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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24)

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Messages - TaLaR

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General Discussion / Re: Has the AI become worse at shield flickering?
« on: February 21, 2024, 06:44:03 PM »
Unless this changed, here is 0.96 behavior:

AI only flickers at very high flux. It's flicker logic is also not same as player - as player I raise shield to catch incoming projectiles. AI raises shield as soon as flux drops below some threshold, whether there are incoming shots or not. In fact, it doesn't "see" projectiles other than mines/missiles, and whether there are gun arcs aimed in it's direction.

Suggestions / Re: Hellbore buff?
« on: February 20, 2024, 10:55:16 PM »
Hellbore is definitely easier to block for player, but AI doesn't flicker shield with that much precision. As long as you fire somewhat mixed HE + kinetics, Hellbore will do fine vs AI.

Afflictor P is under-valued in DP, but so is base Afflictor and even arguably Shade (worse flux stats and useless system, but it's just as fast and can fit 3 AMB just fine). At least in terms of what they get done under player control.

Though for phase ships, DP isn't really about portion of total DP max(typically 240), but phase DP max, which is only 40. Any number that doesn't fit in nicely would be just wasteful. Like for example a 15DP Afflictor.

I don't use SO. I pilot Afflictors to kill all the big targets, so as long as allied ships can stall and pick off small enemies, they are doing their job well enough. SO ships can't stall, they are useless for me.

I pretty much always put Unstable Injector on frigates. A frigate isn't going to out-range anyone (with hard flux weapons) except some other frigates. So just stack all speed you can.

The larger the ship hull, the less efficient UI is (OP cost vs speed gain) and the more important is the range that you give up to have it. For AI ships larger than frigate, UI is pretty much universally not good. Player can use it on some faster ships.

General Discussion / Re: New cheapest way to deal with Z-fella
« on: February 14, 2024, 10:48:54 PM »
It turns out I was actually wrong! You can achieve this with a level 5 Grendel as well.

While this is good piloting, the deciding factor seems to be bad AI. Zig never really needed to vent, it should have just dissipated normally. Zig easily out-damages your blasters and his phase cooldown is short enough to re-phase in case of Reaper launch. Zig also probably had effective speed advantage to stay away, and didn't use that (less base speed, but it can afford to spend much more time in phase).

Perfect behavior would be not to phase continuously at all, and just use cloak reactively vs blasters and reapers. Though AI isn't allowed to use perfect timing like this most of the time (with some exceptions, this sort of instant reaction is allowed for Damper Field use).

On a side note. Switching linked/alternating fire mode in combat should be a vanilla feature (there is a mod). Because switching to alternating is necessary to counter some of these tactics, but is sub-optimal most of the time.

Suggestions / Re: More new phase ships please
« on: February 14, 2024, 12:25:48 AM »
Phase ships and carriers aren't deliberately inefficient, they merely provide maximum benefit very quickly. I prefer it this way, since you don't need to make an all carrier/phase fleet to get the most out of those ships.

Phase Coil Tuning is qualitative difference for player phase ships.

+50% speed means that player Afflictor goes from being fairly dependent on allies for cover to free-range hunting. 180 sec PPT (combined with Wolfpack) means you don't care about PPT anymore, even without Hardened subsystems, because 30 shots from Expanded Mags run out faster.

AI can't do nearly as much as player even with optimal setup, but expecting AI to do anything worthwhile in nerfed state (that even player would struggle with) is unreasonable.

Suggestions / Re: More new phase ships please
« on: February 13, 2024, 11:21:07 PM »
Skill tree is purposely designed to make phase or carrier focused fleets inefficient due skill DP caps. If you are going to do this, it's only for campaign benefits, not because it's a good approach in combat. Unless we are speaking 4 chain deployed Afflictors and rest logistic ships, but then you wouldn't need any variety.

This would send a self-contradicting message: "here are the new ships for playstyle that's crippled by design". We'd need at least a compromise, like being able to designate which ships benefit from DP cap skills, and which are excluded (per such skill).

General Discussion / Re: Lets Talk Harbinger
« on: February 12, 2024, 11:43:28 PM »
Right now Harbinger's system's only worthwhile use is to let a concentrated alpha strike through. Which requires precise timing on executing player's part, so it's fair to say that AI doesn't get almost any value out of the system.

Even then, there are simply no good weapons to alpha with - downsizing medium slots to AMBs is technically the highest burst, but Afflictor (or even Shade/AfflictorP) does that much better, so why bother? Phase Lances don't quite fit - too long active phase, not concentrated enough burst (cooldown to active ratio). Heavy blaster doesn't do enough with single shot and can't guarantee landing two (you may be able to corner-shot, exploiting the fact that AI raises shield in exact direction to target). Etc.

If we ignore Harbinger's system, phase anchor flux dumping playstyle would require same high burst energy weapon that doesn't quite exist to truly shine.

Harbinger needs something to be worthwhile. Afflictor is a far better assassin, trying to compete with it directly is likely to produce another balance-breaker. So maybe concentrate on support role: give Harbinger massive system range, with main use case being precise shield drop right as bombers or alpha strike from another ship are about to hit. Though unavoidable long-distance disable would be too annoying for the player as recipient, so maybe go even further: also make the disable longer lasting and AoE(no friendly fire) + longer build-up, but make it target an area instead of a ship, so that fleeing that area during build-up is an option.

General Discussion / Re: Where do i put this level 7 officer?
« on: January 17, 2024, 04:48:08 AM »
A Conquest would be close, but lack of gunnery implants hurts this variant a lot.

Suggestions / Re: The Tac Laser
« on: December 22, 2023, 08:43:18 AM »
One extra point, is that firing a Tac Laser against an enemy can easily be a net negative: if you spend more weapon flux than shield flux generated on target (as absolute value or percentage).
I can't believe I keep hearing this argument, from experienced players, of all people. You don't compare flux generated by firing with flux generated by shielding. The enemy also has weapons, and denying them flux to fire those can be highly beneficial even if the flux/damage ration is "tehnically" bad for you.
Consider a very straighforward example. You have a tac laser, enemy has an autocannon and a 0.4 shield. Would you choose to fire your tac laser into the shield and "lose" flux, or let them spend all of their flux on dumping much more efficient kinetics into your shield?

You can engineer a case for either outcome. If enemy has enough unused soft flux (due to shield up and not enough long ranged weapons) to neutralize tac lasers, firing tacs does literally nothing except costing you flux. Or both your and enemy's shields are extremely efficient (Radiant vs Radiant). Slightly winning in hard flux (assuming enemy doesn't have unused soft flux when firing) at high soft flux cost is probably not worthwhile. Of course you wouldn't put tacs on a Radiant, but whatever.

Suggestions / Re: The Tac Laser
« on: December 22, 2023, 03:21:31 AM »
One extra point, is that firing a Tac Laser against an enemy can easily be a net negative: if you spend more weapon flux than shield flux generated on target (as absolute value or percentage). You can even engineer a scenario in which firing tac lasers is what loses you a fight as opposed to just disabling them. I don't think AI considers this, and Tacs are pretty much AI-only weapons (player has better things to do).

General Discussion / Re: Astral feels like a waste of dp.
« on: December 22, 2023, 03:15:48 AM »
Astral was all about it's ship system. But then said system was nerfed hard.

General Discussion / Re: Phase ships in this update?
« on: November 12, 2023, 10:51:11 PM »
Nowhere near as strong as they were before, where 1 afflictor with 8 reaper torpedoes can oliterate 2 Onslaughts, and retreat before anything can touch it

Even in it's heyday, Reaper Afflictor was roughly on par with AM build, with different focus (quickly killing few forward shielded capitals vs methodically dismantling anything). In current build, AM Afflictor with all necessary character skills can delete a Paragon in two salvos (3, if opponent stacks defensive skills). With expanded magazines it has enough ammo to do that 10-15 times, in theoretical ideal situation (in practice you won't land all hits perfectly, will have to swap for next Afflictor earlier due to chip damage).

Suggestions / Re: Simulation Freedom
« on: August 22, 2023, 01:34:00 AM »
You can, technically. But it involves making a custom mod to edit sim opponents.

Something more user friendly wouldn't hurt.

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