Hi, newbie here, another one that bought the game on steam and loves it. Having said that, I’m wondering about a few things:
Guns - It seems like pretty much all the ones I try to use have serious problems penetrating shields of other cruisers. How much shield penetration is needed to damage the average cruiser shield? Or are they not really meant to damage shields and instead meant to be used in tandem with other weapons to bring down shields first? Missiles seem effective at that but the number of countermeasures to them is… intimidating, to say the least.
Frigates - looking around, it seems quite a few other people are also finding them relatively useless (bar a few specific circumstances) but one thing in particular I’d like to know:
“anti fighter frigates” - I MUST be doing something wrong here, I tried putting together a frigate for this job but it gets torn apart pretty much instantly despite being plated up. What the hell? It seems a lot more worthwhile just to throw in some escorting squadrons of dogfighting-oriented fighters of my own to deal with enemy ones. At least those usually don’t die instantly and horribly.
The Empire in general - I’ve seen a few complaints about this race. I LOVE how the ships look, but is there really a major problem with them? I’ve not got great results myself but I’m chalking that up to general newbishness for the moment.
Another thing - the shield transfer frigates, how do these work exactly? I put one together (pretty poor job but whatever) and set it to escort one of my cruisers and it didn’t actually do anything.
Shields reflect or absorb attacks and so damage will not carry over to the hull until one or more sections of the shield collapse. Penetration here means the shield is actually taking damage.
Meet or exceed 27 for reflective shields, 24 for everything else. There’s a few weapons that exist in between (like the proton beam, fed fusion beam, frigate phasor II) that can penetrate non-reflective setups. If you’re already using 27+ penetration weapons, you basically just need more of them (or to cooperate more) to quickly overpower the regeneration rate.
I’m not quite sure what you mean by guns, but most of the frigate/cruiser mounted rapid-fire ‘bullet’ weapons are quite good against cruiser shields. The notable performers are the frigate ion cannon and the cruiser laser. Beam weapons are generally a bad idea to have in excess until you have a reliable means to down cruiser shields. Plasma weapons are a long range alternative to missiles for shield removal (and can’t be countered in the same way), just know that plasma functions poorly against close range or moving targets.
Empire has a lot of problems, their frigates being a notable one. Basically, they’re too large and are easy targets. Their small frigate is 120m and the largest is 180m… for reference, most races are typically using frigates between 70-90m.
As far as survivability goes, it all depends on what is killing the frigates. In some cases armor is just going to slow it down and make it an easier target.
The shield beam functions automatically in a wide range. It seeks out weakened cruiser/frigate shields and dumps energy back into them. It was recently added (and subsequently nerfed) so we haven’t done much science with it just yet.