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Author Topic: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea  (Read 3355 times)

CanaldoVoid

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Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« on: June 04, 2021, 04:40:30 AM »

So I've played the game after a long break and I was pleased to see that armor was MUCH more impactful than it used to be, any cruiser level ships can take some heavy punishment when their shields go down.

That being said armor doesn't regenerate (unless they add some hullmod for that?) and all this does is buy time.

The one big reason why low tech ships often end up losing to high tex is flux, both efficiency and cap, and even the shields are often not as efficient as high tech ships either.

So instead of taking away their identity and making low tech ships have more flux how about this:

Make small slot PD weapons cost 0 OP (yes, zero)
Make some small slot weapons cost a little bit of OP, like 1 or 2 for stuff like raiguns.
Greatly decrease flux generation for small slot weapons, specially ballistics

The reasoning: Often low tech ships just want to get in your face and dish as much damage as possible, while high tech ships often have great range (specially the paragon) that would create an opposing playing style, the high tech wants to be as far away as possible so they can vent flux and tank stuff using their shields  while the low tech ones don't necessarily care about the shields, and often have access to charging turbo speed skills, if they can turn on a lot of extra firepower from small slot weapons without imposing too heavily on their OP and flux dissipation they should be MUCh deadlier in close ranges, than they currently are.

Besides, low tech ships are often best built sacrificing most of their weapon slots, does it matter if the dominator or the onslaught have so many slots? No, not at all, most people build exactly ZERO small weapons on them to save on both OP and flux, and that's one of the big reasons why they are so bad compared to high tech ships, if an onslaught really could pump out all the firepower it could bring into the fight then it would be a very scary ship, at least up close.

Tl.dr high tech ships still retain their status of great shields+long range+kiting while low tech ships become very dangerous reckless brawlers instead of just charging into their deaths due to lack of firepower and shields
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CanaldoVoid

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2021, 04:43:11 AM »

Also, the reason why I said zero OP instead of 1 is because if I had to chose between adding a bunch of small mounts that can't scratch a hull and often don't even shoot at the enemy, or adding another hullmod by removing dozens of them instead I'd still take the hullmod, they are that bad

In fact frigates only really got more decent recently because they got some proper slots.
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Yunru

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2021, 05:18:54 AM »

That being said armor doesn't regenerate (unless they add some hullmod for that?) and all this does is buy time.
Not in combat, but there's skills for it after combat, both on a fleet and individual officer level.

Also have you checked out the latest blog?
https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=21820.0

Grievous69

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2021, 05:23:38 AM »

Changing the cost of small PD guns to 0 OP basically removes any choice involved in making builds. Why would you ever leave mounts empty in that scenario? There's no trade-off.
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CanaldoVoid

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2021, 04:13:58 PM »

Changing the cost of small PD guns to 0 OP basically removes any choice involved in making builds. Why would you ever leave mounts empty in that scenario? There's no trade-off.
Quite the opposite, right now there is no choice, every small weapon is a pure negative on a ship, making them cost as much as they are worth (zero) will give you the choice between adding them, or not adding them to save more flux.

And believe me, the way they are now many ships will still chose not to take them.
The only exceptions are probably small railguns and anti matter blasters
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CanaldoVoid

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2021, 04:15:57 PM »

That being said armor doesn't regenerate (unless they add some hullmod for that?) and all this does is buy time.
Not in combat, but there's skills for it after combat, both on a fleet and individual officer level.

Also have you checked out the latest blog?
https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=21820.0
Thanks, it's a nice start, but it still doesn't change the fact that low tech loses in both offensive and defensive power, being more usable is just one aspect in which they are lacking.

An onslaught or dominator with all of it's weapon mounts is useless if they don't actually put any of them to use, and if they do they end up exploding even faster and getting even worse due to flux stats and OP costs

Even with this massive buff I still feel like high tech will still have the edge in combat most of the time, without it it's a nobrainer, low tech is only ever valuable if you use the broken/cheesy Derelic contingent skill.
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Retry

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2021, 08:53:33 PM »

Changing the cost of small PD guns to 0 OP basically removes any choice involved in making builds. Why would you ever leave mounts empty in that scenario? There's no trade-off.
Quite the opposite, right now there is no choice, every small weapon is a pure negative on a ship, making them cost as much as they are worth (zero) will give you the choice between adding them, or not adding them to save more flux.
Railguns and Needlers are very good small ballistic kinetics which pair well with HE missiles and low-ish end HE medium ballistics.  Vulcans are excellent cheap general PD weapons, it only needs a few to make a firing arc extremely resilient to missile threats without dedicating valuable Medium or Large slots to the task.  Light Mortars are already cheap and flux efficient HE guns you can just plop on when there's more mounts available than your flux or OP can feasibly support (Lasher, Mora).  LMGs & DLMGs are excellent compliments to ACGs in SO builds.
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while high tech ships often have great range (specially the paragon)
Mostly false.
High tech ships are reliant on energy weapons.  Their long-range options are the following:

Small
Tactical Laser: 1000 range, Soft flux, low damage, fairly poor efficiency for its size.  It's far easier to find threads with people saying it's too weak than it is to find people saying it's too strong, not used terribly frequently (sometimes for IPDAI shenanigans).
LR PD Laser: By technicality (800 range).  Soft flux, not suited to anti-ship roles due to poor hitting power.

Medium
Graviton Beam: 1000 range, Soft flux, kinetic but still low damage, fairly good flux efficiency (especially vs shields).  Like the Tactical Laser, it also tends to spawn the "This Gun Sucks" sort of thread.

Large
High Intensity Laser: 1000 range, Soft flux, lots of HE damage.  Nice vs armor and hull but needs help to get through shields
Tachyon Lance: 1000 range, Soft flux, lots of burst energy damage with an EMP component and arcing if target has high flux.  While good, it's not terribly high raw DPS and the arcing effect needs hard flux to work at all, so again, needs help to get through shields.

Important to note that energy (and High Tech as such) has no long-range hard flux options whatsoever.  By contrast, though Small Ballistics lack 1000-range hardflux guns in Vanilla (and thank god for that), 2 good hard flux Medium Ballistics at the 1000 range bracket in the form of HVDs and Heavy Maulers, 1 hard flux Large Ballistic that still holds the record of longest base range in the game (Gauss Cannon, 1200), and a smattering of 900-range hard flux Large Ballistics that outrange vanilla energy's hard flux options.

The only high-tech warship that can compete in the Range game is the Paragon, specifically due to its built-in Targeting Core Mod giving a +100% range bonus over DTC's +50% and ITU's +60%.  Without that hullmod the Paragon's just a big, annoying shield brick that any other cap specced for range can blow over (with time).

So no, high tech does not have a general range advantage over Lowtech or Midline, in fact the exact opposite is true.
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low tech ships are often best built sacrificing most of their weapon slots
Sort of covered in the first reply, but Lowtech (and often Midline) ships do not gain anything by sacrificing most of their weapon slots.  Very few even downsize their weapon slots, though it's not unheard of.  Most of the consistently best performing low-tech builds neither downsize mounts nor remove them entirely.

In fact, it's often high tech ships (and occasionally Midline) that benefit from forgoing mounts.  Energy PD is often ineffectual overall, often placed in poor positions and poor quality arcs, and expensive for its DP cost.  No point putting in 12 OP for rear PD lasers on your Medusa if they won't even stop a Salamander, might as well use your integrated Omni-shielding to stop them anyways and use the OP to bolster the rest of the ship.  Apogee is another high-tech ship that suffers from this problem, many of the turret mounts are of poor quality, so most of the best Apogee builds neglect those and double down on enhancing what the large energy hardpoint and the large missile slot can do.

Again, the reverse is more true than your initial claim.
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the high tech wants to be as far away as possible so they can vent flux and tank stuff using their shields
I can't very well benefit from the Energy Weapon Mastery skill if I'm as far away as possible, now can I?

Heck, I can't very well use my hard flux energy weapons at all if I'm as far away as possible, because as previously shown High Tech does not have a hard-flux range advantage.
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In fact frigates only really got more decent recently because they got some proper slots.
The number of frigates which have had slot improvements in Star Sector patch 0.95 is 1.  0 if neglecting ships that have been rehauled into a completely different ship (which is to say, Hyperion).

The improvement Frigates received in 0.95 is slightly tied to improvements to some key small weapons (IR Pulse Laser, notably), and primarily tied to the reworked Skill system which enabled several strong frigate-specific (and CQC specific in the case of hightech & midline frigates) buffs to both raw firepower and PPT.  Hyperion was a complete rework, other than that mount changes had nothing to do with it (and didn't happen as you describe).
Quote
Make small slot PD weapons cost 0 OP (yes, zero)
Make some small slot weapons cost a little bit of OP, like 1 or 2 for stuff like raiguns.
Greatly decrease flux generation for small slot weapons, specially ballistics
Ah, right, the suggestion itself.

Considering the obvious that all ships are currently designed with certain factors in mind (notably: that weapons are not free), this would quite obviously break the shipbuilding portion of the game and require, at minimum, an Ordnance Point shift for every ship in the game (yes, all of them).

One of the more amusing ways it would break things is by making the downsizing of medium mounts with what used to be premium weaponry far more fashionable.  For a tangible example, the Railgun already makes the Arbalest Autocannon's life quite hard, and they're the same cost.  At 2 OP it's a blatant no brainer to take a Railgun over that, and with an extra flux efficiency buff for smalls like you've suggested they can also easily replace masses of not just low-end mediums or even high-end mediums with downsized Smalls, using OP saved to easily compensate the slight theoretical DPS and range losses through caps, vents, and a shipload of hullmods.



Anyways, most of what's being stated is flat-out incorrect, and these assumptions appear to be at least partially based on poor loadout designs.  I, and plenty of people more experienced in Star Sector than me, would be curious to see your designs over at General, so we can critique the ships and find out precisely why you believe small weapons are so, uh, bad.
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Morgan Rue

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2021, 09:29:28 PM »

Am just here to state that you are probably not putting Integrated Targeting Unit or Dedicated Targeting Core on your Cruisers and Capitals, CanaldoVoid. One of these range boost hullmods is essential for larger ships to function properly. This is perhaps why you feel outranged and outspeeded?

either that or your entire game consists of only Paragons somehow?

Would you mind posting some screenshots of the ship fits you use? The base game will take a screenshot when you press printscreen and put it in the Fractal Softworks\Starsector\screenshots folder
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CanaldoVoid

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2021, 10:37:15 PM »

Changing the cost of small PD guns to 0 OP basically removes any choice involved in making builds. Why would you ever leave mounts empty in that scenario? There's no trade-off.
Quite the opposite, right now there is no choice, every small weapon is a pure negative on a ship, making them cost as much as they are worth (zero) will give you the choice between adding them, or not adding them to save more flux.
Railguns and Needlers are very good small ballistic kinetics which pair well with HE missiles and low-ish end HE medium ballistics.  Vulcans are excellent cheap general PD weapons, it only needs a few to make a firing arc extremely resilient to missile threats without dedicating valuable Medium or Large slots to the task.  Light Mortars are already cheap and flux efficient HE guns you can just plop on when there's more mounts available than your flux or OP can feasibly support (Lasher, Mora).  LMGs & DLMGs are excellent compliments to ACGs in SO builds.
Quote
while high tech ships often have great range (specially the paragon)
Mostly false.
High tech ships are reliant on energy weapons.  Their long-range options are the following:

Small
Tactical Laser: 1000 range, Soft flux, low damage, fairly poor efficiency for its size.  It's far easier to find threads with people saying it's too weak than it is to find people saying it's too strong, not used terribly frequently (sometimes for IPDAI shenanigans).
LR PD Laser: By technicality (800 range).  Soft flux, not suited to anti-ship roles due to poor hitting power.

Medium
Graviton Beam: 1000 range, Soft flux, kinetic but still low damage, fairly good flux efficiency (especially vs shields).  Like the Tactical Laser, it also tends to spawn the "This Gun Sucks" sort of thread.

Large
High Intensity Laser: 1000 range, Soft flux, lots of HE damage.  Nice vs armor and hull but needs help to get through shields
Tachyon Lance: 1000 range, Soft flux, lots of burst energy damage with an EMP component and arcing if target has high flux.  While good, it's not terribly high raw DPS and the arcing effect needs hard flux to work at all, so again, needs help to get through shields.

Important to note that energy (and High Tech as such) has no long-range hard flux options whatsoever.  By contrast, though Small Ballistics lack 1000-range hardflux guns in Vanilla (and thank god for that), 2 good hard flux Medium Ballistics at the 1000 range bracket in the form of HVDs and Heavy Maulers, 1 hard flux Large Ballistic that still holds the record of longest base range in the game (Gauss Cannon, 1200), and a smattering of 900-range hard flux Large Ballistics that outrange vanilla energy's hard flux options.

The only high-tech warship that can compete in the Range game is the Paragon, specifically due to its built-in Targeting Core Mod giving a +100% range bonus over DTC's +50% and ITU's +60%.  Without that hullmod the Paragon's just a big, annoying shield brick that any other cap specced for range can blow over (with time).

So no, high tech does not have a general range advantage over Lowtech or Midline, in fact the exact opposite is true.
Quote
low tech ships are often best built sacrificing most of their weapon slots
Sort of covered in the first reply, but Lowtech (and often Midline) ships do not gain anything by sacrificing most of their weapon slots.  Very few even downsize their weapon slots, though it's not unheard of.  Most of the consistently best performing low-tech builds neither downsize mounts nor remove them entirely.

In fact, it's often high tech ships (and occasionally Midline) that benefit from forgoing mounts.  Energy PD is often ineffectual overall, often placed in poor positions and poor quality arcs, and expensive for its DP cost.  No point putting in 12 OP for rear PD lasers on your Medusa if they won't even stop a Salamander, might as well use your integrated Omni-shielding to stop them anyways and use the OP to bolster the rest of the ship.  Apogee is another high-tech ship that suffers from this problem, many of the turret mounts are of poor quality, so most of the best Apogee builds neglect those and double down on enhancing what the large energy hardpoint and the large missile slot can do.

Again, the reverse is more true than your initial claim.
Quote
the high tech wants to be as far away as possible so they can vent flux and tank stuff using their shields
I can't very well benefit from the Energy Weapon Mastery skill if I'm as far away as possible, now can I?

Heck, I can't very well use my hard flux energy weapons at all if I'm as far away as possible, because as previously shown High Tech does not have a hard-flux range advantage.
Quote
In fact frigates only really got more decent recently because they got some proper slots.
The number of frigates which have had slot improvements in Star Sector patch 0.95 is 1.  0 if neglecting ships that have been rehauled into a completely different ship (which is to say, Hyperion).

The improvement Frigates received in 0.95 is slightly tied to improvements to some key small weapons (IR Pulse Laser, notably), and primarily tied to the reworked Skill system which enabled several strong frigate-specific (and CQC specific in the case of hightech & midline frigates) buffs to both raw firepower and PPT.  Hyperion was a complete rework, other than that mount changes had nothing to do with it (and didn't happen as you describe).
Quote
Make small slot PD weapons cost 0 OP (yes, zero)
Make some small slot weapons cost a little bit of OP, like 1 or 2 for stuff like raiguns.
Greatly decrease flux generation for small slot weapons, specially ballistics
Ah, right, the suggestion itself.

Considering the obvious that all ships are currently designed with certain factors in mind (notably: that weapons are not free), this would quite obviously break the shipbuilding portion of the game and require, at minimum, an Ordnance Point shift for every ship in the game (yes, all of them).

One of the more amusing ways it would break things is by making the downsizing of medium mounts with what used to be premium weaponry far more fashionable.  For a tangible example, the Railgun already makes the Arbalest Autocannon's life quite hard, and they're the same cost.  At 2 OP it's a blatant no brainer to take a Railgun over that, and with an extra flux efficiency buff for smalls like you've suggested they can also easily replace masses of not just low-end mediums or even high-end mediums with downsized Smalls, using OP saved to easily compensate the slight theoretical DPS and range losses through caps, vents, and a shipload of hullmods.



Anyways, most of what's being stated is flat-out incorrect, and these assumptions appear to be at least partially based on poor loadout designs.  I, and plenty of people more experienced in Star Sector than me, would be curious to see your designs over at General, so we can critique the ships and find out precisely why you believe small weapons are so, uh, bad.

Listing useless weapons as exceptions to the rule does not make a point at all

Being the best small PD is like winning the special olympics, all small PD is worthless and not worth the cost, it's often better to just take a crappy missile to your own shields than waste the flux trying to shoot them down, if you're going for PD go for a real one devastator cannons or just let fighters take care of missiles instead, dual flak works too, but small PD? Sorry, that's shooting yourself in the foot.

As for the weapon ranges: We can safely ignore small slots, as usual, graviton beams are some of the best weapons in the game, people just don't understand what exactly it's doing, while it's not the most flux efficient or menacing weapon in the game, it is one with a meaningful amount of shield damage+range, the AI will often feel threatened by it and move back and forth while never lowering their own shields and eventually overloading because they can't catch a break, also, you forgot another one of the best weapons in the game with 1k range: Ion beams, they can turn off half an enemy ship through shields while doing something similar to grav beams, not worth it to spam these but having one in most ships is well worth the slot.
As for the large slots you've already covered the tachyon lances AKA: Anything smaller than a capital ship gets instantly destroyed by the deathstar paragon so there's that, if you add hullmods then yeah, nothing will outrange these 3 weapons, and that's often all you'll need.
But if you must build hardflux there's always the plasma cannon too, it's not the longest range weapon in the game, but it's in the upper brackets and considering high tech is often more mobile, there are no instances in which you'll be getting shot with them and won't be shooting back anyway.

Meanwhile ballistics have only one true long range weapon and it's in the railgun family, small, medium and large, and while the large version can outrange everything, on paper, it doesn't have access to adv optics, long range anti armor is often a bad idea anyway, 90% of the time you'll be hitting a shield so you're better off just using the railguns instead to overload their shields before they can retreat (since they are far anyway it's not hard) and hitting the hull with sub optimal damage, low damage > no damage.

The needlers used to be really, really great, a long time ago, now they often overload your own ships just as fast as they overload the enemy shields, and since the AI is a bit smarter about shields they sometimes decide to just tank it with armor dealing no real damage while still overloading your own ships, bad weapons in general.

so if you don't count the railgun family, and if you count the energy weapon hullmod you'll often use if you want to use energy weapons then pretty much every ballistic weapon will be outranged by energy weapons, so your post was incorrect, in fact there is only one ship that really makes use of very long range ballistics and that's because it's hull is made of paper and the shield is even worse, and that's the Conquest, which isn't even a low tech ship.

As for the energy weapon mastery, yeah, it was a weird one, basically it only exists for the sake of anti matter blaster spammers, phase lances as well but they are often both present in the same kinds of ships, dooms and some small size ships that move around the battlefield like assassins, no big ship would require that mastery and gunnery implants is often the superior choice unless you're going to specialize heavily, it's similar to phase mastery, necessary for phase ships, useless for everything else.
Curiously both of them are often picked together.
Oh and heavy Blasters too, but again, it's a small ship thing, often SO'd hunters and if you're using such heavy flux weapons you're also going to leave a lot of slots empty or melt trying to shoot.

That being said, if you're wasting more flux than you're generating with bad weapons that spend most of the time shooting at non-issues like PD then I would assume your own designs are quite poor instead, have you even finished all the content of the new patch? (doritos ships, etc... No modding/cheating to increase battle sizes or cheesing the fight)?

PS: Thinking back of some of your assumptions it sounds like you've been playing the early game over and over again, with the way you can cheese the game with story points that early game part doesn't last more than a couple of hours, since you can salvage a real ship very, very early and never look back, or are you using meme fleets like frigate spams?
It would be weird to imagine anyone thinking that high tech is anything but a long range fighter unless they are doing meme or early game fleets.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 10:57:54 PM by CanaldoVoid »
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Thaago

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2021, 11:54:57 PM »

Quote
so if you don't count the railgun family, and if you count the energy weapon hullmod you'll often use if you want to use energy weapons then pretty much every ballistic weapon will be outranged by energy weapons, so your post was incorrect, in fact there is only one ship that really makes use of very long range ballistics and that's because it's hull is made of paper and the shield is even worse, and that's the Conquest, which isn't even a low tech ship.

But this just isn't true. For every size class (small, medium, large) ballistic weapons have standard options that are longer ranged than all energy weapons of the same size, with the exception of beams (soft flux). Smalls: every ballistic small mount gun other than PD is 600 or 700 range vs energy's 500 range IR PD. Medium: Even without the 1000 range HVD and Heavy mauler, ballistic has the heavy autocannon at 800, heavy needler at 750, and the heavy mortar at 700 vs pulse laser/heavy blaster at 600. At large, Mk IX's, Heaphestus, and Mjolnirs are at 900 (and gauss at 1200) while autopulse/plasma is at 700. The Storm Needler is deliberately a short ranged brawling weapon and it has 700 range, same as the energy large mounts. You mention the Plasma Cannon as being in the upper band, but most medium ballistics are longer ranged than it, and every single large except the Storm Needler is longer ranged. They get boosted up to 1400 (1505 with gunnery implants) on a Paragon thanks to its special hullmod. A normal capital with a 900 range generic large has 1440 (1575 with gunnery) range... even with its +100% range Paragons are slightly outranged by the "medium" range large ballistics, and high tech ships without that special hullmod are uniformly outranged. They do get speed to compensate (except for the Apogee, which while a strong defensive ship is easily kited to death by pretty much anything built for it): high tech is all about close range fighting, unless they are attempting to overwhelm with beams which works right up until it really doesn't.

Advanced Optics is good, but only works on beams. Not to say beam builds are bad (love me my Artillery Sunder as a specialized support ship), but there are definite disadvantages to go with the range (low DPS for all but HIL and soft flux so is hard countered by SO and very good shields (cough remnants/omegas)). Relying entirely on beams ends badly...

There are close range ballistic guns that are shorter ranged than energy weapons, but they tend to be used with specialized SO builds.

Small PD is also only flux expensive on energy ships: Vulcans cost 20 flux per second and have 500 frag DPS (less DPS in practice because of the spread), vs pd lasers with 75 flux per second and 75 energy dps. Vulcans are excellent PD, to the point where skilled Onslaughts, Dominators, or Enforcers can forgo flak entirely (at least in the arcs with vulcans) if they don't want to also protect other ships. Devastators, while excellent anti-fighter, are actually quite poor PD against missiles because of their long fire delay. Dual Flaks are excellent, but are very flux expensive: 152 fps, or roughly 3 frag damage (AoE) per flux. Regular flak is 50 dps, or 4 frag damage
 (AoE) per flux. Vulcans are 25 frag damage per flux in theory, less in practice due to misses.

Needlers are the most efficient anti-shield weapon in the game and have high alpha bursts(other than sabots, but thats another story) and in turn have very small armor/hull penetration. They are still very good, just specialized.
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CanaldoVoid

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2021, 08:07:57 AM »


Small PD is also only flux expensive on energy ships: Vulcans cost 20 flux per second and have 500 frag DPS (less DPS in practice because of the spread), vs pd lasers with 75 flux per second and 75 energy dps. Vulcans are excellent PD, to the point where skilled Onslaughts, Dominators, or Enforcers can forgo flak entirely (at least in the arcs with vulcans) if they don't want to also protect other ships. Devastators, while excellent anti-fighter, are actually quite poor PD against missiles because of their long fire delay. Dual Flaks are excellent, but are very flux expensive: 152 fps, or roughly 3 frag damage (AoE) per flux. Regular flak is 50 dps, or 4 frag damage
 (AoE) per flux. Vulcans are 25 frag damage per flux in theory, less in practice due to misses.

Needlers are the most efficient anti-shield weapon in the game and have high alpha bursts(other than sabots, but thats another story) and in turn have very small armor/hull penetration. They are still very good, just specialized.
20 flux wasted is 20 flux wasted, then you add the OP wasted which you could have used to lower flux costs further with hardened shields, dissipation or stabilized shields and 20 turns out to be a lot higher, it's a waste 100% of the time.

Besides, like you mentioned, Starsector has fleet battles, not duels, the small PD "efficiency" is horribly ineficient since it 1: Can't protect other ships, 2: often shoots at low threat targets nonstop wasting way more flux than actual weapons and 3: more often than not the targets they end up shooting would have wasted less flux by hitting a shield.

As for high tech PD, know what's really efficient anti shield? reducing all damage to .4 flux or lower, high tech also doesn't need to care about PD 90% of the time, the difference is that they are better at it, besides, when things get dangerous a spray of locusts can often wipe out the screen, or a single doom laying mines, or a single onslaught with a careful officer and 3 devastator cannons taking out the brunt of missiles (not like it can handle the good guns like a conquest anyway) or a couple of modified destroyers with xyphos floating around them, or a couple of monitor escords drawing fire, or a couple of tempests, etc...
You get the idea, tl;dr of all the ways to handle bombers and missiles small PD is the worst of the worst, it doesn't matter how much damage it deals, if it costs more than zero it's a waste, even if it costs zero it's most likely a waste and many ships that don't intend to get right in the face of an enemy (to actually use the PD as an offensive weapon) will still end up not taking them.

The trick to this game is in the shields, the most energy efficient weapons in the entire game are still chumps compared to shields, specially high tech shields, even if you have a 1 to 1 damage ratio which few weapons have it will most likely get reduced to .4 or even less of that value, the less you shoot the more "damage" you deal in comparisson, any ship that is not flux neutral, or less, is dead weight, and since low tech ships often have even less flux than high tech, while having more mounts, they end up in this weird spot in which they could carry 2x the guns of a high tech ship and end up carrying either half the guns, or a bunch of worthless guns that are all bark and no bite.

Like teh aforementioned mortars, great flux efficiency, too bad they are bad against shields and also horrible against armor (you need high damage per shot against armor, not DPS)
In fact most energy weapons are usable, specially the beams, but even the other energy weapons are still great and are often regarded as the kings of burst damage, sure they spend more, but high tech also has more to spend. While most ballistics are a waste of time and flux, again, with the exception of very few like the gauss family and the mjolnir cannons that AFAIK only a single ship can realy use it without unequiping basically every other mount (conquest, not low tech) and needlers if you plan on using reckless officers intended to get destroyed in every hard fight nearly instantly acting as a single user longbow wing, which isn't very efficient either.

As for ship designs: Other than the monitor everything small and low tech tends to be horrible, the dominator is also horrible and can't handle half it's weapon mounts, often dealing more damage to itself than the enemy, the onslaught is quite a meme on reddit already because it was supposed to bring a bunch of firepower, but it just doesn't, and then it gets flanked and/or overloaded and dies.

In fact, so much for having "hard flux" when a single paragon with 4 tachyon lances can simply overload it in one or 2 salvos and then instantly take it out, it was quite (un)funny when I found another lvl 7 timid officer with gunnery, shield mastery, etc.. and as I was about to throw her out I remembered the paragon outranges everything in the game, so I let it pilot a paragon with unstable injectors, 4 tachyon, 2 gauss and grav beams and to my surprise it got so annoying, so annoying that in autopilot mode it could take on 2 onslaughts+1 paragon at the same time in simulation, the real challenge being the other paragon obviously, the moment my own would get far enough the onslaught would try try catch up to it by using F and then it would get blow up before it could get out of range again, pathetic. So I end up making a long range retreating fleet all around that timid paragon flagship and then there was no challenge left in the game. Can't lose if the enemy can't shoot back.

Anyway, I used to use needlers too, years ago when they were better, now they don't fit the game anymore, best remnant hunters I got are basic SO eagles with 2 Heavy Machineguns on fixed mounts (so they will act like actual weapons, not wasting time shooting random crap) 2 heavy blasters and the optional 2 burst lasers PD (if you plan on getting away from your own fleet), this guy can solo every remnant ship in the game besides a radiant and hunt down stragglers with ease, simply because at max damage output and with shields up it's still flux neutral, so ALL of it's flux gets directed to the shields instead of blowing itself up like low techs often do. And ofc, it's a midline ship AKA the better low techs.

Honestly, having armor doesn't cut it, if that's the only thing they have going for them then it's no wonder they are just bad.
Now, if they could carry a lot more firepower and actually make use of all of it's weapon mounts as suggested.... Then I could see low tech having a role in battle, you really wouldn't want to approach it.

Edit: Oh yeah, and sabots, just bring them and you'll never have to worry about hard or soft flux ever again, if they decide to take it all to their shields it's an instant overload, if they lower their shields then their ship gets basically turned off anyway, it's a win/win, there are no bad targets for sabots.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 08:12:33 AM by CanaldoVoid »
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Retry

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2021, 09:50:09 AM »

I was going to respond with some huge point-by-point rebuttal of most of these points but I thought of a better idea.

OP, this thread has attracted a lot of attention from others within the community because of some (well, many) claims that are unorthodox.  Clearly you and I are talking over each other and neither of us is going to be convinced by the manner of words.

As such, I would like to invite you to a community PVP AI Tourney

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to create a fleet composition with given rules and restrictions, and these fleets get thrust against each other in the field of battle until a victorious side emerges.

Most players outfit their ships more closely to what I describe (as such: far more fitting of various small slots onto warships).  If Star Sector combat works far more closely to what you're saying, then your fleet compositions should have no issue defeating their fleet compositions.

If it's your fleet compositions that perform consistently well over the currently-known "conventional" community member compositions, I'll have no choice but to accept that your points are correct, such as that smalls are near-useless and high-tech ships are the true long-range doctrine, and that your suggestion of reducing all small weapons to 0-2 OP is valid.

Should you accept this invitation, you'll have considerable sway as the guest of honour on what precisely the ruleset and various restrictions on building ships and fleets will be, such that you feel that the Tournament experience is a fair one without "cheese" or "meme" compositions.

So, will you accept?
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Arcagnello

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Re: Possible buff to Low Tech Ships idea
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2021, 09:52:11 AM »

Oh Retry, that may have been the classiest comment ever posted on this forum in the past month. You make Ludd proud.

I'll be sure to cheer everyone on from the sidelines of this Tournament for sheer entertainment value, this looks too good to pass up  8)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 09:55:05 AM by Arcagnello »
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