Author Topic: Easy Marauders  (Read 604 times)

Offline tadrinth

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Easy Marauders
« on: January 06, 2020, 08:30:54 PM »
This one is still in progress. Gonna jot down note as I go, stream of consciousness.

Octopus map (obviously, I created it).
Two AIs at Diff 7
Allied Marauders 5
Astro Trains 5

Started in one arm.

First off: took a minute to get used to fleets but LOVING them so far.  Everything I wanted from them!!!  Transport, repair, refleeting, the interaction with AI Eyes! 

Then i got like 30 mins in and my allied marauders... would not... stop taking things.  And an instigator base popped up on the far side of a Mark V planet.  Stuck my nose in the door, so many stacks of some unit that nukes high albedo.  Which took out my warbirds, where I'd invested a ton of tech.  And a Warden base next door that I'd not killed yet.  I wound up having to retreat and not really being able to make any progress.

Then I realized that I can tell Marauders not to kill command centers... so I decided to restart so I didn't lose the Super Terminal.

Notes from round 2:

Why do Parasites have such terrible range?  They have LESS than your fighters, that's not enough for a support unit. 

Why do Force Field Frigates have 6000 range?  That's not enough to cover your 8k range siege units (they'll wander too far forward), and too much to cover your front line fighters at 3k range.  With autokite they just... hang out and shield approximately nothing.  These really need a 'super group move' (meaning, stay under the bubble), or a way to disable autokite for a particular fleet.   And -50% damage reduction on an offensive mobile forcefield is pretty rough.  Unimpressed with these so far.  They're probably amazing when the going gets tougher.  These are a good candidate for that idea I suggested where you could have a line of ships with multiple forms, and you could pick between them; you could have one with 4k range and one with 8k range.

Warbirds!  I was like, why do these have paralysis instead of cloaking.  Then I decided they are amazing, even if they do have such high speed that they tend to zoom around ahead of everything else.  I keep being shocked that they don't die charging ahead of my forces.

Encountered a Dire Widow Guardian.  Was delighted that the AIWC behavior of abducting your units is still present!  Except I feel like a Dire Widow Guardian should have more than 20 tractors.  Also, it tried to run to a planet that was a dead end, and then just bounced back and forth between the last two planets until I killed it.    Very annoying rubber banding behavior.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Easy Marauders
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2020, 09:28:05 PM »
Hello. I'll see what I can do about anything you put in here, when I can.

Parasites...huh. Somehow I've never noticed that. I'll get it sorted tomorrow, thank you.

Warbirds should have cloaking - do they not for you somehow? And the Dire Widow Guardian - should be 200 tractor beams. I do want to change some things for the Guardians, Dires in particular, so that might be something to check.

For Forcefield Frigates...yeah, bit of an iffy unit. I can make them immune to auto-kite if that'd help?

Autistic, so apologies for any communication difficulties!

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Easy Marauders
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2020, 10:52:44 PM »
Oh my goodness the Warbirds DO cloak.  That may explain how they avoid dying so well.  I'm playing with just icons; I guess the icon only shows that they're decloaked?  I'd probably prefer the icon indicate that that they're cloaked. 

Yep, you're right, Dire Widow Guardian has 200 tractors.  I think I read the 20x shots on its paralyzing gun. 

Did y'all JUST update the game to show DPS in tooltips?  I logged out, saw this, logged back in, and the tooltips had changed.  YAY for showing DPS, that's very helpful. 

I was going to suggest changing the FF Frigate's range to 4k, but I just tested and the bubble gets bigger as its mark increases.  If possible, I would suggest making its range scale with mark so that its always 1.5-2k larger than its FF bubble.  Otherwise, I dunno what to do with it.  They work fine if you micro them; group move and a bunch of queued move orders to fly in circles around whatever you want dead will make sure your stuff stays bunched up underneath it.  A better fix might be to disable auto-kite for units under friendly forcefields in general (though the FF frigates themselves should still autokite). 

I'd slightly reduce V-wing range and slightly increase Fusion Bomber range, as well, so that the V-wings stay in front, if the V-wings are supposed to soak fire for the bombers.  It's also not super obvious why Fusion Bombers are good against structures; I thought that made no sense until I checked and realized that most structures have a 1 hull : 2 shield, whereas most nonstructures have 2 hull : 1 shield. 

So, if you have an enemy planet with Stealth Guard Posts that don't feel like deploying their stuff, it's almost impossible to find them and decloak them.  I had a planet which I mostly neutered, and I had to send some Sentinel Gunboats wandering all over the planet to find them.  They have a tiny tachyon range (1700? what?) which I guess is for decloaking stuff that jumps them, while not making them utterly hose stealthers...  but they're the only mobile unit with tachyon I've found.   AIWC has the Decloaker which you could pay science to unlock; AIW2 could use either a similar unit that can always be obtained via science (but not sure how that fits into fleets), or a hack that decloaks the planet briefly.  Combat sentry frigate in the support fleet covers this.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 01:19:27 PM by tadrinth »

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Easy Marauders
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2020, 11:02:46 PM »
The fleet experience thing is super weird.  It seems like fleet flagships are the ONLY thing that it matters for now?  I guess that makes sense for Golems but it's a bit odd for transport flagships.

Also I think my Marauders are stuck.  They have a big pile of raider frigates sitting on a world with an AI command station that is refusing to spit out its guards, and I turned off their permission to kill command stations.  Maybe they don't have enough strength to go somewhere else?  Not sure how to get the debug logging for their decisions.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Easy Marauders
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2020, 12:04:56 PM »
Do Astro Trains not spawn at Train Stations?  I just had a Tank Train fly across my home system (!!!!!) despite the fact that there's no train station OR AI systems behind my home system.  I did have a system back there that was owned by friendly marauders, so maybe it spawned there. 

Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Easy Marauders
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2020, 01:24:32 PM »
I believe I have fixed  that 'marauders get stuck' bug for the next patch

Astro Trains can spawn anywhere that's not a king planet or Depot planet
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 01:26:07 PM by BadgerBadger »

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Easy Marauders
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2020, 04:33:10 PM »
I'd rather trains always spawn on train stations.  That's how they worked in Classic, and gives the player a bit more predictability as to which planets they can affect; you might not be able to prevent them from routing through your home system, but you can at least destroy the nearby stations to guarantee yourself some warning.   If that's accompanied by more stations appearing during mapgen, or if the stations need to increase AIP slightly on death, that seems a fair trade. 

For context: if I'd built two military commands instead of a military and a logistics in my frontline, I'd have run out of energy when it killed the econ station behind my homeworld.  Then it would have hit my home command station 20s later, and if running out of energy still disables force fields, it would have killed me.  That's pretty terrifying. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 04:40:56 PM by tadrinth »

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Easy Marauders
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2020, 04:39:09 PM »
For the ranges:

* V-Wing range 4,200 -> 3,200.

* Fusion Bomber range 4,000 -> 4,200.

* Parasite range 3,200 -> 6,000.

* Sentinel Gunboat tachyon range 1,700 -> 3,200.

* Ranger tachyon range 3,200 -> 5,000.

Though the default range slider is 0.8x, so it's a bit shorter than those for the weapons but should still work.

For the DPS, yes. It was a thing in the PrePivot I last recall. I was changing some of the tooltip stuff then it occurred to me to try and see if it was still possible. Some help from Chris and there it is. Just needed some updating to work properly.

Fleet Experience is a bit odd right now. It's undergone a few changes since the original implementation, and the Perk system isn't in yet.

I've also hopefully properly noted why the Bombers are decent against structures.
Autistic, so apologies for any communication difficulties!

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Easy Marauders
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 02:00:57 PM »
Love the new ranges.

I actually restarted the campaign so I could disable friendly marauders killing AI command stations.  They were just racking up way too much AIP for my tastes, and they killed the Super Terminal which I wasn't okay with.

Then I had to put this on hold for a bit, because the bug where FFs didn't work would get me killed by a wave of Sentry Gunboats.  Picked it back up once that was fixed.

I've now neutered my entire starting arm and most of the middle of the map.  I upgraded my Spiders and Warbird Frigates three times and then hacked for the final tech, so they're all Mark V, and I used a Fleet Capacity Extender to get a double cap of Spiders.  Soooo much engine slow! 

I didn't bother taking any GCAs for more turrets for quite a while; I finally grabbed two that gave spider turrets since they're Mark V.  Not sure if the spider turrets are better than AIWC, but the animation makes them look like they're doing a lot of work, which is satisfying. 

I've noticed a LOT of friendly Human Marauder Raiders running around, but I only just realized that the Marauder outposts need to not have a FRIENDLY command station to grow to Mark III.  They are not limited by an AI command center.  Wasn't an issue before because they'd just kill command stations, but now that I can tell them not to do that:

Any time I neuter an AI planet, they drop an outpost.  Since the AI only gets 5% reinforcements, and since I'm applying constant pressure by sailing around neutering planets and taking choke points to prevent the AI from getting into the areas I've cleared, those outposts are free to multiply and mature.

At this point, my entire starting arm is covered in Mark III Marauder outposts.  There are HUGE fleets of friendly raiders sailing around the middle cluster, and I've gotten notifications of them attacking the arms I haven't even gotten to yet.  I'm pretty sure they're clearing out Mark IV and V planets without me needing to do anything.   I didn't even see the last CPA; I think the horde of raiders took them out.

Sure, they're killing all the warp gates they find, which is annoying causing a lot of waves to get canceled or to spawn as threat, but anything that spawns as threat, they just kill off.  And I've killed three or four data centers and captured two Major Data Centers, so I've actually been riding the floor, and am currently at around AIP 100, without having hacked the Super Terminal or killed the coprocessors.  They're not raising the AIP so much that I'm really having issues, not with how powerful they are.

I suggest maybe making friendly marauder outposts require the system not have any command station to fully mature.

I'd also really prefer more permanent vision.  There's gotta be some happy compromise between 'I have scouts picketed across the entire map' and 'I can't see anything on AI planets unless I spend precious Hacking Points or put Logistics stations on the front lines'.   It's especially annoying because the Marauders are out doing who knows what and I can't see what they're doing!  I'd suggest Military commands should grant vision of adjacent and Logistics should grant two hops out.  Or am I supposed to split up my Fleet Transports and go searching for the CPA when it spawns?