I’ve been loving the game, but I feel like I sometimes have trouble getting the fleet to behave how I’d like. I have a couple of suggestions on ways to change the order system that might help things:
Multi Ship selections in orders like “Escort”
One thing I like to do is have fighters stay back with my capital ships to defend from fighters. Of course, the way to do this now is assign fighter fleets to escort individual ships scattered amongst the capital ships, however this is very time consuming and gives poor coverage. What would be good is if you could do something along the lines of selecting a set of ships that the fighters will escort (something along the lines of "stay within a certain range of at least one ship in this collection). This would make assigning the order much faster and give a better match to at least the way that I’d like to play. A similar alternate method might be to allow the naming of sets of ships, so the ability to box select groups of ships and make them “group 1” for instance as is done in many RTSes, and then allow for orders like escort to include things like “escort group 1”. If neither of these are feasible given your current code base or are simple enough for use in game, then at least some orders like “escort cruisers” or “escort frigates” which would be something like “stay within a certain distance of some cruiser” might be good.
I’m only using escort as a most common example I encounter, I feel the others like “formation” (where currently destroying a single ship in a group might send a perfectly fine fleet spiraling out of formation), or protector (where sometimes I want to issue something like “protect the multi-missle cruiser”) would also benefit from similar improvements in flexibility and ease of use, not to mention time saving while issuing orders.
Improved movement commands
Other threads have mentioned this one, but some abilities to give directions where you want components of the fleet to go after the start would be good. I can’t say how many times I’ve created a task force to deal with a certain portion of the enemy fleet only to have it fly the wrong way and get defeated by ships that it was never designed to handle. Something like a “move towards” or a “move along path” command would give an excellent way to solve this. Also more advanced relative movement commands like “stay between a targeted ship and the one attacking it” might be good (one of my current favorite ships is a dirt cheap point defense frigate which you can use to sop up remaining cash and give nearly perfect missile defense leaving big ships for carrying the big guns!).
Anyone have any input on these ideas?