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News: New blog post: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives (06/12/18); In-dev patch notes for Starsector 0.9a (06/01/18);Starsector 0.8.1a is out!
 
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1  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8f on: June 21, 2018, 06:54:35 AM
I'd appreciate it if you could take that over to your own thread, then, unless you've definitely discovered a general incompatibility issue on my end that affects mods actually following best practices.

As I said in the FAQ, I don't test with your mods but I do follow best-practices for Starsector modding, so if there's an issue it'll be on your end, not mine. Keep it in your own lane.
2  Starsector / Blog Posts / Re: Pirate Bases, Raids, and Objectives on: June 12, 2018, 01:59:43 PM
This looks fantastic, and will likely save me some scripting down the line.
3  Starsector / Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9a (In-Dev) Patch Notes on: June 02, 2018, 03:06:37 PM
So tasty.

Will we be able to add in custom, upgradable industries? (Maybe a silly question; I'm sure we can.) I have a few things in mind for that...
4  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8f on: June 02, 2018, 02:38:59 PM
Hmm. I've fixed that in dev, seems like an error on my part; if any combat ship is meant to have high cargo cap, it's the Tereshkova.

I think it's still a good light carrier, though, and extremely effective en masse.
5  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: An Opinion about Carriers on: May 31, 2018, 09:59:04 PM
Agreed, LRPD really has to be a fleet-level and not a single-ship build choice. The stacking, especially on midtech ships with generous small energies (Eagle/Heron/Hammerhead/Centurion FCTs are LRPD beasts), turns them from ho-hum to fighter honeytraps.

Flak in combination with LRPD is where it really shines. Also flak will often take out a missile-armed fighter's missiles along with the fighter, which is extra nice.

From time to time it can be worthwhile to field Ion Pulser/SO Wolves as fighter mops against high-tech. The Ion Pulser is useful against other targets too, and even shielded fighters will suck a fat one against it most times.
6  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8f on: May 27, 2018, 03:18:22 PM
Get your update on >HERE<. Should not, but might, break saves.

0.9.8f - Balance, minor content.

Content:
- Made Hedgehog Pod purchasable, because why not. Enjoy taking a big, explosive dump on things.
- Added Frappeur Torpedo Launcher, a 20OP large missile.
- Added new Frappeur launch sound, fiddled with visuals.

Balance:
- Reduced Rafale II OP cost to 20.
- Borzoi PPT reduced to 180.
- Monobloc Construction range threshold is now graduated 600/700/800/900 by hull class. Less brutal for capitals and cruisers. Rewrote description.
- Zelenograd speed increased to 70 from 65.
- Jeanne d'Arc and Baikal speed increased to 45 from 40.
- Tunguska speed increased to 85 from 80.
- Removed Civilian-grade hullmod on Carabao, Sevastopol Mk.1 and Puddle Jumper Mk.1.
- Changed Goalkeeper AI type to SUPPORT.

Campaign:
- Added generous namegen list to spice up vanilla, because I can.
- Added tips, so you can not read my advice inside the game as well as on the forum and in changelogs.
7  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: An Opinion about Carriers on: May 27, 2018, 11:23:56 AM
LRPD nets backed up by flak and a few ion cannons (everything is an anti-fighter weapon if the fighter can't maneuver) do a pretty good job of handling all but the nastiest shielded fighters in my experience. If you expect to fight a whole lot of shielded fighters, it's sometimes worth springing for a couple SO Enforcers with HMGs and chainguns.

Ultimately, the best anti-fighter defense is going to be fighters of your own, though. Fighters like Claws can serve as excellent screens for your fleet, disabling large numbers of enemy fighters to be cleaned up by heavier weapons.
8  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8e on: May 26, 2018, 04:33:27 PM
...by making the largest bonus to overload reduction, it's only really useful for pilots with bad flux management (dumb AI).
I think you're underselling the utility of a bonus that AI ships benefit from. All the ships you're not currently piloting, after all, benefit from that. You also need to think of it in terms of player experience vs. DME ships; you can't count on extended periods of vulnerability after an overload.

But by adding a flux venting speed bonus, you can also make the hullmod equally useful for pilots with good flux management (enhanced AI and player ships).
If you look at the ships that are designed specifically as player flagships, you'll see they have a different hullmod that, indeed, boosts venting speed. I do actually play this game, and playtest my work, and I pay attention to feel. I also noticed that fast venting is fun.

Also, concerning the UC ships, I'd would recommend making them available on the pirate/black markets (even if only very rarely), so you can obtain player feedback on balancing and combat. That, and I really want to try them! But I suppose I can just use the in-game console to spawn some, too, though that's not as fun.
Players can already test them out in missions, which is functionally ideal for balance testing anyway (no skills to interfere). And yeah, just console them in and enjoy. That said, they're not designed or intended for player use; it's great if you enjoy them, but the intended campaign role is as AI support. If their designs change later, it'll be to make them better AI ships, not better player ships.

I like feedback, but if something doesn't make sense, ask a question instead of assuming you already understand it and that it should change until you've heard the rationale.
9  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8e on: May 25, 2018, 10:14:36 PM
Maybe you should consider giving the "monobloc construction" hullmod some sort of defensive bonus? The hullmod reduces offensive power (at range), and flexibility of loadout (by discouraging ranged weapons), and even defense (by blocking heavy armor hullmods). What do they get in return? A pretty marginal 25% EMP resistance. (They also get overload reduction, but this bonus is largely useless to attentive players when piloting their own ship, or even for AI ships if you have the AI improvement mod installed, which makes AI ships excellent at avoiding overloads)

I'm guessing there's some intent behind reducing their ranges. If the goal is to make them closer range brawlers, shouldn't they get a corresponding speed or protection (armor/shield) bonus so to help them survive the punishment time needed to close to range? Or if the goal is to discourage combat, perhaps offer a sensor/stealth or fuel efficiency bonus instead.

The range penalty is actually to offset the combination of high speed and ballistic weaponry, which can become a kiting nightmare. I mentioned above that in the dev version the penalty scales, and is less severe on larger, slower ships. Stuff like EMP resistance and shorter overloads is there to make them better hit-and-run attack ships; some DME ships can brawl, and brawl pretty well (the Baikal is a real bruiser), but you generally want to disengage and come in for a second run.

That said, some top speeds have been boosted slightly, too. The ideal playstyle for DME ships is to focus on fighters, speed, shielding, and synergy between 'hammer' and 'anvil' elements - using tanky ships like the Wanderer or Baikal as anchors, and using fast ships like the Tunguska or Kormoran as flankers. Then you have your carriers and their combined fighter complements as the striking arm, delivering those heavy blows that crush ships in a few passes.

Digging through the files I found those red Universal Securities ships. If you're not using them, you should release them for use by pirates/neutrals. If only temporarily until you get around to finishing whatever subfaction you were planning for them. You put in all the work to write up their stats and even make skins for them, but they're just sitting there collecting dust!

I am using them! They show up in two missions right now, and the eventual plan is to have them available in campaign as hirable merc fleets.
10  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8e on: May 24, 2018, 02:51:35 PM
Yeah, I'll take a look over the freighters and see if there's a good way to rig some of them as more fleet-oriented freighters. I think I'd like to limit it to the smaller hulls, though.

Think I'll probably push an update this weekend - anything else you guys think needs a look?
11  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8e on: May 20, 2018, 08:39:42 AM
So been playing with a lot of DME ships, and have some recommendations and feedback.

The Tunguska description notes it's designed for sniping, and sniping capital ships specifically. But the -50% range effect of the monoblock construction ends up making it not even a mediocre sniper, but a bad one, and also means it can't stay out of capital ships weapon ranges. Or most ships weapon ranges for that matter. So it functions more as a mid-range brawler than a sniper.

Actually, that's a bit of a balancing issue with the entire line of ships as a whole. The range restriction disproportionately hurts larger ship classes, since larger ships tend to have longer average firing range of weapons. Perhaps you should perhaps consider a scaling penalty based on ship size.

Already implemented in dev, where it's 50% over 600/700/800/900. Which, I agree, feels much better. I've also boosted the speed and agility of the Tunguska up a bit.

One last thing. I'd love to see some variants of the various freighters/tankers without a civilian-hull mod. I really love them as ships, but the hull mod's sensor/detection penalty is such a major drawback I usually end up using vanilla pirate freighters instead. Maybe consider creating non-civilian variants with lightly lower capacities? (It especially seems odd with the Puddle Jumper, which is a civilian craft to begin with, but has an export-friendly version? As if they're trying to keep civilian-grade technologies out of the hands of other factions).

The gameplay idea behind the export variants is that the hulls themselves are fun sidegrades; the 'export' element is the older DME weapons their variants mount (Blaze Guns, ER PDLs, the pulsed lasers). As far as the hullmod goes, that's vanilla balance for you - if you're looking for a DME freighter that doesn't light you up like a Christmas tree, try the Lodestar, which comes with Shielded Cargo Holds.
12  Starsector / Modding / Re: Misc modding questions that are too minor to warrant their own thread on: May 19, 2018, 09:47:23 AM
You can try it for yourself, change the collision class of a fighter wing.

Mind you, it doesn't precisely work...
13  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: When are you going to finish this game or even release a new patch? on: May 12, 2018, 03:09:58 PM
Points to this latest guy for not whining 'broooooo', I guess.
14  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.8.1a] Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering v.0.9.8e on: April 28, 2018, 07:30:20 PM
An update, and a pretty substantial one at that. Will break your saves. Get it >HERE<.

0.9.8e - Content, balance adjustments. Will bork saves. Please consume space kitten mlems responsibly.

Content:
- Spirale: reduced speed, increased refit time from 10 to 12. New sprite.
- Borzoi: total rework, now a phase ship. Built-in Tomino AMM System.
- Added Rafale II Heavy Bomber, a 24-OP wing deploying Hedgehog cluster bombs.

Balance:
- Adjusted AMM family of weapons; AMM Blister MIRV reduced to 12 submunitions (from 16), fire interval set to 6 (from 4). Itano AMM health reduced to 35, fighter AMM reload time reduced to 0.15 from 0.2.
- Omni Blaster now fires a tight cluster of three shots rather than a double-tap burst; should be easier to land hits with.
- Quad Hybrid Blaster DPS reduced to 640.
- Tweaked Perforator acceleration and top speed downwards - should hit a little less often.
   • Damselfly: health/armor reduced to 500/90, more in line with the Khopesh. Reduced rocket volley to 7/pod. Removed flares.
- Flak Projectors reworked as Canister Flak; now fire a spread of buckshot.
- Autolaser family reworked as charge-based Capacitor Autolasers. More interesting this way.
   • Aigrette: removed flares, reduced Compact Autolaser charges to 12 to match the rest of the Autolaser family.
- Jeanne d'Arc flux dissipation/capacity reduced to 640/14000, hull points reduced to 12000, ATC removed, forward medium missile upgraded to large. Costs reduced to 55/55.
   • Target Datalink bonus reduced to 25%, uptime/downtime increased to 15/7.5
- Zelenograd dissipation reduced from 960 to 840, flux capacity increased to 16500. Should be a bit less of a beast.
- Added Delicate Machinery to Snow Goose.
- Replaced Hellrider Rafale I with Hedgehog proximity bomb version. It's a nice weird sidegrade, rather than a problem.
- Hit a bunch of stuff with minor nerfs and a very few buffs (ammo counts, +/- 50 range, etc).
- Changed Monobloc Construction's range penalty; instead of a flat 15% cut to ballistics, it reduces all weapon range by 50% above 600 units. Same net effect, generally cleaner implementation with fewer edge cases.

Campaign:
- Moved Yod system to avoid conflict with Metelson's Rock system.
- Made some minor system changes, expanded a few descriptions.
- Fixed solar mirrors orbiting Tenacity (connected to market, will now change allegiance with the planet when captured).
- Sixth Bureau ship skins now have a small chance to show up in DME markets.
- Tweaked faction relationships; friendly to Hegemony, cool on the League.
15  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty. on: April 27, 2018, 02:18:21 PM
I don't think you could make the same argument for UI, it's just not as fundamental, and I'd just as soon have fewer must-haves.

That's fair. I'd also like fewer must-haves; that's why I like the idea of a penalty that hurts (say) high-tech ships less, symmetrically with ITU/DTC benefitting them less due to the shorter base ranges of non-beam energy weapons. It becomes more competitive, and it opens up a little more design space; there's an incentive to maximize speed on the ships that benefit the most from speed in the same way that ITU creates an incentive to maximize range on the ships that benefit the most from range.

I'm coming at this from the angle of having designed a fast midline faction with lots of hybrid slots and wanting energy weapons to be competitive on them; perhaps that's not applicable to vanilla ships, but I think it solves a lot of edge cases and feels cleaner than the current percentage approach.

Hmm - a couple of things. One, energy weapons and ballistics are not very competitive with each other in direct-damage-dealing. Energy weapons are all-around worse at that, which is compensated by ships using them having better speed (to counter the lower range, again the see-saw of the two prime stats) and flux dissipation. The only way energy weapons really compete *in the same slot* is when they provide some utility in a way that ballistics don't - Ion Cannons, Ion Beams, long-range PD (yeah, a bit of a niche case), beam weapons (range + flux trading), a Heavy Blaster for armor cracking, and perhaps a few other things.

So, if you're putting a hybrid slot on something, "ballistics go in it" ought to be the baseline expectation, with the slot type providing a bit of flexibility for utility. That's just the grain of the weapon design. This is also why hybrid and universal slots are used sparingly in vanilla.

Agreed. This is more of a way to get things to that point on idiosyncratic hulls than to supersede the existing weapon design.

Two, "fast ships with hybrid slots" is a potential warning sign. You've basically got fast ships with ballistic weapons, then, which could mean they're going to be overpowered - or at least hard to balance - due to a combination of speed and range. If really depends on where their speed and mobility systems (if any) place them, relative to say midline ships (if you'll note, those tend to have maneuvering jets, which while having good utility, aren't an overwhelmingly good mobility system otherwise).

Yup, hence the need for a hullmod to control it. Lots of mod factions play around in this space, with various workarounds (because it's player bait; enormously fun to fly, and creates opportunities for unique weapons and ships that are satisfying to use). Range limitations are mine, which I think is an elegant solution but hardly the only one.

If it were me, I'd probably look at a built-in hullmod as a way to make ballistics and energy competitive on your ships. If a general-purpose hullmod did that, it'd probably break things. But with a built-in, you have so much more freedom - for example, you could increase energy weapon range, or reduce ballistic range, depending on how fast your ships ended up being and what you wanted in terms of balance.

Yeah, it's what I'm doing for the built-in, which used to just chop ballistic range 15%, but was generally messy; now it chops peak potential range by more while leaving inoffensive shorter-ranged ballistics alone. I think you're right that it's best for a built-in, but I thought I'd throw the idea out for the modular and see if it had legs.
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