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Messages - Voyager I

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Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.96a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: February 03, 2023, 09:54:55 AM »
When one of your jokes misses and receives gentle correction:

Say "My bad, I didn't mean to be insulting." and allow the conversation to move on.

Say "Get over it snowflake, I didn't know jokes were illegal now." while planting your flag on the hilltop.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.96a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: February 02, 2023, 09:40:33 PM »
It's an interesting ship that has design considerations that make it distinct from other carriers, it's one of the first dedicated carriers the player can access, and it's a shame to see it go unused for so long.

Hmm. Is it, honestly? It's really tricky to balance, it feels like the sort of ship that very easily tips over into "and now massing it is the absolute best strategy". The Mora at least has some interesting battlecarrier-type things going for it.

I'd say it's interesting, yes. It's the only dedicated carrier with Reserve Deployment, which gives it different design incentives than its peers. Back when it was a ship worth flying, I generally wanted to build around keeping fighters in the air instead of optimizing around bombers like the Heron and Astral or supporting itself in direct combat like the Moras or the handful of High-Tech ships that have an incidental bay.

You've already got diminishing returns built into fighter spam with the new soft cap on skills and the Drover has been very far from good, so I don't feel like it's on the edge of overtaking the game again. It's definitely more powerful than the Condor, sure, but is it really 1.5 Condors?

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.96a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: February 02, 2023, 08:02:42 AM »
Would it be possible for the drover to receive a minor DP rollback? Between the dp nerf, RD getting stomped on, and fighter skill limits, paying 15 dp for the drover is just gross. I think it learned its lesson now. One wonders when reading the drover description why the Domain didn't quietly cancel the production contract for it.

I think with the fixes to bugs for Reserve Deployment it might be in a better place. Might still be overpriced, but at least it should be better than it is now.

I also feel that the poor Drover has spent long enough in the corner for its crimes. It's an interesting ship that has design considerations that make it distinct from other carriers, it's one of the first dedicated carriers the player can access, and it's a shame to see it go unused for so long.

While we're listing the many, many direct and indirect nerfs that it was subjected to, let's not forget that its partner in crime, the Spark, was also severely reigned in as part of that same reckoning.

General Discussion / Re: Power limit to ships.
« on: January 07, 2023, 02:40:00 PM »
I was a Legendary Founder for MWO (I was young and foolish and I accept your derision for my mistakes).

Please don't make me think about Ghost Heat again.

General Discussion / Re: How giga is the Gigacannon?
« on: December 30, 2022, 12:00:12 PM »
The blog described it as having huge per-shot damage with good flux efficiency offset by poor range, and explicitly said it would perform well on ships mobile enough to bring it to bear.

It'd probably be be disgusting on a Radiant.

General Discussion / Re: How do you fight difficult battles ?
« on: July 24, 2022, 12:23:19 PM »
To answer the question directly: difficult fights are balanced around the player using their superior human judgement to have an outsized impact on the battle. This actually starts on the campaign layer, with players having more optimized fleet compositions and ship loadouts compared to the autofit grab-bags fielded by the AI, such that your ships are pound-for-pound superior to the enemy. In the battle itself, you have a better ability to see the 'big picture'. The AI has pretty sound tactical judgment in terms of engagements between individual ships, but it doesn't do more advanced strategic planning like "avoid their anchor ship until we've cleared out its support, then converge when it's exposed" or "aggressively hunt down their carriers while keeping their main line engaged". On the level of piloting the flagship itself, the human is generally better at making risk assessments that allows you to make decisive actions that an AI pilot would be afraid of (or misjudge and die attempting). A well-positioned human ship is enormously more powerful than the same vessel in AI hands.

All this is just comes from decision making. If you're an arcade keyboard maestro there are some ships that let you do hilarious things on top of all this, but you can still beat the game comfortably sitting in a giant brick of guns and putting it in the right spot.

I've never understood why anyone would go AFK during battles in this game.  They're the main selling point.  They're almost universally the top reason people like the game.  Tricking out an awesome flagship is one of the biggest goals of my fleet development.  Taking it into battle to shred my foes is the second.

To be fair, I have found that the AI can make better use of multiple turrets and gun groupings than I can on larger vessels, if I'm piloting a capital I'll take control to get it into position and to take out key targets but otherwise I'll let autopilot take over and let the AI autofire for me.

There are indeed some mechanical limits to human interface that the AI isn't restricted by. You can only directly control a single weapon group, and you probably can't manage an omni-shield at the same time. Thus, more complicated ships will typically require delegating some tasks to the AI even when being flown by the player, but you can give the AI some guidance. Autofiring guns will prioritize your selected target. Normally I use this to make sure everything is focusing my primary target, but you can also do something like target a frigate attempting to flank you so that your secondary batteries ward it off while you continue to engage your main target with the big guns, or give the AI full control of the weapons while you manage the shields if you're being pressured from multiple directions. Pressing CTRL+[Number] will toggle autofire for the corresponding weapon group, which you can use to manage flux levels if you have your groups set up to facilitate it (ie turning off your HE / Ion weapons while you're trying to break shields).

General Discussion / Re: Is shield shunt a meme hullmod?
« on: July 24, 2022, 09:27:28 AM »
I found it usable on XIV enforcers with SO and reckless personality. You get a little over 1500 armour on a pretty expandable ship.

I'm pretty sure you meant to type "expendable", but given that explosion is a form of very rapid expansion the current wording holds true.

Blog Posts / Re: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2
« on: June 01, 2022, 04:11:56 PM »
Assuming that the weapons can't be found by arms dealers, they're not on the black market, you can't jump one of the fleets with your transponder off, and that you can't take a rep hit raiding to get blueprints, there's still hanging around scavenging after fights in system.

The Lion's Guard is a special sub-faction separate from the ordinary Diktat military that doesn't have blueprints to raid for or markets to raid them from, and Alex has stated that the weapons as currently implemented are not available through any means other than battlefield salvage, and even then they're only ever fielded by Lion's Guard Executors. You can try some ~shenanigans~ to get your hands on them without going openly hostile to the Diktat, but it's going to make it even harder to get weapons that will be quite rare to begin with.

To be honest, this is the part that concerns me the most - players are receiving a strong mechanical incentive to treat the Diktat like a loot pinata faction and a strong disincentive to make any kind of sincere friendship with them, since they're the faction whose unique equipment can only be acquired through violence towards them. Maybe this is itself a commentary on the perverse incentives established by Andrada's egocentric decision making, though in-fiction I can't imagine that factions are setting their policies based on the existence of an independent captain capable of toppling polities and who would be willing to do so for a technological curiosity.

General Discussion / Re: Balance of cruiser and capitals
« on: May 25, 2022, 05:50:00 PM »
Look into the Ballistic Rangefinder hullmod. It lets you push small ballistics out to match the range of large mounts, and your kinetic output isn't particularly bothered by the low hit strength from small weapons. You are correct that sometimes it's better to leave extra mounts undersized or even empty (ie, a hightech ship with 360 degree shields may want more flux stats more than it wants a full spread of rear PD lasers), but small ballistics are pretty great.

EDIT: and even if they aren't part of your primary battery, a couple of Light Autocannons mixed into your side mounts benefiting from big ship ITU boosts can make it much harder for small ships to harass your flanks effectively.

General Discussion / Re: What Does "SO" Mean?
« on: May 21, 2022, 11:20:14 AM »
It's short for the Safety Overrides hullmod.

It gets a fair bit of conversation since it drastically changes how the ship in question functions and is potentially very powerful in the right builds.

Blog Posts / Re: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2
« on: May 17, 2022, 07:19:38 PM »
Part of the backlash may be that unless you got really deep into the lore, Andrada honestly didn't stand out as being spectacularly bad. Like, he wasn't good, but it's a sci-fi dystopia. The Hegemony is a domineering autocracy in its own right, the Tri-Tachs don't appear to have any concept of ethics or morality and are constantly sneaking out the back door to conduct experiments that threaten all live in the sector, and the League is a militarized country club for despots and oligarchs (to say nothing of the honest-to-god pirates and terrorists running around everywhere). The Church arguably comes off the best by only discreetly supporting the aforementioned terrorists, if you can forgive them being tremendous nags. Without going trawling through the wiki, my recollection from following the game for over a decade is that most of these factions are knee-deep in warcrimes and credible accusations of / attempts at genocide, so Andrada probably blowing up a planet wasn't all that special.

To put it succinctly: I was here posting through the backlash when deployment costs got added to the game, read all the blog posts and patch notes, go through the wiki semi-regularly, and it still came as a surprise to me when this blog said that Andrada was supposed to be appreciably more of a bastard than the rest of the factions. I knew that he was a despotic jerk with blood on his hands, but it never made much of an impression since so was everyone else.

General Discussion / Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« on: May 08, 2022, 08:40:56 AM »
I want to emphasize very strongly that "elite military force of autocratic state that is selected primarily for loyalty to the government and believes their own hype but falls apart as soon as someone tries to use them for actual warfare" is not a fictional concept that Alex just came up with.

Sindria is basically the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, right down to the reason people put up with their ***.

General Discussion / Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« on: May 08, 2022, 12:17:38 AM »
The narrative explanation is "passable" in the sense that he clearly believes what he's saying.  Regardless of the lack of verisimilitude or accuracy with respect to any number of historical or recent examples.  Autocratic regimes may have good militaries or bad militaries, but you will never find an example of an autocratic regime where the elite forces are worse equipped and less competent than the regular grunts.  Because the first priority of autocracies is security, including security against internal coups d'etats, and that means force, and that means the elites that are most directly loyal to the leader have to be more capable (and better rewarded) than anybody else in the autocracy.  No amount of charismatic self-delusion can make up for that, and any autocracy that tries such a path doesn't last long at all.

Well, first remember that the Lion's Guard isn't poorly equipped. Andrada's oversight may be detrimental, but they still get the finest hulls the Diktat can produce, and the penalty from Special Modifications is stated to be minimal - certainly less impactful than an actual D-Mod you might find on a ship of the regular fleet. On a similar vein, the hollowness of their 'elite' standing is based on information that the player knows but is not available in the setting of the game. We know the Guard aren't an effective fighting force because we get to look behind the curtain and the creator of the game told us so, but until they bluster their way into a real war and get their noses pushed in the average Sindrian probably doesn't have any reason to question their reputation. This means the reputation itself can enable them to do their work by discouraging any potential threats to Andrada's power, even if the Guard might not be up to the task if they were actually challenged. It's similar to how Sparta was able to create tremendous leverage from their reputation as an elite military force when their actual track record was profoundly average.

I'd imagine that officers of the regular fleet probably also don't get commands with the kind of prominence that would lend themselves to being launching points for coups.

Blog Posts / Re: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2
« on: May 05, 2022, 07:14:53 PM »
I'll note that Fulgents have the potential for 2 medium and 4 small missiles, and HEF backing up their energies. They are quite dangerous ships, potentially some of the best missile support/burst ones for their price, they just aren't blockbuster speed ships (though 85 is only slightly slow). They also have a .6 shield + decent flux stats, plus their armor is not too weak (450 is a little low, but not terribly). A gamma core gives all the skills they really need, so they are even pretty cheap in terms of the skill's budget of ships.

Yeah, it's worth considering that Radiant ships have baseline 0.6 shield efficiency (one of the most important numbers on a ship) and +1 burn speed for their hull size across the board, which can make them significantly more useful than they look.The Fulgent doesn't do well built around HEF because it doesn't have the mobility to offset its short range, but it's still a handy little ship that can mount two sabot pods with an elite missile spec officer in midgame. Similarly, the Brilliant isn't as busted as the Radiant, but it's pretty close to a Champion that keeps up with Destroyer fleets.

Blog Posts / Re: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2
« on: April 30, 2022, 09:27:45 PM »
I hear what you're saying, yeah. I think I'd rather - at most - make it "equal to base hull after a restoration". Otherwise, even if it's a minor edge, we get into potential "the base hull is bad" territory and I want to completely avoid that. It's ok with Pather ships because it's all small fry and SO is a style-changer so it's not quite a straight upgrade. It'd be less ok for a whole swath of midline ships up to cruiser-size. And, yeah, I get that with half-price solar shielding there'd be some question as to whether it's an upgrade, but I'd just as soon avoid it even being a question.

How much of a concern do you think that will be? XIV Lowtech ships are substantial upgrades over the base models on some of the most prevalent line ships in the game, but people are still perfectly happy using a baseline Onslaught if that's what they can get their hands on. For comparison, half-price Solar Shielding is a fairly minor 7-8 point rebate on a capital, roughly in line with the value of just the flux from the XIV bonuses, and with "special modifications" almost certainly leaves the hulls worse off than baseline until they're restored. I don't see that being the kind of bonus that people are going to feel pressured to pursue. Even if the player has reached the point in the game where they have unlimited resources to pour into inane gameplay loops crafting their ideal Dorito Fleet, farming and restoring an Eagle that saves 5 points on Solar Shielding is probably not what's on their mind.

Though to be honest, having crunched the numbers I've mostly just talked myself out of having any strong opinion just because the difference is so small either way.

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