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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 - Flying Birdy

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General Discussion / One or Two Radiants
« on: December 16, 2021, 05:36:36 AM »
Curious as to what everyone's thoughts are of whether to run one or two radiants in their fleet.

With all the available CR buffs for AI ships and the combat endurance skill, player fleets can field either two radiants (with a gamma core in each) or one radiant (with an alpha core). Obviously, there is a tradeoff here between quantity and quality - but does the extra +4 skill really make up the difference of having another radiant in a player fleet? I've been playing around with missile-heavy radiant builds and I'm personally leaning towards having two radiants with gammas. However, that just might be because missile builds benefit a lot from hitting a critical mass of missile spam with lots of missile boats.

What does everyone else think?

General Discussion / Stealth missile nerf due to new skills
« on: April 12, 2021, 09:01:56 PM »
Having done three playthroughs now, I'm definitely feeling that all missiles became weaker than their 0.91 iterations. The missile boat builds I was previously using feels remarkably weaker now. I was not sure why until I considered the new missile skills in comparison to the old.

+25% missile speed and maneuverability (piloted ship)
+50% missile, rocket, bomb, and torpedo hitpoints (piloted ship)
+25% missile damage (piloted ship)

+100% missle weapon ammo capacity
+50% missile hit points
+50% rate of fire for missile weapons

The loss of missile speed and damage is a significant loss/nerf. All we got in return was capacity and rate of fire.

While on paper that seems like a good trade-off, in practice missiles are never a weapon that benefits from being fired quickly (other than annihilators). Most missiles are targeted strike weapons used in very narrow time windows - for instance, firing torpedoes against an overloaded target. The ideal is to maximize the torpedo's likelihood to hit and ensure the maximum damage when it does hit and having more rate of fire certainly doesn't help. And while the missile ammo capacity is reasonable, it still feels lackluster as the loss of missile speed means less ammo hit and thus more wasted torpedoes.

A lot of the old effective missile builds are now also defunct because of this change. Double swarmer conquest used to be able to instantly knock out frigates if you had the missile damage and the other weapon damage perks; now it just barely gets past the shield. Triples Sabot + MIRV shotgun odyssey was pretty fun to fly, but the slower hurricane MIRV just feels underwhelming as a lot more of the warheads aren't hitting anymore unless it's a super slow target.

Happy to hear everyone's thoughts. Am I missing something?

General Discussion / Blackmarket Arms Dealer Frequency
« on: April 02, 2021, 08:42:47 AM »
Is it just me or is the frequency of arms dealers too low in the bars? I'm struggling to find arms dealers (to buy an odyssey) and I can barely find arms dealers even though I'm checking every bar. I also can't develop arms dealers as contacts; are we supposed to be able to? My regular underworld contacts for bounties also very rarely offer arms dealer "missions" that allow me to buy ships.

So I destabilized a jump point as part of the story quest (the one in the Galatia academy story where I test out a gate only to have it explode). Played through all the way to the end of that storyline and for a whole cycle after the end. I'm finally getting around to colonization and as it turns out, the system with the jump point can no longer be colonized because its jump point is still unstable.

Problem is, that system has by far the best colonization candidates in my game. Is there anyway (cheating, console commands included) to fix the jump point?

Edit: I tried save editing; changed all of the $systemcutofffromhyper tags to false and $unstable tags to false as well. The jump points became traversable again but the planet remains uncolonizable.

Overall Rationale

The strongest thing about frigates is their speed and maneuverability. However, the game mechanics make it hard for them to make use of their core advantage. It's rare for frigates to be able to close-in en-mass on targets in a coordinated fashion. It's even rarer for frigates to outmaneuver enemies and get local superiority through their speed; AI fleets always deploy in death balls.

One of the most unique ways about the disengage mechanic is being able to fake a disengage and turn around and kill your enemy. The AI will deploy their cruisers without any frigate escorts, and all your ships and turn around and slap those cruisers because the player will have a numbers advantage at least locally.

I think frigates or frigate wolf-packs should be more able to take advantage of unique situations in deployment and game mechanics should encourage them.

Suggestion #1: Higher disengage limit for Frigate Only

As part of a wolf-pack skill or frigate skill in the new skill system, allow fleets that contain only frigates to have a higher disengage limit of 180/300 or 60% of battle size (for reference: the current disengage limit is 120 or 40% of battle size)

This way, frigates will uniquely be able to disengage and gain a substantially higher numbers advantage than their pursuer at least temporarily.

Suggestion #2: Terrain based battle size limits for Frigate Only

As part of a wolf-pack skill or frigate skill in the new skill system, allow frigate only fleets to have a unique dialogue option pre-battle that allows them to engage in an ambush if the battle is taking place in stellar terrain. In an ambush, the total battle size is limited to 75% of the regular battle deployment size.

Suggestion #3: Interdiction effects on deployment points

This supplements suggestion #2 and encourages the player to interdict their enemies just like an ambusher should.

In an ambush battle (inside stellar terrain), if the enemy fleet is interdicted, the frigate-only fleet receives a 50% fleet size bonus for purposes of calculating deployment points.

For instance, a frigate only fleet with 80 deployment points in ships attacks an interdicted enemy with 100 deployment point fleet. With the interdiction bonus, the frigate only fleet will have 120 deployment points for purposes of calculating the share of the battle size each side has and be able to initially deployment up to 55% of the battle size.

General Discussion / Integrated PD AI
« on: June 04, 2019, 08:41:46 AM »
This is just one of those hull-mods I've rarely used. The few occasions when I have used it was on all tactical laser ships where I added it for PD. Even then, I did not find it to be particularly noticeable or effective as the turn rate on the tactical lasers was too slow to catch a lot of missiles.

Out of curiosity, how do you guys typically use it? What are some ships/builds that work well with it?

General Discussion / Missile Speed Mechanics
« on: December 18, 2018, 08:01:59 AM »
Something interesting happened in my latest playthrough, thought I'd ask the community for some clarification on a mechanic that seemed interested.

On an Odyssey, if I were to fire a Sabot during plasma burn, the Sabot round is rapidly accelerated and will "launch" almost immediately at my target, rather than undergoing its initial slow movespeed phase. This interaction has had some "interesting" uses, I could plasma burn and fire 6 sabots from my medium mounts, instantly flux cap my target, and destroy them with a MIRV + plasma cannon.

I've tried to do the same with dagger torpedos. But they don't "feel" that much faster when I launch them during plasma burn. So here's my question, how are missile move speeds determined? Is the ship's own move speed a dependent variable?

General Discussion / Anyway to reduce the scavenger fleet population?
« on: September 04, 2017, 10:53:30 PM »
Due to the scavenger returning to planet bug (Alex said he already fixed it for the next patch, but I suspect that patch won't come for a while), there is now 5-6 large scavenger fleets clogged around every planet in my game. As much as they do make for easy food, their sheer numbers are quite bothersome in my games as they are causing insane fps drops in some system. Askonia, for example, is clogged with 30-40 scavenger fleets at a time.

Does anyone have any neat tricks to dealing with them? I'm open to anything...Console commands, save editting, modding etc. Thus far, the only solution I've found is to go into a system and spawn 20 luddic path fleets and have them kill everything in the system. But that is really annoying to have to execute every few months.

Suggestions / Famine, Depopulation, and Sector in decline
« on: August 31, 2017, 10:35:58 AM »
One of the more prominent things in the lore is that, things are getting worse, not better. Over the course of the post-collapse history, seems like there has been only events leading to further depopulation, and few leading to prosperity and growth.

I imagine Alex will eventually implement some planet killers or planetary conquest in some shape or form. But I think conquests in general should be extremely difficult if nigh-impossible. Afterall, the requirement of a takeover of a half-million-population planet should not  just beating a fleet, thats rather unrealistically. It should be a tremendous logistical undertaking - assault, and occupation by a groundforce of tens of thousands for an extended period.

Granted, 10^3,10^4 could be made to be easy targets, as it shouldn't be too hard to quell a thousand people station. But core faction worlds >10^5 should be made difficult to conquer. If conquest was too easy, the player could easily snowball out of control in strength. The sector would shift borders far too quickly as well between AI. However, if conquests were generally near impossible, then the sector would be stable and AI factions wouldn't just collapse.

That said, for the sake of allowing player impact, I think starvation and famine resulting from food crisis should be allowed.

First, each planet should have two population tracks. One is the standard population counted in 10^3 to 10^8. Next is the refugee population count, ranging from 10^3 to 10^7.

An extended food crisis (say a full 6 months) should cause a massive emmigration event to occur. Once a crisis occurs, the planet sees a massive out-flow of refugees via civilian convoys (and the planet loses 90% of its population). These convoys will travel to a nearby well stocked planet, and the planet will see its refugee population become equal to the emigrating planets.

For example, a food deprived 10^6 planet suffers a population crisis. Its population becomes 10^5. Transport convoys headout towards a nearby planet 10^7. That planet now has 10^7 population with 10^6 refugee population.

Refugee populations that are too large (10^(-1) of the native population), will cause a massive food and food production crisis (lowers production efficiency). If this one is not resolved, the same event occurs again and the sector snowballs with even more refugees.

Transport convoys can be destroyed. Planets, if weakened enough, can be conquered (though at which point the victory is largely pyrric in nature). If given enough time to stabilize (say two cycles), a planet will attract back whatever  remains of its refugee population via convoys. However, the back and forth journey of convoys has a chance of suffering too much from piracy, and the planet does not get enough population back and permanaently remains at a lower population level.

Now onto my reasoning for why I think the above system makes sense.

1. This makes blockade play a lot more interesting. Does the player opt for a large fleet that can block a planet for a long period from receiving any food shipments? If he does, does the player choose to engage neutral fleets, for the purposes of the blockade? What about those pesky 10 burn blockade runners and smugglers?

 Or does the player turn off transponder and hunt food mercantile convoys and relief fleets like u-boats, but risk failing the month long effort entirely when a well-armed relief fleet arrives.

2) Excessive negative actions could have lasting impacts on the sector. Excessive piracy by the player, especially on key resource production worlds, can cause a refugee crisis which would then cause a negative feedback economy loop that permanaently *** the sector. Its not profitable for the sector to become too depopulated.

Thus, , there are all of a sudden incentives to be both a morally grey pirate and a hero delivering food to relieve a planet.

3) Planetary management becomes a challenging task as a conquered planet would typically be starved out first. The player will need to make massive food shipments to stabilize the planet's markets. To prevent the sector from going to ***, the player needs to contribute to civilian needs.

Anyways, that's it. Let me know what you guys think.

General Discussion / Distress call AI behavior and strategies
« on: June 21, 2017, 09:01:39 AM »
Out of the items introducedin 8.0-8.1, the distress call is probably the most underused button next to neutrino detector.

Anyone find any useful, interesting or just funny (for the lulz) strategies for using the distress call? Is it an effective way of baiting AI scavanger fleets for food? What sort of effect does it have on scavanger fleets when you use it in a core system?

General Discussion / Learning to love playing with D-Mods
« on: June 12, 2017, 08:42:22 AM »
For both 0.8 and 0.81, I've been playing a salvage build pirate. And with the latest nerf to leadership maintainance cost reduction, d-mods have risen greatly in relative strength. The salvage playstyle is quite strong, but just requires a different mind set when playing.

First, don't buy ships. Kill people for their ships. Need a super rare ship? You don't need to fly around markets. Go to TT and kill their fleets until you get what you want. Money is only for supplies and crew, and restoring your flagship if you want.

Second, D-mods are amazing. I've begun farming certain fleets to recover ships, in attempts to get specific d-mods on specific ships. Honestly, the supply cost reduction of some d-mods FAR outway its costs for certain ships. For example, I do not fly cargo ships that do not have d-mods (a shipping fleet costing 0.3 supply a day? Yes please. Freighter costing <1 supply per month? Yes please). I do not fly high-maintainance ships without d-mods. Here's my tier of d-mods.

Tier 1: You want these. Negative effects can be ignored.
Compromised Armor
Compromised Hull
Structural Damage

The more the ship relies on shields or maneuverbility, the less relevant the above d-mods are. These d-mods are so good that I prefer hyperion, tempest, afflictor with these d-mods than without. These d-mods are even acceptable on many cruisers flown by the AI, as long as the cruisers are either Mora or dominators.

Tier 2: 10-20% OP to compensate for these d-mods.
Faulty Power Grid - general annoyance on ships. Can be compensated for by playing around with your capacitor and vent loadout.
Unreliable Subsystems - kills SO ships. Otherwise fine.
Glitched Sensor Array - Annoying to have, but can be compensated for through hullmods. think of it as 10-20% OP loss.
Damaged Flight Deck - Annoying, but can be ignored on most carriers. Just need to use fighters that die less (daggers, longbows, etc)

When determining loadouts for ships in the above, do not be afraid to underequip a weapon slot (small weapon in medium turret) or to not equip a weapon at all. Not equipping that rear facing PD might be worth the 4 OP it saves, giving you some extra points for making the ship at least strong in a frontal role.

Tier 3: pretty bad, scrap these ships.
Degraded engines - An honest pain in the ass for most ships. While allocating 10-20 OP for a augmented drive field negates this effect, the D-mod still lowers the potential burn speed for your ENTIRE fleet by 1. This is the one d-mod I do not want to see on my tugs.
Phase Coil Instability - <30 second peak performance time on a SO phase ship? No thanks.

Has anyone experimented with the different eras in ProcGen yet? Does a younger sector make the surveying game more difficult as there are less habitable planets? What about sector size? Does that decrease the distance for surveying missions?

So I've played through most of the available content for 8.0 and its been fun. However, the game has gotten a lot easier and I've really quickly reached end game through exploration. The challenge and difficulties of the previous game are no longer there.

I personally really enjoyed doing high difficulty playthroughs in 7.2, one of my favorite was playing as a pure pirate with hostile faction relations with everyone. I was thinking of maybe doing a pure exploration, scavenger, pirate play through for 8.0, with no access to any trade (the resource manage will be really fun). I don't know how I would set up something like this though. Anyone have any suggestions?

Bug Reports & Support / Save File Corruption
« on: April 21, 2017, 07:08:28 PM »
Well looks like I got a corrupted save :(

Not sure how to make sense of this.

Caused by: com.thoughtworks.xstream.converters.reflection.ObjectAccessException: Could not call com.fs.starfarer.campaign.fleet.CampaignShipEngineGlow.readResolve() : null
   at com.thoughtworks.xstream.core.util.SerializationMembers.callReadResolve(
   at com.thoughtworks.xstream.converters.reflection.AbstractReflectionConverter.unma rshal(
   at com.thoughtworks.xstream.core.TreeUnmarshaller.convert(
   ... 797 more
Caused by: java.lang.NullPointerException
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.fleet.FleetMember.getHullSpec(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.fleet.CampaignShipEngineGlow.readResolve(Unknown Source)
   at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
   at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Unknown Source)
   at com.thoughtworks.xstream.core.util.SerializationMembers.callReadResolve(
   ... 799 more

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