harpy eagle wrote:Based on some feedback from the steam forums, I'm considering increasing the maximum distance to targets that carriers will launch fighters at.
Previously, I had erred pretty strongly on making carriers fairly conservative with how they use their fightercraft, and it seemed to be confusing people since they thought the carriers weren't launching fighters at all.
While it means that in certain situations (e.g. lone carriers versus a small fleet of ships) the AI won't win as much, I think it will be more fun for players since carriers will launch their fighters a little more often.
Plus I think that in most cases, it shouldn't impact the AI's performance that much. And being less restrictive might be a little more robust in cases where the carrier can't move much.
We have been discussing a lot of cases which in the end resulted in a very conservative fighter management behaviour.
This is mainly due to the star-base defense problematic: it does not make sense to release ANY fighters/bombers if not within direct striking distance to the base itself. - can understand if this behaviour would upset some though if carried over to fleet battles
When it comes to fleet battles, it should not hurt the overall result that much if they engage enemy vessels (if there are no torpedoes, missiles or bombers incoming) early as long as we are clear that the fighters in this case can only serve one of two purpose:
1. Used as a decoy for the enemy to shoot at
2. Minimize allied vessel damage taken when no PD or fighter craft on the other side to defend against them
So yeah, it could make sense to launch them early on in one of the above cases, but would try to keep reserves
The first instinct of the player would be to throw everything at the enemy and the kitchen sink, yes... but this is by far not the most efficient tactic. Reserving fighters allows them to fight another day and once the carrier is up-and-close, they can make numerous rounds on the enemy without being caught outside exposed.
Hmm so maybe like this:
IF no enemy starbases
AND no incoming torpedo, missile (also including Vindicator), bomber, fighter, assault fighter
THEN engage with a single squadron
This way a Fleet carrier can send out two waves of fighters before getting into mid range and still have one squadron left to fight with
But even with the above, the efficiency of big carriers will be reduced as they are throwing away their valuable strike craft on the enemy while being perfectly capable to soak up the damage in close range for a while - but this is again more of a shield balance issue