Rally Fleets

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    Everyone familiar with RTS is familiar with a tool called "Rally Points." That is the specific focus of this suggestion.

    Rally points tell new made units where to go and what to do and which group to join automatically to reduce micromanagement.

    It would be very helpful if every station and ship could get a bar in the SHIP/STATION drop down menu called RALLY POINTS that allow owners to 1) set coordinates which any ships produced in a shipyard or any docked entities launched will immediately go to, 2) set a fleet that any launched entities will automatically join (and take up current orders).

    Ex. 1
    Your defense fleet is being attacked by a pirate patrol. Your drones are doing their jobs, but you've lost a few more fighters than you like. You go to the shipyard and load the BP of your favorite short-range corvette and order it built. 30 seconds later it is complete. You open the station menu and click on RALLY POINTS to verify that your new drone will be deploying to the immediate system and joining the local defensive fleet. You undock the corvette and after a second or two it turns into the enemy and begins fighting. You order another produced, and another, and after undocking them head to the nearest turret to join in the fight. [Currently you would have to babysit them after creation, rather than simply producing them and getting back to the fight]

    Ex. 2
    You are preparing your command ship with its fleet of escorts to support an allied assault on an enemy planet in 15 minutes. You transport over to your station and order it to produce a heavy carrier. It takes several minutes, but eventually the ship is complete. You create a new fleet, set that as the station's rally fleet and detach the new carrier. You transport over to the carrier and connect 4 of your command ship's wireless remotes to the 4 modules on the carrier that launch its 4 fighter wings. You return to your command ship, order both fleets to head towards the armada rendezvous, then engage your own jump drives and head out.

    You reach the armada's rendezvous coordinates and find that some of your allies have jumped the gun and already engaged in battle. You start laying down stand-off support with your long-range primary weapon as you wait for your fleets to arrive. A few minutes later you see your ships are within range, order your own escorts & the carrier fleet to defend your sector. You press two buttons to launch two fighter wings. Enemies engage and as your fighters have mostly lost their shields, you order them to return to carrier and launch the other two wings from reserve, and order your carrier fleet to attack. [Because the current alternative is that on creating the carrier, you would have needed to launch all of its fighters and add them manually to the carrier fleet selecting them each from a huge list, one at a time, leaving them sitting ducks until you did.]

    It doesn't save hours of work, but when time is short it helps, and it's a standard in many other games. I don't think it would be effortless to code, but it should be the kind of thing that could be added along with other small improvements to user interface.
     

    Sachys

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    Now stop me if i missed it (not long up and not yet had coffee), but... rally points. What about waypoints as well?

    Edit: ...that is, they're basically the same thing - just one is a chain of points. Therefore they should be equally as easy to implement (and potentially more useful).
     
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    Agreed. Rally fleets, rally points and way points are all needed. So are patrol points (ie way points that repeat in a loop) so you can tell your fleet to continually sentry a series of 6 waypoints along an asteroid belt and they will just circle forever looking for trouble.
     

    Sachys

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    Thinking further on this, waypoints could also be used for jump drives perhaps?
     
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    Ideally a fleet would use its worst maximum speed or means of transportation, yeah. But at this point it's getting into a lot. I'm baby steps here - new entities should rally.
     
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    rally points and way points would be excellent features :) > perhaps new UIs would be needed with additional fleet orders, as the current 'tab box' could quickly get very clunky
     
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    rally points and way points would be excellent features :) > perhaps new UIs would be needed with additional fleet orders, as the current 'tab box' could quickly get very clunky
    I think that allowing fleets and the commands from the current tab box to be able to drag-and-drop into hotbars would probably solve it, but some kind better fleet interface is definitely a long-term must.