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Topics - Temstar

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General Discussion / Optimum flight deck to fighter ratio
« on: January 23, 2014, 10:54:33 PM »
In the old days where fighter squadrons repair and replenish in whole flights someone worked out a rough optimum ratio of flight deck to squadron ratio of something like 1:4. Nowadays with fighters landing one at a time and wider selection of carriers I wonder if anyone has worked out a new ratio.

I'm guessing this new ration will depend on number of actual fighter craft instead of number of squadrons, with larger wings like Wasp needing comparatively more flight deck time. My fleet currently runs two Broadsword and two Thunder squadrons of total 10 crafts on a Heron with two flight decks and it seems to work out fine. Heron can pump out fighters fast enough that Thunder squad can run out of plane pretty quick against big fleets. What's everyone else's experience?

General Discussion / Freighters
« on: March 22, 2012, 08:12:05 AM »
So, now that Alex is implementing accidents for going over limits, it got me into thinking about how best to carry cargo around the galaxy. Here's a cargo/FP chart I came up with for the list of potential freighters.

Hound - 75 cargo / 3 FP = 25 cargo/FP
Condor - 120 cargo / 9 FP = 13.33 cargo/FP
Gemini - 250 cargo / 9 FP = 27.78 cargo/FP
Buffalo - 300 cargo / 8 FP = 37.5 cargo/FP
Tarsus - 300 cargo / 8 FP = 37.5 cargo/FP
Apogee - 450 cargo / 16 FP = 28.13 cargo/FP
Venture - 500 cargo / 12 FP = 41.67 cargo/FP
Atlas - 2000 cargo / 15 FP = 133.33 cargo/FP

As expected, if you want to carry a lot of cargo for a given fleet size, the Atlas superfreighter gives you the best bang for your bucks. On the other hand semi-military ships generally have a low cargo/FP ratio to trade for their utility in combat. Venture is a big outlier, having an excellent cargo/FP ratio while also being useful in combat as a carrier with significant self defense and fire support capability.

So out of that list, what's everyone's favorite freighter? I really like the Gemini because it looks cool, is a carrier and carries significant firepower for a destroyer sized freighter.

General Discussion / Low tech is not underpowered at all
« on: March 19, 2012, 04:28:45 AM »
Over the last 2 weeks I've been working on a challenge I set myself: build three 200FP fleet profiles, each consisting of ships from only one tech level. Having just completed the last one with low tech I must say, low tech is not underpowered at all.

See aside from small frigate actions where maneuver is king, once you get to serious fleet action with cruiser and above the name of the game is flux race. Two ships go head to head and the one that can fill the others flux quicker is most likely the winner. Other than the tricky to aim Sabot SRM, the best weapons for winning the flux race is by far ballistic kinetic weapons, and low tech have by far the most of them.

Let's take my favorite: railgun

7 OP
small ballistic
200 kinetic DPS
700 range
180 flux/s

To put that into perspective let's compare it to the daring of energy weapons: the Heavy Blaster:

12 OP
medium energy
400 energy DPS
600 range
720 flux/s

So both weapons do the same damage against shields. Railgun out ranges heavy blaster, is much lighter in OP, uses a smaller mount and generates only 1/4 the flux of a heavy blaster. The only advantages heavy blaster have is higher damage against armour (not hull!) and infinite ammo.

Oh but you say, energy weapons are better than kinetic against ships armour once shield is down. Well that's true, but neither energy nor ballistic (both kinetic and HE) are the king of killing unshielded ships, that title goes to missiles due to their enormous burst damage. Harpoons, torpedoes, rockets and MIRV, those are the things you want to be lobbing at venting/overloaded ships when you need to kill them fast. Even if a big missile strike doesn't outright sink a ship it will nuke the section of armour facing you, showing you the hull underneath which is equally vulnerable to kinetic, HE or energy and especially vulnerable to very high DPS fragmentation weapons like dual flak cannons.

Let's look at the missile bays:

Low tech:
Destroyer - 4 small or 1 medium + 3 small
Cruiser - 3 medium or 2 medium + 2 small
Capital - 4 medium

Late tech:
Destroyer - 2 light if you use the universals
Cruiser - 1 large + 4 small
Capital - 4 small + 2 medium universal or 3 medium or 2 large 2 small

Only thing that comes close is the Aurora with its 4 small missile and 1 large. And even in that case it has to dedicate the small missile bays to Sabot due to crappy shield killing power of its 3 heavy blasters (which as we established, can be outraced flux wise by 3 railguns). On top of this all low tech ships missile bays (aside from Buffalo Mk II) are all mounted together facing forward, perfect for hard to aim weapons like sabot or rockets or reaper torps.

Putting it all together, I find the low tech ships the best bar none for overloading shields and then follow up with a deadly missile barrage. Throw in the best PD weapons and they're pretty much the king of line of battle fleet actions.

Suggestions / Large mount machine gun and autocannon
« on: March 16, 2012, 09:26:09 PM »
Currently we have 4 complete ballistic weapon families:

Needlers: Light Needler - Heavy Needler - Storm Needler
Linear motors: Railgun - Hypervelocity Driver - Gauss Cannon
Assault guns: Light Assault Gun - Assault Chaingun - Hephaestus Assault Gun
Large bore cannons: Light Mortar - Heavy Mauler - Hellbore Cannon

Then we have 2 other families with three weapons, but with two weapons per family that are light:
Machine Guns: Light Machine Gun - Light Dual Machine Gun - Heavy Machine Gun
Autocannons: Light Autocannon - Light Dual Autocannon - Heavy Autocannon

I really like the machine gun and autocannon families and I feel they are incomplete somehow without a large mount version. Drawing on real life for inspiration I suggest the below two new weapons:

Volley Gun
Primary Role: Point Defense
OP: 28
DPS: 1200
Damage Type: Kinetic
Range: 400
Flux/sec: 600
Shots/min: 2000
Ammo: 2500

Affectionately known as "Chicago Piano" by the gun crew after an archaic weapon of the same layout. Volley Gun is a weapon system mounting 8 light machine guns in a single package designed to throwing up a fearsome wall of lead in the face of incoming fighters and missiles. The extreme volume of fire is also excellent at downing shields if the enemy gets within its rather limited range. Heavy gauge, cryogenic cooled barrels allow the volley gun to use larger propellent load, enabling it to match the range of the larger bore heavy machine guns.

Autocannon Battery
Primary Role: Close Support
OP: 18
DPS: 400
Damage Type: Kinetic
Range: 800
Flux/sec: 300
Shots/min: 160
Ammo: 200

Mounting four autocannons, the Autocannon Battery is capable of sustained fire rather than burst like its smaller brothers. High volume of medium caliber inert projects offers a low tech solution against shields but like all autocannons has trouble hitting fast moving targets due to low projectile velocity.

General Discussion / Resistant Flux Conduits are a bit too good
« on: March 15, 2012, 02:32:39 AM »
Now that Resistant Flux Conduits also give 10% bonus base flux dissipation rate on top of 75% EMP damage resistance they've become a bit too good for ships with high base flux dissipation. For some ships RFC gives such a big bonus that the 10% increase is actually higher boost to flux dissipation than the same amount of flux dissipation that you can get from putting on vents. Here's a list I've noticed so far. For all ship classes 1 OP in vent gives you 10 dissipation

Tempest  - 2 OP for 22 dissipation
Hyperion - 2 OP for 28 dissipation
Medusa - 4 OP for 40 dissipation
Apogee - 6 OP for 70 dissipation
Aurora - 6 OP for 85 dissipation
Odyssey - 10 OP for 100 dissipation
Paragon - 10 OP for 125 dissipation

So pretty much for the above ships, Resistant Flux Conduits is now a no-brainer choice

Suggestions / Overlapping weapon groups
« on: March 12, 2012, 04:33:02 AM »

The weapon grouping of Starfarer reminds me of mechwarrior, which is somewhat disappointing because mechwarriors allows weapon groups to overlap where as Starfarer is missing this feature.

Why would you want overlapping weapon groups you ask? Take for example my Conquest here. We all know the auto-fire AI doesn't lead the target which causes it to miss against ships if they are moving laterally to your broadside. To fix this I need to have a group for all my broadside guns so I can aim manually and lead the target.

At the same time, I would like to have my heavy autocannons in a group of their own. This is so that at the start of the fight I can have the Hephaestus AGs hold fire while the autocannons blast away to bring the enemy shield down. This conserves Hephaestus ammo (which runs out much faster than autocannon ammo) and keeps my ships flux down.

Currently there's no way to do both at the same time because it requires overlapping weapon groups like in the picture. I don't see any reason why this can't be implemented in Starfarer. For auto-fire, a weapon should fire if any of the group it belongs to is set to autofire, unless it also belongs to a group that's in manual override. So for example in the above picture if group 3 is auto-fire, when I select group 2 the autocannons stop auto-fire because I'm overriding in group 2. Conversely if group 2 is auto-fire, when I select group 3 then Hephaestus should continue to auto-fire while the autocannons are under my control.

General Discussion / The fastest carrier
« on: March 06, 2012, 03:45:33 AM »
Is it just me, or is Gemini-class Freighter the fastest carrier in the game? It's base speed is higher than both Condor and Venture and upgraded it's significantly faster than Venture since engines work better on destroyers than on cruisers.

For the same 9 FP Gemini was way better PD (2 x single flak) than Condor (2 x single machine gun) and can mount a pilum legit. Standard Cordor has a pilum but it's bugged and mounted on a small missile mount. They have same hanger size, Gemini have better shield and vent while Condor has better hull, and of course Gemini holds more cargo and is more fuel efficient.

Could it be that the best carrier in this game is actually a freighter?

Suggestions / Supercarriers able to Repair & Refit frigates
« on: March 03, 2012, 08:54:14 PM »
There's been tons of suggestions asking for a dedicated cruiser sized carrier that fits the gap between Condor and Astral. Something fast with two flight decks and only marginal defense that will serve as a good carrier for a small fast fleet with a lot of fighters.

That got me thinking, suppose we get this cruiser carrier in the future, why would anyone then ever bother to actually use an Astral? If you need more hanger space just get more of that cruiser carrier. Yeah sure Astral got some pretty impressive defense, but if your Astral had to break out the guns to defend itself something's already gone wrong with that battle.

Odyssey and Venture got the weapons to differentiate themselves from pure carriers but we'll need something to make capital class carriers like Astral worth taking in the future. I suggest those supercarriers should gain the ability to "Repair & Refit" frigates. Looking at Astral's graphics that massive space in the middle with the catapult certainly seems big enough to hold a frigate. So I suggest frigates should gain the "Repair & Refit" ability as well as the fighter AI (return to carrier when hurt/empty on ammo) when a supercarrier with 3 or more flight decks is on the map.

Frigate repair & refit should take much longer than fighter and use up 3 decks at the same time, preventing Astral from servicing fighters while a frigate is docked. This then also opens up a new niche for a 4 deck supercarrier that could dock a frigate while still servicing fighters at reduced capacity.

This also opens up many new builds for frigates utilizing strike weapons like Sabot SRM and torpedoes. Hell we could even have new classes for frigates that are dedicated "torpedo boats" with low OP and something like 4 small missile mount and 1 wide arc small energy that are worthless alone but deadly carrying Sabot SRM and single torpedoes working with supercarrier support. We could even have new defensive strike weapons like anti-frigate torpedoes or single shot ABM missiles so that the carrier could alternatively use its fleet of frigates for fleet defense.

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