A few weeks ago, one of our team (Michael, Designer) dropped by the comments section when Dara A did a playthrough of Distant Star: Revenant Fleet and challenged him to try out the game on Elite difficulty.

So he did!  And to be fair, he did well considering how tough it is and although didn’t make it all the way to the Erebus Platform, he did what any battle-hardened A’Kari Commander would do and started again!  You can watch the end of his first Elite playthrough / start of the new run here:

However, A’Kari Command are less pleased about Dara’s failure to stop the Erebus Platform and insist that this attempt is successful.  We don’t really want to argue with A’Kari Command, so we’ve prepared some tips and tactics to help out…

Starting Fleet

A good starting fleet for new players is Assault, Pulsar and Lancer.  It’s a solid holy trinity of tank, healer and DPS.

  • The Assault can customised to become more tanky or more DPS as you prefer.
  • With 2 weapon slots, The Assault could be either a cannon or missile build (both have benefits).
  • The Pulsar is a good starting ship – being able to heal shields or hull is…useful!
  • Also, the Pulsar’s damage buff can work well in coordination with the Lancer’s ranged damage.
  • The Lancer may be bit a little squishy, but it’s ranged damage is awesome.   And deadly.  So perhaps you may want to think about dealing with enemy Lancers sooner rather than later…

On his new run, Dara chose an Assault and a Carrier (he could have also gone with the Assault and Dreadnought).

  • With no healer, damage avoidance is more important.
  • A good tactic for this is to position your fleet so one ship takes damage while another recovers its shields.
  • But, the Carrier’s drones will automatically deploy – and attract fire from enemy ships, which helps mitigate a lot of incoming damage.
    • FYI up to 15 drones (per drone bay) will deploy.
    • Drones (friendly and enemy) will self-destruct after 30 seconds (your Carrier will automatically replace them).
    • You don’t need to order the Carrier to attack – drones will deploy when enemies are near and automatically attack targets.
  • The Carrier is slow, so can’t avoid damage very well, but it’s shield and hull helps it tank when needed.
  • Where the Carrier really shines is through deployables;
    • Turrets – fire a canon at enemies – will auto-target new enemies.  Just needs to be positioned in range of them when deployed.
    • Mines – deploys a mine – this can be deployed on top of an enemy ship or between a group.
    • Flak Barrage – a targeted AE that destroys drones in the area (friendly and enemy!).

Weapons

Michael posted some advice for Dara a few weeks ago.  Here’s an overview of weapons (although you should note that there are other things that can damage enemy ships – these are just primary weapons);

  • Missiles have pretty low damage and slow moving which makes them pretty ineffective vs a single ship or moving enemies (especially drones). However they are very good at damaging enemies that cluster together, when a missile hits 2 or more ships the DPS of them can get pretty high, but often requires a bit of setup.
  • Cannons are only single target and have no AOE, however they are fast moving with decent damage, this makes them ideal for targeting larger ships and taking out drones or moving ships. Pretty good all rounder, easy to use, reliable in most situations.
  • Beams are low single target DPS and slow firing. They do decent single target DPS and are decent enough to defent themselves but do no where near what the other weapons can do. There are other variants of these weapons however (EMP, Ion and Breach.), that can be devastating if used correctly.
  • Lances… all the damage and all the range! Great at softening up and finishing off bigger ships. Not particularly good at moving targets and they loose a lot of value when there are swarms of weaker ships, unless you can hit multiple. You also have to remember to use them on cooldown, otherwise the DPS value drops pretty significantly. Plus it has to be attached to a Lancer which is a pretty weak and not a particularly versatile ship.
  • Blasts are also pretty good, same DPS as cannons, lower cooldown and damage than lances, they’re not overly powerful but good at repeatedly finishing off enemies with around a bar of hull. Can be a bit fiddly to manage the rogue though, even if they do have some powerful damaging attachments (bombs) and group utility (paints).
  • Torpedoes are just SO good at blowing big groups of weak things up. The main downside to them is that charging them stops the firing of your other two weapons, which means you’ll lose a bit of DPS there. However providing there’s a bunch enemies to hit, and it’s safe to stay still for a few seconds, they’re pretty devastating.

There is a degree of personal choice when it comes to weapon selections as you can make lots of combinations work by upgrading your ships with different attachments.

Tactics

Just a few tips to help you survive the Orthani onslaught…

  • Shields take less damage when your ship isn’t moving.  Significantly less, so get a feel for when it’s best to stand and fight and when you should run.
  • In most fights you’ll be faced with a decision on how to prioritise targets.  It may be tempting to take down the weakest ships first, but is that a Lancer burning down your shields from afar?  Or is that Rogue teleporting bombs onto your ships?  Might want to do something about that…
  • Watch out for Tech ship storms (pink or purple AE) – these will drain your shield or hull fast (and escort or defend targets can be affected by these too).
  • Money talks, especially on Elite difficulty.  The more nodes you visit, the more supplies and credits you will gain (along with other rewards).  Plan your route through the sector and be sure to visit the shops with enough credits to upgrade your fleet.
  • Just a little note on the enemy fleet scaling, although they do scale by the size of your fleet, that only takes into account for about half of the enemy fleet size.
  • The other half is determined by the sector that you are in, getting higher the closer you get to Erebus. So while you do need to concentrate attachments on your ships, you will need to build up numbers too, otherwise the enemy will out scale you pretty quickly.
  • Quests are pretty useful and generally have good rewards at the end (if you survive…).
  • Burst damage becomes increasingly important as you progress through the game.  Two Lancers could be a good choice, but two Assaults with the right attachments can be devastating too.

Best of luck to Dara in his next playthrough! 🙂

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