Author Topic: Aggro question  (Read 1874 times)

Offline Hrist

Aggro question
« on: August 11, 2015, 09:03:06 pm »
First I really enjoy the game. It probably the most fun I have had on a random game in god knows how long. I do enjoy the game being difficult and challenging, its been a long while since i have been frustrated and elated at the same time. Its a good feeling even after hours of face to keyboarding.

Is there a way to get the ai to spread out its targeting? It doesn't seem to matter what I do, different missions almost all the way through the story it feels like its just the ai endlessly focusing my Sunrider. Now I have played the game a lot. It just bugs me I feel like its Russian roulette on weather or not I will survive a turn. Yeah, there is flak ect, and icari for close range spreading kills. But even then, support units spam and she can only evade so much. If you are lucky she will extend your life for 1 round if they even decide to attack her.

It just seems like if I don't have a specific build, its game over before I even start an encounter. To make it 3/4 through the game, finish some insanely hard missions and the find out you dont quite have the correct upgrades, chose x attack upgrade instead of y defensive upgrade, and now you cant survive one turn in a late mission is just...rage worthy and dis heartening.

So here is what I am wondering.  While I have good idea, I dont know 100% how aggro works. Is there a mod to just make the ai spread their fire out? The 1 turn all the missile spam focus on one target is just getting old. Tired of the 1 round knock out because they just dont attack anything else.

sorry for the short rant. I would really like a mod rework aggro though. ><
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 09:06:37 pm by Hrist »

Offline ShadowX

Re: Aggro question
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 02:24:52 pm »
Isn't that the smart thing to do though? The logical one? Focus fire on one to take it out first, then go along one by one? Besides, you could rework the positioning in each battle to shield units better. Other solutions would be turning down the difficulty, if necessary, or simply savescumming.
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Offline The Bigfoot

Re: Aggro question
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 11:46:28 pm »
Aggro is modified by how much damage can be done, so a well protected ship is less attacked than a weak one. That said, a ship with a high 'hate' value will also be targeted more. Hate is earned by destroying ships, particularly with overkill.

As hate isn't the only method of targeting ships then its hard to adjust it without going elbow deep in the game's guts but this might help soften it a bit.

This mod will get the average ship hate and then set your ships to have average + 20% original hate like...


Sunrider hate = 700 becomes 740
BlackJack hate = 500 becomes 700

Sunrider hate = 3000 becomes 2300
BlackJack hate = 400 becomes 1780

To install, just drop in the Sunrider/game folder.

The mod runs at the start of the enemy turn so it should be quite effective but I havent ran any complete battles with it to test it, only a few turns to check for crashes.

The best thing you can do is just try and spread the fire-power about a bit, hit some nearly dead ships with the blackjack or phoenix. This mod might make escort missions harder as hate will be spread to include them aswell.

As a last resort, you could always send another ship away from the sunrider and out of range of your defences to be bait... But only someone with the blackest heart would do that  ;D
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Offline Marx-93

Re: Aggro question
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 04:17:14 pm »
Now, while I understand the rage at rocket spam at wedding's crash and Far port, after it it's a lot more smooth sail. Support are always a priority target, so they should be dealt with ipso facto, and if you bait a little with the Phoenix (I've done it with the Paladin or Black Jack sometimes) a lot of the fire of the rest of the enemy can be redirected. It always rewards a brutal alpha strike on the first turn for your part though, so maybe instead of defensive upgrades you haven't found the offensive upgrades to wipe them out quickly enough? (as a guideline, by the end of Ongess you probably should be able to destroy 2 Battleships in a turn using all your firepower + Full Forward). Remember that, as always, disable is your best ally if you're not using missiles or rockets. 

Adding to what bigfoot says, if the A.I. finds they can kill one unit with a single attack, that overrides any "hate" modifier they have (so the Phoenix is a rocket magnet). You can use that 2 or 3 times.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 06:27:50 pm by Marx-93 »
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Offline Drath

Re: Aggro question
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 05:32:48 pm »
Welcome to the forums Hrist. Glad to see some strategy questions :)

Is there a way to get the ai to spread out its targeting? It doesn't seem to matter what I do, different missions almost all the way through the story it feels like its just the ai endlessly focusing my Sunrider.

Targeting is dependent on quite a few factors.

Generally, the more damage a unit puts out, the more aggro it gains. A unit that delivers the killing blow gains additional aggro on top of that. If you have upgraded Phoenix enough to be able to take a few shots, using it as a dodge tank (by having it strike the finishing blow on near-dead ships) is a viable tactic as it has the highest evasion rating.

Proximity and squishiness also play a role in target selection as the AI partly bases the decision on who to attack on the potential damage it can do to said target. If you want the AI to attack a target more often, move it closer to enemy units/ to a more vulnerable position. The reverse also applies. Any badly wounded units that cannot be repaired in time should retreat to the rear (before the end of the turn) and have optimal shield and flak coverage.

Finally as Marx stated, if the expected damage value exceeds the hps of the target (the enemy unit is likely to one-shot the target), this overrides all the above and makes said target highest on the priority list.

Therefore if your goal is to spread out the AIs targetting, the general scheme is to do good/comparable damage with every unit that you want the AI to be potentially targetting. Once a unit takes damage, it moves down the priority list and if another unit also has good aggro, it will be the target instead.
Early on, Blackjack is not a bad choice as a target. Upgrading her lasers/pulse damage and increasing shots per turn will make this easier. Later on, Phoenix is a popular choice albeit rather frail. Paladin is a sturdy ryder and can also be quite easily made the center of attention as she can deal considerable damage with her powerful kinetics. In short, increase damage from ryders and you will find Sunrider getting targetted less often.

Your flak net should be optimized to reduce missile/rocket damage on said potential targets above. If you are in Mask of Arcadius, the 2 Alliance Cruisers should be amongst the first things to purchase as apart from being a hefty boost to total damage output, they also provide additional flak coverage, which can be very valuable. Some additional attention spent on initial unit placement before starting the fight will enable optimal damage output, while minimizing unnecessary movement to get units into flak cover.

If you are playing on Hard or Space Whale, I think the general intent is that you are fairly familiar with the mechanics and want a strong challenge where not every tactic/upgrade strategy may be equally viable.

If you are playing on other difficulties, tell us your upgrade scheme and the mission you are having problems with, so that we can provide better suggestions. In general, the idea is that there should be some leeway in terms of viable upgrade paths and things should not be too restrictive.

But even then, support units spam and she can only evade so much. If you are lucky she will extend your life for 1 round if they even decide to attack her.

On PACT Support ryders, you are really not meant to let them free cast for very long. The situation is actually quite a bit better now in 7.2. They used to be able to reel off debuffs right upon spawning from Assault Carriers.

Some possible ways to deal with them:
Upgrading Seraphim to double kinetics helps deal with PACT supports but its not the only way. You can short range warp Sunrider and blast them up close (missile/rockets/kinetics) before warping out to safety. After FlakOff on units providing cover for the supports, you can also pepper them with missiles from other units, like Paladin/Blackjack/Alliance Cruisers. You can Disable them with Liberty (assuming only 1 left). Even putting out a few debuffs from Bianca sometimes makes them favor restoring their own forces, thereby having less energy to plant debuffs on your fleet.
Supports are at their strongest when there are still a good number of enemy units in play. If you can down most of their ships, the debuffs from supports will not pose any real threat.

Offline Hrist

Re: Aggro question
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 07:10:46 pm »
Thank you for all the replies.

Bigfoot: Thank you for the mod and the explanation. I do look forward to trying it out. It seems like it might accomplish what i wish for it to do.


I do appreciate the strategy run down. ^^

Not quite what my issue was. I am confident others will find it and it will help them greatly. =D


Shadowx: I understand the focus target logic. Dropping the difficulty would change to much. I like the balance and the damage levels. I just feel the threat system needs a bit tweaked.

Its like playing chess where your opponent can kill your king anytime it wants, but you have to kill their whole board. Its very 1 sided when the ai only goes for the throat. I just want the ai to try and take out support units a bit more actively. Not to make the game easier, but to make it feel more like a balanced strategy game. If I have to take out 20+ units, it would be nice for them to try and kill something else every now and then a little more actively.


Maybe its just wishful thinking.

Thank you again. ^^
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 07:12:42 pm by Hrist »