When thinking about who my favorite race is, I always want to say the Alliance because they’re a collection of insectoids and their ships look fantastic…but I suck with them!
I can never make ships that hold a candle to my other races designs…but I really want to. I especially want to utilize their race specific cruiser weapons…but it’s hard for me to find them useful…is it just me or does everyone feel this way?
Also I think I read somewhere on here that their shields suck because of how much space is in them?
I want to love the Alliance Lightning Gun, but the range limits on the damn thing make it nearly useless. The weapon doesn’t have a “range” so much as it has a narrow torus or “doughnut” of volume that it can see. I’m modding a Mark 2 improved version of it, and playtesting so far has been a positive experience.
Their fusion torpedo is a bit nerfed; it’s not too much better than generic plasmas. It could use some tweaks to improve performance. Their beam laser isn’t bad, though.
Perhaps you’re referring instead to the Empire and their gigantic hulls? Even their frigates are huge. The Hasta, at 190 meters, is a total damage-magnet.
Anyhow, the Alliance’s Python cruiser looks deceptively small, owing to its slender hullform - but it’s actually the biggest of them all. Python’s generous number of weapon slots make it the centerpiece of an attack fleet, though!
Two of the other three cruisers are really hard to use (Stingray and Shark) because they offer a totally inadequate number of weapon slots. You therefore wind up having to build a quantitative fleet because of the Alliance’s limits preventing full use of a qualitative fleet, which annoys me. With that in mind, I make heavy use of Python and Alligator hulls, with a heavy contingent of frigates as laserfodder. The latter are mostly an expendable mob whose main purpose is to dump as many EMP missiles and ion-cannon shots onto the enemy before said enemy wipes the floor with 'em. Gives the cruisers a chance to maneuver those awkward lightning guns into position. If employed with care (and some luck), that gun can really lay down plenty of hurt onto the enemy, but the range limits are maddening.
All in all, I can’t say I fully enjoy Alliance, but they are definitely not total rubbish. They have a great deal of presently untapped potential and I look forward to exploring that.
I agree on most parts about the Lightning Beam and Fusion Torpedo. Even though Lightning looks awesome and seems to almost always land a hit on cruisers, its range is abysmal. As for the Fusion Torpedoes, I didn’t even know they existed until a few weeks ago. But even they have short range compared to Plasma Launchers…
The fusion torpedoes are the most short-ranged plasma weapon for cruisers in the game. I also think that the differences between the Alliance beam laser and the generic version are too slight to be of much benefit tactically. Those gaps should be wider.
Upon renewing my old acquaintance with the Alliance hulls, i was dismayed to see that the Alligator cruiser does indeed suffer from the same flaw that the Shark and Stingray do – having only five weapon slots. A smaller version of a Python-type cruiser would really have been wonderful; heavy on combat potential, a bit of a paper tiger on durability. Oh well.
Designing a fleet with racial-only guns is tricky business when those three guns are all short-ranged compared to other generic weaponry. The Alliance armor bonuses also combine to hint at an intention of Cliffski’s that the Alliance was intended to be the #1 close-in fighters. However, difficulties in making armor fully useful without having to tank the hell out of it, plus the drastic limits of the special Alliance gun goodies, makes that “Sicilian knife-fight” intention rather difficult to actually execute well in gameplay. That’s not to say that it isn’t worth trying, though! I just wish it was somewhat easier than at present.
I’ve been trying out some agressive builds, and I found it to be hit and miss. On one hand, the effectiveness of the Lightning and Fusions are amazing once I get in close, they just drop shields and armor like nothing. However there’s a catch. Not only are they nice big fat targets while out of range, but several times once they got in range and the enemy ships start trying to navigate to different positions, they get under my shields. :x
I can’t just forsake shields for armor either…the good armor is too freakin heavy so the Cruisers would just be chewed up that much longer.