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Author Topic: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 505422 times)

Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1725 on: May 23, 2017, 03:09:06 PM »

@ Sordid:  Can you be more specific with "more menus to grind", among other things?

For example the new features, planet surveying and ship recovery/salvage. I get it, gotta give the player something else to do besides just constantly fighting. An alternative way of earning XP and money. Good idea in principle. Thing is, the combat path involves actual gameplay, whereas surveying and salvaging is just clicking through menus. If you choose to be a prospector who avoids combat and goes around scanning things, you remove the interesting part of SS's gameplay and you're left with nothing but the laggy and tedious overworld map navigation punctuated by occasionally clicking through a menu. As far as I can tell those features are a complete waste of everyone's time, the dev's as well as the players'. And sure, you can say "you don't have to do it". That's true, but the development time used to implement these things could have been used to do something more worthwhile instead.

Speaking of the overworld map, that's actually been made worse as well. I don't think I'm alone in hating how laggy and rubberbandy it feels. Instead of working on that and making it more responsive, the dev introduced Sustained Burn. The speed bonus from this is so good that it's basically mandatory to use it, and it makes your fleet feel even more laggy and unresponsive than before. And it stops you for a couple seconds as it activates. Wanna go fast? You gotta wait for that! Same thing with the Active Sensor Burst. Wanna know what's around you? Better stop and wait! So two more things for you to click on that will annoy you every single time you do.

Every new feature seems to just be an item in a menu somewhere or a button to click. While I appreciate the complexity that goes on behind the scenes, clicking menu options and buttons isn't exactly engaging gameplay.

That is proof positive it's your monitor/driver combination; this looks typical for a software gamma correction that isn't needed.  
The colors on your monitor are nowhere close to what is requested by SS.

You do realize I can't sample the colors from my monitor, right? I can't make them appear on your screen the same way they appear on mine. They're are just sampled from game screenshots. That's what they look like in-game. Feel free to take some screenshots and sample them yourself if you don't believe me.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 03:15:58 PM by Sordid »
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BillyRueben

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1726 on: May 23, 2017, 03:32:14 PM »

Bummer. Saw the large influx of new posts and hoped it would mean patchnotes.
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Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1727 on: May 23, 2017, 03:47:50 PM »

Sadly not. Just a crotchety old man complaining about a video game.
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zaimoni

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1728 on: May 23, 2017, 04:00:02 PM »

That is proof positive it's your monitor/driver combination; this looks typical for a software gamma correction that isn't needed.  
The colors on your monitor are nowhere close to what is requested by SS.

You do realize I can't sample the colors from my monitor, right? I can't make them appear on your screen the same way they appear on mine. They're are just sampled from game screenshots. That's what they look like in-game. Feel free to take some screenshots and sample them yourself if you don't believe me.
That's why I said "gamma correction": that makes the colors in screenshots disagree with the colors requested by SS.  I did not find AxleMC131's use of forum shorthand colors rather than measured colors helpful to his credibility (his yellow is indeed way off from what is either used, or requested, in game.)

That said, it does look like there's a bunch of ex post facto alpha transparency applied, which complicates things notably.  (This is easier to verify on the strategic screen; non-selected ships use dimmer colors than what are configured.)  Also, text and icons have different JSON configuration entries.

So...summary is:
  • alpha transparency means we can't simply say the configured colors are what is requested.  (I'm seeing some background color bleed-through so I think that's how the dimming is applied), so "proof positive" is not valid.
  • On the tactical screen, we measure about the same ally color, but my enemy-actual is nowhere close to your enemy-actual (both do have an orangeish tinge in spite of not having blue coordinates (edit: conflated light and paint color mixing), but mine is much closer to a pure red i.e. easier to distinguish).  That suggests my monitor is using a different gamma factor/correction than yours, as alpha transparency is in the color specification but the monitor's gamma factor isn't.  (Gamma correction is converting the color coordinate from 0..255 to 0..1, raising the floating-point numeral to the power of the gamma correction, then back-converting to the 0..255 range.  This leaves 0 and 255 fixed, but brightens/dims intermediate color coordinates in a reasonably intuitive way.)
  • It is plausible that the colors are clearly distinct on the development machine.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 04:17:21 PM by zaimoni »
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Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1729 on: May 23, 2017, 04:15:06 PM »

That's why I said "gamma correction": that makes the colors in screenshots disagree with the colors requested by SS.

What? No it doesn't.

Quote
alpha transparency means we can't simply say the configured colors are what is requested.  (I'm seeing some background color bleed-through so I think that's how the dimming is applied), so "proof positive" is not valid.

Colors were sampled from ship health bars, which have no transparency.

Quote
On the tactical screen, we measure about the same ally color, but my enemy-actual is nowhere close to your enemy-actual (both do have an orangeish tinge in spite of not having blue coordinates, but mine is much closer to a pure red i.e. easier to distinguish).  That suggests my monitor is using a different gamma factor/correction than yours, as alpha transparency is in the color specification but the monitor's gamma factor isn't.  (Gamma correction is converting the color coordinate from 0..255 to 0..1, raising the floating-point numeral to the power of the gamma correction, then back-converting to the 0..255 range.  This leaves 0 and 255 fixed, but brightens/dims intermediate color coordinates in a reasonably intuitive way.)

You're talking gobbledygook. Take a screenshot, sample the color.
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zaimoni

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1730 on: May 23, 2017, 04:37:17 PM »

That's why I said "gamma correction": that makes the colors in screenshots disagree with the colors requested by SS.

What? No it doesn't.
Most reasonable cause.  I've seen this trash screenshots before -- of images I have on the hard drive.

Quote
alpha transparency means we can't simply say the configured colors are what is requested.  (I'm seeing some background color bleed-through so I think that's how the dimming is applied), so "proof positive" is not valid.

Colors were sampled from ship health bars, which have no transparency.
Thank you.  I was checking a wide variety of possible locations.

You're talking gobbledygook.
One of my former jobs was website design implementation.  Would linking an authoritative web page have been more credible than inlining the required definitions?

Take a screenshot, sample the color.
I did before posting; wasn't relevant without an agreed measurement procedure.  My measured color for the enemy health bar is xxxx

The *configured* color is xxxx.  That is, I got post-processed, like Helmut's screenshot behind the spoiler tag, but you are close to the raw configured color -- which is indeed much harder to distinguish than the post-processed color I and Helmut are getting.

Edit: reviewing the color coordinates: I'm at 75% of the configured value so could be alpha transparency not being applied consistently across machines.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 04:43:08 PM by zaimoni »
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ANGRYABOUTELVES

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1731 on: May 23, 2017, 05:38:07 PM »

My measured color for the enemy health bar is xxxx

The *configured* color is xxxx
Wow! It's nothing!
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Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1732 on: May 23, 2017, 05:47:34 PM »

Okay, confession time. I took some shortcuts in my earlier post and used other people's screenshots. Bad idea. Turns out you were right, the orange is too bright in those. I guess someone 'enhanced' them. Here's what it actually looks like, your enemy color compared to mine, and my ally color compared to the one from my earlier post (which was taken from Helmut's screenshot). The ally color is spot-on, the enemy color is off.



I still think the colors are too close, though. Here's a revised version of my comparison:

Colors AxleMC131 used in his post: xxxxxxxx

Colors used in the game itself:       xxxxxxxx

Still not as contrasting as it should be, IMO. Especially since, as I pointed out earlier, everything other than the health bars has some transparency applied to it, which brings the colors closer together by blending them into the background.

Most reasonable cause.  I've seen this trash screenshots before -- of images I have on the hard drive.

Visually on the screen, yes. In-game gamma/brightness/contrast settings are typically respected in screenshots, though not always. That's moot anyway since SS has no such settings. But I have yet to see a driver/monitor setting that has any effect on the number a color picker tool in an image editor gives you.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 06:00:50 PM by Sordid »
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LoweN

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1733 on: May 23, 2017, 05:48:31 PM »

For example the new features, planet surveying and ship recovery/salvage. I get it, gotta give the player something else to do besides just constantly fighting. An alternative way of earning XP and money. Good idea in principle. Thing is, the combat path involves actual gameplay, whereas surveying and salvaging is just clicking through menus. If you choose to be a prospector who avoids combat and goes around scanning things, you remove the interesting part of SS's gameplay and you're left with nothing but the laggy and tedious overworld map navigation punctuated by occasionally clicking through a menu. As far as I can tell those features are a complete waste of everyone's time, the dev's as well as the players'. And sure, you can say "you don't have to do it". That's true, but the development time used to implement these things could have been used to do something more worthwhile instead.

From what you're saying Starsector might not be for you. I think it was always intended to be mainly a top-down tactical sim, not any kind of "space shooter". Personally, I think .8 is one of the best updates yet, but it does have a few issues with balance at this time.

A lot of the new exploration seems like a placeholder for when outposts get in the game - right now they just give you money, but in the future, the player will be able to take a more active role exploiting them. This probably means less surveying a planet and running to the next and more defending your planets and trade routes from pirates.

That isn't something that will excite someone looking for a space shooter, but for me, it's a big deal. You say it's just "clicking through menus" but it gives the player incentive to get into fights - the frontiers have dangerous stuff in them that will attack you, but also rewards. I think the big problem is there are balance issues with payouts for surveying and salvage right now along with sustained burn being too good.

Speaking of the overworld map, that's actually been made worse as well. I don't think I'm alone in hating how laggy and rubberbandy it feels. Instead of working on that and making it more responsive, the dev introduced Sustained Burn. The speed bonus from this is so good that it's basically mandatory to use it, and it makes your fleet feel even more laggy and unresponsive than before. And it stops you for a couple seconds as it activates. Wanna go fast? You gotta wait for that! Same thing with the Active Sensor Burst. Wanna know what's around you? Better stop and wait! So two more things for you to click on that will annoy you every single time you do.

Every new feature seems to just be an item in a menu somewhere or a button to click. While I appreciate the complexity that goes on behind the scenes, clicking menu options and buttons isn't exactly engaging gameplay.

Well if you're just looking for a space shooter you won't appreciate the strategic game. I guess it can just look like boring buttons to click. But for me, I love the cat and mouse game that the transponder/sensor ping/go dark/emergency/sustained burn create. I just did an assassination mission where I went dark in a ring system close to my target and waited weeks for the patrols to clear and a good moment to strike - I had to reload that fight like 10 times, but when I eventually won it felt amazing. The strategic context was a big part of that, there's no way to get it without having different options that have drawbacks.

You mentioned not liking CR earlier and I have to say I love it. Another thing that made the fight so memorable was how out of shape my ships were at the end of the battle - even my cruiser flagship was suffering from minor malfunctions by the end. It gives fights a real sense of wear and tear/exhaustion. CR serves a similar role to morale and exhaustion in a Total War game and I really appreciate the way it's done in Starsector.

On a final note, you know the game still has missions right? If you don't like the campaign you can just play those, there's nothing wrong with that. I know I enjoy doing missions.
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orost

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1734 on: May 23, 2017, 06:06:50 PM »

@Sordid

Are you *sure* there isn't something off about how your computer displays colors? Because that's nothing at all like what I see when I play the game. Here are the colors enemy and friendly health bars have in my Starsector:



I sampled these colors from a screenshot, and subjectively, this picture matches what I see in game. It looks nothing at all like the colors you posted, which are indeed very dull and hard to tell apart. But on my screen the combat UI has vivid colors.

And for extra reference: here is a raw (just cropped) screenshot from the game. Again, nothing like your screenshot.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 06:09:27 PM by orost »
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Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1735 on: May 23, 2017, 06:20:24 PM »

Well part of it is that I'm comparing ally/enemy, not player/enemy. But your colors do indeed look much more vivid than mine. WTF is going on with this.
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LoweN

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1736 on: May 23, 2017, 06:34:25 PM »

Well part of it is that I'm comparing ally/enemy, not player/enemy. But your colors do indeed look much more vivid than mine. WTF is going on with this.

Check your video card control panel for color correction settings maybe?
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orost

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1737 on: May 23, 2017, 06:36:30 PM »

Oh, sorry, I missed that somehow. Here's what hostile/ally looks like for me:



Maybe not quite as distinct as I would like, but the orange is a lot brighter than in your screenshot, which helps a lot. I don't know what could make this difference though.

edit: another comparison - top half are your colors, bottom are mine.



Your yellow is very nearly identical, but your orange is a lot darker.

(By the way - WTF is with taking screenshots of Starsector? Pressing Print Screen doesn't actually capture what's on the screen at the moment, but something that used to be there a while ago - I kept getting the loading bar or a pause screen, and had to download Fraps to get a proper screenshot)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 06:45:51 PM by orost »
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Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1738 on: May 23, 2017, 07:24:56 PM »

(By the way - WTF is with taking screenshots of Starsector? Pressing Print Screen doesn't actually capture what's on the screen at the moment, but something that used to be there a while ago - I kept getting the loading bar or a pause screen, and had to download Fraps to get a proper screenshot)

There's a screenshot folder in your Starsector folder. Print Screen puts a .png file in there.
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SCC

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1739 on: May 23, 2017, 11:34:43 PM »

For example the new features, planet surveying and ship recovery/salvage. I get it, gotta give the player something else to do besides just constantly fighting. An alternative way of earning XP and money. Good idea in principle. Thing is, the combat path involves actual gameplay, whereas surveying and salvaging is just clicking through menus. If you choose to be a prospector who avoids combat and goes around scanning things, you remove the interesting part of SS's gameplay and you're left with nothing but the laggy and tedious overworld map navigation punctuated by occasionally clicking through a menu. As far as I can tell those features are a complete waste of everyone's time, the dev's as well as the players'. And sure, you can say "you don't have to do it". That's true, but the development time used to implement these things could have been used to do something more worthwhile instead.
Well, for some people reading text in menus is actually fun and enough motivation to go around the sector. There aren't just menus to go through, but also lorebits, feelings of loneliness in space and of wonder of discovery.

Quote
Speaking of the overworld map, that's actually been made worse as well. I don't think I'm alone in hating how laggy and rubberbandy it feels. Instead of working on that and making it more responsive, the dev introduced Sustained Burn. The speed bonus from this is so good that it's basically mandatory to use it, and it makes your fleet feel even more laggy and unresponsive than before. And it stops you for a couple seconds as it activates. Wanna go fast? You gotta wait for that! Same thing with the Active Sensor Burst. Wanna know what's around you? Better stop and wait! So two more things for you to click on that will annoy you every single time you do.
What do you mean by "laggy and rubberbandy"? Do you mean ship inertia? By the way, Sustained Burn is MASSIVE improvement, it makes going anywhere actually bearable. Also, you know that reduced manoeuvrability and wind-up are there for a good reason. Namely, to stop you from having godlike mobility even with battleships and not to make Emergency Burn redundant (because Sustained Burn without wind-up would be a better EB).

Quote
Every new feature seems to just be an item in a menu somewhere or a button to click. While I appreciate the complexity that goes on behind the scenes, clicking menu options and buttons isn't exactly engaging gameplay.
Like I said - maybe not for you if you skip any and all text, but for some it's actually engaging. *insert EVE Online spreadsheet simulator meme here*
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