Ships Are the NPC ship setups known?

Prismatic shields, SCBs, Chaff, Heat sinks, hardened hulls, avoidance flying...

Phasing experimental weapons, Beams, lasers, PAs, missles, MCs..

One can assume that the NPCs are cheating, but considering we see what they are doing when they do it and that when they run out they very often run, it isn't an assumption I'm willing to make.
 
That really depends on where you are doing your combat. In Haz Rez and compromised, the most elites are in these itty bitty ships. I almost feel sad killing. Absolutely no engineering, from what I can tell. Deadly and Elite missions - you'll often find Deadly and Elite Anacondas with the occasional Elite Corvette - all of those poor NPC commanders though are rolling a round in un-engineered ships, though you will find shield cells.

In wing Assassination missions, once again you get engineered ships comparable to light and possibly medium CZs. Phasing weapons, lock breakers, SCBs, etc.

The kicker for PvE, not talking about Thargoids, is actually Pirate Activity Detected signal sources. The first time I wandered into one of those was a kick in the nuts and a rebuy or two. They can be tough to find. Until FDev upped bounties, they weren't worth doing except for the challenge involved. In many respects they are High CZs, but you have no NPC allies to take the heat off of you.
 
Absolutely no engineering, from what I can tell. Deadly and Elite missions - you'll often find Deadly and Elite Anacondas with the occasional Elite Corvette - all of those poor NPC commanders though are rolling a round in un-engineered ships, though you will find shield cells.

Randomly encountered Deadly and Elite NPCs are always Engineered, and Dangerous ones often are; they just don't have any weapon special effects.

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/update-2-1-03-incoming.267701/post-4132617 - reference the NPC section of the patch notes. 2.1.03 was the last time NPC loadouts were nerfed, to the best of my knowledge.

Lower rank Engineered NPCs, and those with weapons specials are only part of missions or high rank POIs.

In many respects they are High CZs, but you have no NPC allies to take the heat off of you.

The issue with pirate activity POIs is that the NPCs inside are passive, unless you have cargo. Theywon't attack unless attacked first, and only attack one at a time, unless you deliberately pull more.

They've been my CMDR's go to source of higher grade manufactured materials for years:
Source: https://youtu.be/I__08vOHZa4
 
The kicker for PvE, not talking about Thargoids, is actually Pirate Activity Detected signal sources.

Quoted for truth.

My PG-mates and I were going to Sirius yesterday for the CG, but I got there first. I expected as a bounty hunting CG I'd find a RES or two to pile 'em up. After hitting a couple HGEs and finding no RES, I thought those pirate threat activity instances must be where the action is. I had never been in one. I was flying my combat Krait. Bounced my first target, a Deadly Chieftain, and I soon knew I was not fighting any ordinary NPC. The ships in this thing are jacked!

I had not lost my shields on any ship fighting NPCs for three years! But this single Chieftain not only shot away my fancy shields, he chewed the hull down to 61% before I got him. Long joust battle, and I was at the point where I was starting to think I might have to wake out. But my shields were better than his, I got his down well before mine collapsed so I was leading the race to zero hull.

So after a single engagement, one v one, I was already on the way back to the megaship for repair! Do we know any details of how these ships are engineered? I'd like to know more. Anyway, after fixing her up, my friend arrived in his frag Krait, and two v one was much easier of course. I set a new high-bounty by a lot in this instance. The ships were paying out about 1 mil per pop with bonuses/KWS.

Pirate Threat Activity is no joke, and the most challenging NPC combat I have found. Good stuff!
 
Do we know any details of how these ships are engineered? I'd like to know more.

I don't think FDev have made public mention of specific loadout details, so unless someone's done some datamining while playing, getting an exact loadout is unlikely.

However, it's generally not hard to infer, with a little observational testing.
 
Based on every CZ and Haz RESs I've been in, if they cheat, good, they need to.

I doubt it's the case as I can't see anything they do that I couldn't (with the one exception being their apparent knowledge of where I'm aiming- I'll give them that though as it's fish in a barrel otherwise). It's very likely we're talking low grade engineering, even for things like spec ops.

Personally, for comparitive purposes I would imagine an A rated G2 engineered mock up of whatever you see is likely to be a generous assessment of their build, so if you're comfortable against that, I'd be surprised if you have problems in general.
 
Yeah I also got my handed to me in a Pirate Activity signal. It was a Deadly Anaconda and I didn't think much of it, but oh boy! Was flying my Chally and didn't manage to bring its shields down bc of all those SCBs. It had Phasing lasers and, as I had to find out, corrosive MCs. And me with unengineered lightweight hull. xD
So I ran and got away with like 26% hull. Close one! Next time I'll be bringing my buddies.
 
In threat 5-7 Pirate Activity ss I exclusively target Annies. They are the least dangerous ships there if you have the least bit of competence and a ship that is faster and more maneuverable. I use a rapid fire pulse laser / feedback rail setup on a FDL and if the Annies don't have turrets, they seldom get a shot in. And I am a barely competent pilot at best. Normally, I just peck away for a couple minutes til they drop their panties and then rail their PP. It's easy to the point that I look at them as G4-5 mfg mat pinatas. It should not be that way.

Yesterday, I experienced scramble spectrum when used by an NPC on you, does cause malfunctions even if your shields are up. Don't know if bug, or intentional, or when it was changed if intentional. Every Annie I decided to kill in a threat 6 Pirate Activity in Sothis had them on turrets, (also unusual since loadouts tend to be as random as a shotgun blast), and I was constantly dealing with malfunctions despite my shields never dropping past the middle ring. I even disengaged, waited for the malfunctions to clear, dropped heatsinks to make sure it was not heat related and a lack of RNG luck, then re-engaged. Nope, malfunctions at less than 75% heat with 50% or more shield strength. So there is that one. Again, I don't know if it was a bug, or intentional to make higher threat level Pirate Activity ss more difficult. I do know it happened, so add it to the list of either bug or NPC cheat I suppose. I really should record this stuff, but since it would end up on Bitchute, since I refuse to use Youtube, I doubt anyone would ever see it anyway.

It would be nice if the bugs and rare cheats NPC do currently use were replaced with making the NPCs skill scale better with their ranks, but I am pretty sure that is likely more work than Fdev is willing to put into it. I should be truly challenged by an Elite NPC in a similarly outfit combat ship.
 
40% is the malfunction level, but a destroyed power plant stabilizes at 50% output and NPCs seem to have the same 50% available that CMDRs do.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynu0eBXmkeI


Assuming they are configured as fodder, rather than for escape, there is nothing suspicious about what they can power with a destroyed PP.
I have played around in Coriolis and the only way I can power weapons the way NPC’s do when the power plant is at zero is to switch off things like life support and FSD on power priorities. So in theory you should be able to kill an NPC at 0 power plant if you keep him hanging around long enough to run out of oxygen and they should have a 10 second boot up time after retracting hard points before they start charging their FSD. I presume also the reason NPC’s ignore killing the life support is that they don’t care about not being able to make it back to a station in time. Either that or they carry lots of materials to Synth oxygen refills.
 
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This is not in dispute and something that is easy to prove by getting into a fight with ATR:
Source: https://youtu.be/PL9Jtpp4FzQ?t=375




Yep, persistence from instance to instance is very iffy. From experiments, I do think it's intended that they retain the state they were previously in, but it often doesn't work, which suggests it is a bug.

An example of when it does work:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d286irXwmX8

NPC Anaconda clearly retained the damage I had dealt to it, while the FDL didn't immediately reenter SC.



They shouldn't care. CMDR's don't because in the current state of the game heat cannot hurt them. It's why half the CMDRs I've run into in hostile circumstances in the last year were thermal conduit boats...they know that they can last through a 20 minute fight being at 160% heat for half the fight with minimal consequences.

Even when heat based attacks were a threat, NPCs still didn't care, because they are there as flying pinatas...fodder for CMDRs to shoot down, and they have extremely poor self-preservation behavior, even if they do occasionally run.



That was a good one, and one of the few that made them more threatening, but yeah, clearly a bug and one that was quickly corrected.
I have yet to see an NPC that hasn’t come back at 100% repaired and rearmed, with full shields. If it is intended that they don’t then it is not working very well.
 
I have played around in Coriolis and the only way I can power weapons the way NPC’s do when the power plant is at zero is to switch off things like life support and FSD on power priorities.

Are you certain of that? High rank NPCs can be Engineered and any NPC could potentially run lower rated or undersized modules to ensure there was enough power for critical systems and some weapons, so they can continue going through the motions of a fight until the very end.

So in theory you should be able to kill an NPC at 0 power plant if you keep him hanging around long enough to run out of oxygen and they should have a 10 second boot up time after retracting hard points before they start charging their FSD. I presume also the reason NPC’s ignore killing the life support is that they don’t care about not being able to make it back to a station in time.

I do know that NPCs can eventually suffocate:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaFckn7eI4Q


If it is intended that they don’t then it is not working very well.

A lot of things in Elite: Dangerous don't work very well.
 
Are you certain of that? High rank NPCs can be Engineered and any NPC could potentially run lower rated or undersized modules to ensure there was enough power for critical systems and some weapons, so they can continue going through the motions of a fight until the very end.



I do know that NPCs can eventually suffocate:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaFckn7eI4Q




A lot of things in Elite: Dangerous don't work very well.
It is never possible to be sure what an NPC is still firing, but basing it on seeing NPC’s still firing multiple beam lasers when at 0 on power plant and trying to replicate it. Assumption is they are making sensible decisions about important modules, so A rating power plant, power distributor and thrusters as a minimum. Engineering changes that of course so they could be using overcharged, monstered power plants and flow control/ low draw/efficient modules.
 
It is never possible to be sure what an NPC is still firing, but basing it on seeing NPC’s still firing multiple beam lasers when at 0 on power plant and trying to replicate it. Assumption is they are making sensible decisions about important modules, so A rating power plant, power distributor and thrusters as a minimum. Engineering changes that of course so they could be using overcharged, monstered power plants and flow control/ low draw/efficient modules.

0 powerplant integrity means 50% power

This non-engineered Viper Mk4 can still retain almost full combat ability with 0% PP
Most probably the Shield Gen is not on such low priority, but the moment you get their PP to zero, the shields seem to be turned off
 
0 powerplant integrity means 50% power

This non-engineered Viper Mk4 can still retain almost full combat ability with 0% PP
Most probably the Shield Gen is not on such low priority, but the moment you get their PP to zero, the shields seem to be turned off
You have just illustrated my original point. As I said the only way I could replicate it was by turning off both life support and FSD in power priorities, both of which you have done!
 
Indeed i did
And the NPC are very good at power priorities - nor the fsd or the life support are needed in combat.
A 2-2-2 PD, while not optimal, can power everything even when disabled

So there is no question that an NPC can still fly and shoot at 0 PP.
 
Indeed i did
And the NPC are very good at power priorities - nor the fsd or the life support are needed in combat.
A 2-2-2 PD, while not optimal, can power everything even when disabled

So there is no question that an NPC can still fly and shoot at 0 PP.
Well congratulations for agreeing with me! :)
 
Well, you seemed to have doubts regarding NPC's legit ability to fight at 0 PP integrity - but maybe i misunderstood that
 
Assumption is they are making sensible decisions about important modules, so A rating power plant, power distributor and thrusters as a minimum.

I don't think this is a wise assumption for NPCs. What's sensible for a flying pinata, meant to provide a light show until it pops, and what's sensible for most CMDRs, is not going to be the same.

I would not be at all surprised to discover that many NPCs under-rate, or even undersize, the thrusters on some loadouts (the Anaconda can get away with this with little performance loss) to provide more power for weapons, for example.
 
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