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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: New music for Galatia Academy (06/12/24)

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Messages - Talinoth

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1
Also, in the Xhan mod, there's a super-powerful secret boss that uses all kinds of unfair mod BS against you, and if you beat him you get the ship with his crazy unfair mod powers intact.

Ah yes, that... thing. I was not prepared for it. It's best to bring just a single ship that is immensely capable in duels to kill it head on, or blast it from extreme distance with a carrier or missile ship.
Or you could bring your whole fleet. Especially make sure a Purcellyra with a level 7 Officer arrives first then gets hit with the special ability - what could possibly go wrong?
It's funny to use when you get it too. It's a 90 DP ship that is still worth every point - the stronger the enemy, the better the ship system is.

Aside from that, I have a couple more entries to add to the "these ships are actually Vanilla-grade or better" list.

UAF:

Fuseorina II: 55 DP armour-only capital that excels as an unbreakable wall and capital-class super-Dominator. Has two systems; a UAF-enhanced Burn Drive and an Armour Condenser system that seems to work like Damper Fields (but the ship can still fire weapons!). Where other ships are hammers, this ship is the ultimate "anvil", and addresses the UAF's final weakness - their inability to hold the line against overwhelming odds like a stampeding Legio Daemon deathstack. A specially-mentored lv 6 or lv 7 Aggressive (preferable)/Reckless (if you can keep up) Officer with the right skills (Impact Mitigation Elite, Damage Control Elite, Polarised Armor, Point Defense Elite, Ordinance Expertise & Ballistics Mastery Elite) can produce a ship that is close to immortal between it's armour + the withering hailstorms of fire it can create with its "point-defense" mounts, singlehandedly holding back whole fleets. Unapproachable and near-untouchable. Regularly crushes 240 DP of enemy ships in the simulator at once.
 -- The ship's "Reflecta (EXA) Armor Plating" in-built mod can use the twin frontal pylon's armour plates to deflect shots entirely or massively reduce damage, and combines with the Officer's skills and Armor Condenser system for astonishing survivability.
 -- The "Auroran Aegis Package" increases point-defense range for UAF capitals by 30% and helps turn this ship into a point-defense king.
 -- Loadout: Hypervelocity Drivers in the back-left/right medium mounts for long-range pressure, any suitable 800 range anti-armour weapons in the front-left/right mediums (1x Cryoblaster is also a good pick) for kill pressure, 1x Large 900/1000 Range HE weapon & 1x Large 900/1000 Range Kinetic for long-range damage, 2x cheap 8 OP medium EMP missiles for disabling running targets (Ko Combine's Maiden MRM Pod or UAF's Selemene MSM Pod are good picks), 3x Heavy Machine Gun for ultra flux-efficient kinetic damage + 1x UAF Triyia 30 CIWS for withering frontal DPS and point-defense, and UAF Reina II /PD 30 HMG in all the remaining small slots
-- Mods: Heavy Armor, ITU, Armored Weapon Mounts + Ballistic Rangefinder are all mandatory imo. Also excels with Integrated Point Defense AI - making it almost impossible to hit with Reapers. If you can squeeze in more mods, I suggest Solar Shielding, Advanced Gyros, and Automated Repair Unit (in that order). This ship can also survive using "Extreme Modifications" with this Officer build + Automated Repair Unit, allowing for a 4th S-Mod of your choice.
-- Max Vents. My loadout uses 2996 flux/sec, with only 1923 flux dissipation - not every gun fires at once thankfully, but even with an armour build you need all the dissipation you can get to keep up the pressure.

Exoria: 20 DP cruiser carrier with 3 fighter slots. Accessible early on without special permissions, and the backbone of a midgame UAF fleet. It excels in an Aggressive Officer's hands (necessary so the ship actually ATTACKS with its fighters), using Combat Endurance, Point Defense Elite, Systems Expertise. Missile Specialisation would also be nice, and Field Modulation doesn't hurt either. Would also thrive in a Support Doctrine-based fleet with Aggressive fleet doctrine. Preferably equip with your favourite 12-20 DP heavy fighter, like Nagas/Lumayans/Nekonyans/Super Arias. Midway Protocol ship system lowers re-arm and re-fit time - seems to increase recovery rate too, allowing the Exoria to maintain as much pressure as a carrier with 4 fighter slots. Can mount 2x Medium Missiles and put out decent long-range pressure. Do not let it get jumped on, put it behind tanky cruisers/capitals. 2-3+ Exorias can contribute crushing fighter pressure, drowning and crippling an enemy fleet so your strike ships can execute. You could try slipping in some 25/28 DP gunships, but note that they can really tank your Exoria's fighter refit time (whereas they can often maintain nearly constant 90-100% levels using Nagas or Lumayans for example).
-- Loadout: UAF's Swaras MLRS for shield pressure + irritating enemy point-defense, your favourite medium HE missile, and cheap PD.
-- Mods: Expanded Deck Crew (mandatory), Recovery Shuttles (suppression fighters take a lot of losses lol), Expanded Missile Racks (optional).
-- Vents/Caps are both nice if you can afford them but don't sweat it.

Some others...

The Mayasuran Navy ships seem really strong too. Unluckily, they were wiped out early on my game by overwhelming Hegemony forces - but their ship designs are really scary.
I haven't tangled with No Such Org ships much, but what I did was a serious challenge. When I went up against a Tri-Tachyon fleet late in the story, their ships were used. A faction entirely based on phase ships, along with new mods that really help them out.
Deathknight (30 DP) was particularly notable. This mod adds the "Superposition Armor" system, a mod that lets phase ships regenerate their armour levels outside of combat. The Deathknight with a high level enemy Officer was incredibly hard to kill - it has 1750 base armour, 2x Large Energy/3x Universal/9x Small Energy mounts, an in-built "Elite" version of Superposition Armor, and a Damper Field system. An infuriatingly tanky brick, the best way to kill it is to kill its friends first. A properly-built officer (Impact Mitigation, Damage Control Elite, Polarised Armor Elite, Systems Expertise Elite, Field Modulation Elite, Energy Weapons Mastery) would probably kick ass with it.

Tri-Tachyon Special Circumstances (TTSC) adds the Hronish (35 DP), which has 6 fighter slots. Seemingly the result of "how many fighter slots can I squeeze into a high-tech brick?", it also has a 0.8 efficiency 180 degree Omni Shield, 2x Medium Energy/10x Small Energy for reasonable point-defense, and has a vaguely bearable 60 base speed. Active Flare Launcher system is trash (thank god), but its reasonable flux stats, shields and Overclocked Beams in-built mod mean that two or three of them could effortlessly saturate a battlespace in fighters. The in-built mods are SCARY too - "Overclocked Beams" extends beam range by 50, increased damage by 10% and turn rate by 15% - cumulative with ITU. Not only that, it has "Fighter Chassis Storage" - Fighter replacement rate does not go down when fighters are lost, allowing this ship to use high refit-time fighters without fear of tanking refit speed to 30%. This ship could absolutely drown a battlespace in fighters. I just tested it VS 2 Hammerheads, 2 Sunders and 3 Condors in the sim with the default loadout and it won on Autopilot as long as it kept its distance - and it could focus down a destroyer or two with its energy mounts.

There are others - HMI adds the Equinox which is a particularly scary [REDACTED] beam ship, but that's an AI ship and not player-pilotable except with the Automated Ships skill. This post got too long.

2
Modding / Re: [0.96a-RC10] Epsilon Pact 0.3.93-RC2
« on: July 30, 2023, 11:08:55 AM »
Really loving the bits and pieces I'm coming across. Can vouch that the Half-Rift Pike (30 OP Energy) is awesome - if you have a capital that can mount multiple, your kill pressure is astounding and you can usually quickly overload weaker ships - and if you're using a Combat build and some supporting kinetics, that's just about every ship you come across. It's also much better in the AI's hands than Tach Lances (esp. when using Advanced Turret Gyros) as they miss less and can't sweep away from a target and miss most of the beam. Absolute killing machine.

The Auto Slugshot has also been a favourite of mine, especially mid game. A lot of cruisers need a bursty long-range medium kinetic on a budget, and this weapon does that perfectly. Let's not forget the AM Flamer, that thing's hilarious (though I haven't used it myself yet). I haven't seen many weapons or fighters from your mod actually show up in my game (probably because I'm allied with Epsilon actually so haven't had reason to fight them), but what has appeared has been quite memorable. Well done.

3
General Discussion / Re: Do Trade Contacts need a massive buff?
« on: July 26, 2023, 09:40:38 AM »
You're kidding right? I've been given jobs where I'm asked to move like 7000 Organics and I'm being paid like 310k for the delivery - and I can then argue up the delivery cost with a story point. Frankly, some of these missions can be astonishingly profitable. The Trade contacts seem to be more likely to want to buy some of my ships at a hefty premium - I once bought a capital ship from an admiral in a bar for 160k then turned around and sold it to a Contact for 1.1M!

I wonder...
1: Are they set as the only Priority Contact?
2: Are they High or Very High importance?
3: Do you have a high cargo space fleet (esp. 10k+)?
4: Do you have valuable ships (esp. ones from rare build doctrines or with S-mods) that the contact might want?

4
General Discussion / Re: Hostile Activity
« on: July 24, 2023, 02:24:39 AM »
I found a very cute cure for Hostile Activity in my (modded) game - instead of paying off the Pathers, use the Nexerelin fleet request command to request the biggest Defense fleet I could for one of my colonies. This creates a massive negative modifier (-72 from calling the fleet); enough to just outweigh using multiple Alpha Cores on each market if you also have a Stability 10 Size 6 market with a High Command - because you essentially have an 8 fleet deathstack running around and obliterating the Pathers and Pirates attacking your colonies.

Yeah, costs 600k credits, and I have to request a new one every 3 months, but I much prefer paying more per year (600k * 4 = 2.4M VS 2.0M ransom) to kill extortionists than actually give them my money. You know what should happen if you actually paid the Path right? You're feeding the dragon and this never, ever ends well. When you pay off barbarians, history says they use that money to construct a larger army and ask for a greater ransom next time they come back - because they have even better leverage. When you are eventually unable to pay them off, they use their superior forces to achieve their real aim - conquest. I refuse to let the Path establish a foothold, so Base Strikes and Defense fleets it is for me.

Shame you can't do anything serious about it in Vanilla - problems like this are kind of why Nex exists in the first place. YMMV on using a (very popular) mod to "fix" the base game. Helps my gameplay experience immeasurably though.

5
Huh I'm suprised people are more focused on bounty hunting when you can perform illegal black market trading for profit. But when I do these runs and want to kill enemies I basically rush to save up about 2 mil or around(the extra cash is to remove d-mods or buy another capital ship right away) and then go after fleets that utilize pirate ships since they tend to die very quickly(not luddic as they tend to play a lowtech remnant fleet). Or if you feel like that's too much to deal with use a seed that has pre existing derelict capital ships floating in star systems(hegemony and tri-tach ships are pretty abundant due to the previous AI wars) and you can easily enjoy yourself that way. Only play challenging if you can handle the trial and error that the game teaches us all the time.

A few faction mods kill the usual Black Market trade opportunities (by adding larger Pirate/Pather markets that resolve commodity shortages) like HMI, Keruvim etc, and Starpocalypse stops you from using the Black Market at "lawful" planets/stations if you come in with your transponder on, and conversely stop you from using the Open Market with it off. It's a real hassle!
There's also a serious opportunity cost to trading - it's time that you're not exploring outside of the Core Worlds, delaying your colonial efforts. You can scan a bunch of planets and do bounties at the same time, and it's far more fun than smuggling. If you're really lucky, you'll run into a Pirate station that you can sell like 1000 Heavy Armaments to, raid to get your stuff back free of charge and then blow up to claim the bounty on it.

6
Appreciate the advice for practicing in the sim and perfecting loadouts, so maybe you can help me understand something.  As much as I want to perfect my fleet composition, loadouts, tactics, etc - my experience with the game so far is that optimizing doesn't matter that much, if you bring a bigger fleet than the enemy, you win. If their fleet is bigger, you run.  There is little incentive (unfortunately) to have a close battle with an evenly matched fleet, since even if you win you'll likely take expensive losses.  It's not like you get a much bigger reward for fighting a tough battle.  It seems highly optimized fleets and tactics only become important in a close fight where you need the edge.

As much as I want to perfect my fleet composition, loadouts, tactics, etc - my experience with the game so far is that optimizing doesn't matter that much, if you bring a bigger fleet than the enemy, you win. If their fleet is bigger, you run.
... seems highly optimized fleets and tactics only become important in a close fight where you need the edge.


You're somewhat underestimating how much smart ship builds matter. Even a small advantage in ship power between two evenly matched fleets can result in a snowball victory - for example, a 6v6 and one of your ships kills an opponent (now it's a 6v5, with two ships able to freely attack one enemy and that pressured ship will die fast) and you can do much more than gain "small" advantages. It's quite possible to score breathtaking victories against fleets 2x, 3x (or more!) yours with good loadouts - and with intelligent commands, even more.
One of the little things that keeps Starsector's difficulty bearable for new players is that the AI factions don't perfectly optimise their builds - strip out the bs like Reinforced Bulkheads and Blast Doors, max out Vents on any normal ship that gets into extended gunfights (that's most of them), put Capacitors on phase ships (and sometimes SO ships), try to match weapon ranges to within 50-100 range of each other for most reasonable Officer and ship build combinations, put the great mods like Expanded Deck Crews on carriers and Hardened Shields + Integrated Targeting Unit on most warships, and don't necessarily fill *all* of your gun slots but almost always fill all of your missile slots! This is what very broadly works the best for most AI-piloted ships.

There is little incentive (unfortunately) to have a close battle with an evenly matched fleet, since even if you win you'll likely take expensive losses. It's not like you get a much bigger reward for fighting a tough battle.  It seems highly optimized fleets and tactics only become important in a close fight where you need the edge.

You do get more exp, which means you can level up new Officers faster and gain more story points - though I'm not sure if that's vanilla behaviour or not. You can also gain flawless victories over fleets much larger than yours (especially if your individual ships are very strong for their DP cost, or you have a strong flagship) and these can be very rewarding in terms of loot compared to the Supplies you spend. If your builds are strong enough, you can massively lengthen the time you spend away from the Core Worlds by gaining more Supplies from fights than you spend, allowing you to chain fights to stay out in the field for months (or even cycles!) at a time.

There are several fights even in the Vanilla game where if you don't have a fleet optimised well enough to steamroll most of the game, you will instead be flattened. Full [REDACTED] fleets (especially the big one that has a phase skimmer), [SUPER-REDACTED], the very musical phase ship, and a certain fleet with lots of phase ships that shows up in the story when you start asking too many questions - these are all very dangerous.

Going beyond Vanilla, into mods used so often I consider them part of the core experience:
- Nexerelin (a mod so commonly used it's almost considered part of the core gameplay experience) rewards you with +reputation with multiple factions when you win "impressive victories". A combat-oriented player can thus build rapport with almost everyone they're not actively at war against. Nexerelin also puts in huge bounty hunter fleets that chase you when you blow up too many faction fleets or raid them too often, and even though those ships are usually quite "normal" there is a lot of them and they're very hard fights.
- Commissioned Crews is a lovely mod that gives all ships in the world (including NPC fleets) randomised stat bonuses and penalties based on their "reputation" that shifts and grows over time. A Loyalty attribute is also added - ships that win more fights and kill more enemies eventually become Fiercely Loyal to their captains (loyalty boosts the positive stats, suppresses the negative ones and keeps your ships fighting longer) and more quickly gain Fame (which unlocks new stats and boosts existing ones).
- Ruthless Sector penalises your exp gains when fighting fleets much smaller and weaker than your own. To level up in any reasonable timeframe, you need to find real fights.
- Vayra's Sector IBB bounties are often very tough fights. They like to use S-mods too, and that's just the start.

7
General Discussion / Re: Autopilot Missile Usage Behavior
« on: July 19, 2023, 12:29:17 PM »
To force true autofire on the AI, you can link whatever weapon you want to have this attribute with a PD weapon.

For example if we create the layout like this and link the missiles with the PD laser (I would recommend Breaches here over Harpoon for longer combats)

[picture]

We get a Venture that immediately spams all of its missiles under AI control, obliterating this sim Dominator for example.

[picture]

Well, I tried it, and it worked brilliantly.
https://imgur.com/a/rQiGlbQ

Ate up 61% of a huge pirate fleet, almost didn't give any other ships a chance to contribute much. This is contrast to before when the Purcellyra was almost useless in the AI's hands - wouldn't autofire its main DPS missiles and flew way too close to the enemy even with a Cautious officer, inevitably resulting in the ship becoming a white elephant if I didn't use it.

-----------------------------

EDIT: https://imgur.com/a/hzHn7Hj - won against a real opponent. 2x Hiver Grand Invasion fleets, intercepted in hyperspace and dispatched with (almost) no player assistance. AI Purcellyra kills 671/1239 DP of enemy ships. More or less runs out of missiles after the first 500 DP of kills (as expected) and CR after 600, but it was an absolute menace that carried the entire battle. Not as good as me (I would have scored 900 DP of kills or so) but nevertheless an extremely worthy way to spend 70 DP and a ship slot.

Yeah - missile ships seem good. Really good. Most of the game isn't "5 Ordos", it's "How do I get my ships to kill anything without dying uselessly?". If I can do that with a vanilla Pegasus or Gryphon, then I'll consider doing a whole missile ship playthrough in the future.
If Hivers have a weakness, it's going against long ranged high alpha strike builds like this, but even so they're far stronger than vanilla factions (minus Remnant), with good PD, very strong fighters, extremely efficient and nasty weapons, decent flux and very high armour and hull numbers. Their only weakness is their forward flight speed, so don't think these guys were just punching bags.


8
Mods / Re: [0.96a] Nexerelin v0.11.0b "Dark Tower" (fixes 2023-06-17)
« on: July 16, 2023, 11:14:29 AM »
How can I get custom music tracks to show up under Intel -> Personal -> Personal Info -> Change in-game, and how can I restore it to default (default theme isn't there) or add new tracks?

I changed my player faction theme but I have no idea how to change it back to default or to find music I've added to Audio Plus. How does Nexerelin know about each mod faction I add and their themes and how can I use this to make the list include new music tracks?

9
General Discussion / Re: Autopilot Missile Usage Behavior
« on: July 16, 2023, 02:30:26 AM »
The AI seems to be decent about using support missiles like Pilums and Squalls, and they'll use Reapers more or less appropriately on targets that are overloaded or facing the wrong way, but those are orthodox ships that use missiles as support weapons. Missile-focused ships definitely get the short end of the stick.

If you're using a missile-boat type of ship, the AI is not nearly aggressive enough about using them to rush down opponents. They don't really know how to do volleys or alpha strikes with all of their missiles in a single go, they get way too close to their opponents if they're using a long-ranged weapon loadout, and they don't really (in my experience) seem to use systems like Fast Missile Racks to their full potential to throw horrific amounts of ordinance down range.
Unfortunately, this relegates dedicated nuke trucks to being player ships only. The UAF Purcellyra that I have used to shatter the Persean Sector is just a paperweight in the hands of the AI. It both moves into gun range of enemy cruisers and capitals far too often even with a Cautious pilot, thinks it's tankier than it actually is, and turns off Autofire on its missiles which were tuned to have extremely high ammo counts and have automatic ammo replenishment.

I suppose this is part of a larger trend where AI ships both move too close to large packs of enemies for comfort yet aren't nearly decisive and brutal enough about using their full armaments to score kills, but it's more obvious with ships that have large numbers of ammo-based weapons.

10
General Discussion / Re: Autopilot Missile Usage Behavior
« on: July 16, 2023, 02:16:04 AM »
The AI seems to be decent about using support missiles like Pilums and Squalls, and they'll use Reapers more or less appropriately on targets that are overloaded or facing the wrong way, but those are orthodox ships that use missiles as support weapons. Missile-focused ships definitely get the short end of the stick.

If you're using a missile-boat type of ship, the AI is not nearly aggressive enough about using them to rush down opponents. They don't really know how to do volleys or alpha strikes with all of their missiles in a single go, they get way too close to their opponents if they're using a long-ranged weapon loadout, and they don't really (in my experience) seem to use systems like Fast Missile Racks to their full potential to throw horrific amounts of ordinance down range.
Unfortunately, this relegates dedicated nuke trucks to being player ships only. The UAF Purcellyra that I have used to shatter the Persean Sector is just a paperweight in the hands of the AI. It both moves into gun range of enemy cruisers and capitals far too often even with a Cautious pilot, thinks it's tankier than it actually is, and turns off Autofire on its missiles which were tuned to have extremely high ammo counts and have automatic ammo replenishment.

I suppose this is part of a larger trend where AI ships both move too close to large packs of enemies for close comfort yet aren't nearly decisive and brutal enough about using their full armaments to score kills, but it's more obvious with ships that have large numbers of ammo-based weapons.

11
General Discussion / Re: What is the worst job in the Sector?
« on: July 16, 2023, 01:57:29 AM »
1. Being the poor schmucks who get volunteered as service crew on reaver Pirate stations when I roll into their neighbourhood. Probably didn't even do anything wrong, sucks to suck though.
2. Being the merchants aboard said pirate stations. I generously sell them enough Heavy Armaments below market rate on their Open Market to arm several battalions, they have nowhere to safely store them, and then some mysterious *** show up with a small army of marines and steal all of them in a raid.

In both cases, they all die because the station gets blown up with no survivors. What a tragic outcome, what monster could have done this? What could they gain from such cruelty, except hundreds of thousands of credits for minimal risk and the earnest recognition of the Sector's powers for ending their pirate problems?

12
General Discussion / Re: Officers are a pain!
« on: July 16, 2023, 01:48:58 AM »
One potentially interesting thought, I've read several times that the red combat skills are seen as having not enough/no fleet impact. What about making it so that when an officer levels up you can choose to teach them one of your known skills instead. If that's too powerful perhaps require the skill to be elite?

Give the red line some lead by example flavour as opposed to the other lines where it's much more about creating the perfect environment and circumstances for your subordinates.

Holy *** that's an awesome idea. Indeed, if the fleet commander has learned a skill, "Mentoring" should let you teach an Officer everything you know so a combat-focused player can finely tune their subordinate Officer combat skills.
As it stands, you have to often have to boot a few Officers out the airlock especially if they were missing key skills they needed for a particular ship. You're not going to run an armour-tank ship without an Officer using Impact Mitigation and Polarised Armor are you?
This is especially frustrating when you're playing a faction or modded playthrough and you only want officer portraits from that particular faction. It's heartbreaking to let a cool-looking fella go because they just didn't fit into the fleet plan.

13
Modding / Re: [0.96][WIP] United Aurora Federation 0.74a1
« on: July 14, 2023, 10:49:31 PM »
It's just me or the semibrew doesn't deal anymore damage it can barely Overload a cruiser and to the biggest ship they react like nothing touch them this weapon goes from Straight OP to Barely usable
Still does catastrophic damage to Star Fortresses when I land it on the armour, most capitals can't withstand taking it on the armour (and a Hel Scaith or other OP mod ship will still be severely injured by it), it reliably overloads cruisers or already-stressed capitals and you can score multikills by shooting it into the backline of enemy forces. I've made some incredible #MLG1337ProGamer shots by hitting a backline frigate or carrier with it - often taking out multiple frigates or destroyers at once because their shields are facing the wrong way. Truly, it's the area effect that makes this weapon incredible - and because an Expanded Missile Racks + Missile Spec + Systems Expertise Purcellyra can throw them out with reasonable frequency, you're incentivised to make truly audacious shots - because when you do, either the Semibreve or its follow-up will result in one or several lines of orange text on the screen.

problem:
the 120 day bounties are way too short, especially missions that require you to return with a new deadline.

for RP reasons, I wanted to do a lot of missions for UAF - despite running my own independent colony in Nexerelin w/o random core.

so I went to UAF territory, which is quite far away, took as many missions as I could and tried to do them in time. I could barely do 2 - one of them being right in a neighbor system.
120 days is simply not enough.

the biggest reason for this is a "break this guy out from a pirate base" mission. after you do the breakout, you have to *return* in a crazy short time span considering the distances. which voids all other missions that require further travel in the opposite direction (all of them unfortunately).

my fleet does 20 in hyperspace and I could not even get back in time for the return mission after buying fuel and supplies - which took quite a while due to some markets being in trouble.
...

solutions:

one way to solve it is simply increase the rewards significantly, but it *feels bad* to have one faction give way better rewards, even if it makes sense in the context. this is not the game for such a solution.

a better way would simply eliminate the timeframe completely, or at least triple it. kill missions send you to a map corner very often, and from UAF you take most of the time getting there. you can't stop and explore a system on the way, you can't fight anyone, cause that costs supplies and so on.
it punishes you from playing the game basically.

a more involved way that adds some RP:
tell the player the pirate/criminal you got to get rid of is there for 200 days, and after that, the faction's intel agency will update you on the location -- it's gonna be in a starsystem that borders the original one. but for exact location, you have to build a communication satellite somewhere, or have to be in a system that already has one. then you get a new *important* message that updates the location of the quest target.
 
I may just post in Nexerelin or maybe as a suggestion for the base game -- but I think chances are slim this gets implemented. the last idea seems it's too much work.

I think this is the wrong place for it. but I really don't know. 120 days seem "ok-ish" for unmodded Vanilla in a sector with standard size when the starting point to go anywhere is always the center. but the game is getting way too big for 120 days limits.

maybe it's like the 120 days is just a "max" setting in some json file and one can just triple that and UAF will automatically apply "max" since the system is far away?

Yeah, the biggest challenge with a UAF playthrough is how far they are away from the Core Worlds, and missions that take you everywhere. I would advise rushing story completion - or better yet, playing with a gamestart
Spoiler
where the gates actually work already.
[close]
Once you have that option, it's no longer as much of an issue that the UAF is in the middle of nowhere and too far away from their mission destinations. You'd laugh at how far I'm into the game (three Size 6 colonies, endgame fleet, hunting IBB bounties, singlehandedly destroyed Legio Infernalis, yet still haven't completed the story and I only just figured out how to unlock the Queen as a contact) and how much it screws over/slows down everything I do. Don't make my mistake - if you're doing a "normal" playthrough, get a reasonably strong (but fast and cheap) fleet and go complete the main story while also focusing on getting 50+ rep on your UAF contacts (especially Nia but the others too) so you can actually reliably get Tier 2 UAF ships instead of relying on random admirals in bars, clearance sales, pirates in bars proposing ship heists and deserter bounties.

14
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.96a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: July 14, 2023, 01:01:30 AM »
Just fought a Hypershunt where one Omega had a Reality Disruptor. That was... something. I am going to say it's been buffed a bit too much? Between more frequent and longer range arcs any ship without 360 degree shield is almost guaranteed to be completely disabled, so I don't think we also need 25-50% longer repair times on top of that.

I concur. I'm running a heavily modded version of the game and I went against the International Bounty Board $2.5M bounty the Star Federation adds. It took me 5 tries to win even with a very, very powerful fleet, and even when I won I was down to my last three combat ships after losing 13 or 14. What a glorious clusterf***.
A single capital-sized Dorito is already bad enough, but when you flank and "kill" it, your fleet (that was naturally flanking and surrounding an oversized dorito) is now about to be counter-flanked and ripped to shreds by a cruiser-shard and 3 destroyer-shard doritos. And yes, firing a Semibreve into them (or other similar ludicrously high damage weapon) while they're spawning makes it worse, as they are going to split again into countless more destroyer and frigate sized doritos which are even more dangerous and will rip your entire fleet to shreds like magic superspeed piranhas.

The Reality Disruptor is absolutely the worst thing to get hit by, period. It goes through and around your shields and if even a couple of arcs land your engines and weapons are gone. If your ship isn't an armour-based/Fortress Shield capital and didn't have Automated Repair Unit and a Damage Control officer, they are going to get permanently locked down with no escape. There are three counters to this weapon:
1: Have a 360 shield.
2: Just not be there, ever (pretty hard when the ship shooting it is likely 3x faster than you are).
3: Use a very tanky ship with Heavy Armour, Automated Repair Unit, Armored Weapon Mounts and Resistant Flux Conduits (optional) as mods - not to kill them, but as bait The officer should have Impact Mitigation Elite, Damage Control Elite, Polarised Armor Elite, Field Modulation Elite (optional) as their skills. To be clear - this ship may or may not kill some doritos, or just spend the entire battle being locked down. However, this ship should take up so much dorito attention that your actual DPS ships (like your flagship) should have a relatively clear window to start popping doritos. My tank ship (a UAF Reisen II) did because it had prv Starworks' "Spinnerets" on it and a really nasty kinetics + "point-defense" loadout that it used to clear shields, then grab with the Spinnerets and munch the doritos in melee range, but it only managed that on one cruiser and a frigate because it then got locked down with Reality Disruptors, Shock Repeater fighters and all manner of other monstrosities. Nevertheless, it did its job. o7

Point #3 is sort of an extension of Point #2. You must not expose yourself to this weapon or you're on the chopping block. I blew up about 270 DP of doritos using obscene missile spam, but as soon as a single bigger dorito took exception with my continued life and existence between missile reloads, well that was the end of the Purcellyra flagship. Just taking care of the "mere" remaining 80 DP of doritos was nearly the death of my fleet.
Uh, where was I going with this? Yeah, some of the other Omega weapons are almost balanced (especially after nerfs), and the 30 DP beam is good but more like an improved Tachyon Lance, but the Reality Disruptor just shuts down entire fighter swarms, cripples ships and let me tell you it's just as insane if not more in the player's hands. Put it on a battlecarrier that can mount it, and you have the perfect "get away from me" and "shut down the opposing ship so my fighters can rip it to shreds" weapon. That arc length... jesus.

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General Discussion / Re: Why is Brawler so cheap in DP?
« on: July 11, 2023, 04:53:51 AM »
I don't think I've ever come across a (non-SO) Brawler that ever really impressed/scared me - and I've had some scary encounters with Hounds before!

Anything it could theoretically beat up can instead kite it, enemies who can't kite simply directly roll over it. Because the guns are hardpoints apparently, it's impressively bad at hitting strafing frigates. It really does feel like a frigate based on the "I need a small disposable meatshield to stop my cruisers getting flanked, give it enough flux to not instantly die" school of thought that sees frigates as merely escorts for larger ships, instead of vessels with their own important role.

Not sure where I would ever personally use one. Early game exploration/fights there's much more DP-efficient pirate trash I can obtain, and point-capping or wolfpack strats are best accomplished by frigates that are faster and harder hitting (especially when the DP cost per ship doesn't matter so much anymore).

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