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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Topics - eidolad

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Is there a generic way to disable the inclusion of new weapons from a given Starsector mod?  Without affecting the mod otherwise?

(I'm guessing "not easily" because of mod faction loadouts and other reasons but wanted to confirm)


a) Say I want to preserve "weapon balance" and force all ships to use the vanilla weapons, but bring in the rest of the mod goodness.  (I'm hoping that mod creators balance their mod ship designs by assuming the use of vanilla weapons to start with...such that my "ask" isn't unreasonable)

b) I'm an neurotic "weapon and squadron trophy collector" and insist on flying around with "four of every gun".  Perhaps I'd like to preserve cargo visual space.

c) Though variety is nearly always tasty:  Sometimes I don't need to see ten different guns from ten different mods that are functionally equivalent.

General Discussion / combat skills training thread
« on: January 17, 2021, 10:31:57 AM »
Can we start a sticky-candidate thread for helping players who have "given up" on the real-time combat and let the AI drive their own ships?  It pains me indeed to hear someone who loves this game and wants to pilot their own ship, then say that they believe (talked themselves into thinking?) that they are not good at the core gameplay.

I'm a mid-level player in terms of skill and knowledge of the game internals and will rely on the experts to chime in and correct/clarify.

1.  Winning the flux game.

The "flux budget concept" is the biggest learning curve.  Starsector combat can be subtle and deadly and, especially at the beginning when learning the flux mechanic, truly frustrating.  Flux basically is the "shared mana pool" that your ship uses for ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:

- to power shields and let it absorb hits
- AND powers your weapons
- AND when exceeded by either hits on shields or firing:  will cause an overload state that shuts down shields, weapons, and lasts many crucial seconds. 

a) Powering shields and firing all weapons at once AND taking heavy hits = you are trouble and don't yet know it until the overload occurs.  Then you die and pound your fist on the nice cushiony wrist rest.

b) The best case to engage:   your shields are down (thus no source of flux possible and you rely on your armor), you are firing at max rate (you set up your ship's flux budget to allow for max rate fire and verified this in the simulator, right?), and the enemy either has too much flux built up to return fire or your ship is out of their firing arc.  The result is: 

- the enemy doesn't have their shields up yet, and you begin damaging armor, and potentially hull and systems before they can do the same to you
- OR the enemy begins taking the hits on their shields.  If shields are up:
- ALSO their flux level may begin rising towards overload
- ALSO you are reducing the enemy's flux available to shoot back
- ALSO you are increasing the chance that the AI will drop their shields to avoid overload and thus suppressing their ability to even use their shields at all

(obviously, you have your shields up if you think you don't have enough armor and are taking hits.  The point of not having shields up is to use your flux budget for offense)

2.   Rambling introduction to space combat from a threat perspective:

a) The AI is very polished for one-one-one combat.   Prior to my joining the fun, Starsector appears to have been a pure ship simulator and the AI shines when it has only your ship to focus on.

b) They see you before you see them.  Your screen resolution, unless you have truly excellent eyesight and can use high resolution, puts you at a disadvantage to the AI.  This can have huge consequences as the weapons have firing arcs, and there are dash/teleport skills that can bring an enemy directly to a bad side of your ship, facing you, and perhaps entirely out of your firing arcs.

c) There is no magic icon that tells you which enemy ship is actually targeting you.  You have to track/respect/fear all enemy ships that are in range.  Their behavior will give away their current intentions but this can quickly change based on how close you are and what other threats that enemy "perceives".

d) It is difficult to tell what the enemy loadout is (perhaps sharp-eyed players can tell).  Sure, that's probably a missile-cruiser over there.  And that's a pirate freighter that probably has five Reapers waiting for me if I go head on, front-arc with it.  I could be wrong.  And so many other ships have a high variety of loadouts.

e) Respect fighters enough to bring your own and have at least SOME point defense in most arcs (on all ships).  Don't wander close enough, alone, to an enemy carrier group.  Read the radar for the smallest enemies...where are they going to/from?   Are there some that appear to loiter near distant enemies?  When I say "fighters":  that includes EMP fighters, rocket bombers, and missile bombers:  these are very bad news and you will learn to sight-read them very quickly.

3.  Staring out fresh, to learn to win in combat:

a) Set up your ship.  There are two general methods that I can think of:   
- a "flux neutral loadout" ship that can fire continuously, with shields up, without generating any flux.  This is a newbie-friendly setup.
- an "overloading flux loadout" ship that has a bigger weapons loadout that will build to flux overload during continuous fire.  This setup takes skill, and awareness of the "halt fire" key to use successfully.

Build your first ship, then take it into the simulator against a weak freighter.  Learn your flux limit for firing at max rate with shields down (and how many seconds your ship can do this before overloading, if you set up an "overloading flux loadout" ship).  Then with shields up.  Then also when taking a little bit of fire from the freighter.   Then: take on a frigate...quite the difference in flux management eh?   I think that you will graduate the simulator with a Fairly Skilled Rating, as a new pilot, when you can defeat a fairly equal-threat ship. 

Recommend to test again when you begin piloting the first destroyer, cruiser and capital classes.  The flux budget, and especially, the enemy's ability to affect your flux budget, Changes Dramatically.

b) A fast ship that has decent heft and a straightforward special skill.  My newbie fave:   a Hammerhead destroyer with a highest flux pool configuration and highest speed, with a small-sized all-ballistic loadout.  Only engage when the special ability is ready, and only get in long enough to get the damage or kill, then get out.  This ship is hard to die in if played safely.

c) Fight from a distance with friends.  Only travel with friends.  Help your friends.

d) Use your armor.  When armor is gone for a given ship side:  only take hits on other ship facings when possible (i.e. turn appropriate for incoming missiles).

e) Don't try to hold a bad position...fall back to another part of the map where the pursuer may get distracted.  Recover flux, note the sides of your ship that still have armor, and re-engage accordingly.

f) Overloaded ships draw deadly missile attacks.  Reapers, Hammers, Harpoons, Atropos all want to drop by for a visit.  You can also send these same visitors to overloaded enemy ships.

g) still overwhelmed by the "cockpit overhead" of a front-line ship?  Try some other combat roles:

- the "missile alpha striker":  support your AI-Hammerhead buddy by keeping its target in your missile range (say you have a pair of Harpoon launchers).  When the Hammerhead overloads an enemy or you think it is a good time...launch your birds, preferably at the enemy's rear when they cannot avoid or interpose shields AND the Hammerhead is right there to finish them.  Sabots are also good because they force either the enemy to drop shields, or risk an overload.

- the "pressure specialist":   Use a stream of non-flux weapons like Annihilator missiles, or long range beams like Tactical Lasers, to keep the enemy shields up.  When your friends engage...the enemy will have to keep their shields up to deal with your attacks.

- the "beamer":  set up a full Tactical Laser loadout in the front arc that you can fire continuously at flux-neutral with your shields up.  Then hunt for enemies to pressure, or, even they are slow and have weaker flux budgets, to get them to drop their shields or begin dying.  Have the speed to keep away from stronger opponents (like that Dominator cruiser over there).  An Eagle cruiser is a great candidate and IIRC can host four Tactical Lasers for continuous fire.  That's a fair amount of flux pressure for many enemy ship classes.

4.  General rules

a)  Up those twitch skills.  Refreshing/leveling up the arcade skills in order to succeed in this game is highly  recommended.  Recommend games like Synthetik, Neon Chrome, or Ultratron as trainers or warmups to get the "situational arcade skills and bullet hell game-on". 

b) Your role in combat:  kill SOMETHING.  It doesn't have to be the enemy's most powerful ship.  Your friends need to have less threats asap.  If minutes go by and you aren't damaging killing countering pressuring and crying havok, that is likely Bad.

c)  More on friends:  anywhere where I'm in space combat, there is a friend nearby.  I'm helping my fleet and they help me.  Said another way:   the threat axes to my ship must be reduced so that I can focus and win without worrying about a sneak attack.  The radar view is very much "object appear further away than they really are" and getting surprised while paying attention elsewhere is very easy.   And usually is why I take heavy damage or die.

d)  Avoid ship-to-ship unless you know you can win.  The developer has honed the combat AI to be very good at ship-to-ship due to the AI playing directly to the core mechanic:  flux management.   Do I want to take on that AI Safety-override frigate one-on-one, head on?   Noooo thank you, unless I really have to.  It will focus on me entirely.  And it's probably not even the biggest enemy threat.  A poor choice for a solo target unless I'm well positioned.

e)  Position to win.    That is:  close only at an advantage.  Fleet combat is where the AI can be defeated much more easily because it has to succeed in a battle line context, which the player understands, but it does not (at least, not as well)...that that SO frigate may pivot to react to something else and take me out of it's primary firing arc.  Now I dart in, using my speed/strafing to pressure from the side and rear.  It reacts to me...strafing and turning...and perhaps right into my friends, or perhaps away...saving another of my friends by giving it the room to get away its attacker.

f)   Reposition to win.   Always plan for being out of position only long enough to Do Something with an clear intent to return to safety.  A yardstick for improvement:  if you find that the only time you take damage is when you are out of position, then you have leveled up.

g)  Write down the last five times you died and analyze/adapt.  My last few times: 

reapers to the face, while closing with a ship that was too slow to evade
flanked and pinned against the side of the battle space by larger low flux ship, that I should have kept better track of
blasted by a Paragon, that I should engaged too early and got too close to escape from
stunned and shredded by fighters, because I imperfectly positioned myself as the closest threat to *all* of their fleet carriers
stomped by a fresh Conquest, because I got overconfident and wandered into the top part of the map, and straight into their spawn point

...each comma above is where I stop and assess how I screwed up.

h)  Have a dedicated backup ship in your fleet and know how to switch to it.  When the Combat Readiness has dropped low enough to get warnings:
- position your ship in a safe place, with a safe path for the AI pilot to retreat it out of combat successfully
- call in your backup ship
- switch to the backup ship

i) An intermediate ship tactic:  autofire weapons, and flicker shields.

- set your direct-fire weapons on autofire, and learn the key that will halt fire when needed
- only raise shields if there is a threat, drop them at all other times
- when you have the armor/hull available:  when under constant enemy fire...only raise shields to absorb dangerous hits and spare most of your flux for firing.  The idea is to rush the enemy to near-flux overload which will reduce their fire rate dramatically.
- turn the ship to absorb hits on other armor facings while keeping enemy inside your best firing arcs
- If you sense that you are losing the "flux battle":  halt fire, keep shields up, and fall back out of range and immediately vent flux if you think you can vent safely (that is, restore shields before enemy missiles reach you).  If you happen to retreat with less flux built up than the enemy, you can then rush back before the enemy has recovered themselves to zero-flux.  You are now "ahead" in the flux battle.

Best case for a close battle:  the enemy tried to use their shields during the entire engagement and died either to overload or flux-starvation:  you have nearly all of your armor left and have taken zero internal hits because you only used your shields when you had to.

Suggestions / quality of life UI updates pleez
« on: July 03, 2019, 05:28:10 PM »
1.  In the ship refit screen:  please add a confirmation for the "undo" option and/or move the button to a safer place.   

I've attempted to hit "weapon groups" and mis-clicked while being very preoccupied thinking about the ship loadout and inadvertently undid the entire setup of a battleship from scratch.  I'd like to blame it on my Evoluent Vertical mouse but nope.

2.  In the local map view:  The "burn level" popup would be seriously enhanced if it would tell me *which ship* has the slowest burn rate:
  +7  Burn level of slowest ship (<ship_name>)     // can be just one of the slowest.   Otherwise I have to go to the fleet screen (where I might have 30 ships) and hover-over each ship summary.

The System Defense Planners Bootcamp (SDFC) has a new director, and she gave a speech at the StarSector War College at 12 noon local system time:

"Greetings.  Too many times in systems that have warring factions, we have observed the system defense fleets destroying each other and leaving battlestations undefended.  The raid of our sister planet by the Unaligned Player Fleet, whomever they are, resulted from this vulnerability.

As of today, we no longer advocate fully independent system defense forces for major colonies.  In addition to regular system defense fleets, all orbital military installations WILL now have permanently assigned starship garrisons that remain in close orbit to the battlestation.

Yes, this is expensive and not feasible for initial orbital works...there just isn't enough resupply and berthing/recreational rotation available for the ship crews.  In fact, colonies under size 5 just cannot support this new doctrine.  No, the Combat Readiness of these idled ships will not be stable/optimal across the board...given that the garrison will be not be first-line crews, 100% ready, trained, and rested, 24 hours per system day.

There are aspects about the starship garrison that I should point out:

a) The garrison will be composed of 100% combat ships.

b) The garrison will have no fuel, cargo, survey, troop transport, or intra system movement capability.  None.

c) The composition of the garrison is up to the planetary administrator.  Phase-ship frigates only?  Or:  all missile cruisers with expanded Pilum magazines?  As you wish.

d) The garrison behavior will be:  form one or more "defend points" at: either flank, and behind the battlesation.  One, two, or all three, will be utilized at the discretion of the planetary administrator.  The garrison MUST stay in close support to the battlestation:  quite literally under its guns, so to speak. 

Note:  we won't expect pirates or 'Pathers to always conform to this tactical doctrine.  That was a joke, people." 

[Other journalists attempted to interject questions.  Our staff refrained from doing so as per our standards of conduct]

"I'm sorry, I'm not taking questions at this time.  In closing, I want to say that:  No, the illegitimate and likely fraudulent galactic video feed of the [REDACTED] Star Fortress falling to the Unaligned Player Fleet does NOT sum up the situation.   The purpose of this doctrinal shift is pragmatic and achievable.  To summarize:  Fixed installations cannot defend themselves without close support from mobile units.  We must offset the vulnerability of our fixed installations.

I appreciate your attention and I am proud of this appointment and will do my very best.  Thank you."

Suggestions / inventory suggestions
« on: May 20, 2019, 06:08:50 PM »
1.  Very large stacks of items to just occupy a single inventory slot:  10,000+ single-items such as:  14935 units fuel.  (There's a trick to override the current limitation on stack's on the planetary exploration page IIRC...moving things to/from the discard area allows for very large stack size)

a.  this is especially useful in different resolutions.  I like to play at 1440x900 on my current PC so efficiency in the inventory would be really helpful. 

c.  suggest that weapons occupy single slots of up to 100 units or more.

2.  much lower priority, just a suggestion:  the auto-sort (which I've only seen my accident) simply mashes everything on top...instead, suggest that the auto-sort do this:

a.  place all essential consumables on the left columns.  leave at least one column empty.
b.  place all weapons on the right columns.
c.  the first row of the top left must always start with the essentials:  supplies, fuel, crew, heavy machinery
d.  second row on the top left must have:  soldiers, metal, transplutonics, volatiles
e.  all the rest of the "consumables/things" should stay on the left four columns.
f.  all weapons will populate the right-most five columns only...all the way down.
g.  place all fighter lpcs in the 1st of the "weapon columns"

Bonus points:  the "weapons with the most items in a given stack" should be listed first...this would help the player find when they have 32 Salamanders...time to find a buyer!

hmm...maybe mini-mod-worthy...if indeed the auto-sort is exposed for modding.

Starsector vanilla is so wunderbar but now that I've explored the .9 colony mechanics, I notice that I've been playing the strategy layer of the early-mid game in about the same manner:

a) Find a system that has a pirate planet and a friendly faction.

b) Camp in that sector, vacuuming up ships (two D-Mods max just as an arbitrary guideline) and loot in picked battles until I have a  squadron with at least two destroyers and a pair of Drams.

c) Set out into the universe.

So I've begin experimenting with various .9a compliant mod factions, with or without Nexerelin, to up the challenge and variety.

1.  How do you like to change up the normal strategy/playstyle/role-playing?  For example:

a) do you disable pirates in Nexerelin?  i.e. I noticed that I depend a great deal on capping/recovering pirate ships in the early game.  Does having no pirates bring other not-so-welcome effects?

b) do you set certain meta-rules to make the game harder?  I.e. no scavenging, or recovering derelicts in systems that contain your faction and a pirate planet/base?

2.   Nexerelin and the colony/empire system in .9a:

For those that have gone as far as establishing their own empire in Nexerelin .9a...what is the interaction between the new colony system, your own independent faction, and Nexerelin's "4x" style of empire competition?  For example:  do the established empires see you as easy meat the minute you found a single planet? 

3.  What sort of meta-game/roleplay have you guided your empire's "storyline"?

I.e. "this game, my sandox win condition is to conquer Diable Avionics".

Or:  no safe-sector camping...immediately buy some fuel and a Dram and go.

Or:  no carriers.

Being a fleet navigator in SS requires FPS twitch skills...with near-instant use of pause button in at least two places:

1.  jumping in/out of systems:  is this a good day to die?  well I'll find out in the next milliseconds.

Getting munched when entering or exiting the jump point seems quite easy to resolve with a game option:   automatic contextual pause with screen update.

a) player chooses to enter hyperspace
b) game renders my fleet and the immediate environs *
c) game pauses
d) player can toggle this option on/off

* Player needs to see if there is an immediate need to evade, or re-enter the jump point.  Can we do a free visual ping for contacts (for ones in sensor range), unknown or not?

or another alternative:  automatic slow-to-half-real-time-speed when entering/exiting hyperspace.  It is the rate of hyperspace acceleration that gets me caught in these emergence scenarios...

2.  enemy sightings.   Evade or intercept?  This occurs any time my fleet is moving, not moving, in hyperspace, etc.  The screen resolution I need to use to read the text means that I have little tactical real estate.  Sustained burn enemies on head-on and flank approaches (thanks to human technology's RECTANGULAR monitor shape) are very dangerous.

a.  autopause when *enemy fleet pursuing the player* enters a certain radius of the player fleet

After a week or so of both casual, and intense gaming sessions, here's some feedback in yet another wall of words :

Overall impression and shameless endorsement:

This is already a seriously kickass game experience!  And the big content updates are not even in boggles my sleep-deprived-due-to-work-and-starsector-until-midnight-for-the-past-week mind.

To the undecided:  Haven't bought the game yet?:  just buy this.  It's that good.

Starsector has many of the good things about Star Fleet Command II: Orion Pirates that I recall, and on a dynamic map.  It's what you want to play after beating the Space Pirates and Zombies campaign after having defeated and flown all of the Bounty Hunter ships.

Then come onto the forum and tell us what you love (or want to see improved) about it.  There's so much going on in this game experience already that, even after reading nearly all of the fifteen most recent pages of the general discussion forum...I know that I'm still missing key elements.

And a developer (and a large veteran community) that is listening and responding even to pure newbies who didn't spend five minutes searching the already well detailed/discussed threads here, and on reddit before asking the obvious.


Lessons learned

1.  To other new players reading this that, like me, got hammered badly in their first combats:  Learn to first win the flux duel before thinking about damage.  Literally:  the flux bar on your ship, raising shields only when you need it, and your target's flux are far more important to watch than the relative health bars.

2.  The other thing that I didn't understand:  jettison the excess fuel and cargo.  The supply cost overhead to haul too much will cause you eventually to have to restart.  Sure, refit that junk shieldless freighter with the four negative hull modifications (or "D-mods" as vets around here call them) if that's what is takes to get cargo space.

3.  Hyperspace (and especially, the initial jump point emergence) is a dangerous place.  It is essential to deactivate your transponder and build speed.  There are really large sharks swimming around.  Huge like the things you find in Subnautica that make you paddle away in terror. 

Well one more lession for hyperspace travel:  activate the full range option in the galaxy need to ensure you have the fuel to return and quite a bit more.


Play vanilla, then install some essential mods.

I liked balanced additions to the vanilla gameplay.  So I ended up with quite a conservative list that I keep playing.

The first three of the following add a well balanced mix of weapons and ships that enhance the original factions really well.  So well, in fact, that I cannot tell where vanilla stops, and the mods start.  There's a lot of sandbox replayability: randomized core worlds, number of core worlds, number of random factions, etc.  The rest are great additions (and several are required for many of the big faction mods as well).

Ship/Weapon Pack
Common Radar
Version Checker
ZZ Audio Plus
ZZ GraphicsLib

(I tried some of the other faction mods, and while extremely cool...I first want to try (and fight against) a lot more vanilla fleet setups before venturing against them)


Favorite early things:

1.  1000 range is a sweet spot for this newbie player.

My fave early destroyer to pilot is a Wolf with quad tactical laser and Swarm SRMs.  Adding 300 flux, keeping an enemy ship's shields up and unable to shed this flux load, with near-constant firing?  From 1000 range?  And if they drop shields they also receive that as damage?  Well sign me up. 

A Sunder destroyer with bigger beams and more range potential?  Check.

Except if there are fighters...then someone please provide a CAP squadron or two?

I haven't done nearly as well in combat once the range closes with something big, armored, and able to hit back hard.  I look to change that in my current game where I will build and try to play a close range ship with lots of guns.

2.  The Salamander missile system.  Just wow.  Currently I primarily both equip, and defend against, this single weapon system.  Seeking missile that delivers EMP disablement of engines.  It is deadly to a player-helmed ship.  They circle reasonably far out and approach from behind (where many players likely don't build their ships with much PD to the rear quarters).  Just two of these missiles can disable a frigate and convert it into an uncontrolled target that cannot change its current vector.  So if caught turning?  You are now spinning around and exposing your hull to everyone for way too many seconds.  Were going straight?  You will continue that way just as you are.  Oh well those are probably Mark IX rounds incoming.

Oh and they come featured in regenerating ammo systems.  Such terror and such yum.

Yet I find that there isn't a lot of discussion about them (at least in the 15 pages deep I've ventured in the forums).  After a week of play up until now, I'd managed to avoid being hit by them...even over fighters they are a reason to mount accurate PD to flanks and aft.  At least in the early game.  I'm going to see how far I can continue to make a Salamander-heavy fleet loadout work for me.  Of course mixed with lots of other flying objects as cover.

3.  Semi-hard core sandbox play: 
Like XCom: Enemy Unknown and XCom2, the game really shines when playing "semi"  hard save scumming for me unless I really screw up and get intercepted by 25 ships or something.

There's nothing quite like being a bit tired and thinking "that's a friendly here deep in purple people land no worries" and it turns out to be a pirate armada twice your weight in cruiser metal and a ton of frigates coming to say hi.  My d-mod single carrier, single cruiser, and four destroyers and I'm flying a Wolf vs. THAT? And I fail to evade and all of my support ships are deployed as well?

...and actually defeating all of their combat ships and only losing a 1/3 of overall ships.

My early key to the semi-hard core experience:  the "reinforced hull" modification.  It has a very high chance of allow that "lost" ship to be recovered.  Damaged, but alive.  Sorry about the crew that weren't picked up during Search and Rescue though.  All my ships have Reinforced Hull.  Sorry about my bank account but as Michael Jordan said:  "To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail":  learn that is why Starsector has a pause button.  Use it when nearing a jump gate or emerging to/from hyperspace.  Large unknown contacts are to be evaded.  Just because. 

Unfortunately I was compelled to attach my late watch officer to a Salamander and fire him out the tube.  He survived, was picked up during SAR and is back on duty as a fighter pilot.

Suggestions and feedback:

1.  Squadrons:

(caveat:  I don't entirely understand how a carrier draws from its crew for squadron deployment.  I'm assuming that every crew member, all the way down to skeleton crew level, is considered a "potential fighter or bomber pilot" if the current Combat Rating of the carrier allows it to field the squadrons)

a.  Tweak squadron lifetime:  I read several very detailed discussions about whether or not carriers (and their fighters) are unbalanced.  My simple suggestion is to examine and tweak the endurance of the squadrons, but otherwise leave their combat power relatively the same as now.

- the carriers evidently are a hyperspace-capable nanoforge factory and hauler of a ton of raw material to pump out armed, fueled, and ready fighters and bombers.  Great!  But surely they don't have and endless supply of military-grade pilots.  So a set, limited, number of crew that may be considered "pilots".  Even though the carrier may have Combat Rating budget...there can only be so many pilots available.  Late in an engagement:  there will no longer be pilots and thus no more squadrons.

Starsector missiles are ammo as surely as the squadrons are...

b.  Also:  If implementing the above, please add a hullmod that allows a carrier to host more pilots and/or rare "pilot pods" weapons:   medium or large weapon "bays" that have "a bunch of pilots in hammocks, sipping beer and watching Top Gun movie reruns".  Maybe only the pirates have these...

c.  And those "pilots" are useless as skeleton crew.  They just sleep in their hammocks and fly their little planes unless told to sit in a chair and written instructions to press the blue buttons at a certain time by their ground crew that are actually flying the ship.

2.  Need a persistent HUD warning in bold red text for new players about excessive cargo or fuel.  This was the #1 issue with my first four hours of playing the game.  I sunk my first bank account flying around without knowing I had too much stuff (I think i might have closed a popup warning without having read it accidentally).

A single popup message about a persistent money draining issue isn't enough to help new players...

3.  I would luv an "enemy suppression barrage" artillery missile:  it fires a downrange packet of autonomous drones that slow and damage small stuff in  set area of effect:  missiles and drones.  Kind of like the COL Launcher in SOTS1:

I.e. you could blanket a ship being swarmed by fighters.  Watch out:  the drone AI are indiscriminate and will kill most everything small in their operational radius.

Or "mostly lock down" a heavy carrier or missile ship's local launch capability as you move in to engage.

Perhaps large missiles are ignored by the drones which confuse them with shuttles...

I noted that one recent big mod, the Interstellar Imperium, just released a recent version that included a nasty swarm missile. But I was thinking something for "downrange area denial for a set period of time".  A reason to *recall* fighters and hold missile launches.  Like when faced with the "triple ripple" defense in the Honor Harrington book series.

The artillery missile does nothing to a proper starship though.


I'd better stop's midnight :)  ...time to sleep before resuming my d-mod ragtag motley band.

Hi folks!

So I've got my orders and will be boarding ship in a few hours.  Except that we'll be taking a little detour and striking out on our own.  Freelancing pays well and the current government SUCKS and...

Ahem.  I mean, I bought the game.  Long time lurker here who finally couldn't STAND IT any longer.  So here I have some options.  Given my (very intentional) *zero* history with the actual product (I've wanted to receive the dev's vision/effort 100% intact after having some terrible Early Access experience), and not having peered at a single spec sheet or game mechanic, well OK I looked at some of the tasty ship art...

...what would veterans of the game who knew that tomorrow, they were going to completely forget everything they knew about Starsector, and were going to write themselves a quick note on how best to start playing?

a) Hold off until v1.0, or a dev blog that says:  it's Go Time.

b) Play and and complete vanilla now, mod later.    (This product has the most hard-core following I've seen in a product, given the project lifetime.  People have stuck with this.  It's ready)

c) Mod now.   Start with A, B.  then perhaps X, Y, Z or an alternative experience.


I'm played entirely too much of Rebel Galaxy, Spaz 1/2, Drox Operative, Transcendence, Endless Sky, Space Rangers, X3 Terran Conflict: Mayhem mod-mod, Elite: Dangerous etc.  Pretty much if it involves driving a ship with mouse and keyboard, I've played it or need to know about it.  I've just had a GOOOOOD feeling about this one...

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