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Level 1 of Missile Specialization: +25% missile speed and maneuverability (piloted ship)
Level 2 of Missile Specialization: +50% missile, rocket, bomb, and torpedo hitpoints (piloted ship)
Level 3 of Missile Specialization: +25% missile damage (piloted ship)

By making a distinction between missiles, rockets, bombs, and torpedoes, the description of Missile Specialization level 2 misleadingly implies that Level 1 and Level 3 don't apply to rockets, bombs, and torpedoes. The description should simply read: +50% missile hitpoints (piloted ship).

I don't know how Missile Specialization has changed with the skill rework, so this might already be an irrelevant suggestion, but I figured it was worth mentioning anyway.

There's been a lot of new players in the unofficial discord channel confused about why they're losing reputation when an expedition fails, because the fleet they just blew up said that they wouldn't lose reputation for blowing it up. It should be made more clear that an expedition failing will always result in a set amount of reputation loss no matter how many expedition fleets you personally destroy, and that the reputation loss is caused specifically by the expedition's failure. I'd also suggest that the flavour text explaining this imply that the reputation loss is because success breeds jealousy, to validate the player's predictable emotional reaction to extralegal business sabotage.

Red warning beacon systems are rich veins of high-end weapons, AI cores, supplies, and fuel. The problem is: profitably extracting these resources from the Remnant can be very difficult. This guide will break down the challenges involved in Remnant mining, so you too can "enjoy" fighting 50 Ordos in a row in your endless quest for more Alpha cores.

Problem One: There are way too many Remnant fleets.
No matter how large your fleet is, Remnants can stack up enough Ordos to outnumber you 5 to 1. If this happens, you'll probably fleetwipe. You must engage the Remnant one fleet at at time, at most two. Fortunately, Remnant fleets do not do two things: they don't Sustained Burn, and they don't Emergency Burn; however, they do Interdiction Pulse. They're quite easy to avoid, as long as you're faster then they are. The Navigation skill is invaluable here; the +1 burn speed and Transverse Jump will let you run from multi-fleet pileups and allow you to avoid being ganked at the jump point when trying to leave a system. You should also build a Sensor Relay and a Nav Buoy in-system if possible; the Remnants won't take them, and the bonuses will let you easily pick your battles. You might even want to bring an Ox or two, just to increase your burn speed advantage.

Problem Two: Remnant fighters are crazy insane.
The Spark is the best interceptor in the game, the Flash blows up everything from fighters to capitals, and the Lux is okay I guess. Remnant fighters are really good, and they bring a lot of them. Your fleet needs to be able to rip through a ton of shielded fighters really quickly, and human interceptors aren't going to cut it. There are multiple solutions to this problem. The Doom rips through fighters like nothing else; two AI Dooms or one player piloted Doom with good mine placement can punch huge holes in Remnant fighter cover. Packing lots of Railguns and Needlers, both Light and Heavy, will let your warships clear out remnant fighter wings on their own. Locusts will also kill Remnant fighters; not even the Spark can deal with the Locusts' overwhelming missile saturation. Finally, after you've killed a bunch of Remnant fleets, you might consider bringing along Spark cover yourself. Six to nine wings of Sparks backed up by one of the previous options will guarantee that the Remnant fighter cover stays dead once you kill it.

Problem Three: Remnant ships are hard to kill.
Generally, Remnant ships have strong shields, high mobility, chokingly thick ECM, and a powerful mixture of ballistic and energy weaponry. They are very hard to pin down and kill. In terms of fleet design, you want a focus on kinetic weaponry, high alpha damage, and the ability to chase down ships that try to back off from the front line to dissipate flux. Needlers are very good anti-Remnant weapons, combining high kinetic DPS with high alpha. You want sustained HE pressure that forces enemies to keep their shields up, not bursty HE to punch through huge amounts of armor; weapons like the Haephestus Assault Gun or the High Intensity Laser, not weapons like the Hellbore. Harpoons are amazing for fighting the Remnant, as they're long range, have good tracking, more than enough damage to punch through Remnant armor, and the AI will happily dump a dozen of them on anything that hits high flux. This is very desirable behaviour when fighting Remnant, as the Harpoons will hunt high-flux ships down when they try to cycle out from the front line.

Problem Four: The Radiant exists.
If you haven't encountered one, why are you reading this? The Radiant has an overwhelming forward battery of five large and four medium synergy slots, defensive stats equivalent to the Paragon, and a Phase Skimmer. Be very afraid. You need something that can survive being jumped on by a Radiant, so an Onslaught or a Paragon, and something that can chase down a high-flux Radiant when it disengages; either a lot of tracking missiles, a player Doom, a battlecruiser, or an Onslaught that's not afraid to burn drive into a Radiant.

Problem Five: Alpha Cores refuse to drop.
Ritually sacrifice an Enforcer. I'm serious. Get a junker Enforcer, stick Reinforced Bulkheads and Safety Overrides on it, and give it an Eliminate order deep in the heart of the Remnant formation at the start of every fight. The RNG wants a blood sacrifice before it will give you AI cores.

Example Anti-Remnant Ship Builds


This Onslaught design is the backbone of my Remnant mining fleets. It has all the hallmarks of anti-Remnant ship design; Heavy Needlers for high kinetic alpha burst, Haephestus Assault Guns to force shields up for long periods of time, and lots of ECCM Harpoons to hunt down ships that try to cycle out. It's also fairly effective against high-tech ships in general.


The Astral is designed to hide behind your front line ships, like the Onslaught, and deliver death to anything they engage. The Longbows tear down shields, the Dagger wings throw tracking torpedoes that can hit destroyers and frigates, and the Cobras fling Reapers for destroying Brilliants and forcing Radiants to spend Phase Skimmer charges on dodging rather than jumping on pressured ships. The Locusts help with removing Remnant fighters. Most weapon mounts are left empty to save on flux and afford more expensive bombers. Resistant Flux Conduits encourages the AI to vent when not under pressure, so it can use Recall Device more.


This Doom loadout is effective when piloted by either the player or your officers. It forces shields up with phase lances and mines, and the light needlers tear them down. Phase ships prefer long-cooldown high-burst weapons that allow them to stay in phase most of the time while still dealing most of their DPS, and both phase lances and light needlers fit that preference. Mine Strike will, of course, destroy Remnant fighters quite thoroughly, as well as finishing off fluxed-out ships in general.


After you've looted a bunch of Spark LPCs, you might consider bringing your own Spark cover. This Mora brings 3 Spark wings and 2 Harpoon pods to the table, making it a great escort for your capitals. Unlike the Heron, the Mora's Damper Field lets it not die when jumped on by Remnant destroyers or cruisers, but you'll still need to act quickly to pull it out of the fire.


The classic 1000 range gun platform, this Eagle will ably cover your flanks and support your larger ships. The mixture of 2 HVDs with 1 Ion Beam and 1 Mauler is very powerful; the Ion Beam prevents shield-flickering between HVD shots and disables weapons and engines even if the shield is up, the HVDs and Ion Beam disable weapons if the shields are down, and the Mauler punches through armor. The Graviton Beams and LRPD allow it to overload and kill shielded fighters, preventing it from being overwhelmed by Remnant fighter cover.

My AI-run gas giant I colonized for in-faction Volatiles mining ticked over to size seven and started producing 1 unit each of Organics, Ore, and Rare Ore. Checking a previous save, it was not producing said resources at size 6. The exports menu says that it is producing them due to the admin bonus, and adding an alpha core to the mining industry does not increase the amount of resources produced.

Saving the game and reloading the save fixed the issue.

I like to switch between piloting the Conquest and the Doom, depending on the enemy fleet and what I feel like piloting. Every time I switch ships, though, I have to open the settings menu and switch the "Invert Strafe to Cursor" option to the other setting so I don't have to strain my pinkie finger; On for piloting the Doom, Off for piloting the Conquest. I'd like it if I could toggle that option just by pressing Shift, or perhaps a different button. Similarly, I spend a lot of time holding down shift while in hyperspace, and it would be convenient if time speedup was toggleable. The hold functionality should still be available for people who like that, but I'd prefer it if there was an option to make them toggleable instead.

General Discussion / General Misc Feedback In No Particular Order
« on: November 20, 2018, 11:11:42 AM »
The game flows really well now. Exploration mission being available from the intel tab means you don't have to land on a bunch of planets to find a surveying mission, and if you bring enough resources along to build a makeshift comm relay you don't even have to head back to the core worlds to get more; it's very convenient and good for game flow. Once you set up a colony, there's always a reason to go out and do things beyond taking bounties.

I think it's a bit weird that you can't buy blueprints from factions no matter how much reputation you have. Obviously they wouldn't sell any of the really good stuff, but would a basic blueprint pack be out of the question at cooperative level reputation?

The Orders tab in colony management doesn't seem to have any use. Am I missing something, or does it just not do anything?

I love how dangerous the Radiant is. Please don't nerf it; the Remnants really need something this scary to make farming red-beacon systems less easy for an endgame player. That forward battery is why you buffed the autopulse, isn't it?

The weapon recovery change and the ability to bulk-manufacture ships opens up a lot of possiblity space for weird fleet doctrines. Stuff like 20 SO lashers and a player cruiser, for example. I haven't played around with it too much, but I'm looking forward to figuring out bizzare cheese builds and maybe finding something useful I've so far overlooked.

The ship AI is a lot more aggressive now, you can make it even more aggressive through fleet doctrine, and I love it. This goes hand in hand with weapon recovery and player-manufacturing, because now I care a lot less if I mismanage the AI or it overextends and loses a ship. It's not nearly as big of a deal to lose all of your destroyers in a lategame battle if you can recover all of them fully equipped, and just need to feed them supplies to be completely combat capable for the next fight. You can just make new ones when they get too many d-mods to be effective, so who cares? They're disposable.

The changes in enemy fleet composition have also changed fleet design for the better. Building a fleet that can take out a dozen fleets made entirely of flying garbage is something you'll have to do now, and it's opened up new possiblities in fleet design space.

Everybody seems to focus their hate on the first colony you build and ignore all the others. I'd estimate about 95% of the expedition fleets are sent to my first colony, 5% to my second, even though my second colony is producing just as much stuff and taking up just as much market share. I've had a pirate base be built in the exact same system about a dozen times now to raid my first colony, and the only raid my second colony has ever gotten is from a bounty base that decided it was large enough to raid me from halfway across the map.

It's very annoying not being able to track down luddic path bases. Without any hints as to where they are other than "close by" or "far away", it can take a very long time to find one. And with how they can disrupt key parts of your colony's economy for long periods of time, finding them is a priority. Every time one becomes active again, I sigh internally, shove all my ships in storage, and resign myself to scouring the galaxy in a solo Dram for a couple of months again. Could there be an easier way to find these little shits? If I decivilize the luddic path planet, will they go away?

On that note, havng an industry disrupted is incredibly punishing and can last for an extremely long time, for both the player and the AI. Haing a key industry on your sole colony get disrupted can easily lead to near-immediate bankruptcy for the player. And on the AI's side, it's far easier than I expected, come lategame, to decivilize planets you don't like. Saturation bombardment is completely unnessecary; I decivilized Chizomotoc by accident just by raiding it enough times to get the Pristine Nanoforge. I'd suggest making it possible to mitigate industry disruption somehow, especially the spaceport, or that disrupted industries shouldn't cost money to upkeep. There should also be a cap on the amount of stability loss you can cause through raids; decivilizing a colony should at least require disabling key industries for a long time.

Non-player colonies seem very poorly managed. Almost none of them make any money. How do these factions afford their gigantic player-surpression expeditions? Late in the game, I was fending off 6 to 8 fleet task forces; that's gotta be tens of thousands of lives lost. At what point does the AI run out of people willing to commit suicide? Why don't they ever send expeditions to disrupt other faction's industries?

I (obviously) like most of the weapon balance changes. The only one I'm conflicted about is the Plasma Cannon change; it's much safer to put on an AI ship now, but it lost the massive armor penetration that no other non-missile weapon really had. On the other hand, Tachyon Lances and HILs penetrate armor just fine, the large energy slot was missing a sustained hard-flux weapon, and the new Plasma Cannon does sustain really well.

Heavy Batteries give stability, but the Planetary Shield doesn't? The shield costs less to maintain than the batteries, but more to set up, and stability gives you income so the lower maintainence cost is offset by less income. Seems like a sidegrade. Why bother?

Overall, a incredible content update that feels almost like an entirely new game. I complain a lot only because I love Starsector, and have enjoyed playing it long enough to find things to complain about. Keep up the amazing work.

If a water world spawns with any kind of farmland, Aquaculture produces both the Aquaculture food production as well as the Farming food production. Should water worlds even have farmland? They're supposed to be almost entirely water.

Currently if you set your fleet to full retreat, carriers will still set their fighters to engage and thus lose the 0-flux speed bonus. This can lead to said carriers being overtaken and killed by ships they otherwise could have outrun. While in full retreat mode, carriers should set their fighters to regroup and keep them on regroup.

Modding / [0.8.1a] Angry's Weapon Tweaks 0.2
« on: October 24, 2017, 05:48:15 PM »
Starsector’s weapon balance is generally very good, but after playing for an uncountable number of hours, I have found several nits to pick. I intend this mod to smooth out what I perceive as rough spots in vanilla weapon balance as unobtrusively and as compatibly as possible. This means: 1. Not altering OP costs at all. Altering OP costs means altering all the default variants that mount those weapons so they’re neither under or over their OP limit, and as mod ship variants may use vanilla weapons this would be practically impossible. 2. No radical weapon redesigns; weapons should remain within the same roles, so as not to break any variants that use the changed weapons. I also will include an explanation of the reasoning behind each change, so if you disagree with something I’ve done feel free to politely tell me where I’ve gone wrong, or call me a dumb idiot butthead instead.


Weapon Balance Changes

Light Needler: 800 range -> 700 range, burst size 10 -> 15 shots, chargedown 2.5 -> 3.75, spread/shot 1 -> 0.66
My problem with the original Light Needler is that it’s effectively a medium ballistic wearing clothing one size too small, and this is primarily because it has the range of a medium ballistic. The first step to making it a de facto small ballistic is to chop off some of that range. However, this alone would make it far too similar to the Railgun; increasing the burst size solidifies the Light Needler’s role as a heavy-alpha weapon, and I think makes up for the loss of range. Similarly increasing the chargedown keeps the DPS the same despite the increased burst size, and reducing the spread/shot is necessary to maintain the burst's shot distribution profile; each burst will still generate the same amount of recoil, so the distribution of shots remains the same over the whole burst.

Heavy Needler: Burst size 15 -> 30 shots, chargedown 2.5 -> to 5, spread/shot 1 -> 0.5
The Heavy Needler isn’t good enough to be worth 15 OP and it’s not distinct enough from the other medium kinetics. Changing it into the same kind of heavy-alpha weapon as the Light Needler fixes both those issues; high-alpha flux-efficient kinetics are very effective at flux warring, making the Heavy Needler actually worth the price tag.

Arbalest Autocannon: 170 flux/shot -> 125 flux/shot.
The Arbalest is strictly inferior to the Railgun, a weapon 1 OP cheaper and 1 size-class smaller. So, like the Heavy Mortar, it now has the lone saving grace of flux efficiency.

Haephestus Assault Gun: 120 -> 180 dam/flux/shot, 240 shots/min -> 160 shots/min (chargedown from 0.25 -> 0.375), spread/shot 2 -> 3
Having almost the same armor penetration as the Heavy Mortar is pitiful for a large HE weapon. The Haephestus deserves better; it should at least have higher per-shot damage than the Devastator Cannon. 180 damage per shot is just lower than the Heavy Mauler, which I think is a better spot for a large HE assault weapon to be. DPS remains unchanged. Recoil per shot has been increased to maintain the shot distribution and the ratio of recoil to damage; the HAG has the same amount of spread after the same amount of firing time, rather than the same number of shots.

Antimatter Blaster: Removed ammunition.
Limited ammunition for ballistic and energy weaponry was deprecated for a reason; it’s a redundant mechanic, as CR does essentially the same thing. I’m not even sure why the AM blaster continues to have limited ammunition, as it’ll almost never run out of charges before you run out of either CR or enemy ships. Nonetheless, I believe that non-recharging ammunition on guns is neither fun nor necessary for balance purposes, and thus I banish its last vanilla occurrence.

Hurricane MIRV Launcher: Chargedown from 5 to 15, projectile HP 350 -> 250. Identical to SWP values; thank you DR.
I’ve played with Ship & Weapon Pack and its predecessor Starsector Plus for so long that I almost forgot that this thing is ridiculous in vanilla. It’s silly, overpowered, and needs to stop. It does enough DPS and burst damage to overwhelm most shields by itself even with the High Explosive damage type, it fires so fast that there’s no opportunity to close in between shots, and it has enough ammo to fire continuously for almost a minute without EMR. If an enemy ship has one, the only thing you can do is keep out of range of its guns and stall out its ammunition. In player hands, it’s a death cannon. The solution is, as SWP and SSP have successfully implemented, to significantly reduce the fire rate and make the projectile easier to shoot down.

Added utility flag to mod_info.json.

Haephestus Assault Gun: 2 -> 3 spread/shot.
Light Needler: burst size 20 -> 15, chargedown 5 -> 3.75, spread/shot 0.5 -> 0.66

Light Needler: 800 range -> 700 range, burst size 10 -> 20, chargedown 2.5 -> to 5, spread/shot 1 -> 0.5
Heavy Needler: Burst size 15 -> 30 damage, chargedown 2.5 -> to 5, spread/shot 1 -> 0.5
Arbalest Autocannon: 170 flux/shot -> 125 flux/shot.
Haephestus Assault Gun: 120 -> 180 dam/flux/shot, 240 shots/min -> 160 shots/min (chargedown from 0.25 -> 0.375).
Antimatter Blaster: Removed ammunition.
Hurricane MIRV Launcher: Chargedown from 5 to 15, projectile HP 350 -> 250. Identical to SWP values; thank you DR.

Mods used to easily replicate this issue: Console Commands, LazyLib, and Practice Targets, none of which should be causing this issue. No other mods were enabled.

Scenario 1: A Drover, piloted by the player, mounting 1 Warthog wing and nothing else vs the Low Tech Practice Target; basically a shieldless Onslaught without any guns on it.
Without skills, a Warthog does 67 damage to armor with its initial volley of 3 Light Mortar shots.
With Strike Commander 3, a Warthog does 229 damage to armor with its initial volley of 3 Light Mortar shots. If you turn the music off, you can clearly hear the impact sound play way more than 3 times.

Scenario 2: A Drover, piloted by the player, mounting 1 Warthog wing and nothing else vs the High Tech Practice Target; basically a Paragon without any guns on it.
Without skills, a Warthog does 67 damage to shields with its initial volley of 3 Light Mortar shots.
With Strike Commander 3, a Warthog does 229 damage to shields with its initial volley of 3 Light Mortar shots. It's harder to tell if the multiple hit sounds are occurring as the shield impact sounds are less distinct, but I think that it is playing multiple hit sounds.

I cannot get this to replicate with Sparks or bombers, which I believe points to a projectile issue. Perhaps the projectiles are not despawning properly after the first hit, so they hit multiple times in a row?

Suggestions / Change the AI on all fighter wings to BOMBER
« on: June 22, 2017, 12:36:31 PM »
The AI escorts far too much with fighters. But, if you set the AI on all fighter wings to BOMBER, the AI starts actually using them correctly.

Currently when a carrier is at low enough CR to start malfunctioning, it's fighters still work perfectly fine. In long battles where both sides start running out of CR and begin malfunctioning, this gives carriers a great advantage; most of their weaponry is still 100% functional, and ships suffering engine and weapon malfunctions are much less able to fend off fighter swarms. Having fighters suffer from malfunctions along with the rest of the carrier would negate this (unintended?) advantage, as well as lead to amusing situations where e.g. a Talon moving at 300 sanics has its engines flame out and crashes into an enemy ship.

You can removed the ill-advised modifications D-mod for free just by not being a filthy pirate who has no idea how to maintain a ship.

TTach military markets basically always look like this.

One high-tech capital, a couple high-tech frigates, and everything else is mid-tech with a smattering of low-tech. I've found exactly 1 Medusa on a TTach military market, and 5 Medusas on the black markets of the same planets. Given that you can get mid or low tech ships everywhere that's not a TTach market, and there are very few TTach markets, I think they should be almost entirely high-tech ships. Otherwise high-tech ships are just way too hard to find.

Suggestions / A "total time played" counter
« on: April 27, 2016, 12:45:09 PM »
I like to compare the amount of playtime I get out of a game to the amount of money it cost me, so I can see how efficiently I've been spending my entertainment money. Starsector doesn't have this feature, and while I'm absolutely certain I've got more than my money's worth out of it, I'd still like to be able to know exactly how efficient my purchase was. I doubt it could count hours retroactively, but it would still be useful for anyone else like me.

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