A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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Diziet Sma
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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Diziet Sma »

Cody wrote:
Alex wrote:I like 1.80... no noobie at combat and still get my Iron clad ass handed to me more often than you'd think.
Makes the Oooniverse that much more unpredictable and addictive in my opinion.
Aye, I rather liked 1.80 too - but 'twas deemed too tough.
Yup.. 'twere good for us old hands.. but seemed too likely to scare newcomers away, before they had a chance to really get into it.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Alex »

Diziet Sma wrote:Yup.. 'twere good for us old hands.. but seemed too likely to scare newcomers away, before they had a chance to really get into it.
Iye, I can see that. I started with my Caddy already Iron Assed to the whazoo and Modded, still felt like a noobie for a couple of hours. Even thought of taking some of my oxp'ers off line. Then thought..
Ah so what, A few extra bricks in the pockets and in some pockets I didn't know I had :D Adds to the trumble stew I thought.
Still not sure about going 1.82...
Feel a wee rant coming on and don't think this is the area for it.
LOOK OUT!!!
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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by my ammo crate »

Here's an update for those of you still following this thread.

So, thanks to all of your OXZ/OXP suggestions, tips, advice, etc., I believe I've managed to water down Oolite to a manageable state. I have what I consider my test/non-cannon commander, just for me to learn how exactly each addon works, and see how it'll be like once I've got every piece of equipment.

It's become much easier since I started, but victories are still hard to come by, even with the most decked out ship in my Ooniverse. I've slowly getting better though, I can tell when a ships' shields are depleted and when it's low on health. I've forced ships to warp away from a battle and even earned several kills. But often it hasn't been counted because I haven't managed to defeat a whole group on my own. I can take a couple out, but then either the rest kill me or another group of ships joins in and saves me from whoever's left, so I can't take all the credit.

Until now. I'm fresh from my first legitimate win, hard won on my own. (In game I mean. Couldn't've done it without you guys :wink: )

I warped into a system and ran into a pack of hostiles (I'm not really sure who they were. I didn't do anything aggressive, they just flew right at me and they all turned red. No demand for cargo so they weren't pirates :? ) and just as our dogfight began, through open comms I saw a plea for help. I saw a ship under fire by two pirates, so I boosted over into weapons range and fired a volley at the lead pirate. The ship thanked me for the help, and sped away while its attackers peeled off to engage me. I was pitted against about 8 enemy ships, and I was certain I was going to loose.

I must've had an enormous amount of luck, because I didn't just scrape by, it was a solid victory, with missiles to spare and nearly all of my cargo still intact. One by one I picked them off, and most of them died, but a few were able to flee. I needed all of my equipment to pull it off though. Even if I was missing one part, that battle would've ended very differently. Most importantly was the ECM, about half of them launched missiles when they were low on health, and I still haven't found out how to deal with them without an ECM. When I start my real commander, it's going to be high up on my to-buy list.

Even after I bought everything I needed to fight, it was chance that got me through my first major win. I know it's going to be rough until I can grind my way up to that point. But it's going to be so much more satisfying when I finally do.



If there are any other new players who think Oolite's too hard, here's a list of addons that were recommended to me that make it easier. Maybe this'll help.
  1. [EliteWiki] IronHide
  2. [EliteWiki] Military Fuel Injectors
  3. [EliteWiki] Police Scanners
  4. [EliteWiki] SniperLock
  5. [EliteWiki] Engine Trails
  6. [EliteWiki] Start Choices
  7. [EliteWiki] Telescope and Telescope Extender
  8. [EliteWiki] Cheat Menu
  9. [EliteWiki] Jumpgates
  10. [EliteWiki] Combat Simulator
  11. Combat Balance Mod (Created during v1.8, effects were implemented in v1.82 so there may not be much difference.)
  12. [EliteWiki] Total Patrol (only if you stay clean)

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by phkb »

One tactic that can be useful against missiles if you don't yet have ECM and/or are still packing standard missiles - when someone fires a missile at you, fire one back at them straight away. Or at anyone in their group. If they have ECM (and for a pirate group, you can be pretty well assured that one of them will), they'll hit their ECM, destroying your missile as well as their own.

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Diziet Sma »

When dealing with a wolfpack, it often helps to score a couple of hits, then run.. they'll chase you, and the faster ones will pull ahead of the rest. When you've drawn one or two well away from the pack, kill them, take some time out to recharge your shields, then return to the pack.. rinse and repeat a few times, and you should have thinned them out enough to deal with the rest.

Another tip for dealing with missiles when you have no ECM.. as has been mentioned earlier, you can also target incoming missiles. With a rear laser, you can then run from a missile whilst shooting at it.
my ammo crate wrote:I warped into a system and ran into a pack of hostiles (I'm not really sure who they were. I didn't do anything aggressive, they just flew right at me and they all turned red. No demand for cargo so they weren't pirates :? )
This is interesting.. did you get receive anything from them on the comms? Also, you haven't been taking any parcel contracts, have you? Those can sometimes attract assassins, who would act much like the above, though they will send comms messages that would help identify them as such, if that was the case.

The other thing I'm wondering is, if some OXP/OXZ is affecting things. could you provide a complete listing of all the addons you have installed?
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Venator Dha »

my ammo crate wrote:It's become much easier since I started, but victories are still hard to come by, even with the most decked out ship in my Ooniverse. I've slowly getting better though, I can tell when a ships' shields are depleted and when it's low on health. I've forced ships to warp away from a battle and even earned several kills. But often it hasn't been counted because I haven't managed to defeat a whole group on my own. I can take a couple out, but then either the rest kill me or another group of ships joins in and saves me from whoever's left, so I can't take all the credit.
With every defeat, you learn a little more - " well I won't do that again". I think many of us who have played for a long time forget how much we have learnt, from loosing :mrgreen:
my ammo crate wrote:I warped into a system and ran into a pack of hostiles (I'm not really sure who they were. I didn't do anything aggressive, they just flew right at me and they all turned red. No demand for cargo so they weren't pirates :? )
They almost certainly were pirates (assuming you aren't carrying parcels that can attract different attention). Pirates don't always demand cargo, but will respond to dropped pods. They may have sent some revolutionary message instead - but they are really pirates.
my ammo crate wrote:Most importantly was the ECM, about half of them launched missiles when they were low on health, and I still haven't found out how to deal with them without an ECM.
Injectors help, you can outrun a missile by using injectors. If you don't have injectors or have run out of fuel, then run away from them with random manoeuvring, It will hit you, but in a Cobra Mk3 you stand a chance of surviving as long as you have shields and energy.
Taurus Driving through the galaxy since... .

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Diziet Sma »

Venator Dha wrote:They almost certainly were pirates (assuming you aren't carrying parcels that can attract different attention). Pirates don't always demand cargo, but will respond to dropped pods. They may have sent some revolutionary message instead - but they are really pirates.
Good points.. quite a few pirates will claim to be working for some revolution or other.. though I thought that was mostly due to having [EliteWiki] Comms Pack A installed?
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Venator Dha »

Diziet Sma wrote:
Venator Dha wrote:They almost certainly were pirates (assuming you aren't carrying parcels that can attract different attention). Pirates don't always demand cargo, but will respond to dropped pods. They may have sent some revolutionary message instead - but they are really pirates.
Good points.. quite a few pirates will claim to be working for some revolution or other.. though I thought that was mostly due to having [EliteWiki] Comms Pack A installed?
Probably, I've had Comms Pack A installed for so long that I don't know what's core and what's add-on. Perhaps sometime silent pirates is core?
Taurus Driving through the galaxy since... .

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by my ammo crate »

Anti-missile tips are nice, thanks. I'm certain I've seen them earlier, though I must've forgotten. :lol:

As for the mystery group, I haven't taken a parcel yet, so they're not assassins. I'm fairly certain I didn't get a message from them when they first attacked. Usually I'm pretty good when it comes to incoming broadcasts, but there's always a chance that I missed it, for whatever reason. I closed the game a while ago and I don't have any way to check.
Diziet Sma wrote:The other thing I'm wondering is, if some OXP/OXZ is affecting things. could you provide a complete listing of all the addons you have installed?
Sure. I've got:

Ironhide, Military Injectors, Police Scanner, SniperLock, Target Reticle, Font Dangerous Square, Randomshipnames, Life in the Frontier, Ship Storage Helper, Combat Simulator, Fuel Collector, Telescope and Extender, Trails, Death Comms, Start Choices, Gates, OoCheat, Galaxy Names, Selectable Crosshairs.

As far as I know, none of these should affect AI behavior.

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by cim »

Diziet Sma wrote:My memory on this is probably faulty, but I seem to recall in the original Elite that NPCs had the same fast reflexes when it came to triggering the ECM. So that's probably where this "feature" of Oolite started from. It would be nice to see it fixed.
There should be a second or two of delay (depending on the AI skill level) - it requires excellent timing to hit anything smaller than a Thargoid but I have managed it a couple of times.

If the ship you're launching at isn't the one carrying the ECM you should get three delays - one for the ship to notice the launch, one for its friend with ECM to notice it needs help, and one for the ECM pulse to actually get that far.

(Further tip: most NPCs do not have ECM, especially not on the light fighters - if you can take out the ones which do, which will usually be freighters or Cobra IIIs, the rest can be hit with ordinary missiles)
my ammo crate wrote:As for the mystery group, I haven't taken a parcel yet, so they're not assassins.
Possibly a group of pirates who mistook you for a bounty hunter. Normally they run away in that case, but if they have substantial numeric superiority they attack instead.

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Diziet Sma »

my ammo crate wrote:Ironhide, Military Injectors, Police Scanner, SniperLock, Target Reticle, Font Dangerous Square, Randomshipnames, Life in the Frontier, Ship Storage Helper, Combat Simulator, Fuel Collector, Telescope and Extender, Trails, Death Comms, Start Choices, Gates, OoCheat, Galaxy Names, Selectable Crosshairs.

As far as I know, none of these should affect AI behavior.
Correct.. nothing there should affect NPC behaviour.

And since it's been mentioned, you may want to take a look at Comms Pack A. It kind of does for comms messages, what Random Ship Names does for ship names. Helps make the Ooniverse a more interesting, less generic, less repetitious kind of place.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Disembodied »

my ammo crate wrote:Anti-missile tips are nice, thanks.
Fleeing is the best option - and if you can time it right, a sudden change of direction when the missile gets close. Even at full speed, most ships can turn tighter than a missile. If you can avoid it for long enough, the missile will eventually time out and explode. Above all else, try to keep it behind you. Even if it does hit you, there's quite a difference between a missile exploding on your tail as you move away from it at speed, and one hitting you full in the face with all the kinetic advantage of your speed plus its speed.

In combat, make every shot count. Fire in short bursts, to make sure you're hitting the target. Against multiple opponents, prioritise your targets and go for the smallest, lightest opponents first: Sidewinders, Mambas, and the like. They can do as much damage as a bigger ship but they die (or can at least be forced to flee) a lot more easily - and they don't carry missiles. Your average pirate Cobra III can also be a good priority target: they are often surprisingly weak, and are easier to hit at longer range than the fighters (but they will lob a missile your way if you press them, so be ready to ECM - or run). Pythons are fat and slow, but fairly robust; a Fer-de-Lance is not as tough but is quicker and harder to get a bead on. Asps are mean, and fast, and best avoided. When your laser overheats in a furball, get out of there - dodge, jink, corkscrew and run, until you're back to fighting temperatures again.

Be aware too of the larger environment in the system. If you spotted a Viper patrol earlier, try and flee towards it. Even a merchant convoy can be useful: if you dodge through that with pirate lasers flying round your ears, your pursuers can find themselves having to deal with the merchant escorts too. Try not to flee from one pirate pack into another, though; learn how to spot ships at a distance, and how to figure out which formations look friendly and which look hostile (this can be more an art than a science, but generally, moving steadily on one direction with purpose = Clean, at least; hanging around like spiders waiting for a morsel to wander by = not so Clean).

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Layne »

Diziet Sma wrote:
Cody wrote:
Alex wrote:I like 1.80... no noobie at combat and still get my Iron clad ass handed to me more often than you'd think.
Makes the Oooniverse that much more unpredictable and addictive in my opinion.
Aye, I rather liked 1.80 too - but 'twas deemed too tough.
Yup.. 'twere good for us old hands.. but seemed too likely to scare newcomers away, before they had a chance to really get into it.
It's not the difficulty drop in 1.82 that bothered me so much as how predictable the NPCs seemed to get. In 1.80 it was hard to pin down what an enemy would do next-- sometimes they'd fire a missile, sometimes they'd flee, you couldn't be sure. In 1.82 their reactions are so easy to gauge that it's less fun. They /always/ launch all their missiles when their shields fail. They /always/ jet Witchdrive injectors when they start to pop sparks. It never seemed like their moves were that predictable in 1.80. Perhaps that's a perception thing but it certainly seems like the enemies got stiffer and more robotic in the new version.
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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

Post by Norby »

my ammo crate wrote:[EliteWiki] SniperLock
When you will not be Harmless anymore I suggest to replace the SniperLock to [wiki]Auto Crosshairs[/wiki] to get back the control (as you said more satisfying when you can win by your hand) and use an accurate hit forecaster instead.
my ammo crate wrote:I'm pretty good when it comes to incoming broadcasts, but there's always a chance that I missed it, for whatever reason. I closed the game a while ago and I don't have any way to check.
Log makers can help to remember.

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Re: A Noob's *Very* Long Rant About Combat

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Welcome My Ammo Crate!

Be prepared for a lifelong addiction and pampering by the forum, us be kind people!

Greetz,
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