Gunnery Crews FAQ <--- READ FIRST

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Reven
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Gunnery Crews FAQ <--- READ FIRST

Post by Reven » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 12:45

What will happen if I upgrade from an earlier (unsigned) version?
If you follow the instructions and download the little upgrade script, all your "Hired Gunnery Crew" wares will be deleted - this ware isn't used any more. You will be credited with the money. You will, unfortunately, have to find enough crew to man your turrets though.

What effect will installing this plugin have on AI ships?
All M1 and M2 ships owned by the Argon, Teladi, Boron, Xenon, and Khaak will be running upgraded turret commands after installing this plugin. This plugin will make them harder to defeat.
The Argon, Boron, and Teladi ships run the upgraded commands due to the story of how they were developed. The Split and Paranid, being gnerally antagonistic towards the Argon, do not get the upgrades. The Xenon and Khaak get the upgraded commands as an out-of-character update, simply to make them more of a challenge.


What about M6 corvettes?
You the player can use the gunnery crews commands, or even buy an AEGIS upgrade for corvettes (though, at six times the price of a corvette, you probably won't consider it cost effective to buy an AEGIS Weapon System for one).
None of the AI M6 class corvettes run the new turret commands because of this plugin. They use the standard, stock "Turret: Attack Enemies" command.


Will this plugin change out-of-sector combat?
No. The game engine suspends all turret tasks when a ship is out-of-sector.

Is the AEGIS upgrade required in order to use gunnery crews?
No. The "Gunnery Crews: Action Stations" command, which is the main gunnery crews command, is available without buying any upgrade. All that is needed are enough crew.
The AEGIS upgrade will make the "Action Stations" command more efficient at shooting down fighters, but will have little effect when in combat against a capital ship.


Isn't the AEGIS Weapon System upgrade a little expensive?
As mentioned above, it's not required in order to use gunnery crew. It's an optional component. It makes your ship better able to engage large numbers of fighters and shoot down incoming missiles (see the next question & answer). It will make a Titan about twice as effective against fighters. How much would another Titan cost? The real benefit of the AEGIS system is to concentrate combat power. Two ships are always more difficult to coordinate than one.
The AEGIS system also makes available the command "Gunnery Crews: Maximize Captures". Capture a single Xenon K, certainly no more than two, and it will have paid for itself.
In summary, yes, it's very expensive. But at some point, you have to ask yourself... what else do I have to spend my money on?


What exactly does AEGIS give me?
  • Without AEGIS, gunnery crews pick the player ship's target, and the turret can't shoot that, then pick whatever target comes up. With AEGIS, a turret prioritizes all the targets it could possibly shoot at and picks the one that is the highest threat.
  • Without AEGIS a turret will shoot down incoming missiles whenever it is not engaging a ship. That is, whenever it looks for a new target, it will first shoot down any missiles it sees. With AEGIS, a turret gets the ability to interrupt an engagement against a ship whenever it sees a dangerous missile (dangerous is defined as any missile powerful enough to reduce the ship's current shield levels by 5% or more), shoot it down, then resume engaging the ship immediately.
  • Without AEGIS, turrets essentially work independantly of each other. They will all first try to attack the ship's overall target, but after that, they work alone. With AEGIS, the turrets will coordinate with each other. Two turrets will avoid engaging the same M4/M5 target, but will work together to attack the same M3/M2/M1. Thus, fire is concentrated when attacking difficult targets, and spread out when attacking easy ones.
  • Without AEGIS, turrets track (turn) at the speed of whatever weapon is mounted in them. With AEGIS, the lightest weapon that a turret can mount is switched to when the turret is tracking, thus cutting down tracking time by up to 1000%.
How do I get crew?
There will be passenger transports flying through Argon space carrying Military Personnel. Follow them. Once they land, some of their passengers will be available as the "Military Personnel" ware on the station. You can then buy (hire) them.

Is there any easier way to find the military transports?
If you have your own Equipment Dock, you can access a report through the dock's command console that will give you the location of all military transports currently operating.

Why does it cost so much to operate a ship with gunnery crew?
The Gunnery Crews commands are completely useless for out-of-sector combat. They give you in-sector benefits only. As such, you don't need to use the Gunnery Crews commands on patrol ships. Just ships you will be taking with you into battle.
The maximum cost to operate a ship is 270,000 credits per hour (half that if you don't have an AEGIS upgrade). This is approximately the profit from two or three solar power plants if you operate your ship at "Action Stations" continuously.
Modern warships don't go around continuously at action stations. Besides crew fatigue, one reason is the cost. If cost is a factor, then only run the Gunnery Crews commands when you are going to go into a serious battle. Get involved in the moment. Preparing for combat, you give the order to go to action stations. Makes things sort of cool, if you ask me.


Why do all the Boron, Teladi, and Argon ships have gunnery crew too?
They are generally friendly with the Argon, who (according to the fiction surrounding this upgrade) invented the Gunnery Crew training.
In balance terms, the AI ships were always way too weak. This helps give them more challenge.


What about the Khaak? Aren't they way to powerful now?
That's a matter of opinion. I can still take out a Khaak Destrroyer one on one with a Gunnery Crew equipped Titan. Without the gunnery crew script installed, I could hardly ever take out a Khaak Destroyer with a Titan. So, this plugin does make the Khaak harder, but things are still much the same as the were before. A Titan without Gunnery Crews can't take out a Khaak Destroyer without gunnery crews. A Titan with Gunnery Crews can take out a Khaak Destroyer with gunnery crews.

Yes, but what about attacking a Khaak Destroyer with multiple friendly destroyers. Say, with five Teladi Phoenix. Before this upgrade I could take out a Khaak Destroyer that way without losing any ships. Now I lose two or more.
First of all, this is arguably not a bad thing. Once you get to the point where you are pushing Khaak Destroyers around with impunity, what else is there left to do in the game? This plugin makes Khaak Destoryers harder, absolutely. The question remains, is this a bad thing?
That being said, with some setup, you can take out a Khaak Destroyer without losses. If you approach a Khaak Destroyer with any number of destroyers from the rear, and you are going to lose some. Doesn't matter if your destroyers have Gunnery Crews, doesn't matter if they have the corbomite device. Some are dead. Especially if they are slow behemoths like the Teladi Phoenix.
First you must get the Destroyer's attention, or maneuver so that you are in its flight path. Spread out your fleet a little. You want one ship in front, and one each to either side, above, and below. You want to converge your fleet on the enemy at approximately the same time - timing is important. If you have your approach angles set up right, you'll split the enemy's fire across multiple ships. If you are approaching generally from the target's front, you will also close to effective weapons range very quickly. This will allow your ships' Gamma HEPTs to get into range and take out the target faster.
I have used this approach successfully. It works. There are probably other tactics and strategies that work too.
The point is, this plugin changes the dynamics. Simply ordering a bunch of ships to go attack a Khaak Destroyert isn't good enough any more. You have to fight smart. The tactics you need to use must change as the dynamics change.


Can I read the documentation for the plugin without installing it first?
Sure.

Why are the colours in this FAQ so bright?
Two answers:
  1. So it's easy to tell the difference between a question and an answer.
  2. To bug ticaki :rofl:
Last edited by Reven on Sun, 19. Dec 04, 19:52, edited 6 times in total.
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stella
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Post by stella » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 14:03

That'll clear a lot of things up for a lot of people. One thing I'd suggest you mention, is that any ships which had "Hired gunnery crews 2.11" or earlier already installed will *have* to hire crew, or the turrets will stop working when 3.0 is installed (unless they switch back to "turret attack enemies").

I also take it you've decided to leave the KM2's as they are. As you say, the plugin has altered the dynamics. I think you should make that very clear indeed. I certainly wasn't aware of the effects it would have, and I'm sure many others weren't either. "Fighting smarter" only works if you're piloting one of the ships in question. What if I'm not?

As for
You can't install a plugin like this and expect that everything will stay the same. Othereise, why did you install it?
I agree. I just would have liked to have known what it was going to do in advance, that's all. Perhaps I would have installed it anyway, perhaps not, but at least I'd have known what I was letting myself in for.
Attack enemies in radius -here

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Post by Reven » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 14:24

stella wrote:...I'd suggest you mention, is that any ships which had "Hired gunnery crews 2.11" or earlier already installed will *have* to hire crew...
Good idea. Done.
stella wrote:I also take it you've decided to leave the KM2's as they are.
No, I haven't made a decision on that. I'm still looking into it. I've spent some time beating up the Khaak with my Titan, and things have changed very little. I'm going to try with my K, and then pick up a fre Phoenix to do that with. I want to have a good feel for things before I tweak any further.
stella wrote:As you say, the plugin has altered the dynamics. I think you should make that very clear indeed. I certainly wasn't aware of the effects it would have, and I'm sure many others weren't either. "Fighting smarter" only works if you're piloting one of the ships in question. What if I'm not?
Point taken. Hopefully the FAQ will clear some things up, and make it clearer that it does change the dynamics. This is my first signed script. I'm learning about the process too. It's not just about scripting at this point, it's about documentation, and PR as well.
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Post by stella » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 14:49

PR wise, I'd suggest a quick clip of a Titan taking on a Xenon M2 and a few L's. That should do it :)

I still think it's a great piece of work. There were three things I didn't like about it at first. That's now down to one.

You're gonna *really* have to go some on your second :wink:
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jdm5000
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Post by jdm5000 » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:18

I've got a question that the FAQ wasn't too clear on.. How to get crew.. it says, There are Military Transports flying through Argon Space. Follow them. Then what?

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Post by frymaster » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:29

they land at certain stations. If you are VERY quick you can hire some crew from there
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Post by jdm5000 » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:33

VERY quick? How long do you have? And do they show in the Trade with Station screen (d key, I think)?

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Post by Reven » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:36

Right now, they dissappear within a couple minutes. Really, the only effective solution is to get a ship there ahead of the transport.

A change is coming, hopefully today, that will fix that. A few more crew will be released from each transport, and they will stay longer.
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Post by jdm5000 » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:38

How do you hire them once you get there? Do they show up as a ware on the trade screen?

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Post by cynric » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:39

jdm5000 wrote:How do you hire them once you get there? Do they show up as a ware on the trade screen?
Yes, they show up right below missiles

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Post by jdm5000 » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:48

ok cool... Thanks

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Post by Sparky Sparkycorp » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:51

The harsh truth in life is that when you change something, there are always consequences... remember Bruce Almighty?

The moral of the story is if you want to try a script that changes something about the game and then save your game and keep playing on, you have to live with that choice regardless of what that script is.

This is a pain for players who have not played for long but in the case of players who has say played so long they can afford a fully equipped destroyer and the AEGIS system, what are a few days gaming?

Outside of Khaak space, you can do almost anything with a single destroyer anyway. You could wipe out all the space-based stuff for an entire race if you felt like it...even in Khaak space, you could kill KM2s if you improved your combat manoeuvring skills.

Sparky

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Reven
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Post by Reven » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 19:55

FAQ updated. Added more disclosure on the effect the plugin will have on AI ships once installed (sorry this was late in coming). Added an answer about M6 corvettes. Expanded the answer on how to get military personnel.
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Post by cynric » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 20:23

One thing i'd like to know ... which weapons will be used by the script for what purpose?

For example, is it useful to put PAC or IRE on a Titan when I have Mass Drivers installed (which weapon is preferred for missile defense/capturing/...)?

Does the capture mode use APPC for fighters when they're out of range of other low power weapons, so more than 3 APPC on board might be good?

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Post by Sparky Sparkycorp » Fri, 17. Dec 04, 20:29

Dear Reven,

With regards the AEGIS feature, please can you answer these things for me?

1) Do crew take up cargo space in the ships they will work on such as M2s?
If yes to (1) then...
2) How much do they occupy individualy?
3) Can any ship transport the recruited crew to M2s or just passenger transporters (TP) for example?

Many thanks,
Sparky

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