Small gameplay things...


Unknown Enemy
I get the impression I'm getting old - I'm whining about things that, fifteen years ago would have seemed perfectly reasonable to my fifteen-year-old self, but now I'm lazy, and increasingly view myself as a "casual" gamer... (and this from the guy who made Standoff!)

I don't want to discuss missions yet - I'm past the Prologue, but only about five missions into the main campaign. Time will come for that later. But there's a few gameplay issues that I've noticed so far, which I find pretty darned pesky, and just had to comment on :).

(I know, nobody's going to change any of this just because I don't like it - but I'm always curious to hear about which of this stuff was conscious design decisions, and which just kinda happened)

1. Capship blasts. I get the idea, it's cool - you see a huge fiery explosion, you should feel the hurt. But the hurt seems to be rather excessive. I know, it's realistic (if you can even use that term in the context of a space sim) to expect a small fighter to be blown to shreds in a huge capship explosion... but you know what? It ain't what people actually want. The other day, when I got to the last Prologue mission, I didn't remember about capship blasts, and I got very close to an exploding destroyer. It didn't kill me outright, but I died soon afterwards. Since then, I've hardly seen any fireworks at all - because I'm always too busy afterburning the hell away from a capship when it's going down. This sucks. Freespace has awesome capship explosions, and the blast damage spoils them. If it were up to me, I'd reduce the blast damage... oh, about tenfold. Just enough for them to give the player noticeable damage, but not enough to actually get in the way of continued gameplay.

2. "BLAST" - on the other hand, I don't get the point of having this piece of info on the HUD. My ship's shaking, I see fiery particles all over the screen - I kinda figured out already I got caught in a blast :).

3. Gun capacity. Is this... really... like WC3? It seems like I spend 90% of the time waiting for my guns to recharge. I'm pretty sure in most WC games, gun capacitators were set up in such a way that, if you just held the trigger endlessly, you would quickly stop firing full volleys, but you'd spend about ten seconds or more firing at an unchanged refire rate using just your lowest-energy guns. Here, it seems that after I run out of energy for full volleys, I fire off another two or three blasts with the low-energy guns, and then it all stops, and I actually have to let go of the trigger. Is this intentional, or does Freespace just work differently... or is this really how WC3 was, and I just didn't remember?

4. Fighter collisions. I've... been spoiled by WCP's collision spheres :(. Hitting them flat Kilrathi pancakes actually gets frustrating. I guess it probably wouldn't if it wasn't for the gun capacity thing, but as it is - it seems to take multiple gun passes to take out even a Darket, because half of my shots miss. I guess maybe back then, space shooters actually required skill.

5. Ultra-powerful missiles (when hitting the player). Ok, they're not quite as powerful as in WC4. There's none of that "one heatseeker will make you restart" nonsense. But it seems even a medium fighter like the Hellcat cannot survive two missiles - one takes you down to twenty-something health. That seems to me to be a bit more demanding than WC3 used to be...

6. Mission debriefing... and straight into briefing. I assume this is how FS2 worked, but did you guys ever consider changing it, to put the player back in the main room between missions? I feel like someone is constantly prodding me onwards, and it's irritating. I don't even notice when new things appear in the tech viewer, because the only opportunity I get to do so is when I enter the game. Once I get into a mission, I keep going through missions until it's time to quit. Never a moment's rest, or something :p.

7. Capmiss launcher on the light destroyer. Gaaaah! You hide it in a spot where you virtually can't hit the darn thing, and then you tell the player to concentrate on taking out the launcher? It turned out to be easier to just blast the whole capship! :)

And that concludes Quarto's whine of the day :p. Don't take this post the wrong way - the fact that I'm complaining about stuff is actually praise in disguise, because it means I'm enjoying myself enough to bother analysing those nagging things that bug me :).
Haven't played Saga yet (I'm on travel for a bit, and can't try it out till I get home and get some free time from the baby), but I wanted to comment on some of Quarto's points.

First off, it's somewhat ironic to hear him (as someone who was involved in Stanoff's development) complain about ultra-powerful missiles (If I never see another Standoff Sartha or Drakhri fire off a dumbfire on nightmare, it will be too soon!) and half the gun shots missing small targets (Gladius anyone? Let alone the Raptor in the sim...) :)

Next...gun capacity. I recently fired up WC3 again and played it, and was absolutely awed at how slowly the gun capicators re-charge. I had forgotten in the 10+ years that had gone by since I played it. Especially the Excalibur...on full guns, you get 3, maybe 4 salvos, and then you're waiting about 5 seconds to let the capacitors re-charge. 5 seconds is an eternity in a space sim. The other fighters weren't quite as bad, butr still frustratingly long. It really forced you to not "spray" your shots but to line them up. In the end, I think it added to the challenge and the gameplay experience, but it sure took some getting used to. If Saga has replicated this, I'm looking forward to seeing if it gives the same feel.

For the record, I'm really looking forward to playing Saga...
(Gladius anyone? Let alone the Raptor in the sim...) :)

Frak that...what about the damned Hornet? If you can kill anything with what passes for a Hornet in Standoff, you're definitely exothermic fecal material clustered around a thin tree branch. Only problem I have with that Standoff in general.
Quarto you aren't the only one getting old ^_^
I also remeber to have more kills back in the days then I have now. Medium difficulty level is about the level I can play it without to much frusttration. I definitly need time to train more.
Anyway about what you said...

1) Never noticed that the blast is that strong but then my normal flight style is to fly towards a cap, empty my capacitators or fire my torpedo and then hit the afterburner and pass by, activating the rear view and watch the show.
So I never had the problem you discribed. Would be interesting to hear if other people also have these kind of problems.

2) Yah its kinda useless.

3) Haven't played WC3 in quite some time but I know that during the development people where playing WC3 a lot with a notepad and a stopwatch to get it as close to WC3 as possible. The FS engine does some thing different with the recharge rate and energie destribution then WC3. I think it was about linked guns beeing handeld different then when firing only one type of gun.
So what we have now is the best thing to WC3 you might get.

4) Do you mean the problem that the AI has a tendency to fly right into you or that you can only hit something if you realy hit its geometry. Like you can now shoot in between the empty space of a Dralthis wings and realy hit nothing?
If you mean the later one...thats something I like about the FS engine. Finaly the Dralthi has its advantage instead of beeing just a big target ^_^
A tip that might also work for you. When I fight a Dralthi I let it pass by, kill the engine and turn. Most of the time the Dralthi will try to turn around too and then it shows you the top side and becomes a realy nice target.
Just don't forget that you are basicly standing still. With a lot of enemys around you can only sit there for a second or two before someone starts shooting at you. Still mostly its time enough to damage the enemy quite a lot.

5) Missiles, same as witht the guns, should be pretty close to WC3 damage. Only difference is that in FS missiles can also generate a blast that might hit you even if you evaded the missile. Still that happens very rarely. To me only once so far.

6) Was a topic that came up. Originaly we would have liked to have some cgi scenes in between, then cut it to textwalls and in the end decided to get the story across using the in mission chatter.
I know its not a good solution but you can still go back to the main menu by hitting esc.

7) Mh yes. Frankly I don't know why the launcher ended up in that spot. Still its not that bad to hit. Okay you have to follow a certain flight path but then there are not as many turrets firing at you from that angle so it should be okay.
Still I agree its more fun to blast the entire light destroyer to bits.
What I have my problems with it the Kamrani. I just hate that thing. Just glad that the Arrow has the glide option. Makes it a lot easier.
Ok, so let me comment on this.
Remember, I wasn't the one who designed the missions and I didn't tweak the ships, but I think I remember some things about them.

First of all: Quarto, you are getting old :D
No, seriously, which difficulty level did you play on? I'm not that good of a pilot, I became quickly frustrated with both UE and Standoff which were that f***ing hard for me to beat. I always thought: "Man those guys and their testers have to be brilliant pilots with a lot of practice!"
I played half of Saga on medium and the other half on easy. I will try to beat everything on medium though, but I'll need some more practice until then. There are some really hard missions after all.
So I'm pretty surprised reading you complain about difficulty :D.

Concerning gun capacity:
We aimed for the same values like in WC3. You should be able to fire the same amount of full gun blasts like in WC3.
Normally it is wise to not use full guns IMO, since the ion guns of the Arrow for example drain a lot of energy and don't do that much damage.
There are small differences to WC3 IIRC, for example that if you completely drained your energy in WC3 the behaviour of the guns was a bit different in the Thunderbolt, but Saga is pretty close.

Hint: Try to use your energy management a bit. I normally transfer a bit of energy away from the engines. You are still fast enough but it helps in the dogfights or when flying near a capship. I feel like it is a bit more important than in the original games, although I'm not sure, I used it there also.

Concerning missiles:
I think they are a bit harder to evade than in WC3, but the damage in WC3 when getting hit with missiles wasn't small either. I think if WC3 had had big battles like Saga with many missiles fired it would have been really tough.

Hard to hit fighters.... Yeah. I think in WC3 the Dralthi IV for example was a bit easier to hit. I think that is because of the hit boxes in the old engine. The Darket was always hard to hit, and, well, I agree with Farbourne and capi3101: Hornets and Gladii in Standoff.... Man alive!

Capship launchers:
Just wait until you meet another capship and its launcher....
This is an interesting part of the topic, because I hate those as well. On the other side: with a bit of practice and using the glide function in the Arrow and Excalibur you can kill them quite quickly. It just needs some practice.
Fighting against capships is also that part of the gameplay that feels most differently compared to WC3. I prefer the Saga way, since in WC1-3 I always wondered: If a single fighter can destroy a capship that easily, the capship designers did something horribly wrong.

Blasts: Yeah, I also got killed a few times by blasts, especially by those of cruisers. Nowadays I watch the explosion through the rear window while getting the hell away from it with afterburners :D
I think it adds a lot of "realism", I like it.

Debriefing to Briefing:
I kinda liked how the game keeps you in action, but I also pressed escape during the briefing from time to time to look at the new things in the tech room or the pilot screen.

Also please keep on posting while playing Saga, I'm really curious how you will experience it, since you have a bit of a different view, being a modder yourself.
Hi Quarto

It is funny that you think as me in some points^^ Well i like the explosion thing but I also have problems with the guns. But i had always problems with the Free Space engine in this point. Sometimes you can be right behind them or right in front of the enemy but your shots won't hit that damm thing... I do not know the reason but in Standoff I can see why I do not hit the target in Free Idea. I take them down on medium range^^

But the Converter thing.. well without giving much energie in the wepons you do not have much power. in wc3 there where 4 Power systems Wepons, Schield, Engine and Damgerepair. and in old day you tranfered all energei from damage to wepons ^^

But you are not the only one who is getting old. I wished for checkpoints, quicksaves and many more modern things by playing this incredibel good but looong missions. After solved a big problem and more.
On the other hand it was quite fun to make your way through this the old fashon way.
But I needed to train a lot to hit this damm fighters >:< and even now... normaly I love the light Fighters but in WCS I can only fly the heavy ones, Excalibur, Longbow and Thunderbolt. The Hellcat anoys me and I can not fly the arrow anymore because I cant handel this fine fast ship anymore. Run and evade fine.. but than .. I can't hit anything when flying that fast thing... AND the feels just wrong i am not sure but this thing just feels wrong

It is really funny some guys say standoff is much harder to play, I had NO problems beating Standoff at Nighmare in WCS I cant beat any arrow misson without EASY mode and also with the Hellcat

Only with Longbow and Excalibur I can fly Hard mode.
No idea why, but i seems my hisgscore in standoff with the bombers have a reason^^

But Quatro you are not the only on who is getting old^^

But I think it is more the engione. You and I are just guys who can't handel the Freespace Engine, I do not know why ^^

But it is quite a fun game with a great story ^^
Not that you mention it..I also remember that I allways transfered power from damage repair to other parts and only turned it back when I had taken a lot of damage.
So there might be a bit of extra power that everyone viewed as normal to be there but realy wasn't.

As for handling of fighters.
Arrow -> I needed quite some time, after flying the Hellcat to get used to the Arrow. Still after a while it becomes quite a fun to fligh. I kinda compare it to the Vampire in Prophecy. When I first tried to fly it I allways wished to go back to any other fighter in the game. (Still prefere the Panther ^_^)
Hellcat -> I just hate that fighter. Hated it in WC3 and still don't like it in Saga.
A couple things I've noted that might help:
-All ships have rotational inertia, obviously more distinct as you go up in size, to the point where I have almost a second between slamming the joystick hard over in a Longbow and having the craft actually turning at full rate. Smoothing out control input helps a LOT with this, as well as watching the target VDU a little and trying to predict paths - on some missions I'm landing 40%+ hits with guns... although I still spray a little even against caps.
-This being Freespace, the small/flighty craft are often difficult to impossible targets with guns. Missile love here. Unless you're flying the Thud and only need to tap the trigger twice. :D
-I think that there is a short delay between shooting and the start of the gun pool recharge, which is why it feels off. Sometimes I get a chain of low-power shots, more often than not the shooting just *stops* - this could be something to do with the engine cancelling trigger input if gun pool isn't available to keep shooting?
-CSMs: I don't think the hitboxes and the mesh line up... I can take out half a swarm with a general spray but sitting next to one and punching shots very precisely through the lead reticle produces no boom. The location of launchers is also universally painful to destroy in a Hellcat, but anything with dumbfires, autoslides, or that is a Thud can take one down in a single pass. A possible counter for this + the huge increase in missiles being launched is that the AI has become very, very good at downing incoming with turrets.
-Missile evasion: due to the blast radius it's often difficult to fully escape the blast, but if your timing is good you can (even on a thud) dodge most of the damage with a burst of afterburners. The only place this becomes a problem is if an entire claw lights you up at once, which seems to happen fairly regularly, and you wind up dodging four missiles at once. Try barreling your way directly through an enemy group to avoid getting heatseeker locks then focusing your fire on the tail end kittens (who often seem to be the ones focused on any ships you are defending anyway, and will obligingly hold still for gunnery practice).
Another hint:
Don't take them head-on. Especially Dralthi pilots love to shoot their missiles right into your face. I'm not sure why but the Dralthi pilots are more missile-happy than others but I love it. Sometimes it is a good tactic to wait for your wingmen. On easy difficulty you mostly can charge directly between them and make a slaughter fest. I can't recommend that on hard.

EDIT: Also I like that the Dralthi is a real medium fighter in Saga instead of pure cannon fodder.

The difference between the game engines for hitting a target is that in Saga you have to really hit your target while in the vision engine ships have hit boxes. Depending on how big they are (and on their shape) they are quite easy to hit even if they don't seem to.

So you have to be a bit more accurate in Saga than in WC3. You get used to it though. I play with a Joystick and have ~50% hits with the guns. I am told that when you are good with a mouse you can be more accurate, I can't get used to mouse control though.

@Lars: Strange, I never liked the hellcat either.
you are right, But sometimes... it is just not right, because I can't belive i missed a target direct in front of me. the shoots just do not connect..
But it was always my Problem I was never very accurate at shooting^^
I can fly dodge and all, but my aiming sucks. That must be the main problem I have problems with Freespace engine^^
Well that is wrong.. I am not good with rapid Fire. So it is no wonder I am better with Fighters that have Firepower.. in Prohpercy I like the Bomber with its Plasma Wepon fpor this reason ^^

But thanks for this information. I will try to look at my shooting. Could be that i always hit between the wings or somthing like that ^^

@gevatter Lars

well after thinking about WC3 ^^

Hellcat: Why the hack is THAT thing replacment for the Rapier? I want my Rapier back! Best Fighter in WC1 One of the Best in wc2 and the replacment for the Kingfighter is this damm Hellcat? Damm this thing right after the Scmistar ^^
I was never a Fan of Medium fighters^^

Longbow. In wc3 a pain in the ass without any fighter backup, but nice missels ^^ But I renember how disapointed i was. I looved flying Broadsword and Broadsword in WC2 but the Longbow wasn't a littel battelship like these heavy bombers of the old days ;(

Hell yeah my ship, so much Firepoer and a heck turret... LOVE it

well after remebering that i never beat Flash in the Sims at nightmare i renemberd that i didn't like this fighter too much.. it must be my weaknees to hit targets multiple times.
Was never Fan of the Ferret either..only the Epee was a light Fighter in WC that i really loved ....

Well god fighter, how cann anybody do not like it?

thx to Aginor i think I know my problems with the light Fighters and the Freespace engine, but it is a pity. in WC2 my favorite was always the Epee, littel deadly Fighter
But perhaps I am just a heavy Fighter/Bomber guy^^

to WCS
the Dralti are really nice in this one. in WC3 they were a littel...well useless, in this one they are the soul of the kilrathi fleet and you know it ^^
But the Vakoth are a littel weak in my opinion, i thought they were much stronger in WC3 but i am not to sure abpout that.

But the best part on this game is still that capships are no longer just sitting ducks. ^^
Point 1: I would agree with this one definitely. It is rather annoying having to miss the explosion because I'm running away to a safe distance. Worse still is the effect on other fighters. There could half dozen or more cats left in the area, and they instantaneously disappear in the explosion while my teammates are still flying being much closer to the blast. Really breaks immersion more than anything else with having invulnerable wingmen.

Point 3: The gun capacity thing is very annoying to deal with. It really didn't seem to take this long for the guns to recharge back up to even half strength but then again maybe WC3 difficulty settings altered gun recharge rates on easier settings.

Point 4: Collisions is a little annoying, but it is far less nasty then WC3. Even on rookie, one collision and your basically dead. Unfortunately, I seem to run into the AI's in Saga a lot more than I ever did in any of the WC games.

Point 6: Agree 150%, yes that much. While the current setup does contribute a more desperate and tiring experience for the player to give them a sense of what the character is feeling. Overall, I would have liked to see the ready room a lot more often to just decompress after a mission and think about what just happened. The whole game is a blur in my memory right now.

Point 7: God was that placement horrendous. It is near impossible to get into the right position to be able to hit it and usually I have only a few seconds before the damn capship is on top of me and then I have run around to get back into position again.

Another point, those damn capship missiles. My god they are hard to hit especially in that interception mission early on. What is worse is my CO reprimands me for not taking them down cause they are moving in a straight. I wanted to yell back in the bastard's face that they are too damn small to freaking hit accurately. A maneuvering Dralthi is easier to shoot down. I would have liked to go back and play that mission in the Excalibur. You wingmen and those vaunted Valkyries suck in that mission as well, after 30 seconds they stop doing anything.
Hehe, now that's a lot of replies for one day :). Now, I don't think I'm going to be quoting each of you guys, that would make for a really strange-looking post - I'll just try to address all the relevant points.

First up, just to clarify. I'm not ocmplaining about difficulty as such. I've been told that as I get further into the game, I will be complaining about difficulty, but I haven't gotten there yet :p. When I say that shooting is frustrating, and hitting is frustrating, that's a somewhat different phenomenon. A game can be easy and frustrating, or difficult but not frustrating at all (usually, if a game is both difficult and frustrating, it flies out the window :)). In this case, I don't have any difficulty getting past a wing of Dralthi, for instance - but I do get frustated shooting at them, because I find myself running out of energy all the time and missing them all the time. It feels like this just needlessly extends the combat, making it less enjoyable (to me). I don't doubt that this was appropriate for Freespace, which was always a more hardcore game than Wing Commander.

Still, I do wonder if you guys made the right choice to stick with Freespace-style mesh-based collisions rather than moving to collision spheres (assuming this was even a possibility). It's a big departure, which makes fighter combat here remarkably un-Wing-Commander-like. Wing Commander always went easy on the player when it came to accuracy - first with those big square sprites, and then with those big collision spheres. It's a case of what's more important - making a challenge, or being faithful? Do we prefer the Dralthi being a challenge, or do we prefer them to be the flying bullseyes that we're all so used to? Either answer will work for different people. I think I tend to prefer the latter, anyway.

The same goes for energy management. Let's face it - energy management was added in WC3 solely and exclusively because it was there in its closest competitor, the X-Wing series. But energy management in WC3 was neutered to such a degree that you never really had to use it - and then neutered even more in WCP, with the removal of the repair system energy segment. So, when I hear that I should be using energy management... well, you know, that's fair enough, and I guess I probably could have gained some small advantage from it in WC3, but ultimately, I just won't do it. I'm a casual. I play this game the way I played WC3.

All that said, I'm being pretty inconsistent, and I acknowledge it. I don't appreciate the Freespace engine changing the fighter combat, and I wish you guys had been more true to the original... but I don't mind at all that capship combat is nowhere close to WC3. I love and relish the fact that it's different. Though... I will be upset if I fly into a Kilrathi capship, blast it from inside the hangar deck... and die in the explosion. Blasting capships from the inside was awesome in WC3, and I'd hate to see it broken here.

(and yeah, yeah, I know all about Standoff's gun alignment issues :D - keep in mind, I will occasionally be pointing out flaws in Saga that most definitely also existed in Standoff. Just because we made a mistake doesn't mean I can't point it out elsewhere... and in fact, sometimes it's only when you see something like that elsewhere that you realise you yourself messed up)

Oh, and I just remembered another couple of those gameplay things...

8. Isn't it a little weird when your torpedo locks and fires onto a turret? I guess it's not something you could do anything about, since FS doesn't distinguish between turrets and ship components. When I see a torp flying towards a turret sitting right out on the nose of a capship, it's pretty freaky.

9. The comm system. Whoa, this is bloated! I can talk to individual ships, I can talk to wings, or broadcast to all ships at once. Again, I'm impressed by how tactical Freespace tried to be (side note: I finished the original FS, but I never actually played FS2, Saga is my first contact!), but it makes my Wing Commander-addled mind go crazy. Too many options for a casual gamer, gosh darn it. So far, I've always been just broadcasting to all ships at once, because that's fastest. I really, really hope it won't turn out in some future mission that exact and precise use of comm orders is necessary to win a mission, because if that's the case - I will fail fifty times over.

Now, I will definitely be posting more feedback as I play along. However, I'll be spending the next week and a half visiting family, so the next round of feedback won't happen until the week starting the 15th. Probably won't even have much time to look at this thread in the meantime... but I'll be back, you can count on it ;).
I like your critics so far. I think if EA would just read through everything that has been said about Standoff and Saga and collect the pros and cons they could do a perfect game or at least something that comes pretty close. You can't allways be right for everyone ^_°

For example I like the mixture of styles between the FS and WC games we have now. Most of the time I fly around using nothing more then the same tactics and keys I remeber using in WC. Firing, full speed, full stop, afterburner, counters, autopilot.
Still I like to have the option for some more settings. I have learned to use energie management in certain situations, like when I have taken out the escort of a cap and then divert power to the shield or weapons. Very easy to do but so helpfull.
Don't know if you have used it so far but if you have a standart keyboard the keys for the different energie systems are just the same as on the keyboard (the ones just above the arrow keys). Its pretty intuative.

As for the com system. I have been able to play all missions with basicly two or three commands to remember. All break and attack, all help me, all attack my target.
I never commanded any single ship. Still I like to have options.

I think Saga has become a good mix of casual and hardcore gameplay with, I have to admit, a bit mroe of the hardcore part.

Only thing I don't like myself are the capmissiles. Sometimes I can take them out pretty easy, sometimes not. I haven't figured out why so far.
One thing I could think of is that when the fly in pack, close to each other, the blast from takeing out one or two triggers a chain reaction of blast damage.
Also noticed that takeing them out from the side is much easier then from behind or front.

Oh and something else I noticed, the Hellcats guns seam to point a little bit to low so you have to put your target ratical slighty higher. Normaly that isn't a problem but it comes in handy to know if you have to deal with small targets like the cap missiles.
Speaking of missiles. Its true that some testers have learned to evade missiles just with using the afterburner. I rarely manage that without decoys.

Anyway I like to read through these posts here. Critics, as they are posted here, are a good read and seeing how people (here and elsewhere) are trying to help each other out and talk about tactics and discuss fighters and other stuff is pretty cool.
I've found that most missiles can indeed be avoided without a decoy. The best trick I've found is to cut your speed quickly, turn hard in one direction (preferably into the missile), and then afterburn. If you do it right, you end up in a high speed turn in the opposite direction of the missile, which will pass behind you and because of its slow turn rate, be unable to come around and bear down on you again before it runs out of fuel and explodes.
Concerning torpedo lock:
I strongly recommend to use the "s" key to cycle through components instead of turrets (which is done by pressing "k") when aligning for a torpedo run.
There are several reasons for this:
- If the capship is bigger than a destroyer it will take at least two shots. If you take out a system with your first torpedo it is actually destroyed, like in WCP. That can be useful. Of course when you hit a turret the turret is also destroyed and the hull takes damage, but destroying the engines for example makes the capship stop.
- firing directly at a turret makes the chance bigger that this turret kills the torpedo
- it looks cooler to fire on components, as you already noticed :D
Few more things
1. shield management. well i actually find manually adjusting shield quadrants to be to disturbing in the heat od battle, but you have the q key that equalizes your shields, wich means some power goes from the quadrants that aren't hit to the quadrant that is, witch will increase your survival rate
2. on torpedo runs try to take out weapons system first as it will make enemy turrets much worse in taking out your wingmen's torps
Personally the only changes I made was adding a small 3 degree autoaim to every player vessel. I remember it being in WC4 in particular. It helps with some of the designs of the kilrathi fighters. Especially in the arrow where the firing pattern of your guns is so dense it's almost like you have the convergence feature turned on.