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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 - j01

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I've had the most luck with the heaviest low-tech ship in each class other than frigate, as far as AI handling is concerned.

Not sure why another poster said Enforcers suck with AI, because I've seen exactly the opposite.

Any ship with lower speed, high armor, and ballistic weapons + missiles seems to be very easy for the AI to do well with.

The low speed tends to keep them from barging alone into trouble, the higher the armor the better their margin of error when shields overload or when getting flanked/overwhelmed, ballistics give flak/dual flak which are very often even better defensive tools than shields and unarguably the best overall PD, not to mention combining kinetic and explosive weapons makes it a simple matter to balance your AI friends' ships for both overwhelming shields and chewing through armor quickly.

Missiles are icing on the cake, and can really add up if devoted to long range support if every one of your friends has some LRMs to cover the battlefield in.

Midline or higher tech ships are rubbish for AI, especially if their shields aren't omni. This is the reason AI hyperions are a joke, while player-controlled hyperions can survive forever. The AI doesn't even begin to understand how to properly use shields, or when to back off from a fight, much less when NOT to back off and instead keep the pressure on.

I find that even omni shielded AI ships have major problems surviving, but hullmodding for extended shields, faster shields, and stronger shields can help a lot, since the AI is terrible at knowing when to keep shields up and when to drop them.

Another general tip is that it can be very useful to put maneuverability and turret speed mods on AI ships, especially if they use ballistics, so they don't waste tons of ammo uselessly firing at moving targets without properly leading them. Needless to say, this is also a cause for considering +ammo mods as well. All optional, but definitely helpful.

General Discussion / Re: Original game art
« on: March 14, 2012, 07:41:43 PM »
He is a skilled professional. It's his job.

If you're curious about the actual process, maybe he'll chime in and enlighten us. I would be interested in reading about that, myself, even though I'm more into the coding side of things.

Suggestions / Re: One Shot Button and More Weapons Group
« on: March 10, 2012, 10:53:48 AM »
I just skimmed the responses in this topic, so I'm not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but it would be great if there was also an Alpha Strike button, to fire all weapon groups at once.

If you can share a pre-battle save that shows the problem, I can take a closer look.

I don't have one handy, but I've seen this happen consistently every time I have a fleet of two lashers go up against a team of two hounds, and let the AI control all my ships. The hounds and lashers pair off and circle each other while doing nothing. I gave up after like 5 or so minutes of watching this each time, and took direct control and chased the enemies down. The ships' speed difference was likely a factor.

In general, though, a Venture probably won't want to get near a Paragon. It's just too scared, and rightfully so.

The Paragon had about 100 total hull left, and all its armor was already chewed off. I could have beaten it easily if the venture dared to go close enough just to be a distraction, but its cowardice made the battle too improbable to bother with.

A pity that I can't even override this behavior with direct orders.

Just as it says in the title.

I had an engine hullmod hyperion, sped up to engineboost speed during combat, then fired my annihilator rockets. They were exactly the same speed as me, stayed on top of my ship as I went along, and exploded on me after a very brief moment.

This might not ought to be the case, and I can see it being a more common problem on maps with nav beacons that give speed upgrades.

Possibly related, though probably not a bug: I've noticed while flying fast ships around tight clusters of enemies that use missiles, their own missiles can be directed back into them sometimes, but sometimes they pass right through. It seems random, but consistent enough that fast ships can use this as a viable strategy to destroy enemies with their own missiles, if the enemy is quite slow.

Announcements / Re: Starfarer 0.51a (Released) - Live Patch Notes
« on: March 09, 2012, 08:39:51 AM »
You seem to be under the impression that endgame == large fleets - which is, certainly, one possibility (as long as you're not one of those crazy people who's gathered over 200 points of ships...), but has been stated by the devs that it's not meant to be the only option; that a captain of a single elite vessel (plus escorts) is also a perfectly viable endgame.

So yes, I'm exactly considering smaller fleet sizes, and the player controlled ship, because to me, that's what's important in this game; if I'm flying one paragon out of 12, something has gone wrong.  I'm not really interested in playing the game as just another RTS; I don't like that sort of game.

I did make the assumption that you merely weren't considering the AI's handle on ship balance because you hadn't gotten very far. My mistake. I also often enjoy single-ship play, which I hope remains viable in the campaign as development progresses.

Still, my point remains. You weren't considering AI ship control, which is a very large part of the game that cannot be ignored, even if you restrict yourself to a single ship.

Kinetic damage trumps high tech ships that rely on shields, while energy weapons cannot compare to the range and power of their ballistic counterparts, all other things being equal.

Suggestions / Re: Weapon Shop "Fitting Room"
« on: March 09, 2012, 08:22:55 AM »
I have made the same suggestion in this thread Refit Screen

Glad to see we're on the same page. Here's hoping it gets implemented, as I think it would be universally appreciated.

Suggestions / Weapon Shop "Fitting Room"
« on: March 08, 2012, 09:31:30 PM »
Especially now that store-bought ships come with zero equipment, I think it would be great idea to add a "fitting room" option when buying weapons.

Basically it would take you into the refit screen for your currently owned ships, but it would allow you to equip weapons from the station's supply, showing you how much it would cost as you outfit your ships, etc. Then you could accept and pay the total of all the weapons you tried on, and equip them directly onto the ship, or you could cancel and back out to the regular purchase menu. Think Final Fantasy Tactics.

This would greatly speed up and streamline the process of buying new components.

EDIT: It would probably also be good if the fitting room allowed you to throw your already-owned components into the mix, to achieve the best results. This could be as easy as color coding the components in, say, blue highlighted background for owned components, and green for components you'd have to purchase, when you click the component slot and scroll through the list of weapons available.

I've had a large number of small scale battles now where the AI ships just circle around each other and never get close enough to actually fight.

This is disconcerting enough, but it became a real problem when I engaged a single enemy Paragon while piloting a hyperion frigate, accompanied by my AI friend in a Venture.

I tried every combination of orders, from setting the Paragon to an all-out attack target, setting AI to search and destroy, placing a defend point or rally carrier point directly behind the Paragon, and my Venture friend will not come close enough to fight at all 9 battles out of 10. It just flies forward, then backs away indefinitely just before entering fire range, even if I'm already fighting the Paragon, and even when the Paragon is turned completely around.

The one time I did manage to nudge the Venture within fighting distance of the Paragon, it fired its light needlers from too far away, about twice the needlers' weapon range. The ship slowly lurched back and forth, still way out of range, wasting its needler ammo and missiles.

I don't know if it's a problem with the needlers, or if the cowardly AI behavior made it waste its ammo, because the Paragon would often blast its heavy needlers way out of range too, as the Venture bobbed uncertainly just short of closing.

The latter example was done with higher level crew in all ships, if it matters.

Announcements / Re: Starfarer 0.51a (Released) - Live Patch Notes
« on: March 08, 2012, 05:58:28 PM »

Graviton beams are the only kinetic damage energy weapon. As per their description, they are supposed to be specifically for damaging shields, which they are horrible at, because they're beam weapons and because their damage is tiny.

Pulse lasers are indeed better at damaging shields. They generate obscene amounts of flux on your own ship, though, and the damage per shot is not very good, and ends up just being average. It is a ridiculous waste to use antimatter blasters against shields in particular unless it is a very special situation, as they generate 1500 flux on you every time you fire one, for a mere 1000 damage on enemy shields (minus shield efficiency, so much, much less on 0.8 and lower shield absorption ratios). There's a very good reason AM blasters are classified as strike weapons. Clever maneuvering on a player controlled ship can mitigate these drawbacks, however, and make it possible to take advantage of unique openings that AI would miss, but that's only relevant in small-scale, small-fleet, beginner campaign situations. We're talking about balance for the entire game here, and taking large fleets into consideration.

You also seem to have misread what I typed, as I was talking about sabots as options FOR high tech ships, not AGAINST them. With that in mind, you raise another point that strengthens my own, that they are very slow and easy to dodge and destroy.

As for your experience with pure-energy-loadout medusa, it should be easy enough, I imagine, to outlast an Onslaught's ammo supply, and/or circle around to its unshielded rear and do quick strike runs until it's dead while avoiding its attacks. That's the advantage of player-controlled ships. Of course, that was not at all my point, and furthermore is an idea that quickly falls apart when you get past the beginning campaign stages and actually have your team AI battling enemy AI.


Firstly, it does not follow that simply being fast means that a ship can punish anything that can catch it. If you meant maneuverability, that can be true for player controlled ships, which is but one small facet of the game's entirety considering potential fleet sizes, but even then a given ship can all too easily be extremely outclassed when its focus is shields at the expense of armor and hull when the enemy has plenty of kinetic damage to pour on, especially since explosive damage is commonly accompanying it in ballistics.

Secondly, there is absolutely no shortage of high range ballistics, especially kinetic damage based ones. Off the top of my head, there are railguns, needlers, hypervelocity drivers, autocannons, which range from 600 to, what, 1000 range? They are often extremely fast projectiles, have tons of ammunition, and deal way, way more damage to shields than the flux they generate on the user from firing them. And that's just in the small ballistics category. Energy weapons do not compare in range, and the ones that compare in accuracy are beams, which are useless against shields.


Again, you're only considering early game, tiny fleet sizes, and the single player-controlled ship in small scale battles. Also, there is no "ballistic medusa" in the base game, you're thinking of a mod. If it was just a reference for the sake of comparison, I would mention the ballistic version of the hyperion frigate from the same mod, which is vastly superior to its energy counterpart. Try it. 2 dual MGs in front 2 mounts, 1 annihilator pod on each of the 2 med missile mounts. Extend missile ammo for more lackadaisical barrages, and enjoy dispatching ships two size categories larger with ease because you can break their shields in seconds. Works against entire fleets, even ones containing the weaker capital ships. Just one ballistic frigate.

The medusa looks good on paper, and its maneuverability alone lends it unarguable advantages when in the hands of the player, but in practice and in actual fleet battles of even moderate size, they fall apart to the superior combination of kinetic and explosive ballistic weapons, nevermind missiles flying around that PD beams cannot even begin to handle.

All of you guys should really try pitting decent sized or higher, equal fleets of high tech ships with equal crew level against low tech fleets. The advantage of kinetic damage is obvious, and nobody survives long enough for ammo to run out except on missiles (which high tech ships often rely on to make up for their lack of armor or shield damaging capabilities).

General Discussion / Re: Ode to the Paragon!
« on: March 08, 2012, 01:55:43 PM »
I maintain that players that go for 'the most powerful ship' as opposed to ships with class have zero style. Heroes never fly the best ships, just the coolest.

It's hard to be stylish when you're dead.

If that's what it means to be a hero, I'd rather play the villain.

Announcements / Re: Starfarer 0.51a (Released) - Live Patch Notes
« on: March 08, 2012, 01:37:13 PM »
Also, to people saying energy weapons are better: they're awesome for ripping apart low tech ships (i.e. pirates) - but they're actually sub-par against Tri-Tachyon ships.  Since damage from beams can get vented while shields are still up, and all the energy projectile weapons have *really* high flux generation...

I haven't read what you were responding to, but I just had to mention...

I find that energy weapons are even more terrible vs low tech ships in general, actually. Low tech ships tend to have ballistic weapons, which very often means at least a mix of kinetic damage. You are guaranteed to lose, all other things being equal, when you pit ships that rely on shields and energy weapons against ships with high armor and plenty of kinetic/explosive ballistics.

All they have to do is machinegun your shields down and then casually tear apart your inferior armor/hull. Meanwhile, your only options in response are gravitons, which are so piddly that most ships ignore them just with their regular flux dissipation, nevermind their laughable damage vs armor and hull and inferiority vs even machineguns, and then there are sabots, which are ultra limited by ammo, and are chewed up effortlessly by flak.

Higher tech ships that spew beams and pulses and energy blasts already generate a ton of flux on themselves, don't do that great against shields, and have terrible point defense that can't even begin to compare to the likes of their ballistic counterparts.

The only real advantage of high tech ships is their speed, which the AI is not even close to utilizing like the player can.

It is indeed the hotfix release, RC3, as specified.

I cannot reproduce it, but it might be noteworthy that I was rapidly quickloading a save the very instant before engaging an enemy fleet, and quickly autobattling them, zooming past the boarding and looting screens, and reloading to do it all over again. Over and over.

All of this is very jerky with oddly flashing graphics and jittery sound on my unimpressive computer.

Vanilla install, devmode TRUE, attempted to quickload (F9) while on the after-combat screen where you choose to board or scrap enemy vessels. Crashed.

Excerpt from starfarer.log:

8210469 [Thread-6] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.String  - java.lang.IndexOutOfBoundsException: Index: 10, Size: 6
java.lang.IndexOutOfBoundsException: Index: 10, Size: 6
at java.util.ArrayList.RangeCheck(
at java.util.ArrayList.get(
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.oOo0.Ó00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.oOo0.Ò00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.public.super(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.D.I.Ò00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.public.super(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.oOo0.Ó00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.ui.o0OO.Ò00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.public.super(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.oOo0.Ó00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.oOo0.Ò00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.public.super(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.super.super(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.oOOO.OõÒ000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.super.A.Ò00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.String.super(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$ Source)

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