Can someone explain how to employ stealth, and the limits of its usefulness?

Shadow Reaper

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I guess he is running a mix of single fixed S5 absolution scattergun, and the rest is 4 GVRS laser repeaters.
At some point I also had the impression I saw only 2 red weapons signature, thinking the nose mount was probably the old exploit with carrack turret too, but it might just be another visual impression, because if you pause when he is shooting the laser only, you will see 4 rays of light (exemple at 0:43) but almost on top of each others.
Ah. Now that totally makes sense.
 
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Shadow Reaper

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To go back to the general question of the utility of stealth in bounty hunting, I would note that as things are planned now, player bounties are going to go up in price and the biggest bounties will be paid for players in expensive ships brought in alive. So the most successful bounty hunters will be looking to take down crime lords captaining Polaris and Idris, and taking them alive.

That means take them in FPS mode and that means stalking and infiltrating places like Grim Hex, Nul and Pyro. The best way to track your quarry is from stealth, in a fast, extended range ship that can manage combat and/or evasion when discovered, and that is large enough to carry 1-2 NPC marines and the target on return. All of that sounds like the Vanguard.
 
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Shadow Reaper

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This is old now, but interesting to look at:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d0O8RzVxqs


It's 12 shots to kill with 3 S3 guns, and does not generally shoot back, yet pays 87,599 aUEC plus bonuses and completes in about 5-6 minutes, so 10X/hour is about a million aUEC/hour.

Makes no sense to me. Why does anything with a Large shield go down so fast and why are all those lovely S4 guns not shooting back?
 
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vahadar

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Makes no sense to me. Why does anything with a Large shield go down so fast and why are all those lovely S4 guns not shooting back?
Brrrroookkkeeennn game !! ;)
This is the only reason why my OC HH is sitting in my buyback :) I do not think I will ever use the ship when the game is out (for now I have loaners that is enough) unless they really improve turrets and shields for bigger ships. There is no glory in soloing a HH like that, even an avenger with a S4 distortion scattergun can do it.
 
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Richard Bong

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I have a vague notion of how stealth mechanics are intended to work in Star Citizen, though it's incomplete and imprecise. And I get that they will likely evolve and change quite a bit over time.

But how would you use stealth for, say PvE bounty hunting in a Vanguard Sentinel? Here are some example questions I'd ask, but feel free to 'explain it like I'm five' for anything else you think is important for a new stealth user to know!
  1. What would you do when you get in your ship to set it up for stealth?
  2. Do you do anything in particular if you hope to travel somewhere undetected, e.g. while mining?
  3. Do you do anything in particular if some other ship appears as a friendly/neutral/hostile and if it initiates combat with you?
  4. Do you do anything in particular right before a fight that you initiate (e.g. before approaching a target's location while bounty hunting)?
  5. How can you best understand your own ship's ability to detect other ships? How can you improve (or what might impair) your own sensors' range and/or sensitivity?
  6. What can you tell about another ship's ability to detect you? Presumably some ships have better sensors than others?
  7. Do sensors/radar work equally well in all directions, or are they directional?
  8. What else can you do to try to detect another ship before it detects you (e.g. scanning), and is that a good or - as it would seem - a bad idea if you want to remain undetected?
  9. Can you target or missile lock another ship without giving your presence/position away, or at least without revealing yourself as hostile to it?
  10. Is there any reason to NOT target a ship you intend to engage in combat, so that it doesn't realise it has been targeted?
  11. What does that RDR LOCK alarm in the cockpit mean? It lights and sounds LONG before I detect bounty target ships.
  12. At what point during combat are you forced to 'go loud' and lose any element of stealth - presumably if you fire a gun or missile, but is there any firing you can ever 'get away with' while remaining undetected?
  13. What's the correct way to power stuff off and on, and when?
  14. What's the correct use of the Sentinel's EMP. I know how to charge and fire it, but I'm not really using it yet.
Does the method of using stealth differ much to other ships?

For context, I'm really quite new to bounty hunting. Yesterday I worked my way up to my first couple of HRTs - an NPC Vanguard Warden and something else I don't remember. I have dual Virpil Alphas and am getting fairly comfortable using them, but I'm definitely still a beginner at combat. For example, the Legacy Instructional Series videos are a bit too advanced for me to really follow properly yet, and also seem a bit dated now. I've been mining for the past few months, working up from a ROC and MSR mining hadenite on Arial, via a Prospector to a Mole, both mining exclusively quantanium, all bought with in-game aUEC. I just bought a Vanguard Sentinel and kitted it out like this, also with in-game credits made mining. So, I've played a bit and feel like I know mining fairly well. Huge thanks to Black Sunder for the Test Mining Guide, by the way - it was hugely useful.

I also highly recommend LoudGuns' videos, especially his early solo Mole or Prospector guide - after weeks and weeks of doing it, I can't make 1 mil aUEC per hour mining solo consistently, and I'll wager nor can he, really. When you get lucky and find that cluster of three rocks with a 48% and two 28% rocks, you can more or less fill a Mole with quant, and then sure you will make over 1 mil aUEC in that hour! But you have unlucky runs to account for too when you search for 50+ minutes and end up settling for a 22% quant rock because you're just tired. But 500,000 aUEC per hour in a Mole, or maybe 300,000 aUEC per hour in a Prospector, including averaging out over multiple runs and including a once-a-week run to Area18 to sell refined quantanium is definitely very doable. So far, I've never been (seriously) attacked by a pirate or lost my refined quant in transit to a 30k. That's bound to happen occasionally, and while I'm sure it will be frustrating when it happens, you have to just factor it in to the long game and keep grinding. It's pretty boring though. Hence why I'm trying bounty hunting, for a bit more fun and shorter game loops.

So, having kitted out a Vanguard Sentinel for stealth, I had better learn how to take full advantage of it! Hoping someone feels like answering my questions, and/or starting a good stealth discussion!
I run an Eclipse for ERT Bounties, so I can answer some of these questions.
The Sentinel is not really stealthy in the first place, so how I use a Eclipse has to be considered at further distances.

I don't do anything special. I upgraded the stealth components to Grade A.
On approach I run flat out until I get to about 27KM, then cut the throttle limiter to SCM. The rest of the approach is at SCM.
I never use After Burner or Brakes as that lights you up like a Christmas tree.
You can lock an NPC and they do not react.
A Hammerhead (And other NPC ships) doesn't react to an Eclipse's presence at SCM until it is less than 4000 Meters out.
I fire and stop at more than 4500 meters. The NPC doesn't react even if the torp misses.

Now the down side. The Sentinel will be detected at a greater distance. That greater distance is outside the effective range of its missiles, and most of your gun options. The gun option matters less since once you fire, you are detected, and the NPC reacts.
 
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GarikDuvall

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God I love this theory crafting and finding the best loadouts for diff scenarios.

So when I do ship combat (as I'm primarily more of a non-combatant medical type), I think I personally am interested in a more high-risk high-reward 'glass cannon' type ships & loadouts, where it's all about getting that first strike capability (be it due to superior ranged weapons/sniping, stealth w/ fire & forget of large payload, or start stealthy then zoom & boom where I get drop on them before they have much time to react).

I have an Eclipse which will work for this role. I would think either the Ares Inferno/Ion with it's redonkulous S7 weapon would work well for this approach too? Always have a Vanguard for it's range advantage over smaller ships (which is more sniping than stealth).

Love reading everyone's loadouts and tactics using these type ships, so feel free to post more and how you might change your loadout vs diff ship types. :)
 

Shadow Reaper

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I think we should note that there are a couple different roles/uses for stealth and they differ in loadout. There's the standard stealth attack where you're looking at a single strike and then fight hot, and there are stealth situations/loadouts where you go back into stealth again and again. The Eclipse is designed like the second, though it seldom needs to attack the same target twice.

Most small and medium ships can be used for a stealth first strike but then when their shields come up, they're no longer stealthy. Some rare ships can go into stealth repeatedly while fighting. For instance, there are many occasions that the Arrow has proved itself able to regain a stealth posture in the middle of combat and simply wink off opponents' sensors. To do this, they're generally wearing stealth components except that they're making use of Industrial coolers like the Ultraflow. Since they're not stealth coolers, the ships never get quite as cool as those wearing stealth coolers, however; they dump heat almost three times faster than stealth coolers, so even when maneuvering, they can dump sufficient heat to regain a stealth footprint and basically vanish at 4 km. Combined with serious missile capability, this ability to regain stealth and vanish can be quite potent. In general Arrows are good at this because they don't have a second shield, so have an inherently low ER sig, and because they are so light they don't generate as much heat when flying full throttle.

One vid I watched with a guy in an Arrow, he either vanished or offered his opponent no ability to lock his weapons for several minutes of combat, and all the guy could do was swear at him--and can you blame him?
 

Richard Bong

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This is old now, but interesting to look at:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d0O8RzVxqs


It's 12 shots to kill with 3 S3 guns, and does not generally shoot back, yet pays 87,599 aUEC plus bonuses and completes in about 5-6 minutes, so 10X/hour is about a million aUEC/hour.

Makes no sense to me. Why does anything with a Large shield go down so fast and why are all those lovely S4 guns not shooting back?
Hammerhead only pays (Depending on your bonus level) between 25k and 33k. Call to arms adds another 3K. About 5-10 minutes each with an Eclipse, once you are in space.

You can make 100K if you have an ERT Group Bounty from North Rock and the correct bonus level. In that group only one is a Hammerhead and since one of the others is likely to be a Hurricane, which is a bitch to kill with a torp. you are switching ships, or reloading and that slows you down.

For quicker, easy money, string VHRT and Group VHRT together and use a Vanguard, a Cutlass (If you are good at avoiding getting hit) or Connie (easiest). You can stay out longer without reloading, or refueling. Of course that isn't stealthy. LOL.
 

Richard Bong

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To go back to the general question of the utility of stealth in bounty hunting, I would note that as things are planned now, player bounties are going to go up in price and the biggest bounties will be paid for players in expensive ships brought in alive. So the most successful bounty hunters will be looking to take down crime lords captaining Polaris and Idris, and taking them alive.

That means take them in FPS mode and that means stalking and infiltrating places like Grim Hex, Nul and Pyro. The best way to track your quarry is from stealth, in a fast, extended range ship that can manage combat and/or evasion when discovered, and that is large enough to carry 1-2 NPC marines and the target on return. All of that sounds like the Vanguard.
Plus the ability to carry the prisoner back and, probably, the ability to keep the target from using quantum to escape.

The ideal ship doesn't, yet, exist. The closest is likely the Cutlass Blue.
 

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Hammerhead only pays (Depending on your bonus level) between 25k and 33k. Call to arms adds another 3K. About 5-10 minutes each with an Eclipse, once you are in space.
Last night I got (and completed, with <20 seconds to spare!) my first ever VHRT group bounty in the Hurston area. Woot! Altogether, not counting Call to Arms, I think it paid out just over 70k for killing the three targets in under 45 minutes. I assume that’s about normal, and I lost track of my costs in all the excitement, but I guess 10k?

Used my Sentinel with a fixed S5 Absolution distortion scattergun, and the Vanguard S2 GVSR laser repeaters, all overclocked, with Crossfield III missiles and liberal use of the EMP. I have not noticed any benefit from trying to turn off components and go quiet for this current-game activity. I maybe get slightly closer to the PvE targets before I am noticed (?), but I never got ‘the jump’ on any of them. Going loud right from the start, including charging the EMP as I approached the target location, seemed to cause no additional problems. So I appreciate that PvE and PvP are very different things, but am I missing anything here from a stealth perspective?

Of course that isn't stealthy. LOL.
It is definitely not. >.<

Also, is it just me or are the Valkyrie and Hurricane PvE bounty targets in HRT missions harder than the Valkyries and Wardens I got in the VHRT mission I did? I had mighty battles on several HRTs and got quite dinged up - ‘cause I’m not very good yet - but the VHRT targets were not as hard to kill, hitting back less hard with fewer escorts. Maybe not a big enough sample size?
 
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Richard Bong

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Last night I got (and completed, with <20 seconds to spare!) my first ever VHRT group bounty in the Hurston area. Woot! Altogether, not counting Call to Arms, I think it paid out just over 70k for killing the three targets in under 45 minutes. I assume that’s about normal, and I lost track of my costs in all the excitement, but I guess 10k?

Used my Sentinel with a fixed S5 Absolution distortion scattergun, and the Vanguard S2 GVSR laser repeaters, all overclocked, with Crossfield III missiles and liberal use of the EMP. I have not noticed any benefit from trying to turn off components and go quiet for this current-game activity. I maybe get slightly closer to the PvE targets before I am noticed (?), but I never got ‘the jump’ on any of them. Going loud right from the start, including charging the EMP as I approached the target location, seemed to cause no additional problems. So I appreciate that PvE and PvP are very different things, but am I missing anything here from a stealth perspective?



It is definitely not. >.<

Also, is it just me or are the Valkyrie and Hurricane PvE bounty targets in HRT missions harder than the Valkyries and Wardens I got in the VHRT mission I did? I had mighty battles on several HRTs and got quite dinged up - ‘cause I’m not very good yet - but the VHRT targets were not as hard to kill, hitting back less hard with fewer escorts. Maybe not a big enough sample size?
I have found the Vanguard and Valkyrie targets in the HRT and VHRT missions about the same. The ERT Vanguards, Valkyries and Hurricsnes are a little tougher because their reinforcements tend to arrive sooner.

I recommend the Galadreen or M7A for their longer range. Carry all Arrestor III's (launch 2 at about 3000 meters) and you shouldn't need to take more than about 2 seconds of fire from a Valkyrie or any fire from a Hurricane. The Vanguard uses a laser, I believe an M7A which is a bit less lethal.

The Vanguard is not a get in close and mix it up ship. With the Vanguard, and the Connie, hold the range open as long as possible. Though 3.14 is likely to change my loadout.
 
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Shadow Reaper

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I maybe get slightly closer to the PvE targets before I am noticed (?), but I never got ‘the jump’ on any of them. Going loud right from the start, including charging the EMP as I approached the target location, seemed to cause no additional problems. So I appreciate that PvE and PvP are very different things, but am I missing anything here from a stealth perspective?
IMHO, the most important use of Stealth is recon. Searching for something without being seen yourself is a powerful mode. There is no real "search" however in the planned missions. I think you will need either PVP for that, or the missions that will open up in things like the Sons of Orion storyline, delving into Vanduul space once that is a thing. If you had a problem finding the targets for the missions you are currently finding, then flying stealthily as you search would give a large advantage.

N
 
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Richard Bong

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One other point that CIG should eventually get. EM and IR seeker heads are passive so your warning receiver should not light up on a lock, only when the missile's engines are detected by your IR sensors.
 

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One other point that CIG should eventually get. EM and IR seeker heads are passive so your warning receiver should not light up on a lock, only when the missile's engines are detected by your IR sensors.
Cross-section seeker heads too, right? Aren't they all passive?
 

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Cross Section is targeted based on the hull "cross section" which would require an active scan.
Oh, okay - do you know of a reference for that? I thought that (in-universe) it was meant to be more a sort of image recognition concept - like a camera with some AI that recognised the shape of a target ship, like face recognition in real-world cameras.
 

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Two thoughts -
1) Ping is active, and somehow checks all 3 characteristics. Normal 'radar' in this game is passive until you push the button. And all of it is a long way from done.

2) 3.14 incoming. Brace for heavy rolls, er, 'balancing'.

Some folks might want to stock up on potato chips so they have enough salt for their tears.
 

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I think the cross section missiles presume an active scan from the missile itself, but there's no active function in game.
The wording could be clearer, but - a ship's radar is passive, until you send out a Ping which is active. Passive gives you a certain range, Ping gives you more range. Scan gives information about targets that you have either picked up passively, or with a Ping. IR, EM and CS are characteristics of your ship that can be detected either passively or with a Ping.

NO, this does not align with real world systems.

From 3.14 (PTU) Patch Notes:

Gameplay
Radar, Scanning, and Ping T0
We have overhauled the Radar, Scanning, and Pinging system. Tab (default) now does a ping from your ship that will Radar is used to passively locate and track contacts, and display their whereabouts to the player. Scanning is used to obtain information about a specific entity. Ping actively finds additional contacts, or highlights volumes of space to investigate weak signatures, both of which are displayed via the radar and its AR HUD elements. This includes a new UI element for Infrared (IR) – emitted by heat-generating entities Electromagnetic, (EM) – emitted by entities which draw (use) or generate electrical power, and Cross Section (CS) representing how visible an entity is, based on its size and how reflective its surface type(s). The larger a contact is (and the more of its profile it presents), the greater its CS signature is.

Blobs are generated when an entity's signature strength is strong enough to reach the radar but not otherwise strong enough to be detected as a contact. These blobs are visually divided into cuboids the ship's display and indicate a volume of space to investigate, where an entity, or entities might be located. The size of a Blob is determined based on the base signature strength of the entity meaning the larger a blob is, the less accurate its representation of an entity's position.
 
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