Ship Names, Crew & Experience

Hello Everyone,

Been lurking and watching this game for a while now, but thought I’d register and share a few thoughts.

First, just like to say, that I’m looking forward to pre-ordering this game and taking it for a spin, thank you very much Cliffski for making a game like this!
Now onto the true reason for my post. I’m not sure if any or all of the ideas below have been discussed/thought of, so apologies if I’ve just re-posted old ideas.

Personally, one of the main reasons I enjoy open-ended games like these is that they allow the player to use his imagination to fill in the blanks. Look at games like Hearts of Iron, the Total War series, Space Empires or Dwarf Fortress, and you have a huge community who just love to spin yarns and write long stories about the armies they command, The victories they’ve accomplished and the people that help them develop over time. The characters become that much more real to the authors and those that read about them.

The ideas I’m presenting are all in an effort to give the player a stronger emotional bond with his fleet/ships throughout the single player campaign. Some of the ideas probably go against the whole gratuitous idea, but I would enjoy them :slight_smile: Just take them as food for thought for a later release I suppose.

  1. Allow the player to name individual ships.

I believe this would be the simplest addition (and might already be in the game) No effect on the game really, I just love adding individuality to my ships. What is more disheartening, seeing the USS Enterprise explode in a ball of gratuitous flames, or Galaxy Class #3?

  1. Each fleet could have a flag ship.

The flag ship could give a bonus to certain attacks or defenses to ships, if it’s crippled/retreats/ is blown to tiny bits, the fleet loses the bonus.

  1. Crews/Captains should gain experience.

I think the easiest way to implement this would be to look at Battle of Wesnoth. Each unit is named (Can we name the Captain?) and as they fight they gain experience points. Once the battle is over that unit is saved and you can purchase it in the next battle for the price of the ship + additional fee based on how experienced the crew is. If the ship is destroyed, the crew is lost.
This would give a good reason for players to try and protect heavily damaged/ very experienced ships. You’d also have a reason to try and get your heavily damaged ships to retreat instead of them all fighting to the end. Yes you beat the ultra-hard level 25 fleet, but you lost your favourite captain and his crew in the process. Care to try again and see if you can save them?
Perhaps heavily damaged ships also lose experience to account for crew being killed/wounded.
To tie in above with the flagship idea, the crew with the highest experience could be named admiral of the fleet, if they are destroyed/incapacitated, the next highest crew/Captain assumes command with a smaller bonus?

Anyways, i think I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll end the post here.

Anyone else have any thoughts on the ideas?


I like all these ideas, but I’m wondering how they’ll fit into the structure of GSB (as I currently understand it). It seems aimed mostly towards one-off conflicts, so I’m not sure how these ideas could be balanced or even implemented. That said, there could be all kinds of features that Cliffski’s only hinted at so far, so who knows!

I do very much agree with #1 - it would be cool to be able to name your ships. I’d probably just work myself into an unnecessary froth if a ship (that I like for no reason other than the name) got destroyed. So, it’d be fun, but probably a mixed blessing. Then again, maybe I just get unreasonably attached to game units that I name!

re: Flagships, one of the blog posts made it sound like enemy fleets would have flagships. It wasn’t clear if there would be some kind of morale bonus involved or if it was just a bigger, more powerful ship, though.

Another vote in favor of naming your own ships!

I would like to have flagships that confer a morale bonus which is realized as a positive modifier to fleet firepower, or an accuracy booster for to-hit probabilities. Having an intact flagship generate a fleet-wide maneuver bonus would be intriguing – perhaps letting multiple ships move in lockstep and make combined attacks, or decreasing turning radius while also increasing the speed at which turns are made.

A nice idea, I really love it, having persistent crew/captain experience would help give the game more depth and a feeling of accomplishment.

Perhaps the crew “experience” can also be expressed as giving the ships weapons a better tracking time/fire rate? (more experienced crews operate the weapons more efficiently/effectively.

If crew experience is added however, I would like to see some kind of “escape pod” module available to add as well if one desires so the crew of your flagship or other prized vessel won’t be destroyed by a run of bad luck/volley fired upon. (Of course if you want to take the risk you can leave off the escape pod module in favor of another system…)

you all know you can right click ships and rename them n the deployment screen right?
Or have I misunderstood what you are suggesting?

No, you can’t rename them. You can choose a random name, but the actual name box is read-only.

Gah I thought I’d made that editable. I’ll fix that first thing tomorrow morning!