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Author Topic: Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships  (Read 2752 times)

SCC

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Re: Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2021, 01:21:42 AM »

Low DP plus gamma core costing only 1 point would make them significantly more viable. You could throw a lot of ships at the enemy, and if some of them die - meh.

Mothership could drop an item that, when installed, would let you make expdrones.

Alex

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Re: Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2021, 08:58:45 AM »

Realized I never replied here - yeah, one thing I want to do is look at the DP of the larger drones. (The small ones are not going to be much good regardless.)

Adding "Rugged Construction" to them may be worth a look, too, since we're likely looking at a drone-junker style if these are involved.
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Helldiver

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Re: Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2021, 03:34:01 PM »

To pre-face, Explorarium Drones are currently extremely unappealing choices when you're running the Automated Ships skill. They generally underperform compared to Remnant counterparts of similar cost (and even versus crewed ships of similar cost), and the only strong case where you'd consider using them would be in early game if you manage to get the skill before fighting any Remnants til that point.

To that end, I spent some time thinking about how you would make them more appealing: What if the DP of Explorarium Drones simply didn't count against the limit of the Automated Ships skill? AI Cores in them would still count against the skill as usual, but this means that if you're feeling funky, instead of a Radiant with an Alpha Core that dominates the battlefield - at the same CR limit you could do something silly like 5 Ramparts with Alpha Cores, being brought in one after the other as they fall in battle. Or, more reasonably, you could field 3 Alpha'd Ramparts and have a trio of below-average Cruisers with powerful Officers bringing them more up to speed.

This would both suit the lore given that these droneships are old, modular and designed for fairly independent operation - as well as offering an alternative playstyle for Automated Ships that focuses more on Quantity over Quality (Explorarium vs Remnant). Plus, it would bring a greater emphasis on droneships in your fleet without making the player overpowered, as the fleet limit that exists would serve to prevent bringing an 'infinite' amount of no-Core droneships (as well as that they're fairly abysmal vessels without Cores in them already).

Agree with the suggestion overall. I was interested in making a fleet relying on large numbers of these beautifully blocky shieldless drones after the ability to recover and use droneships was teased but you run quickly against the skill's limit even with the weaker ones and their DP doesn't seem to have been adjusted for player use (they're generally much weaker than regular ships of equivalent DP cost).
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Realm

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Re: Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2021, 07:33:52 AM »

Realized I never replied here - yeah, one thing I want to do is look at the DP of the larger drones. (The small ones are not going to be much good regardless.)

Adding "Rugged Construction" to them may be worth a look, too, since we're likely looking at a drone-junker style if these are involved.
Rugged Construction certainly fits their lore, but from testing I wouldn't say they're limited to a junker playstyle; I'd argue the Rampart is most usable with a build involving makeshift shield generator and hardened shields built-in, further boosted by an (Alpha) AI Core with Shield Modulation. I suspect a similar strategy would work for the Berserker, albeit held back by the inefficiency of 6 DP + 5/7/10 for the AI core meaning you'll have generally 2-4 of them in a fleet at best.

My whole argument for 'free vs skill limit' is that you could then have a fleet of, say: 1 Alpha Rampart, 4 Gamma Berserkers, and fleet-limit-filling amounts of dinky uncored drones and hit your 30/30 leaving the CR pristine. On the other hand if Ramparts/Berserkers/etc. were halved against the skill limit, you'd only really be able to comfortably have... 1 Alpha Rampart, 1 Gamma Berserker and maybe a couple uncored frigates before the skill's limit starts knocking down the CR to stat-lowering levels.

The 'abusable' cases of them being free, such as someone choosing to have 6-8+ Gamma Ramparts in their fleet, would already be kept in check by the low quality of Ramparts combined with the vessel having 25 DP (which is actually close to fair value when it has an integrated Alpha with an s-modded loadout), and as someone mentioned could be solved by lowering the impact of AI Cores on battle DP limit calculations (or in the case of Cored Explorarium drones, specifically lowering it for them).
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