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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: New music for Galatia Academy (06/12/24)

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Topics - Realm

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Suggestions / Make Explorarium Drones 'free' for Automated Ships
« on: May 31, 2021, 09:50:27 PM »
To pre-face, Explorarium Drones are currently extremely unappealing choices when you're running the Automated Ships skill. They generally underperform compared to Remnant counterparts of similar cost (and even versus crewed ships of similar cost), and the only strong case where you'd consider using them would be in early game if you manage to get the skill before fighting any Remnants til that point.

To that end, I spent some time thinking about how you would make them more appealing: What if the DP of Explorarium Drones simply didn't count against the limit of the Automated Ships skill? AI Cores in them would still count against the skill as usual, but this means that if you're feeling funky, instead of a Radiant with an Alpha Core that dominates the battlefield - at the same CR limit you could do something silly like 5 Ramparts with Alpha Cores, being brought in one after the other as they fall in battle. Or, more reasonably, you could field 3 Alpha'd Ramparts and have a trio of below-average Cruisers with powerful Officers bringing them more up to speed.

This would both suit the lore given that these droneships are old, modular and designed for fairly independent operation - as well as offering an alternative playstyle for Automated Ships that focuses more on Quantity over Quality (Explorarium vs Remnant). Plus, it would bring a greater emphasis on droneships in your fleet without making the player overpowered, as the fleet limit that exists would serve to prevent bringing an 'infinite' amount of no-Core droneships (as well as that they're fairly abysmal vessels without Cores in them already).

To put it simply, reducing the recoil on Devastators makes them actively worse against Fighter and Bomber swarms, as the more narrow spray with GI can't keep up with the wide formations favoured by Fighter Wings. Without the reduction, Devastators can more reliably saturate the area and stop grouped-up swarms of Missiles and Fighters.

This was present before the latest hotfix, but was something I'd avoided by choosing not to upgrade GI to Elite on any build where I was using Devastators on my Flagship. It's the only vanilla weapon that seems to be negatively affected by this skill, so I don't exactly know what sort of fix to suggest for this that wouldn't directly nerf the weapon or the skill, and it's a very disappointing interaction given that otherwise GI is a fantastic skill for any Officer piloting a ship with a good array of PD weaponry.

Suggestions / A supporting hullmod for Automated Ships
« on: April 02, 2021, 07:26:12 AM »
I’ve been using Automated Ships a lot lately, but it’s felt rather overall limited in what you can do given it seems balanced mostly around the power of a Radiant - otherwise feeling like a vastly weaker choice compared to the alternative skill. I was trying to consider what would be a viable, lore-friendly way to buff the skill’s cap whilst demanding some investment from the player. To that end, I came up with the following idea:

Have Automated Ships made into a permanent skill, and have it give the player a hullmod for non-automated ships that increases the deployment point limit of Automated Ships in your fleet.

This could be balanced by high OP (think like Operations Center, allowing players to invest story points to build them in if desired), adding some increase in crew requirements to any vessel with the hullmod and of course having it scale based on ship size (so someone isn’t just bringing a ton of junk frigates with the hullmod). Lore-wise the hullmod could simply be flavoured as the vessel having specialized equipment to help maintain/support automated ships in the fleet.

Suggestions / Empty Fighter Bays vs Carrier Group/Fighter Uplink
« on: April 01, 2021, 05:32:41 AM »
As it currently stands, having empty fighter bays in your fleet counts toward the total number of bays against these skills. This ends up somewhat limiting as you're unable to have a few Colossus Mk. III vessels for their Ground Support Package without tanking the effective value of the mentioned skills, as well as being punished for having ships only using a partial amount of their wings. The hullmod Converted Fighter Bay can alleviate the issue of ships that come with bad built-in wings (Venture/Shepherd), but there's nothing to be done for Colossi Mk3s and no 'partial fighter bay removal' option for other carriers when you may be trying to get the most out of your carrier skills.

I simply suggest that empty fighter bays do not count against the total of the Carrier Group and Fighter Uplink skills.

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