Hey community, just got the game a few days ago and so far, enjoying every minute of the game!
However, I got a question for ya'll about the "create fleet" and "auto join fleet" feature.
To my understanding, if I first create a fleet using the "Create Fleet" button, that fleet is officially pinned on the Empire tree for easy access, fleet collection or what have you.
However, perhaps I did something wrong but on my Home planet where I ahve the most construction buildings, I notice that if I make a new fleet and just park it there for a while, whenever there is a new ship in the system it will automatically join the fleet. I would like to turn this feature off so that I can make two different fleets to my liking - thus, I want to have two pinned fleets on the empire tree that won't be picking up new units each time a shipyard is done making a ship. I want the newly constructed ships to be just floating around in space until I call on it.
So... I went to the manual and the tutorial where it said "right clicking on create fleet can turn off the auto join blah blah blah"... which I did... and yet the new ships still seem to be joining the Empire Tree Fleets... that has the auto-join feature turned off. Did I screw up here or is there something else to this? Because something else that I noticed was that even if a ship is NOT in a Empire-Tree fleet, it could still have the auto-join feature turned on... which kinda puzzles me because why would it need that when it's not a fleet or in a fleet...
Thanks for trying to tackle this rather confusing question. I tried the search feature too and it didn't seem to give me a result that was satisfactory.
Yeah actually the auto-join fleet thing is a little misleading. It's a setting on the individual ships whether or not they will join a fleet, not on the fleet accepting auto-joins. So, if you toggle auto-join off on the ships already in the fleet it will have no effect, because they're already in the fleet. Does that make sense?
Currently, most ships have auto-join on by default, but other than manually turning it off for each constructed ship, there are a few workarounds:
First, you could make a quick mod to make auto-joins off by default. It's easy, but will take a few minutes since you have to open each ship's entity file and change a word
Second, you can set the factory rally point to another grav well. Ships will only auto-join a fleet if the fleet is present at their waypoint destination. If you don't set a waypoint, by default it's the same grav well they're build on, so if there's a fleet there they'll join it. You can send your fleet away to another planet, or set production waypoint to another planet, to keep all the new ships you want for a different fleet separate.
I have previously talked to one of the devs about reversing the auto-join setting so you can toggle it on a fleet (like you tried to do) but I've been told it's easier said than done and he didn't yet know a good way of doing it.
I was really hoping for a "Fleet Template"; you make a fleet, and save it. When you make a new ship, it automatically goes to the fleet, and fills in any spots/openings that might be there after a battle or reasignment of ships. Even better, having the ability to have an "autobuild" toggle on a factory: You loose a ship from a template, and that particular factory starts building a replacement immediately.
Man, that would save SO much time and micro.
This was something I was trying to understand the last time I played. So, you can not have a fleet defend your home system while that system pumps out ships without haveing the new ships join the fleet. I like to have a main fleet defending my home systems while my main production system pumps out frigs for defence. If my primary fleet passes through a system as it is finishing a frig, that frig would auto join the passing through fleet?
I think that is the case Ifandbut. This seems like kind of a simple but unfortunately rather a pain in butt that the devs might have overlooked. It would be nice to have an "auto-join" feature on the factories that you can turn on or off. That way, you could just leave it on for those who like the current system but you could also change that for those who are currently getting a bit of a headache from this.
Perhaps a mod might be in order here if it's not too complicated...
btw, thanks for the quick replies!
Whats the difference between a control group or a fleet? I've been playing 6 months and still don't know.
Control group is fully manual. Fleet has some AI automation to make things a bit less micro-managey. When you make a fleet, one ship acts as the fleet leader. You then have, as an example, a "Fleet Cohesion" setting which determines how far away ships can stray from the fleet leader to engage targets (this works with the engagement radius setting). If you set it to "Tight" cohesion, ships won't move far at all, but if you set it to "Loose" they'll move more freely. The fleet also always keeps your ships in formation. When the ships are done executing their orders, they'll always fall back to the fleet leader.
To expand on this...
The Flagship becomes the only ship you really need to give orders to, to manage the fleet... if you prefer less micro. If you set the engagement radius of the fleet to hold position, the rest of your fleet will form up around the flagship and never break formation (unless you micro-order it to). At that point, you can order your flagship to engage whatever you like, and the fleet will stay in formation and engage it as well...
...to an extent. If the target of the flagship will get you the most bang for your buck out of the rest of the fleet, they will attack it. However, if your target is say, a LRM Frigate, and some strike craft fly by, your Flakk Frigates will detect that they could be doing more good else where, and fire at any strike craft in range... individual ships will attack whatever they have the best damage range against within range unless you manually tell them otherwise.
This is where the difference between control groups and Fleets comes into play. You can control group individual ships or groups of ships... For instance, you only need to order around the Flagship to get the fleet to move to where you want it to go, and engage enemies w/i range, or attack the Flagship's target. That said, recall that ships have a priority system on their targets built into their AI. If you wish to override that priority system, you have to issue orders to the ships in question.
So if you want, say, your fleet to move to a position near an enemy fleet, and target whatever they are best at, while your flagship (say a Kol), engages the enemy capitalship... just tell the Kol to attack the enemy cap. If, however, you want your carriers to hang back at the edge, and you want your bombers to hit enemy installations... you can make a control group of them. After you tell the flagship to do what you want, you can then hit the control group key to pull up your carriers, and have them stay put (micro'd orders > ai orders), and you could select your bomber control group and send them at structures... while the rest of the fleet follows the Flagship and engages based on bang-for-buck priority.
So really... control groups are just for micro. Also, if you give orders to any ships within the fleet specifically, they will break formation to do them, then return when done. If you want your fleet to stick together in attack, ordering only the flagship around is the easiest way... unless you want to micromanage the position of every ship in the fleet. NOTE: Any other engagment radius aside from "Hold Position" is essentially like giving the order "Break and attack". The other sizes just limit their aggression range.
As a last note, the formations ships fall into really do cover eachother pretty well... and I have found that keeping formation at the right times, can mean the difference between success and failure... If you can make a mess out of the opposing fleet by clever maneuvering, you've already taken a long step towards victory.
Oh, and sometimes it pays to break one gigantic fleet into multiple small fleets... for the reasons given in the above paragraph... YOU don't want to be the one being outflanked
Hope this helps some,
Wow, you were a lot less lazy than I was
It seemed to me that if I have a control group of mixed ships / not fleet / the carriers will know to stay at the edge of the well out of the way, but when a fleet with carriers they just follow the flagship. So in this instance it takes an extra micro in fleet mode to tell the carriers to go to the edge of a well.
That's because the carriers don't really have an attack other than strike craft... so they pretty much won't do anything.
If you have them in a fleet, they will stay in formation with the fleet. If you should give the carriers themselves an order to attack an enemy, they will close to 'short range', realize they can do nothing, and then move away or to the back of the fleet depending. So yeah, it can be a little dicey at times.
This is why I will often make carrier-fleets (carriers w/ a few flakk around them, typically), and just drop them off at the edge of a grav-well and let them chill. Alternatively, you could continue the control group method as you have described... w/ carriers, it's just one of those things you learn along the way.
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