Thursday, 02 February 2012 Written by 

Everybody remember that long-ago newspost about synergies? If not, a little trip down memory lane:

When you see a Federation fleet in the shows, you see many different units. Each one has a role and supports the others – these are their synergistic effects. Synergies were thought up to give players the feeling that Fleet Operations’ Federation fleets shouldn’t just be composed of a single ship type – fleets of Intrepids? I don’t think so! 

The redos strongly embody the idea that “our strength comes from our diversity”. Groups of single classes of ships on their own simply do not have the same force on the battlefield that a varied fleet does. Synergies are of course not just for Federation fleets, but they do work differently for each faction. Since the Federation is the most complete faction at the moment – and follows the synergy-ethos the most – we’ll discuss some gameplay examples here.

Unit Synergies

As discussed in previous news posts, a Monsoon is a short-ranged Defensive unit. This means that it will always be targeted first by hostile vessels in range, provided the player is not clicking on specific units to attack (which is where your micromanagement and formation use comes in handy). Consequently, a few fragile tier one long-ranged Sabers mixed in with a higher tier Monsoon means that the strongly defensive Monsoon takes the first damage.

However, it is very important to realize that since the Monsoon is shot first, it is also the first one out of the battle – that absolutely requires you to have a few of these Monsoons. One just isn’t going to give those Sabers immunity, and you still must keep those ships moving to prevent a player from picking off the Sabers anyway. If an opponent is given the opportunity, he or she can simply stay put, blasting Sabers away at less than maximum range and ignoring the Monsoons altogether.

You can imagine of course a skilled player keeping his or her Sabers out of range, with the Monsoons in front – or even fighting battles constantly on the move, moving the much faster Monsoons to the back of the fleet, so that it becomes quite difficult to pick targets other than those Defensive units. As always, both players must micromanage to get the most out of their units.

Weapon Synergies

But wait, there’s more! Sabers and Monsoons are both equipped with beam weaponry – that means that when it comes to fighting against other Defensive units, or structures, they’re going to be less cost effective and you’re going to have to sit there for longer in order to get kills. Likewise, both of these ships are a tad weak on the offensive side. So, in order to take out buildings or Defensive units faster, we need some Allround Intrepids in the mix.

All of these Monsoons in our fleet means that we’re at risk of getting hit by torpedoes – perhaps even from the strongly Offensive medium-ranged torpedo-spamming Akira! The Intrepid has Autonomous Defense AI, so we should be ok but…. those Monsoons are still going to get shot first, oh no! Furthermore, since the Akira is an Offensive unit, all our torpedo weapons are going to miss a lot more, due to those high tech ECM systems installed on her.

Special Weapon Synergies

Of course, it isn’t just ships that are synergistic with one another, but also their abilities. A Monsoon gets a special, and this one happens to work well with Allround units – of which the Saber and Intrepid are one. This special – Defensive Patterns – allows the Monsoon to boost its own durability temporarily, as well as provide a few extra shield hitpoints to nearby Allround vessels. Should be useful against those Offensive Profile area of effect attacks . That isn’t going to save us from the torpedo-monster Akira though.

If we happened to have built a Cassiopeia Yard, you can bet that you’ll have access to some Remores.

As mentioned in a previous newspost Special Abilities are capable of being researched independently of one another.

So, let’s research Point Defense. Unlike in previous versions of Fleet Ops, Point Defense now lasts longer – but does not intercept 100% of all unfriendly torpedoes. Instead, its range has been boosted, its duration has been increased, and it kills torpedoes every few seconds. In other words, a perfect (fire+forget) way to negate the ability of those nasty torpedo wielding opponents from taking out our Defensive units at the beginning of a battle.

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As you can begin to see, the ranges, profiles, specials and other aspects of vessels can create fun and diverse fleets. ‘Till next time!