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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24)

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Author Topic: The XIV is back with a vengeance  (Read 4966 times)

Draba

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The XIV is back with a vengeance
« on: January 08, 2022, 09:12:41 AM »

With the latest changes I gave a spin to low tech again, it's a blast :)
Big ordos are on the easier side with no casualties, and even the special military bounties (S-mod radiants + dorito) are doable with a monitor or 2 lost.

The fleet has 3 groups:
  • 2 XIV Legions, each with a XIV Dominator and a Monitor for support
  • player XIV Onslaught with 3 Monitors, the 2 officered ones get eliminate/distract orders as necessary
Spoiler
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Legion:
  • The MVPs of the fleet, each one usually does almost as much damage as the player Onslaught
  • Buffed squall is great here. With 160 base ammo and elite missile spec+racks it still runs out, but more than pulls its weight in the most important parts of the battle. With ECCM 4 of them are a consistent PD drain covering the fighters, tons of kinetic damage makes low tech's HE guns and daggers shine
  • Buffed armor with impact mitigation and polarized armor makes them unkillable bricks that can stand up to Radiants in their faces for a long time
  • HMG with elite PD makes remnants regret getting close
  • Leftover is spent on PD + 2 cheap and efficient heavy mortars
Spoiler
[close]

Onslaught:
  • HMGs in front were always great, elite PD now makes it even more of a menace against shields
  • Polarized armor + impact mitigation + cancellable burn drive: can actually ram into the middle of some remnants and not worry about it. Squalls flying overhead, all guns blazing, I still giggle when the small fry getting close on the sides gets smashed by elite PD HMG + devastator.
  • Not much change otherwise, can just realistically get close and stay there now.
Spoiler
[close]

Dominator:
  • As before, polarized armor + impact mitigation + cancellable burn drive = AI-friendly brick of doom. Even when they get into a bad position you have plenty of time to send help before they get blown up.
  • Base buff + ordnance expertise + ballistic rangefinder + ballistic mastery combined are massive buffs. Can support dual Hephaestus to chunk up whatever has shields dropped, and the 3 light autocannons are well worth the 15 DP rangefinder tax.
Spoiler
[close]


1 thing I think is slightly off: light autocannon almost always seems better than other S options (light needler has a case for the burst), and on things with L slots pushes M slots into PD.
Couldn't really find a use for heavy autocannon and HVD/mauler, but that's partially on low tech slot distribution and flux stats.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 04:12:23 PM by Draba »
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Thaago

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2022, 11:22:52 AM »

Cool, thanks for sharing the detailed loadouts and notes! Really interesting to see you using Hephaestus as I kind of think that's a weak weapon, but its obviously working for you. Any thoughts about why you chose it and how its doing?
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Grievous69

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2022, 11:27:48 AM »

I'm morbidly curious about the same thing. HAG is such a weird weapon to me that I never got it to work on any ship, there's always a better alternative. I just look at it as a large weapon and then see the damage per shot, no thx. The crazy flux cost also throws me off a lot.
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Thaago

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2022, 11:37:53 AM »

I used it to chew up hull in the past on a a Dominator: Heph + Hellbore (to crack the armor so the heph is more efficient) + 3 sabots. 2x Hellbore was more efficient but didn't have the raw DPS for hull killing. Thats was a few versions ago though and its probably a stronger choice now as ships have more flux than they used to (from various skills).
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Grievous69

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2022, 11:53:54 AM »

Dominator with 2 MkIX Autocannons, 3 Breach Pods and 2 Thumpers is crazy good, try that one out sometime. Although yeah I could see a mix of HAG and Hellbore working ok.
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Thaago

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2022, 12:02:03 PM »

I need to use the new thumpers more! I treat them as dangerous when I fly, but I haven't worked them into my loadouts yet. I used to do dual thumpers on a Hammerhead, maybe its time for that to have a comback.
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Draba

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2022, 04:10:15 PM »

Cool, thanks for sharing the detailed loadouts and notes! Really interesting to see you using Hephaestus as I kind of think that's a weak weapon, but its obviously working for you. Any thoughts about why you chose it and how its doing?
I'm morbidly curious about the same thing. HAG is such a weird weapon to me that I never got it to work on any ship, there's always a better alternative. I just look at it as a large weapon and then see the damage per shot, no thx. The crazy flux cost also throws me off a lot.
Between squalls, elite PD HMGs, rangefinder LACs, thunders, longbows and elite PD+target analysis monitors with 2 LMGs each shields aren't a problem.
Mark IX is out, flux stats aren't that hot and S/M ballistic doesn't have good 900 range HE options anyway. Storm needler is overkill, and 700 range.
Mjollnir eats too much flux for the damage, Onslaught has other weapons to worry about and 2 would be too much for the Dominator.

Hellbore is awesome, like the Manticores a lot so originally had 2 of them with it but they were a liability in hard fights.
It misses a lot more even with elite ballistic spec, turns very slowly and just doesn't have the same hull killing potential. Also easier to drop shields against.
While heph damage/shot sucks the double DPS+better accuracy kinda-sorta makes up for it in cracking armor, and once armor starts giving in the hull goes much faster.
Very nice for helping out the side guns for the Onslaught, Dominators can comfortably fire it with ordnance expertise so why not.
Also, I just like the sound. Onslaught burning into battle with TPCs and heph going feels super satisfying, somebody is going to have a BAD day :)

(almost)No joke alternative was Devastator.
Between gunnery implants, ballistic spec and elite PD the range gets silly and at low-medium ranges most shots connect so it HURTS for almost no flux use.

No range boost devastator:
Spoiler
[close]
Full range boost devastator:
Spoiler
[close]
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Thaago

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2022, 04:30:46 PM »

Oh huh, Devastator getting range from PD, I hadn't considered that! Thats not base range is it? Probably not, but 200 on top of +85% for a 900 range base weapon is pretty darn far, the the Armored Weapon Mounts + Gunnery implants are going to keep the grouping from getting too wide.
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SafariJohn

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2022, 04:51:40 PM »

I have not messed with it any time recently, but in the past Devastator with acc boost from GI fired in a column instead of a spread.
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Warnoise

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2022, 04:53:19 PM »

Do you have a footage of you beating a full ordo with that? I don't know your build seems to be very flux hungry and Remnants love ganging up on slow ships and killing them one by one.

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Draba

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2022, 06:34:25 AM »

Do you have a footage of you beating a full ordo with that? I don't know your build seems to be very flux hungry and Remnants love ganging up on slow ships and killing them one by one.

Excuse the piloting, don't have to be good when moving so much steel :)
The overloads in the first were a bit embarassing so made another video that has a bit more slapfighting.

Notes:
  • As usual, Monitors are practically cheating. Honestly surprised they are still in the game in the current form, without Harbingers only Paragon is harder to kill (and it can't run away at ~130)
  • Ships with frontal hardpoints are very babysitting-heavy. I generally don't do that and didn't want to make the video too long, even if you give them orders they'll spend at least half their time pointlessly turning anyway. Lucky that the big ones (Apogee, Dominator) are also super durable, so they are never completely useless
  • Legions get a direct order to attack something 500 units away, then proceed to spam squall into bumfk nowhere off screen. That'll never stop annoying me :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prQZWbslbjE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eclAG6BQJ4c
« Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 09:28:14 AM by Draba »
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2022, 09:53:45 AM »

I think the secret tech on onslaught is a cryoblaster. With ballistic range finder, it has good range and it lets you go kinetic heavy without having hull DPS issues.
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Grievous69

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2022, 10:01:38 AM »

I think the secret tech on onslaught is a cryoblaster. With ballistic range finder, it has good range and it lets you go kinetic heavy without having hull DPS issues.
When I read this I got so spooked thinking how the hell are you spying on me... Hold on I'll edit my post with the current campaign build.

Spoiler
[close]
This build is INSANE, originally I had a Thumper there, this was basically a huge upgrade. I'm having so much fun with an Onslaught it's crazy, love low tech this patch. Also ignore the d-mods, I was just in a brutal fight.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 10:06:32 AM by Grievous69 »
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2022, 10:59:30 AM »

I think arblest with ballistic range finder is also kinda nice.
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Draba

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Re: The XIV is back with a vengeance
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2022, 11:40:32 AM »

Oh huh, Devastator getting range from PD, I hadn't considered that! Thats not base range is it? Probably not, but 200 on top of +85% for a 900 range base weapon is pretty darn far, the the Armored Weapon Mounts + Gunnery implants are going to keep the grouping from getting too wide.
No, Alex wrote that rangefinder is base range and PD is a flat bonus.
https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=22918.msg349768#msg349768
Still very nice, and I like the devastator burst chunking up hull so much I'll probably never remove those from Onslaughts.

Dominator with 2 MkIX Autocannons, 3 Breach Pods and 2 Thumpers is crazy good, try that one out sometime. Although yeah I could see a mix of HAG and Hellbore working ok.
Really like breach pods on paper (and for playership), M harpoons with 3 base shots and the slow snaky movement/low health feel pretty bad for AI use.
Breach can shoot 10 times and has some health/can actually hit without ECCM. AI was still not that hot with it in the setups I've tried, yet to find the magic sauce for it.

Also didn't try "new" thumpers yet, probably giving them a go on the Eradicator next.
It's in an awkward spot where it's not fast enough to get out of the way of remnants, not durable enough to facetank them, and has no efficient 900 range options.
Could see it work in a fleet with a different focus, ammo feeder+HMG+assault chaingun+thumpers should do a number on most things.
Dislike the S missile slot spam though, low shot count so higher chance for the slots to be completely useless if AI chooses a bad time.

I think arblest with ballistic range finder is also kinda nice.
Arbalest buff is a godsend for something like Enforcer/Eradicator.
Like the arbalest+heavy mortar with the Enforcer slots, and the Eradicator has enough slots for packing a nasty bite at 700 range.

With rangefinder in the mix LAC is stepping on arbalest's toes, but yeah Onslaught/Conquest aren't that hot on S ballistic slots so can see how accepting a really economic gun at 800 range can be good.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 12:13:56 PM by Draba »
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