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News: New blog post: Population Growth (11/19/17); Starsector 0.8.1a is out!
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1  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Thicker high damage Beam weopons on: November 27, 2017, 12:09:50 PM
One of the main issues are the sounds honestly.
This. The HIL (if nothing else) could really use some audio affection.

In the meantime this helps quite a bit. Would recommend.

Also, Freespace is cool and good.
2  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: All missiles should cost 0 ordnance points. on: November 27, 2017, 12:00:35 PM
Is Pilum spam still viable? 
Not as good as they used to be, but still useful. Far more dependant on having numbers than previously as well - you need 6+ launchers deployed to see the effect now. It used to be 3-4. Quite a disincentive with a limited fleet really.
Seems to have changed roles from a carpet of making everything dead, to a carpet of making everything distracted and easier to kill.
If you're going to use them you need to go all in, otherwise you'll just be incredibly disappointed.

Against some missiles, especially MIRVs, sometimes Sabots, it makes sense to make the enemy waste them first, then fight when they are out.
This meta thing is something I loathe so much.
3  Starsector / Suggestions / Ships in Storage on: November 25, 2017, 04:51:21 AM
Not really a huge priority, just a bit of QoL for the future.

Would it be possible to be able to refit ships that are in storage?
I've found that it's mildly annoying to have to un-store a ship, refit, then re-store it in order to remove a single weapon that I want to use elsewhere.
4  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: All missiles should cost 0 ordnance points. on: November 25, 2017, 04:45:37 AM
Look, all of that effort just to make a certain weapon useful. And that's just one missile type - I don't think it would work with anything else than pilums, and maybe harpoons. Plus, that ball of Vigilances is still going to cost me deployment points which I could spend on some brawlers or close support ships and their effectiveness might be questionable, depending on how much PD the other side has.
It is merely a workaround using the game's mechanics that allows you to use multiple missile ships you want to keep out of harms way while using only a single timid officer. Because you might not have access to more than one, you might not have room for more than one, you might not want more than one.
You don't don't have to use it. You don't even have to agree with it. It still works just fine.

I disagree. Any ship with proper PD is instantly immune to Pilums, no matter how many you throw at it. I've actually did a test - using Console Commands mod, I gave my ship infinite ammo and instant reload, meaning it could puke hundreds of Pilums in an instant. I spawned a single enemy cruiser and kept spamming missiles at it. And as it turns out, even that wave of hundreds of Pilums (I've made sure to spread them around so as they are not packed together) hits a brick wall as soon as there's at least one ship with Flak cannons. Beam PD is less effective, but will still stop Pilums dead.

Now, such "lab tests" aren't usually a reliable source, but I'm observing similar results in the actual battle. Sure, once in a blue moon AI will turn its unshielded back at the incoming missiles and ignore them, but AI's stupidity is not something I'd like to rely on in a fight. At the very least, Pilum might have been at least remotely useful due to its regenerating ammo, but the weapon is so anemic that it almost doesn't matter. I don't know how many Pilum ships am I supposed to deploy for that tactic to actually work, half my fleet? In that case I prefer to deploy much more reliable brawlers and hit the targets directly.
Look at all that effort you've gone to, and yet you are still wrong. All the lab tests in the world won't prove a thing.
The only valid test is battle, and a carpet of missiles is an amazing thing. It's not just about hitting a target, it's about pressure, distraction, and denial of mobility. It doesn't matter if that cruiser shoots down all the Pilums because if it's doing that its not shooting down anything else. And while its doing that its constantly trying to move out of the way, which means it gets trapped between the missiles it doesn't want to be near and the ships which are closing in around it. And then it dies because it can't defend in multiple directions simultaneously.
You don't have to like them. But that doesn't mean they are useless.

I think we've derailed this thread enough now.

So the core problem here is that:
1) Their usage is replaced/Dominated by fighters
2) The OP cost is un-competitive compared with other weapons
3) They are incredibly unforgiving of mistakes
4) Limited ammo = wasted OP

4 is the biggie. Remember when ballistics had limited ammo, and everyone went to enormous lengths to use only energy equppied ships wherever possible because running out of ammo mid-fight is really as far from fun as you can get?
5  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: All missiles should cost 0 ordnance points. on: November 24, 2017, 02:19:41 AM
I think that carriers with unlimited fighters being currently brokenly powerful shows that regenerating missiles would be an even worse idea.
Missiles are far easier to shoot down than fighters.
I don't think this is an issue with the game mechanics, but rather an issue with not being sold on the idea. Yet.

I actually had a bright idea to put the missile strategy to use by including some support ships in my fleet - those supports putting heavy emphasis on missile use. That strategy however did nothing but cost me money, as those missile ships were usually the first to die, usually by rushing at the enemy for no apparent reason and promptly getting torn to shreds, all the while my gun-only units and carriers were delivering a carnage.
All you need to "fix" this is 1 timid officer and 1 CP per battle.
Set up your missile ships for long range fire support, so Pilums (or any other suitable missile) some PD, along with UI and ECCM.
Assign your timid guy to the biggest/slowest missile ship you have. And in every battle you deploy your missile boats into, bandbox/shift-select all the uncaptained ones and tell them escort your timid. They will then form a little ball which hovers around the edge of the battle puking out a constant stream of explosives which is also well defended enough to deter most threats that challenge it.
Works incredibly well with a group of Vigilances.

Pilums suck too much
A single Pilum is laughable. A trio is annoying. Half a dozen is threatening. Twenty is terrifying.
They are like the missile equivalent of beams. The more of them you have, the better they become. Once you get to the point where you can field 10+ launchers, you can create a tide of pain that slowly creeps accross the battlespace punishing anyone who dares cross that line.
Granted, the missiles themselves could stand to be a little faster since some cruisers can outrun them. But otherwise they're fine.
6  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: All missiles should cost 0 ordnance points. on: November 21, 2017, 01:49:20 PM
The hardest part is determining how fast they should regen.
Not really based on anything more than my desire to play with missiles more freely, and a vague feeling of what I wanted to achieve.
R = (M/D)*S

R = The regen rate entered into the weapons table.
M = A global multiplier. Higher gives faster regen for everything. 36 is the figure I used that "felt" right.
D = The damage output for a single missile round (MIRVs use the sum of all warheads).
S = Mount size multiplier. Again based on "feeling" small is 1, medium is 1.5 and large is 2.

This could be further subdivided by damage type (or any other identifiable category) if you really wanted to.

I used the Harpoon as my baseline and aimed to get a regen rate of approx. 20 seconds per missile. - Actually ended up being 20.8s (This would be 0.048 in the regen column of the weapon table).
Works fairly well and imo seems to make battles feel much more active with missiles flying back and forth more frequently, and completely removes the tedious metagame of trying to tease out limited ammo so you can attack with impunity.
The notable flaw being you can use HE missiles to brute force shields if you want to, while the AI as it stands cannot.

This does not address reload times at all, as puking out all your missiles with 0 delay will still punish you by making you wait for more missiles so I never considered it worth the effort to do anything about as regen still enourages you to be mindful about missile use. It just no longer punishes you (so harshly) for making a mistake. This also applies to the AI which makes it somewhat more dangerous.
This has always been something of a contentious issue, and I'm sure there will be someone along shortly to tell us all why I'm wrong. But people like different things, and I like flinging missiles around like cheap fireworks because the fun explosions please the primitive lizard part of my brain.
7  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.81a][UTILITY] Starsector FX 0.9a (and example mods!) on: September 16, 2017, 01:59:05 AM
Starsector FX Core must be active, or none of the FX mods, or mods that depend on it, will work at all (and the game will probably crash).

The other two projects are optional.  They are examples of what can be done with the FX Core.

Weapon FX makes changes to the visual behaviors of all of the weapons in Vanilla and saves CPU by using fewer particles.
Thruster FX replaces every single Vanilla ship Engine with new special effects systems and replaces the Vanilla missile trails with new special effects that use less CPU.

Where is the core mod which everything else depends on?
Will it even work if I just add everything marked 'fx' since there is no 'core' module?
What is all that other stuff anyway?
Why is there a ton of non-fx things in the fx mod package?

It's just a huge bowl of spaghetti.
Why do I want to add any of these to the game if you can't even segregate unrelated things, or even adequately identify required elements?
Fx needs tidying into it's own mod pack with nothing else in it, and with each part clearly identified.

I've been looking forward to this, but 'kitchen sink' modding is one of the surest ways of putting off people who don't want to spelunk through your collection of <thing>.
8  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Hold and drag item transfer on: July 29, 2017, 05:52:20 AM
How about a "move all weapons" button, instead?  Most of the time, this QoL issue happens when players are squirreling away gear; if, in the future, we're stocking an Outpost for fleet construction from our Monty Hauls, this might save a bunch of clicking Smiley

Just one little button. Bonus points for being able to preset values somewhere to leave x amount of something in the fleet.
9  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Ships can go over their OP limit on: July 29, 2017, 05:41:37 AM
Sort of been done already, albeit rather harshly.
SWP has the Maximized Ordnance hullmod which gives extra OP to a ship when fitted.
Harsh because the tradeoff for using it is so unattractive that it never gets used. (At least in my games.)

For hullmods it could be possible to trade off a ships stats for extra OP to make it more expensive to operate but not making it a horribly frustrating experience for the player.
Such as:
  • Decreasing it's cargo/fuel capacity.
  • Increasing it's crew requirement.
  • Decreasing it's crew capacity. (So you must have other ships to carry crew for it.)
  • Increasing it's maintenance and/or recovery costs.
  • Increasing it's fleet deployment cost.

And in return the mods could:
  • Just give a flat amount of OP.
  • Reduce OP costs for a specific size or type weapon.
  • Reduce OP costs for a specific type of other hullmods.

Example Hullmods
Optimised Carrier Systems
Decreases the OP cost for fighter LPCs.
Increases the ship crew requirement
Increases maint. cost.
Increases deploy cost.

Superconductive Fluxguides
Decreases OP cost for energy weapons.
Decreases cargo and fuel capacity by x%.
Decreases turret rotation speed by y%.

Missile Ordnance Specialisation
Decreases OP cost for missiles.
Adds x% or +1 to maximum ammuntition count (whichever is greater).
Decreases cargo and fuel capacity by x%.
Decreases ship speed and acceleration by y%.

Small Arms Specialisation
Decreases OP cost for small mount weapons.
Increases maint. cost.
Increases recovery cost.

Defence Sepecialisation
Decreases OP cost for weapons tagged with "point defence".
Decreases flux dissipation rate by x%.

Engine Optimisation
Decreases OP cost for hullmods related to engines.
Increases fuel consumption by x%.

Efficient Organisation
Adds x OP.
Increases maint. cost.
Increases recovery cost.

Alternately, you could make these "role abilities" into built-in mods for all the ships.
And then you could either have them appear randomly (but quite rarely) on generated ships, and/or have the ability for the player to pay a friendly port to "convert" ships to that spec.
These various mods would be either mutually exculsive (ie: one role mod per ship), or subject diminishing returns for fitting more than one.

But what do I know? I'm just a dumb hors.
10  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Missile ammo a function of ship size, ie bigger ship more missiles. on: July 08, 2017, 02:14:03 AM
But you don't have to do nerf them that way. You can keep their damage and use their re-fire rate and the clip mechanics to stop them from ever being dead OP, without having to rebalance everything.
Unpopular opinions:
This is how I did it when I went through the tables and added regen onto everything. (Except without clips for the most part as I find them annoying to actually use).
Regen rate is based off two things:
  • The damage output of a single "shot" of the weapon
  • The size of the mount the weapon requires
It also helps a LOT to put cooldown times on things like Sabots to make them less horrifically brutal.

Regen rate = m/dmg
Where "m" is a general multiplier which I currently have set to 36.
Small mounts = base rate
Med mounts = base * 1.5
Large mounts = base * 2.5

Increasing "m" makes everything slower.
m/dmg gives you the number you enter into the tables for smalls. (multiply as above for med & lrg.)
Multiply that by 60 to get the rounds per minute "r".
60/r gives you the time you have to wait for one shot to reload.

Harpoon in a small mount will reload one shot in approx. 21 seconds. Medium 14s. Large (if it existed) 8s.
36/750 = 0.048
*60 = 2.88
2.88/60 = 20.83
*1.5 = 13.88 (med)
*2.5 = 8.33 (lrg)

Reaper in a small mount will reload one shot in approx. 110 seconds. Medium 74s. Large 44s.
36/4000 = 0.009
*60 = 0.54
0.54/60 = 111.11
*1.5 = 74.07 (med)
*2.5 = 44.44 (lrg)

If you really really wanted to make missile capacity even more dependant on ship size than sml/med/lrg mounts do, the least terrible way to do it would be via changing the missile racks hullmod.
11  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: Character aptitude points why I don't like them and how I would change them. on: June 25, 2017, 12:54:56 PM
Different approach:

Remove aptitudes as a thing you spend points on. Ie; all skills are still arranged exactly as they are now and are entirely open, but still need to be unlocked sequentially in each sub-category.
Each skill point spent in an "aptitude" gets recorded, and for every x skills bought in that aptitude the player gets a bonus to some thing or other.

For instance, if you were to spend 5 skill points in combat you could get a small boost to the performance of your flagship.
The boosts for each increment would offer greater rewards for specialising in an aptitude more. So eventually you could have some fleetwide bonus to thing x by specialising enough in a given field.

Player doesn't feel like they're being held to ransom with empty skills.
Game rewards specialisation.

Or just
...previous versions, when Aptitudes had small but worthwhile effects in themselves.

12  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Automated Repair Unit on: June 19, 2017, 02:52:58 AM
No.  hull regeneration was the biggest enabler of soloing fleets.  You trade shots with the enemy, run away, let hull regenerate, repeat.  It is was single most powerful perk before 0.8.
I don't think this is an issue at all any more, given that CR exists for everything and the AI is fond of dragging out engagements as long as possible. Not to mention soloing is dead now, if you try it outside the simulator you're gonna have a bad time. And balancing for edge cases is not really a good idea anyway.
And also because:
Today, using this hullmod, along with many others, hurts, especially if you do not have Loadout Design 3 (and it still hurts even when you have it).
You'd be giving up OP space (which there is already, as noted, a dearth of), essentially trading it for survivability. Which is something I greatly miss from 0.7 where I could have damage control officers on my vital ships, greatly reducing my reluctance to deploy them.
The 'free' repairs after battle ability is nice, but it doesn't help with keeping the ship in the fight (and out of the scrapyard) in the first place.
Now, maybe have the hullmod repair some damage after combat for free like Damage Control 2 and Field Repairs 2.  That would be nice.
Nice, yes. I suppose it would be kind of neat to have access to that ability at the cost of OP instead of skill points for the sake of continuity with the rest of the abilities which have this. It would be nicer still if there were some means of performing in-combat repairs again. Even if it has some conditional thing like the ship must be at 0 flux, or the ARU generates flux when under heavy use.
I dunno. It just seems like it's the kind of thing that makes a lot of sense to have as an option, and enables a kind of underdog comeback thing that feels p. good for the player.

13  Starsector / Mods / Re: [0.7.2a] Tiandong Heavy Industries v1.1.2 - Updated 1/10/17 on: June 18, 2017, 03:09:27 AM
Confucious say: Patient man receive all the 'dong he want.
14  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: Character aptitude points why I don't like them and how I would change them. on: June 18, 2017, 02:53:13 AM
They could at best have a token, symbolic bonus, which, too me, would feel kinda dishonest.

I don't know.
Even if the aptitudes gave you something it would feel less like you were being extorted out of a skill point in order to progress.

Pick one for each aptitude. Hell, randomise them on game start if you want so it's different every time.
You can even explain it as part of the player character background if needed.
Each level gives....

Combat (Flagship only)
+x% maximum CR
+x% CR recovery rate
+x% ship speed
+x% ship armour

Leadership (Fleetwide)
+x% xp gain for player & officers
-x% supply use for maintenance
+x% command point regen
+x% cargo/fuel capacity for civilian ships

Technology (Fleetwide)
-x% fuel use
+x% ECM rating
+x% maximum flux capacity
+x% flux dissipation
+x% sensor range
+x% vent/capacitor efficiency

Industry (Fleet/Base wide)
-x% supply use for repairs
-x% cost for survey and salvage
-x% building/running cost for whatever outpost wizardry happens
+x% salvage/battle loot recovery
+x% ship recovery chance
15  Starsector / Suggestions / Automated Repair Unit on: June 18, 2017, 02:33:36 AM
The ARU seems to be a mediocre use of precious OP space, which while nice to have doesn't really give you much return for your investment.
To be honest, the only reason I'd currently use the ARU is for the CR preservation in order to fight multiple battles in quick succession. And even then it would be used only if there was enough OP left after fitting more important things, which there frequently isn't.
It just isn't 'attractive' enough to get used most of the time.

What I would like to see is an addition to the ARU that makes it actually useful for keeping ships alive. Something that would make it worth giving up something else for.
Something like.... The ability to repair the hull of a ship in battle.
Like the Damage Control skill from 0.7. (as scripted by DamageControlPerk2_1)

Since it would be no longer a skill based 'freebie' but rather something you'd have to spend OPs on, I don't think it would be too much.
Whether the hullmod would then need a slight size increase or not is another consideration.

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