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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20); Blog post: GIF Roundup (04/11/20)

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Messages - HELMUT

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Suggestions / Re: Odyssey's piloting
« on: March 27, 2018, 11:51:44 AM »
I'm personally satisfied with the current performances of the Odyssey. It is a situationally useful ship for some specific situations, which is fine by me.  It's my go-to vessel when i need to face an opponent i can't outgun.

As for builds, while the tachyon boat works well as a long range support ship, i personally like to build mine as a close range brawler with autopulses. A bit like a bigger Aurora, its speed allows to get in the face of the target and quickly disengage when needed. Of course, it's not supposed to brawl against capital ships, but anything smaller have all the reasons to fear something with HEF and three missile mounts.

Bear in mind, i'm not opposed to any change. Mesotronik talked at some point about an eventual "Heavy Ballistics Integration" hullmod variation for the Odyssey, which could be interesting (this would finally be a good occasion to stick a Guardian in there). Although this might pigeonhole it further in the triple tachyon boat build.

Blog Posts / Re: Minefields
« on: March 26, 2018, 01:13:25 PM »
New strat : Doom support fleet, with a scarab flagship to push the enemy right on those big stacks of mines.

More seriously (?), that sounds really neat. IA didn't worked very well on the Doom, it should be much more interesting with that new system.

Suggestions / Re: Damper Field disables venting hard flux while active
« on: February 18, 2018, 09:04:08 AM »
I'm also with Megas and Raccoon here, Damper field, even the stronger old one, is fine when used on frigates. My experience with flying the Brawler and Centurion as flagships revolve around timing attacking, shielding, and damper field, which is actually pretty fun in its own way. Mora works the same in theory, in practice however, the thing is just too slow to do anything other than weathering the storm until its fighters eventually destroy their target. It's really good at that, but not very exciting to fly. Makes for a very safe AI ship though i guess.

Unfortunately, it's also the most frustrating thing to fight, especially early game. Being an ubiquitous cruiser among pirates doesn't help either. Granted, the last Damper fields changes made it less of a pain to encounter, but still, i really wouldn't mind another kind of defensive system instead of DP for this ship.

Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8
« on: February 04, 2018, 11:10:10 AM »
Oh, that's why that thing felt so hard to kill then...

Modding / Re: Starsector modding wallpaper
« on: January 27, 2018, 11:28:17 AM »
I felt like doing another one of those, so here you go, bigger, newer.


That new judgement "venting" animation just before firing adds +1 *cool point* to the Claymore.

Also, the Adarga is going to be a must have escort with its new shield burst system.

Suggestions / Re: Nav Buoys and Sensor Jammers should be more worthwhile
« on: December 31, 2017, 07:13:56 AM »
To me, anything that encourages the player to check the map more often doesn't align with the other stuff in combat.

Eh, i'd say that it depends on the player's play style. It's not ideal for a flagship centric build, a leadership build on the other hand...

As for the goal of splitting fleets on the battlefield. Currently, the player (usually) wants two things for his fleet. First : to keep his ships alive. Second : to at least keep the enemy busy. Hence the battle line formation, or deathball when outnumbered. That way, the flagship can flank the enemy and take down one by one the opponent's ships.

The current objectives points doesn't change the thematic a lot. Do i want to send some of my ships to capture and hold that objective? The bonus is going to be pretty small, and that squad, as well as the smaller bulk of the fleet, will be more vulnerable to an attack. Is it really worth the risk? Not really. With bigger bonus however? Mmmmaybe? A sudden buff could offset splitting the fleet in two, weaker groups. Hence Gothars's suggestion, mine about global abilities, or even Xeno's capturable defence platforms.

It's a risk vs reward situation. Do i want to split the fleet to get +5% mobility? Not really. Change that bonus to a 20 seconds +30% damage, a Pilum swarm spawned from the edge of the map, or capturing a long range space turret? That might be an interesting choice.

Also, to answer Axle's valid concern about capturing activated defence platforms, perhaps something like this?


Maybe one or two points to capture a defence system depending on its size, and obviously the points won't be near the actual station, hence the need to spread the fleet. The defence platforms don't have to be stationary either, could be a bunch of inactive derelicts that will roam the battlefield once activated. Also, probably best to keep the platforms relatively small for balance purpose.

The biggest issue with all of those : it's a non negligible amount of work for something that works well enough already. Tweaking a few numbers is one thing, adding some new mechanics and thoroughly testing them is another.

Suggestions / Re: Nav Buoys and Sensor Jammers should be more worthwhile
« on: December 29, 2017, 04:41:34 AM »
The problem with strategic points is either they're too weak and not worth the effort (a bit like now), or too strong and might break the game. I have been thinking about adding different bonus to strategic points through skill perks : +x% damage, -x% CR degradation, etc, to spice things up. Then again, crank the bonus too high and cheesing the AI becomes the norm, or worse, the AI can steamroll the player through sheer number superiority.

Gothars's suggestion is probably the best one i've heard so far. Automatic trigger would probably be... Annoying? Either your ships captures a point too early and waste the bonus, either the enemy captures it and catch the player off-guard with the sudden bonus boost. Manual trigger would at least prevent the first issue, but that add another button to the command screen, and would be noticeably advantage the player than the AI. But in the end, still more enjoyable than what we have now.

More interestingly, a manual trigger button could also open the way for more interesting possibilities. You know, RTS games with some cool global abilities ("nuclear launch detected" and all that) ? I wouldn't be opposed to see something similar(accordingly balanced, of course) in Starsector. And even if Alex isn't willing to put the work in doing elaborated abilities, modders could. Just need the big red button.

Blog Posts / Re: Colony Management
« on: December 23, 2017, 03:25:08 AM »
I'm really exited for this, the outpost system will open quite a few new possibilities. I'd be curious to see how far a player faction can grow and what would be the effects on the global economy. While it seems unlikely the player will be able to reach something the size of the Hegemony or the League by fair means, i'd like to see the effects of some console command induced growth just for the hell of it.

As for the early game "nerf" that MK is talking about, whether or not the salary drain will have a noticeable effect on the actual gameplay, it will definitely add an intimidation factor for beginners. On the other hand, maybe commissions will give the player a monthly salary to offset that. It's too early to tell anyway, and can be subject to change afterwards if needed.

About the skills, fusing a bunch of them is probably the better option, especially for the "not so fun" ones. Even more so since those will probably become increasingly handy with outpost management. As for the aptitudes points that doesn't bring "anything", while i'm personally not really bothered by that issue, i can understand what Megas and MK are saying here. The aptitudes points are not pointless, but they do "feel" pointless which would explain the problem. An easy solution would be giving the aptitudes points a small bonus, similar to the old skill tree. Even a small percentage increase in whatever feels like progression to the player, instead of a "tax". That's also the occasion to condense further some of the current skills.

Oh also... Can i offer AI cores to other factions in the hope they'll cause mischief? Gifting murderbot magnets should totally be a thing.

Blog Posts / Re: Population Growth
« on: November 20, 2017, 04:04:10 AM »

If we have high enough standing with a faction, will we be able to create colonies for them instead of it being the player faction? As well, if I create a colony in the player faction, will I be able to sell that colony to a faction? If it hasn't been discussed or mentioned yet I think that would be quite an interesting play style, setting up colonies and selling them off to the highest bidder.

Maybe? It's all stuff I'm thinking about to various degrees (perhaps less about selling colonies as a playstyle, specifically), but I really can't say right now.

High-level, long-term mission where you are tasked with creating a colony matching specific criteria and handing it off to a faction? I don't know if it fits with your mechanics but it sounds awesome in my head.

While it sounds good, i'm a bit worried about possible performance issues. I guess the player will be limited (through skills?) to only a few outposts. However i can't imagine a limit when it comes to selling them, and that's potentially dozen of new markets in the sector during a long campaign, now in the AI's possession. The sector economy and our computers might not like that.

Now it'll only be a real problem depending on how quick and easy the player can build and sell a new outpost. If it takes forever to screw the game, well, i'd say it works well enough.

Unrelated :

For example, a habitable world will attract more members of the Luddic Church, a Commerce industry will attract some Tri-Tachyon-aligned population, a “free port” condition will attract pirates, and the use of AI cores may attract other parties.

Not sure that last part will be amount immigration somehow.

General Discussion / Re: Starsector beginner guide
« on: November 11, 2017, 11:48:38 AM »
I really wanted to avoid the whole "those are the skills you must get" thing for this guide. The few i suggested are just here to make things easier on the campaign layer, but that's all. I think it would be better for beginners to figure it out themselves or ask on the Discord if they truly want to optimize their fleet.

Same thing for carriers, i think they should see by themselves. This is a starter guide after all, they'll have plenty of time figuring out what really works once they'll get past the early learning curve.

General Discussion / Starsector beginner guide
« on: November 11, 2017, 06:22:43 AM »
Starsector beginner guide

Starsector is a hard game, especially when you have no idea what to do. Hence, i decided to write this little guide to show any new players the basic guidelines to get started with the game. While there's no wrong way to play, here i'll focus on what i think is the easiest career. Let's play as a scavenger, shall we?

0. Avoid mods for a first playthrough

Mods are great and all, but they usually increase the difficulty of the game, and may or may not cause issues depending on what you decide to download. The basic game is quite good as it is, you'll have plenty of time to try mods later.

1. Do the main menu Tutorials

Really, if you want to survive, you gotta play the tutorial.

2. Do some missions before starting a campaign

Not all of them of course, and you might not even win a single one. But it's a good way to get a feel on the various ships you'll fly and encounter.

3. Start campaign with the Wolf frigate and Shepherd freighter, use easy mode

No shame in using easy mode here, the game is still going to rough you up with it. As for the starting ships, The Wolf is a proper combat ship, and even as a scavenger you'll have to fight your way through. The Shepherd is equally capable of carrying your supplies as well as keeping its opponents busy in battle thanks to its Drones.

4. Do the campaign tutorial

It'll show you how the "overworld map" works, so don't skip it. It's also the occasion to gain some "free" ships at the beginning.

5. What skills should you choose?


Technology tree -> Navigation up to level 3
Industry tree -> Field repairs and Recovery operations up to level 3

While those are not the "best" skills available, they'll help reduce the maintenance cost of your fleet. The other skills depends on your preference. Want to fight a lot? Combat skills might be handy for you. Want to field a large fleet and use Carriers? Leadership might be better. Want to salvage ships and explore things? Industry and Technology are good too.

6. Save often !

Bad things will happen, a lot. And you'll need to reload, a lot.

7. Mothball recovered ships

If you do not have a surplus of supplies and crew in your inventory, it's better to mothball your newly acquired ships to avoid the unnecessary supply drain. You can go to a station to un-mothball them and repair them more safely later.

8. Do not sell salvaged ships

Salvaged ships aren't worth much, even when repaired. You'd be better scuttling them for a few ressources or not recovering them in the first place.

9. Turning the transponder ON and OFF is important

The transponder is like your licence plate, you want it ON when you're in civilised space. You do not want to be seen and identified when you're in hyperspace and uninhabited systems though, unless of course you want to signal your position to every pirates in the Sector.

10. Avoid hyperspace storms

Storms will make your life miserable, avoid them at all cost. Turning off Sustained Burn to better maneuver around them is better than diving straight through them. Also, a simple trick to avoid being caught in deep hyperspace :


11. Don't take a commission with any factions

Taking a commission with a faction will makes others groups hostile, preventing you from (officially) docking their stations. Commission are useful if you want to maximise your profits while bounty hunting, but in general, you'd rather want to keep it low and avoid annoying the big players in the sector.

12. Get a tanker

No matter what you're planning to do, you'll always need a tanker for hyperspace travel. The Dram tanker is the smallest, cheapest one, available pretty much anywhere. Get one of those.

13. Pick analyze derelict mission

In most station's comm directory, you can choose missions for a faction, you'll gain reputation and money from completing them. "Analyze derelicts" missions tends to be the easiest to do, and require you to travel in deep space to find a specific object to scan (it will appears with a "!" on it). Avoid taking missions where the target is located in the "outer reaches" of the system, finding those can be hell. Be sure to load on fuel before doing those, you don't want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere, don't you? You can activate the fuel range indicator in both the Map and Intel Map to see how far you can travel.


The inner ring shows how far you can go and have the fuel to come back to your starting point, it's recommended not to go too far beyond that limit

14. Avoid unnecessary battles

Fighting for the hell of it is going to cost you many supplies and leave you in difficulty later on. Only fight when you can't do otherwise (or when the target have a bounty on its head).

15. Avoid systems with a warning beacon

Yellow beacons with one ping are okay even at the beginning, orange and red ones (with two, and three pings respectively) are not.


Pictured here, not your friendly neighbourhood.

16. Keep a safe distance with the neutral Scavengers


In deep space, there's no law, and frustrated scavengers are quick to turn to piracy when the opportunity comes.

17. Don't hesitate to explore systems

Even after completing your Analysis mission, it's not a bad idea to stay in the system a bit to explore with your Active Sensor Burst. Inhabited systems usually have a bunch of derelicts drifting around, some full of expensive loot.

18. Dump metal and other cheap commodities in priority

There's only so much stuff your fleet can carry, and being overcapacity (both in crew and ressources) will drain more supplies than usual. Be ready to throw away the cheap stuff (metal, ore, organics, volatiles, etc) to make room for more interesting ressources.

19. Use the black market

Law abiding citizens get the short end of the stick in Starsector, don't be a law abiding citizen when you don't have a reason to. Black markets usually offer interesting ships and weapons for sale, and the reputation penalty for buying there is usually small enough that you can get away with it. A good compromise is to buy at both the open and black market to reduce the reputation hit.

20. Get officers whenever possible

You can hire officers in the comm directory of stations/planets. Officers will level up as they fight and greatly improve the capabilities of your ships. Officers have personalities that modify their behaviour in combat, in order, try to hire officers in that way : (Steady>Cautious>Agressive>Timid>Reckless)

There! You're good to go now! Of course, there's more than this, derelict analysis missions will sustain your fleet for a bit, but you can later on switch to different careers depending on what you want. There's probably a few things i missed as well, but if you have questions, the Starsector's discord usually have quite a few people active willing to answer those questions.

Hopefully you'll enjoy your first campaign. And if you still want more, well, then i'll direct you to this thread instead :

General Discussion / Re: New player experience
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:25:56 AM »
As Linnis said, Starsector is more about game knowledge rather than skill. Unfortunately, it takes quite a bit of time to get that knowledge, and during that time, the game doesn't go easy on you.

I've been taking suggestions on the Discord recently to write a beginner guide, since you're not the first one to struggle with the game. Derelict analysis/Salvaging seems like the way to go for a first campaign, and unlike Alex, i would instead advice to take the "maintenance" skills that reduce fuel and supply consumption, since ressource managing seems to be the main cause of issues for beginners. Making a living out of bounty hunting is very profitable, but i personally consider it quite tricky for someone that don't know yet how the game works. But yeah, if you have more precise questions, there's always a bunch of people on the Discord willing to answer you :

Oh by the way Alex, while we're talking about the early game experience. Can i request a salvageable Dram derelict for the Tutorial graveyard for the next update? While writing the guide, i found that no matter what career a player wants to do, a Tanker is always needed, and buying one (with the fuel) can be unexpectedly expensive early on. I found out a few other little details here and there that could be improved too, but i'll write that in the suggestion forum instead.

Modding / Re: Spriters judgement thread [non-sprite art allowed]
« on: November 04, 2017, 02:47:13 AM »
So i made a little thing a while ago.


Me and DR tried to make it works, turns out something of this size is outrageously expensive to run, and would pretty much require to be part of one separate mod entirely to avoid screwing players with lower-end computers. So for now it's sleeping on Spiral Arms, i'll put all the modules and what DR coded so far.

But yeah, if hubris could be a sprite, it'll probably would looks like this.

Hey Mendonca, any chance we'll have some space pirates/courriers/dogs update fairly soon? I'm missing them.

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