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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 - Null Ganymede

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The Trilobyte's modular hull design is amazing. And I just realized what the visual design it reminds me of - the final boss from Metal Slug 3!

So amazing.

General Discussion / Re: How to break the game with 80 marines
« on: May 22, 2020, 01:10:25 PM »
Pirates are the Sea Peoples. You can claim you've beaten them in battles or have amassed superior technology, but they're the tide that ends civilization and cannot be annihilated. They are the annihilation.

If you think of the Domain Era as a Bronze Age, that's pretty realistic!

General Discussion / Re: Capital on early, what now?
« on: May 07, 2020, 05:24:12 PM »
If you have a supply of high-range high-accuracy guns (maulers, HVDs, gauss cannons) and can pivot fully into combat skills, a Legion flagship with auxiliary thrusters can solo entire fleets.

With smart use of active venting and the 0% flux agility bonus, Burn Drive's cooldown is short enough that you can't be pinned down. Your own wings can provide point defense/air superiority. And you have a *lot* of turrets to work with.

General Discussion / Re: favorite flagship for each stage of the game?
« on: April 18, 2020, 06:35:14 PM »
Start with an SO frigate or cheapo destroyer. Use point defense weapons to max out damage-per-flux early on, they're good sources of kinetic pressure. Safety Overrides turn all bad ships into good ones.

Ideal ships: SO + hardened subsystem + speed hullmod + annihilator + machine guns Lasher, restored Luddic Path Lasher with more of the same, broken down SO Enforcer with lots of Heavy Machine Guns, etc.

Eventually find Something Cool. This may be a black market elite frigate/destroyer purchase, some modded exploration or event content, or a lucky kill/faction salvage. Sometimes it's a rare weapon that can define a ship. Proceed to build fleet, skills, and officers around cool flagship.

Ideal ships: plasma cannon SO Sunder, any of the modded elite destroyers/frigates, Tempest, Harbringer, maybe a really early Doom or SO Eagle, etc. My favorite modded ships at this point tend to have mobility abilities first, cool built-ins or ship systems second. I spend a lot of time drawing attention with minimal fighter cover and picking off stragglers.

Endgame is determined more by fleet composition, which is mostly a matter of faction commission or colony blueprints. At that point the flagship is complementing whatever the rest of the fleet lacks. I kind of prefer long range artillery boats with burn drive and auxiliary thrusters - dual Gauss Legion with shield bypass and escort frigates, dual Devastator Onslaught with mauler/HVD mediums, etc.

Ideal ships if modded: BRDY Karkinos, that underworld pirate flagship with the turret and burn drive, other artillery capitals. If the mid-game coolship was something ridiculously fun like a Sylphon Rakia (SO on it is amazing fun) or other phase cruiser/super-destroyer it might be my preferred endgame ship. Some of the smaller player-bait ships start to get tedious when you're grinding through large fleets, but phase ships with interesting mechanics never get dull.

accidental 2nd post

General Discussion / With mods, this is a AAA game worth of content
« on: April 15, 2020, 11:35:43 PM »
The modded universe is mature: there's a reasonable concept of balance, and enough mechanical interaction to create Dwarf Fortress tier emergent story telling.

For example, early in a new playthrough I ran into a nice system to colonize. However the 75% hazard planet had a weird modded modifier - some kind of local fauna drugging up inhabitants, making them happy but unproductive. It also limited stability to a minimum of 5. Guess everyone's too high to worry about the pirate raid... Maybe the pirates chilled out once they landed.

A different mod added a few industries that produced straight cash without touching the market. This cost stability, but the fauna prevented it from going *too* low.

The end result is I have a colony that's less profitable than my typical freeport industrial hellforge, but has been left alone by the big powers of the sector. Pirates and Pathers raid it a bit, but I'm not panic-retreating to it to fend off Hegemony murderfleets. It's reasonably balanced, slightly silly, and completely emergent from modded content!

Same for ship loadouts - my colony is near Modded Faction A, and I'm collecting cool ships from Modded Faction B. The results look and feel mostly visually consistent, are effective in some niches but not broken in all of them, and are all modded content. I'm currently specialized in mobile hit-and-run engagements with 3-4 ships, and can easily engage outnumbered but run out of CR if I try to grind through large numbers of ships. It's weird and wonky, but fun and effective at some bounties. (And FPS-friendly!)

I don't think I've ever played a game that felt this complete, while sticking entirely to modded content, in a niche emergent playstyle that feels natural but I don't think was planned out by anyone involved.

Discussions / Re: functional ship class definitions
« on: April 15, 2020, 11:27:10 PM »
Some of the Star Wars EU novels did their best to flesh out ship roles within the universe. Like the implications a hyperspace-capable single-man fighter would have for resource-strapped rebel groups, or the weapon mobility and defense systems that made manned "ace" fighter pilots a thing in space.

Starsector's universe seems to have evolved over the versions, with tech levels/time of production shifting around. Also, ship size differences appear larger than they're visually represented! Compare the hangar bays on a Mora to those on the Legion: the Mora is flying "higher" and closer to the screen. Frigates are actually tiny compared to capitals.

General Discussion / Re: Harder than darksoul games
« on: February 16, 2020, 05:05:35 PM »
The missions are pretty casual and low-risk?

Even a moderately-optimized ship/skill/fleet loadout grinds up pirate fleets at low cost.

Also, the "easy" mode is nothing to be ashamed of starting out.

General Discussion / Re: Diable Avionics vs Dassault-Mikoyan
« on: February 10, 2020, 03:17:26 AM »
Diable ships are enjoyable as support for your flagship. Mix of flashy mobility skills, omni shields, interesting transformations/etc.

DME has cool flagships and solid carrier support.

^^^ lol

The post that keeps on giving!

The Doom fleet is hilarious!

The fact that it makes people mad is a cherry on top.

vvv lol

Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Tahlan Shipworks 0.3.13
« on: February 02, 2020, 10:29:52 PM »
Haha this mod is great. The best part is all the balanced low/mid/high tech staple ships it adds, to the point where rare superships don't feel out of place by the time you run into one.

The low-tech weapons sound and look more powerful than vanilla equivalents but aren't stat-wise. I especially liked what seemed to be a slightly Light Mortar - finally made to sound and feel as deadly as the LM actually is.

Kind of dubious about the independent-owned starsystem with nice colonization targets. Hopefully that's a trap and triggers some events if you *do* colonize it, otherwise it's way too convenient.

General Discussion / Re: Eagle vs Dominator
« on: January 24, 2020, 07:58:22 PM »
Dominator's fixed large guns mean AI is best at using burst weapons at close range. Mark IX, Hellbore - yes. Gauss, Mjolnir, Hephaestus - no.

There's a dozen loadouts to make an Eagle useful, but only two for the Dominator. Kinetic weapons + explosive torpedoes for close-range brawls, or explosive weapons + kinetic missiles for close-range brawls.

Maybe an SO flagship could work too.

General Discussion / Re: are colonies too profitable?
« on: January 22, 2020, 10:42:35 PM »
How many months does it take your investment in industries and upgrades to pay for themselves? What about the AI cores and nanoforges/synchrotrons you didn't sell?

Credits-wise you're usually better off investing in ships and grinding bounties or exploiting trade deficits.

General Discussion / Re: a good frigate / small ship
« on: January 19, 2020, 08:55:25 PM »
There's two effective frigate flagship types mentioned so far: murderboat vs distraction.

The murderboat has some combination of SO, lots of guns, and an offensive weapon system. Combat skills increase the ship sizes it can kill before they can retreat to friendly cover. To maximize flux-limited damage, abusing kinetic "point defense" weapons for offense is popular. You usually can't fit in fragmentation damage and have to rely on explosive to chew through hull. Low-damage strike missiles are brought to sustain through peak operating time.

The distraction relies on high mobility and AI tendency to focus your flagship over anything else. It saves friendly ships in trouble, distracts major enemy threats, but can also carry a few strike missiles or antimatter blasters to exploit opportunities. High peak performance time and a mobility system to quickly re-position across the battlefield are preferred.

There's not really any other playstyles. Maybe a Hound in the corner of the map, with nothing but an Operations Center fitted? I also haven't tried an Afflictor playthrough focused on its shipsystem - there's not that many frigates with high-impact support shipsystems.

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