SPAZ - Space Pirates and Zombies

I'm currently playing the game again on Veteran difficulty in a small galaxy of 150 stars. The difficulty jump is incredible. Getting out of sol put me in a level 5 system and all of the systems around me are 7-12. I'm currently clawing my way up the ranks. Newer ships help a lot.

The increase in combat difficulty is a welcome change. The "default" difficulty actually gives the AI a handicap, now we are on even terms.

Now that I have my internet access back, I'm jumping into this. Put about 2 hours in so far and really love it.

Question... thinking of going beams and reactors.... is this wise? Should I be doing something else?

You eventually get access to an anti-shield cannon and an anti-armour beam. But until then you would be much better off having a mixed loadout of all three weapon types. For the non-weapon stats the big three important ones are shield-armour-hull. Even a few levels of each stat can double your toughness. Don't worry about the complicated things like Subsystems, Crew, and Drones just yet.

I hated the Right Hook. Loovvvveed the Crawler. For me, at least, that was far and away the best ship in its size class.

Major edit: I had some tactics in here, but I've removed them, because the fun of SPAZ is figuring it out yourself. So I'm not gonna say whether you'll like beams or not -- try them and find out.

I will say this, though: Lobster's idea of using capslock for stabilization is great! Man, I wish I'd thought of that when I was going through. Argh!

Does that trick with capslock work with other "hold down" commands in other games too? I never thought of that!

Sadly, it seems the capslock thing doesn't ALWAYS work. I thought it might be something related to ship size but now it seems like the coding isn't really designed to handle it and it worked the first time due to some sort of glitch, which is a real shame because it was incredibly handy when it did work. So, to those of you who can get it to work I'd advise you enjoy it while you can. Me, I think I'm going to have to set up a macro. Either that or precariously stack my phone on top of a bottlecap, on top of the X key.

I had a disruptor turret but it never really seemed to do anything. I've almost unlocked the ion turret which seems like it'll stun enemies and could be really useful. The leech turret also looks wonderfully useful as it would prevent my enemies from firing and keep my ship powered.

I don't really like cannons because the refire rate is so low and it's so easy to miss. There seems to be a rapid fire version I'm working toward but I don't have it yet so I mostly go beam. I tried the Crawler for a bit but didn't find the damage output to be as good as the Right Hook. The Big Brother is interesting and good in theory, but it just didn't seem as durable or powerful as the numbers indicated. Right now I'm rocking the Right Hook with three of those shotgun-style cannons and a cannon booster, which seems to tear just about anything to shreds. I tried switching to cloak but found it really wasn't all that helpful. Sure it gets me up close enough to hit but then I'm vulnerable once I'm there, and the 33% damage boost isn't really worth it for a single volley. I have a better cloak that offers a 50% boost but I'd need to put a ton of research into cloaking technology to use it.

In my last playthrough I used full on cannons. They seemed to be much more powerful than beams or missiles. You get stronger cannons, then rapid fire cannons, then anti-shield cannons, then shield piercing cannons. Beams never really seemed to compare. But according to the patch notes they should have done some rebalancing. In this run I'm using limited cannons and focusing on things I didn't try the first time like Cloaking.

Tamren wrote:

I'm currently playing the game again on Veteran difficulty in a small galaxy of 150 stars. The difficulty jump is incredible. Getting out of sol put me in a level 5 system and all of the systems around me are 7-12. I'm currently clawing my way up the ranks. Newer ships help a lot.

The increase in combat difficulty is a welcome change. The "default" difficulty actually gives the AI a handicap, now we are on even terms.

Veteran small is probably the ideal play.

Cannons are definitely highest DPS. Beams, if they are worth it in a minmaxing sense (hey, they're still cool aesthetically :)) would be worth it because of the status effects. Cannons won't do anything to stop an enemy hitting you back until that enemy is actually destroyed, but a combo of Ion and Leech Beams will pretty much disable your enemy long before they are actually destroyed. And in the early game, beams really shine; shields are the toughest nut followed by hull, while beam's weakness, armor, doesn't show up much.

I doubt Cannons are anything but tops later in the game - pretty much from the Energy Burst Cannon onward when that module addresses their main problem. Cannons' main downside is that they're a difficult path in the early game, when you haven't boosted their damage enough for them to be effective against shields, and your enemies don't have much armor anyway.

Has anyone tried a no-armor playthrough? The more I play it the more SPAZ hammers home that it's about specialization, and I'm beginning to think that going completely armorless could be worth it for the speed - especially since I can then spend tech points on only two defensive categories.

Tried a bit of the Mule tonight. Man I love 3 beam turrets focused on an enemy. But it still felt so sluggish compared to the Helix. And I started missing my mobile turret companion too.

Still only the 3 large ships unlocked.

Finished another story mission, but still in the same chapter so no mothership upgrades.

I really have to push myself to focus towards story missions. The completionist in me wants to visit every single system so I don't miss anything.

Can you set all ships to AI control for mining?

Stele wrote:

I really have to push myself to focus towards story missions. The completionist in me wants to visit every single system so I don't miss anything. :lol:

Spoiler:

There's really only one story mission worth pushing yourself to complete (or perhaps to get to) and that's Big Fish, as it will result in the first big mothership upgrade, and do so without immediate consequences. Otherwise, if you want to explore, I say do so. The story missions will always wait for you. :)

Baron Of Hell wrote:

Can you set all ships to AI control for mining?

No, you're always going to be controlling a ship. If you want to auto-mine outside a friendly Civ Mining station, just take control of your last & smallest slot and park it a little bit aways from the station and its asteroid. The other two ships will fly around your vicinity picking up Rez and will automatically dump it off at the beacon when full.

Also if you give a ship a Mining Laser, even just one. It will automatically roam around and shoot up asteroids automatically. When you clear out a map and find it full of asteroids and other random debrit it can be worth it to swap out your combat ship for some miners.

I think I now have to play this tonight. So many games... so little time.

Oh wow. Tried out all the Large ships tonight except the Big Bus. Haven't quite decided yet. I really like the Grinder, with a dual turret on the one turret it has, and the main gun and 2 launchers. It feels solid, but will be moreso when I unlock the triple-turret thing.

Also the Crawler is just fun. 8 turrets.

Found several more cool side missions tonight. And moved onto the next chapter of the story I think... well the mothership got upgraded at least. Now I feel stupid for keeping so many Specialists that had the strength "Loner" since now I have 2 spots.

But it's very nice to have a Med wingman.

I still haven't taken down a lvl3 space station. Tried with one that I really wanted to steal stuff from but I got hammered pretty well. That was before this last upgrade though. Maybe the improved wingman will help. I did get the shields down but then got wiped out once and before I could respawn, the support ships took out my gate. Didn't seem worth it to keep wasting resources. But I feel pretty close now.

Also made the switch from beams to cannons. First, it was because I had this strong vs shields cannon which was really cool. It shredded shields maybe better than my beams had been. Then I finally got the particle cannon that is good vs all and has fantastic energy usage. That's now on all my ships.

I wanted to get through the game without respec since there is that achievement. But it's hard not to just totally empty out beams and put it on shields, engines, reactor, or cannons. Guess I'll see how long I can hold out.

They must have added respeccing in a recent patch, because that wasn't there when I was playing through. Personally, I think making mistakes on what I bought, and then recovering, without respeccing, was a lot of what made the game fun, because I had to adapt my tactics to suit the weapons. I'd spent my points on weapon X, and weapon X didn't work how I wanted it to, so I had to either adapt my combat style to make it effective, use other weapons that weren't as expensive and were perhaps too weak for the zone I was in, or else grind out some more research points to fix my mistake.

Kloreep wrote:

Has anyone tried a no-armor playthrough? The more I play it the more SPAZ hammers home that it's about specialization, and I'm beginning to think that going completely armorless could be worth it for the speed - especially since I can then spend tech points on only two defensive categories.

There's a button that lets you jettison all of your armor specifically for that purpose: dump and run. I think you get it back for free between jumps.

Played for 3 hours last night and really enjoyed it.

I'm a level 18 with level 3 in Shields, Armour, Hull, Beams, Reactors and level 5 in cannons. Is this good?

I'm flying around with my Tug and 2 turtleheads as companions and we seem to be doing pretty well. The other medium ships just can't sway me yet. What's the best medium ship?

For mediums, l really love the Hound with a couple of particle cannon turrets.

My personal favorite is the Yacht. Definitely not for turret-lovers though.

Turrets just auto aim right?

BlackSabre wrote:

Turrets just auto aim right?

You can toggle that on or off.

So what's their benefit then?

I like turrets because you can attack regardless of facing. You circle the enemy with one side facing them until that armor panel starts to get a little orange, then rotate another facing, etc. etc. By the time you get back to the first facing it's mostly repaired.

Circle strafe! The hound's turrets let it maneuver wildly and still engage targets at any angle. Use auto-turret when mixing it up or go to manual targetting when on special missions, such as destroying non-ship targets. For its utility slot, I usually put in a point defense.

Turrets don't just auto-aim, they auto-fire.

BlackSabre wrote:

So what's their benefit then?

As Yonder said, they can attack regardless of facing. That means you can focus on flying out of your opponent's cone of attack without sacrificing your own firepower, and larger ships turn much more slowly than their turrets. If you don't like them, you can always research the Fixed Turret Mount, which turns a turret into a forward-facing weapon mount of one size larger.

I have the particle beam but need one more level in cannons before I can actually use it. In the meantime I've been using a Grinder with the scatter cannon on its huge mount and support modules on everything else. It's kind of ridiculous how powerful it is, but it's difficult to line up a shot. I think I might put an ion laser on its turret to stun enemies and line them up for a blasting. I might put that on a fixed turret mount too since it seems like a huge waste to fire at a target that isn't in front of the huge mount.

Anyone know if there are any mods or anything out there to reduce the number of goons required for a bribe? At this stage in the game I can keep 150 extra, which is usually just enough for two bribes (increasingly often, only nearly enough for two). It kind of sucks having to spend a half hour per station harvesting enough goons to use their black market, especially when they attack my mothership the moment I show up. In those situations there's nothing I can do but fight back, which pisses them off, which means I'll need to spend even more goons on bribes.

Hey, civvies, UTA... how about you take MONEY as a bribe, instead of slaves? I'm not comfortable with this.

On the plus side, I was staring down a hateful UTA with a few blueprints I wanted when I noticed their station was only "outpost" level. Took me less than a minute to obliterate the station and its escorts with no losses.

I say bah humbug to bribing them for warpgate access. Just attack and take control. Keep all the goons and rez to yourself... right where they should be.

Irongut wrote:

I say bah humbug to bribing them for warpgate access. Just attack and take control. Keep all the goons and rez to yourself... right where they should be. ;)

Yeah, I do that too. It's buying blueprints that's the problem.

Maybe I just haven't played as far, but I've always just milked the missions to gain favor with the side the shop is on. I've done very little bribing.

Yonder wrote:

I like turrets because you can attack regardless of facing. You circle the enemy with one side facing them until that armor panel starts to get a little orange, then rotate another facing, etc. etc. By the time you get back to the first facing it's mostly repaired.

Ah! Thanks!

LiquidMantis wrote:

Maybe I just haven't played as far, but I've always just milked the missions to gain favor with the side the shop is on. I've done very little bribing.

That's what I'm doing so far too. So what level do I need to be before I can take out a space station? Still have my tug and two turtleheads.