Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

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Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby Merudo » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:42 am

Which one of the additional systems (Mind Control, Boarding, Hacking, Cloak, and Drones) do you usually get? Which one do you believe is the strongest?

Obviously, the desirability of each system dependent strongly on the state of your ship and crew. But still, some system may be stronger or more useful overall.

I'm really a fan of Boarding - killing crew gives good reward, being in the enemy ship helps interrupt their repairs, and it doesn't cost much scrap to be effective. The big problems are Zoltan Shield, enemy access to Medbay/Cloning, and your crew risking their life.

Drones I believe are extremely helpful - the Hull Repair drone is amazing, and the Defense drone I is fantastic against missiles. Since there are so few ways to reliably avoid missile damage, I usually go for Drones if I see one drone module coming with a free defense drone.

Cloak I think is good, but overrated. It's great if you can cripple the enemy ship soon after coming out of the cloak. The main issue is the recharge time, during which you are quite weak.

Mind control I think is very good. I really hate seeing the enemy repair their shield and mind control is my favorite way to stop them from doing so. It can also help with crowd control while boarding/being boarded, and can be used defensively to counter the enemy's mind control.

Hacking is the one I have the least experience with. Usually I go for the drone system so I avoid hacking as both use the same resources. It seems very flexible, with the ability to basically disable any system through shield. Especially interesting are its uses on the Door system (locks the door for the enemy crew but allows you own guys to go through) and the Boarding system (expels anyone boarding you).
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby Levgre » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:32 pm

1. Hacking
2. Boarding, Cloaking
4. Drones
5. Mind Control

Of course, it is mostly situational beyond hacking (which I think is cheap and effective enough for almost all ship layouts)

Cloaking is the most pricey, so if you can't afford it earlier you might end up with a ship that doesn't need it. I don't find Cloaking overrated. With proper timing you auto-dodge a 'lot' of shots (assuming you have 40% dodge), and after that benefit, you are basically hacking every offensive system (drones, weapons) on the enemy ship for 5-15 seconds. It also works great with shields, giving them a breather when they have been overloaded.

Boarding isn't good if you don't have the crew for it, although it takes minimal crew for it to be able to take out flagship weapons. So sometimes it's worth picking up just near the end.

Drones I really only use for defense usually, defense 1. But I find cloaking more effective overall for defense. However w/o cloaking, you really want defense drones. Overall Drones are about filling in the gaps for your ship, diversifying between drones + weapons can lead to lower overall scrap cost.

Mind control can be meh to really valuable, depending again on your crew.
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby Kieve » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:43 pm

  1. Mind Control
    -While it has the disadvantage of being useless against AI ships and Slugs, Controlling the pilot of the ship right as you fire will wreck their evasion. They then proceed to fight their own crew, distract them from repairing damage, and wreck the Piloting system in the process. Time it right and most ships are sitting ducks thereafter.
  2. Cloaking
    -Really not much to say about this one. Cloaking buys you time in a lot of situations, letting weapons charge, dodging shots, or just giving you a chance to recover from that one bad hit. It may be expensive, but the trouble it saves you pays for itself in the long run. (Think of all that scrap you're not spending on hull repair)
  3. Boarding
    -With the right crew (or a cloning bay for suicide jumpers), the teleporter is still boss against most anything but AI ships and Lanius. With the price increase from AE and the luck involved in getting a good boarding party together, it can be somewhat of a crapshoot.
  4. Drones
    -With the increased number of drone types, a drone system is even more useful now. Defensive drones can target enemy drones, pick off boarding & hacking units, knock those missiles out, and even boost your shields. Offensively, the little vultures are always handy in a pinch - the one drawback being an inability to direct their fire. Occasionally, one will eat a missile or laser for you too (I found this happening more frequently in my AE runs, for some reason).
  5. Hacking
    -Knowing which system you want to disrupt is key, since you won't be able to move the hacking unit once it latches on. It's extremely useful in a number of ways, but any anti-drone system on your enemy can take it out, leaving it more vulnerable than some other systems. I like Hacking a great deal, but its lack of flexibility leaves it low on the list for me.
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby riktoven » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:54 pm

I'm a big fan of the Engi C and it's combination of hacking and drones.

The defense scrambler it comes with means there is no enemy counter to you hacking or offensive drones, and drone recovery arms are commonplace enough to be able to have one most runs.

Hack the enemy shields, engage the drones, and target everything at their weapons if they pose a threat or shields/cockpit if they don't.

The third augment slot gives you a lot of options for defense (stealth weapons is an awesome pairing with the Chain Vulcan, Zoltan shields are always nice, and a DNA backup for truly immortal cre never hurts) or offense (pre igniter or explosive replicator if you want a missile to take further advantage of the drone scrambler)

The only vulnerability the ship has is to enemy mind control, and the only real Defense against it is high evasion.
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby Nukeknockout » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:05 pm

Honestly, I tend to view Hacking and Boarding as functionally exclusive systems. With Hacking and a Bomb which destroys systems, any ship can be asphyxiated eliminating the need to even have a boarding party. During the Flagship fight, Hacking's ability to kill the warship's dodge or take out its shields compensates for the lack of a teleporter to take out the missile launcher.

Similarly, Drone Control and Cloak perform a lot of the same roles in battle - defense. Cloak's better at defense, but drone control offers variety.

Mind Control is handy, but not essential.

Since Boarding and Hacking offer greater scrap rewards for dealing with hostile ships, I favor those two the most, followed by Drone Control and Cloak, with Mind Control being last in the list.
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby IXXIAIXXI » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:12 pm

The way I go about it is, always Cloaking (unless there's some rare occasion where I would prefer another system to it).

Since Mind Control is a help when boarding, I almost always use Teleporter and Mind Control together.

But I'm not that good with boarding strategies, so I usually end up with Hacking and Drones.
I use Hacking because it goes well with Cloaking (hacking weapons and draining charge while the cloak is recharging). I use Drones because I like the Defense I + Shield combo (and system repair drones are surprisingly useful).
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby hybridfive » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:08 pm

Right now, my ranking order is Boarding, Cloaking, Hacking, Mind Control, Drones. IMO drones got weaker because none of the new ion weapons are very good, and finding the older ones is harder. Mind Control is great if you get a beam weapon to trigger, but otherwise it's basically a minor inconvenience.

Nukeknockout wrote:Honestly, I tend to view Hacking and Boarding as functionally exclusive systems.

You're missing out. Hacking and Boarding are disgustingly good together, especially against older ship layouts. Instead of hacking piloting, you hack the room next to piloting against ships where it bottlenecks. Hacking gives you effective (and purple) Doors 2 on the enemy ship. A non-pilot crew member will attempt to run into the cockpit, but will be blocked by the hacked doors. You beat up the pilot 2-on-1. At ~25 health, the flee portion of his AI triggers. He attempts to flee, and is also blocked by the purple Door 2. You punch him in the back, rather than the face, saving you some small amount of health.

If you have higher level teleporters, at this point you teleport away. The non-pilot crew member comes in, sees the dead pilot, and decides to become the new pilot. At that point you rinse and repeat.

Doing this has all the benefits of turning off their dodge, which is sort of like hacking dodge in addition to hacking whatever that room is behind it. So you sometimes double the effectiveness of your hack as well.

Honestly, Hack + Boarding is borderline overpowered. It doesn't always work against Rock and Mantis ships, but it's incredibly effective against Humans and Slugs. And really, if you have a hacking drone, you should be searching for Slug sectors anyway. Hacking gives you the ability to cancel 3-to-5 of the normal Slug events where they shut off one of your systems. AFAIK it cancels the disable events for doors, med bay, and choose-your-death [shields, weapons, 02, pay 35 to leave you alone]. Mind Control has blue options for mostly non-combat events, which were never as threatening.
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby Merudo » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:01 am

I experimented more with hacking, and I'm now convinced it is extremely powerful - perhaps the best system in the game.

A fully powered hacking drone targeting the shield system will take 4 shields out of a ship. Time it correctly, and the enemy will be left wide open right as your weapons come online. Most likely, the enemy will be left crippled and ineffective.

Even better, once damage is done the crew of the opposite ship will be heavily hampered by the locked doors created by the hacking drone. Usually, everyone will start shooting at doors instead of doing any kind of work.
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby Ragwortshire » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:44 am

I agree with Levgre's assessment:

- Hacking: On it's own, Hacking can kill an enemy crew by repeatedly sucking out the Oxygen, though you might have to damage the Oxygen system if the enemy has upgraded it. Hacking weapons can act as a cheaper (though less effective) Cloak against most ships at the extra cost of a drone part. However, the real point is the combination with other systems:
- Hacking + Beams/Lasers/Flak: Hacking the shields allows Beam weapons to do large amounts of auto-hit damage, to the point of one- or two-shotting a ship. Lasers can often knock the weapons/drones down to red if you have decent firepower. Flak is similar but less reliable.
- Hacking + Missiles/Bombs: Hacking Engines/Helm guarantees that your weapons will hit every time, meaning you use less ammunition and can plan out the battle much more reliably.
- Hacking + Cloak: Hacking the Weapons, alternated with Cloaking, means you will literally never be hit by almost any combination of weapons once both systems are maxed. Each effect lasts long enough for the other system to come off cooldown.
- Hacking + Boarding: Whatever room you hacked, and sometimes neighbouring rooms too, becomes a death trap for enemy crew. Not only that, but often enemies will have to pass two hacked doors to reach the Medbay. And obviously you still get the full benefit of the hacked room; boarding strategies are much easier if the enemy can never hit your ship, for example! Of course you can also hack the Medbay or Clonebay if no other system seems worthwhile...
- The only downside is that hacking can be blocked by Defense/Anti-drone drones or Zoltan shield, but then almost every individual system can be blocked somehow!

- Boarding: The big draw here is the improved rewards. Obviously getting more scrap is nice, but getting a random weapon is amazing even if all you do is sell it (on Hard you get ~10 scrap normally in Sector 1, and the weapon will sell for 20-50!). And of course more crew means more powerful boarding parties. :twisted: If you have a Medbay you must take care with your crew and practice to get the most out of boarding. If you have a Clonebay, finesse is usually not required.
- Against enemies with no Medbay/Clonebay, you can just outlast the enemy by repeatedly healing up or cloning. Unless you are Slug B, of course.
- Against enemies with a Medbay, you can disable it, or try one of the strategies outlined below.
- Against enemies with a Clonebay, you have to disable it somehow or the enemy will not lose, even if they have no crew!
- Boarding + Hacking: As outlined by hybridfive, you can usually achieve a 2-vs-1 against an enemy and kill them before help arrives or they can escape to the Medbay.
- Boarding + Mantis: Mantis are sometimes fast enough to catch and kill enemy crew; failing that, you can ambush them on the way to the Medbay or try to 2-vs-1 them *in* the Medbay (2 Mantis will outdamage a level 2 medbay, I believe).
- Boarding + Rock + Fire Bombs: The Rock B strategy. Firebomb a room, teleport in the Rocks, and watch the mayhem ensue. Beware of the enemy ship being destroyed by the 1 damage from losing a system to fire!
- Boarding + Clonebay + Large Crew: You can try to overwhelm an enemy crew by sending 4-8 crew of your own. Yes, even your Engi gunner can fight with his power tools! If you can distract the enemy away from the Medbay/Clonebay for long enough, you might be able to destroy it. This is hard, though.
- The weakness of pure Boarding ships is, just like hacking, the Zoltan shield.

- Cloaking: The big advantage of Cloaking is that you stop taking that annoying 1-2 damage every fight from Leto/Artemis missiles, as well as more serious damage from bigger missiles. It's almost impossible to negate this reliably without Cloak, Hacking or a Defense Drone. Cloak doesn't cost any resources and will definitely pay for itself over time, as well as being great against the Rebel Flagship.
- Cloak + Hacking: As noted above, if your hacking drone gets through, you're almost certainly not getting hit this fight.
- Cloak cannot be blocked, which is one major advantage it has versus Hacking and Boarding.

- Drones: Really this should be labelled "Defense Drone Mark I". Attack drones are good for taking down shields but very unreliable at hitting systems (even more so than the Flak cannon). Boarding drones are fun, but won't be enough on their own and once you have Teleport you probably don't need the drone anyway. Defense drones, like Cloak, stop the slow degradation of your hull from missiles. However, they are much less useful against the Flagship, blocking only 1/3 missiles and useless against the Power Surges.

- Mind Control: On its own, Mind Control allows you to temporarily reduce enemy evasion (by targetting the Pilot) and if the enemy has no Medbay/Clonebay, you can eventually kill all the crew. You can also counter enemy mind control.
- Mind Control + Boarding: You can make your boarding team significantly more effective, especially against a Clonebay (you have twice as much time to kill it once the enemy crew are dead).
- However, Mind Control is useless against AI ships, not much use against the Flagship, doesn't help against missiles, and takes up a precious systems slot that could be used for Hacking. I don't envisage buying it again, to be honest.
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Re: Mind Control vs Boarding vs Hacking vs Cloak vs Drones

Postby GDK » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:24 pm

Mind control + boarding has another use people might not think of.
IT's called the reverse telporter strategy.
If a ship as a medbay, don't worry, use mind control and teleport the mind contorlled unit on your ship, it won't be able to heal (that's the case for the flagship BTW) un less thezy have a teleporter of their own but if that's the case just kill them when they come on your ship.
Doesn't work well with clone bay because the enemy respawn there but at least it counters medbay when there's one.

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