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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hostile Activity (09/01/22)

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Messages - Deshara

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Mods / Re: [0.95.1a] Realistic Combat 1.19.0
« on: September 09, 2022, 12:34:40 AM »
fun fact, OP! Ships can't actually go up or down. Space is functionally 2d. You increase your height by increasing your speed in the direction of travel, down against. Orbital dynamics, innit. SS's 2d plane is actually far closer to reality than Ace Combat In Space would be. Everyone says 2d is unrealistic but 3d is basically only realistic for aeroplanes

Suggestions / long range medium/large frag torpedo
« on: November 15, 2021, 04:20:39 AM »
torpedoes require large damage pools, specialization to feel good, & usage limitations to make up for the damage it does. what would feel good that the game currently lacks? Massive, massive hideous frag damage alpha strike weapon. I get why there is no ballistic fragmenting hellbore cannon, but a large long-ranged coup-de-grace, anti-capital ship torpedo that you only get to use once or twice? I would enjoy

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: November 15, 2021, 04:08:26 AM »
I wonder if part of it is once a ship's shields are down or it's overloaded, it's weapons are no longer firing being disabled, it feels more like a chore than a fight, despite perhaps taking an equal amount of time compared to a more mobile and/or shielded enemy.  It's like the Monitor - next to impossible to kill, but unable to actually do any harm, and thus can be considered annoying in the opposing fleet.

Someone suggested disabled weapons still being able to fire at half rate or whatever. I think that would help a lot both for fighting tough ships and to make it suck less when your own weapons get disabled.

Engines could probably do with a similar thing - flamed out ships still having a few engines.

prey did this, had weapon durability but when your weapon's reaches 0 it doesn't break, it just jams every time you fire it after it fires, turning all guns into single-shot manually operated guns.
which i really, really, really liked.
i could see SS rotating something similar onto itself; instead of weapons getting disabled or engines flamed out by enemy damage (barring catastrophic hits), they get put into an "unstable" state. Using an unstable weapon causes it to become disabled temporarily, & using an unstable engine causes it to flame out after a delay. So instead of being rendered unable to do things by the enemy's actions -- which can be not-great, you are rendered only able to do 1 thing by the enemy's actions -- which can be compelling. In a sort of, having to make a leap of faith by picking a direction u think ur gonna want to be going for the next 4-12 seconds & giving it a burn until the engines flame out leaving u coasting in the direction u picked, kind of way.
So instead of taking a stray shot to the aft while approaching an enemy Onslaught in ur frigate causing you guarenteed death, that shot to the engines instead leaves your engines unstable, allowing you to use what gas is left in the burner to try & halt your approach & leave yourself coasting away from the gigantic death-monster instead of towards like u were when u took the hit

The lack of Energy missiles in the game is...disturbing. Just sayin' :P You really could go wild with them: disablers, slow-moving death balls, chain-effects...the sky is the limit. Even more traditional Energy missiles pose an interesting dilemma: a 2000 damage Energy missile is a moderate hit against both shields and hull but if it also was an Ion hit, I really don't want to get disabled! At least something like that would give the Sabot some competition: depending on ammo, OP, etc.

In my experience from playing with mods torpedoes with an energy damage type are very difficult from a balance perspective because large shot size energy has no weaknesses, and torpedoes are by nature very large impacts. Something like a 2000 damage energy missile will strip the armor of cruisers in a single shot: the only effective defense against them is shields, no ship in the game wants to take that kind of hit to armor! But they do double the damage the damage vs shields than an HE torpedo does, so blocking them with shields is half as effective.

plus any energy torpedo that does have its damage balanced against its utility winds up feeling really bad as a torpedo. Energy torps have 2 textures to them; they hit way too hard for what they are, or they hit way too not-hard for what they are. The sort of damage alpha that a torpedo calls for doesn't work well with universal damage type. It's best to specialize them so u have an excuse to make them heinous.
What I really want to see is a frag torpedo. A lot of missiles are listed as finishers but I want to see a finisher; a MIRV full of cluster bombs that doesn't start firing until after it's entered an enemy ship (as in, it doesn't "impact" like a normal missile, it flies thru the ship like a fighter but invisible to the player as it does, dealing damage (which the player can see in the form of explosions) as it goes & "impacts" the armor on the far side of the ship when it attempts to exit the target & blows up instead of overshooting. The sort of thing you can sink into an Onslaught thru a gap in its armor & watch it get hollowed out. The sort of thing that turns a flamed-out Hound into a cloud of dust & echoing screams

Suggestions / Re: Civilization style wonders
« on: November 15, 2021, 03:51:31 AM »
theres a mod that adds these actually!

they fire at a different wavelength. Normal lasers do energy damage (equal damage to all types) bc all they do is heat up the matter they're hitting -- catastrophically & enough to instantly vaporize a human, but still all it's doing is just transferring heat energy from the beam cannon to the target which affects shields the same as it affects hull as it affects armor.
The HIL is firing particles on a certain wavelength with such an amount of energy that when those particles reach their target they cause the matter they hit to, not just heat up, but to explode, like a fork in a microwave, in a way that doesn't just damage the matter that the particles hit but also hits everything around it with force, which doesn't do much to shields (which are in the vacuum of space & have nothing next to them to AOE), & doesn't do any more to hull than a normal laser does, but that outward explosive force wreaks havoc on the alignment of layered belts of armor, causing it to damage armor more than anything else

Suggestions / Re: More low tech ship with integratted weapon systems?
« on: November 03, 2021, 06:57:24 PM »
If a ship does have built in weapons, then logically these weapons would have to be better somehow than it's equivalent (assuming such exists) installed normally.
Such as being more Flux efficient, more damaging, possessing qualities/abilities the normal one doesn't have, etc.

thats not actually necessarily true, filling out what would otherwise be slots full of better guns with worse guns would make for an interesting way to tone down the balance of what might otherwise be an overtuned ship.
like you could build a frigate with 5 guns designed explicitly to be unbeatable in a kite battle, then make 2 of its 3 forward facing slots built-in mortars so it only actually gets 1 slot to use for kiting. those mortars would still be useful for a ballistic kiting ship, since its kiting smalls are all kinetic so it has a built-in "close in & break armor" option, but that will never be as useful as 3 railguns, AND, having "close in & break armor with mortars" be always a part of the ship's kite would mean it has a baked-in oppertunity for ships it kites to get hits in, & if the ship never gives them that opportunity then its giving up something for it (operating time spent wearing thru armor with railguns instead of mortars)
in fact, one of my favorite ships is a modded ship with 6 drones that shoot at your target when you do, that gets to be far better than it would otherwise get to be because theyre all tac lasers. if it had open slots in their place instead of built-in the ship would have to be weaker to the point it wouldnt be fun to me to play, but since i like the terrible guns it has built in and it get to be OP otherwise, its a great ship

Modding / free camera (RTS style) mod?
« on: November 03, 2021, 06:41:23 PM »
i know devmode already has a feature that lets you pan the camera unlocked in combat but devmode also creates a whole host of other issues that ruins the vanilla-friendly aspect that a mod like this would have
since its already a devmode feature, would it be easy for someone to make a mod that only activates that feature?

Suggestions / Re: More low tech ship with integratted weapon systems?
« on: October 21, 2021, 11:48:53 AM »
i think what makes it special is that theres few of them. if it becomes the norm then it is functionally just a secondary ship system which makes it far less interesting

Suggestions / Re: Idea of Galaxy Sectors.
« on: October 21, 2021, 11:45:28 AM »
this could be ether a MASSIVE mod or possibly something we will see in starsector(4.95b)

this actually prob wouldnt be that big of an ask, theres already a mod that generates new sectors mid-game (the ng+ mod) when you go thru the stargates. actually im p sure theres more than one. the procgen has seeds, every time you stargate to another sector for the first time it procgens a new sector, every time you leave a sector it creates a save file just for that sector along with its seed, every time you enter a sector after the first time it just reads the seed and then uses the savefile to populate the resulting sector the way it was when you left it (or not the way it was). bing bang boom you can expand it as far & wide as your hard drive is capable of handling

Blog Posts / Re: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts
« on: October 06, 2021, 01:50:41 AM »
slip stream vortexes; a jump point that remains hidden & inert until a slipstream with a sharp narrow bend forms pointing its elbow towards the vortex (or spawned in along with a valid slipstream & then destroyed with it) (or its generated on its own and then occasionally spawns its own slip stream when it decides to go active), & while active it pulls fleets towards & into it when they touch it.

if the vortex is close enough to another system it might just drop you into the far outskirts of that system, otherwise it might drop you into a special super fun system -- the kind of system that might not be connected to the hyperspace network bc its star(s) is a formation & constitution never witnessed by human kind.
stars made of nuclear matter. stars large & hot enough to prevent it from collapsing in on itself but made of dark matter that prevents normal matter from igniting the star leaving it completely invisible to the human eye, but still producing heat from the two types of matter annihilating inside of it as the magnetic forces holding the particles apart fail -- like an antimatter bomb the size of 10 jupiters, that you are now orbiting (hopefully [redacted] never got any ideas of how to make use of one). the remnants of a supermassive star large enough to collapse (after going supernova) past the point of a neutron star but just shy of forming a black hole, leaving a pin-prick sized molecule; a quark star, the weight & energy of a supermassive star but silent, producing no light & unleashing a hellish maelstrom of magnetic forces onto the system around it, like if a nebula system in SS was made entirely out of magnetic storms & solar flares. stars made of color superconducting strange matter, a great inert orb of completely frictionless (stuff analogous to) liquid that you could slam your ship into & it will glide all the way thru to the other side with the same momentum, assuming that you survived the conditions inside of it. A binary system of two stars, one of them antimatter, orbiting eachother too closely with a constant annihilation reaction between them forming a third "star" of far more massive proportions that looks less like a star & more like solar flares of massive proportions, in every direction all of the time.
An active galactic nucleus -- the lit galactic core. An incredibly thick accretion disk larger than the system map (u cant fly far enough out to get out of it, unless Alex really goes hogwild on this one), and in the middle of the "system", from where the primary of a normal system would be all the way out to where the outer exoplanets would be, is one gigantic, stupidly huge black hole -- so large that the only way to navigate the "system" is to circumnavigate; no up down left or right, only clockwise & counterclockwise, and inward or outward. and producing so much energy from the accretion disk falling in that it can be seen from many galaxies away, and importantly to you, most of that energy is being blasted into the accretion disk which absorbs and then re-emits that energy in secondary phases until it eventually bounces its way out into open space. Meaning; it is HOT. You are effectively inside of a hyperstar, lightyears wide. To be clear of how hot it is here; keeping in mind that going from Corvus to Askonia is probably tens of thousands of lightyears, within one lightyear of the AGN there are tens of billions of stars. And you're inside of it. Your tv dinner would cook in minutes
every single word of this post was leading up to that joke. and nobody will have read this far. PS: all of there are (or could be) real, i didnt make any of this up. the universe is(might be) a weird place

being on the dry side is a selling point for me, my favorite job was auditing accountants

yeah i find it fun to argue w ppl who care too much about it lmfao i just wanted to post this to share where the terms come from & what they used to mean back when there was an actual consistent meaning to them

TIL : Littoral is a real word... nice. It doesn't mean anything in deep space, though.

not necessarily. this was something i liked about sword of the stars; there was a class of ship you could design that wasnt capable of interstellar flight. so they were extremely cheap system defense ships. i could see such a thiing being put into starsector (via a mod) with a hullmod that sets a ship's fuel cost to infinite, reduces its fuel capacity but also increases its CR and/or decreases its supply usage. bc it doesn't have to be maintained to a hyperspace-worthy level

Well I imagine any form of "carrier" has at least some degree of bearing on their size and shape, given they need to be a viable landing spot and supply base for said thing they carry.

IRL frigates, destroyers & cruisers often carry & launch aircraft. a lot of US naval ships carry aircraft specifically so that the US Coast Guard contingent stationed within it can commandeer the ship in order to scramble an intercept mission against passing smuggler fast-mover boats. in fact, in ww2 they made submarine aircraft carriers. thats right; IRL figured out phase carriers before SS did

If you look at something like an Arleigh burke destroyer it can:
1] Fire guns effectively at ship targets
2] Fire guns effectively at land targets
3] Fire guns effectively at airborne targets.

4] Fire torpedos
5] Fire missiles
6] Fire Cruise missiles
7] Deploy depth charges

8] Perform EWAR duties
9] Deploy drones
10] Launch a helicopter

What role does this ship fill in a fleet? Whatever role the fleet needs at the time. It can be a missile cruiser or a gunboat equally. It also does not need a fleet to operate. Do you know what its listed roll is in actuality? Guided-missile destroyer. Do you know what it replaced? A cruiser and a destroyer.

i think you're confusing "capable of" with "good at". this is the Bradley Fighting Vehicle problem, sticking a autocannon on an APC doesnt make it a light attack vehicle just bc its technically capable of knocking light vehicles out of commission bc it still also being an APC means you have nowhere to fit ammo for it to operate as a light attack vehicle for long enough before needing to be resupplied. which is largely what the distinction between cruisers & not-cruisers comes down to; a lot of ships can do all of the things cruisers can do, but they generally don't have the operational capacity to perform  back-to-back missions independently. A destroyer can fire missiles at a target, but then they need to be resupplied & in order to perform repeated fire missions in a short time they have to operate within a fleet that can resupply them. Give it enough size & logistical capacity (read as: storage space & CR for terminal nerds) to be operationally capable of repeated missions and its a cruiser.
Like, take the Irish Navy for example. They have a fleet of, like, 4 patrol boats -- you could call them corvettes, destroyers, frigates, whatever, bc they're capable of doing all of the missions those ships are capable of. and they are capable of independent cross-global trips -- they keep going to the eastern mediteranean sea for missions in a country whose name i dont remember. Bbbbut, a while ago one of them got into combat with a spanish fishing boat poaching irish fish out of their waters, had to blow the fishing boat up, and then it had to end it mission bc a fishing boat rammed it. So the irish navy is made up of boats that could do most if not all of the duties of a cruiser, BUT, it can only do them once before needing to be tended to, which means in a war setting they absolutely would not be used as a cruiser gets used bc they lack something crucial to a cruiser; operational capacity -- the capacity to perform multiple missions in a row without needing to be tended to.
& keep in mind that this distinction existed in WW2 too, so its not like this is a new paradigm -- then as now one of the defining features of a destroyer is that when operating within a fleet they had to have a destroyer tender -- a (usually) cruiser whose job was to keep the destroyers operationally capable. And when not operating within a fleet they have to operate within limping distance of a port. Which is basically what all destroyers are doing rn bc there isnt a naval war on. So this seems to me largely a matter of peace time making it easy to make claims that wouldn't hold up under stress

almost every single ship in existence on earth could be classified as a cruiser.

the exact opposite of this is true. most ships can't operate in the open ocean independently

Blog Posts / Re: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts
« on: September 28, 2021, 03:29:52 AM »
the idea of sensor ghosts is fascinating to me. it reminds me of a bit in my favorite book blindsight, where the earth gets surveyed by alien probes that leave no trace except for a data stream tightbeamed at an asteroid in the outer belts. they send a group of probes to burn nonstop out past the asteroid to take snapshots of it as they pass by (which gave me one of my favorite quotes of all time, "Once or twice we are even asked if some judicious use of thrust and gravity might allow us to linger a bit longer, but deceleration is for pansies; we're headed for the stars. Bye Earth. Bye Mission Control. Bye Sol. See you at heat death."), and then a second group of probes to burn towards halfway & away the second half so that they actually come to a stop at the asteroid, and when they try to use 3 probes to triangulate a high resolution deep scan of the asteroid's internal composition, it vanishes instantly. because the asteroid was a super-positioned quantum particle; real enough for something to bounce a signal off of towards the real destination, but if you attempted to inspect it to garner any insight as to what put it there the waveform is collapsed & it snaps out of existence, revealing the true location of the data's destination -- but, even though the trick was identified by drones shot ahead of the human-laden space ship, by the time they find out it is, thanks to the fun of space travel & newton's third law, it's already too late to turn back. they're locked in to their heading & have been since leaving earth and all they can do is flick cards at a wall until they complete their trip out and then their trip back before rerouting to the new destination. whoever it was that laid the trick successfully managed to buy themselves a bunch of time, to prepare for/to do something, and the only thing humanity learned about them in the process is that they are either hostile or scared, of something.
a signal relay station, made out of a sensor ghost

also, the idea of a type of sensor ghost that functions literally exactly like an AI fleet until it gets revealed & vanishes is really cool to me. you're out in the blackness of dead space doing dead space things, and then a huge sensor signal shows up, something so big it can only be a hostile warfleet, and it's bearing down on you with murderous intent, and then just as it reaches you it fades into nothing -- a mote of dust that caught your ship's sensors in exactly the wrong way. or, you spot a small signal in an asteroid belt you're searching and it slips away from you as you approach it and begins fleeing, dodging you when you try to catch it until you e-burn an intercept course & it's revealed that it was a mote, a stray streak of exotic energy acting as if negatively magnetized away from your fleet, for no discernible reason. creepy stuff lays down this road.

edit: oh yeah & I just remember i wrote a big post spitballing ideas for sensor ghosts in call of duty's minimap that would allow for cod to give a permanent sorta-uav to both teams to discourage camping -- mostly just for me to document the thoughts somewhere I'd be able to find them later if needed. i would copy/paste some of the more applicable ideas but im tired so i'll just hyperlink it & hope nobody actually reads any of it. 1 juicy thought real quick before i actually log off though; a [redacted] station/site in a system defended extremely heavily by a massive number of patrolling fleets, most of which are sensor ghosts. an abandoned station that is revealed to be a sensor ghost & teleports to a new location when you reach it, once or twice. a type of star (or terrain. magnetic field?) that generates sensor ghosts. an abandoned station that is revealed to be a sensor ghost & teleports to a new location every time you reach it unless/until you use a neutrino detector to work out its real location & its not revealed until after you park at 0 speed within combat initiation range. a station that does the same but isn't abandoned/undefended & attacks as soon as you reveal it. a hullmod that generates sensor ghosts for enemy fleets with a lower ECM rating, and reduces sensor ghosts generated by an enemy fleet with this hullmod & a higher ECM rating. a campaign ability that creates a ghost signal of your fleet that emergency or sustained burns away from nearby hostiles but is only usable while going dark is active and in slow mode
okay a few ideas. i have a problem

On the comments of larger maps, as much as I'm wishy-washy on having them being larger (and the slipstream feature sure as hell justifies that), I guess I 'get' keeping the current size from both a design and SWE standpoint.  It's probably complex enough as is to plan out much less consider randomized elements.  But hey, mods find a way...

Yeah, I'm not sure increasing the Sector size just for the sake of "more" would be a good idea. I could see doing it if, say, it really needed more room to fit something specific in, though...

my last campaign i did that to my game to increase the difficulty by making the distance between things in hyperspace unreasonable

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