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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: Codex Overhaul (05/11/24)

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Topics - Grievous69

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General Discussion / How to break Legion AI
« on: February 28, 2024, 01:43:12 PM »
I almost went and reported this as a bug but honestly don't know anymore, maybe it's a loadout thing. Anyway here's the build that breaks the AI completely
So just to explain, it initially had 6 Light Autocannons (so only 2 Vulcans on the far sides) but I switched it since I thought it was a PD issue, AI being scared and all that.

If you're at your pc, just copy my build, officer is aggressive but I honestly don't think it matters. Elite Helmsmanship, Missile Spec, Gunnery Implants, Damage Control and Impact Mitigation. I also doubt the skill play a role here. Just run a simulation versus an Onslaught or use it in battles to see how it's behaving. Think it's faster to reproduce it and see than for me to explain.

But I will explain for those that can't test things right now. So what happens is the Legion tries to fight diagonally, a lot. Thankfully it still has most weapons in range of the target, but it looks silly and it moves slower this way, not to mention horrible positioning to chase with Burn Drive. I thought Light Autocannons confused it but it does this even at long range. And it becomes REALLY timid, it backpedals from everything and doesn't want to fight, just hovers idling. Again, this is an aggressive officer... Not even Eliminate orders convince it much.

It's so easily reproduceable it almost feels intended, but there's no reason for a ship to behave like this, even if I put Light Autocannons on the sides, hell I've had multiple Railgun Legions. If Alex can't see this in person, I'll capture it the next time I witness it (probably tomorrow), but I think it's more valuable to give the exact recipe for this funky thing.

Btw I know AI does the turn thingy to spread damage on armor but 1) this happens with intact armor and 2) it does it way more often than the mentioned behaviour.

EDIT: Uploading to YT right now, video will be posted soon.

It just hovers at zero flux doing nothing, I've never seen that AI behaviour before.

Suggestions / My wishlist for the next update
« on: February 25, 2024, 06:19:18 AM »
Doesn't matter which version number we get to next, there are just two things that I'd really like to see asap in the game, and ideally not wait until 1.0. There's of course a bunch of other major and minor things I'd like to see at some point, but those can either wait until 1.0, or are not affecting my enjoyment of the game so that I don't care to see it in a shorter period.

1. Safety Overrides rework
To the surprise of absolutely no one who remembers multiple threads that I made about hating and wanting SO out of the game. So I'll keep this one brief and not go in length why do I want it gone in its current form. But the reason I want it reworked sooner than later is to finally stop seeing all the silly ship builds that only work because they break the game's established rules. Just this patch we got another ship (Grendel) and of course every other build I see has SO, so it's impossible to have a balance discussion. Also the sooner we rip the bandaid off, the less painful it'll be. Since players will need time to get used to not having a super potent popular hullmod which they know from a long time. Can you imagine the uproar that update will bring? I can already see mods that restore the old SO.

2. Intel tab cleanup
Each new update, this screen gets more and more cluttered, to the point that I'm now spending a non-insignificant amount of time fiddling through the tabs just to find what I want. Faction tabs are ok-ish since at least they're colored and consistent in their placing. But everything else is a mess that gets shuffled all the damn time and it screws with muscle memory.

I can't wrap my head around why can't I view bounties and exploration missions at the same time. And like with a lot of other UI elements, there's a lot of dead space on the screen (seriously, why doesn't it go to the edges of the UI?).

Contacts are important enough that they should have their own tab, preferably with more things to do with them (call them from remote locations pls). Same with colony crises and topography data. These things almost seem "hidden" considering the amount of near useless information intel gets filled with.

You get so many different kinds of exploration info, but for some reason Hypershunt finds don't appear here.

Anyway this update added more things to the Intel, I expect this to only get worse in the future.

Maybe just add more sections to the Intel? There's currently only 3, and I honestly barely use the Planets and Faction ones. It would save so much clicks if we could immediately get to the information we need, and also check multiple tabs so that the map gets filled with all the icons we want (in case we're plotting a route and want to complete everything along the way).

EDIT: Apparently you can use shift and ctrl click on Intel tabs to check multiple of them at the same time. And I wouldn't even know that without this post and a dev response.

General Discussion / Does the Apex seem stronger than before?
« on: February 23, 2024, 03:05:24 AM »
Obviously there weren't any direct changes to it in the patch notes, and I really don't think of my opinions as something bad, I like that there's different kinds of Remnant ships.

I'm just curious if anyone else noticed them being more effective in fights than before (and yeah every single Remnant ship is now stronger thanks to buffed elite skills). This might be anecdotal but recently I had a very tough Remnant bount which had ALL Alpha cores, every single ship in that cursed fleet was piloted by a core with 8 elite skills. Radiant, Nova, Brilliants, probably enough Apexes to fill an entire fleet, and a bunch of smaller craft.

It took me 4 tries to get a win, in the end good old deathball strat was the one that worked. Only 3 frigate losses which was insane considering in every other fight I lost at least 1 capital in the middle of the fight.

Back to Apex, it seems it got more out of buffed skills than other ships. Elite Helmsmanship is amazing for a ship that is naturally this slow so it appeared way less helpless than before. And it's so so crazy durable. I swear you can kill 3 Novas in time it takes to pop 1 Apex. It really is the ultimate distraction ship for Remnants as it refuses to die and at the same time can't really be ignored due to long range projectile spam. Still probably won't be used in player fleets with Automated ships but I don't think I can call it a joke in fights anymore.

Who knows maybe it was always decent, I could've just had fleets that weren't countered by them before.

Suggestions / Get rid of type "delete" to delete saves
« on: February 22, 2024, 11:35:01 PM »
And I'll keep making this suggestion until it gets fixed. Yes fixed as in the current system serves literally no purpose. Every normal game in existence has a simple "Are you sure?" prompt, I don't see why that can't be a thing here.

This post was inspired by me experimenting with something in the game and making a bunch of save copies. Then I got hit with a decision, is my typing speed faster than finding the game files and manually figuring out which saves I need to vaporize. So please can we get rid of this archaic thingy.

Saw this suggestion on reddit just now, and it didn't ever occur to me since I always know how much fuel I need where I go. But an inexperienced player might mess up and then get stranded. Only to get 15 fuel which gets used just getting to hyperspace. I understand such situations should be punishing but scuttling half of the fleet or more is too much imo.

So maybe the game should try to give more resources, or hell make it more dangeour so you can salvage the fuel after the fight.

General Discussion / Isn't being called "captain" kinda incorrect here?
« on: February 18, 2024, 08:02:40 AM »
I literally just noticed this, so when you start a new game you get the option to choose how you're going to be called. Sir, Madam or Captain. But from my limited knowledge of ranks, a captain is someone in command of a vessel, in this case, a spaceship. But we're commanding a whole fleet, no one is going to roll in a single ship whole playthrough.

Doesn't it make more sense to be called an admiral then? We're giving orders in battle to our whole fleet, which is what admirals do.

Tbh I prefer Captain as a word more, it sounds more fitting in this universe, but I'm also curious to hear how others think of the title Admiral. We could always have both.

General Discussion / Grendel AI needs a bit of work
« on: February 06, 2024, 02:48:34 AM »
The ship itself is fine, seems balanced from what I've seen so far. Even though it sounded broken back when it was teased, I quickly saw that's not the case once I saw how the ship performs. Having no range AND bad speed is a killer in this game, so the only thing it has is firepower once it gets lucky to be in a good spot at the right time.

It was advertised as a "phase ship that can brawl". No, no it cannot to that even remotely. Phase ship AI is screwing it so much I see it activating AAF, firing a single salvo then immediately phasing (when literally nothing is shooting it) and thus wasting the AAF ability. Often times it decided to phase trying to avoid a single Graviton Beam, or Heavy Autocannon shots... (and this is at full armor). So I don't understand how it's supposed to brawl like that. Only times it shines is when there's absolutely zero distractions around it, and it can focus on one overfluxed ship. Any semblance of a duel is a death sentence since it will overflux itself with needless phasing in-out.

And mine has HVDs and Maulers, with every range and speed bonus it could get from combat skills. So I can't even imagine how a shorter range build would do in a fight.

P.S. Yes yes Starsector is a fleet combat game, you're supposed to create openings for other ships. Ok but I expect a 18 DP phase cruiser to not have troubles dealing with a Venture that's all alone.

General Discussion / It's been 10 years already
« on: January 16, 2024, 07:27:35 AM »
I just had this revelation today, I've been playing Starsector for 10 bloody years... I can't even remember another game that I've played consistently for 5 years, let alone double that. To put it in perspective for almost 40% of my life Starsector has been on my desktop, doing at least 3-4 runs each year and testing builds here and there in the meantime. And I usually just play vanilla. Btw I know my forum account is not 10 years old, but I've been a lurker before that.

And best of all, it's not even a multiplayer game which usually do better for long term engagement since you can always fool around with friends. It's just a random 2d space game made by a tiny team, slowly being developed. So I guess you could technically call it a live service game lol. And honestly even after the development finally gets done, I believe I'll still fire it up every once in a while.

Here's to more of my time being consumed by this magnificent game.

(Can't even imagine what this is like for Alex who has been here since the very start and knows the game well from all periods. Development started in 2009 or something if I'm not mistaken.)

General Discussion / New Wendigo phase cruiser
« on: January 07, 2024, 12:46:41 AM »
From all the sources I've seen so far, known information is: Large cruiser with 1200 armour and 11k hull, Rugged Construction hullmod, 5 medium ballistic, 6 small ballistics and 3 small missiles. But the real kicker here is that it has AAF. That's a scary amount of burst ballistic damage on a ship that can go in the shadow realm. Now, we still don't know the important stats such as speed and flux, but I'm happy there will finally be a phase ship I can leave to the AI and not feel bad. This just seems foolproof enough that even AI can do something decent in a fight.

Also there's no way this thing is cheaper than an Aurora.

General Discussion / HEF interaction with weapons
« on: October 03, 2023, 05:56:38 AM »
Or honestly any damage boosting ship system, but HEF (High Energy Focus) is what brought me to this question. To clarify, I'm asking at which point can you activate HEF so that it still affects the gun you're firing. This isn't an issue with most weapons but with Gigacannon I found I'm not 100% sure how it works. I know I could test it myself when I have time to launch the game but I reckon someone might already know the answer here. So in the example of Gigacannon, would activating HEF after the chargeup already begins count as using it in time? I'm pretty sure this is how it works since the projectile is still not out, but it might have some weird interaction since technically you already clicked and "started firing".

Posted this question because I remember always waiting for the sound cue of Gigacannon charge, then hitting HEF to boost the damage. Hopefully I haven't been wasting all those system charges on nothing.

Discussions / Plans to post game updates alongside Twitter?
« on: July 02, 2023, 12:54:02 AM »
With Twitter basically having a paywall now, would it be feasable to post tease content on other places? I don't know where exactly and mind you this is not something that's detrimental to me, I barely use it as is. But imagine sharing a twitter link (which happens here in discussions) and then seeing that a part of people can't even see what you posted. It's ridiculous. It's like this year is the speedrunning year to see who can kill their own social sites quicker.

Btw this is obviously directed to Alex as that's a vast majority of content that gets posted about the game, then I remember David also sometimes teases things and talks about art in the game, which would also be a shame to be limited to that cesspool of a site.

General Discussion / New [REDACTED] ships discussion
« on: June 23, 2023, 07:43:22 AM »
Trying some Automated Ships this playthrough, I finally gotten around to testing the two new ships and oh boy I have some thoughts.

APEX: Honestly better than I initially thought, but it still ended up feeling weak. Having it in my fleet reminded me of Apogee - a sluggish high tech ship more focused on defense, that crumbles when being pressured or jumped on. And it seems like it really lacks OP, I had 4 empty mounts, 2 s-mods and it still didn't seem like a 30 DP ship. If you were to tell me before the patch, that this was going to be a normal common high tech ship I wouldn't bat an eye. Don't really want it to become cheaper, it's already very common in Remnant fleets, just maybe with more OP, or hell add another Terminator Drone wing. They do absolutely nothing in big fights. Since even with great flux stats and an Alpha core that I gave it, it often dies first in fights. I even tried Expanded Deck Crew for Terminators and barely any difference. 200 bonus range on projectiles is awesome but that's the only gimmick here. You're paying 30 DP for a Paragon wannabe.

Also why does it have those sticks or antennas or whatever they are? It's not even nice for the eyes damn.

NOVA:: Just as I assumed, this is RNG the ship. One fight it's eliminating ships left and right, zooming around like a Shrike on stereoids. And then another time it will burn itself into a corner and miserably die. The biggest downside here is the horrible shield. I gave it Omni shields, s-modded Extended shields, Stabilized and Accelerated. And it's finally usable now lol. I both love and hate it because it's so ridiculously fast and can burst anything smaller than a capital. But I wish it didn't have the Fearless personality. Too much micromanaging to stop it from chasing a random frigate and going off to the edge of the map. With all the shields mods required, I feel like the missile slots are a trap here, you really want all the flux in the world and for it to not die versus 2 destroyers. I ended up with only 2 Sabot Pods so I don't feel bad for leaving everything empty.

I swear it's a coin toss, either it carries the fight, or dies first like Apex.

And as another thread mentioning, it's disgusting that you'd need to spend 50 OP just to pilot this thing, I'm not even bothering to find out how bad it would be.

Completely unrelated question but I'm confused on this one. My Nova with an Alpha core is supposed to have 75% CR. It says so in the Automated ships skill tooltip. BUT, I have Combat Endurance which seems to do nothing, and removing it brings it down to 60%. Is that working properly? On top of that, Crew Training also seems to be doing nothing, now that might be intended since it doesn't have crew after all, but then why does it count for the 240 DP treshold?

General Discussion / Wacky Eradicator (P) build
« on: June 21, 2023, 01:31:33 PM »
Minor spoilers I guess because fancy weapons. This is my current flagship in the second 0.96 playthrough:
I really wanted to make s-modded Expanded Mags work on a low tech ship that isn't Onslaught, and so I initially made it have 2 Thumpers instead of 1, and in small missiles there were Breaches. Hidden cache later, I switched to this current loadout.

This runs extremely hot, it's very risky to pilot and engage the enemy but oh boy this devours anything that has less hp than you have flux caps. TTK is phenomenal. That said I'd give my left nut to have 100 more dissipation but I know this isn't a high tech ship, I just made it a pseudo high tech cruiser. Again the point of this post isn't optimizitation, I know this is basically a meme build, but it's so incredibly fun and unique I had to share it. Maybe it gets even better when I get more combat skills.

To clear up what I mean. With energy weapons, as you get to larger mount sizes, the weapons get better. Small energies are either support, PD, meh assault options and one strike weapon. Mediums now finally caught up to speed provide similar options but with more variety and stronger punch. And then large energy weapons are the final step where you see the big shots that make the center point of ship builds.

Balistics somehow achieved the total opposite. Thanks to Ballistic Rangefinder and continous buffs, small ballistics became THE ballistic mounts. I don't hate BRF in any way though, I like what it does. It just made it clear how the weapon progression became wonky.

I don't think there's a single bad small ballistic gun. Star of the show is LDAC with 0.6 efficiency which might as well be an exotic weapon with such stats. Accuracy is not a huge issue since they're meant to hit shields and AWM and Gunnery Implants fix that even more. Railguns and small Needlers having 900 range obsoletes the medium options. So you can theoretically end up with small Needlers having MORE range than medium ones, huh? That doesn't seem right to me. So if you can spare the OP (which you usually can by picking small instead of medium weapons) and have enough mounts, it's an easy choice.

Medium ballistics still have strong contenders: HVD, Mauler, Arbalest, Flaks. And that's it. Heavy Autocannon is a direct "upgrade" to LDAC, and suddenly you're paying more to have 1.0 efficiency instead of 0.6. Again wtf moment. Only ever decent on hardpoints. Heavy Mortar is something you get if you don't have Maulers, if there was anything else even slightly decent similar to it, it wouldn't exist anymore. Heavy Needler is too expensive and 700 range. It seems mid range options got the biggest middle finger.

Then we get to large ballistics where the situation is almost worse than with mediums, almost. Hellbore and MkIX are good budget options doing their job. I can at least stomach MkIX having 1.0 efficiency because it deals good damage to hull and it has good alpha. Devastator is nice for ships that can get in range and has additional use as anti fighter. Then we get to really niche options with Mjolnir, HAG and Gauss. Neither is horrible or anything. They just can't be reasonably fitted on most ships with large ballistics, until you do heavy sacrificing. And all require Ordnance Expertise. Lastly, Storm Needler is a joke which got attention in another thread and made me make this one in addition.

My thoughts in short: LDAC is too efficient. HAC shouldn't have 1.0 efficiency if it's ever going to try and compete with smalls, Heavy Needler needs 800 range at least. Heavy Mortar is annoying because you don't have options apart from Maulers, and I don't like being forced to use them. Again, I really wish we had a 800 range HE gun, just to see who'll still use Heavy Mortar.

Large ballistics are more delicate because it's easy to make them broken with Ordance Expertise, it feels like that skill was implemented as a band aid for low tech ships that want to use large ballistics. I can't imagine not running it on some ships nowadays. Also good ol' Heavy Ballistics Integration reminds us "hey, you'll hate it less if you pay 10 OP less". Invictus is the only ship that should have it. I dare be extreme and say to adjusts flux costs and get rid of Ordance Expertise. HAG is too flux hungry no matter how baited we are with accuracy buffs. Mjolnir is good on a single ship in the game. I only ever used Gauss on Atlas MkII. Storm Needler is way too niche, and AI unfriendly.

P.S. To obligatory powercreep comments. We already went and shifted the whole meta picks a few times, some with buffs/nerfs, some with new skills. I'd rather buff a few weapons than nerf everything else. Clearest indication of this issue is a decent chunk of players downsize ballistic mounts. That is a rarity with other mounts, here it is usually an optimization.

Suggestions / Make Pirates more interesting and interactable
« on: June 07, 2023, 08:57:31 AM »
This video has some pretty good suggestions and ideas, one of which I will explain here.
Mr. BigBrain talks about pirates and why are they so crazy about killing you. You can mow through their fleets but they just don't give a damn, they'll keep throwing themselves in the woodchipper. So why not have some mechanic where when you destroy enough of their forces, you get a transmission from them asking if you'll let them go for a couple of credits. So like reverse of Pathers, you pay them to bugger off, and pirates give you money for giving them mercy. It makes sense for them as a faction, they currently operate like some angry swarm trying to devour anything, not caring for their behinds.

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