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Author Topic: 20 Drovers vs Pirate Starbase and 26 Doom Fleets, 616 ships destroyed, no losses  (Read 3377 times)

Megas

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Maybe classic Sparks with two burst PD (from early 0.8a), but you only get two per wing instead of five?

P.S.  Or maybe add Terminator Core for its one burst PD so a wing of two can still tear up weak stuff but not big ships.  Basically the everyship version of the Tempest system.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 02:43:44 PM by Megas »
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TaLaR

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Spark and Drover combination is strong because:
- 5 wing gets 2 temps per system use. Sparks are fast, so very little of extra fighter existence time is wasted.
- PD Burst is a very good fighter weapon - it is used near 100% unlike something like machine guns. Burst nature makes it at least somewhat efficient against armor, being energy it is reasonable threat to shields. It is soft flux, but this only matters when there isn't enough of it, which is easy problem to solve by spamming more fighters.
- Combination of high speed and decent (for a fighter) shield means enemy damage tends to get spread around fighter shields, so they also scale defensively.

Though really, even basic Talons can allow a no-skills Drover to kill any combat cruiser in sim, albeit slowly. Counters would be:
- to have overwhelming firepower to swat them near instantly (either you do or don't. It design time choice, not question of tactic. Well... except for Hammerhead, where it's question of correctly using ship system too).
- to rush in (for fast enough ships)
- to stall while constantly retreating or bunched up in large group (any ship can try to some degree of effect)

While actual AI ships tend to do the worst thing possible and approach without much of a plan, while getting easily distracted and gradually killed.

ps. It's not a Drover-only thing, Herons can use similar approach too (though in their case using Talon means using freed up OP to make Heron itself capable of combat support). Even Condor can use Talons to at least defeat any AI-piloted DE.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 10:27:31 PM by TaLaR »
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TrashMan

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An entertaining light show, but torpedo bomber spam would've been much more effective.

Completely agree with @From a Faster Time, fighters & bombers are still far too powerful - especially for the lack of player engagement in their usage.

If carrier gameplay can't be made engaging for the player, I'd suggest that:
- they should be nerfed sufficiently such that carriers are not a reasonable choice as a flagship
- The skills relating to them should be removed from the player skill tree (keep them for officers)

Rather more subjectively, I don't find fighting against fighters & bombers particularly fun or rewarding.
- Point defence weapons are strictly automatic, so aiming is largely out of the player's control.
- the huge difference in speed between fighters & capitals, takes most of finesse in manoeuvring out of the player's control.
So you're left with shield control, which:
- vs swarms of fighters is rarely useful
- vs torpedoes is usually a binary choice; block it & hope you don't overload, or die.

Of all combat engagements, fighters & bombers degenerate most quickly into a numbers game; either you have sufficient DPS to overwhelm the fighters, and rush the carrier, or you don't, and you die.
There's not very much room for player agency & skill.

Agreed. Carrier paly isn't fun at all. Mostly because we have no control.
The old system where you could give individual wings orders was WAY superior to this one. There is no granularity, no finesse and no real control.

It used to be that if I had a carrier with 4 fighter wings, I could order each wing to guard a specific ship. I could manually send fighter groups around to flank.


I have to say that part of it is due to the silly way of handling missiles and fighters. Missiles are finite. Fighters are infinite and spawned out of thin air. But fighters can rearm from the infinite missile stock the carrier has????
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TaLaR

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I agree that Carrier gameplay is very much hands off, and being locked into this role for campaign is not very enjoyable (which is why I don't do it).
But piloting them isn't all that brainless. Carriers can also decently (or strongly, for some builds) benefit from player control:
- better distance management (approach to put extra flux via weapons and shorten fighter recycle, to pressure enemy more)
- better system usage (especially Astral and Heron)
- better target & timing selection.
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goduranus

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Yeah, carriers is the ship for the tactical map players, so they should remain a competitive ship type. The overwhelming power of carriers is really due to all the carriers being able to concentrate fighter strikes on a single target, not so much that they are overpowered in 1v1. But also, like Trashman said, fighters being unlimited in recent patches definitely contributes to carrier power, and also feels very unrealistic, since missiles are limited, but fighters are not.
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Megas

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If I specialize with carrier skills, I only have few flagships to play with, with Astral being the ultimate endgame ship.  This gets boring with only so few ships to choose from.  Although if I want to do what the OP did, I probably would need to pilot Drover and run away.

Odyssey is a brawler with fighters on the side (similar to Remnant's Brilliant).  Legion is a true hybrid (that slightly favors brawling) that wants all of the skills maxed, but if I can cannot get all of the skills, Legions works decently enough with only warship skills and Fighter Doctrine.  It would be nice if there was another dedicated capital-sized carrier, and one that favors fighters and interceptors, instead of bombers.  (Legion is not it!)  Astral is built for bomber spam.

Unlimited fighters is like unlimited Salamanders plus unlimited Fast Missile Racks back in one of the 0.6.5 patches, but not as cheesy.
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Hrothgar

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If I specialize with carrier skills, I only have few flagships to play with, with Astral being the ultimate endgame ship.  This gets boring with only so few ships to choose from.  Although if I want to do what the OP did, I probably would need to pilot Drover and run away.

Odyssey is a brawler with fighters on the side (similar to Remnant's Brilliant).  Legion is a true hybrid (that slightly favors brawling) that wants all of the skills maxed, but if I can cannot get all of the skills, Legions works decently enough with only warship skills and Fighter Doctrine.  It would be nice if there was another dedicated capital-sized carrier, and one that favors fighters and interceptors, instead of bombers.  (Legion is not it!)  Astral is built for bomber spam.

Unlimited fighters is like unlimited Salamanders plus unlimited Fast Missile Racks back in one of the 0.6.5 patches, but not as cheesy.

Mayby carrier with big capacity of hangar bays like Astral but with hullmod preventing bombers in them? Specialised hangar bays?
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Megas

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Maybe the Reserve Deployment used by Drover.  It is crazy with fighters for fighter spam.  It does not spawn extra bombers in 0.9.1, so I read.
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Thaago

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Legion XIV works very nicely as an interceptor platform because the saved OP lets it be a really nice brawler with twin hammers/reapers. For the player, Legion + 4 Xyphos is a wonderful beast (the AI sadly sends them away and they die/don't support the mothership). But you are right, its lack of a fighter ship system means it leans on the side of gunship with support rather than carrier.

This may be because of the fact that I mainly use gunships with fighters as support, but I find fighters/interceptors more useful than bombers. Bombers are nice and can give a good kick now and again, but I find that a nice combo of gladius + claw, dual broadswords, or sparks will murder frigates and run up the flux on other ships, allowing the gunships faster, more certain kills.
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Igncom1

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In my last game I had an astral for the bombers, and my salvaged legions for heavy fighters/being battlecruisers.

It worked very, very well.
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Megas

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@ Thaago:  Legion is sluggish, and its system makes it charge into the enemy's face for Legion to fire its guns and blow the enemy away.  Plus, it does not have as many fighters as Astral.  Astral, like any dedicated carrier, should try to keep its distance from the enemy.  (Well, Astral wants to be a bit close for faster bombing runs, but not too close.)

Astral used to be a great fighter platform when Sparks and Warthogs were stronger, but since their nerfs, Astral works best as a bomber platform.  What I like to see is the fighter/interceptor version of Astral (different hull, not reskinned Astral variant).  Six bays, and system or hullmod that helps fighters more than bombers.  Also, less a bit sluggish (faster acceleration and maneuverability) than Legion or Astral.

I would like to pilot more than Astral if I go dedicated carrier path.  For warships, there is a wide variety to choose from.  Not so with dedicated carriers.
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Igncom1

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What more carriers could we want to be fair.

I'm racking my brain as to what else we could add that wouldn't be treading the same ground. Especially with converted hanger ships.... that I haven't actually played with in a while, going to need to remember to try that again soon.

I'd love some more battle-carriers, that could be cool. And/or special carriers that have built in craft that aren't available elsewhere like the sheppard. A ship that carries frigates into battle?

But would we actually need them? I dunno.

Do you mean capital carriers or carriers in general as there are plenty in the destroyer/cruiser sizes, although admittedly not as many as there are gunboats.
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Shad

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One of the reasons I feel there is such a fighter dominance is that there is really only 2 weapons in vanilla that deal with fighter swarms: Devastators and Dual Flak. Note they are both ballistic. The energy PD is more of a anti-missile weapon family, and while Guardian PD can get reasonably good results it's very rare. IPDAI can help, but it will eat firepower and again, few AI ships have it. Missiles has no real anti-fighter capability (since swarmes are bad, and barel any ships can mount locusts).

Why not add more counters to fighters:

1. Give swarmers regen to ammo. It's utterly useless without it, because fighters regen. And for reasons unknown, talons have a special version of swarmers that does regen
2. Add a medium missile that will target fighters, maybe somthing like a longer range high alpha for rare, but powerful shots instagibbing high valuable fighters
3. An energy weapon tailored for anti-fighter role.
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Megas

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Proximity Charge Launcher is effective against fighters, but the shots are slow and the ammo is low enough to run out very quickly.  It has the PD tag so it will fire at missiles.  If they hit, it will damage things in a big AoE.  Proximity Charge Launcher is bad enough that shots could regenerate and it would not be overpowered.

As for energy, beam PD is not that great against fighters.  Pulse lasers are better.

Re: Carriers
There is only one capital-sized dedicated carrier, the Astral.  Odyssey is a warship with fighters on the side, and Legion is a hybrid that favors the warship side a bit.  Also, high-tech only has Astral as a carrier, which makes finding the high-tech pack underwhelming in terms of ships learned (only Wolf, Shrike, and Apogee).

By endgame, I usually pilot a capital.  If I go warship or generalist, there are several I can pilot.  If I go carrier, Astral is the only choice.  Legion is not much better than Heron in terms of fighter power.
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Thaago

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One of the reasons I feel there is such a fighter dominance is that there is really only 2 weapons in vanilla that deal with fighter swarms: Devastators and Dual Flak. Note they are both ballistic. The energy PD is more of a anti-missile weapon family, and while Guardian PD can get reasonably good results it's very rare. IPDAI can help, but it will eat firepower and again, few AI ships have it. Missiles has no real anti-fighter capability (since swarmes are bad, and barel any ships can mount locusts).

Why not add more counters to fighters:

1. Give swarmers regen to ammo. It's utterly useless without it, because fighters regen. And for reasons unknown, talons have a special version of swarmers that does regen
2. Add a medium missile that will target fighters, maybe somthing like a longer range high alpha for rare, but powerful shots instagibbing high valuable fighters
3. An energy weapon tailored for anti-fighter role.

Phase lances. They are amazing anti fighter weapons, far more powerful in that role that dual flak, and easier to combine between multiple ships. I'd even rank them higher than devastators, which quite frankly have too long a reload time and are prone to hitting allied ships, making it easy for a ships distracted for even a moment to have the fighters fly right through them. Railguns, pulse lasers, and ion cannons are all excellent other anti fighter weapon systems. In terms of fleet defense, massed LRPD + IPDAI is effective because multiple ships can contribute to the PD web. (Tac lasers are not effective as their 'extend' speed and turret traverse are too slow for tracking.)

Swarmers are reasonably effective both against frigates and fighters - they just aren't up to the task of mass swarms. Instead they do a good job vs individual wings, and allow small ships to survive long enough to kill small carriers (two wolves with swarmers can easily beat a Condor or Drover... if given the eliminate order so they actually attack!). And while few ships can mount Locusts, they are the king of anti-fighter and completely turn a battle. A Conquest or Legion XIV with dual Locusts will nullify entire enemy fleets worth of fighters, and just having a few support Apogee's will do the same.

I do agree that the AI does not have enough anti-fighter or anti-missile in their loadouts. Simply placing Locusts in some of the now ubiquitous pirate large missiles would shut down carrier fleets pretty well, as would using IPDAI more. However the biggest problem with the AI in terms of dealing with fighters is behavioral: It simply has no idea how to handle an incoming set of wings in a good manner.
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