Confused about 'max range'

Sorry to be thick :wink: but I thought I knew what max range meant, but now I’m not so sure…

It could be…
a) The maximum engagement range - ie ships will not be fired upon unless they’re closer than this OR
b) The range which ships close to in order to engage, but they fire according to their individual weapon ranges

I’ve always assumed it’s (b). To test it out, I set max range to 2000 and my ships stopped moving, which backs this up. BUT! the range menus and manual imply it’s (a).

Can anyone relieve me of my confusion?

If you’re referring to the slider in the Attack X orders, then the behavior I’ve observed can only support interpretation (b). Ships definitely do shoot at targets outside of their ordered engagement range. I’m not sure, but the manual and other docs might be confusing on this because there is also a fixed maximum range for each turret which you can see in various places, and that one does mean that ships further away will not be fired at.

if you order ships to fire below minimum range they wont shoot

Thanks for that - I am indeed talking about the Attack sliders.

It’s fairly clear to understand the weapon ranges - clicking on a turret shows them, after all - but I do think that the term ‘max (engagement) range’ is confusing. It implies that ships will not be fired upon unless they’re within the set range, yet we think that it’s actually to do with the distance that ships close to.

If it is (b), then perhaps ‘engagement range’ (dropping the max) or ‘close to distance’ would be a better term. And if it’s not (b) then I’m still horribly confused!

Cliffski - could you clarify? Is the Attack Range slider to do with closure distances or attack behaviour?

Cheers all!

Additionally I would prefer ships start firing as soon as target is in an weapon range. Currently it will start only if you are in “engagement” range. (correct me if I’m wrong) :slight_smile:

Yes, this is confusing. The way it’s worded leaves one to believe that if max range is 750 and optimum range is 650, setting the attack slider to 650 means that while the ship is closing the 100m between max and optimum, the weapon won’t fire at all.

O.K. then: You’re wrong about the current behavior of the game. :slight_smile:

I have been fielding cruisers with relatively short range weaponry lately (Cruiser Lasers, max range 490m, min range 95m, insane DPS) and when I set their attack orders I usually want them to get in as close as possible (100m). They open fire at their max range, and keep on shooting while they continue to close the range to their target (who is usually dead before they get there).

Ships definitely fire on targets outside the “max range” set in their attack orders. To test this, create some cruisers with long-range missiles, give them a defense laser, deploy them against a mission with attacking fighters, and set their fighter attack order max range to 300. They’ll start unloading missiles at the oncoming fighters halfway across the map.

In any event, the wording is confusing. It also seems that ships will close to that range, but not make any special effort to back off if they get in closer. I’ve had torpedo frigates with “keep moving” orders end up drifting closer to a cruiser than their minimum range and just blunder around, eventually getting distracted by fighters. It would be better if they’d maneuver to keep targets as close to their “max range” as possible. And with that in mind, I agree that “engagement range” would be a much better label for the setting.

I think we could do with a min and max engagement range. That would allow for a more fine grained control of ship behaviour.

I agree that the current system is confusing. I think the problem is that the “Attack X” orders are trying to do too much at once. In another thread I proposed splitting them up into orders related to the maneuvering of the ship and orders related to targeting of specific weapons. That would allow a lot more flexibility.

This is a great suggestion. To make it more new-user friendly, possibly keep the current orders as they are, but new ones that if present will override the “default” behavior on a per-weapon basis. That way you can tell a cruiser to ignore fighters, but have its defense lasers target them again.

It’s surely too late for this, but I’m not sold on the Attack sliders, period. They’re a clunky addition, and inexact in use (try setting it to exactly 590). To address the second problem, surely we’d be better off with a way to input from the keyboard, for such a fiddly parameter as the range, wouldn’t we? As for the clunky part, I just don’t see why my little Captain Kirks need to be told all this. There is a known optimum range, a known max range, etc, and the ship AI should know this. General orders such as attack from far away while still bringing all relevant guns into play, attack from mid range, close range, etc etc seems preferable to what in most cases, is busywork and jiggling that slider to get it on exactly 600. Still, now that we can assign default orders per ship, that should get rid of a lot of the busywork.

Honestly, I like the ability to have very fine-grained control. I don’t always trust those little Captain Kirks to do the right thing. :-p And with the default orders, as you say, it’s no longer a chore to get that stuff set up for every battle.

I’m definitely with you on the input issue, though - sliders are a pain to use for specifying exact numerical values.