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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 - Deshara

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Discussions / Re: functional ship class definitions
« on: May 07, 2020, 12:29:19 PM »
where did this thread go lol

Blog Posts / Re: GIF Roundup
« on: April 14, 2020, 01:44:49 PM »
wouldnt an optimal solution for the flamethrower problem be to fix each shot's rotation to its relative position to the previous shot?
edit: YOU KNOW WHAT Would be a cool affect for a special weapon? A gun that fires a heavy bolt that lodges into the enemy ship and whose impact releases a wave of energy that wraps around the target's hull like that black energy weapon does, and then after traveling for x amount of time the energy mass arcs back to the bolt thru the hull and inflicts damage based on how much hull is between them -- when used to kill a ship it splits the hull along/near the line of the arc. To make up for their lack of hull width, when used against frigates or fighters the energy wave doesn't hug the hull and can arc back thru other nearby frigates and fighters on the way back to the bolt, able to cut multiple (small) ships in half along a single axis

Discussions / Re: functional ship class definitions
« on: April 14, 2020, 12:45:43 PM »
If you describe a dreadnought as a "all big guns" kind of ships, doesn't Enforcer

SHOOT I KNEW I WAS GONNA MISS IT. And the literal first thing I thought of when I woke up was that any large ship could be made into a dreadnought by only mounting the same large guns and using the freed up space for engine & gun upgrades
Anyway, none of this is meant to be a criticism of Starsector

edit: I feel like this bares clarification. None of this is capable of being used to criticize Starsector for not using the correct classifications for ships because these aren't the correct classifications for ships. This post is functional ship class definitions, which world navies didn't use because governments are weirdly bad at defining things -- the way the US government is weirdly incapable of defining different kinds of guns when there are clear functional distinctions there too (Could make a whole post of it, but not really relevant to this forum so I won't). There are other definitions which might/will clash with this rundown (and tend to, as noted in the OP, rely on arbitrary dates & tonnages and aren't particularly useful for anyone but lawyers), but that doesn't mean that theirs or mine are wrong, just that they're more useful in difference circumstances.

Discussions / Re: functional ship class definitions
« on: April 14, 2020, 12:40:48 PM »
    I will add that a primary difference beyond size between cruisers and destroyers in the WWI/interwar/WWII period was range and capability for independent action.

    yeah that was brought up in the distinction between corvettes and destroyers but you're right I forgot to mention that destroyers still required tenders. Corvettes couldn't enter the open ocean and destroyers couldn't cross it.

    Frigates are not ships of the line, in fact only few countries filded ships of the line

    thats why it was in quotes, that phrase was meant to evoke an image people are familiar with. Also lmfao did you link to the dictionary page for ignorance? lmfao

    Ironclads are the first type of battleship, not a type of frigate, as the first battle betwen to battleships was during the U.S. civil war, and the ships used on both sides were Ironclads.[/li][/list]

    This is an arbitrary distinction that relies on dates & utterly ignores the fact that there was a functional difference between ironclads and the ships that came after, which was the reason they were called ironclads & didn't keep getting used whereas torpedo boats which predated ironclads remained in use thru to the cold war because they didn't get rendered obsolete

    Dreadnoughts do use multiple types of guns, but unlike the pre-dreadnoughts they only used two or three types, since it's easier to coordinete all of the guns if they are from the same caliber than if they are from diferent calibers.
    Battleships in general are incapable to fight multiple smal ships, and as such they had the need for escort[/li][/list]

    You have this last point utterly wrong and the reason why was in the previous bullet point lol. Dreadnoughts can't fight multiple small ships because they dropped the secondary rapidfire guns, battleships can because they didn't.

    Discussions / functional ship class definitions
    « on: April 14, 2020, 05:32:18 AM »
    this is going into General because it's vaguely related to the game, not that it's a criticism. A lot of media tends to fall back on "___ class of ship is bigger than ___" (as SS does), first of all A) that's boring, 2) means nothing to the consumer who doesn't have a way to contextualize the difference between something displacing 500,000 tons and 600,000 tons, and C) there's a functional difference between ship classes that can be easy to never pick up on with most media that deals with this stuff glossing over it. So, a run-down.

    Frigates were "ships of the line" that relied almost entirely on rows of fixed guns, which necessitated shielding the guns by uniformly armoring the entire ship's outer hull which blows out the tonnage budget & put a drastic upper limit on how big they could get. Because they could only fight in one direction they tended to be equipped with a broad variety of guns, the theory being you needed guns for the opening long-range engagement and then need different guns for the ending close-range engagement; this will come up later. Ironclads were the first ships that used turrets but still maintained the form factor & structural limitations of a frigate, as such I'm treating them as a footnote to frigates.

    Cruisers were post-sail vessels that continued using the multi-caliber gun design theory that frigates used to use but in a modern structural design using turrets that allowed them to merely armor the turret housing around the guns instead of just plating the whole ship which frees up an incredible amount of tonnage. Because of the loss of inefficiency of using lots of different calibers of guns they were never best at anything, but their lack of specialization made them popular escort ships. Light cruisers focused on high speed & maneuverability to dominate against ships smaller than a light cruiser and battlecruisers are armed & armored enough to fight light cruisers and other battlecruisers but not battleships.

    Battleships were cruisers that sacrificed maneuverability for having enough armor to be resistant to their own guns (hence why battlecruisers can't fight them). Two battleships of the same scale theoretically should turn into a dragged out fight.

    Dreadnoughts were battleships that abandoned the frigate era theory of varying gun calibers, dropping the small-caliber rapid-fire guns altogether and fielding all the same caliber of gun. This freed up tonnage & hull space to make up for battleship's shortcomings, producing ships both faster than and functionally invulnerable against cruisers and with far more effective fire control than a regular battleship (since having different calibers of guns makes calibrating guns harder to do since you can't be sure if the splash you're measuring is from your 12" gun or the 6" gun next to you). All of this came at the sacrifice of their ability to defend itself from large numbers of smaller vessels at close range. Which takes us from the large end of the spectrum to...

    Torpedo Boats are tiny unarmored vessels that focus entirely on maneuverability and getting torpedos onto the field, which hits the keel on the bottom of a large boat that makes it sea-worthy (without it they'd flip), functionally acting as an insta-kill against anything too immobile or immobilized to get out of the way. Everything smaller than a battleship can field torpedos but if it's the only thing a boat does it's a torpedo boat. These were a huge reason for the push from frigates to ironclads; a heavy ship of the line frigate being attacked by a torpedo boat has to turns its entire self (which depends on the wind if still using sail) in order to dodge torpedoes and fend off small boat threats, whereas a ship with an engine can turn at-will and a ship with a turret can shoot at approaching small boats without needing to turn at all. These include submarines for my purposes

    Corvettes are a torpedo boat but instead of a torpedo it has a turret for shooting torpedo boats on an otherwise even playing field. They're so small that they aren't sea-worthy, but are also so small a torpedo can't hit them. They aren't used much outside of coast guards. A corvette made for shelling land targets instead of screening against small ships is called a gunboat -- which is also why the AC-130 is termed a gunship, because it's specifically made to shell ground targets with cannon fire to the detriment of all else, but from the air.

    Destroyers are corvettes up-sized enough to be sea-worthy, and in the process have enough hull space left over that you can cram extra functionality in them to justify their space in the fleet.

    If a destroyer uses that extra space to field missiles, because those are fixed weapons it loops back around to technically being a frigate again, hence Missile Frigates being a thing now.

    For the record, aside from the "shuttles" which are actually destroyers and the carriers, the actual ship classifications in this game would be light cruiser, cruiser, battlecruiser and battleship. Interestingly there aren't any dreadnoughts or frigates.

    dunno why I thought of this but a neat idea for a phase-tech capital ship with an on-brand ship ability that wouldn't be absurdly overpowered to match with the ship's scale would be if it had short range from lots of small mounts that it made up for with above-average flux generation and can force an enemy ship to burn drive locking in their trajectory & forcing them to advance, preventing some enemies from escaping or forcing enemies with an advantage at range from having more medium/large mounts to advance into range of this ship's numerous small mounts

    General Discussion / Re: just want to say thank you.
    « on: March 17, 2020, 11:00:05 AM »
    I wanna chime in to say, 2017 was about the hardest time of my life, I didn't have two pennies to rub together. Basically the only personal expense I was able to make on myself that didn't go to keeping my human shell moving was to get a worthless old laptop that couldn't run anything but little indie 2d games, & I bought this game bc it was like SPAZ, and it basically saved my life.
    I remember walking 2 hours to my job in the freezing cold with my laptop in my old padded laptop bag from HS inside of my backpack from HS, putting them in my locker in the break room & feeding the charging port thru one of the holes in the locker door so it could charge & download mods off the wifi while I work, then walking it home to play SS as long as the battery lasted
    thank you

    Discussions / Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
    « on: March 09, 2020, 09:40:16 PM »
    I think Alex should add paid lootboxes that grant the player uberships with powerful randomly generated hullmods, but over time those ships degrade and their guns jam (you can pay real money and wait for 48 IRL hours to pass in order to unjam them), and also in order to deploy them you need a CB and permission from the Luddic Church and also it will increase your fleet's war exhaustion.

    only if its a competitive online multiplayer game. And while we're at it, make beating enemies ships give your ships a stacking stat boost

    Discussions / Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
    « on: March 05, 2020, 05:51:14 PM »
    Games that end once you reach your full potential then don't offer NG+

    this was why far cry 3 was brilliant. It introduced RPG mechanics into a FPS (first major game to do so IIRC), and then you get all of your abilities maxed out only by clearing out all the content on the map at which point the game is over... except then you unlock a whole new map with another 1/3rd of the game to play but with, like, the ability to fly at will & against stronger enemies. Great mix-up, that game had. Shame the franchise didn't... learn from it...

    Suggestions / atmospheric terrain effects & multy-tiered planetary battles
    « on: February 22, 2020, 08:03:58 PM »
    having not played this game in, like, over a year I was in line at the dr's office & couldn't get the map-terrain effects from this game out of my head. In particular how they could implement planetary atmospheric conditions for mid & low-altitutde combat that work like a pursuit map, and then how they could make multi-tiered battles that stretch from orbit down to ground level. The fact that the game ignores the concept of directional movement actually helps.

    High Atmosphere terrain map: both fleets start on the bottom corners of the map traveling up, the left side of the map is towards (but not) the ground. The ships are still in overhead view bc *** you, I guess they're flying sideways, who cares. There's a "Wind-Shear" terrain effect that scales from 0%-100% that shoves the ship leftward, its force multiplied by the ship's mass & how close to 100% the effect is. It increases if a ship's shields come up or the farther the ship turns away from pointing up (the acceptable degrees of deviation scales with ship size, 45/35/25/15(?)) or if the engines die. If the ship is at the far-left side of the map the "Wind-Shear" affect fills up an invisible bar that once it gets full forces the ship to retreat off that side of the map and gets moved to the Low Atmosphere terrain map. Escaping the map on the top of the map takes the ships up into orbit. Being in orbit of a planet with planetary defenses spawns flak cannon rounds from off-map that target ships & reduce their CR like the corona of a star, upgraded defenses will just straight up fire random LRM's & large missile slot missile barrages at enemies.

    Low Atmosphere terrain map: Same as high atmosphere, except the far left of the map (just past the part of the map that bounces your ship back) is the ground, flying past at a blur. From the top left of the map straight downward, at high speeds, the map launches projectiles in the form of, trees, buildings, hills. They're background objects initially, but every time a ship passes over one it rolls for chance to impact, depending on ship size 5%/20%/35%/50%, and if you fail the roll the object becomes a physics obstacle, does base fragmentation damage to that ship & is blasted into parts like a dying ship that function like landmines to any nearby/flanking/chasing ships, all damage from impact & debris increased the smaller the ship x9/x7/x5/x1 (spoiler the middle is in the most danger, frigates have disproportionately low chance to get hit & capital ships disproportionately low damage, safety over-ride, fuel injectors, civilian & heavily armored mods decrease damage taken from or chance to impact). Touching the ground on the side of the map, like if the "Wind-Shear" affect shoves you into it bc you got your engines shot out, applies the "Lithobrake" affect which does kinetic damage and applies gigantic kinetic force on your ship shoving it downward (on-screen downward not towards the ground), if your ship is lithobraked off the bottom of the map, smash bros rules apply.

    Discussions / Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
    « on: February 22, 2020, 07:07:20 PM »
    yeah the issue of team game vs strategy game definitenly doesn't come up for SS because it's a single-player game but there are other different cursed problems that can come up. IIRC SS has a similar one since it's both a strategy game where you're commanding a fleet and an action game where you're piloting one ship. Do you design a peak MLG pro gamer RTS like starcraft where you can lead your fleet to victory from above by managing your fleet so acutely & well, or do you design a game where you can pilot your ship so well that you can single-handedly wipe out the enemy fleet by yourself? You can't do both, and since those two elements are what SS is, you also can't do just one, so you have to make a choice on where your balance lies. That's what CR-decay & fleet command points are; you can't micromanage your fleet because your commands-per-minute is limited, but you also can't solo an enemy fleet because your ship breaks down over time & has limited HP. The larger the fleet battle the more strategy comes into play bc the relative impact your flagship can make is diluted by the # of other ships in play, the smaller the fleet battle the more of a difference you can make with your quota of HP & CR points on your flagship.
    Alex could easily remove the fleet command cap & the flagship and SS would instantly become an RTS, he could easily set the max fleet size to 1 ship and make an action game, but those aren't the games he chose to make and he has to make conscious decisions to deal with the inherent problems of mixing the two genres.
    (For the record the reason I'm so interested in this is bc I'm working on a spiritual sequel to Kingdom Under Fire: Crusaders, a hybrid hack-and-slash 3rd person action & RTS game)

    Discussions / Re: this game has ruined mechwarrior for me
    « on: February 08, 2020, 05:02:04 PM »
    You also need to try this one:

    idk what it is about the space rangers series but the art makes me wish I was dead every time I see it. It's like the default clip art that came with the powerpoint program on Windows XP. If every time I wound up looking at that mid-90's CGI clay-mation art style I instead caught spanish influenza so severely that I instantly went blind I would genuinely live a better life

    Discussions / Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
    « on: February 07, 2020, 08:48:18 PM »
    *sees talk of randomness, swoops in*

    I simply must share this blog post which breaks down types of randomness and categorizes how randomness can be used in games.

    "The major point I'd like to make is that noise injected between a player's choice and the result (here referred to as output randomness) does not belong in a strategy game."

    That's such a good clarification the article opens with. I remember the eternal debate over whether or not TF2 should have random crits (for those not in the know, it's a team-based FPS where one in ___ shots will insta-kill you with no damage fall-off), and this cuts to the quick of the issue so perfectly; the people who wanted crits removed wanted to be playing a strategy game where superior play always leads to victory (a strategy game) to the point that one player of high enough skill can completely close out a game by themselves against the entire enemy team without dying once, whereas the ppl who supported crits (read as: valve) realized that the game being a strategy game is inherently antithetical to the act of being a team game, and that allowing your team to randomly insta-kill an enemy once every minute or so meant that if one enemy is fighting every member of your team and winning nonstop that they will be the one who gets insta-killed and that that uber MLG pro gamer will therefor be incapable of carrying a game by themselves bc they'll be dead from random crits all game.
    Riot Games' Alex Jaffe referred to this in 2019 as "a cursed design problem", where the problem is essentially unsolveable because it stems from two inherently conflicting promises made to the player ("a shooter where you need to rely on your team to succeed" vs "a competitive strategy game where player skill & character customization leads to victory"), and instead of "fixing" the problem by merely designing better you can only patch over the problem to some extent by making a choice to prioritize one over the other -- in this case valve decided being a team-based game was more important to TF2's identity to stand out against CoD & Co, and to this day I agree

    Discussions / this game has ruined mechwarrior for me
    « on: February 07, 2020, 05:03:39 PM »
    I tried the new MW game & boy. It's like playing SS but without most of the QOL features.
    My shipmech dies and the mission is over?? My squadmate's mechs turns out to be way more important for the fight than mine and I have to just... watch... the AI play the game against itself because I can't bodyjump into his mech & assume direct control. There's one weapon that can fit into each weapon-type slot and the only choice given to me is how big/small the caliber is and it isn't even a choice bc there's an unambiguous superior choice? And on top of that the loadout for each mech is essentially already chosen for you by the mech's statistics but the game expects you to pretend that there's a choice to make anyway, to the point that replacing broken guns in between fights has to be done manually every time even tho as already established there's no choice involved in it, you literally just do what the wikipedia article for that mech from forty years ago says is the only thing you're allowed to do? The UI is so hostile to non-fans that the salvage screen after battle doesn't name the mechs available for loot but lists their serial numbers with no further information so you have to google it every battle??!

    Just give Battletech to Alex already.

    Discussions / Re: Find out how to boost your sales by 400%!!!
    « on: February 07, 2020, 04:21:15 PM »
    I recommend & talk about games I think my friends would like based off of torrent releases all the time. I literally bought a friend of mine DMC5 last night bc a torrent with denuvo removed got put up and I was like, "oh hey she likes DMC doesn't she?" & she isn't a pirate.
    Tho TBH I think some of this comes down to the fact that the steam storefront is nigh but un-usable. Torrenting sites do a much, much better job of filtering thru the chaffe by just browsing all (game)torrents by release date & ignoring everything that's sitting in the low tens

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