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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21)

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Author Topic: My thoughts and impressions  (Read 11305 times)

Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2018, 04:34:58 PM »

@Megas: Fair point, burn 20 isn't absolutely necessary, just so long as you're faster. I indeed killed a battlestation by luring the enemy fleet blob away and circling back around, but I did so in a further-out red beacon system while preserving the one in the system closest to the core for golden egg purposes.

Go dark. You can avoid most of the fleets while dark and so long as you’re able to handle a single engagement drawing a fleet to you isn’t devastating because, so long as you’re stopped when combat happens you will be stopped when the combat burst goes out... which will he muted by “go dark” and additionally by being stationary inside a debris field

I've tried going dark before in REDACTED systems, but am generally impatient with it since it's so slow. I'll play around with it a bit more. Careful use of going dark to lure one fleet at a time is all but mandatory when two bounties end up orbiting the same planet, which has happened to me twice, so I have had a bit of practice with it.
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Thaago

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #61 on: November 03, 2018, 11:08:33 PM »

I disagree Megas - max skill onslaught is far, FAR more deadly than a horde of small ships. You just need enough of a fleet backing you up that you don't get surrounded, which really does not take very many ships. I have yet to face anything in vanilla that a skilled Onslaught + 2 Dominators can't beat, including 3 or 4 max sized Remnant fleets put together.

I'd say the Onslaught is the best player battleship. Paragon is tougher, but the ability to burn drive means the Onslaught can wreck its way through an enemy formation and crush face while the Paragon just sits there.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #62 on: November 04, 2018, 12:15:24 AM »

@Goumindong: Thanks for the advice. I found the perfect spot to pop a squat and lure in REDACTED fleets while running dark. There's always one patrol being respawned to loop its way around the star, and I can just manage to get in its sensor range and nab it without any other fleets spotting me. Once destroyed, a new one will appear and run the same route practically before I'm done salvaging the last.

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@Thaago: Yeah, the burn drive helps immensely with bringing the Onslaught into battle immediately. The only annoying thing is trying to maneuver around the rest of your own fleet, who pay absolutely no mind to clearing a path for you unless you're about to run into them.

That said, I finally got a Paragon, and am VERY EXCITED to throw all of my money in the toilet removing its d-mods and take it out for a spin. Sadly, this was also the first time I've encountered enemy fleets having too many ships to deploy, as others have mentioned in various threads. The enemy held the Paragon and a couple of Medusas in reserve, so I was able to obliterate the rest of the fleet effortlessly, and then do the same to the Paragon.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 12:18:33 AM by Blaine »
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Megas

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #63 on: November 04, 2018, 05:07:11 AM »

@ Thaago: Onslaught needs backup to do well.  If player tries to solo a fleet with Onslaught like in the 0.7 days, it will get surrounded, and it neither has the weapons or defenses to deal with ships that get behind it.  Without burn drive, it is more sluggish than Paragon.

Paragon (with max skills) does not need backup to survive until the end of its CR timer.  It cannot solo as much as a capital could in 0.7 (despite no ATC back then), but it can still fight solo (although it probably needs wall cheese to do so).  Same thing with Astral.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #64 on: November 04, 2018, 06:35:30 AM »

Even without max skills, in my campaign the Paragon is essentially Moses parting the Red Sea during most fleet battles. Of course, it's almost never absolutely, totally solo. I find it fairly balanced actually, since it has the overall strongest offense and defense and the longest non-fighter weapon range, but only the Atlas is slower overall.

The Conquest feels the weakest to me so far, although its overall mobility is similar to the Odyssey's, which is probably why. The Odyssey is the last vanilla capital ship I don't have and haven't tried (none recoverable in 5-6 battles I've fought that included one), so I don't know how it plays.

I ended up not modding in magic fuel-for-credits, and that turned out fine after dumping a capital and changing my habits. I now have over 15,000 fuel stocked up.

If you're wondering why I'm continuing this campaign way past its expiration date, it helps me continue to learn the game mechanics and familiarize myself with the various ships. My next playthrough will likely be with Nexerelin, DynaSector, and some of those cool ship mods, but diving into those before knowing how the actual game works seemed like a bad idea.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 06:42:27 AM by Blaine »
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TaLaR

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #65 on: November 04, 2018, 07:37:37 AM »

I find it fairly balanced actually, since it has the overall strongest offense and defense and the longest non-fighter weapon range, but only the Atlas is slower overall.

Paragon can kite an Onslaught due higher base speed though. Using shield-less Burn Drive vs 4x TL is suicide and Onslaught has no other way to catch up.
Onslaught doesn't have a good way to disengage once the fight starts either (can't turn away and Burn Drive).

Well, not like AI will ever pull this off against the player. It's just not very good at range management, even in cases where it has clear-cut advantage in combined speed + range
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #66 on: November 04, 2018, 07:40:51 AM »

Yeah, I discovered exactly that while testing Onslaught fits in the simulator against the Paragon. I'm thinking more generally, though, rather than capital vs. capital.

The Paragon's more than a match for the Onslaught in a joust, as is the Doom, which can simply casually fly behind it and give it a torpedo suppository.
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TaLaR

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #67 on: November 04, 2018, 08:06:07 AM »

The Paragon's more than a match for the Onslaught in a joust, as is the Doom, which can simply casually fly behind it and give it a torpedo suppository.

This might be counter-able by Onslaught starting Burn drive as Doom is about to get into position to fire Reapers.

Of course, I couldn't properly test it vs AI in sim, because AI Doom tried to facetank my Onslaught (obviously, how else are you supposed to fight such an opponent :D...).

Trying it vs Reaper Afflictor proved that idea does have some merit - first salvo burned out and bumped off armor by the time Burn Drive ended (margin for error seems really thin). But Afflictor is fast enough to follow so 2nd salvo with Burn Drive on cooldown easily hit.
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Megas

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #68 on: November 04, 2018, 08:23:44 AM »

Well configured Conquest is comparable to Onslaught.  It needs either Hardened Shields or max capacitors for its shields to have enough durability.

The one capital that is really weak in 0.8 in Odyssey.  It cannot slug it out against other capitals, even other battlecruisers.  Odyssey's only way to stay competitive is to constantly backpedal and use Longbows and triple lances.  Odyssey will change significantly in 0.9.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #69 on: November 04, 2018, 08:30:54 PM »

The one capital that is really weak in 0.8 in Odyssey.  It cannot slug it out against other capitals, even other battlecruisers.  Odyssey's only way to stay competitive is to constantly backpedal and use Longbows and triple lances. Odyssey will change significantly in 0.9.

There's something to be said though for a capital ship than can reach speed >100 with Unstable Injectors and pilot skills. I expect it'd be pretty good at catching and killing cruisers and destroyers, perhaps more so than slower capitals, but obviously you'd need to avoid duking it out with heavier capitals without backup.

The AI constantly backpedals its own Odysseys, I've noticed, so even it is aware of the ship's fragility.

Speaking of supposedly underpowered ships, I've had a lot of luck with the Gryphon. In the simulator, this configuration can kill any other cruiser or below quite readily, usually without taking a scratch (Dominator is the most difficult):

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Yeah, it falters a bit against heavy armor, but to compensate, it's especially effective against carrier cruisers (Mora is rough for obvious reasons, but fully doable) and also functions as a floating anti-fighter platform. I removed the side missile launchers because I found that more range on the shield-stripping weapons and a bit more flux capacity did a lot more for its viability and survivability than some additional firepower. Part of the reason I did this was that my only Missiles 3 pilot is aggressive (and indeed, I've watched her rush right up on capitals), and this cruiser rewards being aggressive.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 08:46:22 PM by Blaine »
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Goumindong

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #70 on: November 04, 2018, 08:48:40 PM »

Even without max skills, in my campaign the Paragon is essentially Moses parting the Red Sea during most fleet battles. Of course, it's almost never absolutely, totally solo. I find it fairly balanced actually, since it has the overall strongest offense and defense and the longest non-fighter weapon range, but only the Atlas is slower overall.

The Conquest feels the weakest to me so far, although its overall mobility is similar to the Odyssey's, which is probably why. The Odyssey is the last vanilla capital ship I don't have and haven't tried (none recoverable in 5-6 battles I've fought that included one), so I don't know how it plays.

I ended up not modding in magic fuel-for-credits, and that turned out fine after dumping a capital and changing my habits. I now have over 15,000 fuel stocked up.

If you're wondering why I'm continuing this campaign way past its expiration date, it helps me continue to learn the game mechanics and familiarize myself with the various ships. My next playthrough will likely be with Nexerelin, DynaSector, and some of those cool ship mods, but diving into those before knowing how the actual game works seemed like a bad idea.

Paragon is top dog. With top equipment (2x TL on the turrets, 2x HIL in the front, 2 graviton in the front turret, tactical lasers in the rest of the small slots) it will slaughter everything before it gets close enough to fire.

Conquest is next. It can fit each side to do specific jobs and it’s they strongest missile boat in the game.

Then the Odyssey. It’s similar to the conquest except that it’s much faster and can put localized power where it’s needed. An HIL/Tac Laser set is super strong too. It has a hardish time soloing an onslaught but will beat it in a fleet situation easier because it can kill chaff faster.

Then the Onslaught.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #71 on: November 04, 2018, 09:11:31 PM »

Paragon is top dog. With top equipment (2x TL on the turrets, 2x HIL in the front, 2 graviton in the front turret, tactical lasers in the rest of the small slots) it will slaughter everything before it gets close enough to fire.

Sadly, I have yet to see a single Tachyon Lance in my game, which no doubt means it's locked behind a Tri-Tachyon commission (or blowing up their ships, or perhaps pirate/black market purchases). Instead, I use 4x HILs, 2x Ion Beams, and 2x Hypervelocity Drivers (mainly for 200% shield damage, and because my testing showed 4x Ion Beam are too weak). All six large and medium turrets plus the two hardpoints can face front, although I often leave the turrets on auto unless I specifically need to kill something big, which isn't always.

Conquest is next. It can fit each side to do specific jobs and it’s they strongest missile boat in the game.

I feel like the Astral actually holds that title. It has two large missile hardpoints as well, while lacking the two medium missile hardpoints—but as we all know, fighters are like missiles, except better in every way.

Then the Odyssey. It’s similar to the conquest except that it’s much faster and can put localized power where it’s needed. An HIL/Tac Laser set is super strong too. It has a hardish time soloing an onslaught but will beat it in a fleet situation easier because it can kill chaff faster.

Yep, can't wait to get my hands on one... when I eventually find one that's salvageable.

Then the Onslaught.

You forgot to take "fun" into account. That's a very important stat!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 09:13:05 PM by Blaine »
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Goumindong

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #72 on: November 04, 2018, 10:12:53 PM »

The astral doesn’t have enough OP to be a proper missile boat. It can fit squalls and use them to seige but it has to kill with fighters and it’s very susceptible to counter pressure. Any time you have an enemy with a critical mass of anti-strike the astral starts to falter.

The conquest is not so limited, though it does require Helmsmanship 3.

A properly fit and flown conquest, for instance, will never lose to an astral. It will turn the anti-fighter side towards the astral and nothing will get through until the conquest is close enough to break its shields. (Nor does a specialized odyssey but the paragon and conquest are much better at it).

If you cannot find TL for your paragon it might suggest HIL in the turrets and Autopulse in the front.(normally I go TL in turret but the range difference is the advantage here and you want the AP to go as far as possible) 2 HIL are enough to shred the armor of everything you’re going to shoot at. But you don’t win the cap war with them. Going too hard into HIL gives problems against anything that has >1 shield damage ratio. This is also why you want graviton over ion. Ion is good... but mainly against things that have high shield damage or down shields... which you don’t care about because anything that has shields down is eating HIL in the face and so is not long for the world anyway. But graviton are hella efficient against shields. They get you to the point where your HIl tip through things. You don’t quite need to hit “efficient” damage vs shields because the raised shield cost gives you an advantage but ions are too expensive for too little. This is also why you stack tac lasers. (Additionally stacked tac lasers will kill bombers before they can launch.).
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #73 on: November 04, 2018, 10:26:17 PM »

The Astral is very defensively weak, yeah. I can beat some AI capitals with it 1 vs. 1 in the simulator, but 1 vs. 1 isn't a proper field test, since capitals never truly go 1 vs. 1 in the field. I don't think I'd ever use the Astral as my command vessel; I leave it to my most aggressive officer and hope the Squalls don't go sailing uselessly past dodging frigates (which I've seen one time too many) if I neglect to give it specific attack orders. 

This is also why you stack tac lasers. (Additionally stacked tac lasers will kill bombers before they can launch.).

Yes, I stack tac lasers on a number of my ships' loadouts and pop on the PD AI hull mod, including on the Paragon. Maybe the PD AI isn't truly necessary, but it seems to work well.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #74 on: November 04, 2018, 10:33:18 PM »

I'm not sure if you're aware but beams actually deal only soft flux to enemies, so they will be able to dissipate all flux you deal without dropping shields. Other weapons like kinetics/blasters deal hard flux which will not dissipate unless the enemy drops shields or vents. Your only hard flux is the HVD, which probably works well enough because the paragon is so strong, but as Goumindong said, 4x HIL is mad overkill, you really don't want to be shooting HIL into shields, it's flux inefficient and only dealing soft flux and 2x HIL is more than enough anti armor damage for anything in the game. 2x auto pulse would go a long way if you have no tach lance.

The reason tach lance is so good is that it is a big burst of damage so the soft flux doesn't matter since the burst will still overload or force enemies to drop shields. I usually use 4x tach lance paragon, which is enough burst damage to one shot most destroyers and all frigates, it's super strong. I actually consider paragon better at killing frigates than any other capital because it has insane (2000) range and can one shot frigates, so you just have to wait for them to wander into range for a free kill. It's much easier and less risky than any other method of killing frigates besides fighters.

Also with regards to the conquest, pretty much any ship properly flown by the player and in the same class as the enemy will beat the AI. For instance, it is possible for the player to consistently kill a paragon with any other capital in a 1v1 but that doesn't mean the Paragon is not the best capital. A properly outfitted and player piloted Astral will also always kill an AI conquest. Astral doesn't even really care about the missile slots, it's all about the fighters. I know some people even leave the missile slots empty to have more OP for strong fighters and supporting hull mods. You should definitely not put your most aggressive officer in a carrier, you want carriers to hide way in the back, since they massively outrange everything with their fighters. Aggressiveness corresponds to positioning more than 'firing weapons' a cautions officer in a carrier will still attack things, he will just hang back which is much safer. There is no reason for a carrier to intentionally go into enemy weapon range.
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