Sometimes I feel that the orders I give my fleet do not have quite the effect I wanted, and it can be hard to understand why. You can see in this thread (viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5357) where I suggest that relatively simple and predictable AI behavior can sometimes seem to have baffling effects, simply because we have to learn to interpret orders the way the computer does.
I know its part of the game to tweak and re-tweak your orders, and to try to figure out the best course of action through trial and error. But there’s a difference between tweaking through experimentation and outright trying to figure out why my orders aren’t being followed.
Usually, there’s a simple answer. But finding it takes a lot of time, practice, and asking questions on the forum to understand what’s going on. And telling us what’s going on seems like the job of the user interface. So I think there can be a few improvements made to it.
First off, i enjoy the beautiful battles uncluttered by lots of HUD information, but sometimes, you really want that information. I suggest that lots of additional information should appear when you select a ship.
Most notably, you should see a line extending from your ship to its navigation target, so you can see which enemy the ship has selected and better determine why that is if it wasn’t the target you wanted.
If you select a particular weapon, there should be two lines: one that extends to your chosen navigation target and another that extends to the gunner’s target. The color the line should indicate why the weapon isn’t firing: if its reloading, if the target is beyond maximum range, or if the target is within minimum range. Clicking again on a selected ship should cycle through its weapons to make it easier to present this information. The lines should also display the range to the selected enemy.
Additional lines should probably be made if there are special movement orders such as escort, formation, etc.
Again, I only feel this information should be displayed if I specifically click on a ship to see its information while it is fighting. The regular battle should still be viewable in all its beautiful, uncluttered glory.