Expansion Suggestion: Captains

I am saddened to see GSB2 dragged through coals after the launch. It’s not really deserving of the hate being flung it’s way. I think most of the new features added over the past months were to appease them, but the entitled haters have done their damage. It is my humble advice to focus mainly on squashing bugs and removing crashes, then focusing on an expansion. Small new features aren’t going to change the minds of the haters.

I think people are expecting a Galactic Conquest style expansion. That may be the best option since loads of people are still have twisted panties about there not being a 4X strategy component to the game. However, let’s ignore the boring, predictable people and consider my suggestion for an expansion.

I suggest adding Captains as entities that can be assigned to ships to confer bonuses. During the prep phase, captains can be assigned to any ship, costing slightly more honor. Captains have two aspects.

Captains first aspect is a small trait bonus to the stats of ships they are on. Some examples could be “Deadeye” +XX% tracking, “Hotrod” +XX% movement Speed, “Handy” +XX% repair speed, “Focused” +XX% fire rate.

The second aspect is a conditional change in a ships orders. This is hard to explain, so let me give an example.

Kraugerisk Captain Kames T. Jirk is a Hotrod Aggressive Captain. He gets put on a small attack frigate with the “Cautious” Order at 50%. Kames makes his attack run, his ship gets damaged, and he follows his order to fall back. Meanwhile, the battle is going very well, and the enemy forces have have their total health % fall 20 percentage points below his own side. Jirk senses victory, and as an aggressive captain, removes his cautious order, and heads back into the fight to help mop up the remaining enemy forces.

As you can see, the “Aggressive” trait causes a change in behaviour of the ship. The ship will follow orders as expected until a triggering condition is applied. If the ship doesn’t have an order that can be changed, nothing will happen, but good admirals will pair captains with ships they will make best use of with their given traits.

These are all the order changing traits I can see:

Escort Captain: Assigns a new escort target if the current target was destroyed.
Cautious Captain: Changes Last Stand to Cautious 50% to his ship if the friendly side falls 20 percentage points below the enemy team.
Aggressive Captain: Changes any Cautious Order to Last Stand if the enemy side falls 20 percentage points below the friendly team.
Panicky Captain: Changes Formation to Keep Moving if the target of the formation was destroyed.
Gloryhound Captain: Removes Formation and Cooperative, then Adds Vulture if either side has had it’s health total reduced to 50%.
Pessimistic Captain: Changes Protect Order to Retaliate if protected ship has had its health reduced to 50%

Captains can be aquired in the shop for honor, and every race has different combinations of traits. Perhaps special captains could be won by defeating single missions on higher difficulties Captains arent required, but they would allow for different types of orders and emergent tactics employed by the AI. It also gives more chances to showcase your style of comedic writing in the descriptions for the captains. Battles, wins and losses and a list of commanded ships can be tied to the captains.

I think this is a big enough addition that an Expansion is justified, and a cool enough addition that it will catch the attention of players that were turned off by all the negative reviews, and give reason to give GSB2 a second chance.

Excellent, thought-forward idea. Nice example, too.

I would suggest that for the amount of about 20x the honour of a captain, one could also “buy” a Fleet admiral and assign it to a fleet.
The admiral must be assigned to a ship (which becomes flag ship) and the bonus of the admiral should be a little bit higher for the single ship than the captain’s, and it should also have a boost to the whole fleet. When the Flag ship is destroyed, the fleet’s bonus should either get removed, or even reversed. That makes protecting the flag ship important.

Some more ideas of captain’s bonuses:

  • Battle Instinct: Chance to detect a holographic projection, and via Cooperative order this can be used by more ships…
  • Engineer: Support beams and electronic components (like repair, shields) of the ship have higher efficiency.
  • Over the top: Battle hunger causes this captain to “replenish” his shield gradually, causing instability and possibly damage. Similar thing done to engines.
  • Charismatic: All ships in the formation of this ship gathers “Cooperative” as long as this ship is not destroyed/withdrawing; the other ships get “Protector” on this ship as long as it is not destroyed; the other ships get cautious 50% and the formation is dropped when this ship is destroyed.

As you see, those ideas could be extended to very complex behaviours…

More order conditionals would be nice, regardless of anything else.

I don’t think physical captains add all that much, though. Assigning them to ships would be a UI annoyance that would definitely not scale well to large deployments.

Well, it could be an additional module and slot added on the ship design screen. Ships get X-type captain, and the names are randomly generated on deployment. It wouldn’t change current deployments, all those ships will just have an empty captain slot.

Its true that I have got a bit sidetracked by basically trying to answer criticisms of the game not having a galactic conquest mode, even though the original game didn’t have it either,. and it was a paid expansion…

I’ve added the linear campaign, but since then I’ve been paying attention to fixing any crash bugs or other bugs, and also improving some visual effects which I thought were not as good as they could have been.
I think regarding captains, what you are basically getting at is an expansion of the order system, and I certainly think orders could do with a bit of improvement before worrying about individual ships captains as well.
I’d also like to put a bit more work into the online / social side, regarding the way people issue challenges, see who played them, and so on.

I have a thing I want to say about that but its off topic so I’m going to start a new thread. :smiley: