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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2 (04/30/22)

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Messages - Dread Pirate Robots

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Blog Posts / Re: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2
« on: May 10, 2022, 02:51:52 PM »
I like that a lot, it's strong (5 mediums with AAF is nothing to laugh at) but also makes it feel like whoever designed it is a bit of a moron in exactly the "our ships will be the best at everything!" way that I think Alex is going for.

Blog Posts / Re: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 1
« on: March 21, 2022, 09:36:43 PM »
Looks amazing, I'm especially excited to get my hands on the Invictus... that said, is all this new weapon/ship content you've been showing off for a relatively small 0.95.2 release, or are we being tortured by something we won't be able to play with for over a year? (Of course I understand if this isn't an answerable question!)

This post has me hyped and I need to know how much I need to suppress it.

Suggestions / Re: Minor suggestions before 1.0
« on: December 25, 2021, 02:07:36 PM »

Simulator improvements
This is also something that can be accomplished by playing with the game's files but there really should be more varied sim enemies. I don't understand the point of multiples of same ships (3 Dominators...) and then d-modded versions on top of that. If anyone comes here and says "oh if you add more ships that are newer it'll just become crowded to navigate", please take a look at it now and say that seems fine. Ideally you should be able to pick and choose variants for most ships (like a drop down menu with variant names), and then how many you want of those. Because we currently have 2 exact same Onslaughts for some reason. Yet there's barely any choice in testing your builds against cruiser enemies. You have the tankiest son of a gun ship, and some kiters. No carriers, no Champion, no Apogee, etc.

If I seem a bit too passionate about this, the reason behind that is I spend A LOT of time testing out builds and seeing how they perform. having a bit more options and a nicer way of doing things would be awesome.

I definitely agree with this one, I also spend a ton of time in the simulator - and I doubt we're the only ones - so it's a shame the vanilla simulator is so lacking in options.

I like the idea an old(?) mod had where you unlock ships in the simulator as you fight them. This give you more variety and also lets you test ships against the various end-game enemies once you have met them without "ruining the surprise" by having them available to fight from the beginning.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: December 11, 2021, 12:14:38 PM »
A lot of people have pointed out the new ships are good - and I agree - but I want to say the burn drive change is incredible. I've been playing around in a Dominator and it feels like a monster now. It's always been one of my favourite ships, but before, you'd constantly end up in annoying situations where something wounded would have its flux up and start running, but you couldn't safely chase it (or if you started chasing it'd move to the side and you'd fly past), but now you can often punish stuff that's running away from you. It's overall a much more satisfying ship to fly.

It's also good that despite being pretty mobile now, it's less precise and mostly useful offensively (and in fact usually requires you to compromise your defense at least a bit) so it feels way different to use than hightech mobility.

I suspect the Enforcer and Onslaught will feel much better too.

Blog Posts / Re: Skill Changes, Part 1
« on: July 02, 2021, 02:15:53 PM »
Derelict Operations only affecting ships with officers seems weird. You're looking to to run a fleet of trashy junk ships... and then you need to make sure they all have officers?

The blogpost didn't mention anything about officers in the section about Derelict Operations, so assuming it's gonna work that way based on the current Derelict Contingent may or may not be accurate. vOv

It says so in the picture with the skill desription.

Blog Posts / Re: Skill Changes, Part 1
« on: July 02, 2021, 02:06:48 PM »
Derelict Operations only affecting ships with officers seems weird. You're looking to to run a fleet of trashy junk ships... and then you need to make sure they all have officers?

Suggestions / Re: Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships
« on: June 01, 2021, 12:37:39 PM »
The problem with that is that they play very different roles in the game. Derelicts are supposed to be a "low level enemy", something that beginner players can easily beat up on. On the other hand the remnant play the opposite role, and end-game enemy for experienced players to take on as a challenge.

That said, I do think that the game is in a better place now in terms of things to do for beginner players, and the derelicts feel a little too easy, so I wouldn't mind seeing a general buff to derelicts - although I have no idea how to make ships without shields "work". The burn drive change will help. Maybe have them slowly regenerate armor? That would seem fitting with what they are.

Suggestions / Re: Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships
« on: June 01, 2021, 12:07:59 PM »
I'll just say, I'm looking at what it'd take to make them useful in some way with AS. I mean, the frigate-sized ones are probably mostly on the outs regardless, but the bigger ones could have some play in them. It's hard to see them being a top-tier choice, but if they were at least viable, that'd be a fun extra option to have.

I definitely wouldn't expect them to ever be top tier, but it would be great if, like you said, they were viable as part of a junk fleet. I think in order to make that work, you need to be able to use a bunch of them, which this suggestion helps with. I think that you also need to be able to ignore them dying (since they're going to die a lot no matter what), and they might need to be a bit tougher too (otherwise they might die too fast to actually accomplish anything). Derelict Contingent probably accomplishes those last two currently, but who knows about the new version.

Also you could get the mothership to drop a blueprint package so you can keep using them in the later game.

Suggestions / Re: Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships
« on: June 01, 2021, 11:12:54 AM »
I like this idea a lot, I think it's too bad that currently there's no real way to use explorarium ships, or at least not in the relatively large numbers where it would be the most fun to use them. It seems like one of the playstyles that Alex is trying to encourage through skills is one where you use relatively low quality ships, and you don't care very much if they die. Explorarium ships feel like they should be a great match for this playstyle (because the ships are really bad and die all the time) but currently they don't really work. I don't know how "derelict contingent" is going to end up in the balance patch, but I'd love it if you could make a bunch of explorarium ships work alongside other regular low-tech ships in some sort of... pirate robot fleet.

Blog Posts / Re: A Tale of Two Tech Levels
« on: May 28, 2021, 04:30:23 PM »
(Half-thinking of a low-tech destroyer build around a large slot - sort of a Sunder in that sense, but with some things that make it a different concept...)

Full-think it! Vanilla needs a couple more large ballistics imo and upgunned destroyer is a lot of fun for the player.

I'd love to try the damper-shields on a couple of low tech ships. It might be a bit much on an Onslaught like you said, but on a Dominator? That definitely might make the 25 DP seem more worth it! Very excited about the changes.

Suggestions / Re: High Flux Increases Phase Cooldown
« on: May 05, 2021, 12:33:43 PM »
I did a bunch of other tests with the first mod with me piloting and missed the follow-up posts, but they just further confirmed that the first change was too much.

Reduced base phase cooldown from 2 to 1.5
Reduced max mult from 10 to 4 (6 seconds)
Reduced base from 2 to 1.01 (reduces the mult more when flux is low)
Changed flux percent mult to only consider hard flux

This feels better to play without skills, I think making it depend on hard flux only is mandatory, otherwise energy weapons are practically unusable. Keeping the maximum time down to 6 seconds or so is much better as well, it gets rid of the awful feeling from the first version that the right mouse button was basically a "give yourself an overload" button. In the AI's hands the doom can now beat some cruisers 1v1 (it can beat a fury and an eagle, though it usually loses to a champion or an aurora), and it usually loses to an astral (Alex wanted it to be able to beat an astral as a matter of balance last version, though things have changed). It also no longer dies quickly in fleet battles. So currently it is probably not worth 35 DP in the AI's hands, but it's not useless. I tried it with skills and smods and it's still incredibly strong. The phase cooldown just isn't the reason that it's so strong this version, the issue is skills. I do think that a relatively minor change to phase cooldown as above is a neat idea, and I like the idea of the cooldown being very fast at very low flux, but I don't think it's the right lever to balance the doom.

So much of the doom's current feeling of invincibility comes from the incredible speed that come from phase mastery. Mine strike also regens too fast, especially with systems expertise, but these things are easily changed. I don't think anything more extreme needs to be done than something like:

- some small change to phase cooldown like above that punishes phase ships for having high hard flux
- remove phase mastery or significantly reduce the phase mastery bonuses, maybe something like flat +30 speed and -20% phase cooldown
- cut the mine strike regen rate by 50% and charges to 3 or 4
- remove the range bonus from systems expertise

I think those changes would go a long way towards making the doom feel less silly, while letting it still be one of the best ships in the game (which I think it should be).

I also want to point out I don't really like Alex's idea of making phase ships into armor tanks, armor tanking with them just makes them feel like low-tech ships and reduces the gameplay variety. Phase ships should feel very different to play imo, and when I was armor tanking with them it felt just like armor tanking with a dominator or onslaught except flicking the phase to avoid torpedoes instead of flicking the shields.

Suggestions / Re: High Flux Increases Phase Cooldown
« on: May 05, 2021, 08:53:45 AM »
It seems to make phase ships into pushovers against fast ships or anything with torpedoes. With unskilled ships piloted by the AI in the simulator, a fury trivially beats a doom and so does 2 medusas, (its performance against hammerheads is similar, with 3 hammerheads winning in either case and 2 having a better chance with the mod) without the mod the doom wins both fights easily. In a fleet setting it's harder to measure, but with a little playing around in fleets I suspect that the problem would be even more significant. If a phase ship unphases with any flux at all near other ships, it is simply to easy a target for missiles and torpedoes. For example, I just did a small 120 DP midline vs hightech fleet, and the doom was the very first ship that died because it got smoked by a couple wings of khopeshes and there was nothing it could do.

If I'm the one piloting, it feels way too easy, even without skills. I can kill a doom in an unskilled medusa, in a fury it's a joke. When there are multiple ships around, it's even more of a joke. It just can't do anything about you hitting it with torpedoes. If a phase ship gets to even ~30% flux, it's dead. I didn't try piloting the phase ships myself too much but I can't imagine it not feeling bad to be unable to let your flux get high at all. I did try an afflictor a little and it's terrible, you can't use antimatter blasters at all.

I've said it a couple of times before, but I think one of the best changes in the game in 0.9 was the buffing of the doom and the addition of the radiant. Having those two incredibly strong ships means I have to be careful in battles against them. With this change, I know for sure I'd no longer worry about dooms at all, just more cannon fodder to mindlessly blow up. IMO it's an awful change that makes the game less challenging and less fun.

Edit: I just went back to the game and I was wrong about the doom dying first; it actually died second, after the shade lol.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 03, 2021, 03:18:43 PM »
The only thing I have not done yet is develop a contact to spawn Tesseract bounties (for their weapons), but I do not feel like grinding for that.

I think this bounty only spawns once anyway, or at least that has been my experience and some people on discord agreed.

I think it's a little unfortunate and you should be able to do it multiple times, although I assume we're going to be seeing more of them at some point through some different mechanic.

Suggestions / Re: High Flux Increases Phase Cooldown
« on: May 03, 2021, 10:37:36 AM »
I agree that changing skills and systems - specifically phase mastery, systems expertise, mine strike and quantum disruptor - should be the approach, and I don't understand the appeal of nerfing anything good so hard that it becomes weak. The game is much better with the doom as a powerful ship than it was with the doom being useless prior to 0.9.

A small increase to phase cooldown as flux increases seems reasonable, but giving a 10-20 second cooldown as suggested is just outrageous. Do you really think the AI would be able to handle that? Phase ships would either be complete jokes that die the first time they unphased in every battle, or they'd be complete cowards unwilling to ever commit to an attack and just run away until they run out of PPT or retreat. Either way the game gets noticeably worse.

Suggestions / Re: Return building in SO with cost of 2 story points.
« on: April 29, 2021, 06:32:03 PM »
I will say there's one annoying thing about the current state of SO, which is that because the +10% OP skill was removed, even though ships have a lot more OP overall for hull mods, some ships now have a hard time fitting in SO + weapons + vents. So if you look at a SO dominator for example, while it's great that you can build in heavy armor and expanded missile racks, if you try to fit in high OP weapons - like storm needlers, which sucks because SO dominator was pretty much the only use for this gun in the game - then you don't have enough space to put in enough vents to make the SO worth it! I used to like a 2 storm needler 2 assault chaingun SO dominator but now I have to use Mark IXs instead.

This issue (which is not really a big deal) would be solved by making SO able to be built-in for 2 slots (which I like), or making story points give OP (which I kind of don't like because it gives the ships less individual character).

I would prefer an alternative system where hull mods take up their own slots, and hull mod slots are available on a case-by-case basis but generally with low-tech favoring lots of hull mod slots, and high tech favoring very few.

So for example, a low tech ship may have 6 slots to work with, a midtech may have 4, and a high tech may have 2.
Rather than paying an OP price for each hull mod, you can just put whatever hull mod you want.

I think this is a neat idea that partially deals with what I perceive as a growing difference in power between high-tech and low-tech, but it feels like such a big change, it would require completely rebalancing all the hull mods which is a lot to ask.

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