The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

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The Troglodyte
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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:02 pm

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“Just look at their beady eyes!” - Pik
14 Awesome Cyborg ZFP Stingers (14 x 6 = 84 pts.)
Vs.
14 Awesome Cyborg Ilwrath Avengers (14 x 10 = 140 pts.)
Look at all the cyan and magenta! :mrgreen:
Image

Ilwrath wins with 12 remaining Avengers!

ANALYSIS:
I tried it again last night with the Ilwrath, expecting some better results, but at each entry point, the Stinger was always immediately in danger, but mainly due to their misjudgement of the cloaked ship’s position, so they would often charge right into the flame nozzle for a quick scorching, but even when they weren’t destroyed within 5 seconds of the battle, they seemed persistent in staying within reach of the flames even when it was unnecessary, and the Ilwrath would continue its pursuit while holding down the flame spray button until the ZFP (about 15 seconds usually) would foolishly either turn into the “line of fire” or simply slow down until the flames encroached upon it; very few times did any of the Stingers last long enough to inflict significant damage and get within an appropriate attack pattern, even though some simple ship-handling would’ve been all it would’ve taken to make a difference... would’ve, should’ve, could’ve. It’s once again a poor performance for a ship that should be well-equipped to handle these Zebranky wanna-be’s, but alas, the AI refused to comply. Barbecued ZFP anybody?


Image
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Death 999
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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by Death 999 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:04 pm

The AI doesn't seem to have a concept of range maintenance.

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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:36 pm

Death 999 wrote:The AI doesn't seem to have a concept of range maintenance.
Yeah, and as I studied what was going on during the battle with the Ilwrath, I couldn't help but wonder if the ZFP isn't reacting the way it does due to finding itself between a rock and a hard place, since on one hand it wants to get in close to potentially use its tongue attack, but on the other the emerging flames makes it need to retreat, but I'm so close for a close-range assault, but... maybe something like that?

It just seemed such a futile effort, and I'm also not saying every version of UQM will play out the same scenario unilaterally, but if anyone else (Quasi?) would like to test as a cross-reference, it would be much appreciated... and besides, if theirs acts in any way near the way mine does, it'll take about 10 minutes to see the results.
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by krulle » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:49 am

You know that when the Avenger uncloaks by using the flame thrower, the flame thrower automagically points at the enemy ship (no matter what the angle was while cloaked).

Very handy for everyone, no aiming issues when uncloaking.

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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by The Troglodyte » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:00 pm

When using an Ilwrath Avenger against an AI-controlled, does the cloak even make a difference? I mean, I know it can help against things like nuclear missiles and other homing projectiles, but doesn't the AI automagically know where the cloaked ship is located at all times?
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Death 999
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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by Death 999 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:00 pm

The AI believes that cloaked ships are displaced from their actual location by a constant amount in some direction.

This leads to it being relatively accurate at long range, and potentially farcically >90° off at close range.

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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by The Troglodyte » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:08 pm

Death 999 wrote:The AI believes that cloaked ships are displaced from their actual location by a constant amount in some direction.

This leads to it being relatively accurate at long range, and potentially farcically >90° off at close range.
Interesting, it’s as if the program is programmed to act is if it’s not quite sure of the cloaked vessel’s whereabouts.

I’m continuing with the Stinger AI analysis, working my through the Star Control 1 Hierarchy ships first, so next up is the VUX:

“Yeah! The tonguing is the best part!” - Pik
14 Awesome Cyborg ZFP Stingers (14 x 6 = 84 pts.)
Vs.
14 Awesome Cyborg VUX Intruders
(14 x 12 = 168 pts.)
VUX wins with 13 remaining Intruders!

ANALYSIS:
This was atrocious! Once again, I feel that the AI is confused by its own arsenal, causing it to consistently stay just within range of the Intruder’s deadly Gigawatt Laser as it looked for an opportunity to get close for a dose of plasma injection from its tongue attack. The tentative Stinger was always seeming to make minor adjustments to go inside and out, firing its Antimatter Spray and flinching away from Limpet Cocoons, but always finding itself back in harms way as it nonchalantly glides back into the slicing green beam. It wasn’t until the 11th ZFP combatant arrived until the first VUX was finally defeated.

The tonguing certainly is the best part, but it would seem the VUX have their own version of the tongue attack! Just look at that long tongue firmly pressed down on the “fire laser” button:

Image
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by The Troglodyte » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:33 pm

AUGH! Will you SHUT UP ABOUT FRUNGY?! If you say another word about that STUPID GAME... I’m going to lose control and blow a cloud of spores at you!” - Zoq

Well, since I haven’t encountered any Androsynth during my playthrough (and I doubt I ever will… considering) I went ahead and decided to skip them for the time being and see how the Stinger matches up against a fleet of Podships.
14 Awesome Cyborg ZFP Stingers (14 x 6 = 84 pts.)
Vs.
14 Awesome Cyborg Mycon Podships
(14 x 21 = 294 pts.)
Mycon wins with 9 remaining Podships!

ANALYSIS:
The Zoq-Fot-Pik did much better than in the previous match-ups at least, and since each Mycon ship destroyed was worth 21 points, eliminating 4 Podships is worth the exact same amount of the entire fleet of Stingers! The ZFP were also more proficient with their usage of the Tongue Attack technique, but it also left much to be desired, since often times when they were closing in for a good tongue lashing they had unfortunately depleted their auxiliary battery supply by showering the Podship’s hull with a nice spray of antimatter, so the Stinger vessel would instead harmlessly (and pathetically) bounce off of the side of the Podship, which became an unfortunate theme of the battle, along with Stinger being constantly occupied with worrying about diffusing with its Antimatter Spray the many Homing Plasmoids unleashed during the course of the battle, which also allowed the Mycon to blow their own clouds of spores and continuously regenerate their crew. In fact, the ZFP would have been better off ignoring the plasmoids altogether or even use them to their advantage and steer them into the Podship, which only occurred seldomly and only by pure happenstance. One other thing worthy of mentioning was one of the Stingers actually managed to defeat a Mycon by finishing them off with a vicious tongue attack! Excellent! Plus, just by pure coincidence (and NOT because I spent a very long time last night trying to recreate the scenario using a dummy Mycon at the controls ;) ) I just so happened to screenshot at the precise moment when the Stinger landed the winning shot:


Image

“That’s Znuff of you!” - Captain TotToe (pictured above)
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by Quasispatial » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:03 pm

So I figured I'd try doing the same with the Stinger as what I did with the Nemesis against the Podship, way back when. Partially to demonstrate how poor the Stinger AI is, partially just 'cause it's fun. As it turns out, it's much easier to defeat Mycon with Stingers than Nemesis-craft. Mostly because the Stingers' energy regen (and energy efficiency) is infinitely better, but still. So, without further ado:
"I'd make a good starship captain, Captain! I'm pretty darn mean in a fight, and there ain't nobody better than me with a thrusting stinger tongue attack!" - an unnamed Pik.
14 Awesome Cyborg Mycon Podships (21 points each, total 294 points)
Versus
1 Quasispatial-controlled Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger (6 points each, total 6 points)
Result: Stinger takes 0 damage worth 0 points. All Podships are dead for a total worth of 294 points.
Analysis: Total curbstomp. Once you learn how the Podship works, it's incredibly easy to manipulate, and this time, the Mycon really paid the price! My general tactic was to keep out of the direct reach of the plasmoids, spraying the Podship with pellets whenever I was able, and adding a tongue-lash here and there when it felt appropriate. There were a few points, however, which felt especially glorious. Two in particular stand out from the rest.
The first one took place relatively early into the engagement. I charged a Podship, delivering a powerful tongue-lashing just outside of the local planetoid's gravity range. The Podship had already fired one plasmoid after me, which was relentlessly pursuing, and as I tongued it (the ship), a second plasmoid was launched. Not to be deterred, I entered the gravity well, slingshotted a whole 'lap' around the planet itself, and then finished the Podship off with a spray of antimatter pellets. All in about two seconds.
The second one was actually much more interesting. I was chasing the Podship. It entered the local gravity well, slingshotting away from me. Knowing that slingshotting after it would just lead to disaster, I instead used the planet to make a 180, slingshotting in the opposite direction to the Podship itself. We met far from the gravity well. It was not a collision. However, we were practically adjacent for just a brief moment... and I used that time well, delivering a perfectly-timed tongue-lash between two ships slingshotting in opposite directions, and then allowed my momentum to carry me safely away from the Podship's plasmoid retaliation. It was truly a great example of how to use the Tongue.
I also screenshotted the victory screen, so here's an image for those who are curious:

So, to sum it up, the Stinger is a great ship in the right hands. Now, it takes some training to really get the hang of it, but once you know how to use it, that ship's one cost-effective vessel. Letting the Podship burn all its energy on regeneration, and then zipping in for a double-tongue to insta-kill before the Podship can even muster the energy for a single plasmoid is also nice.
Hmm, I wonder what foe I'll target next...
Last edited by Quasispatial on Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

krulle
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Re: The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger

Post by krulle » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:50 am

How about the time limit the game imposes on you?
you can tackle that.... ;)

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