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Author Topic: Which ships/tech doctrines lose the least from operating without officers?  (Read 1098 times)

Cryovolcanic

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In the midgame, I sometimes hit the officer cap from finding a bunch from sleeper pods, but I don't quite have the weapons or capital ships I want. If filling out a 240 or 240+ fleet with smaller ships, without officers or Support Doctrine, what kind of ships would you go for? Let's say you don't have Automated Ships or enough AI cores, and you haven't found the Sentinel ships either. Would you go grab some mercenary officers on smaller ships?

Said another way, which ships/tech style scale the best WITH officers?

I keep wanting to find some way to spam cheap unofficered support ships, ideally with civilian-grade hulls, but there aren't many buffing effects in the base game other than nav and ECM (and Escort Package). I guess that's what SD is for but I find SD very hard to fit into an officer-focused fleet before the level cap.

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Killer of Fate

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probably beam spammers and carriers by the virtue of not gaining that much from officers in the first place... (beams focusing on dealing damage at over 1000 units, carriers not having that many synergistic skills)
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Phenir

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Carriers for sure. Throw some random condors in with talons/gladius, or pirahnas/khopesh depending on what your fleet needs (anti fighter/frigate and anti cruiser/capital). Give them pilums or salamanders and they work nicely as support. If they die, so what? They are cheap as hell. Collossus mk 3 is another cheap carrier, just 8 dp, but lacks missile support the condor has. Alternatively, some throw away ships you expect to die like vanguards or monitors. They can tie up enemy for a long time while your other ships do damage. Just fit reinforced bulkheads on any ship that isn't already "almost always recoverable".
Ship types that scale best with officers is probably low tech armor tankers or phase ships. They get so much from officers it can be hard to choose what skills you want on them. For low tech, only energy weapon mastery is really bad for them (and systems expertise depending on the ship [burn drive] but at least you can elite that for the damage reduction) while for phase ships, either ballistic mastery or energy weapon mastery depending on low tech or high tech phase.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2024, 11:46:22 AM by Phenir »
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Doctorhealsgood

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I thought officered carriers get doubled bonuses from the carrier fleet skills
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Quote from: Doctorhealsgood
Sometimes i feel like my brain has been hit by salamanders not gonna lie.

prav

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I thought officered carriers get doubled bonuses from the carrier fleet skills

Double of not very much is still not very much.
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Bungee_man

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Honestly, if you've got a fleet of smaller ships, support doctrine might be the way to go. That said, carriers don't really gain anything from officers, and Monitors become more survivable but not really any better beyond the margins. It does sort of depend on what you're fighting and what your general composition looks like, but, as a rule, officers are good for your brawling ships that benefit a lot from having a bit more shields and doing a bit more damage, and less meaningful for ships that are either there or they aren't, without much of a gradient in terms of performance.

I think low-tech also loses a bit less, on account of the fact that they use armor for defense, and so losing the flux war doesn't make them useless.
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Thaago

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I thought officered carriers get doubled bonuses from the carrier fleet skills

Officered carriers get 50% more of the incredibly powerful carrier fleet skills, yes, but not every fighter makes the same use of the bonuses.

For refit time: some fighters only need a little boost to their replacement to keep up with heavy losses, so can be safely spammed in even very high flight-deck count fleets, or even on fleets with no skills at all. Others (Bombers, and especially the Flash!) have crazy rebuild times and want all the bonuses they can get.

For the speed, all fighters want it but again its bombers that benefit the most from having a very high bonus. Interceptors can already catch everything, and heavy fighters like to hover around their target so don't really use the speed too much. But bomber DPS (because they only get 1 strike per round trip), survival, and replacement rate all depend on their speed (because they are "dead" while flying back!).

The target leading is kind of incidental unless the carriers are not at 100% CR, which they might not be for whatever reason. Then it really helps, especially for dumbfire bombers and against high speed enemies.

If you just want some interceptor cover to help vs small enemies and get the general "aaaahhhh beeeees" reaction from the enemy, you don't need officers or even skills, just throw on Talons. If you want to have a carpet of proximity mines vaporize enemy caps, put an officer on with the skills!

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For the OP: I agree, cheap interceptor carriers with support missiles are probably the way to go for this. Though I'll also throw in the humble Wolf if you are a situation to print them! Much better with SD of course, but with phase skimmer they are relatively survivable vs everything but interceptors, which will kill them instantly if you haven't raised their shield arcs. Phase lance + 3 LRPD lasers +optics is a nice support combo that has decent range too so they won't get too close to the enemy and explode. Throw on Salamanders for maximum annoyance, or give them a strike missile so that they can threaten more.
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Bungee_man

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Officered carriers get 50% more of the incredibly powerful carrier fleet skills, yes, but not every fighter makes the same use of the bonuses.

Are they actually all that practical? It's a skill point each to make them respawn somewhat quicker (a bit below twice as fast with an officer) and move 30% faster. I've always assumed that there was a saturation mechanic at play, where substantial anti-fighter presence meant they weren't going to do anything, or they were going to overwhelm the enemy either way and whatever casualties they took in the process wouldn't be significant. Better speed and respawn rate don't seem like they'd get you over that threshold any earlier, which is what you'd want from them.

Complicating this further is that the skills are size-limited. Even if you were going for a fleet built around carriers, they'd fall off after the fourth drover. Are there practical fleets that use a medium amount of fighter bays, as opposed to lots or none?

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Lawrence Master-blaster

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I thought officered carriers get doubled bonuses from the carrier fleet skills

Double of not very much is still not very much.

And no one takes the carrier skills anyway, because the more carriers you have the worse they get.

[Edit]Uh, I mean the more carriers you have the less effective the skill becomes. Words
« Last Edit: April 28, 2024, 10:21:43 AM by Lawrence Master-blaster »
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Amoebka

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I keep wanting to find some way to spam cheap unofficered support ships, ideally with civilian-grade hulls, but there aren't many buffing effects in the base game other than nav and ECM (and Escort Package). I guess that's what SD is for but I find SD very hard to fit into an officer-focused fleet before the level cap.
Capital-sized civilian ships, like Prometheus, can be used to buff your escort-package destroyers.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2024, 10:06:12 PM by Amoebka »
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Nettle

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Officered carriers get 50% more of the incredibly powerful carrier fleet skills, yes, but not every fighter makes the same use of the bonuses.

Are they actually all that practical?

Taking both is not ideal for most fleet compositions, but one or the other can potentially be more impactful than taking Wolfpack Tactics without enough frigates/destroyers, or taking Tactical Drills. So it's important to specialize your carriers if you are going to pick related skills.
Fighter Uplink is a boon for bombers, 30% extra speed is massive for their survivability and indirectly increases DPS for officered carriers without Recall Device, although the two other effects are inconsequential.
Carrier Group can turn specific fighters into nightmare fuel under the right circumstances. An officered Heron loaded with Thunders and buffed with CG can make existence very miserable for just about any hull that doesn't have access to Devastators. Lux is the other good candidate.
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majk

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From what i tested, there are two things that work great(by that i mean kill all content):
1: Frigate + carrier fleet(support doctrie + hull restoration)
You want enough frigates to tie the enemy and carriers blow up capitals easily.
Example: LP brawler + scintilla bombers (maybe toss a monitor or two to keep a capital busy)
You WILL lose ships in bigger fights.

2: Big boi, low tech dakka(support doctrine + derelic operations)
Mix a bunch of onslaughts(a single invictus if you can afford the upkeep) and legions and Bob's your uncle. With those two skills, and a bunch of dmods you can field ridiculous amount of ships.
I don't care that onslaughts are overrated (they are), when you 2v1 enemy ships numbers DO matter.
Unless you do something suicidal you will not lose ships.

If you want something different, keep in mind, that support doctrine gives your ships 4 non elite skills but no gunnery implants, ballistic mastery or missile spec, so long ranged or missile fleets will be a lot weaker.
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Killer of Fate

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didn't the person specifically say that they are not going to use Support Doctrine?

also, completely forgot officers double carrier bonuses. Time to put one on my Heron then, I suppose.
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Thaago

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Officered carriers get 50% more of the incredibly powerful carrier fleet skills, yes, but not every fighter makes the same use of the bonuses.

Are they actually all that practical? It's a skill point each to make them respawn somewhat quicker (a bit below twice as fast with an officer) and move 30% faster. I've always assumed that there was a saturation mechanic at play, where substantial anti-fighter presence meant they weren't going to do anything, or they were going to overwhelm the enemy either way and whatever casualties they took in the process wouldn't be significant. Better speed and respawn rate don't seem like they'd get you over that threshold any earlier, which is what you'd want from them.

Complicating this further is that the skills are size-limited. Even if you were going for a fleet built around carriers, they'd fall off after the fourth drover. Are there practical fleets that use a medium amount of fighter bays, as opposed to lots or none?


The zeitgeist regarding scaling skills is in far too much of a panic about never losing a drop of bonus. The bonuses don't need to be maxed in order to be good. As a reminder to everyone: during the heydey of fighter dominance, when drover spam could crush everything, the bonus to replenishment rate was 15% on a fleetwide level, with an additional 20% from an officer skill. That is equivalent to using 26 decks now (without an officer) or 17 decks (with an officer) to get the same bonus. However back then this took up one of the officer's skills, while now it is free (hooray for battle carriers!). Replacement rate was the "level 3" skill of these two skills and was considered absolutely essential.

Unfortunately the skills that were axed completely reduced the damage fighters take by 15% from a fleet skill and 20% from an officer skill, and increased bomber ability a lot too as another officer skill(25% fighter launched missile speed/maneuvering, 50% FL missile HP, 20% damage boost to destroyer+). So while the fleet boosting skills are way better than they used to be, the impacts an officer can have on the survival/damage of an individual strike are less (35% less damage taken and 50% more missile hitpoints for bombers are just a lot, not to mention 20% damage to go on top of the 10% from CR).

The respawn rate increase is not just practical, it is game changing because of how it impacts replacement rate. Replacement rate is highly non-linear: if it falls too much then it will keep falling because even light losses take too long to replace. When the replacement rate is at 30%, every single kill from enemy PD is ~3.3 times more impactful in terms of lowering fighter saturation! For bombers, its the equivalent of killing 70% of the carriers in terms of strike frequency.

There is a saturation mechanic at play, but the amount required for saturation changes drastically depending on the micro-situation in the battle. The number of fighters required to overwhelm a 0-flux, pristine onslaught with allies firing from the flanks is way different than the number required to do it to an Onslaught at max flux with its allies pushed back! Keeping replacement rate up means that a single bad run does not wreck the carrier by tanking its RR. Then the next time it can have a good run.

For an interceptor example: picking off frigates is a strength of Thunder squads and often they can kill multiple in a row with some good orders. But sometimes the frigate manages to escape back to a concentration of allies and unless the player is really on the ball to cancel the fighter strikes, the Thunders are going to die. Thunders don't have the worst rebuild time at 30s for the wing, but that is still long enough to cause problems without any skill support.

Currently, carriers are moderately under-tuned imo. Condors are terrible as ships and require a heavy line to hide behind and even then frequently die; Drovers are ok as they have the speed/shield to survive better, but are overcosted after their nerfing. Before DP matter they will get the job done but are not standout. Astrals are better, but still not good for their cost as their system was also nerfed (though SE helps), and they are capital grade slow. Astrals at least are excellent candidates for spending an officer on (2 large missiles is a lot of firepower to boost! SE helps a lot as well! etc etc) and can provide beam and missile fire support in addition to the fighters, and they have a good shield (yes it has a lot of HP when caps are invested and it can afford them with only moderate tradeoffs, I already spent an entire thread debunking the 'weak astral shield' myth). Moras can work as they are so tough - in many ways they are Condors that don't suck. An officer for missile spec and the armor skills is not a bad call on them either, especially if they are built as "battle carriers".

Herons are the good pure carriers. High speed (almost destroyer level!), decent armor/hull/shield/flux stats for a carrier (armor/hull matches Falcon, a bit  less dissipation/capacity but also few guns to spend it on), fantastic fighter boosting system, decent campaign stats. They are more OP efficient than a Drover per wing while having better wings thanks to the System, while being more officer efficient, while being faster. The only real downsides are OP being a bit low (S mods help) and being incredibly rare. I can often go an entire game without seeing a single Heron for sale and only make them by printing my own.

Legions as battle carriers are in contention for strongest ship, both variants of them. The fighters aren't really the "star" of that show, but they help (personally I like stacking on support fighters and then going missile/gun heavy! In that case the fleet skills might not be needed, but hey there are exceptions to everything).

If people's only experience with carriers is 85% CR and no skills, I think they will be amazed at how much better they are with proper support, even if they are a bit undertuned in other ways.
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Killer of Fate

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Astral shield is good, but the thing about Astral is that it can't fight back. And whilst fighters can be effective, in a non-chaotic situation they're easy to counter. Thus leaving an Astral exposed to be killed by an enemy possibly 2.5 times lower its DP level. But that's just carriers for you.

After all they form a support role. This is why I don't really want to believe in your saturation theory. In that you can saturate an Onslaught. Trust me, I tried. If six Herons with Warthogs can't do it. Nothing will. Devastator will just clear out everything. The only real enemies you can saturate are more annoying fast moving ones. Such as Remnants. But not an Onslaught.

Entirely agree on the potency of carrier skills though. Especially as Warthog user during 0.95. Better aiming, faster movement, generally more stuff is strong as heck. And the effectiveness reduction mechanics exist only to make carriers not just... "Spam them", after picking that skill up. Just like with Support Doctrine, you're supposed to find the equilibrium between using the passive to its full extent and not overusing it.

Either way to me Carriers are meant to serve support roles. Shooting down missiles. Stunning something. Pursuing annoying flanking enemies. Giving cover. Though I do feel like the current Drover is kinda awkward. Haven't used it though. I'm just avoiding it out of fear of how bad it currently is. It's like a Pandora's box to me.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2024, 12:04:01 PM by Killer of Fate »
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