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Author Topic: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair  (Read 7249 times)

goduranus

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The blog post says that these are a bit unfair, but they are more unfair than that. Most phase ships punch far above their weight class, with the torpedo Harbinger in particular, no foe is to be feared.

Battleship? Boom
Star Fortress? Boom
Bounty target? Boom

I think it's transformed the entire game into "find a phase ship and win", and the only reason to not use them would be to deliberately play a handicapped game. Imo there should be bigger downsides to using them, like with the Hyperion.

Although, if the AI can be programmed to execute perfect Disrupter-Reaper strikes that would be pretty cool too ;D

meric

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 03:26:44 AM »

Can you link to blog post?
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StarGibbon

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 03:27:00 AM »


I think it's transformed the entire game into "find a phase ship and win", and the only reason to not use them would be to deliberately play a handicapped game. Imo there should be bigger downsides to using them, like with the Hyperion.


In fairness, "find x and win" applies to many different things in the game. No one is handicapped by having a couple Onslaughts or a Paragon in tow, or by having unlimited money and rare ship production through the colony system. There are many ways to make the game challenge trivial. Phase ships are just one.
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goduranus

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 04:34:27 AM »

Can you link to blog post?
http://fractalsoftworks.com/2018/03/25/minefields/
Quote
The idea behind phase ship design, and in particular their active systems, is that they should feel a bit unfair, but still be counterable in some way. Phase ships should feel dangerous, but they should not auto-win.

But onslaughts and paragons are slow, and consume a lot more supplies, and are vulnerable to being outnumbered. Whereas the AI basically has no way to counter player controlled phase ships.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 04:37:10 AM by goduranus »
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StarGibbon

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2018, 04:44:37 AM »



But onslaughts and paragons are slow, and consume a lot more supplies, and are vulnerable to being outnumbered. Whereas the AI basically has no way to counter player controlled phase ships.

I'm not arguing that. Just saying that to assert that someone is handicapped by not using them is silly. Game is not yet complete or close to balanced. Economy is bonkers, and there are many different "I win" buttons.

Personally, I dont enjoy using phase ships, so you're welcome to them.
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Draba

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018, 04:52:31 AM »

I think the Doom is mostly OK, it's 35 DP and the firepower it brings for that isn't too high.
Mine strike is a very nice special that adds an entirely new playstyle.
Agreed on Afflictor/Harbinger, they also got good abilities(that would IMO make them very strong even without weapons) but also got to keep their high strike power.

Harbinger is where everything is cranked up to 11, 3x10 reapers that are virtually guaranteed to hit hull are just over the top.
My favorite touch is disruption gimping energy weapons, like anybody in their right minds would use anything but reapers in the synergies :)

I'd guess they are intentionally overbuffed to get people familiar with the new systems.
The playstyle is fun, just a bit cheap and delicate machinery is nowhere near enough to make up for it.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 05:00:31 AM by Draba »
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TaLaR

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2018, 05:21:49 AM »

Hyperion is comparable to Afflictor in terms of overall threat (maybe somewhat inferior, but still close), when piloted correctly (though doing so is harder, since you don't have slomo).

It's not just AI being stupid - Harbinger (assuming it's piloted competently) is pretty much uncounterable for most ships.
Against Reaper Harbinger, faster ships can dodge (since QD doesn't disable engines), but that's about it. Can't rely on shields/phase cloak or even ship systems - QD interrupts phase skimmer/teleport. Against Blaster Harbinger, even small ships can't do anything.
(also competent) Hyperion or Afflictor could probably hunt it down or at least neutralize (making any Harbinger attack on 3rd ship suicidal), but that's about it. QD is very good protection against either, so it wouldn't be easy.

Afflictor is uncounterable for frigates (except Hyperion/Afflictor). Entropy Amplifier + 3-4 AM blasters on skilled character kill them right through shield. Or first salvo overloads and second kills, after only 4 seconds (2 phase cooldown + 2 spent in phase (8 from reference frame of Afflictor with defensive systems 3)).
Larger ships with accelerated or 360 shields have potential ways to handle it (that AI doesn't use).

Doom is fine - it's too slow to get much offensive benefit from phase (other than utility for mines).

Afflictor is immensely fun, so I wouldn't want it nerfed into the ground. But Harbinger QD+Reaper spam is a bit too good, considering how easy it is.
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Megas

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 06:12:53 AM »

While Harbinger fights dirty, it is finally worth the 20 DP as a playership.  Not sure as AI, but I do not fear it as much as 0.8 QD Afflictor because it is bigger, slower, and more expensive.  Also, it seems QD does not stun as long, so you need to nail down the timing to land shots.  If QD gets taken away, I want to see a similarly overpowered system to replace it, or see Harbinger DP cost plummet.  If I have any complaint about Harbinger, it is that the Reaper loadout dominates the rest.  No other loadout is nearly as effective in player hands.

Without invulnerability frames (combined with faster AI reaction), Afflictor and Shade seems like a war of attrition against enemy ships (I decloak and do damage, then take damage back from enemy), and too hard to kill larger ships with AM blasters without the explosion killing my phase frigate.

Doom is good, and it better be for the DP cost.  5 below Onslaught/Conquest?  Doom had better be a bit unfair or at least punch about as hard as a capital.  I also like that the AI can use Doom well enough.  Wish I can say the same for the others.
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TaLaR

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 06:30:41 AM »

Not sure as AI, but I do not fear it as much as 0.8 QD Afflictor because it is bigger, slower, and more expensive.
I'm not saying that Harbinger is particularly dangerous piloted by current AI. But it could be with competent piloting.

too hard to kill larger ships with AM blasters without the explosion killing my phase frigate.
It's tricky, but something you can master. And gets easier with character skills.
And even if you avoid finishing omni-shielded capitals/cruiser (just leave them crippled), there are usually many other less risky targets.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 06:33:07 AM by TaLaR »
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Goumindong

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2018, 10:26:21 AM »

Harbinger is still particularly dangerous when piloted by the AI because well... it can shut down your shields and guns and a lot of the time it will do that when you’re surrounded. Enemy phase ships are consistently the most dangerous ships in he game
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HELMUT

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2018, 11:20:55 AM »

Being really strong isn't the Harbinger's problem, being boring is.

As Megas said, the reaper boat loadout is just so overwhelmingly better than the rest. With expanded missile racks, that's potentially 10 destroyed enemy ships from the get go in any battle. I single handedly stopped raids and took down battle stations with the simple QD/Torpedo combo, and it is not only fast, it's also easy to do. As someone said on the discord at some point, once you get a Harbinger, the game change from a challenge to a grind. You repeat the same routine of assassinating the flagship over and over again, all with little risk.

Of course, i could try something else. A Blaster/Phase lance/Ion pulser variant isn't bad at all, but is lightyears below a reaper build when it comes to burst damage, and if you're planning to use this loadout for prolonged engagements, delicate machinery and time dilatation will wreck your CR, limiting your influence on the battlefield.

Quantum Disruptor is the problem. It wasn't that bad with the Afflictor thanks to the very limited ammo from small reaper launchers. Fielding an assassin Afflictor was viable, but risky when you can screw up your single (two) chances. But with the Harbinger? A bit too easy, and it get boring quick.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2018, 12:48:59 PM »

Quantum Disruptor is the problem [because it makes Harbinger boring].

I disagree. QD is simply exacerbating the existing problem that phase ships are boring. Even the Shade (player-piloted, of course) can usually take down a cap or two and a couple cruisers by itself at the beginning of a battle. You just "repeat the same routine of assassinating the flagship over and over again, all with little risk".

And if you mess up and lose your Shade/Afflictor? Who cares, it's a frigate. You can recover it or just get another one. Harbinger is a little rarer, but same difference.
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Thaago

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2018, 01:08:37 PM »

I agree that phase ships are quite boring to play with - I had a fun time abusing them for the middle of one playthrough, but thats about it. It takes forever in real time to get anywhere phased (because you don't get the +50 speed boost) and with everything else 'on pause' you just kind drift along. Even once you get to the target, its usually the same old maneuver.
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Draba

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2018, 01:57:29 PM »

with everything else 'on pause' you just kind drift along

This is the main thing I dislike about piloting phase ships, the time dilation is an interesting mechanic but drags out fleet battles a lot.
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Megas

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2018, 02:24:28 PM »

Quantum Disruptor is the problem. It wasn't that bad with the Afflictor thanks to the very limited ammo from small reaper launchers. Fielding an assassin Afflictor was viable, but risky when you can screw up your single (two) chances. But with the Harbinger? A bit too easy, and it get boring quick.
No, 0.8 QD Afflictor with invulnerability frames and possibly longer QD stun was at least as bad in a different way.  No ship fast enough to deal with it can hard-counter it.  (That is, Afflictor can counter any of its counters.)  It can fire up to eight Reapers (or use AM Blasters instead and kill anything thanks to invulnerability frames).  It may not have quite as much ammo as Harbinger, but it can still wreck things.  You just brought more and chained them if you had them.

Doom is fun to pilot.  I give it a brawler loadout to pin enemies while mines do the work.  I like bringing Doom along because either the AI or I can use it well enough.  Harbinger is nice as a trump card, but I would not give it to the AI.  The frigates are not much help, and I have better things to pilot.

Reaper Harbinger is a bit disgusting (but my kind of disgusting), but I do not bore of it.  I only lament that other loadouts are nowhere near as powerful.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 02:28:35 PM by Megas »
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