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Messages - Alchenar

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Announcements / Re: Starfarer 0.5a (In Development) - Live Patch Notes
« on: January 23, 2012, 11:14:13 AM »
I really hope you remembered an option to turn off tooltips, because I can see those getting really annoying once you know what they do and don't want text covering half the screen.

General Discussion / Re: TotalBiscuit does Starfarer!
« on: January 15, 2012, 05:50:20 AM »
Did you guys request the WTF..? or did TB do it on his own ?

Totalbiscuit has had his eye on this one for a while and has been lightly plugging it at

I'll admit, I popped an email to one of their writers back before Christmas.  No idea if that had any effect.

Announcements / Re: Blog Posts
« on: January 09, 2012, 12:55:26 PM »

This problem doesn't seem to be technologically related, it seems to be a logistical one. One of which can be solved simply by using what people already have in a manner that's actually effective.

I don't think you 'get' diaspora settings.

Announcements / Re: Blog Posts
« on: January 08, 2012, 04:18:50 PM »
(This post is totally tangential; feel free to ignore it if you aren't interested in battletech setting stuff.)
c) The nature of the drive itself means that you have to charge it up slowly or it breaks.

This was the part I found silly.  The game had rules for how to do an emergency jump recharge from the ship's reactor - which was potentially far faster than charging from solar power, but could also break your drive.  Except that, if you performed an "emergency recharge" at the same rate as solar power would have charged your jump drive... the chance of failure dropped to zero.  Which meant that the entire solar charging mechanism was superfluous.

It means you don't have to worry about your fuel supply. 

In the grim darkness of the far future there are only renewable energy targets ;D

Announcements / Re: Blog Posts
« on: January 07, 2012, 01:59:55 PM »
Why don't they just make the ships bigger, or bring tankers that would carry fuel to their next jump point, dump it to the fleet, and then have the tankers recharge? It seems horribly convoluted. If they can put all that armor, guns, and fighters into a workable ship, I believe it's quite possible for them to scrap most of that and just build a tanker or reactor ship for fuel. It's several days of waiting around we're talking about here.

That is of course, unless the jump drive gets prohibitively more expensive as the sizes go up or its area of displacement can only be made so big. But even then, tankers are quite possible.

Here you go:

The critical points for the Battletech universe are (incidentally, I'm not using Battletech just by chance - it's probably the main example of a developed fictional sci-fi universe where technology is in stagnation/decline):

a) Yes, you can take enough energy in a fuel cell but those things are ridiculously rare/expensive.

b) You can have docking stations at the jump points to charge up ships, but most of these have been destroyed and can't be rebuilt.  (this is a good idea to steal - it's also a handy way of distinguishing between hi-tech worlds and backwaters... and long-lost planets with forgotten caches).

c) The nature of the drive itself means that you have to charge it up slowly or it breaks.

Announcements / Re: Blog Posts
« on: January 06, 2012, 03:40:20 PM »
well by that argument, fuel could be considered as part of "supplies" as well.  ;)
Perhaps he has something in mind in which fuel has a special role  on the strategic level where supplies isn't?

Heheh, you certainly could :) But there are significant differences between fuel and munitions which in my mind warrant one but not the other being separate.

For one, fuel is concerned with hyperspace movement only, and its consumption isn't related to combat or in-system movement. So, fuel determines how far you can go, while supplies determine how long you can stay on the field. Munitions (without additional mechanics), would introduce an additional layer of "how much you can fight" depending on weapons you have. Except that supplies, being used for repairs, also play that role. You could break it down further into "how much damage taken you can repair" (supplies) vs "how much you can fight" (munitions). That, to me, is getting too fine-grained.

Also, fuel adds a higher level strategic concern - movement among star systems - and, since that part isn't implemented yet, there's plenty of room to give it an even more meaningful role without retrofitting existing mechanics.

You could just go with the Battletech solution (or a common varient):  you can jump wherever you want up to 50ly but then you need to sit at your destination for a couple of days while you recharge your drive with solar energy.  The fuel is completely free and collection can be abstracted to something that can happen without player input, but there's a rational in-universe explanation for why ship ranges are limited.

Say that one of the ships in fleet has a hydrogen scoop and skims a gas giant or star when you get in system or something.  If the system is contested and you didn't bring enough fuel then perhaps the player has no choice but to fight his way in and fight his way back out again.

General Discussion / Re: Starfarer and Steam.
« on: January 05, 2012, 11:23:20 AM »
Steam is notoriously fickle about the indy games; their process is extremely opaque and there are a number of titles (eg SPAZ , Star Ruler) where the developers have had to make several attempts to get them onboard.

Often getting yourself onto Gamersgate (hell, they're selling the Alpha of Kenshi) and/or Impulse is enough, some people have gotten by by sending Gabe Newell and Doug Lombardi free copies.

Lore, Fan Media & Fiction / Re: The Lore Corner
« on: December 30, 2011, 07:41:22 AM »
If this is a sandbox then plenty of scope for maybe colonization or exploration and expansion packs and other content as u go along

Well this is a big problem that Mount and Blade had; in the initial version there was very little to actually do with the sandbox.

It's telling that the major mods and expansions for M&B all added two things to the game:

1) The ability to form your own kingdom

2) Strong, neutral themed armies that were distinct to the main factions.

I'm kind of taking it for granted that at some point planetary conquest will be an endgame option in Starfarer (although not necessarily; there are plenty of directions the game can be taken where it wouldn't feel like it was missing).  I'm also hoping that there will be some form of endgame antagonist challenge that will be optional but also fun and rewarding to go after and alien incursions are a nice easy way to do that (but again, hardly the only option)

Announcements / Re: Blog Posts
« on: December 23, 2011, 02:06:48 AM »
Gotta be careful with that numbering system.  There's only so much space between 0.5 and 1.0  ;)

Well, I did notice when playing yesterday that the torpedoes are actually fairly durable and can sometimes breach the defences of even prepared targets with multiple point defence weapons pointed the way of a single incoming torpedo. Considering the immense damage torpedoes do, this to me sounds they don't need to be boosted - their current nature as extremely powerful but potentially interceptable weapons seems about right.

Well if they're being launched from further away then they'd need a little bit of a boost to account for the fact that there's more time to shoot them down.

One way to deal with torpedo bombers might be to make them more Wing Commander style - they have a longer (2, maybe 2.5x) range but have to slow right down and spend something like 5-10 secs 'locking on' before releasing torpedoes.

Torpedoes should be more resistant to AA and Flak - my view is that unless you are an Onlaught and putting up a literal wall of Flak projectiles then you shouldn't just be able to shoot down torpedoes by yourself - that's what's rendering bombers pointless (besides the fact that having released weapons then then continue to fly right over the enemy ship and suicide).

e: basically the point is that Cap Ships should be able to create a 'no-fly' zone around themselves with AA firepower if they have enough,  but to effectively counter dedicated bombers should require fighter/interceptors to actually go out and kill them/intercept the bombs.

Announcements / Re: Blog Posts
« on: December 15, 2011, 01:52:06 AM »
I think I'm the one who started throwing that phrase around, so I'll point out that while Alex thought the allusion was a good one, those weren't his words.

Entirely possible. I don't expect it to be a fully accurate description either, but it's a convenient shorthand explanation to establish a baseline for expectations.

Besides you need to add a 'mechwarrior' in there somewhere.

Announcements / Re: Blog Posts
« on: December 14, 2011, 01:58:04 PM »
I believe the intention has been described as "Mount and Blade with starships".

I think I'm the one who started throwing that phrase around, so I'll point out that while Alex thought the allusion was a good one, those weren't his words.

General Discussion / Re: still alive?
« on: November 28, 2011, 02:26:16 PM »
I don't see any reason for concern; the game we have right now is easily worth the ten dollars I paid for it, independently of promises of future releases etc.

Seconded.  On a cost/time analysis I've already more than got my money's worth.

KaidenOZ you bought an alpha from a solo indy developer.  That's not even close to the same thing as buying a retail product from a commercial developer.  When you buy a finished product you expect to get a finished product.  When you buy an alpha you may not end up with anything.  That's the bargain you make when you buy in early to a project to help fund it's development.  Nothing was held back from you.

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