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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 - Plantissue

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Suggestions / Hullmod thoughts
« on: February 05, 2020, 07:54:11 AM »
At the start there are too few hullmods. For instance you can struggle to fill the Ordnance Points usefully for the Cerberus and Hound, which are commonly used only in the early game, especially if you have Loadout Design 3 before you have accumulated the right modspecs. For instance adding Capacitors for those ships feel a bit pointless as they don't have innate shields, though they can be useful for being able to fire guns for a longer time without pause depending on the weapons. However it is unlikely the player would want to put the rarer flux hungry weapons on this ships. So I propose that either Makeshift Shield Generator or Heavy Armor should be added as hullmods know at the start of the game, as both can be useful to both ships. Armored Weapon Mounts and Advanced Turret Gyros can aslo be known at the start of the game as they too aren't sufficiently complicated customisation that would require a Modspec and can be assumed to be rather easy to customise without requiring a collection of notes and guidelines and practical examples that modspecs represent in a universe where customisation is widespread.

I would suppose a counter argument would be that these early beginning ships are supposed to be easy kills for the player, but I suppose it can be coded in that ships meant to be easy kills simply wouldn't use those hullmods. Depending on gameplay vision, it could be seen that these ships are not meant to be more powerful for the player to be able to use.

I feel like there are too many hullmods and there can be a cull of some of the more unnecessary ones or ones which present discordant gameplay design. Suggest to remove or merge/change some of these to make space for more exciting hullmods and reduce the scrolling needed. The suggestion of the removal of hullmods from the refit screen allows ships which have the built in to remain built in.

Blast Doors - can be removed as there are other hullmods which provides a greater Hull Integrity like Reinforced Bulkhead which provides +40% as opposed to +20%. Insulated Engine Assembly also provides +10% Hull which is almost as cost effective (83%) in Ordnance Points as Blast Doors for increasing hull. As sad as the worth of human life is, crew casualties from hull damage is normally not a concern. It's benefits of hull increase and crew casualties can be rolled into Reinforced Bulkead or Insulated Engine Assembly instead. A problem would be that there is less granularity in increasing Hull integrity.

Recovery Shuttles - Crew loss is not normally a monetary concern and if it is a matter of storing crew a better solution is to obtain crew logistic ship. An alternative is to reduce crew loss by 75% instead to make them worth having.

ECM Package or Nav Relay. Can be a bit situational. Normally used for support ships. Clashes with thematically with the skills that automatically gives these hullmods in that you already are deploying these sensor jammers and nav bouys. If not from your ships already, where are they being deployed from? Though it can be argued that the hullmod is for much more dedicated ships, that requires hullspace like on the Omen. Alternatively, they can be merged together.

Solar Shielding - benefits of operating in a corona and in storms is only as useful proportional to the amount is is applied to the fleet. The effect be much better placed as a fleetwide skill rather than a specific hullmod. The reduces energy damage by 20% aspect is awfully discriminating towards energy damage and begs the question of other damage types. This type of rock paper scissors hullmod is not gameplay that works well in this type of game I feel. In theory against a fleet of energy damage it would give disproportionate benefits and against a fleet of no energy damage that fleet would be worse off as well as creating an impetus to change hullmods beforehand to match the fleet you are facing.

Unstable Injector - feels a bit odd when Safety Overrides exists as an option. Though I suppose it can be used on Capital ships. I mostly use it for logistical ships in the early-mid game in case of a pursuit.

I feel that Augmented Drive Field takes up a very large amount of OP for a very high burn increase. It is better off halved for a +1 benefit in burn speed for half the OP cost instead. If +2 burn speed is preferable, perhaps it can be able to be applied twice or a new hullmod that is half of Augmented Drive Field be created instead.

The relationship between Militarized Subsystem and Insulated Engine Assembly is a bit conflicting in that applying Militarized Subsystem provides the same benefit of reducing sensor profile by 50% by removing Civilian-grade Hull, thus implying this is done by applying the Insulated Engine Assembly innately but without the hull integrity increase. But Insulated Engine Assembly can be applied again. A solution would be to remove the +10% hull integrity aspect. Another solution would be to reduce the cost of Militarized subsystem and remove the benefit of removing the sensor profile by 50%, but that clashes with the removing of Civilian-grade hull aspect. Or perhaps Civilian-grade hull should not increase sensor profile by 50%, or that you cannot apply both Militarized Substem and Insulated Engine Assembly together. However, it's not really much of a problem as it is not too breaking of a discrepancy.

This was suggested by another poster another thread:

"Crew veterancy could be fleet-wide instead of ship-specific by shifting it to the Command Points mechanic. The theory is that the Admiral increases the Command Point maximum as they design greater or more sophisticated gambits. The experienced crews reduce the timer to recover command points as they can efficiently carry out orders and start to anticipate orders."

Some sort of crew veterancy mechanic seems to be a popular idea, that runs into several problems, including that of specific ships shifting crew around when buying and selling, burdensome micromangement, and Combat Readiness being a game mechanic that already exists which represents the crew and affects combat ability. Instead, if crew veterancy was abstracted away and used to influence another effect like Command Points which can still have useful effects on the battle without interfering with pre-existing game mechanics. The Leadership skill already affects Command points, but as your crew itself are retained and gain experience, they too can process and implement your specific commands faster.

Suggestions / Hammerhead Balance Theories
« on: January 15, 2020, 07:09:23 AM »
The competitors as player piloted ships would be Afflictor, Shade and Harbinger. Not saying that Falcon (P) doesn't need a nerf, but it's hardly the most absurdly powerful and DP efficient player ship.
Don't forget an honorable mention for the Safety override hammerhead! It definitely has much harsher limitations, but when it shines it cleans house.
I do not understand the cult of SO Hammerhead. SO Medusa is better anyways. The phase frigates and Afflictor outmatch the SO Hammerhead in destruction and consistency and safety.

My point is that if there is a way to exploit an advantage, then player will make it work. In the end it all comes back to the simplest  "who has more dakka" question.
Timing matters. Defences matters. And speed. And range. And layout. And every other factor that matters in a fleet game. You cannot boil down the analysis of a ship and its weapons to simply DPS.

General Discussion / Yet Another Endgame Fleet
« on: December 11, 2019, 10:51:05 AM »
Fleet was built up from purely recovered ships. Version 0.9.1a. A wide variety of ships initially, but over time ended up chosing ships which were survivable and deal out a good amount of damage and could fight when outmatched in DP. Ships like Onslaught and Legion and Dominator and Mora were removed gradually. Doom can be assumed to be "flagship". The nice thing about Doom is that you can leave the Doom to go pilot another ship and when you come back, it is still there. Endgame tactics; concentrate firepower when appropriate, withdraw ships that need withdrawing, use personally piloted ship to exploit moments of opportunity. Initially games were played in 300 Battle size, but was changed near the end to 500 Battle size. Most of these ships have D-mods in the game but I restored each of them to show the fit.

This Conquest is a bit different to one I have posted in another thread as I must have written over or deleted a game save and I thought I had 4 but there is only 3. It has Heavy Burst laser instead of Graviton Beam. More useful against incoming missiles since AI Conquest fights at a funny angle. Not sure why I have all the other LR PD to be honest. I suspect it is due to beams looking nice and they provide a visual indication when observing the battlespace.

A typical Eagle. I imagine most players will make an Eagle like this. There are three Eagles. One of them is XIV Eagle, but it shouldn't matter to the general build since XIV Eagle has more OP. One of them replaces the pair of Salamanders with Advance optics for greater range so the ballistic projectile fades around the same range as the beam, as opposed to the beams being just under the ballistic weapon range. Doesn't seem to make much difference in effectiveness to be honest, though I suppose the Ion Beam should theoretically be more likely catch out withdrawing ships.

This Eagle fit was not used in the end fleet, but I thought to include it in as it is interesting to see the changes before reaching that point. This was attempt to create a higher DPS, more survivable Eagle, trading range and beams with PD and high DPS, to help finish off after retreating targets. These Eagles were gradually replaced by Conquests on a 2 for 1 basis. I am uncertain if a Mauler would be better than Heavy Mortar for DPS against high armour ships. Heavy Burst laser can possibly be replaced by Burst PD Laser especially since Heavy Burst Laser has a slight tendency to get into range and fire when unwanted. For some reason Heavy Needlers were extremely rare in my game, so I didn't use them despite being ideal. Their role was eventually taken by Conquests and Herons so I replaced them with the long range Eagles which can generally be left alone without using command points.

I am not entirely sure why I have a single Falcon in the end fleet but there it is. Pretty typical Falcon I suspect. Basically a mini-Eagle but with worse weapon ratios. Possibly there to fill Deployment Point gaps.

One of 2 Herons. I must have deleted a save as I thought I have more variants with Thunders and I thought I had a config with 1 Dagger and 2 Longbows. They came quite late into the fleet as I initially was trying a game without fighters, but then I realised I needed something that could quickly finish off ships. I realise that after posting, I forgot to restore the Heron before taking a picture but whatever. I normally leave them floating around on their own accord, directing an appropriate amount of them to fighter strike appropriate targets. Usually 2 is enough to be directed at for a capital. There's always a sad moment when you run out of command points and now you can't concentrate attacks. Oddly, they are vulnerable to fighters if for some reason the AI decides to harass a heron with fighters.

A Doom. Spends most of it's time phased, mine striking ships and surrounding them with mines to prevent escape or outright destroying them.  Configuration is basically a reconfigured Strike autofit. 4 Sabot SRM, 2 Typhoon Reapers. I find that I have to carefully proportion the sabots and reapers, which can be tricky since generally you need more sabots than reapers. Sometimes reapers are fired on on shielded targets to increase the flux of the targets. Phasing means that you can reload the reapers faster than expected in "real time". The 2 Heavy Blasters are useful for fending off and finishing off ships at times. Can be replaced with Pulse Laser or Phase Lance I imagine. The 4 Burst PD Lasers might seem pointless, but are needed for deleting all sorts of missiles and fighters that would otherwise harrass you when unphased. The small energy mounts were initially left empty but were filled back up again due to this. Congratulations on whoever created the Strike autofit variant for the Doom. Though perhaps you can't go too wrong for weapons on a Doom. There's all sorts of combat "tricks" and skillful use to be done with the Doom. Not sure why I have reinforced Bulkheads instead of Hardened Subsystems or just more vents. I must have found myself in situations where the Doom lost a lot of HP.

There's also a 2 Tempests, an Omen, and a smattering of phase ships that get cycled through when the Doom runs out of PPT. To be honest the non-phase ships frigates don't see much play. They are all pretty typically built I imagine. Afflictor has 2 Antimatter Blasters, 2 Light Assault Guns, 1 Ion Cannon. Shade has 2 Antimatter Blaster, 1 Ion Cannon. The second Shade also has 2 IR Pulse lasers added, not sure why. Harbinger has 3 Phase Lance and the other has 2 Heavy Blasters.

Suggestions / Should Deployment Points be split equally?
« on: September 03, 2019, 04:21:07 AM »
Currently, the initial deployment points is proportional to the deployment points both fleets have. The maximum proportion is 50% more than the minimum proportion, so for 300 deployment points it is 120 and 180 respectively. For 500, it would be 200 and 300.

Many new players (and old!) do not understand this system. Though it can be argued that it might make common sense that a bigger fleet can deploy more, it doesn't make sense that the amount deployed is limited to a nominal value at the same time.

A bigger fleet is an advantage all in itself without having to skew it in the bigger fleet's favour by making the bigger fleet able to deploy more. Splitting the deployment points equally, so both sides are limited to the same amount should make the battle flow more nicely and prevent the problem of having more ships in the fleet that may never get used, just to gain the advantage, or not be given the disadvantage of different deployment points.

If both sides happen to be under the deployment limit, then both sides can obviously deploy as much as they can. This is not much different to the current system and shouldn't be a problem. If both sides are over then both being limited to a set amount of deployment points shouldn't be a problem as well. The only game mechanic lost is the possibility that a large fleet full of deployment point inefficient ships will have less of an advantage over smaller fleets, but the player is generally disincentived towards building such fleets anyhow.

As a side effect it will always be obvious why your fleet is too large to disengage from an unwanted battle, another commonly asked question.

Suggestions / (spoiler) Battlestation range
« on: February 02, 2019, 10:42:30 AM »
Currently fighting the AI remnant battlestation is a bit fustrating and odd. I think the cause of that is that its range and sight is phenomenally massive, shooting from out of the fog of war. I'm not sure from what range it shoots from and it may be aided by that the size and shape of the AI remnant battlestation may give extra range to the outer guns from when it is detected, but it feels that its range is about 4000, thus any ship approaching and retreating from the battlestation is under fire for a lengthy amount of time and range.  Various skills will alleviate this problem, but wil not solve that it is shooting from out of the fog of war. As it is currently with the default 200 battlesize, you can only deploy 120 deployment points worth of units. Using a brute force combat capital ship deployment it is either 2 Paragons or 3 Onslaughts worth of deployment. Deploying Onslaughts will roughly need deploying 7 Onslaughts and losing 3 Onslaughts. Whilst deploying the Paragon will, with some personal piloting lose nothing. It is quite the disparity. I think the cause of the disparity is the sheer range of the AI remnant battlestation and the range of the Paragon itself combined with range reducing skills. I suspect the AI remnant battlestation is so massive in the first place in order to counter the massive range of the Paragon which has Advance Targetting Core which combined with the Advanced Optics Hullmod can give an excessive range to snipe AI remnant battlestation modules.

So I propose that the maximal range the AI battlestation can shoot at (which I have no idea what it is, or what the rnage boost it is under) is reduced so it cannot shoot from out of the fog of war.
In line with this, the Advance Targetting Core of the Paragon built in hullmod is reduced, so it cannot simply outrange the AI remnant station including that the weapon range of the AI Battlestation is reduced by 25% due to skills.

Suggestions / Station/Planet view options.
« on: January 24, 2019, 09:56:56 AM »
When at the colony, there is no option to goto the Colony info screen [M]. As it is,  when I choose "3. Manage the colony", it takes me to the inventory screen the inventory screen first, then I have go to the Colony info screen. This seems rather counter intuitive.

At a planet/station, there is no option to goto the fleet or refit screen, which should be an option, as you are likely to going these worlds to refit and buy new ships. As it is now, you have to remember the hotkey or go through the inventory screen first.

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