Some findings about Strikecrafts behavior:

Reposting informations that a friend uncovered for me through playtesting.

Note, these comments are taken from multiple conversations spread through multiple days:


otoh a lot of HW1 strikecrafts seem to apparently have difficulties keeping their formations together I heard.
[2015-02-28 8:36:24 PM] Ludovic: though it might be dependent on stance setting but I dunno
[2015-02-28 8:36:25 PM] 56tr: They’re worse at it than the original. HOWEVER they are also better at dodging fire in formation than the original.


Sadly, they seem to have removed one of my most favored bomber tactics
[2015-02-28 8:40:56 PM] 56tr: Sphere formation no longer causes fighters to form a sphere around the thing they’re attacking.
[2015-02-28 8:41:02 PM] 56tr: :frowning:
[2015-02-28 8:41:14 PM] 56tr: Only things they GUARD do that, and they can only seem to guard friendly targets, unless I’m missing something.


((this last bit is important, as it might be giving explanations as to why ships break formations sometimes/often)

Update - sphere formation DOES work, it’s just done differently now.
[2015-03-02 4:25:06 PM] 56tr: Fighters in a sphere will repeatedly contract and expand the formation - they all fly outwards in a sphere, then (on aggressive tactics at least) fly in all at once and fire as much as possible, then fly off away to resume the sphere, then another closing attack.
[2015-03-02 4:26:55 PM] 56tr: Fighters are also a bit smarter about picking targets to attack and no longer need to be micromanaged.
[2015-03-02 4:27:11 PM] 56tr: I’m finding they are quick to jump in, sometimes TOO much so.
[2015-03-02 4:27:15 PM] 56tr: “Friendlies under fire. Rolling in!”
[2015-03-02 4:27:51 PM] 56tr: They will not sit there standing idle while larger ships are being attacked - they will break position (and let you know they are doing so!) to attack threats attacking other friendlies.

If you hear comments like “friendlies under attack, breaking formation” you know your fighters have taken the liberty of moving to defend another unit.
[2015-03-02 7:39:29 PM] 56tr: So pay attention to battle chatter. So far they’ve told me every time they’ve decided to take action on their own.
[2015-03-02 7:39:35 PM] 56tr: Which is something I greatly appreciate as a commander.


I’m reposting this here because I feel this sound like it might explain a lot of the “breaking formation” behavior of ships in formation in the game, potentially to the interest of players here.

Very helpful information- the way formations “work” is still completely bonkers and unacceptable, but at least info like this could potentially help us compensate for some of the more irritating behaviors of strike craft in Remastered.

If I wanted my strike craft to do their own thing, I wouldn’t need a formation feature. Evidently they can’t be trusted to do their own thing and not die stupidly, much less kill the things I order them to attack in an efficient manner, so I do need a formation feature. Which doesn’t put them in formations that keep them from dying stupidly… and as a result strike craft need to be micromanaged even more carefully than ever before because they’re disorganized and insubordinate.

It’s nearly enough to make me yearn for Cata’s SU system, so that I could at least just pump Hives and MBFs and forget about strike craft altogether. They’re a total exercise in masochism as things sit.

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Thats why I only use 70 defenders and a mix of heavy/light or milti-gun corvettes. Adapt until a mod or patch comes along to fix or change it. But that’s just me. I’m happier and I get to feel like I outsmarted the computer as silly as that sounds.

To be fair, I think the thing with squadrons is that they wished to mimic a bit what Relic would later attempt with Dawn of War and Company of Heroes, that is to make single units made out of semi-independent individuals.

I.e.: to sort of mimic a bit real-life where situations can be such where they will move from one location to the next as a single squad… but once a fight starts realities of it sort of force people to not always be able to focus on a single target at a time to try to face the multiple directions threats can come from.

To play devil’s advocate, the fact that formations will sort of break up after the first pass of attack sort of reproduces how things would happen in real-life when fighter planes formations falls upon a dogfighting situation breaking up formation to try to spread the number of targets the enemy need to track(while trying to cover each others, look back at how fighters will try to pick a wingmate when breaking formation or go and attempt to cover allies under fire as mentionned during battle chatter) rather than offer the enemy one big blob of a target to be brought down all at once by massed concentrated fire.

And the thing is… it COULD work under HW:R remaster’s engine. However, the way HW2 scaled unit balance such exponentionally in-game the added speed and maneuverability of strikecrafts even in the evasive maneuvers that breaking formations is actually about is simply just offset by how much damages and accuracy even ships not dedicated to bringing down strikecrafts can still dish out against fighter squadrons.

Otoh, since the game uses a Random Number Generator roll system to determine chances to hit in combat… -this- could be easily fixed by -drastically- dropping the accuracy of ships and weapons not meant to take down strikecrafts such as assault frigates and their likes.

This said, another thing that remain is the fact that HW2 squadron sharing a single unified health bar(which can refill the entire squadron of ship when docking for repairs) as opposed to HW1 strikecrafts which all have a separate health bar is admitedly a potentially big balance issue when trying to balance HW1 strikecrafts against HW2 strikecrafts.

I might see Gearbox having to balance this(for MP, anyway) in the long either making HW1 strikecrafts being built as pre-formed squadrons which act as a single unit like HW2 squadrons or by “breaking up” HW2 strikecraft squadrons by having being them built as lone units instead like HW1 strikecrafts.

(though this formular present the risk of HW2 race then being outspammed by HW1 races who are able to produces two different units at once with every one of their production ships).

NOPE.

Not at all, they go bananas and break formation completely the very second an attack order is issued, they’ll even fly by without shooting and flip u-turns and just essentially spaz out.

Same fighters, same targets, 20 seconds to kill them all in Homeworld, 54 seconds to kill them all in Homeworld Remastered. The damage is the same, the only difference is them not sticking to formation and bugging out. That’s over 2x slower for the same task because strike groups are broken, yet they are shipping balance patches – smh.

Watch it, get familiar. Strike group formations DO NOT WORK AT ALL OUTSIDE OF MILITARY PARADE AND AT IDLE.

What does this mean? You can move ships in formation but you cannot do combat in formation, but the formations are STRIKE GROUP FORMATIONS, AKA COMBAT FORMATIONS.

Not working as intended, just watch the video.

P.S.

If you changed tactics to “Evasive” they would break formation and spread out exactly like you’re saying, but if you put them in “Aggressive” they would hold formation tightly. The tactics don’t work either.

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That’s what happens when you set evasive tactics in HW: Classic. They split into pairs and begin proper dogfighting, prefer dodging and only going for a shot when it’s safe to do so.

This is the heart of the problem. The way I look at it now is that each HW1 fighter in the new engine now essentially thinks it is actually a squadron. Now, for HW2 squadrons this behaviour sort of makes sense. Although, I’ve always hated it when I was waiting for all my fighter squadrons to be serviced in a carrier and the first ones to be out rolled in with “Friendlies under fire” - well thank you very much, I know there’s an attack going on that’s why I need all my fighter squadrons to move in at once and not one by one to get easily slaughtered. Not to mention that bombers had annoying tendency to ignore their previous target and pick up new one instead.

Thanks for the video. You know what is actually funny? When the fleet intelligence tells you “combat effectivness increased by 22% when in formation” afterwards…