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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Update preview 6/24/20  (Read 296646 times)

Dampfnudel

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Has armor any purpose in this mod?

Armor values are at the same reach as normal damage values of single hits. Doesn't this make armor completely useless?
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Morrokain

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I also want you to nerf the Helmsmanship zero flux speed boost threshold to 25% from 34%

That's me, I guess, but I want one for medium mount slot more. Also for the Terminator Beam, can it be tweak some how for AI to not waste it on the shield when the only large weapon it has is Terminator Beam. I don't think the Onslaught waste it too much, only occasionally. Mostly it was used as it intends purpose.

The beam point defense weapons also defeat the fighter buff this mod provides a bit, not sure how can it be deal with. It's already expensive to field in.

I am making some medium weapons too, yes.

Re: Terminator Beam AI
It recharges faster now so hopefully that will help make wasted shots less painful. Custom AI for it would be significantly more complex. It's not that I have ruled that option out as much as it would be kind of far down the list compared to other easier things. I'll keep it in mind for the future though. The Onslaught definitely makes good use of it overall. It snipes through moments of shield drops against the Paragon with ruthless efficiency that makes the fight actually tilt in its favor more times than not. Definitely an opportunistic kind of weapon. The AI isn't perfect with it, but it's honestly not bad either imo.

Re: Helmsmanship
I'll look into whether or not I can use the Skill API to differentiate between hull sizes. It is that high so that it gives a bonus to frigates (and soon destroyers) since they already have that boost. The reduction of the 0-flux boost for capitals should help make this skill at least a little less must-have.

It may be invalidated by the eventual skill update though.

Re: Burst PD Beam line of weapons
True, but they are not great against mass missiles in comparison to other PD so that is kind of their drawback alongside high OP costs. They don't really delete fighters more than interceptors do though - especially with the coming update. To help impact the brief engagement time interceptors typically have to perform their role, most now have, err how to put it? - Burst impacting weapons like homing missiles, mines, or (ironically) burst beam pd to take out large numbers of opposing craft quickly alongside any lucky primary weapon hits. The Wasp mine in particular really makes that wing shine over prior updates. I came to this conclusion because Broadsword and Hydra wings seemed to really outpace more OP expensive wings in dealing with strike craft during the fly-by.

Armor values are at the same reach as normal damage values of single hits. Doesn't this make armor completely useless?

Not in my experience, at least if I'm understanding the question correctly. Funnily enough, I'm actually having trouble balancing the Onslaught because of its high armor value atm (adding 500 made it beat every capital I'm testing with by 100% extra efficiency)- granted that's an extreme. It's more that armor breaking weapons are more necessary for high armor vessels but their impact is stronger - especially in the case of strike weapons. Hull/weapon size also has starker comparisons there - so even a heavily armor ship taking a hit from a weapon size higher than it can typically field will be felt a little more. If anything, armor is more important in that sense from what I can tell. One thing that makes this possible is the 5% minimum value. This means that even armor stripped ships with high base armor take a lot less damage from small hit weapons like kinetic weapons or fighter weapons.

Armor is a little useless for high tech vessels that rely on their shields - at least in comparison. Once a Paragon's shields go down... it's bad news for the Paragon if it can't retreat. If you are fielding a lot of those, I'd answer that it isn't useless but definitely shouldn't be relied upon for any length of time.

If you have any changes in mind, can you give examples or comparisons vs vanilla that gave you this impression? I'm certainly open to ideas. Changing armor values is relatively easy - and armor damage mitigation scales on the value comparisons as you say - so only one value would actually have to be changed to make an impact.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 02:12:37 AM by Morrokain »
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Dampfnudel

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Not in my experience, at least if I'm understanding the question correctly. Funnily enough, I'm actually having trouble balancing the Onslaught because of its high armor value atm (adding 500 made it beat every capital I'm testing with by 100% extra efficiency)- granted that's an extreme. It's more that armor breaking weapons are more necessary for high armor vessels but their impact is stronger - especially in the case of strike weapons. Hull/weapon size also has starker comparisons there - so even a heavily armor ship taking a hit from a weapon size higher than it can typically field will be felt a little more. If anything, armor is more important in that sense from what I can tell. One thing that makes this possible is the 5% minimum value. This means that even armor stripped ships with high base armor take a lot less damage from small hit weapons like kinetic weapons or fighter weapons.

Armor is a little useless for high tech vessels that rely on their shields - at least in comparison. Once a Paragon's shields go down... it's bad news for the Paragon if it can't retreat. If you are fielding a lot of those, I'd answer that it isn't useless but definitely shouldn't be relied upon for any length of time.

If you have any changes in mind, can you give examples or comparisons vs vanilla that gave you this impression? I'm certainly open to ideas. Changing armor values is relatively easy - and armor damage mitigation scales on the value comparisons as you say - so only one value would actually have to be changed to make an impact.

What do you mean with 100% effiency? If my ship has 300 amor and I put another 300 amor on it via modul, halve the amor is gone after 3 hits from a small weapon ( 200 damage a hit) a random frigate fires.
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Morrokain

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What do you mean with 100% effiency? If my ship has 300 amor and I put another 300 amor on it via modul, halve the amor is gone after 3 hits from a small weapon ( 200 damage a hit) a random frigate fires.

I was speaking with regards to the Onslaught (XIV) effectiveness at combat with, say, a Paragon with anti-armor strike beams. Onslaught (XIV) has 4500 base armor. The 500 armor made a noticeable difference probably because of the 5% minimum against numerous small weapons going up enough to mitigate a lot of damage in a close range cap vs cap fight.

To your experience though, did this happen to you in game while fighting a high tech ship with Pulse Cannons with a Hound or something? If so, that's not advisable without additional support to either joint attack or, if a shield is available on the escorts, a hit and run trade off kind of attack. high Tech ships cost more to deploy, but their weapons and defense are, for the most part, better than lower tech ships. So a one-on-one low tech vs high tech is going to be harder to win.

Or are you looking at the numbers, specifically? (Either way is completely fine, I'm just trying to get a better grasp of your opinion.)

I'm also not necessarily against a global frigate/destroyer armor buff, honestly - at least for armor reliant hulls. Cruisers maybe too but they seem ok in that department from what I've seen. I just have to be careful to not make a more difficult time for high tech ships at those sizes by making armor too good. It might not be as much of an issue after the beam changes/new weapons though since more anti-armor options will exist for energy weapon reliant ships. That probably is what fueled some of the lower armor values in the first place. If Pulse Cannons can't deal with armor well, then there was little that the High Tech frigate had to deal with ships like the Lasher effectively when considering its increased DP.
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DatonKallandor

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What do you mean with 100% effiency? If my ship has 300 amor and I put another 300 amor on it via modul, halve the amor is gone after 3 hits from a small weapon ( 200 damage a hit) a random frigate fires.

Yeah that's not quite how armor works. First of all that damage would need to be a damage type that does full damage to armor. Then it'll get spread around the armor cells and many parts of the target will retain full or near full armor. And then there's the 5% rule on top of that, so any extra armor is going to significantly cut into the damage of weapons that deal damage in smaller packets, regardless of damage type, forever even if the armor is fully stripped.
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Dampfnudel

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I really like the mod. The idea of smaller weapons and more wings makes nice and cinematic combats.
I think the new factions are a bit too high tech-heavy with both the anime vampire lords and the tech-priests being mega tri tachyon.
Playing with nexrelin these 2 factions also dominate everybody else. So I think they are a bit too strong.

A suggestion. Make wing replacement cost flux. Replacing high tech wings should cost huge amounts of flux, low tech less.
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Morrokain

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I really like the mod. The idea of smaller weapons and more wings makes nice and cinematic combats.
I think the new factions are a bit too high tech-heavy with both the anime vampire lords and the tech-priests being mega tri tachyon.
Playing with nexrelin these 2 factions also dominate everybody else. So I think they are a bit too strong.

Lol anime vampire lords. That tickled me. ;D

Not all of their portraits are anime but yeah I would say free-use portraits of vampires aren't exactly flourishing haha. Honestly I love anime and don't mind anime portraits, but I get that it's not exactly the intended immersion Starsector is going for. I do have plans for optional portrait packs in the future to better cater to different tastes in that regard. But, you know, priorities.

As far as the high tech nature of the Adamantine Consortium and Archean Order breaking Nex, that is a fair point if true. It was definitely not intended and not something I anticipated when designing the factions. The factions were designed from a lore perspective and not a 4X perspective since that didn't exist when I started modding. That being said, I think it would be accurate to say that Nex has some amount of randomness to how events/invasions go based upon prior feedback. Unless you are speaking from the perspective of multiple campaign run-throughs where these factions dominated every time, it could just be coincidence. To play devil's advocate, I could simply have the settings wrong - though I remember spending a fair amount of time considering each faction when setting up the Nex config and I've done a second pass since then. The only other possible consideration I can think of is that higher FP fleets have an innate advantage in Nex (and vanilla but not as noticeable) - which, while understandable, limits the design space in a way that Tri-Tachyon-esque factions are just going to be strong. That seems unlikely though since the FP difference between a Megalith Dreadnought and a Paragon in the current dev build is a measly 2 FP (33 to 31 respectively). So, if the fleets are built with the same number of ships in mind irregardless of each ship having a FP or two greater... well not much I can do about that. If the lore is that their ships are tech-wise better (but realistically in combat through DP they can deploy less of them and so not really) but the campaign layer does not reflect this, my hands are tied. I'm not sure if this is the case and I would assume "numShips" would handle this situation in the faction config, but I'm no expert there and I haven't deep dived that aspect in any way. (Details for reference: Archean Order is 3, Adamantine Consortium is 1 and Tri-Tachyon is 5)

To clarify lore related stuff:
The Adamantine Consortium is an insidious "boss faction" that I also wanted to be playable in order to create more replay-ability and challenge and provide a unique experience from roleplaying an evil faction (story-wise it gets more complicated than that but no spoilers! From the perspective of 4X/Nex that is the best way to put it). The Archean Order acts as a counter-balance/antagonist of the Tri-Tachyon corporation that from a design perspective just adds flavor and additional options to the high tech arsenal and additional player choice/replay-ability each playthrough.

Still working out the details there and there is a lot to do as far as limiting accessibility, etc, etc.

Trader Guilds, while certainly not as fleshed out since they were the last faction I conceptualized years ago, are actually more mid-tech with higher tier weapons/wings. They aren't really high tech at all, but they suffer from less colonies than they need - which is something I'm hoping to address very soon.

Sci-Corps are a high tech underdog with a somewhat romanticized moral compass that acts as the grounding force to the other warring factions, so once again a fair point into the high tech nature of the mod's new factions. They have actually had a buff to autoresolve and in-combat strength which should make them more of a presence when running the mod with Nex assuming my assumptions hold true.

When looking at the playable vanilla faction roster that participates in Nex, how many of them are high tech? My count is 1, maybe 2 when you consider Lion's Guard. So in that sense, I am more evening the scales for player options for each tech level than I am intending to create high tech factions to dominate the sector, if that makes sense.

Quote
A suggestion. Make wing replacement cost flux. Replacing high tech wings should cost huge amounts of flux, low tech less.

I am trying to address this disparity through OP in the next update rather than flux generation because I'm not sure I can do that with the API. So high tech wings are far more OP costly to equip and typically only high tech carriers can equip them comfortably. This will make the high/low tech carriers truer to their DP in regards to combat performance with the added intent of making weapons more relevant on these vessels.

For an example, it will be impossible for a light carrier like the Osprey to equip a wing like the Wasp or Spectre even should it completely shirk all weapons and hullmods. It will mostly be limited to low tech and pirate wings. An Anchorage carrier might be able to equip one, but only at the cost of any weapon upgrades, hullmods, or additional wings that aren't starter tier. I'm hoping that evens things out a bit.

Anyway sorry for the wall post, and thank you for trying out the mod and giving feedback! I always appreciate it and I will try and keep this in mind as I continue attempting to balance things. My only request is to remember that I am one person and so true balanced quality will take time and multiple passes considering the scope of this mod. I rely on anyone playing it to help me understand all the nuances that I cannot realistically account for without actually stopping development to play the campaign a bunch of times to endgame.
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Dampfnudel

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Lol anime vampire lords. That tickled me. ;D

Not all of their portraits are anime but yeah I would say free-use portraits of vampires aren't exactly flourishing haha. Honestly I love anime and don't mind anime portraits, but I get that it's not exactly the intended immersion Starsector is going for. I do have plans for optional portrait packs in the future to better cater to different tastes in that regard. But, you know, priorities.

As far as the high tech nature of the Adamantine Consortium and Archean Order breaking Nex, that is a fair point if true. It was definitely not intended and not something I anticipated when designing the factions. The factions were designed from a lore perspective and not a 4X perspective since that didn't exist when I started modding. That being said, I think it would be accurate to say that Nex has some amount of randomness to how events/invasions go based upon prior feedback. Unless you are speaking from the perspective of multiple campaign run-throughs where these factions dominated every time, it could just be coincidence. To play devil's advocate, I could simply have the settings wrong - though I remember spending a fair amount of time considering each faction when setting up the Nex config and I've done a second pass since then. The only other possible consideration I can think of is that higher FP fleets have an innate advantage in Nex (and vanilla but not as noticeable) - which, while understandable, limits the design space in a way that Tri-Tachyon-esque factions are just going to be strong. That seems unlikely though since the FP difference between a Megalith Dreadnought and a Paragon in the current dev build is a measly 2 FP (33 to 31 respectively). So, if the fleets are built with the same number of ships in mind irregardless of each ship having a FP or two greater... well not much I can do about that. If the lore is that their ships are tech-wise better (but realistically in combat through DP they can deploy less of them and so not really) but the campaign layer does not reflect this, my hands are tied. I'm not sure if this is the case and I would assume "numShips" would handle this situation in the faction config, but I'm no expert there and I haven't deep dived that aspect in any way. (Details for reference: Archean Order is 3, Adamantine Consortium is 1 and Tri-Tachyon is 5)

To clarify lore related stuff:
The Adamantine Consortium is an insidious "boss faction" that I also wanted to be playable in order to create more replay-ability and challenge and provide a unique experience from roleplaying an evil faction (story-wise it gets more complicated than that but no spoilers! From the perspective of 4X/Nex that is the best way to put it). The Archean Order acts as a counter-balance/antagonist of the Tri-Tachyon corporation that from a design perspective just adds flavor and additional options to the high tech arsenal and additional player choice/replay-ability each playthrough.

Still working out the details there and there is a lot to do as far as limiting accessibility, etc, etc.

Trader Guilds, while certainly not as fleshed out since they were the last faction I conceptualized years ago, are actually more mid-tech with higher tier weapons/wings. They aren't really high tech at all, but they suffer from less colonies than they need - which is something I'm hoping to address very soon.

Sci-Corps are a high tech underdog with a somewhat romanticized moral compass that acts as the grounding force to the other warring factions, so once again a fair point into the high tech nature of the mod's new factions. They have actually had a buff to autoresolve and in-combat strength which should make them more of a presence when running the mod with Nex assuming my assumptions hold true.

When looking at the playable vanilla faction roster that participates in Nex, how many of them are high tech? My count is 1, maybe 2 when you consider Lion's Guard. So in that sense, I am more evening the scales for player options for each tech level than I am intending to create high tech factions to dominate the sector, if that makes sense.

Quote
A suggestion. Make wing replacement cost flux. Replacing high tech wings should cost huge amounts of flux, low tech less.

I am trying to address this disparity through OP in the next update rather than flux generation because I'm not sure I can do that with the API. So high tech wings are far more OP costly to equip and typically only high tech carriers can equip them comfortably. This will make the high/low tech carriers truer to their DP in regards to combat performance with the added intent of making weapons more relevant on these vessels.

For an example, it will be impossible for a light carrier like the Osprey to equip a wing like the Wasp or Spectre even should it completely shirk all weapons and hullmods. It will mostly be limited to low tech and pirate wings. An Anchorage carrier might be able to equip one, but only at the cost of any weapon upgrades, hullmods, or additional wings that aren't starter tier. I'm hoping that evens things out a bit.

Anyway sorry for the wall post, and thank you for trying out the mod and giving feedback! I always appreciate it and I will try and keep this in mind as I continue attempting to balance things. My only request is to remember that I am one person and so true balanced quality will take time and multiple passes considering the scope of this mod. I rely on anyone playing it to help me understand all the nuances that I cannot realistically account for without actually stopping development to play the campaign a bunch of times to endgame.

If everybody is high tech, then nobody is. The lore of starsector is post apocalypse. With technology being forgoten. If the majority of the sector are mega advanced high tech cults, it feel wrong to the story of starsector.

The trade factions fits perfectly into the game and I really like their adddition.

I wish the mod was available without the vampires/priests and all the high tech stuff flying around (nano bot missles and stealth void driver fighters).


Your mod making the combat more cinematic like in star wars is an amazing thing i really do enjoy.  ;)
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Morrokain

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If everybody is high tech, then nobody is. The lore of starsector is post apocalypse. With technology being forgoten. If the majority of the sector are mega advanced high tech cults, it feel wrong to the story of starsector.

The trade factions fits perfectly into the game and I really like their adddition.

I wish the mod was available without the vampires/priests and all the high tech stuff flying around (nano bot missles and stealth void driver fighters).


Your mod making the combat more cinematic like in star wars is an amazing thing i really do enjoy.  ;)

Ah ok, I mean, that's completely fair and I get where you are coming from, but I think our interpretations of lore differ a bit and this is probably due to me having a framework of narrative (mostly in my mind and not released) that is technically difficult to implement atm while also simultaneously designing and refining the said combat system you enjoy.

Brief details:
Spoiler
I've discussed it in past posts but to be brief it essentially boils down to the idea of "technology gone awry/horror elements" (think Black Mirror)/"Contact outside of what is known within the Sector"/"Endearing attempts at bettering the human condition and reversing the collapse"/"predatory survival-ism" with an apocalyptic collapse as the backdrop of the narrative - so essentially it has the same theme of Starsector while adding additional narrative with those elements. The Sector is running low on resources and little is known about the Domain which represented the past mastery over technology that allowed self-sufficiency of said resources. In that sense, I agree that most of technology and knowledge of it is lost in Starsector's setting. There really isn't a defined threshold of what that constitutes though. What I mean is, though "stealth void driver fighters" in this case would certainly be rare, they wouldn't necessarily not exist and be used - they just wouldn't be commonly known about within the Core just like REDACTED aren't commonly known about. That is why, for instance, the Archean Order system is a single system in a place most civilians wouldn't go to and their outposts are off the beaten path. (Trade kind of breaks this, I know, but it is a necessary thing for the colony game. *shrug*)

So, from my perspective of current lore, the themes here:

 1) Midline tech is a middle ground between a transition from an earlier tech level to a more advanced one and the more advanced you get the more difficult said tech is to acquire and the less is known about it or the more carefully it is hoarded by influential factions.

 2) Lots of mystery regarding secret experiments and poorly understood technology causing mass conflict and eerie anomalies.

 3) A balance of power between factions that are generally hostile to one another either through cold war or raised suspicion of power aspirations.
[close]

But anyway, I don't think the majority of the sector is mega advanced high tech cults in this mod. That really only describes one faction of the 4 accurately, and even then it doesn't really describe it in a way that is true to the intended lore. That is far too generalizing considering the addition of more high tech factions doesn't mean a 1:1 increase in high tech colonies or campaign presence.

In the mod, most areas of the campaign are still low tech and the ones that aren't are designed to be more secretive locations. If trade fleets are breaking the immersive side to this, I might be able to accommodate that a bit - but not 100% sure of all the details when messing with faction trade fleet variants.
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DatonKallandor

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If everybody is high tech, then nobody is. The lore of starsector is post apocalypse. With technology being forgoten. If the majority of the sector are mega advanced high tech cults, it feel wrong to the story of starsector.

The trade factions fits perfectly into the game and I really like their adddition.

I wish the mod was available without the vampires/priests and all the high tech stuff flying around (nano bot missles and stealth void driver fighters).


Your mod making the combat more cinematic like in star wars is an amazing thing i really do enjoy.  ;)

I mean, it is a Total Conversion. That's the nice thing about TCs - they don't have to stick to the base game.

Other mods are far more egregious in that regard. Every other planet has an alpha core and never-before-seen 5th dimension supertech and they're supposed to slot into standard Starsector seamlessly.
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Dampfnudel

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I think that missiles are underpowered. They have less strike damage and less sustained damage compared to normal weapons.

I also think that the Wings Spectre&Phantom Phase is overpowered.
Nothing can be compared to it. They are easily obtained and are by far the best choices on any ship. Archean order stuff seems to be ultra-strong.
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Albreo

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I think that missiles are underpowered. They have less strike damage and less sustained damage compared to normal weapons.

I also think that the Wings Spectre&Phantom Phase is overpowered.
Nothing can be compared to it. They are easily obtained and are by far the best choices on any ship. Archean order stuff seems to be ultra-strong.

Missiles are pretty dam strong in this mod, I'm not joking. You also have an unlimited number of it which in vanilla you don't.

Sustain damage means nothing if you can't face hugging the enemy ship, only a zero flux weapon can do that. The purpose of missiles is to fill in what your weapon can't do enough. For example, you equip your ship with full ballistic cannons then have an explosive missile to pair with it or Thunderbolt missile pair with energy weapon because energy didn't do a good enough job hitting shield or Shock Storm which can blow out shield in one go and pair it with Explosive main weapons. Don't expect much for a small missile to kill things, those can only deal with frigate but from a medium mount and up its pack a punch. You also have ultimate frigate deleter as a form of Hivemind Orb launcher which is best for all-round support.

The fighter and bomber will be changing in the next patch.
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Dampfnudel

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I think that missiles are underpowered. They have less strike damage and less sustained damage compared to normal weapons.

I also think that the Wings Spectre&Phantom Phase is overpowered.
Nothing can be compared to it. They are easily obtained and are by far the best choices on any ship. Archean order stuff seems to be ultra-strong.

Missiles are pretty dam strong in this mod, I'm not joking. You also have an unlimited number of it which in vanilla you don't.

Sustain damage means nothing if you can't face hugging the enemy ship, only a zero flux weapon can do that. The purpose of missiles is to fill in what your weapon can't do enough. For example, you equip your ship with full ballistic cannons then have an explosive missile to pair with it or Thunderbolt missile pair with energy weapon because energy didn't do a good enough job hitting shield or Shock Storm which can blow out shield in one go and pair it with Explosive main weapons. Don't expect much for a small missile to kill things, those can only deal with frigate but from a medium mount and up its pack a punch. You also have ultimate frigate deleter as a form of Hivemind Orb launcher which is best for all-round support.

The fighter and bomber will be changing in the next patch.

Missles are simply to weak to have any impact on shields/hull. Hivemind Orb launc is indeed super strong. But It isnt a regular/normal weapon.
The average sabotage/reaper seems to have no purpose. I would rather invest into more guns/vents.
All shield/amor/hull values are much bigger than in vanilla. But missile damage is the same.

So if missiles have no strike potential and no supression potential, for what purpose do you use them exactly? (outside of  Hivemind Orb)
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Morrokain

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Missles are simply to weak to have any impact on shields/hull. Hivemind Orb launc is indeed super strong. But It isnt a regular/normal weapon.
The average sabotage/reaper seems to have no purpose. I would rather invest into more guns/vents.
All shield/amor/hull values are much bigger than in vanilla. But missile damage is the same.

So if missiles have no strike potential and no supression potential, for what purpose do you use them exactly? (outside of  Hivemind Orb)

Sabot has longer range than most guns, but lacks the suppression of the Thunderbolt. It is more of a long range support weapon for things like artillery or it synergizes well at supporting other assault ships with consistent anti-armor fire. It's a great carrier missile for this reason.

Reapers break a serious amount of armor, even on the Onslaught. However, all missiles are pretty stoppable by PD, and don't generally perform well against the damage types they aren't designed for. That is by design. But looking at values, the hit penetration of a reaper is quite a bit higher than any gun of its size - so it is technically a better strike weapon with the downside that it is harder to actually hit with. It also doesn't generate flux like strike guns do. So there is kind of a trade off there.

As Albreo already mentioned, Thunderbolts and Shockstorms are very strong anti-shield weapons that suppress weapons and engines should the shields be down. Thunderbolts actually are getting a small nerf in the next update because with their range they become too catch-all. If you are just looking to break shields, Heavy Rapiers are also pretty good if you have a consistent armor breaking weapon firing so the AI keeps their shield up.

The reason missiles don't have the same strike potential in comparison to vanilla is because they regenerate. Vanilla treats missiles as an flux-free "ace up the sleeve" - kind of a very limited but very powerful weapon. In this mod, they are more of a "standard" weapon and had to be adjusted accordingly.

Hope that helps!
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DatonKallandor

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Missles are simply to weak to have any impact on shields/hull. Hivemind Orb launc is indeed super strong. But It isnt a regular/normal weapon.
The average sabotage/reaper seems to have no purpose. I would rather invest into more guns/vents.
All shield/amor/hull values are much bigger than in vanilla. But missile damage is the same.

So if missiles have no strike potential and no supression potential, for what purpose do you use them exactly? (outside of  Hivemind Orb)

If you think missiles don't have an impact you're probably firing them into functioning PD. PD actually does it's job in AO, so you either need to keep it busy with other targets, overwhelm it with massed missile strikes (that'll still lose 80% of their volley) or wait until damage/emp has disabled the PD and then launch your volleys. There's real strategy to missile use (except for Hive Orbs, but those legendary end-game weapons).
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