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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 - Deshara

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you set the training regime your faction attempts to distille in its officer corp, officer quality determines how many levels ur produced officers can attain & how closely to your preference they're produced, and officers die in battle to justify the need to do it

Suggestions / activating phase should generate soft flux
« on: July 18, 2021, 03:18:22 AM »
phase cloak activation currently triggers hard flux, which doesn't have any interesting interaction with the hard flux generated by phase cloak upkeep. If activating the phase cloak generated soft flux you could do interesting interactions; you could make a ship have a massive activation cost of soft flux & very low upkeep cost to make a phase ship into a phase cruiser, designed for long periods of phase operation to reposition across long distances at no flux cost until the soft flux from activation runs out, but poorly optimized for short phase skips mid-combat if flickering phase maxes out the reactor & holding phase until the cost got zeroed out gave the ship it's fighting a gap to recover its own flux. you could make a ship specialized for flicker-phasing through shots but incapable of phase cruising by giving it a negligible activation cost but substantial upkeep.
you could even add in the much-missed phase hullmods to adjust such numbers. shield hullmods like stabilized shields don't do anything to change the use-cases of shields, but stabilized cloak or accelerated coils could actually be a significant game changer for the way a sneakyboi operated

Suggestions / gate hauler derelict
« on: July 17, 2021, 10:27:39 AM »
gate hauler derelict. like the cryosleeper derelict, except it lets you put a gate in one of your colonized systems

Suggestions / market conditions once-over
« on: July 16, 2021, 02:42:22 PM »
just a small list of extremely minor annoyances that lose me sleep daily

no atmosphere should give an accessibility bonus, dense a malus. The exact reason that building a base on the moon would be good for space travel is that its lack of atmosphere makes it much easier to launch/land on.
small barren moons should probably get the low gravity condition most of the time.
space stations should get the cold (or hot, there is no in-between in vacuum), no atmosphere and low gravity conditions. if a dome on a barren rock gets them, then a dome orbiting a barren rock should too.
we should figure out what the heck is up with colonizing a gas giant. if it's a cloud city, then they should probably get a bunch more conditions that are nigh but guarenteed (a habdome on a cloud city floating precariously over the yawning abyss of a gas giant is probably not as economical as a habdome on the barren moon that orbits it...), and if it's not a cloud city then colonizing it should just plop a station in orbit regardless of whether you've built a defensive station, which gets the cold, no atmo & low gravity conditions as a station
the ability to build stations on a (stable, IE you havent hit it) asteroid

also, while we're here, a set of rare industrial items that negates the hazard rating of market conditions that space stations always get, but only on space stations. An industrial set of RCS thrusters that increases the market's demand for fuel that not only keeps the station in a fast enough spin to simulate gravity but is smart enough to do so on a station large enough to house thousands or hundreds of thousands of people (which normal RCS thrusters couldnt do) & with enough consistency that ships can safely dock with it. Ect

Suggestions / replace a few mission hounds with cerberuses
« on: July 11, 2021, 03:38:47 PM »
by my count theres 27 hounds in the missions, and 0 cerberuses -- which is odd as in the campaign any sizeable fleet with hounds is probably also gonna have a cerberus or two. Kinda makes the fact that the hound was a pre-alpha ship but the cerberus wasn't (i searched version history to confirm this) apparent in a way that bugs me irrationally.
nobody else in the world will ever notice or care, but I'm going to thinking abt the fact that there are so many hounds but not a single cerberus in the missions. It would take so little effort & be such a great kindness to me if this were rectified.
or, you could add a mission that's the player piloting a lone cerberus versus a mothership as a reference to me. im pretty sure the domain probes arent spoilers -- its not like ppl in the sector dont know about the domain

is it just cuz the AI doesnt know how to use it? but then why isnt it marked as system so it doesnt show up in missions? its the only weapon in the game marked as no_drop. its weird, makes me curious.


me troubleshooting them
edit: i just slapped them on the venture & simmed it vs an atlas & it seems to know how to use them, it fired them off as it approached the atlas the way you'd expect if it knew how to use them

edit edit: nvm I hit unpause & the venture stopped & started backing away from the atlas & kept firing its bomb which had its backwards momentum & would never reach the atlas. It seems to know how to use the proximity launcher tho so Im considering copy/pasting the proximity launcher's behaviors over the bomb bays' & adding them back into the campaign mode. still doesnt answer the question of why they're set to not show up in campaign but do show up in missions

edit edit edit: actually i might have been speaking too soon when I said the proximity launcher seems to work just fine. Tested it them on a Doom against a mothership & it missed most shots, which might have been bc of module/size wonkiness so I activated the leading pip mod & tested it against an atlas with CR set to 100% & the PD mod (since prox counts as PD) and it still missed most of its shots after the initial approach. The AI (and the leading pip tbf) dont seem to understand at all the concept of aiming a weapon with its momentum, which tbf isnt really that much of news.
editediteditedit: against an atlas it missed a lot with mortars, but against berzerker it seemed to do fine, only firing the mortar whose firing envelope was near the pip (which was odd as i had set them to linked & im 99% sure when I set missiles to linked it will fire all racks even when only 1 is on course...) So apparently size does muck up the AI's aim

edit*5: the doom kept killing the berzerker so i switched to an afflictor with 4 bomb bays. Aside from the fact that the afflictor just circles the berzeker (which only has MG's & mortars) at 900 range, I was able to confirm that the AI and the autofire only fires the bombs off when its firing envelopes are pointing at the leading pip, but without any regard to velocity -- I held C until I wasnt moving & the autofire still emptied the racks, same when I backed away from the berzerker in a straight line. If I get out to max bomb range, then fly past the berzerker and then spin from facing foward to facing backwards the bays will fire bombs going completely parallel to the zerker's path

edit: i slapped prox on a vigilance when it gets into a circling pattern of the berzerker with its nose pointed straight at it & the leading pip somewhere far on the side of the map it will keep firing its charges even though they go perpendicular & without waiting to fire until its firing envelope lines up with the leading pip, which -- yeah, same thing it does with the bombs on the afflictor. So the game just doesnt account for momentum at all. which makes me wonder...

edit: yeah, no, the afflictor with 4 mortars doesnt do that. it'll circle the zerker but while it's doing so it doesnt fire, then when it goes in (still with its firing envelopes over the zerker) it keeps not-firing until the leading pip passes over the firing envelopes at which point it fires each once and then stop when the firing envelope shoots offscreen bc of its maneuvering. So it appears to be an issue with missile-designated weapons specifically

edit: i removed the strike and bomb tags from the bomb bay & now it fires them when its firing arcs overlap the firing pip and not when its firing arcs overlap the enemy, which fixes their lateral aiming problem but not the medial aiming problem

edit: okay so same sit but with mortars, it behaves the exact same way, but they hit bc the ship gets closer to use them & the projectiles have enough speed to counteract the ship's. so it looks like the actual problem problem with bombs is that unless the ship using it is hard-coded to use burn drive when it starts firing them (which is basically what piranas do), its range needs to scale down along with its projectile speed. Im gonna mod the bomb bay to have the same range/speed ratio as the mortar. will report back

edit: IT DID IT!!!! I got an AI afflictor to kill a derelict using nothing but bomb bays by adjusting its tags & its AI range!!!!! It was really bad at it & literally got it with its last bomb, but IT DID IT!!!!!

edit: I fiddled with the numbers; i dropped the range by another 50% & it wasnt able to fire them bc it just couldnt get close enough, and I raised it by 50% and it couldnt aim them anymore. Looks like the mortar ratio is ideal I tried the same thing with the dominator to see if it'd work on that but the problem is that if it closed to hit the target with bombs, the bombs wouldn't get out from on top of the dominator before it just physically ran into the target & pushed it out of the way, reducing the amount of landed bombs to too few to kill a zerker before it ran out. Obviously not a problem for bombers, but it is an issue for ships. The proximity launcher doesnt seem to suffer the same issue, as it launches the charges forward before they go slower(?) than they were launched, but bc of their range being way over the mortar ratio, a dominator with 3 prox launchers cant land any bc of it. Im gonna leave the realm of just adjusting AI range & tags, see what happens if I give the bomb launcher an initial shove like the prox launcher has just to get it off of the ship that fired it

just a bit of feedback

so after having done this thing it looks like station defenders get assigned escort orders on the station it's defending, which results in some extremely less-than-ideal behavior, such as defending the side of the station you're not attacking, or leaving eachother to the wolves to be picked off one by one.

It seems like theres a very simple solution to this as most of the required behavior is already baked in to the control behavior.
Have the station's primary modules generate capture/control orders for its fleet in front of itself so that they will dynamically reinforce sides of the station that need it & not worry about parts of this that aren't being contested at all.
You could probably even have a trick of, having the control point get dropped in front of the leading edge of the module. Then when it gets x distance away from the module that spawned it move it back to the leading edge of the module, so that the ships assigned to it aren't smoothly following its rotation.
This will give the ships the freedom to operate around a fixed point until the CP gets leashed to the new spot at which point they will dynamically assess whether there are enemies threatening that CP. If not they will reassign themselves to one that does, which if they were fighting someone before the CP got leashed will probably be the one closest to the enemy they are fighting. Which will look to the player as if they aren't being leashed to CP's circling the station but are organically defending around it

Modding / too many mod weapons have EMP damage
« on: July 09, 2021, 11:08:45 PM »
this might be a hot take, but, most mod weapons seem to compulsively put EMP damage on anything that isn't a pure ballistic weapon. Look at this. This is the first mod I've opened up. I have 63 mods installed to go through. To compare; (not counting fighter weapons, dupes & redacted) vanilla has 8 emp weapons.

i get the compulsion. In your head you picture your modguns being powerful enough to knock an enemy's guns or engines out. The problem here is all weapons already do that. it's a function of damage, you can LAG an onslaught's engines out pretty easily -- and it doesn't have a lick of emp. You don't need emp.

Most of the time, emp should only be going on weapons who are explicitly intended to be drastically underpowered & only useful for their non-damage utility. Think about what's got EMP in vanilla; ion beam, salamanders, sabots.
What do they have in common? They aren't normal weapons. Emp weapons can generally be broken down into 3 categories.

1) weapons with awful flux-per-damage. Look at the ion beam's stats; if it didn't have emp, would you use it? No, never, so its fine that it has emp.

2) anti-shield weapons. We're talking sabots & HVD here. They have it to force the player to make a choice between losing shields or losing guns. Without it kinetic support guns become an inefficient energy gun bc the target will just drop shield & take it on the armor/hull every time. Their emp isnt there to disable weapons, its there to force you to take kinetics on the shield as intended.

3) end-game weapons so powerful that its natural weapon-disabling from damage is wasted bc it can only disable guns it hits. What I mean here is if you hit a ship & disable all the guns it hit, then increasing its damage won't increase the guns it disables -- the natural disabling ceases to scale with damage at a certain point, & emp gets added in to circumvent this soft-damage ceiling -- effectively it is simulating the spalling effect of slamming a ship with a shot so hard that even guns that weren't hit are knocked out. Like the Tachyon Lance.

Those are the 3 situations. Utility weapons that would be otherwise worthless, kinetic support weapons, and end-game weapons with huge damage alpha & low refire rates. There are exceptions allowed, but those exceptions are made notable & interesting by being the exception. A good emp weapon is not just made by the gun you put it on, but also in the guns you don't put it on.

TLDR; your ir pulse laser alternative doesn't need emp damage.

Modding / removing 0-flux malus w attacking fighters?
« on: July 09, 2021, 02:46:57 PM »
im wanting to do this, its basically two parts, reducing the engagement range of fighters (which I already know how to do (IE rip from a mod that already changes fighter range)), and allowing a carrier to enjoy 0-flux boost while its fighters attack.
is there a way to do the latter, without having to just make the hullmod a SO off-shoot? Or, is there already a mod that does that whose code I can look at (rip for my own personal use)?

Suggestions / assault carrier hullmod
« on: July 09, 2021, 02:08:36 PM »
sets the range of all fighters to 0, allows the ship to enjoy 0-flux boost while ordering them to attack.

the fusion lamp only ever being seen at a player colony once they find one and never anywhere else makes it feel like something that got added to the game after systems stopped getting added. It makes the sector feel a little bit less real, that you can identify an element of the game that was a late addition just bc it isnt a part of the world design. Its a bit like how in Dark Souls you can tell Izalith or the Painted World werent added to the game early or even midway into the game, they were bolted on after the rest of the game was made. Obviously this isn't as extreme of an example, but it does illustrate the fact that, you can tell. You don't get that feeling with the cryosleeper bc of Nomios -- you arent the only one who can get one so it's better integrated into the gameworld than it would be if Nomios werent there.

To that end, add two fusion lamps into the game.

Replace a small star in a binary system with one in one of the core systems, running & working, like Achaman in Magec.

Then another one just to flesh out the flavor text, which mentions that the lamp doesn't shut off when it's starved of volatiles but instead starts to fluctuate dangerously. That second one, add to a system that could use a little Jazz (like a league one, their systems cut a little on the boring side), have it be away from any inhabited planet like an abandoned orbital mirror (or replace one with it), give it a magnetic field surrounding it, make the lamp itself spinning with a permanent magnetic storm spiking out in the direction it's facing as it spins, and make it occasionally fire out solar flares -- like a short ranged neutron star.

Itd be easy to throw in a pair of excuses why the player can't raid or just grab either; the former is in such bad repair that if you move it it might break, possibly catastrophically (to you), and stabilizing operations have to be made with care and even then its days are numbered unless a solution is found.
and the other was running just fine (& still is, technically) until the collapse cut off its source of volatiles & made it dangerous to the planet until it became clear the planet would never be able to source a steady-enough supply of volatiles for it and just hauled it out into space having decided its easier to weather the cold & dark than solar flares pointed directly at them, until something (or someone) struck it giving it a spin & now that there's no cold backside to the lamp to approach from safely it's literally impossible (with the tech available in the sector) to stop its spin so it can be stabilized or towed before whatever ur trying to do the work with is melted away by the heat of a sun right in the face

Suggestions / ship graveyard terrain condition
« on: July 09, 2021, 01:41:15 PM »
like an asteroid field but it spawns the hulks of destroyed ships instead of rocks, mostly civilian shuttles. could be a chance to really show off the ship-splitting tech the game has; make the ship hulks already be damaged & very close close to being "killed" then have the AI treat them as enemy frigates or fighters that they aren't targeting so they'll be willing to shoot through a hulk to hit their target.
would be pretty epic to knife-fight with frigates while shouldering hulks out of the way, or to see a cruiser fire phase lances at an enemy with a dead capital ship in between, blowing the hulk in half & firing clean through the hole it just made, or to see an onslaught hit its burn drive & plow its way through shuttle hulks like an adult wading through a ball pit

Suggestions / control all fighters the way you do motes
« on: July 08, 2021, 06:13:03 PM »
the "your motes swarm around ur ship avoiding contact with enemy ships attacking fighters & missiles until you press F then if u F'd on an enemy they go to it & attack it & if u F'd empty space then they go to that point & swarm there instead" controls are... actually really nice. It's weird how the ziggi has a more compelling & discreet fighter control for suicide (?) things than actual carriers do for their fighters.
take the ziggi's ship system controls, make it work with the x button instead of the f button, then paste it over the fighter controls for every carrier.

Suggestions / an industrial item that makes neural uplink global
« on: July 08, 2021, 05:21:18 AM »
something u plug into a high command that allows you to hotswap instantly between any ship u can control at-will.

Suggestions / let us commandeer faction ships
« on: July 08, 2021, 05:19:47 AM »
if u join ur own fleets in battle u should be able to ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL your faction's ships.
i say this 100% bc i want to be able to set my faction to priotize a-kites and nothing else, set the only variant for the kite to be a torp bomber with EMR, then pilot a high tech close support capital ship into battle then when i join my faction fleets use their atropos kites with the reckless abandon of someone piloting someone else's ships while being CAS'd by my own flagship until all of the kites are empty and/or dead

edit: and you can make having "cooperative" status with a faction more meaningful & literal by making it unlock the ability to pilot that ally's ships in battle

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