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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24)

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Topics - orost

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I have a Gryphon in my fleet. It's armed with Annihilators, Harpoon pods, and a Hurricane launcher.

While I'm generally happy with its performance, it could afford to be a lot more aggressive with its missiles. I often see it choosing to not even try shooting Annihilators and especially Harpoons at ships with fairly high flux (it's more liberal, if still not liberal enough, with the Hurricane). For most ships it makes sense to save missiles for overloaded targets, but a Gryphon with a Missile Spec officer (which it is) has 18 salvos of Harpoons available per pod. Recently I've been transferring command to it at the end of battles to check ammo, and I typically see it has used less than half of its Hurricanes, less than 1/4th of its Annihilators, and even fewer Harpoons (taking into account Missile Autoforge). It hardly ever uses enough missiles to pop Missile Autoforge, even in very long battles where it runs out of CR.

I'm assuming ammo quantity is a factor to some degree, but now that we have another +100% ammo bonus we can stack, it needs to be more of one to let missile boats be effective under AI control.

(One thing I haven't tried is putting a more aggressive officer in it. I'm assuming it wouldn't affect this, but if I'm wrong, please correct me!)

For a while I have been noticing that my AI Apogees are sometimes ineffective at using their primary weapons, seemingly not bothering to aim with them and only firing them when they happen to point at an enemy. For example, an Apogee with a tachyon lance is extremely good at sniping weak frigates in my hands, but the AI just doesn't do it. I finally have a clear example of this happening:

It looks kind of like it's aiming with the missile launcher, but deciding not to use it? But I've also seen similar behavior on Apogees armed with guided missiles in the big slot.

Bug Reports & Support (modded) / Planet inside a star
« on: November 18, 2017, 04:38:06 AM »
I found an "auric world" called "Planet 4" that appears to be located right in the middle of a star.

It cannot be seen, and doesn't show up on the map, but it is listed on the planet list in intel. It has no picture there. It also doesn't show up on the hierarchic system view.

Mod list:

Dynasector 1.4.0
Blackrock 0.9.0
Console Commands 3.0
Hegemony Expeditionary Auxiliary 1.1
Interstellar Imperium 1.18.1
Lazylib 2.2
S&WP 1.4.1
Knights Templar 0.9.8e
Underworld 1.1.2
Version Checker 1.7c
GraphicsLib 1.2.1

Seed is MN-7609255793925291654 and the star is Gamma Arcus, located right in the middle of the upper-right quarter of the Sector.

I'm trying to kill a battlestation and this happens on every attempt:


The officer on the carrier is Cautious, it's armed with only long range missiles and PD, there are no orders given, all wings on the carrier have 4000 engagement range. And it keeps trying to brawl with it like an Onslaught.

I'm thinking it might be because of its drone - that would be about the right range to use it - but that's still a really poor idea.

I tried giving an order to keep the carrier away, but it just ignores it:


It's a pretty obvious one, but I figure that if it took me that long to notice it you might have missed it too

Deployed ships sometimes come out of Full Burn too soon, which can result in dangerous collision if there's something deploying behind them.

Here is a video where it happens twice in a row on starting the Dire Straits mission. The first time it's a near miss, the second the Colossus smashes into the Buffalo Mk. II, damaging it.

It can happen to both the player's ship and AI ships, although there seems to be some consistency to what ships are affected - for example, in Dire Straits, it can be the player's Hammerhead (rarely) or the Buffalo Mk. II (often, about 1 time in 4) but I haven't seen it with any other ship in that mission.

Suggestions / Nerf Sustained Burn w.r.t. hyperspace terrain
« on: April 27, 2017, 03:13:04 PM »
There is already a thread about SB, but I wanted to focus specifically on its interaction with hyperspace terrain.

The design goal of the terrain is to make the player actively participate in travel, seeking clear routes instead of flying to their destination in a straight line. However, between SB and Navigation perks, this incentive has been removed. If you're SBing with Navigation 3, deep hyperspace slows you down only a tiny bit or not at all and storms slow you only a little, and you'll punch through them so quickly you'll take very little CR damage. It's easier, faster *and* cheaper to just lay in course, turn SB on and take a nap rather than try to actually navigate.

Here are some numbers for a small fleet with base burn 9. Highlighted in red are the numbers that I think are a problem.

Terrain penalties shrink dramatically as you stack bonuses and become almost negligible with all of them.

I propose the following changes:

* Apply hyperspace storm speed reduction after the SB bonus, not before, to reduce SB's impact on speeds in storms
* Replace the +5 burn perk at Navigation 3 with something else. With it, it's possible to bump against the burn 20 cap, and once you're capped, small penalties become irrelevant. (Maybe just straight-up remove it. Transverse Jump is a big enough deal that I'd consider getting Navigation 3 just for it alone.)

With those, the table looks like this:

Navigation 1 still decently reduces terrain impact, and SB still makes travel in clear space much faster, but cannot be used to trivially punch through storms.

Bug Reports & Support / [0.8a RC19] UI breaks if you fly too far away
« on: April 21, 2017, 05:11:23 PM »
Start a game, buy a tanker and a lot of fuel, go to hyperspace, pick a direction and keep going until you leave the map, and then keep going some more. Open and close the map (tab) and this happens:


General Discussion / Does the Sector feel rather small to anyone else?
« on: April 21, 2017, 02:47:53 PM »
Not in the number of systems, but in physical distance and the effort required to traverse it. With a little bit of luck, it's entirely possible to mount a successful expedition to the very edge of the playable area with your starting kit and skills. That first time is challenging and feels very good, but when you get some money and skill points behind you it becomes a bit of a groceries trip, and, well, there isn't anywhere any further to go.

Bug Reports & Support / [0.8a RC17] "Strip" button removes d-mods
« on: April 20, 2017, 02:28:53 PM »
Clicking "strip" in the refit screen removes all d-mods alongside everything else, basically doing a ship restoration for free.

Bug Reports & Support / Player character assigned to two ships in fleet
« on: November 21, 2015, 02:15:14 PM »
I appear to have two flagships.



Seems to have happened after some moving of ships between fleet and storage.

If I deploy both ships in battle, the one that I'm not piloting has the officer portait on the map, but not in the main view. Unsure if it gets my skill bonuses.

The tooltip for the "Free Port" market condition says that it means that you can trade on the open market with transponder off, but it's not true, open market is still locked off with "required: proper docking authorization" if you dock with transponder off.

When there is a wing of Daggers in an enemy fleet without carriers, once they're out of torpedoes they keep trying to do bombing runs even though they have nothing to bomb with. The correct behaviour would be to simply retreat, I think.

(Where on Earth do I post this? I want to talk about a game mechanic in a wide sense, so General? I kind of want to suggest a change, so Suggestions? I provide a mod to try out the changes, so Modding? I really don't know, if you know better and happen to have superpowers, please move)

When it comes down to it, armor just sucks and doesn't even come close in usefulness to shields, and low-tech ships' survivability is straight up inferior to high-tech's.

As soon as you can afford it, usually the best thing to do is to ditch low-tech garbage - largely to take advantage of the good shields high-tech ships get.

This makes sense, of course. High-tech ships are more advanced, more expensive, rarer, more difficult to maintain - it makes perfect sense that they would be superior, and they should be superior. But at the same time, it is a bit of a shame and a missed opportunity. I have always wanted to see heavily armored ships plow through a barrage of fire and fight back, hoping to blow their opponents to bits before their armor gives in. But what actually happens is that they explode.

Taking hits on armor doesn't impede your ability to dish out firepower, but armor will always give in eventually. Taking hits on shields reduces your ability to fire back, but properly managed, shields will last forever. This is an interesting dynamic that could make both of them valid choices in various circumstances... but it really doesn't, because armor is just weak. Even the strongest armor on ships like the Dominator or the Onslaught feels like lip service, doesn't stand up to strong assault for more than a few seconds, and doesn't offer even a faint shadow of the usefullness of the shield of a high-tech equivalent.

With the above in mind, I decided to experiment a little to see what could be done to help. Here's what I came up with.

The primary adjustment made was to armor ratings. All armor ratings were adjusted to a value given by the following formula:

 ((v/b) * 0.66 - 0.33) * v + v  

where v is the initial armor value, and b is the "baseline armor value", dependent on class: 200 for frigates, 400 for destroyers, 900 for cruisers, 900 for capital ships except for battleships and 1100 for battleships (these are very close to the average armor of all ships of each class in vanilla, except for capital ships, which are lowballs because I feel they need a more serious boost to armor).

(Also rounded to nearest multiple of 25, except for very low values, where it's rounded to nearest mutiple of 5)

This formula exaggerates existing differences in armor: a ship of half the average armor will recieve no boost at all; a ship of average armor will recieve a 33% increase; a ship of twice the average armor will have its armor doubled. For reference, some before-and-after:


Other adjustments:

  • Reapers changed to Energy damage - they are an incredibly powerful and important weapon. There is no equivalent as dangerous to shield-based ships as the Reaper is to armor-based ships. This helps level the playing field a little.
  • maxArmorDamageReduction in settings.json adjusted to 1 from 0.85, to make armor a little better against death of a thousand cuts - still not immune, however - even with this setting at 1, damage can never be completely blocked.
  • Heavy Armor hullmod changed from 100/200/300/400 to 200/400/600/800 to keep it relevant among higher armor values.

(Skills affecting armor damage reduction probably also merit looking at)

What is the result of all this? I've only played a few hours so far, but my experience has been improved. Both playing with a low-tech, armor-heavy ship, as well as playing against them in a high-tech fancy boat. Armor feels like it actually matters a lot. Battles feel more tactical - it is a valid choice to armor-tank weaker attacks throughout the whole battle, not just something you do out of desperation when at high flux.

Despite the huge increases in armor values, it really doesn't seem exessive. A salvo of harpoons or a torpedo is not a lesser threat at all - in fact, it might be even more significant, because it robs you of armor that is actually very helpful now and forces you to use your shield, while previously you would have to use your shield anyway and that Harpoon hit is just hitpoint loss. Even the most heavily armored ships aren't unkillable - even 4000-5000 armor rating will give in eventually to sustained fire.

I strongly encourage you to try it out and let me know what you think and what adjustments are needed - I'm sure there's quite a lot to fix, especially at higher levels where I haven't had the chance to test a lot.

Link to a thread in Modding where you can get the altered files

Main thread here

I'm putting in the "implementation" of that discussion here to separate talk about the idea from talk about how to... well, implement it.

This is a link to the mod. It contains all the changes and will work fine if you do in vanilla.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to overwrite csv entries of an another mod, or for two mods to overwrite the same vanilla csv entry. If you want to try it out with mods, you'll have to download those csv files and manually replace the mod's copy (data/hulls/ship_data.csv):


Interstellar Imperium



(why those factions? because those are the ones I personally use and can modify with some idea of what I'm doing)

Also, if you're using Starsector+, you'll have to manually change the Reaper damage type in its weapon_data.csv.

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