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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20); Blog post: GIF Roundup (04/11/20)

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Messages - Beep Boop

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Suggestions / Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« on: December 28, 2019, 01:13:28 AM »
I'm imitating scenario where I'm on phase/blaster cooldown and unaware of Doom's presence.
How exactly would you be unaware of the Doom's presence, though? I mean, the opponent's battle lineup is not hidden from you going in, and the Doom has a pretty distinctive profile, so just seeing that should be a sign of DOOOOOM! DOOOOOM! It's called DOOM for a reason. Also, normal frigates are probably not using phase lances and blasters, that's very much an Afflictor thing, and Afflictors HAVE A PHASE CLOAK, so USE IT. The AI sure will. And why exactly are your weapons on cooldown, anyway? WHAT are you shooting at? WHY are you moving at maximum speed while shooting at it? Normally when you shoot at something in your phase ship, you're braking as you flip yourself over to unload into their soft vulnerable spots.

And if you are not a phase frigate, but just a regular, non-phase frigate that cannot simply dodge all the mines by phasing, then you don't have all your weapons on cooldown.

Safer way to handle Doom is to drop speed to near 0 before unphasing and make sure there are no friendly fighters around, but doing so by default is too wasteful.

Blasters on a properly piloted Afflictor are almost always on cooldown, except right before finishing approach for attack, so AMs are unavailable in most real scenarios.
A properly piloted Afflictor also HAS A PHASE CLOAK.

AI is usually not optimized for max speed and rarely uses full speed (which is good vs Doom, but bad against pretty much anything else).
Okay, so what's the problem here that we're trying to actually address? That the Doom is excessively good at murdering AI frigates with its mines? Because it isn't, as the AI will utilize all of its defenses, and ninja-dodging skills, to avoid this, and while it doesn't always succeed, the frigates you're murdering are probably not top of the line, either. Being able to murder some Hounds is not exactly a big deal. That an AI Doom is too good at murdering YOU? Players, too, have tools at their disposal to avoid being murdered in this way, and you know what they are. That you refuse to use them and thus die, well, that's not really the Doom's fault. I mean, it's there in the name: DOOOOOOOOM!

I mean, the moment you hear that SCH-CHUNK noise, you should be like "***!", and that's probably not the one that aimed at you since the first few will be deployed against fighters.

Because yes, if you fly stupidly and obliviously, with absolutely no situational awareness, and are piloting a tiny frigate that permits no room for error, YOU DIE. If you're still flying a frigate in capital-grade fights where Dooms are a thing, you clearly like to live on the edge, and this is one of the dangers. Either stop flying frigates in capital-scale battles, or start paying attention to where you're flying.

Not sure what else I'd do to buff TT further, feels like the fundamental problem is they're too small and start with too large enemies (Hegemony with added Luddic Church on top). I could slap an alpha core on the local military base, but I suspect that won't be enough either...
I'm thinking the game was not actually designed with the factions balanced against each other as a war game, and having the factions wage wars of annihilation against each other is the problem, as this means the larger factions will inevitably grind down the weaker ones. Perhaps some factions should be more or less conquistadorial than others.

Suggestions / Re: NPC Interaction
« on: December 28, 2019, 12:45:37 AM »
I do like the idea of escort mission of you finding them in bars and then they're saying they're leaving for this certain market and you have to protect them from there. Maybe it'll be a breeze. Maybe it won't.
I think an escort mission would be more like "X ship is temporarily added to your fleet in a way you're not allowed to mess with, so no stripping it for parts or anything, and you have to bring that ship intact to its destination".

Supply usage also isn't constant, ships consume more supply when replenishing CR and less so when just operating in normal health, which means as your daily supply usage fluctuates from various things, that circle is going to wibble and wobble pretty wildly.

It also doesn't result in game over if you run out of supplies, whereas if you run out of fuel and don't crash land someplace you can refuel, game over, you're lost in space forever.

Suggestions / Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« on: December 28, 2019, 12:38:00 AM »
I experimented somewhat with that, using SpeedUp mod for bullet time. Character-skilled Afflictor vs infinite mines Doom (not really trying to kill it, just to dodge mines as much as possible while moving at full speed and without using phase cloak).
That's probably not the wisest way to go about dodging mines.

Even at 0.1 bullet time (which should be good enough to eliminate almost all response time latency), if mine appears right in front of your nose there is nothing you can do to avoid it (except phase cloak, but that's outside excercise rules).
Yes, but your rules were kinda stupid: The AI is absolutely not bound to lock the throttle on full. He WILL brake, and he WILL heavily learn on that strafe button. I know this because as a Doom Pilot, I see them do this ALL the time, and it's damn annoying, and I need often half a dozen mines to box them in, and ultimately he doesn't hit ANY of them, he dies because I boxed him in until they went off!

Second, even if I'm able to react due to bullet time, I can't change trajectory enough to avoid it.
You evaded 5 mines without difficulty, and then continued barrelling straight forward without stopping because you chose a terrible personal limitation that the AI is not actually bound by in-game. You also did not use your weapons to clear the offending mine from your path, which the AI will also do. So you died.

General Discussion / Re: 600+ Gamma cores later
« on: December 27, 2019, 01:41:11 AM »
It seems Fleet Points is different than Deployment Points. Kind of confusing in either case. Seems that a fleet full of Brilliants would have a higher DP. Don't really understand why this invisible Fleet Points exists in the first place.
FP exists to determine a ship's value in autoresolve, I think. This makes it non-player-facing since if a player is looking at the situation, it won't get used.

Suggestions / Re: Random Combat Mechanics/Rework Ideas
« on: December 27, 2019, 01:38:05 AM »
The player is also naturally going to increase the size of their fleet over time so little skirmishes are only going to happen early on in the game. Low DP battles with big fleets become an utter grind of CR depletion and reinforcement.
I think that there is the core: The player's fleet will pretty much always increase over time because there is neither cause nor motivation (I mean, other than losing) to ever decrease your fleet. This is because there is no reason to ever remove ships from your fleet except to replace them with bigger, better ones.

But what if we COULD detach ships from our fleet to do things?

Fan Media & Fiction / Re: 3D render of the organics
« on: December 26, 2019, 06:50:30 AM »
Hegemony Inspection Officer: ... and where did you get these 'organics' from.
Player: Right from Jangala sir! Nothing but fresh, straight from the jungle organics.
HIO: ... and this "Dictat Industrial Waste Disposal" label on the barrel?
Player: Hey now, hey now, there aren't any laws about where I get barrels from! While I'm here, shall I just pay the Tariff duties on these or...?
HIO: Yes, no restrictions on barrel sourcing, and you can pay me directly. Good day citizen.
THAT'S what is missing, the ability to bribe patrol captains to go away without comment if they find anything.

Suggestions / Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« on: December 26, 2019, 06:36:30 AM »
1st case is when a frigate moves too fast. Frigates have very small exclusion area, and speed-buffed frigate can end up in situation when even perfect
reaction is not fast enough to avoid the mine. Player can manage this by intentionally slowing down around Dooms, but AI ships are *doomed*, lol.
You know, trying to blow up enemy frigates with Doom mines is actually pretty frustrating because the AI has lightning fast reactions, and knows EXACTLY how much he has to dodge to avoid the collision. I usually have to completely box them, otherwise they'll *** ninja-dodge around them. It is really rare indeed that I can nail a frigate without spamming mines, and that's just one tiny *** frigate. I end up having to use like 4 mines to kill one lousy frigate. Even if I do kill one, woo, I killed a Hound, that was going to be a threat to anyone. Frigates chew up way more than their fair share of mines to kill. The only frigates that are seriously threatened by mines are the ones YOU fly, because you probably don't have the reaction times of a 6 year old. And frankly, you probably shouldn't be flying those ships. You can barely even see them and they blow up if anything sneezes on them. Outside of the specialist models, which aren't rushing headlong into battle anyway, you only bring them out for pursuits, they almost always die in pitched battles.

Nope, a fast frigate with speed-optimized character is simply too fast. You don't have enough acceleration to alter your course enough in available timeframe to avoid running into the mine, it's not a question of reaction timing.
You actually DO have enough acceleration, but you need inhuman reflexes. Since the typical human response time is on the order of 100ms+, this is simply inadequate to react to such a threat in time, but an AI pilot totally will ninja dodge that.

Another proposal: mines are forced to remain phase cloaked for 1-2 sec after deployment. This still allows to insta-kill fighters by placing mines ahead of them (no PD fire opportunity, since mine is phased), but allows ships to take defensive actions.
That will actually make mines DEADLIER since now enemies cannot do anything about them.

2nd case is even worse: when friendly fighters move near the ship and run into a freshly spawned mine. Short of raised 360 shield or active phase cloak, nothing can prevent damage in this situation. In fact, friendly carriers will do their best to setup you exactly for this kind of problem with their insistence on using fighter escorts.
Maybe you should mark the opposing Doom for Fighter Attack. That's what I always do, and it tends to keep them out of my hair since the AI doesn't want come out when he's being harassed by fighters.

Suggestions / Re: Fake transponder special ability
« on: December 26, 2019, 06:27:28 AM »
Should the player have the ability to enter hostile systems freely if the have the transponder consumable? Would be interesting if after killing enough pirates, yielding transponder codes, you can simply waltz into pirate station or after killing enough pathers, you can waltz into pather stations as you now have enough transponders. Seem kind of anti-intuitive.
I don't actually need a transponder code to waltz over to pirate bases after killing enough pirates, because every pirate who would stop me from going there is now dead. If anything, what we need is not the ability to sneak into bases, but the ability to simply DEMAND it OR ELSE WE WILL OPEN FIRE. After all, regardless of how much commotion you've caused, once the pirate base is staring at a battlefleet that has destroyed all of its defenders and will clearly destroy it next, it really has only two options: Submit, or Fight, and one of these options is a lot less likely to end in immediate death. If I wanna just sail openly into the place like Perry into Japan, what are they gonna do about it?

Suggestions / Re: Balancing fighter swarms with out nerfing fighters
« on: December 26, 2019, 06:22:14 AM »
Fighter swarms would probably be less effective if, say, there were more PD weapons with AOE effects that could hurt fighters particularly well, the same way a Doom can utterly gut fighter spam: All the fighters stack, the mine goes off, they all die.

Of course, ultimately, I know of no game where fighters are ever "balanced". In every game, ever, fighters come in two flavors: Useless, or, if they can be massed at levels which hit a critical mass, overpowering. All swarm units in every game, and most likely in real life, function like this: They're either useless and can be swatted down before they inflict real damage, or they hit critical mass and can no longer be brought down before they cause real pain, at which point it turns into a case of "AAAH, BEES!". And there is ultimately, no functional distinction between fighters and missiles. In any game where one is OP, the other will almost certainly be also. Ultimately, a fighter is just a missile with 4x the delta-V it really needs.

Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Supply Forging 1.0
« on: December 26, 2019, 05:52:54 AM »
Probably isn't significantly rations for people, because your supply usage doesn't change with your crew levels, and food is already a thing that is in the game. Although maybe organics should be salvaged as loot as well and then the process can use organics.

Modding / Re: [0.9.1a] Sozzer's Ship Pack
« on: December 26, 2019, 12:05:07 AM »
Supposing you want to make it balanced
If the ship system only had two non-refilling charges it'd still be very strong.
Alternative idea: downgrade to regular missile autoforge and instead give it a hullmod that makes missiles cost 0 OP have lower OP costs.
Maybe if you had to eat the corpses of your enemies to gain the matter to create more missiles out of, so you'd have to actually stick your neck out and venture into the battlezone to eat them. Or you could eat your friends, I guess. Either way, anyone eaten, you don't get to loot.

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