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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Raiding for Fun and Profit (11/27/19)

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Topics - whoopWHAT

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Suggestions / Grappling Harpoons and Tethering(NOT BOARDING)
« on: March 13, 2018, 07:42:15 PM »
One of the things that I have been thinking about in the back of my mind now is the idea of grappling harpoons, similar to the grappling hooks used in naval combat back in the golden age of sailing and piracy. However, instead of facilitating boarding like in the old days, for Starsector, the purpose of Grappling onto your opponent is to pull their ships out of position, and for the enemy to be able to do the same to you.

Design-wise, harpoons are a projectile-style weapon that does not go through shields, and deals downright pitiful shield damage. This makes it such that fully shielded targets are impervious to their effects. In return, if the harpoon hits an un-shielded target, they become tethered to the ship that hit them. Tethering comes with several inherent advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages: :D
1) Tethers affect the movement of ships involved in the tether.(see below)
2) Tethering allows for maneuvers and tactics that are not available in the base version of the game.

Disadvantages: :'(
1) Tethers affect the movement of ships involved in the tether.(see below)
2) Tethering fundamentally changes the dynamics of the game itself.

Design & Balance ???
I fully understand that instating tethers would be an extremely complex system to set up programming-wise and resource-wise, so allow me to guarantee (to the best of my ability) that the mechanic would be worth the hassle. Tethered ships(this includes the ship that fired the tether) would function in accordance with physics for as much as is possible. This means that fighters would be able to carry harpoons, but they would only be able to pull a battleship very slowly at best, and be yanked behind the battleship itself if it was in motion. This goes in both directions-swarms of harpoon fighters would be able to pull even the largest ships out of position, no matter how much momentum they have. This ties in with how powerful a ships' engines are in relation to how powerful the tethered ships' engines are, in addition to the mass of each ship. For the most part, these are already known values, so it should simply be a matter of calculating the angle of the tethers' pull and their force and using that to modify the movement of the ship in question based on the point of contact of the tether itself. This would have multiple uses beyond merely moving enemies out of position, tethers could also be used to move your own ships, using a vast number of tethered fighters or tugs to pull battleships into battle at an increased speed. Or even using derelict/destroyed ships or even asteroids as one-use sling bullets. This also makes ships with burn drive much more useful, as they can tether to an enemy, turn back towards your fleet, and burn drive to pull them back into the hornet's nest.

There are quite a few limiting factors of Grappling Hooks as well: The first and most prominent being that they take up weapon slots and are useless on shielded targets. Grappling Hooks would also not affect intangible ships; intangible ships cannot activate their intangible if they have active tethers. In addition, ships that can phase shift will instantly break any tethers(either on or fired by them) as soon as they use such an ability. These would be to prevent a vast majority of bugs, while still making sense in-universe and balance wise, as ships with phase-shift/intangible are meant to be agile skirmishers for the most part, and should have an easier time of escaping from situations where they would get locked down already.

Another limiting factor is that tethers(in my opinion) should NOT have the ability to reel in targets. In addition to this making the process of coding the system vastly more complicated, this would also force players to rely on the coordination of multiple ships instead of allowing one ship to reel 'em in, chew 'em up, and spit 'em out. That being said, reeling in is still a mechanic that might be viable if that is desired, as it allows for single ships with harpoons to have a lot more power, and put a lot more emphasis on large amounts of high-damage short range weapons and long range shield damaging weapons, increasing build diversity at the expense of tactical diversity.

Conclusion 8)
Overall, I feel that grappling harpoons like this are an idea that should be implemented, but I'm not getting my hopes up. With a system this complicated, I feel that even if it does pose a large number of benefits to the game right now, it would not be put in simply for the amount of resources required to put into such a system to make it function.

Either way, I'm looking forward to what you all have to say about such an idea.  ;D

Suggestions / Improve game start?
« on: April 28, 2017, 10:43:10 PM »
I think there might need to be some adjustments made to the start of the campaign. Even on Easy, the game is frustrating to start; even the weakest of enemies can kill you in short work. You start of with AT BEST a Wolf class, which is far and away one of the weakest frigates in the game. 2 lashers? Dead. 1 bruiser and a shuttle? Dead. 2 Brawlers? Ded. Even the weakest of fleets can crush whatever you have, no matter how skillfully you play it because you don't have a ship good enough to take them on.

Coupled with that is the fact that purchasing a new ship from a star-port is a matter of blind luck as to whether they'll have something decent for purchase. 70% of the time, they'll only have crap ships or damaged ships, or both, and anything decent is gonna be black market 100% of the time. Anything not damaged/legal is too expensive or requires faction allegiance to purchase off the bat. Not only that, but most stations have a crap supply of weapons for purchase, making refitting into a good spec for your ship a pipe dream.

Plus, no joke, but Jangala is kinda dull starting out. There's a lot of stuff going on, sure, but not a lot of ~interesting~ stuff, unless you have a good enough ship to start some fun stuff off on your own.
Just my thoughts on it. Starting cash seems fine, and the salvage mechanic is good(if a bit on the unrewarding side) you just need a better ship it seems. Hell even a destroyer or just a better frigate or something, I dunno.

Edit: Fixed 2 Cerberuses to 2 Brawlers because I am bad with keeping track of the names sometimes.

Exactly as the name says. When I boot up StarSector with Templars, DiableAvionics, or the Ship/Weapon Pack loaded, it instantly crashes on the loading screen showing the above message. These mods are not out of date, as they were installed today, along with the latest version of StarSector, so I do not know what the problem is.

I have looked over the forum multiple times and I have not found anyone else that has run into this issue, nor have I found a solution.

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