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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 - TaLaR

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Discussions / Final Theory (tactical 4x-lite)
« on: January 09, 2022, 11:46:23 PM »
Recently found this little gem:

A 4X-lite with focus on tactical combat and minimalist campaign gameplay. Combat is really good and has impressive mechanical depth. My standards for 'good' tactics are pretty high and the previous game that caught my attention to same extent was probably Battle Brothers.

The only issue for me is that replayability is limited, since campaigns tend to play out quite similarly once you figure out how everything works. Though it should release a new fleet DLC soon to add some variety.

Suggestions / +1 Burn version of Augmented Drive Field
« on: April 06, 2021, 03:40:28 AM »
Often certain ships can't be effectively used in fleet because at base Burn they would slow the fleet down, while paying full price of Augmented Drive Field makes them unviable.
And if I build ADF in, such ship will have a dead hullmod if/when I drop fleet base burn later.

I always build my fleet for 20 sustained burn. This can be achieved by:
1) 10+ base burn ships only. Early frigates start + occasional Shrike/Falcon(p).
2) 9 base burn fleet + navigation skill. DEs and Falcons, but also large ADF capitals like Onslaught or Paragon. Cruisers or fast capitals would overpay for ADF, as such not competitive.
3) 8 base burn fleet + navigation skill + 2 tugs. Cruisers and fast capitals (Odyssey and Conquest), but I can't use most normal capitals - they would either slow me down or underperform due to overpriced ADF.
4) 7 base burn fleet + navigation skill + 4 tugs. Slow capitals focused. Not sure if it's even viable way to build a fleet with low DP skill caps of 0.95. But 8 burn cruisers and fast capitals are wasted in such fleet.

General Discussion / Drover overnerfed?
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:45:09 AM »
Higher DP cost and nerfed system. Plus overall fighter nerf via much reduced skill effects.

Drover now has problems maintaining replenishment even with officer + expanded decks while using Sparks (which barely die, compared to Talons).
Add any bombers and it's replenishment dives straight to zero.

I don't have L3R to see how much it would have helped, but opportunity cost of taking that skill is too high anyway.

Which leaves Heron and Astral as the only pure carriers worth having (Condor is too vulnerable and easy to pop for any random frigate).

Based on in-game description mercenaries should not count, and in officer list they do not: I have 8/10 displayed with 8 normal officers and 2 mercs right after taking the Officer Management skill.
But I can't hire new normal officers until I fire one of mercenaries anyway.

Suggestions / Skill reassignment improvements
« on: March 28, 2021, 06:44:21 AM »
Elite skills: keep the disabled skill elite, so that I could return to it later. Otherwise I'm pretty much locked out of elite promotions for skills I'm not 100% certain I'll never re-roll.

Permanent skills: allow to reassign, with following drawbacks:
- Officer Management: pop extra officers above cap from ships and prevent reassignment (same as when you pick up extra officers from pods)
- Officer Training: officer max and current level reduced to 5, officers with 6 skills get popped from ships and can't be reassigned until you pick 1 skill to remove.
- Special Modifications: any ship with above current cap vents/caps or 3 built-in hullmods suffer massive max CR reduction and/or high malfunction rate at any CR. This one I'm less certain about, since there doesn't seem to be as clean way to undo it. One option is to allow to remove built-in hullmods (optionally refunding spent SP cost: for example if it granted 70% bonus exp when built-in, the committed cost to be refunded is 30%).

Bug Reports & Support / [0.95a-RC9] Crash during combat
« on: March 27, 2021, 12:53:37 PM »
Not sure if related, but I just pressed X to swap piloted ship at that moment.

[Thread-3] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain  - java.lang.NullPointerException
   at Source)
   at Source)
   at Source)
   at Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatEngine.advanceInner(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatEngine.advance(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatState.traverse(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.state.AppDriver.begin(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain.main(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher.o00000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$ Source)
   at Source)

Which they obviously shouldn't.

1) Enemy Onslaught vs Drover + a frigate. A frigate is too small to follow, so Drover just keeps distance as I'd want it to. Both are fast enough to never be caught, so the only threat is death by PPT/CR.
2) Enemy Onslaught vs Drover + a fast DE. DE avoids Burn Driving Onslaught, Drover lags behind and tries to follow even through the death zone right in front of Onslaught, eventually dying in few passes.

Suggestions / Fast missile racks use with recharging missiles
« on: July 05, 2020, 02:37:51 AM »
FMR can work with finite missiles to burst the target faster.
And works even better with cooldown-based missiles, the only one in vanilla being Salamanders.

However, FMR is atrociously bad with recharging missiles like Pilums. You don't get significant burst like rapid-firing Harpoons/Sabots, neither you get sustain of Salamanders.

Maybe FMR should also boost recharge proportional to it's natural rate? For example for Pilums, which recharge at about half firing rate, 1 FMR charge should restore close to half clip.

Or at least stock variants for FMR ships used by enemies shouldn't focus on Pilums.

Suggestions / Alternating weapon group selection improvement
« on: July 04, 2020, 01:33:42 AM »
Don't change currently selected weapon within alternating group when switching between different weapon groups (but do switch if re-selecting same group).

For example, 4x2 Reaper group (with Missile Rack):
- Fire 2 top, selection moves to third (1 1 2* 2)
- Switch to other weapon group
- Switch back to Reaper group, selection is on 4th (1 1 2 2*)

This is inconvenient, because if I fire 2 in a row, I'd end up with (0 1* 2 1), rather than (1* 1 1 1). As result I need to pause and fix selection before firing for optimal result.

Suggestions / Fix AI suicide by Fortress Shield
« on: May 25, 2020, 12:42:49 AM »
For example, 2 fully flux optimized soft flux (3 Grav, 7 Tacs) Auroras vs single flux/shield optimized Paragon (any weapons).
Auroras can't really get through shield, but AI will activate fortress shield anyway, eventually dying.

The fact that it's unnecessary suicide can be easily proven by disabling autopilot/weapons on Paragon and just going afk with shields up.

Can Paragon AI check whether soft flux buildup is actually dangerous before activating Fortress shield? Imo it's worth activating only if:
- incoming soft buildup > dissipation AND there is enough soft flux built up that it hampers weapon fire. Should be aware of more than just immediate rates (not count a TL/PL at it's burst rate unless overload is imminent). If only combined incoming soft buildup + own weapons/shield soft buildup > dissipation, it needs to intermittently hold fire instead.
- incoming hard buildup (including projectiles in flight) > fortress shield buildup for period sufficient to block the projectiles. This rule should also take into account how ready to fire is Paragon itself (not worth sitting on fully recharged weapons with low soft flux for minor hard flux gain).

Suggestions / Autofit automation
« on: February 06, 2020, 02:50:05 AM »
At any moment when docked at station allowing cr-loss-free refit, player can initiate autofit pass for all managed ships according to following rules:

- Each ship can be linked to autofit template OR set unmanaged.
- Autofit template can be set as default for hull type.
- Ships not matching their current template display warning in fleet/refit lists. 3 states: not outfitted/ partial fit (autofit pass was applied to ship, but did not reach exact fit)/ exact fit.
- Updating autofit template allows to update all linked ships by initiating autofit pass. Their status drops to 'not outfitted' (since there was no autofit pass with updated template).
- Any story-point spending (to make a hullmod built-in) by autofit needs to be confirmed by player. With even larger warning for any attempts to remove built-in hullmods.
- Autofit pass can be configured whether stored/bought weapons are used, whether to accept partial fits (or just leave as is), whether to touch story-point hullmods.
- Ships are processed in fleet/refit list order.
- (optional improvement) Failing autofit pass can create exact list of lacking weapons to allow queuing their production of in 1 click (assuming you have blueprints).
- (optional improvement) A ship can queued to be produced with all weapons needed for it's default autofit template.

What good it does:
- Easy management of large lategame fleets
- Removes at least one obstacle towards massing smaller ships being a viable tactic.

Suggestions / Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« on: December 23, 2019, 07:08:35 AM »
There are 2 cases when mines can insta-kill a ship (or at least inflict heavy unavoidable damage):

1st case is when a frigate moves too fast. Frigates have very small exclusion area, and speed-buffed frigate can end up in situation when even perfect
reaction is not fast enough to avoid the mine. Player can manage this by intentionally slowing down around Dooms, but AI ships are *doomed*, lol.

2nd case is even worse: when friendly fighters move near the ship and run into a freshly spawned mine. Short of raised 360 shield or active phase cloak, nothing can prevent damage in this situation. In fact, friendly carriers will do their best to setup you exactly for this kind of problem with their insistence on using fighter escorts.

Also, UI-wise can we get clear indicator for piloted ship's and selected enemy's ability radius? Not seeing exact mine deployment radius exacerbates these issues ten fold, since I can't even reliably tell when I need to take countermeasures (slow down and deploy shield in direction of friendly fighters). Though I wouldn't mind a big red indicator 'Mine threat' whenever I'm in Doom's or Station's reach on top of that.

Suggestions / Phase ship AI improvement
« on: September 19, 2019, 10:53:27 PM »
Now, the obvious endgame for phase frigates is omni-shield bypass maneuvers, but I'm not asking for that much here. This topic is for some of simpler issues.

1) Phase ship are too easily distracted by fighters and missiles. This is the big one.
2) They often fail to properly to align rear-shots even against slower front shielded targets incapable of resisting (there are cases of this in Drover video).
3) Do ships take missile's speed vector and turn rate/ acceleration into account when dodging them? Doesn't seem to be the case.
I mean dodging a missile by backpedaling buys you much less time than letting it pass through you.

Drover made as harmless and easy to exploit for Afflictor as possible without leaving it completely unarmed (yep, Drover wins anyway):

Vigilance with ECCM-less Pilums (they are practically static obstacles from phase ship's perspective, yet it spends inordinate amount of time dodging them):

Suggestions / AI disables PD too easily
« on: September 18, 2019, 10:22:50 PM »
PD tends to have quite bad flux efficiency, so it often tends to be first on chopping block when AI starts to prioritize what to disable due to rising flux levels.
And it's more often then not wrong in doing so. Usually enemy itself isn't even in PD firing range, so the only thing disabling PD does is allowing missiles through.
Particularly common with IPDAI IR Pulse - yes it's expensive to fire. But still better than eating Sabot or Squall fire.

At the very least there should be an overriding behavior to enable PD if missiles are incoming.

Suggestions / Fire control improvements
« on: September 08, 2019, 10:28:53 PM »
I recently started using a mod to change firing mode in combat, and it's superbly useful ( ). Maybe this should be a vanilla feature?

Also, in some cases it would be very nice if autofire respected alternating firing mode : namely sustained pressure with Needlers or Plasma Cannons to counter shield drops by defender. Having to prime it by firing first salvo manually and switchng to auto later is quite micro-intensive and gets old fast.

Though due to specific usage it would need to be allowed per-group at design time:
- firing mode: linked/alternating (and can be switched in combat)
- autofire uses firing mode: y/n.

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