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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 - Gothars

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Suggestions / A way to move D-hulls around with less fuel
« on: May 19, 2017, 07:54:13 AM »
The problem:
And yeah, fuel cost of "garbage ball" fleets (as they're affectionately known internally) are definitely at odds with the rest of industry encouraging exploration, which did come up in testing as well, but no obvious/clean solution presented itself.

A possible solution; it needs two components to work:

1) The hullmod "Monofilament tow cable"*, equippable on all ships. It enables to tow one mothballed ship of the same size or smaller than the towing ship (or maybe one size bigger?). Towed ships do not consume fuel in hyperspace. As a secondary effect a fleet can emergency burn even with a mothballed ship, when that ship is towed.
The hullmod could increase fuel consumption a bit, but I'm not sure if that would even be necessary balance-wise.

2) A skill in the Industry aptitude that enables to restore mothballed ships with some of their CR. Maybe half of what they had before mothballing, but at least 40% (as long as the ship didn't have below 40%).

The hullmod and skill in combination would allow you to move a fleet for basically half the fuel cost (or less, when smaller ships can tow bigger ones), provided half of the ship tow, and half are towed. Then, when you got where you wanted, you restore the mothballed ships to re-acquire your full combat potential. Raising the CR again would of course cost many supplies, so you trade savings in fuel for restoration supply costs and intermittent vulnerability. Here D-hulls have an advantage, because it's much cheaper to restore them to full combat readiness.

That does not just enable to make far journeys with d-hull garbage fleets. It also opens other possibilities, like having a mothballed toolbox of highly specialized ships that you can restore when needed and carry around for cheap ( they don't cost fuel and don't cost maintenance supply, after all). Or as a new option when you're stranded with low fuel in a remote system. As a nice side effect it gives more use for transports/liners, since you have to carry the crew for the mothballed ships somehow.

There are some ships were the tow cable might make for a nice build-in mod, like the Hound (sled dog!), the Venture and maybe even the tug (with then has a double function).

BTW, something that would be good regardless of if these ideas get implemented is an additional piece of information when hovering over the "mothball" button: "Restoring current CR after mothballing this ship will approximately cost x supplies". At the moment there is no warning at all that mothballing is costly.

From what I understand 8.1 will replace the tug's mono-filament tow cable with a "drive field stabilizer" that raises the entire fleets burn speed by 1, and the tow cable will not have any use.

Suggestions / Color Sensor/Detection Range when they are modified
« on: May 19, 2017, 06:16:32 AM »
There are all kinds of terrain and abilitites that modify how far you can see or be seen. You can see their effects when you mouse over either the terrain/ability description or your Sensor/Detection Range, but doing that usually requires you to pause the game. I also can't really memorize all the effects (which seem to change with every update) or intuit them good enough.

I think it would be a simple but effective QOL improvement to color the Sensor/Detection Range values red/green when they are enhanced/decreased relative to normal. Maybe just if that happens by a multiplication, the flat +1000 addition of the Transponder should not lead to a permanent red Detection Range value.

Suggestions / Smarter targeting UI for stations
« on: May 17, 2017, 12:22:09 PM »
Stations are build from a core and several modules. In combat, you can target the modules with "R", but you can't target the core. The problem is that to target the modules, you first have to know where they are, which is far from obvious. Stations are designed to look homogeneous, after all. Targeting the core does nothing, so if a player doesn't yet know about the way stations work, that can be very confusing. Saw that confusion in some YT let's plays.

So my idea is: Targeting the core switches through targeting the modules. Hover the cursor over the station core and press "R" once to target the first module, press it again to target the second module and so on. Ideally, the outline of the now targeted module would flash briefly.

This could help you to initially understand the structure of the station and later to identify any left-over modules.

Suggestions / "Sort ships" button in fleet menu
« on: May 14, 2017, 07:36:48 AM »
Big fleets can get a bit hard to manage and oversee, especially when the composition changes a lot (D-hull playstile). It would be nice if you could auto-sort them. Parameters that would help are for example "sort non-civilians from highest to lowest deployment points, then sort civilians from highest to lowest deployment points".

Other than having a good overview the position of ships in the fleet menu doesn't matter anymore, does it?

How to reproduce: You don't deploy the flag ship, then take over one of your allies with "X", and then deploy your original flagship. Your character is on the original flag ship as on officer, but also on the allied ship. To control the flag ship you have to take the X-shuttle.

"Johnson to Johnson... this is awkward."

It was just back paddling further and further, with the fighters long out of range. Officer is steady.



I can't reproduce this now. At the time it was aggravating, caused me to lose the fight.

I am not 100% on this, but I think if you are almost hostile (-49) with a faction, and then attack them without being identified, you still get the warning "are you sure you want to attack, you have been positively identified". I guess because it will push you into "hostile" anyway, but I was still confused about my transponder status for a moment (which was off, and had been for a long time).

I like the base mechanics, but I think they have a lot of untapped potential.

Here are two ideas:

1)Datacenter (ship order): Ships can be ordert to "go mainframe" with a command point, increasing the EW/Nav bonus they provide, but dramatically reducing the ships own speed and weapon range. Conceptually, they re-route all power to their computer systems and use the processing power to provide aiming and navigation data for the fleet. This can be used to various effects:

- allows slow ships to play a role in fast pursuit/mopping up
- when the enemy does it, provides a tactical target to destroy
- give civilians a role in combat
- gives more use to command points

2)Temporary Overclock (fleet wide order): Electronic Warfare rating/nav bonus is spiked temporarily (~10 seconds?) by a coordinated "DoS attack" for the cost of a command point. During this time enemy weapon range can be reduced more than normally. Afterwards your processors have to cool down and your EW rating is lowered temporarily, providing an opportunity for a counter-strike.

This would turn EW into a more interactive, dynamic mechanic that you can't just ignore. And give more use to command points, too.

Suggestions / Ideas to make civilian ships more useful in battle
« on: May 03, 2017, 05:55:42 AM »
So, you can now install the hullmods "Nav Relay" and "ECM Package" on civilian ships, with is supposed to be an initiative to send them into combat and make them more tangible. For me this initiative seems insufficient, definitely not enough to risk my valuable freighters and tankers.

So, some ideas for alternative hullmods:

- Rescue shuttles. Hullmod that saves crew from destroyed ships. The effectiveness could be relative to the max crew of the ship it is installed on, to give an imitative to deploy passenger ships into combat. You could basically have a makeshift hospital ship that way.
This would help one of the weaknesses of using d-hulls, there are skills to mitigate crew losses from damage, but not from destroyed ships.

- Emergency field service shuttles*. Hullmod that expands the CR of all frigates. An unfortunate side effect of peak readiness time is that frigates are not reliable in big battles, because they will run out of time/CR before the battle ends. That is not just bad for your fleets combat performance, but also annoying, because you have to interrupt the fight to retreat them.

If you could deploy a civilian ship that helps frigates prolong their peak readiness time, it would mean that they can participate for the duration of an entire big battle. And that without getting a time bonus in engagements where the operate alone, allowing them to kite and negating the point of their timer.
Frigates with delicate machinery/high maintenance should probably be exempt from this.

* edited from "teams" for clarity


As seen in "Last Hurrah". There were no ships flanking them, and no other reason I could see why they did not evade sideways.

Bug Reports & Support / Disengage... or just leave?
« on: April 29, 2017, 11:28:49 AM »
Maybe not a bug, but when joining an ally in battle and losing, I have these options:

Am I supposed to be able to just fly away scot-free?


The warning should probably come earlier, when you refuse to comply with their orders. Either that, or you should be able to back-paddle.

General Discussion / MOVED: Let's talk UI/UX
« on: April 27, 2017, 06:59:28 AM »

This was probably reported before, but I couldn't find it:

When setting course to a system, you're usually setting course to its star. Now, of course you don't want to fly into the star, so you manually choose one of the jump points of the system. The main problem is that upon entering the system, for several seconds you don't have any control and your fleet follows the set course - into the star. That can really be a problem when the jump point is close to it, I had the autopilot drive me into a corona several times now. The same when you leave a system that is still logged in with pursuers on your heels (happens if you get into a distress-call trap), instead of speeding away your fleet will stay, try to re-enter the jump point and get caught.

The secondary issue is that it follows the autopilot at all after a jump when it was previously overwritten by manual control. That happens all the time in non-critical situations too, but there it's just a convenience issue. But if that were solved the main problem would go away too, I guess.

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