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News: Starsector 0.9a is out! (11/16/18); In-dev patch notes for 0.9.1a (01/31/19)
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1  Starsector / Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes on: February 01, 2019, 10:26:54 AM
  • Ships with "Militarized Subsystems" no longer get increased maintenance from capacity-increasing logistics hullmods
    • And can have Safety Overrides

RIDE THE LIGHTNING I am actually against this change. As much as i want to field a stampede of SO Buffalo MK.II, allowing SO with Militarized Subsystems make it a no-brainer for freighters/tankers. The massive speed boost make it invaluable in retreat scenarios. A Tarsus can fit both MS and SO, allowing it to fly at a blazing 125 su, faster than a Lasher! And that's without counting the burn drive. Not all civilian ships have the OPs available for those two hullmods though, only the tankers , the Tarsus, the Valkyrie... Haven't checked them all.

But yeah, i think it's too good, civilians ships's survivability would be vastly increased with this combo.

  • Harbinger: changed 3 medium hardpoints to "energy" (was: "synergy")

The beast is dead! Like Serenitis, i kinda expected it to keep one synergy to allow for some variety. I think the Harbinger would now move more into a support role with its three energy hardpoints, with something like Ion Pulsers to annoy bigger threats, or heavy blasters to hunt smaller targets. The triple AM Blaster boat is another idea, an easier, but more expensive variant of the blaster Afflictor.

Overall, i really like all the listed changes, 0.9.1 is going to feel much smoother to play.

2  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.9a] Underworld 1.3.0b on: February 01, 2019, 09:33:29 AM
that makes me really upset

Sounds like it's working as intended.

What's the real problem with it though? The Cabal always have been trying to steal the player's most precious stuff. In your exemple it doesn't seems all that different from usual. And it's not like you can't fight or run.
3  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: What unusual strategies have you found success with? on: January 07, 2019, 01:32:23 PM
For me, a "true" full phase fleet wasn't a fun experience. You'll bleed supplies at an alarming rate, and only the Shade is really useful when fielded in higher number (the Doom too, technically, but it's not like you'll be able to afford it for several battle in a row). Worst, you'll end up stuck piloting a Typhoon Harbinger, forever and ever. It's just too good compared to everything else.

As for other unusual strategies, it's something i like to do from time to time, so here's what i did and what i found fun.

- Hardcore salvaging : recover every single ships you come across, with the ship limit removed (to keep it fun for late game). Throwing a swarm of barely functional, under-equipped junk ships into the meatgrinder is unexpectedly joyful.

- Autopilot only : you'll have to rely only on orders to influence the battle. I wrote a little bit about it. Extremely difficult early on though, it's probably better to start normal then go for this mode after acquiring a few ships.

- Shieldless run : Require the Ship and Weapon Pack mod. The mod add a "Shield Bypass" hullmod that removes shields but improved the flux dissipation depending on the original shield upkeep (i think?). Obviously a bit tricky to play, for me it did encourage a more agressive playstyle as a shieldless fleet cannot win an endurance battle.

- Pather run : mandatory Safety Override for everything, force you to play aggressive and smart, as you'll need to set the proper elimination orders to finish quickly a battle. Combine it with the Hardcore Salvaging strat if you're looking for absolute chaos (and shieldless run if you're that kind of sicko).

- Stampede : Buffalo MK.II only. You can add the Mongrel and Amalgam with SWP Edit : the Underworld mod (thanks Retry) if you want (Underworld isn't updated yet, but a new version shouldn't take too long to come out now). It is exactly as you would expect it.

- Excelsior run : Also require SWP. Turn Starsector into an arcade game at the cost of your sanity.
4  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.9a] Tyrador Safeguard Coalition 1.6.0 (updated December 25, 2018) on: December 26, 2018, 12:52:07 PM
Your new sprites are so damn pretty.
5  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair on: December 05, 2018, 09:05:55 AM
I do not use Safety Override on Harbinger.  Harbinger's peak performance is already short enough without it.

You should try, the huge mobility boost is really nice, and the improved flux dissipation makes things easier during tricky situations where you have to cloak/de-cloak under fire. And it's not like you need that much peak performance to fire your 5 (10) shots into whatever you want dead then retreat.

I kinda like Histidine's suggestion about a stronger Interdictor Array. Although being stalked by an AI Harbinger that want to make your life miserable might get frustrating, especially if it's a guaranteed flameout.

I'm curious about that phase tanking idea too, like some kind of cloaked damper field.
6  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair on: December 04, 2018, 11:20:55 AM
Being really strong isn't the Harbinger's problem, being boring is.

As Megas said, the reaper boat loadout is just so overwhelmingly better than the rest. With expanded missile racks, that's potentially 10 destroyed enemy ships from the get go in any battle. I single handedly stopped raids and took down battle stations with the simple QD/Torpedo combo, and it is not only fast, it's also easy to do. As someone said on the discord at some point, once you get a Harbinger, the game change from a challenge to a grind. You repeat the same routine of assassinating the flagship over and over again, all with little risk.

Of course, i could try something else. A Blaster/Phase lance/Ion pulser variant isn't bad at all, but is lightyears below a reaper build when it comes to burst damage, and if you're planning to use this loadout for prolonged engagements, delicate machinery and time dilatation will wreck your CR, limiting your influence on the battlefield.

Quantum Disruptor is the problem. It wasn't that bad with the Afflictor thanks to the very limited ammo from small reaper launchers. Fielding an assassin Afflictor was viable, but risky when you can screw up your single (two) chances. But with the Harbinger? A bit too easy, and it get boring quick.
7  Starsector / Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9a (Released) Patch Notes on: November 17, 2018, 01:31:37 AM
Just wanted to say thank you for this update Alex. It just feels so weird now after all this time, my mind is still stuck in 0.8.

"That Nexerelin battlestation sure looks weir- Oh, oh... 0.9, i forgot, again."
8  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Ship/Weapon Pack 1.7.2 on: October 24, 2018, 04:34:26 AM
The sprite was just old, sometimes we try to rework some of the old stuff to bring it up to the current standard. Other ships sprites will also be reworked for a future release (Punisher, Excelsior, maybe Vanguard again).
9  Starsector / Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9a (In-Dev) Patch Notes on: October 21, 2018, 01:30:51 AM
The Tempest has a bit too much.

On the other hand, the Tempest now cost as much as a Hammerhead to deploy. Moreover, while its overall firepower increased, it probably won't be as flexible as before. Ion Pulser Terminator drone was pretty crazy, even more so when there was several of them freely roaming the battlefield. It's still going to be one of the strongest frigate, probably the strongest to use for the AI, but not as obscene as now.

Do only my PD weapons gain a 50% damage bonus to missiles?  Or can some of my other weapons, if they somehow manage to hit a missile by some big fluke, also gain that damage bonus?  (For example: Does my Storm Needler benefit from the damage bonus so I can turn it into an improvised sabot killer?)

By "all PD weapons" for the 3rd and 4th changes, are we including the PD weapons that were converted to PD as a result of change #1?  (For example: Will my Tactical Laser also ignore decoy flares, just like my PD laser?

All weapons get the vs-missile bonus, so it'll include the storm needler. All PD weapons get the "ignores decoy flares" bonus, which does indeed include weapons granted PD status by the hullmod.

IPDAI Tac laser with the buffed Advanced Turret Gyros Is going to be reaaaaally strong now. Also, with the IPDAI Damage buff against missiles, i can already see myself doing big side swipes with a tachyon lance to delete an entire wave of missiles.
10  Starsector / Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9a (In-Dev) Patch Notes on: October 20, 2018, 03:07:04 PM
So many things, so many new cool things. Okay, just this question for this evening :

Doom: new ship system, "Mine Strike", spawns high-damage, high-delay proximity fuse mines
Huge buff overall
Harbinger: system changed to Quantum Disruptor
Afflictor: system changed to Entropy Amplifier

What will happen to the Doom's old Interdictor Array? With the new Mine Strike system, and the two other phase ships system swap, i kinda expected the Shade to inherit it.
11  Starsector / General Discussion / The Wasp sucks on: September 16, 2018, 01:43:32 AM
The Wasp fighter is the second best interceptor in the game just behind the Spark. It is fast, its PD laser don't miss, and its proximity mine will create a death zone against any other fighters and missiles. With 6 fighters by wings, they also tend to outnumber any other crafts. All in all, without a doubt an ideal interceptor.

Or at least in theory.

For some context, in some of my recent campaigns, i have been experimenting eschewing Point Defenses on my ships. To compensate for that, i assign an interceptor filled carrier as an escort to whatever needs it the most. With the escort order, the carrier will send its fighters to protect its designated target when in danger. And it worked! I was now flying a PD free fleet, delegating the anti-fighter and anti-missile duty to a bunch of escort Mora filled with Interceptors.

Initially, the Wasp seemed like a perfect fit for that role, unfortunately i quickly noted how... Absent my interceptors have been in all of my battles. They properly showed up for the first clash between fleets, and then started to disappear, leaving my PD-less ships vulnerable to missiles and bombers. Surprisingly, that issue was much less noticeable with say, Talons, or some other mod interceptors, which were steadily covering my butt for the entire fight.

After a digging a bit deeper, i found the issue with my Wasps, and it wasn't the interceptors themselves, but the carriers. The replacement rate would quickly reach the 30% mark, only trickling down a few lone fighters once in a while to the frontline. With other fighters, it would rarely go below 50%. There's one reasons for that : Wasps are fragile, half as tough as a Talon, so they tend to die a lot. And because there's 6 of those per wing, that makes for a lot of dead fighters, which degrade the replacement rate very, very quickly. Once the carrier reaches 30% RT, the interceptors can no longer fullfill their role, and getting back up to an acceptable RT level becomes nearly impossible, especially during hectic battles.

Two solutions to fix this. Either makes the Wasp tougher to prevent it from dying in droves. Armoring it doesn't seems appropriate for a high-tech drone, as for a shielded Wasp like back when Starsector was Starfarer, that would make it too much like the Spark in my opinion.

The other solution, much simpler and appropriate in my opinion, would be lowering the replacement time. It will still die by the bucketload, but i would matter less. I tested it with a modified base replacement time of 2, then 3 instead of 5 (like the Talon). BRT of 2 allows for a constant screening around 90/100% replacement rate in small skirmishes, and would go down around 40/50% in intense battles. BRT of 3 doesn't makes the replacement rate go below 80% in small battles, but will eventually reach 30% during larger encounters.
For reference, i did most of my testing on the missions Hornet's Nest and Nothing Personal with autopilot, with a Wasp loaded Heron as the escort in both scenarios.

Also, kinda off-topic, but not completely. I would like the ability to target a friendly ship on the tactical screen. It's possible to do so for enemies, but not allies, and would be useful when you want to send your fighters to cover one of your ships that is too far to be "targeted" normally.

12  Starsector / Bug Reports & Support (modded) / Excelsior phase bug on: August 19, 2018, 10:02:55 AM

Despite needing flux to phase in, the Excelsior can stay cloaked at 0 flux if it stays on top of a ship, unlike a standard phase ship that'll eventually get pushed out or even phase out (and usually die) on top of the ship.
13  Starsector / General Discussion / Soloing the Remnant Battlestation on: August 19, 2018, 05:24:11 AM
While we're waiting for 0.9, i felt like trying a new challenge. Those that plays with mods might have heard about the Excelsior, the super-frigate from the Ship/Weapon pack mod. In the mod, this ship is introduced in the mission "Duel of the Century" where the Excelsior must face nine super-frigates from various mods and vanilla.

For those that don't know what i'm talking about, let me explain how it works.

By the way, i tweaked the recovery rate here. It should be 8% instead of 35%.

A phase glass cannon with many intricacies. Unlike every other ships, the Excelsior flux system works the other way around. The cloak and flux shunt cannons drains flux, while its system absorb surrounding projectiles, and depending on how much damage those projectiles deals, convert them into flux to power up the ship. The more flux it have, the stronger the Flux Shunt Cannons becomes.

Of course, there's a catch, if you absorb more projectiles than your flux capacity can handle, you overload, and overloading will deal damage to the ship, but getting that flux bar as high as possible also allows the FSCs to fire at full power. Risk and reward. Also, with active venting, the Excelsior will create electric arcs around it. The higher its dissipation, the more damage those arcs will deal, of course, a high flux dissipation means it can't stay cloaked as long either. On the bright side, damage on both armor and hull can be repaired when phased.

To summarise, the Excelsior is the personnification of risk taking. It wants to be in the absolute heat of battle at all time, threading the thin line between absorbing as many projectiles as possible to power its guns and heal its wounds, and overloading to death due to greed. Here's a video of the beast from StarSchulz in the Duel of the Century to see how it works in practice :

As for me, here are the skills and loadout i used.

This is probably the most unsafe thing i ever flew.


Now that everyone knows the Excelsior, time to meet its opponent.

Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh, you touch my mind, fumbling in ignorance, incapable of understanding.

A fully functional Remnant Battlestation, with a cold and unfeeling hatred for human life (thanks ChildServices for that one). Because of Dynasector, its loadout is different from the Vanilla variant. Which is better for me, since there's no way my flimsy flagship can hope to get past the original variant's Guardian PDs. Still, by no mean this is going to be easy.

Anyway, let's start the fun.

Once the combat start, there is no time to waste, the CR clock is ticking fast. You can see in the video, i went straight for the carrier modules. For my combat strategy, i imperatively needed to get rid of most of its indirect firepower, as well as one of its shield generator that i took out with the Reaper splash damage. After that, the armored modules are the next in line, once removed, this leaves the battlestation with a large blind spot i can exploit. 

From now on, the battle greatly slow down, but this is where things get difficult. Thanks to my high dissipation loadout, my ship active venting can deal large amount of damage through the indestructible main structure, and allow me to safely take down the two remaining shield modules. However, venting at the wrong time would leave me helpless to the Trebuchet LRMs (the yellow missiles). Venting too close would leave me in the explosion radius of the neighbouring modules (i died so many time like that). Venting too far and... Uh, well, i won't reach my target.

One module left, the hardest part of the battle. Because i only have one source of enemy fire, my ability to gain flux is much more limited, and my firepower and survivability greatly reduced as a result. I can't destroy the last module from the blind spot with active venting either, the station final explosion would take me out. Only one solution, facing it from the front and killing it with the FSCs, while absorbing the plasma cannons shots before they reach me.

And after many, many, many attempts. The metallic frame of the titan finally crumble in an explosion.

Victory !

Bonus : some gifs i made when i tried to fight it fair and square without exploiting its blind spot :

14  Starsector / Blog Posts / Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses on: August 16, 2018, 12:31:07 PM
A lot of interesting things here, so much i want to talk about but don't even know what to say.

Maybe one question. Why fuel as the ressource for those actions? Supplies would make more sense, although i guess it's a fairly "overused" ressource already.

About the penalty for repeated raids. Decreasing loot for cumulative raids for valuables makes sense, Nexerelin does it and it works well. Increased Defender Preparedness also seems like a logical step to prevent the player from disrupting the entire industry of a planet, although i guess it'll all depends on how high those bonuses are. As for the cooldown between raids... Perhaps again borrow the same thing from Nexerelin? A "loading time" where the player fleet must stay still to fully perform the action, similar to how we put sniffers on comm-relays. This adds a delay between raids, or rather before a raid, while also leaving the player vulnerable to an approaching defense fleet. Probably more interesting than a "Nah, wait a day or two to raid again" message.
15  Starsector / Bug Reports & Support / "Flying" station module on: July 21, 2018, 02:28:31 AM

Destroyed the gun platform of a Remnant station without touching the armor module. Technically not a bug i suppose, but still...
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