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Old August 18th, 2015, 08:06 PM

Dubious Dubious is offline
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Post Arming the Away Team

As there hasn't been much new posted to the forum lately, here is some research and observations into Away Team weapons. I'm sure none of this is new to anyone who has played for a while, but sometimes it takes laying things out in an organized fashion to make some relationships clear.

SPEED: Tactical turn is 100 ticks. SPD is added to the current tick count of each unit. When a unit has 100, it acts. Hence, positive SPD achieves 100 faster; negative is slower.

Zero is "normal". This is manifested as the enemy movement distance: when your speed is slower, they get to move more tiles before your turn. Carefully weigh weapon "damage per turn" versus "speed" (i.e. number of available turns to inflict damage). A high damage score is not always the best criteria.

SIDEARMS: note the effective range and speed. You only do 1/2 damage at targets less than minimum range, and can't shoot beyond the maximum.

Diagonals presumably count as 1.5 tiles, so a 15 range is equivalent to 10 tiles on the diagonal, assuming you can see that far with an unobstructed view. Sometimes a target appears to be "in range" at the edge of the marked "fire zone" but you are not able to actually fire. Most likely this is a consequence of a "diagonal" in the line of fire rendering it a half tile out of range.

A slow weapon speed combined with a high minimum effective range can put that distant enemy "too close" in one turn.

"Adjacency" (Adj) apparently only applies to targets actually touching each other; not being an "area of effect".

Damage appears to be inversely related to adjacency, and directly related to maximum range. The longer the range, the more damage done but the slower the speed. An increase in the minimum range and/or decrease in the weapon speed also seems to increase the damage done.

The following table represents the most extreme/optimum values seen per category in a Normal difficulty/PermaDeath game at Crafting level 80, Sector 40. (Damage) is representative only between items at the same crafting and sector level, and varies directly with both. The table is arranged by "Speed" (SPD), which is fixed by type. Not all extreme range & adjacency combinations are expected to be possible. "Damage Step" is for comparison purposes using the representative damages given.

Code:
  Type           Range  Adj  Speed  Damage  Damage Step
  Pistol         1/6    0     25    (465)   x0.8 Shotgun / x0.5 Knife (Melee)
  Shotgun        0/5    4      0    (595)   x1.3 Pistol
  SubMachineGun  1/7    3      0    (601)   x1.0 Shotgun
  Rifle          2/9    0    -10    (614)   x1.0 Shotgun
  Assault Rifle  1/10   1    -20    (795)   x1.3 Shotgun / x1.7 Pistol
  Cloud Gun      1/3    14   -25    (239)   x0.4 Shotgun / x0.5 Pistol
  Sniper Rifle   3/15   0    -25    (987)   x1.7 Shotgun / x2.1 Pistol
  Mortar         4/13   7    -35    (716)   x1.2 Shotgun / x1.5 Pistol
  Minigun        1/10   10   -50    (454)   x0.8 Shotgun / x1.0 Pistol
MELEE: Comes into play when you and your opponent attempt to occupy the same tile. Damage appears to be inversely related to "Speed". The faster the weapon, the less damage it does compared to a slower weapon. The fastest (least damaging) Melee weapon typically does similar damage to the slowest (highest damaging) Sidearm.

The following table represents examples in a Normal difficulty/PermaDeath game at Crafting level 80, Sector 40. (Damage) is representative only between items at the same crafting and sector level, and varies directly with both. The table is arranged by "Speed" (SPD), which is fixed by type. "Damage Step" is for comparison purposes using the representative damages given.

Code:
  Type           Speed  Damage   Damage Step
  Knife           20     (962)   x0.7 Sword / x1.0 Sniper Rifle (Sidearm)
  Sword            0    (1354)   x1.4 Knife
  Hammer         -20    (1853)   x1.4 Sword / x1.9 Knife
  Eviscerator    -40    (2260)   x1.7 Sword / x2.3 Knife
PREFERENCES: I prefer to use a Sniper Rifle on the planet surface, as there is where I most often wish to take out only a single target and not any adjacent creatures (such as bunnies). The higher maximum range is not as often useful due to obstructions but the maximum damage tends to ensure "one shot" kills. Even inside it's minimum effective range it's still as lethal as a Pistol. On planet surfaces with lots of "mobs", I lift off and swap out for my CQC (Close Quarters Combat) weapon for the Adjacency effect.

In CQC (caves, shipwrecks, and star temples) I prefer the SubMachineGun due to the combination of Range, Adjacency, and Speed. While there are other choices with better values for each of those factors, CQC environments tend to have shorter sightlines and more "mobs" of creatures where the Adjacency and Speed pays off. The longer Range and higher Speed over better Adjacency weapons like the Minigun and Cloud Gun enables maintaining distance from more spread out targets. In addition, those environments are least likely to have "no shoot" targets mixed in with the dangerous opponents. When "no shoot" targets are present, it's time to swap out for the Sniper Rifle.

In the case of Melee weapons, it is a question of how much damage can you afford to take by letting the opponent get in the first shot? Even with a Knife you are not guaranteed to be faster than all opponents. If your sidearm hasn't taken them out by now, how likely is one more shot equivalent? My preference is the Sword to maintain the normal relative speed difference and deal significantly more damage than the best sidearm. Even if it doesn't kill them, they tend to flee after being hit once. Here, who gets in the first move makes a significant difference. I always seem to take damage when using the Eviscerator even though it tends to be an "insta-kill" weapon.

Curious as to others experiences.

-Dubious-
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Last edited by Dubious; August 18th, 2015 at 08:15 PM..
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  #2  
Old August 21st, 2015, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Arming the Away Team

thx Dubious for the analysis with real-in-game-results , i just looked at the game data files in the mod and since 1.20 in the original game data folder.

My favorite loadout so far in 1.20 Hard and Insane! games:
a submachinegun with the adjacency bonus (1 or 2) for pest control and still have room to move after accidentally hitting a puffer.
A sword is also nice to get the finishing move - and most of the time i had myself to close in to the pirates to finish them with melee faster than shooting - but if you got a sidearm with very good damage / no melee-skills then go for the speed bonus of the Knife.

At later sectors its rather difficult to randomly buy a nice SMG cause most of the time i see sniper rifles / gatlings and such. If i got lucky i was offered a heavy smg or rifle.
I guess getting fire cones, patterns or area damage near impact and able to change loadouts at the shuttle is something for AI:A.T.Tactics...
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Old August 22nd, 2015, 03:11 AM

DamienPS DamienPS is offline
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Default Re: Arming the Away Team

This is another thing.

I'm not sure what I'm doing differently as before 1.2 I used to be able to occasionally win on Easy but always died on the harder levels. Now, I hardly get to Sector 20 on Easy.

Can you more successful players give me some tips?

Thanks
Damien
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Old August 24th, 2015, 03:28 PM

pzgndr pzgndr is offline
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Default Re: Arming the Away Team

FWIW, I'd like to see Starship Outfitters have more "stuff" available for purchase, like basic gear appropriate for each sector level. Just finding a decent spacesuit and rifle can be challenging and frustrating.

Sector 20, where is that? I have yet to survive into the double digits. One.More.Game...
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Old August 24th, 2015, 06:19 PM

Dubious Dubious is offline
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Default Re: Arming the Away Team

I found in the early game you have to be extremely cautious, especially until you get better suits and weapons. Mobs like kudzu and gnashers are deadly even in the later game. Even blobs can swarm you. Avoid shooting them as long as they remain docile or harmless, as much as possible until you get range and adjacency, as they will try to swarm between you and your shuttle in retaliation. You are just as dead from lack of oxygen. Retreat to the shuttle as soon as you get injured, even with First Aid, unless you have a large enough crew to get lots of HP. Without First Aid, you need to have the Medic Bay and lift off-planet while you still have a reasonable chance to avoid anyone dying (75+%). Similar applies to shipwrecks.

It's that pushing for "just that last tile/item before returning to the shuttle" that gets you.

Decent gear usually depends upon your crafting ability. Get that up ASAP. Salvaging new items helps with that. Suits and sidearms are the easiest to craft. When crafting it tends to cycle through the available "models", so be prepared to make multiple attempts and salvage the poor results. Remember that the first Tenaculon Quest gives a lot of free crafting sub-components.

Until then, trade is a boring but safe way to slowly build up a stake. Nothing says you have to explore every planet or cave.

-Dubious-
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Last edited by Dubious; August 24th, 2015 at 06:33 PM..
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Old August 27th, 2015, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Arming the Away Team

Quote:
Originally Posted by DamienPS View Post
This is another thing.

I'm not sure what I'm doing differently as before 1.2 I used to be able to occasionally win on Easy but always died on the harder levels. Now, I hardly get to Sector 20 on Easy.

Can you more successful players give me some tips?

Thanks
Damien
i wrote a small tutorial (that worked at least for me)
http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=50946
maybe you can try that with the settings normal - no payforward credits - ship: Light explorer
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Old September 1st, 2015, 08:22 AM

pzgndr pzgndr is offline
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Default Re: Arming the Away Team

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubious View Post
Decent gear usually depends upon your crafting ability. Get that up ASAP. Salvaging new items helps with that. Suits and sidearms are the easiest to craft. When crafting it tends to cycle through the available "models", so be prepared to make multiple attempts and salvage the poor results.
A small tutorial about crafting would be helpful. I've tried salvaging items and combining parts in the lab but not getting anywhere. The manual is vague about this aspect of the game.
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Old September 1st, 2015, 11:54 PM

Dubious Dubious is offline
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Default Re: Arming the Away Team

Quote:
A small tutorial about crafting would be helpful. I've tried salvaging items and combining parts in the lab but not getting anywhere. The manual is vague about this aspect of the game.
Dari just added this to his excellent tutorial thread. Check it out.

Just to be clear: the lab is for discovering "recipes for unknown effects". Salvaging items (in space, not on a planet surface) gives you the recipe for that salvaged item effect (i.e. once you have salvaged one sidearm, you have the recipe/effect for all sidearms). In the early game, salvage is much cheaper than the lab until you have lots of parts (i.e. 20+ of all 25 parts). Buy cheap weapons and suits in the early sectors and salvage them to gain parts until you have built up a stock. The "Crafting Lab Upgrade" gives a chance that lab experiments might not consume parts, but it's only a chance. But you are better off getting officer promotions to aid your crafting than worrying about the lab. Raise money, then go back to early sectors where the price is cheaper and buy the more expensive items you couldn't afford earlier to salvage for their recipes & effects. Then you can try crafting.

I wouldn't bother trying for better crafted versions until after base crafting (check the Stats Screen) has gone up 10 points from the previous version you had created.

One thing I recently discovered. Some items sold in the stations have "special abilities" that you won't see unless you hover your cursor over the item and read the description. Things like the Shovel Suit (which enables the A.T. to clear away rubble). These special abilities are NOT effects you can gain by salvaging those items, and so far I haven't gained them from crafting. So you can wind up with several suits with different capabilities in cargo. Don't skimp on cargo space. The "Cargo Containers" device adds 25 to your built-in capacity.

-Dubious-
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Old October 13th, 2015, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: Arming the Away Team

Unless there's an exceptional item, my close combat weapon is either a knife or a sword. Usually a knife, because the speed modifier affects speed when moving and shooting ranged weapons, too.

Ranged weapon depends on the situation, and what's the best available example. Multiplying swarms call for a strong enough weapon with some good adj to it. Later in the game, often I find a mortar is so destructive that it works in practically all ranges and situations. Though there are some situations where 0 adj is best. I don't think I've ever chosen a Cloud Gun.
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