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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: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 335971 times)

Sy

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #525 on: April 08, 2016, 11:23:23 PM »

yeah, i think beams in general could really use more visual differentiation. with more distinct colors (at least between beams that deal different types of damage), a wider range of widths, and additional/stronger secondary effects, or even secondary colors.

in Diablo 3, i always liked how the wizard's "Ray of Frost" ability has five distinct beam styles for the different upgrade-runes, while keeping the same ice blue color as base:


Starsector beams look rather bland in comparison:
can anyone identify all six weapons used here? :D

Spoiler
[close]

even in Starsector, beams already look rather flashy simply by being beams, compared to most projectile based weapons, so i can understand not wanting to go overboard with fancy visual effects. but i still think the different weapons should be more easily identifiable at a glance without having to look at the firing weapon itself, especially given their long range. most beams, at least the ones that fire continously, could probably be quite a bit thinner and still be easily visible, if just adding additional effects would create too much visual fireworks.
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Soda Savvy

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #526 on: April 11, 2016, 12:52:14 PM »

One could go the full realism route and have all the lasers be invisible, with nothing but giant explosions and geysers of vaporized metal at the impact points depending on beam strength.

And the particle weapons act like trans continental flame throwers.

Maybe, however, add in a 'Pulse laser' variant, like from battletech? Those always had a nice deal of variety.


That does bring up an idea though; A Plasma lance, that acts like a beam, but has a chance to ignore high flux shields, and when it does it flamethrowers the entire inside of the shield bubble. Ship turns into a glowing sphere until the shield overloads, low level energy damage across everything.

But that's heading into the 'too much work' silly area.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #527 on: April 11, 2016, 03:12:07 PM »

The only two beams I have difficulty distinguishing, and are important to distinguish, are graviton beam and ion beam.  Ion beam seems slightly whiter and tighter, but not enough to tell it apart from graviton beam quickly.  Graviton beam, player can shrug off if necessary.  Ion beam, can be bad news and some ships should get out of range ASAP.

HIL is bluer enough that I can tell it apart from Graviton/Ion beams.

As for phase/tachyon lances, both are damaging enough that it does not matter what shade of purple they are.  They simply hurt.  It would be nice if we can tell them apart more easily, though it will not help much.
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Serenitis

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #528 on: April 17, 2016, 01:45:51 PM »

This new thing where missiles lose thier tiny minds and go derping off into the black whenever thier target cloaks or skims is really annoying and frustrating.
It makes fighting any phase/skim equipped ship so amazingly tedious by turning the 'battle' into a clock-watching episode where you wait for the target to either run out of CR or retreat.

Change back to previous behaviour please. Please!
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #529 on: April 17, 2016, 03:10:42 PM »

Yeah, looking at this is on my list somewhere. Doing other things at the moment, but I'll get to it eventually :)
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Aik

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #530 on: April 18, 2016, 01:04:17 AM »

Is it just me, or is this game vastly more difficult than it used to be? Massive fleets that wouldn't be a threat before unless you badly screw up can chase you down easily now. Everyone pretty much has the same burn speed in the map now? It's getting quite frustrating.

Most of the fleets that chase me down and obliterate my poxy fleet of frigates are big enough that they should have better things to do...
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Dri

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #531 on: April 18, 2016, 08:45:07 AM »

Where are you that these big fleets can actually catch you? If you are flying through an enemy controlled system then yeah, it should be really dangerous. It should be very easy to avoid larger pirate fleets and make sure you don't go into Hyperspace too soon!

I chill in Corvus for the early game killing pirates until I have a few frigates and destroyers. Then, I hunt bounties as my main source of cash; when I approach the planet with the bounty fleet I "Go Dark" and check out what ships they have.
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Aik

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #532 on: April 19, 2016, 12:30:00 AM »

The thing is that the big fleets are mostly the same speed as my little fleet, so it's possible for them to keep up a chase whereever. To lose them I often have to lure them back to friendly territory and have an allied fleet distract them while I escape. Going dark can help if they start off a fair way behind, but usually they're close enough and fast enough to be able to find me if I go dark, even in good terrain, once the chase has started.

The worst is when a very small/fast fleet catches up and then a slower much larger fleet that's reasonably far away joins in on the the battle against me. It seems terribly unfair.

Pursuit battles aren't that fun. It would be nice if there was something to limit the number of them you have to deal with. I don't mind when I've just lost a battle, but being pushed into them repeatedly (because they're rarely happy with beating you up once...) against fleets you have no hope whatsoever of doing anything against is unfun. I'd rather just have the option to surrender...

Disclaimer that I'm playing a heavily modded game, but I doubt this is a mod-thing.

I might just be bad at this game, but I didn't used to be!
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Histidine

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #533 on: April 19, 2016, 04:33:04 AM »

The annoying thing is that before sensors, fleets would chase other fleets (including the player) for a while, then give up and go do something else if they didn't catch up after a while. Now they hound their victim until they catch it or lose contact, which looks rather ridiculous in most contexts (especially if it's a multi-capital fleet chasing a single frigate).

(I've complained about this before, though from a modding POV)
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #534 on: April 19, 2016, 08:58:05 AM »

It may indeed be mod-related in the sense that a modded game tends to have more fleets, so it's harder to avoid things. The way it is now does require a different set of skills than before, though.

In 0.7.2a, I did make it so that enemy fleets are less likely to pursue - and will instead harass - if they don't have anything that might be able to catch up to you on the combat map. Perhaps that could use another look, if you're frequently running into pursuit battles where nothing happens. It'd be good to know the fleet makeups involved.


The annoying thing is that before sensors, fleets would chase other fleets (including the player) for a while, then give up and go do something else if they didn't catch up after a while. Now they hound their victim until they catch it or lose contact, which looks rather ridiculous in most contexts (especially if it's a multi-capital fleet chasing a single frigate).

Yeah, the "huge fleet vs lone frigate" could use a look - should probably abort earlier. Maybe, say, a base month-long pursuit duration modified by a factor based on the relative sizes.

In general, though, fleets being persistent about chasing you down is very much intentional and, I think, a good thing for the difficulty long term. If they get bored easily overall, then it's just too easy to defeat-in-detail or just in general avoid any fleets you don't want to encounter. And then you get things like smaller fleets shadowing you until they reach critical mass, which is important to prevent a large player fleet from becoming 100% untouchable. (It still is due to skills + officers, but that's a separate issue.)
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Dark.Revenant

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #535 on: April 19, 2016, 09:18:27 AM »

It would be nice to have more granular controls, like to set priorities for certain behavior.  For example, if I want a fleet to guard another, I want it to be very unaggressive with chasing enemies and prioritize keeping to its normal movement routine (simply being near the thing it's trying to guard).
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xenoargh

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #536 on: April 19, 2016, 08:53:21 PM »

Quote
And then you get things like smaller fleets shadowing you until they reach critical mass, which is important to prevent a large player fleet from becoming 100% untouchable.
This doesn't actually work out, in practice, because those small, fast-enough-to-catch-you fleets are inevitably weak fleets that pose no threat, even in large numbers, once you reach a certain point in the game.  I'm not sure that this is a good solution to player power in general; if Skills get nerfed to the point where they're largely just cosmetic, rather than making high-end enemies considerably more scary, then we're right back to single-player-vs-all being the motif, rather than fleet combat being efficient.  I don't that's the way to go, tbh; I think SS+ has largely gone the right way, by giving the player genuinely challenging fights to have at high levels- the only major flaw is that they're entirely optional fights, rather than things the player cannot always avoid, so they don't provide any real sense of danger.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #537 on: April 19, 2016, 09:13:33 PM »

This doesn't actually work out, in practice, because those small, fast-enough-to-catch-you fleets are inevitably weak fleets that pose no threat, even in large numbers, once you reach a certain point in the game.

Well, I did mention skills being a related-but-separate issue.

I'm not sure that this is a good solution to player power in general; if Skills get nerfed to the point where they're largely just cosmetic, rather than making high-end enemies considerably more scary, then we're right back to single-player-vs-all being the motif, rather than fleet combat being efficient.

This seems backwards to me. The high bonuses from skills, and in particular high offensive bonuses coupled with low defensive bonuses, are largely what enables single-player-vs-all. Clearly we're thinking about this differently; what're your thoughts?


It would be nice to have more granular controls, like to set priorities for certain behavior.  For example, if I want a fleet to guard another, I want it to be very unaggressive with chasing enemies and prioritize keeping to its normal movement routine (simply being near the thing it's trying to guard).

For the time being, I think this is a decent workaround. The assignments are enough to basically let a script override ship AI whenever it decides it's necessary to.
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Tartiflette

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #538 on: April 19, 2016, 11:05:49 PM »

This seems backwards to me. The high bonuses from skills, and in particular high offensive bonuses coupled with low defensive bonuses, are largely what enables single-player-vs-all. Clearly we're thinking about this differently; what're your thoughts?
Sorry to butt in, I've been meaning to make a big suggestion post about skills for a while and this is a good occasion.

My idea for a skill revamp would be that instead of giving direct bonuses, most of them (except leadership type skills) would unlock a dedicated hullmod at level 1, and all subsequent levels would improve the efficiency of that hullmod. Then they could still provide significant bonuses, but since you'd have to spend OP and could not install all of them, that would prevent turning all ships in flawless murder machines.

A few skills could still provide direct bonuses, like reduced deployment costs, better targeting lead, accelerated repairs, (side deployment in attack battles, raised peak efficiency time?) etc so that officers are still useful. Also their ships could maybe be ordered around without spending command points for example.

I still need to mull over some details and I should make a proper suggestion someday.
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xenoargh

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Re: Starsector 0.7.2a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #539 on: April 20, 2016, 06:50:03 AM »

Quote
My idea for a skill revamp would be that instead of giving direct bonuses, most of them (except leadership type skills) would unlock a dedicated hullmod at level 1, and all subsequent levels would improve the efficiency of that hullmod. Then they could still provide significant bonuses, but since you'd have to spend OP and could not install all of them, that would prevent turning all ships in flawless murder machines.
That's an interesting idea, although the devil's certainly in the details.  Personally, I'm not at all sure that coupling Hull Mods and skills was a great idea in the first place, especially when most of them are on Tech / Combat areas we'd get anyhow. 

It made it so that a bunch of the Hull Mods don't even get used, if you didn't want to get XYZ path filled out because Grind, which just removes potential fun from the game.  But since people can still mega-level by abusing trade, I guess that's all right...

Seriously, though, I think that ultimately, Hull Mods should be tied to missions given to you by Factions, where the power toys require pretty amazing heroics, rather than leveling.  But that gets into later polish issues with the development of the game; I think discussion of this probably has to wait until Industry is Alpha and we can have a coherent discussion about the difficulty ramp in general.

Quote
Clearly we're thinking about this differently; what're your thoughts?
Basically, there's a vaaaaaast difference between rolling around with a couple of Frigates and Level-0 pilots and what I was rolling around with the last time I went to level 40+ on regular difficulty- a few Frigates for chasers and a mix of Medusas and Enforcers and Level-20 Captains with hand-picked skill trees (i.e., I just ruthlessly culled them any time they got a bad upgrade choice), backed up by my invinci-Cruiser, an Apogee kitted to shield tank.

The fleet could catch practically anything and fear nothing, and I could just sit back and watch.  Practically no amount of anything less than Cruiser-sized could kill even one member of this fleet, frankly. 

Certainly not anything Pirate(D), which is the only Faction where this dynamic happens all that often.  But I could exploit that behavior and take out 30+ ships in a single fight that would be a reasonable payoff in Supplies / Fuel, if nothing else, by letting them get brave / dumb enough to "catch" me.  Suckas!

Now... would that have worked vs. 200+ ships, because at that level, Pirates only spawn hordes?  No, then I'd have had to individually pilot every one of those ships, most likely, and it'd have been genuinely dicey, because CR decay would've made it hard.  But they don't, nor do they wait until it'd be actually smart to engage. 

Fact is, anything less than an Armada should not tangle with one player Destroyer backed up by another Destroyer and 3+ Frigates.

I think that the Fleet AI should get more exposed in the API; I'd be more than willing to write a smart one that takes player levels / power into account, calls reinforcements, etc.

On the whole subject of Skill power... it's not that Skills are OP / UP.  It's that when you get past Level 20, you're just not seeing dangerous-enough opponents, because Markets are still spawning the same ol' same ol' and the Variants aren't dynamically adjusting to reflect what players+ allied Captains can do.  SS+ largely addressed that, at least for Bounties, but it needs to be addressed in the base game mechanics; having the Markets strictly limit what the AI can field doesn't work well atm (which is exactly the same problem Mount and Blade had, which they resolved in the way I'm describing, by largely de-coupling Lords from the "real" economy).
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