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blankseplocked Flying in formations - confirmed in fanfest. This thread dies happy
 
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Pliauga
Gallente
Posted - 2009.09.16 12:30:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Pliauga on 05/10/2009 04:36:46
Blunt and short version

Give fleet commanders (FC) an ability (or tools) to arrange their fleets in orderly formations.


Long version


The problem:

In trailers and promotional posters fleet fights and fleets in general are clearly shown flying in beautiful orderly formations. One only needs to remember the trailers of Trinity, Empyrean age, Apocrypha or this latest poster from a devblog.

The problem is that most fleets look like that only a few moments before warp, when they are aligned. And in most other cases they are just a one big mess.

The pic from the devblog annoyed me in particular because it not only shows an orderly fleet in the heat of battle, but also a fleet that is seemingly putting effort to broadside the enemy for maximum effect (which is awesome).

The solution(vision):

Create multi layer tools for the FC to set up their own formations.
For example: an FC sets up a simple 3D sketch in the tool designating in what order does he want the general groups of the fleet to appear on the battlefield (or warp in).
Dread group here, sniper group here, gun meet here, logistics area here etc..

When the FC presses the "Enter formation XXX" button each ship in the fleet sees a certain virtual beacon (which it can approach or maybe even warp to) designating where the FC wants each ship or groups of ships to be.

Each group within the fleet can have their own formations which can be set by their designated Wing/squad commanders.

It is important that these tools would appear only as suggestive guidelines for the common squad member. And that every pilot would have to actually do something to achieve these formations rather than just blindly enter fleet mode -> engage autopilot -> start shooting primaries.

And when formations are achieved in large fleets, apart from obvious benefits of organization and general order, maybe a few bonuses can be thrown in to encourage their usage. Like command ships being more effective. Or guns doing 2% more damage.

This of course should also provide the ability to warp in formation.


So much for now, any thoughts?

Coreden
Posted - 2009.09.16 12:32:00 - [2]
 


Pliauga
Gallente
Posted - 2009.10.05 04:34:00 - [3]
 

Well gues whatVery Happy
Formations are gonna get implemented (courtesy fan-fest).

That is all - have a nice day

Shirei Fenikkusu
Knights of the Eternal Flame
Posted - 2009.10.05 05:34:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: Pliauga
Well gues whatVery Happy
Formations are gonna get implemented (courtesy fan-fest).

That is all - have a nice day


LINKY PLS!

But until I see some linkage, I must say that you already see such in fleet battles, it just depends on the organization of the FC.

I saw such a phenomenon when we attacked a POS recently. I was in a sniper battleship, and my FC got us a warp-in to the pos directly in line with the safe-spot warp-out. Which appeared as if we were flying perfectly tangent to the POS shields, broadside as you describe it in your first post.

Posting on alt for security reasons.

Meiyang Lee
Gallente
Azteca Transportation Unlimited
Gunboat Diplomacy
Posted - 2009.10.05 08:22:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: Shirei Fenikkusu


LINKY PLS!

But until I see some linkage, I must say that you already see such in fleet battles, it just depends on the organization of the FC.

Posting on alt for security reasons.


Well, have a look at this then. Very Happy
No details yet, but they have been officially announced at the "CCP Presents" keynote.


Zaiyo Modi
Minmatar
Posted - 2009.10.05 08:25:00 - [6]
 

I like the idea of having ships forming up before entering warp with fleet. It is a more elaborate version of the idea I suggested earlier where a formation would be arranged only when already in mid-warp.

I think the idea of the OP opens another perhaps practical tool, the "as is" formation. Where fleet ships prior to warping off were allowed to position themselves manually on the grid, and if being at speed and aligned, the fleet would warp off and keep the positions of the ships prior to warp.

The trick thenwould be to "aim" the fleet warpin, using a commander (perhaps in the center) making the fleet warp command towards a destination. The fleet would then rely on having some ships actually being in the middle of the formation, and they would perhaps take the brunt of firepower coming from the defending fleet they warped into.

Or, to position the fleet commander in a more safe position, making sure that the close range assaulting ship are placed say 50km ahead of the fleet commander prior to warp, making the fleet commander end up landing 50km off a target, while his close range ships land right on top of the target. Assuming they used a cov ops as a warp in target.

Zaiyo Modi
Minmatar
Posted - 2009.10.05 08:34:00 - [7]
 

Without knowing anything about how formations actually would end up, I HATE the thought of giving ships any bonuses, simply because it is said to be in a formation. Offering bonuses doesn't make any sense at all to me.

Dristra
Amarr
Idle Haven
Posted - 2009.10.05 11:34:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: Zaiyo Modi
Without knowing anything about how formations actually would end up, I HATE the thought of giving ships any bonuses, simply because it is said to be in a formation. Offering bonuses doesn't make any sense at all to me.


This is a game, we can shoot through anything, and moving actually means something.

Being in a formation limits effective range and movement (in the game) so a bonus is logical to not punish players for wanting things to look neat and tidy.

Zaiyo Modi
Minmatar
Posted - 2009.10.05 11:59:00 - [9]
 

Edited by: Zaiyo Modi on 05/10/2009 12:01:21


I think I understand what you are saying, and if the positioning is no more than a visual thing, then I guess a small bonus would act as an incentive.

Still I think ccp should concider my "As is" formation idea which is described over in this thread. It would lead to three things.

1 Ships have to prepare pre-warp to get into position.
2 Fleet warps will sort of look nicer/organized during warp.
3 The end result will be very real, tactical and probably useful, having ships come out of warp at specific locations, a predetermined shift of position away from their fleet commanders position.

A slight unintended effect would be the factor of having players manually move into positions. With battleships to move 50km in any other direction off the fleet commander, it might take some time. Using a acouple of fast inty/tackler ship could help speed this up by using them as marker and warp-to-targets for getting the larger and slower ships into formation quickly.

A consequence of misjudging the situation will be for the efforts of coming into position to be perhaps worthless, if the ultimate align-to vector is changed. The ships set up for being in the front would end up in the rear if the vecor is changed the opposite direction. Range wise, with a fleet commander in the center, a change in warp-off-vector would mean little or nothing as long as ship keep their range off the center ship.

AsheraII
Posted - 2009.10.05 14:00:00 - [10]
 

Originally by: Zaiyo Modi
Without knowing anything about how formations actually would end up, I HATE the thought of giving ships any bonuses, simply because it is said to be in a formation. Offering bonuses doesn't make any sense at all to me.

Well, they'd have to work on them ofcourse. Formations are used in real life because they do give certain benefits, depending on the formation and the vessels involved. They do all have drawbacks as well though.
The most common reasons for formation flight are to increase visual coverage and to obscure parts of the formation.

Yes, one can actually "hide" a small fighter aircraft with an already low radar signature from some radars by having it fly real close to a bigger aircraft with a stronger radar signature, for example, an F16 flying only 2-3 meters below a 747 won't be picked up by a radar untill it gets close enough to the radar source itself to seperate the signatures. Before the radar is able to do so, it will just say there's "something big out there, which looks most like a 747"

Korizan
Hysterically Unforgiving
Posted - 2009.10.05 14:37:00 - [11]
 

Edited by: Korizan on 05/10/2009 14:42:27

It does make me wonder if this will also help some on the whole warping in off grid thing.

Pure speculation on my part
As it is now 100 ships warp in that is 100 points of contention the server has to deal with just in bumping.

But if the fleet is in a formation and jumps in then maybe it could be treated as one large entity, thus reducing the calculations.

Like I said pure speculation.

Also makes me wonder about jumping through gates as well.
I noticed on one op when jump a large fleet through that some ships where bumping each other on the other side.
Another case of why is this happening, and could it be another indicator that something isn't right and is inducing lag.

Korizan
Hysterically Unforgiving
Posted - 2009.10.05 14:57:00 - [12]
 

This also makes me thing of having squad commanders having control over there squads movement.

It would be incredible to have the squad commander break off there squad and attack a target in formation. so the other members of the squad just have to worry about there weapons.

This brings about the idea of entire fights being fought in formations.
And once again I have to wonder if this won't have a serious effect on reducing lag as each formation is a group and there trajectory is a known value.

So it would be some pretty epic looking fights with the benifit of reducing lag @ the same time.

Just a thought, all I can think of if it comes down is JOY SmileSmile


Ezekiel Sulastin
Gallente
Shiva
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2009.10.05 18:15:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Korizan
It would be incredible to have the squad commander break off there squad and attack a target in formation. so the other members of the squad just have to worry about there weapons.


Because players in Eve already have little enough interactivity.

Why not just give squad commanders control of every action of their squad so that the squad members can go AFK then? Not like they're doing much else anyways if all they have to do is push f1-f8.

Zaiyo Modi
Minmatar
Posted - 2009.10.07 15:23:00 - [14]
 

It just occurred to me, that the "as is" formation mentioned above might cause a feature that could perhaps be concidered an exploit or simply a working-as-designed depending on how one feel about it.

If only parts of a fleet is at speed and aligned when given a fleet-warp command, and if the remaining ships will straggle after the initial bulk of ships warping off, then this would be a intended or non-intended way to still have all ships in the fleet to arrive at their "as is" position when coming out of warp, yet allowing "straggling" ships to arrive seconds later and still land in the wanted "as is" posision when coming out of warp.

Jacob Mei
Gallente
Posted - 2009.10.07 16:39:00 - [15]
 

Originally by: Zaiyo Modi
Without knowing anything about how formations actually would end up, I HATE the thought of giving ships any bonuses, simply because it is said to be in a formation. Offering bonuses doesn't make any sense at all to me.


A practical reason would be that the FC ship becomes the master ship. Its computer slaves the other ships computer to itself which gives the slaved ships access to the FC's ships superior computers, for an example if the FC ships through base attributes, mods and skills, has a better lock on time then any other ship in the squad would be able to boost the squads lock on time.

I am concerned though over how much control formation would give the lead pilot over the other pilots ships. Are we basicly talking about the lead pilot effectively controls the ships movements and thats it or will they basicly have control over the pilots weapon systems as well? The ladder in my opinion I hope will never happen as that would really subtract the enjoyment from all but the lead pilot (though then again it would be a boon to multi account users).

Another thing to consider is that when you fly in formation your effectively as fast as your slowest ship so I imagine formation flying only has limited number of situations where its really effective (ie formations that speed isnt an issue, where everyones speed is realitively the same, ships of the same make and model, etc).


 

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