The DPS output of a secondary-weapon Flenser is really, really high in the early game. Manticores with even enhanced stock armor have huge difficulties with these things, and station guards are completely outclassed. The buff to their gun was just too large.

Solution: Downgrade revelations secondary weapon to a single AK15 Partisan, to replace the flenser. This reduces damage per second, and also makes dodging easier.

Edit 30/07/2017: The RK15 would also suit this role, and be more suitable to get omni weapons in use in the game...or could be rarer to make them harder to find (personally I disagree with using omnified non-omnis univerally because it hurts freighter players)

domina says: kill them all on 10/2/2015 3:39 PM:

The Revelations is a powerful and uncommon enemy that shows up only right before St. Kats, and it mostly serves as a station guard (read: avoidable.) I think the Flenser is appropriate. Stock Manticores may be vulnerable to the Flenser, but keep in mind that they are also immune to the radiation from the Revelations' XM300 Reapers.

johnbwatson on 10/2/2015 5:15 PM:

While I agree that stock playerships should face a challenge fighting these, their use of omni flenser cannons is a bit much, if not due to the power differential when compared with their other weapon, then due to the fact that it is an excellent weapon that should not be lootable from such a weak enemy. I would thus support the solution of making them appear earlier on and nerfing their flenser to something less spectacular.

This would have the added benefit of making their radiation weapons actually present a threat to the player, which, given that they are the only hostiles that use such weapons, would increase the diversity of threats faced by the player. Back in earlier versions, they showed up mainly in TNB, and I think that's really the only place where they present a reasonable challenge. In addition, the risk / reward of fighting them for some radioactive missiles for anti - frigate attacks was an excellent mechanic, and isn't really matched by anything that can be done with them in their current location.

the_shrike on 10/4/2015 2:39 AM:

You can currently face them pretty early on in Corporate Command. But mostly it's that dissonance....they're a missileship, but their gun is easily the best thing about them. And it is *massively* better than anything else (that's hostile) at that level.

I have seen a single Revelations kill 2 EI100's, 1 light IAV, 4 Ronins (I think they were /B's, might have been a C or two),a centuruon....and critically damage a second centurion before a Manticore showed up and nuked it in a single hit (and we all know how overpowered the NPC manticore is). Apart from the centurions, absolutely nothing was capable of scoring a single point of damage on it. And the centurions weren't doing very well either..... and none of this was missile damage after about the first 30 seconds. It ran out of XM300s (well, the identical clones thereof, since I run SM&M++) and was just using the Flenser.

Edit: And this was while I was trying to snipe it as well. It was damned near killing me as well.

johnbwatson on 10/4/2015 4:22 AM:

Check out my request on early corp. station guards for the Manticore thing. Probably solvable with lower tier mags, but if you've got another solution George would probably appreciate more ideas.

On topic, I rarely have trouble with their guns due to my blast plate when they show up, but I've had even less trouble with their missiles. The weapon upgrade appears to be an attempt to buff them up to the level at which they're encountered, but they just don't fit there regardless. I'd say that the best way to solve the power differential is to find a place where their missiles are actually a threat, put them there, and then switch their secondary turreted weapon to something reasonable for the new area. Their camps, as well, could do to lose their flensers, as they are currently way too close to the heliotropes' setup and would be way overpowered if they were encountered in an area where the Plague gunships are viable. I'd give those some fast fire laser cannons, as nobody uses that at the moment and it seems like the sort of thing they'd like(simple concept that could theoretically be repaired without technical knowledge, good firepower, within the budget of a fringe terrorist organization).

nms on 10/4/2015 9:32 AM:

Maybe give it a worse gun, but better rate of fire and more missiles? They'd be more dangerous to decent armor, but their shots would be easier to dodge or block.

the_shrike on 10/6/2015 4:38 AM:

That's pretty much the idea. Drop the super-gun, up the missiles. Might be worth using the RK15 actually, since that's a fairly rare gun and it's good to get the omni weapons into the game *properly*.

johnbwatson on 10/6/2015 7:08 AM:

That sounds decent.

george moromisato on 11/3/2015 7:50 PM:

Need to think this through.

the_shrike on 7/30/2017 1:14 AM:

Two years on, it's still incredibly overpowered and still needs only a one-entity change to fix it:

Change line 4817 of EncountersVol1.xml from

<Device deviceID="&itFlenserCannon;" secondaryWeapon="true" omnidirectional="true"/> 

To

<Device deviceID="&itPartisanCannon;" secondaryWeapon="true" omnidirectional="true"/>

OR (and this is probably better)

<Device deviceID="&itOmniPartisanCannon;" secondaryWeapon="true"/>

OR

A table which can have either an omnified AK15 OR the RK15
This drops main gun performance down to level 3 (Which is still better than a drake) while letting the missile launcher (IE: the reason it is called a missile ship) actually do the hard work. The reduced shell velocity, knockback and range also means the gun engages at a shorter range and doesn't kill or knock-back the player before they close within effective missile range.

assumedpseudonym on 7/30/2017 1:30 AM:

 I don’t see any reason to have it be an AK15 with an omnidirectional modification in the device slot when the RK15 does that without any additional tweaking. Besides, there are remarkably few ships that even have omnidirectional weapons instead of device modifications to their fire arc, and this wouldn’t be the worst place to fix that. (The EI freighter series might should consider this approach, too.)

ferdinand on 7/30/2017 6:53 AM:

I totally agree with this. In my current testing of 1.8a2 there was a sapiens compound just past Rigel with 4 Revelations guarding it. It was nearly impossible to get past them and they were very close (almost in missile range) to friendly stations as I recall, an arms dealer, Korolov and a medical colony. Luring the Relevations to those stations resulted in all the friendly station's guards' destruction every time. Eventually though I could destroy the compound (difficult because it was protected by asteroids from all sides) So the revelations only had attention for me and were killed off by me with a lot of help from the station guards who were then neglected by them.
Had to be very careful, my armour was vulnerable to radiation, as until then no armour had turned up that wasn't vulnerable to radiation.

watch tv, do nothing on 7/31/2017 6:44 PM:

I don't think it's a problem if the player is unable to handle every enemy when first encountered. The Revelations is uncommon and space is large enough for the player to avoid station guards. If the station is an obstacle to progress (i.e. impossible to get to a gate without passing through Flenser range), the player ALWAYS has the sustain power available.

I think part of the problem is player perception and expectation of what they think the Revelations should be, based on misconception of its role. The Revelations is an intermediate-strength enemy rather than a gunship; other intermediate enemies in the base game include the Steel Slaver, Dwarg Master, Atonement class, etc. The Steel Slaver and Dwarg Master provide additional examples of "missile ships" where the missile is a utility weapon with a special effect rather than a direct damage weapon, so having the Flenser deal more direct damage than the Reapers is hardly unprecedented. Since the Revelations is one of the first intermediate enemies the player encounters, players want to think of it as a gunship. This is compounded by the fact its sprite is very old and undersized.

The Revelations sprite should be made larger to visually emphasize that it is a powerful ship. The current sprite is wide but not long or bulky, and bulk is used as a rough proxy for enemy strength in this game. The Revelations is not a gunship, it is a dangerous missile ship like the Tundra, Molotok, Dwarg Master, etc. All of those intermediate ships have sprites that are visually larger than typical gunships at the level they're encountered at.

assumedpseudonym on 7/31/2017 9:22 PM:

 The Revelations is explicitly called a missileship, which is true of neither the Steel Slaver nor the Dwarg Master. It’s also the same sprite size as a Tundra, both in terms of dimensions and in terms of comparison to the faction’s gunship — the Revelations and the Tundra (and the Chasm, for that matter) are on the same spritesheet, in fact, as are the Plague and the Sandstorm.

 Is it supposed to be dangerous? Yes, obviously; that’s why it has irradiating ammunition in a part of the game where you’re not likely to have radiation immunity. (If anything, it should restock ammunition when it docks, but that’s a separate issue.) I don’t object to it being strong. I do think that having a weapon — and an omnidirectionally mounted one, at that — that can make mincemeat out of an entire station’s worth of guards and a wave or two of reinforcements is beyond overkill, particularly for a fairly minor faction such as the Sapiens. Furthermore, Revelations rarely show up alone, there’s usually more than one of them guarding a station, and particularly a Compound. There’s almost nothing at the level you can first have a Sapiens Compound show up at that could realistically even worry them, let alone actually threaten them.

the_shrike on 8/1/2017 2:30 AM:

The steel slaver has a unique role as an electronic warfare platform. The dwarg master is effectively a corvette and command ship (one of the few in the game, even). The tundra is a heavy gunship that's basically the Ares version of the Britannia (itself also not a missileship). The Molotok is a heavy gunship. None of these are missileships. They aren't even close to being missileships. Some of them share the function of firing missiles...but that's because their factions explicitly use heavy missileships (Eg. The Cometfall and the Drake) or just use heavy gunships (eg. Molotok). By your logic the Corsair II is also a missileship. Missileships have an explicit purpose as, effectively, missile barges. Not every ship with missiles is a missileship.

The revelations 'equivalent' is basically the EI100/M (which, granted, does not appear in the base game). A small missileship with a light gun for self-defense, and longer-ranged missiles for offense. And the Reaper is a very dangerous missile. It has good damage, the same overpowered speed, mass, and knockback as every other NAMI missile. The radiation effect is a really nasty debuff at parts of the game. But you never see that, because the flenser wipes you out before the missiles even reach you. That is, flat out, beyond any shadow of doubt, overpowered. A missileship fights with missiles. If you want a ship that flies like a gunship but uses a heavy omni weapon...that's a monitor. And for a ship with the explicit purpose of firing missiles to be relying on its gun (and consistently overperforming at its level as a result) is a problem.

With regard to the sprite, it is extremely unwise to base balancing or role discussions off sprite sizes (Cough. Aquila. Cough.). Especially given that the sprite in question is one of the oldest left in the game and explicitly planned for replacement with a new model at some future point as it's consistently voted as one of the worst in the game. Regardless, the role of the type as a light missileship was always the case...it's just that George massively overdid it when he tried to buff the gun from the previously overly underpowered weapon (a laser cannon). This proposal fixes that over-correction.

giantcabbage on 8/4/2017 6:26 PM:

I have used this ticket as an example for my Getting started with git and github guide (see PR 52)

george moromisato on 8/7/2017 3:24 AM:

Merged into 1.8 Alpha 3. Thank you!