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Author Topic: 0.7.2 feedback  (Read 20739 times)

Megas

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0.7.2 feedback
« on: March 07, 2016, 08:18:03 AM »

This is not as long or complete as my previous feedback posts because I cannot spend as much time playing Starsector at the moment.

New starter ships
* Wayfarer:  Definitely more usable than Cerberus, thanks to shields and decent, if not great, stats.  Its weapon mounts are similar to Centurion, except Wayfarer's have wider arcs, making it easier to aim three weapons with Wayfarer than with Centurion.  Vulcans are no-brainers for the rear mounts, it needs them to defend against missiles (flare launcher is not enough).  Side mounts are best served with tactical laser, ion cannon, or more ballistics.  Not the best combat frigate, but usable.  Assign a Cautious officer to the Wayfarer and it will do a decent job at surviving.

* Centurion:  This feels like a weird cross between a scaled-down Conquest and a Monitor.  It is difficult to point three guns on one target, although it has no trouble pointing two at two.  It is easier to fight with the Wayfarer than with the Centurion!  The best configuration is identical to the Wayfarer, that is, two Vulcans at the back, two ballistics at the front, and ballistic, tactical laser, or ion cannon at the sides.  I often mount Salamander on its sole missile mount.

Not too fond of this ship.  When I wanted for another midline frigate, I hoped for something like a scaled-down Hammerhead, Falcon, or Eagle.  Instead, we get another Monitor-like ship - good defense, poor firepower (too hard to aim three guns at the enemy).  I suppose one thing in favor for it is a bit more common than Monitor, and if player wants more, he can buy broken shuttles to suicide in and respawn.

* Scarab:  Its Temporal Shell makes it much more powerful than it appears.  With altered time, Scarab can be elsewhere quickly and unleash more firepower, making it an excellent pursuit vessel.  Scarab has many mounts, but come on, you know the front five will be dedicated to offense and the rest at the sides will be for PD, if not left empty.  Scarab does not have the flux stats to support five IR pulse lasers or more than one or two antimatter blasters for the duration of its Temporal Shell.  The default configuration probably works best, although five beams or ion cannons might work alright.

One annoying thing about Scarab - it is almost as rare as Hyperion.  Combined that player cannot respawn as Scarab, the Scarab start is a no-brainer choice for me, even with the Tri-Tachyon reputation hit (which is a big deal if I want a Tri-Tachyon commission).  Lashers are common as dirt.  Wayfarer appears often enough in Black Markets.  Centurion is accessible for Hegemony members, rare otherwise, but at least player can suicide for Centurion if desperate for it.  Scarab... the starter is likely the only one you will get.  (I was lucky and found another Scarab in Tibicena's Black Market.)

If I do not want Scarab, Centurion becomes the next starter choice (assuming combat-focused character) because Hegemony is the only faction that uses them often enough, and they are locked behind commission.  Lasher is ubiquitous and needs no commission, only favorable relations.  Not sure about Wayfarer since I only see them somewhat frequently in Black Markets.

Phase cloak and ships
In general...

Phasing is not very useful for avoiding attacks thanks to cool down.  However, it is extremely useful for mobility.  When I use a phase ship, I phase it until it reaches my destination.

Afflictor's Quantum Disruptor is nasty.  Brings down shields, unphases other phase ships, unlocks ships out of their systems.  It can even block attempts to teleport.

Fighting phase frigates are about as obnoxious as before.  They dart about, trying to flank the target.  If they cannot, they back off, vent, then try again.  Yes, they are vulnerable after decloaking, but most ships are too slow to catch phase frigates, making the latter mostly untouchable as before.  The only improvement from before is they run out of CR - and become vulnerable - much faster.  In the worst case, it is a few minutes.

Doom is easier to fight though.  It is not too fast even while phased.

* Harbinger:  Seems powerful.  Can focus-fire three medium guns to blast stuff and use two Vulcans for rear PD.  Feels much like a phase Sunder, although it can be configured for missile spam, if desired.  So far, my favorite configuration is three heavy blasters and two Vulcans.  With skills, the Harbinger can vent spam three blasters very well.  Only problem, three blasters with less than great flux capacity do not combine well with Entropy Amplifier (very similar to Diablo II's cursed status), since venting breaks the curse.  What I often do is curse, fire blasters twice, phase, fire more blasters, vent.

New weapons
Not impressed with Ion Pulser.  Too short-ranged, bad accuracy, and low sustained DPS.  Phase ships can probably make better use of it, but I rather have a good blaster to smash something quickly, or pulse laser if nothing else.

Ion Beam seems useful, if combined with blasters or ballistics.  I like how it bypasses shields.  Low DPS and high flux costs probably mean I would use only one, maybe two.  The only problem with Ion Beam is it is very rare.  I only got one by looting it from a Vigilance.  I bet Hegemony carries them, but I have yet to see Tri-Tachyon offer them.

Other
It seems AI reacts to Hyperion teleportation more quickly than before.  I have seen the AI shoot at the Hyperion before it fully rematerializes, if guns already point at the destination.  This means Hyperion needs to choose its destination more carefully.  Hyperion should avoid teleporting ahead of the enemy's weapons, or further away from the enemy if it cannot do so.  Teleporting too close to a battleship is a bad idea now.


Ill-Advised Modifications hullmod makes the ship that has it unusable for anything aside from firing one-shot missiles.  I captured a Luddic-Path Lasher, configured it with dual machine guns, Vulcans, light assault gun, and Annihilators.  Almost every time I send it into battle, something or three breaks and goes offline permanently within a few seconds, before I can kill my first ship in battle.  This is too harsh.  Normal malfunctions, sure, no problem.  Critical malfunctions hurt too much.  As for the Lasher I captured, I reverted to an earlier save and pretend that did not happen (sacrificed too many marines to get it).

After seeing what Ill-Advised Modifications did, I did not bother trying the Mudskipper II.  What good is a flying cannon for me if it goes offline after a few seconds of fighting?  Currently, Mudskipper is good only for loot and possibly adding Gauss Cannons for sale at Black Market.


That is all for now.
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TJJ

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2016, 08:36:29 AM »

I really do like the Wayfarer; burn 10, 100 cargo and combat capable?! sign me up!

Not putting missiles in universal mounts always seems wrong somehow, though I've never liked Salamanders.... so for me the jury is still out on how to use those rear mounts.
Perhaps omni-shield is the way to go; though 10 OP is always a big chunk of OP for frigate hulls.

Still, in the early game running away is usually the best course of action, which obviously the Cerberus is superior at.
So maybe the Wayfarer is filling a niche that doesn't actually exist.
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Dri

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 08:40:40 AM »

Heh, you and HELMUT are the feedback pro bros!

Havn't tried a Scarab yet but the new time speed up on the phase ships makes them wicked deadly. Ships that don't have 360 shields or good rear facing firepower are in trouble! As for the other start ships, well, I think you pretty much nailed it; the Centurion has great defense (for a frigate) but with only 2 guns that are easy to point forward it really suffers on the offensive side of things. Same with Wayfarer though its shield does indeed make it more usable than Cerberus.

I haven't tried either of the new weapons but I did manage to buy 4 Ion Beams at Jangala's military market for the future...
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Toxcity

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 08:49:36 AM »

The Scarab is insanely good. Getting around enemy shields has never been so easy. It also acts as a bootleg high-tech ammofeeder which is cool.

After using the Ion Pulser in game, I lowered its damage and flux, changed it to kinetic damage, and increased its range to 600. Made it feel much better as a more dedicated support weapon.
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Megas

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 08:59:58 AM »

I want to mount Salamanders on the Wayfarer, but that makes it too vulnerable to enemy Salamanders and some other missiles.  Even with max OP, OP is a bit tight if I want to use more expensive weapons like railguns.  Light Needlers would be nice, but cost too much OP for Wayfarer.

I would not want Omni Shield hullmod without Extended Shields too.  90 degree arc is too short and 10 OP cost for Omni Shield alone is too much.

Wayfarer has wider firing arcs than Centurion.  It is not too hard to aim three guns with Wayfarer.  Too hard with Centurion though.

@ Dri:  Hegemony is locked for me.  I sided with Tri-Tachyon, and fought more than enough to earn Vengeful from Hegemony.  On the other hand, I managed to buy both Hyperion and Scarab from Tibicena's Black Market in my 0.7.2 game.  Also bought a Harbinger from one of Tri-Tachyon's military markets.
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Alex

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2016, 09:39:04 AM »

Thank you for the detailed feedback, as always!

A quick note about the Mudskipper: the last weapon on a ship can't go offline permanently, and it's only got the one, so it never actually loses the main gun. Just takes a bit of damage from the malfunctions along the way.

About the Harbinger: one loadout I had a lot of fun with was triple phase lances. With phasing in between attacks, they were surprisingly good at overwhelming lower-end shields (or simply frigate-level) shields. And most larger ships, you can get around the shields.

Fighting phase frigates are about as obnoxious as before.  They dart about, trying to flank the target.  If they cannot, they back off, vent, then try again.  Yes, they are vulnerable after decloaking, but most ships are too slow to catch phase frigates, making the latter mostly untouchable as before.  The only improvement from before is they run out of CR - and become vulnerable - much faster.  In the worst case, it is a few minutes.

Right - this is pretty much as-expected. I think it's important to note here that the worst case is:
1) Better than before - shorter, and, unlike before, there are actual counters, even if many/most ships can't do it. But something like the Hyperion (easy) or the Afflictor (harder) can shut them down cold. Or even the Medusa with AM blasters, though that takes some very careful doing and requires saving up skimmer charges for the right time to strike.
2) Much more rare, since unless you're in a very small battle, chances are phase ships will already be running low by the time you turn your attention on them.
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Megas

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2016, 11:23:43 AM »

I tried three Phase Lances before on a Sunder and Harbinger, and it can work.  I would not want to use Phase Lances without Advanced Optics due to having no better range than other energy weapons.  Blasters hit for hard flux, Phase Lances do not.  Very important when trying to punch above your weight (i.e., bringing down battleships).  Since Harbinger cannot supplement their energy weapons with ballistics like Sunder can, I have less incentive to use beams if blasters are available.

A reason I do not want to use Phase Lances on Harbinger, Hyperion, or other relatively fragile ships is because it takes about a second for the Phase Lance to do their damage.  If I only have an instant to pop off a shot before I need to break off, blasters are more useful.  I found this out the hard way when I tried to kill Combat 10 Paragon with Phase Lance Hyperion in late 0.65.  Hyperion simply died if it stuck around to fire beams.  Phase Lance is more useful for ships that can absorb hits (on the shield) then fire back.

As for Afflictor, Hyperion is not an easy hard counter as it used to be, thanks to Quantum Disruptor.  (Hyperion can still shut down Afflictor reliably, just not so easily.)  Usually, Afflictor uses that system immediately after decloaking if my ship (its target) is in range, then fires antimatter blasters.  Hyperion cannot simply camp on the Afflictor and try to kill it as it decloaks, it is much too fast and risk of getting shot back is much higher.  I really need to play Hyperion safe when fighting an Afflictor.  I try not to let it get close enough to use Quantum Disruptor, and I hold the [F] key to double teleport in case Afflictor succeeds in disrupting my Hyperion.  Afflictor is really nasty, since it can easily pump two AM blaster shots to a careless Hyperion and severely damage or destroy it.
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Xareh

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 05:01:12 PM »

So, hi, yeah, it's me - just played some 0.7.2a and wanted to give my thoughts. It's suuper nicely done, but I have two pretty major gripes with it... and they're killing my fun from this game.

I think the last patch I played was 0.6a or so, and I found it awesome. The trading was great, the bounty system made it way easier to afford supplies, there was meaningful progression that felt good. I was building a fleet and really enjoying and seeing where the game was headed. 
I will say as, for dropping in after a very long hiatus, I'm confused as to where to begin. Should I start trading instead of combat? That's... eh.
It looks really slick and there's a lot of cool stuff in it... but even with the amount I have played this game I, well, found it unforgiving. Too unforgiving. I strongly dislike the much larger fleets and the weak starting options you get (I extremely dislike not being able to have a Wolf outside of 'easy' mode for instance - pushing my preference to a difficulty setting is a bit dismaying). I find the Lasher and Kite... not really my style at all.

I'm probably not using my transponder right or any other manner of new mechanics, but I found raw combat just bewilderingly difficult - and it's not a matter of skill, it's a matter of not even having the chance to use the tools that fit my style and fighting horrifically unfair fights. I miss the old fleet compositions where you could find a relatively fair fight - why are the only fights I can find now outnumbering me 3 to 1, worse still, why are they hounding me from halfway across the system, and why are they so easily chasing me down? Granted - I'm probably just really, really, really, really unlucky - and, with the time gap, really awful nowadays.

I don't know, I am super disconnected from what happens nowadays but with about five hundred or more hours in the game over the past three years, I was super surprised to be as frustrated as I was. I'm just bewildered facing six frigate pirate fleets and being incapable of finding anything smaller to sink the proverbial fangs into.

I didn't have problems with gaining credits after a fight though... and any advice would be supremely welcome!
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Dri

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2016, 06:45:28 PM »

I think the easiest start is Bounty Hunter, choose either Lasher or the new Centurion ship, and then choose the free officer that comes with a Kite (A) frigate. Having that fast, agile Kite wingman really helps take the heat off you and you'll find you can manage against 3-5 pirates in their crappy (D) variant ships.
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TJJ

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2016, 07:12:45 PM »

Easiest start is to run cargo missions.

- You don't need much cargo space
- There's no risky combat
- You're leveraging the benefits of starting out in fast ships
- You don't need massive starting capital (~5k is enough to start drug runs; ~15k for organs)
- The impact upon faction relations is minimal (the changes to smuggling have actually made it quite a bit easier).
- The profit margins are unrivaled; each run is at least 50% profit, with some earning 100-150%.
- You seem to now earn XP from missions too?!
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Xareh

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 06:04:38 AM »

I don't know, I am super disconnected from what happens nowadays but with about five hundred or more hours in the game over the past three years, I was super surprised to be as frustrated as I was. I'm just bewildered facing six frigate pirate fleets and being incapable of finding anything smaller to sink the proverbial fangs into.

I didn't have problems with gaining credits after a fight though... and any advice would be supremely welcome!

Do you know that you can join fights in progress now?  In the first few fights of the game, until you unlock RFC or can afford a Wolf or whatever it takes to get over your personal difficulty cliff in the early game, it's worth sacrificing some of the bounty to join a battle between other factions.  Trail along with a decent sized Hegemony fleet that's heading towards Barad, and help it fight a couple of battles that you couldn't handle by yourself.  Help some poor Independent merchant fleet that's getting jumped by those same pirate fleets that A single Centurion or Lasher can easily get outflanked, but if you have a half dozen expendable Hegemony mooks or Independent merchant ships to tank for you, you should be able to win those first few battles.

If you're getting unavoidably chased down, you know you can Emergency Burn away and get that same speed boost the enemies are using right?  As of this version I believe they can't "cheat" and use Burn infinitely anymore so you can generally get away from fights you can't win.  It sounds like there's an element of bad luck here too, my game isn't lacking for Pirate Scouts which are one or two frigates.

Yeah, I actually got into a fight in progress - total mount and blade throwback, was really cool! Good idea I didn't consider on trailing with a larger fleet - and I'm genuinely serious, I couldn't find any Pirate Scouts :P

And I do need to make better use of emergency burn. Going to try doing some cargo today as well. Cheers!
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Megas

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 08:35:59 AM »

Quote
I strongly dislike the much larger fleets and the weak starting options you get (I extremely dislike not being able to have a Wolf outside of 'easy' mode for instance - pushing my preference to a difficulty setting is a bit dismaying). I find the Lasher and Kite... not really my style at all.
I miss the Wolf too, especially the heavy blaster start; it could kite somewhat and avoid hits with the skimmer.  Lasher is good, but mostly as a Safety Overrides and machine gun boat; it cannot kite.

Currently, Scarab is the only option most similar to the Wolf.  Actually, it is better than Wolf, but it cannot kite (except maybe all beams against unarmored pirates), though Temporal Shell mitigates the need to kite.
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Copperwire

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2016, 05:24:45 PM »

I pushed a game to level 30.  Haven't commissioned.  In general, it feels like Vanilla; same frustrations with rarity, some frustrations with the commission system, and the same joy in killing stuff.  Pilots still dominate. 

I think with the new 2 CR cost Shuttles are worth using in early game - and not just the free Kite (A).  Until Cruisers.  Then they start to pop too frequently.  

I also noticed that Shepards no longer respawn drones.  I think they are still worth the 3 CR in early game, but they also stop working at Cruisers.

The phase changes, including the new CR costs for phase ships, feel better.

The new weapons are interesting.  I am not sure if they are useful.  Maybe on larger ships.  The changed HIL is useful, which is progress.  I think the OP cost may be a touch high.

Seeing as they are the only "restricted" weapons that I have managed to get my hands on until late in this run, I have been torture testing Railguns.  In other playthroughs they were overshadowed by Light Needlers.  Having messed with them, I think they are often a better choice. 

« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 05:47:37 PM by Copperwire »
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Thaago

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2016, 11:27:13 PM »

Re: Scarab
My loadout (without many skills, so this may change) has been 2 ir pulses where the atropos were, an ion cannon center, and 4 pd lasers, 1 in each corner. It still doesn't dissipate enough flux, but with the shield down it can spend an entire temporal shell use before backing off and venting. Absolutely deadly vs frigates and front shielded destroyers, though it lacks the anti-shield/anti-armor ability to really handle medusas/enforcers by itself. I'm sure with skills a more offense heavy loadout would be good.
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TJJ

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Re: 0.7.2 feedback
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2016, 08:22:13 AM »

The time acceleration for phase ships seems a tad ridiculous to me.

Afflictors darting about at 2500su?!
If I hadn't read the patch notes, I'd think it was a bug.

The Scarab's Temporal Shield feels distinctly average by comparison. (which, given that it is the ship's unique selling point, is an odd choice.)
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