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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: Planet Search Overhaul (07/13/24)

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Topics - PreConceptor

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Very minor thing but I must have cycled the Random Battle mission a hundred times or more and never seen a single Manticore. Kinda unfortunate since no other mission has one either so testing is much less convenient.

Modding / Suggestion for the Mod Index
« on: June 18, 2023, 07:22:41 AM »
It's difficult to tell when new mods are added or outdated mods are updated, especially with the Index as long as it is now. I'd like to suggest adding something to indicate when new mods are added or updated to the current game version, perhaps a big *NEW* between the version and mod name, that remains there for several weeks.

Maybe to make it easier for the curators of the Index so they don't have to keep track of how old every NEW mark is, they could all be removed at a set interval every 1 or 2 months?

Suggestions / Phase Lance range buff?
« on: June 01, 2023, 07:44:14 AM »
So the Phase Lance is a cool weapon, but it feels like one of the least appealing options for medium energy most of the time. Pulse Laser is more efficient and more DPS and hard flux dmg, Heavy Blaster has way more DPS and hard flux with comparable efficiency, Ion Pulser has EMP and more DPS with only slightly less range, Mining Blaster is dedicated to cracking armor, etc. Phase Lance is basically a scaled down Tachyon Lance with few of the things that make the Tachyon Lance so appealing.

Beams are generally supposed to have more range than projectile energy weapons, so I propose a modest range increase from 600 to 700 to make the Phase Lance the 'long range' or 'sniper' non-suppression option for medium energy slots. I think it would better define the Phase Lance and make it much more competitive with other options without degrading or over-enhancing its current role as the highest burst damage option.

Modding / Issue with hull tags in ship_data.csv and market spawning
« on: May 31, 2023, 03:07:19 PM »
So it seems like any ship tagged only with hightech_bp never spawns in markets. Its not relevant for vanilla because no vanilla ship is only tagged hightech_bp (Wolf, Shrike & Fury all have merc and ind tags), but its an issue for several mods. When merc and ind tags are added to the offending ships they start appearing in markets again. The authors of some of the mods have been made aware of the issue.

While testing I was using Stellar Networks to quickly find ships in markets using its market query feature, and when a hull only had the hightech_bp tag it wouldn't appear as a query option at all, behaving like a hidden hull. When the hull couldn't be queried via StelNet I used Console Commands for the forcemarketupdate and findship commands, and got zero hits on affected hulls for sale after a dozen market updates.

It doesn't affect hulls only tagged midline_bp or lowtech_bp, and I didn't have time to test whether it also affected fleet spawning.

Had a serious graphical bug in hyperspace rendering. It was like the thing that can happen when useSlipstreamGLLines is set to true and flickering lines get drawn everywhere (I had it set to false because I'd had that issue before) but way worse. I updated my GPU drivers (the old ones were years out of date) and that made it even worse, but I set slipstreamUseGLLines back to true and that seems to have completely resolved it.

Just thought I'd put the sequence here in case it was of use. I got some screenshots I can send if they'd be useful.

Suggestions / Another Pegasus balance opinion
« on: May 21, 2023, 01:41:14 PM »
Personally I feel like no matter what, Fast Missile Racks on the Pegasus will always be imbalanced. Even if it went to 70 DP you might still be able to argue its worth the cost. FMR + even 2 large missiles is extremely powerful, it just doesn't seem like FMR as-is can be made to work with that much firepower.

I think a solution is to give Pegasus a much weaker version of FMR. That would preserve the cool novelty of a 'missile dumping' battleship with the 4 larges and a way to occasionally 'pop off' even more, without resorting to making it painful to fly by nerfing other stats. The in-universe justification, if any is needed, could be that the 4 large slots require a much heavier duty system that's more limited in repeat capability compared to say the one on a Condor.

I've trialed a version of FMR with 1 charge, 30 second charge regen and 60% flux/use. The reduced charges means only 8 large missile slot's worth of ordnance can be brought to bear at once without a high level skill (Systems Expertise), the tripled regen time means it can't dump out another 8 large salvo without giving the target a chance to get some breathing room, and the 60% flux/use makes it actually dangerous to do a missile dump while being pressured and Systems Expertise characters need to be in a really secure position to dump 12 large missile slot's worth of firepower at once. Keeping it with one charge means (from what I can tell) both Missile Specialization and Systems Expertise offer a similar power boost but in different ways. Seems to work well with the existing FMR AI as well.


Kite seems to have just 'F' in its descriptions.csv file text3 entry instead of nothing like almost every other ship, so some short descriptions simply read 'F'.

Suggestions / Hull Restoration change
« on: December 27, 2021, 12:56:00 PM »
I know people love Hull Restoration, but here goes anyway.

The over-time Dmod repairing granted by Hull Restoration is, well...cheesy. It encourages the player to sit in orbit with the handful of expensive ships they want repaired for months on end. It seems like busywork in the vein of recovering ships to sell them, which was mechanic'd out to eliminate busywork. Except over-time repairs aren't even work, it's just a matter of holding Shift. It also only costs 2 story points to reassign skills into Hull Restoration for months of idle over-time repairs and back to one's normal skill set, which makes it even more cheesy.

Being able to fix ships on the cheap is fantastic, but completely free over-time repairs doesn't seem the best way to do it, since time is an unlimited near-zero cost resource in most cases. In a meta perspective, the sheer utility, QoL, and credit savings (and/or the perception of potential gains) offered by Hull Restoration also pushes players heavily into the Industry tree over others, which skews the player experience towards it and the hyper-efficiency of said tree.

Instead, I propose the over-time repairs effect (and only that) be removed and replaced with a large percentage reduction to dockside Restoration costs, perhaps a 50% cost reduction or even more. This turns the effect from an unpredictable lottery that encourages awkward meta-based fleet management to gain the desired outcome into a concerted choice, saves time, also saves vast sums of credits, and better complements the 'chance for Dmod removal on recovery' effect. Thoughts?

Suggestions / Officer Management minor buff
« on: December 22, 2021, 11:05:30 PM »
What if Officer Management reduced officer salaries by 20-30%? It would be somewhat thematic, and offset the cost of more officers, and give a lil something extra compared to Training with its extra level and elite skill.

Or is it so insignificant it's not even worth it?

General Discussion / Genuine question about the phase changes
« on: December 22, 2021, 06:52:12 PM »
What was rationale behind the sweeping phase changes? It mostly seems to have gutted phase and the one ship where the consensus was that it really warranted a nerf (Doom) seems to have come out of it much as it was before, but even better in comparison to other phase options.

Suggestions / Mod Index - 'Recently Added' section
« on: December 23, 2020, 04:20:04 PM »
A suggestion for a small addition to the Mod Index to help with new mod visibility.

Since the Index is getting quite big it can be difficult to see at a glance if/when a new mod has been added. You can check the main post to see if it's been recently edited but you still have to search manually with your Eyeball Mk1 to see if there's anything new.

I suggest a small entry between the Key: and the top of the mod listings that lists any new mods added to the Index in the past 2-3 weeks, in order to draw attention to new mods without having to search through the whole list to see if there's something you don't recognize. If nothing has been added recently the entry could just be removed, and if an author doesn't want to be front and centre like that they could choose not to be. Or the entry could be placed at the bottom of the Index post so it isn't front and centre.

edit: mods could also go there when they have a significant update (authors preference?), or the whole idea could be boiled down to an *asterisk or some other symbol on new mods to indicate them as such.

Patrol fleets order you to give up extra-legally acquired ships and commodities, even if not an illegal commodity and order you to pay a fine in addition to hitting your rep

Shiny new Heron fresh out the back alley bazaar? Confiscated
Supplies bought on *special* discount? Confiscated
Duty free fuel? Hand it over
Not friendly with the faction that caught you not paying your VAT? Pay a fine or die, scumbag

Truly terrible, I need it.

Suggestions / Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« on: February 29, 2020, 02:22:19 AM »
Idea: potential nerf to fighter spam by either:

> Reducing the damage individual fighters deal/a target receives the more friendly/enemy fighters nearby
> Increasing the damage fighters receive/a target deals to fighters the more friendly/enemy fighters nearby
> Base the penalty/bonus on the number of wings targeting the ship, thus retaining fighter lethality against untargeted close-in enemies

> Fighters not affected by proximity of or targeting by other fighters
> Low initial penalties, ramping fast as space around a target becomes more 'crowded'
> Threshold before fighter penalties start applying lower for smaller ship classes (fighter swarms less effective against frigates/destroyers, they're smaller/more agile so it makes sense for balance and fluff)


Suggestions / Drone range penalties and some other small(?) carrier changes
« on: February 28, 2020, 06:40:47 PM »
Suggestion: giving any fighter with a crew of 0 (i.e. drones) a lower combat effectiveness (damage dealt, damage taken, autofire accuracy, etc) the further away from their parent carrier they are (based on bands corresponding to their maximum engagement range) and possibly a very minor boost when close? I think this would help differentiate and balance drone wings against crewed ones, and would make thematic sense given control lag, while crewed fighters remain equally effective no matter the range.

Vessels with Automated Ship could be exempt, and a tag or hullmod (like 'Advanced Control Systems') could be used to exempt a drone wing from these penalties if necessary.

Electronic Warfare could also be made to negatively affect fighters directly, drones doubly so (no bonuses) with damage dealt and received penalties, and possibly have carrier hulls (hulls with a fighter bay) contribute significantly less (maybe half) to EW rating, or not contribute at all if we're thinking real harsh, maybe even be doubly affected by negative EW and half as much by positive EW, again with a tag or hullmod ('Secondary Carrier Capability' or something) to exempt a hull if it wasn't primarily a fighter platform. Perhaps Coordinated Maneuvers could also be made to not be boosted by carriers. This would mean carrier fleets would often need to deploy non-carriers to support them instead of more carriers. Nav Relay/ECM Package functions as normal, ECCM would restore normal weapon range penalties on carriers. Ops Center could restore hull-size contribution to EW/CM on carriers

Bullet Points -

> Drones worse at high range, slightly better close-in based on % range bands
> Tag for exemption purposes (i.e. built-in PD drone)
> Crewed fighters unchanged at range and close-in
> Alternative lite option: hullmod for fighter that gives them an effectiveness penalty at further engagement ranges (% based)

> Ship has no bays > Behaves as normal

> Ship has bays > Has exemption (i.e. not primarily carrier, or Automated) > Contributes to and affected by EW/CM as usual > Fighter effectiveness penalty when enemy wins EW, drones affected twice as much by penalty

> Ship has bays > No exemption (i.e. dedicated carrier) > Does not contribute to EW/CM > Fighter effectiveness penalty when enemy wins EW, drones affected twice as much by penalty > Gets 1/2 weapon range from winning EW > Weapon range penalty twice as much from losing EW > ECM/Nav adds normal contribution to EW/CM > ECCM restores normal weapon range penalties > Ops Center restores hull-size EW/CM contribution

> Tag to exempt wing or ship from EW penalties if necessary

Just some quick thoughts, what do you think?

*EW = electronic warfare
*CM = coordinated maneuvers

Suggestions / An idea for relative ship size based weapon pass-over
« on: January 11, 2020, 02:46:55 PM »
I just had this idea come to me a few minutes ago. What if ships were able to fire their non-guided weapons over allied ships based on their relative size in a manner similar to guided missile pass-over.

For example, a capital ship can fire over allied cruisers, destroyers and frigates as it's larger and other ships are moving up and down more relative to it (imagine the 2D gameplay representing a 3D space battle). A cruiser can shoot over destroyers and frigates for the same reason, destroyers can shoot over frigates and frigates can shoot over destroyers as they are small and nimble and only longer range frigates will be able to use this effectively. Since cruisers and caps are significantly larger they would present too large an obstruction for frigates to shoot over.

Guided weapons would keep their pass-through-until-fizzle and projectiles could revert to their normal behavior (ie being able to damage friendly ships) after reaching max range (or not). Torpedos could keep their friendly fire for balance.

I think this would help alleviate the cramped 'grindy' feeling of the battlespace in large fleet combat as both fleets rub up against each other to try and pick holes in each other's lines, rushing to punish ships that dare to overextend while smaller ships do little except get chewed up by overwhelming firepower and become obstacles to larger ships applying their firepower for risk of friendly fire, basically being usurped by the far more replaceable fighters.

It would allow capital ships to be screened by cruisers, cruisers by destroyers and destroyers by frigates, and allow frigates to more effectively work as longer range destroyer support using a destroyer as cover, all without hindering the larger ship's maneuvering and firepower. It would mean that ships smaller than the average in any given engagement have more utility as they are not relegated to flanking and escort duties to keep them out of the way of bigger guns.

I know this is a bit of a wordy explanation, so thanks for staying with me. I haven't thought this idea through completely and I have no idea how much work it would take to implement, but I'd like to know what people's thoughts are on a mechanic like this. Could it add depth to fleet engagements or is it unnecessary/unbalanced?

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