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Topics - Wyvern

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
1
General Discussion / Armor Skill Interactions
« on: May 27, 2020, 03:46:40 PM »
From This Thread over in bug reports, it was observed that, if you have Impact Mitigation 1, the "+150 armor" completely replaces the normal 5% of base armor minimum value for armor strength.
Hmm. Looking at the code, it's going to be whichever is higher - 5% of the ship's max armor (without the +150), or the modified effective armor rating at the point of impact (150 with IM, 0 otherwise). I'm still not 100% sure what I'm looking at as far as the pictures, but does this explain it?
This makes some sense to me - even with an Onslaught XIV with Armored Weapon Mounts and Heavy Armor, your base armor is still "only" 2425, and you'd need over 3000 base armor for the 5% minimum to be greater than 150.
(Even if I would have - like the people who reported this as a bug - have expected the minimum armor to be 5% of base + 150.)

What I'm curious about is how this interacts with Evasive Action 3.  Would that Onslaught end up with a minimum armor strength of 225 (150 * 1.5), or 182 (2425 * .05 * 1.6)?

(And, posting this over here in discussion, because this question doesn't belong in the bug reports forum.)

2
Suggestions / Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« on: May 27, 2020, 09:13:43 AM »
A couple of versions ago, we had a soft-limited fleet size, based on the logistical footprint of the ships in our fleet.  This wasn't set up perfectly - there was a basically-mandatory skill to boost the cap, since at default you could just barely field one capital ship - but it did have a number of advantages over the current fixed limit by number of ships.

The big one, though, the one that prompts me to actually write this suggestion: I believe that this change was the underlying driving force for the current game's inflated fleet sizes.  When an endgame player can field a dozen Paragons, the sorts of fleets that can pose a challenge to that are, uh, kinda boring and tedious to fight.

I don't like slogging through a pirate expedition multi-fleet blob that's thirty-plus Atlas IIs and supporting chaff.  I don't like having to fill my fleet with capital ships to have even a chance at taking on some Tri-Tachyon deserter bounty that's packed full of paragons and astrals and dooms.

And the thing is... as long as the player's fleet is limited by number of ships?  Those massive battles have to stay, because otherwise the player will still end up with a fleet full of capitals and cruisers and be able to just steamroll over anything smaller.

So please, bring back fleet cap by logistics.  Don't make a skill for it - that was a mistake last time around.  Maybe have it scale up by level if you need to?  80 at level one (plenty of room for game start, but you might have to pick and choose carefully if you luck into a salvageable capital ship), up to maybe 300 at max level - enough to accommodate a handful of capital ships, but not enough that you can just give every officer their own Paragon.

3
Suggestions / Escort AI for fighters
« on: April 17, 2020, 05:55:02 PM »
So the new escort AI (as of current Starsector version) is great - I can set a frigate to escort a Legion and it'll nicely slot in behind the thing, guarding the bigger ship's vulnerable rear arc.

What I'd like is a way to tell the Legion to use its own fighters to do that same thing.

Interceptors on a battle-carrier work great under player control; keep them on reserve most of the time, set engage on things that are getting into flanking positions... works really well and is a nice alternative to going for bombers.

Try that with an AI-controlled battle-carrier, and it'll promptly send its interceptors off to engage whatever target it's using its main guns on (or, occasionally, some random other target), get them all killed, and be just as vulnerable to flanking as if you'd given it no fighters at all.

Exactly how to tell the AI it should use its fighters defensively is a bit less clear; there are, after all, interceptors (hello sparks) that are perfectly functional as offensive vessels, so a blanket change to AI behavior might not be the right solution.  Maybe a hull mod or officer skill that prioritizes defensive fighter use (and maybe reduces fighter roam distance and/or grants some bonuses when fighters are close to their mothership?)

4
Suggestions / Industry limit re-assessment
« on: September 27, 2019, 12:02:44 PM »
So, the industry limits basically do what they're meant to - force some decision-making over what you build on which planets, rather than just building everything everywhere.

(They also, as a side-effect, force you to find multi-planet systems.  You need at least one military base per system; if that's taking up an industry slot on your only planet, well, it'd better be a really good planet.)

With the changes that are incoming, commerce will be going from "never build this" to "must-have", which further constrains available industry slots.  Keep in mind, the commerce change is not a buff to colony income; it is essentially replacing the current income bonus from high stability.

Given that context, I'd suggest the following changes to industry mechanics:
  • Remove the industry tag from mining, tech-mining, and farming (but not aquaculture).
  • Global -1 reduction to industry slots available at all colony sizes.
  • Having an active star base increases industry slots by +1.  (No penalty for being over your industry limit, i.e., if the starbase is disabled in combat, it doesn't shut down whatever orbital industries are making use of it, just prevents building something new in that slot until the starbase is repaired.)
There are two sets of reasons for these suggestions; one set that's a lore-based justification, and one set that's a gameplay-based justification.

Gameplay Justification:
First, this means that planet-local resources are never useless.  In the current paradigm, you'd never build mining on a planet with, say, poor minerals and nothing else.  (And tech-mining, in its current state, is very hard to justify if it occupies an industry slot.)
Second, this makes a strong and obvious incentive for building a star base early rather than late; this isn't super-relevant to experienced players, but should at least reduce the number of new players trying to figure out why their shiny new colony is getting raided into the ground by pirates.  (Speaking of: Could we please get partial-credit on star base construction time?  It would be very nice if an almost-completed low-tech star base had, say, two operational sections instead of zero.)
Third, this adds a very obvious progression path for a colony: you start by setting up basic resource collection, then move on to centralized high-infrastructure industries.
Fourth, this reduces the impact of having an extra required industry if you want your colonies to turn a profit.

Lore Justification:
Mining, Tech-Mining, and Farming are all resource-gathering operations; they function in a very different fashion than centralized industries, and are limited more by what resources are out there than they are by how much room you have in your cities.  Building an orbital manufacturing plant just doesn't compete with wide-spread ground-bound farms or mines or scavenging expeditions.
And the Star Bases - well, their description pretty much outright says that they're work-places.  This change just makes that actually true, instead of them being purely military installations.  (I actually have a slightly more dramatic thought, here: what if step one of colonizing a planet was just building the star base?  This would fit better narratively with the pop-up pirate and pather stations...)

5
Suggestions / Luddic Path / Pirate Behavior (Crusades?)
« on: August 19, 2019, 02:40:37 PM »
If anything how the pirates behave and how the luddic path behave should be switched. Lots of luddic 'crusades' against the faithless where as the pirates sit back and passively raid from their far flung fortresses/fiefdoms.

That would at least make more sense, you get the occasional pirate raids on low stability worlds, but as for actual attacks mighty LUDD comes a-knocking!
So I've been thinking about the above quote, and... yeah, it makes sense to me.

At the very least, Luddic Path Crusades feel like they ought to be a thing.  (...Not that we really need another source of excursions, at least until we also get ways to sign 'preferred trade agreements' or whatever to put a stop to standard faction "you're making too many exports" expeditions...)

6
As per title.  This is pretty obvious in play if you've got a Legion along with some other capital; a legion alone (or supported by smaller ships) behaves just fine, but as soon as there's an allied capital ship around it'll try to hide behind that - using the standard carrier auto-escort logic instead of finding a place where it can bring its guns to bear.

(Also very obvious with some mod ships, like the ORA Elevation.)

7
General Discussion / Mad With Power
« on: July 30, 2019, 04:06:04 PM »
https://twitter.com/amosolov/status/1156284571106910209

This is simultaneously neat - and feels like something that maybe shouldn't have just a story point cost; it's a little too... pat and done?  Especially since it seems ominously similar to the sort of experiment that locked off the tutorial system...

Maybe if you have to have a Patrol HQ in system first (to get the necessary sensor readings), or if it costs a gamma AI core that's assigned the task of keeping the cascade stabilized, or... something.  I dunno, maybe I'm inventing problems that don't really exist.

8
Suggestions / Warship Balance
« on: July 09, 2019, 11:47:58 AM »
So, the question's come up repeatedly on the latest blog post of "Which ships need more ordnance points?"

I'm not going to try to answer that; instead, I present here a list of vanilla supposedly-war-worthy ships I won't (or don't like to) use.

Frigates
  • Brawler: Nope.  Just, nope.  This isn't a case of ordnance points; this is a case of it being an expendable weapons platform and I don't do expendable in my own fleet.  Special mention goes to the Tri-Tachyon variant that, if it installs max vents and safety overrides, still can't support a pair of pulse lasers.  The TT variant desperately needs an increase in flux dissipation and capacity, but otherwise these work well as things to fight; I don't think the base Brawler needs changes - even if I'm never going to use one myself.
  • Cerberus & Hound: Slightly better as extreme-range sniper platforms than the Brawler, but the lack of shields is just too much of a drawback - and installing a shield generator via hull mod actually makes them more fragile.  Suggested fix: the makeshift shield generator needs to come with either a much better efficiency - something like .6 flux per damage - or a significant improvement to flux capacity and dissipation.
  • Gremlin: Also nope.  Same reason as the Brawler: it's an expendable weapons platform and nope.
  • Hermes & Mercury: I'm not actually sure if these are even supposed to be combat-viable?  There was an era when I actually used them on occasion, but these days the niche of ultra-light harasser is much better filled with a Kite.
  • Hyperion: In the old days, this was my favorite frigate.  Then it got a teleporter that the AI can't use very well, and then it got utterly insane deployment and maintenance costs and it's just not worth it anymore.  I don't know how to fix the teleporter AI, but here are two suggestions: One, make it so that teleporting doesn't drop shields; that will cut down a lot on AI hyperions dying from just porting themselves into gunfire.  And two, give the system regenerating charges or a more significant cooldown and make the AI a bit less free with teleports; it should use them for long-distance travel (at regen rate rather than spamming), one teleport to get into attack position, and to retreat.  And even with that, I'd love to see something like a Pirate Hyperion that just loses the teleporter entirely in exchange for a bit lower maintenance cost and less of its CR eaten up on each deployment.
  • Lasher: These used to make good early-game SO boats - but if you go through the tutorial or take either accelerated start option, you're already past the point where I used them.  I'm not sure that there's anything exactly wrong with the Lasher per se?  But I don't find them fun to fly, nor do I find them to be particularly survivable as escorts, so I just... don't bother with them anymore.
  • Scarab: I want to like the Scarab.  It's a really neat ship!  It's just... not a good ship.  Could use a bit more flux dissipation, a bit more ordnance points, and built-in PD lasers in those useless side turret mounts that any sane player will leave empty.
  • Vigilance: In Ye Olde Days of Corvus, this was actually my favorite of the options for starting frigate.  It has not aged well.  Would benefit a lot from even a little bit more flux dissipation to support that medium energy slot... but the real problem with the Vigilance is that its ship system only really works well with salamanders, and putting salamanders on a Vigilance relegates it to a support role instead of a kill-things role.  My advice here: Drop harpoon pods back down to two missiles per salvo & give the Vigilance expanded missile racks as a free built-in hull mod.
  • Wayfarer: Not really sure what's a good solution here; the Wayfarer isn't terrible... but frigate-sized cargo ships in general are a bad deal, and if you want combat ability you're better off with a Lasher.
Destroyers
  • Condor: This thing used to be the standard for destroyer carriers.  Then the Drover showed up, and it's just better.  I don't actually think giving the Condor significantly improved combat stats is a good idea (though I'd suggest that, like the Vigilance, it should get expanded missile racks built in).  However, you know what would make me consider putting a Condor or two into my fleet?  If it had semi-decent logistical stats.  I mean, seriously, it's a converted freighter - why does it have less cargo space than the dedicated warship Drover?  Buff the Condor up to 140 cargo capacity and 80 fuel capacity, and it'll have a decent role as that thing you use when you want some fighters and are willing to trade off the Drover's system for a better logistics train and maybe some LRMs.  (And, while we're at it, drop the Drover down to 40 cargo capacity.)
  • Enforcer: These are probably okay?  I just don't like them.  If I happen to luck into an XIV Enforcer early, I'll use it, but that's about it.
  • Gemini: Okay, here is a ship that really, truly, just needs more ordnance points.  It has 55.  I'd like to see it with around 80 - enough to afford high quality weapons with enough points left over to get up to a decent flux dissipation and a good lot of capacitors or defensive hull mods.
  • Medusa: Another old favorite that's fallen by the wayside.  I'm not even really sure when or why or how that happened; it's not like the Medusa has gotten any worse... I guess it's just that its competition got better?  +10 or +20 ordnance points might make a difference here, pushing it into "you can fit everything you want and then a little bit extra" territory?  Or it might not, I'm really not sure.
  • Shrike: These work pretty well as opposition, but for player use they run into the same problem as the Brawler or the Gremlin: Shrikes just go pop.  Interestingly, there is in one of the mods a variant on the Shrike that I actually like: the Underworld's Cabal Shrike - though I do think a more balanced version would have the Cabal variant's stats, but with the pirate variant's weapon slot layout.
Cruiser
  • Gryphon: The only vanilla cruiser I just plain won't field (though the (non-pirate) Falcon comes close), the Gryphon just... well... does not measure up.  If I really want a large missile slot on the field, I'd rather use an Apogee; way more durability, more room for ECCM, expanded missile racks pushing it up to just as much ammo as the Gryphon starts with, and - as a nice bonus - good out-of-battle logistical stats.
    I'm not sure what the right fix here is, but I'd suggest looking into radical options.  Something like, oh, replace the ship system with fortress shield, and then give it a built-in hull mod that causes missile ammunition to slowly replenish over time (but only while CR is ticking down).  Or make it double as an EW platform, with ECM and Nav Relay built in alongside ECCM and Expanded Missile Racks.  Or introduce a Pather variant that gets a free Safety Overrides installation.  Or, I dunno, something.  Much like the Scarab, the Gryphon is a ship I want to like, but that just doesn't measure up in actual play.
Capitals
  • Astral: When even the default variants tend to leave weapon mounts empty, you know the ship needs more ordnance points.  It also needs Fighter Recall to be limited by charges rather than flux - the best Astral variants I've found tend to leave even more of its weapon slots empty in favor of maxing out flux vents and adding capacitors so it can just spam Recall as its main attack mode.
  • Atlas Mk II & Prometheus Mk II: I haven't actually tried either of these yet.  They could be okay?  I just don't know.  I do feel like the Atlas Mk II should have more than 200 cargo capacity left over, though - as with the Condor, that's less space than dedicated warships.  Maybe five or six hundred would feel right.
  • Onslaught: Yep.  That's right.  I don't use the Onslaught.  Well, I mean, okay, if I happen to find one floating along as a derelict and it's the only capital ship I have, then I'll put something together.  But that's about it.  There are a lot of things that annoy me about the Onslaught, from the way its flux dissipation level that cannot possibly keep up with its guns, to its awkward turret arcs that frequently cause the side-mounted large ballistics to fire at a frontal target they can't actually quite swivel far enough to hit... But the thing I most dislike about it is the sheer difference in capability between an Onslaught that has 4x annihilator rocket pod (and hasn't run out of ammo yet) and literally any other variant.  Maybe it would be better if the annihilator pod had a smaller ammo count - maybe 10? - and used chunk reload mechanics to do a full restore (20 ammo in a chunk so you get full ammo even with expanded missile racks) every 20 seconds?  Or something like that?  Maybe it would be better if the rockets had just a little bit of guidance, and spread out a bit more instead of coming in a solid stream that ends up blocking incoming attacks?  Maybe... I dunno.  I just know I don't like it.

9
Discussions / Lancer: an interesting mech combat RPG
« on: April 29, 2019, 12:59:32 PM »
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/massifpress/lancer
Posting this here because I found it neat - and there are some thematic similarities to starsector.

It's got eldritch AIs that will stab you in the back if you don't hit them with a factory reset at regular intervals.
It's got strange post-singularity levels of technology that people can use but nobody really understands, mixed in with normal every-day stuff.
It's got a similar thing of "Well, if you've got access to the blueprint, you can just print out another mech when your current one blows up." (Though Lancer mech licenses work a bit more like fighter LPCs; you can build your one mech, but just having the license doesn't let you print out an army.)

The setting's a lot more hopeful, though; less of Starsector's decay into darkness feel and more of a rebuilding and trying to fix past mistakes.

10
Suggestions / Discovery Log Improvements
« on: March 26, 2019, 10:13:22 AM »
Fleet log entries don't go away after you've discovered whatever they were about, making it hard to figure out which ones haven't been acted upon yet.

Yep, for the moment it's "how it works" but, yeah, less than ideal.
1: Auto-mark discoveries as 'important'.

2: Once the player has de-toggled that, let them fade out in a month or two.

3: Add an extra button to each such event that lets the player set, for example, "Never mark debris field discoveries as important" or "Never mark habitable planet discoveries as important."
    • (Edit: Extra button like how expeditions have an extra button to let you avert them.  This one's optional - it's points one and two above that are important for just being able to clear up the clutter - but would be a nice addition.)

    4: Add discovery events from missions.  If I see a mission like, "The Hegemony wants you to investigate a research station in system Foo", then - even if I don't take the mission for the Hegemony - I should get a map marker to help me remember that there's a research station in system Foo.
      • (Edit: This one would work best in combination with 3, above; I don't need discovery events for "There is a barren planet in system Foo that someone wanted me to survey once upon a time", but I would want the game to remember places I know have, say, terran or terran-eccentric planets.)

      5: Remove the arrows from discoveries.  I don't care where I was when I got a discovery; that's not relevant information.

      11
      Suggestions / Modding Request: Access to ship drawing outside of combat
      « on: February 21, 2019, 09:10:54 AM »
      So, (see posts here and here), I've been experimenting with mirroring asymmetric weapons; this works fine in the outfitting screen and in combat, but not outside of that - i.e. there's no sane way to mirror non-built-in weapons in the fleet screen or the little preview images when you're facing another fleet.

      That's not the only reason to support something of this sort, though; another example where it'd be useful to have this kind of control is the modular cargo haulers in Tyrador Safeguard Coalition - they've got some very nice visual changes depending on what they're loaded up with, but they all go back to default empty hold appearance on the fleet screen; it'd be nice to be able to look at an enemy fleet and tell at a glance "Oh, that one's a combat loadout with fighter bays, but those two are tankers and won't be deployed to the main battle."

      And, last-but-not-least, there's one more drawing context that would be nice to have a bit more access to, and that's the ship models used for drawing the fleet when you're wandering around on the campaign map.*  Obviously this is a performance-sensitive context, but it'd still be nice to be able to do a few basic things like "use this sprite on the campaign map", or "use these engine trail starting locations" (see, for example, some Shadowyards ships that are supposed to have twin trails on the map, but currently only display one of the pair heading off at an angle), or maybe even "use this class for generating engine trails for this ship".
        * Footnote: Unlike the fleet screens, I haven't personally tried to dig into accessing the campaign display yet, so it's possible that there are more options here already that I'm just not aware of?  But I figure I should mention it while I'm on the topic of 'rendering ships outside of combat'.

      I'm aware that Alex has already said that doing this could get "pretty complicated"; obviously, I don't know what that code looks like or why this feature would be troublesome to implement, but I figure it's worth posting an official suggestion thread to say "Hey, this would be a useful feature for modders to have."

      12
      Okay, so this is admittedly a really trivial issue.  But it was a bit jarring to find a habitable, non-radiated planet - and then suddenly see the neutron star death-beam sweeping across the screen from the secondary star that I somehow hadn't realized was even part of the same system.  If it makes a difference, it was a system where the neutron star was in a far orbit around the primary; further out than any of the primary's planets.

      13
      Suggestions / Tone Down Growth Incentives
      « on: February 02, 2019, 07:55:12 AM »
      As far as size 8+ colonies, I'm not too worried about anything that happens past that point - I'd imagine at some point it will probably become exceedingly difficult to get to size 8, and impossible (or almost impossible) to get to size 9 or 10. That you can do so relatively easily right now is more of a rough edge of the implementation than anything else, so I wouldn't want to balance/fine-tune numbers for that.

      Right now, the growth bonus from growth incentives is +15 per 100,000 credits spent.  The amount of money you can spend doubles with each colony size increase... but so does the bonus it grants; this means that, past maybe size four, the actual base growth modifiers of the colony are effectively irrelevant.

      Suggestion part one: Tone that down.  Make the maximum incentive grant a +10, and make it so that the -cost- of getting that +10 doubles with each colony size, but larger colonies don't get a larger bonus.  In addition, change how the slider works: instead of constantly ticking down, have the display show something like "100,000 credits invested, 20,000 credits per month to maintain this level of investment", and then it just stays at the level the player's set it at.

      Suggestion part two: Add a scaling population growth penalty - call it 'emmigration' or somesuch - that's -6 per size above three.  This would make each colony have a natural maximum size, and let the player boost a colony a few levels past that using growth incentives or the free port toggle.  It'd also make decivilized more of a trade-off, with the scaling growth bonus from that trait significantly increasing the maximum size of the colony.

      14
      Suggestions / A couple of Skill Suggestions
      « on: January 31, 2019, 03:13:10 PM »
      • Helmsmanship 3:
        Keeping the zero flux bonus at up to 1% flux capacity is... not really valuable, anymore.  This perk has gone from game-changingly-useful to one that I just don't bother getting and wish I could effectively skip on AI officers.

        So I'd like to suggest an alternative: replace it with a +25 bonus to the zero flux speed boost.  This old helmsmanship perk was overpowered when it was originally in the game... but if it's replacing the current level three bonus, then the things that made it overpowered (an ability to keep the zero flux speed boost when over zero flux) won't be around.
      • Defensive Systems 3:
        The increased time multiplier for phase ships is not a bad perk for the player, but is a strong net penalty for the AI - it means that, when they're flitting around in phase space trying to find a good time/place to drop back out of phase, they're using up more of their CR timer and flux bar to no real advantage.  There are a couple of options I can see for addressing this:
        • Reduce the CR-timer decay rate & flux maintenance cost while phasing, proportionately to the increase in time rate provided by the skill.
        • Replace the bonus time multiplier with a boost to ship speed and maneuverability - there are several mods that do this for their phase ships and it's a very nice effect.
        • Replace the skill perk with something completely different - for example, if we wanted something as potentially game-changing as the hard flux dissipation, how about making it so that the hard flux cost to activate the phasing cloak is paid over a short duration instead of all at once - this would allow a phase ship that's capped on soft flux to still phase out, while one that's capped on hard flux and tries to phase out would get a fraction of a second of phasing and then overload.
      • Officer Management:
        I'd greatly appreciate an extra perk somewhere in this skill that increases the skill choices at each level from two to three.
      • Planetary Operations 3:
        A +2 stability bonus doesn't really fit with the rest of the skill.  I'd suggest, instead, putting in something that makes allied stations more effective & enemy stations less effective.  Perhaps a large ECM bonus in battles that include a station?  Perhaps bonus ordnance points for allied stations, or even the ability to manually configure your star base's variant?  Perhaps a simple damage bonus for attacks against enemy stations?  Plenty of options, here.
      • Sensors 1:
        Neutrino Detector, as currently implemented, is simply not worth a skill point; even when I have it, I don't end up using it.  Suggested improvement: When activating neutrino detector, you get a scrolling status message telling you how many things there are in-system that you haven't found.  I.E., you can use it to quickly and easily answer the question "Am I done exploring in this system or not?"  (This would probably need to be paired with a change to the cost - something like five volatiles up front, but then little to no ongoing cost.)

      15
      Modding / Request for modders: add empty systems
      « on: January 28, 2019, 04:08:48 PM »
      One thing I've noticed as I add more faction mods: the core sector expands.  You have to go farther start exploring.  You have to go farther to find pirate and pather bases, and you often end up with a bizarre tangle where one faction's systems are under pirate threat from a base that's completely on the far side of the core.

      In vanilla, not only is the core sector relatively small, it also has three (that I can think of offhand) partially-handcrafted uninhabited systems: Duzahk, Penelope's Star, and Nia Tahl.  It would be nice if some faction mods would follow suit, mixing a spare empty system in with their faction's systems.

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