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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

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Topics - Amoebka

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General Discussion / Vigilance is bad
« on: July 28, 2022, 06:33:25 PM »
(Did I get you with a flame-provoking title?)

Vigilance is a ship with a major identity crisis. It's likely intended to be a dedicated fleet support frigate, providing cheap missiles for compositions laking in them. However, it fails miserably in this role for a multitude of reasons.

Firstly, it lacks either the durability or the speed to survive late game battles. You need to keep it close to your big hitters to keep it safe from enemy frigates (and let it assist with missiles), but that's also where all the scary capital-grade firepower is. A single barage from something like an autopulse laser will just delete Vigilance outright. The ship is also utterly incapable of protecting itself against fighters, or even surviving them long enough to get help, which is mandatory for late-game frigates. And finally, Vigilance doesn't even have a good missile/DP ratio despite being a missile specialist. You are pretty much never going to use Vigilances over Gryphons or Falcons(P) when you want missile support. The cruisers have better missile/DP ratios while also being able to survive infinitely better.

So can it function in the early game at least? Hell no. It loses to just about any other frigate 1v1, and isn't fast enough to run away from them either. And fighters are going to demolish it even worse than in a late-game setting, because you likely don't have your own interceptors to even try and contest the Talon spam.

The ship demands constant babysitting, and doesn't provide much reward in return. It needs to either be able to survive better on its own, or have some unique benefit to make it situationally better than Gryphons (faster ammo regen for pilums/resonators? a missile HEF for laser missiles?).

Suggestions / Improve tactical bombardment bar mission
« on: July 27, 2022, 02:07:03 PM »
The tactical bombardment mission has two major flaws, that make 90% of the offers unreasonable.

1) It can target planets defended by an orbital station. You need to blow up the station to bombard. A bar mission to destroy an orbital station with a guarding fleet is usually worth 600k, not 50k.

2) Bombardment can't be concealed and always results in instant hostility. For pirates and pathers it might not matter much, but offering 50k for a mission that drops your rep with a major faction to -50 is not cool.

(On a side note, the defending fleet itself is usually worth a lot more than the payout, but it can be avoided, so let's assume that's fair)

Suggested changes:

1) Can't target planets with stations.

2) Bombardment as a mission results in only a minor rep hit. Let's say military contacts can conceal fleet identities better than the player by themself.

Suggestions / Place the Red Planet quest earlier in the game
« on: June 13, 2022, 10:51:12 PM »
From what I understand, the quest is intended to be an introduction to Radiant, allowing players to try fighting it with minimal escorts. However, it spawns so late in the game, most players would be fighting full-scale ordos long before they even get offered the quest. I know it's possible to find the planet without being given the directions, but it's programmed to always spawn in the outer fringes of the sector, so it's rare to just stumble into it on accident.

Suggestions / Buff makeshift shield generator (by a lot)
« on: March 18, 2022, 12:02:47 AM »
Seriously, if a ship had frontal 90 degree shields with 1.2 efficiency, I would shield shunt it. Yet the hullmod expects me to pay premium OP amount and sacrifice 20% (!!!) speed for the privilege.

If we are to be honest, it's basically a D-mod for enemy fleets that use it.

General Discussion / Best way to farm beta cores?
« on: September 26, 2021, 07:08:42 PM »
Gamma cores are really common drops from ramped up explorarium defenses, and alpha cores can be farmed from ordos. Is there a reliable way to farm up betas? With the coming changes to automated ships skill, they would seem to be the most useful kind.

Suggestions / Add the Rugged Construction hullmod to explorarium drones.
« on: September 10, 2021, 12:11:32 AM »
They are shieldless, look low-tech and tend to die a lot. Seems like a natural fit. Probably still wouldn't make them competitive with remnant ships for player fleets, but at least they will be more appealing early game.

...And the only high improtance ones were underworld and story-related.

Can we please either make it less random or make medium contacts less damn useless? Even with 25 rep + priority they offer nothing good ever.

General Discussion / Locations of special weapons? (spoilers)
« on: April 11, 2021, 10:12:50 AM »
So far I know of 4 different places you can loot new weapons. Is that it? If there are more, please don't tell me where, just say there are more.

The places I know of are:

2 coronal hypershunts
1 high-end remnant bounty
1 alpha site

Everyone's posting their hot takes on skill balance, so here's mine. The skills are fine, it's the aptitudes that are wrong.

Skills, currently, are grouped into aptitudes mostly based on flavour, and not their gameplay use. An aptitude can have fleet-buffing skills, campaign QoL, piloted ships skills and colony skills all mixed together. Since skills are tiered, this forces players to pick skills they fundamentally don't want to unlock the higher ones. Industry has piloted ship skills at tier 2. Anyone who wants colony skills has to pick a skill that applies only to their flagship. Why is this a thing?

Let's now have a look at the 4 aptitudes:

1) Combat. This one is perfect. Every single skill is about buffing your flagship and nothing else. This is how it should be, no big changes needed.

2) Leadership. Here you have fleet-wide bonuses, officer bonuses, frigate and carrier bonuses (?), colony buffs (??!) and rading buffs (??!). Mostly fine, outside of tier 5 colony stuff.

3) Technology. We have campaign QoL, flagship skills, fleetwide buffs, carrier stuff, phase stuff, loadout bonuses and new ships. All over the place, zero cohesion whatsoever. Yes, flavour-wise, navigation and sensors are "tech stuff", but gameplay-wise they have nothing in common with fleet and loadout buffs.

4) Industry. Campaign QoL, flagship skills, fleetwide buffs, zombie ship stuff, colony skills. No cohesion again. A dumping ground for skills that didn't find a place elsewhere.

Suggested improvement is conceptually simple - make aptitudes defined by their GAMEPLAY effects.

1) Combat remains as is - flagship skills only.

2) Leadership is fleetwide buffs, including officers. Remove civilian hull buffs, remove colony and raiding. ECM and phase corps belong here, not tech.

3) Tech is about more freedom in loadouts, encouraging unconventional loadouts and new ship types. Flagship skills go to combat, fleet buffs go to leadership.

4) Industry is about campaign-level QoL and improvements, including ship salvage and zombie fleets. Navigation and sensors go here, not tech. Flagship skills go to combat. Colony skills are ALL dumped here (I know you wanted them separate so players can't have all 4, this was a bad idea as it forced colony skills into leadership, preventing looping). Alternatively, colony skills are removed entirely and moved to admins (with the admin cap increased for everyone). They are simply too far removed from everything else in the game. Industry players are the ones most likely to want them, but even then I don't think it's optimal to have them there.

If all skills in an aptitude are about the same general area of the game, people will feel a lot less miserable about looping around to get the skills they want, or even getting to high-level ones at all.

Just finished both hypershunts and want to know how badly I screwed myself.

General Discussion / Is producing 4 organs even possible?
« on: April 08, 2021, 09:43:18 PM »
Got a bar mission to supply 4 organs from a colony. A size 6 world produces 1 unit, +1 for admin, +1 for an alpha core. Story points don't improve production. Boosters for organs don't exist.

Is the quest an oversight?

General Discussion / Game feels balanced around colony income
« on: April 07, 2021, 04:58:05 AM »
Bounty hunting becomes unprofitable, or, at least, extremely risky, past the initial pirate/pather hits. The amount you get paid barely accounts for fuel and supplies, and losing ships makes it a net loss of money. You have to do multiple quad-capital bounties perfectly to get enough money to buy/restore one capital yourself. Since you can't recover s-modded enemy ships, you don't even get paid in trophies.

It feels like bounty hunting is less of a "career" you can take to make money, and more of a late game entertainment for people willing to waste money on fun combat challenges (and they are fun when you forget about the dreadful campaign layer implications of what you are doing). You MUST have profitable colonies to participate.

And colonies is something you can't earn by doing bounties. Once the enemy fleets scale up (i.e. you get tired of killing the same pirate trashballs over and over), you have to stop bounty hunting, stash your combat fleet, and do HOURS of boring surveying/salvaging. Just dropping mining on the first volcanic world you find isn't going to be good enough. You need to find good planets and industry boosters (which in my experience are terribly rare now). And then you have to WAIT several cycles for them to grow. Boring grind you have to do to be allowed to participate in late game fleet combat without savescumming.

If colonies are indeed supposed to be an unavoidable part of the game allegedly about space combat, make them earnable by combat. Make bounty targets drop guaranteed colony items and data on good planets. People who don't like combat can still find them naturally through exploration, people who want non-stop action can win them by defeating reasonably strong enemies (this is around the 2-3 cruisers part of the game). Everyone's happy.

General Discussion / This is just low
« on: April 06, 2021, 10:01:21 AM »
When you beat a merc fleet with s-modded ships, recoverable ones magically lose them. So much for wanting cool trophy ships. Guess laming trade/colonies and buying stuff is simply better.

General Discussion / Fearless and Reckless
« on: April 06, 2021, 06:13:34 AM »
Is there a difference? AI seemingly die a lot less often than reckless human officers would, but I'm not sure if it's smarter or simply has much better ships/skills.

General Discussion / Does anyone actually play with 120 DP?
« on: April 04, 2021, 02:09:47 AM »
It seems every time late game balance is discussed, people consider 160 vs 240 to be the default. Wasn't "the intended battlesize" 300 total? The difference between 120 and 160 DP is incredible, it's sheer misery and torment vs an actually playable game.

Anyone who plays on 300 willing to come here and tell me I'm just bad and the game is fair and balanced?

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