Fractal Softworks Forum

Starsector => Announcements => Topic started by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 04:33:33 PM

Title: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 04:33:33 PM
Blog post/download links here (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2015/02/10/starsector-0-65-2a-release/).

Changes as of February 16, 2015 (Hotfix/balance update)

Balance:

Miscellaneous:
Ship system charge indicator now shows progress towards regenerating new charge when charges are at 0
"Your ship approaches <entity>" now always printed before the entity description.
"Campaign help" -> "Help popups" during new game creation

Modding:

Bugfixing:



Changes as of February 09, 2015

Combat:

Miscellaneous:

Modding:

Bugfixing:



Changes as of December 04, 2014

Miscellaneous:

Combat balance pass:

Modding:

Bugfixing:
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: NikolaiLev on December 04, 2014, 04:44:15 PM
Not sure I approve of the removed flux bonus.  It added an interesting layer of brinksmanship to energy weapons.  Perhaps this should change to being a per-weapon setting.

And I definitely don't approve of removing ballistic weapon ammo.  Besides the flux bonus, ammo management is what separates ballistic weapons from energy ones.

Now, there's not much of a difference.  It's a step towards homogenization and I'm almost always against that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 04:52:52 PM
Not sure I approve of the removed flux bonus.  It added an interesting layer of brinksmanship to energy weapons.  Perhaps this should change to being a per-weapon setting.

I feel like that was more in theory than in practice, and more often than not was just a side effect of the state of your ship than something that was aimed for. In the cases that it *is* aimed for, it has the potential to be gamey (firing weapons at nothing to build up flux, etc).

And I definitely don't approve of removing ballistic weapon ammo.  Besides the flux bonus, ammo management is what separates ballistic weapons from energy ones.

Ammo was cosmetic for many weapons, except for very long battles, and the mechanics of running out of ammo there weren't good. What separates energy and ballistic slots - and always did - are specialization through damage types and weapon mechanics (i.e. flak).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on December 04, 2014, 04:59:32 PM
Wow, I'm extremely puzzled about all the combat changes, to say the least. Ballistic, Energy and missiles are now the same thing with different sprites (ie, spam them all we can)? Only beam slightly work differently? I'll keep my judgement for when I play it, but I'm definitively not overjoyed right now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: null on December 04, 2014, 05:01:51 PM
I for one am perfectly fine with removing ammo, never really liked it anyway.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ValkyriaL on December 04, 2014, 05:02:37 PM
Honestly, i dont agree with...any of these weapon changes, none.. what possibly made you cook these together? :-\
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 05:11:18 PM
You guys are going to have to be more specific :)


If it's about ammo: like I said, in my view, it was not a meaningful balance tool or differentiator, except for extra-long battles, where it basically just means low-tech ships can't do those.

For Salamanders, the goal of the change is so you can no longer bait all of them out before the "real" fight starts. It's not something that could be fixed with AI, due to the nature of Salamanders requiring them to be fired at medium range, where the targeted ship can then decide to back off and rinse/repeat. For Harpoons and Sabots, for example, AI improvements were sufficient to make baiting them out unattractive. Not so for Salamanders.

Similarly for Plium and Hurricane, except here the ammo regen rate is lower than the rate of fire, so there's still some consideration as to whether firing makes sense or not.

For beams, it's mostly usability changes and relative balance compared to other energy weapons. Slightly lower OP costs make sense given that beams aren't "primary" type weapons.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on December 04, 2014, 05:22:49 PM
Dang it! I can't try it yet!

I don't know exactly how these changes will affect things, but I do know that it will make my fleet more powerful.

How will Pilums regenerating 1 ammo per 10 seconds work, since it fires three at a time? Will it wait 30 seconds till it has 3 missiles ready before firing, or will it fire the single missile?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 05:23:48 PM
It'll fire however many it has at the time.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on December 04, 2014, 05:26:51 PM
The strength of Pilums are in their numbers though. I would think it would work better if the launcher waited for a full barrage to be loaded.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Mattk50 on December 04, 2014, 05:29:14 PM
This is... why... why would you do this. I thought removing the flux bonus was a bit silly but then i kept reading. I don't know what to say that could convince you not to take this game down the road of other similar shallow games with the interesting bits ripped out to make things more "accessible". Maybe i'll try later but im just surprised right now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: HELMUT on December 04, 2014, 05:31:46 PM
Personally i'm not against those changes. The energy weapon buff depending on the flux was very gimmicky and i pretty much never build my ships and fought with this in mind. The HIL however seems to have been hurt pretty badly, 250 less range is big deal. Then again it will be less expensive to mount so maybe it's not that bad of a nerf.

I find the Salamander change interesting. Rather than being the annoying early game missile in frigate knife fight, it could now fill an interesting fire support role in fleets. Same for the Hurricane, the Pilum however... I always found the Pilum to be one of the most potentially game-breaking weapon, it was always absolutely murderous when fielded in number. They regenerate relatively slowly though, so maybe they won't annihilate everything despite this buff.

For the removal of the ammo count on ballistic weapons... It doesn't seems like a problem because you rarely run out of ammo. Only very large battles required expanded magazines mainly for your flagship so i don't think this change will have any radical consequence on the vanilla experience.

Condor was buffed, good, at least it's now a viable choice against the Gemini.

In the end it feel like a simplification patch, which isn't that bad given that Starsector isn't exactly noob-friendly. The only thing that scare me a bit is the Pilum missile regeneration but we'll see...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 05:39:27 PM
The strength of Pilums are in their numbers though. I would think it would work better if the launcher waited for a full barrage to be loaded.

IIRC the AI will do that, but the weapon doesn't force it.


This is... why... why would you do this. I thought removing the flux bonus was a bit silly but then i kept reading. I don't know what to say that could convince you not to take this game down the road of other similar shallow games with the interesting bits ripped out to make things more "accessible". Maybe i'll try later but im just surprised right now.

From where I'm at, per my previous response in this thread (if you haven't read it) the weapon changes amount to removing some mechanics that were nearly meaningless and had some negative side effects/were awkward when they weren't. What am I missing here?



@HELMUT: That pretty much lines up with how I'm thinking about it. Interesting point about the Pilum; there's a fine line to walk there - the thing I really don't like is if the player is facing, say, a Buffalo, then waiting until it's out of Pilums is a good tactic, and that's bad. 10 seconds per 1 ammo is half the rate of fire, hopefully that's enough, but, yeah, we'll see.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 04, 2014, 05:45:19 PM
Very interesting changes, I'm looking forward to trying them out. Most seem to make sense, although scratching ammo seems a bit... mh, anticlimactic. Sensible, from a game design perspective, but not an exiting solution.


Potential issue with the cruiser CR timer: Isn't it a viable option now to "siege" them with worthless shuttles or the like? Stay just out of range until shuttle CP runs out, retreat (the shuttle) and repeat until 7-9 minutes are over. One of this "efficient but boring" things. (I feel like this is said so often it could use its own term. Boricient? Bofficient?)

Potential fix: For frigates CP only runs down while an enemy is within the sight radius. What if for cruisers (could be all classes, effectively) that enemy had to be of equivalent strength to trigger CR loss? So it had to be another cruiser or two destroyers or four frigates/wings nearby (or however the system that decides about auto assignment calculates that).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 04, 2014, 05:52:41 PM
I have to ask, what is the point of having balli and energy weapons now if there really isn't any difference between the two?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 05:54:45 PM
I have to ask, what is the point of having balli and energy weapons now if there really isn't any difference between the two?
Ammo was cosmetic for many weapons, except for very long battles, and the mechanics of running out of ammo there weren't good. What separates energy and ballistic slots - and always did - are specialization through damage types and weapon mechanics (i.e. flak).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 05:59:38 PM
Very interesting changes, I'm looking forward to trying them out. Most seem to make sense, although scratching ammo seems a bit... mh, anticlimactic. Sensible, from a game design perspective, but not an exiting solution.

Yeah, it's just cleanup. Not exciting :)


Potential issue with the cruiser CR timer: Isn't it a viable option now to "siege" them with worthless shuttles or the like? Stay just out of range until shuttle CP runs out, retreat (the shuttle) and repeat until 7-9 minutes are over. One of this "efficient but boring" things. (I feel like this is said so often it could use its own term. Boricient? Bofficient?)

Potential fix: For frigates CP only runs down while an enemy is within the sight radius. What if for cruisers (could be all classes, effectively) that enemy had to be of equivalent strength to trigger CR loss? So it had to be another cruiser or two destroyers or four frigates/wings nearby (or however the system that decides about auto assignment calculates that).

Hmm, good point. Did that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Uomoz on December 04, 2014, 06:00:00 PM
The changes are perfectly fine and I see the rationale. I also think that a lot of forum comrades didn't think about the changes that deeply before posting over-dramatic sentences.

1) Flux level buff: cool-ish mechanic... but 1000% times more powerful in player hands (for gimmicky reasons), so I can totally see why it need to be removed. I'm all in for changes that bring parity to the field, makes the game more challenging overall. The damage was compensated up, so most of the time this even means a buff for energy non-beam weapons.

2) Missiles are unchanged, if only for the fact that you can't actually wait for an AI ship to finish 3 types of missiles (support ones) before engaging. They also regenerate so slow that will hardly ever matters, unless you count on gaming the AI. High damage missiles/torps still have the same missile count and do not regenerate, so the core idea of missiles is definitely unchanged.

3) Same story for projectiles. There were only a few cases in which the projectiles count was actually a deciding factor in choosing a weapon. Most of the time it was a mid-fight hassle, and unfun micromanagement before battle for those who added/removed the ammo hullmod. While this change hardly means anything for the player, it kills gimmicky waiting-enemy-to-waste-all-ammo strategies. Some strategies/things need to be killed by design, like having a superior weapon that is better than all the others (same here, kill the optimal solutions to open up more interesting solutions).

4) Peak effectiveness: finally define the role of the Capital ships. A very cool change.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 04, 2014, 06:01:54 PM
DOH! Didn't see that last part... >.<
What is going to happen to Expanded Mags though? I mean their usefulness just dropped drastically
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 06:04:08 PM
What is going to happen to Expanded Mags though? I mean their usefulness just dropped drastically

Good question, forgot about those - they're still useful for burst lasers and the AM blaster; should probably rename them to something more energy-related-sounding.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 04, 2014, 06:06:32 PM
4) Peak effectiveness: finally define the role of the Capital ships. A very cool change.
The CR timer making caps viable doesn't make sense as who the hell is going to run out of the timer on a destroyer let alone a cruiser?!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on December 04, 2014, 06:08:26 PM
The high-flux energy bonus has been on the chopping board for enough time, was wondering when you'll decide on it and the 25% boost.. i don't know what that'll do to Plasmas but damn, those things were already insane.

The biggest insane change is the standardisation of 1000 range for beams. I.. don't know how this will work. Reduced OP cost? Ok, sure, tactical lasers needed a bit of something, but Gravitons and Phase especially were already very good. How will the AI know to 'push in' versus beams? As it stands after this patch, i could faceoff and destroy a good number of Frigates, Fighters and Destroyers using purely a Tempest with two Phase Beams. If the beams also have a long fade out like normal bullets... uh.

I do have faith in the design choice but text-only-off-the-bat seems too much.

Still, glad to see Laser PD's getting a bit of a look, i only used LR PDs myself for long range anyway simply because when we're talking under 200-300 meters projectile PD's do a much better job. But i guess this is not a buff to be considered alone..

>Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
>Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
>Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds

Uhm. Missile spam is a thing and was a thing but jesus. We'll REALLY need PD now. Especially for Salamanders which leads me to:

>Reduced OP cost of Light Dual MG

Expected given the other changes.

>Ballistic weapons: Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay

How about antimatters? While i can understand the reasoning, since battles usually were over long before ammo became a concern most times and didn't present much of a choice.. i can't see why it still can't be kept as a possible creator for some cool events at the end of a big battle. In some setups, ammo was an actual thing you had to take into consideration. Not a lot, sure but i understand you used it as you do peak effectiveness now which leads me to:

>Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates
>Roughly 5-7 minutes for destroyers and 7-9 for cruisers

I'm ok with this. I really was expecting this down the line since i think it works really well with frigates.

-----------

Top to bottom, i see this creating more visceral and quicker fights with a lot more going on and less 'dancing and prancing' around the field and more actual grunt work.

Again, don't know how i feel about beams, mostly since the AI can fail horribly when dealing with them, but if it can be worked around, i think this will finally set beams apart.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Uomoz on December 04, 2014, 06:09:57 PM
4) Peak effectiveness: finally define the role of the Capital ships. A very cool change.
The CR timer making caps viable doesn't make sense as who the hell is going to run out of the timer on a destroyer let alone a cruiser?!

What I mean is, Capitals will only be the ones not affected by peak efficiency. You can't kite with anything anymore, without incurring in malfunctions, now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 04, 2014, 06:10:45 PM
What am I missing here?

It's a bit hard to put into words, I'll try. I think the difference between energy and ballistic weapon is not only about their core mechanics (damage specialization/effect) but also about how you feel while you use them.
Even when ammo count is not a practical issue most of the time, when I'm using ballistic the limited ammo is always in the back of my mind, making me want to act tactical and efficient. On the other hand energy weapons give me sense of freedom, suggesting that I have limitless attempts to engage my opponent as long as I don't mess up my defense. Same with high flux damage bonus, while you're right in that it is very rarely intentionally used, it works as a consolation when I have high flux.

So, these little "side mechanics", while having little practical influence on the gameplay, attribute to the different feel of weapon classes over-proportionally. It's all just in the players' head... but that's the place you're aiming at anyway, isn't it?


That said, I'd assume those mechanics will be forgotten pretty quickly ;)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 04, 2014, 06:22:50 PM
Another question: How are the flux stats on the balli weapons going to be balanced now that they have unlimited ammo? (The theroy being that low flux but limited ammo vs unlimited ammo and high flux)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 06:26:15 PM
How about antimatters? While i can understand the reasoning, since battles usually were over long before ammo became a concern most times and didn't present much of a choice.. i can't see why it still can't be kept as a possible creator for some cool events at the end of a big battle. In some setups, ammo was an actual thing you had to take into consideration. Not a lot, sure but i understand you used it as you do peak effectiveness now which leads me to:

AM blasters still keep ammo, imo it's one of the cases where ammo is meaningful.

As to the "cool events", that makes sense, but I think critical malfunctions in weapons etc take the place of that for extra-long battle, as you're basically saying.

Again, don't know how i feel about beams, mostly since the AI can fail horribly when dealing with them, but if it can be worked around, i think this will finally set beams apart.

Yeah, that might be a concern and something to iterate.



What am I missing here?

It's a bit hard to put into words, I'll try. I think the difference between energy and ballistic weapon is not only about their core mechanics (damage specialization/effect) but also about how you feel while you use them.
Even when ammo count is not a practical issue most of the time, when I'm using ballistic the limited ammo is always in the back of my mind, making me want to act tactical and efficient. On the other hand energy weapons give me sense of freedom, suggesting that I have limitless attempts to engage my opponent as long as I don't mess up my defense. Same with high flux damage bonus, while you're right in that it is very rarely intentionally used, it works as a consolation when I have high flux.

So, these little "side mechanics", while having little practical influence on the gameplay, attribute to the different feel of weapon classes over-proportionally. It's all just in the players' head... but that's the place you're aiming at anyway, isn't it?

Ah, I see - yeah, that makes perfect sense. I actually tried something similar with missiles (i.e. regenerating ammo across the board) and it totally destroyed the feel of missiles, for similar reasons. (And so was rolled back for everything but the 3 mentioned.) I do think with most missiles that limited ammo is a defining characteristic, though, so it has much more of an impact there.

It does make me wonder whether giving ballistic weapons absurdly high ammo (Needler levels or above) purely for flavor might be worthwhile, although it'd also be misleading, as in presenting a stat that's actually meaningless. I mean, high enough ammo that the CR timer would always run out first, except for capitals.

Another option on the table was giving capital ships built-in hullmods that give unlimited ballistic ammo... different ways of approaching the same problem, really.


Another question: How are the flux stats on the balli weapons going to be balanced now that they have unlimited ammo? (The theroy being that low flux but limited ammo vs unlimited ammo and high flux)

That wasn't the theory :) Limited ammo doesn't work as a short-term balancing factor at all, the way flux does. The balance is a combination of damage type, flux cost, range, and the general flux stats of the types of ships that have the relevant mount types. Adjusting/removing ammo limits doesn't factor in here.

The exception are things like missiles, where ammo matters short-term.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 04, 2014, 06:36:09 PM
I like the thought of the "unlimited ammo" hullmod instead of just flat out having unlimited ammo
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: BillyRueben on December 04, 2014, 06:36:19 PM
Seem like good changes to me. Not sure what the fuss is about.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Schwartz on December 04, 2014, 06:40:14 PM
The Ammo mechanic is responsible for more than just an "Oh ***!" moment when it runs out. It shapes the entire playstyle. High-damage, low-ammo weapons have to be used with caution and aimed carefully. High RoF also means that you can decide to burst-damage your way to a blaze of glory early in a match to tip the scales, but it'll come at a tradeoff. A prolonged fight might've seen most of your Vulcans run out of ammo and you frantically twisting and turning shields to try and keep your head above water.

While the Flux damage bonus was rather arbitrary and we can all live without it, the other changes effectively turn all weapons into the same thing running on different numbers. We can all agree that ballistics are simply better than the alternatives. They can wreck you and do it not expending much flux. What comes next, upping their flux to not make them too OP in comparison to Energy? You see where I'm going with this. I love the variety and I'm forced to see this as a narrowing down of variety and playstyle, or conversely bringing all weapons up to a certain plateau of similarity and power. One less thing to worry about translates into more single-minded battles, which is in my opinion a bad thing. Arcade is fun and all, but simulation feels more satisfying.

Though, just to make it clear, this doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it. A game isn't static and nothing says we can't play it differently once in a while, see how it feels. I kinda hope it'll be a temporary change all the same.  ;)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on December 04, 2014, 06:43:44 PM
I like the thought of the "unlimited ammo" hullmod instead of just flat out having unlimited ammo

I'd rather have, like with how Tugs work currently, a freighter-class assigned to each capital, to give them 'unlimited ammo' in combat in the form of being 'well stocked'.

Would force more freighters in fleets and more to consider than just slapping on a capital and going wild. But then again, that'd imply making ammo less of a unitary thing, and more of a 'status' effect, even fractionary, which would be cool to apply to the entire fleet.


---------------

Another thing, related to missiles. Missiles could be split strategically in 'tactical' missiles like the Salamander, event the Sabot, missiles that alone cannot and should not win an engagement, which would be fine to be regenerative/unlimited. Then area-denial, like Pilums and Annihilators, which should work in bursts, unlike now where we mostly fire off unitary 'salvoes', but limited and used more in the sense of 'laying a minefield' or 'burning ground' rather than direct damage, and these should stay limited, but not too constrained, and direct-damage like Harpoons and Torpedoes, which should be used sparsely and given as they currently have, 1-3 shots maximum.

Salamanders and Sabots will need to have ZERO hull/armor damage though.

Point being, missiles as 'activateable' abilities. I never really considered them to be an actual weapon system, and i think most people use them as a tactical option. (AI aside, they just pew out all the Harpoons first second they see anyone)

Under this way of thinking, they'd be similar to ship systems and i don't think that's a bad thing. I'd actually think it pretty cool to integrate them as such, 'installable' ship systems in OP slots. Wouldn't per se change anything in the way the game plays, but in the way the game is felt and perceived.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 04, 2014, 06:49:41 PM
Quote
•Added Conquest battlecruiser to Sindrian Diktat fleet composition
Nice.  Can we have Astral, Valkyrie, and Trident wings added for sale?  I have not found them (and Conquest) anywhere for sale!

Quote
•Beam weapons:?Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
?Increased range for PD Laser and LR PD Laser
?Slightly reduced OP cost for all beam weapons
?Greatly reduced fade in/out time for most beams
What happens to Tachyon Lance?  It is a beam weapon, after all.

Quote
?Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles
What does this mean?  That these beams cannot hit missiles?  If so, does this mean IPDAI hullmod is worthless for tactical laser?

Quote
•Missiles:?Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
?Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
?Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds
These sound like a big powerup, but will probably be mitigated by peak performance for most ships.

Re: the rest...
I will probably need to play with the next release before I can give a more fair evaluation.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 07:08:36 PM
The Ammo mechanic is responsible for more than just an "Oh ***!" moment when it runs out. It shapes the entire playstyle. High-damage, low-ammo weapons have to be used with caution and aimed carefully. High RoF also means that you can decide to burst-damage your way to a blaze of glory early in a match to tip the scales, but it'll come at a tradeoff. A prolonged fight might've seen most of your Vulcans run out of ammo and you frantically twisting and turning shields to try and keep your head above water.

That's missiles in a nutshell. I don't think that describes ballistic weapons, either pre or post ammo change. I know what you mean about the Vulcans running out of ammo, though, it's neat. Might just be a case for Vulcans having limited ammo, rather than all ballistics having limited ammo, though.


While the Flux damage bonus was rather arbitrary and we can all live without it, the other changes effectively turn all weapons into the same thing running on different numbers. We can all agree that ballistics are simply better than the alternatives. They can wreck you and do it not expending much flux. What comes next, upping their flux to not make them too OP in comparison to Energy? You see where I'm going with this. I love the variety and I'm forced to see this as a narrowing down of variety and playstyle, or conversely bringing all weapons up to a certain plateau of similarity and power. One less thing to worry about translates into more single-minded battles, which is in my opinion a bad thing. Arcade is fun and all, but simulation feels more satisfying.

As I mentioned earlier, ammo and flux operate on different planes in terms of balance. Also, direct comparisons of ballistic and energy don't make sense as they don't compete for the same slots the vast majority of the time. If ships had universal slots all over the place, then they would, but they don't, precisely for this reason. They also don't generally fit on the same kinds of ships, and energy-slot-heavy ships tend to have more flux to play with, which is also part of the balance.


Though, just to make it clear, this doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it. A game isn't static and nothing says we can't play it differently once in a while, see how it feels. I kinda hope it'll be a temporary change all the same.  ;)

Fair enough :)




I'd rather have, like with how Tugs work currently, a freighter-class assigned to each capital, to give them 'unlimited ammo' in combat in the form of being 'well stocked'.

Would force more freighters in fleets and more to consider than just slapping on a capital and going wild. But then again, that'd imply making ammo less of a unitary thing, and more of a 'status' effect, even fractionary, which would be cool to apply to the entire fleet.

I ... hmm. This sounds interesting, but if we're being honest, overcomplex. Managing this in the campaign view could be fiddly.

Another thing, related to missiles. Missiles could be split strategically in 'tactical' missiles like the Salamander, event the Sabot, missiles that alone cannot and should not win an engagement, which would be fine to be regenerative/unlimited. Then area-denial, like Pilums and Annihilators, which should work in bursts, unlike now where we mostly fire off unitary 'salvoes', but limited and used more in the sense of 'laying a minefield' or 'burning ground' rather than direct damage, and these should stay limited, but not too constrained, and direct-damage like Harpoons and Torpedoes, which should be used sparsely and given as they currently have, 1-3 shots maximum.

Salamanders and Sabots will need to have ZERO hull/armor damage though.

Point being, missiles as 'activateable' abilities. I never really considered them to be an actual weapon system, and i think most people use them as a tactical option. (AI aside, they just pew out all the Harpoons first second they see anyone)

Under this way of thinking, they'd be similar to ship systems and i don't think that's a bad thing. I'd actually think it pretty cool to integrate them as such, 'installable' ship systems in OP slots. Wouldn't per se change anything in the way the game plays, but in the way the game is felt and perceived.

That's very much like they're shaping up, though I think I prefer to keep them as explicit weapons. Having more weapon variety is a good thing, and it also makes universal slots more special.

Interesting idea about Salamanders/Sabots doing 0 damage, although I think that universal CR peak performance should take care of this already.



Quote
•Added Conquest battlecruiser to Sindrian Diktat fleet composition
Nice.  Can we have Astral, Valkyrie, and Trident wings added for sale?  I have not found them (and Conquest) anywhere for sale!

The Astral should be able to spawn for Tri-Tachyon. Not likely, though. In general, I don't want to spend too much time tweaking ship availability until the mechanics that drive it are more final.

(Also not a fan of how the Tridents turned out, so not entirely sure whether they'll stick around at all.)

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•Beam weapons:?Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
?Increased range for PD Laser and LR PD Laser
?Slightly reduced OP cost for all beam weapons
?Greatly reduced fade in/out time for most beams
What happens to Tachyon Lance?  It is a beam weapon, after all.

Nothing. Seems fine as-is.

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?Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles
What does this mean?  That these beams cannot hit missiles?  If so, does this mean IPDAI hullmod is worthless for tactical laser?

It means they damage missiles, but pass through them and can hit other things.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 04, 2014, 07:11:46 PM
It does make me wonder whether giving ballistic weapons absurdly high ammo (Needler levels or above) purely for flavor might be worthwhile, although it'd also be misleading, as in presenting a stat that's actually meaningless. I mean, high enough ammo that the CR timer would always run out first, except for capitals.

If you implement my "CR decay only when facing equivalent strength" mechanic, there's no guarantee that CR will run out before ammo. Ammo count might be gamed with again. 


How about another way to give it a similar feel: Reduce CR ever so slightly for used ammunition after the battle. Just to represent the supplies that have to be used to auto-fabricate new ammo. That would give you a (psychological) motivation to conserve ammo while not influencing the actual combat gameplay. You could even use a reversed "shots fired" ammo counter (or "%o CR cost").

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gaizokubanou on December 04, 2014, 07:14:47 PM
Maybe I'm a minority here but I'm totally looking forward to removal of ammo counter for many weapons.  These balance changes look really interesting overall.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 04, 2014, 07:19:09 PM
It does make me wonder whether giving ballistic weapons absurdly high ammo (Needler levels or above) purely for flavor might be worthwhile, although it'd also be misleading, as in presenting a stat that's actually meaningless. I mean, high enough ammo that the CR timer would always run out first, except for capitals.

If you implement my "CR decay only when facing equivalent strength" mechanic, there's no guarantee that CR will run out before ammo. Ammo count might be gamed with again. 

How about another way to give it a similar feel: Reduce CR ever so slightly for used ammunition after the battle. Just to represent the supplies that have to be used to auto-fabricate new ammo. That would give you a (psychological) motivation to conserve ammo while not influencing the actual combat gameplay. You could even use a reversed "shots fired" ammo counter (or "%o CR cost").
Oh please no! This would make the gameplay worse for newbies because of the "phantom" CR loss and or supply loss
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 04, 2014, 07:19:41 PM
Some quick thoughts:

With ballistic weapons, ammo count was a primary consideration.  In particular, heavy autocannon and heavy needler are very similar.  I usually take heavy needler over heavy autocannon because of ammo count.  But now that ammo will be (mostly) stricken, it looks like Heavy Autocannon might be the superior weapon due to cheaper OP cost.  Similarly, the main reasons why I do not use HAG are because it would run out of ammo faster than the Hellbore Cannon, and costs 4 more OP.  With ammo out of the way, HAG might be more useful (provided I have OP to burn, which is... unlikely).

Salamanders with unlimited ammo?  This may be useful for frigate swarms.  I like to see what 30+ frigates armed with Salamanders instead of Swarmers can do.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on December 04, 2014, 07:23:32 PM
HMMMMM.

Okay, my first thoughts.
Removed energy weapon bonus damage from high flux level
Hmm. I can see that it didn't really add anything to the gameplay (and not having to deal with special rules is a plus), but it still had the "cool" factor (especially with the glowy weapons), know what I'm saying? Ah well.

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Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
BO-RING. Weapons should not be made more alike!  :(

Also, this represents a significant nerf with a 20% range loss to HIL (already one of the less useful weapons in the game), did it get anything to compensate?

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Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload[/li][/list]
Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds
The gameplay reasoning seems to make sense (and hooray Hurricane buff!), but it still seems odd to have reloading missiles.

Salamander should get a different graphic or something to communicate that you can't flush the rack in 3 seconds like you can with the other missiles. Did it?

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Ballistic weapons:
Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay
And the big one.

Okay, first, it's good that low tech ships no longer have worse in-combat endurance than high tech ones (this doesn't affect most of them any more with the expansion of CR timers, but it still matters for capitals). That was kinda silly. Also good that you can't cheese the AI into running out of ammo.

For inter-weapon balance: As Megas noted, ammo count (IMO at least) was an important balance mechanic in at least a few cases (Heavy Autocannon, Gauss Cannon in Vanilla). This was particularly notable in protracted engagements: I remember flying my Blackrock Nevermore back in 0.62, and midway through a particularly brutal fight my vanilla Railguns would be silent while the Ferroguns (which are otherwise an inferior weapon in most aspects) were still firing. Also, now you have even fewer scenarios where you want to put a Pulse Laser in a universal mount instead of a ballistic of some kind. I'm not saying it was a good way to differentiate the weapons, mind you - Gauss is notoriously un-useful for this reason - I'm just saying it was a relevant consideration in designing a ship's loadout.

More generally, there's the part about having your guns go silent one by one in an engagement. CR fulfils largely the same function gameplay-wise, but it's not nearly as "epic" (though perhaps more realistic in some ways) to be in a bad spot because your crew are fatigued and all your systems are overloaded instead of because YOU FIRED AND FIRED AND FIRED AND THEY JUST KEPT COMING! (so to speak). It also fails to correlate the weapon no longer working with how much the weapon was actually used (this was one of my complaints about the CR mechanic in general, if you'll recall).

On balance, I still think it's worth at try. Consider releasing it sooner so we can get our feedback out there

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?Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles
What does this mean?  That these beams cannot hit missiles?  If so, does this mean IPDAI hullmod is worthless for tactical laser?

It means they damage missiles, but pass through them and can hit other things.
Hmm, so I can wave my offensive beam weapons over an incoming Annihilator/Swarmer/Harpoon to clear it? That's pretty neat. Can the AI do it too?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on December 04, 2014, 07:32:00 PM
On the Beam changes:

From a player POV...
Spoiler
...this is a good change, if it's done well.

If the HIL OP change is sufficient, it'll be just fine; that weapon's OP cost was one of the prime arguments against using it. 

Not sure how HIL will get differentiated from Graviton Beam and especially the Phase Beam, however; right now, the Phase Beam is more efficient for shield-killing, for the OPs, and the Phase Beam is, well, kind of useless, for practically anything.  Suggestion:  make the Phase Beam a slow-cycle, one shot beam with a lot more peak damage- like the Tachyon Lance, but no EMP- something to make it genuinely useful in the assault role.  However, it'd need to do quite a lot of damage to be worth using; bursts of Soft Flux damage are a totally different animal than constant Soft Flux. 
[close]

I'm not sure what the rationale is, from a rebal perspective, though, tbh. 
Spoiler
This change still leaves Beams as the ultimate kiting weapon, due to range and no-miss advantages, yet the AI doesn't know how to use them effectively to help the team without getting killed.  Until there are AI settings, and we can tell the AI that it's supposed to kite and stay out of the general engagement, I'm not sure how this helps Beams, from the AI / general-fairness POV.

Moreover, while it certainly gives Beams a niche, and a much more obvious niche than they had, I think it's going to be very difficult to get them balanced right.  Lots of Tac Lasers at 1400+ range (with Tech and Hull Mod bonuses) are a completely different efficiency curve now.  Wouldn't it have been a whole lot easier to just give them Hard Flux and balance them simply in line with their no-miss mechanic vs. their DPS and range and have done with it, as well as removing that other obscure mechanic?
[close]

On removing the Flux Bonus:
Spoiler
Yay :) It was always fussy and totally favored the player.
[close]

On the ship changes:
Spoiler
I still think the Hammerhead needs a fairly serious buff and a stronger sense of role.  I agree with the Sunder buffs completely.  I'm not sure the Brawler has gotten enough to be worth using.  I am generally happy with the other changes, especially the Burn changes.  I think that will work really well.
[close]

On removing ammo from Ballistics (except, well, for exceptions)
Spoiler
I'm not sure I agree with this completely, but it's not so much the removing the ammo part, as the exceptions / mechanics.  I agree that, in practice, Ballistics rarely run out of ammo unless something spurious happens, so it's meaningless.  I do, however, feel that this makes the two types of weapons entirely too much like each other in some ways.  So, a thought; perhaps Ballistics should use "clips", where they have a long reload cycle but get X rounds back at the end?  That gives their load and limit a practical meaning and would differentiate them from pew-pew, but allows them to have endless ammo.

I don't think there should be exceptions, though.  With missiles, even, I think it needs to be made super-clear that ammo limits are a thing.  I totally get why regen on Harpoons would be bad, same with torpedoes, but I think that this may be a UI issue for newbies, since it's essentially a silent rule until you're in a battle with the current UI.  A note that says "USES LIMITED AMMO" or something in the weapon description?

If the AM Blaster is an issue, nerf it other ways.  I don't honestly think that's a huge issue now; about the only time it really matters is when expert players, playing expertly, use it to take down prey that's otherwise too big to handle, and I don't think ammo limits really came into play with the AM Blaster a lot (I have never really had that problem unless doing something really spurious, like pre-0.6 takedowns on Onslaughts with Frigates etc.).  With the timers on Destroyers / Cruisers, it's pretty much a non-issue; you can't just kite about with a Medusa and slowly whittle a Cruiser until finishing with Blasters... at least, not endlessly, which is not the end of the world.
[close]

On the Ship Timers
Spoiler
I have mixed feelings.  It pushes players even further into one-ship-at-a-time tactics.  I'm not sure that the best solution for the problem of one-ship-armies is to further encourage it via the mechanics, while also weakening the Destroyers as a class to the point where they're mainly irrelevant. 

Right now, they're relevant, largely because they aren't effected by the CR timer, but are faster / more maneuverable than Cruisers, putting them into a sweet spot vs. Frigates.  Now they're going to fade out before Cruisers, which may cause a lot of people to re-assess.  However, without being able to pick up more Logistics (and more importantly, imo, Deployment Points) at a reasonable price, it's going to be really hard to justify using anything above Frigates now; one-two to slow-kite all the AI ships below Capital down to low CR, then use ship that can engage the Capital. 

When the path of efficiency is to bring as little as possible onto the battlefield as possible, something might be wrong.

Suggested fix:  force all of the player's fleet to be deployed, up to X DP, and do not allow reinforcements.  The whole concept of reinforcement in a space battle never made a lot of sense; instead, just force the player to decide what ships are possibly going to get killed and force them to deal with it.  That means no more endless-frigate nonsense, but it'd mean real changes would have to be made to how Command Points worked.

On the other hand, it really gives Capitals a big edge, which is nice; they can finally be the lords of the space-lanes through sheer staying-power.  Going to be interesting to see how many players choose to use Conquests to eternally kite their opponents' CR to death, though, lol.
[close]

Anyhow, will be interesting to see how this works, one way or another; I certainly salute your willingness to try some major rebal / mechanics-altering concepts out with combat in general now that the feel is considerably different :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 04, 2014, 07:32:07 PM
Another quick comment:  I have used high-flux damage bonus for two situations:

Not saying anything for or against high-flux damage bonus.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 04, 2014, 07:49:47 PM
Mh... Clips could be combined with ammo-CR cost, so you only pay CR for reloading a clip. Easier to keep the overview.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2014, 08:09:26 PM
A couple of brief responses:

The Salamander got new graphics for the weapon base, yeah.

The idea of "clips" came up before in suggestions. Briefly, imo it gets weird without a per-weapon (not even per group, but per weapon) reload button - for example, you might be incentivized to fire off the last few shots to trigger a reload.


This change still leaves Beams as the ultimate kiting weapon, due to range and no-miss advantages, yet the AI doesn't know how to use them effectively to help the team without getting killed.  Until there are AI settings, and we can tell the AI that it's supposed to kite and stay out of the general engagement, I'm not sure how this helps Beams, from the AI / general-fairness POV.

It actually helps the AI quite a bit, giving more room for error in the optimal kiting range.

Moreover, while it certainly gives Beams a niche, and a much more obvious niche than they had, I think it's going to be very difficult to get them balanced right.  Lots of Tac Lasers at 1400+ range (with Tech and Hull Mod bonuses) are a completely different efficiency curve now.  Wouldn't it have been a whole lot easier to just give them Hard Flux and balance them simply in line with their no-miss mechanic vs. their DPS and range and have done with it, as well as removing that other obscure mechanic?

Hard flux on beams would make them too similar to other energy weapons, imo. (Possibly another answer is an extra damage type, or some such, since their mechanics are differentiating within the energy type, and that's part of the difficulty.)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on December 04, 2014, 08:21:14 PM
Quote
Briefly, imo it gets weird without a per-weapon (not even per group, but per weapon) reload button - for example, you might be incentivized to fire off the last few shots to trigger a reload.
Yeah, I know.  Embrace the weirdness; it'll mean weapons running dry at variable rates, making Ballistics unique and interesting, imo  ;)

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It actually helps the AI quite a bit, giving more room for error in the optimal kiting range.
That's going to depend on loadout.  An all-beam Sunder using PD on the Smalls will be happier; a mixed-arms Sunder will not, because it'll confuse short-range DPS pew-pew that is only meant to absorb fighters / Frigates that manage to close with it with offensive firepower.  I really feel like the one-AI-to-rule-em-all approach has serious problems with varying ranges, and doesn't emphasize range advantages over DPS well enough for these kinds of situations, personally, but we'll just have to see :)

Quote
Hard flux on beams would make them too similar to other energy weapons, imo. (Possibly another answer is an extra damage type, or some such, since their mechanics are differentiating within the energy type, and that's part of the difficulty.)
Nah; they're already unique due to their no-miss nature and damage-over-time vs. armor-crushing single-shot-DPS mechanics.  I think you worry too much about their niche, when their niche is largely due to those two things, personally.  I would welcome another damage type, though, even if it's just to make things clearer to newbies :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Andy H.K. on December 04, 2014, 08:31:15 PM
Overall interesting change. I think Alex made a bold move here, but since the game is still in Alpha I believe we can afford to take some risks and do some experiment here.

The way I see it, limited ammo count should be implemented for strike weapons (High damage per shot, long cooldown). I like the change for salamander and the fire support missiles, because these aren't weapons where "every shots count". I would agree with having unlimited ballistic ammo for the same reason, though I seems to foresee low tech ship becoming favor of the patch, with higher burst damage capability (ballistic = specialised damage) and longevity (slower CR degradation).

I would had suggest ballistic weapon becoming "cast from CR", seeing that low-tech ships would have a larger CR pool.... so you either pick short term burst or endurance. However, I like the clip idea too, from a balance and "feel" aspect.

Beam changes feel alright, I myself would love to see the community crying "beam imba" someday  :D

Can't wait to play the new patch. We can theorycraft here all day but it's how things work in practice that count.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TaLaR on December 04, 2014, 09:01:38 PM
So, a thought; perhaps Ballistics should use "clips", where they have a long reload cycle but get X rounds back at the end?  That gives their load and limit a practical meaning and would differentiate them from pew-pew, but allows them to have endless ammo.

This sounds very interesting. But will probably need at least 2 keys to manage - reload current weapon group and reload all.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ciago92 on December 04, 2014, 10:00:18 PM

Suggested fix:  force all of the player's fleet to be deployed, up to X DP, and do not allow reinforcements.  The whole concept of reinforcement in a space battle never made a lot of sense; instead, just force the player to decide what ships are possibly going to get killed and force them to deal with it.  That means no more endless-frigate nonsense, but it'd mean real changes would have to be made to how Command Points worked.


I'd just like to highlight this idea. I really like it as it would eliminate the gamey fleet-of-one-type-of-frigate-deployed-one-at-a-time. At the risk of just parroting xenoargh here, reinforcements didn't really make sense either. I think it'd place more weight on the players shoulders at deployment time. Going small to save deployment costs is a lot more permanent when you can't panic and fall back to your freshly deployed Conquest if the battle turns the other way. My only issue is that it increases risk without really increasing reward, but I can live with that given that the risks are firmly in the player's hands.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Zaphide on December 04, 2014, 11:14:29 PM

Suggested fix:  force all of the player's fleet to be deployed, up to X DP, and do not allow reinforcements.  The whole concept of reinforcement in a space battle never made a lot of sense; instead, just force the player to decide what ships are possibly going to get killed and force them to deal with it.  That means no more endless-frigate nonsense, but it'd mean real changes would have to be made to how Command Points worked.


I'd just like to highlight this idea. I really like it as it would eliminate the gamey fleet-of-one-type-of-frigate-deployed-one-at-a-time. At the risk of just parroting xenoargh here, reinforcements didn't really make sense either. I think it'd place more weight on the players shoulders at deployment time. Going small to save deployment costs is a lot more permanent when you can't panic and fall back to your freshly deployed Conquest if the battle turns the other way. My only issue is that it increases risk without really increasing reward, but I can live with that given that the risks are firmly in the player's hands.

I also like this idea; perhaps still allow reinforcements but at double (or something) the CR hit if called in after battle starts?

Could also be expanded by having ships in "heightened readiness" at deployment; minor up front CR loss (like 0.3 of normal deploy cost), but can be deployed as reinforcements without the double hit (so perhaps ends up as 1.3x the usual cost).

Just (likely not well though out) ideas :)

..............

Anyways, as for the actual patch changes, I only ever really consider ammo count when fitting ships; in combat it was never really a consideration of not firing (except for a couple of weapons). Perhaps removing ammo will also allow for other balance changes or differentiation to happen down the track easier?

Not really a fan of having extra key bindings for reloading both per weapon and reload all... :P
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Dri on December 04, 2014, 11:25:06 PM
I really liked the cool visual effect when energy weapon turrets would glow the more flux you had... can you still keep that in there even though it doesn't increase damage anymore?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: biotic on December 05, 2014, 02:38:43 AM
Can't say i agree with the some changes, whats bugging me is the regenerating ammo.
Rather then make these changes to help the ai, why not make a better ai... more win that way.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 05, 2014, 03:08:38 AM
Unlimited ballistics is a good move, only thing that really ran out of ammo anyways were flack and vulcans, aside from you in a lasher trying to solo whole fleets where I don't think that was the goal of Alex in the first place.

For those who are wondering, 1000 range on beams will define the difference between ballistics and beams, not ammo anymore. The range is quite interesting, it would make fighting and using beam type ships a lot different.


But what about the blaster type weapons? do they still receive flux damage bonus?

What about swarmer? Since they are tiny missiles should they also regenerate? Because most fighters easily refit them and spam them nonstop
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on December 05, 2014, 03:49:37 AM
After cooling down from my initial reaction, I'll try to explain why I'm surprised by this changes:
If anything I'd expected quite the opposite! It flatten the differences between ships and weapons slots making choices now more cosmetics rather than tactical.
Most of the weapons changes are "to remove useless mechanics". Well in my opinion they were not useless, just under-exploited.

   You say the ammo limitation was not useful in most case, well that is true in the current vanilla balance. But what if suddenly we get to choose between a Hellbore with 50 ammo and less flux, or a Hephaistos with 1000 and highter flux? Suddenly one is the perfect short battle weapon, but quickly become useless in long engagement. There is now an interesting choice to make. In mods we could try even more radical changes that might not be fit for vanilla, like extreme range weapon extremely ammo limited that are only useful to apply pressure on a single ship and have to retreat afterward. To me unlimited ammo could only make sense for PD weapons.
   With unlimited ammo, I don't see the point to buy high tech ships except maybe a frigate for player use, because low tech ships cost less, are more sturdy and can't run dry anymore. (yeah I'm over dramatizing but still...)

   The beam range makes sense, they clearly needed an edge and a long range is definitively a strong one! (though now, you incentive players to get back to the "kite-for-hours-in-a-frigate" type of gameplay, switching ships when the CR counter run out) But then there is the removal of the flux boost, making them act closer to the ballistic. I agree with the fact that the bonus wasn't obvious enough to make a noticeable difference, but then why not push thing further instead of cutting it down? Like 25% damage at high flux, and 25%+ damage when the shields are not raised? (because of some sort of "energy interference" caused by the shield generator or some technobable) Suddenly, forcing a high-tech ship at high flux to drop it's shield makes it a much more dangerous enemy, even if it takes a beating doing so. It would help high-tech to clear some space before venting when now they are basically screwed if they have to drop shield.

 Then there is the missile regen that really don't click for me. Missiles are already much more powerful now, but they get another boost? And one that take the opposite direction as how missile works in the game, in most other games and in reality (not in the "realism" sense, but in the sense you expect them to work). Except for the Pillum, missiles were like a poker game where you could count how many the enemy had left, and act accordingly. But now when you manage to run a Buffalo dry and vent before going in for the kill, suddenly it fire 4 missiles from his sleeve! And it's not cheating! If the goal was mainly to boost the Salamanders, why not make them a MIRV instead? And even better, the sub-missiles could spread and target random weapons in addition to the engines, meaning unless you have a bubble shield you will suffer some hits and get some weapons or engines disabled. If the regen is to stay, maybe consider reactivating the "CR cost per missile fired" in the settings?

 And now almost all ships got CR timer. Okay fair enough, that's the new "ammo" mechanic replacement I suppose. But with so few battles lasting more than 5 minutes, I expect it will have exactly the same impact than ballistic ammo before: none except in a few cases. I'm very much in favor to limiting the deployment time, and CR is a great mechanic to do so, but the flat cost+timer implementation don't convince me yet. (why a ship deployed in pursuit a one tanker should loose 25% of CR after shooting only 2 missiles???) Instead, I would rather have all ships loosing CR as soon as they see an enemy, and only have different CR loss speed. That way it would make sense to take some risks to finish a battle more quickly, instead of taking the safe approach because you already "payed" for it the moment you deployed the ships. Deploying an overwhelming fleet would still cost a lot more than just what's necessary, and if needed maybe only add a minimum of 5% CR spent if the ship is deployed?

There are my thoughts, I feel like it's a lot of trimming the differences when I would have loved to see more of them. I'd be happy to be proven wrong though, and will try to test the future update with an open mind.

[PS] Okay I also don't like the changes because the ammo and missile regen was a huge balance factor in half of Scy weapons, now I have to find something else
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Cycerin on December 05, 2014, 03:55:54 AM
I can see the rationale behind all these changes, but I can't say if I'm on board with all of them yet. The beam changes are good, and ammo was mostly flavor anyway. With the removal of ammo the fridge logic component of it will go away. Since only charges are used as ammo now, maybe adding a small UI element to show them recharging would be a good idea? A small square symbol that starts from a 1 pixel line and fills up into a square from the bottom up perhaps? The first instinct when looking at charges is to see them as ammo. This would also be useful for the new recharging missiles.

Mostly I dread the sound spam from being barraged with even more CR degradation notifications.

Since you are rebalancing weapons, could you please take a look at the Dual Heavy MG and decide once and for all if it's supposed to be a PD weapon or a close range shield assault weapon? It can easily be both, but then it'd have to be much better against missiles, since right now, due to how bad it is at hitting missiles, whenever it begins tracking a missile, it's effectively wasting time that should be spent shooting ships.

Also, I fear that 1000 range tac lasers will trivialize shieldless fighters (eg, all of them) in many engagements. Maybe fighters should have an innate beam damage reduction.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: frag971 on December 05, 2014, 04:32:13 AM
Agree with ammo change - i use exclusively energy weapons because i really can't be bothered to worry about ammo. And i NEVER use missile weapons because of the severe lack of ammo (3 missiles per fight is laughable). With this change i can actually start tinkering instead of always going for the standard build i always go (burst pd + pulse/plasma).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 05:26:10 AM
If beams will not hit for hard flux, they should get a new damage type to make it clear they are incapable of hard flux damage.

Similarly, let modders use the other damage types to make their beam weapons hit for hard flux.  (I know I would if I made my own faction of ships with custom beam weapons.)

EDIT:
Quote
Also, I fear that 1000 range tac lasers will trivialize shieldless fighters (eg, all of them) in many engagements. Maybe fighters should have an innate beam damage reduction.
Not really, if tactical laser remains as slow at turning and firing as it is now.  Various PD lasers have been more efficient at stopping them (because they turn and shoot faster), and IR pulse laser (non-beam) is even better.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Cycerin on December 05, 2014, 06:28:01 AM
Fighters often have little transversal at 600-700+ range because they are still approaching then. Mass beam fire will be very effective at crippling them. Anyway I don't think beam damage reduction is going to be needed or anything, that was an overreaction.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 07:51:33 AM
Quote
I must ask, does one enemy ship pop up on screen and you run out of ammo shooting thousands of rounds into its hulk until it explodes?
Against one ship, no.  Against a large fleet with one player flagship killing each ship one-by-one singlehandedly like Rambo? yes.

Quote
Never really ran out of ballistic ammo to tell the truth, unless it was a long battle, kind of ambivalent on this decision.
Such "long battles" happen all of the time in late to endgame when I have max Combat and Technology, but not enough Logistics to use a big fleet of my own, or I do have high Logistics but my big fleet is full of Atlases during a food run.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on December 05, 2014, 08:00:27 AM
I'm happy about many of these changes.

The only one that really concerns me is the 1000 range for tactical lasers. Unshielded ships (practically all the early game pirates and fighters) are going to be murdered by wolves. Even more than they are, that is. And tacs + the point defense hullmod are going to have astounding range. Then again, that hullmod is a major investment for a frigate, so maybe thats ok.


Sunder boost seems fitting the the 'glass cannon' concept. I second the Hammerhead getting a boost. I know I was defending it in an earlier thread, but I've changed my mind a bit.



Suggested fix:  force all of the player's fleet to be deployed, up to X DP, and do not allow reinforcements.  The whole concept of reinforcement in a space battle never made a lot of sense; instead, just force the player to decide what ships are possibly going to get killed and force them to deal with it.  That means no more endless-frigate nonsense, but it'd mean real changes would have to be made to how Command Points worked.


It would really change the game, but I would be very on board with having both sides forced to deploy all ships, with NO max fleet size. Its always bugged me that civilian ships are never in danger - raiding civilians is effectively impossible when the AI has any combat ships left. They can hide on the edges, or try and stay on the opposite side of the players ships from their escorts, or whatever. Of course, the civilian ships could just retreat at the start of the battle, so I guess some other change would be needed.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 05, 2014, 08:22:11 AM
When the path of efficiency is to bring as little as possible onto the battlefield as possible, something might be wrong.

That was already addressed here, maybe you missed it:

Potential issue with the cruiser CR timer: Isn't it a viable option now to "siege" them with worthless shuttles or the like? Stay just out of range until shuttle CP runs out, retreat (the shuttle) and repeat until 7-9 minutes are over. One of this "efficient but boring" things. (I feel like this is said so often it could use its own term. Boricient? Bofficient?)

Potential fix: For frigates CP only runs down while an enemy is within the sight radius. What if for cruisers (could be all classes, effectively) that enemy had to be of equivalent strength to trigger CR loss? So it had to be another cruiser or two destroyers or four frigates/wings nearby (or however the system that decides about auto assignment calculates that).

Hmm, good point. Did that.




I would be very on board with having both sides forced to deploy all ships, with NO max fleet size. Its always bugged me that civilian ships are never in danger - raiding civilians is effectively impossible when the AI has any combat ships left. They can hide on the edges, or try and stay on the opposite side of the players ships from their escorts, or whatever. Of course, the civilian ships could just retreat at the start of the battle, so I guess some other change would be needed.

I think that would cause many more problems than it fixes.  I'd much favor a raid style solution, variants of which were discussed some time ago in a blog post thread.
There the attacker has some choice about which enemy ships to attack before deployment, for example only the freighters. Possible mechanics include a timer until the rest of the enemy fleet appears, that it's only possible with a small, fast raid fleet, that you can choose half of the enemy deployments and he chooses the other half, the necessity to use parts of your fleet for a distraction maneuver, access too loot despite retreat and many more.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 08:23:19 AM
Quote
And tacs + the point defense hullmod are going to have astounding range. Then again, that hullmod is a major investment for a frigate, so maybe thats ok
Actually, for a Wolf (and probably Shade), it is not.  However, it is not as effective as you think it is because the lasers turn and fire slowly (they cannot stop Salamanders unless the ship turns to follow the missile, and Swarmers or other multishots overwhelm tactical lasers), even with Advanced Turret Gyros.  PD Lasers plus Advanced Optics costs at least the same, but are more effective because the lasers are faster.  Even LR PD lasers only is better than Tactical Lasers due to speed, despite lower damage.

Now, with tactical lasers piercing through missiles, possibly hitting multiple missiles plus enemy ship, that may change.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: nomadic_leader on December 05, 2014, 08:47:00 AM
I'm glad that the developer does not shy from making changes, even when it can rattle players. Players get very reactionary and frightened of changes. If the changes don't work, they'll get changed again, this is the way to figure things out.

My concern is, I hope that the game will have some way of communicating how the missile ammo works in the refitting dialog. People who don't read the forums also need to know ahead of time how it works.

Also the way CR peak performance is going to increment or not increment based on the relative size, and the visibility radius and so on... it's very complicated and again, I hope the game can find some way to inform players of this ahead of time.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Asauski on December 05, 2014, 09:53:40 AM
In this new version you could put an option to download from 64-bit to avoid those errors that have been reported in other posts in relation to saved games.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on December 05, 2014, 10:20:36 AM
All those changes sound good. Beams have needed a buff for years since not generating hard flux is a gigantic downside with no upside. Ballistic Ammo wasn't really a factor anyway and those few weapons it did affect it crippled. The soft limit on battle length (through Combat Timers even on bigger ships) would have made ballistic ammo an obsolete concept anyway - no reason not to do away with it entirely. Combat Timers on big ships is also a huge buff for Low Tech ships, since it forces the High Tech ships into a fight.

The missile change is a good start but doesn't go nearly far enough - every missile should regen ammo. That finally lets you start balancing them properly and gives you an additional lever to do it with: Regen time (also a great candidate for skills!). Slap some proper reload times on missiles (almost all of which are a joke right now or don't exist at all) to stop them from dominating and a lot of ship configs open up that were simply not viable before.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Hopelessnoob on December 05, 2014, 10:29:25 AM
Not sure I like removing hard flux buff, I've got very few reasons to choose ballistics over energy weapons now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Sabaton on December 05, 2014, 10:48:59 AM
 As far as I see it, the best way of solving the weapon controversy is with the clip idea, main points being:

-All ballistic weapons could have their own clip, you could still see the numbers go down in the UI for each gun before they stop shooting to reload.
-Reloading time would depend on each weapon, with the tendency of smaller/pd swapping clips like crazy and heavy hitters taking more time.
-No need to modify the expanded clip mod.
-No need to complicate things by giving the player a reload button, just have it be an automate only process when guns go dry. So what if players fire the last 2 shots to reload? The AI is punishing enough with rockets while venting as it is. Just give it a way to sense you reloading and it will charge like a shark at the smell of blood.

 This approach could bring the best of both worlds: make ballistics retain their flavor while sneaking in infinite ammo.
 Either way something should be done, cause right now ballistics and energy are like 2 strangers in an elevator, uncomfortably close.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Lucian Greymark on December 05, 2014, 11:00:01 AM
My 2 cents on this are as follows:

I play Starsector for the late game giant battles with the large fleets of the biggest factions. Because of the nature of ammo limitations this meant I almost universally had to have energy boat ships for the late game, lest my success in those large battles was dictated by my ability to keep firing. Now that this limitation has been removed it has literally doubled my end game options, I approve, greatly.

Beam weapon changes are a fantastic Christmas present, thank you so much Alex I've wanted this kind of thing for a while.

I'm not super keen on the peak efficiency time for destroyers and cruisers, it seems to just enforce the capital ship race that I find myself in when I play the game, as I mentioned I like the long winded late game battles with big fleets, I essentially have to have a capital ship as my flagship to make those fights work now... we'll see.

Otherwise everything seems pretty straight forward, missiles have needed a buff for a LONG time, I'd like to see more of the missile types get the same treatment as at the moment it more or less funnels missile usage into those three types. Because of the continuing limited ammo for harpoons and sabots they're going to be even less useful now compared to the other kinds, but again, we'll see.

That seems like it's about it. Just my thoughts on the matter.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on December 05, 2014, 11:07:04 AM
Speaking of missile reload times, I'd suggest giving the single shot missiles a relatively long reload time - make it so that the +1 ammo skill perk is more "you get a second shot" and less "you get to spam out two of these for double damage when you decide to fire".

I am uncertain on the beam changes; will have to see how those play out.  That said, I am slightly worried about beams having longer ranges and not being stopped by missiles when used as PD - I foresee a high potential for friendly fire incidents.

I would strongly suggest adding a "soft flux" flag to weapons and corresponding Codex information - it would really open up some interesting options (especially for modders) if we could have, say, ion cannons & salamanders dealing soft flux, or have one or two beam types that deal hard flux (maybe that could be the niche for the HIL now that it has lost its range?)

I agree that the loss of ammunition from ballistic weapons is a big thematic hit - and also agree that they need to have ammunition that's not a long-term limit.  Short term, however... I'd like to see ballistic weapons that have limited ammunition and ammunition regeneration, with the expanded magazines hull mod increasing both capacity and regen - some of the smaller ballistic weapons (and especially point defense weapons) with the hull mod should just never run out of ammunition, while weapons that are currently very ammo-limited (gauss cannon, for example) would still be able to run short for a bit in heavy combat.

I'd also like to see reloading for ballistics happening in chunks - this isn't the "clip reload" mechanic you (rightly) disapprove of, just a cosmetic thing: instead of regenerating one shot every second (for example), have it regenerate 10 shots all at once every 10 seconds - especially important for theme if you have, say, a light machine gun that (with the expanded magazines mod) literally can't run out of ammo; you'd see ammo decreasing until it hit its reload time and then jump back to full.

CR changes... not so keen on this; I've eschewed frigates since the CR timers went in in the first place, since my preferred play style is to pilot a single ship.  Can we get at least a few specific vessels that - like the Brawler - don't have CR timers?  Will wait to see how it plays out, but right now not a fan; yeah, I can swap to flying a Conquest or Onslaught or Paragon, but I'd like to have a few more options than just those three.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TaLaR on December 05, 2014, 11:15:30 AM
Actually clip reloading could be implemented even without forced reload button - by having clip automatically filled if particular weapon hasn't fired for reload duration (or double to not make partial reloading too convenient).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on December 05, 2014, 11:25:50 AM
CR changes... not so keen on this; I've eschewed frigates since the CR timers went in in the first place, since my preferred play style is to pilot a single ship.  Can we get at least a few specific vessels that - like the Brawler - don't have CR timers?  Will wait to see how it plays out, but right now not a fan; yeah, I can swap to flying a Conquest or Onslaught or Paragon, but I'd like to have a few more options than just those three.

There is absolutely nothing stopping you from flying a ship with a CR timer solo. A single Wolf can kill a ridiculous amount of stuff if player piloted and that thing has a CR limit. What you probably mean is you won't be able to cheese the AI to win fights solo, which - yeah that's exactly the thing that should be stopped. Keep in mind that your flagship is going to have a higher starting CR anyway so even if you were fighting a mirror match, in most instances there'll be a window where your ship is going to be in perfect working order while the enemy is already suffering from CR related debuffs and malfunctions.
CR timers simply encourage people with low timer/high power ships to get in there and finish the fight and gives high timer/low power ships a secondary win conditions (outlast your enemy).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SatchelCharge on December 05, 2014, 11:30:54 AM

Suggested fix:  force all of the player's fleet to be deployed, up to X DP, and do not allow reinforcements.  The whole concept of reinforcement in a space battle never made a lot of sense; instead, just force the player to decide what ships are possibly going to get killed and force them to deal with it.  That means no more endless-frigate nonsense, but it'd mean real changes would have to be made to how Command Points worked.

It would really change the game, but I would be very on board with having both sides forced to deploy all ships, with NO max fleet size. Its always bugged me that civilian ships are never in danger - raiding civilians is effectively impossible when the AI has any combat ships left. They can hide on the edges, or try and stay on the opposite side of the players ships from their escorts, or whatever. Of course, the civilian ships could just retreat at the start of the battle, so I guess some other change would be needed.

This totally makes sense but it seems like it would comprehensively change the flow of battles and require a partial AI rewrite... and open up new avenues of AI abuse.

I agree that the loss of ammunition from ballistic weapons is a big thematic hit - and also agree that they need to have ammunition that's not a long-term limit.  Short term, however... I'd like to see ballistic weapons that have limited ammunition and ammunition regeneration, with the expanded magazines hull mod increasing both capacity and regen - some of the smaller ballistic weapons (and especially point defense weapons) with the hull mod should just never run out of ammunition, while weapons that are currently very ammo-limited (gauss cannon, for example) would still be able to run short for a bit in heavy combat.

I'd also like to see reloading for ballistics happening in chunks - this isn't the "clip reload" mechanic you (rightly) disapprove of, just a cosmetic thing: instead of regenerating one shot every second (for example), have it regenerate 10 shots all at once every 10 seconds - especially important for theme if you have, say, a light machine gun that (with the expanded magazines mod) literally can't run out of ammo; you'd see ammo decreasing until it hit its reload time and then jump back to full.

Actually clip reloading could be implemented even without forced reload button - by having clip automatically filled if particular weapon hasn't fired for reload duration (or double to not make partial reloading too convenient).

Came here to make this type of suggestion. In my mind it would be cooler and more clean to have an 'individual weapon heat' mechanic control this, rather than spaceship-sized 'clips', but it would basically work the same way, so.... just an aesthetic suggestion.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Dark.Revenant on December 05, 2014, 11:40:04 AM
The beam changes are well-done, but I think that the hit strength for armor reduction should be changed from 50% to 100%.  This makes underused weapons like the Phase Beam and High Intensity Laser more worthwhile because they can chew through armor at something better than a snail's pace.

I agree with the infinite ammo for ballistic weapons, though you should perhaps add an ammo limitation to some of them, such as the Vulcan Cannon, which is otherwise a far better point defense weapon than all types of Machine Guns, and the Storm Needler, which was previously balanced by having a limited firing duration.

The missile regeneration for fire support missiles is a good change.  Other types: never.  Only fire-and-forget missiles should have this behavior.

The loss of the flux boost is worrying because energy weapons won't have any mechanical differentiation other than the fact that they do energy damage.  "Fixing" this by giving ballistic weapons magazines, reload timers, CR loss, or whatever is not correct; that would make ballistic weapons more mechanically complicated/significant than energy weapons as a whole.  If you want to do a mechanical parity sort of thing, try having most ballistic weapons fire more quickly at the start and then slow down with sustained fire (this would decay in the same manner as reload).  The opposite would apply to energy weapons; they would speed up with continuous fire.

If you decide that weapons should cause CR loss, it should make the CR timer tick down faster (rather than implementing some phantom CR loss thing).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on December 05, 2014, 11:40:58 AM
@DatonKallandor: May I suggest re-phrasing your post in a way that doesn't come off as accusing someone of "cheesing" things or "playing the game wrong"?  The reason I prefer ships without CR timers is the same reason I (currently) prefer high-tech energy-weapon-based ships, and it is based on not liking the feel of racing against depleting resources.  It does not matter that CR or ammunition will generally not be an issue - I do not like playing with the feel that it could be.  So, not a question of "cheese", just playstyle and personal preference.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TaLaR on December 05, 2014, 11:52:50 AM
Actually clip reloading could be implemented even without forced reload button - by having clip automatically filled if particular weapon hasn't fired for reload duration (or double to not make partial reloading too convenient).

Came here to make this type of suggestion. In my mind it would be cooler and more clean to have an 'individual weapon heat' mechanic control this, rather than spaceship-sized 'clips', but it would basically work the same way, so.... just an aesthetic suggestion.

That actually sounds good. Could also be nicely visualized with yellow/red glow similar to current flux bonus glow.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SatchelCharge on December 05, 2014, 12:16:23 PM
Exactly   :)   Something subtle like that to go along with little heat bars at the bottom of the combat screen... they could be red instead of the green color we have for weapon-cooldown bars
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Vind on December 05, 2014, 01:09:18 PM
Now we got CR timer for all kinds of ships and only 3 orders per battle to order zero CR ships to retreat. How about ships with CR 0 automatically try to disengage and exit the battlefield? Also with CR for heavy ships AI ships CR can be easily drained down by some specially created fast cruiser with heavy PD. CR will hurt AI side more every time as AI prefers to stay away from battle being too careful. You can set battle timer at 5 or 10 minutes based on fleet size instead of CR with same result to prevent AI fleet kiting with solo ship. CR instigates fast battles with AI not willing to fight and running away if possible.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: miljan on December 05, 2014, 01:16:14 PM
Not a fan of this changes.

Quote
Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates

    Roughly 5-7 minutes for destroyers and 7-9 for cruisers
    High-tech/faster ships have shorter timers

So now almost all ships will have a time limit in the game? The reason I am trying as fast as possible move from frigates to something else  is because there is a timer.
This is really a big thing for me, when playing games. I am not interested in playing and fighting under time pressure. From this changes it looks like I will be forced to play under it for 75% of the game and even more until i get to battlecruisers now. This is a huge game breaker for me, and I hope you will change it until the game is released. The moment you start to balance the game around exploits and in that process remove the fun from people that dont abuse the exploits, you should stop for a sec and rethink it.

The only thing I can suggest is maybe make timer for ships that are fast and can kite, but for others please remove the timer, so I can at least play with some ships. So maybe a special mod for fast/high tech ship to have a timer, while others dont have it.

I am sorry that I sound this negative, but this is really a huge deal for me.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 01:24:00 PM
Quote
Also with CR for heavy ships AI ships CR can be easily drained down by some specially created fast cruiser with heavy PD
What fast cruiser do you mean?  The only two I can think of that might want to do that instead of simply killing the enemy cruiser is the Heron (because it is a carrier, not a gunship) and Falcon (destroyer in cruiser chassis).  If I have an Aurora or other cruiser out there, I rather simply kill the enemy fleet because I have enough firepower to do so.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Schwartz on December 05, 2014, 01:25:49 PM
Timers for destroyers and cruisers per se aren't a bad thing, but the overall supply cost for battles needs to remain reasonable. Fights are already very expensive, damaged ships prohibitively so, and I'd rather keep playing fleet battles instead of being forced into a cheap & lowball kind of scenario just to make a buck. I have a hunch this'll make Hardened Subsystems mandatory because it translates into money saved.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on December 05, 2014, 01:27:28 PM
Ships I would suggest not get CR timers: Dominator cruiser, Hammerhead destroyer.  These are both kindof the low end of their classes, and both feel like scaled-up variations of the Brawler frigate.  No CR timer would also give me a reason to consider using these ships that, otherwise, I really wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: CopperCoyote on December 05, 2014, 01:32:51 PM
I wanted everything to have CR timers when it was first announced so i'm quite pleased with destroyers and cruisers getting them. Having capitals as the masters of the battlefield with no CR timers does make sense though. My Biggest concern with everything having differing cr timers  means all of my limited command points are likely going to be used up telling ships to retreat in waves. In .65.1 and .62.x I'd only use one to tell my frigates to retreat.

Would a button in the tactical overlay to retreat ships losing CR be too powerful? What if it was ships at risk of malfunctions?
Either one would assuage my fears of having to spend most or all of my resources just keeping my ships alive.

I really like that ballistic weapons don't have ammo. It makes choosing ships and weapons less complicated. It also makes the thumper an almost useable weapon. Its biggest limiting factor was ammo so now it's merely too op costly of its DPS
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on December 05, 2014, 01:33:32 PM
Timers for destroyers and cruisers per se aren't a bad thing, but the overall supply cost for battles needs to remain reasonable. Fights are already very expensive, damaged ships prohibitively so, and I'd rather keep playing fleet battles instead of being forced into a cheap & lowball kind of scenario just to make a buck. I have a hunch this'll make Hardened Subsystems mandatory because it translates into money saved.

This is really a problem with CR recovery being extremely expensive in terms of supplies consumed  (especially when it's bonus CR beyond the standard 50%). That's an issue with every ship deployed, not just the ones that can run out of combat time and deplete extra CR - although as long as it remains a problem it can be countered by finishing the fight fast and/or retreating low combat timer ships. I'd rather see the supply cost (mostly?) shifted from CR recovery to repairs (which rewards you for better use of your ships instead of unilaterally punishing you for using them at all) but that's just me.

Now we got CR timer for all kinds of ships and only 3 orders per battle to order zero CR ships to retreat. How about ships with CR 0 automatically try to disengage and exit the battlefield? Also with CR for heavy ships AI ships CR can be easily drained down by some specially created fast cruiser with heavy PD. CR will hurt AI side more every time as AI prefers to stay away from battle being too careful. You can set battle timer at 5 or 10 minutes based on fleet size instead of CR with same result to prevent AI fleet kiting with solo ship. CR instigates fast battles with AI not willing to fight and running away if possible.

Standing Orders is hopefully something that's coming with the Officer system (or just a part of certain Officers - cautious officers retreat a low CR, etc). Being able to set over-all guidelines (retreat at x% CR? Use Strike Ordnance on Ships above size X if they are present in the battle? etc.) for your fleet is going to be needed eventually (and again a great place for skills to make a difference - unlocking new standing orders).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 01:37:07 PM
Quote
The only thing I can suggest is maybe make timer for ships that are fast and can kite, but for others please remove the timer, so I can at least play with some ships. So maybe a special mod for fast/high tech ship to have a timer, while others dont have it.
Unfortunately, many player-controlled flagships can be made to kite most ships in the game.  Gunnery Implants 5 perk greatly enables this.  Pile on Helmsmanship 10, and hullmods Augmented Engines and ITU, and many ships can outspeed and outrange most ships.  This is why I beeline for Technology 7 then Combat 10 in every game I play so far.  Also, the fast high-tech ships that cannot kite (e.g., blaster Tempest or blaster Medusa) are agile enough to dodge incoming shots as necessary (or take hits on shield), pop off a few shots of their own, withdrawn, vent, and repeat.

Quote
I have a hunch this'll make Hardened Subsystems mandatory because it translates into money saved.
Hardened Subsystems is a no-brainer for my high-tech ships once I get the Optimized Assembly perk.  I use it on every high-tech (Wolf, Tempest, Hyperion, Afflictor, and Shade).  It is that good, up there with Augmented Engines and ITU.  So far, I do not use it with other frigates because they run out of ammo first, and Lasher desperately needs Extended Shields.

Quote
Ships I would suggest not get CR timers: Dominator cruiser, Hammerhead destroyer.  These are both kindof the low end of their classes, and both feel like scaled-up variations of the Brawler frigate.  No CR timer would also give me a reason to consider using these ships that, otherwise, I really wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.
Dominator is very strong.  Hammerhead is weak, but it does not need much to be up to par with others, just a few more OP, flux capacity, and/or burn 5 will make it good.

Quote
I really like that ballistic weapons don't have ammo. It makes choosing ships and weapons less complicated. It also makes the thumper an almost useable weapon. Its biggest limiting factor was ammo so now it's merely too op costly of its DPS
Thumper is sub-par, but would be usable if ammo was not so low.  With unlimited ammo, it (and HMG and Gauss Cannon) will be viable.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: miljan on December 05, 2014, 01:47:09 PM
Quote
The only thing I can suggest is maybe make timer for ships that are fast and can kite, but for others please remove the timer, so I can at least play with some ships. So maybe a special mod for fast/high tech ship to have a timer, while others dont have it.
Unfortunately, many player-controlled flagships can be made to kite most ships in the game.  Gunnery Implants 5 perk greatly enables this.  Pile on Helmsmanship 10, and hullmods Augmented Engines and ITU, and many ships can outspeed and outrange most ships.  This is why I beeline for Technology 7 then Combat 10 in every game I play so far.  Also, the fast high-tech ships that cannot kite (e.g., blaster Tempest or blaster Medusa) are agile enough to dodge incoming shots as necessary (or take hits on shield), pop off a few shots of their own, withdrawn, vent, and repeat.
Than maybe a option/difficulty that will have timers (like hardcore dif will have timers in battles, while other will not).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 05, 2014, 02:15:37 PM
Spoiler
After cooling down from my initial reaction, I'll try to explain why I'm surprised by this changes:
If anything I'd expected quite the opposite! It flatten the differences between ships and weapons slots making choices now more cosmetics rather than tactical.
Most of the weapons changes are "to remove useless mechanics". Well in my opinion they were not useless, just under-exploited.

   You say the ammo limitation was not useful in most case, well that is true in the current vanilla balance. But what if suddenly we get to choose between a Hellbore with 50 ammo and less flux, or a Hephaistos with 1000 and highter flux? Suddenly one is the perfect short battle weapon, but quickly become useless in long engagement. There is now an interesting choice to make. In mods we could try even more radical changes that might not be fit for vanilla, like extreme range weapon extremely ammo limited that are only useful to apply pressure on a single ship and have to retreat afterward. To me unlimited ammo could only make sense for PD weapons.
   With unlimited ammo, I don't see the point to buy high tech ships except maybe a frigate for player use, because low tech ships cost less, are more sturdy and can't run dry anymore. (yeah I'm over dramatizing but still...)

   The beam range makes sense, they clearly needed an edge and a long range is definitively a strong one! (though now, you incentive players to get back to the "kite-for-hours-in-a-frigate" type of gameplay, switching ships when the CR counter run out) But then there is the removal of the flux boost, making them act closer to the ballistic. I agree with the fact that the bonus wasn't obvious enough to make a noticeable difference, but then why not push thing further instead of cutting it down? Like 25% damage at high flux, and 25%+ damage when the shields are not raised? (because of some sort of "energy interference" caused by the shield generator or some technobable) Suddenly, forcing a high-tech ship at high flux to drop it's shield makes it a much more dangerous enemy, even if it takes a beating doing so. It would help high-tech to clear some space before venting when now they are basically screwed if they have to drop shield.

 Then there is the missile regen that really don't click for me. Missiles are already much more powerful now, but they get another boost? And one that take the opposite direction as how missile works in the game, in most other games and in reality (not in the "realism" sense, but in the sense you expect them to work). Except for the Pillum, missiles were like a poker game where you could count how many the enemy had left, and act accordingly. But now when you manage to run a Buffalo dry and vent before going in for the kill, suddenly it fire 4 missiles from his sleeve! And it's not cheating! If the goal was mainly to boost the Salamanders, why not make them a MIRV instead? And even better, the sub-missiles could spread and target random weapons in addition to the engines, meaning unless you have a bubble shield you will suffer some hits and get some weapons or engines disabled. If the regen is to stay, maybe consider reactivating the "CR cost per missile fired" in the settings?

 And now almost all ships got CR timer. Okay fair enough, that's the new "ammo" mechanic replacement I suppose. But with so few battles lasting more than 5 minutes, I expect it will have exactly the same impact than ballistic ammo before: none except in a few cases. I'm very much in favor to limiting the deployment time, and CR is a great mechanic to do so, but the flat cost+timer implementation don't convince me yet. (why a ship deployed in pursuit a one tanker should loose 25% of CR after shooting only 2 missiles???) Instead, I would rather have all ships loosing CR as soon as they see an enemy, and only have different CR loss speed. That way it would make sense to take some risks to finish a battle more quickly, instead of taking the safe approach because you already "payed" for it the moment you deployed the ships. Deploying an overwhelming fleet would still cost a lot more than just what's necessary, and if needed maybe only add a minimum of 5% CR spent if the ship is deployed?

There are my thoughts, I feel like it's a lot of trimming the differences when I would have loved to see more of them. I'd be happy to be proven wrong though, and will try to test the future update with an open mind.

[PS] Okay I also don't like the changes because the ammo and missile regen was a huge balance factor in half of Scy weapons, now I have to find something else
[close]

I see what you're saying. The way I see what you're suggesting, though, is doubling down on mechanics that have some fundamental issues. Those would be major, AI-breaking changes, too, where these smooth out some AI issues instead.

As far as Salamanders specifically, my issue w/ them is they encourage a "boring" period of missile-baiting, and they're susceptible to it due to being medium-range support, so it's not something that can be resolved with AI or by making individual shots more powerful. Unlike a Sabot, for example, which is a short-range missile and the AI can make a decent evaluation about when to fire so that baiting it requires at least taking a significant risk by the baiting ship.


My concern is, I hope that the game will have some way of communicating how the missile ammo works in the refitting dialog. People who don't read the forums also need to know ahead of time how it works.

That's all in the weapon tooltip.

Also the way CR peak performance is going to increment or not increment based on the relative size, and the visibility radius and so on... it's very complicated and again, I hope the game can find some way to inform players of this ahead of time.

Yeah, that's a concern.


In this new version you could put an option to download from 64-bit to avoid those errors that have been reported in other posts in relation to saved games.

The need for that should be greatly reduced by the save file optimizations.



CR changes... not so keen on this; I've eschewed frigates since the CR timers went in in the first place, since my preferred play style is to pilot a single ship.  Can we get at least a few specific vessels that - like the Brawler - don't have CR timers?  Will wait to see how it plays out, but right now not a fan; yeah, I can swap to flying a Conquest or Onslaught or Paragon, but I'd like to have a few more options than just those three.
So now almost all ships will have a time limit in the game? The reason I am trying as fast as possible move from frigates to something else  is because there is a timer.
This is really a big thing for me, when playing games. I am not interested in playing and fighting under time pressure. From this changes it looks like I will be forced to play under it for 75% of the game and even more until i get to battlecruisers now. This is a huge game breaker for me, and I hope you will change it until the game is released. The moment you start to balance the game around exploits and in that process remove the fun from people that dont abuse the exploits, you should stop for a sec and rethink it.

The only thing I can suggest is maybe make timer for ships that are fast and can kite, but for others please remove the timer, so I can at least play with some ships. So maybe a special mod for fast/high tech ship to have a timer, while others dont have it.

I am sorry that I sound this negative, but this is really a huge deal for me.

I get what you're saying. Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for you. Personally, I see the time pressure as a positive thing for gameplay, though I feel like I can relate to your guys' mindset. All I can say is wait and see how big of a deal it actually is. With the length of the timer and the rules around when it actually ticks down (and possible with hardened subsystems), I think it's pretty likely that your playstyles won't be affected in practical terms.


I agree that the loss of ammunition from ballistic weapons is a big thematic hit - and also agree that they need to have ammunition that's not a long-term limit.  Short term, however... I'd like to see ballistic weapons that have limited ammunition and ammunition regeneration, with the expanded magazines hull mod increasing both capacity and regen - some of the smaller ballistic weapons (and especially point defense weapons) with the hull mod should just never run out of ammunition, while weapons that are currently very ammo-limited (gauss cannon, for example) would still be able to run short for a bit in heavy combat.

I'd also like to see reloading for ballistics happening in chunks - this isn't the "clip reload" mechanic you (rightly) disapprove of, just a cosmetic thing: instead of regenerating one shot every second (for example), have it regenerate 10 shots all at once every 10 seconds - especially important for theme if you have, say, a light machine gun that (with the expanded magazines mod) literally can't run out of ammo; you'd see ammo decreasing until it hit its reload time and then jump back to full.
The loss of the flux boost is worrying because energy weapons won't have any mechanical differentiation other than the fact that they do energy damage.  "Fixing" this by giving ballistic weapons magazines, reload timers, CR loss, or whatever is not correct; that would make ballistic weapons more mechanically complicated/significant than energy weapons as a whole.  If you want to do a mechanical parity sort of thing, try having most ballistic weapons fire more quickly at the start and then slow down with sustained fire (this would decay in the same manner as reload).  The opposite would apply to energy weapons; they would speed up with continuous fire.

If you decide that weapons should cause CR loss, it should make the CR timer tick down faster (rather than implementing some phantom CR loss thing).

This is really interesting. I'm liking the "reload in chunks" idea, if mainly for feel reasons, though it *is* an extra weapon stat.

Now, increasing/decreasing the rate of fire based on how long a weapon has been firing... hmm. Increasing the RoF seems potentially troublesome as it might encourage firing at nothing to build up the bonus. On the other hand, reducing the rate of fire for ballistics is an interesting idea, although thinking about it, it's overlapping with the "accuracy reduction for sustained fire" mechanic.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: miljan on December 05, 2014, 02:28:49 PM
I get what you're saying. Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for you. Personally, I see the time pressure as a positive thing for gameplay, though I feel like I can relate to your guys' mindset. All I can say is wait and see how big of a deal it actually is. With the length of the timer and the rules around when it actually ticks down (and possible with hardened subsystems), I think it's pretty likely that your playstyles won't be affected in practical terms.


What about hull mod (something like hardened subsystems), or a skill that will lower the ship speed for 50% (or some other number) but remove the timer? Or a difficulty/in game option?

And question for moders how easy/hard is it to remove the timers from the game if possible at all?

I dont want to feel sorry for buying this game, that will in end turn out to be time based.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 05, 2014, 02:34:17 PM
I can't really see doing that. It'd either be so bad that it's crippling, or it'd produce the same kiting scenarios and would be mandatory for someone trying to play optimally, thus narrowing their choices.

As for an option, I don't think adding options for core gameplay features is a good idea. It's kind of the game's responsibility to come up with a coherent ruleset, even if that ruleset isn't going to please everybody.

And question for moders how easy/hard is it to remove the timers from the game if possible at all?

Trivial, just removing some values in a column in ship_data.csv.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 02:35:48 PM
Quote
What about hull mod (something like hardened subsystems), or a skill that will lower the ship speed for 50% (or some other number) but remove the timer? Or a difficulty/in game option?
Would make teleporters (only Hyperion in standard) overpowered.  Hyperion cannot solo the largest of fleets (though it comes close) due to CR decay.  Might make a few other ships that are extremely fast otherwise overpowered too.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 05, 2014, 02:36:07 PM
@Tartiflette: Forgot to mention, all the weapon changes are through weapon_data.csv, so it's not as if ballistic weapons *can't* have ammo anymore. So your mod(s) can still do whatever they want in regard to that, and it *doesn't* go against vanilla sensibilities to have low ammo for a weapon where it matters.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on December 05, 2014, 02:48:12 PM
Quote
That was already addressed here, maybe you missed it...
A fix like that, where the CR doesn't degrade unless X points are on the board, might work, but:

1.  I think there would still be good ways to game it and I think that it shouldn't be game-able, period.
2.  I think there'd be complaints in terms of feel and setting; "what, my ship just magically starts malfunctioning if there are lots of enemy ships on the battlefield, a million miles away, but doesn't, if they have only a few small ships left, but does, if I'm in a small ship"? 

It's one of those things that's a lot more complicated in operation than it sounds in practice, which is why instead I suggested that the player be forced to deploy a certain number of ships, period (and probably not be able to Retreat / Reinforce for a couple of minutes or so). 

That fixes the core problem, where players are being pushed to deploy as few ships as possible, which severely detracts from the feel.  I don't mind that that is a viable strategy, but when it's the only way to play, especially at the high end, I'm not sure that's a good thing, tbh :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 03:03:33 PM
At least for me, there are two optimal big fleet styles:
* So many warships that you can deploy everything, kill all enemies as quickly as possible, and recover most CR back.
* Most ships are Atlas or Prometheus, carrying lots of commodities, which are led by one overpowered flagship.  Deploy only the flagship, and it will be enough.

Early Combat and Technology characters use the second style, without the civilians.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 03:26:59 PM
Quote
It's one of those things that's a lot more complicated in operation than it sounds in practice, which is why instead I suggested that the player be forced to deploy a certain number of ships, period (and probably not be able to Retreat / Reinforce for a couple of minutes or so).
I would get around this by using a fleet of one, forgoing extra ships and loot, if bounties are generous enough.  Also, an arena trap would be bad for accidental pursuit (where attacking player wants to retreat to avoid relations drop to vengeful).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 03:36:00 PM
I just remembered something:  Weren't frigates' top speed and recovery boosted from 0.54 to 0.6 because they were the only ships with CR decay at the time (when 0.6 came out)?  One reason I use frigates, aside from high burn speed, is they recover quickly.  Big ships (and fighters) take forever to recover CR.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Squigzilla on December 05, 2014, 03:49:43 PM
I'm in favor of the upcoming changes. Beam weapons needed a change to bring them in line with other energy weapon options, and increased range is an easily implemented solution. The zero-flux damage boost was cool but produced some jarring mental images: "Gun decks three through eight, fire all energy weapons into empty space! We need our reactors at the brink of overload before engaging the enemy!"

Regarding people's concerns about not having the orders to retreat all low-CR ships, try investing in the leadership skill that grants extra command points. This is not meant to be condescending but rather a simple suggestion. I imagine a novice admiral with limited leadership experience would have difficulty managing all his ships to keep the fleet fighting at full efficiency, and I am glad to see this reflected in the game mechanics.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Unicorn Face on December 05, 2014, 04:01:06 PM
I think I like the sound of those changes! I never ran out of bullets unless I was trying to, missile balance is currently kinda abusable, and it always struck me as kinda odd that overheating would somehow help complex electronics.

I have a concern, which is "Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles." Does that mean they can't shoot down missiles anymore? Tactical Lasers with the AI PD module were my favorite 'point' defenses, because they worked great and stayed useful even if missiles weren't a problem.

If infinite ballistic ammo turns out to not work great, (imagination vs. testing) or feel quite right, maybe a finite amount that regenerates in chunks as crewmans refill the magazine from your arbitrarily large stockpile would be a middle ground option?

edit: Missed that. Cool, best of both worlds.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 04:03:21 PM
Quote
I have a concern, which is "Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles." Does that mean they can't shoot down missiles anymore? Tactical Lasers with the AI PD module were my favorite 'point' defenses, because they worked great and stayed useful even if missiles weren't a problem.
From Alex on page 3: "It means they damage missiles, but pass through them and can hit other things."
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: LazyWizard on December 05, 2014, 04:07:19 PM
I agree that ammo limits never really mattered with a normal playstyle (outside of PD), but I also agree that they were very important for ballistic 'flavor'. Why not just, say, halve non-PD ammo and have all ballistics regenerate at 25% ROF? For the 'clips' idea, burst weapons could regenerate 1 burst at a time at 1/4 burst ROF instead. I think universal regen rules like this would be pretty intuitive.

Since weapons are rarely firing 100% of the time, there wouldn't be much difference in effective 'max' ammo. You'd still have the concern about running out of ammo, but instead of that weapon being useless it's instead temporarily operating at 25% effectiveness (for rapid fire weapons) or you need to back off for a bit (for burst damage). And it provides the mental image of your crew frantically hauling ammo from the autofac over to the weapon bays as enemy missiles are incoming.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 05, 2014, 04:10:55 PM
@ Alex: I think nobody asked directly yet: What is your reasoning behind giving a CR timer to bigger ships?

Is it to deny kiting, even in it rarest forms? Or more about lore/game mechanic consistency? Or something else?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 05, 2014, 04:19:28 PM
About clips and regeneration:  Consider autopulse laser; it shoots ten per second (or more with Gunnery Implants 10), but regenerates one shot twice per second.  Thermal Pulse Cannon does something similar.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on December 05, 2014, 04:23:09 PM
@ Alex: I think nobody asked directly yet: What is your reasoning behind giving a CR timer to bigger ships?

Is it to deny kiting, even in it rarest forms? Or more about lore/game mechanic consistency? Or something else?

Can't talk on his behalf, but i strongly think it's linked to why he's removing ammo. There always was a 'pressure' to perform in a certain timeframe. Ammo worked initially since you couldn't just use the most effective weapons and kite/avoid until they all died.. you'd lose punching power the more of your weapons go offline due to ammo. Then CR came into play and it worked really well with frigates and in the context of a huge fight.

Giving CR to most ships aside from caps unifies the pressure to perform and the concept of 'ships as ammo' instead of 'ships as guns', superceding the old ammo system. As he said, he might keep it more or less symbolically, but that'd just put extra stats in an already stat-filled game that won't have any real purpose aside from adding flavor in the new design.

Tl;dr, minus a name change, i think it's just a matter of unifying under a single system the anti-kite/no-solo-hyperion-killing-hegemony-fleet/restrained-play-leading-to-better-results types of situations while also allowing for tactical and logistical flexibility.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: PartyAlarm on December 05, 2014, 05:28:29 PM
Perhaps ballistics weapons should be given a magazine / reload mechanic or just give them all charges and a recharge rate on case by case basis or something?

I like the idea of a magazine / reload mechanic, especially if you can manually trigger a reload.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Clockwork Owl on December 05, 2014, 05:52:05 PM
I suggest not to be afraid about the changes, especially when it is reversible.
Though I'm not good at predicting these things, who knows, some of those change may turn out to be surprisingly better(by itself or unexpected synergy).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Lucian Greymark on December 05, 2014, 06:04:38 PM
I like the idea of a magazine / reload mechanic, especially if you can manually trigger a reload.

This looks fine at first glance, and maybe it would be for a smaller ship with 1-5 ballistic weapons, but what about something like the conquest, or the onslaught, or even the dominator, you'd need to spend most of your time micromanaging reloads for optimum play, I have hard enough time keeping my weapons firing in accurate arcs never mind have to keep them all optimally reloaded between fights.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: NikolaiLev on December 05, 2014, 07:31:21 PM
If it's about ammo: like I said, in my view, it was not a meaningful balance tool or differentiator, except for extra-long battles, where it basically just means low-tech ships can't do those.

Arguably, CR loss was the balancer for high-tech ships.  Now that ammo is out of the question, the balance might swing the other way.

Maybe make it so that if a ship runs out of ammo, it reloads its magazine at the cost of CR.  Maybe 5% or something.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: kazi on December 05, 2014, 07:59:19 PM
Short rant incoming:

The CR timer as currently implemented doesn't make sense. The fact that they're being expanded at the same time ammo is removed really worries me. Alex's reasoning for getting rid of ammo (certain weapons simply don't work for longer battles) is the EXACT SAME REASON you would want to get rid of the CR timer (certain ships simply don't work for longer battles). The only ships that really justify a CR timer are the Hound, Tempest, and Hyperion (basically anything capable of endless kiting). The CR timer as currently implemented seems completely arbitrary. 

However, there is one CR timer-like mechanic suggestion I have to rework CR. Get rid of CR deployment costs and the CR timer altogether. In place of that, simply have all ships lose a certain percent of CR for every second/minute they are in combat (percentage lost varies by ship). This makes sense from both a realism standpoint and adds complexity to gameplay (and gets rid of the needless CR timer stat).

Here are a few reasons why it would benefit gameplay and be easy to implement:
Spoiler
-Ships with higher CR can outlast lower CR in combat. There is now a very clear benefit to maximizing your CR and logistics capabilities (beyond just all your ships stop working after X number of consecutive battles/deployments). Elite and veteran crew can now outlast green and regular pilots in combat.
-There would now be two ways to do combat deployments: deploy a lot of ships and hope for a short, decisive battle (all ships lose a small amount of CR) OR deploy only a few ships and risk a longer battle (limiting a dramatic CR loss to only the in-combat ships). The player is still punished for drawing things out with their entire fleet/being inefficient.
-Instead of a ticking clock in the corner of your screen that is arbitrary and something the player has little control over, you have a similar timer that the player can control by managing their logistical capabilities better.
-You have reduced the number of CR stats that the player needs to watch in combat. Just show the player their current CR percentage and that's it. This also abstracts CR loss away from a ticking clock with the amount of playtime they have remaining in seconds (the current CR timer clock drives me absolutely crazy while playing).
-Hardened subsystems is now relevant for larger ships (it slows the rate of the constant CR decay). You could even give it several variants which slow CR decay by different amounts for different OP costs.
-CR timers are no longer something that only a few ships have. The CR decay rate is a statistic common to all ships, and gives you a good idea of which ships can outlast others in combat. CR decay becomes the ONLY stat you need, and replaces deployment cost/CR timer length, simplifying things for the player.
-Ships no longer lose an arbitrarily huge amount of CR for being deployed in combat (no matter how short of a time they actually participated in it). Instead, CR would now reflect how much each ship actually participated in combat.
-It gets rid of the annoying "our ships are now losing CR" sound effect.
[close]

Additionally, reworking the CR mechanic requires almost no new code (simply set the CR to zero for all ships, get rid of deployment cost, and dramatically decrease the CR loss per ship).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: akeean on December 05, 2014, 08:24:48 PM
If it's about ammo: like I said, in my view, it was not a meaningful balance tool or differentiator, except for extra-long battles, where it basically just means low-tech ships can't do those.

Great change!

Changing missiles&ballistics to be slowly regenerating (aka "reloading") are the first mod I did for myself all the way back in... 0.35a perhaps? The concept of "ammo" is already covered by the generic supply-item that gets consumed for restoring CR.

Also this:
- Can we get some kind of info field when you click a system/station/planet in the map to enable a flavor texts in the campaign? It'll allow the possibility to add some Backstory to generic 3 planets orbiting a sun with some asteroids, Mass Effect did that to some effect and it did a lot for people who are into this...

- Can we merge the map view with the info-map & make the local system maps (sans ship-info) availiable while traveling somewhere else? I find myself switching between both maps all the time and it feels clumsy.

- Some hover info in the map would be useful... sometimes colors of fleets (esp with mods) to know if a feel is a friendly or foe. Just the name would be enough to avoid plotting courses like wild just to see what kind of fleets are surrounding me.

- Would it be possible to pause/unpause in the map view (like in the combat map)? Sometimes I hang out near star systems and wait for pirate fleets to approach to start intercepting if they get close. Chasing fleets through hyperspace is too costly (or dangerous with small fleets). Together with the info-map being separate this ends up to: Normal view while holding shift for 15 seconds, TAB, e, TAB, TAB, repeat.

Anyway.. it's great to see how far the game has come. Thank you for still being so invested in the game (and did not leave us for a new toy), Alex.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 05, 2014, 08:30:31 PM
The idea of removing deployment CR costs runs exactly counter to the main goal of CR, which is to give incentive to have more fair fights even if one side is stronger than the other.

Alex's reasoning for getting rid of ammo (certain weapons simply don't work for longer battles) is the EXACT SAME REASON you would want to get rid of the CR timer (certain ships simply don't work for longer battles).

That's not the reason for removing ammo - the reason is that it doesn't matter except for these types of scenarios, which get taken care of the the peak effectiveness mechanic anyway. It's a matter of rolling two things into one.


@ Alex: I think nobody asked directly yet: What is your reasoning behind giving a CR timer to bigger ships?

Is it to deny kiting, even in it rarest forms? Or more about lore/game mechanic consistency? Or something else?

It's a combination of things. The added sense of urgency, but mostly, yeah, removing egregious kiting strategies - such as using the now-infinite-ammo Salamanders, or perhaps dual light needlers on a Medusa - those types of super-slow-kill things. It's a way for the game to say that certain extra-low-damage kiting strategies aren't viable, and it helps open up the design possibilities of weapons.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: JohnDoe on December 05, 2014, 08:33:53 PM
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Schwartz on December 05, 2014, 08:34:15 PM
Short rant incoming.

You know that's not a bad idea at all. It'd simplify the whole deal without taking away any of its depth. Right now the CR-Logistics-Supply trifecta is pretty convoluted to understand and to tie in with various ship stats.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: kazi on December 05, 2014, 10:40:13 PM
The idea of removing deployment CR costs runs exactly counter to the main goal of CR, which is to give incentive to have more fair fights even if one side is stronger than the other.

Keep in mind that the deployment cost does nothing that a slow timer decay wouldn't. It's still much more economical to keep ships off the battlefield if you have the option. Also the rest of the way the campaign is designed punishes even fights. Due to the rarity of certain ships and weapons, losing a single ship can be devastating. Some ships are simply irreplaceable. I always deploy overwhelming force in every engagement (no matter how small) in order to minimize losses.

If you're dead-set on keeping the deployment cost, at least standardize it (and make it smaller if you implement always-on CR decay). But seriously, the current time limit of the CR timer, after which you lose all your CR and your ship quickly becomes non-functional seems very gamey. It seems like everything about it (the ticking timer/ the CR is being lost sfx/CR percent on the screen/etc.) is simply designed to panic the player. I generally try to avoid using "CR timer ships" for this reason. A slow, silent decay that happens for all ships as long as they're deployed takes away a lot of the stress because then the CR loss is just a normal side effect of them being deployed.

For the record, I still don't entirely understand the logistics system in game right now. Although I haven't been actually playing the game that much aside from testing my mod every now and then, there's probably a lot of casual players out there who are in a similar situation. It seems much simpler to just reduce many of the CR related mechanics to two stats: logistics (out of combat supply use) and CR decay (in-combat supply use).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Venatos on December 05, 2014, 10:55:53 PM
wow thats something i dont experiance every day.... practicly every single change is in the other direction i was hoping for....
CR loss during battle:
how and why would my crew loose combat readiness within 3 minutes of chasing a freakin frigate? why would they start to go insane and disable and/or damage vital undamaged shipsystems? i can understand that my crew is not at peak performance after batteling for what seems like hours and seeing half their friends getting ripped apart and sucked into space, but sabotaging a ship that doesnt even have a scratch doesnt make any sense what so ever.

instead of fixing this mindbogling mechanic it gets expanded....im flabergasted beyond believe.

beams at 1000 range? am i the only one that fought against 4 sunders in a refit battle? am i the only one that outfittet a handfull of frigates with graviton beams and advanced optics and never did that again, because it was gamebreakingly overpowered? now this is standard? as i sayed.... flabergasted.

ammo removal: i can agree with the notion, but not realy with the steps taken. my hope like so many others it seems was a reloading mechanism similar to the recharge of some energy weapons, just in chunks(magazines). a manual reload feature would have been a plus, but not expected.(example: weapon has a 2-3 magazin sized pool of ammo, where every 20-30 seconds a magazin junk gets refilled)
personaly i would even go so far as to extend the reload mechanic to missiles, just on a larger timeframe.(like 3 minutes reload for a torpedo) in combination with reduced magazine sizes this would eliminate the first minute of missilespawn followed by a onesided battle problem.

a simple and universal mechanic, everything that isnt a beam uses projectiles, projectiles get reloaded/generated. no spezial cases: "that missile can get reloaded, but these cant." the reload can absolutely be so long that you only get 1 or 2 shots in a 5minute battle, but the mechanic should be consistent.

circling back to the CRloss:
i do want a CRloss mechanic, the underlying idea is good! the crew needs to relax and unwind a little after a battel makes sense. while in a prolonged battle espezialy after taking some damage and loosing crew, the remaining crew will be rather shaken, sealing breaches, giving first aid, keeping damaged systems running and so on, will all keep em from performing like at the start of the battle. but the current mechanic doesnt reflect any of that, its an arteficialy imposed timer that has no sensible explanation.

when you think of realworld CombatReadiness, what does that effect?: aim of gunners, speed of reload crews, speed of repaircrews, ability of engineers to keep reactors and stuff at 105%, general reaction time to carry out orders. and probably some other stuff.

how is CombatReadiness effected?: shooting lazors at an asteroid or empty space or an enemy that cant shoot back, probably has no effect at all or extremely little. getting your shields pummeld by enemy fire will probably make your crew nervous and overtime affect their CombatReadiness. taking damage to armor is a whole new level of nervous and hull damage will have a servere impact.

i think i just described a rather nice gamemechanic for CRloss, but if for some reason there has to be a "timelimit" for battles i highly recommend another singular and global gamemechanic without exeptions like the ammoreload:
Crew in Battle allways looses CombatReadiness by x/minute, offset by the amount of crew on board. more crew, more replacements(Mike take a break, Hank take over). stat would be -cr/minute at minimum crew. suddenly it makes sense to hire more crew than minimum.

i developed several games myself and i remember that its hard to see when your so close to it. parts of this post may seem harsh or insulting or whatever, thats not the intention, i simply dont have the feel for frasing things.

i actually dont care about the beamrange, that can get balanced afterward.

but bevore going forward and expanding and making exeptions for CR and Ammo. please consider changing the mechanic into a unifying singular rule without exeptions.
you realy dont want your players to have to memorice all the different odditiys and exeptions to your gamemechanics.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Dri on December 05, 2014, 11:15:25 PM
It's a game. Games have abstraction of reality. Please don't try and apply real world combat logic to a game...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Zapier on December 05, 2014, 11:32:58 PM
wow thats something i dont experiance every day.... practicly every single change is in the other direction i was hoping for....
CR loss during battle:
how and why would my crew loose combat readiness within 3 minutes of chasing a freakin frigate? why would they start to go insane and disable and/or damage vital undamaged shipsystems? i can understand that my crew is not at peak performance after batteling for what seems like hours and seeing half their friends getting ripped apart and sucked into space, but sabotaging a ship that doesnt even have a scratch doesnt make any sense what so ever.

The simplest way I've always looked at CR... it isn't all about crew readiness... it's combat readiness. Similar to how we often try to maintain aircraft (both civilian and military) and vehicles at maximum efficiency to help avoid critical component failures. We could debate the specifics on how much maintenance and how often various craft in Starsector would need it, but my point is just to offer another way to view CR.

So, I would say it isn't your crew disabling and sabotaging equipment all the time. Sometimes it's simply systems starting to run into issues when being operated at a combat ready performance level.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Vind on December 05, 2014, 11:56:14 PM
If player chooses to exploit the game mechanic it will do so and no CR timer and any "smart" game feature can help it. Forcing timer on player is worst game mechanic i can ever imagine and really is a crutch for masking AI deficiencies. Player is forced to charge on large (AI likes to deploy almost all ships as supplies is not an issue for spawned fleet) AI fleet in fewer numbers and with pressing timer. This type of play is boring at least and not enjoyable at best. I just hope this can be improved in the future by reducing CR loss timer mechanic or to script AI to actually attack and not sitting in the squad formation waiting for player to make an attack while draining player limited supplies with CR loss timer.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Venatos on December 06, 2014, 01:42:40 AM
thnx Zapier, that actually helps a little.... i still think its waaaay overboard with all the systemmalfunktions but at least i have a rough direction where it would be conseiveable that there are malfunctions...
anyway it bugged me that i was so fague about the CR system, so here are some more thought out suggestions:

with the current cr system i dont use frigates at all, because there is a hard limit on their use. if it was normal and universal, that over time i notice my ship gradually getting a little slower and more sluggish, i would be ok with that. if we take out the damaging and disabling of shipsystems and keep and even expand the gradual decline of the ships performance, i think most people would be ok with that.

lets say at 50%CR(green crew) the ship runs at 100% and at 0%cr at 50%(or 75%?)(speed, manover, rof, acc, fluxdis, etc.)
more than 50%CR will only have very small %bonus on shipstats, but prolong battletime at 100% performace or above

cr loss per minute can be tied to shipsize: i would say around 4min for a frigate to get from 50% to 0 which would double if you have 2times the skeletoncrew. 6min for destroyers, 8min for cruiser and 10min for battleships. (with less than skeletoncrew these times would be lower, with more crew these times go up,)
summary: more crew means slower decline, higher quality means you start with a higher percentage. so a frigate full with elitecrew is going strong at 105% performance after the same frigate with a green skeletoncrew would have hit 0CR

hull percentage limits cr percentage == start battle with 100% hull and 50%cr > first volley shoots your hull down to 50%, your cr plumets to 25%. shipdamage realy should have an effect on CR. one could also integrate armordamage into the equation. but point is that a extreamly damaged ship at like 10% hull should not have 100% combatperformance but rather steep penaltys to speed, manoverability, rof, accuracy, fluxdiss, and so on.

by the way, i assume a cr system without cr loss per deployment and without a peakeff. timer. never liked to be billed 10%or more CR just for a 10second engagement where i blew up a lone tanker.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 06, 2014, 02:45:50 AM
This is really interesting. I'm liking the "reload in chunks" idea, if mainly for feel reasons, though it *is* an extra weapon stat.

I'd like that too, a lot.
You could just derive reload time and chunk size from the current ammo stat, then it would not add extra stats. Sure, rate of fire plays into that too, but it would suffice to find the lowest common denominator here. Meaning, choose a general chunk size/reload time to magazine size relation that allows even fast firing, low ammo weapons relatively unrestricted use. (I think it would feel best if irresponsible, continuous fire does run your magazines empty.)  The downside is that slow firing high ammo weapons would then be unable to run dry.

Although...it might be interesting if low CR could increase the time between reloads, to a level where you can easily run out of ammo temporarily. That effect could start much sooner than direct weapon malfunctions.



thnx Zapier, that actually helps a little.... i still think its waaaay overboard with all the systemmalfunktions but at least i have a rough direction where it would be conseiveable that there are malfunctions...
To maybe help you imagine it better, let me remind you that the game time does run much faster than real time. A three minute deployment likely represents an hours long battle. Same goes for the distance between ships btw.


- Can we get some kind of info field when you click a system/station/planet in the map to enable a flavor texts in the campaign? It'll allow the possibility to add some Backstory to generic 3 planets orbiting a sun with some asteroids, Mass Effect did that to some effect and it did a lot for people who are into this...
You get an info window if you hover your cursor over planets or stations. There's a lot of back-story to be found.


Keep in mind that the deployment cost does nothing that a slow timer decay wouldn't. It's still much more economical to keep ships off the battlefield if you have the option.
That is not true. It would be most economical to finish a fight as quickly as possible by deploying an overwhelming force. It would also greatly favor alpha strike load-outs.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: BillyRueben on December 06, 2014, 06:06:04 AM
I'd assume the easiest way to keep players from kiting endlessly would be very simple (if maybe a little iffy on the lore side of things).

After X amount of time, a new capture point spawns in the middle of the map, and whoever holds this point either gets some advantage or causes some debuff to the other fleet. If you actually had the advantage, you could ignore the objective and continue your attack, while keeping the enemy from grabbing it, or capture it and force them to engage or retreat. If you didn't have the advantage, you'd either have to finish the fight up quickly or retreat.

Kiting?
Not if the objective raises the other fleet's speed by 30% and cuts yours in half, or degrades your CR timer at a quick rate.
Hell, it could launch Pilum swarms and still be something that could help cut down on kiting.

Put simply, it'd be nice to have a fixed location you would need to control after a large amount of time, so you'd either have to "*** or get off the pot".
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 06, 2014, 06:07:42 AM
Quote
Keep in mind that the deployment cost does nothing that a slow timer decay wouldn't. It's still much more economical to keep ships off the battlefield if you have the option.
As Gothars posted, "It would be most economical to finish a fight as quickly as possible by deploying an overwhelming force."

The reason for this is if you deploy a large enough force and finish the fight fast enough, you get the option of standing down to recover some CR.

In 0.62, the time count applied to each ship, not the whole fight.  What I did in 0.62, was deploy my Medusa flagship, kill everything, then right before the battle ends, deployed everything (usually my Atlas fleet, due to excessive loot at the time), so that I get the option of standing down and distribute the CR drain to everyone instead of my flagship only.  Doing so gave two benefits.

In the previous version, standing down meant you gave up pursuit, and let the flying chunks of XP and loot go.  Now, if you pursue, you can and will send relations to Vengeful, which hurts too much, making pursuit (by you) obsolete.

Thus, if you have enough ships to overwhelm and steamroll the enemy, you should do so.  If not, you should deploy the least number ships as possible (ideally, your flagship only).  If you need to raise the default battle size from 200 to 500 to get all of you ships in, do it!  Especially now that the AI can deploy overwhelming force against your solo flagship.  Might as well do the same to the enemy if you get that chance.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 06, 2014, 06:16:41 AM
Quote
I'd assume the easiest way to keep players from kiting endlessly would be very simple (if maybe a little iffy on the lore side of things).

After X amount of time, a new capture point spawns in the middle of the map, and whoever holds this point either gets some advantage or causes some debuff to the other fleet. If you actually had the advantage, you could ignore the objective and continue your attack, while keeping the enemy from grabbing it, or capture it and force them to engage or retreat. If you didn't have the advantage, you'd either have to finish the fight up quickly or retreat.

Kiting?
Not if the objective raises the other fleet's speed by 30% and cuts yours in half, or degrades your CR timer at a quick rate.
Hell, it could launch Pilum swarms and still be something that could help cut down on kiting.

Put simply, it'd be nice to have a fixed location you would need to control after a large amount of time, so you'd either have to "*** or get off the pot".
That would backfire in fights where I have a small ship trying to solo a few cruisers and battleships, where I have the speed advantage and big ships very rarely chase objectives.  Cruisers and up cannot go to objectives via Capture - they must do so via Assault or Rally.  Of course, if the AI has unlimited CP, they can cheat.

When I solo fleets, and have objectives, I try kill all of the small ships (saving frigates for last due to CR decay, if possible) until the cruisers and battleships are left.  Then I lure the big ships away from objectives, then capture them, then fight them away from objectives while my ship has all of the boosts.

Also, objectives can be prevented from spawning by have no more than 40 DP worth of ships in your fleet.  Until I am ready to steamroll fleets with many frigates or haul thousands of food in Atlases, I try to keep my fleet no more than 40 DP (because I really dislike the objective system).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: miljan on December 06, 2014, 06:20:31 AM


with the current cr system i dont use frigates at all, because there is a hard limit on their use. if it was normal and universal, that over time i notice my ship gradually getting a little slower and more sluggish, i would be ok with that. if we take out the damaging and disabling of shipsystems and keep and even expand the gradual decline of the ships performance, i think most people would be ok with that.

lets say at 50%CR(green crew) the ship runs at 100% and at 0%cr at 50%(or 75%?)(speed, manover, rof, acc, fluxdis, etc.)
more than 50%CR will only have very small %bonus on shipstats, but prolong battletime at 100% performace or above

cr loss per minute can be tied to shipsize: i would say around 4min for a frigate to get from 50% to 0 which would double if you have 2times the skeletoncrew. 6min for destroyers, 8min for cruiser and 10min for battleships. (with less than skeletoncrew these times would be lower, with more crew these times go up,)
summary: more crew means slower decline, higher quality means you start with a higher percentage. so a frigate full with elitecrew is going strong at 105% performance after the same frigate with a green skeletoncrew would have hit 0CR

hull percentage limits cr percentage == start battle with 100% hull and 50%cr > first volley shoots your hull down to 50%, your cr plumets to 25%. shipdamage realy should have an effect on CR. one could also integrate armordamage into the equation. but point is that a extreamly damaged ship at like 10% hull should not have 100% combatperformance but rather steep penaltys to speed, manoverability, rof, accuracy, fluxdiss, and so on.

by the way, i assume a cr system without cr loss per deployment and without a peakeff. timer. never liked to be billed 10%or more CR just for a 10second engagement where i blew up a lone tanker.

I would actually be ok with this. After CR loss, the ship will slow down a lot so kiting will be impossible. But there will be no malfunctions and exploding of your ships, just bad aiming and slower moving.

Generally the time limit is the cheapest way of trying to fix anything. Making people be more pressured to do something, or to balance the bad AI, with arbitrary limitation  is just the worst possible way. I am really starting to fear where the game will be going, reading the thought process of the main dev, what he thinks is ok, and how to implement/balance things.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on December 06, 2014, 07:53:25 AM
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER

Seriously.

I really think everyone is blowing this whole CR thing waaaay out of proportion. How many fights are actually going to have 5-7-9+ minutes of engaged combat? My longest frigate fights (single frigate flagship vs 3 destroyers + escorts or a cruiser + escorts, I don't play as high level as Megas et al. so I don't take on defense fleets with them. Or I'm just not as good :P) will have me start to take CR loss, but not enough to malfunction.

Also, Alex has already implemented the suggestion (from this very thread, I believe) of the timer on destroyers and cruisers only ticking with sufficient forces around - no time limit from those pesky single frigates/fighters at all. I really don't think the time limit is going to be an issue.

Time limits may feel arbitrary, but they are also simple, which is a very good thing. Its really easy to understand: "This ship lasts X long in combat. You can push it by some, but it starts to degrade".

... Making people be more pressured to do something, or to balance the bad AI, with arbitrary limitation  is just the worst possible way.
 ...

I'd like to point out that every rule in every game is arbitrary. A game is the arbitrary limitations put together over some setting (which is just more limitations, though we don't usually think in that manner).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: miljan on December 06, 2014, 08:30:33 AM
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER

Seriously.

I really think everyone is blowing this whole CR thing waaaay out of proportion. How many fights are actually going to have 5-7-9+ minutes of engaged combat? My longest frigate fights (single frigate flagship vs 3 destroyers + escorts or a cruiser + escorts, I don't play as high level as Megas et al. so I don't take on defense fleets with them. Or I'm just not as good :P) will have me start to take CR loss, but not enough to malfunction.

Also, Alex has already implemented the suggestion (from this very thread, I believe) of the timer on destroyers and cruisers only ticking with sufficient forces around - no time limit from those pesky single frigates/fighters at all. I really don't think the time limit is going to be an issue.

Time limits may feel arbitrary, but they are also simple, which is a very good thing. Its really easy to understand: "This ship lasts X long in combat. You can push it by some, but it starts to degrade".

... Making people be more pressured to do something, or to balance the bad AI, with arbitrary limitation  is just the worst possible way.
 ...

I'd like to point out that every rule in every game is arbitrary. A game is the arbitrary limitations put together over some setting (which is just more limitations, though we don't usually think in that manner).

A lot of fights I have take a long time. And I do not play anymore with frigates because of the time limit as I often get lower CR.

Time limit is simple, do you know what is even more simple and easy to understand? Not having one, especially as it has some very strange rules when its on or off.

The point here is, because the dev doesnt know how to improve the AI, he is implementing a limitation in time. And he is doing it only because some people are abusing the AI and are playing a battle for 30 min and kiting *** of the AI. Because of them he is implementing something that will have a direct impact on my play style and how I play. If people want to abuse AI, let them. This is not a MMO where there is some player vs player competition, this is a offline single player game, you will not be able to prevent abusing mechanic (and if they do it for 40 min I dont see any problem with that), and trying to balance something like that with implementing very doubtful limitation is very bad in my book.

So it is bad, very bad. And if dev thought process is like this, I do not know what future arbitrary limitation will come if he can not balance some other mechanics.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on December 06, 2014, 09:17:28 AM
The point here is, because the dev doesnt know how to improve the AI, he is implementing a limitation in time. And he is doing it only because some people are abusing the AI and are playing a battle for 30 min and kiting *** of the AI. Because of them he is implementing something that will have a direct impact on my play style and how I play. If people want to abuse AI, let them. This is not a MMO where there is some player vs player competition, this is a offline single player game, you will not be able to prevent abusing mechanic (and if they do it for 40 min I dont see any problem with that), and trying to balance something like that with implementing very doubtful limitation is very bad in my book.
A gap between "play to win" and "play for fun" does not stop being bad just because it's an SP game. SP or not, anyone who places a nonzero value on winning the game is going to have an incentive to sacrifice their fun for it, and many of them will do it (case in point (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8433.0)). MMO developers understand this and exploit it ruthlessly. (http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html)

The expansion of CR may or may not be a heavy-handed approach that creates more problems than it solves, but removing the prospect of doing unfun things in order to win can only be a good thing in my book.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: arcibalde on December 06, 2014, 09:25:38 AM
Isn't there a column in ship_data.csv where you can remove time limit on ships? Just a sec...    >>peak CR sec<< This thingy :D  So if someone dont like change at least its easy removable.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 06, 2014, 09:47:20 AM
@ Histidine: That is a reason why I prefer hard caps over soft caps.  "No, you leveled high enough, you don't need 30 more levels because you can and have the drive to do it to feed your lust for power."

As for my Augmented Engines topic, I do not do that much for frigates in space in the endgame, once my character is extremely wealthy, but instead I do much swapping of engines on Atlases and other freighters (at stations) so I can buy and carry as much food as possible from Tartessus to Askonia, or supplies from Jangala to Asharu or Tibicena.  Swapping Augmented Engines on and off for 20+ freighters is a chore, but in-game time is often of essence, especially for trade disruptions.  While profit in credits are great, the real reward is the experience and levels for more AP/SP, not credits.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gaizokubanou on December 06, 2014, 11:17:27 AM
So it is bad, very bad. And if dev thought process is like this, I do not know what future arbitrary limitation will come if he can not balance some other mechanics.

But all games are all about arbitrary limitations that are presented in form of ruleset.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Uomoz on December 06, 2014, 11:50:34 AM
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER

Seriously.

I really think everyone is blowing this whole CR thing waaaay out of proportion. How many fights are actually going to have 5-7-9+ minutes of engaged combat? My longest frigate fights (single frigate flagship vs 3 destroyers + escorts or a cruiser + escorts, I don't play as high level as Megas et al. so I don't take on defense fleets with them. Or I'm just not as good :P) will have me start to take CR loss, but not enough to malfunction.

Also, Alex has already implemented the suggestion (from this very thread, I believe) of the timer on destroyers and cruisers only ticking with sufficient forces around - no time limit from those pesky single frigates/fighters at all. I really don't think the time limit is going to be an issue.

Time limits may feel arbitrary, but they are also simple, which is a very good thing. Its really easy to understand: "This ship lasts X long in combat. You can push it by some, but it starts to degrade".

... Making people be more pressured to do something, or to balance the bad AI, with arbitrary limitation  is just the worst possible way.
 ...

I'd like to point out that every rule in every game is arbitrary. A game is the arbitrary limitations put together over some setting (which is just more limitations, though we don't usually think in that manner).

A lot of fights I have take a long time. And I do not play anymore with frigates because of the time limit as I often get lower CR.

Time limit is simple, do you know what is even more simple and easy to understand? Not having one, especially as it has some very strange rules when its on or off.

The point here is, because the dev doesnt know how to improve the AI, he is implementing a limitation in time. And he is doing it only because some people are abusing the AI and are playing a battle for 30 min and kiting *** of the AI. Because of them he is implementing something that will have a direct impact on my play style and how I play. If people want to abuse AI, let them. This is not a MMO where there is some player vs player competition, this is a offline single player game, you will not be able to prevent abusing mechanic (and if they do it for 40 min I dont see any problem with that), and trying to balance something like that with implementing very doubtful limitation is very bad in my book.

So it is bad, very bad. And if dev thought process is like this, I do not know what future arbitrary limitation will come if he can not balance some other mechanics.

Every step should be taken in order to make so the game respects the dev idea of gameplay. If Alex don't like the idea of slow grind battles to be the most optimal way to play the game, he should make so it's not the optimal way to play the game. In the end for as much is not a MMO, it's still his game, and if the feel of urgency granted by CR degradation is what he likes to play with who are you to deny the implementation of it?
If you don't like vanilla, you can play the dozens of mods that currently and eventually will offer a lot of different gameplay directions, of even simply remove the cr timers yourself with a very simple csv edit. Saying something on the line of "I do not know what future arbitrary limitation will come if he can not balance some other mechanics" tells a lot about your knowledge of game design, and is simply rude.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: miljan on December 06, 2014, 12:23:58 PM


Every step should be taken in order to make so the game respects the dev idea of gameplay. If Alex don't like the idea of slow grind battles to be the most optimal way to play the game, he should make so it's not the optimal way to play the game. In the end for as much is not a MMO, it's still his game, and if the feel of urgency granted by CR degradation is what he likes to play with who are you to deny the implementation of it?
If you don't like vanilla, you can play the dozens of mods that currently and eventually will offer a lot of different gameplay directions, of even simply remove the cr timers yourself with a very simple csv edit. Saying something on the line of "I do not know what future arbitrary limitation will come if he can not balance some other mechanics" tells a lot about your knowledge of game design, and is simply rude.

Rude or not that is how it is. I am giving feedback on thing that I think are wrong. Normally its his game, and he will do what he want with it. And every one of us here is giving feedback to the game or direction where the game is going. Not you or anyone else should stop anyone from giving feedback, positive or negative. There are mods, and they will fix the problem, but as I said i am very worried what will future bring and there is nothing rude in it, looking at how he implemented some things.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Zapier on December 06, 2014, 12:25:11 PM
Quote from: Uomoz
It's still his game, and if the feel of urgency granted by CR degradation is what he likes to play with who are you to deny the implementation of it?

The customer? The guy who forked out fifteen bucks for the game and would like it to not be ruined? Please remember that the objective of a developer is not to make the game to their own precise interests, but to the interests of the many people who paid hard-earned money for a game they expect to become better, not worse.

What do you say to the other customers who don't mind or even like the changes? Is their money worth less than yours? Be careful when you start trying to say a customer is more important than the developer because then you will need to start splitting hairs about which customer's opinions are worth more than others.

Put another way, I'd wonder if any of us other paying customers have ever suggested things you don't like either... would you feel satisfied that those changes were put in as long as it was because of a customer asking for it? Developers are not slaves to their customers, especially when they're going to great lengths to make sure much of it is very moddable.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: oorek on December 06, 2014, 12:27:55 PM
Quote from: Zapier
What do you say to the other customers who don't mind or even like the changes?

They are clearly in the minority based on the replies to this thread. As a developer you shouldn't cater to some small group of people just because they'll mindlessly defend you whenever you make a *** change to the game.

There is no rational way to defend this patch. It's casualization to really cater to those people who feel intimidated by anything more complex than 'point at enemy and shoot.' Casuals can't play around ammo? Remove it. Casuals can't utilize flux damage boost? Remove it. Casuals can't understand how to fight fast ships? Give everything CR degredation.

This patch is a disgusting step backwards. It's an obvious attempt to dumb down the game for people who'd be more suited playing something else.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Uomoz on December 06, 2014, 12:30:43 PM


Every step should be taken in order to make so the game respects the dev idea of gameplay. If Alex don't like the idea of slow grind battles to be the most optimal way to play the game, he should make so it's not the optimal way to play the game. In the end for as much is not a MMO, it's still his game, and if the feel of urgency granted by CR degradation is what he likes to play with who are you to deny the implementation of it?
If you don't like vanilla, you can play the dozens of mods that currently and eventually will offer a lot of different gameplay directions, of even simply remove the cr timers yourself with a very simple csv edit. Saying something on the line of "I do not know what future arbitrary limitation will come if he can not balance some other mechanics" tells a lot about your knowledge of game design, and is simply rude.

Rude or not that is how it is. I am giving feedback on thing that I think are wrong. Normally its his game, and he will do what he want with it. And every one of us here is giving feedback to the game or direction where the game is going. Not you or anyone else should stop anyone from giving feedback, positive or negative. There are mods, and they will fix the problem, but as I said i am very worried what will future bring and there is nothing rude in it, looking at how he implemented some things.

Mhh, I think you didn't properly my post. I didn't even remotely tell you to stop, i just want to remind everyone that rude posts are easily skipped by an interested viewer, over proper criticism with a decent reasoning.

Quote from: Zapier
What do you say to the other customers who don't mind or even like the changes?

They are clearly in the minority based on the replies to this thread. As a developer you shouldn't cater to some small group of people just because they'll mindlessly defend you whenever you make a *** change to the game.

If that was the general rule over the internet, the vocal minorities would easily win all the arguments and decide. Luckily for everyone, this isn't the case here.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: oorek on December 06, 2014, 12:36:10 PM
Quote from: Uomoz
If that was the general rule over the internet, the vocal minorities would easily win all the arguments and decide. Luckily for everyone, this isn't the case here.

'vocal minority' has to be the most sickeningly overused buzzword lately. There is such a thing as a vocal majority, and guess what: that's what this is. Stop latching on to this 'vocal minority' bogeyman that lingers in every dark corner of every Internet argument, waiting to be slapped onto the opposing side as soon as the other one realizes it's outnumbered.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Zapier on December 06, 2014, 12:36:52 PM
Quote from: Zapier
What do you say to the other customers who don't mind or even like the changes?

They are clearly in the minority based on the replies to this thread. As a developer you shouldn't cater to some small group of people just because they'll mindlessly defend you whenever you make a *** change to the game.

I've never ever seen actual surveys and numbers collected on opinions, yay or nay and how much of the community is in this thread or other threads voicing opinions so I'll take the minority part with a grain of salt.  As a developer you also shouldn't be pressured by those who sound the loudest in forums or anywhere else, since as a friend of mine used to say, people that are happy with the game are generally playing it or waiting for the next step. Those who are unhappy with it are the ones typically voicing their opinion. People who maybe like the changes or are indifferent about them might not say anything because they don't need to which can lead to a skewed view of who is really the minority or not. Either way, minority or not, the game is still being developed and we've had updates in the past where things went one way and then the next patch it's been reversed because it didn't work out so well.

Do you have the right to be concerned about the patch notes? Most definitely. Have you tested how the game plays with said patch notes? I highly doubt it since it's dev patch notes. We voice our concerns and then test the patch and if most people feel validated then it can be reversed. Nothing is set in stone and as some have pointed out, it can easily be modded out by the wonderful modding community.

I was concerned initially by the patch notes, but I also read Alex's thoughts on it and I'm willing to give it a shot because that's what I've done with all the previous patches. Overall, I still enjoy the game immensely and feel it's going in a good direction.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Chronosfear on December 06, 2014, 12:51:45 PM
heavy changes  in starsector battles.

I´m ok with most of them , since some were announced a while ago.
I'm good with peak times , every minute ( "in game a hour or longer maybe ) of battle is stress for crew and ship ( crew does mistakes without breaks ) , circuits running a 120% is to much on the long run and so on.
The "unlimited" ammo for ballistic weapons are ok , but I hoped for a "magazine" style of play .. x shots , wait x sec then again x shots with a manual reload ability
and I hoped it would count for all weapons , including torpedoes ( with a probably terrible long timer )
might need additional weapon balancing . but currently it feels only half thought out.

since it´s the first info .
Many changes are following.


Things are never as bad as they seem.

e.g Frigate peak timer had a hard time when it was announced. But we adapted.
Alex and staff are doing the best to give us a great game and experience!


Chronosfear
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 06, 2014, 12:54:41 PM
Time limit is simple, do you know what is even more simple and easy to understand? Not having one, especially as it has some very strange rules when its on or off.

The complexity of the rules around it is a fair point, and is the main thing that's giving me pause here.


The point here is, because the dev doesnt know how to improve the AI, he is implementing a limitation in time. And he is doing it only because some people are abusing the AI and are playing a battle for 30 min and kiting *** of the AI. Because of them he is implementing something that will have a direct impact on my play style and how I play. If people want to abuse AI, let them. This is not a MMO where there is some player vs player competition, this is a offline single player game, you will not be able to prevent abusing mechanic (and if they do it for 40 min I dont see any problem with that), and trying to balance something like that with implementing very doubtful limitation is very bad in my book.

So it is bad, very bad. And if dev thought process is like this, I do not know what future arbitrary limitation will come if he can not balance some other mechanics.

The AI and the rules of the game are two parts of the same coin; expecting to have an arbitrarily good AI for *any given ruleset* is simply unrealistic. The two have to work together. Some mechanics, while a good idea in, say, a PvP game, are not something any (reasonably real-time) AI can handle, period. Aside from that, some mechanics the AI has problems with aren't an AI issue to begin with. For example, if you put a human player in a slower ship, they're going to get kited too, so that clearly isn't an AI problem. Of course, the AI could try some tactics to counter that (and it does), but ultimately it's an uphill battle because of the mechanics. Thus, the motivation for making mechanical changes to address the problem. You're welcome to question/disagree/dislike the actual mechanical chages, of course. My point here is that regardless of how you feel about the specific changes, it's definitely more a mechanics issue rather than an AI issue, and that further the two are much more intertwined than one might think. They have to work together to produce a good result.

As far as balance overall, the ideal is that the player trying to play the game optimally is able to have fun. Ultimately that's a large part of games (well, most games) - learning how to play, and improving. If, as you improve, you realize that your best options are un-fun (e.g. kite for 30 minutes), that's a big problem for a game's longevity and replay value. Of course, since we're talking about "fun", that's a subjective call to make.




>Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates

Wow, this change is particularly awful. Forcing players to play with a timer on every battle. I'll definitely be modding this out every patch. All the combat changes in this patch are terrible, but I can't even remotely understand the mindset behind this and the change to energy weapon flux damage bonuses. Energy weapons were already strictly inferior and now they're just a total joke.

You're welcome to, of course, though I hope you'll give it a shot as-is. I suspect you'll find it's not nearly the issue it's made out to be, in terms of how it actually plays out. For the reasoning behind the changes, you might consider reading some of my prior responses in this thread - most of it is laid out there. If you still have some questions, please feel free to ask.


The customer? The guy who forked out fifteen bucks for the game and would like it to not be ruined? Please remember that the objective of a developer is not to make the game to their own precise interests, but to the interests of the many people who paid hard-earned money for a game they expect to become better, not worse.

Just on a general note, while I appreciate the support, and couldn't be doing this without it, that still doesn't ah, grant voting rights to customers. I listen to feedback, and am thankful for it (and have made many changes based on it in the past), but ultimately it's a question of what makes sense to me, and the direction I'd like to take the game in.

I will say that your post isn't... how can I put this. It doesn't give me much to work with, in terms of useful information. It kind of boils down to "everything is terrible", which is certainly an opinion you have a right to hold. On the other hand, it doesn't tell me anything about *why* you think so. Obviously I disagree (or I wouldn't have made the changes in the first place!), but if I'm to change my mind, simply knowing we disagree isn't particularly helpful. In general, saying *why* you don't like something is a million times more likely to produce results than simply saying you don't like it.


Also: everyone, please try to refrain from anything even shading into personal attacks on each other, before moderation action has to be taken. Flinging around stuff like "casuals" or "vocal minority" isn't helping matters any.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on December 06, 2014, 01:09:45 PM
Most of the changes are okay, but I disagree that all cruisers and destroyers should have CR timers. The only one that should is the Medusa.  Its the only destroyer that is able to outrun Frigates and kite easily.

>Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates

Wow, this change is particularly awful. Forcing players to play with a timer on every battle. I'll definitely be modding this out every patch. All the combat changes in this patch are terrible, but I can't even remotely understand the mindset behind this and the change to energy weapon flux damage bonuses. Energy weapons were already strictly inferior and now they're just a total joke.

This comes after the patch where fighters got nerfed into uselessness. Really not liking where the game is headed.

Have we been playing the same game? Fighters may have lost their 0-flux boost but they have had their logistics costs halved. Plus they're still very useful. Thunders are excellent support fighters, that are able to disable ships and fighters, and provide a good amount of fire power with their missiles. Broadswords can chew through shields. Daggers were made viable in 0.65a.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on December 06, 2014, 01:20:56 PM
'vocal minority' has to be the most sickeningly overused buzzword lately. There is such a thing as a vocal majority, and guess what: that's what this is.

Prove. It.

The general statistics indicate that people on forums are the minority of consumers of a video game. That's just a fact. Is it true for Starsector as well? We don't know - only the person with access to the sales numbers and forum statistics does - but we can infer from the general trends.

Now that this topic has been handled the other big issue nowadays is the ridiculous entitlement of buyers of games brought on by the age of early access that somehow buying something means you get to be co-developer. It doesn't. The developer makes the game. You get to play what they make, not decide how it's made.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 06, 2014, 01:24:52 PM
'vocal minority' has to be the most sickeningly overused buzzword lately. There is such a thing as a vocal majority, and guess what: that's what this is.

Prove. It.

Please, let's not start some sort of measuring contest.

As I alluded to in the previous post, the results wouldn't matter anyway - what matters are the whys of things, not the numbers.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on December 06, 2014, 01:30:23 PM
Note about energy weapons: the damage is getting boosted to compensate for the boost change. So at low flux they will be more powerful than present, less powerful at highest flux. This is a significant improvement for the energy PD in particular - more consistent stopping power is much better.

I think everyone proclaiming doom, gloom, and outrage should instead try and be constructive and propose alternate solutions, like the early parts of this thread. Or at least hold off until they can actually play the update. Just because something is different from the present doesn't mean it will be automatically bad.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Zapier on December 06, 2014, 01:35:59 PM
I agree, the base boost to energy weapons actually improves the way I tend to use energy weapons. I love using mid-tech ships with ballistic mediums and small energy for point defense. I'd love some sort of reloading mechanic with ballistics to give a varied feel to ballistics other than just stats, but most of the time the ammo definitely wasn't a limiting point for me. I'm also more inclined to now use missiles or even keep ships with a heavy missile focus.

Trying these new changes will certainly be interesting to see how it makes both the AI feel (more missiles, more ammo, more danger) and my own method of play with mid-tech ships.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gaizokubanou on December 06, 2014, 01:40:03 PM
Am I the only one who actually just wants to get my hands on this new changes to see how things play out?  We can theorize designs and mechanics all day but whatever ideas and visions one may had in mind, so little of it survives actual testing.

I'm just excited that it's a big change.  At the very least it'll be interesting to perhaps mix it up (but again, without actually trying it who knows, maybe it'll be largely unchanged).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: miljan on December 06, 2014, 01:41:29 PM


The point here is, because the dev doesnt know how to improve the AI, he is implementing a limitation in time. And he is doing it only because some people are abusing the AI and are playing a battle for 30 min and kiting *** of the AI. Because of them he is implementing something that will have a direct impact on my play style and how I play. If people want to abuse AI, let them. This is not a MMO where there is some player vs player competition, this is a offline single player game, you will not be able to prevent abusing mechanic (and if they do it for 40 min I dont see any problem with that), and trying to balance something like that with implementing very doubtful limitation is very bad in my book.

So it is bad, very bad. And if dev thought process is like this, I do not know what future arbitrary limitation will come if he can not balance some other mechanics.

The AI and the rules of the game are two parts of the same coin; expecting to have an arbitrarily good AI for *any given ruleset* is simply unrealistic. The two have to work together. Some mechanics, while a good idea in, say, a PvP game, are not something any (reasonably real-time) AI can handle, period. Aside from that, some mechanics the AI has problems with aren't an AI issue to begin with. For example, if you put a human player in a slower ship, they're going to get kited too, so that clearly isn't an AI problem. Of course, the AI could try some tactics to counter that (and it does), but ultimately it's an uphill battle because of the mechanics. Thus, the motivation for making mechanical changes to address the problem. You're welcome to question/disagree/dislike the actual mechanical chages, of course. My point here is that regardless of how you feel about the specific changes, it's definitely more a mechanics issue rather than an AI issue, and that further the two are much more intertwined than one might think. They have to work together to produce a good result.

As far as balance overall, the ideal is that the player trying to play the game optimally is able to have fun. Ultimately that's a large part of games (well, most games) - learning how to play, and improving. If, as you improve, you realize that your best options are un-fun (e.g. kite for 30 minutes), that's a big problem for a game's longevity and replay value. Of course, since we're talking about "fun", that's a subjective call to make.
I hope you are not offended from my posts, as some posters suggested here. I am interested what do you think about the proposal from Venatos few pages ago, where the CR will lower the speed of the ship, aiming and maybe some other things, but will not go as far in the area of malfunction of system or blowing parts of ship health. That way when CR hits the low, the ship will be a lot slower, and so not able to kit anymore, but it will not be a hard limit where things start to go wrong with all system shutting down
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Modest on December 06, 2014, 01:43:20 PM
Hmm... Hmm... What to say?
I think I like most changes. I think I just love missile changes. I already can't wait to get my hands on those.

I am totally indifrent about CR aplying to most of ships from now on. Questions - will Hardened Subsystems now modifications for all ships that "burn" CR during battles?

Only change which I think I will not like is getting rid of flux dmg. bonus for energy weapons. Why? It is simple - 25% flat bonus for energy weapons is clearly direct buff for energy weapons. Energy weapons will become now better than they were with Flux Bonus in general (yes, I know - I could technicly get up to 50% if my flux would be at max but that would affect rate of fire in most cases and was simply dangerous really), and that part is great for me. What is not great is that Flux Bonus was for me an interesting mechanick while flat 25% bonus is boring mechanic. It just feels like taking something away without contributing it with other interesting in return. Luckyly I see that many has already pointed it out and there are ideas (that have been noticed by Alex) of adding diffrent mechanic for balistic weapons that would be also interesting ("Reloading" ammo, decreasing rate of fire from firing guns too long) so I will say that while I feel that something interesting and good was taken out, I see and greatly hope that there will be something else that will fill void.

Generaly only once I will just sit down and just play game with new changes... Than and only than I will be able to say if what I think I feel about it is true or if it will be totally diffrent. Two things I am really glad of - Alex is not affraid to do big changes and there are no changes that would be changeproof in future ;)

Also there was nice idea somewhere during discusion about adding one more Dmg. Type - Beam Dmg. I must say that it would be awesome to have it! It would help to claryfy things better. I know which weapon is beam and which is not - You know it as well... But it is knowledge obtained by actually using those weapons rather than making "quick glance" at it's statisticks and picture representing dmg. type. If Alex would suddenly brought 100 new weapons and 20 of them would be beam weapons, we would have no idea which are those really without trying them first (good we could do so in simulation) or reading description and hoping info will be there. So I think that this idea of adding representation for another Dmg. Type is good idea.

Ehh... I have headache and don't feel too good so I just hope my post was well organized, presented my point of view in rational, well explained and polite way and most of all - just made sense. Can't wait (actually I CAN wait but... You know, just saying) to try game with those new changes to "solidyfy" my own opinion.

EDIT: WHY? WHY?! WHY?!!! Why had I forgot to add that Question Mark there? It is so troublesome to edit posts just for this... ;) I like to exagerrate small things sometimes :P This was time like that. But lack of question mark where it should be is irritating me. Even more when it happens in MY OWN POST! >.<
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 06, 2014, 02:22:24 PM
I hope you are not offended from my posts, as some posters suggested here. I am interested what do you think about the proposal from Venatos few pages ago, where the CR will lower the speed of the ship, aiming and maybe some other things, but will not go as far in the area of malfunction of system or blowing parts of ship health. That way when CR hits the low, the ship will be a lot slower, and so not able to kit anymore, but it will not be a hard limit where things start to go wrong with all system shutting down

(If we're being honest, I was a little bit, but I understand that things can get heated, and appreciate you saying this. So, no worries.)

About Venatos' idea: yeah, I saw that. My thought on it is that I actually really *like* how these malfunctions play out, and they also serve as a clear visual indicator that things are going wrong, which is particularly important if this is happening to a ship other than your flagship.

Consider that in a previous version, low-CR ships couldn't be deployed at all. The current system, where things eventually get really, really bad, is meant to provide a range of options there instead of a hard boundary - you can decide how much risk you're willing to take, and when to bail out. It also makes last-stand type fights more dramatic than simple stat changes.

Basically, the idea is that a ship at 0 CR is not something you can rely on for any length of time. You might get one last thing done with it, or you might not. If they're reliable (even if poor) performers, then it undermines the whole CR system. You'd end up encouraging the player to fight "free" battles with swarms of 0-CR ships against weak opponents. (With that in mind, one of the goals of the hull damage from critical malfunctions is to make sure it's very much not free outside of combat.)

I will say that the complexity of the rules around "peak performance" ticking down is bothering me, though.


Also there was nice idea somewhere during discusion about adding one more Dmg. Type - Beam Dmg. I must say that it would be awesome to have it! It would help to claryfy things better. I know which weapon is beam and which is not - You know it as well... But it is knowledge obtained by actually using those weapons rather than making "quick glance" at it's statisticks and picture representing dmg. type. If Alex would suddenly brought 100 new weapons and 20 of them would be beam weapons, we would have no idea which are those really without trying them first (good we could do so in simulation) or reading description and hoping info will be there. So I think that this idea of adding representation for another Dmg. Type is good idea.

Hmm. One issue there is something like the Graviton Beam, which is a beam but does kinetic damage. Still, something to think about.

Ehh... I have headache and don't feel too good so I just hope my post was well organized, presented my point of view in rational, well explained and polite way and most of all - just made sense. Can't wait (actually I CAN wait but... You know, just saying) to try game with those new changes to "solidyfy" my own opinion.

EDIT: WHY? WHY?! WHY?!!! Why had I forgot to add that Question Mark there? It is so troublesome to edit posts just for this... ;) I like to exagerrate small things sometimes :P This was time like that. But lack of question mark where it should be is irritating me. Even more when it happens in MY OWN POST! >.<

Yeah, it made sense, but it still sounds like you need need to get some rest :) Feel better!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: miljan on December 06, 2014, 02:42:30 PM
I hope you are not offended from my posts, as some posters suggested here. I am interested what do you think about the proposal from Venatos few pages ago, where the CR will lower the speed of the ship, aiming and maybe some other things, but will not go as far in the area of malfunction of system or blowing parts of ship health. That way when CR hits the low, the ship will be a lot slower, and so not able to kit anymore, but it will not be a hard limit where things start to go wrong with all system shutting down

(If we're being honest, I was a little bit, but I understand that things can get heated, and appreciate you saying this. So, no worries.)

About Venatos' idea: yeah, I saw that. My thought on it is that I actually really *like* how these malfunctions play out, and they also serve as a clear visual indicator that things are going wrong, which is particularly important if this is happening to a ship other than your flagship.

Consider that in a previous version, low-CR ships couldn't be deployed at all. The current system, where things eventually get really, really bad, is meant to provide a range of options there instead of a hard boundary - you can decide how much risk you're willing to take, and when to bail out. It also makes last-stand type fights more dramatic than simple stat changes.

Basically, the idea is that a ship at 0 CR is not something you can rely on for any length of time. You might get one last thing done with it, or you might not. If they're reliable (even if poor) performers, then it undermines the whole CR system. You'd end up encouraging the player to fight "free" battles with swarms of 0-CR ships against weak opponents. (With that in mind, one of the goals of the hull damage from critical malfunctions is to make sure it's very much not free outside of combat.)

I will say that the complexity of the rules around "peak performance" ticking down is bothering me, though.

Ahh, shame. I am not a fan of this, as you probably already know, but lets leave it at that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 06, 2014, 03:09:22 PM
Fair enough. Still thinking some of this (and related stuff) through; if you have other ideas, I'd love to hear them.

I'd also like to know what your playstyle is that you feel is going to be affected; is it similar to what Wyvern said about feeling uncomfortable about there even being a possibility of time running out (which is legitimate, but hard to address w/o drastic changes), or do you think you'd actively be affected by a (longer) destroyer/cruiser timer, in battles where you're not deploying a single ship with the goal of kiting an otherwise overwhelming force to death?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Talkie Toaster on December 06, 2014, 03:27:46 PM
Er, I just feel I should say: I like the changes to beams, CR & ammo and think the reasoning behind it is pretty great.

W.r.t. a simpler way of handling CR tickdown without needing an array of exceptions and such... if it's to stop enemies baiting out CR by dripfeeding weak ships into the battlefield perhaps the old mechanic of "Take all the points and the opponents can't deploy" could come back into play? Or something like "If the enemy has ships in your deployment zone, you can't deploy more" (or perhaps "You can't deploy any smaller ships"). If you start a fight by committing a handful of frigates that you skirt around the edge of their cruisers, they can just park their fleet in your deployment zone and wait for you to time out and have to flee, handing them the match.

If you let them deploy equally-sized ships when their DZ is threatened, then they're punished for being driven to this by having their reinforcements burn in, shields down, and take a pummelling. This also stops the problem of frigates skirting around the fight to block off enemy reinforcements- if that is a problem, rather than an interesting new tactic. Equally it clashes with your goals to move the combat away from the edges of the map whilst a hard block supports those goals by preventing deployment when combat at the edges is likely.

I've mocked up an example below:
Deployment Zone open
(http://i.imgur.com/eoTbR2Ws.png) (http://i.imgur.com/eoTbR2W.png)
Deployment Zone blocked
(http://i.imgur.com/hEzpAaJs.png) (http://i.imgur.com/hEzpAaJ.png)
It's something that's quite easy to visually communicate, and the concept of a deployment zone is fairly intuitive and "Keep enemy ships out of your deployment zone if you want reinforcements" is a lot easier to communicate than the sets of circumstances in which you do and don't have to worry about CR.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Recklessimpulse on December 06, 2014, 03:39:01 PM
I'm on the "infinite ammo ruins verisimilitude" bandwagon I read your early replies and I think a better way would be to just quadruple ammo counts for ballistic weapons across the board this would have pretty much the same effect as giving them infinite ammo while leaving an important 'flavor' of the weapon class intact.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Talkie Toaster on December 06, 2014, 03:39:58 PM
I feel like a total badass when I take my Medusa (armed with Heavy Blasters, Light Needlers, and LR PD lasers) and destroy Captain RandomJoe's entire fleet for a 200000-credit bounty.  I play all kinds of battles, but the most common type is when I need money and I use a single Medusa, Sunder, or Eagle to destroy a medium-sized pirate or faction enemy fleet for the bounty. 

This upcoming patch will force me to play a different way, and my initial reaction to that is negative.  But is my negative reaction because the changes will make StarSector a worse game, or is it because they will force me to play "properly"?  I've decided that it's the second.  The game will be better for the change, it just won't be the exact game I'm already comfortable with.
I think this is a playstyle that needn't be blocked by these changes, just made dependent on investment in the Combat tree. There's definitely a case for letting PCs fly single ships for super-long battles but only if they've explicitly chosen to make that their playstyle by putting points into a 'Combat Drills' perk that increases their flagship's CR timer or something.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 06, 2014, 03:58:23 PM
@Network Pesci: Thanks for the detailed description, I really appreciate that. Hmm. Yeah, this sounds like a good thing and not something I want to necessarily remove. Question: do you have an idea of roughly how much time that kind of battle takes?


I think this is a playstyle that needn't be blocked by these changes, just made dependent on investment in the Combat tree. There's definitely a case for letting PCs fly single ships for super-long battles but only if they've explicitly chosen to make that their playstyle by putting points into a 'Combat Drills' perk that increases their flagship's CR timer or something.

That's a really interesting idea. If it's a dedicated skill increasing peak performance time, then it's a question of balancing it against other skills that it's not a no-brainer, but the important part here is that someone that doesn't take the skill wouldn't feel forced into long battles to play "optimally"; they could spend the points elsewhere. For a player that does take the skill, it'll contribute to a feeling of their flagship being durable, which I think is an important psychological component here, too.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 06, 2014, 04:00:02 PM
Quote
Note about energy weapons: the damage is getting boosted to compensate for the boost change. So at low flux they will be more powerful than present, less powerful at highest flux. This is a significant improvement for the energy PD in particular - more consistent stopping power is much better.
- AND -
Quote
•Increased damage values for non-beam energy weapons by roughly 25% to compensate
Do not mix.  It sounds like only non-beam energy weapons like pulse lasers and blasters will get the extra damage, which is good for the affected weapons now that they will be at a severe range disadvantage compared to beams and ballistics.  Beams will be boosted by more range and cheaper OP costs instead.

Re: Network Pesci
I agree with him that ammo is huge factor, because until I reach level 50+, I often pilot one flagship against entire fleets because I lack the Logistics to support hordes to steamroll fleets.

I pilot a Medusa much like him, except I use free Harpoons or 1 OP Reapers instead (and burst PD instead of LR PD) precisely because I know I will run out of needler ammo.  So far, every gunship I use that relies on ballistics has Expanded Magazines because I do need all of the ammo I can hold.  Once this update comes out, I will have more OP to spend on other things, like Hardened Subsystems.  Also, if Heavy Needler remains unchanged, I will swap it for Heavy Autocannon, because both perform very similarly, except the needler has five times as much ammo as the autocannon, and will be 5 more OP per gun swapped.  (Or, I may use HVDs instead to counter beam ships.)

@ Alex:
Quote
Hmm. One issue there is something like the Graviton Beam, which is a beam but does kinetic damage. Still, something to think about.
Maybe, let Graviton Beam deal hard flux (by retaining old kinetic or energy type), but change it into a burst (non-continuous) beam, so that AI won't be confused by continuous hard flux buildup.  It might mess up its property of messing with other ships' velocity, though.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on December 06, 2014, 05:36:08 PM
@ Alex:
Quote
Hmm. One issue there is something like the Graviton Beam, which is a beam but does kinetic damage. Still, something to think about.
Maybe, let Graviton Beam deal hard flux (by retaining old kinetic or energy type), but change it into a burst (non-continuous) beam, so that AI won't be confused by continuous hard flux buildup.  It might mess up its property of messing with other ships' velocity, though.
Which is why I suggest a separate indicator for hard flux / soft flux, rather than tying it specifically to beam weapons.  The graviton beam idea is pretty good, though.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on December 06, 2014, 06:58:57 PM
Question: do you have an idea of roughly how much time that kind of battle takes?

... I don't have much of a problem with larger fleets, but when I run into a captain that has the same unfair BS powers that I do like "zero flux speed bonus at 25% flux" or "reduce flux while shields are up" it feels like a punching bag just reached out and smacked me upside the head.  ...

I'm glad someone else feels the same way about those skills... its really clear how powerful the level 10 combat skills are when fighting the AI. Levels 1-9: Not all that noticeable. Level 10: Ridiculous power boost.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 06, 2014, 07:28:46 PM
Network Pesci's experience seems close to mine.

I have not timed mine, but when I use Wolf flagships to solo large fleets led by enemy flagships with some but less than max Combat, it takes two Wolves with Hardened Subsystems (or three without) and 90% CR to solo it.  Wolf with Hardened Subsystems has four and a half minutes before CR decay, and CR decays once every six seconds (due to Hardened Subsystems), for about six more minutes before CR decays too much.

Hyperion with 100% CR and Hardened Subsystems has three minutes of peak performance and up to ten more minutes before 100% CR decays to 0%.  As long as Hyperion can teleport and weapons do not go offline, it can stay without much trouble.  That is enough time for such a Hyperion with the right skills to solo most fleets.  That is probably somewhere between five to fifteen minutes.

When I try to solo ships in the simulator with a Cerberus armed with Railgun and Mauler, I have enough ammo to kill about three or four destroyers before I am out of ammo, well before CR decays to malfunction level.  Obviously, large fleets have more, and bigger, ships.

Take a look at this old thread of mine, Frigate flagships vs. Hegemony defense fleet. (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=7754.0), and check out my ships' configurations.  Though the enemies have changed, many of the configurations I use remain (mostly) the same, except for Lasher and Cerberus.

As for Medusa vs. enemy flagships with max Combat, here are my experiences.

Quote
I don't have much of a problem with larger fleets, but when I run into a captain that has the same unfair BS powers that I do like "zero flux speed bonus at 25% flux" or "reduce flux while shields are up" it feels like a punching bag just reached out and smacked me upside the head.
This is what motivated me to switch from Medusa to Hyperion, and get Missile Specialization 10 so I can kill enemy flagship quickly with Reapers and save a few minutes.  This is what I mean by enemy flagship is harder than everything else combined, and a few Reapers boosted by Missile Specialization 10 will often make it go away, permanently.

Quote
I'm glad someone else feels the same way about those skills... its really clear how powerful the level 10 combat skills are when fighting the AI. Levels 1-9: Not all that noticeable. Level 10: Ridiculous power boost.
This is why Missile Specialization 10 plus Reapers is so useful now.  Four Reapers will kill any non-battleship immediately.  Onslaught and Paragon can survive them if the player lacks Target Analysis 10 or sensor objective boosts.  Killing cruiser flagships immediately is very important because it will stop them from launching their Harpoons or Pilums (boosted by Missile Specialization 10) and kill your AI ships!  Crippling an Onslaught with Reapers will make it flee and prevent it from slaughtering your fleet with a plethora of guns.

EDIT:  Aurora flagship, in player's hands, is very powerful now.  Reapers with Missile Specialization 10 are very fast (as fast is many ballistics) and hit very, VERY hard, one-hit killing destroyers and even some cruisers.  Aurora can carry up to 44 Reapers, and can get the speed and agility to use them with deadly precision.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on December 06, 2014, 07:46:22 PM
Some notes on non-named-bounty fleets and timing: A pirate armada (two eagle-D, an enforcer, a sunder-D, an enforcer-D, a buffalo II, and a smattering of frigates that died) took about two and a half minutes to kill using a single Sunder.  Smaller pirate attack fleet with lots of fighters seem to run about five minutes, because I have to spend a lot of time repeatedly killing fighters while maneuvering to get at the carriers - for a Sunder, allowing Broadswords to close is a death sentence.  Current character level is 45.

An impossible fight (a bounty fleet with an onslaught) takes about six minutes to clear out everything other than the onslaught - if the onslaught is deployed last.  If it's deployed first, you die in about a minute and a half.  Clearly I need something better than a Sunder; haven't gotten any good ships this particular game (no Apogee, no Aurora, not even a Conquest or Paragon.)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Draken on December 06, 2014, 08:36:02 PM
Hi Alex,

I wanted to throw my 2 cents into the ring as far as these balance changes go as they are the 1st change you've made to the game that I feel the need to comment on.  I have not had a chance to read every single comment so if im repeating anything, my apologies.

Combat balance pass:
Spoiler
Removed energy weapon bonus damage from high flux level
Increased damage values for non-beam energy weapons by roughly 25% to compensate
[close]

This makes sense to some degree (although i'm sure the numbers for beam weapon damage will need to be tweaked later).  While granting damage bonuses at higher flux was an interesting idea, I don't think the game offers enough control over flux management to make it a major mechanic.  I still like the idea of having some ways to differentiate the weapon types beyond their damage vs shields, hull, armor but this may have not been a great way to do it.

Beam weapons:
Spoiler
Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
Increased range for PD Laser and LR PD Laser
Slightly reduced OP cost for all beam weapons
Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles
Greatly reduced fade in/out time for most beams
[close]

This seems primarily like a balance change.  I'm sure it will be tweaked again at some point.

Missiles:
Spoiler
Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds
[close]

This makes a lot less sense to me for a few reasons.  First, a system where missiles have ammo while most other weapons don't already seems arbitrary.  I understand it from a gameplay standpoint (missile spam and all that) but it may not be intuitive for a new player.  Having to keep track of missile ammo only carves out an exception in the combat mechanics that is not obvious.  This is not a major issue but something to consider.  The bigger issue is that some missiles regenerate.  This does not make a ton of sense thematically (why can a ship produce one type of missile in the middle of combat but not another?), nor does it make sense intuitively (a new player who runs out of missiles will likely not know about this mechanic).  Most significantly in my mind however is that this carves out another exception in the combat mechanics.  The way I would have to describe the combat rules to someone would now have to go something like this: "There is no ammo in the game for most weapons except missiles and bomb bays.  With those weapons, once you run out, your out. unless its a particular type of missile.  Then you get more at a set interval or another special missile that has unlimited ammo, but just that one".  This is unnecessarily complicated for a new player, can't be easily explained in a tutorial, and makes it more difficult to understand combat.  New players tend to focus on the minutia of things.  There are a few lets plays on Youtube of StarFarer where the first time someone gets into combat they focus on things like their number of command points or looking for objectives because thats what they remembered from the tutorial, even though those things have a minor impact on the actual gameplay.  If there is a need for this change due to AI then something like a "onboard missile manufacturing" hull mod makes more sense.  It can be added to the stock ai ships and the player will get the necessary information from the hull mod description when they install it (if it is available to them at all).

Ballistic weapons:
Spoiler
Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay
Reduced OP cost of Light Dual MG
[close]

This is another change that I struggle to understand.  The reasons given for the removal of ammo seemed to be that A: Ammo didn't matter much except in large battles, and B: the system could be abused.  I have a few thoughts here.  I have never felt like ammo does not matter, and have had several of my engagements (including the afformentioned large ones) affected by a lack of ammo (certainly many more than by a mechanic like command points).  This may be relevant only to my play style but I did feel the need to say that ammo as it exists now is not useless, atleast for some weapons.  

It seems to me that reducing ammo count for most weapon would make ammo more relevant more often, expand choice (by allowing for the creation of specialized ships, skills, and hull mods that address ammo) and generally improve the combat experience.  Additionally, this would help to further differentiate various weapons using non standard methods (such as damage or OP cost).  Making a weapon with say, 8 total ammo, gives you a unique way of balancing that weapon that is different from all others and allows you to maintain greater variety and flavor through-out.  I will add my comments on the abuse point below.

Ships
Spoiler
Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates
Roughly 5-7 minutes for destroyers and 7-9 for cruisers
High-tech/faster ships have shorter timers
[close]

These changes don't bother me as I rarely run into these timers, however I don't like the idea of designing systems around folks who choose to min-max.  If someone wishes to kite a fleet for 45 minutes, I think we should let them.  Starsector is a single-player game without any impact on the real world, there are no accounts to sell, no gold to farm for someone else, no rare items to ebay etc.  In such a case, I say let folks play how they want to play.  As long as the min-max approach is not the clearly superior one, and it is not given the fact that it is substantially slower most of the time, I don't mind.  Balancing the game around min-maxing simply adds unnecessary complexity and complicates gameplay.  

On to Peak efficiency timers specifically.  These timers make sense from an intuitive standpoint (crews tire, guns wear down, etc.) but they have no impact on gameplay in a real sense (the reason given for removing ballistic ammo) except in very long battles or when people choose to play the game in a way that does not make sense to you.  The real impact of these timers is that they are too long to matter to most people so they have no effect on gameplay for most people but add another layer of complexity to learning the combat system.  As I mentioned before, if you sat a new player down and asked them to go through a tutorial, they will notice things like peak efficiency timers (as they don't come across such mechanics in other games, and as such will seem important) in a manner that is disproportional to the mechanics actual impact on the game.  I may be wrong but it seems that that is what I would do.  

If you do wish to keep them, then I say lower the timers, create tiers of efficiency and make their effects get progressively stronger.  Keeps us on our toes, makes the mechanic mean something to most of us, and gives you a stick to whack those min-maxers with.

Spoiler
Sunder: increased top speed, acceleration, and flux capacity. Reduced shield efficiency.
Brawler/Shepherd: increased burn level by 1 (to 6)
Condor: reduced supplies/day by 1 (to 4)
[close]

More balance stuff, meh.

TL:DR;

Keep ammo, reduce the quantities.  No regen on missles without a clear communication to the player that such a thing is happening.  Kill peak efficiency timers or make them shorter and tiered.  Make the mechanic mean something to everyone, not just the min-maxers.

Thanks, and apologies if what is written above does not make sense.  I'm very tired.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: goduranus on December 07, 2014, 12:05:21 AM
I am for trying out the changes to see how it goes, but not the missile and ballistic ammo though.

For ballistics, it's merely a cosmetic difference, and for most practical purposes ships rarely run out.

But without ammo, ballistics will not "feel" like ballistics. It's like those rear spoliers on the Honda Civic, even though it doesn't make any practical difference, it make the car feel sportier. So, if there's no difference, why not leave them in?

For missiles, running out was a major gameplay element "Do I shoot now? or wait for a better opportunity"

It's seems that the changes are making weapons types more similar, so removes one of the more interesting part of the game that differentiates itself from all those other games.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Venatos on December 07, 2014, 12:49:57 AM

About Venatos' idea: yeah, I saw that. My thought on it is that I actually really *like* how these malfunctions play out, and they also serve as a clear visual indicator that things are going wrong, which is particularly important if this is happening to a ship other than your flagship.

Consider that in a previous version, low-CR ships couldn't be deployed at all. The current system, where things eventually get really, really bad, is meant to provide a range of options there instead of a hard boundary - you can decide how much risk you're willing to take, and when to bail out. It also makes last-stand type fights more dramatic than simple stat changes.

Basically, the idea is that a ship at 0 CR is not something you can rely on for any length of time. You might get one last thing done with it, or you might not. If they're reliable (even if poor) performers, then it undermines the whole CR system. You'd end up encouraging the player to fight "free" battles with swarms of 0-CR ships against weak opponents. (With that in mind, one of the goals of the hull damage from critical malfunctions is to make sure it's very much not free outside of combat.)

I will say that the complexity of the rules around "peak performance" ticking down is bothering me, though.


thnx for taking the time to read that lengthy post and thnx to miljan for bringing it up.

i can see why you like the malfunctions, they are kinda cinematic. and in the end they have a nearly identical effect as statchanges would have(slower, harder to control, less damageoutput, etc.) so im ok with them,
only real thing that bothers me about malfunctions is when they destroy a ship, rather ofthen at the begining of a battle without enemy contact. maybe just a smiget of code so they dont bring the shiphull below 1hp?

about the peak performance: what gets me is the severity of CRloss once the 3min peaktimer runs out. suddenly you have a "30seconds until your ship selfdistructs" timer running in your head.... i realy hate that.
i personaly would be a lot more comfortable with a slow CRloss with a shorter peaktimer or none at all.
the more crew = slower CRloss was just an idea to give additonal meaning to crew and soften up the whole CRloss mechanic even more.(i realy dont like fix timers)

what did you think of the idea that everything thats not a beam, gets ammoreloads? i generaly liked that missiles where 1shot weapons, especialy since they are so powerfull, but their power can theoreticaly be spreadout.... as example: instead of 3 harpoons to fire at once, you get 1 harpoon that gets reloaded every 30seconds. many small rockets could also get reloaded in magazine chunks, like balistics. with reloadtimes of several minutes, you can even make torpedoes reloadable and it would prefent the need for "spezial cases".
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Ali on December 07, 2014, 01:56:07 AM
- On peak performance timers for cruiser & destroyers too
I'm one of those opposed to combat timers ( just to show there's a few of us )

- On removing extra damage at hight flux
I will miss this.. Both from the lore side ( ship being charged with flux = extra damage was kinda cool ) and also when i'm out owning pirate armada's in my 4 x tachyon paragon, getting to 90%+ flux allowed my tachyon's to kick out sm extra dps ( cool ) and look epic at the same time with weapon glow ( also cool )  ;D will miss it  :'(

- No ammo for ballistics
Not too fussed on this change - will be good for my vulcan pd's on the ships that had it.. Very curious as to what the 50% ammo mod will do now instead?? Just extra charges for my beam pd? Also just realised! - i won't be able to slow kill onslaughts by drainin them of ammo ne more!  :-[ lastly infinate balistic ammo is a bit realism breaking even though i prefer fun at the expense of realism!!

- Beam wep op cost lowered
As a beam wep hoar, More power for my paragon / other assorted beam wep ships!!  :) ( This patch hasn't been all bad )

- patch is save compatible
THANKS so much!!! Has taken me a v.v.v long time to collect my 3 conquests, 15+ tempests, 2 hyerion's & other assorted ships so thrilled i won't be back to square 1 next time i get my starsector fix!!  ;D Hope to see some of the other ships be at least available thou or little easier to get.. only managed to find one squad of the elite fighters so far ( am lvl 55ish ) and never seen an astral ever .. to buy or in ai fleet  :-\

Think starsector will be on virtual shelf till next patch thou.. That part of my hdd probs need a few months to cool down anyway!

Just to add as well, this is THE BEST space game ( prob game in general ) i've ever played in 15 years so really, really hope the balance, too much realism ( although some is neccessary ) sticks don't nerf the fun factor too much!!  ;D

Thoughts comments appreciated!

Cheers AL

On a completely unrelented note - any timescale on next blog / info release for officers / industry tree?  :P

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 07, 2014, 06:04:16 AM
Quote
If I understand things right, eventually (not in this next patch) there's going to be NPC captains that have skills and fleets that have a variety of crew quality, so this will smooth out the abrupt jump between regular enemies and Combat 10 skill characters a bit.
As Thaago noted, Combat less than 10 is hardly noticeable.  Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of some Combat are enemy Harpoons are faster, and you need more time and distance to vent safely.  The perks from Combat 10 make Combat 10 much more powerful than Combat 9, and the enemy flagship seems to have every Combat skill, while you probably will not because you need skills from other trees.  For similar reasons, I beeline to Combat 10 as soon as I can for the perks, after I get Technology 7 for Entoptic Rangefinder perk and Augmented Engines and ITU hullmods.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: NashedPotatoes on December 07, 2014, 07:56:23 AM
I'd like to chime in to say that I really, really liked the flavor of ballistics weapons having limited, non-regenerating ammo.  I'm very fond of the midline ships, and I tend to fly the smaller, faster ones because I'm impatient.  While in most engagements running out of ammunition is not a problem, it had a very satisfying feel that at the end of a long/intense engagement, I might be down to my energy slots on a Hammerhead.  It added to the feel that the ship had just weathered a large battle and now her offensive capacity was mostly spent.  There's something a bit dramatic about that.  Going into a big engagement, I was more conscious about making shots count.  It also made me consider whether I wanted to spend the OP on expanded magazines for greater endurance or if I'd rather be better equipped for shorter fights (I don't tend to swap around hull mods situationally).  Similarly, I had to decide how many of the energy slots should go to PD vs sustained offensive capability.  I don't know, though: maybe I'm just playing sub-optimally.  If limited ammo doesn't affect the gameplay very much (as the argument seems to go), I think it adds value in other ways.

I'll reserve final judgement until I get to play with the new changes, and in any case, it's just my opinion.  In general, I think Alex's insight into what makes good gameplay has been outstanding thus far.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Himntor on December 07, 2014, 09:04:18 AM
Interesting changes. I'm not against the ballistics change, it didn't make much sense that you could run out, disengage from battle, go back in, and suddenly it's all there again. The logic of running out and not getting it back didn't make sense. With that said though, it WOULD make sense to have a limited ammo capacity, and then once that runs out, it'd need to take a bit of time (maybe 10~20 seconds like the regenerating missiles?) to refill the ammo capacity. Just have reduced max capacities.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Blips on December 07, 2014, 11:47:27 AM
I can't say for sure how it will feel to play with the changes regarding ammo, but I really dislike the initial sound of it. Now some hull mods are rendered obsolete as well.

Perhaps a compromise would be to have ballistic ammo work like missiles in that they have to be generated? That way hull mods and skills could simply influence how quickly munitions are generated.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 07, 2014, 12:06:58 PM
It would be nice for ballistics to have limited but rechargeable ammo like autopulse laser or thermal pulse cannon (except more than one ammo at a time for weapons that fire in bursts), if only so that the ballistics weapon feels like it uses ammo, and player cannot simply spam HVDs and the like with impunity to crush energy weapon based ships from afar.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 07, 2014, 12:10:18 PM
(Just a real quick note here, to reemphasize that most missiles have limited ammo. Only a few specific missiles have unlimited ammo, where it makes sense given their role.)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on December 07, 2014, 12:51:44 PM
(And a lore note: We've already got ships with auto factories that can build unlimited ammo - see any carrier with its fighters - so it's just a question of which launchers have the right hook-ups to allow reloading in combat.  ...Speaking of which, why is there only one drone system that can regenerate drones in combat?)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TheKillerWolf on December 07, 2014, 01:18:24 PM
Im a big fan of these changes.  The ammo change is a good one in my mind I understand the removal affecting long battle but im not sure i can wrap my head around the reduced "feel" of it.  Most of the energy weapons and solid weapons are diff enough along with the damage types that i dont think it makes them close at all.  just my 2 cents

on another note does the fast missile racks affect the salamander reload? and have you thought about applying the missile changes to swarmers?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SCC on December 07, 2014, 02:03:38 PM
I'm just looking at all the changes and hmm...

>Conquest, smaller saves, new missions, beam buffs, ship changes
Yay!

>Flux bonus removed
Well... That's something I would call "the lore bonus". I mean, it's there, it works, but nobody cares anyway. Though, I liked it and it was my reason to go mid and high-tech (besides mobility), even if it's meaningless! Super cool sounding weapon is cool even if it's not that super as it sounds!

>beam fade out time and beam damage
So... What? They reach something like 1100 but the last 100 units have decreased damage? It doesn't say much. Somebody suggested "beam" damage type, but for me it's rather hard to make it "special"... KI(netics) are for shields, H(igh)E(explosives) are for armor, EN(ergy) is those high fluxey ships and FRAG(mentation) is for PD or nothing :P I don't know how would beams fit... Ignoring armor for very effective suppression? Something rewarding for pinpoint accuracy besides armor system? No friendly fire?

>Ballistical and missiles ammo
Why not make ballistical things reloading ammo in the background (like halved shots/minute, but that gives you essentially >1,5 magazine size...) and missiles either needing some pre-battle preparations (ordering in the dialog to make more missiles for more CR) or just being "buyed" in battle, but for bigger than just CR recovering (proportionally) cost? That would make situations like "you may either live with what you have or go unlimited and make your ship unavaible for couple of extra days". But again, AI need new code to use it and it's not guaranteed to work anyway... (whole reception of that changes is "yes to missiles, no to ballistics")

>peak performance for destroyers and cruisers
To be honest... For my playstyle, it depends only if I not deploy everything at once OR if AI goes like that (http://screenshooter.net/100248408/vemhfsd). Other cases... I suppose I may eventually fall into a battle, which duration would extent to even 7 minutes, but I think it's rather unplausible for not soloing a fleet... Which I don't do often. ;) So, this change will rather slip through unseen. (if it matters, my fleet is a 2x Medusa, a Falcon, a Sunder, an Enforcer (where's my Hammerhead? :O), 1-3 frigates-which-survived-last-engagement (either Wolf, Lasher or Vigilance), an Eagle, a Dominator, a Heron and finally 2x Warthogs, Broadswords, 4x Gladius, Thunder and two Oxes! In the CR order). It's kinda funny that fighters itself don't kill cruisers, but render them practically unable to fight back.
Wait... Isn't it kinda strange, that the ships that can fight alone (and even more, they may be designed to do so) may have lower peak performance time than the grunt

And a question! Are you happy with present set of ships? ;) (obvious fishing info 'bout more ships is obvious)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 07, 2014, 02:14:20 PM
(And a lore note: We've already got ships with auto factories that can build unlimited ammo - see any carrier with its fighters - so it's just a question of which launchers have the right hook-ups to allow reloading in combat.

Right, conceptually new Salamanders aren't being manufactured mid-fight, it's just that the weapon mount allows for in-combat reload from pre-manufactured missile stocks.

...Speaking of which, why is there only one drone system that can regenerate drones in combat?)

Why not? :)


on another note does the fast missile racks affect the salamander reload? and have you thought about applying the missile changes to swarmers?

They do. I did, but it wasn't good - it really wasn't good for the decision making process for firing them. It went from "should I use the missiles now or save for later?" to "just fire 'em every time the cooldown is up". One might argue with some success that there's a similar dynamic in play for ballistics, but as the ammo limit is much higher, it's to a much lesser extent.


>beam fade out time and beam damage
So... What? They reach something like 1100 but the last 100 units have decreased damage?

No no, this just means that the beam itself fades in and out much faster.

And a question! Are you happy with present set of ships? ;) (obvious fishing info 'bout more ships is obvious)

Fairly, but more ships are always a possibility :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Velox on December 07, 2014, 05:05:03 PM
(And a lore note: We've already got ships with auto factories that can build unlimited ammo - see any carrier with its fighters - so it's just a question of which launchers have the right hook-ups to allow reloading in combat.

I know you're removing ammunition in the next update but wish you wouldn't - it's a nice "Combat Readiness that is actually under player control" factor.  It sounds to me like a lot of the conceptual struggle going on lately has to do with combat readiness, and it seems like the single mechanic is gaining a lot of (potential) conditionals like - are ships nearby?  are my shields up?  how big is the enemy fleet?  is it Wednesday?  Maybe putting that all on one stat is a bit much, and as far as I can tell missile and ballistic ammo are the only buddies that have CR's back at the moment.  

You've noted that ammunition is serving ONLY as a sort of "ballistic weapon ships can't fight long fights" law-of-unintended-consequences limit and so is irrelevant and ought to go.  My response has been similar to others' in that I feel like - yeah, you're kind of right about the effects and it could just go.  But I LIKE it.  It makes the weapons feel different, and by god when someone overloads on my second-to-last round of railgun fire that is AWESOME.  And when I am out of ammo and running for the retreat point and spamming my burn drive so maybe just maybe I get out before those missiles land, that is AWESOME.  And when there is some Big Awful Ship and all those ships I've named and outfitted so carefully are going up like firecrackers or drifting around without engines and my fighter wings are down to one bomber that keeps cycling through reloads and somehow only barely living and then the Big Awful Guns go silent?  That is ESPECIALLY AWESOME.  Because then someone is going to die, and it's not my own beloved TTS Last Resort.

So it seems like nobody can give you a solid explanation of why it's a useful mechanic and should stay, but they are giving you a reason that it's a GOOD mechanic and should stay - because fun!

<edit: snipped because dumb and off-topic>

So yeah, sorry - too much enthusiasm and too much weekend time, obviously.  Thanks again for the great game!

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 07, 2014, 05:51:47 PM
@Velox: First off, hi!

Re: why not - mostly feel reasons.

I get what you're saying about ammo giving feel; definitely still thinking about yours and a couple of other comments about this in this thread.

About the other stuff - autofactory on ships and all - would you mind moving it out to another thread? It gets unmanageable to discuss too many things in the same thread; and this one is really for comments on the patch notes and not radical suggestions :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SQW on December 07, 2014, 07:49:51 PM
Has there been any complaints by players to warrant another look at the combat mechanic?

If, as Alex puts it, most of the changes wouldn't affect the current game play much (like the flux and ammo count) then why are we tweaking them at all? Current combat mechanic is already one of the best out there. Heck, Starsector can just spin the combat engine out as a $8.99 game on its own as it stands.

I was hoping for more updates on the currently bland economic/trade/exploration side of things.

 

 

 
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Jazwana on December 07, 2014, 07:53:05 PM
IIRC Alex stated in the 6.5.1 thread that his goal was to take a pass at balance/combat in 6.5.2 and then focus on further new features for the next patch after this.

My overall thoughts:  I'm willing to wait and see how it plays.

Quote
    Removed energy weapon bonus damage from high flux level
    Increased damage values for non-beam energy weapons by roughly 25% to compensate
Sad to see a skill-cap / player technique cap mechanic disappear.  I understand the AI did not use the mechanic effectively.  Neither do brand new players.  As the player is supposed to become godly with leveling up bonuses, why would the player also not become godly with hours spent understanding the mechanics of the game?  Is the problem that either a) game is balanced for the player's choice of ships and thus AI high tech ships were underwhelming because not using weapons effectively, or b) game is balanced for AI ships and thus high tech ships are overwhelming for the player?  As for players "abusing" the mechanic by firing at nothing to keep their flux high remember they are also keeping their ship speed low, their defensive capabilities low, their total damage/ROF low, etc.  It's a skill decision for perhaps optimal play, not necessarily abuse.


Quote
    Beam weapons:
        Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
        Increased range for PD Laser and LR PD Laser
        Slightly reduced OP cost for all beam weapons
        Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles
        Greatly reduced fade in/out time for most beams
I'm sad beams won't pass through (over/under) friendly ships but I'll get over it.  In my experience running large fleets with mostly beams in SS+ mod the longer range and standardized range really helps the AI roam as a pack and focus fire ships with beams. Mixed ranges means ships get in the way of one another's firing arcs as short range ships close to engage.   This probably needs a second balancing pass on damage, because now HIL is really underwhelming for a large mount vs 4 tac lasers.   If tac laser is used with PDAI, will it engage missiles or hold fire if a friendly ship is further downrange?


Quote

   Missiles:
        Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
        Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
        Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds
Still not sure why other missiles/rockets wouldn't regenerate even with ridiculously long timers if this is the way you're going.  (1 min, 4 min, etc).  With salamander, why can't the AI just treat it as a short range weapon such as Sabots even if range is medium (special rule)?  Tried it and it still doesn't work?


Quote

   Ballistic weapons:
        Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay
        Reduced OP cost of Light Dual MG
I tend to agree with previous comments on implementing some form of magazine reloading.  Another option might be a steep sliding curve of ammo loaded (like missiles loaded/not loaded) vs CR, so that at high CR there is plenty of ammo, medium CR there is roughly equivalent to current ammo levels, and low CR not much at all.  It links into CR, uses the same mechanic as missiles loaded, and differentiates ballistic vs energy by CR...hm, not great but a low tech 'you need your crew to fight' solution?  Maybe energy mounts are more likely to malfunction at low CR/EMP to balance?


Quote
   Ships
        Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates
            Roughly 5-7 minutes for destroyers and 7-9 for cruisers
            High-tech/faster ships have shorter timers
        Sunder: increased top speed, acceleration, and flux capacity. Reduced shield efficiency.
        Brawler/Shepherd: increased burn level by 1 (to 6)
        Condor: reduced supplies/day by 1 (to 4)
Ok with balancing pass, not convinced on timers but probably will be a non-issue.  I'd probably prefer the CR degrades slowly when in combat but less/no drop just to deploy.  Why do frigates need to be so fast now if nearly everything is on a timer?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: harrumph on December 07, 2014, 08:02:34 PM

Which leaves ballistic weapons. I actually agree that this change will barely be noticeable—I ran out of HVD ammo every once in a while, but I don’t think I’ve ever run out of ammo for the heavy mauler, my favorite early-/mid-game iron. However, though I think the change is okay, I do wonder if it’s not a missed opportunity. Ammo for ballistics didn’t just differentiate them from energy weapons, it was also (as I think somebody mentioned) a potential lever for balance. You can have two weapons with similar OP costs—gun A has enough ammo to deal twice as much damage, over the course of a long fight, as gun B, but gun B has three times the single-shot damage as gun A. Adds some interesting nuance to weapon design—I guess modders will still have access to that, of course.

However! As a twist on what Cosmitz suggested early in the thread, what about using freighters(and/or tankers and/or those supply ships we saw art for that got cut in an earlier build) to actually resupply ships in combat? A freighter comes in from the bottom of the map, flies straight to the ship that called for resupply, and both ships have to sit still (maybe with shields down?) for 5/10/20/40 seconds (depending on hull size) as ballistic (and maybe missile) weapons are refilled. AI ships will make a beeline for your resupply operations, so you need to send some escorts to run interference, etc. etc. It’s a dramatic change, maybe beyond the scope of this thread (in which case I’d be happy to drag it over to Suggestions), but it could kill a few birds with one stone—keep ammo in the game, get civilian ships into harm’s way, and encourage players to use more one warship at a time.

Also—Alex, you have the patience of a saint when it comes to all our griping. But hey, even if some reactions have been a little over the top, it’s great to see so many people so obsessed with Starsector that a dozen lines of patch notes can generate a dozen pages of heated debate. And probably a dozen more to come!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 07, 2014, 08:13:07 PM
I just remembered something:  Weren't frigates' top speed and recovery boosted from 0.54 to 0.6 because they were the only ships with CR decay at the time (when 0.6 came out)?  One reason I use frigates, aside from high burn speed, is they recover quickly.  Big ships (and fighters) take forever to recover CR.
Hey Alex, I don't think you ever addressed this and I too would like to know if recovery speed is gonna be boosted
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 07, 2014, 08:30:44 PM
@SQW: Being a .2 release, it's a good time to try some things and clean some things up. A lot of this flowed out of the missile changes (which I think turned out very well), and a lot out of player feedback.

I'm sad beams won't pass through (over/under) friendly ships but I'll get over it.

Tried that; really wasn't good for ship feel. Stuff starts feeling really not solid.

If tac laser is used with PDAI, will it engage missiles or hold fire if a friendly ship is further downrange?

It's aware of whether a beam can pierce the target or not.

Still not sure why other missiles/rockets wouldn't regenerate even with ridiculously long timers if this is the way you're going.  (1 min, 4 min, etc).

As I mentioned earlier in the thread (a couple of times, I think :)), it was very bad for missile feel. Besides, missiles in other roles don't *need* this to be effective. Long timers like that aren't a good idea besides, as it's either 1) too long to be practical due to peak effectiveness running out or 2) is encouraging the player to not engage and wait for a ridiculously long time, otherwise.

With salamander, why can't the AI just treat it as a short range weapon such as Sabots even if range is medium (special rule)?  Tried it and it still doesn't work?

It's just not how the missile works. It's not something you fire as part of a larger salvo or as a reaction to an enemy being high on flux/venting/overloaded/etc. You want to fire it at a medium range, and it takes a while to get around the enemy ship anyway. It's really a medium range support weapon, and making the AI use it as such wouldn't make the AI *good* with it. Besides, with this change, it's also a more appealing choice for the player.


Peak effectiveness for destroyers/cruisers—like others have said, I don’t expect this will actually have much impact. I do wonder if it isn't sort of missing the mark—the problem with combat right now (as I see it) isn’t that destroyers and cruisers can kite too long, it’s that the optimal approach to combat is always to take a single ship at a time. After the patch, you'll still be able to have three Falcons in your fleet and just switch from one to the next as CR drops. I like xenoargh’s solution to this—take reinforcements out of the equation (unless, perhaps, total fleet size is really, really big). You pick the ships with which you think you can win, and you’re stuck with them.

Well... there's another change I'm mulling over that'll take care of that, but :-X for now.

Which leaves ballistic weapons. I actually agree that this change will barely be noticeable—I ran out of HVD ammo every once in a while, but I don’t think I’ve ever run out of ammo for the heavy mauler, my favorite early-/mid-game iron. However, though I think the change is okay, I do wonder if it’s not a missed opportunity. Ammo for ballistics didn’t just differentiate them from energy weapons, it was also (as I think somebody mentioned) a potential lever for balance. You can have two weapons with similar OP costs—gun A has enough ammo to deal twice as much damage, over the course of a long fight, as gun B, but gun B has three times the single-shot damage as gun A. Adds some interesting nuance to weapon design—I guess modders will still have access to that, of course.

However! As a twist on what Cosmitz suggested early in the thread, what about using freighters(and/or tankers and/or those supply ships we saw art for that got cut in an earlier build) to actually resupply ships in combat? A freighter comes in from the bottom of the map, flies straight to the ship that called for resupply, and both ships have to sit still (maybe with shields down?) for 5/10/20/40 seconds (depending on hull size) as ballistic (and maybe missile) weapons are refilled. AI ships will make a beeline for your resupply operations, so you need to send some escorts to run interference, etc. etc. It’s a dramatic change, maybe beyond the scope of this thread (in which case I’d be happy to drag it over to Suggestions), but it could kill a few birds with one stone—keep ammo in the game, get civilian ships into harm’s way, and encourage players to use more one warship at a time.

Yeah, probably best in another thread. My main objection to this is same as before - just not seeing how it might be smooth gameplay-wise. It's either overwrought for something that doesn't matter much, or ammo is such an issue that the game is all about those resupply ships. Which might be ok if it didn't seem like it would be so very, very clunky. I mean, I could be totally wrong, but that's how I'm seeing it.


Also—Alex, you have the patience of a saint when it comes to all our griping. But hey, even if some reactions have been a little over the top, it’s great to see so many people so obsessed with Starsector that a dozen lines of patch notes can generate a dozen pages of heated debate. And probably a dozen more to come!

Hah, thank you :) That's a really good way to look at it, and I really do appreciate people chiming in with their thoughts.


I just remembered something:  Weren't frigates' top speed and recovery boosted from 0.54 to 0.6 because they were the only ships with CR decay at the time (when 0.6 came out)?  One reason I use frigates, aside from high burn speed, is they recover quickly.  Big ships (and fighters) take forever to recover CR.
Hey Alex, I don't think you ever addressed this and I too would like to know if recovery speed is gonna be boosted

Ah, I don't think I did.

It's not that firgates got higher speed to compensate for having a peak effectiveness timer. Rather, it was finally possible for them to be as fast as I'd wanted them to be, *due* to the peak effectiveness timer. It's one of several ways this mechanic opens up other design possibilities.

I don't recall that frigate CR recovery was adjusted to be faster specifically due to peak effectiveness, and in any case, the larger ships have a longer effectiveness period, so I don't think there's much that requires tweaking here. It might, given more playtesting, though.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Lucian Greymark on December 07, 2014, 10:40:28 PM
I think the only thing that bothers me about this update as it's limiting the amount of time I can spend in battles economically. For no other reason I wish the combat timers weren't going to be a thing.

Is that unreasonable?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Psycho Landlord on December 08, 2014, 01:30:35 AM
I actually really like all the changes so far. Actually providing some nuance to how you plan deployments in combat is a welcome change of pace, and ammunition was never a factor for vanilla weaponry anyway. Besides, any fight that goes on longer than 5-10 minutes was already likely to be multi-engagement run anyway, and now there's a reason to set objectives for yourself in larger battles instead of simply throwing everything but your frigates straight at the enemy.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 08, 2014, 02:34:27 AM
Peak effectiveness for destroyers/cruisers—like others have said, I don’t expect this will actually have much impact. I do wonder if it isn't sort of missing the mark—the problem with combat right now (as I see it) isn’t that destroyers and cruisers can kite too long, it’s that the optimal approach to combat is always to take a single ship at a time. After the patch, you'll still be able to have three Falcons in your fleet and just switch from one to the next as CR drops. I like xenoargh’s solution to this—take reinforcements out of the equation (unless, perhaps, total fleet size is really, really big). You pick the ships with which you think you can win, and you’re stuck with them.
Well... there's another change I'm mulling over that'll take care of that, but :-X for now.
Is this what you are taking about?
In the meantime, I ended up trying something simpler: "transfer command" now reduces the peak effectiveness time of the new flagship by the spent peak effectiveness of the old flagship, and further docks the new flagship for 10% CR. (Changing the command structure in battle is serious business!)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Jazwana on December 08, 2014, 05:47:53 AM
Thanks for the feedback as always :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 08, 2014, 07:03:53 AM
What about the blaster type weapons, do they still receive flux damage bonus?
What about swarmer, since they are tiny missiles should they also regenerate? Because most fighters easily refit them and spam them nonstop

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 08, 2014, 08:20:02 AM
Quote
...and ammunition was never a factor for vanilla weaponry anyway. Besides, any fight that goes on longer than 5-10 minutes was already likely to be multi-engagement run anyway, and now there's a reason to set objectives for yourself in larger battles instead of simply throwing everything but your frigates straight at the enemy.
Not if you want to solo fleets with as few ships as possible, which happens much if you have no Leadership (and I do not put points at all in Leadership until level 38+, after both Combat and Technology are at 10.)  The smallest ship reliant on ammo that I can use to solo fleets is an Enforcer, and only if most of its weapons are Heavy Needlers.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 08, 2014, 11:34:37 AM
@Midnight Kitsune: Don't want to talk about that here as it's nowhere near ready for that.

@Linnis: I might not have answered you directly, but I did answer that question several times in this thread :) Basically, no, they don't regenerate, because I tried it and it was terrible.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Velox on December 08, 2014, 12:55:26 PM
@Velox: First off, hi!

Re: why not - mostly feel reasons.

I get what you're saying about ammo giving feel; definitely still thinking about yours and a couple of other comments about this in this thread.

About the other stuff - autofactory on ships and all - would you mind moving it out to another thread? It gets unmanageable to discuss too many things in the same thread; and this one is really for comments on the patch notes and not radical suggestions :)

Thanks for your patience, I'm feeling more than a little sheepish for being so noisy.  I'll trim it out of the post and maybe stick it somewhere else, sorry for the derailment!

On the ACTUAL topic:

Personally, I won't miss the energy weapon flux thing - the times when it has an effect are the times when I'm busy enough not to notice.  It probably does help pull me out of the fire when things are going south, but if my weapons are unreliably better it's not something that's obvious.  I've mostly been playing with smaller ships so I don't know what it's like at the capital level, though.

Beams have definitely been underwhelming, save for tactical lasers because of their anti-fighter awesomeness.  I'd probably be a little more inclined to use them if they reached further, but with the soft-flux thing it seems like any range increase over shield-breaking weapons is kind of wasted.

I hate Salamanders.  It's difficult to get full shield coverage for smaller ships and I don't really know how to use a movable shield to intercept them without no longer being able to aim turreted weapons, and since they circle non-beam PD can't hit them, and beam PD can't kill them.  I guess I put everything on autofire, and switch to a weapon I don't care about?  Losing your engines with lower shield coverage really often means drifting right into the middle of everything and going poof, so what I'd expect from this is a very much higher mortality rate for frigates.

The MIRV regeneration seems like a fair counter to carries "regenerating" fighters. 

I don't typically try to solo everything because fleet battles are cool and more satisfying when all your little guys do their thing and the team wins; I think my battles rarely go on long enough for the new timers to play much role, but we'll see!

Thanks again for letting us know what's coming down the pike, sounds interesting.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Draken on December 08, 2014, 06:11:54 PM
(Just a real quick note here, to reemphasize that most missiles have limited ammo. Only a few specific missiles have unlimited ammo, where it makes sense given their role.)

I know i've already mentioned this but this is one of the things that really bothers me about the changes, as it is very unintuitive and carves out a weird exception in the combat mechanics.  If I had not read these patch notes I would have assumed that this was a bug much more readily than thinking it was intended as it does not match any of the existing mechanics and is limited to such a specific subset of weapons that it would be incredibly hard to figure out. 
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on December 08, 2014, 08:34:17 PM
I support the elimination of ammo, it's "cool" from a mechanical standpoint, but from a game play standpoint not so much other than "oh crap I just ran out of ammo didn't I, ugh, better retreat!"

Also very cool to see regenerating missiles, it makes sense, given that the crew is probably running them in from storage (or machines are fabricating them on the fly!). Would be neat for it to stop below a certain CR. Also my carriers will no longer float around uselessly once they've expanded their 30 Pilum.

The overall weapon changes, not sure! Will have to see. I'm really going to miss the Flux charge, I fly an energy fleet (when possible, lol grr) and seeing the weapons heat up and fire is just really cool. I don't know about a balance standpoint, it just seems really cool honestly and a well thought out mechanism, and I'm sorry to see it go just for novelty sake. Unlike other posters I definitely DO notice a difference, especially when it starts maxing out, tactical lasers mounted on your Wolf can literally melt low tech frigates with +50% power boost.  Maybe Beam weapons keep their flux boost. It would actually make sense given their new longer ranges, the beams crystals become superheated or something. Given that they don't do tremendous damage, they might allow to keep flux charge without too much imbalancing. 

I would also agree that although it's good for game play it's sort of sad to have ballistics lose some of their distinctiveness with no ammo limit. Maybe certain guns have a tendency to malfunction when they fire for ridiculously long times, I'm thinking the needlers and vulcans, though I guess needlers have a built in burst size that limits their overheating (not sure)

Maybe to make ballistic more interesting a third fire mode can be introduced just for them (alternating, linked, overheat) which is basically the guns fire at higher velocity but at lower accuracy and a chance to temporarily malfunction (jam).  The jam chance is reduced by CR, but is always possible. I know you can say (ballistic does damage to shields, high ex to armor, they're distinct) but there's distinct tactically and distinct personality, which is why I also think you should keep flux boost to at least some energy, it's cool :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Talkie Toaster on December 09, 2014, 02:43:37 AM
Er, I just feel I should say: I like the changes to beams, CR & ammo and think the reasoning behind it is pretty great.

W.r.t. a simpler way of handling CR tickdown without needing an array of exceptions and such... if it's to stop enemies baiting out CR by dripfeeding weak ships into the battlefield perhaps the old mechanic of "Take all the points and the opponents can't deploy" could come back into play? Or something like "If the enemy has ships in your deployment zone, you can't deploy more" (or perhaps "You can't deploy any smaller ships"). If you start a fight by committing a handful of frigates that you skirt around the edge of their cruisers, they can just park their fleet in your deployment zone and wait for you to time out and have to flee, handing them the match.

If you let them deploy equally-sized ships when their DZ is threatened, then they're punished for being driven to this by having their reinforcements burn in, shields down, and take a pummelling. This also stops the problem of frigates skirting around the fight to block off enemy reinforcements- if that is a problem, rather than an interesting new tactic. Equally it clashes with your goals to move the combat away from the edges of the map whilst a hard block supports those goals by preventing deployment when combat at the edges is likely.

I've mocked up an example below:
Deployment Zone open
(http://i.imgur.com/eoTbR2Ws.png) (http://i.imgur.com/eoTbR2W.png)
Deployment Zone blocked
(http://i.imgur.com/hEzpAaJs.png) (http://i.imgur.com/hEzpAaJ.png)
It's something that's quite easy to visually communicate, and the concept of a deployment zone is fairly intuitive and "Keep enemy ships out of your deployment zone if you want reinforcements" is a lot easier to communicate than the sets of circumstances in which you do and don't have to worry about CR.
I don't mean to pester, but did you have any thoughts on this Alex? Given there's so much discussion going on about CR tickdown edge cases it seems like sidestepping the need for them might be useful.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 09, 2014, 06:13:32 AM
I have used and relied flux supercharge bonus for beam only ships.  Since they cannot cause hard flux damage, and they are flux efficient enough to control their flux level (and even want hard flux to prevent built-up flux from dissipating), they want the extra damage to help overcome shields and kill enemies faster.

It would help if it was very clear that beams do not cause hard flux damage.  Having the information tucked away in tip-of-the-day or deep in the tutorial is not very helpful.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: isaacssv552 on December 09, 2014, 12:14:15 PM
I like many of the changes but am strongly opposed to a complete removal of ballistic ammo. Regenerating ammo for some missiles is a great idea and should be applied to ballistic weapons as well. Regenerating ammo combined with both ammo and missile magazine hullmods giving +100% like in the ironclads mod would be better solution. I am also opposed to CR timers for all non-capships. The ideas from the 8819.30 are much better in my opinion, especially the CR penalty for transferring command.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 09, 2014, 12:23:35 PM
@Talkie Toaster: Oh yeah! Did see and read it when you posted it, just didn't get around to replying and then kind of forgot to. Apologies - like you said, there's a lot of stuff flying around, and I can't quite keep up with everything.

It's interesting, and the idea of sidestepping some of the issues is a good one; ultimately that's probably what it'll take.

Specifically about what you're suggesting: I think that might, once again, make combat about preventing enemy reinforcements, and make the battle to take place around the enemy deployment zone near their side of the map.

If it was a little different - say, a "deployment beacon" nav buoy objective a little ways into the map, for each side... hmm. That'd make the fight stay away from edges, which is good, but beating an AI fleet could still turn on cheesing the deployment point in some way. You might say, make the AI defend it well, but that ties down a lot of forces and would make it susceptible to being defeated in detail. Plus, these would have to be present in any size battles, and currently smaller battles don't have objectives.

Still, it's an interesting idea, and I appreciate you putting it out there - it's definitely another angle for thinking about the problem, and that's a good thing.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Talkie Toaster on December 09, 2014, 03:35:09 PM
@Talkie Toaster: Oh yeah! Did see and read it when you posted it, just didn't get around to replying and then kind of forgot to. Apologies - like you said, there's a lot of stuff flying around, and I can't quite keep up with everything.

It's interesting, and the idea of sidestepping some of the issues is a good one; ultimately that's probably what it'll take.

Specifically about what you're suggesting: I think that might, once again, make combat about preventing enemy reinforcements, and make the battle to take place around the enemy deployment zone near their side of the map.

If it was a little different - say, a "deployment beacon" nav buoy objective a little ways into the map, for each side... hmm. That'd make the fight stay away from edges, which is good, but beating an AI fleet could still turn on cheesing the deployment point in some way. You might say, make the AI defend it well, but that ties down a lot of forces and would make it susceptible to being defeated in detail. Plus, these would have to be present in any size battles, and currently smaller battles don't have objectives.

Still, it's an interesting idea, and I appreciate you putting it out there - it's definitely another angle for thinking about the problem, and that's a good thing.
The other thought I had shortly after posting it (and meant to edit in) was that perhaps you need to claim at least 1 objective to be able to deploy. Then just add a single objective in the middle for all small battles. If you wanted to make it a bit more specific, you could make it only Comm Relays. That'd tie into the whole 'EW' stuff that's been discussed in other threads to an extent; unless you can deploy a comm relay in an optimal location, you can't call out for reinforcements. Or just that it's unsafe to burn into an active firefight without a Comm Relay feeding you co-ordinates. It'd also make it easier to lock the enemy out in large (4+ objective) maps, where otherwise you could easily backcap 1 out of the 4-5 points with a frigate even if the enemies were dominating. It'd also make Comm Relays more valuable; I tend not to micromanage my ships, so Comm Relays are my lowest priority objective.

It'd help drag combat towards the objectives, particularly in small maps. Adding a single objective to small maps might not be too much of a problem? If it's only the one and it has all the weight of allowing/disallowing reinforcements, it'll really encourage players to centre around there (which would probably help the AI as well, which can fragment a bit in small battles). If neither side has any reserves, the relay could be neglected; so players would have a progression of '1-2 ships/side (no objective)' -> '3-5 ships/side (1 objective)' -> ships & objectives scale up from there.

It might make combat a bit more about preventing reinforcements than before, but I think with the CR cost for deployment and the CR tickdown, it seems like giving underdeployment a more punitive punishment might be a good thing.

Anyway, thanks for listening and for talking about this stuff! The very open development process is one of the best things about Starsector.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 09, 2014, 05:00:50 PM
Quote
If it was a little different - say, a "deployment beacon" nav buoy objective a little ways into the map, for each side... hmm. That'd make the fight stay away from edges, which is good, but beating an AI fleet could still turn on cheesing the deployment point in some way.
Before 0.6, my strategy to lock out defense fleets was take two Hyperion, capture as many points as possible, then bring in the rest of my fleet to help smash the trickle of ships.  By the end of the battle, it got so bad that my whole fleet destroy ships before they fully appear on-screen.  The biggest threat to my ships was my own ships shooting each other trying to get at incoming enemy ships.

If we get this so-called deployment beacon, I will definitely abuse Hyperion to lock out the other side.

EDIT:  One thing I like about 0.6+ releases is how objectives have been downplayed compared to before.  Even then, I still prefer no objectives, and willing to keep my fleet small to squelch them until I get enough Logistics to play with big fleets.  A fun mini-game for me is how can I make the most powerful fleet without exceeding 40 DP.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: StarSchulz on December 09, 2014, 06:09:00 PM
What if we kept how Ballistic weapons have ammo, but when they run out they have something like a 30 second reload, at the cost of supplies and or CR?

( sorry if this was said already I'm in a game of something else ATM and had the idea )

i dunno i just don't quite like the idea of completely doing away with ammo on ballistic weapons like that


Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 09, 2014, 09:01:43 PM
EDIT:  One thing I like about 0.6+ releases is how objectives have been downplayed compared to before.  Even then, I still prefer no objectives, and willing to keep my fleet small to squelch them until I get enough Logistics to play with big fleets.  A fun mini-game for me is how can I make the most powerful fleet without exceeding 40 DP.

Objectives do seem more like an annoyance then anything else, is there a better way to get ships to to just not clump ball everytime all the time?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Intaka on December 10, 2014, 03:24:43 AM
High Flux damage bonuses were only useful to players, good riddance.

Regenerating missiles on a slow timer make complete sense to me. The player ability to bait the AI out of missiles was tedious, but felt required. Also, the game allowing my ship can carry 10,000 tons of metal but only 6 missiles has always been fairly immersion breaking to me. Maybe have 6 LOADED at once, but there's only 6 on the entire ship? Ludicrous.

I believe that the majority of these posts are people who are just concerned and feeling protective about the feel of ballistic vs beam weapons. They're different. It's cool.

We all know that weapons are critically differentiated by damage type, damage per second, range, flux efficiency, and damage per shot. No one picks a particular laser because it's blue. Everything else beyond those critical statistics is really just graphics and sound files. Clearly, it would be good if the aural and visual feedback continued to convey some sense of differentiation about what a weapon was good at doing, but after working on the game for so many years, I have faith you've got a handle on that aspect of it by now. We can probably pull back from DEFCON 2 about the loss of needler ammo.

I'm sure that in the next 6-9 months until the patch goes live you'll have everything balanced right as rain.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on December 10, 2014, 04:26:49 AM
Also, the game allowing my ship can carry 10,000 tons of metal but only 6 missiles has always been fairly immersion breaking to me. Maybe have 6 LOADED at once, but there's only 6 on the entire ship? Ludicrous.

Technically, it was not the case: you never had to buy missiles did you? The only thing missiles launchers needed was some time between battles to get reloaded with the missiles present in the form of supplies ^^
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: orost on December 10, 2014, 07:49:02 AM
I'm going to miss the flux bonus. There were certainly situations where it was very relevant and central to my tactics. A few days ago I spent a long while seeing how far I could push a single Wolf, and I learned that my best option was to take advantage of the damage boost by riding the edge of flux overload. It was extremely rewarding and fun to be able to take such a risk and to pull it off successfuly. After this change, the risk-reward tradeoff is gone and there is no reason for me to do anything else than vent completely after every strike and tank with the shield instead of dodging. Boring.


I strongly dislike taking features out because they aren't applicable to most situations. Even if three out of four players never care, it's still there to provide more choice and enhance the experience for those that choose to take advantage of it. Even if flux boost is only relevant to a handful ships played in a specific way, it makes these ships more unique, interesting and worth playing.

Matter of opinion: where you see streamlining and removal of clutter, I see flattening the game and removal of nuance.

The exact same argument could be made for ballistic ammo.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 10, 2014, 08:09:03 AM
There is one advantage of flux supercharge removal:  Less information clutter at the left side of the screen.

I will not mind the supercharge removal, but it hurts beams more than non-beams, which needed the help most.  I will see if the extra range (for non-heavy beams) and lower OP costs will make up for that.  I hope tachyon lance becomes cheaper to mount (and auto-center on enemy removed), if it remains unchanged otherwise.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Mealstrom on December 10, 2014, 10:07:35 AM
Could you add ground battles for the next major update please!
You could use the top looking view and use all the current battle settings, would just need to tweak things to behave like ground vehicles but I am pretty sure a lot of people would really like it!

Btw, I really love this update, makes the game feel much more alive!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: HELMUT on December 10, 2014, 01:50:53 PM
The fast missile rack system might need to be reworked. The only thing that prevent the salamander to be broken is the 20 seconds reload time. Only 4 ships have this system and can avoid the long reload time: the Condor, the Vigilance, the Venture and the Doom.

The Venture might become overpowered with it. You can mount 2 medium salamanders pods and 2 small ones, that's a volley of 10 mrms with a very short reload time. The Doom can throw 12 in a single volley however it's not as cheap as the Venture. The Vigilance might also become a pretty nightmarish cheap fire support.

DR thought about giving fast missile rack a cooldown between two use. It would be a sizable nerf to those 4 ships but at least will prevent the salamanders storm.

Another possibility would be to make the salamanders like the other two, ammo that slowly regenerate rather than infinite.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on December 10, 2014, 02:23:36 PM
I'd second the suggestion of putting a cooldown on fast missile racks, simply because that's how the AI uses it - right now, a player-piloted Vigilance has a major advantage over an AI one in being able to use FSM multiple times in rapid succession.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on December 10, 2014, 06:03:58 PM
I'd second the suggestion of putting a cooldown on fast missile racks, simply because that's how the AI uses it - right now, a player-piloted Vigilance has a major advantage over an AI one in being able to use FSM multiple times in rapid succession.
Actually, I've seen an AI-controlled Vigilence completely go ham on my Enforcer.  I happened to think the same thing, but when I wandered up to one of them armed with Reaper torpedos with just moderately high flux, I lost my beloved Enforcer in about 10 seconds.  Surprised the hell out of me when that happened.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 10, 2014, 06:38:21 PM
Yeah, Fast Missile Racks seems to be ok. I tried it out on the Venture, with a full Salamander loadout (8 per volley, as the pod launches 2 each, not 4). It's murderously good vs non-omni-shield frigates, and it makes the Venture a good missile support ship (and a capable one in AI hands if you link the Salamander group instead of making it alternating). At the same time, if it uses the boost constantly, it'll max out on flux fairly quickly, so we're really talking about "missiles that cost flux" in this context. It's more interesting and different than overpowered, at least based on my impressions from messing with it just now.

Could you add ground battles for the next major update please!
You could use the top looking view and use all the current battle settings, would just need to tweak things to behave like ground vehicles but I am pretty sure a lot of people would really like it!

Btw, I really love this update, makes the game feel much more alive!

Thanks! Ah, I'm afraid explicit ground combat isn't in the plan at all. The game is already quite ambitious, adding in ground combat at the same level of detail as the space combat would be pretty much making a whole new game. I see what you're saying re: using the same engine, but I don't think that's actually very practical if you dig into it.


I'm going to miss the flux bonus. There were certainly situations where it was very relevant and central to my tactics. A few days ago I spent a long while seeing how far I could push a single Wolf, and I learned that my best option was to take advantage of the damage boost by riding the edge of flux overload. It was extremely rewarding and fun to be able to take such a risk and to pull it off successfuly. After this change, the risk-reward tradeoff is gone and there is no reason for me to do anything else than vent completely after every strike and tank with the shield instead of dodging. Boring.

I strongly dislike taking features out because they aren't applicable to most situations. Even if three out of four players never care, it's still there to provide more choice and enhance the experience for those that choose to take advantage of it. Even if flux boost is only relevant to a handful ships played in a specific way, it makes these ships more unique, interesting and worth playing.

Matter of opinion: where you see streamlining and removal of clutter, I see flattening the game and removal of nuance.

The exact same argument could be made for ballistic ammo.

I get what you're saying, but there are a couple more things to consider here. One is that this is something the AI couldn't take advantage of at all, so that's immediately problematic. ("Better AI" wouldn't necessarily help much here - the AI has to play it safe to be a useful ally, so taking chances is fundamentally at odds with that mechanic.) Two is that the feature was awkward in that there just aren't enough mechanics around explicitly controlling your flux levels. So, yes, it's a removal of nuance, but it's not the "good" kind of nuance imo. It had some upside, certainly, but it had its share of problems as well.

I mean, I do understand your point, but as you say, it's a matter of opinion - otherwise, one might consider *any* random mechanic thrown in as adding nuance, you know? Making judgment calls about what to cut and what to keep is probably one of the most important things in trying to create a coherent design. Again, though, it definitely is subjective to a large extent. Personally, I never felt like the high flux damage mechanic worked out as it was originally envisioned, which plays into me being unhappy with it.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 10, 2014, 07:00:35 PM
Fast Missile Racks speed up regeneration time of Salamanders and Pilums?  I may find a way to abuse those with a Doom or Vigilance, maybe.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on December 10, 2014, 07:35:02 PM
I think it only works on Salamanders given that they have infinite ammo and a 20 sec cooldown.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: WKOB on December 10, 2014, 08:16:37 PM
Quote
Removed energy weapon bonus damage from high flux level
Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds
Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay

Whoa! What made you decide that all of the weapons needed to feel and act the exact same, instead of being nice and diverse like they are now?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 10, 2014, 08:27:51 PM
The reasoning for all the changes is laid out in my previous posts in this thread... several times, actually :)

In brief: I can see how it looks like a move towards homogeneity, but imo the important differentiators remain intact, while design cruft gets cleaned out.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Zapier on December 11, 2014, 01:15:30 AM
Yeah, I can see some of the alarm about the changes possibly pointing in a direction of becoming more similar, but I don't see how anyone could say those changes suddenly make them all similar. There's so much more to all the weapons systems than just range and ammo, and in my opinion they are the more important features like damage amount, damage type, flux, OP cost and more.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on December 11, 2014, 03:25:49 AM
Range is a pretty fundamental characteristic and one that should show variation though.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Vind on December 11, 2014, 04:15:53 AM
Maybe change damage of the beams so they damage more then target is closer and damage less then target beyond optimal range? Same ranges for all types of beams is hard to accept game play wise.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Clockwork Owl on December 11, 2014, 04:29:43 AM
My opinion at beam weapon changes: At least keep the HIL`s...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 11, 2014, 05:17:25 AM
I will trade a little range on HIL for cheaper OP cost.  That weapon is useless when Autopulse Laser outperforms it in every way for the same OP cost.  Extra range is worthless when enemy can shield tank beams indefinitely.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: goduranus on December 11, 2014, 06:23:44 AM
A sarcastic post, no offense, just thought it's funny. ;D

Along the lines of streamlining game mechanics by removing ballistic ammo and the flux damage bonus, what if "Flux" is flipped around and called "Energy" instead?

Firing weapons consume Energy, shields require Energy deflect damage, "Overload" becomes "Shutdown" when Energy runs out, "Venting" becomes "Recharge", "Flux Vents" becomes "Energy Generators", and Hard Flux happens because shields drain too much power causing capacitor plates to stick together and so shields need to be off to unstick the capacitors.

Gameplay will be totally the same, but much more intuitive to someone who just bought the game. Flux what? why is my ship sparking when this bar gets full???
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 11, 2014, 06:28:01 AM
In that case, just call it "heat".
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on December 11, 2014, 11:49:18 AM
Range is a pretty fundamental characteristic and one that should show variation though.

Yeah, I'm not entirely set on that one for beams. I do want to see how it works out, though - it allows for more freely mixing different types/sizes of beam weapons.


Along the lines of streamlining game mechanics by removing ballistic ammo and the flux damage bonus, what if "Flux" is flipped around and called "Energy" instead?

Firing weapons consume Energy, shields require Energy deflect damage, "Overload" becomes "Shutdown" when Energy runs out, "Venting" becomes "Recharge", "Flux Vents" becomes "Energy Generators", and Hard Flux happens because shields drain too much power causing capacitor plates to stick together and so shields need to be off to unstick the capacitors.

Gameplay will be totally the same, but much more intuitive to someone who just bought the game. Flux what? why is my ship sparking when this bar gets full???

Oddly enough, it started out being called "energy" but became "flux" to more easily explain both overload and venting mechanics. Didn't want to do "heat" due to too-obvious MW references. Plus, flux capacitors!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 11, 2014, 11:58:48 AM
MW?  MechWarrior?  I never played it (and thus know little about it); I played Doom instead.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 11, 2014, 01:34:36 PM
MW?  MechWarrior?  I never played it (and thus know little about it); I played Doom instead.
Yeah, Mechwarrior had heat mechanics that are kinda like those of SS but with a softer limit and a harsher penalty for the overload (your excess heat could set off your spare ammo, damaging you and removing the ammo.) And the overload could happen anywhere beyond a certain point
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 11, 2014, 02:05:54 PM
And the overload could happen anywhere beyond a certain point

I really like such random elements, they allow you to gamble in dire situations and hope for the best:)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 11, 2014, 02:27:50 PM
And the overload could happen anywhere beyond a certain point

I really like such random elements, they allow you to gamble in dire situations and hope for the best:)
Let's not forget the limited number of "quick vents" you had and the environmental effects as well (Stand in water and the mech cools quicker)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SatchelCharge on December 12, 2014, 03:47:34 PM
'Obvious' similarities to MW in Starsector is NOT a bad thing   :)

I am totally cool with the removal of ballistic ammo but I'm still going to stand by my earlier idea to help differentiate ballistic weapons / make them more interesting...


Actually clip reloading could be implemented even without forced reload button - by having clip automatically filled if particular weapon hasn't fired for reload duration (or double to not make partial reloading too convenient).

Came here to make this type of suggestion. In my mind it would be cooler and more clean to have an 'individual weapon heat' mechanic control this, rather than spaceship-sized 'clips', but it would basically work the same way, so.... just an aesthetic suggestion.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Zapier on December 13, 2014, 02:09:35 AM
We could just use the current ammo limitations with how the energy weapons with ammo recharges. While the weapons are being fired, they don't reload at all. After a short period of not being fired they would start to quickly refill their capacity. There wouldn't need to be extra work done to balance 'clips/magazine' sizes, wouldn't be affected by little gimmicks such as firing off the last round or 'hit R to reload'. They'd be unlimited, but just not unlimited in the middle of a firefight which makes more limited ammo capacities still vulnerable in extended combat.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Unicorn Face on December 13, 2014, 10:20:19 AM
Any big cannon with hundred(s) of shells in reserve is going to be designed to be reloaded during use, ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OmOQs0ziSU ) even if it's so far into the future dark age that your crewfolk have to do it by hand. That's part of the reason you need fifteen or twenty guys to fully operate a space bus, right?

I like using the INTENSE laser, but it doesn't have much punch on its own and there's basically nothing you can pair it with for the last ~300 range units. A beamy-full Sunder is my fave space ship, (and one the AI is pretty good at staying alive with) and I don't bother turning on the lights until something is in range of the other two gravity/phase beams.

Overheating is probably going to be a bigger issue than energy production on a space ship powered by antimatter and fuckoffnium, because space is empty and there is almost nothing to conduct heat away from your climate-controlled rocket-propelled laser bus with thirty guys cramped together in it. I guess 'flux' is like 'heat but more sci-fi,' or 'heat as we understand it after developing a Unified Theory,' or 'heat that we can dump into another dimension and not worry about.'
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Kerak on December 13, 2014, 06:50:17 PM
Long time player and forum lurker here.

After reading some of the comments on here (P.S. thanks to Alex for responding to so many of them!), I think I can agree with most of the changes, and I see how they might reduce "cheesing" or "baiting" or whatever you want to call those playstyles. It will definitely be an interesting change to the game.

However, I just wanted to say something about the beam weapon range, which (considering all the balking about the HIL) I don't think most of you will like.
I LOVE beam weapons.  I always use a Graviton beam and tactical lasers on my Wolf, and whenever I have access to Phase Beams I will try to put them on a Medusa or on a Nevermore (BRDY mod) or whatever cool Destroyer/Cruiser that can mount them, etc. They are easy to use (no ammo worries, perfect accuracy), they can put good pressure on the enemy, and you can even manually use them to target incoming missiles, among other things. Beam Weapons are my favorite "no mercy" weapon because if you are careful about your own flux, they have 90%+ uptime against the enemy ships. That's a lot of flux and/or damage!

And in all my time using beam weapons, I never once thought that "hey these things should have a range of like, 1000!"...that just seems too high to me. Perhaps someone can explain to me the idea behind it...Is it simply to differentiate from Ballistic weapons, which have a much shorter range in general (excluding Heavy Mauler, etc)? Is it because their DPS is generally lower (i.e. tactical lasers, graviton beam) than comparable OP cost ballistic weapons? I'm kind of struggling to think of why 1000 seems like a balanced range. 800 would be enough, IMO.

Think of the Eagle (I believe), which has 3 graviton beams mounted on it. with 1000 range, it can simply kite many ships and build up their flux until it can close in for the kill with the assault chainguns, and there is little other ships can do about it unless they are faster.  And the Eagle is pretty quick...

Because of this...
Whenever I test new loadouts, i always put my frigates / destroyers / cruisers up against an Eagle to see how they do.  And that damn graviton / assault chaingun / sabot combo is honestly really annoying to beat - which is why i do it. If my frigate/destroyer loadout can beat an Eagle (my cruisers still need to face apogees and stuff ;) ), then I'm confident even the most gimmicky ship the AI has in its arsenal can be beaten if I'm careful enough.

If you are trying to reduce "cheesy" fighting styles, I wouldn't INCREASE beam weapon range by so much. It just seems to open the door to kiting, which is one of the most annoying fighting styles ever. Long range engagement is one thing, but being kited...UGH!

HIL is a different case...considering the OP cost and the mount size, a longer range would be expected.  Maybe just give it an extra 25/50 damage to compensate for the range reduction? Or perhaps the reduced OP cost will be enough to make it attractive.


P.S. The ballistic ammo change also seems ... strange.  I thought ammo management was an important part of the game that added a fair amount of depth. But I do see your point about how it makes low-tech ships inferior to things like the Sunder, with all those big, bad energy slots. (2 Medium, 1 Large).

Maybe instead of unlimited ammo, just make it regenerate like missile ammo? If the ship can make missiles in combat, it can make heavy mauler shells, right? :)
I dunno, I don't design games, i just play them. Thank you for Starsector, Alex!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Canis Lupus on December 13, 2014, 09:51:29 PM
Quote
    Removed energy weapon bonus damage from high flux level
    Increased damage values for non-beam energy weapons by roughly 25% to compensate

I don't understand how the AI isn't using this mechanic - if the AI fires an energy weapon at higher flux, doesn't its weapon do more damage? Here there are too level of "use" - 1) the benefit is applied to the AI and 2) the AI can use the benefit tactically. I'm guessing 1) is true while 2) is not.

Regardless, I will miss this mechanic and the additional playstyles it allows. No more running around with my naked Sunder, timing autopulse burst + high-energy focus + flux damage boost while praying I'll avoid the incoming Reaper. No more finishing Paragon vs. Onslaught slugfests with an heroic shieldless assault, and certainly less reason for my Tempests to play like Hounds.

Quote
    Beam weapons:
        Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL

There are four offensive beam weapons. Three of these behave identically, with tactical variations coming mostly from range (being removed) and flux/dmg//sec. Instead of further standardizing this already-a-bit-bland category of weapons, I suggest the following (won't happen, but what the heck!):

Standardize beam weapons around joules, say 2 GJ, 4 GJ, and 8 GJ weapons and add a feature to allow easy beam wavelength remodulation - shorter wavelengths provide more damage, but reduced range, with the damage/range potential limited by the joule bracket of the weapon in question. Then have 2 or 3 beam weapon types - photon/energy & graviton/kinetic, and (maybe) explosive.

Then if you want the tactical advantages of a set of 1km-range beams, you can get that, but if you prefer the tactical advantages of range diversity, you can get that as well. Plus, customization!

Quote
        Increased range for PD Laser and LR PD Laser
        Slightly reduced OP cost for all beam weapons

Great!

Quote
       
        Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles

Great as long as the missiles in question can be manually targeted for destruction/get destroyed anyway.

Quote
        Greatly reduced fade in/out time for most beams

Great!

Quote
    Missiles:
        Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
        Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
        Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds

The way I deal with early-game Buffalos and speced Lashers is a combination of good helmsmanship and properly-timed aggression that results in a variety of a quick victory, slow victory, and defeat.

I don't know whether these changes make sense; it's the type of thing that you have to play with to be able to comment on... but I do think it reduces the flavor and defining characteristic of missiles.


Quote
    Ballistic weapons:
        Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay
        Reduced OP cost of Light Dual MG

The two arguments I've seen in support of this are: 1) Ammo doesn't run out anyway, so it's a useless mechanic. 2) Ammo runs out in ballistic-based ships, whereas it doesn't in high-tech ships, an unfair advantage in prolonged battles.

RE: 1) Ammo does sometimes run out, and I consider that when choosing my weapon layout, and when picking when to fire and at what to fire. Also, just because it doesn't often run out doesn't mean the mechanic is 'useless', it certainly adds flavor, a "feel" if you like, to ballistic weapons.

RE: 2)I've read a number of good alternatives on this, with CR being a good late-battle balancer.

Quote
    Ships
        Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates
            Roughly 5-7 minutes for destroyers and 7-9 for cruisers
            High-tech/faster ships have shorter timers

Makes sense... though CR doesn't make sense to me as implemented to begin with... my suggestion,

1. Ship loses CR per deployment and per time as is currently the case (but less-so than currently). This is a result of systems and crew being on standby for extended time.
2. Additionally, firing weapons/using engines/systems has a marginal negative effect on CR, that will cumulatively hit Hyperions (CR-costly transport)/frigates (costly 100% engine uptime) more in relation to other ships, allowing for the faster degradation.
3. CR degradation should affect all ships, but be much slower in capitals... realistically, capital systems and crew aren't immune from fatigue just because they're on a big ship, and gameplay-wise capitals will still long-outlast smaller ships, but not be perpetual fighting machines.

Quote
        Sunder: increased top speed, acceleration, and flux capacity. Reduced shield efficiency.
        Brawler/Shepherd: increased burn level by 1 (to 6)
        Condor: reduced supplies/day by 1 (to 4)

Sunder: Makes sense for an aggressive ship like the Sunder. Fits my playstyle perfectly.
Brawler/Shepherd: Makes sense. Will the Brawler lose its CR uniqueness?
Condor: Finally a reason to use that one!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Aeson on December 14, 2014, 12:32:16 AM
Quote
Quote
Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles
Great as long as the missiles in question can be manually targeted for destruction/get destroyed anyway.
Really depends on what else you have in the fight. It makes the point defense module much more questionable for Tactical Lasers, as their range makes it so that if they're firing at missiles they likely cannot safely engage anything, particularly something like a Salamander, as it goes past them. Doesn't really matter all that much for Phase Beams, Graviton Beams, and High Intensity Lasers, at least not in my opinion, since those were unlikely to engage missiles in the first place.

Quote
There are four offensive beam weapons. Three of these behave identically, with tactical variations coming mostly from range (being removed) and flux/dmg//sec.
Two behave identically, all four behave similarly. Phase Beams have some EMP damage while Graviton Beams deal kinetic damage. Tactical Lasers and High Intensity Lasers are both straight energy damage. Kinetic damage makes Graviton Beams nearly as effective as HILs against shields on a per-weapon basis and significantly more flux-efficient but only about as good as a Tactical Laser against the hull. It's true that Tactical Lasers, HILs, and Graviton Beams all have very similar profiles and could perhaps use a bit more differentiation, but Tactical Lasers and HILs have the same performance (before shield efficiency or armor effects) against hull and shield and cannot go into slots which can be filled by the other, whereas Graviton Beams have differing performance against shields and armor/hull, and can replace HILs or be replaced by Tactical Lasers. The EMP damage of Phase Beams suggests that they should be used against unshielded hulls where possible, but they don't really offer enough EMP damage to do anything worthwhile, which leaves them with their somewhat lackluster energy damage, which is inferior against shields to that of the Graviton Beam and not terribly better than the Graviton Beam's damage against much else.

(The EMP damage of Phase Beams could perhaps be increased a bit. 40 EMP damage per second (or is it per damage pulse, in which case it'd be 80 EMP damage per second?) isn't much at all when the Ion Cannon offers 400 EMP damage per shot and fires one shot every half a second though at a much shorter range; the Mjolner Cannon and Hypervelocity Drivers have similar range and the Hypervelocity Driver has similar DPS, though worse against armor and better against shields, while having significantly better EMP damage per second, being 200 EMP damage per second for the Hypervelocity Driver and 267 EMP damage per second for the Mjolner Cannon. If I'm looking for EMP damage at range, then unless I cannot use ballistics, phase beams aren't where I'm looking, and I'm not looking to them for long-range damage, either.)

Quote
The two arguments I've seen in support of this are: 1) Ammo doesn't run out anyway, so it's a useless mechanic. 2) Ammo runs out in ballistic-based ships, whereas it doesn't in high-tech ships, an unfair advantage in prolonged battles.
I'm not certain, but based on comments that were made earlier in the thread, it seems to me as though Alex may now be keeping some kind of ammo restriction on some ballistic weapons but including a clip reload. This would mean that if you had a weapon with 100 ammunition and fired 10-shot bursts every second that regenerates one burst every 5 seconds, it'd fire 10 shot bursts every second for 12 seconds, and then it'd fire one 10 shot burst every 5 seconds after that (not including the first burst after the 12 second period, which would occur 3 seconds after the 12 second period ended), unless you gave the weapon a chance to more completely reload, much like the Autopulse Laser can fire off 20 shots in the first tenth of a second or so of the engagement but is then restricted to one shot every half a second until given the opportunity to recharge. Another possibility for the clip reload would be a weapon with 30 ammunition which fires 1 shot per second and regenerates 3 shots at once every 10 seconds, so for the first ~43 seconds of combat you could fire the weapon continuously, but after that point you would fire 3 shot bursts every 10 seconds. I might, however, be wrong about this.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 14, 2014, 03:35:38 AM
And in all my time using beam weapons, I never once thought that "hey these things should have a range of like, 1000!"...that just seems too high to me. Perhaps someone can explain to me the idea behind it

Welcome to the forum :)


As I understand it, the main idea behind the range matching is that different beams work better in conjunction. So, if you have for example Tactical Lasers and Graviton Beams equipped on your Medusa, it will have one effective engagement range, not two. That's important because beams rely much more on a synergy effect than other weapons, without it they often have no observable effect vs. shields.

I think the other part is that beams are supposed to be support weapons, so it does make some sense for them to be able to fire from the "second row" where support ships linger.

What you have to consider when you say "I love beams weapons [already]" is that Sector is not a mutiplayer game, so you never have to directly compare your play stile and loadouts to other players'. While beams do work nicely in many situations, hard hitting weapons like blasters are plain superior in most situations. When you begin to optimize your ships more and more you will inevitably gravitate toward such weapons (provided your play stile enables them). Maybe this update will change that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Kerak on December 14, 2014, 04:40:18 AM
What you have to consider when you say "I love beams weapons [already]" is that Sector is not a mutiplayer game, so you never have to directly compare your play stile and loadouts to other players'. While beams do work nicely in many situations, hard hitting weapons like blasters are plain superior in most situations. When you begin to optimize your ships more and more you will inevitably gravitate toward such weapons (provided your play stile enables them). Maybe this update will change that.

They are only superior if you don't miss. Which is one reason I think beam weapons are powerful already. If you miss with blaster shots (like the high damage, high flux ones that the apogee has), you are spending a lot of flux for POTENTIAL damage (at a shorter range, as well! - very few of the hard hitting weapons have the same range as beam weapons). Hard hitting is great, but that's what high explosive ballistic rounds are for, or the antimatter blaster, IMO. Beam weapons are great for constant pressure on the enemy. Softening them up, as it were. I don't see why I would inevitably "gravitate toward [hard hitting] weapons" when their purposes are very different.  I mean, for example...one of the cheesiest, but most effective loadouts (again, IMO) for the Medusa is 4 tactical lasers + 2 dual blasters.  The tactical lasers generate a healthy amount of flux on the enemy's shields for frigates and some destroyers, and a few blaster shots can get them to overload (possibly), in addition to Sabot missiles as well (perhaps) in the universal slots.  But the DPS of the blasters is dangerous, because you can cause your own ship to overload on flux because of how much they generate. However, if you have 2 phase beams + 4 tactical lasers + <just about anything> in the two universal slots, you not only keep building flux on the enemy's shields (for much less cost on your own flux, and at greater range), you can keep a constant stream of damage on the enemy when his shields overload, or he takes them down to vent flux. I will admit, though, that 2 phase beams will probably take longer than 2 dual blasters, provided you aren't too aggressive with the blasters (i.e. endangering yourself to overloading on flux).

What i'm trying to say is that while hard-hitting weapons like blasters and plasma cannons are obviously great, they are also geared toward a different playstyle (as you mentioned yourself) and that a good player in a nimble ship can mitigate a lot of blaster/ammo-based damage while keeping continuing DPS via beam weapons on the enemy with little effort, whether AI or human. And maybe it isn't enough to take the ship down alone, but how often do you fight the enemy (outside of simulations) when you are the only ship engaged? Even from the beginning of a campaign, having 2 ships is leaps and bounds better than 1 lonely ship trying to fight/trade/bounty hunt its way up the food chain. It is literally a game-changer. Likewise, I think that beams can already be game-changers...giving most of them 1000 range just seems a bit too much, considering even 800 would be an upgrade for most of them. And if they all have 800 range, that is still "synergistic", right?

Thank you for responding to my post, though! Please tell me more about what you think / what I'm forgetting or not considering / etc!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 14, 2014, 09:04:48 AM
I've given it a few days of thought, and read the entire thread, before replying here.  Most of the things I'm not too keen on (except the final section) boil down to the 'Feels good, with high verisimilitude/fantastic immersion and mostly excellent balance as is, with tons of refreshing and complex nuance rarely found in games these days' mentioned by others.

I think that these little bits and bobs are solid gold, and it's heartbreaking when they get tidied away in the name of efficiency. :'(  It's largely this tidying away that made me pretty much stop playing new computer games a few years ago, and the lack of that tidying away that made me pounce on Starsector like a starving man when I discovered it (HuntrBlackLuna's let's play on YT):-

Flux bonus removal to energy weapons: Gives an additional level of tactical options/play, but for me mostly just feels heroic.  Kind of a 'Back's against the wall, last ditch chance to shoot hard and avoid disaster... or go down fighting' sort of thing.  Since immersion is a big deal for me, it'd never occur to me in a million years to cheese it by firing at nothing to get flux up (and my builds already run pretty hot, so the last thing I'd ever do is deliberately raise flux!); and I hate that 'reduce to the lowest common denominator' nursemaid curse of our age, where I get an option taken off me because somebody somewhere [chances are a person I would really dislike, just as an extra bonus] abuses it.

If the AI can't use it, then these things happen in the overall balance of the game... of any game; humans and computers 'thinking' very differently, with different abilities.  It annoys me slightly when the AI 'cheeses' its Phase Skimmer Wolf/Medusa to dodge my Plasma Cannon (and even Antimatter Blaster) shots, fired at absolutely point blank range.  Not only that but it also jumps perfectly to where it needs to be, with exactly the right orientation: No human would have that reaction time/perfect control, and certainly not me ;D, but I take it as part of the balance of the overall game between the human that I am and my AI adversary.  If I get a bit of extra flux power in my energy weapons in exchange, when it doesn't, then fair enough.

And if it is going to be removed, and that's that, then why do only non-beams get the extra base damage compensation... when beams need it far more than my mighty blaster type weapons do?

Ballistic ammo removal: Again feels heroic and exciting taking out your final enemy with only a few HVD (for example) rounds remaining - yes!  Rounds remaining is also an excellent metric of how well I built and fought, which sharpens my skills.  I used tight, disciplined fire and prevailed - or I succumbed to the temptation to spray and pray a couple of times [usually at a pesky Wolf!] and rightly got punished.  The CR timer won't replicate this, and will actually be more likely to reward the spray and pray (flux allowing) than the discipline?

Even if it was never intended to be a major part of weapon balance, it became so and is a very good one.  It's my view that if something that was never intended to be a major balancing factor is, and feels good and right and 'real'/intuitive despite that; then this a testament to how sound the core game and its balance are... don't mess with it.... ;D

Beam range: The above two are more about 'how it feels', so a pretty subjective judgement call - and as such I might be wrong... inasmuch as there is a wrong or right about feelings *shrug*.  This one is more solid, nuts and bolts game mechanics stuff; and therefore is the one that I'm most concerned about.

Beams should have different ranges, according to their size/how numerous they are and role.  This is the case with other weapon types in the game and is one of the many things in this game that makes it feel just so right - especially for those who are fans of naval design and naval history.  Yeah, folks can sniff at realism, and say 'It's just an abstract set of rules in a game': But realism = immersion and mostly how intuitive the game is.  Ditch realism and it becomes lame pure fantasy (where anything goes because magic).

From a gameplay PoV: Any 'no-brainer' build/bit of gear is generally considered to be a bit of a problem in game design.  For heavy beam mounts, the TL is usually that no-brainer weapon.  Cap ships without Augmented Engines (AEs) simply can't catch faster units unless they use TLs, and even then they're chasing ships all round the map forever.  If you like a clean sweep, then you pretty much have to use TLs on your sluggish Cap ships.  [Yup, the new CR timer on everything from Cruisers downwards will help there, but I'd rather kill the enemy with my own weapons than wait for some gamey game mechanic to save the day.]

I find this particularly in simulation mode, using an Odyssey with no AEs, when up against a big fleet leaving only the Falcon Ds alive - they just back off at extreme range forever - if you want to test this.  The Falcons behave differently if you have just Falcons, so you need to take out their team mates first for this to happen.

This makes the TL compulsory.  If you have an Odyssey with AEs, then you can just about catch the Falcons with a HIL - but usually not in a Paragon with AEs.  So that's one niche where you might take the HIL - but only with its range as it currently is.  What it needs is longer range, not less: Less makes the TL the uber no-brainer, even more than it is already.  It needs to be able to compete with the TL as a viable choice - bit less range than a TL (but more than the HIL has now) and cheap and cheerful... but still substantially outranges and outguns medium beams... with it being a heavy weapon and all....

Other places where you might use a HIL, but don't: Apogee (Plasma Cannon/Pulse weapon is Just Better); Sunder - awesome ship, that is being improved further 8) and works very well with a HIL... except do folks still use the Sunder in endgame, when they're up against Onslaught bounties and stuff?.. so does the HIL actually get used much there?

I say all this actually liking the HIL pretty much as is - but it's just completely outperformed most of the time.  It needs to be better, not worse.  Even if the HIL was only one OP, I'd still take the TL for Cap ships and Plasma Cannon for Apogees.

Continuing that hierarchy downwards, medium needs to be able to substantially outrange and outgun small (and be less than a HIL by a similar margin).  Here you can imagine a head to head fight between a beam armed Falcon and beam armed Hammerhead; all weapons cancel except the two forward energy mounts (2x medium vs 2x small).  The Falcon should be noticeably superior in damage output (not just tanking ability).  Will this be the case with the new Tac Lasers with identical range, and which also have superior PD ability thrown in vs the Grav Beam and Phase Beam?  Personally, I already find the (beam armed) Falcon and Eagle incredibly lackluster, and this will make them relatively even worse.

Re the synergy point: Not for me.  I like graduated range and numbers of weapons firing.  In terms of realistic but also logical.  I like my shield-breaker beam to fire before my Phase Beam and then Tac Lasers do, since this keeps the optimal weapon the only one firing, and reduces flux.  Then you can move in and get the lower tier of weapons contributing to melting armour/hull... and pull back if you get too hot - and so on.  I find the lower range of Tac Lasers (and Antimatter Blasters), all of which I tend to have on Autofire, to be a boon - in terms of flux management.  If all my Tac Lasers start opening up at 1000m then my flux curve's going to go crazy, way too soon.

This will probably encourage 'exploitative' kiting, rather than doing a bit of that initially (to soften him up a bit) then getting stuck in - as mentioned by others in this thread.  Or people will use Tac Lasers even less than they do now, in many builds.  Eg, I already use only 4x LRPDs in the side mounts of my lovely Apogee, since the flux of even a couple of Tac Lasers (which I would otherwise actually prefer), even at their current range, is just that bit too much.

If it is considered desirable to have a 1000m small beam, then it'd be nice if there was another beam type added for this purpose, and leave the ol' Tac Laser pretty much as she is.  It'd give us another beam colour too: taste the rainbow! ;D

I only say all this because I care, and consider myself unusually blessed to have found this awesome game: breath of fresh air, in a stale industry, that it is.  That said, things always seem different when actually playing (play testing?), so it might turn out to be all good.  Eg, beam mounts might become so much OP cheaper that you can afford other stuff to offset the changes, and so on.  We don't know yet.

Cheers all.   
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 14, 2014, 09:27:41 AM
Other than HIL and tachyon lance, many ballistics match beams (without Advanced Optics) on range.  Advanced Optics is costly to get.

Tactical laser has 600 range now, same or less than most non-PD light ballistics (railgun has 700, light needler has 800).  Graviton beam has 800 range now, matching most medium ballistics.  Phase beam has only 700, matching inferior medium ballistics and less than the rest.  Maulers and HVDs outrange all medium beams.

Starter Wolf without Advanced Optics is awful because it is very hard to keep beams on the enemy without them shooting back for hard flux, while your beams do only soft flux.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 14, 2014, 10:27:36 AM
Yeah, I'm really happy with most beams having their range pushed out, and taking fewer OPs; but would like there to be a fairly linear progression from small, through medium, to large.  The progression is: larger mount and more OPs means longer range or/and damage, higher flux, slower tracking mount.  I'd be happy if there was a 1000m small beam, but one that competed with the Tac Laser by being lower dam/flux, with a slower tracking rate, and leave the Tac Laser as is.  From there, Phase Beam would have more range, then Grav Beam slightly (it makes sense for the anti-shield weapon to reach further than generic energy beams of the same size or smaller), then HIL, then TL.

Another problem with the HIL in a turret, compared to the TL, is when using Advanced Optics (AOs) that you mentioned.  The further reduced tracking speed of the HIL, which is slower than the TL's for some reason, makes it shoot wild off into empty space sometimes.  TL tends to be better behaved.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 14, 2014, 10:39:24 AM
Advanced Optics slows the turn rate of weapons as per description.  Tactical lasers, slow as they are, become useless as PD (if enabled by IPDAI) once they get Advanced Optics, at least without Advanced Turret Gyros.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 14, 2014, 10:47:26 AM
Indeed, though AOs affects some weapons more seriously than others.  I like a few Tac Lasers littered around my hull since they're good at killing fighters; and pretty much stopped using AOs the second I got the ITU... I find it more expensive and more trouble than it's worth - though does help out the Starter Wolf (and the likes of the Sunder) nicely in the earlier game, as you say.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 14, 2014, 01:25:36 PM
What i'm trying to say is that while hard-hitting weapons like blasters and plasma cannons are obviously great, they are also geared toward a different playstyle

Right, and an experienced player with that aggressive play stile can kill more enemies in less time, and with less ships. Seen that way, you can also think of the beam change as buffing the defensive, flux conservative play stile and preserving its role in an optimized fleet. At least theoretically, let's see how it turns out. 

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Lucian Greymark on December 14, 2014, 10:26:42 PM
When the patch notes first came out I was excited about the beam weapon changes, but after thinking about it a bit I've revised my position.

What i'm trying to say is that while hard-hitting weapons like blasters and plasma cannons are obviously great, they are also geared toward a different playstyle

Right, and an experienced player with that aggressive play stile can kill more enemies in less time, and with less ships. Seen that way, you can also think of the beam change as buffing the defensive, flux conservative play stile and preserving its role in an optimized fleet. At least theoretically, let's see how it turns out. 



This would be fine, except flux conservative defensive play isn't really a thing now because we have to rush about all over the place to deal with the enemy fleet quickly. I'm still holding final judgement for the release but I'm anticipating having to shelve my typical beam boat fleet for a more offensive blaster heavy fleet, especially now that beam weapons are essentially just losing damage now

Though many beam weapons have been improved in the patch by the nature of the range increase they have however been nerfed across the board compared to ballistic weapons, which now have infinite ammunition, missiles, some of which now also have ammunition, and other energy weapons which now do more damage across the board compared to beam weapons, furthermore with the induction of cr timers across 90% of the ships the long term fights that the weaker beam weapons would necessitate are now impractical, inefficient and ultimately not worth while.

It's a disappointment all around 
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 15, 2014, 04:29:34 AM
I do personally prefer the aesthetics and playstyle of beams, but they just don't cut it in the endgame (IMO)... so it's with some regret that I've ditched most* of my beams in favour of blaster type weapons now.

I wonder if it's a deliberate design choice that there's a flow with energy weapons as you progress?: the Heavy Blaster (HB) is way too much weapon/flux for the Starter Wolf (IMO) and she's better served with the Grav Beam, Tac Lasers and LRPDs and Advanced Optics (AOs).  Similarly (though with different beams) for any Tempests and Sunders you might captain along the way, and any Falcons and Eagles when you first get them... eventually shifting to the ITU being your range booster hullmod.

But by the time you get to the likes of the Apogee, with better flux management plus the skills you now have that increase OPs and flux management ability, then beams become mostly obsolescent (given the bounty fleets that you're now facing) and you naturally move to Plasma Cannon and Blasters?  If you still use the Wolf at that point, only now she can properly handle that HB that you started with (IMO).

Dunno, but seems that way to me.  I guess the main point being that I'd absolutely love beams to be a bit more viable in the endgame, but if it's a design choice that the above flow happens, then so it goes.  Getting a bit sick of hearing that constant 'Pew pew pew' of my numerous Plasma Cannon though - beams sound (and look) much cooler! :D

*Pretty much the only beams I use now are TLs on Cap ships, lots of LRPDs (the effectiveness/flux energy PD sweet spot IMO, though I know that some disagree), and the odd Tac Laser for anti-fighter use.  Felt a bit sad slapping LRPDs into the Apogee's medium turrets, rather than any of the medium options, but she's a far better ship/build with that layout; she can then focus her flux allowance on the business end... though this is too minmax for my tastes, loving more balanced builds as I do, but can't be helped since the flux margins are pretty tight....
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 15, 2014, 06:24:05 AM
What you have to consider when you say "I love beams weapons [already]" is that Sector is not a mutiplayer game, so you never have to directly compare your play stile and loadouts to other players'. While beams do work nicely in many situations, hard hitting weapons like blasters are plain superior in most situations. When you begin to optimize your ships more and more you will inevitably gravitate toward such weapons (provided your play stile enables them). Maybe this update will change that.

They are only superior if you don't miss. Which is one reason I think beam weapons are powerful already. If you miss with blaster shots (like the high damage, high flux ones that the apogee has), you are spending a lot of flux for POTENTIAL damage (at a shorter range, as well! - very few of the hard hitting weapons have the same range as beam weapons). Hard hitting is great, but that's what high explosive ballistic rounds are for, or the antimatter blaster, IMO. Beam weapons are great for constant pressure on the enemy. Softening them up, as it were. I don't see why I would inevitably "gravitate toward [hard hitting] weapons" when their purposes are very different.  I mean, for example...one of the cheesiest, but most effective loadouts (again, IMO) for the Medusa is 4 tactical lasers + 2 dual blasters.  The tactical lasers generate a healthy amount of flux on the enemy's shields for frigates and some destroyers, and a few blaster shots can get them to overload (possibly), in addition to Sabot missiles as well (perhaps) in the universal slots.  But the DPS of the blasters is dangerous, because you can cause your own ship to overload on flux because of how much they generate. However, if you have 2 phase beams + 4 tactical lasers + <just about anything> in the two universal slots, you not only keep building flux on the enemy's shields (for much less cost on your own flux, and at greater range), you can keep a constant stream of damage on the enemy when his shields overload, or he takes them down to vent flux. I will admit, though, that 2 phase beams will probably take longer than 2 dual blasters, provided you aren't too aggressive with the blasters (i.e. endangering yourself to overloading on flux).

What i'm trying to say is that while hard-hitting weapons like blasters and plasma cannons are obviously great, they are also geared toward a different playstyle (as you mentioned yourself) and that a good player in a nimble ship can mitigate a lot of blaster/ammo-based damage while keeping continuing DPS via beam weapons on the enemy with little effort, whether AI or human. And maybe it isn't enough to take the ship down alone, but how often do you fight the enemy (outside of simulations) when you are the only ship engaged? Even from the beginning of a campaign, having 2 ships is leaps and bounds better than 1 lonely ship trying to fight/trade/bounty hunt its way up the food chain. It is literally a game-changer. Likewise, I think that beams can already be game-changers...giving most of them 1000 range just seems a bit too much, considering even 800 would be an upgrade for most of them. And if they all have 800 range, that is still "synergistic", right?

Thank you for responding to my post, though! Please tell me more about what you think / what I'm forgetting or not considering / etc!

I've indirectly gone into some of this, above, but to be less indirect.... :)

I thought exactly as you do for pretty much the entire game until I hit the endgame; then you're up against some serious bounty fleets/ships and there are a few crossover points, I found... though one of the many things that I love about this game is that it does support so many different playstyles and builds so YMMV.

1 You're much more likely to be up against enemies that can slaughter your nimble ships.  Some very good players, with younger reflexes better than mine can still prevail, but I can't and hate to lose ships.  The very nimble ships that you mention can be a bit of an exception to the rule, as you say, but the endgame's hard on 'em unless you're a very, very good player - so that exception's out of the picture for me.  It's now time for more durable and solid ships, which aren't as nimble (mostly Apogees and Odysseys for me now, with the remarkable Apogee being my flagship);

2 Enemy ships are hitting you harder, which is increasing your flux - and it's even worse since it's hard flux.  The longer it takes to kill them, the more (hard) flux you're taking: This more than offsets the flux benefits of more flux-efficient beams that take longer to drop enemies.  There's a crossover point in the curve where using high (soft as far as you're concerned) flux but fast killing weapons yields a lower net flux to you than using the more flux efficient weapons but taking extra (hard) flux damage to your shields.  You end up with less flux and it's much faster/easier to dissipate.  Get in, kill a ship or two or three fast, back off and drop shields (don't even need to vent most of the time), get back in and repeat.

It's also more flux efficient to fully kill an enemy ship once you've gone to the trouble of taking out its shields, than to leave it alive and able to get its shields back up all over again;

3 Yup your allies help, but they also get in the way if you move to the more durable/less nimble ships - and the beam kiting style needs lots of room all around to work.  Once you're up against enemy Tempests, Medusas and Phase Frigates everywhere around you (or just a ton of Wolves, Lashers and Hounds), backed up with some heavier and dangerous ships in front of you, and your space to back away is closed down by your fleet behind and to the sides, then it's also better to make space quickly (by killing your immediately local enemies fast), since there isn't much 'safe' and free space to be had, to briefly cool down,  otherwise.

Your firing lines also get cluttered by your fleetmates and wrecks, so it's important to hit very fast and hard when a gap presents itself.

Just a few things I found anyway: When I eventually get an Astral for this Lvl 50 Admiral, I'll play with that for a bit then give this Admiral a break, and start a new captain who plays very differently... be interesting to see if my conclusions hold true there.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 15, 2014, 08:12:50 AM
I agree with Captain Pugh's points.  They explain why I favor blasters (over other energy weapons) so much.  Also, such weapons are usually slow firing and either fire quick bursts (heavy needler or plasma cannon) or single high damage shots (mauler, HVD, mining/heavy blaster) and enable vent spamming (i.e., fire, vent, fire, vent, repeat) very well.

Quote
*Pretty much the only beams I use now are TLs on Cap ships, lots of LRPDs (the effectiveness/flux energy PD sweet spot IMO, though I know that some disagree), and the odd Tac Laser for anti-fighter use.  Felt a bit sad slapping LRPDs into the Apogee's medium turrets, rather than any of the medium options, but she's a far better ship/build with that layout; she can then focus her flux allowance on the business end... though this is too minmax for my tastes, loving more balanced builds as I do, but can't be helped since the flux margins are pretty tight....
For beams, I use Tachyon Lances (less than before due to buggy autozoom), (Heavy) Burst PD if I have the OP to spare, and LR PDs when I do not have enough OP or burst PDs to spare.  If I have Advanced Optics, I may use regular PD laser on a Wolf.  I sometimes put Graviton Beams on an Eagle, and Tactical Laser on phase frigates to deal with fighters.

Quote
1 You're much more likely to be up against enemies that can slaughter your nimble ships.  Some very good players, with younger reflexes better than mine can still prevail, but I can't and hate to lose ships.  The very nimble ships that you mention can be a bit of an exception to the rule, as you say, but the endgame's hard on 'em unless you're a very, very good player - so that exception's out of the picture for me.  It's now time for more durable and solid ships, which aren't as nimble (mostly Apogees and Odysseys for me now, with the remarkable Apogee being my flagship);
What I notice is the enemy flagship is the backbone of the enemy fleet.  Kill it fast, and the rest of the enemy fleet is not that hard if your fleet is better than theirs.  I can bring a frigate horde of over thirty ships and usually destroy the remaining fleet without casualties if the enemy flagship has been removed first.  As for the enemy flagship, Hyperion is great for removing enemy flagships if Hyperion has Missile Specialization 10 and Reapers, but if that is not an option, I deploy an Onslaught (or Paragon, if handy) first and alone, then deploy my frigates seconds later after my Onslaught starts blasting enemy ships.

Quote
When I eventually get an Astral for this Lvl 50 Admiral, I'll play with that for a bit then give this Admiral a break, and start a new captain who plays very differently... be interesting to see if my conclusions hold true there.
Good luck getting an Astral.  I made it to level 71 and never found a single Astral, even after cleaning out Tibicena numerous times and bought about twenty Paragon or Odyssey ships.  I do not know if the Astral can even spawn in Tri-Tachyon fleets; I did not see one (but I have seen Paragon and Odyssey) or else I would consider attacking such a fleet just to board their Astral.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: jupjupy on December 15, 2014, 11:04:08 AM
Mmh.

Can't say I like the removal of the bonus flux, but I've never actually used it tactically, so I really can't complain. A flat 25% boost to my blaster and pulse laser damage is good, but doesnt this support vent spamming?

Agree with beam weapon changes. They were really bleh for me before.

Now ammo is where I disagree. While I cant really say anything final before playing it myself, I view ammo as a very strong component in choosing my weapon loadouts, and how it affects my playstyle in certain battles. For example, I deviate towards the ever-expensive Heavy Needler because it has staying power in long battles (also because I dislike the poof-poof-poof sound of the Heavy Autocannon). But this changes things.

The Gauss Cannon - one may argue it is ever unused because of its dreadfully low magazine size - is suddenly a better choice than the Storm Needler in most occasions. It costs 3 less OP, has 1.5x the range, and is much better against armor.

And yet, I place the Gauss Cannon on many of my support ships, simply because it has the longer range. The ammo was what defined it, it was what made me stop and think - Should I risk it? The removal of this entire mechanic (with a few exceptions) would, in my opinion, make ballistic weaponry ever similar to that of energy weaponry. The only difference now between my Heavy Blaster and an Arbalest is the fact that one deals kinetic damage and trades OP cost and flux for a far crappier damage number. You could say thats a lot already, but I dont think removal of features is the way to go.

I'd infact, argue that it IS a major balancing thing. For me, at least. I tend to shun ballistic weapons in favor of energy ones, because I dont have to worry about ammunition. My battles tend to be long, and I can easily run out. But thats the trade off - while a ballistic weapon would make it easy for me to manage my flux, I trade off worrying about ammunition for worrying about flux, which I can easily rectify. Take this out of the ball game, and I think I'll find myself deviating back to ballistics, because I wont have to worry about either in my Eagle.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ThePirateKing on December 15, 2014, 07:21:52 PM

  • Ships
    • Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates
      • Roughly 5-7 minutes for destroyers and 7-9 for cruisers
      • High-tech/faster ships have shorter timers
    • Sunder: increased top speed, acceleration, and flux capacity. Reduced shield efficiency.
    • Brawler/Shepherd: increased burn level by 1 (to 6)
    • Condor: reduced supplies/day by 1 (to 4)

Will the Brawler still have an unlimited combat timer?  It seems like that will be a bit overpowered, considering now even cruisers won't have that ability.  Maybe it should just be longer than the average frigate combat timer, closer to that of a destroyer?

And reduced shield efficiency on the Sunder?  It wasn't great to begin with, now it seems there's no reason to ever use one.[/list]
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 16, 2014, 07:04:41 AM
For beams, I use Tachyon Lances (less than before due to buggy autozoom), (Heavy) Burst PD if I have the OP to spare, and LR PDs when I do not have enough OP or burst PDs to spare.  If I have Advanced Optics, I may use regular PD laser on a Wolf.  I sometimes put Graviton Beams on an Eagle, and Tactical Laser on phase frigates to deal with fighters.

I've read about the autozoom problem with TLs but haven't encountered it since I don't use that feature.  I give my Paragon TLs all around (including one up front as LR chase armament), with a Plasma Cannon (PC) also up front which I control, and put the TLs on autofire and leave 'em to it.  Similarly, I put an autofire TL on each side of my Odysseys, with a manually controlled PC in the port aft slot.  They seem to do pretty well without using any zoom business, so I leave 'em be.  Maybe you could try something like this to alleviate your problem?

If I use an Eagle, I tend to use a mix of Grav Beams and Phase Beams; but I don't use the Eagle or Falcon... IMO possibly the two worst ships in the game (genuinely no offence to those who love them, YMMV etc).  I was very excited about reaching the Cruiser stage of the game, and had high hopes for those two beautiful Cruisers... and ended up keeping my Sunder as my flagship, and Hammerheads as my rank and file line units until I started to get Apogees and Odysseys.

I think that this update will make those two Cruisers even worse, as Cruisers will now have CR timers and the already meager firepower/range gap between medium and small beams will shrink much further.  Like I mentioned way up above, theoretically put a Hammerhead head to head against a Falcon.  All weapons cancel except the Falcon's 2x medium beams vs the Hammerhead's 2x small beams forward.  In reason and realism, the two medium mounts very noticeably outgun and outrange the two small ones... right?  Not as it stands now, and still less so after the patch.

The Eagle's three medium (beam) mounts should be a ferocious amount of firepower... but isn't at all.  I personally think that there are lots of balance issues where these two ships are concerned, where they're kind of the worst of both worlds (in that space between the excellent Destroyers and excellent Cap ships), rather than best.  A lot of that is beyond the scope of this topic but if these Cruisers didn't have CR timers then they'd be relatively less bad (though the higher tech Cruisers could still have the timer, to reflect their higher maintenance loads, if that timer really had to happen...), and a large part of what makes them so comparatively feeble is how anaemic medium beams are compared to small or large ones - both of which are firmly within the topic's bounds.

[Lol, look at me not wanting to get told off for being 'Off Topic'. :D ]

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What I notice is the enemy flagship is the backbone of the enemy fleet.  Kill it fast, and the rest of the enemy fleet is not that hard if your fleet is better than theirs.  I can bring a frigate horde of over thirty ships and usually destroy the remaining fleet without casualties if the enemy flagship has been removed first.  As for the enemy flagship, Hyperion is great for removing enemy flagships if Hyperion has Missile Specialization 10 and Reapers, but if that is not an option, I deploy an Onslaught (or Paragon, if handy) first and alone, then deploy my frigates seconds later after my Onslaught starts blasting enemy ships.

A lot of folks' comments here are heavily shaped by their playstyles, so it's good for those to be explicitly stated; so Alex has a better idea where each person/opinion is coming from.  I never use the reinforcements system, and go in with the fleet I need up front - taking care to balance that with keeping some ships fresh for the second pursuit battle that often happens, to catch the faster units that retreated etc.  The Flagship I choose at the beginning of the battle is the one I finish in, unless it gets destroyed (which it almost never does).  For whatever that info might be worth *shrug*.  I guess that it's an indication of how important immersion/realism is to me - and I'm not just saying that.  Not that I have any issue at all with those who choose to play differently: This game supports many styles - awesome! 8)

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Good luck getting an Astral.  I made it to level 71 and never found a single Astral, even after cleaning out Tibicena numerous times and bought about twenty Paragon or Odyssey ships.  I do not know if the Astral can even spawn in Tri-Tachyon fleets; I did not see one (but I have seen Paragon and Odyssey) or else I would consider attacking such a fleet just to board their Astral.

Ugh, I didn't realise it could take that long.  My entire play from Lvl 40 to 50 has been: Buy all the ships from the Tri-Tach shipyard at Tibicena, scuttle most of them, do the bounties rounds in one go, come back to Tibicena, repeat.  Much as I'd love an Astral to play with for a bit (which chances are I probably won't be into too much after the excitement and novelty's worn off), not sure I'm up for another 21+ levels of this grind. ;D

Just while I'm here, and in the name of efficiency, can I be briefly indulged in a kind of 'Off Topic' question, having already used the Search function?  The only other rare ship I don't have is the Conquest - I'm guessing that they only ever drop at the Sindria military shipyard, but is that the case?

I see that they're going to be added to Sindrian fleets, but my Admiral prides herself in her perfect relations with all factions (except the pirate vermin, natch :D), so won't be attacking any main factions to try to snaffle their ships.

Cheers.  
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 16, 2014, 09:04:42 AM
@ Captain Pugh:  Eagle can be good, although now, it is not as powerful as Dominator or Aurora because the Eagle cannot mount near as many missiles as those two.

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The Eagle's three medium (beam) mounts should be a ferocious amount of firepower... but isn't at all.
It is if you put heavy blasters in them, but that requires max Combat and Technology to get the necessary OP and flux stats to support it, and only when controlled by player (because AI cannot manage its flux).  It plays much more aggressively than long-ranged and more efficient configurations.  Better firepower than Aurora without any missiles, but pales to an Aurora with missiles powered up by high Missile Specialization.

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A lot of folks' comments here are heavily shaped by their playstyles, so it's good for those to be explicitly stated; so Alex has a better idea where each person/opinion is coming from.  I never use the reinforcements system, and go in with the fleet I need up front - taking care to balance that with keeping some ships fresh for the second pursuit battle that often happens, to catch the faster units that retreated etc.  The Flagship I choose at the beginning of the battle is the one I finish in, unless it gets destroyed (which it almost never does).  For whatever that info might be worth *shrug*.
That does not work if you want to pilot a slow ship, but want to get to the killer enemy flagship before your faster (and much weaker) ships do.  If everything gets deployed at once, then slow ships are placed at the rear, and the fast ships up front will try to engage anything in their way unless you order them not to, which is not feasible if you want to capture objectives.

I do not pursue because I do not want Vengeful relations with any faction.  In addition, if I get the option to Stand Down, I always take it to recover CR.  Giving up pursuit for CR is a no-brainer.

EDIT:
Until the next update, Conquests are not for sale anywhere.  (Alex says Black Markets can sell them.)  They rarely spawn as flagships for Independent deserter fleets.  If you see one, and your game is not Ironman, save-scum until you board that ship!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 16, 2014, 03:02:56 PM
EDIT:
Until the next update, Conquests are not for sale anywhere.  (Alex says Black Markets can sell them.)  They rarely spawn as flagships for Independent deserter fleets.  If you see one, and your game is not Ironman, save-scum until you board that ship!
One other boost is to destroy all of the wrecks except the conquest so that only it can be chosen
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 16, 2014, 03:15:20 PM
Even so, player may likely need to save-scum for the Conquest given how... random boarding results after a hard dock can be.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 16, 2014, 11:30:25 PM
One other boost is to destroy all of the wrecks except the conquest so that only it can be chosen

Maybe in the future we get officers for boarding or w/e other method so we don't have to save scum to board ships.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Venatos on December 17, 2014, 02:34:12 AM
interresting thought, i could see how playstyles might be interresting for a developer and funny that you pick exactly the 2 ships that usually end up being my flagship. ;) (usualy loaded with heavy maulers and grav beams)
so playstyle:
1.get something with cargospace (maybe even sell the starting frigate)
2.make money trading/hunting traders for destroyer
3.get enforcer/hammerhead (in case frigate survived step1 either sell now or keep as distraction)
4.alternate between raiding traders, making traderuns and taking bountys
5.get 2nd destroyer, then start saving for eagle or falcon
6.get 2nd cruiser, start saving for battleship
7.final fleet: 1 battleship, 2 cruisers, 2 destroyers, 1or more freighter(if gemini maybe +2-4 fighterwings)

at this point there is no AI fleet that poses a threat, i do a little roflstomping, declearing wars on factions and so on, but the game is practicly won, because there is no way for me to lose.
i would realy wish for something to do at this point, like in exerelin mod, taking over stations and stuff, would be cool if i could help my faction of the playthrough take over known space!

EDIT: in case it is of interrest, ships are usually outfittet with focus on highexplosive (heavy mauler and similar) after the philosophy that if an enemy drops his shields or vents he dies.
and deployment is usually: 1class higher, half the ships(if the enemy has 4 frigates, i deploy 2 destroyer;  against 2 destroyer and 2 frigates i deploy 1 cruiser 1 destroyer and so on)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Callabaddie on December 17, 2014, 02:55:08 AM
I don't really like the idea of any of these changes. It's certainly nothing that will make me want to pick up the game and try the next release.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Griffinhart on December 17, 2014, 04:15:41 AM
Removed energy weapon bonus damage from high flux level
Increased damage values for non-beam energy weapons by roughly 25% to compensate

tl;dr non-beam energy weapons lost nothing and in fact probably got a buff. Cool; I never factored the flux bonus into any of my builds or tactics. (That said, I fly Ballistics primarily, so that's just my nature.)

Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
Increased range for PD Laser and LR PD Laser

Hmm, IIRC there's a crossover point where, if you have enough mounts for them, a bunch of Tactical Lasers + PD AI > an equivalent number of PD/LR PD Lasers with no PD AI. I don't think any of the vanilla ships run into this, but some mod ships do - although there's no real sense in balancing the game to mods, so I guess this point is rather moot.

Though,having a standard range, in my head, is good - it means quicker theoretical builds on my part, since I don't have to futz around with considering distances vs. whatever advantage a given weapon has over another.

Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles

Meaning these beams will damage missiles and continue past, or just ignore missiles entirely and not be useful for PD?

Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds

You mean missiles will actually be threatening now, instead of something that can be more-or-less safely ignored at mid-scale and larger fights? \o/

Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay

As a player who flies primarily Ballistic:

Good. Ammo was always a non-issue for my builds (I prefer high-speed, high-alpha setups, meaning I don't do long-endurance fights) - I'd just stick Expanded Mags on all my ships by default. As for fighting against Ballistic-primary ships, this is also good; it means no more bunkering/kiting against Pirates and the Hegemony until they run out of bullets and become easy meat.

That said, you may still want to consider having a magazine for Ballistic weapons - that is, they still have unlimited ammo, but after firing x number of bullets, there's a forced cooldown period where the gun is unable to fire. (Of course, this may also mean implementing some kind of reload functionality - or else players will just mag-dump before their next in-battle engagement.)

Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates

Ooh, me like. Means mid-game will be more difficult, and capships will be all the more sweeter for not having an effectiveness timer.

-- Griffinhart
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on December 17, 2014, 09:49:16 AM
Wow, after giving the planned changes a good read-over for the first time, I have to say I'm pretty apprehensive about this update. I don't really care to read through 17 pages of prior discussion, so at the risk of repeating things that have already been said, I'll give some of my thoughts on the matter.

Almost everything in the combat balance pass borderline offends me, and changes the whole character of combat in the game, so I suppose I'll have to address each thing one at a time.

Energy weapon bonus from flux level. Here's something that was never really stood out on it's own, it wasn't an aspect of energy weapons that was terribly distinct, but after giving more thought to it I can honestly say it added an element of character to energy weapons that they desperately need to prevent them from being (less) boring. As it is, energy weapons deal a kind of middling, jack-of-all-trades master-of-none damage. They require no ammunition and affect shields armor and hull mostly the same so they don't require the same type of management as other weapons. Now, maybe this is directly connected to the way I play the game, but my use of energy weapons always somewhat relied on the high flux bonus. The flux generation of my weapons loadout on energy-weapon based ships was always DPS dependent and outmatched my venting capability significantly. I would always vent my flux to zero before starting an attack, then I would hit with everything I had to drive their own flux up, hoping to force them to drop their shields before I cap out on flux, at this point I have damage bonuses coming in, which help my energy weapons to cut through the armor, allowing me to deal some permanent damage before I have to drop back and vent either passively or actively. Without this, all energy weapons become pressure weapons and lose one of the only edges they have.

Let's look at energy vs ballistic before and after. Ballistic weapons; multiple damage types with varying effectiveness vs multiple defense types encouraging varied load outs, ammo limitations encouraging management during long engagements, slight flux use advantage. Energy weapons; generic damage type with equal effectiveness against all defenses, no ammo limitations besides a couple balance situations, higher flux use but good dps, encouraging flux management over ammo management, and high flux damage bonuses adding a distinct consideration for fighting with energy weapons.

Now? What's the honest difference? Damage types? Different skins? I've said enough on this, and there are a good number more issues to address.

Now, the beam changes. For the most part, I suppose this is ok, but the range standardization? You're removing MORE character from a type of weapon that already threatened to be boring at best. One of the real advantages of the HIL was the great range it offered over other options, now all beams will be stand-off weapons.

Missiles having unlimited ammo and ammo regeneration? I disagree with every part of this, I don't even know where to begin. Missiles were a very powerful finishing weapon for high threat or annoying targets that could be used 1-3 times in a battle to great tactical effect. Now they become pressure weapons like anything else. It makes sense in a lore perspective, too. You've got this launcher that is probably externally mounted, easy to re-arm between engagements, but nigh-impossible to work on in the heat of an engagement. And everyone knows that using missiles at the right time can make all the difference. That one slip that rips all your armor away, or that timing that cripples the enemy capital. Now you'll just face a boring, obnoxious trickle of missiles here and there throughout the battle, a role that used to be delegated to LRMs like the pilum.

Peak effectiveness for destroyers AND cruisers? What's the advantage of this, what's the purpose? To force people to use capital ships in larger engagements? Isn't this just the type of forced gameplay that you've said you are trying to avoid many, many times in the past?

There's more I could say on the whole thing, but I feel like my point has been made. The entire "combat balance pass" feels forced to me, even to the point of risking casualizing the entire game. There are a hundred generic space blasting games, the industry doesn't need another one. What was your thought process here? Right up to calling it a "balance pass". This is a drastic restructuring of some of the core concepts of combat in the game. What's next, removal of hard flux? Making armor a homogeneous HP pool instead of area-based?

I've mostly agreed with everything you've done with this game Alex, my posting history will reflect this. I can't agree with these changes though, I really can't. I urge careful reconsideration of these things before you start the downhill slide into a run of the mill shootemup like SPAZ.

I hope the tone of this post doesn't detract in any way from the content, I recognize it could be construed as combative, but I'm genuinely sharing my thoughts on the presented changes and hope this will be taken into account. This is a game that I invested in very, very early and I've seen it grow and come a long way. This is one of the first changes that has stood out to me as a step in the wrong direction, at a time which should be very exciting for Starsector. There are players coming out to make some of their first posts on the board to express similar opinions, so I know I'm not alone in this. I look forward to keeping an eye on how things progress.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 17, 2014, 10:57:11 AM
Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles

Meaning these beams will damage missiles and continue past, or just ignore missiles entirely and not be useful for PD?

"It means they damage missiles, but pass through them and can hit other things."

I added that to the OP, since the question came up several times now.



@ ahrenjb: Just a few support missiles regenerate ammo.



Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on December 17, 2014, 12:10:08 PM
I think people should try to see this from Alex's point of view. While I'm firmly opposed (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8810.msg148902#msg148902) to these changes as a player, they do make sense from a developer perspective:

As with each updates, we saw a big surge in new players that enjoyed the games but as usual 2 months later we're back the usual calm. People don't play the game for long because it become quickly repetitive (especially if you don't play with mods) What they want? From the suggestions we can mostly see "better AI" and "more high level mechanics and content".

"High level mechanics and content" will take times, no matter what. Even if we get only player stations and officers in the next update it will require months of incompressible development time.

Now for "better AI" there is two choices: Make an actually better AI, with the risk of opening new different exploits, making it more quirky in certain circumstances/using certain mods, or seriously hurting the performances... That is a huge undertaking (months at least) with no guarantee of making anything better than the current AI.
Or, he can strip some secondary gameplay mechanics actually underused by the vanilla game (ammo and flux boost) and totally ignored by the AI (see the exploits). Time of development: a few days plus some testing, maybe a bit more it he takes time to solve some minor issues like firing beams while just out of range and the like.

Starsector has been in alpha for years and while it has built a small but solid core of players, those don't pay the new bills. It need badly content, and it's in this perspective that the changelog makes perfect sense. Spending 6 months polishing something that is already doing a decent job would be a major waste, especially when a quick "dirty" fix can alleviate most or the minor remaining problems.

Also, in a more general sense, I think all the talks about countering the over-deploying or ship-jumping exploits are done with a way too narrow perspective. I mean sure it would be good to eliminate those, but they mostly are visible because for now, Starsector is only about combat (trading is only a mean to get a better fleet, not an end). The final game, as I understood it, will be much more about exploration, quests, restoring/plundering the sector and building your faction, than battling over and over again until none can stand before your fleet. The player will have so many more money sinks to fill that the current common exploits might become much rarer/harder to manage/uninteresting anyway.

Finally, for all we know, Alex liked the previous ammo and flux mechanic (after all, he implemented them) and they aren't removed but simply won't be used in vanilla. So maybe later, after Starsector is released and if he isn't fed-up, we will get a "StarSector - Enhanced Edition" with better AI, meaningful flux management for energy weapon, and ammunition fed Ballistic weaponry.

[PS] I should add that the game is already very complex, even if we veterans can't see it anymore. And with more and more mechanics added to the game, I don't think the removal of those will hurt the big picture that much...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on December 17, 2014, 01:11:11 PM
...

There's more I could say on the whole thing, but I feel like my point has been made. The entire "combat balance pass" feels forced to me, even to the point of risking casualizing the entire game. There are a hundred generic space blasting games, the industry doesn't need another one. What was your thought process here? Right up to calling it a "balance pass". This is a drastic restructuring of some of the core concepts of combat in the game. What's next, removal of hard flux? Making armor a homogeneous HP pool instead of area-based?

I've mostly agreed with everything you've done with this game Alex, my posting history will reflect this. I can't agree with these changes though, I really can't. I urge careful reconsideration of these things before you start the downhill slide into a run of the mill shootemup like SPAZ.

...

Its good to share thoughts, but I think this is an overreaction. How are any of these changes "a drastic restructuring"? The main effect of the energy flux bonus was people complaining about energy weapons having low DPS because they didn't even know about it. Ammo for ballistics is a more important concept, but I think in this case its a case of "follow the fun": is it fun to run out of ammo? No. Is it fun to wait until the enemy runs out of ammo? Maybe, if you like that kind of thing, but personally I don't - I just get bored in any situation it would be good in. Yes is was a factor in choosing weapons, but there are so many other factors to that - per shot damage, flux usage, damage type, range, burst vs continuous, accuracy, turret speed... all of them are also important considerations and removing ammo doesn't make all weapons homogeneous by a long shot. The missile changes allow the missile weapons that are supposed to be pressure weapons (LRM, Salamanders) to actually be pressure weapons.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on December 17, 2014, 03:09:23 PM
...

There's more I could say on the whole thing, but I feel like my point has been made. The entire "combat balance pass" feels forced to me, even to the point of risking casualizing the entire game. There are a hundred generic space blasting games, the industry doesn't need another one. What was your thought process here? Right up to calling it a "balance pass". This is a drastic restructuring of some of the core concepts of combat in the game. What's next, removal of hard flux? Making armor a homogeneous HP pool instead of area-based?

I've mostly agreed with everything you've done with this game Alex, my posting history will reflect this. I can't agree with these changes though, I really can't. I urge careful reconsideration of these things before you start the downhill slide into a run of the mill shootemup like SPAZ.

...

Its good to share thoughts, but I think this is an overreaction. How are any of these changes "a drastic restructuring"? The main effect of the energy flux bonus was people complaining about energy weapons having low DPS because they didn't even know about it. Ammo for ballistics is a more important concept, but I think in this case its a case of "follow the fun": is it fun to run out of ammo? No. Is it fun to wait until the enemy runs out of ammo? Maybe, if you like that kind of thing, but personally I don't - I just get bored in any situation it would be good in. Yes is was a factor in choosing weapons, but there are so many other factors to that - per shot damage, flux usage, damage type, range, burst vs continuous, accuracy, turret speed... all of them are also important considerations and removing ammo doesn't make all weapons homogeneous by a long shot. The missile changes allow the missile weapons that are supposed to be pressure weapons (LRM, Salamanders) to actually be pressure weapons.

I'll agree that it's probably somewhat of an over-reaction, I didn't sit on the information for very long before I responded which may have been a misstep, but I think the core of what I was saying remains true. You're right in that "follow-the-fun" has a validity of its own, but is getting rid of ammunition entirely a good idea? Running out of ammunition, or waiting for the enemy to run out, is probably not fun. If ammo was being re-structured, this could have been a good opportunity to introduce a new mechanic for ballistic weapons. A magazine and reloading function. Weapons like the autopulse laser already have a mechanic where you can rapidly fire off a magazine of ammo as individual shots trickle in to replenish what you've used. You can fire at any time, whether there are 5 or 20 available charges. This makes sense for an energy weapon, as capacitors or what-have-you store energy coming in from the main reactor. For ballistic weapons, Alex could have taken another approach. Drastically reduce magazine size for all ballistic weapons (For instance, 500 to 50), and then implement a system where when all the available ammunition runs out the turret starts a reload timer. So, for your light assault gun you have 100 shots available. Once you've fired off 100 shots, the cool down bar starts at full and now functions as a reload timer. Once completed, the magazine is re-filled to 100 rounds. Running out of ammunition is now more common, but only leaves your weapons temporarily out-of-action. This keeps the flavor of ballistic weapons feeling ammunition based, while also allowing for unlimited ammunition and an element to consider in fights. For those players who like to try to run the opponent out of ammunition, they can still do so. Evading and absorbing shots until it seems like the enemy vessels turrets have entered a reload cycle. Maybe there could be a key to manually begin the reload cycle, I'm not sure if this would be necessary. To avoid it becoming a source of frustration, magazines coudl still allow for somewhat extended firing, and reload times would be relatively short, but that feeling would be preserved.

It also creates an important distinction between energy and ballistic weapons. Magazine based energy weapons have constant regen, where ballistic weapons have quantity regen.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on December 17, 2014, 03:23:28 PM
@ahrenjb: What you just suggested has come up a couple times already in this thread, termed as a "clip reload" mechanic.  There are several good reasons why it's a bad idea, but the basic gist of them is that - especially on large ships with multiple different weapons - it encourages micromanagement of ammunition supplies and firing of weapons at nothing in order to get a reload before going back into combat.  A better idea is what I'll call "chunk reload" - where, instead of reloading 100 shots 10 seconds after you empty the magazine, it reloads maybe 30 shots say 15 seconds after you started firing, and again every 15 seconds until it's back up to full, or perhaps it reloads all 100 shots every 45 seconds, or something like that.  This way you get the same sort of feel, but don't actually have to empty a clip before it starts reloading.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Zapier on December 17, 2014, 06:35:58 PM
@ahrenjb: What you just suggested has come up a couple times already in this thread, termed as a "clip reload" mechanic.  There are several good reasons why it's a bad idea, but the basic gist of them is that - especially on large ships with multiple different weapons - it encourages micromanagement of ammunition supplies and firing of weapons at nothing in order to get a reload before going back into combat.  A better idea is what I'll call "chunk reload" - where, instead of reloading 100 shots 10 seconds after you empty the magazine, it reloads maybe 30 shots say 15 seconds after you started firing, and again every 15 seconds until it's back up to full, or perhaps it reloads all 100 shots every 45 seconds, or something like that.  This way you get the same sort of feel, but don't actually have to empty a clip before it starts reloading.

Yeah, I still think this may be the better solution in the long-term to appease people who might be on both sides of limited/unlimited ballistic ammo. One tweak I'd have to the starting chunk reloading after some aforementioned time period is to have the reload chunks only occur when the weapon isn't firing at all, that way the ammo limitations are still very easily noticed/felt by people shooting non-stop, yet still provide unlimited ammo if you aren't shooting. Of course, the AI might be pressured into trying to fire more often, but then you could have the reload start much more quickly once you're not 'firing'.

I don't know. I'm curious to see and feel the changes before the next step.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Vulpes on December 18, 2014, 04:05:34 AM
I thought I'd divide this between my play style and thoughts on the change, incase anyone found it relevant.
Play style:
Early game I usually end up as a solo flagship for cost reasons, because the AI just can't handle being vastly outnumbered (or I'm bad at making ships for it to use) and either dies or isn't useful enough to justify risking ships.  At this stage I'm usually in a frigate decked out to quickly pick off enemy frigates (or whatever I can kill quickly) and then start wearing down larger ships; this is when I might actually start deploying reinforcements, either to help catch retreating ships or take apart destroyers/cruisers... strangely enough this is safer than fighting frigates, because if the AI does something stupid I can usually jump in front and save it before ordering a retreat.

If I have any particularly rugged frigates I'll sometimes send them out first to help split tough enemy fleets and let me get a few kills before they retreat.  I don't really like daisy-chaining flagships and find it unneccessary unless picking fights I really shouldn't have- the AI has real problems working out when to retreat (or pursue) 1 player frigate, so I can pretty much dictate what it'll do and receive another free combat round by simply retreating and being "chased"...
This pattern really doesn't change much unless I get a bunch of fighters and a carrier- fighters are cool because my flagship can charge in whilst they distract things (in a cheap, easily replaced fashion!), or chase and kill weaker enemies.  Large support ships are nice things to have, but I don't really end up *needing* them: if I've got my hands on a capital ship I can pretty much solo anything anyway.  I mention this because I tried ignoring the combat tree in some games but found that just doing the same thing with more fighters worked well anyway :P

I usually like ballistic weapons for their efficiency and play a juggling act (especially with mid line ships) to preserve ammo during solo fights, where I find their raw power normally outweighs ammo limitations.  Energy weapons are interesting because they offer "reliable" dps whilst at the same time encouraging some very aggressive plays at high flux rather than backing off and venting, as I'd usually do with low tech ships/ballistic weapons.

Thoughts on the changes:  As a player I liked the flux damage boost.  It lead to some cool moments where in-game where I realised I could press a high flux "advantage" rather than vent, but can see that it was difficult for the AI to actually use properly; rather than remove it entirely I'm wondering if it could be replaced with some other mechanic the AI would be more adept at using?  Off the cuff I've only really come up an "overcharge" mechanic: Basically a distinct mode/feature where shields are disabled, energy damage is buffed, EMP overloads are actually possible and maybe costs a chunk of flux to activate and deactivate.  It's fairly similar to high energy focus and idk if the AI would end up using it properly, but it's an idea so I'll throw it out there!

To me, infinite ammo seems like a weird concept and takes away from its charm; sure ammo constraints can be an issue for certain ships/weapons during lengthy engagements (and make machine guns OP), but that seems more like the consequence of a few ships trying to take a larger/tougher fleet.  It also doesn't really address armour damage, which I'd say is more of an issue for low tech ships in protracted battles: they are meant to both take and give beatings yet have poor shields, once the armour is gone they end up playing like gimped high tech ships.  I think a nice way of dealing with this would be making it possible for some armour/ammo/missiles to (partially) regenerate at the cost of CR.  After all, it has to come from somewhere  :P

As for lasers, I'm not sure there's actually enough variety to make them all 1k range and feel like it'd break tactical lasers a tad; maybe instead of this we could have more range modifiers, like a cruiser/capital version of "advanced optics" that gives more range to small lasers?  Or I suppose just adding more lasers could work, but tactical laser would still have abnormally high range... without the flux damage boost I think lasers will just decimate fighters/frigates and annoy everything else, but I suppose we'll have to wait and see
I've never really liked the larger burst lasers because I don't need that much PD and they can't compete on the dps/range front, so in my mind they could do with a little boost- especially if everything else is getting more range and lower fade times!

Edit: A quick question for Alex: I love how the game is shaping up, but it's quite a while to reach this stage.  Does a lot of time go on tweaking things and trying to decide what would make the game *great*, as opposed to actually coding stuff that ends up in the game?  I ask because that's what I'd imagine myself doing (not that I'm trying to diminish your undertaking or the technical wizardry involved).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 18, 2014, 06:34:34 AM
I agree ammo has charm and is generally a good idea to create even more divide and options between weapons, but as it stands currently, ammo serve no purpose in the long run.

But the game will change...

Starsector as stated many times is not going to be about you soloing fleets in one ship with a few distractions. Battles will be short, intense and with losses on both sides, once industry, officers, and multi fleet battles are in the equation.

Currently, the only weapons that DO run out of ammo are point defense, which in optimal setups, you would not use anyways even if they had unlimited ammo (on on lashers, you would end up manual fire to persevere ammo anyways, more tedious work then an actual game play option) that means unless you want ammo to run out within 1min, then it does not matter if it has ammo at all.

So you want regenerating ammo? It donst matter because you cant solo a bunch of ships who have similar combat skills to you. (more combat skills, means you use EVEN MORE ammo) Where it would bring back the days of 30min battles before there where combat skills, and you had to have energy weapon.

Weapon balance then completely depended on ammo count, not on how the weapons where different.

Perhaps the ammo change is too early, but once you play in actual fleet vs fleet combat, ammo is basically unlimited, and future of starsector is fleet vs fleet.


Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 18, 2014, 07:03:22 AM
Quote
Currently, the only weapons that DO run out of ammo are point defense, which in optimal setups, you would not use anyways even if they had unlimited ammo (on on lashers, you would end up manual fire to persevere ammo anyways, more tedious work then an actual game play option) that means unless you want ammo to run out within 1min, then it does not matter if it has ammo at all.
I use Vulcans on several ships for PD.  Lasher and Sunder need PD badly and Vulcans are the best they can get.  For Dominator, I prefer Vulcans in small mounts and assault weapons in medium, instead of (dual) flak in medium and assault in light due to flux efficiency.

I have no trouble running low of ammo in many long fights, even with Expanded Magazines.  I use Expanded Magazines on most ships reliant on ballistics.  (Exceptions due to low enough OP that getting it means sacrificing more important hullmods.)  Many times, if I did not have Expanded Magazines, I would run out of ammo.

Running out of ammo is the primary reason why I favor high-tech ships.

Quote
Perhaps the ammo change is too early, but once you play in actual fleet vs fleet combat, ammo is basically unlimited, and future of starsector is fleet vs fleet.
Only when Logistics increases automatically on level up, base Logistics is raised to something much higher than 20, or leveling is much faster such that getting level 50 in a day is possible.  Right now, player needs to spend AP/SP in Leadership/Logistics to get a big fleet.  Player may want Combat and Technology more, and settle for a small elite fleet until he gets Leadership at endgame.  Then again, maybe not - remember that Industry is coming, which will likely compete with the player's limited points.

For current gameplay, chain flagships is the most efficient way in terms of in-game resources by far.  Fleet battles are most useful for finishing fights fast and powerleveling, but will eat into your profits and/or some of your storage.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 18, 2014, 07:17:46 AM
@ Captain Pugh:  Eagle can be good, although now, it is not as powerful as Dominator or Aurora because the Eagle cannot mount near as many missiles as those two.

... It is if you put heavy blasters in them, but that requires max Combat and Technology to get the necessary OP and flux stats to support it, and only when controlled by player (because AI cannot manage its flux).  It plays much more aggressively than long-ranged and more efficient configurations.  Better firepower than Aurora without any missiles, but pales to an Aurora with missiles powered up by high Missile Specialization.

Cool, I'm looking forward to giving them another go with my next captain, who'll go Tech and Combat, unlike my present admiral.  This is why I'm always careful to add heaps of qualifiers like 'IMO/E', 'Given my particular playstyle' and 'YMMV' (@ Venatos :) ) rather than make blanket statements like 'This ship is rubbish!'.  I mean, I really like the Hammerhead as a strictly non-sexy but solid line unit, so I know how much YMMV when it comes to these ships (though agree with the rough consensus that a tiny bit more flux capacity and ~5 more OPs wouldn't hurt...).  

My main point about these ships was tied into their using medium beams specifically, they being emblematic examples of where medium beams might not be fully up to scratch (IMO).

Quote
That does not work if you want to pilot a slow ship, but want to get to the killer enemy flagship before your faster (and much weaker) ships do.  If everything gets deployed at once, then slow ships are placed at the rear, and the fast ships up front will try to engage anything in their way unless you order them not to, which is not feasible if you want to capture objectives.

It can be done well enough if you don't have too much of a speed difference between your different speed/fragility tiers of ships that you deploy.  Fastest hits the speed-bump of the enemy's leading units (usually also his fastest skirmish units), holds them up just long enough (without getting destroyed) for your second tier units to get into range and polish those enemies off, by which time your third tier (which has been contributing throughout via, eg, Pilums, TLs and flight decks for the Gucci advanced strike craft) has caught up.  Meanwhile, my flagship's dishing out firepower here and there, as needed, as she makes a beeline (without becoming too isolated) for the enemy's flagship, and usually has Augmented Engines for this purpose even if her sister units don't.

Anyway, not to give poor Alex more text to have to read through, but that's the general idea: deploying what I need all at the beginning almost always results in the enemy's flagship going down, plus nearly all of his fleet - sometimes a Wolf/Cerberus/Phase Frigate and battered squadron of craft makes it out alive but that's about it, and it's often a clean sweep if I played it spot on.

Quote
I do not pursue because I do not want Vengeful relations with any faction.  In addition, if I get the option to Stand Down, I always take it to recover CR.  Giving up pursuit for CR is a no-brainer.

Aye, by 'pursuit' I didn't necessarily mean pressing the pursue button, but just pursuit generally; stand down then chase them all over again (on the odd occasion that this is necessary/desirable, at least in the endgame) - either way, you still want some fresher ships/craft that you didn't deploy in the earlier big battle.

Quote
Until the next update, Conquests are not for sale anywhere.  (Alex says Black Markets can sell them.)  They rarely spawn as flagships for Independent deserter fleets.  If you see one, and your game is not Ironman, save-scum until you board that ship!

Thanks a million for this info.  I'm an incorrigible ship collector/completionist, so will reluctantly save-scum if I have to, to get a Conquest.  Just so I don't squander this rare opportunity to get one when it comes up, how many Marines should I be carrying to get a good chance of successfully boarding one?

Cheers.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 18, 2014, 07:35:24 AM
@ Captain Pugh:
If there is a ship where using beams for anything other than PD is a good idea, it is the Eagle because it can use ballistics for assault, and beams as supplemental.  Gravitons beams are also good for messing with velocity of small enemy ships.

Capitals can get up to 300 normal crew.  If you want to be absolutely sure on boarding a Conquest, take 200 marines (assuming no Special Ops) and send them in just to be sure.  I am sure 200 is overkill, 100 or so might be enough.

Quote
It can be done well enough if you don't have too much of a speed difference between your different speed/fragility tiers of ships that you deploy.
Unfortunately, enemy flagships with Combat 10, especially those with mobility systems, are lightning bruisers.  If the enemy Eagle/Dominator/Onslaught flagship gets deployed at first, it will be at the front or right behind the lead ships.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Vulpes on December 18, 2014, 08:01:34 AM
Snip
I'm not really sure where you're coming from.  In fleet vs fleet ammo will be less of a constraint, so what is the purpose of removing it all together?  It still serves a function, and the CR loss discourages actually relying on ammo regeneration to have long battles.

As for fleet VS fleet, allies might be more worthwhile but solo flagship will still be a thing.  The skills we have now offer more offence than defence (means fights will stay shorter) and if someone can out-play the AI they will make better use of combat skills, so yes it'll be harder to solo things but still perfectly doable regardless of how many skills the AI has.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 18, 2014, 09:18:28 AM
Cheers once again for the info Megas: it'll be put to good use. :)

Quote
Unfortunately, enemy flagships with Combat 10, especially those with mobility systems, are lightning bruisers.  If the enemy Eagle/Dominator/Onslaught flagship gets deployed at first, it will be at the front or right behind the lead ships.

And if the enemy has such a souped up ship, and comes to me, then this roughly halves the effects of my ships' speed differences (compared to if he hangs back with his flagship) and he walks into pretty much all of my fleet's firepower at the same time.

*Shrug* There's not much I can say really other than that I've reached Lvl 50, and hunt the highest level bounties, without once using the reinforcements system (or changing flagship during the battle), and pretty much always take out the enemy's flagship (including Onslaughts) and almost all of his fleet, without losing any ships of my own, every time - including when fighting three large and high level bounty fleets back to back when they happen to be clustered right together (as is often the case in Valhalla and Eos).  Without save-scumming.

Honest! :D

This was just to explain my particular playstyle, so readers (including Alex) had a better idea where my opinions were coming from.  This isn't really the place now, but if you'd like to know more (eg sample fleets and their tactics I use) then please feel free to set up a new thread about this, or pm me or whatever you like.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 18, 2014, 11:31:17 AM
@megas Primary reason for choosing high tech ships cuz they get unlimited ammo is the problem, maybe we should choose high tech ships for different reasons no?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 18, 2014, 05:23:18 PM
@ Captain Pugh:  I have no problem with save-scumming.  Some games even encourage it.

@ Linnis:  It would be nice.  Currently, my close runner-up reason for choosing high tech ships is higher burn speed.  Other secondary reasons vary by ship, mostly due to stats and/or specials.  Aside from that, when all ships get unlimited ammo, I may use more low-tech ships because ballistics are generally better than energy weapons.  Energy weapon niche by then will be among PD/annoyance with beams, spike damage with blasters, or general use with pulse lasers for underpowered ships that cannot use better (e.g., Mule).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 19, 2014, 01:41:15 AM
But beams weapons got a major upgrade now, you can count on them always be out putting their dps more reliably.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 19, 2014, 02:52:46 AM
@ Megas: I don't have a problem with save-scumming either, but was just pointing out that I didn't (need to do that in order for my playstyle to work).  I mean, there were a few times, earlier on when I was figuring out the game, where I did save-scum but they all involved losing my irreplaceable (at that time, given the RNG and what was for sale everywhere) flagship.  Now that I run mostly Apogees and Odysseys, with plenty of them spare in storage (from my quest to get an Astral), I don't lose ships - and if I did I could replace it, so don't save-scum now.  Though unashamedly will if it's the only way to get a Conquest.

Lol, though there is one place where I religiously save-scum: when I saw that it was exactly the same button to sell or store your ship :o I knew that this was inevitably going to end in tears at some point, so save (and have had to save-scum here a couple of times) before doing any ship storing.

Hmm, IIRC there's a crossover point where, if you have enough mounts for them, a bunch of Tactical Lasers + PD AI > an equivalent number of PD/LR PD Lasers with no PD AI. I don't think any of the vanilla ships run into this, but some mod ships do - although there's no real sense in balancing the game to mods, so I guess this point is rather moot.

Yeah, the Odyssey's the only vanilla ship (IMO) where this kind of works, with her 12 small energy turrets.  Ends up being about as good vs missiles, awesome against fighters, and gives you a noticeable local damage boost all around.  But the flux!  One of the main times that the AI fires missiles at me is when I'm close to overloading, to try to push my flux over that edge: the last thing I want in that situation is a PD system that runs at almost double the flux of the LRPD - which is why I tend to use LRPDs, with just a few Tac Lasers here and there for anti-fighter use.

I'll give it a good play, with an open mind, but I wouldn't be surprised if I stop using Tac Lasers altogether, on my larger ships, once they start throwing their flux into the pot at 1000m - that's kind of the range I back away to, to cool down.  We'll see.  I'm sure that it'll enormously help the likes of the Starter Wolf though.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 19, 2014, 03:36:14 AM
But beams weapons got a major upgrade now, you can count on them always be out putting their dps more reliably.

Would you mind going into how you think that these changes will do what you say they'll do to beams?  If they also got the +25% damage bonus (that non-beam energy weapons will get), in compensation for losing the flux damage boost, then I could see how that could be seen as more reliable dps... but they won't.

I can see how the proposed changes will make some beams better (and worse) in some ways, but can't see anything that constitutes a major upgrade or more reliable dps... maybe I'm missing something that you can see.

PS, my current Admiral favours mostly high tech ships for loads of reasons that I won't go into here too much - but none of those reasons are unlimited ammo.  Mostly it's, 'Fills a niche better than any other ship (IMO), and feels nice to use'.  If a lower tech ship satisfies either or both of those requirements better, she'll use it - regardless of ammo capacity (though that factors into the build).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 19, 2014, 06:52:05 AM
Non PD beams will have 1000 range (good except for HIL) and polyhit missiles between intended target, PD beams aside from bursts have more range, beams will cost less OP, and beams fade in-and-out faster.  (Tactical laser is very slow due to fading, the change might make it fast enough for PD against more targets.)

Not sure if those will be enough.  For an all beam ship, it was one case where flux supercharge was very useful, and I wanted hard flux on my ship to prevent dissipation of my damage bonus.  Then again, less OP might mean I can fit more burst PDs on my ships, and the extra range might mean normal PD might be enough instead of LR PD.

Polyhit for tactical lasers with IPDAI might be double-edged sword.  Great for zapping more than one missile, unless the missile is between beam ship and a friendly, then laser might not fire at all due to friendly in the way past the missile.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 20, 2014, 01:20:29 AM
beam range is no longer the same range as ballistics means that the high tech AI not only will do damage better, but also stay more safe. A beam ship will be much less likely to instantly die to a few fighters (because of fade reduce they are even better against) or just a few missiles.

Also for the PDAI I do agree with someone in the suggestion noted that it should not friendly fire, so the AI don't screw up so much. Or rather, all PD type weapons should not FF.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 20, 2014, 08:20:52 AM
Quote
beam range is no longer the same range as ballistics means that the high tech AI not only will do damage better, but also stay more safe.
Not completely true, Maulers (one of the best ballistics in the game, and not too rare) and HVDs have 1000 range too, and they fade away past that, not stop like beams.  Against frigates and other small fry that cannot equip more than one medium weapon and/or have terrible flux dissipation, or AI with mediocre configuration; sure beams will be better.  Also, without flux damage bonus, it will be harder for ships to overcome dissipation.  I guess that is why their OP cost will get lowered.  Beams will need Advanced Optics to outrange ballistics other than Gauss Cannon.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 21, 2014, 04:42:23 AM
I could see that these things mentioned would make some beams better in some ways, but worse in others... so couldn't see it as a clear upgrade, but more of a kind of net 'sidegrade' - at least until we get the hard numbers (eg actual OP costs).

Anyway, I've said my piece now, and started a new captain, who plays pretty much the exact opposite of my other main one; which is a nice test of how true my opinions are [most are, some aren't] - so it's back to playing the game, rather than chatting about it, for me.

I look forward to actually playing the new changes, thank the good folks here for their excellent conversation and info, and thank Alex for being such a good sport as the likes of me moan about his coming changes to his baby. :)  If I didn't really love this rare gem of a game, I wouldn't care enough to say anything about it, so it's all motivated by the love of something precious.

Cheers all.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 21, 2014, 07:54:14 PM
Quote
beam range is no longer the same range as ballistics means that the high tech AI not only will do damage better, but also stay more safe.
Not completely true, Maulers (one of the best ballistics in the game, and not too rare) and HVDs have 1000 range too, and they fade away past that, not stop like beams.  Against frigates and other small fry that cannot equip more than one medium weapon and/or have terrible flux dissipation, or AI with mediocre configuration; sure beams will be better.  Also, without flux damage bonus, it will be harder for ships to overcome dissipation.  I guess that is why their OP cost will get lowered.  Beams will need Advanced Optics to outrange ballistics other than Gauss Cannon.

and advanced optics is super easy to get and cost very little op..
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Abradolf Lincler on December 21, 2014, 08:48:13 PM
What I don't understand is if ammo doesn't do anything, why remove it? I have had times when I ran at of ammo, so why waste time removing it when you could do something else?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 22, 2014, 12:32:22 AM
What I don't understand is if ammo doesn't do anything, why remove it? I have had times when I ran at of ammo, so why waste time removing it when you could do something else?
^ THIS!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TheKillerWolf on December 22, 2014, 02:04:07 AM
If we have combat timers why would we have things like ammo? 2 mechanics that stand for the exact same thing.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Canis Lupus on December 22, 2014, 06:12:16 AM
If we have combat timers why would we have things like ammo? 2 mechanics that stand for the exact same thing.

Ammo does not function as a good combat timer mechanic because it mostly affects ballistic-based ships.

Here's what it does:

I think that some of the changes to be introduced in this update are here mainly to simplify and standardize the gaming experience, and not to remove unnecessary, or to improve otherwise broken game mechanics.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 22, 2014, 07:01:48 AM
Quote
and advanced optics is super easy to get and cost very little op..
How?  Advanced Optics requires Applies Physics 7 (high SP cost), a skill I tend to totally ignore (or get 3 at endgame to shield a Cerberus fleet).  The OP cost is not cheap.  The only ships I consider Advanced Optics for is the Wolf and maybe Eagle, and only if I give up missiles (no Annihilators or Swarmers) and do not have Flux Dynamics 10, in which case, all spare points go to more vents.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TheKillerWolf on December 22, 2014, 10:12:50 PM
If we have combat timers why would we have things like ammo? 2 mechanics that stand for the exact same thing.

Ammo does not function as a good combat timer mechanic because it mostly affects ballistic-based ships.

Here's what it does:
  • It impacts the feel of ballistic weapons and differentiates them from energy weapons.
  • There is a psychological component to ammo that grows the more the weapons are used.
  • Ammo is presently an important factor in choosing between some ballistic weapons (e.g. Light Dual Autocannon vs. Railgun, Flak vs. Dual Flak, Hypervelocity vs. Heavy Needler, Heavy Autocannon vs. Heavy Needler, Vulcan Cannon vs. LMG, Gauss vs. Mjolnir, etc.)
  • Mods bring a lot more weapons to the game, and many of those weapons are ammo-restricted.

I think that some of the changes to be introduced in this update are here mainly to simplify and standardize the gaming experience, and not to remove unnecessary, or to improve otherwise broken game mechanics.

i think this is fine since its now "How long can my ship maintain firing x weapon"  I can now focus on what makes weapons good and varied.  In all the instances you provided that ammo is important they all have aspects that make them diff and useful. i cannot see a case were i can say 100% i would pick one over the other.  ive seen people throwing around that ammo gives a "feel" because you have some number at the bottom telling you how long you have left for that gun to be working and combat timers do this just as well since if i sit in a void and fire my guns constantly my timer rolls down. the only thing in the game with "unlimited ammo" are cap ships since at the end of the day you WILL run out of combat timer and your guns will fail. balance can now be focused and things like range, damage type, spread, rate of fire, ect, ect.  people say it makes energy weapons and ballistic too much alike what with the flux change but at the end of the day they are will be VERY diff weapons even with this change even just because of ship mountings.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 22, 2014, 10:28:50 PM
How?  Advanced Optics requires Applies Physics 7 (high SP cost), a skill I tend to totally ignore (or get 3 at endgame to shield a Cerberus fleet).  The OP cost is not cheap.  The only ships I consider Advanced Optics for is the Wolf and maybe Eagle, and only if I give up missiles (no Annihilators or Swarmers) and do not have Flux Dynamics 10, in which case, all spare points go to more vents.

Well Advanced optics is expensive in that case cause you don't have point in tech anyways, where most of them give you more OP anyways...

When playing full tech as primary skill then for most ships I end up taking a few hullmods that are not optimal because too many OP to spend...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: JT on December 23, 2014, 02:35:19 AM
I suppose all I'm concerned with is whether all of these changes are getting rolled in on the back end, or whether we'll still have control over them on the front end.  For instance, I hope the ammunition counter hasn't been completely disabled for ballistic weapons -- i.e., if we wanted to, I hope we can go ahead and add it back in, in mod form, for those weapons we want to have ammo.  If it's actually being handed on down from high that 'no, ballistic weapons no longer have ammo no matter what', then I'll be a sad panda. =P

The flux-boost damage is at least 100% doable in mod code, through a scaled damage bonus, so that's not a major loss.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 23, 2014, 02:41:34 AM
@JT: The ammo and range changes are completely modable, you could even implement them right now and try how they feel. I think about everything is. It's just balancing, not new features, after all.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 23, 2014, 05:54:26 AM
@ Linnis:  I get Technology 7 first, then Combat 10 and Technology 10.  However, I get only Gunnery Implants, +OP skills, Navigation, and maybe Flux Dynamics (mandatory for optimal Hyperion use) out of Technology.  Applied Physics only gives me a tiny increase of flux capacity and hullmods that benefit me only if I build my character around a single ship type or two (e.g., Hardened Shields for Paragon).  My SP is stretched thin at all levels unless I make it to at least about level 55 or so.  Applied Physics is a luxury I cannot afford.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on December 23, 2014, 01:24:45 PM
I suppose all I'm concerned with is whether all of these changes are getting rolled in on the back end, or whether we'll still have control over them on the front end.  For instance, I hope the ammunition counter hasn't been completely disabled for ballistic weapons -- i.e., if we wanted to, I hope we can go ahead and add it back in, in mod form, for those weapons we want to have ammo.  If it's actually being handed on down from high that 'no, ballistic weapons no longer have ammo no matter what', then I'll be a sad panda. =P

The flux-boost damage is at least 100% doable in mod code, through a scaled damage bonus, so that's not a major loss.
Also, Alex is working on a clip based mechanic (Link: https://twitter.com/amosolov/status/545784125484175360 )
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Callabaddie on December 24, 2014, 05:52:17 AM
>clips

>clips

>clips

Alex, even on spaceboats, they're still magazines, goddamn.

Naval guns load ammunition into the firing chamber from a magazine into the turret itself.

They don't have "clips."
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on December 24, 2014, 06:05:26 AM
>clips

>clips

>clips

Alex, even on spaceboats, they're still magazines, goddamn.

Naval guns load ammunition into the firing chamber from a magazine into the turret itself.

They don't have "clips."

I think the way this works, is that instead of a central magazine, they have an autofac. The autofac produces clips of ammunition, which are then loaded into the individual guns' magazines.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: bills6693 on December 24, 2014, 07:17:50 AM
So.... is Alex going to be uploading an update tomorrow? A Christmas miracle?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: JohnDoe on December 24, 2014, 10:47:59 AM
So.... is Alex going to be uploading an update tomorrow? A Christmas miracle?
Last I checked, Santa isn't real.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Canis Lupus on December 24, 2014, 11:31:02 AM
So.... is Alex going to be uploading an update tomorrow? A Christmas miracle?
Last I checked, Santa isn't real.

You don't know what you're talking about.

Santa was born Saint Nicholas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas) in 270 CE and died 343 CE. Jesus resurrected him soon thereafter, and ever since Santa's been living in Norway. Norway feared a Russian attack on Santa and joined NATO in 1949 to protect him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_NATO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_NATO). By 1950 the USA had installed anti-air defenses in Svalbard to defend his toy factory against a possible Russian attack and all was calm until NORAD uncovered a secret plot by the Russians to down Santa's slay while he was heading to West Berlin. Since then, NORAD has been tracking Santa with its best radar and satellites http://www.noradsanta.org/ (http://www.noradsanta.org/) and has prevented numerous Russian intercepts.

If I don't get Starsector 0.65.2a I'll send a letter to Putin to ask him why he scared Santa away this year.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on December 24, 2014, 11:42:27 PM
Wikipedia credible source, Santa real confirmed.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Luna on December 26, 2014, 10:14:01 PM
Maybe instead of unlimited ammo, we could have another objective called "Supply Depots" or whatever that could return 10% of ballistic ammo every 30(?) seconds.

Just a thought. Infinite ammo on ballistics seems unrealistic.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Venatos on December 27, 2014, 03:16:31 AM
i find it reasonable to asume that they bring enough ammo for a battle, at the moment limited ammo is actually an artificial limitation, most of the time you allready know you will need more ammo. but you simply are beeing prevented from loading more.(the singular reason why some ballistics collect dust on the shelfs)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ValkyriaL on December 27, 2014, 05:18:43 AM
a munitions depot on the battlefield to refil ammo at a slow rate would be cool, because unlimited ammo is in every sense unrealistic and impossible, any ship carrying a full load of munitions could only fight for an hour or so at most. a ship can only carry so many shells and missiles in its cargo bay and weapons storages, else it could compromise ship integrity and safety. (storing HE shells missiles and torpedoes in the main corridor ::))

ATM i dont find ammo an issiue, you NEVER run out of ammo before the battle is over, if you do, your either fighting something way above your weight class, or your doing something wrong.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on December 27, 2014, 03:40:23 PM
Chain flagships is the most cost efficient way (for Combat/Technology characters) to battle entire fleets, which are far heavier than a few of the player's ships, and smaller ships limited by ammo will run out.  Of course, ammo-bound ships can retreat and re-engage.

Aside from that, a few weapons are ammo hogs and/or low capacity.  Vulcans can run out of ammo during a serious battle.  I do not use thumpers and HMGs because capacity is so low, even with Expanded Magazines.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TheKillerWolf on December 27, 2014, 09:22:06 PM
Ammo is only unlimited on cap ships.  Shooting your guns lowers timers you WILL run out of ammo on everything else do to your timer taking you into CR% that cause your guns to perma fail. And hes working on magazine based guns it seems. (Please change it from clips!! It bothers my inner gun nut!!)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: JT on December 27, 2014, 10:13:51 PM
We might be able to use "bin" or "box", if we want to capture the feel in four characters or less, but yeah, "magazine" is the true moniker.  Of course, maybe they actually are clips -- replete with a "clink" and a flying chunk of metal away from the ship each time a new magazine is loaded!  That would certainly be unique. =)

As for the argument that limited ammo is an artificial limitation compared to reality, it really isn't.  I'm largely talking out of my butt here since I have no actual naval experience, but this is based more or less on the "big picture" that I've gleaned from various un- to semi-reliable sources on the 'net, for whatever it's worth:

Capital ships do have massive stores of ammunition, it is true -- but only a fraction is available for combat at any time; rounds are continuously loaded according to the specifications and then sent up the munitions elevator for use by the gun crews, with the gun crews maintaining several rounds on hand -- ideally building up a reserve of a couple dozen in case injuries, damcon, etc. prevent the munitions crews from continuing the pace.  This is closest in principle to, say, the pulse laser mechanics, where it rebuilds a round every couple of seconds but can eventually drop to a sputtering pace if rounds are fired too quickly.  For large-calibre autocannons, as opposed to main guns, they often have no more than forty or fifty rounds within the weapon's magazine, but will then need to reload from stores -- by reason of being rather unforgiving of hands and other extremities while active they generally require the weapon to be brought offline for reloading.

All weapons can be reloaded within a couple of hours from stores, but until those stores can be brought up from stowage they remain inaccessible during combat.  Trying to move massive munitions while the ship is performing hard manoeuvres in rough seas has potentially disastrous consequences (not "explosive", but "squishy" as far as the munitions specialists are concerned).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on December 28, 2014, 04:33:00 AM
I think it's actually much more plausible that a ship weapon should use a clip to reload, rather than a detachable magazine. A clip is just a bunch of ammo stored together, while a magazine has a feed mechanism that is part of the mechanic of the weapon. 
- A ship weapon would have all its mechanic contained in itself to be reliable.
- Clips are lighter an thus easier to transport.
- The protective function of a magazine case would be wasted on board an enclosed starship.
- I can easily imagine an autofactory spitting out ammo not in single bullets but with connections, like the parts of a plastic mold (http://www.swannysmodels.com/images/F91/parts1.jpg). That would make for a natural, easy to transport clip and explain the whole mechanic.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 28, 2014, 06:31:01 AM
If we have combat timers why would we have things like ammo? 2 mechanics that stand for the exact same thing.

The two mechanics reward/punish opposed ways of fighting (all else being equal etc):-

1 Limited ammo, no combat timer: Rewards accurate and disciplined fire; punishes spray and pray.

2 Combat timer, no limited ammo: Rewards spray and pray; punishes accurate and disciplined fire.

I find #1 to be more satisfying, so if I had to choose one or t'other I'd prefer that.  The ideal wouldn't be so binary, and would be an interesting balance between the two (eg the magazine mechanic idea) - which allows more room for diverse builds... rather than devolving into no-brainer guns and guns that are only ever vendor trash.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Captain Pugh on December 28, 2014, 08:44:52 AM
@Gothars: By 'magazine', I don't think that folks are meaning detachable box magazines, but 'magazine' is the generic term for the place where ammo is stored; whether that be in the ship's main magazine or ready to use in the mounting itself.  It's 'clip' that has the specific meaning: a strip with some rounds lined up in it that is then inserted into the magazine - from there you push the rounds into the magazine and remove the clip (usually; sometimes the clip gets ejected in some other way).

You see this mostly with WWI/WWII rifles, before detachable box magazines were commonly used.

@JT and generally: How ammo is dealt with in ships is mostly down to how powerful that ammo is, what would happen if that part of the ship were hit with that ammo in it, and how much mass and expense it takes to armour the path that the ammo travels.  Smaller rounds can be stored in the 'turret' (cupola) itself; main gun rounds tend to be kept (with powder charges and projectiles kept on different decks, both comprising the magazine) deep in the armoured citadel and hoisted up to the turret as needed, with heavy doors to prevent a hit that penetrates the cupola sending a flash all the way back into the magazine.

[There's some evidence that part of the problem with some British capital ships exploding way too easily in WWI was that there was an obsession with having a higher rate of fire; so orders were sent out to cut safety corners to this end.  Main gun ammo may have been stored in cupolas and some elevator blast doors may have been disabled in order to get that RoF up... but then what should have been fairly 'minor' cupola hits detonated the ready ammo lying around and sent an unopposed flash right down to the magazine.  There may have also been a problem, at around that time anyway, with the cordite being stored for too long, but we'll probably never really know for sure... though it's sure fun reading naval historians debating this. :)]

I can imagine that most of the Starsector gun mountings will follow the design of some of the slicker mounts used today (eg OTO-Melara 127 mm/64 LW), as mentioned by JT, where there are ready to use magazines in the cupola, that thus offer a temporary high RoF (or/and instant selection of different types of rounds); but the below-deck main magazine is still the usual one (the most heavily armoured part of the ship) as described above.  Once you've fired off the cupola magazines, then feed/RoF is slow from the main magazine, and if there's a break in the fighting, the cupola magazines can be refilled... though this takes time.

The very powerful cap ship main guns (if chem powered) would follow the more classical battleship feed system, for the same reason.  But this then makes the magazine a point of catastrophic failure (that costs loads of mass to protect properly), so if these ships can manufacture ammo in a more mass-efficient way, rather than store loads of it in magazines, then that'll defo be the way forward.

It may well be more efficient to manufacture clips of ammo, which then get fed into the magazine; the number of rounds in each clip being governed by that not being catastrophic for the ship if any part of the system that feeds that clip to the magazine gets hit, which will be linear with the gun's power.  In other words, what HartLord wrote:- ;D

I think the way this works, is that instead of a central magazine, they have an autofac. The autofac produces clips of ammunition, which are then loaded into the individual guns' magazines.

Just a few thoughts in terms of how the mechanic could work, continuing the high verisimilitude/immersion of the game... I'm sure Alex has bigger fish to fry, but it'd save him a lot of future angst from purists :D if there's even just a tiny bit of flavour text that shows that the 'clips' being mentioned actually are literal clips.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Aeson on December 28, 2014, 11:00:05 AM
Quote
- I can easily imagine an autofactory spitting out ammo not in single bullets but with connections, like the parts of a plastic mold (http://www.swannysmodels.com/images/F91/parts1.jpg). That would make for a natural, easy to transport clip and explain the whole mechanic.
As for using an autofactory to manufacture ammunition as needed, I can only say that I cannot see this as being practical. The additional power required to run a factory is an unnecessary strain on the ship's reactors during a battle, and the space required to fit the factory (and possibly the extra reactors or the larger reactor required to run the factory on top of everything else required for battle) is in my opinion likely to cost you more space than you save by storing raw metal and the components for any explosives and propellant instead of complete shells. On top of that, manufacturing your ammunition is most likely slower than pulling it out of wherever you keep it when it's not in the ready magazines. I also doubt that it's significantly safer to store the components and manufacture the ammunition and propellant as needed than it is to just store the ammunition and propellant.

Quote
2 Combat timer, no limited ammo: Rewards spray and pray; punishes accurate and disciplined fire.
I don't know that I'd quite say that the timer rewards spray and pray, as you still have a time pressure on your engagement and so accuracy still matters though having unlimited ammunition does remove the need to conserve ammunition and attempt to employ it for best effect rather than simply keeping a steady stream of fire on the target.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: angrytigerp on December 28, 2014, 02:43:49 PM
I have to ask, what is the point of having balli and energy weapons now if there really isn't any difference between the two?

This, pretty much. The only differentiation will be hardpoint/turret compatibility, and if you were thinking along the lines of "flux bonus is gimmicky" or "ammo is an unnecessary resource", then think about the fact that you are now making it so that ships are primarily differentiated through the available slots. There's no real difference now between high- and low-tech ship paradigms now, as the only difference between the two will now be whether they go PEW PEW PEW or BZZZZZT.

Having ballistic weapons require ammo was a sacrifice at higher levels of gameplay, but it also had strategic value, especially as you got newer ships with universal slots -- slap in Ballistic weapons for better overall DPS, at the risk of having them run out if the battle ran too long, or go with Energy weapons for steady, if lower, DPS with no risk of running out of ammo. Now there's just going to be objectively 'best' weapons, in terms of DPS, and players will be rushing to either get the ship(s) that support that/those weapon(s), and everything else falls by the wayside. No more keeping low-tech 'brawlers' in your fleet composition because they have better short-term offensive ability, you might as well just stick with universal-slotted high-tech ships with better shields and reactors.

EDIT: I also realize I'm quoting from the first page of replies, didn't even think about the fact that there's been like 3 weeks of conversation on the topic; so if what I said has already been debunked/explained/accounted for, please ignore me.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on December 28, 2014, 07:22:09 PM
I have to ask, what is the point of having balli and energy weapons now if there really isn't any difference between the two?

This, pretty much. The only differentiation will be hardpoint/turret compatibility, and if you were thinking along the lines of "flux bonus is gimmicky" or "ammo is an unnecessary resource", then think about the fact that you are now making it so that ships are primarily differentiated through the available slots. There's no real difference now between high- and low-tech ship paradigms now, as the only difference between the two will now be whether they go PEW PEW PEW or BZZZZZT.

Having ballistic weapons require ammo was a sacrifice at higher levels of gameplay, but it also had strategic value, especially as you got newer ships with universal slots -- slap in Ballistic weapons for better overall DPS, at the risk of having them run out if the battle ran too long, or go with Energy weapons for steady, if lower, DPS with no risk of running out of ammo. Now there's just going to be objectively 'best' weapons, in terms of DPS, and players will be rushing to either get the ship(s) that support that/those weapon(s), and everything else falls by the wayside. No more keeping low-tech 'brawlers' in your fleet composition because they have better short-term offensive ability, you might as well just stick with universal-slotted high-tech ships with better shields and reactors.

EDIT: I also realize I'm quoting from the first page of replies, didn't even think about the fact that there's been like 3 weeks of conversation on the topic; so if what I said has already been debunked/explained/accounted for, please ignore me.

I disagree with this. Hardpoint/turret compatibility is a HUGE difference; universal slots are exceptionally rare on vanilla ships. Ballistics and energy have large differences in flux/damage ratios, per hit shot damage, per weapon dps abilities, range, and damage types. A tempest, while a very fast and powerful ship, has energy weapons. It cannot be kitted out as a shield piercer, or throw heavy mauler rounds from 1000 range. This is a key element of the ship balance in the game.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on December 28, 2014, 09:36:49 PM
Also, the statement that there's no difference between high-tech and low-tech ships other than their now-more-similar weapons is easily shown to be false just by looking at their stat sheets.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SQW on January 04, 2015, 10:37:09 PM
Remember the weapon load out in games like Mechwarrior?

Ballistic = heavy damage, low heat but limited ammo
Energy = average damage, high heat but unlimited ammo

That system really emphasizes the pro/con of weapon selection.

The new proposed system for Starfarer makes weapon choices seem somewhat less important. Blasting away with kinetic currently doesn't feel much different from using pulse lasers regardless of ammo.

Maybe tweak the damage profile of weapon types (and hull/armor value to compensate) to make things more dynamic? Personally, I edit the armor in the excel file for all the ships so anything other than explosives does squat to a fully armored battleship.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on January 05, 2015, 07:07:50 AM
Maybe tweak the damage profile of weapon types (and hull/armor value to compensate) to make things more dynamic? Personally, I edit the armor in the excel file for all the ships so anything other than explosives does squat to a fully armored battleship.

I find 100% max armor blocking to be fun, too. 8 machine guns blast you and do 2 armor damage. :P
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: BillyRueben on January 05, 2015, 07:12:13 AM
I think the game lost everything that was fun about it when Alex removed ammo. Now it's just unplayable.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Modest on January 05, 2015, 09:06:24 AM
Quote
I think the game lost everything that was fun about it when Alex removed ammo. Now it's just unplayable.

Aren't You exagerrating a bit?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on January 05, 2015, 09:34:52 AM
Quote
I think the game lost everything that was fun about it when Alex removed ammo. Now it's just unplayable.

Aren't You exagerrating a bit?

Don't be modest, Billy's statement is completely ridiculous. If it's parody, then lol. If it's not parody, then lel.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: DelicateTask on January 05, 2015, 12:20:35 PM
I've only read the first 3 pages of replies to this, but things usually repeat after that much time anyway, the only difference being that people start to get in fights over it. That said, I'd like to mention some things that don't seem to have been covered (in what little I've read).

This whole patch (or at least the part people are going crazy over) seems to revolve around balancing. There is an attempt here to make weapons more equal and remove obvious advantages. However, I think that this may not always be a good path to take. Right now, what I'm seeing is a bid to make all weapons viable by removing extraneous systems and simplifying groups of weapons. As an alternative, four in-game systems that can offer balance solutions are Credit cost, OP cost, CR/Logistics, and scarcity/rarity.

Cost in credits:
If we're going to make all weapons equally effective, then shouldn't they all cost the same? Why even bother with pricing? I think that there is room for ineffective and overpowered weapons if prices reflect that. Maybe the zomglaz0r is far more powerful than the failcannon, but if I can only afford failcannons then I will equip them. Later, if I have lots of money, I'll have the choice between buying a new ship, weapons, and crew for it, or a zomglaz0r for my flagship. I should be able to buy power. At some point, if I'm rich enough, I should be able to afford the best. It wouldn't make much sense if I was fabulously wealthy and my famous fleet had the same mediocre weapons as every pirate rabble in the system.

Cost in Ordinance Points:
People occasionally bring up OP when discussing balance, but it doesn't seem to be much of a focus. I think OP is another fantastic way to balance weapons while maintaining diversity. If the zomglaz0r costs 25 OP to mount and the failcannons cost 4 each, then I'll have to make another choice. Do I equip a single super weapon to my ship and use it to punch out enemy ships, or do I equip several smaller weapons to provide more coverage or defense? OP is the great equalizer because if you want top-of-the-line weapons then you can't have as many hullmods or vents or capacitors or what have you. On the other hand, you could have a ship with loads of bonuses but only average weapons. If your weapons are well balanced in regards to OP, then you should have good balance overall because nobody is going to leave OP unused. They will always to so some purpose.

CR/Logistics:
"It would be un-balanced if you could crush everyone with those superior weapons!" Thanks to CR and logistics, I can't have too many battles in a row without suffering a lot. CR is a good way to rein in players and prevent aggression without consideration for consequences. Maybe objectively better weapons could have additional upkeep supply cost. If I don't keep those superconductive quantum-plasma diffuser matrices oiled, we're going to have some problems firing the zomglaz0r. Or maybe they cause ships to use more CR on deployment. Those dilithium crystals provide extra power, but they need longer to recharge. When CR was first introduced, Alex made a point of how it would provide a tie-in between the campaign and individual battles. By causing equipped weapons to have an effect on CR, you can further tie player choices into this system and make them feel the effects of their decisions. The greatest fleet in the universe would need lots of logistical support to keep things running smoothly, after all.

Scarcity:
If a weapon is considered unusually powerful compared to others, don't dumb it down or raise everything else, make it rare! I can't create an unstoppable fleet outfitted with ultimate disintegration blasters if I can't find more than two of them. I remember when Tachyon Lances were terrifying and a Paragon would make me think twice. Now the TL is situational at best and the Paragon is no longer as scary. The TL got "balanced", you see, and now it's not worth using. It was considered overpowered, and now it's nothing. It was exciting back then because it was powerful and if I wanted one, I'd have to shell out a ton of money for the only one in stock or go toe-to-toe with a Paragon and hope I lived long enough to have it drop one.



Everyone seems concerned with how these changes in 0.65.2a will affect things/ruin the game forever, but I think that these changes may be an overcomplicated attempt to bring balance without instead utilizing some of the great mechanics which are already in the game. Don't homogenize things in an attempt to bring balance, embrace diversity! Use OP and Credit costs to balance superior weapons. I don't want to play a game where my "superweapon" is as lackluster as a pirate's pop-gun. I enjoy the early-game when I don't have enough money for light autocannons so I have to buy arbalests and hope for the best. Make things unequal and force me to improvise! Make me work hard for better rewards so that they are truly rewards.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on January 05, 2015, 02:19:03 PM
I think the ballistic weapon changes (and the timers added to ships) is more because you could cause fleets to waste all their ammo with a ship like the Medusa or the Wolf, and then easily destroy them, rather than any weapons being especially imbalanced.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: DelicateTask on January 05, 2015, 03:16:35 PM
I think the ballistic weapon changes (and the timers added to ships) is more because you could cause fleets to waste all their ammo with a ship like the Medusa or the Wolf, and then easily destroy them, rather than any weapons being especially imbalanced.

I remember a year or so ago when some guy took a frigate and soloed a Hegemony SDF with it. That seemed to be the main inspiration for the addition of CR, because Alex didn't want people to play the game like that (at least that's the impression I got). I wonder if it was ever considered that maybe some people enjoy doing things like that. Maybe there's too much effort being put into forcing people to play a certain way. The addition of CR loss to all but capitals feels like we're being forced to make our battles quick. I really enjoyed picking a fast flagship and using it to capture objectives and chase down escaping ships over the course of a long, hard fought engagement. I don't think there's anything wrong with someone choosing to kite a ship for half an hour trying to waste all of its ammo because that's the player's choice. I sometimes like to push the limits of what's possible in the game and other times I just want to win quickly, but either way I like to have the option to do what I feel like.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on January 05, 2015, 04:01:37 PM
But aren't those people the kind of people who go out of their way to challenge themselves? Wouldn't these changes create an even greater challenge?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: angrytigerp on January 05, 2015, 04:58:02 PM
Stuff

While I've always fallen firmly in the "people should be able to play like they want" camp when it comes to debates about using cheats, exploits, or even built-in mechanics, etc., especially in single-player games, I can appreciate that the SS devs are trying to really push the aspect of the player feeling like they need to deploy in strength to meet a large enemy force. It's kind of like playing something like Total War, and saying that it's unfair that you can't just have a single stack of some basic infantrymen fight off an entire mixed force of infantrymen, artillery, cavalry, etc. That's not what the TW devs wanted; they wanted the player to have to form their own mixed force to counter the threat in kind.

Yeah, to some extent the player should have freedom to play as they want, and I will point out that there's plenty of room for modding the game to allow this 'solo experience' to remain present in the game. That said, the devs have made it clear that their goal is to have large-scale wars between the player and their enemies, and while some may find it inconvenient to have to deal with things like CR limits, or prefer having a super-powered mary sue frigate to singlehandedly take over the sector in the spirit of more arcade-y 'space games', that's not the aim of the vanilla SS experience. It's meant to be a large-scale, full-out war in the later stages of the game. And to that extent, the devs will likely keep developing in that direction -- forcing players to limit deployment size and time based on logistical limits (represented as DP and CR, respectively) and making it so that all ships of all classes have a role to play in fleet engagements (with the obvious exception of auxiliary and logistical ships).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: phantomime on January 06, 2015, 01:09:46 AM
Quote
combat balance pass:

    Removed energy weapon bonus damage from high flux level
    Increased damage values for non-beam energy weapons by roughly 25% to compensate
    Beam weapons:
        Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
        Increased range for PD Laser and LR PD Laser
        Slightly reduced OP cost for all beam weapons
        Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles (they damage missiles, but pass through them and can hit other things)
        Greatly reduced fade in/out time for most beams
    Missiles:
        Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
        Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
        Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds
    Ballistic weapons:
        Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay
        Reduced OP cost of Light Dual MG
    Ships
        Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates
            Roughly 5-7 minutes for destroyers and 7-9 for cruisers
            High-tech/faster ships have shorter timers
        Sunder: increased top speed, acceleration, and flux capacity. Reduced shield efficiency.
        Brawler/Shepherd: increased burn level by 1 (to 6)
        Condor: reduced supplies/day by 1 (to 4)

I have to jump on the 'bring back ammo' band wagon, mostly because it offsets the power level of ballistics. IMO balistics should be super cheep in terms of flux generation, and SOME are, but I wish more were.. it would make Low Tier ships significantly more difficult to tangle with as opposed to - it fires twice, it's at 1/2 flux, I fire 1 reaper torp, it overloads, I empty missiles into its guts. GG.

Ballistics... wtf?

I like that low tier ships generally have high armor values but crap shields, and wish you guys played that up more than 'energy weapons and missiles are the ***.' I dont believe nurfing-buffing energy weapons is a  good idea IMO - the 'high flux = bonus damage' is really cool factor for energy weapons and it DOES (as has been said) push you to potentially over extend yourself, which is good for a high tech ship, they are crazy risk-reward ships and quite brutally effective, and this just makes it easier to play them, which shouldnt be the case.

I say this because it again creates a heavy disparity between high-tech and low-tech ships. High tech ships have awesome hardpoints, speed, flux cap, shields, OP, abilities, (consider, if you will, ANY of the high tech frigates, and the Medusa) where as the low tech ships, like the enforcer are very very type cast, neutered by a crap tonne of ballistic hardpoints, that, if you want semi sustainable direct fire, they are hideously inaccurate, low damage (ish), and MONSTEROUS on the flux generation - and its HARD flux!

Beam Range
I like the different ranges as they are on the various mentioned beams, it makes each feel unique and even if it doesnt make much sense (lazors in space and all) uniqueness in weapons is a GOOD THING - there is actually a reason to take the Graviton Beam over the Phase Beam aside from just the OP difference. this is GOOD!



[tl:dr] THE POINT...
Personally, I am all about leaving energy alone and just buffing ballistics by giving at least most of them positive dps:flux generation ratios and leaving ammo on them, or even buffing the ammo on them by +10-20%.
Missiles, these arent too bad, as they arent overly powerful, though the buff to the MIRV makes the Onslaught more disgusting.



more...



Buffalo..

..why?

I like the changes to destroyers and cruisers loosing combat efficiency, the downside is it hurts destroyers more, and they arent a super-powerful ship niche, at least tech level matters, as the ultra low-tier Buffalo missile support destroyer is in NO way comparable to any other destroyer. changing its ability from 'flares' (honestly, the last thing that is gonna kill it is missiles) to 'fast missile racks,' 'burn drive,' or even 'point defense drones' would be a gigantic step up for a ship who's only reason to be played, EVER, over ANY frigate, was its immunity to CR degradation.


Aurora..

is too good. especially late. it solo's fleets. Onslaught fleets..

The beam change is both good and bad for it, good in that all those tactical lasers I like to use just got a +400range buff and will hit the same stuff as the Phase Beams, bad in that those very very few times when I have a gigantic buildup of flux, they dont do a lot more damage when compounded with its 'high energy focus' ability (hint: only happens against Onslaughts, and usually doesnt matter).
-Something in terms of its maneuverability, speed, or durability (shield) should probably change.

-Aside, but related: increasing the reload time of ALL Torpedoes as a trade-off to the colossal damage bonus they get from the lv10 buff in the 'Missile Specialization' skill tree.


ALL Cloaking Ships..

more flux generation when activating cloak, or more flux generation while cloaked, or slower. they are death to anything that isnt tweaked to crap, simply due to the twitch factor of the AI.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on January 06, 2015, 02:07:33 AM
Quote
-snip-
I have to jump on the 'bring back ammo' band wagon, mostly because it offsets the power level of ballistics. IMO balistics should be super cheep in terms of flux generation, and SOME are, but I wish more were.. it would make Low Tier ships significantly more difficult to tangle with as opposed to - it fires twice, it's at 1/2 flux, I fire 1 reaper torp, it overloads, I empty missiles into its guts. GG.

Ballistics... wtf?
I like that low tier ships generally have high armor values but crap shields, and wish you guys played that up more than 'energy weapons and missiles are the ***.' I dont believe nurfing-buffing energy weapons is a  good idea IMO - the 'high flux = bonus damage' is really cool factor for energy weapons and it DOES (as has been said) push you to potentially over extend yourself, which is good for a high tech ship, they are crazy risk-reward ships and quite brutally effective, and this just makes it easier to play them, which shouldnt be the case.

I say this because it again creates a heavy disparity between high-tech and low-tech ships. High tech ships have awesome hardpoints, speed, flux cap, shields, OP, abilities, (consider, if you will, ANY of the high tech frigates, and the Medusa) where as the low tech ships, like the enforcer are very very type cast, neutered by a crap tonne of ballistic hardpoints, that, if you want semi sustainable direct fire, they are hideously inaccurate, low damage (ish), and MONSTEROUS on the flux generation - and its HARD flux!

Beam Range
I like the different ranges as they are on the various mentioned beams, it makes each feel unique and even if it doesnt make much sense (lazors in space and all) uniqueness in weapons is a GOOD THING - there is actually a reason to take the Graviton Beam over the Phase Beam aside from just the OP difference. this is GOOD!

THE POINT...
Personally, I am all about leaving energy alone and just buffing ballistics by giving at least most of them positive dps:flux generation ratios and leaving ammo on them, or even buffing the ammo on them by +10-20%.
Missiles, these arent too bad, as they arent overly powerful, though the buff to the MIRV makes the Onslaught more disgusting.

more...

Buffalo...why?

I like the changes to destroyers and cruisers loosing combat efficiency, the downside is it hurts destroyers more, and they arent a super-powerful ship niche, at least tech level matters, as the ultra low-tier Buffalo missile support destroyer is in NO way comparable to any other destroyer. changing its ability from 'flares' (honestly, the last thing that is gonna kill it is missiles) to 'fast missile racks,' 'burn drive,' or even 'point defense drones' would be a gigantic step up for a ship who's only reason to be played, EVER, over ANY frigate, was its immunity to CR degradation.

Aurora... is too good. especially late. it solo's fleets. Onslaught fleets..
The beam change is both good and bad for it, good in that all those tactical lasers I like to use just got a +400range buff and will hit the same stuff as the Phase Beams, bad in that those very very few times when I have a gigantic buildup of flux, they dont do a lot more damage when compounded with its 'high energy focus' ability (hint: only happens against Onslaughts, and usually doesnt matter).
-Something in terms of its maneuverability, speed, or durability (shield) should probably change.

-Aside, but related: increasing the reload time of ALL Torpedoes as a trade-off to the colossal damage bonus they get from the lv10 buff in the 'Missile Specialization' skill tree.

ALL Cloaking Ships..

more flux generation when activating cloak, or more flux generation while cloaked, or slower. they are death to anything that isnt tweaked to crap, simply due to the twitch factor of the AI.
About Ballistic weapons being weak:
What ships are you fighting that are maxing their flux so quickly with ballistics? The only ship that I can think of is the Onslaught but that is mainly because it likes to fire EVERYTHING at you, many times with its crap shield raised... Usually it is Energy weapons that are flux hungry

About beam range:
I agree with the uniqueness aspect of the different ranges and while they might be getting a "buff" in one or two areas, they are mostly getting nerfed by the loss of the flux boost AND not getting the +25% damage boost. Hell, one beam, that many already don't choose, is getting nerfed even more: The HIL. Not only is it not getting a damage boost but it is also LOSING 20% of its only really good stat: range! (going from 1250 to 1000)

About the Buffalo: (Most likely the MK.II)
I hate to break it to you, but this ship DOES already have a CR timer! Yes I know it is sad... And I agree that the system should be something different, like FMR
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on January 06, 2015, 03:30:38 AM
Ballistics are more flux-efficient, but low-tech ships have way worse flux stats and more weapon mounts to spend flux on.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on January 06, 2015, 03:39:54 AM
Beams are not main weapons, they are always support, if your killing something with beams that means you can kill it way faster with something way smaller using ballistics.

Making them have 1k range and 20% less damage just make this more true.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on January 06, 2015, 09:09:06 AM
Every time I look at the blog and see that the last post was two months ago I make a sadface.

Spoiler
Yes, I know we've gone longer without posts. Still doesn't stop my sadfaces.
[close]
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SQW on January 06, 2015, 07:00:25 PM
^ I feel you man.

And I don't even care about the 0.65.2a changes tbh.

I just want a more fleshed out economy system so I can play 2D Elite with Starfarer. At this rate, I should just check back in May.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on January 06, 2015, 09:38:28 PM
Give Alex a break, this patch went trough christmas and newyears.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Velox on January 06, 2015, 10:01:47 PM

Honestly, I'd be perfectly happy for the next few months if the crash-to-desktop bug related to saved variants were fixed and that was the only change.  I'd just managed to capture a Conquest.  :(
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Voyager I on January 10, 2015, 11:03:44 AM
Ballistics are more flux-efficient, but low-tech ships have way worse flux stats and more weapon mounts to spend flux on.

Turn off your shields unless you're about to take a big hit of HE damage or are fighting at noncommittal ranges.  Your shields have terrible efficiency and using them to absorb damage in a brawl will quickly leave you capped out and unable to return fire.  Instead, let your thick armor do its job and turn all that into hard flux for whatever poor bastard is trying to go toe-to-toe with you.


I am also kind of amazed by how much blowback there has been about the ammunition changes given that the mechanic was almost entirely cosmetic aside from making like three weapons sorta bad (since they were never meant to have limited ammo as a balancing mechanic) and messing with Mega's gimmicky challenge runs.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: BillyRueben on January 10, 2015, 01:33:17 PM
I am also kind of amazed by how much blowback there has been about the ammunition changes given that the mechanic was almost entirely cosmetic aside from making like three weapons sorta bad (since they were never meant to have limited ammo as a balancing mechanic) and messing with Mega's gimmicky challenge runs.

It's a nothing change. Had it not been on the patch notes, I'd wager half of the people playing wouldn't even had noticed.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: pigreko on January 10, 2015, 01:54:29 PM
late response, yet I want to leave my feedback so here I am.

Beams needed a little bit of love, and I see some was given. In the comments I read about the idea of defining a proper beam-damage type, which I would love to see since they really works in a unique way without being a proper kind of weapon.

CR, it is a mechanic I currently hate cause it is pushing a kind of conservative yet surreal way of playing via exploiting the other fleet Cr. Just that. I wish for it to be something to consider yet not to be abused, like fuel and supplies.
To be honest I was thinking about the mechanic of deployment and reinforce as a less and less interesting one. I mean, I would love to have to defend my cargo ship from a pirate raid, yet I can just deploy my flag ship and play safe...

Infinite ammunition. I understand that the staying power will be determined by the CR and not the ammo, and it is sensible for a capital ship to have an auto factory for bullets (it should cost supplies or other materials) so the mechanic is outdated... but then, just make a subsystem to give ballistic weapons infinite ammo, so that even a destroyer may have it and most capital ships receive it by default, yet frigates probably don't... and maybe even reduce the ammo of some weapon to give the system more value. I mean, the running out of ammo is a "cool" situation to be in, or better, it is cool to have to manage ammo.

Well the same could be said about missiles, just make a little system to add this auto-factory. After all this is also part of the flavour of this verse.



Love.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Shoat on January 10, 2015, 03:28:17 PM
I am also kind of amazed by how much blowback there has been about the ammunition changes given that the mechanic was almost entirely cosmetic aside from making like three weapons sorta bad (since they were never meant to have limited ammo as a balancing mechanic) and messing with Mega's gimmicky challenge runs.

It's a nothing change. Had it not been on the patch notes, I'd wager half of the people playing wouldn't even had noticed.

The most important thing here is that alex leaves options. Yes, ammo is for the most part flavor (just like the flux damage bonus), but that is actually a decently important part of the game.

We can argue about it all we want, in the end all that counts is that those who like ammo can turn it on in the weapon_data.csv of their mod (or their starfarer-core) so that "no ammo" is the new default, but not the only thing that's mechanically possible.



In my opinion the optional solution (though probably too much work to implement) would be to replace fixed ammo by actual reloading mechanics which are more realistic for ballistic weapons than the current "single bullet at a time even while the gun is shooting" option (a ballistic gun has a magazine size X and when it's empty that gun is disabled for Y seconds while being reloaded, lower combat readiness slows the reloading process or makes it randomly interrupt and restart), thus leaving ballistic weapons feeling like low-tech but still removing the "you're completely out" situation.
Flux damage bonus was something I liked, but it's understandable to remove it from vanilla due to it making balance slightly difficult (I do want it to be available as a mod option, though, I hate when options just get removed completely forever).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on January 10, 2015, 04:09:15 PM
The only change I am concerned about is beams, specifically the loss of damage.  I am not sure if the range and OP cost changes will offset that.

Quote
Beams are not main weapons, they are always support, if your killing something with beams that means you can kill it way faster with something way smaller using ballistics.
This was not immediately obvious when I first played Starsector.  Back then, I thought graviton beam was an excellent shield killer weapon because of kinetic damage.  What a fool I was.  Eventually, I discovered the best shield-killer weapon for the likes of a Wolf is the heavy blaster.  Beams really should get their own damage type, so people not familiar with everything will not mistake that beams are simply more efficient and prettier pulse lasers like I did.

The best status condition to inflict on the enemy is death, not paralysis or insert other standard status effect.  The best support weapons are those that kill the enemy as quickly as possible.

Quote
Turn off your shields unless you're about to take a big hit of HE damage or are fighting at noncommittal ranges.  Your shields have terrible efficiency and using them to absorb damage in a brawl will quickly leave you capped out and unable to return fire.  Instead, let your thick armor do its job and turn all that into hard flux for whatever poor bastard is trying to go toe-to-toe with you.
Frigates and/or most high-tech ships are too squishy to take hits.  Some ships can tank well, but not all.  Also, without Damage Control 10, taking hits even on hardy ships like Dominator will take its toll in big, long fights with one flagship vs. enemy armada.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: phantomime on January 11, 2015, 05:07:22 PM
Ballistics are more flux-efficient, but low-tech ships have way worse flux stats and more weapon mounts to spend flux on.

I think my issue is that I disagree with the tier system and would rather see useful diversity across all ships rather than being REQUIRED to hover over Tri-Tachyon's Achman(?) Station like a vulture waiting for the juicy OP stuff to pop up.
And yes, this is after grinding with a wolf or whatever to the point where you have the relations needed to access them.

-this means that the heavy 'challenge' aspect of the game currently, IMO, is in surviving/abusing food trade to the point where you can get a decent combat ship, then you grind crappy pirates, save enough to do a few BULK food trades, get your first 100-200k, pick up an Aurora (cause you have been grinding Tri-Tachyon space and the things are only uncommon, as opposed to sadistically rare like that frigate that can actually teleport as opposed to Phase Skim (the name is lost on me, but in 48lv worth of game play I have never once seen one for sale anywhere, in anycase, once you have the Aurora in hand, its time to solo fleets; cyclone reaper launcher, 4 small reapers, i dont even care what you use for your energy hard points, dont autofire them all unless they are beams or PD, missile specialization 10, augmented thrusters, front shield generator, and shield hardening for kicks.. its time to kill everything this game can throw at you.)

The only change I am concerned about is beams, specifically the loss of damage.  I am not sure if the range and OP cost changes will offset that.

Quote
Beams are not main weapons, they are always support, if your killing something with beams that means you can kill it way faster with something way smaller using ballistics.
This was not immediately obvious when I first played Starsector.  Back then, I thought graviton beam was an excellent shield killer weapon because of kinetic damage.  What a fool I was.  Eventually, I discovered the best shield-killer weapon for the likes of a Wolf is the heavy blaster.  Beams really should get their own damage type, so people not familiar with everything will not mistake that beams are simply more efficient and prettier pulse lasers like I did.

I get that the Tactical Laser is a support weapon. Beams in general occupy a position in the weapon 'tree' of being the most Efficient weapons in the game, making them excellent secondary weapons. I agree with this. Blasters are amazing. all of them. Hands down. Early game, good luck getting more than the starting blaster, for me, finding even mining ones were hard early on. god help you if your starting blaster wolf goes a'splodin. It doesnt make sense to penalize a weapon that had a fairly risky quirk (energy damage based on flux level - honestly, so long as this scaled almost exactly with your % flux level, say maxing at +100% damage at 99% flux load, its fine, hell, evening making it so that it could only reach +50% damage at 99% flux load would be fine), especially when the better weapons are all fairly subject to availability <- and OMG does that ever apply to Ballistics.

WTF mortars? if you have a build that makes GOOD use of those PLEASE pm Me.



Quote
The best status condition to inflict on the enemy is death, not paralysis or insert other standard status effect.  The best support weapons are those that kill the enemy as quickly as possible.

Quote
Turn off your shields unless you're about to take a big hit of HE damage or are fighting at noncommittal ranges.  Your shields have terrible efficiency and using them to absorb damage in a brawl will quickly leave you capped out and unable to return fire.  Instead, let your thick armor do its job and turn all that into hard flux for whatever poor bastard is trying to go toe-to-toe with you.
Frigates and/or most high-tech ships are too squishy to take hits.  Some ships can tank well, but not all.  Also, without Damage Control 10, taking hits even on hardy ships like Dominator will take its toll in big, long fights with one flagship vs. enemy armada.


early game you dont always have the firepower, range, speed to get a straight up kill in a fight. thus the place for the Phase beam and EMP in general. the Aurora is the best ship I know that can do what you mention here, simply because it has an alpha strike of over 14000damage. (I use Atropse(?)x4 torps, with reapers, it is substantially more.)

Turning off your shields... yaa.... early ships, HAVE armor, its true.. vs beams this isnt a big issue, except... the enforcer and dominator unfortunately have no room for flux to even fire all of their guns fairly consistently with the shields down. they run flux heavy such that using their shields sparingly, still means, when they are up and you take a big, say a reaper, hit, its gg. sure you arent DEAD. Yet. but torp bombers being ***, and you being overloaded, that usually changes quick.

The Doom is a great example of an Armor tanker.. but again, its a high-tier beast, with an AMAZING non-shield shield that the AI will abuse until it literally overloads itself. This is actually the ONLY fleet in the game I have found that gives me no end of grief - the mostly Cloaker fleet. it REQUIRES constant focus on 1 ship and or everyone grouping up in a ball so that Burst PD can kill. (no this isnt a fast fight, and their fleet can apply more dps than you can simply because it phases out 99.9% of it and actually has decent armor despite being very high-tier.)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on January 11, 2015, 07:51:36 PM
Quote
Early game, good luck getting more than the starting blaster, for me, finding even mining ones were hard early on. god help you if your starting blaster wolf goes a'splodin.
That applies to all weapons not on the open market (and open market has no energy weapon other than mining laser), since they need welcoming or better to access (barring lucky black market finds).  By the time I get high enough relations with one faction to access weapons, it is midgame already.

If my Wolf explodes early in the game, it is time for me to rage quit and reload.

Before 0.65, mortar used to be viable early game weapon when player can buy a Lasher after one fight, and Wolf and Lasher had omni shields.  Now, in 0.65, by the time the player can buy a Lasher, he probably has better.  Plus, there is the suicide exploit to get a Lasher with assault guns and machine guns (and Salamanders) for the price of a damaged shuttle.

Quote
early game you dont always have the firepower, range, speed to get a straight up kill in a fight. thus the place for the Phase beam and EMP in general. the Aurora is the best ship I know that can do what you mention here, simply because it has an alpha strike of over 14000damage. (I use Atropse(?)x4 torps, with reapers, it is substantially more.)
Even in early game, I still want high offense for faster kills because of peak performance.  Unskilled Wolf with heavy blaster can probably handle two frigates before peak performance times out.  As it gets more skills, it can take on more and more.

Reapers are great, but only for the player flagship with Missile Specialization 10, and only few ships can carry enough to last the whole fight.  AI is conservative with Reapers.

For fast kills, I mean high DPS assault weapons instead of low DPS, efficient weapons that any ship can use.  For example, blasters or pulse lasers instead of beams.

Phase beam is worthless, less range and efficiency than graviton beam, and its EMP damage is insignificantly low.  All continuous beam weapons seem equally effective at disabling stuff once the armor is gone.

If I want to EMP things, I use flux-hungry ion cannons or (if using Paragon) tachyon lances, or bring a Shade to help out.

I cannot think of any ships aside from pure beam (or PD weapon) ships that can fire all of their weapons continuously for too long before flux gets too high.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TJJ on January 11, 2015, 10:57:41 PM

WTF mortars? if you have a build that makes GOOD use of those PLEASE pm me

Prior to the Vulcan buff, Mortars were viable in the onslaught's small mounts, as a short range, OP inexpensive, flux efficient dps spike for burn drive ramming.

Sadly now defunct, as vulcans are more flux efficient, higher dps spike, and useful as point defence,
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on January 12, 2015, 12:51:07 AM
Mortars are not something you "plan" to put on a ship. With high technology, I always have a few throw away ships in my fleet.

Lashers with hardened shield, extended shield, Heavy armor and +hull mods, with max vent and atlest 10 capacitors, have just enough op to mount a few mortars and few other random machine gun dual or single (what slot you put those in can be random as well, who cares)... They will live long and soak alot of damage, and distract for a long time. The mortars allows them to fight back vs fighters wings, with ease, and when they use accelerated ammo (they always always do) two mortars is almost the same dps as a heavy mauler.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on January 12, 2015, 04:07:55 AM
Hmm, it occurs to me that the reasoning for the regenerating/unlimited ammo on Salamander/Pilum/Hurricane applies to the Annihilator as well. Should that have regenerating ammo, too? (Or has the idea already been scrapped behind the scenes?)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on January 12, 2015, 07:05:15 AM
Annihilators feel like a flux-free assault gun.  I doubt they would regenerate.  Swarmers are much like homing Annihilators, and Alex wrote that Swarmers will not regenerate.

Annihilators and Swarmers are like the [M] and [H] missiles in Raiden (arcade shmup).  Powerful direct-fire missiles vs. weak nimble homing missiles.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Baleur on January 17, 2015, 09:23:33 PM
Am i blind?  Where do i download this release? Im sure i checked this very thread yesterday and there was a download link?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: FlashFrozen on January 17, 2015, 09:50:37 PM
It's not out, Just check the title

 Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes


When the real patch does come along Alex usually ninjas the title  to be like:
 
 Starsector 0.65.1a (Released) Patch Notes

So just sit back a bit and it'll be out, whenever :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Baleur on January 18, 2015, 12:27:43 AM
Oh, i figured because some mods are compatible with it, that ... No, surely you could download the beta of the patch? I vividly remember seeing that as a forum post somewhere! I must be losing my mind  :D

Edit: OH! I confused 0.6.2a as 0.65.2a
What a nub. No wonder said 6.2a mods didnt work.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Blaze on January 18, 2015, 05:54:51 PM
Say, I hate to be that annoying person, but is there a release date more specific than "sometime between today and the heat death of the universe"?

While the additions so far are definitely noteworthy, the one I really care about is the "Saves aren't so ridiculously huge" thing, as I'm playing the game on a glorified toaster.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: TheBawkHawk on January 18, 2015, 08:48:04 PM
Say, I hate to be that annoying person, but is there a release date more specific than "sometime between today and the heat death of the universe"?

While the additions so far are definitely noteworthy, the one I really care about is the "Saves aren't so ridiculously huge" thing, as I'm playing the game on a glorified toaster.

Yes, in fact there is. The update will be released sometime between today and the day BEFORE the heat death of the universe.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: BillyRueben on January 19, 2015, 04:08:30 AM
Topic locked anyone?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on January 19, 2015, 01:23:37 PM
Topic locked everyone!

Until further news, of course.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on January 19, 2015, 02:02:52 PM
This has probably been the longest-running patch notes thread before getting locked - more than 2 months of pretty good arguements.

Also, seems 'tis not locked. ;)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2015, 12:52:56 PM
Updated! Doing some playtesting now to catch any bugs that may have been introduced; if all goes well, should release within a day or two.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 09, 2015, 12:53:57 PM
Mein got, something happened! :D

Awesome, we're getting close.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2015, 12:56:22 PM
Mein got, something happened! :D

I know, right? Can't wait to finally get this out the door and move on to things that are more, uh, new things.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 09, 2015, 01:05:16 PM
I'm uber-excited to try out those reload mechanics - especially with the newly-buffed Mojinir Cannon.

It's also nice that decivilized markets don't investigate stuff anymore - Now I can drop off and get as much stuff from them as I like. :D
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 09, 2015, 01:23:09 PM
Alright, custom "credit" symbol...
(http://www.clker.com/cliparts/T/h/I/S/v/r/cent-sign-hi.png)

Check. ;)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 09, 2015, 01:25:53 PM
Good stuff, especially the better targeting AI for non-circular ships.

Quick question if I may: does the clip reload mechanic interact with the expanded magazines hull mod, and if so, how?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: bills6693 on February 09, 2015, 01:40:20 PM
"Hide hullmods that can't be installed" no longer hides hullmods that only can't be installed because they cost too many ordnance points
I actually used that feature - I'd have my ship set up how I like with the bare essensial mods/weapons and then used that 'hide hullmods I can't fit/afford' to work out how to spend the rest of my OP.

Would be nice to have a second checkbox? I.E. a 'Hide incompatable hullmods' and a 'hide unaffordable hullmods' box?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: arcibalde on February 09, 2015, 01:41:21 PM
Quote
Ship and weapon AI now more aware of target ship's overall shape (i.e. handles wide + short or long + narrow targets better)

Didn't expect this at all. Gooood.  ;D
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Dri on February 09, 2015, 01:56:36 PM
Reload mechanics aren't really meant to be a buff from what I can tell. Indeed, in shorter battles it will probably be a nerf. All-in-all it will probably end up about even.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2015, 01:58:39 PM
Quick question if I may: does the clip reload mechanic interact with the expanded magazines hull mod, and if so, how?

The hullmod increases the maximum ammo. So, for example, if you had 100 ammo and a clip size of 20 (so, 5 clips), and you get +50% from expanded magazines, you'd have 150 ammo, a clip size of 20, and 7.5 clips. The number of clips is a stat derived from max ammo and clip size, so it doesn't actually have to evenly fit into max ammo, and isn't used for anything aside from giving you a sense for what fraction of the ammo gets reloaded per reload.


I actually used that feature - I'd have my ship set up how I like with the bare essensial mods/weapons and then used that 'hide hullmods I can't fit/afford' to work out how to spend the rest of my OP.

Would be nice to have a second checkbox? I.E. a 'Hide incompatable hullmods' and a 'hide unaffordable hullmods' box?

Ah, hmm. I don't want to mess with it for this release, but let me think about it. It does seem like the color-coding (red = unavailable) would still help you out here, with the list already being pruned of anything that's inapplicable. I suppose whether that's superior to outright hiding those mods is debatable/subjective. You generally don't have that many hullmod options available in the campaign, though.


Reload mechanics aren't really meant to be a buff from what I can tell. Indeed, in shorter battles it will probably be a nerf. All-in-all it will probably end up about even.

Yeah, they're not intended as either buff or nerf, but more for flavor, although I it *is* a buff in extra-long battles, especially in cases when a ship's peak effectiveness isn't ticking down.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 09, 2015, 02:07:41 PM
Alex,

As I humorously implied at the bottom of page 23, is the credits symbol basically going to be a cents sign?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2015, 02:21:27 PM
It's this fellow: ¢

So, yeah.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 09, 2015, 02:46:54 PM
Quick question if I may: does the clip reload mechanic interact with the expanded magazines hull mod, and if so, how?

The hullmod increases the maximum ammo. So, for example, if you had 100 ammo and a clip size of 20 (so, 5 clips), and you get +50% from expanded magazines, you'd have 150 ammo, a clip size of 20, and 7.5 clips. The number of clips is a stat derived from max ammo and clip size, so it doesn't actually have to evenly fit into max ammo, and isn't used for anything aside from giving you a sense for what fraction of the ammo gets reloaded per reload.
Is there a way in the API to adjust clip size or reload rate via hullmod or ship system or the like?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Dri on February 09, 2015, 02:50:37 PM
Do clips continue to reload even while the weapon is firing or does the timer till clip reload only tick down when the weapon isn't in use?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2015, 03:19:22 PM
Is there a way in the API to adjust clip size or reload rate via hullmod or ship system or the like?

No, there isn't. I could see adding it, it's just not in at the moment.

Do clips continue to reload even while the weapon is firing or does the timer till clip reload only tick down when the weapon isn't in use?

They continue to reload regardless of all other considerations.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on February 09, 2015, 03:34:40 PM
Is there a way in the API to adjust clip size or reload rate via hullmod or ship system or the like?
No, there isn't. I could see adding it, it's just not in at the moment.
Do clips continue to reload even while the weapon is firing or does the timer till clip reload only tick down when the weapon isn't in use?
They continue to reload regardless of all other considerations.

Aw dang, I hoped for the first to do the second... Well, my current scripts will have to do then.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 09, 2015, 04:02:02 PM
It's this fellow: ¢

So, yeah.

lol, at least we have millions of cents in the future. :P
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on February 09, 2015, 05:29:43 PM
So, with the changes to the Phase Beam there is now no medium sized energy standard beam weapon, right? I like the sound of the new weapon in general, but I'll have to change some of my fittings. I think this is a gap, now. We have the tactical laser in the small slot, the HIL in the large slot, and formerly the med slot was the phase beam.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Euqocelbbog on February 09, 2015, 06:05:49 PM
So, with the changes to the Phase Beam there is now no medium sized energy standard beam weapon, right? I like the sound of the new weapon in general, but I'll have to change some of my fittings. I think this is a gap, now. We have the tactical laser in the small slot, the HIL in the large slot, and formerly the med slot was the phase beam.

Graviton Beam.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on February 09, 2015, 07:25:12 PM
So, with the changes to the Phase Beam there is now no medium sized energy standard beam weapon, right? I like the sound of the new weapon in general, but I'll have to change some of my fittings. I think this is a gap, now. We have the tactical laser in the small slot, the HIL in the large slot, and formerly the med slot was the phase beam.

Graviton Beam.

Kinetic damage, doesn't really fit the role of a general purpose beam as it's totally useless against armor. Energy damage at least is mediocre all over.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2015, 07:53:59 PM
One of the ideas way, way early was that not all weapon sizes provide weapons of all roles, giving another reason to fit smaller weapons into larger slots. Now, it didn't pan out exactly like that across the board, but with that in mind, I wouldn't say that a gap here and there is necessarily a bad thing.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on February 10, 2015, 04:24:57 AM
With its newfound uber range, Tactical Laser spam could probably substitute for the old Phase Beam reasonably well.

It's this fellow: ¢

So, yeah.
Why not ¥ or €? ;D
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ValkyriaL on February 10, 2015, 04:32:00 AM
or united $ of murica. ;D
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on February 10, 2015, 05:10:14 AM
But it will always be yellow. 
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on February 10, 2015, 05:35:19 AM
Nice! Does the new elliptical targeting area of ships hold any implications for potential shield form diversification? Or will shields definitely stay circles?


A bit of a shame with the pause function, but I agree that it didn't work out as it was. Any chance of trying something new with it, like an option to make pause cost CP?


Looking forward to the update :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: bills6693 on February 10, 2015, 09:27:05 AM
I actually used that feature - I'd have my ship set up how I like with the bare essensial mods/weapons and then used that 'hide hullmods I can't fit/afford' to work out how to spend the rest of my OP.

Would be nice to have a second checkbox? I.E. a 'Hide incompatable hullmods' and a 'hide unaffordable hullmods' box?

Ah, hmm. I don't want to mess with it for this release, but let me think about it. It does seem like the color-coding (red = unavailable) would still help you out here, with the list already being pruned of anything that's inapplicable. I suppose whether that's superior to outright hiding those mods is debatable/subjective. You generally don't have that many hullmod options available in the campaign, though.
At least personally I found that it was a little easier to compare when they were taken out from those unaffordable - especially when 50% plus are unaffordable. It isn't a big deal, just a small UI QOL feature.

I do wonder about mods too though - although personally I don't play with them I'm sure there are some that bring in lots of hullmods and in this instance you would be faced with a large list. Therefore this checkbox would be valuable when you are having to scroll through because lots of expensive hullmods are unaffordable to you but technically compatible with your ship.

Not for this immediate release of course, but would be nice if you considered this for the next release/hotfix  ;D but as said its only minor, not an important feature!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Dark.Revenant on February 10, 2015, 09:46:25 AM
Is there an API function that simulates the new 4-curve rangefinding algorithm?  Such a thing would be quite useful because otherwise we have to basically guess how you've implemented it when making AI modules.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Shoat on February 10, 2015, 10:44:40 AM
It's this fellow: ¢

So, yeah.
Why not ¥ or €? ;D

Why would the universal interstellar currency (which is shared even between hostile-to-each-other factions) be aligned with a specific nation of the pre-space era?

¢ feels a lot more neutral (and also: ¢redits makes more sense than cred¥ts, cr€dits or credit$)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 11:30:58 AM
It's this fellow: ¢

So, yeah.
Why not ¥ or €? ;D

Why would the universal interstellar currency (which is shared even between hostile-to-each-other factions) be aligned with a specific nation of the pre-space era?

¢ feels a lot more neutral (and also: ¢redits makes more sense than cred¥ts, cr€dits or credit$)

Yeah, pretty much that, I think.


Nice! Does the new elliptical targeting area of ships hold any implications for potential shield form diversification? Or will shields definitely stay circles?

They'll stay circles - the code for this is AI-oriented and I don't think efficient enough. The ellipse-like targeting area also wouldn't look that great, it's rather egg-shaped. It's actually made out of 4 ellipse sections rather than being an actual ellipse; this is needed to account for various ways the center of the ship can be offset from the center of the sprite.

A bit of a shame with the pause function, but I agree that it didn't work out as it was. Any chance of trying something new with it, like an option to make pause cost CP?

Hmm. I don't think I want to go in that direction - it'd be gamifying what's basically a pure UI function. What I'm trying to say is there's no in-fiction tie in to pausing, you pause as the player, not the character. I suppose you could go in that direction, I just don't think it'd work out well.


Is there an API function that simulates the new 4-curve rangefinding algorithm?  Such a thing would be quite useful because otherwise we have to basically guess how you've implemented it when making AI modules.

Added Misc.getTargetingRadius() that calls into core. Wanted to just expose the code for it, but it's got too many core tie-ins to do so easily.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 10, 2015, 11:46:26 AM
Four ellipse sections?  That has some interesting implications for asymmetrical ships...  As for accessing the API, I figure that as long as we can get at the underlying information about the dimensions of the target ship, we should be able to write our own rangefinding if we need it.  ...Or more likely LazyWizard will and the rest of us will just use that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 10, 2015, 12:00:43 PM
I thought the old Phase Beam was totally useless.  If I needed an assault beam, Graviton Beam was better - more range, more OP and flux efficient.  If I needed damage, Pulse Laser or Mining/Heavy Blaster were much better.  Come to think of it, the only time I use Graviton Beam was either on an Eagle or beam Paragon.  Everything else used Pulse Lasers or Mining/Heavy Blaster.  Only thing that used Phase Beam were Xyphos, and only because fighters cannot be refitted.

If Phase Lance can chain-EMP like Ion Cannon or Tachyon Lance, it might be useful.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 01:24:24 PM
And it's out (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2015/02/10/starsector-0-65-2a-release/)!

(Updating javadoc now ... finished upload.)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Pahasusi on February 10, 2015, 01:44:42 PM
Just made an account to say thank you for this great game which I bought what feels like forever ago and still check every week for update. I saw your post like 5 seconds after you put the version out :)
Keep up the good work! Although I also feel that maybe a short official post once a month would be a good thing!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 02:01:45 PM
Thank you for dropping by just to say that :)

Yeah, I definitely want to write more blog posts. Expect one in the near future - probably a bit after the dust settles from this release.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 10, 2015, 02:27:04 PM
Yeah, I definitely want to write more blog posts. Expect one in the near future - probably a bit after the dust settles from this release.

I can guarantee you that the dust won't be settling for a good long time after this, if the discussion before the update is a hint of what's to come. ;)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 02:37:15 PM
I rather hope it's not :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 10, 2015, 02:43:30 PM
Well, best of luck with that.  I'm off to toy around with these wonderful magazines. :D

(suddenly, the forums go quiet as everyone scrambles for the new update...and I manage to get in two comments in a row with Alex before anyone comes back - amazing)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on February 10, 2015, 02:49:58 PM
One of the ideas way, way early was that not all weapon sizes provide weapons of all roles, giving another reason to fit smaller weapons into larger slots. Now, it didn't pan out exactly like that across the board, but with that in mind, I wouldn't say that a gap here and there is necessarily a bad thing.

This makes sense to me. I wasn't really sure if the intention was for there to be equivalent options in all mount categories, or if it was intended to be varied and different across the board. I do like the idea of not being able to fill every role and every size and type. Feels more "real universe" and less "game minmax". Good to know.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 10, 2015, 03:11:58 PM
The new mission - "A Fistful of Credits" - is rather interesting.  First off, I instantly feel like what's mentioned in the description is a hint of what's to come (maybe soon-ish?).  Secondly, it also feels like the most personalized description of a mission in the game.  It's as if the captain who you're playing as actually wrote it - not some mission briefing in a neutral tone of voice like the previous ones are.  I really, really like this. :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 03:18:15 PM
Ah yes - that'll be because David wrote both the description and the mission. If I may say so, I think he's really good at this writing business :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 10, 2015, 03:19:23 PM
The new mission logos are great too.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Nanao-kun on February 10, 2015, 03:35:18 PM
New update! This is great news.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: senor on February 10, 2015, 03:48:21 PM
UPDATE!!! WOO-HOO!  Thanks Alex and whoever else is working on these official releases, keep up the great work!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 10, 2015, 03:52:04 PM
You forgot to update the installer to create "0.65.2" folders.

Other than that... *is so excited* *runs around like a headless chicken*
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on February 10, 2015, 03:54:24 PM
It seems i'll have some "work" to do tomorrow at work.

LE: Uh.. Alex? Why does window mode now consider itself borderless windowed mode? I often started it out on window just to move it to another monitor and play. Don't get me wrong, i LOVE borderless fullscreen but.. atm minus setting my 'bigger' monitor as primary so SS starts on it, there is no way around moving the borderless window aside from using third party utilities or toying with settings.json. How about just a checkmark in the launcher?

LE2: OH MY *** TACTICAL LASERS ARE INSANE. I mean, they /completely/ change the start game since you can outkite hounds and even Lashers now. Doesn't matter they take ages to drop a ship down, there is nothing really keeping you from engaging ANY small fleet now with three of these guys on a Wolf. Also works as anti-fighter. All the beginning hardships are null and void with the range on the new tac-lasers.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 04:12:18 PM
You forgot to update the installer to create "0.65.2" folders.

What do you mean? IIRC there is no version number in any of the installation folders.


LE: Uh.. Alex? Why does window mode now consider itself borderless windowed mode? I often started it out on window just to move it to another monitor and play. Don't get me wrong, i LOVE borderless fullscreen but.. atm minus setting my 'bigger' monitor as primary so SS starts on it, there is no way around moving the borderless window aside from using third party utilities or toying with settings.json. How about just a checkmark in the launcher?

Huh? It should have a border, unless you tweaked settings.json so that it doesn't. Just checked - both codewise and tried running the installed, windows version - and it seems to start with a decorated (i.e. with border) window.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on February 10, 2015, 04:22:04 PM
Literally before i installed the new version, i started the old one and it propped up with a border, as it always did. No settings.json trickery, installed new version, no border.

[DELETED]

See my next reply below of confirmation of proper feature working, even if slightly undesired. ;p
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 10, 2015, 04:25:51 PM
You forgot to update the installer to create "0.65.2" folders.

What do you mean? IIRC there is no version number in any of the installation folders.

I have no idea, then. My 0.65.2 installer wanted to create a "Starsector0.651a" folder.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Nanao-kun on February 10, 2015, 04:27:10 PM
"If starting the game at full screen resolution in windowed mode, will automatically use an undecorated window"

This is borderless fullscreen, isn't it? Set by default. At least, that's what the changelog tells me.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on February 10, 2015, 04:29:13 PM
"If starting the game at full screen resolution in windowed mode, will automatically use an undecorated window"

This is borderless fullscreen, isn't it? Set by default. At least, that's what the changelog tells me.

That's it then! It's taking the resolution off my main monitor which is a 1280x1024 and deciding to borderless it even though i usually toss my 1600x900 window on the 1920x1080 monitor.

LE: Tested, if resolution is LESS than my 1280x1024 monitor it starts undecorated. *shrug* How about just a tickmark for borderless in the launcher, ey? :)

Unrelated, but why would anyone use the Ion Cannon over the Phase Beam now aside from more granular, if projectile/noninstahit damage?

LE2:

Uh. Re-entered after testing above, on clicking Load Game i get this:

java.lang.NullPointerException
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.save.LoadGameDialog.o00000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.save.LoadGameDialog$1.super(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.save.LoadGameDialog$1.compare(Unknown Source)
   at java.util.Arrays.mergeSort(Unknown Source)
   at java.util.Arrays.mergeSort(Unknown Source)
   at java.util.Arrays.legacyMergeSort(Unknown Source)
   at java.util.Arrays.sort(Unknown Source)
   at java.util.Collections.sort(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.save.LoadGameDialog.<init>(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.title.OoOO.õ0Ò000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.title.OoOO.o00000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.title.String.actionPerformed(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.i.o00000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.OooO.processInput(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.V.o00000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.B.null.class$super(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.super.A.new(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.combat.O0OO.o00000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$2.run(Unknown Source)
   at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)

With clicking Continue and then trying to Load Game from the game-proper, i get the same thing.

Cleared out my save folder, and it seems to work now. Though it's weird since i could load the list of all my old-old characters before i made a new one. It just fitzed when faced with both new and old saves? Maybe because of the new save compression? *shrug*
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 04:35:27 PM
I have no idea, then. My 0.65.2 installer wanted to create a "Starsector0.651a" folder.

Weird - mine just creates a "Starsector" folder.

"If starting the game at full screen resolution in windowed mode, will automatically use an undecorated window"

This is borderless fullscreen, isn't it? Set by default. At least, that's what the changelog tells me.

That's it then!

It's taking the resolution off my main monitor which is a 1280x1024 and deciding to borderless it even though i usually toss my 1600x900 window on the 1920x1080 monitor.

Ahh, yes, that's it. Hadn't considered the "smaller primary monitor" case. Hmm.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 10, 2015, 04:43:06 PM
I have no idea, then. My 0.65.2 installer wanted to create a "Starsector0.651a" folder.

Weird - mine just creates a "Starsector" folder.

Probably just my computer keeping some sort of "installer settings" lying around. The folder it defaulted to to put the Starsector folder already had a Starsector folder in it, so maybe that's why it rustled up an alternative folder name. Who knows, computers work in mysterious ways.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 04:44:34 PM
(This is where I'm supposed to say that computers a predictable machines and do everything for a reason, but: no.)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on February 10, 2015, 04:45:03 PM
@Alex:

Glad that's figured out. Just worked with the settings.json until the next hotfix, no real biggie since i'm an oddball that still thinks CRT's rule supreme in technology so you probably won't have too many other people with this issue.

Also, since i'm editing my last post in the previous page in real time now, check it out for a cool java pointer exception fresh from my starsector.log when loading a game! EXCITING! :D

@HartLord:
I don't know mate, i've been installing SS in the same folder for AGES (Starfarer days), on top of each previous installation and it never created different folders.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 04:50:42 PM
Re: NPE: hm, weird. Seems to have something to do with figuring out which mods the save is compatible with, but I can't tell more than that from the stack trace.

... and, yeah, eventually a checkbox would probably be nice. Messing with the launcher UI is very time-consuming, though, as it's written in Swing. I'll probably have to recode it from scratch in OpenGL at some point.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 10, 2015, 04:54:46 PM
(This is where I'm supposed to say that computers are predictable machines and do everything for a reason.)

Yes, yes. It's true.

Spoiler
All programmers know that that is a lie perpetuated by the machines to lull everyone into a false sense of security. It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ProperlyParanoid)!
[close]
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on February 10, 2015, 04:55:33 PM
Well, if you care to download a 20mb archive that deflates into 300mb of the "saves" folder that causes this, be my guest. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4037018/zsaves.zip

"Testor" being the 'new' save. Also, rename zsaves to saves once extracted, duh. :p
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 05:03:05 PM
Thanks - hm, not crashing. I suspect the crash has to do with the contents of the mods folder, which would probably weigh in at rather more than 20 or even 300 mb.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 10, 2015, 05:27:34 PM
Can you still make ballistics that regenerate like the tpc still?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 10, 2015, 05:35:15 PM
Cool, it's out; been waiting for this :)  I'll have feedback when I have enough time for a real playthrough, hopefully this weekend :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2015, 05:36:11 PM
Can you still make ballistics that regenerate like the tpc still?

Yep.

Cool, it's out; been waiting for this :)  I'll have feedback when I have enough time for a real playthrough, hopefully this weekend :)

Cool :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cosmitz on February 10, 2015, 05:36:26 PM
Thanks - hm, not crashing. I suspect the crash has to do with the contents of the mods folder, which would probably weigh in at rather more than 20 or even 300 mb.

For the sake of completeness, here's my grubby mod folder too (217mb archived). https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4037018/mods.zip

And to bring some positives to this mostly downer convo, man do i LOVE the gray text under cargo to show as a reminder of the price lists, and my god is that auto-updating cargo/fuel bar a boon to usability as you loot stuff amazing. Oh and let's not forget the projected supply cost is just a great little quality-of-life addition.

And the station-specific music just adds so much to the experience. Plus the fact that the second in command is actually capable now and doesn't leave ships to escape in obviously-victorious-if-you're-in-charge pursuit.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: EI on February 10, 2015, 05:46:17 PM
I hope this mod doesn't put my energy weapons to shame. >w<

Or does it? O-O
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 10, 2015, 06:09:07 PM
I hope this mod doesn't put my energy weapons to shame. >w<

Or does it? O-O

I think you posted in the wrong thread  :P .
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Protonus on February 10, 2015, 06:11:23 PM
As far as Protonus realizes, his dream of finally using reload-able ballistics has become a reality for which he can turn 550mm guns into Assault Rifles.  :o
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: EI on February 10, 2015, 06:15:01 PM
I think you posted in the wrong thread  :P .

It is about Ballistic weapons making a comeback against Energy weapons. )o)

As far as Protonus realizes, his dream of finally using reload-able ballistics has become a reality for which he can turn 550mm guns into Assault Rifles.  :o

Like this one!  >:(
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 10, 2015, 06:57:10 PM
@EI
Why the red text?  It rather hurts my eyes. o.O

That aside, the Salamanders are pretty useful.  The fact that single Salamanders reload themselves is amazing.  Almost puts the triple rack to shame - all you need is one to sneak through and it's a done deal.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: EI on February 10, 2015, 07:00:48 PM
@EI
Why the red text?  It rather hurts my eyes. o.O

Hey, I like the color Red! )o)

They remind me of blood. O-O


Also, would the saves be capable of 64-bit OS without the manual intervention? :o
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Protonus on February 10, 2015, 07:04:20 PM
Apologies for having this rather sadistic and forsaken young woman in the community.

I brought her here. Simply because of the new mod she wanted to add up.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 10, 2015, 07:04:40 PM
Salamanders + Fast Missile Racks + Missile Specialization 10 = Overpowered game breaker!

Any player controlled flagship with Fast Missile Racks, especially Venture or Doom, can hang back from afar, and spam Salamanders non-stop, and kill any (unskilled) ship very quickly.  Salamanders will hit, and eventually, once armor is gone, they will murder ships quickly.

This is the first time I would pick Condor over Gemini, at least as a flagship, because Condor can launch Salamanders non-stop.

Salamanders need clip-and-reload like Pilums and MIRVs.

I will comment on other changes later.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: EI on February 10, 2015, 07:08:57 PM
Hmm.

That would make Protonus' missile ships look too powerful, since they normally dedicate themselves with missile mounts at a certain number. Mostly large ones! )o)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 10, 2015, 07:12:57 PM
All the playership needs are either small or medium Salamanders and Fast Missile Racks, and maybe Missile Specialization 10 to make those Salamanders fast and strong.

P.S. Enemy shields are not a problem, since player can stand off from long range, enough so that the enemy will not raise shields until player shoots at the ship.  Player shoots Salamanders.  If enemy ship has front shields, it is toast.  If it has omni-shields, it is still toast because it cannot block all of the missiles; it might raise shields toward the front, Salamanders loop, enemy drops shields then tries to raise shields in the back, but by then it is too late because missiles have hit.

P.P.S. With Fast Missile Racks, the player can launch Salamanders non-stop, and the AI cannot defend against that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 10, 2015, 07:23:14 PM
Maybe another way to limit Fast Missile Racks and unlimited missile abuse is to put Fast Missile Racks on a timer, so that player can launch a double salvo quickly, but not be able to vent spam unlimited missiles as if firing a hypothetical long-range homing blaster.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Protonus on February 10, 2015, 07:25:30 PM
Or simply put a charge limit on the Fast Reload, up to 2, similar to what drones and teleportation would normally have.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Nanao-kun on February 10, 2015, 07:33:01 PM
I've never played Starsector like a scrub before, so I've never encountered these kinds of problems. :-X
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 10, 2015, 07:51:28 PM
Sweet! Update!

I think I might be an old fogey - every time I install a new version I archive the mods I had installed in case I want something later. And upon checking, I had 0 mods for the latest version, even though I could have sworn I had at least half a dozen.

Edit: First impressions: The beam changes are good so far. The tac laser has even less punch now that the flux bonus isn't there, but man that range. Anything unshielded (I haven't yet encountered fighters) is in for harassment and pain. The mildly increased range on the regular beam PD nicely balances their effectively less damage.

Ended for the night right after getting a pair of Vigilances. LRM spam is still excellent. I'm so glad these ships have gone from "meh" a few versions ago to being absolutely beastly support ships.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Dark.Revenant on February 10, 2015, 10:35:54 PM
I'm so glad I gave FMR charges in SS+.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on February 11, 2015, 04:28:17 AM
Why would the universal interstellar currency (which is shared even between hostile-to-each-other factions) be aligned with a specific nation of the pre-space era?
It was a joke, really. $ is so ubiquitous as a generic currency symbol that when someone uses something else, like the euro one, it's considered unusual.

Although I wrote the original post thinking that Starsector previously used the $ symbol for credits. Went back and checked a screenshot (http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/starfarergame/images/a/a9/Market1.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width/360?cb=20141115161548), and it's actually a colón (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col%C3%B3n_(currency)). Huh.


(Also, I just noticed the front page images were changed; when did this happen?)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 11, 2015, 07:59:35 AM
The missile changes are a good first step, but they don't go nearly far enough. Every missile needs to work on the same ammo-regeneration system (either the Salamander fire-rate limited one, or the Pilums regenerating ammo - depending on role or whatever is easier to balance) - it stops them from being binary Overpowered-Useless and it's a great balancing lever.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on February 11, 2015, 08:42:26 AM
The missile changes are a good first step, but they don't go nearly far enough. Every missile needs to work on the same ammo-regeneration system (either the Salamander fire-rate limited one, or the Pilums regenerating ammo - depending on role or whatever is easier to balance) - it stops them from being binary Overpowered-Useless and it's a great balancing lever.
While I'll concede that it's a valid way to balance a game, it would also turn SS into the most boring space shooter ever. The kind that don't reward the player piloting skills and situational awareness because it's a RTS balance mechanic: it makes sense when you have no direct player control, and the units fire everything all the time in all situations to avoid micromanagement. I sure hope Starsector won't turn into one someday.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 11, 2015, 08:47:00 AM
The FMR + Salamander could be fixed without changes to the FMR system at all. Simply have the "reloading" of the salamander be in its ammo count, not the time until next fire (if that makes sense, I think I'm forgetting a term).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 11, 2015, 09:21:21 AM
While I'll concede that it's a valid way to balance a game, it would also turn SS into the most boring space shooter ever. The kind that don't reward the player piloting skills and situational awareness because it's a RTS balance mechanic: it makes sense when you have no direct player control, and the units fire everything all the time in all situations to avoid micromanagement. I sure hope Starsector won't turn into one someday.

Ridiculous - and easily disproven by the fact that non-missile weapons already work that way - and guess what? It hasn't turned into that. Flux, slow fire rates, fire rates higher than ammo regen rates, limit on damage spikes through special ability cooldowns - all of these things combine in the various combat situations the game provides to make "always fire" not the best option, and in many cases actively detrimental. Especially missiles benefit enormously from non-constant fire because a stream of missiles is less likely to overwhelm most (non AoE) point defense compared to a large single wave of them.

Proper meaningful cooldowns on missile fire rate also means rate of fire skills actually mean something for missile weapons, without breaking them since no matter how fast your fire rate gets eventually you'll be limited by the rate of regen (which by the way, opens up another tactical option - not to fire and build up reserves for a bigger damage spike later).

Incidentally, the regenerating ammo system also means there can now be skills and hullmods to speed up ammo generation (hell maybe even at the cost of extra supplies - it can all be tied together neatly). Oh yeah and +max missile ammo isn't the be-all end-all skill for missiles anymore - it simply opens up extra tactical options (bigger spikes, more benefit from longer pauses) instead of straight up increasing the amount of damage you can do in a fight with the OP you spent by a fixed value (that is, as long as missile rates of fire are meaningful - the current ultra-fast fire rates are bad, have always been bad and are made worse by regenerating ammo pools).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on February 11, 2015, 09:50:39 AM
I won't enter a contest of argument/counter arguments, I'll just add that all your text say that you want a MOBA/RTS gameplay, and I don't agree with this. Oh and completely disagree with your constant grand claims here or on SA that "your way is the only way". But there are enough balanced games out there that already proves that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Dark.Revenant on February 11, 2015, 09:52:00 AM
You guys do realize Alex already tried DatonKallandor's suggestion and ruled it out, right?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 11, 2015, 10:37:30 AM
You guys do realize Alex already tried DatonKallandor's suggestion and ruled it out, right?

That would be incredibly strange, since the current implementation is weird at best - it screams placeholder and experiment.

It's two different versions of trying to do the same thing, implemented on a wildly varying (in terms of role and performance), tiny subset of missiles. There is nothing logical about which missiles got the regenerating ammo and which didn't (and which got one version of regenerating ammo and which got the other).

Pilums, already one of the best missiles and one of the few to use a meaningful cooldown to limit it instead of ammo - it's ammo reserves are huge compared to other missiles - got higher fire rate than ammo regeneration treatment.

Salamanders, another of the best missile types which was hard ammo limited, with a fire rate that was so fast as to be meaningless (the opposite design framework Pilums had) got the fire rate adjusted and the ammo system removed entirely.

Hurricane MIRVs, one of the worse missile types but which benefited outrageously from missile ammo skills and then became pretty good got the Pilum treatment.
Yet no other missile was touched, despite many of them sharing the same fundamental problems (or lack of problems) of the missiles that did get regenerating ammo.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 11, 2015, 10:44:13 AM
It's actually quite logical.

The missiles that got ammunition regeneration are the ones that are meant as long-range pressure, where when you fire you have no idea if the missile is going to do anything useful or just slow the target down momentarily; thus, the ammo regen, so you can't bait them out of ammo at extreme range when you're totally safe.

The ones that got no ammo at all are the salamanders, which are mid-range utility missiles; again, they were easy to safely bait out all the ammo - but, unlike the LRMs, Alex didn't want these to suffer from reduced rate of fire later in the engagement.

And the ones that still have ammo are all the short-range high-power missiles, where okay you technically can bait them out of ammo, but you can't do so safely, because you have to be in range of other weapons and (typically) at high flux before the AI fires the things.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 11, 2015, 10:49:25 AM
It's actually quite logical.

The missiles that got ammunition regeneration are the ones that are meant as long-range pressure, where when you fire you have no idea if the missile is going to do anything useful or just slow the target down momentarily; thus, the ammo regen, so you can't bait them out of ammo at extreme range when you're totally safe.

The ones that got no ammo at all are the salamanders, which are mid-range utility missiles; again, they were easy to safely bait out all the ammo - but, unlike the LRMs, Alex didn't want these to suffer from reduced rate of fire later in the engagement.

And the ones that still have ammo are all the short-range high-power missiles, where okay you technically can bait them out of ammo, but you can't do so safely, because you have to be in range of other weapons and (typically) at high flux before the AI fires the things.

And yet, Salamanders have never performed that role. They've always been damage-with-extra-benefits - easily as powerful as Harpoons in actual gameplay, if not better. Contrast with Sabots, which are actual utility missiles (which don't really work in their true role because of how the AI juggles shielding, but whatever) that are still ammo limited. Hell, Proximity Charge Launchers are still ammo limited, and they're the definition of utility, being, in practice if not intent, a point defense option.

Add the huge problems the missile skills and hullmods pose for missile balance on top of that too - there's a ton of non-intuitive breakpoints, which is a problem by itself, but they also give different missiles wildly varying boost in power at different points. It's a huge balance mess because of fixed small ammo counts (and hell - doesn't the new Salamander implementation mean they are completely unaffected by the missile ammo skills and mods, despite being missiles?).

There's also the impact these changes have on point defense. Infinite long-range missiles (and utility missiles, if we call the Salamanders that) indicates the intent is for most ships to have point defense to defend against that. However point defense has the habit of making (some of) those other non-infinite missiles a hell of a lot worse. Especially Atropos torpedoes suffer tremendously from the slightest amount of PD.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Aklyon on February 11, 2015, 11:15:36 AM
Does 65.2a affect all of the mods because of the ballistics change, or do some of them work fine anyway?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 11, 2015, 11:44:12 AM
The missile changes are a good first step, but they don't go nearly far enough. Every missile needs to work on the same ammo-regeneration system (either the Salamander fire-rate limited one, or the Pilums regenerating ammo - depending on role or whatever is easier to balance) - it stops them from being binary Overpowered-Useless and it's a great balancing lever.

This is 100% true. As it stands now regenerating missiles are insanely OP compared to non regenerating, to the point of uselessness for the nonregen. Hmm let's see, do I want one inaccurate but powerful tropedo 5000 damage torpedo in a ten minute fleet fight, or do I want 100 500 damage missiles that can keep destroying the enemy for the entire fight from across the map. Eventually all missiles will be made regen, it is inevitable from a balance perspective. When you look at it from the damage per OP across the entire battle, nonregen missiles are just wasted OP when you could have unlimited missiles with the same OP that in aggregate do far more damage than the nonregen. And of course, with multiple missile launchers from multiple ship the ridiculous OP waste of nonregen missiles becomes even more glaring. The ability to spam a steady stream of regens across the battlespace from afar, from multiple angles, for the entire battle, makes whatever hard hitting, one time benefit of a nongen worthless by comparison.

And to top it off, it's really stupid from a lore standpoint. Really? The astral can load dozens, hundreds, of torpedos onto fighter bombers in a fight, but the 500 *** manning the battle ship can't figure out how to load a torpedo tube on the fly? Derp derp, I guess the special eds are working on the flag ship.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Dark.Revenant on February 11, 2015, 12:14:12 PM
Those 100x 500 dmg missiles are 10 OP while the 1x 4000 dmg torpedo is only 2 OP and calls for a smaller slot size.  Also, a Pilum launcher takes eleven and a half minutes to shoot off 100 missiles unless you have expanded racks, in which case it takes about eight and a half minutes.  Most battles are shorter.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 11, 2015, 12:16:48 PM
Does 65.2a affect all of the mods because of the ballistics change, or do some of them work fine anyway?

Mods should still work fine, though the modded ballistic weapons will not use the clip-based reload mechanics until/unless they're updated to do so.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 11, 2015, 12:18:04 PM
I still use Reapers for alpha striking dangerous ships, and 0 OP missiles when I cannot afford 4+ OP for Salamanders, but I find myself leaning much more heavily toward the Salamanders and Pilums than before.  Previously, it was Reapers, Annihilators, Swarmers, and Pilums.  Now, it is Reapers, Salamanders, and Pilums.  Maybe Annihilators for ships that cannot use Reapers but need burst damage (e.g., Onslaught vs. Onslaught).

Ships with Fast Missile Racks automatically get Salamanders.  It is a no-brainer.  They can easily kill ships before they become visible.  I do not pass up on overpowered options - I gladly exploit them.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 11, 2015, 01:32:37 PM
Summary: Other than an exploit which is easy to fix, Salamanders help you kill things. Harpoons and Reapers kill things. If Harpoons/Reapers recharged, the optimal strategy would always be to wait until they do so before re-engaging.

...
And yet, Salamanders have never performed that role. They've always been damage-with-extra-benefits - easily as powerful as Harpoons in actual gameplay, if not better. Contrast with Sabots, which are actual utility missiles (which don't really work in their true role because of how the AI juggles shielding, but whatever) that are still ammo limited. ...

I disagree. Salamanders have complete crap for armor penetration or shield damage - getting hit with one is an inconvenience that turns deadly if and only if you need to maneuver soon or have already had your armor ripped apart. Other than the infinite spam with Fast Missile Racks, which is certainly a bug/oversight that can be fixed in like 3 seconds, they really aren't that good - even in the current version. Frigates will just dodge them on the shield and anything bigger most likely has point defense. However, in doing so they sometimes leave themselves open to other attacks. Its a pressure weapon that, other than an exploit, seems to me to be working as intended.

Harpoons and Reapers are just plain nasty. Getting hit with one on the armor makes for a bad day. Considering how Harpoons are usually fired in volleys, its usually a really bad day. A pair of Reapers, staggered fire, after driving up a destroyers flux = a dead destroyer. If these weapons recharged, it would always be the optimal strategy to fire a bit with guns to drive up flux, blow all the missiles, then retreat until they all come back. IMO that would be incredibly unfun gameplay.

The missile changes are a good first step, but they don't go nearly far enough. Every missile needs to work on the same ammo-regeneration system (either the Salamander fire-rate limited one, or the Pilums regenerating ammo - depending on role or whatever is easier to balance) - it stops them from being binary Overpowered-Useless and it's a great balancing lever.

This is 100% true. As it stands now regenerating missiles are insanely OP compared to non regenerating, to the point of uselessness for the nonregen. Hmm let's see, do I want one inaccurate but powerful tropedo 5000 damage torpedo in a ten minute fleet fight, or do I want 100 500 damage missiles that can keep destroying the enemy for the entire fight from across the map. Eventually all missiles will be made regen, it is inevitable from a balance perspective. When you look at it from the damage per OP across the entire battle, nonregen missiles are just wasted OP when you could have unlimited missiles with the same OP that in aggregate do far more damage than the nonregen. And of course, with multiple missile launchers from multiple ship the ridiculous OP waste of nonregen missiles becomes even more glaring. The ability to spam a steady stream of regens across the battlespace from afar, from multiple angles, for the entire battle, makes whatever hard hitting, one time benefit of a nongen worthless by comparison.

And to top it off, it's really stupid from a lore standpoint. Really? The astral can load dozens, hundreds, of torpedos onto fighter bombers in a fight, but the 500 *** manning the battle ship can't figure out how to load a torpedo tube on the fly? Derp derp, I guess the special eds are working on the flag ship.

This completely ignores one of the key, defining aspects of combat in SS: Any ship with a shield has infinite hitpoints. SS is all about getting the damage in when it counts: armor and hull. It makes no difference whatsoever if your LRM's end up doing 50,000 damage over the course of the battle if that damage is all taken on the shield and vented away.

Not to say Pilums are bad: they are excellent. But because they are slower, have worse maneuverability, have less hitpoints than Harpoons they have much less chance of getting through PD and connecting. Hence they are pressure weapons that, unless they can completely overwhelm, won't get the job done by themselves.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 11, 2015, 01:42:09 PM
Quote
Those 100x 500 dmg missiles are 10 OP while the 1x 4000 dmg torpedo is only 2 OP and calls for a smaller slot size.  Also, a Pilum launcher takes eleven and a half minutes to shoot off 100 missiles unless you have expanded racks, in which case it takes about eight and a half minutes.  Most battles are shorter.
This is like comparing garbage trucks to tomatoes.

Missile spam is not a zero-sum proposition, like firing a torp generally is.  

That 1X4000 torpedo misses / gets intercepted more often than not (practical hit rates are probably <30% when we include AI, not to mention torps never fired at all because the torp AI is so cautious), while about 20-40% of the Pilums will do damage, at a greater engagement range, with capabilities that that torpedo doesn't have, like finishing off multiple targets.  It's a huge difference in real power :)

My take thus far:  I tried various flavors of this out in Vacuum, and it's a pain in the neck to get it right, for a bunch of reasons, but mainly it was a performance issue for me, with the much bigger battle sizes, because dead missiles weren't getting removed from the battlefield, amongst other things.  This is something I was going to fix, eventually, as it was causing some real problems; dead missiles in huge swarms (especially fast spammers like rocket racks) were a big problem, in terms of AI loading.

Ammo limits being off for all missiles is better, provided that feature is tweaked (say, a 1 second fade-out time after engines are out).  It makes things simpler than the current system, which has suddenly gotten massively more complicated and has only improved gameplay marginally and erratically.  Missiles have always had the pull problems associated with ammo-using weapons in general; if you can run them out, which was pretty easy with everything but Reapers / Pilums / Harpoons (sorta) then missiles were largely off the table and you could bring in your own missile shooters and have a huge advantage.  Taking out the ammo problem largely fixes that issue.  

But what we have here is, to be frank, utterly confusing and pretty arbitrary-feeling.  For example, Annihilators seem like a perfect fit for endless ammo; they were always largely useless spammers with just a few squirrel cases; letting them spam all the time would make them a genuinely useful weapon as a no-flux spammer.  But they have ammo limits.  Pilums, which were already the best missiles for long-term pressure and were the hardest to pull completely, don't, which makes them really great, and massively better than an Annihilator.  

A 5 OP Salamander completely wrecks an Annihilator, but more importantly, if the battle goes over 2 minutes, it wrecks a Harpoon firing three at a time, which costs more.  

Sure, that Harpoon might be really lethal- once- but it's not likely, vs. targets with some PD, or if fighters pull them, or whatever, whereas that Salamander is still reliable against just about any target, if for no other reason than its engine-killing effects, and will stay in the fight.  I'm not saying that the Harpoon isn't a good alpha-strike; it is, in player hands (and occasionally in AI hands, when it launches 12 or more in a massive volley) but generally speaking, the Harpoon has lost a great deal of relative power and I'd use the Salamander every time, if I could just get my hands on 3-pack launchers.  Even the single-tube version is a massive step up from an Annihilator that costs more, though.

I don't think the right answer is to nerf the ammo-less missiles or to buff the ammo-limited ones, though.  They really are about as lethal as they should be.  I'd just put ammo regen on the rest of them and then pick some times that make sense; probably 10 seconds for a Harpoon, 30+ seconds for Reapers, <1 second for Annihilators, 15 seconds for Atropos.  Adjusting those times to fix balance is probably the best way to get back to an even keel on this and simplify play, which has become massively more complicated with these changes and the clip system and is probably a confusing thing for newbies right now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 11, 2015, 02:45:07 PM
Personally I think the missiles are fine as they are right now; the more support oriented missiles have regen, while the strike / assault based ones don't.

As for balancing FMR, I think it should generate more flux, and make the flux it generates hard-flux.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 11, 2015, 03:54:40 PM
Quote
As for balancing FMR, I think it should generate more flux, and make the flux it generates hard-flux.
I doubt that will work, if Salamanders can still be launched afterwards.

Hard flux is meaningless when the attacker can launch unlimited missiles repeatedly at any enemy over 2000 units away and not yet visible, and kill it.

Attacker can vent spam FMR Salamander more easily than other weapons because attacker does not need to be close to any enemy.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on February 11, 2015, 04:54:05 PM
Well, I gave it a shot. Vanilla, no mods, fair play, to try out the changes. There are definitely a lot of positives about this release. I like the changes to the phase beam more than I thought I would. Feels like a better mid-range medium energy weapon now than it did before. Obviously the ship targeting shape changes is a good refinement. I also really like the change to the CR timer, I think this new system makes a lot more sense and alleviates some of the problems the timer system had to begin with. All of the "Miscellaneous" changes are great, too.

Now for the big one, the clip based ammo system for ballistics. A few people suggested or supported this idea as a compromise to the removal of ammo in general. I wanted to like it, played with it for a while, and I have to admit, I was wrong.

I really detest the clip based system. It sounded like an ok compromise between having the previous ammo system and no ammo at all, but in reality is worse than both. It doesn't serve any purpose but to break up engagements and interrupt your fights as you wait for ammo to trickle in. It adds an entire extra layer of complexity to ballistics that feels totally unnecessary, a step in the absolute opposite direction of what I understood the purpose of moving away from ammo in the first place was. To free up complexity for other parts of the game.

It feels disjointed and more in-the-way than anything else, and I hope to soon see it go away. An idea that was tested and didn't work out. Changes the entire feel of combat with ballistics, and not in any positive way.

I didn't think I would feel this way before, but after actually spending some time in game and using a variety of setups and weapons to give it a really fair try, I'm sure. If I had to choose between this and no ammo at all, I choose no ammo. I know you try things out all the time Alex, and based on how you think it works out it either makes it into the game or it doesn't, but I'm not sure what your thought process was here. Do you actually like this system? Did you decide to let the playerbase try it and, based on feedback, decide whether or not to keep it? Or did you try it, understand it sucked, and push it on the playerbase as punishment for not receiving the "no ammo for ballistics" change very well?

As for the new missiles, the Salamander is supremely annoying. I understand the desire to have "pressure weapons", but I don't really think missiles are the right choice here. Before there was something to trying to time your missile use right, now it doesn't really matter. It's just frustrating and unpleasant.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 11, 2015, 06:30:23 PM
Starsector 0.65.2a - we've gimped half the missiles, made the others completely OP, and energy is STILL overwhelming better than everything, hahaha.

Quote
Those 100x 500 dmg missiles are 10 OP while the 1x 4000 dmg torpedo is only 2 OP and calls for a smaller slot size.  Also, a Pilum launcher takes eleven and a half minutes to shoot off 100 missiles unless you have expanded racks, in which case it takes about eight and a half minutes.  Most battles are shorter.
This is like comparing garbage trucks to tomatoes.

Missile spam is not a zero-sum proposition, like firing a torp generally is.  

That 1X4000 torpedo misses / gets intercepted more often than not (practical hit rates are probably <30% when we include AI, not to mention torps never fired at all because the torp AI is so cautious), while about 20-40% of the Pilums will do damage, at a greater engagement range, with capabilities that that torpedo doesn't have, like finishing off multiple targets.  It's a huge difference in real power :)

My take thus far:  I tried various flavors of this out in Vacuum, and it's a pain in the neck to get it right, for a bunch of reasons, but mainly it was a performance issue for me, with the much bigger battle sizes, because dead missiles weren't getting removed from the battlefield, amongst other things.  This is something I was going to fix, eventually, as it was causing some real problems; dead missiles in huge swarms (especially fast spammers like rocket racks) were a big problem, in terms of AI loading.

Ammo limits being off for all missiles is better, provided that feature is tweaked (say, a 1 second fade-out time after engines are out).  It makes things simpler than the current system, which has suddenly gotten massively more complicated and has only improved gameplay marginally and erratically.  Missiles have always had the pull problems associated with ammo-using weapons in general; if you can run them out, which was pretty easy with everything but Reapers / Pilums / Harpoons (sorta) then missiles were largely off the table and you could bring in your own missile shooters and have a huge advantage.  Taking out the ammo problem largely fixes that issue.  

But what we have here is, to be frank, utterly confusing and pretty arbitrary-feeling.  For example, Annihilators seem like a perfect fit for endless ammo; they were always largely useless spammers with just a few squirrel cases; letting them spam all the time would make them a genuinely useful weapon as a no-flux spammer.  But they have ammo limits.  Pilums, which were already the best missiles for long-term pressure and were the hardest to pull completely, don't, which makes them really great, and massively better than an Annihilator.  

A 5 OP Salamander completely wrecks an Annihilator, but more importantly, if the battle goes over 2 minutes, it wrecks a Harpoon firing three at a time, which costs more.  

Sure, that Harpoon might be really lethal- once- but it's not likely, vs. targets with some PD, or if fighters pull them, or whatever, whereas that Salamander is still reliable against just about any target, if for no other reason than its engine-killing effects, and will stay in the fight.  I'm not saying that the Harpoon isn't a good alpha-strike; it is, in player hands (and occasionally in AI hands, when it launches 12 or more in a massive volley) but generally speaking, the Harpoon has lost a great deal of relative power and I'd use the Salamander every time, if I could just get my hands on 3-pack launchers.  Even the single-tube version is a massive step up from an Annihilator that costs more, though.

I don't think the right answer is to nerf the ammo-less missiles or to buff the ammo-limited ones, though.  They really are about as lethal as they should be.  I'd just put ammo regen on the rest of them and then pick some times that make sense; probably 10 seconds for a Harpoon, 30+ seconds for Reapers, <1 second for Annihilators, 15 seconds for Atropos.  Adjusting those times to fix balance is probably the best way to get back to an even keel on this and simplify play, which has become massively more complicated with these changes and the clip system and is probably a confusing thing for newbies right now.

^^^^ This guy gets it. Balance the strike from non-strike missiles with reload time. "But but but but fights don't last that long usually" except for the ones that matter, you know, the actual hard ones with actual enemy fleets. The ones you would never want to bring strike missiles into (before this update, ANY missiles) outside of torpedo bombers because you need every OP for shooting, shields or flux. And besides, with the new capital degrading system, that makes kiting with destroyer torpedos only work once or twice before your CR degrades. And for God sakes its just so arbitrarily dumb. Holy crap it's just L O L pointlessly gimping half the missiles with no improvement in gameplay for no reason other than...WHAT?

"Why can't we reload the reapers commander?"
"Reapers cannot be reloaded, God wills it."
"But they're...they're sitting right there...right next to the giant pile of unlimited Piliums?"
"NO! WE CANNOT RELOAD THE REAPERS"
"But but but the crew is literally stuffing repears by the dozens into the torpedo bombers, look at them they are walking them over and stuffing them in"
"FIGHTER BOMBERS ARE SACRED! THE REAPERS ARE SACRED! GOOOOOOOOD WIIIIIILLS IT"


-----

I haven't actually tried the new version yet so I don't understand clips. Is the clips mean unlimited ammo in limited bursts? Or does clips mean limited ammo in limited bursts? IF the former, that is good, if the latter, that is just a more complicated version of the old bad ammo system. I would recommend a "reload" command similar to "flux vent" that automatically begins reloading a full clips to all ballistics, to give one control of the process. Other wise, wouldn't you have to shoot all your guns to make them empty, then reload? I'll try it out...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on February 11, 2015, 06:36:28 PM
Is the clips mean unlimited ammo in limited bursts? Or does clips mean limited ammo in limited bursts?
It is like the autopulse laser only the weapons regen ammo in chunks instead of single shots

I haven't actually tried the new version yet so I don't understand clips.

If you haven't played the new update yet, why are you saying that "we've gimped half the missiles, made the others completely OP, and energy is STILL overwhelming better than everything" hmm?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Dri on February 11, 2015, 06:38:19 PM
To be fair, you can stockpile much more ammo than the Autopulse so its only really similar if and when you finally zero out on ammo.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 11, 2015, 06:43:22 PM
If you haven't played the new update yet, why are you saying that "we've gimped half the missiles, made the others completely OP, and energy is STILL overwhelming better than everything" hmm?

I'm extrapolating based on the previous version which is where all missiles were gimped and all ballistics were gimped compared to energy. Now ballistics are ungimped  half the missiles are ungimped/OP relative to their peers, and half are doubly worthless (as worthless as before, plus gimped relative to their newly OP peers).

I'll try the game out though to confirm my 100% correct analysis  ;D AM very greatful to see ballistics cleanly ungimped, Space Rome wasn't built in a day

edit: You right though...I don't know that energy is still OP, I strongly suspect that it is though, based on tactical laser increased range, even without flux fry boost. We'll see!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 11, 2015, 06:45:24 PM
Range on Phase Lance is too short!  Absolute 600, without fade-out like non-beam weapons, so that pulse laser has better range.  Phase Lance performs better than old Phase Beam, but compared to the competition (i.e, Graviton Beam, Pulse Laser, both Blasters) it is awful.  It does not even chain-EMP like ion cannon or tachyon lance.  Currently, if I want efficiency, I will take Tactical Laser or Graviton Beam instead.  If I want to do more damage, Pulse Laser or any Blaster instead.

Phase Lance needs more range (at least 700, preferably more) and/or something to make it better.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on February 11, 2015, 07:15:32 PM
I don't know how things work out in the current version where the flux damage boost has been replaced with a flat damage buff for pulse weapons and longer range for beams. But anyone seriously advancing the notion that energy weapons were much better than ballistics (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=7747.0) in previous versions gets my assessment of their credibility on balance matters sharply reduced.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Aeson on February 11, 2015, 07:22:33 PM
Quote
And to top it off, it's really stupid from a lore standpoint. Really? The astral can load dozens, hundreds, of torpedos onto fighter bombers in a fight, but the 500 *** manning the battle ship can't figure out how to load a torpedo tube on the fly? Derp derp, I guess the special eds are working on the flag ship.
For what it's worth, several of the missiles without regenerating ammunition appear to be entirely external weapon systems, although Extended Missile Racks and Missile Specialization screw with that since they don't change the apparent number of missiles on the racks. If you mount a Harpoon Missile Rack, you get a weapon icon that shows 3 externally-carried missiles; Atropos Torpedo Racks likewise create a weapon icon showing a pair of externally-carried torpedoes, and a Reaper Torpedo (Single) shows a single externally-carried torpedo. This tends to imply that the weapon systems are exactly what their names imply - external racks carrying missiles for use in the next engagement, which are not set up with convenient access through the hull and armor for reloading during battle. Loading an external rack on a fighter that lands inside your nice climate-controlled hangar bay with its convenient trolleys or whatever for moving torpedoes quickly from the ammunition storage to the fighters in a safe environment is one thing. Loading an external rack from a likely inconveniently located cargo hatch while moving across the external surface of the hull of a ship under fire, when there's also likely not a particularly easy path between the missile rack and the cargo hatch, is a very different problem. Even if your Harpoon Missile Rack has a convenient  hatch behind it (since there's clearly some kind of access there for the Salamander launchers, though it's possible that that only exists after you cut a hole in the hull armor), there's no guarantee that the reloading process would be easy; perhaps you would need to move the rack out of the way, or perhaps since the rack doesn't have a built-in reload system you need to tear it down and reassemble it, or perhaps you need to set up a temporary crane to move your missiles into position properly.

Furthermore, weapon systems which cannot be reloaded "on the fly" in the middle of battle are not stupid from a lore perspective. They have simply made a trade-off; a single Harpoon rack can get off its three missiles more rapidly than the Salamander launcher or hypothetical Harpoon launcher can get off an equivalent number of missiles. Even more extreme versions of such weapon systems have been used in reality; some WWI and WWII submarines had external torpedo tubes/drop collars which could not be reloaded until the vessel returned to port, there are several types of infantry rocket launchers which are single-use devices, and there are some types of handgun for which the reload instructions are along the lines of "ambush and kill enemy soldier, then take his gun and use that instead."

It can also be argued that this is a reflection of a safety feature. Harpoon missiles, Atropos torpedoes, and Reaper torpedoes have warheads whose explosive power is nearly (or entirely) unmatched by any other weapon, and additionally have whatever explosive power is stored in the propellant. For the sake of the ship's safety, such powerful weapons may be carried externally in an area where there is no direct access to the internal parts of the ship to minimize the danger posed by accidental detonation once the warheads are united with the fueled missiles. Sure, it increases the chances of the missiles being rendered unusable due to enemy fire in an engagement and it makes it inconvenient to reload the weapon system, but it also means that the ship probably isn't going to be completely gutted by its own torpedoes going off, it increases the chance that you can quickly and safely jettison a malfunctioning ready-to-use missile or torpedo before it explodes on or inside the ship's hull, and it makes lucky hits setting off torpedoes in tubes which penetrate the primary armor belt less concerning since there are no such tubes. The missile pods likely make use of a similar system, except with the (presumably internal) ammunition storage designed in such a way that the detonation of stored ammunition preferentially directs the force of the blast away from the ship, but having any internal doors open during battle for reloading would compromise this.

Quote
I really detest the clip based system. It sounded like an ok compromise between having the previous ammo system and no ammo at all, but in reality is worse than both. It doesn't serve any purpose but to break up engagements and interrupt your fights as you wait for ammo to trickle in. It adds an entire extra layer of complexity to ballistics that feels totally unnecessary, a step in the absolute opposite direction of what I understood the purpose of moving away from ammo in the first place was. To free up complexity for other parts of the game.
I tend to feel that the clip system is, for the most part, fine. It's no worse than regenerating ammunition that can be expended more rapidly than it regenerates, it's simply more bursty (which is arguably an advantage, particularly against shields). Some of the weapons could probably be adjusted to make more sense for what the weapon is supposed to be (e.g. the Vulcan Cannon would more sensibly have 1x1000 ammunition with 1x1000 reloaded every minute rather than 5x20 ammunition with 1x20 reloaded every few seconds).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 11, 2015, 07:43:23 PM
I like how the Sunder feels now.  With the usual skills, it is fast and agile, not the slug it was.  Pity for the weak shield.

As for ballistic clips, I like it overall.  Yes, running out of ammo and getting stuck with half DPS is annoying, but it is better than running out of ammo for the rest of the fight.  Weapons that had low ammo before, namely HMG and Gauss cannon, are usable now.  Also, combined with other changes, I now use kinetics on Medusa, instead of mounting a 0 OP missile.

Good news, Expanded Magazines is not as mandatory (for low tech ships) and beams are cheaper.  Bad news, Hardened Subsystems feels mandatory for most ships, and the gamebreaker bugs (unlimited FMR Salamanders, HEF plus beams overload, etc.) that I hope get fixed soon.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 11, 2015, 08:20:00 PM
Starsector 0.65.2a - we've gimped half the missiles, made the others completely OP, and energy is STILL overwhelming better than everything, hahaha.

...

.... Balance the strike from non-strike missiles with reload time. ...

Ugg. Just... no.

The previous update made missiles more powerful - to the point where people were calling Harpoons overpowered. This update took a few missiles and gave them infinite ammo (kind of). This in no way gimped the other missiles! They are still just as powerful as before.

Now lets talk about those ammo changes. And lets ignore Fast Missile Racks. Yeah, its an exploit with Salamanders, thanks for pointing it out, it'l get fixed. So, Salamanders. Previously with a small slot you could dump a bunch into the water - up to 5 with the expanded racks - and even against an enemy with decent PD you knew at least one would get through and knock out the engines. Now however they fire just 1. Almost all point defense just laughs and shoots it down. The racks are a little better at 2, but even then most PD just takes care of it.

So, the Salamanders can give constant pressure for the whole battle, but they can no longer dump on you and ensure your engines go out in a front shielded ship (or if your armor is down back there, do a lot of damage). The upshot? BMII's and Salamander Lashers are less dangerous than before, but remain constantly pressuring.

On to Pilums. They are slower, less agile, and easier to shoot down than Harpoons - usually to the point where point defense or dodging is very effective against them. For long range support they are really good - as long as there are enough of them to make a difference. All of us who have used them in our fleets know that having 4 LRM launchers in the fleet is not twice as good as 2, but much, much better (5 times better? 10 times better?). Its all about overwhelming the enemy - if you are under the overwhelm threshold, they are only an annoyance. Over it and they are a deadly threat.

So, this update gives them infinite ammo. But wait, the infinite ammo comes back at HALF the rate of the fire speed (much, much less for FMR ships as Pilums use ammo rather than reloading as their limiter). So, once past the "old" ammo limit, each launcher is only acting as half a launcher. Which, while still useful, makes them drastically less effective.

Compared to before the update: exactly the same before the (generous) old ammo limit. After the limit: still firing, but significantly less effective. Overpowered? I really don't think so.


I'm just going to ignore energy weapons being OP, because it seems like every other thread is either "Energy weapons are the best" or "How come energy weapons suck so much?". I actually think they are, with a few minor exceptions that could use small tweaks, wonderfully balanced.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Protonus on February 11, 2015, 08:32:18 PM
Well, here's the summary for today:

"Conversation about regenerative missiles simply sparked like wildfire right after someone just spoke about Salamander/Pilum being significantly OP, despite the situation should've been the ability to regenerate Ballistic ammunition overtime in comparison to Energy weapons that started months ago."



So, I'm staying away from that conversation and instead.

What I have in mind:
"Ballistic weapons might actually become increasingly powerful overtime in comparison over Energy weapons due to the utilization of Strike-Ambush tactics, allowing Single Ships to pick-off a large fleet one-by-one through hybriding several Ballistic weapons with several Armor-piercing ballistics while retaining a relatively low amount of energy requirements that Energy weapons in general normally have a weakness in. And simply slapping an Ammo Extension to it further grants the tactic so well, normally Onslaughts can become more effective than Paragons."

But that's just me.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 11, 2015, 08:36:00 PM
I like how the 0.65 updates have made most weapons viable now. Its also made weapons that were no-brainers before (heavy mauler) more balanced and specialized. I especially like the flux reduction on ballistic weapons.

Range on Phase Lance is too short!

I agree, the phase lance could use a range boost of about 100-150, especially since it isn't to good against shields.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 11, 2015, 08:58:53 PM
Quote
Range on Phase Lance is too short!
Nah.  The problem is that they don't do Hard Flux.  So you charge in, and it actually does pretty efficient damage, for a beam, but wait, it's Soft Flux.  So the Graviton Beam still, er, well, it still sucks a bit, but it's a genuine support weapon, kind of.

The Tac Lasers are murderous kiting things, vs. unshielded pirates.  They're still fairly useless vs. anything with a shield, but not as useless as they used to be, because they can do support, kind of, and they're much more relevant vs. fighters.

Anyhow, on this stuff and the missiles, I feel like it's just easier to make a mod that implements this stuff and invite peeps to play it and see it, instead of just theorycrafting all day.  

This puts Hard Flux on Beams, which does not make them miraculous death devices or even massively OP, except for their range bands, and it makes all of the missiles able to regenerate ammo, including bombs, which makes the Strike weapons pleasantly relevant in long battles and makes the AI actually use them often enough to matter, as well as forcing players to think more about PD in their builds and all that jazz, which I think is an improvement.  It also makes the Annihilator actually something I'd use, as opposed to not (ever).

Bombs probably need a timer nerf atm, but meh, I am kind of busy IRL tonight.

I haven't touched damage, range, ROF, etc., etc. except where it was directly relevant to the implementation.

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Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 11, 2015, 09:11:20 PM
For what it's worth, several of the missiles without regenerating ammunition appear to be entirely external weapon systems, although Extended Missile Racks and Missile Specialization screw with that since they don't change the apparent number of missiles on the racks. If you mount a Harpoon Missile Rack, you get a weapon icon that shows 3 externally-carried missiles; Atropos Torpedo Racks likewise create a weapon icon showing a pair of externally-carried torpedoes, and a Reaper Torpedo (Single) shows a single externally-carried torpedo. This tends to imply that the weapon systems are exactly what their names imply - external racks carrying missiles for use in the next engagement, which are not set up with convenient access through the hull and armor for reloading during battle. Loading an external rack on a fighter that lands inside your nice climate-controlled hangar bay with its convenient trolleys or whatever for moving torpedoes quickly from the ammunition storage to the fighters in a safe environment is one thing. Loading an external rack from a likely inconveniently located cargo hatch while moving across the external surface of the hull of a ship under fire, when there's also likely not a particularly easy path between the missile rack and the cargo hatch, is a very different problem. Even if your Harpoon Missile Rack has a convenient  hatch behind it (since there's clearly some kind of access there for the Salamander launchers, though it's possible that that only exists after you cut a hole in the hull armor), there's no guarantee that the reloading process would be easy; perhaps you would need to move the rack out of the way, or perhaps since the rack doesn't have a built-in reload system you need to tear it down and reassemble it, or perhaps you need to set up a temporary crane to move your missiles into position properly.

Furthermore, weapon systems which cannot be reloaded "on the fly" in the middle of battle are not stupid from a lore perspective. They have simply made a trade-off; a single Harpoon rack can get off its three missiles more rapidly than the Salamander launcher or hypothetical Harpoon launcher can get off an equivalent number of missiles. Even more extreme versions of such weapon systems have been used in reality; some WWI and WWII submarines had external torpedo tubes/drop collars which could not be reloaded until the vessel returned to port, there are several types of infantry rocket launchers which are single-use devices, and there are some types of handgun for which the reload instructions are along the lines of "ambush and kill enemy soldier, then take his gun and use that instead."

It can also be argued that this is a reflection of a safety feature. Harpoon missiles, Atropos torpedoes, and Reaper torpedoes have warheads whose explosive power is nearly (or entirely) unmatched by any other weapon, and additionally have whatever explosive power is stored in the propellant. For the sake of the ship's safety, such powerful weapons may be carried externally in an area where there is no direct access to the internal parts of the ship to minimize the danger posed by accidental detonation once the warheads are united with the fueled missiles. Sure, it increases the chances of the missiles being rendered unusable due to enemy fire in an engagement and it makes it inconvenient to reload the weapon system, but it also means that the ship probably isn't going to be completely gutted by its own torpedoes going off, it increases the chance that you can quickly and safely jettison a malfunctioning ready-to-use missile or torpedo before it explodes on or inside the ship's hull, and it makes lucky hits setting off torpedoes in tubes which penetrate the primary armor belt less concerning since there are no such tubes. The missile pods likely make use of a similar system, except with the (presumably internal) ammunition storage designed in such a way that the detonation of stored ammunition preferentially directs the force of the blast away from the ship, but having any internal doors open during battle for reloading would compromise this.

Yeah this is a really cool explanation in a spaceship space game with cosmic time travel through wormholes and grammitron particle lasers. I especially love the touch about the reaper torpedo's being especially volatile and dangerous, as opposed to say the shipboard singularity of theoretically infinite piliums and their constituent explosive gels and powders, all being manufactured, charged and loaded in extreme combat that kills the equipment operators, blows up and fries the internals,  and that could theoretically destroy the ships entire hull down to one hitpoint but keep this elaborate and terrifying supply chain running perfectly. You know what else is cool? How you can lose every piece of hull down to one and fully repair the ship in deep space given enough time and enough crispity crunchy deluxe fortified magic jiggawatt cubes (supplies). I would really like to see that in an aircraft carrier, torpedo it 4 or 5 times, strafe it with a GAU-8 Avenger, kill half the crew and watch the other half restore it to perfect readiness using duct tape and peanut butter OUT OF PORT

The previous update made missiles more powerful - to the point where people were calling Harpoons overpowered.

Yeah that's awesome when they all get launched by the AI and the PD zaps them or they just miss outright or just get eaten by shields and you're like  so overpowered thank God I didn't sink those 1-20 OP in worthless flux or vents or a weapon that can fire more than 3 times hahaha the enemy is so cowed I don't even need that 10% OP
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 11, 2015, 09:23:56 PM
...

The previous update made missiles more powerful - to the point where people were calling Harpoons overpowered.

Yeah that's awesome when they all get launched by the AI and the PD zaps them or they just miss outright or just get eaten by shields and you're like  so overpowered thank God I didn't sink those 1-20 OP in worthless flux or vents or a weapon that can fire more than 3 times hahaha the enemy is so cowed I don't even need that 10% OP

Other than the boorish sarcasm, which frankly just undermines everything you say, this just tells me you really just never used them right. You fire them when the enemy is vulnerable, or you fire them in overwhelming force and get a straight up kill.  Frigates can sometimes dodge, but destroyers and up can't. People were complaining about skilled enemy Dominators evaporating a destroyer with every volley of 12 Harpoons, at 0 flux cost.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 11, 2015, 09:31:33 PM
Quote
People were complaining about skilled enemy Dominators evaporating a destroyer with every volley of 12 Harpoons, at 0 flux cost.
Yup, that's a thing, if your Destroyer's Flux was high enough.  Been there, got the shirt (it's mildly radioactive though, so I don't wear it).

Not complaining, though; that's exactly what I'd expect a huge volley of anti-ship missiles to do, heh.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Aeson on February 11, 2015, 10:37:59 PM
Yeah this is a really cool explanation in a spaceship space game with cosmic time travel through wormholes and grammitron particle lasers. I especially love the touch about the reaper torpedo's being especially volatile and dangerous, as opposed to say the shipboard singularity of theoretically infinite piliums and their constituent explosive gels and powders, all being manufactured, charged and loaded in extreme combat that kills the equipment operators, blows up and fries the internals,  and that could theoretically destroy the ships entire hull down to one hitpoint but keep this elaborate and terrifying supply chain running perfectly. You know what else is cool? How you can lose every piece of hull down to one and fully repair the ship in deep space given enough time and enough crispity crunchy deluxe fortified magic jiggawatt cubes (supplies). I would really like to see that in an aircraft carrier, torpedo it 4 or 5 times, strafe it with a GAU-8 Avenger, kill half the crew and watch the other half restore it to perfect readiness using duct tape and peanut butter OUT OF PORT
1. It's a possible explanation for why it's done. Other explanations were offered. Beyond that, believe it or not, ships are just as full of singularities of Reaper Torpedoes as they are of singularities of Pilum LRMs, the only difference is they cannot reload the launchers in the middle of battle. The sizes of the infinite quantities of torpedoes and LRMs may be different, but they're still infinite quantities; you don't technically ever need to return to port to restock any type of ammunition.

2. Just because we have "cosmic time travel through wormholes and grammitron particle lasers" doesn't mean that we have ships with the ability to teleport torpedoes from inside the armor to outside of it into the launch racks which for whatever reason do not have internal reloading mechanisms.

3. My previous post was in response to your comment regarding the lore-appropriateness of the weapon systems. I see nothing in your reply which offers a particularly reasonable counterargument, aside from the comment about how dangerous an infinite source of Pila and Salamanders likely is (of course, there's also an infinite source of all the other types of ammunition, including the weapons which have limited ammunition in each fight, since you never have to restock your supplies of ammunition and can theoretically never return to port if you can manage to recover a sufficient quantity of supplies after each battle). However, the safety explanation was only one of several proffered explanations, and you seem to have ignored the others, such as the one about it being a design trade-off where the weapon system traded a reloading mechanism for the ability to launch missiles more rapidly than would be possible otherwise.

4. All of us know that Starsector contains a lot of unrealistic things. It is, after all, a space game with superluminal travel, magical shields, and no wear and tear on equipment, among other things. However, unrealistic and lore-inconsistent are not the same thing, and since your argument was along the lines of "external missile racks/pods cannot be reloaded mid-fight is inconsistent with the lore," I see no reason why pointing out parts of Starsector which are unrealistic helps to show your argument of "lore is inconsistent." Is it unrealistic that Starsector's ships can carry infinite amounts of ammunition, and expend theoretically-infinite amounts of ammunition in a single battle for certain types of weapons? Yep. Is it unrealistic that some weapon types might have made design trade-offs that prevent them from firing theoretically-infinite amounts of ammunition in a single battle? Nope. Is it inconsistent with the game's lore? I don't see it as being such. The answer to "is it better to have theoretically-infinite shots with a low rate of fire or a limited number of shots with a high rate of fire" is not always "infinitely many shots with a low rate of fire." Harpoon racks offer 60 shots per minute, as compared to the Salamander's 3; Harpoon Pods offer 27 shots per minute as compared to the Salamander Pod's 5.9. Clearly, from the perspective of the game's lore, the designers of the various Harpoon systems chose to go with a limited number of shots and a high rate of fire over the more convenient but slower system used by the Salamanders. Why? I don't know, but I tend to agree with the choice; being able to unload 3 Harpoons in 3 seconds from a Harpoon Rack is more useful for breaking heavy armor or penetrating moderate amounts of PD than being able to unload infinitely many Harpoons at the rate of one every 20 seconds is, unless you're facing very little PD, not particularly heavy armor, or have the time to wait for the missiles to regenerate.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Protonus on February 11, 2015, 10:41:32 PM
To simply put it, this is Science Fiction, not Science Fact, the developers can make excuses to make changes in their reality but it doesn't change anything in Real Life physics.

Anything can happen here and the developers are just simply gods in this place.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: CopperCoyote on February 12, 2015, 01:46:50 AM
I have a minor suggestion for PD weapons: let them shoot a whole magazine's worth of bullets at an enemy ship before they hold fire. Currently they shoot a single salvo then stop and the mag regen wastes a large chunk of the bullets. Over all i really like the hold fire unless topped off behavior because missiles can hurt, but it really puts a damper on using PD weapons on auto fire against an enemy ship.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on February 12, 2015, 04:02:13 AM
On alpha striking with missiles:

A fleet with one a ship that has just used up all its small/medium missiles is basically a fleet with one ship operating on a 2-24 OP penalty, depending on what the mounts were and what was put in them.

A fleet with one ship that got alpha-struck out of the battle is a fleet that's down 40 - 140 OP worth of combat ability. And unlike the missile ammo, the lost crew and the hull damage aren't replaced for free. If the ship gets disabled instead of merely being forced to retreat, you lose any number of weapons and more often that not a hull that's likely to be hard, possibly near-impossible to replace.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 05:53:48 AM
@ Xenoargh:  It would be nice if all beams did hard flux, but I doubt that will happen.  I still think Phase Beam range is too short.  When it has less range than Pulse Laser, and deals less damage than Pulse Laser and only soft flux; Phase Lance is a lemon compared to its competitors.  If I want short-range yet efficient, I will take IR Pulse Laser - that weapon got the most damage boost out of all energy weapons.

Also, AI cannot deal with continuous hard flux buildup.  I tried a mod that made beams hit for hard flux, and I loved it, except the AI was completely locked down because it did not know what to do to defend against it.  It tried to flicker shields, but overloaded then died.  Similiarly, this is why Monitor flagship can shield-ram heavy ships to death with ease, because AI cannot deal with taking continuous hard flux buildup from attacks.  If AI stays unchanged, any hard flux beam cannot be continuous and must be a burst, like tachyon lance or the new phase lance.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 12, 2015, 08:28:26 AM
On alpha striking with missiles:

A fleet with one a ship that has just used up all its small/medium missiles is basically a fleet with one ship operating on a 2-24 OP penalty, depending on what the mounts were and what was put in them.

A fleet with one ship that got alpha-struck out of the battle is a fleet that's down 40 - 140 OP worth of combat ability. And unlike the missile ammo, the lost crew and the hull damage aren't replaced for free. If the ship gets disabled instead of merely being forced to retreat, you lose any number of weapons and more often that not a hull that's likely to be hard, possibly near-impossible to replace.

Other than the boorish sarcasm, which frankly just undermines everything you say, this just tells me you really just never used them right. You fire them when the enemy is vulnerable, or you fire them in overwhelming force and get a straight up kill.  Frigates can sometimes dodge, but destroyers and up can't. People were complaining about skilled enemy Dominators evaporating a destroyer with every volley of 12 Harpoons, at 0 flux cost.

Why is it that hard hitting, alpha striking, fast moving, PD-proof anti-matter blasters regen, but hard hitting, alpha striking, slow moving, PD vulnerable Reapers do not regen? Oh right, because non regen alpha missiles are a complete worthless waste of OP compared to completely overpowered energy builds (more flux, more capacity, more energy weapons) and I guess with the new version regen missiles.

For the record I think alpha missiles are by far the coolest weapons in the game, I would really like to use them, I just can't in good conscious gimp my fleet of 10-15% of its OP on a one shot attack that usually ends up missing or just getting eaten by shields. I mean, do you all really think Repear torpedo's or harpoons are really so devastatingly effective? They are pretty good against low tech fleets but energy fleets will chaos blast them with PD without much difficulty. The AI is smart but not smart enough, they will fire their gimp missiles at the wrong time 50%-75% of the time, depending on the battle intensity, and the gimp missiles get eaten. Goodbye OP. My fighter wing is nothing but Repear fighter bombers, 5-7 wings of them, launching wave after wave of repears, and in that regard, they are effective. Backed by proper fire support, they can pop a destroyer or a cruiser, every few minutes or so, because you know, they get more than one reaper over a 5 minute fleet engagment...regenerating repear wings are a very good balance, non regenerating repears, gimp city. Same thing with harpoons, thunders get new harpoons every few minutes. But other ships can't? Because of balance? Ridiculous and overly complicating double standards...that add nothing to gameplay...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on February 12, 2015, 08:54:30 AM
Are you seriously advocating the introduction of regenerating reapers and other torpedos? Do you genuinely have difficulty getting reapers to connect on a regular basis, or making effective use of harpoons?

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that you might just be really bad at the game. It happens, but you might want to take that into consideration.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Dark.Revenant on February 12, 2015, 08:55:05 AM
The Antimatter Blaster costs 9 OP, while a single-shot Reaper is 2 OP.  3111 Hull/Armor/Shields damage (over several minutes) per OP vs. 2000 Hull/4000 Armor/1000 Shields damage (all at once) per OP.  It's pretty comparable.

All in all, missiles favor shorter engagements, ballistic weapons favor medium-length engagements, and energy weapons favor long engagements -- but are tempered by the fact that ships with lots of energy mounts have a shorter CR period.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 12, 2015, 09:16:45 AM
Are you seriously advocating the introduction of regenerating reapers and other torpedos? Do you genuinely have difficulty getting reapers to connect on a regular basis, or making effective use of harpoons?

I don't use missiles at all, only my AI ships do, and the enemy. I don't equip my fleet with nonregens, because its better to use that OP on permanent benefits, and to just kite the enemy until they run out of nonregens, or just kill them outright and dodge/ignore nonregens, while bombarding them with torpedo bombers.

Personal attack removed - LW
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on February 12, 2015, 09:42:18 AM
Why is it that hard hitting, alpha striking, fast moving, PD-proof anti-matter blasters regen, but hard hitting, alpha striking, slow moving, PD vulnerable Reapers do not regen? Oh right, because non regen alpha missiles are a complete worthless waste of OP compared to completely overpowered energy builds (more flux, more capacity, more energy weapons) and I guess with the new version regen missiles.
AM blasters don't regen.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: LazyWizard on February 12, 2015, 09:43:54 AM
Alright, that's enough of that. Remember rule 1 (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=2668.0).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 12, 2015, 09:44:35 AM
There's an interesting disconnect here; limited munition things like missiles work much better when used directly by the player.  Argh is speaking from the perspective of putting torpedos on AI-piloted vessels where, indeed, they are not all that great.  Ahrenjb is speaking from the perspective of putting torpedos on the flagship where - especially with the skill to boost ammo count and damage and speed - it's easy to spend just a few ordnance points to be able to take an entire enemy ship out of the equation.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on February 12, 2015, 10:15:16 AM
Personal attack removed.

Now now, no need to resort to base name calling. Graham wouldn't approve.

There's an interesting disconnect here; limited munition things like missiles work much better when used directly by the player.  Argh is speaking from the perspective of putting torpedos on AI-piloted vessels where, indeed, they are not all that great.  Ahrenjb is speaking from the perspective of putting torpedos on the flagship where - especially with the skill to boost ammo count and damage and speed - it's easy to spend just a few ordnance points to be able to take an entire enemy ship out of the equation.

Agreed. I definitely speak primarily from experience using missiles on my own flagship, however I'm not at all shy about using them on my fleet vessels as well. When on my own ship, I use them to either eliminate high value targets, or as a finisher on vessels that I don't want to waste any more time on. Harpoons and reapers are both great in this regard. If timed right, meaning forcing the enemy to overload or vent before firing, you can almost guarantee solid hits.

Obviously the AI isn't smart enough to utilize these types of strategies as effectively as the player, but I've still had a lot of success mounting harpoons on my fleet ships. While not being as good as a player piloted vessel, I've found that the AI is still surprisingly good at firing missiles at the right time. When I field lashers, falcons, hammerheads, etc, I nearly always have two harpoons in the small missile slots, and they use them pretty effectively as finishing weapons. I view most missiles less as support weapons, more as situational weapons. They can be a phenomenal force multiplier with smart ship fittings and fleet compositions. I readily admit the AI is somewhat less effective at using torpedos, but as another poster stated they have a very low OP cost and fill slots that wouldn't be particularly useful for other things. I can't tell you the number of times that one of my AI piloted fleet vessels has fired a reaper at just the right time and helped to take an enemy out of the fight in short order. Just as often they detonate harmlessly against shields, but my point stands.

Edit: Personal attack removed from quote to keep consistency with LazyWizards moderation.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on February 12, 2015, 10:24:21 AM
Missiles weapons have repeatedly been proven ridiculously powerful when used en masse. Making them all regen ammo would completely break the game balance to the point that nobody would even consider using anything else...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Lucian Greymark on February 12, 2015, 10:46:18 AM
I've run around a bit in the early game and some of the mid game, can't comment on the end game yet, of the new patch, and I've come to the conclusion that the changes to missiles actually hasn't changed much. If anything it's actually placed an emphasis on finishing fights with a great deal of care, rather than swiftly. I've found that running into a fight with a ship that can regen it's missiles, and attempting to beat it quickly, often ends up with my ship overloaded, vulnerable, and waiting for their next salvo.

That said I have to say, I love that the buffalo mk2 isn't an absolute beast against frigates anymore. I used to be terrified of those things in my wolf class because of the six salamander spam they could put out, in a firefight with other ships that would often cripple my chances of victory. Now though, I can happily kite one of the salvos away and catch them on my shields before going back in with a reaper to finish the damn thing off.

Just my two cents :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 11:01:01 AM
With 1000 range beams and unlimited ballistics, Conquest is very powerful now... as a long-range skirmisher.

Conquest
Weapons:  2x Hurricane MIRV, 2x Pilum LRM, 4x Gauss Cannon, 4x Heavy Mauler, 2x Graviton Beam, 8x Tactical Laser
Hullmods:  Advanced Turret Gyros, Augmented Engines, Hardened Shields (optional), Integrated Point Defense AI, Integrated Targeting Unit, Resistant Flux Conduits
Capacitors:  0
Vents:  49

Every weapon is unlimited and has at least 1000 range, and Gauss Cannon pair will make short work of shields.  The Graviton Beams can be replaced by Tactical Lasers for more anti-missile PD and/or spare OP.

Advanced Turret Gyros and IPDAI to make Tactical Lasers effective PD (and pile on more damage from afar when not zapping missiles), Augmented Engines for more top speed (and +2 burn), ITU for more range, Resistant Flux Conduits for faster venting.  Hardened Shields is filler and optional, and it probably does not need so many vents.  There is some room for variation of hullmods and flux stats.  The only hullmod it should not get is Advanced Optics because that will kill Tactical Laser as a viable PD option.  EDIT:  Advanced Optics seems to work okay.

This configuration is designed to kite and snipe at everything from afar, and it has the speed to stay away from the biggest threats.

I nickname this configuration "Dhalsim" (from Street Fighter II).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 11:17:42 AM
Quote
For the record I think alpha missiles are by far the coolest weapons in the game, I would really like to use them, I just can't in good conscious gimp my fleet of 10-15% of its OP on a one shot attack that usually ends up missing or just getting eaten by shields. I mean, do you all really think Repear torpedo's or harpoons are really so devastatingly effective?
For some ships, with Missile Specialization 10, yes!  Hyperion flagship with max Missile Specialization can kill almost any enemy flagship (with armor that takes only half damage and can regenerate hull damage) instantly with four Reapers.  Without them, it will take minutes to kill such a ship with Heavy Blasters alone.  Minutes lost means peak performance is gone and CR is decaying.  When fighting a fleet with chain-flagships, burst damage is important to kill endgame bounty fleets quickly.  Reapers allow the Hyperion to solo fleets it otherwise could not.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 12, 2015, 11:55:44 AM
I put Reapers on all my ships (excluding my Pilum-armed Vigilances) and from what I've seen the AI uses them alright. Not as well as I can, but well enough to be worth it.

IMO Reapers > Harpoons even for AI, although I haven't tested Harpoons all that much. I think I'll go do that, cause why not.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 12, 2015, 12:05:30 PM
I really detest the clip based system. It sounded like an ok compromise between having the previous ammo system and no ammo at all, but in reality is worse than both. It doesn't serve any purpose but to break up engagements and interrupt your fights as you wait for ammo to trickle in. It adds an entire extra layer of complexity to ballistics that feels totally unnecessary, a step in the absolute opposite direction of what I understood the purpose of moving away from ammo in the first place was. To free up complexity for other parts of the game.

It feels disjointed and more in-the-way than anything else, and I hope to soon see it go away. An idea that was tested and didn't work out. Changes the entire feel of combat with ballistics, and not in any positive way.

I didn't think I would feel this way before, but after actually spending some time in game and using a variety of setups and weapons to give it a really fair try, I'm sure. If I had to choose between this and no ammo at all, I choose no ammo. I know you try things out all the time Alex, and based on how you think it works out it either makes it into the game or it doesn't, but I'm not sure what your thought process was here. Do you actually like this system? Did you decide to let the playerbase try it and, based on feedback, decide whether or not to keep it? Or did you try it, understand it sucked, and push it on the playerbase as punishment for not receiving the "no ammo for ballistics" change very well?

I'm curious, which weapons specifically have you used that feel that way? And what length of fights are we talking about?

Hmm. It might make sense to go back to infinite ammo for a few ballistics (conceptually, they can just reload as fast as they fire), and only leave the clip-based mechanic on a few weapons where it makes sense as a balancing factor. That'd also meet the original goal of simplifying things somewhat.


IMO Reapers > Harpoons even for AI, although I haven't tested Harpoons all that much. I think I'll go do that, cause why not.

One thing about AI Harpoon usage is that it'll quickly fire off large salvoes vs unshielded ships. Not entirely sure how to address it, since in many circumstances it *does* make sense to alpha-strike any Hounds and Cerberi (?) into oblivion, but in other cases it makes sense to save the Harpoons for other threats, and that's a tough call for the AI to make. Anyway, all that is to say, when you're trying out Harpoons, keep in mind that the AI is going to use them best vs shielded ships.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 12:14:28 PM
Quote
One thing about AI Harpoon usage is that it'll quickly fire off large salvoes vs unshielded ships. Not entirely sure how to address it, since in many circumstances it *does* make sense to alpha-strike any Hounds and Cerberi (?) into oblivion, but in other cases it makes sense to save the Harpoons for other threats, and that's a tough call for the AI to make. Anyway, all that is to say, when you're trying out Harpoons, keep in mind that the AI is going to use them best vs shielded ships.
I noticed this.  Many of my ships spend their Harpoons early on unshielded ships, and that happens in most fights.  Harpoons are not that deadly when not backed by Missile Specialization.  I have resorted to either Annihilators (burst damage) or Swarmers or Pilums (homing option) for AI ships instead.  Swarmers from 20+ frigates will hurt anything.  Now that Salamanders are unlimited, I plan to replace Swarmers on all of my ships with them.  Salamanders are just as lethal once the armor is gone.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 12, 2015, 12:16:16 PM
Hmm. It might make sense to go back to infinite ammo for a few ballistics (conceptually, they can just reload as fast as they fire), and only leave the clip-based mechanic on a few weapons where it makes sense as a balancing factor. That'd also meet the original goal of simplifying things somewhat.
Mm.  I'll also add that, when I posited "chunk reload" mechanics (essentially the same as current clip reload), I included a suggestion that the expanded magazines hull mod should improve reload rate - most likely by increasing the clip size - and thought that for some weapons (especially small ballistic pd), this ought to bring the reload rate up to match the rate of fire.

That said, I have not actually tested how the current game feels - I've been low on time, and in particular this bug involving ballistic PD reserving ammunition for missiles/fighters (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=9049.0) has me waiting for the incoming bugfix release before I really dig into the game again.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 12:20:40 PM
I forgot to write that I have considered sending a lone Hound or phase ship with the express purpose of forcing enemy ships to launch their Harpoon salvos.  Enemy Dominator or Venture is not so scary once they waste their Harpoons.  (In the end, I decided Hyperion flagship plus Reaper strike was the easiest missile-ship counter.)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 12, 2015, 12:28:58 PM
I am in agreement that there are a number of Ballistics where reload rate should be ammo rate (i.e., drop ammo / clip requirements entirely).  I'd say that this is true of all of the small fast-firing ones unless a clip system is there to give it flavor.  I would not favor a clip for Vulcans and LMGs, personally; for HMGs and Hephag it'd make more sense, though, and it's arguable for stuff like the Assault Cannon.

I'm also inclined to say that, after looking at the CSV, it could have been a little clearer; "clip reload time" and "clip ammo" values that don't tie into a core ammo value would probably be a little cleaner than the current system, where it's a little unclear how everything interacts, in terms of time hacks, without plugging numbers in and seeing the difference.  

There are also some UI issues, in terms of presentation.  For example, the UI for the Arbalest suggests it only has 20 shots and can be read that way, but no, it's really a regenerating-ammo weapon that has clips, and what we're seeing, under the UI, is a slow shot regeneration time when we're out of ammo, rather than a timer to build a new clip once we've burned the ready ammo.

It's pretty confusing to read, and I was expecting it, lol.  I doubt if newbies would make heads or tails of it easily, so I feel like a "rounds per clip / clip reload time / new clip build time" UI hint would be more sensible for weapons where the desired behavior is to fire off a clip and then have to reload is more appropriate, in terms of understanding the mechanics :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 12:36:53 PM
Light/Heavy Needler should not use clips.  They have such a long delay between bursts that clips seem necessary.  Maybe extend delay a little.

I think Heavy Needler is disappointing now.  The only thing it offers over Heavy Autocannon is better accuracy, which is (usually) not worth +5 OP per gun for me.  At least Light Needler has +100 range over Railgun.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 12, 2015, 12:56:31 PM
Went and ran Harpoons in the simulator with my whole fleet vs. a similar-sized fleet. The low damage of the Harpoons was really disappointing. I'm going to stick with Reapers. 4000 is way better than 750x3.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Dri on February 12, 2015, 01:29:14 PM
Heavy needler is vastly more imperssive than heavy autocannon. You undervalue it's burst and its accuracy.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 02:08:47 PM
No, I do not.  It is often not worth +5 OP (over heavy autocannon) and not-so-high capacity when I now need to squeeze in Hardened Subsystems and unlimited Salamanders to most ships that had Needlers.  Some ships, like Enforcer and Dominator, want the extra accuracy, and I might still use them over heavy autocannon.  Some ships, like Eagle, only need to hit shields and do not need accuracy as much.

Previously, Heavy Needler was great because it had the best capacity, 1500 shots (or more with Expanded Magazines).  Now that Heavy Autocannon is unlimited, and has large capacity to fire for a while, Heavy Needler is only useful if I need the accuracy and have the OP to spare.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 12, 2015, 02:22:09 PM
For what it's worth, I agree with Dri here.  Sure, the ammo capacity was nice, but most of the time that wasn't the deciding factor.  The big thing with the needlers is that one burst will put a frigate on the edge of overloading; if you've got anything else to keep up pressure (and you should, because kinetics below gauss don't fare well against armor), that's a huge advantage over the autocannon's plink-plink-plink.  (Alternatively, two heavy needlers in the rear turrets of an Onslaught are really good at keeping frigates out of your tailpipes; sure, they won't kill very well due to lack of anti-armor support, but they'll force near anything to back off... which is all you really need.)

Of course, different players, different playstyles; I've had this discussion with various people before, and it's usually a stalemate.  Some people think the autocannon's slightly better armor penetration and lower ordnance point cost win out.  Others (including me) think that the heavy needler's burst damage, shot speed (and thus ease of hitting targets) and flux efficiency make it superior.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Delta7 on February 12, 2015, 02:40:57 PM
im not a fan of the beam weapon range standardization, nor the regenerating ammo. even as a missile commander, i liked how missiles had limited ammunition, it forced me to think tactically when engaging a large enemy fleet. i could blaze away all my pilliums with fast missile racks in the beginning, taking out maybe one or two enemy ships at long range, early on in the battle, or i could make efficient use of them and wait till an enemy was high on flux before firing and likely have enough to last most of the battle. another example, it also makes massive and overpowered harpoon spams far too easy. the sheer alpha strike damage of multiple harpoon pods was balanced by the limited ammunition, but now either 1. they become both overpowered AND spammable, or 2. they get nerfed. i dont want to be able to solo half an enemy battlefleet with a single wolf class frigate just because i can use a one two grav beam harpoon combo over and over again.
also, i liked the idea of most frigates having a limited time on the battlefield, with bigger ships having their endurance limited by ammunition. it forced you to think before sending in every one of your frigates at the beginning of a potentially long battle, and it also made it worth investing in a high tech destroyer or cruiser that uses energy weapons. ammo was far more than just a gimmick, it was an important game mechanic that effected my playstyle.
as for the high flux energy weapon damage boost. i didnt like the idea at first, but it gave an interesting set of choices while shooting it out with an enemy. maintain contact and finish a damaged enemy off with a prolonged and boosted burst from your energy weapons at the cost of having to lower your own shields and take some return fire, or break off to vent and go in for another run. now combat in an energy weapon armed ship is far more one dimensional, especially with the range normalization. variety is part of what makes this game fun, and that's why all my mods are designed to augment the game with more ships and weapons while leaving the original game untouched and still relatively balanced. standardization is the last thing this game needs.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 12, 2015, 02:42:45 PM
Harpoons don't regen.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 12, 2015, 02:55:55 PM
Can people read the patch notes and try the patch before posting feedback? It prevents misinformation and allows us to have better discussions regarding balance / the patch.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Aeson on February 12, 2015, 02:56:28 PM
Of course, different players, different playstyles; I've had this discussion with various people before, and it's usually a stalemate.  Some people think the autocannon's slightly better armor penetration and lower ordnance point cost win out.  Others (including me) think that the heavy needler's burst damage, shot speed (and thus ease of hitting targets) and flux efficiency make it superior.
For what it's worth, the flux efficiency of the Heavy Needler is more than a little deceptive. Under the current patch, a Heavy Needler generates 80 flux per second as opposed to a Heavy Autocannon's 100 flux per second, but as long as you can add vents you can get 10 flux per second of dissipation per ordnance point and each Heavy Needler costs 5 more ordnance points than a Heavy Autocannon would. Heavy Needlers also generate ~283 flux per burst as compared to the Heavy Autocannon's ~140 flux per burst, which means they're a little harder to fire at high flux levels than the Heavy Autocannons are.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 12, 2015, 03:11:05 PM
That's interesting - it implies that something's changed significantly either this patch or in a recent one; used to be the difference was around 45 flux per second (sustained) between the two weapons, which meant that heavy autocannon + vents was roughly the same efficiency as a heavy needler.  I'll have to double-check, see when that happened.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 12, 2015, 03:13:36 PM
The flux generated by ballistic weapons was decreased.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 03:17:36 PM
Before this latest release, I used Heavy Needler primarily for ammo count.  I build my ships to kill fleets singlehandedly (if possible).  Before 0.65, the only way I could solo a Hegemony defense fleet with an Enforcer was with Heavy Needlers plus Heavy Mauler.  Even then, I needed to conserve ammo by letting badly damaged ships retreat.  Heavy Autocannon did not have enough ammo for the job.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 12, 2015, 03:24:21 PM
The flux generated by ballistic weapons was decreased.
Odd, I'd expect to see that in the patch notes.  The Mjolnir had its flux cost decreased, but it rather needed that.  Other ballistics did not.  Are you sure you're not using some sort of balance-altering mod?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: MesoTroniK on February 12, 2015, 03:33:46 PM
The flux generation for ballistic weapons only goes down when the clip mechanic kicks in and limits the sustained DPM. During the initial salvos the flux cost is unchanged from the last version of SS.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 12, 2015, 03:38:49 PM
Ahh, so the difference is in the sustained flux calculations.  That makes sense.  Carry on then.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 12, 2015, 06:46:45 PM
HAHAHAHA, so I've actually gone all the way and actually played the new version, and holy motherloving crapoly I am literally 200% right. I'm so sorry for even starting the debate, because it's so lopsided that there's obviously some perception/fundamental personality differences here that can't be bridged. Literally L O L at the new version imbalances. Anyway: four things I've noticed

Minor

1. The talon cheap fighters vulcan guns don't seem to fire many bullets at all. Just like a few 5 per second of piddly little bullets, kiting around like flies without firing. Even when the enemy ship is flux bursted out and helpless. I don't use talons except as bridge fighters to something better, but they seem pretty much completely useless, even in their role as kamikaze suicide fodder fighters. I saw it only in two battles but it was definitely noticeably weaker fire than previous versions. Might just be a fluke.

2. It's possible to stop an engine charge thrust, on like an enforcer, by venting if you have flux. Not sure if working as intended, but you can use it as an emergency brake to stop a bad charge towards something dangerous. Doesn't feel like it's supposed to be able to do that, the whole point of charging is trading safety for rapid speed.

Major

3. Lol at the missiles. Lol at the missiles. Starsector: spam piliums until EVERYTHING dies. Got a problem? Piliums. Got a problem? More piliums. Piliums piliums piliums for the auto win. Harpoon multilauncher? BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *fires 30 piliums every 30 seconds for the rest of the battle* I haven't found them yet but I'm sure salamanders are just as bad. Anyway, balance it or don't, the new version is hilarious, I love it. Speaking of which:

4. So we've somewhat blunted energies overpoweredness from flux/capacity/ammo efficiency by buffing ballistic ammo (somewhat) and removed flux boost damage, which was definitely cheese. But hooooooooly macaroni, the new beam ranges are devastating. I just watched a vigiliance armed with the 800 range blue one successfully kite a falcon for an entire battle, a falcon stuffed to the brim with harpoons btw (lol). I watched another Wolf kite both an enforcer and lasher with tactical lasers and the blue one. Now granted they can't kill them but they can tie them up successfully until their CR gives out, and with the range boost it becomes even more devastating. The enemy ships cannot harm the beam mounted frigates, they just can't get anyway near close enough. And of course, tied up means I can sneak up and pop their engines without difficultly. Hmm, not sure what the fix is, I don't even want you to fix it cause it's a great strategy, makes fleet building really really easy (beams + piliums with one ship armed with explosive ballistics). but really, I don't think it's fair that tactical lasers can fire so far. Hounds are weak as hell, but now they can't even apply pressure to a wolf, let alone harm it.



Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 06:55:53 PM
1. has been confirmed and will be fixed.
2. has been in the game as long as I can remember.  Think of it like move cancelling in a fighting game.
3. Pilums does not need unlimited ammo to dominate, if you field enough missile-ships.  If you really want to see cheese, try Salamanders combined with Fast Missile Racks.  Pilums need to regenerate, but Salamanders do not... yet.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 12, 2015, 07:12:44 PM
IMO Reapers > Harpoons even for AI, although I haven't tested Harpoons all that much. I think I'll go do that, cause why not.

One thing about AI Harpoon usage is that it'll quickly fire off large salvoes vs unshielded ships. Not entirely sure how to address it, since in many circumstances it *does* make sense to alpha-strike any Hounds and Cerberi (?) into oblivion, but in other cases it makes sense to save the Harpoons for other threats, and that's a tough call for the AI to make. Anyway, all that is to say, when you're trying out Harpoons, keep in mind that the AI is going to use them best vs shielded ships.
You can always make them (and every other missile) unlimited.  The only non-regenerating missiles I use now are either 0 OP singles, Reaper, and maybe Annihilators.

Single Harpoons are free (with perk), no problem.  Not every ship I use can afford missiles without giving up something it needs more.

Triple Harpoon is overpriced.  Much rather use Reapers, Annihilators, or Swarmers instead.  Well, with unlimited Salamanders, I do not want Swarmers anymore.  Swarmers were weak, but were useful en masse... until they ran out.

Harpoon Pod is okay for ships that cannot use Reapers (like Apogee), but three salvos are not enough.  If my ship has Missile Specialization 10, Pilums are nearly as good as Harpoons, and now they regenerate!  For non-skilled, Pilums can still be good.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: ahrenjb on February 12, 2015, 07:58:38 PM

I'm curious, which weapons specifically have you used that feel that way? And what length of fights are we talking about?

Hmm. It might make sense to go back to infinite ammo for a few ballistics (conceptually, they can just reload as fast as they fire), and only leave the clip-based mechanic on a few weapons where it makes sense as a balancing factor. That'd also meet the original goal of simplifying things somewhat.


Of course, a lot of this might be dependent on the way I play the game. Understanding this, a few weapons that really stood out were Mjolnir Cannons, Hellbore, Heavy Autocannon. That's by no means an exhaustive list, but I will say I didn't particularly like the effect that the clip system had on my ability to participate in combat with ANY ballistic weapon. I mean, if we look at something like a Vulcan cannon, that's a PD weapon. It's almost exclusively going to be left to autofire. Depending on the weapons being used against you or the composition of the enemy fleet, they might only have to fire every now and then, or they might be blasting away almost constantly at fighter wings or what-have-you. This is a weapon that gameplay-wise should be firing from an unlimited magazine. I mean, I don't ever remember running out of vulcan ammo in fights in previous versions. With the new system, a gun that is operating on fully automated control now might end up at the bottom of its magazine right as a handful of pilums are coming your way because they've been blasting at fighters. That's not fun or interesting, it's just frustrating. Your PD wasn't able to do what you installed it to do for no good reason, and you probably didn't even know it was running low unless you were micro-ing like crazy. Conceptually it's fine for them to have unlimited ammo, because it's likely fed from a belt.

And really same goes for larger weapons. Why should I have to pull back or hold off engaging a certain enemy because I'm waiting for my clips to charge up enough? We already have this form of engagement management in the form of flux, so it's completely redundant here and only serves to overcomplicate combat timing.  It's especially frustrating when, after a period of sustained fire, once you tap the bottom of your reserve your DPS is halved. Having a weapon that can only fire at full capability for a while seems like a poor way to balance ballistics, again, this is already managed in the form of flux. Basically, we have two systems that accomplish the same thing in combat, and one of them is more clunky and awkward and only applied to a certain segment of weapons. If you want lore to explain unlimited ammo for large ballistics, old battleship turret assemblies extended deep into the hull and ammunition was fed by nearly inexhaustible magazine in the hull by elevator, ensuring a constant supply for sustained fire.

I admit this is a total reversal of my pre-release opinion on the planned changes, but I think we're better off with eliminating ammo for ballistics entirely. I really can't think of too may times I ran out of ammo in game anyway, but in rare cases. I guess I just liked the idea of having ammo for flavor or something.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Blips on February 12, 2015, 08:20:13 PM
So with the new weapon changes, does each category (energy, ballistic, etc) still feel distinct or is everything muddied now? :'(
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 12, 2015, 09:09:29 PM
Quote
So with the new weapon changes, does each category (energy, ballistic, etc) still feel distinct or is everything muddied now?
It doesn't feel muddled.  That really isn't a problem and hasn't ever really been a problem; the Kinetic / HE split from Energy was always enough to keep the border between Energy pew-pew and Ballistic pew-pew fundamentally interesting, imo, regardless of the other specific mechanics... and while the clip thing hasn't worked entirely perfectly, it definitely can add flavor.

Anyhow, I'm doing a second pass on the rebal-concept-tester (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=9055.0) tonight, which I'll post up shortly... and I'd like to hear whether it's just horrible heresy or whether it actually fixes stuff.  

I feel that it's actually getting somewhere reasonable and nothing seems really broken, feel-wise, but there are still little issues here and there that will need smoothing out.  Again, I really suggest playing it for a bit, after playing Vanilla, as a way to compare concepts, hopefully with an open mind.  It's easier to see the implications of this stuff when there's actually something you can play and compare the feel, rather than having theory-crafting debates.

The only really major issue I've hit, and it's a biggie, is that Fast Missile Racks are just plain OP with slow-firing missiles that auto-regen.  That's easily fixed, but I'm not sure if I've missed any important squirrel cases; the cooldown is really all that needs to change so that the balance is reasonable for most cases.  My feeling is that wasn't meant to be an uber-buff, but more of an alpha-strike thing, and I think it just got missed, so that change will address that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on February 13, 2015, 04:38:33 AM
(This is an xkcd #386 post. If you find those dreadfully dull, feel free to skip.)

Spoiler
On alpha striking with missiles:

A fleet with one a ship that has just used up all its small/medium missiles is basically a fleet with one ship operating on a 2-24 OP penalty, depending on what the mounts were and what was put in them.

A fleet with one ship that got alpha-struck out of the battle is a fleet that's down 40 - 140 OP worth of combat ability. And unlike the missile ammo, the lost crew and the hull damage aren't replaced for free. If the ship gets disabled instead of merely being forced to retreat, you lose any number of weapons and more often that not a hull that's likely to be hard, possibly near-impossible to replace.

Other than the boorish sarcasm, which frankly just undermines everything you say, this just tells me you really just never used them right. You fire them when the enemy is vulnerable, or you fire them in overwhelming force and get a straight up kill.  Frigates can sometimes dodge, but destroyers and up can't. People were complaining about skilled enemy Dominators evaporating a destroyer with every volley of 12 Harpoons, at 0 flux cost.

Why is it that hard hitting, alpha striking, fast moving, PD-proof anti-matter blasters regen, but hard hitting, alpha striking, slow moving, PD vulnerable Reapers do not regen? Oh right, because non regen alpha missiles are a complete worthless waste of OP compared to completely overpowered energy builds (more flux, more capacity, more energy weapons) and I guess with the new version regen missiles.
1) As Tartiflette said: AM Blaster doesn't regen.

2) Are you actually going to address any of the points made, or just repeat the same talking points?

Quote
mean, do you all really think Repear torpedo's or harpoons are really so devastatingly effective? They are pretty good against low tech fleets but energy fleets will chaos blast them with PD without much difficulty.
You are completely wrong. Common light energy PD will do very little against multiple Harpoons and nothing against Reapers; you need two or more Burst PD Lasers at minimum. For dealing with mass Harpoons (or Annihilators), flak beats any energy PD weapon (especially on a per-OP basis) short of Guardian PD.

There's also the little fact that while high-tech ships can shield against strike missiles more effectively, it also hurts them more when any get through.

Simulator trials:
Spoiler
version 0.6.5.2a
simulator loaded from missions (i.e. no skills)
5 runs per test

Eagle with 3 PD Lasers and ITU cannot stop a single Dagger-launched Reaper from the front, much less all three. This is even when the lead Reaper gets all three lasers focusing it down.
Same with 3 LR PD Lasers.
3 Burst PD Lasers do stop 1 of 3 each time.
Medusa with 2 Heavy Burst Lasers and no ITU stops 1 most of the time, 2 if the Daggers stagger their launch.
(To be sure, Dominator with ITU and 3 Vulcans also fails each time, and Enforcer with 2 side-mounted Flaks and no ITU can stop 2 but only against staggered launch, else all hit)

What about the same ships vs. a single Harpoon pod launched by a Dominator (D) at range?
Eagle, 3 PD Lasers: stops 1 every time
Eagle, 3 LR PD Lasers: stops 1 every time
Eagle, 3 Burst PD lasers: stops 3 most of the time, +1 or -1 depending on luck
Dominator, 3 Vulcan Cannons: stops 2 every time
Enforcer, 2 Flak Cannons: stops 4 most of the time, once it got unlucky and 2 Harpoons got through
Medusa, 2 Heavy Burst Lasers: stops 3 most of the time, 4 if lucky

It's almost as if energy PD isn't really any better than ballistic PD, and often worse. Huh.
[close]

Quote
My fighter wing is nothing but Repear fighter bombers, 5-7 wings of them, launching wave after wave of repears, and in that regard, they are effective. Backed by proper fire support, they can pop a destroyer or a cruiser, every few minutes or so, because you know, they get more than one reaper over a 5 minute fleet engagment...regenerating repear wings are a very good balance, non regenerating repears, gimp city. Same thing with harpoons, thunders get new harpoons every few minutes. But other ships can't? Because of balance? Ridiculous and overly complicating double standards...that add nothing to gameplay...
You noticed something about those examples you used? Hint: they're both fighters, which are already a "double standard." Not only do they get to reload missiles mid battle, they even respawn when killed. Of course, they pay for it in certain ways, like requiring a separate ship (a carrier), with all its attendant DP and supply costs, to be able to use their special powers. They also use a lot of supplies relative to their combat power, especially if they're dying a lot. Also, aside from bombers, fighter wings just don't carry enough missiles to overwhelm targets.

This comparison is so obviously apples-to-oranges, I'm amazed you made it.

HAHAHAHA, so I've actually gone all the way and actually played the new version, and holy motherloving crapoly I am literally 200% right. I'm so sorry for even starting the debate, because it's so lopsided that there's obviously some perception/fundamental personality differences here that can't be bridged. Literally L O L at the new version imbalances.
Your attitude is embarrassing, and combined with the factual wrongness of your posts, extremely annoying. Stop it.

Quote
3. Lol at the missiles. Lol at the missiles. Starsector: spam piliums until EVERYTHING dies. Got a problem? Piliums. Got a problem? More piliums. Piliums piliums piliums for the auto win. Harpoon multilauncher? BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *fires 30 piliums every 30 seconds for the rest of the battle* I haven't found them yet but I'm sure salamanders are just as bad. Anyway, balance it or don't, the new version is hilarious, I love it.
2014 called, they want their strategy back. (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8886.msg150270#msg150270) (Yes, mass Pilums was a thing before 0.65.2a, believe it or not.)

Quote
a falcon stuffed to the brim with harpoons btw (lol).
10 OP spent on Harpoons on a 105 OP ship is not "stuffed to the brim."

Quote
I watched another Wolf kite both an enforcer and lasher with tactical lasers and the blue one. Now granted they can't kill them but they can tie them up successfully until their CR gives out, and with the range boost it becomes even more devastating.
Wrong again. A lone Wolf can't drain an Enforcer's CR (even when the Enforcer is firing, surprisingly) because it is a frigate against a destroyer. A Wolf can kite a Lasher to drain its CR... except for the fact that it also drains its own CR in the process. Guess who runs out first.
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Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 13, 2015, 04:55:56 AM
2014 called, they want their strategy back. (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8886.msg150270#msg150270)
8)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 13, 2015, 07:27:56 AM
Pros and cons of ballistic and energy weapons.

Ballistics
+ Better anti-missile defense
+ Better flux efficiency than non-beam energy weapons
+ Better range than non-beam energy weapons
- Bad accuracy for many, and those with good accuracy have other drawbacks (e.g., higher OP costs, harder-to-find, some need heavy mounts)
- Low DPS if out of ammo, which will happen with many ballistics

Energy, Beams
+ Flux efficient
+ Most have long range; good for forcing the AI to keep shields up
+ Perfect accuracy
- Low DPS
- No hard flux damage!

Energy, Other
+ High, and reliable, DPS
+ Near perfect accuracy, except Autopulse Laser
- Almost incapable of PD
- Heavy weapons do not outperform their Medium counterparts enough to justify their costs*
- High flux costs
- Short-ranged

* Without Expanded Magazines, Autopulse laser runs out of charges very quickly, then becomes a weaker Pulse Laser (with slightly more range).  Plasma Cannon pays +18 OP and more flux for +100 range and +63 DPS advantage over Heavy Blaster.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: MindsEye on February 13, 2015, 07:46:00 AM
So I am one who like having limited ammo and I have to say this change I really hate with a passion. I havent been around for a long time so I really dont know why this was needed in the first place.

I have a few ideas that may have been mentioned.

1-I read that people said limited ammo wasnt a factor anyway.Well balance it to be a factor then.I remember running out of ammo.Not often but it did happen and it was part of the game play to be conservative with shots. That was fun and felt more realistic. Instead of dumbing down the game to where weapons are nothing more then stats lets make weapon systems more unique and different. Each with their own quirks. I dont want a game that all I look at putting on my ship is whatever has the highest dps.

2-Magazines. I dont like the idea. One reason has been stated " With the new system, a gun that is operating on fully automated control now might end up at the bottom of its magazine right as a handful of pilums are coming your way because they've been blasting at fighters. That's not fun or interesting, it's just frustrating.  " . However maybe is the magazine was increased to what the total ammo count was when ammo was limited we could simulate running out of ammo but still have the affect of unlimited. For example the Gauss Cannon had a total of 50 ammo. Make that the clip size 50 with a 1-2 or whatever minute reload.

3-Make ammo limited again with support ships (maybe carriers) that manufacture ammo mid battle and restock ships via shuttles that you can shoot. Making supply lines in battle and maybe a strategy to cut them off.Could add interesting mechanics to battles.

My preference would be a combination of 1 and 3. Give ballistics less total ammo count to where it matters(maybe upping their damage a tad to compensate for its disadvantages) and create supply lines via carriers/freighters. Shuttles loaded with ammo cost supplies as well. The power of ballistics would be balanced by the fact of limited ammo,dp for ships to resupply, and supply costs.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 13, 2015, 10:27:39 AM
Quote
Well balance it to be a factor then.
To be balanced, Ballistics would have to be significantly more powerful, DPS/Flux-wise.  More over, when it's "a factor" is largely dependent on play-styles; if you're a lone-wolf, one-ship-at-a-time arcade player, then ammo of any kind is a major deterrent from using Ballistics at all; if you're mega-fleet player, then it's much less important than how good the DPS/Flux efficiency is and whether you want to go Low / Mid Tech at all, past the early game.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Lucian Greymark on February 13, 2015, 10:42:59 AM
The way ammunition was for ships previously I always saw as that they had a certain amount of ammunition that they could have at the ready in battles, say a few hundred shots. After that they would either have miniature auto factories in the ships themselves that could reproduce the ammunition, or more had to be brought out of storage. What I would like to see happen, whether it will or otherwise is somewhat moot, but what I would like to see is a slight alteration to that philosophy.

In a battle I could easily imagine several different things occurring, depending on the ship's combat readiness.
1: At high combat readiness (70%+) the ship is ready for battle to the nth degree, ammunition has been brought up from the holds, weapons are already loaded, ready to go. All that needs to happen is the safety switched off and a firing solution primed. In game this would be represented by a massive store of ammunition for each gun ready and waiting (or perhaps much faster reload in a clip situation), this would obviously give any ballistic fleet an advantage, and a tangible reason, to fight at high combat readiness, potentially giving them the ability to negate the high sustainability of energy fleets. balanced by the following.

2: At medium combat readiness (40%-60%) each weapon has a much reduced ammunition store that will only be good for a short, tense engagement of maybe four minutes at most. Perhaps two hundred shots of vulcan cannon ammo, or twenty heavy mauler shells. This is to emphasis that they are running on the dregs of what they had at the end of their last engagement and are still scrambling to find more ammo. This will further prevent captains with high strike potential ballistic fleets from slaughtering a dozen other fleets at a time with minimal loss to combat readiness.

3: Finally at low combat readiness, (<40%) at which point the ship is running on vapors, barely any ammunition has been hauled out of storage and the crew is in a blind panic to find shells to protect themselves with. Barely a hundred rounds of vulcan ammo, or a scant five or ten shells of heavy mauler. The only option for a captain in this situation is to try and flee, because any fleet better prepared will be able to drain their reserves quickly.

These three options have some quite massive effects that change the way energy fleets and ballistic fleets interact, which I'm in favor of. Ballistic fleets already feel like the 'strike' fleets of the game, huge dps, powerful armour, get in and get out mentality. While energy fleets are currently more of the patience end of the tactics curve. Slow, methodical battles with a hammer blow at the end delivered by missiles or energy strike weapons like the blaster.

These changes would enhance that divide, further encouraging energy fleets into a role where they can run down ballistic fleets over a number of engagements, working them down until they can't really defend themselves, and giving ballistic fleets the incentive to hit hard and fast before returning to base to resupply to retain their advantage of more sustained fire with their heavier, mightier weapons. Perhaps even a slight shift towards this in balancing, increasing the average burst damage of ballistic weapons, and increasing the flux efficiency of energy weapons.

This is very rough and obviously needs refinement but I do hope at least someone gives this some attention and makes it a more appealing proposition, because I feel it fits the theme of the game well, and it also provides some distinction between the different styles of weapon that, at the moment, I feel they desperately need.

Of course if you disagree feel free to state why, I'd be interested to hear it.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 13, 2015, 11:32:52 AM
So, uh... you want to take a thing that's already become vastly more complicated and make it even more so?  Not to mention the real difficulty in balance and the ways that this can get abused by using Harry?

I mean, I get the realistic logic of it, sure, but from a game-design POV, I don't get it; the game's already suffering from some information overload problems and choice anxiety amongst new players is a real problem. 

If the system gets much more complicated, then SS is basically going to devolve into a game that was basically just written for us veteran players, frankly.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Lucian Greymark on February 13, 2015, 11:52:35 AM
We seem to be about to have the exact same discussion on two different threads so I'm going to make my opinion plain here.

As someone who loves this game I'll say one thing: When I started playing this game, back just before the campaign mode was a thing. It felt too simple, it felt too simple when the campaign came out. It still feels too simple to this day. Starsector has the opportunity to become a deep complex 2d rpg that will be a classic for generations of gamers. What it's lacking, and slowly moving away from, is clear, unique, and engaging differences between the different styles of play, right now, in this patch, I can outfit a bunch of my ships however I like, and they'll more or less achieve/do the exact same things when I'm not micro managing them.

What I'd like to see is the game shift into a situation where simply changing the load out on ships changes the way the ai handles not only the ships themselves, but the way they engage with fleets and the way ai captains appproach engagements. Furthermore I'd like to see a situation where deciding which weapon to use on a mount is a definite and meaningful choice, instead of just an aesthetic one. For instance right now apart from the very nitty gritty of fights so close they could go either way, I see no reason to equip a needler over a conventional autocannon, it's just worse. Likewise I see no reason to use ballistic ships as a whole, with the removal of ballistic ammunition limits they fill the exact same role as energy boats loaded with strike weapons. The only difference is we trade armour for shields, and shields can be regenerated.

The only reason I'd ever take ballistic heavy ships now is for the novelty of it. Before it was a concise, and viable decision. But with the changes to missiles and ballistic weapons I may as well just take an energy boat (i.e high tech) I think they look better, and they fulfill the exact same role, and do it better.

Before the patch when energy weapons only really got into their stride after the fight had started and flux had built up a bit, and ballistic weapons were for that first engage, and hitting so hard with that first engage that nothing came back from it. Now with similar damage output, and ammunition quickly running out and forcing me to retreat from a fight I find myself having to use ballistic boats in an almost identical fashion to energy ones, quick strikes that do a little bit of damage, before backing off to let my flux, sorry, I meant ammo, regen to a usable point. No longer can I co in hard with my ballistic ships, fire a heavy salvo that overwhelms my opponent's shields, and keep firing until they, and all their buddies are dead.

It's a disappointment, and a really sad loss for the uniqueness of the game.

EDIT: Also, while I'm thinking about it, some of the best games ever made, and some of the most popular, have hugely deep game mechanics that require hundreds and hundreds of hours of play to truly master. A step away from that can only be a bad thing.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 13, 2015, 01:23:04 PM
Disagree on "A step away from that can only be a bad thing."

I do not want to spend "hundreds of hours of play" to master a game.  I want to sit down and blow stuff up without thinking too much.  One reason I got this game is because I like the arcade-like action, and I can do it in a variety of fleet configurations, instead of only as a lone superpowered fighter in other games.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cycerin on February 13, 2015, 01:32:52 PM
There are plenty of things an energy boat still can't do that a ballistic gunship can. Pretending otherwise is exaggeration. You can always frontload more with ballistics, simply due to the enormous power of the kinetic damage type. You can tailor a fleet more closely to fight a given enemy with ballistics, and I'd argue, get more efficiency out of the fight in return.

Expanded Magazines is still in vogue btw, the main thing that changed is that ballistics cap out sooner, but hit a soft cap rather than a hard cap. If you want to maximize your window of opportunity, go for Expanded Magazines. It's especially great on midline ships that can use Burst PD to get extra mileage out of the hullmod while also boosting the efficiency of Needlers, HVDs and other high-end weapons with low ammo.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 13, 2015, 01:33:44 PM
I think the campaign should go towards the long-term stuff, while the missions should generally focus on hop-in-and-play type action.

I believe we can please both sides. Many of us see ways that the game can become more long-term oriented, and SS+ shows that you can even go really arcade-y with its arcade mission. We can have both; they can coexist.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 13, 2015, 02:27:02 PM
@ Cycerin:  Yes, Expanded Magazines is still useful, but now that most big ships have peak performance timers, Hardened Subsystems competes.  So far, I have traded Expanded Magazines and more for Hardened Subsystems (or other goodie I desire more) on most ships.  Before this release, I added Expanded Magazines on all low-tech/midline ships - it was one of those must-have mods for ammo ships.  Now, I use Expanded Magazines only if I have spare OP left.

@ Hartlord:  Unfortunately, ships in standard missions do not have max skills, and are no fun to play.  (I have no idea on mods)  I play campaign exclusively because that is where the good stuff is.  Missions is like Shareware Doom, with one episode and some enemies and weapons.  If you want the biggest stuff like cyberdemon and BFG, get the registered or retail version.  In Starsector's case, that means play the campaign.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 13, 2015, 02:30:31 PM
It doesn't have to be that way.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: BillyRueben on February 13, 2015, 02:35:31 PM
Long Term doesn't mean it needs to be more complicated. Some of the newer players are already having issues wrapping their heads around how the economics work. You want to keep piling more rules on top of that? Not only that, but this particular "Combat ready == ammo count" rule is something that you'd only learn AFTER it was a problem, and isn't something most would know before going in to combat.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: MindsEye on February 13, 2015, 02:43:20 PM
Quote
Well balance it to be a factor then.
To be balanced, Ballistics would have to be significantly more powerful, DPS/Flux-wise.  More over, when it's "a factor" is largely dependent on play-styles; if you're a lone-wolf, one-ship-at-a-time arcade player, then ammo of any kind is a major deterrent from using Ballistics at all; if you're mega-fleet player, then it's much less important than how good the DPS/Flux efficiency is and whether you want to go Low / Mid Tech at all, past the early game.

Well to balance the lone wolf playstyle use extended magazines. Make it use alot of op by transforming a large portion of your ship for ammo.Ammo could be increased 2x,3x, or whatever it takes in the form of clips to balance.So you have a 50 shot clip but you have 3 of them.It takes time to reload each clip and takes a large portion of op. This would balance it. Yes the point is to make playing with ballistics significantly different instead of the same as energy weapons. They would need different dps and different strategy and support to play.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 13, 2015, 03:22:42 PM
MindsEye, your method of 'balancing' ballistics would make using low-tech/midline ships unnecessarily complicated and tedious. For example what would happen if the ship that supplies ammo got destroyed when I needed it? I would pretty much have to abandon the battle because I couldn't attack. That change would immediately cause high-tech ships to become the superior (and more fun) option (something 0.65 has help fix).

Also how would the ammo be set so that each shot counts? Would it be set up for a short battle, a medium one? If so it would make that ammo ship mandatory if you unexpectedly had a long battle, causing more trouble for low-tech/midline and more reason to use high-tech. It would also make weapons like the assault chaingun and AC series useless considering their bad accuracy.

Personally I think how it is now is a step in the right direction. While some ballistic weapons need work (PD and needlers) most are actually useful, including those that were originally worthless like the HMG and Gauss Cannon.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 13, 2015, 03:41:00 PM
Previously, I would not use HMG and Gauss Cannon because of low ammo even with Expanded Magazines.  Now, with rechargeable ammo, Gauss Cannon is my go-to heavy weapon on a Conquest flagship (if I want to play keep-away).  For Dominator or Onslaught, I still prefer Storm Needler if I have it, or either Hellbore or HAG if not.  HAG's newfound high capacity (combined with Hellbore's vastly reduced capacity) has made it a very good weapon.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on February 13, 2015, 04:41:41 PM
I think Alex's idea here is good:
Hmm. It might make sense to go back to infinite ammo for a few ballistics (conceptually, they can just reload as fast as they fire), and only leave the clip-based mechanic on a few weapons where it makes sense as a balancing factor. That'd also meet the original goal of simplifying things somewhat.
(c.f. Autopulse Laser, Burst PD Laser/Heavy Burst Laser)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Voiddweller on February 13, 2015, 08:31:47 PM
I am totally against the whole idea of degrading performance in combat, especially if there is no ammunition limits now. While it seems logical for frigates, it is killing destroyers because many high-end frigates outperform them, and there is only one really good destroyer on vanilla game - Medusa. While destroyers are significantly more powerful, they lack essential speed to keep themselves out of dangerous situations, while many frigates can outrun missiles with ease. Performance time limits effectively cripples any wear-down tactics against large, slow fleets, where destroyers were useful.
I think ammo limits only means something for missiles and some slow-firing low-capacity ballistics. And i doubt autocannons or machineguns need any ammo count, because i never ran out of ammo using this stuff.
While totally running out of ammo can be crippling, having ammunition regenerate over time is a good idea. Though battles may become more difficult, because AI won't stop showering you with nasty seekers...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 13, 2015, 09:09:48 PM
Quote
I am totally against the whole idea of degrading performance in combat, especially if there is no ammunition limits now. While it seems logical for frigates, it is killing destroyers because many high-end frigates outperform them, and there is only one really good destroyer on vanilla game - Medusa.
I think you can argue that one either way.  Personally, I feel that regenerating ammo has largely gotten rid of the lone-wolf tactic of running the AI out of ammo, but it hasn't gotten rid of lone-wolf kiting stuff, so I think that this change isn't totally unreasonable.  It'd be better if total fleet sizes were big enough, on both sides, that rotating out whole sets of ships was a core concept in late-game, though.

On Destroyer balance, I think that this build made some progress.  The Sunder almost doesn't suck now; the added mobility helped quite a bit.  I haven't flown one yet, but the AI certainly uses it more effectively, which is a big change; I used to regard them as easy speed-bumps.

The Hammerhead could still use a constructive buff or two, but it's not totally worthless and can kill Frigates, if armed correctly... and the Enforcer has never sucked, if you're not trying to lone-wolf with it; it's definitely geared towards combined-arms fleets where it can do offense and some support and it's one of the few ships in the game where I totally trust the AI to use it reasonably well, especially if you have two of them teamed up.

So while there is probably room for some additional tweaking to get them tuned just right and I feel that the Hammerhead is still not a very good buy, I really feel like they're all somewhat capable ships and I have yet to have them run out their CR timers when used in a Destroyer / Frigate fleet, even when fighting against mid-game bounties with a couple of Cruisers. 

I can see your point, if you're one of those players who just wants to lone-wolf, but there's nothing stopping you from playing it out with multiple Tempests / Medusas etc. and Alex has generally been trying to move play away from that with these changes, which I'd argue is largely a good thing.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Lucian Greymark on February 14, 2015, 12:10:06 AM
You may argue that it's a good thing, removing the ability to lone wolf, but I don't think you'd be right. At the end of the day it boils down to removing one more way to play the game which is just going to alienate people, which from a business standpoint is a bad thing.

Why would someone suggest it was a bad thing? Because you can use a single ship to destroy an entire fleet? Why is that a bad thing? Is it a quicker, more cheesy, way to gain money/reputation/experience? No, it takes longer, much longer, per battle, and, while travel times are shorter (assuming a one *** fleet), you also miss out on much of the cargo capacity that a larger fleet has. So if it doesn't provide a way of 'gaming' the system, what other issues could it present? Does it provide an unfair advantage against other players? No, there's no multiplayer. Does it subvert the lore? Subjective, but in my opinion no, there's plenty of evidence to suggest that a skilled crew would quite happily romp around doing what damage they could and amass a fortune, rather than spend it all on other ships and resources that could be easily lost in such a fragile industrial universe such is Starsector.

No, this really does nothing but remove a way to play the game, for no obvious reason, and that can only be a bad thing.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 14, 2015, 02:54:14 AM
Missiles weapons have repeatedly been proven ridiculously powerful when used en masse. Making them all regen ammo would completely break the game balance to the point that nobody would even consider using anything else...

Missiles are ridiculously powerful en masse because the missile skills combine with a practically non-existent reload time. There is no reload time because the ammo pool is so tiny. But the skills can bump up the ammo pool to levels the rate of fire wasn't meant for. The reason missiles are so crazy good with skills and en masse is entirely because they don't regen. Look at the Pilum - it was a great missile before the patch, because it had a properly sized ammo pool that actually lasted a decent amount of time. It wasn't overpowered because it had a meaningful reload time - because it had a large ammo pool. It also broke hilariously on ships with the fast missile racks - because FMR turned the Pilum, a well designed missile, into most other missiles with no reload time.

Give them regen and you can finally balance them with fire rate instead of an ammo pool that gets broken by skills and a hundred different actual combat situations.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on February 14, 2015, 05:23:06 AM
I'm talking in a "mission" environment with no skills involved (but you are right, it becomes ridiculous with skills). And it's still true with one shot missiles. Pillums relies on cool-down instead of ammo and have been prone to create unstoppable death balls, the only reason they are vaguely balanced is the lack of medium missile mounts on cheap ships. Same goes for the extremely annoying Annihilator Pod. Making all missiles regen ammo, especially the ubiquitous small ones, would instead create death balls every few seconds. I don't see how you can tell this could be balanced, unless you also nerf their damage hard.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 14, 2015, 05:49:39 AM
I'm talking in a "mission" environment with no skills involved (but you are right, it becomes ridiculous with skills). And it's still true with one shot missiles. Pillums relies on cool-down instead of ammo and have been prone to create unstoppable death balls, the only reason they are vaguely balanced is the lack of medium missile mounts on cheap ships. Same goes for the extremely annoying Annihilator Pod. Making all missiles regen ammo, especially the ubiquitous small ones, would instead create death balls every few seconds. I don't see how you can tell this could be balanced, unless you also nerf their damage hard.

I've actually modded the missiles to have regen ammo and sane reload times, both balanced against each other, burst size and usage. They work perfectly fine - there's no giant deathballs with sane reload times. Or at least not any giant deathballs that can't be replicated with non-missile weapons in sufficient quantities either. After all, you can only get ludicrous missile amounts every few seconds if the ammo regen times are every few seconds - which would be clearly broken.

PS.: Nice upside of missiles having meaningful reload times? The Wolf isn't quite as much of an insane murderboat in the early game (oh man did the tac-laser buffs make it even more killy than it already was in .65.1) - hell the classic early Wolf vs Mule/Lasher/Buffalo fights are tense because you can't just run them out of missiles and then guaranteed win at no risk. It's a knife fight where neither side runs out of knifes, but does run out of stamina and needs to recover. There's pauses of less threat and bursts of danger.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: MindsEye on February 14, 2015, 08:40:53 AM
MindsEye, your method of 'balancing' ballistics would make using low-tech/midline ships unnecessarily complicated and tedious. For example what would happen if the ship that supplies ammo got destroyed when I needed it? I would pretty much have to abandon the battle because I couldn't attack. That change would immediately cause high-tech ships to become the superior (and more fun) option (something 0.65 has help fix).

Also how would the ammo be set so that each shot counts? Would it be set up for a short battle, a medium one? If so it would make that ammo ship mandatory if you unexpectedly had a long battle, causing more trouble for low-tech/midline and more reason to use high-tech. It would also make weapons like the assault chaingun and AC series useless considering their bad accuracy.

Personally I think how it is now is a step in the right direction. While some ballistic weapons need work (PD and needlers) most are actually useful, including those that were originally worthless like the HMG and Gauss Cannon.

I respectfully disagree. IMO I think it would differentiate the two types in interesting ways. Also we have had limited ammo this whole time so I dont understand why now it would over complicate things anymore then what we had. Energy has flux and ballistics have ammo. If your supply lines got destroyed it would be part of the strategy and thats whats making it more interesting. For example if your supply ships arent protected thats a bad strategy and if they are targeting it in the middle of battle you should be pummeling them for it.Also this could bring in search and destroy missions during battle to find hidden supply ships. This is what would be interesting in using the two types. One has infinite ammo and cheaper costs while ballistics could be higher damage,higher cost,and limited ammo. Basically ballistics would be more of a high skill weapon pushing you to your limits which is more fun to me then spamming my mouse.

I would say medium for shot count.Altho I would say PD weapons should always have the best endurance for ballistics.Im not asking for anything radical but just to the point to make them different and interesting. The point is to make you strategize on loadouts. If you want a battle without supply ships and you want to be able to engage for long periods equip extended magazines(sacrificing dps). If you want high dps then go all guns with limited ammo and make every shot count.If you dont want to worry about ammo as much get a mix of energy and ballistics.You will have a loadout that gives endurance and ballistics for burst damage.You can have pure energy to eliminate ammo totally with maybe moderate to good dps. The difference I am imaging here is loadouts that mostly have me going to my calculator figuring what guns give me most dps per op or what weapons fit the strategy I want to use the best. This would also help to give more ways to play each ship and still be effective(as opposed the the one loadout that gives most dps per op).

Yeah all kinds of weapons would have to be balanced and have tweaks for this system.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 14, 2015, 08:42:18 AM
Some strategic thoughts on missiles and beam weapons:

One strong advantage of regenerating piliums and salamanders, over harpoons, is tactical defense. Even though a vigiliance stands no chance against a falcon, it can, to a certain extent, take that or hard hitting destroyers out of a fight by continuously peppering them with missiles, which causes them to shield, and then vent, meaning there's a lot of difficulty to catch a frigate, even if the destroyers/crusiers have long weapons. Even though they can't hurt them really, by taking them out of the fight, piliums/salamanders allow frigates to punch above their weight tactically for as long as their CR holds out.

Another advantage is strategic dominance. One pilium is meh. Two are meh, up against harpoons they seem a fair fight. But against four? Or six, the piliums power seems to increase exponentially the more they are fielded. In effect, a swarm of piliums becomes a continuously regenerating, fast, supplementary suicide bomber wings. Moreover, unlike harpoons or repears, piliums (and salamanders) have a disruption effect across the battlespace. When harpoons/repears/bombs are launched, you seem them coming, it's very obvious, especially since it all likelihood the thing launching them is the thing you are engaging directly. In contrast, piliums are like "wrath of god" that suddenly rains down from weird angle, from direction you weren't focused on. You must now shift to defend yourself or break of the attack. Salamanders, if you can't pop them, have the same effect on a smaller level. One missile in effect can break off an attack or disrupt an effective defense.

What I'm saying is, even though missiles are balanced tactically, at a one to one level, in terms of OP, from a strategic standpoint, when fielded en masse, the regenerators gain
an advantage that is difficult to quantify but very obvious on the field, especially since they can continue to apply the advantage for the entire battle, and in the case of piliums EVERYWHERE on the battle.

---

Random thought on beam weapons: what if beam weapon length scaled with ship size to a certain extent. For example, gravitron beam was 800 on frigate, but 1200 on battleship (in addition to bonuses from the module). Seems more "fair" to me in terms of a wolf being able to obliterate a hound while staying pretty much completely out of range.

Random thought on new ballistic ammo: I really like the new ammo system, it's great. Some ballistics still seem pretty gimped though due to low ammo. Flak guns run out VERY quickly and regen very slowly. They aren't really that powerful. In contrast, assasult chain guns for all intents and purposes are unlimted, and are quite powerful.

Finally: One thing about harpoons, I understand people like them because they have character, a devastating one shot. They could regen, but still keep their "one shot" nature. In effect, harpoons could only fire when rack is full. A much longer regen time, but when they are back they are all back. This, playing as a human, would add an interesting danger and level of fear when aggressively attack an AI with empty harpoon tubes. As you press your attack to the limit, you suddenly remember that the harpoon tubes-OH CRAP THEY'RE BACK! (blows up)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: WKOB on February 14, 2015, 04:17:12 PM
Great update, I rescind my previous complaints on, I think it was, 1.a and the ammo changes. This clip things makes it more interesting again. I was always kinda neutral to the flux damage bonus. While I like the idea of it, I never took advantage of it.

Looking forward to your next hump.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 14, 2015, 07:46:29 PM
Quick comment on the four destroyers as my Combat/Tech 10 flagship:
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 14, 2015, 10:01:44 PM
Big winner in the new version for me: Double Flak. I've gone as far as replace the universals on my Paragon loadout in Forlorn Hope with them.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 15, 2015, 05:58:23 PM
Onslaught battleship with four piliums, fully upgraded missiles with both missile mods, set them on linked autofire for the whole battle...*whistles* no plausible reason for harpoons. The missiles ALONE can devastate half the enemy fleet, and when backed up by the rest of the ship, jesus christ they are truly devastating. It would be a joke to use harpoons. Now, if those harpoons were to ocassionally regenerate, maybe I'd consider switching out two of the slots...but as it stands...it'd be crazy not to use the regeners, they pretty much will land the killing blow on every single enemy. Sometimes one volley will destroy two frigates as they spin on a dime and charge right on through, and then of course the next of the unlimited volley is a few seconds behind them...no regen for harpoons, really?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 15, 2015, 07:36:11 PM
I finally got a chance to play the game beyond the simulator.  Some quick comments:

* Fought bounty fleets with about fifteen to twenty Wolves armed with configuration "Green" (plus some Cerberus, Hounds, and a Hyperion flagship)

Wolf
Weapons:  1x Pulse Laser, 2x Salamander, 3x Tactical Laser
Hullmods:  Advanced Turret Gyros, Augmented Engines, Hardened Subsystems, Integrated Point Defense AI, Integrated Targeting Unit, Resistant Flux Conduits
Capacitors:  6
Vents:  10

...and it is disgustingly effective in numbers.  Lasers from many Wolves zap everything, ships and missiles, in a multi-beam crossfire.  AI Wolves tend to hang further back than with other PD lasers, yet sometimes end up close enough to do some hard flux damage with pulse lasers.  With so many Salamanders, many of them will hit ships.  Some will merely disable, others will hit hull and do damage comparable to Harpoons.  Salamanders have better range and power than Swarmers, and they are unlimited!

With my save from the previous version, my stack of about a hundred or so Salamanders disappeared as I replaced Annihilators, Swarmers, and anything else with Salamanders on as many ships as I owned until I ran out!  Salamanders are just that good now, thanks to rechargeable missiles.  Only Reapers can compete with them now.

* Food glut penalty:  If you have so much food to cause a massive reputation drop, you might as well sell it to the Black Market for an even greater profit, preferably at a Independent market (like Asharu or Maxios) because they have no military markets, and you do not lock yourself out of Sindrian's big shortage markets in Askonia.

* And finally, noticed the two new portraits, including David's updated avatar.


@ Argh:  Pilums are good, but if you go against a skilled capital, you may not have enough firepower to kill it before it kills you, and you might want Annihilators instead.  That said, I do not want to use any Harpoons or Sabots that are not free.  Harpoons and especially Sabots seem so underwhelming now.  Without Missile Specialization, Harpoons are kind of slow, sidewind around small targets, and easily stopped by PD.  Sabots are only good for anti-shield.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DJ Die on February 16, 2015, 02:02:56 PM
Onslaught battleship with four piliums, fully upgraded missiles with both missile mods, set them on linked autofire for the whole battle...*whistles* no plausible reason for harpoons. The missiles ALONE can devastate half the enemy fleet
and when said Onslaught is equipped with dual flaks and a few longer ranged weapons like needlers you just overload any frigates stupid enough to get close....just add a tug because Ons only has 2 burn :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 16, 2015, 03:15:17 PM
Onslaught with 4 vulcans, 6 flak guns, 4 piliums, 2 back mounted hyper velocity drivers, all set to autofire. The integrated laser cannons are each given their own weapon group and set on autofire (so that they can fire independently at smaller ships). For the player controlled weapons, 4 forward facing assault chainguns, and two railguns, as the forward firing weapon. The ship is invincible. It melts...everything but another onslaught in seconds. I don't even pause the chaingun bursts to let them calibrate, it throws up such a hail of gunfire that anything smaller than an eagle is insta-gibbed, especially if both laser cannons connect simultaneously. And through it all, the endless, all encompassing wave of piliums, blowing up everything, chasing down flux busted frigates, blowing up fleeing cruisers that I had entirely forgotten about, popping TALONS (12 piliums chasing a talon wing, and popping them one by one). Nothing can beat this config, nothing.

I'll say this, I no longer think energy is OP.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2015, 04:02:21 PM
Updated with hotfix/balance pass notes. Currently uploading builds to various places they need to be, stay tuned for actual release.

And it's up.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 16, 2015, 05:01:35 PM
Aaaaaaaand piliums are nerfed  ;D
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Uomoz on February 16, 2015, 05:05:07 PM
Very quick, Alex. Well done!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 16, 2015, 05:16:42 PM
Observations on Pilum nerf:

Fleet actions still seem to play out about the same. As they should, IMO.

In pursuit, Pilums are now nearly useless for catching things. Not saying that is good or bad, it just is.

Conquest with Augmented Engines, 75 0-flux speed boost from skills, the help of maneuvering jets, and with high readiness can now outrun Pilums. I'm not sure if that is acceptable or not. It does have the awesome side effect of a high-skill Conquest with four Pilum launchers riding into battle in front of a horde of missiles.

Edit: Friendly fire from massed Pilums might have been increased by this nerf, especially during pursuits. Will conduct further testing to see if this result holds up.

Edit2: Pilums definitely seem to be running out of fuel sooner or something...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Debido on February 16, 2015, 07:04:27 PM

Modding:
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2015, 07:13:45 PM
Aaaaaaaand piliums are nerfed  ;D

Yeah, both them and Salamanders got a buff along with all the missiles, but with the addition of regenerating ammo, it was a bit much.

Very quick, Alex. Well done!

<pats nerf bat>


Observations on Pilum nerf:

Fleet actions still seem to play out about the same. As they should, IMO.

In pursuit, Pilums are now nearly useless for catching things. Not saying that is good or bad, it just is.

Conquest with Augmented Engines, 75 0-flux speed boost from skills, the help of maneuvering jets, and with high readiness can now outrun Pilums. I'm not sure if that is acceptable or not. It does have the awesome side effect of a high-skill Conquest with four Pilum launchers riding into battle in front of a horde of missiles.

The main goal here is to make Pilums less appealing as Harpoon replacements, especially at high Missile Specialization levels.

I think ships outrunning them is ok - they're still pressure weapons, which is to say that as long as you're running away from them or taking them into account while moving, they're already doing their job. Any actual hits are a bonus.


Edit: Friendly fire from massed Pilums might have been increased by this nerf, especially during pursuits. Will conduct further testing to see if this result holds up.

Edit2: Pilums definitely seem to be running out of fuel sooner or something...

Ah, you know, I forgot to increase their flight time to match the reduced speed, so their effective range is now a bit lower - down to 7000 from 10000. Same flight duration, though.


Modding:
  • Added CombatEngineAPI.Map<String, Object> getCustomData() - Time to plug them TwigLib memory leaks I guess

Perception check passed with flying colors :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2015, 07:28:04 PM
Oh, forgot to list one more balance change in the notes:

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 16, 2015, 07:28:32 PM
Ah, you know, I forgot to increase their flight time to match the reduced speed, so their effective range is now a bit lower - down to 7000 from 10000. Same flight duration, though.

Corrected value should be 80, right? 40 -> 80?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Debido on February 16, 2015, 07:31:44 PM
Sure you couldn't implement some kind of multiple part ship system thing yourself Alex? Feel free to take any and all of my code to do with as you see fit :P Save me having to maintain it :) #IamLazy
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2015, 07:35:05 PM
Ah, you know, I forgot to increase their flight time to match the reduced speed, so their effective range is now a bit lower - down to 7000 from 10000. Same flight duration, though.

Corrected value should be 80, right? 40 -> 80?

Right, sorry - thanks for pointing it out. So yeah, Pilum range is 5000, though the AI will still launch them at 10k. Ugh, but probably not hotfix-hotfix worthy.


Sure you couldn't implement some kind of multiple part ship system thing yourself Alex? Feel free to take any and all of my code to do with as you see fit :P Save me having to maintain it :) #IamLazy

Fairly sure, sorry :) But I suppose it's not a definite no.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Dark.Revenant on February 16, 2015, 07:37:15 PM
DamagingProjectileAPI.getDamageAmount() returns 0 after the projectile has dealt damage (i.e. in contexts outside of an on hit plugin, such as an every frame plugin).  This causes a lot of issues, as you might imagine.

Unfortunately, I couldn't confirm this until now, but this bug has been in .2a the whole time.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 16, 2015, 07:39:18 PM
Ah, you know, I forgot to increase their flight time to match the reduced speed, so their effective range is now a bit lower - down to 7000 from 10000. Same flight duration, though.

Corrected value should be 80, right? 40 -> 80?

Right, sorry - thanks for pointing it out. So yeah, Pilum range is 5000, though the AI will still launch them at 10k. Ugh, but probably not hotfix-hotfix worthy.

Hotfixed it on my end easily enough, so no problem.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2015, 07:42:56 PM
DamagingProjectileAPI.getDamageAmount() returns 0 after the projectile has dealt damage (i.e. in contexts outside of an on hit plugin, such as an every frame plugin).  This causes a lot of issues, as you might imagine.

Unfortunately, I couldn't confirm this until now, but this bug has been in .2a the whole time.

Hmm - I think this is actually the correct behavior, and is the result of that method getting fixed to take into account some damage multipliers that might be present (such as, say, from the projectile fading out). The projectile having done damage sets that multiplier to 0.

(... although it's actually inconsistent with setDamageAmount(), which sets the pre-multiplier damage value, but that seems like a different issue.)

Edit: added DamagingProjectileAPI.getBaseDamageAmount(), though of course that doesn't help for what's currently out.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SQW on February 16, 2015, 09:14:34 PM
It's been a while since I've played Starsector for long periods of time but is it me or the latest version makes AI a bit more close-ranged than before?

I remember vaguely AI kiting very well at the edge of its main weapon range in the old days but last night, I had the distinct impression that the AI gets, and allow you to get, much closer.

In a lot of battles, I just rammed (frigate to frigate) into the AI and unload my harpoons before the PD has a chance in to respond for a quick kill. I don't think I've ever abused this tactic before mostly because I remember having a hell of a time even getting a Hound into my weapons range in v5-something years ago. Maybe this is in response to the new beam range? Is the trying to get close so you can't kite them to death with just tactical lasers?

Oh Alex, any hint on what the next update will contain? Are the 'upcoming feature' on the website what's coming in the next major update or just a general to-do list?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2015, 09:22:59 PM
It's been a while since I've played Starsector for long periods of time but is it me or the latest version makes AI a bit more close-ranged than before?

I remember vaguely AI kiting very well at the edge of its main weapon range in the old days but last night, I had the distinct impression that the AI gets, and allow you to get, much closer.

In a lot of battles, I just rammed (frigate to frigate) into the AI and unload my harpoons before the PD has a chance in to respond for a quick kill. I don't think I've ever abused this tactic before mostly because I remember having a hell of a time even getting a Hound into my weapons range in v5-something years ago. Maybe this is in response to the new beam range? Is the trying to get close so you can't kite them to death with just tactical lasers?

I think this might be due to you fighting (D) versions of those ships, which generally have degraded engines and so have lots of trouble staying away.

Oh Alex, any hint on what the next update will contain? Are the 'upcoming feature' on the website what's coming in the next major update or just a general to-do list?

Hmm. I will say that a number of new star systems are involved, but beyond that, :-X for now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 16, 2015, 10:35:14 PM
Hm.  This is a bit of a minor quibble, really, but is there any reason the version number hasn't changed (i.e. it's still 0.65.2a instead of maybe 2b)?  Makes it kinda hard to see at a glance which mods have updated to the current ammunitionless ballistics paradigm...
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2015, 10:50:36 PM
The "a" is for alpha. I did change it from RC1 to RC2, which is what the pattern has been for hotfixes, but I see your point. Probably warranted a .65.3 rather than "hotfix".
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Hopelessnoob on February 16, 2015, 11:35:46 PM
I don't suppose we'll ever see peak performance time being a toggle or some more ways to influence it in the future? The more and more ships this gets added to the less I like it.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2015, 11:44:04 PM
I can't really see doing that, no - it's a core feature and other stuff (such as weapons and ship stats) is balanced around it, so a toggle wouldn't make sense. Have you actually played this version, though? I think it's currently tuned in a way that's not particularly restricting.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: WKOB on February 16, 2015, 11:53:31 PM
So, I thought I understood it, how exactly does ballistics ammo work now?

The ballistics all seem purely unlimited now, with no reloading aspects involved. I saw that in the weapons_data that the Light Machine Gun, just an example, has a value under reload_size but I can't tell how this works in-game.

Also, the game doesn't communicate very well which missiles will and will not regenerate. There's not real way to tell any difference between the Salamander MRM and the Harpoon Rack/Single outside of testing them.

No issue with the CR timer or anything, all seems nice.

Edit; Also, I like the change to Fast Missile Racks, feels a little more interesting now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 17, 2015, 12:12:19 AM
So, I thought I understood it, how exactly does ballistics ammo work now?

The ballistics all seem purely unlimited now, with no reloading aspects involved. I saw that in the weapons_data that the Light Machine Gun, just an example, has a value under reload_size but I can't tell how this works in-game.

You probably did, but then I, uh, went and nuked the clips mechanic from orbit. It just seemed too messy for no real gain, considering the original goal here was to simplify things a bit.

(It's still in the game, technically, but none of the weapons make use of it.)

Also, the game doesn't communicate very well which missiles will and will not regenerate. There's not real way to tell any difference between the Salamander MRM and the Harpoon Rack/Single outside of testing them.

For Salamander vs Harpoon, in the tooltip, you can see an ammo count for the Harpoon but not one for the Salamander. For the Pilum (the other not-limited-ammo missile), there's an actual reload rate indicated in the tooltip.

Also, every missile with unlimited ammo talks about it in the short description.

... not that I'm saying these are particularly prominent, though the way the Pilum handles it is probably most apparent, with the reload rate being a visible stat.

It might be worthwhile to convert the Salamander to reload that way, too, instead of being unlimited-ammo-on-a-cooldown. The main difference is how it interacts with Fast Missile Racks - if the Salamander regenerated missile ammo instead of having a refire delay, FMR would not do anything for it. For the Pilum, FMR still works because the Pilum has a higher maximum ammo.

So, then, it might actually be best to up the ammo for the Salamander (and Pod) to something like 2-3 bursts worth, keep the refire delay high, and add ammo regen at the rate of the refire delay or thereabouts. Then we'd get the reload rate in the tooltip, it'd work with FMR, and would otherwise remain about the same. Hm.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: WKOB on February 17, 2015, 12:16:13 AM
Ah, okay, I understand all that better now, and I see your issue with communication with the missiles. Oh well, just something to think about. However you end up doing it, I do think the weapon tool tip should make it very obvious what's, effectively, unlimited and what is not.

Edit; should we expect the clip functions to disappear from your base files? I ask because I liked the sound of the system and was going to use it, but I wouldn't want to do that if the next version would break all that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 17, 2015, 12:32:40 AM
Edit; should we expect the clip functions to disappear from your base files? I ask because I liked the sound of the system and was going to use it, but I wouldn't want to do that if the next version would break all that.

Pretty sure I'll just leave it in, as the code for it is done and doesn't interact with anything else. The only way I could see needing to remove it is if that was made necessary by some other weapon mechanics reorg, and I really don't want to do *that*. Plus, I'd like to keep the mechanic around for mods, and might eventually use it for and oddball weapon or two.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: WKOB on February 17, 2015, 12:34:58 AM
Neat, in regards to all of that. Oddball weapons are always good.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 17, 2015, 04:32:27 AM
So, then, it might actually be best to up the ammo for the Salamander (and Pod) to something like 2-3 bursts worth, keep the refire delay high, and add ammo regen at the rate of the refire delay or thereabouts. Then we'd get the reload rate in the tooltip, it'd work with FMR, and would otherwise remain about the same. Hm.

That's what I did for all missiles (except the regen is lower than the refire for all of them) - it works great. Keeps FMR and +ammo skills useful without being too good because the missile has a sub-5 second refire.

I wish I could say the removal of ammo completely for ballistics was a good thing, but damn it's terrible - refilling clips/pools was the perfect mechanic. All the great balance work you did is gone completely. The most egregious example is probably the Heavy Mauler - which has been overpowered for a long time - that you managed to balance beautifully by giving it a tiny ammo pool without having to take away any of it's other stats. Now it's back to being Ballistic numero uno, the king of Ballistic town.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Silver Silence on February 17, 2015, 05:05:38 AM
Aw, I, for one, was quite partial to the idea of all guns having to "reload". The latest hotfix notes though.


  • Ballistic weapons: removed ammo/clips; mechanic still exists for modding/possible future use

All ballistics have bottomless mags now? As in, no defined ammo count in weapon_data? I've been doing that anyway to all guns that aren't burst weapons in all mods I've been playing for a few months because I'm not a fan of just kiting all the guns dry and I edit the peak performance away because for similar reasons to kiting the guns dry, I don't like being under pressure to make it a quickie or to sit there and play "Do you feel lucky, punk?" with the AI as our ships crumble into shambles.

But like, that's just gonna be a vanilla thing now?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 17, 2015, 05:29:44 AM
I did like the reload mechanic.  Kind of sad to see it go.

(Damn, I wish I'd kept the weapon_data.csv file handy - I meant to do that, and then obviously I forgot.  Does anyone just happen to have that?)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Silver Silence on February 17, 2015, 05:44:39 AM
I did like the reload mechanic.  Kind of sad to see it go.

(Damn, I wish I'd kept the weapon_data.csv file handy - I meant to do that, and then obviously I forgot.  Does anyone just happen to have that?)

A guy on the internet delivers (https://www.dropbox.com/s/bu4euti0ukkiqu3/weapon_data.csv?dl=0).



inb4illegaldistributionofgamecode.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Histidine on February 17, 2015, 05:45:10 AM
That was... kind of a quick about-face on the mechanic. Alex you made Assault Chaingun inferior in every way to Heavy Mauler again, I am sad :(

I don't suppose anyone can think of a way to make unskilled mono-Pilum actually worth using ever without making it very OP when massed and/or used with high skills?

(Damn, I wish I'd kept the weapon_data.csv file handy - I meant to do that, and then obviously I forgot.  Does anyone just happen to have that?)
Here you go (https://www.dropbox.com/s/f7s5sgwazgm09yv/weapon_data_ss0652a_rc1.csv?dl=0) ninja'd by Silver Silence! (hadn't gotten around to downloading the new version yet, heh)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 17, 2015, 05:57:10 AM
I'm sad to see clips on ballistics go. Like everyone else said it balanced heavy weapons like the heavy mauler, and made them less of a no-brainer choice. I think it would have been better to just give small PD weapons and needlers one large clip, rather than give everything unlimited ammo. Any chance we'll see it come back for ballistics?

A guy on the internet delivers (https://www.dropbox.com/s/bu4euti0ukkiqu3/weapon_data.csv?dl=0).

inb4illegaldistributionofgamecode.

Thanks. alsohopingthisisn'tillegal.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DJ Die on February 17, 2015, 06:07:17 AM
Since we have all those different shield mods....how about a hull mod that allows you to REMOVE the shield generator for another benefit...the shield generator on onslaught is more of a burden than anything else and I dont even bother turning it on...
It doesnt even have to give you more OP to not be too OP, even extra cargo space would do
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 17, 2015, 07:14:04 AM
The Pilum nerf has somewhat buffed them in one way: it is less common for them to run into ships that were just destroyed since they don't have as much momentum now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 07:51:18 AM
Have not played the new hotfix much.  Some quick comments:

Phase Lance is better, and it is fun zapping weak ships with it.  However, in serious fights, it is still inferior to Pulse Laser overall.  Less range, less DPS, and no hard flux.  Anything Phase Lance can kill easily, Pulse Laser does more efficiently (thanks to more damage and hard flux) and from further away.  The only time Phase Lance was worth considering over Pulse Laser is when I had Advanced Optics installed.  I will not install Advanced Optics solely to make Phase Lance compete with Pulse Laser; I will simply use Pulse Laser instead.  Bottom line, Phase Lance either needs more range, at least its old 700 or as much as Pulse Laser's absolute maximum, which is greater than the listed 600, or something else that sets it apart from Pulse Laser.  EMP without chain-lightning is not enough.

Pilums are very slow again, and only useful if you can saturate the field with them.  Cruisers with FMR can do it alone.  Ships that need to rely on missiles to do damage are better off with something else.

Salamanders are only good for harassment now, and not a must-have anymore.

After trying clips during the past few days, I am glad that clips are gone.  Either the weapon had enough ammo that clips did not matter, or it had so little ammo that DPS was effectively half for most of the fight.  Expanded Magazines did not help low capacity weapons enough to matter.

Expanded Magazines is only good for the few ships that rely on the few energy weapons that have charges.  It is a must for autopulse laser.

EDIT:  Plasma cannon is useful enough that it can be worth installing.  +100 DPS over Heavy Blaster is still not that much, but better than before, AND passthrough ensures that the plasma salvo makes it to the target.  I have seen my plasma salvos, among other things, neutralized by Annihilator sprays, and passthrough says "NO" to that.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 17, 2015, 08:18:46 AM
@ Silver Silence & Histidine
Thanks a lot, much appreciated. :D

I loved the Phase Lance from the very beginning - in fact, so much so that I replaced my Heavy Blaster with it.  Now with that damage buff, it seems like it'll be even better.  Awesome.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 08:29:19 AM
Yes, Phase Lance has potential.  It causes serious burst damage, good against shields that are ready to overload.  However, shot range is still a king in this game, and Phase Lance range is terrible, comparable to IR pulse laser, and its DPS is still less than other options, and none of the damage causes hard flux.  It needs its 700 range back, minimum.

I still prefer heavy blaster over any other medium (and some heavy) energy weapon if I want DPS, especially now that all ships have peak performance.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 17, 2015, 08:34:03 AM
I hadn't made up a super firm opinion (hadn't played enough), but I'm glad the clips are gone. They seemed very complicated.

That said, they did do a nice job at balancing Heavy Mauler vs. Assault Chaingun. I think just a little damage tweak would balance them well however (Mauler down 25, Chaingun up 25 would open the gap wide enough imo).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: The Soldier on February 17, 2015, 08:36:25 AM
Doesn't the Phase Lance now do a good hunk of EMP damage?  I remember that being one of the reasons why I choose it, although I don't know if that was changed at some point.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 08:41:15 AM
It does, but it does not chain.  Just hitting them for big damage knocks out stuff just as well unless the ship has skills or if the EMP chains.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 17, 2015, 08:49:58 AM
The Phase Lance definitely moved into a better place.  It's doing enough to kill a Cerebus in two shots, with Tac Lasers helping out.  Two shots, and the first one is a cripple, because of the EMP.

It's slightly superior to the Heavy Blaster on efficiency and it hits, but it's not doing Hard Flux.  Honestly, I'm with Megas; if you can aim, you want the Blaster or IR Pulse.  It's close, though.  It certainly will work better for newbies, imo.

But it and the Tac Lasers at 1200 range kind of ends Low Tech as a thing until late game, to be frank.  

I just started over again, and "All You Need Is Wolves" isn't my favorite song, even if it's still very relevant :)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 17, 2015, 09:02:13 AM
I did like the reload mechanic.  Kind of sad to see it go.

(Damn, I wish I'd kept the weapon_data.csv file handy - I meant to do that, and then obviously I forgot.  Does anyone just happen to have that?)

A guy on the internet delivers (https://www.dropbox.com/s/bu4euti0ukkiqu3/weapon_data.csv?dl=0).
Thanks!  I do want to play around with this as well; I think it should be usable as a good balancing mechanic for guns that are otherwise "too good" (Mauler, Mjolnir, etc.).  That said, I also think that expanded magazines should really improve the reload rate as well; hopefully Alex got that in so I can play with it.

On other changes... still not a fan of everything having a CR timer, but on the other hand, it hasn't been bothering me in practice.  So, insert minor grumbling, but that's all.

Tactical lasers have too much range now.  And they're somehow *cheaper* to mount than LRPD?  I could buy that if LRPD had the same range... or was even close enough to get up there with advanced optics...  Hm.  Okay, going to have to do some tinkering there, too.

The phase lance is kinda fun; my only current problem with it is that it maxes my wolf out on flux in two shots.  Have to be really careful with it.  But then, that's probably mostly just the wolf's fairly pathetic flux dissipation at work.

And, don't remember seeing this in the patch notes, but I really like the new cargo tooltips that show you recently observed prices for things.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 17, 2015, 09:06:50 AM
Tac lasers are maybe a bit too long ranged... would lowering to 900 make a huge difference against low tech ships? Might give Hounds the chance to close without getting zapped too long.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 09:20:41 AM
Tactical Lasers need both IPDAI mod and Advanced Turret Gyros to function well as PD.  Without Turret Gyros, tactical lasers sometimes have trouble tracking.  Also, Advanced Optics does not always work well with Tactical Lasers if used as PD.

Tactical lasers have much range, that is for sure.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 17, 2015, 10:55:24 AM
Quote
Tac lasers are maybe a bit too long ranged... would lowering to 900 make a huge difference against low tech ships? Might give Hounds the chance to close without getting zapped too long.
Against a Wolf?  Nah.  Skimmers. 

600 + 200 for AO was a least a contest with Tac Lasers and Heavy Blasters, but now with 800-range Phase Lances, it's not.

Agreed with Megas; it's definitely not an instant win, but I played up to Tech 8 and it started getting pretty funky by then.  I don't think the problem is with the Phase Lance, it's definitely the Tac Laser, where you can follow up a cripple-strike with skimming back and continue the kill.

I don't care for the Pilum change, personally.  I think it just about wrecked them for their job of killing Frigates and Fighters at long range.  Honestly, I'd rather see their reload speed go down than their speed get nerfed, if nerfing is required.  I don't think a damage nerf would work; then they're not able to do one-salvo kills on fighters or be a real threat.

I don't really get why that's even necessary, though; they only really became a major issue with ships that could mount them, which is mainly the big slow stuff that has enough PD to defeat them.  I can't see killing an Onslaught with Pilums; the number of missile-carriers you'd need would be pretty prohibitive, considering that they're either easy meat (BMK2, Gemini et al) or they're very expensive, Logistics-wise.  The only way I could see it happening is via Vigilance spam, and that's a weird squirrel case if I ever saw one.

The Salamander nerf is OK, but honestly, it doesn't change things all that much; now we have a missile whose primary job is crippling, rather than killing.  It's still very powerful en masse simply because of how it screws up the AI and I'd still pick it over Harpoons in most cases- 12 Salamanders from an Enforcer (or three) and the low DPS is almost irrelevant.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 17, 2015, 10:58:33 AM
is via Vigilance spam, and that's a weird squirrel case if I ever saw one.

Don't mind me roflstomping everything over here. (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8886.0) ;)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 17, 2015, 11:18:56 AM
Yeah, I read that, actually, and I'm still chuckling :D
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 17, 2015, 11:23:04 AM
Tac Lasers will keep being ridiculous in the early game until there's no more ships that don't have shields. The fact that they don't have hard-flux is the only thing even remotely keeping them in check, and the early game being full of stuff without shields that disadvantage doesn't exist.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 12:00:12 PM
If Tactical Laser range needs to be shortened, I would say 800, 200 less than Graviton Beam like it used to be, and to match Light Needler.

More quick comments:
With unlimited ammo, HVD has become my favorite medium kinetic, because it matches Heavy Mauler and I can stay further back to snipe-and-kite.  Heavy Needler is not as good as it used to be, compared to alternatives.  Needler has a nice combo of burst damage and accuracy, but its best advantage, lots of ammo, is gone.

P.S.
I don't care for the Pilum change, personally.  I think it just about wrecked them for their job of killing Frigates and Fighters at long range.  Honestly, I'd rather see their reload speed go down than their speed get nerfed, if nerfing is required.  I don't think a damage nerf would work; then they're not able to do one-salvo kills on fighters or be a real threat.

I don't really get why that's even necessary, though; they only really became a major issue with ships that could mount them, which is mainly the big slow stuff that has enough PD to defeat them.  I can't see killing an Onslaught with Pilums; the number of missile-carriers you'd need would be pretty prohibitive, considering that they're either easy meat (BMK2, Gemini et al) or they're very expensive, Logistics-wise.  The only way I could see it happening is via Vigilance spam, and that's a weird squirrel case if I ever saw one.
DPS is almost irrelevant.
I think the speed was slowed because people with max Missile Specialization used them as Harpoons.  I did, and it was very effective, enough to make Harpoons obsolete.  Skilled enemy flagships with Pilums (e.g., Odyssey) always killed something if you did not kill them immediately.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 17, 2015, 12:09:47 PM
The lack of ammo limits for ballistic weapons has had some interesting side effects: it is now much less important to mount a mix of damage types when using ballistics.  Before, taking down shields with HE or armor with kinetics just chewed through too much ammo to be practical; now, the only drawback is if it takes so long as to mess with your CR timer, and (at least for me) that doesn't seem to be happening.  As a result, I'm probably going to lean much more heavily towards kinetic ballistics (possibly backed by EMP damage), since they are much better at putting flux on enemy shields and thus limiting return fire.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 17, 2015, 12:47:30 PM
That's what I did for all missiles (except the regen is lower than the refire for all of them) - it works great. Keeps FMR and +ammo skills useful without being too good because the missile has a sub-5 second refire.

Yeah, I can see how that'd work. I do like limited ammo for Harpoons, Reapers, and the like, though - it adds an extra layer to the decision whether to fire them beyond immediate tactical considerations, and to me that makes it much more interesting. It also lets them be stronger weapons, with a higher player reward for skilled use. FWIW, I tried regenerating ammo for Harpoons and absolutely hated it, though that's obviously subjective to some degree.

Despite also being missiles, I think Salamanders and Pilums are just in a very different category with regards to how they're used.


That was... kind of a quick about-face on the mechanic. Alex you made Assault Chaingun inferior in every way to Heavy Mauler again, I am sad :(

Yeah, it was. I think what Megas said:
Either the weapon had enough ammo that clips did not matter, or it had so little ammo that DPS was effectively half for most of the fight.  Expanded Magazines did not help low capacity weapons enough to matter.

... is quite accurate. Now, to be fair, that was the point of the mechanic, but looking at it again, it just doesn't seem good. It did the work mechanically, but there are other ways to do it (e.g. higher flux costs to balance certain weapons, for example) and I think it was just too much complexity-wise for what little it brought.


The lack of ammo limits for ballistic weapons has had some interesting side effects: it is now much less important to mount a mix of damage types when using ballistics.  Before, taking down shields with HE or armor with kinetics just chewed through too much ammo to be practical; now, the only drawback is if it takes so long as to mess with your CR timer, and (at least for me) that doesn't seem to be happening.  As a result, I'm probably going to lean much more heavily towards kinetic ballistics (possibly backed by EMP damage), since they are much better at putting flux on enemy shields and thus limiting return fire.

Hm, yeah. That was one of the reasons for having ammo limits in the first place, and, right, the peak timer is supposed to take care of that, but if it doesn't, that's a problem. Perhaps an argument for bringing back ammo, or perhaps for shorter timers. Definitely going to think about this and keep an eye on how things play out; I'd really appreciate more feedback on how this is working out in practice.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 01:01:12 PM
Ballistic ships should have some HE because it takes longer for kinetics to breach armor.  If anything, HE is more viable against shields because of unlimited ammo, although it is probably a good idea to lean a bit more toward kinetic.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 17, 2015, 01:14:15 PM
Quote
I think the speed was slowed because people with max Missile Specialization used them as Harpoons.  I did, and it was very effective, enough to make Harpoons obsolete.  Skilled enemy flagships with Pilums (e.g., Odyssey) always killed something if you did not kill them immediately.
So that's a problem with Missile Specialization 10, then?  I mean, isn't that the only place where it's obviously OP (well, that and ships with FMR, but again, that's totally fixable)?

Breaking a core weapon's mechanics to fix a use case that comes up only with level-16+ characters who go for a very specific build is perhaps putting the cart before the horse :)

On the sudden death of the clip concept:  I can see weapons where the concept would be OK, if the clip had a flat reload timer where the weapon had to wait until a new clip was loaded, like having a machinegun that fires 200 times, then has to wait 10 seconds.  I think that the primary use is when dealing with weapons that spam a lot for low Flux, as another balance tool.  I'll look at that.

Oh, and on the Kinetic / HE balance debate; personally, I feel like a bunch of approaches work now that were previously pretty un-viable before, so that's good.  Assault Chaingun almost became cool; Thumper is definitely helped; the only weapon in the bunch where I'm still kind of ambivalent about it's niche is the Arbalest, which is just not useful in any way.  I'd really like to see it double its DPS and Flux and halve its refire rate, personally, giving it the hard-hitter role (and perhaps a bit more OPs).  Right now it's just the Heavy Autocannon, but worse in every way.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 01:32:23 PM
@ xenoargh:  Pilums were not the only missiles that became overpowered with MS 10.  Reapers become unbeatable and one-hit kill destroyers and Falcons.  Annihilators emulate a superpowered HAG, and kill almost as quickly as Reapers.  Harpoon MRM emulates Reaper with homing.  Swarmers do serious damage.  Atropos becomes viable.  Missile Specialization is powerful to the point that if you put points in it at all, go all the way and max it.  Spike damage is very important as long as the strongest threat is confined to a single enemy flagship with all Combat skills at 10.  It takes minutes for a Hyperion to kill a skilled flagship with only two Heavy Blasters.  With four Reapers, that skilled enemy flagship is dead in a couple seconds, before it can regenerate.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Aeson on February 17, 2015, 01:36:00 PM
I don't care for the Pilum change, personally.  I think it just about wrecked them for their job of killing Frigates and Fighters at long range.  Honestly, I'd rather see their reload speed go down than their speed get nerfed, if nerfing is required.  I don't think a damage nerf would work; then they're not able to do one-salvo kills on fighters or be a real threat.

I don't really get why that's even necessary, though; they only really became a major issue with ships that could mount them, which is mainly the big slow stuff that has enough PD to defeat them.  I can't see killing an Onslaught with Pilums; the number of missile-carriers you'd need would be pretty prohibitive, considering that they're either easy meat (BMK2, Gemini et al) or they're very expensive, Logistics-wise.  The only way I could see it happening is via Vigilance spam, and that's a weird squirrel case if I ever saw one.
DPS is almost irrelevant.
I think the speed was slowed because people with max Missile Specialization used them as Harpoons.  I did, and it was very effective, enough to make Harpoons obsolete.  Skilled enemy flagships with Pilums (e.g., Odyssey) always killed something if you did not kill them immediately.
You see, I tend to feel that that is more of an argument for "Missile Specialization should be changed" than for "Pilum LRMs should be changed." Pilum LRMs were fine (and honestly not terribly impressive unless you brought lots of them) without the bonuses from Missile Specialization. If Weapon A is not a problem except in combination with Skill B, then the solution to Weapon A + Skill B being a problem probably isn't "make Weapon A kind of pointless without Skill B." But that's my opinion, and I tend to dislike how most of the Combat skills skew things anyways.

Also, a question: there are some standard ship variants (e.g. Standard Lasher) whose only missiles are Salamanders but which also carry Expanded Missile Racks. Is there any point to this, at least before Missile Specialization 5? Because as far as I can tell, it doesn't give you an extra shot and it doesn't increase the rate of fire.

the only weapon in the bunch where I'm still kind of ambivalent about it's niche is the Arbalest, which is just not useful in any way.  I'd really like to see it double its DPS and Flux and halve its refire rate, personally, giving it the hard-hitter role (and perhaps a bit more OPs).  Right now it's just the Heavy Autocannon, but worse in every way.
Funnily enough, about the only time that I use the Arbalest is when I cannot find or do not have access to Heavy Autocannons or other superior kinetic ballistic weapons.

Also, it's not quite worse in every way. It costs 2 less ordnance points.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 01:52:17 PM
Arbalest has the advantage of being common and available in open market, and they are effective in combat.  They are only bad if compared to other kinetics.  Their relatively low OP cost can be an advantage in fringe cases.  In particular, Arbalest can be useful for a three blaster Eagle that wants as many spare points in capacitors and vents, especially if the configuration includes Hardened Subsystems.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 17, 2015, 01:56:08 PM
You see, I tend to feel that that is more of an argument for "Missile Specialization should be changed" than for "Pilum LRMs should be changed." Pilum LRMs were fine (and honestly not terribly impressive unless you brought lots of them) without the bonuses from Missile Specialization. If Weapon A is not a problem except in combination with Skill B, then the solution to Weapon A + Skill B being a problem probably isn't "make Weapon A kind of pointless without Skill B." But that's my opinion, and I tend to dislike how most of the Combat skills skew things anyways.

I think that depends. If Weapon A is problematic with skill B, while several other weapons are not, then Weapon A is the logical thing to change, as adjusting skill B would mess with how it interacts with those other weapons.

Pilums got a bit too good with the previous-version buff and regenerating ammo, anyway. If they were useful, unskilled, in outright killing enemy frigates by themselves, then that's performing rather beyond their intended role. Outright replacing Harpoons with Missile Spec is another symptom of the same - and, really, they could replace Harpoon Pods vs larger targets without Missile Spec.

I suspect calling them useless without skill is a bit of a stretch, too. If nothing else, they still seem like a good candidate for the missile slots on Condors and the like.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 02:02:40 PM
@ Alex:  Agreed.  Pilums are still useful.  For cruisers with FMR and MS 10, a swarm of Pilums is still lethal.  I have killed some ships with a Pilum swarm.  If I used Harpoons instead, I would have one or two guaranteed kills, then I am out.

For my long-range Conquest configuration, I replaced Pilums with Salamander Pod.  Pilums are too slow, but I still want to pile yet another mindless unlimited long-range weapon to torment the enemy, and Salamander pod was the only other option, and has proven useful.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on February 17, 2015, 02:16:16 PM
Perhaps an argument for bringing back ammo, or perhaps for shorter timers.

Or maybe for even more damage reduction/bonus when a weapon is used against the wrong/right barrier type.



Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Silver Silence on February 17, 2015, 02:29:05 PM
Hell, just having Fast Missile Racks and more than a couple launchers pretty much guarantees that the vanguard of an enemy fleet are dead. Just pilot the FMR ship yourself and keep reloading those launchers. Suddenly, you have 20+ fire and forget missiles cruising towards the unfortunate frigates that happened to get spotted first. MS10 only heightens that firepower as Pilums start to hit extremely hard and maneuver incredibly well. Frigates do not simply jink to the side and forget about the things when you have MS10.




NINJA EDIT:

I'd be all for greater disparity between damage types and what the damage types are used for. The general cautiousness of the AI and their tendancy to raise shields against even minor damage can keep them constantly on the backfoot, overpowering their shields and running their flux too high for them to want to fire their weapons. A couple gauss cannons on a ship that can move more than 50 meaningless-units-of-speed/second will keep a typical capital ship on the defensive for a really long time. And if they drop their shields, well, Gauss really doesn't mess around with enough raw damage to be a cause for serious concern against armour.

Might just be a side effect of the fact that if you slap enough support weapons on a ship, they become very effective assault weapons in turn. Massed Pilum, massed Gauss, the Beam Paragon, quadruple Tachyon Paragon with a couple blasters or pulse lasers. I don't think you'd get quite the same effect with, say, massed Thumpers.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 17, 2015, 02:30:06 PM
For my long-range Conquest configuration, I replaced Pilums with Salamander Pod.  Pilums are too slow, but I still want to pile yet another mindless unlimited long-range weapon to torment the enemy, and Salamander pod was the only other option, and has proven useful.

Hmm - Pilums not being generally all that useful on front-line ships sounds about right.


Perhaps an argument for bringing back ammo, or perhaps for shorter timers.

Or maybe for even more damage reduction/bonus when a weapon is used against the wrong/right barrier type.

That makes more sense, yeah. Reducing peak time would also affect other weapons, which would not be good. Probably more of a penalty, since that'd require less balancing - upping damage across the board would be trouble.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Serenitis on February 17, 2015, 02:41:33 PM
Since the new release, dual flak cannons seem to have lost the ability to attack fighters.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cycerin on February 17, 2015, 02:56:07 PM
Ammo is never a good way to balance weapons except for extremely powerful ones like the AM Blaster, because it's in the same category as Harpoons or Reapers and thus ammo's chief function is to limit how much damage you can do during a fight, in exchange allowing for the weapons to act as a finisher or "dirty trick". Without ammo you couldn't have such a weapon, because it'd either have to have a ridiculously long cooldown, or just be objectively the best weapon available. Whether a weapon is Ballistic, Energy or Missile doesn't alone define what category it is in, the weapon's individual stats do too.

I also wouldn't think you'd have to touch damage types in order to balance weapons - flux, shot deviation, range and all the other stats are more than sufficient tools given that they are all that causes some weapons to be too good currently (the Mauler, the tactical laser, etc)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 17, 2015, 03:15:39 PM
While I generally agree with you, certain weapons like the Mauler were more balanced with the smaller regenerating ammo pool than the are now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 17, 2015, 03:42:28 PM
Don't have anything moar to say about this version. I'll return when I can manufacture my own damn fleet in my own damn battlestation which will hopefully be able to orbitally bombard the luddics into slavery.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 05:31:31 PM
Played with the Phase Lance more.

Despite lower DPS, Phase Lance outperforms Pulse Laser slightly if the beam does not need to hit shields much.  Phase Lance can a better and/or safer choice than Pulse Laser or even Heavy Blaster when your ship meets two conditions:
* Has Advanced Optics hullmod.
* Has enough kinetics (or lots of other firepower) to crush shields quickly.

Without Advanced Optics, range is less than Pulse Laser or Heavy Blaster, since beams do not fade out.  With Advanced Optics, Phase Lance outranges those two staples noticeably.  The only medium weapon that outranges Phase Lance is Graviton Beam, which does much less damage.

Medusa, Eagle, and Doom can mount kinetics to beat down shields quickly (and have spare mounts for viable PD), then zap the enemy ship with Phase Lances for heavy damage, and from greater distance than with pulse lasers or blasters.

I would gladly use Phase Lance on those three ships, provided I unlocked Advanced Optics.  I would not use it on ships that cannot mount kinetics or lots of blasters to beat down shields.  For instance, I would not use Phase Lances on a Wolf, Tempest, or Aurora.

I still think Phase Lance should get 50 or 100 more range, enough to more-or-less match Pulse Laser's maximum range, such that I would consider mounting it instead of Pulse Laser if I do not have Advanced Optics.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Cycerin on February 17, 2015, 05:47:52 PM
A really good Phase Lance ship seems to be the Eagle, with three Light Needlers or Heavy ACs up front and then three Phase Lances, it's really effective.

While I generally agree with you, certain weapons like the Mauler were more balanced with the smaller regenerating ammo pool than the are now.

Hence, my argument is that something should be implemented to balance the weapon in its stead.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 17, 2015, 06:12:36 PM
I would use one among three heavy autocannons, HMGs, or heavy needlers on the Eagle, and railguns or light needlers on Medusa or Doom.

For Heavy Mauler, if it needs to be weakened, I suggest raising its OP cost to 13, to match Hypervelocity Driver, and maybe slightly lower DPS by 20 or so points.  Assault Chaingun has terrible accuracy and short enough range that Heavy Mauler will always be highly desired.  Personally, I rather leave Heavy Mauler the way it is and make Assault Chaingun better by giving it better accuracy and 800 range.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 17, 2015, 07:45:14 PM
Quote
Pilums were not the only missiles that became overpowered with MS 10.
Well, that kind of illustrated my point, yeah.  It's a matter of degree, not an absolute thing.

Quote
Pilums got a bit too good with the previous-version buff and regenerating ammo, anyway. If they were useful, unskilled, in outright killing enemy frigates by themselves, then that's performing rather beyond their intended role. Outright replacing Harpoons with Missile Spec is another symptom of the same - and, really, they could replace Harpoon Pods vs larger targets without Missile Spec.
I don't recall you changing Pilums' speeds when you buffed the missiles last time, though- just their hitpoints and damage.  I could be wrong, I've slept since then :)

Anyhow, for Pilums, speed is extremely important; without it, they cannot catch certain ships before their motors burn out.

More importantly, in fleet actions, a slow missile is PD fodder.  20 of them, 40, it kind of doesn't matter, once speeds are low enough- AOE PD eats them much more easily then.

And nobody was saying, "a single Pilum is a frigate killer" here; the issue, with any missiles, is "what happens when you can bring 4+ launchers to bear on a target", because that's when things start getting weird.

A single Harpoon Pod is not a real threat to any Frigate with shields, unless it's absolutely Flux-locked... 5 fired at a Frigate, with Missile Specialization 10 is dangerous, because that may push even a zero-flux Frigate into Overload... and 20 is enough to kill a lot of Cruisers, even without Missile Specialization 10. 

Missiles scale very differently, because they're alpha spikes and even against an Onslaught, it doesn't take more than two to clear the armor blocks- and then the serious damage happens.

If missiles that actually work is a real issue, but they need to work in order to preserve the feel, why not simply make PD work better, to preserve the other part of the feel, i.e. capships that don't really care a lot about anything that's not a torpedo? 

That's another option that works, and it doesn't need to be a DPS buff; an OnHit() projectile / beam buff against Missiles as a class is straightforward.  That's how I ended up dealing with this in Vacuum, the last time I went down the rabbit hole.  Honestly, though, I think I'm getting close to having all this mess balanced over here; it can be shifted (for example, doubling all the missile timers, to feel more like 0.65) without ruining missiles in their special role or needing any of them to have ammo limits, too; the issue has always largely been balancing missiles against each other for OP costs while leaving them functionally able to do what they're designed to do, rather than trying to compare them with anything else.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Delta7 on February 17, 2015, 08:44:22 PM
ok, now i played the patch and i have to say... not quite as horrid as i though... except it is. fast missile rack salamanders are terrifying. ultra long range beam weapons are game breaking. the reduced range of the HIL (at least i think, havent tried it yet, but i hear it is) is pointless and wrong. i could easily solo an enforcer with a grav beam wolf+ harpoons even before the patch in a flux war, now i laugh at them. before i needed to watch my ammo on my heavy autocannons and pillium missiles on my archer class destroyer (SS+) in prolonged engagements, and i needed to strategize. now i sit at the back of the map, set my missile weapon group to autofire, press the F key in between volleys, and watch as my enemies burn under a ceaseless barrage of long range death the moment my scout fighters spot the first target. ballistics are now more powerful than energy weapons, and the only ballistics i would like to have unlimited ammo (point defense) dont. light machine guns lack regenerating ammo, so now i have to rely on much less versatile vulcan cannons, or fly into battle wondering how i have a never ending supply of heavy autocannon shells, each nearly the size of a small interceptor, yet i can only hold a thousand rounds of machine gun ammo per mount.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Toxcity on February 17, 2015, 09:27:13 PM
I'm pretty sure LMGs have unlimited ammo. You might not be playing the hotfix.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 17, 2015, 11:48:26 PM
Hm.  Minor problem: the Autopulse Laser is once again in a state where, for some ship configurations, a pulse laser is a flat upgrade.  Notably higher sustained DPS, and the extra 10 ordnance points more than offset the autopulse's slightly higher flux efficiency.  The burst damage is nice, and it does have slightly more range... but not enough to really matter, and if you're not packing expanded magazines, or if you are flying something that can't back off to recover charges, then it's the sustained DPS that counts.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Dark.Revenant on February 18, 2015, 12:01:21 AM
The Autopulse Laser is adept at forcing up enemy flux, lest they take a ton of damage on their armor/hull.  1250 DPS for 2-3 seconds is no joke.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: TJJ on February 18, 2015, 04:03:07 AM
The Autopulse Laser is adept at forcing up enemy flux, lest they take a ton of damage on their armor/hull.  1250 DPS for 2-3 seconds is no joke.

If it was better at cracking armour, I'd agree.
However even an enforcer can tank a full barrage from 2 autopulses onto its armour without fretting too much.

The one saving grace is that the AI doesn't seem to appreciate this fact, and will happily absorb the damage onto a lacklustre shield instead.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 18, 2015, 05:17:50 AM
Autopulse Laser needs Expanded Magazines.  I do not have time now to post the calculations when medium weapons overtake autopulse DPS.  Pulse Laser takes a while before it catches up, but the Heavy Blaster catches up fast.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 18, 2015, 06:49:02 AM
Yeah, I can see how that'd work. I do like limited ammo for Harpoons, Reapers, and the like, though - it adds an extra layer to the decision whether to fire them beyond immediate tactical considerations, and to me that makes it much more interesting. It also lets them be stronger weapons, with a higher player reward for skilled use. FWIW, I tried regenerating ammo for Harpoons and absolutely hated it, though that's obviously subjective to some degree.

Despite also being missiles, I think Salamanders and Pilums are just in a very different category with regards to how they're used.

I've found that a 90 second reload, scaling slightly downward with launcher size to reward bigger launchers (or maybe even longer, but that's what I went with) on Reapers, with a scaling refire (I chose 30, 25, 20 respectively) to prevent +ammo skill abuse to still make you really think about when to use them works really well.

Similarly, a 20/15/20x4 refire on the guided missiles (to prevent +ammo for putting burst damage through the roof) with a reload somewhere around 60/50/90x4 for single/triple/pod versions was long enough for you really not to want to waste a missile and make you play carefully when your are "out" - and that kind of reload time still makes you want to have +ammo skills.

The long refire also makes "missile ships" with a lot of individual missile mounts significantly different from "ships that have some missiles" because more mounts means a big increase in missile density per volley. While also making the fire rate bonuses from skills (and CR? High CR gives fire rate right?) a really big deal for all missiles, as opposed to just the few that have long reload times like Pilums and Salamanders.

Quite a few good side effects to it too: The AI also works quite well with this, it boosts Buffalo mk2s to "can't ignore just because they fired their missiles because they'll reload eventually", Wolves are quite a lot less crazy because they can't empty their entire missile racks at the start and Swarmers (5s x4 refire, 10s x4 reload seemed okay, but is probably too punishing for fighters) are a decent middle-of-the-road option for stuff like Hammerheads, hitting less hard than Harpoons but giving you some HE pressure and fighter defense.
As opposed to Swarmers currently being completely overshadowed by salamanders - no reason to take a utility small mount missile that doesn't regen when you can take salamanders.

Incidentally, I think Proximity Charge Launcher should just get the Point Defense tag and behavior - it's really the only thing they're good at (and they are really good at it if they're on a missile hardpoint that can pivot!).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: TJJ on February 18, 2015, 07:27:19 AM
As opposed to Swarmers currently being completely overshadowed by salamanders - no reason to take a utility small mount missile that doesn't regen when you can take salamanders.

Eh?

If anything, it's Swarmers that are overshadowing Annihilators!

Since Swarmers became HE, they've been my go to small missile in Frigates/Destroyers/Light Cruisers.

- DPS comparable to Annihilators once misses are factored in.
- Damaging enough vs frigates (where Harpoons are often overkill), and with far better guidance.
- Obviously best anti-fighter missile.

Granted they're weak against capital ships, cruisers & heavily armoured destroyers, but such targets are typically slow enough that your main guns can deal with it.

I like the niche that the new Salamaders fulfill, but their function is so radically different to Swarmers that I don't think they overshadow them at all.  (even with infinite ammo)

Incidentally, I think Proximity Charge Launcher should just get the Point Defense tag and behavior - it's really the only thing they're good at (and they are really good at it if they're on a missile hardpoint that can pivot!).

This I agree with; though often they're so effective as blanket PD/fighter slaughter, it feels like cheating.
Perhaps they should be toned down a little.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 18, 2015, 07:46:30 AM
In 0.65.1, Swarmers were good.  If you have 20+ frigates with Swarmers, even they can threaten large ships because there are so many, and they passthrough allied ships - useful when ships cannot attack any other way due to friends in the line-of-fire.  Swarmers have twice as much total DPS as Harpoons, and much less likely to be wasted, not to mention 1 OP cheaper than a measly rack of three Harpoons.  Harpoons are only good as alpha-strike or finishers.  Swarmers are better if you need more damage during a longer battle.

In 0.65.2 pre-hotfix, Salamanders regenerated, and did enough damage to compete with Harpoons once armor was gone, and armor will be gone after getting shot numerous times by missiles and lasers from many ships.  They outperformed Swarmers and Harpoons in every way.

After the hotfix, Salamander barely do more damage than one Swarmer (out of four) and only if it hits hull.  They are only good for disabling a ship's engines.  If you need to pile on more damage than yet more EMP, Swarmers are better.  Salamanders are still useful, but not at dealing hull damage.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 18, 2015, 09:04:06 AM
Number-crunching time!

DPS
Pulse Laser:  303
Heavy Blaster:  500
Autopulse Laser:  1250 (250)

Without Expanded Magazines, Autopulse Laser has 20 shots, enough for two seconds of sustained fire.  Expanded Magazines raises capacity to 30 shots, for three seconds.

Assuming no Expanded Magazines and constant firing of weapons without interruption...

AutoPulse Laser vs. (medium) Pulse Laser
2500 + 250x = 606 + 303x
53x = 1894
x = 35.7

AutoPulse Laser vs. Heavy Blaster
2500 + 250x = 1000 + 500x
250x = 1500
x = 6

It takes almost 36 seconds before Pulse Laser catches up to AutoPulse Laser, but only six seconds before Heavy Blaster catches up to AutoPulse Laser.  Admittedly, Heavy Blaster generates much flux, and vent spamming (and giving up shields in the process) might be necessary to get full DPS out of blasters.  With Expanded Magazines, the time it takes for medium weapons to catch up is 50% longer.  For example, Heavy Blaster needs nine seconds instead of six to catch up with Autopulse Laser with Expanded Magazines.  Pulse Laser needs more than 53 seconds to catch up.

Remember that Pulse Laser received a larger DPS raise than either Heavy Blaster or Autopulse Laser.  Even that is not enough to overshadow the best weapons that received a lesser bonus.

The reasons to take Autopulse Laser over medium weapons have always been flux efficiency, extra range, and/or a quick burst of 2000 or so damage that can finish off a ship right now.  If you think you need more DPS over a longer period, you are better off with Heavy Blasters or possibly Plasma Cannon since the latter cannot be blocked by missiles now.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 18, 2015, 09:59:04 AM
All very well, but keep in mind: that's only a two or three second burst.  In that time, you can maybe kill a ship (if it's a small ship and you've got enough supporting firepower).  Then the next target that comes in?  Plink.  Plink.  Plink.

You know what else can maybe kill one ship?  A torpedo.  You know what a torpedo costs?  Two ordnance points.  So, let's take a look again at pulse laser + torpedo + 8 vents, versus autopulse laser.  And you know what?  The former is going to be better the vast majority of the time.  The problem with the autopulse isn't that it's a terribly bad weapon, it's that it's frequently not worth the opportunity cost of mounting one; putting a pulse laser in gives better sustained DPS, *and* an extra 10 ordnance points to play with; spend those right, and you can more than offset the autopulse's advantages.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 18, 2015, 10:08:10 AM
You know what else can maybe kill one ship?  A torpedo.

Yeah - once. And even that's not guaranteed since shields can absorb an infinite amount of damage as long as it's delivered in a single instance. How many ships can an Autopulse kill? Literally infinite ships.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: WKOB on February 18, 2015, 10:10:51 AM
Oh my god, you people for real never stop.

This isn't multiplayer, it's not a combat simulation, it's an RPG with mildly deep but arcade-like space combat. It doesn't need, nor should it have, perfect balance.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 18, 2015, 10:20:47 AM
You know what else can maybe kill one ship?  A torpedo.

Yeah - once. And even that's not guaranteed since shields can absorb an infinite amount of damage as long as it's delivered in a single instance. How many ships can an Autopulse kill? Literally infinite ships.
And you know what else can kill "literally infinite ships"?  A pulse laser.  Such as the above example included.  So maybe you should try thinking about the example presented instead of being uselessly snide?
This isn't multiplayer, it's not a combat simulation, it's an RPG with mildly deep but arcade-like space combat. It doesn't need, nor should it have, perfect balance.
Does not need perfect balance, no.  But that does not mean that balance should not be a goal, nor does it mean that people should not speak up when one weapon is strictly inferior to another.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 18, 2015, 10:22:25 AM
Only four ships can mount large energy weapons, and they are not good non-homing missile users without high Missile Specialization.  Sunder's missile hardpoints are spaced too far apart for easy Reaper usage (e.g., you want to launch right torpedo but accidentally shot the left).  Apogee shoots missile off at an angle, very awkward unless missile is homing.  Odyssey can use Reapers, if you are used to its mounts.  Paragon missile mounts are buried in the middle, and need lots of speed to take advantage of an opening, something only high Missile Specialization can help with.

Quote
This isn't multiplayer, it's not a combat simulation, it's an RPG with mildly deep but arcade-like space combat. It doesn't need, nor should it have, perfect balance
The game should not have options so powerful that I would be stupid not to take them, even if they break the game.  For example, before hotfix, I would be stupid not to use Doom and FMR Salamander everything to oblivion, before any enemy appears on my screen.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 18, 2015, 10:25:16 AM
And you know what else can kill "literally infinite ships"?  A pulse laser.  Such as the above example included.  So maybe you should try thinking about the example presented instead of being uselessly snide?
Your example is nonsense - the game doesn't let you magically turn a single large energy hardpoint into a medium and a small. Comparing one hardpoint to two, as though that was a choice the game let you arbitrarily make is pointless, because it doesn't. You can compare different weapon types, and sizes (within certain limits) because universal hardpoints exist and you can put smaller weapons into larger hardpoints. You cannot say "this large weapon is bad because this medium and this small weapon together are better".
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 18, 2015, 10:32:54 AM
@DatonKallandor: The example was to make a point: there are other things to do with your ordnance points, things that can easily offset whatever advantages the autopulse has when you fail to consider the ordnance point cost.  You seem to have missed this fact and are instead focusing on irrelevant minutia - the example was simply pointing out one way to replicate the autopulse's high burst damage.  Also, you totally can put a medium energy weapon into a large slot; without that, this would not be a concern.  (Edit: Oh, nice edit there, removing the bits you had factually wrong.)

@Megas: Amusingly, I use a Sunder with reapers, and find that it works just fine for me.  And yes, I'd be leaving those slots empty if it was worth mounting an autopulse laser; you don't really need multiple sources of burst damage.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 18, 2015, 10:40:33 AM
On further thought, I feel I should add: This is not the first time that the autopulse and pulse laser have had this problem; several versions ago, the situation was the same as it is now, where one could replace an autopulse with a pulse and find it to be a direct upgrade.  Alex fixed that.  I bring this up so that he can fix it again; as such, convincing the two of you is not a high priority for me.  So present whatever further arguments you like; I have said what needed saying and am done with this topic.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 18, 2015, 10:42:04 AM
@ Wyvern:  The only missiles I usually use on Sunder is 0 OP Sabot, to force AI to lower shield and eat Plasma Cannon or triple Heavy Blaster/Phase Lance salvo at a critical time.  I need lots of OP for the stats and flux I need (and Light Needlers if I use triple Phase Lance).

EDIT:  I think it is more of a problem with autopulse laser vs. heavy blaster.

EDIT #2:  It was worse in Starfarer when Autopulse only had 15 charges (22 with Expanded Magazines).

EDIT #3:  I prefer Heavy Blaster over Autopulse.  I use Pulse Laser as a substitute when I do not have enough rare heavy blasters to give to all ships.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: orost on February 18, 2015, 11:55:24 AM
@Megas: what are those 0 OP missiles you speak of?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 18, 2015, 12:05:42 PM
@Megas: what are those 0 OP missiles you speak of?
He's talking about single-shot harpoons or sabot SRMs.  Which cost one ordnance point normally, or, if you have the cost reduction from combat skills, zero.  Of course, if you don't pursue combat aptitude, or aren't that high level yet, then there are no zero ordnance point missiles.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: orost on February 18, 2015, 12:07:54 PM
Thanks, I had no idea the reduction could bring the cost down to 0 OP. Seems OP. (scnr)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 18, 2015, 12:12:30 PM
While I would not mind the autopulse getting a small buff (Say 20% more damage AND 20% more OP - for a large slot it is a bit of a "light" gun), I think it is a significantly superior weapon to the pulse laser. It has longer range, better flux efficiency, mildly better armor penetration, and HUGE burst damage. It has a lower sustained DPS... but as Megas showed, it takes 36 (or more) seconds for the Pulse Laser to catch up. And that is if both guns are in continuous, no losing target, no venting firing for 36 seconds - which does not happen very often.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 18, 2015, 12:17:54 PM
Thanks, I had no idea the reduction could bring the cost down to 0 OP. Seems OP. (scnr)
Generally agreed; I have a skill rebalance mod I've been tinkering with that replaces the reduced ordnance point cost with reduced weapon flux generation (flagship only).  Seems a better fit for a combat skill.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 18, 2015, 12:42:01 PM
@DatonKallandor: Thanks for posting up those reload numbers. Could defnitely see it working, like I said, but I'm just not a fan of long cooldowns myself.  Sometimes cooldowns are hard to avoid design-wise, but it feels like if you've got enough of them, managing them rapidly becomes the name of the game. It does make things easier for the AI to work with, as the cost of getting a "should I launch missiles" decision wrong is lower.

As the player, though, you'd probably feel like you have to wait out cooldowns to engage optimally. Peak effectiveness seems like it would combat this, but it doesn't tick down when there aren't enough enemies around. So, if you're in a Hyperion, it seems like an optimal way to fight would be to teleport in, unload whatever missiles you've got, then teleport out and hide in a corner somewhere while the missiles reload. Could be addressed somehow, but that's just the most egregious example of the pattern of play I think long cooldowns would encourage. Plus, as I mentioned, I like the decision layer that having truly limited missiles adds.

@Wyvern, Megas, Thaago:
Bumped up Autopulse damage to 150, and flux use to 125. Hopefully that'll be enough; I don't think a drastic change is called for here, but in my experience, the weapon did feel weak-ish. It's not supposed to be super-strong, with efficiency being the main selling point, but even so, it's still a large slot you're using.

Also added the PD tag to the Proximity Charge Launcher.

... and while I was at it, set the Apogee's Sensor Drones so that they can't free-roam. Been meaning to do that for a while.


(I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for all the detailed and thought-out feedback. I very much appreciate it.)

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Silver Silence on February 18, 2015, 12:56:24 PM
Personally, I'd just increase the range of the autopulse and adjust the sprite to remove the strut on the side or add a strut on the other side (hrrgh, asymmetry). I tend not to use it because it feels like a cruiser's weapon. Same with the plasma cannon. It seems like a weapon for the midline destroyer whose name has slipped my mind completely. Mounted to a Paragon, you completely hand over range advantage to the Onslaught and to a HIL fitted Odyssey. Shorter ranged weapons on such large and cumbersome ships has never really gelled with me. Gauss/Mauler/HVD. HIL/Grav/Tac. But the autopulse and the prazma cannon are a really snug fit for the Sunder (that was it's name, right? the midline destroyer?). It's a destroyer, it already doesn't have much OP to work with. Giving up only a little range, you can mount triple pulse lasers that are much more sustainable.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 18, 2015, 01:57:40 PM
(hrrgh, asymmetry)

(http://i.imgur.com/ORhXLn6.gif)

(http://i.imgur.com/DeWnbtB.png)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 18, 2015, 03:51:13 PM
On further thought, I feel I should add: This is not the first time that the autopulse and pulse laser have had this problem; several versions ago, the situation was the same as it is now, where one could replace an autopulse with a pulse and find it to be a direct upgrade.  Alex fixed that.  I bring this up so that he can fix it again; as such, convincing the two of you is not a high priority for me.  So present whatever further arguments you like; I have said what needed saying and am done with this topic.

And you're doing a great service - finding those cases where cheaper/smaller/same cost weapons simply outperform others is extremely important. Especially for Energy weapons where there are fewer variables between different weapons. Keep it dude.

@Alex: I hadn't thought about run-away cases that's a good point. Although I suspect the low fire rate would make those tactics fairly weak - I've found the low fire rate missiles require quite a bit of setup to be effective (enemy flux being high, overloaded or an unshielded section towards the missile vector because they're flanked) - the volume of missiles just isn't high enough to score persistent damage just from missiles alone (the old FMR combined with the old Pilums being an exception - they did score kills just through volume alone from a single ship). Except for missile mount heavy ships,  but I can't think of one that's capable of the keep-away game (which is good ship design on your part by the way - keeping the brawlers more mobile than the skirmishers so there's no pure artillery duels).

On Peak Effectiveness, I can't say I've noticed it being significantly different  - I ran into a few times in bigger fleet battles (I'd say about 20vs20 logistics points?) and it served as a good reminder to get on with it. It made itself known when I was stalling a little trying to weave around missile volleys and striking in the windows between reloads. Something you can really only do with a Wolf or similar high-tech ultra-mobile ships - had I been using something a little more straightforward (like a Lasher) I suspect those fights would have been over (either outcome) before peak effectiveness had degraded.

What is the intention for PE anyway: Is it supposed to be a factor in most fight? Only in big fights? Something you only run into when you stall and play hit-and-run?

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: HeartofDiscord on February 18, 2015, 03:53:39 PM
Quick question: is the 25% energy damage increase just raw numbers ON the weapons, or is it built into the game? I'm doing a little fixing on the factions that aren't currently updated.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 18, 2015, 04:04:28 PM
Peak performance is a big deal for the player who attempts to solo fleets with one ship.  Without peak performance, a frigate piloted by a skilled enough player can destroy any fleet.

The damage increase for energy weapons is per weapon.  Not all weapons were powered-up equally, and a few did not get any damage raise at all.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on February 18, 2015, 04:28:38 PM
Quick question: is the 25% energy damage increase just raw numbers ON the weapons, or is it built into the game? I'm doing a little fixing on the factions that aren't currently updated.
Just raw numbers on the guns. And it isn't the same across the board either. Some weapons got a bigger boost than others
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DinoZavarski on February 18, 2015, 05:02:54 PM
Strange, is there something wrong with my game playing style, given the fact that i actually have to consider ammo count all the time, run out of it on regular basis and have to use extended ammo upgrades quite often (i play 6.2.1 with a lot of mods). Seeing it removed with the statement that it never runs out anyway looks as mockery for me. Infinite ammo has dire impact on game enjoyability, turning it in some kind of arcade and nearly made me not want to switch to 0.6.52 anytime soon (just like providing the patch instead of the full game on purchase made me me not play 0.6.51).

Fortunately it is done via the CSV and is easy to fix. Still think however that while "Infinite ammo" setting may fit quite well besides the "Take half damage" setting in preferences, it must not require patching game data to disable.

At least hope dev's won't remove ammo support mechanics in the next version with the statement that nobody uses it anyway :/
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SafariJohn on February 18, 2015, 06:39:43 PM
At least hope dev's won't remove ammo support mechanics in the next version with the statement that nobody uses it anyway :/

There are still some energy weapons and many missiles that use ammo, and Alex has assured us that he's even leaving the clip-based system in for modders to mess with.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 18, 2015, 07:18:20 PM
Yet another comment about Phase Lance:

Because Hyperion can guarantee a hit on armor on any standard ship (by exploiting shielding AI or simply overpowering small ships), dual Phase Lance works very well with Hyperion, and it does not require Advanced Optics, although it requires at least Miniatured Capacitors perk for more than maximum capacitors.  Dual Phase Lance builds up flux very quickly, and Hyperion needs almost normal maximum flux capacity to fire them and teleport once, but needs even more flux to absorb damage to shields.  However, once player has the flux, it is generally easy to use.  All the player needs to do, is teleport to an unprotected point of the enemy, fire once and stay there until beams are done, teleport away, vent, and repeat.  Almost as effective as Heavy Blasters despite lower DPS because the Hyperion vents during shot delay.

It is weak against phase ships, which are almost impossible to hit with the full beams until they overload or vent.  It is also weak against a skilled Paragon, which can cause extremely high damage very quickly, during the brief time your beams fire.

Phase Lance is an excellent burst weapon, and lives up to the assault role, if shields can be overcome one way or another.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 18, 2015, 08:18:36 PM
What about instead of ammo to balance ballistics, steadily increasing flux is used. So for the first second an assault chaingun costs 10 flux, then 20 flux, then 30 flux etc etc and the cooldown is literally a cooldown as the barrel steams off. hue hue hue
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Aeson on February 18, 2015, 09:04:23 PM
What about instead of ammo to balance ballistics, steadily increasing flux is used. So for the first second an assault chaingun costs 10 flux, then 20 flux, then 30 flux etc etc and the cooldown is literally a cooldown as the barrel steams off. hue hue hue
I vote no. It doesn't make sense as something that applies only to ballistic weapons, and it's something that could easily spiral to ridiculous levels, especially for more or less continuous-fire weapons like the Assault Chaingun and Vulcan Cannon. Beyond that, I really don't think that most ballistic weapons need steadily-increasing flux generation to be balanced relative to other weapons.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Thaago on February 18, 2015, 09:33:48 PM
Tried out the new autopulse (150 damage per shot, 125 flux). It definitely feels like a heavy weapon now! The lower flux efficiency is noticeable, but it is still quite good. Meanwhile being able to put out a burst of 1500 DPS for 2.4 (or 3.6) seconds makes it extraordinarily dangerous.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2015, 12:09:21 AM
@Alex: I hadn't thought about run-away cases that's a good point. Although I suspect the low fire rate would make those tactics fairly weak - I've found the low fire rate missiles require quite a bit of setup to be effective (enemy flux being high, overloaded or an unshielded section towards the missile vector because they're flanked) - the volume of missiles just isn't high enough to score persistent damage just from missiles alone (the old FMR combined with the old Pilums being an exception - they did score kills just through volume alone from a single ship). Except for missile mount heavy ships,  but I can't think of one that's capable of the keep-away game (which is good ship design on your part by the way - keeping the brawlers more mobile than the skirmishers so there's no pure artillery duels).

Right, but it doesn't have to be *just* missiles doing the damage. It could just be an alpha strike that includes missiles as an integral part. Staying away between reloads would make sense because otherwise you're 1) wasting peak time by not dealing as much damage as you could be and 2) exposing yourself to more danger by engaging with a less-than-optimal offensive capacity.

What is the intention for PE anyway: Is it supposed to be a factor in most fight? Only in big fights? Something you only run into when you stall and play hit-and-run?

It's mostly there to discourage extreme kiting tactics and to encourage/reward more aggressive play.



Strange, is there something wrong with my game playing style, given the fact that i actually have to consider ammo count all the time, run out of it on regular basis and have to use extended ammo upgrades quite often (i play 6.2.1 with a lot of mods). Seeing it removed with the statement that it never runs out anyway looks as mockery for me.

I'd say it just means you're pushing the game farther by trying to get the most possible done with the fewest ships, which leads to longer battles which in turn leads to running out of ammo. Ammo is basically an extra endurance mechanic, but with peak effectiveness time, that mechanic is already there, just in a different form. That said, I'm still thinking about it - there are some good arguments for bringing it back, but I'd like to see how things play out.

Beyond that, you did mention you're playing with lots of mods, so I can't speak to what the ammo counts in said mods are.

At least hope dev's won't remove ammo support mechanics in the next version with the statement that nobody uses it anyway :/

It'll stay in; as someone else mentioned, some weapons do use it :)



What about instead of ammo to balance ballistics, steadily increasing flux is used. So for the first second an assault chaingun costs 10 flux, then 20 flux, then 30 flux etc etc and the cooldown is literally a cooldown as the barrel steams off. hue hue hue

The thing is, ammo is not at all a balancing factor for short-term fights. So, I don't think replacing it with something that *is* impactful in short-term fights is the way to go - at the very least, it'd require a full rebalance of the ballistic weapons, and besides, the original goal was to trim down complexity a bit. Even if going towards clips was sort of the opposite, oops.

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Schwartz on February 19, 2015, 04:07:36 AM
Even though I was against removing ammo at first, the recharging clip mechanic was another interesting thing to differentiate the different weapon groups. And once again I'm sad to see it go. I barely got to try it out.

It looks kinda strange now seeing how few weapons still use ammo and even fewer recharge. Why LRMs and single EMP missiles in particular? This seems like something where we could have a choice between a 3-shot missile weapon and a single-shot recharging one for the various groups, Sabots, EMPs, Explosives, etc. That would kinda smooth out the weapon landscape and make it a bit more uniform.

Should also say that it's not quite as big a deal as I first thought it would be. The game still feels fine. ;)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Shoat on February 19, 2015, 04:21:35 AM
Ammo is basically an extra endurance mechanic, but with peak effectiveness time, that mechanic is already there, just in a different form. That said, I'm still thinking about it - there are some good arguments for bringing it back, but I'd like to see how things play out.

As someone who likes complex mechanical workings (if they have some flavor to them, which ammo certainly does) I think there might be a way to create a hybrid - something that combines ammo with CR (and allows ammo to stay relevant without being completely replaced by the abstract concept of CR).
We have ammo with reloading clips (or with normal reload rate), but the reload rate scales with combat readiness. Being at high CR lets you reload as fast as you fire, meaning you have infinite ammo, meaning players won't have to even think about ammo unless they're going into an unfavorable situation anyway.
 
As you get to lower CR you can't constanly fire anymore because your reload rate isn't keeping up (let's say you lose 1% reload speed for every 2% CR below 100). This could work equally for ballistics with clips, ballistics with individually reloading ammo, for reloaded missiles and for recharging energy weapons.

The reason I thought of that was because low CR already has the "missiles not fully loaded" stuff going on, and alongside that it'd make sense to also have "ammo not fully loaded" and/or "reload/recharge rate lowered".
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: DatonKallandor on February 19, 2015, 05:24:02 AM
It's mostly there to discourage extreme kiting tactics and to encourage/reward more aggressive play.

I see. I think the example you provided shows it probably doesn't succeed entirely at the kiting part - since staying away from things and spending as little time as possible near enemies is what keeps PE going longer.

No idea how to fix that though (if it even needs fixing) - PE is a tricky thing, especially since it also has an impact on the out-of-combat economy. Personally I'd probably just go for simplicity - compare deployed combat values in the entire fight, if they're fairly even have it tick down. That way both sides are on the same rough timer, with low-tech ships generally having more staying power and the person with the higher starting CR (due to skills and good maintenance) also gets to fight for longer. It would punish kiting (though not overly) and wouldn't punish brawling (like it sort of currently does).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Okim on February 19, 2015, 06:32:53 AM
Just stopping by to say thanks for that little extra price info when hovering over commodities. Very useful and helpful improvement especially for large mods.

And from modder`s perspective - thanks for allowing us to be able to use ammo/clips. Provides some extra levels of making guns different from one another.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on February 19, 2015, 06:36:45 AM
A few comments after finally playing for some time:

- I really like the pirate theme music, looking forward to that of the other factions :)

- Maybe there was not even any change there, but let me say again that I just love all the little market condition icons!

- Beams are really fun to play now! I did not expect the range change to do that much. A real alternative to strike weapons.

- I don't really miss ammo. I can confirm the effect that I'm far less reluctant to use a HE weapon against shields and vise versa, though. I could well imagine the clip mechanic on big weapons like the Gauss Cannon, btw.

- The added comfort functions (live updating cargo bar, supply usage in deployment window, price intel in cargo tab e/and the dialog menu numbers!) serve to make the game flow much smoother, I really like them. Please keep working at that kind of polish (especially in the intel/trade menus), it makes Starsector shine bright. :)

  • Can once again issue ship commands while paused. Tried it, didn't work out, moving on.

Oh, so this was not about changing weapon groups during pause, was it? Or is it an oversight that it doesn't work?


I see. I think the example you provided shows it probably doesn't succeed entirely at the kiting part - since staying away from things and spending as little time as possible near enemies is what keeps PE going longer.
No idea how to fix that though (if it even needs fixing)

I'd say Battle Time (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8819.msg149287#msg149287) would fix it :)

Why LRMs and single EMP missiles in particular?

Because those weapons can be easily baited to fire and waste their ammo, leading to a boring disarmament process before the start of the "real" battle. Others cannot, at least not without danger.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: icepick37 on February 19, 2015, 10:02:07 AM
Oh, so this was not about changing weapon groups during pause, was it? Or is it an oversight that it doesn't work?
Is it off topic to ask at this point that we be allowed to alter weapons groups while pause.  :D
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on February 19, 2015, 12:24:59 PM
I noticed that there are several new settings in the settings.json file, including something that you would like Gothars: "transferCommandCRCost" and "reservesPeakTimeMult". Also Gothars, you can still turn on the "no control when paused" feature from here as well. Oh and thanks for the option to turn off the white out effect!
Also holy CRAP! Those memory optimizations helped out BIG TIME!
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2015, 03:04:32 PM
Ammo is basically an extra endurance mechanic, but with peak effectiveness time, that mechanic is already there, just in a different form. That said, I'm still thinking about it - there are some good arguments for bringing it back, but I'd like to see how things play out.

As someone who likes complex mechanical workings (if they have some flavor to them, which ammo certainly does) I think there might be a way to create a hybrid - something that combines ammo with CR (and allows ammo to stay relevant without being completely replaced by the abstract concept of CR).
We have ammo with reloading clips (or with normal reload rate), but the reload rate scales with combat readiness. Being at high CR lets you reload as fast as you fire, meaning you have infinite ammo, meaning players won't have to even think about ammo unless they're going into an unfavorable situation anyway.
 
As you get to lower CR you can't constanly fire anymore because your reload rate isn't keeping up (let's say you lose 1% reload speed for every 2% CR below 100). This could work equally for ballistics with clips, ballistics with individually reloading ammo, for reloaded missiles and for recharging energy weapons.

The reason I thought of that was because low CR already has the "missiles not fully loaded" stuff going on, and alongside that it'd make sense to also have "ammo not fully loaded" and/or "reload/recharge rate lowered".

Hmm. I've been thinking about something similar that might have come up before - making weapon fire (for some weapons) take up miniscule amounts of peak time and/or CR. But it seems like it'd go outside the scope of what "peak time" is, although, frankly, it's a bit messy conceptually already. (And, as someone who also likes complex mechanical workings, I've got to be on the lookout for not going overboard with these kinds of things :))



It's mostly there to discourage extreme kiting tactics and to encourage/reward more aggressive play.

I see. I think the example you provided shows it probably doesn't succeed entirely at the kiting part - since staying away from things and spending as little time as possible near enemies is what keeps PE going longer.

I think this is ok, though, since breaking off isn't something you can do super quickly (it's >3000 range), and it doesn't provide any real benefit, where with really long reload timers, it does as things come back online. I suppose a case in vanilla where this might come up is with the damage control hull repair perk - you could get away to repair hull without peak time ticking down.



- Maybe there was not even any change there, but let me say again that I just love all the little market condition icons!

David keeps fiddling with them, so cohesion and overall polish on those keeps improving :)

- I don't really miss ammo. I can confirm the effect that I'm far less reluctant to use a HE weapon against shields and vise versa, though. I could well imagine the clip mechanic on big weapons like the Gauss Cannon, btw.

Is it to the point where you're considering pure-kinetic/pure-HE loadouts?

Re: Gauss, yeah, that was a case where I seriously considered it. Decided to go with a flux cost increase instead, since that seemed to do about the same job.


Oh, so this was not about changing weapon groups during pause, was it? Or is it an oversight that it doesn't work?
Is it off topic to ask at this point that we be allowed to alter weapons groups while pause.  :D

Yeah that was an oversight. Was turned off in settings.json for... some... reason.


Also holy CRAP! Those memory optimizations helped out BIG TIME!

Cool! Haven't seen much about people's experiences with it since the patch, so that's really good to hear.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: orost on February 19, 2015, 03:24:06 PM
If you want to know about memory - it's a massive improvement. I used to run the game with 2.8 GB memory allocated (about as much as I could afford to give it) and I still had to restart it about every hour to stay ahead of memory leakage, and performance wasn't too good. Now, with the same mod setup, I give it 2 GB and it runs flawlessly. (Although I haven't yet reached the savefile and fleet sizes I had in .1a - I started a new save)
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: SQW on February 19, 2015, 04:57:33 PM
Just stopping by to say thanks for that little extra price info when hovering over commodities. Very useful and helpful improvement especially for large mods.

I still think a dedicated trade screen is a must. If you have a 15 system map, the sheer amount of price related info would become unwieldy if using the current tool tip set up. It's a really nice touch for the current scope of the game but it doesn't scale up very well. 


Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 19, 2015, 06:22:43 PM
Will the tachyon lance be improved, either more damage and/or less OP cost?  I find it disappointing that I must pay 32 (or 28 with perk) OP for a long-range beam that is only good at disabling ships and snuffing fighters and unshielded frigates.  Ships that used to kite and kill ships slowly with it, namely Sunder, now have peak performance to deal with.  Right now, it is only worth it for a Paragon that fills all medium mounts with blasters to make up for lost firepower.

Phase Lance makes the Tachyon Lance looks weak, in terms of damage.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: xenoargh on February 19, 2015, 09:40:38 PM
Quote
Is it to the point where you're considering pure-kinetic/pure-HE loadouts?
For me, that's a no. 

I think that a mix still makes sense, for pure Soft Flux efficiency.  It's nice to be able to turn all the Groups on and not care about ammo wastage if I just want to plow through sometimes, though, heh.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Serenitis on February 20, 2015, 01:46:11 AM
The new weapons stats are better, and not having to worry about ballistics running dry is nice. The exception being large energy weapons which all seem to be just plain useless compared the mediums. They're large guns, give them a longer reach and a bit more punch at the very least (doubly so for the poor HIL).

Reloading missiles are very fun and give you lots more flexibilty.
But are now they're the only real choice as I cannot see the point of equipping a weapon which will run out if I have the option of having a weapon which lasts forever.
Making all missile weapons reload would be better just to get rid of the irritating pre-battle jousting and disarmament entirely.

Which leads to Peak Performance.
A mechanic which is intended to force the player to dive right in. There are some problems with this.
Firstly forcing the player to play a particular way is kind of required for a mutiplayer just to maintain fairness, but for a 1P it is just a barrier protecting nothing. For a 1P game it doesn't matter how the player plays the game so long as they're having fun, and removing ways of playing that people find fun is not something you want to be doing.
Then there is the previous two points regarding reloading weapons, which would tend to suggest that longer battles are the desired outcome. But PP wants battles to be shorter.
Does this game know what it wants to be/do? I don't think it does at the moment, and PP is the cause.

Example of frustration:
Previously, I'd rush to get a destroyer (any!) asap just to be rid of that damn timer. But now you have to use capitals to do that, and I find flying those to be quite tedious as they are so very very slow not to mention hugely expensive to equip and maintain, which is way out of reach for a decent sized chunk of the game.  Thus by the inclusion/exapansion of a single mechanic no matter which way I try to play the game now it is somewhat frustrating.

If PP is going to remain in the game at least put an option in the settings to turn it off so if you want to play longer hit-and-fade battles then you can because honestly, that is super fun.
And fun is the point of a game, right?

Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Linnis on February 20, 2015, 02:07:39 AM
Is it to the point where you're considering pure-kinetic/pure-HE loadouts?

HE does way too little damage to shields and Kinetic to armor to make pure kinetic-HE loadouts work well.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Gothars on February 20, 2015, 05:46:16 AM
Is it to the point where you're considering pure-kinetic/pure-HE loadouts?

Only in special cases. Basically only when there are few weapon slots on the one hand, and on the other hand few constraints like flux or chance of return fire. For example I equip my starter hound with a heavy Mauler, where I previously might have preferred something kinetic + a small assault canon. Or I put two Maulers on a Gemini for support fire instead of a weapon mix.
I think it's OK.



Re: Gauss, yeah, that was a case where I seriously considered it. Decided to go with a flux cost increase instead, since that seemed to do about the same job.

I thought of it more as a way to distinguish the Gauss Cannon, in its position between the IX Autocannon and the Storm Needler it seems a bit limited in usefulness. Its strength is that it's an "all in one" weapon that can threaten shields an armor and anything from frigates up to capitals. But since it is a heavy weapon there's little opportunity to shine, there's no ship that would really needs such an all-rounder, a combination of specialist weapons works better.
The ability to damage burst would probably make me consider it again.

Or maybe I'm wrong and there are good uses for the Gauss Cannon?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Megas on February 20, 2015, 06:40:44 AM
Gauss Cannon has the most range of any ballistic weapon, and one of only two kinetics with 1000 range or greater.  Gauss Cannon is much more damaging than HVD.  Heavy Mauler is the only HE weapon with 1000 range, and the rest have less range.  Many beam weapons have 1000 range.

Gauss Cannon is great on a Conquest.  Conquest is squishy for a capital, and cannot stand up to a enemy battleship like an Onslaught.  What a Conquest can do is put long range weapons on all slots, and use its speed (Conquest has Maneuvering Jets), to play keep-away from many enemies and snipe at them.  With unlimited ammo, Conquest has become a vicious sniper that can kite from anything that can outgun it.

Dominator and Onslaught are better off just killing everything with Storm Needler or heavy HE.


For all kinetic or all HE, some ships do not have better alternatives.  Some ships have too few mounts to use both, or only one type has enough range to outrange the enemy.  For example, Hound.  Using both mounts for attack not only leaves no PD, both also overloads flux capacity quickly.  With unlimited ammo, slowly plinking at shields with HE is a viable option, and its small mount can be a Vulcan to stop missiles and to finish off vulnerable ships.  Also, Hound can stay further back while other friends kill shields for them.  Also, Heron.  Its best long range option, if not using Heavy Blaster, is Heavy Mauler.  Why not use HVD? Its fire rate is slow enough that the enemy can lower shields, dissipate (not vent) some flux, then raise shields again before HVD can be fired again.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Unfolder on February 20, 2015, 09:12:42 AM
Alex have you ever considered just taking the mods and integrating them whole cloth into vanilla cause they are kind of awesome and vanilla is kind of boring now that I've played the mods hue hue
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Wyvern on February 20, 2015, 09:35:58 AM
@Argh: Short answer: Yes, they've considered it.  No, it will not happen.  If you want the long answer, see relevant posts here (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=7885.msg136419#msg136419).
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: WKOB on February 20, 2015, 10:29:01 AM
As brilliant as many of the mods are, there are only a couple that I think would fit into vanilla, and they are pretty small.
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Tartiflette on February 20, 2015, 10:46:26 AM
More relevant question: Would modders be willing to give for free their mod in witch they often invested hundreds, if not thousands, of hours? And completely give up on the creative control over them?
Title: Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (Released) Patch Notes
Post by: Velox on February 20, 2015, 02:22:48 PM

My observations on the patch so far are:

- Salamanders, autofire.  Good for fighters, good for enemy ships, good for what ails you.
- if you have less than 330 degree shield coverage, you're a drifting target most of the time.
- playstyle without ammo constraints is way, way different.  in exchange for what you got out of ballistics, you had to take care not