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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21)

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Topics - Grievous69

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Suggestions / Skills that have DP caps should scale with battle size
« on: March 30, 2021, 02:01:09 PM »
As it is right now, you get the most benefit when playing on the lowest possible battle size, bonus points for having all your officers in battle while AI needs to deploy the rest. As someone who enjoys larger battles and uses 400 battle size, some skills really get sucky when you finally have a decent fleet. And yes I know respec is a thing, but it doesn't feel right to get a "powerful" skill only for it to get obsoleted by other choices in late game. So yeah either they should scale or simply not exist at all.

This also goes for everything else that uses some sort of cap, like max flight decks, RP cost of automated ships and so on. In case it wasn't clear from the title.

General Discussion / 0.95a General feedback
« on: March 28, 2021, 02:39:06 AM »
Note: I initially wanted to complete my playthrough and see everything there is to see but I already have so many things to say I'll probably forget half of it by the time I experience everything.

New ships:
  • Fury: When I first saw this thing in a tweet and heard about its weapon layout it kinda bummed me out since it seemed just like a bigger Shrike. And it actually is in practice, but it's so much more since I'm actually having a blast flying it. You know it's a good problem to have you can't decide which ship to pilot since you're having so much fun piloting the current flagship. With Helmsmanship you can drift all over the place and feel like a light destroyer, not light cruiser, 90 speed really is a blessing. Now for the actual firepower, yeah it's not much but it honestly doesn't need more for 15 DP, it seems just right. Currently I've only tried 2 missile - 1 energy in the mediums because I built in the Expanded racks, I suppose double energy gun builds could also be good but this just seemed like a more natural way to fit it. I honestly don't have anything bad to say about it, it's perfectly fine and balanced, such a great flagship for early/mid game.
  • Champion: Yet another excellent addition to the roster, albeit this one was less of a surprise. I immediately knew this thing would be a beast judging from the gifs, the weapon slots and arcs are just too good. Very versatile ship I have to say, the amount of different builds you could pull of and it would still work is insane, I genuinely love this ship. Even though I've been mostly letting AI handle it because the Fury is just too fun to pilot, I still think it's a fun ship to fool around in since it gives me Mega Sunder vibes. Not much else to say, this ship also seems fine and balanced for its cost.
So yeah I'm surprised that I wouldn't change a single thing about these ships, they both seem like wonderful additions I didn't even know I needed until now.

Breach SRM: I know there's small and medium version but they seem fundamentally the same so I'm gonna comment on them as a whole. Anyways they're cool and I'm so glad they have enough ammo, with EMR these babies last for an entire battle. One thing I have to note is that their description say that they're tough, which they are but they seem kinda slow to me. I mean they hit their targets reliably but they also get shot down sooo easily. For what it does (and it has such a specific use) I think it could get a small speed buff, like just a tiny bit faster. Because I've seen missiles much more deadlier having far better speed than them. I've been mostly using the medium ones and even a swarm of 5 of them gets shot down easily and maybe 1 or 2 hit, and that's a hard maybe. I don't know if I should just change my Fury setup to have 2 Typhoon Reapers instead of Typhoon + Breach, it just seems flat out better to me. Yes I'd have more trouble hitting smaller ships but honestly who cares when you have a Heavy Blaster in the front.
Anyways I like the concept but I think a small speed buff would put them in a perfect place.

Contacts: Alright, so I love everything about the execution. The fact that you have actual NPCs who have a role and matter, slowly building rep (maybe a bit too slow) and getting more lucrative missions. I LOVE being able to say "yeah just give me a harder bounty mate" without having to chase frigate bounties for a while, and vice versa ofc. As a bounty hunter player this one addition made such a huge improvement. Of course everything else about the missions is also great, having more variety is always appreciated and makes the game less tedious.
Now the thing that bothers me is the presentation, we all know here that Starsector isn't the best example of good UI design, but this is a special case. When I first started my playthrough, I did some missions, bounties, bought new ships etc. and then I remembered contacts are a thing. "Ok now how do I find them?" I clicked basically everywhere only to notice at the last second they're tucked under Intel with all the other notifications and mission postings. Seriously, why the hell is such an important mechanic hidden along with the spam messages, it makes no sense to me. So when I finally found it, I saw one contact (don't even remember where was it from) and saw the option to develop said contact, and from there I slowly started figuring out everything.

This is such a weird design to me I don't know how players who didn't read blogposts were supposed to figure out everything. Other than that I love the mechanic as a whole.

EDIT: I've seen Alex says there's a 25% chance to have a contact development offer after each mission. Now I might be extremely unlucky but so far in my game I only have a single contact, and I'm sure I've done a great deal of missions from bars. I know you can get some from story mission but I'm still holding on that part (plus I failed a story mission somehow, probably not a bug but eh).

Skill points: Ok now we get to the controversial topic. So way back when we first read about it in a blogpost I was kinda sceptical about everything and thought it was a bad idea. I guess I was so convinced it would be truly horrible that now I actually don't mind it much. Hahaha the key to not being disappointed is to imagine the worst possible scenario. Anyways I suppose the goal was met quite nice, it is easier for new players to decide between 8 skills rather than every single one. I still don't like the "choose one and you may get the other one but only if you invest 5 bloody points here, when we have 15 max", it's not the end of the world tho. Skills themselves are fine although some seem weak for having to invest 5 points in a given tree, mainly the Automated Ships one where you can get [REDACTED] stuff, it's competing with the best skill in the game IMO. It needs to have less restrictions, 30 recovery cost is too low given the core penalties. Also I think there's way too much accent on small ships, I know frigates were struggling but this seems so cheap and artificial. Oh you have a frigate fleet, congratulations you have a death fleet. Oh you have a cruiser fleet, here's 1% boost instead of 20%, good luck surviving. And the cap bonuses don't even take battle size into account. Something really needs to be done here, either tone down the lowering bonuses (it actually doesn't even say what's the minimum bonus) or get rid of such skills altogether. It feels bad when you're finally building your fleet and earning cash but everything is slowly getting weaker and weaker, that's not how skills should work.
And I agree with others on the visibility stuff, the actual skill description and numbers are in faded grey and small text while quirky quotes are at the top and in much bigger font. Yet once again an UI only issue it seems.

Story points: Holy *** was this another surprise, I really liked how they turned out. There's so much you can do with them that the player is enticed to experiment with them, especially since early game gives you so much. Later on it slows down quite a bit but I guess that's the intended design. Building in hullmods is also amazingly fun, so many new builds I can try out now. I was scared that Loadout Design going away but this really makes up for it, even more actually. I have to commend UI here since it's quite easy to tell at a glance what you can improve and use story points for (I can't always be negative about UI).

I have yet to try out raiding, story missions in full (sorry David, didn't do much reading yet) and the new endgame content. I'm also still in early stages of colonies so I won't comment on them just yet.

At the time of making this post I was level 12 with most of my skills invested into Combat and Technology, in case it's relevant.

Bug Reports & Support / [Possible bug] Contact refresh
« on: March 27, 2021, 05:26:31 AM »
I'm not really sure if this was intentional or not but it felt kinda weird and I don't know if there's a better place to post this. Anyways when you go talk to a contact and ask if there's any work you get offered a particular ship, go check the other options and the ship is still the same. But if I exit from that dialogue and ask again if there's work to do (without going to other colony screens or anything), the contact will suddenly offer a different ship. You can kinda cheat this and just spam until you get a ship you want, and it's super fast.

I suppose the offered jobs have a refresh of some sort so I thought it was weird it resets even without time passing by. In the case this is intended behaviour might as well just add a list of available ships for the player to select.

Basically everything is on the video. I have no idea what happened there, it's either a bug or story points are absurdly strong haha.

Suggestions / Tutorial improvement: Right click to set course tip
« on: February 26, 2021, 02:20:28 AM »
So I've been a bit bored the last couple of days and I've watched some new folks try their luck playing the game for the first time. And yes the tutorial is not perfect and needs much more work than this simple thing, but I believe this is super easy to put somewhere. Maybe just a pop up when the player first has to travel to a planet? 9/10 people left click something on the map, then that confuses them even more since it's a brand new screen they never saw before, and then you have to find the "lay in course" thingy (now that I think about it, this part of the UI looks really bad imo) so many proceed to do it this way each and every time. While just right clicking on a point of interest is much cleaner and easier to do.

This might be a late suggestion since the majority of QoL fixes are already finished (at least I think they are), but it's a very easy thing to add. I just hope in general that the new player experience got some love when we get to the final patch notes.

Bug Reports & Support (modded) / AI firing at empty space
« on: October 31, 2020, 07:12:09 AM »
So ugh, while making build variants for the tournament, I came across this weird thing.

I've never encountered this before, especially the Dual flaks hitting blank space at less than half range of my ship. And it couldn't have been a ghost missile or something because my ship has no missile weapons. Xyphos were chilling waaaay back in the meantime too.

Suggestions / What if the Onslaught was a real battleship?
« on: July 11, 2020, 10:58:36 AM »
I just want to clarify something, I don't think it's bad, I've definitely used it numerous times in my campaigns. But I was thinking, it's classified as a proper battleship, and it's 40 DP, meanwhile battlecruisers usually cost the same, Odyssey is even more expensive. Now I know it's perfectly okay for it to work like that, obviously there's more to factor in that just firepower. So my idea was to make it actually terrifying and up it's DP cost accordingly, 45 or 50 maybe idk. I think it's fair to let its 3 large turrets all converge forwards, it's a ship with a Burn drive after all, not a broadside ship. Perhaps add some more small mounts on it to really match the word Onslaught, and give it some more flux stats because even now you're barely able to fire your low flux guns, let alone something stronger, and I think battleships should be able to do that.

Hopefully it could also help with these ''problems'' a bit. It already has huge crew and fuel costs, this way it'll be worth it at least (it's actually more expensive than the Paragon weirdly). And since capital spam is a thing that's trying to get resolved maybe this would reduce the number of capital ships in some fleets. So it's no more a 5-6 Onslaught fleet but maybe 3 or 4 of them. Finally, this could potentially leave place for a low tech battlecruiser of some sort.

So would this be a good/bad thing and why? Or maybe it won't change much in the grand scheme of things so it's unnecessary?

EDIT: Actually I shouldn't have said ''real battleship'', it would imply it is weak right now. Let's then say a ''proper battleship''.

It's been happening here as well as on the subreddit (probably on Discord too but I don't read stuff there that much), and it's the exact opposite thing of what I've been used to in most games. Usually people defend OP stuff so they can play with them longer (especially if it's a multiplayer game), and I can understand that mindset. But I've come across people defending bad ships and weapons and instead of acknowledging that they clearly underperform, they call them ''niche'' or straight up tell others that they just don't know how to use them properly. Now I understand that game balance is very tricky, not everything can be perfect, and in some cases it's good to have a few worse options (for example here, easier early game enemies). But what is the point of being in denial that a certain ship or weapon isn't bad? I just want someone to explain that to me. Is it a challenge thing? Or maybe something that makes you feel superior to others since you use options  most people say are inferior?

Whatever the reason may be, it's just annoying having every other discussion end up with ''no you're wrong, x thing is just niche'' or ''it's just a matter of playstyle'', playstyle being fast-dying-ships fleet. I feel like it's super lazy and doesn't contribute anything to the subject.

In other thread I saw people defending Vigilance, Buffalo Mk II is a more useful ship. I've seen people praising Shrike as the essential ship to have in your fleet at all times. Same with Venture, same with Condor and so on...

And the argument is always the same, ''it just has a very specialized role''. In this case, specialized role can mean: dying super fast, suicing into whole enemy fleets, Salamander spammer, sitting brick of a duck...

If the same arguments were made for OP ships, half of the community would lose their mind, but apparently it's ok to have totally useless ships that are just there for visual stimulation. I care about balance, it's true that broken ships are a priority but it's also frustrating when a large number of ships are inferior in every way possible than some others.

Suggestions / A kinetic torpedo?
« on: July 02, 2020, 11:37:00 PM »
Writing about Sabots in a different post got me thinking, there really should be a different (maybe more common) kinetic missile but I don't want it to be too similar to Sabots. Now the biggest thing for me is seeing if it would work well on high tech ships that really need kinetic help. Most of these ships have mobility systems that can really close in on fast. So why not have a slower missile that synergizes well with those same fast ships.

I was thinking somewhere along these lines:
''Potential kinetic torpedo pod''
Range: 1200 900
Damage: 1500
Ammo: 10
Speed: Fast
Tracking: None
Refire delay: 10

I think the damage is reasonable for an unguided torpedo with the same speed as Reapers. You could drop shields to take a hit but not multiple times or with exposed hull so it's not too easy to counter (other than just dodge it). Small version would have 2 ammo. Thoughts?

General Discussion / Cursed builds
« on: June 22, 2020, 04:15:27 AM »
I've been a bit bored so I tried to come up with some truly ''wrong'' builds that can still work. Obviously these can't compete with the optimal ones, so don't start with ''well if you replace x with y the build can be a lot better''. The whole point is having fun and giving the meta a middle finger.

WARNING: The following images may be shocking for some, open at your own risk!

The Battlecarrier Astral - Note how even with only Talons, Astral lacks OP to do anything decent

The Aurora Wannabe Eagle - A cheaper alternative of the mighty destroyer crusher

The Lawnmower Conquest - Say goodbye to those pesky fighters and missile clouds

The REAL Burst Paragon - When you just can't seem to find those Plasma Cannons

Feel free to post your own abominations

Suggestions / Tutorial is weird with some starts
« on: June 05, 2020, 11:57:31 AM »
I don't know if this has been mentioned anywhere or is being worked on but currently the tutorial assumes you chose either the first or second starting option. I payed no attention to this since obviously I know how to play the game so I just skipped it. But a friend of mine just got into the game, and he chose the randomized option. What happens in the end is that pretty much everything in the tutorial runs away from you, he was kinda confused on what was going on. And then you get asked to recover even more ships which then makes a small-ish fleet pretty damn big for just starting out. Managing logistics is hard for new players, it's even harder when you just came in Corvus with 3 destroyers and some frigates.

No idea what would the ideal solution be here, locking some choices for first time players, tutorial adjustments based on what start is chosen, idk. It just makes the first experience weird if the player chooses a start that's not a single combat frigate.

P.S. I almost forgot the hilarious interaction where he tried to ''sneak in'' the pirate base with a big fleet and couldn't get close without being detected. When he closed in the pirates just ran away... so much for the sneaking part of the game.

Thaago just reminded me about this feature that even I sometimes completely forget. It's not a crazy knockback which is easily observable but just try loading a carrier with Perditions, and then running a sim vs the default Eagle. Third of the shots usually miss which is pretty substantial for a torpedo, and this isn't even mentioned when you hover over the weapon in the stat card.

General Discussion / Yet another fighter balance post
« on: May 28, 2020, 11:16:12 PM »
Even better if fighters became ships again so carriers can spend OP on guns and warship hullmods like they used to.  I am tired of the optimal carrier being the unarmed one that runs from everything while elite fighters do everything.  Also, commanding fighters to do stuff if player wanted.
Yep. That's one popular community suggestion that I have not seen bring any improvement to the game. May be pointless to argue against it now, but the game is worse off than it was before the change was introduced both concerning balance and combat depth.
I really wanna talk about this. I always knew some preferred the old fighter system but I thought those people were rare. Because personally I think the new system is miles better than the old one. I'm not gonna spend time convicing you since Alex already wrote a blog post about that. What I want to discuss is how some things remained the same after the rework and how it might be improved to reduce the ''spend all OPs on fighters and leave mounts empty'' problem I and a few others clearly don't like.

First, the goal of the fighter rework, among others, was to make the fighters feel more useful and stronger (well that's clearly achieved). But the problem I have is them having the exact same weapons as the ships many times bigger than them. This obviously has balance issues where it's hard to nerf/buff one without messing up the other but also having the same weapon being limited on one platform, but then absolutely unlimited on the other. Yea I know there's a thread for that, I'm just stating there could be a way to solve that logical obstacle. High delay type weapons of existing ones is a good start, more fighter weapons should be ''this weapon but weaker''.

Second thing, the OP going all into one basket. I reread the blog post just to get into the mindset of Alex again and there seems to be something that's bothering me. Originally, you have a decision on carriers between having almost free fighters with weaponry, and being virtually naked but with mean little bastards around. The base cost should've been 0 OP, but since Talon was obviously worth more it was buffed to 2 OP so I'm gonna use that as a baseline (it's hard to count Mining pods into this, having 0 enagement range and all that). So the caveat is, you should theoretically end up with same relative strength using both ''playstyles''. Now try having a Mora with nothing but Talons. Sure they still end up doing something and you have more room for weapons, but the difference between 3 wings of them and 3 wings of anything decent is astronomical. That's one less filled small mount on a Mora having the impact of a 4 times stronger fighter wing. You could do the same with Mining pods just to prove my point. Same with Drover, no point in having cheap fighters (I know that's a whole other can of worms). Sadly there's no 0 OP bombers or close so you can't really test Astral or Heron with those but I'm sure you would end with same differences in power.

And the last thing that's making the current meta annoying: AI
The cursed state of limbo where they just have to keep smacking fighters at 0 speed over and over again almost as they have been punished by the gods. I know going Leeroy Jenkins into a carrier immediately isn't a solution but this part is what makes fighters ultra annoying to deal with. I don't know how AI should exactly react in each situation so probably someone smarter than me has an idea.

As for those who swear by the old system I say, take off your nostalgia glasses. I completely agree that there was more depth because of the extra commands but as the whole package, the current system beats it out of the water. I just can't see it coming again because of the numerous problems already addressed by the Big Kahuna himself.

Short version: Make fighter less stronk, carrier great holy machines of war again

EDIT: Another great example of a weapon that shouldn't be the same on a fighter >> Xyphos

General Discussion / The new high tech light cruiser - Fury
« on: April 26, 2020, 01:16:44 PM »

Seems like it'll be a decent player ship with the option to put 2 medium missiles on it. Although I think that path will leave it weak after the missiles run out. For Shrike it isn't a big deal since it has destroyer PPT but a cruiser will easily spend those missiles. And since it's light, I'm not too sure if it's gonna be possible to fit Missile racks comfortably.

Told ya it's gonna be another ship useless without Sabots, you owe me 10 bucks  :P

Suggestions / Recoil reduction on hardpoints
« on: April 09, 2020, 05:52:31 AM »
I think that explanation should be visible somewhere in the game. Lots of times I've seen people talking about that and then a big part is surprised that's an actual mechanic. Hell I've seen it mentioned multiple times yet occasionally I forget about it when outfitting ships.  Maybe when hovering over mounts display something like ''small ballistic hardpoint (50% recoil reduction)'', I don't know the actual numbers tho.

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