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Author Topic: N00b questions  (Read 4972 times)

Worldtraveller

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N00b questions
« on: July 21, 2023, 10:47:18 AM »

Just discovered this game about a week ago, and after some rough starts, running out of supplies, fuel, cash, etc....I'm really starting to dig it. I've been trying to find answers to these prior to posting without much luck. I've watched several of the tutorial youtube videos, and they are mostly pretty helpful, but still don't answer a few of my specific questions. I've also read through quite a bit of the forum already, and again, the answers are either out of date (previous version) or I can't find them. :)

First off: missions. Specifically, the merchant convoy missions that pop up. Are those actual missions that one can join and if so, how? I've managed to get to the start system where the mission was spawning. Looked in the bar, the comms, tried to use comms on the convoy itself, all with no luck.

I feel like the way the game difficulty is pretty high, in terms of pirate/opposing faction fleets as well. I am just starting to try the commission (Hegemony) missions, so maybe that will improve, but a lot of the random missions seem like they would require a huge fleet with capital ships, and I haven't even got a cruiser yet (started with the Hammerhead Fleet). I'm not sure if I'm missing something again, but it seems to be a theme in several threads here, so I'm going to chime in and agree with those. I don't mind a steep learning curve, and it may turn out that this game isn't for me, but I really like a lot of what I'm seeing so for, so I have high hopes.

For my more esoteric questions.... I like to play a little more hands off in combat, and just sit back and watch the battles (I'm a sucker for Gratuitous Space Battles 2). The AI, however, seems to have some odd ideas on how best to use a ship in combat, and I'm not that skilled.  Some of them do really well, depending on the loadouts, and I have already found myself adjusting the armaments on some of the ships after running the battle simulations to see how the AI handles it.

I know, from watching the tutorials, that once I get colonies, I can adjust the aggressiveness of my fleets, but is there a way to set the aggression level on individual (non-NPC officer) ships? If not, I suggest maybe something to add in the future? I don't think it should go into the level of detail that the AI adjustments in GSB does, but just a general level other than through the command screen, maybe? 

I want to make a carrier based fleet, and I'm trying to figure out how to make the AI handle them most effectively because I love watching swarms of fighters going after ships and seeing the PDS and opposing screening craft fight it out. :)  Is there a good way to do this, or does the current AI not really support this play style?

Another thought I had: I would like to try to build an explorer fleet. The idea (I think) is that I would need a lot of cargo space for supplies, machinery, and extra crew. I imagine one or two fighting ships for defense (mostly, I'd be running when I can) and the rest support vessels for doing surveys and getting really long range. Question: If I take fuel and supplies to a system, jettison them, and stabilize their orbit, could I basically build myself a chain of supply caches that would get me close to the edge of the map, and more importantly, back? It seems like it would require a lot of patience, which I can manage, and money, which would be harder to do.

Thanks in advance. Off to watch more of Hit Point Inn Gaming's 11 hour tutorial!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2023, 11:52:20 AM by Worldtraveller »
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Sendrien

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2023, 12:07:07 PM »

Just discovered this game about a week ago, and after some rough starts, running out of supplies, fuel, cash, etc....I'm really starting to dig it. I've been trying to find answers to these prior to posting without much luck. I've watched several of the tutorial youtube videos, and they are mostly pretty helpful, but still don't answer a few of my specific questions. I've also read through quite a bit of the forum already, and again, the answers are either out of date (previous version) or I can't find them. :)

Welcome to Starsector! This game will grow on you over time, and as you get deeper into it, the better the game becomes.

First off: missions. Specifically, the merchant convoy missions that pop up. Are those actual missions that one can join and if so, how? I've managed to get to the start system where the mission was spawning. Looked in the bar, the comms, tried to use comms on the convoy itself, all with no luck.

These are not missions you can join, but rather, should you be more of an outlaw by nature, missions you could...take steps to ensure are not successful...get my drift?  ;) Doing so also has the carry-on effect of disrupting the market of the intended destination of the convoy. The significance of this I won't share here, as it may be spoiler material for the endgame.

I feel like the way the game difficulty is pretty high, in terms of pirate/opposing faction fleets as well. I am just starting to try the commission (Hegemony) missions, so maybe that will improve, but a lot of the random missions seem like they would require a huge fleet with capital ships, and I haven't even got a cruiser yet (started with the Hammerhead Fleet). I'm not sure if I'm missing something again, but it seems to be a theme in several threads here, so I'm going to chime in and agree with those. I don't mind a steep learning curve, and it may turn out that this game isn't for me, but I really like a lot of what I'm seeing so for, so I have high hopes.

Starting with a Hegemony commission is one of the HARDEST starts in the game. I strongly recommend against this for new players. The best and easiest start would be a combination of ambushing small pirate fleets composed of frigates and destroyers in a system offering bounties for said pirate, and exploration missions.

For my more esoteric questions.... I like to play a little more hands off in combat, and just sit back and watch the battles (I'm a sucker for Gratuitous Space Battles 2). The AI, however, seems to have some odd ideas on how best to use a ship in combat, and I'm not that skilled.  Some of them do really well, depending on the loadouts, and I have already found myself adjusting the armaments on some of the ships after running the battle simulations to see how the AI handles it.

I use almost exclusively AI and watch fleets perform. The best way to adjust for AI behaviour is simply to use waypoints/rally points, as well as the control/assault for strategic points on the map.

I know, from watching the tutorials, that once I get colonies, I can adjust the aggressiveness of my fleets, but is there a way to set the aggression level on individual (non-NPC officer) ships? If not, I suggest maybe something to add in the future? I don't think it should go into the level of detail that the AI adjustments in GSB does, but just a general level other than through the command screen, maybe? 

I want to make a carrier based fleet, and I'm trying to figure out how to make the AI handle them most effectively because I love watching swarms of fighters going after ships and seeing the PDS and opposing screening craft fight it out. :)  Is there a good way to do this, or does the current AI not really support this play style?

Watch some of CapnHector's content, especially his carrier fleet combat against endgame content. Watch how he manoeuvres his carriers to get the best out of them. Spoiler Warning: He is showcasing his fleets against the strongest endgame content, do not watch if you don't want to be spoiled. https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=6442

Another thought I had: I would like to try to build an explorer fleet. The idea (I think) is that I would need a lot of cargo space for supplies, machinery, and extra crew. I imagine one or two fighting ships for defense (mostly, I'd be running when I can) and the rest support vessels for doing surveys and getting really long range. Question: If I take fuel and supplies to a system, jettison them, and stabilize their orbit, could I basically build myself a chain of supply caches that would get me close to the edge of the map, and more importantly, back? It seems like it would require a lot of patience, which I can manage, and money, which would be harder to do.

Thanks in advance. Off to watch more of Hit Point Inn Gaming's 11 hour tutorial!

You could do that. But you don't need to. For the explorer path, simply invest in Bulk Transport and Navigation, which will make all your Atlas and Prometheus hulls travel at 20 burn (sustained). Problem solved. :)
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eert5rty7u8i9i7u6yrewqdef

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2023, 12:28:08 PM »

Just discovered this game about a week ago, and after some rough starts, running out of supplies, fuel, cash, etc....I'm really starting to dig it. I've been trying to find answers to these prior to posting without much luck. I've watched several of the tutorial youtube videos, and they are mostly pretty helpful, but still don't answer a few of my specific questions. I've also read through quite a bit of the forum already, and again, the answers are either out of date (previous version) or I can't find them. :)

First off: missions. Specifically, the merchant convoy missions that pop up. Are those actual missions that one can join and if so, how? I've managed to get to the start system where the mission was spawning. Looked in the bar, the comms, tried to use comms on the convoy itself, all with no luck.

I feel like the way the game difficulty is pretty high, in terms of pirate/opposing faction fleets as well. I am just starting to try the commission (Hegemony) missions, so maybe that will improve, but a lot of the random missions seem like they would require a huge fleet with capital ships, and I haven't even got a cruiser yet (started with the Hammerhead Fleet). I'm not sure if I'm missing something again, but it seems to be a theme in several threads here, so I'm going to chime in and agree with those. I don't mind a steep learning curve, and it may turn out that this game isn't for me, but I really like a lot of what I'm seeing so for, so I have high hopes.

For my more esoteric questions.... I like to play a little more hands off in combat, and just sit back and watch the battles (I'm a sucker for Gratuitous Space Battles 2). The AI, however, seems to have some odd ideas on how best to use a ship in combat, and I'm not that skilled.  Some of them do really well, depending on the loadouts, and I have already found myself adjusting the armaments on some of the ships after running the battle simulations to see how the AI handles it.

I know, from watching the tutorials, that once I get colonies, I can adjust the aggressiveness of my fleets, but is there a way to set the aggression level on individual (non-NPC officer) ships? If not, I suggest maybe something to add in the future? I don't think it should go into the level of detail that the AI adjustments in GSB does, but just a general level other than through the command screen, maybe? 

I want to make a carrier based fleet, and I'm trying to figure out how to make the AI handle them most effectively because I love watching swarms of fighters going after ships and seeing the PDS and opposing screening craft fight it out. :)  Is there a good way to do this, or does the current AI not really support this play style?

Thanks in advance. Off to watch more of Hit Point Inn Gaming's 11 hour tutorial!
No, it's just providing information on the convoy. Defending it is useful if it's heading towards your colony. Attacking it is useful for stealing its cargo.

Most missions that don't involve attacking things don't require any combat ships. However, they can still be risky, so if you choose to not fight things you encounter when on non attacking missions, it will require setting your fleet to be set up with a high burn level and a low sensor profile. Bounty missions vary, some are possible to complete with a single well built wolf, others require multiple capitals, it all depends on the mission.

Ship loadouts are an art. In general long range is best, but there are exceptions. Using commands to control them is something you just have to learn. Eliminate and direct retreat orders are the riskiest as the A.I. will ignore conditions it would normally pay attention to, however it will force the A.I. to attack a specific target or retreat as fast as possible.

Press D, doctrines and fleet settings, aggressiveness will be on the left hand with options to select from, once you've selected an option all ships without officers will behave with that aggressiveness setting.

Carrier A.I. can be a bit weird, some carriers are classified as battle carriers and will try to get into weapons range, others are classified as normal carriers and will attempt to stay out of weapon range but within fighter range.
The Drover, Mora, Colossus Mk.III, and Legion are all combat carriers and will attempt to engage the enemy despite being carrier focused.
Carriers outside of these, with exceptions like the Odyssey and Prometheus Mk.II, will attempt to stay outside of weapons range. The exceptions are exceptions because they aren't classified as carriers despite having fighter bays.
If you choose to use the combat carriers, you will need to make sure their weapons are all long range, or ensure they are built so they can brawl.
As a rule for all carriers, besides the flash, bombers aren't very useful so stick to fighters. As far as fighters go, you need a mix of kinetic and HE damage to kill enemy ships, so a mix of broadswords and warthogs are the go to.
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keckles

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2023, 07:54:26 PM »

For exploring, you don't really want to rely on caches, not when it's possible to have the endurance or sustainment capabilities for long-range exploration. The unexplored sector has tons of ruins, derelict ships and stations that you can plunder for supplies and fuel, to the point where you actually just don't have the room to carry everything you find. The logistics skills are incredibly useful for increasing the longevity of your supplies and fuel as well as reducing your overall logistic needs; you can always swap out those skills later on when your fleet is more capable and you want to focus more on combat skills.

Ships like the Apogee, Venture and Odyssey are great for exploring though any cruiser or destroyer will do as your early flagship. Have a destroyer and a frigate or two as support and the rest should be tankers, freighters and salvage rigs. The Efficiency Overhaul Hullmod and Solar Shielding can both help a ton for exploring, IMO Solar Shielding is somewhat underrated as it lets you freely boost through storms for improved fuel-efficiency without worrying about your supplies burning away for CR repairs.

You can definitely let your ships handle themselves, 90% of ship combat comes down to how well you build your ships and your options are going to be limited early game. Once you have more money and can buy or find better weapons and hullmods it gets easier but in the beginning you'll struggle to find the weapons and even ships without too many bad Dmods to field. As a few rules of thumb, you want your non-point-defense weapon ranges to roughly match and have more flux vents than what the weapons generate if the ship isn't super fast or tanky; overfluxed ships won't be able to keep their shields up after firing for a bit(depending on how much flux capacity they have) so they'll need to either be fast enough to back away or tanky enough to hold up to enemy fire without shields.

Carrier fleets are 100% viable but probably rely a bit on having the right player skills and good fighters which can be surprisingly difficult to find in usable numbers. You'll also find carriers are kind of like frigates in that they rely on critical mass, you need to have probably at least 4 wings before you start seeing an appreciable effect. It's especially important once you get to having larger battles as there'll be a lot of PD and other *** in the air that can take out fighters and their ordnance at the point of contact, you'll likely still need some battlecarriers or regular combat vessels anyways to prevent the enemy ships from making contact with your backline carriers. Most people suggest pure fighters but IMO a mass of daggers and longbows unleashing waves of Atropos and Sabots can still be pretty potent.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2023, 06:43:49 PM by keckles »
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Worldtraveller

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2023, 02:12:35 PM »

Thanks for all the recommendations. So I built an exploration fleet with lots of fuel and cargo capacity, and made really good money doing that. Now that I've upgraded to some good combat vessels (3 cruisers (2 Eagles and a Dominater(?), a mix of 3 destroyers, 3 Moras, and 6-7 support frigates that I usually set to escort during combat. They are mostly Wolfs, but 2 Lashers, and the custom frigate). My support ships are a couple of tankers and cargo ships. I just bought the really big cargo ship (Atlas?).

Now my problem seems to be that I literally can't find enough fuel (and sometimes supplies) to do much. I can buy everything, but maybe I need to visit different systems and buy all their stuff? The bases are literally out of fuel and supplies. It's not that I can't afford it.

Maybe I grew my fleet to big too fast?

I had to Mothball half my ships to get back from my last mission without running out of supplies.

Thanks for the tip on solar shielding, too. I might try that with my exploration missions.

So, the fights are getting better. The pirate fleets are really scaling up, though! I've managed to siege and destroy a couple of their bases with this fleet and not take too many losses. The problem is that some systems will have so MANY pirate fleets. I could defeat them singly, but they all try to chase you and gang up. :( 

I'm thinking about selling/storing some of my big military ships and going back to exploring the rest of the galaxy. Maybe try to start a colony?
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Sendrien

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2023, 02:38:33 PM »

Thanks for all the recommendations. So I built an exploration fleet with lots of fuel and cargo capacity, and made really good money doing that. Now that I've upgraded to some good combat vessels (3 cruisers (2 Eagles and a Dominater(?), a mix of 3 destroyers, 3 Moras, and 6-7 support frigates that I usually set to escort during combat. They are mostly Wolfs, but 2 Lashers, and the custom frigate). My support ships are a couple of tankers and cargo ships. I just bought the really big cargo ship (Atlas?).

Now my problem seems to be that I literally can't find enough fuel (and sometimes supplies) to do much. I can buy everything, but maybe I need to visit different systems and buy all their stuff? The bases are literally out of fuel and supplies. It's not that I can't afford it.

Maybe I grew my fleet to big too fast?

I had to Mothball half my ships to get back from my last mission without running out of supplies.

Thanks for the tip on solar shielding, too. I might try that with my exploration missions.

So, the fights are getting better. The pirate fleets are really scaling up, though! I've managed to siege and destroy a couple of their bases with this fleet and not take too many losses. The problem is that some systems will have so MANY pirate fleets. I could defeat them singly, but they all try to chase you and gang up. :( 

I'm thinking about selling/storing some of my big military ships and going back to exploring the rest of the galaxy. Maybe try to start a colony?

Fuel - Try Sindria, Nachiketa and Madeira.
Supplies - Try Chicomoztoc, Asher, Kazeron, Culann and Nova Maxios

Maintaining a big fleet is useful if you're planning to do a lot of combat, but if you're only exploring, then you just need a few ships that can punch above their weight class. Right now, I'm running around the Sector with 2 Auroras and 2 Scarabs, and that's literally enough to fight off basically any threat I'll come across. The rest are just logistics ships.

You will encounter some systems with a lot of pirate fleets, or a lot of [REDACTED]. Either you find ways to pick off one at a time (Go Dark is a nice option for this) or you avoid the fights altogether until you can build a fleet that can take down 8+ fleets in one engagement. For that, you will need capital ships, a very optimized fleet of cruisers/carriers, or to change your name to CapnHector.

Starting a colony is one of the joys of Starsector, but it can also bring with it a lot of...responsibility. I would counsel you to at least spend some time getting ready for starting a colony, because things can get very hectic once you do. There will be a LOT of things you have to manage, and it opens up parts of the game that you haven't even been exposed to yet.

My rough checklist for whether I'm ready to start a colony:

- $5M+ in capital
- A system with planet(s) I'm interested in colonizing
- Special items that synergize with those colonies
- A Starliner
- 1000 crustaceans
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Worldtraveller

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2023, 04:29:44 PM »

Crustaceans?  I don't wanna know.   ???

I'll look for those fuel depots. I put all the big ships into storage and went back to exploring, although apparently the Luddic Path are hunting me now (I think because I have the commission, not because of anything I specifically did). I am thinking I might resign the commission for a while so I can explore more safely and use Persean systems. I want to try to get to some of the systems I found data for, but a lot of those also have domain remnants that I need a battle fleet, so I'm guessing a later game option.
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Aeson

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2023, 07:03:28 PM »

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Worldtraveller

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2023, 09:17:05 PM »

Oh, one other question popped up, and don't answer if it's a spoiler, but that annoying little 'fleet' that moves at ungodly speed and zips around hyperspace draining your engines...that is bloody annoying.
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Sendrien

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2023, 09:28:00 PM »

Oh, one other question popped up, and don't answer if it's a spoiler, but that annoying little 'fleet' that moves at ungodly speed and zips around hyperspace draining your engines...that is bloody annoying.

Just interdict it.  ;)
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Worldtraveller

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2023, 07:51:37 AM »

Oh, one other question popped up, and don't answer if it's a spoiler, but that annoying little 'fleet' that moves at ungodly speed and zips around hyperspace draining your engines...that is bloody annoying.

Just interdict it.  ;)
I think I tried and it didn't work. I'll try again.
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Sendrien

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2023, 07:58:51 AM »

I think I tried and it didn't work. I'll try again.

Make sure you're actually using Interdiction Pulse. For me, I so rarely interdict, and so frequently use Active Sensor Burst that I often confuse the two. The default key is "7".
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Worldtraveller

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2023, 10:14:01 AM »

Another question: What determines how many deployment points are available? I've had a few fights where I thought I was going to be able to use all my fighting ships, but I only had about 2/3 of my DP available. I had plenty of supplies, which I thought was the limiter. I think only a couple ships weren't at max CR (which is currently 85% for most of my fleet).
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eert5rty7u8i9i7u6yrewqdef

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2023, 10:26:02 AM »

Another question: What determines how many deployment points are available? I've had a few fights where I thought I was going to be able to use all my fighting ships, but I only had about 2/3 of my DP available. I had plenty of supplies, which I thought was the limiter. I think only a couple ships weren't at max CR (which is currently 85% for most of my fleet).
Officers and their levels are the primary thing that determines initial deployable DP.
The total DP of ships you have in your fleet also increases this.
Controlling battlefield objectives gives you more DP, assuming you control three, you should have the max DP possible. If you're playing at max fleet settings this should be 240.
The skill Best of the Best grants you 10% of the battle size no matter what, bringing the minimum deploy size up to 200 DP assuming you're playing at max fleet size settings.

TLDR, get more officers and level them up, grab some fast frigates and capture the points in combat, and if it works for your build, grab the skill Best of the Best. You don't need to hold the points once you've captured them and deployed your additional ships.

Edit: This is also how it works for enemy fleets. If they have less officers, ships, and or control points, they won't be able to deploy as many ships.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2023, 10:27:39 AM by eert5rty7u8i9i7u6yrewqdef »
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Worldtraveller

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Re: N00b questions
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2023, 12:41:17 PM »

Thanks for the tips.

Most deployments, I start out with 240 DPs. That's before anything happens. But sometimes, it's only 180, or I think I've seen it as low as 160.
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