I realized that in order to complete a quest line, I’d have to make up with the Holy Order (I don’t think there’s any other way I can get a Zeus Sentinel, since they don’t seem to be building them for me to capture). I was at -30, and had no idea how to do it, so I went around shooting the little criminal civilian ships. That got me to -21 when I happened upon a Scale Plate Behemoth in their space, and that got me to -9 or so–no longer actively hostile. I completed a station building mission and set up some sector autominers and I’m now at +11. It will be a bit of a slog to get to the +20 I need to buy a carrier from them. (The mission requires the Sentinel variant.) I’ll grind out some missions (mostly infrastructure/supply and intelligence ones for their war effort, it seems) and I’m setting up a factory to sell them advanced electronics–hopefully that will do it before too long. Kinda funny to go from “that guy who took two sectors from them” to best bud, but hey.
I’ve set up three fleets, each based around a carrier and supply ship. My first fleet has something like 15 destroyers and 60 or 70 smaller craft, but the newer ones I’ll probably standardize on ~7 destroyers, 30 fighters, 10 corvettes and 10 frigates. (I thought the carriers could hold 50 craft, but they don’t all seem to be docking at once.) I’m building up to four L construction bays on my big shipyard (since it still takes >45 minutes to build a destroyer). I really love just queuing up 30 Pulsars, 20 Ares, 10 Nemeses and 10 Gorgons and letting them crank out, though. I also love experimenting with different builds, though to be honest I don’t think it makes that much of a difference when it comes down to it, since it’s the numbers that will tell.
I do love seeing the fighters come shooting out of the launch bays of the Colossus. Never gets old–especially when standing on the dock of the ship.
Apparently this was a real bug, though I don’t know when the fix will come out, or if there’s any kind of workaround. Really kind of a bummer, as I had a bomber pulsar design with 3x torpedo tubes and 3x dumbfire launchers (for heavy cluster missiles) that would have absolutely shredded anything they came across. The other issue is actually setting the active missiles for 10 ships is mind-numbingly tedious, and they always seemed to resupply with the wrong kinds of missiles. :-(
Really though, after I finish the quest line, I’ll probably be done with at least this play through, unless I decide I want to take some Xenon sectors. There is a weird crystal structure in one of them I’d like to own (though sadly it would just be for looks).