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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Messages - Stormlock

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1
Why would I want carriers if all they can do is pick off weak, distracted targets at the edges of the battle? Normal ships already do that too, along with being able to form a front line defense.

2
Suggestions / Re: Tesseracts
« on: May 17, 2021, 09:31:52 AM »
I encountered these things fairly early in my game and got wiped. Came back much later with what I thought was an amazing fleet and got wiped again after the splits. At that point I decided to start save scumming and lost several more fights before using a harbinger, which is basically cheating as far as I'm concerned. It's ability is just broken, letting you ignore what are basically invincible shields and infinite flux stats and movement speed. A dozen overdriven tempests couldn't surround these things, capital ships can't out flux them before they just back off (unless they walk into a bunch of sabots which is just gambling) and the whole thing felt pretty cheap to be honest. Even if I had done something incredibly boring like build an entire sacrificial fleet to fly out there expressly just to look at them and come back with a real fleet, I'd have been surprised by the splitting phase and lost anyways.

The problem is that by the time you're capable of fielding a fleet that can take them, the only thing losing a fleet means is that you need to alt tab and watch a movie while your production builds you a new fleet. It runs very counter to the ironman philosophy that the rest of the game encourages. The reward for winning is also kind of a joke. The shunt itself is useless and the weapons, while cool, are pretty meaningless without anything to fight against. And as we've already established, the endgame fights are all about using things like harbingers or dooms to make your weapon loadout irrelevant. Could probably win with a fleet armed with nothing but thumpers and vulcans and still win with harbingers.

3
It seems kind of crazy that an entire planet reverts back into the bronze age in a cycle or two because I copied their blueprints. If I raided their food industry, yeah that would make sense, but these are just some files on a USB stick for Ludd's sake
How do I do it?

You have to consider the context of what the marines are doing. They're not sneaking in and out. They're killing their way into the most heavily defended buildings on the planet. By the time you've done that 3 or 4 times, the defenses are so screwed any two bit warlord is going to be able to try the same thing and make things snowball. There's going to be a lack of general law/peacekeeping forces available, a lack of faith in the government, money diverted to restore defenses, etc.

4
Suggestions / Re: More ballistic HE options
« on: May 13, 2021, 05:00:05 PM »
For that matter, it always struck me as very odd that expanded magazines applied to energy weapons as opposed to ballistics. Lots of room there.

It did formerly apply to both, back when ballistic guns had a finite ammo limit. That was numerous game-versions ago, and isn't coming back.

There's a bit of room between 'all balistic guns have finite ammo' and 'ballistic guns never have ammo of any kind'.

Is there any good reason we can't have a HE equivalent of the antimatter gun or ion pulser? With it's own style obviously, no need to copy them closely.

5
Suggestions / Re: More ballistic HE options
« on: May 13, 2021, 02:31:49 PM »
I think there's definitely a lot of design space we're not considering here. Adding a medium HE mount that fires in a volley or even something like a shotgun burst, or has some other sort of special effect would be very interesting without the problems of taking an existing kinetic gun and switching the damage type. For that matter, it always struck me as very odd that expanded magazines applied to energy weapons as opposed to ballistics. Lots of room there.

6
Bug Reports & Support (modded) / 0.95 RC15 "Low RAM remaining"
« on: April 29, 2021, 04:15:09 PM »
I keep getting a "Low RAM remaining, try restarting Starsector or changing the whateverparams file."

But uh, I've got 32GB of ram, pretty much none of it being used in the background, and the only mod installed is a portrait pack. What gives?

7
They small ships harass you and when you turn to attack the harassers the harassers retreat to the main force preventing you from engaging.

This is the part you aren't understanding. The harassers don't retreat. They don't need to retreat because the main force is coming to them, and fanning out around them to surround the weaker force. So the weaker force can't even try to hold ground against harassing units because it would force a full engagement. Not even with a fraction of it's own force, because then they'd get surrounded and split up. It has to just move away at top speed the whole time, as a group.

There's no reason to do that vs a station. The station isn't going to catch up. The station isn't going to surround you. You don't need afterburners to get away. You don't need to spend any more supplies than the picket does.

8
If your force is bigger, how exactly are they chasing you while all your ships have turned around? You can have a small portion of ships waiting for them to approach while everything else retreats. It makes no sense for my paragon to lose CR when only 3 of my kites need to spend the same amount of CR as 3 of your kites to dance around eachother without actually engaging while the fleet moves onward. The idea that 3 of your kites can threaten my entire fleet without even being combat ready themselves, is insanity.

Maybe you could make an argument the station should be able to harass because it's more fun or balanced or whatever (I can't think of one) but you definitely can't make an argument that this is realistic. If retreating back to the station costs nothing, retreating anywhere else would also cost nothing, and I should be able to harass any sized fleet with a rusty buffalo because 'if they turn around to attack me, I'll just retreat.'

The harassing mechanic is based on the premise that you have a superior force, so all you need to do is send a fraction of your force to delay an enemy until your main force arrives casually. Not that you can use your entire fleet at full combat deployment to annoy someone and then leave before they can catch you.

9
But the whole point of harassment causing CR loss is that the harassed party is forced to create distance. You have no need to create distance from a tiny picket fleet, and a fleet moving to an allied station is being forced to create distance from the attackers.

Imagine it's a water gun fight. On one side you've got 20 kids, on the other side you have 3 + 1 kid at the 5ft garden hose. If the hose is in the back yard and the 20 meet the 3 in the front yard, who is going to get soaked on the way to the back yard? And if the 20 want to leave entirely so they can refill across the street, are they going to get soaked by the 3 kids? No, because they could just fight them in the front yard. The hose (station) doesn't come into play unless someone is willing to fight for control of it's immediate space.

What you're describing, having a small force attack a larger one, then retreat and recover at the base, is already possibly by doing exactly that. You can sit at a friendly station, attack a large force to pick off a couple ships or force them to deploy something you can't pick off, then retreat (assuming they can't catch you.) But this costs the smaller fleet much more resources than the larger fleet and requires much faster ships, as it should, because they need to deploy to attack, and then deploy to retreat as well, and risk destruction both times if the large fleet can catch them.

10
It seems reasonable that only defenders should get the benefits of a station, because only defenders are retreating to the station for help.

Only defenders get the benefit of the station. They can Harry you, since maneuvering to force a pitched battle means they can retreat to the station. And if you try to back off they Harry you again....

That being said a story point to engage without the station present would be nice. “Execute a feint to draw the attacking fleets in where the station cannot support them (1 SP, 0% bonus XP)
If a defending fleet around a station harries me, that means they are leaving the protective defensive area of the station. What is stopping me from just turning around and smashing them once they've done that?

That's the point. If they want the protection of the station, they can't harry. They lose that protection if they do. If they choose to harry, they lose the protection and the attacker can choose now to engage.
You could even go a step further and say that if defenders want the protection of the station, they need to retreat to the station first to have that protection, implying they would be harried until they get there and accordingly lose CR before the fight even starts. It's not even that large a penalty tbh, considering the defending fleet can immediately resupply and repair after the fight is done, arguably the biggest advantage of being near a station to begin with.

11
Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Diable Avionics 2.04 (2019/05/14)
« on: July 23, 2019, 08:48:39 AM »
Wanzers in space are clearly too OP, as they avoid the greatest weakness of wanzers: a man in an orange jumpsuit with a pistol tanking a cannon shell to the face and firing back, ejecting the pilot.

Love this mod so much. I'm a little confused on how the wanzer gantry ability works; does it speed replacement of the first couple fighters to die, or entire wings? Does it count each bay seperately? My inner min maxer wants to know if I get more out of it with a raven in a single bay or if two bays of frosts benefit just as much.

The Versant is probably my new favourite ship. So much fun to pilot, checks all the boxes; it's faster than phase frigates, has 360 shields to ignore salamanders, and a ton of bursty dps dead ahead. And it looks awesome.

The Vapor tends to explode like any other frigate when I leave it in the hands of an officer, but as a player driven SO super frigate, it's unreal. 2x light machine gun, 1x heavy machine gun and 1x assault chaingun with overpower the shield/flux on even most cruisers. The special ability can be used to phase backwards through a salamander or to just drop shields to vent flux and go back in, so you get to spend most of your time gunning things down instead of dancing with salamanders. Easily the most cost effective ship I can find in the early game, one of these can handle a small low tech station solo, or a small fleet of pirates. If I could buy a variant that had triple the maintenance/purchase costs and all the same stats except longer deployment time, I'd happily pay it just so I could spend more time flying it without having to retreat constantly.

12
Discussions / Re: Any games like Starsector but with ocean navy?
« on: July 23, 2019, 08:11:44 AM »
If you want warship customization, you want the Naval Ops series. The Warship Gunner titles are a bit more focused on your own skills rather than having a fleet. They don't have any trade or 4x elements really but you do get to choose where to spend money on researching new hulls, weapons, engines, and so forth.

Mostly they got released for PS2, but one of them is for windows... huh, apparently it's that Kurogane no Houkou series. It did get rebooted in 2000 or so. Hope it gets another one, dakka dakka boats and fiddling with blueprints to fit as many oversized guns and engines and armor as possible was very fun.

13
General Discussion / Re: Newbie Guide Thread/ FAQ
« on: July 22, 2019, 10:54:46 AM »
Silly question: How to I delete intel from my map/log? It's getting cluttered with things like locations of class 2 planets I don't care about at all.

14
Suggestions / Re: Dragging disabled ships with you?
« on: April 20, 2012, 03:53:49 PM »
I would like something like this too. Make getting ships as difficult as you want, but don't take away my control by only letting my have whatever ships are for sale because everything else blows up (or suicides) every single time. Hauling in captured Hounds and scrap for hours on end is only fun if there's a point to it like getting a better ship. If all you can do with that money is buy/repair other ships you don't want either there's no point.

The crux of it is this: It should be quicker and easier to get the ship you want by continuous play. If I want a Hyperion, it should be easier to get by some in game means than by reloading a fight with it over and over until it is boardable. Making things more frequently salvageable at a higher cost would do that nicely. As it stands, it feels like there's no middle ground between self-imposed challenge of accepting that everything you want to pilot blows up, and cheating by reloads so that whatever you want is boardable.

15
Suggestions / Re: Couple changes I would appreciate.
« on: April 17, 2012, 06:30:07 PM »
The specific situation was a capital ship with tactical lasers and and the mod to let them function as PD weapons. But I still think they should differentiate between different sizes of ship, not just missiles fighters and ships. There's a big difference between targetting another capital ship or targeting 6 different freighters and focusing down a single freighter at a time. You can manually control of course (assuming you don't want to fire your other weapons manually as well) but this makes the AI pretty ineffective in some situations where it should really have a huge advantage.

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