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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: A Tale of Two Tech Levels (05/28/21)

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Author Topic: My thoughts and impressions  (Read 12272 times)

Megas

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #90 on: November 06, 2018, 04:00:58 AM »

Storm Needler is about as flux intensive as Mjolnir, but with less range, less versatile damage type, and costs more OP than all other ballistics.  The only ship that might have the flux stats to use it for a significant period of time, Conquest, is a bit too fragile to give up shot range when trying to slug it out against battleships.  I prefer Mark IX over Storm Needler for range and flux efficiency, despite terrible accuracy.  At least that can be fired continuously for a while.

Mjolnir is still the ubergun from before, but the only unskilled ship that can fire it for any length of time is Conquest.  Unskilled low-tech ships max out flux too quickly.  Even HAG is a bit flux intensive for low-tech.  Low-tech needs to min-max dissipation and shield efficiency skills before it can use Mjolnir somewhat effectively.  For those builds, Mjolnir ships are very strong.  Legion with dual Mjolnir is noticeably more powerful that a low-skilled one with commonly found weapons.

For Conquest, I like one side to have two Mjolnirs and two dual flak (and medium energy empty) against everything that is not Paragon.  Paragon requires dual Gauss and Maulers on the other side for Conquest to avoid getting slaughtered by it.

Mobility and range provide a similar benefit, I do not need to reposition if I can shoot the enemy from where I am. My experience is that most ships the onslaught wants to burn drive towards, the paragon can already shoot from the same position, or by moving for a similar amount of time, and with less risk. This is also somewhat dependent on the AI being stupid and wandering into range. If the AI was more careful to stay out of range, mobility would be much more important.
Enemies will hover beyond range of a solo Paragon, and that is when wall cheese and possibly fighters from Converted Hangar come in to cheese the AI.  In fleet battles, ships will get distracted and blunder into Paragon's shot range.  If not, well... there is always fighter spam from the rest of your fleet to give those cowards a miserable death.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #91 on: November 06, 2018, 04:15:47 AM »

Yeah, I think of (and use) the Paragon more as a slow-moving area denial and anti-fighter emitter than as a killing machine, although it does killing too, when it can. With the enemy spread out into a big, wide arc and backpedaling slowly, the rest of my fleet and fighters move in and mop them up without issues because they're almost all filled with max-level officers. A ship with a max-level officer is like having 1.5 ships in one, a truly massive advantage.

Although the AI for some reason is nowhere near as proficient at using the Paragon even with a bounty pilot with many more combat skills than my commander, they are still threatening enough that it's one of the very few times I'll just drag a selection box around my entire fleet (when the time seems right) and right-click to eliminate.

By the way, I did pop APLs onto my Paragon and yeah, they are pretty ideal when it does come time for a focused kill shot, despite the long recharge time. You just have to be deliberate in choosing when and how to use them.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 04:18:51 AM by Blaine »
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Megas

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #92 on: November 06, 2018, 04:19:39 AM »

Paragon (piloted by player) is a killing machine too, especially against bigger ships that are too sluggish to escape in time.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #93 on: November 06, 2018, 08:23:23 AM »

Mobility and range provide a similar benefit, I do not need to reposition if I can shoot the enemy from where I am. My experience is that most ships the onslaught wants to burn drive towards, the paragon can already shoot from the same position, or by moving for a similar amount of time, and with less risk. This is also somewhat dependent on the AI being stupid and wandering into range. If the AI was more careful to stay out of range, mobility would be much more important.
Enemies will hover beyond range of a solo Paragon, and that is when wall cheese and possibly fighters from Converted Hangar come in to cheese the AI.  In fleet battles, ships will get distracted and blunder into Paragon's shot range.  If not, well... there is always fighter spam from the rest of your fleet to give those cowards a miserable death.

Yeah the value of mobility goes up a lot when you are solo, but in a fleet, range can serve the same purpose since enemies are not necessarily trying to stay out of range.
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Thaago

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #94 on: November 06, 2018, 10:35:21 PM »

The Storm Needler is a fantastic gun for the front center large mount of an Onslaught - I haven't found any other ship that I think its truly good on. The range is short, but as intrinsic_parity pointed out, range and mobility are linked and the Onslaught has a rather nice "press F to get in range" ability. And the payoff for the short range is very large: 750 Kinetic DPS on a single mount for 650 FPS with high accuracy just crushes shielded ships. The per shot damage of 75 isn't huge, but is sufficient (with skills) to rapidly cut through light armor and hulls. It is rare for any frigate or destroyer that is caught in the arc to survive for more than a few seconds.

The Storm Needler, Burn Drive, and the Onslaughts toughness give it an inverted range profile compared to many ships. Burn drive gets the Onslaught into close range on all but the fastest ships without having to "flux duel" their way in. It is effective solo but the ship might take a few hard shots; if you have even a single ally that has caught the enemy's attention (and guns) you can burn drive in without any fear. Once in close range the other ship's shields will be rapidly destroyed by the Storm Needler - as it tries to flee it stays in the range of armor and hull killer guns even once outside the kinetic barrage (can't take TPC's on shields when your flux pool is maxed).

You do need to build with it in mind and watch the flux output of the ship - I often play around extensively with my Onslaught weapon groups in order to manage firepower (generally TPC's in one group as siege/hull killer weapons, storm needler and maybe a few forwards in another, and then side guns in another, and finally Flaks + 2 LAGs). That said, the Storm Needler actually has very good flux "handling". It is a smooth flux buildup with no sudden burst or dump - it won't surprise you into an overload like lances will.

Re: Range vs Speed burst
What a speed burst gives you that range doesn't is the ability to a) ambush ships and b) rapidly re-position to take advantage of an opportunity. Basically any time your allied ships have the attention of an enemy force and you aren't about to get a kill on your current enemies, with a speed burst you can turn away from your current fight, blast in, and absolutely murder the enemy ships that already have high flux. With a Paragon you just can't do that - yes you have a supremely powerful mobile battle station, but you cannot dynamically react to opportunities in combat.

This is somewhat an argument for the Conquest as well as the Onslaught, but I think the Onslaught does it better because of its toughness. A Conquest needs to always be worrying about strike fighters and flanking destroyers because of its poor defense, so it can't always take advantage of rough situations. It needs to pick only the best opportunities. Onslaughts you can just burn straight into an enemy formation of cruisers and physically ram them apart, and usually the ships just won't have the firepower to seriously damage the Onslaught before they are fluxed out and destroyed.
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