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Author Topic: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation  (Read 6477 times)

HELMUT

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Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« on: August 19, 2018, 05:24:11 AM »

While we're waiting for 0.9, i felt like trying a new challenge. Those that plays with mods might have heard about the Excelsior, the super-frigate from the Ship/Weapon pack mod. In the mod, this ship is introduced in the mission "Duel of the Century" where the Excelsior must face nine super-frigates from various mods and vanilla.

For those that don't know what i'm talking about, let me explain how it works.

Spoiler

By the way, i tweaked the recovery rate here. It should be 8% instead of 35%.
[close]

A phase glass cannon with many intricacies. Unlike every other ships, the Excelsior flux system works the other way around. The cloak and flux shunt cannons drains flux, while its system absorb surrounding projectiles, and depending on how much damage those projectiles deals, convert them into flux to power up the ship. The more flux it have, the stronger the Flux Shunt Cannons becomes.

Of course, there's a catch, if you absorb more projectiles than your flux capacity can handle, you overload, and overloading will deal damage to the ship, but getting that flux bar as high as possible also allows the FSCs to fire at full power. Risk and reward. Also, with active venting, the Excelsior will create electric arcs around it. The higher its dissipation, the more damage those arcs will deal, of course, a high flux dissipation means it can't stay cloaked as long either. On the bright side, damage on both armor and hull can be repaired when phased.

To summarise, the Excelsior is the personnification of risk taking. It wants to be in the absolute heat of battle at all time, threading the thin line between absorbing as many projectiles as possible to power its guns and heal its wounds, and overloading to death due to greed. Here's a video of the beast from StarSchulz in the Duel of the Century to see how it works in practice :



As for me, here are the skills and loadout i used.

Spoiler



This is probably the most unsafe thing i ever flew.
[close]

---

Now that everyone knows the Excelsior, time to meet its opponent.

Spoiler

Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh, you touch my mind, fumbling in ignorance, incapable of understanding.
[close]

A fully functional Remnant Battlestation, with a cold and unfeeling hatred for human life (thanks ChildServices for that one). Because of Dynasector, its loadout is different from the Vanilla variant. Which is better for me, since there's no way my flimsy flagship can hope to get past the original variant's Guardian PDs. Still, by no mean this is going to be easy.

Anyway, let's start the fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPJK5AyVdPU&ab_channel=HELMUT

Once the combat start, there is no time to waste, the CR clock is ticking fast. You can see in the video, i went straight for the carrier modules. For my combat strategy, i imperatively needed to get rid of most of its indirect firepower, as well as one of its shield generator that i took out with the Reaper splash damage. After that, the armored modules are the next in line, once removed, this leaves the battlestation with a large blind spot i can exploit. 

From now on, the battle greatly slow down, but this is where things get difficult. Thanks to my high dissipation loadout, my ship active venting can deal large amount of damage through the indestructible main structure, and allow me to safely take down the two remaining shield modules. However, venting at the wrong time would leave me helpless to the Trebuchet LRMs (the yellow missiles). Venting too close would leave me in the explosion radius of the neighbouring modules (i died so many time like that). Venting too far and... Uh, well, i won't reach my target.

One module left, the hardest part of the battle. Because i only have one source of enemy fire, my ability to gain flux is much more limited, and my firepower and survivability greatly reduced as a result. I can't destroy the last module from the blind spot with active venting either, the station final explosion would take me out. Only one solution, facing it from the front and killing it with the FSCs, while absorbing the plasma cannons shots before they reach me.

And after many, many, many attempts. The metallic frame of the titan finally crumble in an explosion.

Spoiler
[close]

Victory !


Bonus : some gifs i made when i tried to fight it fair and square without exploiting its blind spot :

Spoiler




[close]
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TJJ

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 06:03:25 AM »

Good to see mod ships being as balanced as ever  ::)
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Phearlock

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 06:11:20 AM »

While Helmut makes this insane feat look easy. It is far from it, and I impore everyone to give the Excelsior a go sometime when they find it. The amount of times I've killed myself with that ship....
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Snrasha

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 06:46:00 AM »

The Excelsior is probably the most hard ship to pilot. He do nothing damage if he have 0 flux and he die pretty easily.

I believe the ship can be controlled only per HELMUT.
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Add battle options on Com Relay/ Framework for modders for add their own bounty.

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Sanguinary Anarchistic Defectors A fan-mod of Shadowyard.

Dark.Revenant

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 03:56:29 PM »

This is very impressive.  Well done!

The Excelsior embodies the ideal of an impractical prototype.  Everything looks OP on paper, until you actually try to fly it...
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The Soldier

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 05:10:24 PM »

Excellent show of helmsmanship and target priority. :)
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Linnis

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2018, 07:06:09 PM »

Just want to say... Game looks amazing in slowmotion.
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DrakonST

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2018, 07:34:40 PM »

If this station was a beam configuration "Excelsior" just can`t reach her.

It is very good frigate, but extremely situational and depending on that than your enemy shoots at you.
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Cik

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2018, 03:40:22 PM »

hella sick

solid flying and very pretty.
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HELMUT

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation (Updated)
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2019, 10:13:52 AM »

With the 0.9 update, came some new fancy death engines from Alex and David to slay. I hesitated for a while, thinking if making this post was worth the effort. But it's sunday and i have nothing better to do, so let's just do it.

After defeating the 0.8 final boss, i wanted to try something a bit harder. Stronger than the Remnant Nexus, we now have Star Fortresses, bigger, badder, tougher. Let's go monster hunting. The rules are the same as before, the only ship allowed is the SWP Excelsior (with a new, shiny sprite by Tartiflette!). The skills used are pretty much the same as before, the ship loadout is different though, the EMP vent trick doesn't seems to work against the new space stations, so i'll have to fight with my guns only.

Spoiler

A few tweaks here and there depending on what opponent i faced, but the main idea is here.
[close]

I'll also talk a bit more about the how and why of the battle, but let's begin with the first opponent : the Jangala mid-tech Star fortress !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e14vgGnbvN4&ab_channel=HELMUT

A tough one, whose main strength is its ability to unleash a storm of missiles after me. Both a blessing and a curse, i can use its excessive firepower to power the Excelsior, but using the phase shunt (the projectile absorber) at the wrong moment will guarantee an overload, and depending on my positioning, a sudden drop in my life-expectancy.

The star fortress taught me a few things about flying the Excelsior, about how to pick my targets. There are three things i look for when facing an opponent : What is dangerous to me? What is Useless to me? What is important to me?
From that, i know which targets i have to pick first, in that order : Dangerous>Useless>Important.

For exemple, what is "dangerous" is what can kill me easily (duh), what is "useless" is what i can't make use of, what is "important" is what i must use to power my ship.

Unfortunately, what is "dangerous" also tends to be what is "important", since things that can kill me can also be exploited by the phase shunt. In the case of this Star Fortress, the dangerous targets are the side modules with the Trebuchets LRMs that are the most likely to overload and kill me, but are also invaluable as they provide a large and reliable amount of flux. Therefore, i have to leave them for the last, so they can power me for the entire duration of the fight.

The useless here, is the carrier module. It doesn't have enough firepower to keep me going, and it also must die in order to defeat the space station. Also come with a hint of dangerous, while the Warthogs are too slow and lack sufficient alpha strike to threaten me. The Kopeshes are more problematic, and will relentlessly hound me. Their tendency to go straight at me, with the Trebuchets LRMs swirling around macross style, don't leave me much room to manœuvrer. This one must go down first.

As seen in the video, the Reapers are not used to kill, but to strip armor. The Excelsior's guns exceptional DPS lack armor penetration, hence the use of torpedoes to lay the hull bare for my Flux Shunt Cannons. So far the only way i found to kill a star fortress quick enough before running out of CR. I have to be quick, or i won't be able to drill through all those armor modules, but too eager, and i'll get boxed-in by Trebuchets, Kopeshes and mines.

Speaking of mines, some might have noticed some weird explosions on the station without my intervention. I noticed that the Mid-tech Star fortress's mines tends to slowly drift in the last position of the target. By flying very close to the station, the mines will have the tendency to drop toward it, and with some luck, damaging it. Sometimes, it's not a bad idea to fly next to a close one to voluntarily trigger it and cause friendly fire on the station.

Once the carrier module is gone, the main battery platform is next. The Mjolnirs with their fast, accurate projectiles are too dangerous to be left last, i need to kill it now by exploiting the two remaining missiles modules. Being the toughest module, it takes a while to bring it down. Once it is done, the two side pods are relatively "easy" to take on, just need some patience.


And now for opponent number 2 : The Eochus Bres High-tech Star fortress.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zc9ai6Cip0&ab_channel=HELMUT

This one is a weird beast. A total glass cannon compared to its mid-tech sibling, it make up for it with its ability to spam an ungodly amount of mines. The first few seconds of the battle, despite looking relatively peaceful, are probably where i died the most. The Star Fortress have no qualms about spawning mines straight on top of my ship, and each mine is a one-hit kill. And if i overload, all the modules will go crazy with the mines, surrounding me with up to a dozen mines!

Fortunately, mines are long range only weapons, and the station won't (usually) spawn them if i'm sticking close to it. The Gargoyles drones are roughly delimiting the no man's land, beyond that, death is assured. Close range isn't exactly a safe zone either, fighting that closely to something with Autopulses can be quite perilous as well, but less unfair at least.

From the get go, i'm sniping the citadel module, the dangerous one, with torpedoes, exploiting the splash damage to weaken the weapon platform hiding behind it. Once it is done, i can follow in with the carrier module (the useless one) that doesn't offer me enough flux. Plus i was very nervous flying around a bunch of Cobras, it was unlikely they could hit me, but they certainly could overload me, better getting rid of this one quickly.

And then, the second gun battery module (the important one), i screwed up my first attempt at killing it, forcing me to wait in a long, awkward pause for the shield opening to come back.

You'll notice i mainly used the mines to power up the Excelsior here. Baiting the station by getting a bit too far, just enough for it to spawn two or three mines to eat, and going back in. Once i got the trick, the high-tech star fortress proved to be surprisingly easy-ish.


For the third opponent, the Coatl battle station :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzX9UgXItQc&ab_channel=HELMUT

Wait, that's not star fortress! Well, yeah, i know, i know... But this one is probably the toughest of the three, and after a few attempts to take down the Chicomoztoc low-tech Star fortress... Yeah, nah, not gonna bother. fundamentally, it's the same as the battle station, just with more armor, which is the problem.

(mind you, i'm fairly sure it is possible to beat it, just ridiculously hard)

The low-tech battle station is a battle of endurance. Its heavy armor make it incredibly difficult to take down, and where the other two space stations only have four modules to destroy to win, this one have six! This is a race against the clock, no time for caution, every seconds must not be wasted.

So, what is dangerous here? The citadel module with Mjolnirs/Gauss, while not deadly, is definitely an annoying because of its wide side coverage, the Gauss will be bothersome when i'll try to fight the carrier modules. Fortunately not too important to power up my ship either.

What is useless? The PD modules, nothing but flaks, vulcans and salamanders, not useful to me, and fortunately extremely vulnerable. They must go down first and quickly, the citadel will be second to give me room to breath.

What is important? The carrier modules are quite useful with their Piranhas and Pilums, but the main gun battery give me more flux. I decided to take down the carrier modules first, although i would use them to weaken the combat module before. After nearly 9 minutes of punching through that hunk of metal, it finally goes down.


Phew, alright, that's enough of that goddamn soul-sucking ship for now. I guess i can get back to playing normal Starsector for once.


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Thaago

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2019, 04:51:46 PM »

HELMUT OP plz nerf.
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Chaos Farseer

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2019, 07:41:20 PM »

The madman has done it again! Been enjoying seeing these videos as you've uploaded them.
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Baro-san

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2020, 04:02:10 AM »

This has to be the least risky ship in the whole game. Just because you can overload because you try to absorb missiles when you are almost full doesn't mean it's
'risky'. Every regular ship would tremble at the thought of getting surrounded, aimed at with missiles and targeted by fighters, this *** doesn't, it has everything it needs for every situation, also, absurd speed, and funny how it has healing too, because why not. This is the kind of mod that is just some guy going overboard, resulting in a ship that ruins the game, when it doesn't respect the balance put in place by the dev, and it ruins the immersion too, to see a frigate solo a battlestation. If the ship was balanced, like being capable of dispatching, at a maximum, a single cruiser 1 on 1 then it would be ok. The mechanics themselves are very interesting.
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SCC

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2020, 04:33:35 AM »

You are free to check it out yourself. It's from the Ship and Weapons Pack mod.
In my experience, it better be capable of destroying stations by itself, considering how hard is it to fly, how hard is it to learn it, how expensive it is and how rare it is. If you try it out, I can assure you that you will waste many, many ships learning and improving. What you can see is the final, successful run, not hundreds of failed ones, upon which HELMUT had to improve. The reason why it is so fast and so powerful is because it's so fragile and hard to use. It has the durability of a broadsword. If you use it cautiously, it's not as strong as it is here, since it has to disengage and avoid absorbing too much flux, but it has a better chances of surviving. Not to mention that even with skills, it takes incredibly long to defeat a station, so much that HELMUT got into 40%-30% CR range at the end, even when starting at 100% CR and with Hardened Subsystems. Except for High-tech Star Fortress, but it's more extreme.

Sundog

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Re: Soloing the Remnant Battlestation
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2020, 01:23:10 PM »

@Baro-san: Hey, welcome to the forum! You really should try the Excelsior out for yourself. It's hard to know how impressive this is otherwise.

If the ship was balanced, like being capable of dispatching, at a maximum, a single cruiser 1 on 1 then it would be ok.
It's possible to beat an Onslaught in a fair fight with a Buffalo Mk. II. Someone made a similar video of it at one point, but I can't seem to find it. As for the Excelsior, I have a hard time beating a Venture with it, let alone a proper cruiser like an Eagle or Aurora. You're right that it has ludicrous potential, but it's absolutely a risky ship to use.
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