Author Topic: Mobile producer rally and control group refinements  (Read 2213 times)

Offline tadrinth

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Mobile producer rally and control group refinements
« on: September 27, 2016, 01:03:21 PM »
Disclaimer: I might be overthinking this. 

From the Neinzul player faction proposal thread:
I think the main issue is how to give a "rally or sequence of orders" to a mobile ship and have it pass on to drones.

If you have a space dock pumping out tigers, you can FRD them to a particular planet using a rally point. 

But, if you have a mobile space dock pumping out tigers (or an enclave pumping out drones), you can't give the MSD a rally point, because it's a mobile unit.  If you right click on a location, that just gives the MSD a move order.  You can move the MSD into a system and put it in FRD mode, but you can't tell it to send all the tigers it produces after a particular target in the system.  You can repeatedly grab them as they come out and point them in the right direction, but that's a pain. 

MSDs also interact somewhat weirdly with control groups.  You can put them into a control group, which is useful as everything they make will then be in that control group.  Then if you select the control group, if brave MSDs is on, you get the military forces and the MSDs; if it's off, you can only select the military forces, and there's no way to grab just the MSDs in that group.  Sometimes you want to move just the military units, and sometimes you want to move just the docks, and sometimes both.  You can grab all the docks, but sometimes I want to move the docks making my tigers separately from the docks making my regular fleet ships, or whatever.

I don't have any amazing solutions to either problem, but I have some ideas (though they're all complicated).

You could make a modifier hotkey that says 'this is a rally point order, not a regular order'.  As part of this, you could make rally points full-fledged order queues.  IE, you can tell your MSD to send everything it builds at an armored golem, and then at a fortress, and then to FRD.  Bonus: if enclave starships return, you can use this interface to direct their drones.  That's yet another modifier key, though. 

The control group issue is a bit trickier.  One thing you could do is allow production facilities to have control groups assigned to particular parts of their production queue.  IE, you can have one dock producing fighters and tigers, and you can tell it to put the fighters into control group 3 and the tigers into control group 4.  Then you can put the docks into whatever control groups you want.   One way to do this would be to let docks have multiple production queues; each queue can be assigned a control group and can be turned on and off independently.  Then you don't need as many docks, either, which would be fantastic.

Or, you use modifier keys to let you select the military or nonmilitary components of a particular control group.  IE, hitting 1 gives you the military parts, and hitting Q+1 gives you everything, and W+1 gives you just the docks.  That's even more modifiers, though.

Or, using the 'this is a rally point order' modifier key tells a mixed group of military and production units that the military units should follow those orders and the production units should pass those orders on to what they're building. That's probably how that should work anyway.  That way you can give orders to just the military units with the whole group selected.   Ordering just the docks is a little clunky, but you usually just park them in the back anyway; ordering everything to move to the safe spot and then overriding that order with a rally-modified attack order lets you do that fairly easily.

I probably use this sort of stuff more than average; I know some players don't even really use control groups.  So please comment if you think this is overkill.

It's also possible that squadrons will make some of this unnecessary. 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 01:07:39 PM by tadrinth »

Offline x4000

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Re: Mobile producer rally and control group refinements
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 04:42:04 PM »
Oh cool!  That actually is a really interesting idea.  I had been thinking about having multiple queues already as a possible improvement, and being able to set basically speeds on each one.  Because then you need fewer construction tools in general, and you can say something like "build these cheap things at 3x the normal rate" and "build these expensive things at 1/10th the rate" if you want to.  And then you have a sustainable metal outflow without there ever being giant gaps in your little things popping out.

Tying those to control groups as well... heck that would solve a lot of problems with things that people were doing previously to auto-assign control groups before that no longer would work with the new cross-planet CGs.

I really like that idea a lot, although I'm not sure if it should be wrapped into the mothership or not.
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