First off, the Ships 2.0 is a refreshing change to the ships' part of the game. The player can see clearly that much effort has been put into the game mode's re-designing and fleet arena has changed...a little.
What i find most troublesome with this new update is the implementation of the AI when we as players set a Flotilla on defense. From the looks one can set whatever ship in whichever reinforcement slot, but the AI decides in the end what will be called into battle when the time comes.
Warrior claims in one of his videos (after playtesting) that the AI summons tanks, then supports/healers and attackers last.
When putting multiple tanks or supports into reinforcement slots, this opens up a lot of randomness and unforseen scenarios - for both the attacking player and the unsuspecting, praying defender.
In the regular squad arena, we have our fixed set of 5 characters with their ability usage priorities and that is fine - the player chooses the squad and can anticipate with high accuracy how well his/her team will fare against specific squads when defending - live on with the knowledge that the AI is doing fine but on the other hand a total **** when it comes down to tricky choices.
In the fleet arena that is absolutely not the case. By giving the order of reinforcements called into the AI's hands, one can not plan any specific strategy beyond the Capital Ship's first turn.
For example, calling in Slave-1 to spread Target Lock and AFTERWARDS Fives to detonate them is simply not possible for the player to set up just because of the AI doing whatever it wants, far far beyond our control.
The lack of control for the player to order the AI via reinforcement slots whom to call is blocking a huge portion of the ability to follow a specific strategy with the Capital Ship of choice.
- When using Chimera, calling in Slave-1 is way less effective than under Home-1 (or other Carrier); it - doesn't matter again because the AI decides to call a tank or support or the highest-power-ship or or or...
When using Endurance, calling Vader as first reinforcement and Sarge's ARC is my plan, because PloKoon and Fives can hold the line for a while, but the AI calls in Tanks first - no chance.
- The player upgraded a certain reinforcement ability and would like to set up his reinforcements so that ship comes after another certain ship - not possible because not programmable by the player.
In addition to all that, there comes the issue that all fleet battles have become even more of a race against the death clock of most Carriers' ultimate abilities - with no chance of preparation for the Ultimate - via setting a specific order of Reinforcements - or a chance for a comeback when the fleet's defense is in the hands of the AI.
My opinion of the 2.0 reinforcement system:
I commend the programmers for attempting to improve the Fleet game mode by adding an AI. Surely it has taken some work.
Was it needed then or is it needed now?
Not back in 1.0, and absolutely not in 2.0 with Reinforcement Abilities as a sensitive playcard.
Choosing the order of reinforcements must be taken away from the AI, or at least adding the option to force player-programmed reinforcement chronology. All the AI does in the end is adding more unreliability and RNG shennanigans - of which many are already quite fed up.
Players can and want to do their own thing - collect the ships, gear pilots, star-up stuff, until their deck is complete, then play the cards in the order they want to, even if it means dooming the fleet against certain opponents. An AI to do a sloppy job for us is not needed.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it !