Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

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Hangar181
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Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Hangar181 » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 09:32

I love a good challenge but blow me, trying to wipe the Xenon out of a sector they invaded is so time consuming. They had infested a split sector with 3 stations and I didnt want them to wipe the split out as I love split equipment so thought I'd lend a hand. However, by the time I wiped out 2 stations, another 2 were taking root. Wiped those out then turned my attention to the last fully built station only to discover another station had spawned in the opposite corner. What I dont get also is how the F are their ships continually piling in through the north gate when there is no Xenon station in the sector above. Furthermore that north sector is a dead end so they can't possibly be coming from anywhere else (unless cheating). Has anyone else experienced these frustrations and if I'd be grateful if you have any tips how to deal with it? I know I could build 5 fleets of 10 behemoths but micromanaging each of the 50 ships attacking stations will drive me round the bend. If only the AI wasnt so dumb and could follow basic instructions to sit out of graviton range in the siege...

Imperial Good
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Imperial Good » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 11:03

Hangar181 wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 09:32
What I dont get also is how the F are their ships continually piling in through the north gate when there is no Xenon station in the sector above. Furthermore that north sector is a dead end so they can't possibly be coming from anywhere else (unless cheating).
You will need to mention the sector names if you want an answer to that question. I currently am not sure which part of the universe you are referring to other than somewhere at the top.
Hangar181 wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 09:32
Has anyone else experienced these frustrations and if I'd be grateful if you have any tips how to deal with it? I know I could build 5 fleets of 10 behemoths but micromanaging each of the 50 ships attacking stations will drive me round the bend. If only the AI wasnt so dumb and could follow basic instructions to sit out of graviton range in the siege...
Since the Xenon no longer seem to build stations at a reasonable speed (8+ hours for any progress to be made is not reasonable) you can easily out pace them in a single ship like Asgard, Erlking or Raptor. They will spam a lot of construction sites but since no progress will be made on these in a reasonable time frame you can send any combat ship, such as a single weak scout ship, to demolish the foundation.

Now back in versions before 5.00 the Xenon were a huge problem with their stations seemingly rising up everywhere that neighboured a Xenon sector in record time, as if by magic. However since 5.00 their logistic AI seems borderline broken to the point that most Xenon clusters die out naturally some time after game start (based on what people have mentioned on Discord) and the Xenon seem as good as incapable of building stations (personal experience with a long running not modified save, reported multiple times). Specifically they seem to refuse to deliver Energy Cells to the station foundations.

If your Xenon are somehow building stations, like they used to before 5.00, then one approach to kill them in low attention is to spam hundreds of S ships with anti-capital loadout at them, such as blast mortars. The module explosion damage is not an issue in low attention and with enough S ships the lack of focused fire keeps casualties low. Gravaton turrets deal very little damage to S ships in low attention, with S ships taking most of their damage from the defence drone factor and the XEN M turrets. Most of the turrets should be stripped from the station very quickly due to how S ships operate and the huge numbers you are throwing at it, further reducing damage and losses. The ships do not have to be well kitted, it is largely a numbers game with a priority given to agility, speed and shield count (toughness) over damage.

The other approach would be a very large destroyer fleet. Again with enough numbers the gravaton turrets cannot output enough focused damage against any individual destroyer to destroy it reliably. This is often how the Teladi manage to kill xenon defence stations. A fleet of 50 Behemoths would be a start. With so much damage even fully build stations should last only a minute or two at most, which is certainly much quicker than the speed the Xenon can rebuild them within the same sector.

Socratatus
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Socratatus » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 13:55

I've said it time and again, it's a misnomer to say the AI cheats. It has to cheat in some way or other. It hasn't the capability to run such a complex game to the level of a real-brain young to adult Human Being fairly. It's having to run a complex numbers sim against itself while dealing with a sentient Human Player who has ALL the advantages (you might think you don't but you do). So it must 'cheat' just so you feel like you're up against something competent. The trick is coding present day 'AI' well enough so it does everything it 'cheats' at 'fairly' and yes that does make sense if you understand what I mean.

Maybe in 10 years 'AI' (which it isn't) will be able to fight you fairly and beat you like it can in chess, and then of course we will hear the cries of the Ai being `too good`.
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Duncaroos
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Duncaroos » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 14:31

I have the ZYA systems of my current game infested with Xenon. ZYA is almost wiped out....ignored that faction most of the game at -15 rep, but was blueprint hunting so needed +20....Zyarth Dominion is their last sector standing and Xenon are starting to push in.

I really think there's some randomness to Xenon growth as well. I wouldn't necessarily say Xenon cheating....all they need is energy cells, ore and silicon and they can make ships & extremely strong defence modules....they are replicating AI bots after all.

Once you keep an eye out for their mining ships, you can suffocate the Xenon of resources. Now I'm not sure if stations just randomly spawn resources in to make ships, but I wouldn't think that's the case unless I'm misinformed.
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Alith-Ahnar » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 14:49

Hangar181 wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 09:32
I love a good challenge but blow me, trying to wipe the Xenon out of a sector they invaded is so time consuming. They had infested a split sector with 3 stations and I didnt want them to wipe the split out as I love split equipment so thought I'd lend a hand. However, by the time I wiped out 2 stations, another 2 were taking root. Wiped those out then turned my attention to the last fully built station only to discover another station had spawned in the opposite corner. What I dont get also is how the F are their ships continually piling in through the north gate when there is no Xenon station in the sector above. Furthermore that north sector is a dead end so they can't possibly be coming from anywhere else (unless cheating). Has anyone else experienced these frustrations and if I'd be grateful if you have any tips how to deal with it? I know I could build 5 fleets of 10 behemoths but micromanaging each of the 50 ships attacking stations will drive me round the bend. If only the AI wasnt so dumb and could follow basic instructions to sit out of graviton range in the siege...
For the uninitiated, the Xenon could be scary and give the impression of borderline cheating yet they are not.
It is true that the Initial Xenon Jobs (Fleets) that spawn have the potential to screw up sectors, there follows a lull giving the player the opportunity to cripple the Xenon buildup all without the need to destroy anything Big.

Xenon Rely on their basic economy hunting down any XEN S that shows itself results rather fast in a slowed down Xenon buildup this goes even so far that the NPC faction could invade XEN Space.
For this, you don't need an Asgard or other Capital Ship no those would be actually a hindrance as they are too slow to get around the Universe.

All this considered if you see Xenon blowup Stations or Sector Defense Forces from the Commonwealth or Terrans the game works as intended as it needs destruction, it always recovers for an NPC to be destroyed it needs
intentional or unintentional player intervention simple things as boarding a faction Miner/Trader/Military Ship for profit or personal use can start a chain-reaction that damages the buildup phase of said faction to weather the Xenon onslaught.

In Short, the Xenon are easy to keep in check and you don't have to fight all of them just the economy to keep them down as it is healthier for your Universe to have some of them around.
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Hangar181
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Hangar181 » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 15:37

Many thanks everyone - really appreciate your replies! I'm going to try s ship load outs - I presume I'd need about 100 to take down a station and presume they need to be heavy fighters? I like the idea of starving them of mining so might have a few fleets of 10 on patrol to take out miners and those damn power distributor things that set up stations in the first place.

One other thing - what do you find the most effective way to stop them coming in the gates? I've tried a line of Mk3 laser turrets but they seem to just fly right by in travel mode. I tried defence stations too but again they flew right by. Do I need to park an army of destroyers at the gate on patrol?

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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Rei Ayanami » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 16:33

Imperial Good wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 11:03
Since the Xenon no longer seem to build stations at a reasonable speed (8+ hours for any progress to be made is not reasonable) you can easily out pace them in a single ship like Asgard, Erlking or Raptor. They will spam a lot of construction sites but since no progress will be made on these in a reasonable time frame you can send any combat ship, such as a single weak scout ship, to demolish the foundation.
This can vary extremely depending on any players game, and even then it varies a lot depending on the Xenons ressources and current whim of the faction AI. I agree that there are long periods of time where Xenon obviously have more than enough ressources yet choose to not do anything.
On the other hand, I recently had some very exiting hours where they managed to build up several stations (SPPs, Defense Stations) very rapidly from scratch and send several K's every few minutes for protection (which I shot down).
I'm not sure if this was random chance that made them change their mood, or whether the reason was me kicking all Xenon out of the Yaki sector + surroundings to complete the quest line, with them now being mad that they lost so much and trying to spread out in different directions.

Duncaroos
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Duncaroos » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 16:46

Hangar181 wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 15:37
Many thanks everyone - really appreciate your replies! I'm going to try s ship load outs - I presume I'd need about 100 to take down a station and presume they need to be heavy fighters? I like the idea of starving them of mining so might have a few fleets of 10 on patrol to take out miners and those damn power distributor things that set up stations in the first place.

One other thing - what do you find the most effective way to stop them coming in the gates? I've tried a line of Mk3 laser turrets but they seem to just fly right by in travel mode. I tried defence stations too but again they flew right by. Do I need to park an army of destroyers at the gate on patrol?
I typically get some fast S ships (interceptors) and have them protect the position at the gate. But to deal with the potential for actual fighters/destroyers coming in, having a defence station there helps with that and gives the interceptors some cover. Unfortunately there's no rules of engagements for AI....so you can't tell them to only engage M civilian ships of an enemy and nothing else.
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by jlehtone » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 17:06

Imperial Good wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 11:03
They will spam a lot of construction sites but since no progress will be made on these in a reasonable time frame you can send any combat ship, such as a single weak scout ship, to demolish the foundation.
Would player do the same "spam" by filling the sector with build plots (and building nothing on them)?
Granted, a mere 200km*200km*200km block of space needs thousand 20km*20km*20km plots ...

Trying to build more stations is not cheating. It is the equivalent of sending 50 Behemoths after the first small squad of Behemoths is killed by the enemy. Oh, wait ... :roll:
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blackphoenixx
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by blackphoenixx » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 18:14

Hangar181 wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 15:37
One other thing - what do you find the most effective way to stop them coming in the gates? I've tried a line of Mk3 laser turrets but they seem to just fly right by in travel mode. I tried defence stations too but again they flew right by. Do I need to park an army of destroyers at the gate on patrol?
A carrier filled with a mix of bombers and interceptors and 1-2 destroyers, set to protect position about 10-15km from the gate.
Blast mortars for the bombers, proton barrage or shard batteries for the interceptors, throw in a couple Nemesis with beams and it deals fine with swarms as well as capitals.

10 bombers deal fine with an I, 15 make it a little faster. Anything more than that is severe overkill and better used on interceptors to keep them safe.
Even a Zeus E with 10 Chimeras, 12 Takobas and 4 Nemesis with good loadouts works fine without destroyer support as long as you don't get really large Xenon fleets.

csaba
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by csaba » Fri, 5. Aug 22, 21:13

They aren't cheating they just only need ore and E-cells for production and station construction so their stations go up fast.

-You can block the main directions where they are coming from, usually there are two Xenon Wharves and Shipyards dumping ships onto one sector. A closer is one inside the pocket, this will be the main source of Xenon in an area and the next nearest sector occasionally sending reinforcements. Matrix #790 is the worst of the latter as it is a central pocket to 3 others.

- Build plots right next to said gates, after placed instead of clicking "continue" increase the size of the plot, this will let you build even closer to the gate.
- Put a defense station there with at least 8 defense modules, fully loaded with plasma turrets, a dock, a pier and an admin center if you want to take over, fill up to the max with defense drones
- Guard with a fleet of at least 5 destroyers until built, reinforce if needed
- The station will automatically kill most transports so the build sites get no resources and not get built
- You will likely have to import Turret components from far away so have a few large traders ready.

- Going in and killing the nearest Xenon shipyard and wharf before doing anything else drastically hampers Xenon operations in the area.
- after the wharf is dead if you block all entries then hunt down all Xenon S in the pocket then they cannot replenish their numbers and you can take your sweet time killing them
- they will try to rebuild their wharf and shipyard but if no transports can get to them they'll never even finish the first module.
- be wary of defense drones from the wharf, best to lure them out with smaller ships into a destroyer screen fixed to a location fitted with a lot of flack turrets.

- As mentioned above Blast mortars and missiles are your friend, my 2 cents on the topic are:

- that if you use missiles use heavy guided missiles instead of torps., smart or cluster missiles, it's easier to refit the fleet after they used up their ammo, and the difference in effectiveness is negligible if you have 50 fighters on your carrier.
- use 3-4 S shield heavy fighters like the Ares, those have a good chance surviving the station explosions
- if you have mainly 2 shield fighters like the Eclipse, you'll have to pull them away after the station turrets are dead and leave the rest to destroyers to clean up otherwise when the station goes boom you'll have a lot of red text and a replacement bill waiting for your carrier fleet.
- after giving the attack order go to the information tab of fleet's lead ship (usually the carrier) and under behavior click the + sign next to the Attack order and check the box for "shoot to disable" this will clear off the station turrets much faster, I don't know why this isn't the default for small ships but whatever, it's good to know


- If you take over the sector fleets set to police will seek out and destroy enemy plots placed, may take them a while though so you can only relax if Xenon S transports cannot reach the build sites.

- Once there are no adjacent sectors of a hostile faction next to yours they will stop building stations in your territory. This is true for Xenon as well. So once you cleared a whole pocket and there are no Xenon sector left adjacent to yours they will stop sending ships and dropping random station plots all over the place. This only leaves the Kha'ak and the occasional pirate as an issue so you can relax your patrol numbers.

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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Ragnos28 » Sat, 6. Aug 22, 01:31

Hangar181 wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 15:37
One other thing - what do you find the most effective way to stop them coming in the gates? I've tried a line of Mk3 laser turrets but they seem to just fly right by in travel mode. I tried defence stations too but again they flew right by. Do I need to park an army of destroyers at the gate on patrol?
I've saved ZYA with this: https://youtu.be/sBhlzTIfC4k

Just make sure you can supply the build storage with turret components, so the station have "teeth" as fast as posible.
Also have a fleet to protect the build site from the ocasional K, I and S/m ships.

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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Imperial Good » Sat, 6. Aug 22, 07:20

ZYA usually loses out to the capital fleets the Xenon spams rather than the Xenon building stations. Unlike their station construction, the Xenon still seem capable of building capital ships in at least 1 cluster. Although in my case they stopped building them in all but 1 cluster...
csaba wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 21:13
They aren't cheating they just only need ore and E-cells for production and station construction so their stations go up fast.
They need ore, silicon and energy cells. Of course they do not deliver the energy cells in a timely way from my experience so construction progress does not occur but they do seem to regularly ship ore and silicon to their station build sites.
csaba wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 21:13
- be wary of defense drones from the wharf, best to lure them out with smaller ships into a destroyer screen fixed to a location fitted with a lot of flack turrets.
All the battleship class ships (Raptor without fighters, Asgard and Erlking) can effortlessly handle the drone swarms, alone. This is one of the reasons I recommend soloing such stations.

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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by csaba » Sat, 6. Aug 22, 08:47

Imperial Good wrote:
Sat, 6. Aug 22, 07:20
csaba wrote:
Fri, 5. Aug 22, 21:13
- be wary of defense drones from the wharf, best to lure them out with smaller ships into a destroyer screen fixed to a location fitted with a lot of flack turrets.
All the battleship class ships (Raptor without fighters, Asgard and Erlking) can effortlessly handle the drone swarms, alone. This is one of the reasons I recommend soloing such stations.
Yea your probably right. I always found it frustrating that defense drones could agro my escort destroyers in a way that could lead them to charge into their deaths against the station. I just hate doing stuff myself. :P

Somewhat a workaround I found is that if you set them up to attack the station at max main batter range they will stay put 99% of the time and avoid suicidal charges. And since they cannot aggro the drones they will stay put and act as a platform against them.

Image

Obviously this only works for Xenon stations. If Commonwealth stations are equipped with large plasma they will range said ships.

Hangar181
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Re: Anyway to stop the Xenon cheating?

Post by Hangar181 » Sat, 6. Aug 22, 09:03

This is awesome insight - thank you all so much! Just one last barrage of questions if I may before making a pest of myself...

1. Where do the Khaak come from? I've searched the farthest corners of my sector and no hives. They dont appear to be coming through the gates either as I've parked fleets and stations there. I'm in Aditya Misfortune 1
2. What is mean't by "bombers"? Are these any heavy fighters with mortars / heavy duty missile load outs or are we talking Medium sized corvettes
3. Do fighters attacking a station know to attack turrets first or do you have to tell them somehow. I couldnt see an option to do the latter but perhaps its buried in the menu somewhere
4. I hear Syn and Asgaards are possibly the best large ships in the game but unless I'm missing something, you cannot buy them only build them after getting the blue print. Trouble is these cost like 300m! Cool if thats the case, just want to make sure there isnt a station somewhere that sells them

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