Thanks to some truly moronic ship AI, I just watched 70 attack bombers obliterate themselves by running straight into asteroids while attacking them. Not nearby asteroids that drifted across their flight path- the same ones they were attacking. They fired their weapons all the way in until they collided and exploded, just as if I had issued kamikaze instead of normal attack orders. I reloaded twice to see if the game was simply glitching out on me… and got exactly the same results. If formations were working this would not have even been an issue; I could have stuck them in sphere and never had to worry about something like this happening… but as it stands, my entire bomber group is completely useless because they’ll be dead to the last ship by the fourth rock I send them after. Corvettes fared better since they don’t make head-on firing passes, but that really doesn’t excuse the complete uselessness of a ship that used to be the ideal tool for the task!
Edit On further testing, it isn’t just the bombers that act stupid- my capital ships are also showing signs of space madness. My frigates are inexplicably attempting to close distance with the incoming asteroids- not merely to within weapon range, but to within their own length of the targeted asteroid’s surface. This is with both assault and ion cannon frigates. Naturally, this results in more collisions than would otherwise occur, since the fragments of the just-destroyed rock keep moving straight into the impossible-to-miss target the frigates have just created.
My two captured destroyers exhibit the opposite behavior, attempting to back away from the asteroids until they’re too far away to be useful anymore. I mean, at least they aren’t actively trying to commit suicide like the frigates and the bombers, but they’re still not helping, and their ridiculously slow reaction time makes them a major pain to get back in position (remember how destroyers were supposed to be slightly faster than ion cannon frigates? Yeah, so do I. These stupid things turn slower than my carrier does).
Corvettes, with their circling behavior, smash right into the asteroid behind the one they’re attacking, which requires insane amounts of micromanagement to avoid and makes them only slightly less useless than the bombers were… but at least they reposition quicker than the destroyers and don’t seem to be making a concerted effort to die so much as they’re just not paying attention to where they’re going.
Instead of focusing on protecting the mothership, I’m wondering why I didn’t just mass support frigates and let the asteroids hit the MS because that would have been the least problematic strategy here. Every single combat ship available to me is doing something horribly, terribly wrong. This mission is an exercise in masochism, and while I fully intend to beat it and move on, I seriously doubt I will attempt any further playthroughs of the game until something is done about this mess. This is ludicrous.
C’mon, guys, didn’t anybody put this mission through QC testing?