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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

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Topics - Linnis

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1
General Discussion / Misguided Difficulty
« on: April 03, 2021, 09:41:43 PM »
Difficulty should comes from strategy and tactics, not campaign numbers and stats. With the new iteration of ECM, Officers, and DP distribution, battles are more one sided than ever. In the past we could grind fleets down with patience and a little skill no matter how hard, but now so much is stacked against a smaller fleet that its not even a contest.

Right now the current difficulty is 90% in "Do you have enough officers and ships? Do you have enough ECM? Can you cap the points before the enemy so you get to deploy?" If any one of those checkmarks is a no, the player loses. With the rare case of deploy a few ships and drag the AI into a corner to fight them little by little. This way is basically abusing the AI and should be fixed by the time the game goes final.

While interesting bosses are always welcome and puts a spin to the normal fleet fight and puts up a challenge, it should be the exception not the rule.

First problem is ECM. It is simply too powerful of a statistic. If it is in game, it should be special ECM ships that players and AI would have to protect. Like a shield-less Atlas on the field, where the AI and player will actively try to destroy. This way we turn a campaign suedo difficulty into something that could be interacted with, not just "I brought 10 officers and have skill checked."

Second problem is deployment. This whole, throw everything into a box and brawl it out is not going to be interesting with the wild different sized fleets running around. It fit well when the game was a battle simulator where both sides got equal points, but not anymore.


The fix?

The gold standard to strategy and tactic games is Final Fantasy Tactics. Not counting Econ RTS games like StarCraft etc... Tactics was a refinement of the strategy genera where the player is almost in every battle, fighting statistically superiors enemies. The game gives the player plenty of opportunity to use their wits and planned strategies to overcome powerful enemies. Everyone agreed the game was hard, but no one complained it was unfair, because AI had power, player had brains, and the devs allowed the player to use their brains.


BATTLE CHANNELS!!


Example:
 In Tactics almost every battle had different areas players were forced to use if they wanted to deploy all their units, usually with minimum two areas, sometimes three or even with special events where the main character is alone surrounded.  This gave many ways for the player to use tactics or strategy to overcome more and more greater adversity. If you have played the game and know what I am talking about, skip to the next one.

If not, imagine the enemy has twice the units/combatants, who has twice the HP of you. They have knights on the streets and archers on the rooftops, and a powerful mage behind their formation of knights. For the player to overcome such odds, they could deploy their mobile units like thieves and ninjas on the streets and jump everyone on the rooftops, fighting only half of the enemy forces at one time. Or, the player could have their defensive troops turtle on the ground, while having warriors on the roof tops killing the archers quickly and flanking the enemy knights and mage. As the game progressed and players got more options, the possibilities were expanded, while the difference between the player and the enemy widened even more.
In the end, it made the game more interesting. Allowed the player to fight statistically tougher opponents. The game was hard, but not unfair.

Integration:
This is merely a suggestion, but I hope it will give an idea of what could be possible.

So we make the battlefield larger, what shape exactly? Lets think using every shape we could think of while working this out. Also keep in mind sequential battles could also be a way.

Then, most importantly, we force both the AI and the Player to deploy all their ships. Hold your screams of "But the AI don't need Supplies and fuel!!!!"

Perhaps depending on engagement choices and AI fleet personality deployment areas are split into 2 or more areas where ships would have to travel a long distance to reach the other area.
Then, have the condition that when the AI fleet is not in an owned system, in addition to if all of their support ships are destroyed, they will surrender or flee (rational humans only ofc) no matter their advantage.
ECM like I said, could also be such a valuable target. Of course fleets could always not use ECM ships, but if such a powerful stat is in play, there should be counterplay.
With these changes we create multiple ways for players to encounter the battle. The player could sacrifice part of their fleet to concentrate on taking down the enemy support or warships. Does the player want to go in the capital and win the frontline battle, or does the player wish to play an assassin and lead frigates to destroy the enemy ECM or Supplies? What if the player encounter different factions or fleets that employ different tactics in splitting their ships differently?

This create the possibility of smaller fleets actually being able to do something to larger fleets. A small and aggressive ludic path groups? What will they do?

Right now we have mount and blade combat mechanics. With their cavalry, archers, and infantry units, they have a wider variety of types of units and how they function. So formation and tactics are important. But in Starsector right now, there is not early the same amount of depth to strategic or tactical side of combat. I think this is a great time to move away from this simple place-holder of a deployment system from battle simulator days and move on to something more complicated and interesting.

2
Suggestions / Dynamic menu backgrounds?
« on: October 19, 2020, 07:03:39 PM »
I love the main menu where random ships spawn and just float around. But what if it happens during the game too!


On top of the current station or planet, we are currently docked at:
In the background, we could see ships our ships close up. They are docking or transferring stuff using the in-game engine. Could just be simple scripts of cargo drones or shuttles or ships slowly drifting about.

This also could be extended on to the salvage or survey screen for example.

Would lend a lot more to the immersion. And we get to see more of our civilian ships doing their thing.

3
Suggestions / Overly aggressive tunnel vision in combat ship AI.
« on: December 12, 2018, 01:14:43 AM »
With the new patch, I am noticing a new quirk of ships of all sizes aggressively chase after weakened targets. This is great but sometimes my ships (no matter the size, or officer) will happily ram into several enemy ships in trying to finish off the weakened enemy.

This is most noticeable with ships like falcon and odessy, but I have even seen carriers try to do this.

Perhaps a simple check for nearby enemies before ships perform this move?


4
General Discussion / Best 0.9 moments
« on: November 21, 2018, 12:10:37 PM »
Let's share the best moments we got so far.

Versus a Ludd path high tier station that set up shop right next to my main colony. This was early on the game when my fleet consisted of only one pristine Odessy and two 3D cruisers and a bunch of other junk ships.  Was piloting a Falcon and was trying to kill the station arm that had four large ballistic mounts.

I had flanked the station even with hounds and fighters peppering my engines. Hull was at 20% and my goal was to get the arm to high flux so when it rotates to my Odessy's two HIL and 4TL she could destory it.

To get to this point where all the other defending ships were destroyed i had allready lost the venture and two civ ships that i was using for ecm and navigation, two enforcers and a eagle. My forces was not likely going to remain strong enough to destory rest of the station if that heavy ballstic station arm was going to go for a other pass. Most my remaining ships were on half hull points and even the odessy has baisically no armor on all sides.

As the heavy ballistic arm with high flux rotates away from my falcon i had to back off while keeping my shield half up versus the now broadsword and predition coming at me. As my Odessy (Officer piloted with weapons and fighter spec) start chewing on the last 10% of the flux, the ballstic arm start fighting back and putting hard flux on the Odessy. Bust as my only prestine well built ship with purposely trained officer it was going to be allright by my estimates.

BUT as this moment a enemy enforcer that I had a frigate fighting on the east side boosted towards my Odessy, and a random kite floated in front of the main firing arc absorbing the Odessy's attention. With this moment of relief it was clear the station AI would start venting and with the renewed low flux push back the agressors and destory another few of my dwindling remnants of a fleet, it would have enough flux to destory the Odessy by the time the kite had been dealt with. I was allready ready to press escape and reload my save and do this 20min fight again.

Then, by some AI miracle my Odessy had a epiphany. With 50% hard flux she decided to use plasma boost. With the shield up it pulverised a full armor and full shield kite and sent its exploding hulk flying off to the north east faster then the fastest ship could fly. At the same time ramming aside the boosting enforcer causing massive damage to it and sent it also flying away spiraling out of control in a flameout. With 30% flux left it shot both a reaper torpedo and a sabot salvo at point blank range at the now exposed  ballistic station arm and crippled it in every way possible. With the enforcer out of the way, no kite for lasers to lazily track, and the biggest threat in an insane overload. I paused the game at this moment and dragged the largest box selection I could make and sent a elimination order on all of my ships against the station. Thus the rest of my fighters and destoryers also closed the gap and tore the station to shreds piece by piece.

5
General Discussion / UNLIMITED SPEEEEE
« on: October 03, 2018, 12:35:04 AM »
What do you guys think about the idea that in-combat all ships should have unlimited max speed as long as they maintain 0 flux, only difference between ships is acceleration.

Right now the game has this addictive combat where the player is constantly thinking and engaged at all moments. The only dull moments and the most frustrating parts are when the player is just moving from one fight into another, dragging the screen to the max limits and waiting to engage.

Zero flux drive and burn drive are suppose to fix this but they both have flaws. The former bost the max speed only by a minimal amount and ended up as a during-firefight movement option. The latter is fun to use but the AI has huge problems with it.

Unlimited max speed with 0 flux can solve this travel problem pretty well I think. The AI could use it well, and it would open up some interesting possible manouvers from players like flanking escort formations and charging right up to faster ships is still not easy scince changing directions is equally hard.

6
Suggestions / Sabot spam!
« on: August 29, 2018, 01:41:58 AM »
Sabot needs to have a delay on subsequent shots. Maybe even harpoons to stop AI from wasting their whole load on one target.

Sabot spam can be fully unloaded to easily win a fight or neuter large ships. Frightfully the AI abuses this when equipped too. Unlike the harpoon counterpart sabot is much much harder to counter.


7
Not easy for new players to figure it out. Maybe have the bar flashing red with some sort of tough language.

8
Suggestions / Large ships in small fleets.
« on: March 12, 2018, 04:25:27 PM »
Basically a fleet diversity problem. An Aurora with a hound and tanker escort should be a thing.

Maybe instead of four frigate fleet it could be two destoryers or 1 cruiser fleet.

Should make picking battles more interesting on campaign field.

9
Suggestions / Safe'nSteady combat and player knowledge progression
« on: December 09, 2017, 10:50:54 PM »
Hello Starsectorizens and Starsectorpuppers.

Since progression can easily be reversed when the player fleet dies doing anything from scanning or bounty hunting. Perhaps there could be a way to gain progression and knowledge without risking everything in one fleet, but not include boring aspects as "grinding" easy bounties etc.

One idea is to have the player accept mission as a combat support. Once accepted from a market or a rendezvous point reached, a fleet is spawned and is headed into another fleet that spawned somewhere else. Reward is paid if the target fleet is dead or friendly fleet survive, this way it can easily become an protect or destroy mission with a few tweaks. The reward amount and difficulty could be dependent on fleet size difference, etc etc.

A system like this could have new players easily head out, fight in awesome big battles without worrying about losing ships and progress, witness how ships engage each other and basically quickly gain in-game battle knowledge for when they set out to build their own fleets.

Also experienced players could take on riskier missions by doing stuff like sacrificing themselves luring target fleet through a corona or in combat trying to assassinate crucial ships.


10
Suggestions / Fleet Nav/ECM bonus gui.
« on: November 07, 2017, 06:36:40 PM »
After playing around with large fleet without investing in combat skills I realized how important ECM and Nav bonuses are. Fighting between the same two fleets with 20% range deduction can go from a even fight to absolute steam roll. On top of that speed bonus while not as impactful is also quite important and can compound on top of range. I do feel like the importance of these stats often outweigh "plasma jets speed boost info" as are much less viewed and not cared about since it was the player who actively used it. Perhaps also allow players to see (could be character skill based) the estimated bonus before a battle. Also during a battle the ECM and Nav bonus be displayed somewhere else separate or be more visible.


The stats modifier info area is mostly a tooltip function where players can pause the game and can understand details about something, where a veteran player will often not even bother to look at. But ECM and Nav are so important that veteran players will need to glance that them more often at least.

11
Discussions / House of the Dying Sun
« on: June 04, 2017, 12:14:15 AM »
Noticed no one has mentioned this one yet. Great one, combat like everspace but with more... basic weapons. Story is better. Visuals is simple and has homeworld feel.

Takes about 1-6 hours for a play-through, depends on how good you are.


https://youtu.be/56fCuO7JEy4

12
General Discussion / Fighters need to "escort" less
« on: May 05, 2017, 09:57:42 PM »


I see alot of times fighters tend to escort certain ships, who they pick I am not sure, but as you see here, all the fighters are hugging my paragon like glue. Even bombers are trying to "escort", while the carriers they are from are dying...


13
I had an phaeton that got destroyed in an battle that I was forced to flee from. I managed to get away with 3 destroyers, 3 frigates, and a mule. But when the battle ended I had exactly 0 fuel...

I don't think this makes sense...

14
General Discussion / [REDACTED] [REDACTED] Core Farming
« on: April 29, 2017, 02:22:44 PM »
Has anyone else been farming [REDACTED] cores and selling them as primary income?

Because it seems a lot more lucrative then fighting double onslaught bounties! Since [REDACTED] fleets in systems with [REDACTED] stations re-spawn basically every time you offload and head back.

15
General Discussion / Too much heavy machinery?
« on: April 23, 2017, 10:54:48 AM »
But after a while of scavanging, eventually I will have something like 200 supplies - 800 heavy machinery, while I started off with 800 - 200.

That is picking debris and doing scans. Supplies and fuel are never a problem and I just buy crew from stations. Mostly use D ships as some of them are perfectly use-able.

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