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Author Topic: [0.97a] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada  (Read 326260 times)

DHuangy

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Re: [0.95.1a-RC6] The Xhan Empire, version 2.5 Gramada
« Reply #165 on: April 09, 2023, 11:18:35 AM »

I think you would be revered as a god if you manage to put out a hullmod with emergency repair on it.
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Martinsuki

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Re: [0.95.1a-RC6] The Xhan Empire, version 2.5 Gramada
« Reply #166 on: April 17, 2023, 04:50:50 PM »

How are you guys using the Gramda? im finding it kind of weak compared to other way less DP cost ships, already tried a bunch of fittings and in different fleet comps but i can't make it work
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SpaceDrake

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Re: [0.95.1a-RC6] The Xhan Empire, version 2.5 Gramada
« Reply #167 on: April 17, 2023, 08:31:03 PM »

It's a long-range bombardment broadside ship. Try fitting it a bit like a conquest: the really heavy stuff down the spine (probably leaning kinetic to help the XL explosive turrets), some additional shtirs or other long-range smalls (with a few "forward" PD guns) on one side, and a huge rack of point defense on the other side. Keep stuff at range as best you can and just mow stuff down in your wall of fire.
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Guardsmen83

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Re: [0.95.1a-RC6] The Xhan Empire, version 2.5 Gramada
« Reply #168 on: April 27, 2023, 09:48:26 PM »

this mod is so cool im not playing the faction but im trying to scoop all tech i can as fast as i can

edit can we have the big guns on the dreadnaught as large mount those animations are too good to just be on that one ship
« Last Edit: April 30, 2023, 12:39:57 AM by Guardsmen83 »
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Peplat

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Re: [0.96-RC6] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #169 on: May 08, 2023, 12:39:34 AM »

UPDATE 0.96 2.51 Gramada

compatibility update for the new patch, some minor balance changes and a new weapon! how fun!!!!!

-Syr reload reduced from 6 to 5
-Tsebrek HE damaged increased from 80 to 90
-Palik now deals an additional 5 HE damage
-Ugol now deals an additional 5 HE damage
-Hezek now deals an additional 20 HE damage
-Hezek flux cost 65 to 55
-Szar flux reduced from 80 to 40 per second
-Cheborog and Cheborog(c) shield EFF 1.1 to 1
-Olkzan and Olkzan(c) shield EFF 1 to 0.9
-Added weapon: Shtral
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Network Pesci

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Re: [0.96-RC6] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #170 on: May 08, 2023, 12:58:31 AM »

Good Ludd, that was quick.  Heads up, the MagicLib link in your first post goes to an outdated version.  The current version of MagicLib is in a new topic:

https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=25868.0
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Peplat

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Re: [0.96-RC6] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #171 on: May 08, 2023, 01:02:27 AM »

thanks for the heads up, updated the link
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sziklamester

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Re: [0.96-RC6] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #172 on: May 08, 2023, 02:57:51 AM »

I am glad this mod works again!
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SpaceDrake

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Re: [0.96a] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #173 on: May 09, 2023, 12:16:23 PM »

Just want to add a "hell yeah" to the pile. Great to see Xhan updated so quickly!
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Guardsmen83

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Re: [0.96a] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #174 on: May 09, 2023, 01:28:17 PM »

Just want to add a "hell yeah" to the pile. Great to see Xhan updated so quickly!

hey space what to you use on your xhan battleships?
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SpaceDrake

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Re: [0.96a] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #175 on: May 09, 2023, 02:10:27 PM »

For the Gramada, I tend to fit it like a Conquest: one side devoted to broadsiding (so mostly Shtirs or other long-range kinetics, along with a bit of PD, to back up the XL HE turrets) and the other devoted mostly to PD with a little bit of ranged firepower in case it needs to take over main-facing duty in player control. The Panrelka is usually a mix of kinetic/HE guns to let it go beat stuff up as it runs around.

The Occuklop? Fit all the damn plasma weaponry you can. 8) Green makes Xhan hit harder.
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Guardsmen83

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Re: [0.96a] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #176 on: May 11, 2023, 09:39:19 AM »

For the Gramada, I tend to fit it like a Conquest: one side devoted to broadsiding (so mostly Shtirs or other long-range kinetics, along with a bit of PD, to back up the XL HE turrets) and the other devoted mostly to PD with a little bit of ranged firepower in case it needs to take over main-facing duty in player control. The Panrelka is usually a mix of kinetic/HE guns to let it go beat stuff up as it runs around.

The Occuklop? Fit all the damn plasma weaponry you can. 8) Green makes Xhan hit harder.

thanks space i wanna try a run with this faction looks alittle hard  no capital tankers or freighters   which plasma do you use? xhan ones?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2023, 10:13:52 AM by Guardsmen83 »
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Tigasboss

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Re: [0.96a] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #177 on: June 01, 2023, 05:13:14 AM »

is it possible to install only the xhan part? without the other ships and factions?
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CountV

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Re: [0.96a] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #178 on: June 28, 2023, 10:51:27 AM »

Kind of a minor thing, but the Pamed Drover is still the 0.95.1 version's with reserve deployment(except with 0.96's stronger reserve deployment system) and lacking the B-deck hullmod, so it performs quite differently than just being "Base Drover plus Recovery Shuttles" that it's described as.
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HELMUT

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Re: [0.96a] The Xhan Empire, version 2.51 Gramada
« Reply #179 on: August 20, 2023, 11:25:49 AM »

With the Starsector update, i feel it was a good occasion to dip my toes once more into the sector. After some fooling around with vanilla, i craved some mods and Xhan has caught my attention for a while. I played the faction for a fairly long campaign and i feel it's time for some write up.

I began this campaign with a fairly limited knowledge of Xhan, mainly from occasional encounters during previous playthroughs. I expected to fly some big, brawny brutes with more armor plates than good sense. Lining them up in neat, quasi static, battle lines. Space Napoleonic wars you could say. And while I did get that to some extent, there was more to it than just that.

Xhan is a weird faction with more than meet the eye, it took me a while to properly get it. You get the very pedestrian first generation vessels that lives by the doctrine "front toward enemy, and hope the armor holds". However, as you progress to the second and third generations, the combat philosophy starts to muddle and you're left with puzzle pieces that don't quite fit together.

So today i'll write about how i tried to solve that puzzle.

I began my campaign as the captain of a small Xhan patrol force. A pair of frigates and a destroyer. I tried to only make use of the faction's ships and weapons, with a few exceptions. Also i didn't felt like using SO for this game.


Among these frigates was the Boulo support class. I only had a few of these for this whole campaign and i never could find them a proper role in my fleet. It's the cheapest way to field something with a medium missile mount. Unfortunately, i can't say i fell in love with Xhan's missile weaponry. Things like the Bloz and Syr lacked impact from my experience. Sharik torpedoes did have impact but lacked sufficient ammo. The Luzna heatseeker is the only missile from the faction that i really used in this campaign. It's an expensive but reliable Salamander, an easy way to pin down an agile opponent. My Boulos ended up as Luzna launching platforms to support my heavier ships. Granted, the Boulo can be outfitted with ballistic weaponry as well if you don't like missiles. In hindsight, it could made for a neat shtir platform. But then, it's suddenly competing with another Xhan frigate, one i ended up liked quite a bit more.


The Oiehou-M1 heavy frigate. Or what if the Centurion was actually good. A cheap, sturdy little ship with a damper field, top of the line peak performance duration, a 360° hybrid medium turret. The ideal choice for a scout, fast enough for capturing combat objectives and tough enough to contest said objectives against another frigate. Makes for a pretty solid escort ship to boot.

The Oiehou is however quite starved for OPs, especially if you want premium weaponry. My first few of these were armed with Ugol plasma spitters, which were... Alright i suppose. Later on, all my Oiehou were outfitted with Ion Beams instead, providing valuable support at a safe range for my bigger ships. Even during late game when facing the really mean things lying in the outer rim, the Oiehou still had a firm place in my fleet.


The destroyer i started with was an Olkzan(C) carrier. I did not enjoyed Xhan carriers all that much. Not that the carriers are bad – they're alright, I guess. The Olkzan(C) for exemple is cheap to deploy, reasonably well armored and isn't as OP starved as the Condor.

No, my issue with Xhan's carrier doctrine comes from the limited fighter crafts available to them. They don't have interceptors, which is something i really wish i had when I faced the Persean League. Their fighters tends to be quite pricy and underwhelming. I did occasionally use the Palka attacker for its good speed and long range when i needed reinforcement that could immediately participate to the battle. The Zahkhan is... I don't know, I have no idea what i'm supposed to do with that thing. The Schnerk bomber was a good surprise though, and helped me get through early game. Unlike other bombers that often necessitate escorts to deliver their payload, the Schnerk is very capable of doing the job by itself. Thanks to its heavy armor, only mass point defense fire can bring it down, and once its Gorel plasma projector fires, the projectile cannot be intercepted. All of this makes the Shnerck a very reliable way to deliver heavy ordnance against tougher opponents. Don't expect it to catch a frigate though.

Now that i look back on it though, i noticed the Palka do have some really damn high HE DPS. Maybe i was missing on something not using them more.

All in all, i did not ended up using carriers all that much. I still had a few Olkzan(C) in reserve for emergency deployment just in case, but they rarely saw action.


Speaking of carrier, i managed to salvage a Velloun very early in my campaign. While technically not Xhan tech, it still comes with the mod, so I used it for some time. I don't have much to say on it, i used this carrier as a drone factory to spit out Hassak phase frigates, which in turn i used as distraction/frigate hunters. Nonetheless i ended up mothballing the plastic ships in favor of more Xhan stuff. I only faced those as derelicts to be recovered, but i think it would be neat if there were enemy fleet of those the player could encounter during exploration.

Speaking of the Hassak, there's a typo in the description "Able 'to' bring significant energy firepower".


My first purchase was the classic Olkzan heavy destroyer from which the Olkzan(C) is derived. As its designation implies, the Olkzan is an armored brute geared for frontline duty. I have a conflicted opinion for this one. On one hand, it's tough as nail and comes with a large hybrid turret, the ideal candidate for an artillery piece or a brawler. On the other hand, it's fairly expensive to field at 13 DP, and is really starved for OPs. You have to sacrifice either firepower, point defense, hullmods or flux stats to make it work. It doesn't help that Xhan's armory tends to be on the pricier side when it comes to OPs. In theory I wanted to use them like pseudo Enforcers, in practice, they felt more like slow Sunders. Good at long range slugfest, but faltered surprisingly fast in a messy brawl.

I did use the few Olkzan i bought for as long as they survived, but did not bother salvaging their derelict when they fell in battle. In hindsight, i probably would have better success with cheap vanilla weapons like hellbores and autocannons.

While i'm talking about this ship, i have to mention its other variants, the (E)xport model in particular. It seems strictly to be an inferior version of the original or am i missing something? The pirate variant at least bring something different, but the (E) model is just... Dare i say bloat content? That critique does also applies to the Ennik(E).


In the same category, i also got the Cheborog-Z1 heavy cruiser. A ship that seems to follow a similar doctrine to the Olkzan, but bigger. This also ended up being my biggest disappointment for this campaign.

The Cheborog is a magnified evolution of its Domain counterpart, the Dominator. Further focusing its design with heavier armor and frontal firepower. It also come with obvious weaknesses, like terrible mobility and a distressingly narrow shield that fails to cover its elongated profile. If there's one ship that screams "flank me!" it's the Cheborog. Just like the Olkzan, the heavy cruiser performs fairly well in a long range artillery battle, but anything that can come closer will be able to outmaneuver and tear it apart, heavy armor or not.

While i could have put some more effort in properly escorting my cruisers, i couldn't look past the expensive 28 DP deployment cost. At such price, i needed something reliable that could perform on its own.


Completely different yet similar, the Cheborog(C), the carrier conversion of the heavy cruiser, also ended up in my fleet. Pretty well armed for a carrier, although it lacks the flux dissipation to make use of those 3 ballistic turrets. Which doesn't matter because it rarely reaches the front line in time. It's a frustratingly slow ship that takes an eternity and a half to get where you want it. Once (if) it gets there though, it can unleash quite a bit of damage if you combine its Targeting feed system with Schnerk bombers. While the Cheborog(C) performed admirably in its time in my fleet, i had to strategize everything around it so it could use its bombers. That would severily limits my options in battle.


The final nail for my Cheborog(C) came when the Xhan emperor decided to p*ss off its neighbor, the Persean League. The League, with its tendency to favor stand off engagements and missile spam, made my life miserable. Pegasii and other missile boats preferring to stay out of range of my heavy weapons, they would slowly grind me down at a safe distance while i had no mean to intercept those laser missiles with conventional point defense. Bombers neither had the speed nor the range to get there in due time either. I needed a solution.


The Panrelka battlecruiser became that solution. It's an unusual Xhan ship. Despite its robust appearance, the Panrelka is very fragile, with low hull, armor and flux capacity. On the other hand, it is absurdly fast, even more so than most cruisers. Its weapon layout is a bit on the light side, although it's compensated by its very generous arcs, meaning it can bring to bear most of its guns regardless from where you're trying to approach it. On top of that, it's fairly inexpensive for a capital ship at only 35 DPs, so it's fairly easy to deploy a handful of these. It's finally what i wanted, a reliable front line ship that unexpectedly relies on kitting rather than tanking. With auxiliary thrusters and the appropriate officer skills, it can backpedal at full speed in a blink.

But how is it gonna help me against the Persean league? Well, the Panrelka does have some exceptional EMP flare system that can home in on targets, a bit like the Ziggurat's motes. Even distant beam missiles favored by the League will get intercepted by these. Stand off tactics won't work very well either, especially against a ship that can close the gap as quickly as the Panrelka can. I relied heavily on hardened shields and high capacity to buy them the time to retreat from a disadvantageous engagement. They don't really have good shield and flux capacity to begin with, but i felt it was better than trying to tank with their meager armor. Of course, they could still get surrounded and immobilized, but that's what my Oiehous were here to prevent.

This battlecruiser became the workhorse of my fleet, carrying me to victory until the very end of this campaign. Here's what my Panrelkas looked like by the end of it.

Spoiler
[close]

With 3 S-mods, you can even get some pretty decent flux dissipation. Also, yes, HVDs, i did not like the medium Shtir autocannon. It's a more expensive yet worse alternative. Better turning speed and slightly higher DPS are not worth the inconvenience of lower damage per shot, lower accuracy and no EMP. As for the rear Luzna, i wasn't sure about it, but it does mess with enemy movement so why not.


The Ennik cruiser was the forgotten ship of this playthrough, being overshadowed by the Panrelka. I only had two or three of these in total, and i mostly kept them in reserve. As such, i don't know much about this ship. Now that i look at it though, i guess it makes sense i wasn't very interested. At 20 DPs, its stats are extremely underwhelming, especially if you compare to something similarly priced like the Eagle. Yes, it does have Xhan EMP flares, a pretty good system, but that's it. So yeah, i'm not impressed by the egg.


I acquired a few Kassarek frigates to escort my fleet, but I didn't retain them for long. The Kassarek is a Monitor that relies on special armor rather than fortress shield. It's also covered in PD beams. It's a very good escort ship as it refuses to die. It's also a terrible escort ship as it costs as much as a destroyer to deploy. The Oiehou in my fleet could perform the same role well enough for a fraction of the DP. Sure, there are some things in the sector that an Oiehou won't tank but a Kassarek will, but these things are rarely fast enough to catch my battlecruisers anyway. To the storage it goes !


I attempted some experimental fire support tactics with the Doskan missile destroyer. It's a frigate masquerading as a bigger vessel. It's cheap and overall very unimpressive, but it does come with a large missile hardpoint. Again, i did not experiment a whole lot with this one as i did not liked Xhan missiles. Both the Bloz and Syr felt anemic and too short ranged for the very vulnerable Doskan. I thought about using some vanilla missiles like the Squall or Hurricane, but i couldn't find them in sufficient numbers. Moreover, i was getting toward the endgame at this point and i had to be picky on what i decide to deploy in battle.


At this stage of the game, I was still without a suitable flagship. I was piloting a Cheborog(C) with Operation Center, taking a hands-off approach to direct combat and instead overseeing the battlefield from afar. It was getting a bit stale though, and i wanted to get some action. I did choose the Occuklop for my next flagship.

The Xhan battleship is quite peculiar; no other ship in my fleet underwent as frequent mothballing and recommissioning due to my fluctuating opinions on it, shifting between appreciation and frustration. On one hand i now have a battleship with exceptional armor and heavy firepower (despite the unusual weapon layout). On the other hand, i wasn't sure how this slow and expensive thing would fit in my current combat strategy. In the end, i opted for something similar to the "Decimator" variant, albeit with fewer missiles and relying only on the built-in Decimator cannon and Stolbs for HE damage. As i did not had many combat skills yet, i opted for a long range build rather than getting into the thick of it and risk losing my flagship. That's one reason why i used Stolbs instead of more classic HE weaponry.

Let's talk about the Stolb, shall we? It's a capricious weapon to use. The projectiles's explosion is set on a timer instead of collision. That makes it utterly worthless, even dangerous, to use it at close range. When fired at long range however, there's fewer risk of the canister bouncing uncontrollably. And even if it does, the incredibly large AOE still ensues damage will be done. I found the Stolb to be most effective when fired at targets just a little bit beyond its effective range. Obviously, it's much more reliable when used by the player but i still managed to make it work with the AI. For a time, my fleet rocked a pair of Occuklops, the only ship i somehow managed to make the Stolb function with. Placing the Stolb in the same weapon group as a longer range weapon, say, a shtir autocannon, i found that the Occuklop would prematurely fire with the Stolb so that its ordnance would reach the target at the very end of the timer. According to the detailed combat results mod, Stolbs ended up dealing the most damage of any weapons for my AI battleship. One thing i found funny : the Stolb canister is not destroyed when colliding with a missile, the two merely bounce against each others. The League's Dragonfire torpedoes spinning uncontrollably after bumping on a Stolb bomb ended up being an unexpected practical point defense tool.

Alas, i couldn't make it work well on other ships. Which is sad because at the time i entertained the idea of a combat doctrine with the goal of achieving  "maximum Stolb" and saturate the battlefield with explosive. Oh well. Maybe one day i'll try that coupled with the SCY singularity torpedo.



After spending a little while flying the Occuklop, i decided to try something a bit bigger. The Gramada dreadnought became my new flagship for a time. The Xhan dreadnought is fairly similar to the Invictus in its function. It's a giant brute of a ship combining extraordinary endurance with excessive firepower at the cost of mobility and maintenance. There's a few differences between those two. Unlike its domain counterpart, the Gramada lacks the distributed fire control hullmod that protects the Invictus from EMP spam. Automated repair unit tends to be very useful if you lack the required officer skills or are fighting something with excessive EMP. I once had the misfortune to encounter a Tesseract with a reality disruptor, that was not a pleasant day. On the other hand, with a whopping 420 OPs, the Xhan dread can attempt some pretty creative build that the Invictus can only dream of. An asymmetrical outfit is the most obvious choice. With a whole side left empty or almost, you still have a pletora of OPs to toy with. I like my Gramada to be relatively flux neutral, so they can keep the pressure on whatever is on their side at all time.

Spoiler
[close]

As you can see, it's very kinetic heavy. I consider the two built-in Gromm batteries to be sufficient for cracking armor, those things makes the hellbore feel like a peashooter by comparison. There's a few hullmods that i consider essential for the dreadnought. Advanced turret gyro allows the Gromm to turn quick enough when re-targeting. ITU because, well, of course you'd need more range. Armored weapon mounts in case you get hit by something that shouldn't have and you need to fight back now. As for the rest, i found these hullmods to be nice but not absolutely necessary. Yes, you can see dual ACs here. The Xhan Shtir is also a very good choice thanks to its monstrous range, but it comes with some pretty noticeable drawback : more expensive, less DPS, more flux... And most importantly i did no had enough of those in storage... Also flak cannons. As much as i love Igols PDs, it's hard to beat the 8 OPs price tag of single flaks.

Strangely, the Gramada do have three composite turrets that can make use of missiles, unfortunately i can't think of a viable reason to use some on a decidedly ballistic oriented vessel. Perhaps legitimizing some missile build for further loadout diversity could be considered in a future update? I think that could be interesting.

As proud as i was of my new flagship, i couldn't really find a good role for it in my fleet. I wasn't hunting many space stations at the moment, something the Gramada excels at. It's also very good with static, defensive tactics, but again that was at odd with the rest of my very mobile fleet. For a while, i used it as an area denial platform, sitting somewhere in the middle next to a combat objective and daring anything to get in range. It worked well at splitting the enemy fleet in two, leaving isolated groups vulnerable to my agile battlecruisers. Still, i wished to do more, so i bought two more Gramadas. My newer strategy revolved around careful positioning, creating crossfire zones between the three dreadnoughts. Herding the enemy fleet into the death field wasn't always easy, but when it succeeded, there's not much that can handle 210 DP worth of dreadnought fire to tell the tale. It doesn't make for very intense piloting though, and after a while I got tired of flying space metallic whales.




At the other end of the spaceship spectrum, i found myself a new toy : the Pharrek-class Vivisector (now that's a pretty metal title). Obscenely expensive to deploy for frigate, but damn, what a little demon that thing is. The Pharrek's main attribute is its exceptional mobility thanks to the Divine Jaunt teleporter. That thing can pop up anywhere on the battlefield in a blink and unleash its full firepower on whatever got its attention. A bit like the old Hyperion, but better. As for my personal experience, i went with a dual typhoon build (yes, i dropped all pretense on only using Xhan weapons now) and went hunting for front-shielded targets. With expanded missile racks and missile specialization, that gives you a lot of reapers to deliver, you can vaporise several capital ships before they can even reach the front line with it. Even if you somehow run out of torpedoes before the enemy run out of ships, you can still rely on its built-in weaponry. The Agmad pulse lasers and their stupid burst DPS in particular will tear things apart, although be careful not to overload yourself with those. Oh, and you somehow have destroyer level of peak performance time as well ! Xhan tends to be a bit lacking when it comes to flagship material, the Pharrek definitely compensate for that. It's not even a difficult super frigate to pilot. While i used mine mainly for hunting heavier ships, it can take down pretty much anything thanks to its various built-in weapons.


Somewhat less exciting, i managed to get a few Ubellop phase frigates. After shelving my dreadnoughts and brought back the Panrelkas, i was looking for some "deployment padding" ships and phase ships seemed like an interesting option. The Ubellop is tough, thanks to its damper field, and also come with an uncommon medium hybrid hardpoint. At this point in the late game, a bunch of phase frigates won't have much influence on the battlefield, so i couldn't really say if my Ubellop did well or not, especially since piloting my new flagship demanded all my attention. However i rarely had to salvage their derelicts after a battle, so i suppose they were sufficiently survivable and provided some distraction for the opposing fleet.


While we're speaking about phase ships, i decided to mothball my Pharrek for a bit and instead spend some time with my new object of my affection :  the Ouggom phase cruiser . I overlooked this one for a long, long time. Always hovering the cursor above its crooked form while shopping but never proceeding to click the 'buy' button. And why would I? That malformed lump of metal probably wouldn't fit in my fleet anyway. And what does the Magnetic Impulse system does anyway? That description of it doesn't explain much, nor does testing it in the simulator. Only after encountering a renegade Xhan fleet with one of these, I finally understood, and bought my next flagship.

The most glaring aspect I initially overlooked about the phase cruiser is its large synergy hardpoint. It's a phase ship that can mount a Cyclone launcher. Plus a Typhoon. Plus two reapers. While the Pharrek definitely had some punch, the Ouggom is on a whole new level of high explosive delivery. I outfitted it as a reaper boat with two Ion Pulsers for EMP/Shield cracking. Just for its ability to burst down critical targets, the Ouggom is worth it. But there's more ! That vaguely explained Magnetic Impulse system ? The magnetized target attracts ships and wrecks toward it, violently.  And what happens when ships clumped together gets on the receiving end of a few antimatter-catalyzed nuclear warheads?

Beyond the opportunity to kill two birds (or more) with one atomic stone. The Magnetic Impulse is also quite invaluable for disrupting with enemy formations or messing with their targeting. I managed to save quite a few of my Panrelkas as i zapped an aggressor out of position.  It's also a potent tool to disable a dangerous enemy movement and firing line with allied ships or derelicts . That tactic saved my fleet from a certain demonic frigate in the outer reach of the sector. By the way, i feel the Magnetic Impulse is somehow capable of doing damage through shields, or am i imagining it?


In the later stages of the game, after a battle against a fanatical Xhanite,  I successfully salvaged the wreckage of a distinctive phase ship: the Goggergeck battleship.. Stat wise, that thing is pretty fantastic. It is ungodly tanky, surprisingly fast and with some impressive flux stats. It might seems a bit undergunned at first glance, that is, if you ignore the built-in Uogek gun. That gun deals torpedo level of energy damage, plenty of EMP, and as a bonus an effect similar to the Ouggom magnetizing ability on impact. However the strange layout make this big boy an un-intuitive ship to outfit. For a while, i went for a basic yet practical burst damage loadout, with antimatter blasters and phase lances. The Xhan Yazer beam is also a very good choice thanks to its monstrous burst damage, but i felt too constricted by the very limited ammo count. That weapon is pretty much a non-missile torpedo equivalent.

That build however, wouldn't take full advantage of the Goggergeck system : Temporal Lock, which forces the target (it works on allies too ! ) in P-space and immobilize them. It's an incredibly crowd control tool. Someone is acting a bit too aggressive for you liking? Time lock ! Trying to run away? Time lock ! Ally in danger? Time lock ! Juicy target with a heavy escort? Time lock ! I found it especially useful for stunning extremely dangerous targets, like Tesseracts. While this is all nice and good for supporting my fleet, i found an interesting way to use this system in a more aggressive way. The time locked ship is intangible for the duration, just like a phase ship, before emerging again in normal space.  It would be a damn shame if said ship would rematerialize just as a torpedo would fly right through its hull, isn't it? It also may or may not be pure coincidence that the Goggergeck can mount up to 5 Typhoon launchers, and that the built-in Uogek's projectile suspiciously moves at roughly the same speed as a reaper.

Getting the right timing is easier said than done, but it's still a bullsh*t valid tactic against enemies that can be hard to pin down. By the way, don't give your Goggergeck to the AI, it's reckless use of Temporal Lock will occasionally screw you over.


So far, i was swapping between the Ouggom, Goggergeck and Pharrek for my flagship, depending on my mood. I've got to say i had a preference for the teleporting frigate, and yet i was still hoping for a bit more from the ship. So, what's better than a Pharrek? Well, two Pharreks of course !

I don't have much experience with the Neural Link skill, it doesn't help that the damn thing is locked so far away in the skill tree. I wish there was a version of Neural Interface available for early game, so it could be enjoyed with normal ships instead of it being the "fly a Radiant" late game hullmod. But i digress. So as i was saying, getting used to Neural Link takes a little bit, between the itching of having jumper cables connected to your brain and the disorientation of instant ship transfer, it took me a few attempts before getting it right.

And boy, when you get it right, it feels wonderful. I suspect the Pharrek was specifically designed for it. Incredible mobility function very well when you're flying two ships at the same time and need to compensate the sudden perception shift. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the Pharrek itself is shaped similarly to the Neural Link combat icon. The ship system buff from the hullmod is also a very nice bonus if you want to go fast. And damn you can go very, very fast.

While a single Pharrek is a dangerous ship, it still needs a pause to vent. Two Pharreks, however, result in an unending whirlwind of destruction. While one vents, the other fires, ensuring there is no downtime for either you or your adversary. I liked to use mines with dual Ion pulsers, very easy to use, and effective. S-modding expanded magazines is also invaluable for quick reloading. One thing to keep in mind that the missile specialization skill ammo bonus does only benefit the original flagship but not the linked one. I suspect there are many possible builds with Neural Link, i'll definitely experiment further in the future.


Finally, after a lengthy campaign, I discovered the fitting flagship to conclude the game: the .

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is also the of my campaign, being roughly the equivalent of the fight. Although it can be easier or harder depending on what kind of fleet you bring to kill it.
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You see, itself isn't that impressive of a ship. It's very good, but a it is not. The true threat posed by the ship is , compelling them to .
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If that thing manage to , the enemy got a pretty big problem. Once you defeat the thing, you can . Honestly, there's no point in playing the game any longer at this point.
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Nothing can possibly resist you any more. So that's with this monstrosity in my hands that i decided to end this long campaign.
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Well, that was quite a long post ! Still, there's more untouched content from the mod : a whole different faction, some more exploration content... Xhan is a big mod and there's no way i can test it all in just a single campaign. As for the faction itself, i'd say i liked it although it took me a while to get used to some stuff.

There are some ships for exemple that clearly show their age, both in appearance and overall design, they don't work quite as well as i feel they should have. Although it could have been a skill issue from my part, there's a definitely some clunkiness still present. Xhan ships are ugly, but most of them are the right kind of ugly. As for those that don't, I really wish for the older content to be facelifted to the same level as the new. There's probably a few balance adjustments needed as well, i feel the Ennik badly need some love. Same for the Zahkhan.

Overall, i had a good time. Plus this was the mod that eventually made me properly experiment with Neural Link, so i'm grateful for that.


Edit : As a bonus, some neural linked Pharrek action :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQG1RS5NAzQ&ab_channel=HELMUT

« Last Edit: August 23, 2023, 01:00:45 PM by HELMUT »
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