Ok, so as should have been predicted, you can build big ‘stacked’ units where you have your whole fleet bunched on top of each other. This is possible if you have ships with no engines which you just dump on top of each other in the deployment screen. It’s also possible to have ships ordered to stack in formation, and although the collision code will prevent that getting too absolute, it’s still a problem, and it looks ugly
The proposed solutions which I like the best are these:
Area-of-effect damage for some, or all weapons. This would be a disincentive to stack ships, clearly because you are making things easier for the enemy that way. If it was only some weapons, then we could have a variable ‘splash damage’ percentage and radius for each weapon, which might also be cool. Maybe beam weapons have zero splash damage, but missiles do? or whatever combination works.
Powerplant detonation splash damage. In other words, when a ship finally explodes, it has a large radius splash damage effect on everyone close by. I thought it might be cool to have this determined partly by the nature of the ships powerplant, so over-powered ships with 3 power-IIIs would go up like the hindenburg and wipe out everything around them, whereas ships that were mainly missile-boats with low power output would just go fizz. This would add all sorts of extra nail-biting about what modules to pick.
This could either be triggered on final ship destruction, or for even more giggles, determined by when the power-module itself gets to 0% integrity. That could trigger lucky-hit chain reactions within a ship itself too. Maybe splash damage only affects ships without shields? maybe it penetrates shields automatically and does direct internals, if it occurs within the shield bubble of a stacked ship? bwahahahaha.
What do you think? which of these (or both) sounds like a reasonable fix? or is there a better way? I’d much rather have a nice gameplay-consistent designed way to dissuade stacking rather than a harsh hacky code method to force ships apart, which is messy. Can anyone think of ways in which these changes could be counter-productive, or exploitable?