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Author Topic: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build  (Read 458 times)

Baxter

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Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« on: March 04, 2024, 02:28:57 PM »

I'm working on my first win, and I've decided to go for the easy one -- a FarCom Flight-Hacker build. I'm currently on -6, and I'd like some advice on how to proceed.

Right now, I've been using wheels and large storage for parts-collection. I'm grabbing micro-power units and Improved VTOL Modules, which I've also scanned. I'm currently running with 1 Power, 5 Propulsion, 7 Utility, and 2 Weapon. I know I want to focus on propulsion and utility for this build, but at what point would it make sense to add a second Power slot? Is there any other Utilities I should be prioritizing? (I need a Hacker Suite, for example.) Any advice would be wonderful.

I've also attached my current stats, if that helps.

Thanks very kindly!
« Last Edit: March 04, 2024, 03:10:21 PM by Baxter »
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lyrabold

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2024, 03:41:37 PM »

Hey there.

As for utilities you should prioritize: plenty of hackware, a piece of light armor, a medium storage unit, exp. utility shielding, and a structural scanner will serve you well. If you have enough spare support, medium armor could do. You don't need four power sources as backup on flight, as most builds will only really be able to handle 10 slots of inventory at this stage of the run, and other parts will fail before you run through that many engines.

A reliable way to get hacking suites is to kill operators with something with neutral or positive salvage, but be sure not to corrupt them, because hackware fries easily. The equation is in the manual if you want more details, but corrupting them to death will result in 90% of hackware frying. A typical rule of thumb for hackstacks is to have about 2-3 times as much hacking offense as you do hacking defense.

If you can find cooled or "Cld." flight units of any kind, those are great (except for Cld. Cesium-Ion thrusters, they have paper-thin integrity). They're capable of overloading, basically letting you get the heck outta dodge when you need to, for a small durability cost, and generate less heat. Cld. VTOL Modules can be hacked for at a level 2 terminal on -7, making them a great first cooled flight unit.

The main things I would say you want right now are hacking suites and a medium storage unit, the former of which you'll find from any operators, and the latter of which you'll find on any recycler from -6 and up.

The easiest way to get a flight build off the ground is to find your thrusters and hackware in Materials and transition at the entrance of Factory. Structural scanner can be great for finding hidden doors and quick digs between rooms. Once you learn to dig around the complex effectively, it's like a whole new world opens up. Digging a bit (1 tile melee, 3 tiles if dug at range) is a great way to move around undetected.

About your question regarding a second power slot: It depends on a number of factors. The main thing to think about is that unless you have a need for the extra power, then an additional engine is dead weight requiring extra flight units. Flight can often make great use of fusion compressors for boosts of energy when needed, and is fine running around at ~-0.6 energy per move.
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Baxter

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2024, 10:26:21 PM »

lyrabold, thanks so much for the detailed response. I appreciate this.

Noted about the engines, hackware, and thrusters. In my builds, I've been focusing a lot on digging, and it's highly effective -- a great strategic tool.

I unfortunately lost on the run I referenced, but I'll be starting a new one with all your advice in mind. Thank you again for sharing this!
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Baxter

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2024, 08:24:16 PM »

lyrabold, following your advice, I was able to get to -2 -- the furthest I've gotten. So, slowly but surely, I'm getting a little better. Thanks again for your help!
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lyrabold

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2024, 01:24:36 PM »

Glad to hear! Research can be a bit of a spike in difficulty, for sure. Especially because you can't go cool off your alert in the caves anymore. Though, depending on some stuff you do earlier in the run, it can get a little easier with friends ;]
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Baxter

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2024, 03:15:36 PM »

I've actually gotten to Research twice since you last posted, and you're right -- it's definitely more challenging.

One thing in partcular I have trouble with are Extermination Squads. When I get the alert, I try to recall them when near a terminal, but this isn't always possible. Their EM weapons quickly fry utilities, which isn't ideal but not the end of the world; but my flight propulsion units also go pretty quickly, and that becomes a more serious problem. Any advice for handling the late game, and these squads in particular?

I carry around a melee / digging tool. I employ different utilities -- trap scanners, visual processors, terrain scanners / processors, structural scanners, transmission jammers, and lots of hacking suites and system shields. I try to hack terminals (botnets, tracking, assimilation, alert purging). For Extermination Squads, I carry powerful kinetic weapons, like Gauss Rifles and Cannons, and corruption-reducing components. I try to scan my hacking suites and flight propulsion units and fabricate them, but perhaps not often enough. I do a pretty good job of avoiding main corridors and generally remaining undetected.

If you have even a few words of advice, that would be great! Thanks kindly for all your help.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2024, 03:23:28 PM by Baxter »
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lyrabold

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2024, 09:32:58 PM »

EM weapons are no more potent than anything else with regards to frying utilities, at least on your own body. "Frying" parts only comes into play when salvage is considered. Hopefully your own salvage calculations never need to be done >:P

Anyway, my advice about exterm squads: Hacking of about 2-3 offense per 1 defense is a good ratio, as far as the stats on the hackware right on your body. Is nicely supplemented with friendly operators via Trojan(Assimilate) for their hacking bonus + trap scanning. Should let you nicely recall(extermination), but keep in mind when you see some low-level terminals or ones with direct recall hacks on them, and consider leaving them available for future use. Exp. utility shielding is a good part to slot in on large hack stacks, or flight builds in general: lets you centralize your repairs in one place, and protect your good stuff.

Your flight units shouldn't be quite so flimsy that they go quickly, at least assuming you're using the good stuff (prototypes, arrays, sometimes surge thrusters). As flight, you don't want to fight at all unless you have the advantage, however. Gauss rifles are not powerful kinetic weapons. If you've got to engage with enemies on flight, my recommendation is usually long range launching & retreating, such that the enemy can never hit you. In the case of hunkering down to fight a prog squad that couldn't be recalled, you want to use some kind of big thermal / kinetic cannon, such that one core hit is enough to kill. Keep in mind they're 25% vulnerable to these damage types (i.e. effective damage = 1.25*weapon damage).

Flight hacking builds can make great use out of repair stations. They're a lovely way to keep your build fresh :]
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Baxter

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2024, 01:42:47 PM »

Amazing -- thank you again for the detailed, helpful response!

I'll aim for more offensive hackware. So far, I've been using mostly defensive hackware, but I can see it's making me vulnerable to attack. And noted about the weapons. I was shying away from launchers, because I know they can spike alert levels, but I suppose I can reduce that at terminals. (Plus, such engagements shouldn't be happening much, anyway.) I'll keep a cannon on hand, too.

I've been dedicating slots to swappable hackware -- for example, if exterminators are called in and I can't recall them, I'll swap in utility shielding; when I'm roaming, I'll slot in a trap scanner.

I'll take another peek at the manual, too, and fill in some knowledge gaps.

Again, I really appreciate you sharing this with me! Thanks kindly.
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lyrabold

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2024, 06:14:04 PM »

Oh yeah, one extra thing I should note: Your prog-killer cannon will also usually be a suitable digging cannon. From -6 and up, thermal cannons capable of breaking walls get pretty common. The reason thermal is usually best as a digging cannon is because kinetic weapons have a matter cost, and also sometimes have a swingy enough damage range to make them only sometimes dig.

Also, a note about the hackware: having little offensive hackware doesn't make you "vulnerable to attack", but it does make your attacking less powerful. While the defensive side of hackware lets you get more attempts in at any given machine, all the defense in the world means diddly squat if you don't have the offense (increased chance of success) to back those attempts up. It also helps to know that there's something of a cap on defensive hackware (chance of detection on a machine bottoms out at 10% instead of being driven even lower) while offensive hackware can just keep stacking. Which is good, because if you want some specific high-level schematics, or lots of purge/recall, you're going to be fighting a heavy malus.
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Baxter

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Re: Advice for a FarCom Flight-Hacker Build
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2024, 02:46:28 PM »

Thank you for the additional advice! I really appreciate it.

Look forward to (hopefully soon) posting about my first successful run. 8)
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