Author Topic: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders  (Read 1659 times)

Offline Asteroid

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Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« on: October 15, 2019, 10:10:32 PM »
I think this is not a game where you are going to put half your fusion bombers on attack-move and half of them on hold fire, or whatever combination.

One of the reasons stems from unit churn: your units die and get rebuilt by the flagship, then come back into the fight with standing orders inherited from the flagship. So currently you really want to have the same standing orders for the whole fleet.

The other reason is just the pretty high level at which things happen in this game, micromanaging standing orders on five units in a corner just to have those orders potentially lost when you order the fleet around or they get killed just isn't worth your time.

Thoughts? Personally I'd like standing orders to be changed so they always apply to a whole fleet member group. So if you have one bomber and and one parasite selected, and change standing orders, those will be the standing orders for all bombers and parasites in the fleet.
With this change in place, standing orders can be inherited from what is assigned to the fleet member group instead of what is inherited from the flagship. This way all your parasites stay on hold fire to avoid getting slaughtered by turrets they can't hurt, and bombers keep cleaning up those turrets in full-on aggro mode.
The fleet panel would get an indication of which group has which order.

We could also go all the way and have standing orders apply to the whole fleet. It'd at least be consistent and easy to manage, but I feel like giving different orders to different unit types will come handy often enough to justify it.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 11:24:36 PM by Asteroid »

Offline I-KP

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2019, 04:57:59 AM »
I'd use it.
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Offline kmunoz

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2019, 09:41:31 PM »
I don't really know how to use my units well right now, and part of this is due to the controls not really letting me experiment easily with my options. Right now the best I can do is target specific units and unit types with my whole fleet, or maybe use the dreaded Planet tab to select a unit type to do something... but like you say, that's very ephemeral in terms of long term planning and control. So in the end I usually just blob, and blob poorly, and die. I'm so baffled by how to use my units that I can't even comprehend (let along implement effectively) doing ship line swaps. Like...why would I do that. They're all just a blob.

I would jump at the chance to have some kind of standing order option for unit types. It's hard to see right now how it would be implemented given that the interface for the most part doesn't "care" about things at the unit/unit type level. Even the Planet tab wouldn't be enough because if you have two fleets with the same type of unit then you'd be setting orders for all of them rather than all the units in one fleet.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 01:14:41 AM »
You can do exactly that with the extra 9 custom fleets, no ?

Offline I-KP

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 04:46:40 AM »
You can do exactly that with the extra 9 custom fleets, no ?
Technically, yes.
Practically, no.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2019, 10:13:26 AM »
You can do exactly that with the extra 9 custom fleets, no ?
Technically, yes.
Practically, no.

How so?  That's what those are essentially for, among a few other things.  Trying to have sub-orders inside fleets for specific lines would be a UI nightmare of micromangement clicking and so on, and not being able to see the state of things very well, etc.  I could see the feature being implemented without TOO much difficulty, but it seems like visual feedback would be very poor.
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Offline I-KP

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2019, 01:21:39 PM »
My understanding of what's being suggested, and the function of the new custom flagships, is that the only way I can issue _temporary_ different standing orders to part of a fleet, i.e., one ship line, on a situational basis (this is only ever going to be situationally useful anyway) is to have a custom flagship hanging around 'just in case', swap the ship line to it that I want to behave differently to the original fleet, and then swap it back once the situation has been resolved. Quite the faff compared to just clicking on a single ship and giving it a new standing order.

In the later stages of the game there's already a lot of fleet icons to wrangle, now even more if you use custom flagships, and I just happen to think that the idea is a neat way of providing some of the function of having another flagship without actually needing to have that extra flagship hanging around.

Anyway, the game is so pro-blobbing that such a function would go completely unused by the vast majority of players. Most problems in AI War are solved by just throwing millions of units of metal at it. :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2019, 01:52:24 PM »
My thought on it is basically that if you're wanting your melee units to act differently, they should go in their own fleet in general, and then that problem disappears.  Typically it's always people wanting melee units to act a certain way.
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Offline I-KP

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2019, 03:48:37 PM »
I prefer to arrange my fleets like Napoleon organised his forces: pocket armies. Each one is like a mini-version of the full show. Every fleet has a broad range of capability, that way I can grab a bunch of fleets at a pinch and they'll all fit together seamlessly and be able to tackle almost anything. And that includes a melee line. The general principle being that any one fleet can hold anything off for at least enough time for other pocket armies to reinforce. That's not to say that I don't use dedicated fleets, I do, but usually only where Snipers or Stealth is concerned.

For the way I play I see some value in what's been suggested. Equally, I'm not going to cry buckets that it's not a thing.
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Offline Asteroid

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2019, 06:43:02 PM »
How so?  That's what those are essentially for, among a few other things.  Trying to have sub-orders inside fleets for specific lines would be a UI nightmare of micromanagement clicking and so on, and not being able to see the state of things very well, etc.  I could see the feature being implemented without TOO much difficulty, but it seems like visual feedback would be very poor.
Isn't the current situation where every single unit in your fleet can have a different standing order a worse nightmare?
I mean, I'd settle for standing orders being always per-fleet, period, rather than the status quo.

Of course my suggestion of having per-ship line standing orders would make even more sense if unit selection always selected a whole ship line, as I've suggested before.

We really need opt-in telemetry in this game if you want certitude that you can make changes to controls without angering your player base. But judging by what I read on the forums, I bet 95% of players never give orders to a smaller group than a ship line, and 80% never give orders to anything smaller than a fleet. Hell, there must be people who never order around anything smaller than most of their ships blobbed together.

If anyone does three-pronged pincer movements with their fusion bombers ship line, now is the time to speak up.

Offline Nuc_Temeron

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2019, 07:53:23 PM »
Anyway, the game is so pro-blobbing that such a function would go completely unused by the vast majority of players. Most problems in AI War are solved by just throwing millions of units of metal at it. :)

This is true, but you will do better to use R to find ideal ships to counter the enemy fleet/wave, then reading the bonuses of the bulk of the enemy fleet to remove those that are countered. The rest of the ships should be in standard mode as a reserve, while your ideal ship fleet, in attack mode in a flank or pincer formation, wipes the enemy with virtually no losses. The allows your economy to stay strong which allows for a larger bank for sieges or defense building.

I do use different modes for different ships in one fleet, and I do sometimes box-select a portion of ships to put them in normal mode when trying to corral my stragglers into a better position. It's easy to re-set all of the fleet/ship lines to a uniform mode with a few clicks.

I agree that this will not be the instinct of many players, but in time will become more common, I expect.

Offline Asteroid

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2019, 04:04:57 PM »
This is true, but you will do better to use R to find ideal ships to counter the enemy fleet/wave, then reading the bonuses of the bulk of the enemy fleet to remove those that are countered. The rest of the ships should be in standard mode as a reserve, while your ideal ship fleet, in attack mode in a flank or pincer formation, wipes the enemy with virtually no losses. The allows your economy to stay strong which allows for a larger bank for sieges or defense building.

I do use different modes for different ships in one fleet, and I do sometimes box-select a portion of ships to put them in normal mode when trying to corral my stragglers into a better position. It's easy to re-set all of the fleet/ship lines to a uniform mode with a few clicks.

I agree that this will not be the instinct of many players, but in time will become more common, I expect.
As a player who does more than just blobbing, how would you feel if the ship line became the basic selection unit, i.e. clicking an individual unit would select that whole ship line in the fleet, and box-selecting multiple unit would select all ship lines that have at least one unit in the box-selection?
You'd be able to assign standing orders to each of those ship lines and they would be transmitted to newly rebuilt ships (unlike now when they get whatever standing order the flagship has).

Offline Nuc_Temeron

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2019, 06:45:06 PM »
how would you feel if the ship line became the basic selection unit, i.e. clicking an individual unit would select that whole ship line in the fleet, and box-selecting multiple unit would select all ship lines that have at least one unit in the box-selection?
You'd be able to assign standing orders to each of those ship lines and they would be transmitted to newly rebuilt ships (unlike now when they get whatever standing order the flagship has).

I also frequently select one single cloaked ship, put it in standard mode then hold fire to preserve stealth, and send it to scout (update data). You don't wanna do that with all of that cloaked squad when just one ship would do. When I box select ships I don't usually want all of them, just all of them in the box.

Also, I think double-clicking a unit selects all the units of that type on a planet.

Offline kmunoz

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2019, 09:51:05 PM »
how would you feel if the ship line became the basic selection unit, i.e. clicking an individual unit would select that whole ship line in the fleet

Can't you already do this by double clicking an individual unit?

Offline I-KP

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Re: Discussion: Per-fleet-member standing orders
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2019, 06:13:13 AM »
I do it by selecting the ship icon from the Planet tab. It's often difficult to find croutons in the icon soup.
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