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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Star-Wars-Inspired Combat/RPG (v1.3.3) Update 7/16  (Read 123896 times)

Daynen

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Star-Wars-Inspired Combat/RPG (v1.3.3) Update 7/16
« Reply #390 on: September 08, 2019, 04:41:32 AM »

Loving the mod overall.  Lots of options, lots of niches filled, lots more need for specialization AND generalist ships.  Good stuff.  Fighters don't completely suck, lots of weapons are far more usable, fair AND fun and the diversity in factions means choices kinda matter now.  Thumbs up.  I gotta ask though:

WHAT THE F#*^ IS WITH THOSE REMNANTS?  Their FRIGATES have better shields than most CAPITAL SHIPS!  I load up, for example, an atlas mkII with rapiers, firestorms and hammer barrages and unload on their destroyers...and the volley gets their flux up to about HALF.  I can alpha strike a CONQUEST with a volley like that!  I can 1v1 a PARAGON with similarly armed ships!  Remnants just go "meh, no big deal."  Also their awareness feels downright cheaty.  Jumped into a nascent well thinking "ok this is nowhere NEAR any jump points so I should be able to safely have a look and burn off if they see me...right?"

Wrong.

Three armadas right on top of me.  Couldn't even emergency burn before they made contact.  It was ugly.  Over a dozen ships, easily 3 million credits worth of highly tuned, heavily armed capitals, cruisers and escorts just ground into paste like they were unarmed cargo ships.  Just...holy crap.  I'mma have to bring like 20 megaliths loaded with apocalypse cannons or something because those things are a half step away from unbreakable, man.
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Star-Wars-Inspired Combat/RPG (v1.3.3) Update 7/16
« Reply #391 on: September 08, 2019, 12:38:03 PM »

Hi welcome to the forums and thanks for the feedback! I'm very glad you are having fun. :)

Regarding your concerns:
- That faction is the biggest threat (tier 4) to the player right now (another one is planned) and designed to be extremely dangerous as the lore suggests. In that sense, I really want to keep them very scary, but I'll take a very close look and make sure they aren't completely unbeatable or so difficult as to force a certain tech or faction choice. Especially since the next Starsector update will let players pilot them under special circumstances. This is really a very good time to look at that anyway since I'm already working on fine tuning faction balance. More details on that below.

-As far as getting jumped from the nascent well, that is entirely a Vanilla thing and may very likely have been bad luck rather than those fleets being aware that you were there. I'm not completely sure how that works to be honest. I know jump points should give you a warning if hostile fleets are nearby, but I'm not sure about nascent wells.

My advice:
- In this current release Archean Order ships like the Revenant-class heavy cruiser and Megalith-class dreadnought are probably your best bet because they are far too strong right now lol. Enjoy that while it lasts, however, because there are substantial changes coming to that faction.

------------------------
------------------------
The next planned update has, among other things like campaign progression changes, also inadvertently turned into a major balance pass across several areas of the mod. This is partly tech debt from the introduction of so many new weapons, fighters and hull paintjob/stat variations in the last release, but it is also partly in response to the trials and tests of the new Random Faction Battle mission in the Missions portion of the mod outside the campaign.

Battles inside the campaign have a lot more variables (such as officers, randomized weapons, and extra D-mods) so it can be harder to test balance. This mission boils it down to just the factions ships and their designed variants- with the caveat that deployment cost is still based on fleet points in missions for some reason instead of supplies to deploy, and skin files that change fleet point values to increase deployment costs aren't taken into consideration. Anywhoo, that new mission along with player feedback has given me a lot of insight into a few problem areas that I am hoping to correct:

*Edit*
Spoiler
Factions
- Archean Order ships and weapons are too strong, especially in the player's hands. This is partly from stats, and partly from an underestimation of how powerful range actually is in Starsector.
- Hegemony legion vessels have way too high of a deployment cost in comparison to high tech ships.
- The Luddic Church is still much weaker than I want it to be.

*Edit* (Whoops, added too many to the list here. I don't want to be counter-intuitive to the tactics manual, and need to make a note to update the status of the Luddic Church as a primary military faction there.)
- Tri-Tachyon, Hegemony, Archean Order, Persean League, Adamantine Consortium, Luddic Church and Lion's Guard should all feel roughly similar in terms of combat effectiveness (not ship to ship but overall fleet to fleet) in campaign patrols, yet they don't. I want to do my best to make the choice of *primary military* faction commissions to be based on flavor, lore and play style rather than which one is the strongest as far as ships and weapons go. (Clarification of this point) This doesn't mean each faction will get access to the same weapons and tech of course. Its more that militarily each primary faction will have a specific strategy that is mostly effective relative to numerical superiority and fleet composition- meaning that it is certainly not a hard-and-fast rule since certain variants counter each other with various degrees of severity and fleet composition and tactics matter a great deal. It is more that I don't want any primary faction to feel easy to beat in a fair fight.
-To clarify commission balance in non-military prioritized factions: Trader Guilds will eventually give the player financial/commodity-based reasons to chose them as a commission even though they aren't a primary military faction, and Sci-Corps will have similar benefits even though militarily they are slightly less well-armed. Pirates, Luddic Path, Independents, Scavengers, Sindrian Diktat and REDACTED all keep their various threat tiers to the player and neighboring enemies.
*/Edit*

Weapons
- Non-missile Fire Support weapons have for the most part had their range reduced. They are a little too hard to counter sometimes- for the AI in particular.
- Beams supported with the Advanced Optics will be the longest ranging weapons besides missiles. The Tachyon Lance will have half the range but recharges 50% faster.
- Projectile-based Energy weapons have had their damage increased almost across the board. Things like the Thermal Cannon and Obliterator Cannon are currently a little too weak for their OP compared to ballistic equivalents.
- I'm planning on increasing the chance for rockets and torpedoes to get through pd. Long range missiles feel pretty good, however.
[close]

-----
That is the short version, anyway. Full details are in the notes.

I'm not exactly sure when the next update will be ready, but it shouldn't be too much longer. I'm planning on doing a few more things first. I just wanted to get these notes/changes out there in case anyone had opinions on them.

Notes So Far (Long):
Spoiler
Campaign Content Additions and Balance Changes
-------------
 -- New Ships:
    - Justicar-class cruiser (new Archean Order cruiser due to Revenant-class changes)

 -- Market Changes:
    - Significantly increased the cost of ships across the board to better match unmodded starsector.
    - Adamantine Consortium: Friendly market theme now only contains one music track instead of two. They had (imo) conflicting vibes to them and I'm saving the other one for something special lore-wise.
    - Smuggling at Adamantine Consortium or Archean Order markets now has more serious consequences to reputation with those factions.
    - Resigning a comission with Adamantine Consortium or Archean Order now has more severe consequences to reputation with those factions.
    - Rescuing an Adamantine Consortium officer or administrator now has a major impact to the player's reputation with the barons.

 -- Faction Changes:
    - Added custom dialogue for comissions for all new factions.
    - Added two extra variants to the Odyssey battlecruiser for the Sci-Corps.
    - Added three extra variants to the Revenant battlecruiser for the Archean Order.
    - Changed Tri-Tachyon fleet composition- they should hopefully now contain more destroyers and cruisers instead of merely large numbers of frigates supporting capitals.
    - Added default variants to the Lion's Guard faction from designed variants from .8
    - Removed chance for Acolyte-class frigate to be found in Adamantine Consortium dreadfleets.
    - Increased the presence of Elite Mercenary variants in Trader Guild fleets.
    - Added more variants for the Vigilance, Drover and Hammerhead for Lions Guard, Trader Guilds and Persean League fleets.

 -- Missions:
    - Added a Random Faction Battle Mission that pits the player against a random faction's fleets. Player factions have around a 50% less chance to generate capital ships in their support fleets to increase overall difficulty.

 -- Feature Enhancements/Additions:

   Cease Fire Changes/Additions:
     - Doubled the credit cost of the standard bribe.
-----


Combat Balance Changes
-------------
 - Plasma Jets ship system regenerates a charge far less often and has an increased cooldown between uses.
 - Increased hitpoints of Shockwave Rockets.
 - Reduced OP cost of Interdiction Drones by 1 OP point, reduced refit time by a few seconds (Made it a more thrifty option than pirate Broadswords which perform the same role but slightly better)
 - Tachyon Lance now fires about 50% faster, but has half the range (2500 from 5000) and costs more flux to fire. Damage per second overall has increased but strike damage remains the same. (Was by far the most powerful 32 OP weapon- especially in a player's hands)
 - Razor Tri-Beam damage per second has been increased.
 - Slightly reduced Phase Beam damage per second.
 - Increased Heavy PD Burst Laser and Paladin PD System's damage.
 - Almost all non-missile Fire Support weapons, including the Ion Beam, have reduced range, some have reduced flux cost to compensate. See Archean Order notes in particular further down this section.
 - Fury and Hailstorm rockets have less effective range.
 - Beams with advanced optics are now the longest range non-missile weapon.
 - Rebalanced most Projectile-based Assault, PD and Strike weapons above small:
     - Obliterator Cannon now deals significantly more damage, fires at regular intervals, and costs less flux per shot to better match its heavy assault role.
     - Heavy Obliterator Cannon now deals more damage per shot.
     - Thermal Pulser and Thermal Cannon have increased damage per shot. Firing rate remains the same. Thermal Cannon now deals slightly more damage per second than Thermal Pulser and has increased strike potential.
     - Increased Cutlass Laser and Heavy Cutlass Laser damage per shot.
     - Plasma Cannon deals more damage per second, has increased strike damage per salvo, and has longer range. Costs more flux to fire.
     - Antimatter Blaster charges up more quickly and can fire charges more often. More flux to fire, but extra charge regeneration has also increased dps considerably.
 - Rebalanced entire line of Archean Order energy weapons:
     - Reduced Void Driver damage per shot slightly.
     - Increased Phase Cannon damage but reduced its range. Now costs minor flux to fire.
     - Eclipse Cannon now has less range but increased damage per shot (increased anti-armor effectiveness).
     - Apocalypse Cannon Ordinance Point cost reduced to 28, range reduced by about half, increased damage and reduced flux cost to fire.
     - Heavy Apocalypse Cannon range reduced by about half, significantly increased damage and reduced flux cost to fire.
 - Reduced negative impact of Luddic Conversion hullmod on Luddic Church ships and reduced those ships deployment cost. Now improves handling rather than reducing it. (Luddic Church vessels still needed improvement)
 - Reduced the penalty of increased deployment cost for Hegemony 14th Legion vessels. Armor now calculates as a percentage increase that varies with hull size instead of a flat increase.
 - Reduced the deployment cost reduction benefit associated with Simple Core Systems hullmod.

-- Ship Changes:
 - Megalith-class Dreadnought:
     - 100 less Ordinace Points.
     - Reduced max flux.
     - Greatly reduced flux dissipation.
     - More effective shield resilience.
     - Increased shield radius. (Larger target)
     - Increased crew and fuel requirements.
     - Increased max crew storage.
     - Adjusted all variants.
 - Revenant-class Heavy Cruiser:
     - Redesignated and redesigned as a Light Battlecruiser.
     - All stats reworked.
     - Added built-in Phase Field.
     - Replaced built-in Advanced Targeting Core with Dedicated Targeting Core.
     - Adjusted all variants and added 5 more.
 - Templar-class (Archean) Heavy Destroyer:
     - 15 less Ordinace Points.
     - Adjusted all variants.
 - Paragon-class Battleship:
     - Replaced built-in Targeting Supercomputer with Advanced Targeting Core.
 - Onslaught-class (XIV) Battleship:
     - Replaced built-in Dedicated Targeting Core with Advanced Targeting Core.
     - Removed core stress hullmod and merged effects with XIV Legion hullmod.
     - Has a much lower deployment cost over the last update (down to ~28 from 34)
 - Acolyte-class Heavy Frigate:
     - 20 less Ordinace Points.
     - Reduced max flux by 2000.
     - Reduced max speed.
     - Reduced flux dissipation by 140.
     - Shield resilience to 0.7 from 0.85.
     - Adjusted all variants.
 - Neophyte-class Frigate:
     - 15 less Ordinace Points.
     - Reduced max flux by 1000.
     - Reduced max speed.
     - Reduced flux dissipation.
     - Shield resilience to 0.7 from 0.85.
     - Adjusted all variants and added 1 more.
 - Exile-class Light Carrier:
     - 10 less Ordinace Points.
     - Reduced max flux.
     - Reduced max speed by 50% (Still faster than the Vigilance-class).
     - Reduced flux dissipation.
     - Increased shield resilience.
     - Adjusted all variants.
 - Wolf-class (Arc) Frigate:
     - 10 less Ordinace Points.
     - Adjusted all variants and added 3 more.
 - Aurora-class Cruiser:
     - Increased flux dissipation.
     - Increased armor.
     - Slightly more effective shield resilience.
 - Eagle-class Heavy Cruiser:
     - Slightly reduced flux dissipation.
     - Costs 1 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
 - Dominator-class Heavy Cruiser:
     - Increased armor.
 - Pillager-class Battlecruiser:
     - Costs 1 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
 - Malevolent-class Dreadcarrier:
     - Costs 3 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
     - Reduced flux dissipation.
     - Sprite re-work/polish.
 - Tyrant-class Phase Battleship:
     - Reduced flux dissipation.
     - Reduced armor.
     - Reduced hull.
 - Legion-class Battlecarrier:
     - Increased armor, max flux and flux dissipation.
 - Conquest-class Battlecruiser:
     - Costs 2 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
 - Executor-class Battlecarrier:
     - Costs 4 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
 - Havok-class Heavy Destroyer:
     - Costs 1 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
 - Heron-class Carrier:
     - Costs 1 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
 - Mora-class Carrier:
     - Costs 1 less point/supply to deploy in battle.
     - Increased armor, max flux and flux dissipation.
 - Tempest-class Heavy Frigate:
     - Costs 1 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
 - Shrike-class Destroyer:
     - Costs 1 more point/supply to deploy in battle.
     - Reduced max speed.
 - Spectre-class Interceptor Drone:
     - Reduced hull and armor.
     - Increased replacement time.
-----


Bug Fixes
-------------
 - Added Carrier Bays built-in hullmod to Epiphany, Exile, Executor, Drover, Medusa, and Osprey as intended.
 - Corrected Megalith description to better reflect its combat role and power, as well as its lore compared to campaign realism.
 - Fixed and expanded station descrtiptions in the industry layer - to give players a concise tactical reason to choose a station based on playstyle and faction choice.
 - Corrected the names of ranks and posts for administrative staff and ground military for new factions.
 - Corrected outdated reputation relationship descriptions for Adamantine Consortium in the intel window from when the faction started neutral to the player.
 - Fixed situations where a player with their transponder off who was stopped by an Archean Order patrol was attacked even though they had high reputation.
 - Fixed situations where a player with A.I cores would have them confiscated even after complying and turning their transponder on and having high reputation with the Archean Order.
 - Corrected some drones need of crew due to missing values in the spreadsheet instead of 0s.
 - Added Fleet Paragon variant to the Tri-Tachyon Corporation fleets as intended.
 - Removed possible- though highly unlikely- case where the defective Falcon variant was used instead of the Pirate Falcon skin that has a large hardpoint.
 - Corrected crew requirements for Tyrant-class battleship.
 - Changed Iridium Hyperdriver to target fighters when no better targets are available.
 - Fixed issue with Guillotine Cannon firing at fighters too often. (Strike tag was on the wrong weapon)
 - Corrected situations
-----


Misc
-------------
 - Polished the Guillotine Cannon recoil sprite to better differentiate it from the Heavy Cutlass Laser.
 - Continued dialogue polish.
 - Reduced Rules.csv inefficiency for the new fleet dialogue features. (Removed some absurdly large score weights, cleaned up RT directory organization, etc).
 - Improved Commodity Request script (more efficient- includes adjustments for all factions for non-upfront bribe calculations).
 - Adjusted all variants utilizing OP adjusted weapons.
 - Slight round of polish on the Punisher Artillery Cannon sprite.
 - Round of polish on the Obliterator Cannon hardpoint sprite.
 - Reduced sound level of Thermal Pulser and Thermal Cannon and heavily reduced sound of the Fighter variant.
 - Removed use of ASSAULT Fighter AI tag since it has been deprecated. Replaced with FIGHTER tag.
 - Corrected the descriptions of hullmod changes and made sure to include all effects in the description. (couple outliers there)
-----
[close]
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 12:17:36 AM by Morrokain »
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Daynen

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Star-Wars-Inspired Combat/RPG (v1.3.3) Update 7/16
« Reply #392 on: September 16, 2019, 03:28:31 AM »

OKAY! So!  After a little more time and trial and error, I figured out the problem.  Their destroyers have an absolutely incredible damage to flux ratio...aaaaaaaand fleet AI is generally stupid when not specifically ordered around.  My missile ships were shoving their way to the front while my bulwarks were just chilling at fire support range.  Even had the right officers for them.  Probably just Vanilla coding.  Anyway once the destroyers shields overload they pop like balloons.  Apparently I just got hit by the mother of all ambushes back there so...I guess your mileage may vary.

Now though?  I have a new love: the Tyrant.  A PHASE BATTLESHIP is absolute madness and the hardpoints allow for alpha strike potential like the galaxy has never seen.  It's the beefiest backstabber in the sector.  On a related note, you seem to have felt the same way about Tachyon Lances as I do: they were underwhelming.  Yours, however, are GODLIKE.  The range, the destructive power and the SOUND--my god that SOUND.  You feel that thunder in your BONES, man.  It's especially awesome when you hear one go off while phasing.  I F*$&ING LOVE IT.  On a good day my flagship leaves graveyards behind.
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