I first noticed this at Supernova Station. I had ~25 frigates and a few destroyers. Obviously the frigates are faster and when I got to the end of the dust belt I ran into the 2 destroyers and the Heavy Cruiser. Within 30 seconds half of my frigates were destroyed and the others looked like they would not last much longer. I was quite surprised at how fast they were demolished and I have been noticing this in all the battles that I have played. It almost seems like frigates are useless towards anything higher than themselves. I even went back to Classic and parred a destroyer against three ICF’s and the destroyer was almost killed, but in the Remastered a single destroyer is capable of obliterating a fleet of frigates in 3-4 hits each? This is ridiculous, can some of the devs please fix this. This is happening specifically with Kushan and Taiidan vs even their own destroyers.
Yeah, pretty much HW2 balance system, i dont like it either man =/
Yeah, it’s a huge issue… I seriously doubt it will ever be addressed to the satisfaction of Classic devotees, though. To do so would require that HW2 frigates also be rebalanced, since there is a cross-title multiplayer now… and that in turn would require some significant adjustments to the HW2 campaign.
I’d very much like to see that; I’ve never been a fan of the disposable ship gameplay in HW2, and I hate that it’s splashed back on Remastered. I just don’t think that we will see re-balancing on that scale in any official update. So for now, at least until modders get things working properly again, we get destroyers that hard counter frigates, and cruisers that hard counter every other ship bigger than a corvette.
The band-aid solution is to always, always lead with your super-capital ships. Facing a cruiser with destroyers and frigates, you will likely lose several destroyers, but likely only two or three of them… whereas that lone cruiser could make chunky salsa out of every single frigate you own if you’re unlucky enough, nevermind the two destroyers keeping it company. Think of it as simple math- all six of your destroyers put together cost about the same as twelve of your frigates, but a cruiser can take out three to five frigates in the time it takes for it to kill one destroyer.
I’ve completely given up using frigates as line combatants. Strike craft kill them almost as fast as super-capitals do, which leaves frigates in the position of hard countering nothing. My solution has been to pair all of my capital groups with gravwells- that way, I can use assault frigates to sweep up paralyzed strike craft (since those are pretty much the only safe targets to send them after) and let my super-capitals deal with anything larger.
At least it isn’t as bad as Cataclysm’s, where the support unit ceiling was so low you had to kill off nearly a third of your fleet if you wanted to build it differently. And then you’re pretty much locked in when you wanted to field supercaptials.
I still use frigates for a few reasons. Though weak they are armed with HW2 weapons (Ions especially). They are immune to gravity well generators, and they pad out a capital ship group to have something else for the enemy to shoot at besides your destroyers (as they would ignore the fighters and would otherwise shoot at your destroyers, which are your real damage dealers).
I have the impression that there’s some armor or damage multiplier somewhere out there that needs to be found and tweaked to make frigates a little more resilient. Why do destroyers stick around in combat while frigates pop like popcorn?
???Pretty sure that Frigates are NOT immune to Gravity Well Generators (unless you are talking about the HW1 version anti-strikecraft freeze ability).
That said, I’ve seen Frigates used effectively early-mid game (also depending on map size). I’ve seen players send a group on suicide missions to kill enemy harvesting operations…to great effect. I’ve seen flak frigates annihilate enemy strikecraft and corvettes.
Anyway, my point is that they are great for what they do. They are not great for taking down Destroyers and Cruisers…but they aren’t supposed to be good at that. Of course, 4 squads of bombers can take out an ion turret in one pass = you take out the ion canons, a large group of frigates maneuver to the rear of the Cruiser (for xtra damage versus rear of ship) = possible to take out a Cruiser…but freaken requires a lot of micro and the BC has to have a weak escort.
It’s simply amounts of health. (classic) HW1 and HW2 frigates have similar amounts of armor and firepower to one another, maybe a little higher in HW2. HW2 destroyers have twice the health and around three times the firepower of a HW1 destroyer. HW2 cruisers have more than five times the firepower and almost three times the health of HW1 cruisers. So there’s a lot more firepower in general flying around, but frigates haven’t gotten any tougher, so they die very very fast.
I meant the Homeworld 1 versions. That way I can take a Gravwell trinity and some assault frigates to pulverize helpless strike craft, since they’re the smallest, cheapest HW1 thing unaffected by the gravity well.
There are a lot of tools people aren’t using that act as force multipliers for frigates and bigger craft. The taiidan and Hiigaran have Defence field frigates that require micro but allows you to easily handle much large sized fleets with a bunch of frigs. The Kushan have the mobile cloaking modules (everyone else needs them to be put on carriers or BCs). The Vaygr… well they their corvettes, 'nuff said.
A combined fleet of defense field frigs, assault/ion frigs and a couple dozen defenders can take on near enough anything, even poorly supported BCs. It makes for a great screen for your capitals.
I think of frigs as RU sinks. Destroyers and BCs take forever to build and only limited amount of ships can even build them in the first place. However anything that can build a fighter can build frigs. HW1 races especially can pump out a LOT of frigs at once so if you have a lot of RUs and your MS is busy building HC/DD you can pump out a silly amount of frigs.
Remember any unspent RUs is wasted RUs if you’re dead.
Did a solo match with putting a few assault frigates under the shield of a DFG. Even for those few seconds of blocking fire it helped the assault frigates live a lot longer than they would have otherwise- if only the DFG wasn’t so micro-intensive!
The Defense fighters on the other hand died really too quick to have input. About the only thing I saw them doing is shooting lance beams at missiles. So… great to oppose the Vaygr with, but not much else, since Missile Destroyers have lost their effectiveness from the old days in the new engine.
Even so a mod equalizing health ratios to Homeworld 1 levels would be welcome. As much as I like the Homeworld 2 look and feel and play, frigate fragility has always been a disappointment. Only laser corvettes should be able to reign over frigates as hard as they do, since they are a hard counter.
Defense fighters are less effective because their role was to shoot down physical projectiles. They were absolutely ineffective against missiles in Classic, as were DFG frigs (which deflected railgun slugs and plasma bombs rather than shooting them down like the defense fighter). Since missiles and mines are the only physical projectiles in the game, the defense fighter is pretty useless. The DFG just uses the HW2 DFG effect, which I think is just an AOE hit % debuff (whereas in Classic and Cata the physical projectiles actually bounced out of the field, and could still cause damage if they struck something else)… the Classic frigate’s effect was always on, no activation required. The HW2/HWR ship has a shockingly brief duration; it’s needed to be tripled (at the very least) since 2003.
Both of the defense fighter and the DFG used to be very, very good. Way better than the Kushan cloaked fighter and drone frigate ever were. They wouldn’t stop ion beams or missiles, but they’d effectively neuter corvette walls and bomber balls, along with assault frigs, drone frigs, carrier and MS point defense, and a small but significant chunk of destroyer and cruiser firepower. Combine the two systems and you’d just never have to worry about railguns and plasma bombs. Thing is, they were never exactly game-breaking. By the time lots of those were flying around in large numbers, there’d also be ion frigates and destroyers, and soon after that missile destroyers. The drone frig and cloaked fighter needed (very minor) buffing; the DFG and defense fighter were fine where they were.
Instead, all four of the Classic race-specific ships have been nerfed, and nerfed hard. Cloaked fighters are worse than useless, drone frigs only deploy twelve drones instead of 24 (and they time out now as well), DFGs have all the endurance of a 450-pound couch potato sprinting up stairs, and defense fighters can only shoot down missiles, which they were never even meant to harm in the first place.