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Messages - Voyager I

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Most energy weapons have high enough per-shot damage that this isn't going to bother them significantly except for extreme cases like Pulse Lasers shooting at Onslaughts.

General Discussion / Re: how to counter tempest class?
« on: April 28, 2017, 04:11:49 PM »
Tempests are exceptionally fast, but they aren't tough and they don't have any immediate 'oh ***' buttons they can push to get out of a bad situation, so I've had good success just phasing up to them in a bursty Medusa and killing them before they can fly away or get bailed out by their drone.

Bursty Medusas are also a good flagship for midgame, so I've found this to be a practical solution.

The Override Hamerhead was good enough to be a contender even in 0.72 when the Hammerhead was generally considered to be an underwhelming ship.  It's really well suited to a Chaingun berserker build.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 26, 2017, 09:55:31 PM »
I'm really enjoying having combat slowed back down with the skill reworks.  As a bit of a knock-on effect, it might make Phase ships a bit more reasonable; it's harder for them to instantly gib ships by themselves with less officer bonuses to damage output, and longer battles in general mean their limited endurance is more of a liability.

It also probably helps that they're much rarer opponents.  Given the number of basic combat rules they get to break, they work better as minibosses than something you are liable to encounter in every other Tri-Tachyon patrol.  I still don't like that the appropriate response to them is usually just to huddle in a ball until their CR runs down, though, because even if it works it's not fun or interesting gameplay.

Also, it's looking like the distinction between Pirate D vessels and regular D vessels is indeed causing quite a bit of confusion for the people who don't read the game forums.  I accept that weapon mounts can't be refurbished for technical reasons, but is there any similar barrier to just calling it a Wolf (P) instead or something, especially given that you have already done this for Pather ships?  On a similar note, is Destroyed Weapon Mounts on the table for random rolls?  Because if it is, I'd probably argue that it shouldn't be as long as it's irreparable damage.  If part of the purpose of the new salvage mechanics was to improve access and retention of rare ships, having a chance to have them be randomly crippled runs counter to that design without adding meaningful amounts of depth to the salvage system.

Refurbishment costs also seem excessive.  I understand that refurbishment is primarily meant to be a way to gain access to ships that can't be bought with money, but it doesn't need to anywhere near the current level of expense to accomplish that goal.  If a ship is readily available off the market, it doesn't matter how many times more expensive it is to have it refurbished; as soon as buying a new one becomes the cheaper option, that's what will be preferred.  Paying six figures to have a Tempest rebuilt is...harsh.

If anything, I'd probably want to see the price for having a single D-mod removed at somewhat less than the price of buying a new hull.  This still leaves refurbishment the more expensive option for the vast majority of ships you recover from enemies because they are usually going to be in worse shape, but it provides a mechanism for players who aren't running junk fleets to keep their ships in peak condition without constantly replacing their damaged ships with new hulls (or mashing F5), and maybe helps them feel a bit more connected to the ships in their fleets.

General Discussion / Re: Easter Eggs [Minor Spoilers]
« on: April 26, 2017, 09:42:39 PM »
Megas No Prisoners is known to be a highly capable combat officer in command of a sizable fleet, which he will deploy one ship at a time.

Safety Overrides is basically the "Berserker" class of Starsector and it can be quite effective as most ships in the game can't handle a constant stream of fire that SO affords!

See also: the first time you encountered Pather ships.

General Discussion / Re: Bomber Balance
« on: April 26, 2017, 03:18:36 PM »
Yeah, it's important to remember that the baseline cost for a fighter wing isn't just their OP cost: it's taking up a hangar slot on a carrier.  Talons aren't free at 0 OP when you have to field a dedicated destroyer just to get them on the field.

General Discussion / Re: Favorite ships of 0.8?
« on: April 24, 2017, 09:13:01 PM »
Phase frigates still feel kind of like cheating.

They are limited by CR.
Fighters also hard counter them.
Plus player can catch them in Medusa/Wolf, unless they go full Timid.

Using a phase frigate as a player feels great and works reasonable well from a game design perspective; the fact that you have near-total control over the terms of engagement is grossly overpowered on its face, but the AI can limit their vulnerability with save positioning and you're on a very tight timer to maximize your impact on the battle.  The harsh timer forces you to take risks and play aggressively, which is necessary because there's not really anything the enemy fleet can to do impose danger upon you.

Unfortunately, playing against them tends to be pretty awful because your tools to interact with them are very limited and the normal answer is just to have your fleet cower in a ball (and possibly not deploy any frigates, since they're liable to stray a little bit from the herd and get gibbed) and wait for their CR to run out.  It is a legitimate counter, but goddamn is it not fun.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 24, 2017, 09:01:41 PM »
This might be something particular to the High Intensity Laser.  This is mostly offhand, but I've been noticing ships being pretty cavalier about taking HIL hits for no readily apparent reason, which is a bad thing since it hits harder than a pair of Heavy Maulers.  Could be some combination of extreme range and near-instant damage application combining to be a problem for the AI's estimation of safe distances?

General Discussion / Re: Talon balance
« on: April 24, 2017, 08:54:40 PM »
I do think part of this is that players need to calibrate their expectations to the new fighter designs.  The new Talon isn't the same ship as the old Talon, and 0 base OP cost doesn't mean they should be trivial combatants because there is already a substantial investment represented in just having a flight deck on the field; they're analogous to mounting an Arbalest over a Needler, not an empty slot.

That said, they're still at least somewhat out of line when they're outperforming more expensive craft for the same role.  They still need to be stronger than the old cannon-fodder Talons, but you shouldn't feel compelled to design fleets around countering Talon spam.

General Discussion / Re: Favorite ships of 0.8?
« on: April 24, 2017, 08:47:16 PM »
It is probably a very good sign that the three iconic destroyers of the different Epochs all have solid arguments for their use and perform well in distinctly different roles.  It's also nice to have the hammerhead performing well again, since it's probably one of the game's most iconic ships (to the extent that Starsector has developed any brand identity).

Phase frigates still feel kind of like cheating.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 23, 2017, 07:14:55 PM »
Survey Equipment is in a good place; it's a useful bonus to hand out to the noncombat ships your fleet will be dragging along anyways, but you do have to make fitting compromises with other utility hullmods that would be attractive for noncombat ships (like the aforementioned unstable injectors for the times you have to run away) and you're definitely not going to bring along a stack of superfluous survey shuttles because their fuel consumption would vastly outweigh anything they might save you in supplies.  As-is a midsized exploration fleet will already have enough support ships to drop most planets down to the minimum survey cost, so trying to munchkin a bunch of survey dorks on top of that would just be *** away fuel for no benefit aside from the odd gas giant.

General Discussion / Re: Talon balance
« on: April 23, 2017, 05:43:31 PM »
If Alex is trying to avoid giving one fighter all the damage-dealing tools, then Talon clearly slipped through the cracks if a heavily shielded Aurora is not a problem for it. If a ship does not have 360° shields and is beset by fighters.. it does not matter whether the fighters have kinetics or not! Generally I agree, but see how combat plays out. Broadsword is underwhelming for the cost, compared to alternatives. Wasps are so-so. Fielded them for a while, but right now with everything so skewed towards Talon, I had to finally give in.
No offense to Alex and company, but they make some of the WORST variants I have ever seen and since it doesn't look like SS has Dynasector level random variants, stuff like killing an aurora with talons is easy. Also, what and where was this? In the SIM?

I'd imagine those are mostly by design.  It seems like a prettttty safe bet that they know Triple Thumpers isn't an ideal Enforcer loadout.

General Discussion / Re: Autopulse vs high intensity laser
« on: April 23, 2017, 05:26:43 PM »
The HIL does a lot of damage to armor at good range with perfect accuracy, but I don't like it on the Sunder because it can't mount anything to break through shields in a reasonable timeframe while preserving its range advantage.  Gravitons by themselves just don't work fast enough for you to be a decisive element to a battle, so your best option ends up being Light Needlers, and if you're going to get that close you might as well just rock an Autopulse to hit for hard flux and have crazy burst damage with HEF.

You need some kind of medium+ ballistic slot to really get the most out of a HIL, and that's not exactly a common combination.

General Discussion / Re: salvage: Distribution of hidden treasure
« on: April 22, 2017, 09:20:45 PM »
Just had a thought: it seems like all of the Domain Exploration ships are optional in terms of fighting them right? They won't chase a player down. So why not increase their difficulty by a factor of 5 or so? That would mean that a player needs a few combat frigates to approach probes and might need a couple cruisers to take down a mothership.

They're supposed to be the bottom tier of exploration content so you can get started on something. But maybe that's already filled by stuff that doesn't fight back. Then again, stuff that doesn't fight back at all is inherently less fun and so probably shouldn't be one's first step in the salvaging ladder. Possibly a use case for gradually increasing difficulty (with time, perhaps, or with probes etc attacked and salvaged).

I mean, the issue with the probes isn't so much difficulty as that they're just boring.  They don't really play the game with you the way other ships do, which combined with them taking kind of a while to kill makes them a minor tedium tax on probe salvaging.  That said, their bone simple AI provided a much-needed starting point for new players to beat up on if they aren't ready to deal with stuff like Pirate Wolves teleporting around, so I'm not sure how much room there is to make their behaviors more nuanced without defeating their very much justified purpose in the game.

Honestly, I'd say just let us salvage a Domain Era IFF transponder or whatever that lets us bypass the fights entirely after the early game (with some handwaving mechanic to maintain loot parity, and maybe different levels of defenders requiring different levels of security access or whatever so you can make skipping probe fights easy without giving up free motherships).  They're the rats in the tutorial dungeon; they fulfill a necessary roll in the game, but the player sure doesn't want to still be fighting them hours after they've served their purpose.

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