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Messages - SaberCherry

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Could be radical, but why even have armour be reduced when taking damage? Onslaughts might be invulnerable to all but the biggest HE weapons, but that could be cool. Like the "paragon" of armour tanking.
I half-agree, and I think my "lossy armor" suggestion serves the spirit of that without the downside of armor boats becoming invincible.  Currently high armor gives armor*6.66 HP in damage absorption, while low armor gives more like armor*1 HP.  With lossy armor, all armor would be useful and extra armor for high-armor ships - which is currently mediocre - would actually become useful.  And for low-armor ships, increasing armor would actually increase damage mitigation.  This currently does not happen effectively, since mitigation is inherently low and once armor is stripped, effectively zero on low-armor ships.

It's critical for armor to be reduced when hit, so eliminating that mechanic entirely is a nonstarter.  Armor currently degrades too fast, though.  The best way to fix that is not yet clear.

Suggestions / Re: Flares should be usable during venting and overload
« on: October 09, 2020, 03:25:14 PM »
Flares are explicitly an emergency, defensive-only system and already quite weak. Letting them be used for the one situation where they could actually be okay - when the ship is overloaded - would be perfectly fine.
OK, so where does it stop?  Why not other special systems?

The current rules are clear - when overfluxed/venting, you can't do anything except maneuver.  It's very easy to understand.  What's being proposed would make flares a special citizen who is better than any other ship system, with unique rules.  I can't imagine a scenario where that would be a good idea.

(for example Onslaught armor up to 4k?)
Ok 4k might be a little too much, but isn't that what the onslaught supposed to be?
For example on an onslaught you need:

I'm beginning to see a bit of a pattern.  Is this really about armor, or is this about the Onslaught's performance specifically?
Personally, I think Onslaughts are OK.  It's armor mechanics and heavy armor that I have problems with.  Onslaught is a useful illustrative example, though, because it has extremely high armor and bad shields.  And even for Onslaught, a single tier-1 skill will totally eclipse its stripped armor performance, making it worse than the stripped armor mitigation of a Kite with a level-1 Captain.

I would prefer lossy armor.  Rather than armor absorbing 100% of damage until it is depleted, armor could absorb (remaining armor fraction) of damage, with the rest dealt to the hull.  So the first shot will always be 100% absorbed by armor (unless it exceeds armor).  But if shot 1 reduces armor by 2%, then shot 2 will deal 2% damage to hull and 98% damage to armor.  That would make armor last longer and cumulatively have greater damage mitigation.

And make armor more important.  Currently there are armor-only ships like Hounds and Buffalo Mk.II's that get eliminated immediately because low-level armor is only marginally useful.  Whereas low-level shields are great; a Kite has better survivbility than a Buffalo Mk.II.

General Discussion / Re: Supplies Mechanic
« on: October 09, 2020, 01:06:55 PM »
There are a few skills you can take to reduce supply demand.  One of the very first I prioritize is Field Repairs 3; this is crucial, especially if you want to salvage a lot of ships rather than buying/building them.  Combined with Safety Procedures 3 which cuts the negative effects of D-mods in half (and also eliminates supply cost from emergency burn), D-mods change from something you hate to something you love.  Combine that with Fleet Logistics 2 and Efficiency Overhaul hullmod, and you basically don't need to worry about maintenance any more.  At that point the primary thing costing supplies is CR recovery after battles.  This is very important - which ships you field should be based on deployment cost.  Also, it's nice to have a salvage ship in your fleet; that can make you mostly self-sufficient in terms of supplies recovered from battles more than compensating for recovery cost.

The other things that can drain supplies are:

1) Salvaging ships.  Never, ever salvage (aka "recover") a ship you won't use.  If you do so accidentally, either mothball, scrap, or set the ship to "no repairs" immediately.  Field Repairs 3 reduces the cost of salvaging ships.
2) Hanging out near stars.  Or in neutron star systems.  Or especially, in solar flares.  When you are in a corona or flare, it will display in your status bar, and your per-day supply consumption will go up by like a factor of 15, from 6 to 100 for example, and bleed you dry really fast - plus, it's hard to maneuver due to the solar wind pressure so you'll stay there longer than expected.  Don't even bother investigating derelicts in a solar corona unless you really want to recover that particular ship because you can't buy it.  Research stations are worth investigating though.
3) Hyperspace storms.  Don't fly into them.  Often they will shoot you like a pinball into more hyperspace storms, and each one can cost a lot.
4) Sending too many ships into combat.  Only fight with the minimum number of ships you need to have an easy win.  Too few, and they get damaged or destroyed, or run out of peak operating time and start costing CR (which means, more supplies).  Too many, and you waste supplies on post-combat recovery.  I do recommend the "Automatic Orders" mod which will make ships retreat when their peak performance time is over, before their CR starts dropping (which costs supplies).  You can always send in more ships later if your initial batch is insufficient.

To facilitate this, there's a new "Shield Shunt" hullmod - it has a low OP cost, removes shields, and grants bonus EMP resistance.
This should have negative OP cost, because every dog in the galaxy has Reapers to share with your face (or with your back which is even worse for bots).

That's great news!  As for reapers, it seems like the AI only uses them when I'm overfluxed, or when they will make me overflux.  Presumably the AI will be aware of Shield Shunt and be much more willing to expend ammo on ships using it.

IIRC Goumindong did the math when presenting his broadside onslaught and reinforced hull actually adds significantly more hitpoints than heavy armor on it?
Right - because of the 15% rule, +400 armor gives you +2666 HP and does not actually impact your damage reduction (aside from large-caliber HE which you should take on your shield).  Whereas +40% hull would give a minimum of +8000 HP for only 30 OP, with no downside, and allow ship recovery if things go south.  Of course Heavy Armor can act multiple times from different angles, so it's hard to calculate the exact bonus HP...  but the +8000 to hull assumes no armor reduction at all, which won't be true due to the minimum of 75 (0.05*1500) residual after stripping, so in practice it will be substantially higher than +8000 HP.  Against LMGs, it would be a minimum of +32000 HP equivalent, assuming no captain skills.

There is something else that people forgot to mention, in order to make the armor stat worth it, you have to invest about 90 OP worth of hullmods.

For example on an onslaught you need:

Heavy Armor: 40 OP
Armored Weapons mounts: 15 OP
Integrated point defence AI: 20 OP
Resistant flux conduit: 15

Optional:  Automated repair unit: 15

You add in solar shielding when facing energy weapons heavy fleet: 15

So that is 90 or up to 110 points worth of ordinances just to make high armor survive a little longer (which still melts to tachyon or long range large anti armor weapons in my experience). Here we are still not counting other important hull mods like flux dissipation, expanded missile racks and ITU.

Without those hullmods, the onslaught is simply at disadvantage when compared to mid-line capitals or high tech capitals.
No maneuvering jets?

General Discussion / Re: Starsector has ruined Mount & Blade games for me
« on: October 09, 2020, 10:50:37 AM »
I wouldn't say Starsector has fantastic graphics, unless you mean in comparison to those titles (I also have a bias against retro pixel style). GraphicsLib does make it look mighty nice, though, props to DR.
Really?  I think the graphics are great.  Especially the stars.  I can't think of a top-down 2D game that I think has better graphics.  Although it is a little unfortunate (aesthetically) that when traveling your ships are represented by tiny dots.

Removing the 15% cap would make armor super OP. A pulse laser would do 5 damage to an onslaught.
The 15% cap does not need to be removed, but it could be a graduated soft-cap.  Right now, a pulse laser does 15 damage versus 1000 armor, and 15 damage versus 1300 armor.  So heavy armor gives you a slight increase in effective HP and a permanent reduction in maneuverability, which is pretty crucial for heavy-armor ships with no backside defenses.  When would I take heavy armor on an Onslaught?  Never.  But that goes for all other ships too (aside from perhaps phase ships, if they had sufficient OP).
I would also argue that a salvo of sabots does negate shields when it overloads you.
Yes, absolutely.  It does.  Temporarily.  Then, if the target can retreat behind the line of battle, it doesn't matter anymore.  Not so with armor - if you get nailed with a torpedo, heavy armor or not, you are permanently disabled and can never recover, but you keep all of the downsides.  If you can survive, you're still screwed as even Talons can kill you.  If you survive an overflux, your hardened shields are still 100% useful and have no disadvantage.

The problem is the 15%/10% min damage cap.  Without that armor would be fine.  And the flat +150 armor perk is ridiculously OP.

You can look at the damage curves, and high armor is basically crap because of the minimum damage cap, not to mention that a single torpedo permanently negates armor.  On the other hand, shields are extremely effective, are not negated by a single Sabot, and regenerate very quickly.  I've never even considered Heavy Armor - unlike Hardened Shields, it has a huge detriment, yet only a temporary bonus - and it's a very minor bonus because high armor levels don't actually help you due to the 15% rule.  Hardened Shields help you permanently.  Heavy Armor is more of a hindrance than anything.

General Discussion / Re: Gladius
« on: October 08, 2020, 08:38:19 PM »
They need a new weapon. Ultra-low velocity projectiles are just a horrible fit for strikecraft.
Yep, they are brokenly bad due to the weapon and speed.  They can't hit anything, even if they could catch anything, which they can't.

It would be useful if fighters could correctly calculate trajectories (ignoring second derivatives) and actually hit something they shoot at, assuming all velocities are constant.  But right now they can't even do that, and Warthogs can't even catch up to their target in the first place.  So in many cases the only useful fighter weapons are beams or long-range guided missiles.

Suggestions / Re: Flares should be usable during venting and overload
« on: October 08, 2020, 06:14:26 PM »
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.
I disagree and think when a ship is overfluxed, that means its systems are broken, and it should not be able to do anything.  Mobility is a generous acquiescence to the fact that it's irritating to pilot a ship over which you have no control.  But being able to use a ship's specials when overfluxed makes no sense.  You overloaded your ship's electrical systems and people are scrambling to repair them.  Everything is broken.  Should you be able to warp? Reload missiles? Shoot EMP bolts?  No.  You should be unable to do anything until your systems are repaired, and the ability to maneuver is generous.

General Discussion / Re: Starsector has ruined Mount & Blade games for me
« on: October 08, 2020, 04:54:05 PM »
Oh for the love of.... if the perceived implication of my post was that Alex doesn't or shouldn't take breaks, that was not my intention! It's good that he does for all the reasons stated. I was complimenting his ability to manage his time regardless and create really good things...
Relax, you were not the target of anyone's anathema.  This is just a gentle discourse on M&B-type-games.

General Discussion / Re: Starsector has ruined Mount & Blade games for me
« on: October 08, 2020, 03:48:51 PM »
That said, Mount and Blade is kind of special in that it is the only game I have ever played that did horseback riding OR archery well, regardless of the lack of polish in other areas.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. But I agree that was a particularly good thing that M&B does very well. The satisfaction of swinging a massive two-handed sword to the side of your horse as you charge into the battle line cutting down enemies left and right only to emerge behind the enemy advance and crashing into his now undefended archers was a masterpiece of visceral fun. That small detail also gets a 10/10 from me.

As another solo "dev" trying to tackle a big project, I honestly don't know how Alex has time to play practically anything. I mean, I know I'm an amateur and all, but his output of internal code, API, and well designed systems makes me feel like a 2 year old stacking blocks - not that I mind haha.
Come on - he has not released a release for 500 days.  Of course he plays games.  How else can you keep up with market research?  If you make it big and can never play games because you are too dedicated to what made you big, will you be happy and grow?  No!

There is nothing wrong with playing games; that's what we all aspire toward.  And its crucial when designing games.

Suggestions / Re: Fighter rework
« on: October 08, 2020, 02:38:13 PM »
A big problem with fighters currently, IMO, is a lack of an effective counter, and no role differentiation.  By that, I mean - go to the simulator, and deploy a Falcon with 2 wings of interceptors (say, Talons) against a Falcon with whatever, and put it on AI control.  Each ship will launch fighters at the other.  They will briefly and halfheartedly fire weapons at each other at the midpoint, then continue on to the main business of attacking the enemy ship until they die from PD or return to reload, depending on the type.  So there is no true air-superiority fighter, or interceptor; everything is just a bomber or distraction, which is why fighters with flares are so good.  A Falcon with a couple wings of Sparks will still get bombed (by Piranhas, for example) since the Sparks don't really care about the incoming bombers.  The Spark Falcon will win because Sparks are strictly superior, not because they have a different role and actually neutralize the enemy bombers by killing them.

I can design dedicated AA support ships and put flaks, frag weapons, IPDAI, and so forth on them, but the AI will just treat them as bad warships and either keep them out of combat entirely or have them attack enemy ships with their flaks, rather than heading toward areas with lots of enemy fighters.  The end result is that the only useful support AA seems to be tactical lasers on cruisers, since they cover areas the ship is ignoring or avoiding.

If it was possible to designate orders like "Intercept Fighters" on a per-ship or per-wing basis, and/or if interceptors did this exclusively and non-bomber fighters prioritized this behavior, I think the fighter metagame would work better.  Currently fighters/interceptors are just bombers that do direct damage instead of stronger but intercept-able damage.

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