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Author Topic: How would you play PvP Starsector?  (Read 5762 times)

HELMUT

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How would you play PvP Starsector?
« on: May 25, 2016, 12:29:05 PM »

No, this is not the 18th or so multiplayer suggestion. It's more of a "what if?" scenario that recently piqued my curiosity, and how the gameplay would adapt to this eventuality.

Basically : in an alternate reality, Starsector is fully multiplayer game, all potential mechanic issues have been dealt with a copious amount of handwavium, and your next battle might be against an actual person. How do you play it?

No set rules about it. Early/mid/late campaign, in mission, simulator duel or whatever you can think of. Add mods on top of that if needed. My question is more about how you would react to an actual player than an AI? Would you change your tactics? The ships you field? Your loadout? What would be the META of an hypothetical Starsector multi, how to counter it, and all the potential theorycrafting that goes with it.

I guess it's probably not the best moment to ask this question, given the forum entered its post-patch hibernation. Also, because i don't have access to Starsector right now, i can't really kickstart the discussion with an interesting example. So just think you're fighting a high-end fleet commanded by another player, let's say... Gothars. What are your options?
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Cyan Leader

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 01:21:57 PM »

First of all It'd would have to be a team game I think. Flanking your enemy is such a big part of the game that 1on1 battles would come down to ships countering each other instead of player skill.

A 3vs3 system would be great, 2 Frigates 1 Destroyer maybe.

Based on this the meta would be for ships with higher range and mobility. Big and strong firepower means nothing if you can't actually hit your target. Wolves would be one of the most contested ships for sure.
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 02:07:52 PM »

I think the Dark Souls formula would fit very well. For those that don't know, you can be invaded at anytime but you can also invade, ask for help and help out others any time as well. I would how ever set it up where you would just lose cash and maybe get an EXP debt as losing your whole fleet to a random invader would not be fun...
As for what I would fly? Most likely the same as I am now: Gust IBB from DA along with cap ship escorts, (Most likely Paragons) and many Afflictors as possible if that system was still in place
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Thaago

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 02:12:31 PM »

Well, because the numbers of ships on each side (or the number of fleet points, or the total cost of the ships... something!) would be the same, I think the relative value of missiles would go up enormously.

At present the argument against missiles is pretty much "Why should I spend OP on something that can kill a ship of the same class as this when I need to fight five times my number? I should make myself better against all five." And the argument is a pretty good one when facing AI deathfleets. But PvP would be completely different!

Personally, I would stick with my tried and true Enforcers + Lashers to start, and see how it goes - long range kinetics plus harpoons will swat away those annoying wolves ;).
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Megas

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 02:48:42 PM »

All skill points go to combat.  Campaign-only stuff like Navigation is completely ignored.

Cheese tactics I can quickly think of for combat:
* Hyperion to recreate Sorceress or Enigma duels in Diablo II.
* Deploy one ship that is fast and has lots of peak performance.  Kite and stall for time.  If opponent deployed whole fleet, their peak performance goes down, but only one of your ships does.
* Deploy 25 Onslaught and/or Paragon.  Either as many as possible (up to battle size limits) or one at a time.
* Wait at the corner to prevent flanking by AI ships.

Player can only use one ship at a time.  If he deploys a fleet, his automated wingmen are under AI control.

I suspect mostly top/god tier ships, those with high mobility and/or overpowered features, would be used.

P.S.  What would the battle size be?  Default?  Whatever the player who started the game wanted?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 02:51:15 PM by Megas »
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Schwartz

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 04:57:43 PM »

A team deathmatch style battle in Starsector would turn into both battle lines keeping their distance and taking pot shots with HVRs and the like. Anyone who dared to do something different would get demolished. It'd be extremely boring. I could see some fun in flanking maneuvers but that's about it.

Or yeah, if you have the luxury of always picking your ships, I could see Hyperions and Afflictors dominate the battlespace with their own kinds of twitchy duels.

If we're talking two AI fleets with human commanders, then you'd probably want to duel or bum-rush the enemy commander quickly before he can have too much of an impact on the battlespace. This could be interesting, but it'd essentially be VIP vs VIP, with the remainder of the two armies as (just slightly troublesome) bait.

I'm so glad the game isn't multiplayer. Multiplayer 'distills' gameplay down into elements to the point that I personally don't enjoy them anymore. If the game is made for it, it's usually interesting at least. But a singleplayer beast like SS forced to be something that it isn't... nah man.
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billi999

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 04:44:40 AM »

Dark Souls

This was the first thing I thought of too, but from a different angle. I was thinking more like the amount of mind games and tactics that goes into Dark Souls PvP such as baiting attacks, timing rolls and backstab/parry fishing. I think similar techniques would evolve in a PvP Starsector. Backstab baiting would be the equivalent of using several of your AI-controlled ships to flank and distract the player then disable their engines and open fire. Rolling would maybe be things like the high-tech teleportation ship systems or phasing.
Upon some further thought, I think one strategy could come down to having the battle pan out with an avoid order on the enemy player flagship, and try and take out all of his fleet before he can do the same to you. Then you could take on the enemy flagship with an advantage in numbers or become the victim of it, but I don't know how much of an affect hull size differences would have an affect on the viability of that.
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Megas

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 05:10:59 AM »

Player might transfer command and ship-surf to defeat Avoid order, especially if he has several flagship quality ships, assuming he does not pilot something extremely mobile like Hyperion.
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TJJ

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 08:43:51 AM »

The only thing I'm sure of, is that there will be a lot of rebalancing required.

Quote
I'm so glad the game isn't multiplayer. Multiplayer 'distills' gameplay down into elements to the point that I personally don't enjoy them anymore. If the game is made for it, it's usually interesting at least. But a singleplayer beast like SS forced to be something that it isn't... nah man.

I wouldn't dismiss it until you've tried it.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 08:46:33 AM by TJJ »
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VuNut

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2016, 10:11:43 AM »

I wouldn't. It'd be dominated by ridiculous player fleets that have nothing but paragons and onslaughts in them, with a sprinkling of afflictors.
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Megas

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2016, 10:58:39 AM »

PvP would be dominated by munchkins, trash talk, and overused (and overpowered) ships and configurations like any mainstream online game.
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Thaago

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2016, 12:50:22 PM »

I kind of alluded to this in my previous post, but I'll reiterate: PvP would only be fun if there was a balancing factor, such as budget, dictating the fleets. People would not be able to roll in Paragons and Onslaughts unless the opponent could also.

Personally I think "100k mode" with 100k credits to spend on ships, officers (priced at 2000 per level), and weapons would be quite fun. (And yes, a few ships might have to be banned as they are too potent with player piloting - Hyperion and Afflictor come to mind)
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HELMUT

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2016, 01:22:17 PM »

First of all It'd would have to be a team game I think. Flanking your enemy is such a big part of the game that 1on1 battles would come down to ships countering each other instead of player skill.

With the Dark Souls formula advanced by others, it could indeed bring team-based, expanded battles (invaded/protectors vs invaders). I disagree with the lack of skills in duels however, i'm pretty sure a Hyperion/Afflictor/Wolf duel would require some impressive reflexes.

All skill points go to combat.  Campaign-only stuff like Navigation is completely ignored.

If there was some form of campaign multiplayer, Navigation could actually become interesting. Not as a battle-winner skill of course, but playing hide-and-seek in an asteroid field with another player, while turning the transponder on and off to bait that Hegemony patrol passing by... A fairly niche utility at first, but a few smart manoeuvres could bring an enemy right where you want him.

Otherwise i more or less agree with your statements. I didn't knew much about Diablo 2, but after googling a few sorceress duel videos, yeah, that's what a Hyperion duel would probably looks like.

The whole deploy one ship to stale is indeed another possible griefing issue. Useful if the enemy deploy all at first, but fairly worthless (and time consuming) if the enemy expect it and decide to plays the same game.

Disagree with the other two. Chain-flagshipping won't be competitive as the advantage of soloing was to take advantage of the weakness (AI and skills) of the computer. You would end up fighting a smarter opponent, with the same skills and outnumbered on top of that (corner won't help much when fighting someone equally strong with backup). If you can somehow field 25 Paragons, it's also safe to assume the enemy can do it as well, so this'll require some more thinking to win.

P.S.  What would the battle size be?  Default?  Whatever the player who started the game wanted?

No real rules, as long as it doesn't go in the completely absurd i guess.

A team deathmatch style battle in Starsector would turn into both battle lines keeping their distance and taking pot shots with HVRs and the like. Anyone who dared to do something different would get demolished. It'd be extremely boring. I could see some fun in flanking maneuvers but that's about it.

Yes and no in my opinion. A "pub" game would indeed be like that, no one want to take a bad hit, so it'll be a staring contest with long range weapons until one side get a clear advantage (MWO style). With organized teams however? We'll probably have something closer to a MOBA teamfight, with initiators, supports, etc. Depends on the ships loadouts i guess.

I disagree with the "just slightly troublesome" AI ships though. Predictable? Definitely. Harmless? Hell no. Left alone, they can potentially overrun your own fleet and surround you. Worse, they can also be geared as hunters, covered in Atropos and needlers, brute forcing your flagship from the start. The last forum tournament clearly showed that some fleets loadouts could drastically change how the battle plays.

Speaking of the Hyperion, i'm not that sure it would be the prime ship used for PvP. Sure, it can do things that no other ships can, but there's only so much a frigate, even with maxed skills, can do, before running out of CR. Not much to say about the Afflictor though, the ship is dangerous whether it's piloted by the the Player or AI, unless maybe you're meeting a beam spam fleet. Still, while those two are still formidable ships, i wonder if it wouldn't be better to trade for something bigger in larger engagements.
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David

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2016, 01:45:53 PM »

(Anyone ever play Subspace? Can't help but remember it with all this talk.)
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Megas

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Re: How would you play PvP Starsector?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2016, 01:58:23 PM »

Quote
The whole deploy one ship to stale is indeed another possible griefing issue. Useful if the enemy deploy all at first, but fairly worthless (and time consuming) if the enemy expect it and decide to plays the same game.
True, although if the player one picks off a few ships before player two wises up, player one still has an advantage.  Yes, that is not very fun for those without a griefing mindset.  It is still an option for those who want to win by griefing the other player to the point of rage-quitting and lose by forfeit.

Soloing and/or waiting at the corner is a way to pick off AI ships unguarded by the other player.  Waiting at the corner could be another way of griefing, especially of the other player is not prepared for it.  I do not expect soloing and corner camping to be as always effective, but they could still be useful despite having a (hopefully) intelligent enemy commander.

If both want to solo each other, it turns into a Star Control style duel.
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