Have not watched the live stream by CCP Rise but was excited by the idea. It would open up more options for commanders.
Here are some thoughts and personal worries:
In the News post the “Custom” formation was achieved with recording the relative position of feet members. I would suggest using a 3D tactical UI similar to the scan probe, which allows the fleet commander to allocate each wing and squad on the grid. At the same time, for each layer (Fleet, Wing, Squad) there should be an option to choose from the given formation (point, wall, plane etc. etc.) or custom. This has the following benefits: First, it saves time, especially for slower and heavier fleets like battleships. Then, it allows later joined members, people who refit to other roles, or combined fleets to form up much easier by just getting in to the correct wing/squad of your ship role. Finally, it is easier for the fleet commander to assign the direction of “forward”, and avoid some of the issues below about should we allow certain tactics.
We should probably think very carefully about how much “Forward” can the most front member of the fleet can be, relative to the “Original warp exit point”. It would be very amusing if a bomber squad can land around the warp exit point with a radius of 30 km, but it also means the fleet could use the same tactic to get tacklers 30km head of the initial position of a scanned downed kiting ship. The distance of how much forward can it be should therefore carefully judged.
Similarly, how much backward of the most backward ship can land should also be carefully determined. As the current max warp landing distance is 100km, is it going to be possible with the customized fleet landing to allow landing 150km+ from the warp exit?
Really looking forward to this new feature and see how it will be achieved!