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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: Codex Overhaul (05/11/24)

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Messages - rabbistern

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thank you for supporting spaceship operation under influence, my glutemic acid is catalyzed and my GGT levels are going to the moon. unfathomably based mod

General Discussion / Re: The S-mod slippery slope, SP vs OP balancing
« on: December 04, 2021, 08:11:19 AM »
Hardened shields being nerfed may or may not be related to s-mods. It's just a really, really strong effect in general. Shields taking -25% damage effectively means +33% "shield hit points" (i.e. flux), but, importantly, this multiplies with other modifiers. For example a mythical ship with 10,000 flux and 1.0 shield efficiency can absorb 10,000 points of damage to its flux. If the ship has 100% CR (10%) and has an officer with Shield Modulation (20), the shield efficiency decreases (improves) to 1.0 * 0.9 * 0.8 = 0.72, so now the ship can absorb 10,000 / 0.72 = 13,889 damage. If it now has Hardened Shields, the shield efficiency drops to 1.0 * 0.9 * 0.8 * 0.75 = 0.54, so now the ship can absorb 10,000 / 0.54 = 18,519 damage, an increase of 4630 damage that it can absorb. Hardened Shields, despite being advertised as "-25% damage to shields", actually gives the ship an additional 46% of its base amount of damage it can absorb in this case. That's huge, so it shouldn't be surprising that it gets a nerf.

this is so offensively wrong that i dont even know how to reply without some moderator probably bitching about forum rules
do you seriously not realize what the *** you just said? that 46% number youre getting is including fleetwide skills for +15% cr, officer skills for +15% cr, and officer skills for shield efficiency. what the *** is your point? the damage reduction is still a multiplier of 0.75, your officer skills dont have *** to do with the hullmod.
you should also see about getting some gradeschool-level math tutor, a reduction in 25% of damage doesnt mean an increase of 25% of SHP, its a multiplier of 0.75 to fpd, therefore increasing effective shp by a factor of 1.333 or 33%, so argument from false premises etc

General Discussion / Re: Ships that could use a slight OP boost
« on: December 03, 2021, 03:17:31 AM »
ill chip in.

the wayfarer is a total joke, which really pains me as imo it has one of the most beautiful futuristic high-techy looking sprites in the game, yet you dont even have the op to make 3 weapons in its forward-side ark work, and thats forgoing all PD, and to add insult to injury, its not even remotely good as the logistic ship its supposed to be, compared to say, a buffalo and a dram. always painful to see main combat high tech look like blue-gray toilet bowls with generic monotonous armor-plating while davids masterpieces are odd one-offs, it would need some really significant buff to compete with wolves or lashers.

brawlers never worked for me, theyre both too fragile and immaneuverable to be a hardpoint-focused ship, but i dont know how much youd have to add to make them compete, theyre not the tanky PD escort that is the centurion, and theyre too slow to be a hunter-killer like most other frigates, maybe some extra OP could save them, maybe not.

the medusa should see an increase by 10 OP to bring it in line with with the other destroyers, or maybe just some better flux venting, sure. but i think the main issue with this ship really is that you never can aquire it in the game stages where a hypermobile alpha strike destroyer can be useful. but i think that this is a problem not exclusive to the medusa, but also the games progression in general, cruisers and capitals should have their prices increased by 2-4x so that destroyers arent DOA.

probably a hot take considering the fury is called overpowered as it is now, and increased to 20 dp, but i definetly agree that it needs more OP, or specifically, some better capacity stats, as thats what matters most for a plasma-burn alpha striker. although i have noticed that practically every fury build revolves around having CH, not sure what to make of that except for the generally known weakness of energy armaments.

Mora is probably the most balanced of the ones youve listed, with its system id think its supposed to be a defensive carrier, and its armament is pretty weak to be of offensive use anyway. maybe you could make it more offensively viable with more guns and more op, but theres already the legion for that, which is my favourite ship because it can fill every role decently well, whereas the mora appears to be made around being a tank simply by merit of having the damper field.

the Astral definetly and absolutely did NOT get buffed. its easily the heaviest nerf a ship in the game has seen. before it was ZFZFZFZF and youd have deleted a star fortress, with the cooldown i have found it hard to pressure anything, as 30 seconds is a lot in combat. there should be some fix, but the extra OP probably isnt it. the astral only brings some support beams and missiles as armament anyway and with expensive bombers i have no issue fitting that, and no amount of OP would make you able to put some direct combat armaments on it. the system without cooldown is without a doubt overpowered, but maybe 15-20 seconds should be nerf enough without giving the enemy ships enough time to shake off the damage you did.

General Discussion / Re: The S-mod slippery slope, SP vs OP balancing
« on: December 03, 2021, 02:32:10 AM »
I see both sides of the argument but where Hullmod+ can really shine is do some fairly creative/off-the-wall things that "more OP" can't. More OP can give you more guns, more vents, etc. (which is all very good and straightforward) but what Automated Repair Unit giving 1% Hull Health/sec, what's that worth in OP (using the mod idea)? Boosts in speed, shield efficiency, less recoil, etc. are all difficult to quantify from an OP-perspective. The rub I could have is that you start taking hullmods exclusively for the bonus effect. As long as the bonus effect is more of a double-down on the primary effect, I'm good with it but I'd hate to see Improved Turret Gyros also give +15 top speed or some weirdness. It would be like min-maxing synergies for a Diablo character by putting points into skills you'll never use. 

yeah, that is a part of the points i was trying to make with this thread.
as a strong example: the vanilla odyssey has a really slow shield even with accS, and cant be flickered well. likewise, it has an inefficient and GIANT shield, so omnishielding it even with HS is quite... well its not the best ship under ai control.
with BDSM (unfortunate abbreviation) accS gives an extra 100% to shield speed, while AT increase the maneuverability bonus to 66% from 50%. in vanilla, you wouldnt get far with accS and AT at their normal values, and would have to hope for the best building in the most expensive hullmods such as EMR, ITU, HS etc, but since discovering BDSM i have never built in any of said mods, my oddysseys destroy everything under lvl 5 officer command, which is why i wanted to highlight this (now must-have for me) mod as a great approach to balancing hullmods and OP vs SP.

2) I really, really, like this idea, whether or not that'd be coupled with also making the mods free or not.

I would be really happy if the idea came into a reality!  ;D

:D Seriously, what you did with Better Deserved S-Mods, which I had a chance to look at all the screenshots of just recently, is very impressive, and it's an elegant approach. The idea of making cheaper s-mods more appealing by giving them better s-mod effects is just *chef kiss*.

(And, ah, I'd hate to step on its toes! I mean, I can't exactly not do things in vanilla for fear of duplicating mod functionality - but it'd still feel bad - which, if we're honest, is a large part of the reason I don't generally delve into mods too deeply.)
so, can we hope to ever see this type of functionality as part of vanilla? its probably one of the easiest fixes to implement (although ive never had professional experience with a language higher than SCL so idk anything about ss development) and would allow more diverse and specialized builds - which is also an issue people have due to op restrictions - while removing the nobrain process of trading in a SP for EMR or HS or ITU for some spare op

General Discussion / Re: Mining blaster vs heavy blaster which one to use?
« on: December 02, 2021, 02:07:59 PM »
Flux damage ratio is the efficiency of the weapon, there's no other metric...
consider a hypothetical energy-type vulcan cannon, delivering 500 DPS in packets of 25 dmg each. against anything that isnt a high-tech frigates residual armor, each of those 20 shots will be cut down to a fraction of said 25 dmg. it could have half the listed flux efficiency of a heavy blaster, yet would still effectively have a higher real dpf value.
its also not just armor, shield combat favors high-damage projectiles too. overload duration is based on the damage that the overload-delivering projectile dealt, which is why weapons like HVD or gauss are S-tier, despite being among the worst flux efficiencies in the game

General Discussion / Re: The S-mod slippery slope, SP vs OP balancing
« on: December 02, 2021, 01:53:46 PM »
Yeah - I could see arguments for specific ships possibly benefitting from more OP, but in general I don't think ships without s-mods are "OP-starved" at all. There's room for subjectivity regarding that, of course, but I personally don't think an across-the-board increase in OP is likely, or would be a good thing.
not op-starved, just "appears" that way after playing with OE (or was it called LD?) for years.
but with all the problems ive pointed out with S-mods throwing off the OP balancing aspect of the game, even now the S-mod system is already better than what we had. the +10% OP system really just meant that we had 47 instead of 50 character points and while maintaining hullmod hierarchy, just wasnt as interesting as having to manage story point spending on your favoured ships and consider builds based around permanent modifications.

General Discussion / Re: The S-mod slippery slope, SP vs OP balancing
« on: December 02, 2021, 02:30:38 AM »
It seems to me that the solution here is to change how S-mods work.  Instead of making them free, they improve what the mod does.  Hardened Shields for example, as an S mod, still costs normal OP but might grant a slight decrease in flux per damage over the normal, or maybe just extend the shields a little bit.
This would definitely be the most optimal solution IMO, as it would both maintain the hullmod power balance by op, and provide reasonable hyperspecializations and boosts in what you're looking for, without having to cut into other factors balanced by OP such as weapons etc.
however im afraid most wouldn't like that, as since the "character tax" OE3 is gone, all ships feel op-starved, and story points saving OP in hullmods is supposed to offset this. perhaps a flat 1/3/5/7 or so point reduction (or 10-20% depending on whether the boni are always of equal power level, or downscaled according to op saved like in the linked mod) when built in + custom specialization boni based on hullmod could appease most S-mod connoisseurs without alex needing to bring all hull mods to the same powerlevel
off topic, but I am convinced thatheavy armor actually needs a significant rework due to shots never doing less than 15% of their damage, right now it's purely armor hp and doesn't add any more extra resisual armor to lowtech due to the hardcap on reduction

General Discussion / Re: The S-mod slippery slope, SP vs OP balancing
« on: November 16, 2021, 08:19:35 PM »
I don't think I understand the question. Of course I always build in the most OP expensive hullmod that I want for the build in question, there's no reason not to.
well, this is precisely the issue at hand. its probably going to always be like that, no matter what the most expensive hullmod is

General Discussion / The S-mod slippery slope, SP vs OP balancing
« on: November 16, 2021, 07:27:30 PM »
I have recently discovered a mod by the name of "better deserved S-mods", (bless you Jackie, this is huge) and have today finished off my second campaign with it. Both lightly modded (no nex, some generic SWPs, ghetto-rigged BRDY, spindle & tahlan, osiris alliance, however i practically only used vanilla and OA ships, which are roughly low-midtech at roughly vanilla OP capacities), tried plenty of different doctrines and playstyles, up until erasing star fortresses and ordos feels boring.
For those who have not tried it, the mod basically enhances sub-max-OP hullmods when built in, and quite mildly at that, that is to say, "i would likely not use this on my ship if these effects cost the hull-size price equivalent of HA/HSh etc in OP instead of SP". sometimes its a minor reduction of the penalties like for CH, sometimes its a little buff to the numbers of a hullmod itself like RFC or AccS or RB or AWM, with the numeric/percentile bonus respectively being larger the less OP the hullmod would have cost, and sometimes its also buffing something else thematically adjacent to it, like ATG, ARU, or ExS do.

I have not built in either HA or HSh a single time. was better off without. Way more properly specialized builds are possible, and more efficient than the alternative of "slap on the most expensive hullmod for an SP2 in combat, for example shield-flickering with S-AccS worked out better for me than using HSh, and for armored lads i was always better off with ARU or AWM or RFC rather than HA.
This has made me realize the way i, and id think most likely many others as well, have been kitting ships since 0.95: always knock on HA or HSh without thinking, as theyre simply the strongest mods in vanilla when you are thinking in terms of "per SP" instead of "per OP", and this is a giant issue, as this kills the granularity of ships.

Generally speaking, this granularity is at the core of starsectors ships, you dont have an amount of "slots" in which you put hullmods or weapons or fighters at the cost of "1 per" each, rather its finely granular, and you can balance your OP to your desire, use weaker weapons or forgo some weapons entirely in favor of having a better, more expensive hullmod, or do the opposite, these possibilities are what makes me keep playing SS year after year without getting bored.

Hardened shields getting downsized in combination with the unique experience of this brilliant mod makes me think were on a slippery slope here, and it should have been apparent from the start really: when you think in a granularity of 1/hullmod instead of hullmod effectiveness/OP, youre naturally inclined to just slap on the most expensive mod; weve seen it with SO, now HSh is getting the bat, and heres whats going to happen next: heavy armor will be the most expensive one and everyone will build in that, so then it will get reduced, then it will be expanded missile racks, then it will be ITU, then it will be RB, etc etc ad finitum you get the idea. eventually this would leave us with all hullmods costing the same amount of OP and an aspect of the ship customization granularity being cut out since you dont have to consider the balance of mod OP vs weapons/caps/vents OP anymore when all mods will inevitably cost the same.

The issue seems to be endemic to the concept of Story point mods, which is something that i and safe to say everyone enjoys, as it gives ships just more "soul" and makes them more a valued asset in your fleet rather than renewable, disposable, mass-produced flying metal. so what could the solution be?
The most trivial solution would be to just transpose adding story points to a ship as a direct OP increase, say 7/14/21/28 per SP perhaps, but this in my opinion would just cause even more issues, as while it would maintain the hullmod/OP granularity, it would also disproportionally affect different ships because OP are already a balance measure on their own, and would also enable powercreep due to those OP being usable for high-tier weapons as well, so this obviously cant be a solution at all, OP must be maintained at all times.

Is there a way to make use of the SP-built-in-mod system in a way different or better than it is now other than as its implemented in said mod? are there even any others in the SS playerbase who see the SP-granularity as a problem or is it just me being overly reactionary?

As for me, BDHM does seem like a good and vanilla-ish way to both maintain OP granularity and the SP-competitiveness of hullmods, but it doesnt have to be the only solution.
Since it is a Space game forum after all, id think most reading this probably know of Elite:Dangerous. ED has a system where rare resources (read: SP) can be used to have engineers upgrade parts of your ship, highly parallel to the way we have it in SS.
we could, for example, instead of having built-in hullmods with SP, have "local lore-based upgrades", that is to say, specific upgrades by local engineers; - think for example of effects like salvage gantry and ARU being built in by local engineers at a mining colony, or slightly increased ballistic range and rof engineered into your ship at a hegemony military planet, or slight energy damage reduction and maneuverability boosts at sindria, or improved shield damage and arc at X and shield speed and upkeep at Y, you get the idea.
 this would satisfy all 3 facets of:
  • several competitive options for SP upgrades, rather than one being "the best"
  • OP granularity and balance between existing hullmods remains maintained
  • ships get personalized flair and objective improvements through SP investment
though this is probably too far fetched for SS, its just food for thought to reflect on the weaknesses introduced by the current SP upgrade system.

I would like to hear from people who have played with the BDHM mod, do you see vanilla or the mod as more balanced? do you build in "OP-cheap" mods more often than not?
and respectively from vanilla players: do you have any builds in which you build in any hullmod which isnt the just most expensive one available?

General Discussion / Re: Mining blaster vs heavy blaster which one to use?
« on: November 09, 2021, 05:49:17 AM »
before 0.95 i would have said that the HB generally is superior, as before it was the "general use gun" for a medium energy slot, for when you dont wanna think and just want to hold LMB, use it against shields and armor and hope that your high-tech flux superiority can make up for its inefficiency. but now that ive played 0.95 for a while i really dont see an argument for why the HB would be better over the MB, and thats because of the specific niche these weapons are in now.
energy weapons have been buffed to be more competitive, specifically regarding anti-shield. pulse lasers and ion pulsers are now without a doubt THE medium energy weapon of choice for anti-shield supression/flux building, whereas things like the PL, HB, MB (and amusingly enough even the HBPDL) are your choices for armor-stripping. and when you think about it in their role of anti-armor guns instead of generalists, the MB is superior. even if it has the flux ratio of the gauss cannon, it is 10 instead of 12 OP, and you shouldnt be thinking of 2 OP as "oh thats just 400 caps or 20 vents", but rather as something that can make or break a build, as the OP counts in starsector are so low that leaving weapon mounts open is common practice. these 2 op can be better PD, a reaper, or a hullmod that you can fit in, and as much as i would have preffered a "modular specializations" kind of deal, where hullmods are very cheap but have very strong specific debuffs, with the way it works here, in a game where you have an avg of around 120 or so op on a ship, of which some will be vents, caps, and hullmods, it would take more than just "better but still not good" flux efficiency to justify paying 12 over 10 op.
not to mention its armor cracking advantage is even better with short range EWM as Kanjejou pointed out, which is the playstyle youll be going for anyway with most ships that feature a med energy slot.

of course none of that is even tangentially important compared to the fact that MBs have that brilliant civilian-industrial charm, so i dont see how the heavy blaster was even supposed to compete against that


I don't believe a mod exists to do that. I do not think it would be possible to remove the flux system from the game. Flux limits how much damage a ship's shields can take, for example, and removing it would make shields infinitely powerful. Flux stats also prevent small ships from infinitely firing very powerful weapons. Removing flux from the game entirely would fully break both shields and other fundamental aspects of game balance.
there is that excelsior-class from SWP (iirc) which uses flux, as in, you lose flux, so it absolutely is possible to have weapons, shields/phases and ship systems use negative flux values.
the flux system is alright the way it is now, but from the start it always felt off how flux is something thats generated, instead of used. if for example either a ship system or the defense system generated flux and weapons drained it, or perhaps the other way around, perhaps ship combat would be a bit more twitchy and high-paced-micro, rather than the macro gunship flux wars we have now. it would just take changing signs in all the systems/defenses and weapons and is definetly possible, but i think the issue is rather that the ai wouldnt be able to work around that

General Discussion / Re: May have soft-locked one of my saves
« on: July 27, 2021, 01:37:42 PM »
yes. it was mentioned in the patch notes with a (sorry!) even afaik

Blog Posts / Re: Skill Changes, Part 2
« on: July 20, 2021, 03:54:15 PM »
I find that better hull is valuable for fast ships that can evade well, like phase ships.  Armor never lasts since so much breaks it, and better shields don't matter if you only zip in and out anyway, but more hull pads you against mistakes that may have otherwise been crippling.

Armor is extremely effective at mitigating low damage hits.
It’s especially obvious against low dph ballistic weapons and kinetic damage weapons.
For instance, sabot has 100 hit strength on armor. An odyssey (1000) can mitigate 33% of its damage on hull but if you put a heavy armor it can now mitigate 43%.
Also part of the reason why current derelict contingent Venture so OP.
you are 100% correct. yet the key detail here is that the "0 armor" minimum armor values are a percentage of original armor, which do not further decrease until the ship sinks. they obviously favour more armor so technically a low tech ship at min armor with 1000 hp has more hp than a high tech ship at min armor. think of the difference RB makes on a wolf vs a centurion. and thats where the skills come in; take for example the current damage control which adds 25% hull value and containment procedures for less crew damage from hull tanking, they are skills which favor armored ships more, and yet theres still issues of disabling. we have industry skills which can basically replace some hullmods (for extra hull and less crew loss) or can add to them, having something more of that sort of synergy for increasing the effect of those hullmods and perhaps the automated repair unit in particular would open a new industry playstyle without the RNG mess that we know from derelict contingent.
there is even an example of that in the mod HMI, with ships that truly give you the hull tank experience, except their gimmick is getting more ordnance points per d mod. vanilla has extra CR per dmod which is cool and all but really say something like +15% extra effect to hull/repair beneficial hullmods or some op reduction on them would cure DC. i cannot remark enough how bad of a mechanic an RNG based skill is, when theres projectiles such as reapers which are night and day to your victory prospects, all down to a coinflip rather than meticulous fleet engineering and kitting in synergy with appropriate industry skills.
I find that better hull is valuable for fast ships that can evade well, like phase ships.  Armor never lasts since so much breaks it, and better shields don't matter if you only zip in and out anyway, but more hull pads you against mistakes that may have otherwise been crippling.

Blog Posts / Re: Skill Changes, Part 2
« on: July 20, 2021, 01:01:03 AM »
Hmm - I'm not actually sure that buffing hull values would help *that* much. It's useful, right, but if a ship is in a bad way - armor cracked and being shot at by multiple enemies - chances are most of its weapons are disabled, maybe even its engines, and it's not in a position to fight back. So more hull is kind of delaying the inevitable. And, yeah, it would sometimes buy enough time for a friendly ship to come to the rescue. But if the bad spot the ship got into is representative of how the battle is going, then more hull probably isn't going to help very much.
just seems like something industry-ish to me. we have hullmods like RFC and ARU which are kind of dead weight atm as as youve said yourself, "hulltanking" is a ship already on the death bed. the addition of skills in industry giving extra CR (mimicking HS) less crew losses (RS) and extra HP (insulated engines and bulkheads and what not) and now the new flux impoving skills already play into levying the OP-taxes of some of these hullmods, so perhaps investing more skill points into something that would increase the effects and cheapen the op costs of hullmods which precisely are there to mitigate these issues such as ARU for example would just about make it worth the build investment, idk

Blog Posts / Re: Skill Changes, Part 2
« on: July 19, 2021, 02:59:44 PM »
I gotta say, I really like the direction of the industry skills now. having cr and hulltank improvement skills already felt great and a big step towards more civvie/low tech plays, and the new ones seem to go well with that style.
I think this might be as good as it gets for a place to mention this but hulltanking is really not that big of an option as of now, and it could be the secret to making low tech stronger due to minimum armor reduction. as it stands we had great steps towards it with min armor reduction skills, reduced crew casualties on hull hits etc, but at the end of the day it's still a fleet game where often multiple ships engage one target, with each having dps in the 3-4 digit range against 4-5 digit hull points. multiplying hull points by some factor across the board is not something that would probably happen but it would disproportionately help out ships with higher base armor more,, so I suggest doubling down on what the new industry skills have blessed us with already, some skills further adding hull points and making min armor skills percentage based rather than flat could save lowtech and general civvie scavenger rig play styles (most mods add some or the other commercial mining vessels in the vein of the shepherd), along with perhaps a buff to hull increasing hull mods as in a skill that would reduce hull HP affecting hull mods to be perhaps a bit op cheaper or double their effect or something. Just my 2 cents as a mining/commercial scavenger rp enjoyer seeing how the new industry skills will make this better now

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