Vulture vs cooperative, when to use which one?

I’m wondering at which health percentage the vulture command kicks in to cause your ships to pick on a specific enemy vessel. If vulture kicked in as soon as an enemy ship took some damage it could replace cooperative in some situations, but the way it seems to work right now, when you only give your ships the vulture order, they will pick individual targets initially and only gang up on a certain ship later in the battle.

I try not to give more than one attack order to my ships when possible as it seems they become more unpredictable when I do that.

i always use coop and vulture together- my biggest priority is just getting shields dropped. I assume vulture doesn’t kick in until the hull takes damage- afaik ‘cautious’ is the same, too.

If either has a weakness, I think it would be coop- sometimes my ships get in ugly, vulnerable positions- but I guess its worth it to get as many guns in position as possible…

I was reading here, viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3349 that a combination of Co-Op, Vulture, Rescuer and Retaliate caused some funky behavior. But I guess I’ll have to do some more testing…

I often use no orders with respect to target selection. The default selection does nice things like not shoot at drifting weaponless space hulks and fires at targets of opportunity instead of producing space jams trying to get to the “target de jour.” If I notice a sub-optimal, sub-standard result in a fight, then I add one of the orders, based on what I saw.

Retaliate – useful when the enemy has deployed a “chew toy” (such as 14 armor modules and one cruiser defense laser). This order helps your captains decide to ignore the chew toy and go after a real target. (Note, the default orders will allow gunners to notice that they are having no effect and switch targets, retaliate just makes that process faster)

Cooperative – useful when the enemy has deployed lots of ships. Causes fire to naturally focus on a few ships so that the mob can be culled a bit. Also a good order to give to a ship optimized for taking down shields. Never give this order to ships that carry disruptor bombs or other specialized weaponry of this kind.

Vulture – fun! Make enemies blow up sooner! Useful when you notice all the enemy ships have repair modules, the vulture order prevents them having time to heal. This order should be the only targeting order a ship has, and the ship should be optimized for quick DPS (the enemy in this case has little armor and no shields).

Rescue – This order, along with “protector” is among the most difficult to use effectively. Basically a ship with this order should be fast and do lots of damage. I find that it’s the right order to give a mob of fighters, since it will naturally move your floating cloud of death forward to the ships actually engaged.

I find that if I’m deploying a “one trick” fleet or a fleet of all “balanced” ships, I don’t need targeting orders. If I’m deploying a mix where each ship has a job, then I need to use the targeting orders to help each ship know what it is meant to be doing.

After doing quite a few tests on Godernus’s Fighters and Frigates challenge, I’ve found some interesting things out about these orders. After wiping out the fighters our fleets had a large scale frigate vs frigate battle using Frigate Beam Lasers on his side and Frigate Small Beam Lasers on my side. We had roughly the same number of frigates on each side. My frigates were set to engage at 740 units in all cases, with only one variable between deployments. Here’s the results I got after running through each deployment several times:

Cooperative orders: 80% victories on average
No orders: 60% victories
Cooperative and vulture orders: 60% victories
Vulture orders: 30-40% victories

It seems that cooperative orders always produced a net improvement in this case, while vulture orders were always detrimental. With less effective ship configurations, adding the vulture order would often mean defeat. I did notice that the AI would intelligently ignore enemy ships with all weapons disabled when vulture orders were not in effect. With vulture orders in effect, the AI would tend to destroy all damaged ships, even ships without remaining weaponry, which may partly explain why vulture orders tended to hurt my efforts. One interesting thing is that while vulture orders can hurt your fleet, they may also be useful if you happen to blow up ships in a tightly packed formation causing multiple reactor explosions.

Cooperative orders seemed to get my ships to focus their firepower more effectively. My hunch is that the ships would attempt to focus on ships within “optimum range” when cooperative orders were not in effect, leading to higher accuracy, but less effective fighting overall.

It’s too bad there isn’t an easier to way to quickly test the effect of slight order changes. I wish I could queue up several variations on the same deployment and have the computer give me a dry numerical report on average victory or defeat percentages rather than rendering all the pretty laser beams.

when testing both co-op and vulture, which one was first?

don’t know if it’s placebo, but it seems to me that the higher an order is in the list, the higher a priority it’s given

I tested both variations and the results were pretty much the same on average. So I’m pretty sure the game doesn’t differentiate based on which order is first. It would be interesting if it did, though that might make things too complicated.