I’m new to GSB and I love it, but I do have one suggestion. I know giving orders in battle runs contrary to the point of the game, but I think this one successfully toes the line. How many times has this happened to you:
Its the end of the battle, both fleets have all but annihilated each other in delightfully gratuitous fashion. The enemy cruisers, damaged - but still effective are bearing down on your long range missile cruisers which, having only one tiny engine are struggling like bloated whales to maintain range. You have left in your fleet the means to end the enemy threat quickly - the fully intact fighter squadrons escorting your missile cruisers, but OH NO! they won’t leave their station unless the cruiser they are escorting is destroyed.
My suggestion is a “press the attack” button that you can use during battle. What it would do is once during the battle, you could push the button causing all of your ships to ignore the orders you gave them at the beginning of battle. Your fighters would break away from their escort duties and attack, helping to destroy the enemy cruisers, ending the battle more quickly.
Again, I realize that at first glance it may seem as though any button that allows you to give orders during battle would run contrary to the point of GSB, but I think this one minor break in the wall between pre-battle strategy and mid-battle tactics would be a big help.
I quite like this idea. It’s not really issuing orders during a battle, just making it quicker and easier to mop up survivors once your orders no longer matter. The best thing is that it rewards tactical play to an extent (for instance, it would give no benefit at all to rushes as they’re already sitting on top of the enemy).
Excellent! It would also mean that ships with the cautious order will return to battle to either soak up some damage or help blow up the enemies. But I think that it would have to give the order that is ‘last stand’ (I think, I don’t have that patch on mac so idk) to all ships, so that they dont retreat when damaged.
I also have another suggestion for battles: Being able to view some of the enemy’s ships stats. Idk if this is possible, haven’t found any way, but it would be nice to know if the enemy fleet has tons of plasma or MWM, helping you choose tactics beforehand. It would also be not just useful for weapons, but to see if they have lots of autorepair systems, for example. That would affect whether or not I put lots of rapid fire weapons on to counter that or just slow heavy weapons. Of course when fleet deployment is unknown, this would not happen. Strategy is all about knowing your enemy so you can exploit their weakness. Its hard to do that if all you know is what race and possibly what hull they are using (if you have all of their shapes and stats memorized or written down). You wouldn’t be able to see their orders, but you should have some tactical experts (ship design nreds :P) on your ship to see what they have.
I blame the “RETREAT” button presented merely as an example of the craven sort of thing the enemy would utilize in campaign battles.
To keep with the spirit of the game (that you are merely an observer of the battle, sipping your caffeinated beverage while watching the devastation from a safe, comfy chair removed both in space and time from the actual battle) things like this should be implemented through expansion of the orders system, IMHO. Otherwise we’ll start seeing more buttons trickle in, like “EXECUTE HARD 73° STARBOARD TURN” and “REPLENISH CAFFEINATED BEVERAGE SUPPLIES”.
I generally like the original proposal of this button, but I can’t help but wonder if a more comprehensive answer might be out there.
Making additional, better pre-battle orders available would prevent breaking the game cornerstone of no in-battle meddling by the High Command, but would also likely prevent the stupid situations that are being described. I’ve fallen victim to those same computer misunderstandings myself. While certain capabilities of the suggested “Press The Attack” button are attractive to me, I’m not sure that’s the direction in which the full solution may be found.
Nukenin’s mention of what I see as the real foundation of the problem also touches upon the AI thread. You guys should definitely read it in its entirety, if you haven’t yet done so. It gives a valuable understanding (much of it straight from Cliffski himself) of how your ships’ AI does things differently than you might expect…
I would agree that “breaking the fourth wall” as it were may not be the most ideal solution based on game mechanics. Basically my suggestion is for some way to get your ships to ignore some of there pre-battle orders (or supersede their orders with new ones). For me, so far the most glaring example of this is in the Escort order. If all the enemy fighters are destroyed, I’d like a way for the surviving fighters escorting my cruisers to join the fray, but I haven’t been able to find any way to get the fighters to ignore that initial escort order. I’ve tried using different combinations of the Escort and Protect orders but it usually has the effect of my fighters getting themselves killed too soon.
If something could be devised that would accomplish the same goal of the in-battle button through setting pre-battle orders, that would be good too.
I think we need a completely new order system, which is based around the “if:” “then:” system. For example:
If: “Basic Human Riots” = dead, then: ignore other orders.
The current orders could still be given, like If: game=started, then: Escort “Basic Human Riots” It would allow for much more diverse, strategic gameplay.
I thought a little bit about this when I was writing my last comment. A generic “if…then…” order with different drop down selections would be one way of making the orders more adaptive. At least it would allow you to give conditions to orders for when they take effect or lose effect.