How do I Beat the Dragon Slaver?

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Dash_Merc
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:05 am

I've done pretty well with the Huari, and I have been rewarded for all my hard work with certain death.

I am completely unable to do anything approaching serious damage to the Dragon Slaver. I can just barely outrun it with my 440 Titan drive, and my shields would normally be more than a match, but it uses the Shi3ldsDown hack and then chews through my armour.

Here are my specs:

I'm playing the official 1.01 release available from the website's download page -- playing on Mac, thanks to Wine (It works like a charm, though I have a modded kernel32.so file, so I don't know how well it will work with a stock setup).

EI500
Dual Flenser (+60%)
Raisermesser SmartCannon (+50%)
SN2500 Reactor
Titan 440 Fusion Drive (+Enhanced)
Mammoth 100MW Deflector enhanced to +100% with Longzhu Spheres (total 1200hp now)
Cannon Accelerator
Longreach I Autocannon
Orthosteel Armour (3 w/regen, rear with +50%)

I just got a Nandao Bolt Cannon, two patch spiders (but one got damaged), my front armour panel is now Dwarg Holochroal (+Regen), and my other three armour panels are Hexacarbide. I also carry a Mark III Howitzer with me so I can swap out at a station if I run out of Nandao ammo. Will these changes be enough to tip the tide of battle in my favour? I definitely like the whole particle-reflecting thing that the Dwarg armour does; I just wish I could find three more plates of it.

Does anyone have a recommended loadout that is realistically achievable and somewhat affordable that will help me survive this monster? I have tried countless times to no effect. In the end, after dying a few too many times, I just gated back to the main gate network and carried on exploring and stuff.

On another note...how do I repair my damaged spider? I could have just self-destructed and gone back to the last save point, but I had accomplished a lot in that system before the damage occurred, and I didn't want to have to repeat it all. I would rather not have to purchase a replacement, but I'll deal with that if I must.

Thanks in advance! :)

-Dash

P.S. - This game is even more entertaining than Escape Velocity. And MUCH more time-consuming. I love it!

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RPC
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:24 am

First of all both of your weapons
Dual Flenser (+60%)
Raisermesser SmartCannon (+50%)
Are kinetic. As you move further into the game, armor start getting huge resistances to early damage types. I suggest finding a thermo or ion weapon at best, (Katana, if you've seen one?) and particle (particularly the lancer cannon) if you can.
Nadao is a bit too slow for my tastes, I just stick to lancer and use an appropriate howitzer (when Mark I starts to become lame, I switch to lancer)

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Last edited by RPC on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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shanejfilomena
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:26 am

The good news is there is only one Dragon in the game.

AS for the temple missions, they hit hard and fast.....
even too hard for the Hurin destroyers which CAN take them on but not in large quantities.
( the Sung have learned that )

I , personally took on the game with the freighter and won. however I died many times learning from mistakes.
If you do not have insurance, restarting the game feels like cheating to me (I am a fan of Insurance, without it I start a new game )

The Sung are like most people, build weapons and defenses based on their current technology with no thought that one day that technology will fall into enemy hands.

On Earth, a Country knew better then this and built defenses against their own technology as well as the technology of hostile forces.
The Sung are too self superior to learn from old civilizations.......they can not defend against their own weapons.

In order to get the mission to defend the temple you must take on the Sung : you have the opportunity to gain their technology ( and this is the very reason you battle so many of them before you get the mission ).

other then that......I could suggest alot of toys in the attic...but the game was set up so you Can get many things, most are very useful, but if you pay attention to the higher system hostiles not really having enemies......then it is logical that they are vulnerable their own kind of weapons.....particle, thermal, etc.
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PM
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:27 pm

The Dragon Slaver's target is always the playership. Are the Huari buildings still intact? If so, Hurin destroyers should be swarming them. Have the playership sit inside the temple. (The other buildings can fire at hostiles.) While the Dragon Slaver orbits the playership, waiting for the playership to leave, the destroyers will fire at and take out the Dragon Slaver.

If you want to kill the Dragon Slaver yourself, you need to replace your old low level weapons with higher level weapons with a higher tier of damage. Dragon Slaver uses relatively high level armor, which is nearly immune to laser and kinetic damage. Its shields are resistant to kinetic and blast damage.

Tip: Do not use patch spiders while in battle. Install patch spiders when not in battle, and remove them before you enter battle.
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Amilir
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:07 pm

Well, the dragon slaver is one of the strongest ships in transcendence. It has four weapons:

1: Shi3ldsDown. This makes most shields nearly useless against it. If you could get and use a lazarus, it would work well, but that's impractical.
2+3: Partially omni particle cannons with full firerate. Quite a bit of particle damage that you can't really dodge. Particle resistance is key against these.
4: The Qianlong Archcannon. Technically a level IX antimatter cannon, it's power is more like level XI or XII. Its downside is that it consumes longzhu spheres. This thing a real problem. You can't get antimatter resistance at all. That means it'll chew right through any armor you can use.

To summarize, going toe to toe with it is a losing proposition. If you want to have even a chance, you'll need a weapon that can do damage to it as fast as it can damage you. It has strong particle and blast resistances, and even stronger kinetic and laser resistances, so that means ion/thermo or better. Preferably STRONG ion/thermo or better.

Really, unless you come back to it with an endgame setup, you can't fight it fairly and win. The easiest way to kill it is to just blast at it from out of its range. Your howitzer will come in handy here. Just point yourself at it, and use the recoil to propel yourself away as it comes towards you. If you get lined up right, it'll go down without you taking any damage. Granted, this is AI abuse, but it works.

No, you can't repair patch spiders, I'm sorry.

onyhow
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:15 pm

Patch spider cannot be repaired, ever...so do as PM says...the reason is that patch spider (and disposable launchers) are considered as external equipment, which means they can be damaged in standard firefight...

Upgrade weapons to a better damage type (Ion, Thermo...they still resist a lot to particle) and get a launcher...Makayev is good, but NAMI might work if you managed to get your hand on some Lucifer missiles and stay out of range so they don't get shot down...don't bother with MAG, unless you think it's possible for you to face Dragon at close range

If possible, try equip yourself with some particle-resistant armor...although you can't do anything with Qianlong archcannon, since there's currently no armor in the game that resist antimatter damage...

Dash_Merc
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:27 pm

Ok, so I'll just eat my stupidity with the loss of my patch spider. After I lost the one, I realised I should have uninstalled it before battle. Now I keep it uninstalled until I'm parked for repairs, and just use patches during battle if I really need to repair my armour while under fire. At least I still have one out of my original two...and I can probably buy another one. Oh well. :P

My ship now has four panels of Dwarg Holochroal Armour, which is very nice with its particle-reflecting and ion-reflecting qualities. Totally makes it worth the total hit-point tradeoff I experienced when I exchanged it for my hexawhatsit armour. Should this be good enough for taking on something like the Dragon Slaver and/or a fleet of Sung Earth Slavers, such as in the Huari scenario?

I think I will sell my Mark 3 Howitzer and trade up to a Mark 5, but first I'm saving up for the Hyperion Reactor I found at one of the odd Commonwealth Habitats in the later systems. 220,000 Credits is kinda difficult to save up. I get up to around 100,000 and then I wind up needing to buy a crapton of fuel because in order to make that much, I have to jump all the way back to St. Katharine's Star, as well as whichever system the only Tinker's Cray I've found resides in...the journey takes a long time and lots of fuel (less if I fly with my shields down, but still).

As for the Huari defence mission, I've figured out the right combination of actions in the "drug trip / vision quest" thing to be able to choose between the Sung attacking the Huari base, or the Huari having me go destroy the Sung base for them:

- If the Sung attack the Huari base, everything gets destyroyed except a few Huari ships running away, and the Dragon Slaver. The bases are all gone, and every other Sung ship is dead. The Dragon Slaver seems to only care about killing me, and ignores the fleeing Huari ships.

- If the Huari have me go destroy the Sung base, I just sit back and hammer on it for a while, luring small groups of ships out, and destroying them bit by bit...but before I get halfway through the mess of ships, the Dragon Slaver comes after me, and I have nowhere to hide.

As for what weapons to upgrade to:

The Lancer seems like it does so little damage. Something like 3.5hp? I sold the only undamaged one I found because it seemed useless to me at the time My Dual Flenser does 28.8. Is the Lancer really that good? And isn't it a particle weapon? I thought the Dragon Slaver was resistant to particle damage...

The Katana is pretty pricey, but after I upgrade my Howitzer and get my Hyperion Reactor, I'll spring for a Katana and see how it treats me. I've mostly stuck with the SmartCannon and the Dual Flenser because they both seem to help me deal with faster ships more effectively, due to their higher rate of fire, the SmartCannon's tracking ability, and the Dual Flenser's dual-shot ability (meaning I don't have to be as accurate to score a hit). The EI500's slow turning speed is annoying sometimes. As is the game's built-in rotation limitations. I can't rotate freely in single-degree increments because of the sprite frame limitations. That is frustrating for aiming over long distances, but having played Escape Velocity for most of my childhood, I'm used to it (though EV had many more turrets, and most of the available turrets in EV were more effective than the ones in Transcendence).

So to clarify for sake of my understanding of the damage types...
Lancer is particle?
Howitzer is thermo? or blast? or kinetic?
Katana is ion?

Thanks for all your helpful ideas. :)

I'll give 1.06 a run once I've finished this life in 1.01. Am I correct in my understanding that saves don't transfer between versions?

-Dash

P.S. - On a somewhat unrelated note, I personally view insurance as unnecessary, since the game doesn't have a Strict Play mode where death=death. I just respawn at my last save when I fail or die, like I always did in Escape Velocity. It's like buying an escape pod in EV, which was a waste of money and 1 ton of weapon space unless you were playing in Strict Play mode. It doesn't feel like cheating to me, since I'm playing with infinite respawns. If Transcendence ever gets a Strict Play mode, I may try that, in which case, insurance would definitely be very helpful. :)

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Bobby
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:42 pm

Strictly speaking the dual flenser might do more raw damage, but that is ignoring armor and shield resistances. blast plate (level 6 I believe, a little less than dragon armor) for example resists kinetic by 615%, and particle by only 65% (added onto the normal 100%). Your flensers would actually do about 1/7 of its raw damage on blast plate, but the lancer (remember that 3.5 is repeating 5 times per shot) would do more like 2/3, The katana would be even better. As armor or shields increase in level they resist lower level weapons more strongly. The dragon armor does resits particle, but not as much as tier one kinetic or laser.

If you press F1 during the game you can see a list of damage type icons listed in order of level (in pairs, kinetic and laser are on the same tier for example, as are blast and particle, etc). Howitzers up to mark 3 are blast, after that is thermo.
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PM
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:57 pm

Comments about the missions:

* Defend temple: This is the most rewarding but most difficult and overwhelming mission. You almost need to be endgame strong; and even then if you screw up, the temple goes up in smoke and you fail. Before the Sung fleet reaches the temple, shockwave weapons are most effective - this means use Ares micronukes. (Yes, this means going past Jiang's Star to farm Ares, which is late in the game, then backtrack once you are loaded.) If the Sung fleet spreads out and reaches the Huari, you will probably need lots of firepower to take them out. I use an enhanced IM90 for this. Scramble cubes or gems of contrition will buy time, and you will probably need them.

* Destroy Sung base: Not as lucrative as defending the temple, but much easier, and you do not need to be endgame strong to stand a chance of victory.

* Kill Dragon Slaver: Just one ship, and almost no loot to speak of. This is very easy - if your ship cannot do it, let the Hurin destroyers do your dirty work.
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Dash_Merc
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:39 pm

I see. My understanding of detailed game mechanics in any game is minimal, so grasping this multiple damage types and resistances thing is tricky for me. I've never been a numbers guy when it comes to games. All my friends know how to beat a game using statistics and knowing the ins and outs of the in-game weapons and defences. I just use whatever looks coolest and rely either on reflexes or strategy (strategy in placement of troops/resources/what-have-you) more than actually knowing anything about the game. Maybe I should change that.

For example, I am completely awful at any of the Pokemon games since Yellow Version. Way too many Pokemon, attacks, types, vulnerabilities, immunities, and special cases for me to keep track of, let alone make use of. The same with Magic the Gathering.

As for the Huari missions, I like PM's idea of waiting until I have some nice Micronukes or something. It looks like I'll be coming back to that one. At least there's no in-game time limit on that mission.

Right now, I'm greatly enjoying hunting down Luminous ships with my Dual Flensers and Mark 3 Howitzer. My reflective armour helps a lot as well, because even if I'm completely overwhelmed by a swarm of them, the majority of their ion shots bounce off my armour, giving me ample opportunity to back off, snipe a bit, go recharge and repair, then come back for another wave. :D

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RPC
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:28 pm

"drug trip / vision quest"
LOL XD
Anyways, I think d1gdug had a map of the huari temple mission choices and what mission you would get.

Stations get damaged 1% for every shot from a non WMD weapon. The lancer repeats, so you get something like 5% damage while the Mark I and III (why isn't there a II?) rely on WMD to deal damage. There comes a time when blast and particle damage become obsolete, making the lancer a better choice at attacking stations (because of the higher rate of fire) and when I notice this, I ditch the howitzer and get something else.
So to clarify for sake of my understanding of the damage types...
Lancer is particle?
Howitzer is thermo? or blast? or kinetic?
Katana is ion?
Yes, you're right.
Am I correct in my understanding that saves don't transfer between versions?
You can use saves from other versions, but it's not guaranteed that they won't crash or anything.
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shanejfilomena
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Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:29 pm

ok: ok : i do cheat after loosing the temple once: i run through, gain the alliance then arm up and return with undeployed drones.
so, yes, when I take on the temple mission I have a cargo loaded with drones / wingmen and while they are NOT a sure bet , it helps buy the destroyers time while i try to keep the carrier off the temple
( that is your actual target, the carrier and EarthSlavers, not the Dragon ).

yes.....the Dragon is tough, the Carrier earth Slaver slips in because it looks like the others: i have always failed to replicate this ship in my .xml but it is a dragon in it's own right: the destroyers can take out the Dragon Slaver without a player to help ( did someone let the secret out on that? )

I also arm up with military stuff , powerful shields are not really important against the Sung, Armor is everything.
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Dash_Merc
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Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:07 pm

Thanks for the tips. I like your strategery.

When I go back for another round, I'll do my best to keep the Earth Slavers off the temple, especially if I see fighters spawning from one of them.

I'll grab a lancer soon, but for now I'm encroaching on Ares space. I'm at the CSC India running missions for them, and I have a functioning Ares Lightning Cannon, a functioning Luminous Ion Blaster, and a functioning Ares Positron Cannon. I'm taking advantage of the fact that I'm now a Fleet Commander and get armour/weapon installation/repair for free, and repairing every piece of armour I loot, then selling it. As for the weapons I have to choose from now, which one would be the best multipurpose weapon of my current selection?

I have a Mark 3 Howitzer in one slot, but what should go in the other slot?

Here's everything I have in the vein of functioning weapons:

Ares Positron Cannon
Ares Lightning Cannon
Sung Nandao Bolt Cannon
Plasma Torch
TeV 9 Blaster
Dual Flenser Cannon
Luminous Ion Blaster

I like the high rate of fire combined with the damage of the Luminous Ion Cannon, but it eats up power fiercely. The Nandao is nice in terms of damage and power consumption balance, but the slow firing rate is kind of a dealbreaker since I have a Howitzer with its slow firing rate in the other slot. The Plasma Torch...way too short-range, but I keep it around for mining when necessary. I haven't tried either of the Ares weapons (slower firing rate, lower damage), nor the TeV 9, because they don't seem to be quite as powerful or useful as the Luminous Ion Cannon. Is it to my advantage to use the Ares Positron Cannon? How many ships/stations have resistance to Positron damage?

...or should I start a new thread to ask these questions?

Thanks. :D

-Dash

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RPC
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Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:01 pm

Ares Positron Cannon? How many ships/stations have resistance to Positron damage?
Not much has positron resistance, and I personally like the Positron cannon (after I sold them to teratons for rins :twisted: )
but the way the shot effect is created, it's kinda hard to see which yellow dot is the shot (hint: it's the first one)
As for Nadao, I think the Nadao and Howitzer are interchangeable.
The next best that I like is the Ion Blaster (it's not Luminous, btw- it's manufactured by EI?!).
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Dash_Merc
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Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:07 pm

RPC wrote:Not much has positron resistance, and I personally like the Positron cannon (after I sold them to teratons for rins :twisted: )
Is this your way of saying the Positron cannon is nice, but worth more as money?
RPC wrote:As for Nadao, I think the Nadao and Howitzer are interchangeable.
I feel like I miss a lot more often with the Nandao Bolt Cannon. Maybe now that I've had some practise with the Howitzer (trying to peg Ares gunships with a Howitzer is like trying to hit a fly with a spitball, but an entirely rewarding sport), will the Nandao will be easier to use effectively? I will have to give it a try...the ammo requirement is just slightly offputting, but I can deal with that by just raiding more Sung (if I can find any more). :P
RPC wrote:The next best that I like is the Ion Blaster (it's not Luminous, btw- it's manufactured by EI?!).
...so why would the Luminous be using an inferior Human-built technology?

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