The problem with engaging when aliens fight other NPCs is that half the time, you aggro two groups instead of none.
Your guard story is nice, but the fact that your daily mission took twenty minutes is telling on its own.
And recon with spatial scanner is great, but avoiding fights isn’t the best course of action when most daily missions require kills.
With a patriarch i wouldve definately took much less time and it wouldve been much easier too (higher shield tank, 10% crit chance+ 2 CPU slots to equip infrared or targeting coprocessor)…most likely that i wouldve done it at first attempt (instead of missing the cargo ship cos i was still shooting aliens). My inquisitor S handled pretty well 2 and even 3 groups of aliens (hunters+predators), no excuse for a patriarch.
Even more annoying is when you want to find some NPCs to kite the predators into to help kill it (because let’s face it, even a 10+ swarm of NPCs dies to predators) but you’re in Jericho space, where the Cybers are allied with them.
Hope you brought doomsdays. And you’ll still probably die.
Jericho maps can be a little of exception (you can still lure them to guard turrets and police patrols wich is very effective)…specially solaris wasteland (imo the hardest map in open space). Doomsday arent that great, cruise are far better (extra damage, you hit more shots since they turn much more according to speed, double area of damage (that really matters to hit multiple ships at once)) and firestorm beats it because of area of dmg…even EM missiles from intis are better than doomsday. In Fed and Emp sectors ive find myself in many situations were 4 allied npcs are more than enough to draw fire from a single predator (yes, they are alone if they belong to a mission) for me to comfortably shoot it down (using gravi scanner with crit build even).
A few tips to fight predators:
-If you have less than 450ms, make sure you have some way to run away (cloack, microwarp, engine overcharge, etc.) or to tank and deal a lot of dmg (aka: be a guard). Cruise is perfect for fighters since its very likely that you wont be able to kill the predator in the first attempt and you might get outnumbered, right there is when speed is crucial to survive, heal, disperse multiple groups and then come back.
-Predators deal EM but also thermal dmg, so if you are not runnig adaptives make sure to get 1 therm resist mod.
-Missile shield is a vital mod to equip at your guard since predator EM balls are guided and considered as missiles.
-When facing multiple groups, A: run away to split them and come back when they are not together. B: use cover to block some of the ships line of sight while you shoot the rest (this helps a lot, specially with a slow ship like a guard); staying close to 1vs1 is always the best.
-Predators from missions are always alone; take your time to not lure any other ship and strike it when no other groups are nearby.
-If you are fighting near allied NPC, run/cloack for some seconds untill predator/hunters turn agro to allied NPCs and then strike them back (they might reagro you, so be ready to get cover again).
-Fed recon/cov op can kill a group of predator and hunters if using 2 adaptives; make sure to kill weakest ships first (hunters in this case), equip the most you can to damage (EM missiles, curved reflector for pulse laser/supernova for EM, CPUs that boost crit dmg/chance, iridium heatsink/pulse dischargers) while maintaining maximum survability (use 1 EM hull resist (therm works too) and sacrifice 1 cap slot to be energy stable and be able to use regen while constantly ABing).
-For some jericho maps like gas harvest: get inside those rectangular boxes near the center of the map, lure the predator/hunters and shoot it safely from inside, it cant be easier to do it like that.
-Predators and hunters usually activate pulsar when YOU are in range, stay away so your friendly NPCs dont get raped by pulsar.
-Always carry with you 2 heal mods (if you are in a guard, bring instead 3 shield heals).
-You can kill a predator from long range with a tackler using cruise: get about 5km distance, shoot with gravi scanner to slow him down, place both turrets and use reverse with AB…watch your distance (if it gets too close use cloack). Be sure that your as.s is heading to the highest/lowest part of the map and you wont agro anyone. This tactic is really coward, takes a while but works very well.
-You can safely shoot down aliens when they are “hibernating” (you identify it easily because they stand almost still in one spot)…just like how rennieash does it (you can find them like that without doing anything from your end: take advantage of it).