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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20); Blog post: GIF Roundup (04/11/20)

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Messages - woodsmoke

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General Discussion / Re: So I saw this thing - A StarSector picture thread
« on: November 01, 2016, 10:46:21 AM »
Hang on, that's a missle? I thought someone had modded in solar flares as a battlefield hazard.

At a glance, the pattern resembles an occult symbol, before the circle or spiraling became obvious.

That was my first thought too.

I'll be honest, I'm kinda' disappointed the sector isn't located in the middle of a giant, extra-dimensional pentagram. :D

Suggestions / Re: Special hull mod for other vanilla factions?
« on: September 28, 2016, 11:48:26 AM »
I agree Tri-Tachyon really doesn't need anything, and the XIV ships are probably sufficient to differentiate the Hegemony, but the Diktat and the Luddic Church are virtually interchangeable. The Conquest alone is hardly enough to set the former apart and the latter doesn't even have that little bit of uniqueness (I don't think Pather hulls count here, on account of they're effectively pirates and not actually part of the faction proper).

I don't necessarily think every faction should look totally unique, but I do think they should have some degree of a unique feel to them. Right now, TTC* is the only one who really has that.

*And the Independents, bizarrely, on account of they like to mix low and hi-tech together.

Blog Posts / Re: Orbital Stations in Combat
« on: September 28, 2016, 11:26:28 AM »
There are times I honestly wonder if we're even playing the same game.

...which isn't meant as any sort of attack; I'm fairly sure I'll never understand how you think or the appeal of playing the way you do, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. Just different strokes.

At any rate, I rather like the idea of the Paragon-as-pseudo-station, being as much about battlefield control as direct offense. Though I don't know if that would really fit with the more direct approach Alex seems to favor.

Blog Posts / Re: Orbital Stations in Combat
« on: September 27, 2016, 05:34:06 PM »
For Conquest, an obvious change would be to give it a decent shield. it currently has one of the worst shields in the entire game, despite supposedly being a midline ship, and without heavy armor or other powerful defensive features that could make up for it.

I'll freely admit I don't know terribly much about the theorycraft, but I honestly don't understand why everyone thinks the Conquest is so bad. I suppose if the AI is piloting it using one of the crappy assault-to-port-PD-to-starboard (or the other way around, I can never keep straight which is which) loadouts it's probably going to be pretty underwhelming, but as a player ship it's easily my favorite in the game. It's fragile, sure, but it's also fast enough to outflank the other big ships and, when properly equipped, capable of pumping out more than enough firepower to take care of everything else.

I agree it could use a bit more defense, though, preferably in the form of a larger/better shield, just to give it a bit more margin for error when things look to be going south.

General Discussion / Re: Impressions of the game after a three year absence.
« on: September 16, 2016, 04:54:58 PM »
Missions - I didn't bother with. I tried fulfilling a couple of delivery missions and discovered that the deadlines were impossibly short given the distances involved, so I closed the tab and never opened it again.
I found delivery missions can be quite lucrative if you keep an awareness of how fast you can deliver the goods. Your odds improve a bunch if you have a stockpile of goods in storage or can buy them where you accept the mission. And even if you can't make it in time, they can hint at shortages that you can exploit the old-fashioned way. (ie. selling goods to markets)

Missions are the best way to make money in the game right now, provided you're set up for it and know what you're doing - which, yeah, pretty well states missions probably need some looking at.

At any rate, as noted, speed > ALL, though cargo capacity comes a close second. It's possible to make it between adjascent systems in fewer than 10 days, but only if your fleet is running at burn 10, you already have the stuff in your holds or can buy it at the market where you accepted the mission, and said market is relatively close to a jump point. My preference is for mules; less cargo capacity than buffalos, sure, but also a lot more ordinance points for get-away hullmods and no civilian sensor profile. Equip 'em all with SO and UI/AE and pilot something what can swat fighters when they get too close during pursuits and you'll never even need to use emergency burn.

General Discussion / Re: Overall feedback on ships and weapons
« on: September 16, 2016, 04:20:07 PM »
I never would have dreamed of giving a Conquest to an officer. Mostly just because I adore that ship far too much to let the AI pilot it, but also because, as you noted, it really doesn't seem to know what to do with broadsides.

Personally, I'm fond of eschewing the conventional "PD to port, assault to starboard" loadout in favor of an All Punch, All the Time build. Hephaestus cannons in the large slots, HVDs in the middle and rear mediums, ion beams in the front. Missiles are MIRVs and harpoon pods, then blanket the whole thing in BPDs. Provided you're careful about not getting into the thick of things (which you should be doing anyway when piloting a Conquest), it'll straight up murder the *** out of anything the enemy fields, even a Paragon.

Which I suppose should pretty well be true of any capital ship when piloted by the player, but none of the others give the same feel as broadsides on a Conquest.

Suggestions / Re: Aurora Balance
« on: September 13, 2016, 04:09:07 PM »
I think he was referring to the Conquest build. If memory serves that's one of the default variants, which... isn't terrible, but it's certainly leaving a lot of firepower on the table. Though I suppose the AI pretty well only flies with vanilla variants (sans mods, anyway), so.

Suggestions / Re: "Strafe to cursor" toggle
« on: September 13, 2016, 03:53:05 PM »
Whereas I would find it much easier to simply press the shift key a couple times in fairly rapid succession, even in edge cases like that.

In any case, I agree; giving the option for the player to choose whichever they like is generally the best approach.

General Discussion / Re: Is there a way to improve player combat AI?
« on: September 13, 2016, 03:48:08 PM »
And reckless captains will be great for pursuit ships.

Actually, this is where I have problem with whole personality idea. You have just 10 Captains -> you can't afford specialized ones for pursuit, they need to perform well in any situation you throw at them.
Or at least scenarios that really matter, like surviving as long as possible against overwhelming enemy fleet.
Which means only Steady or preferably Cautious officers are fit for my fleet.

Speaking of, I don't suppose there's any chance we may be getting more officer slots in a future update?

I won't be heartbroken if the answer is no - just having officers in the first place already had a pretty significant effect on how the game is played; combining an officer in every ship with the ubermensch factor of the player's involvement would probably make things positively silly.

Still, a guy can dream. :D

Suggestions / Re: "Strafe to cursor" toggle
« on: September 11, 2016, 01:13:04 PM »
why not just instead of having the option of reverse behavior, make it in to an option to turn it into a 1 press toggle?

Seconded. While it's obviously not a major problem, having to go into the settings menu to check/uncheck that box every time I switch between ships is kind of irritating. Just being able to tap shift once and have the game automatically switch between cursor/keyboard targeting would be a nice QoL improvement.

General Discussion / Re: Auto reinforce too easy and difficult to judge?
« on: September 09, 2016, 12:32:14 PM »
You're far from the only one who's run afoul of this. I'm pretty sure I've seen a post from Alex saying he's aware and working on something to make it more clear when that happens, but until the next release you'll just have to learn to work around it.

General Discussion / Re: Overall feedback on ships and weapons
« on: September 09, 2016, 12:25:26 PM »
generally speaking you shouldn't tell people what's fun, considering it's subjective.

megas is a weirdo, but he's our weirdo and he has a deeper knowledge of this game than probably anyone else here.

he's totally correct on the mechanics of nearly everything, incl. the profit motive to solo.

it's not even a criticism to say the mechanics encourage X so you shouldn't get offended about it.

Fair point. Megas certainly understands the game's mechanics a lot better than I do, or at least has done a lot more to put the game through it's paces. I'm not saying anyone's wrong about the way the game works, simply making the point that, in my experience, those who focus primarily on efficiency tend to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Whatever the mechanical details, Alex obviously designed the combat around fleet actions. As far as I'm concerned, the game pretty clearly (albeit not explicitly) encourages that. Of course that doesn't preclude the possibility someone playing the game in an unconventional manner might figure out a way of playing a particular ship with a particular build that allows them to solo enemy fleets, but I don't think that has to be a significant problem.

Starsector is a fairly complex game with a lot of moving parts. Similar to an MMO in which a particular class might be all but unstoppable in 1v1 duels but works exactly as intended in larger PvP battles, the fact the balance might start breaking down to a greater or lesser extent when you choose to play on the edges of its design doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with that design, as that's presumably not what Alex is balancing for. Which isn't to say I think he should just ignore the issue, but it honestly doesn't make any difference to me as I'm not interested in that style of play.

Use a modified version of the "old" logistics pool to control boarding. (Also, bring back logistics :P)

Have each ship in a fleet contribute toward a pool of "points" or however you wish to describe it.
Every ship can contribute something, but some ships are naturally better suited to the task of docking and delivering angry shooty spacemans into other ships. These would be your shuttles, armoured transports, and other specialised vessels.
And whatever they contribute scales with thier current CR.

At the end of a battle you have won, all your ships have thier "pirate points" added up and modified by CR, which gives you your pool for this battle/instance.
Then all the disabled ships from the defeated fleet are presented to the player using the "deploy" dialog or something similar, with each ship costing a certain amount of points to recover - bigger ships and more intact ships = more points required.
The player can then pick as many ships to board as they like so long as they have the "points" left to do so. So you might choose to take a handful of frigates, or you might prefer to use all your resources to recover the cruiser you just put holes in.

This gives the player agency in what is currently a frustrating luck-bound endeavour while not overly skewing the difficulty/balance (as ships are generally not worth boarding unless you specifically want a particular one).
The only significant balance change would be that rare/desirable ships would become easier to acquire, which could in turn be balanced by making them exceedingly fragile and prone to outright destruction.
Also, this same mechanic could be flipped around and used against the player if they get beat down. This would have to be watered down though, in order not to be completely obnoxious.

I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

I agree with Megas re: logistics as implemented in 0.6x probably not being a good fit, but like the old boarding mechanic, I think it was a case of sound idea, poor execution. I'm confident if Alex just tweaked the way it works a bit he could figure out a way to reimplement those mechanics that works better.

'Course, this is assuming all the new developments since then (thinking primarily of industry) don't change everything enough as to simply obviate the whole thing.

General Discussion / Re: how to use fleet command effectively?
« on: September 09, 2016, 09:51:35 AM »
Excellent, I'll give that a shot tonight and report back on the results. Thanks folks.

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