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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] Legacy of Arkgneisis 1.7.0 [2/27/20]  (Read 136661 times)

Gwyvern

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Re: [0.9.1a] Legacy of Arkgneisis 1.7.0 [2/27/20]
« Reply #270 on: February 27, 2020, 05:34:56 PM »

Yeah, that speed is absolutely cool. I wish a better AI in a future starsector update. I Can handle the alastair reasonably well when I'm the one piloting, even the unmoded (by myself) alastair. I see she struggling when the AI is in command. And for that I really could use some help.

I almost never user full assault, and even with some defend commands I see them fluxed out in the front lines, tanking shots instead of tactical retreating, using steady officers. I'm I doing something wrong? Maybe the 1200DP limit I use is too much for the AI to handle :C

I do all my testing exclusively with the AI, as player skill is a factor that you cant really account for when balancing.

That said, 1200 battle size is *** huge I cant really say how that affects your experience but it certainly puts a lot more *** onto the field for any given AI to worry about.
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crash7ds

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Re: [0.9.1a] Legacy of Arkgneisis 1.7.0 [2/27/20]
« Reply #271 on: March 01, 2020, 07:13:12 PM »

Just a heads-up, I tried to alter a start game (using Nexerelin, btw) to begin with a fleet of Colonial Initiative ships just for giggles and noticed that the Taath in particular seems to be bugged. When it's added to the player.json as one of the ships to start with, that same start option simply disappears as an option. Not sure why, but it does seem to show up okay in the variant editor, so I'm honestly stumped as to why campaigns seem to not like them. The only thing I haven't done yet at this point is reinstall my mod folder. All the other hidden ships work fine in this regard, just the Taath presents an issue. Are they just not finished or something?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 07:34:35 PM by crash7ds »
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Gwyvern

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Re: [0.9.1a] Legacy of Arkgneisis 1.7.0 [2/27/20]
« Reply #272 on: March 02, 2020, 12:51:32 AM »

There's nothing fancy under the hood in regards to the Taath, Likely your specific implementation of the change is broken, unless ships that are hidden from the codex cant be added into Nex starts.
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crash7ds

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Re: [0.9.1a] Legacy of Arkgneisis 1.7.0 [2/27/20]
« Reply #273 on: March 02, 2020, 07:38:10 AM »

That's what's strange; the other two hidden ships work just fine in this regard, even the Champion can be a starting ship. I may very well reinstall the mod and see if that helps, but it's no biggy either way. I was more concerned that the issue was with the mod itself and not something I had done, but it likely is something I had changed that is invalidating it. I've found that making personalized edits to file information in games like this is notoriously difficult to do without making a mistake somewhere and only one is needed to break things.

Edit: So, I did reinstall LoA using the current version, hoping to fix this bizarre issue and when that didn't help, I decided to poke around the variant files to see if something looked out of place. I may have just accidentally discovered the problem: in "loalt_taath_r_assault", which is the variant file, the variantId is listed as "loalt_taath_assault_r". When I corrected the variantId line, the start choice reappeared as expected. So the issue is that the variantId is misidentified with the "r" in the wrong spot. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 09:29:54 PM by crash7ds »
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Gwyvern

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Re: [0.9.1a] Legacy of Arkgneisis 1.7.0 [2/27/20]
« Reply #274 on: March 04, 2020, 04:55:48 PM »

Fixed for the next release...whenever that is...

No rush to push it, since it doesn't seem to affect the campaign side of things, since I've had reports of people finding the Taath normally.
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HELMUT

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Re: [0.9.1a] Legacy of Arkgneisis 1.7.0 [2/27/20]
« Reply #275 on: March 20, 2020, 09:21:46 AM »

I was curious what those cool blue ships could do, so i went for an ARS campaign and see for myself. My first attempt went pretty bad, the large fleet size start with Nexerelin put me in charge of a King cruiser and a few escort frigates. The king isn't a very good starter ship, and from my experience with this campaign, not a very good ship at all. I didn't knew what to expect from ARS ships, but i got unceremoniously trounced right off the bat.

Let's start again, from the beginning this time.

Nexerelin start with a single ship, a Reid this time. Now things went muuuuch better. The Reid is a fast skirmisher very similar to the Lasher. Its system "Electromagnetic Overload" give a speed boost as well as spawning some nearby EMP electric arcs, targeting missiles, fighters and other ships. A very powerful system coupled with a strong frigate make the Reid an ideal starter for this campaign.

And just like the Lasher, Safety Override turn it into a little devil of death and destruction. It doesn't quite have the damage potential of the Lasher, but EO (Electromagnetic Overload) adds much needed EMP and mobility to compensate for that. For a very long while, i kept the Reid as my flagship, it was perfect to hunt down other frigates and even some destroyers. One thing i liked to do with the Reid : ramming opponents. Not much for damage, but to isolate them from the rest of the fleet. Jump in, machines guns blazing to force the target to lower its shield, Electro Overload disabling its engine, it can then be pushed away from its allies to be safely finished.

It's strong, very strong, but at the same time, with nearly the same cost a Tempest, i expect something pretty damn good. For a good part of early game, my fleet was mainly build around a pack of Reid, roaming around the battlefield, hunting for anything left alone.

To that pack of predator was added a few Welsh class frigates. Their medium hybrid and built-in siege cannons made them a good choice for long-range fire support. It's not like they could do anything else, the Walsh (and pretty much any other ARS ship for that matter) is made of paper. Weak hull, weak armor, weak shield, weak flux stats, an ARS ship caught with its pants down is a dead ARS ship. And at 130 speed, it isn't even that fast either. The Walsh's system Omni Loader drastically increase its firepower, but also build hard-flux over time, and with its tiny flux capacity... Yeah, the Walsh is as safe to fly as a Talon, and my Walshes died in drove despite their long range loadouts.

My early game fleet also included a few Foxes frigates. Tiny, cheap, harmless, fragile (more so than a Kite!), the Fox was not very... Useful? With EO, it could increase its speed sufficiently to run away from nearly anything, but that's all. A slight frown of an enemy ship could instantly destroy it, and its reduced weapon package limited its use. For a wingman, the kite is cheaper and more useful thanks to its pair of missile mounts. Still, i managed to somewhat find a use for the Fox a bit later on in my campaign. I'm also playing the  Secrets of the Frontier mod that add new combat objectives to capture during battle (it's also a pretty good mod, you should try it), this is where the Fox can shine. At only 3 DP, the Fox is an ideal candidate to quickly capture those new useful strategic points, i would then order then to sit on the edges of the map, ready to re-capture the objective if needed.

With my Reid pack doing a good job for early bounty hunting, i earned enough money to afford a few destroyers. My first one was a Thatcher, it didn't last long. The Thatcher is a light-destroyer, cheap, exceedingly fragile. On its own, even frigates will rip it apart, so don't even think about sending it against a Hammerhead. In theory, its Omni Loader give it decent firepower, in practice, it will overload itself in no time because of its inadequate flux stats. Okay, alright, i need something else.

My next destroyer addition was the Victoria. More expensive to field, but better in nearly every aspects compared to the Thatcher. Sadly, it share the same fragility common to most ARS ship, that made the Victoria a recurring causality during engagements. At least, it doesn't choke on its own flux so i got that going for me. The Victoria feels like an upsized Walsh, and as such feels more at home being a long range fire-support. Its weapon package is not very impressive, but its Structural Analyzer, identical to the Afflictor Entropy Amplifier, allow the rest of the fleet to deal 50% more damage, cementing further its status of support ship. Still, the Structural Analyser require the Victoria to get dangerously close to its target, and an ARS ship that gets into weapon range of the enemy rarely live long enough to tell the tale.

This is when i decided to get myself a bunch of Sherman frigates to keep my destroyers in one piece. Long story short, the Sherman is a blue Centurion and perform identically. It tanks hits with Damper Field and annoy the enemy by refusing to die. There's not much more to say about it, its doing its job.

At this point, i was entering mid-game and the pirates i was encountering started to field big guys. My Reids were still doing the heavy lifting, but their small mounts started to struggle against armoured destroyers and cruisers. Proper amount of dakka was required, and the Burke class destroyer eyed me with its large turret mount. I expected an ARS Sunder, i got a Mudskipper MK.III.

Spoiler
[close]

Alright, i'm exaggerating a bit, but only a little bit. Granted, the Burke is a cheaper weapon platform than the Sunder, and its built-in Gravimetric Targeting Mast increase range by 40% compared to 20% for destroyers with ITU, and it got actually pretty good armor for an ARS ship. But it is slow, and its pitiful flux stats ensure it will overload at the slightest nudge on its shield. My Shermans were trying really hard to protect it, but slow as it is, it couldn't keep up with the rest of my fleet. ARS being a kitting faction, not being able to keep up with the rest of the pack is a death sentence. Still, i sorta managed to make the Burke work, armed with a Gauss cannon and a Converted Hangar, the Burke could sit sufficiently far from the frontline and do its work. Still, many Burkes were harmed in the making of this campaign.

One thing i did to help increase the survival rate of my Burke and the rest of the fleet was the addition of an Edith AWACS frigate. The sole purpose of the Edith is to boost the range of the fleet with its AWACS system, any ships in range can now shoot farther, and an ARS ship with a range advantage is one that survive. My Edith was outfitted with reinforced bulkhead, heavy armor, blastdoors... Anything to make it survive the engagement. Weapons? Nah, here's your AWACS thing, that's the only gun i'll allow you to have, and stay away from the frontline. There's no reason not to have at least one Edith, a fleet without one of those will fight on the same terms as the enemy, and the ARS can't do that. The built-in ECM Package and Nav Relay? Cool bonus too. It is a very expensive frigate to field though, 10 DP, as much as a Hammerhead, but the power multiplier is vastly greater than just one more destroyer in my opinion. I don't know by how much the AWACS does boost range though, is it a flat range bonus? Or a percentage?

One thing i was lacking so far was a proper carrier. The illusive Caswell was still out of stock, so i went for a Hawke drone carrier, a cruiser. I wasn't overly impressed by the Hawke, it did lack the firepower i desperately needed and its built-in drones weren't all that impressive either, although i haven't tested it for very long, so perhaps i missed something. Still, for 15 DP, i can't complain much, the Hawke is dirt cheap, surprisingly mobile, and its stats, while still inferiors to vanilla ships had to offer, weren't that inferiors. I mean, that thing, as unremarkable as it is, somehow managed to survive the entire campaign without exploding and i'm not sure why. Maybe it got an experimental stealth field that hide from both its enemies and its commander? Go figure. Still, the quest for more dakka continue.

Not much later, i finally got my hands on a Caswell carrier. I already had an idea of what it could do, and i was pretty happy to find one. The Caswell by itself is a fairly unremarkable destroyer sized carrier. What makes it interesting? Its mine launcher. Just like the Doom can spawn mines, the Caswell can deploy Flak mines on the battlefield. The flak mines aren't as powerful, but their large radius still make them a threat to anything with stripped armour. With my Reid, i loved to ram my enemy and push them into mines. A very good support addition to my fleet, one that i carefully guarded with Shermans as it appeared to be quite a rare ship in this campaign. I had hoped to find some much needed bombers to got with it, alas, there's no such a thing in the ARS roster. The Earl strike fighter somewhat fits the bill, but it wasn't even close to what i needed to breach heavy armour.

At this point i pushed my luck a bit too far, and committed the risky endeavour of engaging a pirate bounty with a capital ship. The enemy flagship was a Renegade battlecruiser from SWP. Not that much of a threat by itself, but given my cruel lack of firepower, engaging that thing was a reckless move. After a long and gruesome battle, i managed to bring the beast down and retreat the rest of my CR starved fleet. Assassinating the enemy's flagship then retreating became a recurring thing in my mid-game campaign, since i had no way of taking on several heavily armoured vessels. In the case of the Renegade, i was lucky to have a few Hyperwave Transmitter objectives on the battlefield thanks to Secrets of the Frontier. Hyperwave Transmitter, when captured, can call in allied derelicts or remnant ships to help. A derelict craft isn't much, but when everything is suffering from low CR malfunctions, a triple chaingun Berseker suddenly become much more terrifying. That battlecruiser, EMP'd by my Reids, didn't saw it coming.

After this long and exhausting battle, i Hyperwarp jumped straight into an Hegemony invasion fleet. Oops.

Alright, back to (almost) scratch.

Fortunately for me, the RNG blessed me with plenty good ships. One of the those is the Osmond. An expensive, but powerful heavy destroyer, one with a large turret, i needed that. The Osmond is not only a pretty decent frontliner, it's also a formidable support ship. What really distinguish the Osmond is that it's also a minelayer, it can deploy EMP mines to spread chaos. Because the RNG was very generous this time around, i got several Osmonds available, meaning a lot of mines, meaning a lot of chaos.

Spoiler

No engine is safe.
[close]

Sadly, it also mean a lot of friendly fire, especially for my Reids that were operating behind the enemy. Still, with the Osmond, my campaign strategy for ARS started to form. I'm going to make a deathball. A compact formation of destroyers shielding my carriers and my Edith, shelling the enemy from afar, and punishing any aggression with a barrage of mines. In some aspect, ARS is very similar to old school Interstellar Imperium, but without the armour. Stay in formation, punish anything that comes too close, and slowly grind the enemy to pulp. I was also playing with the commissioned crew mod. It does adds bonus depending on the faction the player is affiliated to, in this case, Society Riggers for ARS ships, which reduce the amount of low CR malfunction, and repair them faster. Given the endurance, defensive playstyle i'm planning to do, CR is going to be an issue, and this will thankfully reduce the effect.

With those new ships, i also got myself a King cruiser. I saw the large turret and thought "yeah, that's gonna be useful". Unfortunately for me, it also got Omni Loader, which is very good to increase the firepower, but very bad for survival. Every time i looked at it in battle, the King was perpetually overflowing with flux, unable to do anything. I though that maybe the weapons i gave it were too flux intensive for it? Nope, Hellbore, autocannons, point defenses... And just like every ships cursed with Omni Loader, it died, a lot. Perhaps with further testing i could have made it work, but at this point i didn't bothered, and did set my sights on something new and shinier.

No long after forming my new fleet, i had the chance to get myself a Macnamara heavy cruiser. My quest for dakka is finally being rewarded! Take a Reid, give it enough sun, water it regularly, and one day, it will grow into a Macnamara, the highlight of the ARS fleet. Its little cousin, the Reid, eat frigates for breakfast. The Mac prefer instead a cruiser and destroyer based diet, and sometimes an occasional capital ship with some proper flanking manoeuvres. Its large array of medium turrets allows it many potential builds, but really, the Macnamara shines when its build as a Skirmisher just like the Reid. Chainguns and Safety Override turns it into a fast brute that can rampage through the enemy's rear line, or frontline, or anywhere really. Well, maybe not in front of that Onslaught then. Also, be careful of those Salamanders, as the Mac's engines are extremely vulnerable to flameout. Every times i got caught, it was because of a sudden flameout.

I haven't tested the Lyon a lot. Its unimpressive weapon package and Magnetized Plating (damper field) didn't quite fit in my new combat doctrine. Still, i got one of those out of curiosity. It is certainly pretty difficult to take down, but at this point, if the enemy was on me, it meant i was doing something very wrong. Perhaps i'm judging wrongly the Lyon, and probably should see it primarily as a carrier than can somewhat fight rather than a proper combat cruiser. Unfortunately, it eventually died, and i didn't bothered to replace it and test it further.

Finally, as i was now well into late game, i got my hands on the big boy, the Alastair battlecruiser. The Alastair isn't a bruiser like the Onslaught, nor an artillery powerhouse like the Conquest, neither an oversized skirmisher like the Odyssey, it's not quite like the Legion as well. Let's call it a souped up Osmond, a decent frontliner and a very good support ship. Like the Osmond, it can spawn EMP mines, disrupting the enemy's fleet. Its weapon package is also notably upgraded, and it got some fighters too. All in all, the Alastaire would become the ideal anchor for my deathball. By the way, did i mentioned i fell in love the Heavy Plasma Driver? It fits so well on the Alastair, on the Osmond too. Its armor penetration isn't all that great, but the long range, hitscan rapid ROF with pinpoint accuracy make it perfect for taking potshots at anything that lower its shield. A single Plasma driver won't do much, but a whole fleet with those? The punishment for getting in range is immediate and merciless. Perfect for a deathball.

Spoiler

Pew pew
[close]

Plasma drivers won't go through some of the heavily protected brutes i was encountering though. But for those, i had an answer too. Those two flight decks on the Alastair i didn't knew how to use? Let's put some Cobras in those, and unleash them when the enemy is helplessly paralysed by the EMP mine spam. I could get surprisingly far into the game with this tactic. Only the super long range monsters (Siegfrieds, Paragons...) were giving me trouble, the deathball does not work when the enemy can shoot farther than me!

In the end, that was a pretty fun campaign. Early game is extremely rough without a Reid, and from my experience, it's better to stick with a bunch of fast frigates (Only Reids, really) for early game with the ARS. Unlike vanilla or other mod factions, upgrading to destroyers as quickly as possible is a mistake here, as the bigger ships only begin to show their qualities when part of a large fleet. It's pretty contre-intuitive, and further add to the difficulty of playing the faction. Yeah, it's a difficult faction to play with, a bit like ORA or SCY, where early game is extremely unforgiving. Perhaps the thread's OP should have written in big red letters "Glass cannons, handle with care".

There's just a few outliers like the Thatcher and Burke that feels off, i couldn't make them work properly. Also Omni Loader that felt like a death trap in battle. Haven't looked in depth into the fighters. The Jack drones were what i used the most, since they were plentiful and i liked their ability to spam rockets. The Duke gunboats too were pretty good as long range fire support. Others like the Monodrone however, could have been deprived of weapons and they would still be as useful as they currently are. I guess they do cost 0 OPs to mount though.

Oh also, i "accidentally" scrapped the Champion. I feel i shouldn't have done that.
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Gwyvern

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Re: [0.9.1a] Legacy of Arkgneisis 1.7.0 [2/27/20]
« Reply #276 on: March 20, 2020, 05:52:35 PM »

Oh hey HELMUT I thought you were dead :V
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