I don't think there will be that many objectives to keep track of.  If
there are then we of course have 2 observer slots, but then having two
commanders may be worse than having one.  Is it possible to adapt
conventional three-dimensional fighting tactics to a two-dimensional game?
If it is, then we might just be able to consult "public" sources of
aircract tactics, such as "Fighter Combat" by Robert Shaw, and adapt them
to Netrek.

The biggest problem with having a commander is that there are at least 8
individuals on the other team.

The biggest benefit is that there are at least 8 individuals on the other
team.  The bots can think as a collective, it doesn't matter if they have
direct socket connections or not.  Because we programmed the bots, we can
exchange enough context information in the form of normal messages to
allow the other bots to know its state.

We also have another advantage, we have the source to the INL.  The bots
know the way that the universe works, so they can better predict outcomes.
We know how fast the ships move, how fast the ships turn, what rate their
engines and weapons cool.  It is possible to come up with a threat
evaluator, that takes the guesstimate/estimated enemies ship condition
into account along with that players personal track record against various
bots or strategies.


-----Original Message-----
It may be difficult to dynamically manage 5 or more separate objectives
from a message window. Then again, perhaps that would be the mark of a
true commander...

I still want a team that functions completely independent of human
instruction. However, I don't see any harm in ensuring that the code
properly separates the low-level combat and targetting engines from
the higher level objective determination code. If properly
implemented, this would allow for the objective determination code to
function independently, or for it to only accept instructions from an
observing "commander". This applies to lower levels as well. Specific
defensive patterns or offensive patterns could be inserted into the
code that normally 'adapts' as a form of override. The observing
commander could instruct the team to "F3,F4,F5: ogg R2 using pattern
delta-5, sync on F4". Specifically, this would aid in the
implementation and debugging of individual patterns.

It would also look very startrek-like to an observer. After all, isn't
it the computers job to target enemies? :-) In the future, who in their
right mind would always disable the auto-pilot?

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