Author Topic: Fighter training fuel cost  (Read 631 times)

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Offline nakorkren (OP)

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Fighter training fuel cost
« on: May 23, 2022, 11:03:33 PM »
I started this discussion under the Twelve Colonies comment thread since something Steve said in that playthrough sparked the thought. However, since that's not really the point of that thread and it was looking like it might be a longer conversation, I'm starting it's own thread here.

Original question:
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Steve (or others with fighter experience), you commented in the update thread that one group of fighters were highly trained and experienced almost no delay in targeting/retargeting. How did they achieve that high training? Did you actively train them, or did they accumulate it through time and combat experience?

I'm accumulating fighters while my carriers are out working (fighting) and I tried training the fighters. They ran out of fuel almost immediately, even when I tried the somewhat hokey trick of putting a slower ship in the fleet. I could add a tanker, but they'd still be burning through fuel at an insane rate.

EDIT: right after I posted this, I realized that you may be training the fighters while they're docked in the carrier. If that's the case, please confirm.

Responses from various people:
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nuclearslurpee: I can confirm that this doesn't really help. The fighters simply drain fuel from the carrier in this case, so you will not run out of fuel as quickly but still often enough that it is very annoying to try and train them.
Steve Walmsley: They have been active long enough for the background fleet training to take effect.
skoormit: Would adding a big tanker to the fleet, set to "refuel own fleet" help with this?
nuclearslurpee: Possibly. I'm not sure (1) how the order would interact with the training mission, and (2) if it would be fast enough. You also still have the problem of maintenance failures blowing up fighters if they're not in a hangar.
Garfunkel: Make a training command, put fighters inside a carrier, move carrier under the training command with a tanker set to refuel own fleet.
ZimRathbone: also add a Supply ship set to Resupply own fleet (handles the maint failures assuming that all ships have at least enough MSP to repair the largest component on each ship).  I usually set this up for all my major fleets, and have these as a separate sub-fleet (along with an ammo collier) that can be detached before advancing into combat.  You do have to reset the Supply ship status periodically (at least after every save) as for some reason the status keeps reverting to No Resupply.

The problem is not the interrupts from running out of fuel or the maintenance issues which I don't believe are a major issue for the first year (longer topic), which I agree adding a tanker or supply vessel generally would fix. Deployment time would also be an issue, but as Garfunkel said, put the figheters in a carrier and put the whole fleet in the training command, and maybe that solves it. I suspect it would but haven't tried yet since all my carriers are occupied at the moment.

However, the problem I'm facing is that the fighters burn through their entire fuel storage capacity (roughly a million liters) in a single construction period (5 days), while only gaining approximately 1% of training in that time. That means I'm going to spend 100 million liters of fuel to train 50 fighters to 100%. Which is a LOT of fuel regardless of your empire size, but particularly when my empire currently makes less than 10 million liters per year.

I have a few ideas on fixes, but before I start opining on how to change the algorithms underpinning training to fix something that maybe only I think is unreasonable, is there a game design/game balance/realism argument for that being a reasonable/desirable cost?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 12:02:04 AM by nakorkren »
 

Offline Agraelgrimm

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2022, 12:45:35 AM »
That math seems to be kinda alright with my small experience with fighters, but i like the low tech eras and as soon as things get too godlike im out and make another run. I would suggest something... You could decrease the speed of your fighters and make them go back on deployment basis. That should decrease the amount of fuel spent by hour flown, meaning that your fighters would be able to function for twice as much days with the same amount of fuel if they are 50% slower when deployed... And im not the expert, but it seems to me that its is more about time "on the job" than distance on it. So i would suggest you do that manually. Maybe go around 30% speed and see if that's going to help more.

I do remember that on V6 we had a little button that we could press and the ships would do training. Their speed would also be lowered when they were doing that. I think that was the point...
And since im talking about that, i would sure love if we could have that button back and have another one for patrol...
 

Offline nakorkren (OP)

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2022, 08:19:02 AM »
I tried setting speed to 100 m/s (unchecked Use Max Speed then used the Set Speed button), and still saw the same amount of fuel burn during training. Also tried putting a slower ship in the fleet, also did not change the fuel consumption during training either.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 09:20:16 AM by nakorkren »
 

Offline Aloriel

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2022, 10:49:32 AM »
I really feel like the training time is kind of long. Too long even for larger warships, but especially too long for a fighter.

Are these fighter pilots brand new pilots that have never flown before? If that was the case, then *maybe* it might be appropriate to have it take many months. Even then, I can't see how it should take a year. It's my understanding that US Air Force pilots go through an intensive training of about 3 months if they have never flown before. This does not make them ace pilots, but it does get them up to competent.

If they are not brand new pilots, then it shouldn't even take that long. When a real world commercial pilot learns a new plane, they go through a 1 month intensive training course to learn the new plane's systems and get used to its movements. They also go back into training annually for about a 2 week course. In this case, it's absurd that fighter pilots take a year for training.
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2022, 11:04:23 AM »
Honestly, I think there is an overarching problem with the concept of "Fleet Training".

Taking things literally: you mean to tell me that if I have my ships sit under a training HQ in Earth orbit for a couple of years, they will be 100% capable of being dropped into any fleet in the empire and having instant reaction time working with brand-new comrades (which is really the main, possibly only? thing that fleet training actually affects; I think everything else is Crew Training which is far more sensible), but if I put a fleet together and send them on a two-year patrol of the outer rim they will only have, what, 40% despite having worked together closely for two years? I think this strains belief as a game mechanic.

Meanwhile the actual mechanic is entirely micromanagement: shuffle ships between admin HQs, give refuel and overhaul orders, babysit to make sure nothing runs out of MSP, etc. etc. It's not interesting, frankly. VB6 was not much better mechanically, although less annoying due to "tricks" like using a slow ship in the fleet to reduce fuel consumption, but otherwise a pretty similar mechanic aside from the ships actually flying around (I do like how the VB6 reaction mechanic included responding to orders, though, not just fire control delays - much more realistic IMO though I can see why maybe it was removed for being too much).

I'd rather see "Fleet Training" removed entirely and more importance placed on the commander Reaction skill, which to be honest feels a bit marginalized since it basically is only needed to make up for a lack of Fleet Training (order of movement rarely matters in practice, and even less so in 2.0 with 1-second subpulses). More emphasis on commanders (excellent storytelling) and less on boring, micromanagement mechanics (poor storytelling) is a good thing IMO. I would like to keep the Training Admin HQ but as providing a bonus to crew training rather than fleet training, as these would still have a place in the hierarchy alongside NAV and PTL admins.
 
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Offline Bremen

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2022, 12:12:46 PM »
This is more of freeform brainstorming than an immediate solution, but I can't help but think some alternative for training would be good for fighters. If you lose a warship it's sort of a package deal, you build and train a new one, but fighters by their nature are kind of attritional - you throw your squadron at the enemy and probably take losses even if you win, and you don't want to throw the carrier back into training every time you lose some fighters.

It's very much a pie in the sky suggestion, but I can't help but wish for some sort of Fighter Pilot Academy that would create a pool of fighter pilots similar to trained crew we have now, limited to fighter class ships but causing them (with sufficiently trained pilots) to start with fleet training and maybe even better crew grade. Or even just something that quickly increased the training of fighters in orbit. Though that might be more a solution for a more fighter/carrier heavy game than Aurora - while Steve's latest AAR has been really fun I think carrier based fleets are more of a rarity for most Aurora players.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2022, 12:45:41 PM by Bremen »
 

Offline Agraelgrimm

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2022, 04:27:17 PM »
I tried setting speed to 100 m/s (unchecked Use Max Speed then used the Set Speed button), and still saw the same amount of fuel burn during training. Also tried putting a slower ship in the fleet, also did not change the fuel consumption during training either.
That's weird. The Fuel consuption is for amount of distance covered. So, if a fighter has 50k fuel limit and it can go 100 m kilometers for example, then it should consume the 100% after moving that distance. So either something is wrong (like a bug) or im wrong about something in there.
I think Nuclear will know whats up.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2022, 04:31:37 PM »
I tried setting speed to 100 m/s (unchecked Use Max Speed then used the Set Speed button), and still saw the same amount of fuel burn during training. Also tried putting a slower ship in the fleet, also did not change the fuel consumption during training either.
That's weird. The Fuel consuption is for amount of distance covered. So, if a fighter has 50k fuel limit and it can go 100 m kilometers for example, then it should consume the 100% after moving that distance. So either something is wrong (like a bug) or im wrong about something in there.
I think Nuclear will know whats up.

Fleet speed has no effect on fleet training. A fleet under a training admin command consumes fuel at a rate of 10% full-burn for the time (not distance traveled) spent under that command. So if a fighter has sufficient fuel to fly at full speed for, say, 3 hours, it will consume all of its fuel under a training HQ in 30 hours regardless of how fast it moves or if it even moves at all.

This is a change from VB6 when fleets literally flew around the system on exercises and consumed fuel based on the speed of the slowest ship in the fleet.

N.B. that a fleet under a training command can be given regular orders (although these do not always work, e.g., overhaul orders will fail, and cycling orders seems to not work correctly either IIRC). Any fuel burnt while fulfilling orders is in addition to the 10% time-dependent burn.
 
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Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2022, 09:10:36 AM »
Oh yes, I remember now - this has been reported in the past and it's a known issue. Fleet training for fighters is basically impossible since it consumes so much fuel.

OTOH, you only rarely need fleet training for fighters unless you're going for beam fighter heavy fleet where you might need to retarget quickly and often.
 
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Offline bankshot

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2022, 10:19:58 PM »
Could you perhaps build your fighters with slow/efficient/cheap "training" engines then after training completes refit them to combat engines? 
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2022, 11:45:54 PM »
Could you perhaps build your fighters with slow/efficient/cheap "training" engines then after training completes refit them to combat engines?

Couple of problem with this. The obvious one is: refitting fighters requires a shipyard which eliminates a large advantage for using fighters which is the planet-based construction ability, not to mention needing a shipyard or constant retooling for each different fighter class you use if you're a variety lover. The less obvious one is that this doesn't actually work as well as you'd think, because faster engines have higher crew requirements - so after refitting a fighter, you add some new crew members and lose a large fraction of your crew and fleet training levels. This might change in 2.0 with the change to crew requirements for short deployment times, but I think at least some fighter designs would still run afoul of this mechanic.
 

Offline kilo

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2022, 12:00:52 AM »
I think crew training should remain in the game, as it is important to familiarize with your equipment. It would feel wrong if a newly build ship with a green crew would be 100% combat effective. Maybe the crew training should simply be gained passively over time, modified only by commander and XO bonus. The ships status could be a factor as well, as a ship with her crew on shore leave should gain significantly less than a ship on active duty.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Fighter training fuel cost
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2022, 12:13:30 AM »
I think crew training should remain in the game, as it is important to familiarize with your equipment. It would feel wrong if a newly build ship with a green crew would be 100% combat effective. Maybe the crew training should simply be gained passively over time, modified only by commander and XO bonus. The ships status could be a factor as well, as a ship with her crew on shore leave should gain significantly less than a ship on active duty.

Just to clarify: Crew Training is a completely different mechanic from what's being discussed here. Crew training is done by accumulation of grade points over time based on the skill level of the ship captain, XO (if any), and admin commanders. It affects several aspects of ship performance including weapon accuracy and maintenance failure rate.

Fleet Training is the kind of training performed by placing a fleet under a TRN admin command. As far as I know, the only thing fleet training score affects is the firing delay when a BFC is re-targeted or otherwise receives a new order (i.e., open/cease fire), which is also one of the few things affected by Reaction score of the ship captain, flag officer (if any), and admin commanders.

So there are two different mechanics here, and it is the latter which is the subject of discussion - the former does not have any special way to be trained (in fact, placing a fleet under a TRN command will decrease the rate at which crew training grade improves, due to the loss of crew training bonus which would be gained under a NAV admin command). You can reference the wiki page here to see the differences further explained.

Confusion between the two different types of "training" is probably another reason to quietly get rid of Fleet Training, IMO.