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Messages - Voyager I

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Blog Posts / Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« on: August 30, 2018, 08:55:22 PM »
What is your motivation for being this much of a contrarian?  Why are you acting this way?

The entire design process of the game has always been "identify desired player experience > design mechanics to promote that experience > come up with just enough lore to give a veneer of plausibility to those mechanics".  Starting an argument about how 'actually, this vaguely-defined futuristic space magic should work like this' is never going to result in meaningful changes to the game design because the design always takes priority over the technobabble and nobody is trying to get specific enough about how this stuff works to tell you how many Midichlorians a Hound has or whatever.

Blog Posts / Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« on: August 26, 2018, 06:56:26 PM »

also, i'd expect at least large weapons would be pretty effective, assuming some baseline level of atmospheric density. but that's pretty in the weeds generally. if i was going to make up a system for it i'd probably just say large/medium weapons mounts that have at least something mounted are good enough.

I know you aren't a dummy and presumably you read the blog post before posting feedback to it, so it's really confusing to me that your starting point for these arguments seems to be disregarding everything that was stated about what bombardment represents and how it was intended to fit within the overall framework of the game.

EDIT:  sorry I guess a lot of this was actually in Alex's first few replies in the thread, so go read those.

Blog Posts / Re: Minefields
« on: March 27, 2018, 11:10:19 PM »
I think we're on a pretty similar page - you'd still need to keep the flux bar because you need access to exact information and there's no other sane way to convey that to the player.  I was picturing it something like armor and hull damage, where there's detailed information available on the target information popup, but you can immediately spot a ship that has taken a beating or might have armor breaches just from a glance at its sprite.

For visual effects I'd be imagining some kind of static sparking visible on the hull, like the effect we currently get for overloading, only an order of magnitude or so less intense.  Maybe you could even break it down to a couple distinct states without trying to do too much with it.  Going off what you said, something like ~75% flux could have a minor effect to show a ship that is feeling pressured but not in immediate danger of overload, ~95% could have a more pronounced effect to identify a ship that's at critical risk of being overwhelmed, and you wouldn't bother visually representing lower flux levels or attempting a more granular progression because having every ship showing some kind of buildup graphic would just add visual clutter to the game and obfuscate what you were trying to display in the first place.

I will say that, even having played this game for years, it can be difficult for me to comprehensively parse flux levels across the larger battles, and having critical states displayed more immediately would help me spot vulnerable targets or allies in need of assistance when things get hectic and there's all kinds of bars on the screen (and anyone who played against missile-specc'ed officers in Harpoon boats on the previous version will remember that the AI is acutely aware of this information!).

Blog Posts / Re: Minefields
« on: March 27, 2018, 08:26:20 PM »

Hard disagree! I think that sort of stuff works infinitely better when it's conveyed directly by the in-game thing rather than a UI element on top of thing.

This reminded me of something I meant to ask about ages ago - a ship's flux level is one of the most important pieces of information we can have about it, so how come there's no graphical effect correlating to flux level until the ship overloads entirely?  It doesn't have to be anything dramatic - just something to let me know at-a-glance generally how close the ship is to overloading the same way that you can immediately tell where a ship has taken armor damage.

General Discussion / Re: Your opinion for best ballistic weapon
« on: February 20, 2018, 02:30:04 PM »
It really does though. Either you’re in a small combat where the minor advantage snowballs and making sure you have that matters more than exploiting it. Or you’re in large combat and are killing things too fast with the exception of capitals... which get finished off last in a hail of emp damage locking your weapons
Not always.  I have been in enough combats where chewing through hull took a not insignificant amount of time, or another enemy covers a helpless ship in time to save it and it recovers (albeit without armor).  It is not common, but not that rare or unheard of.

I'm with you on this one, especially with the general reduction to offensive capabilities with the skill nerfs.  Chewing through an Enforcer's hull isn't a trivial task, and the AI is quite good at protecting vulnerable fleetmates and keeping damaged facings away from the enemy.

Like, Thumpers are still bad, but claiming that ships are effectively dead as soon as you breach their armor is not a sound statement.

Blog Posts / Re: Blueprints, Doctrine, and Production
« on: February 13, 2018, 03:00:36 PM »
So it looks like even a minor manufacturing center is enough to provide a lifetime supply of Light Needlers and other premium weapons.

Frankly, that's a pretty big game-changer for ship loadouts.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: May 24, 2017, 07:45:17 PM »
If we're lobbying for Hound buffs we will all end up regretting, I'll throw in a plug for pirate variants with Arbalests to make the current crop of newbies experience some shadow of the hell that early game used to be.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 11, 2017, 12:57:12 PM »
Just a quick note re: officers - for .1, a) an officer without carrier skills is guaranteed a non-carrier skill choice on levelup and b) an officer with carrier skills is guaranteed at least one carrier skill choice on levelup.

So if I want have no carrier officer then he is always forced to have carrier skill to choose on level up - its fairly limiting leveling of no carrier officers.
Unless its more than 2 choices on level up.

No, you are misreading this.  If an officer has no carrier skills, one of his options on levelup is guaranteed not to be carrier-related, meaning you will never end up in the situation where one of your non-carrier officers rolls two carrier skills and is forced to pick between them.  The second skill will presumably still be chosen from the full available pool, which means it will sometimes be a carrier skill but mostly not.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 10, 2017, 01:32:47 PM »
I just adjusted the level cap to 99 without touching the experience modifiers.  I'm in the high-40's now and levels come so slowly even bashing through endgame content that I cannot imagine ever reaching a point where skillpoint bloat seriously overpowers my character or how long it would take to even get like, two and a half trees filled out.

Honestly Alex, I think the soft cap did the job fine.  In practical terms it still limits the development of the player and forces them to make meaningful decisions about how to allocate their skill points, but it still lets you feel like you're making progress.  I know you're not trying to make some Korean MMO Skinner Box but the empty levels in aptitudes and hard cap do create some feelbads and I don't think they're necessary for you to realize your design goals.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 08, 2017, 12:42:23 PM »
Can you add a no fighter/carrier mode for 0.81, they are really anti-fun for me. 

Years later and people are still using this word for 'game mechanic I don't like' with no further explanation and expecting it to mean something.

General Discussion / Re: Anti-Fighter Tactics and Strategies
« on: May 05, 2017, 08:58:36 PM »
One thing I've noticed is that PD tagged weapons do a fairly poor job of killing fighters; aside from their short range, they preferentially target missiles over the fighters themselves.  Between Swarmer Talons and chaff interceptors there is a lot of clutter for them to work through before their targeting algorithms will start trying to thin the swarm, and a lot of the time they just can't keep up.

For actually making fighters die, I've had more success with non-PD weapons that are good at hitting small targets; beams are the obvious choice, but you can also do well with ballistic weapons with accurate projectiles like Railguns and Maulers.  Range also helps a lot, because they have a much easier time tracking fighters on approach than when they're in the process of being mobbed.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 05, 2017, 02:17:23 PM »
Quick feedback on hullmods:

*I really like the balance work overall, particularly with Unstable Injectors having a meaningful downside.  Having it no longer be a mandatory upgrade tones down the pace of combat a bit, and it's much less stressful fitting frigates without what was essentially an OP tax.

*Recovery shuttles is a nice idea, but at the end of the day it's a tradeoff between crew and ordinance points, and I can buy one of those things with credits.  I could have seen doing it back when crew had experience levels to stop fighters from burning through veterans, but right now crew losses just aren't that big a deal.

*If there was a cheap hullmod that gave a ship ~90% protection from death explosions I would probably put it on all my phase frigates.

A final note - the Brawler TT is basically a joke ship.  It doesn't have enough hardpoints to beam spam effectively and it's too slow to use the shorter-ranged weapon options.  It needs some kind of Paragon-style innate range bonus to have any hope of finding a useful configuration.  You've said yourself many times recently that energy weapons are balanced around the expectation that they will be mounted on mobile platforms, and hoooo boy do we get an ugly result when that is not the case.

General Discussion / Re: What are you favorite Dominator builds?
« on: May 01, 2017, 10:35:48 PM »
Too start with, you are flying the ship too aggressively and leaving your shields on too much.  The Dominator's biggest guns are in fixed forward mounts, it has very limited coverage for its rear arcs, and it turns incredibly slowly.  These traits mean that most builds will be standoffish rather than true brawlers, and you want to be planning your positioning well in advance to make sure you don't get outflanked.    Burn drive is a very powerful tool for mobility, but it will also happily give you all the rope you need to hang yourself if you use it to get into a situation you can't get back out of.

Your shield is very inefficient and most comparable ships will have better flux stats than you, so you aren't well-suited to winning flux wars with shields.  Stack armor and take advantage of excellent ballistic PD like Dual Flak to keep missiles in check even under flux pressure, and only engage your shields when you're about to take big hits of HE damage that you can't otherwise avoid.  This lets you dump all your flux into damage and overwhelm opponents even with nominally superior flux statistics to yours.  This is also one of the better times to use burn drive; if you have an opponent fluxed out and they're backing off to breathe, burn drive can force the engagement long enough to finish them off (and you had best believe that shield ships will not last long under the guns of a Dominator if they're capped out on flux).

You want to be actively turning your shields off if you're about to hits from light kinetics like Needlers that don't have any HE damage backing them up; they'll barely scratch the paint on your armor, while taking a huge hit of hard flux will cut into your damage output and might leave you stuck out if you need to throw your shields up to catch a bombing run.

In general, try to work with your fleet, because the Dominator is an easy ship to get mobbed in.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 01, 2017, 08:42:48 PM »
From playing the hell out of the Harbinger, it looks like the AI has some trouble evaluating flux levels on phase ships.  I'm running my Harb with triple Phase lances, and quite often when I open up on someone with a full alpha and an entropy amplifier I'll spike my soft flux up quite high and be greeted by a massive salvo of harpoons...which do nothing, because soft flux doesn't impede the defenses of phase ships the way it does for normal ships.  A shielded ship might indeed get overwhelmed and die to that barrage even if it technically wasn't flux locked, but in a phase ship you can be at 99% soft flux and still have the ability to moonwalk out trouble like it's nothing.  The AI probably needs to be paying much more attention to hard flux rather than soft flux if they're evaluating how vulnerable a phase ship is.

Similarly, the AI will be pretty cavalier about venting in immediate threat range of phase ships. In this case, they seem to not be understanding that I can both close gaps very quickly and also get rid of my soft flux at 3-4x normal speed without exposing myself to danger.  This is another situation where the behavior makes sense against traditional ships because most of them aren't capable of pressing an attack at 90+% flux, but phase ships work differently; I can be at 25% hard flux out of 90% total flux when you start venting, convert that to 50% pure hard flux while closing the gap, use the 50% left to kill you, and still effectively have that same 50% of my flux capacity available for moonwalking to safety afterwards.

EDIT:  in fairness I'm currently playing as a level 40 character with combat skills and ¬1k range Phase lances after optics and implants, so if there was ever going to be fringe cases the AI wasn't prepared to handle this is probably one of the places they would be expected to show up.
Basically soft flux isn't real for Phase Ships but the AI is prone to acting like it is.

i skip a dram and jump straight to a pheaton ....... its the same speed and same fuel use but cheaper supplies so why not?

currently running 1 medusa, 1 enforcer, 1 drover, 2 SO lashers (for pursuit) 1 wolf, 2 pirate mules, 1 pheaton.

thinking about adding a 3rd mule, still not enough storage :(

If we're talking early enough in the game that you might have to run away sometimes, Drams are much better than Phaetons at surviving pursuit maps.  It's a pretty big risk upgrading your dedicated support ships to slow destroyers before you are confident that you will have the muscle to at least slow down a larger fleet long enough for them to make an escape.

Extra fun if you lose your tanker in this fashion while deep out in the frontier.

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