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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Personal Contacts (08/13/20)

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Author Topic: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 280184 times)

xenoargh

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #555 on: April 20, 2016, 02:58:36 PM »

I think that "defensive" is pretty clear- "stuff that actively prevents permanent damage from occurring" rather than "stuff that causes damage to happen" is a good distinction.  

Of the skills I just mentioned, only one (Entoptic Rangefinder) counts as both; it both boosts range and therefore it also boosts CEP.  Helmsmanship is purely about CEP at kiting ranges; Power Modulation 10 is about causing damage to not matter, long-term; only major burst damage matters.  

None of these skills are totally OP or whatever; it's just that they're especially synergistic for some ships that already have mobility advantages and exacerbate the problems with weapon balance / ship balance in general.  The Wolf also gets much more powerful with those three skills maxed out, but it's not as egregious as the Tempest, for example.

Peak performance on the Tempest is significant until they have Combat Aptitude 10, yes.  But usually I have Hardened Subsystems installed, forgoing missiles to pay for it.  I practically never use Missiles, in general; they simply aren't worth bothering, with AI fleets, vs. getting the OPs put to better uses.  But frankly, at high levels, Peak Performance isn't a thing; I just kill everything before it starts to kick in, 90% of the time.  If AI fleets were double their current size, on the high end, it'd start mattering.

But frankly, the way things work right now, it's:

A.  1-2 Tempests killing all the little stuff on the fringes up to wounded Destroyers.  They don't die, because meanwhile...
B.  Medusa duos are killing all of the big stuff up to Battleships.  They don't die, because meanwhile...
C.  Enforcer / Shepherd squads are running interference, because the Vanilla AI likes to focus on them and waste missiles on them for some reason. But if there are really big ships on the field then...
D.  The Apogee gets called in if I want to just screw up the AI entirely; it can get surrounded by ships and not die, if kitted properly, while dealing minor damage the whole time.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 03:00:30 PM by xenoargh »
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Aeson

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #556 on: April 20, 2016, 06:32:35 PM »

@xenoargh:
Would you mind defining what you mean by CEP? I don't see anything obvious, and it doesn't sound like you're talking about circular error probability.

Quote
Of the skills I just mentioned, only one (Entoptic Rangefinder) counts as both; it both boosts range and therefore it also boosts CEP.  Helmsmanship is purely about CEP at kiting ranges; Power Modulation 10 is about causing damage to not matter, long-term; only major burst damage matters.
Power Grid Modulation reduces shield flux generation and increases flux dissipation; the level 10 bonus just does more of the same. Reducing shield flux generation and increasing flux dissipation increases the effective flux pool available for firing weapons and allows your ship to remain actively engaged longer without too much risk of overload; increasing the venting rate means that the ship can return to the fight more quickly after backing off to vent. Helmsmanship increases the speed and agility of a ship whose captain has the skill, which makes the ship more able to get around front and, to a lesser extent, omni shields, and also makes it easier to keep enough pressure on an opposing vessel to prevent that ship from venting. Both of these skills can be argued to be at least in part offensive skills; only from a very narrow veiwpoint are these entirely defensive.
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xenoargh

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #557 on: April 20, 2016, 09:13:09 PM »

I am indeed talking about Circular Area Probability.  For various reasons, other than Beams, shots are inherently inaccurate, even if fired by an AI that has calculated where your ship "should" be at the time the shot arrives.  Add in random noise, and the CEP gets larger. 

Small, fast ships have very large CEPs compared to large, slow-moving ships and get missed quite often at long ranges (anything over 700 in Vanilla); hence why the Tempest, and to some extent the Wolf, are outliers statistically, when we talk about ships the AI uses inherently better than others.  It's not just the CEP difference that matters, though; a Tempest can disengage and Vent at will, too, which makes it entirely unlike most of the ships in the game.  The Tempest would best be fixed, balance-wise, as an individual case by cutting its base speed a little bit; it'd need to cost less to deploy, etc., then, of course, because that's such a huge stat and it would be nothing like as dangerous if it wasn't able to out-run practically everything and out-gun almost everything a size class larger, too, if we include the Drone.

The level 10 Power Grid Modulation drains Hard Flux; it turns a nonrenewable resource into a renewable one.  I feel like this is a very poorly understood buff.  I like that buff, but it needs to be understood properly; in a fleet context, it means many thousands of DPS difference between my fleet and yours before my average fleet member is Flux-locked, all else being equal. 

When we're talking AI-on-AI in a fleet battle, Flux-lock is pretty much the end; a ship in that position rarely survives much longer.  It's not like a player-vs-fleet duel, where the enemy gets to Vent while hiding behind their buddies; in most cases, everybody gets pincered at some point... except for ships like the Medusa and Tempest, who are too fast for that to happen, or have abilities that prevent it most of the time.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #558 on: April 21, 2016, 10:14:23 AM »

Peak performance is important when you want to solo fleets.  In 0.7.1, the only standard cruiser I could solo the simulator with was Dominator, and it had all skills maxed and no PD, and it finished at about critical malfunctions.  Aurora theoretically could do it, but was unable to due to enemy Paragon outranging and outgunning it.  The other cruisers did not bring enough firepower.

The most important skills are Gunnery Implants (entoptic rangefinder perk), Mechanical Engineering (+OP, Augmented Engines), and Computer Systems (+OP, ITU).  Of the Combat skills, Damage Control (hull regeneration), Helmsmanship (speed), and Ordnance Expert (OP discount).  Power Grid Modulation is very useful, but only 5 is required.  10 is very nice for AI though since it patches one of its AI weaknesses.  Missile Specialization is great for powering-up Reapers.
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Thaago

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #559 on: April 21, 2016, 10:42:16 AM »

If it weren't for officers I would be fine with eliminating skills - I find the no skills balance much more satisfying to play.

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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #560 on: April 21, 2016, 12:38:09 PM »

I am the opposite.  I find no-skills boring to play - ships are too slow (makes other games' capital ships fast by comparison), not enough OP to get what I need, and flux-hungry configurations are not viable.  Even with max OP, some ships (like Hammerhead and Gryphon) are starved for OP.
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xenoargh

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #561 on: April 21, 2016, 01:34:09 PM »

I find no-Skills SS very boring, personally; if it went that way, I'd have to bump up OPs considerably to even feel like I was vaguely having fun, because there is too little variety in optimal builds at Level 0. 

Playing with minute allocations of OPs got very boring very fast and the gameplay is much more fun at the high end, where death comes quickly. 

I just want Vanilla to get a lot harder on the high end. 

For example, I'd like to see Battleships that cost more Supplies / Fuel than a player can readily afford (i.e., you'd never be able to afford to keep one going on a diet of (D)) be terrifying opponents that can destroy my current setup, rather than the inverse, where I honestly feel like none of the Cruisers other than the Apogee is worth using atm for costs (player Dominator and player Eagle are almost, but not quite- nobody else is), and none of the Battleships are worth using for their DPs, regardless of what they cost in Supplies and Fuel.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #562 on: April 21, 2016, 01:52:40 PM »

Using a capital is already painful, unless player gets to fight huge extended battles with them, then they are more efficient than the rest of your fleet.

Battleships are slow - you need a tug with them to maintain burn speed, and they guzzle much more fuel than a cruiser - even more if you bring the aforementioned tug.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #563 on: April 21, 2016, 02:13:06 PM »

A lot of this is definitely subjective, but I think part of it is also being used to how it feels now. It was very much balanced for "no skills" initially, though, and most of the AI tuning involves no-skill ships - so "improved AI" is sort of a free benefit of toning skills down, as is better overall ship balance.

Well, will just have to see how it pans out. I should add that a revamp of the skills is going to involve more than just turning the numbers down... but don't want to get into the details just now.
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Voyager I

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #564 on: April 26, 2016, 10:47:14 AM »

I'll chime in to say that I prefer the more stately pace of combat without skills, and it's obvious that the game was designed around that level of performance from ships.  Weapons are less lethal in general, larger ships struggle to turn fast enough to track smaller opponents with their main batteries because they don't have +50% agility bonuses, and it feels like there's generally more room for decision making in combat because maneuvering is more committal while engagements are likely to last beyond the first salvo.

Another compelling thing about this game was the concept of failure by degrees.  Rather than simply going from alive to dead, ships take progressive damage that leaves them still functional, but changes how they need to be played.  Right now this doesn't come up as often at high-level combat because ships frequently just die in a single alpha.


The incredibly lethality of ships also puts a strain on AI allies, since even a minor mistake means they just get completely gibbed and many skills are powerful enough that was would have been a reasonable decision is actually a terminal error (with the wort offenders being skilled Harpoon spam, but we've talked about that one already).
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Deshara

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #565 on: May 10, 2016, 01:01:43 PM »

The argument over what's defensive and offensive is a cup half full/empty exercise in pointlessness. I might be late bit someone needed to say it.
And I really like the thought of making stuff unlockable through missions. Like, say, extra starting options, for one.
Just that one, really.
Please do that one
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Linnis

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #566 on: May 15, 2016, 09:24:06 AM »

Like I said before. I hate skills or perks that makes your guns "shoot harder" or make your ship have "more stuff"

These kind of stuff is almost never liked in the long run.


Skills that effect other stuff like less maintenance is a good one.

Some others skills or perks that could work like:

Choose battlefield shape.
Choose to force out or free escape ships into and from battle.
Gain access to MORE special hull mods, Maybe pick one every time a skill is leveled up.
Stuff like put diff weps on diff mounts.
Put on extra armor on ship directions. (buff armor squares and give special in-game visuals like more shiny)

There could be so much more cool stuff.

Instead of making skills just make you stronger, how much make them give us more and more customization!
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Gothars

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #567 on: May 16, 2016, 06:43:26 AM »

Instead of making skills just make you stronger, how much make them give us more and more customization!

Skills giving more tactical options (your first two examples) is a good direction to take, but giving too much customization (your last three examples) might lead to a boring "everything is interchangeable" endgame.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #568 on: May 16, 2016, 07:43:34 AM »

I like the "shoot harder" skills because I think the level 0 baseline is too slow and weak, and not enough OP to get anything fun.  If the "shoot harder" skills were gone, I would like to see the baseline raised.  I see skills as a patch to a fundamental problem - sluggish and weak ships.
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Voyager I

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #569 on: May 16, 2016, 08:03:27 PM »

I like the "shoot harder" skills because I think the level 0 baseline is too slow and weak, and not enough OP to get anything fun.  If the "shoot harder" skills were gone, I would like to see the baseline raised.  I see skills as a patch to a fundamental problem - sluggish and weak ships.

Slow-paced combat where maneuvers are committal and ships deteriorate rather than combust is the intended gameplay, though.
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