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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2 (04/30/22)

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Messages - Cosmitz

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1
Blog Posts / Re: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts
« on: November 03, 2021, 01:56:49 AM »
The one thing i could think of while reading this entire post was this, done by Heaven's Vault, and i'm sorry if it was already said/linked: https://youtu.be/weX_c-kxREs?t=1435

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And, finally, a big feature of the system is that the general flow direction of the streams is seasonal. In the first half of the cycle, they tend to flow to the galactic east (which is like the regular east, but in hyperspace), while in the second half of the cycle, they generally flow west. This is another thing that the player can learn and plan their expeditions around.

One might ask, “but why is slipstream flow synchronized with the Domain cycle, which is an arbitrary human construct?”

This is my favorite thing. Somethings things should just be, and it makes it more a part of the world when nature feels natural, if you know what i mean.

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Not really impressed. I mean its not bad but I don't really see a point.

To be fair.. even with Hyperspace storms, travel seemed... solvable? I guess. When you had enough resources to just steamroll through hyperspace, as long as the circle for fuel use lined up with where you wanted to get to, and back, you'd be good (maybe with some extra supply use). But i like this 'fuzzyfing' of the knowable quantity of hyperspace travel. Anything that causes the player to make his own mistakes which generate stories is absolutely, positively, always a good idea.


In any case, great stuff, and while i didn't really delve too much in the current 0.95a, just for this i'm promising a full juicy run of the next version.

2
Discussions / Re: Highfleet... ugh
« on: August 13, 2021, 03:42:48 AM »
enable long aiming line (off by default)

Saw that in a video eventually. Somewhat better, but still, jesus christ. Felt like it was added like "fiiiine, here you go, it doesn't even have graphics, it's a longer line, enjoy plebs".

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I do wish fleet vs. fleet was a thing, so I'd have a reason to arm and armor support ships, but having seen how often the enemy AI kills itself through friendly fire....

I did just notice it's at most 1 vs 3, but it still feels like it's aiming towards those super 'hyperion'-y builds. A bigger ship will just get entirely shot up since it can't really dodge.

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I bought the game and while I feel that Highfleet would have benefitted greatly from a half-year EA period,

If anything, i don't think more time for them to do their thing would have helped. They needed to iterate more.

3
Discussions / Re: Highfleet... ugh
« on: August 12, 2021, 09:35:37 PM »
I played Highfleet for a few days, and all the time i was thinking "man, i'd rather be playing Star Sector". Glad to see the thread here. :))

I was really hyped for it, the gameplay looked amazingly rad and of all the things in the game, the heavy UI/Carriergroup type of interface is totally my jam. I even enjoyed the RP aspects/random events and generally the factions systems, but jesus christ the gameplay is atrocious.

For one thing, i entirely abhor the 'send one ship at a time versus five enemy ships plus ground support'. It feels like i'm playing a full Star Sector campaign with the older Hyperion where you could solo fleets. It was challenging, and sometimes fun, but would i want to play like that as a default? God hell no. I have ZERO idea what the guys in charge of Highfleet were thinking with the 1 vs all system. They have the AI there for handling ships, obviously. I just have no idea why, or at what point in the development they decided to remove fleet on fleet combat and make this very clunky 'hyperion' system. It skews the game to such a level and tier that of course the subreddit is hyping up the Lightning as the fast/nimble/allbattlesnowtake10minutes ship. You go in and fifty missiles are firing at you, and you're dodging four other ships, while YOUR ENTIRE ARMADA OF DOOM is sitting offscreen eating potato chips. What? And maybe, MAYBE, it would have been ok if you could relatively effortlessy and easy swap ships somehow, like how swapping fighters in fighting games work. But even then, jesus, just bring all my ships in what the hell.

Then there's the reticle thing. I love the actual movement and dynamics of the ships, but the reticle thing? What the hell were they thinking. It wouldn't even be TOO bad if you could zoom in, but you're piloting a flee fighting other flees bouncing around and popping off some spitter which already has spread in it. And you can't even aim.

The aim reticle allows the player to learn a lot of cognitive skills regarding the game systems in terms of projectile speed, spread and just the 'feel' of weapons. There is NONE of that in highfleet. Compare nailing that out-of-range heavy blaster shot on a Hound, to.. whatever the hell's going on in Highfleet. It's terrible, feels bad, and makes me not want to play the combat. I also hear it gets worse, with aircraft attacking your fleet (well, your flagship since of course) and other such things like cruise missiles.

PS: Retrying combat, even though it feels like an 'out of game' event, actually lowers your crew's morale. ... Wow.

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Ship construction is also something i bounced really hard off of. You can't zoom in, AGAIN, and you're building on 'layers' that are never really clear, and there's some relation to space/distance from things to other things, and it's rarely clear how stuff fits together and whether they're actually together after that. Like Alex, i tried to do some modifications like guns and whatever, and nope.. also the fact that there's no way to 'sim' your ship after designing it... you could do it in the main menu Shipworks but it feels like five extra steps for something that should take one. Also no grid button so you know what clicks on to what and how?

It just feels extremely granular for no good reason.

Also, my god, Star Sector's weapon groups feel like a call from heaven. In Highfleet i need to what, use half my keyboard to fire my guns, that's aside from the special systems and whatever? Makes me want to never fly big complicated ships.

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I hate the landing. Like, i like the general concept of it, but at the very least, i wish i could 'reset' just the last ship i fail to land, NOT THE ENTIRE SEQUENCE OF FIVE SHIPS I JUST LANDED. It feels like landing should be somewhat optional, but it ends up being very important, especially as you're fighting with a single ship most time and you use that as the basic assaulter, and when it gets damaged, you need to repair it quickly on the ground. Again, i love the way it looks and how it's done but jesus christ man.

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Also chiming in on the mouse-drag-messages-tune-in-thing. It feels terrible, like it's on some axis i'm not seeing and interpreting Y coordinates as some tangential X coordonates or wahtever and overshoots. No idea, feels bad, they should feel bad. And the mouse scroll speed should be capped logarithmic, not linear. Linear works for fine tuning but i just wish i could do the entire thing with my mouse scroll. Hell, have the thing move to the next active element, as not like there's any other options, and you just don't have to move your mouse, and just scroll wheel the entire thing. Again, makes me not want to engage with it.

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In the end, it feels like what xeno said, "Alex, Highfleet is like every choice you've ever made that made Starsector clunky and rough-feeling, compounded was never, ever fixed." There's a great, GREAT, game under all those issues, but it just feels like they're almost not even issues, but actual choices made during development, and that's worse.

I love the ease of splitting the fleet and the logistics of setting down and landing and the detail in going stealth and the information warfare that's going on, the 'carrier command' style of detail to logistics and generally the entire strategical layer is really cool. I like the roguelikey events and the factions and roleplaying in it, but it's just too bad the meat of the game is just something i'd rather not play.

And that's not touching on the nitpicky and annoying issues in regards to the UI which is down to execution, not design. The review on RockPaperShotgun, and i quote:

"Some of it is down to the controls, which are maddeningly inconsistent. Let me copy an example directly from my notes: "when I click on a module in my cargo in an attempt to attach it to a ship, it instantly sells. If I click and drag, nothing happens. How am I supposed to use the stuff in my cargo? To move my fleet I right click, but when I create a splinter group and right click with that, it deselects them instead". I have more notes like this than I'm willing to put a number on."

On that note, i'm sure none of you realised you can 'PAN' RIGHT the Supplies screen, where you buy fuel, to buy special ammo and missiles. Seriously devs? Seriously? Anyway, for anyone that still wants to give this a fair shot, the manual for the game is here: https://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/1434950/manuals/HighFleetManual.pdf?t=1627748221

4
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 19, 2020, 11:24:48 PM »
Those are all fair points. But the stars look pretty, so... look, let me have this one.

(A somewhat more salient point: I do think it's important to have a real-space view of the Sector visible in the game somewhere, just to make it feel like a "real" bunch of stars somewhere.)

I don't disagree, but i'd say the gameview itself does enough work on its own to look outstanding and spacey. :P Plus, weighted against new player on-boarding it really takes its toll.

5
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 19, 2020, 12:30:52 AM »
Well, this is a whollop of changes, and i'd rather not pick on individuals as these seem very much interlinked and should be taken as a whole experience. Howeves:

Are we going to get a hyperstorm map layer on the sector map? I don't remember how it was without Adjusted Sector, but at least with it, there doesn't seem to be any way to figure out where the hyperstorms are without almost flying into them. If I could, I'd try looking at a map and navigating around, but as it is, it's too much bother and I'd rather burn through.

If you press "1" on the map, it turns off the Starscape view and you can roughly see where the deep hyper areas are.

Honestly, by this point, shouldn't the 'real' map be the default? The 'pretty' map, as pretty as it is, is sorely not useful in the least as an actual map for navigation, and without a doubt a lot of players miss that little hotkey, and generally the hotkeys on the map screen, so even the fuel limits would be helpful to come pre-loaded.

6
Blog Posts / Re: Skills and Story Points
« on: September 28, 2019, 10:29:12 AM »
Just scratching my itch: story points were in "Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura" as "fate points".

Huh, i wonder how much inspiration FATE drew from Arcanum, the naming and use is oddly similar.

7
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: August 07, 2019, 12:41:52 PM »
A bit outside the scope here, but given newfound interest and a measure of QC stuff fixed in the back, would a new hotfix be an option? I mean, i know this is what was wanted to be avoided, but maybe it'd be nice to get a more polished version out now to the feeding masses before the next year-long wait?

8
General Discussion / Re: Do you hoard weapons? (Poll inside)
« on: August 04, 2019, 06:56:58 PM »
I'm partial to the Abandoned Astropolis since it orbits Mayasura, a market planet for the independents. Makes refuelling and resuppling a breeze.

9
Try using the Mod Index here, and only using mods approved for 0.9.1a http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=177.0. There are so many discontinued mods here and each version is so significantly different that it can entirely cause an entire failure to load the game. 0.9a mods /might/ work, but i would entirely try them on a one-on-one basis and see if it causes any game instability upon interacting with the systems it changes. Generally faction mods /need/ to be updated for the current game, but Utility mods may work across versions. /may/.

10
Don't mean to butt in, i'm just a random guy, but after doing what Alex mentioned, if the issue is still present:

For everything 'random' that's outside the realm of things working as they should on a very infrequent and haphazard basis, i would whole-heartedly recommend doing a checkdisk (right click your C drive, select Properties, Tools and Check Now on ErrorChecking) with "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" and select 'yes' when it asks to perform it on a restart. (then ideally also do it for the D drive) The system does use the pagefile even when it has sufficient RAM, and having a bad block in the pagefile could cause a large host of random issues.

Alternatively, i hate laptops for how horribly they can "handle" IRQs, so, while insane, try turning off bluetooth/wireless and anything else that your laptop may have up as a device, maybe even the touchpad if you're using an external mouse. Any of those could create an issue.

11
Bug Reports & Support / Re: Game wont start
« on: August 04, 2019, 12:56:58 PM »
I just checked locally, and i do have an OpenAL32.dll and 64.dll in my Starsector directory, and in my Windows folder i only have OpenAL32.dll. The official download on the OpenAL site only comes with OpenAL32.dll. You don't specifically need 'the 64 bit version'.

To be super sure, if you want, do this for the OpenAL32.dll https://kb.blackbaud.com/articles/Knowledge/48728 , then uninstall via control panel OpenAL, then to delete it from Windows folder if it isn't (sys32 and syswow32), then reboot, reinstall via the official OpenAL site, grab the OpenAL64.dll from the Starsector directory and throw that into System32 and SysWOW32 and finally do this for OpenAL32.dll and 64 from the System32 folder:  https://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/register-dll-file-in-windows/

By that point, it should be utterly bulletproof and i have no clue what could cause the issue further past that point.

12
Bug Reports & Support / Re: Game wont start
« on: August 04, 2019, 12:18:31 PM »
searched for it, deleted all of them, reinstalled, restarted and still not working. then tried a few more times. Im sure im doing something wrong

A bit of a long shot, but what's your default sound device set to?

Control Panel>Sound>Playback> ? Make sure it's /speakers/ or something akin to that, or whatever you know you're using, and also, try going into Properties for it, Advanced, and try unticking Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device' under the Exclusive mode settings. (also what's the default Format at? try setting it to 24bit 48Hz Studio and see if it helps)

13
But were you want to save hack, it's as easy as opening Starsector\Saves\save_PILOTNAME\campaign.xml and finding <difficulty>normal (or whatever you set)</difficulty> and changing that to whatever you want, saving the file.

Backup the file before doing this since there are multiple ways you can fudge it up.

14
General Discussion / Re: running out of supplies
« on: August 04, 2019, 12:08:35 PM »
It does seem unfair, but if it helps, it was much worse. :)

In short, always try to keep liquidity and enough supplies on hand. If you want a rough estimate, try 1/3'd of your total cargo space to be sure. Also don't deploy your entire fleet for a battle if you can win it with just three ships instead of 12. Each ship you throw up in battle loses Combat Rating just for getting sent in, let alone anything else that may happen to it, and that combat rating needs supplies to get it back up.

Also, don't constantly mothball/unmothball ships, getting that CR back up can cost a LOT.

Also-also, repairing for max CR at a station using supplies is the /quickest/ way to get maximum CR and figure out how your supply status looks.

15
General Discussion / Re: Purchasing a game
« on: August 04, 2019, 12:04:51 PM »
How the game works with serials, the application has an algorithm of keys it accepts, which is kept secret, Alex 'creates' these keys and sells them. So as long as the game itself gets a valid key, it doesn't care where you got it from or how many other computers are running the application. It doesn't connect to the internet, it doesn't check anything like region or anything else.

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