General discussion about the game.
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Postby Derakon » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:28 pm

Okay, here's the situation: I'm in sector 7, with an Osprey (Federation Cruiser). 8 crewmembers (3 Engis, 2 Rockmen, 2 Mantis, 1 Human -- all stations manned by masters), level-3 shields, level-4 engines (40+% evade rate), weaponry is a burst laser 2 and hull laser 2 plus a healing burst for my boarders (max-rank Mantis and Rockman), and my hull is at full strength. I'm doing pretty good, right? I could be in better shape, theoretically -- but the Osprey can't mount a cloaking device, which is the main upgrade I'd normally want to have.

Jump into a new system, there's a rebel auto-assault drone there. It's armed with:

* Level-4 shields
* 2x Anti-Ship Drone 1s (or maybe 2s, hell, I can't tell)
* 2x Burst Laser 2s
* 2x Ion Bombs

So, basically, I'm screwed. My shields can't keep up with the drones, let alone with the additional fire. The ion bombs lock out systems for at least 20 seconds, and if they hit the engines or the cockpit, which they did very quickly, then my dodge rate goes to 0% for the duration. My boarders can't do much of anything because the enemy ship is airless -- I sent them over anyway but the enemy then locked out my teleporter and my healing burst couldn't keep up, so they rapidly died of asphyxiation.

At the time that my ship blew up, I was about 50% of the way to charging an FTL jump.

What the hell. You can be doing everything right and still not just take a beating, but outright lose in a single event. And this is supposed to be fun? This isn't a roguelike mentality, it's just outright masochism. Roguelikes dangle the thread of hope in front of you so you can always say "If only I'd done this I would have survived". This game is just punishing you arbitrarily for decisions that you could not possibly know had been wrong when you made them. There's no lesson to be learned from this scenario so that future games won't have the same problem, unless it's just "don't play this game unless you enjoy being randomly dicked over."

In short, while I like the concept of this game, it needs to have the difficulty curve smoothed out big time.
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Re: Whining

Postby Alblaka » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:36 pm

40% evasion with shield 3 without hull repair drones and cloak is risky.

If I can't get cloak, I usually go for shield 3/4 and at least 50% dodge (if not enough scrap to max it out).
Usually it's shield 4 If i got a defense drone, max dodge otherwise (since a shield won't save me from rockets).

As well, your armament is, no offense, crap.
How do you intend to punch through a level 4 shield with mere 4-5 shots (accounting for later enemies ~30%ish dodge chance)?
If you answer "Boarding" you made the simple mistake to forget about the variety of enemy types. Auto-Drones are intended to mess up boarding-based ships, it's not the game's fault if you don't prepare for such occasions ^^
(Ntm, you CAN actually board a autodrone if you got a sufficient teleporter level and medbay. though it doesn't change the fact boarding missions take too long to reliably destroy systems)

Always try to have some sort of projectile weapon to destroy shields/weapons without taking down the shield. OR have (which is however hard, since you may just not find enough weapons) a high shot-rate (f.e. Burst III + 2 Burst IIs) to ensure you can punch through a shield 4 in the first salvo even with missing x shots.

As well, the Fed Cruiser is probably sort of at a loss, because it's 'big advantage' takes 20 sec to load, a time span which can permit the enemy to deal significant damage already.
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Re: Whining

Postby Derakon » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:44 pm

Believe me, I was keeping my defenses and weapons systems up to date as much as possible. The Hull Laser 2 was one of two options for extra offense; the other was a Hermes missile launcher (same energy requirements, slightly less damage, pierces shields but is single-shot instead of three-shot so easier to dodge).

If I'd invested in a drone system, then my shields and engines would be even lower -- or I wouldn't even have that hull laser. Getting a drone system online costs about 120 scrap -- 80 for the system and 40-50 for the extra reactor requirements, and then you have to get the drones you need. There were some drones available for purchase that probably would have helped...but by then you're talking almost 200 scrap. I think I found one system repair drone, otherwise -- my ship did very little selling of goods this game.

When I encountered this ship, I knew that it wasn't feasible for me to destroy it. Level-4 shields and high dodge combined with an airless ship is not feasible for this build, obviously. But it beat down my ship way before I was able to jump away; its offense was just absurdly over the top. This ship was running god mode. In fact I don't think it could have been beaten without a build specifically geared towards high-speed ship destructions (i.e. lots of missiles and bombs, which I remind you were not available) because there's just no surviving its attacks otherwise.

I could have taken the flagship with my ship, no question. The flagship would have been trivial compared to this dinky little automated assault drone.
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Re: Whining

Postby Zaffre » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:00 pm

This has happened to be before, but what I do is suck it up and restart. I lost on the second stage of the Flagship today with the Federation Cruiser, and just said "Meh." However, I will admit that the auto-scout did seem very over the top powerful. Many of the enemies I've faced are cake walks compared to the Flagship.
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Re: Whining

Postby Drasha » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:10 pm

Just because there isn't air doesn't mean to can't board it. Jump in there hit the weapons or drones and jump out before you run out of air and heal. Of course if they are killing you before you can jump you might not have long enough to kill the weapons/drones. Engine upgrades are always nice for a hasty retreat.
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Re: Whining

Postby Maze1125 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:18 pm

Remember this game is about more than just individual fights.

If you'd had 4 shields and 50% dodge, you quite possibly would have survived.
Why didn't you have 4 shields and 50% dodge? Because you'd spent the scrap you could have on other things previously. Perhaps hull repairs, or maybe something else. That's not particularly important.

The point is that, yes, this game can sometimes put you into an impossible fight, but that doesn't necessarily make it a fight that would have been impossible if you'd done something differently earlier in the game.

You might die in a fight you played perfectly but die because of a mistake you made earlier in the game. That's still your mistake however, not the game being unfair.

(And, of course, that's all on the assumption that the fight in question was actually impossible, which it may well have been. But, on the other hand, it is also quite possible you made mistakes in that fight that you don't even realise were mistakes, and someone else wouldn't have made them and so they might have survived it.)
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Re: Whining

Postby UltraMantis » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:49 pm

I'm also sometimes surprised by the odd enemy that hands me my near-bulletproof ass. You get in over your head sometimes.

A couple of tips:
- Train the person manning the engines early on to boost your FTL recharge. They get REALLY fast.
- Invest in 3rd level teleport for airless boarding. 2nd level if using Mantis. They rip stuff up REALLY fast.
- Upgrade the medbay and have 4 dedicated boarders (2 teams) to get the most out of the strategy.
- Cloak is overrated as a defensive system. In offense it can buy you a few precious free shots.
- Don't get Ion Bombed... very good tip.

My only headache when boarding is the well protected medbay. Hindsight says you should have boarded the drone control first to eliminate the highest threat. The Ion Bombs would still play merry hell with your ship even without the Bursts. That thing really was a monster. Too bad you didnt have 4 boarders to send the second team in to smash some weapons while the first healed. Since you had no hope against the shields, making the enemy toothless would have been the best plan. But that's hindsight.
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Re: Whining

Postby ShadowDragon8685 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:00 am

When facing autodrones, your best bet is a hell-bent-for-leather assault on the control system. If it can't dodge, it's fucked. But yeah, you got a raw deal there.

You might also want to consider Cheating!

You don't have to max out everything if you don't want to, heck. Giving yourself 500 or 1,000 scrap at the beginning of the game should get you through in shape to have a fighting chance against the boss.
Frustrated by random things beyond your control killing you?

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Re: Whining

Postby UltraMantis » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:14 am

Cheating defeats the purpose of playing the game. The joy of finaly achieving victory. It realy made me feel happy to win it, a full-power, 100% Hell Yeah! of joy.

Don't get that when you cheat, so why bother? The only reward is compensation for all the harsh lessons and frustration. Without those...
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Re: Whining

Postby Unlucky Scarecrow » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:24 am

I would bet a single missile/bomb weapon would have saved your butt, or at least give you a much better fighting chance. Plus between dodging and high shields, non-beam drones and lasers are hilariously weak.

For future reference though, there is a not-very-obvious trick to dealing with drones. You can attempt to destroy enemy anti-ship drones by holding your weapons fire until one wanders in front and letting your projectile collide with it en route to the enemy ship. It would take good timing and a little positioning luck, but it's possible. And IIRC, enemy drones and missles are limited.

If anything, the most valid complaint is that Ion Bombs are probably OP. They have all of the properties of missile weapons, minus the weakness to defence drones (Plus the Ion Bomb only takes 1 power; who thought that was balanced?)

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