Terrible Ideas: Democratizing Boosts

November 21, 2012

Here's a thought: What if boosts didn't have to be concentrated in a single boosting ship?

On The Squad Level

At the squad level, my proposal is very simple: as long as the Squad Commander can support the number of people in the squad, everyone in the squad counts as a booster, with only the best overall boosts in any one category applying.

For example, suppose you have a squad of 5. You have the Squad commander, with Leadership 3, a Damnation running 2 armor links and a Skirmish Warfare – Interdiction Maneuvers link, a Harbinger with the Armored Warfare – Passive Defense link,  and a Hurricane with no links, but Siege Warfare 5.

Under the current system, you'd assign the Damnation to be your booster and receive no benefit from the Harbinger's link or the Hurricane pilot's skills.

Under my proposal, the squad would benefit from all its pilots' boosting capabilities – the links from the Damnation and Harbinger, and the extra shield HP from the Hurricane. However, one limitation would remain: If two more pilots joined the squad, boosts would stop unless the squad commander was replaced with someone who had Leadership trained above 3.

Above The Squad Level

I don't propose that this perfect democracy of boosting continue above the squad level; at the wing level, the role of wing booster can be assigned to any of the wing's squad commanders; as long as the wing commander can control the number of squads under him, the entire wing then benefits from the boosts provided by the wing booster's squad.

At the fleet level, it works much the same – the fleet booster role is assigned to a given wing commander; assuming sufficient skills on the part of the fleet commander, the whole fleet then benefits from whatever boosts are being provided to that wing by the wing booster.

Pros and Cons

This is a bit more complex than the current system; true, if you start playing with assigning boosters separate from the squad/wing/fleet commanders, the current system can be rather confusing, but by default, you just determine whose boosts are best and stick them in squad, wing, or fleet command as your needs demand and their skills allow.

However, I think the moderate increase in complexity is worth it for the way this encourages people to actually fly boosting ships, rather than park them offgrid somewhere – if no one person has to be responsible for all the boosts, then there's less drive to fit ships for boosting and nothing else. Being able to spread links out among a squad's worth of ships increases redundancy and allows the ships and pilots running those links to contribute in other ways to the fleet.

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