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Breaking a choke point

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:42 am
by Gravemind
Hello everyone! I have noticed that there are a lot of discussions on the forum about how to make a choke point. But there are very few regarding how to break them. So I am starting this discussion to let you give your opinion on what strategies you generally use to break a choke point.
I myself use an ice wall and a protector to hold a choke, and then shurikens to take the adjacent nodes. Obviously, this is a very novice method, and I am sure higher level players use different techniques. So I hope you ( higher level players ) will share your knowledge with noobs like me.

PS : If you don't know what a choke point is, go and read the wiki first.

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:45 am
by Hell_Diguner
Maniacs work ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:35 am
by Hell_Diguner
So nobody's going to make a serious reply?

EDIT 12/31/17:

tl;dr: Keeps Walls at low level and upgrade either your Protector or your Shocker. Use up to 3 Walls to install a Protector. Don't use Shocker and Protector on the same node. Using high level walls as your main defensive program is so cost-inefficient it's hard to make a profit.


Defensively, there are two viable strategies for breaking a choke point or progressing through a Maelstrom: Protectors or Shockers. Shockers are better for "going fast" and dealing with Turrets or Black Ice that would smash through a Protector, while Protectors are better when you need to hold a node for a long time to get through a triple Guardian Core or Code Gate. Both programs are useless if you don't upgrade them properly. Initially you should focus on upgrading one or the other to keep your level low, but later you can upgrade the second program to tackle each part of a network with the most optimal program (and thus reduce your overall compile cost and compile time).

Upgrading and using a bunch of Ice Walls as your main defensive program isn't viable. They become so cost-inefficient, you can't make a profit. Here's an old conversation on Discord:
TheLurkingRage: I have never been attacked by anyone with more ICE Walls than that
TheLurkingRage: I wonder what his profit margin is like :thinking:
TheLurkingRage: WIsh he was still here to ask why tf he carries so many ICE walls
TheLurkingRage: c.ompile 36i13
[Bot]Compiler: Programs:
[Bot]Compiler: 36x IceWall L13
[Bot]Compiler: -----
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation time with 4 threads: 18m0s (7 credits)
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation Cost: 11,880 b-coins
[Bot]Compiler: Disk space: 72
TheLurkingRage: wow
TheLurkingRage: That's more costly than my entire arsenal :S
Yopee: Yeah it's really hard to gather coins using wall
Yopee: That's why I never upgrade it
TheLurkingRage: I've got them at 7 but I'm considering taking them up to level 10 and never upgrade them again after that :thinking:
Yopee: I believe 8 is the highest you really need if you use shocker and protector too
Yopee: Because wall8 can survive two rounds of av at guardian I think(edited)
TheLurkingRage: Wut? maybe a L18 sentry, but with the 19+ it dies instantly after installation and I sort of want it to tank enough to take more advantage of the shocker
Yopee: I mean sentry21
Yopee: Wall8 has like 900 buffer right?
TheLurkingRage: It has 880
Yopee: Yeah
Yopee: So thats like two rounds of av at guardian
Yopee: Enough time to install shocker fo sho
While the ratio of buffer provided versus library space favors Ice Walls at lower levels:
Level 10 Protector: 2286 buffer / 4 space = 571.5
Level 12 Ice Wall: 1280 buffer / 2 space = 640
Protector's buffer-to-space ratio becomes better than Ice Walls by level 13, and is far superior by level 21 (not that you'll ever need Protector 21). And library space is cheap. By level 30 you should have more library space than is needed to hack a single target.

More importantly, the ratio of buffer provided versus compile cost is way better for Protectors than Ice Walls:
Level 10 Protector: 2286 buffer / 300 cost = 7.62
Level 12 Ice Wall: 1280 buffer / 300 cost = 4.26
Again, this ratio favors Protectors even more heavily as you continue to upgrade them. Plus Protectors regenerate 7% of their maximum buffer every second, so a level 10 Protector regenerates fast enough to completely negate damage from a level 14 Sentry in a Scanner choke point. An adequately upgraded protector will not break under mere AV (food for thought next time you see a Maelstroms where the Sentry is the only thing they've upgraded).

Here's a conversation regarding Shocker + Protector:
Yopee: I wanted to stick with wall2 on eepoY
Yopee: but I don't think it's possible to set up protector with it
Yopee: as in actually impossible based on the amount of overkill damage that leaks through from sentry21 and the 0.5s install time for wall
DaCoder: But to set up prot against L21 AV, you'd need: Walls + shocker
Yopee: it's a waste to use shocker and protector on the same node
Yopee: that's my rule
DaCoder: Why? Compile time waste?
DaCoder: Space?
Yopee: yeah that's part of it
Yopee: c.ompile 3i3
[Bot]Compiler: Programs:
[Bot]Compiler: 3x IceWall L3
[Bot]Compiler: -----
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation time with 4 threads: 2m0s (1 credits)
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation Cost: 90 b-coins
[Bot]Compiler: Disk space: 6
Yopee: c.ompile 1S5
[Bot]Compiler: Programs:
[Bot]Compiler: 1x Shocker L5
[Bot]Compiler: -----
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation time with 4 threads: 8m0s (4 credits)
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation Cost: 85 b-coins
[Bot]Compiler: Disk space: 6
Yopee: the other part is shocker is better used to go fast
Yopee: protector is for slow long fights
Yopee: no reason to use two opposite programs on the same node
DaCoder: I see, u r right
DaCoder: Guess i like long fights with protectors xd
ZotacéÈcatoz: Usual tactic. Shocker below 7 is a waste, as Yopee said with shuriken below level 10
Yopee: ^
Yopee: although I know gamer has shocker5 and it seemed back when he was still playing, he could use it just fine
Pixie: Leech 21
Pixie: :MVP:
Yopee: actually there is one situation where I would use shocker instead of walls to setup protector
Yopee: guardian choke with gate
Yopee: those take 4 or 5 walls to set up protector
Yopee: so if I'm gathering coins, then I would use shocker(edited)
Yopee: still try to use walls if I'm gathering money(edited)
Yopee: c.ompile 5i3
[Bot]Compiler: Programs:
[Bot]Compiler: 5x IceWall L3
[Bot]Compiler: -----
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation time with 4 threads: 4m0s (2 credits)
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation Cost: 150 b-coins
[Bot]Compiler: Disk space: 10
Yopee: c.ompile 1S10
[Bot]Compiler: Programs:
[Bot]Compiler: 1x Shocker L10
[Bot]Compiler: -----
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation time with 4 threads: 8m0s (4 credits)
[Bot]Compiler: Compilation Cost: 180 b-coins
[Bot]Compiler: Disk space: 6
You also shouldn't use Shockers to "let a Protector regenerate some health." It's cheaper, the compile time is better, and you get more buffer by just installing a second Protector before the first breaks.

Which brings us to Shocker advice. The first thing you have to understand is Shocker is worthless at low levels. You need to get it up to level 7 or so before it starts being useful.

Shocker has two things going for it: It completely negates incoming damage regardless of a node's level, and it deletes itself after installation, freeing up one slot for more programs to be installed. Shocker, then 3 Beams is 50% more damage per second than Protector and 2 Beams.

Shocker's upside and downside it lasts a specific amount of time. While a Protector may break under the combined fire of several well upgraded nodes in a Guardian choke point, Shocker prevents them from doing any damage at all. But on the other hand, a stall point like a triple Guardian Core may require more time to break than one Shocker can provide (even with that 50% higher DPS) while a single Protector wouldn't even break a sweat.

You might think Shocker requiring 6 library space is a downside compared to Protector's 4, but you often need more than one (low-level) Ice Wall to install a Protector, so they even out.

Compile cost and compile time are Shocker's last downside. You don't want to be spamming them too much. A Shocker main is punished more heavily than a Protector Main if they need to install a second or third program on a node and it ends up being overkill.

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:10 am
by Gravemind
Looks like no one is interested. Forum has been extremely quiet since a few days, so I am not too surprised.

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:11 pm
by Luminaar
TheLurkingRage wrote:No relevant quote. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
Lurk probably missed this one. He's normally good with advice. 8-)

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:54 am
by Gravemind
Luminaar wrote:
TheLurkingRage wrote:No relevant quote. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
Lurk probably missed this one. He's normally good with advice. 8-)
Thanks! Now he will find this no doubt.

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:39 am
by Alfatrion
I've seen people using a shocker and shurrikens. The shocker disables the adjacent nodes.
I've uses a protector and 2 blaster. The blasters disable one node.

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:16 am
by Hell_Diguner
I guess nobody is answering this because the question is too open-ended. There are many different kinds of choke points and the surrounding network also effects what the most optimal way to break a particular choke will be. Plus you might not have upgraded the right programs to break the choke in the most optimal way, or perhaps you pre-compile a different set of programs that work on most bases and you don't want to wait for the most optimal programs to compile.

You'll probably generate more discussion by posting specific networks with one or two choke points that give you trouble.

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:48 am
by Gravemind
First of all, Diguner, thanks for taking an active interest in this topic. I never expected someone of your stature to actually give me advice on how to make my topic better and to reactivate the topic when I myself had given up all hope. (This is a compliment)
Second, I am personally facing no problems right now with choke points, since I am only using stealth to loot resources. I actually made this thread on behalf of those people who are really facing trouble breaking choke points, or will face this trouble in the future.
However, keeping your points in mind, I will restate the question.
There are three strong types of choke points, in my opinion:
Type 1: all black ice, protected by three guardians each - this has really high DPS, and is also very difficult to break. But it is slow.
Type 2: all turrets - this one is really quick, and if you are not fast enough with your ice wall/shocker, it will be impossible to take. Three level 21 turrets will take a level 1 scanner within 0.9 seconds.
Type 3: black ice and 2 turrets combo - the best one. It has both high DPS and high speed. And if you protect your black ice with three guardians, it can be very difficult to break.
Assume that the choke point is a level 1 scanner in each case and all defence nodes are level 21(including sentry). How will you go about hacking each of these? Answers suggesting a way for any one case are also welcome.

Re: Breaking a choke point

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:07 am
by Hell_Diguner
Remind me to stop procrastinating and reply to this