The Thraddash Torch

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The Troglodyte
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The Thraddash Torch

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:30 pm

What do folks around here think about the Thraddash Torch? I’ve recently discovered in my game (which I haven’t finished quite yet) you can actually build one of these bad boys once you convince the Thraddash how mighty and tough you are… provided you don’t get caught stealing anything from them later! [Insert wink emoticon here]

As for the Torch itself, I would classify it as a fighter craft specially designed for quick hit-and-run tactics, whereas because of its pitiful forward rocket missiles, the emphasis should more on the ‘run’ as opposed to the ‘hit’, since the most threatening offensive weapon is the Afterburner, which properly laid in the path of a target can be difficult to avoid, resulting in a good deal of damage.

However, although a darting Thraddash vessel can be a tremendous nuisance, its other weakness (besides the aforementioned weak forward weapon) is its small crew complement, making it vulnerable to heavy projectiles if its unable to continuously dodge them.

But I’d like other people perspective and would like to invite any feedback on how to best use the Torch in battle, and perhaps even some match-up comparisons on which ships are vulnerable to the Torch, or vice-versa.

This may also come as a surprise, but I’m also going to be conducting simulations, pitting an AI-controlled Torch against foes and potential foes that I may cross paths with soon in my playthrough.
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Draxas
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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by Draxas » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:33 pm

I used to love flying the Torch, but that's because I primarily played against the AI, which has no clue how to handle the afterburner. I'm probably the only one on this board who will openly admit to liking the ship. Among PvP players, "Torch" is practically a curse word, and it's banned from most serious matches.

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Quasispatial
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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by Quasispatial » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:00 pm

On your question of what is vulnerable to the Torch? Everything. This is because of a very simple reason.

The Torch has both high acceleration, speed, maneuverability and range. This means that it can effectively dodge everything that is thrown at it and stay out of range whilst simultaneously, slowly picking apart its foe. The low health and damage can be compensated for with a generous helping of time. What's worse, the fact that the afterburners deal damage means that its foe can't just chase it down, either. The only thing that stands a real chance is either a Mauler that really knows how to aim, or a Skiff, since it can teleport around and generally be equally illusive until it gets lucky and can strike back. That, and maybe a Podship could pull something off because of its regeneration, although that would probably end in a stalemate.

If the AI knew how to use it right, suffice to say you could easily have lost your flagship on your first encounter with them. It's an extreme pain to fight since it can just delay forever whilst slowly chipping away at your health, making it a real no-fun ship for its foe... and the tactic tends to bore the user too after a while, since it's essentially just dodge, shoot, rinse, repeat. If its main gun had only had half the range, then it would've potentially been balanced, but as it is, it's just broken, which is also why, as Draxas mentions, it is generally banned from the competitive scene.

That being said, Draxas has a point in that the Torch can be fun to play... at least if the user doesn't resort to such cheap tactics. A Torch/Mauler sniping match isn't half-bad, and a duel with a Fury can be fun too, but it's not until the Torch player starts to use the afterburner trails offensively, moving in close in order to do so, that one really sees it becoming a fair fight.
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

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The Troglodyte
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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by The Troglodyte » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:01 pm

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Draxas wrote:Among PvP players, "Torch" is practically a curse word, and it's banned from most serious matches.
Quasispatial wrote:It's an extreme pain to fight since it can just delay forever whilst slowly chipping away at your health, making it a real no-fun ship for its foe... and the tactic tends to bore the user too after a while, since it's essentially just dodge, shoot, rinse, repeat. If its main gun had only had half the range, then it would've potentially been balanced, but as it is, it's just broken, which is also why, as Draxas mentions, it is generally banned from the competitive scene.

Interesting, considering I’ve never done any PvP myself since back in my Star Control 1 days, which was just me and a buddy on the same computer (and that’s with him on the keyboard and me using a joystick on the same computer!) but now that you mention it, I could see how the Torch could become the ultimate in annoyance factor, especially given the tactics mentioned.

I’ve noticed that PvP matches usually allow a set amount of points to distribute amongst the ships available, so why not just adjust the Torch amount to be equal to like 2 Ur-Quan ships or something like that instead of banning it altogether? Wouldn’t that help achieve a proper balance? Perhaps I’m asking questions that have already been addressed, but I figure there should be some kind of workaround since the Thraddash seems like a worthy ship for combat. Anyway, onto the simulation!

“But the Ur-Quan thought we were too weak to hold our own in the upcoming battles so they left us here… to guard the flank. If only we had been WHIMPER! stronger and less… SNARF! troublesome.” – Thraddash


1 Awesome Cyborg Thraddash Torch (10 pts.)
VS.
14 Awesome Cyborg Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts
(14 x 30 = 420 pts.)

RESULTS: Ur-Quan wins with zero losses!

Battle time: 5 seconds
ANALYSIS: Launch! Launch! Launch! Then… Kwa-pow! Kwa-pow! Before the fighters could even begin moving towards the Torch vessel, it was already at close-range due to the momentum it had gained by using its Afterburner, and all for not too, since 2 well-placed Fusion Bolts by the Dreadnought meant a swift and abrupt end for the Thraddash. The Ur-Quan must’ve be right when they thought, “Hey, here’s an idea: Let’s tell the Thraddash we need them to guard the uh… uh… the FLANK! That’s it, the flank! You know… just in case!”
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Shiver
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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by Shiver » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:26 pm

Quasispatial wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:00 pm
On your question of what is vulnerable to the Torch? Everything. This is because of a very simple reason.

The Torch has both high acceleration, speed, maneuverability and range. This means that it can effectively dodge everything that is thrown at it and stay out of range whilst simultaneously, slowly picking apart its foe. The low health and damage can be compensated for with a generous helping of time. What's worse, the fact that the afterburners deal damage means that its foe can't just chase it down, either. The only thing that stands a real chance is either a Mauler that really knows how to aim, or a Skiff, since it can teleport around and generally be equally illusive until it gets lucky and can strike back. That, and maybe a Podship could pull something off because of its regeneration, although that would probably end in a stalemate.
I'm going to have to dispute some of this. Yes, the Torch is horribly overpowered and frustrating for exactly the reasons you describe, but there's many ships in PvP that are favored against it that you've skipped over. Kohr-Ah has no trouble with Thraddash at all. Chenjesu, Melnorme, and Mmrnmhrm have long range attacks of their own with far more impact than Thraddash's plinker gun. Druuge doesn't need great aim (or much of anything) to beat Thraddash. I would argue Mycon has a consistent win against Thraddash (Thraddash really has to get up close and stay there to even temporarily out-damage Mycon's self-healing ability, which means leaving themselves in lethal danger), but it really depends how determined the players are to avoid stalemates. Earthling also has the means to threaten Thraddash, though Thraddash should win that fight most of the time by dodging the nukes, which aren't fast, smart, or numerous enough to catch a patient pilot.

The Troglodyte wrote:I’ve noticed that PvP matches usually allow a set amount of points to distribute amongst the ships available, so why not just adjust the Torch amount to be equal to like 2 Ur-Quan ships or something like that instead of banning it altogether? Wouldn’t that help achieve a proper balance? Perhaps I’m asking questions that have already been addressed, but I figure there should be some kind of workaround since the Thraddash seems like a worthy ship for combat. Anyway, onto the simulation!
We do. The Thraddash Torch was banned from most games in #uqm-arena after net melee first became a thing. I personally made a balance mod for PvP melee, and one of the driving forces behind starting that project was to fix Thraddash.

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Death 999
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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by Death 999 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:26 pm

Where does one get that, again?

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The Troglodyte
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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by The Troglodyte » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:42 pm

Shiver wrote:Yes, the Torch is horribly overpowered and frustrating for exactly the reasons you describe, but there's many ships in PvP that are favored against it that you've skipped over. Kohr-Ah has no trouble with Thraddash at all. Chenjesu, Melnorme, and Mmrnmhrm have long range attacks of their own with far more impact than Thraddash's plinker gun. Druuge doesn't need great aim (or much of anything) to beat Thraddash. I would argue Mycon has a consistent win against Thraddash (Thraddash really has to get up close and stay there to even temporarily out-damage Mycon's self-healing ability, which means leaving themselves in lethal danger), but it really depends how determined the players are to avoid stalemates.

Interesting match-up analyses. I appreciate the helpful input, Shiver.

Shiver wrote:We do. The Thraddash Torch was banned from most games in #uqm-arena after net melee first became a thing. I personally made a balance mod for PvP melee, and one of the driving forces behind starting that project was to fix Thraddash.

I’ve heard of several of the modification innovations you’ve performed. Very cool. Weren’t you also the one that modified the Avenger for the user, making it so you could still see it while cloaked?

Did you do anything to the performance of the Torch itself, like adjust its speed or afterburner fuel consumption?
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“They were black as space itself, with only the occasional glint off their hulls as they turned to fire. Their weapons were extremely primitive, nothing more than fast-spinning disks of dense metal, yet they penetrated our defensive screens, and inflicted grievous damage purely through their enormous kinetic energy. The black ship’s secret weapon is their ring of fire, which is VERY effective at short range. Hey! Wait a minute! What am I doing answering YOUR questions? Puny human, your time is almost up. Prepare yourself for defeat!” – Thraddash

1 Thraddash Torch (7 pts.)
Vs.
14 Kohr-Ah Marauders
(14 x 30 = 420 pts.)

RESULTS: Kohr-Ah wins with zero losses!

Approximate Battle Time: 25 seconds
ANALYSIS: The Torch rushed in, dodged the Kohr-Ah’s Plasma Ring, took down Marauder to about ½ crew with the Afterburner, but the Spinning Blades getting quickly deployed all over the place acted as mines, which the fast-moving Torch was unable to avoid all of them and was subsequently destroyed shortly thereafter.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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The Troglodyte
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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by The Troglodyte » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:57 pm

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“There once was a Thraddash named Mak-Roni,
whose ship was in total caco-phony.
He got lost in Apodis,
and died in Draconis,
Because all that he ate was baloney!
HARG! HARG! HARG!”
― Thraddash
1 Thraddash Torch (10 pts.)
Vs.
14 Druuge Maulers
(14 x 17 = 238 pts.)

RESULTS: Druuge wins with zero losses!

Battle time: 1 minute 30 seconds
ANALYSIS: To my surprise, the Thraddash actually did a pretty nice job of dodging the Mauler… at first, plus it couldn’t ever get enough of an offense going, so it was left with hoping the Mauler would drift into an Afterburner puff or two, which it only did on rare occasions for relatively small damage, but the moving target Torch was eventually shot down by the Druuge’s strong cannon.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by The Troglodyte » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:09 pm

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“Augh! If it were not for our certainty in your wisdom, great Teacher from Earth we would not have remained a ‘Contemplative’ culture for more than a single day. As it is, we have contemplated our strategies, tactics, our weapons, the stars the planets, and even our navels… which for a Thraddash is very uncomfortable and requires at least two mirrors.” ― Thraddash

1 Thraddash Torch (10 pts.)
Vs.
14 Utwig Juggers
(22 x 14 = 308 pts.)

RESULTS: Utwig wins with zero losses!

Approximate Battle Time: 15 seconds
ANALYSIS: It looked for a very brief moment that maybe perhaps the Thraddash was going to hold its own, since it zoomed in fast with its Afterburner and inflicted a little damage with its rockets before veering away, and then it returned for a second strike… and was quickly destroyed by the Jugger’s Widespread Cannons. Oh well.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: The Thraddash Torch

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:14 pm

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“We are the rhyming simons
blancmange rhymes with orange
space is the place
the stars in their courses
cannot catch the horses?
SNORT! This is hard!”
― Thraddash

1 Thraddash Torch (10 pts.)
Vs.
14 Supox Blades
(16 x 14 = 224)

RESULTS: Supox wins with zero losses!

Approximate Battle Time: 30 seconds
ANALYSIS: The Thraddash and Supox basically danced around each other, each firing respective forward weapons at the other, but the exchange of fire took down the Torch before it could defeat one Blade, but it was pretty close.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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