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Topic: Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit) (Read 3041 times) previous topic - next topic

Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit)
Since people are putting down organizational structure, I thought I would mention this. It's extremely important.

In order for the instancing mechanic to be balanced, there has to be something as described in the thread title:

Players will have the ability to form groups up to a certain size, which will not be broken when entering an instance. This will probably be an even fraction of the maximum total size of engagement that the game will support.

For the purposes of this explanation, I am going to use "Active Character" as the relevant unit. An active character is basically a pc or npc who is actively participating in a battle. Note that more than this many characters may actually be involved, but they're not individually adding to everyone else's network bandwidth. Certain capital ship roles, for example, may not get transmitted and thus they would not necessarily count towards the cap.

If an instance can support a maximum of 120 active characters (for example), then that would leave 60 to a side, and probably 30 to a LIU. This would be pushing the upper end of the 'ships per combat' scale. I do not expect the largest indivisible unit to be smaller than twenty active characters, however.




In short:

1) I think this is the likely way CIG will go for balance reasons. It would not be fair to break up groups trying to assault a destroyer (said to be the largest purchasable and largest non-persistent craft).

2) It will be based on a subset of the PCs and NPCs who are participating in a battle.

3) This number will be somewhere between 20 and 30 characters

4) The destroyer and its compliment will fit within this limit - perhaps max it out.

5) For simplicity reasons, up to two maximum-sized LIU's will be able to participate per side.

6) If CIG doesn't have something quite like this in mind, they're probably risking fire and brimstone. People want to be able to play with their friends.

7) Persistent vessels (cruisers on up) will have different mechanics, balanced against this.




The way encounters would work is, two opposing fleets cross each others' path, and because conditions are right (we presume the server won't throw an entire fleet at a lone aurora in most cases). LIUs get paired up, until no pairs remain. Presumably, one side is larger - units will get further divided accordingly.

My suspicion is that NPC units will have smaller groupings, so 900 vanduul versus 600 pc humans would tend to result in 45 x 30 matches. Since my planning is basically an open intent to abuse this (have heavy hitting retaliator/idris/frigate/destroyer fleets shortly behind to act as reinforcements), CIG might try to mix this up a bit, but I can't think of a way they could without letting us get even more abusive.




While the exact numbers and limits are rather squishy, so to speak, I think it's fair that we can term this unit a squadron for our purposes. It's roughly the size of a real-life squadron, and as the members of any given such unit are going to have to work together throughout an entire operation, they're going to have to be able to trust most of their fellows.

So, squadron is a good term for it. Some points

1) There's room for organization below the Squadron level - see flight - if those squadrons so choose.

2) All squadrons members should speak a common language. A few should speak English in order to facilitate communication - even if they are a part of a larger organization, chances are we're going to want to be flexible enough to reinforce them with any available squadron if needed. Most members of a squadron should belong to the same organization, however, being willing to hire a few lone wolves/mercs will help pad our organized numbers a bit further.

3) The 'PC drop in' mechanic should be openly abused to keep squadrons at  cap. That is, you will want to consider crewing even if you have your own ships. You get your friend's NPC blown up, you go get one of your own ships to bring to the squadron after the battle is over. Larger, more coordinated guilds may setup an active reinforcement system within groups for this. Smaller organizations may wait, or alternately hire nearby lone wolves.

4) Loot the squadron can commandeer is the property of the squadron. Anyone not part of the squadron's organization should be paid for their role in acquiring large-ticket loot (stuff that can't be divided equally - frigates, destroyers, etc). We'll have to nail this down once we get a sense of the economy. This is what I'm talking about when I say 'hire' above - lone wolves participating in someone elses squadron should get a fair share.

- There is the possibility that large lone wolf groups e.g. like the Pack might come across a Destroyer. If they do form a squadron, they ought to decide what happens ahead of time should the opportunity present to acquire a large craft like that.

- Persistent items - cruisers, battleships, carriers, bases, and so on - will need to have consideration outside of the squadron mechanic, and will probably have a lot of other special cases governing them. That's a different subject, however.

5) Squadrons should all be capable of doing rescue, boarding, and salvage operations on their own. The plethora of "I'm going to be a part of operation loot your corpses" posts nails this point home.

Leave the vultures nothing.

6) As the above suggests... a not insignificant goal of mine is to ensure that all participants are actually making money throughout this operation. This might not be possible for some squadrons doing scouting missions, and if we go with the Relief Fleet proposal, working from Orion is going to be tough. Scouting missions are okay, however, and we may be able to economically prop the Relief Fleet if need be.

7) While assault squadrons will by necessity need to be maxed, we may not want to do this with scouting squadrons, or with stockpiling forces in Orion. In the former case, our goal is to learn as much as possible, not destroy as much as possible. In the latter case... it's stockpiling.

8) Operation Command should not concern itself with smaller units. Squadrons may be assigned different types, but that will be the end of it for the most part.




That's the gist of it, really. I mention this because I see people worrying about unit sizes that we should not be considering from a strategic perspective.
  • Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 01:47:49 PM by Benjamin the Rogue

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Re: Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit)
Reply #1
Disappointingly, I don't really see any way that the instancing system won't break immersion somehow (via upper limits on combat sizes).

That said, it'll be interesting to see how long it takes after CIG announces new details on instancing that players develop ways to metagame it for maximum advantage.

Regarding making money, apart from clearing up resource hubs previously occupied by Vanduul I see two main ways for Pitchforkers to earn as they go: salvage or "retrieval" of Vanduul goods, ships and equipment. Both will be relatively fraught with peril, but it would probably be a good idea for larger groups or organisations to detail a portion of their ships purely towards said "reclamation" via salvaging or retrieval.

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Re: Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit)
Reply #2
Very well written Xer!

Everyone should read this at least once to have it in the back of their heads in the oncoming tactical dialogue.

Re: Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit)
Reply #3
Well written! Just one we comment: I' am a lone wolf atm as while my MMO guild has a few members pledged for the game they have not decided whether to actually setup a guild in-game; so, I plan to lone wolf. that being said, I sure heck would rather be in some kind of group and am willing to forego any payment from an organization to be part of said group for the purposes of Operation Pitchfork. One more thing, where would we lone wolves offer up a preferred role?

Re: Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit)
Reply #4


Leave the vultures nothing.

6) As the above suggests... a not insignificant goal of mine is to ensure that all participants are actually making money throughout this operation. This might not be possible for some squadrons doing scouting missions, and if we go with the Relief Fleet proposal, working from Orion is going to be tough. Scouting missions are okay, however, and we may be able to economically prop the Relief Fleet if need be.



I like the sound of that. If everyone brings a ship capable of carrying cargo/salvage, this should be an excellent solution. We can't eliminate the vultures, but we can minimize their effectiveness.

Re: Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit)
Reply #5

Disappointingly, I don't really see any way that the instancing system won't break immersion somehow (via upper limits on combat sizes).

That said, it'll be interesting to see how long it takes after CIG announces new details on instancing that players develop ways to metagame it for maximum advantage.

Regarding making money, apart from clearing up resource hubs previously occupied by Vanduul I see two main ways for Pitchforkers to earn as they go: salvage or "retrieval" of Vanduul goods, ships and equipment. Both will be relatively fraught with peril, but it would probably be a good idea for larger groups or organisations to detail a portion of their ships purely towards said "reclamation" via salvaging or retrieval.


It's unfortunate. It may end up being significantly larger (I know if I can, I'll try to get ~100-200 ships to a side on my private servers). We'll see.

Another source of money, outside of the Orion system, will be bounties on Vanduul kills proper.

There will also probably be a lot of UEE derelicts for us to rescue.


Well written! Just one we comment: I' am a lone wolf atm as while my MMO guild has a few members pledged for the game they have not decided whether to actually setup a guild in-game; so, I plan to lone wolf. that being said, I sure heck would rather be in some kind of group and am willing to forego any payment from an organization to be part of said group for the purposes of Operation Pitchfork. One more thing, where would we lone wolves offer up a preferred role?


I'm planning on working that sort of thing into the scheduler. It's not just important to know that someone is willing to let you fly with them, but also that they'll be on at the same time, and speak the same language.

Chances are, you'll end up being a member of several squadrons, rather than just one.


I like the sound of that. If everyone brings a ship capable of carrying cargo/salvage, this should be an excellent solution. We can't eliminate the vultures, but we can minimize their effectiveness.


I don't think everyone should be, but every squadron have:

1) At least two ships capable of salvage and rescue (tractor beams)
2) At least two ships capable of boarding operations.
3) At least two ships besides the above capable of carrying cargo and npc fodder. Number will probably need to be estimated better after the game goes live.

Re: Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit)
Reply #6
yeah; we certainly need the first week or so of beta to get used to the game characteristics to finalize out our plans :P

Re: Strategic Concept: Squadrons (Largest Indivisible Unit)
Reply #7
Pitchfork Belongs to all of us