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

Author Topic: Range, or lack of it  (Read 1259 times)

DutchTheGuy

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Range, or lack of it
« on: April 04, 2019, 12:17:35 PM »

Personally, I feel like most battles are always fought very up close and personal. The longest range weapons in the game, with the exception for the Pilum, all feel like they just don't really shoot that far to me, even with modules to aid them. At most around a ships length. Perhaps the addition of longer range weapons, or increasing the range of certain weapons, could help give a better feeling of Capital to Capital ship warfare. Though ofcourse, the damage output of close range weapons should generally be higher.

Am I the only one who feels like this?
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Goumindong

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 01:00:29 PM »

What resolution do you play at?

On my toaster as an example fighting in a paragon is BVR.
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TJJ

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 01:01:59 PM »

Personally, I feel like most battles are always fought very up close and personal. The longest range weapons in the game, with the exception for the Pilum, all feel like they just don't really shoot that far to me, even with modules to aid them. At most around a ships length. Perhaps the addition of longer range weapons, or increasing the range of certain weapons, could help give a better feeling of Capital to Capital ship warfare. Though ofcourse, the damage output of close range weapons should generally be higher.

Am I the only one who feels like this?

I don't think long range works particularly well in 2D.

Either zoom range would need drastically extending (which would naturally reduce the size of everything else, impacting visual fidelity), or BVR targeting would need to be done through some kind of dynamic camera positioning, aka 'scope'. (which I suspect would be clumsy & disorienting)

More than the targeting issue, there's the issue of balance.
Having one fewer dimensions (2D vs 3D) makes avoiding collisions far less likely, which in-turn makes closing distances while being fired upon much more difficult.
SS deals with this by compressing the 'range of weapon ranges' (i.e. difference between longest, and shortest range weapons), to reduce that closing distance as much as possible.
The natural consequence of this being that few weapons stand out as being 'long range'.
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angrytigerp

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2019, 01:09:11 PM »

+1 to the 3d battlescape conceptualization.

It also helps explain if you think of the ships on slightly different elevations. So, that projectile isn't traveling in only an X/Y dimension, it's also traveling up or down (z).

This is why projectiles can do a bit of damage beyond effective range, albeit at a rapidly-diminishing value... Think of it as the projectile going high or low, and only glancing off the armor/shield or hitting empty hullspace whose value doesn't really matter in the long run
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Megas

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2019, 05:17:51 PM »

Lack of shot range is the biggest strike against Starsector for me.  Starsector is more of a hack-and-slash in space instead of a shmup.  The only long-range weapons are fighters (which are missiles by another name) and beams from Paragon.  Pilums used to be effective, but today, they are too easy to neutralize.

I would like it if Sensor points increased shot range like they originally did instead of decreasing the enemy's.
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Thaago

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 10:53:08 AM »

Consider range, ship/projectile speed, sprite size, and zoom. A global increase in range is exactly the same as making all sprites smaller and ships/projectiles slower, if maintaining other stats. Which is not something I want, just for stylistic reasons. Longer ranged + faster projectiles is the equivalent of making sprites smaller and ships slower... etc. I agree that things feel short ranged, but its a stylistic choice more in terms of pacing and graphics than anything else. Even now we are zoomed out enough that you can't really see the details on frigates.

I am a bit confused though, as 1 ship length is pretty darn short range. Are you using the Dedicated Targeting Core on Cruisers/Capitals, and the Integrated Targeting unit once you get it? As an example, destroyers with long ranged weapons and ITU (beams or HVD/Maulers) have a 1200 unit range, which I think is about 4 ship lengths, and is nearly off the screen without dev mode zoom out. A ballistic capital ship is going to have anywhere from 1440 to 1920 range depending on guns, while a Paragon can push 2200 on beams. Gunnery implants skill will extend these even further.

In terms of short ranged guns dealing more damage: In general they do, though there are some examples that are more extreme than others. Machine Guns (light single, dual, and heavy) are incredibly effective anti-shield brawling weapons at close range. Long ranged guns like Heavy Mauler and HVD have poorer DPS. The Assault Chaingun is supposed to be a high DPS close ranged gun, but in practice it sucks and should be avoided in nearly all cases in favor of the heavy mortar, which is a medium range gun with excellent stats.
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Gothars

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 01:22:59 PM »

Yep, longer range just means more empty space between ships to look at.
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Kohlenstoff

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 01:48:34 PM »

Longer range means also less chances to actually hit certain regions of the ships like the engines or the weapons or unshielded parts. This applies especially to projectile weapons.
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Megas

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2019, 06:32:53 PM »

Yep, longer range just means more empty space between ships to look at.
As it should be.  Ships fire guns, not beat each other with swords or metal sticks.  I want to see significant empty space, or bullet hell or beam spam, between combatants in a firefight.

Quote
Consider range, ship/projectile speed, sprite size, and zoom. A global increase in range is exactly the same as making all sprites smaller and ships/projectiles slower, if maintaining other stats.
I have no problem with that.  Probably better than what we have now.


Ever since Heavy Mauler took the big nerf, not to mention campaign hullmods competing for OP (when they did not in 0.8 ), most of my medium ballistics tend to be Arbalest and Heavy Mortar.  Shot range of most ballistic ships tend to be 1000 or less (and energy ships have even less range).  Only beam Paragon and carriers have significant attack range.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 06:35:14 PM by Megas »
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Thaago

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2019, 06:50:29 PM »

Call it stylistic differences then. I think combat can be a bit too packed in the largest battles, but is in general fine. I like seeing ships.

I think your weapon choices are strange if you want more range. There are plenty of OP to put on the top tier long range guns instead of the more efficient medium range guns, there are just tradeoffs (which there should be). With loadout design 3, maxed vents, top tier weapons, and several combat hullmods are viable on nearly every ship.
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Megas

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2019, 07:24:51 AM »

@ Thaago:  I think the game is stingy with OP for most ships even with Loadout Design 3.  If I put Reinforced Bulkheads and at least one campaign mod (especially Efficiency Overhaul) on a ship, I have a very tight OP budget, likely not enough to get all of the necessities.  Some ships like Shrike and Odyssey have low enough OP that they need an officer to remove the Reinforced Bulkheads requirement.  It seems most ships have enough OP (with Loadout Design 3) only if I completely eschew Reinforced Bulkheads and campaign mods.

I only use Heavy Mauler if it compliments the range of another weapon (like 800 range kinetics on Eagle or a heavy kinetic on a capital).  Otherwise, I use Heavy Mortars as my default HE medium weapon.  It helps that Heavy Mortar is very common.  I generally do not have enough Maulers to all of my ships until I find the blueprint (usually by raiding for it, after I effectively won the game).

I miss 800 range light needlers.  Costs too much OP, not bursty enough in the right place (i.e., cannot overload NPCs' shields, dangerous flux spike for my ships when fired at the worst time), or otherwise feels like an inferior clone of the railgun.

It does not help that most of the long-range options are rare until player finds the blueprints, and most of those are not packed in bundles, meaning player probably needs to raid for the majority of them (if exploration does not find enough).

Early game fleet is whatever I start with and clunkers taken from the enemy, which means lots of Enforcers and Mules.  Most of my ships in my endgame fleet are either capitals or cruiser-sized carriers, with some Falcons to take the place of destroyers (while maybe having enough peak performance to endure an endgame fight).

The flagship I want to use by endgame is Paragon with lances and HVDs, partly due to shot range and partly due to raw power.  (Paragon with only pulse lasers and blasters is not as useful as other capitals, due to 60 DP and no mobility.)  I do not always find all of the weapons I want until long after endgame begins.  In my last game, did not find the blueprints, so I had to settle for pirate-hunter Odyssey flagship with HILs and mining pods.
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Deshara

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2019, 02:36:58 AM »

How close do you think you need to be to hit a jet fighter with a machinegun?
Now, a jet fighter can only move in one direction. A starship has thrusters in every direction, and it would be trivially easy to hook them up to a nav computer hooked up to a comms computer that takes in tracking data for old shots and does micro-adjustments so that any shot fired at it with more than X seconds to splash are guaranteed not to hit where you could tighten that value down with better processing power like if you have better ships for doing it or a fleet skill for it that would effectively lower the range of enemy ships and oops that's already in the game.
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Ranakastrasz

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Re: Range, or lack of it
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2019, 08:19:31 AM »

There was a mod called Gunny Battles which globally doubled weapon range, projectile speed, quadrupled pd range and halved damage, quadrupled missile speed and halved health. I don't recall the other effects. Also doubled accuracy.


It had the kind of effect you are going for I think.

http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=12552.0
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 11:08:33 AM by Ranakastrasz »
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