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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Messages - Deshara

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Blog Posts / Re: Skill Changes, Part 2
« on: August 20, 2021, 10:02:45 AM »
i think if you always take all of those skills that isn't an argument to keep them bc then it defeats one of the points of a skill tree, optionality; non-options are better off folded into some of the game's other mechanics, like making them industrial items you have to fight a boss for

General Discussion / Re: What is (enemy) fleet size based on?
« on: August 19, 2021, 08:26:38 PM »
i recall hearing that it scales with both time played & character level on top of income, so if you keep your income steady while doing the same thing (say, smuggling without ever building a colony) over time the game will outpace you.
if what i remember is correct

Suggestions / Re: Prevent built in dedicated targeting core
« on: August 18, 2021, 05:21:39 PM »
i like that ITU is just an upgrade to DTC that is locked behind skills. it may not feel as "clean" as trying to make them more of a sidegrade to eachother or justify ever taking one over the other but IMO it does a good job tying the skill system in to the ship customizing system -- better than only having hullmods locked behind skills. It gives it an interesting texture, a bit of a kink in the system that makes the two systems a little less, uhhhh, how would I put it... flat? Predictable? It's a little bit of a thread of designed frustration, to start a new game & be forced to make due with DTC & not be able to build the hullmod in for free OP yet bc ur gonna get ITU eventually.
it also makes it so that early level players cant get as much out of cruisers & capitals as later levels, making it a little more justifiable to hold off on shooting past frigates & destroyers
theres a lot of positives to the way it is now. it would be easy to flatten out the oddness of these two hullmods but i dont think that would actually improve the game. I find game design is a lot like carpentry -- you have to actively resist the urge to keep sanding, bc if you smooth something out too much you can wind up decreasing its quality instead of increasing it

Discussions / Re: Alex, I hope you having fun playing Highfleet
« on: August 16, 2021, 01:05:10 PM »
i find it the most thrilling part of the game. broke off a strike fleet to run down a freighter convoy to the north, then after it lands my warfleet gets a hit on the radar from the southwest, moving northeast..

Suggestions / (option to) remove the armor widget
« on: August 16, 2021, 08:19:02 AM »
you can see armor damage on the ship's graphic; its actually not subtle at all, I have eye problems & I can see the bright glow & the annihilated hull. I think it mostly just distracts players from looking at the ships as closely as they could be, and clutters up the screen big-time.
at the very least give an option to pin it to the corner like your ship's is, or an option to hide it

Suggestions / Re: Prevent built in dedicated targeting core
« on: August 16, 2021, 08:11:16 AM »
:shrug: its basically a permanent d-mod that also increases the ship's DP by however much you'd have spent on ITU. i dont mind it, i think it's neat to have ships come incapable of running certain builds. Worst comes to worst I play with the industry mod that lets me hurl a ship that's ruined for me into the engineering bay to be pulled apart

under no circumstances am I going to edit this post. if you see any typos thats ur fault, blame ur eyes I typed it perfectly the first time

edit: but as a bit I will edit this comment with more things I just thought of.

1A) Once shields are defeated taking damage sets them back to 0%, which annoys me in games, & armor doesnt come back once its broken, but your crew constantly repairs your hull which effectively makes your hull into what the shields are in SS (minus the ability to vent, or it competing with your weapons ALTHOUGH IT COULD). Anyway! What I think is cool about it is that yes it is entirely possible (& very frequent, especially when ur fighting transport ships & stations) for the enemy to have more crew repairing than you are capable of dealing damage.
HOWEVER! Every time you damage an enemy there's a chance to cause a hull breach which slews their crew out into the blackness of space. Which means! You know how in Sekiro an enemy's health in not actually an indication of how close to death they are bc their real health bar is their balance which when you max out gives you an insta-kill? Well this game has basically the same thing.
An enemy can be effectively incapable of taking damage from you, at which point you aren't actually shooting the ship/station to destroy it but are shooting it kill off its crew enough to become capable of killing it. Which I find incredibly neat. When boarding/crew losses in battle in SS gets brought up it gets pointed out that effectively that is just introducing a new health bar -- which is true, however, if you do cool stuff with it like that then it is justified IMO. (also this game has a faction who focuses on attacking your alternative healthbar of crew more than it does killing your ship bc their goal is to take over your ships not blow them up). SS shouldn't have these systems bc it wouldn't loop into the gameplay loops very well with the state of the game as-is but this game does an amazing job of doing it. In SS you shouldn't ever use troop transports unless you're setting up a colony or raiding and then you should immediately mothball it, but in SPAZ it's a wise strategy to have at least 2 troop transports, 1 meant as a frontline tank showing up full & the 2nd showing up empty, & if the 2nd fills up & the 1st suffers crew loss from battle then you can press M to have the 2nd fire escape pods over to you to top you up -- and if the 2nd isn't full then you can switch to it & race around grabbing escape pods to feed into the first making picking up evacuees mid-combat with a transport shuttle its own little minigame that is actually a smart move to do. Its so well looped together
it also makes tractor beams very important for sieges

(A1(2)_final: the crew healthbar is made even better by the fact that you arent defaulting to just filling your ships to the max on crew; bc you pick up escape pods mid-combat the fewer crew your ships deploy with = the more crew they can pick up. You have to balance expending crew to increase the tankiness of your ships against your ability to replace crew losses. if you run a 100% crewed fleet then your supply of crew is 100% guarenteed to deplete over time, if you run with 0 crew then your supply of crew is 100% guarenteed to increase over time. its kind of brilliant

Q sieges are fun. stations aren't bosses in-and-of themselves the way they are in SS, its actually very easy to outrange them with 1 ship with a beam for defeating shields & the rest torpedoes to sit & hammer the station into dust over time, HOWEVER, the longer it takes for you to take it down the more reinforcements show up to try to relieve it, giving it time to get its shields back up & repair the damage you've done. Also they tend to have fighter bays which will wear away at your siege ships over time, circling back around to the whole "crew can make a ship invincible as long as you keep the ship full" so these battles make tractor beams and point defense very important, which share a slot so they compete for space on your ships, along with booster modules that make your ships better at sieges. lots of competing needs that gives a lot of room for fleet variety & customization the crew thing also makes armor much more important; if you've gotten a station down to half health and then its rotation brings fresh armor around then it has a chance to heal its hull back up. so even if armor is a finite resource you have reason to bring along something to defeat it even in long battles bc it can essentially quadruple a ship's hull

https://www youtube com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ) theres a mercenary faction, every mission against another faction has a dollar quantity attached to it that u can see before u do the mission that gets added onto your bounty if you do it. the closer you are to a mercenary station the more likely you are to get attacked while ur out doing stuff, and the strength of the attack is proportional to your bounty.
however, unlike every sim game, defending yourself from the mercenaries does not lower your relations with them; defeating their attacks grants you respect with the mercenaries (they arent gonna become friendlier to u bc they are essentially permanently hostile to everyone who has a bounty & since ur doing missions ur always gonna have some bounty). Their stations are a cease-fire zone so u can go to their stations & just pay your bounty off, however, the more respect they have for you the more likely they are to just nullify your bounty & basically say, yep we tried but they've proven we can't take them down for the money you're offering sorry.
& I love it. I've always wanted to see games with faction relations integrate a mechanic whereby kicking the crap out of a faction relentlessly will make them less likely to fight you instead of more. it feels good to be feared

Sace Pirates And Zombies is why I found Starsector; I played it, and it set my brain on fire with how much potential the concept had, and I googled games like it & got SS and the rest is history.
For those who haven't played or heard of this game, get this gameplay synopsis up on you;
S.P.A.Z. integrates top down shooter gameplay with role-playing video game and real-time strategy elements within a futuristic space setting. The game also features large-scale randomly generated galaxies to explore. Players command a fleet of ships, and may control any one of their ships individually at a time. The galaxy is organized into systems, each system containing a star and a set of planet bodies and areas which may be "warped" to via an in-game map. These areas may contain faction stations where trade, missions, or sieges may take place. The player's standing with the faction affects what services the station will give you. Players can improve their faction standings through missions and level up their fleet through missions and combat.
It's uncanny, isn't it? lol
not that either of these two games copied eachother, they're both just ripping off the same old games, for the record

So, I decided to replay the darn thing, and list here things about it that I liked, things about it that I appreciate having spent the better part of the decade playing SS, & whatever else I feel like pointing out.

PS, I'm playing the modded version. There's basically only 4 mods for the game, & they can't be loaded together (it turns out mod support matters*), but I consider the balance & content overhaul mod fight for big beef (supermod combining the two good ones) to be so important for the game's quality that effectively in my head that version of the game is The version of the game & the unmodded version of the game is basically a beta of fight for big beef. This isn't a, "I can't play skyrim anymore without 400 mods installed bc I've played it too much" situation, this is a, "I don't think anyone should play this game without this 1 mod, it is the objectively superior version in all but exactly 1 way". In my 30 years of gaming I haven't felt this way about any game b4 & likely never will, so take that for what you will, but when I talk about SPAZ I am talking about this modded version. This game came out in 2011, there's a lot I'm pretty sure came from the mod but gun to my head I could not even hope to start telling the two apart so I won't even try. F4BB = SPAZ AFAIC & I wont be differentiating.

ANYWAY, in no particular order as they come to me;

A) *MOD SUPPORT. OH MY GOD playing games with such close gameplay loops to SS makes me recoil in agony like I've been touched with a live wire every time I'm forced to play them without SS's targeting reticle mod. I always forget how much it's going to hurt me to have to do without it. Thank you Alex so much for the mod support, it is like sweet sweet morphine flowing through the veins of a burn victim

2) I forgot how ssssssssssssslow this game's start is. I feel bad starting with two not-positive notes but the moment I start this game & am getting back into the saddle I am immediately reminded of something I was forced to learn the first two times I played it; this game has an INCREDIBLY WEIRD pacing problem. And that problem is that the first 1/3rd of the game is a static open world sandbox with no time pressure (think Assassins Creed) where the primary drive of your gameplay loop is trawling from system to system finding blueprints to unlock, until you progress the story far enough to trigger the Actual Game which is NOT a static open world sandbox but a dynamic one with active time pressure & a galactical war which forces the player forward with what they have, damn the torpedoes, picking up what they can but making do. And it is not a kind transition; bc of how familiar we are with the AC format it is extremely easy to slip into the rut of mindlessly trawling the open world for side content, assured that the critical story path is largely unconnected to it -- assured that it doesn't matter which order you do it in, that if you spend 20 hours doing side content & 20 hours doing story content. Oh no no no, not here. If you play the side content before you trigger the Actual Game you will burn yourself out on this game before you reach the end. Doing so makes it overstay its welcome by a long shot -- it feels like the game is 3x as long as it should be, unless you take what you have and plow yourself through the story content as deep as you can until you hit a roadblock, then do a little bit of grinding to get through that roadblock until you reach The Turn. It's very important for the grinding & unlocks to be something you do on the fly as-needed to progress the story, and not something you pre-load your campaign with and then play the whole story with everything unlocked. Do not grind. Do not grind. Do not grind. A lot of open world games it is important for you to manage the game's pacing, this one will absolutely allow you to ruin it for yourself if you don't resist the urge to grind.

3) This one is a negative note on the mod; the one area where the mod is not a pure, unadulterated improvement is that it adds 3 ships of all but the largest size class, which are the strongest ships in their class with a stupid quantity of mounts, unlocked from the start. I... hate, these ships. I really wish they weren't there. This time as well as the first time I played this mod I took 1 look at them at the start of the campaign, and mentally through them in the trash. Wish I wasn't too lazy to remove them. The game is a lot of fun because you're forced to wage war with a bus & a tug boat

4) OKAY, on to the positives. I love that you get to fly fighters in this game, and that they aren't just the second smallest size class but smaller -- you can pick what armor to bolt onto which sides of your ship, & they drastically affect your ship's speed & maneuverability, but the smallest size class can't mount any armor, forcing them to be drastically faster than anything larger regardless of how you build them. It's a really clever way of pigeonholing them into their role & preventing them from being just a tiny capital ship (EXCEPT FOR THE MOD FIGHTER THAT I DONT USE). Theres more to this Im gonna circle back around to later

5) I forgot how neat I find the way the game handles the energy draw of your beam (1/2 of them) weapons. When you fire a cannon, it instantly draws energy, but a beam also then after its beam dies out gradually draws energy as it's reloading (but hopefully slower than your reactor can replenish it) & if you are sustaining fire the burst draw of the beam firing comes right at the tail-end of the gradual draw of the beam reloading. It's hard to explain why but I find this extremely satisfying. There's an... organicness... to the way this works. The energy bar is really conveying the feeling of your beam coils having to be cooled off between bursts. There's always this sense of why do burst beams not just fire indefinitely and the extremely specific way that beam weapons in this game handle energy draw kind of intrinsically solves that question for me -- it feels like your beams need time to cool off & if you did jury-rig it to fire nonstop it'd melt itself immediately. Not just that the game says that's why, but that it feels like that's why. It's very hard to describe but it's a sort of very good tactile sense to the system

6) cannons. cannons feel like god slamming a car door. Not on their own purely by their gamefeel design like a Nuclear Throne gun having lots of juice, but in their balance. After the start when you've got enough of a fleet to specialize your ships but before you're deep enough into ruining the game by grinding to break it so badly that you don't need to specialize ships, you have to start dedicating your fleet to combat roles & having 1 ship as a ship-breaker, with one or two of the best cannons you have and nothing else, held in reserve because it will red-line its reactor in a heartbeat, until the enemy's shields are defeated & you've got it lined up and then you split the thing in half with a single volley slamming through it. It feels good. It feels good in a way that a sim game like SS can't allow bc it'd be unfair for the enemy who are in finite numbers and it'd be unfair for the player for the same reason. Speaking of

7) this game isnt a hardcore sim game. All of your ships are, to compare to SS, fighters coming out of a carrier's hanger bays, but instead of the carrier going into battle it sends a warp beacon to a map & it warps its "fighters" (ur ships) to that beacon. Forever as long as you have the resources to keep replacing them, and as long as the beacon hasnt been killed. I... like this system. This is not intended as a dig to SS in any way but after having played a hardcore sim game where lost ships are lost lost & can't just have replacements ordered as long as u have the cash & think its a good idea is really nice. Like sliding into a hot bath at the end of a long day, I can just build the fleet I feel like flying and then fly around being an idiot letting them get fed through a woodchipper if the enemy counters it & I don't have to stress about it unless the beacon is threatened, at which point Real Gamer Hours is on

8) speaking of cash on hand; bc this game doesn't game-over you when your fleet wipes & bc ur mothership isnt going into battle, it means that (except in the very unlikely scenario that your mothership gets attacked while ur broke) there is no game-over state. You just, run out of money, then belly-crawl your way to an asteroid field & mine your way painfully & slowly back up. Thankfully this game has a finite amount of money u can hold. my ex wife always got upset zelda for having their rupee limited by wallets & always tried to point out that it'd make the game worse if they werent like that, they wouldnt be able to throw infinitely replenishing rupees at you if they werent. And the same thing applies here. Your punishment for failure is the time it takes you to replenish your stockpiles, and it is suffering. That suffering is largely mitigated by the existence of infinite asteroids that can be busted apart infinitely by the largest slot size of mining laser, but in the early game you have to rely on NPC factions to have a mining station on one to do it and at that you have to hope its from a friendly faction. If those conditions are met you can pick at their scraps like a seagull. Which is helpfully helped along by your AI being capable of more or less competently running a mining operation on their own without your help, but it is still agonizingly slow and this game has the same problem SS does of not being able to handle multi-tasking. If you minimize it to let your subordinates do the dirty job for you the game pauses. I find this to be charming. You HAVE to SIT and WATCH the agonizingly slow process of your fleet slowly undoing your screw-ups. I'm... glad it's like this. Obviously the easy solution is to read a book or watch something on your phone -- but! That's a good thing IMO, it gives natural break points for you to do something else built into the game's structure, and in doing so it is making you feel your punishment. This is not a "your character goes to jail, press 1 to be out of jail" punishment, this is actual honest-to-god sit & think about what you've done. Also it helps to add onto fixing the problem fixed by the zelda wallet system, of using the player's impatience to prevent the player from accruing infinite wealth -- if you aren't patient enough you won't even fill your ship's hull, you'll get bored & figure screw it that's good enough & move on with your day at 1/5th fleet capacity -- which is a catalyst for fun! It's fun to be forced to make due with darts & grasshoppers, not bc the game contrived an excuse for why you have to but bc it has this system built to naturally be fueled by your lack of discipline.

10/10, this system feels terrible and I think it's great. I'm not gonna make this sort of comparison often & I don't think SS would necessarily benefit from having it but I do think the emotional rollercoaster that this inflicts on the player makes this system better than SS's. Consider this as a mark of quality; I've put easily more than 200 hours (according to steam, compared to games I've purchased legally that makes it my 4th most-played game ever) into this game and I have never save-scummed, despite the fact that the punishment for failure is having to spend an hour watching rocks get moved back & forth and not being allowed to minimize my game to skip it. Any game that can make me stick razor blades under my finger nails and keep coming back for more has something going for it.

9) i like that cloaks are an inferior version of shields that you stick on ships that don't need shields. Have a missile boat that shouldn't be in a fight? Cloak it. Have a cargo freighter to drag behind your warfleet grabbing cash as it goes so you don't have to come back for it or make a pit stop at an asteroid? Cloak it. Have a command fighter for you to switch to & sit in while u IRL read a book? Cloak it.
I also like that cloaks cripple your ship's movespeed, giving you a reason not to use them on most non-combat ships (as usually their #1 stat is speed), so there's an intrinsic choice being presented. It's fun to have a datarunner fighter that you use to race around maps popping doodads & grabbing datacore & racing objectives, that you have a cloak on bc it makes it less likely to eat a torpedo while ur fleet is in battle, that in order to use for its intended purpose you have to switch its only form of defense off. It feels exhilarating to have this little dart that you slip around a warzone in & you have your finger hovering over the cloak button as you dip & juke your way around enemy ships

10) the maps arent combat maps. I think, gun to my head, if I had to pick something on this list I think SS would be the most improved by having (not that I think it should include it. try to rotate that, siri keaton), it's this; when you warp into a map there's stuff often unrelated to your mission spawned on the map, sometimes out on the outskirts, sometimes way out there, sometimes in the way. A lot of the maps dont even have any objective! I love this feature. I don't think the game would hold up at all if it had SS's pure & utilitarian combat maps with nothing but u & the enemy & the terrain. Going to do a battle & running into a civilian traffic jam while ur clashing with the enemy, or discovering someone's blueprints stash (AND THE MINEFIELD HE GUARDED IT WITH) while ur in the middle of a cobra knife fight is something else. Heck -- I enjoy just going to a sector marked with nothing with only my command shuttle, turning the cloak off & just going around popping stuff with my laser. Having to physically dock your ships with stations, & seeing the traffic coming & going as you do it. It all makes the game feel really alive -- which is something since unlike SS it isn't a sim game.
In fact, I've got a gameplaye experience from 10 years ago burned into my brain of going to dock with a station to bribe some guards, taking my cloaked command shuttle, being too lazy to toggle the cloak off so it took me longer than it could have to get there, seeing that there was this game's version of an Atlas (which I had never seen before & likely wouldnt again for a long time) & panickedly ordering my fleet to come join me as I opened fire on a friendly faction who I was trying to engage in trade with that requires good standing trying to pop the ship for its schematics while it tried to warp away, and just barely not getting it & kicking myself for having been lazy with my docking routine. That happened 10 years ago & I still remember that bright as day. There's stuff happening in this game that you can miss out on for a long time if u arent scrounging hard enough & thats pretty cool

11) I like how you pick your reactor (and shield and cloak and engines). This is the one feature I know for the most certain is modded content bc I remember falling in love with the Zero Point Reactor, which is an end-game reactor that unlike the other end-games which have huge energy capacity & proportionally huge detonations (oh yeah, how hard your ship blows up when it dies is a reactor stat. isnt that cool?), the ZPR has almost no capacity but incredibly good dissipation (the starship reactor equivalent of a tankless water heater), and also, the smallest reactor detonation in the game -- it is effectively completely harmless to lose a ZPR ship in your battle line, as opposed to the gigantic fusion reactors you'd stick on your capital ships that turn them into gigantic fusion bombs that will annihilate your whole fleet if they can't get away from it -- and there are weapons that will drag your fleet into the explosion if you're unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of it at the wrong time, which is a pretty amusing way to lose your entire fleet

12) station sieges are cool. Obviously SS would never traffic in such grim & senseless violence but, the way that stations will slew people out of them like something punctured while taking hull damage, just *** spraying a hundred screaming souls into the void in a single stream, and the way that they jettison hundreds of escape pods in a flurry as it dies and then when the reactor goes it explodes so horribly that most of those escape pods are pulverized into dust (& ur fleet if they dont run away). It is phenomenally close to what fighting a station should feel like. It feels like you're annihilating a city -- a militarized one that ur only attacking bc it has a military base in it & ur shooting at its guns but at the end of the day it is still full of almost entirely civilians, and the station has a reactor you have to destroy to end the fight and destroying that reactor is going to kill everyone. And the game doesn't beat around the bush about it!

13) picking up escape pods sometimes causes your ship to fire a person out of itself a few seconds later, sometimes accompanied with voice chatter about it. "Hostages that don't cooperate go out the airlock with the rest of the trash." "I wonder if their eyes really do pop in space." I'm not a sociopath but it really sells the setting

14) it's actually very important that the game has this & these last few features -- it seems gratuitous & unnecessary that it does this but it turns out to actually be really mechanically important. but, even if it didn't, the fact that people who've been spaced remain on the map as a form of debris, who will splatter across your bow as you fly through them or who get vaporized by the hundreds as you fire your beams through them at your enemy on the other side. it REALLY sells the setting. It feels, moreso than basically any other space game I can think of, exactly like how it probably would be to have a space battle. Any space war game that doesn't include the possibility of a person's thrashing body slamming against the window of your command deck as you pursue your foe, startling everyone & giving them an uncomfortable reminder of how many dying souls have been ejected screaming into the void. There's an inherent dishonesty to any space war game that doesn't have that. Obviously not every game has to be that honest, it's fine for games like SS to be a little abstracted, a little scrubbed for the history books, but war is hideous. Imagine a WW2 game where shooting an enemy in the face makes them vanish. It would feel like lying.
Destroying a vessel of war necessarily involves murdering (almost) everyone inside of it. Making a game entirely about doing it for hundreds of hours means there's gonna be a huge body count. There are the bodies. When they're yours you feel bad, when they're theirs you sometimes can't resist the urge to sweep the sky with a laser beam out of spite for the ship they came out of. They thrash for a bit, and then they don't. They go splat when you hit them

15) BOARDING. Boarding. Boarding is good. This game's boarding being good demonstrates why SS shouldn't have boarding; it requires a lot of groundwork to make it the kind of game that boarding works for, and SS hasn't have that groundwork. I'm not gonna bother talking about any of it except for this; suicide cannons. Suicide cannons. You're firing escape pods equipped with magnetic clamps & a breaching charge, out of miniguns on your ship at a rate of fire that is STUPIDLY high. You're spraying escape pods at your enemy. Every one that misses winds up stranded on the battlefield, awaiting pickup, but most likely getting blasted apart by crossfire because -- again, in the middle of a battlefield. Your enemy doesn't care about your well being, and they're in between you and a ship you're trying to kill
Suicide cannons. Who comes up with that? A genius is who. suicide cannons

16) The way that missiles do bonus dmg versus unarmored hull & the smallest class of ships have no armor, juxtoposed against missile slots having the strongest hitters against large ships creates a very neat dichotomy. Micromissiles will massacre fighters, but torpedoes are incredible against capital ships. Which do you need? All of them. No weapon becomes obscolete. You upgrade your starting micromissiles into larger missiles but you still need the tiny boys bc they fire faster (& farther) ((& more manueverably)) (((& more frequently)))) and bc you can leave a ship's rear unarmored to free up weight for frontal armor having something to clear the sky of grasshoppers firing torpedoes into your capital ship's backside can be a big deal.

17) some of the ships have their missile mounts pointed backwards in angles that are useless for torpedoes & very bad for antiship missiles. It's genius how simply pointing mounts in a certain way dedicates that missile mount to micromissiles

18) the hound looks like if you split the buffalo in half & bolted its halves onto the front of an enforcer, with two oversized turrets right where the cargo runs meet the ship's hull. I love it, it looks great.

19) the raven, which looks like a space ship (IE non-aerodynamic) version of the b-2 stealth bomber, with a cloak & top of the line engines & fighters strapped to its underbelly used to stealth through a mission & strike at the heart of objectives that you can strike & retreat from, is one of my favorite things to play as in my life. Idk why but the concept of, effectively a very large kite, cloaked, fighters strapped to its belly, floating invisible through space ready to drop out of cloak & release fighters & make its kill before recalling its fighters & cloaking away, really just sparks something in my brain. Just 10/10

20) the gull looks like if you took the two wings of the falcon, removed everything else, then bolted a salvage gantry between them & used it as a mount for a tactical bomb slot. also great. this is the part of the review where I just list ships that I like.

21) the part where I just list ships I like is over. I like how the slots work in this game. You have gun slots, missile slots, utility slots and turret slots (the last one im p sure is modded in), and then a 5th kind of slotless component called boosters. Utility slots & booster components fill the role hullmods in SS do, gun & missile slots should come to you naturally, except they're all hardmounts. Turret slots in basegame im p sure are just gunslots but on a swiveling mount, but in the mod the turret itself is something you select. Baseline you can put a gun on it, which makes it drastically more useful in a dogfight but tends to be undersized. You can also unlock the ability to put a split turret on that slot, reducing the mount size but mounting two guns instead, or mounting even smaller guns but 3 or 4 of them. The ability to turn a huge turret mounting a doom cannon into the same turret with 4 machineguns on it is great, i love it -- it also feels more honest to how naval ships work bc they definitely do do that
(or at least did before dreadnought design, fun fact a dreadnought is a warship with all big guns of the same size meant to all fire at once, which gave them huge advantage in accuracy (since the ship won't be rocking from the fire of faster smaller cannons fouling your shots) & range (since there wont be spray from smaller closer-ranged guns making it harder to dial in your shots), and also they focused on putting bigger engines on them so they could kite a non-dreadnought warship forever -- which is the SS meta lol. There was a huge arms race to upgrade fleets to dreadnought design before WW1, & then they never actually saw combat until everyone abandoned warships for aircraft carriers after WW2)
you also can mount on a missile or utility turret that gives it a larger mount than it would a gun, in exchange for -- well, not being guns where there could be guns. You also get the option of, instead of placing a turret in the turret slot, build a hardmount turret slot there which gives you a larger gun but now you dont get the advantage of a turret.
I love this system. It gives so much flexibility. You can take a fighter I like (OH NO WERE BACK TO SHIPS I LIKE) that's just a tiny falcon with 2 small forward facing turrets at the back of the ship that's meant for dogfighting, put medium missiles on it instead with a cloak & huge engines and convert it into a close support gunship -- either for running torpedoes down a capital ship's backside or for nuking other fighters with micromissiles so your capital ships dont need point defenses. Theres also a fighter with 1 medium turret mount in the middle that you can install a hardmount to stick a large gun on and -- oh look its the mudskipper m2

22) boosters being mountagnostic means if a ship has mounts you don't like you can stick [hullmods] in them instead. They also allow you to hyperspecialize your ships. Have a ship that's mean to end another ship's life once its shields are broken by slamming cannons through them? Take a utility ship with lots & lots of non-weapon mounts, put cannon boosters on them, then put ur biggest cannons in its 2 gun mounts that are supposed to be an afterthought for the ship's role but are now back-breakers. Take a fighter & stick engine boosters in every slot including gun slots -- now you've got a blockade runner. Take a fighter with a decent hold & stick engine boosters in every slot including gun slots, with 1 tractor beam, and mark one of your larger ships with a decent hull as a mule & now you've got a mining drone whose only purpose is to grab stuff & throw it at your freighter so your freighter doesn't need to haul its big body over to every $1 pickup
it also allows you to balance your power supply by replacing mounts with reactor boosters until you have your ship's guns tuned the way you want

23) the ability to save up to 3 loadouts for your ship that u can hotswap in the middle of combat. 10/10

24) the fact that it takes so long & so many clicks to hotswap a loadout when it could have had hotkeys on the tactical screen. 0/10

25) I like how you buy or find blueprints to ship components, but each component has a level requirement in a certain skill to use it, AND ON TOP OF THAT each skill increases the effectiveness of all of its assiated components, so there is both a reason to hold onto skill points to use for blueprints you find, but also a reason not to horde them as having 48 skillpoints sitting around is 48 skillpoints that could be making your guns hit harder & ur ships live longer

26) the way that XP is a physical object you have to pick up in the gameworld is neat. the fact that your ships tractor them in regardless of whether they have a tractor is 10/10

27) theres 7 audio sliders, 3 of them being different sources of speech. I play the game with sound affects & music at half & speech, unit chatter & radio chatter turned all the way up. I don't want the sound of combat to get in the way of "Hostages that don't cooperate go out the airlike like the rest of the trash"

28) theres a "vent ship" button that kills all your crew & it is important

29) theres a button that makes your fleet fire escape pods at your ship until they're back to the # of crew you told them to spawn with

30) u can jettison armor. its finite & it weighs your ship down so theres no combat reason to keep it on, but it costs money to replace. so u have to weigh economic concerns against combat concerns, even in the middle of combat

31) theres a self destruct button, AND IT IS IMPORTANT

32) the game spoils for you which system has which blueprints, but the systems also have levels so you are being encouraged to try your hand at a system twice what you should reasonably be trying in exchange for getting that nuke blueprint early

im running out of Impressions so Im gonna go trim my cat's nails

Discussions / Re: Highfleet... ugh
« on: August 16, 2021, 03:56:23 AM »

i always get the sense that you barely play any vibdeogames bc ur always working on SS lol its a bit like watching an Amish guy build a fabulous car; you try to talk to hm about how it's similar or different to other great cars & he just looks at you blanky & shrugs bc he doesn't drive lmfao

my signature quote is from something i said on a different forum. is there a way to have my name on the quote link to a different site? I tried putting link= and then the post's url but it didn't work. is it just a thing that's not allowed? I'd understand why it wouldnt be, but just checking if theres a method im missing

General Discussion / Re: Jump in now or wait for skill changes?
« on: August 14, 2021, 02:06:05 PM »

Suggestions / NPC influence
« on: August 14, 2021, 02:01:39 PM »
Every randomized NPC in a faction gets added up & divided by 51 to determine their influence (non-procgen NPCs, like Daud, have a preset amount). Every NPC that you get on good terms with in that faction gives you a permanent bonus equaling their influence to your relations with that faction, as long as your relations with that NPC stay good. If you get on the good side of every random NPC in a faction then that faction will literally become incapable of being hostile to you (assuming you don't attack that NPC enough to put you out of that NPC's good graces), with it being much easier if you get on the good side of non-random NPCs who have much higher influence in their factions, with how much influence faction leaders have correlating roughly to how centralized their faction is -- befriending the diktat of Sindria probably would singlehandedly make that faction almost not willing to go hostile with you, whereas the leaders of the Persean League give far less each

General Discussion / Re: How many units of heavy machinery do you carry?
« on: August 10, 2021, 10:49:10 PM »
i shoot for a nice, healthy 0. when i dock i ctrl-click those stacks of commodities & i dont look back

Modding / consider; entropy mod
« on: August 10, 2021, 04:09:48 PM »

every _ cycles your fleet gains some d-mods.

Option A) it happens every _ cycles (default), or every time it happens it throws a dart between 0 and _ and that's how long until the next time it happens.
Option B) it affects 10% (adjustable variable) of your fleet rounded up, so 1 in the early game, 2 after you get more than 9 ships or 3 once you've maxed out fleet size (bonus: this would naturally work with the mod that makes the fleet cap a soft cap, so if u have 100 frigates it's 10 ships at a time) (default), or it only affects 1 (or whatever int you replace that 1 with), or HELLMODE it gives 1 for every viable ship in the fleet.
Option C) it spreads the hullmods across multiple ships (default) IE each ship can only get 1 at a time, or AGONYMODE it doesn't cap it & there's always a chance the same ship will roll for new d-mods multiple times in the same cycle.
Option C) it doesn't target ships with s-mods (default), or anything is a target (agnostic mode).
Option Q) it has a 45% chance of being your ship with the most d-mods, 45% chance your ship with the least d-mods, & 10% chance for a wildcard, so it targets the best and the worst of your fleet & largely leaves the middle of your pack alone. This, instead of giving you a random range of fleet dysfunction that you can't predict/play around, would sandwich in the quality of your fleet and then slowly lower it over time once your fleet has been flattened out while still ruining some of your ships outright (default). Or it's purely random, or it only affects your ships with the most d-mods (suffering mode), or the least (cruelty mode).

Now, I want you to imagine a campaign where you're playing on hell/agony/agnostic/suffering mode. You're flying a maxed out end-game fleet, and every _ cycles it adds 30 d-mods to your fleet, starting with your best ship until it's maxed out its possible d-mods then working its way down until the quota has been reached. You're flying around, and then right before a big battle you go to start your triple s-modded hyperflagship and it just

Suggestions / Re: add blacklist option for stuff on doctrine&blueprints
« on: August 10, 2021, 02:39:59 PM »
Honestly it would be better to just allow the player to customize fleet doctrine at their will. It just need consequences. Like having supply hungry ships without freighters in your patrol will affect patrol effectiveness or would force them to wander closer to their base for more frequent resupplies. While having more freighters and tankers would allow them to wander further from colony to patrol around fringe jump points or in hyperspace around their system.

but would that be fun?

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