6 Big Issues with the Campaign/Coop mode

Hello. I want to share my thoughts on why the Camaign/Coop, specifically on the subject of why it needs some improvement and how, in my opinion, it could be improved in order to make it more enjoyable for the playerbase. For sake of simplicity, I'll be short.

Problem 1. Frustratingly little resource gains
At the moment, only Hive Worlds generate income. There is a certain logic in that, yes. However, it results in a situation when players are always lacking resources until they get enough Hive Worlds to properly fund their war efforts. And the farther game goes, the more and the better ships players need. Plus, players always must account for ships upkeep, which is extremely punishing at the moment, even for Light Cruisers.
What's even worse is that enemy AIs seem to be completely unbound by need to generate resources, as they deploy huge fleets every term. And players are supposed to fight those fleets not just to win, but to survive. This state of affairs results in a lot of irritation, mainly because of players' flawed and weak economics.
And although I do admit that it does not make the game unwinnable (personally I play on Hard difficulty), it surely does not makes it any more enjoyable. And games are supposed to be fun and enjoyable. So far, BFGA II Camapign mode fails to deliver that, particulary because of this difficult financial situation, which makes the process of acquisition of new ships and fleets stressful and unenjoyable.

To solve this, I propose to finally make all other worlds, not just Hive Worlds (in case with Imperials), to pay their taxes. But, whereas Hive Worlds should generate a lot of resources in taxes, Agrarian (and other) Worlds should pay about 1/4 or 1/5 of money generated by a Hive World. Such change will not only improve players' financial situation and make the game more enjoyable, but will also increase the value of individual non-Hive World systems. As a side-fix, ship's upkeep prices could be lowered a bit, because at the moment of writing of this they are a little too high (which is an issue of its own, especially if the urgency gauge is turned on).

Problem 2. No ability to transfer ships between fleets
It pains my heart when I must discard leveled-up ship with which I fought and won some hard battles just because there is no button to transfer it into another fleet that I have (or might have). This is not simply half-baked, it is disheartening and therefore needs to change.

To solve this, I propose to add a "Transfer Ship" button which will allow players to transfer their ships to other active fleets they have (if within the same sector), or into a new empty Fleet (without a Leader, yet), if cap so allows. Alternatively, there should be a way to put ships into Reserve, from which players might transfer them into any other fleet at will.

Problem 3. No ability to transfer leaders between fleets
Sometimes you just need to switch commanders (within the same faction, of course). But you don't want to scrap your entire fleets or, if "Transfer Ship" button will be added, to go the long way by transfering your ships until you're done. Therefore, there should be a simple and easy way to transfer your leaders between your fleets.

To solve this, "Transfer Leader" button should be added.

Problem 4. No ability to change leaders' skills and upgrades
The chief advantage of a Leader is that only they can use special abilities. However, the value of those is heavily dependent upon particular playstyle of each player. Therefore, players should be able to change skills (and by extension upgrades) of their Leaders. The very lack of this ability makes the game feel underdeveloped. Besides, if it's allowed in Multiplayer/Skirmish, why isn't it allowed in Campaign/Coop, where stakes are higher and every advantage matters so much more?

To solve this, I suggest to add "Change Leader's Skills" and "Change Upgrades" buttons. Given the difficult economical situation in the game, skill/upgrade change should be free.

Problem 5. No ability to choose which ships of a participating Fleet appear on the battlefield
Players have their reasons to deploy some ships first, and some ships second. Especially when several fleets are present. Therefore, it's expected that there should be ways to choose which ships will participate in the battle from the start, and which will be called later. Even older games, such as The Empire At War had this feature. So, it is expected to be present in Battlefleet Gothic Armada II. Not having it here simply feels wrong.

To solve this, I suggest to implement "Reinforcements Menu" (or its alternative), which will list all ships currently present within players' fleets that are in the system, as well as fleet points meter (to better understand the situation).
At the start of the battle, players will be able to choose that they have.

Problem 6. No reliable way to gain Battle Plans
Battle Plans are essential to set back to Urgency Gauge, as well as to access some highly important enemy systems, from which they direct their attacks with impunity, thus precluding players from deploying their fleets to pressing objectives elsewhere.
However, at the moment, you can board enemy flagship numerous times during a mission and, despite numerous attempts, NOT get battle plans! In fact, most of the time I fail to acquire so desperately needed battle plans, even if I raid several present enemy flagships by lightning strikes, boardings, boarding torpedoes etc. It simple doesn't work as reliably as it should.

To solve this, I suggest to increase successful battle plans acquisition chance significantly. Preferably to 80-90%, so players will be able to not only somehow control the ever growing urgency guage, but also open ways to bothersome enemy systems which cause a lot of trouble, but can't be accessed in an ordinary manner.

In my opinion, all aforementioned issues are huge deal breakers when it comes to Campaign/Coop experience, and proposed features (i.e. solutions) are absolutely MUST HAVE for this game. Thank you for your attention.

last edited by Shaftoe

I second the transfer ship function.

@shaftoe
Problems 2-4 are really irritating to me as well, and I think the problem stems from the fact that the Admiral has the same level as his flagship, so you could just put a level 4 ship in a new admirals fleet, and instantly get the movement buff. So I think the first thing that needs to happen is to separate the Admiral's experience from his flagship, after all, an admiral is not the the ship's captain, and he doesn't forget how to command a fleet just because he is on a different ship.

After enacting this separation, transferring the ships and admirals around wouldn't allow you to game the experience system, and when this change was implemented there is an opportunity to give more control over the admiral's "load-out". Personally I waffle a bit on this one, I like looking through the different admirals and cooking up different fleet compositions to complement their abilities and upgrades, and then implementing different tactics with those fleets. Keeps the battles from getting too similar. But, I could still do that if I could change admirals skills around, so I guess that is a bit of a moot point. I think the admirals level should have more impact in general, maybe unlocking some of the upgrade/skill slots as they level up so you just can't grab a brand spanking new AdMech admiral give him Stasis Bomb and Disruption bomb (and five Nova cannons) and just go and annihilate a hivefleet while sipping his afternoon tea (or oil).

Problem 5 to me is really annoying as well, and I like your solution.

Problem 6 stems in part (I think) because the mechanics of the data recovery mission type from the last game are used, but never really explained. Once I realized this and remembered the rules, it became much more doable (not the same as easy or painless, but with less wtf happened). The first boarding action that lands (LS's are instant while boarding has a delay) transfers the plans to the ship that launched that action. The enemy however can get the battleplans back in exactly the same way, so once the plans are retrieved I move the ship out of boarding range, or warp it out all together. Sometimes I will use a LC for precisely this purpose: grab the plans with max range LS then burn for a safe spot/map edge and warp out.

There are also several systems that generate battleplans over time (which are finally working), which help a lot.

Now Problem 1, There are four standard Points of Interest (PoI) that generate flat resources (from least to greatest) Outpost, Civilized World, Hive World, Forge World. Outpost is so trivial that it takes ~20 turns to pay for itself at the start of the game (agri and mining world stacking reduce this considerably, later on). The other three are twice as efficient as the one before them 5/10/20 (CW), 10/20/40 (HW), and 20/40/80 (FW). You're right that in the early game (Pre-Agripinaa) you feel really income starved, I think that maybe they need to extend that first ten turn income buff a bit. But once you get Agripinaa under control most of the income problems ease up. In particularly the mining worlds in that sector with their percent multiplier really get things going. In my hard difficulty campaign I have the sectors Cadia, Nemisis Tessera, Belis Corona, and Agripinaa almost completely controlled and have roughly 5000 points worth of ships (spread over 11 fleets), which comes out to ~500 a turn upkeep, and am still making ~500 a turn. So a gross income of ~1000 a turn which feels like plenty to me,and it is going to jump once I take Reznor. Basically the economy for the Imperium snowballs due the interaction of its Forge/Hive worlds and its mining worlds. But I agree in the early bits of the campaign it can be a little rough, so I personally think a bit more of a starting economy buff would help.

Overall I think your points were well reasoned and well stated, and thanks for sharing them, and I hope you don't mind me giving my opinion on them.

I don't mind.

After all, I am not the only one who speaks of aforementioned problems. And that's why we need to see them fixed as soon as possible.

Speaking of Problem 6. I initially suspected that, too. And I thoroughly checked it. Most of the time my ships simply failed to acquire the data in the first place. Boarding actions simply did not succeed at that, as if it was not supposed to happen.

@shaftoe That sounds like the battleplan transfer mechanics are bugged in the Beta. I never had any problems like that in the release version, and didn't see enough battleplans on flagships tonight to say one way or another in the Beta version, but if that starts happening I will be really frustrated too.

@merlin-atwares said in 6 Big Issues with the Campaign/Coop mode:

@shaftoe That sounds like the battleplan transfer mechanics are bugged in the Beta. I never had any problems like that in the release version, and didn't see enough battleplans on flagships tonight to say one way or another in the Beta version, but if that starts happening I will be really frustrated too.

I have this issue since before the Beta.

@shaftoe I just want to respond to problem 6!

I don't have this issue at all, though reading some other responses, it seems you guys are having specific issues.

I mean, I often get my battleplans taken back by an enemy boarding my ship when it has the battleplan, but otherwise, I do get the battleplan everytime.

last edited by Zucadragon

Don't forget the obnoxiously restrictive leadership cap.

Problem 1. What are you talking about? Im pretty far into the imperial campaign and if anything there is way too MUCH resource gain. There was some resource managing the first like 20 turns maybe but after that i dont even have to consider what resources i use or lose. I play on normal difficulty but i cannot imagine there is that much of a difference, i have over 10000 resource and i cannot spend it faster than i gain it. If i wanted to i could sacrifice space stations, turrets, ships all day long and just replace them, except the shipyards wont generate points fast enough to replace ships. The resources however is not a problem, it increases exponentially. Just upgrade and capture all resource gaining planets first and soon you wont have to worry at all.

Problem 5. Generally it seems that the participating ships of secondary fleets if possible will be the flagship followed by the strongest ships available and almost always you will get the escort ships because they are low leadership and fill up the last bit available. Personally i dont really see the use of deploying weaker ships, for me the BS is where its all at. Running only BS in my imperial navys against the AI, they can deploy all the cruisers and frigates they want but they wont beat the hull points and damage output of my Retribution and Ark Mechanicus lineup.

Problem 6. I do not have this problem. First of all you need to be sure that the enemy flagship actually has battle plans, which you can see by the battleplan icon next to the ship health/shields. If they do have battle plans board them and you will get them, they might steal them back in which case you will have to get them again with a new boarding operation.

Problem 1 is onle there for the early period of the campaign.

Problem 5 is more about quality of life. Players should have that choice.

Problem 6 is now gone for me, too. Although, I wish battleplans appeared more often. Way more often...

last edited by Shaftoe

Problem 5 is gone with the beta patch. You can choose and omit ships as you please prior to the battle 🙂

@whoopiemonster Great! Then it's just problems 1, 2, 3 and 4 left to deal with. That would have been a BIG quality of life improvement... especially in light of the fact that some researched bonuses apply only to ships of lvl 2/3/4... And we desperately need the ability to change leaders' skills. Assortments offered by the game are often just... wasteful. Players need control over it.

Problem 1 might not be too serious, but still... A better income would be welcome.

I’m now 42 turns into my Imperial Navy campaign, on medium, and I’m close to generating 900 credits per turn. So I don’t think money is an issue tbh.

I think the Eco issue can be solved by making Agri Worlds more important. I don't consider the upgrades to be worth the cost, so I just dump all my economic work into the Hive Worlds. Maybe if the Agri world upgrade discount was steeper and they gave a small amount of bonus resources combined with lowering the highest amounts of resources Hive Worlds give would solve this?

Idk, I'm only some ways into the IN campaign for now. I haven't hit that part where my income skyrockets as others say.

I'm quite a way in and Aggripina, Scarus and then Chincare systems are the most important for income as they have Forge Worlds and in the case of Chincare - the Reznor system whose ship graveyard generates a ton of money. Having Chincare and Aggripina joined means you can then stack mining world bonuses.

I'm on hard and getting 961 a turn but have 12 fleets mostly maxed.

last edited by Mystic_Taboo

Coming back to this topic yes, I'm just flooded in resources since around the time of the Agripinna/Chinchare areas of the campaign. Still haven't completed it yet but I have more resources than I can realistically use at this point in the IN campaign. Fleet capacity is my biggest bottleneck by far.

Perhaps we can use more income sinks in the game in addition to tuning the income rate? I feel like the IN campaign pre-Agripinna is just a slightttt touch too harsh on the economy but after you settle down it becomes way too lax.

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