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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 - Cycerin

Pages: [1] 2
Suggestions / Beam coloration in terms of gameplay
« on: December 29, 2016, 06:30:02 AM »
So a lot of the current beam weapons in vanilla are variations of blue. This causes some confusion when you take the different characteristics of the beams into account, namely that the Graviton is harmless against armor and that the Ion and especially High Intensity Laser are punishing against armor.

I propose tuning the Ion Beam towards a more greenish cyan color and making the High Intensity Laser either stark red, or with a whitish-blue core and purplish-red outline, or possibly even orange-red, to make it more obviously "angry" looking and different from the less dangerous beams. It's not a big tweak, but I think it's a big quality of life improvement when it comes to visual feedback.


General Discussion / The Hammerhead and other "meh" ships
« on: April 07, 2015, 08:28:45 AM »
So, the Hammerhead. I've never liked it. Ostensibly meant to be the "Mario" of Starsector's combat destroyers, it's actually fairly bad at allround combat, and only really suitable for bringing in firepower to a target occupied with other enemies. The other three all have the potential to be fairly gamebreaking, but the Hammerhead? It's just sort of... there. It can be good in the hands of a player with lots of EXP, or in the fleet of a player with a lot of points in Tech, but isn't that true for any ship?

The problem with the ship is that it only has forward firepower, and usually, it only does one damage type at a time, while building flux with both damage and defense. Its extremely narrow firing arc also acts as a considerable handicap, where other frontal firepower ships often have decent traverse or other turrets that cover their ass, the Hammerhead usually has Burst PD, PD or lrPD lasers in its 4 Energy mounts, making it very safe to simply flank the ship. The recent buffs to Salamanders haven't been kind on the ship either. Compare it to the Sunder and you'll see that both ships are actually similar. The Hammerhead has a reputation for being a more steady, rounded ship, but in reality I'd argue they both end up being glass cannons, and that the Sunder might actually be a little more survivable with the default variants you tend to encounter a lot.

Compared to the Enforcer's brutal mixed-damage firepower and almost impenetrable PD screen with Flak, its four missile hardpoints and its bricky armor + HP and useful omnishield, the Hammerhead looks very unappealing. Compared to the Medusa's gamebreaking flexibility and survivability it looks even worse.

What could be done to make the Hammerhead better?

The way I see it, it needs way better flux dissipation to feed its forward firepower without overloading from too much soft + hard flux. Right now, it's got "OK" stats all around, but ends up being rather mediocre for it. That's the most elegant way to bring it up there without breaking the ship entirely. I don't think the overall layout of the ship needs to be changed, a simple stat buff should bring it back in line.

Also, due to the design of the ship, it's usually a bad idea to stick HE damage on its medium hardpoints, which is a bit sad.

Suggestions / Custom tooltip info
« on: April 11, 2014, 06:40:19 AM »
For modding, it would be very practical to be able to insert custom weapon tooltip information. Like for instance a custom string in the same spot you'd list EMP damage.

If you have a burst-type beam that fires a long burst, it keeps firing even if a ship phases out. I don't know if there's a max limit to this, but with the PDEs from Blackrock (roughly 2 sec bursts) it's quite noticeable.

Suggestions / Custom defense type names
« on: February 18, 2014, 05:03:01 AM »
It's quite possible to use a dummy Phase Cloak to implement interesting modding-based things. Right now, if I have a ship that uses a phase cloak, the DEFENSE: info readout of the ship will just say PHASE CLOAK. If I wanted it to say, for instance, PHASE WARP or SCALAR REJECTOR instead, would this be possible? Just pull from the name in the .csv?

Suggestions / Stocked ships should pull from faction ship name lists
« on: December 04, 2013, 05:08:18 AM »
Just a small thing that irks me. Whenever I play Exerelin or some mod that has a lot of factions + Blackrock, any ship for sale has a chance to spawn with ANY ship name. Blackrock ship names lose their uniqueness when they keep showing up on other faction's ships. On top of that, Blackrock ships will spawn with greek, roman ETC ship names in the faction's own stations. Could it be possible to change which string list these are pulled from? Or could it be possible to name a ship AFTER it gets bought? All unbought ships will lack names and instead just show the hull name, and then, once you buy the ship, a dialog pops up "Name your new ship: ISS -" or "Name your new ship: HSS -" based on what faction you buy from/belong to. With a button to pull a name from the appropriate ship name list if you dont care to name it. Any ship you BOARD will keep the old name, which is entirely appropriate. :)

Like i said mostly a pet peeve suggestion but it does break immersion somewhat. I guess all station-bought ships are used ones with a history of their own, which reflects the fact they are already named, but once Industry rolls around, one should produce nameless ships.

You can't add a succinct description in the first paragraph and then fluff in the second paragraph as you would with weapons and ships, because when you are viewing data on a ship, the entire ship system description will get listed, sometimes ruining the layout if it's really wordy.

Suggestions / Codex faction entries
« on: October 09, 2013, 07:38:13 PM »
Basically just that. I know Alex said he intends to give the Codex a facelift in the future, but it would be really cool to be able to put some faction blurbs in there. Plus, who the hell are the Sindrian Diktat really?

346963 [Thread-6] INFO  com.fs.profiler.Profiler  -   Other                                                                                           -      0,00s      0,00%
346964 [Thread-6] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.D  - java.util.UnknownFormatConversionException: Conversion = '.'
java.util.UnknownFormatConversionException: Conversion = '.'
at java.util.Formatter.checkText(
at java.util.Formatter.parse(
at java.util.Formatter.format(
at java.util.Formatter.format(
at java.lang.String.format(
at com.fs.starfarer.loading.specs.oOoo.Ò00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.coreui.refit.ModPickerDialog$o.<init>(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.coreui.refit.ModPickerDialog.Ööo000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.coreui.refit.ModPickerDialog.<init>(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.coreui.refit.ooOO.actionPerformed(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.O00o.super(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.F.processInput(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.newsuper.o00000(Unknown Source)
atøÒÒ000(Unknown Source)
at Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.D.o00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$ Source)

Not quite sure what this might be about. Said ship had a built in custom hullmod, dont know if it's related in any way, but I've changed hullmods several times without incidents after I implemented that.

General Discussion / Audio Review - 0.6a
« on: September 14, 2013, 04:10:21 AM »
Great patch. I want to talk about the audio, since it's sort of my field of specialization, and the focus of a large amount of the work that went into this patch. :)

Overall, I think the game is a lot more immersive now. I really love it. It's more subdued and minimal when it comes to the ships themselves, but the impact sounds create an amazing ambience and make it VERY satisfying to get through a ship's shields and start causing system damage. The fact that the attention is on the sound of damage being caused rather than weapons going off, makes the battles more visceral. The shields also sound amazing.

Seriously, the new "weapon disabled" sounds are so goddamn satisfying. It's amazing.

I also like the warning sounds from CR loss and other important battle events.

I have a few things I miss from the previous direction, though:

- Some audio cues now much subtler
This is mainly the flux venting noise. Sometimes, earlier, you'd hear a ship venting just off screen and nail it with some Harpoons just in time. It's a lot subtler now and easily drowns in the sound of explosions. It's also such an iconic part of the game, and it deserves attention from the player. It should be a bit more prominent, if you ask me.

- Engine sounds are extremely quiet
For cruisers and up. Not everyone is playing with a subwoofer. I am, though, so I really feel it when there's an Onslaught on screen... but still, the engine sounds are overall very subtle now and have a tad less character from ship to ship. I'd like to see them given a tiny bit more prominence, I think we could stand to hear them a bit better. Especially the large ships, you won't notice them at all if you play with crummy headphones/on laptop speakers.

- Some sounds are inexplicably subtle/conservative given what weapon they represent.
The Mjolnir Cannon and TPC sound really dinky. They don't have much variation in-between sounds either. I feel like these weapons don't feel satisfying to use as a result, especially when the Gauss Cannon, Hellbore etc. are so awesome in comparison.

- Certain older sounds feel conspiciously out of place
Burn Drive. Accelerated Ammo Feeder. Maneuvering Jets.
The engine sounds are so subdued and low-passed right now. When ships enter a battle at maximum burn, it feels somewhat wrong to hear that whine. I still like it on the Onslaught, though.
Also, unrelated, how awesome would it be if ships had reverse engine flares when they brake from maximum burn? With a small "CFFFFFFFHHHH" noise? Hell yes.

Modding / Pirates Plus - expanded Vanilla Pirates
« on: March 13, 2013, 12:48:22 PM »
EDIT: This mod's days as a standalone mod are numbered, it's pretty much here just for completion's sake right now. You can find all the ships of this mod in Starsector+. That also includes ships I didn't post here, such as the Punisher-class Cruiser, the Arachne-class Destroyer, and the Archon-class Destroyer.

Pretty much just making this for Uomoz' Corvus, but anyway, I feel like the pirates faction deserves to have more stuff, and that the game needs more cobbled-together, low-tech ships. So without further ado let's start this off with the Shark-class Battle Barge!

The Shark is a monstrous raiding vessel, featuring parts of pilfered and dissected industrial ships, cobbled together into a hull that can mount a plethora of weapons and is highly customizable. However, the Shark usually employs the shield generator of a salvaged Tarsus or Condor, and its multiple weaknesses are obviously being shored-up by simply trying to outgun the enemy.

With a large amount of cargo space to haul loot, the Shark is an unwelcome sight for Sector traders.

The Bull-class destroyer is a popular conversion of the Buffalo Mark II for raider captains with the money and connections to make it work. Capable of mounting a large ballistic weapon to its spinal hardpoint and blessed with a weak shield emitter, the Bull's biggest improvement over the Buffalo II is its advanced engine system and vastly improved hull integrity.

A credible threat to most destroyers and frigates in the Sector, those who scoff at the Buffalo II still secretly fear that one of the murky shapes in a pirate combat fleet will turn out to be a charging Bull.

The brainchild a still-unidentified rogue Tri-Tachyon weapons engineer, the Tiger-type frigate is, essentially, a naked flux conduit framework nestled around a reactor and shield emitter, with engines tacked on. Featuring several energy weapon emplacements and a rudimentary high energy focus system, it's a deadly frigate, capable of threatening even expensive warships. Fortunately, since the production is centered on one cartel, it's not in wide circulation.

One can only guess at what stirs in the mind of those who willingly crew the gun batteries of a Torch-type frigate. A lust for destruction seems to be the defining factor.

The Renegade-class Battlecruiser. At the helm of one, a Pirate Lord can send an entire system into a state of anarchy, single-handedly blocking supply lines and stalling reinforcements for weeks. Its origins are shrouded in mystery - each Renegade is different, so Hegemony analysts conclude that they're being made using several different autofacs, each programmed to spit out a single, malformed piece of their corresponding ship. These parts are then spliced together in an orbital dock.

This vessel represents the triumph of the ego over a hostile Sector, and its very existence - once merely a rumor - has destabilized politics across known space.

Fan Media & Fiction / Blackrock Drive Yards lore
« on: January 29, 2013, 07:03:37 AM »
Here's some really messy overview of my thoughts for the lore here. I expect to be able to reflect more of it through the actual mod as the game's development cycle continues.

Part of it is shoutouts to some of my favorite sci-fi, part of it is unused ideas for my own short stories, part of it is stuff inspired directly by what little we know of Starsector lore.

Blackrock timeline:

    - Domain humanity settles in Gneiss system: a poor colony grows, desperately trying to terraform the habitable but hostile moon Lodestone and its venus-like planet, Blackrock.

    - Neglected by larger Domain for declaring independence, deemed below note-worthiness for political interference. Domain Military stationed patrols + a research outpost in same system to keep watch

    - Blackrock proves harder to mine for Infernium than estimated before the expedition. Orbital cities anchored to a space elevator ring over Blackrock now completed. Built through political compromise between Blackrock government and Domain. Lodestone succcessfully terraformed. A divide between Blackrock and Lodestone forms, as the moon grows rich off the labour of the planet.

    - Greater Domain refuses to build a gate in the system, using it as leverage to try to seize assets on the planet. Constant political posturing and near-conflict ensues, until...


    - Von Neumann-style, destroyer-sized interstellar probe of unknown origin crashes into Blackrock, in the middle of a meteor storm

    - No trace of aliens on board - alien DNA in several fragmented forms present. Fragments from the impact spread active matter all over Blackrock. Military demands glassing of the surface, but is voted against. Impact event unsuccessfully hidden from Domain authority in the system - a civil war ensued that cemented Lodestone as the dominant power in the system, and resulted in the deaths of untold Blackrock dwellers to keep the secret hidden. Domain research outpost now part of the colonist authority.

    - Zone of Quarantine erected around Von Neumann impact perimeter. Coverup as geothermal mining operation.

    - Over several decades, evolution of synthetic lifeforms with traits consistent with alien DNA found in probe begins by itself. Scientific consensus is that disassembler nanobots turn Blackrock minerals into building blocks for life based on blueprints carried within the probe. Attempts to retrieve samples nearly always results in nano-corrosion of equipment and containment breach. Lifeforms deviate from baseline DNA to a high degree, some adapted to life in infernal conditions, and some adapted to live in terraformed habitats below the surface. Sub-surface extent of nanomachine corrosion and psuedolife habitats becomes impossible to estimate.

    - Blackrock technology begins to outpace Domain technology in certain areas due to utilizations of alien nanotechnology.

    - Blackrock Drive Systems, the only prosperous corporate entity on Blackrock, uses alien technology to run mutative nano-engineering on their space engine designs.

    - Psuedolife archetype "Locust Gibbon", a hexapodal, arboreal creature roughly the size of a large dog, exhibits traits of sentience. An eugenics program is initiated. Political upheaval continues until the creatures are integrated in society over the course of ~150 years, extremely useful as ship crews due to their physiology.

    - The newly formed Blackrock Drive Yards begins to run a large profit selling highly advanced modular systems from Blackrock. Lodestone becomes industrially marginalized, but is still heavily armed, and comfortably serves as the political seat of power in system.


    - Collapse begins. Blackrock isolated from the rest of the Sector due to circumstances.

    - The Scouring of Blackrock. Organically evolved psuedolifeforms, starship-sized psuedolife entities and clouds of roving nanoentities erupt from underneath Blackrock's surface, and overrun several orbital cities and reduce them to ruins. Locust Gibbons prove absolute loyalty to humanity by helping several populations escape to Lodestone/the asteroid belts.

    - Orbital ring around Blackrock detached and sent towards the system's sun along with orbital cities to try to dispose of psuedolife threats. Surface partially glassed.

    - First post-Collapse paramilitary forces from the old Domain show up. Blackrock Drive Yards secures power in system and fully establishes itself as the political power on Lodestone by successfully using starship and weapon designs developed during the Scouring to hold the enemy at bay.

    - Blackrock Drive Yards begins large-scale development of military hardware. Knowledge on Blackrock/Lodestone manages to be kept largely intact compared to the rest of the Sector.

    - Cities above Blackrock re-erected and most of surface turned into large-scale nanofactory. Blackrock Drive Yards quells uprising on Lodestone by force, killing large numbers of the population in the capital city to force obedience.

    - Gradually, unity against psuedolifeforms still present in system and unity against ex-domain threats like Tri-Tachyon (interested in the system's unique technological prospects and research of alien life) coupled with belief in Blackrock's corporate and military power actually turns the Blackrock-Lodestone system into a singular political entity known as Blackrock Interstellar Authority. All real power still contained within Blackrock Drive Yards and its ruthless founder, who has remained alive through unknown means and personally retains influence in several distinct arenas.

    - Blackrock recruits privateer and mercenary forces sent to the system to their cause after convincing them of their ableness and power. Thus, the sparse population of the system grows, and military expansion continues exponentially. Most Blackrock armed forces consist of ex-privateers, ex-turncoats and ex-mercs who have now found a reason for living after the Collapse - or, at the very least, some source of a paycheck.



    - Blackrock colonizes adjacent systems and becomes a major player in Sector politics. Blackrock ruling board hopes to reignite Domain infrastructure through using their xenotechnology and resources, but refuses to fall in line under the Hegemony.
    Meanwhile, constant espionage, clandestine military action and bribery by the Tri-Tachyon corporation only serves to turn Blackrock into a progressively xenophobic faction. Blackrock no longer recruits from privateers, begins increasingly utilizing deadly force. Sells military hardware to independent forces in the Sector, increasingly angering the Hegemony for inciting civil warfare and destabilizing Sector security and undermining Hegemony authority.

    - Psuedolife from an unknown planetoid in the far reaches of the Blackrock system threaten from the inside, as ship-sized entities hewn from comet ice and stone slowly encroach upon the system center to find fresh DNA to incorporate into their psuedolife mutation cycle. The legacy of the alien Von Neumann probe that lead to the psuedolife threat remains a fact, and its ancestry a complete mystery, especially to the Locust Gibbons, who have slowly developed an almost religious yearning for the xenolife, having next to no racial history of their own, but the enormous racial history of Humanity as an ever-present contrast.

    - Void beast driven from Gneiss now inhabit asteroid belts in several adjacent systems. Hunted by Blackrock, they also terrorize local shipping.

Suggestions / Bindable hotkey to instantly fire a weapon group
« on: December 28, 2012, 04:59:52 AM »
Basically, when piloting a ship with more than one slow-firing missile weapon (or forward-facing AM blasters), I often wish I had the ability to simply press a button to fire it, rather than having to switch and then fire. This would come at the expense of being able to aim the weapon first, of course.

Modding / Modding PSA: Specify your faction's ship name sources.
« on: December 17, 2012, 08:56:08 AM »
I just noticed that some other mod factions are pulling names from my mod's ship name lists. This happens if your faction file does not specify which lists to pull names from, eg: "JAPANESE", "GREEK", and so on.

You should check if your faction file actually states ship name sources. ;)

I often have small questions that I don't feel deserve a thread of their own, and I don't think I'm alone. A thread like this could be useful and make sure the forum doesn't get clogged up.

To start us off:
Would it be possible to make a Guardian PD-style beam weapon where each offset beam fires in turn, like alternating barrels on a projectile weapon?

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