While not strictly required in order to form a fleet leadership skills are highly desireable for improving the capabilities of the fleet. Appropriate skills are required to enable the passing down of boosts (whether passive or active) to fleet members lower down in the hierarchy. While pilots without the appropriate skills can still sit in leadership positions their lack of skills will block the passing down of any available boosts.
---Fleet Commander (FC) | |----Wing Commander (WC) (up to 5 wings in a fleet) | | | |----Squad Commander (SC) (up to 5 squads in a wing) | | | | | |--Squad Members (9 + SC) | | | |----Additional Squads | |----Additional Wings
Note that the squad commander counts for the membership of his squad, but the wing commander and fleet commander do not count toward any squad. This means that the maximum fleet size is 256 pilots.
There is one important position that does not appear in the leadership hierarchy, that of fleet 'boss'. While the name may imply some form of leadership position, the role is purely administrative. It is entirely possible for the FC and fleet boss to be the same person, with the default fleet boss being the person who originally created the fleet. The fleet boss is the only person who can promote people to Wing Commander and Fleet Commander positions (people cannot self-promote like for Squad Commander), edit the fleet's message of the day (MOTD), or post an advert for the fleet in the fleet finder.
There are 3 leadership skills that enable one to pass on bonuses to other members of a fleet. It is worth noting once more that you do not need these skills to hold these positions. However, if you intend to fly a fleet, and command fleets, it is worth training these skills. Leadership is only a basic skill and does not take very long.
- As a fleet commander, this skill allows you to pass on bonuses to wing commanders, to a maximum of one wing per level of the skill (5 in total). This skill requires Wing Command trained to 5.
- As a wing commander, this skill allows you to pass on bonuses to squad commanders, to a maximum of one squad per level of the skill (5 in total). This skill requires Leadership trained to 5.
- As a squad commander, this skill allows you to pass on bonuses to squad members, to a maximum of two members per level of the skill (10 in total).
If you take up the FC, WC or SC positions without having the relevant skill, you will 'block' any skills passed on from a higher command level. To explain further:
- If you have the Leadership skill (and are SC of a squad that is a size you can pass bonuses on to) then you will pass bonuses from the squad booster and bonuses from the wing commander onto your squad members.
- If you are an unskilled SC, then your squad members will not receive any bonuses whatsoever.
- If you have the WC skill (and are WC of a wing with as many squads as you can pass bonuses on to) then you will pass bonuses from the wing booster and bonuses from the fleet commander onto your squad commanders.
- If you are an unskilled WC, then you will not pass on the bonus from the wing or the fleet booster, however your SCs, if they are skilled themselves, can still pass on their own bonuses.
- If you have the FC skill (and are FC of a fleet with as many wings as you can pass bonuses on to) then you pass bonuses from the fleet booster to all wing commanders.
- If you are an unskilled FC, then nobody in the fleet receives bonuses from the fleet booster, however the WCs and SCs may still pass on their own bonuses.
Note that bonuses only affect the players at the level at which they are generated or lower. FCs get no benefit from wing or squad boosters, for example. In addition, there is no partial passing-on of bonuses, e.g. if you have 7 pilots in your squad, you need at least Leadership 4 to pass on any bonuses - if you have Leadership 3, then none of your squad will receive bonuses.
The bonuses themselves are generated by the Squad/Wing/Fleet Booster, a position in the fleet that by default is assigned to each Squad/Wing/Fleet commander. However the commanders may assign their booster position to any other member below them in the fleet structure.
Being in any leadership position gives you access to the fleet composition window which is accessible through the menu that appears when clicking on the four bars at the top left of the fleet window (note that the option will only appear if you are in a leadership position). This window will tell you (for all fleet members that are in the part of the fleet you have the leadership position for) who they are, where they are (including whether they are docked) what type of ship they are flying, what their role in the fleet is (do they hold any leadership position or are they the fleet boss), what fleet leadership skills they have (in order of FC-WC-SC), and what specific part of the fleet (down to squad level) they are currently in.
There are 6 booster skills (that the game classifies as leadership) that affect the number and strength of the bonuses that you confer as a booster. Bonuses affect fleet members in space within the same solar system. If your SC/WC/FC is docked up, they cannot pass on (or provide) any bonuses. There is no distance limitation of the bonuses, so long as you are in the same system.
- Grants a 2% bonus to fleet members' targeting speed per skill level.
- (Since this skill also passes bonuses on to your squad, as explained above, if you are a skilled SC your squad always gets this bonus regardless of the state of the rest of the fleet.)
- Grants a 2% bonus to fleet members' armor hit points per skill level.
- Grants a 2% bonus to fleet members' targeting range per skill level.
- Grants a 2% bonus to fleet members' shield capacity per skill level.
- Grants a 2% bonus to fleet members' agility per skill level.
- Grants a 2% bonus to fleet members' mining yield per level.
- This skill is often not trained by PvP-focused pilots as it provides no benefit for a PvP fleet.
These bonuses do not stack if more than one person is boosting them, however the highest will be used, possibly combining from different boosters to give the best overall effect. For instance, if your squad booster has 5/4/3/3 (read about the syntax here) and your fleet booster has 4/4/4/4, then these bonuses will combine and you will receive the highest of each bonus, i.e. 5/4/4/4.
Providing boosts to a fleet
All types of boosts can be provided by any member of the fleet, not just by the people holding the leadership positions. Command bursts are effective on all ships within their area of effect, regardless of the fleet position of the source ship's pilot.
Separating the boosting roles from leadership positions can be especially useful when warfare link boosts are being provided by off-grid boosters, as warfare links are deactivated whenever the ship using them enters warp. Separate boosting and leadership positions can enable the safe use of fleet/wing/squad warps without accidentally taking the booster along and thus deactivating the links.
This is the other type of fleet booster. All these modules will only provide a benefit if you are a booster in a fleet, and they act in the same way as the booster skills (e.g. they don't stack, they require proper skilled fleet structure, etc). If you are not in a fleet, or are not a booster, then they are useless.
The skills required to use these modules have the relevant fleet boosting skill trained to level 5 as a prerequisite. For example, to use an armored warfare link module requires at least level 1 in Armored Warfare Specialist, which in turn requires level 5 in Armored Warfare.
For convenience, the Tech 1 module's boosts are given below. Tech 2 modules also exists and will generally multiply the Tech 1 boosts by 1.25. Go to the command burst guide for a detailed review of how these modules function.
- Allows the use of armor command bursts and increases the effectiveness of these modules.
Rapid Repair Charge - Reduces the capacitor need and cycle time of armor repairers and remote armor repairers.
Armor Energizing Charge - Increases the armor resistances of ships in range. This is a very useful module for armor fleets.
Armor Reinforcement Charge - Increases the fleet's armor hp.
- Allows the use of information command bursts and increases the effectiveness of these modules.
Electronic Superiority Charge - Increases the strength and range of electronic warfare modules.
Electronic Hardening Charge - Increases sensor strength and resistance to sensor dampeners/weapon disruptors.
Sensor Optimization Charge - Increases scan resolution and targeting range of all ships in range.
- Allows the use of mining foreman links and increases the effectiveness these modules.
Mining Laser Optimization Charge - Reduces the capacitor need and cycle time of mining lasers, gas harvesters, and ice harvesters.
Mining Equipment Preservation Charge - Increases the lifespan of advanced mining crystals.
Mining Laser Field Enhancement Charge - Increases the optimal range of mining lasers, ice harvesters, and survey scanners.
- Allows the use of siege warfare links and increases the effectiveness these modules.
Active Shielding Charge - Reduces the duration a capacitor need of shield boosters and shield transporters.
Shield Extension Charge - Increases shield hp of ships in range.
Shield Harmonizing Charge - Increases the shield resistances of ships in range. As with its armor counterpart, this is a very useful module for shield fleets.
- Allows the use of skirmish warfare links and increases the effectiveness these modules.
Evasive Maneuvers Charge - Reduces the signature radius and increases agaility of ships in range.
Interdiction Maneuvers Charge - Increases the optimal range of propulsion jamming modules.
Rapid Deployment Charge - Increases the speed of afterburner and microwarpdrive modules.
The final skill to cover in the Leadership section is Command Burst Specialist, which increases the effectiveness of all warfare link and mining foreman modules by 10% per level. Note that it does affect the mining modules as well, despite its name. This skill is also a prerequisite for flying Command Ships. As an example, assume you have trained the Skirmish Warfare Specialist skill to IV, the Warfare Link Specialist skill to III, and are flying a ship equipped with the Rapid Deployment module. You'll therefore get a speed boost to afterburners and microwarpdrives of ((1+0.2*4)*5.6%)*(1+3*0.1) = 13.1%. Refer to the command burst guide for details on how these modules, skills, and the mindlink bonuses interact.