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

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Messages - Daynen

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General Discussion / Re: Okay, what's the deal with them remnant ships!
« on: November 30, 2019, 11:13:57 PM »
The radiant is purposefully designed to cull the weak from your fleet.  It's phase jumping makes it incredibly nimble and it WILL take down unprotected capitals.  The rest of the remnant are quite manageable with some basic focus fire and anti-shield weaponry.

Now, if you're playing with the Archean Order mod, it's a WHOLE different and altogether much more frightening story...

General Discussion / Re: am I the only one who never buys ships?
« on: November 30, 2019, 11:08:34 PM »
The industry tree is strange to me.  The ability to basically shrug off D-mod effects and bottom out your maintenance costs means you're deploying the same ships for dirt cheap, yeah, but then again...once you've got some solid income and/or your favorite ships modded out with your favorite you NEED your ships to be that cheap?  Don't get me wrong; the salvager build is fun in its own way and has some amusing potential but sooner or later quality beats quantity and you can still only have so many deployment points on the field (which D-mods do NOT circumvent.)  Also note that the industry line ties with technology for fewest skills, meaning your 3 aptitude points get you less options in that tree.  I want to like it more but it's a hard sell unless you're roleplaying it.

Now, if the D-mod build DID allow bigger fleet deployment?  That might be a very different conversation.  Did it used to in a previous version of the game?

General Discussion / Re: Hegemony Kite(A)
« on: November 30, 2019, 11:01:26 PM »
Well...yeah but for the price of that one capital you could easily deploy a dozen kites or so with effectively four reaper shots each and just unleash the red storm...

Given that only the player can really recover ships in the first place I'm not sure if the lockdown protocol idea is really worth the seems like it's basically just a way to deny the player certain ships after battle but since we're probably not looking TOO closely at the hullmods on enemy ships before a fight it's probably going to feel just like rolling badly on the RNG.

If I may ask, what's the real design goal of lockdown protocol?

Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Kingdom of Terra (v0.4) - This one's Monster
« on: November 30, 2019, 10:17:41 PM »
Wow.  If that's not a visually distinct faction I don't know what is.

General Discussion / Re: Gryphon builds
« on: November 29, 2019, 12:38:37 AM »
If you're using it as a flagship, the gryphon can punch so far above it's weight it's not even a LITTLE funny.  The right missile combos to overload a target, then turn to the side and unload a couple reapers on their nose and BOOM.  Takes real skill but you can wipe out some serious deployment with a well-piloted gryphon.

As an AI ship, it's best to just load it with pilums and salamanders, order it to stay WAY back from the fighting and let it spam.  The active won't mean much but the AI isn't exactly optimal with actives to begin with.  You could also just use it as a missile blitzer--load it with powerful anti-shield weapons, wait for it to score then finish the job yourself.  Just be sure to order it out of the fight once its empty.

Alternately you could load it up with a locust, some swarmers and tons of point defense and turn it loose against carriers to just delete fighter swarms.  Never underestimate the power of a dedicated swarm killer.  Again, check its ammo; once it's fully dry, kick it out of the fight so it's not just a free kill.

It's definitely an oddball of a ship that doesn't seem to be sure exactly where it belongs but...I think that's part of the charm.  It makes you want to try stuff because it's not so obvious what the best build is.  It's a THINKIN' man's ship!

General Discussion / Re: What. The F*%&.
« on: November 29, 2019, 12:30:15 AM »
By back-off do you mean a move order or a retreat order? If the former it happens all the time, it's like a low priority for the AI and will mostly ignore it, which is why it is better to simply order it to retreat as the behaviour is immediately changed to "avoid enemies, then leave"

If you want your ships to survive it's better to do retreat then cancel the order than asking it to move, especially against a station were they will never listen to positioning once at firing range (tried to focus on a side so many times, only to have the warships alone all around the station, and the carriers on vacation, so just attack order everything and out-dps the thing)

Funny thing is that's not entirely accurate either.  Just today I had a couple missile carriers take position well out of a station's range while I went in with my flagship and, a few maneuvers and a little drifting aside, they mostly stayed put and fired missile support like I intended.  Neither of them were Prometheus II's this time of course, so no burn drives...I also try not to use "retreat, then cancel" tactics because if I use the "retreat while defending" they never get anywhere if they're already under fire and if I use "direct retreat" they tend to turn their engines to the enemy can imagine how that goes.

I'm all too familiar with how senseless AI gets when engaging a station with no orders--fight allied ships for position, close in, bang into each other trying to get a shot off, then blow up in a chain reaction when the station finally pops in their face--but that problem seems to be more about them having a clean shot be too high a priority or something.  This is a far more specific problem and I feel like it's directly tied to the way the AI uses active systems with abandon even when doing so is an absolutely terrible idea AND rather contrary to their orders.

I don't know how helpful it might be but I have to ask Alex directly here: Have you ever played Gratuitous Space Battles?  The entirety of player control happens during ship design, fleet placement and pre-battle orders; this game sometimes has a similar feel in battles (which I like.)  I wonder if there's inspiration to be taken from the way it handles fleet orders?  Lots of priority sliders, drag-and-drop escorts and formations, lots of emphasis on giving smart orders to account for circumstance, that sort of thing.  It's much more complex than I think you want this game to be but I wonder if perhaps a little methodology might be applicable here?

General Discussion / Re: What. The F*%&.
« on: November 29, 2019, 12:15:37 AM »
Hmm, are you 100% sure it didn't start to burn drive before you ordered it to back off? In theory it's not supposed to activate burn drive while facing away from a task it's assigned to if there is one, so if it still does that occasionally, that's something I need to take a look at.

100%.  I gave it a move order well out of range of the station because it was already way too close--like less than 1000u away--saw it SLOWLY begin to move while under fire and thought everything was fine because I was able to maneuver a bit and distract the station while that section rotated out of its arc.  Then at some point I saw it just dive right into the station's face.  It was already heavily damaged, leaving me no chance at diving in to block for it, even if there WERE room to do so.  It's like it was waiting until it got just out of maximum burn drive range before hitting it.  I don't think it ever actually turned away from the station...which would've been worse anyway, since showing your engines to a station is BEGGING to be vaporized.

General Discussion / Re: What. The F*%&.
« on: November 28, 2019, 03:27:18 PM » that I've had a night to cool off (and a plate of ham and turkey and the like) let me digest this a bit.

The problem I've identified is actually something I see far more often than the unintended casualty: AIs love to burn their active cooldowns the moment they're available.  I see it all the time with temporal shells, maneuvering jets and especially burn drives: your fleet will do EVERYTHING in its power to reach the enemy AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, even if it careens them headlong into a wall of missiles.  The Prometheus 2 in question actually hit its burn drive straight into the station shortly after I gave it the order to fall back, leaving it so close even reapers couldn't possibly miss.

It didn't even have the decency to ram the station properly and do some damage on the way out...still blows my mind that this was a CAUTIOUS officer too.

Blog Posts / Re: Raiding for Fun and Profit
« on: November 28, 2019, 03:22:00 PM »
Now see...THIS is what I'm talking about.  THIS is game design.  THIS is what happens when your first priority is to make a better game instead of appeasing ignorant shareholders.  AAA gaming take note: THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE.

General Discussion / What. The F*%&.
« on: November 28, 2019, 04:58:34 AM »

High tier Luddic Path station.  Allies and enemy reinforcements.  Glorious battle.  Going our way.

Prometheus mk 2 in my fleet.  Cautious officer.  Missile spec, fighter skills, total missile carrier guy.  Perfect match for the ship, IMHO.

He's taking a few good hits and starting to lose a lot of hull (for SOME REASON--remember he's CAUTIOUS.)  I order him to back off to a nice safe distance while I finish the job.  You know...because I'm a responsible commander who pays attention to the battle situation and I don't want to lose an expensive, well-kitted ship I had to fight for.

What does he do?

Does he:
A: Back off as ordered?
B: Stay put?
C: nimbly dodge incoming fire while maneuvering for a better firing position?
D: Charge right into point blank range and get blown up?

Got your final answer?  Okay.  If you actually thought it was anything but D, I want YOUR copy of the game because MINE seems to have total *** as officer AI.  I love Starsector.  Let me reiterate so the context of my post is clear: I love Starsector.  I think it has enormous potential and focuses on game elements that I've found fun in many games for years.  I say this with nothing but love and care: I.  HATE.  FLEET.  AI.  It's cost me AT LEAST as many ships as my enemies have.  If anyone has any experience suitable to help our good friend with the AI, I URGE you to step up because GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

General Discussion / Re: Odyssey, the underappreciated flagship
« on: November 25, 2019, 04:40:29 AM »
You don't know satisfaction until you load up a paragon with four autopulsers and extended magazines.  That's a lotta dakka and 90% of ingame ships CANNOT withstand a full unload of that.  Oddysey's a powerful cruiser, but yeah, it's too complicated for the AI.

General Discussion / Re: Feedback from a new player
« on: November 25, 2019, 04:36:04 AM »
Part of the reason Starsector can be frustrating to new players is that it doesn't go out of its way to convey critical info all the time.  You have to be glancing down at your supplies, fuel and combat readiness often because there's no audible cue when you're low or out of something; just a flashy bit in the lower left and in the case of fuel, your fleet drifting toward the nearest star.  It's a lightweight game with very simple conveyance of info; this means it's also missing many of the conveniences people might be used to in modern gaming.

That said, while I find the game's resource management isn't as bad as some might think, it IS a little more art than science sometimes.  A few tips:

-With fuel you just need to remember to hit W on the star map to see your fuel range and make sure you have enough to get there and back again with a bit more to spare.  Go with the inner circle; that's your "there and back" indicator.  Also don't dawdle around in hyperspace!  Get where you're going and drop into a system, pronto! 

-With supplies, you just kind of have to intuit it most of the time; at the start I try to keep a hundred or two, then as my fleet expands I ramp up another hundred at a time for every couple ships/ship sizes I gain.

-With crew, I try to bring about a hundred more than my ships need in case of bad hull damage or ship loss; another hundred or so extra if I have a lot of crewed fighters.  If you're into salvaging ships for your fleet, heavy colonizing or you just seem to take hull damage often then you'll obviously want many more crew than that.  I don't usually find the need for crew ships unless I'm colonizing.  Just don't forget you have to pay them!

-For good guidelines, I try to keep my cargo about 20-30% full of supplies and my fuel about 70% full before a trip.  This leaves plenty of room for potentially rich prizes without overfilling and, with some adjustment based on experience, enough resources to handle repairs and maintenance.  You CAN do the math and figure out exactly how much of everything you'll need...but that's a lot of math and a lot of unknowns that could happen on the way.  Good rules of thumb are more practical.

-If your fleet needs big repairs or lots of CR recovery, don't sit around waiting for it.  Go get repaired at a dock; you'll pay the same supply cost either way but you'll save what you would've lost by just waiting AND probably have a good chance to check your supply and reload as needed.  You'll also thank yourself for not getting caught with your ships half busted and malfunctioning in the very next fight.

-In a battle, hit TAB to see the overlay and check your ships' CR.  If you see a warning about a ship going past its peak performance, consider ordering it to retreat so it doesn't waste combat readiness and cost more supplies to recover.  If you get a warning about malfunctions, get them outta there.  Also, learn to gauge the strength of both fleets before the battle; if you're confident you can beat the enemy without your entire fleet, hold some back.  Ships that don't deploy don't pay any extra cost and you can always call them in later if you need backup.  A completely valid strategy is to load up some ships with limited missiles/torpedoes, send them in, let them fire their payload for some quick kills and retreat them so your main ships can finish the job.  As long as you see the message about victory and hitting ESC to win, then it's all good.

-Consider getting a (P)buffalo or two--the red ones.  They hold great cargo space, don't cost much to maintain, won't slow your fleet down too badly AND can protect illegal cargo from scans, letting you move juicy stuff like armaments, drugs or organs for big payouts.  Just make sure your smuggled goods aren't greater than the capacity of your shielded cargo holds or it's all for naught.  Same goes for a Dram or Phaeton tanker.  Just one Dram easily doubles the range of a fledgling fleet; a phaeton can take even a mid-sized fleet out on comfortable survey missions or bounties.  Run the improved efficiency hullmod for even cheaper logistics ship costs.

-Be VERY choosy about taking ships with (D) mods; they may be cheaper to buy and cost less supplies to deploy but they pay for it in performance and they DON'T let you deploy more ships than is otherwise allowed.  Finding a ship with D-mods that don't hurt its performance is a lucky break that doesn't happen as often as we might like.  I personally steer clear of the increased maintenance and faulty power grid D-mods at all costs; being generally more expensive and having overall poorer flux stats hurts the value of EVERY ship.  Try to avoid fuel/cargo/crew ships, AKA "logistics" ships, with D-mods.  They're always something that hurts the ship's primary capacity in some way or makes it more expensive to run.  Since you ideally NEVER want to deploy those ships in battle anyway, D-mods are never really an advantage for them.

StarSector has a learning curve; this can't be denied.  I find, however, that it's actually fairly deep and not unnecessarily complex.  The fact that it's primarily a text-based game keeps it from being overly communicative but it also forces development to squeeze a lot of depth out of what complexity it has.  A little trial and error, a little observation of the right factors and SS becomes a great experience; you learn a lot along the way, have plenty of room for your personal playstyle with a reasonable skill ceiling and it feels great to be successful--traits all games should aspire to have.  It's not without its flaws and faults but it's got it where it counts and has enormous potential for growth.  Just stay cool, read up on what you're flying, check the tooltips and always bring just a bit more than you think you need.

Found a Paragon with only an erratic fuel injector in a debris field one time, no more than 20 minutes into a fresh playthrough.  I wasn't even specced for salvaging.  I simply could not believe my luck.  Didn't have near the income to support it or the weapons to fill it but HOT DAMN.

General Discussion / Re: Hegemony Kite(A)
« on: November 25, 2019, 03:42:59 AM »
I usually skip kites, but they make absurdly cheap salamander boats.  Throw a half dozen of these guys in with your main forces and somebody IS getting a stalled engine for half the fight.

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