Forceuser - I get bad seeding in about 50% of the sectors I go in. This is not a lie, this is what happens to me. If it doesn't happens to you... Well either you are excedingly lucky or my luck is excedingly bad. I can only talk about my experience however, and my experience is about 50% bad seeding.
Similarly. About 50% of the times that I play with the stealth cruiser I get beam drones on me. this not to mention that almost all enemy ships are equiped with the shorter cooldown weapons and tend to bring the mini beam of their own, often in addition to the beam drone to add insult to injury. Out of all the times the beams are shot at me I notice at very least a 20% overall chance of getting hit in the weapon system which of course will make my one and only weapon with a 25 sec charge time disabled. Add repair time, add another charge cicle and add a somewhat high likelyhood of getting hit in the weapon system again.
And yes. I can win games too. I can get there completly overpowered. My best run was the mantis B when I got there with 2 full weapon loadouts for the boss. One entirely of missiles with high damage and short cooldown along with over 30 missiles to spend as well as 2 BL2 and a flak2. These are not normal runs however and even on subpar weaponry, so long as they are weapons that have a chance at geting through the shields and damaging the flagship, I normaly win against it. I've often said and not without a good reason. I fear an elite cruiser more (without the ASB) than I fear the flagship, this is because normaly, even on subpar weapons I can go through the first 2 stages with probably no more than 2 or 3 hull points of damage and the last stage probably some 10 hull points of damage since the super shields give it a bit more time to work me out.
The ABS is completly relevant however. Without it I could explore a few more beacons and get into the average of 10 to 11 per sector. My average as it is, is 9 per sector since some sectors will have an ok seeding and some won't.
Joedoe - Like I said before. My experience is about 50% of the times with some 50 hours (acording to steam) thrown into AE. So i get some 63 beacons before i get to the last stand. When I get there I usually ain't hoping around for scrap anymore since I need to get to the flagship somewhat fast... 63 visited beacons in average means a very underpowered ship as you can imagine though most of the times I can still handle it if I made it that far, usually the problem comes getting past sector 3 if you're thrown bad seeding right at the begining.
I don't even fight the rebel fleet, it's just not worth the damage I take for it though in rare circusntance I happen to have to fight it. Of course it usually turns into a lot more damage than I should take and powering engines to full to get the hell out of there ASAP, but usually not before taking a considerable loss in hull which will have to be repaired and that of course means, further loss of scrap.
The rebel fleet was a threat before. You'd only face it, if it was really worth the damage you'd take and you'd need a very good run not to take damage from it. The math is pretty simple. Whatever ship you face from the rebel fleet is going to have more crew, more weapons, more shields and more dodge than the ships in the sector you're in. It will always result in more damage than desired and with no reward at all for the fight... Well, ok 1 fuel... With ASB it just turns those fights when they are forced into you, and sometimes they just are, into a huge amount of damage.
"The heavens burned
The stars cried out
And under the ashes of infinity
Hope, scarred and bleeding breathed it's last."
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