What's with the ridiculously long TTK? With a single avenger firing on a shaitan or basilisk in close-range with at least a 90% hit rate it consistently takes me 15-20 seconds to kill, which is utterly egregious. Needlessly to say, it's mind-numbingly tedious and frustrating to just simply stand there holding down the mouse button, waiting for it to finally die, as it happily destroys your whole escort list since you pose absolutely no threat to it. Even ignoring their maneuverability (which I'll get to in a moment), a scorpion takes significantly longer to kill than even a seraphim with the avenger in retail! It kind of trivializes trying to protect things if they're happy to just ignore you, which, mind you, did actually happen in some FS1 missions, when they really wanted to kill your escorts they would put basilisks within hornet range and facing your charges, but at least it was mitigated somewhat because as a direct result of ignoring you rather than evading you, you could cut them down very quickly. I understand that the avenger is supposed to be a crappy 'we have nothing good left time to break open the avengers' kind of weapon, but this is completely absurd.
And then there is their behavior. I, at first, thought this was a bug, but I noticed someone else had the exact same line of thought only for it be confirmed it was indeed intentional. I specifically refer to the shivan's dogfighting technique. Close in as close as possible, and then circle strafe you to death. Now, of course, I am aware that shivans (only maras and scorpions from memory, but I'd be happy to accept that they all had the capability) could "move sideways" making them a very dangerous foe. But they only ever used this ability to a significant degree occasionally, usually by about 30 or 40 degrees to fire at you as they passed you by. But now, they do so at 90 degrees all the time. This has some significant problems when it comes to dogfighting. Since their heading is now basically irrelevant to them they lose nothing constantly turning (around you that is), so the only way to keep up with them is to come to a complete standstill, rotating in place. Moving at any speed will badly compromise your ability to track them. You can burn away, but remember, they're constantly facing you so they can easily get on your tail. Even if you're much faster and can disengage, your only other option is to just play chicken with them, which might work, but you'll take way too much damage to afford to do it consistently over the course of a mission. Oh and they also roll all the time, so the whole shield quadrant system is pretty irrelevant, you're taking all his shields down whether you want to or not.
So the result is sitting in place pouring hundreds of avenger shots into a single target (good luck if you've got more than one on you!) for 15-20 seconds, and desperately hoping you don't have to kill too many fighters or, heaven forbid, bombers.
All the things they do, rolling, circle-strafing, is all things they've always been able to do, it's just that now the AI actually tells them to take advantage of it! Which is a completely admirable sentiment, there's no reason why they shouldn't take advantage of their strengths, right? And normally, it's exactly what I'd want, but since it results in such a boring, laborious situation in practice I pale at the thought of more combat!
I don't like being so negative, I really want to like this mod. I absolutely adore the concept, but I can't shake the absolutely abysmal first impression I got from it. I expected gameplay at least somewhat similar to FS1, but instead the weapons are completely different, despite identical names, and the shivans don't fight anything like what they do in retail, and neither of the changes were for the better.
That's just my impression, I could be going into this completely wrong, or actually be suffering from some kind of bug, I don't know. Please, those of you who have played or completed it tell me how you did it, what am I missing here? I really want to play this mod more but I can't stomach the idea of more of that combat.