Fractal Softworks Forum

Starsector => General Discussion => Topic started by: ArkAngel on January 19, 2013, 10:25:37 PM

Title: Apogee variants
Post by: ArkAngel on January 19, 2013, 10:25:37 PM
Hello there just got my computer working again and been messing around with the apogee lately. How ever I don't realy like its variants and my own variants doesn't seem as up to par as it could be.
So any one have some good variants? I will post mine tomorrow. Screen shots would be help full but not nesicary thanks!
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: LazyWizard on January 19, 2013, 10:33:21 PM
I don't have it anymore so I don't remember the exact build, but I armed mine with a plasma cannon + sabots + burst PD, hullmods include integrated targetting unit, expanded magazines, unstable injector, and (if you invested in the tech tree and can afford the OP) hardened shields. The plasma cannon plus its high speed and massive targeting range make it an excellent cap killer, the sabots deal with anything that manages to close in on you, and the burst PD kills fighters (keeping your drones alive is crucial to this build).
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: sdmike1 on January 19, 2013, 10:50:10 PM
i had a similar build, but i found the sabots to be optional
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: cerberusti on January 19, 2013, 10:53:44 PM
Try two antimatter blasters and a plasma cannon in the front slots.  I fire the plasma manually, and have the antimatter assigned to its own group for which I toggle autofire on briefly to basically get it to fire when I press a convenient key (it would be nice to get a keybind to fire a group when a button is pressed... but that is not in the game as far as I know.)

I use graviton beams in the medium turrets, although others would work.  Graviton has the benefit of being very efficient, and something I can just leave under autofire at all times (it either hits shields with great efficiency, or the damage is permanent and still cheap.)  It also spins fighters, which makes it very good in that scenario.

I leave missiles empty unless I have extra OP, but that is mostly due to the lack of staying power for missiles... and that in any hard fight I want weapons with longevity.

If you have the OP, you may want to consider extra speed.  Being able to outrun what you cannot outgun is very useful.

The Apogee is definitely my favorite cruiser, I personally think it is unmatched for power in its class (the free range and damage from the drones helps quite a bit.)
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: blamatron on January 20, 2013, 05:58:00 AM
Give it hardened shields, and it's unstoppable.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Fangz on January 20, 2013, 10:46:24 AM
From stern to bow.

2x graviton beams + burst pd laser + harpoon pods + harpoon mrm (group 3) + burst pd laser + 2x antimatter (group 2) + heavy blaster (group 1).

hullmod: flux coil adjunct

This is a fairly powerful and very flux effective loadout.

Plasma cannon is also a good choice but it will eat 30 OPs (Heavy Blaster costs only 12) and increase your flux generation by a good margin.


Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Wyvern on January 20, 2013, 02:13:36 PM
Ah, the Apogee.  Here, I'll attach some of my favorites.

The first build is one you can use with no skill points spent at all; the heavy blasters are quite sufficient punch for munching pirate fleets, though large fleets can get a bit tricky if you really haven't spent any skill points yet.  Missiles are mostly there to help break armor, or occasionally for sniping at Broadswords before they get too close.

The second, by contrast, is an example of an end-game build - by this point, you should have the +75% maneuverability perk, which is why I didn't bother with Auxiliary Thrusters hull mod.  The plasma cannon is your go-to weapon, used against anything and everything, from fighters to enemy capital ships.  Or you can just ignore fighters and let your beam turrets take them down.  Or, if dealing with massed fighters... well, that's what the Proximity Charge Launcher is for.

In both cases, your general tactic is going to be launch drones (to holding formation), put up shields, and then just keep shields up as much as you can (occasionally you may have to back off and vent, but even sabot SRMs or a pile of bombs shouldn't pose too big a threat).  The build with the Heavy Blasters will require you to occasionally turn the blasters off or hold fire while you dissipate soft flux; likewise, you may occasionally need to exercise some discretion in when you fire the plasma cannon.

The key skills for these builds are Helmsmanship and Power Grid Modulation - you want both at level 10, so you can keep full speed with shields up, and not have to lower shields to vent hard flux (though, with the level five perk from Power Grid Modulation, venting starts to get pretty safe - especially if you decide to add accelerated shields.  I find it's usually not necessary, but it's still a decent option.)
Of secondary importance are, in no particular order, Ordnance Expertise level 5 (extra speed greatly improves accuracy, especially when firing the plasma cannon at extreme range), Ordnance Expertise level 10 (more ordnance points), Mechanical Engineering & Computer Systems (also more ordnance points), and Gunnery Implants 5 (more range!  Because obviously you need more range.  Plus the target leading bonus is really good if you're using heavy blasters.)

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 21, 2013, 03:46:21 AM
IMO the best/most efficient loadout for the apogee (Not counting capacitors/vents and mods because those depend on your level and perks) is a single front mounted auto pulse, fill the turret small energy mounts with burst pd lasers, the hard points with antimatter and the real medium energy mounts with the medium laser which i forget the name of, failing that two heavy blasters
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Wyvern on January 21, 2013, 09:16:53 AM
I tried an autopulse based Apogee... didn't like it much.  Yeah, it's got higher (burst) dps on paper... but the low per-shot damage & low sustained dps makes it take forever to chew through heavy armor.  Now, add a MIRV mount for cracking armor, and then you've probably got a decent setup - at least as long as your ammunition holds out, and you aren't fighting something with too many flak cannons, and... you get the idea.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 21, 2013, 01:38:27 PM
I found that it was efficient at taking down the smaller craft very quickly, and if backed up by a couple of sniping frigates then it could hammer about anything. It's also very flux efficient so you can keep up the fire from your lasers a lot longer
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Hotshot3434 on January 23, 2013, 01:59:30 PM
My favorite build is similar to what Lucian describes. It has two Anti-Matter Blasters in the front slots, an Autopulse Laser in the larger forward spot, Heavy Blasters on the sides, and Burst PD on the two small mounts. I take hardened shields, a range upgrade (like the dedicated targeting core or the other less costly one, i cant remember the name off the top of my head), expanded magazines (for the benefit of the Autopulse laser), advanced turret gyros (so the Heavy Blasters can track those pesky fighters), and the rest in flux dissipation.

This setup is best suited to a mid ranged brawler style. I have the Autopulse on manual, the Heavy Blasters on auto, and the Anti-Matter Blasters in reserve. Fly at them with the Autopulse firing to bring their flux up (Often this brings them to vent or overload) and then start pounding with the Heavy Blasters. If their shields drop, hit em with the Anti-Matter Blasters, although it is not necessary. Usually the enemies are floating husks by the time you line up a shot with them.

When you first get it, you may not have the required skills to mount everything and to handle the flux, but with the all the ordinance points and flux upgrades, it can solo every fleet on the map (although I haven't tried to solo the Hegemony fleet yet) without dropping shields or venting.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 23, 2013, 05:32:24 PM
This is essentially it, although i eschew hardened shields for increased magazine capacity and maxed capacitors and vents. it's a touch more efficient than hardened shields and you get an extra seven bursts with your autopulse when fully charged.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: cerberusti on January 24, 2013, 02:38:41 PM

When driving a cruiser I am mostly fighting pirates, which tend to have poor shielding and good armor. 

The plasma cannon is very destructive to armor, and has good range (rockets are probably the most effective defense pirates have against it.)  The OP and credit costs are high, but it does well in place of missiles, so I drop those to get the OP necessary to effectively mount it.  Heavy blasters and mining blasters are also effective in this role and much cheaper (especially important if you trade in your starting ship for the apogee asap... which is what I did this game.)

On a paragon I like the autopulse more, but the apogee is fast enough to get into and out of combat quickly, and separate an enemy fleet by size.  I imagine preference will depend upon play style quite a bit, I usually only have one ship in my fleet until very late game.

Graviton beams combo well with the plasma cannon to get them to drop their shields (and win the flux battle if they are in range and shooting.)  They are also decently effective once the armor is gone, and nothing shreds armor like a plasma cannon (antimatter is good, but short range and long recharge.)

Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 24, 2013, 03:09:12 PM
On that point i find that the plasma cannon overheat's once flux too much, and forces you to play the ship every time you go into combat because on auto resolve the second in command get's his ass kicked because he spams the plasma. It's marginally less powerful, but using the auto-pulse means that you can auto resolve without fear of loosing your favorite ship.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: cerberusti on January 24, 2013, 03:37:34 PM

Oh, totally agree.  I never use plasma cannons on AI controlled ships, for those it is always the most flux efficient layout I can make. 

I am playing without the ability to save, so I do not use the second in command (with it I just save before auto-resolve, and if the losses are not acceptable reload and do it myself.)
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Hotshot3434 on January 24, 2013, 04:44:49 PM
For some reason I have developed a sort of loathing for the plasma cannon. On paper it sounds fine: good range, moderate fire rate, and high damage. But whenever i try to play with one mounted on a ship, I can't seem to effectively use it. I tend to fight the pirates more than the other factions, and if there is one thing the pirates are good at, it is spamming missiles everywhere. This usually means that every other shot you fire gets soaked up by the cloud of missile spam heading your way. The few shots that do slip through either hit their shields and do less than impressive damage or miss entirely due to the slow projectile speed (and the fact that pirates tend to field smaller and faster destroyers and frigates rather than large and lumbering cruisers and capitals).
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: cerberusti on January 25, 2013, 02:22:12 PM
To each their own I suppose, on the apogee I find the plasma cannon to be kind of overpowered (and somewhat ineffective on slower ships.)

One question though:  Do you drive it with turn to cursor on (I think the default is shift?) 

The ship is fast and maneuverable enough to avoid rocket swarms almost entirely.  Missiles head towards the ship, so while strafing they are usually not directly in front.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Hotshot3434 on January 25, 2013, 02:35:42 PM
I do not use the shift key, but i do strafe with Q and E to avoid some of the weapon fire. I still tend to have problems shooting through the missile spray because they are most dense at the launcher point, which tends to be on the front of the ship where I am aiming at. I also tend to get in too close to enemy ships while duking it out. I have found it to be useful when there are lots of enemies around because they will not fire near each other, allowing you to only take fire from a few ships at a time rather than all at once. This also means that the cloud of missiles is more dense between me and the other ship.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Wyvern on January 25, 2013, 02:41:16 PM
That might explain some of it - I prefer to keep my distance from things, and tend to use the plasma cannon at the outside edge of its range.  Still, if you're dealing with an Enforcer throwing clouds of missiles at you... those do almost nothing to shields; just wait until it stops, or fire at an angle - it's often possible to sneak a shot in towards the sides of the target's shields, even when you can't get a clean hit head-on.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: cerberusti on January 25, 2013, 02:56:42 PM

It is very hard to aim the cannon while turning with the keyboard, especially since the projectiles are slow enough that you must lead them (it may be better once you get the projectile speed skill, but I was in a conquest by that point.)

I usually snipe from long range while circle strafing, and aim for the rear portion of the ship (one of the rear / side sections is generally where I blow the armor out.)  If there is a crowd of ships chasing and firing rockets such that I cannot get a clean shot I usually hold fire, firing that thing is too costly to do so unless there is a good chance of hitting the target.

One of the other nice things about backing off and fighting from range is that shields can be down a significant amount of time since all fire will be coming in from the front, which helps with the flux.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 25, 2013, 03:42:23 PM
The plasma cannon is useless on a hullmount, for best results put it on a ship that has large energy turrets. The two best hull mount large energy weapons are the high intensity laser and the auto pulse, and of the two the autopulse is far superior for the opogee that can support it with heavy blasters or graviton beams.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Wyvern on January 25, 2013, 03:47:30 PM
...You have a very strange definition of "useless".  I should see if I can make a video of plasma Apogee (or even plasma Sunder) vs. pirate fleet; hitting even frigates with it is pretty easy for me; only gets tricky when you're trying to snipe fighters (or sometimes Hounds) with the thing.  (Which is why I usually load up a plasma Sunder with light assault guns for its turrets - those are excellent anti-fighter weapons.)
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: cerberusti on January 25, 2013, 04:12:01 PM
Heh, I was just thinking the easy way to show it may be a video (although I would need to go get fraps and find a place to upload it.)

I find hitting fighters decently easy due to their preference to fly directly at your ship and not dodge.  Hounds can be a bit difficult to hit (I tend to spread the shots for them, to give a better chance to land one.)

The autopulse is a fairly effective weapon in most cases, but it takes a while to down a ship with one (somewhat mitigated if you blast the armor with antimatter... but that requires braving the dangers of close range combat.)  A couple of well placed plasma cannon volleys is enough to end a pirate ship.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 25, 2013, 04:30:12 PM
The apogee has it's best longevity when used as a support for a capital ship in larger battles. Where it needs to be able to survive a lot more hits than 1v1, hence the need for a flux efficient weapon *plasma cannon gets thrown out the window*
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: Wyvern on January 25, 2013, 04:54:46 PM
If you're using it for support, under AI control... I'd probably go with something similar to its base variant; HIL & MIRV with secondary weapons optimized for an anti-fighter role, probably phase beams & burst PD lasers.

The AI doesn't do well with a plasma cannon in a hardpoint; this is indubitably true.  For whatever reason it's vastly more accurate with a turreted plasma cannon.

Cerberusti and I are both talking about using an Apogee as a flagship, where the player can leverage the plasma cannon's high DPS & per-shot damage to devastating effect.  And, well, you don't actually need flux-efficient weapons if you can dissipate the flux they generate; an Apogee with 30 vents can sustain plasma cannon fire almost indefinitely even with shields active.  (And, once you've got some skill points and things like stabilized shields, it *can* sustain that indefinitely.)

The real key to making a usable plasma Apogee in early game is that you don't want to use all of its weapon slots.  Fill in the turrets with support weapons, install a plasma cannon, throw everything else into vents and capacitors and targeting core hull mod and maybe unstable injector if you've got ordnance points to spare; you should come out with at least 20 each of vents & capacitors.
Title: Re: Apogee variants
Post by: cloakdood on January 25, 2013, 05:22:38 PM
I generally run with this configuration:

Pretty much unstoppable. I can take on any fleet thrown at me with just the Apogee. Having at least one frigate makes the job a whole lot easier.