Author Topic: Let's Talk About Fleets...  (Read 4989 times)

Khorius Irelius

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on: January 30, 2018, 04:21:30 AM
Lets Talk About Fleets!

Last Update: 2/17/2018
Corrected minor mistakes & re-formatted for easy reading.



        A fleet is a group of ships. In Avorion, this means having multiple ships that have a Captain amongst their crew, allowing said ship to be independently flown and operated by the game's AI; based on orders you give it through an in-game menu (which is accessed via the F key, while targeting a ship). Fleets can be a very rewarding, profitable, entertaining, and challenging way to play Avorion. But they can also be a resource draining, time consuming, headache inducing, painful experience. My fleets are what I spend the majority of my time working on and interacting with in Avorion. I wanted to take the time to start a discussion about what makes flying fleets enjoyable (and highly profitable!), as well as the drawbacks and areas for improvement.



Mining Fleets

        For starters, if you don't at least operate a single mining fleet whilst doing your other activities, you should be. Once set up they will continuously generate resources for you, and require little upkeep. However, mining is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what fleets can do and what they offer. I personally have 3 separate 10-Ship mining fleets, all operating in sectors where I have mining stations. These sectors are all connected via warmhole to the three major layers of my Galaxy. This allows me easy control when I need to reassign them to neighboring sectors, after draining all the resources in their current one.

        Mining Fleet Tips:
  • Build and test a mining ship that is inexpensive, with high maneuverability, and use it as a template for your other mining ships (this will help to keep the jump ranges in sync).
  • Be sure to equip all your mining ships with mining system upgrades so they can quickly and easily find new asteroids.
  • You do not need to put any cargo bays on mining ships; resources are shared globally (unlike goods).
  • When deploying your miners in a sector, manually send them to different parts of the asteroid belt, before issuing the command to mine.
  • As a general rule of thumb, you will want to deploy your mining fleets in sectors with 2k+ asteroids.



Salvage Fleets

        Salvage Fleets work similar to mining fleets, except they are outfitted with salvaging lasers instead of mining lasers. A salvage fleet can be extremely profitable if deployed in a salvage yard. However, salvage fleets require more upkeep, as you will have to return to the sector they are deployed in every hour to renew your salvaging license. You can use the same ship plan as your miners, but it would be wise to add decent sized cargo bays, because some wrecks can drop valuable cargo.

        Salvage Fleet Tips:
  • Equip your salvage ships with the same system upgrades as your miners, but with cargo hold upgrades instead of mining systems.
  • If possible, stay within a few jumps range of your salvage fleet, so that you can quickly reach their sector when it comes time to renew your salvage license (you will get an alert when it is about to expire, regardless of your location in the Galaxy).
  • Always remember to replace your salvage lasers as you acquire better ones.



Combat (Escort) Fleets

        This is where the fleet mechanic/playstyle in Avorion really shines. A Combat or “Escort” fleet consists of ships which follow the player around the Galaxy and assist them in a number of ways, most commonly by providing support during fights. Escort ships are usually fitted with the best turrets and upgrades that the player can afford, will have a decent amount of shield and hull, and will often be built to play a specific role.

        Combat Fleet Tips:
  • Combat fleets are a great source of active income. Keep a small gang of support ships with you to make quick work of pirate sectors, and conduct Prime-Sector raids.
  • In my experience, I have found the most effective combat fleets consist of various purpose-built ships to perform specific tasks. For example; small and agile plasma-turret ships for draining enemy shields. High-health, heavily-armored, rocket launcher boats for attacking enemy stations. Fast, frigate style destroyers with tons of tesla/lightning turrets for laying down heavy damage.
  • I personally pilot a small but very fast “point ship” outfitted with a lot of repair turrets. While my combat ships fly around wreaking havoc on my enemies, I gather up the goods that are dropped, and provide repair support to them as needed. I also intentionally maintain the lowest hyperspace reach of all the ships in my combat fleet on this point ship, so that they can all easily escort me from sector to sector.



Fleet Management

        You control the ships in your fleets by giving them orders via the fleet Management window. To bring this window up you must be in the same sector as the ship you are issuing an order to, select it, press F, then select “Orders”. This will open a menu with various commands such as Attack Enemies, Guard this Position, Mine, Salvage, etc. You can also see all the ships that you own by pressing “i”.

        In my opinion, the fleet management system could use a complete overhaul. You cannot bring up the fleet command window to issue orders to your ships while in RTS mode. You can, however, select multiple ships and right click on other objects in space to issue some commands such as movement and attacking (but it’s not very reliable; I have noticed that sometimes my ships will just stop in the middle of a movement order, as if they had forgotten where to go). In addition, while in RTS mode, you can select a ship and hold down the right mouse button to bring up a small command menu.




How To Fly Fleets

        The most efficient way to fly a fleet is to combine the three. For example, in my own game, I farm resources and credits by raiding factions in the outer rim. I use 30 ships (31 including myself) that all play a specific role. I have 10 combat ships, 10 mining ships, and 10 salvage ships in my primary escort fleet. That might sound like overkill, or even daunting from a logistics and management point of view, but once you have it set up and fly it a few times, it becomes rather simple. The most difficult and tedious part of operating a large fleet is keeping all the hyperspace reach and cooldowns within relative sync.

        What I do is assign 1 ship in each squad as a “commander”. I will name and paint the commander differently from the rest of his squad mates, for quick identification. I enter the command ships and issue the “Escort Me” order independently to all of the ships in that commanders squad. Now when I get back into my primary ship, I can assign orders to all 3 squads individually just by selecting their commanders. Again, it takes time to set up, but once you're off and running; you'll be sprinting.




Investment vs. Return

        Just like with most things in Avorion (and life really) your potential to yield a profit with this playstyle will depend on how much you are willing to invest in it. Operating and maintaining proper fleets requires a lot of time, credits, resources, and energy. I myself have an entire folder on my computer full of spreadsheets, screenshots, and notes for my fleets, trade routes, etc. But that's just me and my nerdy self.

        I could sit here and crunch the numbers, but in summary, my fleets have completely changed the way I play the game, and they can generate anywhere from 50 to 200 million credits per raid when it boils down (after collecting all loot, salvaging all wrecks, mining all asteroids, unbranding stolen goods, and then selling all goods/turrets/upgrades).




Tips for Flying Fleets:

  • Remember to constantly be upgrading your turrets as often as possible; remember that the quality of the material your laser is made out of, will determine the type of resources that ship can gather, as well as their effectiveness against enemies as you get closer to the core of the galaxy.
  • Be sure to eliminate all threats in a sector when deploying your mining/salvage fleets. No enemies will spawn into a sector if the player is not there, which means the fleets you leave behind for passive farming will be safe if the sector was safe when you left it.
  • Move your fleet from sector to sector using your hyperspace drive. Avoid Stargates whenever possible (your ships will smash into each other, or the gate, or they won't go through at all if you go through first...not to mention it is expensive).
  • After warping your fleet you will notice a new vertical blue “health bar” next to each of your ships, this represents their hyperspace cooldown timer. It will disappear when that ship is ready to jump again.
  • If one of your ships starts to take critical damage, go into RTS mode (F9) and order that ship to move away from everything in the sector. Once its shields have recharged, bring it back into the fight.


Fleets are a very immersive, entertaining, and rewarding way to play Avorion.
Good luck, have fun, and fly safe!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 06:31:09 AM by Khorius Irelius »
"The pendulum swings... once again."



Ravien

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on: January 30, 2018, 06:34:15 AM
This mod might be of interest to you. I haven't tried it yet but it looks really useful.



Shrooblord

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on: January 30, 2018, 03:10:38 PM
Salvage Fleets
Salvage Fleets work the same as a mining fleets, except they are outfitted with salvaging lasers instead of mining lasers. A salvage fleet can be extremely profitable if deployed in a yellow sector salvage yard. However, this is expensive to set up because you must independently purchase a salvage license on each of your ships for each sector you do this in.
Maybe you could form an Alliance and buy one Alliance License for all your ships? It could be that this was functionality added to the game by the mod MoveUI. I'm not sure anymore at this point. It's been so long since I've played unmodded Avorion, the lines are beginning to blur between what is functionality that everyone experience and functionality and the specific gameplay experience that solely I have.

Quote
What I do is assign 1 ship in each squad as a “commander”. I will name and paint the commander differently from the rest of his squad mates, for quick identification. I enter the command ships and issue the “Escort Me” order independently to all of the ships in that commanders squad. Now when I get back into my primary ship, I can assign orders to all 3 squads individually just by selecting their commanders. Again, it takes time to set up, but once you're off and running; you'll be sprinting.
Smart! I like your style.

I agree with your attitude towards fleets: as soon as I built and Captained my first ship, I got so giddy I must've jumped through my top neighbour's floorboards.

I've noticed that already having only one Captained ship, while not nearly as much as the 30 you have, adds a lot to your flexibility and passive income. On a multiplayer server I'm playing with a friend, we have one very shitty Mining slave who is basically a Volume 40 scaling 0.85 200 hp ship in the Xanion belt, so incredibly poorly-equipped for its surroundings, with 2 very decent Mining Lasers. And it just passively racks in those sweet, sweet Materials while we worry about how to make our spaceships look good in Build Mode. It's awesome.

@Ravien: you forgot to include a link and just said "This mod". xd

The mod Fleet Control comes to mind, though. I have noticed recently that people have had trouble installing it, however. Sad news; especially since what I run works just fine and I'm on the latest beta, like them. I wonder what it is in their and my setup that's different...
Shrooblord



Charless

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on: January 30, 2018, 07:46:19 PM
I like the suggestions, I would also like to see the speed issue fixed. All AI controlled ships seem to have a speed cap. I made a destroyer that goes 1000 (forget what the unit is)
To escort my cruiser that goes 600. I expected the ships to match my speed and hold with me or slightly behind me. To my suprise however, the ai controld ships which were capable of going twice my speed lagged behind and fell behind. I hope this is fixed soon



Shrooblord

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on: January 30, 2018, 07:52:01 PM
Have you checked what its braking speed is? This heavily influences the top speed at which AI ships go. I have an AI ship with a braking speed of 1500 m/s2 (yeah I know: lots of Inertial Dampeners and front-facing Directional Thrusters), which uses its top speed of 1500 m/s to zoom around Sectors.

AI ships take into account how long it would take for them to brake to get to their destination and match their speed accordingly.

To test this: put a Velocity Security Control Bypass on a Captained ship, and in Tactical Mode scroll way the way the way out there. I'm talking hundreds upon hundreds of kilometers out. Send it there, and select it. You'll see it constantly accelerating, because it's nowhere near reaching its destination within any reasonable time frame. Once it gets to a point where it will need to start braking, you'll see it drop in speed.

So my tip: if you want your Captained craft to go fast, given them sufficient braking thrust. They can't turn 180 degrees and use Boost to go the other way and force-brake like our player craft can, so they play it safe and go slow.
Shrooblord



Charless

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on: January 31, 2018, 01:48:51 PM
Have you checked what its braking speed is? This heavily influences the top speed at which AI ships go. I have an AI ship with a braking speed of 1500 m/s2 (yeah I know: lots of Inertial Dampeners and front-facing Directional Thrusters), which uses its top speed of 1500 m/s to zoom around Sectors.

AI ships take into account how long it would take for them to brake to get to their destination and match their speed accordingly.

To test this: put a Velocity Security Control Bypass on a Captained ship, and in Tactical Mode scroll way the way the way out there. I'm talking hundreds upon hundreds of kilometers out. Send it there, and select it. You'll see it constantly accelerating, because it's nowhere near reaching its destination within any reasonable time frame. Once it gets to a point where it will need to start braking, you'll see it drop in speed.

So my tip: if you want your Captained craft to go fast, given them sufficient braking thrust. They can't turn 180 degrees and use Boost to go the other way and force-brake like our player craft can, so they play it safe and go slow.

Ill check into that, do your fleets stick with you?



Nachtu

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on: January 31, 2018, 02:07:11 PM
Have you checked what its braking speed is? This heavily influences the top speed at which AI ships go. I have an AI ship with a braking speed of 1500 m/s2 (yeah I know: lots of Inertial Dampeners and front-facing Directional Thrusters), which uses its top speed of 1500 m/s to zoom around Sectors.

I remember reading somewhere here in the forum that the AI doesn't take Inertial Dampeners into account when counting actual braking speed. Btw is there such a stat as "Braking Speed" or is it merely "Brake thrust"?

EDIT: If i recall correctly in the in-game build mode, there's only visible a stat called "Brake Thrust", I wonder does Inertial Dampener add to it?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 02:51:26 PM by Nachtu »



Ulrich_Rüstungjäger

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on: January 31, 2018, 09:56:43 PM
Have you checked what its braking speed is? This heavily influences the top speed at which AI ships go. I have an AI ship with a braking speed of 1500 m/s2 (yeah I know: lots of Inertial Dampeners and front-facing Directional Thrusters), which uses its top speed of 1500 m/s to zoom around Sectors.

I remember reading somewhere here in the forum that the AI doesn't take Inertial Dampeners into account when counting actual braking speed. Btw is there such a stat as "Braking Speed" or is it merely "Brake thrust"?

EDIT: If i recall correctly in the in-game build mode, there's only visible a stat called "Brake Thrust", I wonder does Inertial Dampener add to it?
this is indeed true, the dampeners are not used by the AI, only vernier thruster



Nachtu

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on: February 01, 2018, 09:53:07 AM
Have you checked what its braking speed is? This heavily influences the top speed at which AI ships go. I have an AI ship with a braking speed of 1500 m/s2 (yeah I know: lots of Inertial Dampeners and front-facing Directional Thrusters), which uses its top speed of 1500 m/s to zoom around Sectors.

I remember reading somewhere here in the forum that the AI doesn't take Inertial Dampeners into account when counting actual braking speed. Btw is there such a stat as "Braking Speed" or is it merely "Brake thrust"?

EDIT: If i recall correctly in the in-game build mode, there's only visible a stat called "Brake Thrust", I wonder does Inertial Dampener add to it?
this is indeed true, the dampeners are not used by the AI, only vernier thruster

I believe the AI ships still brake with dampeners, but they won't count it as braking capacity when determining their own speed.



SivCorp

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on: February 02, 2018, 04:40:27 AM
Correct.  The AI flies it's ships with max speed capped against the breaking thrust value of only thrusters and directional thrusters.  If you are using inertia dampeners for fleet ships, they will use them, but they will fly like they do not have them.  With the power draw of them, there is no need to use them on AI ships.  Only use thrusters and directional thrusters. 




Kamo

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on: February 02, 2018, 03:07:19 PM
I beg to differ. The AI only uses inertial dampeners while being passive or not explicitly braking (as no pilot input triggers inertial dampening) but if they "try" to brake they will try to retrograde, disabling the inertial dampeners (like a player's ship).
I've studied and weaponized this behavior, with an asteroid-like ship with small thruster brake thrust, much more inertial dampener brake thrust and a velocity control bypass.
By telling to escort a ship, the projectile-ship will almost inevitably crash into her as her AI believes she will brake at the total brake thrust speed.

I guess the braking point is determined using total brake thrust speed while driving speed is determined using thruster brake thrust speed. That'd corroborate both my experiences and yours...
Since my ships use a lot of inertial dampening, they crash kind of often.
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Shrooblord

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on: February 02, 2018, 08:02:41 PM
My zippy ship did have both Inertial Dampeners and lots of forward-facing Thrusters, I must admit.

do your fleets stick with you?
As far as I could tell, yes, they were following my on my heels quite doggishly. But I'm not sure if what's good enough for me is good enough for you - maybe our experiences differ there.
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SivCorp

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on: February 03, 2018, 05:46:52 AM
...
I guess the braking point is determined using total brake thrust speed while driving speed is determined using thruster brake thrust speed. That'd corroborate both my experiences and yours...
Since my ships use a lot of inertial dampening, they crash kind of often.

That is most likely the behavior.  Thruster break speed determines max speed, while total break speed is still the total break speed. 



Scoob

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on: February 05, 2018, 05:12:18 PM
One of the issues I had with fleets was their follow mechanic bugging out when I flew to a new sector with them set to follow.

I'd ensure they all were able to jump the distance I set etc.  yet, even with a small fleet of just three mining ships following me (early game) one would regularly fail to follow me (or it's leader, if said leader was the one following me) and often more than one.  This lead to lots of back-tracking which was frustrating.

Admittedly, this was a while ago in a slightly older game version, so I wonder if following works more reliably yet?  Also, I'm assuming that I still cannot issue remote orders to have a ship follow me after I've already left a sector.  That feature alone - remote orders - would be a game-changer.

One final thing, how good are unarmed ships - so, those set to mine / salvage - at avoiding trouble?  Do they still just sit there allowing themselves to be destroyed, or do they know to flee hostiles now?  Having to micro-manage the behaviour of a ship in these instances seemed a bit too much, it'd be far better if we could set "stances" so to speak so they'd auto-flee if a hostile got within a given distance for example.

Scoob.



Shrooblord

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on: February 05, 2018, 06:57:45 PM
One of the issues I had with fleets was their follow mechanic bugging out when I flew to a new sector with them set to follow.
(...)
Admittedly, this was a while ago in a slightly older game version, so I wonder if following works more reliably yet?
No, ships may still get stuck trying to follow you after a jump, even with all variables in-place that should ensure a safe jump. Often I find jumping back to the Sector in question with a Mining Drone already changes something that causes them to have jumped. That is to say, I never see them actually leave, but they're always already gone when I enter the Sector while backtracking. I'm not sure what causes this, but this behaviour sounds like an issue with the Sector unloading before the ship had time to warp out. I'm just guessing on that front, though.

Quote
Also, I'm assuming that I still cannot issue remote orders to have a ship follow me after I've already left a sector.  That feature alone - remote orders - would be a game-changer.
Absolutely. It's been confirmed that the devs plan on adding this in an upcoming update. Not sure if it was going to be this upcoming update, but soonTM at the very least.
Shrooblord