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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 - Gothars

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Suggestions / Safety Override should kill crew
« on: July 26, 2021, 03:43:53 AM »
Meaning hull damage leads to more causalities than it
normally would, the reverse effect of reinforced bulkheads. In combat, it would make little practical difference. But it would add so much flavor to SO, adding a moral component to the decision to use it that, at the moment, is only implied. And it would help to explain why no faction except the Luddites uses this often powerful hullmod.

Bug Reports & Support / Audio doesn't work after bluetooth disconnect
« on: November 12, 2020, 02:00:55 PM »
If my bluetooth headphones get disconnected, either manually or by distance, Starsector audio stops working. Other sources still play audio normally, either over reconnected bluetooth or normal speakers. Starsector needs a restart, though.

Bug Reports & Support / Menu turns black at 3440x1440
« on: November 08, 2020, 04:06:26 PM »
When I start the game, I see the loading bar for a few seconds, then the screen turns black. When I alt-tab out of the game and enter it again, one of two things happens: either it is still black, or the menu shows up  for a few seconds and then the screen turns black. When I try it in windowed mode, it also turns black, but when I put it in the background behind some other window it freezes without turning black.

I tried:

- Reinstalling
- Vsync on/off
- fps 60/100
- alwaysUndecoratedAtFullscreen":true/false

My System:

- Win 10 clean install
- Ryzen 3600
- GTX 1660 Super (current drivers)
- 3440x1440 100Hz Monitor (DP)

I also tried running it at a lower resolution in a window, that fixed the issue. On my old computer in ran in 3440x1440 no problem, though (at 60Hz, HDMI).


Suggestions / Finer weapon control without needing more weapon groups
« on: October 31, 2020, 08:55:49 AM »
I want to suggest a toggle in the weapon group menu that either unifies or separates different weapon types within a group.

If unified, they behave as now, all weapons in it will fire. If separated, the group will fire the weapons of one type only, and you have to select the group a second time to be able to fire the weapons of another type.

For example, you could put your two  Sabot- and two Harpoon-launchers into group 2 and choose "separated". If you hit "2"in combat, you fire only the Sabots with every click (either "alternating" or "linked", that toggle also still applies). Once the enemy shield is down, you select the group again with "2" and now fire the Harpoons with every click.

The advantage should be obvious, it allows you to put weapons that you'd normally put in different groups into one group, freeing up groups to control other weapons more precisely.

A disadvantage of such a group is that you can't fire all weapons within it together, so you give up max firepower for finer control. E.g., it's nice to have kinetic and HE guns fire separately as long as you are in a flux contest, but once the enemy is overloaded and its armor broken, you might prefer pure dps from firing everything at once. That would not work well with a separated group.

I think it's really best for weapons you never want to fire together, like missiles with different damage types, or two very flux limited weapon types with different damage types.

Suggestions / Better venting effect graphics
« on: October 28, 2020, 08:48:47 AM »
I feel kind of bad asking for a graphics update when there's so much content being worked on - it's just that the venting effect really stands out to me. It seems like a very low res texture. Granted, it's less obvious when animated. But especially during venting it's often a good idea to pause the game to survey the tactical situation, and then this effect appears less than optimal. So, yeah, an update to bring it to the graphical standard of the rest of the game would be appreciated. Maybe as a graphic options toggle to not tax older systems unnecessarily.


I also found this really old quote, which I find amusing:)  (Or have shields ever looked different from what they look like now? I don't remember them ever being changed...)

It would be nice to have some feedback, like if a kinetic weapon hits the shield, display some kind of shield dispersion effect, just a small you know that something realy bad for your shields hit it.

Funny thing - we already have some shield animation graphics for just this purpose. Just haven't had time to add those in :) Btw, the "shield hit" sound is different for kinetic damage vs everything else, though it's easy to miss in the heat of battle.
Shields have been on my list of "graphics to improve" for a while now. I wouldn't say they're *bad*, but we've got some ideas.

Modding / MOVED: [0.9.1a] Hullmod Barratry 1.0a
« on: October 09, 2020, 02:53:25 AM »

Suggestions / Flares should be usable during venting and overload
« on: October 08, 2020, 07:03:19 AM »
Passive and active flares are the two weakest ship system and very redundant with PD weapons. Most of the time I actually forget using them when they are on my flagship. But being able to use them while the main defense against missiles is out of action would transform them from the bottom of the barrel into a very useful (although still weak) ship system.

Suggestions / Utility weapons
« on: October 07, 2020, 07:46:18 AM »
I really liked the introduction of logistics hullmods, as it allows to (role-)play something other than combat focused fleets. How about extending that logic to some weapons?

For example:
Mining blaster - increase loot found druing scavenging
Mining laser - decreases frequency of asteroid impacts on the drive bubble (as per its description)
Hellbore - decreases fuel required for orbital bombardment
Thumper - decreases maintenance supplies/month of the ship it is installed on (as per its description)

Such utility weapons could only be installed/switched when docked. They'd also solves some other problems:

- their utility function gives another reason to use this weapons past early game and thus increases weapon variety
- explains the existence of mining weapons in a world in which asteroid mining seems to be virtually nonexistent

For the most part Starsector has great gameflow, but salvaging is one of the major hiccups, I think.  You usually want to scavenge large debris fields two times, which over time really ads up to a lot of player inputs required.

In more detail:
1. (Explore->) consider ship recovery ->select ship->recover->2. pick trough wreckage -> click to reveal loot instantly -> take all -> dump metals etc. -> confirm and continue

3. Scavenge- > Asses -> consider ship recovery ->select ship->recover-> Begin salvage operations -> click to reveal loot instantly ->take all -> dumb metals -> confirm and continue

4. Scavenge again -> Asses -> Begin salvage operations -> click to reveal loot instantly ->take all -> dumb metals -> confirm and continue

That's often over 20 player inputs required for (thorough) post battle salvage or for extracting all resources from abandoned stations/probes, floating hulls or any other exploration encounter. And since you're doing this hundreds of times during a play-though, it really ads up.

I'd propose that in the after battle/exploration encounter dialog, you get two salvage options:

1. Thoroughly search the wreckage. This discovers all ship hulls and as many of the loot as scavenging a debris field twice would discover. However, your fleet is immobilized for a day or so, like after using the active sensor burst. This option does not leave a debris field.

2. Give the wrecks a cursory inspection. This recovers only as much loot as the current post battle salvaging does, maybe even minus enemy hulls. It exist mostly for the situations where you have to get away immediately after a battle and is the default option for AI fleet. That it so they leave debris field behind that the player may salvage.

The thorough search option would easily cut the inputs required in half. Are there any major downsides I am missing?

Right, we know very little about story points, but I'll try a suggestion anyway:)

I remember that one of the ideas behind having deployment costs is to motivate players to deploy as little as possible to defeat an enemy, theoretically leading to more interesting battles even if the enemy is outnumbered. I practice, however, it is usually better to deploy enough ships to easily crush the opponent, as the danger of losing one of your own far outweighs the concern of increased deployment costs. Consciously deciding to make a battle more interesting and challenging yourself to hard battles is, in sum, punished by the game, not rewarded. 

One idea to change that is to reward players with story points if they win a pitched battle. The go to way to grant story points seems to be bonus experience, so maybe that should happen here as well. It seems a good way to give "partial" story points with something like 50% bonus experience.

A pitched battle could be either:

- a battle were you win against a far great DP deployment than you deployed yourself, or
- a battle were you suffered heavy losses and came close to losing, but didn't.

In the second case a generous helping of extra XP might keep you from just reloading.
Both cases should probably have a cooldown so it's less easy to abuse them for XP farming.

I think it could also be cool if pitched battles were noted down in the new story point log. With that, story points could be slight redefined to not only mean "points you spend to shape your story" but also "points you earn by shaping an interesting story".

Suggestions / Better retreat for "too large" fleets
« on: September 14, 2020, 04:39:45 AM »
Of all the combat scenarios in the game, the one I find the most problematic is the retreat of "too large" fleets. If you want to retreat in a big fleet you have to fight until either
- you dealt significant damage to the enemy, which is often impossible when they far outnumber you, or
- you lose enough ships that you are not longer considered a large fleet.
 But it is not indicated when this point is reached, so you might have to retreat multiple times (losing CR) to check if you are eligible already. In practice, this makes losing your entire fleet a far more likely thing than it has to be.

I gather that the main reason to limit retreat is performance related, because a big fleet can't be deployed all at once.

So, I'd suggest to at least better indicate when your fleet would be eligible for a retreat (a counter how many enemy/own ships have to be destroyed still?), or better, to come up with a new combat scenario for these types of situations.

My idea for such an scenario would be this:

When encountering an overwhelming enemy force, you select some of your fleet to fight a time-limited delaying action against the enemy. All your ships not part of that action will be in an autoresolved escape scenario. (Autoresolved, because then the size is not performance-limited.)
Int he delaying scenario, the enemy has the goal to send ships to the border on your side of the map as fast as possible. All enemy ships that reach that border within a time limit burn away and will be the pursuing force in the autoresolved escape scenario. Your goal is to stop the enemy ships from crossing your border, and thus increase the chances of your fleeing ships. When the timer ends, the remaining enemy ships can no longer join the pursuit. They will now likely destroy or root your delaying force, or if they are in turn defeated, the scenario will reset. At any point, you can retreat your delaying force and fight a standard escape scenario with them. At the end the survivors from the autoresolved escape scenario and the escape scenario of the delaying force will be joined again on the campaign map into one fleet.

Feel free to come up with a better scenario, I think there are many better options than what we have now!

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