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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: A Tale of Two Tech Levels (05/28/21)

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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Update preview 6/24/20  (Read 382316 times)

danando123

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Hey! im new, those feature mods, do i need to download them also, or are they included in this?? thanks :)

how do i enable on 0.9.5a The mod says error mod requires different version of the game.

New to SS, hoping this will get a 0.95 update :)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 06:12:41 PM by danando123 »
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capshades

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Hey! im new, those feature mods, do i need to download them also, or are they included in this?? thanks :)

The feature mods are "potentially" compatible mods made by other people, you have to download and install them separately, and they may not work with this one, or may not be updated.

0.95a just came out recently, so some of them (and this mod) are not yet updated. 
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danando123

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Hey! im new, those feature mods, do i need to download them also, or are they included in this?? thanks :)

The feature mods are "potentially" compatible mods made by other people, you have to download and install them separately, and they may not work with this one, or may not be updated.

0.95a just came out recently, so some of them (and this mod) are not yet updated.

Ahhh new update recently on vanilla, gotcha :D ill have to wait then :)
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Morrokain

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@danando123

Welcome to the forums and sorry about the wait! Hopefully I'll at least have a beta out fairly soon. (Though my "soon" is probably a Blizzard-esque meme at this point.) :)

Re: Gunnery Implants vs Energy Weapon Mastery

I've already adjusted the range to be more in line with the energy weapons in the mod. I'm not sure 10% less flux is strong enough for an elite skill considering the flux-free weapons in this mod, so I may also increase fire rate by something like 10%. Or maybe just flipping the bonuses so that the more interesting bonus is the elite version of the skill. I'm still thinking about how to approach it. I don't want to add too much power creep to skills.

As far as Gunnery Implants directly relating to ballistic weaponry, on the one hand I like that it would be the obvious choice to reduce speedy high tech ships chance of infinite kiting/venting for ballistic flagships. The double edged sword there is that it would make the choice of skill obvious and not really a choice - which is kind of against the point of the skill system. It would also probably leave a sour taste in the mouth for someone wanting to loop around and max the tree for both tier 5 skills since one skill would likely be a waste either way.

What I'm more likely to do is give a bonus to ballistics within EWP and rename it Weapon Systems Mastery or something. I just need to think of a unique mechanic for it.

Anyway, o would like to see where your mod  can fix some of the less viable vanilla doctrine and mod doctrine.

We'll see how it turns out in the end and if there is a demand for it I can release it as a standalone skill mod that can work alongside faction mods outside of the TC combat too. I don't *think* that would interfere in the majority of faction mods features - though I'm not 100% sure.
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danando123

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@Morrokain thank you :) the game is hard -.- only started playing and hear the mods are immense.
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Albreo

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Concerning the Gunnery Implants vs Energy Weapon Mastery debate, perhaps try changing it to a ballistic weapons boost vs an energy weapons boost?  I'm not sure where everyone is on the "one or the other" type of gameplay mechanic, but I do like being shepherded towards choosing a specific faction or at least technology level of ship design to stick with, it helps with the RPG elements of the game in my opinion.

I really don't like the range limitations on the vanilla EWM skill, that alone makes it substantially less attractive to me than gunnery mastery.

That wouldn't work out well due to the skills being chosen randomly by Officer. If you are playing a High tech fleet and you got a 7 skills Officer with ballistic skill instead, that would be a shame. That's why I'm thinking, a universal modifier would fit better.

@Morrokain

Those additional Elite skills for flagship don't look half bad and would definitely work in my favor as I'm kind of a guy who goes all out for a support build. (in 0.9.1 I can still put some leftover points in combat but not this time around) The least important ship usually becomes my flagship and all the top tiers go to my capable Officers other than myself lol. I'm drifting in my command center, Tempest.

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The colony skills have been moved down to tier 2 so they are more accessible. In general my thought process is that campaign level bonuses < combat level bonuses.
I must be at almost Max level to think about setting up a colony but it might be able to save me some skill point as I'm currently required to have additional admins for 6 colonies. No AI Allow.

That makes me think that the Elite skill for Automated ship should be an unlimited cap off REDACTED ships, so you are basically one with the REDACTED, flip all diplomatic relation to permanent hostile but REDACTED, even Tri-tach will hate you for taking their priced possession. And also allow REDACTED to expand as a faction with you supplying them with more metal, lol, 3rd sector war.

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1) Move specialization bonuses to tier 5 options for the most part. They should be strong bonuses that will noticeably impact a playstyle and give incentive to max or loop around the tree.
I'm currently don't see the point of doing a loop as the total skill point is too low and too many garbage skills are in the way to T5. The skill in all 3 trees apart from combat is equally important and it's impossible to complete a certain tree individually. Unless the level cap is raised to 20 then I will think about completing at least one skill set.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 08:58:39 AM by Albreo »
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Morrokain

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This is what I'm going with as far as Energy Weapon Mastery:
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(You can also see how I've rearranged skills in general if you know the icons.)

Obviously this is a W.IP and things are subject to change.

That makes me think that the Elite skill for Automated ship should be an unlimited cap off REDACTED ships, so you are basically one with the REDACTED, flip all diplomatic relation to permanent hostile but REDACTED, even Tri-tach will hate you for taking their priced possession. And also allow REDACTED to expand as a faction with you supplying them with more metal, lol, 3rd sector war.

This would be a great setting for Nex campaigns and I'll think about doing that as a mod setting set that defaults off. It would likely break the story portion of the campaign too much to be set as a default for vanilla campaigns though. Remind me after this current update I'm working on and I'll consider implementing something like that.

For now, I'm probably increasing the threshold for Automated Ships. I feel comfortable doing this because the downsides of using the Radiant are likely enough to warrant it. Using the powerful ship system has serious consequences when player-controlled and the AI will use it. Since players can't directly control the ship themselves that prevents micro from circumventing that limitation. Ergo, increasing the threshold should be ok.

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1) Move specialization bonuses to tier 5 options for the most part. They should be strong bonuses that will noticeably impact a playstyle and give incentive to max or loop around the tree.
I'm currently don't see the point of doing a loop as the total skill point is too low and too many garbage skills are in the way to T5. The skill in all 3 trees apart from combat is equally important and it's impossible to complete a certain tree individually. Unless the level cap is raised to 20 then I will think about completing at least one skill set.

This didn't end up happening for the moment. As you may be able to see from the above picture I went a different direction and instead implemented a dual specialization route within each attribute tree - at least to a point. I also made it possible to avoid any permanent skills while maxing one side of any tree (and therefore allowing easier looping or early specializing). I'm hoping this will end up being interesting.

In general I have several ideas I want to try out for a variety of skills.
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DatonKallandor

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Changes seem fine, but be careful with the big straight damage bonuses and indirect damage bonuses like the rate of fire one. There's a lot of ways to get bonus damage in the skill trees now and they could potentially stack up to be *really* unbalancing.

I'd also be wary of rate of fire boosts without an equal flux discount because it makes judging the vents/caps balancing much harder in the design phase. In fact, for AO, I'd cut all flux cost discounts that aren't ship system based altogether, just so the "a salvo costs x flux" tooltips stay accurate (and stay a viable balancing lever).

You could go for a full skill overhaul for AO and I would be down for it too. For example you could - if possible - move all the non-combat economy skills to their own skill line which is fully unlocked by default but to get the bonuses you have to elite the skills. Effectively turning story points into a full non-combat currency while skill points are a combat currency.

It's a Total Conversion, there's no need to stick closely to the existing skill design.
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Morrokain

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Changes seem fine, but be careful with the big straight damage bonuses and indirect damage bonuses like the rate of fire one. There's a lot of ways to get bonus damage in the skill trees now and they could potentially stack up to be *really* unbalancing.

I'd also be wary of rate of fire boosts without an equal flux discount because it makes judging the vents/caps balancing much harder in the design phase. In fact, for AO, I'd cut all flux cost discounts that aren't ship system based altogether, just so the "a salvo costs x flux" tooltips stay accurate (and stay a viable balancing lever).

Good points and I've been keeping this kind of thing in mind as I test. So far I've only tested small-scale with frigates. I've focused on flagship damage with skill builds and this flagship:

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 - I feel like these mostly represent flagship and officer builds with damage in mind (in early and lategame alike) and the flagship itself has both energy and ballistic weapons from Weapon Schematics Mastery. I've tested against most frigates and destroyers with various variants. I focused on direct damage bonuses and in the lategame max level build the 100% CR that also increases damage alongside other stats.

What I've found so far is that the first build (representing a mid game flagship/officer build) makes it a lot easier to deal with ships that have slightly higher DP - either at the same hullsize or one above.

The max flagship/officer build essentially allows the ship to punch one hullsize above an unofficered hull (or about double DP) from what I've seen. I've only tested small scale so far though.

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You could go for a full skill overhaul for AO and I would be down for it too. For example you could - if possible - move all the non-combat economy skills to their own skill line which is fully unlocked by default but to get the bonuses you have to elite the skills. Effectively turning story points into a full non-combat currency while skill points are a combat currency.

It's a Total Conversion, there's no need to stick closely to the existing skill design.

I like this idea in general and I think it would likely solve some of the skill complaints as a whole. I'm not sure that it's possible though or at the very least it's more than I want to get into at the moment. Changing the values and thresholds is already a fair amount of work.

I may extrapolate on this later though after the first implementation. For now, I want to see what the initial pass feels like.
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BreenBB

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About Automated Skills, how about make Guardian also capturable unlike vanilla? It kinda OP, although I liked it, I personally make it capturable, but again, this skill have only one benefit, Radiant, rest of remnant ships might be useful, but they don't overshadow human ships, and derelict drones are just useless, and in vanilla it shared position with more useful skill which can make whole fleet more powerful, and again, your mod have your own balance, you can just tone down it a bit for player use :)

About skill tree, on one of your screenshot you selected multiple skills in Combat line, interesting, do you remove mutually exclusive skills and now its possible to choose both skills in same position? If yes then I like it, I liked skill system in 0.9.1a more where it had no mutually exclusive skills.
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DatonKallandor

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You can select both skills in vanilla too - once you get to the last skill you can go through the same line again picking the other options.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 06:19:01 AM by DatonKallandor »
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Radicaljack

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That's probably the part of it I find the worst to be honest.
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Morrokain

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About Automated Skills, how about make Guardian also capturable unlike vanilla? It kinda OP, although I liked it, I personally make it capturable, but again, this skill have only one benefit, Radiant, rest of remnant ships might be useful, but they don't overshadow human ships, and derelict drones are just useless, and in vanilla it shared position with more useful skill which can make whole fleet more powerful, and again, your mod have your own balance, you can just tone down it a bit for player use :)

About skill tree, on one of your screenshot you selected multiple skills in Combat line, interesting, do you remove mutually exclusive skills and now its possible to choose both skills in same position? If yes then I like it, I liked skill system in 0.9.1a more where it had no mutually exclusive skills.

Currently Automated Ships competes with Phase Mastery at Tech tier 5. So both are powerful bonuses but if the player isn't flying a phase ship as their flagship then Automated Ships is the obvious choice. I'm throwing around the idea of giving a secondary effect to Phase Mastery unrelated to phase ships to make it a bit more of a meaningful choice.

The Guardian is probably too powerful for a player ship. In this mod it spawns a large number of derelict drones over time, has even more powerful stats than the Radiant, and has the same ship system.

Maybe as a setting that defaults to off - but I'm not 100% sure how to approach doing that as I'm a little unfamiliar with how the code works there.

You can select both skills in vanilla too - once you get to the last skill you can go through the same line again picking the other options.

Yeah this is what you're seeing, BreenBB. I just wrapped around Combat in the screenshot to get the most flagship boosts possible.

Btw DatonKallandor I tested cruisers a bit with a max player skills and unlike frigates it doesn't quite double the DP effectiveness. It's more like 50-60% additional effectiveness - which I find sort of interesting actually.

The Apogee with a decent loadout can take on any battlecruiser and can give an Onslaught a run for its money - but still can't take on higher DP capitals. (This is under player control where I kite away when Combat Capacitors is active or otherwise the Apogee probably won't win. Side note: Combat Capacitors now additionally reduces armor damage taken and increases armor mitigation while active. The AI won't suicide with it as much now.)

That's probably the part of it I find the worst to be honest.

I'm not certain as I haven't gone all the way down the code rabbit hole for skills, but I think that part is hard coded since it involves the UI.

Are you a fan of the branching tree system that others have been taking about in suggestions? Something more like Pre-Mists of Pandaria World of Warcraft? Diablo II would be another example.
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Morrokain

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Progress Update:

I found a good use for High Scatter Amplifier in the mod. It now increases beam armor penetration significantly at the cost of beams generating a bit more flux per fire. The new hullmod is still unlocked by tacking Weapon Schematics Mastery. I've added the hullmod to a bunch of the npc variants to help level out some builds that were previously very weak to heavily armored ships.

It's definitely a powerful hullmod, but after playtesting with a variety of builds it doesn't seem terribly OP or a must-have for beam builds. The additional flux per fire can really hurt builds using Phase Beams, for instance, if the target ship is able to tank the beams on shields. And while Phase Beams are already fairly effective armor breakers, installing the hullmod and scoring a hit on a target with its shields down melts the armor almost immediately on most ships.

If it proves to be too powerful after beta testers get their hands on it, I will increase the flux cost penalty and that should do the trick.

Pics for demonstration:

Hullmod Description
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Normal hit on armor without the hullmod
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Boosted hit on armor with the hullmod installed
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Side sweep hit on armor with the hullmod installed
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I've also tested the carrier skills small scale and I'm very pleased with the overall results. Specializing heavily in carrier skills noticeably increases the performance per strike no matter if the carrier is using bombers, gunships, fighters or interceptors. And small-scale carrier groups with full fleet bonuses replenish their craft very quickly and hit very hard if they also have a carrier officer.

The good news for players is that afaik officers cannot take fleet bonuses like Tactical Formations (correct me if I'm wrong on this and npc fleets can do this) so it's going to provide a boost that only the player can take advantage of. It should make the playstyle pretty unique I think.
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Albreo

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The hullmod description could use better phrasing like "Beam weapons that generate hard flux (highlight text) deal 50% additional/extra damage to armor" and we should already understand most of it.
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