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Messages - StahnAileron

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31
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: June 06, 2017, 04:44:43 AM »
Anyways, juking and dodging storms isn't so bad when just going out to bounty fleet range, but I really wouldn't want to take the same effort to go out to distant fringe systems. I'm all for further toning down the frequency of storms or adding some new mechanic that makes dealing with them easier and/or more interesting.
After reading this, I got ideas for some things:

  • A ship like the salvage rig that absorbs some of the damage from storms. Get enough of them and your fleets is immune. Trades occasional HIGH supply costs and CR loss for constant low supply and extra fuel costs. (Plus ship slots.)
  • A hull mod that can harvest the power of storms to INCREASE burn speed in a storm and for a little time afterwards once you exit the storm. So flying through a storm might be a viable strategy to escape or catch another fleet. (In addition to and maybe stacking with the already existing methods.) Complements the above.
  • Alternatively: give Hardened Shields some small immunity to storms or have a cheaper "grounded shields" hull mod. (If adding a separate Grounded Shields hull mod, maybe have it get a bonus if Hardened Shields is install as well.

BTW, dunno how viable this is, but would it be possible to rig fights that take place in hyperspace nebula to have a chance to have static/EMP discharges in the nebula during the fight? (Guaranteed if you fight IN a storm?) Now that I thought about it, I kinda feel like the battlescape needs more than just movement obstacles to spice things up. Hazards would be nice for the campaign. (Also, do gravity-wells ever show up in campaign battles? It's been a LONG time since I touched the scenario battles, but I recall at least one of them having a fight with a planet in the background that you could use for gravity assists.) I think it'd make choosing WHERE to fight more important strategically. (Perhaps especially when player-outposts become a thing and we need to defend them or something.)

Just throwing stuff out there... Not bothering with numbers unless/until interests is shown.

32
The problem with x games was that there was essentially no UI aside from a spreadsheet. Especially when there player is managing assets. I'd say starsector already had a better UI, and has the infrastructure to accommodate AI management.
What spreadsheet? The entire UI was nothing but cascading menus. A spreadsheet would've been an improvement.

X's problem was the simulator design of the UI and user experience (UX). Pretty much any game with a first- or third-person camera view has crappy UI for anything complex without swapping to a completely different system. (Especially true if they don't want to break the immersion factor of being in first-person.)

Starsector's UI is befitting of it's game design and indeed fits with the type of management interaction that X failed (and horribly at that, at least past a small squad or for anything complex, like ship capping.) AI player fleets for routine and/or mundane tasks would let a player focus on the main points of the game, IMHO. Though I think the fleet management screen could use a bit of work to help facilitate that. (Once you know what each vessel looks like and can name them, the big graphics feel a bit like a waste of space, especially for the frigates since the images are to scale, so lots of empty space.)

33
I would settle for being able to save and load fleet configurations (using either a 'warning X missing' or best-fit substitution system) since right now dismantling and reconstituting fleets is so laborious. Why drag every ship you might need around with you when you could quickly swap your Bounty fleet for your Smuggling fleet?

I can think of a whole mess of options involving player-owned AI fleets; command-shuttling between fleets, ordering fleets to follow your fleet or follow a target fleet (also; it would be nice to have a command to match speed with a fleet to shadow it), splitting fleets, etc. that may or may not be viable for the existing game. All of that crap would be nice to have, any of it might reasonably be too much work or not fun. On an abstract level, I'd love to have AI fleets to perform some tedious tasks for me (like retrieving weapons or cargo from storage and bringing them to me, or to a nearby port where I have storage space, or guarding my base of operations), but heavy fighting is too much fun to let the AI do for me.
I agree with having AI fleets for tedious, menial tasks.

I played X3R with XTM significantly (X3T/AP changed enough that I couldn't adjust readily after months of X3R/XTM). I love the principle idea behind the game, but yeah, the execution needed work for anything beyond player-controlled combat. (Why I needed to connect dozen of independent space factories with tubes instead of using a single unified super-station and adding functionality to it I'll never know.) StarSectr is abstracted enough (and not confined to a first-person action viewpoint) that the interface would allow the type of things X does (or attempts... Seriously, X's UI was the bane of anything management-related.)

Splitting/recalling vessels, dumping loot, supply runs, simple trade routes, etc. All the routine but tedious things so I/my main fleet can stay on-station rather than having to spend (waste?) time flying back and forth.

34
Bug Reports & Support / Freighter Behavior (Pirate Plunder Fleet)
« on: September 22, 2013, 01:12:35 PM »
I'm finding that with Pirate Plunder Fleets, the AI thinks the Freighters are combat ready, so they try to Engage even if they are the only CR-viable ships left. This is usually the case after a fight since the AI keeps them in reserve during the initial battle phase. However, when I re-engage the Freighter-only fleet (along with the mothballed ships it's transporting), the AI doesn't deploy ANY ships at all. I have to deploy at least one combat capable ship to get the "Enemy Defeated" message (sadly, tugs don't count.) They will continue to do this on engagement unless I leave or I harry the reserves after each engagement until their CR rating is below deployable levels. This is a waste of my fleet's CR rating since I have to deploy a ship to harry them low enough to actually fight them. Letting them go and intercepting them again produces the ENGAGE > NO DEPLOY > DEFEATED > HARRY cycle again.

On a somewhat related note, I've noticed that sometimes, freighter CR ratings aren't displayed at the dialogue screen. I'm not sure if this is a bug or if their CR rating is so low that it takes 2-3 harry's before their actual CR rating falls below their max CR.

Both cases involve the Tarsus freighter, if that helps.

35
Suggestions / Re: Energy Weapons: Damage boost with flux?
« on: September 18, 2013, 12:35:08 AM »
Hull Mod (built-in to Hi-Tech vessels; any that can mount significant energy weapons; intended to use energy weapons as primary weapons):

-Flux Feedback Crossover: Energy Weapons mount are cross-linked to the ship's Flux Vents. On Venting, XX% of flux vented is stored (up to YY% of ship Flux Capacity).

Now, here are two options:

  • Option 1: On weapons-firing, stored flux is dumped into the firing weapons, boosting damage by AA% while consuming BB% of the weapons damage in stored flux.
  • Option 2: Stored flux provides [up to] a AA% damage bonus to Energy Weapons [scaling with stored flux amount]. Stored Flux continually dissipates at ZZ% of Flux Vent rate.

Option 1 provides a simple mathematic mechanic for EWeap damage bonuses. Note I left the numbers up for debate. Could be fixed amounts instead of a percentage. It's just an outline for the idea.

Option 2 is closer to the current mechanic.

Unfortunately, both essentially require another bar to keep track of... (Especially if this is applied to all ships as a central mechanic rather than just a hull-specific mod, like the new Tug and Construction/Repair vessels.)

This just a rough outline. If anyone cares enough, I could address any points you might have or expand on the idea for discussion.

36
Suggestions / Re: Frigate CR reduction after 3 minutes
« on: September 17, 2013, 11:57:24 PM »
Actually, would it be possible to have the CR timer start AFTER burn-in deployment is done? I've noticed the timer is ticking when I'm jetting in on "travel drive". This can take up valuable seconds (especially in chase scenarios - you "lose" several seconds at the beginning since you can't control the ship(s)). I can kinda see how this works out: frigates need to be fast and get their jobs done quickly. At he same time, my logic is: I'm in "travel mode" still, so why is my time-limit starting before I can even do anything?

On the flip-side, I can imagine the "lost" time as, "All hands, man your stations! Dropping from travel-mode directly into combat in 10... 9... 8..." scenarios for chase scenes since the player is instigating it. Still, it feels like an overall "loss".

Your thoughts?

37
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.6a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: March 19, 2013, 05:32:37 PM »
Interesting discussion, maybe someone can start a thread over in Suggestions so we can continue it?

I believe the balancing of Ballistic vs Energy was that Ballistics were flux efficient with limited ammo; Energy were Flux-costly but didn't have to worry about ammo limits (in most cases).

Just wanted to make a note here: ammo isn't a good balancing factor because it doesn't operate on the same timescale, at least when the count is high enough that it's meant to last through several fights. The general balancing of energy vs ballistic is "versatile and more costly" vs "more efficient but more specialized" (barring beams and other exceptions). Ammo *is* a balancing factor for missiles, though.

Oh, dammit. That's right. I forgot about the specialization of Ballistics with EXP vs KIN damage-types. Ironic since I kinda mentioned it in that same post... Okay, that reminder reset a few things back to where my thought process should've been at th starting point. I feel stupid... (Full Disclosure: I haven't touched SS in a while :P )

38
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.6a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: March 19, 2013, 01:08:11 PM »
First, let me make it clear to all others that I wasn't trying to make a suggestion. I was just trying to see what the future might hold in terms of develop of game mechanics.

Alex, do you think any other ammo-based weapons will affect CR? I'm thinking mostly of Ballistics, but there are some ammo-based Energy-DMG type weapons. (AM Blaster or Mjollnir, for example). You'd need to reload ammo based weapons between fights, no? Technically, that would affect combat readiness. I imagine you kinda don't want to touch on that yet (if at all) since that could push players towards pure, unlimited-ammo Energy-type weapons.

Probably not. Missiles are different in that they're both low-ammo and not generally a primary weapon type. For ballistics, ammo is there more for feel than mechanical reasons. I might actually eliminate ammo for ballistics altogether, or just bump it up to where it doesn't matter. Limited ammo on primary weapons creates some undesirable dynamics, such as waiting out the AI's ammo, aforementioned issues with what the desired AI behavior is (cautious to avoid damage vs aggressive to make efficient use of ammo), etc.

Well, my question became moot when you reveal you might eliminate ammo for all primary weapons. ::)

Related to that: would that open the possibility of new weapons being made that ARE ammo limited and meant more as secondary weapons like missiles? The AM Blaster is currently the closest thing to what I'm thinking of: powerful, but limited ammo. Good for bursts of firepower, but can only be used so many times, so not really meant to be primary weapons on a ship. Or specialty weapons, like an Energy Mount that can do Explosive or Kinetic DMG instead of the typical Jack-of-All-Trades EN-DMG.

On the flip side, might CR eventually affect ballistic ammo count if CR is too low between fights? Speaking of which: if battle are now in phases, will ammo levels at the end of phase one reflect in phase 2? Or will ammo be restored between phases/engagements?

No, for the same reasons - not the kind of dynamics I'd want to encourage. All ammo is reloaded between phases.

Okay, one less thing to worry about in a fight. ;)

Lastly, will we have visible supply consumption for missile ammo now? Supplies only have applied to crew, fleet repair, and fleet "maintenance" (for being over limits), yet not to the expendables/consumables known as ammunition. I ask the same if ballistic weapon ammo usage will affect CR and such at some later time (if at all). I just find it kinda strange that supplies really only consist of 2 things: Food (crew) and ship components (Fleet; think armor, wiring, conduit, etc.) Apparently ammo is freely available? ::)

At the moment, regaining CR has a slight supply cost associated with it, and ships have a per-hull maintenance cost, so I'd look at ammo as being one of those.

That works for me. ;D

I just wanted more reason to keep a stack of supplies in a fleet other than a simple, constant "upkeep" cost outside of in-flight repairs. Pillaging fleets gets irritating when you need to dump supplies constantly to make room for equipment. (Supply management is something of a nuisance currently; having something use up the supply "income" of fighting fleets or buying supplies justifies managing it a bit more closely.) Though now with the CR mechanic, I probably won't want to fight several fleets back to back as often, if at all ::)

For the ammo "issue": I believe there was a thread in the Suggestions section that advocated a "clip/reload" based system. More or less one idea that is mentioned here in response to your possible elimination of ammo altogether for primary weapons. You could have Weapon X fire Y rounds before needing Z secs to reload a full clip of Y rounds again.

I believe the balancing of Ballistic vs Energy was that Ballistics were flux efficient with limited ammo; Energy were Flux-costly but didn't have to worry about ammo limits (in most cases). The "clip size" for Energy was basically your Flux Capacity and the (constant) reload rate was your Flux Vent Rate (again, in most cases). I think a "clip" system for ballistics would be a decent compromise to eliminate the ammo "issue" while still retaining some of the aspects and mechanics of having "limited" ammo. You'd still have to worry about running out of ammo, but for timing reasons rather than endurance. ("Incoming missiles!" "The shields won't be able to take them!" "Activate PD!" *quick, short burst* "DAMN! I KNEW I shouldn't wasted all that ammo on those Wasps! >:( Evade to avoid or minimize damage as best as you can until the PD systems come back online!")

Otherwise, wouldn't you have to completely rebalance all the current weapons if you eliminated ammo?

39
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.6a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: March 18, 2013, 11:18:13 PM »
CR Mechanic + Missile Deabte = My trains of thought:

1) High CR = Proper Maintenance and/or highly trained and non-stressed crew.
2) Proper Maintenance = Things(tm) work like they're supposed to or perhaps better.
3) Trained Crew = Makes Things(tm) work a bit better than the spec.

Increased Missile ammo doesn't make much sense since missile launchers are designed with a set number of tubes. Even designs with a magazine are fixed in amount with how much a magazine can hold. Neither good maintenance or a good crew can fix that. However there is the following I can think of that reflect points (2) and (3).

A) If a launcher is maintained well, it could fire faster = small bonus to ROF for high CR?
B) A good crew (assuming the ship has spare ammo in storage and can access the launchers somehow) could theoretically reload the launcher under combat conditions = Low chance or rate to reload missiles.

(A) is the most logical and easily feasible. It's only be useless for single-shot missiles. (Single Reaper, Single Harpoon, etc.)

(B) would be problematic to implement as I think about it. I can definitely see it done on larger vessels with good cargo space. Frigates with low cargo sapce is a bust though. (Take the Hyperion for instance. I can't see that sucker carrying spare ammo despite the math in regards to cargo numbers). There also the problem with rate/chance of reload. That would be a balancing problem. Ammo levels vary greatly between launchers (Single shot all the way up to 100 for the rockets, not counting Expanded Racks.) An across the board rate will favor one ammo count over another. (Flat rate would favor low count, % rate would favor higher counts.) The other option would be to give each missile weapon its own bonus rate. That would be more numbers to remember, handle, and balance.

Now, for my own questions:

Alex, do you think any other ammo-based weapons will affect CR? I'm thinking mostly of Ballistics, but there are some ammo-based Energy-DMG type weapons. (AM Blaster or Mjollnir, for example). You'd need to reload ammo based weapons between fights, no? Technically, that would affect combat readiness. I imagine you kinda don't want to touch on that yet (if at all) since that could push players towards pure, unlimited-ammo Energy-type weapons.

On the flip side, might CR eventually affect ballistic ammo count if CR is too low between fights? Speaking of which: if battle are now in phases, will ammo levels at the end of phase one reflect in phase 2? Or will ammo be restored between phases/engagements?

Lastly, will we have visible supply consumption for missile ammo now? Supplies only have applied to crew, fleet repair, and fleet "maintenance" (for being over limits), yet not to the expendables/consumables known as ammunition. I ask the same if ballistic weapon ammo usage will affect CR and such at some later time (if at all). I just find it kinda strange that supplies really only consist of 2 things: Food (crew) and ship components (Fleet; think armor, wiring, conduit, etc.) Apparently ammo is freely available? ::)

40
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.54.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: January 13, 2013, 07:25:02 PM »
@ zakastra and StahnAileron

This is not the suggestion forum and you are both here long enough to know. If you have a suggestion that is worth being read it will also be worth opening a thead in the right sub-forum.

I was actaully debating between here and the suggestion forum. Some of this was only made apparent to me after the new build came out and I actually had time to try stuff out, so I posted here. I don't think I would've noticed the speed/shield "issue" I seem to have it it weren't for the new hullmod and the skill system being implemented. (Wolves wouldn't have the OP to mount the loadout I gave them to be the way I have them now in .54a vs .53a.) I kinda consider this feedback with my current experience in the game... Still, I'll try to be more mindful in the future. I actually don't come here very often...

41
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.54.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: January 13, 2013, 01:43:01 PM »
Honestly, I would like overlapping weapon groups a la the MechWarrior or X-series games. Been hoping for that for a while now. I don't see why a weapon needs to be in one and only one group.

Other ideas that popped into my head:

  • Crew-Ship Breakdown Hover-List - Any chance that after a certain point, the list starts classifying the crew count by ship class instead of by individual ships? I realized the list isn't big enough when I'm sporting just over 100FP in Wolves and Omens (plus my Hyperion flagship). The last line just clumps all the ships together and is useless/unreadable.
  • Refit Screen (and any other screen that requires scrolling) - Please add scroll bars we can drag. Scrolling down via wheelmouse on a list that displays only 4 items at a time with a 15-item count gets tiresome. This was brought to bare with my Hyperion/Wolf/Omen fleet. Skimming my late game inventory at the station is like that as well.
  • Actually, at some point, I would REALLY like a text-based inventory/selection UI as an option for better parsing. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but coming from RPGs, I'm very used to staring at just text and numbers to manage my inventory/"party" (i.e. fleet in this case)/shopping. How information is presented in SS isn't very convenient at times. I'm starting to think the use of hover tooltips for almost everything is a bit much. I would like some data to be readily upfront and the UI a little more data-dense in the menus. (The UI on the sector map is perfectly fine with it minimalism.)
  • I think the AI is having some issues with high speeds and shield usage. I pack my Wolves with both AugEng and the other SPD booster hullmod. They each have a SPD rating of about 267 or so (I believe base SPD is 170. +10% from Elite crew and +40 x2 from the hull mods... Uh, maybe another +10% from skills? So maybe 284?) In any case, this is a VERY dangerous speed for them and I notice they tend to keep their shields down for as long as possible, even in active combat conditions. This is despite having Hardened Shields and a decent Flux Cap to soak dmg. They take more dmg from smacking into me or each other than from fire it seems. Any chance the high-tech ships (especially the agile and fragile frigates) can be made to be a bit more aggressive with shield usage? (The Omens do the same thing and I have them set up to have full 360-shields. They still smack into stuff and take more damage from that.) I just want them to keep their shields up more often in congested and/or hectic conditions to prevent friendly collision dmg.
  • Teleporter AI use - I have a Hyperion commanded to capture a point. It runs into a hostile and takes evasion... By teleporting right back in the direction it came from and away from the point I want it to capture. It's outside of the "danger" radius and starts it approach to the point I ordered it to once again. The hostile is has targetted it and closed the distance a bit. The Hyperion does the same thing once again. Repeat until the hostiles in the area are dead, I get luck and it finally teleports TOWARD the point during evasion, I cancel the order, or the battle ends :-\. The AI does seems to be much better at using the Phase Skimmer though. I understand ANY ship with the phase teleporter is a bit OP (I assume that is part of the reason why the Hyperion is 15FP, along with its general stats), but how the Teleporter is used under AI control can be VERY infuriating for the FP cost. The AI uses the Teleporter in the oddest ways when under duress... Oddly enough, it works fine in the first phase of a battle (flitting out there to quickly capture a point.) It's when it encounters hostiles that the Teleporter usage seems to goes haywire. Better Teleporter use would be appreciated (i.e. not as blatantly infuriating as it has been for me lately), even if you have to jack up the Hyperion's FP cost. (Done right, a Hype is worth perhaps a bit more than the current 15FP.) Though I do understand that the AI shouldn't be good enough to match the player (or else there wouldn't be a reason to play yourself.)

I also still have issues with ships veering off on a tangent to engage hostiles while under orders to do something else. In particular is capturing/defending points. I just wish they don't stray so far from the points as they currently do. (I've acually had a Hype in the middle of capturing a point wind up on the other side of the map because it wanted to intercept a fighter group coming toward point: it teleported to engage, ran into a destroyer, teleported to evade, foundd another fighter wing, etc... Suffice to say I didn't capture the point like I wanted :'()

42
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.54.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: January 06, 2013, 11:26:26 AM »
Am I the only one not really liking the new UI sounds? Too "clicky", IMHO. I prefer the old sounds: more smooth/flowing for lack of better terms. The new ones are starting to grate on my nerves already and I only play for about 10 minutes.

I think the fact they CLICK when you hover over the buttons and click differently when you actually press the button is a bit much. That's 2 clicks. Considering how menu-driven the game is on the sector map, that's really overdoing it. I think the SFX for hover should be removed or made something less "intrusive" on the ears. Actually, why the UI SFX change to begin with...????

43
Suggestions / Re: A "do not deploy" option in the fleet menu
« on: December 02, 2012, 05:20:48 PM »
The problem with that StahnAileron is you're just one bad engagement away from having your flagship undeployable.

That's only if I do that with ONE ship. I don't do that with one ship. I only do that when I have MULTIPLE ships. I always have enough crew to man my personal flagship. And my flagship is ALWAYS the first on on the fleet list, so it get crewing priority. The ships I don't want manned I always place at the end of my fleet list. My assistant ships would go in the middle, so they get crewed as second after my flagship. If I lose crew, they are the first to go unmanned, not my flagship.

Once I DO start overmanning my fleet, it usually means I'm using enough FP to do large scale engagements and can select my deployments. Still, I generally stick to about only 50-100 crew over skeleton requirements when I'm using larger vessels. With a fleet of smaller vessels (I tend to use Tri-Tach High-Tech ships), I only keep 5-10 over. Tri-Tach frigates have very minimal crewing requirements.

44
Announcements / Re: Starfarer 0.54a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: December 02, 2012, 07:02:31 AM »
If they generated FP, first of all, that means you can have an infinite amount of command ships and a fleet that expands into infinity, wouldn't really work, even if they cost half of the FP they generate, that means that you can have another command ship in that extra 5 FP the other one unlocks, and that would also expand into infinity, if they were to cost more than that, they wouldn't have any good purpose and nobody would buy them,

That is true. At the same time, you'll have a practical supply/cargo limit to contend with (fuel as well once travel gets implemented). I get your point though, but there are technically other aspect of the mechanics that would limit the FP/ship count of fleet. Supply could be one of them. Eventually you'll be feeding crew at a rate too high to sustain with either by cargo capacity or sheer supply, uh, supply within game. Though granted, with the current numbers, that still won't really work. You'd get get a MASSIVE fleet before the supply issue gets truly impractical. (It's pretty generous at 100 crew/supply/day.)

But yeah, with current mechanics in place, it wouldn't work and I'm pretty aware of that fact. (It'd only work in other games that have a material cost for ships, kinda like Homeworld.) The only other option would be to make command ships VERY rare to buy, hard as hell to capture, and EXPENSIVE as crap to manufacture (with the blueprint being nuts to acquire in the first place).

BTW, LVL 60 would net you all (3) current Aptitudes maxed, but not all skills maxed. That's only ~120SP and there's more than 12 skills total... Plus the XP requirements past about LVL46 make it fairly impractical for all but hardcore players to attain higher levels. I myself am resorting to mods that introduce more factions and higher spawn rates to help mitigate that currently. Also, you do get passive SP per level. It's part of the system. 2SP/LVL, no? The FP thing I would go for is a minor one. 45FP @ LVL40 with no investment in Fleet Apts is kinda wrong. But I think 30-35FP at LVL40 is reasonable.

Lastly, did someone mention command ships that generate SP? I know I didn't. That'd be just utterly wrong...

45
Suggestions / Re: A "do not deploy" option in the fleet menu
« on: December 02, 2012, 02:35:44 AM »
There's actually a workaround for that: carry only enough crew to man your main combat ships and leave the rest unmanned. Unmanned ships never deploy. You also get the side benefit of using up less supply. I tend to keep my manning at or just above skeleton/minimum crew requirements. If I carry excess, it only just enough to help cover any losses I may take in a fight, but not enough to crew most ships if I capture any.

Looking forward into the future though, a "Keep Unmanned" option might be useful. (Same effect.)

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