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Early game pirate questions

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Early game pirate questions - 1/11/2016 12:17:08 AM   


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Joined: 1/4/2016
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So Iím hoping for advice for playing a pirate empire.

I made a bit of a start yesterday, summary of game settings:
Ring galaxy (think I made a rod for my own back with this choice, felt like trying something different). Iím in the middle of the ring with three other pirate factions
Average pirates, mid distance
1400 stars, large galaxy
Raider type, not sure what race as I picked random, though my characters look like blowflies
Everything else default

So far:
Iíve located 4 independents and 1 sovereign empire and planted pirate bases on two and try and maintain control over the others where possible
Have 4 fleets buzzing around between 200 Ė 700 firepower (made a couple of lucky capital ship / cruiser captures early on) and leading over other pirates in firepower
Have overall income of about 25k-30k and cash on hand about 25k, almost exclusively saving for pirate bases and replacing the odd ship I lose here and there
Every other race has discovered warp precursors except for the empire near me in the middle of the ring (is there any reason to ever let empires develop short of them somehow fighting you off?)

My questions are:
As above, Iíve pretty much kept the empire near me planetbound, regularly breaking their stuff. Should I let them have some limited growth? I canít stop the other pirates from attacking them but should I back off? I guess the more they spread out the more planets they have for me to control
Does it ever get Ďeasyí or easier? Iíve kept a tenuous lead over other factions so far through pretty intense micromanagement and a slower response here or there / less luck early on capturing those bigger ships would probably have me losing which leads to my final point
My research is absolutely terrible. Iíve focused on getting larger ships since the start of the game, and Iím nearly there, but Iíve been encountering size 400 ships from other factions for awhile. Given that Iíve been destroying opposing pirate bases whenever Iíve found them, I canít see how the other factions would be ahead of me so much. Have I just picked the stupidest race and am being penalised for that? (again, not sure what race I am, look like flies though)

I guess Iím just hoping for validation on my approach so far as while I am surviving, I feel Iím almost hanging on by a fingernail. Is thatís normal for early pirate gameplay?

Thanks the any help :)
Post #: 1
RE: Early game pirate questions - 1/12/2016 1:25:52 AM   


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Joined: 1/4/2016
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So I guess this forums pretty slow huh. Or my stupid questions have been asked so many times that no one can be stuffed answering ;)

So I played some more last night and I think Iím doing a little better now. Iíve largely fought back other pirate factions and planted pirate bases on 6 planets now and am leading comfortably overall in military firepower with a few more fortunate captures of larger ships (never realised how much I was undervaluing assault pods before). Plus the empires are starting to get more brave in refusing to pay protection which is making things interesting

Only thing Iím really still unsure on is research. With the extra bases my research rate has picked up dramatically but based on my options to steal research from other factions/empires I still feel Iím falling behind. Will have to plough on and see how I go I suppose

(in reply to Cyraga)
Post #: 2
RE: Early game pirate questions - 1/12/2016 3:21:59 PM   


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Joined: 12/6/2015
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You only need one or two weapons systems, just like with normal empires. Keep all the pirate fortresses you can that aren't on your own worlds (after you become a pseudo-empire), they offer huge research boosts.

I usually go for carriers as quickly as possible due to the size advantage (Only above 500 base size i.e. 750 carrier size do you really have room to put anything else on besides fighter bays, by then you should have Velocity Shard available. Upgrade to advanced fighters and Plasma Thunderbolt ASAP). Then do Kaldos + Equinox for Poor Man's Torrent, combine with Deucalios shields and steal StarBurner or the Ackdarian drive as soon as physically possible.

Steal Ugnari and Kiadian race techs and you will never need to research countermeasures or targeting.

Carriers offer a few advantages:
1) stand-off
2) Size
3) You need not micro the **** out of them like with dreadnoughts AKA resupply ships which only retaliate when attacked and which have to be ordered to attack every single target. Yes, jumping in 10 dreadnoughts packed to the gills with brute firepower to wipe an enemy fleet with the attack fleet order is great, and so is using them to smash orbital defences, but carriers will actually seek out enemy mining stations and such actively.

< Message edited by Guardian54 -- 1/12/2016 4:22:38 PM >

(in reply to Cyraga)
Post #: 3
RE: Early game pirate questions - 1/12/2016 5:51:06 PM   


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Only thing Iím really still unsure on is research. With the extra bases my research rate has picked up dramatically but based on my options to steal research from other factions/empires I still feel Iím falling behind.

Pirate factions will almost always fall behind on research as long as they lack an actual colony of their own, as the base research potential is heavily dependent upon population, especially at very low population numbers, and pirate facilities (Hidden Pirate Bases and Fortresses) provide multipliers that act on the base value rather than adding a flat bonus (if I recall correctly, it's +50% research potential per Hidden Pirate Base and +100% research potential per Hidden Pirate Fortress; as you might imagine, this doesn't matter much when your basic research potential is down around 30 or so, as it is when you have a population of ~0 like pirate factions do at game start, but it matters quite a bit more when you have a population of a few billion which gives you a research potential of ~500; incidentally, it appears as though the growth rate of research potential really starts to taper off once you get to populations of around ten billion, which is why a prewarp empire with only its homeworld might have a research potential of ~500K whereas a very well-developed empire with 34 colonies and ~70 times the total population might have a research potential of ~1400K - note that these numbers, while rounded, are pulled directly from the game, with a 34-colony Atuuk empire of 373695M population having a research potential of 1390K while an Atuuk 'empire' consisting of only the homeworld with a population of 5361M had a research potential of 481K; playing the game out normally and paying attention to research potential should provide sufficient evidence to suggest that research potential is primarily derived from empire population, though in a nonlinear fashion).

As far as the question in the original post about whether or not to keep a beaten empire down, I would strongly suggest that you do so. The added benefit of more worlds to corrupt is not in my opinion worth the pain of dealing with an empire that has the muscle to fight you.

(in reply to Guardian54)
Post #: 4
RE: Early game pirate questions - 1/13/2016 4:03:44 AM   


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Iíve become quite fond of Impact Assault Blasters and Shockwave Torpedoes (thanks Timotheus), so Iím working towards those. Assuming I get to the point where I can frivolously spend research I might experiment with railguns too on my zippy little destroyers.

Having to break a few large spaceports Iíve found zerging with escorts/destroyers has protected my key ships. The base tries to target everything and so rarely even kills or disables my fodder ships. Carriers are fun though, Iíll be working towards those once Iíve got my staple guns available and have a bit of backbone in the ships I can actually build (my strongest ships are still the capitals and cruisers Iíve captured that I suspect started off abandoned). Is carriers seeking out enemy mining stations an automated behaviour? I run with minimal automation fleet wise (exploration ships only), but I suppose it may be worth changing if carriers are that intelligent.

Having got a few hidden fortresses up now my research is finally reaching a decent level. Not sure if itís enough but definitely getting better.

I had hoped to keep the planets in the middle cluster with me under control but the Quameno Technocracy moved in and theyíve colonised a dozen planets in no time. They stupidly colonised in spitting distance of one of my large space ports which has tractors and assault pods, so I now have a steady stream of their ships getting captured with no effort. Doubled my freighter fleet almost immediately and their firepower is slowly being whittled down with piecemeal attempts to break my stuff.

Thanks for the advice guys, having a blast so far

(in reply to Aeson)
Post #: 5
RE: Early game pirate questions - 1/13/2016 6:31:41 AM   


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Is carriers seeking out enemy mining stations an automated behaviour?

Sort of, and not really specific to carriers. Warships of any type will almost always go after hostile targets in the same system (mining stations, research stations, resort bases, defensive bases, spaceports, enemy warships, freighters, etc) if the warships are idling. If the ships are automated, there's also a chance that the computer will decide to dispatch them to attack "appropriate" targets elsewhere, if the computer knows that the player knows about the target (e.g. a station that one of your ships has detected, say by being in the same system or passing close enough to detect it with proximity sensors if you equip those, or a fleet within the detection range of one of your long-range scanners; you the player may "know" of additional potential targets because you've seen ships belonging to your opponent moving towards it, but unless you've actually detected the target before the computer will assign ships or fleets to attack the target). Automated pirate warships with assault pods can be dispatched to raid colonies and bases, and any warship with assault pods might decide to try to capture an opponent if the ship automatically engaged the target rather than being ordered to attack.

However, I will warn you that the computer's target prioritization and definition of appropriate can be questionable. You can see fleets of heavy ships assigned to strike little mining stations out in the middle of nowhere, for instance, and you can also see lone small escorts assigned to hit freighters (which is fine) that are sitting next to size-6000 large spaceports (which is somewhat less fine). Unless you have automated fleet formation active, the computer will never dispatch individual ships of a fleet against targets outside the system in which the ships are present (if you do have automated fleet formation active, then the computer can and will change the composition of your automated fleets and might, as a result, end up with additional unfleeted ships or more smaller fleets than you gave to it, which can result in the fleets you created being split up, with the parts being sent on different missions). Putting your automated ships into fleets and assigning postures can help combat these issues (though note that postures do not work with automated fleet formation active, as turning on automated fleet formation allows the computer to change the postures of automated fleets), as postures and the associated range settings can allow you to control where the fleets will operate, and grouping the ships into fleets reduces the likelihood that the computer will assign individual ships to missions where they're hopelessly outclassed (granted, this cure can sometimes be worse than the illness, if it decides that your fleet of 10 size-230 escorts was an appropriate force to go hammer that freighter that's sitting next to a size-6000 large spaceport, and of course this also means that the computer is more likely to assign an inappropriately-strong force to a mission since it has fewer weak units available for assignment). If you set an attack posture on a fleet, remember to set the attack target to something that the fleet cannot destroy (which usually means a colony), because if the fleet does destroy the attack target the game no longer knows where the center of the area covered by the attack posture should be, which results in the fleet behaving like any other automated postureless fleet (i.e. the computer can send it wherever it wants to send the ship). This also applies to a lesser extent to fleets in defensive posture; if the home base is lost, the game no longer knows where the region covered should be centered and the fleet becomes a free-roaming automated fleet, though as home bases are likely to be colonies (which are also the only home bases which can be assigned through the fleets menu) or powerful space stations (because it's often the case that even though those mining stations are nice to have, they're not really worth a dedicated guard fleet), there's a decent chance that a fleet which has lost its home base has also lost a reasonable fraction of its ships and is engaging the enemy in the area where its home base used to be.


their firepower is slowly being whittled down with piecemeal attempts to break my stuff.

You may want to keep an eye on that in case the Quameno send something actually threatening; that would be a good opportunity to go kill some of their spaceports while their fleet is busy killing one of your stations, or if you feel you can manage it you might try breaking the Quameno fleet (though remember that you will need to be able to capitalize on the destruction of their fleet by killing their spaceports shortly afterwards, or they will just rebuild and you will probably have taken reasonably heavy losses for no particularly great long-term gains).

(in reply to Cyraga)
Post #: 6
RE: Early game pirate questions - 3/6/2016 1:25:38 PM   


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Joined: 9/2/2014
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So I guess this forums pretty slow huh. Or my stupid questions have been asked so many times that no one can be stuffed answering ;)

See other thread

(in reply to Cyraga)
Post #: 7
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