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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

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Author Topic: [0.95.1a] Magellan Protectorate v1.5a - Big update.  (Read 169381 times)

Melcyna

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Re: [0.95.1a] Magellan Protectorate v1.5a - Big update.
« Reply #285 on: November 06, 2022, 12:53:03 AM »

Considering shielded ships ARE basically immune to beam weapons until you overload or force them to drop the shield... (and that's assuming you can defeat their flux dissipation rate)
If these ablative armor doesn't at least do that much, imho it would not even be viable vs ships with shield.

And I'd hope a Mazian of all things can survive for a while being shot by beam weapons (especially if it can spread the damage around) since you know dodging it is not exactly practical, and you can't really run away in a Mazian either.
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Chroma

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Re: [0.95.1a] Magellan Protectorate v1.5a - Big update.
« Reply #286 on: November 10, 2022, 06:10:56 PM »

Here's some feedback on Magellan Protectorate overall as well as Magellan Protectorate 1.5a, based on designing for the 2022 Wikifish Soup Kitchen Tournament as well as general play on a heavily modded campaign starting comissioned with Magellan from Annore. Won't go over the entire modpack but here's some of the very basic rules I followed;

1.) Keep player skills the same as vanilla... mostly. 15 level limit, no changes to 240 dp limit etc (More on that later)
2.) Heavily prioritize Magellan Protectorate weapons, use vanilla weapons as rarely as possible, never use other mod weapons unless there are too many limits (Mostly this only applied to Leveller energy weapon slots)

The campaign isn't exactly finished as I have been wanting to change a few of the mod settings in my modpack, namely make faction standings as hostile as possible, or something. I believe one mod, Ruthless Sector, made getting faction relations too easy by killing pirates and the Herd? Unsure. However I did get a LOT of playtesting with the Magellans done! Especially in that aforementioned tournament.

Campaign layer

There's a perfect amount of conflict for a player to go around and have fun in for the early start. I never really struggled to find things to do in this early phase as I geared up for exploration. Something I noticed very early by going with a start that gave me a normal Capella, that Capella had solenoid guns. Now during the tournament I have learned to love Solenoids for certain Porey builds, but for a Capella it has caused me no shortage of grief.

So, Solenoids push whatever it hits away, especially when it crits. I was also using an electron bomb. Flameouts + solenoid push = targets end up flying away while flamed out. It was extremely annoying, especially given how flux inefficient the Solenoid gun is + no range. It felt like I was actively using a simply inferior kinetic weapon to any other medium kinetic. Later I learned to love Solenoids, just not 2 of them on a Capella. That seems to be the default fit for a Capella variant...

So, after exploring some more, earning credits, one insanely lucky Apogee rng IndEvo event and salvaging the goodies strewn about the Magellan constellation my fleet ended up looking like this. The Salvage Fleet + a wild Kreshov.

Spoiler
Note: Pirates in Better Variants love, and I mean love Salamanders. PD is a must.
Note 2: Derelicts in this modpack are a big threat early game as they have enhanced range and more dangerous variants. They have frigates that can out-dance the Capella flagship's weapons.
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Basically; I fought a lot of Herd so I ended up with a lot of Herd things to salvage. I spent way too much time exploring in this campaign as I got just awful luck to find anything of note for colonization. As I kept playing I visited Magellan markets and collected an array of ships to stash away in the Yma siphon station. During play I noticed that the Herd ships were decent, but they had a tendency to die a lot. I could almost certainly massively improve their survivability through restoration, but I didn't want to make a Herd fleet I wanted to make a Magellan Protectorate fleet! So, my first campaign fleet attempt was a Sung fleet.

Spoiler
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It was pretty good. Using basic line tactics it could take on 3 full stacks of Blade Breaker detachments... possibly. Those BB cruisers that dart around rapidly are very difficult to deal with, but otherwise the BB fearless tactics skewer itself into the Bonecrusher Battery spears of the 3 Sungs. I imagine they have a similar effect vs very large Remnant fights. On the note of Sungs, they're excellent. Their built-in missile is absolutely incredible and, now that they have Ballistic Accelerator, they should make up a core part of the Magellan line. Two things about the Sung make me dislike them though, one a way worse issue than the other. Back to that later.

Okay, so using that Sung fleet I did most mid-game things. I fought some modded Bosses (Cataclysm, lost. The Seele boss, won.), fought a lot of BB fleets, fought Remnant, then the 9th Battalion from Arsenal Expansion went and captured that one refinery planet in the Magellan home system, guarded by 3 grand invasion fleets. So, I ended up fighting Paragons, SO Auroras and other silly high tech things for awhile.

When the 9th send another 5-fleet large invasion fleet toward Jeshad this time, I pulled out a panic Mazian. I had already been training officers in prep for using Graffs, Kreshovs and Mazians, so all I needed were weapons. I had to make due with what I had, which means I ended up using some modded weapons for the battles around Magella.

Spoiler
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The Mazian was able to survive a paragon and a whole lot of auroras picking away at it. It does damage, but has almost no kill potential. Very good for a fleet centered around a player making big high-impact plays, so it works great for things like player flagship Capella, Chenel, SO Kreshov, Keu, Yaeger etc.

Inadvertently when the enemy fleets decided to re-engage, I deployed that same Mazian. Would you suspect this Mazian still had like 80% of its entire survivability left thanks to elite combat endurance, polarized armor, damage control etc? Because it looks like it's about to fall apart. Yet it could still take on 2 onslaughts for a full minute, easily.

Spoiler
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So they got driven off. I didn't do anything particularly groundbreaking with the Mazian, but I DID notice something ridiculous with the Mazian. Remember how I said "(More on that later)" regarding vanilla skills? Well, the Mazian requires ~40 days to repair from ~20% hull without the Field Repairs skill. That just makes me never want to use the Mazian because, ouch. Also the Field Repairs repair bonus is nerfed if you go above 240DP total, including civilian ships. Which is... silly. So, I ended up getting Adjustable Skill Thresholds only for Field Repairs. With field repairs it's a lot more managable, but its still like 20 days or something. Anyways, after fighting some other modded threats such as PRV Agni and even more blade breakers, I decided I wanted to change up my fleet even more. Specifically I wanted to get rid of Sungs because they have a glaring flaw that makes them really bad. So I took a look at my balefire Almarshads and decided - what if we really committed to the fusion bit? I ended up with a Capella, a Mazian, 4 SO fusion bomb Graffs, 1 balefire Edger with 3 Jittes, 1 Trebucket ECM SKT Edger, 1 or 2 Fusion Bombs Kreshovs and then fusion bomb Almarshads. Many, many fusion bomb Almarshads! With Wolfpack. And mercenary officers. Yes, they did a LOT of damage.

Spoiler
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Unfortunately, a lot of it against shields, but fusion bombs are just so fun! Unfortunately I found that there was not enough chunk to fight stations with this above fleet, so I slightly modified it by removing the mazian and adding in 6 SO Kreshov bombers.

It does exceptionally good. Tested vs the 9th battalion Scorn high tech battlestation. Not a single Kreshov fell, in fact the only ships that fell were my Chenel (I vented too many times and the station threw mines at me), 2 almarshads (mines.) and a Yaeger that died to its own fusion bomb or something. It happens, doesn't bother me. Unfortunately, SO Kreshov spam is not good against highly mobile endgame threats such as remnants or blade breakers. The Kreshovs end up being not impactful enough, allowing the mobile ships to split the Magellan line apart and then wipe out the fleet surrounding the Kreshovs. This is a common theme among the Mazian and Kreshov - don't rely on them to kill anything that can move even modestly fast, even speed boosts such as SO.

I never once saw a SKT or BCR ship in Magellan markets.

Brief Weapon and Hullmod Thoughts

Blast Hammer Artillery Very cool weapon. Nothing bad to say about it, it's a great sidegrade to the Hellbore. After using it extensively in testing on the Mazian, Sungs, Porey and Graffs, I did think of an interesting idea. So I know the original idea was giving BHammers 1,200 range, but that it seemed a little over the top. What if BHammers had 900 normal range, but then the projectile slows down considerably past 1,000 range, until eventually exploding at 1,200 range? Was just a random idea, could be neat though. Have the AI treat its range like 1,000 for aiming purposes, but have the projectile stick around just a bit beyond its normal range?

The above is an awful idea in retrospect due to how ECCM affects the blast hammer artillery NOPENOPENOPENOPE

Boneshaker Cannon
There's a version of this cannon with 3 barrels that spawns with the SKT Chenel derelict. Is that intended? Haven't seen that anywhere else.

Fusion Bomb Barrage
The spread feels... unusually large for just 12x500 damage on a precious large missile slot, and the bombs seem to have less HP than the medium one too. I would like to see either the spread reduced on first fire (repeat fire can be just as wide) or give the bombs more HP, because otherwise as it stands it only seems usable on suicidal meme fits (read: Herd Graff, and even then... hammer barrage.) or with some other mod combo (read: scy wormhole missile).

Large Bonechip Battery
It would be useful and funny to see a Large Bonechip Battery flak gun.

Bonecrusher, Bonecrusher Battery
So, Bonecrushers. They're 12OP Boneshakers but with all its dps put into one projectile, less overall accuracy, 100 more range and a 20% onhit emp/energy. And of course Bonecrusher Battery is 2x the fun.

As it stands I feel like these are overtuned. The ballistic accelerator/AAF system has helped me realize this. They're effectively 1.0 efficient against shields, which is fine, but then they have a 200 emp hit and very good on-hit effect on armor/hull which makes its efficiency a bit of an outstanding factor. Magellan Frag weapons are good generalist weapons, but the Bonecrusher might be too good of a generalist for the flux efficiency it gives. Specifically the medium, which has the Boneshaker to compare to. Because they're actually half decent vs armor+emp, I feel like a small flux increase could make it stand more in line with the power level of other weapons in the Magellan lineup.

Fighter Crowding
This hullmod does not work on Bastardswords at all, which is a real shame. Especially since it doesn't work on the SKT Bastardsword, either. Is that intentional? Reserve Deployment (and fighter crowding) works on Xyphos escorts, which are effectively the Bastardsword's vanilla comparison. I don't understand why it wouldn't work on Bastardswords or SKT Bastardswords, which are more like an ordinary (if hella strong) heavy fighter.

Magellan Shield Tuning
This Hullmod is really nice for Magellan, but I feel like it should be 'incompatible' with Solar Shielding. It feels slightly exploitative to be able to counteract the bonus damage from (most) beams while also further improving Magellan shields vs. energy projectiles. Or maybe the downside of shield tuning could be some other downside that's less ignorable?

Ablative Composites
While the beam damage resistance is kind of necessary, I feel like it's also very exploitable. Solar Shielding strikes again! I think a nice idea would be to have the beam resistance transferred from hull over only to armor damage calculations but I imagine that probably isn't very easy to code. Or perhaps nerfing beam resistance for Graff and Kreshov would help? Overall I'm very satisfied with the ships this hullmod is attached to, though.

If Solar Shielding becomes incompatible with armor composites/shield tuning, might be cool to add the hyperspace storm resistance to the incompatible hullmod.
______________________________
If things aren't listed here, it means I'm overall very happy with the weapon, wing or hullmod... not counting the built-ins, I will talk about them in the ships section. Even Solenoid Quench, which annoyed me at first, I grew to love.

Brief Ship Thoughts

Because BCR and SKT ships never appeared in the markets, I only messed around with the ones you find in the star system with the derelict ships.

Built-ins in Carriers
This has been a super unliked feature of 1.5a. I tend to agree, it's not a particularly fun feature. I know this isn't the intended end result though so I'll just leave it.

Mazian and Kreshov
Absolutely happy with these ships ships. While they're far more survivable than a 50/24DP ship has any right to be, it also has a severe lack of kill potential. They can smack AI onslaughts silly, but even an onslaught can wipe out a Mazian if the fit on the Onslaught is decent. The biggest reason why I'm mentioning them here though is this:

Spoiler
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The left and right large mounts feel a little stapled on. Not a big issue, it's not noticeable so long as they have large weapons equipped, but someone pointed it out and I can't unsee it now.

Edger SKT
Ironically it feels like a sidegrade to the Edger due to the built-in wings. The large missile slot is incredible, the SKT Bastardsword is incredible, the SKT Lochabers are really awful. If an enemy ship is holding still their damage is not very good and if the enemy is moving away from the payload the damage is pitiful. When allowed to run amok, a wing of SKT lochabers deal as much damage as Kant LVL Swarmfighters. For a bomber with no EMP component, that's not very good. Luckily the rest of the Edger SKT's tools are so strong that it ends up being around as impactful as a normal Edger can be.

Almarshad
Excellent ship. Perfect wolfpack frigates capable of surviving thanks to a mixture of their armor, speed, shield, agility and flak drone. However I saw an Almarshad use its impulse drive when an enemy ship was at 5% hull hp, then another almarshad used a fusion bomb and the almarshad exploded. I just thought you would like to know ;D

Kant
Note: Wikifish thought its system affected wing weapon range. Is this true? Just curious.

These ships are good, but I don't particularly enjoy using them because the support they offer is not as impactful a, well, any other ship I could choose. I'd rather have a Pollard PD+ClusterAC destroyer than a Kant for PD duty, and I'd rather have an edger than any amount of Kants for missile support. A damper field like the BCR Kant makes it worth its 12 DP, as it gives it a more defined support role in the fleet. So, that's nice...

Or, perhaps, having a single built in linked flak or bonechipper or electron PD thrown on to give it even more of a support role!

Graff
Regardless of whether or not you decide to nerf their survivability (I have no opinion myself, I could go either way) there's this one problem Quirk Graffs have...

They're designed to die.

As destroyers, they cannot reach the long range of cruisers and lack maneuverability to stay out of combat consistenly, leading to quick deaths. As SO destroyers, they... well, they turn into a bigger version of a vanguard, which are designed to explode during the course of battle. When I decided to spec out of Hull Restoration to try out a combat skill tree on Chenel, this happened to my graffs;

Spoiler
Once a pristine graff. Now, um. Not a pristine graff.
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Rugged Construction would go well with them. They don't have the durability to withdraw effectively when in combat like a Kreshov can, and they don't have the HP to survive for the whole battle like a Mazian can. Honestly not a big deal though, with Hull Restoration it's a non-issue and with copious amounts of credits it's also a non-issue. For their DP they are excellent and making them even more tanky will just make them outright overpowered in my opinion.

Sung
So I've already spoken about the Sung in the campaign. I preferred the old Sung for one reason, and now I hesitate to use the Sung at all for another reason. I never played Magellan a lot in 1.3, but I did start loving the Sung. It's a biased reason; I love broadside ships. 1.3 Sung was very reasonably a broadside ship. Here was the 1.3 Sung

Spoiler
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Now, it's only truly capable of a frontal loadout. This isn't why I stopped using them though, even though I really want to broadside with them I'd still use them as solid line ships if it wasn't for a flaw they have.

Spoiler
I died immediately after this screenshot was taken, from the Sungs' second salvo of missiles, as the first salvo flamed out my flagship.

A more clear example taken in sim.
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The first PNG was from a 'real' battle. The Sung missile splits into 3 projectiles when it reaches a distance from the target. Fighter wings, frigates, cruisers, doesn't matter. If there is an ally between the missile and the projectiles, the ally will be hit. This happened to me about every other fight, it happened in tournament fleet testing too, the Sungs are Leveller traitors in disguise. This unfortunately makes them somewhat unusable. A big part of their use is the built-in missile, which can either be blocked by allies or even hit allies.

Talley
Spoiler
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This thing is imo a worse Wayfarer. For 2 more DP than the wayfarer the benefits are minor while also losing 15 OP. I understand that the Talley has more cargo and more armor, but for 2 more DP than the Wayfinder I feel like the Talley could afford some more OP. Even the system is sort of a downgrade, it loses the support of the Wayfarer's flares and gains impulse drive and no fusion bomb to launch

Really cool blinking light effect, by the way.

______________________________

And that's pretty much all my feedback! I could talk a lot about the fleets I tested in the tournament, but ultimately that testing bleeded into my campaign as well. For example, I started using fusion bomb almarshads in the tourney before I tried out wolf pack almarshad fusion bombs, and bonecrushers I used in Campaign before using them in tournament. I feel like every ship besides the Talley, Kant and Sung not only have a place in the Magellan fleet but I would not want to 'upgrade' from them to a different Magellan ship. The impression it gives me is that they all have great potential, without being exploitative overall. Even the Talley, Sung and Kant are all good in their own right, and even then only the Sung makes me actively not want to use it.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 03:22:25 PM by Chroma »
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: [0.95.1a] Magellan Protectorate v1.5a - Big update.
« Reply #287 on: November 10, 2022, 06:50:52 PM »

Thanks for the big pile of feedback. A couple notes:

- Broadly agree about the Sung: I'm not pleased with it in current form. Gave the LRM submunitions PROJECTILE_NO_FF collisions class in the dev just now, which should fix your complaints there. As far as broadsiding... that was never really the intent, and it ended up being something I had to sacrifice. I have some skin ideas for later, though.

- On the Graff: it's probably the strongest candidate for a right-click system and may need Damper Field (or something like it) to be viable. They die easy, yeah, but ton-for-ton they can hammer a lot of stuff in the early game, too. So... needs a tune-up.

- Carrier Built-ins: I feel you, but my desired implementation (base fighter LPC replaced by skin-appropriate version) was just too complex for this update (since, uh... the naive version rapidly fills up your cargo space with fighter LPCs).

- Suggestions: I've got some ideas for large weapons, now that I have more hulls to carry those. A med/large flak is more likely to be some kind of grenade launcher, though. Ablative Composites is probably going to get some major tweaks, especially to the damage resistances; those are probably the single part of the hullmod I like the least in their current form.

(the blinkenlights on the Talley are actually vanilla deco weapons - I thought about making a couple of my own, but they work just fine).
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 08:00:05 PM by Harmful Mechanic »
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Chroma

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Re: [0.95.1a] Magellan Protectorate v1.5a - Big update.
« Reply #288 on: November 10, 2022, 07:38:31 PM »

Quote
A med/large flak is more likely to be some kind of grenade launcher

Oh boy that sounds fun!
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