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The Black Swimmer

AAR SotS Liir

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#1 Space Voyager

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:37 AM

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The shame. Shame and disgust. My own and that of others, blinding emotions running through my sanity. Whether I would endure or break was uncertain. But the pain was even worse. I felt every wound and heard every scream of my kind, battling across the expanses of the galaxy, leaving frozen water of Muur scattered among the debris of machines of war.

War.

My mind was filled with shame of my brothers, sowing death upon living creatures, risking their own reason in the cries. But finally I had to admit their actions are patches sewn over the Song, preventing it from falling silent. Still I kept my ears shut to the growing disharmony for as long as I could. Then the murmur of life upset started to invade my song, too. I couldn't bear it any more, listening and doing nothing to heal the chords. Elder at my age, others expected me to teach the young, sing and await my own end in meditation. Disharmony and silence take my age!

So I cloaked myself in shame of my people and took the exile. Swimming in the black sea, the machines I once loathed carry me around. I give the orders to take lives and bear the weight of consequences. I take as much responsibility for pain we cause as I can to make life of my fellow Black Swimmers a fraction easier. They care for me, too. Our song takes us through murky waters, each battle won adds to the harmony of life.

We will win and be reborn or die trying.




#2 silencer_pl

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:11 PM

Are you excited as me Veki ? :D Go SV... if you manage to win on difficult I will bow before you. I see that you made a start much more like in Sots2 with 3 systems :)
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#3 Space Voyager

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:01 PM

Well, I will try, anyway. :) I'm still unsure what dirty things to allow myself as hard is pretty unforgiving. I'm not going to deceive the AI by changing course, the rest may not be out of the question. Bio-war is even lore based with Liir, driver fleets to pulverize infrastructure (like dealing with AI rebellion in Antiquarians scenario AAR), perhaps even turret sniping. Though this last one is last on the menu as the AI is unable to do it.

#4 Thorondor

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:34 PM

The song beckons and I drift no more. I am in thy wake. Brother, I trust the strength of your melody.

We will follow and flow towards ultimate deliverance.

Our hymns, I know, will echo even in our descendant's waters.

::

Command then these machines if you must. They will make your wise tune heard today!

#5 silencer_pl

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:48 PM

What dark sorcery is this Posted Image

Edit: BTW SV, if you are recording with Fraps - can you enable cursor in future movies so I can see what are you "thinking" ?
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#6 Veki

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:43 AM

silencer_pl said:

Are you excited as me Veki ? Posted Image
You bet! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Space Voyager said:

I'm still unsure what dirty things to allow myself as hard is pretty unforgiving.
All of them! Posted Image  (you'll need them Posted Image )

#7 Space Voyager

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:08 AM

 silencer_pl, on 07 July 2012 - 04:48 PM, said:

Edit: BTW SV, if you are recording with Fraps - can you enable cursor in future movies so I can see what are you "thinking" ?

I am recording with X-Fire and I can enable the cursor, though I intentionally removed it to make battles more cinematic. But I guess it can be distracting when things just pop-up from nowhere. Ok, I'll put it back in, no problemo.

BTW, I'm having same flickering problems in video capture that I mentioned in last AAR. Funny, I go to CCC and force frames to either 60Hz or "desktop" setting and the flickering stops. Then I turn the comp on the next time and it is back. Going nuts here. Where can I find AA settings in CCC? I looked everywhere but can't find it. Could texture filtering (trilinear) have an influence on this, too?

#8 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:56 AM

I wish I could help but I don't know how to solve your problem other than switching to Nvidia :D.

You could try the old way with new drivers, new CCC etc. Texture filtering shouldn't have influence. And that forcing v-synch. You don't have to save the options somewhere, to profile maybe? That is why I keep away from Radeons. They maybe good, but you don't have that many problems with GeForces.

You may try switching to Fraps or Hypercam for recording and check if this problem occurs there. Both are free so there is no problem witch checking.


A quick google suggest that Xfire is the culprit here. Based on other example try this:

"Open Xfire, go to tools>options>games and find StarCraft (for you SotS). Disable Xfire in game"
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#9 Space Voyager

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:09 PM

As you were already able to see in the setup vid, there are all factions present,
but Zuul have three empires. That is to possibly allow "superzuul" forming, as they
tend not to fight too much. Instead the weaker one submits so they can become
much meaner together.


Our local neighbourhood, the cluster we're in.



Liir main strength is research and our main weakness is reproduction - our populations
grow slowly. Starting on a large map actually gives us some much needed time in which
we will try to outperform other empires enough to somewhat negate a 50% bonus it gets
in both research and income. The only way to get this is taking enough time for biotechs
and a quick move to trade, both very difficult in a small map where you need combat
applications researched ASAP.

Let's start, mainly towards a baby-boom.



First ships are built and exploration wave is on the way, led by "Tok" (Current) class destroyers.



Closest systems are explored. We find some nice future colonies, this one being
the best available.



We need colonies even cheaper, so we continue with bio research.



Just when I started to wonder if I changed the randoms settings at startup, we find some.

First we stumble upon an independent colony. Tarka.



As usually independents don't wish to fight and I don't want to destroy them just yet.
Or at all. I'll see about investing into Xenotechs to include them into our empire without
a fight. Their CH is a problem though. It is at the extremes compared to our own,
so their populations would grow very, very slowly. That reminds me... Overpopulation!!!
I need to remember to crank up the population numbers at colonies that will not present
the backbone of our production efforts.

Next comes an Asteroid monitor. Our scout is destroyed at the very edge of asteroid shadow.
I actually forgot to look at the planet. What it looks like tells a lot about its
habitability. I'll send another scout, hoping it will survive.



And last, the Swarm. No survivors, naturally.





Our "Voda" (Water) class colonization ships are already being built but we press on
some more to make the shock of supporting new colonies as small and short as possible.



Lets see where it is all happening.




#10 silencer_pl

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:09 PM

If you go for fast UV lasers you could destroy that swarm and I know that After Environmental Tailoring the last one research (not nanites) is expensive.

How are other planets? My luck always gives me 300+. And please do tell witch colony will be overpopulated.
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#11 Space Voyager

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:04 PM

Planets with CH 300-400 are not a huge problem with all the biotechs. So
our range of affordable colonies is quite big.

As far as lasers go I was thinking much the same as you, but it turned out
different. Better.

At Laertes we find a nice surprise.



Our scout disagrees while it burns in the fire or an antimatter torpedo, but the
planet behind it is well worth looking at. All water, just what need.And stripping
the artifact brings a nice research bonus, too. We'll have to get back to it.

As you were able to see in the last picture of the previous update, another of our
scouts visited the system with Asteroid monitor to check on the habitability.
Contrary to what you may have thought, we have not started researching a special
project as soon as it became available. We can't afford to throw money out the
window. If this turned out to be a waste(land), it can wait. Well, it isn't.



Our new research focuses on lowering the price of ships. And something better to
equip them with. Something that helps against the Swarm and helps strip derelicts.



Exploration of the nearby star cloud is under way.



The Swarm is on the move. Course... our colony. Even if we had ships to match
the menace, we could not get them there in time. Colony has no production of
its own to speak of. We will leave it be until the last turn for the waterforming.



In a stroke of luck we get green beamers. As it presents an incredibly accurate
laser beam, we go for it before we start a major military buildup. Next, more
industry is always good. Twenty percent is a lot!



First time in my SotS history do I see these available:



We will not go for the research at the moment, we have more pressing matters.
Green will have to do.

Finally we get a military ship design. Meet a defensively oriented ship,
a "Morska vetrnica" (Menemony) class destroyer. It is armed purely with green
beamers so that it is most efficient against VN and spectres should any of
these pay us a visit. It is time we defend the colonies properly.



Needless to say, the accuracy of our weaponry should do short work of swarmers
and enemy turrets alike. We start production of four destroyers at all worlds.
Offensive fleet is being built at starting worlds.

Would the game really be hard if there was no stick to beat us? But does it really
need to hurt this bad?



Just to show that I'm really trying to cut the cost in all corners; most of our
new colonization fleets are using "Jezero" (Lake) class tankers, reused from former
missions. They are travelling from baby colonies and are intercepting tanker-less
fleets. Catching on the fly is possible with point to point FTL propulsions only.



A sad moment.



We need numbers in the field. First those, then we sprint towards trading!



That seems quite fast! A great new colony awaits!



#12 silencer_pl

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:45 PM

Green beamers aren't that superb and If I am right while playing with humans and morrigi against swarm my best defence was UV lasers and if you can have X-Ray lasers then even better. Can you show us your profit and balance? How many turns for research do you have? By turn 100 you should be swimming in fusion tech.
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#13 Space Voyager

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:24 PM

I'm afraid that would be far too late. We'll need that speed sooner.

You can judge green beamers just a few pics later, in a vid. Also in most research
pics you can see the time needed for it. Like 5 turns for Battle Computers in last
research update. I'll take a budget pic in a later update, no problem.

Fusion is definitely on a soon-to-be list, but having an early trade will gain us
much more in every way. That is what money does...



Immediately we start production on trade ships.



Our planets now show their trade capacity. It will be much bigger a bit later on,
with overpopulation cranked up.



Clean-up fleet has arrived, closely followed by colonizers.






The Swarm has been removed without a single loss. And first trade ships start making
money!

We have everything we need for new homes. What we lack completely are eyes.


First colony in another cluster!



And extreme exploration of the third.



After resettling Beezarro II, most of the fleet heads to the derelict.



Eyes, now speed and higher energies!



We find another derelict, just waiting to be stripped of its weapons.



When our new eyes kick in, we see more. Much more. We've got company. First Zuul,
first target. There will be no talking, no use.  



The grand plan.



#14 silencer_pl

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:56 PM

Hmm maybe you are better or maybe with Liir beamers are better all the way. Keep it going.
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#15 Thorondor

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:01 PM

Nice light show, SV. Posted Image

::

Zap them dissonant beings out of our song space!

#16 Space Voyager

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:50 PM

I'll do what you both are saying. :) Though I'm toying with a thought of having them as pets once again, he he he! I want to at least try if they lower a colony's income or even shut trade routes.

#17 silencer_pl

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:28 PM

Short answer  - no. But they will attack dozen of turns later so have some defences there. And disable planetary missiles :P
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#18 Space Voyager

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:41 AM

Meeting Zuul is always something special. Makes for a nice firework, sadly of our
own fuel.



Derelict is stripped! It went like a hot knife through butter. Literally, I had to
be very careful not to destroy it. I should have used less ships, it would be easier
to coordinate.





Three ships lost were tankers that I forgot to get to asteroid shadow on time. AM
torpedo got to the first one, that one blew... Fleet is temporarily stranded but
colonizers with tankers are incoming.

Second Asteroid Monitor is found.



I can only guess that Zuul got to it first but I'm going to risk the research. If
we get it, Zuul advance would be somewhat more difficult. Not that we should count
on that.

Cluster with Zuul has more derelicts. I hope to get to them first.



The Swarm is on the move again!



Our fleet at the derelict will be a turn late but the colony can take care of itself
now. At least against the Swarm. Finally we'll get the numbers and see if we can
harvest the honey.

A view of trade sectors in the original cluster.



Yes, why would we want to be on time - or early - on techs that really matter?!

Ha, this is a nice surprise! There was a Liir independent world in the Zuul cluster!



We get a colony for free! This could help a lot.

A test of biome colonizers;



Damn, climate hazard went from almost 400 to 300 with three cruisers only! Six infra
and 14.000 Liir on the planet per ship! We're only building these from now on.

And now, ladies and gents, The Test. I've been waiting for this for the last three
AARs and this is the first time I get to do it. Bugs are knocking.

Let's welcome them in.



First we test what happens if we destroy the Swarm. So, colony development as usual.



Then we let it live. Bring us honey, bee!



Noooooo no no no... This is not honey... I admit it, I'm really disappointed. I'd love
the idea of harnessing these beautiful bees and letting them live. Even if they did
not bring any improvement. But this... Industrial output down to half, income lowered.
Sorry bees, I'm afraid I have no technology to keep you around without risking
the existence of the Song.

As the original intention was to try it out, I'm continuing from that version. We'll
need clean-up. Meaning moving fleet from and to the planet until the event is triggered.

Ahhhhhh, wellllll. Too bad, really. Song continues, if a bit blue.

We're adding more colonizers to Laertes. Only showing this for the ticker art.



Did I mention that Zuul have cruisers? No sign of cruiser CnC ship yet.



Fi na lly fusion.



We can create non-combat designs and start building them, meanwhile we'll add some
more toys to make combatants last longer.

Second exploration wave in the empty neighbouring cluster. Quite some peachy colonies
here, we were waiting for fusion to build colony ships.

A view at the budget.



And space around us as we know it. We'll go deeper, further with fusion, worry not.



#19 silencer_pl

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:25 AM

And that is why he is the master here :P
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#20 Space Voyager

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:08 AM

No masters around here. I'll be lucky if we turn out as survivors, he he he!

Lets make sure our fleet can be repaired, then we go for some weapons to add the punch.



Ha, I've been fearing a colony trap for a long time but it seemed missing. We found one,
luckily with sufficient technology to fight it off. Even better, we have an asteroid
monitor to help us!





Beezaro II, ill-fated honey-maker, and Azar, our local bee source, are cleaned. I still
mourn the fate of the Swarm.



Žarek upanja (Ray of hope) class cruiser is under construction at our homeworld. All our
ship designs are updated with UV beamers.



Adding numbers to the battlefield, then for some more empire development. Also, this
research can lead to better armour, Magnoceramic lattices.



The turn with missing research was not there on purpose, I forgot to designate a new one.
Money will be well spent though.

Ha, this is a nice surprise! Not only did we win another Asteroid Monitor, it is a very,
VERY nice colony to boot! Size 9, almost zero waterforming needed. Zuul made a mistake.



Back in turn 71 we noticed a Swarm in the second cluster. I didn't pay it much notice as
we can clean it up quite easily with beamers.



But the Swarm Queen came in Force. I can consider myself lucky that the colony survived.
Seriously, the number of swarmers was so high that they destroyed all defenders, a force
I considered excessive. An expensive lesson.



We started building a clean-up force immediately. Cruisers, we'll need a strong presence
in the cluster anyway.

Getting Data Synergy allows us to build a cruiser-sized CnC. We call our new cruise class
Zbor (Chorus).







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