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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Raiding for Fun and Profit (11/27/19)

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Author Topic: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 191921 times)

Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #540 on: January 11, 2016, 03:21:57 PM »

The Medusa can mount Light Needlers, which have only 200 less range than beams and are only slightly worse than Heavy Needlers. Integrated Targeting Unit and Gunnery Implants 5 pushes that well over 1000 range. The Medusa totally can do it.

Light Needlers are a special case - their per-shot damage, combined with the kinetic damage type, is why it's ok for them to have such long range for a small slot. It's not practical to grind down something with Light Needlers from range because their armor damage is too low. It can combine nicely with beams in the other slots, though. But, well, this sort of thing is exactly why universal slots are used sparingly. Small universal slots on the Medusa? Neat and powerful, but not unreasonable. Medium universals on it, on the other hand, would be way overpowered.

(I'm not just coming up with these reasons now, btw. It's all stuff that was considered at the time the ships/weapons were put together.)

(There's still an argument to be made for the Medusa's universals being changed to something else, though.)

New patch notes... please. *gasp*

Soon! (tm)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 03:24:55 PM by Alex »
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #541 on: January 11, 2016, 04:03:08 PM »

Quote
The Medusa can mount Light Needlers, which have only 200 less range than most beams and are only slightly worse than Heavy Needlers. Integrated Targeting Unit and Gunnery Implants 5 pushes that well over 1000 range. The Medusa totally can do it.
Light Needlers are rare.  That said, Medusa (and Shade) are prime candidates for Needlers because they use them well and there is no substitute.  I mount Arbalests instead of Railguns or Needlers on Hammerhead/Falcon/Eagle because Arbalest is common as dirt but high-grade kinetics are rare and are needed by ships with smaller mounts.

I often use railguns instead of needlers on Medusa because OP is tight if I mount blasters.  Light Needlers are expensive; it is effectively a medium weapon crammed into a small slot.

Quote
Light Needlers are a special case - their per-shot damage, combined with the kinetic damage type, is why it's ok for them to have such long range for a small slot. It's not practical to grind down something with Light Needlers from range because their armor damage is too low.
Before 0.6, Afflictor with four Needlers could kite and shred anything to death with them, despite armor resistance (because the armor eventually broke down and hull gets hit).  Some time later, armor was made more effective.  With Target Analysis 10, Afflictor can shred things with Needlers like it used to.

That said, I do not get Target Analysis (and do not let my officers learn it) because I cannot afford to max every skill.  I do not need to spend ten points just to enable a few fringe configurations.
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ANGRYABOUTELVES

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #542 on: January 11, 2016, 06:16:40 PM »

The Medusa can mount Light Needlers, which have only 200 less range than beams and are only slightly worse than Heavy Needlers. Integrated Targeting Unit and Gunnery Implants 5 pushes that well over 1000 range. The Medusa totally can do it.

Light Needlers are a special case - their per-shot damage, combined with the kinetic damage type, is why it's ok for them to have such long range for a small slot. It's not practical to grind down something with Light Needlers from range because their armor damage is too low. It can combine nicely with beams in the other slots, though. But, well, this sort of thing is exactly why universal slots are used sparingly. Small universal slots on the Medusa? Neat and powerful, but not unreasonable. Medium universals on it, on the other hand, would be way overpowered.

(I'm not just coming up with these reasons now, btw. It's all stuff that was considered at the time the ships/weapons were put together.)

(There's still an argument to be made for the Medusa's universals being changed to something else, though.)
I'm glad to hear that this has all been thought out beforehand. While I might disagree with some decisions you've made, hearing the reasons behind those decisions has helped me better understand why things work the way they do and helped me to see the shape of the system you're designing. Thanks for taking part in this discussion, it's nice to be able to directly talk about balance with game devs.
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Zelnik

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #543 on: January 11, 2016, 11:15:43 PM »

Still waiting on my torpedo bombers :<
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Dri

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #544 on: January 12, 2016, 09:16:33 AM »

Whatever do you mean? Dagger Torpedo Bomber Wings are great!

Tridents aren't going to be worth much unless: player/officer skills somehow effect fighter wings, fighter wings can no longer be hit by nonPD weapons and/or Atropos torpedoes are buffed.
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xenoargh

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #545 on: January 12, 2016, 11:49:32 AM »

Quote
If you have continuous beams do hard flux damage while keeping their range, they become hard counters to a lot of things. The issue is mainly qualitative, so tuning things like DPS or flux costs wouldn't be very effective. I.E. you'd have to tune their stats to be bad enough that a ship using them would run into peak performance problems; otherwise all it's doing is just making the kills slower but no less inevitable. To keep some kind of balance, you'd have to reduce beam range, which in turn would make them very similar to other energy weapons.
...which is why, when I made that work in Vacuum, Beams had the lowest range band or had a very long recharge time; that kept them nice and balanced in their niche; good in their prime roles (PD / anti-fighter) good for close assaults and DPS trading... but bad for kiting, where they're a real problem.

As it stands, Beams are potentially the most OP things in the game atm; a swarm of Beam-carrying ships can concentrate enough firepower to kill anything whilst kiting everything but the highest-range Large-slot weapons, which is bad.  I've watched that happen with packs of Hegemony Wolves that spawned near Pirate Eagles; they crushed it easily.  I haven't built a Wolf pack designed for that task myself this build, as I've been trying out everything else, but it's obvious that once the threshold has been reached, Beams are optimal killing devices.  Pretty sure Wolf packs with 3 Tac Lasers, 1 PD in the center turret and all else built around range and survival are pretty powerful though.

The only thing that prevents this from being a major problem is largely the lack of enough High Tech ships with configurations that aren't terrible.  If High Tech's Cruiser wasn't basically junk, if the Medusa wasn't more optimized as an alpha-strike machine, etc., this discussion would be quite different in nature, because the obvious issues with Beams having superior range to practically everything that matters would be more apparent.  I'm still not entirely happy with this uncomfortable set of squirrel-cases; it means that High Tech will always need to be weirdly crippled to stay sane, rather than having flexible options.

I totally agree with Megas on LRPD / Burst PD / Heavy Burst PD, in terms of their current balance; there literally aren't good reasons to use any of them atm. 

LRPD simply needs to rotate quickly enough to engage nearly instantly and have slightly higher DPS, so that its inefficiency isn't quite so crippling and its cost is justified.

Burst PD should get a buff to DPS or quite a few more charges or a faster charge rate when it hasn't been firing for X period, so that it's more like what it says on the tin.

Heavy Burst PD should get a 200 SU range buff and a bit more DPS, so that it has a distinct role from the lighter version, because it can hit things further out and be a better PD system in general.  Right now it's largely a waste of OPs and because of the dearth of ships that can even mount it, it's not terribly relevant.

That leaves out the Beam nobody really uses, the Guardian, which is one of the most awesome-looking disappointments in the game, because it's sub-optimal for any of its purposes.  I'd just drop the charges mechanic from it; then it would be useful in its role... if any High Tech ship was willing to give up a Large slot to a weak-DPS turret that doesn't do Hard Flux or if any Midline ships had Hybrid Large slots. 

As things stand, I can't imagine a real role for it that is sensible in a serious game; the one-ship-fleet Paragon model pretty much requires the Large slots be used for DPS, and the Odyssey (which I have yet to encounter / buy in my current game) doesn't have good enough turret locations to make it work.  Neither the Apogee nor the Aurora can mount one, so it's a weapon that literally doesn't have a sensible use case atm.

The best way to see it get used would be to fix up the Odyssey's turrets so that they're sensible, with the middle turret having a 360 and the others having appropriate dead spots to reflect that it's "higher", since that's the general idea behind the turret designs; that alone would probably make the Odyssey more viable in general and at least present one case where the Guardian might have an actual use, since that's a ship designed for broadside combat.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #546 on: January 12, 2016, 12:55:28 PM »

@xenoargh:
I get what you're saying, and it seems like a reasonable way to go about doing beams. It does give up on the idea of "support" beams more or less, though.

In practice, the main thing that'd make stacking beams overpowered like that is Advanced Optics. Without that, beam range is matched by medium ballistics. AO should probably have a ship speed debuff, honestly - maybe of the "speed above <cutoff> reduced by <x>" variety. With a severe enough debuff, it could have a higher bonus, too, which might make it more interesting all around.

I've got some TODO items re: energy PD. Going to take a look at the Odyssey to see if a 360 slot works visually; the Guardian's problem is definitely a lack of ships that can use it well rather than a lack of effectiveness. It's not bad already, it's just... a large slot for PD? No thank you.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #547 on: January 12, 2016, 01:03:15 PM »

The only reason to use Burst PD is if the ship only has one or two mounts for coverage, such as Afflictor, and cannot use Vulcan Cannon instead.  In that case, only a charged burst PD has enough stopping power to kill a missile.  All other PD beam weapons are weak enough for a single beam to be ignored by an incoming missile.  If the ship has enough mounts, it should use either PD Laser for low OP and/or flux cost or Tactical Lasers instead.  For ships with high Gunnery Implants, IR Pulse Laser plus IPDAI is even better PD than beams, if it has flux to spare.

It is possible for Odyssey to rely on IR Pulse Laser and missiles for DPS, and use Guardian for PD.  It is not the best configuration, but it is viable, and I have used it a few times (during 0.65) when my other ships took the best heavy weapons, leaving my Odyssey with the Guardian PD.  Guardian PD has enough DPS to serve as an improvised assault weapon if you get an opening.

Paragon can make good use of Guardian PD if you want to build for defense, or would if Guardian PD was not such a flux hog.  I tried that after seeing how successful the seven dual flak Onslaught performed.  Unlike over-flak for Onslaught, over beam PD for Paragon was not as useful due to Guardian PD being a pig.

The thing that gets me about LR PD Laser is I pay more OP for less damage, and it is weak enough that I might as well use Mining Laser instead!  Mining Laser is weak, but at least you get what you pay for, and it is passable for stopping Swarmers and 0.7's flimsier Pilums.  I have more to say about various weapons, but I will leave that for another topic.
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Mudanzas Valencia

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #548 on: January 12, 2016, 02:03:44 PM »

i think beams are great and work really well, it's solar armor that sucks lol

ALEX GIVE MULTI-BOARDING MOD OPTION FOR SS+ plzzzz
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #549 on: January 12, 2016, 02:12:09 PM »

ALEX GIVE MULTI-BOARDING MOD OPTION FOR SS+ plzzzz

Mods can do whatever they want, boarding-wise.


@Megas: Thanks for the feedback!
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Zaphide

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #550 on: January 12, 2016, 03:20:55 PM »

Regarding LRPD, it could probably be removed from the game and not really be missed.

It's not fundamentally different enough from the normal PD laser, and changing it (and keeping it's design intent as a longer range point defense laser) is constrained a bit by the fact that you don't want to encroach on the normal PD Laser and Burst PD Laser.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #551 on: January 12, 2016, 03:27:42 PM »

Just give Mining Laser more damage and slightly faster turning and remove LR PD Laser from the game.  The two are too similar.
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ChaseBears

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #552 on: January 12, 2016, 03:43:04 PM »

re: EMP versus unshielded ships;

Maybe it's just me, but the entire early game of fighting pirates is fight after fight against Wolf (D)s with Ion Cannons.  IME they show up more often than the other pirate frigates (for whatever reason- fleet point efficient?) and - if the Annihilators weren't enough - are completely deadly to anything with no shields between the ion cannon and the phase jump to get them out of trouble.  I modded in a couple Wolf-D variants that use different mixes of black market weapons to change it up a bit.

Incidentally, personal opinion, but if Pirates are to ease people into combat, maybe the Wolf (D)s could have a degraded phase system too.

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Taverius

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #553 on: January 12, 2016, 04:11:18 PM »

Alex, any chance of a settings toggle to stop the AI changing my autofire settings on weapon groups?

I spend more time finding the arcane weapon combination that stops the AI from (for example) putting Hellbores on autofire than anything else ... I'm pretty sure I can figure these things out better than the AI, and having to work around the mystery behind the decisions gets a bit dull. For every ship I have several set-ups I know work except for the AI autofire overrides breaking them.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 04:12:58 PM by Taverius »
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #554 on: January 12, 2016, 04:53:21 PM »

Honestly, I don't see doing that. Autofire state isn't meant to be static; it's something that you end up toggling on and off a fair bit during combat. The type of toggle you're asking for would be a bandaid and, I'm pretty sure, would cause other problems. If you have specific examples of where the AI should do a better job with this, though, I'd love to hear 'em - but perhaps not in this thread.
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