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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Messages - xenoargh

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General Discussion / Re: Is there any reason to use Astrals over Condors?
« on: October 07, 2019, 09:42:02 AM »
I kept wondering what would be an OK upgrade for the Condor. 

The easy answer is that the Condor should be the cheapest thing to deploy, per fighter.  Not the "best".

So in Rebal, the Condor costs 10 DP. 
Gemini, 9 (but it's multi-functional). 
Drover, 15; it costs nearly the same as a Venture, and it's less-survivable if it gets into direct contact with an enemy. 

This seems like a reasonable way to make each thing work within-theme.  Drovers are still very good, but not overwhelmingly so.  Condors are good for cheap fighter spam (and have had their OPs raised, so that they can carry more stuff / better fighters).  Geminis are more survivable; that's their sole saving grace. 

None of them are overwhelmingly better than a Heron, Mora or Colossus Mk. III; each one brings some advantage:
1.  Heron's flexible mount and mobile firepower.
2.  Mora's sheer toughness
3.  Colossus can now carry 4 Wings, keeping it in-theme as roughly, "two Condors plus a bit".

This is how it should be; none of the Destroyer-level Carriers should be vastly superior, per DP, to their Cruiser equivalents.  None of them are an Astral or Legion, either; Astrals are still able to deliver shield-tanking firepower and warp bombers into direct combat, Legions are able to fight like a Capital and bring fighters to the party. 

I think it's weird that people hate the Legion; it was obvious that it just needed some love to be great.

General Discussion / Re: Scaled Interface
« on: October 07, 2019, 02:28:54 AM »
OK, I've (finally) managed to get it to run in 3840x2160.  Took some doing, figuring out what was wrong, but I got it sorted. 

Essentially, on Windows 10, it now has a setting to "override high-DPI settings".  This is the future; with higher-resolution monitors rapidly becoming the norm, UI scaling is presumed; applications in pixel scales are definitely going to have various issues.  So that setting is mainly for legacy applications that cannot respond to requests to scale things like UI up, applications that won't request large-scale fullscreen, etc.  I had to set that to "Scaling performed by Application" to get this working right.

1.  It won't run fullscreen.  It throws an error.  This is odd, since it works in windowed mode.  But fine, whatever, it's using the whole screen, right? 

2.  Interestingly, performance is not impacted greatly.  The game's still CPU-bound.  The load shifts a bit but not the root causes. 

I'll probably take another long look at that, see what's up at this scale, since FWIW, this is where more people than not will be in a year or two (i.e., around Gold).  I definitely feel like I should turn Vsync off and see what, if any, impact that has (I can't imagine much, given that the OpenGL state-machine's in lockstep with the game logic, but hey, who knows). 

It might also be interesting if we could lock the state-machine to lower speeds but keep the rendering engine higher, take advantage of some frame averaging, etc., rather than just some buffer-swap.

3.  It's pretty glorious seeing the battles at that scale, but the full-screen whiteout on ship deaths is definitely *not* a great thing at that point; really should be something that does some gradient and makes use of the scale better.  There are few things more unpleasant than getting a face full of bright LED on a modern screen, though.

Suggestions / Re: Burst Beam autofire
« on: October 06, 2019, 06:23:34 PM »
This goes back to the problems with Beams in general.

1.  If the AI doesn't fire "unless it's smart", it will hardly ever fire, because there are almost zero times it's "smart" unless your opponent is facing away from you, conveniently located, etc.  The problem's not quite as bad as for Reapers, but it's bad; AI ships are generally trying to face the enemy, because that's smart, and there just aren't lots of opportunities. 

This is the same reason why Beam builds aren't generally great for player ships, either; unless it's something highly mobile, the poor efficiency and Soft Flux make Beams a terrible idea to shoot until it's smart.  These situations, while they do happen occasionally, usually happen for highly-mobile ships that can flank.

2.  Because there are only rare situations where it's "smart" to fire, the AI can either not fire much, meaning players will steer their builds towards Energy weapons that do actually fire (and do Hard Flux, etc.) or they're obviously wasting their OPs.  Against the AI... meh, imagine a Tritachyon fleet where the RNG autofit system decides to go super-heavy on Beams, but the enemy fleet hardly shoots because it's "not smart".  The player then proceeds to eat them for breakfast, using non-"smart" weapons.

...for goodness sakes, just make Beams Hard Flux and at a reasonable efficiency ratio. 

Rebal's out, you can see how it works in practice, not your endless theorycrafting.  Having Beams you actually want your fleet using is fun.

Modding / Re: [0.9.1a] Kingdom of Terra (v0.1)
« on: October 06, 2019, 03:19:00 PM »
This is a great, corny idea!  Needs moar Flying Saucer.  Preferably flown by reptilians.

Modding / Re: Guess the ship
« on: October 06, 2019, 02:58:47 PM »
Just bear in mind that "small moon as one ship" generally has problems in SS; top-size practical limit is somewhere around 1024^2 and you want lower (with modules) generally.

Modding / Re: Spriters judgement thread [non-sprite art allowed]
« on: October 06, 2019, 02:57:09 PM »
The big shapes are feeling a little better, but I'd probably scrub some of the highlights up a bit more in spots.  If you'd care to post one of the sections I'll take a whirl at it; might be easier showing than telling and I'm willing to put a little time in, I like what you're trying to do here :)

I've been testing hull-repair mechanics.  They're OK, but largely for bigger ships; smaller ships tend to get wiped too quickly for the mechanic to matter, honestly.  I've looked at a System that would restore Armor for a tanky-armor ship, too.

Discussions / Re: Gaming's Worst Mechanic
« on: October 03, 2019, 09:32:55 PM »
I remember a game I reviewed where it was a crappy, badly-done DOOM clone, done in 3D.  I was like, "this game has objects in levels that IRL we'd just barely notice stepping over... but they're impassable obstacles with no credibility in this game", lol.  That game is on my short-list for "worst game I've ever played" for a hilarious variety of reasons.

Modding / Re: Spriters judgement thread [non-sprite art allowed]
« on: October 03, 2019, 09:28:43 PM »
Groovy.  Might want to play with the edge highlights a bit to make them pop a little better, but I like the Evil Vibe.

I could see this being a reprise of the Repair Shuttles from Vacuum, but specific and writ large.

Maybe it can revive dead Frigates and get them running again, making for a whole new kind of gameplay?

Modding / Re: [0.91][UTILITY] EZ Faction 0.6a
« on: October 02, 2019, 05:52:57 PM »
New update.  Cleared out further stuff that I think may have been contributing to CPU issues with EZ Faction factions.  Also fixed up some fleet-generation issues and tuned a few other things this build.

I am trying to make a custom Fighter AI, but I am having trouble, is there any mod that has custom fighters so i can check how it was done?
Fighter AIs are basically Ship AIs (with various caveats, depending on what Vanilla features you wish to support).  The only extant full AI replacement mod is mine, so far as I'm aware.

@Alex:  I found it, finally!

So... basically, not setting missile8, strike0, etc., etc., in the tags is the cause of this problem.  Put them in, and voila, problem was solved.

These are obviously used by the autofit code, but they really aren't documented; at some point it might be a good idea to explain how they work.

I've just tested, and nope, setting the weapons to base_dp didn't fix it, either. 

It's like the weapons aren't getting loaded by whatever code is supposed to be aware of their existence when creating new ships.

My ships aren't being built per their Variant specifications, even if no_autofit is set. 

They're spawning with empty weapon slots; where the Variant uses my mod's weapons, they're not installed. 

If the Variant calls for Vanilla weapons, all is fine.

What can cause this to happen?  I have a Blueprint Package defined for my Faction in special_items.csv, the ships and weapons are all functional and are listed in default_ship_roles / the Faction's files in KnownWeapons, etc., etc.

IIRC, this wasn't happening when the Blueprint Package for the weapons was set to hightech_bp; I'll test that out now.

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