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Author Topic: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?  (Read 5731 times)

Rune Wolf

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What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« on: November 15, 2019, 10:04:23 PM »

Yes, new player. Yes, first game. But, moving away from "how do I make the ship go?" questions and on to more "meaty" questions. (Yes, I have checked older posts, and the wiki, but if this particular fleet build strategy was discussed, it's not easy to find).

Normal start with Wayfarer and Shepherd.
Decided to try and "just make an honest living" first go-around.

Year 1
With one of each combat frigate (the Wayfarer, Hound, Centurion), Shepherd, Nebula transport (for all the hundreds of survey crew) and a Dram tanker, going after clusters of Survey and Probe missions (and whatever I deemed worth surveying and salvaging on the return trip), I was making something like 368,187 credits each expedition.

Everything I had at this point has a reason for being there. It either A. makes money B. carries fuel or supplies I need C. goes fast (Because time is money and fuel is money and supplies is money). This was getting results, but I wasn't happy.

So little cargo space, every time I found a planet with Ruins, I had to leave most of the rich salvage behind... Same for the sheer number of derelicts, debris, probes (well, the ones that don't have defenses, if they put up a fight, this little of a fleet can't handle it.)

Run-ins with a couple terrifying pirate armadas had me panic-buy anything without "deal breaker" D-mods

Year 3
1 Heron carrier (flag)
3 Captained escorts (Shrike, Centurion, Afflictor)
4 Wolf frigates
4 Shepherd drone tenders (because A. they have salvage platforms, and B. anything slow as a Salvage Rig at combat speed 50, gets caught by pirates)
8 Combat Freighters of various types (Wayfarer, Hound, Cerberus)
5 Dram tankers

This fleet runs out of fuel, runs out of supplies, and even when it doesn't, spends all that 485,144 credits emptying out multiple planets for supplies and fuel. (When even Chicomoztoc doesn't have enough supplies for you, you might just be overdoing it. Just a bit.)

Ironically, I was making waaay more money with a handful of "rustbuckets".

The Problem: this "better" fleet is - barely - running at break-even at Survey/Salvage work. It's NOT profitable.

The Question: What should this fleet be?

What's the ideal size and ships for a Salvage/Survey fleet?
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Flix

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2019, 12:36:14 AM »

The Apogee is the best exploration and salvage expedition cruiser in my opinion as it has decent 400 cargo, surveying equipment, good sensors and can really hold its own in combat. I would have at least 2 or 3 of those combined with a fuel tanker, a bigger freighter and a heron and a few of whatever frigates / destroyers work for you (couple wolfs, couple hammerheads, etc.). You won't be fighting redacted fleets with that but will probably be able to fend off any pirate fleets exploring around.
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Sinigr

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2019, 01:47:06 AM »

"Ideal" it is some extended concept, it seems 2-3 paragons to hunt everything + 14 atlases and 14 prometheuses (or + some salvage rigs?) can be not enought for some players to collect all what they see while exploring 10-20 systems whitout turning back in the core. I recommend 1 flag conquest, + 1-3 herons, 2-4 salvage rigs, some phaeton tankers and colossus with military systems to get 8 burn... Oh, it is extended concept....

if you are looking for minimalistic fleet for easy early money gain, I think it is what you are looking for, exploration (not salvage) fleet: just one Dram tanker: https://youtu.be/_AWfbT6L444 instead of a thousand words, you can see how it warks.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 01:57:50 AM by Sinigr »
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Flix

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 07:02:55 AM »

"Ideal" it is some extended concept, it seems 2-3 paragons to hunt everything + 14 atlases and 14 prometheuses (or + some salvage rigs?) can be not enought for some players to collect all what they see while exploring 10-20 systems whitout turning back in the core. I recommend 1 flag conquest, + 1-3 herons, 2-4 salvage rigs, some phaeton tankers and colossus with military systems to get 8 burn... Oh, it is extended concept....

if you are looking for minimalistic fleet for easy early money gain, I think it is what you are looking for, exploration (not salvage) fleet: just one Dram tanker: https://youtu.be/_AWfbT6L444 instead of a thousand words, you can see how it warks.

While that is "technically" the best strategy its kind of sad to me to see this sort of exploitative thing. What's the point of being able to make infinite money while being untouchable without any skill, learning curve or any sort of investment involved. To each his own though, but I do hope it gets changed. Maybe certain mods shouldn't work on non-military ships.
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Lucky33

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2019, 07:45:46 AM »

In the Fleet menu there is a "?" sign near each ship. Open it. Look at the "Maintenance" and "Fuel/Light year" stats. This is why.

Phaeton, 2xTarsus, 2xFalcon (all five w. Surveying Equipment), Hammerhead; Salvage Rig;

In case you didnt start with the Apogee it gives you all-sector operating radius at burn 10 (w. Nav Skills), "free" survey of everything except huge hellworlds, enough crew to salvage everything or survey even huge hellwordls if deems necessary, cargospace to haul the loot and decent all-around taskforce (but it requires player's control).

You are kinda supposed to rush Defensive Systems 3 (0,43 shields) and Electronic Warfare 3 (-20% to enemy's range) after Navigation and Logistics.
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Serenitis

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2019, 10:14:57 AM »

Year 3
1 Heron carrier (flag)
3 Captained escorts (Shrike, Centurion, Afflictor)
4 Wolf frigates
4 Shepherd drone tenders (because A. they have salvage platforms, and B. anything slow as a Salvage Rig at combat speed 50, gets caught by pirates)
8 Combat Freighters of various types (Wayfarer, Hound, Cerberus)
5 Dram tankers

This fleet runs out of fuel, runs out of supplies, and even when it doesn't, spends all that 485,144 credits emptying out multiple planets for supplies and fuel. (When even Chicomoztoc doesn't have enough supplies for you, you might just be overdoing it. Just a bit.)

Doesn't seem like a bad fleet. It might be that you're still paying "full price" for the upkeep on them.
The only thing I'd suggest changing is leaving your carrier(s) inder AI control, and picking a combat flagship that suits your taste so you can more effectively pressure or run interference. Or take advantage of openings.
That's a personal choice though. Do whatever you're happiest with.

First thing to consider for getting that maintenance down is finding the spec for the Efficiency Overhaul mod, and fitting that to everything in your fleet.
This will reduce your supply upkeep and fuel usage, reduce your minimum crew requirements, and increase the rate at which ships recover combat readiness.

The next thing to do is look in your character skills. On the green Leadership row, there is a Fleet Logistics skill which reduces the supply upkeep for your entire fleet.
On the blue Technology row there is a Navigation skill which reduces the rate your fleet burns fuel.
You want both of these.
You'll need 4 skill points for Logistics. And 6 for Navigation.

The next bit requires a bit of divergence from "normal", and costs a non-trivial amount of skill points. And only works if your ships are damaged and have (D) mods.
Firstly you will need to spend 3 skill points on opening up the yellow Industry skills to maximum.
And then put another 3 skills into Safety Procedures, which cuts all the negative effects of (D) mods in half. (Also allows you to Emergency Burn with no supply/readiness cost, which is really nice.)
Then another 3 points into Field Repairs. This is the biggie, it makes every (D) mod on every ship reduce the supply upkeep cost.

If you're still struggling for fuel, it may be worth putting another 3 points into Recovery Operations to increase the amount of fuel you get from salvage by 50%.

Doing this, it is possible to accumulate so many supplies that you end up throwing them overboard due to not enough room.
The caveat to this, is that you need to lean fairly heavily into combat, and become confident enough to take on multiple fleets, sometimes back-to-back to get your supplies and fuel.
And don't forget to put bulkheads on everything or use damage control skills to make sure everything can be recovered, with more cost-saving (D) mods.

There's a neat skill tool here if you want to see what the skills do outside the game.

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Rune Wolf

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2019, 05:53:10 PM »

@ Flix Wow, did you do that playthrough just for me?
6:30 Yeah, if I'd had the kind of luck to find a battleship just laying around, we'd be having a completely different discussion. XD
16:00 WHAT did you do to make your tanker go 245 speed? If I could 'mod that kind of speed on my ships, things that are normally speed 50 (freighters, for example) would be viable!

@Lucky33
I'm past the "what does this button do?" stage. The problem IS the maintenence and fuel costs of each indvidual ship are small, but all together...

I shyed away from slow ships. I'd LOVE a Phaeton tanker, proper Salvage Rig, ect, but my experience so far has been anything slower than combat speed 70-80 CAN'T escape in an evade-style battle. All my ships of speed 50 or so were taken from my fleet by pirates.
It's an interesting ship list though!

I'll have to give the Apogee start a try... next time. I'm running my first character 'till he succeeds or dies.

@ Serenitis
Every one of my ships has Efficiency Overhaul.

I've taken 2 skill points into navigation, and yes, logistics looks appealing. I started into the leadership and industrial skills, I can see they're going to help, but my character is still too low level to have everything you list. Currently level 1 in those things, and "rolling upgrades" into level 2. What I'm hearing is, "give it time, once your character levels up, it gets better".

The struggle for fuel was because I recently expanded the fleet and had only 2 Dram tankers. I thought it would be enough. (The truth is always more complicated - I'd budgeted just enough fuel, but then I answered a distress call from a fellow salvager trapped around a black hole, I couldn't pass it up - then I saw the new fuel range on the map...) 5 Drams might be enough, but the fuel cost ate up all my profits.

 - Thanks for the all the replies!
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bobucles

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2019, 06:53:15 PM »

Quote
16:00 WHAT did you do to make your tanker go 245 speed? If I could 'mod that kind of speed on my ships, things that are normally speed 50 (freighters, for example) would be viable!
120 base speed.
+50 Safety Overrides (Militarized Subsystems also required)
+25 unstable injector
+50 Zero-Flux Boost (always enabled with Safety Overrides)
= 245 top speed.
There are also talents to increase your max speed by up to 35%, but those only work on the 120 base value for up to +42 more speed for a theoretical 287 peak.
Honestly it makes a lot of sense for your logistic ships to be overclocked to hell. They don't fight, and pursuit battles are a full retreat. Peak Performance Time doesn't matter, you want them off the field ASAP and safety overrides will absolutely do that.

Edit: The Cerberus, Mudskipper and Wayfarer all offer 100 cargo space with similar speed options. Every other larger cargo ship is destroyer class and far slower.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 07:37:21 PM by bobucles »
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NephilimNexus

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2019, 07:45:11 PM »

I've found that Drone Tenders beat out actual Salvage ships in every regard, and they're cheaper, too.  They've both got salvage gantries, sure, but the DT can actually hold a little bit of fuel & cargo and can be fit with cargo expansions as well.
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Tackywheat1

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2019, 09:58:32 PM »

How is your year 3 fleet consuming nearly as much supplies and fuel as my end game fleet? (btw it consists of 3 Paragons, 3 astrals, and multiple cruisers and destroyers)
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SapphireSage

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2019, 10:19:54 PM »

Year 3
1 Heron carrier (flag)
3 Captained escorts (Shrike, Centurion, Afflictor)
4 Wolf frigates
4 Shepherd drone tenders (because A. they have salvage platforms, and B. anything slow as a Salvage Rig at combat speed 50, gets caught by pirates)
8 Combat Freighters of various types (Wayfarer, Hound, Cerberus)
5 Dram tankers

I'm not exactly sure how you seem to claim you're guzzling supplies and fuel like crazy when it consists of a somewhat efficient cruiser and the afflictor might be the highest maintenance ship you have. For starters though, when you start going cruisers you'll want to use phaetons. Phaetons are drams scaled up one for one and are tied with dram for most fuel efficient. You'll also want to have civilian destroyer-sized freighters for supplies/cargo and move up to colossus when you get more combat cruisers or a capital. They'll give you more efficient slot use for fuel and cargo and allow you to carry the amount you need.

Secondly, check to see if any of the D-mods on your ships are either "Increased Maintenance" or "Erratic Fuel Injector". Increased Maintenance raises supply maintenance cost by a brutal 100%. Likewise, erratic fuel injectors will greatly raise up a ship's fuel cost.

Lastly, for tips on conserving supplies I'd recommend This topic for most info. Taking Logistics 2 and Nav 2 saves 25% on supplies and fuel respectively. And One of the industry skills at level 3 reduces 20% supply cost per D-mod up to 80%. Fuel is distance based with the caveat that distance gained from burn levels higher than 20 (From a storm, basically) are free.

PS. Salvage gantry has diminishing returns. You'll be better off with only a couple shepards if you're bringing them only for the gantries.

Good luck and have fun!
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Lucky33

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2019, 11:46:41 PM »


@Lucky33
I'm past the "what does this button do?" stage. The problem IS the maintenence and fuel costs of each indvidual ship are small, but all together...

I shyed away from slow ships. I'd LOVE a Phaeton tanker, proper Salvage Rig, ect, but my experience so far has been anything slower than combat speed 70-80 CAN'T escape in an evade-style battle. All my ships of speed 50 or so were taken from my fleet by pirates.
It's an interesting ship list though!

I'll have to give the Apogee start a try... next time. I'm running my first character 'till he succeeds or dies.

1 Heron carrier (flag) - 3 f/ly
3 Captained escorts (Shrike, Centurion, Afflictor) 4 f/ly
4 Wolf frigates 4 f/ly
4 Shepherd drone tenders (because A. they have salvage platforms, and B. anything slow as a Salvage Rig at combat speed 50, gets caught by pirates) 4 f/ly
8 Combat Freighters of various types (Wayfarer, Hound, Cerberus) 8 f/ly
5 Dram tankers 5 f/ly

28 f/ly w/o skills or mods

Longest simple trip is about 40 ly. 2240 fuel both ways. 5 Drams = 1500 fuel. Fuel = 20 cr, 2240 fuel = 44800 per trip.

I mean all of this is clear from the basic info which is available before you buy ships and will see the actual fuel counter on the map. If you still bought these than I suppose you've missed some critical info.

You evade battles on the campaign map. Hence 10 burn speed. W. two Falcons and Hammerhead you dont evade anything with less than full row of battleships and these are wa-a-ay slower than you (in a nebula with Nav skills and on basic burn you can outrun large pirate Armada which is using sustained).

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Sinigr

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2019, 12:58:17 AM »

Wow, did you do that playthrough just for me?
6:30 Yeah, if I'd had the kind of luck to find a battleship just laying around, we'd be having a completely different discussion. XD
16:00 WHAT did you do to make your tanker go 245 speed? If I could 'mod that kind of speed on my ships, things that are normally speed 50 (freighters, for example) would be viable!
Yeah, made that playthrought for such situations, to show how it warks.
6:30, i did not used that battleship, better is to look in shops for new one without D-mods, it is easy to find. But shure, you can use such wreck, and most impressively is that game is showing such ships)
16:00, yeah, with all vanilla speed hullomds you see how it is runing, so no one can cach it) In begining i show loadout of that tanker, as you see i have Militarized Sybsystems: it gives +1 burn speed, so, while i am using commmon burn drive i have speed 20, maximum burn speed in the game, and 2 mods for battle speed.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 01:57:06 AM by Sinigr »
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SCC

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2019, 04:56:07 AM »

Tempest and company. Tempest destroys every derelict fleet that doesn't involve cruisers (they take too much time to be destroyed) and everything else hauls loot. Ideally Apogees, since they are capable enough in combat that you don't need to bring in escorts, plus some colossi and phaetons.

Plantissue

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Re: What's Your Ideal Salvage Fleet?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2019, 08:00:34 AM »

1 dram for purely survey missions. Salvage is not profitable. If it is, it suffers for being spikey. But the extra money you get from Salvage gantry is so minor and you need cargo space, it's not worth the bother of a fleet dedicated to salvage gantry, but more of a bonus when doing other things. Surveying planets is more complicated, but can also be spikey. I suppose we would need information of average income per time/distance spent to have an idea of an ideal fleet for surveying planets. Don't bother surveying gas planets for money. They can take up more supplies than expected. Surveying was intended to be something you do to find colonisable planets rather than a profitable activity in itself I beleive.


Year 3
1 Heron carrier (flag)
3 Captained escorts (Shrike, Centurion, Afflictor)
4 Wolf frigates
4 Shepherd drone tenders (because A. they have salvage platforms, and B. anything slow as a Salvage Rig at combat speed 50, gets caught by pirates)
8 Combat Freighters of various types (Wayfarer, Hound, Cerberus)
5 Dram tankers

What's the ideal size and ships for a Salvage/Survey fleet?
You have a single heron which slows down your entire fleet to burn 8. Get rid of it and be burn 10 instead. Now you are a lot less afraid of pirates. Alternatively since you essentially have a combat orientated fleet, just go out there and take some personal bounties and explore the surrounding systems. You have mostly combat freighters (Shepherds are basically combat freighters), so why wouldn't you do a bit of fighting? The weakest bounties start off at 40-55k and consist of 4-6 damaged and weak frigates. they'll probably run away from your comparatively massive fleet though.

Alternatively, since you have a Heron, just go mostly cruiser anyways. Apogee/Venture for Surveying Equipment, or just hullmod them on your logistical ships. Colossus and Phaeton for more supply efficiency. Might as well keep the Shepherds.
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