Spoiler / My strategy for making Normal games easier (if you are playing to win the endgame, not for ship unlocks):
1. Kestrel or standard Engi ship is my current preference, both come with one of the important components for a Boss Kill and successful fighting in general:
Kestrel has the 3-shot Laser, if timed right with another weapon that can cause penetrating hits for most of the sectors.
Engi ship has the amazing 4-second cd EMP - if you micro that it alone can shut down both shields and weapons on any ship.
2. Upgrade priorities: Always keep weapons 1 energy level above then what is needed for your main 2 weapons to stay functional. Keep the 3-shot laser or the main EMP at the top of priority list so they never go down.
Shields I try to get to at least 2x as that's the minimum time required to shutdown most threats.
3. Combat priorities -
Kestrel (without EMP): wait for all your weapons to charge up, then pause, and target the Missile (or the 3x if you have other weapons to follow up with) at enemy shield generator, keeping the rest ready.
Unpause for just under a second, to let the Missile (or 3x) fire, and have the time to land.
Now, target with the rest of the weapons at the systems you need to shut down, and unpause. If the attack is successful, disable the Missile and turn on auto-fire for mop-up.
If it misses or fails, repeat from start without autofire - charge up to full.
Many times if you just autofire you will lose a fight you could have won by this burst-damage tactic.
Early game target priorities:
Late game its:
2. Cockpit / Pilot (the dodge rate gets crazy, you need to shut it down)
If they try to run away, obviously everything gets thrown at the engines.
4. Probably the most important tip:
Go to every Nebula sector you can. Nebula systems are best! Even the nasty energy storms are worth it when you gain time to visit so many more locations. The more locations you visit, the higher your chance at getting weapons or crew or winning more fights and earning more gold before you advance.
This actually reduces the difficulty curve significantly, you end up facing tougher ships more prepared.
The game is primarily about landing a lucky break and getting good weapons, so secure as many rolls of the dice as you can.
6. Stock up on fuel whenever you can. Accept surrender offers if they give you 4+ fuel.
With the above Nebula method, fuel becomes a primary concern - getting stuck means facing the fleet.
7. Priority in weapons:
- EMP with low cooldowns (8 or 4)
- Lasers that can fire more then once and don't take much energy
- Lasers that fire once
- The 1-energy missile, if you have the ammo
You have to secure the above to land most other weapons. To kill the boss at the end, you need to be able to fire at least 6 shots per burst, or have one of the good EMP's.
8. Killing the boss:
Fight one - if you can survive the EMP spam, try to prolong this fight and kill the crew that man the weapon-rooms - they aren't connected with the main crew compartment, and so will not be replaced (including in the next two fights).
If you have a landing party, disable as follows:
- EMP if you can't handle it, then Missiles, then Lasers, then Beams.
I often delay the fight just long enough to kill the 3 crew from the right (Lasers, Missiles, Beams).
Then in the next two fights your landing party (or weapons that manage to penetrate) can be focused on disabling those weapon rooms first and they will be down for the entire fight.
Don't kill their entire crew, the AI takes over will mess you up. / Spoiler
Last edited by Tenet; 12-12-2012 at 12:28 PM.