With Monday’s patch we introduced big changes to fleet management that many players really didn’t like. So, we’ve spent the last couple of days going through the feedback and considering the next steps. All of which we’ll cover in this post.
Problems with the original system
Going back to the beginning for a minute, let’s look at the original problems related to fleet management that needed to be fixed:
- Flagship levels were confusing for players
- The flagship level may have been 5, but whether you could actually fit 5 ships in the fleet depended on their sizes (see image below)
- The merge fleet command wasn’t always available (due to the limited fleet radius)
- But it wasn’t clear to the player why it wasn’t possible to merge when the flagship level hadn’t been reached
- Fleet formation presets were limited due to the constraints of the fleet radius
- New players found fleet management generally frustrating (especially manually forming fleets)
The new system
The idea we had – and implemented in the last patch – was to remove the limits of the fleet radius entirely:
- Instead of ships having to be within X meters of the middle of the fleet (represented by the fleet circle in the original system), each ship would have to be within X meters of another ship
- The distance limitation from another ship ensured they wouldn’t be placed too far apart from each other
- It also meant the damage done by splash weapons could be balanced so that 2 or 3 other ships would always be affected
- New fleet formations could be more varied, less confined, and still work with larger ships e.g. 16 battleships in a straight line
These changes were covered in the release notes for that patch. We were keen to get some hands-on feedback from players as early as possible, but probably should have spent more time refining it internally before releasing and apologize for not doing so.
What went well
- The new grid looks good and makes it easier to understand distances between ships and how far splash damage would reach
- Locking the camera over the fleet prevents getting lost
- Bugs related to merging fleets via the context menu were fixed
What didn’t work well
There were four core issues players had:
- The 300m meter distance limitation between ships is too small
- Splash damage hasn’t been balanced and missiles and torpedoes are OP
- A fleet’s formation is reset when a new ship/fleet is merged in
- Rearranging ships within a fleet is frustrating
- If moving a ship to a new position means another ship will then be in an illegal position (more than 300m away from another) it isn’t possible to move that ship
- To do so, you have to first move the other ships into what would be legal positions based on what would be the new position of that ship :/ (like arranging a puzzle as it was described on the forum)
Addressing the issues raised
Tomorrow, we’re planning to release another patch targeting these issues (except ‘Rearranging ships within a fleet is frustrating’, which we’ll get to in a bit):
- Increase the max distance allowed between ships in a fleet to 600m (up from 300m)
- Many of the player fleets we looked at would now be in a legal formation with this change (after the last patch the player saw a message that no changes could be made as the ships were in an illegal formation)
Following up tomorrow’s patch
The changes we’re making should go someway to improving the situation with fleet management, but they won’t go far enough because they don’t tackle the ‘Rearranging ships within a fleet is frustrating‘ issue discussed above (the other changes were things we could implement quickly but this wasn’t something we had an immediate fix for).
But as more feedback comes in following the patch, we’ll consider whether to investigate fixing this issue and continue with the new system (if it can be done so to a satisfying degree), or to look at some other options we have.
Thanks for your patience
We understand this change caused a lot of frustration and your patience is appreciated while we work towards getting fleet management right and the outstanding issues resolved.
Keep the feedback coming on the forum, and we’ll update you again as soon as we know more.