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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 - Iscariot

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Discussions / 'Ey guys.
« on: September 05, 2012, 09:15:28 AM »
I figured it'd be inappropriate of me to perform an act of heinous forum necromancy, so I'm posting here to let y'all know that I'm back from Parris Island. Took me a bit longer to get out of that place since I got injured while I was there, but I'm back now, at the lofty rank of Private. The game sure looks slick, there are all these little UI improvements that I keep running into that result in nice little dopamine squirts in my brain. I'm rusty as hell though, and I'm sure strategies are rather different now.

I'll keep reading about.

2
Discussions / See ya.
« on: April 22, 2012, 08:25:40 AM »
I'm off to USMC boot camp, so I'll be inactive until late July. I'm looking forward to seeing how this game turns out in my absence. Good luck, have fun, stay smart.

3
Discussions / Dwarf Fortress
« on: April 16, 2012, 12:32:11 PM »
The most brilliant-- if not the most fun (kinda confusing, I know)-- game developed ever. I'm not one for hyperbole, but I do think that that statement is factually accurate-- to my knowledge-- at this time.

Who else plays it? Any hilarious stories?

4
Suggestions / Fighters! Break formation and engage the enemy!
« on: April 02, 2012, 01:13:52 PM »
My dislike of fighters is well known around these parts, but fighters are in the game and they're here to stay, so I see no reason not to try and suggest improvements to them that increase their support capabilities and visual flair without adding to their battle-ending overpoweredness.

My suggestion is that interceptors and heavy fighters break formation and chase down incoming fighter theats to ships they've been ordered to escort. Most fighters stay in formation quite tightly-- there are cases of fighter formations getting stretched out quite a bit but I've never seen them do it 'voluntarily' or to the degree that I am suggesting.

The advantages to flying in formation are pretty obvious when coming in on attack runs or travelling to your target, you can control the facing and weapons output of all ships in your wing, but on the defense against fighters, you don't need to fire on your targets all at once. It would be more interesting visually-- and better tactically, since one wing could cover much more battlespace defensively-- if wings broke apart and individually chased down, circled, and engaged enemy fighters.

5
Suggestions / Fleet Management
« on: March 01, 2012, 07:57:28 PM »
I don't know if anyone's suggested this already, but it's something that continually annoys me.

I'd like it if on the fleet screen, inserting a ship inbetween two others 'bumped' the rest of the ships down the line, instead of forcing me to manually move them back one by one.

Pretty simple.

6
General Discussion / IndieDB
« on: February 21, 2012, 06:11:08 PM »
I'm sure this has been said before, but I think for a small game by an unknown publisher like Fractalsoftworks, it bears repeating. IndieDB is a great way for people who play indie games to track the development of, hear of, and fund Starfarer, as updates to games-- many of them far crappier than Starfarer-- often make it to the front page of the site. Plus it's connected to ModDB and gets some views from that too.

A disclaimer: I don't work for or even have an IndieDB account, so if there's some hidden contract business I don't know about, feel free to ignore this, but the more word gets out about Starfarer, the more people will alpha fund it and the better the final product will be. If that boring grind Space Pirates and Zombies can have a page, I'm sure Starfarer can too.

I heard of Starfarer through Rockpapershotgun, which isn't that big of a gaming news site, and I'm sure others heard of it through Totalbiscuit, who has a pretty devoted and large following (myself included), but Starfarer could always use more people.

7
General Discussion / LEAST Favorite Ship
« on: February 21, 2012, 09:28:09 AM »
Enough about all this gushing about the cool ships. I wanna know which ones ride the metaphorical short bus. The ships that dropped out of highschool and hang out in the local convenience store parking lot with their trashy friends. The rejects. The fuckups.

I wanna know your LEAST favorite ships.

For me, it's hard to decide between the Sunder and the Brawler. The Brawler is one of the most frustrating frigates to start with, in my opinion, being that it only has those crappy rockets and therefore gets cut to pieces by the Lashers that tend to pick on you in the early game. That said, the Brawler could possibly have some use against slightly slower ships. The Sunder not only cost me money but was friggin' useless, slow, and punching far below its weight.

8
Suggestions / Escape pods.
« on: February 21, 2012, 08:57:13 AM »
A fairly simple suggestion that I think makes a lot of sense. It could be a hull-mod, or maybe a basic characteristic that can be improved with a hull-mod. Basically, before your ship goes, you can save a percentage of your crew by having them get to the escape pods. Escape pods can be objects on the battlefields that can be bumped into and destroyed, shot and destroyed, whatever, or they can be just little graphics that float around above the ships, like fighters.

As a side note, I've noticed that marines aren't actually crewed in ships, which seems a little silly. Marines should die in fleet action too.

9
Suggestions / Reactor breach.
« on: February 18, 2012, 08:46:01 PM »
Starships can move faster than the speed of light. Their furnaces power weapons that spit antimatter, black holes, and beams of faster-than-light theoretical particles, all of which requires massive amounts of energy. While the deaths of these ships can be blinding, however, they rarely convey the impact of the flash they produce.

Don't get me wrong: I am very happy with the way ships currently die. In fact, I prefer it to the explosion-happy interpretations of space combat in other games, where everything explodes into a nice, clean, antiseptic ball of gas leaving behind nothing; Starfarer's ships die like spaceborne whales, spitting flame and  floating off as burnt out space hulks, dramatic and impressive. As such, I think such ship deaths ought to be the standard for how ships die, but occasionally, for particularly large ships, cruisers and above perhaps, it would be interesting if there were a chance for them to take so much damage that their reactors cascade dangerously and detonate in a thermonuclear explosion, dealing damage to nearby ships and blinding yet others' sensors for a short amount of time, and leaving behind asteroid-like chunks of dead ship.

How it would work, I'm not entirely sure of. I think it would work one of two ways:

1) If a ship is killed by an attack that deals a certain multiple of its remaining health prior to death, it has a % chance of detonating. For example, if a ship with 1 hull is struck by an attack that deals 30 damage, or 30x the remaining hull, it goes thermonuclear.

2) If a ship is killed by an attack dealing damage above a certain threshold to the engines, causing a reactor breach.

Detonating ships shouldn't go all at once. They should rumble with miniature explosions, lose navigation, and leave behind a trail of flames before finally going. Obviously an exploded ship can't be scrapped or salvaged, but this does create an opportunity for another gameplay feature: Self destruct! A noble end for a brave captain.

Obviously a pretty low-priority suggestion. I'd be happy with the game if it didn't make it in at all, but I do think it would be cool. Cool *** should happen in space warfare.

10
Suggestions / Improved Guided Munitions
« on: February 18, 2012, 03:46:22 AM »
I realize that this game is still in development, and that Alex probably gets all sorts of suggestions along the lines of 'add my awesome weapon/ship/module idea', but I think I do have a suggestion that could possibly increase the complexity of gameplay with new mechanics.

Anyway, here we go: missiles and torpedoes are all pretty basic. I was happy to see the Salamander MRMs get added in, because of how they work, but for the most part, missiles do varying amounts of damage, move at varying speeds, and track targets with varying competence, whereupon they slam into them and deal damage. Pretty basic.

But the beauty of guided munitions-- indeed, of any substance weapon (as opposed to an energy one)-- is load variability, tactical flexibility. So I have a few suggestions to lend that sense to guided munitions in Starfarer; they can be taken on a case by case basis, all, or none, hell, I'm just talking.

1) Improved Torpedo/Missile Magazines: In Starfarer, you can already scroll through various weapons in a weapon group if they're marked as 'alternating'. In 0.35a, I found myself doing this pretty often on the Apogee to avoid wasting Hurricane MIRV when all I wanted was Pilum LRMS. I think it would be useful to handling different varieties of warhead if you could scroll through different loads to select what you'd like to use. It'd still count as one weapon on the refit screen, but you could choose to carry magazines of, say, HE warheads, and maybe a few HEAT rounds for those tricky Dominators. This could apply to cannons as well, but that might be a bit of a hassle.

2) 'Nova' Missiles: Optics and electronics are delicate things, and designed to operate within a particular band of stimuli. 'Nova' Missiles are essentially space flashbangs, low yield nuclear weapons that give off a lot of flash and radiation, but don't actually do much damage-- and are in fact designed to detonate away from their targets to maximize coverage-- but which confer a penalty to turret accuracy to ships caught in their radius for a certain amount of time dependent upon the quality of the crew. It works through shields, after all, ships need to be able to see through their own shields, so it's a useful thing for close assault ships to have as they burn in to bring their close range weapons to bear. Alternatively, could be used at a distance to support wings of fighters coming in on a particularly hard to approach target.

3) Minelaying Missiles: What it says on the tin. Being that they are more strategic, rather than tactical, weapons, minelaying missiles would be launched from the tactical map, and designed to disperse bomblets within a certain area. More or less useless against anything heavier than a frigate, but useful for inflicting attrition upon incoming fighter wings.

4) Interceptor Missiles: Small, but plentiful, these missiles are useful for bringing down fighters and torpedoes. Lacks the longevity of other point defense systems, but packs enough of a punch to down heavily armored torpedoes at a generous distance.

5) Beam missiles: In real life, there are serious drawbacks to the usage of energy weapons in space. For example, a bomb-pumped x-ray laser requires, well, the detonation of a bomb to power its discharge, creating not-easily-dissipated heat and increasing wear and tear on internal parts. Beam missiles solve this by taking those pesky issues and moving them outside the ship. Basically, beam missiles fly within a certain radius of their target, and then explode, pumping an onboard laser array and firing a beam at their target. The advantage of this is that it'd do energy damage, as opposed to frag, high explosive, or kinetic damage, and that a beam missile would strike its target from outside most point defense ranges. For the sake of balance, this would mean that beam missiles would probably be less potent than conventional loads, but you could still harry an enemy enough that they'd be forced to close on you just to shut you up, allowing your fleet to hammer them as they maneuver.

6) Probes: Pretty simple. Instead of scouting with a wing of fighters with valuable stuff like weapons, armor, and people strapped to them, why not shoot a missile instead? Probably needs to be either dumbfire or fired from the tactics screen.

7) Point Defense Spoofing Missiles: Another idea ripped from real life. Modern antiship missiles fishtail wildly when they get close enough to their target to shake off CIWS fire. More effective against ballistic point defense, but packs a smaller warhead because of all the equipment needed to make it move so erratically and still land on target.

8 ) Decoy Torpedoes: Torpedoes that throw out warship level heat, radio, and radar, designed to throw off missiles at the last minute. Pretty high velocity, and in limited quantity. Small operational radius, and doesn't necessarily work on all incoming munitions.

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