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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Personal Contacts (08/13/20)

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Topics - Grizzlyadamz

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I didn't see this on the wiki and a cursory search of the forum didn't turn up anything promising, so I did some testing and figured I'd share it here (trying to include some keywords to help people searching for this like I was find it)

Wanted to see what kind of a speed penalty different-size fleets experienced while traveling through deep hyperspace nebula, and decided to include hull sizes too.
Got these readings by resetting my skills & then adding 1 ship at a time, checking the Hyperspace (Deep) tooltip to see what the "Your fleet's speed is reduced by X%." read with each increment.
Ships tested were Hounds, Hammerheads, Apogees, and Paragons.
5       5         5        5
5       5         6        8
5       6         9        13
5       8         13      17
5       10       16      22
6       13       20      27
7       15       23      32
8       17       27      36
9       20       30      41
10      22      34      46
12      25      38      50
13      27      41      *11*
14      29      45      
15      32      48   
16      34      50   
17      36      *15*
19      39      
20      41      
21      43      
22      46      
23      48      
25      50      
26      *22*      

Avg:1.13    Avg: 2.27   Avg:3.3      Avg:4.545

0-4      0-1      0-0      0-0
1-21      1-1      1-1      1-0
2-4      2-13      2-1      2-0
3-0      3-6      3-6      3-1
4-0      4-0      4-6      4-3
5-1      5-1      5-1      5-7

So it seems a single capital can travel through deep hyperspace as quickly as a frigate, but they quickly ramp up the penalty after that.
I also checked what would happen with 1 capital + 1 frigate, and 1 capital + 9 frigates, and got penalties of 5 & 14 respectively. Which makes it seem like the penalty IS heavily adjusted for the first couple ships (seems like the scaling kicks off after the fleet broaches a combined value of ~6) but then correlates closely with the per-ship average values.

Modding / No fighters that grant 'ground support'?
« on: March 28, 2019, 04:55:47 PM »
So far I'm surprised I haven't seen any planetary-ops-rated small craft to transport/support troops, if at the cost of space-ops capabilities/efficiency
Is it not possible? Or could I just...leave this thread here and suddenly see them appear in the sector?  ;)

General Discussion / Best Transport shuttle?
« on: March 24, 2019, 07:08:11 PM »
Looking for something to ferry me between widely-dispersed bases quickly/efficiently, which of these looks better?
Afflictor (P)
This has enough cargo to support 4 months between pit-stops, enough fuel to traverse more than half the galaxy, and not only can it easily escape any combat it stumbles into, (which the phase field might help avoid? Maybe?), it can probably solo a couple destroyers.
Only downside is a low crew cap which prevents snapping up bar-deals for marines, but that's chump change.
Is augmented drives worth it? Helps evade interdiction, (and run dark?), but max burn isn't impacted at all. Efficiency overhaul might be better- decreases supply/month & fuel consumption by 20% & increases recovery rate, plus it costs 5 fewer OP.

Mudskipper 'XIV'
This ones got 3x the storage, 10x the crew, and half the operating costs. Fuel is 20% lower but that still leaves a range of more than half the galaxy.
Only it's not the fastest vessel out there, and combat efficacy is a literal joke. (though the kind that could be surprisingly effective)
Again, augmented drives might be sub-optimal given the +1 burn skill.

What do you guys think? What do you use (if anything?)

General Discussion / Ideal outpost colony?
« on: March 24, 2019, 02:51:53 PM »
Thinking of establishing a few launching-off points for exploration- mainly colonies that are self-sufficient & can store exploration fleets, allowing me to use just a dram/other corvette to quickly get out there without literally burning through supplies/fuel/the days between these f'ing raids.
Being able to avoid attention (or be too tough a target to take) is a must, I don't want to have to babysit them like my first colony.

So, what are the dos/don't-dos? Will they have to stay small and run a hefty deficit? Can I keep a larger/more profitable one by establishing it in a large many-planet system where I can construct a dozen patrol bases & hand them off to my commissioning faction, since they don't give a crap about deficits & are hostile to anything that would attack me?
I'm running Nexerelin, which probably makes a big difference.

General Discussion / Does retreating/being harried destroy cargo?
« on: March 15, 2019, 01:12:46 AM »
Just joined an ill-fated attack on a station for some of that sweet XP.
Wiped out the defending fleet & then skipped town since the missile racks were dry, meanwhile my AI allies insisted on going to the bitter end.
At this point I got the bug where combat doesn't end if carriers retreat & leave their fighters behind, but a mod has a fix for that so no real problem here.
Afterwards the support frigs that were held in reserve decide to harry us but let us go. All of my ships which participated sustained no/nominal hull damage, with a couple going down to ~10% CR.

10 minutes later I'm back at a market and notice half my survey datapads & 1 of my 2 gamma cores (and possibly other things) are missing. Cargo was never over limit.
Does retreating/being harried destroy cargo?

Yeah I actually lost half of every commodity, with a minimum of -1 wiping out all my rare items/modules/lpcs and they even took my VIPs yikes

Bug Reports & Support / Something going on with the site?
« on: March 12, 2019, 11:32:50 PM »
All day the forum's been loading slowly/breaking, most images (sigs, avatars, emotes, etc) are broke, formatting's messed up, now sometimes it's giving a 'site not secure' flag in the top left. Anyone else? Google chrome & firefox are both doing it.
Bad juju.

General Discussion / Capturing a Capital (cheater's how-to)
« on: August 10, 2016, 01:38:05 PM »
Before we get started, a fair warning: there's cheating, and this'll be blog-ey. There's a tl:dr.

Alright, so, this started last night with a particularly hectic trip to the Corvus system.

We were returning home to the Omnifactory orbiting Somnus, having done well on the procurement/bounty-hunting romp up to Ursula & Diable's FOB. 300k richer & sporting a fair number of new gizmos for the factory, we dropped into Barad's gravity well and found the system in turmoil- Barad and the MI ship-port were in perihelion, and the pirates & new Hegemony administration of the Port were duking it out over their now-cramped living space.

Well, we offloaded our cargo and headed back towards the fray- Glory & XP were calling, and I had a vested interest in both curbing the Hegemony & scoring some points with our pirate friends.

Over the course of about 3 hours, we probably gained about 250k XP and depleted what was left of our supplies.
Only problem is, by that point Java had leaked up to crash-range and an ill-timed f5..well.

Most recent save was about 2 hours back, just before the largest battle of the evening- a pirate armada (5 destroyers & 8 frigates) vs a hegemony strike fleet (1 capital, 1 destroyer, 10 frigates).

This particular battle had been tough, and I'd previously lost a couple times & save-scummed on a couple victories after losing too many of my officers. Both times I'd been mockingly given the opportunity to board the capital, (an Onslaught), with my pitiful 35-marine garrison.

Well, I figured if I had to redo the last couple hours again, I might as well make it fun- make it benefit me. Like, say, not being so poorly mocked by that Onslaught opportunity.
So I cheated in a couple hundred extra marines, and went to work.

An hour later and 4-5 victories failed to give me another opportunity. So I gave myself enough XP to level-up & acquire the close-hanging Leadership bonuses to boarding and kept trying.
Another 2 hours & twice again the number of victories, and I'd only been given a chance at a couple of frigates. At this point I started looking for alternatives. It was getting too late, I'd spent too much time on this, and I wasn't walking away empty-handed.

But I didn't want to cheat and just add the thing- that would be lame. I'd rather get it quasi-legit, have to haul it back to base & dump my entire supply cache into getting the thing serviceable. It'd be the head-canon base defender, and the big gun for the big bounties.
If only the game would let me attempt the capture..

Fast forward to today.
I spend another hour on it, and start trying additional approaches. I try waiting until it's just my fleet fighting, I try commands like 'rout', 'toggleai', & abusing 'kill' among others, traditional strategies like making sure I disable the capital and only the capital.
And well, see for yourself:
It was actually part of the XIV Battlegroup.

When you absolutely, positively, MUST capture a capital ship:
-add a troop transport like the Nebula (otherwise you'll lose all the extra troops after battle)
-add 200-400 marines
-toggleai the capital you wish to capture
-'kill' all the other ships TWICE to ensure only the capital 'survives'
-And MOST IMPORTANTLY, adjust the ""boardingChance":0.05" in Settings.json to ""boardingChance":1.00" to get a 100% chance to board (Shout-out to Weltall in this thread!)

And there you go: a quasi-legit capital you captured in battle.

Modding / Java for Dummies: 101 (help)
« on: August 06, 2016, 01:10:16 PM »
OK so, I'm a complete noob & looking to make a small campaign mod. After asking for/getting some help from another user, (Thank you!), I've found I still need some more hand-holding.
Here're my impressions after going through some instructions/examples/guides:

The first step to getting a mod into the game is the mod_info.json file.
     This tells the game (and the user) details about the mod, points to the .jar (a pre-compiled version of the .java files; having a .jar is optional but saves on in-game load-time), and finally it points the game to the file.
     Simple enough.

The second step is the (this would be contained in the .jar if you were to compile one (using an IDE)).
     The purpose of this plugin is 'to tell starsector to load the campaign/combat plugin'.

But, being a noob, I'd like to know how exactly it does this?
     Looking at the SS+ modplugin as an example, it seems to import a bunch of other files & 'extends' the vanilla 'modplugin', (aka it loads everything *that* loads as well).
What does importing do, precisely? Does it just enable references to the variables present in the imported files? What's a rule-of-thumb as far as what gets imported?
     It then seems to add some new variables, (seems straight-forward), and then if I understand correctly it checks several variables & sets up contingencies for those, for example returning an error message if you're trying to add SS+ to an already-existing game.

Question here is, if there aren't any variables or contingencies to consider (unlike in a large mod, say SS+), could the be just a few lines long?
The person who helped me pointed out this line of code in the SS+ modplugin.
Global.getSector().registerPlugin(new SSP_CampaignPlugin());
Would one simply need to 'registerplugin' on game-load or newgame?
What are some variables & contingencies that should always be checked?
Are there special considerations for registering a new plugin in an existing game?

Aand that's as far as I've gotten.

If some generous soul has the time to outline the different parts of a simple in Starsector, how each line does what it does, (or knows of a heavily-commented example which does exactly that), I'd be much obliged!

General Discussion / Anti-Destroyer Frigates
« on: August 03, 2016, 03:58:07 PM »
Which frigates can go toe-toe against combat-focused destroyers? (IE Sunders)

All mods welcome.

This is an amalgamated repost of what I liked in this thread:
For the sake of our eyes, I downgraded the quotes to normal text.

For your perusal & discussion-

Gorgonson's Post:
  Maybe one solution to explore to make the phase ships a little less annoying to fight would be to make their phase upkeep cost rise as their CR goes down. That way their normal state would be in normal space, phasing only to do a maneuver or avoid shots, rather than their "normal" state and popping out of phase only to fire their weapons.

I'd endorse this.  Unless your loadout is designed for the situation, a phase ship can avoid almost all incoming damage indefinitely.  If you wait out the CR of the phase ship, it usually just retreats, leading to disappointing pursuits or taxing re-engagements.  If the cooldown before re-phasing scaled with the current flux level, it could work to alleviate the frustration of fighting a ship that spends more time phased than un-phased.

  In most planes games you have a fuel gauge and nobody ever complained about it (although it is usually much more lenient). Some strategy games have a morale gauge, almost all games with guns have ammo, strategy games can bring reinforcements, all these mechanics are there to break stalemates or too much harassing... It is actually the space games that for some reason mostly lack those very obvious constraints because of the magic physics of "energy shots with limited range" and "shields".

How would you feel about in-combat refuelling?  Imagine the current mechanic of transferring command via shuttle, and apply that to refuelling your ships.  You deploy a Dram, or other tanker vessel, which would refuel nearby allied ships in turn, depleting it's own fuel reserves as a result.  This would mix-up combat, meaning both players and AI need to systematically retreat to the tanker to refuel, almost making a king-of-the-hill metagame.
In addition, apart from emergency burn, fuel doesn't contribute anything to the game when the player isn't in hyperspace.  Giving fuel another purpose, and rebalancing consumption, could add another level of gameplay.


frag971's Post:
I don't like CR. It's an abstract mechanic that feels like it's artificially limiting the fun. I understand why it's there but i think i'd rather play in a game that can counter the exploits rather than curb it with another mechanic.

Is it then not possible to translate the CR mechanic into actual ships? Instead of having this Readiness mechanic why not have actual ships that cover that? For example: each ship has its own ability to recover, but that ability is limited and the player would want to get a logistics ship that handles that. This ship would be deployed in combat to provide repairs, rearm and drain hardflux. The more ships you field the more/bigger logistics you want to field alongside. This also "fixes" the solo-kiting of deathball fleets by letting the AI retreat and rearm/repair while your single frigate runs out of ammo or gets hardfluxed.

A few things logistics could provide:
- Rearm drones - drones would fly from the logi into the friendly ship to add a flat amount of ammo.
- Repair "fighters" - flies to friendly ships and "deals negative damage" to repair the ship. Note how this is a fighter and uses up deployment. These are also suicidal so you would need to spend Supply to build new ones during a battle to provide more repairs. Visually it would look like a canister of nanobots that gets used up to repair the ship.
- Flux drain "weapon" - a turret that targets friendly ships and deals negative hardflux, effectively draining flux. This also generates flux on the logi ship inefficiently so you would be trading efficiency for effectiveness between the two.

The above mechanics could provide an interesting oportunity for players to have protracted fights while "paying" for it. it is more efficient to be out of a battle and let Supply repair and rearm your ships but you still have the option to repair in a battle by pay more per repair. This also lets players to play "the healer" and let AI fly the fleet while the player focuses on logistics (which ship to repair, which to rearm, which to deflux, etc...). Logi ships are also vulnerable since they don't usually feature any weapons aside from a couple of PDs similar to fuel tankers.

I am always the fan of emergent game mechanics that drive behaviour from the set mechanics rather than make mechanics to fix specific issues. I probably sound like i'm trying to teach Alex how to design games and i'm sorry it comes off like that (armchair gamedev yay) and i'm sure he already thought about this and has a reason to design it like that; i'm just sharing my opinion and how i feel. I also don't know the big picture and how the game is going to be in version 1.0. I'm just saying that i don't like CR and i would prefer the ships themselves to handle the problem CR wants to address (whatever it is).


My Post:
I actually really like [combat refueling].
  • Ammo-limits could be re-implemented
  • Fuel capacity could be reworked into what CR+PAT currently do
  • Tankers/Logi ships become absolutely vital, even in small fleets
  • Kiting would remain a viable tactic, but it would come at a cost & large fleets could heavily counter it by fielding a large tanker/logi ship
  • It also introduces a high-value target to both sides of the field and a whole new 'resupplying' mechanic, opening the way for a multitude of different tactics
  • Lastly, it removes the 'gaminess' of combat-readiness

Only problem is it would require a MAJOR re-balance of pretty much everything.

Thinking on it, some ideas:
Fuel consumption in-combat vs on the world stage is a balancing act.
-If a single unit of fuel gives a lot of combat time, fights would last forever or you'd have to make everything only have 1-5 fuel capacity. Very bad for small fleets & the galaxy map
-If a single unit of fuel gives a scant amount of combat time, fights would end quick & the fuel cap would remain the same, but battles would be VERY expensive (if not in cost, in time spent going to ports & refuelling)
I'm thinking we could give ships an 'atomized fuel' value, in order to limit the amount of fuel they can consume in combat, keeping the battles short & campaign range high.
In lore-terms, we could say the fuel in the storage holds is highly-enriched/concentrated & has to be broken down for use in the core.
We could get as complex as we want with this, with superfluous values for base AFuel available, consumption rate, and in-combat production rate (say with a fuel tank icon, giving a timer until the next unit is available and a gauge for how much burn you currently have from the previous atomized unit. 'You'd have to carefully consider when to run if you don't want to be stuck with an empty tank' sorta thing.).

General Discussion / Smuggling goods into hostile ports?
« on: July 30, 2016, 11:20:49 PM »
Alright, if I understand this correctly:

When you attempt to trade at market with your transponder off (aka all hostile markets), there's a chance you'll be prevented from doing this by 'a patrol which is currently tracking your position'.
This is 'customs', and it spawns a patrol on the planet/market you were trying to interact with.
Now obviously, in a hostile market, you can't turn on your transponder, let alone comply with their commands & let them scan your (likely) ill-gotten goods.
So, if I understand correctly, you can approach this problem one of 2 ways:

Either: Maintain a high-burn fleet and be ready to run for the nearest asteroid belt as soon as the patrol spawns, slinking into port once you've lost them, OR
Maintain a very small fleet, which simply never spawns the customs patrol.

(The third option, mixing contraband in with a large shipment of regular goods in some shielded cargoholds, being restricted to neutral/friendly markets.)

That about right?

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