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  #31  
Old 09-27-2013, 04:44 PM
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I absolutely do not understand how you survive with such low shields/armor.

I get that the fighters provide a defensive screen. But there are times when you do not have fighters: you enter a new sector, you resume a game, your fighters all go visit the neighborhood's anti-matter field. Furthermore, a group of Cestos, a bounty hunter, an ancient race's destroyer or a laser boss like Wrath will wipe out five fighters in ten seconds. So you cannot have your fighters all of the time, and at least sometimes, you will take damage with your ship.

Bosses, elites and veterans start hitting for five-six thousands as early as level 75 and they are a ton of vanilla monsters that will hit you for one or two thousand damage. That will blow up your ship, or at least destroy some of your components... and unless you are circling around any real excitement, sometimes you cannot take your enemies one by one.

You don't have a cloak, you don't have ten stashes of thruster boosters, and your weapons, defense and resistances are very respectable, but not insanely powerful. You are clearly surviving using a strategy I'm unfamiliar with.

Care to share?

---

For a comparison, I usually lose my Command Zero challengers to few lucky shots by a monster I failed to spot in time. A few days ago I lost a level 79 ship to a single 6000 damage shot and a level 62 ship to four lucky lasers criticals from an ancient destroyer. Both ships had more than 7000 armor, but were not at full health, and I was not as alert as I should have been.
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  #32  
Old 09-27-2013, 08:28 PM
Professor Paul1290 Professor Paul1290 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuidjy View Post
I absolutely do not understand how you survive with such low shields/armor.
Well first of all, Achernar is NOT a Hard Core ship, so it should NOT be compared to Hard Core ships as far as survivability goes.

Also, it's built oddly because I tried to build it in a way that would force me maneuver around more and use different tactics to make it work, so I intentionally gave it very little defense and more weapon types. That's pretty much why it is the way it is.


That being said, I'm not exactly suicide running around the place as I'd have economic losses left and right if I did that (none of those so far).
After some experimenting and some trial and error I did come up strategy that makes this work, and it is somewhat involved.

As far as fighters go, they often don't make that great of a good defensive screen on their own, but there is a way of handling them so they do.
If I'm not in a mostly friendly system I travel just slow enough for the fighters to be able to catch up and loop around ahead of me. I also don't use direct-fire weapons until the fighters have gotten their first shots in.
When there are no enemies around and I'm just "traveling" I leave the fighters on Aggressive, which makes it so they will engage any enemies that come into range and thus they're the first to attract attention. During a fight when all fighters are shooting at something I swap them to Defensive, and that ensures that when they swap targets they target something that's either shooting at me or another fighter. I leave them that way until after the fight when all immediate enemies have been destroyed, then I switch them back to Aggressive.

When I first meet an enemy I let the fighters get their shots in first. While they're doing that I put myself at just within kinetic cannon range, and quickly do a loop laying a line of a couple mines then position myself behind it. By that time the fighters probably already have targets I set them to Defensive. I stay at just within cannon range and let loose with the kinetic cannon until one of enemies opens fire on me and gives chase, then I give them three shots of Virus, apply the Geomagnetic Storm, and dodge where applicable. I then kite them back through the mines, but I keep them just at the edge of kinetic cannon range.
One of the nice things that happens at this point is that any of my fighters still engaging other targets will fall out of range, and are teleported back to me. At that point they lose their current target and their only valid target is the enemy I'm currently kiting, so right away all my fighters attack this one enemy. That coupled with the Virus, Geomagnetic Storm, Kinetic Cannon, and Mines means that whichever enemy goes after me first takes a lot of damage very quickly and usually succumbs pretty soon after passing the mines.

When that enemy is dealt with I now have a bunch of enemies trailing behind me, however as a consequence of the above fighter teleporting they all lost their fighter targets in order from farthest to nearest, so they're now likely to be very close together, and if it's a mixed group they'll start to separate by speed.
If the head group or enemy isn't too much of a threat I can close distance and finish them off in a with my main weapons. If it's a mixed group they'll stretch out in a stream so I'll be able to focus fire on them as they come into range.
On the other hand if they're still enough to pose a threat even with that, I can keep them out of direct-fire weapons range and thin them by dropping mines, which as an AOE benefits from the fact they are now clumped together.
If I choose to drop mines, then I keep the enemies just within range of the fighters as well, which is farther than the Kinetic cannon.

Throughout this I can avoid a lot of damage most of the time. Beam weapons are avoided because (except for the brief period I might use to fire the Virus) I stay out of range of them, I have plenty of time to shoot down most Missiles due to distance, and most Kinetic weapons can be dodged.
Another nice thing about this is that it involves Kinetic (cannon), Beam (Fighters), and Explosion (Mines) damage, so I can sort of re-arrange this where needed to focus more on whatever damage type seems to be more effective.

That leaves the problem of dealing with enemies that are faster than me, so for those I use a slightly different strategy with those, mainly killing them first. Failing that, because the enemy is faster I can get them to leave other enemies behind and I can concentrate fire on them more quickly.
There are also the enemies, mainly certain bosses, that are absurdly fast and do hit and run. That usually turns into a fighters and mines deal. Since they have to approach close occasionally I lay out a bunch of mines around and then focus on keeping fighters up. When the hit-and-runner approaches I move in the opposite direction so the first thing they collide with is the Fighters and Mines.


Speaking of Fighters and Mines, Mines are also a big part of what make this ship work.
In a way you could say that Mines one of the longest range weapons in the game, as odd as that might sound.
If you drop a mine behind you and keep going it'll be effective even after you've gone out of laser, kinetic, and even missile range. You don't need to see it in order for it to go off, it detonates on its own.

If an enemy or group is simply way too powerful and it doesn't have extraordinary speed (or as mentioned above, sometimes even if they do), then my last ditch tactic is to drag them to where I have a lot of room, then stay just within Fighter range and drop Mines. They get both beam and explosion damage and this is outside the range of most weapons, so as long as I don't run into trouble along the way they will eventually die.

Last edited by Professor Paul1290 : 09-27-2013 at 08:40 PM.
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  #33  
Old 09-28-2013, 03:48 AM
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Thanks for the elaborate answer. Laying mines and keeping your distance combine into a strategy of which I was quite oblivious. Something to think about :-)
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  #34  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:17 PM
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Default Metal Heart at level 25

Another week, another Command Zero challenger. This one will try to survive by cloaking. It's also got the no-life trait, which maybe a bit too much of a handicap, but we'll see.

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  #35  
Old 10-17-2013, 03:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuidjy View Post
Another week, another Command Zero challenger. This one will try to survive by cloaking. It's also got the no-life trait, which maybe a bit too much of a handicap, but we'll see.

*Snip*
Have ya ever considered throwing out the Beam in favor of the EM Pulse/Lightning Cannon to add EMP debuffage to the Virus debuffage? Worked well on my Utopian Character against single targets. If only he coulda been able to defend himself from armys of foes too...


Status Report: Borg's still at Level 100, & has traded in the no-longer-useful Pulsar Generator (may it rest in peace...) for a +Weapon Speed Component, & has traded in his Hellfire (i'll miss ya bud...) for a Gravity Well Generator. It seems to be working out.

http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/...C0A0068AC6DF0/

Also, my little pride & joy that I got so lucky on scavenging first try so early in the game has grown up into quite a Badass...

http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/...2F549A565CAA8/

While i'm here, i've been playing & completing Level 106 Sectors, (Can't select 105 since it's an Odd Number.) & that's giving Races Tech Level 106... yet, the stuff they sell in Shops goes up to 153 Stat requirement... What Sector Level do I have to choose to get the strongest of the strong 155 Stat Requirement & Level 100 Ship requiring Components? I need to begin my powering up. Oh, & any luck on finding the likes of 155 Engineering requiring Energy Leechers, 155 Tactical Self Destructs, 155 Structural Escape Pods, & the like, or if they even exist?

Last edited by Tyrax Lightning : 10-17-2013 at 03:41 AM.
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  #36  
Old 10-17-2013, 02:18 PM
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Tyrax Lightning: Have ya ever considered throwing out the Beam in favor of the EM Pulse/Lightning Cannon to add EMP debuffage to the Virus debuffage?

It's a Command Zero ship. There are only three medium slots. All three items are working together to allow the ship to hit its target - the computers give it basic attack, the cloak multiplies it, and the virus stacks defense debuffs on the target. There's no room for a lightning cannon, i.e. it will not fit in a heavy slot, and it is not as useful as the existing components. I will experiment with a lightning cannon on the ship I am building with sector level 200 in mind - that one will have ten medium slots.

Tyrax Lightning: While i'm here, i've been playing & completing Level 106 Sectors, (Can't select 105 since it's an Odd Number.) & that's giving Races Tech Level 106... yet, the stuff they sell in Shops goes up to 153 Stat requirement... What Sector Level do I have to choose to get the strongest of the strong 155 Stat Requirement & Level 100 Ship requiring Components? I need to begin my powering up. Oh, & any luck on finding the likes of 155 Engineering requiring Energy Leechers, 155 Tactical Self Destructs, 155 Structural Escape Pods, & the like, or if they even exist?

I do not remember seeing any 155 stat requirement components, and before the 1.028 patch I used to hang out at level 200 a lot. If they exist, they never really impressed me enough to make me install them.

I do not think 153 engineering leechers exist, either. The Engineering requirements for leechers seems to be 2/3 of the usual ones, which means that anything over 100 is a lucky find. The best I have installed on my ships requires 106.

As for the other components you mention, I do not use them, so I have not paid attention to their requirements.
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  #37  
Old 10-27-2013, 05:10 AM
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I just got my Scavenger to level 100. The idea was to save all of my money so that, as soon as I got to sector level 100+, I would use slotting and chipping to get the best possible components, and make an attempt to get to sector level 200. But 1.030 came out, and some of the subraces are simply better than Scavenger... so back to the drawing board. As for the All Devourer, I guess I'll just retire it... and before I do, I'll post a snapshot of it. I know it's not very interesting, because it's very similar to norari1977's Attila.



This is how it arrived at level 100, while still leveling crew members. I have not bothered replacing them with useful components. My plans were to shift some of the attack/defense to light components, and use weapon speed and beam damage components in the medium slots.

And now I'll start a new ship, probably a Reaper or an Ultimate Weapon one.
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  #38  
Old 11-01-2013, 04:33 PM
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Metal Heart bought it. It had 2500 armor, and failed to blow up a missile that hit for more than that.



No Life was too much of a handicap. When you are unable to level up your crew, you have to constantly buy droids from the Scavenger so that you can keep your armor up. I rolled three sectors without Scavenger or Lithosoids, and getting one-shotted was the result.

But I think the ship design was sound. My next Command Zero ship is going to be very similar - stealth, virus weapons, and armor repaired from kills.

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  #39  
Old 11-01-2013, 07:04 PM
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My apologies if this isn't really in line with this Topic, but this might be a bit too small a question for an entire Thread to itself... Tuidjy, have ya ever tried out a Command 0 Cortex Ship that uses & builds entirely around just the Big Bang Weapon?
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:04 PM
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I have thought about it, but I cannot see how the ship would survive once the weapon is fired, killing one target, and the rest of the enemies are hunting it. The Big Bang takes forever to fire again, even if you have the means to recharge the batteries nearly instantaneously. And do not forget that it is an aimed weapon, which means that you would need to spend the skills/slots for computers.

Furthermore, Command Zero ships always have low defense, and there are enemies that are fast enough to catch up with anyone. As a matter of fact, Command Zero ships are more about surviving than about hurting the enemy - mine are not substantially less powerful, when it come to offense, than my normal ships, but a normal ship can get three times the armor and defense, while still dedicating some slots to active thrust boosters and a fighter screen.

And the Big Bang isn't all that, even with the new rules which let it benefit from tactical damage bonuses. I have experimented with a Big Bang with the All Devourer, and it could hit for over 100,000 damage... which is not necessarily enough to kill everyone at sector level 200. And afterward, you still have to deal with whomever has become interested in you.
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