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Starsector 0.96a is out! (05/05/23)

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Messages - HUcast

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Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.96a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 16, 2023, 08:11:55 PM »
I've been doing eagle gaming this patch since I've always liked the concept of the eagle but could never justify it in my fleets until now.

It really is a fascinating ship, with it's new mobility, shields, and armor all mixed in it's incredibly hard to pin down and kill. It can keep a unignorable pressure up on enemies perpetually to boot, though at first I had a very hard time chasing kills with it. Even with three heavy maulers it can't quite bite deep into near parity ships, but that's a fair balance for it's amazing support and durability I think.

That being said, I feel like Alex made missile auto loader just for this ship, really, if you look at the numbers it feels like cruisers with 2 small missiles are the real winners. Two reapers on the eagle gets you nearly 4 reloads of show stopping firepower in addition to it's pressure, making ships completely unable to ignore the eagle in any capacity. You also have options like atropos for several reliable barrages or gorgons to shoo phase ships and frigates.

On the kinetic blaster as well, the eagle is a very strong choice for it's use. With just gravitons and HE weaponry the eagle can struggle to build hard flux, and normally the KB is very inefficient if you look at the numbers, the upside? For a single energy medium slot it's hard flux build up can't be beat. With two gravitons firing in tandem to disrupt shields it will singlehandedly pound the hard flux up of any ship that dares approach it, all while it's HE ballistics and torpedos lie in wait to obliterate the foolish vessel that thought it could approach the long range support ship...

General Discussion / Re: So there was a rant about the doritos
« on: September 14, 2022, 05:13:30 PM »
I agree with many of the thoughts above that it should be a fight that tests you. Your player gets abilities that can eliminate d-mods and make ships always recoverable for a reason, and you can use money to remove d-mods too (and you WILL have money at this point in the game.). If there were common reliable strats to consistently kill them without losing any ships at all, it would completely lose the impact of feeling completely outgunned by an unknown foe. Losing ships in star sector is more like taking HP damage in an RPG, you have the resources to recover it. It's fine if one or two of your ships get annihilated in the opening exchange, who doesn't remember the scenes in space media where a couple forward ships get suddenly vaporized by a new foe?

Star sector shouldn't be balanced like a PVP game where every fight is on fair ground, not doing so allows for so many more tools and ways to express itself in gameplay.

Suggestions / Re: Thumper buff
« on: August 23, 2022, 05:17:11 PM »
Yea the thumper is in a really weird place now, all things considered. Against an enemy with even 200 armor and 10 residual it's doing significantly less than it's stated dps, and against anything in the 400+ range even when stripped it's dps falls into heavy mortar range.

 In comparison to the heavy mortar it's far less effective against anything with real armor, but it gains a ton of effect against missiles and fighters while retaining the ability to scare low tech frigates silly. The problem isn't that the thumper is bad, but more that the thumper's greatest niche (punching down at lower tech frigates and light destroyers while also being effective PD), is overshadowed by two factors.

1. Low tech frigates are usually not a high priority on the players mind, and the ones that are will be high tech ones that have an efficient shield to render the thumper moot.
2. The flak cannon is the best PD weapon in the game and right in the same price range, skewing the benefit of taking a thumper for any joint PD work.

It would be very hard to make the thumper more effective against hulls without seriously infringing on the heavy mortar's territory. Over all I think it's a weapon that doesn't have to extend it's usefulness against late game fleets, it's fine to have a weapon made to be good earlier in the game and against lower tech fleets like pirates and luddic path especially earlier on.

Honestly, I think the OP of the thumper should  be reduced to near zero to represent how cheap and easy to clean it is, and that's it. Maybe 2 or even 3 OP, basically a free slot. That would remove the need for it to feel like it needs to be equally as relevant as the flak or mortar.

Suggestions / Re: Shield activation input buffer after overload
« on: August 23, 2022, 04:55:24 PM »
Oh wow! Sounds great! Thanks!

General Discussion / Re: Does combat XP gain need adjustments?
« on: August 22, 2022, 05:19:28 PM »
I don't think story points are meant to be grinded for and doled out easily especially at later levels. The intention is for them to be rare and to be used sparingly, just because you can use very powerful loadouts to circumvent this by getting massive exp bonuses doesn't mean it's the intended norm or at all necessary for a normal playthrough.

Suggestions / Shield activation input buffer after overload
« on: August 22, 2022, 05:07:37 PM »
After playing the game for a while, one of the things that continues to frustrate me is the end of a flux overload on your controlled ship. It's somewhat unclear exactly when it ends, and usually you'll be wanting to put up your shield immediately when it does to block incoming finishing fire. Clicking a fraction of a second too early will see you not put up your shield up at all and take tons of extra damage in your attempt.

A simple suggestion to ease this would be to make it so if you right click to put up your shield within a second or so before your overload finishes, your ship will put it up the frame the overload ends. Many games do something similar to this, and the AI is able to act the frame out of overload, so the player should be able to as well. It would ease player control, be easy to implement, and reduce frustrations in my opinion.

General Discussion / Re: Cruise is real?
« on: June 29, 2021, 04:26:21 PM »
Drifting was removed because it made it too easy to cheese the AI and it screwed with the intended balance of certain ships. For example, Onslaught could zip across the map at 300+ speed after using Burn Drive.

I guess we can't have TOO MUCH realism...

i've discussed this elsewhere but the speed limit in starsector is not unrealistic. It'd be unrealistic if ships couldn't accelerate infinitely without any drag, but they can. They just, don't. And it makes sense that they don't; we put speed limits and speed governors on and for almost every vehicle that we produce. We'd do it for space ships too. You don't want a hound to be able to singlehandedly annihilate a station it's trying to dock with just bc the accelerator pedal on the helm station got stuck & it accelerated nonstop until it collides going so fast it liquifies the whole station. And that's pretty explicitly noted in-game that this is what's going on by the fact that "safety overrides" increases your max speed, and the fact that ships whose engines have gone out can be accelerated infinitely & don't experience any drag. The engines are just programmed to brake the ship constantly if it goes over a speed difference of ___ with local objects.
Obviously it'd be handy for the purposes of wartime use for a ship to have no governor, but the thing is, military ships interact with friendly docks & the ships within its own fleets a lot more than it does the enemy, so any benefit gained from the removal of a governor would be far outweighed by the accidents it would cause.

You can't say that's completely realistic, either. Why are some frigates faster than others by base design despite having roughly the same collision risk? Obviously militaries would set the setting to the highest they legally could. Why does the onslaught need massive extra boost drives to obtain the additional speed when all it needed to do was slightly up the speed limiter according to your explanation? Also, zooming thing up to near light and hitting things with them is small time in terms of damage compared to what other weapons do. The plasma cannon for example shoots contained mini universe anomalies at other ships.

My opinion is that low, mid, and high tech shouldn't be equivalents at all levels and all ship sizes. There's no reason to use only one tech, and the player using their keen eye to pick out the creme of every tech level fits the theme of the game more. We shouldn't have a low. Mid, and high tech 12 BP destroyers that are all equally good, that would be horrible bland. Just as all techs are good with certain aspects, they should be weak or better at some ship concepts and sizes.

General Discussion / Re: The Frigate Bias
« on: May 13, 2021, 04:55:02 PM »
To throw my hat into the ring, I think safety overrides is too game changing for a single hullmod. Think about it, everyone has been arguing about if or not it breaks the balance of the game over it's knee. That's not what the argument should be about. It's a single hullmod, which SHOULD just partially increase or modify a single aspect of the ship. Heavy armor is far more expensive, and all it does is increase armor by around 20-30%, boosting a single attribute in exchange for dp, thus allowing a player to fine tune their ship closer to their playstyle. Safety overrides is not a hullmod in this manner, it completely redefines a ship in it's entirety. For this reason, I think the obvious choice would be separating it's effects into several other hullmods.

1. Increased dissipation for reduced range
The dissipation increase would be halved and split with number 2 below and reduced with ship size, something like 50/35/25/15% increase in dissipation for a max range reduction of 500/650/800/900 units.

2. Increased dissipation for reduced peak active time and cr degradation

This would be the second half of the dissipation increase, spread over two hullmods for how obviously strong it is. Dissipation increase would be the same as 1. With the penalty of nearly halfed or more peak time.

3. No venting for Increased speed.
These effects are the least game changing, in my opinion, and would be better off separate.

I think dividing up safety override in this manner though my own suggestions may not be perfect, is the optimal solution. As it stands SO is unlike any other hullmod for how MUCH it does, making balance very difficult.

EDIT: said cr instead of peak active time and cr degradation.

General Discussion / Re: A Professional Critique Of Story Points
« on: May 03, 2021, 05:53:41 PM »
I think that you're right on most counts. It's obvious Alex created story points as a means of defining your character, but they do not do that adequately. If they were rarer, and involved in specific scenarios with multiple outcomes that permanently changed your characters, they would do so. But as it stands they're more or less bonus points that make you win more, so to speak.

I don't entirely agree with how much you slam story points on their impact in ship customization. While it's true that building in several essential hull mods is a no brainer,  even in doing so you still have plenty If things that demand your attention. You never feel like you have everything you want. I would go as far as to say the problem isn't in the fact that you can build them in, but that there are hullmods in the game that are considered "necessary", like hardened shields. That sort of thing removes creative thought from ship building far more than story points ever could. In fact, having them become after thoughts with building them in might even free up the player to try new builds while still being end game viable.

So, after playing twice through the game now in patch .95, I've noticed that without the skills and old bonuses to salvaging blueprints, I've been really struggling to get much of the blueprints and patterns I want. In one game, I restarted because I had explored probably 70% of the star systems and not found a single nanoforge, corrupted or otherwise. I almost never find blueprints for capitol ships either. Normally I wouldn't mind that stuff much, it's fine for rare things to be ultra rare, but there have even been times where I've explored a mining station or survey ship and received absolutely nothing but low value resources. I've taken down a mother drone ship and only received a single autonomous mantle bore, which I can't use because my mining operations are on habitable worlds.

I'd personally really like to see more breadcrumb aspects like drone probes leading to drone survey ships which lead to drone motherships in the exploration. They help limit the amount of dull empty systems you see. That, and making blueprints less likely to drop once you have learned a copy of them. I know its unrealistic but I've found the same midline and pirate LPCs probably 4-5 times now and am lacking any kind of capital blueprints for my colonies... What do you all think?

General Discussion / Re: Beam weapons need a buff
« on: April 08, 2021, 01:54:42 PM »
The problem with beam weapons that I see is that on paper they are good for pressuring an opponent. But in practice, with real shield efficiency values, that is almost never the case. In the actual game environment, especially now with officer spam, the actual threats to the player never have shields at 1.0 efficiency, that beingthe value most people cite who think they are good pressure tools. Most revenant ships have better than .5 with skills, even midline ships easily beat 1.0. At values like those, killing an enemy through soft Flux or even giving him pause with it is impossible. A pressure tool for the enemy now builds up substantially more Flux on you than then them. For beam weapons to be worth the far worse dps and lack of hard Flux they need to be able to give you some kind of an advantage... and I suppose that might bring up the thought; "hey, so what? All weapons have to deal with better shields too." The main difference is that they still inflict hard Flux. Being inefficient against enemy soft Flux is worse than doing nothing at all.

If I had to present a solution, I would change beams into complete pressure weapons, starting out very, very weak and inefficient at first, but over the course of 5 to 10 seconds of direct burn becoming more and more efficient and deadly. That or a quick fix of making them actually doing something against armor, which only the high intensity laser can do at the moment, and that has the disadvantage of being even WORSE against shields, if that's even possible.

Isn't its intended role PD/? Frag weapons are Thumper, Vulcan, Locust, [Redacted]. Thumper is just terrible and [Redacted] is [Redacted] , but isnt the primary purview of the existing frag weapons anti-missile (Vulcan) or anti-fighter and anti-missile (Locust), which they fill fine without armor getting in the way. Frag ignoring minimum armor was a thing in the past, and Vulcan's 500 DPS got rather silly.

Also, wasn't residual armor added in 0.8? Looking at the patchnotes has "Armor value for damage reduction no longer goes below 5% of base armor value"

You have a point, the minimum armor has been in the game for a while, it's just gotten a bit worse in my opinion. While many HE weapons are PD, definitely, I feel many descriptions hint to them being effective against ships with armor stripped. You are also correct that having 500 DPS through armor would be silly, so, that's why I proposed a middle ground of sorts. I'd like for them to be at least above average vs ships with armor stripped, you know what I mean?

General Discussion / Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« on: April 07, 2021, 08:35:31 PM »
From my own experiences, the problems with this new skill system aren't inherently with the style and how it's presented, this sort of system can work well, and has in many other games that I have played. The main problem stems from how it's laid out, and what skills the player has to choose from at any given time. On many occasions, I have found myself leveling up and not being very interested in any of the options presented to me. This is a very bad thing, a player should ALWAYS be excited at each levelup, as it is a major milestone in any RPG. If nothing stands out or makes you excited for that next level, the system has failed.

I saw battle brothers brought up earlier in this thread, and I think it was an almost correct comparison. I do believe that battle brothers does this sort of system, but correctly because of a few key differences. The first, and most important to making things varied and interesting, is that battle brothers's skill tree completely opens up once you have invested 7 out of the 11 total skill points you get at max level. afterwards, you can pick and choose any perk from any tier without worry. The idea is that you are given less choices to not feel overwhelmed at first, something Star Sector is trying to do, but as you level up more, it opens up and allows complete freedom when you actually want it, which Star Sector doesn't do. It would be a very welcome change, in my opinion, if you could assign the final five skill points wherever you wished in SS. The secondary aspect that battle brothers does well is each new "Tier" of skills is carefully planned to have a viable option for any build, and what's more, you can instantly go back to any former tier and pick from there instead, which Still unlocks the next tier of skills.

So in essence, this system can be workable, but needs two things, a "Blossoming" skill tree that presents more and more options as you level, and careful planning in the skill unlock paths that assure every player will be able to pick something useful for their playstyle at every level. Getting rid of many of the false choices, like either high level officers or more, more productive colonies or more, and replacing them with actual choices could free up more space for this.

Suggestions / Frag damage ignores minimum armor or impact mitigation.
« on: April 07, 2021, 08:14:21 PM »
Hey, so, as many people here have pointed out, fragmentation damage has received a very significant nerf in .95. With minimum armor, many frag weapons already had a very hard time doing their intended roles of dealing with armor stripped targets, and now with the prevalence of impact mitigation, this is even more pronounced, leaving many anti armor weapons far superior in doing damage even against foes with all the armor removed. I suggest frag weapons get a certain property that allows them to ignore a certain amount or all of minimum armor values. As it stands, fragmentation can barely perform in its intended role.

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