Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21)

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - naufrago

Pages: [1] 2
General Discussion / The coming armor change
« on: September 06, 2013, 07:18:40 PM »
EDIT: The patch notes were updated that the new maximum damage reduction from armor will be 85%, not 90%. Some of the info in this post is now outdated.

In case you haven't read the latest patch notes, armor will now provide a maximum damage reduction of 90% (up from 75%). This post is just to give you an idea of what exactly that means. To sum it up- armor just became a LOT more formidable. Also, damage per shot becomes MUCH more important the more armor your target has. Skip to the bottom for a rundown on how most of the weapons will be affected.

How I came to my conclusions
To recap how armor currently works, Actual damage = (Base damage * Base damage)/(Armor + Base damage). Actual damage then gets reduced by the explosive/kinetic/fragmentation armor multipliers (.5/2/.25 respectively). As a result, the minimum damage of kinetic weapons is currently 12.5% and explosive's is 50%. Armor isn't exactly uniform, though, so that calculation isn't perfect, but it's close enough. Also, I'm not really sure when damage starts bleeding through to the hull, but it would be nice to know. Also, I have no idea how beams are affected by armor. For reference, the minimum damage of kinetic weapons will be 5% and explosive's will be 20%. Frag damage will be nigh useless against armor, doing only 2.5% of its damage.

To give you a simple way to determine what effect that will have on the current weapons, multiply their damage by 3 and apply explosive/kinetic/frag multipliers. Anything with more armor than that takes less damage. For example, The Arbalest Autocannon does 150 damage per shot. 150*3*.5 = 225. Currently, anything with more than 225 armor will only take 12.5% of the 150 damage, for 18.75 damage per shot. Ships with more armor than 225 armor will now take less damage from the Arbalest.

Now, multiply a weapon's damage by 9 and apply damage type multipliers. Anything with that much armor or higher will only take 10% damage. Continuing with our Arbalest example, anything with 675 or more armor will only take 5% damage, for 7.5 total. For an Autocannon to deal more than minimum damage against a ship with 750 armor (like an Enforcer), it would take about 10 shots to the same spot. Against something like an Eagle with 1000 armor, you'd have to expend about 1/3rd of its ammo hitting the same spot to reduce its armor enough simply to deal more than minimum damage.

To figure out the strongest hit a ship can take while taking minimum damage, a good estimate is to divide the armor by 10 (The exact number would be to divide by 9. The estimate is lower than what it can actually take, but easier to calculate). That number is how strong a weapon can be and still deal minimum damage (be sure to apply damage type multipliers). For example, if you have 1000 armor, you would take minimum damage from something that deals 111 base damage, so only 11 damage taken. This means you could get hit by a kinetic weapon that deals 222 base damage and take only 5% of that (11 damage), or get hit by an explosive weapon that deals 55 damage and take 20% of that (11 damage).

In the next patch, it will be extremely wasteful to let kinetic weapons hit armor. Pulse weapons and beams will also have a very tough time punching through armor, which necessitates blasters, plasma cannons, or strike weapons/fighters to kill anything in a reasonable amount of time.

Against anything bigger than a Destroyer (and even the Enforcer is quite the tough nut to crack), energy weapons with unlimited ammo, strong explosive weapons, strike weapons, or strike fighters will be necessary. Going without will mean cracking the armor of anything bigger than a destroyer will take an eternity, or you risk running out of ammo for your ballistic weapons. Pulse lasers are fairly lackluster, so bringing a blaster or two now seems fairly mandatory. Also, the Combat skills that consider your armor doubled for damage reduction purposes and consider your weapon damage doubled for damage reduction purposes are now EXTREMELY useful.

This is just theorycrafting, but I think it may be warranted to change all the Pulse weapons to have slightly higher damage per shot and lower rate of fire, keeping DPS and flux efficiency the same. They're hit quite hard by the change, and there are barely any alternatives. If there were other options besides blasters and beams, I'd say they're fine as-is. My thoughts on other weapons are below.

EDIT: The minimum damage and amount of armor required to make weapons deal their new minimum are outdated. I may or may not update things later.
This part is to provide more detail on how the changes affect the guns. The numbers displayed are the old minimum damage per second, the new minimum damage per second, the amount of armor required to make it deal its old minimum damage, and the amount of armor required to make it deal its new minimum damage. Basically, the higher the numbers, the better the weapon is against armor.

NOTE: Strike weapons have minimum damage instead of minimum dps listed, since their damage is more relevant.

Light Assault Gun= 80, 32, 240, 720                 (Heavily affected by the armor change, but still has decent dps against armor)
Light Autocannon= 12.5, 5, 75, 225
Light Machine Gun= 19.5, 7.8, 37.5, 112.5
Light Mortar= 37.5, 15, 450, 1350                   (Surprisingly reasonable at cracking armor, but still terrible. Quite cheap, though)
Light Needler= 18.375, 7.35, 75, 225               (All of the Needlers, and nearly all kinetic weapons, are now quite terrible against armor, but that's fine)
Railgun= 20.875, 8.35, 150, 450
Vulcan Cannon= 18.75, 7.5, 11.25, 33.75         (Hit HARD by the armor change. Talons need a slight buff now maybe? =p)

Arbalest Autocannon= 18.75, 7.5, 225, 675
Assault Chaingun= 133.5, 53.4, 240, 720          (Heavily affected by the armor change, but still has decent dps against armor)
Dual Flak Cannon= 28.44, 11.375, 112.5, 337.5
Flak Cannon= 12.5, 5, 150, 450
Heavy Autocannon= 26.75, 10.7, 150, 450
Heavy Machine Gun= 40, 16, 60, 180          (Not completely terrible against armor, but explosive weapons are still much better)
Heavy Mauler= 125, 50, 1500, 4500           (Nearly unaffected by the change, great for cracking armor)
Heavy Needler= 26.375, 10.55, 75, 225
Hypervelocity Driver= 17.25, 6.9, 412.5, 1237.5    (Decent against armor despite being kinetic, but low ammo and dps)
Thumper= 28.125, 11.25, 67.5, 202.5

Gauss Cannon= 43.75, 17.5, 1050, 3150              (Another kinetic that's decent against armor, but low ammo)
Hellbore Cannon= 250, 100, 4500, 13500         (Completely unaffected by the change, great against armor)
Hephaestus Assault Gun= 240, 96, 720, 2160     (Hurt a bit by the change, but fine)
Mark IX Autocannon= 43.5, 17.4, 300, 900            (Hurt quite a bit by the change, but not completely terrible against armor)
Mjolnir Cannon= 133.25, 53.3, 1600, 4800              (Nearly unaffected by the change, actually worth considering now)
Storm Needler= 93.625, 37.45, 112.5, 337.5

Energy Weapons (including Thermal Pulse Cannon)
NOTE: Beam weapons omitted because I have no idea how armor affects them
Antimatter Blaster= 300, 120, 3600, 10800    (Basically unaffected by the change, great against armor)
IR Pulse Laser= 26.5, 10.6, 105, 315            (Does less dps to armor than a light mortar. That's just sad)
Ion Cannon= 12.5, 5, 75, 225

Heavy Blaster= 100, 40, 1200, 3600            (Mostly unaffected by the change. Probably your best non-strike choice for armor cracking)
Mining Blaster= 75, 30, 1800, 5400             (Great at cracking armor, but terribly inefficient otherwise)
Pulse Laser= 56.75, 22.7, 225, 675               (Hit hard by the armor change, but still has infinite ammo)

Autopulse Laser= 250(50), 100(20), 300, 900     (Hurt a lot by the armor change, but still has infinite ammo)
Plasma Cannon= 140.75, 56.3, 2250, 6750         (Basically unaffected by the change, great against armor. Very inefficient otherwise, though)
Thermal Pulse Cannon= 312.5(62.5), 125(25), 750, 2250       (Hurt a bit by the change, but still good)

NOTE: Most missiles omitted because they're mostly unaffected by the change
Also, instead of minimum dps, it lists minimum damage per shot
Annihilator Rocket Launcher/Pod= 100, 40, 1200, 3600    (Mostly unaffected, so still great)
Sabot SRM (Pod/(Single))= 93.75, 37.5, 1125, 3375        (Mostly unaffected, so still decent)
Salamander MRM (Pod)= 31.25, 12.5, 375, 1125
Swarmer SRM Launcher= 18.75, 7.5, 225, 675         (Like getting hit with a Pulse Laser, but very limited ammo)

Suggestions / Beam Weapons
« on: June 09, 2013, 06:20:01 PM »
I know beam weapons have been discussed a lot before, but I can't remember everything that was discussed. Apologies if this has been suggested before.

Suggestion: Beam weapons ignore shield efficiency (exception- Fortress Shields)

Beam weapons are great against most fighters and frigates. They pretty much counter phase ships entirely. They deal decent dps to hull and armor, have the best range of all the energy weapons, and they're very efficient. Against ships with inefficient shields and low dissipation, beam weapons can make their victims risk overloads even though they deal soft flux to shields. This is mainly because the flux damage they deal is such a large percentage of the enemy ships' dissipation.  Even against larger ships with inefficient shields, beam weapons can be useful since they significantly reduce the amount of flux available for weapons.

However, they can be worse than useless against high-tech ships. This is due to high-tech's combination of efficient shields, high flux dissipation rate, and high flux capacity. With most beams, they'll be generating more flux in the ship firing than the ship on the receiving end. In addition, the amount of flux they generate is a much smaller percentage of a high-tech ship's dissipation rate, meaning it's even less effective. Against any high-tech ship bigger than a frigate, beams are fairly worthless when compared to the other energy weapons which deal hard flux.

Beams are unique in that they deal soft flux to shields while every other weapon deals hard flux. Soft flux is inherently weaker than hard flux since soft flux damage always has to compete with the enemy ship's dissipation rate. Even if a beam can't overwhelm the enemy's shields on its own, it can still be useful in a support role if it efficiently inhibits the enemy's ability to fire back. Energy weapons that deal hard flux can afford to be inefficient since they'll always force the enemy to drop shields eventually.

So how can you make beams useful against high-tech ships without making them overpowered against low-tech ships? If they ignore shield efficiency, it removes the most significant factor in why they're useless against high-tech ships. You can think of beams dealing soft flux as the tradeoff for ignoring shield efficiency. It makes beam weapons always worth firing since they'll always generate at least as much flux in the ship getting hit as the one firing. High-tech ships still have an advantage with their high flux dissipation, but that's fine. It's actually a slight nerf against low-tech ships, but I think that's also fine.

Some numbers may need to be changed in the interest of balance, but I think it's worthwhile to make beams more generally useful.

Maybe it's fine that beams are useful against low-tech and useless against high-tech, but I think it would be nice if beams were useful against high-tech, too.

Suggestions / The Buffalo (freighter, not Mk. 2)
« on: June 09, 2013, 01:05:45 PM »
With CR and LR becoming important, I thought it was a good idea to take a look at non-combat ships. Something stood out as a bit odd. The Tarsus is straight up better than the Buffalo in almost every way, and it's cheaper. I think it's also more readily available as well (EDIT: according to the description, the Buffalo should be fairly common due to the prevalence of its blueprints). Apparently the Buffalo's engines are the main contributor to its cost (EDIT: according to the description), but it's really not much better than the alternatives. In fact, the Tarsus' burn drive would make it safer to have in case of an escape scenario.

I feel like the Buffalo's cargo capacity should be higher (350-500 maybe) or it should be a bit cheaper, since it really doesn't offer anything that the Tarsus doesn't do better. Alternatively, you could make those expensive engines worth the price tag. The Buffalo stands out as the one high-tech ship (assuming based on its blue color) that's almost universally worse than its lower-tech counterparts.

EDIT 2: Just thought this was interesting- with the changes to fighters, a lot of them are starting to look pretty dangerous. Warthogs and Gladius wings in particular actually have a lot more firepower than I thought, since I never really used them before. Seeing them kinda make me want to see a high-tech assault fighter wing in the same vein as the Warthogs (a high-tech fighter that actually deals hard flux damage).

Bug Reports & Support / Crash from UI thingy
« on: April 17, 2013, 06:23:09 PM »
Crash message reads as follows:
Fatal: com.fs.starfarer.campaign.ui.N cannot be cast to com.fs.starfarer.campaign.ui.null
Check starfarer.log for more info.

Not sure of the exact circumstances since I can't seem to reproduce the crash. It happened during pre-combat dialogue or possibly between choosing 'let second-in-command handle it' and the post-combat report. Not sure which button I hit that caused the crash, but I either hit the LMB, escape, tab, or grave (also called the 'tilde key').

On an iMac running Mac OS 10.6.8. The only mod I'm running is the Restock mod. If you want the log info, you'll have to tell me how to find it.

EDIT: Also occasionally capturing some ships with their hullmods intact. I thought they were supposed to be removed when you capture them?

Discussions / So I just installed Windows 7
« on: December 23, 2012, 06:51:44 PM »
It's my first time actually owning anything with Windows installed, so I could use any tips for making sure everything runs smoothly and virus free.

Oh, first thing I did was get Google Chrome and download Microsoft Security Essentials (I did SOME research beforehand). Also, I'm not stupid about how and where I browse on the internet, so no need to give me advice about that =)

Bug Reports & Support / Assorted bugs
« on: November 24, 2012, 10:30:00 AM »
1) Sometimes when I switch between the simulator and the refit screen (often if I close out the simulator screen quickly and/or go back in really quickly), the campaign music will be playing in battle or the battle music will be playing in the campaign screen (instead of the correct music).

2) If you put a point into the Tactical aptitude and a point in that skill that gives you 5 FP, then hit reset and put the points into something else, you seem to keep the FP. Repeating the procedure (putting the points in and hitting reset) does NOT increase the cap further. Seems to not realize the points are removed, but calculates the FP correctly when points are allocated.

3) Removing the Resistant Flux Conduits also removes Front Shield Emitters. Seems like an incorrectly perceived dependency, but you can put the Front Shield Emitters back on regardless. EDIT: Just remembered that it isn't just Resistant Flux Conduits that removes Front Shield Emitters when removed. Can't remember off the top of my head which ones. I was messing around with integrated point defense AI at the time as well, though.

Discussions / Warp drive more feasible than first thought
« on: September 19, 2012, 10:21:27 PM »
Just thought I'd link this article here, since I'm not sure how many of you have read about this:

Basically, scientists have discovered that creating an FTL engine that warps space-time to cheat its way past the speed of light requires orders of magnitude less energy than originally thought. NASA scientists are actually preparing some experiments to test out the new theories to determine its feasibility. Pretty exciting stuff.

To put things in perspective, it took about half a century to go from the theory of relativity to creating practical applications for it (nuclear bombs, nuclear energy). It's entirely possible that we could see the inception of FTL technology (or at least a feasible interstellar drive) in our lifetimes. And we have computers now, which could help speed things along nicely.

Figured we're probably all space nerds to some extent, so this may be relevant to your interests.

Bug Reports & Support / Terminator Drone/Floating damage text bug
« on: September 07, 2012, 08:46:17 PM »
When the Terminator Drone deals damage, the damage it deals doesn't produce floating damage text unless the Tempest is also attacking the target.

Haven't tested if the Tempest has to be attacking the same target as the Terminator Drone for the text to actually appear or if the Tempest can be attacking something else to make the text appear. Also haven't tested if the Tempest must be attacking the target, or if damage done by or to any other ship is sufficient to allow the drone's combat text to appear.

Suggestions / Slight change to the EMP Emitter
« on: September 03, 2012, 03:23:53 PM »
The EMP Emitter is useful, but the way it works now makes a lot more sense on an Omen than the Shade. The Shade will usually have to phase to keep from dying at some point during its activation while the Omen can keep its defenses up all the time. It would be nice if the EMP Emitter were equally useful on both platforms, so I have some suggestions to fix that.

I feel like you could make the cooldown for the EMP Emitter variable depending on how long it was active before being forced off and only generate flux per lightning bolt fired or for how long it's active, not simply for activating the system. Longer periods of activation would lead to a longer cooldown. You could choose to make it inoperable until the cooldown is over or not. Pressing 'f' would turn the system on as usual, but it should also be able to be deactivated with 'f' to be fair to the Omen. Alternatively, you could make it build up charges, but it would still have to generate flux per lightning bolt to be completely fair. I prefer the former option, since it keeps it closer to how it's currently implemented.

This would let the Shade duck in and out of phase to fire its EMP when it's opportune to do so. The way it is now, it bears the full flux cost of activating the system upfront, usually only gets a few shots before it has to phase, then has to wait for the cooldown to finish before firing again. This would make it about as useful on the Shade as it is on the Omen.

Bug Reports & Support / Tempest/Terminator drone bug
« on: August 20, 2012, 05:32:48 PM »
When an AI-controlled Tempest activates its system to change the terminator drone's roaming orders, it drops its shields.

How to reproduce-
• Fit a Tempest with 1x AM blaster in the left slot, 1x Heavy Burst Laser in the right slot, 10x vents, 1x capacitor, hardened shields, extended shields, and resistant flux conduits.
• Run a simulation, deploy the Heavy Support Dominator. (I use the take 50% damage option usually, just fyi)
• At some point you'll hear the chirping of the Tempest activating its system while under fire and you will see it drop its shields.

That seems to reproduce it pretty reliably. In that fight, you may also see the Tempest drop its shields while under fire to direct it towards incoming Pilums (which can be kind of annoying), but isn't really an issue.

Suggestions / Creative uses for Fuel
« on: August 15, 2012, 03:51:00 PM »
I was just thinking, it would be nice if there were a way to eject some canisters of fuel in battle to use as a crude, inefficient explosive or makeshift minefield. It would also give Drams and Phaetons some interesting uses aside from being loot piñatas. I'm thinking of it mostly being a desperation move, since you risk being stranded (once, you know, there's more than one system) or having to buy more fuel.

Bug Reports & Support / Paragon/Fortress shield issue
« on: August 13, 2012, 06:54:25 PM »
I've been running into a problem with the Paragon recently where my Paragon will drop shields, instead of activating Fortress Shield or simply stop firing. My Paragon is configured thusly:


(2x Autopulse in the front slots, 2x Tachyon Lance in the turret slots, 2x Heavy Needler in the universals, 4x Pulse Laser, 5x Burst PD)

The easiest way to reproduce the behavior is to Run Simulation and deploy a Venture and all the fighters and bombers you can. Sure, it can tank all the damage on its armor, but it seems a bit pointless when it doesn't have to (especially when some of the shots that don't get absorbed by shields are bombs or from a Mining Blaster).

Probably related to the AI issue that causes, most noticeably, the Odyssey dropping its shields too readily, so it may already be fixed.

On a side note, that thing is brutally efficient against anything and everything. It can take the entire simulation fleet on its own. (Seriously, put it up against an Onslaught, 2 Dominators, and Enforcer. Or an Onslaught, Falcon/Eagle [can't remember], Dominator, and Medusa, which is a tougher combo)

Bug Reports & Support / AI Issues w/ Phase Skimmer and Teleporter
« on: August 03, 2012, 08:07:41 AM »
Phase Skimmer- Assigning a ship with Phase Skimmer to escort duty causes the ship to phase skim in whatever direction it's heading instead of toward its intended target.
Phase Teleporter- Sometimes teleporting confuses the enemy AI and causes them to drop shields and/or vent flux at inappropriate times.

How to Reproduce:
Phase Skimmer- Fly a Medusa and Wolf into a battle (other combinations probably work, haven't tested). Immediately assign a Light Escort to the Medusa, which assigns the Wolf. When the game un-pauses, the Wolf instantly burns its 3 phase skimmer charges, then begins heading toward the Medusa. It seems like it's activating the Phase Skimmer to get to the Medusa more quickly, but its vector isn't facing towards the Medusa yet, so it just jumps farther away. Reproducible every time.

Phase Teleporter- Grab a Hyperion and equip it with burst pd lasers and phase beams or pulse lasers (I didn't equip missiles, but that may not change anything). Run a simulation and deploy a Venture. Occasionally after teleporting (to its back and side, mainly- if the Venture's front is 12 o'clock, I tend to teleport to about 8 or 7), the Venture will drop its shields and not activate them for several seconds, regardless of the state of its armor. Sometimes happens after the Venture finishes venting flux, sometimes causes the Venture to vent its flux. I'll get a screenshot.

Edit: The Venture doesn't shoot at the Hyperion while the Venture's shields aren't up either. It's like it doesn't see it as a threat at all, for some reason.

Also, it won't let me upload a screenshot due to the following error:
An Error Has Occurred!

The upload folder is full. Please try a smaller file and/or contact an administrator.

Reducing the file size has no effect. The screenshot wouldn't be much use anyway- it's just me shooting at a Venture with its shields down from the 8 o'clock position while it has zero flux.

Suggestions / Armor vs. Shields
« on: April 30, 2012, 09:40:01 PM »
I feel that high-tech ships that use shields offer too many advantages over low-tech ships that use armor. My concerns are somewhat mollified by the change in the patch notes where fewer crew members are killed by hull damage, but problems are still present. My suggestion is that, to make things slightly more even, low-tech ships should have increased armor, but less hull integrity to compensate (but still more hull integrity than their high-tech counterparts, for the most part).

The low-tech ships should be able to take about as much (or more) damage than they can currently, but less hull damage means fewer crew members get killed, which greatly reduces one of the main incentives the player has for using high-tech ships. This would be less of a problem if (or when?) ship armor could be repaired during battle, but until then I think this would be preferable to the current state of things.

EDIT: It occurred to me that I may have worded things poorly initially, or out of order or something. The suggestion I'm making isn't to change the amount of damage low-tech, high armor ships can take, it's to redistribute some of the hitpoints of the hull integrity into armor in order to reduce the amount of crew that dies when it takes damage. Bringing up shields may have been a mistake, but I was trying to point out that ships that tank with the shield don't have that problem since they can avoid hull damage altogether, for the most part. The disparity between ships that shield tank and ships that armor tank is a bit too large in regards to how much crew dies, imo.

Modding / Graviton Blaster
« on: April 30, 2012, 08:36:24 PM »
So, this is my first mod ever, for any game. It just adds a single weapon, the titular Graviton Blaster. It adds it to the list of weapons that the Tri-Tachyon supply fleet can deliver to the station. Also, I fixed the bug where the station never gets new ships, since it was a simple enough fix. It probably doesn't interact nicely with other mods, so let me know if something needs to be changed.

Latest version: 1.01. Compatible with Starfarer .52a
See attached files to download.
Feel free to add it to any compilation mods or give it schnazzy new graphics (I basically copy-pasted the Heavy Blaster .wpn file and changed the name). You don't even have to give me credit, but it would be preferred.

So, I wanted a weapon useful for long-ish range bombardment that wasn't a tachyon lance. I also noticed that there's only one energy weapon designed for use on shields, and it's a beam weapon. =/ I also really love Heavy blasters. Thus, the Graviton Blaster was born. I originally just modified the game files, but I decided to put it into a form that I could share with all of you.

It's slightly more efficient than the Pulse Laser against shields, does more dps than the graviton beam (and slightly more than Hypervelocity Driver), does EMP damage, and has a long range, but it's garbage against armor, has lower dps than the Heavy blaster (even against shields), has fairly demanding flux requirements, and has a high OP cost. Its main draw is its range, dps against shields, fairly high per-shot damage, and the EMP damage. See attached picture for details (ignore the name I gave the picture, I derped a bit there).

I tried to make it balanced, but I haven't tested it enough to make certain I achieved that. I do know that it's great against Hounds and Lashers, though, so it's potentially unbalanced. I really don't want to reduce its range, though.

Feedback would be appreciated.

EDIT: So, near as I can tell, the weapon itself doesn't seem overpowered, but the AI behaves incredibly sub-optimally against it. Enemy frigates and destroyers try to keep their distance from it, which plays right into the weapon's strengths. It admirably performs its goal of smashing shields at long distance and takes forever to work its way through armor, which means it takes forever to actually kill anything by itself... so, it's actually working as intended, surprisingly. Unfortunately, because enemy ships keep their distance, you're given all the time you need and it just turns into a grind if you lack better weapons for cracking armor.

Ideally, the enemy AI would just ignore most of the damage, rush in, and try to fly under the guns if it's faced with a lone ship with Graviton blasters, but it doesn't. I'll try reducing the EMP damage and/or projectile speed and see what kind of effect that has. I may even... reduce the range. =/ I'd lower the OP to compensate, though.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Pages: [1] 2