Troubles with Movement/Targeting

Since the last patch I am having all sorts of difficulty having my ships go where needed. They appear to get lost on what to do next or even seek out a target to move in the correct direction.

Here are a couple of images of what I am talking about.

Sadly, I do no think this is exactly a bug. What appears to be happening in the screenshots you posted is that your cruisers have decided that they need to chase after the swarm of fighters that are surrounding them. This tends to be a very poor idea, since the fighters are probably 30 times faster than the cruisers and even the best cruiser defense weapons have crummy tracking speeds, but they won’t let that stop them. This is why many players set their cruisers to ignore fighters by deleting the “Attack Fighters” order.

I proposed in another thread that movement and targeting be controlled by separate orders, so that you can tell the cruiser’s pilots to ignore the fighter swarms while still letting your gunners open fire on them. It would be even better if the targeting orders were specific to the weapon, so the gunners on a Megaton missile battery won’t waste their nukes on fast flyspeck fighters and the defense laser teams wouldn’t bounce their tiny beams off of massive cruiser shields and armor.

I wish that was possible and you could create a set of “default” orders for a design in the ship construction screen so you wouldn’t have to set every ship’s/turret’s order each time you go into battle with a design.

Generally i just delete the attack fighters command from all cruisers (unless they have good defense laser coverage). Since i hate ‘well rounded’ ships i tend to design anti-fighter support ships (typically long range missile boats with 1/2 the weapons dedicated to anti-fighter weapons). If that don’t work there’s always more fighters (fighters are more or less my favorite ship type…almost overpowered in large numbers).

As for the idea to control the ships weapon behavior perhaps the “attack ship-type” command could be split into 2 categories. Passive and Aggressive, in passive attack mode the ship will make no attempt to get closer, but will take pot shots and they will choose new targets for the guns when the targets leave firing range. Aggressive will work just as the current default commands and would remain the default. Another idea would perhaps change the way that defense guns work. If they behaved like defense guns and only fired on fighters, regardless of ‘attack ship-type’ commands. That however would involve changing the programmed classification of the turret (and perhaps even fighters), and as such I’m not sure how feasible/simple that would be.

I think that idea, Corbeau, is a really good one and could certainly reduce that amount of setup needed in the deployment screen.

I think this idea could work well as a lesser version of my proposed split between movement and targeting. All it would need is a checkbox on the attack order, labled “Do Not Persue” which would tell the ship that it can still shoot at a class of ships, but not to steer towards them unless there is nothing else left. It doesn’ solve the megaton missile vs fighter issue, but it gets us part way there.

Default orders will be in the next release, according to this post in the Support forum from clifski:

Woohoo! That’s exciting. Will make for a lot less clicking during deployment.

I agree that something along these lines would be great. The turret-level targeting orders would be a lot of work to set up initially, but with the ability to save default orders for ships it might be OK. At the least, I’d like to be able to allow my cruisers to engage fighters when they’re in range while continuing to pursue more important targets.

Default orders are in now. Right click a deployed ship on the deployment screen

Awesome! Indeed they are, and it appears to work nicely. Well that’ll make things go a lot more quickly.