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News: Starsector 0.9a is out! (11/16/18)
 
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76  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: hullmod heavy variants on: February 20, 2012, 04:36:32 PM
I have test mission for this sort of stuff Wink - the variant was hardcoded.

I also had two railguns and two thumpers (Was using a cellphone keyboard, so didn't mention them). Basically, what I did, was I let the other onslaught unload onto my shields and once its flux was too high, it had to drop them once I started firing. Though they did sucky damage individually with low accuracy and range, all those mortars eventully burned through the enemy hull at practically point-blank. Plus I also attacked by raising my shields on top of the enemy ship, and since my ship was very economical with flux (both efficient shields and low flux weapons), and had absurdly thick armor and hull, I simply tanked the damage.

Awesome.

Kind of reminds me of a few times when I've started campaign mode with an underpowered frigate and ran into some overpowering enemies. I've often had to employ desperate strategies like wildly avoiding combat and letting them waste ammo, then supplementing my weak weaponry by ramming them with my shields up to help damage their armor and hull.

What you've done rather makes me want to see ship variants that are armored up and built for just slamming into other ships to cause damage, relying on superior defense.

In another campaign game I was playing, I found it interesting to load up a paragon with max flux capacity and dissipation, all the hullmods that enhance shields, flux, etc. and speed/maneuverability, and using it as a pure meat shield to absorb shots while my smaller ships dealt with the distracted enemies.

It worked suprisingly well, especially with a crew good enough to push the paragon to elite status, upping its flux/damage shield absorption ratio to like 0.3:1. I didn't have enough OP left to put any weapons on it at all, but it lasted forever before it had to vent flux.
77  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Fighter wings on: February 20, 2012, 04:25:30 PM
I have to say, I would very much love it if campaign mode started you out on an even smaller scale, piloting one fighter sized ship, and with only fuel and 1 crew in your cargo.

Obviously I'm thinking forward in the development a bit, as there would need to be better design and gameplay structure to realistically get anywhere with so humble a beginning. Maybe you'd be able to run cargo from planet to planet while avoiding (or engaging) pirates until you work the cash up for a frigate or more fighter wingman buddies.

Anyway, being able to pilot fighters at any point in the game would be pretty cool, imo, so I would be all for this. Implementation should be as easy as making the AI control the rest of the fighters in a wing and follow the ship the player controls, and when the player's controlled fighter dies, control switches to the next living fighter in the wing.
78  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: hullmod heavy variants on: February 20, 2012, 03:34:18 PM
aug engines + aug thrust i bet he strafed behind it and shot past the shield...  Tongue

I have serious doubts unless he was very lucky and/or the opponent was distracted by other ships. I've piloted onslaughts with both speed and maneuverability upgrades, and they still turn and accelerate like molasses.

Maneuverability upgrades are practically negligible when they're increasing by a percentage of an already insignificant number!

Where did you get all the mortars? They are surprisingly fun.

Seeing as they only seem to currently be available by stripping a particular class of frigate that is rare, he probably dupe-bugged them to try them out.
79  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: YouTube Lets Play on: February 20, 2012, 03:29:51 PM
Does anyone know of a really good high quality lets play of this game, I mean its possible, there's enough game here already, just a thought

*initiate plug*

I've put a few up on my channel: http://www.youtube.com/51ppycup

Here's the latest one:

*end plug*

I started watching your latest video there and had a brief moment of panic when you pronounced the word as "heh-JIM-uh-nee", feeling certain that I've been mispronouncing it for the past 27 years, but I quickly looked it up and pronouncing it as "HEDGE-ih-MOH-nee" is also correct.

Crisis averted. Cool vids, by the way.
80  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: hullmod heavy variants on: February 20, 2012, 03:21:50 PM
Curious. I'd think it would be fairly impossible to get past a normal onslaught's shields with only cheap little explosive and flak weapons.

Did you have a good number of kinetic damage weapons too that you just didn't mention directly? If not, how did the battle go exactly that you managed to win with that setup?

In fact, if it isn't a ton of trouble, I'd love to see a screenshot of your onslaught loadout to see exactly what's going on.
81  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: Halted progression in campaign, can't seem to catch a fleet I can handle on: February 20, 2012, 12:53:25 AM
Tips for catching fleets that run away from you:

If you make liberal use of the pause button (spacebar) and hover your cursor over them, you can see what their target is when they aren't fleeing from you. Often they will be "attacking orbital station" or somesuch, so you know they'll be going for the station when you aren't too close to them.

If you click the space next to them instead of clicking ON the fleet, travel diagonally instead of straight towards them, and sometimes outright head in the opposite direction as them, they will often veer back and quickly head towards their regular objective. This is a good time to (again without clicking on them) head back towards them, and often you can touch them just before they turn away, and THEN click on them, causing an engagement.

It can often be helpful to position your enemy between you and one or more groups of your allied fleets, giving them more obstacles to avoid and increasing your chances of catching them as they fumble around and try to change directions.

If you chase a fleet to the very edge of the map, they can't go any farther and you can corner them. This works especially well in the actual corners of the galaxy map.

I've used these methods to catch single-frigate-fleets while I'm a dozen onslaughts strong and my max speed is like 102, so it isn't impossible; It is just tedious.
82  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Flux as a weapon or propellant on: February 18, 2012, 08:33:30 PM
Venting flux is supposed to make your ship vulnerable, it's the cost of taking heavy shield damage and firing your weapons a bunch. If you could vent flux for a speed boost, or have it destroy incoming missiles, it would remove that vulnerability.

No, that's not what I'm suggesting. I feel like I was pretty clear about normal venting only doing very minor damage, especially in the case where I specified that it MIGHT destroy one missile in twenty. As an alternative, it could merely slightly push at projectiles so it might only make a missile with an already awkward trajectory veer off and miss its first pass.

As for specifically using flux as a focused weapon or speed boost: in the case of being weaponized, it would still be of only marginal power, either dealing very small damage or just physically repulsing, and in the case of speed it would be VERY short lived, and both cases would require a customized loadout with systems just to enable them that take up space and/or ordnance points.

It's really not difficult to imagine any number of ways to create what I'm envisioning here that is still balanced with respect to the intended weaknesses of flux buildup. Flux buildup already empowers your energy weapons after you reach a certain point, you know.

The real question is: would this be fun and interesting enough to warrant consideration?
83  Starsector / Suggestions / Flux as a weapon or propellant on: February 18, 2012, 07:09:06 PM
Could be neat.

To elaborate:

(Scenario A)
  • Venting flux damages surrounding enemies and objects. You could sometimes destroy, say, one missile in twenty just by venting, so you wouldn't feel as utterly defenseless while doing so. It might also be interesting to have weapons or hull mods that allow you to focus vented flux into a narrow, concentrated cone to deal damage or even push objects, enemies, and missiles away.

(Scenario B)
  • Direct flux as a means of propelling your ship in a direction at a greater speed than you are regularly capable. A sort of afterburner button that requires built-up flux as fuel for quick bursts of uncanny maneuverability. Wouldn't that just be delightful?

Thoughts?
84  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: 0.5 feedback on: February 18, 2012, 06:46:10 PM
is it really that big a deal?

This universal slot modded ship can destroy any fleet of any size and any makeup all by itself before most ships even come into full view.

http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t438/jm9001/StarfarerUniversalSlots.png

If all ship slots WERE universal, there would certainly have to be a ton of overall weapon rebalances. No challenge means a sharp decline in fun after that brief moment of gratification for the vast majority of people. This is commonly considered a bad thing.
85  Starsector / Bug Reports & Support / My 0.5a bugs, inconsistencies, etc. list on: February 18, 2012, 05:25:06 PM
1) Shift-clicking while refitting: If you don't have any more of that weapon, it still works and thus duplicates the component for you free of charge.

2) Omni weapon slots do not let you place components of 1 category smaller like regular slots do. For example, I can equip a small laser in a medium energy slot, but I can't equip a small weapon of any kind in a medium omni slot. One or the other is a bug if this is not an intended drawback of omni slots.

3) During combat, the AI does not recognize disabled ship wreckage. If there is a wreckage between the AI and an enemy, it will waste ammo hitting the wreckage, and if there is any objective that is past a wreckage, the AI will crash into the wreckage and damage itself trying to get there. This lack of collision detection is also true for asteroids.

4) The AI is very bad at shield and flux management in general, but especially:

    > Disengages shields when too close to the enemy. It probably shouldn't let shields down when an enemy is on its radar at all, due to the extreme distance of some weapons, and how ineffective certain shield types and sizes can be when long range fire approaches.

    > Doesn't understand that larger ships' shields engage more slowly. A capital ship that relies on massive shield surface area is going to get wrecked by MIRVs and missile barrages from more than one direction (and even somtimes from head on), hit-and-run fighters/fast frigate groups, and even the most lackadaisical flanking maneuvers because it doesn't engage its shield the moment a blip hits the radar, and sometimes not even before the enemy's salvo is within spitting distance. I'm looking at you, Astral carrier.

    > Apparently seems to think it has omni shields when it doesn't. I do a lot of feed watching the AI during combat, and their general behavior seems to suggest this. Shields with fixed directions and limited coverage often seem to try aiming its "mouse cursor" as priority instead of turning. This might just be a flaw in my observations though, and they could just be preparing their PD weapons.

    > Just does not back off or stop firing its weapons when its flux approaches critical or near critical levels before dropping shields and/or venting. Even a paragon-class should probably stop bouncing its uber rapidfire 700-flux-per-second laser cannons ineffectually off the enemies' shields when it is being blasted from all sides, if only so it will last until some backup arrives to take the heat off, instead of helping to overload itself and venting right in the thick of it, thus exposing its gooey center to one hundred million bullets. Prioritizing weapons by their flux generation when things get heated would generally be a good thing for the AI to learn.


5) I'm not sure if this is the case with any other weapon, but currently if you try to fire one or several antimatter cannons and you don't have enough flux left to handle it, your flux maxes out and you don't fire anything. Even if this isn't unintentional, it would probably be better to just play a brief failure noise and prevent anything from happening at all, even the flux generation.

6) There are many inconsistencies with the standard ship loadouts and what the ships can actually handle. I've seen this mentioned in the case of overstepping the ordinance bounds, but many of the default loadouts equip the wrong weapon size or category into its slots as well. For example, the Aurora-class default loadout equips an LRM rack (large category) into its top-right missile slot, which is a small missile slot.

7) In various places (mostly ingame, not in main/settings menus), random letters in text are missing. For example, in combat, the first three to four letters are missing from certain orders, or a single letter in the middle of a word is missing in other orders. In the fleet menu out of combat, the "scuttle" command or whatever it is, is displayed only as "uttle hip", or somesuch. There are many other instances. Possibly related, there are several little intermittent graphical glitches in the planets, fleets, and other objects that seem most prevalent when zoomed out, but they are barely noticeable.

8) The game stutters fairly horribly in all places sometimes, both with graphics and sound, simultaneously. The computer I play on (my friend's, but he barely uses it) isn't THAT ancient, with a 1.9ghz processor, 1gig of RAM, windows XP, a PCI ATI Radeon 9550 or something like that, with the best and most up to date drivers possible. It runs 3d games like morrowind on max settings and oblivion at minimum settings just fine, but can't run Space Pirates and Zombies at all due to how slow it is, for comparison.

I'll edit with additional examples as I find or remember them.

86  Starsector / Suggestions / Working in Someone Else's Fleet on: February 16, 2012, 08:27:10 PM
I've seen this brought up in another thread or two, casually, but not as the point of the thread, and not discussed in depth.

Personally, I would love to play in a campaign where I can decide to, if I want, only own and manage a single ship, and join some particular fleet where the AI makes the strategic decisions and I can just fly around the battlefield only worrying about controlling my ship and concentrating on my own ace combat maneuvers (ha.).

I love managing all of the combat too, don't get me wrong, but I think it would be really great to have this option if I just wanted to get into the thick of combat and not have to maintain any more ships than my own both in and out of battle.

I already dearly love the fact that you can, currently, put your capship on autopilot and make combat PURELY strategy without taking control. That might even be my favorite feature. Going to the other extreme as well just sounds like a great fit.
87  Starsector / Suggestions / Re: Everything From This> on: February 16, 2012, 08:15:38 PM
Those are very good points, and as I said I am pretty much just dreaming out loud because of how much extra work it would be.

However, it's actually not that difficult to conceptualize that kind of gameplay into a game that already plays like Starfarer.

The game I cited (Ascii Sector) already does it perfectly simply by making the "on foot" portions of the game play out like a space themed Roguelike RPG. Of course, a key aspect of a Roguelike is that death is permanent, and that risk probably wouldn't be much loved in a game with the scope of Starfarer. Cred-intensive cloning or some other mechanism would work well enough if necessary.

On a less dreamy note, I wouldn't mind just seeing some kind of animations of the boarding process showing your bunch of soldiers fighting, even if it's not something you can participate in. Just having reminders that there are actually tiny little people running around and actively making everything on these massive starships work would be rather nice.

Not vital by any means, but another delicious layer of perspective.
88  Starsector / Suggestions / Everything From This> on: February 16, 2012, 06:05:48 PM
Some observations and suggestions for Starfarer based on something else I loved:

http://www.asciisector.net/

That is an ascii based, roguelike space sim tribute to the old Privateer games, with some pretty ridiculously awesome extra features, despite the project having been abandoned for about a year now. The main features are familiar favorites that we all know and love.

Living interstellar economy, commodity trading, working your way up from scratch with a crappy frigate, taking on bounty missions, joining and advancing in guilds and organizations with often conflicting and varied mission structures and goals, interacting with many factions who actively vie for control of each system, intersystem travel, etc.

Starfarer is already has some of this, and is definitely heading in this direction in some of the best ways I could hope for, and even above and beyond with fleet mechanics and much, much better and more extensive lore, customization, and variety.

One thing of particular note, though, is Ascii Sector's aspect of taking control of your character directly, and actually participating in boarding combat, actually walking into planetary colonies and faction bases to directly deal with NPCs, building personal stats and abilities and all that fun roguelike RPG stuff.

It adds more personal detail to the grandiose fleet commander space opera vibe when you know that, hey, you actually are this little guy and you have to work your way through all this stuff on a smaller scale not just behind the scenes, and maybe you have to pull out your blaster and show some pirate scum why you're Admiral Badass who commands the respect of an entire independent fleet.

I dunno, seeing a universe like the one Starfarer is shaping up to be just makes me want to explore it on an even closer level. Maybe sometimes I just have this overwhelming desire to drop shields, ram an enemy capital ship, and zoom into an isometric or topdown view as my marines invade mid-combat and control my PC directly as he fights his way to the aft and sabotages the engines from the inside with a few well placed grenades.

Or maybe sometimes I just want to waltz into a garbage heap of a ship dealership and walk around inside a tarsus before I burn my creds on it, run next door and order some relevant equipment, and then personally contribute to a mining or salvage operation while it's still just me and a couple of green crewmen on that hunk of junk.

Yeah, it's almost certainly too much to ask of what the devs (what are there, like two of you guys?) are already envisioning and working on, if I'm being realistic, but it can't hurt to dream out loud about going that extra mile to space sim perfection.
89  Starsector / General Discussion / Re: Hidden Secrets of the Loadout Masters on: February 16, 2012, 05:21:37 PM
Astral carrier.

Max flux/dissipation, every shield upgrade, all weapons specialized for long distance combat. My little flyboys and flygirls take care of the rest.

I surround myself in just the right mix of fighter wings for each specific engagement. After all, there are fighter wings specialized vs any situation. There are fighter wing killing fighter wings, and capital ship killing fighter wings, and smaller ship killing fighter wings, and speedy fighter wings just for quickly capturing objective, and fighter wings just for escorting my astral and acting as point defense (from the safety of its shield).

Every battle is about tactics and managing my command point resources more than skillfully maneuvering my controlled ship in the thick of combat. Lumbering around in my massive mobile command center, staying perfectly positioned to be of maximum support without exposing myself to too much fire, overseeing and ordering the dozens and dozens of fighter ships, keeping just enough of them alive to refit and nudging them (as they seem to have minds of their own!) into cohesive and complementary group or set of groups...

It is quite an awesome experience, and extraordinarily effective when done right. It might actually be TOO effective seeing as the fighter refit mechanics allow me to pretty much never lose a fighter wing if I'm careful, and I can simply toss a million fighters onto the field with a carrier and not really have to worry about limited ammo, or the damage they take so long as just one survives.

I would love to see customizable fighters, and ammunition/armor/parts that you actually have to stock up on, like in mechwarrior games.
90  Starsector / Modding / Enemy ship flee prevention? on: January 19, 2012, 07:40:51 PM
Hi.

It seems that in missions I edit or create, enemy ships will flee from combat if they are outmatched, apparently in ship size/numbers.

Is there a way to prevent this via MissionDefinition.java editing? If not there, then somewhere else?

I fairly scoured the forums and looked at the vanilla missions, and I can't find any obvious method.

To be clear, I want enemy ships that will stay and fight to the death no matter what the situation is.
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