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Thread: How to Solo a Thargoid Interceptor [Video]

  1. #1

    How to Solo a Thargoid Interceptor [Video]

    Anti Xeno Combat Initiative group is now available for all players who want to engage in Thargoid combat, it's meant to be a teaching platform and a coordination platform, see here.

    [Warning] Cyclops variant seems to utilize its shutdown fields and panic shields more frequently and at random intervals. The Thargon Swarm damage seems to have increased, as well.
    [Warning]

    Don't try to solo the Basilisk guys... don't be silly like me...




    [
    ATTENTION]Ax Fighter now available and is super effective. DO NOT engage the Basilisk variant alone, you will not succeed with our current arsenal. [ATTENTION]

    Inra bases audio files (Credit to Ricardo's Gaming)

    Useful information from Frontier Expo 2017 on combating Thargoid (Video/Screenshots).

    Table of Content:


    [Special Section reserved for Basilisk]

    I. Narrative of my experience and overview.

    II. Video demonstrations of soloing the encounter.

    III. Overview of mechanics.

    IV. Tips and tricks.

    V. Thargoid salvage after destruction.

    VI. How to farm Thargoid material effectively (Solo)

    [Special Section reserved for Basilisk]

    1. What do we know?

    The Basilisk variant has five hearts, and we can conclusively say that the more heart a Thargoid interceptor variant has, the more potent its regeneration capabilities are.The Basilisk launch swarms sized at 64 instead of 32.

    The Basilisk and its swarm have much more potent damage.

    Shields will protect you from the interceptor's fire and the swarm's missiles, but not the swarm's regular fire.

    The Basilisk's cannon fires at double the rate of the Cyclops'.

    The Basilisk's hull takes 1% damage per missile.

    The Basilisk's heart is as vulnerable to damage as the Cyclops'.

    The Basilisk spawns in Threat Level 6.

    2. Proposed Strategy

    It's clear that Basilisk's impossible to solo with our current arsenal, wing is a must.

    The theoretical strategy I have for now is to have a designated Thargon Swarm annihilator equipped with nothing but Flak. Then the remaining three members carry missiles and multicannons. In fact, there might be more of a need of missiles since it appears only the hardness of the hull of the interceptor has increased instead of both the heart and the hull.

    The Ax fighters will be effective in keeping the regeneration speed of the Basilisk at check by apply constant damage, but beware of how it makes the Basilisk fly in unpredictable patterns which introduce difficulty for missile aiming.


    I. Narrative of my experience and overview.



    Well, after my embarrassing encounter with our lovely alien neighbor who took my meta alloy, shot at me, refuse to give it back and shot at me some more...


    I went out for revenge... and I got it, and it's sweet... and I got some loot. [Posted a video for it at the bottom. Thargoid Heart, yum.]

    Well, I can say up front that the Thargoid Interceptor is definitely not meant to be defeated solo judging from its mechanics, but it's definitely do-able as other Cmdrs have surely proven before I have.

    So let's discuss the encounter's mechanics in depth so you can also solo the experience or get together with friends to defeat our impolite neighbor.

    Update 1 (2.4.02):

    Well, now that our missiles have been tampered with by Thargoid spies, we have to rely on the new Ax Multicannon, which will surely be tampered with soon...

    Therefore I decided to seize the window of opportunity and take down a few more of our unfriendly neighbor.

    Update 2 (2.4.03):

    Well, our Ax Multicannon didn't get tampered with, but the Thargoids are truly adapting to our tactics and learning to engage us more efficiently, at least in a one on one setting.

    They have began to take evasive maneuvers when hearts are exerted or damaged and began to take random evasive maneuvers to throw off our predictive HUD.

    Currently the effective method against the Thargoid will be separated into two stages, which I will explain in another segment.

    Update 3:

    The new Ax Fighter came out, and it came out with a bang. It's very effective against both the hull and heart of the Thargoid Interceptor. If you have friends and have a multi-crew ship with fighter capabilities, fighting a Thargoid will become much easier. Even for solo players, if you just use the fighter like you always do, the result improves drastically with this new fighter.

    II. Video demonstrations of soloing the encounter.

    Update 3 (Ax Fighter):




    Archived:

    Update 2 (2.4.03):






    To use the Remote Flak Launcher, you need to hold down the fire button and release it when you want the flak to explode. The Flak will travel like a dumb fire missile, and it will have a HUD indicator as to how close they are to their optimal deployment time. Once all three indicators on the triangle has been filled, release the button immediately.



    The shutdown field neutralizer:

    The only effective time of the neutralizer is when you are holding down the charge (not as in charging up, not as in releasing the charge). [Energy Surge Neutralized at 2:34]



    Update 1 (2.4.02):


    Destruction:


    Thargoid Carcass:



    Subtitled Destruction (Sassy):


    Update 1 (2.4.01):

    First Destruction - (subtitled with tutorial guidance on mechanics)



    Second Destruction - (showcasing Thargoid Interceptor's disable pulse, caustic missile (11:12 she comboed the two, it hurts...) and caustic cloud (toward the end)) [Apologies about the background music, I forgot I had it on when I was recording so I can't get rid of it]

    Repair limpet can counter Caustic Damage, to a point (12:21)!




    Third Destruction - (looting in caustic cloud, in a Cutter... the tears...)





    III. Overview of mechanics.

    1. Our weaponry -

    The new weapons from the recent CG (Xeno utility scanner and Ax Missiles) are essential to your success in bringing our neighbor down. [Click on the links to find where to purchase them]

    The Xeno Scanner will show allow you to "module target" the Thargoid hearts. Yes, hearts, namely 4 hearts.

    The Ax Missiles allow you to actually damage the Thargoid when its hearts are operational (they regenerate the hull integrity of the interceptor).

    Update 1 (2.4.02):

    The newest arsenal at our disposal, the Ax Multicannon will now be critical to our ability to destroy heart modules of the Thargoid Interceptor. You may purchase them at the same locations as the Ax Missiles from what I understand.

    Update 2 (2.4.03):

    The Remote Flak launcher is an excellent weapon to take down the Thargon Swarm, but considering how quickly they are replenished, I recommend keeping the Thargon count low to prevent them from being replenished too quickly.

    We recently received the shutdown field neutralizer, it functions similar to an ECM, however, it drains the system capacitor heavily when active, only use it right before the shutdown field, and don't wait until the last second since it has a charge up time.

    The only effective time of the neutralizer is when you are holding down the charge (not as in charging up, not as in releasing the charge).

    Update 3 (Ax Fighter):

    Very handy, very handy indeed. It deals a lot of damage and it's great for multi-crew. However, you do not want the Thargoid to focus its attention on you, nor do you want your shields to be down. Your fighter shields reduce a lot of damage from the Interceptor. Also, make sure the Thargon swarm is kept in check, it will shred the fighter. Always take advantage of the fighter's strong suit, hit and run.


    2. Thargoid Interceptor Arsenal -

    Think of the four hearts as Shield Cell Banks, except, for hull regeneration. Each heart covers 20% of the interceptor's health.

    It can launch Thargons (fighter swarm), which can launch themselves as seeker missiles at you.

    It can launch Caustic Missiles (slow as a torpedo but will apply permanent hull degeneration if it hits, can only be removed by docking at station).

    It can launch a disable pulse around itself (it turns cyan and you hear "surge detected").

    It can shoot a short range yellow laser that scrambles your ship if you get close (it turns yellow, and right after the first heart destruction it will remain in this stage for roughly 15 seconds, stay away).

    3. The Mechanics -

    Archived:


    When the hearts are operational, you need to use the Ax Missiles to lower the interceptor's health. But beware that it regenerates if you don't damage it continuously. Once you deal more than 20% damage to the Interceptor with your missiles, one of the hearts will become exhausted to replenish the interceptor's health.

    You must take this opportunity to target the right heart (visually one of the petals will turn red, module target it and use your missiles, aim carefully). However, the heart will not remain permanently vulnerable, you only have a window to get your damage in with your missiles before you have to make the heart vulnerable, again; and that wastes missiles.

    Once you reduce the heart to 0%, the interceptor creates a panic shield around itself that will suffer damage from our conventional weapons (save ammunition on your Ax Missiles). Use our normal weapons to take down the shield, then use our Ax missiles again. This time the damage is permanent, but only up to 20% of the interceptor's health.

    Rinse and repeat four times.

    However, after the first heart, the interceptor gains the ability to use its yellow lasers to scramble your ship if you are close. The range is about 700 meters, the interceptor will also turn yellow right before it launches this attack. It does have a restricted angle, so if you can boost pass it quickly, it will miss you. It hits like a truck on your shields and kill your engines on first contact, then again a few seconds later as an after-effect.

    After the second heart, the interceptor gains the ability to use caustic missiles (deals caustic damage, which is a permanent, ticking hull integrity degeneration). Caustic missiles fired by the interceptor cannot be interrupted by ECM.

    After the third heart, the interceptor gains the ability to use shut down pulse.

    After all hearts are defeated, use your missiles to finish it off.
    Update 1 (2.4.02):

    Refer to the archived mechanic explanation for reference to understand my remarks.

    The Interceptor is now more evasive, but it still has a pattern of movement for us to learn. Ax Multicannon is now the only effective weapon against the heart modules of the Thargoid Interceptors.

    Your missiles are now even more precious than before, especially soloing. If you are in one of the more slow turning ships, or a ship that doesn't turn at all (like my Cutter), you will have to utilize flight assist off to get an edge of damage in at times to be more effective with the Interceptor's new maneuvering pattern.

    Make the hearts exerted by using the missiles, then use the multicannons to destroy the hearts, wait for the panic shield to go down or take it down with conventional weapons, use missiles again to permanently reduce the Interceptor's hull integrity.

    Make sure to empty your magazine if you are low before you nail the heart, last thing you want is to waste precious seconds reloading.

    IV. Tips and tricks.

    Archived:

    Make your life easier by reversing (preferably flight assist off to go faster), which will cause the interceptor to fly in a relative straight line for you to line up your missiles.

    When you hear "surge detected", a disable pulse is charging up, use this time to boost in a direction away from the interceptor and turn your flight assist off, you will drift out of the interceptor's attack range.

    The main damaging enemy of this encounter is not the interceptor itself, but rather the Thargon Swarm, so distract it with a fighter or have a designated kiter. Leaving the Thargon Swarm unchecked is a death sentence unless you are hitting and running while evading.

    Update 1 (2.4.02):

    The idea of the tips mentioned above still stand, but the Thargoid Interceptor will now take erratic maneuvers at a distance (greater than 3km), therefore be even more conservative with your missiles and make sure every shot counts.

    I suggest carrying two Ax Missiles and two Ax Multicannon.

    Update 2 (2.4.03):

    Reverse ski is a terrible idea as of now, at least on large crafts. The Interceptor has began to take random maneuvers to evade our fire at range, so you don't want to distance yourself too far from the Interceptor, your shots will likely miss.

    Your missiles just got even more precious and your window of opportunity, as well. Do not fire your missiles unless you can get 8 or more of them in, otherwise you are wasting them. Do not allow your multicannon to sit on low magazine, reloading wastes so much time and that time is precious.

    This is just my observation, but the Thargon Swarm seems to operate similarly to our 6D fighter bay, in the sense that only 2 sets of 32 are readily available. If I take down 2 sets of them in quick succession, it takes a while for the Interceptor to launch another swarm.

    Stage 1-

    A full health Interceptor is perhaps the most annoying, definitely get your missiles in fast at the beginning of the encounter to gain an advantage. The less hearts the Interceptor has, the more damage you deal with the Ax series from what I've observed.

    Stage 2-

    After the first heart, you want to exploit the scramble laser by getting just close enough to get touched by it, this will force the Thargoid to face you and fly in a relatively predictable path to get your shots in. By touched I mean touched, not held onto. Also it does not apply if you are low on shield/hull.

    There is a cool down on how often the Interceptor can use its scramble laser, exploit that cool down to get close and personal. (except right after the first heart is destroyed, it will remain in the scramble laser mode for roughly 15 seconds straight)

    Update 3 (Ax Fighter):

    The interceptor will focus your fighter if you do damage with it. The Thargon swarm almost always prioritizes you. Keep your shields up, and always stay on the move, you can throw off the interceptor's aim with careful maneuvering, but don't stay in the fight for long if you are focused, fly out of 3km and let the interceptor change target before going in for another bombing run.
    1. Solo -

    Your missiles are precious, I recommend bringing 2, then 2 multicannon, and at least one normal shield damaging weapon (I recommend plasma accelerator), also, one or two Remote Flak Launcher since there will be times where both your fighters are down and you need to take care of the Thargon Swarm. Don't get greedy with your damage on the Interceptor, an unchecked Thargon Swarm is going to bite you in the rear.

    Make sure your missile hardpoints are easy to aim with, but the multicannon should have the best hardpoints to aim, since they need more precision to do their job than the missiles.

    Bring a class 6D fighter bay to distract the Thargons, it makes the fight a lot easier.

    Make sure you're tanky, both shield and hull preferably, but definitely hull tanky. Your shield does mitigate a good amount of damage despite the bleed through.

    Kite it, or hit and run. Make it easier on yourself to line up the shots, and don't waste them. Synthesis does not work for Axe Missiles nor Multicannon.ECM no longer works against the Thargon Swarm missiles.

    2. Group -

    Designate a person to kite the interceptor around, but keep it on a steady path so your fellow Cmdrs have an easier time hitting it. This person should be tanky, since he or she will likely eat a few scramble lasers just to keep the Interceptor still for a few seconds to get damage in.

    Use fighters to distract or designate a person to use Remote Flak Launcher to take care of the Thargon Swarm.

    Bring regeneration sequence/concordant sequence and repair limpets if you have multiple kiters that can rotate on duty, provide them with support. Repair limpets are useless in the middle of combat, any damage you take will cause any repair drone on your ship to be destroyed.

    Everyone should have Ax Missiles, Multicannon and Xeno Scanner to sub-target, conventional weapons are for taking down interceptor's panic shield. The Thargon swarm checker should bring Remote Flak Launcher and stay on that duty.
    ECM no longer works against the Thargon Swarm missiles.

    V. Thargoid salvage after destruction.


    Now, for the loot and salvage they leave behind, here is a video on the Thargoid Heart (corrosive cargo), and various engineering materials:


    To clarify, you can wait for the caustic cloud to dissipate, the materials in it will still have roughly 40-50 % integrity after the wait. The Thargoid Heart will remain at 100 % permanently.



    Missed one material, in spoiler. (Wrecked Components)






    VI. How to farm Thargoid material effectively (Solo)

    You will need to have a collector limpet controller, preferably 3A, gotta thank my pira--piloting days on this one to remember the quirks of it.

    Update 1 (2.4.02):



    Click here for a playlist of all videos.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Thanks for the info cmdr o7

    So far managed to get one down to just over one heart with another cmdr, 1st attempt for both of us. We had to run due to lack of ammo and low hull from trying to figure out when to shoot at what, didn't find out about the permanent damage over time until it was too late for my wingmate and his ai companion. I made it to a pad with 2% hull and a new stain in my jumpsuit.

    My second attempt, solo this time, my own ai pilot and some regular weapons, and I got two hearts down before I ran out of missiles. Still couldn't quite nail down when to fire and was generally just being too trigger happy. This time, I jumped out with 90%+ hull left. Main lesson learnt is SLF's really do help distract the Thargons. It did cost me a lot of fighters due to my ai meat shield being harmless.

  4. #4
    Nice. I have yet to find anyone explaining HOW, only that they did. No wonder I couldn't do it alone. I had no clue the hearts had sequence and didn't think ANY of our typical weapons damaged it. So thank you very much for taking the time to explain how.

    Can you let me know if you've found the turrets to be useless? It sure feels like they are *unless* you're using multi-crew. I had 4 turrets on my python (wing of 4 of us) and all my ammo was gone before the second heart died.

  5. #5
    They are going down
    Great job o7 and nice write up

    I also managed to kill another one in FAS without shields. Hit and Run tactic. And now i believe that it can be done practically in any ship that has four C2 slots and fast enough to stay away from Interceptor while using repair limpets and afm (i didn't use them, though about it only in the middle of a fight).

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Droid8Apple View Post (Source)
    Nice. I have yet to find anyone explaining HOW, only that they did. No wonder I couldn't do it alone. I had no clue the hearts had sequence and didn't think ANY of our typical weapons damaged it. So thank you very much for taking the time to explain how.

    Can you let me know if you've found the turrets to be useless? It sure feels like they are *unless* you're using multi-crew. I had 4 turrets on my python (wing of 4 of us) and all my ammo was gone before the second heart died.
    The turrets are very bad, in my experience, you are better off using dumb fire. It's somewhat useful at close range but I would rather have complete control over it so I went with all fixed.

  7. #7
    Alrighty, video is up, it will show you the mechanics visually.

  8. #8
    Nice one Mr Fang,

    I have been slowly figuring out the same method also, and I like the stages of hostility it goes through as you knock out each heart...

    Those scramble lasers are super vicious, and cause serious damage over time if you get too close...

    However until Frontier brings out more than just class 2 missiles, the corvette performs poorly. I am dragging my cutter across right now and will give that a go.

    Also, your right, turrets are terrible, I couldnt even take down one petal!

    Rep +

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by GluttonyFang View Post (Source)
    Alrighty, video is up, it will show you the mechanics visually.
    That was some pretty sick flying there. And good use of a meat shi.. I mean fighter Do you think anything smaller then the big 3 could survive this and have enough ordnance to deal with the interceptor on its own?

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by hunvagy View Post (Source)
    That was some pretty sick flying there. And good use of a meat shi.. I mean fighter Do you think anything smaller then the big 3 could survive this and have enough ordnance to deal with the interceptor on its own?
    I think the gunship can handle it, since it can use fighters, and has a ton of hard points.

    There are two ways to approach the fight, kite tank or hit and run.

    You kind of need a fighter for kite tank, but hit and run you can just use ECM to counter the Thargon missiles.

    However, 4 Ax Missile Racks is probably a must, on top of it a conventional weapon that deals good damage to shields.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by GluttonyFang View Post (Source)
    I think the dropship can handle it, since it can use fighters, and has a ton of hard points.

    There are two ways to approach the fight, kite tank or hit and run.

    You kind of need a fighter for kite tank, but hit and run you can just use ECM to counter the Thargon missiles.

    However, 4 Ax Missile Racks is probably a must, on top of it a conventional weapon that deals good damage to shields.
    Nice to know, I will need something a bit more combat focused then to even try. Oh and I think if those mysterious HRPs that disappeared with the patch come back, you might have better chances of close combat. I had one before the caustic resistance was rolled back, and it really helped even on a normal light plating.

  12. #12
    Great write up and video. REP.

    It is hard but it seems patience is the best way to go. Dont rush and you will probably win.

    Yesterday I managed to get 2 hearts down and third at about 30% but then got greedy and Thargoid "UNLIMITED POWAAA" kicked my 4ss.

    Its going down today

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by hunvagy View Post (Source)
    Nice to know, I will need something a bit more combat focused then to even try. Oh and I think if those mysterious HRPs that disappeared with the patch come back, you might have better chances of close combat. I had one before the caustic resistance was rolled back, and it really helped even on a normal light plating.
    Close combat is a bad idea when fighting solo because of their scrambling yellow laser, it's crippling as you can see in the video.

    But yes, I want some caustic resistance please.

  14. #14
    tip my hat to you sir! 20 min dogfight is some serious dedication

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Hazzu View Post (Source)
    Great write up and video. REP.

    It is hard but it seems patience is the best way to go. Dont rush and you will probably win.

    Yesterday I managed to get 2 hearts down and third at about 30% but then got greedy and Thargoid "UNLIMITED POWAAA" kicked my 4ss.

    Its going down today
    Absolutely, do not rush with you missiles, but at the same time don't wait too long because the hearts are not permanently vulnerable.

    It takes some finesse, for sure.

    Originally Posted by Jaylem View Post (Source)
    tip my hat to you sir! 20 min dogfight is some serious dedication
    Especially on a Cutter that refuses to turn for anyone even with G5 Dirty Drive and a good roll at it, too.

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