system from its naval base, not to mention that it will end the need to have tons of fleets in all your colonies just for defence.
Btw, each command module gives you 2 CR equivalent so each module gives you two cruisers, 3 modules should allow you to put 2 DN in the defence fleet.
And on the note of fleet size, during my last couple of games I moved around with a fleet consisting of 1 CnC DN 2 BR carrier DN (18 BR total) and 6 cruisers, that's a lot of ships on the screen, another game with the Liir I had 1 CnC DN and 4 Assault carriers (for a total 12 battle cruisers) in one fleet so the fleet size is huge. I haven't fielded a LV battle group but I assume that it should be even bigger.
Last edited by Blackwarder; 17-02-2012 at 16:27.
Defense fleets are one of the features I'm waiting on before I'll try picking up the game again. I think the game's designed to need them working...
Than make sure to get the Monday patch
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth
No because I cannot get the computer to build a big fleet. I have got to the point where I fielded a Leviathan with a bunch of battle rider modules, A couple of dreads and cruisers with battle riders and drones on them. THat fleet has an amazing size, easily more ships than is allowed on the board at one time in SOTS1 in the fight. The difference was in SOTS1 you had so many ships in the fight at once and a bazillion reserves. In this game you can have a larger fleet in the fight, and then have multiple fleets at the system waiting to fight. You can definitely have more ships in the fight in this game than the previous, so the fights are bigger, in concept.
Originally Posted by GShock
The problem is right now that the computer is not good at using tech, building fleets, and bringing the fight. The computer doesn't use drones and battle riders. The computer doesn't build anything besides standard command modules and for the most part, armor mission sections. It even includes colony ships in invasion fleets for some reason, which makes the battles super easy. Like destroying 40 invasion fleets in a row without a loss easy. It gets to whereits more of a nuisance than a threat. Until they turn the corner on the AI making the fleets, the battles are small, not challenging.
If I hear that the AI has also stopped being rock-stupid too, yeah.
Originally Posted by Blackwarder
In that case wait till the end of the month
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth
As Ulz mentioned, Defence fleets sounds like they could be very nifty for human versus human games but until the AI steps up in challenge beyond just ignoring movement rules and other such advantages that don't actually make them any more difficult to fight, then defence fleets will just make the game even less interesting and engaging until a point where the AI improves.
It's already easy to wipe the floor with any hostile attempt by a AI empire just using admiral led fleets and relocated... the AI keeps sending their fleets to the same system even after losing 3-4 fleets previously so I know exactly where to relocate a fleet to wait... give me the ability to have more systems with defensive ships and to be honest the game might as well just grant auto victory to the player for every AI attack.
Then there are the random encounters when you have VN just sat off in the distance sipping a cup of tea watching the fireworks as my colony defensive missiles explode into their face, only to send a p'ed off response fleet that then does exactly the same.
At least the killer clouds do something, but ever since a few patches back when planetary missile bugs got fixed, and each individual cloud became susceptible to a wider range of weapon even they're not as threatening as they once were.
Back in December I was chomping at the bit for more features to defend my systems... but oddly enough between then and now the games got easier as the difficulty seems to have stemmed from bugs and miscalculations and not from the actual content.
Last edited by Tikigit; 18-02-2012 at 08:07.