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Formations in this game need a serious rework!


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I love this game, but formations really stress me when playing and aren't well implemented. 

1. Attaching ships is really tedious. I can't simply right click on a ship I want to attach. I have to choose a lost of ships in the task bar, which is made as tedious as possible because you can't see the names of the ships.

 

2. I can't place my ships the way I want before the start of the battle. Why is it random? I want the freedom as an admiral to decide the formation before battle, than working with a random arrangement.

 

3. Ships break formation if one of them is damaged. This is nonsensical. In a formation, all ships go as fast as the slowest ship.smd and shouldn't automatically break. It's useless when if the lead ship suffers engine damage, it tries to go to the back. Why is this mechanic here? It does nothing useful. 

 

4. Bugs. When in the avoid torpedo mode, one ship goes crazy  making evasive maneuvers, and 80% of the time bugs out and moves in circles, never reforming. This isn't a problem with formations per se, but the bug makes formations too much hassle. Better to pause and micromanagile each ship.

 

 

 

 

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Wait! Dont tell me you are supposed to actually use whats in the game?! I thought that was just a place holder for the actual mechanic!!!

 See I played Fighting Steel form SSI back in the Day and all the way back to C64 (like Power at Sea) so I am used to some serious stuff from the dark ages but even then whats going on right now would be considered unacceptable (and Fighting Steel had ships in line formation crash into sinking ships before them in the line...).

I actually mean it!

-> If the battle is small, I dont need help, I can just dirty mousclick my way to victory.

-> If the battle is big, using these auto divsions is a catastrophy! My spawn formation immediately degrades into complete and utter chaos!

-> If I rearange the spawn divisons more logical (which takes ages!) chaos is delayed, but ships still do things like turning around or go 90° to the rest of the formation for no reason - which is particulary bad considering auto avoid is turned on by default. It is like billard and sending the white ball crashing into the others!

 

Here is what I do: I tell all ships to not fire torps by themselves. Then I detach EVERY. SINGLE. SHIP.  tell them go hold a steady course and turn auto avoidance of any kind off.  From then on its mousclicking and hoping to not miss anything and the damn torped crews actually executing my orders.

 

Look at this battle: Austro Hungary vs the Frenchs 1910. The enemy attacks only if they got the advantage so I have to present a "weak" force but not too weak in order to avoid a hopeless case. 

This is me like just trying to click togehter some sort of torpedo attack as only the enemy CLs and DDs have torps (I use 1x speed a lot, but I rarely use pause -> if I miss somthing then thats part of the difficulty).

screen_1920x1080_2022-04-02_16-19-09.thumb.png.be6b5639e7f2a718ba9afc3d6980b5ab.png

 

So this is my "formation" doing a torpedo run on the enemy cruiser vanguard -> a tired man on the weekend exhausted from the weeks work, but it works. It would work better if torps would be actually launched when I tell them to but ......

screen_1920x1080_2022-04-02_16-24-07.thumb.png.653cbda6ad3dbedb807bf1f244d5868a.png

 

I am cruious to see anybody using formations and doing this, becasue OFC not having to babysit everything constantly would vastly raise my ability to enjoy the game.

Edited by havaduck
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I would ask which one is more nonsensical: the lead ship falling back to the rear of the division after taking damage allowing the other ships to continue on, or the whole division slowing down and potentially arriving too late to the battle/being taken out of the battle on the account of a single ship and costing you the battle?

If there is a battle going on, wouldn't you want to get as many ships to the combat area ASAP? The enemy won't wait for all of your ships to show up, and I don't think any captain in history has told everyone under his command, "Sorry fellas, nobody can go faster than my ship because I'm the lead ship. Now, I know there's an important battle raging and our friends are counting on us because we make up the majority of the forces in this area, but they're just gonna have to wait." The ships that can continue on would continue to carry on, and the damaged ships would follow along behind or try to repair and then catch up.

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2 hours ago, HistoricalAccuracyMan said:

I would ask which one is more nonsensical: the lead ship falling back to the rear of the division after taking damage allowing the other ships to continue on, or the whole division slowing down and potentially arriving too late to the battle/being taken out of the battle on the account of a single ship and costing you the battle?

If there is a battle going on, wouldn't you want to get as many ships to the combat area ASAP? The enemy won't wait for all of your ships to show up, and I don't think any captain in history has told everyone under his command, "Sorry fellas, nobody can go faster than my ship because I'm the lead ship. Now, I know there's an important battle raging and our friends are counting on us because we make up the majority of the forces in this area, but they're just gonna have to wait." The ships that can continue on would continue to carry on, and the damaged ships would follow along behind or try to repair and then catch up.

You are correct from a historical and generally a doctrinal perspective. Now, if the AI could manage it successfully, like pulling out of line AWAY from the enemy via a SLIGHT turn and then slow down, it would work. Instead, it makes the ship take a hard turn directly towards them most of the time, and the rest of the line jumbles up playing 'dodge the cripple'.

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4 hours ago, HistoricalAccuracyMan said:

I would ask which one is more nonsensical: the lead ship falling back to the rear of the division after taking damage allowing the other ships to continue on, or the whole division slowing down and potentially arriving too late to the battle/being taken out of the battle on the account of a single ship and costing you the battle?

If there is a battle going on, wouldn't you want to get as many ships to the combat area ASAP? The enemy won't wait for all of your ships to show up, and I don't think any captain in history has told everyone under his command, "Sorry fellas, nobody can go faster than my ship because I'm the lead ship. Now, I know there's an important battle raging and our friends are counting on us because we make up the majority of the forces in this area, but they're just gonna have to wait." The ships that can continue on would continue to carry on, and the damaged ships would follow along behind or try to repair and then catch up.

My main gripes with the lead ship retiring to the rear are the fact that it often happens far earlier than necessary, and that it is done poorly. The ship always tries to pull a 360 degree turn, even when its formation will have long past it should it do so. It should pull out of line and slow down before rejoining at the rear unless the line is long enough that a full turn would work. I've also seen it pull ships out of the lead when they've barely been scratched, unnecessarily breaking up the formation and slowing things down for no benefit.

A simple toggle as to whether lead ship swapping is allowed would be nice, or a button that tells the lead ship to head to the rear. The biggest problem is lack of control.

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