Maintaing Distance to Target (Bug?)

When I set the engagment distance to just inside the maximum weapon distance, sometimes my ships stay at that distance, but 4 out of 5 times they don’t.

For example, I have some extremely long-range frigates that use frigate missles with a max range of 1200. When I set their engagment distance to 1000, they completely ignore it and continue straight towards enemy ships until they’re 300 or so meters away. I’ve tried messing around with every combination of orders, dials, toggles, and anything else I can think of, but they always close the distance. About the only thing I haven’t tried is removing the engines.

What gives?

Your ships may be driving toward ships in the back of the enemy fleet. This would be affected by the priorities you give to each Attack order.

Also, are you using the Keep Moving order? Ships with this order will keep engagement distance to half engagement distance between them and the driving target.

Can’t think of anything else that would be having this effect.

Nice to know. Now. I haven’t actually paid any attention to it, because I seldom use the “Keep Moving” order, but it would have been… a proper thing to do to mention this little detail either in the manual or in-game.

Nope, not using the “Keep Moving” order. In fact, that’s most of the problem–I don’t want them to move. Just for the heck of it, I did actually remove their engines once, and it worked, but I mean…really? Just to try one last thing, I’m going to try removing everything but the “Attack Freighters” order, and see if they stilll move (assuming that Enemy Cruisers are farther back, which they are in most deployments.)

I believe the way it currently works, if Attack Cruisers was at 50% and Attack Frigates was 100%, both at same range, with the nearest cruiser was at 1000m and the nearest frigate was at 1900m, the ship in question would fly straight past the cruiser to the frigate.

Could someone explain to me how the target priority percentages actually work? For example, if my ship is going to engage all three classes of enemy vessels, I usually set the percentages as follows (the numbers are just examples): fighters 10%, frigates 50% and cruisers 40%. The total, combined percentage being 100. Am I doing something wrong? Mathematics has never been my strongest area, I hate to confess.

Your problem could be simply that the ships are targetting the fighters. It’s a flaw that I’ll allow cliffski to explain:

Sorry to bring up an old topic, but I have some questions.

  1. Is that bug behaviour you just linked to by cliffski still in effect, or has it been patched out?
  2. I have had similar issues as OP, but haven’t tested it thoroughly. I seem to recall missile frigates sometimes running to point blank on an enemy cruiser, even when it was the only enemy on the map.
  3. I’ve also had sort of the opposite problem. Several times now (but not consistently), my long range frigates will either path to just outside their effective range, or will get to the correct range, then stop dead, and not fire a single shot. This is especially confusing as it has happened sometimes and not others without me changing any of the setting on the frigates…