Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Talk about Battlefleet Gothic: Armada here!
Jerjare
Posts: 38
Joined: 01 May 2016, 20:56
Contact:

Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby Jerjare » 18 October 2016, 05:58

To put it frankly, escorts suck. I understand they are meant as expendable ships and scouts, but for the price they are inferior (if you have the points for a light cruiser, I feel like it is always a better deal over the equivalent in escorts, even for the factions with comparatively 'crappy' light cruisers). The ones that are good feel a bit more recent- Widowmaker is admittedly a decent scout for what you get, and escorts that can fire homing torpedoes could be useful, for example. Tau seem to have decent escorts because they either have unique abilities nobody else has or simply their upgrades line up well for an escort ship (better turret range, for example). Savage Funships had their day in the sun when Megakanonz were very strong (I miss being able to field 17 of them in a 700pt game). Currently, aside from the outliers, most other escorts are just a way to spend leftover points and accomplish relatively little.

I had a few ideas on making them more useful. The first is formations. My idea would be to put escorts into 3 categories when choosing deployment:

Scouts- These work like escorts currently do. You control them individually, but they have a couple of unique skills that help Line Ships:

Screen- This causes the ship to follow the targeted line ship around. To do this, your orders must be off cooldown, and activating it puts orders on cooldown. You could also pre-deploy escorts as screens for line ships to avoid this hassle. A screen ship has a number of advantages; first, it automatically follows the line ship around, at a range you can pre-set just like firing orders. As a screen ship, it acts much like escorting fighters would, attempting to intercept enemy strike craft and torpedoes. In the poor escort's case though this means it often will put itself in the path of torpedoes to protect its line ship. This makes escorts much better at protecting against ordinance, with minimal micromanagement.

Fire Support- This causes the ship to get into a formation with the line ship, and will attempt to coordinate its own weapons fire with the line ship's. It also needs to have its orders off cooldown and puts them on cooldown when the ability is activated. Its activated abilities are 'synched' with the line ships, so if the line ships fire X torpedo type, the escort will fire theirs simultaneously.

An escort can, so long as orders are off cooldown, switch modes, or jump back to scout mode to break off elsewhere. But the big advantage of attaching an escort to a line ship in this way is that so long as the escort's orders are off cooldown, when you activate orders on the line ship [I]the escort benefits from the orders as well[/B]. The escort's own orders will only be on cooldown for the duration of the line ship's orders; after that the escort can activate its own orders or even change formation modes. Advanced Cogitator Linkages would also give escorts additional small bonuses on top of this when orders are active.

Escort Squadrons- You could also purchase some escorts in 'bulk' in the form of 3 and 5 ship squadrons. In this form the ships are in a formation together, and orders and abilities are synced (except emergency repairs). In this mode they are a bit unweildy for escort ships because the whole formation must rotate when turning, and being closely packed together are even more vulnerable to area of effect attacks. If the 'lead' ship is destroyed, a neighbor will take its place to preserve the formation, until they are all eliminated. If one ship is left, it can function in 'scout' mode and can provide screen or fire support abilities to line ships. The main benefit to having these little guys bunched up like this is cost, by buying in bulk you get a points discount. This discount is based on the effectiveness of the ship; homing torpedo ships aren't going to get a significant price break, but the dumbfire torpedo variants, or gunships would be more worthwhile. By attacking all together they could be potent and it might be worth taking, say, 3x lance escort formation vs a single lance light cruiser if you are expecting a small number of heavily armored ships.

Jerjare
Posts: 38
Joined: 01 May 2016, 20:56
Contact:

Re: Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby Jerjare » 18 October 2016, 06:15

Support Frigates: Support frigates are escorts primarily designed for a support role in mind. This makes them worth taking as more than just filler. They might have a very specialized role or are very cost-effective in the right matchup. Here are some basic ideas that I had:

Brute Ram Ship- This ship is designed to be a suicide craft. It has increased explosion upgrade baked in on top of bonus ram damage and a lack of morale penalty to other ships. In addition, on ramming a ship that causes the ram ship itself to be destroyed, it does one boarding attempt against the ship. Being immobile and easy to hit, structures (turrets, space stations)take bonus ramming damage For 31 points you get a chunk of damage+potential crit against a ship. A squadron of 5 might have a big discount (say, 20%) to charge in and slam into targets. This would be pretty useful vs enemy transports or in breakthrough missions where speed and hitting power is more important than survivability.

Mek Ship- A 151hp ship with just a single Gunz turret. This ship has an ability to remove one yellow crit from a line ship at the cost of 75 of its own hull points, essentially cannibalizing itself to help fix another ship.

Eldar Webdancing- Eldar escorts get a 'blink' ability that causes them to momentarily vanish and reappear in the same distance that they would spend boosting. This allows the fragile ships to evade imminent damage or 'hop' through impassible terrain or enemy ships.

Prism Escort- Extends the range of a line ship's Pulsars by positioning itself in front of the line ship and refocusing the pulsar beam. It too has a pulsar but the ability goes on cooldown if it passively used its range-boosting ability.

Mark Ships- These are chaos 'fire ships' that are suicide ships tied to a certain Chaos God. Each would have a different effect:
Khorne- A suicide ship that can blow itself up on other ships for some damage. Also gets a 'taunt' ability that redirects assault boats onto itself.
Slaanesh- When it explodes against an enemy ship it fills the ship with sexy crabwomen forcing the ship to test for mutiny to try to bone the crabwomen in the warp (of course)
Tzeenech- Looks like a duplicate of a line ship when in sensor range complete with shooting weapons and has the line ship's HP bar but when it takes 100 damage explodes. Can also suicide attack obviously.
Nurgle- Fills the enemy ship with demon doodoo when explodes, reducing their troop rating by 15.

User avatar
CALiGeR190
Community Moderator
Posts: 1202
Joined: 27 October 2015, 19:03
Location: Manchester, England
Contact:

Re: Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby CALiGeR190 » 20 October 2016, 10:29

Formations used to exist but where removed for various reasons including game over-complexity and balance.
Where's your Federation now?
-Imperial Navy

Alpha Tester - Getting the game on its feet
Technical Tester - We had to get the balance right somehow
Community Moderator - Purging spammers and maintaining the realm
BFG Wiki Founding Member

User avatar
TheWorldSmith
Posts: 64
Joined: 09 April 2016, 14:03
Location: York, England, United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby TheWorldSmith » 20 October 2016, 18:50

CALiGeR190 wrote:Formations used to exist but where removed for various reasons including game over-complexity and balance.


Do elaborate? I want to hear what this over-complexity and balance was. :P
"Some may question your right to destroy ten billion people. Those who understand realize that you have no right to let them live!" - Exterminatus Extremis, M41

User avatar
CALiGeR190
Community Moderator
Posts: 1202
Joined: 27 October 2015, 19:03
Location: Manchester, England
Contact:

Re: Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby CALiGeR190 » 20 October 2016, 19:55

TheWorldSmith wrote:Do elaborate? I want to hear what this over-complexity and balance was. :P

Complexity, no idea, that was the official line Tindalos gave us after the Alpha.
However, the balance side Im well aware of.
Sheild stats, skills and upgrades stacked within a formation.
The IN was untouchable back then. A Ret and two Doms would continuously shield transfer restoring the shields of all ships in the formation to full with each use, add onto that the massive alpha of 3 plasma bombs stacked on top of each other plus the first iteration of the Nova which was observably OP and the IN could tank and dish out numbers that went way into the thousands.
Where's your Federation now?
-Imperial Navy

Alpha Tester - Getting the game on its feet
Technical Tester - We had to get the balance right somehow
Community Moderator - Purging spammers and maintaining the realm
BFG Wiki Founding Member

RedDevilCG
Posts: 134
Joined: 24 April 2016, 17:27
Contact:

Re: Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby RedDevilCG » 26 October 2016, 05:25

It's the 21st century. I'm pretty sure the devs can figure out how to implement formations without breaking the game. At the very least can we have ships move at the same speed optionally? A system like total war would be fine. A little button you click after creating a control group that toggles the if ships keep the same formation or not.

User avatar
Imperator5
(Former) Technical Tester
Posts: 3063
Joined: 22 December 2015, 07:46
Contact:

Re: Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby Imperator5 » 26 October 2016, 11:54

RedDevilCG wrote:It's the 21st century. I'm pretty sure the devs can figure out how to implement formations without breaking the game. At the very least can we have ships move at the same speed optionally? A system like total war would be fine. A little button you click after creating a control group that toggles the if ships keep the same formation or not.


This would be useful. Just make select groups have all ships travelling at the same speed of the slowest ship.
http://forum.battlefleetgothic-armada.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=621

Please help me change skirmish to be customisable. Its very important for PVE players.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=515 Mod idea.

RedDevilCG
Posts: 134
Joined: 24 April 2016, 17:27
Contact:

Re: Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby RedDevilCG » 26 October 2016, 22:07

If they did just that, I would be very happy.

It seems like they're just half way there to a good control system. They already have the orientation system in where you hold down the right mouse button and drag to change the ships facing at the end of the move order. It would be great if a control group would move at the same speed, and if you did the right-click drag, it would preserve the formation in the at the end of your move as well.

Currently, group speed isn't set to the slowest ship, and if you give a group move order, you can control the final facing but the ships will always go in a line formation. Though, I guess everyone already knows this....

User avatar
McNash
Posts: 191
Joined: 24 March 2016, 00:50
Contact:

Re: Are we ever getting formations/support frigates?

Postby McNash » 02 January 2017, 21:17

Last time I checked swarming anything with Sword Frigates seemed to work pretty well.
Image


Return to “General Gameplay Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests