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Topics - Lawrence Master-blaster

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Suggestions / Should faction fleets retreat sooner?
« on: February 16, 2024, 12:20:01 PM »
I was playing Rimworld... well, actually I was just watching a Let's Play. But I was reminded of the difference between human and Mechanoid raids - humans will start running away once you kill half of them while Mechanoids fight to the last. And I thought to myself, wouldn't it be nice to have something similar in Starsector? This mechanic technically exists, but the threshold for AI retreat is so high that it almost doesn't matter - the fleets only start retreating when DP is down to something like 30 so it doesn't really do anything.

You could even have different thresholds for different factions based on their identity, for example: TT(retreats the fastest) > Pirates > LP > Hegemony > LC > Bounties(since they have "nothing to lose")/LP > Derelicts/Remnant(never retreat)

This would potentially make salvaging specific ships from enemy fleets harder but it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

General Discussion / Legion XIV availability? And how do you fit them?
« on: February 05, 2024, 12:18:49 PM »
I wanted to clear some info about this. As far as I understand:

 - no NPC fleets use the Legion XIV and you cannot buy them from Hegemony
 - You can find (up to 4? Always 4?) derelict Legion XIVs in random systems
 - Bar Historian can provide a Legion XIV blueprint

As for the fits, just post what you got. It's kind of in an unfortunate place of being split three ways(ballistics/missiles/fighters) with nowhere near enough OP to get it all, even after the buff(which to be fair is likely by design)

Is it a relic from some older build? I just find it weird because on Spacer start the first thing you do is ditch the PPC Kite and grab the Hermes instead.

General Discussion / Should Falcon be buffed to match the Eagle?
« on: July 18, 2023, 05:10:24 AM »
Since Falcon was always "2/3 of an Eagle" here is what scaling it proportionally would look like:

DP 14 -> 14
Flux Dissipation 400 -> 460 (actually 462 but no one wants to see that)
Base speed 80 -> 90
Price 80k -> 64k

Suggestions / Increase ECM range to 0-20%?
« on: July 13, 2023, 12:37:34 AM »
Currently ECM is very all-or-nothing, you either get an absurd amount(40%+) to beat the Remnant at the game or don't bother at all. Because the range is only 0-10% most of the ECM - for you OR the enemy - is wasted. The bigger the range, the more relevant even small amounts of ECM become.

Also, currently even if you(or the enemy) completely loses the ECM war, well, 10% reduction in range is not that big of a deal. Especially if you also have ECCM on your ships which cuts the penalty in half.

General Discussion / Money balance
« on: July 05, 2023, 11:03:15 AM »
tl;dr: you get way too much money in the game.

Black Market trading(not even "smuggling" - simply trading with Transponder off which can be easily and mostly completely safely done in all Independent, Pirate and Path stations, plus some others) can generate infinite amounts of money. As soon as you get any amount of cargo space - i.e. a single Buffalo or even a Wayfarer - you basically stop thinking about your bank balance at all. Cost is no longer an issue, only availability is.

But in my last few started runs I got so lazy I don't even bother with that anymore. Why would I when I can take several "scan a ship" or "scan a probe" missions in the same quadrant and get 200k+ per run? And don't even get me started on the Galatia questline. As soon as you finish the tutorial(or as soon as you spawn in Corvus in a Spacer start) you can just go back to Galatia Academy and then Aliyss Sebestyen will have an infinite supply of absolutely trivial missions that can be completed even in a Pristine Pre-Collapse Kite. Half the time you don't even need to leave the core worlds for them and they pay like 50-70k each.

I was thinking about how much less money would I need to get for me to actually care about it and we're talking about a 10x reduction(yes, ten times less) So a 50k probe scan is now 5k, and a 300k black market trade is now 30k. That sounds a lot more reasonable compared to what ships cost, so you have to actually work for them, and would even make things like crew/officers pay an actual factor.

General Discussion / Arms dealer?
« on: June 28, 2023, 07:32:00 AM »
What are conditions to get the 1 million offer where rare stuff actually appears? I always thought you need to have a million in bank, but that is apparently not the case...


I'll just copy and paste the explanation:

what you're doing is selling supplies so they register a massive surplus and lower the price massively. (from 28 credits per unit average because the game will buy until the colony has X at Y price, then lower the buy price for the next value of X, leading to an average sell price of 28 per unit)...

you then buying them up at an even lower price of 18 units. (except here the math is different. its selling ALL of the supplies at 18 credits per without increasing it giving you a roughly 10 credit PPU (profit per unit)

but here's the thing, you just bought all their supplies and now they need them again. so now they have a demand for it. which, surprise surprise, jumps the price back up. so now you can sell again with the same profit degradation.

this isnt exclusive to supplies. I do it with heavy weapons when places have demand for them. usually they want 400 or so. so I'll sell them 3000 starting at 1.5k per unit down to 300 per unit. but then I can buy them at 250 per unit so I just buy them out and earn a million credits in just profit.

Perhaps when satisfying a shortage the goods in question should be "used" and disappear, the way blueprints or colony items do?

General Discussion / Venture
« on: June 17, 2023, 11:31:00 PM »
This ship is so awkward it drives me crazy.

First of all if you want it for combat(and why would you bring a 14 DP Venture otherwise instead of just slapping Surveying Equipment on a Colossus or something) you need to pay the 12 OP tax for Militarized Subsystems. And if you want to do stealthy exploration you also need to pay 9 OP for Insulated Engine Assembly. That's 18% of your already lean OP gone right off the bat.

Of course, putting MS on a civilian ship gets rid of the Bulk Transport +2 Burn bonus and now you're at base burn of 8 - highly inadvisable, especially in medium/high danger systems. So now you're putting an Ox in your exploration fleet, with all the fuel costs that entails. On top of Ventures' 3/ly fuel use.

In combat you can't run, your damage is anemic and four Mining Lasers is in no way adequate PD especially if they can be destroyed. Given that Shepherd's Borer Drones also have one laser each(and there's 6 of them) I feel like each Mining Pod should have two Mining Lasers, not one.

Venture LP is even worse. Scrap ship for your fleets to blow up. I think it needs Safety Overrides to be worth anything. Maybe even at the cost of losing Surveying Equipment.

Venture P is clearly the winner because of the large missile mount. While that brings your damage up to "adequate" level(remember that Hurricane was doubly nerfed this patch) the moment a Rampart looks in your direction you're dead anyways: you can't outshoot it, you can't out-tank it(because you have no OP left for shields) and you can't outrun it.

I get that Venture is not supposed to be as strong as a regular cruiser - it's a 14 DP ship - but in that case at least it could have decent logistic stats. If Apogees weren't nearly impossible to find no one would even consider the Venture for exploration; it's not a "cheaper alternative", it's literally "better than nothing".

You know the drill - you visit a market, you hit 1 to see if there's any officers available, you hit 2 to check bar for missions, you hit 3- wait, why am I in a Luddic shrine?

Come on, don't make me unlearn all the muscle memory I developed...

Suggestions / Make it impossible to become non-hostile with Pirates
« on: June 07, 2023, 09:30:29 AM »
Since we're on topic of Pirates, there is a rather awkward problem with them - if you know what you're doing, it's very easy to become non-hostile with Pirates at which point the game becomes almost a walking flying simulator. You start at -65 relations and you have to fight Pirates once in the tutorial(the second fight around the jump point can be avoided) which gets you down to -68. You become non-hostile at -50, so all it takes is 7 Dead Drop missions(which can be done with a single Kite in five minutes each) and bam, no more Pirate menace. Easy mode engaged.

Becoming non-hostile with Pirates also tends to have rather inconsistent consequences. Normal Pirate fleets won't attack you, but these spawned as part of a quest still will. And if your colony gets invaded, the Pirates won't attack your fleet but will still attack the fleets/convoys belonging to your colonies.

So my suggestion is to remove the ability to become non-hostile with Pirates, or even to completely remove the standings mechanic with them. They're not supposed to be a faction with top-down leadership anyway, but rather a bunch of randos whose only common trait is, well, piracy. Why would a pirate in Donn care about what you did for some other pirate in Thule?

1. Select a ship and order an Eliminate on an enemy ship
2. The enemy ship moves into fog of war, so you cannot cancel assignment anymore since you cannot interact with it
3. Select the ship that you ordered to Eliminate the target with and rescind order
4. A new ship is automatically assigned to Eliminate the target
5. Cannot rescind order on the newly(automatically) assigned ship


In the picute the leftmost Glimmer was automatically assigned to Eliminate the target but "rescind order" is greyed out so the command cannot be cancelled.

General Discussion / The Phillip Paradox
« on: May 14, 2023, 05:14:18 AM »
(I could also call it "Ludo-narrative dissonance" but I do in fact shave my neck regularly)

All Lion's Guard ships come with the Special Modifications D-mod which decreases flux dissipation by 5% and increases repair time for weapons and engines by 25%. This is because Phillip Andrada, in his dictatorship wisdom, wanted to protect the crew from "exposed conduits running along the passageways" even though he doesn't know much about spaceship design. Which is fine, but somehow the D-mod also increases crew casualties by 10%.

I'm confused. How did something that was supposed to help save crew lives ended up creating more casualties? I get that the whole idea was to show dictatorship incompetence but that is already covered by the - much more gameplay-significant - flux dissipation and repair speed penalties. Trying to achieve something but ruining few other things in the process AND the result is the exact opposite of what you wanted to achieve... that's not even incompetence anymore, that's a cartoon.

(This is also a missed opportunity to poke some fun at the player: since anyone who wants to use LG ships will remove the D-mod regardless, if it actually decreased casualties as it logically should, Restoring it away would be a tacit admission that you care less about human lives than a guy calling himself "Supreme Executor")

Then, we have the Energy Bolt Coherer. This is even more bizarre because on LG ships it increases casualties in combat by a whooping 50%. At this point I don't understand Mr. Andrada at all - apparently he cares so much about his "brave and loyal crew" that he directly meddles in spaceship design, but also apparently has no qualms about putting said crew at massive risk by using dangerous piece of technology on ALL his ships. Which one is it?

Well, maybe Special Modifications were made to counteract the effects of the Energy Bolt Coherer in the first place. But there's still no reason for them to increase casualties instead.

Suggestions / Slightly-Less-Augmented Drive Field
« on: May 12, 2023, 11:09:25 AM »
I think that was suggested before, but can we have an alternate version of AGF that only gives +1 Burn to have more flexibility when trying to mach speed of various ships. Especially now that S-modding AGF increases Burn bonus to +3, it's quite bizarre to have a Burn 10 Paragon when I only wanted it to be as fast as my Burn 8 cruisers.

It could be in the 5/10/15/25 OP tier so it would still be slightly worse than ADF(8/16/24/40) per OP spent.

General Discussion / Lumens
« on: April 24, 2023, 12:42:39 AM »
Waiting for the patch I've been testing odd things in Starsector. One of said things is trying to use automated ships in my fleets because I would like to have a build that includes the skill. "Common knowledge" is that you use Automated Ships to get an Alpha core Radiant and that's it, but it costs 60 DP and I couldn't find a way to fit it into my fleet in the current patch.

So I went in the opposite direction: frigate spam.

Meet the Beta Beam Boy. Fielding ten(!) of those gives your fleet base +20%(max) nav rating and base +40% ECM rating, enough to put even Ordo fleets to shame. Total deployment cost is of course 40 DP, and with Wolfpack Tactics CR is not an issue[1]. Some notes about the fit: the +1 vent is not necessary to be flux neutral, and it will be even less necessary next patch because of the Tactical Laser buff(-30 weapon flux total) The fit will also gain +2 OP because cost of LR PD Laser will go down by 1. So you'll have an extra 3 OP to play with, which is a lot for a frigate, enough to put Solar Shielding in for example. On the other hand you'll probably have to let go of Shield Conversion - Front since it's getting nerfed. I don't think it would be that big of a deal though, at least not for beam Lumens.

Lumens were picked over Glimmers because of speed. I'm a "capture three objectives to get full DP" guy so I generally don't care for slow frigates, and Phase Skimmer with Systems Expertise dramatically increases effective ship speed. It also gets Lumens out of trouble which is important when dealing with the Reckless(Fearless) AI. That said you can replicate most of this with Glimmers if you don't care about capturing objectives(Especially since both Graviton Beam and Ion Beam are getting buffed)

Reckless AI is also why the Lumens have beams. Aggressive AI will move to the range of the shortest weapon on the ship, even PD. Reckless AI will do the same AND ignore threats other than the ship it's targeting. This is usually a recipe for disaster for anything smaller than a cruiser. By having the shortest range weapon on the ship have a range of 1000(LR PD + Advanced Optics) the AI will simply stay at that range negating both issues[2] IPDAI/PD combo is IMO not worth the cost.

Now the question of course is - okay, but can beam Lumens actually kill anything? The answer is, kind of. Obviously on the frontline they don't do much other than being a distraction(like most frigates) but if you need to get rid of some stragglers they can do it - you just have to send 2-3x as much of them as you normally would. The numerical advantage is important because no matter how weak beams are against shields, unless the enemy has 360 degree protection something is going to get burned. It takes a while though. In the initial objective rush you can send 8 Lumens to the third(assuming you send 1 to the nearest two) and yeah, 16 tactical lasers can absolutely overpower any frigates trying to contest it.

In practical tests, traditionally against a double Ordo, I first paired Lumens with Gryphons. 10 Lumens and 8 Gryphons adds up to exactly 200 DP(so initial deployment with BotB) and takes the default 8 officers. Honestly I absolutely loved this composition for many different reasons - even the offiers were super easy to roll because they had both Systems Expertise and Missile Specialization. Plus I was sure the Lumens won't end up getting into the Gryphon's line of fire since guided missiles pass through friendly ships.

Unfortunately my tests failed because I couldn't stop Gryphons from getting killed by Radiants. Ironically, it was a "suffering from success" kind of thing - The Gryphons would beat the double Ordo all the way to the top of the screen, and when the last few remaining Radiants entered the battle there's pretty much nothing I could do if one of them decided to have some tendies. I tried to stop Gryphons from coming too close to the edge with Defend orders, etc. but that caused other issues like smaller enemy ships breaking out of "containment". The Gryphon's borderline destroyer-level tank just can't take it, even with maxed capacitors and Hardened Shields. Though it should be pointed out, with Brilliants losing Active Flare Launcher(indirectly buffing missiles vs. Ordo) and Hardened Shields getting buffed next patch, perhaps the idea is worth revisiting later.

My next test was with 8 Apogees(I even gave them the medium energy hardpoint they'll get next patch) again cenered around that Squall spam. Here I ran into a weird issue where the Apogees would simply run out of missiles - I guess they just don't kill enemy ships fast enough? I tried Apogees both with HIL and Tachyons, didn't really made any difference, I actually think Tachyons were even slower. The problem I believe was that beams and Squalls are a poor combo since one is trivial to stop with a shield and the other fires in bursts(Gryphons had HVDs, with Ordnance Expertise no less, so they had more sustained pressure) On a side note my worries about Apogee becoming overpowered turned out to be unfounded, the OP is tight even with three S-mods so the fitting was like "solid tank/Advanced Optics/ECCM: pick one"

I didn't bother trying Lumens with four Conquests, I know that would work so all it would really do for my fleet is increase the fuel use.

And so the Beta Beam Boy gang idea was shelved. Next patch will introduce a medium energy kinetic weapon which will likely make Brawler TT really good, so I'll probably just use an Alpha core Radiant like a normal person.

[1] - I noticed that after a fight some Lumens would have lower CR than others. This led me to believe that when a ship uses the Phase Skimmer it actually loses CR faster(since it technically travels through phase space for a second) If that's true then it's a cool little detail.
[2] - There's a bit of weird AI behaviour where beam Lumens will sometimes try to get as close to overloaded ships as possible. I don't know if this is specific to Reckless/Fearless personality or a bug.

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