The value of life?-- Rama---Volkov and Jeana

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
MikeAngora
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Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:19 am

I've had the pleasure of having Volkov, Jeana and Rama as my wing-men/women simultaneously in quiet a few games.
What really bugged me is that all three become serious white elephants as we move on into the upper systems. Volkov's X-rays are useless against most Ares and Rama and Jeana become useless even before we encounter the first Sandstorm.
Wouldn't it be just awesome if we could upgrade their AI so that they individually could repair/upgrade their own weapons or armor? Or maybe if the player could upgrade his squadron's armor and weapons?
Imagine how wonderful it would become if Rama Jean and Volkov were firing Mark V howitzers, Medusa's or Vulcan's?

Conversely, we could also give Jeana or Rama a happy ending like Volkov who meets Helena... Maye Jeana could meet with her long lost Britannia pilot boyfriend on a CSC and part ways with the player?

I just feel terrible when these guys get swatted off like mosquitoes by even the weakest of ships. I have managed to take Rama and Volkov to the Heretic but mainly by having them squat on a planet or star-gate until I sterilize the whole system but I hope they'd be able to make on their own too.

P.S I would have loved to make a neat mod but unfortunately I'm not into computers or programming lol... I'm that half bored real estate investor who plays this game when there are no customers around... :mrgreen: :lol: :oops:
"Umm, I'm sorry I just killed your officer Akira, but he was getting on my nerves''
"Can I take his ship now?"

Calvin E. Taylor to Akira Gorbachev, the daughter of Ares Chief Admiral Vasily Gorbachev, after brutally killing one of her Tundra pilots.

MikeAngora
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Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:21 am

Oh and I would so love a second life type game where we could meet other people in their ships and chat with them... I'll pay for that too...
"Umm, I'm sorry I just killed your officer Akira, but he was getting on my nerves''
"Can I take his ship now?"

Calvin E. Taylor to Akira Gorbachev, the daughter of Ares Chief Admiral Vasily Gorbachev, after brutally killing one of her Tundra pilots.

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JohnBWatson
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Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:57 pm

There are actually mods that allow you to upgrade wingmens' armor and weapons. Check out Xelerus, it's got some other cool things too.

As for AI enhancements, I'd like to see that as well.

Ultimate Chicken
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Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:50 pm

In my recently concluded playthrough, halfway through the game I left Jenna and Rama in Elysium.
And completely forgot to take them through the final stargate.

...I like to think they joined the explorer corps.

Somehow. <_<'

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Song
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Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:14 pm

Volkov's ship isn't actually that bad....mostly because of the fantastic stats of the Mk.V deflector. However, once that shield gets under-levelled, the poor armor and low-tier damage type of his gun make him very, very fragile. THe X-ray laser is actually useful for fighting Luminous and sandstorms.....but any endgame gun can take those apart with ease.

Rama.....I've never really been able to get much out of. The AI just isn't good enough to effectively use a starcannon. Then again, his 'destiny' is to die on the way to the core...


Jenna I think is *supposed* to be weak. But right now, her ship's absurdly vulnerable. I have had her die within 15-30 seconds of getting her, due to bad luck, a well-timed attack by...I don't even remember what now.... and a careless militia guard throwing nukes around. On top of that, she uses the dual particle beam.....which is a great game in the early game. But at the point when she turns up, it's starting to face good particle resistance, and it doesn't have the average damage to make up for that. Her armor is woefully bad, and her shield, while adequate if you get her very early, is rapidly obsoleted by improved enemies. She's a temporary wingman, and that's cool....but it'd be nice for her to do something other than die. While I'm not all that keen on the only female stock companion being more trouble than she's worth and dying constantly, I do sorta like that she's the only one of the three sensible enough to decide that this suicide mission really isn't worth it and it's time to go home.

(Edit: Also...she's the only companion who really chooses to follow the player. Rama is in it for death [maybe a deserter or combat vet with PTSD? He seems awfully worn out and keen for death...but we never learn why], Volkov is trying to find his wife.....Jenna wants an adventure, gets a series of suicide missions, and decides that going home is smarter. And frankly, she's probably right given her survival rate up to that point....)

They also all suffer from having the "Advanced" combatstyle setting on their AI. This setting is a deathtrap for almost *every* ship it appears on...because it only really works on small, fast ships that can effectively run away from a pursuer (see: Original versions of the Barbary). Volkov can more or less handle it, but his lower-level armor means he has to get out of range fast once his wonderful shield dies, or he goes boom. Jenna has a Ronin, and thus has no chance. Rama flies a centurion, which has a good chance at first, but later on in the game has no hope of retreating successfully if he's the current target: He'll lose his rear armor segment before being able to escape.
Last edited by Song on Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Watch TV, Do Nothing
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Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:04 pm

Volkov is not really supposed to be following the player all the way into the endgame; in a normal game his intended fate is to discover his wife's body and then return to the Commonwealth. Likewise, Jenna is coded to turn back before Heretic, but in practice she rarely survives long enough to realize she's out of her depth.

I think the issue is that a lot of late-game content has been added since the wingmen's equipment and behaviors were first coded. For example, capital ships are much more durable than they used to be, but escorts' AI treats them the same as gunships when engaging them. Compounding the problem, wingmen's damage output isn't really proportional to their defenses anymore; none of them do WMD damage or use missiles. Prohibiting wingmen from engaging capital ships unless the ships are simultaneously being attacked by the player would improve wingmen survivability a lot.

Automatically avoiding Penitent stations would also be a good idea.

PM
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Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:52 pm

Jenna is very useful in Militia's Scarab defense missions, where player fights lots and lots of Viking-II's. Jenna (and Volkov, if available) is very useful then. After that, she becomes a liability.

She decides to leave when she takes armor damage in level 8+ systems (after Eta Ceti), when Commonwealth Fortresses no longer have any chance to appear.
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JohnBWatson
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Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:09 am

Rama is in it for death [maybe a deserter or combat vet with PTSD? He seems awfully worn out and keen for death...but we never learn why]
That's not what I got from it. He says "To hell with destiny!" when he joins you, indicating that he's simply tired of living in fear. He's also affable enough in the earlier conversation, and eager to describe his custom gunship.

PM wrote:Jenna is very useful in Militia's Scarab defense missions, where player fights lots and lots of Viking-II's. Jenna (and Volkov, if available) is very useful then. After that, she becomes a liability.

She decides to leave when she takes armor damage in level 8+ systems (after Eta Ceti), when Commonwealth Fortresses no longer have any chance to appear.
I believe changes in balance have made those missions much easier than before, to the point where she really doesn't provide much help. I recall that the Scarabs now effectively are able to defend themselves, due to the changes to heavier ships described above by Shrike.

Ultimate Chicken
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Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:06 am

Frankly you don't need the wingmen unless you don't have an Omniweapon in whichever stash you're using.

Volkov is enough to deal with the pirates. Who don't have much in the way of Laser Resist.

And frankly, yes I'd like to upgrade wingmen, even without mods. Maybe it wouldn't be in character for Volkov but Rama *runs his own customized ship* and should behave more like Jeremy Clarkson when it comes to later systems. ("POWERRRR")

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JohnBWatson
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Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:44 am

Ultimate Chicken wrote:Frankly you don't need the wingmen unless you don't have an Omniweapon in whichever stash you're using.
Volkov's quite helpful in Charon.
And frankly, yes I'd like to upgrade wingmen, even without mods. Maybe it wouldn't be in character for Volkov but Rama *runs his own customized ship* and should behave more like Jeremy Clarkson when it comes to later systems. ("POWERRRR")
Both have custom gunships, as does Jenna. I'd like to see an upgrade mechanic in the main game too.

What would be amazing is if they sought out more useful equipment on various stations in a similar manner to the way they repair, and improved their ships based on their individual personalities(and, of course, budgets). Jenna might focus on buying better shield generators with sensible prices, Volkov on the most advanced weaponry, spending his long saved Korolov earnings, and Rama on a strong, rounded defense, though nothing extremely gaudy or expensive.

MikeAngora
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Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:13 am

In approximate 98 of the 100 games I played Jeana never made it to Eta Ceti and because the crazy girl goes about attacking things she simply cannot handle and dies before going home.

In we could shift Jeana's encounter to in or around the Battle Arena systems it would be much better.
"Umm, I'm sorry I just killed your officer Akira, but he was getting on my nerves''
"Can I take his ship now?"

Calvin E. Taylor to Akira Gorbachev, the daughter of Ares Chief Admiral Vasily Gorbachev, after brutally killing one of her Tundra pilots.

Ultimate Chicken
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Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:26 am

I got Jenna killed in front of Rama once and Rama said something. But I couldn't catch it. I may be mistaken about the implication of THAT but I highly suspect that Jenna is Rama's protege - well before he got on the retirement track. Nothing's said about this, so I can't be sure. >_>'

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DigaRW
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Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:47 am

Rama's happy ending is his death, but the best scenario is when he can follow player to reach Galactic Core. I have him in my side in heretic once before.
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Amteloletom
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Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:18 pm

I simply destroy Helena Volkov ship so I didn't lose a companion to the core. (I hate being alone in the space).
In the recent update, we can upgrade our wingman by buying ship for them (very expensive for 3 person).

Kourtious
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Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:18 pm

Personally, I find having these pilots annoying to tag along. Foremost, I agree with many opinions that Jenna needs a buff. In my opinion, she needs start out with a Tev9 blaster and a Yoroi S500.

Both Jenna and Volkov are usable till the end of the ungoverned territories. Jenna being weaker than Volkov in general.
Rama is usable till the start of Ares Space.

More than often, I have to babysit these companions.

I don't have a solution for how to feel better using these companions other than reworking the communication system. If I could get them to attack a base in a top down tactical manner and dictate when they retreated, I think they'd be more useful. As of now, the only useful companion is Volkov.

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