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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

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Topics - Gothars

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Suggestions / Saving NPC fleets for an ad-hoc bounty
« on: September 16, 2022, 04:08:51 AM »
It would be nice if saving npc fleets were acknowledged by the game in some way. I feel almost a bit betrayed when I see a trade fleet in a hopeless fight with a pirate armada, jump in to save them - and then nothing happens, not even a "thank you".

I don't know what the simplest technical implementation would be, maybe if fleets in a fight would generate a bounty for that fight? That way you would simply get paid credits/reputation per ship you destroyed, and the game would not have to differentiate between a npc fleets that needs to be saved and one that doesn't need your help. In the latter case, you would simply not get to destroy many enemy ships and get little payout.

Bounty amount could increase with distance to the core worlds, I imagine out in the fringes any help would be doubly welcome.

Of course this would enable some shady tactics like luring a pirate fleet to an NPC fleet to get them into trouble in the first place, before "saving" them. But that sounds like a fun (and very role-playable) option for the player.

To take this one step further, the player could also set an ad-hoc bounty during a battle (or in the dialog before) and see if any neutral NPC fleets in the vicinity will join later during the battle. That would be another mechanic to minimize the incentive for reloading.

General Discussion / The purpose of scavenging
« on: September 11, 2022, 06:32:24 AM »
Help me out here, because I don’t quite see it. I think the scavenging mechanic is somewhat interesting from a role playing perspective, but what is the in-game purpose? It seems like there is no choice here – if there is a debris field, you scavenge is. The "risk" is really just costs in the form of a bit of machinery and supplies, on average far below the pay out. So, if it’s a non-decision, why not just role the spoils into the normal salvaging loot screen?

You could just have salvaging as one of the post battle options – instead of harrying or pursuing the enemy, you increase the loot by "thoroughly dismantling the wreckage“, where all you salvage bonuses apply. Same with scavenging stations, what is the point of having two consecutive loot screens most of the time?
A downside of choosing the „thorough“ option might be that you can’t move quickly for a few seconds after the battle, so if there are enemy fleets nearby, you can’t escape.
If you don‘t choose the „thorough“ option, a debris field is generated and you can get away faster.

Or is there some fun to be had with the current scavenging mechanic that I'm simply missing?

Suggestions / Frigate micromangement and auto-retreat
« on: September 07, 2022, 12:06:09 PM »
After picking the game up again recently, this turned out to be quite annoying. Frigates almost always run out of CR in bigger battles, but they do so one after the other. The "command frequency open" feature fires back here, since it kinda forces you to check all your frigates for low CR (or other reasons to retreat them) any time one of them needs to go home, lest you waste CP by dong it shortly after. This takes a good 10-20 seconds each time, and really takes me out of the fight. Which to avoid is, afaik, the express purpose of the hands-of tactical layer.

I would suggest to make retreat free if a ship is past Peak Readiness Time. I really don't feel this is an interesting use of a CP, it's almost always an automatic decision. If anything, ordering them to stay past PRT when they want to retreat could be interesting. In general, I would prefer for all ships to auto retreat with low CR/HP. That would a) save on boring micromanagement, b) feel realistic and c) would present a chance for officer personality types to be further differentiated - the more aggression, the later the retreat. To avoid situations were ships retreat before you notice/can stop them, they might even just idle at the retreat border as long as no enemy is close. They'd already stop losing CR there, after all.
Then for super intense battles you could have an "Hold the line!" option in the standing orders section (under full assault!/full retreat!) that basically sets the current behavior of no auto-retreats.

But if that is too much, I can think of several other ways to address this:
- When issuing a retreat order, highlight all ships that are low on PRT/HP. Could be framed as them asking for permission to withdraw.
- In any case, it would also help to show (low) PRT on the tactical screen. Little clock symbol?
- Slow the PRT timer on frigates while they operate close to a bigger ship (that still has PRT). One main purpose of the tight time limit on frigs is stop them from kiting, which they can't really do with such an "anchor".

Suggestions / Hazard pay
« on: November 17, 2021, 03:39:16 PM »
A simple idea: If you lose crew, the cost of new crew goes up. It goes slowly back down over time. The amount it goes up should be determined by percentage of crew lost, not absolute numbers.
This should give more impact to losing crew, and thus more use to crew saving hullmods and tactics, without overcomplicating things.

Suggestions / Show total supplies needed for repair/recovery
« on: November 16, 2021, 05:12:17 AM »
I think I made similar suggestions in the past, but I still think its one of the most glaringly missing QoL features: please let the supply use tooltip show how many supplies will be used in total for ongoing repair & CR recovery work. Ideally, it would warn you (flash red?) if that number is higher than the amount of supplies you carry.

That stat is, after all, the most important factor when deciding whether to halt ongoing repairs (or turn for a port). It would be immensely helpful to not have to guesstimate it. 

Suggestions / Retreat border moves upward as losses occur
« on: November 05, 2021, 12:27:56 PM »
While playing iron mode I notice more than ever how all or nothing battles are most of the time. If you lose, you usually lose most of your fleets, not just some ship. One reason is that by the time a battle goes haywire, your ships are not in the position for an organized retreat and most get annihilated. That's kind of a shame, I think, as it encourages you to play safe and boring (or safescum).

My idea is simply to move upward the line after which ships can engage their burndrive to escape each time one of your ships get destroyed. That way, if you start loosing ships, your other ships have only a short way to escape. And if you lose a lot of ships, the line will move up so much that the survivors can just turn and engage their burndrive on the spot.

Suggestions / Slipstream opposite: slow fields
« on: September 26, 2021, 05:52:21 AM »
Now we will have ways to get easier and cheaper through the Sector, which is great. But there's also a downside to it, which is this:
Having a fuel efficient, small fleet will be less of an advantage. Likely even fuel guzzling armadas will now be able to travel to the farthest stars, provided the currents are favorable. Which, in my, opinion, is a shame. I love running lean fleets, and even before this change it was rarely worth it for long.

So, here's an idea. There could be certain areas in space where fuel consumption is dramatically increased and fleets are somewhat slowed. These areas would be located at the most remote regions of the sector and surround some star systems filled with high-value loot. In effect, these systems are "farther away" and can only be reached by efficient fleets. Visually, I think it could just be another type of nebula, maybe with some warning beacons on the edges.

(It might also be interesting to be able to generate temporary slow fields around enemy systems to decrease accessibility, but that's a whole other suggestion.)

Suggestions / Safety Override should kill crew
« on: July 26, 2021, 03:43:53 AM »
Meaning hull damage leads to more causalities than it
normally would, the reverse effect of reinforced bulkheads. In combat, it would make little practical difference. But it would add so much flavor to SO, adding a moral component to the decision to use it that, at the moment, is only implied. And it would help to explain why no faction except the Luddites uses this often powerful hullmod.

Bug Reports & Support / Audio doesn't work after bluetooth disconnect
« on: November 12, 2020, 02:00:55 PM »
If my bluetooth headphones get disconnected, either manually or by distance, Starsector audio stops working. Other sources still play audio normally, either over reconnected bluetooth or normal speakers. Starsector needs a restart, though.

Bug Reports & Support / Menu turns black at 3440x1440
« on: November 08, 2020, 04:06:26 PM »
When I start the game, I see the loading bar for a few seconds, then the screen turns black. When I alt-tab out of the game and enter it again, one of two things happens: either it is still black, or the menu shows up  for a few seconds and then the screen turns black. When I try it in windowed mode, it also turns black, but when I put it in the background behind some other window it freezes without turning black.

I tried:

- Reinstalling
- Vsync on/off
- fps 60/100
- alwaysUndecoratedAtFullscreen":true/false

My System:

- Win 10 clean install
- Ryzen 3600
- GTX 1660 Super (current drivers)
- 3440x1440 100Hz Monitor (DP)

I also tried running it at a lower resolution in a window, that fixed the issue. On my old computer in ran in 3440x1440 no problem, though (at 60Hz, HDMI).


Suggestions / Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« on: October 31, 2020, 08:55:49 AM »
I want to suggest a toggle in the weapon group menu that either unifies or separates different weapon types within a group.

If unified, they behave as now, all weapons in it will fire. If separated, the group will fire the weapons of one type only, and you have to select the group a second time to be able to fire the weapons of another type.

For example, you could put your two  Sabot- and two Harpoon-launchers into group 2 and choose "separated". If you hit "2"in combat, you fire only the Sabots with every click (either "alternating" or "linked", that toggle also still applies). Once the enemy shield is down, you select the group again with "2" and now fire the Harpoons with every click.

The advantage should be obvious, it allows you to put weapons that you'd normally put in different groups into one group, freeing up groups to control other weapons more precisely.

A disadvantage of such a group is that you can't fire all weapons within it together, so you give up max firepower for finer control. E.g., it's nice to have kinetic and HE guns fire separately as long as you are in a flux contest, but once the enemy is overloaded and its armor broken, you might prefer pure dps from firing everything at once. That would not work well with a separated group.

I think it's really best for weapons you never want to fire together, like missiles with different damage types, or two very flux limited weapon types with different damage types.

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