Since then I've thought about the issue more and I realized that queued fleet orders set to repeat could be a solution to unit consolidation issues too. Let's take a simple example: you are an empire with two infantry academies, a jumpship yard, and a sector capital. You fear an enemy attack and want to have plenty of infantry on the sector capital- more than it can build itself. Right now, the solution is to assemble a jumpfleet every time that you log in and move the infantry manually, a tedious and repetitive process. And forget about stationing infantry on other planets! It would take much too long. If you go AFK for a couple days, you are out of luck, your capital isn't going to get reinforced. If you don't have a jumpbeacon, this will all happen at 1/10th speed since the infantry have to travel with gunships. Will you even be around when the fleet arrives, or will you have to go off and do something, leaving your vulnerable transport fleet in orbit somewhere?
Here's an alternative. You create a transport fleet at the jumpship yard and give it this set of repeating instructions (warning:pseudocode:
Now you have a self-sustaining fleet will go around every 40 minutes or so moving infantry to your sector capital. Nothing prevents you from extending the loop so that infantry get gathered and dropped off all over the place. You could also have a fleet that moves resources to Mesophon periodically- not as powerful as T&E trade routes, but giving non-T&E empires a way to accumulate a couple aes.
Code: Select all
move to academy1 transfer max core.infantry from planet move to academy2 transfer max core.infantry from planet move to sectorCapital1 transfer max core.infantry to planet move to jumpshipyard1 transfer 10% core.jumptransportReliant from planet wait 30 periods repeat
One issue with repeatable fleet orders is that people will get too creative and you'll have hundreds of automated fleets flying around which will be a massive load on the server. One way to prevent this was suggested by somebody a couple months ago as a possible solution to the jumpfleet problem (sorry, I don't remember who it was): it's to have non-attritioning hero units and only allow fleets containing one of these units to take orders. These units either are 'virtual' and do not participate in combat, or they can be replaced if destroyed, and each empire gets a finite number at any given time (maybe a dedicated planet designation supports them, or the number you can have is proportional to the number of worlds you control or something like that). Another way would be to put a cap on the number of fleets that can be receiving orders at any given time.