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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 - CommComms

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General Discussion / Re: 0.5 feedback
« on: February 20, 2012, 03:27:12 AM »
Haven't read through this, so maybe it's already been mentioned, but has the scoring for the missions been changed?  It seems a lot harsher than it was before.  I just beat Coral nebula without losing anything, the opposing force lost everything but two cruisers that weren't deployed and a talon wing that retreated and I only got 30% or something.  Then I beat Forlorn hope and killed everything but two talon wings that retreated and only got 50%.  I'm not sure if how the percentages are calculated has changed, or if they've always been this unforgiving, but they seem a little harsh.

I guess I had the default half damage thing on (Was wondering how the Paragon could take so much punishment!) so maybe that influences it?  I didn't notice that mentioned anywhere.

General Discussion / Re: Tactics, anyone?
« on: February 20, 2012, 02:50:23 AM »
The only real-world excuse for fighters in space aside from arbitrary technological limits (we can't make missiles that can track sufficiently well, or sensors that detect that far away, etc.) are as something to deliver ordinance in a more direct and efficient manner than a missile, or as more efficient countermeasures to missiles or other ordinance delivery systems.  If you want to shoot a missile at me from way over there you need: Boatloads of engines/fuel to get here. At least some basic guidance, more if you want it to put any effort at all into avoiding my defenses, which would likely get pretty costly as quality increases (We can probably write off wireless guidance by people on the ship.  It doesn't have to be "hacked" just jammed and all your missiles are useless). It needs some armor or defenses of its own so I can't shoot it down with a stern glare, the amount of which goes up exponentially as the volume of the missile increases (Since it's got all that fuel/engines it needs to get here from far away it's probably got to have quite a weight or at least cost of defensive measures of some sort.)  And of course it's got to have a warhead that needs to be big enough to hurt me and justify all this cost of its delivery, but not too big that it's so unwieldy and slow that it can't hit me or help but get shot down.  

With all this there's probably some pretty well defined size ranges for missile dictated by available technology/physics/economics beyond which it's either ineffective or impractical.  If it's too small then there just isn't enough bang, and if it's too big then you end up spending way too many bucks.

Now for starters, with a fighter you can cut out that expensive guidance system from all of your missiles, and instead you only need one, which is capable of effectively applying itself to a relatively large number of missiles.  This guidance system (pilot, ai, whatever) may be extremely costly, but it's also able to effectively guide whatever large number of missiles/bombs/death not only to its target, but also to some degree around whatever defenses the target may have, and then it can even return to be reused later, so you're not blowing up an expensive guidance package with every missile!  Never mind the entirely reasonable possibility/likelihood that even your best computerized missile guidance system can't think or deal with changing circumstances as well as a human pilot, and your financial/ethical constraints prevent you from having a trained human piloting each individual missile.  

Not only that, but I could also have some fighters that could fly out and meet your long range missiles or fighters at the halfway point between us, when they're still weighed down by at least half a tank of fuel plus all their ordinance and simply don't have the mobility to avoid being shot down at that point.  Sure, I could've fired smaller missiles at yours, but they'd probably have to cope with some sort of limited defenses or decoys or something and then I'd need more expensive guidance systems or to fire more missiles and then we hit the point where it's more cost effective to send out one expensive fighter with 1000 rounds of dirt cheap ammo than it is to send out 100 interceptor missiles that each cost some little bit.  

And then of course you need to utilize fighters specifically to shoot down my fighters so they don't shoot down your missiles or bombers or whatever and hey, look, everyone's using fighters!

Really, it seems to me that the only point at which fighters in a realistic space setting cease to become advantageous is when you have guidance systems that not only outperform humans at a whole slew of very difficult tasks, but that are also significantly cheaper to produce than a trained human pilot.  And sure, you can have that, there's no limit on science fiction technology, it's just way way further out there than the very broad zone of "tech level" where humans outperform technology at certain tasks and that most science fiction setting reside in.  

Nevermind that the drama, action, and personal feel attached to a tense dogfight between two fighters or a heroic squadron of bombers is generally more entertaining and engaging in any entertainment medium than bland waves of missiles crashing into each other... oh damn, some go through... ok reload all the tubes and launch another round.
Edit: Nevermind.  Avan's right.  Biggest missile is best missile.

Announcements / Re: Starfarer 0.5a (In Development) - Live Patch Notes
« on: February 09, 2012, 09:59:06 PM »
[The time for patience is long past!

Now is the time for action! Come brothers, we shall ride out together as one, and find Alex in his castle!  Version 0.5 is waiting for us, we need merely the will to take it!

General Discussion / Re: how big are the ships in starfarer?
« on: February 05, 2012, 07:13:06 PM »
Future space submarines confirmed.

General Discussion / Re: how big are the ships in starfarer?
« on: February 05, 2012, 01:04:02 AM »
I've decided to just assume the fighters are pretty much to scale in the game, and that the in-fiction explanation is that they simply can't be made smaller and still carry all the systems, weapons, armor, engines, and reactors to power it all that they still need to be useful.  I.E. they could be made smaller, but then they couldn't carry weapons big enough to scratch anything, or have enough armor to not just disappear if they get to near any debris/weapons fire/space dust, so fighters being the size of a house ends up being the most efficient way to make 'em.

I know, it's silly, but it's also novel, and I'm going to keep believing it until we get any official word otherwise.

As far as kilometers long goes, I doubt the current capital ships of Starfarer would come close.  Maybe a few hundred meters for the big ones?  I'd be surprised if any of them broke 500 meters. 

Suggestions / Re: Radio Chatter.
« on: February 01, 2012, 02:25:29 PM »
The question is how much of an investment of time would that cost the devs to produce something of what quality? 

Suggestions / Re: Q-ships
« on: February 01, 2012, 02:13:29 PM »
One way to do this would be with a hull mod that converts chunks of cargo space into hardpoints or ordinance points. 

General Discussion / Re: Free Universe Control Method
« on: January 24, 2012, 06:28:43 PM »
It's pretty safe to say that the game will definitely not be turn based.  The closest to turn based it will be is mount & blade style, where other things only move while you're moving, and are paused while you aren't. 

This is only speculation on my part, but I would be absurdly shocked if I were wrong.

Suggestions / Re: Ballistic ammunition/missiles.
« on: January 24, 2012, 12:20:58 AM »
I do think that it would be cool and all to have different sorts of ammo to load into your guns, or different warheads on your missiles, but given the extra complexity it would entail and Alex's general design philosophy of avoiding micromanagement and complex systems it seems a pretty safe bet to say that we won't see this in Starfarer. 

His response would probably be that you will sort of be able to do this already, by swapping one gun out for another in the refit screen, so why add another way to do basically the same thing?  Plus, it would effectively wreck any balance that exists among the ballistic weapons and lead to pretty clear "always best" guns. 

And supposedly capital ships ought to see a pretty significant buff with the downsizing of many slot sizes among the smaller ships in 0.5

General Discussion / Re: Buying through BMT is not good
« on: January 23, 2012, 02:14:43 PM »
Yeah they need your billing address so they can charge the money to your card.  Without putting in your real address they can't charge you.

Suggestions / Re: Fleet Fomations and Carriers
« on: January 23, 2012, 01:33:54 PM »
It is not currently possible, and I doubt it ever will be.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to have ships locked into relatively static positions in Starfarer.  The ability to avoid enemy weapons and gain a superior position is too important.  Plus, having an escort always in one place relative to a larger ship effectively locks out the larger ship from firing in that area. 

I can think of no time that you'd want to have a ship in a fixed relative position with regard to another one of your ships rather than have it try to keep within a given distance.  Ok, maybe stick a point defense destroyer to the right of an Astral, but that's the only case, and it's still not a good idea.  For example, fighters can already be a pain to shoot down, imagine how much incredibly better all fighters would be if they could break formation to dodge incoming fire or swarm around your ship on all sides.

An overall improvement to the escort ai and perhaps varied "leash" ranges for your escorts are the only changes I suspect we'll see to how it works currently. 

Suggestions / Re: Shield locking
« on: January 22, 2012, 10:17:49 PM »
This can be even more apparent on the Conquest.  It's too big to really dodge anything, and to use the main guns most effectively you have to be aiming them to one side or another, and thus can't have your shield protecting you on the far side if a bombing run or something comes along. 

I recall a thread that discussed the possibility of a shield locking module, or something that split a directional shield to cover two sides, or other such shield modification possibilities tied into equipment modules.  At the time, I think Alex said something like, they were good ideas with potential, but that adding specific modules to do cool things with shields was so far away at that point that he couldn't say one way or the other if they'd be implemented.

Suggestions / Re: Boarding like a BAWSS
« on: January 19, 2012, 01:20:12 AM »
In any case, I don't understand the spider mine thingy. Why would you fly so close that you could slap one onto the hull and let it detonate later? Why not just strap the spider warhead thing onto the tip of a missile and let it detonate while it's travelling several times the speed of sound into the side of a ship instantly?

Strictly for the sake of argument, you could have an extremely long ranged missile, maybe a modified pilum, that would attach to the hull instead of detonating like normally, then, when the ship is engaged in gun range the weapons fire detonates the attached missiles, quickly damaging and disabling the weapons/systems near where they were attached.  This would give the still functional ship a significant early advantage in a fight. 

I'm not saying it would be practical or should be implemented, just that the idea has some merit.

Suggestions / Re: Giving Pilots Character
« on: January 19, 2012, 01:11:46 AM »
Hey, I like this idea!  Might not be too tremendously radical to somewhere down the line to implement something where certain achievements (or failures!) of a specific captain could trigger a % chance to gain a certain perk or something.

Some hypothetical examples:
(all numbers are for examples sake and not considered "balanced")
A ship shoots down 30 fighters in a single battle.  At the end of it the captain of that ship has a 25% chance to gain "point defense expert" perk that gives +5% point defense damage or accuracy or something.  Maybe have multiple levels of the perk.

A captain lands 50 killing blows to enemy ships that are frigate sized or larger, gains "experienced" perk that gives some +5% damage, shields, and armor.

a captain successfully retreats in 15 consecutive battles.  Gains "cowardly" trait, -5% damage, +10% speed while following retreat order.

Both the triggering conditions and specific bonuses/penalties of the perks could be far more interesting or esoteric than the things I've named, or even simpler.  But I think some sort of system like that could be pretty nifty.

Suggestions / Re: Hijacking Ships process.
« on: January 17, 2012, 09:02:54 PM »
(not very far so as to not take long to code)

Have you ever heard the saying that in any real program 90% of the code makes up 10% of the program?  There's lots of variations and ways of saying it, and different things it can apply to, but the general idea is that to get the "back end" of anything done so it works in even a rudimentary fashion you need to do the vast majority of the programming, and then all the cool/interesting/fun bits build on that and are relatively much easier to put in.  For example, if you want to program something that simulates a guy walking down a hallway the vast majority of your time will be spent programming the guy, the hallway, and walking, and then only a tiny fraction more to have him walk down a longer hallway, or one with more turns. 

What I'm saying is that it doesn't matter how basic it is, in order to put in any sort of boarding action sequence into the game Alex would have to write a whole new game from scratch that's about a guy walking through ship hallways.  I'm not saying he couldn't do it, or that having a mini-game of that sort available wouldn't add to the game, but the relative work:content ratio would be much much worse than if he worked on adding more to the game he's already made.

That's why, with no special insight into Alex's thoughts or development plans, I can say with absolute certainty that something like this won't find its way into Starfarer.

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