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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Messages - Serenitis

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General Discussion / Re: Venture, why?
« on: August 30, 2019, 05:20:09 PM »
Venture is okay. Not great, but okay.
Decent cargo space. Free survey gear. Can carry a pile of missiles. Can defend itself. Can tank quite well. Won't slow down trash fleets.
Something that you don't mind finding and tidying up in the right circumstances, but not usually something you'd go out of your way to buy.

I used them a lot more when you could put any fighter in thier bay, but since they got locked to mining drones I'd rather use Mules.
That loss of flexibilty is the only reason I tend to avoid them.

General Discussion / Re: Ship Loadouts
« on: August 20, 2019, 10:18:06 AM »
I always fit Tempest with Bulkheads because I don't want to "waste" an officer on a ship that doesn't constantly see action, when I'd much rather have them in destroyers or cruisers which do.
My Temps don't usually get deployed except as an escort or in pursuit.
Same ship, different role.

I suppose I can see the logic of putting autocannons on a Sunder, but I've never seen the situation you described as I never have a Sunder fighting off on it's own. And wherever possible it will have a cautious officer and be escorted by one of the above Tempests.
And in any case:
If they rush just drop shields and melt with Sunders active. Guarenteed shield overload in a few seconds.
This is also why you want to put Sabot on the wings. An instant "I win" safety net.

I don't generally use capital transports either, as I don't want to deal with the speed/utility restrictions.
A small herd of Colossi will easily take care of your surveying needs and give a decent amount carrying capacity.
Fuel is trickier, and usually the only time I make an exception to the above generalisation. But then it doesn't come up all that often as I tend not to use capitals much at all, apart from my Odyssey.

I try to use burst lasers as energy PD wherever possible, so never need to make use of the AI mod. In fact, I can't recall the last time I did use it....
Pilum however, I love. They're like the tac laser of missiles. The more you have, the better each of them becomes.

Speaking of which....

Have you ever used an Odyssey fitted as a pure beam platform?
I mean actually properly used it in campaign, rather than do a few minutes in a sim and decided it was bad.

It is probably the best fleet lead I have used to date. Better even than my Dominator steamroller.
Sure it struggles to really break big stuff on it's own due to no hard flux. And it can't really solo things all that well. But so what? That's what your fleet is for. Why would you ever be deploying this on it's own in a campaign anyway?
And set up like this, it's a captial ship which can touch north of 160 without using it's mobility system.
Aggro a nice target. Kite it to where it needs to be. And then set your fleet on it. Bonus points for sealioning it off the map as it gets destroyed.
Or, deploy just the flagship and bait as many enemies toward the bottom of the screen as possible sniping as many as you can on the way, and when they're all in position drop your fleet on top of them.

And with a beam loadout, you don't usually need to vent much at all. Just let the flux dissipate on its own between targets, or occaisionally drop the shield and let it go that way.
The only times I really need to vent are when I need to chase something and want the no-flux boost right now.
Beams are p. chill with regard to flux generation. And Ody has decent dissipation abilities.

Locust > MIRV simply because it's more reliable against targets that can move. Even with ECCM MIRV is underwhelming for the cost. And that Locust is also cheaper helps.
(And yes, I did forget Ody has ECCM built in. Never really noticed it because I'm not using anything that would benefit from it and so have never looked for it. The more you know. Thank you for enlightening me.)

Xyphos > Spark because Spark does not have 4x flux-free Ion Beams for suppression.
Ion Beams are good. Ion Beams that you never have to flux manage are amazing.
You could claim that Sparks have an advantage due to not using crew, but this is largely moot due to Xyphos never actually getting destroyed anyway as they are always either inside your shield bubble, or directly over the ship.
The only real advantage Sparks have is that they're cheaper.
I've never had any issue with PD coverage from Xyphos though.

I suppose we just have very different uses and expectations for the same ship.
Nothing wrong with that.

General Discussion / Re: Ship Loadouts
« on: August 19, 2019, 11:44:23 AM »
Here's the perennial Magpie's perspective on some of these:

Capacitors: 9
Vents: 10
Weapons: 1x Heavy Blaster, 1x Tactical Laser, 1x Salamander MRM
Hullmods: Efficiency Overhaul, Hardened Subsystems, Integrated Targeting Unit, Resistant Flux Conduits
Needs Reinforced Bulkheads as Tempest is not disposable, and I want to keep it because even as a junker Temps own hard.
Not too concerned about ITU as it has the native speed to close distance. And don't care about H.Subsys as Tempest is the clearup and pursuit crew, it just doesn't need it. Would swap this for Unstable Injector for yet more speed.
I'd be tempted to swap the Salamander for Sabots on half of my Tempests instead for extra shield breaking.

Capacitors: 12
Vents: 20
Weapons: 1x Arbalest Cannon, 2x Salamander MRM, 2x Light Mortar, 1x Vulcan Cannon
Hullmods: Efficiency Overhaul, Integrated Targeting Unit, Reinforced Bulkheads, Resistant Flux Conduits
Mules are better as fleet support than they are at being on the front line.
Get rid of ITU and fit Converted Hangar with a wing of interceptors (Wasps preferred for crew saving, but Talons work fine).
Flux Conduits aren't needed so this can be swapped for a campaign mod like Surveying Equipment if needed.
Put Pilum in the medium mount, keep the Salamanders, and swap the mortars for 2 more vulcans.

Sunder (beam)
Capacitors: 1
Vents: 24
Weapons: 1x High Intensity Laser, 2x Graviton Beam, 2x Light Autocannon, 1x Vulcan Cannon
Hullmods: Advanced Optics, Efficiency Overhaul, Integrated Targeting Unit, Reinforced Bulkheads, Stabilized Shields
Autocannons are a waste here. If they're in range to fire at something, the ship isn't doing it's job right.
Either swap for LMG/Vulcan or leave empty.
Also really benefits from having Sabots on the wings.

Heron (late)
Capacitors: 5
Vents: 17
Fighters:  3x Sparks
Weapons: 1x Heavy Blaster, 4x Burst PD Laser
Hullmods: Efficiency Overhaul, Reinforced Bulkheads
Interceptors on Heron is a waste of its targetting ability. And it doesn't have the flux to support a gun in it's medium slot and keep it's shields up. Especially that gun.
Downgrade the Burst lasers to standard PD. Fit a missile in the medium, Pilum and Salamander are good but anything will work.
Put bombers in the bays. All of them work well (yes, even Pirahna), but Heron doesn't have the OP to use Trident.

Capacitors: 8
Vents: 27
Fighters:  1x Khopesh, 1x Broadsword, 1x Talon
Weapons: 2x Hammer Torpedo, 3x Vulcan Cannon, 3x Light Mortar, 2x Light Autocannon
Hullmods: Efficiency Overhaul, Reinforced Bulkheads, Surveying Equipment
I'd use the Mora as an Interceptor/Suppression platform as it's always going to end up in the thick of things, and saturating space with fighters helps the entire fleet.
Doesn't need Surveying stuff as transports do that without having to sacrifice combat ability. I would instead use Recovery Shuttles to protect my precious crew.
Medium missles are a good fit for Pilum here as the Mora can still contribute as it's slowly shuffling into range.

Capacitors: 0
Vents: 40
Fighters:  1x Xyphos, 1x Mining Pod
Weapons: 2x Plasma Cannon, 1x Hurricane MIRV Launcher, 3x Salamander SRM, 11x PD Laser
Hullmods: Efficiency Overhaul, Hardened Shields, Integrated Point Defense AI, Integrated Targeting Unit, Resistant Flux Conduits
Does IPDAI do something other than turn small mounts into makeshift PD? Seems like not a great use of OP for a ship already using dedicated PD.
Personally, I really dislike plasma on Odyssey as the projectiles end up missing half the time. Beams are much better imo, either Tachyon or HIL work fine. (Tachyon if you want to control guns, HIL if you want to control missiles.)
Doesn't really need Resistant Flux or Hardened Shields, but really wants a pair of Xyphos for PD, suppression and more beams.

Unstable Injector and Adv. Optics are also something to consider if you're going the maximum beam HIL route, so you turn it into an obnoxios kiting machine.
Medium missiles work as either Sabot for shield breaking or Salmander for shield diverting.
Locust generally works better than MIRV as Ody can't afford ECCM without giving up something else it needs more.
Another thing to consider is that shields are also a weapon (of a sort), and the Odyssey is uniquely blessed amongst ships to take advantage of this in an easy, repeatable, and amusing manner.

Modding / Re: Please be mindful of the tone of your mod
« on: August 18, 2019, 01:36:24 AM »
I don't really mind stuff like this, so long as the author isn't being outright abusive to others. Or fasc.

General Discussion / Re: How does shield damage work?
« on: August 18, 2019, 12:44:10 AM »
Do shields have hit points?
How many?
Directly themselves as in some other games, no.
The flux itself does roughly the same job though. The more flux a ship can 'hold', the longer it can keep its shields up.
Effectively, a shields hit points is the ships flux pool.
Adding capacitors, a hullmod or taking one particular skill can increase this.

Shields also have an efficiency rating which will be a decimal value somewhere near 1.
Where 1 means every 1 point of damage gets turned into 1 point of flux.
Lower numbers mean more efficiency and higher means less.
0.7 means every 1 point of damage gets turned into 0.7 points of flux.
Adding a hullmod or taking a specific skill can increase the efficiency.

Is there a way to check?
For your own fleet you can access the refit screen,  or use the information infocard on the fleet buy/sell to pull data for each ship individually.
Improvements over the baseline for that hull type will be appended with a green number telling you how much better it is.
Conversely, areas below baseline will be appended with red numbers.

For both your own fleet and enemies in battle, if you hold your cursor over a ship a mini-display will pop up just above them and show you two bars.
The bottom bar is hull integrity. Basically the health bar, when it hits zero the ship is disabled.
The top bar is the current flux level. Watching this will allow you to press an attack while an enemy can't fight back effectively.
When this bar is full a ship will try to pull away from battle to vent the flux, and will be forced to fire weapons sparingly and lower shields.

What happens after they get depleted?
What I'm noticing is enemy ships dropping their shields after a while and raising them up right after, giving a small window to shoot something else at them.
Or they don't drop the shields fast enough and overload.

Suggestions / Player Faction Colour
« on: August 17, 2019, 03:55:16 AM »
This is an issue that goes back some way, and could still use some attention.
Previous thread

The player faction and Tri-Tachyon colourings are really not immediately distinct, and where they appear together it can take some non-zero amount of effort to mentally separate them.
This is an example cropped from the best buy/sell infocard:

Could we look at doing one of two things please?

Change either the Tri-Tachyon or player faction colour in order to make them more noticeably different.
Add either a colour picker or a set of preset colour schemes to the player faction.

Making TT a darker blue would be the easiest route.
Eg: Changing TT to 50,159,236 gives the following result. (This is what I have done as a temp fix.)

General Discussion / Re: Harbinger Synergy mount?
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:36:54 AM »
Honestly, giving the Harbinger it's centre synergy mount back wouldn't be terrible.
It's not really any different from allowing the Afflictor to mount Reapers. It gets 1 more missile, but with more waiting between explosions.

General Discussion / Re: The Conquest and the Gryphon
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:18:39 AM »
Gryphon is ship that fails to live up to expectation of a dedicated missile boat.
It's gimmick is that it has a large missile mount, which in theory is great.
In practice however, large missiles are either underwhelming or situational. And have some rather large gaps in thier capabilities (there are zero large standoff missiles for example).

The only large missiles worth equipping are designed for close support or strike roles, and require the firing ship to be on or near the front line in order to be effective.
Somewhere the Gryphon is extremely unsuited for, with it's low speed, cumbersome maneuvering, low flux pool and mediocre armour.
It cannot just "dive in to snipe a ship and then retreat to safety". It is too slow, and frequently does not survive the attempt. Because it is not a front line ship. It does not belong there.

I suppose you could put SO on it as that doesn't affect missiles. But then you're playing against the Gryphon's one strength, and undermining the effectiveness (and often use) of it's autoforge system.
You could also downsize the front mount and fit medium missiles, but again doesn't make a huge amount of difference as it just doesn't have the ability use them all that well, due to still being in the 'wrong' environment.

If you relegate the Gryphon to the back lines of your fleet as missile artillery it's still not great as it only has 3 available mounts for Pilum, which for the cost of the ship is terrible.
3x medium missiles is fairly poor armament if that's all a cruiser is contributing.
And even then, you're completely sidelining the autoforge as that's irrelevant for Pilum.

The only time I ever consider using a Gryphon is if I'm at exactly the right stage of the game to support cruisers, and have not yet found anything better for missile throwing.
I have used one as a flagship exactly once. It was not a great experience. Slow. Fragile. Can't defend itself. Depends totally on fleet support for continued existence, which makes it even more expensive to deploy than stats alone suggest. It can't even carry its own fighters without completely gimping some other aspect of its mediocrity.
Mostly they're a huge NOPE and get mulched for supplies.

I might be tempted to use a Gryphon if it had a mobility system.
Or a large mount version of the Pilum launcher existed.

General Discussion / Re: AI use of missiles?
« on: August 11, 2019, 03:53:00 AM »
The AI is generally fairly okay at handling missiles. It just can't deal with context.
Such as the abovementioned Hound/Buffalo issue. On their own, good targets. Part of a fleet, bad targets.

Weird behaviour like this is a large part of why I'm such a fan of missiles not being ammo limited.
Because then it doesn't matter if the AI makes a bad call, as it can come back and have another go later.

would a second colony in a system about 8ly away be too much of a hassle?
Logistically, 8ly isn't a huge distance. So unless you're splitting your storage or having to move materials around because of trade disruption then it shouldn't be too stressful.
Defence is the primary concern, as smaller colonies just can't put enough ships 'in the air' to defend themselves properly. So they need some assitance until they grow.

How do the piracy/expedition mechanics work when you have two colonies up instead of one? And, would it be worth the potential gains?
Pirates will start 'activity' in any system you settle, and will throw raids at it shortly after just because it exists. You'll also get a system-wide reduction in accessibility and stability. Which ranges from mildly annoying, to crippling.
Every system you colonise will end up dealing with these random popup events at some point.
If a raid is successful they'll leave for less than a month and then come back. You'll lose some extra stability for a while. And probably also get disruption from missing trade fleets.
In unsuccessful they'll leave for 2-3 months and then come back.
This will continue so long as that pirate base exists. And each subsequent raid will be stronger than the last, with successful raids having a much more noticeable effect.

Expeditions get sent when you start becoming 'too successful'.
This means producing enough goods or materials to be noticed. This can get triggered for any resource, but generally this won't happen until a colony gets to size 5+.
Unless you do heavy industry early, or slot forges/cores into every concievable hole. Which seems to be a good way to attract attention.
If your colonies are widely separated, you might have issues with defending them until they grow sufficiently to maintain large fleets, and have built fortifications. Basically, the closer together your worlds are, the easier they will be to defend.
I've seen expeditions sent for being too good at farming on a poor (-1) farming world. So while it's usually industry or mining that triggers it, it can be anything.

Honestly, I can't be bothered dealing with all this. So I pick a system to settle which has all resources, and only develop colonies there
And then only have disposable tech-mining outposts anywhere else.
Colonies in the same system will support each other with thier fleets, so they can fend for themselves a little earlier and just more competently in general. And you only ever get 1 pirate event at a time to deal with.

Also, unrelated question, but what sort of fleet composition should I have for this stage in the game? I roam around with a handful of cruisers and two carriers, with supply/fuel ships in tow. Works fairly well for general threats, but isn't very capable against heavy opposition. I'd like to expand it without my fleet guzzling every drop of fuel it finds - 36/day is annoying enough.
Personally, I'd flip that composition around and have the majority of my fleet be carriers with just a few combat ships.
Use one of the front line ships as your flagship, and let the fighters create openings for you to exploit.

There are skills which reduce both supply and fuel use fleetwide, and other skills which increase the amount of both which can be salvaged.
There is also a hullmod which reduces supply and fuel use for an individual ship.
Basically, anything will work with the right preparation. Although capital ships tend to be a little too expensive to be a regular part of your fleet.
And carriers are probably the most effective part of any fleet.

-36 fuel/day is not a huge number. When you get to the stage of fighting multiple large fleets back-to-back, your fleet can possibly be drawing 100+ fuel/day, with your reserves being 6000+.
Don't worry. All this means is that you have plenty of content ahead of you.

Suggestions / Re: Wouldn't it be nice if....
« on: August 09, 2019, 11:28:11 AM »
Sound Controls
There is a lot of very good music in this game. And even more very good music in the various mods.
It would be very nice if there were an option somewhere to set the 'ambient' music to play through object interactions, like salvaging or surveying.
Just so there isn't a load of silence replacing all this lovely music people have created every time you pick supplies out of a debris field. Which happens a lot.

Faction Fleets Sensors
It would be nice if your faction fleets could provide shared vision to you whenever you are present in a system.
You're the head of this faction, so all the data these ships collect should (in theory) be available to you.
This ability could also be tied to the High Command structure if desired.

Officer Training Academy
An industry building that creates a modest stream of officers for hire.
Prospective officers have a chance to 'graduate' every month, with larger colonies having more throughput than smaller ones.
Possibly could have settings/upgrades to incentivise certain levels of aggression, or particular skills.

General Discussion / Re: Heron Carrier
« on: August 09, 2019, 10:25:39 AM »
I always preferred to put bombers in the Heron because it's special system boosts damage output.
3x Any bomber
2x Bomber + 1x Broadsword is also good
1x Pilum
2x Tac Laser on forward mounts
4x PD Laser on side and rear mounts

I try to avoid putting guns in the medium slot as Heron as I don't think it can really afford the flux to use them without giving up a ton of OP for vents.

Whenever possible I try to fill my Herons with Flash bombers.
Infinite walls of proximity charges are amusingly effective.

General Discussion / Re: Getting past mid-game grind
« on: August 09, 2019, 02:47:41 AM »

Fighters a good. Not only are they a force in and of themselves. But they are a force multiplier for everything else.
Even if you throw together a fleet of random carriers with random fighters, you'll see a noticeable improvement in your fleets performance.
And when you start doing meta stuff like in that video, you can do p. much whatever you want.


Suggestions / Re: Easy to Get Blueprints/Loots Ruin the Fun Early Game
« on: August 09, 2019, 01:04:07 AM »
Also Crom Cruach in Hybrasil is preset.
I think those 4 mentioned are the only ones though. The rest are randoms.

I disagree early loot ruins fun.  (I think it is very fun.)  Accelerating to endgame faster is good.
In disagreement with your disagreement; the endgame is the least interesting part of the game for me. And anything that hastens its onset is something I want to avoid as long as possible.
Endlessly rolling over any and all opposition with zero effort is not exactly engaging imo.

I'd really like to see a 'lootmap' of sorts for ruins and derelicts, with a concentration of almost (if not actually) zero in the core, and progressively increasing as you get to the edges. So most of the really good stuff is buried in a morass of tedious storms out of the player's reach. Until they grow enough to travel that far.
They'd possibly be a couple of outliers here and there, closer in. Just for variety (RNG permitting).

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