First off, the anti-fighter weapons avaible to cruisers should be made defensive in the same way the anti-missile defenses are. What I mean is they should be treated as an entirely different set of weapons from the rest, just lite the anti-missiles weapons do. As it is now leaves a weird situation of you cruiser either trying to hit fighters with heavy plasma and anti-fighter or trying to a cruiser with anti-fighter and plasma. See my point here? Make the anti-fighter weapons independently functioning lite the anti-missile deal.
Secondly I think it would add a great deal of depth if you could plot courses for your fleet, or at least give them a generic “all ahead full” or “hold the line” orders. I’m not talking about anything major here, just give the fleet/individual ships som waypoints to go to during the fight. Many times my fleet has just freaked out and remained imobile in the center even though there are long range weapon pounding them. At this point I wish i could’ve either planned a route for them in advance or given them a general order of just moving towards the enemy/opposite edge of the map if they have nothing better to do.
Otherwise, awesome game, love everything about it so far!
But the Cruiser Defence Laser has a 300 range and, say, plasma has 950 or whatever…so if you stick CDL’s on a Cruiser mixed with other long range anti-cruiser/frigate weapons you just prioritise as follows:
vs Fighters 0% Range 300
vs others 100% Range 2000
That way if there are any non-fighters in range of the non-CDL weapons, they are targeted correctly and not at the fighters.
And the ships don;t stop when they get swarmed by fighters but keep on moving towards any other ship within 2k range.
The only issue is if an non-fighter ship gets within 300 range whilst fighters are still swarming you as then the CDL will switch to them, but to be honest that doesn’t happen very often…
But yes the closing (or keeping out of) range issue when being hit without reply is a big one. The cautious order only triggers on hull damage (though I guess if you set it to 0% you get a ship that backs off all the time?)
What about a wait command? As long as we’re programming robot ships we may as well add a wait… so that I can tell my fighters to hang back for a minute while my other ships charge ahead and engage or vice versa.
Agreed on the dedicated anti-fighter weaponry. I would prefer it if they were independantly targetting too. As it is now, if you stack on loads of cruiser defense weapons, every gun will focus fire on just 1 fighter, which looks silly and is really inefficient (takes too long for them to turn around).
But yeah, the reason why we don’t have multipurpose ships with antifighter weaponry is because antifighter weaponry ends up being used on charging cruisers, or plasma on fighters, etc, etc.
I’d much rather being able to carefully programme each turrent instead come think of it.
Different weapons on a ship can already select target different ships. They don’t always pick a very sensible one though, resulting in the targeting issues that you and the OP have been seeing. I agree that being able to give turret specific targeting orders would be one way to fix this, but it might also be possible for the default targeting AI behaviors to be improved in various ways.
For example, a turret should pick a target that is moving slower than it’s tracking speed, but once it has a reasonable chance to hit, it should prefer relatively fast ships to those that are much slower. This would make fast anti-fighter weapons focus on fighters, as the OP wanted. They should be similarly intelligent about shields and armor, and not fire many shots that will reflect if there are other, softer targets around. Cruiser Beam Laser turrets, for instance, should not shoot at shielded cruisers if there are frigates or unshielded ships within their range (and it would be even better if the ship would maneuver to bring some in range if they’re just outside).
Good point, BlckKnght, I actually run into problems with weapons just like those. My current attempt at survival involves a wall of heavily-tanked cruisers with beam lasers, protecting a few frigates full of anti-fighter, disruptor, and ECM missiles.
Sometimes it takes awhile, but the disruptor missiles eventually drop a ships shields. At that moment, I want all of my cruisers to concentrate their beam lasers on that ship. Unfortunately, that’s not often what happens, with 3 of my 4 cruisers pointlessly blasting away at another shielded ship.