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Fleet Organization and Grouping
#1
I have some suggestions for an improvement to how spaceships and fleets are handled. Most of this focus is on the current follow command.

The goal: Be able to form groups of ships with each performing a specialized function. This could include, for example, a fleet consisting of a heavily shielded command ship, an atmospheric harvester for remote refueling, an orbital bombardment ship, and an anti-ship craft.

Key components:
-When going to warp and a follow ship command is active for a ship within a certain distance that belongs to the same empire, fix the ships relative to each other so they stay together during warp and system transition.
-Include a "Follow at relative position" command. This would allow a ship to always be positioned in a formation.
-Allow "Fleet" mission orders to be issued at once. For example, a mission disk that tasks ships 1-3 to orbit above a planet 120 degrees from each other while ship 4 harvests hydrogen then transfers this fuel to ships 1-3 in order.

Together, this would allow much better coordination of groups of ships for military or harvesting missions. Discussion would be helpful.
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#2
Agree. Overall we need a proper fleet mechanic, not the actual half-baked "same name / same channel" thing.
Even Starmade make it better xD
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#3
All seconded, very strongly.  A certain tolerance for the relative position and disallowing mutually exclusive orders (two ships, accidentally each trying to be above the other) should make it easier on the servers. 

Orientation relative to target would also be an obvious addition to postional orders, so ships could fly back-to-back or at other angles.

Locked position during warp is a great idea. You would need to have same-grade warp tech on each ship OR, simpler, just require nominal tractor beam capability on the lead ship and leave it at that.
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#4
(12-12-2019, 08:35 PM)Vectorus Wrote: All seconded, very strongly.  A certain tolerance for the relative position and disallowing mutually exclusive orders (two ships, accidentally each trying to be above the other) should make it easier on the servers. 

Orientation relative to target would also be an obvious addition to postional orders, so ships could fly back-to-back or at other angles.

Locked position during warp is a great idea. You would need to have same-grade warp tech on each ship OR, simpler, just require nominal tractor beam capability on the lead ship and leave it at that.

If the ships have differing warp factors, it could also force it to use the lowest factor available. If tractor beam is available to carry the ships with the lowest factor, then the next lowest until tractor beam slots are taken up. You could make a fleet warp "carrier" with enough tractor beams this way if you wanted, to conserve volume space on the other ships too. Would already make a 'role' for a ship with this system.
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#5
x4 had a mechanic where you can have a ship take command of other ships a subordinate mechanic.
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#6
My personal suggestion for this is to create either a new station that takes the place of the captain's seat. Call it the Admiral's Chair. When it's on a ship that ship can act as a flag ship for a fleet.

I'd also suggest to keep people from just spamming death fleets there should be rules on size of fleets.

Off the top of my head I'd suggest having a fleet only be able to be made up of three ships, the flag ship and two followers. Each one needing a NPC officer but only the flag ship needing a player.

Ship size should be limited in a way... as perhaps a percentage of the flag ship's mass.
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#7
Fleets could perhaps be implemented alongside an ongoing maintenance cost for ships, as discussed elsewhere, to make the cronodollar economy more meaningful.

Fleets limits could be integrated with this, with a non-linear increasing maintenance cost for "fleet logistics and admin" for each ship added, which would avoid the obnoxiousness of a hard cap.

This should be balanced by some more benefits. Perhaps ships in a fleet can pull from each other's cargo and fuel, target things using another ship's sensors, perhaps even balance shields using another ship's capacity. In general pool more stats, encouraging more specialized ship designs. Flagships could provide a choice of buff to the whole fleet.

Then, to encourage coop play, when ships with online players aboard form a fleet, you get the buffs without the cost.
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