I don’t understand why we have to tell a ship to protect itself, or to maintain distance from other ships, especially given the damage a core explosion can do. This should be default behavior and the orders we give should only countermand it. i.e. Hold position no matter what!
Right now we treat the ships like robot decoys.
EDIT to add an example: Imagine if when the enemy ships charged us (like they currently do in the survival scenario) our ships would automatically back off to maintain optimum range and minimize the risk of an explosion? Then, after the ship blew up, our ships would reform their formation.
Right now there is nothing so infuriating for me as my ships sitting like ducks as the enemy closes in right on top of them (not even attempting to back up) and just sit there as that enemy ship then explodes, blowing all their systems out. Worse yet is my ships firing their beams over and over at ships whose shields are reflecting them, when a ship right near by could be cored by those same weapons.
I am thinking we need a dedicated navigator decision tree that is separate from a dedicated target decision tree (like real ships do, navigator vs fire control chief)