ACE pilots educate us!

Question for the ACE pilots out there. From A mostly vaygr Perspective.

STRIKE CRAFT
Strike craft battles. I have noticed some of the good players do very well in every strike craft encounter. I have even had the numbers on a few occasions as Vaygr versus Higgy and still been annihilated. Is there some tactics employed to tip the tide of battle? I heard someone say using F2 to turn them faster… but I did not understand? Do you use 2-3 groups to target a single group on their side to eliminate the numbers faster? What kind of micro are you utilizing?

What does speed upgrade do for you in a battle? As Vaygr I always get the 1st upgrade… though I rarely get the 2nd. Is that a mistake? I typically save the RP for more Vette.

What kind of BO gets the MAX amount of SC out ASAP and still have a steady income? As Vaygr I typically make dual fighter facility and after making 2 collectors from both carrier and MS go to nonstop fighters into upgraded fighters. Yet I have still been beat down to 0 units with my Higgy counterpart losing only a few. This situation has only happened versus some of the very best players. I am having a hard time seeing where they are being that much more efficient than I in a fighter versus fighter show down.

VETTE
As Vaygr I often try to get to Laser, because that is what many people seem to do. Is there a situation were going more missile is preferred? I notice that Pulsar are a pretty hard counter to Vaygr Laser. What should a Vaygr player do against a full squad of Pulsar?

FRIGATE
I am totally lost when it comes to Vaygr Frigates. I have had a few good players just wipe me up in minutes as Higgy Frigate rush. But I cannot seem to find the Vaygr equivalent to that. I also want to ask… it seems to me with how much RP you poor into a frigate fleet that would it not just be better to go BC?

I have noticed switching to F2 allows me to get a frigate back home for possible repair but in Homeworld it has been my experience repairing Frigates just doesn’t add up.

HW2 versus HW1
If you find yourself facing possible Grav Well as Vaygr, what do you normally do? In order to defend myself early I typically stick to SC and Vette but things can really go south fast running into a player with grav well.

I am finding on 3v3 maps with some HW1 factions mixed in I almost always need inhibitor as early as I can get it. What I am having trouble with is spending that much RP early and still having a nice enough fleet to try to be offensive. Then if you factor in grav well I am forced to go frigate and inhibitor and then things really fall apart.

INTELL, What to do with it?
So some things I have learned… the hard way! Scout out Higgy with early hyper and frigate you are likely to have a missile frigate in your collectors at some point.

Higgy player only builds 1 fighter facility is either teching or may go for frigates. As V I think lasers.

Back player seems to be mining only you are going to see an early BC on the field.

2 enemy players both go double fighter then you are likely to be facing a plethora of units soon! I am unsure how to prepare for this if I already decided to go frigates… for me I am pretty much sunk already. It takes too long to change gears and tech appropriately to match.

Can someone give me some other tale tale signs to look for? I remember seeing a list someone years ago about being able to gleam info by how many collectors they have. Makes sense but I am not experienced enough to know what to forecast!

PROBES and SCOUTS
First off I know when I leave my scout sitting above an enemy and not paying attention that it’s a goner. But I rarely get as lucky to take my counter parts scout out. It is usually a chase for eternity. Any key points when scouting like WHEN to scout, what to look for (outside of the obvious), or some short cuts?

Probes, I have seen some people use prox over regular… and have noticed they are quite difficult to find even when I think I am right on top of it. Can someone enlighten me on probe useable? Also when dealing with dust cloud, does a regular probe work or does it need to be a prox? I have issues trying to get the right amount of collectors/fighters, and then probe upgrades on top of inhibitor which seems to me more needed these days than back in the HW2 days.

BC
As Vaygr I thought the BC had range on Higgy? Is that still so? I have been trying to catch some Higgy BC and once I see my first missile volley launch I pull back to try to stay out of range but they almost always fire right back. I am wondering if they have more speed or does moving forward work faster than backwards? I know the BC versus BC argument has waged on for decades but as a Vaygr player I am never in a hurry to get them. I want them but upgraded vette and large swarm still seem to be the trick.

DD versus BC So I know I am a noob, but things don’t seem to work out right comparing these 2 units. If I don’t have a SY, than yea making DD makes sense for some more punch. But in a large map if I am going for DD often times it just makes sense to skip and go for BC? Then back fill the DD if I find I can afford it. Am I missing something?

MAP Location
So, for me, fighting on the bottom of the map looking up is infinitely more difficult than vice versa. Is this common? Any short cuts you ACE’s can give to me that make fighting up easier?

General UI use
What I do mostly in hectic games is Ctrl BOX attack groups of units. I am pretty good at repairing yellow SC and Vette and getting back out. I typically do so by boxing the entire group and CTRL clicking several yellow units and then hitting Dock. I am horrible at saving or making Vaygr frigates work very well. I have not found adding collectors to the strike groups work very well.

What do you ACE pilots do? Do you attack move more often? To what degree are you microing battles? What stance do you use the most often? Do you use strike groups for any edge? What are you looking for in order to win your battles?

I play a lot of RTS games and usually pretty good at countering but so far in HW I can know what someone is doing and try to counter but rarely do so as effectively (at least as Vaygr).

-B8factor

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Okay since no one else has spoken up I’ll throw in a little of what I know. Please keep in mind that at this moment I know far more about the Taiidan race since I play them almost exclusively at this time.

Strike Craft
In HW2 race battles I can’t say much BUT if you play as Vaygr then I’d do one of two things (or both).

  1. Get 2 scouts and research EMP use it in a fight as a lead in to the fighter/corv battle.
  2. Split your strike craft into 2-3 groups and make sure they each attack one squad all by their lonesome.

1 Will stun some of their ships so you have the superior force or just be sitting ducks to your fighters.
2 If done right means you take out their measly 5 fighter squads really fast. Takes set up before and using 2-3 hot key groups but makes it so much faster to re-target squads.

Vettes,
No matter what as Vaygr you should be researching lance fighters in every game against hw2 races, they are the defacto corv killers you just need to make sure you have assault mixed in to make em harder to target.
Missile vettes are your go to ships for strike or worker hits, send in 4-6 missile squads to do resource interdiction, or to protect any laser that may be hitting the workers. Never send in lasers alone if you want them to live long enough to do serious damage. Mix it up, that is what the race is designed for.

Against HW1 fighter/corv swarms close in, you will lose if they keep building their strike craft (balance will fix this eventually), if at a distance you can win by attrition but need to make sure the squads they target run in a straight line to your carrier/MS to keep them as far ahead of their fighters as possible. The more guns you have the better. Vaygr is particularly vulnerable to HW1 gravwells, no way around it at this time. Frigs will help this though, target any gravwells.

Frigs,
There is no Vaygr frig rush similar to the hiig one, can’t be done, that is what the fighters and corvs are for. HMF do massive damage but you need numbers, they can’t target corvettes or fighters, and the missiles take so long to get to the targets. Assault are okay agains fighters and corvs but are still not good alone, Vaygr is a swarming race, they are meant to have all three ship classes to be most effective. Hiig is more multi-role, Vaygr is not.

On small maps like Sarum Dust clouds and kharum wreck you can’t win against a HW1 race swarming, if they know how to swarm properly. There are balance issues here so expect that to change in future. On large maps you have to use those gates if possible, or send frigs for the gravwells, no way around it. Vaygr are worse off against gws than any other race.

I’ll add more later.

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I will say that explains my ever growing hared of grav wells, haha. Thanks much for the reply!
Look forward to more in time.

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Intel, if you ain’t got it your gonna get surprised, no two ways about it, as vaygr you can get sensor disruption probes really early. I know it is expensive but if your allies can spot you some RUs they really open up the field.

The white sphere is the key area, anything in it can’t be seen in sensors unless an enemy ship is inside that sphere. They make good spots for hyper gates or staging areas. You can have 6 and they have a massive probe area, they are also invisible because of the disruption field, again until an enemy ship is in the white sphere.

Placed strategically on the map you can see what is being built, what mods are on, who is where and what ships are heading in to attack. As in any war, intel is key to winning the fight as economically as possible.

If you can get them out they replace probes and free scouts for EMP usage.

To be honest we all struggle with probe usage, they can show dust cloud hidden ships but so can proxies, proxies are specifically for cloak and showing hidden ships in dust clouds so they are better late game when cloak can come in to play, early on probes are the less expensive option. Again sensor disruption are the best but most expensive.

Time to go play some games, more later.

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I’m waiting for a big nerf on gravs, so far we have only confirmed a range reduction, I would like to see a big time duration reduction as well, gravs should not be able to complete shut down strike crafts, they were able in hw1 but gravs were totally different from what they are now, we could kamikaze one collector at the grabs and it would be gone, they were also very expensive, and took longer to get, now, we can’t adopt that same model for hwr, since grav now also have another role, stop hyperspace.

Would be nice to see then work like defense field frigates, requiring a insane micro, with multiple gravs to make them effective, to that happen I think that they would need to take back the explosion when depleted. Work as it is now, fire and forget, is kinda game breaking.

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As Vaygr I get very frustrated by Grav wells. I spend 40,000 RP for a swarm and it is nullified by 1 unit. Grrr. And on maps with dust fields the grav well can be invisible and still working.

I am also frustrated by the defacto standard Multi player population. I understand that some people need it to help balance races but this is a new era, Internet is faster, we can handle more units, I want large online games! But I suppose that is a discussion for another time. For the time being when I want MASS KAOS the wife and I play comp stomps! Speaking of that I am also looking forward to some nice coop mission maps!

Yea I pretty much digressed way off topic, lol.

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Hiigaran strikecraft whore here.

Any amount of strikecraft without proper micro and a carrier nearby (for repairs) is cannon fodder 99% of the time.
Vaygr frigates are mostly horrible, maybe except the HMF.
To counter gravwells, have a destroyer or a few HMFs with your swarm to shoot down the gravwells once they pop out.
Utilize your dirt cheap carriers to out-produce your opponents.
Always get speed upgrades on strikecraft, as vaygr lvl 2 speed is a priority. Faster fighters die less and can dock more consistently.
Here’s how I play Hiig, watching some of these ideas in action might help:


There are a few mistakes I made in that game (like not producing anything on my carrier around 16:00, or thinking I can hyperspace my destroyer when I forgot to build a module on my mothership) but it shows the micro quite well.

When did this become a gravwell bashing thread? On topic please.

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There are a few things to understand about the BCs, first and formost is that the hiig BC is broken, it has the attack AI of the vaygr BC rather than the original hiig BC from HW2, this is why it can dance like a balarena. The correct AI prevents it from tipping more than 20-30 degrees, it can tip up but not a lot, this made it a more even fight between the 2 BCs. The current behavior of the Hiig BC gives it a lot more punch than it used to be capable of which is a big part of the problems we see in HWRM. This is also why destroyers have such a big problem with the hiig BC.

If they have not modified the firing range of either BC the Vay one does out distance the hiig by a bit, gun placement is the reason for this though so movement is key in taking advantage of it. I would not depend on it too much though it will end up getting some attention to balance the game I’m sure.

For now you need to back up your BC before the hiig one is in range to fire. If you time it well the hiig BC will end up moving in to your missile and trinity cannon shots. I’d not worry about getting too good at it though, as I said I expect some kind of change to occur to both BCs.

Against Vaygr BCs use the fact it has to point at it’s target to your advantage, lateral attacks work best, keep your destroyers moving around it to get the best use of them.

Against hiig, until the attack AI is updated you have no choice but to take the loss if you don’t take out the engines, the attack style is just too powerful as it is now.

In HW2 the vaygr BC was attacked laterally with destroyers, the Hiig BC was attacked vertically because it couldn’t dance the way it does now.

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For myself fighting up is more of a problem, the thing is that the game, no space strategy game, truely handles orientation in 3D as it is in the real world. Every game I’ve seen has a horizontal mid plane that doesn’t truely allow 6 degrees of freedom. We are limited by game engine programming. You will find there are a lot of maps that don’t have as much of a vertical element to them, and those that do are more difficult to navigate due to that verticality and engine limitation. I’m sure if you stick with it you will find it less and less of an issue.

For me the true benefit of the 3D environment is that you can attack from a vertical direction when the main concentration is the horizontal plane, it adds to the posibilities quiet a bit. However you will find ALL of your ships will return to a horizontal attack behavior with no input from you at all. The real key is to make sure you have your ships in groups before the fight so you can quickly select the group numbers as the battle progresses and issue new orders. Regardless of the direction of attack it really increases your effectiveness in battle. We only have 10 groups but with the way the game handles ship groups in the preview screen you can select separate ship types if grouped in one group to issue specific orders.

Keep in mind that the attack AI will spread out your weapon damage, this is not always optimal and you need to over ride it when it isn’t, setting up your forces before the fight will help with that. In HW the ships were less likely to move out of the group and formation you set them in and would simply re-orient to the horizontal, HW2 removed these features and since HWRM is based on that engine you don’t get those benfits either. Additionally it was much easier to attack ships from any direction in HW1 but not so in HW2 due to the tendency to orient to the horizantal and the lack of valid formation behavior.

To really see what I mean you would need to get ahold of the demo for HW1 so you and your wife ( You are the guy who’s wife plays right?) can play multiplay over your LAN to see the difference between HW1 and how HWRM works. It is called Raider’s Retreat but was a demo for HW with 5 single player levels and LAN capability. If you have an FTP location I have the original installer for the demo so you can try it out. Just PM me if you have a means for me to get it to you.

CTRL-Boxing works for the initial attack order in most cases but to really excel you need to target your attacks to better concentrate the firepower, there is just no good way to make this point in the HWRM engine, in HW1 and HW:C it was far more evident because you had so much more control than in HWRM. You have to take the ships you are attacking and the ships you attack with into consideration when in a fight, if we had recordings you could watch those to get a better understanding but unfortunately we don’t have that yet if at all. HOWEVER there should be recordings out on the net of HW1 and HW:C if you can find the games to play them back and get a good look at the fights in real time 3D.

I’m rambling right now so I’ll stop, I’ll come back to the thread later.

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We do not have the original HW1. But we do have the original HW2 and a copy of Cata, we recently secured and have it installed but not played yet. I will fire it up and take a look.

I am thoroughly enjoying all of your input so please keep it up.

Yes I am the guy with the wife that plays, lol. B8factor and @Gameg1rl

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So remember to record your Cata games and if you can find a copy of HW1 I have a second here that I can send you if you want. However like I said I have the raider’s retreat demo that has LAN ability to give you multiplay options for HW1. Which also does allow recording the games.

EMP Scouts are basically Vaygr’s best unit, use them frequently.

Lv2 fighter speed is important. It helps with docking damaged fighters, chasing down the enemy, and Lv2 simply beats Lv1 fighters in a fight.

Missile corvettes are currently under powered compared to hw2 classic: Details. EMP + Missile corvettes should still do good vs pulsar however.

Vaygr simply has a hard time dealing with GW’s and salvage corvettes, expect GW changes in the balance patch.

Get bombers vs hyper torpedo frigates rushes.

Here’s how to micro the Vaygr BC range: Video. It will likely be patched in the balance patch.

BC is preferred over DD on big maps. DD’s just get fried by BC’s.

Here’s me playing Vaygr: Video - take notes! Madman and Hideki are also top notch with Vaygr, but neither are playing much lately.

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Very nice, the videos help a lot! I want to watch that whopping 2 hour video… We started it and saw the names list, WOW many VERY GOOD PLAYERS in that 4v4! Unfortunately it was AM here and I had to go to work so that will have to come tonight!

I still have some issues playing Vaygr, and you saw in the game we played Sunday! Homeworld is sometimes difficult to “see” what went wrong. Replays would help but even with that things are not always clear. E.g. Visually Homeworld is more difficult to see why you are outmatch in a fight that looks even. This is a hard thing to show, I probably should have recorded my fight with the Higgy player near me and posted with questions. Without seeing it, it would be hard for anyone to answer my questions:

  1. If I, Vaygr, have more collectors and we are even in production of SC and vette numbers, how did he make a ship yard would I could barely afford a 2nd carrier?
  2. And once he made that shipyard, how did he afford a BC (with a second one instantly after) and I am broke WHILE at the same time losing the battle of his strikecraft and gunships versus my strikecraft and missile vette? It is my assumption that if I am losing the battle of equal numbers then his must be more upgraded? If so how is he affording to get so much more tech and capitals when I am broke.

Standard RTS knowledge usually states if player A techs they will have less than player B, assuming econ is equal. And most RTS games if a swarm player is near you and you decide to tech then you risk being overwhelmed by the swarming player. The difficulty I have is seeing how, AND KEEP IN MIND I am only talking Vaygr versus Higgy matchup for this example, the Higgy player outperforms me on swarm while simultaneously out teching me as well?

The real trick is in the “equal econ”. How do I show that without replays and being able to see his perspective? I can visually count that I had more collectors. I can visually show that my MS was just over my resource patch and my carriers were backed up on an even plain to their patch as well as the refinery facing away. But I really cannot see the numbers coming in for both parties.

While I am certainly not the elite player, I do have ample experience. If this is aggravating to me, whether it be a balance issue or more likely a lack of knowledge on my part, it is going to be super aggravating for a new player! So with that in mind your commentary and videos help a lot!

It might be nice to get a 1v1 with you and recreate the situation so I can record it from my perspective while my wife spectates you and records it and then we can post the video and discuss what went wrong, and how to improve? Sometimes I picture IS worth a 1000 words!

-B8factor
@gameg1rl

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Well if you want to check if you had an equal economy, review the stat file from the game. They are text files saved at the end of the game that are used in the stat screen for the display but have the raw values. You can find them in the following path:(drive:\steam install path)\steamapps\common\Homeworld\HomeworldRM\Bin\Profiles(Profile)\Stats. Each file is labeled with the map name date and time. If you have several profiles you will end up having multiple stats folders, one per profile.

I found the file, but the info is for the end of the game. I suppose if I wanted to use this info I would need to forfeit at a point in time when I knew I was beat and look at the stats at that exact point in time. As it is now in the file, it shows info after the initial losing battle and another 30 minutes when i hpypered away and tried to rebuild only to have Mad Bomber come kill me. lol

Wonder when this data writes and if I can toggle a hotkey on my PC to copy the file after a battle so I have a copy that doesn’t keep adding to it after the point in time of interest?

I can’t say exactly what went wrong for you in our game Sunday, but I suspect it may have gone in your favor if you had EMP. =) I’ll also say that gunships in numbers can tear fighters apart, so fighters shouldn’t go near them. Let your missile corvettes handle the gunships, and send your fighters somewhere else on the map to inflict damage.

Also here’s a [Video][1] of me playing Hiigaran for @Gameg1rl in our 8p ffa game Sunday. I was holding my own 1v3 on my side of the map. Then I still thought I could hold on 1v4 when the gunships showed up, but when the hw1 frigate fleet showed up I got rolled 1v5. Haha, was a fun game.

I’d be happy to do some games with you, add me on steam: cloaked2222

Also funny enough, I’m currently working on getting the old Chiken HW2-MSB Multiplayer Stats Browser to work for HWR. I have it Jerry rigged to work right now, but I’m hoping to fix it correctly for everyone else.
[1]: http://www.twitch.tv/cloaked2222/v/6180308?t=57m30s

I think you will find the cost for hiig players is lower even though they can harvest the most with the least.