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Old 12-29-2011, 11:35 AM   #1
Onyx Spartan II
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Help with ship composition, please.

So I've been plodding along, and I puzzled out a fleet composition that has, for the most part, been working fairly well. I use a Gull with military-level beams, armor, shields, engines, etc., paired with 2 Darts with military-level beams.

Things have been going well so far, eliminating most enemies without much undue trouble, but I'm now at tech level 37 and on the Big Fish mission, and it's just not cutting it all the time. Fighting any large ship with drones AND smaller escort ships is almost suicide. What kills drones? I tried a point-defense system on a Hound, but it didn't seem to do anything.

What's a good fleet composition for this point in the game?

At this point, what should I focus on in research? My techs are as follows:

Cannons 2
Beams 6
Reactor 5
Launchers 1
Shields 6
Engines 3
Hull 6
Cloak 0
Armor 5
Subsystems 3
Crew 1
Turrets 0
Mines 0
Drones 0
Bombs 0
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:02 PM   #2
Kloreep
 
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Point-defense should kill drones. That said, drone ships can generate new drones to bring themselves back up to their hangar capacity, so your anti-drone defenses need to be able to kill them faster than they spawn to be effective.

I think my main advice for going forward is to specialize. Pick what you're going to be good at and dump the rest for points.
Some mixture of weapons, especially of beams and cannons, is good to start with but eventually you'll get the biggest bang for your buck out of leveling one or two weapons to their max. Are you liking beams now that they're at 6? If so, consider respeccing out of Cannons to get yourself a few more tech points. Ditto Launchers, unless you're actually using them much.

I note you don't have levels in anything that goes in to bomb mounts (turrets, mines, bombs). So the gull is actually not a great ship for you. My personal favorite among the medium ships, for Shooter weapons like the beam, is the Yacht. Three slots for boosters lets you pump it up quite a bit.

The biggest thing, really, is that you're still using a medium ship. As you go into higher level systems, be on the lookout for Large ships and try to take them down to get their blueprints. The UTA's Right Hook, especially, is a relatively early Large ship that is great for Beams or Cannons.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
Onyx Spartan II
 
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I do have the Right Hook and the Helix unlocked, as well as the Yacht. Beams are nice, but against large ships they just don't do enough damage to the hull fast enough.

I did try using the Right Hook, but it just seems very unwieldy. It's kind of awkward to use, but I'll give it a shot. I think I'll start putting points into cannons and maybe take some time to find some more cannon blueprints. Are mines all that useful?
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
Kloreep
 
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Mines are still on my "to-do" list for future playthroughs, I honestly couldn't tell you. I'd imagine they'd make a good second weapon category though, I don't think I've ever seen a category get universally panned by players in the latest patches.

I'd repeat my encouragement to drop either beams or cannons. Either is fine - and cannons definitely seem to be the better at straight-up damage if that's your style, beams go off into "status effect" specialty - but trying to level both leaves you with competing weapons for those Shooter mounts.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:22 PM   #5
Onyx Spartan II
 
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For smaller escort ships, what would you recommend? I'm trying out two Rangers with level 2 beams and 2 shield boosters each now.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:32 PM   #6
DarkJeff
 
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People have said that mines are brokenly overpowered because the AI targets them above everything else - I don't know if that's been patched, though.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
Kloreep
 
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That has been patched so that they aren't as effective as decoys.

For escorts, I like Rangers too. I usually switch over to Colts once they're available - a bit more expensive I think, but it's one extra slot for a booster or weapon - but Rangers are my second favorite.

I've tried throwing a Turtlehead into the mix now and then, simply because I like the idea of having a support ship that can actually pick up decent amounts of crew in each battle. They're not very good in combat, though, so I don't recommend it unless you already outclass your opponent.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
Onyx Spartan II
 
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You know, I'm actually loving Rangers now. I switched to a Right Hook and 2 Rangers, and I walked all over the mission where you upgrade your mothership to level 3. This is working quite well, though I don't know if I should take advantage of the larger hanger #2 now and use 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small, or just stick to 1 large 2 small.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #9
Kloreep
 
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In general, I'd say it's usually best to go for larger ships. (Due to booster changes in a recent patch, I think there may be a case to be made for the Gopher instead of a Ranger/Colt in the last hangar; but I haven't played lately so I can't speak from experience.) While they do cost more, they also tend to survive better, and will usually give you more firepower too.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:57 AM   #10
DarkJeff
 
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I'm currently tooling around in a Tug with a pair of Gophers escorting me. The Gophers all have a pair of cannons with a pair of cannon boosters. Surprisingly, I found they worked better than Rangers with the same configuration.

I'm in the Tug in spite of access to all Medium and a few Large ships because of the slots available. I may switch to the Grinder when I finish unlocking it. I put cannon boosters in the launcher slots, with a dual turret for cannons. (The AI's much better at shooting than I am, while I'm a better pilot!)

If the enemy focuses on me, the Gophers blast them to bits. If they try and track the Gophers, I just follow along and light their up. If a Gopher dies, it's replaced pretty quickly and cheaply. It's worked very well thus far.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:48 AM   #11
richos
 
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I also had some problems with that mission, and i tried a lot of ships... at the end, i did it bombing with Helix, and i am not using bombs at all in the game, but it was a nice strategy on that mission.
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