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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2 (04/30/22)

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Messages - Draken

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General Discussion / Re: In game notifications and dead ships.
« on: August 02, 2019, 10:08:26 PM »
The intel screen lets you review the relevance messages from the left hand side of the screen.

As for disabled ships, they are marked on the tactical map (all disabled ships, not just yours) and in the post battle report (split by side so you can quickly see what you lost vs what the AI lost).

General Discussion / Re: New to StarSector - I need help
« on: August 02, 2019, 10:05:08 PM »

Unfortunately there is not really a way to adjust the UI in the ways that your looking for specifically, however I can say that you will get used to it pretty quickly.  Everything makes sense after a little time.

The advice that I can give is below.

1. If your having trouble with the pirates, remember that you can split them up into two groups.  Trying to fight them outright with both units at the same time will be tough for a new player.

2. You are not meant to play the game as an RTS (in fact there is a mechanic in game to specifically prevent you from doing so) but you do need to be assessing the situation and assigning orders periodically. 

3. Make sure you are playing on Easy - this game is hard, and you really should be learning on easy difficulty.

4. Try playing a mission from the main menu, or use the simulator in the refit menu when docked to practice controlling your ship. 

5. The game sprite actually gives a lot of info - the engines on your sprite will change based on whether you are accelerating, at a constant speed, or disabled.  There is a lot of info to gain from the sprites but you can focus on that detail for now.

This game (more than anything else) is Mount and Blade in a space setting.  If you have ever played that game, approach Starsector with the same mindset. 

But mainly, make sure to draw one pirate group away, fight 4 v 4 or 5 v 5, go repair, then take out the second group.

General Discussion / Re: 4 years....
« on: May 10, 2016, 02:20:27 PM »
You're asking him to suddenly swap workflow and take a huge financial risk for the chance of a faster release.  It doesn't seem worth it at this stage.

You may be right that it is too late for it to make a big difference at this stage, but the game as it stands is still years away at the current rate of progress, despite being in development for around 6 years already.  At some point you have to take a risk.

The below is very subjective, feel free to ignore -

At this point the Giant Bomb video has a higher than average dislike ratio on Youtube, the reddit thread about it was down voted and buried, no prominent Youtuber is giving it coverage, and this is not the 1st time a thread like this has gained traction in the forums.  If the game takes several more years to release it will not succeed.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

General Discussion / Re: 4 years....
« on: May 10, 2016, 02:11:23 PM »
And reading comments from:
i didnt catch that grim vibe for game dev cycle aka taking to long to finish.

I was referring to the comments on the video itself, sorry for not being clear.

General Discussion / Re: 4 years....
« on: May 10, 2016, 01:07:19 PM »

(Regarding the "hiring a small team" bit, that... well, it wouldn't work for a large number of reasons. I feel like this has come up before, but here's a quick list: 1) not nearly enough money, 2) can't just find good people with a similar vision quickly, which ties into #1 and makes things take longer, 3) it's a creative endeavor and throwing more bodies at the problem is more likely to hurt than help in terms of overall quality, even if - and that's a big if - that helps it reach a "finished" state more quickly.)

I really appreciate all the support here, by the way. Thank you!


I want to start by saying that I think you are an excellent developer and a good person based on both the quality of the product you put out and the interaction that you have with the community here on the forums so please do not take anything I say personally, but I do think it needs to be said.  

You made a commitment to us, the customers, when you chose to charge money for an unfinished product.  Now as I've said before, I think the quality of Starsector and the amount of enjoyment I got out of it more than justifies that price but I know that is not true for everyone.  And even if it is, there is still an expectation that you would live up to the standards that you set out for yourself and provided to us at the start of the project.  

Starsector has been in development for a long time and at this point the slow pace of development is hurting the game and your brand.  GiantBomb did a video preview of the game today.  Here are a all of the quotes from the comments that have to do with the game -

1) Hey it's this game. I bought it back when it was still called whatever it was. I forgot the name of it, so thanks for the reminder. It's crazy that it's not out yet. It seemed pretty nice back then.?

2) I just realized I have a preorder code for Starfarer in my Gmail from August 2011. I had totally forgotten this game was even a thing, and now I'm kind of annoyed it's been almost 5 years and it's still not out.?

3) this game has been in development forever?

Every other comment is unrelated to the game.  Every comment posted that had anything to do with the game complained about the long development time.  This thread does as well.  The post above mine does as well.  

With that out of the way - your comment from above

1) not nearly enough money - There are a number of ways to raise funds - from Kickstarter and similar sites, Steam Early Access sales, investors etc.  This is a difficult process and I understand that but the number of avenues available to Indie games is at an all time high.  

2) can't just find good people with a similar vision quickly, which ties into #1 and makes things take longer - This is true of every business in the world.  It is not an excuse or a reason to not hire a team.

3) it's a creative endeavor and throwing more bodies at the problem is more likely to hurt than help in terms of overall quality, even if - and that's a big if - that helps it reach a "finished" state more quickly. - This is simply not true.  Ignoring the fact that 99% of every game ever has been made by a team, you already use a team.  Art and music are contracted out and have not hurt the quality of the game.  

It is clear that you cannot deliver a game of the scope and quality that you want with your current resources in a reasonable amount of time.  

I want Starsector to be a success and I know that you do as well.  But the current development pace is making that harder and harder.  The space game category is not the barren wasteland that it was a few years ago and competitors are plentiful.  The opinions of people who own the game are starting to turn sour, and speaking personally - I cannot recommend the game to any of my friends simly due to how slow development has been.  I am confident that this is true of other people as well.  

You may not agree with me or my assessment but I hope that you atleast give it due consideration.

PS - Pardon the formatting, and grammar/rambling nature of it, I wrote it over a quick break at work.

General Discussion / Re: 4 years....
« on: May 03, 2016, 11:04:26 AM »
Honestly the biggest issue is that at the time (and as recently as last October) the FAQ very specifically said that it would not take this long.  If memory serves it said something "we're not Blizzard, so this doesn't mean 5+ year development cycles" under release date.  It has now been more than 6 years.  I like the game but I agree, the pace of development is far too slow.  The game is good and hiring a small team to finish in 2-3 years would have been the correct choice.  I got more than my monies worth out of it, but it absolutely did not live up to its promise in terms of development time.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: December 08, 2014, 06:11:54 PM »
(Just a real quick note here, to reemphasize that most missiles have limited ammo. Only a few specific missiles have unlimited ammo, where it makes sense given their role.)

I know i've already mentioned this but this is one of the things that really bothers me about the changes, as it is very unintuitive and carves out a weird exception in the combat mechanics.  If I had not read these patch notes I would have assumed that this was a bug much more readily than thinking it was intended as it does not match any of the existing mechanics and is limited to such a specific subset of weapons that it would be incredibly hard to figure out. 

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.65.2a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: December 06, 2014, 08:36:02 PM »
Hi Alex,

I wanted to throw my 2 cents into the ring as far as these balance changes go as they are the 1st change you've made to the game that I feel the need to comment on.  I have not had a chance to read every single comment so if im repeating anything, my apologies.

Combat balance pass:
Removed energy weapon bonus damage from high flux level
Increased damage values for non-beam energy weapons by roughly 25% to compensate

This makes sense to some degree (although i'm sure the numbers for beam weapon damage will need to be tweaked later).  While granting damage bonuses at higher flux was an interesting idea, I don't think the game offers enough control over flux management to make it a major mechanic.  I still like the idea of having some ways to differentiate the weapon types beyond their damage vs shields, hull, armor but this may have not been a great way to do it.

Beam weapons:
Standardized range to 1000 for most non-PD, from Tactical Laser to HIL
Increased range for PD Laser and LR PD Laser
Slightly reduced OP cost for all beam weapons
Tactical Laser, Graviton Beam, and Phase Beam are no longer interrupted by missiles
Greatly reduced fade in/out time for most beams

This seems primarily like a balance change.  I'm sure it will be tweaked again at some point.

Salamander: both versions have unlimited ammo and require 20 seconds to reload
Hurricane MIRV: regenerates 1 ammo every 20 seconds
Pilum LRM: regenerates 1 ammo every 10 seconds

This makes a lot less sense to me for a few reasons.  First, a system where missiles have ammo while most other weapons don't already seems arbitrary.  I understand it from a gameplay standpoint (missile spam and all that) but it may not be intuitive for a new player.  Having to keep track of missile ammo only carves out an exception in the combat mechanics that is not obvious.  This is not a major issue but something to consider.  The bigger issue is that some missiles regenerate.  This does not make a ton of sense thematically (why can a ship produce one type of missile in the middle of combat but not another?), nor does it make sense intuitively (a new player who runs out of missiles will likely not know about this mechanic).  Most significantly in my mind however is that this carves out another exception in the combat mechanics.  The way I would have to describe the combat rules to someone would now have to go something like this: "There is no ammo in the game for most weapons except missiles and bomb bays.  With those weapons, once you run out, your out. unless its a particular type of missile.  Then you get more at a set interval or another special missile that has unlimited ammo, but just that one".  This is unnecessarily complicated for a new player, can't be easily explained in a tutorial, and makes it more difficult to understand combat.  New players tend to focus on the minutia of things.  There are a few lets plays on Youtube of StarFarer where the first time someone gets into combat they focus on things like their number of command points or looking for objectives because thats what they remembered from the tutorial, even though those things have a minor impact on the actual gameplay.  If there is a need for this change due to AI then something like a "onboard missile manufacturing" hull mod makes more sense.  It can be added to the stock ai ships and the player will get the necessary information from the hull mod description when they install it (if it is available to them at all).

Ballistic weapons:
Now have unlimited ammo, except for Bomb Bay
Reduced OP cost of Light Dual MG

This is another change that I struggle to understand.  The reasons given for the removal of ammo seemed to be that A: Ammo didn't matter much except in large battles, and B: the system could be abused.  I have a few thoughts here.  I have never felt like ammo does not matter, and have had several of my engagements (including the afformentioned large ones) affected by a lack of ammo (certainly many more than by a mechanic like command points).  This may be relevant only to my play style but I did feel the need to say that ammo as it exists now is not useless, atleast for some weapons.  

It seems to me that reducing ammo count for most weapon would make ammo more relevant more often, expand choice (by allowing for the creation of specialized ships, skills, and hull mods that address ammo) and generally improve the combat experience.  Additionally, this would help to further differentiate various weapons using non standard methods (such as damage or OP cost).  Making a weapon with say, 8 total ammo, gives you a unique way of balancing that weapon that is different from all others and allows you to maintain greater variety and flavor through-out.  I will add my comments on the abuse point below.

Destroyers and cruisers now have a peak effectiveness timer like frigates
Roughly 5-7 minutes for destroyers and 7-9 for cruisers
High-tech/faster ships have shorter timers

These changes don't bother me as I rarely run into these timers, however I don't like the idea of designing systems around folks who choose to min-max.  If someone wishes to kite a fleet for 45 minutes, I think we should let them.  Starsector is a single-player game without any impact on the real world, there are no accounts to sell, no gold to farm for someone else, no rare items to ebay etc.  In such a case, I say let folks play how they want to play.  As long as the min-max approach is not the clearly superior one, and it is not given the fact that it is substantially slower most of the time, I don't mind.  Balancing the game around min-maxing simply adds unnecessary complexity and complicates gameplay.  

On to Peak efficiency timers specifically.  These timers make sense from an intuitive standpoint (crews tire, guns wear down, etc.) but they have no impact on gameplay in a real sense (the reason given for removing ballistic ammo) except in very long battles or when people choose to play the game in a way that does not make sense to you.  The real impact of these timers is that they are too long to matter to most people so they have no effect on gameplay for most people but add another layer of complexity to learning the combat system.  As I mentioned before, if you sat a new player down and asked them to go through a tutorial, they will notice things like peak efficiency timers (as they don't come across such mechanics in other games, and as such will seem important) in a manner that is disproportional to the mechanics actual impact on the game.  I may be wrong but it seems that that is what I would do.  

If you do wish to keep them, then I say lower the timers, create tiers of efficiency and make their effects get progressively stronger.  Keeps us on our toes, makes the mechanic mean something to most of us, and gives you a stick to whack those min-maxers with.

Sunder: increased top speed, acceleration, and flux capacity. Reduced shield efficiency.
Brawler/Shepherd: increased burn level by 1 (to 6)
Condor: reduced supplies/day by 1 (to 4)

More balance stuff, meh.


Keep ammo, reduce the quantities.  No regen on missles without a clear communication to the player that such a thing is happening.  Kill peak efficiency timers or make them shorter and tiered.  Make the mechanic mean something to everyone, not just the min-maxers.

Thanks, and apologies if what is written above does not make sense.  I'm very tired.

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