Hope you all had a good week and are having a great weekend 🙂
Fleet management is an integral part of the game and something the recent player survey showed needs work (in particular new players find it way too confusing). Battles too, which should be better looking (more cinematic, like in a space film) and tactical implications clearer e.g. splash damage from rockets.
So this week started with a new patch and big changes to fleet management. We had a ton of feedback on those changes from players which we valued immensely, so we spent the rest of the week focussing on making improvements within fleet management to hopefully move things in the right direction.
Yesterday we were able to release another patch with the first round of improvements and also added the first version of ‘automated colony development’ which you can find out more about from the wiki.
Fleet management improvements set to continue
There was one big issue with the new system which we didn’t include a fix for in yesterday’s patch, because trying to do so would have delayed us getting the other improvements out quickly enough. We’ll go over this problem again now and the idea we have to resolve it.
Addressing the difficulty rearranging ships in the new system
The newly introduced mechanics meant that ships had to be within a certain fixed ‘communication distance’ from each other (the previous mechanic dictated a minimum distance from the flagship and that distance was specific to the flagship). However, moving a ship became difficult if doing so would leave another ship in an illegal position.
For example, in the above image:
- The player wants to move ship B but is restricted in how far they can be move it because of ship C’s dependency on ship B’s position (ship C needs to remain within 600m of another ship in the fleet)
- To move ship B to the other side of ship A, ship C would first have to be moved to within 600m of ship A to remove its dependency on ship B (thus allowing ship B to then be moved)
Self-correcting ship positions
We looked at a number of ideas to fix this before deciding to pursue ‘self-correcting ship positions’. This involves removing the restriction on the ship so that it can be placed in any other legal position in the fleet. If any ship is then left in an illegal position after the move, it automatically moves into a legal position. Allowing the player to quickly and easily move ships around within the fleet.
The below series of images illustrates this in action:
The player wants to move ship B above position X.
Selecting ship B and dragging it highlights ship C blue to indicate moving ship B could leave ship C in an illegal position (and it may need to self-correct its position if ship B is moved).
The player has moved ship B to position X so ship C has automatically moved to remain within 600m of the nearest ship (ship A).
It’s a work in progress at the moment – let us know in the forum if you have any thoughts on this approach.
Other improvements needed
Another difficulty players still have is how to change the flagship. It’s currently only possible by using the ‘split fleet’ function, which isn’t ideal… This will need to be solved, including what to do if the new flagship isn’t of a high enough flagship level to support the number of ships currently in the fleet.
Once fleet management is where it needs to be we’ll need to look at correcting any issues related to balance that may have been introduced with the changes.
Thanks everyone, see you again soon 🙂