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Topics - AxleMC131

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The Silent Armada (DISCONTINUED)
              Demo version 0.14 - For Starsector 0.8.1a              






IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ!
I really don't need to be saying this, but I should do this properly to make sure we don't have any confusion in future (and I'll replicate this in the OP shortly).

The Silent Armada is officially discontinued.

Sorry to those who were quietly awaiting a 0.9 update or patch. TSA was my first public attempt at a real mod, and while it was extremely useful in teaching me the basics of modding Starsector, it won't end up being a proper faction mod or anything like that, for several reasons:
   - The mod kicker was poorly thought out and would require a complete backstory and concept overhaul
   - The ship sprites are of low quality and were made with bad techniques
   - A number of fundamental concepts of the mod, such as the Phoenix Hull Composition and Flux Sink ship systems, were completely overambitious, overengineered, and I now see as a balancing nightmare that I really don't want to have to deal with.

So, apologies for leaving it hanging for so long - unless you've been on the Discord and you've caught my periodic mentions of TSA being discontinued - and I guess this is farewell to The Silent Armada.

BUT

That doesn't mean to say I don't intend to one day take inspiration from this mod in creating something new and original from scratch. It's definitely on my bucket list, and I've had a lot of time to think about it and play with new ideas. It won't be "The Silent Armada 2.0", but it would be a spiritual successor - and if you still have a liking for WWII naval ships, I'll be doing my best to imply that design; just a little more sensibly in a sci-fi setting.

And if you doubt my conviction, well...

Spoiler

... less fun for you I guess.  8)


[close]

For that reason, I will not accept any requests from people to update TSA to 0.9 on my behalf; use TSA sprites or scripts in other mods, or otherwise attempt to bring the mod or its content into the current Starsector modiverse. When/If I eventually have no need for my latent, original TSA content, I'll be sure to let people know. Until then, please be courteous and give me time to create something profoundly better from what was (in my opinion) a strong, if poorly thought-out, start into Starsector modding.

With that, until further notice, this is The Silent Armada checking out.



If you have a question related to compatibility or plans for the mod, please check the FAQ at the bottom of this page before you make a comment.


Download here:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/5o119rc0i1escc2/TheSilentArmada_Demo_v0.14.zip



"Arrival"
(Backstory)

Spoiler

Three cycles ago, they arrived. A Hegemony outer system patrol was the first to pick them up on long-range scanners. A silent armada of unknown, unregistered spacecraft pushing their way through Hyperspace. The numbers where vast, the sensor signatures otherworldly, the power readings never before seen... Yet not a single vessel showed any lifesigns. As a single autonomous unit, they ponderously edged their way into Sector space, making no moves to attack. Scouts were sent to investigate, and confirmed previous suspicions – the vessels were uncrewed, running on the barest of autopilot essentials, and possibly had been for dozens of cycles. Maybe hundreds.

But the strangest bit? The ships carried no data. Other than the most basic of computer programs, not a single ship had any form of flight data stored on their drives, leaving the sector dumbfounded as to their purpose and origin. While clearly intended for human use, these ships were built from technology either far in advance of our own, or ancient to the point of being forgotten to the grips of time. They were built for war, that was certain. But a war against who? Or what? The sector couldn't know.

 Where had they come from? Were they sent many cycles ago by the old Domain, to travel through hyperspace until they reached the sector? If so, why would they carry no recordings or information? Perhaps they were merely leftover war vessels dismissed as junk, or the remnants of an ancient civilization making a desperate attempt to help their technology survive. Maybe the sector was not their final destination, but a waypoint in their endless, autonomous travels across the infinite star-speckled blackness of the universe.

Either way, the Hegemony has easily gained control of the plethora of warships. They have been relinquished of their autopilots and moved to Hegemony space where they may be examined by the best scientists, engineers and archaeologists the sector has. If they are lucky, some facts may be revealed, but for now, these weapons of war are an asset that cannot be wasted. So, they are being put to good use in the best way possible: Active military service.

[close]



"The Armada"
(Ships)

"The ships recovered from this Silent Armada, while in fairly good condition, do not appear to carry any forms of registration or classification. They appear to meet with Domain-standard conventions for tonnage, so the Hegemony has decided to classify many of these mysterious yet familiar vessels to help keep them organized. We have also noted that the flux-handling cores on each of these ships are uniquely configured to maximize ballistic firepower and resilience, at the expense of out-of-combat additional drive thrust. Now, I should like to introduce you to some of the craft we have so far examined and how we believe they would have performed in a military situation. Can I have the next holo-slide please?"
- A Hegemony military representative explaining the logistics of "adopting" ships from the Silent Armada.

Spoiler

Buckler Interceptor Drone Wing



Pew pew pew!


Leadspitter Heavy Fighter Wing (UPDATED!)

   

Does exactly what it says on the tin.


Encounter Torpedo Bomber Wing

 

Great balls of fire!


Sidewinder Rocket Skiff Wing

   

I hope your point defence is up to the task...


Gatekeeper Heavy Fighter

 

Here to ruin your day.


Strider-class Corvette



Catch me if you can!


Reliant-class Gunboat



Out-think, out-gun, out-last.


Challenger-class Battleline Frigate



Everyone's favourite kiter.


Rambler-class Missile Boat



Nothing special, but it won't let you down.


Explorer-class Transport Scow

   
 

Everyday military support ship. Features a dedicated Buckler escort.


Gambit-class Tug



Someone call for a tow?


Voyager-class Combat Carrier



Get into the thick of the battle.


Vengeance-class Battleline Destroyer



Beware its deadly gun-play when its flux is high!


Triumph-class Hunter Destroyer (UPDATED)



Find, chase, kill.


Thunderbolt-class EW Artillery Destroyer



Do you like massive lasers? Of course you do.


Haven-class Recovery Barge



The Silent Armada's answer to the Salvage Rig.


Matchmaker-class Battleline Cruiser



The epitome of sub-capital broadside combat. FIRE ALL THE GUNS!


Stronghold-class Hauler Cruiser



The combat freighter to end all combat freighters...

[close]



"The Arsenal"
(Weapons)

"... Not only did the Hegemony recover these ships from hyperspace, they found their cargo holds to be littered with blueprints and disassembled parts for a full military arsenal of mothballed weaponry. Missiles, cannons, you name it and these ships were carrying it. We have offered the Hegemony some of our best engineers, weapon technicians and archaeologists to assist with their investigation of the hardware, and in return they have granted us some 'prototype' assembled versions of these weapons for live field testing against our common Pirate enemy. The weapons that will soon be made publicly available to all Independent sub-nations are as follows..."
- A public service announcement by the Independents.

Spoiler

KIRB Launcher
 
Low cost, EMP damage, maximum levels of chaos.


Fireball-class Torpedo Rack
 
Can you say "starburst"?
(Also available as a single-shot rack)


Goshawk ASM Launcher and Goshawk ASM Dual Launcher
   
Give it time, then watch it fly!
(Also available as a single-shot rack)


Ares-class Torpedo and Ares Torpedo Launcher
   
Armoured warhead, nuclear payload. Named after the Greek god of war for a reason...


Micro Repeater (NEW!)

An ultralight PD gun for hard times.


Light Flak Gun

Also known as the 'Anti-Missile Pop Gun'.


Woodpecker HMG

Dak-dak-dak...


Eris-class Salvo Cannon

Charon's baby brother


Hades Gun

A sniper's best friend.


Dual Hades Guns

When you want more bang for your buck.


Cascade Autocannon

Riddle them with holes!


Hellhound Scattergun

A PD shotgun with a bite as bad as its bark...


Electra Phase Howitzer

Strike from afar.


Charon-class Salvo Cannon

I don't know what "composite lattice" shells are, but they pack a punch against shields!


Hellhound Battery

Let nothing stand in your way.


Styx Phase Howitzer

The ultimate mortar weapon...


'Odin' Siege Laser

Split the battlefield in twain.
(Permanently fixed to the Thunderbolt-class destroyer)

[close]



"Combat Methods"
(Tips for piloting added ships in combat)
NOTE: The Silent Armada ships are highly unique and require a certain playstyle to use properly. While it is not vital to follow this guide, and you may choose to ignore it in order to maintain the sense of mystery the mod's backstory offers, it is recommended that confused or curious players take note.

Spoiler

General Spacecraft Traits
You will quickly find ships from this mod tend to have...
- Poor agility and low speed
- Decent armour and high hull integrity
- Broadside-focused weaponry usually using slightly larger-than-stock mount sizes for their class
- Almost exclusively ballistic weaponry, with the occasional missile mount thrown in and extremely rare energy mounts
- Low flux dissipation but high flux capacity

Further balancing is still to be done for campaign gameplay, with further traits (relative to stock vessels and within lore and reason) possibly including:
- High maintenance costs
- High minimum crew requirement
- Inefficient engines (high fuel usage per light year of travel)
- Weak stellar drives (low burn speed)

Combat Specialization
The Silent Armada vessels are mostly designed as highly standoffish, frontline, broadside combat vessels, able to damage-tank a fair amount and gradually push their way forward against an enemy force. This is portrayed in two key ways, using custom systems that are unique to TSA ships:

"Phoenix Hull Composition" is a shield alternative used by TSA ships as their primary defensive tool. It can be toggled like other types of shield with the right mouse button (or whatever your "toggle shield" keybind is) to engage a Damper Field-like ability. While active, the Phoenix Hull will greatly reduce damage taken by the ship, and actually repair damaged hull at a slow rate, while at the same time preventing passive flux dissipation, slowing turret turn rate, and generating hard flux at a fairly high rate.

"Flux Sink" ship systems come in several forms, on most TSA frontline combat ships (less common among support vessels). Their purpose is to generate a buff to an area of the ships' stats that scales with their current flux level, while also bleeding off a large quantity of flux in a short time. For example, the Vengeance's "Autoloader Flux Sink" increases ballistic rate-of-fire relative to the ship's flux level, dynamically changing as its flux goes up and down, as well as dissipating flux at a high rate. At 0% percent flux capacity, the buff is only minor, but at 100% capacity ballistic RoF is increased by up to 300% of its normal rate!

Spoiler
[close]

The two above systems are designed to function in tandem. Though mutually exclusive in operation (Flux Sink systems disable the Phoenix Hull if it is active), they work together to produce exceptionally tough and powerful vessels provided their captain knows what they're doing. It may take some practice to fully get to grips with the TSA playstyle, but this is the basic checklist:
- Take pot shots at an enemy from range and a side-on position;
- Strafe closer when comfortable, enabling the Phoenix Hull to tank damage and build flux while keeping your guns on target;
- When you think you have enough flux stored up, activate your ship's Flux Sink system to unload fire/accelerate away/do something else with maximum effect;
- Through whatever means, deal a bunch of damage to the target and back off;
- Repeat.

Spoiler
[close]

The systems are also designed to be extremely versatile. The Phoenix Hull's ability to reduce damage means it can be used at a moment's notice to block heavy or even lethal damage to your ship - say, from torpedoes or a missile barrage. The Flux Sink systems, with their massive increase to flux dissipation, can be used as an alternative to active flux venting, which TSA ships are decidedly poor at doing, allowing much more control in combat when you need it most.

It should also be noted that TSA ships, with the radical uniqueness of their combat systems, do not benefit from the classic zero-flux engine boost sported by most ships in the sector. This makes them deceivingly slow off the mark, but once in a brawl you might not even notice.

TSA ships function best in a traditional battleline. In all circumstances, they will perform at their maximum capacity when adequately supported by a capable frontline of combat vessels - stock or not - allowing them time to fall back and repair hull when necessary. Without that it can prove a challenge to maintain an upper hand. When surrounded, cut off from support or under constant pressure, TSA ships will quickly falter, due to the cooldown of the Flux Sink systems and the constant flux generated by the Phoenix Hull - note that the Phoenix Hull, if left running until the ship reaches 100% flux, will cause the ship to overload just like a Phase Cloak, leaving the ship vulnerable. The Phoenix Hull also has lowered damage absorption against EMP damage, so TSA ships are often extremely vulnerable to ionizing weapons, having no reliable way to defend against them. You should also remember that while Flux Sink systems are active, the Phoenix Hull is disabled and so situational timing is vital to ensure you don't leave yourself defenseless.

To summarize: TSA ships focus on tanking damage, broadside gunplay, and abilities that scale with their flux level to create powerful ship-of-the-line vessels that trade mobility for firepower, resilience and extreme grace under pressure. Flux is no longer an overheat meter, but a power meter, and TSA ships can maintain combat potential even - and especially - at high flux levels, without needing to actively vent. The best combat performance will always be experienced with a capable supporting fleet, and a well-commanded TSA frontline can be used to deadly effect. You would do well to use them as such.

[close]



"New Discoveries"
(Changelog)

Version D 0.14 (Demo quickfix #6)

- Added weapon "Micro Repeater":
   - A cheaper, simpler, less mean alternative to the Vulcan Cannon

- Altered characteristics of hullmod High-Power Rangefinder:
   - Changed name to "Rangefinder Add-on"
   - No longer increases sensor strength
   - Now increases autofiring weapon accuracy
   - Cannot be installed on cruisers or capital ships

- Altered characteristics of Triumph Hunter Destroyer:
   - Changed medium turret types from COMPOSITE to MISSILE
   - Changed side small turret types from MISSILE to COMPOSITE

- Altered characteristics of Leadspitter Heavy Fighter:
   - Changed role to "Heavy Interceptor"
   - Replaced stock Light Machine Gun with Woodpecker HMG
   - Replaced stock Vulcan Cannons with new Micro Repeaters

- Added "Testbed" variants (armed with TSA weapons) for the following stock ships:
   - Lasher
   - Enforcer
   - Drover
   - Dominator
   - Onslaught
   NOTE: These variants will spawn in Hegemony fleets, and as a result of which Hegemony markets will usually stock more plentiful
   Silent Armada weaponry than other bases.

- Standardized engagement range of all fighters (except Buckler drone) to 4,000 to match stock baseline
- Flux Submunition on-hit EMP arcs now have a chance to pierce shields
- Added a slight detonation-at-range variation to Light Flak Gun projectiles
- Lowered range of fighter-specific Woodpecker HMG from 450 to 350 units
- Lowered projectile lifetime of Chaff Packets from 6 to 3 seconds

- Reconfigured several ship variant presets


Older changelogs:

Spoiler

Version D 0.13 (Demo content expansion #5)

- Added ship "Gambit-class Combat Tug":
   - A tugboat with more capable defences than its vanilla rival
- Added ship "Stronghold-class Hauler Cruiser":
   - A cruiser-sized combat freighter with an impressive defensive arsenal
- Added ship "Haven-class Recovery Barge":
   - The TSA answer to the stock Salvage Rig
- Added weapon "Hellhound Battery":
   - A triple-barreled large mount of the Hellhound Scattergun
- Added weapon "Styx Phase Howitzer":
   - A large rotary mount of the Electra Phase Howitzer
- Added weapon "Fireball-class Torpedo Rack" (and single-shot variant):
   - An atypical strike weapon that fires 'starburst' torpedoes
- Added hullmod "High-Power Rangefinder":
   - Slightly increases weapon range and sensor strength
- Added ship system "Chaff Packets":
   - An rapid-fire alternative to the stock Flare Launcher
- Added mission "04 - Brute Force"

- Altered characteristics of Thunderbolt EW Artillery Destroyer:
   - Changed role to "EW Destroyer"
   - Altered sprite (stole midsection from Triumph)
   - Removed two of the amidships turrets
   - Adjusted positions of other two
   - Raised flux dissipation from 250 to 300
   - Raised flux capacity from 5,200 to 5,500

- Changed Explorer ship system from stock "Flare Launcher" to new "Chaff Packets":

- Altered characteristics of Buckler Interceptor Drone:
   - Lowered hull integrity from 200 to 100
   - Lowered LPC fitting cost from 3 to 0 OP
   - Raised wing size from 3 to 4

- Altered characteristics of Encounter Torpedo Bomber:
   - Removed Hammer-class Torpedo Rack
   - Added Fireball-class Torpedo Rack

- Altered characteristics of Odin Siege Laser:
   - Raised turn rate from 2 to 5
   - Raised damage per second from 800 to 1,000
   - Lowered flux per second from 1,000 to 800

- Altered characteristics of Hellhound Carronade:
   - Changed role to "Area Denial"
   - Added tag "PD_ALSO" (Weapon will still target missiles, but will prioritize fighters and ships if in range)
   - Changed firing sound (now uses stock Devastator sound file)

- Slightly modified tags and hints for Goshawk missile variants
- Added new custom texture for single-shot missiles (used by Goshawk ASM (single) and Ares-class Torpedo)

- A selection of TSA ships can now be spawned as Simulator Opponents
- Previously missing ships now appear on the title screen
- Reconfigured several ship variant presets


Version D 0.12 (Demo quickfix #5)

- Added fighter "Buckler Interceptor Drone":
   - A cheap wing of agile, short-range drones each armed with a single machine gun.

- Altered characteristics of Gatekeeper Recon Fighter:
   - Changed variant name from "Recon" to "Heavy"
   - Changed wing name from "Recon Fighter" to "Heavy Fighter"
   - Enabled market spawning and dropping as loot (ie. removed tags "no_sell" and "no_drop")
   - Increased firing arc of rear turret from 270 to 360 degrees
   - Replaced wing-mounted Woodpecker HMGs with Hellhound Scatterguns
   - Lowered top speed from 200 to 150
   - Raised OP cost from 0 to 18
   - Lowered engagement range from 10,000 to 5,000 units
   - Increased wing size from 1 to 2
   - Raised rebuild time from 10 to 18 seconds
   - Raised base purchase cost from 4000 to 10,000
   - Raised rarity from 0 to 0.2

- Reconfigured fighter handling for Triumph Hunter Destroyer:
   - Removed fighter bay
   - Removed built-in Gatekeeper wing
   - Added stock hullmod "Converted Hangar" as built-in
- Reconfigured fighter handling for Explorer Transport Scow:
   - Removed built-in Gatekeeper wing
   - Added built-in Buckler wing

- Updated the mod-pointer line in each ship/weapon codex description to be less immersion-breaking.
- Updated several codex descriptions


Version D 0.11 (Demo quickfix #4)

- Added weapon "Hellhound Scattergun":
   - A shotgun-type weapon intended for point defence or short-range area denial

- Altered characteristics of Electra EM Mortar:
   - Changed name to "Electra Phase Howitzer"
   - Changed sprite
   - Changed projectile appearance
   - Changed collision type (no longer counts for friendly fire and can pass through objects)
   - Raised proximity trigger range from 60 to 100 units
   - Raised chargeup time from 0 to 1 second
   - Lowered chargedown time from 4 to 3 seconds
   - Added charge sound (stock "phase collision" sound effect)
   - Updated codex description
- Altered characteristics of KIRB Launcher (fighter-specific version):
   - Raised burst size from 2 to 4
   - Changed firing method from LINKED to ALTERNATING

- Reconfigured several ship variant presets


Version D 0.10 (Demo content expansion #4)

- Added ship "Triumph-class Hunter Destroyer":
   - A relatively quick destroyer with a powerful missile payload and a dedicated Gatekeeper fighter for escort

- Added ship system "Flux Submunitions"
   - Deploys swarms of guided submunitions that deal energy and EMP damage to ships
   - Drops the ship's hard flux level by 20% of its base flux capacity when used
   - Can be used up to three times in quick succession

- Thunderbolt EW Destroyer now uses system Flux Submunitions
- Gatekeeper Recon Fighter now uses system Flux Submunitions
- Reliant Gunboat now uses system Flux Submunitions
- Challenger Battleline Frigate now uses system Autoloader Flux Sink
- Altered various stats for Leadspitter Heavy Fighter:
   - Raised hull integrity from 300 to 500
   - Lowered armour rating from 75 to 30
   - Raised flux dissipation from 50 to 80
- Altered various stats for Gatekeeper Recon Fighter:
   - Raised hull integrity from 750 to 1000
   - Lowered armour rating from 100 to 75
   - Removed flare launcher
   - Now uses system Flux Submunitions

- Altered characteristics of 'Odin' Seige Laser:
   - Lowered damage-per-second from 1000 to 800
   - Lowered range from 1800 to 1500
   - Lowered turn rate from 5 to 2

- Altered characteristics of ship system "Supercharger Flux Sink" (now unused, may end up being removed):
   - Removed "jitter" effect on ship sprite
   - Changed weapon glow colour
   - Lowered chargeup/down times from 1 to 0.5 seconds
   - Raised cooldown from 10 to 15 seconds
   - Now uses stock "High Energy Focus" icon in status bar
   - Now disables shields while active
   - Energy weapons now generate 0% flux while active
   - Raised baseline buff to energy damage from +0% to +50% (still caps at +200%)

- Altered characteristics of ship system "Injector Flux Sink":
   - Now increases top speed by a flat value rather than a percentage modifier
   - Raised flux dissipation bonus from +50% to +100%
   - Raised maximum boost from 100 to 150
   - Raised base boost from 20 to 30

- Updated several codex descriptions


Version D 0.9 (Demo quickfix #3)

- Reconfigured weapons loadout for Gatekeeper Recon Fighter:
   - Replaced forward cannon with a Swarmer SRM Launcher
   - Replaced wing-mounted missile launchers with Woodpecker HMGs
   - Slightly altered weapon positions
- Reconfigured weapons loadout for Leadspitter Heavy Fighter:
   - Removed flare launcher
   - Replaced forward dual machine gun with a single machine gun
- Reconfigured weapons loadout for Sidewinder Rocket Skiff:
   - Added flare launcher

- Altered characteristics of Goshawk ASM Launcher:
   - Now has a ready-rack autoloader (similar to stock Pilum LRM Launcher)
   - Base 3 ammunition
   - Regenerates 1 ammunition every 20 seconds
   - Lowered cooldown from 30 to 10 seconds
   - Lowered ordnance cost from 6 to 5 ordnance points
- Altered characteristics of Goshawk ASM Dual Launcher:
   - Now has a ready-rack autoloader (similar to stock Pilum LRM Launcher)
   - Base 12 ammunition
   - Regenerates 2 ammunition every 20 seconds
   - Lowered cooldown from 30 to 10 seconds
   - Lowered ordnance cost from 12 to 10 ordnance points
   - Raised purchase base cost from 1600 to 1800 credits
- Raised the ordnance point cost of several weapons:
   - Cascade Autocannon:      10 to 11
   - Charon-class Salvo Cannon:   20 to 24
   - Eris-class Salvo Cannon:   5 to 7
- Electra EM Mortar now also deals 250 EMP damage per shot

- Lowered base ordnance point count of several ships:
   - Matchmaker:   180 to 170
   - Voyager:   75 to 70
   - Thunderbolt:   60 to 50
   - Challenger:   45 to 42

- Slightly altered all fighter sprites
- Reconfigured several ship variant presets


Version D 0.8 (Demo 0.8 compatability update - It's a coincidence I tell you!)

- NOW COMPATIBLE WITH STARSECTOR 0.8!
   - Ship, fighter wing, weapon and hullmod files all updated to match the new system
   - Reconfigured ships with flight decks/drone bays:
      - Voyager features 2 flight decks and stock "Reserve Deployment" system
      - Explorer features 1 built-in flight deck and stock "Flare Launcher" system
   - Reconfigured several ship variant presets
   - Reconfigured missions to match new carrier/fighter mechanics

- Added fighter "Gatekeeper Recon Fighter" (single-unit wing, built-in only)

- Changed Leadspitter primary weapon from Light Autocannon to Light Dual Machine Gun
- Lowered all fighter armour/hull values
- Raised all fighter speed/acceleration/turn rate etc. values
- Lowered all ship fuel capacities
- Balanced Ordnance Points for Thunderbolt and Voyager to match hullmod and carrier changes, respectively
- Updated several codex descriptions


Version D 0.7 (Demo combat overhaul #1)

- Introduced a new custom shield alternative for all TSA ships, "'Phoenix' Composite Hull":
   - Described in an inert built-in hullmod on all TSA ships (alternative description in the codex under "Ship Systems")
   - Can be toggled like a normal shield with your normal "activate shield" keybind
   - While active:
      - Reduces incoming damage to armour and hull by 90% (some discrepancy - EMP damage is only reduced by 45%)
      - Slowly repairs hull integrity
      - Doubles weapon and engine repair rate (not noted in description)
      - Reduces turret rotation speed by 75%
      - Prevents passive dissipation
      - Generates hard flux at a constant rate
   - Has adopted the additional static bonuses of the "Exotic Flux Core" hullmod (and replaced the latter):
      - Ballistic weapons generate 25% less flux in combat
      - Weapon mounts have 50% increased health
      - Ships do not benefit from zero-flux engine boost

- Altered characteristics of ship system "Autoloader Flux Sink":
   - No longer reduces weapon turn rate while active
   - Removed "jitter" effect on ship sprite
   - Changed weapon glow colour
   - Added 0.5 second cooldown time (for visual purposes)
   - Now uses stock "Accelerated Ammo Feeder" icon in status bar
   - Raised baseline buff to ballistic rate of fire from +0% to +50% (still caps at +200%)

- Altered characteristics of ship system "Injector Flux Sink":
   - Increased acceleration bonus to double that of the speed bonus
   - Changed visual effect to engine contrails
   - Now disables shields while active
   - Now lowers turn rate while active
   - Now uses stock "Burn Drive" icon in status bar
   - Raised baseline buff to top speed etc. from +0% to +20% (still caps at +100%)

- Lowered armour ratings of many TSA ships:
   - Reliant: 450 to 300
   - Challenger: 400 to 250
   - Explorer: 400 to 200
   - Rambler: 400 to 200
   - Strider: 180 (No change)
   - Vengeance: 750 to 500
   - Voyager: 600 to 500
   - Thunderbolt: 600 to 450
   - Matchmaker: 1300 to 1000

- TSA ships now carry the built-in hullmod "'Phoenix' Composite Hull"
- TSA ships no longer carry the built-in hullmod "Exotic Flux Core"

- Lowered Hades Gun turn rate from 50 to 35
- Lowered Dual Hades Guns turn rate from 30 to 25
- Removed clip-loading ammo system for Light Flak Gun (now fires same as prior to vD 0.5)

- Added a custom hull style for all TSA ships
- Fixed description not showing for ship system "Dedicated Fighter Escort" (x3, as on Voyager)
- Slightly extended KIRB Launcher rocket flight duration after flameout
- Updated mission tactical briefings with more up-to-date tips, as per above combat system changes


Version D 0.6 (Demo content expansion #4)

- Added ship "Strider-class Corvette" with:
   - New ship system "Injector Flux Sink"
- Added weapon "Ares Torpedo Launcher"
- Added weapon "Eris-class Salvo Cannon"

- Lowered purchase base price of Explorer-class Transport Scow from 9000 to 6000 credits

- Raised tech-level of Charon-class Salvo Cannon from 1 to 3 (hidden stat, affects the spawning of weapons in campaign markets)
- Altered several stats for ship system "Autoloader Flux Sink" (balancing attempts):
   - Now disables shields when activated
   - Now reduces weapon turn rate by 90% when activated
   - Venting rate is now a constant +50% (previously changed with flux level)
   - Raised maximum buff to ballistic rate of fire from +150% to +200% (at max flux level)
   - Removed charge up and down times (were 1 second each)

- Reconfigured several ship variant presets


Version D 0.5 (Demo content expansion #3)

- Added story-based mission "01 - Learning On The Job"
- Added story-based mission "02 - House Party"
- Added story-based mission "03 - Wild Goose Chase"
- Added a generic icon for TSA missions (placeholder, subject to change)
- Added fighter "Sidewinder Rocket Skiff" with:
   - KIRB Launcher (fighter-only variant with altered characteristics)
   - Woodpecker HMG (fighter-only variant with alternative smaller sprite)

- Raised KIRB Launcher emp damage from 150 back to 200
- Light Flak Gun now reloads on a 5-round clip
- Lowered Hades Gun and Dual Hades Guns range from 750 to 700 units
- Altered characteristics of Cascade Autocannon:
   - Removed ammo limit (was 12)
   - Removed ammo reload
   - Removed burst delay
   - Raised chargedown time from 0.1 to 0.3333 seconds
   - Raised damage from 60 to 75
   - Raised flux per shot from 75 to 90
   - Raised range from 700 to 800
- Altered characteristics of Electra EM Mortar:
   - Lowered proximity range from 100 to 60
   - Lowered inner damage range from 100 to 75
   - Lowered outer damage range from 250 to 180

- Altered various stats for Vengeance-class Battline Destroyer:
   - Changed front small missile turret arcs from 225 to 270 degrees
   - Changed amidships small ballistic turret arc from 210 to 360 degrees

- Changed name of hullmod "Rewired Flux Dispersal" to "Exotic Flux Core"
- Ship system "Autoloader Flux Sink" now allows ballistic weapons to fire at 0 flux cost while active (experimental, subject to change)
- Reconfigured several ship variant presets


Version D 0.4 (Demo content expansion #2)

- Added weapon "Ares-class Torpedo"
- Added weapon "Woodpecker HMG"
- Added weapon "Charon-class Salvo Cannon"
- Added weapon "Goshawk ASM Dual Launcher"
- Added ship "Matchmaker-class Battleline Cruiser"
- Added hullmod "Grounded Hull" (for 4/8/12/22 OP):
   -  -50% EMP damage taken
   -  -25% sensor profile

- Altered characteristics of KIRB Launcher:
   - Altered sprite
   - Lowered base ammo capacity from 24 to 20
   - Raised burst size from 3 to 4
   - Lowered damage from 150 to 120
   - Lowered EMP damage from 200 to 150
- Altered characteristics of Goshawk ASM Launcher:
   - Introduced a new launcher sprite
   - Loaded missiles are now rendered
   - Removed ammo limit (was 5)
   - Raised reload time from 3 to 30 seconds
   - Lowered damage from 1000 to 800
   - Lowered purchase base cost from 1100 to 800 credits

- Altered various stats for Challenger-class Battleline Frigate:
   - Altered sprite
   - Removed front hidden missiles mounts
   - Changed front-most turret from BALLISTIC to COMPOSITE
   - Lowered base ordnance points from 55 to 45
   - Changed shield type from FRONT to OMNI
   - Lowered shield arc from 105 to 90 degrees
   - Lowered deployment/repair/maintenance costs from 6 to 5
   - Lowered purchase base cost from 12,000 to 11,000 credits
- Altered various stats for Voyager-class Combat Carrier:
   - Changed shield type from OMNI to FRONT
   - Raised shield arc from 150 to 180
   - Altered stats of ship system:
      - Added new form of "Dedicated Fighter Escort" system (independent to that used by the Explorer)
      - Raised maximum drones deployed from 1 to 3
      - Raised number of uses from 3 to 6

- Reconfigured several ship variant presets to use more modded weapons
- Renamed "Wanderer" to "Rambler" and class from "Missile Frigate" to "Missile Boat"
- Slightly altered Cascade Autocannon hardpoint texture
- Fixed incorrect collision class for Goshawk missile (no longer counts for friendly fire)
- Previously missing ships now appear on the title screen


Version D 0.3 (Demo quickfix #2)

- Added codex descriptions for Explorer and Voyager
- Added new hullmod "Compact Warheads" (for 10/20/30/50 OP):
   -  +25% missile damage
   -  -10% missile speed and turn rate

- Lowered Reliant deployment/repair/maintenance costs from 5 to 4
- Raised Vengeance purchase base cost from 20,000 to 22,000 credits
- Raised Thunderbolt purchase base cost from 28,000 to 32,000 credits
- Altered various stats for Leadspitter Heavy Fighter:
   - Raised max speed from 130 to 140
   - Lowered armour rating from 125 to 100
- Altered various stats for Encounter Torpedo Bomber:
   - Raised armour rating from 100 to 150
   - Lowered hull integrity from 750 to 700
   - Raised shield arc from 105 to 120 degrees
   - Raised purchase base price from 12,000 to 12,500 credits


Version D 0.2 (Demo content expansion #1)

- Added ship "Thunderbolt-class EW Artillery Destroyer" with:
   - New ship system "Supercharger Flux Sink"
   - New built-in weapon "Odin Siege Laser"
- Added ship "Wanderer-class Missile Frigate"
- Added weapon "KIRB Launcher"


Version D 0.1 (Demo quickfix #1)

- Added a custom icon for the "Rewired Flux Dispersal" hullmod
- Changed Reliant ship system to Autoloader Flux Sink (same as Vengeance)
- Lowered Explorer deployment cost from 4 to 3


Version D 0.0 (Demo release)

Additions:
- Reliant-class Gunboat
- Challenger-class Battleline Frigate
- Vengeance-class Battleline Destroyer
- Leadspitter Heavy Fighter
- Voyager-class Carrier
- Encounter Torpedo Bomber
- Explorer-class Transport Scow
- Hades Gun
- Dual Hades Guns
- Electra EM Mortar
- Light Flak Gun
- Goshawk ASM Launcher (+ single mount)
- Cascade Autocannon
- Built-in hullmod "Rewired Flux Dispersal" to specialize modded ships
- Mission "TSA TESTING" for testing and balancing of the above added ships

[close]



"Public Relations"
(FAQ)

Spoiler

Where do I find the ships in the campaign?
At present you can't - ships are only implemented in the included missions. It is planned to introduce them into the campaign at a later date through existing (stock) factions.

Where do I find the weapons in the campaign?
Added weapons will spawn randomly in markets on planets and stations, along with fighter LPCs. (Hegemony markets ought to stock relatively more weapons.) Hullmods are available to the player from the start.

Is 'The Silent Armada' compatible with Nexerelin? Dynasector? Starsector Plus?
It should be, since it doesn't add anything to the campaign except the chance for weapons and fighter LPCs to spawn in markets. If you try TSA along with any of above mods however you're out of my league of technical support, so I can't help you if it doesn't work.

Will there be more/bigger ships in future?
You bet! I'm satisfied with logistics ships for now, but I have plans for at least two capital combat ships. Spriting is harder to do for bigger ships of course, and I'm a little out of practice, so you won't see those for some time.

I can't fly the ships in combat!
Having difficulty understanding their purpose? Check the "Combat Methods" tab on this page for a detailed guide to Silent Armada spacecraft in combat.

When will this mod be released (no longer a "Demo")?
The Silent Armada will lose its Demo status once I implement the ships into the campaign. I'd rather have more content first however, so that may not be for a while.

Are the ship designs based on WWI/II naval ships?
Absolutely right! War-era and modern naval vessels are a big part of my inspiration for this mod, and you can see that most obviously in the design of the ships.

[close]




This is my first ever publicly-released mod for Starsector, and I really hope you enjoy it, even in its current stage of infancy. All feedback is gratefully accepted in the comments below, and questions and suggestions for balancing doubly so.

Thanks hugely for taking the time to stop by. Have a great day!

- Axle



62
(It's late, I've been watching YouTube, and been mulling things over, so time for a quick query.)

The "Gunnery Implants" skill currently has a level 10 perk that allegedly "reduces weapon recoil" by 50% or something (can't remember off the top of my head what else it does). All well and good, but what does that actually mean? Does it simply decrease the rate at which sustained fire becomes inaccurate, or give some other bonus that I have yet to experience?

Just to clarify, I've never lasted long enough to unlock level 10 Gunnery Implants, so this question simply comes from a lack of experience.

63
This stems from a thought I expressed just now in another Suggestions thread. Basically, I'm a little confused by the missions you can pick up in Starsector's campaign, which - aside from Commissions - all encompass finding some form of cargo and then getting it to a location within a deadline. On its own I have no problem with this mechanic, but in the grand scheme of the game (and some dubious mission criteria) I have a few issues I would like to mention.

1) Mission deadline. I have no idea if procurement missions generate with a specific deadline based on how far the mission pickup and cargo destination are away from each other, but it certainly doesn't seem it. An awful lot of the time I find my fleet being asked to transport X amount of cargo from Arcadia to Hybrasil in 15 or even 10 days. Even with a speed 10 fleet, emergency-burning off cooldown the entire way, this is not possible. I would very much like to see this reconfigured to set the procurement mission deadline roughly on the time it takes to travel from the mission pickup and cargo destination locations, with some leeway for finding the cargo and then modified by how desperate the recipient is for the delivery (is it an emergency, or a casual delivery?). Needless to say, I do love the "bonus for quick delivery" bit of the mission when they occur, as it usually works for a larger audience of fleets - slower fleets can gladly accept the base payment, while a faster fleet can attempt the speed run for some added benefit.

2) General transport contracts. Procurement contracts (Find X cargo and deliver to Y location within Z days) are all well and good, but they seem a little strange to completely make up Starsectors contracts. I feel there should also be, perhaps more commonly, General Transport contracts you can accept, which instead of forcing you to find the required cargo, give you the cargo straight up and say "Take it over here as fast as you can". I imagine this might encourage players to steal cargo, which I believe (don't quote me on this) is why we have Procurement contracts instead of this: it would make an easy way for players to infinitely farm cargo for free. A way around this may be to require a positive standing with the faction to be offered the contract, or perhaps if you accept the goods and then make off with them, when the deadline runs out the employer contacts the authorities and sends a fleet after you to see what the hell you're up to...

Additionally, to balance the existing procurement contracts further, I think the destination for them should be the same place you pick up the contract. Feels a little more right to check the jobs at a planet/station and see a local guy who's looking for some specific cargo [that isn't currently present there] and requires you to go out looking for it.

3) Bounties. Not just set by one faction on its enemy, but the "So-and-so is a notorious pirate captain with a sizeable fleet..." bounty. I would suggest this comes up in the missions as a contract, rather than a general comms transmission. Bounties would then be more like going into the sheriff's office and looking at the MOST WANTED board. That feels more like bounty hunting to me, other than waiting for the authorities to announce them.


I'm sure there are many reasons why Starsector's missions are set out the way they are at present, but hopefully this is some food for thought for some players (and maybe even some developers!)

64
Modding / "The Silent Armada" - A mod backstory concept
« on: March 08, 2017, 07:01:52 PM »
Let us initially ignore any possibility of what the mod I'm currently working on will entail in terms of ships, weapons, factions, combat and campaign gameplay, and have a quick look instead at an idea I had for introducing it from a blank start, completely out of context.

Spoiler

The Silent Armada

Three cycles ago, they arrived. A Hegemony outer system patrol was the first to pick them up on long-range scanners. A silent armada of unknown, unregistered spacecraft pushing their way through Hyperspace. The numbers where vast, the sensor signatures otherworldly, the power readings never before seen... Yet not a single vessel showed any lifesigns. As a single autonomous unit, they ponderously edged their way into Sector space, making no moves to attack. Scouts were sent to investigate, and confirmed previous suspicions – the vessels were uncrewed, running on the barest of autopilot essentials, and possibly had been for dozens of cycles. Maybe hundreds.

But the strangest bit? The ships carried no data. Other than the most basic of computer programs, not a single ship had any form of flight data stored on their drives, leaving the sector dumbfounded as to their purpose and origin. While clearly intended for human use, these ships were built from technology either far in advance of our own, or ancient to the point of being forgotten to the grips of time. They were built for war, that was certain. But a war against who? Or what? The sector couldn't know.

Where had they come from? Were they sent many cycles ago by the old Domain, to travel through hyperspace until they reached the sector? If so, why would they carry no recordings or information? Perhaps they were merely leftover war vessels dismissed as junk, or the remnants of an ancient civilization making a desperate attempt to help their technology survive. Maybe the sector was not their final destination, but a waypoint in their endless, autonomous travels across the infinite star-speckled blackness of the universe.

Either way, the Hegemony has easily gained control of the plethora of warships. They have been relinquished of their autopilots and moved to Hegemony space where they may be examined by the best scientists, engineers and archaeologists the sector has. If they are lucky, some facts may be revealed, but for now, these weapons of war are an asset that cannot be wasted. So, they are being put to good use in the best way possible: Active military service.


[close]

Tell me what you think!  ;)

65
I'm currently trying to set up a (number of) custom ship system(s) with one or two buffs that scale with the ship's current flux level, ie. The higher the ship's flux when the system is activated, the more potent the effects of the buff are.

Problem is, I'm not sure in the file how to grab current stats on the ship. I know about the MutableShipStats and I've got that bit under control for modifying combat stats, but I'm stuck with retrieving existing numbers - MutableShipStats doesn't appear to have a "current flux level" or similar. Can anyone give me a pointer as to what part of the API I should be looking at in the system stats file, and how I can retrieve the ship's current flux level into a variable?

66
So I've been tearing my hair out this afternoon trying to come up with some more cool ship design concepts for another (later) mod after the one I'm currently working on - which, between you and me, I sadly now have little hope for... Think I made a bad theme choice. Ah well; that's not what I'm here to talk about.

I'm here to mention a new concept I'm working on, based entirely on a plastic scrap-built model "naval ship" (as in, slightly Steampunk 1800's style) I have sitting in front of me right now. It's about an inch long and I made it years ago when I toyed with building model spacecraft from plasticard and such. I thought it would make a great starting point for combining a little of my own Steampunk into a Starsector mod, and created a sprite from it. The details on the process are inside the spoiler:

Spoiler

I reached this point really quite quickly. The actual model has guns on it, and I decided to place the Starsector weapon mounts in approximately the same place. It's clearly a gunboat of some kind, a small, slow, armoured vessel with a heavy weapons payload.



Colouring was hard. The green here is based on the actual model, which is a light off-green and gunmetal grey, with some silver and bronze highlights. Sadly, it looks rubbish for a spaceship version of the sprite, and I didn't even bother texturing it beyond flat colours.



What we need is to focus on the fact that it's a very naval-looking vessel. Almost piratey... And what colour are pirates?

Red!



Now THAT's more like it!

(By the way, I later noticed that the greebly bit in the middle of the sprite looks almost like an upside-down skull. Absolutely not intentional, but definitely keeping it!)

[close]

So, what do people think as a new starting concept? I'm thinking about making some more ships to the same style, but I wanted to show off a little of my working process right away because I'm actually really quite happy with how the final sprite turned out, and I actually did the texturing with a different method to how I usually do, with respectable results. All feedback appreciated!

67
No idea if this has been discussed before anywhere, but here we go.

So in the stock Starsector campaign, it's possible to be completely eliminated by an enemy fleet and have your "fleet scattered", yet you manage to escape and eventually find your way back to civilization. Then the game randomly selects a new ship from a list of options and puts you in command of it in a seemingly random location in the sector.

However. The game does NOT accelerate time forwards before respawning you, which weirds me the hell out. If my fleet is destroyed in Corvus on June 27th Cycle 207, the last thing I expect is to then "respawn" in the Yma system with a brand new ship on June 27th Cycle 207. It's convenient, sure, but also super strange, and feels wrong every time I notice it.

My suggestion is: could the game run time forwards a set or random amount before it respawns you, allowing the game to change and the universe to progress as it would naturally over the time it takes you to find a new ship? This feature actually already exists when starting a new game, where Starsector creates the world without you in it and then simulates it forwards for a couple of months to let fleets move; events occur; relationships change; etc, before spawning you in. Why could the same thing not occur upon "death" in the campaign?

68
I'm currently playing around with some custom ship systems for the mod I'm working on, but I'm having a dilemma about a particular engine-boost system I've got and how the game handles it in terms of function and AI.

For the sake of context, I'll give out the details of this ship system in the same way they are presented in the description in-game:

"Kick-Boost: Activates an auxiliary independent booster that rapidly accelerates the ship up to a high speed for a short time, generating some flux on activation. The booster will also reignite the ship's main engine if it has been flamed out. G-forces encountered during the boost disrupt targetting systems, and weapons are temporarily unable to fire*."

* ... but shields still function.

Those experienced with modding this sort of thing will immediately notice that any ship systems that have an effect on the ship's engines (Burn Drive, Manoeuvring Jets) won't work if the ship is flamed out. Through testing I have discovered this occurs for any ship system that has the type "ENGINE_MOD" in the '.system' file.  However, if I change this type to, say "STAT_MOD" it will operate even if the ship is flamed out, thereby achieving the secondary bonus of this Kick-Boost ability: Reigniting a flamed-out engine.

Unfortunately, if I have the type as STAT_MOD but I leave the AI-type as "BURN_DRIVE" (assuming this key means that the AI will attempt to use the system in similar situations to the Burn Drive system), the game crashes the moment I engage autopilot and gives me an error message. Thankfully I can - and for the time being have - changed the AI type to "DAMPER_FIELD", which is the most appropriate of the valid Stat-Mod AI types I can find (some of the others being Ammo Feeder and Temporal Shell). The game has no problem with this.

Now, this setup works alright for now, but it does result in the AI using the ability at some questionable moments. I could change it back to being an ENGINE_MOD type with the BURN_DRIVE AI, but I'd lose the ability to restart the ship's engines if disabled. Anyone have any suggestions for alternative methods or system/AI 'types'? I'm not particularly savvy with code, but I can read and mostly understand the relevant game files.

69
General Discussion / The Never-ending MIRV a.k.a "Today I learnt..."
« on: February 26, 2017, 03:04:56 AM »

So today while testing some weapons, I learnt what happens if you make an MIRV-type missile projectile call itself within the MIRV behaviourSpec.





Enjoy your day!

70
A little background...

So I've been playing Starsector since it was Starfarer (albeit with a big break in the middle), and I've loved every minute of it. I've dabbled with mods a little, but I discovered a while back that creating a mod from scratch (at least to add custom weapons and ships) was not particularly difficult.

As an amateur writer of science fiction, I decided to utilize my newfound skills of mod-making to create a simple mod to implement various spacecraft and weapons from the universe one of my stories is set in. It has nothing to do with Starsector on its own, but I discovered that the process of creating first simple sprites, then flyable ships, then weapons to be fitted on those ships, then missions using those ships and so forth, was altogether an excellent method for world building for that story. It added massive quantities of context and contrast, and I am still periodically adding new ships, weapons and features to the mod. I'm extremely proud of some of the things I have created in the mod, and it's been heaps of fun to expand.

However.

Since the mod is of a poor quality (It was my first mod, and since I started so long ago, my technique has changed over the years making things... Inconsistent) and contains some spoilers for the universe, it is not available for public access. I use it strictly for personal gameplay and world building, and I highly doubt it will ever become public. But recently it has left me thinking that it would be nice to have a go at creating a fresh PUBLIC mod that fits within the Starsector universe a little better, with custom ships, weapons, missions, and such things I have learnt over the years how to implement.

The problem...

... is that I have a really bad habit of replicating. I'm concerned that if I was to create a new mod for public use, I would find myself rapidly copying weapon and ship concepts from this private mod of mine into the new mod. On the other hand... Since the private mod is, well, private, no one out there (that's you guys reading this) would give a damn as it would all be new from your perspective. I'm only copying from myself.

Don't get me wrong. I have new ideas all the time. It's more of a brain worm that says "Hey, why are you bothering making new stuff, when you have all this cool stuff here already that you could make public!?". Yet I flatly refuse to make this private mod of mine into a public mod. Trust me, I'm sure it's got some cool features, but you'd be disappointed by the lack of consistency, unkempt style and unfinished mini-projects.

Another reason to dislike replicating concepts - at least, 100% copying them from one mod to the other - is that it would do my head in when it comes to managing the two mods, and the two "universes" would start to collide in my imagination. As a writer, this can cause BIG PROBLEMS with consistency.

Still, I would love to make an original mod using at least SOME of the concepts and ideas from this private mod, because I reckon I wouldn't be half bad at it, given a decent theme/pretense and a little further practise.

So my questions for you are as follows.

If I am to make a new, public mod from scratch, ideally adding ships, weapons, missions and a way to access the ships/weapons in the campaign...

- Should I re-use concepts from my private mod for the sake of showcasing original ideas?
- Should I have a theme to create new concepts for / choose old concepts from?
- Should I bother tying the theme for the new mod in with the Starsector lore, and if so how tightly? Bear in mind I'm not massively educated on it.
- Would people like to see how I started modding with more excerpts (screenshots/videos/showcases) from this private mod?

For a quick look at what I can do mod-wise already, here are a small selection of screenshots from the game featuring my private mod. For a little bit of context, in the story there are three warring factions (United, Freedom and Independence) who here each have a selection of ships and weapons unique to them. You should be able to distinguish the faction's ships by the colour scheme, and to a lesser extent their actual design. Bear in mind that I DO NOT "Frankensprite" or however you refer to it as - all of my sprites are original, as they are based on my own universe, NOT the Starsector universe.


All your thoughts, feedback and questions for me will be happily received in the thread below. Thanks all for your time!

- Axle


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