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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 - ahrenjb

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Blog Posts / Re: GIF Roundup
« on: April 11, 2020, 05:32:50 PM »
Strong conjoiner cache weapon vibes here, is someone an Alastair Reynolds fan?

If Alex got an offer of a big fat 7 figure check for an exclusive release, he could walk away from game development forever and I wouldn't even be mad. Contrary to tyhe beliefs of some fans across all types of media, the content creators life as a human being is more important than any amount of fan furor. An early, financially independent retirement is about as good as it gets in terms of opportunity to pursue true personal fulfillment (whatever that looks like).

I doubt he's holding his breath waiting for this to happen, but regardless we should all be ready to cheer for the guy if he made enough to do it.

Choosing to accept the reality that George RR Martin may legitimately never finish his next novel, let alone the series, was a little disappointing. I sure can't blame the guy though! I wouldn't be working either!

General Discussion / Re: What sector age to you usually play with?
« on: April 30, 2019, 01:28:49 PM »
For some time I played exclusively with Mixed, but rececently I've made the transition to Old and am enjoying it. Not a very scientific observation as I'm playing with some mods that affect these things now, but I have the impression that Old sectors provide somewhat more interesting exploration on average.

Mods / Re: [0.9a] Mayasuran Navy 8.1.9
« on: April 30, 2019, 11:36:40 AM »
Just wanted to give a quick shoutout to the team responsible for this mod - great stuff, I appreciate all your work.

I haven't fully explored the mod by doing a dedicated Mayasuran campaign, but what I've used so far has been well balanced, remarkably well polished, and appears to integrate very well with the game.

In my current campaign, I stumbled on a Mayasuran cruiser BP package fairly early on. When I founded my first colony and the Veriditas movement was born, those cruisers were the only heavy standoff power the faction was able to muster. The first lean years were relatively peaceful, and I neglected any military buildup in favor of industrial development. During that time, a Javinicus (M) BP came up for sale at Freeport. Tired of scrambling every time the Hegemony decided to perform an unlawful inspection, I couldn't resist adding a true anchor to the BP catalog. 6-months of bankruptcy later, the cumulative economic output of now two worlds resulted in the christening of the first ship-of-the-class - the "Resplendent".

The Resplendent mounts a full complement of Diable-designed Artassaut revolver cannons, coordinated by state-of-the-art integrated point defense, integrated targeting, & gunnery control AI. Twin Monstro turrets, a pair of State support beams, and an array of torpedo launchers at the bow provide offensive capabilities. When it first undocked from the orbital construction yards of Nareth, it promised a new era of security for the young world. A promise it had the opportunity to keep just days later as a large Diable expedition entered the system.

Over 1000 faction casualties, and more than a million credits of lost hulls, weapons, and supplies later, the Resplendent has now spent nearly 3-months engaged in constant back-to-back warfare supporting the battlestation in orbit against Diable and the Hegemony. An ORA fleet is en-route. If the Veriditas Movement survives these dark times, it will be by being carried on the back of the Mayasuran-designed battlecruiser. Mayasura is not forgotten, the spirit lives on.

Once again, bravo mod team!

Mods / Re: [0.9a] Artefact
« on: March 21, 2019, 09:35:48 PM »
Glad to see you continuing to update this mod Snrasha. I really think the spritework for these is extremely visually interesting and unique. I think the noir ships in particular are beautiful, while the looters have an especially alien aesthetic.

I haven't played with this mod since a much earlier version, so I'll try to provide some more gameplay and balance feedback once I've played a more up to date release.

Keep up the good work! Your stuff has really improved.

General Discussion / Re: A difficult time with the [REDACTED] stuff.
« on: November 30, 2018, 05:05:55 PM »
I was able to beat it relatively early with a combination of Dominators and Herons. In fact, I've waged a fairly successful crusade against the remnants using that strategy or variants thereof involving Legions and some other vessels. Dominators do a great job of forming a defensive line, while the carrier cluster behind them and provide fire support. I might have brought an Odyssey along as a flagship / fire support vessel, but I can't remember for sure now.

Focus kinetic weapons on your ships where possible. Remnants have crazy good flux stats, so it takes a lot of pressure on their shields to overwhelm them. Let your bombers do the heavy work on armor. Load yourself up with as many Khopesh as you can manage. Remnants tend to have excellent PD - when it comes to taking down smaller numbers of missiles or fighters. Once you start to swarm them however, they can quickly be overwhelmed. In my experience torpedo bombers tend to get smashed, but the Khopesh rocket barrage is guaranteed to get a few rockets through. Put Pilums where you can, and cram a few Locust launchers into your fleet if you can manage, they'll do a lot of good keeping the heat off your bombers. The Dominators will keep pressure on the Remnant fleet while your bombers make run after run until the Remnants aren't able to keep up with the flux demand. I've heard that some folks have good success with the Perdition as well. A wing or two of Claws or Thunders can help immensely as well, taking weapon mounts and engines offline and giving your forces a little relief and your bombers easier targets.

Make sure you remember to issue fighter strike orders on the higher priority targets. I generally start with targeting the enemy carriers, then move on to their front line combatants. Ignore the frigates, let your fleet deal with them. Focus on the larger escorts first, then once you've thinned the herd go for the kill on the battleship with everything you've got.

A big fight against Remnants though is never a sure bet. I've lost a dozen or more capitals and huge numbers of cruisers and smaller vessels during this campaign.

Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Interstellar Imperium 1.19.0
« on: November 25, 2018, 02:24:58 PM »
You've been cranking out stuff recently DR, and I'm sure there's stuff higher on your list than II, but I've gotta say... With the additions and changes to the base game mechanics, I think II has never been more appropriate. Can't wait to see these guys in the sector again, either as an ally or opponent. Absolutely still a contender for my favorite faction mod to ever come out of the SS modding community.

Discussions / Re: what linux distros are people here running?
« on: November 23, 2018, 09:23:22 AM »
Manjaro Linux with XFCE for me. Capable enough to do anything on my main box, lightweight enough to be snappy on my ancient Core 2 era Thinkpad. Highly recommend. If you have any issues with the rolling release model or the little Arch-linux oddities, the Arch wiki and Manjaro documentation are top notch.

General Discussion / Re: Higher Resolutions OK?
« on: November 23, 2018, 09:17:09 AM »
I'm playing at 2560x1440, full screen, full resolution. No issues at all, including with text or UI size. Of course, the 27" monitor helps with that.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: November 21, 2018, 11:47:49 AM »
My first campaign of 0.9 has been a great time so far. I did a quick run through the tutorial on the normal start to see what had changed before restarting, then started with the Apogee beginning.

So far between picking up odd jobs in bars, I've gone on a mad scientists lead to recover technology, only to have half my fleet including my flagship wiped out, gotten embroiled in massive debt with a Tri-Tach executive, established a distant colony, funded it's development with my massive debt, lost my replacement flagship in a pirate ambush, heard a rumor about a mysterious planet, and am frantically running from world to world looking for jobs to avoid getting Tri-Tachyon on my ass so I can exploit the resources marked in my log.

A+ experience.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: November 17, 2018, 09:58:55 AM »
Guests in town all weekend... but out of work all next week. It's going to be hard to be a good host.

Suggestions / Re: Odyssey's piloting
« on: April 06, 2018, 04:21:10 PM »
The idea of built-in hullmods isn't to give the Odyssey something other ships can't or something that's difficult to get, but to give it those bonuses without cutting into the available OP. The extra fuel and cargo capacity isn't necessarily to remove the need for any other tankers and cargo ships, rather to reduce the logistical load enough to accommodate smaller support vessels. A small bump to these wouldn't hurt though, maybe an additional 50 cargo and 50-100 fuel. Operations Center as a built in might be ok, but only with a small reduction in free OP.

I really don't see the Odyssey as being pidgeonholed into be a triple lance sniper at all. If anything, it's pigeonholed as a fire support ship. Not a ship-of-the-line. The types of fleets I would field an Odyssey in are not the types of fleets I would want an Atlas or Prometheus for, I'd be using Drams / Phaetons and a mix of combat-freighters instead.

Experience varies here obviously, but I haven't had much success finding Paragons while I've always been able to find Odysseys. At least not without accepting a Tri-Tachyon commission, which sometimes just isn't an option.

Then again, my whole post focused on the strengths of the ship outside of its capability as a player-piloted combat capital, which seems to be your laser focus here. A case of differing priorities I'm afraid. While I can only guess at this point, I'd say the arrival of 0.9 and beyond will give the Odyssey new life as something more than a pure bludgeoning tool for battle-frenzied warmongers.

Suggestions / Re: Odyssey's piloting
« on: April 06, 2018, 03:29:53 PM »
This is a pretty long thread, and I have to admit I didn't read every post in its entirety. So please forgive me if I say something that's already been addressed or is redundant.

That being said, I'm inclined to believe a large part of the issue most of the people here are having with the Odyssey is they're expecting the wrong things out of it. The perspective most of the posts in this thread are from is one of using the Odyssey as a player flagship. Very understandable, as using a ship as your player ship is by far the most "intimate" way to interact with any ship in Starsector. You get the most personal view of its relative capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses when you're at the helm. The Odyssey however is one of those ships that, in my opinion, shines brightest as an NPC officer-ed capital.

It's a bit of a weird bird, there's no doubt about that. Middling hard stats, a variety of oddly distributed turrets with awkward angles, and a general sense that it's certainly not easy to "minmax" the way that a Paragon or Onslaught is. It's not a ship that I would call a "bread-and-butter" must have, or even necessarily a go-to for most people. It has a few things going for it though that can make in an invaluable fleet asset for CERTAIN player fleets.

- High burn speed (8, matched only by the Conquest)
- Mobility (FAR higher base speed than other capitals, which is useful in ways a mobility system isn't)
- Large reserve crew capacity (400 skeleton, 800 max gives you 400 spare fleet crew)
- A large variety of hardpoints pointing in every which direction, AND two flight decks.
- Benefits from high-tech fuel efficiency.
- Far and away the easiest to find high tech capital.
- Cargo capacity
- Fuel capacity

While the awkward mix of hard points, flight decks, and ship stats might add up to a capital that doesn't quite provide the satisfaction of some of the others, it also happens to make an EXCELLENT fleet support ship. Paired with cruisers, or even a good mix of destroyers and frigates, the Odyssey takes on new life. It keeps pace with the pack. It shines in it's ability pour fire out in multiple directions and maintain pressure on opponents at any range. While everyone is right in claiming it's not a phenomenal 1v1 vessel, it's hard to assign a metric to how well it performs in support of other ships. It's a force multiplier, and you'll see your fleets smaller vessels doing most of the heavy work thanks to the breathing room granted by the Odyssey being able to handle a whole mess of smaller problems for them (while exploding less often). The AI flies... differently than the player, and the same characteristics that make it somewhat awkward for the player can play into its strengths when used by the AI. Better ability to multitask and use all its capability, while the human player is better at tackling more difficult but narrower tasks.

It isn't really the capital of choice for combat focused fleets, and admittedly hard-hitting system defense fleet / battlestation clashes are all the "end-game" or "capital phase" really has to offer right now. We all know this isn't the long term picture for Starsector though. The Odyssey I think will find a niche with the salvager/explorer/scientist player who builds their fleet not strictly for butting heads with superpowers, but for the player who spends more time digging into the corners of the sector and finds themselves in combat from time to time. The extra cargo capacity and fuel capacity over other capitals help alleviate some of the demand for extra tankers and freighters. The extra crew quarters and burn speed play perfectly into this and definitely feel intentional.

Of course... I'd still not be opposed to a bit of tweaking. To really help the Odyssey fit into this niche, I'd like to see it get some default hull mods. Surveying Equipment would be my first choice, as well as maybe High Resolution Sensors much like the Apogee. Maybe even a new hull-mod that fits into what I'm talking about, possibly related to upcoming features? I know the maintenance and fuel costs have become pretty standardized with the recent releases, but maybe even marginally better fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs as compared to other high tech capitals. A boost to available OP wouldn't hurt, but I think this would need to be offset by some other nerfs to its combat capability which I think is actually in a good place right now. Changing on of the large hardpoints to hybrid is something worth considering, and I like the idea of a Mjolnir or Devastator on an Odyssey, but I don't know if it feels right.

Give the player reasons to use it besides its strength in combat, and I think it'll become a mainstay of non-combat focused late game fleets in future releases.

Suggestions / Fleet Supply Quantity - Update while transfering.
« on: April 04, 2018, 03:11:44 PM »
When buying / transferring supplies from a market / cargo pods / salvage screen / storage / etc., it would be nice if the yellow supply counter in the lower left HUD panel updated continuously as you changed the stack size or slider. It currently works this way for fuel, cargo capacity, and crew. The little yellow total supplies number doesn't update until you actually drop the stack however.

Not a big issue, especially seeing as the "capacity bar" is more important, but it'd make it a little slicker to top up to a specific quantity of supplies if it worked the same way as everything else.

Maybe this should have been a bug report instead, feels like something that was overlooked rather than an overt error. Felt a little silly to open a new topic for something so small, but I'm sure it makes it easier to track individual issues. If this has already been mentioned elsewhere, apologies for the redundant call-out.

Blog Posts / Re: Blueprints, Doctrine, and Production
« on: February 27, 2018, 02:01:54 PM »
Alex, these lasts several blog posts have got my hype pumped, not to mention the forum and Twitter activity. I've been lurking increasingly heavily as the buildup to the new release drops, and I don't think I've been as excited for an update since we got our first glimpse of Corvus. At this point, most all of the nitpicks I've had about features or changes in the past have proven to be good game design decisions in the larger scope of the final product. It's refreshing to take a step back in this age of early access and community involvement, and just enjoy watching an artisan at his craft. Following the development of Starfarer *ahem* Starsector, has felt like watching one of the old masters work a mammoth monolith of stone. The true form of the work being slowly revealed as the stock is carved away, the contours expressing themselves first as roughly hewn geometry, only later resolving into the flowing and lifelike form of a genuinely inspired piece.

All that tripe aside, looking forward to playing the new build. When its ready, of course.

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