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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Author Topic: [0.95a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - New REDACTED 8/13/21  (Read 425632 times)

Morrokain

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simple fix is right lol i updated to 005 and now the saves load

Oh great glad to hear it!
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6chad.noirlee9

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SO MY DREAM CAME TRUE.
ive got all militarized civilian ships
4 14th bg kites, a phaeton, a tarsus, a sheperd, a venture, and an aleste no one saw cause i said it isnt there ok
LOL and having the shuttles able to dock is very cool, the sheperd docks too.

anyway i had to nerd out for a minute on that
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Albreo

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The long list of weapon nerf might be a bit too excessive. The disadvantage of beam hull mods really bars me from utilising it. Now, I can't beat a full fleet REDACTED anymore lol. I tried to farm AI core from Mid beacon instead but seem to don't get any. Is AI core still in the loot pool of Brilliant?

The Doritos fight is a bit too simple with strike craft advantage. For starters, add 2 more Doritos.
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Morrokain

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SO MY DREAM CAME TRUE.
I'm glad you are having fun with that playstyle. I'll try to keep that in mind when the next big skill update hits for vanilla and I have to make adjustments. Overall I'd doubt that playstyle will be changed much - and factions like the Trader Guilds definitely benefit from the relevant skills. I still need to flesh that out more and have a mental note to do so.

The long list of weapon nerf might be a bit too excessive.
I'd need specifics in this case. I'm not saying you are wrong or anything, it's just not much to go on since it is a bit of a general statement and there have been a lot of changes.

As an initial response, I didn't really nerf weapons so much as buffed REDACTED at the large end of their ships iirc, and some of the low tier weapons that REDACTED sometimes use have had improvements though I doubt that's the overall reason. Weapons have actually gotten stronger as a whole I think - at least that is definitely true as far as PD is concerned. Maybe that is what you are seeing? Massed strike craft took a big, big hit in the last update or two. Flak might be too strong, but considering AI limitations it might actually be a good thing to prevent battles from being bogged down too much and take too long. Using large PD does also sacrifice a lot of firepower that the build could have otherwise had, so, I'm on the fence until the next update is tested on a larger scale.

I am basing some of this off of the final quote below. (Just for refence, I increased the range of PD beams so they are useful in more weapon mounts in larger ships. Its hard to remember what is in each version but I *think* their AOE damage was tripled? That could already be live though. They now deal 300 frag damage in an AOE spread in addition to the direct energy damage per strike.)

I can see Radiants in particular as being a handfull as well. And speaking of REDACTED, I just added in 3 new ships: one frigate, one destroyer and another capital. So... they might actually be stronger? Hard to tell because the Radiant system is pretty darn good. Diluting its appearance might in fact be a nerf instead of a buff. We will see with the next update.

(This might also be a moot conversation in the case of strike craft. There are a lot of changes in the dev version for interceptors and that will change things up a fair amount by itself.)

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The disadvantage of beam hull mods really bars me from utilising it. Now, I can't beat a full fleet REDACTED anymore lol. I tried to farm AI core from Mid beacon instead but seem to don't get any. Is AI core still in the loot pool of Brilliant?
Should be. I don't mess with drop rates of cores. The beam hullmods are more for support ships and with ship passthrough it should be an effective combination. What are you trying to use, specifically? Is the problem flux? Or speed? Each would have different considerations. I more mean it as a sidegrade as someone else mentioned. It changes the role of the ship rather than strictly boosting the weapon strength.

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The Doritos fight is a bit too simple with strike craft advantage. For starters, add 2 more Doritos.
This is a WIP from vanilla and so I'm going to wait and see how it turns out first before overriding anything. The reason is that I'll just likely have to change it later since it is so new. Offhand, a built-in hullmod reducing strike craft damage to the primary ships would be the ideal solution. I can't buff their weapons because the player can use them and then it becomes "grind till you have Doritos weapons", etc, etc. I've tried hard to have it not feel that way but those weapons are very cool so it's already hard to do, heh.
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6chad.noirlee9

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Thanks a ton for allowing a fleet of mostly civilian ships to be effective!

In particular the mining blaster and laser are actually substantial weapons all in all!  SO plus assault package with the right skills actually brings civil ships up quite a lot, although it may be feasible in the future to further enhance that with the skill changes.
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Albreo

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Should be. I don't mess with drop rates of cores. The beam hullmods are more for support ships and with ship passthrough it should be an effective combination. What are you trying to use, specifically? Is the problem flux? Or speed? Each would have different considerations. I more mean it as a sidegrade as someone else mentioned. It changes the role of the ship rather than strictly boosting the weapon strength.

Role of ships you say. Even on my Tachlance Paragon, I don't want to put any of the two on it because it's too detrimental. The flux cost penalty makes it less effective than the counterpart with no mod. Since the Tri-beam was nerfed, the Advanced optics becomes very useless. The range benefit is simply negligible compare to the flux penalty, this would only be useful on beam weapons without or with very low flux cost. Localized Amplifier has less penalty but again it still no match to the version without the mod. So, no reason to use it as well. The armor-piercing capability of the beam is already superb with its accuracy. Only a small section of the armor has to be puncture through. For normal Tachlance, a dual hit already went through Legion's thick armor. That would be 33% wasted flux for no good reason but it might be a great combination for low flux beam.

I think if you truly wish for a support beam kind of setup then I would go with, higher damage per shot, slower rate of fire, range increase could stay the same or turn into percentage increase, Flux consumption only increase up to 0-20%. Range increase is negligible at the moment, so I don't think this got an advantage over ballistics since it can already fire over the friendly ships, to begin with. The active venting advantage shouldn't be of concern in this case or you could do a reverse of Resistance Flux Conduits and make Active Venting 50% slower. So, the difference between this one and yours would be the damage advantage for sniping purposes but the overall DPS should be equal to no mod version. The ship will turn into a sniping platform with not that much disadvantage. The speed penalty should be Percentage reduction at the moment my Paragon can still kite Onslaught (top speed reduction "when the weapon is reloading", can this kind of thing be mod in?). Alternatively, a non-mod version of the beam could deals 50% hard flux and 50% soft and with this mod increase it to 100%.

Quote
As an initial response, I didn't really nerf weapons so much as buffed REDACTED at the large end of their ships iirc, and some of the low tier weapons that REDACTED sometimes use have had improvements though I doubt that's the overall reason. Weapons have actually gotten stronger as a whole I think - at least that is definitely true as far as PD is concerned. Maybe that is what you are seeing? Massed strike craft took a big, big hit in the last update or two. Flak might be too strong, but considering AI limitations it might actually be a good thing to prevent battles from being bogged down too much and take too long. Using large PD does also sacrifice a lot of firepower that the build could have otherwise had, so, I'm on the fence until the next update is tested on a larger scale.

I can deal with the starter REDACTED fleet in High danger systems. But once these are all laid out they will build a bigger fleet which is as big as last time but it's not the same. Since I don't have my cheaty zero flux set up anymore. I have to resource to the next cheaty in line Obliterator to deal with them but it's not enough. The likely acceptable outcome is to trade a capital with a Radiant kill but usually I will get wiped. The problem with the skill is likely due to immortality. At least, I should be able to push it back with 3 concentrated capital attacks.

Their strike craft is not a concern for me. I even think the PD is just too strong lol. The REDACTED's high-tech crafts suffer what I have already described, fragility issues. I do like the old mod version more when the crafts are very strong and matter a lot. If you have a craft advantage you already won 50%, I think I have said that somewhere a few years back.

A bit of indescribable good feeling is lost along with the change. For me, I start playing this mod because of the unique craft mechanic that is very overwhelming and also very cinematic. Lately, the mod is leaning toward vanilla too much. I wish that the strike craft would take the limelight more for the sake of Total conversion.

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"grind till you have Doritos weapons"

Apart from the cool beams the rest is kind of meh. A reloadable missile is not a unique thing in your mod lol.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 12:22:17 PM by Albreo »
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Morrokain

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@Albreo

Advanced Optics:
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Ah looks like there is a bug with the speed component. Thanks for pointing it out to me. It should be a percentage decrease and it should show the specific decrease for the ship you are equipping it on. Paragon is currently "0" speed decrease so that is definitely not right.

As far as the other suggestion I don't think its possible. It might be possible to do the snipe component of it I haven't looked into it yet. I'll consider boosting the range component to 800 though to really emphasis the "beam artillery" feel the hullmod is supposed to generate. Range is the most powerful stat, however, so I need to keep the downsides fairly steep. That said, it could be that 100% additional flux is a little too high for beams like the Atronarch or Phase Beam. It might be better to lower those beams' flux costs a bit rather than change the mod's penalty since I think it works well with the Twin Tactical Beam and otherwise might make that weapon too good if it were, say, 50% instead. Tachyon Lance already has plenty of range, so this mod shouldn't be used with it unless the build is completely focused around it and the ship mounting that weapon is heavily protected by other ships. Really, a Advanced Optics beam build should have an assault ship supporting it to begin with - just like a heavy artillery ballistic ship. Those weapons are intentionally flux-inefficient so if another ship with efficient weapons is in weapons range, the support ship is guaranteed to lose.

(Razor Tri-Beam got some of its range back already in the dev version. I think I hit it a bit too hard with the nerf hammer.)
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Localized Amplifier:
Spoiler
I agree with your assessment. It is definitely more detriment than helpful on beams that already penetrate armor well. It was more intended as a way to boost what would previously have been unused beams - namely the Mining Laser and Twin Tactical/Tactical beams, but it can also be useful to install, for instance, on loadouts with kinetic beams. Consider that the Graviton Beam and Razor Tri-beam don't generate any flux to begin with, and so the downside of the mod doesn't apply in that case. Since those beams take a lot longer to penetrate armor, the boost becomes a lot more apparent.
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Fighters:
Spoiler
I empathize with what you are saying here. Strike craft are cool! And the cinematic feel is definitely still something I try and achieve. My considerations for the changes are more along the lines of two things:

 - Feedback from many people that they are too strong and too centric to the battle - which is pretty much what you said you liked about them in the past. Brick-post of my feelings on the matter:
Spoiler
I will say that from what I've gathered the community as a whole here seems... well, for lack of a better way of putting it, "anti-carrier" when you look at suggestions and complaints in the past. Despite several major reworks, carriers are still in a spot where they are just kind of there. They don't really feel unique to fly, and their strength in battle is either described as "so ridiculously good that I don't have to try anymore" or "why should I ever use them over an SO-modded ship?" and a lot of people say they are just plain boring no matter if they are strong or not.

People are also all over the map regarding which version of carriers was the best. There are a few who want to go back to 0.6 implementation! For my personal hot-take since I've been here awhile: I think that when people say "combat is the best part of this game" what they are really saying is they like controlling a ship arcade-style. They like zipping around dodging shots, tactically choosing their targets and hitting vulnerabilities where they find them while managing their flux, relying on allies to create opportunities, and using missiles as a limited resource. Carriers, therefore, are the direct antithesis to that kind of fun. If fighters can outrun you and are strong enough to be a threat, your ways as a player of dealing with them are limited. Either you have enough firepower to shoot them down or you die. The alternative is a personal pet peeve of mine where you "backpedal while targeting them until replacement rate means you can go for the carrier" and that has been what the AI has been developed around much to my chagrin. Personally, its not to my liking though I really enjoy the other aspects of combat and I've even had discussions with Alex on it. (Its really cool that the Dev entertains these btw. Its unique to this game in my experience.) I get why that behavior is good - especially when looking through the lense of what I've described above. If you are really digging the arcade part of combat, then you aren't going to do anything that would compromise it. I come from more of an RTS background - where trading ships in battle is part of the norm, and carriers should be both strong and critical targets to take down for that very reason. Unfortunately, those kinds of things don't mesh well with the way Starsector is set up for a lot of different reasons. Therefore, I've tried to come up with a way to both have an RTS-like feel and tactics without disregarding the core combat tenants of vanilla. Obviously, this has proved challenging and is still a very much ongoing process.
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 - They obsolete frigates and to a bit of a lesser extent destroyers early and forever. This is also a vanilla problem that there were attempts to address in 0.95 so it is not unique here, but its really hard to have strike craft be really strong and have smaller ships able to compete in any way.

However, I don't think the changes make strike craft, well, not good or anything! A lot of the lower tier ones are much improved from the past. In the current dev version I believe the high tech ones are less squishy than the current release. I increased the shields by a bit. Flak and large PD beams are still really good though.

The problem I run into is that if I make one carrier really good against a ship, then 4 carriers become overwhelmingly good due to force concentration. LRMs have the same issue.

Anyway, just know that I have my finger on the pulse of this issue as a whole and I'm trying to find that razor edge balance that will feel good. And I'm always open to suggestions about how to go about doing that. If it boils down to a mod setting that simply reverts damage reduction for strike craft and increases their health pool, then I'm willing to go that route to satisfy both ways to play. I can see both sides of the argument. On the one hand, its fun to watch a mass of strike craft rip through a fleet and each other. Lots of sci-fi centralize their universes around this concept. And then the other side of it is the tactical component of "set up a vulnerability to a strike and then capitalize with your strike craft" and that can be really fun too when it works and also feel pretty bad when it doesn't since it feels like the carrier's wings were wasted in the effort.
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We will see if the next update addresses these concerns a bit. It is pretty close to being done. I have to correct some variants, do a final pass on strike craft and PD, and finish the fighter descriptions. (Not all the descriptions will be done but fighters were specifically a target since there are a lot of new ones.) I was going to wait a while since it will break saves, but there are enough critical bug fixes in it that its probably best just to get it out there.
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6chad.noirlee9

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i personally love carriers.  i love the support they provide, and i love having to fight them (a good challenge!)

the only thing i dont like about them is it doesnt feel especially good trying to control them; its really hard to get the timing right on strikes and i dont feel like i have as much direct control over the fighters as i should.  there was a mod called aria that spawned a nice mobile suit from the ship that had the system where you would pilot that fightercraft: i think this sort of thing should be an actual feature of essentially whatever carrier you want to have it, rather than just a ship system.  this would do A LOT to imnprove the dynamic of using carriers

dronelib may make this a reality considering the new subsystem functionality!!!!!
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Morrokain

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i personally love carriers.  i love the support they provide, and i love having to fight them (a good challenge!)

the only thing i dont like about them is it doesnt feel especially good trying to control them; its really hard to get the timing right on strikes and i dont feel like i have as much direct control over the fighters as i should. 
Yeah I was hoping for some sort of waypoint feature to control wings when directly piloting the carrier to strike from different angles, or new commands, or the ability to send them to capture points. Definitely all on my wishlist. Not sure it will ever be a thing, unfortunately, the game is almost done and I'd doubt Alex would want to get into that can of worms at the end. Maybe if an expansion happened post 1.0 assuming the game does well. Here's to hoping!!

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dronelib may make this a reality considering the new subsystem functionality!!!!!
Oh yeah definitely going to look into that at some point! It looks very very cool!



Forgot to mention several changes in the current dev build:

Midline ships got a few buffs - mostly in the dissipation area, but the Conquest has also gotten its long awaited 2 large mounts in place of the center mediums and its medium weapon mounts to either side are more flexible as far as loadout options go - and it got an additional fighter bay makings its total 3 instead of 2. It has more dissipation and OP to account for all of that, but has 5000 less flux capacity to keep it relatively balanced considering its speed.

Might of mentioned this already I can't remember, but battlecarriers: The Legion now has a very distinct role as a brawler over the jack-of-all-trades Executor. The Legion can't send its wings far and replaces them more slowly, but has a whopping 10 bays now as its sprite's massive bays would indicate, more OP, slightly less speed but a Burn Drive instead of Combat Capacitors to make it very mobile. (Heg version still has Combat Capacitors since they are more about firepower and burst mobility.)

The Executor isn't changed much but has always been more defensive and uses its 8 bays generally alongside medium or long range weapons. It seems in a good spot overall since the midline wing buff - and for the player there are a lot of ways to build the ship since it has a lot of OP.

The Megalith got a tiny redesign. Reserve Deployment and Mass Deployment no longer lower replacement time for starters. Megalith never loses replacement time and has a flux shunt. Its dissipation has been greatly increased, its shield efficiency greatly reduced and armor reduced to be the same as a Paragon. Its shield doesn't reduce dissipation as much compared to other ships. The idea behind all of these changes is to keep it dreadnought-esque as far as a pseudo-carrier and warship combination, but reduce situations where it is easy for the player to kill because it overfluxes itself yet make it easier to destroy in a direct engagement when directly controlled by weakening its shield when under fire.

Finally, Odyssey and Paragon got dissipation buffs so the hopefully drop their shields less at the start of an engagement with an enemy ship. (I think that is a factor but not 100% sure.)

Final testing will commence for a few days after variant cleanup - then I'll release the dev build.
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6chad.noirlee9

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Oh btw, I know you've got a long list currently anyway, but I thought I'd let you know the person who created musashi manufactorum is cool with that mod being converted to be compatible with your TC, and even said they'd put the TC version on their post in the modding section.
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Morrokain

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Oh btw, I know you've got a long list currently anyway, but I thought I'd let you know the person who created musashi manufactorum is cool with that mod being converted to be compatible with your TC, and even said they'd put the TC version on their post in the modding section.

Thank you for letting me know! I will take a look after I release this build in a couple of days.
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6chad.noirlee9

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Oh btw, I know you've got a long list currently anyway, but I thought I'd let you know the person who created musashi manufactorum is cool with that mod being converted to be compatible with your TC, and even said they'd put the TC version on their post in the modding section.

Thank you for letting me know! I will take a look after I release this build in a couple of days.


very cool!
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ratpizza

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I can't seem to get any contacts in sci-corps. I have done at least three different missions for them and none of those mission-givers have given me any opportunity to develop a contact with them. Bug? Or am I missing something?
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Morrokain

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I can't seem to get any contacts in sci-corps. I have done at least three different missions for them and none of those mission-givers have given me any opportunity to develop a contact with them. Bug? Or am I missing something?

Off-hand I don't think so? I'll have to take a look at the code and make sure there isn't something I have to add or something like that. I don't override any missions except the free freighter one and I don't even think that is in the current release yet. So it should have roughly the same odds as any other faction assuming the context like rep is the same. Unless it is like the Merc/Admin/Officer event in that there are new rules with higher weights that mess up the mods current rules. Since I'm in the process of fixing that atm I'll look around and see if I can find anything.

I saw another post a while back about another person not finding many contacts but I couldn't find it or I'd link it.
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Morrokain

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I'll look around and see if I can find anything.
After a relatively brief pass looking at the code, there isn't anything directly preventing contacts from forming other than RNG for any mod faction. The max number of possible contacts can be exceeded through story points.

It's probably bad luck in this case, though I'll try and generate a contact myself at a later date for some of the mod factions to make sure I'm not missing anything. Rules didn't seem to have any relevant entries either.
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