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Author Topic: Civilian Transports  (Read 801 times)

Terethall

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Civilian Transports
« on: April 14, 2020, 05:52:50 PM »

What even is their point? Are they just filler? Is someone out there running 5 Nebulas (Nebulae?) in their fleet and shooting their crew directly at the enemy fleet (I assume this is a Fragmentation damage weapon type)? Are you guys founding three colonies on every trip to the outer rim? If it were just a couple ships that (arguably) have other purposes, like the Valkyrie and small early-game ships like the Hermes or Mercury that are there just to fill slots and get you to the point where you can do survey missions. But the Nebula and Starliner just feel totally extraneous and like two more interesting ships that had more of a role in a fleet would have more value.

Maybe they are good in some kind of Talon spam fleet comp? But basically all ships, and especially carriers, have tons of spare crew capacity such that extra in a special logistics civilian ship isn't really ever needed. Were they more needed pre-9.1 and maybe they'll have their day in the sun again? As is, they feel like filler, but there are so many and they have lovely sprites... I just want to find a home for them in my fleet. Maybe MkII variants would give them a purpose and save on assets (as mods have already done)?
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Gezzaman

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2020, 06:03:16 PM »

I think the game should add a "transport 1000s of civilians / personnel" type missions to make these ships relevant. 

I used to love these missions coming from Escape Velocity: NOVA, these missions give a decent amount of credits / lowish risk to help start off your early game.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2020, 06:10:57 PM »

Civilian ships have always just been +X to fleet stat Y. Liners just buff the least useful capacity stat. You don't even see civilian ships in pursuit battles, except when you are being pursued, because autoresolving pursuit battles is more effective and infinitely faster than playing them out yourself.

Pro tip: don't put weapons on your civvies, not even PD. Just pile on the +speed hullmods.
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SapphireSage

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2020, 09:17:43 PM »

Personally, I like to keep one nebula around with marines to perform some light raiding if a good opportunity presents itself. When playing Nex, I'll sometimes bring a Starliner out of storage filled to the brim with Marines for an invasion or to have enough firepower to stealth raid a stronger colony since the stacking multipliers can be brutal.

Mostly though they're only good if you plan on trading moderate/large amounts of crew/marines on a regular basis, a trade that uniquely requires upkeep from you the longer you hold onto it so is only good for fast acquiring and unloading on shortage planets.

Starliners can be good for colonizing a system with many planets in a single trip and just storing/selling them afterwards since they're cruiser class and therefore don't guzzle too much fuel or supplies.
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wei270

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2020, 01:08:33 AM »

yeah pretty much only needed when you colony then it probably stay in the colony storage for the next colony
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Amoebka

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2020, 01:45:33 AM »

They become very useful when you need a lot of spare crew around. So, running mostly low-tech D-modded clunkers, salvaging a lot of ships and taking risky battles with losses.

The worst feeling in the world is salvaging a trophy Onslaught after a heated battle and having to mothball it and run back to core because you don't enough people to crew it.
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AxleMC131

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2020, 02:51:13 AM »

While I have no issues with civilian crew transports, I would very much appreciate some personnel transport missions. Getting a group of passengers from A to B would be neat. Or perhaps even transporting a squad of marines into hostile space to further a faction's war effort.
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FooF

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2020, 02:23:08 PM »

Early on, a Nebula in your fleet isn't a big deal but as fleet slots become a premium, having a ship with very little impact on the game (outside of transporting colonists) really has no upside.

Transporting or protecting civilians does seem like a no-brainer kind of mission, though. Basically, follow a special fleet with transports or add a few special transports to your own fleet that go away once you complete the mission (caveat is that they get deployed if you're ambushed).



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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2020, 02:38:42 PM »

Early on, a Nebula in your fleet isn't a big deal but as fleet slots become a premium, having a ship with very little impact on the game (outside of transporting colonists) really has no upside.

Transporting or protecting civilians does seem like a no-brainer kind of mission, though. Basically, follow a special fleet with transports or add a few special transports to your own fleet that go away once you complete the mission (caveat is that they get deployed if you're ambushed).

I don't think the 'get deployed if you're ambushed' thing really works. If your fleet is stronger, you just retreat civilian ships immediately and win the fight normally. If your fleet is weaker, you're running away and they get deployed in the retreat phase anyway (and in that case, you're probably losing ships meaning the whole mission was not worthwhile). I think you would need a whole ambush type game mode with AI designed for it to really work, and I think that idea has been suggested a couple times without really coming up with something workable (or that Alex wanted to spend the time to implement).

To me escort missions (in the campaign layer) sound super frustrating because the AI tends to wander aimlessly and get distracted (I've tried following my invasion fleets in nex before and it is infuriating). If the AI beelined to the destination, it could also be annoying if it brainlessly ran into threats like enemy fleets and environmental stuff. It could work but I think it would need its own AI, and some scripted fleets to chase/harass you as well for it to be interesting and fun.

A 'crew transport' mission would probably work fine. It would feel like normal cargo delivery mission that requires special ships, so I feel like it would need a bit of a higher payout and maybe some scripted fleets chasing you to differentiate it from normal cargo missions.
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StarScum

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2020, 09:39:43 AM »

Are civilian transports even used by Ai fleets? If not, they really should be integrated into the normal trade system in the form of immigrant convoys.

It would make population growth less arbitrary. The factors that effect it would still attract immigrants but they have to actually get to the planet to populate it. You could also add population 'pushes' that causes people to leave colonies that are in decline.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 09:41:24 AM by StarScum »
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Mondaymonkey

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2020, 09:57:33 AM »

Transports are essential in early exploration: some surveying and scavenging need more crew, than your early game light fleet able to keep. That is vote for nebulae.

Transports are vital in mid-game long-term travel, as a source for fighter pilots and dead crew replacement. Twice as useful if you prefer low-tech ships with crappy shields, who catch incoming damage with armor.

You need a lot of spare crew if want to recover a lot of ships.

Damn, Starliners are much better marine transport, than even Valkyrie.

So, I can not say they does not have a point. Only late game makes them unwanted.

Quote
Are civilian transports even used by Ai fleets?

Yes. But rare and usually small.
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Igncom1

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2020, 10:15:31 AM »

I like the civilian ships. Most space games either entirely under use them or exclude them entirely which I think is a shame, they just need more stuff to do!

I wish there was a reason to ever see them in a battle, as I have never in recent memory played a pursuit battle.

You don't really need them early game, but later on they become the only proper way to feed your fuel-less and supply-less battle craft. If anything combat ships are just a way to add +combat to your fleet!

When late game, proper late game, you essentially and in my opinion need civilian ships to be able to do anything with capital ships. Hell pirate capital ships almost need more crew then they can support! So passenger ships are essential!

Surveying missions to finish scanning gas giants often need a lot of crew, and no ship is better equipped with logistic mods then civilian ships. If it wasn't for the need of some basic defence, military ships add essentially nothing of worth to a fleet that would otherwise survay and salvage to their hearts content!
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Megas

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2020, 01:43:32 PM »

From the looks of the OP, it seems to specify liners or those civilian ships that specialize in hauling people.  Cargo and fuel transports are vital, but crew transports are much more situational.

Mudskipper is okay during the tutorial to haul the people needed to run the free clunker fleet obtained.  Starliner is okay as a budget option to haul a bunch of crew to colonize a planet during midgame.  Since marines are expensive, I tend to favor Colossus 3s (or Valkyries if I can find them) for ground support package and reduce marines I need to haul.  By the time I want thousands of marines to raid a planet, it is endgame and I can use Onslaughts and/or Legions as part personnel carriers (those ships have lots of extra crew capacity for a battleship), part battleships, and dump the Starliners.  In theory, Starliners hauling marines could be handy, but that option comes too late when I can afford to haul that many marines.
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Aereto

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Re: Civilian Transports
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2020, 02:37:24 PM »

I use dedicated civilian passenger ships from time to time for situational utility. The Starliners get the most use among them for carrying as much crew for colonization or marines for unsubtle ground operations. Especially useful when I keep some salvage ships to make the best of protracted campaigns involving critical destabilization of strategic planets.

If I want more clandestine ground ops, I would use an entire fleet of valkyries with speed and stealth builds that can insert into Sindria in between patrols.
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