Combat Guide

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Combat Guide

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by Sukayo, Jul 8, 2014.

Guide: Fighting in CE

As fighting is growing ever more popular with nice xp and credit rewards, creating a guide of some sort to help all aspiring Tagons might be time well spent. There is a lot of ground to cover, thus this is work in progress. Feel free to share your own experience and tips, correct me if i made a mistake or point out areas that are of interest, but not included here.

I. Ship

Ship classes
There is a variety of ships available in CE (Core Exiles) for pilots to choose from. Many are listed in CEDR (Core Exiles Data Repository) under Ships. Those can be bought in Sphere galaxy in different shipyards spread across the systems. More are available in VP galaxy. Info about those is not included in CEDR, but you can find it on this forum under VP section.

Ships are divided into several classes:
-Entry level: most basic ships, very cheap, but also very limited.
-Hauler class: primary intended for traders and miners, with less armour and hull, slow, but have more cargo space and high energy output
-Combat class: intended for combat. Faster, better armoured, more hull, but lower cargo capacity and ship energy output.
-Privateer class: combat ships require higher level to unlock. Untill that point this ship class serves as a sort of replacement. Privateer class ships are less armoured, slower and produce less energy than Combat class, but excel at higher cargo space. Very good all around ships for medium level captains.
-Multi role: high end ships. Better than Combat class on all indices: speed, armour, hull, energy output, cargo space. They require high level to unlock and are expensive. Less cargo space and energy output as Hauler class.

For combat puproses Privateer, Combat and Multi role classes are suited. Under certain conditions even Hauler class can be effective, but they cant keep up forever. Lack of armour and hull is hard to compensate when shield penetrators are used frequently by higher level opponents.

Ship layout
All ships have three main sections where different equipment can be installed.

Ship Loadout
This is same for all ships, low and high end. It is divided into following subsections:
-Weapon Slots: two per ship, guns or/and missiles go here
-System Slots: three slots per ship, place for scanners and targetting modules
-Energy Slots: two per ship, in addition to basic ship energy output, reactors placed here will boost it further
-Expander Slot: one per ship for cargo, passenger module or recycling unit
-Shield Slot: one per ship, place to put shield
-Propulsion Slot: one per ship, ships engine, generates fuel and if upgraded also additional energy, can only be bought from CE stores

Ship Special Slots
Each ship has at least some. Better ships have up to 10. Special equipment is placed here such as: armour, hull, speed buffs, energy injectors, ITB (Inter-Galactic Telemetry Beacon), landing gear, fuel tanks

Pod Loadout
Same as special slots, each ship has at least some, but no more as 10. Pods are placed here.

II. Equipment
Only equipment used in fighting, neglecting the rest here.

Guns
One of primary equipment for a fighter. There is a lot to choose from. They are divided into several groups according to their properties. All guns require sufficient energy ship and its reactors produce.

Sphere guns
These are also listed in CEDR. Some can be bought in stores, some made by players. There are two classes:
Energy weapons:
Requires Energy Weapons skill to mount them. Energy consumption is a bit higher as their Kinetic counterpart, learning skill is more expensive, but it also allows to operate salvage cutters.
Kinetic weapons:
Requires Kinetic Weapons skill to mount them. Energy consumption is a bit lower, learning skill cheaper. No other use as for kinetic weapons only.

VP guns
Same as Sphere guns. Two classes: energy and kinetic. They have ability to score critical hit (counts as 3x ordinary damage).

Missiles
Missiles are one use weapon. Opposed to guns, you have to buy missiles when used up. They arent cheap, thus should be more used as an addition rather than main weapon. There are several types:
Standard: damage first to shield, then armour, hull as last
Bypass Armour: those ignore armour of a ship, damage fist to shield, then directly to hull
Bypass Shield: those ignore shield of a ship, damage first to armour, then hull
3 Way Damage: those do damage simultaneously to all three layers fo defense, shield armour and hull

Scanners and Targetting modules
Ships are categorized in three groups. Those tagged green under Affiliation column on scan result screen are considered friendly. Those tagged red are hostile (pirates). Bare in mind this categorization is according to GalFed. To be precise, green are friendly towards GalFed and its allies and red are those hostie towards them. Aliens are coloured a bit more bright red and are considered enemy by all the rest.

Scanners
Scanners are used to detect other ships in space. Higher level, more targets can be identified per scan. There are several families to choose from.
Sensor Suite MK1-4: most basic family. Can detect up to 6 ships (mixed green and red or aliens).
Highlighter Scan HL1-4: Can detect up to 6 ships (mixed green and red or aliens). Player made. Less skill and energy needed as Sensor Suite.
Passive Array MK1-4: Can detect up to 6 ships (mixed green and red or aliens). Higher skill needed to use them, but they use less energy.
Commercial Tracker Mk1-4: Specialized to detect up to 5 non-hostile units (green or aliens).
Threat Detector Mk1-4: Specialized to detect up to 5 hostile units (red or aliens).

Targetting modules
They increase damage output of a gun (not sure for missile) by a certain percentage. For instance Targetting Module Mk4 will not increase damage by 9%, but up to 9%. It is random each time gun is fired, it can be anywhere between 0 and 9%.

Targetting Module Mk1-4: Increases damage output by up to 9%.

Reactors
Each ship has built in reactor that produces some energy. Ammount produced this way is by far not enough, thus additional reactors must be placed to meet energy demand. There are many reactor types. Only those most used by fighters will be mentioned here.

Hammer Reactor Mk 1-4: In addition to energy generation, they also boost weapon damage up to 11% (same rules as Targetting Modules).
Tesla Reactor 1-6: No damage boost, but they generate far more energy as Hammer reactors, enabling stronger gun to be mounted. They also increase ships cargo space.
Verec-Per based reactors: No damage boost either, but energy produced is highest in game. They are also marked by a small red dot. Its purpose still unknown.

Shield
Shield is the only protection ship has, that can be regenerated in the middle of battle with matrices, a must have for every fighter. Three different types are known.
Reflective Shields: Least IP per skill needed. But they require higher skill and captain level to mount as their absorption counterpart.
Absorption Shields: Skill is a bit more expensive as in case of reflective shileds, but less total skill is needed and they are available at lower captain levels.
Phased Shields: Top end shield. In no way cheap when it comes to power requirement, price, IP investment in skill, nor captain level. But it is the only shield that will block alien guns. While for lower level captains the other two are adequate and cheaper to obtain, higher levels aiming to fight in expanse will have to invest in Phased Shielding.

III. Skills
Each item will require some skills in respective skill type to mount. There are many areas fighter must invest to optimize his performance.
Energy Weapons: Will allow mounting energy based weapons and salvage cutters.
Kinetic Weapons: Will allow mounting kinetic based weapons.
Missiles: Will allow the use of missiles. To actually fire a missile, Python missile launcher must be mounted also.
Reactor Tech: Required for mounting additional ship reactors, to boost energy output of a ship.
Reflective Shielding: Required for mounting reflective shield type.
Absorption Shielding: Required for mounting absorption shield type.
Phased Shielding: Required for mounting phased shield type.
Targeting: Required to equip targetting modules. Those will increase base damage of guns and missiles.
Scan Tech: Required to equip ships scanners. More and better will yield more targets per scan, thus less scans are required to find a suitable target.
Drone: Captain can use combat drones to boost his performance. They are expensive and can be destroyed durring combat, but in right conditions, they can be very valuable help.

NOTE: Skills are only needed for mounting desired equipment. Further increase in skill wont give any additional benefits. Only exception is targetting skill. Further investment will increase the chance of scoring critical hit. This doesnt mean you will be hitting more frequently, but when you do hit, you have better chance of scoring a critical one, but only when using VP based weapons.

IV. Things to shoot at

Conventional targets
In rough, there are only two types:
Combat ships: Built to fight. Escorts, fighters, cruisers and the likes. They usually have stronger weapons, less tonnage and are faster.
Non-combat ships: All the rest. Mining, industrial barges, cargo, passenger haulers, etc. Weapons are usually less powerfull, ships are slow and heavier (higher tonnage).

Aliens
Aliens are divided into three classes.
Cleric: Weak guns and medium health.
Warrior: Strong guns and weak health.
Scientific: Medium guns with strong health.

NOTE: While this classification is true for most ships, there are exceptions. Some traders for instance can punch harder as fighters while some fighters can be relatively weak for their level.

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