The thread about limpets!

So lets discuss limpets. I added two new types in the last patch and I’d like to know what people thought of them, plus what the thought of the originals, whether or not they are using them in battle, and any tweaks or changes people would like to see.

Lets take a refresher look at their stats…

I’m open to comments on whether or not they are worth taking up a slot with, or the adjustment of any of their stats. I freely admit I added them because I thought they would ‘look kinda cool’ and I still enjoy watching them flocking to the nearest fighter to ‘illuminate’ / weigh it down / repair it / refuel it.

I do think there needs to be a greater discussion about fighters sometime, since that’s what limpets act on. That said:

I primarily play Yootani, and my successful fighter designs range from 3.43 speeds to 3.00. (The Spincaster engine… is incredible)

Limpets seem to have trouble catching these fighters. This is an issue for the refuel limpets, mostly - they end up chasing low-fuel fighters all the way back to the carrier since they’re bee-lining it and not making any turns. The refuel ones also don’t service very fast - it seems that the refuel rate might be close to consumption rate in many cases.

Repair limpets I’m iffy on using; every time I see one dock, it’s invariably in range of an enemy cruiser and that generally does not end well. It’s possible these might have a use on the rear carriers just to save on supplies.

The offensive limpets are annoyingly effective since fighters have to pass through them again and again - these have pretty much cemented the cruiser as the dominant anti-fighter platform. The limpets are not as immediately dangerous as tractor beams, but tractors cause such appalling attrition for such little investment that they make fighters (or limpets!) barely worth using.

Hit the nail on the head. Fighters don’t work, so adding Limpets to them is throwing good credits after bad.

Small Craft (Fighters/Gunships) can and do work, I point you to 5190684 by Yurch who probably has the best grasp on Carrier fleets at the moment. He’s put together an excellent build that is pretty much everything a Carrier based fleet should be. There are many other examples but I will concede that you pretty much need to restrict tractor beams to have a chance with a Carrier fleet.

It’s far too difficult to actually design a successful Carrier fleet though. You need to first of all be using Spincaster Engines and be sure that you don’t have any Fighters/Gunships bellow 3 speed, preferably a whole lot of them up above 4 or 5. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg - but it’s good to have some depth to the builds in GSB; I like that it takes a lot of work to eek out a little bit of something extra out of a fleet. It’s just a balancing act.

As far as Limpets go, let me just say it’s ridiculous that I’m getting spammed with giant colored circles that fill the entire screen whenever Limpets are in play.

The new beneficial Limpets are too slow to be effective with Fighters that are. You can see loads of them targeting your Fighters/Gunships all at once, and none make it in time before the ship either docks or is destroyed usually. Small Craft need to be making a U-turn and get lucky to be caught by these friendly Limpets.

Offensive Limpets are great in my opinion, but don’t hold a candle to Triple Tractor beams. To get them to work you need to utilize about 4 different things all at once - Destroyers with Target Painters, Cruisers with both types of offensive Limpets and Anti-Fighter Missiles. The Weight Limpet slows down Fighters enough for the Targeting Limpet and the Target Painters help cover the rest so that the Cruisers can keep their AA Missiles above 75% accuracy or so. This is a very effective way to cover Fighters but it’s extremely complex and expensive.

Meanwhile you could just put a Triple Tractor beam on every Cruiser and turn all your weapons into Anti-Air with one module.

I also have serious beef with the way Small Craft launch at the beginning of battle. GSB1 Fighters start where you place them if I recall, and I get that you want them to come out of the Carriers - really it’s awesome that they do in GSB2 but along with that change have come unintended consequences.

The sequence in which they launch at the start of the battle is very mysterious - it seems to be linked in some way or another to the sequence you deploy them before the battle, but not 1:1. If you drop all your slow double Torp Gunships down first - say 10 squads worth, and then your fast AA type squads after that, your 10 squads of slow Torpers will come out and start getting eaten alive before a single Dogfighter launches (usually). But it gets weird of course when you have more and more Carriers so I’m not totally clear on what the relationship is.

Finally my last and gravest point about Small Craft is that they crash the game. I hesitate to run past 2.0 speed when I’m facing Fighter fleets because I have some superstitious feeling that I have less of a chance of crashing. But in all my battles I can say for certain that Fighter fleets crash more - and it only makes sense, right? Limiting pilot quantity so that Challenges are more stable would be one extremely painful way to help this problem, but other than that I think it’s just basic math. Tons of Fighters means tons of interactions and if there’s a chance an interaction will throw a fatal error, you’re going to throw more.

I really wish I had a better report on Fighters and Gunships, but that’s how they seem to fit with the current meta.

-Small Craft are viable if Tractor Beams are disabled
-Friendly Limpets are NOT effective with Small Craft that are fast enough to be viable (but I can’t help but love them anyway!)
-Offensive Limpets ARE effective when used in concert with several other modules/ships (which may be too high for cost of entry)
-Tractor Beams (mainly the Triple) effectively turn any weapon into a high tracking 100% accuracy boss and are overpowered vs Small Craft
-Small Craft initial launch sequence is not communicated to the player and the sequence you deploy at Fleet Builder effects the battle
-GD bigass colored circles!
-GD game crashes more vs tons of Small Craft!

Limpets in general need:
—a checkbox to turn off limpet targeting lines
—a separate checkbox to turn off limpet identification circles

Refuel and Repair Limpets:
-Not worth it – costs more than a carrier module
-Limpets are too slow – they get the fighters they are supposed to help killed by slowing them down

Refuel and Repair Limpets need:
-Floating indicators for restoring hull and refueling, so players can see that they are working
-Single-use limpets; when they make it to a fighter, they disappear and immediately apply an effect:
—Repair Limpets restore 6HP/sec for 6 seconds
-----speed of 2.80 to repair slower/damaged fighters
—Refuel Limpets restore flat 80 fuel points
-----and will not target fighters above 60% fuel
-----speed of 3.50 to reach most fighters

Tracer and Standard Limpets:
-Single-use limpets; when they make it to a fighter, they disappear and immediately apply an effect:
—Increase the size value of the ship to make it easier to hit or act as a target booster for all weapons not just missiles
—Standard Limpets should increase the mass of the fighter by 5 for 10 seconds

IMO Limpets are on the wrong platform; they should be the stand-off system of choice for Frigates and Destroyers in the form of attack and support drones, where you can use the low per-platform costs of FFs and DDs to have special-order support ships. The Cruisers have their Fighter Bays; Frigates should get Drone Bays for limpets or something. Using remote weapons keep their fragile hulls off of the front lines makes the most sense. You could have FFs deploy hull and shield repair limpets to the front line, and have DDs screen the line from the rear with point defense or target booster limpets/drones. Basically use limpets as the Buff Mechanic of GSB. Throw in some remote laser platforms, target painter drones, and even single-shot smart bomb platforms, and limpets become an entire equipment lineup without giving Cruisers all of the good stuff. It could work with a modified rescuer/protector command, and the limpets would act on Escort target orders instead of the standard intercept target orders.

The best part – make only Fighters/Gunships able to target Limpets/Drones. Gaining fighter superiority to strip the enemy buff limpets off the line would really help out small craft.

Also: make Tractor Beams have Tracking; probably a rating of 4.00. Just so they do not auto-hit. It would be a major nerf – and a way for the Tracer and Standard Limpets to be more viable.

Oh and also;

Generic Frigate Limpet/Drone Podule
—Launches normal limpets
Cost: 100
Mass: 50-60
Power: 10-15
Crew: 15-20
RoF: 8000
Max Drones: 2

Frigate Fighter Launch Module
—No Repairs
Cost: 30-40
Mass: 20-30
Power: 10
Crew: 5
Hangar Space: 4
—You could stuff 2-3 squadrons on a large frigate full of hangars, but would need a Cruiser to repair them. Allows Fighters to be deployed in scenarios without Cruisers and Dreadnoughts.

Ok awesome feedback as ever. This thread has made me realize I needed to add this data for you: (especially for modders who may wish to add variants…)


I’m also going to beef up the max seek speed for both the repair and refuel limpets, and see what i can do to nerf the multipoint tractor beam. I think the best way to do this that would not break existing designs (which will be a pain) is to change…

Max Range down to 400 (no better than the standard tractor beam)
Power Usage upped from 1.2 to 1.8, meaning it drains its power longer and thus fires less frequently…

Could you not lower beam weight for the multi point tracking beam. (assuming I have understood that stat correctly)
So that you still need high tracking weapons to hit the fighters. In that cause it would be something used to increase the hit chance of other anti fighter weaponry rather than something that makes all cruisers able to hit fighters.

Such a change (still amusing it would have the intended effect) would also help differentiate it from the regular tractor beam, since that would be the one you would use if you need to stop fighter dead in its tracks in order to hit them with your slow tracking weapons.

If beam weight is how much ‘weight’ is added to the fighter when the beam connects, that is the perfect stat to nerf, although nerfing it’s range could help a bit. I always liked that you could go with combat tractor beam and lose some strength for dps or take the super high strength regular single tractor beam and be able to slow down bigger ships. I’d argue the triple would logically have a very low weight in exchange for split beam action and it would perfectly fill a niche vs slow heavily armed fighters and gunships.

As soon as the enemy ships strap on some engines and come zooming in at 3.0 speed and higher they could get fast enough to be able to break out of the triple beam before it slows them to a stop. At a certain point, the regular high weight tractor beam might even be better vs the super fast ships. Those really seem like the niches each tractor beam was meant for, if I may be so bold.

The refuel rate isn’t high enough to keep up with use. I’m spotting fighters with more or less permanent refuel drones attached, or ones bouncing back and forth between flying to objective and flying to the carrier as their fuel ticks up and down.

So the latest patch had some changes… are limpets better balanced now? or you think that refuel rate still needs to climb?

10) Added module data to design screen showing limpet weights and seek speeds. 11) Repair and refuel limpets now seek faster 12) Multi-point tractor beam now has less range and takes longer to recharge. 13) New option to disable Limpet GUI circles in battle.

This is with the latest patch, yes. They’re now starting to reach fighters but the overall refuel rate is negative in some cases.

I think that friendly limpets need to weigh far less than they do. If one manages to latch on to one of your fighters that’s out in the enemy fleet, it’s nearly as certain a death sentence as if an enemy limpet had grabbed it.