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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24)

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Messages - Iscariot

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Suggestions / Reactor breach.
« on: February 18, 2012, 08:46:01 PM »
Starships can move faster than the speed of light. Their furnaces power weapons that spit antimatter, black holes, and beams of faster-than-light theoretical particles, all of which requires massive amounts of energy. While the deaths of these ships can be blinding, however, they rarely convey the impact of the flash they produce.

Don't get me wrong: I am very happy with the way ships currently die. In fact, I prefer it to the explosion-happy interpretations of space combat in other games, where everything explodes into a nice, clean, antiseptic ball of gas leaving behind nothing; Starfarer's ships die like spaceborne whales, spitting flame and  floating off as burnt out space hulks, dramatic and impressive. As such, I think such ship deaths ought to be the standard for how ships die, but occasionally, for particularly large ships, cruisers and above perhaps, it would be interesting if there were a chance for them to take so much damage that their reactors cascade dangerously and detonate in a thermonuclear explosion, dealing damage to nearby ships and blinding yet others' sensors for a short amount of time, and leaving behind asteroid-like chunks of dead ship.

How it would work, I'm not entirely sure of. I think it would work one of two ways:

1) If a ship is killed by an attack that deals a certain multiple of its remaining health prior to death, it has a % chance of detonating. For example, if a ship with 1 hull is struck by an attack that deals 30 damage, or 30x the remaining hull, it goes thermonuclear.

2) If a ship is killed by an attack dealing damage above a certain threshold to the engines, causing a reactor breach.

Detonating ships shouldn't go all at once. They should rumble with miniature explosions, lose navigation, and leave behind a trail of flames before finally going. Obviously an exploded ship can't be scrapped or salvaged, but this does create an opportunity for another gameplay feature: Self destruct! A noble end for a brave captain.

Obviously a pretty low-priority suggestion. I'd be happy with the game if it didn't make it in at all, but I do think it would be cool. Cool *** should happen in space warfare.

Suggestions / Re: Flux as a weapon or propellant
« on: February 18, 2012, 08:30:20 PM »
High flux already improves energy weapon damage. It's assumed that flux juices those weapons, and the bonus is actually pretty noticeable. But yeah, ditto on the post above me.

General Discussion / Re: Tactics, anyone?
« on: February 18, 2012, 06:59:28 PM »
Jesus, I don't put elite crewmen in fighters unless they're Xiphos's. They're valuable!

I have a serious problems with Gundam Unicorn as an anime OVA, but music is not one of them:

It's epic, but it's also got an edge of tragedy, which is great for a game about the fall of humanity, war, greed, and atrocity.

General Discussion / Re: Hidden Secrets of the Loadout Masters
« on: February 18, 2012, 12:29:40 PM »
It's a little sad to me how little love the midline and low tech ships get! I have so much love for the Eagle cruiser, was my flagship for an extended period of time, although I admit that the Odyssey was also pretty great. I swapped out the IR lasers for antimatter blasters, and the autopulse cannons for heavy blasters. Wound up being a pretty good broadside craft, and like someone else said, having a flight deck RIGHT THERE to rearm piranha bombers is pretty great.

General Discussion / Re: Ship Naming!
« on: February 18, 2012, 12:25:06 PM »
I tend not to rename my ships. I like the idea that in this age of lost technology, ships are esoteric things, given quasi-spiritual significance to them by their crew; renaming the ship is bad luck.

Of course, when I bagged my first Paragon, I couldn't really resist giving it a better name. Named it after my favorite EV Nova ship (a game, by the way, that all Starfarer people, players, devs, should play)-- the ISS Unrelenting.

Suggestions / Re: Continue battle / Pursue, and surrender chances
« on: February 18, 2012, 11:33:48 AM »
I happen to like this suggestion a lot as well. I would add that a few dialogue options before hostilities are engaged where you can attempt to bully the other commander into surrendering wholesale would be a great thing. It could tie into your character advancement-- the more feared your reputation, the more mighty your powers of charisma, and the more overwhelming your fleet, the less people want to fight you. No one wants to die.

Even if the fleet commander refuses, the captains of individual ships might not, and might flee outright, or run at the slightest provocation, or just fight worse due to poor morale.

It'd be an interesting dimension to the game, beyond taking to the stars and slaying bodies.

Modding / Re: Ship Classification Guidelines?
« on: February 18, 2012, 11:23:49 AM »
Sounds like a destroyer to me.

Suggestions / Re: Improved Guided Munitions
« on: February 18, 2012, 11:13:32 AM »
I hate cloaking devices, personally. They make zero sense and the violate thermodynamics harder than Justin Bieber violates music. They're also just frustrating to deal with-- you either have the sensors to detect the target, in which case you're just fighting a squishy ship, or you don't, and you have to flip all your guns on manual and deal with fighting this tedious invisible thing.

Suggestions / Re: More involved, more enjoyable boarding.
« on: February 18, 2012, 11:11:16 AM »
I'm not sure that I agree that having in-combat boarding would be a good thing. I mean, unless you're some kind of special forces outfit, and there's a high value target, either a person or a ship, why would you try to board a ship while there's still high frequency energy beams flying around and hypervelocity projectiles whizzing by? If a ship is messed up enough that you can board it through its hull breaches, then it's too messed up to be of any immediate use to you on the battlefield.

I  do agree that boarding ought to be more in depth, but I think that tweaks and expansions are more in order, as opposed to overhauls. For example there should be more boardable targets after a successful victory: Some of them ought to be repairable, some of them are just a waste of time and, possibly, lives, as surviving crew will attempt to kill you as you board their shattered hulk. What this does, in terms of gameplay mechanics, is create a greater need for marines, since you don't know which hulks will be salvageable, and you may take casualties going through the ones that aren't even useful.

Second, marines ought to be able to rank up just like crewmen. Elite marines should be dangerous masters of zero gravity combat, difficult to kill, and creating a massive force multiplier in boarding actions. Enemy ships should carry marines, and surviving marines should be dangerous impediments to boarding action. For example, on a particularly large ship like the Onslaught that was designed to preserve the lives of its crew, even through withering fire, a decent number of crew should survive to fight off intruders.

Third, marines should have use on orbital stations, either to take them, or to defend them. Maybe even on planets for plot things.

Fourth, boarding actions should have the option to take prisoners, prisoners which can be turned into various factions for cash, slaves for pirates, bounties for the Hegemony, people to be interrogated for the corporations.

These are all fairly simple changes (I think), that take place in the post battle, and don't require Alex to create new sprites, new animations, and new mechanics to the combat engine. I agree that it would be pretty cool to see a boarding action happen in the middle of combat, but again, what is the point?

Suggestions / Improved Guided Munitions
« on: February 18, 2012, 03:46:22 AM »
I realize that this game is still in development, and that Alex probably gets all sorts of suggestions along the lines of 'add my awesome weapon/ship/module idea', but I think I do have a suggestion that could possibly increase the complexity of gameplay with new mechanics.

Anyway, here we go: missiles and torpedoes are all pretty basic. I was happy to see the Salamander MRMs get added in, because of how they work, but for the most part, missiles do varying amounts of damage, move at varying speeds, and track targets with varying competence, whereupon they slam into them and deal damage. Pretty basic.

But the beauty of guided munitions-- indeed, of any substance weapon (as opposed to an energy one)-- is load variability, tactical flexibility. So I have a few suggestions to lend that sense to guided munitions in Starfarer; they can be taken on a case by case basis, all, or none, hell, I'm just talking.

1) Improved Torpedo/Missile Magazines: In Starfarer, you can already scroll through various weapons in a weapon group if they're marked as 'alternating'. In 0.35a, I found myself doing this pretty often on the Apogee to avoid wasting Hurricane MIRV when all I wanted was Pilum LRMS. I think it would be useful to handling different varieties of warhead if you could scroll through different loads to select what you'd like to use. It'd still count as one weapon on the refit screen, but you could choose to carry magazines of, say, HE warheads, and maybe a few HEAT rounds for those tricky Dominators. This could apply to cannons as well, but that might be a bit of a hassle.

2) 'Nova' Missiles: Optics and electronics are delicate things, and designed to operate within a particular band of stimuli. 'Nova' Missiles are essentially space flashbangs, low yield nuclear weapons that give off a lot of flash and radiation, but don't actually do much damage-- and are in fact designed to detonate away from their targets to maximize coverage-- but which confer a penalty to turret accuracy to ships caught in their radius for a certain amount of time dependent upon the quality of the crew. It works through shields, after all, ships need to be able to see through their own shields, so it's a useful thing for close assault ships to have as they burn in to bring their close range weapons to bear. Alternatively, could be used at a distance to support wings of fighters coming in on a particularly hard to approach target.

3) Minelaying Missiles: What it says on the tin. Being that they are more strategic, rather than tactical, weapons, minelaying missiles would be launched from the tactical map, and designed to disperse bomblets within a certain area. More or less useless against anything heavier than a frigate, but useful for inflicting attrition upon incoming fighter wings.

4) Interceptor Missiles: Small, but plentiful, these missiles are useful for bringing down fighters and torpedoes. Lacks the longevity of other point defense systems, but packs enough of a punch to down heavily armored torpedoes at a generous distance.

5) Beam missiles: In real life, there are serious drawbacks to the usage of energy weapons in space. For example, a bomb-pumped x-ray laser requires, well, the detonation of a bomb to power its discharge, creating not-easily-dissipated heat and increasing wear and tear on internal parts. Beam missiles solve this by taking those pesky issues and moving them outside the ship. Basically, beam missiles fly within a certain radius of their target, and then explode, pumping an onboard laser array and firing a beam at their target. The advantage of this is that it'd do energy damage, as opposed to frag, high explosive, or kinetic damage, and that a beam missile would strike its target from outside most point defense ranges. For the sake of balance, this would mean that beam missiles would probably be less potent than conventional loads, but you could still harry an enemy enough that they'd be forced to close on you just to shut you up, allowing your fleet to hammer them as they maneuver.

6) Probes: Pretty simple. Instead of scouting with a wing of fighters with valuable stuff like weapons, armor, and people strapped to them, why not shoot a missile instead? Probably needs to be either dumbfire or fired from the tactics screen.

7) Point Defense Spoofing Missiles: Another idea ripped from real life. Modern antiship missiles fishtail wildly when they get close enough to their target to shake off CIWS fire. More effective against ballistic point defense, but packs a smaller warhead because of all the equipment needed to make it move so erratically and still land on target.

8 ) Decoy Torpedoes: Torpedoes that throw out warship level heat, radio, and radar, designed to throw off missiles at the last minute. Pretty high velocity, and in limited quantity. Small operational radius, and doesn't necessarily work on all incoming munitions.

Modding / Re: Ship Classification Guidelines?
« on: February 18, 2012, 03:03:58 AM »
Figuring out whether something's a destroyer or not is pretty simple. The word 'destroyer' is derived from the original purpose of the ship class; 'torpedo-boat destroyer'. Back then, torpedo boats were very dangerous to capital ships, so the torpedo-boat destroyer was invented to screen these capital ships and hunt down torpedo boats.

Nowadays, they're more or less dedicated escort ships designed to be fast enough to hunt down smaller craft.

So to answer your question with another question: Is your ship designed to act as an escort, or is it there to kill ships?

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