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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Painting the Stars (02/07/20); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20)

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Messages - TaLaR

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Against AI phase ships.
Not really. Pilums can place significant pressure a player phase ship as well. Most missiles can be dodged once and it's over, but pilums have to be avoided over and over. Even if it's survivable, it's still an obstacle that other missiles don't provide.

Nope, player-piloted phase ship can handle any amount of Pilums without significant efficiency loss.

Maxed out character Afflictor vs 20 ECCM + Racks Pilum spamming Falcons (+Talons hangar and Swarmers). Even for no skills Afflictor (not on video) real obstacles are Talons and Swarmers, not Pilums per se.
Also, overspammed Pilums cause notable amount of friendly fire.

You just pick targets where Pilum swarm is currently thinnest. This does mean some extra CR waste, but not too much.
Pilums and fighters can be 'herded' - attack a target on one corner of  enemy formation and as missiles/fighters converge on you go to the opposite end of enemy formation.

Pilums are definitely far more deadly against phase ships...

Against AI phase ships. To player-piloted Afflictor Pilums don't mean much, there are always enough holes in Pilum coverage for 2 seconds you spend unphased near enemies.

Phase AI is completely distracted by any missiles. At some point I recorded a video of 2xCobra Driver killing an AI Afflictor. Cobras can't hit it!... Yet AI spent all it's PPT/CR 'dodging' them instead of properly attacking the Drover.

Sure, that works to some extent. Against the player, Pilum wall is at best a delay, never a real threat. AI allowing it to become a threat is 90% AI problem.

Point is - Pilums are not cheap compared to their counters. They are neutralized by less than half OP spent on PD. In fact a lot less when it's something optimized like IPDAI IR pulse or Dual Flaks + AC3. Half is best case for Pilums.
Pilum spam is simply weaker than alternative strategies, even if it can be made functional to some extent.

Seriously though, Pilums might feel crappy on execution, but don't forget that they're A) incredibly cheap, and B) insane when you start stacking them.

And also very cheap to counter, because they are slow and have no missile hp to speak of. Single PD laser shuts down 1-2 Pilum launchers. Actual PD, like paired dual flaks can stop any amount of them (as long as ship doesn't stupidly charge right into Pilum swarm, which AI may do). Even meager efficiency Pilums enjoy comes from AI flaws, rather than Pilum inherent stats.

General Discussion / Re: What does "in the outer reaches" means?
« on: March 02, 2020, 07:08:21 AM »
...Or just avoid any mission that states "outer reaches" in description. They are not common.

Suggestions / Re: Tuning fleet composition balance by progression
« on: March 01, 2020, 03:42:32 AM »
Nexelerin does a good job at making game more dynamic, but there is always place for improvement. And there are limits to what can be done as a mod vs core game.

As for having clear difficulty progression, is it really that important? I've played many runs. From single frigate to capital fleet doesn't take all that long. For replay-ability embracing the volatile nature of dynamic sandbox and developing that further would be the best imo.

I mean sure, we could have some crutches for the tutorial run. But overall I don't like design like: "Big alien invasion will start...But only after you do this particular fetch quest.". Player shouldn't have that much unilateral influence on world state. Being able to influence - yes, but up to a limit. And if player ignores/delays some critical event it shouldn't simply go away/wait for him endlessly.


My typical build. Helmsmanship 3 is somewhat optional and depends on whether I use some particular capital loadout that can fire at least part of it's weapons while maintaining below 1% flux.

Suggestions / Re: Tuning fleet composition balance by progression
« on: March 01, 2020, 12:11:35 AM »

I really don't like any sort of world scaling to player. It's always immersion-breaking. Dumbest example of this was TES Oblivion: you are level 1? - Rats everywhere! Level 20 ? - Trolls everywhere!... Bounties in starsector follow overall same principle, though with wider range of outcomes.
You are lowly single frigate captain? Behave like one! Hide from scary big fleets, smuggle, seek appropriate challenges in large sandbox rather have game generate only them. Game may highlight threat levels of missions/fleets/areas/etc, but it should be always up to player to decide to challenge them anyway.

Dynamic, as in faction doing their own things - waging wars, expanding, building up infrastructure, etc. Not just formally declaring war/peace like now without any real consequences. Or pirates behaving like ones, rather than combination of zombie horde and bounty pinatas waiting to be looted.
Missions/bounties/etc not generated simply because player needs something to do of X difficulty, but due to current state of simulation. Of course, in sufficient number that player is likely to find ones he can do with current fleet at any point.

In terms of mission generation based on simulation state, 'Drox Operative' was quite a good example (if you were willing to accept actual combat mechanics being not very good).

Suggestions / Re: Tuning fleet composition balance by progression
« on: February 29, 2020, 04:43:43 PM »
Why wouldn't you be able to get larger ships without finishing some particular bounty/etc? It would be a horribly gamy mechanic. I'd rather prefer starsector design to move in exactly opposite direction, toward more dynamic sandbox.

Suggestions / Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« on: February 29, 2020, 02:32:41 AM »
Starsector design overall avoids ham-fisted mechanics like this, and I'd like to keep it this way. Could do any of: nerf replenishment, nerf individual fighters that stand out too much, rework Expanded Deck Crew  hullmod, buff AoE.

General Discussion / Re: So let's try to find the worst weapon on vanilla
« on: February 29, 2020, 12:31:06 AM »
Its a bit of a radical solution, but I would want to see burst PD and HBL converted to high dps, rapid fire frag burst beams. Would help with sparks and their armor melting ways as well!

Yeah, mod weapons like this totally supersede Burst lasers without being overall overpowered.

General Discussion / Re: So let's try to find the worst weapon on vanilla
« on: February 28, 2020, 06:22:54 PM »
Emp disables don't last that long, while Ion Pulser equipped ship isn't likely to also carry other heavy weapons (missiles don't count since emp does not compromise enemy shield, you need something capable of chewing through shield too).
The only really good use for emp is to disable most guns on enemy ship in sync and vent in their face. Obviously, only player can do this.

It's your DP sum vs theirs, not just number of ships.

General Discussion / Re: So let's try to find the worst weapon on vanilla
« on: February 28, 2020, 03:40:46 PM »
Ion pulser is not completely pointless, but imo it fails at being a good SO weapon.
Low sustained dps, low damage against armor. Low efficiency against shields AND unable to bypass omni shields (need 1 fast projectile for that, not shower of lesser ones). Yet too expensive OP/flux/slot-wise to be mere annoyance to target. Also takes too much attention for something of so limited effect (you can't afford to safely autofire it due to flux spike and potential clip waste).

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