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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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What would you like to see in Blackrock?

More ships
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More weapons
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More campaign features
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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] Blackrock Drive Yards v0.9.5a (10.06.2019) - Hotfix released  (Read 1211570 times)

Spardok

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #195 on: January 06, 2013, 12:03:20 PM »

Sustained is down to I believe 62 if I remember correctly against armor/shields vs HBLs 82 (too busy continuing to droll over Ni No Kuni videos to check lul). With burst at 110 vs armor/shields (I think that's lower than HBL) Which is probably why you see that against capital ships. While S/M is doubled and a 20% increase in recharge so the actual "burst" gets out faster but sustained would be way lower. I never thought it was fantastic against capital ships, just a tad bit powerful against fighter wings.

The IA is certainly a cool and unique subsystem, really can't wait till all the bugs get ironed out of it.
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Cycerin

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #196 on: January 07, 2013, 03:58:09 PM »

Oh yeah, you're right of course. The 80 ish is from a single zap. Anyway, my point is that how it wastes flux against other ships is the designed weakness here. You are basically investing 15 OP into it to crap on enemy fighters and missiles, and a dual flak is still arguably better at the same thing (but hampered by ammo/cant hit at high transversals)

About the IA: Yeah, glad you like it. It'll probably be a little while, though. :(
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Chancellor Meatsteak

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #197 on: January 07, 2013, 05:34:25 PM »

One of the frigates (the Scarab I believe) has two light ballistic hardpoints with a fairly wide arc of fire. The problem is any weapon put on them turns very slowly, presumably because its a hardpoint. It appears that if you want a weapon with an arc above fifteen or so degrees you have to make it a turret.

The Burst Maneuvering Jets (which could probably be just shortened to Burst Jets) seem to be more useful for accelerating yourself to a high speed then coasting to where you need to be than quickly maneuvering. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, just seems unintentional and probably better suited as solely the domain of the Desdinova's Arc Jets. Perhaps you could forcibly limit the ships speed after the burst jets finish firing.

On the subject, I kind of liked the Nevermore's old ship system better. I feel as though the concept of the ship built around an extremely heavy energy weapons fits better as an artillery support ship rather than a close up brawler, especially since the addition of the Antiplasma Blaster makes the newer-version of the Nevermore's weapon less unique, though I suppose its change to being something the AI can actually use is a fair trade.

The short range kinetic weapons, the Solenoid Quench Gun and the Shard Autocannon, are not very useful. Sure their bursts are fairly strong, but not nearly strong enough to justify the greatly lowered DPS or range. For instance, the Solenoid Quench Gun fires a shot once every three seconds, has a range of 500, and only does a pitiful 143 DPS; in order to be more useful than a Heavy Autocannon the ship wielding it would have to be able to get into range, fire a shot, and retreat out of Heavy Autocannon range in the span of only three seconds; and if a ship is fast enough to do that it could easily just equip a Heavy Machinegun, which does a whopping 320 DPS. The high explosive counterparts to these weapons, the Ichneumon Assault Gun and the Squall Cannon, are useful however; the Ichneumon because it's flux efficient, the Squall because of its low OP cost and the way armor damage is calculated, and both because a strong burst is actually meaningful for high explosive weapons since it allows them to better take advantage of situations where shields are only momentarily dropped or facing the wrong way. The Shard could probably be repurposed as the that 'long range mortar' you were thinking about making (the selection of light kinetics fill most niches I feel).

The Ironweave Chaingun is also not terribly useful, it does not have a high DPS and ironically its higher accuracy than the Vulcan actually makes it even less likely to hit missiles since it require more precision to strike its target, as well it is not functionally very different from the other light ballistic PD available. Perhaps it could be a sort of miniature flak cannon, with a higher rate of fire but much less damage per shot and a much smaller explosive radius than the medium version.



In general, however, the mod is extremely well done and very fun to play. I particularly like the new Desdinova, nothing quite like darting around at 400 speed with a pair of Squall Cannons.
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Cycerin

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #198 on: January 07, 2013, 05:56:50 PM »

Man, thanks for an extremely comprehensive feedback post! This is what I NEED right now.

Quote
One of the frigates (the Scarab I believe) has two light ballistic hardpoints with a fairly wide arc of fire. The problem is any weapon put on them turns very slowly, presumably because its a hardpoint. It appears that if you want a weapon with an arc above fifteen or so degrees you have to make it a turret.

Hell, I had no idea. I'll make them into turrets.

Quote
The Burst Maneuvering Jets (which could probably be just shortened to Burst Jets) seem to be more useful for accelerating yourself to a high speed then coasting to where you need to be than quickly maneuvering. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, just seems unintentional and probably better suited as solely the domain of the Desdinova's Arc Jets. Perhaps you could forcibly limit the ships speed after the burst jets finish firing.

Yeah, in order to not make the ship immediately brake as the effect fades out (the burst jet stat mods derive from the effectLevel of the system which fades from 1 to 0 and most of the Burst Jet effect happens as fade-out rather than active time) I had to remove the usual clampdown that is built in to the base Maneuvering Jets system. The side effect is that the braking-down of the ship after a burst is based on its deceleration stat. I thought it clunky to start coding something to aid braking them down and liked the coasting side-effect personally - I disagree with the statement that they are more useful for coasting than than they are for quick maneuvering. The Nevermore would be completely useless if it couldn't reposition or turn with the Burst Jets.

I'll experiment more with it, though - I really want burst jet ships to move in a twitchy manner. It's like a more "analog" approach to what a phase skimmer does. :P

Quote
On the subject, I kind of liked the Nevermore's old ship system better. I feel as though the concept of the ship built around an extremely heavy energy weapons fits better as an artillery support ship rather than a close up brawler, especially since the addition of the Antiplasma Blaster makes the newer-version of the Nevermore's weapon less unique, though I suppose its change to being something the AI can actually use is a fair trade.

Personally, I find the new Nevermore more satisfying to pilot, it's still very much a floating energy cannon, but one that tries to get in your face rather than hovering at the edges. The fact that the AI just killed itself by activating the old lucifer generator randomly was also a big factor in deciding to replace it.

About the weapons, I rather agree with most of your points. The Shard does some weak EMP damage with forces a greater tradeoff when tanking it on your armor. I considered amping up this EMP damage after I found I usually replaced Shards with either MGs or needlers on my iron mode campaign setups... the other change I have been considering is to make it fire a fan-shaped blast of flechettes, so it becomes like a "shotgun needler" that doubles as a great manual screen against incoming missiles. Any thoughts you have about this are quite welcome!

The Ironweave was sort-of a last minute addition. I'm going to take a better look at it, because it's quite pitiful unless used in very large numbers right now.

Overall, I feel that BR should have its own kinetic weapon option. The Shard should be better than the MG at close-up, efficient kinetic damage, but lose the PD aspect. The Solenoid Quench Gun is already quite useful, it's terrifying for shielded frigates due to the enormous projectile speed and single shot damage - but I've considered upping the damage a bit.

Probably going to make dual mounted ichneumons and shards as a higher-OP cost small weapon option down the road too.

Any other suggestions? How do you feel about the Mantis, Gonodactylus, Serket, Krait and whatnot?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 06:02:50 PM by Cycerin »
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Dog

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #199 on: January 07, 2013, 07:01:42 PM »

Man, it's been a long time since I've posted, but whatever ;)
Cycerin, this mod is seriously fantastic.  I installed it alongside Uomoz's Corvus, and I quickly fell in love with the Desidnova.  That thing is a beast, like, incredibly so.  I found myself buying one just to try it out, and holy cow is it amazing.  Thanks to character upgrades, it now has flux capacity on the same level as some capital ships, and it can tear apart Neutrino ships, which is really saying something.  I guess it would be best to either bump up the fleet points dramatically on this thing, or make it far more expensive.  It's just a little too good for its cheap price and low FP.

The new Nevermore is also really good.  It feels well balanced, and is incredibly satisfying to use.  The antimatter lance deals damage like nothing else, and the burst jet systems are great.  My new favorite tactic is to burst jet the second I get on the field, get going up to 260-270 speed, and just fly into enemy fleets guns blazing.  It makes me feel like the ship is dropping from FTL speed right into the middle of a battle and is oh so satisfying.  This ship is a much better brawler now, and when it's kitted out with squalls and the antiplasma blasters, it can threaten full fleets on its own.

The Kuruamaraja is interesting, and I like it, but due to the current AI issues, is mostly useless.  It just fires up the IA immediately, and then just builds up flux and gets overloaded by a frigate.  I opted to switch it over to a long range artillery cruiser, by giving it two mass drivers and two Cains from the Interstellar Federation mod.  It fits the niche well, and it becomes not totally useless due to the buggy AI. 

The mantis is a hilarious little bugger, and is tons of fun.  Its cheap, expendable, and makes for a great harasser.  I'd suggest removing one of the energy turrets on that thing, as it has way too much firepower for such a small ship.

The Revenant feels very well balanced and smooth, so excellent job there. 

The sprites are friggin' fantastic, with only one exception.  The Kuruamaraja is rather underwhelming right now.  The Interdiction Array is soooo cool looking, but the back of the ship feels too small or short.  It makes the ship appear top heavy and unbalanced.  Just my personal opinion, and it's still a great looking ship, so huge props there.

The new guns are great, but as stated previously, the Solenoid gun kind of sucks  :-\.  Its short range limits its use to frigates, and even then, it doesn't hit hard enough to be worth the OP cost. The squalls are beautiful, as very few medium mount high explosive weapons actually exist, and they are quite satisfying to use.  This sounds kind of whiny, but they sound much wimpier than in previous versions, where they had a sharp and dangerous retort, just my personal opinion, feel free to ignore it.

Overall, you created a fantastic mod, and I can't thank you enough for it.  Keep up the good work.
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Chancellor Meatsteak

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #200 on: January 07, 2013, 08:55:24 PM »

I disagree with the statement that they are more useful for coasting than than they are for quick maneuvering. The Nevermore would be completely useless if it couldn't reposition or turn with the Burst Jets.

Ah, of course. Most of my experience with the Burst Jets come from using the Scarab, which is maneuverable enough to not need Burst Jets to turn quickly; I didn't use Nevermore quite as much since I preferred to fly the Desdinova. Still feels that it encroaches on the Arc Jet's ground a bit too much, but that is not a big deal.

the other change I have been considering is to make it fire a fan-shaped blast of flechettes, so it becomes like a "shotgun needler" that doubles as a great manual screen against incoming missiles. Any thoughts you have about this are quite welcome!

Sounds good. I think the 'shotgun effect' should be ridiculously exaggerated, it should have at the very least a 45 degree arc of fire but be capable of very high firepower if all projectiles hit at once, which would only ever happen at point blank range. The idea of an ultra close combat weapon is something I find highly appealing, and probably unique enough to not even need the EMP effect.

The Solenoid Quench Gun is already quite useful, it's terrifying for shielded frigates due to the enormous projectile speed and single shot damage - but I've considered upping the damage a bit.

While it certainly is effective against frigates that is not really much of an accomplishment, and they still aren't as effective against them as any of the other medium kinetics with perhaps the exception of the Heavy and Arbalest Autocannons. As a comparison, the Hypervelocity Driver has slightly worse damage per shot, DPS, and flux efficiency but nonetheless remains useful because it has a very long range (twice that of the Solenoid) and also carries a hefty EMP payload, making it reasonably effective whether or not the enemy has their shields up. Perhaps you could turn it into a kinetic shotgun like above, though the graphics don't quite fit that. Alternatively, you could emphasize the burst aspect by making it a weapon that fires an interruptable about four second long burst with an about six second long cooldown (I believe this is possible; if I'm not mistaken the Thumper and Storm Needler work by firing a "burst" that lasts longer than you can fire and can be stopped by releasing the fire button); that way you get to have a weapon with a long enough cooldown such that a quick ship is realistically capable of using to dart in, fire a burst, and dart out without making it capable of instantly overloading every ships' shields or requiring too much flux to actually use.

How do you feel about the Mantis, Gonodactylus, Serket, Krait and whatnot?

Given how light the Locust is it could probably stand to cost an FP or two less, but more importantly it (and as I'm sure you are aware) it needs a unique ship system to stand out. Perhaps a set of weak, regenerating drones; or maybe a really short but intense version of the burn drive.

The Gonodactylus is quite effective and has a very fun and unique weapons arrangement, though I find I don't use its Hammerclaw Impact Bolter very much since it is only a single light missile and it feels odd to group with other light missiles. I'd probably the Hammerclaw more if was a medium equivalent weapon (say by firing a burst of three 500 damage versions of the missile) and the current light missile slot replaced with an energy weapon, for either PD use or an Antimatter Blaster. Its ship system doesn't make it feel quite as special as the other BRDY ships but it serves its purpose just fine.

I haven't got the chance to play with the rest of the ships very much, will get back to you on that when I do.

Incidentally I just realized that the shortened form of BlackRock Driveyards (BRDY) is read as "birdy".

Spoiler
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Cycerin

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #201 on: January 08, 2013, 09:15:50 AM »

Dog: I know, right? When you have a few 10-pointers in Tech and Combat, you can kill Onslaughts easily with a well-piloted Desdinova. It's pretty insane. Then again, I would be perfectly capable of doing the same things with a Medusa, so I feel that the ship is where it should be right now.

I'm really glad you're having fun playing the mod. ;D

Based on all your feedback I'm going to start working on some new weapons/rebalancing. I have some very good ideas floating around after all this talk.

Regarding the Locust: I think it's fine minus the lack of a unique ship system. For 5FP you get a very capable escort ship that can seriously punish fighters that try to cap and deal tons of kinetic damage to shields when equipped with MGs. It's one of the best anti-fighter frigates in the game currently, especially considering the FP cost.

Regarding the Shrimp: Let's just say I have... plans for the Hammerclaw.

Regarding the Scarab: I'll probably make the ship overall more tough and cumbersome, to emphasise use of the ship system. Besides, it's quite fat-looking and larger than most frigates, so it should be somewhat resilient.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 09:53:57 AM by Cycerin »
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Jonlissla

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #202 on: January 08, 2013, 11:02:54 AM »

Great mod, really excellent art. If you put your ships in line next to the vanilla fleets I wouldn't know which vessels were official and which were fanmade, it's that good. Really looking forward to future updates. Too bad you had to remove the Lucifer Generator, it looked great in concept.

Some feedback on the ships;

Scarab
As Meatsteak wrote, those two hardpoints at the front of the ship are rather awkward. As suggested, make them into turrets instead, or let the hardpoints have a much more narrow field of fire. Other than that the ship is reasonably balanced.

Mantis
Expensive, although it lives up to its description. Surprisingly effective with a pair of Quill launchers up front. They feel balanced enough.

Gonodactylus
Only ship I sold after a few battles. Stats were nice, but pretty much all of its weapons are located at the side of the ship which made it a tad tricky to engage enemies. The inbuilt missile launcher was a cool feature but it didn't really carry the ship for me. Ship system felt out of place, why put a accelerated ammo feeder on a mining ship? Would prefer a group of drones instead, or maybe the equivalent to a terminator drone.

Serket
One seriously expensive fightercraft. Its armament reflects its cost however so I feel it is at a right place. Phase Cloak makes them tricky to destroy.

Krait
They live up to the name of heavy fighter. A quality > quantity version of the Warthog, but I'm not sure who would win in a duel. Could use a small nerf by boosting its FP from 7 to 8, their firepower is quite outstanding.

Squilla
Best bomber I've seen, and most likely the best in the game now. Could use a nerf to its speed, since combined with its shields it becomes ridiculously effective at killing pretty much everything.

Locust
Never used it, but judging from its stats I'd rather pick a Lasher. Haven't tried it out yet so take that comment with a grain of salt.

Desdinova
Jesus Christ how horrifying, with the correct loadout you can take out pretty much everything aside from capital ships. Costs as much as a Falcon but is instead twice as good. Keep the price and FP but lower the speed.

Nevermore
Can spit forth a blue laser of death. Feels like it's in a good place now. No other comments.

Revenant
Really impressed with this carrier. I like it, alot. It has a good ship system and is well-rounded to suit most tasks as its description implies. Have no complaints about it.

Kurmaraja
Has a real cocktease for description I can tell you that. Once I finally got the chance to pilot it I noticed it was quite... underwhelming to be honest. It's brutally expensive and has odd weapon placements and sizes. One thing I really got annoyed by was the very back of the ship. It feels very inconsistent, you have a ship with a fair amount of ballistic weapons and all of a sudden, two small tiny energy mounts at its rear? Same thing goes with the universal, you have a set of six small mounts running along the top/middle of the ship, and two of them are universal weapon mounts. Once again, it feel inconsistent.

And finally...

Manuevering Jets
Just like Meatsteak wrote, I found myself using this system just to "surf" along the map. I politely disagree that the Nevermore needs it to use the Anti-Matter Lance properly, I did just fine without it. You fight one small battle on the map, press F and W with the correct timing, and slowly glide across the battlefield for the next fight. It looks very out of place when you see a cruiser outrun a Hound. I don't see the point of this ability to be honest. My suggestion is that you give the Nevermore the vanilla M. Jets and give the Scarab and Desdinova something else.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Might come back with some more.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 11:06:47 AM by Jonlissla »
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harrumph

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #203 on: January 09, 2013, 03:18:15 AM »

Ahh, Cycerin, you do not disappoint. Awesome work all around.

Criticism, compliments, and riffing on other people's comments, in no particular order:

I agree with LazyWizard about the Fury: it's too much of a simple upgrade to the Reaper. I'll double down on that and say that I don't like the Squilla either—again, too much of an undifferentiated upgrade. Way faster, tougher hull and armor, no omni shield but a much higher flux capacity; it basically just makes the Dagger obsolete. If you tinker with the Fury, that might help to set the Squilla apart, but I don't think just reducing the torpedo's damage will be enough.

I think the fighters are in a good place (it's always a little hard to tell, since you never control them directly). The Krait seems to get the job done in a pretty balanced way, strong against fighters and frigates, tough enough to hang against bigger ships in a support role, but never too overpowering. It is awfully heavily armed on paper, but I think flux keeps that in check. The Serket is a vicious little bastard; the combination of high speed with a phase cloak seems to make them damn near invincible—I don't think I've ever lost a single fighter, no less a whole wing. I actually like that, though; they're very expensive and not outrageously overarmed, and it's a relief not to worry about losing crew. The rockets are a nice touch, giving them a little punch against big ships without tipping the balance in a dogfight or against frigates.

I'll second Meatsteak re: the new Burst Maneuvering Jets; I don't think they're quite where they should be. In open space, you can crank a Desdinova up to like 600 speed (depending on skills, hullmods, etc.), which is fun but not very sensible. The way they work in a nebula is cool, and, from the sounds of it, more like what you had in mind: a sort of low-tech phase skimmer. If it's possible to force the ship back down to its normal cruising speed at the end of a burn, as happens in a nebula, I think you should try that. Otherwise I'd say give the Nevermore a pure maneuvering system to help aim the main gun (maybe tie in energy weapon damage or something) and more traditional jets, as on the Eagle/Falcon, for the others.

I also agree with Meatsteak about the new kinetic weapons—bursty short-range kinetics don't really suit Starsector's shield mechanics; every time you scoot back out of range, the enemy can just drop shields and dissipate that flux. What you want from a kinetic weapon is the ability to keep up constant pressure from a distance, ideally beyond the range of most of your enemy's weapons…so if I learned one thing from trying out different weapon configurations with the BRDY ships, it's that the vanilla Light Needler is completely insane (basically a medium weapon in a small slot), and there's rarely a reason to mount anything else for the shield-breaking role. I propose that you just adopt the all-powerful Light Needler as the official kinetic weapon of BRDY—all hail our new Light Needler overlords, etc. etc. and so forth. Besides, more kinetic weapons is really the last thing the game needs; there are as many vanilla kinetics as there are all other ballistics combined (and that's counting the three varieties of bombs).

If you're looking for ideas for new ballistics to implement, I'd say that frag weapons are quite under-represented (I like Meatsteak's idea of turning the Ironweaver into a micro-flak gun of some kind) and there's probably still room for more medium HE types alongside the (excellent) Squall Cannon.

Elsewhere among the weapons: I like the Argus and the Antiplasma Blaster, although I think it's a bit odd that the latter has better range than any of the existing non-beam medium energy weapons. Maybe take it down to 550 or 600 and boost the damage to compensate? Or would that move it too close to the Mining Blaster?

Quills are awesome, if maybe a teensy bit OP—note that, despite being more accurate and (I think) faster-firing, they actually do more total damage per rack than Annihilators do (but they cost more, too, so maybe fair enough—and they are super fun to use). I'm not sure what to make of the Achilles; it seems awfully expensive for basically just being a weaker, more reliable Sabot. I haven't played with it much, though—it has EMP, right? Does it have a decent chance of causing the new EMP arc effect?

Back to the ships: the Mantis is an absolute monster, my new favorite ship. After fumbling around in a Lasher/Wolf/Vigilance for a while, it's an absolute joy to just fly straight up against a Hound and pound six rockets into its hull, point-blank. It probably needs a nerf, to be honest—maybe a slight reduction in speed, or making the shield frontal—but if it doesn't get one, I certainly won't complain. Great-looking ship, too. Out of curiosity, how did you intend to balance this one? The fluff text implies that the missile-heavy armament is supposed to limit its endurance, but I've had no problems in that regard (and I've been running around with Quills on the universal mounts).

I'll also leap to the defense of the Kurmaraja, which I like a lot, visually and functionally—I've been using one as a flagship. With all due respect to Jonlissla, I actually think the weapon layout is excellent—strong coverage forward and aft, plenty of flexibility with your weapon choices, but also quite restrained, not some completely bananas setup with thirty-seven different turrets. It's actually fairly similar to the Dominator in terms of total firepower, with the Dominator have the edge in medium missile mounts, but the Kurmaraja having the advantage of mounting all its guns as turrets. My one quibble is that the fields of fire for the two missile mounts don't overlap, but in practice it's not really a problem.

Even with the Interdiction Array only in a half-functional state, I've found the Kurmaraja to be a lot of fun. It's by far the fastest ship to mount large ballistic weapons, and whereas the Dominator, Onslaught, and Conquest all have more or less limited fields of fire, the Kurmaraja can aim freely; with Entoptic Rangefinding (or whatever that perk is called), an ITU, and the IA, you can outrange anything in the game, and with those big engines you can move fast enough to maintain that range advantage.

Depending on how the Interdiction Array ends up working, though, the Kurmaraja might end up being a little too well-rounded. I might have misinterpreted the idea behind the IA, but I imagine that, fully functional, it's going to make the Kurmaraja untouchable from long (1000+?) range, forcing enemy ships to come in close. Being (insanely) fast and well-equipped to fight at long range, the Kurmaraja ought to become an awesome anti-capship platform. You'd want its weakness, then, to be smaller ships, right? If strike frigates or fighters get in close, they should be able to chew it apart (I imagine that phase frigates and Hyperions should be the nastiest threats). As it stands, though, the omni-shield, good maneuverability, and all-round weapons coverage mean that even a frigate that sneaks up on my Kurmaraja's stern can't accomplish much. A change to the shield, or maybe just removing two of the rear-facing ballistic mounts, might be enough to solve that potential problem.

Onward! I think the Nevermore is in a really excellent place, balance-wise and fun-wise; it's not easy to use effectively, but really satisfying when everything clicks.

I like the Revenant at 13 FP—it's more fragile than the Venture, and doesn't have the same potential for long-range support, but it's much stronger in close combat. Those Barracudas really can chew a ship apart, given the chance. There's an idea for a new weapon, actually—how about a heavy variant of the Ion Cannon, with 700 range or so? Stick a bunch of needlers on the Revenant's bow, give it an ITU and an Ion Cannon on the medium energy slot, and you can keep the enemy's shields down while using the new Ion Cannon EMP arc thingy to suppress their PD.

Both destroyers are very heavily armored; it works, lore-wise and functionally, for the Gonodactylus, but for the Desdinova I think it's a problem—other people have suggested boosting its FP cost, but I think you should bring down its armor instead, make it more of a glass cannon. As for the shrimp, to be honest, I'm not a fan, but I'll withhold judgement until you've revealed the secrets of the new Hammerclaw.

The Locust is fine, I think. Not every ship needs to be whiz-bang-flashy, and as it stands the Locust would actually make a very good starting ship—it's quite strong not just against fighters but 1-on-1 against other frigates too, especially slower ones. Still, it wouldn't hurt to either knock one FP off the price tag or crank the speed up just a wee bit to emphasize its strength in that department.

The Scarab's good, too. Very nicely balanced, with the crappy shield and poor PD coverage matched against the strong hull and heavy armament.

And I think that's everything!
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mendonca

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #204 on: January 09, 2013, 03:54:10 AM »

The Locust is fine, I think. Not every ship needs to be whiz-bang-flashy, and as it stands the Locust would actually make a very good starting ship—it's quite strong not just against fighters but 1-on-1 against other frigates too, especially slower ones. Still, it wouldn't hurt to either knock one FP off the price tag or crank the speed up just a wee bit to emphasize its strength in that department.

Was playing a bit of U's C 16.5 with BRDY add-on, and due to financial difficulties and a propensity for being destroyed rather easily, found myself in a Locust for a short while.

It's a decent ship, can cope adequately against evenly matched Pirates and it's certainly an interesting balance. I found myself wanting for a missile or two, and thought long and hard about quickly trading it in for a Lasher.

The two energy mounts are very useful, though, and with a LRPD and a Tac Laser, can kite e.g. a Lasher or a Hound adequately enough and should be able to cope with light missile threats. It can just about sustain a light Needler in the front mount (with a bit of care in flux management). It can't pack a lot of OP though on top of this, and I think that it probably IS a little bit underpowered for the cost.

It's a bit slow, with a too small shield and limited firepower to really justify being a burst concentrating ship IMHO. Not sure what could change this ... more speed, or more flux dissipation and switching the front hard mount to energy (encouraging an AM blaster?).

If it is supposed to be more range support, maybe more flux dissipation could encourage the prospect of mounting two Light Needlers? (at the minute I don't feel like I would dare do this due to the flux generation).

Maybe these things make sense, maybe they don't, but hope they help a little bit :)
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Cycerin

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #205 on: January 09, 2013, 05:21:28 AM »

If you get some points in Technology, it becomes very feasible to mount some needlers on the Locust. It's more of a close support/fighter killer frigate than an assault ship. I think the ship needs something truly unique though, but so far, I'm at a lack of ideas... I'm glad to hear your ruminations, though, mendonca, and I agree with most of it.

I don't have time to go through and quote-dissect all of you all's feedback, but I have to say that I read it all several times and I LOVE getting feedback like this. The praise and criticism is equally useful, and knowing you've played and enjoyed the mod is the best part.

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I also agree with Meatsteak about the new kinetic weapons—bursty short-range kinetics don't really suit Starsector's shield mechanics; every time you scoot back out of range, the enemy can just drop shields and dissipate that flux. What you want from a kinetic weapon is the ability to keep up constant pressure from a distance, ideally beyond the range of most of your enemy's weapons…

Just want to say something about this, though - there's nothing wrong with bursty kinetic weapons, as long as you have missiles or longer-ranged HE weapons to punish your opponent for venting or trying to dissipate the flux in between bursts. If you don't like the BRDY weapon philosophy, there's nothing wrong with using stock kinetics - but my goal with everything is to make sure the faction is clearly differentiated from the stock factions in most departments. I am totally going to make more HE guns, though!

I've already made several adjustments to the mod internally in keeping with your feedback and my own experiences - I'm going to at least have a polish and rebalance release out in time for the next UsC version (which is going to be f'n sweet, by the way) but depending on real-life workload I may also have the time to squeeze in a few new features, like the new Hammerclaw.

As for the Shrimp, it's not a mining ship, it's a mining ship whose blueprint has had modifications done to it, turning it into a model of combat/utility vessel. The original mining ship is lost to the ages, but I might actually resurrect it if I need a mining ship for the eventual campaign layer. My dream implementation of the Hammerclaw will probably be very hard to realize, but if you've ever played Pudge in Dota/Dota II, you'll instantly know what I'm thinking about.

In other news, I'm starting to work on a different faction that will, for the time being, act as an antagonist to Blackrock. Picture a moon overrun with grey goo. Picture the grey goo starting a fierce internal evolution, hastened by curious exploration ships being consumed and disassembled by the oceans of nanomachines. Picture strange, ship-like "lifeforms", like multicellular creatures spawned from a primordial soup, flying out into the Sector in search of more ships to disassemble...

And gameplay-wise, picture hulking, slow vessels accented by huge swarms of little drones, with very few ships approaching frigate-size.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 05:44:33 AM by Cycerin »
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EnderNerdcore

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #206 on: January 09, 2013, 12:53:23 PM »

In other news, I'm starting to work on a different faction that will, for the time being, act as an antagonist to Blackrock. Picture a moon overrun with grey goo. Picture the grey goo starting a fierce internal evolution, hastened by curious exploration ships being consumed and disassembled by the oceans of nanomachines. Picture strange, ship-like "lifeforms", like multicellular creatures spawned from a primordial soup, flying out into the Sector in search of more ships to disassemble...

And gameplay-wise, picture hulking, slow vessels accented by huge swarms of little drones, with very few ships approaching frigate-size.
Love this idea. That'll make point-defense very, very important.
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Jonlissla

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #207 on: January 09, 2013, 01:56:04 PM »

but depending on real-life workload I may also have the time to squeeze in a few new features, like the new Hammerclaw.

I wouldn't mind the addition of some lighter fightercraft similar to the Talon. Would really improve the overall fleet composition.

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And gameplay-wise, picture hulking, slow vessels accented by huge swarms of little drones, with very few ships approaching frigate-size.

Could be tricky if you're outmanuevered and end up with very little FP available in a battle, but a interesting concept nontheless. To make the faction less one-sided in terms of ship systems I presume you will add different drones for these ships? Speaking of which, is it possible to have several different ships as drones? I recall that the Mothership in the Ironclad mod has both these beam platforms as well as smaller drones. Would make for some very interesting gameplay.
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zakastra

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #208 on: January 09, 2013, 02:35:44 PM »

You can make drones with smaller drones as the drones ship systems ... Well, they dont have to be smaller, but it makes sense, nothing to stop you having A tiny little Terminator attack drone made into a frigate, which spawns a tempest with a drone system that spawns an Aurora Which spawns a paragon.....

... Someone needs to make a russian dolls mod, hihi

More seriously, Huge tanky regenerating slabs of programmable nanomatter with frigate sized drones on several thousand unit roam ranges would be very scary. The Core ships would *Seem* Easy to outmaneuver, but if each has a guardian swarm or 3-4 frigates its another matter entirely, especially if these get cranked out terminator drone style every minute or so, Obviously they would lose out on capping FP's quickly, but would be able to slowly drift to the objectives and then turtle, Whilst their drones harrass the light units initially deployed.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 02:42:17 PM by zakastra »
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Cycerin

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Re: Blackrock Drive Yards - !!v0.20 RELEASED!!
« Reply #209 on: January 09, 2013, 02:51:04 PM »

Could be tricky if you're outmanuevered and end up with very little FP available in a battle, but a interesting concept nontheless. To make the faction less one-sided in terms of ship systems I presume you will add different drones for these ships? Speaking of which, is it possible to have several different ships as drones? I recall that the Mothership in the Ironclad mod has both these beam platforms as well as smaller drones. Would make for some very interesting gameplay.

When I said drones, I mean as in CPU ships. They will be fighter wings, and the fighters will use drone shipsystems to exceed the max fighter wing size.
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