Author Topic: Survey Mother-ship and Drones  (Read 538 times)

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Offline BasileusMaximos

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Survey Mother-ship and Drones
« on: November 06, 2016, 01:42:01 AM »
I want to make exploration ships which do no explore planets themselves but rather release a number of geo/grav survey drones whenever they enter a system.

How difficult is this to set up in terms of design and in management?
 

Offline baconholic

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Re: Survey Mother-ship and Drones
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 11:06:11 AM »
I found it easier to use lots of FACs with proper fuel and maintenance than fighters, mothership is not really necessary. Management wise, it's quite easy when you combine survey and follow higher fleet default order and use divide fleet into single ship order and assemble fleet when everything's done.
 

Offline TT

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Re: Survey Mother-ship and Drones
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 05:47:22 PM »
I usually create a number of geo and grav fighter that are slow with efficient engines, years of deployment time, enough fuel to operate for years and the appropriate sensors. Clever use of orders can reduce the micro and I end up with a cheap set of ships to handle my survey needs. They are low visibility so that when they blunder into bad guys, most survive.

I can usually get 5 HS of mission space out of my fighters if I don't need to operate them at traditional fighter speeds. That allows a lot of functions to be handled by ships that don't need a slip to produce.
 

Offline BasileusMaximos

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Re: Survey Mother-ship and Drones
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2016, 12:24:56 AM »
You think you could make a survey ship which launches missile buoys at survey points? It would make surveying very quick as with sufficient tech all you'd have to do is enter a system, launch probes, and move on.
 

Offline Black

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Re: Survey Mother-ship and Drones
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2016, 02:02:00 AM »
Surveying with probes is possible but it could get quite expensive and time consuming to set up in systems with large asteroid belts or large number of moons.
 

Offline Rich.h

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Re: Survey Mother-ship and Drones
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2016, 08:56:25 AM »
What you need are survey carriers, at first they seem a daunting task and appear as though it will involve lots of micro management. However once you play with them for a time you quickly see how much more efficient they are in terms of your own time. You can find an excellent and detailed tutorial for these and other carrier types here.
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=7826.0
 

Offline Thanatos

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Re: Survey Mother-ship and Drones
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2016, 03:30:07 PM »
You may have noticed in my thread where I showed off pictures, that I use both methods, fighters and drones, for this task. I don't know what to tell you; Just for fun, I once did an entire system, and I had to add 70+ waypoints, followed by assigning 70+ fire controls. It is terrible.

However, there are a few simple rules you can implement to avoid this. Only scan bodies that have a gravity of at least 0.02. Otherwise, even if you find something, it will not be in an amount worth your time. So usually, I just enter a system, fire five or so drones on each planet, one for each moon, and let my grav survey fighters find me another jump point, which I follow through and keep exploring.

The reason why I use both methods instead of just one is because of fuel and my current situation. I have 200 million fuel in reserve, and no more sorium to make more. I cannot afford fighters. 10 fighters usually means I have to refuel 1 million fuel for each system, an expense I cannot take, and then I have to go back, and refuel another 10 million on the carrier itself. It is easier for me to lug around a collier that has geo survey missiles/drones, which don't cost me any fuel at all. Well, very little fuel.

You just need to keep in mind the following: Geo Survey drones are slow as f**k. I don't mean speed, I mean 'how long it takes for them to do their thing'. A traditional geo or grav survey has 1 or 2 points per hour, a traditional ship has 4 to 10 points per hour. A drone has a tiny fraction of that. It is very likely that I will explore two full systems before I get a read on the moons, not to mention the planets.

So yeah, it's basically, enter a system, fire drones, and move on.

Plus, the most important reason of all: I never ever put my ships in harm's way. Once I research into Advanced Geo Survey, I tend to put some space onto EM or TH sensors, so that my missiles can spot populations or dormant installations. Very useful. Lets me know when it's time to GTFO.
 

Offline Rich.h

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Re: Survey Mother-ship and Drones
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2016, 04:48:25 AM »
Depending on your RP and doctrine I would say that survey craft are far more efficient than drones, but then drones can be much faster if you have enough of them being produced. So that decision would likely come down to both how fast you want to encounter new aliens and how fast you can take advantage of new systems. Personally I always use craft over drones but I tend to adopt a simple method now with new systems as follows. All of this is based around a mothership that has the largest passive sensor suite I can build along with vast fuel reserves and multiple fuel harvesters. Along with survey craft that can do both grav and geo, move quickly and themselves have a small sensor suite on board.

1. Jump into a new system and do nothing but check the passive scans for 3-8 hours.
2. Look at how the system is put together and work out likely points where an NPR could have a homeworld/colony, then ensure to give this a wide berth.
3. Look for the system gas giants and set out to survey the ones furthest away from possible NPR locations and closest to the JP.
4. Sit the mothership above the nearest gas giant with sorium to refuel.
5. Send out the survey craft on auto and conditional orders to complete the system survey while I get on with other things.

I tend to play with large ships so this method is fairly practical for me to use, but it is also very simple and only really requires around 5 minutes tops of micromanagement for every new system I enter. Unless I discover something of interest during the survey then only the initial mothership actions and first launch of the survey craft need my input. The next time I am needed is to dock any survey craft that have run out of places to scan and pick which new JP I am going the head through next.
 

 

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