Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Disembodied »

Rekrul wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:27 am
Disembodied wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:14 pm
Plus beginners can (and should) stick to safe systems, where they shouldn't meet many/any pirates.
The problem with that is that it basically forces new players to stay in the same general area that they start from. No matter which direction you try to go, within just a few jumps you hit a point where you can't go any further without jumping to a system that's on the lower half of the danger scale, which is suicide for someone in an unexpanded ship. I located two safe systems of exactly the types recommended for building up your cash, a rich agricultural and a poor industrial, both with fairly safe government, but there's no safe way to get there. I tried multiple routes and no matter which way I went, i hit a dead end.

So the advice to new players really should be: When starting the game, your only viable trading choices are Leesti and Diso. Stay there until you have your ship fully tricked out. Going anywhere else will either get you killed, or won't be worth it for trading.
Well, if, as I would recommend, Confederacies are adjusted to make them only a little dangerous - i.e. there's a chance (NOT a certainty) of meeting a lone-wolf pirate in a Cobra I or maybe a Cobra III or Fer-de-Lance if you're unlucky, who has to be bought off with cargo if you can't fight them off - then the best route out would be Lave > Zaonce (Corporate State, Average Industrial); Zaonce > Isinor (Confederacy, Poor Agricultural); Isinor > Ensoreus (Corporate State, Rich Industrial). The Isinor-Ensoreus route would be a relatively mild milk run, allowing players the chance to build up their ship and get a bit of experience under their belts.

A further refinement - which might also need some economic tweaking, to create a greater risk = greater reward equation - would be to pursue the option of dividing the galaxies into regions, and giving those regions different piracy weightings. The Old Worlds, where the player starts, could be quite quiet; there are still pirates in the more unsafe systems, but even there they com in ones and twos and are not so much of a threat. The profits to be made in the Old Worlds, though, aren't particularly great.

On the other hand, the Tortuga Expanse is rife with pirate gangs, and pilots better have their asses thickly coated with iron before they think of risking a run through there. The potential profits, though, are very high indeed.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Rekrul »

Another piece of advice for new pilots: Don't waste your money on a beam laser since they're completely useless in combat.

After making a bit of money, I bought a beam laser, extra energy unit and fuel injectors (among other things). I then jumped to Lave, just to see what would happen. I got lucky and was attacked by a group of only three pirates. I used the fuel injectors to quickly close the distance, then slowed to half speed so that I could turn tighter. After 30+ minutes of firing uselessly at the three ships (Mamba, Krait, Moray Star Boat), I have cramps in both hands and I managed to destroy exactly zero of the enemies. In fact, despite concentrating on a single ship for several minutes at a time, I never saw any sign that I was even damaging them. The only time I ever saw the yellow puffs that indicate damage was when the Krait made an attack run and I went head on with it and managed to delivered a sustained burst of laser fire for about five seconds. Of course I got completely wrecked in the process, but by that time I was ready to give up anyway. It was easier to destroy Thargoids in Elite with a pulse laser than to take down any of these ships with a beam laser. Do they all have armor plating or what?

In fact, the beam laser seems weaker than the pulse laser. I can destroy an asteroid with between 7-10 shots with the pulse laser, but it takes about ten seconds of continuous firing with the beam laser. That doesn't particularly seem like an upgrade to me.

So in summary, I had no problem surviving combat with three ships, but I couldn't kill a single one of them, despite hitting them at least 50+ times each. So yeah, don't bother with a beam laser, just avoid combat completely until you have a military laser. Of course I'll probably find out that the military laser is severely under-powered as well. :roll:

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Redspear »

Rekrul wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:26 pm
In fact, the beam laser seems weaker than the pulse laser. I can destroy an asteroid with between 7-10 shots with the pulse laser, but it takes about ten seconds of continuous firing with the beam laser. That doesn't particularly seem like an upgrade to me.
That doesn't sound right at all... Have you installed any laser or asteroid related oxps?

Disembodied wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:42 am
The Isinor-Ensoreus route would be a relatively mild milk run, allowing players the chance to build up their ship and get a bit of experience under their belts.
It was a peach of a route in Elite but you won't have much fuel left for your injectors (if you have any).
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Disembodied »

Redspear wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:48 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:42 am
The Isinor-Ensoreus route would be a relatively mild milk run, allowing players the chance to build up their ship and get a bit of experience under their belts.
It was a peach of a route in Elite but you won't have much fuel left for your injectors (if you have any).
Yes, but - with minimal piracy - injectors shouldn't be needed. Players have to put in the work of getting to the station (assuming they don't use the off-lane wangle) at a standard pace. Once they get injectors, and maybe a few more bits of kit, they can start looking for a bit more excitement …

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by another_commander »

Rekrul wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:26 pm
Another piece of advice for new pilots: Don't waste your money on a beam laser since they're completely useless in combat.
After this comment, I think there might be some OXP ruining the fun in your game. See, this statement is simply not true.

I have uploaded a zip file containing two videos here. The videos show how an asteroid gets destroyed using a beam and a pulse laser. As you can see, the difference in pulse and beam laser (including the difference in range) is more than evident and in favor of the beam, as designed. If you take ten seconds for one asteroid with a beam laser, than something else is wrong and it might be the reason for not being able to do combat altogether. Maybe you can have a go without OXPs and see the difference it makes.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Cody »

Disembodied wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:42 am
The Isinor-Ensoreus route would be a relatively mild milk run...
Milk the Isinor/Qutiri run (with Tionisla and Bemaera for variety) first.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Malacandra »

Disembodied wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 5:18 pm
Redspear wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:48 pm
Disembodied wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:42 am
The Isinor-Ensoreus route would be a relatively mild milk run, allowing players the chance to build up their ship and get a bit of experience under their belts.
It was a peach of a route in Elite but you won't have much fuel left for your injectors (if you have any).
Yes, but - with minimal piracy - injectors shouldn't be needed. Players have to put in the work of getting to the station (assuming they don't use the off-lane wangle) at a standard pace. Once they get injectors, and maybe a few more bits of kit, they can start looking for a bit more excitement …
Looking for a bit of excitement is just fine - the game has plenty to recommend it aside from just fighting, but who doesn't want to get some notches on his gunbelt? The issue is that "a few more bits of kit" doesn't cut it once the opposition are too numerous, too fast and too smart. The encounter I described above was using a Commander from an old save game whose ship mods take up two whole pages, and it still wasn't enough!
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by gilhad »

I met some "indestructible" ships too - I little hacked MFD and made it show remaining energy and I really simetimes found a pirate, whos energy does not decrease even after long hit from military laser (or even RimmerAce one). They can be destroyed/damaged by ramming them (which also damage me) or sometimes by missile from point zero, before they can use EMC, but not by lasers.

---

On other note - even with most basic ships one can go really far - by taking free ride with other ship to some "problematic place" by using its whitchpoint tunnel and then immediatelly jump by own fuel to some safer location (or just back, if the ride was not in preferable direction) while leaving the original trade have his fun with eventual pirate - so it is possible to make two jump long tour without refueling in the middle system.

(ofcourse Cloud Analyser helps a lot, or Broadcast MFD to ask repeatedly, if somebody is going your way - and if not, then dock-undock to try luck again, and there are those refuel-missiles in some OXP too as expensive way to go far away)

(Also I made mistake one time and oon after start I bought ship without hyperspace capability for cheap - took me a lot of free-rides before I collected money for ship with hyperspace engines again)
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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Rekrul »

Redspear wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:48 pm
That doesn't sound right at all... Have you installed any laser or asteroid related oxps?
Actually, I'd installed;

ZygoRoids v1.2.5.oxp

Which seems to make the asteroids tougher, but shouldn't affect ships. Beyond that, I only had Better Buoys, BGS 2.5.1 and Library 1.71. (required for BGS). However, even with all expansions removed, the beam laser still seems weak. See below.
another_commander wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:07 pm
After this comment, I think there might be some OXP ruining the fun in your game. See, this statement is simply not true.

I have uploaded a zip file containing two videos here. The videos show how an asteroid gets destroyed using a beam and a pulse laser. As you can see, the difference in pulse and beam laser (including the difference in range) is more than evident and in favor of the beam, as designed. If you take ten seconds for one asteroid with a beam laser, than something else is wrong and it might be the reason for not being able to do combat altogether. Maybe you can have a go without OXPs and see the difference it makes.
I had the ZygoRoids expansion installed, which makes asteroids tougher to destroy, however...

I removed all expansions and tried it in the base 1.88 game. With a pulse laser, most asteroids blow up after exactly 7 shots. I believe I encountered some that took more before I installed any OXPs, but I can't swear to it. With the beam laser and tapping the "A" key to fire single shots, asteroids take exactly 17 shots to destroy. So even though it fires faster, each shot is actually weaker than the pulse laser. Additionally, a pulse laser will destroy boulders in exactly two shots while the beam laser needs more than that. I couldn't tell exactly how many because it's hard for me to keep them in my sights and be able to just tap the "A" key for single shots. I know that if you fire in quick bursts, you'll still need two bursts to destroy them, even though each burst pulses more than once.

I haven't tried to fight any ships without the expansions yet, but I really don't expect the results to be significantly different. I may have to install the Combat Simulator OXP because getting a situation where I'm attacked by a manageable number of pirates seems like a rare occurrence.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by another_commander »

@Rekrul: You are absolutely correct about the nominal values of the two lasers. In terms of damage value per shot, the beam is weaker than the pulse. However, you seem to be underestimating the difference in their firing rates. I'll just throw in some numbers copied from equipment.plist for the two lasers in order to explain what an exercise in balance this is:

Code: Select all

						Pulse		Beam
Range (m)					12500		15000
Damage (energy units / shot)			15		6	
Recharge (sec / shot)				0.5		0.1
Temperature Increase (temp units / shot)	7.0		3.2
The difference in recharge, combined with the difference in damage output means that in the same time period, the beam can deliver twice the punch of the pulse. During a one second fire burst, the pulse will have fired twice and delivered 30 units of energy damage, while the beam will have fired ten times and will have delivered 60 units of damage. This is also seen in the videos I linked to yesterday. Note that in the pulse demo video, only the last 7 shots actually land on the asteroid (which has an energy rating of 100) and destroy it. The rest is not hitting because we are at the very limits of the pulse's range and that is the second important thing: The beam can start causing damage from a longer distance. In combat, this will be a great advantage and this is even more evident if you move on to the military laser, which can actually cause damage beyond scanner range.

The temperature per shot is less for the beam due to its lesser energy output, but in a one second burst, the temperature rise of the beam will be double that of the pulse due to the much higher shot rate. So if using beam, make the shots count.

So where does this leave us? Well, I think in combat you will normally not be firing lasers one single shot at a time, unless you are in an overheat situation. Most of the times you are keeping the enemy in your sights for just a few seconds and you want to hit them as hard as you can in those precious few seconds. In this regard, a beam will be a much better option than a pulse laser, because it is designed to deliver more damage in quick bursts. When you fire at asteroids maybe the 3.5 seconds it takes for the pulse to do its job do not seem such a big deal compared to the 1.5 seconds needed for the beam. But when there is a, say, Krait on the other side, with a maximum energy of 250, then we are talking 8.5 seconds of continuous burst versus 4. That is a significant difference and it becomes even more so if you are fighting against packs containing bigger ships, like Pythons (max energy 450) for example. So at the end it is all about getting accustomed with the weaponry and ensuring that every shot you fire lands on target.

I hope this clears things up a bit. Sorry for going off-rails with the thread, but I just wanted to clarify the laser situation in order to avoid having new players who read this getting the wrong impressions about progression in the game.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Rekrul »

another_commander wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:52 am
So at the end it is all about getting accustomed with the weaponry and ensuring that every shot you fire lands on target.
Unfortunately, I'm not able to hit them with every shot. I line up a ship, fire a burst with the laser and the ship immediately turns in a random direction. I turn to follow it and it turns in a different direction, going off my screen. There are three (or potentially more) dots moving around on the radar. I go for the one I think is it and it turns out to another ship. I try the next one, yup, that's my target. Line it up, go to press the button and it turns. Turn to follow, line it up, hit fire and it immediately turns out of the crosshair. And so on. The head-on pass was the only time I was able to keep one of them in my sights for longer than about one second. If they're farther away, you have to be VERY precise with your aim and if they're close, chances are that they will suddenly climb and if you follow them, you risk crashing into them.

I don't claim to be an expert pilot, but I like to think I'm competent. However, I spend all my time fighting with the stick trying to follow the twists and turns of the other ship, never hitting it with a sustained burst of laser fire longer than about one second at a time (that's "one-one thousand, two-one thousand", etc). Even when I was able to hit the ships with multiple one-second bursts over a short period of time, it seemed to have no effect.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by another_commander »

Do you have Scanner Targeting Enhancement installed? That's a core piece of equipment and should help with not losing your target when things get hot.

Not sure about your fighting style, but there is a video here, where I go against 12 pirates in an iron ass. Custom shields OXP is in use in the video, so all enemies are buffed up and harder than normal. Note that I am not trying to concentrate on anyone in particular, never stop moving and as soon as I get fire I immediately break and evade, until one by one they are all gone. Not entirely a beginner's situation, but I hope it gives an idea or two.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by Cody »

another_commander wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:43 am
... there is a video here, where I go against 12 pirates in an iron ass.
Not bad, Admiral... not bad at all. Back in the day, I'd have enjoyed a tussle like that.

@Rekrul - are you using a joystick? If so, does it have a spare button you can assign to Precision Mode?
Also, there's an excellent guide to setting up your joystick axis profiles here.




Unfortunately, the weasels at photo*ucket have paywalled the pics, but it'd give you some ideas.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by dybal »

Rekrul wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:27 am
So the advice to new players really should be: When starting the game, your only viable trading choices are Leesti and Diso. Stay there until you have your ship fully tricked out. Going anywhere else will either get you killed, or won't be worth it for trading.
Leesti-Diso is not a good choice, too many pirate packs from naughty neighboors...
Disembodied wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:42 am
Well, if, as I would recommend, Confederacies are adjusted to make them only a little dangerous - i.e. there's a chance (NOT a certainty) of meeting a lone-wolf pirate in a Cobra I or maybe a Cobra III or Fer-de-Lance if you're unlucky, who has to be bought off with cargo if you can't fight them off - then the best route out would be Lave > Zaonce (Corporate State, Average Industrial); Zaonce > Isinor (Confederacy, Poor Agricultural); Isinor > Ensoreus (Corporate State, Rich Industrial). The Isinor-Ensoreus route would be a relatively mild milk run, allowing players the chance to build up their ship and get a bit of experience under their belts.
I made the cash to get a good kit on Isinor-Qutiri, with ocasionnal forays to Ontiat and Tionisla...

On the danger vs government type aspect, after I got a new ship (with real good legs, 0.55LM max speed, but weak generator) and an iron-ass kit, I let go off milk-run trading and started travelling and learning to fight and did quite a bit of bounty hunting/salvaging (good money in the combination)... the systems it was easier to consistently get attacked by pirate packs after jumping in and going from the whitchpoint to the main station were democracies (like Diso...). Lately I 've being doing parcel runs (good way to know the galaxy), and I have far less trouble than I expected in Anarchies and most trouble in Democracies... the safest, by far, seem to be the Commies.... it almost look like somebody is doing a political statement! :P

I have both SpaceCrowds and DeepSpacePirates installed, though...
Last edited by dybal on Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why was the difficulty of pirates set so high?

Post by dybal »

Rekrul wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:10 am
another_commander wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:52 am
So at the end it is all about getting accustomed with the weaponry and ensuring that every shot you fire lands on target.
Unfortunately, I'm not able to hit them with every shot. I line up a ship, fire a burst with the laser and the ship immediately turns in a random direction. I turn to follow it and it turns in a different direction, going off my screen. There are three (or potentially more) dots moving around on the radar. I go for the one I think is it and it turns out to another ship. I try the next one, yup, that's my target. Line it up, go to press the button and it turns. Turn to follow, line it up, hit fire and it immediately turns out of the crosshair. And so on. The head-on pass was the only time I was able to keep one of them in my sights for longer than about one second. If they're farther away, you have to be VERY precise with your aim and if they're close, chances are that they will suddenly climb and if you follow them, you risk crashing into them.

I don't claim to be an expert pilot, but I like to think I'm competent. However, I spend all my time fighting with the stick trying to follow the twists and turns of the other ship, never hitting it with a sustained burst of laser fire longer than about one second at a time (that's "one-one thousand, two-one thousand", etc). Even when I was able to hit the ships with multiple one-second bursts over a short period of time, it seemed to have no effect.
Get a target lock on your target, then there should be a little "v" around the crosshair pointing to the direction of your target, so you know in which direction to steer to find it when it flies off your view angle to find it again and keep firing on the same enemy.

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