Tuesday 10 December 2013

Fleet Leaders

Quick post about the fleet leaders and experience system I have planned which I am currently working on.


Command Hierarchy

Each ship can be assigned to a Squadron which can have a maximum of 9 ships in them. They will follow the same orders, work as a group and keep in formation (if you want them to).

Wings are the next level up and can command a maximum of 4 Squadrons (possibly more when researched).
All of the Squadrons assigned to the Wing will follow the same orders, so you can assign orders to a large number of ships all at once.

Fleet is the highest level. It can hold any number of Wings or Squadrons. You probably wont be able to give specific orders at the Fleet level and I haven't decided yet if more than one Fleet will be allowed.



Each Squadron, Wing and Fleet can be assigned a leader character. This leader will earn experience from battles they are involved in. If any of the ships the leader commands was involved in destroying an enemy ship then they will gain experience towards their skill level.

The leaders skill level will give specific bonuses depending on where they are placed in the Command Hierarchy:

Squadron Commander: 5% bonus to damage per skill level
Wing Commander: 5% bonus to maximum speed per skill level
Fleet Commander: -5% ship upkeep cost per skill level

The only way for leaders to gain experience will be in command of a Squadron. To do this they will need to be in the lead ship. If the ship gets destroyed the leader dies.

You will be free to reassign leaders whenever you like, but only if there are no enemies nearby.



Traits provide bonuses to all ships the leader is in command of. When a new leader is recruited they may have a number of traits, but they cannot be gained in other ways. A few examples:

Mining Specialist - Gives a 20% bonus to mining yield
Shield Specialist - Gives a 10% bonus to shield hit points and recharge
Energy Weapon Specialist - Gives a 10% bonus to energy weapon damage
Engine Specialist - Gives a 10% bonus to ship maximum speed
Transport Specialist - Gives a 10% bonus to cargo capacity

Trait effects will cascade down the command hierarchy and are halved at each level. If you have leaders each with the Mining Specialist trait at the Fleet, Wing and Squadron levels then it will give the bonus of 35% (5 + 10 + 20) to the ships below.



As leaders gain experience they also get better at commanding certain types of ship. For example if the leader only has Cruisers in their Squadron, experience will also be added to their Cruiser Leader skill which provides bonuses only for Cruisers.

If there are more than one class of ship in the Squadron, experience will be distributed evenly to the relevant proficiencies.



Leaders will also be able to earn medals when they achieve certain goals (total ships destroyed, ore mined, cargo transported etc..) Some medal examples:

Long Service Medal (Awarded for time spent as an active leader)  - Gives a 10% reduction to ship upkeep costs
Bronze War Medal (Awarded for total ships destroyed) - Gives a 5% bonus to shield and armor hit points


Potential Problems

The whole leader system is designed to be completely passive. You wont need to manually spend skill points. They can just be left alone and they will automatically gain new skills, proficiencies and medals as they do stuff. So it shouldn't require much micro-management at all. Of course you still might want to check on them occasionally to ensure you are making the best of their abilities in their current position.

As the player can take manual control of any of their own ships in the game, there is the problem of what happens when taking control of a Squadron leaders ship. Should that leader continue to get experience for ships you destroy?

I don't really want to add a special type of leader character that represents the player as I would like the player to be able to take control of another ship once it gets destroyed.

Much of this is not fully implemented yet, so would very much like to hear your feedback and suggestions!


  1. Mattias Isegran Bergander10 December 2013 at 16:02

    Sounds to me like you could/should ignore the player taking control and just add that to the assigned leader.

    Regarding micro-management, while it may not _require_ any interaction form the player, it sounds like it will require quite a bit of interaction too optimize and/or plan in the leader system? Though if it doesn't get increasingly harder to gain one type of specialist/medal etc in different categories (just because a leaders gets a bronze war medal, a different type of medal, like the long service medal, doesn't get harder to get) then I guess that's not an issue. Keep up the great work!

  2. Hi Stuart,

    I would really enjoy the idea of multiple fleets. With the size of Galaxies we've been seeing in some of your images it would be somewhat difficult to manage a large navy without the concepts of multiple fleets. Perhaps have a limitation that no 2 fleets can be in the same system as each other. This way the player / AI will not stack fleets.

    With some basic numbers:
    Squad = 9 Ships
    Wing = 4 Squads
    Fleet = 4 Wings (making an assumption here)

    That's 144 ships. Having multiple fleets to easily move around a large navy with 100s of ships would take allot of micro out of ship movement. A good thing when you're managing 10-50+ different systems, colonies, supply lines, shipyards ect.

  3. Hi Stuart :)

    Telling the truth I am very, very surprissed. Possitivley of course, as I did not even dreamed that there will be any kind of characters system :) And if even there would be, than not so well organized :) Sounds really great! There is only one thing I am a bit affraid of - mortality of characters... They sounds as very inportant asset to both - player and AI. Yet it sounds for me that they could die too easily - just by loosing ship on which they are. How about some escape pods system that could be put into ships (on designing stage) which would give characters some chances to actually surviwe their ship destruction?

    As for fleets, I personally think that it would work better to have unlimited amount of fleets, but each with limited amount of wings (would be kind of troublesome to move my forces with only one fleet while fighting on two fronts of while organizing an attack on enemy from two diffrent planets to two diffrent places).

    Hmm... Taking control of each ships? You mean... No, You can't mean it... But wait... I must ask... Do You mean I can actually take direct control of any ship in my fleet and play with it using my keyboard and mouse just like in some arcade games? You ment this kind of control??? :D

  4. I think is good idea the possibility of getting your leaders killed in the destruction of their ships, that gives you more strategy oportunities. For example the Squad of your leader has to be well defended on combats in rearguard of the fleet. The wing and squad leaders can fight in frontline but you need a good system of characters spawn to replace your deceased commanders.

  5. You will be able to recruit as many leaders as you like, but they will come at a cost. The cost WONT increase the more you have.

    Could maybe even link it to the research system, as another way of spending research data.

  6. Limiting Fleets to one per sector is a good idea, but would have to apply to Wings and Squadrons as well as you can apply orders to them individually. It could be exploitable.

    What if there's already a few Squadrons doing mining at a planet or a Wing guarding a jumpgate.

  7. Ricard Rovira Cubeles12 December 2013 at 12:25

    What about when a leadership gets destroyed the medals he had remain on the wreckage? You may want to salvage it...

    It would encourage the player and the ai to kill leaders, the higher ranked the better, to claim a portion of their benefits. Also, as game progresses, all the fleets would slowly become more and more powerful, as new leaders take dead ones medals and rank up faster due to their enhanced survivality. Also, would introduce an incentive to do a fast kill and run operations to lower entire fleets strength as the leader of the fleet would be the one who has the most experience, and so, best medals. Also gives incentives to the player to try to save their own leaders, so the AI does not become too overpowered.

    To prevent exploit, no leader could have stacked medals, of course.

    At the same time, the new leaders don't have the same value as old ones due to the fact that skills are not included in this mechanic.

    I think this is a nice idea... as so does everyone of their own ideas. :P

    Or if this is not implemented, maybe a small chance of finding that captain half frozen in a emergency chamber in the wreckage?
    Maybe you could capture enemy leaders this way... they'd serve you after saving them!... Or maybe they will betray you later...

    So many options... And all of them are that easy to say and that hard to implement :P

    I like your game and ideas so far!!

  8. When a leader dies, you wont be able to claim back any of their skills/medals in any way. I don't think that would seem very realistic.

    Escape pods? Maybe in the future.

    If you have a particularly excellent leader that you would like to keep alive, then you could promote them to command a Fleet or Wing (where they cant die) or you could put them in control of a capital ship.

    I think there needs to be some risk vs reward.

    There will be lots of turret variations for each size and type. :)

  9. Ah! So there will be some VIP dedicated ships that are not easy to take down :) That is very good :) And with possibility of choosing which ship will lead which squadron it pretty much settle every my concern of loosing leaders :)

    WOW! Just WOW! :D It will be great to do so! :D

  10. Hey... Stuart... I have question ^^
    What kind of diplomacy relationship are you planing to implement? Will it be a rather standard system when you have complete options like: peace, war, ally? Or will You expand it like: open borders, trade pact, research pact, forming union/federation, limited war (we shoot eachother ships, but not attack planets), vasalization and other things?

  11. Diplomacy will probably be fairly basic to begin with and expanded on over time.

  12. HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)

  13. Thanks. Happy new year! Should be a good one for space games!

  14. Hey Stuart!

    Very excited for this game it is looking amazing and I can't wait to play it! I have kinda both a game play question and suggestion. Ship boarding and capturing? Is it a planned feature in the game? Like sending a ship full of marines in after you disabled a powerful Battleship and launching boarding pods at it to take it over. I would love to see this in the game because i like playing as a pirate taking ships as my own :). Either way I love the look of this game and can't wait to play it!

  15. Boarding and capturing ships is something I would definitely like to try and add at some point. But will have to wait until after the game is released and included in an update or expansion.

    At this point I don't really want to continue adding new features as there is still a large amount of work to do before the game is released. :)

  16. any updates, maby an ETA?

  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEh3N__hJ5E&feature=player_detailpage#t=146This could be an attack for a cruiser or something...

  18. Great post, I appreciate you and I would like to read your next post. Thanks for sharing this useful information.

    Dedicated Developer

  19. Telling reality I'm extremely, extremely surprissed. Possitivley naturally, when i wouldn't perhaps dreamed in which you will have virtually any figures program: ) Of course, if perhaps at this time there would be, in comparison with less than well organized: ).

    Dedicated Developers

  20. Hey Stuart.

    About the point of a Dedicated Empire Flagship, or Player Ship, i like the idea, and if you don't want to do one that is generic or one which will disappoint players with different play styles, why not add a ship creator, similar to a Character Creator at the Beginning of an RPG or MMO. With a few basic Hull Designs and unique weapons or power plants, shields, that sort of thing. And maybe implement a progression style system whereby the more victories you get you can upgrade the ship to have better weapons and so on. You could also include one which tracks Game Victories and lets you unlock more advanced gear as you go. Like starting weapons could include Basic Projectile, Beam and energy types and as you progress you can access to more advance ones, which still aren't a match for a fleet of ships which are a higher tier so you can mop the floor with them at late game stages, but primarily so it can hold it's own during that sort of engagement. Just a Thought.

  21. The player can take control of any ship. So much of what you described can sort of be done already, just from researching advanced modules and designing a dedicated ship you will use to control manually.

    I like the idea of RPG-like player/character progression, but is something that will have to wait until after the game is released I think.

  22. Ah, i see. Thank you. :)