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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Topics - Squigzilla

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I often see requests from players who want to expand the boarding mechanics of Starsector. In-combat boarding using assault boats/drop pods, specialised weapons like ion canons that make boarding more likely/possible, and detailed post-battle systems that add more nuance to the boarding process have all been suggested at various times by many different people. Each post brings a lovely debate about the relative merits of different options, so it is clear that there is player interest in the topic.

That said, I believe many people don't want more complex boarding mechanics for their own sake; they really want more control over acquiring their favorite ships. Diving into a tough fight in the hopes of boarding a Hyperion but being given a Buffalo MkI instead is extremely disheartening. If you aren't allied with the Tri-Tachyon you might not have another chance to acquire this ship for a very long time.

Am I mistaken, or is that the core reason boarding overhauls are so often requested? I hope there are other methods for finding specific (especially rare) ships planned for the future.

General Discussion / Favorite fighter wings
« on: November 26, 2014, 11:30:07 PM »
What are all your favorite fighter or bomber wings? I'm particularly curious about people's thoughts on the more unusual ones like the Gladius or Warthog -- are they worth acquiring, or is spamming Broadsword wings more effective?

Suggestions / New Skills to Improve Fighters
« on: May 11, 2013, 05:00:52 AM »
After playing version 54.1a for a while, I've found that while I often a few fighter wings and a carrier for support in the early-mid game they eventually lose usefulness as I  gain levels.  Many of the benefits gained by the Technology aptitude (better hullmods, extra OP) do not apply to fighters, and the percentage benefits to flux dissipation/capacity are not quite as helpful for shieldless fighter wings as they are for shielded ships.  As a result, I find myself using a couple high-speed frigates for point capture and harassment duties, and my once-proud fleet of fighters ends up gathering space dust in an abandoned space station.

Personally, I'd like to see a skill or two that specifically helps fighters, helping them scale better into the late game.  Any thoughts on this matter?

General Discussion / Mjolnir Cannon
« on: September 10, 2012, 12:20:17 AM »
The Mjolnir Cannon has a very nice weapon sprite, and the weapon's description in the Codex makes the gun sound absolutely terrifying. It's also the only ballistic weapon that deals energy damage (thermal pulse cannon not included), so it gives low- and medium-tech ships all kinds of tactical considerations normally reserved for high tech ships.

Unfortunately, the Mjolnir consistently underperforms relative to other large ballistic weapons. Storm needlers and gauss cannons are much better for taking out shields, while hellebores and HAGs outclass it as an anti-armor weapon. Any ships with large ballistic mounts either have enough weapon slots to mount both kinetic and high-explosive weapons at once (Onslaught, Conquest) or can't satisfy the cannon's massive flux requirements (Dominator).

The end result is a very cool weapon that just begs to be used, but is so inefficient that mounting one on your ship just isn't worth it. Am I missing something, or does the Mjolnir need some significant buffing to make it combat-ready?

General Discussion / Bombs away! (your homework for tonight)
« on: September 09, 2012, 01:34:51 AM »
  • Step 1: Purchase a Lasher at your local Home Depot.
  • Step 2: Head to the nearest arts and crafts store, then buy five cluster bomb launchers.
  • Step 3: Mount said bomb launchers on said lasher; install extended magazines and augmented engines; then season with more hull mods, capacitors, and missiles according to personal taste. Sabots are particularly mean.
  • Step 4: Find a target, blast "Ride of the Valkyries," activate accelerated ammo feeders and CHARGE.
  • Step 5: Watch the fireworks.

Yes, bombs are ballistic weapons and are affected by AAFs. Also, be sure to put the bombs in a LINKED weapon group. We don't go half-arsed on this.

Suggestions / Character/skill discussion
« on: September 08, 2012, 11:02:55 PM »
A lot of people seem to be speculating about the recently-announced character progression and skill system, but the discussion is spread across many different threads. Feel free to post your opinions/hopes/fears about this topic here.

NOTE: this is not a set of demands for Alex, this is just intended to get everyone's ideas in one place. I'm posting this under "Suggestions" because the features under discussion aren't implemented yet.

General Discussion / Will fighters use frag and cluster bombs?
« on: July 17, 2012, 04:35:36 PM »
I've had an awful lot of fun cruising around in a Lasher with augmented engines, extended magazines and five cluster bomb launchers in the past -- those tiny orange warheads look so cute until they rip a Dominator in half with a series of explosions.

The Piranhas use standard bomb bays as their primary armament already, but frag and cluster bombs don't show up in any of the standard ship or fighter layouts.  This is quite odd, seeing as all types of bombs are easily found in the orbital station shops.  Alex, are there any plans to implement these two bomb types in future craft?  It's understandable if the details are still being determined, but I am curious about the eventual uses of these unique weapon systems.

General Discussion / The Noble Mining Drone
« on: April 14, 2012, 10:10:04 AM »
I've had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Wasp interceptor drones over my Starfarer career -- I love deploying them, but I hate fighting against them -- but the poor mining drones don't seem nearly as effective.  This isn't surprising as they are civilian drones pressed into military service, but they just seem too weak to use effectively.  Their shortcomings really stand out when compared to the Wasps: while they are astonishingly durable, they cost more FP to deploy, have half the Wasps' combat speed, AND mount a weaker main gun (the mining laser really is a joke when compared to regular PD lasers).

Recently, I assembled a force of six mining drone wings and two Wasp wings to accompany my flagship Venture cruiser and a couple freighters -- I imagined that my admiral was a miner who needed an escort for his cargo but couldn't find any skilled fighter pilots, so he gathered a large group of mining drones and some captured Wasp interceptors to provide fighter coverage for his trading fleet.  I found that the mining drones did surprisingly well against Broadswords and Talons, whose kinetic and fragmentation weaponry could barely scratch the paint on the drones.  Unfortunately, concentrated fire would take its toll on my noble drones, and they were far too slow to escape when they needed to refit at my Venture.  After less than ten battles, my entire force of mining drones had been wiped out, but both Wasp wings were still operational.

Is there any chance of a buff for these brave little drones, or are they doomed to remain filler in civilian fleets?

General Discussion / Is the Conquest-class battleship in the campaign?
« on: March 01, 2012, 12:49:34 AM »
The Conquest is my favorite capital ship by far -- I love ripping enemies apart with those broadside cannons, and the torpedo launchers on the prow are just devastating.  I've been looking for one in the campaign to serve as my flagship, but it just doesn't seem to exist in that game mode.  The Hegemony doesn't use them in their system defense fleets, the mercenaries don't have anything bigger than the Eagle or Venture cruisers, and I've only seen Onslaughts and Atlas freighters in the capital ship section of the store.  Am I missing something, or are there no Conquests flying around the Corvus system?  Up to this point, I've seen all the other ships from the challenge missions somewhere in the campaign (except the Omen-class, but I can't say I miss the poor little bullet magnet very much), plus some brand-new craft like the shuttle, so it puzzles me that such a massive battleship would get left out.

General Discussion / Suicidal Frigates
« on: February 24, 2012, 11:00:52 AM »
I've noticed that my frigates tend to pass extremely close to larger ships while making their attack runs, getting themselves killed far more often than they should.  This seems to happen most frequently against high-tech ships that don't have many blind spots in weapons coverage, such as the Aurora or Apogee.  Unless a frigate has exclusively long range weapons (ex. the Wolf-class close support with its graviton beam and three tactical lasers), they get so close to enemy capital ships that they nearly bump shields with their target.  Against the Apogee's pulse lasers or the heavy blasters of the Aurora, this often ends with a quick shield overload and explosive death.  Even ships like the Tempest, which has a graviton beam for long-range fighting, prefer to dash into pulse laser range against capital ships instead of remaining at a distance.  Is there a quirk in the frigate AI that prevents them from accounting for the wider weapons coverage of some ships, or does this happen because some ships are simply better equipped to deal with frigates?  I rarely have this problem when fighting low tech ships like the Onslaught, since most of its weapons face forward and its turning speed is abysmal. 

Additionally, the explosions from dying capital ships do a ludicrous amount of damage to nearby unshielded ships and claim the lives of many brave frigate captains.  While playing a campaign yesterday, my small fleet (my Medusa flagship, a Wolf, a Tempest, and a few wings of Broadswords/Piranhas) ambushed a damaged Apogee cruiser, the sole survivor of a large battle between some mercenaries and the Tri-Tachyon.  I saved right before the battle in case I didn't capture the cruiser (I REALLY wanted an Apogee).  I reloaded the save around ten times and lost a frigate in two or three of the battles; the Apogee stood no chance of winning (it never survived for longer than a minute), but my ships passed so close to the dying cruiser that the explosion disabled them as well.  Do frigates not account for the possibility of their target exploding violently while their nose cone is lodged firmly in its engines, or did the cruiser just die too quickly for them to fly clear of the blast radius?  If the latter is true, the deaths of my frigates are my own fault -- overloaded capital ships do not last long when hit by four Atropos torpedoes and a full load of Piranha bombs in the exact same spot. ;D

In case you are wondering, I never did capture that Apogee.  It turns out that 33 marines are not enough to successfully board a captured cruiser.

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