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The better part of Balor...
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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Sun, 11. Dec 16, 18:33    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

UPDATE:

Well, my experiment has for the moment failed in a totally unexpected (and most unwelcome and disappointing!) manner - turns out that, although it is possible to get rid of drones (sell them off) by sending a ship in to "Equip Drones", the "Upgrade Ship" option only allows the PURCHASE, not the sale, of surface elements - thus, the Balor I captured can't lose its turrets (seeing as even if shot off they get repaired by the engineer.) It looks like my next recourse is to take the engineer off that ship, then destroy the turrets and hope that they are truly considered to be "gone" (which may not be the case, as the presence of an engineer would make them grow back, thus they are effectively installed), and see what happens. Other than that, the only remaining way to test the original proposition is to buy a Balor without those turrets (too bad I can't strip those turrets off the ship and into storage at one of my Arms Tech Fabs...)

The (once again!) inconsistency in the way things are handled in-game is most annoying and disappointing...

Current status: proposition remains neither proved nor disproved.


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Nikola515





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PostPosted: Sun, 11. Dec 16, 22:35    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Im surprised that you are still having patience playing vanilla after 4.0.... I been playing vanila all this time too but qut playing after 4.0 beta for a while. Than i started using mods becuse new AI (artificial idiot) made using capital ships impossible Sad


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Ezarkal





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PostPosted: Mon, 12. Dec 16, 06:57    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

RAVEN.myst wrote:
UPDATE:

Well, my experiment has for the moment failed in a totally unexpected (and most unwelcome and disappointing!) manner - turns out that, although it is possible to get rid of drones (sell them off) by sending a ship in to "Equip Drones", the "Upgrade Ship" option only allows the PURCHASE, not the sale, of surface elements - thus, the Balor I captured can't lose its turrets (seeing as even if shot off they get repaired by the engineer.) It looks like my next recourse is to take the engineer off that ship, then destroy the turrets and hope that they are truly considered to be "gone" (which may not be the case, as the presence of an engineer would make them grow back, thus they are effectively installed), and see what happens. Other than that, the only remaining way to test the original proposition is to buy a Balor without those turrets (too bad I can't strip those turrets off the ship and into storage at one of my Arms Tech Fabs...)

The (once again!) inconsistency in the way things are handled in-game is most annoying and disappointing...

Current status: proposition remains neither proved nor disproved.


You know, with the level of development you game is at, one would think you'd just have gone to a shipyard and ordered the damn ship specifically the way you want it for the purpose of the test. Very Happy
I'm amazed by your level of dedication towards ship capture gameplay. Thumbs up!


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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Mon, 12. Dec 16, 07:29    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The problem is that I'm currently busy mostly in DeVries, but it's looking like I will be simply buying one from the HoA shipyard and throwing it at some PMC - I've captured 2 Balors in DV, tried to have the 2nd one fix engines/JD but stop before surface elements, but stupid engineer started work on HIT/MAs too early, so I'm fed up with that lot.

I generally don't do much capturing, as I prefer not to "cheat" the wealth that way - now, ironically, it's almost the reverse - 9 days in I'm sitting with 1.3 billion credits and I literally can't spend them as fast as they come in, as the shipyards keep running out of stuff (even though I've built specifically to supply them - AND I've twice been shafted by a shipyard bug I hadn't seen before this playthrough: I order a ship, from start to finish, pay the money, only to find that the queue has been jumped by HoA ordering an Arawn and my money's been taken with my order not taken - at this point the cost is obviously not an issue, but the inconvenience is considerable, especially as the Arawn is AGAIN waiting on something that's been depleted, and this time not the ScanArrs that I keep supplying), so capturing becomes a way for me to actually do something in the game... Oops

Also, it's getting harder and harder for me to board in DeVries, as I've so developed and militarised the place that I have to jump through major hoops to stop my standing garrisons from destroying my target before I even get there. (Idea for station currently-very-Dense Officers: set patrol range [short/medium/long]; also, tactical commands for station DOs, such as "pull back defending ships", "search and destroy", etc. These would make them somewhat less dense...)

However, enough is enough, and maybe next time I'm in Albion or Home of Neon Lights, I'll get back to this experiment. However, the fact that surface elements can't be uninstalled at shipyard once installed is a problem if the "dirty tweak" works.


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ezra-r





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PostPosted: Mon, 12. Dec 16, 15:47    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

RAVEN.myst wrote:
ezra-r wrote:
Balor should try to stick in novadron range by itself without dirty tweaks like removing its turrets.


I agree completely. Nonetheless, since I only play vanilla, I am about to try to see whether that "dirty trick" (heheh) works - I hope it does, because then at least I can use some Balors as they are (or ought to be) intended to be used - having them always rush into CQC makes them pointless to me, whereas if they worked as they should, they could be really nice to have, if used correctly.


another example why Rebirth is in many cases an "I want but I can't"


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Ezarkal





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PostPosted: Mon, 12. Dec 16, 16:49    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

You can just comm one of these HoL shipyards from afar and order it. At least one of the two shipyards is bound to have enough resources for a balor, and you can order from anywhere in the galaxy. Just order your ship back to Devries through Omicron Lyrea if need be, although I think it would be perfectly fine with crossing albion even with PMC as an enemy. Vanilla enemy NPC are not that aggressive, and a ship as fast as the Balor shouldn't have much trouble getting through.


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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Mon, 12. Dec 16, 17:23    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Ezarkal wrote:
You can just comm one of these HoL shipyards from afar and order it. At least one of the two shipyards is bound to have enough resources for a balor, and you can order from anywhere in the galaxy. Just order your ship back to Devries through Omicron Lyrea if need be, although I think it would be perfectly fine with crossing albion even with PMC as an enemy. Vanilla enemy NPC are not that aggressive, and a ship as fast as the Balor shouldn't have much trouble getting through.


I'm in a plot game, and I am at the point where I will get sucked into OL if I go to Vapour Stream. Consequently, since OL isn't officially open to me yet, to exploit it in any way to me would be like cheating. I also have limited my use of Home of Light resources (my rule has been that I don't ever get anything from there that I can't get elsewhere, and even then rarely and very little - so, for example, I didn't use it to set up my RMP production, I did that as if HoL didn't exist. The only exception I made was to get a couple of metallurgists there.

So, if I get Balors from HoL I can only receive them in DV via OL ("cheating" to me, therefore not an option), or they can try to get to me in Albion and die at Buried Treasure (if they even get that far! heheheh)

In any case, I bought 2 Balors from the Heart shipyard in GemMan, and though it took a while for the missing resources to arrive (I supplied most, I suspect), they eventually came through. (Incidentally, that bug that hijacked my CV order at the shipyard had a comical side-effect - the HoA Arawn that got built in its place became mine when it finished - LOL! I should have seen it coming, actually, as I could query the required resources while it was being built, which can only be done for player's orders, not for NPC orders.) they are now waiting for me there - once I wrap up some biz here in DV, I'll go back there and test the proposition - I should have an answer within hours, at the outside (depending on other distractions Very Happy )


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Nanook
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PostPosted: Mon, 12. Dec 16, 20:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

If it's just an experiment that you want to try, why not save your game, do the experiment and then restore from the save game? That way there's no exploiting, cheating, or whatever. After all, I don't think you're going to see anything new in the game you haven't seen before, other than the results of the experiment. Wink


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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Tue, 13. Dec 16, 03:04    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Nanook wrote:
If it's just an experiment that you want to try, why not save your game, do the experiment and then restore from the save game? That way there's no exploiting, cheating, or whatever. After all, I don't think you're going to see anything new in the game you haven't seen before, other than the results of the experiment. Wink


Very true - but since my game has advanced to the point where I will soon get bored of it and abandon it, the experiment gives me something else to do, so I may as well integrate it and play within my personal restrictions framework - this way I get to squeeze a bit more mileage out of it Smile


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PostPosted: Tue, 13. Dec 16, 09:38    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

If the test isn't successful, you could always resort to nuking the target's engines and using limpet mines on the main engines of the Balors once they get into range Smile


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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Tue, 13. Dec 16, 10:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Hahaha, yes Sparky, but that's rather convoluted - as it is, depriving Balors of turrets to discourage them from CQC is already quite twisted and even marginal, but if it works (will get around to testing very soon, am about ready to get back out of the tropics of DeVries) it's at least fairly fire-and-forget, without a heavy sacrifice (such as mobility - the loss of the HIT/MAs can at least be compensated by escorts.) But jumping through multiple hoops...? I'd rather just throw the kitchen sink of heavies at the problem instead Very Happy (The whole point of trying to get the Balors to maintain outer engagement range is to reduce micromanagement - well, that and increase effectiveness while reducing exposure. Crippling mobility is also SO not my style, heheheh - for one thing, it increases vulnerability.)


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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Wed, 14. Dec 16, 12:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

UPDATE and CONCLUSIONS:

Well (as you may have guessed), I finally got around to completing the test, and I'll skip to the nitty-gritty: I am rather disappointed but not at all surprised to confirm that the combat AI (specifically that of the Balor), is every bit as stupid as we all think, and then some. Even with no close-support weapons installed, the Balors approached to within melee range - at the risk of hyperbole, I find the immensity of this idiocy to be mind-boggling. Or more realistically, I guess it represents very lazy coding of the ships' combat "AI": "Approach target; check weapons' ranges, and if any targets (this by pure default includes the desired target - almost merely by coincidence) are within any weapons' ranges, fire at them." Oh well... So I fitted HIT/MAs on the test Balors and attached them to some spare Arawns I had lying around - they can look good while keeping good company. Very Happy

METHODOLOGY (for the sake of thoroughness)
I cleared my squad and then added 2 Balors sans HIT/MA turrets (other surface elements present, ie. capital shield and local-area force-fields). Accepted an assassination mission in Exhaustless Mines, which spawned a Balor (mission target), a Light Sul, and a handful of fighters (mostly light ones) in Concealed Hideout. Game saved at this point, to allow multiple attempts. Target Balor was nearest, so I ordered its elimination first in all tests. I (on separate attempts) issued the order as a broadcast, as individual orders to the two Balors, and as an Attack command off the radial menu.

On the first attempt, my Balors destroyed the enemy Balor while still closing, so I thought this a good sign (though they were already within ~half the Novas' range), but it turned out it was simply lucky shooting, as on both of the next two attempts they reached arms-length. On all three attempts, the Light Sul was also approached to within a few kms, sometimes almost scraping paint. In all cases, I engaged and drew off the enemy fighters, to prevent in-combat evasive boosting by my Balors possibly skewing results. On one attempt, after the Balor was taken out and the Light Sul happened to be close by, I ordered my Balors to Withdraw in order to give them some distance - after being ordered to resume attacks, they once again closed in to up-close-and-personal.

Well, so much for trying to add some nuance to combat - back to heavy-hitter spamming it is. Sad (Well, for a little while - as mentioned elsewhere, my current game's approaching depletion of the goodness it has to offer, heheheh) Very Happy


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Mightysword





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PostPosted: Thu, 15. Dec 16, 07:03    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Disappointed but no surprising. I don't think there have ever a relationship between navigation and weapon range in an X game.

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RAVEN.myst





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PostPosted: Thu, 15. Dec 16, 09:32    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Mightysword wrote:
I don't think there have ever a relationship between navigation and weapon range in an X game.


I suspect there's a lot of truth to what you say - I recall in X3s, how using some short-range weapons can be quite weak in player-owned but AI-controlled ships because they struggle to get into firing range. I've seen this happen with fighters equipped with mass drivers attacking capital ships, how sometimes (especially, for some reason, vs. Tokyo - must be something to do with its shape throwing off some distance calculation) they get to a little outside of MD firing range, but no closer, and end up not scoring any hits. In theory, if the player is willing to throw away quite a few fighters, this tactic should yield fairly dependable attrition of the target's hull, but in practice it doesn't always work (when it does, it's not bad.) This and similar glitches I've observed before, support your statement (unfortunately), IMO. Oops


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PostPosted: Thu, 15. Dec 16, 17:57    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Denizens of this thread should check out the new Rebirth beta. By remarkable coincidence, it contains changes to the combat AI for ships with primary forward weapons (Balor and Sucellus).

http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=355582


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