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Topics - BonhommeCarnaval

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1
Ok so I imagine most of us here have been playing a lot of Starfarer. I know I have. There are some ships I can put to good use and some ships I can't do crap with. I know some people can use each ship effectively so I'm looking for ship setups that work. I'll also give and explain ship setups that I have been using effectively.

First some general guidelines for the kind of setups I'm looking for...

  • I tend to play most of my ships solo, because the AI often gets needlessly killed and then I just end up loading and trying to fight too many times over. I also generally hate battles with command points and try to stick with the "small engagements that don't leave much room for a grand strategy". When I do use AI ships, they tend to be fighters (if I have a flight deck) or Tempests, as those tend to die much less often.
  • My flagships always have an elite crew since I generally have no trouble acquiring those.
  • I always play with 100% damage to player, I don't play on handicap mode.
  • I try to take little or no crew losses in the vast majority of my fights, otherwise I couldn't keep my elite crew members for long. This means taking significant hull damage on a regular basis is out of the question.
  • While I'm willing to use them, I have a tendency to leave missile slots empty because I'm usually outnumbered and need weapons that will last me a whole battle.

The ship that puzzles me the most is the Conquest. Its purpose seems to be that of a fragile damage dealer with enough mobility to get to where it's needed and get out, but I find that its firepower is inferior to the Onslaught and Paragon and it has so little Ordinance Points available that I am forced to set it up lop-sided, where one side only has a few point defenses and I only use the other side in combat. Its shield is small and weak and I don't seem to have enough OP to afford improving the shields. The armor is unimpressive. To make the best of its mobility, I tried fitting auxiliary thrusters and augmented engines, which cost even more OP and gimped its flux dissipation.

I appreciate any good setups, mostly for a ship for which I'm not posting one of my own setups here, but the Conquest is really the one I'd like to make work. The Eagle may be another one but I haven't given it nearly as many attemps and none recently. I also have a half decent Odyssey setup but it's really not that impressive so suggestions are welcome. I'm also disappointed by the Medusa setups I've made so far, despite the praise the ship gets on this forum. Share your setups!

Now on to the ships I know how to use...

Tempest

This one is a no brainer. One of the best and most fun ships in the game in my opinion.

Setup :
9 Flux vents

Resistant Flux Conduits. Every Tempest should have this, since it costs 2 points and gives you more than 20 flux venting. As a side bonus, taking a single Salamander hit directly on your engines will no longer shut them down. The only reason to not have this is if you're using 0 or 1 flux vents total which would be ridiculous anyway for a hightech ship.

Augmented Engines. Take your biggest strength and improve it some more. This makes it very easy to have full control over the battle.

Extended Shields. The Tempest is clearly not an armor tank. When you do take a hit, you want it to be on your shield and the default 90 degrees is a rather small arc. You could always dump this for a 10th flux vent and 3 OP to spend wherever you want. Or use the 4 OP on a missile weapon (I leave it empty).

Heavy Blaster on the RIGHT mount. This is your main weapon and I suggest you control it manually. Much easier to use if you hold shift so your ship automatically points to your cursor. Not very flux efficient but the high damage bursts are great and the flux damage is permanent. You could replace this with a Pulse Laser if you prefer its better flux efficiency and more forgiving aim. I put this on the right mount because the right mount has less frontal arc, which I can deal with easily while I leave the left mount (more forgiving frontal arc) to the AI.

Graviton Beam on the LEFT mount. You leave this weapon to the AI, as it can use beams very well. Good versus unshielded fighters and to force someone to keep their shield up. The only downside is that the flux damage is not permanent so if you need to slowly shoot down someone's shield, you should turn this off and use all your flux to fire your Heavy Blaster as much as possible. Lately I've been considering removing this weapon completely, but adding a second Heavy Blaster is pointless since the Tempest's flux dissipation cannot fully handle a single Blaster.

How to use this setup : Avoid taking any damage other than on your shields. Slowly dismantle the enemies starting with the fastest/most threatening. Take advantage of the Blaster's permanent flux damage if an enemy has strong shields. With a lot of patience, good flying skills and a bit of luck, you can take down ridiculously large Hegemony fleets or lone T-T ships without taking any damage. If you're patient, you can use this to capture much bigger ships and go straight from being a lone frigate pilot to a wealthy fleet commander.

Hyperion

If the Paragon is Doctor Evil, this is Mini-me. Not as exciting to use as the Tempest, but it can be entertaining to sit in front of an enemy destroyer or cruiser and shrug off his pathetic attemps to break your tank. You may also die horribly depending on his weaponry...

Setup :
10 flux vents, 1 capacitor. The only reason I use 1 capacitor is because I have nothing else to spend a single spare OP on.

Stabilized Shields. Your shields will be up most of the time and the Hyperion's shields cost a lot of flux to run, so this is a good return for your ordinance points.

Resistant Flux Conduits. Any Hyperion without this is a bad Hyperion. The explanation for this is in the Tempest setup.

Extended Shields. Makes your shields cover 360 degrees, why not?

Flux Distributor. Not OP-efficient at all, but your flux dissipation is the huge bottleneck on this setup and we already have max vents and the RFC hull mod.

Hardened Shields. They're already pretty damn hard, this makes your shields ridiculous (even more so combined with an Elite crew which is super easy to get in a 5-man frigate).

4x IR Pulse Lasers and empty missile slots. The reasoning is that IR Pulse Lasers are the most flux efficient permanent flux damage you can get and your flux dissipation can't handle firing these constantly so upgrading to 2x Pulse & 2x IR Pulse is a waste of ordinance points. No missiles because in a very small fight, you've already won before it starts anyway. In a large fight, your missiles will run out before they do you any good.

How to use this setup : Similar to the Tempest except that your speed isn't nearly good enough to outrun Pilum missiles or most fighter squadrons. On the other hand, you have a BEAST of a tank for a frigate. All of your damage is permanent so you can slowly grind down almost any ship. You'll often be able to sit in front of a larger enemy and trade blows until they go down, long before your shields do.


Aurora

The only cruiser I really enjoy, it used to be the Paragon's little brother until the 0.52 patch nerf to its shield efficiency. It's still good but significantly less viable as a solo ship. If you're playing 0.52 or higher, I recommend switching to a Paragon as soon as you can afford it.

Setup :
30 flux vents, 5 capacitors. Again, the capacitors are there because it's better than not spending the OP at all.

Stabilized Shields. Your shields will be up most of the time and the Aurora's shields cost a lot of flux to run, so this is a good return for your ordinance points.

Resistant Flux Conduits. Any Aurora without this is a bad Aurora. The explanation for this is in the Tempest setup.

Integrated Targetting Unit. On a cruiser or capital ship, this mod becomes very powerful. Allows you to pick off your slower enemies from outside their range.

Hardened Shields. This used to be better when the Aurora had proper shields, but is still pretty much mandatory on this setup. Shield efficiency is even better for your survivability than flux dissipation because it affects permanent flux damage aswell.

Advanced Turret Gyros. This is really optional and you could always spend these ordinance points on capacitors, or remove the capacitors aswell and fit some missiles. Another option would be accelerated shields.

Heavy Blasters in the medium mounts, PD lasers in the small mounts, no missiles. The biggest threat to the Aurora is a swarm of faster ships, and faster ships tend to die quickly to sustained fire from 1 or 2 Blasters. PD lasers cost 1 less OP than their long range variant and do 50% more damage. Their range isn't that bad with the Targetting Unit hull mod. Missile slots are empty because fitting something useful in them would cost more OP than what we have left, but if I were to use them it would probably be rockets or swarmers. The large slot would work best with MIRVs but that's even more OP that we can't afford.

How to use this setup : Backpedal while taking care of the faster enemies as quickly as possible. Once that's done, it becomes much safer to vent your flux and the battle becomes much more manageable. Dominators, Onslaughts and Paragons can be very problematic depending on their weaponry so it may be best to avoid them unless you're bringing support along with you. An elite crew is pretty much mandatory. As with the Tempest, you could always switch the Heavy Blasters for Pulse Lasers for better flux efficiency.


Onslaught

If you don't like showering your enemies with high explosives while taking hits like a man, go see a doctor. The Onslaught has the best armor in the game and in a face to face fight, it can usually take on anything easily except a Paragon, which it can still destroy with some skill and the right setup.

Setup :
50 flux vents, because destroying large enemy fleets or enemy capital ships can take a while and you're screwed if you can't fire your weapons.

Heavy Armor. As usual, make the most of your strengths.

Armored Weapon Mounts. Even with this, your guns will go offline regularly. Extremely useful on an armor tank like the Onslaught, it also gives a very nice 10% bonus to armor.

Expanded Magazines. Necessary for longer fights and at 10 OP, it's hard to pass this up.

Integrated Targetting Unit. At +50% range to all guns, this is a no brainer. I can't think of any capital ship setup that shouldn't use this.

With the amount of weapons this thing has, I'm just going to post a screenshot.

Spoiler
[close]

The weapons in the above screenshot are : Heavy maulers, railguns, flak cannons and heavy needlers. I'm considering replacing the heavy needlers but I'm still undecided.

The flak cannons are almost mandatory on a lowtech ship with poor shield converage. They're by far the best point defense in the game. I favor them over dual flaks because their ammo lasts longer, they have more range (crucial versus MIRVs) and they cost less OP. The railguns are used because their only downside is a 7 OP cost. They have perfect accuracy, great flux efficiency and good range for a small slot. The 2 heavy needlers complement the railguns for kinetic damage and their imperfect accuracy turns out to be a plus against fast fighters and frigates, since the spray of bullets will guarantee at least some hits. The heavy maulers give us our much needed explosive damage and can fire at 1500 range with good flux efficiency. Large weapons are not used because of lack of ordinance points. The 2 railguns in the rear medium slots are used because they're cheap and use little flux. Their purpose is simply to make life harder for fast ships trying to shoot our weak spot. Missile slots are empty (surprise!).

How to use this setup : This one is very straightforward. You can charge in if you want, depending on what you're facing. Your armor is ridiculous (2325 rating) and so is your firepower. Use your shields sparingly as they are far from efficient and your flux is better spent killing everything in sight. If you expect to be surrounded and don't mind abusing game mechanics, you can back yourself up against the edge of the map to protect your weak rear. It can be a good idea to manage your flux against tougher targets (enemy capitals mostly) by periodically turning off your kinetic weapons when shooting their armor and doing the opposite for their shields.


Paragon

Arguably the strongest ship in the game, with the only competition being the Onslaught. It has the best shield efficiency, the best flux capacity and the best flux dissipation, on top of great firepower.

Setup :
50 flux vents, 10 capacitors. The capacitors are simply spare ordinance points.

Accelerated shields. The only optional hull mod, could be swapped for more capacitors or some missile racks.

Stabilized Shields. Your shields will be up most of the time and the Paragon's shields cost a lot of flux to run, so this is a good return for your ordinance points.

Resistant Flux Conduits. Any Paragon without this is a bad Paragon. The explanation for this is in the Tempest setup.

Integrated Targetting Unit. At +50% range to all guns, this is a no brainer. I can't think of any capital ship setup that shouldn't use this.

Hardened shields. Because you want to have the toughest shields possible. An easy choice.

Autopulse Lasers in all 4 large slots. The most flux efficient energy weapons you can get, they have recently been buffed and have good initial burst damage. Flak cannons in the 2 universal slots. Why does this beast of a ship deserves the privilege of stealing the best point defense in the game from lowtech ships? I don't know, but you bet I'll do it. They get almost 360 degree coverage. They could be replaced with dual flak if you prefer but since Expanded Magazines aren't very efficient on a Paragon, I prefer the longevity of single flak. Pulse lasers in the medium energy slots and IR pulse lasers in the small energy slots. The reason for this is simple, we want to deal permanent flux damage to enemy shields and these weapons do it with the most flux efficiency. If you've read all the previous setups you'll probably be shocked off of your chair when you read this but... I leave the missile slots empty.  :o!

How to use this setup : Activate shields, shoot stuff, it dies. I really can't explain this in any more detail. You could use tachyon lances but they're mostly useful when you have a large fleet, in which case you might aswell put them on an AI piloted ship.


That's it for now. I obviously use many other ships but I feel like those are the ones where I'm confident that my setups are very good and worth sharing. I also have a silly "Giant Piranha" Lasher setup posted in a different thread that I started, feel free to look that up aswell.

Alright, now I demand to see your amazing setups for those other ships I can't seem to put to good use!

2
Suggestions / My feedback on the upcoming (tentative) ship systems
« on: July 06, 2012, 07:30:58 PM »
This is just my feedback on the upcoming ship systems. I'm going into enough details that I figured a thread was justified. Be warned that I'm not a fanboy and I greatly dislike non-immersive fantasy-like elements in what is otherwise a very immersive sci-fi game with a great atmosphere. If, like what seems to be the majority of this forum, you think Alex is god's gift to earth and must have his butt kissed at all times, you'll be offended. Below this is my feedback, with the tentative 0.53 patchnotes colored for easy distinction.

•Flare Launcher - launches flares that distract the guidance systems of incoming missiles and PD weapons. Any missile hitting a flare will be destroyed.
Hound, Dram, Valkyrie, Buffalo Mk.II, Atlas


This is by far one of the best subsystem in my opinion. Flares are a real thing and as such are completely plausible and immersive. I also think they would be 100% fun to use and extremely useful. I hope their limiting factor is a finite quantity of flares (say between 3 and 6 salvos with barely any cooldown), not just a cooldown timer with infinite flares.

•Active Flare Launcher - similar to the above, but flares lock on to and track incoming missiles
Shuttle, Tempest, Buffalo


Pretty much the same as regular flares. Not a problem, they seem very fitting for any higher tech ship. Smart flares, why not? Another possibility would be to replace the regular flares with chaff (see wikipedia), which causes missiles to simply stop tracking. This subsystem could then be replaced with regular flares which attract missiles. Regardless, a very good subsystem.

•Burn Drive - temporarily engages the drive used for system travel. Massive speed boost for a fixed time, can't turn or use shields (but can fire), risk of full engine flameout on significant collision.
Tarsus, Enforcer, Dominator, Onslaught


This one seems a bit boring. It's not terribly unimmersive or anything (other than it seems to give way too much speed) but the fact that it's being used on the slowest of ships makes it seem even more silly. The slowest ships are then the fastest ships in the game everytime this ability cools down. What?  :-\  I think this would be more fitting on midtech or hightech ship, although it would still seem a bit bland. Putting this on a toggle with a drawback when in use, rather than a cooldown, would make it much more immersive.

•Maneuvering Jets - activates extra thrusters to greatly improve ship maneuverability (acceleration/deceleration, turn rate, turn acceleration/deceleration)
Falcon, Eagle, Conquest


Even more boring than the burn drive, at least it's less noticeable and as such would seem less silly. The choice of ships is also more fitting for a speed/maneuverability subsystem. Still not particularly fond of it if it's on a cooldown. A toggle that can be used at any time for any length of time would be way more immersive, and easily balanced with a drawback (generates a lot of flux?).

•Fast Missile Racks - rapidly reloads any cooling-down missile weapons
Vigilance, Condor, Venture


Boring on anything that doesn't use torpedoes, yet given to 3 ships on which I would rarely if ever use torpedoes. This subsystem would be great on a torp-Conquest. On any ship without torps, it seems like you would just spam it every time it becomes available. Someone in the patchnote thread suggested that it should increase reload speed drastically for a few seconds instead, which I agree with. I'd say this subsystem is decent, if given to ships that can put it to good use.

•Fortress Shield - drastically improves shield efficiency at the expense of a constant flux buildup and inability to fire weapons
Paragon


Assuming this is on a toggle, I see no problem with this subsystem. Fits the sci-fi universe, sounds useful, requires thought to use properly.

•High Energy Focus - boosts energy weapon damage by 50%, increases damage taken by 50%, can't use shields
Sunder, Aurora, Odyssey


I'm surprised to see this subsystem have such drastic drawbacks compared to all the other ones. It seems like it would be very useful on the Sunder and Odyssey when using HILs or Tachyon Lances. Extremely pointless on an Aurora since it has no large slot, forcing it to get into the enemy's weapon range if it wants to be firing its own weapons. An Aurora that can't use shields is pretty much dead in the water. As for immersion, this seems to fit relatively well... justified by channeling your shield energy into your energy weapons.

•Phase Teleporter - teleports anywhere (to cursor location) within a significant range (~1500 pixels)
Hyperion


Immersive, useful, fun, pure awesome. I really like the ship choice but I would give this to the Aurora aswell instead of its current Press-this-to-die ability.

•Phase Skimmer - teleports a fixed, short distance along the ship's current velocity vector
Wolf, Medusa


Same as above, and I like the choice of ships to give it to. Great subsystem.

•Point Defense Drones (high tech) - small, fragile drones armed with LR PD Lasers
Astral


Immersive as long as the ship has a finite quantity of drones for a single battle. It sounds like a fun ability, although a lot more passive than the other ones (you just deploy them without much thought?). Whether or not this is useful depends entirely on how the drones perform so I can't comment. The ship choice seems very fitting, it's a highly specialized carrier afterall.

•Point Defense Drones (midline) - small, fragile drones armed with Light MGs
Gemini


Same as above, although I have the impression most players will only ever see this ability being used by opponents since it's only given to a freighter.

•Sensor Drones - drones armed with ion cannons that also increase the sight radius and weapon range while deployed
Apogee


Same as above. The ship choice seems very fitting as I seem to remember the Apogee's description mentionning that it's some sort of science/exploration vessel.

•Accelerated Ammo Feeder - doubles ballistic weapon rate of fire for a fixed duration
Brawler, Lasher, Hammerhead


Immersion-breaking, this sounds like some fantasy cooldown ability straight from WoW or Diablo. It would be much more immersive as a toggled ability with a drawback such as +50% fire rate but +100% flux generation, or -90% turret turn rate, or even have the weapons overheat and break down afterwards.

•EMP Emitter - targets missiles and nearby ship's weapon and engine subsystems, dealing a lot of EMP damage (and some energy). Mostly neutralized by shields.
Omen


Immersive, useful, fun. I really like this one including how it looks (based on the screenshot in the blog). Once more ships are added to the game, hopefully the Omen won't be the only one to use this. This is another candidate subsystem replacement for the Aurora although I think the teleport one fits it better.


Other possible subsystems :

Smartbomb : Causes an expanding wave of energy, centered on the user's ship, that damages everything it hits (except the ship using it). There could be different types of smartbombs for different ships (EMP smartbombs, etc.)

Ramming Maneuver : Increases the ship's speed slightly (20%-50%), prevents shield usage, generates flux, greatly increases collision damage on enemies. This would be a more interesting variant of the burn drive, for the Enforcer/Dominator/Onslaught.

Flux discharge : Transfers some of your flux to a targetted ship. More effective when your ship is at high flux, and possibly also when the enemy is at low flux.

Flux bomb : Same as above, except your flux (or some of it) is discarded in the form of a bomb that causes massive flux and possible overloads on any nearby ship when it explodes.

Repair bots : When toggled, repair bots roam the surface of the ship and slowly repair its armor. This would have to be balanced either by a finite amount of uses or by having the bots get destroyed gradually if you take damage while they're deployed.

Overload Reactor Core : When activated, your ship gains flux rapidly and enters the overload phase, then shortly afterwards explodes in a much larger and much more damaging explosion than usual. The ship is pulverized and leaves no wreck.

3
Suggestions / 2 small UI related suggestions
« on: May 11, 2012, 11:17:14 AM »
1) If you click and hold the left mouse button on the campaign map but your initial click was anywhere on a background planet, your fleet will not follow the cursor. It seems it would be more practical if your fleet would only travel to the center of the planet (or other) if you tap the mouse button, but follow the cursor if you hold it down and move it away from the planet.

2) If it's not too much trouble to implement, perhaps the storage facility should be able to use stored supplies to repair your ships rather than only the supplies in your cargohold.

4
When a ship gets hit wit the nerfbat (like the Aurora in 0.52), it would be cool if the full game had a blueprint or a few hulls of a ship called Prototype Aurora. It would have pre-nerf stats, be extremely hard to acquire and its description would explain the lore behind it. "Because of the limited availability of high tech components, the initial Aurora variant was discontinued in favor of one with weaker shields, which were deemed sufficient and allowed the Tri-Tachyon to produce the Aurora in much greater numbers."

This would give some players an extra goal (acquiring their favorite pre-nerf ship, or collecting all Prototype hulls), and would cater to the early alpha-stage Starfarer players' nostalgia by allowing them to field their former ships/setups.

5
General Discussion / Why the Aurora nerf?
« on: May 07, 2012, 02:01:56 PM »
I was under the impression that the Aurora was the most high tech cruiser out there, specializing in pure combat. You can see that easily when comparing it with the Apogee, the Apogee has MUCH better utility stats (cargo space for example). Now the Apogee ALSO has insanely better shields and the Aurora doesn't have much of a role.

I'm reffering to the shield efficiency of the Aurora being nerfed from 0.6 to 0.8, while the Apogee keeps the 0.6. The Paragon still has 0.6 aswell, making me wonder why the most high tech combat cruiser was not deemed worthy of the Tri-Tachyon's best shield generators. :P

Keep in mind that with hardened shields and an elite crew (which is not uncommon for an Aurora setup), the shield efficiency was nerfed from 0.3 to 0.5. The Aurora has effectively lost almost half of its survivability and it now a lame second grade cruiser.

For the sake of comparison, the Paragon has 0.6 shield efficiency just like the Apogee EXPLORATION cruiser. On the other hand, the Aurora's 0.8 efficiency is now matched by the mid-tech Eagle!

6
General Discussion / Community list of random tips and tricks!
« on: March 26, 2012, 01:08:46 PM »
Once in a while when playing Starfarer I learn a sneaky little trick or piece of information that had eluded me for a long time. I always feel like I should let the community know, just in case they hadn't noticed either. This thread is for everyone to leave their little nuggets of useful information about the game. Eventually if the list gets long I will regroup all the information into the original post and new players and vets alike can search this thread for some useful game knowledge.  :)

I'll start out with a small but useful realization that I had recently and that inspired this thread :

On many ships, fitting the Resistant Flux Conduit hull mod will give you more flux venting for the same amount of OP as if you had spent them on flux vents directly. In that case, the resistance to EMP damage is just a nice side effect (which comes in handy versus Salamanders)!

Your turn people.  8)

7
General Discussion / The biggest troll weapon ever
« on: March 24, 2012, 04:31:59 PM »
Alright, the title is a slight exageration, mostly since that title would definitely go to the Salamander missile for not really doing much but forcing you to stop aiming your main guns just so you can turn your omni shield every single time someone launches a single one of them at you.

But alas, I am not talking of the Salamander.

I am talking about a gun which I assume is often overlooked but that I discovered today : the Heavy Machinegun.

This medium ballistic weapon is an overpowered [4 letter word for unconsentual sex] machine. You may have dismissed it as soon as you read its name, but look at its stats :

Primary role : Point Defense (as if the ballistics needed anything more than the omnipotent Flak cannons)
DPS : 320 (kinetic)
Flux/s : 120
Range : 400

That's all you really need to know. This sort of damage to flux ratio is not found on anything other than fragmentation weapons and the small versions of this gun. As if that wasn't enough, it is also natively capable of point defense. The range isn't impressive but is more than sufficient, mostly with the Integrated Targetting Unit hull mod.

You've got shields on your precious pimped out rich kid's Aurora? Aww how cute, but it's ok I have 5 heavy machineguns on my cheap little Enforcer class destroyer. How do you feel about 1600 DPS before the kinetic damage bonus?

PS : the dual light machinegun is also quite impressive and probably well known by most players, but I prefer this one.
PPS : Expanded Magazines is strongly recommended, but shouldn't be a problem since it's cheap and very useful for most ballistic weapons.

8
Bug Reports & Support / Travelling near the sun
« on: March 10, 2012, 07:28:48 AM »
When travelling with the sun in the background, clicking anywhere on the sun will lay in a course for its center, which is quite problematic when the sun takes up almost the entire screen.

9
Suggestions / Dev post tracker
« on: February 25, 2012, 12:30:25 PM »
I don't know if it's possible but it would be nice if we could see in the list of threads which one has had an answer from a dev and be able to click the icon to jump to dev posts, as seen in many game forums nowadays.

10
Suggestions / My long list of constructive criticism, so far
« on: February 25, 2012, 12:18:43 PM »
So this is my feedback thread for every aspect of the game as it currently is. It may sound negative but I assure you I love the game and already got my money's worth. The entire point here is to discuss what I feel could/should be improved.

Keep in mind that some of these things would obviously be OPTIONS so, for example, even though you may thoroughly enjoy the fact that your admiral smashes his radio against the wall once he has given X number of orders (equal to your command points), having the option to disable such things would be PURELY beneficial as no one would be forced to do it. :)


1) While the AI for fast frigates is pretty good, it seems like all fighter pilots are complete ***. They're way too careless and they don't seem to take into consideration that their carrier teammates can magically respawn their wingmen if they make it back alive. With the current (strange) mechanics, the best fighter AI is a cowardly one since you would then rarely lose an entire wing. Hopefully there will be a setting in the future to let us decide when a fighter wing goes back to refit & repair. I would obviously set it to "whenever you lose a single craft".

2) Slightly related to the above, I find it very immersion-breaking that the last craft of an entire fighter wing is magically super important for no reason as he is necessary for the reconstruction of his wingmen. It seems like the carriers should either be able to build fighters or not, regardless of having one of them docked there. Even if you were to find some excuse such as "they use the remaining fighter as a blueprint to know how to rebuild his wingmen" then I would like to be able to order one fighter of every wing to remain docked at all times, making the wing effectively invincible. The current implementation feels gimmicky and obscure.

3) At a cost of 1 CP each time it is issued, the "Refit & Repair" order for fightercrafts becomes rather useless.

4) Nav buoys and sensor relays are way too powerful and game-breaking. While nerfing them into the ground would help, changing their bonus to something more reasonable would be better. For example, nav buoys could decrease the chance for your retreating ships to get lost and captured (increase the chance of having them regroup with their fleet after the battle), perhaps based on how long you've held nav buoys during the fight or how many were held when the ship retreated. Sensor arrays could give more line of sight to your ships or simply give a large radius of sight around the relay itself. I don't really have a problem with comm relays as they are right now.

5) I find myself having the most fun in small engagements with no capture points. Can we have an option to change what size is considered a small engagement? I would like to remove capture points in my game.

6) The enormous handicap where the player takes 50% of normal damage should definitely NOT be activated by default. Finding out that it has been on and then turning it off (which I assume most will do when they finally find out about it) is the equivalent of having your characters' levels reset to 1 in an MMORPG, except that what you lose in this case is all the knowledge you thought you had about ships and how to fit them. Ship setups that were valid or even very powerful can become useless without this massive game-changing handicap.

7) This is probably already in the plans but there needs to be an option to more precisely manage how you distribute your crews of different experience levels.

8) If you don't have 4 weapon groups, you can select a non-existent one (for example pressing 4 when you only have 3 groups) which allows all your weapons to be on autofire. There's no reason for this not to be possible with 4 weapon groups and it would even the playing field between us and AI controlled ships as we would be able to shoot all our weapons AND control an omni shield aswell. This can be particularly frustrating when, for example, you have an incoming Salamander missile and you have to STOP SHOOTING the enemy in front of you so that you can turn your shield to cover your engines.

9) It would be nice if we could set our shield to automatic just like weapons. At least for the direction of an omni shield.

10) In the mission Forlorn Hope, the player's greatest enemy is his own terrible weapon groupings. Being forced to disable your tactical lasers, autopulse lasers and point defense just so that your heavy blasters stop overloading your ship with flux is pretty ridiculous.

11) While I like the concept of nebulas adding an extra tactical layer to battles, they seem to be way too common and some of them are so small they are barely larger than a battleship, making them somewhat insignificant on a tactical level but just as annoying when you're trying to get to the battle.

12) Please add an unlimited control points mode which obviously would be off by default. While I have only rarely been annoyed by command points, I've never felt like they added any enjoyment to the game (so I lost little but gained nothing). In the few cases where they annoyed me, they did so by preventing me from compensating for the occasional shortcomings of the AI. For example, if I'm using a lot of fighter wings then I will most likely either run out of command points for Repair&Refit or the AI will get a bunch of them killed. In either case I end up frustrated instead of having fun. Those who enjoy command points would simply not turn them off.

13) It seems absurd for any fleet to travel any more than 10% slower than the travel speed of their slowest ship, regardless of fleet size. I doubt there's a lot of obstacles to dodge in space and I assume most captains are at least semi-competent, enough to not randomly steer or slow down their ship.

14) Since the slowest ship(s) of a fleet are obviously not going to mistakenly wait for other ships that are significantly faster than them, any ship significantly faster than the slowest ship of a fleet should not slow down the fleet at all. "Oh my, our Tempest is very slightly behind everyone else, slow down the Paragons so he can catch up!"

15) If fighter crafts are kept in hangars then it would make sense that they would not slow the fleet down at all. They would rarely do so anyway if suggestion 14 is implemented.

16) This one is very obvious and already known but the current algorithm that determines when an enemy fleet retreats is the most cowardly thing I've ever seen. I've captured a Paragon using a frigate because he decided to run away after I killed a few fighters. For the record, he could easily have travelled to his destination with his 360 degree shields up, ignoring my insignificant damage indefinitely.

17) It is annoying to (for example) have an extremely slow Venture be able to retreat from my Lasher just because he reached the imaginary end of an imaginary box in space. Unless a ship actually got away from all its enemies, it should not be allowed to retreat, only surrender. Otherwise, a slow missile boat can enter a battle, deal any amount of armor or hull damage to a ship that would usually defeat him, then retreat and re-engage (or be re-engaged). Someone suggested that the map boundaries themselves should move to follow the center of mass of all ships currently fighting and while I don't know how hard that would be to implement, it's the kind of solution that would restore the feeling of actually fighting in space, not in a tiny box. If a ship actually has enough speed to be able to surrender then it would be able to disengage from its enemies in battle and gain some distance, then be allowed to retreat without surrendering. If it cannot do that, why would the battle boundaries allow it to?

18) Retreating ships sometimes stop using their shields for no reason, making them many times weaker than they actually should be.

19) It would be useful if we could decide if we want our PD lasers to prioritize ships, fighters or missiles. It's annoying to have your burst PD lasers waste their shots on practically harmless swarmer missiles when the enemy fighter launching them is in range of said PD laser and will continue launching them for at least 2 full minutes anyway. In that case I wish the PD would shoot the fighters first. This is situational so a setting would be best, even if it can only be changed from the refitting window.

20) AI ships being shot by a tachyon lance will often raise their shields then turn them off before the lance is done dealing damage, resulting in hull damage that obviously shouldn't have happened.

11
General Discussion / Fun and funny ship setups!
« on: February 22, 2012, 12:34:52 PM »
Finally bought the game, couldn't resist after 0.5 came out, guess I'll just buy it again on Steam if it gets there lol.

Ok so as the title says, this thread is for sharing your most fun and your funniest ship setups. Inspired by the fact that I just came up with one, of course, so I'll start it off :

Setup : Oops I Dropped Something (oh wait they're bombs, there goes your face!).
Ship : Lasher-class Frigate
Weapons : 5x Standard Bomb Bays. You'll probably need to scrap some Piranha bombers to get them, either after a battle or by buying them and scuttling them. I leave the missile slots empty.
Hull mods : Augmented Engines, Auxiliary Thrusters, Expanded Magazines. Optionally you can also get extended shields like I do but it's not necessary for the purpose.

How it works : Congratulations, you are now a giant piranha bomber with awesome speed :D. I recommend a veteran or elite crew for moar speed! Works best if you have a partner in crime to serve as a distraction, for which I use an AI controlled Tempest frigate. Once enemies are spotted, open your map, target a fat juicy enemy and put the pedal to the metal. The bombs use your own momentum to hit their target so it can take a bit of practice. Releasing the bombs from very close range makes it easier to aim and you can use your shield to avoid taking damage if you crash into your target.

I've flown almost every ship and this setup has to be in the top 3 for most fun AND funniest to fly.

Alright, tell me what you think and share your own interesting setups.  :)

EDIT : Another way to use this ship, mostly in small engagements (the ones with no control points) is to get max speed towards the north and start dropping all your bombs, once your forces meet the enemy, they will get carpet bombed to hell. Also unrelated : since you can fly "through" fighters, you can kill them easily by dropping your bombs while you're on top of them (which isn't too hard because you're very fast).

12
Suggestions / Alternatives to the current command points system
« on: January 22, 2012, 03:27:56 PM »
Hello world!

Since this is my first post on here I'll quickly say that I got here from Totalbiscuit's video, this game looks like my soulmate and I can't wait for the sandbox mode (which is when I will most likely buy it, if not before).

On to the topic.

As you might've guessed from the title, I'm not a big fan of the current command points system. I say this without having tried it first hand but I've pretty much looked for every Starfarer video I could find. HOWEVER, I am NOT suggesting that the RTS system is any better. I've read the blog post on why it was ditched and I fully agree! The purpose of this topic is not to discuss the RTS system or to argue in favor of it, it's to either find and eliminate flaws in the current system or suggest an entirely different one. Hopefully we can get a good brainstorming session going.

Here are two ideas I thought of quickly, feel free to shoot them down :

1) Instead of discouraging "micro" and RTS-like playstyles through command points, make it so that you need to broadcast your orders. By you, I mean you as the captain of whatever ship you are controlling yourself. This would take a short time (think about the time it would take to get on the space radio and yell at your stupid subordinates). During this time, you would have some sort of penalty, the first one I can think of being that your ship idles, or is controlled by your first officier (the AI). It could also take a few seconds for them to receive and react to the order, making "micro" useless and impractical. Either that or add a separate cooldown to each unit on how often you can give them an order, on top of the transmission time.

2) Another possible alternative would not get rid of command points but instead make it so that 1 command point allows you to give as many orders as you want at a specific moment. For example you pause, send Bob to retreat, Joe to capture the sensors and Alex to clean the toilets. This is 3 orders but you give them all at once with the game paused so they cost only 1 command point. With this method, each command point represents an entire "decision" or an entire "change of plan" or "next phase of the plan". I think this would already be much better because let's be honest, sending 2 fighters wings somewhere seems petty but costs 2 command points while sending the Bis'mar somewhere is a huge tactical decision that only costs 1 command point. With this method each command point deserves equal thought and is significant, and the amount of command point could be balanced to reflect this.

I guess it would also be possible to combine the 2 ideas but really it's all just brainstorming. The only thing I'm certain of at this point is that I dislike the current system. No offense intended, try to be constructive if you can help it. :)

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