Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Painting the Stars (02/07/20); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20)

Pages: 1 [2]

Author Topic: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod (Update with part 2!)  (Read 8892 times)

cjuicy

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 339
  • Missiles and Mecha, my boys. Missiles and Mecha
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2017, 09:51:59 AM »

Kopesh is still strong.  Not sure why Piranhas were nerfed, frankly; they were finally worthwhile in their role.  Now I'd rather use Kopesh vs. anything that's vulnerable to HE or where I want a bomber that screens itself on the way in.
Kopesh is quite amazing, but I think part of the reason is that it fires all the rockets at once. Piranhas have to individually fire each bomblet.
Logged
"Light the Stars with your Incendiary Rounds!"
"They thought I was insane for thinking I could push Jangala into the sun! Boy, were they wrong."

xenoargh

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4854
  • naively breaking things!
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 09:56:52 AM »

Agreed on that; I've often thought that the Piranha might be more effective if it did a single burst with a wide enough spread arc that it could release its bombs at a fairly long range and then immediately turn around to re-arm.
Logged
Please check out my SS projects :)
Xeno's Mod Pack

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 7757
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2017, 10:28:29 AM »

Piranha was a decent fighter/bomber, but without the LMG, it is terrible for its cost.
Logged

HELMUT

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1329
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2017, 10:50:07 AM »

The campaign went well, even though the strategy was unfortunately showing its limits during end-game battles.

So, you'd say it was not as strong as piloting a maxed out flagship (plus assisting fleet) yourself. Then, if the sole purpose of the Operation Center is to enable this weaker playstile, you can't really call it "the strongest hullmod", can you?

It's interesting that the main problem was running out of time/CR. Maybe it would be good to give the hullmod the additional effect of increasing all your ships' peak readiness time. To push the play stile's limit and make competitive.


A "standard" leadership skilled fleet falls off during late game, that's what happened to me in my first attempt, even with Hardened subsystems and Combat Endurance for the officers. A "carrier" leadership fleet however, is arguably stronger than a fleet with a maxed out flagship, since the TTK is ridiculously low (no flagship can insta-gib a capital ship like that). Doing the Dickerson run with combat skills is probably possible, but much more difficult than what i just did. Hence why i called it the "strongest" hullmod, even if "cheesiest" would be more appropriate i suppose.

Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 7757
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2017, 12:19:40 PM »

Against a huge fleet like that, I probably would try to chain flagships.  Quad Tachyon Lance Paragon can murder everything except the frigates.  Once only the small ships are left, there is little Paragon can do other than get swarmed by frigates then die (because frigates will avoid the Paragon until they are ready to gang-up on it).  Astral with old Sparks would murder everything and could almost solo the simulator.  (New Sparks have trouble killing capitals.)  Warthogs would be good except they are too slow to catch frigates.  I would think about chaining capitals one after the other.

Normally, deploying so many capitals would not be a good idea in a normal game due to the cost, but if the goal of the game is to munch a ridiculous boss fight, cost is no object to winning.
Logged

HELMUT

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1329
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2018, 01:55:21 PM »

I wasn't sure at first where to post this, but given this still involve Operation Center, and very big fleets, this shouldn't be too out of context with this thread.

---

Now that the Dickersons are defeated, let's try something a bit harder! Recently, i've been taking on a new endgame challenge offered by the Chinese community through the Approlight mod. This won't be one battle, but four, against four different boss ships (technically five, but i'll omit the fifth one since it acts more as an introduction to the other four than its own proper challenge, and this post is going to be long enough with four battle). I'll talk about the opponents i faced, and what tactics i used to succeed.

As for the fleet i employed, i went with something more or less identical than what i had when facing the Dickersons, vanilla only, 5 Odysseys, 5 Astrals, a bunch of Tempests, and a Hound with OPcenter. I didn't really knew what i was getting myself into, and this fleet in theory would work well against most kind of opponents. Of course, the fleet would change slightly as more ships were added in between battles.

By the way, please bear in mind this is an unofficial release of the mod, hastily translated by Nia from the Discord server. Don't be surprised if the translation is a bit rough.

Anyway, let's begin !


Part 1 : An easy start


The Approlight's campaign alarm ring, a large fleet spawned in the Agustin system. Here's my first opponent ! Let's see what we've got.

Spoiler
[close]

There it is, the Approlight Godslaught with its fleet. Unlike the Dickersons that will swarm the player with an endless tide of junk ships, Approlight prefers fewer, but stronger vessels. I won't have to worry as much about being encircled, and CR attrition should be less of an issue. However, i'm now fighting high-tech opponents, i expect less missiles and more beams, as well as many exotic ship systems. Still, the fleet in itself isn't the main threat, the flagship is.

Spoiler

It sure is a nice upgrade over the original one, isn't it?
[close]

Not content with having double the overall stats of its vanilla counterpart, the Godslaught comes with an array of built-in Approlight hullmods that among other things, buff overall stats, proc some armor-regen, increase flux dissipation when the ship is in danger. Its system unleash a lightning storm around the vessel, increase its speed, as well as protecting it against EMP (yes, Approlight stuff tends to do many, many things at the same time). However, being an Onslaught, it kept its old front shield emitter, leaving it vulnerable to flanking.

Spoiler

Yep, no close range combat against that thing.
[close]

Same strategy as the Dickersons, my Odysseys must clean all those frigates and destroyers so that my carriers can safely operate. Only difference is that my ships have to trim the enemy fleet while avoiding the enemy's Flagship. Autopulse won't scratch that thing, and even at 5v1, getting in range of this enemy would end in a disaster, as it vastly outgun everything i could bring. Fortunately, the Odysseys are fast, too fast for the lumbering Godslaught. The avoid order was more than enough to keep my ships safe long enough to clean the battlefield. Once the small fries are dealt with, the Odysseys retreat, freeing the required deployment points to bring in the Astrals.

A tough nut to crack, beyond its heavy armor and powerful shield, the Godslaught's system provided an impenetrable wall against fighters and missiles. Unfortunately for it, it must cool down between each uses, and from a safe range, my carriers brought in a constant stream of bombers, slowly chipping away its hull. Denied from the close range brawl it desired, the first Approlight boss eventually exploded.

Spoiler

No loss from my side, those Approlight bosses aren't that bad, right?
[close]

Alright, bring in the next one !

Number of attempts : 1

---

Part 2 : Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer

After wrecking the first boss, i grew quite confident in my ability to handle this boss run without too much trouble. With the same fleet, i'm waiting for my second victim to spawn. He didn't make me wait very long.

Spoiler

Alright... This one is a bit bigger...
[close]

Okay, we're not quite yet at the Dickersons's level, but that's still quite a few ships to handle. I will eventually learn to hate those purple, asymmetrical frigates you can see around the middle row. Some kind of Hyperion-like, pretty much impossible to catch, and always eager to nibble at your engines. Also quite a few fighters, not something i was used to. As for the boss itself...

Spoiler

On the bright side, it's pretty slow.
[close]

An over-gunned and over-shielded carrier. Its system is the less dangerous part of it, merely a reverse temporal shell that does affect the surrounding opponents. The most worrisome part of this monster? Its guns.

Spoiler

Tachyon lance for comparison.
[close]

This one is going to be tricky, not only the fleet my Odysseys will need to take care of will be noticeably bigger, simultaneously avoiding that thing is going to be difficult. It doesn't have to be fast when its main gun can reach you from the edge of the screen, and a direct hit from the Deity gun will result in a guaranteed overload, the armor ripped off, and a thousand or so hullpoints shaved off. Nonetheless, i engage the enemy, same strategy as before. Hopefully, my battlecruisers will be swift enough to dodge the death ray.

A simple avoid order won't do here, i have to micro my ships through waypoints orders to avoid entering the boss's range. Still, it's not foolproof, and my Commander Hound can no longer sat idly capturing strategic points and not partaking in the battle. I needed to catch the beast's attention, to give my Oddies some breathing room to handle the fleet.

Spoiler

I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THIS !
[close]

My Tempests, usually sitting in the deployment screen, also saw some action. You know when a dog sees a squirrel? That kind of action.

Spoiler

Please, chase me while disregarding the capital ships on the other side of the battlefield.
[close]

Asides from a few glancing hits from the Doctor's main weapon, my battlecruisers managed to do their jobs without dying too much. Time to switch with the Astrals and finally slay the monster. Unfortunately, things didn't went as smoothly as i expected. Even sabots couldn't drill through that shield quick enough, and when they did, the target could vent if all in an instant just by lowering its shield. I quickly realised i would never be able to brute-force that thing, let's try something a bit different.

Spoiler
[close]

The disadvantage of a 360° omni-shield, is that it takes time to cover the whole hull, and in-between shield flickering to remove the flux, the Doctor MK.2 is vulnerable to an attack from every sides. Slowly, but surely, a few Atropos would reach their target, grinding down the 3300 armor and 55 000 hullpoints over time. And eventually...

Spoiler

[close]

Victory !

Number of attempts : 5

---

Part 3 : Difficulty spike

Following the brutal encounter against the Doctor MK.2, i prepared myself for the third battle.

Spoiler
[close]

Also a fairly large fleet, with less frigates but more carriers. Also those three same blue ones? Doctors MK.1, with their own Deity cannons. My Odysseys are going to have a rough time in this one. At he head of this fleet, the third Approlight boss, the Holy Seeker.

Spoiler

My Nemesis
[close]

On the paper, the Holy Seeker doesn't appears that dangerous, in practice however, the thing is more or less indestructible. Its Holy Tide "cloak" is very reminiscent of the Priwen Burst of the Knight Templars. For those that don't play with the Templars, the cloak unleash a huge shockwave that wrecks anything around it, also phasing while doing so. But that's not the biggest problem, while doing its shockwave, the Holy Seeker regenerate around 10.000 HP, and can do it every 10 seconds.

As for its system, it instantly repairs all weapons and engines and makes them indestructible for the next 7 seconds. Which is fortunately tame compared to its outrageous "cloak". Another gimmick, when heavily damaged, the ship will forces itself in a "cloaked overload" to disengage back to safety, where it can regenerate its hull.

So yeah, this one is not going to be easy either.

My first few attempts at fighting that freak didn't went very well. The Holy Seeker is fast, not quite fast enough to catch an Odyssey, but more than enough to catch an Astral, and there's no slowing down something that can instantly repair its engines. More problematic, even 5 Astrals loaded with Tridents can't out-DPS its ridiculous regenerative ability. I needed a way to stop that thing from healing itself. Overloading it would be ideal, but how do you overload something without a shield?

Spoiler

I won't be able to do that in 0.9 any more, so might as well go for it now.
[close]

The Seeker have a weakness, it needs around 2 seconds to charge up its Holy Tide. During those two seconds, the Afflictor's Quantum Disruptor can interrupt its regeneration. The timing is short, too late and the shockwave would vaporise my frigate, and i also have to keep in mind the enemy ships escorting the boss (of course they're immune to the shockwave, why wouldn't they?). One Afflictor isn't enough, i needed a bunch of them to stun-lock the beast, opening a way for my bombers to drill through its hull. I would swap from one Afflictor to another to crack open the armor with Reapers and properly time the Disruptor. Eventually, the ship reached low-hull, and went in its phased-overload, scurrying behind its allies. If i let it off the hook even for a moment, all efforts will be for nothing as it will immediately heal back to full health. Fortunately, the Afflictor i swapped to was fully loaded, and even surrounded by its allies, i was able to land the killing blow.

Spoiler
[close]

Despite the loss of their flagship, the Approlight fleet wasn't ready to give up, and they still had quite a few ships not yet deployed. The rest of the battle was a slow grind against both beams and CR, as my ships were reaching their limits.

Spoiler

A close shave.
[close]

The surviving Afflictors still had their uses. The remaining Doctor MK.1 battleships required a short charge-up to fire their dreaded Deity cannon, a short charge up i was eager to exploit with the Quantum Disruptor, potentially saving my other ships from a painful death. In between Disrupting or catching the attention of my enemies, i also somehow managed to make one of the Doctors fire its main weapon on its allied carrier.

Spoiler

Teamkiller!
[close]

After a long and exhausting battle (and many losses), my fleet emerged victorious.

Spoiler
[close]

Number of attempts : Many

---

Part 4 : Final boss

Alright! Only one left! After recovering from my losses, i went for my final opponent.

Spoiler
[close]

Spoiler

Fast and furious. Also got one of those heinous death ray.
[close]

The Godship, despite its absurd armor, isn't quite as durable as the Holy Seeker or the Doctor MK.2. Its main strength resides in its ability to catch pretty much everything it wants and maul it to death. Its custom cloak, the Nova, is fairly similar to the Seeker's shockwave, with the fortunate difference of not regenerating its hull. On the other hand, it does act as some kind of blackhole and attract everything around toward it, before going boom. Oh, and the Nova works on cloaked ships as well, because why not.

Its system is, as its name implies, a shield, with two peculiar attributes. The first one is that it project an invisible damaging AOE around it, dealing more damage the closer you are (which synergies pretty well with Nova). The second is that it boost even further its mobility, to the point it can now catch an Odyssey. So, how do i deal with that thing? I cannot outrun it, in my first attempt, my Odysseys got ripped apart despite my avoid order. I cannot outfight it either, every 10 seconds the ship is untouchable thanks to its shield, and engaging an Approlight boss ship with its whole fleet more or less intact presents its own challenges.

Then... How about going even faster?

Spoiler

My very own custom tugboat.
[close]

Replacing the Hound, here is my new flagship. Temporal shell have the advantage of making the Scarab much faster, as well as allowing it to push much bigger ships. I intent to push back to safety anything the Godship is trying to engage. Of course, this isn't perfectly safe, many time my Scarab got Deity'd trying to save one Odyssey, but i have quite a few of those in replacement. Just like the Hound, it doesn't needs any weapons, its purpose is to tug and command my fleet through both Temporal shell and Operation Center.

I couldn't save all my ships with this tactic, but i could save enough of them to whittle down the enemy's fleet for my Astrals. From there, i switched in between Afflictors and Scarabs to attack and defend depending on the situation. Even with both its Nova and Crystal Shield, the Godship had moments of vulnerability, and with its armor breached, its 22.000 HP fell quickly.

Spoiler

Point blank torpedoes, not the safest way to finish it, but a way nonetheless.
[close]

Spoiler
[close]

And with this, the fourth and final Approlight boss fell. Victory is mine!

Number of attempts : 2

---

Now, that was quite a challenge! Much more difficult than the Dickersons. OPcenter is pretty damn good when properly used. Also, i hope this will be good enough proof that the Odyssey isn't as bad as some recently claimed.

Also, as a bonus, here is the Higgs, the fifth boss that didn't quite make the cut in this post. Despite its cool gimmicks, it wasn't quite up to the task compared to its siblings.

Spoiler

This post is way too long already anyway.
[close]
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 02:00:14 PM by HELMUT »
Logged

SafariJohn

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1545
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod (Update with part 2!)
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2018, 06:28:02 PM »

wow
Logged

MajorTheRed

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 229
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod (Update with part 2!)
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2018, 07:13:42 PM »

Your stubborness is quite impressive.
Absolutly not my kind of way to enjoy a game, but was really fun to read. It must have been really frustrating at time!
What mods are you using? I notice ship announcement for completly expanded their missiles loadout, and in the last screen, the boss-ship and the Afflictor seems in flames.
Logged

AxleMC131

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1599
  • Amateur World-Builder
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod (Update with part 2!)
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2018, 07:57:40 PM »

@MajorTheRed The missile out announcement comes from Combat Chatter [ http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=10399.0 ], extremely helpful mod that makes your ships shout useful (and sometimes comedic) things about the status of their ship. The "flaming" of the hulls I thought was stock, but I think it might actually be a GraphicsLib thing. [ http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=10982.0 ]
Logged

HELMUT

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1329
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod (Update with part 2!)
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2018, 03:11:01 AM »

It wasn't really frustrating, definitely nerve-racking though (especially the Holy Seeker). It was more a puzzle game than having quick reflex, thinking about a solution for a given problem (like the Godship being too fast for my Odysseys). Also, the whole flagship swapping in the middle of a battle sounds tedious at first, but the whole thing ended up being surprisingly fun. But i guess things are always "fun" when you're walking the thin line between victory and defeat.

As for the mods, yep, Combat Chatter and GraphicsLib.
Logged

Draba

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 188
    • View Profile
Re: Operation Center, the strongest hullmod
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2018, 02:01:05 AM »

Now, that was quite a challenge! Much more difficult than the Dickersons. OPcenter is pretty damn good when properly used. Also, i hope this will be good enough proof that the Odyssey isn't as bad as some recently claimed.

Just throwing in a quick objection here: Odyssey being useful in an over-the-top boss mod doesn't mean it's not bad in the base game.
I'm waiting for the next big update before picking up Starsector again so don't know too much about current balance,
but ultramurderbricks instagibbing capitals slower than themselves look like an obvious gamechanger.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]